Is Your Basement Leaking and Full of Water? Here's Why

We’re in the rainy season now in St. Louis, where Cardinals games can be iffy and the possibility of a rainout looms large.  It is also the time of year when we get a lot of calls about basements leaking because that water has nowhere to go and finds a way into your home.  There are a lot of causes of basement leaks, but here’s a good snapshot of why your St. Louis basement is leaking.

Causes of Basement Leaks

The most common cause for your basement to leak is when the ground soil around your foundation gets too saturated and penetrates the foundation due to immense pressure.

There are two types of pressure that can cause this – hydrostatic pressure and lateral pressure.  Hydrostatic pressure is when water is absorbed by soil above the water table and closer to the surface, and after that soil is saturated, storm water that hasn’t been absorbed forces the water table up.  This creates hydrostatic pressure below the foundation and causes water to e forced into the foundation, causing leaks.

Lateral pressure is when the looser soil around your foundation, which was loosened during the excavation process on your foundation, becomes saturated and forces pressure on the sides of your foundation, hence lateral pressure.  This happens a lot when your gutters and downspouts are clogged and flood the area around your foundation with water.

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Get Your Concrete Leveled in St. Charles

Nick Gress Foundations specializes in both commercial and residential concrete leveling services for all types of concrete, including: warehouses, garages, foundations, steps, streets, driveways, sidewalks, pools, patios, and concrete slabs of all kinds.The best way to economically fix concrete is to save the existing concrete by making it a smooth, even surface. When you level a concrete slab before it becomes too damaged to be repaired, you can save money on more expensive repairs in the future and make sure that the concrete will be supporting your home and family for years. Not only is this a cost-effective way to repair concrete. it is also much faster than replacing the entire concrete slab and your downtime is very minimal.Many issues arise from uneven concrete:

Drainage problems from runoff and puddles collecting in places it's not supposed toUnsightly concrete, decreasing your property valueSafety and tripping issues for visitors or customersHigher liability issues for home and business owners for dangerous walking areas

Concrete leveling is the process where the concrete slab is "floated" up in small sections, letting us control the lift and protecting the concrete from further damage. When you work with professionals that understand the process, they will know the right mix of equipment, materials and labor to keep the concrete from further issues, and to avoid damaging any attached or nearby buildings.Nick Gress Foundations creates a series of one-inch diameter holes in the slab, through which we hydraulically pump a slurry with a limestone base undernearth the slab. This fills in the voided areas under the slab and force it to rise evenly, making a new base under the concrete, and solidifying the entire area.Not only does our process create a level surface, it also helps to prevent freezing and cracking in the future by keeping water out from under the concrete slab.Nick Gress Foundations is the leader in Concrete Leveling in Lake St. Louis, O’Fallon, Wentzville, St. Peters, St. Charles, Creve Coeur, Maryland Heights, Des Peres, Manchester, Chesterfield, Wildwood, South County, Valley Park, Sunset Hills, and Kirkwood.

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Why Your St. Louis Basement Is Leaking

We’re in the rainy season now in St. Louis, where Cardinals games can be iffy and the possibility of a rainout looms large.  It is also the time of year when we get a lot of calls about basements leaking because that water has nowhere to go and finds a way into your home.  There are a lot of causes of basement leaks, but here’s a good snapshot of why your St. Louis basement is leaking.

Causes of Basement Leaks

The most common cause for your basement to leak is when the ground soil around your foundation gets too saturated and penetrates the foundation due to immense pressure.

There are two types of pressure that can cause this – hydrostatic pressure and lateral pressure.  Hydrostatic pressure is when water is absorbed by soil above the water table and closer to the surface, and after that soil is saturated, storm water that hasn’t been absorbed forces the water table up.  This creates hydrostatic pressure below the foundation and causes water to e forced into the foundation, causing leaks.

Lateral pressure is when the looser soil around your foundation, which was loosened during the excavation process on your foundation, becomes saturated and forces pressure on the sides of your foundation, hence lateral pressure.  This happens a lot when your gutters and downspouts are clogged and flood the area around your foundation with water.

Floor cracks develop when the hydrostatic pressure from below forces the concrete apart and strains the seams in the layers of concrete by pressing up on the concrete in the floor.  When the water table rises, these cracks cause your basement floor to flood.

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April Showers Bring Basement Flooding

April Showers Bring Basement Flooding

As we enter April, rain threatens to flood thousands of basements across St. Louis with cracks in their walls.  It's a huge safety hazard and a massive expense to clean up from a flooded basement.  You can lose treasured memories and expensive appliances, along with all of the water damage to walls, carpets and floors. 

 Basement flooding is a huge problem that rquires weeks or months to fix, and can result in further issues like mold behind your walls and expanded access for bugs, rats, and snakes to find their way into your home.  Shoring up the walls of your basement should be a priority for any homeowner concerned about keeping the value of their home and the health of their family and pets.

 But fear not, St. Louis homeowners - there's a way to fix cracks in your basement walls before they become a real nuisance.  Epoxy injections give your home a chance to keep out water and make your basement safe for your family without expensive concrete work.

 Epoxy Injections are the process of repairing cracks in basement foundation walls.  This entails properly cleaning wall cracks with wire brushes, then removing any loose debris from inside the wall crack with compressed air to ensure proper cohesion of epoxy. 

  Next, we place multiple wall ports over the wall cracks with injection ports, and then spread hardening resin over wall cracks, and inject the ports with low viscosity epoxy until the wall cracks are filled to restore the foundation's wall strength. 

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Void Filling Under Concrete Slabs St. Louis

If you have a void under your concrete, it will lead to settling and/or cracking concrete. You get a void when base soils under the concrete or shifting rebar deteriorate to the point where a hole is created underneath the concrete. When the soil settles, crumbles or is moved by ice, water or animals a gap that opens up between the soil and the bottom of the slab of concrete ends up in a loss of solid support for the slab.Once the void appears, it can be very difficult to fill yourself. While you can fill a smaller area with sand or dirt to level it, like a sidewalk, large slabs like patios and driveways require bigger solutions. They have to support but not lift the slab too far. That's why Mudjacking is the perfect solution for this problem.Mudjacking is a process of drilling 1 3/4" holes in various sections of concrete slabs to either Void Fill for stabilization or to raise to the highest point allowable. Crushed Limestone and cement are mixed together to form a grout mixture that once injected allows for proper raising and/or stabilizing under the affected concrete slabs. Once the job is complete we clean the area and refill the drilled holes with new concrete. Most jobs take a couple of hours and require water and electricity to be present when the job is being worked. 24 hours is recommended before driving on the raised slabs. It always helps the longevity of the work to either have downspouts directed away from sunken areas and/or have all expansion joints caulked (an additional bid can be given for this type of work). Water testing is done to ensure that water runs properly away from the foundation when applicable.Making sure that your concrete slabs are void-free can add to the value and durability of your home and make sure that the investment you have made in your home doesn't go to waste. Don't let cracking or buckling concrete go un-repaired. Nick Gress Foundations is the leader in Void Filling Under Concrete Slabs in Lake St. Louis, O’Fallon, Wentzville, St. Peters, St. Charles, Creve Coeur, Maryland Heights, Des Peres, Manchester, Chesterfield, Wildwood, South County, Valley Park, Sunset Hills, and Kirkwood.

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Concrete Leveling in St. Louis, MO

Nick Gress Foundations specializes in both commercial and residential concrete leveling services for all types of concrete, including warehouses, garages, foundations, steps, streets, driveways, sidewalks, pools, patios, and concrete slabs of all kinds.

The best way to economically fix concrete is to save the existing concrete by making it a smooth, even surface. When you level a concrete slab before it becomes too damaged to be repaired, you can save money on more expensive repairs in the future and make sure that the concrete will be supporting your home and family for years. Not only is this a cost-effective way to repair concrete. it is also much faster than replacing the entire concrete slab and your downtime is very minimal.

Many issues arise from uneven concrete:

Drainage problems from runoff and puddles collecting in places it's not supposed toUnsightly concrete, decreasing your property valueSafety and tripping issues for visitors or customersHigher liability issues for home and business owners for dangerous walking areas

Concrete leveling is the process where the concrete slab is "floated" up in small sections, letting us control the lift and protecting the concrete from further damage. When you work with professionals that understand the process, they will know the right mix of equipment, materials, and labor to keep the concrete from further issues and to avoid damaging any attached or nearby buildings.

Nick Gress Foundations creates a series of one-inch diameter holes in the slab, through which we hydraulically pump a slurry with a limestone base underneath the slab. This fills in the voided areas under the slab and forces it to rise evenly, making a new base under the concrete, and solidifying the entire area.

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Basement Waterproofing Crack Injections

With spring right around the corner, it's time to get serious about keeping your basement waterproofed and dry.  Nobody can afford a flooded basement, and in St. Louis, we know that the springs are wet!  You'll never find a better time to get your basement waterproofed, and that starts with Basement Waterproofing Crack Injections to your walls to stop the water.

Crack Injections

This repair approach is generally only suitable for poured concrete foundations where seepage is originating from the walls (and not floors). Masonry foundations, such as brick, stone or cinder block are not ideal candidates.

This method is proven to stop leaks in their tracks and make sure that your basement is leak-free and your property is protected.  

Basement leaks can be a silent killer, leading to moisture in your house and a host of other problems including rot, mildew, and mold, including the dreaded black mold.  

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What Is Mudjacking and Why Is It So Important

Mudjacking is the preferred technique for raising and stabilizing settled concrete slabs. Also known as slabjacking or concrete lifting, this repair method is highly effective and provides long-lasting results.

But, what exactly is mudjacking, and how does it work?

A Quick and Easy Method of Concrete Repair

Over time, concrete slabs settle as a result of changes in the underlying soils. Mudjacking addresses these changes and restores the integrity of the concrete.

It may sound complicated but it’s not. The repair process takes very little time – usually just an hour or two from start to finish (although larger projects may take slightly longer).

This concrete repair starts with drilling a few small holes in the settled concrete slabs. Next, a cement slurry is pumped through the holes. This mixture fills voids or empty areas in the soil, which works to stabilize the slab foundation.

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Interior Basement Waterproofing

Your basement can become wet from a variety of reasons, but what we'll talk about today is cracks in your foundation and concrete.  These cracks allow moisture to seep into your basement from outside, and can lead to your possessions being damaged and your foundation weakening.  The entire process can really put a strain on your home and lead to flooding and extra expense.  If the water reaches vital components of your home,  such as your furnace and air conditioning systems, you can be out thousands of dollars.  It's best to fix these problems as they come and make sure that you keep your basement as dry as possible.

Interior waterproofing methods are typically the easiest and most affordable. These typically begin with ensuring that any cracks or holes in your basement walls, floors, and around windows and doors, are properly sealed and watertight. Water most frequently makes its way into our basement via these cracks, so properly sealing them is the first step towards ensuring your basement stays dry. Special sealants can be used to effectively fill any cracks, preventing any new moisture from traveling inside. These sealants are typically quite effective and often come with extended warranties, guaranteeing their effectiveness.

Interior waterproofing methods, such as waterproof sealants, also do a good job at keeping humidity levels down, preventing condensation. These coatings can be put onto basement walls and floors creating a waterproof barrier. 

Call the Basement Waterproofing experts at Nick Gress Foundations at 636-219-1967 or 314-409-1497 to learn more or get a free estimate.  

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Do you have Voided Concrete?

When the ground under a concrete slab erodes away, it can cause a lot of problems. Homes with basements usually have the most problems, but voids can impact driveways, patios, sidewalks, and more. The erosion causes air pockets or voids to develop under the concrete slab, taking support away from the surface.

Causes of Voids

There are several different reasons that a void can occur beneath your concrete. Most of the time, it isn’t due to erosion, but other factors. Some issues are fast, others can take years to cause problems.

Soil consolidation occurs over time. This occurs when loose soil under the concrete consolidates or sifts down. If the soil is not properly prepared by being tamped down, this can occur. When the soil consolidates, a void can form over time.

Settlement is a natural occurrence that happens over time. It can occur with new construction or with a property that is a hundred years old. It all depends on the type of soil and weather patterns. Heavy rains or flooding can cause the soil to settle faster than normal. If the settling soil is in a large enough area, it can allow erosion to occur. Settling soil sets the table for a problem, erosion just makes it worse.

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How Do I Prevent My Basement From Getting Wet After a Snowstorm?

Winter snow can look beautiful, but it's not so great if all that water is leaking into your basement. If you have puddles on your basement floor every time it rains, you're not alone. Many houses have basement water problems. The first step to solving your basement water problems for good is to understand why water leaks into the basement.

Causes of basement leaks

Water stains on walls and pooling water on the floor are common signs of basement water leaks.

The most common causes of basement leaks is pressure created by water in the soil surrounding the foundation. There are two different forms of pressure that can cause issues:

During periods of heavy or persistent rain, the soil can become saturated, creating hydrostatic pressure (or water pressure) that can push moisture and water through your basement walls and floor. The looser soil around your foundation tends to absorb more water. The area around the home is often flooded with rain water from clogged gutters or downspouts that are discharging water right next to the foundation. When the soil expands, it creates lateral (or sideways) pressure against the foundation. This can cause damage to your home's foundation and create leaks in the basement.

Window wells can be another cause of water leaks in the basement. If a window well is not properly installed or if the drain becomes clogged, the window well can fill with water. During a heavy rain, the water can seep into your basement. Water stains on the walls are a sure sign of leaky basement windows.

How water gets into the basement

Water can find its way into your basement a number of ways, such as:

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Concrete Leveling With Slabjacking

Concrete leveling is a procedure that attempts to correct an uneven concrete surface by altering the foundation that the surface sits upon. It is a cheaper alternative to having replacement concrete poured and is commonly performed at small businesses and private homes as well as at factories, warehouses, airports and on roads, highways and other infrastructure.

Causes of settlement

Concrete slabs can be susceptible to settlement from a wide variety of factors. In some areas of the United States, naturally occurring soils can consolidate over time. Soil erosion also contributes to concrete settlement, which is common for locations with improper drainage. Concrete slabs built upon filled-in land can excessively settle as well. This is common for homes with basement levels since the backfill on the outside of the foundation frequently is not compacted properly. In some cases, sidewalk or patio slabs pitch down, directing water down towards the basement level. Tree roots can actually heave a slab upwards; this is common along public roadways, especially within metropolitan areas.

Slabjacking

Slabjacking is a specialty concrete repair technology. In essence, slabjacking attempts to lift a sunken concrete slab by pumping a grout through the concrete, effectively pushing it up from below. The process is also commonly referred to as "mudjacking" and "pressure grouting" as well.

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Waterproof Your Basement For Christmas

With the holidays around the corner, many people are looking forward to waking up to presents and family on Christmas morning.  What nobody wants is to have their basement flooded on Christmas Day.  That's the worst present to find under your tree!

Any leak in your home can lead to water damage, mold, and destruction.  Moisture makes your wood weaker and destroys the interior of your home.  Knowing the cause of your leak is only the first step of repairing it.  Your basement can leak from a variety of sources and doesn't have to just come from one spot.

Once we determine where your leak is coming from, we use an epoxy to fill in the cracks and create a watertight seal in your basement to make sure that your basement stays dry.  

Epoxy Injections are the process of repairing cracks in basement foundation walls. This entails properly cleaning wall cracks with wire brushes, then removing any loose debris from inside the wall crack with compressed air to ensure proper cohesion of epoxy. Next, we place multiple wall ports over the wall cracks with injection ports, and then spread hardening resin over wall cracks, and inject the ports with low viscosity epoxy until the wall cracks are filled to restore the foundation's wall strength. We will also tear out any needed drywall and repair the drywall professionally for an additional charge. Epoxy Injections do come with a 7-year transferrable warranty!

Call the Basement Waterproofing experts at Nick Gress Foundations at 636-219-1967 or 314-409-1497 to learn more or get a free estimate.  

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Basement Waterproofing in St. Louis

Basements in St. Louis have a tough job.  they keep moisture out of an underground area that is surrounded by wet earth, and St. Louis gets both rain and snow in huge amounts, as well as major rivers running through the city.  Keeping your basement waterproof is vital because a small leak can become a major problem very quickly.  Water is one of the most destructive forces on Earth.  

After all, water carved the Grand Canyon.  Do you think your home is immune to it?

Any leak in your home can lead to water damage, mold, and destruction.  Moisture makes your wood weaker and destroys the interior of your home.  Knowing the cause of your leak is only the first step of repairing it.  Your basement can leak from a variety of sources and doesn't have to just come from one spot.

Once we determine where your leak is coming from, we use an epoxy to fill in the cracks and create a watertight seal in your basement to make sure that your basement stays dry.  

Epoxy Injections are the process of repairing cracks in basement foundation walls. This entails properly cleaning wall cracks with wire brushes, then removing any loose debris from inside the wall crack with compressed air to ensure proper cohesion of epoxy. Next, we place multiple wall ports over the wall cracks with injection ports, and then spread hardening resin over wall cracks, and inject the ports with low viscosity epoxy until the wall cracks are filled to restore the foundation's wall strength. We will also tear out any needed drywall and repair the drywall professionally for an additional charge. Epoxy Injections do come with a 7-year transferrable warranty!

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Foundation Repair in St. Louis

Is your concrete foundation in distress? Foundation problems can lead to major structural damage within your home. Whether you’re a homeowner or a prospective buyer, foundation issues are scary and you likely have a lot of questions.

Two of the main questions are:

How much does foundation repair cost?Will my insurance cover foundation repair?

Luckily, there are ways to repair a concrete foundation without having to tear it out and start from scratch.

If you suspect foundation problems, do the following:

Examine the foundation yourself for obvious issuesHave a foundation repair company do a professional foundation inspectionConsult with a structural engineer if necessaryWHAT CAUSES FOUNDATION DAMAGE?

For the vast majority of foundation issues, water is the primary culprit. Variations in moisture cause components of the soil to swell or shrink, leading to movement beneath your foundation.

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Fix Basement Cracks With Epoxy Filling

Injection of epoxies under pressure may be used to bond the cracks having greater than or equal to 0.05mm opening. This method is not applicable if the crack is active, the cracks are large in number, or when the water leakage can not be controlled. If the cause of the cracking has not been corrected, it will reoccur near the original crack. Extreme caution must be exercised when injecting cracks that are not visible on all surfaces.

Epoxy injection is commonly used to restore the pre-cracking condition of the member without increasing its strength. The epoxy tensile bond to the concrete substrate is stronger than the concrete’s tensile strength. Future cracking may occur at the same load as that of the original uncracked member but at different locations. Strengthening is provided by installing additional reinforcement across the failure plane in combination with the resin injection. Frequently, internal or external reinforcement is installed in combination with the epoxy injection for strengthening and restoration.Crack injection can be successfully performed on cracks as narrow as 0.013 mm in width with general epoxy injection resins. Cracks with less width can be injected with epoxy or other polymer systems having a low viscosity of 200 cps.

 Poured foundation cracks may be repaired by using low-pressure injection of an epoxy or polyurethane foam material. For the repair of concrete floor cracks, certain epoxies and polyurea materials exists, suitable for such slab repairs.

Epoxies and other resins lose strength when exposed to fire or sustained elevated temperatures and fireproofing protection is required for such structural repairs. Epoxies that are labeled water-insensitive during curing may develop milky white bond lines if injected into wet or damp cracks. Verification that the epoxy is completely water-insensitive should be made by injecting the test epoxy into pre-wetted cracks, then evaluating the cored sample of the cured epoxy injected into the crack. Slabs and walls restrained at their ends may develop full-depth slab cracks due to shrinkage as a result of volume changes during concrete curing or during extreme thermal fluctuations. The cause for the local overstress should be either eliminated or considered in the repair. Injecting the crack at the midrange temperature minimizes thermal stress fluctuations.

Epoxy injection for Concrete Crack Repair in foundations, basements, beams, columns, slabs, walls and other concrete structures

Call the Epoxy Filling experts at Nick Gress Foundations at 636-219-1967 or 314-409-1497 to learn more or get a free estimate.  

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What Is Mudjacking?

You know how unsafe and unsightly uneven or sunken concrete can be. Water erosion, poor soil stability, tree roots, and earthquakes are some of the causes of sinking or uneven concrete. When concrete settles or sinks, it can also negatively affect the curb appeal of your home. It is possible to quickly and easily repair it using a process called mud jacking. Mud jacking is effective for raising concrete on porches, decks, patios, walkways, basement and garage floors, and driveways.

Mud jacking, also known as slab jacking, concrete lifting, and slab leveling, is an easy and inexpensive technique that is perfect for fixing certain settlement issues with your concrete. It is the process of lifting concrete slabs that have settled by drilling holes through them. Then a mixture of water, soil, sand, and cement called mud or slurry is pumped beneath the settling slab to lift it. The mixture cures to create a solid, stable fill that stabilizes the slab back to its original location.

When used to repair a settling home foundation, mud jacking is a professional job that requires using special equipment. All work should be done by a trained contractor, like the experienced staff you’ll meet at Perma-Pier, who has expert knowledge of local soil conditions and their requirements.

Mud jacking has two primary applications for repairing a foundation:

Fill Voids: Foundation problems are usually caused by the perimeter of the foundation settling. A foundation contractor will level settled sections of a foundation with push piers. When the piers are installed under the perimeter grade beam and the foundation is raised, it creates a void under the slab. Mud jacking fills the empty space beneath the footing created by this lifting. The foundation contractor uses mud jacking to fill this void by drilling 2″ holes through the perimeter grade beam and pumping a mixture of soil/cement mud into the void.Raising Interior Floors: Sometimes the interior portion of the slab foundation settles. Mud jacking is one method used to return the interior floors to their original position. Mud jacking to raise interior floors is done using the same process: drilling 2″ holes through the slab in the areas that have settled and pumping a mixture of slurry underneath the concrete, lifting the slab back to position.

There are several benefits to using the mud jacking process:

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