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SAULT STE. MARIE BASEMENT WATERPROOFING & FOUNDATION REPAIR

Like most parts of Michigan, Sault Ste. Marie sees a consistent amount of rainfall throughout the entire year. Foundation and crawl space problems, as well as basement flooding, are all problems caused by water and soil

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Sault Ste. Marie Basement and Crawl Space Waterproofing

Because basement and crawl space areas are partially underground, they are prone to flooding and leaking. This is especially true for homes in Sault Ste. Marie, where rainfall is consistent throughout the year and the winters come with a lot of snow accumulation. While a bit of liquid may seem like no match for concrete and other sturdy materials under your home, water will actually cost you a pretty penny due to how good it is at eroding matter and promoting mold growth. Higher humidity levels throughout the home, hydrostatic pressure, higher energy bills, mold, and foundation settling are all problems that come with a basement or crawl space that isn’t waterproofed. 
 
The best way to protect your basement or crawl space from water damage is by fully waterproofing these spaces. Full waterproofing solutions involve encapsulation and the installment of a sump pump and dehumidifier. Our VaporLoc Elite® vapor barrier protects your crawl space from moisture and keeps it dry. The sump pump redirects water out and away from the space, and our industrial-grade dehumidifier ensures that the humidity levels are adequate at all times. Interior drain systems like our AquaStop® Drainage System and AquaGrate™ Drainage Pipe are also a great way to deter any water that enters the basement or crawl space from inside the home. 

Foundation Repair in Sault Ste. Marie

Crawl Space Support Posts

Your foundation is what supports your entire household’s structure. Unfortunately, foundations are vulnerable to the specific characteristics of the soil that surrounds them. Sault Ste. Marie’s soil is a sandy soil known as Kalkaska sand, which means it drains water really well. That said, while this type of soil doesn’t cause the same problems that clay soils cause, it still affects your foundation if it’s not adequately constructed. 
 
After a foundation begins to deteriorate, the building’s structure begins to fall apart, usually from the bottom up. The hydrostatic pressure pushes up against the foundation walls, causing it to bow inward, crack, and break apart. Once the foundation is too weak to support the rest of the house, settling is inevitable. Warped door and window frames, cracks along the walls, and sagging floors indicate foundation problems. 
 
Luckily, we offer many solutions for foundation repair: Wall anchors and wall braces can be used to straighten and strengthen bowing and tilting foundation walls. For foundations that are sinking, our load-bearing helical pier system not only supports your home, but it also straightens foundation walls. For structural problems in very specific parts of the house (warped frames and sinking floors), crawl space jack posts are the go-to solution for crawl space reinforcement

Frequently Asked Questions

About Waterproofing, Crawl Spaces, and Foundation Repair in Sault Ste. Marie


 
There are three foundation piers used for foundation repairs: helical piers, slab piers, and push piers. Each kind of pier solution has its pros and cons, but ultimately, the kind your home will need depends on the size of your home, the soil around your property, and your future renovation or repair plans. If you’ve done your research on piers, you may have heard of concrete piers mentioned. Concrete piers are unreliable and often crumble under the weight of a home, so if you’re looking to stabilize your foundation, it’s best you stick to the three pier types mentioned above. 
 
Push piers rely on the upward pressure exerted by load-bearing soil countering the weight of the house in order to hold up the building. It’s because of this that they should only be used for large, heavy buildings. If the building isn’t heavy enough, the push piers will not have enough counter pressure to support the foundation, so they are commonly used for commercial buildings instead of households. Push piers are also non-removable, so if you’re planning on renovating or extending your home, push piers will get in the way of any construction work that needs to be done. They can only be installed vertically on the ground, so they cannot correct tilting walls that need sideways pressure in order to straighten out.  
 
Helical piers are often the preferred solution for the average household. Their sleek, slender design means that there is zero risk of skin friction, and the fact that they come pre-assembled means installation is quick and easy. Because they are slimmer than concrete piers, they do not place any extra pressure on soft, clay soils, which means that they are great at preventing future foundation settling. As for slab piers, these are the same as helical piers except they are meant to stabilize concrete foundations. Slab foundations are never built in regions where the soil freezes, so the homeowners of Sault Ste. Marie do not need these kinds of piers. 


 
A frost wall is a barrier that protects foundations from the freeze-thaw effect. The first barrier is placed along the outside of the foundation wall while the other is placed along the inside. These barriers serve as insulation and keep the water within the surrounding soil from freezing and damaging the concrete structure. It’s a necessary foundation addition in a place like Sault Ste. Marie, where temperatures are below freezing during the winter and the freeze-thaw effect runs rampant on concrete and soil. Not all houses have a frost wall, especially houses over 30 years old. 
 
Despite how useful frost walls are for freeze damage, they don’t actually protect your foundation from water damage. The polystyrene material used to make the barriers is not waterproof, so water can and will get in and damage your foundation. It does add an extra layer of protection, but it’s not enough for a home in an area with a lot of rain and snow. Given the fact that Sault Ste. Marie has consistent rainfall throughout the year with increased precipitation throughout autumn, there needs to be more protection than a simple polystyrene barrier. 
 
A frost-protected wall is not a permanent solution for foundation issues, since most of them are caused by water damage and frost damage only accounts for a small portion of the problem. The only way to protect your foundation is by fully waterproofing the inside of your foundation as well as the outside. Fully waterproofing your foundation sounds overwhelming, but it saves you time and money in the long run. Encapsulation, adding extra insulation, re-grading your yard, and installing drain pipes, dehumidifiers, and sump pumps will not only drive up your property’s value, but it will also ensure you never have to worry about freeze or water damage again. 


 
One of the reasons foundation settling is such a detrimental problem is because it affects various parts of the house. This means that homeowners often see a small issue around their home and try to fix it without realizing it’s a part of a major structural issue. Because foundation settling goes unnoticed for so long, the problem gets so severe, highly expensive repair jobs are needed by the end of it when small fixes would have sufficed had the problem been detected sooner. This is why you, as a homeowner, should be able to recognize the problem signs of foundation settling before things get really bad. 
 
One of the most obvious signs of foundation settling is stair-step cracking. This is when giant cracks run down the mortar joints on brick walls. If the crack is wider at the top, it means the settling is severe. Another sign is drywall cracks, which can be as thin as hair or as wide as an earbud cord. As the settling advances, these cracks will widen to the point where the surface of the drywall begins to flake off in large chunks. 
 
The most irksome signs are those that affect your daily life. Due to the settling, one side of the house is crumbling under the extreme pressure of a tilting structure. This causes door and window frames to warp and twist, leading to jammed doors that either don’t close or don’t open properly. Your floor will also be affected as the house shifts to one side and the joists move along with it. Walking on sinking floors is extremely dangerous, and the more the house settles, the more uneven the floor becomes


 
Recognizing early crawl space problem signs can mean the difference between needing a simple repair job and needing to renovate your entire crawl space. One of the earliest signs of crawl space issues is high levels of humidity throughout your home. Your crawl space plays a very important role in the kind of air that moves around your home due to the stack effect. The stack effect refers to when warm air enters your home through the crawl space and travels up towards the rest of your home. This is because warm, humid air is lighter than cool, dry air. 
 
The reason this is so important is because the air you breathe in your home comes from the crawl space, meaning that whatever is in there is something you breathe. This includes mold, pest droppings, humid air, and animal carcasses. Long-term exposure to polluted air causes a slew of respiratory issues, so if your house is unusually humid or smelly, especially during the summer, you need to check on the condition of your crawl space. A good way to do so would be to check for other problem signs around your home, such as mold growth and high energy bills. Another way to check if the humidity is coming from your crawl space would be to use a moisture meter. 
 
If your home is experiencing increased levels of humidity and you have a crawl space that isn’t waterproofed or sealed, you need to act fast. High humidity problems that stem from your crawl space is just the beginning of your problems. It indicates that your foundation has a serious drainage issue that will affect its structure in due time. Once you’ve determined that your crawl space is the cause of all your humidity problems, get in contact with a foundation repair company as soon as you can. 
 


 
One of the many side effects of a water damaged crawl space is a sagging floor. As the wood in your crawl space begins to break apart, either due to mold or settling, the joists are no longer able to hold up your floorboards. Sagging floors are a disruptive crawl space problem sign because it affects the way you move through your own home. It must be difficult being afraid of walking around your home because it feels like the floor is going to give way every time you step on specific spots. So, is a sinking floor something you can fix yourself? 
 
Unfortunately, fixing a sinking floor is more than just replacing some wood. If you try to fix it yourself, you’ll end up spending more money in the long run. This is because you’re not actually fixing the source of the problem, which is the drainage issues that exist in your crawl space. Sure, the floorboards and wooden joists can be replaced, but you’ll be having the same problems in as little as two years if you don’t waterproof your crawl space. This is especially true if the issue is specifically caused by mold on the joists, which is difficult to remove without professional treatment. 
 
Another reason you’ll end up spending more money is because sometimes, replacing the wood isn’t even necessary. Crawl space support piers can help support and stabilize your sinking floor without the need to replace any of the wood. Of course, the only ones who can tell you whether or not you need the piers are crawl space experts. In order to properly assess your crawl space as well as install the necessary supports without causing your floor further harm, it’s best that you get in contact with your local crawl space repair company. 


 
When homeowners hear about crawl space waterproofing and all it entails, many question the necessity of encapsulation, especially if the area is already closed off. A sump pump and dehumidifier make sense, but how can a vapor barrier protect a crawl space from water damage? Well, the materials your crawl space is made of, wood and concrete, experience rapid deterioration after water exposure. This is because both materials are highly absorbent. 
 
Because of their permeability, even water vapor can get through and invade your crawl space or crawl space. You might think this isn’t really a big deal—after all, water vapor is what the dehumidifier is for, right? However, once that moisture passes through the wood and concrete, there’s a possibility that mold will grow. There are certain types of mold that can survive even when the air isn’t very humid, so it wouldn’t take much for your foundation to start deteriorating. 
 
Vapor barriers completely block all water and water vapor that tries to get into the crawl space. It’s made of a completely inorganic material, so no mold can eat at it and grow. Encapsulation also helps insulate the area and keep temperatures stable which lowers energy bills. And last but not least, encapsulation tidies up the way your basement or crawl space looks. The sleek, white barrier brightens up the space, makes it look bigger than it truly is, and keeps everything clean for years to come. 

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Schedule Free Inspection
LET OUR EXPERTS HELP YOU

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Excellent service. Zak and Josh M were awesome and addressed everything.

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Jacob Lemasters did a phenomenal job detailing not only what needed to be done, but walked us through the steps and set very clear expectations.

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Alec Huet was professional, knowledgeable and explained everything clearly. We’re excited about our waterproofed basement!

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Find Your Service Area

Sault Ste. Marie-St. Ignace

Sault Ste. Marie LOCAL OFFICE

Foundation Systems of Michigan

32985 Schoolcraft Road
Livonia, MI 48150
Phone: (734) 749-9480

Hours of Operation

Monday – Thursday: 7 am – 9 pm
Friday: 7 am – 7 pm
Saturday: 8 am – 2pm

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Proudly Serving Northern, Central and Southeastern Michigan & Northern Ohio

Grand Rapids Office

5985 Clay Avenue SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49548

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32985 Schoolcraft Road
Livonia, MI 48150

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3805 Elmers Industrial Drive
Traverse City, MI 49685