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When finishing your basement, especially if you're turning it into a bedroom or otherwise habitable living space (i.e. an apartment), it's important to be aware of building code. You must have a properly sized window, like the egress windows we install.
While finishing their basement, our customer had us install a new egress to take the place of their small, outdated basement window. You'll have to look closely to even see it in the before picture. The difference is dramatic.
Egress windows are an integral part of a finished basement, particularly if you want to use the space as a bedroom or other living space. By having windows installed by a basement company, you can be sure that they are water-tight and code-compliant.
The homeowners in Williamston, MI were noticing that one of their walls in their basment had horizontal cracks near the top of the wall and was starting to bow. Horizontal cracks are one of the first signs of a bowing wall. The cracks need to be fixed right away because they start out small, but they will increase in width over time as the soil outisde continues to put pressure on the wall.
To fix the bowing wall out professional team installed the GeoLock Wall Anchor system. Galvanized steel earth anchors are embedded into the soil out away from the foundation wall. Steel wall plates are installed inside the home on the problem wall. The earth anchors and steel plates are then connected together by galvanized steel rods. Once installed, wall anchors will hold walls in their current position without any further adjustment. They can be tightened during dry periods allowing for improvement and straightening of the wall over time.
The GeoLock wall anchor system stops the homeowners wall from bowing and allows the wall to be straightened over time.
This Okemos, MI homeowner found us at a local trade show and was immediately impressed by our offered services. She decided then and there that she wanted to have an Egress Window installed. As you can see in the before picture, her previous window didn’t offer a lot in terms of lighting. The 4-foot window that the team installed most likely won’t have this problem. Our replacement egress windows are designed to allow light to actually permeate into the basement. Since the project was done by the waterproofing experts here at Ayers Basement System, homeowners can rest easy knowing that any product we install will have a waterproofing function. The inorganic well included with our egress windows won’t decay or allow water to leak in. For even more protection, ask about our plastic lids, designed to let sunlight in through the window while keeping water, dirt and critters out of the well.
This customer called because he noticed his wall was caving inward and he was afraid it was going to collapse. His home was built with block foundation and was experiencing horizontal cracking, which is a common sign of wall failure in this type of foundation wall. In order to save the wall our crew decided that installing Geo-Lock wall anchors would be the best bet.
The Geo-Lock wall anchor system will stabilize the wall and prevent it from continuing to bow inward. Steel anchors are installed in the soil away from the home and are then connected to steel wall plates located on the foundation wall. These anchors ensure the wall is stabilized, with the capability to tighten the anchors during dry seasons to straighten the wall over time. This customer will no longer have to worry about the possibility of his wall collapsing.
We had done a waterproofing job for these East Lansing, MI customers a few months back. Apparently, they were happy with the work because they got in contact with us again when they started looking for a replacement to the small rectangular window seen in the before photo. While that block window is much larger than most basement windows, this finished pool room would look even better with a larger window that let in more natural light. As you can see in the after photo, that’s exactly what we gave them. Through the new replacement window is a Sunhouse Egress Well. The well will keep the window protected from the elements and water and also provide a way out of the basement in case of an emergency. It's always great to hear from past customers, and we're happy to help them out as they start new projects.
This home has used our team of experts in the past for a flooding basement where we installed our WaterGuard system and a sump pump to fix the issue. Over time, another problem has occurred and the window began to leak. To fix the leaking window our team installed a window duct drain to collect the water and direct it to the sump pump.
The basement in the before photo had just been redone to stop water from leaking into the finished area. The owners wanted to complete the repairs by giving the basement a window that would highlight the finished features. As you can see in the before photo, the old window was barely visible from the outside and certainly didn’t offer a lot of sunlight on the inside. The window in the after photo is our egress replacement window. Our crew had to excavate the soil to make room for the window and its accompanying well. The larger window will allow more light to enter the basement while the well protects it from water and the elements, so leaks like before won't happen again. Note: the soil around the well was filled back in before the installation was completed.
A homeowner from Lansing contacted us referring to her basement that had a weak foundation wall. She did not know how to fix it (but if you want to know more about it click here), so she called us. We drove to her home and installed Wall Anchors. We install these by digging a tiny hole in that are a few feet away from the home. Then we drill a steel rod through a 1-inch hole in the basement wall. After that, the rod connects to an anchor that is placed in the hole of the soil. Once we place the plates on afterward, we have permanently stabilized the basement. So now the homeowner doesn't have to worry about an unsafe basement ever again.
The PowerBrace™ is a patented foundation wall repair system that's designed to stabilize failing basement walls and provide the potential to straighten walls over time.
Mark M. called because he noticed large cracks forming in his basement walls. It is important to know the warning signs for wall failure depending on the type of wall that is present in your home. As you can see in the before picture, his cinder block walls were showing signs of horizontal and stair-step cracking, which is a common sign for this type of wall. These warning signs show that over time the soil outside of his home was putting continuous pressure on the wall causing it to bow inward.
Our crew of experts decided to install Geo-Lock anchors to save the failing wall. This system consists of galvanized steel anchors that are placed in the soil away from the home and then connected to wall plates with steel rods. The installation of this system ensures your basement walls are stabilized and have the opportunity to straighten over time. An advantage of the Geo-Lock anchors is that you are able to tighten them during dry periods (a time when the soil isn’t putting as much pressure on the wall), which allows you to straighten the wall even further over time.
Mark can now check “failing wall” off of his to do list!
We got a call from this Lansing, MI homeowner when he noticed that the basement walls in his rental property were starting to crumble. Horizontal cracks running down the middle of a wall, like the one in the before picture, are one of the biggest hints to a bowing foundation. The foundation had been bowing inward for some time, and when it wasn’t addressed, things only became worse. With no sign of the walls improving on their own, the owner sought out help from the foundation experts here at Ayers.
The crew was able to save several of the walls with our Geo-Lock Wall anchors. However, the one pictured was beyond repair. To keep the foundation from completely giving in on itself, the crew excavated next to the wall and replaced the crumbling stone blocks with new ones. But before the crew could take away part of the structural integrity of the home, they had to stabilize the floor above. To do so, they used our PowerBrace system in a slightly different way than usual. PowerBrace is typically set up against bowing walls and spans from the floor to the ceiling to take pressure off of the foundation walls. In this case, it was set a few feet away from the crumbling wall, so that the floor joists remained supported while the old blocks were replaced. With all the walls stable again, the owner can go back to enjoying this property worry free.
PowerBraces will stabilize the wall in its current position without any further adjustment. Over time, the PowerBrace™ System can be tightened to make bowing or tilting walls straighter and more vertical.
One of the walls in this Lansing, MI basement was bowing inward and had multiple cracks in the cinder block seams. The homeowners wanted to do some remodeling in the basement, so they wanted the issue resolved before doing so.
To stabilize the shifting wall, we installed the CarbonArmor system that used carbon fiber straps to hold the wall in place. The straps are 10x stronger than steel and are adhered to the wall with a strong epoxy resin. Once attached to the walls, the system was secured into place with steel brackets to prevent the wall from continuing to shift and crack over time.
Paul complained that his basement was a little drafty. He noticed that draft was coming from the basement window. We helped by installing our EverLast windows. EverLast windows are energy-efficient and all vinyl windows. They are double-pane glass, will not let any wind in, and are rot and mildew-resistant.
Which came first: The wall crack or the leak?
It's hard to tell, since water can come in through cracked basement walls but water can also CAUSE wall cracks by weakening the structure, but either way, we can fix it.
These homeowners had a long horizontal wall crack on one of their basement walls (marked in both pictures by the gray tape), along with a leak. After we installed new discharge line and a set of LawnScape outlets to take care of the leak, we used six 8 foot PowerBraces to reinforce the failing wall.
Bob was experiencing a major foundation issue with the corner of his front porch. The corner of the porch was slowly sinking for quite sometime, but recently had accelerated sinking. Our professional foundation team stepped in and installed a few piers around the porch in order to help support and lift the corner back into position. The Helical Piers are the piers that we used in this project. To install the piers, we excavated a small hole around the outside of the porch to expose the home's footer. We then drill long steel piering shafts into the ground until they reach competent soil that can reliably support the weight of the home. This allows for the corner to be put back in its original position. The fix is permanent and incredibly reliable!
Denise had noticed stair step cracks on her basement wall and took the issue into her own hands. She filled the cracks with traditional sealant because it was advertised as a quick fix. Luckily, she called us because stair step cracks are a tell tale sign of foundation issues and there is no "quick fix" for foundation problems.
Our team determined that her basement walls were still in the early stages of cracking. This meant that our team could install Wall Anchors, which are braces that hold your wall still and will prevent the issue from getting worse. These wall anchors are a permanent solution for Denise's stair step cracks and our team even covered the the cracks to make her basement more appealing.
This homeowner wanted to get an egress window installed in their basement in place of one of the smaller windows. This is a safe and smart idea as they plan to build a few bedrooms in the basement. Due to building code, if you have bedrooms in your basement you need to have two ways to escape in case of an emergency. The first one being the door and the second is usually a window large enough to climb out of. We were able to install a nice, large egress window in this basement. It's now ready for bedrooms to be added and lived in safely.
The PowerBrace System reshapes your walls to be in perfect alignment gradually over time. By correcting the bowing walls gradually, Ayers prevents any sudden cracks or collapse from over correction and sudden changes. The PowerBrace system is coated with a zinc layer that prevents it from weathering and rusting over time, making it a more reliable system in the long run. One of the most appreciated aspects of the PowerBrace system by homeowners is the fact that no outdoor excavation is required!
Bowing walls and stair step cracks are clear signs that a basement's foundation needs to be looked at. This Battle Creek, MI basement showed evidence of bowing wall damage and water leaks coming in through the cracks, so we installed our wall anchor system to help solve the problem. Wall anchors are secured in outside soil to provide strength in prevention of any more bowing in the future and straighten the walls over time.
After this anchor was installed, we placed a clean, white cover overtop to keep the system discrete and give the basement a more finished look.
An 8-foot-long horizontal crack in a basement wall caused this Battle Creek, MI homeowner to seek us out. Long horizontal cracks like these are usually a common sign for bowing walls. He had already tried to mend a small part of the crack with spray foam, but it wasn’t doing the job. Knowing that he was planning on selling the home in the next few years, he wanted a solution that would move the walls back to their original position by that time.
The PowerBrace system was just the product for this type of situation. Not only will the PowerBrace beams stop the walls from continuing to bow inward, over time, it can also shift the wall back to its original position. The beams were bracketed to the floor joists, or occasional joist reinforcement pieces, in the ceiling and offer the unique ability to be tightened again whenever deemed necessary. As you can see in the after photo, the beams are right up against the wall to relieve the pressure caused by holding up the foundation. With a 25-year warranty, this homeowner can rest easy knowing his basement walls are will stay protected through the sale of his home and long after.
These rugged steel push piers feature a patent-pending external sleeve that strengthens the pier at the critical tension point below the bracket.
This home in Portage, MI had some stair-step cracks in the foundation wall. Most of the time this happens from the soil outside your foundation walls expanding. This home had a special case where a tree root was actually causing the wall to bow inward and create the cracks they were seeing inside their home.
To take care of the cracks we installed our PowerBrace system. PowerBraces can be tightened to allow for improvement of the wall over time. They are also zinc coated so you don't have to worry about them rusting out. These are also a good option if you don't have room for excavation on the outside of your home.
The drainage line from the WaterGuard french drain system leads directly to the sump pump that is located in the lowest part of the basement. Once completed, concrete is laid down over the drain to provide a clean, finished look to the project.
This Hastings, MI home was suffering from bowing walls. The initial tell for the owner was the stair-step cracking seen in the before picture. Once the system design specialist confirmed the inward bowing walls, the owner called on our crew to solve the problem.
After selecting to use our Geo-Lock Wall Anchor System as the solution, the homeowner was forced to wait until the ground thawed for production to occur. Once the soil was no longer frozen solid, the crew was able to excavate next to the wall and place the earth anchors into hard-packed distant soil. The anchors were then attached to the wall using steel tie backs and Geo-Lock wall plates, like those pictured in the after photo. Essentially, the anchors will stabilize the foundation while pulling the collapsing wall back to its original position.
This homeowner called because she was experiencing a problem with her block foundation walls. When our team visited the home we found that her foundation walls did not go all the way up to the joices in the home and were essentially leaning. The leaning of a foundation wall is a sure sign of wall failure, which needed immediate attention before the problem worsened.
We decided to install the PowerBrace system that would fully support the basement walls. This system includes strong beams with a non-toxic zinc coating that protects them from corrosion. The braces use a “joist reinforcement method” that makes sure the weight of the wall is transferred evenly across the basement ceiling to ensure the beams do not interfere with the floors above. An added bonus to this system is that the braces can be tightened over time to eventually straighten the wall.
Elizabeth K. contacted us because they wanted to take a small window in their basement and remove it to install a large egress window. This home was built in the 90's when egress windows weren't required but now you must have one in every room in the basement that is liveable. The window must also be large enough for a person to escape in case of an emergency. We were able to remove the small window and install this large 4' X 4' egress in this basement so now the family can be relieved knowing that there is an escape route in case ever needed.
Our Customer Elizabeth K. wanted to replace her submarine like basement window. Unfortunately, customers often don’t realize that basement companies should be installing any basement windows. Ayers has the knowledge and expertise to make sure your windows are secured and sealed and will not allow water to leak into your home. In addition, egress windows allow for an additional exit out of your basement, that you can actually fit through, in the case of an emergency.
Stair-step cracks in walls are a major indicator that there are foundation problems, which is what we found in this block wall basement in Lowell, MI. By installing Geo-Lock wall anchors, these steel wall plates will not only stop the foundation from any further bowing, but straighten out the walls back to an upright position over time. One plate is installed in the soil away from the wall while while the other is directly against the bowing wall. A steel rod connects the two plates which is tightened over time to continue straightening. No more foundation issues for this homeowner!
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