Serving Mid, Western and Northern Michigan,
Kalamazoo, Lansing, Grand Rapids, Traverse City
It’s clear to see in the first image that something’s just not right with these walls...they’re bowing! Bowed walls are often the result of hydrostatic pressure. As water saturates the backfill soil surrounding the foundation, the water exerts pressure on the foundation walls. Installing the PowerBrace system in this home was the best solution for combating the hydrostatic pressure and straightening these walls over time. 12 corrosion-resistant, zinc beams were carefully reinforced to the floor joists to distribute the load evenly preventing damage to the floor system above it. These beams can be tightened over time to continue to stabilize the walls, putting them back in their place.
When this building was moved to Okemos, MI, the owner thought that it would be a fresh start for his company but the foundation had other plans. The soil that the building was placed on wasn’t strong enough to stop the crawl space from sinking and threatening to bring the whole foundation with it. Luckily, there’s a place in Lansing, MI that knows everything there is to know about crawl spaces and foundation repair.
When the crew arrived they saw that the crawl space was being held in place by several wood planks trying their best. Our SmartJacks are galvanized steel jacks designed to raise sagging structures. Unlike wood, the steel beams won’t decay from the elements or humidity that commonly occur in crawl spaces. The crew had to do more than just lift the crawl space, they also had to reinforce and stabilize the worn floor joists. All in all, it took 6 different smart jacks and 28 supplemental support beams to keep this foundation from giving in.
If your crawl space is sinking, don’t wait to call. The structural integrity of your home depends on it.
Just by looking at the basement walls in this before picture, you can see where water has leaked through the cinderblock, leaving traces of efflorescence—the mineral buildup that’s left once water evaporates from a surface. Installing WaterGuard along the bottom of the wall, on top of the footing, we provided a drainage system to collect water from the wall leaks. Finally, BrightWall paneling drastically improves and brightens the space. These panels also stop water vapor and allow for wall leaks to drain behind them. Now this basement not only looks brighter, but is dry, too!
The cracks that were sealed up in the before photo were caused by extra pressure being put on the wall creating an inward bend. This forced wall movement is referred to as bowing and is very common for soils that deal with a lot of rain or snowmelt. To counteract that force, the crew installed the GeoLock Anchor system in the after photo. The wall plate seen in the after photo is one of four. The plates are tied to the anchors with steel tie backs like the one running through the center. Not only will the plates resist the bowing movement, with any luck they may also restore the walls to their original upright position.
This apartment complex had a problem with water seepage in two of the lower apartments. The soil outside of the wall had sunk about one foot, which left the covering on the exterior wall exposed. In order to seal off the wall and prevent water from continuing to damage the property, we installed the SentrySeal system. We first excavated a small section of soil outside of the wall to make room for the sealant. Insulation was then placed over the wall and the specialized sealant was installed to seal off any cracks or openings from the outside to prevent water from seeping in. Once we were finished, the soil was backfilled and water would no longer cause any issues for the complex.
One customer in East Lansing, Michigan had a wall that was starting to bow, as visible by the stair-step cracking at the wall. This tells us that the wall is bowing and is getting worse. So, we decided to solve this problem by installing our Wall Anchor System. These are installed by digging a tiny hole in the soil a few feet away from the wall. Then, we drill a steel rod into your wall so that the wall can be anchored into the soil. Now the wall is saved and this homeowner no longer has to worry about his entire basement wall collapsing.
Kathy M. of Lansing, MI had drastic cracks in her basement walls before she called us for help. Cracks such as this provide a serious threat to the structural integrity of the home. Good thing for Kathy, we had a solution to this problem.
We installed our patented CarbonArmor wall reinforcing system for this job. CarbonArmor uses the same technology as the Army Corps of Engineers designed to reinforce bomb shelters to stabilize your basement walls. The system consists of fiber reinforced polymer that is 10 times as strong as steel, maximizing the utility of the product. And as a bonus, no excavation is needed to install this product.
With this installment, Kathy can live in her home without worrying about the cracks beneath the home.
The foundation walls in this Lansing, MI house were settling likely from the soil it was built on. We were able to install Helical Piers to help bring the home back to its original position. Once we find the proper depth to where good soil is we install heavy-duty steel foundation brackets below the footing. The weight of the home is then transferred through the piers to the sturdy soil to bring the home back to where it should be.
A homeowner from Lansing called us about his basement wall that was not perfectly straight anymore. He was very concerened so he wanted our professional help. We came to his property and installed wall anchors. Wall anchors are perfect for return the wall back to its original position and reinforcing the whole foundation. 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 afterwards, we have permanently stabilized the basement. So now the homeowner doesn't have to worry about an unsafe basement ever again.
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.
After waterproofing this customer’s home a few months back, we received a call asking us to come back out to Lansing, MI and help with the finishing job they were doing. The owners had plans to create a bedroom in the basement for the family and needed to upgrade several aspects of the basement, including their windows. Egress replacement windows, like the one seen in the after photo, are perfect for finished basements because they look just like windows in any other finished room and offer an alternative escape route in the event of an emergency. Not only that, as you can see, the egress windows are much larger and allow more light to filter into the basement. The waterproof well will keep the window protected while allowing it to do what windows are meant for, brightening up rooms.
The before photo of this basement shows the horizontal crack of a bowing wall, originally mistaken by the homeowner for a simple water leak. After the crew became aware of the foundation, they took both PowerBrace beams and Geo-Lock anchors with them to Charlotte, MI. The wall plates, seen in the after photo, are connected by steel rods to Earth anchors that were placed at a safe distance from the foundation in stronger, untouched soil. While the anchors pull the wall backward towards its original position, the PowerBrace system beams will push the wall from the inside. Since the homeowner was right about having a leakage problem with the horizontal crack, the crew also sealed up the crack using a joint sealer, the black stuff. With double the protection from bowing walls and a sealed crack, this basement and foundation are both fully protected.
Pam K. of Dewitt, MI had a crack in her basement wall that was causing the foundation to slant. This creates a serious issue for the structural integrity of the home and Pam needed a solution. Good thing for her, we had one.
We installed our PowerBrace foundation wall repair system. The PowerBrace system is a wall repair system that stabilizes tilting, bucking, cracked or bowing foundation walls. PowerBrace uses steel I-beams that attached to the joists above the wall to provide maximum support. And even better, the system can be tighter over time to eventually bring your basement wall back to near its original position.
Charles called us about his basement wall. Large horizontal cracks could be seen running from one end of the wall to another, a sure sign of a wall that was beginning to bow. If left alone, Charles' yard would eventually be relocated in his basement. Fortunately, we had a permanent fix for Charles. The answer was in a GeoLock Wall Anchor System. Large steel GeoLock earth anchors are placed in the ground away from the home and are connected to wall anchor plates on the inside along the bowing wall using long steel rods. These anchors hold the wall in place and keep it from bowing any further. Another unique feature of these wall anchors is that they have a tightening system included that allows the walls condition to improve over time. Charles will no longer have to worry about a basement full of dirt. A quick easy installation was the difference between between worry and confidence.
A customer in Saint Johns called in about a failing wall in the basement. At Ayers Basement Systems, we specialize in repairing or preventing walls from bowing in. Once our System Design Specialist took a look at the wall, it was save to assume it needed wall anchors.
Our wall anchors are designed to repair walls like these. The galvanized steel makes for a long-lasting solution that will prevent any further inward movement of the walls.
Note: The ground outside was filled in with dirt after the anchors were secured.
This Battle Creek, MI homeowner was interested in a replacement basement window. The standard basement window is a small rectangle occasionally equipped with an aluminum or metal well encasement. Windows like these work well in most basements because lighting usually isn’t a huge factor, but when homeowners go through the effort of finishing their basement they prefer to be able to see it. At least that was this homeowner’s viewpoint.
To replace the original window, the team had to excavate the soil around the well and recut a larger hole into the wall. Our egress windows are vinyl framed and designed to never rust or decay like steel or wood-framed basement windows. The wells are the same way. Being made from plastic instead of metal means the well will keep the new window protected from a variety of elements without ever needing another replacement. As you can see in the after photo, the new well was installed with a cover on top and deeper into the ground than the previous unit. The cover allows light to reach the basement, but the homeowner will never have to worry about water getting in and ruining his window or walls. The one-day installation finished up just in time for the owner to enjoy the summer sun shining in through his new basement window.
When these past customers of ours noticed the large horizontal crack in the before photo, they knew something was wrong with their home’s foundation. Cracks like these normally appear when soil puts extra pressure on walls and forces them to bend inwards. The inward bending or bowing of walls can lead to a lot of foundation problems, including structural failure. To keep that from happening to this Battle Creek home, our crew installed the Geo-Lock Wall Anchor system. Aptly named, the system anchors walls against any future movements to hold the foundation in place. The Geo-Anchors are placed in strong, dependable soil about 15 or 20 feet from the walls. They are then attached to the walls using the wall plates and steel rods that run through the middle of the plates in the after photo. Even as soils continue to expand, the anchors will keep the wall steady.
When this crawl space first began to sag, the owners had tried to stop their floors from sloping using the stacked cinder blocks in the before picture. Originally, the makeshift support had worked. The floor joists were stable and the owners didn’t have anything to worry about. But after discovering moisture issues in the crawl space, the owners decided to have a full encapsulation done and figured it was as good a time as any for foundation repairs, as well. The new support system in the after photo is the SmartJack Crawl Space Stabilizer. Unlike the cinder block solution that was in the crawl space, the SmartJacks are adjustable and can be raised to whatever height will lift the floor back to its original position. Even if this crawl space runs into more trouble, the stability of the floor above will remain intact.
After the homeowners noticed the stair steps cracks in the before photo on their basement walls, they called us looking for a solution. This was the second time in the last 3 years that they had searched for a bowing wall solution and this time they wanted it to be permanent. Our crew delivered with the Geo-Lock Anchor System in the after photo.
The system stops the bowing motion by countering the pressure being put on the foundation walls. As soils expand, they push the wall inwards. But Geo-Anchors hold the wall in position so it can’t bend anymore. The actual anchors are placed about 15 feet from the home and are connected to the wall plates in the after photo by steel rod tiebacks. Soil pressure put on the walls won’t cause any more movement, and in due time, the walls may even return to their upright position.
As you can see in the before photo, the windows of this basement hadn’t seen a lot of use over the past few years. In total, there were 6 basement windows and they were all boarded up in a similar fashion as this one. When the homeowners called us up to repair their foundation, they figured it was also a good time to replace their old worn out windows.
The replacement windows in the after photo are what we call our egress window system. The real benefit of the system are the wells that come accompany the windows. Once placed into excavated portions of soil, the inorganic, waterproof wells will shield the newly installed windows from possible leaks and any decay caused by ground water. The owners now have windows they can see out of, and they’re even protected.
This home was built around the 1940's and was showing some major signs of age and the soil around the foundation had settled. Some of the block foundation wall had actually fallen and needed to be completey replaced. The homeowner also noticed that the doors and windows in the home were sticking which is another sign of the foundation settling. The floor on the first level needed to be lifted back up to its original position. There were also some very old windows that needed to be replaced as they were allowing moisture and unwanted outside elements into the basement.
This home needed some of its foundation and other problems taken care of and they definitely called the right people for the job. We installed SmartJacks to lift the foundation back it's original position. We also replaced the block wall that had fallen and sprayed foam insulation around the rim joist to make sure this basement is completely sealed off. The entire weight of your home sits on your foundation so it's important it's sturdy and safe. This project restored the value of this home and gave the owners peace of mind knowing that their home is stable and safe for years to come.
When this customer decided to transform his basement den into a bedroom, he was informed by city codes that he had to convert one of the windows. Egress windows are much larger than the basic rectangular basement windows and offer a second point of escape in the event of a fire. The metal well and ladder in the after photo can be accessed in the same way as usual windows, plus the openness of the well will provide the room with much more light the typical window.
To replace the old window, the crew first excavated the soil surrounding the window and made room for the well. Once the wall and previous window were cut away, the 30 X 48 window was inserted. Next, the metal well - which will protect the window from water and erosion - was placed into the ground. After the soil was backfilled to secure the well in place, the crew began the clean process. This new window will not only bring the bedroom up to code, it will also make it much more livable. If you’re interested in a replacement window, give us a call for a free estimate. We also offer plastic waterproof lids for added protection from the elements
A homeowner called Ayers with an issue with a window well that was filling up with water and leaking into the basement. One of our professional System Design Specialists evaluated the issue and came up with a solution.
After consulting with our Specialist, the homeowner decided to install a new egress window to replace the prior window. Our egress windows are constructed to withstand any storm, preventing any more leaks from entering into this home.
This Kalamazoo, MI Garage wall has seen better days. The concrete garage wall had an enormous horizontal crack spanning the length of the whole wall. Not only is this a scary sight for any homeowner, but the fear of knowing this wall can erupt any moment would send shivers down any spine. Not to worry, we have a solution for this problem. Our PowerBrace system was installed to anchor this wall to provide stability and support. These steel I-beam are placed along different sections of the wall, stretching floor to ceiling in length, and are secured into place with steel brackets. The anchors have the ability overtime to straighten this wall back out to its normal position.
In order to prevent wetness in the basement due to their sump pump, this Kalamzoo family reached out to Ayers for some expert help. We recommened our patented SuperSump sump pump, capable of keeping a basement dry for the long haul. The SuperSump saved this family's basement by having the ability to pump water out of their basement at 2,220 gallons per hour. Their basement now may be used as a safe living space.
At Ayers, we are all about reliability, and our products reflect that. We transformed this old, non-reliable pump into a fully functional SuperSump. The SuperSump contains a pump stand (prevents clogging of any debris in the sump liner), pump alarm (for when the basement floods), and an airtight sump lid with a floor drain in it (helps water to go down but not air to come up). This home will now be able to rely on their sump pump to properly drain all of the water out of the basement.
Our customer called for an estimate on installing an egress window in their basement. Egress windows are necessary to convert a basement into a bedroom and add light to other habitable space options.
An effort to finished this basement in Osceola, IN turned into adding in a basement bedroom. Unfortunately, the bedroom wouldn’t be too inviting the way it was. The only window was a small rectangular block high on the wall. To make the room feel more homelike and less “basementy”, not to mention meeting safety codes, the owner had decided to upgrade that rectangle to an egress window and well.
First, the crew removed the original window and filled in the hole with block wall material. Then came the installation of the egress. An egress window will benefit this basement in more than just adding light; the well and window are made of inorganic plastic material so they won’t erode or leak. The comparison between the before and after photos shows just how much of an effect a one-day installation can have for a basement.
This customer had recently finished the basement in their home. It was being used as an office space and bedroom. Unfortunately, those submarine style windows were making it unsafe. According to building codes, when using your basement as a living space, it is a requirement to have an additional exit aside from the entrance. Egress windows are the solution! They not only provide a large and safe exit, but they also allow additional light in the space, making it more lively.
This customer in Mattawan, MI had a cracked block wall in his 40-year-old ranch style home. The 3rd block down the wall was bowing in and cracking. After doing some landscaping, the cracking became worse and a solution is desperately needed.
We installed out CarbonArmor system. CarbonArmor uses the same technology as the Army Corps of Engineers designed to reinforce bomb shelters to stabilize your basement walls. The system consists of fiber reinforced polymer that is 10 times as strong as steel, maximizing the utility of the product. And as a bonus, no excavation is needed.