Q&A

Ayers Basement Systems Q&A

Are my basement walls safe?

If you’re asking this, it probably means you’ve seen something that worries you. Maybe you’ve been looking at a wall from every angle, trying to figure out if it’s leaning more than it was last week, or there’s a crack forming.

 

Wall cracks can form due to water issues or pressure from the soil outside - or both. Some cracks might be superficial, but some are indicative of a structural issue that could put your home in danger.

 

The best way to find out if your walls really are leaning, or if that crack is anything to worry about, is to schedule an inspection with an expert.

 

Do I need a sump pump?

If water in your basement is an issue, you probably need a sump pump.

The main function of a sump pump is to collected discard unwated water in your basement. An effective sump pump can determine whether or not your home is protected from flooding, standing water, or any other source of intruding water that can enter your home.

Our TripleSafe sump pump system can protect your home with 3 effective pumps in one liner. The first pump is an effective pump that will do most of the work. The second pump is higher in the liner and automatically turns on if the first pump cannot keep up. The third pump is a battery-powered pump that makes sure the sump pump protects your home even if the power goes out.

 

How can you get rid of the mold smell coming up from a crawl space?

Mold can thrive anywhere there is moisture and organic material (like wood) that it uses as a 'food' source. That makes a crawl space an ideal haven. Encapsulation and dehumidification are the keys to getting rid of mold problems and their accompanying smells. Our CleanSpace vapor barrier will protect your crawl space from moisture coming in through the walls and floor in your crawl space. Adding a SaniDry dehumidifier (like the new Sedona) takes care of any remaining ambient moisture, which makes your crawl space unhospitable to mold.

How do I air out my crawl space?

You don't! The need to "air out" a crawl space to prevent moisture and mold is a common misconception - the only way to keep your crawl space safe from the effects of ambient moisture and debris is to encapsulate it entirely with a product like our CleanSpace vapor barrier.

How do I fix a driveway crack?

When concrete is poured in a driveway, over time you may experience some cracks or settling. This is commonly noticed more than anything at the entrance to the garage. While at one time it may have been a smooth transition, perhaps now you notice a considerable bump as your vehicle climbs into the garage. This settling is caused either by water washing out the soil underneath and creating voids or from poorly compacted soil beneath the weight of the slab. Filling the voids can help lift the slab back towards its original position.

To do this, we recommend PolyLEVEL. PolyLEVEL is cleaner, more effective, and more reliable than other solutions like mudjacking and it beats an unnecessary removal and replacement of concrete any day of the week. PolyLEVEL requires a few small holes to be drilled in the concrete. These holes are used to inject high-density polymers into the voids, filling them completely. Once full, the polyurethane expands creating a precise lift and stabilization of the slab. The process is clean and quick, cures quickly so that it can be driven on just 15 minutes after injection, its lightweight, and it won't deteriorate underground. It's a great solution not just for driveways, but sidewalks and garages as well.

 

 

How do I fix a garage floor crack?

Garage floor cracks are a widespread problem for homeowners. As soil below the concrete settles, the slab can sink or crack. The best solution for a slab that isn't too thin or brittle is simple. Just as in driveways or sidewalks, we suggest PolyLEVEL to provide a precision lift and stabilization of the concrete. PolyLEVEL utilizes small holes drilled into the slab to inject high-density polymers below the concrete. This fills the void and then the polyurethane expands to help left the concrete back towards its original position. The high-lifting capacity, light weight, quick cure time, resistance to deterioration, and the clean installation makes it a great solution for sinking slabs, even in your garage.

How do I fix crumbling stone basement walls?

When a stone foundation starts to crumble, it can feel like a hopeless situation. Unlike stabilizing a crack in a poured or even a block wall, crumbling mortar between stones leaves nothing to stabilize.

 

Often when stone walls fail, the only recommended solutions involve lifting the house in place and building a new foundation. This is costly, inconvenient (you can’t live in the house during the process), and risks damage to the house.

 

We, however, have a better way. Shotcrete is a spray method of concrete application that can create new walls over top of the existing foundation. The process takes a few days, and you’ll lose a few inches of floor space due to the new walls, but the result is a stable foundation without undertaking a dangerous lifting process.

 

How do I fix slanting floors?

If your floors are slanting, it’s probable that there is something structurally wrong with your home. Soil movement can cause your basement walls to bow, which in turn causes the floor above to sink to meet the new level of the wall.

Thankfully the PowerBrace and Geo-Lock Wall Anchor systems can be installed to completely stabilize shifting walls. The PowerBrace system uses steel I-beams to hold your wall in place. The Wall Anchor system uses steel earth anchors that are installed into stable soil outside of your home and are then connected and secured to the basement wall to prevent it from continuing to shift over time.

How do I fix uneven sidewalks?

Uneven sidewalk slabs are the result of washed out or poorly compacted soil below the concrete. If the concrete slabs are too thin and brittle, removal and replacement is necessary. In most cases, there's a better solution.

Filling the void under the slab is essential to bringing the slab back into its original position and keeping it there. Mudjacking is a common solution used but this can be messy, creates many large holes in the concrete and it's heavy which puts more weight on the soil below and often makes the problem worse.

Instead, we suggest using PolyLEVEL. PolyLEVEL requires fewer holes in the concrete and the holes that are drilled are significantly smaller. High-density polymers are injected under the slab. After the void is filled, the polyurethane expands which creates a precise lift and stabilization of the slab. The polyurethane is lightweight, has a high-capacity lifting strength, can be driven on in only 15 minutes, and it won't break down or deteriorate underground.

How do I insulate my crawl space?

Maybe during the winter you notice your floors are cold. Freezing air entering the crawl space makes it feel like you're walking on ice. Crawl space insulation can help. To adequately insulate a crawl space, three things need to be considered: the crawl space floors, walls and rim joists.

To insulate the floor of the crawl space, which could be as cool as 55 degrees during the winter months, we use TerraBlock insulation. TerraBlock is a foam insulation which has a 3/4" foam insulation with a vapor barrier on both sides. On the walls, we use SilverGlo insulation. This insulation has a silver/gray shine and provides a radient barrier that reflects heat back into the crawl space. Finally, Froth Pak in the rim joists helps to seal common entry points for cool air. These three things all work together to provide ultimate energy savings.

How do I lower my electric bill?

Cold air entering through the basement or crawl space works its way upward into the home, driving energy expenses through the roof. Insulating your crawl space and basement can help keep the the entire home warmer and keep those bills lower.

In crawl spaces, ultimate energy savings can be acheived through three simple steps. We install TerraBlock insulation on crawl space floors. This is foam inslulation with a vapor barrier on both sides. We also put SilverGlo insulation on the walls to provide a thermal barrier and reflect heat back into the crawl space. Finally, we Froth Pak the rim joists to seal off common entry points for unwanted outside air.

Froth pak can be used on basement rim joists as well. On basement walls, our Basement To Beautiful panels create a waterproof and insulated barrier with a considerably higher R-Value when compared with conventional foam and can receive a finished wall over top. 

These solutions will lead to considerably warmer spaces in the cold months and an electric bill that doesn't trigger a panic attack.

How do I waterproof my basement?

Waterproofing your basement can mean many things, depending on where the water is coming in, how much water there is, and other factors like the soil composition and height of the water table surrounding your home. It often involves installing a below-floor perimeter system like our WaterGuard, and a sump pump is usually necessary. For the most common water problems, this is a kind of baseline of what will need to be installed. Depending on other factors in your basement, other processes may be vital to keeping it dry. This will all be explained at your free inspection - we'll go through the what, the why, and the how much.

How do you fix shifting walls?

Shifting walls can seem scary, but thankfully our team of experts have the perfect solution for you.

The effective Geo-Lock Wall Anchor system uses specialized anchors that hold your wall in place and can even help shift the wall back to its proper position over time. For this installation, we embed steel earth anchors into stable soil outside of the failing wall. The opposite end of the anchors are attached to the wall with a wall plate and are then secured into place with steel rods.

Once the installation is complete, you can be certain your foundation wall is secure.

How to fix cracks in my basement walls?

If you have a crack in your basement wall that needs to be fixed, the specialized FlexiSpan wall system will come to the rescue.

FlexiSpan is used to completely seal off cracks on your wall, while accomodating the movement of the wall over time. The sealant is made to move with the wall's natural shift to prevent the crack from expanding or growing. It is also waterproof, which prevents the sealant from deteriorating over time.

If the crack in your wall is because of a structural issue, using the CarbonArmor or PowerBrace wall systems can efficiently and effectively stabilize your wall and prevent further shifting that caused it to crack in the first place.

How to fix leaning walls?

If you are asking this question, it may be best for you to pick up the phone and give us a call right now. Failing foundation walls are dangerous to your home and your family. 

 

Fixing your leaning wall can be as easy as having one of our teams installed our PowerBrace wall repair system. PowerBrace stabilizes tilting, bowing, or buckling basement walls. The system uses steel I-beams that secure to the joists above the wall to provide maximum support for your leaning wall. 

 

End the danger and give us a holler today. 

How to get rid of moisture in crawl space?

Moisture in a crawl space requires a few different products for a full solution. First, encapsulation protects the crawl space from moisture entering through the walls and floor. Our CleanSpace vapor barrier creates a water-tight seal. Second, a dehumidifier will mitigate any remaining ambient moisture (humidity) to prevent mold growth.

How to install foam board insulation in crawl space?

Insulating your crawl space is a great idea! Energy loss from a crawl space is a huge drain on your home's comfort, and your wallet. However, not all board insulation is created equal. Damp environments like crawl spaces need inorganic and waterproof insulation products to prevent mold and decay. Our SilverGlo insulation panels are both inorganic and waterproof, and will keep your crawl space from losing energy for your home.

How to insulate a crawl space ceiling?

The ceiling of a crawl space is a huge source of energy loss - and therefore higher heating and cooling bills. This problem usually occurs because it's difficult to insulate the rim joist with traditional insulation methods. We use a waterproof and inorganic spray foam insulation to ensure coverage of every nook and cranny without danger of mold growth.

How to remove water from basement?

We know water in your basement can be a pain – and we want to help.

 

We have an array of patented waterproofing products that can be installed to keep water out of your basement for the long-haul. The WaterGuard French drain system, for instance, collects water that seeps into your basement from the wall and redirects it to the sump pump in the home.

 

As for sump pumps. the TripleSafe or the SuperSump are both great options, depending on your needs. The first step to figuring out your real problem is to pick up the phone and have one of our specialists come take a lot.

Is my crawl space sinking?

A sinking crawl space can mean a few things, but it’s likely that you’re wondering this because something about the floors in your house just feels...unsafe. Maybe they’re slanting, or feel soft when you walk on them - regardless, you know something is wrong.

 

Scroll a little for more information on foundation/house settling - we’re going to just talk about the crawl space here. Especially when there are water issues, crawl space support beams can weaken. This is exacerbated by the presence of mold, which loves moisture and organic material (like wooden beams) and can further degrade the beams. This creates soft spots in your floor as the beams bow and even break.

 

We use SmartJacks, which are steel support posts, to stabilize and reinforce your crawl space. We can sister wooden or even steel beams to the existing structure to add stability in conjunction with the SmartJacks.

 

Is my house falling/sinking/settling?

If you've noticed sloping floors or gaps between your floors and baseboard, you might think that your house is sinking or faling - and it might be. When soil under your foundation shifts, it can leave gaps that leave your foundation unsupported. Gravity and the weight of the house can lead to a cracked or otherwise settling slab.

At Ayers, we use a piering system to stabilize and potentially lift a sinking or settling foundation back into place. This can be done on homes, garages, and even retaining walls. The best place to start is by calling for a free inspection.

What are the vents for on crawl space?

In the past, there was a theory that it was necessary to create airflow to keep a crawl space dry - that's why crawl space vents came into common use. But as more and more vented crawl spaces experienced water issues and all of the accompanying problems (mold, wood rot, etc), it was understood that with air flow comes water flow, debris flow, and a steady flow of bugs and rodents. Basically, a crawl space vent is similar to an open window and leaves the crawl space - and your home - entirely unprotected. Part of our encapsulation process involves installing airtight covers on crawl space vents to prevent them from allowing water and debris into your crawl space.

What is the proper fix for a bowing basement wall?

Our free inspection allows us to determine which of our products are the best fit for a bowing wall. We offer multiple options, including wall anchors, PowerBraces, and carbon armor, and sometimes the right solution is actually a combination of products. We work first to stabilize the wall and prevent further bowing. In some instances, there is hope for straightening the wall in the future.

The biggest takeaway when looking at repairing a bowing wall is to remember that you cannot solve the problem yourself. Bowing or leaning foundation walls are not the time for DIY, as a bowing wall can collapse and put the safety of your home in danger. 

If you have a bowing wall, the best thing to do is call us and set up an appointment.

Why are my floors cold?

Cold air rising from the crawl space floor, walls, or through gaps and spaces in the rim joists, could be causing you to feel like your walking on ice in your own home. Insulating these three areas can lead to warmer floors and lower electric bills.

TerraBlock insulation is a foam insulation with vapor barrier included that is great for floors. Our SilverGlo insulation creates a radiant barrier on the walls that reflects heat back into the crawl space. Finally, Froth Pak in the rim joists expands into the gaps and cracks to seal out unwanted outside air, keeping your crawl space warm during those cold months.

Why are my floors sagging?

Sagging floors are sure sign that something might be wrong with your home. Coming to the realization that you finally need the problem fixed is easy when we offer an array of products that will surely fix the issue.

If you have a crawl space under your home then chances are this might be the main cause of your slanted floors. A moisture-filled crawl space can damage the boards and beams underneath your floor, which can cause them to sink. Installing the waterproof and vapor proof CleanSpace liner and the effective SmartJack system to re-stabilize the beams are two solutions that will make sure your floors are stable.

Why are my floors spongy?

If you are asking this question, we can guess that you have a humidity problem in your home. Or rather –beneath– your home.

 

Spongy floors can be caused by having water in your basement or crawl space, which can be resolved by having one of our patented waterproofing products installed. If it's quite bad, though, we can aide the problem by installing on our dehumidifiers, such as the SaniDry XP or the Sedona.

Why can I see light through my basement walls?

Block and stone walls are at the greatest risk for this. Severe cracks in block walls can wear away the mortar between the blocks, creating a through line to the outside. Mortar is also to blame in the case of fieldstone basements, letting daylight in as it crumbles.

 

No matter what your foundation walls are made out of, it’s obviously dangerous when they have degraded enough that you can see light through them.

 

Why do my closets smell?

When your basement or crawl space has ambient moisture and all of the problems that come with it - namely mold - the affected air circulates through your house. In addition to spreading allergens, the air just plain smells. But your home generally has enough activity that you might not notice it.

 

Closets, however, are a little more stagnant and spend a lot of time with the doors closed. This allows air to stagnate further and makes the smell even more noticeable when you open the doors.

 

Unless you’re trying to recreate Lady Gaga’s meat dress with your entire wardrobe, a smelly closet is a sign of water problems under your home.

 

Why does my basement smell?

Your basement can smell for many reasons, but moisture is usually the culprit.

Standing water, ambient moisture and overall high humidity levels in your basement can create the perfect home for mold to thrive in, which creates that musty smell you are all too familiar with.

An effective dehumidifier and waterproofing system can make sure your home is protected from unwanted water or moisture and will ultimately remove the ideal mold environment.

Why does my crawl space smell?

If your crawl space smells, it is most likely due to mold growth. And this mold growth is being inspired by a perfectly moist, dark environment, which is your crawl space.

 

A surefire way to eliminate this mold and prevent future mold growth and sticky smells, is to have an encapsulation system installed. Take our patented CleanSpace crawl space encapsulation system, for example. CleanSpace is a 20mm thick plastic lining that locks out all the dirt, water, and moisture that always seeps to enter your crawl space. And as a cherry on top, CleanSpace has anti-microbial properties that prevent mold growth all-together.

Why does my drywall have mildew?

Moisture is the main cause of mildew on your drywall. You may not always feel it or even see it, but moisture is constantly in the air and therefore affects your drywall and home as a whole. Since drywall is not waterproof or even vapor proof, and tends to be composed of some organic materials, it easily absorbs ambient mositure and creates the best environemnt for mildew and mold to thrive in.

Using our efficient dehumidification systems like the SaniDry or Sedona helps to wring your basement air dry.

 

Why is my basement carpet wet?

Your wet basement carpet is most likely due to water seeping into the basement from the walls. Besides for this being uncomfortable for you, standing water in your carpet can create the perfect environment for humidity to persist and mold to thrive. 

 

The best way to solve this problem is have one of our experts inspect your basement and recommend a proper solution. He or she may suggest our WaterGuard French drain system be installed to collect and filter out the water on the floor. In addition, one of our patented sump pumps, such as the TripleSafe or the SuperSump premier sump pump system may be the piece of equipment that makes all the difference. 

 

Why is my basement furniture stained?

Stained furniture in your basement? That means water. 

 

Stains on your furniture in your basement signals to you that there is water residing in your basement either on the floor or in the air (as humidity) and there are a few ways you can be rid of this water. Ayers has a variety of patented waterproofing products such as the WaterGuard French drain system and the TripleSafe sump pump that can remedy this issue.

Why is my drywall stained?

Stained drywall only means one thing: water.

 

If there isn't direct contact with water itself on your drywall, there is no doubt moisture in the air that is causing humidity and, in turn, wetness on you drywall. One of our patented dehumidifers such as the Sedona will do the job of keeping water off your drywall in the future. 

Why is my Michigan Basement wet?

Michigan basements are made of dirt walls that can be covered with concrete or cement and finished off with cinder blocks or brick. These types of basement usually have poor structure to begin with, which can often cause the cement or brick to fall of the wall. Regardless of the structural issues, these basement were just not built to keep water and moisture out. Exposed dirt and porous concrete allow water to easily seep into the basement and without a proper way to collect and discard it, your basement will continue to be damp and wet.

Installing a waterproof wall system and effective drainage system are two solutions that can help you reach your dry basement goals.

Why won't my front door close?

If your front door isn't closing, odds are that you have a wet basement or crawl space. Wetness in a basement or crawl space can make the home itself humid and moist, leading not only to mold growth and sticky smells, but peeling paint and sticking doors and windows. 

 

The best way to solve this problem is have one of our specialists come take a look at your basement or crawl space and see if installing one of our patented waterproofing products is necessary to help you.

our service area

We serve the following areas

Our Locations:

Ayers Basement Systems
2505 S. Waverly Hwy
Lansing, MI 48911
1-517-731-0784
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