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Basement Waterproofing & Foundation Repair in Rochester, MN

The red soils so commonly associated with the Midwest cause structural failure. Helical piers, concrete lifting, and other solutions can protect homes from damage.

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Basement Waterproofing and Crawl Space Encapsulation Repair in Rochester, MN

The city of Rochester, MN, experiences heavy precipitation during the summer. Unless your basement or crawl space is waterproof, all of that rain can damage its structural integrity. While standing water and flooding are serious problems homeowners have to deal with, the real danger lies in the mold, wood rot, and concrete deterioration.

As long as there is humidity and dark conditions, there will be mold. Mold can do a number on your respiratory system, and wood rot will cause uneven floors. As for concrete deterioration, because of the permeable nature of concrete, moisture erodes concrete and displaces its particles, effectively weakening it. Weak concrete is more likely to crack, and the more broken a concrete wall is, the more water will seep through to the foundation of your Rochester home.

Innovative Basement Authority has multiple waterproofing solutions for both basements and crawl spaces. To protect your Rochester foundation from water damage, your basement or crawl space should be sealed off as much as possible with the use of vent covers and vapor barriers. To stop water from accumulating in and around your foundation, drainage systems and sump pumps can be installed. Finally, to make sure the humidity levels always stay adequate, we can install a powerful, reliable, basement or crawl space dehumidifier.

Foundation Repair in Rochester, MN

Helical Pier on Concrete

Rochester’s Udalfs soils are rich in clay and very poorly drained. Because of this, whenever the soil is exposed to water, it expands significantly. When it dries, it goes through a shrinking process in which it compresses together and loses volume. This cycle of shrinking and swelling is a form of soil erosion that causes foundation settling.

As the soil under your foundation becomes uneven, the house begins to shift and settle against the soft soil. This settling threatens the structural integrity of your Rochester home by causing a slew of other issues. Cracked pillars and walls, jammed windows, broken door frames, bowing basement walls, and sagging floors are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the damage a settling foundation can do. If ignored for too long, then the settling can even make the house so structurally unsound that it would be unsafe to live in it.

Before it gets that far, you can contact us for foundation repairs. With the use of piers, we can stabilize your Rochester home’s foundation permanently. Piers are galvanized steel rods that are drilled into the ground and attached to the foundation. The weight of the house is transferred to the load-bearing soils deep below the ground so that the house no longer relies on unstable soft soils in order to stay even.

Concrete Lifting Repair in Rochester, MN

Concrete settling can occur anywhere on your Rochester property. The shape, age, strength, and weight of your concrete has minimal bearing on settling. What really causes the problem is the soil underneath the concrete. The soil under the concrete is meant to provide an even foundation that the structure can rest upon. If this layer somehow becomes uneven, then the concrete will too.

Because the soil in Rochester, MN, shrinks and swells so much, parts of the soil layer lose its surface volume. This gap that’s formed under the soil is what causes the concrete to sink.

This structural failure can be remedied using concrete lifting. At Innovative Basement Authority, we use SettleStop PolyRenewal™, a modern way of lifting concrete and preventing further settling. With polyurethane foam, we are able to lift the slab back into place. The lightness of the material makes it so that the concrete is well supported, as is the soil underneath. Another advantage is that polyurethane foam is waterproof, so it actually serves as a barrier that prevents the soil from being exposed to moisture.

Other concrete lifting methods focus too much on simply lifting the concrete and not on how the material used will interact with the soil. This eventually leads to settling a few years after the lifting job is done. With the application of polyurethane foam, we strive to make one repair job your only repair job.


About Waterproofing, Crawl Spaces & Foundation Repair in Rochester

Waterproofing a basement is a complicated affair because of how tricky it is to keep moisture under control. There are many ways in which water and water vapor can infiltrate a basement, which is why so many experts recommend investing in multiple waterproofing solutions. It may seem like too much, and various different solutions seemingly serve the same functions. For example, a vapor barrier seems unnecessary if you have a dehumidifier—after all, why worry about water vapor if you have a device that will get rid of it anyway? However, once you understand just how persistent moisture can be, you’ll see why it’s all necessary.

Vapor barriers are meant to keep water vapor from permeating through the concrete wall and entering the basement. The reason you should still use a vapor barrier along with a dehumidifier is because the water vapor that enters your basement can still cause a lot of damage, even if it’s only there for a short time. There are certain types of fungi that are capable of surviving on very little moisture, and they are capable of pulling in dampness from afar. If fungi like that are surviving somewhere in your basement, then your dehumidifier will not stop its development because of the constant flow of water vapor. If you try to combat this issue by using the dehumidifier to lower the humidity levels as much as possible, then you could face serious health issues from overly dry air.

A vapor barrier should also be used to avoid overtaxing your dehumidifier. Rochester’s soil contains a lot of clay, and because clay soils are poorly drained, the soil that surrounds your basement is constantly saturated with water. Your dehumidifier would have to be functioning at all times in order to truly bring down the moisture levels in your basement. This can shorten the device’s lifespan significantly, so it’s much more cost-effective to get a vapor barrier.

Besides settling, there are other problems that can befall your Rochester home’s foundation. Innovative Basement Authority offers different solutions to stabilize your home and completely stop the deterioration of your home. One such solution is our wall anchor system to repair bowing basement walls. Wall anchors push back against the hydrostatic pressure that causes your walls to bend by bracing the walls using steel rods. The rods are installed in load-bearing soil that is capable of providing the wall the stability they need to resist hydrostatic pressure.

Wall anchors require excavation, but if you don’t have the space in your yard for that or simply need a less disruptive repair method, we have SettleStop IntelliBrace™, our innovative wall bracing system. Durable, heavy-duty beams are used to brace the basement wall and make sure that it doesn’t bow any further. The I-beams used for stabilization span the entirety of your wall for maximum coverage and support. No excavation is required and installation can be done in a day, so not only is it effective, also it is convenient. With its longttime warranty, galvanized steel, and unobtrusive design, SettleStop IntelliBrace™ is another great option for foundation repair.

Basement foundations aren’t the only thing we repair. If your floor is sagging because of unstable support joists, then we can fix the problem with SettleStop IntelliJack™. SettleStop IntelliJack™ is a support jack meant to aid floor joists in supporting floors. Regardless of the conditions of the soil in the crawl space or the floor in your basement, SettleStop IntelliJack™ will never budge, making it a permanent floor support option.

Fungi is a microorganism that eats organic material to survive. While wood may seem unappetizing to us, it’s actually a great source of nutrition for fungi. In nature, trees have a layer of bark to protect them from the outside. Unfortunately, the wood that makes up your floor joists do not have that same kind of protection. Even when coated with an anti-fungal spray, floor joists have no chance of staying clean if the crawl space is humid enough.

Wood rot deteriorates wood as the fungus eats away at it. This, of course, will affect the way your floor joists support your floor, so there are certain signs you can watch for without needing to go into the crawl space yourself. Since the joists are too weak to support weight, bouncy floors are a common sign of wood rot. Uneven floors are another common sign, and if you’re having trouble confirming the evenness of your floor, it can easily be tested with a ball. If the ball rolls around and cannot stay where you placed it, then the floor is uneven.

After contacting an expert for an inspection, they can go inside the crawl space itself to take a look at your floorboards to see signs of wood rot. Discoloration is the first indicator, so any brown, white, gray, or yellow stains are a clear answer. If, when poking the wood with a pencil, the wood is soft, then it’s rotting. A less obvious sign is the pattern of the wood, since certain types of fungi cause the surface to crack in square patterns.

It was once believed that crawl spaces need to be ventilated in order to help with air circulation and ward off humidity. However, we now understand that ventilating a crawl space does nothing more than bring in moisture, water, and insects. To avoid crawl space flooding, what many homeowners do is simply install a crawl space vent and call it a day. While crawl space vent covers do help, there’s still a chance for you to find standing water in your crawl space. Unless the space is fully waterproof and well-insulated, condensation will create moisture.

Condensation is the opposite of evaporation. Water turns to vapor when the temperature is hot enough, but, when it’s cold, water vapor can turn into moisture. This is known as the dew point, which is the temperature the air needs to be in order to reach a relative humidity of 100%. Essentially, there is so much moisture in the space that the air can no longer hold it all, so it gets released onto surfaces as water droplets.

If your Rochester home’s crawl space is poorly insulated, then it means that the air from outside is capable of infiltrating the space and creating the right temperature to cause condensation. The water droplets that form on your floor joists, HVAC systems, and pipes eventually drip down and cause the standing water that you see. The best way to avoid condensation is to encapsulate your crawl space with a vapor barrier so that moisture cannot get in. If moisture somehow makes its way in and you have a crawl space dehumidifier, then you won’t need to worry about the humidity for long. A good insulation material can also trap air so that the temperature in the crawl space doesn’t change.

Once you understand the advantages of using SettleStop PolyRenewal™ for your concrete lifting needs, it’s only natural to wonder where you can get some of it yourself. However, you should know that, not only is SettleStop PolyRenewal™ only available through Innovative Basement Authority, but all concrete lifting solutions should be left to the professionals. SettleStop PolyRenewal™ utilizes special tools and materials to get the job done, and these can only be obtained by industry professionals. Not only that, but the machines can only be operated by those who were trained to do so. Without the proper skillset, you won’t be able to replicate the results of this ingenious lifting solution.

Whether you’re going for polyurethane foam injections or mudjacking, you should never attempt to lift concrete yourself. If you’re attempting to repair the slab, then it’s clear that you want to try your best to avoid replacing it, since it is a lot more tedious and expensive. A DIY repair job, however, does increase the likelihood of breaking the slab. A settled slab is one that is most likely structurally weak, so tampering with it in a careless way can lead to cracks and breakage. For your own peace of mind, it’s better if you hire experts for repairs.

SettleStop PolyRenewal™ uses polyurethane foam to lift concrete. Because it’s a material that’s easily accessible to the public, many homeowners believe they can mimic the results of SettleStop PolyRenewal™. However, misusing the polyurethane foam can actually displace soil further and cause even more settling. You have to know where to drill the holes to inject the foam and how much of it to use. If you do it incorrectly, then you could end up replacing your slab anyway, so call Innovative Basement Authority if you want SettleStop PolyRenewal™ for your Rochester home’s concrete.

What concrete settling looks like in your driveway depends on a few factors. How advanced the settling is, the strength of the concrete, and how much weight it has to support on a regular basis all influences how the concrete settles. When homeowners think of slab settling, they often imagine an intact slab with a sinking half. However, settling can appear in more ways than that, which is why many homeowners have trouble recognizing the signs of settling, even when they are very obvious. One such sign is a crater forming in the middle of your slab.

This crater is more likely to appear on your driveway slab than any other part of your property. This is because of the amount of weight the slab has to support on a regular basis as you drive your car in and out of the driveway. As the soil that is meant to support the slab erodes and loses its volume, a hole begins to form under the slab. When resting on top of an uneven layer, concrete cannot distribute weight evenly across its form, so it cracks under a lot of pressure. When you drive your car over the compromised slab, it cracks where the void is and creates a crater.

More often than not, slabs that have been broken this way can rarely ever be repaired. Many slabs with craters have to be replaced instead, which is a much more expensive procedure than concrete lifting. To avoid this type of damage on your driveway slabs, preventing exposure to moisture by getting a driveway cover is your best bet. The soil in Rochester has a lot of clay, so limiting the amount of swelling and shrinking it goes through will ensure the longevity of your driveway concrete.

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Minneapolis Local Office

Innovative Basement Authority

6265 Carmen Ave. E
Inner Grove Heights, MN 55076
(320) 591-3111

Hours of Operation

Monday – Friday: 6 am – 8 pm
Saturday: 7 am – 5 pm
Sunday: 9 am – 6 pm

Innovative Basement Authority Service Map

We service Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Eastern Montana for basement waterproofing and crawl space repair.

Fargo, ND

1330 41st St. N
Fargo, ND 58102

Minneapolis, MN

6265 Carmen Ave.
Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076

Rush City, MN

1325 S Frandsen Ave
Rush City, MN 55069

Sioux Falls, SD

101 S. Reid Street, Suite 307
Sioux Falls, SD 57103