There is never a good time to need home repairs, but it seems like things always break in the winter. Not only is the weather lousy most of the time, but you may also be on a tight budget due to the holidays. No one should have to choose between necessities and having a safe and comfortable place to live, so take advantage of some resources to help pay for home repairs.
Arkansas Weatherization Assistance Program
The Weatherization Assistance Program, also known as WAP, is the largest energy efficiency program in the country. The program’s goal is to provide insulation for low-income people to conserve energy and assist the less-fortunate with energy costs. WAP is aimed at the elderly, handicapped, and families with children. The National Energy Audit (NEAT) is used to figure out the best solution for single frame houses and the Mobile Home Energy Audit (MHEA) calculates the same thing, but for mobile homes.
If you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Aid to Families with Dependent Children, you are automatically eligible for this program. To apply, contact your local community action agency.
Arkansas Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
Do you or someone you know need help with home energy costs? The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) assists low-income people through Regular Assistance Programs and Crisis Intervention Programs. The programs provide financial assistance with a payment to the energy supplier or to the applicant.
If you are enrolled in other benefit programs such as SSI, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and specific Veterans benefits, you may be automatically eligible.
Assistance with Home Repairs in Arkansas
There is a variety of organizations out there to help you with home repairs in Arkansas:
Habitat for Humanity
Most people probably think that Habitat for Humanity just builds homes, but they also help repair and improve existing homes.
Habitat for Humanity ReStore
Habitat for Humanity ReStores are donation locations and home improvement centers. They sell new and used furniture and home accessories, along with building materials and supplies at a fraction of the price of a retail outlet.
Veterans Affairs Regional Loan Center
The VA can assist with grants and loans to qualifying veterans. This financial aid can be used to buy a home or adapt their home to their needs.
USDA Rural Development Office
This organization can offer home improvement loans and grants for homeowners that are low-income and live in rural locations.
You can also check with your local municipality or county government to see if they offer any assistance programs. Airlift Concrete Experts is always here to help, but we know that unexpected repairs can be stressful. We can inspect your situation and provide you with a free estimate, giving you the information you need to determine your budget.
We hope this list is useful for you to get assistance or guidance, if you need it.
You’ve been a diligent property owner and read about common problems that can lead to foundation damage. In the course of inspecting your home or business, you have found that your building is in need of foundation repair, but what time of year is the best time to have that done? Let Airlift Concrete Experts help you decide when you should repair your foundation.
Spring is a Time of Renewal
Many times, foundation problems really show themselves as the winter snows thaw and the spring rains start. This can lead to new problems and old issues being exposed by leaks and widening cracks. If you do have cracks, you should keep a close eye on them during the spring to make sure that they are not letting in water from the outside. It doesn’t take much more than a hairline crack for water and pests to enter the foundation.
This can be a good time for foundation repair and some foundation contractors would agree. It is easier to assess the damage at this time, as the symptoms of foundation damage can be pretty obvious when there is a lot of moisture in the soil. In addition, people may notice problems more now as they clean up after the winter. Airlift Concrete Experts would be happy to repair your foundation during the spring!
In the Winter, Time Seems to Slow Down
During the winter, the ground is usually harder and a little more stable than it may be during other times of the year. This stability can allow you to see if the damage is getting worse or has slowed.
You’ll find many foundation companies that say that the winter is the best time for foundation repairs. They are usually not as busy as they are during warmer weather, so you may have a better chance of getting a good schedule from them. However, the winter time is usually a busy time with holidays, so you may have to work home repairs around travel times and holiday expenses.
Now is the Time
So, are you more confused than before about the best time for foundation repairs? Well, the best answer is also the easiest answer: right now is the best time! You shouldn’t wait for foundation repairs until “a better time”. The longer you wait, the more damage that can occur, along with more expenses. The problem won’t get better, it will only get worse. In addition, what looks like a small problem to you may be hiding a large problem that you are unaware of.
Foundation problems are not something to take lightly, they can be dangerous and cause the complete collapse of your home or business.
The foundation experts at Airlift Concrete Experts all recommend that you contact us as soon as possible, if you suspect there is a problem. We’ll come to your property and give you a free inspection. If there is nothing to worry about, we will tell you so, but if it is something that needs to be taken care of, we will give you an estimate for the work.
Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall…all you have to do is call!
How to Fix Bowing Drywall
There are a variety of reasons why your drywall is bowing or warping. The most common cause is excess moisture in the area. This can be as extreme as flooding or as mild as high humidity. Other causes include poor installation practices or bowing of the wall behind the drywall.
The material that makes up drywall is strong and hard, but, if it gets wet, it can lose its integrity. This can cause it to bow or warp. If the drywall wasn’t installed properly, it won’t have the support it needs and can begin to bow or change shape. It is important during installation that the drywall is taped and hung correctly, giving it the support it needs.
The only way to fix damaged drywall is to replace it.
Take Care of the Underlying Problem
Before you replace your bowed or warped drywall, make sure that the problem causing it is corrected. If the underlying problem isn’t corrected, your new repairs will be ruined eventually.
If the cause is high moisture content, you need to make sure that your basement or crawl space is waterproofed and dry. A company like Airlift Concrete Experts can help with foundation repair, crawl space repair, and other drainage and waterproofing needs.
Dehumidifiers, encapsulation, drains, and other solutions can help keep your home or business comfortable, dry, and safe. A dry building will have fewer problems with warped drywall, wood rot, rusting supports, and other water-related damage.
If the drywall is covering a bowed or leaning wall in the basement, the foundation may be failing. Oversaturated soil can push against the foundation wall with tremendous force. If you replace the drywall, you’re just putting a bandaid on a broken leg. You need to have a reliable foundation repair service inspect your property and determine the cause of the bowed wall. They can help repair the damage and prevent it from reoccurring. Don’t hesitate to have a foundation repair service in to look at your foundation. If the foundation wall collapses, it could be catastrophic for the rest of the building.
Repairing Bowing Drywall
You will have to remove the damaged section of drywall and replace it with a new section. Using a stud finder, locate the studs near the bowed section and mark them with a pencil. This will help you find the seams of the damaged section if they are difficult to locate visually.
Using a pry bar, pry off the damaged drywall. If you pry where a stud is located, it should pop the drywall off of the nails or screws holding it. Keep doing this until the entire section is removed.
Using a hammer or screwdriver, remove any remaining nails or screws in the studs.
The next step in the process is to cut the new section of drywall to fit in the area. On the back of the drywall, make cut lines with a pencil using the measurements of the desired area. Using a utility knife, score on top of the pencil lines. You’ll be able to snap the drywall, breaking it along the cut lines. You’ll have to cut through the remaining paper with the utility knife.
We recommend using an electric screwdriver and drywall screws to secure the new piece of drywall. Place the new section into the empty area. You’ll drive screws into the studs through the drywall, placing them every 12 inches, along the vertical. Make sure the screw heads just barely dimple the paper on the drywall.
Your next step will be taping the seams of the drywall with joint tape. If you use self-adhesive tape, you won’t have to mud the drywall first, saving you some time, money, and effort.
Your last step is to put joint compound over the tape and screws. Use a putty knife or drywall knife to apply the joint compound. After four to six hours, the joint compound should be hardened and you can sand it down, leaving the drywall panel smooth to the touch and eye.
Keep Your Place Safe
If you have bowing drywall, make sure that the cause is fixed. You’ll want to hire a reliable and trustworthy company like Airlift Concrete Experts, LLC to make sure that your home or business is safe, comfortable, and dry.
If you’ve ever been in a house with a sagging floor, you know how annoying it can be. Sagging floors are unsightly, and can be dangerous as well. A sagging floor means that it has lost support, and it may eventually collapse into the crawl space.
Before you can repair the sagging floor, you need to know what causes it.
Causes of a Sagging Floor
Since your foundation is built on soil, weak soil conditions can cause a variety of structural problems such as bowing walls, settling foundations, cracked concrete, and sagging floors. If the soil under the crawl space is weak, the columns holding up the floor can sink. The sinking column can cause a gap to form between the top of the column and the girder it was supporting. This gap can allow the floor above the girder to sag.
Improper Spacing of Columns
There should be codes and guidelines that a contractor follows when building a home, but if a home was built prior to 1970, the rules may not have been in place. The columns in a crawl space should be spaced a certain distance apart. If the columns have too much space between them, the floors will not have the support that they need. The beam or girder supporting the floor can begin to sag between the columns, allowing the floor to sag.
Weak Floor Joists or Girders
If your crawl space is not sealed, you may have a problem with high humidity and moisture. If you have wooden beams or floor joists, they can soften when they get wet. This causes them to bend and allows the floor above to sag. Once the floor joists can no longer strongly support the floor, it will begin to feel spongy and uneven.
Signs of a Sagging Floor
Although a really sagging floor is obvious, we hope to repair your home before it gets to that point. Here are some things to look out for before your floor gets really bad.
Check your floor joists for wood rot or excess moisture. Do they feel soft or have mold growing on them? Do they show signs of warping or compressing? These are all indications that your floor joists may not be supporting the floor as they should. Also, while you are in your crawl space, look for gaps between the columns and the girders that hold the floor up.
Inspect your floor. Is it uneven or sloping? A simple test is to use a tennis ball and put it in the corner, it may roll to a low spot that isn’t visible to the naked eye. You can also look for gaps between the walls and the floor. While looking at your walls, look for cracks in them. The cracks could be caused by the wall being pulled down as the floor sinks.
Are your door jambs level? If the doors are sticking or you see gaps when the door is shut, they may be being pulled out of level by a sinking floor.
Repairing a Sagging Floor
The steps that need to be taken to repair a sagging floor are not something the average homeowner should take on. Crawl space repair is NOT a DIY project.
If you need to repair a sinking floor, you have to start from the bottom. You will need to get the humidity in the crawl space under control. Installing dehumidifiers and having the area encapsulated will help reduce the moisture level in your crawl space. A vapor barrier will prevent water from entering the crawl space and a dehumidifier will dry out the air that is there.
In addition to keeping your floor joists from weakening, a dry crawl space will prevent mold from going and pests infiltrating your home. Over half of the air you breathe in your home comes from the crawl space, so it’s important that you have clean air for you and your family to breathe.
While inspecting your home to discover the cause of your sinking floor, Airlift Concrete Experts will make sure your foundation is stable. If the foundation is sinking or settling, we can install steel piers to stabilize the foundation, making your home safe and secure.
If the foundation is stable, your home may need to have crawl space jacks installed to support your floor. The crawl space jack is a steel column that will lift the floor joists, keeping your floors from sagging.
Stabilize Your Home
When you repair a sagging floor, you will increase the value of your home and make sure that you and your family have a safe place to live. By taking care of your crawl space, you will have a healthier and more comfortable home. Contact a sagging floor expert as soon as you suspect that you have a problem. The sooner the repair is made, the less it will cost and less amount of work it will take to secure your crawl space.
Unlike a typical slab foundation, pier and beam foundations are elevated above the ground to provide room for a crawl space. Although they are a fantastic structure when it comes to stability in southern clay soil, they can deteriorate over time. If you have a pier and beam foundation, you need to sufficiently protect it from water damage.
How To Protect Your Pier and Beam Foundation from Water Damage
As a homeowner in Arkansas, the best thing that you can do for your pier and beam foundation is to keep it protected from moisture. Here are a few things that you can do to sufficiently protect your foundation from water damage:
- Clean out your gutters. If your gutters are clogged by leaves, branches, and other debris, rainwater will pour over directly onto your foundation.
- Extend your downspouts. Once your gutters are cleaned out and allowing water to flow properly, make sure that your downspouts are extended at least 5 feet away from your home. This will ensure that rainwater is being directed far enough away from your home to not pool around your foundation.
- Install a French drain system. If your home is on a slope or hill that allows rainwater to run onto your foundation, consider installing a French drain system to keep water away from your home.
Common Problems With Pier and Beam Foundations
Water is a structure’s worst enemy, especially if your home has poor drainage. If water is able to accumulate near your foundation, run toward the foundation, or collect underneath the foundation, it can cause your piers to heave and sink into the soil. Over time, the wood may rot and encourage termite activity. Look out for these common problems in your pier and beam foundation:
- Cracks in your piers and beams
- Sagging or sloping floors in your home
- A wet or damp crawl space
- Rotted wood beams
- Mold or mildew on your beams
All of these issues can indicate that you are having problems with your pier and beam foundation. An unstable foundation is very dangerous for your home, and will only get worse over time. It is important to have any suspicious signs inspected so that your foundation can be stabilized as soon as possible.
Pier and Beam Foundation Repair Solutions
When a pier and beam foundation begins to deteriorate, the affected wooden members need to be replaced. Replacing the structural members of your foundation is a difficult and complicated task, and will require a professional foundation repair specialist that has the correct tools and equipment to perform the job.
We have repair solutions for any issues you may be experiencing with your pier and beam foundation, including steel piers, crawl space supports, concrete piles, and more.
Airlift Concrete Experts has all of the elite equipment needed to support and repair your pier and beam foundation. With years of experience and highly trained professionals, our foundation repair services are second to none.
Call Airlift Concrete Experts today for professional foundation repair for your pier and beam home. Our expert team will identify the structural issues in your home and determine the best solution for your specific needs and budget. Contact us today for a free estimate!
Most homeowners in Arkansas rarely think about crawl spaces. After all, your crawl space not a place that you spend a lot of time in! However, it is more important than you might think.
Did you know that 40-50% of the air that you breathe inside of your home originates from your crawl space? Considering this, it’s important to keep your crawl space clean and healthy. If you have a wet, damp, or musty crawl space, it can promote mold growth and cause a health hazard for you and your family. Wet crawl spaces also lead to structural failure, which can lead to serious issues and costly repairs.
How can you know if your crawl space needs repair? Look for the following signs:
- Musty, strange odors
- Sagging floors
- Sloping or uneven floors
- Squeaking and buckling floors
- High levels of moisture
- High condensation/humidity
- Standing water in or around your home
- Foundation cracks
Your crawl space helps to bear the weight of your home, which is why it is important to have it repaired as soon as possible. Waiting to implement repairs will only allow the damage to get worse. If you are unsure about the condition of your crawl space, call Airlift Concrete Experts for a free inspection.
Crawl Space Repair in Little Rock, AR
For all of your crawl space repair and restoration needs in Little Rock, Arkansas and surrounding areas, look no further than Airlift Concrete Experts. We have an expert crew that will help you understand the repairs that need to be implemented, and quote you a fair price.
Here is a list of the crawl space products that we provide:
- Crawl Space Jacks: Crawl space jacks are steel columns that are custom sized for your crawl space. Once installed, they will raise your sagging crawl space beams and provide permanent support for your crawl space.
- Steel Piers: Sometimes, crawl space issues point to foundation failure. When this is the case, we install steel piers underneath your home. Steel piers will provide stability and prevent settlement for years to come.
- Vapor Barriers: To promote a clean and moisture free crawl space, Airlift can encapsulate your crawl space with a water-resistant barrier. This strong material is heavy duty and puncture resistant and will keep your crawl space healthy and dry for years to come.
For a free quote on any of the above services, contact Airlift Concrete Experts today. We serve the entire state of Arkansas including Little Rock, Pine Bluff, Fayetteville, Alexander, and beyond.