Nichols / Grout Tech Attends SEAoAL 6th Annual State Conference and Expo

Nichols / Grout Tech Attends SEAoAL 6th Annual State Conference and Expo

Nichols / Grout Tech recently attended the SEAoAL 6th Annual State Conference and Expo in Birmingham, Alabama. This conference has a regular attendance of 50-75 people at each professional education seminar. The Expo provides structural engineers and other contractors with access to the latest structural products and gives them a position of influence in the engineering world.

With several morning and afternoon sessions, we were able to further our knowledge on many important aspects of our work. Some of the sessions included education on fire protection design, AWC Standards, wood building systems, special inspections and building codes, design tools and standards for engineers and architects, and more!

We were able to set up our booth and display our products and services. It was awesome to see all the other vendors that came out and to get to know them as well. Below are some photos of the event. We are already looking forward to next time!img_1547 img_1552 img_1553 img_1548 img_1549 img_1550


Why Should I Waterproof My Basement?

Why Should I Waterproof My Basement?

Your basement may not seem like a very important part of your home. Maybe you only go down there to retrieve your Christmas decorations once a year. However, your basement acts as your foundation as well – and it’s state determines the structural integrity of your home.

Why You Need Basement Waterproofing

It is extremely vital for homeowners everywhere to get a sufficient waterproofing system installed in their basement. This may seem obvious for those living on a high water table or near the ocean – but foundation problems can happen to anyone. Homeowners in Georgia and Alabama suffer from structural problems and water damage because the dense soil is constantly shifting and settling. Water can enter your home through cracks in your foundation caused by water pressure or shifting soil. It can also seep through your basement walls and concrete floor.

No one wants water in their basement. Whether we have experienced it our not – we all know that it is a headache. With an efficient waterproofing system installed in your basement, you will avoid the following major problems:

1. Mold and mildew growth.Why should i waterproof my basement?

Did you know that 30-40% of the air that you breathe inside of your home originates from your basement? If there is mold, mildew, or dust mites in your basement because of water seepage, the air in your home can cause severe respiratory illnesses for you and your family. Mold and dust mites are among the leading causes for allergies and asthma!


waterproofing systems 2. Damage to personal belongings.

Water intrusion in your home can permanently damage your furniture, storage, and other important personal belongings. It can rust your appliances and destroy your drywall and carpeting as well. You can save money in the long run by waterproofing your home before water does it’s damage.



waterproofing contractor alabama3. Decrease in property value.

A wet basement is definitely not a plus from a real estate perspective. Research shows that an insufficiently waterproofed home that has experienced water damage can decrease in property value by 20%. Now think of it this way – by installing a basement waterproofing system – think of how much your property value would increase!


wet basement repair birmingham al4. Increased energy bill.

If you live in the South, you know that it costs a lot of money to heat and cool humid air. When water is entering your basement, the air in your basement becomes extremely humid. According to the US Department of Energy, you can save 15-18% on your energy bill by having a waterproofing system to keep your air dry and clean!


waterproofing company birmingham al5. Structural failure.

As mentioned before, water problems and foundation problems go hand in hand. Hydraulic pressure can create cracks in your foundation and cause it to become weak and settle into the ground. A failed foundation will cause countless problems throughout your entire home, including sloping floors, misaligned trim, doors that won’t shut, drywall cracks, ceiling stains, and more. By looking into basement waterproofing services, you can save yourself from all of these issues.


Looking for a Waterproofing Contractor in Alabama?

Nichol’s / Grout Tech is your number one foundation repair contractor in Birmingham, Alabama and beyond. We proudly serve residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal properties in Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Southwest Georgia, and the Florida Panhandle. To take a look at our complete service area, click here.

Our proven solutions will leave your home healthy, clean, and protected from water damage. We offer exterior and interior drainage, sump pump systems, surface drainage, and more. Our experts would be happy to give you an inspection and estimate to determine which waterproofing solution would work best for your specific needs and budget. Contact Nichols / Grout Tech today to get started.


5 Steps to a Happy & Healthy Crawl Space

5 Steps to a Happy & Healthy Crawl Space

crawl space repair birmingham

Many Alabama crawl spaces suffer from water intrusion and because of that, their home is introduced to mold, mildew, and other dangerous allergens. Since a majority of the air we breathe inside of our homes originates from our crawl space, it is important to keep it clean and healthy from the inside out. If your home is suffering from a wet and damaged crawl space, here are the steps you need to take to get it back to normal.

1. Seal it up

For many decades, building codes and conventional wisdom have prescribed ventilation with outside air as the primary method of moisture control in crawl spaces. However, ventilation with outside air only makes moisture problems worse. Cold or humidity from the outside will create a wet environment in your crawlspace, promoting mold and moisture. The first step in repairing your Alabama crawl space is to seal off all vents and doors that lead outside.

2. Eliminate the source

Does your crawl space consistently flood when it rains? If so, you will need to install a drainage system before moving forward. It is important to get rid of direct water sources to keep your crawlspace clean and dry and finish the repair process. Nichols/Grout Tech can install a sump pump and sump pit or a french drain tile system in your home to direct water away from your crawl space.

If you have water seeping through your foundation walls below the grade, we can install a polymer membrane coating and dimple board. This will stop soil moisture from coming in through the base of your foundation, and it will also work to direct any incoming water into your drainage system, whether that be a French Drain or sump pump.

3. Repair the damage

Crawl spaces that have been damaged by water will grow weak over time, and experience wood rot, sagging beams, and weak floor joists. We have certified installers that can repair your crawl space structure with crawl space jacks and other support systems. These steel piers will keep your crawl space strong for years to come.

4. Install a vapor barrier

crawl space repair montgomery, al

Nichols/Grout Tech offers crawl space vapor barriers to prevent soil moisture from entering your home. These barriers are made of puncture resistant 10-20 mil thick high tensile material. By installing the vapor barrier on the ground and up foundation walls, you will create a permanent vapor barrier against moisture, creating a healthier home environment. Our crawl space encapsulation services will transform your crawl space into a clean and usable storage space.

5. Purchase a dehumidifier

To ensure that your crawlspace remains dry for years to come, consider purchasing an energy efficient crawl space dehumidifier. These systems will get rid of debris from the air and keep your crawl space clear of mildew, mold, and dirt mites.

Certified Crawl Space Repair Specialist in Birmingham, ALcrawl space repair alabama

Call Nichols/Grout Tech for an estimate on crawl space repair today. We can take your damaged crawl space and completely transform it into a clean and healthy storage space for years to come.

We offer inspections to our customers in Alabama and surrounding states including Mississippi, Tennessee, Southwest Georgia, and the Florida Panhandle.

Extreme Weather & Your Alabama Foundation

Did You Know that Rain is Messing with Your Foundation?

storms cause problems for Alabama foundationsDangerous weather has definitely been an issue for Alabama, as it is many years. You always think of how it will affect your home or cars. Is your roof going to leak? Will your gutters handle all that rain? Is the hail going to dent your car? What you don’t think about it how it is affecting a part of your home that is mostly hidden to you: your foundation.

Wet Weather Means Expanding Soil

Too much rain is a big deal for your home’s foundation. Whether a slab or a crawlspace, when water builds up it causes something called hydrostatic pressure. This pressure is exerted on foundation walls. It can cause bowing or leaning of basement or crawlspace walls, and cracks in all types of foundations. You know if there are cracks and water around, it is going to find it’s way into your home. This can mean mold, mildew, rot, rodents and other major problems.

So What is a Homeowner to Do?

check gutters to prevent water buildup So are you freaking out yet? If so, it’s understandable. However you can keep these big problems from getting worse. Just start by paying attention. Walk the exterior of your home after big storms. Make sure gutters are intact and leading water away from your home. Make sure the grade of the soil against your foundation is sloping down and away from your home. Check crawlspaces for foul smells and dampness. Look for even the smallest cracks and note where they are and what they look like.

If you notice cracks or changes in interior or exterior of your foundation, don’t wait to have it looked at. It can mean the difference between a small repair, and spending big bucks. Nichols/Grout Tech offers free inspections. It can’t hurt to have your home looked at if you have concerns, but if you wait it can hurt something much bigger: Your home and your wallet. Give us a call today to schedule your free inspection. We can help your foundation weather just about any storm Alabama can throw at you.

Hiring A Foundation Repair Company in Alabama

Foundation Company in Alabama

When it comes to foundation repair, it is important to hire a company that has the experience, right equipment, and highly trained employees. Grout Tech has all of these!

Here are a few tips to know when hiring a foundation company in Alabama:

  • Get educated on foundation repair and ask questions. Don’t make your decision on advertising or cheap pricing.
  • Ask if there will be any additional costs if the piling needs to go deeper than expected.
  • Make sure the contractor is evaluated by the ICC-ES (International Code Council Evaluation Services). This ensures that the building products meet code compliance.
  • Ask if there is a guarantee is a shrub or bush gets damaged during the repair.
  • Pay attention to the warranties or guarantees for the foundation repair work.

Foundation Repair in Alabama

There some signs in and around your home to look for that may indicate that you are in need of foundation repair. Some of these signs are:carbon-install

  • Floor cracks
  • Wall cracks
  • Leaning chimney
  • Sticking doors and windows
  • Garage column cracks
  • Sinking garage
  • Sloping floors

Let the professionals at Grout Tech give you a free inspection. We have over 35 years of experience in foundation repair, water management, and pressure grouting. We use only the best products for foundation repair. They are manufactured by Earth Contact Products (ECP), the very best in the industry.

The products used for foundation repair are helical piers and steel piers. These piers are driven deep into the ground until they reach a solid soil layer. Each pier is load tested. After testing, the entire weight of the structure is lifted onto the piers. The foundation will be stabilized and level for many years to come. Grout Tech is your foundation company experts in Alabama.

Not All Carbon Fiber Kits are Created Equal

Rhino Carbon Fiber Stands Above the Rest, and We Have Proof!

carbon fiber repair failure
At Nichols / Grout Tech, we choose to use Rhino Carbon Fiber for bowing wall repair. This is because the product is the best we have seen in the industry. Not all carbon fiber strips are made the same. As you can see in this picture, it is just a matter of time till some carbon fiber strips fail because they aren’t properly attached at the top and the bottom. This is just one example. If Rhino Carbon Fiber had been installed for this bowing wall, this problem could have been avoided. That is because of the bottom attachment that Rhino has patented.

Rhino Carbon Fiber connects to the bowing wall  in three ways. The top connection is directly connected to the foundation. The strap itself is adhered to the wall and can hold up to 50,000 lbs of pressure. It also pins into the footer at the very bottom. The image to the right shows a competitors carbon fiber that has clearly failed. If you watch the video below you will see the Rhino Carbon Fiber repair of this wall.


Rhino is the Leaderrhino-product-comparison

Check on the product comparison chart and video in this article. You can see for yourself just why Rhino Carbon Fiber is the right choice for your bowing wall repair. They truly are the best carbon fiber kit on the market today. If you have bowing or leaning walls in your basement or crawlspace, our team can help you determine if carbon fiber repairs are the right choice for your repair. We choose the best products available for these repairs. Check out more videos about Rhino Carbon Fiber on their YouTube Channel, or visit their website. Then give us a call to get started on carbon fiber repairs you can count on for a long term solution to your bowing or leaning walls.

How Does The Weather Affect My Alabama Foundation?

Spring Showers: How They Affect Your Alabama Foundation

With spring just around the corner, Alabama is about to experience a season of rainfall. Here in the south, we’ve already seen our fair share of bad weather this winter. Now, as the snow melts and the rain falls, Alabama homeowners must be aware of foundation issues that may occur.

When the soil around your home is over saturated by heavy rain or melted snow, it will expand and push against your foundation walls. This can cause your foundation to become uneven over time, and cause cracks as well. After the winter, it is likely that your foundation has formed small cracks due to high pressures from ice and frost.

This spring, be on the lookout for the beginning signs of foundation damage and contact a professional as soon as you notice them. Foundation failure can cost tens of thousands of dollars to repair, so it’s important to have your foundation inspected and repaired before the damage gets dangerous – both for your home and for your wallet. When inspecting your home, look for the following signs:foundation repair hoover alabama

  • Wall cracks
  • Sloping floors
  • Misaligned trim
  • Windows that stick
  • Doors that won’t shut
  • Foundation crumbling
  • Cracked ceilings
  • Dark stains

Also, be sure to check your basement for flooding. If you have noticed water stains, musty odors, peeling paint, or rust in your basement, it is most likely the result of water seepage. If water is seeping into your basement, you definitely have a foundation problem.

Foundation Repair Solutions in Birmingham, Alabama

The most important thing you can do to keep your foundation safe and healthy is to prevent water from reaching your home. The first thing you can do to achieve this is to have your gutters regularly cleaned out. If your gutters are full of leaves, branches, and debris, water will collect and overflow straight onto your Alabama foundation. It is also important to extend your downspouts to be at least 10 feet away from your home, so that water is efficiently directed away from your foundation. Do this with your sump pump drains as well.

Here at Nichol’s/Grout Tech, we have many years of experience when it comes to foundation repair. No matter what issues you are experiencing, we can give you the best solution for your specific needs and budget. We can use helical piers to permanently stabilize your Alabama foundation and reverse the damage that has been done. Give us a call today for your free quote!

Spring Sinkholes In Alabama

Beware of Spring Sinkholes In Alabama

ISinkholes in Alabamaf you are a resident of Alabama, you probably know that the state is known for it’s beautiful soil that is rich in minerals. Unfortunately, soft rocks like limestone, gypsum, and dolomite erode easily when water is present, which causes sinkholes to form in the ground. A sinkhole is an unseen hole in the earth that makes its way to the surface when the soil above it caves in from the pressure. Smaller holes can be filled by rocks, but larger holes become dangerous and need professional repair. Sinkholes can grow when filled with water, and can become powerful enough to destroy your home, yard, and foundation.

As the spring rainfall comes, homeowners in Alabama must be aware of sinkholes and be on the lookout for indicators that they are present. If you have a home in Alabama, be sure to look out for the following signs:

  • Depressions in yard
  • Sediment in water
  • Leaning trees
  • Falling fences
  • Wall cracks

Be sure to regularly check your foundation for exposed areas that you haven’t seen before. All of these signs can indicate that sinkholes are forming on your property, and you should get them looked at as soon as possible.

Call Nichol’s / Grout Tech for Sinkhole Issues in AlabamaDangerous Alabama sinkholes

If you are wary of sinkhole intrusion in your Alabama home, don’t hesitate to call Nichol’s / Grout Tech today. Our highly trained team can come and take a look at your property to help you determine how serious the damage is and provide you with a plan of action. Your safety and the well being of your home is our number one concern, and we will do whatever we can to protect your home and foundation from serious damage. We offer professional sinkhole remediation services at competitive rates. Sinkhole remediation is a process that uses grouting and underpinning to build up and secure the sink hole. Call us today to schedule an inspection and estimate!

Is there a Big Need for Waterproofing in Huntsville, AL?

Is Waterproofing in Huntsville, Alabama Homes Necessary?


With the rising flood warnings this week in Huntsville, Alabama, home flooding is no doubt on the minds of all the local homeowners. The flood warnings this week and rain in the forecast next week mean that Alabama homes are in for another good soaking. Recent rains in Alabama have already saturated the soil around many homes. This next bought of rain will surely determine whether or not your Huntsville, AL home can keep water out.

Hurricanes and Storms in Alabama

Flooding in Huntsville, ALThe months from November to May are usually the wettest out of the year for the Huntsville area. It is not uncommon for this area to see thunderstorms that bring large amounts of rain. And while Huntsville is not directly on the coast, it often gets the aftereffects of hurricanes and tropical storms – more rain.

This means that wet weather is not uncommon in the Huntsville part of Alabama. Because of the frequent thunderstorms and precipitation from tropical storms, it is essential to make sure that your Huntsville home has adequate waterproofing. If you live in this area, the projected flooding this week and continued forecasts of rain make waterproofing in Huntsville, AL very important.

Necessary Solutions for Waterproofing in Huntsville, Alabama Homes

Waterproofing in Huntsville, ALNichols/Grout Tech offer high-quality waterproofing options to protect your Huntsville home from flooding and other kinds of water damage. Some of the different types of waterproofing systems that we specialize in include the following:

  • Surface Drainage: This is a service that can redirect water away from your home before it soaks into the soil. This keeps it from coming in contact with the concrete of your foundation. Surface drainage techniques include gutters, downspout extensions, and grading of the yard around the home.
  • Exterior Drainage: This is a drainage system that is buried underground and prevents water that soaks into the soil from entering your home. Underground pipes and sheet drains help redirect water under the surface away from your basement or crawlspace.
  • Interior Drainage: This system is installed inside the home and helps remove water if it does make its way inside. The system uses drain pipes and channels to collect water and works with the sump pump system to remove the water.
  • Sump Pumps: As water enters the home and is collected into the sump pit, it is pumped out and away by the sump pump.

All of these methods can help waterproof your home ad prevent flooding in your home. The severe storms and frequent heavy rains in Alabama make it very important that you find the best waterproofing options for your Huntsville, AL home.

Chronic Wet Basement? Flood Proof with Nichols/GroutTech

Chronic Wet Basement Waterproofing from Grout Tech

Alabama is no stranger to harsh storms and heavy rains. For this reason, many homes in the area may suffer from chronic dampness and puddles in the basement or crawlspace. However, the wetness in your basement is not always the result of weather alone. Even in times when precipitation is at normal levels, many homeowners suffer from wet basements.

What causes damp and wet basements in Alabama homes?

In many cases, it is actually poor drainage systems or foundation problems that cause basement water problems. Your wet basement could be caused by foundation cracks, poor exterior drainage, faulty interior drainage, saturated soil, or blocked gutters.

It is vital to the health of your family and your home that you have your wet basement fixed right away. If you neglect the dampness in your basement, it could lead to:

  • Mold and Mildew Growth: Chronic Wet Basements ALMold and mildew spores often causes respiratory and other health issues.
  • High Humidity: This can bring on allergies and asthma attacks and warp wooden furniture.
  • Water Puddles: Pooling water can deteriorate concrete and weaken the foundation of your home.
  • Water Damage: Water in the basement can damage possessions stored there and can also damage the structure of your home.
  • Wet Insulation: Water seepage and wet basements can also cause the insulation in your basement walls to become soaked.

These are only a few of the problems that can be caused by wet basements. Fortunately, they can all be repaired with waterproofing and prevention techniques from Grout Tech.

How to Fix a Chronic Wet Basement with Grout Tech

Solutions for Wet Basements in AlabamaThe first method is to utilize surface drainage systems. Make sure that your gutters are cleaned out and that your downspout extensions drain away from the house. Check the grading (the slope of the yard) around your home as well. If the land around the home does not slope away from the foundation, water will pool near the concrete and collect in the basement, causing a wet basement.

Proper drainage systems are the next step in protecting your home from basement water. Exterior drainage including buried drainpipes can help keep groundwater away from your foundation. Interior drainage systems such as a sump pit ad sump pit can also reduce basement water. The sump pit collects basement water and the sump pit removes it from the home.

Another important component in basement water prevention is your plumbing. Make sure there are no plumbing leaks in your home. Backwater valves are a good addition to your sewage and even sump pump systems. These valves keep water that is being pumped out from flowing back into the home.

Also important if you experience regular basement water is flood insurance. If your home is prone to flooding, it is important to make sure your home is properly insured. Most homeowners insurance does not include flood insurance, so if this is something that you want, you must check into this yourself.

Nichols/Grout Tech specializes in basement waterproofing techniques of all kinds. If you have a wet basement in Alabama, call us today. We even offer free quotes!