What Causes Water Problems in Alabama?

What Causes Water Problems in Alabama?

Water leaks into a basement or crawlspace through any opening it can find. This includes cracks in walls, floors, and the joints. Even the smallest openings water can get into when there is enough pressure built up. Water can even leak through the concrete itself. This is why basements and crawlspaces are notorious for being damp and humid.

Many people in Alabama experience water seepage in their basement. Why in Alabama? Alabama has shallow bedrock, seasonal high water tables, and massive clay subsoils. These circumstances cause a lot of basement and crawlspace water problems in Alabama homes. Sometimes the water issue is very apparent, sometimes it is not. This is why being knowledgeable of the signs is so important. Through knowing the signs of water issues you will be able to occasionally check your Alabama home and know right away if you need to contact the professionals. Check your basement or crawlspace for some of these signs:

  • Bowed walls
  • Foundation cracks
  • Water seepage
  • Water stains
  • Musty odors and mold

Water Problems AlabamaWaterproofing Solutions

Because Alabama basements and crawlspaces are prone to water damage, it is important to have a professional come and inspect your home and give you the solution to your wet basement or crawlspace repair needs. While many people think they can wait, or that they can fix it themselves, this is not the case when it comes to water issues. Not getting to the sole problem, or putting the issue off will only make matter worse, causing you more time and money in the long run. If you notice any of the signs above, contact a professional right away. The experts at Grout Tech can offer you several waterproofing solutions such as:

If your home is in need of a sealed waterproofing or water control system, you have come to the right place. The first step is to contact us. We will answer your questions and teach you about the sealed waterproofing solutions that will best fix your water problem. Your waterproofing contractor will give you a written proposal that details what can be done and the cost of the work. After you approve the proposal, we will seal your home against water quickly and permanently. Our team is compiled of hardworking, knowledgeable individuals who always have the customer as their number one priority. Our team ensures you quality service, a great warranty and the peace of mind in hiring the best.

Browse around this site and learn about the sealed waterproofing products and methods that can make your home safe and structurally sound. Whether you need a sump pump, interior waterproofing system or a sealed exterior water barrier, it is time to create a new living space within your home or a crawlspace free from moisture, humidity or standing water. Call Nichols / Grout Tech today to get started with your free quote.

No Leak is Too Big!

No Leak is too Big!


water leak, BASF, Coastal Construction ProductsNichols/Grout Tech was recently called in to assist with a massive water infiltration at a major processing plant. Water was coming in at around 75 gallons a minute. We used BASF MasterRoc MP 355 1K and with the assistance of Ed Paradis (BASF), and Tim Fitzgerald and Yon Hammel of Coastal Construction Products, we were able to stop the water and let the processing plant get back to business.

This was a big problem and we had to get the water stopped as fast as we could, so the processing plant could be operational again.

See the footage below of this big project that we were proud to help with!


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.


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!

Common Signs of Building Foundation Problems in Birmingham, Alabama

Common Problems to Look for in Birmingham Homes and Businesses

Foundation failure is a problem that grows exponentially with time. The longer you wait to get repairs the more expensive, time-consuming, and complex the repairs become. The best way to avoid costly repairs is to get smaller repairs as soon as you notice a problem. Keeping an eye out for common foundation problems at all times will help you keep your home protected from foundation failure. There are three signs that are the most common beginnings of foundation failure.Foundation Problems in Birmingham, Alabama

The first common sign of foundation problems is cracked or crumbling foundations. Obviously, when looking for foundation issues, the best way to start is to begin with the foundation itself. Look for cracks, separating walls and seems, crumbling or flaking concrete, sloping floors, and moisture–including water stains, pools of water, and humid air. Inspect both the inside and outside of the foundation.

The second sign is water damage and soil shifting. Improper drainage is the leading cause of foundation failure. When the moisture gets trapped in or around your foundation, it can lead to a variety of problems. Check for moisture around the home, especially around the basement. If there are existing cracks, water may leak into the basement. Water stains, mold and mildew, rotting wood, and seepage are all things you can check for.

The third sign is sagging floors and warped ceilings. Check for floors that slope or are uneven, sticking doors and windows, exposed gaps, and separating walls. These signs can be relatively easy to spot since they are affecting things you use and see almost every day. You can use tennis balls to check the level of the flooring. It should stay still or barely roll. If it rolls to one side of the room or the other, you may have the beginnings of foundation failure.

Foundation Inspections and Repairs: Early and Often

Check your Birmingham home or business for these signs of foundation failure often. If you are not confident about checking for yourself, we can inspect your home for damage. Nichols/Grout Tech offers both residential and commercial foundation repair services in Birmingham, Alabama. Catching these signs early will help you keep your home or business safe from serious foundation failure. Contact us today to learn more about our foundation repair and waterproofing services. Our service area covers seven states, including Alabama, Tennessee, and Mississippi. Give us a call today!


Winter is Here – Alabama Can Expect Trouble with their Foundations!

Be Prepared for Winter Foundation Trouble in Alabama

The last two years have given Alabama trouble. Winter has not been forgiving and it is likely that this year will be no different. There have been three major winter storms over the past two years. They brought snow and ice to the state of Alabama. This year, Alabama Emergency Management Agency and National Weather Service offices in Alabama are taking precautions. The El Nino could mean storms for the South. Does this mean snow and ice? While it is too early to tell for sure, it is best to be prepared for the worst.foundation repair in alabama winter

The best way to be prepared is to keep your home safe from the snow and ice. The cold temperatures can cause a variety of problems for your home or business and its foundation. The concrete may split and crack and cause your foundation to sink and settle. It may lead to bowing or leaning walls. Keep your eyes out for signs of foundation failure and call Nichols/Grout Tech if you notice them. Some signs to look out for include:

Foundation Repair in the Alabama Winter

Foundation problems can lead to many more problems for your home or business in the future. The foundation of a building is where the majority of the structural integrity is. If it is not protected and strong, your home or business may be in danger. Contact us here at Nichols/Grout Tech and we can help you with all your foundation repair needs. We offer a variety of services and products to repair your home or business’ foundation. Some of these services include:

Waterproofing your Alabama Home or Business

If your home or business has foundation problems, water damage may also be an issue. Foundation cracks may allow water to seep into your basement or crawl space. Even without foundation issues, water damage may still affect your Alabama home or business. If you experience mold and mildew, humid basement, wet crawlspace, or water stains, you may need waterproofing services from Nichols/Grout Tech.

These snowy, icy winters can be dangerous for Alabama residents, but remember that your home or business is also in danger. Stay safe through the winter by preparing yourself and your home. Contact us today for more information on our foundation repair and waterproofing services. Our service area spans seven states, including Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, and more. Give us a call today!

How El Nino Affects Winter in Alabama

El Nino and Winter in Alabama

el nino winter in alabamaWhat is El Nino and what damage does it cause? El Nino is a periodic warming of the Pacific Ocean that sets off unstable weather patterns across the globe. Every time one develops in Alabama, cooler and wetter develop in the fall and winter months. The most serious El Nino weather pattern occurred in 1997, creating floods and more snowfall in well-populated areas of the country. If you live in Alabama, make sure your home is prepared for El Nino. Too much water can lead to excess water around the foundation and foundation walls, causing wall cracks and water damage. At Nichols / GroutTech, we offer foundation repair and waterproofing solutions to prevent floods and water disasters.

How to Protect Your Basement Against Floods in Alabama?

Because El Nino brings in a large amount of snow and water, it’s important to repair any cracks in the foundation walls to prevent snowmelt from seeping through. As the water pressures build up in the soil, it pushes against the foundation walls and causes them to bow.

el nino winter preparation in alabamaAt Nichols / GroutTech, we offer Rhino Carbon Fiber for wall support to stop the wall from moving. Rhino Carbon Fiber consists of strong carbon fiber that uses a galvanized bracket to connect to the base of the foundation and the framing of the home. With Rhino Carbon Fiber, repairs can be made from inside the basement without excavation. Other benefits include:

  • Consists of strong, durable carbon fiber that is stronger than steel
  • Cost effective solution
  • Fast, clean installation
  • No deterioration
  • No movement or shifting
  • Can be easily painted
  • Creates a smooth finish
  • Supports and stabilizes the foundation walls

Also, make sure you have a working sump pump. If you don’t have one, now is the time to buy one. Sump pumps will prevent water from entering your basement by collecting water and pumping it outside of the home. If your home is equipped with a sump pump, test it on a regular basis by pouring water into the basin to ensure it works properly. If not, contact Nichols / GroutTech, so we can inspect it and install a new one. The last thing you want is to have a malfunctioning sump pump right when you need it.

Because of El Nino, expect cooler and wetter winters in Alabama. Make sure your home is prepared by investing in Rhino Carbon Fiber and reliable sump pumps. Our foundation repair and waterproofing solutions will put an end to wet basements, foundation damage,  and damp crawlspaces in Alabama.

Value: Food for Thought

When it Comes to Waterproofing & Foundation Repair, Cheap isn’t Always Best

We bid jobs often for foundation repairs, waterproofing, grouting, concrete repair and more. Sometimes Nichols / Grout Tech will be the lowest bid, but not always. This is because we will never sacrifice quality for price. Quality of work should always be the priority, and although Nichols / Grout Tech aims to offer the best pricing, we also aim to do the best work with the best products available on the market today. Be believe that is the best way to do business, and the best way to serve our customers well. Your home or your business, we get that it is your biggest investment, and therefore compromises cannot be made.

So, for today, we would like to share some food for thought. Remember, when it comes to your home or your business, cheapest and fastest isn’t always the best:

Author Unknown

“There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot do a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are that man’s lawful prey.”

VALUEvalue for foundation repair & waterproofing in Alabama
1819-1900 (English Writer)

“It’s unwise to pay too much but it’s unwise to pay too little. When you pay too much you lose a little money, that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing you bought it to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot. It can’t be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it’s well to add something for the risk you run. And if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better!”

So if quality is what you seek, as well as value, call Nichols / Grout Tech today. We look forward to give you exactly what you deserve – our best work!

Landscaping Drainage 101

Landscaping and Exterior Drainage for Your Birmingham, Alabama Home

Why You Have Water in Your Alabama Yard

Surface Drainage Birmingham, AlabamaBirmingham and all of Alabama have significantly higher average rainfall than the rest of the United States, so water buildup can be a prolific problem for Birmingham homeowners and something that many homeowners will experience at least one. A variety of factors and contribute to water buildup in yards, but a few of the most common include:

Heavy rainfall: When an area of land endures substantial rainfall, the ground becomes heavily saturated and is unable to absorb any more water. Because the water cannot be absorbed further, it collects and pools in the yard.

Septic System Failure: Septic systems are designed to collect liquid waste from inside the home and redirect it. When these systems fail, waste can back up into your home or backyard, depositing large quantities of standing water.

Sloping property: Homeowners with low lying properties often experience extended water buildup as water from nearby properties with higher elevation spills down into their yard.

Gutter Exits: If you notice water collecting near your downspout exits, it is likely because the ground is sloped toward your house as opposed to away from it.

Not only does water buildup in your Alabama yard make it unpleasant to walk on, but it can also cause serious problems for your home and foundation. As we discussed earlier, pooling water means that the soil has been fully saturated and cannot absorb additional moisture. Heavy saturation greatly increases the soil’s hydrostatic pressure, so the soil will begin to push against the floor of your foundation, allowing water to permeate inside. When water infiltrates the home, it often manifests itself in a musty odor, mold and mildew, rotting of wood structures, and even the destruction of the floor and drywall. If left undetected or untreated, you could be facing expensive and time consuming repairs.

Landscape Drainage and Other Exterior Drainage and Waterproofing Solutions for Your Birmingham, Alabama Home

yard drainage AlabamaFortunately, you can nip water problems in the bud and prevent further complications by enlisting the help of Grout Tech, the foundation repair and water management experts in the Birmingham, Alabama area. We can work with you to determine and execute the best course of action in addressing the problem of water buildup in your backyard.
A few of the most common and effective solutions:

Surface Drainage System: This includes properly placed gutters, grading around the house, and drain pipe systems surrounding the foundation and is used to prevent water from pooling around the foundation.

Interior Drainage System: This method is used to redirect water that has seeped inside the house to the outside. If you have a basement, we can install a reliable and high quality basin or battery backup sump pump and ensure that it is properly directing water away from your home into a location that will not cause buildup.

Full Waterproofing: Proper waterproofing necessitates excavation so that all potential issues can be exposed and addressed individually. We begin the process by cleaning the foundation walls and spraying or rolling on a polymer waterproofing product. After this has dried, the coating will be masked with a dimple board product to enable improved downward water flow. We will then install an appropriately sloped drain pipe system to eradicate any future problems with pooling water.

Proper waterproofing is an extensive process that will pay dividends with respect to the elimination of water buildup. If you are experiencing water buildup in your Birmingham, Alabama backyard, do not wait until your foundation becomes affected too. Be proactive and call the Alabama foundation repair and water management experts at Nichols/Grout Tech today!