Author Archives: Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry

Noticing Pooling Water?

noticing pooling water with logo and puddle

Are you noticing pooling water around your home or business? In some cases, this may just be a case of a lot of rain. However, in most cases, pooling water probably means there may be larger issues at hand. Typically, the main reasons why standing water occurs are poor drainage, low spots in the yard, and soil compaction. These are pretty common occurrences and there are solutions to these water-related issues. But first, let’s take a look at the symptoms of poor drainage around your home.

Symptoms of Poor Drainage

Some of the major problems that can occur from continuously standing water are:

  • Clogged Gutters
  • Pooling Water
  • Basement Leaks
  • Cracking and Flaking Walls
  • Mildew and Mold buildup
  • Mosquito Attraction
  • Difficulties With Yard Maintenance

Drainage Solutions

The good news is that there are solutions to poor drainage problems-some are simple solutions, and others are a bit more work. A few simple options to lower the impact that water is having on your yard are to clean your gutters out, extend your downspouts, and install a rain barrel to collect the overflow of water.

On the other hand, some more intrusive waterproofing methods include proper yard grading to eliminate compacted soil, installing a french drain system, and installing a newer sump pump system. Although these methods take more time and cost more money, they will ensure that your foundation is not influenced any further by improper water drainage.

Call the Experts

If pooling water will not go away on its own, you should call an expert to inspect the problem. If water damage is not mended then these so-called smaller issues will lead to more substantial issues such as foundation problems. This is definitely something you want to avoid. Please call your Virginia Foundation experts today, so we can find solutions today!

5 Benefits of Brick Re-Pointing

benefits of brick re-pointing

Firstly, what is brick re-pointing? Simply put, it is the process of repairing the mortar or joints between bricks when they become cracked or crumbly. Although this might seem like a simple task, having a clear understanding of the type of brick and type of mortar to use is essential to prevent future damage. In fact, hiring a masonry company that is unknowledgeable in various brick damage and the numerous industry mortars could make or break masonry repair of any kind.

After hiring a knowledgeable and professional masonry company, the next step is understanding what services you need. This leads us to the top benefits of brick re-pointing.

#1 Restores Beauty

There is no doubt that brick re-pointing restores the beauty of the original structure. Oftentimes, repairing brick means increasing the aesthetic appeal of the property. This process will restore your brick siding or wall to look as new as the day it was first constructed. Clearly, visual appeal is important to most homeowners and business owners, alike.

#2 Structural Integrity

The structural integrity of a building is vital to its value and its longevity. Because of various weather patterns, the mortar between bricks becomes compromised. Ultimately, the seal that protects your property can fail. When this happens, water can begin to seep into the bricks, potentially leading to damp issues. This is when a professional repointer is necessary. Masonry experts can really make a difference in the life span of the bricks and the structure itself. Repointing helps the mortar keep your wall standing long after the repair is completed.

#3 Increases Property Value

Without a doubt, the property value of your home or business will increase after the re-pointing process. In fact, the value of a property is significantly impacted by the amount of maintenance that potential home buyers consider is needed. Many homeowners will opt to buy a property that has already been repaired opposed to having to hire it out after they have already moved into their new home or business. Ultimately, striving to maintain your property value so that you can make up your investment down the road when it comes time to sell your property is a smart choice.

#4 Prevents Regular Maintenance

Another one of the benefits of brick re-pointing is its ability to prevent maintenance. Many homeowners make the common mistake of repairing brickwork as they go-repairing small areas one at a time. However, this approach can diminish wall strength and lead to uneven points in the brickwork. Re-pointing the entire area of brick may take more time initially, but it will save a lot of restoration time in the future. In fact, minimizing regular maintenance is a huge advantage to this process.

Need More Benefits?

entryway of home; brick repair

Simply put, the benefits of brick re-pointing are plentiful. Whether you want to increase the value of your home or business, avoid consistent maintenance, or add to the structural integrity of the brick, Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry wants to help. If you are unsure whether or not your brick work needs repair, feel free to contact us for a free estimate. You can also call our office at 804-674-0273.

Best Time of Year For A Concrete Restoration Project

Concrete Restoration Project this Spring

According to the American Concrete Institute (ACI), the spring and autumn months are the most effective time to pour concrete and commit to concrete restoration projects. Why is this the case? For starters, temperature plays a huge role in concrete’s capacity to dry effectively. More specifically, hot weather creates problems with the mixing, the placing, and the curing of cement concrete. When temperatures rise above 80%, this can adversely affect the properties and serviceability of the concrete.

temperature gauge

In a report researched by an ACI committee, research suggests, “Environmental factors, such as high ambient temperature, low humidity,
high wind, or both low humidity and high wind, affect concrete properties
and the construction operations of mixing, transporting, and placing of the
concrete materials. ” In other words, contacting a professional Concrete Restoration contractor is very important when considering a concrete restoration project. The process of restoring concrete is not something that can be done alone. It is a time consuming job that requires expert knowledge and experienced handlers.

Aesthetic Appeal and Safety Concerns

crumbling concrete

Aside from the time of year, you should also have a pretty clear understanding of why you need concrete foundational work done on your home or business. Typically, there are two reasons that call for concrete restoration work: 1) Aesthetic Appeal-which means beautifying your home and business or 2) Safety Concerns-cracks, gaps, and un level concrete can be very dangerous. Many times clients will call a professional because they want to fix the safety concerns and get increased image appeal as well. After all, adding more value to your home makes sense since this is the place you live in, work in, and raise a family in. Wanting a more beautiful home makes a lot of sense.

Call A Professional

Call a professional contractor today if you have any questions regarding the right time to complete your concrete restoration project. In the end, concrete work can save you time and money if it is done right the first time. That’s why you should contact Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry to update all of your foundation, concrete, and restoration needs. Give us a call at 804-674-0273 or reach us via Contact Form.

How Do I Prevent Water In The Basement?

Preventing Water In The Basement

Virginia basements can be known to become wet during the spring months. However, there are several options that can ward off unwanted moisture. Preventing water in the basement is not something to put off. In fact, waterproofing your basement sooner than later is definitely going to save you money and time in the long run. That’s why Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry provides quality service and excellent waterproofing products by ECP.

water in basement

At Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry, it is our mission to get your home back to safety and security. With our team, you can rest easy knowing that the waterproofing services we provide will protect your home from future water damage. Additionally, we are backed by one of the leading manufactureres of waterproofing products: ECP.

Waterproofing Products We Offer

Some of the waterproofing products we offer include the following:

Utilizing these products and services together will provide you with complete protection against water damage. We service the Richmond, Virginia area and want to ensure your basement, crawl space, or foundation is not damaged to the point of no return. Furthermore, do not wait until there is a major problem before reaching out for professional services. In fact, getting repairs and waterproofing installation can cost a small fortune, so the best way to avoid this is by preventing water in the basement before it is a major problem.

spring rain

Noticing Signs of Water Damage This Spring?

Contact us today if you notice signs of water damage such as:

  • Mold and mildew
  • Water stains
  • Wood rot
  • Basement flooding
  • Humid crawl space

If your home does not have proper waterproofing protection, these basic damages can occur quite quickly. This is where we come in. Contact Us today to learn more about our basement waterproofing services. For Virginians, we also provide foundation repair, crawl space repair, masonry, brick re-pointing, and concrete restoration services. Call Us Today at 804-674-0273 for a free estimate.

Spalling Brick 101

Colonial City

Spalling Brick Due To Weather

Spalling brick due to weather is inevitable after years of being exposed to the elements. Considering the weather patterns in Virginia– freeze and thaw cycles, along with extreme heat during the summer months- these elements can cause several issues with the brick on the exterior of your home or business. Extreme heat can cause bricks to crumble and crack which can potentially lead to an undesirable situation. However, deterioration due to freezing conditions seems to be the biggest culprit. This liquid water at or near the wall surface will not evaporate but it will freeze. Consequently, freezing water will damage the brick since water expands during the freezing process.

Since spalling brick due to weather is very common, it is important to have it inspected by an expert in brick and masonry. At Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry, we have over 30 years of experience in brick and masonry. In fact, we began the business to deliver Virginians with a full range of services that range from re-pointing and chimney repair to paving and foundation repair. Our objective is to get your home back to safety and provide the aesthetic exterior appeal you prefer. Our professional team produces quality workmanship for all brick and masonry issues.

Prevention

spalling brick

Firstly, it is important to prevent spalling brick due to weather if possible. Luckily, there are some steps that can help deter and possibly remove its effects. For example, finding the source of moisture is essential. If the moisture problem is not solved then fixing spalling bricks is only a temporary fix. For instance, if a window or chimney is leaking water directly onto a brick, call a professional to stop the leak before it permeates the area indefinitely. Ultimately, protecting the area of brick from too much moisture is necessary to avoid crumbling brick.

Finally, after the moisture issue is resolved, it is necessary to capture every specific area of brickwork that was affected. Leaving behind any spalling bricks means there is potential for areas to get saturated with moisture once again. Unfortunately, this could lead to ongoing crumbling and cracking even after repairs occurred.

Repair

Once the brick is permanently damaged, it will require a masonry and bricklaying expert to replace these damages. After these dismantled bricks are taken out, the area must be thoroughly cleaned of any remaining moisture, dust, or dirt. New mortar is then placed around the hole and replacement bricks can be inserted. This is a tricky process and takes a particular level of skill to master correctly. To mirror existing mortar seams with a similar look and finish is more difficult than it may appear. In addition, more significant repairs are required when spalling is extensive. For instance, sometimes entire walls and chimneys need to be completely rebuilt to eradicate spalling.

Call Your Trusted Masonry Team

Only skilled masons should attempt to repair widespread late-stage spalling. We are a name you can trust in the area and we provide friendly, reliable, and timely service. Give us a call at 804-674-0273 for a free estimate!

Foundation Repair During Winter

WHY WINTER FOUNDATION REPAIRS?

Foundation Repair During Winter with Snow capped tree

Are you thinking…why foundation repair during winter? Often times, home owners consider foundation repair during winter an interesting choice. However, many experts would suggest this is the best time for foundation repairs. For instance, even though it may be easier to see foundation problems with the naked eye in the spring, there are benefits of foundation repair during winter as well. For example, it is during the winter months when the ground is the easiest to dissect. Our experts in foundation repairs can take a look at your foundation before it is too noticeable in the spring.

Foundation professionals understand that soil plays a huge part in foundation related issues. Consequently, in the winter the soil is typically less moist and more solid due to colder temperatures and less precipitation.  Therefore, Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry can inspect your foundation and the soil beneath your home quite easily this winter. What does this mean exactly? Well, the colder months make your foundation more stable. As a result, it is easier to monitor damage. Because of the ground’s reaction during colder months, the time is now to schedule an appointment.

LET’S MAKE A PLAN 

checklist

Winter runs between mid-December and mid-March. Furthermore, winter months tend to be a bit slower for foundation companies in general because of both the weather, and the exhaustion after holiday parties and family gatherings. However, setting a date in the calendar for our team to come out should be quite simple. We will work around your busy schedule to ensure a time that is right for you. Why not get your foundation inspected over the winter, so you can check this ‘to do’ off your spring list.

THIS WINTER IS THE TIME

Please fill out a contact form for a free estimate or give us a call at 804-674-0273. Why not take advantage of our reliable customer service during this slower time of year? After all, foundation repairs in the winter could be the perfect choice for all of your foundation issues. The time is now to fix issues related to your foundation.

Are Bowing Walls Serious?

What You Need To Know

bowing wall spotlights with damaged wall in backdrop

First Things First. Are bowing walls serious? The answer is a definitive yes.

Bowing walls occur when excessive exterior pressure effects the foundation and its wall support. Because of this pressure, walls curve inward forming a “bow”. When this exterior pressure becomes too much for foundation walls, they begin to bow, crack, or even break. You should not ignore a bowing wall in your basement. In fact, if you continue to ignore a pressurized wall, it may eventually collapse and cause severe damage.

As established, bowing walls occur because of exterior pressure, or hydrostatic pressure. This pressure is caused when the ground around your home is saturated with water.  When too much water accumulates, it starts to “push” or exert pressure against your foundation walls. Additionally, when this water turns into frost, the soil expansion becomes permanent during colder months. This is why it is important to have an industry expert inspect your home’s foundation.

Call A Foundation Expert

When foundation experts come and inspect your home, they will get a better picture of the damage that has occurred. When it comes to your foundation, severe damage can completely compromise the integrity of the entire structure and cause your house to be too dangerous to live in. So this is why it is vital to get a professional analysis. At Reliable Waterproofing and Masonry, we will inspect your bowed walls and discover where the problem began. For instance, is there a tree root causing hydrostatic pressure, or has severe precipitation and perhaps a lack of waterproofing lead to bowing foundation walls.

A Few Solutions For Bowed Walls

There are several solutions for bowed walls. When answering the question: are bowing walls serious, we can all agree that they are, in fact, quite serious. With this said, what can you do about this?

  1. Exterior Drainage Systems: We can install state of the art drainage systems to keep your basement dry and to decrease wall damage. These exterior management systems provide more space for water to flow within the soil beneath a home. Some exterior drainage products include channel drains, sub-surface drainage, and dry wells.
  2. Foundation Repair: Oftentimes, it is necessary to fix foundation issues before installing exterior draining systems. For instance, in order to properly install any new exterior system, proper wall anchors need to be in place, and helical and push piers should be in place to ensure a foundation’s safety before starting new waterproofing measures.
  3. Interior Drainage Systems: Another great option to prevent bowing walls is to install interior drainage products. In fact, these diversion water systems take the increased moisture away from the foundation surface and filters it through an interior source like a sump pit.

We Can Fix Bowed Walls

Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry can help with your bowed wall woes. Reach our expert foundation contractors in Virginia today by filling out a form on our Contact Page. Or, Call our main office at 804-674-0273. Let us find solutions to all of your bowed wall issues AND all of other waterproofing and crawlspace repair.

Masonry In Northern Virginia

Richmond, Virginia with water bridge leading into the city

At Reliable Waterproofing and Masonry, we take great pride in providing Virginians the service they deserve. Our service area can cover all of your masonry needs in northern Virginia. Our reliable team provides these essential services: foundation repairwaterproofing, masonry, brick repointing, and concrete restoration. Moreover, we roughly cover a 100-mile radius around Richmond, VA.

Masonry is a concept that is typically associated with a brick and mortar business. It is thought of as an original brick laying profession that our forefathers established when they first crossed the Atlantic to improve the livelihoods of their families and communities. Here, at Reliable Waterproofing and Masonry, we are proud of the dependable services we provide to all of our Virginian people.

commong brick stone masonry problems virginia

In fact, our masonry repair services provide essential expertise to solve all of your masonry needs. Our reliable team can repair and consult on the following: bricklaying, cinder block application, block foundations, chimney, retaining walls, and many other bricklaying applications. Ultimately, if you need a brick and mortar service that will repair any faltering masonry job, call us today!

Contact Us for a Free Estimate

We believe in providing quality masonry in northern Virginia. Please contact us today at for a free estimate. Call us at 804-674-0273 for any questions regarding your masonry needs and all other foundation, waterproofing, and concrete restoration.

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Preventing Frozen Pipes in VA

Problems with Frozen Pipes during VA Winters

water shut-off valve, frozen pipes, water leaks Richmond

Did you have a problem with frozen pipes or broken pipes last winter? Each winter, thousands of homeowners in Virginia lose water service due to frozen and broken pipes and water meters. It’s not too soon to start thinking about how to prevent problems this winter.

Repairing and replacing frozen pipes and water-damaged walls, floors, and items on the floors can be expensive and time-consuming. The homeowner has a further expense by being responsible for paying for water that leaks from a broken pipe. It can cost more than $100 to replace a broken water meter. The following article explains ways of preventing frozen pipes in VA and what to do when a pipe does become frozen.

What can I do now to prevent pipes and meters from freezing?

There are several things you should do before the weather gets below freezing again:

  • Find the location of your main water shut-off valve. If a pipe freezes or breaks, you’ll know where to shut it off immediately.
  • Identify which areas of your home are most vulnerable to frozen pipes, including basements, crawl spaces, unheated rooms, and outside walls.
  • Insulate your pipes and water meter. By wrapping exposed pipes with insulation or electrical heating wires, you will protect your pipes from freezing. If you do it yourself, make sure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid a fire hazard.
  • Eliminate sources of cold air sources near water pipes by repairing broken windows, insulating walls, sealing crawl spaces and preventing drafts near doors. Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry offers services in both crawl space sealing and foundation repair to avoid problems with freezing.
  • Disconnect hoses from outside faucets and, if possible, shut off outside water valves.
  • For outside meters, make sure the lid to the meter is closed tightly. If snow falls on top of it, don’t worry because snow acts as a good insulator.

What should I do when it gets below freezing?

When the outside temperature is consistently below freezing, there are a few precautions that you can take to prevent water pipes from breaking.

  • At night, when it is coldest, turn on a small trickle of water from both your cold and hot water faucets. The cost of the extra water is minimal compared to the cost of repairing a broken pipe. If you don’t want to waste water, collect it in a bowl for feeding pets or watering plants.
  • Leave open cabinet doors, even just a crack, to expose pipes to the warmer air in the room.

What if I’m going to be gone for more than a few days?

If you plan to leave your home for more than a few days, it is wise to take a few extra precautions.

  • Don’t turn your thermostat down below 50 degrees. It is important to keep a minimal level of heat inside the house.
  • Ask a neighbor, friend, or relative to check your home occasionally to make sure the heat is working and pipes aren’t frozen.
  • Consider purchasing a freeze alarm, which costs less than $100. It will call any specified number if the indoor temperature drops below 45 degrees.

What should I do if my pipes do freeze?

If you do have the misfortune of a frozen pipe, there are certain steps you should take first.

  • Turn your water off immediately at the shut-off valve. Freezing may have caused the pipes to crack, and thawing them without turning off the water may cause them to leak through undetected cracks.
  • Apply heat to the frozen pipe by either warming the air around it by raising the room temperature or using a space heater. You can also apply heat directly to the pipe with a hairdryer or hot water. For safety purposes, keep an eye on space heaters and avoid the use of kerosene heaters or open flames.
  • When the pipes are thawed, turn on the water gradually and check for any cracks or leaks.
  • If you do have a cracked or broken pipe, your only choice is to a plumber to repair it before you turn the water back on.

These simple measures can assure that you won’t have a problem with frozen pipes or water meters next year. Contact us if you have further questions about how to insulate your crawl space and repair problems with your masonry or foundation wall to avoid frozen pipes.

Protect Your Home This Winter

winterizing your homeIt seems like taking care of your home is a never-ending process, but you must have your home ready for the winter months. We just reached fall, but winter will soon be coming around the corner. Winter can be long with harsh temperatures, big snowfalls, and other miserable weather and it’s time to get to winterizing.

Winterizing: Take Care of the Outside

While the weather is still relatively nice, make sure the outside of your home is ready for Old Man Winter. This is a good time to clear your gutters and downspouts of leaves, frisbees, and other things that may clog them. If your gutters are clogged, melting snow won’t properly drain and could run down alongside your foundation walls. This can cause damage to the foundation, in addition to potential flooding of your basement or crawl space.

Clear leaves and debris from around the outside walls of your home. These leaves can trap water and snow against your foundation, which can lead to cracks or worse. If you have outdoor faucets, make sure that hoses are removed and that either the water is shut off to the faucet or you have a frost-proof spigot. If an outdoor faucet freezes, the split can occur inside your home, flooding your basement or wherever the pipe breaks.

Once you have the outside ready for the winter chill, you can concentrate on the inside of your home.

Winterizing: Take Care of the Inside

Your home is probably nice and cozy in the winter, but there are things you can do to make it better and to protect your home from foundation damage.

Make sure that your pipes won’t freeze. We mentioned above about protecting your pipes attached to outdoor faucets, but your indoor pipes can freeze and burst, also. If pipes are on an outside wall, make sure they are wrapped to keep them insulated. If they are inside cabinets or closets, open the doors during severe cold blasts. A broken pipe is never fun, but dealing with it during below-freezing temperatures is no picnic.

Your home is your castle, but it doesn’t need to feel like a drafty, medieval home. Caulk around windows and apply weatherstripping around doors and windows. Also, make sure that cold air isn’t coming through electrical outlets. There are a variety of DIY products that will keep cold air where it belongs.

You can also check with your local power company to see if they can perform an energy saving audit. They will inspect your home and give you a list of ways that you weatherproof your home and lower your energy bills. They may suggest new insulation, programmable thermostats, new windows or weatherstripping. Spending a little money and time now will save you a lot of money down the road and may protect your home from damage due to cold weather.

House in Winter

Spend a Little, Save a Lot

Foundation repairs can be expensive, so take some time and effort to protect your home now by “winterizing” your house. Freezing water outside of your home in the soil can cause cracks in your foundation walls or can even cause them to bow or lean. Melting snow can enter cracks in your foundation walls. If the water refreezes, it can cause the cracks to expand, causing more problems.

There are many solutions for foundation damage, give the experts at Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry a call and we’ll help you make sure your home is stable and safe all year round.