Author Archives: Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry

Garage Foundation Problems

A sunken or settling garage foundation can lead to other problems for your garage or even your home. Changes in the garage slab can show itself in different ways around your garage.

garage foundation repair

Signs of Garage Foundation Issues

There are some things you can look for around your garage that could be signs of foundation problems. Look for gaps around the garage doors. You may notice light coming in through the door in areas you hadn’t seen before. Also, keep an eye out for cracks in the garage floor or garage columns.

These signs could be showing you that there is a problem with a sinking garage floor. You will need to support or raise the slab to keep more damage from occurring to your garage.

Causes of Garage Foundation Problems

Some of the same things that cause problems for home foundations can impact your garage’s. Usually, a settling or sinking garage floor is caused by poorly compacted soil under the slab. When building a garage, the soil beneath the garage and driveway needs to be excavated above the perimeter of the foundation. Unfortunately, the soil below most driveways and garage floors is only leveled, not excavated.

Along with this situation, downspouts and waterproofing systems that don’t drain correctly can erode the soil beneath the slabs. This can lead to sinking and settling.

Garage Foundation Repair

There are a few ways to repair a sinking garage foundation, but the best method we’ve found is through the use of helical piers. A helical pier is a strong metal shaft that is drilled or screwed into the ground, using a hydraulic torque motor. The pier is driven into the ground until it reaches stable soil. Once the pier reaches the strong earth, the foundation is placed onto the pier and raised or leveled as needed.

Helical piers are stable and reliable, providing your foundation the strength it needs for years to come. Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry uses piers made by Earth Contact Products (ECP) the leader in the industry

The Difference Between Interior and Exterior Waterproofing

Aside from the obvious locations, is there any difference between exterior and interior waterproofing?  We’ll discuss the differences between the two solutions and show you how they both can help keep your Richmond area home or business dry and stable.

interior waterproofing, exterior waterproofing

Buildings Should be Dry and Safe

We all know that your home or business is probably the biggest investment you have. Keeping them stable and secure is important not only for the structure, but for the people that live or work in them. Making sure you have a reliable form of waterproofing will protect your investment and the people in your life.

The Richmond, VA area can see high rain amounts, large snowfalls, and hurricane-strength storms. All of this water can damage your home and basement. If you think you need some type of waterproofing done for your building, how do you decide if you need interior or exterior waterproofing? There are many options to choose from and the best first step is to find a trustworthy waterproofing contractor.

However, you want to be educated before you begin speaking with a contractor so that you know that you are on the same page with expectations and that they are being honest with you. Knowing the difference between exterior and interior waterproofing and their proper applications is a start.

Interior Waterproofing

If water enters your basement, it is important that it is promptly rerouted outside and away from the building. Interior drainages systems usually consist of a system of drains and pipes that collect the water from leaks or under the foundation. This collected water is sent to a sump pit, a large “bucket” that is installed into the floor of your basement. The pit looks like a large plastic trash can and will store a large amount of water.

A sump pump sits inside the sump pit and pumps the water out of the pit and away from the basement. Sump pumps use a float switch to automatically start when the water reaches a certain level. You can also add a battery backup pump that will run if the power goes out during a storm or other reason.

In addition to the sump pump system, another solution is a vapor barrier. The vapor barrier used by Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry uses a thick vinyl sheeting to encapsulate the basement or crawlspace. This barrier can seal out humidity and moisture from the outside, keeping the area inside dry.

Cracks should be sealed to prevent water from entering the home or business. This can be done with an epoxy or carbon fiber strip. In some cases, property owners may decide to use all methods of interior waterproofing.

Exterior Waterproofing

The best way to keep your basement dry is to keep the water from even entering the home or business. Exterior waterproofing uses solutions that collect the water and move it away from the foundation walls. Clean, properly placed gutters and downspouts are the first lines of defense when it comes to water drainage. If the water easily flows to the downspouts and then drains five to ten feet away from the foundation, that will go a long way to keeping water out of the basement.

Another solution, the waterproof membrane is similar to the vapor barrier. This sheeting is installed around the exterior of the foundation walls. The membrane seals out moisture, preventing the concrete walls from absorbing it or allowing water to enter cracks and other openings. This can involve some excavating, but is a very valuable way of preventing water from entering your home or business.

Other tools for exterior waterproofing are drain tiles. A trench is dug around the building and the drain tiles are laid inside, surrounded by gravel, then it is all buried. The tiles collect water before it can reach the foundation and directs it away from the basement walls. This solution, too, involves excavation be performed.

In most cases, exterior waterproofing will cost more to install than the interior solutions, but it is also more effective. If you can keep the water from even entering your basement, you don’t have to worry about it. In addition, foundation walls can weaken from constant contact with water. If you can keep the soil surrounding the walls dry, you can help prevent them from losing their strength and stability. In the long run, the cost of exterior waterproofing is less than the cost of foundation repair, water damage, and health issues caused by wet basements or crawlspaces.

Interior and Exterior Waterproofing Solutions

As you can see, both methods have their pros and cons. You will have to work with and trust your contractor to come up with the best solution for your situation. Every building has its own set of variables that will influence the decision on how to best proceed. An experienced and educated contractor will be able to determine the most effective method.

No matter what solution is implemented, your basement will be drier and more stable than one without any waterproofing. Contact the waterproofing experts for the Richmond, VA area at Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry today for your interior and exterior waterproofing needs.

Yikes! My Basement has Sprung a Leak

damp crawlspaceRain. We’ve seen plenty of it in our area this Spring. We’ve also had lots of calls with the problem listed above. People looking for a basement waterproofing company that can help because every time it rains they notice their basement walls and floors leaking. It’s been a bigger problem this year than other years, and many people wonder if is it a big problem they need fixed right away. Let’s talk about the causes of basement leaks and what it can do to your home.

Causes of basement leaks

When the soil around your home’s foundation is oversaturated with water from heavy rain it puts pressure on your foundation walls. This is the biggest cause of leaks. Even a hairline crack can leak. You can experience anything from seepage to running water through cracks caused by hydrostatic pressure (the build up of that water around your foundation.) If the soil is poorly compacted this can make the problem even bigger as loose soils tend to absorb more water.

basement waterproofing company in Virginia fixes basement leaks

Window Wells are another cause of problems. Window wells can leak at the seams. Sometimes window wells can fill up with rain runoff. This is why it is really important to keep your exterior drainage in good condition and keep gutters free of debris, and your downspouts clear.

How is that water getting in?

Cracks. Cracks in doors, cove joints, the floor, the walls, as well as cracks in mortar joints or in masonry foundation walls.

So what can water do to the overall health of your home?

Water can lead to mold, spores, mildew, wood rot, and rust. It can make the air in your home unhealthy leading to asthma problems and other health issues. It can ruin your belongings, making living spaces un-livable. It can lead to major foundation problems if you don’t take care of problems early. Your home is one of the biggest investments you will make. Protect your home and more importantly your family with waterproofing solutions made to fit the needs of your home.

Sticking Doors Outside of Summer?

sticking doorsEach summer, you might notice that your doors and windows start to stick a little bit when you open or close then. Sticking doors can be caused by humidity, or they may mean that your door is hung wrong. However, if you notice that your doors have started to stick all year round you might be encountering a different problem. Before sanding off pieces of the door, let’s learn a little bit about what might be happening.

Sticking Doors Are a Sign of Foundation Damage

If you notice that your door not only sticks when it’s humid out but all of the time–it’s time to call a contractor for a free estimate! Foundation damage may be the cause of your sticking doors. How? Well, sometimes settlement occurs or hydrostatic pressure pushes against the walls. While natural settlement happens to almost all homes and is nothing to worry about, some types of settlement can cause big damage to your foundation. If you notice cracked walls, sloping floors, or other problems this may be the culprit. Hydrostatic pressure from water-saturated soil pushing against the foundation might also be a problem for your foundation. Over time, this pressure can cause cracks in the foundation. These cracks can let in water, moisture and mold, and even critters. Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry would be happy to diagnose the problem and get you on your way to doors that don’t stick and a stable home in the process.

Options for Resolving the Foundation Issue

Instead of just sanding down the door or rehanging it, you need to get to the root of the issue. This will usually involve foundation repair. Depending on what the problem is, there are a few methods of foundation repair. Most of the time, we will use underpinning to correct the foundation failure and give your foundation new support and stabilization. A few underpinning options include push piers or helical piers. Both of these piers are driven deep into soil that is stable and then connected to the home via steel plate. Once transferred, the weight of the home rests on the piers and gradually returns to a stable and level position. These type of piers are installed on the exterior of the home. They are manufactured by Earth Contact Products, a leader in the industry, and they are made of All-American Made Steel so you can trust they’ll last for years and years to come.

When You Can D.I.Y. Fix the Issue

If you notice that your doors only stick when the humidity is high and not at any other time, you can probably rightfully assume that the wood in your door is expanding or it has fallen slightly off its hinges. In this case, you can attempt a D.I.Y. fix. However, if you want to be sure, why not call Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry for an estimate? We can make sure that you’re not missing a bigger issue with your foundation that could get worse if left alone.

Need Help with Sticking Doors?

Call Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry if you are needing a foundation repair contractor to assist with problems like the one described above. Schedule a free estimate today. Not only will we fix the issue, we’ll make sure it lasts for years to come so that you don’t have to worry about an unstable foundation. If you’re unsure about your sticking doors, give us a call today. Contact us for more information on our services and to schedule an estimate.

Damp Crawlspace After Heavy Rain

If you experienced the heavy rain that hit Virginia in the past few days, you might have also noticed that you have musty smells in the home. Perhaps your allergies are acting up. Did you know that it could be a damp, musty crawlspace causing the issue? Much of the air that circulates in your home passes through the crawlspace before going back up through the home. If you’re experiencing this, it might be time to take a closer look at your crawlspace. Let’s explore some of the possible solutions for a damp crawlspace.

crawl space sealed#1: Find the Source of the Problem

One of the first things that we do during an estimate is look for the source of the problem. While DIY “fixes” might temporarily solve the issue, a real fix will address not only the immediate problem of the leak but get to the “why” behind it. For example, if you notice that water is pooling in the crawlspace, there may be an issue with grading of the land. If we tried to fix the issue without first resolving that problem, we would merely be covering it up. Possible solutions can include foundation repair as these are often the cause of waterproofing problems in the crawlspace.

#2: Vapor Barriers

If your crawlspace is unfinished, we want to get it finished to keep moisture out and get rid of your water problems. A vapor barrier is one great way to finish a crawlspace. This vapor barrier lines your crawl space and provides a clean storage environment while reducing energy costs and protecting it against moisture, mold, radon and unwanted pests. It is 10-mil to 16-mil thick and is puncture resistant, as opposed to ones you can buy at the home improvement big box store which are only 6mil thick and not puncture resistant. It is manufactured using a triple-ply woven high-density polyethylene membrane and has the highest strength to weight ratio and highest tensile strength and tear resistance of any product on the market. Protect your crawlspace from moisture and save yourself money on energy bills as a bonus.

Prevent mold and mildew with waterproofing by Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry#3: Sump Pumps

When you have a finished crawlspace and you’ve exhausted all other options and keep seeing water, it’s time to invest in a sump pump. A sump pump gives you the peace of mind that in the event that water does get into your crawlspace, you’ll still be protected. Water will drain from the crawlspace into the sump pump which will direct it outside and away from the home. A battery backup sump pump is an invaluable investment as well, as you will never have to worry about the power going out and making your sump pump unable to do its job.

Need Help with a Damp Crawlspace?

Call the professionals at Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry. We are happy to come out and give you an estimate for your damp crawlspace. We’ll give you an idea of the problem, our timeline, and an idea of the possible costs involved in the process. Contact us today for more information or to get your estimate scheduled.

Porch Piers Help Make Graduation Parties Safe

It’s time for graduation parties and barbecues and getting ready for summer weddings. If you haven’t taken a close look at the exterior of your home in awhile, it might be time. Have you noticed that your porch is sinking or tilting forwards? This can be an indication of foundation problems that could stretch to the rest of the home as well. Porch piers are a good way to resolve your porch problems and give your home a beautiful exterior you’re proud to show off.

porch piersWhat are porch piers?

Porch piers are a foundation repair method that uses piers that are driven deep into the ground. When they reach stable soil that isn’t affected by the elements, the weight of your porch is transferred to them. Porch piers add support and stability from those stable soils so that your porch lasts for years to come. Porch piers help level and strengthen your porch and make it safe and beautiful to look at. Porch piers are best for lighter situations, and they shouldn’t be used to support your home’s foundation. Porch piers are a good option when you have a little bit of damage to a porch or deck that needs resolved, but the rest of your home is unaffected.

Foundation Repair Methods for the Rest of the Home

porch piers

When Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry performs our inspection of your home, we will also make sure to check out the rest of your home’s foundation to make sure that it’s not just your porch that’s affected. In many cases, your home will also have sustained foundation damage. Porch piers should not be used on your home, and instead there are a few other options that might be best. The most common of these would be steel push piers, or foundation piers. These piers are also driven deep into the ground, but they are able to carry heavier weights and keep your foundation stable and safe for you and your family.

Prepare Your Home for Graduation

If you’re hosting a graduation party, the time is now to fix up your sloping porch with porch piers. If you’ve let the porch situation go on too long now, let it be a thing of the past. It’s as easy as picking up the phone to get the results that you need to make sure that your home looks beautiful and is stable and safe for your guests.

Contact Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry

When you need your sloping porch repaired, think of Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry. We’re happy to schedule an estimate and get you a quote. Don’t let that sloping porch go on for one more day!

3 Tips to Get Ready for Spring 2019

Spring is almost here, and it’s time for a lot of changes in our environment. Whether it’s more rain, less cold, or more pollen, there are a few things that we can do to get our home and property ready for the spring weather. While many of us take up D.I.Y. projects once warmer weather hits, we might want to ignore bigger projects that our home really needs. However, these projects will save you money in the long run by completing them while the problem is not debilitating.

concrete repair vaFix Up Concrete Cracks

This spring, it’s time to fix up those sidewalk, deck, and driveway cracks you’ve been avoiding. Unfortunately, these “little cracks” can add up to big problems in the future. During the winter, water can get into the cracks and then freeze. This can cause even bigger issues. Additionally, when water gets underneath the slab, it can cause erosion which may lead to empty areas beneath your concrete slabs that are not supported. One great way to resolve this issue, and the issue of cracked or uneven concrete, is with concrete restoration. There’s no need to fully replace a concrete slab when you can simply resolve the issue. Contact Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry for more information on our solutions.

Check on Sump Pumps

If you have a sump pump in your basement or crawl space, you probably rely on it to protect you against any water that happens to make its way into your home. Unfortunately, when sump pumps are not maintained they aren’t going to protect you. This is why it’s so important for regular maintenance of your sump pump. If you’re not sure how to do this, it’s time to call in the professionals. If your sump pump has reached its max lifetime and isn’t doing the job like it used to, it might be time to repair or replace it. A sump pump is an invaluable part of any waterproofing system in homes with recurrent waterproofing problems. Put this on your spring honey-do list!

steel piers, VA foundation crackCheck Your Foundation for Cracks

Over the winter season, the variable weather and temperatures can wreak havoc on your foundation. This means that you could end up coming out the other side with cracks in your foundation. While these may not do much to begin with, over time they can let in water and pests, grow bigger and more dangerous to your foundation, and eventually turn into bowing walls. Bowing walls lead to a very unstable foundation, and they need to be fixed immediately and can cost big bucks. However, when you catch foundation cracks from the beginning, you’re going to save a lot of money. This is why it’s so important to do a regular check of your foundation, inside and out, to make sure that everything is up to par. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, give us a call at Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry and we’ll be happy to assist you.

Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry is Happy to Help This Spring

Whether you need foundation repair help, have waterproofing woes, or you’re interested in concrete restoration, Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry is happy to help. Contact us for more information and get a free estimate. Let’s make this spring 2019 a great one for your foundation.

Soil Can Damage My Home’s Foundation?

This weekend, it will be warming up, but it will also be starting to rain. All weekend we will have showers in Richmond. We’ve also had wet conditions before this, and it might be starting to take a toll on your home. Did you know that water can saturate soil and cause your foundation big problems? Find out how and how to resolve it in this article.

foundation floodingHydrostatic Pressure and Your Home

When the soil under and near a home is not compacted correctly, it can be loose and turn to mud easily. When enough water from rain, flooding, or otherwise gets into the soil, it becomes saturated. This now wet, heavy soil begins to push against the foundation and cause unexpected pressure in those areas. The foundation was not built to withstand this pressure because it’s not supposed to be there. So, eventually the foundation will begin to crack from all the pressure on it. This can lead to wet basements, insects and pests, and even eventually to bowing walls. So, what can you do to resolve the issue?

Why Isn’t Wall Crack Repair the Answer?

It seems like the obvious answer–patch the crack with wall crack repair! However, it’s not as easy as it seems. While the wall crack repair would hold up for a little while, it would only be masking the real issue. This is dangerous for you not only because it can lead to instability and an unsafe home, but it can also lead to a buildup of hidden mold that affects your air quality. This is even more dangerous if new people were to move into the home and not know about the “patch” job on the wall crack. They may assume everything is fine when they actually have an unstable home and a mold problem. The key to resolving a wall crack is to find the root of the problem. Make sure that the real problem is resolved before wall crack repair.

Steel Foundation PierSolutions for Foundation Damage

In most cases, this is a foundation issue. Foundation repair can easily be completed with underpinning products such as push piers, helical piers, or even carbon fiber strips.This will all depend on the severity of the problem and if the walls are already bowing from undue pressure. This is when it’s important to get the opinion of a professional contractor like those at Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry. We will perform a free estimate, look for the root of the problem, and then make a recommendation on our advice for resolving the issue. Plus, we’re happy to answer any questions that you might have!

Contact Reliable Waterproofing and Masonry for Wall Crack Repair

While we won’t JUST repair the wall crack, we’ll make sure to get to the root of the issue so you never have this problem again. Contact us for more information about Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry and about wall crack repair.

Do You Have Waterproofing for the Coming Rain?

The forecast for the next few weeks is filled with rain. While the colder temperatures are finally here for the winter, it doesn’t mean there’s no way to get waterproofing for your crawlspace or basement. Waterproofing at any time of the year is better than none at all. In this article, we’ll discuss a few of the available waterproofing options at Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry and what you may wish to consider.

basement water problemsGet to the Root of the Problem

In many cases, waterproofing companies will come out and say that they are resolving the issue and everything seems fine until the next big thunderstorm. The problem with their method is usually that they are covering up the problem rather than getting to the heart of it. Most waterproofing cases will involve some form of foundation repair because most leaks and water problems are caused by foundation problems.

Waterproofing Solutions

The first step is to perform any foundation repair necessary. In many cases, this will involve foundation underpinning like push piers or helical piers. The steel piers are driven deep into the solid ground where they provide a solid support for your home’s foundation. Any mold problems will also be taken care of before any other work starts. Next, any superficial cracks are sealed. After this, options like vapor barriers, interior drain systems, exterior dimple drain boards, and sump pumps and dehumidifiers.

wet crawl spaceVapor barriers keep water from coming back in by keeping moisture and damp out. They are also great for unfinished crawl spaces. Interior drain pipe systems under the floor are a great option to make sure that any water that does come in is directed to the sump pump immediately. The sump pump is a safeguard that cuts your stress and worry during storms and flooding because you know your basement or crawlspace will be safe. Lastly, exterior dimple boards will direct water away from the home and towards the sump pump, and dehumidifiers will get rid of any extra moisture in the air.

Need Waterproofing in Your Virginia Home? Call Us!

Call Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry today for waterproofing in your Virginia home. We are happy to come out and perform a free estimate and find out what’s going on. Once we have an idea, we’ll be able to recommend the best course of action to resolve it and get to work. For more information, give us a call today!