Category Archives: Foundation Repair

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

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 the soil that is stable and then connected to the home via a steel plate. Once transferred, the weight of the home rests on the piers and gradually returns to a stable and level position. These types 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, but we’ll also 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.

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 a while, it might be time. Have you noticed that your porch is sinking or tilting forward? 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 to be 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 can 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!

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 the 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 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.

What to Do if You Have a Leaning Chimney

It’s finally the winter and holiday season, and many of us are taking stock of our home before guests arrive for Thanksgiving. We’re cleaning, rearranging, and getting ready for family, friends, children, and others who may be staying over. While the inside of the home is important, the outside of your home may be posing an unexpected liability for your holiday gatherings. When was the last time that you looked at your chimney? If it has been a while, it’s time to give it a once over. If you notice that it is leaning, we have a few tips about what to do.

chimneyHow Does a Leaning Chimney Happen?

There a few main ways that a leaning chimney can start. One of these is related to the way that the ground was prepared. If it was not properly compacted before the chimney footing and chimney was placed on it, then the ground is loose and can shift. This is the perfect setting for a leaning chimney. In this same vein, if the footing is too small or too shallow in the ground, it does not provide a good base for the chimney or it is not able to resist changing soils because it is not deep enough. That’s why it’s so important to have a contractor who knows what they’re doing when they place your chimney. Lastly, you may have changes to your chimney that are caused by settlement and changes in your soil. Settlement can cause cracks, leaks, and leaning chimneys. The most important thing to remember about leaning chimneys is that they are not isolated, and they could indicate that the rest of your foundation is also experiencing problems that need to be addressed.

Signs of a Leaning Chimney Problem

If you don’t specifically see a leaning chimney, or you’re not sure if it’s leaning, you can also look for some other signs around the home and foundation that could indicate foundation failure and a leaning chimney. If you are seeing cracks, bowing walls, sticking doors and windows, leaks in the foundation, or other problems like this, you may have foundation repair that needs to be done. Additionally, if your chimney is pulling away from the home or you can see it visibly, you can be sure that you are having problems with a leaning chimney. When you see these issues, don’t wait–call Reliable Waterproofing and Masonry. Never leave a foundation repair problem, it will not get better, only worse.

ChimneyLeaning Chimney Solutions

Crack repair is probably not the answer in this situation! In most cases, crack repair is not going to resolve the actual underlying problem. The first thing to do is call the professionals at Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry. We are happy to perform a free estimate and find out what’s going on with your leaning chimney. We give you an idea of what we would do to resolve the issue, and how much it could cost. In many cases, the footer needs to be stabilized, and this will mean that we will use underpinning to do so. There are a few different methods, but most commonly piers are used to stabilize. Every case is unique, and we will talk with you about your home. Regain stability and safety in your home before the holidays.

Call Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry for All Leaning Chimney Problems

If you’re having problems with a leaning chimney or suspected foundation problems, it’s time to call Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry. Get scheduled for a free estimate, and we’ll get you back on the road to safety and stability just in time for the holiday season. Contact us today for more information.

Should You Buy a Home Needing Foundation Crack Repair?

When you’re on the journey of buying a new home, there are many things that you may be looking for. The size of the rooms, the yard, the fixtures and appliances in the kitchen, and the location may all be factors on the list of things you want. When you have your inspection, you may get some bad news–the home needs foundation crack repair. Now you have to make a decision: is it still worth it to buy a home that needs foundation crack repair? In this article, we will examine the pros and cons of buying a house that needs foundation crack repair.

Is the Problem Easy to Resolve?

foundation repairThis question should not be answered by you. You should hire a professional inspector who has experience diagnosing structural issues and can provide you with an estimate that will give you leveraging ability in negotiations with the current homeowner if you decide to try to buy the home. Make sure that you are told what the problem is, how it can be fixed, and how much that will cost you.

Do not try to diagnose the problem yourself or think that you can resolve it with a crack repair kit. In most cases, foundation crack repair is not a DIY job because the crack is a symptom of the problem which usually leads to foundation repair. Following this, the cracks are a cosmetic problem that will be resolved. However, when you don’t get to the root of the problem, the problem will continue. There are only a few cases where a foundation is nothing to worry about, and your inspector will tell you when this happens.

Consider the Financial Problems

foundation crack repairOne thing that you should consider when deciding if it’s worth it to buy a home with foundation crack repair is that some banks will not give you a loan for a home with documented foundation repair issues. This is almost always what happens with government-based loan systems. The lender wants to protect themselves in this situation. When you buy a home with foundation damage, it’s expected that you will also be fixing that damage. That can cost a lot of money! The lender just wants to protect themselves and make sure that they will get their money back.

If you do end up deciding to buy a home needing foundation crack repair, make sure that you check with your bank to make sure that you will be allowed to get a loan. Additionally, make sure that there are no penalties that come with this. You could have a higher interest rate or down payment when you buy a home with structural damage.

Will Foundation Crack Repair Disrupt Your Life?

Think about it. You’re buying a new home for you, and possibly your family as well, and you are already going to be stressed. Is it worth to you to have the added stress of a foundation repair on top of this? Not knowing if your home is going to cost you a lot of money, not be stable, or let in water the first time it rains can be a big stressor. Are you ready to take this on at the same time that you are moving to a new place, getting adjusted, and having to figure all of that out? If so, and you’ve considered all of the other factors, you can reasonably buy the home. If not, this may well be the deciding factor for you.

If you need a home inspection before you buy, call Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry. We’re happy to work with you to get your new home ready for you to live safely and comfortably in. If you have more questions about foundation repair methods or our process, give us a call!

Do You Need Wall Crack Repair? Find Out!

Have you looked around your home lately and noticed that there are cracks in the walls? Are they hairline cracks? Spiderwebs? Large cracks with the paint chipping off around it? Cracks with water damage? The direction of the crack, whether it’s small or large, and lots of other factors can all determine what the real issue is behind the crack. This is why wall crack repair is more of a detective problem than a D.I.Y. fix where you cover up the crack and move on. A normal amount of settling and slight cracking in a home is expected, but when it becomes an issue where the crack gets larger and larger or lets in water, pests, or other issues action needs to be taken.

Use Detective Work to Figure Out if a Crack is Serious

The first thing that you should do when looking at a crack that you’ve either just found or found a while ago and didn’t worry too much about it is to see if it’s horizontal, vertical, or another direction. Even though it’s hard to believe, the direction of the crack and its placement could tell you a lot about what the underlying issue is behind the wall. If you’re on the first or second floor of your home and you see these cracks, these are the issues that could be causing them.

Vertical Crack

These are usually due to the settlement of the home. When they become a worry is if they continue to expand or grow and become wider. Normal settlement of a home is expected by builders, but some settlement can be dangerous to the structural integrity of your home.

Horizontal Crack

Horizontal cracks are usually caused by bowing walls. Think about the wall being pushed inwards in one spot, and you can imagine what this sort of crack looks like. This is a very serious issue, and it can cause instability and unsafe living conditions if left unchecked.

Diagonal Crack

These are usually due to settlement as well, and they can mean that one area is sinking quicker than another and causing the cracking. This is an issue that needs resolving as soon as possible.

Spiderweb Crack

A faint, spiderweb crack usually means that the home is old and is showing its age. This one may seem like nothing to worry about and is one of the less worrying cracks to see, but it’s still important to recognize that the home is getting older and needs the care to make sure that it continues to be a happy and comfortable place to live.

Stair Step Crack

These cracks are also due to settlement, but if they’re in your basement they could mean waterproofing troubles as well. Ask your contractor about this possibility as well.

These are just some types of cracks, but it’s interesting to see that the position and way they’re angled can determine what type of foundation issue that you are experiencing so accurately. Next, let’s look at how to find out if a crack is getting larger over time.

How to Monitor a Wall Crack

You will need a few supplies: tape, pencil, ruler, a wall crack, and time. Place a piece of tape on either side of the crack that you would like to monitor for movement. If it is a larger crack, place another set near the top and bottom of the crack as well. Take a ruler and draw a straight line across the two pieces of tape, in line with each other. Next, wait. Check back every day and see if there have been any changes. The pencil lines will not be perfectly beside each other anymore if the wall crack has widened. At this point, it’s very important to call a foundation repair contractor to help you with the issue because there are issues of structural integrity at stake.

So, You Need Wall Crack Repair–What are the Options?

antique-2149780_1920-minWhat solutions that are best for your specific situation will depend on just that–what exact problem that you’re having. If you’re having foundation problems involving settlement, there may be underpinning products used like helical or push piers. If you have bowing walls, you might need products like wall anchors or carbon fiber strips to secure the structure. Each solution will depend greatly on what is happening in your unique home.

However, it’s important to note that Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry uses Earth Contact Products in our projects. They are a trusted industry leader that goes above and beyond standards to bring you the best quality product that they can. We use these trusted products and bring that quality and workmanship along to you. We not only want you to have the issue resolved, but we also don’t want it to return! This is why we put care and thoughtfulness into every single project that we undertake.

If you need wall crack repair, it’s time to call Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry and set up a free estimate. We are happy to answer any questions that you may have, and we want to get you started on track to a safe, comfortable, and happy home once more. Wall crack repair can seem like a D.I.Y. job, but that’s only if you want the cracks to come back and the issue to worsen. Give us a call today and we’ll get your home back to how it should be!

Sticking Door Repair: Is It Really the Door?

When you leave for work in the morning, do you notice that the doors and windows are sticking and will not open right? You might wonder what’s wrong. Is it the wood expanding? It might be. However, it might be a foundation problem that is causing the door or window to be pushed up higher than it should be, which makes it “stick” when you go to open or close it. It might be time to consider sticking door repair or sticking window repair.

sticking window repairWhat are the symptoms of a sticking window or sticking door?

The main symptoms you will see with this problem are that the door or window appears to be difficult to open or close. You may also notice that the door does not fit within the frame perfectly, or hits on the top. The frame may also be raised below it or pulling away from the sub-floor. With windows, this issue may present as the window not being able to shut all the way or not fitting correctly in its frame. it’s also prudent to look for cracks around the wall by the door or window. You can also take a look at your foundation in the area below the problem window or door. However, if you don’t feel comfortable doing so–always feel free to give us a call and we will visit your property to inspect your property for you.

What causes sticking doors and windows in spring?

Over the winter months, the ground will freeze and thaw continually. It’s a natural process, but it can wreak some havoc on your foundation if it’s not prepared. Water will gather in the soil beside the foundation and freeze. It will then push against the foundation in unusual ways which cause cracks and buckling. It can also go beneath the foundation and raise and lower it, with the freezing and thawing. This is called frost heave, and it can cause your windows and doors to stick.

sticking window repairWhat to do for sticking door repair? Sticking window repair?

The issue may not necessarily be the sticking door or window. Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry will first check your foundation to see if there are any underlying problems. If there aren’t, we can move on to correcting what may be an issue with the sub-floor or the door itself.

If there is a foundation issue, several options are depending on what the issue is. If there are cracks in the wall, a bowing wall, or other issues, there will be different solutions to each. Most of these will involve foundation underpinning or carbon fiber strips to support the wall. The best news is that a problem which could’ve caused safety and stability concerned was addressed and your home will be safe once more.

Give Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry a call today to find out what options you have for sticking door repair or sticking window repair. We are happy to provide a free estimate and get your home back to being safe and comfortable again.

Check Your Home for Foundation Cracks Before Spring

Now that the winter season is over, it’s time to take stock of your home and prepare it for spring. You can do spring cleaning, take a walk around the perimeter of your home and notice any changes, but you can also check your basement or crawl space for foundation cracks. This step may be the most important in your spring home preparation because it could save you from crawl space or basement water damage or even from major foundation damage that will cost a lot of time and money to replace.

crack in cement foundation crack virginiaTypes of Foundation Cracks

Let’s say that you’ve spotted a crack in the foundation of your home, and your heart is beating a little faster because this might cost a lot of money you may not have. First, take a deep breath! Foundation cracks do not always spell trouble. Some foundation cracks are merely due to the normal settling that a foundation does after initial construction. These are usually no larger than the width of the edge of a penny and will not continue to widen or grow. However, there are certain foundation cracks, like ones that are wide, extending from the top to the bottom of the wall, or continue to grow, which can spell trouble for your foundation. There’s also a simple way to monitor these types of foundation cracks.

How to Monitor Foundation Cracks

All you need is a roll of masking or painters tape, a pencil, a ruler, and patience. Put a piece of tape on either side of the crack and use the ruler to draw a line in the same spot on both (across). Now all you need to do is check back regularly and see if the lines have moved. If they have moved, there may be a bigger problem. The best course of action is to call a certified professional, like Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry, to have the problem looked at. Foundation cracks are nothing to wait on–they can make your home unsafe if left unchecked!

Why Check Before Spring?

Even under the best of circumstances, foundation cracks should not be ignored. These cracks can cause unsafe conditions in your home, even leading to the eventual collapse of the foundation. While this is a disaster scenario, it could happen if foundation cracks are ignored. Other more likely issues that come with foundation cracks are water seeping in through the cracks, insect problems, and unsightly walls.

steel piers, VA foundation crackFoundation Crack Solutions

Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry uses underpinning products like helical piers and steel push piers. These will help get your foundation back to its original level and structurally sound again. These piers are pushed into the ground through the unstable, shifting soil until they reach a solid soil layer. Then the entire structure is lifted onto these piers. In some cases, as with bowing walls, carbon fiber repair, a less invasive option, can be used to repair inside the home. This can be easily painted over and will be almost invisible.

Our foundation repair products are manufactured by Earth Contact Products, a respected leader in the industry. We have over 30 years of experience in masonry, waterproofing and foundation repair at Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry. With our experience and ECP’s products, you can be assured that your foundation repair will last for many years to come. Contact us for more information and to get started on foundation crack repair in your Virginia home.

Best Time to Do Waterproofing in VA

Best Time for Basement Waterproofing and Foundation Repair

Best Time to Do Waterproofing, Waterproofing in VA, Basement Waterproofing in VA, Foundation Repair in RichmondNow that Spring is almost here with rain and thawing snow, many homeowners in Richmond and other parts of Virginia are thinking about whether their basements will remain dry. They may ask the following questions: When is the best time to waterproof a basement? Does it make a difference what the weather is? This article will answer some of those questions about the best time to do waterproofing and foundation repair.

Does weather affect the best time to do waterproofing?

Weather is an important consideration when it comes to basement waterproofing and foundation repairs. Some activities, like repairing basement cracks, can be done at any time of the year but are best done when it’s not raining. Others, like excavating foundation walls, should not be done during cold winter months.

How does rain affect waterproofing activities?

Crack Repair

It depends on what materials you are using whether or not you can repair a crack that is actively leaking. If you plan to inject high-pressure polyurethane into a crack, it doesn’t make a difference because the polyurethane is waterproof and dries quickly. On the other hand, if you plan to use epoxy in the crack, it may leak through the crack and allow water to reenter.

Foundation Excavation

It is never a good idea to excavate a foundation while the soil is wet or it is raining for the following reasons:

  • It is extremely messy!
  • Working with wet clay is like working with quicksand and is very inefficient. For the same reason, it represents a higher risk for workers.
  • Working with wet sandy soil makes it more likely to cause later cave-ins.
  • Both water and solvent-based foundation coatings simply don’t adhere to wet foundation walls.

How does cold weather affect waterproofing activities?

Crack Repair

If you are working indoors, cold weather has little effect on crack repair. It all depends on the type of material you are using.

  • Polyurethane – Winter is the best time to do polyurethane injection work, especially in parking garages and structures that get extremely cold. Concrete shrinks during the winter, therefore opening gaps to their maximum width, so the polyurethane will be flexible enough to fill the gap year-round. Fluid polyurethane resin is thicker when cold and takes longer to cure during winter weather.
  • Epoxy – Epoxy crack injection is also feasible during winter months. Cold weather thickens the epoxy resin also. At 77 resin also. At 77°, the epoxy resin cures in 3-5 hours; during the winter months, it takes longer.

Foundation Excavation and Waterproofing

Winter is not the best time to perform foundation excavation and exterior waterproofing for the following reasons:

  • While it is possible to coat a foundation with a solvent-based product, water-based coatings should never be used in cold weather.
  • Because solvent-based coatings may require 48 hours to cure, it would cause your foundation to be exposed to freezing temperatures and frost for several days which may result in foundation heaving and damage.
  • Solvent-based foundation coatings have a terrible odor, and with your windows closed, the smell will penetrate your home for at least a week.
  • Freeze and thaw cycles increase the likelihood of soil cave-ins which are very dangerous and would require more time to pile and replace the soil into the foundation.

At Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry, we work year-round and can take care of all of your foundation crack repair and excavation repair needs.  We specialize in masonry repair. Contact us today!