Rain. 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.
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.
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.
Fix 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!
Check 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.
When we look at homes made of brick and stone, we tend to think of them as some of the most sturdy and durable homes built. However, many times that isn’t necessarily the case based on who your contractor was and what kind of job they did, the porosity of the brick and mortar, and other contributing factors. It’s important to protect your Virginia masonry from moisture. This will protect your home and your family from structural problems or from problems with dangerous mold and moisture.
How Does Water Get In?
There are a few ways that water can get in to your masonry. The first way is through the joints. What are joints? Joints are the spaces in between the bricks. They are filled with mortar to make sure that the bricks will stick together and stay stable. They also fill the cracks in between the bricks so that other things, like water and critters, don’t get into the home. However, they are some of the most porous parts of the masonry. They become saturated with water and that lets the water in. This can not only cause moisture problems, but it will cause problems with your brick wall’s stability.
The next way water can easily get in walls is if there are cracks in your masonry. Cracks in the masonry are an easy entrance point for not only water and moisture, but also insects and other unwanted entities. Water, especially heavy storms and wind, hits the side of the home and will drain into the first available entrance–the masonry crack. Masonry cracks can also be an indication that there is a bigger problem at play: foundation issues. Foundation issues should be resolved as soon as possible because the longer that you leave them the more expensive they become.
Additionally, in brick walls which are brick veneer as opposed to full brick structures, if the construction was poor there may be gaps between the flashing and the wall. This is a fantastic entry point for water, but not a good problem for you to have. Water will then be inside of the wall and have no place to evaporate or get out if proper waterproofing and drainage measures haven’t been taken. In this scenario, there could be major waterproofing problems.
What Happens Once It’s In? How Can It Be Prevented?
When water gets in, it begins to break down the joints and this can cause severe damage over time. Additionally, when water does get in, it will begin to cause mold. Mold, especially black mold, can be dangerous and even deadly. If you spot mold in your home, you need to resolve it immediately. Plus, water doesn’t only cause problems with mold and moisture, it can also cause problems with your home’s foundation.
If you see cracks in your masonry, it’s time to call a foundation repair professional like those at Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry. Foundation repair is never a D.I.Y. job, and it will only get worse and more expensive the longer that you leave it. Plus, your home will be open to more water coming in through masonry cracks and causing bigger problems. It’s best to get it fixed as early as you can.
Once you have made sure all foundation issues are resolved (and cracks sealed with that), the next step is to make sure that you have the proper waterproofing including flashing on your roof. Flashing is used to direct water off the roof and away from the side of the home. In many homes, the water runs off the roof and directly onto the side of the home which causes saturation of the porous bricks. Flashing allows the water to be pushed away and not touch the side of the home. Another important thing to do is brick re-pointing. This should be done every so often on your masonry to make sure that your mortar is still holding up and providing the strength and stability that your brick veneer needs.
Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry Are Your Moisture Experts
Give us a call today to discuss any questions and to get more information on your specific situation. We are happy to schedule a free estimate, and get to work on resolving your masonry waterproofing problems. Give us a call today to get started!
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?
This 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
One 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!
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 actually 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 there is some settlement that 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 in fact 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?
What 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, we 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!
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.
What are 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 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 can come 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.
What 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, there are several options 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.
Have you been struggling with waterproofing problems for years on end now? It doesn’t seem to matter what you do, the water just keeps coming back? Have you tried crawl space encapsulation methods only for them to fail? If your outlook is glum for basement waterproofing, it’s time to look at the full waterproofing package: interior drainage and exterior drainage. A complete package of waterproofing on the interior and exterior along with an inspection of your foundation for cracks will provide you with peace of mind and a dry basement.
Before anything else, you need to get your foundation inspected for any cracks or damage that may be the root cause of your water problems. These cracks can let in water, moisture, and even pests. They can also cause instability in your foundation which could lead to eventual bowing walls and collapse. Your foundation is never something to mess around with or try DIY solutions–you should always call a professional, like Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry, for their expert advice and assistance. Fixing foundation cracks may fix all of your problems. Always have your foundation inspected first thing if you have persistent waterproofing problems.
Interior Drainage and Waterproofing
Interior waterproofing is probably the most familiar type of waterproofing for most people because that’s usually the first option. A sump pump, crawl space encapsulation, etc. These are all methods that can be used for interior waterproofing in your home. Crawl space encapsulation is one of the best methods to keep out water and moisture because there is a layer between your home and the soil. However, if the land your home is sitting on is not graded correctly, there might be problems with water pooling in lower areas of your basement or crawl space. We can work with this by correcting the grading issue and installing a sump pump system for added security and assurance that if any water does enter your basement or crawl space, you will not have to deal with it.
Interior waterproofing is necessary, in most all cases, to make sure that no water is in your basement or crawl space, but many waterproofing companies won’t go the extra mile to assure you that your waterproofing woes are behind you. Interior drainage systems, like sump pumps, are not waterproofing. They are a security system in case water does end up entering your basement through some means (usually cracks in the walls). Exterior drainage systems need to be considered as well when you have persistent waterproofing problems.
Exterior Drainage Systems
Exterior drainage systems can include grading the yard so that soil is higher near the home and lower away from the home. This assures that water that drains from gutters, which should have downspouts at least five feet away from the side of the home, and other sources will not cause water to soak into the soil directly above or beside your foundation. This water can cause hydrostatic pressure on the side of the foundation or it can enter through any cracks that you may have. Neither of these is a good option for your basement or crawl space.
Another option is a drain system in your yard. If your yard is persistently collecting water and becoming a swamp every time it rains, there are some steps that you can take to prevent it and to prevent it from affecting your foundation. We can advise you on the best drainage system for your yard that will be most effective at taking water away from your home and redirecting it to other areas so that your yard and your foundation are not constantly covered in water.
Dual Approach Waterproofing Outcomes
This type of dual waterproofing and drainage system approach, along with a prior inspection and fix of any foundation problems, will assure you that your water problems are most likely far behind you. While there can be extenuating circumstances, in most all cases, this dual approach will help you finally get rid of the worry and frustration that comes with water in the basement or crawl space. Give us a call today to get started!
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.
Types 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, extend from the top to the bottom of the wall, or continue to grow, that 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 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.
Foundation 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.
It seems like taking care of your home is a never-ending process, but it is very important that you have your home ready for the winter months. It’s been a pretty mild summer and fall, but we all know that can change in the blink of an eye. Winter can be long with harsh temperatures, big snowfalls, and other miserable weather and it’s time to get to 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 spigot that is frost-proof. 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.
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.
Spend a Little, Save a Lot
Foundation repairs can be expensive, so take some time and effort to protect your home now. 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.
For many places around the country–including Richmond, Virginia–summer brings storms. If your home or business has even small wall cracks, you may experience leakage from the rain. Larger wall cracks could cause flooding in and around your basement. This can ruin your possessions and devalue your home. If you are not sure if your basement has wall cracks, there are other signs you can look for such as mold and mildew, water stains, wood rot, leakage, and crumbling concrete or brick. Keep an eye out for these signs of wall cracks and water damage.
Wall Crack Solutions for Richmond, VA Homes
If you notices these signs of wall cracks, you may want to consider wall crack repair. We here at Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry offer a variety of foundation repair and waterproofing services, including wall crack repair. This service will help seal out water and prevent cracks from widening. We also offer sump pump installation and repair as well as battery backup sump pump installation. Sump pumps divert excess water away from your home and act as an extra defense against water damage for your Richmond, Virginia home or business.
Contact Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry for more information on the services we offer, such as foundation repair, waterproofing, crawl space repair, masonry services, brick re-pointing, and concrete restoration. Our service area covers most of Virginia, so if you live in Virginia and are in need of the services mentioned above, make sure to give us a call! We want to help you have peace of mind when it comes to your home or business and its foundation. Contact us today!