Category Archives: Foundation Repair

What Effect Does Colder Weather Have on Your Virginia Foundation?

Winter & Colder Weather Foundation Problems

winter foundation cracking virginia

What many Virginia homeowners may not realize is that winter and its colder weather can actually have harmful effects on your home’s foundation. When the weather reaches freezing temperatures, winter foundation problems and damage become more likely. When the temperature is under 40 degrees for three consecutive days or more, the likeliness rises even more. Knowing the signs of foundation damage can help you stay ahead. The most common types of foundation damage include cracking foundation, leaking water, and uneven flooring.

Cold temperatures cause moisture in the soil to freeze, causing frost heave. This creates cracking in concrete and masonry. If these issues are not kept track of, it can lead to further problems throughout your Virginia home, including sticking doors and windows, cracking walls and ceilings, leaning and bowing walls, and much more. If you notice cracking in your basement, around your foundation, or in your home, make sure to contact us here at Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry. We can help your determine the extent of the damage and begin the process of repairing it.

Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry Serves Virginia All Year Round

Winter is not the only time that foundation failure can happen, so knowing the variety of problems that can affect your Virginia home can help you identify these issues early. If you do happen to notice damage around your home, make sure to contact a foundation repair professional as soon as possible. Waiting and letting these problems continue will lead to further damage. This can lead to more expensive, time consuming, and complex repairs. Call Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry today with your winter foundation problems and concerns! Here are just a few of the common foundation problems that may affect your home:

We here at Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry are proud to say that we have a large service area. Our service area covers almost all of Virginia including Richmond, Petersburg, Hopewell, Colonial Heights, Charles City, and more. Contact us today for more information on our services which include foundation repair, waterproofing, concrete repair, masonry repair, and crawl space repair.

Virginia Foundation Crack Repair

virginia foundation crack repair

Taking care of one’s foundation is essential. If you want your home or business to remain structurally intact, then taking care of what’s going on beneath your home is just as important as taking care of what is going on inside of it. Let’s start with the basics. What is a foundation and why should we care about it?

A foundation is the invisible hero of your home. Basically, it supports the entire frame of your property, prevents groundwater from entering your home, and provides additional living space. Unfortunately, a home’s foundation is often overlooked which can lead to other problems such as various foundation cracks, sticking doors and windows, bowing walls, and major water issues.

One of the most common symptoms of foundation issues is foundation cracks. There are all sorts of cracks that can form due to underlying issues happening beneath your home. Honestly, there are various cracks that will show up when foundation issues are concerned. Here are a few foundation cracks that show signs of a sinking or settling structure:

Is Foundation Crack Repair An Easy Fix?

There is no real clear answer to this. Sometimes finding solutions to crack repair can be simple. Other times, when the cracks are due to more severe problems, there is more work to be done. Either way, this is a task that should be looked at by a professional. Many times, a noticeable floor or slab crack is due to soil erosion below your home which is one of the leading causes of a sinking foundation. This type of foundation crack repair may need some more intrusive work such as installing helical piles or steel piers.

At Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry, we understand that foundation problems can turn life upside down. We want to help with this by giving prospective clients a free quote. Our team has over 30 years of experience and we believe in quality workmanship and reliable service. Check out our Virginia foundation crack repair today!

Have Sticking Windows & Doors?

Sticking windows and sticking doors are all too common these days. Sometimes these issues are due to poor mud and poor tape jobs, but another well-known cause is foundation problems. How do you know the difference? Typically, if the cracks above and around windows and doors have been repaired but continue to re-open, you probably have a sinking foundation on your hands.

sticking doors

One way to check to see if a settling or sinking foundation may be the culprit of your sticking windows and doors is to use a leveler. Basically, set a level on a window frame or door frame, and check out how unlevel the structure is. If it seems too unlevel, it is best to contact a foundation specialist in order to ensure there are not larger issues occurring under your home’s structure.

What If My Windows Are Just Old?

Sometimes, having old windows and doors can be a problem. After all, years of moisture caused by high humidity will surely cause maintenance issues. In addition, after high levels of moisture and years of use, internal parts of doors and windows can begin to wear down. Again, checking to see how level your doors and windows have become, can often show if the problem is due to the foundation. And most importantly, calling a foundation expert is really the simplest way to find out what is really going on with your sticking windows and sticking doors.

Virginia is known for its older homes, so it is important to understand the difference between just any old window or door, and more serious foundation issues. If you believe you do have more severe foundation issues, try not to avoid them. Avoiding foundation issues is not a good idea because it can lead to increasing issues such as more severe cracks, leaky water, stair-step cracks, and bowing walls.

Contact A Professional

Contacting a professional is vital. At Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry, our 30 years of experience and timely service is one that you can rely on. Time and time again, we provide a professional and friendly service that is backed by quality workmanship. Please call 804-674-0273 to get a free estimate today!

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 in Your Virginia home 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.

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.

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.