Category Archives: Uncategorized

Hurricane Season in Virginia

Waterproofing and Prevention

It’s peak hurricane season in Virginia again and homeowners need to make sure to take steps to protect their property.  The Atlantic Hurricane season begins in June and ends at the end of November with the peak occurring from mid August to late October.

Obviously coastal communities are on high alert for hurricanes, but the impacts can be felt significantly inland.  The high winds seen during a hurricane alone are scary to watch, but there are also the threats of tornadoes and torrential rainfall which can trigger flooding and landslides far from the coast. Preventing water damage in and around your home has never been more important. With the increase of storm damage every year, it is in your best interest to protect your most important investments: your home and your business. At Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry, we would like to help you with prevention if possible

At Reliable Waterproofing and Masonry, we solve basement water problems. Furthermore, our professional team uses the highest quality of waterproofing systems to prevent future issues. Whether you are in need of basement waterproofing, crawlspace solutions, or exterior drainage, we can find solutions. Our interior basement solutions include sump pumps, channel drains, and polyurethane injection remedies. Phone or Contact Us today so we can give you a free estimate.There are many resources available online to assist you in preparing for extreme weather events in Virginia.

Click here for hurricane preparation tips and emergency numbers https://www.vaemergency.gov/threats/hurricanes/

https://www.noaa.gov/strengthen-your-home-hurricane-preparedness

Contact Reliable Waterproofing and Masonry for a free estimate to protect your home.

https://www.masonryspecialistva.com/

3 Tips to Get Ready for Spring 2022

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 needs. However, these projects will save you money in the long run by completing them while the problem is not debilitating.

concrete repair vaFix Up Concrete Cracks

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

Check on Sump Pumps

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

steel piers, VA foundation crackCheck Your Foundation for Cracks

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

Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry is Happy to Help This Spring

Whether you need foundation repair help, have waterproofing woes, or you’re interested in concrete restoration, Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry is happy to help. Contact us for more information and get a free estimate. Let’s make this spring 2022 a great one for your foundation.

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.

Have Water In Crawlspace after Heavy Rain?

Having a damp or wet crawlspace is never a good thing, especially after heavy rain. After all, water in a crawlspace can only lead to more severe issues if the problem is not taken care of in a timely manner. For instance, water in a crawlspace can cause mold and mildew issues, a decrease in air quality, structural crack issues, leaning walls, and other foundation-related issues. Understanding what solutions are available when water seeps into your crawlspace is very important to the overall structure of your home.

waterproofing in Virginia with sump pump installation and red Virginia map

Crawlspace Water Solutions

Let’s start with the bad news: water in a crawlspace. This is an annoyance, there is no way to get around this. However, the good news is that there are plenty of solutions available to you in Virginia. For instance, installing a quality sump pump and an efficient sump pit goes a long way when trying to prevent a wet basement or crawlspace. In addition, there are various interior and exterior drainage systems that professionals can install to prevent further water issues.

Other vital services include controlling poor moisture control which can be remedied with crawlspace encapsulation. This process involves inserting vapor barriers that keep heavy-duty moisture out of your space. Additionally, encapsulation includes sealing vents, and other porous structures, and insulating walls to reduce moisture issues. However, it is important to make sure the crawl space is sealable before starting the process. This is why it is vital to contact an experienced contractor. Many times, installing a home de-humidifier in the crawlspace is the final element to preventing water in your crawlspace. Please discuss these issues with your trusted waterproofing expert. They are there to help!

In Virginia? Get A Free Estimate

At Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry, we service much of Virginia, parts of North Carolina, Maryland, and Delaware. Check out our service area map. Ultimately, our waterproofing services include about a 100-mile radius around Richmond, Virginia. Please reach out to us today for a free estimate on all waterproofing problems and inquiries. Call us at 804-674-0273.

Virginia waterproofing service area map
Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry Service Area

Noticing Pooling Water?

noticing pooling water with logo and puddle

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

Symptoms of Poor Drainage

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

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

Drainage Solutions

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

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

Call the Experts

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

Protect Your Home This Winter

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

Winterizing: Take Care of the Outside

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

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

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

Winterizing: Take Care of the Inside

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

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

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

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

House in Winter

Spend a Little, Save a Lot

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

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

How Does Water Damage Brick Mortar?

Mortar between bricks is susceptible to damage from water. Over time, rain or rising damp can erode the mortar. Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry offers repointing expertise to keep your brick facade standing strong.

Wall of bricks with the mortar in need of repointing.
Years of rain or rising damp can erode the mortar between your brickwork.

Bricks are a long-lasting material, but the external-facing mortar between the bricks can be worn down over time. One of the mortar’s biggest foes is water.

Water combined with time is a forceful element. Given centuries, the water of the Colorado River cut a path through rock to form the Grand Canyon. Likewise, rainwater can cut its path through your home’s brickwork.

When rain beats against your brickwork or when raindrops hit the ground or another part of your home and splashes back, the water soaks into your mortar.

Equally, if your home is situated in a damp or soggy area, moisture from the ground can seep up from below.

No matter how moisture gets to your mortar initially, it causes the same damage when it’s there. Mortar is created with a mixture of sand and cement. Excess moisture causes the mortar joints to crack.

Eventually, the cracked mortar may start falling away from your home, which could eventually jeopardize the stability of your house. 

In addition the same water that damaged your mortar can find its way into your house, causing mold and mildew issues, which can lead to health concerns.

The solution is brick repointing. But what does that mean?

What is brick repointing?

Brick repointing is the process of removing damaged mortar joints and replacing the mortar.

The process

  1. Old brick mortar is removed to a depth of equal to or slightly more than the width of the joint.
  1. Depending upon the depth of the joint, one or two passes will be made with the new mortar. (The new mortar is made up to match the existing color of your mortar.) 
  1. The new mortar takes about a day to set up and cure. We take care to ensure the joint profile is rectangular as the new mortar used needs ample chance to bond with the existing masonry.

Brick repointing is a skilled technique and not something a home do-it-yourselfer should attempt.

At Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry, our expert masons have the knowledge and know-how to professionally repoint your brickwork.

Call Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry today for more details.

Yikes! My Basement has Sprung a Leak

Plentiful spring rain leads to concerned homeowners.

Rain. We’ve seen plenty of it in our area this Spring. We’ve also had lots of calls from homeowners concerned because they have noticed a problem. 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 that they need to have 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.

leaky corner

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 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. Contact Reliable Waterproofing and Masonry, a professional basement waterproofing company, for an expert analysis.

Protect Your Virginia Masonry from Moisture

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 problems with dangerous mold and moisture.

How Does Water Get In?

spalling brick virginiaThere are a few ways that water can get into your masonry. The first way is through the joints. What are joints? Joints are the spaces 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 veneers 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?

masonry repairWhen 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!

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!