Tag Archives: masonry 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.

Do I Need A Masonry Expert?

hiring a masonry expert

To put it simply, yes. Because masonry consists of building structures from individual units (stone, brick, concrete block, etc.), the process of binding these materials can get complicated. Constructing walls, buildings, steps, and other structures is a one-of-a-kind art. In addition, bigger jobs require heavy equipment, specialized tools, and a specific set of skills that takes years of experience. A masonry expert understands what it takes.

Expertise

Committing to a masonry project-both big and small- can be overwhelming. There are a lot of moving parts to manage. Oftentimes, there are several layers to masonry work, and the masonry expert understands that every step is crucial. Hiring a masonry contractor ensures that every part of the job is managed accordingly. From the vehicles to the equipment, to scheduling and planning, your contractor takes charge which means less worry for the homeowner. Ultimately, you are paying for the expertise and experience of the contractor.

Efficient Work

Contacting a masonry expert means avoiding unnecessary damage. At times, there are smaller masonry repairs that may seem simple to repair on your own, but without the proper knowledge, these simple repairs end up leading to more severe problems. Then immediate repair is needed. By hiring a professional, you will be spared unnecessary expenses and unnecessary time. Also, a competent contractor will finish the job in a timely manner and give you the results you deserve.

Licenses & Insurance

masonry expert worry free zone

One of the best advantages of reaching out to your Virginia Masonry Expert is compliance control. A legitimate contractor will assume liability and potential damages. In other words, they will hold proper licenses and be insured as a company. This means they are responsible for everything that happens. This gives the customer a worry-free experience as he or she will be handing over compliance obligations to the expert.

Contact Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry Today For All Of Your Foundation Needs In Virginia. We Service Most Of Virginia Proper.

5 Reasons To Contact A Masonry and Brick Repair Expert

masonry repair contractor

Because brick, stone, and concrete are prone to cracking and chipping, repairs are necessary over time. When considering masonry repairs, it is important to connect with the right masonry and brick repair expert in Virginia who can determine the problem that needs fixing in your home or business. Typically, masonry repairs should be addressed quickly to avoid dangers to both the structure itself and the entire building.

#1 Mortar Deterioration

Over time, the mortar between your bricks starts to buckle and disintegrate. If gone unchecked for too long, this can cause serious problems such as falling brick. Without a buffer between bricks, they begin to rub against each other causing them to loosen. This leads to damage and warping and can lead to unnecessary repair costs.

#2 Brick Erosion

When water moisture enters a building through brick and mortar, it begins to evaporate. Over time, because of this water infiltration, the brick and mortar naturally expands and contracts. This then leads to brick erosion which is essentially the crumbling of the mortar.

#3 Bowed Brick

Ignoring bowing brick is not a good idea. In fact, if the bowed wall is expanded more than 2 inches, this is considered serious damage. Because brick expands over time, it is important to keep up with maintenance and repairs. Typically, bowed brick begins towards the middle of a wall. However, if you start to notice that the damage has increased beyond the middle of the wall, call a masonry and brick repair expert straight away.

#4 Cracked Brick

Cracked brick may not be as troublesome as bowed bricks; however, it can lead to water seepage during heavy rains, which will lead to bulging bricks and possibly lead to damaging the inner wall. Even though masonry cracks are common, they are a fairly simple problem to fix. With the right masonry contractor, they should have it fixed in no time. Want to hear some more good news? These fixes are typically less expensive compared to other masonry issues.

#5 Efflorescence & Staining

efflorescence and staining brick wall

Although perhaps not as dangerous for the homeowner or business owner, any type of staining can take away from the natural beauty of your structure. For instance, efflorescence is the presence of soluble salts rising through concrete or bricks. Over time, this takes away from the natural stone’s appearance. This is very common due to natural causes such as low temperatures, condensation, rain, dew, and other moist conditions. Unfortunately, if left untreated, a professional mason must come out and use special chemicals to rid the masonry of this staining.

Contact Your Masonry and Brick Repair Expert Today

Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry is Virginia’s quality masonry repair business. We service within a 100-mile radius around Richmond, Virginia. If you need assistance with any masonry problems, please phone us today at 804-674-02734 or fill out a free estimate contact form.

Masonry In Northern Virginia

Richmond, Virginia with water bridge leading into the city

At Reliable Waterproofing and Masonry, we take great pride in providing Virginians the service they deserve. Our service area can cover all of your masonry needs in northern Virginia. Our reliable team provides these essential services: foundation repairwaterproofing, masonry, brick repointing, and concrete restoration. Moreover, we roughly cover a 100-mile radius around Richmond, VA.

Masonry is a concept that is typically associated with a brick and mortar business. It is thought of as an original brick laying profession that our forefathers established when they first crossed the Atlantic to improve the livelihoods of their families and communities. Here, at Reliable Waterproofing and Masonry, we are proud of the dependable services we provide to all of our Virginian people.

commong brick stone masonry problems virginia

In fact, our masonry repair services provide essential expertise to solve all of your masonry needs. Our reliable team can repair and consult on the following: bricklaying, cinder block application, block foundations, chimney, retaining walls, and many other bricklaying applications. Ultimately, if you need a brick and mortar service that will repair any faltering masonry job, call us today!

Contact Us for a Free Estimate

We believe in providing quality masonry in northern Virginia. Please contact us today at for a free estimate. Call us at 804-674-0273 for any questions regarding your masonry needs and all other foundation, waterproofing, and concrete restoration.

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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.

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.

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!

How Does Water Affect Masonry?

Affects of Water on Your Virginia Home’s Masonry

If you want to prevent problems from occurring with the masonry on your home, such as your chimney or brick walls, you need to be aware of the different problems that water can cause. Rain water, condensation, humidity, and pooling water are all forms of moisture that could spell trouble for your masonry. That is why it is important to take precautionary measure as much as possible and to regularly check over the masonry on your home for signs of water damage. These water sources can cause problems such as:

Look for these issues in the masonry on your Virginia home. If you see signs such as discoloration, hairline cracks in between the mortar and the brick, poorly filled mortar joints, or larger cracks throughout the mortar, you may be dealing with a water issue in your masonry.

Problems like deterioration and corrosion are causes when the constant exposure to water starts to wear on the brick or stone masonry. Eventually, this could make the entire structure less stable. Cracks can be due to a foundation issue or due to deterioration. Whichever is the case, cracks can lead to moisture seeping into the rest of the home. Cracks and also lead to further structural damage, as they contribute to lower structural integrity in the entire area of the masonry. Spalling is the chipping and flaking of bricks. This is a sort of deterioration that happens when the surface of the bricks is exposed to too much moisture. Another issue that can result from water is efflorescence. This is a white-ish calcium buildup on your bricks or masonry that may indicate water exposure and further moisture problems. These kinds of problems occur commonly when water is allowed to pool against the masonry. Rain that has saturated the masonry can also cause water issues, as it takes a few days to dry, and the drying process can be slowed down by plants or algae.

Solutions for Masonry Water Problems in Richmond, VA

Masonry Water Damage Repair from Reliable Waterproofing and MasonryIf there are cracks in your masonry, the solution may be to invest in foundation repair services from Reliable Waterproofing and Masonry. We offer solutions to close the cracks in your masonry and get your home back to normal. For other masonry water damage issues that you may be dealing with, we can provide masonry repair and basement waterproofing services. We will help you repair damage to get your home looking like new again and fix any recurring water issues to prevent future problems.

Some of the services that we offer for masonry repair are: brick laying and re-pointing, retaining walls, block foundations, and chimneys. If you are in need of basement waterproofing, we offer sump pump systems as well as interior and exterior drainage systems.

Contact a professional from Reliable Waterproofing and Masonry of Virginia today to get your masonry water damage under control and keep further water issues at bay.

Brick, Stone, & Masonry Problems in Virginia

Common Problems with Brick, Stone, & Masonry in Richmond, VA

It is hard to escape the masonry problems that affect older homes in Richmond, VA. At one time or another, you are likely to encounter these issues. Nothing is indestructible, especially when it is constantly exposed to rain, snow, hail, wind, heat, and freezing temperatures. Your brick, stone, and masonry will get old and broken down, just like a roof, or any other part of your home or business. That is why you need to take care of it as you would any other part of your home or business. Some common problems that can affect brick, stone, and masonry are:commong brick stone masonry problems virginia

  • Crumbling – created through water damage, foundation failure, and/or age.
  • Chipping – caused by age, water damage, foundation failure, and a variety of other problems.
  • Flaking – caused by water seeping into bricks through pores, and heat making the brick expand and flake.
  • Cracking – floor, ceiling, wall, stair step, and foundation cracks are all things that you should watch out for.
  • Efflorescence – a white, crusty calcium residue left over when water evaporates and leaves a salt covering behind.

Masonry Problems & Repair Solutions by Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry in Virginiabrick stone masonry problems in richmond virginia

These issues are all common problems that affect brick, stone, and masonry, so if you notice these problems around your Virginia home, make sure to contact us here at Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry as soon as possible. These could be signs of more urgent problems, especially if you are noticing more than one. Luckily, we have a variety of solutions such as brick re-pointing, concrete restoration, masonry repair, foundation repair, and waterproofing.

So, no matter what your problem may be, we can help. Our team of professionals is experienced and knowledgeable in all areas of repair, and many of our repair tools and products are supplied by Earth Contact Products–also known as “the Very Best” in foundation repair and waterproofing products–so you can rest easy knowing you area receiving top quality repairs, products, and service. Contact us today to learn more about our foundation repair, waterproofing, and masonry problems and repair services. Our service area includes Richmond, Virginia and all of Northern Virginia. Give us a call today!

Spring Thaw Can Bring Masonry Problems to Richmond, Virginia

Masonry Problems in Richmond, VA

get brick repair for crumbling masonry in virginiaBecause Virginia is located along the snow belt line, many homeowners experience the damaging effects of freezing weather. As ice and snow melt, masonry issues such as spalling, can quickly be seen on chimneys, retaining walls, and brick paving. Don’t wait to address your masonry problems, contact our foundation repair experts to assess your home. Reliable Waterproofing and Masonry will repair masonry problems in Virginia before they become worse.

In Virginia, spalling occurs more frequently because there are more freeze and thaw cycles in this geographic location. The cycle usually starts in October and ends the following spring thaw. Freeze and thaw cycles are the main culprit for spalling brick damage. As excessive amounts of water enters the masonry system prior to freezing, water is absorbed and locked inside the pores.  During winter, the water freezes and expands. As the pressure expands, it destroys the masonry system. This causes crumbling, cracking, scaling and deteriorating over time. As soon as you notice masonry damage, get it repaired immediately. Ignoring necessary repairs will only get worse over time.

Since water penetration damages the interior and exterior of your home as well as the masonry, our experts will also look for the following issues:

  • Air leaks
  • Thermal bridging problems
  • Interior condensation
  • Damp, wet walls or insulation
  • Water leaks or water seepage
  • Existing freeze-thaw damage on chimney, below windows and other areas
  • Poor drainage from improper downspouts, gutters and other roof-wall interfaces
  • Rotting wood and wall coverings
  • Stained chimney exterior
  • Deteriorating exterior mortar
  • Water stains in ceiling and walls
  • Leaning or tilting chimney

If you notice cracks in the mortar or bricks, contact us immediately. We have brick and masonry solutions to keep your home stable before the spring thaw in Richmond, Virginia.

Masonry Solutions for Homes in Richmond, Virginia

brick re-pointing will fix masonry problems in virginiaRegardless of what is causing your masonry problems, our experts will provide the best repair solution. Since the freeze and thaw cycle causes settlement in your masonry and bricks, we offer foundation repair solutions to restore your foundation and increase your home’s value. ECP steel piers or helical piers are installed beneath the foundation to stabilize and strengthen your foundation. Also, piers are used to prevent further masonry issues from occurring.

When the bond between bricks and mortar fails, masonry repair and brick re-pointing will help renew and repair old masonry. We take great pride in preserving the natural beauty of your masonry. This is why we use the proper equipment and material to remove old mortar, and replace it with the appropriate color and texture.

Contact Reliable Waterproofing and Masonry for professional, quality masonry service in the Richmond, Virginia area. We’ll find the best solution to keep your home safe and dry for many years to come.