Foundation Crack Repair, Basement Waterproofing Blog

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Case Study - Old Lally Column Threatens to Kill Home Sale

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, September 28, 2017
A1 Foundation Crack Repair, Nashua, NC

We got a call because the home inspector said the Lally column should be ok, but the homeowner called in the building inspector for a small town outside Nashua, NH.

The lally column was an old granite post cut about 10” going up to the beam, and supporting it. The basement did have a poured concrete floor. However, the building inspector said that in order to approve the granite post, he had to see if it was sitting on a solid surface, and he didn’t only mean the 3” of poured concrete. If it is only on 3” of concrete it is not going to support.

So I had to break the floor near the granite lally column. We saw that it went through the concrete floor and was sitting on a very big bolder. The building inspector saw that and said it was going to pass because the lally column is solid and it is sitting on a solid bolder.

Today, you would have a filled steel pole sitting on a big slab or footing of concrete below the floor. So it was interesting that the building inspector and the home inspector both passed the lally column.

This shows that you need to have a solid lally column that sits on a very solid footing and you building inspector will be happy.

For more information on basement waterproofing or crack repair, contact A1 Foundation Crack Repair.

What's that White Fuzzy Stuff on my Basement Walls?

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, September 27, 2017

George in Waltham, MA writes:

“I have recently found a white fuzzy substance on my basement foundation walls, what in the world could it be?”

Well, this is not an unusual situation. It can be on a basement foundation wall that is made out of concrete, block or stone. This is efflorescence. This is caused because concrete and mortar is porous. Water and water vapors are pushing inward on these structures. It is bringing the salt, minerals, and lime and bringing it forward. We see it quite often. Real estate brokers recommend getting that off only because it is unsightly. It is more of an aesthetics thing, it does not affect the structure of the house. But it should be taken off so that it looks better and doesn’t get hard and crystallized.

There are ways to get it off. If it isn’t too bad, you can brush it off. If it’s a little advanced you may need to use a wire brush to get it off. If it is really bad, you may have to sand blast, but that’s rare. There are chemicals we use that I don’t recommend homeowners using. But we do this all the time. It does make the foundation 100% better for those who are looking to buy your house.

For more information, contact A1 Foundation Crack Repair.

Is It a Good Idea to Paint Concrete Floors?

Joseph Coupal - Friday, September 15, 2017

Most painters say that concrete floors are the highest risk surface to paint. The reason being is because it will often peel. It's a great idea to paint it because it will look nice. The real question is how long it will last.

There are some things to consider when painting concrete floors. The first, is it a new floor? If it is new concrete, you want to give it time to fully cure.

The second is the preparation of the concrete. If the floor is in a garage or basement, it can be stained with other materials. It can be mechanically ground or etched so that the concrete is accepting to a paint-like material. It is quite a job to mechanically grind the concrete with diamond blades which create a lot of dust. You can also do it with chemicals, you use an acid to open up the pours, but it is a tough material to work with. It can cause burns and it is not good to inhale. But the prep-work needs to be done very well.

Some of that prep-work entails cracks in the floors and leaks. Cracks need to be repaired with the right material because concrete does expand and contract so it will just crack again.

The third thing to consider is what product to use. You can use a paint-based material to coat the floor, but this tends to peel. You could use a stain which stains the concrete, but what people don't like about stain is that you may pick a color, but once applied it can be a different shade, similar to wood stain. The third material you can use is two-part epoxy which gets very expensive, but it is supposed to last longer, it does have a high odor level and you have to be very careful working with it to get the type of finish that you want.

There are also specific considerations for the painting process itself. When painting the garage or basement there is going to be humidity and moisture. Then you are going to get peeling. We advise, if you are going to do it, do it before you sell the house.

Given all of the considerations to the preparation and the painting itself, I would not recommend painting concrete floors. In fact, even as a professional, I would not paint a concrete floor at all. I'd repair the cracks, but that is it.

If you want more information on concrete floors or basement waterproofing, contact A1 Foundation Crack Repair.

Waterproofing VS Dampproofing - What is the Difference?

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, September 05, 2017

What’s the difference between the two? You are considering waterproofing vs dampproofing when you are putting in a new foundation. It is done from the outside.

Dampproofing is what you see all the time with either spray or roll-on black material. The intent of dampproofing is to simply stop the moisture in the soil from getting through the concrete.

Waterproofing is not only stopping the moisture from the soil from getting through the concrete foundation, but also it prevents any liquid from getting in as well. It is about two or three times more expensive, but with dampproofing it is an asphalt material, organic, oil based and it does peel off eventually. Basement Waterproofing is really where you want to go to stop any water that is actually bearing against the foundation from coming through.

Go with waterproofing anytime you have an option.

For more information on basement waterproofing, contact A1 Foundation Crack Repair.

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