Foundation Crack Repair, Basement Waterproofing Blog

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How Did a Snake Get into my Basement?

Joseph Coupal - Monday, July 30, 2018

This is a pretty cool picture of a snake skin sticking out of a house, which means the snake was still inside the house. How does something like that happen?

Well it did freak out the homeowner. This was a woman we had done some work for who lives in a condo in Hudson, MA. She's affectionately known as "the snake woman" now. I went over there and took a look. She has a poured concrete foundation and I looked at any cracks that were there: there were a few that were large enough for a snake. I looked at one in particular and there was the skin of the snake. Naturally she wanted us to take care of it permanently.

By the time I had gotten there, the property manager had already thrown some caulking in and around. This didn't work because we saw the snake skin after he had left. We went over there and filled in the cracks with an epoxy based material which hardens so she can now live snake-free.

But, not only can snakes get into small cracks, these foundation cracks also open your home up to rodents, insects, carpenter ants and more, along with cold air and water.

It's a good idea to plug the holes in your basement. The crackman can stop water and critters. For more information on basement crack repair, contact A1 Foundation Crack Repair.

Why A1 Foundation Crack Repair Should be on Every Realtor’s Contact List

Joseph Coupal - Friday, July 27, 2018

A lot of work goes into getting a property ready to become the perfect home. No matter the market, every house needs something. Some homes require a little touchup; others may need a lot more work. Top performing realtors have a network of service providers ready to jump on opportunities to get potential listings into SOLD signs. As a realtor, the service partners selected must be trusted and relied upon to make sure the deal closes as quickly as possible. Here are the characteristics that should be considered when building your service company partner network.

Responsiveness and Access

Real Estate can be a 24/7 business, and your service partner network should be as well. Sometimes issues or questions come up that are outside your areas of expertise. In these cases, you would want to speak to a live pro right then and there. Service partners should be expected answer the phone while you are working in the evening and on weekends. Also, the service company should be able to give you a verbal or written proposal for the work within 24 hours of your conversation. Leaving a message and getting a return call after 72 hours with a proposal one week later does not help you. Every day that goes by is a missed opportunity to close the deal. When you are working, your service partners should be as well.

Track Record and Experience

Service businesses come and go, but the ones who stick around have built a track record of success and experience to get the job done right. When selecting a partner, investigate how long they have been performing the work and how knowledgeable they are. Is their website educational and up-to-date or does it look like it was created 25 years ago listing only a fax number and billing address? Next, make sure they stand by their work by checking to see insured and if there is a transferrable warranty on the service they are providing. Finally, check to see if they are a specialized business that will handle your exact needs or a catch-all business with a lot of “bolt-on” services. It’s common for organizations to add different service businesses without any history or knowledge-base of the services being performed. Specialized businesses move fast, have the right solutions for the job, and can leave you and your clients with a peace of mind.

Customer Ratings and Reviews

A company touting their own greatness continues to be met with an increasing consumer resistance. In today’s market, fancy logos and catchy slogans are far less important the independent review. The service company is an extension of your reputation; poor workmanship, rude personalities, untimely responses, and questionable ethics are all examples of pitfalls that could prevent you from closing deals and filling your pipeline with more opportunities. Resources such as the BBB, Google Reviews, Yelp, Angie’s List, and Home Advisor should be explored for reviews on the performance of the service company. Also, it is always good to check with other brokers to see if they have used the service provider you are researching.

Understands the Real Estate Sales Process

Understanding the pinch points of the real estate sales process and how to get past them elevates your broker status. When aligning with service partners, they should also know how their work fits in the big-picture real estate transaction. The service partner should know how Home Inspectors examine a property and how they identify certain items under service provider’s “jurisdiction”. Specifically, they should know how to avoid the home inspector’s report if addressing the item before the inspection, or to satisfy the report if they are addressing the item after the home inspection. The service partner should also know how their work can affect the lender’s appraisal and underwriting process. Since the property is expected change hands, it is incumbent upon the service provider to tell you and your client how the work will transfer from the seller to the buyer.

Your individual success can be hampered by bad partners or accelerated by great partners. In the end, if you select the right service companies to build your network, you’ll be closing the deal at a much higher rate. Who doesn’t want that?

How to Tell if you have Poured Concrete or a Stone Foundation?

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, July 19, 2018

If you have a finished basement, it may be hard to tell the difference between a poured concrete or stone foundation. But, it's usually not hard to tell at all. Look in the basement; if you see stones you have a stone foundation, if you see smooth cement walls you have poured concrete.

It becomes tricky when people do renovations or rehabs on a house. They'll put in a layer of mortar over the stones to make it smooth so it looks like a poured concrete foundation. That is where you have to be careful.

There is a way you can tell. You have to poke around a little bit. If there are some loose areas poke in there and remove a little bit of mortar and see. Or, you can tap on it with your knuckle or lightly with a hammer; if you hear hollow sounds you can pretty much be sure that it is mortar that has been put on top of a stone foundation. This is done on the inside and sometimes on the outside as well.

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

What Can be Done about Water Leaking in an Elevator Pit?

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, July 05, 2018

This is actually a case study for a residential elevator pit that was being put in by a high-end builder/remodeler in Newton, MA. He had put in a home addition behind where he had put in the elevator pit, which is slightly below the basement. He told me it was leaking where the floor of the elevator pit meets the foundation.

We went in and injected a polymer resin by drilling into the seam, putting our ports in, and injecting the polymer resin. Everything was good. Then we got some very heavy rain and it was leaking again. We went over there next time it was raining, and it was actually not leaking from where we injected, but from about 4" or 5" higher where there was no crack. We had stopped the water from coming in at that seam but there were small fissure cracks that the water found it's way to. As it was coming through, you could see more little areas where the water was coming out. This means that the concrete was either too watery or was not vibrated enough to let these little fissures out. I also found out that there is ledge right behind the pit. This could mean that the concrete may not be very thick.

To address this, we used a crystalized quartz material that penetrates the concrete and then grows microscopically in the pours of the concrete to stop the water.

There have been some good, heavy rains since then and there have been no issues. If you have a leaking elevator pit a basement waterproofing problem, contact A1 Foundation Crack Repair.

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A-1 Foundation Crack Repair, Inc. is a fully registered home improvement contractor. Contact us today to talk to a knowledgeable, master waterproofing professional.