Foundation Crack Repair, Basement Waterproofing Blog

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3 Misconceptions About Foundation Repair That You Should Know

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Are you scared that you need foundation repair because you've noticed cracks in your foundation slab? Or maybe in your basement you've seen cracks spreading through the walls? Don't panic. It's not the end of the world. Now don't misunderstand, cracks in your foundation are potentially serious. But there are also quite a few misconceptions about foundation repair. Once you sort through and better understand them, you should be able to breathe a bit easier and ease your worries.

First of all, if you have cracking, it automatically requires and extensive foundation repair solution. Well not necessarily. Sometimes cracking is merely cosmetic. How can you tell? Well, only a professional can give you a true answer to that question. Your best bet is to just have our professional A-1 team come out and take a look to assess the damage. It could only be minor cracks that are not dangerous at all, but as we well know even the smallest cracks can be harmful.

Secondly, your foundation walls are going to have to be completely rebuilt. The fact is, there are multiple methods of foundation repair. A complete rebuild is only necessary in the most extreme cases. Usually you'll already know because at this point your foundation walls will be on the verge of collapsing. Otherwise, you'll likely be able to take advantage of another technique, such as stabilization straps or steel beam reinforcement.

And lastly, foundation repair results in destroying your beautiful lawn in order to fix your problem. In the most extreme cases yes has happened, however as foundation repair techniques have improved over time, new methods have been developed which are less invasive. For example, if you're able to utilize the stabilization strap method of repair, there is no damage to your lawn. The same goes for using reinforcement beams. Will these methods work for you? You won't know until you ask. So contact us today and let us use the A-1 method to repair your foundation needs.

Two Popular Times To Check Your Basement

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sometimes its hard to know when you need to waterproof your basement. Yes its true, some people go down into their basement, see that it is fine and go about their merry business but what they don’t realize is that basement mold and water damage accumulates silently and then spreads like wildfire and it becomes a hassle to get rid of. So when you first move into your new home make sure you check the waterproofing of your basement. Then below are two popular times to waterproof your basement once again.

Before the rainy season

A wet basement is easy to ignore during dry weather. But when a major storm hits, the amount of water that comes in can be hard to predict. Homeowners that previously only had a small leak once or twice a year can be shocked and disappointed to find that their basement has several inches-even feet- of water seemingly out of the blue. How serious a basement flood can be is sometimes hard to tell, and unless the investment is made in a basement waterproofing system, the risk of such a flood is always present. If you know stormy weather is ahead, then it's a great idea to deal with the problem before it gets out of hand.

Before selling the home

If you're looking to sell your home, a wet basement can be a deal breaker. Home buyers are not looking to purchase someone else's problem, and if they find out that the basement floods, they will often back out of the deal. Home inspectors are trained to find the signs of wet basements, and they will make finding these signs a top priority.

In fact, 10% of the home's market value is lost with a wet basement. And because buyers will be reluctant to buy the home even at a discount, it will take much longer to sell it. In the end, fixing the basement properly with a sump pump and perimeter waterproofing system is a fast process and it restores a great deal of value to your home.

Even if you are not planning on selling your home or it hasn’t rained in a while, it might be a good idea to check out your basement anyway and if you see any signs of leaks or water damage contact the professionals and let us apply our A-1 method to your home for a clean and quality look.

What's Up With These Cracks That Look Like "Steps"?

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, November 16, 2010

This is a common question that your friends at A-1 Foundation Crack Repair field on a recurring basis.  Step cracks are very common occurrence in concrete block walls. A recurring form of home foundation damage is for cracks to originate as horizontal cracks, and over time, begin to step down, or up, along the mortar joints.

Typically, there is a tremendous amount of pressure pushing from the outside, whether it be expansive soil, tree roots or other catalysts. If there is no pressure coming from the exterior, sometimes the wall bearing the load of the house simply cannot handle the weight, and weakens over time.  Make sure to not collocate excessively heavy objects such as safes, major appliances, cinder block, etc.

Unlike horizontal or vertical cracks where the opposing sides of the crack are pulling away from each other, in a step crack your wall is pulling apart from itself in all four directions and needs to be stabilized accordingly. At this point, there is very little structural integrity left in the wall, and it needs to be stabilized as soon as possible. If bowing of the wall has not already occurred, it will most likely begin soon thereafter. 

Of course step cracks threaten commercial property as well.  We specialize in commercial foundation crack repair as well.  

Five Simple Winter Foundation Protective Measures To Do Today

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Of all the residential foundation repair services we offer, we feel the common sense advice offered in our A-1 Foundation Crack Repair Blog to be vitally important. Please consider the following common sense winter protective measures for your home’s foundation.  Every year we service customers who could have avoided freeze-related water damage.  We highly recommend, sooner than later, that you:

Locate your water main cut-off valve in the event you need to shut it off in an emergency. Lost minutes searching for shut-off valves can (and have) turned relatively simple problems into major repair investment.  

Remove garden hoses. Here’s what happens repeatedly every winter.  Your teenager will use a hose (with a pressure nozzle) and fail to turn off the water at the source.  A hard freeze will bust the hose and water will flood the foundation for hours or days at a time.  Pray this does not happen while your away on vacation.

Insulate exposed plumbing pipes.  Just because you got away with not doing this last year does not mean you will get away with it this year.

•Drain air conditioner pipes and, if your AC has a water shut-off valve, turn it off.

•If you go on vacation, leave the heat on, set to at least 55 degrees.

Your friends at A-1 Foundation Crack Repair prefer to serve you with preventive services vice emergency basement leak and foundation repair services.  Earning your trust by offering sound common sense (and cost saving) advice is just one reason you continue to "flood" us with positive testimonials.

Important Facts To Remember About Your Foundation

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Foundation Repair definitely is something you will want to address within your home. It is not something you want to overlook and ignore hoping it will fix itself. We have been in the business of foundation crack repair for a long time and did some research on the subject and came across the following facts. Safety must come first when it comes to this topic.

  • Many homeowners experience the need for foundation repair. It's definitely something none of us look forward to, but unfortunately it happens.
  • Foundation repair is usually needed most if the home was built on expansive soils. That's where damage and movement is common. Expansive soils contain minerals that absorb water that can wreak havoc to your home's foundation.
  • Water and weather are two of your worst enemies when it comes to your home's foundation. They both can have damaging effects. You have some control over water; however, weather unfortunately is not controllable.
  • Trees actually absorb a good deal of water near the foundation of your home. Trees can be beautiful addition to the landscape of your home; as well as helpful to your home’s foundation.
  • Whenever you suspect your home may have a foundation problem, check for cracked sheetrock or cracks in your home's brick on the outside.
  • Sometimes when there's a problem, doors or windows may not open easily.
  •  If you procrastinate doing foundation repairs and want to sell your home, it may hamper your closing.

Foundation Repair
is not for the weekend "do-it-yourself" project; however, should you experience any type of foundation problems within your home, we highly recommend contacting our professional team to come in and secure your home from further damage due to leaks and cracks. Using our proven A-1 method there is no type of leak that can get by us.

Basement Leaks Water Damage And Mold Are All Connected

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, October 27, 2010

If you own your a home, or have rental properties, mold removal should be on the top of your list of concerns. Few things are less inviting than a house with a musty basement smell. Not only is it uninviting, but it is also unhealthy. If a house has a basement leak and needs repairs, you can be sure that the water damage will be pervasive and affect the entire house. There is a high likelihood that you will have to get rid of any mold and mildew as a result of the leak.

The mold spores are very tiny and able to survive in very minimal conditions. The warm moist atmosphere that follows water damage is an ideal place for the fungi to grow and prosper. In order to eliminate this nasty problem, several things must be done.

First, any contaminated items, such as water damaged wood, carpet, or ceiling tiles must be removed and buried or burned. It is nearly impossible to repair infected property once the mold has begun growing. It can be done with chlorine bleach and other cleaners, but often it is just beyond hope.

Any black mold spots must be cleaned up as well. This is a time consuming, but uncomplicated task. It can be easily accomplished with vinegar and baking soda, or any number of environmentally safe cleaners. Not only will this improve the appearance of the room, but it will help prevent the spread of mold spores.

Next, the leak needs to be repaired. This can be a simple project, or it can become extremely complicated, depending on the extent of the problem. Some leaks can be fixed by waterproofing the walls and floor. But most of the time if there is a mold issue do-it-yourself leak repair is a daunting task. It would be in your homes best interest if you hired the professionals to take care of the leak. Not only can we fix the leak but we can eliminate the mold as well using our proven A-1 Method

The final requirement to get rid of mold and mildew caused by water damage to the basement is to lower the temperature. Once the temperature is lowered, the mold will be much less inclined to grow. When the moisture is under control, the black mold is cleaned up, and the temperature lowered you will notice the atmosphere in the house will be dramatically improved. The air will be fresh and clean, plus the health of your family will likely improve as a result.

If you are experiencing mold problems or have a leaky basement that is causing water damage, contact us today. Don't let even the smallest of leaks go unattended, that is all it takes for big water damage and mold to ensue.

Water Tank Leaks? We Can Help

Joseph Coupal - Friday, October 22, 2010

There are typically some common causes of water heater leaks, ranging from loose valves to corroded water tanks. However, the sign of water around your heater may not indicate a leak. In many cases, it is just the result of condensation on the outside of the tank.

However, If condensation does not seem to be the issue, then check the following parts: temperature-pressure relief valve, Vent, drain valve, heating element gasket, and water pipes.

If you find the leak is coming from your pipes, discuss with your plumber. If the problem persists after checking these parts for issues then our professional A-1 method can be your solution.

If you are experiencing any of these issues or need a professional opinion and inspection, give us a call.

The Advantages of Using “Piers” in Concrete Foundation Repair

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, October 13, 2010

We discovered yet another consumer who believed that a cracked foundation is a ruined foundation.  They delayed repair for over a year fearing tens of thousands of dollars in foundation replacement cost.  Never bury your head when it comes to your foundation.  There is always an affordable option. 

Piers, for example, are just such an option.  Piers will cost you up to ten times less than replacing the building foundation. There is no requirement for occupant displacement as life goes on as normal during pier installation. Pier foundation repair remedies both the cause of the settlement (unstable soil) and future problems by ensuring the structure it supports remains forever level.  No heavy equipment is required, thus no damage to the yard.

The A-1 Foundation Crack Repair method ensures permanent solution at the most economical cost each and every time.  And remember, we're not just about residential basements. We work an assortment of commercial foundation repair services for such things as elevator shafts, tunnels, water tanks, and much more. 

Essential Basement Leak Prevention Method: Exterior Drain Cleaning

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, October 07, 2010

Every year in the wet fall and spring, thousands of homeowners and commercial property owners across the country suffer flooded basements, loss of personal property, personal time, and indeed the cost of cleanup. The best kind of basement waterproofing you can do to prevent flooding in your home is to insure effective exterior drain cleaning.  Many new homeowners do not realize that basements are actually kept dry and in-tact from a drainage system surrounding the exterior foundation of the home. These "footer drain tiles," as they are called, move excess water away from the foundation and deposit it in a location where it will not harm the basement.

Most basement waterproofing problems exist because the footers tiles clog with debris over the years. They are not able to do their primary job, to move water away from the home. By performing drain cleaning on the exterior system, water is again able to move through the footers thus ensuring that the basement is protected from flooding.

Unfortunately, only a fully registered home improvement contractor repair and replace exterior footer drains. In order to tap into the footer drains, you need to excavate a section of the exterior of your home's foundation. Additionally, the proper way to clean a blocked footer drain involves the use of a high-pressure water jetting system that blasts clogs out of the drains.  If you are thinking about repairing your basement waterproofing drainage system, do the smart thing and choose our proven A-1 home foundation crack repair method. We guarantee you will save money in the end by avoiding a catastrophic flood within your home.  

Our professional team is handles all types of basements and the myriad of different exterior threats to your home.

Exactly What Comprises A Home's Waterproofing System?

Joseph Coupal - Friday, October 01, 2010

We recently answered a couple of caller’s questions about exactly what foundational waterproofing is. Waterproofing is not limited to preventing foundation leaks and leaky basement repair services. This drives us to focus this blog post on the fundamental definition and concept of waterproofing.

Foundation waterproofing is a process which is designed to prevent water from penetrating a building. (Stay with us here, we promise to get beyond the obvious.)  Usually extensive waterproofing measures are added to both residential and commercial buildings at the time of construction, to provide moisture control from the start.  If it is not done at construction to save builder’s cost, then almost certainly, it will be done at a later date. 

From the point of view of its occupants, building waterproofing is important because it reduces internal humidity.  This makes the internal dwelling more comfortable to live in while simultaneously protecting objects inside the building from damage.  Realize also that a building’s waterproofing is important to the very integrity of the building itself.

Water damage to both commercial and residential property can be a serious issue.  With water come mold and a host of other problems which undermine foundations, make conditions in the building unsafe, and damage property inside the building. Wooden buildings can suffer rapid decay from water exposure, but water penetration can also damage concrete and other building materials.  In cold climates internal moisture will freeze, cause cracks, and promote structural breakdown. So realize that insufficient waterproofing is a problem year round, not just during the rainy season. In fact, it may be the water that you don’t see (that frozen water) that damages your home the most.

Waterproofing measures are not limited to the foundationRoofs, windows, and doors play equally important roles. Some degree of permeability in a building is necessary because building occupants generate humidity which must be safely vented. The goal of building waterproofing is to prevent as much water as possible from entering the building, and to provide outlets and drainage so that if water does get inside it is not allowed to sit. Surface systems include things like clapboards to protect the walls of a house, or shingles on the roof of a building. Internal measures can include membranes inside the walls, such as barrier insulation to keep water out. Waterproofing measures (roofs, windows, doors, foundations) create multiple barriers preventing water from entering the structure. Together, these make up your waterproofing system. Your friends at A1 Foundation and Crack Repair can help you out with establishing a solid waterproofing system.

Call Us Today at 866-929-3171

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