Foundation Crack Repair, Basement Waterproofing Blog

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Removing moisture from basement due to condensation

Joseph Coupal - Friday, March 05, 2010

Sometimes homes are constructed so tightly that there is not  enough or proper airflow.  If you have central air conditioning, you can install additional vents that lead into your basement. This is relatively easy and should help a minor moisture problem. You can also use an exhaust fan to help remove moisture and create additional airflow. Remember, for the basement to have proper airflow, the air must have room to move. If you have a lot of clutter, it might be time to have a yard sale, a garage sale or remove the clutter.

Installing a dehumidifier will probably do the trick. This is a very proactive and practical way to remove moisture from the air in your basement. To determine if your basement needs a dehumidifier, see whether you have any of the following conditions:

  • Condensation on the windows
  • Mold
  • Musty smells and stuffiness
  • Rotting wood
  • Wet stains on ceilings or walls

Home Inspections - Foundation Cracks

Joseph Coupal - Saturday, February 27, 2010

Home Inspections - Inspecting Foundation Cracks

If you are a homeowner or are buying a new home do not wait for water to appear in basement before calling A-1 Foundation Crack Repair for an inspection ... especially if you see cracks in basement walls or floors.  You need to determine the underlying cause (or causes) of foundation cracks (and related defects) which otherwise would remain the subject of speculation and ongoing concern/stress.

Fortunately most of the time, foundation cracks do not suggest the need for expensive foundation repair work. Concrete cracks or cracks in masonry, brickwork, stucco, plaster or drywall are not uncommon in structures and often are often tolerated by property owners without consequence.

So why do so many property owners need to consult a foundation repair expert? Because you need the experienced expert to distinguish between what is minor and what is a significant problem. Nobody else wants the liability of perhaps making the wrong call about a foundation crack.

Basement Waterproofing

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, February 18, 2010

Reasons for Basement Waterproofing

Mold and Mildew - will only grow under moist, humid conditions. Waterproofing your basement from the outside will significantly reduce the area available to new mold and mildew growths. This is very important as mold and mildew can damage food, paper, walls, and even cause respiratory problems. Just as taxing is the effort to remove mold and mildew.  Preventing mold growth before it occurs is key for your property and your health.

Damaged Possessions - moisture eventually causes damage to items stored in basements. Obviously, a basement that can only store waterproofed items might not be a very useful basement. If you would like to keep food, books, or anything made out of paper in your basement, then a proper waterproofing strategy is a must.

Structural Damage/Pests - Allowing moisture into the walls of your basement can lead to serious structural damage over the long term. Wet wood is also much more vulnerable than dry wood to a wide variety of problems that will reduce your home's value and your safety to live there.  Termites require a great deal of moisture to thrive and can live happily in damp wood, causing a huge amount of damage to your home. Moist wood is much more vulnerable to ordinary rot as well. While you can try to solve these problems after they occur, you are much better off protecting the walls of your basement with exterior waterproofing.

Reasons a new foundation can form cracks

Joseph Coupal - Sunday, February 14, 2010
  • The natural drying, hardening, and curing process of concrete creates vertical cracks on some basement walls as the substance dries and hardens - Depending on conditions during the installation of the foundation (temperature of the air, the density of the particulates, the temperature of the concrete, the humidity, and various other factors) concrete curing can take up to ten years. However, curing cracks typically occur in years 1-3. Many of these cracks will not pose a significant structural concern, but all foundation cracks should be monitored and taken seriously.
  • The concrete foundation is subject to severe stress when it’s first put in - To save time and money, foundations are usually back filled before the concrete has time to harden and settle. The impact upon the walls from the sudden pressure of back fill, -combined with impacts from rocks striking the outer foundation wall as the area is filled, can easily damage the wall. Until the construction is complete, the foundation is not protected from the temperature changes from the outside. This forces the concrete to expand and contract with all temperature changes.
  • Vibrating Rods - When concrete is mixed, vibrating rods are inserted that shake air bubbles in the mix to the top. If this is done improperly or too quickly, large air bubbles become part of the concrete in your foundation. These bubbles make poured concrete foundations weaker. To make matters worse, these air pockets expand and cool at different rates than the cement. This causes further deterioration and cracking of the cement.
  • Bad Mix - If too much water is mixed into the concrete, the concrete is weakened and much more subject to early flaking and spalling.

If Foundation Cracks Are Large

Joseph Coupal - Saturday, February 06, 2010

MA, CT, RI Foundation Crack Repair

If a crack or cracks cover a significant portion of the foundation, or are too large to be filled properly with do it yourself compounds, you may have no other option than to hire an experienced repair service to address the issue. Always be sure that the company chosen is a reputable one and that they have received good reviews from friends, colleagues or family members that have used their services. The foundation of your home is very important to the structural stability of the home and if the foundation is compromised, the entire home could be in danger.

In many cases, the cracks in the concrete foundation will allow water to enter into the home, which can result in the growth of mold or fungi and can create health problems for the individuals in the home. If the mold is allowed to continue growing for a long period of time, it could result in a more hazardous situation and require a much more expensive clean up to be addressed.

The company that you choose should be polite, professional, and have experience in repairing concrete foundations and water leaks. To get the best value, the services of several different contractors should be compared and estimates should be obtained from each to compare prices and pros/cons. The cheapest price is not always the indication of the best value as some contractors will cut corners to lower their prices without lowering their profit. Most of the time, as we all know, you get what you pay for.

Leaky Basements - Why they Leak

Joseph Coupal - Saturday, January 30, 2010

Boston, MA - Providence, RI

From poured concrete foundations to monolithic, stone, block or tile basement walls, no basement is safe from water leaking through the basement walls, floor, and floor joist and then entering into your home.

Basements that leak water in through the joint where the floor and wall meet after a rain or snow melt are considered to be, the most common wet basements. More than 90% of the wet basements leak water from the walls and the joint where the floor and wall meet. Most basements rarely leak water up through the floor. Surface water collects and builds up in a pocket around the foundation causing hydrostatic pressure. Water then is forced through the joint where the floor and wall meet.

Is Basement Leaking or is it Condensation?

Joseph Coupal - Saturday, January 23, 2010

A simple quick test to determine if you are having a water leak through your foundation wall is to tape a piece of plastic or tin foil to the wall where you suspect water is coming in. Make sure you tape down all the sides, and then wait a few days. If beads of moisture have formed on the inside of the foil/plastic and between it and the wall, you have a leak coming through that wall. If there is moisture on the outside of the foil/plastic, your basement is suffering from a moisture problem.

Condensation is a result of too much moisture in the air. When there is too much moisture in your basement, the coolness of the walls pulls the moisture out of the air and the water droplets sit on the walls, metal, and other cool surfaces, creating a damp basement.

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