Foundation Crack Repair, Basement Waterproofing Blog

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Why is Water Squirting out of a Tiny Hole in my Basement?

Joseph Coupal - Friday, March 09, 2018

First of all, we need to understand what this small hole is. I am assuming this is a poured concreted foundation. Those holes, or dimples, are from tie-rods. When concrete is poured, it is poured between two pieces of wood. The wood doesn't just stand there through gravity. They are held together with metal rods. Once the concrete sets up, the metal is snapped off, which is why they are referred to as snap-ties or tie-rods.

Because they metal, they can rust. They rust because of the moist air and soil. When they rust they get smaller. With the water pressure, the water can leak into the basement, or in some cases squirt. Oftentimes, you'll see the rust line running down the foundation.

These have to be fixed. We have seen all kinds of contractor and homeowner attempts with sealants and hydraulic cement to fix this, they don't work.

The way to do this is to drill next to the tie-rod, put our port in, tighten up the port, and inject it with closed polymer resin which will encapsulate it and prevent leaking. Now you' ll have a tie-rod that is not going to leak, with a warranty.

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

Does FlexSeal work on basement wall cracks?

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Q. I have some small cracks in my basement that have started to leak. Can I just use FlexSeal to keep the water out?

A. I get calls from people all the time that say they have tried FlexSeal. That's the the product you see advertised on TV. But, I've repaired a ton of cracks in basements that have had FlexSeal. Maybe a crack in the wall, tie-rod, bulkhead, or where a floor and a wall meet. If you think about it, how can you spray something onto a crack and then expect it to withstand the pressure of the water as it wants to come through. Recently we have had a lot of calls with the weather that we have had, the freeze/thaw rain cycle where there have been a lot of FlexSeal failures. If you look at my website, you can see a lot of pictures of these failures.

The Crackman Saves a Home from a Water Volcano

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, February 07, 2018

We have had a ton of rain this winter; warm weather with heavy, heavy rain and snow melt. We got a call from a past customer. He had a leaking bulkhead problem. The bulkhead was leaking from the seam where the steps meet the house. This is a very common problem.

He was keeping a wet vac there because the water was just flowing in. He called in a state of panic. We sent in a guy who was on his way home. We did a combination of things. We cleaned out some of the old caulking that was in between the bulkhead and the steps. We had to soak oakum in a polymer resin and work it in there. That slowed it down. We were then able to inject a polymer resin to slow it down even more. We had to put plenty of additive into the polymer resin so that it would react quicker.

But it was still leaking.

We have a high-bred product that we use on masonry material that has a crystallized quartz-based material that we used and were able to stop this geyser of a bulkhead leak. We were there for about 4 hours. He called us the next day as well because he was so appreciative.

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

Jordan-Gunter Basement Tie Rod Leak

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Here's a photo from the Jordan-Gunter Basement. The photo shows lots of water coming from the tie rod.

A1 Foundation Crack Repair - Tie Rod Leak

For wall cracks and tie rod leak repair. Contact A1 Foundation Crack Repair.

High Tides, Floating Dumpsters, and Leaking Granite Walls

Joseph Coupal - Monday, February 05, 2018

About a week ago we experienced a Nor'Easter here in Massachusetts. It really hit Boston hard on the waterfront and there are some really high end apartments in that area. I was watching the news and there was a dumpster floating down the street.

A few hours later we got a call from a condo property manager on that street. There was water coming in. What we found out through pictures is that it was a block foundation. Not cinder blocks but the big granite blocks built long ago. They put mortar between the block and they were leaking really badly.

We couldn't even get on the street because of the floating ice and dumpsters! We had to wait until the next day when the tide when down. We got there and we were able to stop the water from coming in from these huge tides.

For more information on basement waterproofing and crack repair, contact A1 Foundation crack repair.

What Can I do about a Leaky Coal Chute? - Boston, MA

Joseph Coupal - Friday, January 26, 2018

A-1 Foundation Crack Repair - MA, RIQ.I've got a leaking coal chute and everything I have tried has failed. Is there anything the crackman can do to fix it?

A. Yes. First, I'd like to explain what a coal chute is. In the old days, people heated their homes with coal. And, rather than bring the coal to the basement where the furnace is in buckets, there was a little hole on the outside of the house. It's like a little tunnel and people would shovel the coal into the hole and it would go into the coal bin and from there it would get shoveled into the furnace.

Now, we don't use coal for heat anymore and these coal chutes need to be sealed so they don't leak. We got a call from a customer with a leaking coal chute. I asked him to take a picture of it and have of the metal plate that was over it was missing, it was broken. We had him get a welder to replace the plate, and that worked for a number of years. But, he just called back, and over the years it started leaking again. We have developed a some techniques to fix these leaking coal chutes that can be found all over the Boston area.

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

How Repointing Stone Foundations Solves Rat and Water Problems - Boston, MA

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, January 25, 2018

I recently did a repointing job in Quincy. I was referred to them by a pest control company who will take care of the rats once they are inside. But, they do not stop the rats or mice from coming in through the foundation. Especially with stone foundations where there is mortar between the stones. Rats can gnaw on this and make larger holes.

We went into Quincy, where they have such a problem, there are actually grants to help homeowners take care of the problem, even in the nicer areas.

We went in and took out the mortar that was loose or non-existent and put new mortar back in between the stones to stop the rats. With our trucks out there, we had other people in the neighborhood come over and ask us for work, so needless to say we have worked with quite a few pest control companies.

I also learned that rats can reproduce very quickly. Just two rats can have up to 12,050 pups a year. Not only are we repairing stone foundations and repointing them for water infiltration, we are also helping to stop rat and mouse infiltration into a house. This stops the diseases they carry and the damage they can cause.

For more information on solving rodent problems or basement waterpoofing, contact A1 Foundation Crack Repair.

Another Flexseal Failure

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Here is another flexseal failure from Arlington, MA.

    "The first picture which shows the side view you can see the gap where the precast stairs meet the foundation wall. The gap runs the whole width of the stairs. That's where the water is percolating up from due to our high water table.

    When they cut the door opening there is a 6 inch height of the foundation wall still there. The interior door (taken off for now) sits on the basement floor so when you open it, you step up to the foundation step before stepping up to the first precast stair.

    I have french drains on the interior of the basement (put in long before I moved in). I think we discussed that the grate drain would sit between the gap between the precast stair and foundation "step" which would then tie into the interior french drain.

    We want to make sure that the water doesn't percolate up in fed into the interior french drain.

    We'd also want to seal around the lag bolts holding the stairs to the foundation.

    The end result is we want to make sure water never enters the basement through the gap or walls so we can finish our basement."

A1 Foundation Crack RepairA1 Foundation Crack RepairA1 Foundation Crack Repair

For wall crack repairs and leaky seam repair, Contact A1 Foundation Crack Repair.

What is the Difference Between Concrete and Mortar?

Joseph Coupal - Monday, January 22, 2018

There are actually quite a few differences between mortar and concrete. When you think of cement, you think of those big trucks that keep turning the body. Now if you think of cement as a binder, similar to a recipe with flour, the cement is the flour. The purpose of cement is to hold other materials together. But, you can't use cement alone, you have to use other materials mixed into the cement, such as limestone, calcium, silica, iron, aluminum, among other ingredients. This mixture is heated in a real large kiln to 2700 degrees. This produces clinkers, a solid material like solid pieces of stone. This is then ground down and mixed with more materials such as gypsum to create the gray concrete substance. That gray substance is then added to water to make foundations and sidewalks and other things that need strength.

Mortar is used to hold building materials together, such as bricks and stone. Think of mortar as glue. Mortar is made out of water, sand, and some of the cement material we talked about above. You mix it with water to get to the strength you want and it is then used to hold building materials together. There is an age to mortar. If you go into some old houses with stone foundations, you'll see powdering of the mortar. That's just a function of age. We can take that old mortar out and put new mortar in to maintain the structural integrity. To sum it up, mortar is the glue that holds materials together.

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

Why do I have a Foundation Crack After 20 Years?

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, January 11, 2018

Sometimes, when you have a home for 20 years and have never gotten a crack in the foundation you can get lulled into a false sense of security in thinking you will never have a problem. However, this is not always the case and it seems to happen to people as they are getting ready to sell their house.

Some of the reasons why foundations crack after such a long period of time can be something as simple as a heavy piece of equipment going down the road causing vibrations in the soil.

Since we are in the midst of winter, we should talk about the soil which can contain water. The soil absorbs the water, when it freezes it can push up against the foundation and which can cause it to crack.

We are also concerned about drainage. If you are in clay soil, or a downspout that has broken off, the pressures of the soil can cause a crack in the foundation.

Also, age simple age. Just like you and me, concrete can get old and not be as strong as it was before. But the good news is that these foundation cracks can be repaired and can be repaired from the inside with a warranty.

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

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