How do you fix a crumbling concrete basement floor?

masonry-caulk

Is your basement floor cracking? Is it time for professional masonry repair? What works — masonry caulk, professional sealing, or do you have a more serious problem on your hands? Most of the time basement floor cracks don’t affect structural integrity. However, sometimes a floor crack means that there is moisture coming in, the home is not level, or there are other serious issues.

Hairline Cracks in the Floor

The most common problem you might see are spider web like cracks in your basement floor. Sometimes masonry caulk, a paint job, or a quick visit from the Cummins Restoration team will quickly fix the problem. These superficial cracks depend really on humidity and how much shrinkage has occurred. If you are not sure if the cracks in your floor are serious, call Cummins Restoration to set up an inspection. We will assess what you need for repair.

Wider Cracks

While hairline cracks do not indicate a serious issue, anything wider than that needs to be sealed. This will protect you from soil smells and radon gas. Using a caulking sealant or call a professional for professional sealing. Don’t forget to seal the perimeter cracks. This is when the floor actually shrinks away from the walls of your basement.

Ugly Spalling

When the floor begins to get patchy and looks worn, there might be an issue with the original concrete mix. The moisture weakens the top layer. Your floor flakes off. Concrete Resurfacer might help since a regular paint job will not work. New floor installation like carpeting or floating laminate sometimes helps hide an unsightly concrete subfloor. However, you want to make sure that you are not simply covering up a more serious problem.

Heaving Slabs

When the cracks deepen and widen and the actual floor begins to shift you need repair right away. The unleveled floors can become a safety issue and tripping hazard. Additionally, the soil might be shifting underneath your home. You need a reputable Cummins Restoration foundation contractor to assess the damage.

Contact Cummins Restoration today. We will inspect your home and provide you with affordable solutions for your home. Call us today.

The Basics of Masonry Today

masonry paint

What are the basics of modern masonry? From stone, mortar, masonry, paint, and brick, learn what you need to know as a homeowner. Things all types of masonry have is that they are heavy, rigid, and often crack. Masonry requires stable, strong soil. In places that have severe cold weather, the expansion of ice can heave a home or building.

Footings

Your masonry walls rest on footings, a durable concrete structure. These footings help spread out the masonry over a large area. This prevents sinking and cracking. They are integral to supporting the weight of the building. Cracks in masonry paint may indicate failure or structural damage.

Concrete Basics

Contractors use concrete for a variety of construction needs. Concrete has sand, Portland cement, and gravel. What is Portland Cement? It is a combination of limestone and clay. The cement is fired at high temperatures. At that point the mixture is ground to a powder. The contractor adds water to the mixture on-site.

How long does it take for concrete to harden? Usually concrete needs a full month to harden 100%. However, you can walk on it after a day. Some additives will help strengthen the concrete, reducing chances of cracking. Retarders prevent the cement from settling much too quickly. An accelerator is more suitable for cold months when you need the concrete to settle fast.

Professionals at Cummins Restoration use a fully loaded truck to mix the concrete. Smaller jobs may have only pre-mixed bags. Traditional mortar uses lime. Lime makes the mortar sticker. This helps the mortar keep to the bricks and blocks. Additives help make the material work more effectively.

Call the Professionals Today

Professional masonry guarantees the most durability and high performance. Large jobs require heavy equipment, experience, and specialized tours. Whether you need your chimney restored, need tuckpointing, an inspection, or masonry repair, call the seasoned contractors at Cummins Restoration. Our friendly staff will be happy to talk with you.

We pride ourselves on superior workmanship and excellent customer service. When you need dependable masonry now, contact Cummins Restoration. Our customer is our number one priority.

Top 5 Reasons Why You Have a Leaky Chimney

masonry-repair

Whether summer or winter, a leaky chimney can be a serious problem. Why does your chimney leak? Do you need professional masonry repair? Our experts put together a list of the top five reasons your chimney leaks.

1. Chimney Does Not have a Chimney Cap

You need a chimney cap to prevent moisture, precipitation, debris, and critters from entering your chimney. If you do not have a chimney cap, your chimney will be vulnerable. Harsh winds, snow, heavy rains and more can damage your chimney. You may need professional masonry repair for an inspection and to install a new chimney cap.

2. Masonry Damage

Your masonry may last for a century, but you need to regularly maintain your chimney. Over time the mortar and masonry will deteriorate because of the natural elements, moisture, and wear. The freezing and thawing over winter causes excess damage. Masonry may crack, flake off, or even pop off. This might damage structural integrity of your chimney, a costly repair.

3. Chimney Crown Cracked

An untreated crack in the chimney crown expands over time. The small cracks don’t take a lot to repair. However, waiting will result in serious structural damage to your chimney. Water is your enemy. Any way that water and moisture can seep into the masonry will cause serious damage. Prevent this with regular maintenance and repair.

4. Leaky Flashing or Leaky Top Pan

Once again, any type of water or moisture will damage your chimney. Leaking flashing results when the waterproofing seal no longer effectively keeps moisture out. The flashing may fail just because of deterioration over time or because of poor installation. When the metal top pan has water pooling a leaky chimney can result.

5. Wood Siding on the Chimney

Finally, cracks and damage over time on wood siding may result in a leaky chimney. Call Cummins Restoration for a professional inspection. Our trained professionals will help you identify the leak and determine the best course of active. Trust our experts to solve all of your chimney repair needs. Call us today.

Homeowner Guide: How Do You Know if You Need Tuckpointing?

masonry-restoration-contractors

Does your home need professional tuckpointing? Tuckpointing repairs the brick’s damaged mortar joints. Professional masonry restoration contractors will put fresh new mortar after removing any old failing mortar. The process can be extensive. Experienced professionals like our masonry experts at Cummins Restoration take the time and attention to detail needed to maintain the structural integrity of your home.

A Quick Inspection

Do you need to tuckpoint? Take a look at the different brick structures around your home. This can be your foundation, the chimney, or other areas. Do you need to call masonry restoration contractors? Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is there any cracking?
  • Do you see damage to the structural integrity?
  • Is there crumbling?
  • Does the mortar have holes?

If you aren’t sure if you see extensive damage, you can call Cummins for a professional inspection.

The Scratch Test

One simple way to tell if you need to tuckpoint is the scratch test. Wash the surfaces. Powerwashing will clean the surface well. Observe for any cracking, crumbling, and holes. Take a small sharp object. Scrape the mortar. If it comes off easily you need to call the professionals.

How Long Does Tuckpointing Last?

You only need to tuckpoint every twenty-five years or so if you do not observe any damage. If you have moved into a new home, you might need to schedule an inspection if you do not know when the home last had tuckpointing.

Don’t Wait

You don’t want to wait if you see damage. Humidity and moisture can cause serious damage over time. Like most home repairs, the sooner you address the problem the less costly repairs will be. If you wait too long, large chunks of brick may fall to the ground. This results in property damage and possible personal injury. The repair may involve an entire replacement and become a serious home repair.

Call the professionals at Cummins Restoration today. Schedule your first consultation. We are happy to answer all of your important question. Contact us now.

How serious is a crack in the foundation of my home

crack-in-foundation-slab

Finding a crack in your foundation can be unnerving. Do you need repair? Or is there extensive damage caused by the crack in foundation slab? When do you need to call a professional? Not all cracks are equal. Some indicate serious damage to the structure of your home.

Vertical Crack Troubles

A vertical crack usually indicates foundations settling over time. A vertical crack in foundation slab needs to be sealed. Usually this is an easier job. Sealing will protect your home from moisture damage. Even a new home can have vertical cracks. A vertical crack is typically up and down or can be slightly diagonal. However, if the crack has more than a 30-degree angle, you have a different issue.

Diagonal Cracks

Unlike a vertical crack, diagonal cracks have a 30-70-degree angle. It might be a hairline crack with some variation in width. Sometimes uneven settling causes diagonal cracks. For example, a home built on a hill may have uneven settling. New gutters may address the issue by channeling rainwater away from the foundation. The additional water might cause your home’s foundation to shift over time. This crack needs sealing by a professional as there might be additional repair needed.

Horizontal Cracks and Structural Issues

Finally, the horizontal cracks in your home foundation cause the biggest concerns. They indicate problems with structural integrity. Homes with brick or concrete foundations will develop these cracks. Repair the damage as soon as possible. The contractor will need to reinforce your foundation. Professional repair will prevent additional damage and help build up the structural integrity of your home.

Cummins Restoration experts will help you diagnose foundation cracks. With decades of experience, our seasoned staff will gladly answer your questions. We pride ourselves on superior masonry and repair. We offer a wide range of quality services like masonry, parging, brick repair, and tuckpointing. When you need a contractor you can trust, call the team at Cummins Restoration. We will be there to help you. Contact us today.

What a Crack in the Basement Floor Really Means

basement-waterproofing

Does your basement have unseemly cracks? Many homes have nonstructural settlement cracks. These cracks often result when the concrete shrinks over time. Stress caused by vehicles and moisture can cause these cracks. When do you need repair? Do you need to worry about basement waterproofing? When do you need to call a professional?

What is a Settlement Crack?

Non-structural cracks can be either settlement cracks or shrinkage cracks. For example, when the house drops over time, small cracks occur. Usually, they will not extend far. Shrinkage or curing cracks occur at the corners. You might have water or moisture enter through some of these cracks. Basement waterproofing and repair will be necessary.

Non-structural cracks could let radon into your home. Air leakage can cause this dangerous gas to enter your home. Radon has been linked to lung cancer. Additionally, methane gas can also come in.

Basement Cracks with Heaving

Heaving cracks mean the floor is slowly expanding. This happens with clay soil. The wet soil lifts the slab floor. A professional can address the issue. Large cracks can also cause tripping and accidents. These floors need to be leveled.

Wall-Floor Joint Cracks

Any crack along the wall-floor joint could let in moisture. They need to be sealed. The water can cause property or structural damage over time.

Hairline Cracks

Most hairline cracks do not need to be sealed. They result in natural shrinkage over time. However, if the crack grows visibly, results in heaving, or becomes wider, you need a professional to look at it. You don’t want to let moisture, soil, and radon gas to enter your home.

Ugly Basement Flooring

If you have minor cracks, flaking, or spalling, you can opt to have the basement redone for aesthetic purposes. If you aren’t sure if you have structural problems or radon gas, call the paving professionals at Cummins Restoration. Cummins will inspect your home and let you know what options are available to repair your basement. We pride ourselves on excellent customer service and superior workmanship. Cummins Restoration works within any budget, for all homes large and small. Contact us today.

How to Repair Chimney Cracks

chimney-repair-masonry

Your chimney and fireplace provide your home with warmth and much-needed comfort. Whether enjoying the family around the cozy fire during the winter or simply heating your home during the cold winter months, you rely on your chimney to provide comfort and safety. Regular maintenance will protect your property and family. Yearly chimney repair and masonry will ensure that your family will enjoy your home for decades to come.

Chimney Cracks

Over time your chimney experiences harsh weather, moisture, precipitation, and high winds. This continues wear leads to damage. When the chimney’s walls crack you may experience damaged mortar joints, structural integrity loss, and spalling. Often the constant freezing and thawing of water over the winter leads to these issues. After several years, mortar might wash out, crack, and flake off. Avoid these problems with chimney repair and masonry.

Inspections

The first step to dealing with chimney cracks is setting up an inspection. A professional inspector will be able to tell you what you need to repair your chimney. Minor problems may need just tuckpointing and minor repair. During the professional inspection, the inspector will look over all chimney components, including the fireplace and the chimney cap.

Tuckpointing and Stone Chimney Crack Repair

Smaller cracks will be repaired with tuckpointing. Tuckpointing involves replacing failed mortar joints with fresh mortar. The mason may use chisel and hammer and other tools to repair the problem. After cleaning the area they may fill in any cracks with caulk or bonding materials. They might remove broken stones or bricks first.

Professional Masonry

While smaller jobs might be able to be done by the homeowner, most chimney repair work should be done by a professional. Why? Unless you have been trained in masonry repair, it is easy to miss the cause behind the cracks. A quick tuckpointing may take care of aesthetic issues, but the initial problem remains. A professional inspection will help you see how to prevent future damage. If you inspect your chimney each year, you will be able to avoid costly problems in the long-term, especially if you have a newer chimney. Regular maintenance is key.

Prevention

Once you have repaired your damaged chimney, you should waterproof the chimney. Repair and replace the chimney crown, the flashing, and install a chimney cap. All of these steps will prevent further damage in the future. Look out for problem areas like vines crawling around the chimney, which might cause excess damage over time.

Call the masonry specialists at Cummins Restoration for an inspection today. We will help you diagnose what is wrong with your chimney. We offer quality repair and chimney replacement. Cummins Restoration prides ourselves on our excellent customer service and expertise. Our technicians provide the best masonry repair in the region. Contact us today for your first consultation.

Does My Chimney Need Tuckpointing? 5 Signs

tuckpointing-brick

Does your chimney need professional repair? You can’t always tell just by looking. Sometimes the chimney has serious problems like damaged mortar joints or a rusted firebox. A damaged chimney can lead to property damage or fire. Letting issues go for a long time can result in structural damage requiring a full replacement. Tuckpointing brick and chimney repair are essential to properly maintain your chimney.

Does My Chimney Need Tuckpointing and Repair?

Sometimes chimney problems are obvious. You might notice that smoke fills up the living room when you light your fireplace. Maybe the chimney clearly leans to one side or pulls away from the house. Can you see clear damage to the mortar? Tuckpointing brick can deal with some of the more minor issues. Watch out for these problems that indicate you need professional tuckpointing and repair:

  1. Watch out for damaged mortar joints. Bricks will be exposed to moisture. This leads to large cracks, especially in harsh winter conditions. The chimney can collapse if the problems are not addressed.
  2. Sometimes bricks fall from your chimney. Spalling bricks indicate that moisture has forced the masonry to fail. The chimney crumbles over time. Deal with this issue when you first notice the problem to prevent costly long-term damage to your home.
  3. Does your fireplace have thin slices of chimney tile piled up near the bottom? Watch for cracked and shaling flue tiles. This problem may result in a house fire that will damage property and endanger lives.
  4. A cracked chimney crown allows moisture to damage the mortar and bricks of your chimney. This might cause shaling and spalling. In areas with cold winters, the constant freezing and thawing of water will cause even more extensive damage.
  5. Believe it or not, if you notice that the wallpaper near your chimney has damage, you might have a chimney problem. Damaged wallpaper often indicates problems with moisture. Be sure to schedule your inspection today to avoid structural damage.

Contact Cummins Restoration for Your Chimney Needs

You need chimney repair you can trust. Call the experts at Cummins Restoration. With decades of experience, our seasoned team will inspect and repair your chimney quickly and professionally. Call our friendly staff today. We will be happy to answer all of your chimney questions. We pride ourselves on excellent customer service. YOU are our priority. Don’t delay. Call us now.

How Much Does it Cost to Fix a Fireplace?

residential-chimney-repair

Over time your chimney will require regular maintenance and repair to prevent long-term issues. Most residential chimney repair results from simple cracks. Moisture leaks into the chimney, causing damage to the home. Additionally, smoke and fumes may enter the home, causing a possible fire hazard. Regular maintenance and repair will ensure that you and your family will enjoy your fireplace for main years to come.

Basic Costs

Many factors affect the total cost to fix a fireplace and chimney. The size of the home, amount of damage, and other factors like structural damage or moisture all contribute to the final cost. You have many factors to consider when estimating the residential chimney repair cost. Here are some common repairs and their estimates.

  • Basic Brick and Mortar Repair – If you have issues with moisture and cracks, you will need chimney repair. The mortar joints contract and expand. This may lead to fire hazards and carbon monoxide problems. The cost for basic repair can be as little as a few hundred dollars and go up to a few thousand dollars for more serious issues.
  • Moisture Damage – Over time, small problems like a crack can lead to moisture entering through the seals and flashing. This leads to rusty dampers. Expect to pay hundreds of dollars to repair water damage.
  • Chimney Replacement – In the worst scenarios, you will need to replace your entire chimney. This happens when your chimney has too much structural damage for a basic repair. Expect to pay thousands of dollars for a full chimney demolition and repair.
  • Crown Repair – Your chimney crown has several functions like keeping birds out of your chimney and preventing precipitation from entering your home. Cold harsh climates can wreak damage on your chimney as the water expands and freezes. A chimney crown repair costs several hundred dollars.

Maintain Your Chimney

At the end of the day, the best way to prevent costlier repair is through regular chimney maintenance and repair. Contact Cummins Restoration for an inspection and consultation. Our experienced staff will be happy to help you. Trust our talented professionals for all your chimney and fireplace repairs. We offer a wide range of services like parging, tuck-point, chimney replacement, and crown repair. Contact us today.

6 Ways to Repair Damaged Brick

cracked-brick-repair

Do you need to repair your home’s masonry? How can you tell if you need cracked brick repair? What signs should you be looking for? Many masonry issues result from natural settlement. The soil around your home loses strength over time. The building foundation alignment depends on the pressure of the earth around it. When soil shifts, it creates stress on the foundation. The brick then cracks or breaks, causing serious structural issues.

Many problems result in damaged brick. Some signs that you need repair include:

  1. Bowed Brick – Moisture warps the concrete causes the bricks to push out. A mason will remove any affected bricks after inspection. They may need to rebuild your outer wall to help with the structural integrity of your home.
  2. Vertical Corner Cracks – A vertical results from natural settling. Your mason will be able to repair this with an epoxy injection. This will fill the crack and prevent any moisture from entering the home.
  3. Spalling – What is spalling? A corroding shelf angle can chip at the brick. The mason will inspect your home and determine if the shelf angle has been corroded. If it has, expect lengthy repair.
  4. Staining and Efflorescence – You will see soluble salt exiting the pores. These stains have a common cause like moisture and dew. Pressure cleaning will remove the stain at the earliest stages. If left longer, your mason will use special chemicals to remove the stains.
  5. Compacted Bricks – Compacted bricks lose shape over time. They may be cracked, chipped, or bowed. Moisture can enter the spaces between the bricks. A mason will replace any affected bricks as well as recommend underpinning. This helps strengthen your foundation.
  6. Deteriorated Mortar – Repointing and tuckpointing will address weakened foundations due to mortar deterioration.

Contact Cummins Restoration

Contact the masonry professionals at Cummins Restoration. We offer quality workmanship at an affordable price for every homeowner. Don’t wait until your home has structural damage. Instead, call our friendly staff today with your questions. We offer an inspection and services like brick repair, masonry, parging, tuckpointing, and more. Call us today.