3 Dangerous Signs of Structural Damage

masonry-techniques

Major structural issues with your home can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare. Fortunately, quality masonry techniques and early detection can help save you thousands of dollars and the structural integrity of your home. Look for these key issues in your home:

1. Cracks

No, not every crack means that you have serious structural damage. However, certain types of damage are more serious. Small cracks can be repaired with professional masonry techniques. However, look for stair-step cracks, large cracks along foundation walls, and large cracks in the sheetrock. If you have these glaring problems, then call our professionals today. We will provide you with an inspection and estimate for work needed.

2. Doors and Windows That Won’t Open

Over time your house will naturally settle and shift. However, if you find that the doors are jammed you might have a serious structural issue. Because the walls and foundation are shifting, the doors and windows no longer fit in their frames. This results in jammed windows and doors. Besides providing a fire hazard and safety issue for your family, this also might indicate that you have a serious structural issue in your home. You need a professional inspection to determine if you have structural problems.

3. Chimney Pulls Away from Home

When you purchase or own an older home, the chimney may begin to shift as the house settles. When a home has serious structural damage, the chimney itself may detach from the home. In more extreme cases you can see the lean just by standing outside the home. However, you might need a professional to check the chimney in the earlier stages. Remember that you want to address foundation issues much sooner than later to save time and damage to your home. If you suspect your chimney has been compromised because of foundation issues, call a professional immediately.

Foundation repair is possible. If you catch the issues earlier, you might be able to avoid a large expense and headache. Have us inspect your home today. With years of experience in masonry and home restoration, we guarantee that we can repair your foundation. Enjoy your home for decades to come with quality foundation repair.

How Do You Fix Decaying Bricks?

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Beautiful brick homes require little maintenance. They provide aesthetic beauty and security. However, sometimes you need chipped brick repair to maintain the look and structural integrity of your home. What are some ways to fix decaying brick? What do you look for? Let’s find out.

Crumbling and deteriorating brick is a common issue. However, a simple surface repair will not fix any underlying moisture problem. Chipped brick repair, tuckpointing, and masonry by a professional will ensure that your home maintains structural integrity and its overall elegance.

What Causes Decaying Bricks?

The number one reason that bricks chip and deteriorates over time is moisture. Bricks close to the ground will deteriorate over time due to ongoing splashing and puddling. When a home has poor drainage, water will add further damage to bricks. Mortar turns sandy. Bricks chip, break and crack. In cold climates, frost will break and crumble bricks.

Prevention

If you want to avoid costly repairs and damage, then keep your brick walls dry. Avoid any sort of puddling of water near the foundation. Repair drainage issues. Keep hoses and water sources away from the brick. Inspect the mortar over time. Watch for ground sloping towards the home. This will cause water to move closer to your foundation. Gutter leaks can cause damage. Check downspouts for debris. Essentially, keep your brick walls as dry as possible.

Repair

Have a professional inspect any damage to bricks, walls, and foundation. Remember that simply fixing the bricks aesthetic look will not address serious structural problems. When remortaring, be sure to remove any damaged materials. Check for structural problems. Tuckpointing is a temporary fix for eroding brick. However, tuckpointing only helps the issue on a surface level. Whatever the type of repair, be sure to remove all of the damaged areas. Don’t leave any loose mortar between joints. Simple repairs and patching can be done by the handy homeowner. However, most serious issues can be addressed by a professional masonry company.

Call our experienced professionals today. We will help you assess your damaged brick walls and provide you with high-quality repair and installation.

5 Essential Tips: Is it Foundation Problems or House Settling?

vertical-foundation-crack-repair

Protect your home investment from structural damage. Do you know the difference between advanced foundation problems and house settling? Do you need vertical foundation crack repair or just a paint job? Find out with our professional tips.

Inspect Your Home

Your home will naturally settle over time. Chances are you won’t need vertical foundation crack repair or foundation replacement if you regularly inspect your home for structural issues. Small hairline cracks are common.

What to look for? Here are a few of the obvious signs of serious structural damage:

  • Gaps between walls and floors
  • Cracks around door frames and windows
  • Bouncy uneven floors
  • Warped ceilings
  • Windows and doors that stick
  • Bowed walls
  • Stair step cracks in the stonework
  • Leaning chimney

You can inspect your home for these issues. If you suspect an issue, call a structural engineer or contractor to inspect your home and provide you with solutions.

Update Drainage

Keep water away from your foundation. Gutters should point away from your home. Don’t let rainwater collect near the foundation. You may have to add extra drainage if you find that your natural landscape pools water near your home.

Check for Termites

Believe it or not, termites can imitate structural damage to your home. If you see some of the problems above like bowed walls and sagging ceilings, be sure to eliminate termites as the culprit.

Check the Concrete

Does your foundation have mortar erosion? Over time the exposure to chemicals and high moisture changes the chemical composition of the concrete. Absorb salts react with steel, causing serious corrosion.

Call a Professional

If you find any of these serious structural issues like a leaning chimney and large cracks in the foundation, contact a professional to repair your home. Call us today to discuss how we can repair your home. Prevent long-term structural damage to your home today.

What are signs of structural damage to a house?

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Your home is a sanctuary and an investment. But when you see cracks in the foundation – when to worry about calling a repairman? Your foundation provides your home’s overall structural integrity. When concrete cracks, long-term damage can cause expensive problems. Learn the difference between settling and serious foundation issues.

Your Home’s Foundation

Over time your home sinks into the ground. This is a natural occurrence. Changes in weather like a dry season to a really wet season can cause cracks in the foundation; when to worry? When you see cracks in doors and windows, sticking doors, and serious large cracks in the foundation. Soil contraction and expansion shifts the soil underneath your home. Settling and foundation problems can affect both new homes and much older homes.

Advanced Foundation Damage

Jagged cracks at 45-degree angles mean the home has serious shifting issues. The shift may have torn the sheetrock apart under the home. Your doors and windows stick as the foundation shifts. Cracks above window frames observed from the outside indicate that the foundation is in serious disrepair. Horizontal cracks in the foundation mean that there is hydrostatic pressure building up. Uneven flooring and cracks in bathroom tiles can be other indications that a home has serious foundation damage.

Foundation Repair

Hire a structural engineer to assess the damage to your home. They will evaluate the foundation and provide an engineered solution to fix the issues. This will cost a few thousand dollars. Your contractor has a few options to fix the damaged foundation. Bolting on steel braces and underpinning the foundation are two options. A brand new foundation for your home can cost tens of thousands of dollars. If you detect small hairline cracks, paint them over. Then monitor them for changes over time. Contact a professional if the cracks grow larger.

Do you think you need to repair cracks in your wall, need masonry, or have some structural issues? Contact our professionals today. We will be ready to help you.

How Much Does It Cost to Fix a Leaning Chimney?

chimney-repointing

An unstable chimney detracts from the home’s overall curb appeal and can present a danger to your family and valuables. Regular chimney repair and maintenance, chimney repointing, fixing a leaning chimney, and replacement will ensure that you and your family will enjoy years of warmth and comfort. What are the costs of repairing a leaning chimney?

No Time to Wait

A leaning chimney often points to serious structural and foundational issues with your chimney. While regular maintenance and chimney repointing helps, if you have a leaning chimney, it is important to speak with a chimney repair professional today. A leaning chimney can collapse at any time, landing on a house, roof, or vehicle. Additionally, an unstable chimney presents a serious fire hazard and an opportunity for irreparable water damage from precipitation.

Take the time to identify the structural problems. For example, does your chimney seem to be leaning away from your house or falling onto the yard? Does it seem to be falling towards your roof? If you do not know what to look for, call our professionals today about an inspection.

Chimney failure can be because of inferior footing, water drainage issues, or inferior soil under your chimney. This is a significant problem that needs to be taken care of before further damage occurs. Fortunately, once you repair the leaning chimney with a quality chimney repair contractor, you will enjoy your chimney for years to come.

How Much Does Leaning Chimney Repair Cost?

Leaning chimneys often point to a foundational issue in the home. The brick pulls away from the side of the house. Expect to spend a few thousand dollars to repair this issue. However, a chimney repair professional will be able to most accurately assess the actual damage done and find ways to repair your chimney within your budget with the best materials.

Wall Repair: Don’t Just Hire Anyone

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You love your home or business and want the highest quality contractors. But how can you find the absolute best commercial masonry services in a sea of renovators? Check out these incredible insider professional tips to finding the right service for wall repair and masonry.

Research

Long gone are the days where you had to thumb through an enormous phonebook or scour local TV ads to find the right contractor for your project. Instead, you can easily find the best commercial masonry services online with a click or a swipe. Do your homework and keep a handy checklist ready that includes information about references, license, and insurance. Verify all of the information.

References and Word-of-Mouth

References from a friend or neighbor are invaluable. In fact, if you know someone who recently had a high quality masonry job completed, ask them for the name of their contractor. Read carefully through references and testimonials on websites. Call the contract and ask for names and addresses of specific projects.

Look through the gallery pages of recent work. See if they have projects that are similar to what you need done, whether it is wall repair, chimney replacement, tuckpointing, or other masonry services. Be thorough in your searches.

Be Professional

Keep interactions with the contractor professional. Speak up when you have a question or need them to change something. If you find a problem, address it immediately in a professional way. Vocalize your vision and expectations for the project immediately. Get everything in writing and maintain a paper trail (or email trail). Add any changes in writing and initial. Be present during the entire process.

Contact our incredible friendly professional masonry experts today for high-quality installation services. With years of experience, you can trust Cummins Restoration for your masonry services. Call us today.

5 Professional Tips to Repair Your Chimney

brick-chimney-construction

When the weather’s chilly, nothing is as comforting as warming up by the fireplace. Maintaining your chimney protects your family and provides a safe cozy home for your family. Chimney repair prevents dangerous creosote buildup. Upkeep the chimney flue to prevent illness from smoke fumes. Follow these simple professional tips to maintain brick chimney construction. Enjoy your fireplace for decades to come.

Common Chimney Repairs

Your chimney has a few common problems. Some issues, like replacing the entire brick chimney construction will require the work of a professional. A common problem involves debris blocking the chimney flue. The debris may be a nest, leafs, or debris. Blocking the chimney may cause dangerous fumes to enter your home. These can make you and your family ill. Inspect your chimney at least once or twice a year, preferably before the winter. The inspector will check for debris and a blocked chimney. Keep your chimney clear of debris and critters to prevent injury.

Creosote Building

Creosote building can create a hazardous condition in your home. Always burn your fires hot to prevent creosote buildup. Have working carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home. Check the detectors regularly. Keep your chimney flue clean. Hire professionals to clear out any excess buildup.

Restoring Your Chimney

Minor steps like preventing chimney leaks by applying mortar can be done by homeowners. Mix mortar and apply to the crown. Keep the mortar the consistency of cookie dough. You don’t want the mortar to be too dry or too wet. Plug minor cracks and protect your home.

Tuckpointing

Some handy homeowners feel comfortable doing minor tuckpointing work on their chimney. Restore the brick joints to restore deteriorating mortar. Apply the mortar using a trowel. Clear away any extra mortar.

Structural Issues

Finally, structural issues like cracks and breakdown of mortar can ruin the structural integrity of the chimney. If you spot any major cracks or structural issues, contact a chimney repairman.

How to Stop Creosote Buildup

chimney-repair-campanies

Every time you light a fire in your fireplace, creosote will deposit in your chimney. Creosote can be a dangerous flammable hazard. In some cases, you will need to look for chimney repair companies to remove excess buildup of creosote to prevent fire. What are some ways to prevent creosote buildup in your home?

Three Stages of Creosote

Each stage of buildup becomes increasingly more dangerous. At the first stage, you can brush away flaky soot with a chimney brush. After this stage, the creosote looks like hard black flakes. At this point you may need to hire a professional as you need specialized tools to remove the buildup.

At the final stage, the creosote is highly concentrated. The creosote coats the inside of the chimney. The creosote builds up in layers, creating a deadly fire hazard. At this stage, replacing the entire chimney liner may be necessary. Call our professionals today if your chimney has entered this final stage. Prevent damage and harm to your family and home.

Prevent Creosote Buildup

Allowing creosote to build up in your chimney leaves your home exposed to many fire hazards. A hot fire can ignite the tar, causing irreparable damage to your home. A chimney fire quickly becomes a house fire. What are some ways to prevent dangerous creosote buildup?

  • Do not burn unseasoned firewood
  • Do not burn artificial logs
  • Avoid burning slow smoldering fires
  • Burn with plenty of air flow
  • If your chimney is outside your home, check regularly for creosote buildup
  • Contact a chimney repair professional to assess your chimney

Protect your family by regularly inspecting and cleaning your chimney. Contact our experienced professionals today.

How Long Should a Brick Chimney Last?

rebuild-the-chimney-stack

The chimney plays an important aesthetic and functional role in your home. Providing warmth and comfort, the chimney also adds home value and provides a sense of luxurious charm. However, regular maintenance and repair are necessary to help your chimney last for generations. Failure to maintain the structure and masonry of your chimney can result in having to rebuild the chimney stack, which can be costly.

How to Make Your Chimney Last

The bricks in your chimney can last a century. Mortar typically last a couple of decades before erosion due to extreme weather and water damage cause structural problems. If you need to rebuild the chimney stack, the cost can be high. What are some things that you can do to help maintain your chimney? Regular cleaning, chimney sweeping, masonry repair, and tuckpointing all will help keep your chimney in tip top shape.

Regular Maintenance

You should have your chimney swept and inspected at least once a year. An inspection will check for debris, structural integrity, and correct clearances. Cleaning should happen before the winter season starts. If you do not use your chimney often, animals and birds may nest in the chimney. It is imperative to check your chimney if you have not used it in a very long time. For example, homeowners should have the chimney cleaned on their vacation homes if the homes lie dormant for much of the year.

Masonry Repair

An inspection will reveal any structural issues or mortar deterioration in your chimney. Many times water damage can accrue over time, causing long-term problems. Have your chimney inspected by a professional for water damage, debris, and any other issues. They will provide you with an honest assessment and information on how to help you maintain your chimney for a long time. With proper maintenance and repair your chimney can last a century or more.

Why Tuckpointing is the Perfect Solution for Chimney Repair

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Your chimney increases your home value and adds beautiful design and aesthetic elegance to your home. Regular upkeep is important. Leaking chimney repair, tuckpointing, and regular cleaning will help you enjoy your chimney for decades to come.

What is Tuckpointing?

Many homeowners don’t realize how important tuckpointing can be. Need leaking chimney repair? Repair the masonry of your chimney with tuckpointing. The chimney mortar deteriorates over time because of moisture, weather, and water damage. This weakens the overall structure and can lead to long-term, and costly, damage. Tuckpointing will stop the destructive process. Tuckpointing replaces the mortar and provides an overall attractive appeal by combining two contrasting mortar colors.

Why Tuckpointing Helps

The bricks in your home will last for decades and decades. However, the mortar does not last as long. Excess water and extreme weather conditions can cause mortar to deteriorate considerable in only a couple of decades. Tuckpointing is cost-effective. By tuckpointing you can replace the mortar and solidify the structure of your chimney. Waiting on repair can lead to chimney collapse. Rebuilding a chimney from scratch can be prohibitively costly. Additionally, a damaged chimney can potentially pose a fire hazard or allow debris and water damage to enter your home.

How to Find a Chimney Repair Professional

You want a chimney repair specialist that has a long history of success. Quality materials and years of experience will ensure that your home will be repaired to your satisfaction. Help us answer all of your essential tuckpointing questions. Contact our chimney repair professionals for an inspection, estimate, and consult for your home.