How serious is a crack in the foundation of my home

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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.

5 Different Types of Chimneys

house-chimney

Your chimney keeps your family warm and comfortable throughout the winter months. The house chimney also adds aesthetic beauty and home value to your home. Install a quality chimney with durable materials to keep your family safe. There are several key types of chimneys, each serving a different function. Your chimney pulls unwanted gases and smoke from your home and ensures proper airflow in your home.

Masonry Chimney

A masonry chimney usually includes masonry fireplaces. The contractors build them using cement, mortar, blocks, stone, and bricks. The standard house chimney allows the smoke to go through the channel and out of the home. The bricks absorb heat, keeping the home warm. Masonry chimneys last for decades with regular maintenance and care.

Metal Construction

Metal chimneys do not have the same elegant looks as traditional masonry chimneys. They can be triple walled or double walled. They sometimes cost more than traditional chimneys. The extra insulation helps dissipate the heat.

Prefabricated Chimneys and Fireplaces

In contemporary modern construction, prefabricated chimneys are a new trend. Complete with elegant fireplaces and custom design, factory-built chimneys have more style options. Prefabricated chimneys and fireplaces often come as a set. If you have a fireplace that does not match the factory-made chimney, you may need another option. These types of chimneys and fireplaces do not last as long as traditional chimneys. They require more repair and replacement over time. There are a few different types of manufactured chimneys:

  • Double Walled Chimneys
  • Air-Insulated Chimneys
  • Combination Chimneys
  • Air-Cooled Chimneys

Fireplace Insert Chimney Styles

The insert chimney has a special insert. They are often fit to open masonry fireplaces. They can be used with wood stoves. They can be installed with a masonry fireplace, then connected to the flue.

Freestanding Stove Chimneys and Wood Stove Chimneys

Another popular option involves installing a freestanding stove chimney. They can be built with masonry or pre-fabricated. Wood burning stove chimneys have a rich old tradition spanning over a century.

Speak with the experienced professionals at Cummins Restoration about the ideal chimney type for your home. We are the premier chimney repair and installer in the region. We offer a wide variety of services from chimney replacement and repair to tuckpointing. Set up an in-home consultation with our friendly staff. Contact us today. We will be happy to help you.

How Your Chimney Works

chimney-repair-cost

Every homeowner should understand the scientific basics of how your chimney works. Reduce chimney repair cost by maintaining your chimney over time. Learn how to diagnose problems with your chimney that may require professional repair. Save money with a more efficient chimney.

Your House Works Together as a Complete System

Your home has constant airflow. Wind loading, stack effect, furnaces, and fireplaces all contribute to changes in the home’s overall airflow. Modern homes from the last two decades have much tighter airflow. Older homes often suffer from drafts and inefficiency overall. Your chimney repair cost will be affected by numerous factors including the age of your home, the structural integrity of your chimney, and the overall airflow in your home.

The stack effect refers to warm air rising to the upper levels of your home. The air attempts to escape your home from the upper levels. Meanwhile, new air pushes its way inside your home on the lower levels. The Natural Pressure Plane (NPP) is the point where the indoor-to-outdoor air pressure is essentially zero. Each home has at least one NPP, and possibly more. Factors like a home with two chimneys can result in smoke in the home because of changes in the air flow.

Wind-loading occurs when wind causes additional air pressure by striking the home. Open windows and doors will help pressurize the house. Backdrafting may result if windows are open on the leeward (downwind) side of the home. Other devices like kitchen fans, bathroom fans, and central vacuums will affect depressurization, as well. Furnaces, fireplaces, woodstoves, and water heaters require large volumes of air. Innovative mechanical devices will help manage air flow.

Your chimney is considered a negative pressure system. In other words, your chimney pulls air through a firebox, creating a draft. Poor chimney flow can result in your home being full of smoke, structural damage, or dangerous creosote build-up. There are a number of reasons why your chimney does not function properly:

  • Creosote deposits
  • Plugged and closed dampers
  • Structural damage
  • Improper construction
  • Dirty or damaged chimney cap

Think of a dirty chimney cap like a water hose plugged at the end. The water builds up. In the same way, a damaged chimney will prevent airflow through the chimney and out of your home. A professional inspection will help determine if your chimney is functioning correctly.

Regular maintenance and cleaning help maintain your chimney and fireplace. Call the experts at Cummins Restoration about your chimney repair needs today. Our friendly staff will be happy to answer all of your questions. Please set up your consultation now.

Chimney Sweep and Cleaning 101

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Why should you get your chimney cleaned? Chimney cleaning removes dangerous built-up creosote, blockages, and soot from your chimney. Eliminate any hazards with a professional cleaning. Creosote can cause volatile house fires when left alone. If you have poor burning practices, use the chimney often, or have a stove not working well, creosote can increase. Creosote builds up over time and reduces the efficacy of the chimney overall

What Should I Do?

Before you clean your chimney be sure to regularly maintain your chimney and have an inspection at least once a year. A professional inspection should be twice a year if you use the chimney more often. Ideally have the chimney inspected before the winter.

What is Done During a Chimney Sweep?

The chimney sweep cleans the entire chimney. This includes the flue pipes, fireplaces, and smoke ducts. They remove creosote, debris, and any critters that may have nested in your chimney.

How Do I Know I Need to Hire a Chimney Sweep?

You will have a few indicates that your chimney needs sweeping. First, be sure to have inspection if you have not had one yet this year. You will see that you have poorly burning fires and less efficiency. You might smell strong odors or notice greasy black soot buildup. The smoke may enter the home instead of going up the chimney. In the case of invading birds and animals, you may hear animals sounds in the walls.

How Long Does It Take to Sweep a Chimney?

A professional chimney sweep can clean a chimney in less than an hour. They will look over the chimney and maybe check out your water heater or furnace. The chimney sweep will be happy to answer any questions you have about chimney safety overall. In most cases, you need a professional to clean your chimney. If you do not remember the last time the chimney was cleaned, you need to have a professional clean it out.

Call Cummins Restoration today. We provide the best chimney inspection services in the region. Our trusted staff will be happy to answer your questions. Schedule your appointment today.

5 Common Reasons Your Chimney Leaks

Additional moisture in your chimney can cause irreversible damage. Roof leaks at the base of a chimney can cause structural problems for years to come. There are many reasons for chimney leaks. You may need chimney repair for flashing that is worn, tuckpointing, or chimney replacement. What are some of the most common causes for chimney leaking?

Old Flashing

The flashing provides a waterproof seal between the chimney and the roof. However, this area can be susceptible to moisture and deterioration over time. The materials have less durability. Chimney repair for flashing that has damage will prevent significant structural damage over time.

No Chimney Cap

Your chimney needs a functional chimney cap. This prevents unnecessary moisture from entering the chimney. The chimney cap protects against rain, snow, and even little critters that want to make a home in your chimney.

Mortar Problems

Chimney mortar lasts about twenty years. The bricks last for a century. This means that mortar will deteriorate well before the bricks. Freezing and thawing during the winter can cause serious problems. Deteriorating mortar can cause a chimney to lean or fail entirely.

Crown Issues

A cracked crown lets in water between the flue lining and the chimney. This will cause issues to walls and ceilings of your home. An annual chimney inspection will help you find these common issues before they cause expensive damage to your home.

Regular Maintenance

Your home needs a chimney inspection at least twice a year. Usually schedule the inspection before the winter months, when the chimney will be in use the most. Cummins Restoration can provide a detailed assessment to determine what repairs your chimney needs. Don’t wait until the chimney is beyond repair. The longer you wait the costlier the repairs may be.

Trust Cummins Restoration to repair your chimney. Our family business provides the best masonry and chimney repair in the region. Call us today.