How to Repair a Basement Floor

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Does your basement floor have serious cracks and damage? Is it time to call a professional contractor? Can a little basement and masonry waterproofing paint take care of the issue? Let’s discuss what you need to know about repairing your basement floor.

Hairline Cracks

Typically small hairline cracks in your basement might not affect the overall structural integrity of your home. However, some issues like much wider cracks, perimeter cracks, and unlevel flooring can indicate structural damage, soil expansion, and serious foundation problems. They require more than basement and masonry waterproofing paint for repair. Spiderweb-like fine cracks result from surface shrinkage. These are typically superficial and need sealing.

Wider Cracks

You want to seal wider cracks. Wide cracks can result in soil smells, gases, and moisture to leak into your basement. Seal them with an elastomeric caulking sealant for interior masonry or contact masonry professionals, especially if you suspect structural issues.

Perimeter Cracks

You want to seal any perimeter cracks. You can seal this professionally or use an elastomeric caulking product.

Spalling

Sometimes your basement has surface flaking. This means that the concrete mix was wet when poured. While unattractive, the concrete below is typically safe. Don’t leave it unaddressed. You may need concrete resurfacer or choose to install flooring. A simple coat of paint will not address the issue.

Settling and Structural Issues

Sometimes the foundation contractor did not compact the soil properly or the soil below has sand. In this case, the flowing begins to sink, causing tripping hazards and possible structural issues. If the basement cracks and heaves upwards, you have a serious structural issue. Uneven floors due to soil expansion needs to be professionally addressed. They might replace the basement floor and install an interior drain to collect groundwater. Direct water away from your home’s foundation to prevent future problems.

Call our masonry professionals today. We can help solve your basement and foundation problems. Contact us.

What are Masonry Structures?

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As a homeowner you need to understand masonry. Knowing the foundations of masonry will help you choose the right materials, masonry tools, and contractors when your home needs repairs. Learn the basics of masonry construction.

What is Masonry?

Structures that are built from units bound by mortar are masonry structures. Masonry comes in many materials. Know the different materials to use the correct masonry tools and construction for each project:

  • Brick
  • Stone
  • Marble
  • Granite
  • Travertine
  • Limestone
  • Cast Stone
  • Concrete Block
  • Glass Block
  • Stucco
  • Tile

Masonry remains the most popular building material for its durability and versatility. Masonry structures have survived the test of time, sometimes for centuries like the Great Wall of China and India’s Taj Mahal. Builders use the material for both structural and non-structural projects. Because of their energy efficiency and aesthetic beauty, they remain a top building material in the 21st century.

Benefits of Masonry Construction

Why does masonry remain superior to other building materials? The bricks and stone increase the thermal mass of a structure. They are heat-resistant and provide additional fire protection and safety. They are resilient in hurricanes, tornadoes, and other natural disasters. Although masonry can be susceptible to the cold and is very heavy, it remains a reliable material that lasts.

Types of Masonry

Generally, there are two types of masonry work: solid masonry and veneer masonry. Solid masonry is free standing. Veneer masonry has aesthetic value. Both types of masonry can include brick, stone, concrete, and other materials. Walls, chimney, and foundation of a home often include brick, stone, or concrete. Masonry can also include aesthetic decorative work and reinforcing a structure.

When choosing the right type of materials, discuss options with a professional contractor. They will know the best materials for your project and materials.

Call our professionals today about your masonry project. Help us plan and restore your building. We are here to help you. Contact us with your project needs.

What You Need to Know About Masonry Foundation Leaks

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Serious water damage can cause structural issues for your home. How serious are your leaks? Do you need professionals to install new masonry materials to protect your home? How can you avoid the mildew, rotting wood, and other damage done by foundation leaks?

What Causes Foundation Leaks?

Builders take significant steps to prevent basement leaks. These can include making sure that water drains away from your home and patching any potential leaks and cracks that allow in moisture with high-quality masonry materials. Over time the home settles. This creates cracks in the basement walls and damage to the home. Even if you have a home that is structurally sound, moisture from the soil can seep through the wall.

A high-quality humidifier helps reduce the damage done by moisture. However, you need to waterproof the walls. In the worst case scenarios, entire flooding occurs during rainy seasons or when snow melts.

Find the Source

Concrete is porous. This means that you need to look for streaks along any cracks, corners of windows, between the mortar joints, and around the pipes. However, if water pools in a certain area or an entire wall is wet, you need to find the exact source of the water. You need to know if the water source comes from outside or is from an inside issue. For example, a basement shower or plumbing problem can lead to water leakage.

Seal Cracks

Seal any cracks with hydraulic cement. This is a relatively simple tasks for most DIY homeowners. However, more serious issues require professionals. Don’t forget to seal windows.

Don’t Work in a Flooded Basement

For safety reasons, never ever work in a flooded basement. You increase the risk of electrical shock or electrocution. Use a pump to get rid of the water. The basement must be dry before you start to work. In most cases, a professional can help you determine how you can repair your foundation.

Call our seasoned professionals today about your foundation leaks. We can help you find an affordable solution for your problem.

What are the different types of brick masonry?

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Learn about the many different brick materials and types used in construction. There are several key types of masonry, including concrete, fly ash, clay, and sand lime bricks. Let’s talk about major properties and uses.

Brick Type

Before we begin to discuss construction, let’s mention classes. The types of masonry bricks correspond to different classes (or quality) of materials:

  • 1st and 2nd Class – High quality for tunnels, commercial projects, buildings, etc.
  • 3rd class – For temporary structures
  • 4th class – Used in making concrete
  • Aesthetic – Sometimes bricks have an artistic purpose and are not used as part of the structure but for decoration

First Class Bricks

These bricks are free from cracks, are smooth, and do not absorb more than 15% of their weight in water when submerged for more than a day. These bricks have been well burnt and are strong. First Class bricks are used for any permanent structures. They have been used in flooring, as well. First-class bricks have high quality and strength.

You can do a quick finger test to see if a brick is First Class. If you scratch the brick with your fingernails and there is no mark, then the brick is likely First Class. Two First Class bricks make a metallic sound when struck together.

Second Class Bricks

While these bricks have been well burnt as well, they do not have the smooth uniform look of First Class bricks. They have a rough surface overall. They might be used in buildings but in areas where maybe the masonry is plastered.

Other Classes

When building a permanent structure, only use First Class and Second Class bricks. Third class bricks are irregular, absorb water, and can be underburnt or overburnt. These might be used ornamentally.

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

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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.

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.

What is Masonry?

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What is masonry? And why should every homeowner understand this term? While the term “masonry” mainly refers simply to building structures in its simplest definition, there are actually several complex aspects to masonry construction.

Different Materials

Generally, what is masonry? Masonry can refer to anything from brickwork to concrete block. Each form of masonry has its own distinct features, benefits, and challenges. Knowing what is masonry will help you make the correct decision regarding your particular renovation job. For example, the unique look and style of brickwork as a throwback to the mid-20th century has risen in popularity as homeowners look for a unique art of building. On the other hand, concrete block, known as Concrete Masonry Units, often make up the structural integrity of many commercial and industrial buildings. CMUs can be painted, ribbed, sandblasted, or even striated to create a distinct decorative look.

Stonework

Intricate stonework on corners, doors, and window jambs often involve using dressed stone. This is known as ashlar masonry. Many times natural stone will be placed to give the illusion of a stone masonry façade over concrete blocks. Stonework may be irregular or uniform, depending on the homeowner’s specifications. The differences between natural materials versus those that are manufactured are usually not apparent.

Additional Protection and Insulation

Masonry walls offer several important forms of protection against the elements. Besides providing structural durability and strength for homes on coastal regions that are prone to hurricanes and other weather extremities, these walls can provide an added layer of protection during a fire. A “fireman’s cut” or “fire cut” is often set along a beam. This adds to structural integrity and prevents a wall from collapsing during a fire event.

Whether building an architectural structure or a home for your family, knowing the key aspects of masonry will help you make the right decision during renovation and construction.

 

To Parge or Not To Parge: Home Foundation Care

Many homeowners wonder about the benefits of parging concrete parging-concretefoundations of their home. There are several important reasons why parging should be considered by every homeowner. More than decorative, adding that extra coat to your walls and foundation provides extra protection for your home.

A Weather Barrier

For homeowners that live in areas with inclement weather like snow and large amounts of precipitation, that extra coat to your home’s foundation walls will help prevent unwanted cracks, damage, and holes caused over the years. While this may seem an additional expense that may not be required by the local building code, homes with exterior insulation really should have that extra protection. Parging concrete foundations will protect the insulation from sunlight and other factors that may cause wear and tear.

Parging protects the most vulnerable parts of your home’s exterior. Little cracks and holes in the foundation can easily grow into major problems when not addressed. This can be a large financial burden, not to mention a lead to unnecessary headaches. Sometimes you might not need to repair the entire foundation but simply patch up the affected area.

Aesthetics

The foundation of your home needs the utmost care. Left exposed to the elements, sunlight, and time, imperfections will result. For example, slow wearing away of exposed brick, holes, and cracks. You also might want to hide any imperfections and marks that may have taken place during construction. Parging provides an extra layer that will bring aesthetic beauty to your home. This adds to the home’s overall curb-appeal.

There are different types of parging that you might select to suit your home’s overall style and decor. Cement parging is pretty easy to work with and may be available in a variety of colors. If you want a durable finish, a little higher end, then try acrylic coating. This mix of cement and liquid acrylic is also available in a wide variety of colors. You can also add texture to further showcase your individual style. Be aware that you might not want to paint over your parging since the watertight finish may lead to deterioration underneath if not properly applied. Additionally, the color may be difficult to remove after application. Speak with your contractor about your concerns about upkeep and maintenance.

Hire a Professional

Protecting your home’s foundation from damage caused by water, ice, and snow is very important. Be sure to speak with highly qualified contractors about your concerns. With new home construction, include discussion about your needs for parging to protect your home. When you are purchasing an older home, there might be some obstacles to overcome. In some cases, you might need to replace the previous parging or have to contract for a total removal. Whatever you choose, be sure to speak with your contractor about what would work best to protect your foundation.

 

Cracked Concrete? Your Essential Guide to Parging Your Basement

The brick wall outside your building or home is cracked, with is-parging-necessaryexposed brick that has been slowly worn away by the elements. Parging will add an extra coat of protection to your wall, but you are not sure. Snow, rain, and ice have chipped away at the wall. Not only is it pretty ugly, but you know if you continue to ignore it that you will have to deal with a much bigger, more expensive problem.  Is parging necessary?

What is Parging?

Parging is an extra protective coat applied to your building or home foundation and walls. Sometimes made of cement or a mix that includes liquid acrylic, parging can provide an extra line of defense against the harsh elements. Over time snow, ice, rain, and water will tear away at exposed foundations and walls. Additional environmental factors like pollution and dirt, also take away from the aesthetic beauty of your home. Over time, minor cracks and holes can give way to major foundation and structural issues. These problems build up over time and can end up costing significant resources, time, and stress.

Is Parging Necessary?

When you are considering the cost of new construction or renovating an older building, consider the long-term benefits of parging. There are different options available for older buildings and new construction. Speak with your contractor about the key differences. You may find that you only have to do minor repairs to an existent foundation or wall. Prevent new buildings from damage caused by precipitation, snow, and environmental factors. Provide a new line of defense for years. Give your foundation the care that it needs.

Parging is not just about aesthetics. This extra coat is an affordable way to address existent problems like cracks and holes in the foundation. Prevent expensive construction later by speaking with your contractor about improving your home or building with parging. Avoid lasting permanent damage with an extra protective coat.

What’s Next?

Find a professional that has years of masonry experience and reliable service. Ask for references and review previous work completed. Ask about what options are available like using liquid acrylic mixes or choosing different colors and textures. Find out the most economical way that parging can improve the overall look and durability of your home or business. There are a variety of options, from simply repairing a small crack to parging an entire foundation, basement, or wall.

Don’t let a worn-down wall or foundation take away from your home’s beauty. Add extra value and protection to your business. Parging is an easy and affordable way to enhance the overall structural quality and aesthetics of your building.