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.

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.

How to Repair a Basement Floor

basement-and-masonry-waterproofing-paint

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?

masonry-tools

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

masonry-materials

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?

types-of-masonry

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.

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.