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.

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.

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.

Can Tuckpointing Be Done in Winter?

tuckpointing-and-repointing

Is it too cold for tuckpointing? For those of us who live in the harsher cold regions of the world, knowing the right time of year for tuckpointing and repointing is critical. What are the ideal conditions for tuckpointing your home? Let’s talk about it.  

Ideal Temperatures

Before you hire your masonry contractor, consider temperature and precipitation. Ideally, you want the weather to be between 5-32° C when tuckpointing and repointing. This should be the temperature the day before and up to three days after. In most parts of North America, the ideal conditions are through spring to early fall. Usually, contractors cannot do work during January and February. When considering temperature, consider forecasted highs and overnight lows, the surface temperature of the area being tuckpointed, and the outside air temperature.

Precipitation

Normally, contractors can work from spring to early fall. However, precipitation can prevent workers from completing a project on time. You want to avoid any heavy precipitation and snow during tuckpointing. Always look a few days before and a few days after the job. Check the forecast carefully.

Tuckpointing When It Is Cold

Professional contractors can do work during cold weather. By increasing additives to the process, they increase the heat generated by the exothermic reactions. This releases additional heat. Covering the work helps trap heat released by curing. Tarping off the work area and heating them with external heaters also helps protect cold weather construction.

These cold construction work practices protect the work from the harsh cold and precipitation. Anticipate additional costs due to labor and heating the work areas. Heated enclosures require time for setting up and breakdown. Contractors will need heat and will need to maintain any equipment used for hearing the construction.

Call our professional contractors now about tuckpointing and high-quality masonry. No matter the weather conditions, we can help you complete your project. Contact us today. We will be happy to help you.

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.