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.

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?

cracks-in-foundation-when-to-worry

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

commercial-masonry-services

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.

Can You Replace Brick on a House?

masonry-repair

Brick has a classic beautiful aesthetic, but over time deterioration and structural damage can occur. Professional masonry repair can address almost any cosmetic or structural issue. What if the brick on a home has deteriorated beyond repair or there is extreme damage to the wall? Can you replace or entire restore a brick wall? And what is involved in the process?

Do You Need to Replace the Entire Wall?

Perhaps one of the first issues that you need to consider regards how much repair needs to be completed. Contact a masonry repair professional for a consultation and on-site inspection. While a homeowner or business owner can sometimes see the apparent damage, only a licensed experienced inspector can truly ascertain the amount of structural and permanent damage of a structure. The professional will then provide an estimate and give you options.

Some of the noticeable issue can be ugly cracks in the bricks and wall. Water damage will weaken mortar between bricks, leading to long-term problems. If you have purchased an older structure, shoddy workmanship and uneven settling could lead to holes and deterioration. Inside your home, signs that masonry needs repair can be uneven floors, doors and windows that don’t close properly, cracks in drywall, and basement floor cracks. While most issues can be taken care of with a simple repair, water damage and structural problems that have been allowed to fester for years may need a permanent solution.

What Services are Available?

When you have to replace brick, a contractor may offer several options like brick repair, tuckpointing, repair to the masonry, chimney repair and rebuilding, or parging. Parging involves adding an extra protective and aesthetically pleasing layer is added to the outer walls. While not necessarily a permanent fix for serious wall damage, parging does give an older but stable brick wall a better cosmetic look. Tuckpointing involves removing old mortar and replacing it with quality new mortar. Entire replacement is also possible.

Whether you need to repair an aging home, and older commercial building, or simply make your home more aesthetically pleasing, a professional mason company will be able to provide you with the necessary services. Call today.

3 Ways to a Better Chimney

masonry-repair-specialistA beautiful chimney adds value and elegance to your home. Over time, your chimney may need repair due to weather, water damage, or regular wear-and-tear. There are several things that a masonry repair specialist can do to help restore and repair your chimney as well as ways that you can maintain your chimney.

Regular Chimney Cleaning

Does your chimney need regular cleaning? Major repairs and cleaning require the help of a masonry repair specialist, but there are many ways that you can help keep your chimney clean. Sweep out the entire chimney, from the fireplace to crown, at least once or twice a year. Try to clean the chimney before the busy winter season when the fireplace will be in use more often.

Remove any excess build-up of soot and creosote. Creosote build-up is a prime cause of fires as it is a very flammable substance. If you don’t know how to clean your chimney or need help contact a professional service to inspect and clean your chimney.

Chimney Repair

Sometimes your chimney will have cracks, damaged mortar joints, rust or damage to the chimney crown. It is important to address these issues once you see them. Why? Small cracks and damage can easily lead to massive repairs and replacement, especially if water damage occurs. What else to look out for? Watch for any excess moisture, debris, or cracked tiles accumulating in your fireplace. This can indicate damage that needs immediate attention.

Chimney Replacement

Unfortunately, sometimes the damage is too great for a simple repair. If that is the case, then you may have to replace the entire chimney. While costly, replacing your chimney will add value to your home in the long term, providing you with a safe and beautiful fireplace and chimney. A professional contractor can give you an estimate for your chimney. For homeowners that hope to resell their home in the future, replacing a dilapidated chimney is just one way to enhance the overall beauty and curb appeal of the home.

How to Improve Your House in 3 Steps

chimney-cleaningHomeowners find a variety of ways to restore and improve their homes. Some ways to renovate and improve their homes could be something as simple as chimney cleaning and repair or replacing a cracked driveway. Here are several ways that you can improve your home.

Chimney Repair

What is one of the first steps to improving your home? When you purchase your home, aesthetic beauty often travails over function. Yet one feature that homeowners continue to love is a beautiful fireplace. One way that you can affordably add value to your home is by chimney cleaning and maintenance. If your chimney is starting to look worn, has cracks and loose bricks, or has a high amount of soot and buildup, it is time to have your chimney professionally inspected and repaired.

Surprisingly enough, many times only minor repairs and maintenance will restore your chimney and fireplace to its former glory. This is ideal if you are looking to sell your home in the future or just want to enjoy the warmth and elegance of a luxurious fireplace. A professional service will inspect the entire chimney, from inside the home all the way through the flue to the crown. They will assess what damage may exist from water damage, critters, and weather. Have professionals look at your chimney at least once or twice a year, preferably before the winter months when the fireplace will be in regular use.

Driveway and Landscaping

Another easy step to improve the overall curb appeal of your home affordably is by repairing the driveway and landscaping. Professional landscaping, while relatively inexpensive when compared to most major home repairs, can impress visitors and potential buyers. The first impression means everything. So maintain your landscape and driveway regularly.

Masonry and Insulation

Older homes have natural wear and tear. Sometimes a brick home may have loose bricks or a foundation may have cracks. Looking into the benefits of masonry repair can improve the overall look of your home and improve insulation while providing extra much-needed protection against water and weather damage.

Maintain your home for a lifetime. Speak to a professional today about how you can improve your home in a few simple steps.

 

What is Masonry?

what-is-masonry

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.