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All posts by Matt Taylor

Concrete Repair 101: Why Your Concrete Walkway Is Uneven

No matter how old your house may be, it is deteriorating. I know that sounds common-sensical, but it’s a fact of life. You will always have some repair coming or one going on now. 

One part of your home that you may not notice at first is your concrete walkway. It is used every day and takes a pounding from weather and usage. Eventually, the walkway will deteriorate and become uneven. There are several reasons why this has occurred:

  1. Tree roots: Trees and bushes can have large roots. These roots grow under the walkway and push up against both the driveway and the sidewalk. Roots can even break through thick pipes and cables. Depending on the soil and drought conditions, tree roots push up concrete slabs. They become uneven and can also crack or shift. This is a tripping and falling hazard. If it’s the driveway, the shifts and breaks may make it difficult to park or safely drive in and out of the driveway. 
  2. Weather: The sidewalk and driveway are daily exposed to the elements. Weather can be brutal from extreme heat to extreme cold. We see both in Maryland from ice to floods to droughts. We see it all. That variation in extremes causes the soil under the walkway to be washed away. Water can also drag particles out of the soil. The walkway may sink or settle unevenly. shed away. 
  3. Changes in the soil. Though concrete is strong, it will not hold its weight unless it’s reinforced. Most concrete used in sidewalks and driveways is placed directly on the soil. Once the soil shifts, expands, contracts or washes away, this can cause major damage to your sidewalk or driveway. During the drier seasons, the soil shrinks while during the wetter months, the soil expands. Movement occurs in the soil during these extremes, making the concrete sit unevenly or tilt.
  4. Weight. Driveways and sidewalks are designed for parking and walking. They get used often and will wear out. Excessive weight will make driveways and walkways sag. But it isn’t just automobiles and people. Moving pods, storage containers, and packed vehicles can also tilt and crack. The longer these vehicles or containers sit on the driveway, the more likely they will crack. 

If these cracks and tilts are not repaired, they can be a major hazard. Your home foundation repair contractor should be contacted. They may mud jack it. This process is where holes are made in the concrete, down to the base, and the space is filled with a slurry compound. This compound lifts the base of the concrete back to its original position. It’s not always successful if the cause of the uneven walkway is soil issues. 

If you are seeing cracks in your walkway or driveway, contact M. Taylor Enterprise for an inspection. We will analyze it and make recommendations. Our experienced concrete repair team will make the necessary repairs. We specialize in all types of concrete and masonry. When we do masonry repairs to an existing structure, we go out of our way to match the mortar color. Contact us at (301) 649-3406 or at matt@mtaylorenterprise.com for a free consultation.

We serve the the Montgomery County, Maryland area.

Should You Build An Egress Window This Spring?

Spring is here and it is finally beginning to warm up. Soon, the hot Central Maryland summers will arrive, and homeowners will be lowering the temperatures in their homes or looking for the coolest room in the house as a respite from the heat. 

For many people, the coolest room in the house is the basement. It is below ground, and the cool air is kept tight. It doesn’t go up into the above floors or get warm, like the top floor of the home typically does (especially in older homes.)

Since the time people stay in the basement will greatly increase, it may be time to consider what might happen if there is an emergency and you are stuck in the basement. Can you exit quickly? Is the exit large enough for everyone? Are you even able to open the window or door to get out? 

It may be time to have an egress window installed in your basement. Egress windows are essential for your family and others who are staying or visiting your home. An egress window does the following:

    1. Safety: Basements are often used as extra bedrooms. I see these all the time in my Central Maryland customers. If you or a family member is staying in your home, you should have an egress window installed immediately. Should there be a fire or other emergency, the egress window is an easy and accessible escape route for them. It also can be an entry point for emergency personnel. It is particularly helpful if there is a stairwell on the opposite side of the home where individuals are staying Bentonville
    2. Comfortable buy accutane in thailand :  Maryland building codes require egress windows to have an opening of, at least, 5.7 sq. ft. This opening brings natural light to the basement. It also can make it much more comfortable. Your basement may not be a bedroom. It could be a rec room, home office, or a living room. The egress window will add light to an otherwise dark and dingy room. 
    3. Property values are increased. Adding an egress window to your home will also increase the resale value. As this space may be used by the next owners as a closet, storage, or another type of living space. In fact, not having an egress window in your basement may be a disadvantage. The prospective new buyer may even require one to be installed. 

Also, if you install the egress window in the spring or summer, there won’t be any cold-weather drafts coming through which will keep your electricity bill down. Caulk also bonds better in warmer weather. Installing the egress window this season is a smart decision, and won’t interrupt your lifestyle or increase your living expenses. 

M Taylor Enterprise has installed many Egress windows in the Montgomery County, Maryland area. We can install them efficiently and quickly.  Contact us at (301) 649-3406 or at matt@mtaylorenterprise.com for a free consultation.

*** For more information on Maryland temperatures, visit the Maryland state website.

The Ultimate Guide To Online Dating

The app Hornet, which caters to the gay male community, has seen a 30-percent increase in social feed engagement since social distancing measures began in mid-March, according to CEO Christof Wittig. And the dating app Tinder reported that it saw more engagement on March 29 than on any other day in its history, with more than 3 billion users swiping to connect with people, according to an April 1 press release. In 2020, online dating revenue in the U.S. amounted to 602 million U.S. dollars, and it is projected to reach 755 billion U.S. dollars by 2024. The number of users is also expected to see an annual increase, with 53.3 million Americans expected to use internet dating services in 2024, up from 44.2 million users in 2020. That year, paying customers accounted for approximately 15 percent of U.S. online dating users. While many dating sites and apps are free, some platforms use a freemium pricing model that supports online purchases.

  • Some online dating apps have been working on implementing new features to prevent catfishing—other companies are even producing AI intelligence to fend against it.
  • The revenue from this industry and its frequency of use are astronomical.
  • Even if the person you’re meeting volunteers to pick you up, avoid getting into a vehicle with someone you don’t know and trust, especially if it’s the first meeting.
  • OkCupidwas created in 2004 by a group of friends from Harvard University.

When you engage in social events where you’re likely to meet new people, the pool of those who are single and looking is much smaller than when you’re on an app or dating site where everyone is in the same boat as you. Research shows, however, there are negative side effects of online dating, particularly for young women. People cite the obvious reasons for being on dating apps, such as seeking a long-term partner or a sexual encounter; the split is fairly even.

Five Reasons You See Mold in Your Basement

One of the worst things that can happen to your home is to get a mold infestation. I have seen many homes that have it and it’s scary.

It’s scary because not only does mold smell bad and look horrible, it’s also a threat to the health of the homeowners. Once the mold is discovered, it needs to be removed as quickly as possible as it will only get worse.

Mold starts as a spore floating around the home. Mold spores are always present and can never be totally eliminated. Mold will not survive if it is allowed to sit. When water is added to it, the mold begins to grow. Mold has tentacle-like arms (hyphae) which spread and tangle as it moves along the surface. Basement mold has a fuzzy or slimy appearance. 

It then develops and grows when water gradually runs down from the roof and downspouts into the ground around your home foundation. It will run out of room and begin pooling. Eventually, the water breaks through basement waterproofing or through the cracks in the foundation. The basement will flood and cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage.

So, before the worst-case scenario comes true, you can detect the signs of mold:

  1. Musty smell: This one is the most obvious. You will smell a strange and unpleasant odor. The stronger the smell, the worse the mold growth. It can be located near the damp area in the household.
  2. Rust: This means there is excessive moisture in the house. It also means that this is the perfect environment for mold to grow.
  3. Water damage: Mold is a given if you have had water damage. Water can be absorbed which makes it damp, creating another environment for mold to grow. During winter, indoor condensation leads to higher humidity, which helps mold grow. 
  4. Walls have bubbles: Mold may form bubbles on the walls. You will find this mold in bathrooms, the basement, and near windows. It may be from a leaky pipe or window seal. 
  5. Health issues: This is the worst sign and the one that tells you that mold has gotten out of control in your home. As a result of breathing mold spores every day, homeowners may develop allergies. They may have nasal congestion, watery eyes, or a nagging cough. The skin may also itch or have tingling sensations. It may also be flaky and dry and lead to hives. Mold spores may migrate to the lungs becoming asthma. 

Mold should never be ignored. It will not go away unless it has been removed by a mold remediation company. If you detect any or all of these symptoms, contact a basement waterproofing contractor for a consultation. 

M Taylor Enterprise can inspect your home foundation to see if you have any mold issues. Call our home foundation and structural repair experts in Maryland at (301) 649-3406 or matt@mtaylorenterprise.comWe will do a free consultation, make recommendations then do any needed repairs done quickly and efficiently. 

We serve Montgomery County, MD, parts of Prince Georges, MD, and Howard County, MD.

Seven Reasons You Should Repair Your Home Foundation in 2022

Central Maryland is usually frigid cold this time of year. Most people are staying inside until the warmer weather arrives in late March. It’s a good time to stay inside and be cozy, for sure. 

In spite of the cold, it’s a good time to put on a heavy coat, step outside, and visually inspect your home foundation. Over the past year, there may have been changes in your home foundation which may require repairs. 

So, as you inspect your home foundation, here are some reasons you may need to repair it this year:

Cracks on walls: These cracks would be obvious. They may be hairline or wide cracks. They can be seen along the walls or floors of your home.

  1. Doors or windows that won’t close all the way: If your inside doors stick out or drag at the top, or your windows won’t close or are uneven the home foundation has settled.
  2. Dank odors: Excessive wetness on floors may be due to a foundation that is settled or cracked. Moisture on the basement floor comes from water seepage in the foundation or poor drainage.
  3. Uneven Floors. Foundation issues may be evident from your floors being uneven. You will notice floorboards that are not even or tile that is loose or pilling. Basement walls are bowing: This occurs when water pressure from the outside has caused your walls to bend inward. 
  4. Sagging crawl space floors: Your crawl space should be strong and have some room to inspect. If it is sagging or bending, you are having foundation issues.  
  5. Leaning chimneys: Chimneys should never move. However, when your foundation is sinking, they begin to lean. This is not only unsightly but can be dangerous as it could fall and cause injuries or property damage.
  6. Sinking front porches and stoops: Porches begin to sink as the home foundation sinks. If there is a stoop, it will also sink. Water seepage also causes this issue.  
  7. Overall water intrusion or damage: Water makes its way into many places in a home when the home foundation is settling. It may pool in drains, sunken spots in the flooring, basement floors, and other locations. This pooling of water may also draw insects such as mosquitos. 

If you have seen one or any number of these home foundation red flags, you need to contact an experienced home foundation repair contractor for a consultation. Failure to correct or repair these home foundation issues may have the “Domino Effect” as it may lead to other property damage. Please don’t delay!

M Taylor Enterprise can inspect your home foundation to see if you have any basement waterproofing issues. Call our home foundation and structural repair experts in Maryland at (301) 649-3406 or matt@mtaylorenterprise.com. We will do a free consultation, make recommendations then do any needed repairs done quickly and efficiently. We serve Montgomery County, MD, parts of Prince Georges, MD and Howard County, MD.

Proper Grading Around the House to Prevent Basement Flooding

Keeping your basement dry during the winter months, even as snow, ice, and rain slam Central Maryland, can be a challenge. *** You want to keep all of that drainage from pooling around your home foundation and leaking into your basement.

So, here are some tips for proper grading around your home foundation so you won’t fear those coming storms this winter: 

  1. Create trenches and French Drains: One way is to have a dry creek bed in the middle of the yard filled with river rock and sloping away from the house. Some new homes have French Drains or perimeter drains installed. These trenches run along the perimeter of the home foundation and are lined with tile and rock. These trenches and drains work great to direct the water flow away from the house, usually with PVC pipe, that lower the water table. Installing a drainage system, however, is not a simple project. A small part of the yard must be dug up before the system is installed. A home foundation contractor is highly recommended to do this task.
  2. Rain Barrels: These stop water from seeping into the home foundation. They also allow you to water the garden or lawn without turning on the water hose. The barrels have to be emptied fairly often, depending on how much snow and rain we get. Rain barrels have a spigot, so they can be connected to a hose to divert the water away from the house. 
  3. Check the downspouts: Often, a home’s downspouts can get pushed askew. However, if the spouts are not directed, the water will pool close to the home foundation. Downspouts need to be repositioned and also have a drainage area where the downspouts flow. The downspouts need to be filled with gravel or river rock. The rocks slow the water absorption into the ground.
  4. Clean the gutters: Begin this year by cleaning your gutters. During the fall, gutters may back up with leaves, dirt, branches, dead animals, and other debris. Soon, they spill over, sending water down to the pool along the foundation. Many homeowners clean their gutters using a ladder and a vacuum. Climbing a ladder, however, may seem like a scary idea so, have a gutter cleaning company do it. It typically takes a couple of hours and costs a few hundred dollars for an average home. 
  5. New perimeter grading around the footprint of the house: Redirecting the downspout extension pipes away from the house is important. A clay-based soil sheds water best.
  6. Plant a Rain Garden: It’s winter as I write this blog, so you may want to wait until spring to do this one. Rain gardens are lower areas of the yard that allow water to run off the lawn and away from the foundation. They are typically planted toward the edge, between the yard and the street. Low-maintenance plants will control erosion and slow how much water is absorbed into the ground. 

Some of these modifications you can do on your own. A few others may require professionals to install or clean. Now is the time to get it done before the next snowstorm or heavy rain so you can protect your home and save on expensive home foundation repairs and basement cleanup.

M Taylor Enterprise can inspect your home foundation to see if you have any basement waterproofing issues. Call our home foundation and structural repair experts in Maryland at (301) 649-3406 or matt@mtaylorenterprise.com. We will do a free consultation, make recommendations then do any needed repairs done quickly and efficiently. We serve the Montgomery County, parts of Prince Georges and Howard Counties.

*** For more information on Maryland weather, visit the Weather Atlas website

An Inspection Checklist for Your Home Foundation for 2022

Christmas is only a few days away. You have probably used a checklist for the presents you want to get or have gotten already.

But, when it comes to your home skin foundation, have you created an inspection checklist? Leave it to the home foundation repair contractor to think of that! 

Anyway, as the New Year arrives, it’s a good time to take fifteen minutes out of your day off to inspect your home foundation. Here are some things you should look for:

  1. Walk around the exterior of your home: Inspect the foundation walls by looking up and down from one end. See if any areas bulge or lean. This may indicate an uneven load on the foundation as both the foundation walls and home walls should be flush and level. See if there are any water stains or cracks in the concrete. Pools of water can cause the soil to shift and wood to rot. This means that there may be broken pipes in the home. Horizontal cracks also may indicate stress on the foundation. 
  2. Walk around the interior of your home: Inspect for any cracks or separations. Look for bulges in the walls. See if any walls are leaning or if they are out of place due to shifting foundations. See if the floors are sloping over the length of the home when there are larger soil shifts. Roll a tennis ball or basketball to see if it rolls when placed on the floor.
  3. Inspect doors and windows: If they open and close without a struggle, you should be okay. If your home foundation is shifting, windows and doors will often begin to have difficulty opening or closing. They will jam shut or cannot be opened. 
  4. Inspect your water pipes: Check the pipes inside and outside your home for leaks and moisture. 
  5. Look at the home foundation: Inspect closely the concrete, or helical piers should not be unstable. Make sure they are level, not buckling and in good condition. Look for rust, which shows that there is moisture in the basement or crawl space. 

If you have found cracks, stains or moisture, you may have a home foundation problem. Consult with a home foundation repair contractor right away. Failure to do so now, may cost your much more in the near future. Make the New Year Resolution to repair your home foundation to protect your family and investment! 

M Taylor Enterprise can inspect your home foundation to see if you have any basement waterproofing issues. Call our home foundation and structural repair experts in Maryland at (301) 649-3406 or matt@mtaylorenterprise.com. We will do a free consultation, make recommendations then do any needed repairs done quickly and efficiently. We serve Montgomery County, parts of Prince Georges and Howard Counties.

Concrete Repair 101: How you repair a concrete home foundation

As we have discussed in this blog many times, it is common to have structural damage in your home’s foundation. *** It may be an older home or a newer home. It doesn’t matter as damage from aging, weather or even poor workmanship can occur and the need to repair the concrete is immediate to protect it from further damage. 

So, if you see cracks in the interior or exterior walls, you have home foundation damage. Other signs include uneven floors in the garage or basement. Windows that do open or close properly or there are gaps between the doors and door frames. (This includes garage doors.)

We have several methods to repair your concrete home foundation. Those methods include:

  1. Helical  pier underpinning 

  2. Carbon fiber straps

  3. House Underpinning: with  concrete

  4. Steel pilaster bracing

One or all of these concrete home foundation repairs can be made. It depends on what your home foundation repair contractor recommends based on the construction of your home, total concrete damage, and type of soil. We recommend you call a licensed, experienced home foundation repair contractor for a thorough consultation.

M Taylor Enterprise can inspect your home foundation to see if you have any basement waterproofing issues. Call our home foundation and structural repair experts in Maryland at (301) 649-3406 or matt@mtaylorenterprise.com. We will do a free consultation, make recommendations then do any needed repairs done quickly and efficiently. We serve the  Montgomery County, parts of Prince Georges and Howard Counties.

*** Please refer to an earlier blog about home foundation repair here

 

All Clogged Up: How gutters affect your basement waterproofing

It’s fall and the big question is: Have you cleaned your gutters, yet?

If you said ‘no’, and you have a basement, then this blog is for you. Even though gutters may be overlooked when homeowners think about maintenance, they should actually be on the priority list!

Gutters catch water and rain and send it to a downspout and away from your home. They serve a purpose in keeping water from collecting and ponding around your home foundation.

Unfortunately, gutters can also be a catch-all for debris and other items. Leaves, nuts, branches, and dead animals (birds, mice, squirrels, etc.) clog gutters this time of year. If you have trees near your home, you have double the risk of your gutters getting clogged.

So, when gutters get clogged, rainwater pools around the home’s foundation. If this is not corrected, several things may occur:

  1. Water seeps into the basement, causing mold to grow.
  2. The soil around the foundation erodes and causes the foundation to settle.
  3. The home foundation begins cracking and bowing.

You can avoid costly home foundation repairs by doing the following:

  1. Clean the gutters: Get a ladder and reach into the gutters and clean them out.
  2. Add a gutter guard or similar block over your gutters. These will keep debris and leaves out of your gutter. Guards block the gutters and keep them clean year-round. They should, however, be cleaned at least twice a year.
  3. Hire a professional gutter cleaner. Gutter cleaning can be dangerous as you have to climb a ladder and do the work in precarious spots around the house. Instead, have a professional gutter cleaning company clean your gutters. They not only clean the gutters, but they blow them dry and replace the gutter guards if you have them.
  4. Seal the gutter leaks: Once your gutters have been cleaned, examine them for small holes or leaks. If you find any leaks or holes, seal them with a special gutter caulking compound. Popular compounds such as butyl rubber caulk are used. Spread the caulking compound evenly over any holes or leaks using a butter knife.
  5. Direct water runoff away from your home foundation: Have a roofing contractor examine your roof to see if water is collecting there and then leaking into your foundation.
  6. Repair the clogged downspouts: Check the bottom of your downspout and make sure it isn’t blocked. If it is blocked, you may be able to use a leaf blower or wet-dry vacuum to blow it out. If you are not sure how to do this effectively, have a professional do it for you.

Fall is here, and leaves are falling heavy now in Central Maryland. So, clean your gutters now before they get too clogged and cause damage to your home’s foundation. Save money and stress!

M Taylor Enterprise can inspect your home foundation to see if you have any basement waterproofing issues. Call our home foundation and structural repair experts in Maryland at (301) 649-3406 or matt@mtaylorenterprise.com. We will do a free consultation, make recommendations then do any needed repairs done quickly and efficiently. We serve the Montgomery County, parts of Prince Georges and Howard Counties.

Is Your Home Drainage System Effective?

Every home has a drainage system. Some are effective and keep the water away from the foundation. Others, however, are ineffective and causing great damage to the home foundation. 

There are several tried-and-true methods to ensure proper water drainage around your home. These tips should stop ponds from forming and keep home foundation damaging water away. 

  1. Here are several tips on installing a proper water drainage system, so your home is protected during any season of the year. Find out where the excess water is originating. Poor drainage will eventually form ponds around your home. This occurs when there is no place for the excess water to drain into. Maryland gets an average of 44 inches a year of precipitation, with most of the rain occurring during July and August. We get an average of 20 inches of snow buy Quetiapine online cheap . *** So, we have almost sixty-four (64) inches of snow/rain yearly. That is a fair amount of water. Additionally, a damaged or broken pipe may flood your yard.
  2. Survey the land closest to your home. See how it is laid out by finding the high and low parts of your yard. The drains will have to be placed at the lowest sections of your yard. If there is a low point, one needs to be dug. The water will drain then and no ponds will be created. You can also level the high sections of your yard.
  3. Prepare the soil for drainage. Central Maryland has clay soil. Clay becomes tough and solid over time which makes it perfect for excess water runoff. It’s also harder to dig up, as you have probably found out.
  4. Determine Your Drain Layout. In order to reroute the water drainage from getting into your home and into the foundation, you may need to install one of the following: French Drain, gravel trench, drainage pipe, or an open ditch. You may not be sure which one is the best (and least costly). You may need to install one in the front and back yard, depending on the number of acres that you have. If you are not sure, consult a home foundation and water drainage, expert. (See #5.)
  5. Get an Expert Involved. Even though you have done the surveying of your land and home, you are probably not an expert in installing home drainage systems. Now is the time to find an experienced, home foundation repair and home drainage contractor in the Central Maryland area. You may even need to get several bids on the work before you make a decision.

This is a good time of year, if you live in Central Maryland, to check the land around your home. If you are concerned with what you have found, call a home foundation repair expert in your area. 

M Taylor Enterprise can inspect your home foundation to see if you have any basement waterproofing issues. Call our home foundation and structural repair experts in Maryland at (301) 649-3406 or matt@mtaylorenterprise.com. We will do a free consultation, make recommendations then do any needed repairs done quickly and efficiently. We serve the Montgomery County, parts of Prince Georges and Howard Counties.

*** For more information on Maryland precipitation, visit the state website.