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Category Archives: home structural repair

The Disastrous Consequences of Delaying Home Foundation Repair

“You may delay, but time will not.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

Old Ben was right. You can procrastinate when it comes to doing much-needed home foundation repairs, but it is only delaying the inevitable, and, the “inevitable” can be costly-very costly. 

Your home is your largest financial investment. It costs more than an education, a car, or the nicest vacation. You must take care of it.

But, just to drive the point home, here are some of the disastrous consequences of delaying foundation repair on your home:

  1. Mold and mildew spreading: Mold and mildew are dangerous to your health. Spores can cause allergy attacks and make family members and guests sick and miserable. It may also spur major lung and respiratory issues.
  2. Higher utility bills: Home foundation damage and cracks can send moisture from the basement to the upper living spaces in the home. This moisture may cause cracking, warps, bowing and separations to form in the other places in your home. Humid air is pulled toward your crawl space thus making the air conditioner or heating unit work harder and longer to make your home more comfortable. Higher utility bills ensue.
  3. Property values decreasing: A damaged and the deteriorating foundation is going to cost somewhere down the line. Once a home inspector does a report, the prospective buyer won’t do it unless the foundation is satisfactorily repaired. If it isn’t repaired, the sale of the home won’t happen. It is a definite deal-breaker.
  4. Plumbing issues: Water pipes are below the foundation and susceptible to damage when the foundation expands or contracts. A home foundation repair contractor can fix them though it is an expensive repair as they are difficult to get to. Additionally, the water pipes also shift when the foundation moves, causing water damage. The plumber fees begin adding up from this type of damage. 
  5. Insect damaging the structure: Insects love dark, wet locations. They especially love basements. Termites, mosquitos, carpenter bees and other pests move from the crawl space to the kitchen, bedrooms and other places within the home. Pest control fees may soar from this infestation.
  6. Structural damage continuing: We’ve covered this before: when your home foundation goes, so goes the rest of the house. You name it, it is affected: Walls, ceilings, floors, window frames, even attached garages are affected! 
  7. Water damaging more of your home: Frame structures can have major structural damage due to water seeping into the home as cracks appear in basement walls. Crawl spaces can also be full of water. Property stored in the basement may also be damaged. If you have someone living in the basement, they are also subject to health issues from the water leaks.
  8. Getting frustrated trying to find a home foundation contractor: When you decide to get your home foundation repaired, finding a contractor to do it in the DMV/Washington D.C. Beltway area may be a daunting challenge. Foundation companies may not be available to do the work quickly, especially during the spring rainy season. *** (Though we at M. Taylor Enterprise should be able to book you for work.)

Just one of the above issues is bad enough but any combination could be a financial, and emotional, disaster! If you have any of these structural issues, call your local, licensed home foundation repair contractor immediately and get it fixed.  

M Taylor Enterprise basement waterproofing contractors can do a consultation in Prince George and Silver Spring, MD area. If you have seen any of these red flags in your home, 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

*** More about the spring weather at this link.

Signs Your Home Foundation Needs Structural Repair

Summer is now in full swing with the heat rising in July and everyone wanting to get out of quarantine. Luckily, the second phase of stage two openings has happened in Maryland. Businesses are starting to reopen cautiously with customers and workers’ health in mind.

Some restaurants have opened patios, porches, and terraces at full capacity and indoor dining areas at half capacity. Indoor and outdoor pools can open under strict guidelines, so there is still a chance that families can beat the hot summer humidity with cool chlorine waters*. This is welcome news after days, weeks, and months have melded together due to quarantine schedules and it may be over by fall.

Since the announcement of the government shut down, people have been staying at home to combat the Coronavirus and make sure hospitals were not overwhelmed. With more time at home, you may have noticed a few things. The couch is still comfy after a few hours of binge-watching a new show. The oven in the kitchen spreads warm air while cooking your meal and that’s great news for cold bare feet. The photos of great-grandma were in the attic all this time and there are a few frames still around. 

When you were hanging the photos did you notice a small or hairline crack in the wall? Did you smell a strange odor in the house as you searched for the perfect spot? These small nuisances could be your house telling you that your home foundation may be cracking and need structural repair. Luckily, you can catch visible warnings early and there are more signs your house may use. Have you encountered

  1. damp carpets, usually in the basement or first floor in the house?
  2. damp drywall, if you smell sweaty gym socks or other foul odors there may be a damp spot in your walls and even mold?
  3. discoloration of walls, when the foundation moves then the whole house will move causing pipes to be strained and start to leak or there could be cracks?
  4. Puddles, if you don’t have any leaking appliances this may be a sign that water is getting into the house through cracks in the foundation?
  5. flooding in the basement, when another heavy summer storm comes to your neighborhood and your basement is full of water then there are cracks in the foundation?
  6. bowing or buckling walls, if your foundation walls are curving into the house like a cave in taking its time then your house is in danger?

These are signs of your foundation failing, and you may have seen most of these early signs are due to water. This relates back to what causes foundations to crack with the most likely culprits being unstable soil surrounding the foundation or a poor drainage system. To fix this problem it’s important to call the professionals who can do the structural repair in the  Maryland area

M Taylor Enterprise professionals can help in Prince George and Silver Spring, MD area. If you are worried about your foundation or need structural repair in Maryland call (301) 649-3406 or email matt@mtaylorenterprise.com and protect your home so it can protect you.

*For more information on Maryland reopening phases and other COVID news click here.

When is a Licensed, Professional Structural Engineer Needed?

There are times in life when we need trusted advice of an experienced professional. It may be a physician, an accountant or a lawyer. We trust them as they are giving us unbiased, helpful advice to improve our health, finances or other important aspects of our lives. Their direction is crucial and we depend on it.

structural engineer M Taylor Enterprise

When it comes to our home and, specifically, our home foundation, we also depend on the experts to advise us on needed repairs. Most homeowners don’t even think about their home foundation until there is a disaster such as settling or even collapse.

The health of your home’s structure, as we have discussed in past blogs, is crucial to your family’s health. If there are cracks or settling that will affect the entire home, which in turn, may cause serious health problems for you and your family.

In some cases, your home foundation needs to be seen by a structural engineer. According to the Structural Engineers Association of California, structural engineers: is:

“…create drawings and specifications, perform calculations, review the work of other engineers, write reports and evaluations, and observe construction sites. A Professional Engineer’s license is required in order to practice Structural Engineering. Most practicing structural engineers design and analyze buildings, bridges, power plants, electrical towers, dams, and other large structures that are essential to life as we know it.”

Structural engineers will come to your home or business and analyze your structure. They know a lot about structural systems, foundation damage forensics, home foundation repair and residential foundation inspections. They should have a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering and, at least five years of guidance by a professional engineer prior before they are licensed. Their education along with a technical background make licensed structural engineers the most qualified to analyze a home foundation.

So, now that you know about structural engineers, the next big question is when should you bring in this “heavy hitter” to inspect your residential or business foundation? There are five signs of when your foundation needs a structural engineer:

  1. Termite, water, fire or wind damage: One of the most common reasons is from catastrophic damage caused by pests or natural disasters. These threaten the integrity of the foundation and can lead to costly repairs. A structural engineer can inspect the foundation and do a forensic investigation which will determine if there was a foundation issue before the event. This information is then used by the claims adjuster.
  2. Structural damage: You or your home repair contractor may have noticed cracks, water damage or other signs of structural damage. Damage may include bowing walls, windows, and doors that don’t close completely, cabinets that are askew, uneven floors or other issues we have covered in previous blogs.
  3. A new addition to the home (rooms, garage, etc.): Whenever a homeowner makes a major addition to their home, whether it be a garage, studio or even a pool, this can be considered a major change to the structure. A structural engineer can figure out if the home foundation’s integrity will be compromised by the new addition. They can confirm if the foundation is adequately reinforced and that it can carry the weight of the home’s structure.
  4. Buying or selling the home: You are about to make the largest transaction in your life when you purchase or sell a home. Should a home inspector report that there is a major structural problem, bring in a structural engineer to inspect the foundation. They may save the homeowner or buyer a large amount of money if it isn’t as bad as first reported.
  5. Building a new home: A structural engineer can look at your plans and property and determine if they are sound and best for their planned use.

As you can see, a licensed, experienced, professional structural engineer can be an invaluable asset in analyzing the home foundation. It is wise to get the structural engineer’s opinion along with the home repair contractor, home builder or home inspector.

M Taylor Enterprise, Montgomery County, Maryland, has licensed and experienced professional structural engineers and foundation repair specialists who can do a thorough review of your structure and make recommendations. Call us for a consultation at (301) 649-3406 or email us at matt@mtaylorenterprise.com.

 

Structural Repair: Carbon Fiber Strips for Walls

When there are cracks on walls, that is a shining red flag that repairs need to be done and soon.
carbon fiber strips walls M Taylor Enterprise
A licensed, home repair contractor will install carbon fiber strips.  Carbon fiber strips are epoxied to a foundation wall, either concrete or  block.
Walls that have developed horizontal cracks from bowing, due  to lateral pressure, are the best candidates for carbon fiber strips. Carbon  fiber is a high-strength strand that is woven into a fabric that is virtually unbreakable and does not stretch.  When used for structural foundation repairs, it is epoxied to the damaged wall at intervals determined by the type and severity of the damage.
Typically, they are installed four feet apart, nearly flush with the wall surface and painted to match surrounding walls. These strips often take  the place  of steel beam pilasters which are traditionally used to secure a  wall. Carbon fiber straps are not for all walls. Walls that have sheering in at the bottom, or walls  that have  bowed in more then two (2) inches.

Our experienced home structural repair team at M Taylor Enterprise will visit your home or business in the Montgomery County, MD, Silver Spring , MD or Washington, D.C. area and give you an estimate on your foundation wall repair. We get the job done quickly and efficiently. Call us at (301) 649-3406 or email us at matt@mtaylorenterprise.com.

Home Drainage Systems Issues and Methods of Repair

Water is great.

We use it for our food, drinks, showers, sinks, clothes washers, dishwashers, commodes and landscaping. Without water you would be unable to function-that is the bottom line.

Water can also destroy.

home drainage M Taylor Enterprise

If it is not drained properly, it can cause massive damage to your largest property investment-your home. Most insurance policies do not cover water damage claims like these either.  

So, your home drainage system is crucial in protecting your home and your family. Poorly designed home drainage systems can cause the following problems:

  1. Standing water in spots around the foundation.
  2. Dying plants
  3. Basement water
  4. Muddy ground
  5. Insects (particularly mosquitos)
  6. Foul odors
  7. Wet or ruined turf

These problems can be costly, so the decision to correct home water drainage issues needs to be made. Once you have found the problems, call a home drainage system contractor to make the repairs.

Once that contractor arrives, they may one of these steps or several steps to alleviate the drainage problems:

  1. Control hard surface runoff and identify low spots in the landscape. Water must exit the property. A drainage system is then installed to alleviate puddles that form on the property.
  2. Gutters and downspouts must have proper grading or just a one-inch rain will pour over 1,200 gallons of water into your basement. Rain is the main source of stains to your basement. (How many times have you pulled out the wet/dry vacuum to get rid of the water pooled up in your basement?) Gutters must be repaired and rerouted. Water has to be at least 10’ feet away to protect the foundation. Downspouts should be directed into a basin or drain pipe system.
  3. Sump pumps are installed in basements and used to remove water that has accumulated in a sump basin. This pump keeps basements from flooding. Sump pump discharge should be drained to 3”-4” The sump pump discharge line should be drained to a 3” or 4” and run the water to sunlight or a pop-up emitter. This discharge line empties to a larger pipe eliminating pressure on the sump pump.
  4. Ground closest to the home is graded away from it. Clay soil or mulch is used to channel the water away from your basement. Sod and plants are also cleared away from the foundation.
  5. Perimeter drain can also be installed so it redirects ground surface away from the wet area. It has drain pipes along the bottom to move the water out quickly.

Any of these steps may alleviate the home water drainage issues. Consult your licensed home water drainage contractor and have them make the needed repairs.

M Taylor Enterprise’s experienced water drainage team will visit your home in the Silver Spring, Maryland, Montgomery County, Maryland, Prince George’s County, Maryland and parts of Howard County MD. We will inspect your home and basement and consult you. We get do the work quickly and efficiently. Call us at (301) 649-3406 or email us at matt@mtaylorenterprise.com.

 

How to Determine if Your Home Needs Structural Repair

Cracks here, broken lines there and stains all over the place.

If that describes your home, then you can place yourself in a lot of company. There are millions of homeowners who have these same issues. Some of them are serious, some are not and some have the potential to become quite serious.structural repair M Taylor Enterprises

But, even with all those cracks, breaks and stains, how do you know when your home needs structural repair? We all know that good home construction contractors can be expensive. You work hard for your money and you also want your home to be a solid and safe place to live.

So, here are some ways to determine when your home needs structural repair (and when it doesn’t):

  1. .Cracks: They are the  most common signs of a foundation under stress. Foundation are placed concrete, CMU  block, stone or brick, or terra cotta or clay tile block. These brittle materials  show foundation stress via cracks. The cracks can be horizontal, vertical, or steps  crack . Foundations can heave, settle , bow in or rotate out. Thes symptoms can be recognized and a proper   repair can be diagnosed by a quality foundation repair contractor or a registered Structural Engineer PE in your area.
  2. Poor or improper drainage: Rainwater has to go somewhere. It is either drained out and away from your home’s foundation or it is absorbed or drained into your home’s foundation.Homes with basements are  more susceptible to poor grading . If your gutters and downspouts are old or are wrongly placed, the rain water cannot drain away from your home’s foundation. Regrading to obtain slope from the home is needed, Downspouts extensions are a  good investment, Proper window wells and covers are essential Otherwise , the foundation begins to crack from the moisture especially in clay areas..
  3. Leaning foundation: As we have covered before in a previous blog, your home’s foundation is going to tell you when there are problems. The moisture in the ground shrinks or swells your foundation. That shifting causes foundation walls to lean causing cinder blocks to rest on an uneven surface. Windows  may not operate properly Cracks soon appear and water drains inside the foundation. When that happens, the home foundation becomes unstable.
  4. Sagging roof: If your roof is sagging or bows in the middle, your load-bearing walls may have shifted. These walls keep your home upright by carrying the weight of the home. Most likely the lower foundation or lower support has shifted.

Any of these red flags may indicate that you have serious home structure issues. If left alone, they may not only lower the value of your home but be a health threat to you or your family. Call a licensed home structural repair contractor immediately!

A crack here, broken line there and stains everywhere could be serious home foundation issues that need to be remedied. Better safe than sorry.

Our experienced home structural repair team at M Taylor Enterprise will visit your home or business in the Montgomery County, MD, Silver Spring , MD or Washington, D.C. area and diagnose the problems and give you an estimate. We get the job done quickly and efficiently. Call us at (301) 649-3406 or email us at matt@mtaylorenterprise.com.