If you have owned a home for any period of time, you know it needs care and maintenance. Whether it’s a masonry home built in 1925 or 2015, it will need repairs to its structure and foundation, sooner or later. You can count on it.
So, it’s good to have your eyes peeled and even inspect your masonry home and foundation on a monthly basis to see if there are problems. It doesn’t need a trained home masonry contractor eyes, either.
In fact, there are several red flags you can see for yourself that may indicate that your home masonry needs repairs:
- Mortar missing: Brick walls usually need to be re-pointed or repaired every fifteen years. Joints need to be filled with mortar.
- Masonry cracks: These would be cracks in the brickwork and masonry and these are serious. Even a small, thin crack can cause damage.
- Water infiltration: Water enters the home through cracks in the foundation and walls. Persistent exposure to water weakens the concrete and eats away at the mortar between bricks and concrete blocks.
- Interior problems: In a previous blog, we have detailed the many interior structural problems that occur from foundation issues: windows and doors that don’t close, water stains on walls and musty smells.
- Problematic mortar joints: Mortar joints are the spaces between the concrete and the stone. After several years, those joints begin settling thus causing slanted or cracked mortar joints.
- Chimney breaks and cracks: Chimneys that are deteriorating are a fire hazard. And, that deterioration can be seen. A rusted damper, cracks in chimney, blue tile bits piling up at the bottom, flaking brick or mortar breaking down.
- Shoddy workmanship: If the home masonry contractors used inferior building materials, those can also cause cracks and breaks in the foundation and walls. In time, the foundation has uneven settling causing masonry damage. Vermin, rodents and in insects will then eat through the concrete and mortar unleashing serious damage.
If you see any of the above issues, you need to consult a licensed home masonry structural or basement waterproofing contractor. The contractor will find matching bricks or mortar to replace the damaged sections of your home.
M Taylor Enterprise has licensed, experienced home masonry contractors who can do a consultation and then do the needed repairs, efficiently and help you improve the quality and appearance of your home in the Montgomery County, MD, Silver Spring , MD or Washington, D.C. area. Call us at (301) 649-3406 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rain has hit us hard on the East Coast.
Northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC. have been hit particularly hard. Ellicott City, Maryland had rolling rivers flowing through the downtown area. There has been tragic loss of life and property.
Water and flooding causes thousands of dollars in damage. The good news, however, is this: some water damage can be prevented. It just takes educated effort and a little expense.
If you have a basement, you need to be especially aware of the need to protect it and your home. According to Homeadvisor.com, the average cost to repair and clean up basement water damage in the DMV area is $1,925 and can be as high as $25,000. That’s a lot of hard-earned money going down the drain, so to speak.
So, it’s important to protect your basement from water damage. Here are several ways to waterproof it and prevent flooding:
- Downspout Drainage System: Redirect all downpsouts away from your home. You can add an extension to the downspout that will stop water from cascading into your basement. It is recommended that you install a full drainage system sending water underground and away from your basement.
- Exterior grading, the number one overlooked maintenance item. Proper regrading to ensure that rain water runs away from the foundation is critical. Regrading is the single most important item to keep your basement dry next to gutter and downspout maintenance. Often proper grading with a clay base soil can eliminate the need for an interior drainage system. Don’t overlook window wells either, they need to be a proper height and fit.
- Install or maintain your sump pump: All basements should have a sump pump! A pedestal or submersible sump pump removes water that accumulates in the basement. It’s installed in the lowest part of a basement or crawlspace. From there, it keeps the area dry and prevents basement flooding. Water flows into the sump pit by way of drains or by water migration in the soil. Sump pump’s pump the water out of the pit and away from the building thus keeping the basement and crawlspace dry. You should have one installed or clean and maintain the one you have.
- Clean the gutters: This one seems so elementary. How is it that it’s constantly forgotten? Anyway, if you want to keep water from flowing into your basement, have your gutters cleaned of leaves, branches and other debris. Full gutters are often the cause of major water damage to basements and roofs. Water spillage drains into basements and foundations causing major damage and expense. Do seasonal gutter cleanings especially if you have trees around your home.
- Contractor Inspection: Have a licensed contractor inspect your home for obvious water sources. They may recommend the above or may recommend waterproofing out side of your home.
The rains are here and snow may be coming later so make sure you take these steps to protect your basement, your home and your safety. You will not regret it.
If your home is experiencing floods or foundation problems, contact M Taylor Enterprise for a consultation. Our service areas for basement waterproofing include Montgomery County, Howard County and Prince George’s County, Maryland. Call us at (301) 649-3406 or email@example.com.