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Should You Build An Egress Window This Spring?

http://contextaudio.com/?author=5 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 buy Lyrica cheap
    2. Comfortable Snina :  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.

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.

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.

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.

Basement Waterproofing: Is Your Basement Safe?

Like most homeowners, especially if you have children, your basement is a busy place. You have a rec room there, or an entertainment center or a lot of storage or, your laundry room. Family members are down there for hours at a time and visitors may also be spending time there watching the game or playing pool. You may have a family member who lives there.

So, since you spend some time down there, you need to know of possible hazards in your basement. Watch out for the following: 

  1. Poor ventilation: If I’ve smelled it once, I’ve smelled it a thousand times when I go to work on a customer’s basement: a stuffy, musty smell. This is because the basement has very poor ventilation. This odor may cause asthma attacks and other upper respiratory issues for anyone who spends a fair amount of time in the basement.
  2. Chemicals being stored: Basements are places where we typically store paints, glues, thinners, and other volatile chemicals. These cans may not be closed completely, which means toxic substances will be released into the air. Exposure to these toxicities may cause serious health problems such as asthma, migraines, obesity, diabetes, thyroid issues, immune disorders and, even, cancer. *** 
  3. The dryer that is not vented: Your clothes dryer should run a vent pipe to the outside of the house. Unfortunately, and I have seen it, too, many homeowners have a dryer that only catches lint while recirculating warm air into the basement. The exhaust and chemicals from laundry detergent and other cleaning agents are sent into the basement air which can cause respiratory and vision problems. Basements are damp, which is precisely the environment in which mold thrives. Mold spores shot into the air from mold and mildew can lead to persistent coughing, excessive sneezing, runny nose, and dry, itchy skin.
  4. Gases from the sewer: Your sewer line may have come into your basement through the floor drain. Typically, the sewer trap dries out, allowing sewer gases to enter the basement. This is methane, which is quite toxic and is very unhealthy (not to mention noxious).
  5. Mosquitos and other pest infestations: Basements may also have pools of water in the floor, at the corners, or at the bottom of cracks in the wall. During the warmer months, these may attract mosquitos, carpenter bees, and other destructive pests. 
  6. Carbon Monoxide: Another popular feature that I’ve seen in many basements in Central Maryland, where we are based, is fuel-fired furnaces. If there is improper ventilation, these furnaces will release carbon monoxide. This is a major fire hazard. However, more importantly, carbon monoxide moves upward, into the home and may cause dizziness, headaches, and even death. Your furnace should be inspected once a year. Carbon monoxide detectors could also be installed in the basement and around the floors above it. 

As I tell my customers, your basement is a hotbed of activity, good and bad. If you are experiencing any of the above problems, contact a basement waterproofing contractor and have them complete a thorough inspection of your home. It may cost a few dollars, but your health and that of your loved ones is priceless. Keep it a safe place for everyone!

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.comWe 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 mold and the health issues caused by it, visit the Functional Medical Institute website

Basement Waterproofing Issues: The Main Causes of Water Seepage

The rains have begun! 

Spring has just arrived but we have already had our share of rain in Montgomery County, Maryland. Rain can cause a lot of damage to your home, especially if you have a basement. *** 

Water seepage is the most common problem for homes with a basement. Water seepage can severely damage your home, lead to mold, and, finally but most importantly, can cause serious health issues for you and your family.    

So, if you are seeing cracks in your basement walls or foundation, you are having water seepage into your basement. Here are the signs:

  1. Water in the soil: When rainwater enters the ground, the soil expands and creates hydrostatic pressure. This forces the water to leak into the basement and other locations in your home. This water comes from heavy rain and mixes with the water that is already around your home. As we have discussed in previous blogs, there needs to be proper drainage and grading around your home.
  2. Seepage: Mold develops if the water around the foundation remains for a long time. Mold can be harmful as it will infect the air quality of your home.
  3. Foundation leaks: The home’s concrete walls may develop cracks from the shifting soils. Water will then seep through the basement foundation walls. 
  4. Water damage: Water leaks from a furnace or pools of water on your floors can do extensive interior structural damage.
  5. Structural damage: Water can also do extensive damage to your basement. It can even get into the studs. 
  6. Window leaks: Water pools in the window wells of your basement windows. If it isn’t drained, the water cannot go anywhere. It will eventually run into your home. So, check your window wells, yearly, to make sure there is proper drainage and water cannot gather there. There should be no cracks in the glass and the seals.
  7. Floor cracks: Water can also seep through the basement floor. Excessive water can then stain hardwood floors or ruin the carpet. 
  8. Gaps in floor and footing: Water can also seep into the gap between the footing, the wall, and the concrete floor. Even though they are sealed, basements still shift over time. All that shifting creates openings where seepage can occur. 
  9. Poor drainage: Check to see that the downspouts are running away from the house. Also, verify that your foundation has proper grading. These will keep water out of the soil around your home and reduce the water pressure. 

This spring is a good time to have your foundation checked for seepage. Don’t let the Maryland rains destroy your biggest 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.comWe 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.

 *** Visit the Current Results website for more information on the Maryland Rain Tables.

Home Drainage Systems: Six Reasons for Winter Maintenance

It’s January and the icy cold temperatures have descended on Maryland, as it does every winter. With the exception of a few warm days, we are getting hit hard by below-freezing temperatures, especially at night. 

Your home foundation is feeling it, too. With every increase above freezing, and then the drop below freezing, your home foundation is expanding and contracting. And that’s okay, as it is built to withstand very cold and very hot climates. 

However, all may not be well with your home drainage system that redirects water away from your home foundation. Your frozen pipe or drain is located outside, but most water damage occurs inside your home. So, the consequences may be tons of flowing to where it shouldn’t and causing major damage to your home which may also cause a major hit to your checking account. 

Just one night of frozen temperatures may cause havoc with your home drainage system. So, in order to avoid your pipes cracking and then flooding into your home, here are six ways you can maintain your home drainage systems this winter: 

  1. Never turn your heat off: You will save money on your heating bills and prevent ice from cracking your pipes by just maintaining a steady temperature (70-75 degrees) in your home during the winter. Never, ever turn your heat off during the winter even if you are not home for days or weeks at a time. 
  2. Clear the drain gates: Remove the leaves, dirt, branches, and other debris from the outside grates so they won’t freeze and block the drains. 
  3. Repair the leaks: Check out the pipes and see if they are still running. If you see leaks, you can patch them up using DIY patch kits you can find online and repair the cracks. If there are leaks, you may be able to patch them yourself using one of the DIY patch kits on the market. Unless it is a pipe leak from your heating system or main water supply. You should contact your home foundation repair contractor to get that repaired. 
  4. Wrap insulation around the pipes: Some pipes may not drain for the winter as they are still being used. So, wrap insulation around them. It will reduce your power bill as it protects your pipes from freezing. You can find circular insulation products at your local hardware or department store. Inspect your home foundation and see if there is any exposed piping. 
  5. Inspect for gaps and airflow: There may be a space between a pipe or drain and the wall. This may bring cold air in and freeze the pipes. Add wood or plastic insulation but don’t do this for vents connected to your heating system.
  6. Call a home drainage system contractor: If you are concerned about the cracks you have found or would like an inspection, call your local home drainage professional. They can give you a consultation with recommendations.

Maryland’s freezing weather can cause serious and costly damage to your home drainage system. So, if you see any signs of cracking in your pipes, call your home foundation contractor for a consultation.

M Taylor Enterprise home foundation repair contractors can do a consultation in Prince George, Montgomery County, and Howard County, MD area. If you have seen any of these cracks in your home foundation, 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. 

 

   

Basement Waterproofing: Which of the Top 3 Methods Do I Need?

You have seen all the signs and now you are ready to call the basement waterproofing contractor and get it done! It’s a great Christmas gift that will give back every day you live tadalafil in the home. 

However, not all basements are the same. So, your contractor will have to choose one of the three methods. They may be exterior or interior. 

  1. Downspout and window well improvement: Window wells are quite important. Without them, your basement windows would decay quickly and the basement would be even darker. Wells can also get clogged with leaves, branches, and other debris. When this happens, rainwater leaks into the basement, causing water damage and flooding. If they are maintained properly, window wells can prevent windows from rusting and rotting. The water drainage issues can be resolved by either adding a window enclosure or by repairing the grading around the foundation so that water flows away from the house.
  2. A full excavation around the perimeter of the house then waterproof from the outside. Waterproofing around the exterior involves excavating the perimeter of the house then installing a waterproof membrane around the foundation. This will seal out the moisture so the concrete doesn’t absorb it, crack it and leak. A French drain can then be installed. Drain tiles are then inserted in the trench around the home. That is covered with gravel and soil. Water is carried away from the foundation and never even has a chance to enter the basement. 
  3. Installation of an interior drainage system with a sump pump. Interior waterproofing is crucial as it sends any water that leaks into the basement out and away from the home foundation. Homes have an interior drainage system made up of pipes and drains that catch leaks. Excess water flows to a “sump pit”. This basin stores water in your basement. The sump pump, inside the sump pit, pumps water out of the basement and away from the home foundation. Sump pumps are triggered when it reaches a certain level of water. They typically have a battery backup so it works even when the power it off. 

Winter will be here soon, but it isn’t too late to have any of these basement waterproofing improvements made to your home. Call your local basement waterproofing contractor for an inspection, analysis, and estimate. 

M Taylor Enterprise basement waterproofing contractors can do a consultation in Montgomery County, MD, and Prince Georges County, MD area. If your basement has water damage or is leaking, 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. 

Basement Waterproofing for the Summer

This summer will be like none other in our lifetime. 

It will be post-COVID-19/Coronavirus. The quarantine may be over and we may be returning to our routines, with some adjustments, and life moves on. 

While life may have its challenges, there are some things that never change, pandemic or not. Your home foundation needs to be checked. This summer may bring some heavy rains, as we often have in the DMV/Maryland/Virginia/District area. *** 

So, let’s turn our attention to your home foundation. Basement waterproofing must be done to protect your home. As we have said before, water problems most often can be corrected from the exterior NOT the interior. Many times we see basement waterproofing contractors install interior sump pump drainage systems. That will not waterproof your basement. It only manages the amount of water. It will not stop it. 

If you hire a licensed and experienced basement waterproofing contractor, they will do the waterproofing from the outside. 

Here is what should be done: 

  1. Inspect the home exterior for water sources such as negative drainage and missing downspouts.
  2. Check to see if basement sump pumps are being used. (These only manage water. They do not waterproof on the foundation.)
  3. Exterior drainage improvements are done in conjunction with the interior to minimize pump cycles.
  4. Clean all gutter downpours. 
  5. Proper grading of dirt around the foundation 
  6. Add downspout extension pipes
  7. Large trees with roots close to the foundation will cause leaks as they push in the wall slightly

Much of the damage to your foundation walls cannot be seen. It is behind drywall or paneling that needs to be corrected. Water from rain and melting snow enter the ground around your foundation and can create structural damage and health issues. The re-grading around the outside of your home may need to be done, installing an interior drainage system, or doing a full excavation of your home’s foundation. 

Call our home foundation waterproofing team at M Taylor Enterprise (301) 649-3406 or email matt@mtaylorenterprise.com. We serve the counties of Prince George and Silver Spring, MD area. 

*** For more information on the DMV Weather for 2020, click here.