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Tag Archives: foundation repair contractor

Fall and Winter are Good Seasons for Home Foundation Repair

The seasons have (finally) changed here in Maryland and the long-range forecast for our area is for an unusually cold and wet winter. Ice, rain, and snow will hit us so our question to you is this: Is your home foundation ready?

winter foundation maintenance M Taylor Enterprise

This fall and even early winter are good reasons to get your home foundation repairs done to protect your largest financial asset. But first, what damage can ice, snow and freezing rain do to your home’s foundation? Here are some damages you might notice:  

  1. Hydrostatic Pressure: Water collects deep in the ground below your foundation. After rain, snow or ice melts, that water rises and pushes against the foundation causing cracks. You will see the results of that water damage as cracks will develop in concrete floors or moisture pools in the concrete slab. Mold also grows in this area. 
  2. Desiccation Pressure: It’s one thing to have too much water below the foundation. It’s quite another to have too little water below the home. When there is a drought of water, the soil shrinks, and contracts. Thus, this leads to numerous structural issues from water seepage to uneven and cracked flooring.   
  3. Soil Pressure: As we have heard, the increase in wet weather compounded by drops in temperatures below freezing, can cause serious soil pressure issues. Snow and ice buildup and surround the home. It may not be a problem if the ground surface can absorb it. However, if the soil holds onto the moisture, it may expand and press against the home foundation. Cracks will soon develop and water will then leak into the basement. Concrete walls will then lean forward leading to even more home foundation damage. 

We have seen this type of damage in homes in the Montgomery County, Maryland area as fluctuations in temperature, heavy rain, ice, and snow, wreak havoc on even the best foundations. Some homeowners saw the early symptoms, like wall cracks and water damage in their basement, and called us right away. They save a lot of money by getting their home foundation repairs done then. Others, however, ignored it and paid the price with costly repairs and had to do battle with their insurance company. That wasn’t a pretty situation.

So, one of the best ways you can celebrate the fall and winter holidays is with a sealed, repaired and maintained the home foundation. If you have seen the symptoms of foundation issues, call our home foundation repair experts at M Taylor Enterprise who can do a thorough review of your structure and make recommendations. We serve the counties of Prince George and Silver Spring, MD area. Call us for a consultation at (301) 649-3406 or email us at matt@mtaylorenterprise.com. 

Fall Home Foundation Checklist: Maintenance Tips for the Season

The long hot summer of 2019 in Maryland is coming to an end! 

Record-breaking heat may finally give way to much cooler temperatures. There is even a colder than usual winter predicted for this region.  fall home foundation repair maintenance M Taylor Enterprise

It seems like forever since cool weather but now that fall has finally arrived there are some important home foundation maintenance tips you can do to keep your home in good shape:

  1. Clean out your gutters: By now, your gutters are probably filled with leaves, grass, dirt, branches, plants and other debris. When it rains, full gutters are filled and the water will seep into the foundation instead of running out of the gutters into your yard. So, have them cleaned and cleared out.
  2. Check for mold: Mold can be found anywhere and everywhere. So, inspect your windows, doors, water softener tanks, well pressure tanks, bathtubs, toilet tanks, and bathroom ceilings. Also, inspect your crawlspace and storage room. Once the mold is eliminated, have ventilation installed to prevent future mold infestation.  
  3. Check for cracks in your foundation: So crucial! Walk around your home foundation and see if there are any cracks. Cracks, large or small, may indicate settling and sinking of the foundation. If you find any cracks, take photos and call your home foundation repair contractor.    
  4. Check for cracks in your masonry or siding: Cracks in your siding or masonry may also indicate foundation issues. Look for cracks. If you find any, have a home repair contractor fix them. 
  5. Inspect the grade around your home: “Grading” is the level of the ground around your home that directs water and rain away from your home. Look to see if stormwater is collecting around your home. Most water penetration in a home’s foundation is due to surface water not being managed properly. Look, especially, under downspouts and window wells that are adjacent to exterior steps.       
  6. Look at your roof: Check for buckling, cracked or missing shingles. Also, look for black algae stains which may signal decaying boards beneath.  
  7. Check your ductwork and water heater: 20%-30% of the air that is lost in the home is due to poorly connected ducts and holes in the ductwork. Also, is your water heater blanket secured properly? Use foam pipe insulators, as they are cheaper and they help heat the water up much quicker. 
  8. Furnace check: Replace your air filter. Clogged filters make your furnace run longer and less efficiently. Check to see that your furnace turns on automatically once the thermostat is turned up. Lastly, remove torn or loose insulation on the coolant lines and remove brush or weeds blocking the air from the heat exchanger.
  9. Take care of your trees and shrubs: Your trees and shrubs may be in decay. If so, you may want to hire an arborist. But you can also do preventative maintenance by cutting out the dead branches.     
  10. Rake leaves: Lots of leaves on your lawn may inhibit grass growth in the spring. So, regularly rake or mulch your leaves during fall months. 
  11. Shut off exterior faucets and hoses: Frozen pipes can cause major water damage inside and outside your home. So, be sure to turn off the water to exterior faucets when temperatures begin to dip below freezing. 

Fall is truly the perfect time here in Central Maryland to make sure your home foundation, and all that is around it, is maintained and, if needed, repairs are made. So, begin now and check off the above list to protect your biggest property investment.

M Taylor Enterprise, Montgomery County, Maryland, has licensed and experienced professional 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.

 

 

How to Choose a Home Foundation Repair Contractor

The health of your home foundation is crucial. We have covered it a number of times in our blogs. If your foundation fails, the rest of your home will fail, too.

So, your decision on which home foundation repair contractor you choose may mean the difference between quality repairs or more deterioration. As we have said in a previous blog, licensing, insurance and references are all crucial factors. 

home foundation repair M Taylor Enterprise

However, there are some other factors for you to choose a foundation repair contractor: 

    1. Research the company: Read through all you can from their website. Find out what products they use. If you need Helical Piers, what types of materials do they use for them? Carbon fiber strips? See if they give details on their products. If they are short on detail (as materials and products are being updated regularly) then email them and ask if they can give you details on them.     
    2. For an unbiased opinion of your foundation, hire a preferred foundation specialized contractor or structural engineer for the assessment. The engineer should not try to sell you anything you don’t need. Their job is to recommend what you need for stability and safety. They understand structural issues as well as anyone. Once you have had this unbiased assessment from a licensed engineer, you may retain them for oversight, too. 
    3. Training: Once you have requested an assessment, confirm that the company doing the analysis has structural training. They should have varied training and instruction as most foundations have issues which require more than just one solution.  
    4. Product quality: You may shop at the Dollar Store for bargains. But, you don’t want the cheapest, off-brand materials for your home foundation and waterproofing needs. You want to avoid having to go through this whole process again. You may also encounter companies which have not guaranteed their work. Make sure you get a warranty and that the foundation repair contractor has a local office.
    5. Customer Service: Treatment of customers is so important. If the home foundation repair company has your best interests in mind by taking care of and answering all of your questions. M Taylor enterprise excels in taking care of our clients from the beginning of the foundation repair project to the end. So, whether it’s the first phone call to the final signature of the documents, you need to be treated well and thoughtfully. Also, if you contacted them through their website, were they prompt in returning your inquiry? 

Your home has only one foundation. When the time comes to repair it, don’t rush it. Research it. Then hire them. 

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.

 

 

How to Choose a Contractor for Your Foundation Repair Projects

You see cracks in your foundation. The doors and windows are not closing all the way. There are water stains on the walls. The drywall is damp and moldy. And your basement smells musty…like a vacant prison cell.

It’s pretty clear your home’s foundation needs repair. You don’t have any more time to put it off now. A home foundation repair contractor  and possibly a structural engineer needs to be hired to design and  deliver a correct repair plan.

So, all you need to do now is pick up your smart phone and call whichever contractor comes to the top of your Google search results, right!?

Not exactly.

In fact, if this foundation repair has not been addressed, it can wait a few days or weeks until you have taken a few well-planned steps.

Here are 6 things to do before you choose you foundation repair contractor:

  1. Research “home foundation repairs”: Educate yourself on what is happening to your foundation. Learn about what a home foundation contractor does and how they make repairs. (Read our blog on foundation repair.)
  2. Does the contractor actually do foundation  repairs? : There are many contractors out there, some reputable and some not so reputable. In fact, there are many building contractors out there, you might think that any contractor can do it. That would be a huge mistake. Only choose contractors who specialize in repairing foundations. If the contractor does it “on the side” then delete them from your list.
  3. Contractor licensed and insured: This one should be easy to find out. Any home foundation contractor should be licensed and insured. You can check with your state licensing board, in Maryland is the  Maryland Home Improvement Commission to see if they have the correct license to work on your home . Check for complaints Ask for a certificate of insurance [ COI] prior to starting any work. You  want to make sure contractor has Workmans Comp Ins and Liability insurance.
  4. Warranty: Most contractors offer warranties on their repairs. Ask for one and get the written list of what the contractor covers.
  5. Landscaping issues: Find out if any of your shrubbery, trees or other landscaping will be need to be removed. You will have to add that into the cost.
  6. Get three references: Any reputable, licensed contractor should have at least three satisfied customers. Get their names and contact information. Also, check their Facebook and Yelp pages for reviews.

Now you have done your homework. Hire the best home foundation repair contractor you can find from your research.

Once you have hired them, get a written agreement on what they will be doing with the total estimate on the cost. Then, arrange to have them start the project.

Hiring a home foundation contractor can be agonizing as you need to get the project under way. However, it is worth the time and the effort.

M Taylor Enterprise is an experienced, licensed and respected home foundation contractor in the Silver Spring, Maryland, Montgomery County, Maryland, Prince George’s County, Maryland and parts of Howard County MD area. We will visit your home or business, 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.