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Tag Archives: foundation repair

Carbon Fiber Strip for Foundation Repair

Cold weather has arrived in Central Maryland. The Farmer’s Almanac, a trusted weather resource for many years, is predicting a very wet and frosty winter for us.  

So, while the snow or ice are falling on our area, some homeowners are going to walk downstairs to their basement to get the snow shovel and sand, they may see something that they have not have noticed before: their basement walls have bowed by as much as two inches!  

When you see your basement walls bowing, you have serious home foundation issues that need to be remedied-fast! There are many reasons for these things to happen:  

  1. Tree roots growing close to your home that press against your walls.
  2. Heavy rains may be saturating the soil around your home thus becoming heavier and stressing your basement walls.
  3. Pipes that are leaking can saturate the soil also causing walls to bow.
  4. Lawns that slope can channel heavy soil onto your foundation.  
  5. Heavy construction on your foundation such as patios, pools, and driveways can add pressure to the foundation. 

A home foundation repair contractor can repair this type of damage by using a carbon fiber strip. This strip is easy to install and will not disrupt the landscaping. 

A carbon fiber strip accomplishes several things when repairing the basement walls: 

  1. It’s lightweight.
  2. It isolates movement in the basement walls.
  3. It repairs the cracks and bowing in the walls.
  4. It is more affordable than other repairs such as braces or anchors, as it is less labor-intensive. Strip installation takes less time and is more efficient.
  5. It does not require any excavation of the home foundation.
  6. They can also be painted to resemble the wall color, so they fit in well with the original appearance.

Once these carbon fiber strips are installed, the homeowner should do the following to make sure the basement walls don’t bow again:

  1. Keep the gutters clean.
  2. Avoid pouring any new concrete or brick patios or walkways on the foundation.  
  3. Remove trees planted near the foundation.
  4. Keep plumbing maintained.

When someone thinks about any home foundation repair they fear spending an incredible amount of money to get it done. This is not the case at all. Once your carbon fiber strips are installed, your basement walls and home foundation should be solid again. 

M. Taylor Enterprise has experienced home foundation repair contractors who can install carbon fiber strips to your home efficiently and affordably. Call us at (301) 649-3406 for an appointment. We will do an assessment on your basement and foundation to see if a carbon fiber strap is needed. We serve  Montgomery County, Howard, and Prince Georges County, MD areas.

As the latest Farmer’s Almanac said, it will be a brutally cold winter in Maryland, so make sure your basement and home are protected. 

Home Foundation Repair: Take Care of It in Fall and Winter

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.

 

 

Your Home’s Anchor: Helical Piers and How they Work

Boats have anchors.

Cars have brakes.

And, homes have helical piers.

A helical pier is, according to www.builderonline.com, is a:

A helical pier is a manufactured steel foundation pin that is driven into the soil to a depth below frostline using hydraulic machinery. Helical piers are primarily used in heavy commercial work, but they’re also well-suited for backyard decks, additions, and foundation repairs.

Helical piers which are also known as “anchors”, screwpiles or piles. They are foundation solutions that are utilized to new foundations or repair existing foundations. They are not difficult to install and are mainly used when soil conditions prevent standard foundation  repairs.

Helical piers are made by using steel shafts with helical shafts and are installed deep in the foundation underpinning elements constructed using steel shafts with helical flights. The shafts move to the deep below the foundation by  twisting them into the foundation soil. Torque is monitored to estimate the pile capacity.

Piers, which are galvanized steel, have a seven foot shaft with a helical bearing plate welded to the end and a cap on top. Length depends on the condition of the soil. Smaller piers are used heavy, rock-filled soils and larger piers for softer, clay soils. The helical anchor/pile is 3” and welded to a central steel shaft. The load is moved from the shaft to the soil using bearing plates.

So, when do you need to install a helical pier? Here are five reasons to install a helical pier:

  1. They cause minimal damage to lawn and vegetation.
  2. Your home’s foundation experiences minimal trauma and there is no     damage to it.
  3. Installation is completed in a small space.
  4. They can be installed in any weather.
  5. They are installed quickly with minimal traffic on your lawn.
  6. Can be installed to a any known load-bearing capacity.

M Taylor Enterprise  has used helical piers in construction and foundation projects throughout Montgomery County Maryland. Projects have included tiebacks for walls that were bowing and leaning, new construction, old construction, sloped areas and also to help add lift for sunken concrete and stone slabs.

Hydraulic motors are used to quickly and safely install these supports and our team has extensive experience utilizing this effective source of foundation repair support.

Contact us at (301) 649-3406 or at matt@mtaylorenterprise.com if you think helical piers may be an answer to your particular project. Advice is always free.

 

 

 

Signs of Potential Foundation Problems

foundation repairs M Taylor EnterpriseAre your walls bowing  in? Doors not closing? Walls cracking?

All those creaks you’re hearing and dampness you’re seeing may be your home’s foundation deteriorating.  Your homes foundation may be having issues if you see any off the following;

  1.  vertical or  horizontal cracks  in the  basement  walls
  2. exterior cracks in the masonry
  3.  basement walls bowing in
  4.  water infiltration
  5.  doors  begins to jam or fails to latch
  6. cracks in ceramic floor
  7. cracks in the walls, doorways, windows or walls
  8. windows stick or cannot close all the way
  9. damp carpets
  10.  puddles on  basement floor
  11.  discoloring on  walls
  12.  odors
  13.  damp and moldy  drywall
  14.  muddy floors
  15.  flooding in the basement

When these issues are occurring in the home, it usually points to foundation issues.

Poor drainage is usually the causes of water entering the home. It comes in through settled back fill or leaking window wells. These persistent leaks cause major water damage and may decrease the value of your home. Water stains and buildups in the floors and walls also develop into mold which creates a host of health issues which we will discuss in a future blog.

When you start seeing these signs, call a qualified  foundation  specialists repair company right away. Have them do an inspection and give you an estimate. You should call several companies and have them bid on the job.

When it comes to making foundation repairs, there are  many  methods of home foundation repair:

  1. For a  settled foundation,  helical  piers or anchors are driven into the ground and install to a depth below the unstable soil. The foundation adjustment screws then allow lifting of the structure.
  2. For bowed in walls, Kevlar carbon fiber straps or ‘’I’’ beams are installed to brace the wall , sometimes  thru the wall anchors are needed.
  3. Settled  slabs can be lifted with helical piers with slab brackets or grout is pumped beneath the beam or slab that lifts the  slab restoring the home to its original elevation.

Once your home foundation is repaired, the problems you had before should be resolved. Foundation issues once meant a home had to be demolished.

However now, with updated technology, experienced  foundation contractors can diagnose and repair the foundation and restore it to its original condition or even better. Your most valuable and expensive financial asset can be saved and give you many years of enjoyment.

Our experienced foundation repair team at M Taylor Enterprise 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.

 

 

Cracking Up: How Foundation Repair Can Save Your Home

foundation repairs M Taylor Enterprise“It is not the beauty of a building you should look at; its the construction of the foundation that will stand the test of time.”

~ David Allan Coe

While Mr. Coe is a country music singer and composer, he’d make a good construction consultant because he’s right. Your home’s foundation is the solid rock on which it stands. If it falters, cracks or falls, your home could suffer major expensive structural damage which is not covered under property insurance policies.

Additionally, foundation damage makes it impossible to sell. Once the foundation issues are discovered, prospective buyers will either demand it be repaired, ask for it a greatly reduced price or withdraw any interest in buying it at all.

Bottom line: Your home’s foundation needs to be strong. There can be no compromise.

Below are some signs that your home’s foundation is in structural trouble:

  1. a damaged foundation means walls may buckle and cave in
  2. chimneys pull away from the structure causing even more damage
  3. increased moisture in the home creating damp atmosphere for mold and mildew
  4. settling basement slabs break sewer waste pipes below the slab causing severe health and safety issues

As you can see, a damaged foundation threatens your largest property investment: your home. It also may threaten your family or renters in your home. When the above are discovered, action needs to be taken pretty quickly to protect it from any further damage and deterioration.

So, here are several ways foundation repairs, done by licensed building contractors, can be done to your home:

  1. Waterproofing: This may mean installing an exterior waterproofing membrane which creates an impermeable barrier on outside of the foundation; installing an exterior drain tile along the membrane to lessen pressure on the walls to drain water or doing some exterior crack repair.
  2. Grading: Unless the ground around your foundation drops 2-3 inches for every ten feet away from your home’s foundation, you may have some serious drainage issues. The lawn slope needs to be graded to meet those guidelines.
  3. Masonry repairs: Cracked mortar is usually the culprit in damage to brick foundations. The mortar may have also deteriorated. Masonry then needs to be removed and replaced.

Those are common foundation issues but it could also be problems with the footings, concrete, or drainage systems. A licensed building contractor who is experienced in foundation building and repair should inspect it. They can then give you an itemized list of repairs that need to be made.

Taylor Enterprise has an experienced team of contractors who can repair any and all foundation problems. Call us at (301) 649-3406 or email  matt@mtaylorenterprise.com. We serve the Silver Spring, MD and Washington, D.C. area.