Experienced Foundation Repair Specialists

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How to Use Carbon Fiber Straps to Repair Foundation Cracks

As winter approaches, you may have noticed that there are cracks in and around your home foundation. They may be hairline cracks or large cracks. Regardless, they will increase in size and cause problems with your home as we have covered in previous blogs

However, your home foundation cracks may be at the point of no return. Now, maybe the time to contact a home foundation repair company to have those cracks repaired. Your home foundation repair contractor may recommend using carbon fiber straps to improve the foundation. 

How do these cracks occur? Home basement foundations are exposed to many hazards underground. Water can be the most significant hazard. Living in a low water table region, the soil gets saturated with water. That water pools around the foundation walls. The water pressure eventually pushes against the foundation. Soil also can be an issue as it expands. It absorbs a lot of water. The water pressure pushes against your basement walls and causes them to bow. Water must be kept from soaking into the dirt near the home foundation.

Carbon Fiber Strips are four times stronger than steel and typically outperform most forms of foundation repair tools. They are smart home foundation repair solutions for the following reasons: 

  1. Carbon fiber strap: Being four times stronger than steel, carbon fiber straps are lighter, more efficient, and less expensive. The epoxy rivet technology makes sure the strap will adhere to the wall and stay attached for many years.
  2. Top anchor: The top of the carbon fiber strap connects to the rim joist. This is where the foundation wall meets the first or main floor. It’s post-tensioned for maximum strength.
  3. Bottom anchor: The bottom of the carbon fiber strap is anchored into the foundation floor, so the wall won’t slide inward. 
  4. Carbon fiber dowels/pins may also be installed inside basement corners to “pin” the wall together. They may also be used against the flat face of a wall to keep the structure together as additional support. These are not as commonly used as other carbon fiber home foundation repair tools. 
  5. Carbon fiber straps are fastened to compromised basement walls and corners. If the crack is in the corner of the basement, it’s possible that both walls can move inward or even collapse. Most home foundation repair contractors install straps horizontally around the corner, four feet in either direction so the wall is structurally secure.

Installation of these carbon fiber straps can be completed efficiently, often in only a few hours. So, you would not have to vacate your home, nor would your daily lifestyle be inconvenienced. If you are considering solutions to your home foundation cracks, and soon before the snow and ice hits Western Maryland.  

If you need carbon fiber foundation repair or basement waterproofing, M Taylor Enterprise home foundation repair contractorscan consult in Prince George, Montgomery County, and Howard County, MD. 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. 

 

How Helical Pier Technology Can Be Environmentally Friendly

As we have covered in a previous blog, helical piers are galvanized steel shafts with helical plates. Helical piers are used, mainly, to strengthen damaged or weakened home foundations. They are vertically installed by a home foundation repair contractor. Installation is done fairly quickly, usually within a few hours.

What is not generally known is that helical piers are good for the environment. Here are a few reasons:

  1. Home foundation repair contractors use hydraulics to screw the piers into place, instead of digging deep into the ground around the foundation.
  2. Quick installation also means that there is little need, if any, to dampen the construction vibration.
  3. Soil does not have to be broken to install them.
  4. They are made of galvanized steel, so they do not rust.
  5. They can be removed easily, without any harm to the environment.
  6. No heavy machinery is needed for installation. So there is no fleet of trucks using fuel or expelling exhaust.
  7. Screw piles can be installed, and left in place for many years. Then they are removed and reused at another site. So, there is little impact on the original location. 
  8. They are very easy to transport and install. So, they save money for architects, contractors, structural engineers, and builders. Les people are visiting the site. 
  9. There is less of a mess and project cleanup. So, there is less refuse going to public dumps that will sit there for many years.
  10.  No maintenance or upkeep is required. So, fewer visits to the home to check on it means less fuel used. 
  11.  Helical piers are also reusable, recyclable, and transferable. 

As you can see, not only are helical piers efficient, durable, and cost-effective, they are good for the environment. If you think your home foundation is in need of repair, call a repair contractor to do an inspection and analysis. As we have said, it is better to get it repaired now than later, at a higher cost. 

If you being kind to the environment is important to you, helical piers accomplish that goal!  

When getting your home foundation repaired, make sure you get a home foundation repair contractor who can do it accurately. When helical piers are properly installed, handheld equipment is used. This allows the customer to see the amount of resistance and torque that is being used. It also shows when to stop the digging. 

M Taylor Enterprise installs both helical piers and helical tiebacks. Call our experienced engineers for a consultation. We will analyze your home foundation issue and efficiently repair it. Call (301) 649-3406 or email us at matt@mtaylorenterprise.com. We serve the Prince George’s, Howard, and Montgomery County, MD area.

Landscaping Tips That Will Protect Your Home Foundation

Your home foundation usually doesn’t become a topic of conversation until something bad (and expensive) happens to it. When it cracks or floods, you call us to assess it and repair it. 

While we appreciate your business, there are things you can do this summer that will save you a lot of stress and money. One of the ways to protect your home foundation is to do landscaping, the right way. 

Here are five landscaping tips that will help you protect your home foundation:

  1. Plant trees away from your home foundation: This sounds like it should be pretty obvious, but I have spoken with many clients who love trees and have planted them too close to the foundation. Soon, the roots grow and break through the foundation, causing costly damage. So, plant trees far away from the foundation. 
  2. Leave sections of the home foundation exposed. Too much moisture is also bad for the foundation. Leave some of it visible so it is not moist year-round. 
  3. Don’t cover drains and outlets. Keep all drains and outlets open. Avoid planting anything in front of it which will impede it from draining.
  4. Flower beds should slope away from the foundation. Check the grading of your landscaping. It should not have any water pooling around the foundation. A 9”-10” drop is recommended for the first ten feet around the home. This prevents moisture from accumulating under the home foundation (5% slope away from the foundation). Erosion will occur if there is no slope. 
  5. Water evenly in the areas that are not landscaped. Don’t focus on just one area of the land around the home for landscaping. The soil will eventually expand as it’s likely to be watered the most. As we have discussed in past blogs, expansion of the soil leads to cracks in the foundation. Watering the area around the home evenly will protect the home foundation from eroding from too much water or moisture. 

As you can see, landscaping is a crucial part of taking care of your home foundation. Keeping it from getting too much water or not enough water, is quite important to the health of your home foundation. It takes a few hours a month, but it may save you many heartaches and give a lot of your money to home foundation repair contractors like myself. 

M Taylor Enterprise home foundation repair contractors can consult in Prince George, Montgomery County, and Howard County, MD. 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. 

What Makes Helical Piers the Best Solution for Your Home Foundation?

We hear from a lot of home foundation repair customers who have experienced ice, snow, and now, heat, in Central Maryland. Their foundations have settled and this weather has done damage to it. 

Taking care of your home’s structural integrity is important. It is your largest property investment. 

Helical Piers, also known as screw piles or anchors, are vertical metal rods inserted in the ground then attached to your house’s slab. They add strength and stability to your home foundation.

There are several benefits to having helical piers installed in your home:

  1. Easy to install: Using a hydraulic torque, helical piers are easily installed in just a few hours. 
  2. Versatile: Helical piers are installed vertically but can be installed horizontally, too. They are convenient as they can be installed in spaces that are limited. 
  3. Immediate results: Once helical piers have been installed, they can begin bearing weight. If you have a home under construction, you can begin framing right away. 
  4. New or existing homes can use them: As mentioned above if you have a home under construction you can install helical piers as you are building. Or, if you have an older home it can be installed. The age or type of home doesn’t matter!
  5.  Save money: Concrete installation is quite expensive. A contractor has to mix the concrete, dig out the ground, lay the concrete, and then clean up the debris. However, when a home foundation contractor installs a helical pier, it takes only a few hours, and it’s set up and bearing the weight!
  6. Environmentally-friendly: The advantages even stretch to being environmentally friendly! There is no soil removal or extensive landscaping. It is quiet and there are very few vibrations. Helical piers can even be recycled. 

Keep your house and investment safe! So, whether you are buying a home or improving the one you own now, helical piers are the smart, economical, and efficient way to improve your home’s foundation.  

M Taylor Enterprise installs both helical piers and helical tiebacks.  Call our experienced engineers for a consultation. We will analyze your home foundation issue and efficiently repair it. Call (301) 649-3406 or email us at matt@mtaylorenterprise.com. We serve the Prince George’s, Howard, and Montgomery County, MD area.

 

Home Foundation Repair: Factors to Consider When Choosing a Contractor

On a beautiful fall day here in Central Maryland, you walked around your home and noticed the unthinkable: cracks on its foundation.

Now, you have to make a decision. Do you let it go for now and do it next spring knowing that it may get worse and cost more to repair? Or, do you take it on now and get those cracks repaired?

Of course, we would advise that you not put this off. Foundation cracks can get worse over time and cause repairs to be even more costly. 

So, whether you get your home foundation repairs done now or later, we have some tips when hiring a home foundation repair contractor: 

  1. Always verify their MHIC (Maryland Home Improvement Commission) Number: It is a crime to act as a home improvement contractor in Maryland without an MHIC License. *** Be sure that your home foundation repair contractor has this license.  An unlicensed home improvement contractor may also have an invalid or no MHIC number posted on the side of their vehicle. Be sure to check with the MHIC to see if their MHIC license number is valid and is issued to that contractor.
  2. Ask for a Certificate of Insurance: A COI show that they have liability insurance and can work on your home. If they don’t have liability insurance then you become liable for their work. All the risk is assumed by the client. Some homeowner’s policies will not cover that risk exposure. Have them show you their liability insurance policy and verify that it covers all of their employees working on your home. 
  3. Request 2-3 referrals: Any licensed contractor with experience should have a portfolio and a list of happy clients that have had similar work done. Ask them to give you two or three referrals. Call them and ask about their experience, quality of work, etc. Also, seek referrals from online websites such as BBB, Yelp, and Home Advisor. If they cannot supply any referrals, look elsewhere!
  4. Verify if the contractor’s crew is theirs or a labor pool service: Your contractor should have their own work crew not a rag-tag group of labor. They should be professionals who have worked on other houses for the contractor. 
  5. Only put 1/3 down for the project: Don’t pay for half of all of the projects upfront! Instead, pay 1/3 which should cover the building materials to start the work. 
  6. Get Three (3) Bids: The lowest bid may not be the best one. A reputable contractor may cost more, however, the work pace will likely flow better and the results may be what you expected or better.
  7. COVID Protections: Though most of the foundation work will be done outside, make sure that the contractor is abiding by all local, state, and federal COVID-19 protections. They should wear masks and keep a social distance. Plus, they should be wearing foot covers when entering your home. (Regulations may vary depending on location.) 

Your home foundation repair is a major project, so get the licensed, qualified, and most experienced contractor in your area. It will be worth the time and effort.  

Should you notice any home foundation issues, call a professional, licensed home foundation repair contractor. M Taylor Enterprise is an experienced and licensed home repair foundation contractor. We can inspect, analyze, and repair your home foundation correctly and efficiently.   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.    

*** For more about the MHIC, click here

 

Four Ways to Tell if Your Drainage Systems Were Damaged After a Heavy Rain

Maryland has been hit with several major rainstorms this summer. Besides scaring us to death and knocking out the power, these storms have also caused millions of dollars in water damage. 

Additionally, Hurricane Isaias brought trees down, road closures, and flooding. *** Water has damaged thousands of homes in Maryland and on the East Coast. 

Your home may be experiencing the effects of the storms and hurricane, too. Here are four ways to tell if your drainage systems were damaged:

  1. Pipes bursting and cracking: It’s not hard to tell if your pipes are bursting or cracking as you will notice it when you turn on the faucet. Your water will be dark. The water will taste awful-like copper. Typically, rainwater pools up in the pipes and causes them to break. So, the freshwater will have soil, soot, and other bacteria in it. 
  2. Flooding: Heavy rains like the ones we have had, cause water to accumulate in the yard. The water has nowhere to go if there isn’t any proper drainage, so it begins to flood your basement, driveway, sidewalk, or porch. This severe water damage then causes these spaces around your home to be weakened. Before it causes any more damage, the correct drainage should be installed.
  3. Sewage backup: One of the grossest results of a deluge or two of rain is what it does to your sewer line. The heavy rain builds up debris in the outdoor drains which clog the pipes. If the sewer line that runs to your home is blocked, the wastewater accumulates in the clogged drains. Eventually, the pipes may burst or crack sending all of it into your home or onto the ground.
  4. Indoor drains blocked or clogged: Water pools in your shower, bathtub, sink, or other drains. This is caused by the heavy rains bringing in debris like soil, trash, branches, leaves, sticks, and even bugs. All of this junk clogs up your drainage systems which back up the entire drainage. 

These storms can wreak serious damage to your home drainage systems. If you see any of these signs, call your experienced home foundation repair contractor to get it fixed. When the next heavy rain hits, and it will, you will be ready. The longer you delay, the more these clogs and cracks to your pipes will cause damage. Usually, a home foundation contractor can assess the damage and repair the drainage systems fairly quickly.     

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. 

** See reports of Maryland rain and hurricane damage here.