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Understanding Block Foundation Cracks

clock December 27, 2013 05:26 by author
Cracks can affect all types of foundations, including block foundations. By hiring a contractor to install a waterproofing system, you can stop the formation of cracks.

It is common to have a block foundation in many areas around the country. Block foundations can, after time, experience cracking due to conditions around that foundation. Understanding what each type of crack is can lead to getting the correct fix for those crack types. Some block foundation cracks can be very serious, and mean a costly fix if not taken care of right away. As a home or business owner, it is wise to inspect your foundation frequently and be on the lookout for cracks in your block foundation. We can help you understand what each type is, and then you can be prepared to get it fixed. It is also important to note that block foundation repairs usually should not be handled as a do it yourself project. It is important to consult a foundation specialist or engineer to make sure that your block foundation is fixed properly. Use our foundation engineer network to find a foundation repair expert in your area to make sure these block foundation cracks are fixed right the first time. So let's learn more about the different crack types.

Block Foundation Crack Types

Horizontal

Horizontal cracks in your block foundation mean that there is pressure being put on those walls from the outside of the foundation. Soil around your foundation may have too much water in it. This puts pressure on your foundation walls. This is called hydrostatic pressure. This is a serious sign that your block foundation walls are under strain. Bowing and leaning is a common occurence when there is too much pressure on the walls around your foundation. It means you need to seek immediate attention from a professional foundation repair engineer. If left untreated, this type of crack in your block foundation can lead to collapse or foundation failure. Wall anchors or carbon fiber strips can be installed to add long lasting support to bowing and leaning walls. This is a minimally evassive solution. They can be installed inside or outside the walls depending on the setup of your foundation walls. Carbon strips are considered a green solution and you won't even really notice that they are there. Wall anchors actually pull the walls back into their orginal position. Contact a professional to see what solution is right for you.

Vertical

These types of block foundation cracks are a sure sign of foundation settlement or heaving. These cracks form slowly, but due to the pressure of your home or business on it, will grow wider over time and allow water in at some point when left untreated. The good news is that if you contact a foundation repair expert, there are foundation supports and underpinning products such as helical piers or push piers  that can add that additional support needed when settlement and sinking occur. Cracks can be filled with epoxy injections or grouting solutionsto seal the water out and prevent further water damage. It is always recommended to have a waterproofing solution in place as well in case you do get water in your basement. Waterproofing solutions such as sump pumps can help with damage that might occur from water that comes in through vertical cracks. When you are fixing your foundation, ask your foundation specialist if they offer waterproofing solutions. You might be able to prevent further problems with your foundation if you have a proper drainage system installed on the interior and exterior of your home. Many foundation specialist offer both foundation repair solutions and waterproofing solutions. When you have both installed, you can be virtually guarenteed to not have further problems with your foundation in the future.

Stair Steps

Sometimes, when settlement or sinking occurs with your foundation, it doesn't occur evenly. This causes stair step cracks in your block foundation. When the soil around your home settles it causes shifting and changing, and the exact same thing is happening to your foundation. This is a serious problem that should be looked at promptly. Underpinning and piering products add support in the right places when your foundation is shifting unevenly. Remember that grouting and epoxy injections can also be used to seal cracks to prevent water leakage in the future so you don't have any water stains or a wet basement.

Be Cautious with Foundation Repair

Be careful when it comes to foundation repair. When you search the internet or watch do it yourself shows on TV, sometimes it seems that foundation problems can be fixed simply by caulk or by mortar. We would not recommend this at My Foundation Repairs. The best thing you can do as a home or business owner is be vigilant when it comes to your foundation. Inspect it frequently. Keep gutters and downspouts clear of debris so they function correctly. Make sure water flows away from your foundation. Install waterproofing systems and drainage to control the level of water in your soil. But remember, there are many other factors to the health of your foundation than just too much water! If the soil is too dry, it will shrink away from your foundation causing a lack of support for block foundation walls. Soil that was poorly compacted around the foundation can cause settlement as well. The foundation of your home or business is the most important factor in safety and health of that structure. Protect it, and make sure it is repaired the right way by a foundation expert. 

Some Solutions for Block Foundation Repair

Each foundation is different so each solution will be different as well. Depending on the weight of the structure, helical piers or piles or slab piers as well as other underpinning products can be installed beneath the active layer of soil around your foundation, deep into the earth. This provides long lasting support for the structure. Some foundation repairs are cosmetic. A reputable foundation repair company will let you know this. In these cases, it may just be grout of epoxy injections that need to be performed to seal up the cracks in the foundation. Get in touch with the right foundation repair team through My Foundation Repairs, and get started on the road to a healthy foundation today. Remember that knowing what you are up against is half the battle. The other half is knowing who to turn to to resolve the problem. Get started today!



Sump Pump Basics

clock September 21, 2011 19:44 by author blogadmin
A sealed sump pump system is a waterproofing solution that protects your home, including your basement, from flooding.

What Is A Sump Pump?

sump pumpsOne of the best options for homeowners to tackle the problem of a wet basement and water damage is by using a sump pump. A heavy duty sump pump in a sealed sump pit positioned in a home’s basement will sends water out to a more acceptable location, like a sloped lawn or a municipal storm drain. This type of high efficiency sump pump and sealed sump pit or sump liner is designed as a reservoir for excess groundwater and rainwater.

The principles at work are pretty simple: rather than keeping water out completely, a sump pump system controls how water gathers beneath your home, then pumps it out after it’s collected, while preventing moisture levels in the home to rise.

If you’ve explored other ways of keeping your basement dry – examining the grading around your home, injecting cracks and repairing any noticeable leaks or broken pipes – and are still having trouble, it might be time to consider a sump pump system.

Remember, sump pumps don’t prevent water from accumulating, but they can go a long way in controlling water in your basement. Either way, your possessions stay dry and your family’s health is not compromised, which is the point.

Many homes already have sump pits built right into the basement floor. The problem is most of them are inadequate and cause as many problems as they solve. If this is the case, you will need to have a basement waterproofing professional install a sealed sump pit, like the ECP Sealed Sump Basin. If your home is not equipped with a sump pit, a waterproofing contractor should be able to tell you if it’s possible to retrofit your basement.

Types of Sump Pumps

There are three types of pumps used in basements or crawl spaces:

Pedestal Sump Pump:Also referred to as a “column type” or “upright” sump pump, the pedestal sump pump has an open motor that is supported on top of a column attached to the pump casing. When installed, the motor sits outside the sump and above the basement floor. The motor is not designed to be submerged in water. This type of sump pump system cannot be sealed.

Submersible Primary Sump Pump: This pump uses a watertight motor designed to be immersed in water, and will typically kick into action when it senses that it’s become submerged. The motor is coupled directly to the sump pump casing and is designed to be completely hidden within a sealed sump pit.

Primary Sump Pump with Battery Backup: Submersible primary sump pumps with a DC battery backup pump provide the ultimate protection to homes. During heavy storms, when sump pumps are needed the most, electrical power can go out. In this case the sump pump becomes useless due to lack of power. When equipped with a battery backup, your sump pump system can continue to provide protection to your home.

A Working System

So what does a functioning high quality sump pump system look like? There are usually four key pieces:

• A Primary Pump

• An Emergency Backup Pump

• An Emergency Backup Pump Alarm

• A Sealed Sump Pit

Because homes sometimes lose power during thunderstorms – just when an operational sump pump is critical – a quality sump system employs a backup pump. Emergency battery backup pumps work when the power goes out, when the primary pump does not remove the water fast enough, or if the primary sump pump fails.

In this setup, primary pumps are powered with electricity, and backup pumps are battery powered. Using two pumps instead of one makes it unlikely that both pumps will malfunction at the same time. And with the alarm system, you’ll be able to tell when the primary pump has failed and the backup pump has to be used.

Is A Sump Pump Right For You?

Installing a new sump pump system – especially if your basement doesn’t already have a built-in sealed sump pit – is an extensive, complex job. Make sure you consult with a waterproofing expert.

To find out more about particular pumps for your basement, or to check if a certain pump is certified, consult the Sump & Sewage Pump Manufacturers Association.



Sump Pump Freezing

clock January 29, 2011 19:38 by author blogadmin
Waterproofing experts can prevent sump pump freezing by installing a freeze guard. Water can escape from your discharge line if the pipes are frozen.

 

 

With the winter weather that most of the country is now experiencing many homeowners are finding out the hard way that sump pump discharge lines can freeze, especially in the northern regions. With snow and ice building up outside of homes, sump pumps cannot run effectively unless they are designed correctly. When sump pump systems freeze, your basement and everything in it can be in jeopardy.

Sump pump discharge lines can become covered with snow and ice in the winter, causing frozen pipes and backed up sump pump systems.  Frozen sump pump discharge lines can spell disaster for your basement and the belongings that you store.

Professional waterproofing experts prevent sump pump freezing with the ECP Sump Pump Freeze Guard. The freeze guard system allows water to escape from your sump pump discharge line if the underground discharge pipe freezes or becomes blocked for any reason. No matter if the pipe outlet is buried under a foot of ice and snow, the water can escape, allowing your sump pump to keep your basement safe from flooding. When the discharge pipe thaws, the water will automatically run through the buried discharge line. The system is simple and very effective in protecting your basement from frozen sump pump systems.



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