Basements Cracks in The Wall? Here’s What To Do

2019 spring weather in the Northeast Ohio area was wet and muddy. According to the National Weather Service records, 2018 and 2019 rain precipitation was among the heaviest in recorded history. Last year’s rain precipitation was 8.43 Inches compared to the 7.42 Inches this year, all in all, a very wet year. 

Flood warnings in the Northeast Ohio area were happening almost daily.  Rivers were overflowing, Fire rescue and EMTs were busy pulling people out the Cuyahoga River, and if you happen to live close by a river, your yard and in some cases your basement was flooded.

It has been a very wet spring and early summer, and although many people would be happy to be in this situation, for many homeowners’ basements, too much rain can be catastrophic.

How can you tell whether you have a problem with your basement?

Early Signs of Water Damage:

  1. Cracks in the walls
  2. Cracks along the seams where the walls meet the floor
  3. Water sitting along the basement walls
  4. Peeling paint
  5. Mold
  6. Musty odor
  7. Water in any part of the basement

For some Northeast Ohio homeowners, this spring brought too much water to their homes. If you own an older home, and you found water in the basement this spring, you have a problem.

Many older homes have lost their foundation sealant, and are letting water into the outside walls of the home that will eventually find a way to the inside. The process of water getting into the basement of your home can be slow, and the damage can occur for many years before the homeowner realizes there’s a problem at all. The damage done however can play havoc to the basement, the structure of the home, and more devastatingly, your finances.

If you have discovered a crack in the wall, and believe you can fix it, you may have another problem.  Videos showing you how to fix the crack in the wall does not show you the whole process that took to fix it.  They usually show you the ending project or the middle, but never the whole thing.

There are also many sealants you can buy at HomeDepot or Wal-Mart to apply it to the basement walls, but that’s not all it takes to fix the crack in the wall and you might not fix the problem at all.

You need to ask yourself some questions before trying to fix the crack in the wall:

  1. Am I going to fix the water seepage that’s happening, or will I make it worse?
  2. Is the water seeping from the outside or do I have an inside leak?
  3. Will I be able to fix the problem, or will the water find a better, bigger spot to come in?
  4. Is the sealant on the walls too old? Is it gone?
  5. Do I have water sitting around the foundation and seeping into the home?
  6. Do I need to clean the gutters and the spouting first?

There are many issues that arise when doing a project on your own. Patching the basement crack in the basement of your home should be left to professionals.  Fixing it by yourself means that the problem will persist and the “fixing” you did was only temporary.

An expert will address the problem, find a solution and give you a quote with no strings attached.  They know what they are doing and they know whether there are other damages that you didn’t spot. 

A professional company should be doing the work to ensure the work is done properly, with no shortcuts and to stop the damage in the foundation and basement of your home.

Home Improvements For The Summer-What You Need to Know

According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, Americans spent over $400 million in home improvements and repairs in 2017. A 50% increase since 2010, yet many homeowners don’t have a good understanding of the normal home improvement or repair process. 

Any home improvement includes a three-phase process. There is a beginning, a middle and an end. If you watch any home improvement show, they show you the renovation process and the big reveal. Unfortunately, they leave out the most important part; the beginning. The beginning of a renovation project is the most important because it includes finding a good, reputable contractor to do the job. 

The reality of your home improvement or repair project will be very different than the “reality” of what you see on TV.  What happens on the screen isn’t what’s likely to happen in your home.  Many people shrug and say, “Sure, I know that.”  But, do they really?

Unforeseen problems (the middle of the process) are normal for home repairs, and these shows are good at highlighting them.  The hallmarks of any good home improvement show are the “finding the problems” moments (i.e. bees in the wall, rotten sub-floor, leaking pipes, overloaded electrical box).  These problems usually add time and money to the renovation, as well as drama.  

The problems are fixed and there’s a happy ending to the process.  We see a beautiful basement, bathroom, house, yard, kitchen, etc.  The time, money and drama paid off and most of the home owners are happy.

But, what’s left out of these shows is the beginning.  A good beginning to any project is what makes the difference between a successful one and one from hell.  They’ve left out the part where you have to find a good contractor.  They already have a capable contractor, because they know that’s the key.  

The start of a renovation is not when the crew first digs a hole, paints a wall or hammers a nail.  It starts with your job – with you doing the work of finding a competent contractor.  Because, the reality of any project is that one of the most difficult parts of it, often the most difficult, is finding one.  

Reality home improvement shows do the beginning of the process off camera; they already have a reliable contractor and crew in place.  They’re the real heroes of the show, as anyone who has ever done any renovations or repairs knows.  So, if you want a successful renovation, adjust your perception of “reality” and first do the work of finding your own real world star.

Home Remodeling Cost vs. Value

The cost associated with doing home projects increases every year, and the recouped costs are very different depending on the project you are doing, especially, when you do those projects with the intention to sell your home.

According to Remodeling Magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value report, the price you pay for those remodeling jobs will not be recouped entirely when you sell your home. According to Remodeling Magazine’s data, a midrange bathroom addition will cost you between  $45,980  and  $44,717, and you will recoup about 52.7% of the cost when you sell your home.  A garage door replacement, on the other hand, will cost you about $3,497  to $3,470, and you will probably recoup 96.6% to  98.3% of the cost.  Here are four different projects, their costs, and their recouped cost for you to see.

Every home is different and it needs different projects to spruce it up to make it more sellable or to enjoy with your family. If your intention is to sell your home and get as much value as you can from the sale, consider the projects that will make the home look better-an entry door for example-without spending too much money with the project.

There are many projects that will make the home look better to sell or for purely aesthetic reasons, but keep in mind a wet, moldy or unkept basement will not help you sell the home no matter how pretty the new bathroom is.

Basement waterproofing is not something we have to do every year.  Basement waterproofing is an investment we need to do to keep the value of the home increasing.

If you need to waterproof the basement before selling the home, or to remodel the basement to enjoy, remember we do not need to do it every year and we do not need to wait till the spring and summer months to do it.  Waterproofing the basement in the winter is something that can be done as easily as during the summer months.

If you need to contact us, do not hesitate to do so, we’ll be happy to come and offer you a hassle free consultation to waterproof the basement of your home.


 

Preventable Waterproofing Measures

The average annual rainfall precipitation in the city of Akron, according to recent records is 56 inches. That’s almost 5 Ft. of water that can easily end up in the basement of your home.

There are many preventable measures to ensure that rainwater stays out of the basement of our homes and as far away as possible.

  • Clean the rain gutters of debris that has accumulated throughout the fall and spring.
  • Clear the rainwater downspouts, and make sure that water is finding a clear path from your home to the drain, or away from the foundation.
  • Replace broken or damaged gutters or downspouts that are improperly draining the rainwater.
  • Level the flowerbeds, and avoid over mulching close to the wall of the foundation.

These preventable measures can save you a lot of headaches down the road.  And the older the home gets, the more vigilant you have to be to make sure water is not finding a way into your home. Many older homes start having problems because the waterproofing that was done during the construction of the home is already gone or has deteriorated to the point of being ineffective.

The water-resistant paint or the drainage membranes that were used to waterproof your basement might no longer do the job they were supposed to do, and they either need to be replaced or find another solution for the waterproofing instead.

Many homeowners believe they can do a DIY waterproofing to their home without consulting a professional.  Many men and women are handy with tools, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they can do a waterproofing job to their home.  If you have issues with the basement of your home, those issues can be the beginning of major structural problems down the road, and consulting a professional can save you money if you address the issue head-on.

Basement waterproofing solutions can be tailored to the particular problem you have in your home.  Every home is different, and the solution for its waterproofing problem has to be tailored to that particular home. If you are a homeowner, call a professional if you have a water issue in your home. They can offer a hassle-free consultation to address your waterproofing issues right away.


Exterior and Interior Basement Waterproofing Systems

Homes in the North part of the country deal with a lot of weather changes throughout the years. From rain and snow and everything in between, the roofs and basements of our homes have to withstand much wear and tear due to weather.

Water damage due to improper grading or drainage systems can play havoc with the basement of your home and can cause the foundation to suffer structural damages that cannot be visible right away.

If you own a home and can see water damage in the basement, chances are the water problems have been there for longer than you suspect.  The structural damage to the foundation may not be there yet, and that is one of the main reasons to call a professional to take care of this issue.

There are different methods to deal with a wet basement.  Depending on what your basement problem is, there are two types of basement waterproofing options for you.

Exterior Basement Waterproofing Systems

What are the basement waterproofing systems that are commonly used to treat and solve your waterproofing problems?

If your contractor has advised having an exterior waterproofing done, then that requires:

  • a full excavation
  • A waterproof coating that is applied to seal the cracks and pores of the foundation
  • A waterproof membrane that is installed after the seal is applied

If a contractor has advised you that an interior basement system can solve your problem then the solutions are a bit different and the cost can be a lot smaller than a full excavation.

Interior Basement Waterproofing System

  • A pump system can be a recommendation you will get from a professional
  • An Interior drain installed 

When calling a contractor and asking for a free consultation, make sure you understand the problem and the solutions they are giving you.  Research their findings with your own findings and consult at least three different contractors before making a decision.  A good, reputable firm will stand by their work and will offer you time to decide and consult with your spouse.  DO NOT sign anything right away, and make sure you research the company or contractor of your choice before agreeing to any work or payment exchange. A lower price does not mean better work. Compare, research, and shop before signing a contract.


Basement Waterproofing and Financing

Storms affecting the Northeast part of the United States are not over, and with the warm weather just around the corner, rain accumulation for many homeowners is not something they are looking forward to experience.

Basement waterproofing companies are busy during this time of year because this is the time when water accumulates around the foundation and find its way to the basement and the walls of your home.

What are some of the signs that you need to see to call a professional instead of procrastinating?

  • Wet spots on the walls,
  • Cracks or shifting
  • Have water sitting on the floor of your basement

If you have problems with any of these issues happening in your home, it is time to call a waterproofing company to inspect it.There are many “quick” solutions you can try before making that call, but eventually, you will need to call a professional to inspect the home.

Are you afraid you cannot afford the basement waterproofing your home needs?

If you do your homework and call at least three trustworthy companies, and compare prices, you will learn that basement waterproofing is not as expensive as you might think.  Some of these companies will provide companies where you can get the financing available, or you can always talk to your personal bank representative to see if their loan offer is better for you than going with the banks the basement waterproofing guys provided.

What loans can you get?

  • A Home Equity Line of Credit is a good choice for you if you have a first mortgage with the bank already.  This kind of loan lets you pay it back at your own pace as long as you pay the minimum payment on time.  You can get a good interest rate for this kind of loan if you shop around.
  • Home Equity Loan lets you borrow a fixed amount with a fixed payment over a period of years.  It can be a 15 or 30 year home equity loan if that is what you wish.  Take into consideration the interest you will be paying over that amount of time, if the interest rate is too high, shop around.
  • Credit Card charges to pay for home remodeling or home repairs is something that we personally do not recommend.  Many people pay for the remodel or materials with credit cards because they want to acquire “points”, but at the end of the day, that is not a solution we recommend.

Whatever route you want to take, talking to the basement waterproofing company for solutions to your basement problem and then for financing available it is the recommended route many homeowners take.  Do your homework first, and you will see great results.


When To Hire A Professional For Your Home Projects

According to a Consumer Report’s article, “Americans will spend about $200 billion dollars this year fixing up their homes—nearly a fifth in the form of DIY projects.”  Many homeowners are handy, but a great deal of them only believe they are handy.  There are many home projects that it’s better to have a professional do them.  There is a huge difference between wanting to do the project and actually making it look good or professionally made.  Not everything in your home needs to be done by you, the homeowner, especially if you are thinking about selling the home.

Top 3 home projects that pay to have a professional do them:

  1. Roof – This is a big project that needs many hands and experience to accomplish. And depending on the shape of your home, it can be dangerous for you to do without help, or without the necessary protection.
  2. Basement Waterproofing and Foundation repair – These are projects where a professional it’s not only recommended but need it.
  3. Kitchen and Bathroom remodeling –  The experience and quality of hiring a contractor or company to do these projects for you cannot be emphasized enough.

When deciding to hire a contractor for your basement waterproofing and foundation repair problems, roofing or kitchen remodeling, what are some of the qualifications you have to consider before making a decision?

  1. Experience – An experienced basement waterproofing contractor or foundation repair company has seen many of the problems affecting wet basements and faulty or damaged foundations.  If they have not seen the problem affecting your basement, the experience and knowledge they possess will help them find and fix your problem.
  2. Reputation – A new company has not had the longevity to have an old list of satisfied customers, but if they have been in business for any number of years, they have a history and it is your responsibility to find out whether it’s a good or a bad one.
  3. Insured Contractor – Having workers on your property without insurance is asking for trouble.  If a contractor is not insured, have no permits, or is just “winging it”, he or they should not even be on your radar as prospective companies to hire.
  4. Price – Having at least three different quotes from contractors is a good place to start if you want to compare prices.  Do not sign a contract with the first prospect.  Wait for at least two more prices to compare and then make an informed decision.

There are many home projects you can do without the help of professionals, but the major home projects you might want to do may require the help of experienced professionals in your area.


Tips For Homeowners and Potential Home Buyers

For many families in the United States, paying the mortgage on their home is already a tremendous effort. Research has shown that more than half of Americans bought too much house, to begin with, but also the interest rates, taxes, and the house upkeep was not taken into consideration by many of these first-time buyers when applying for a mortgage loan.  Now, when the payments and property taxes are becoming too much, many homeowners realized they bought a house they cannot afford.

If you are buying your first home this year, these are 3 the things to consider:

  1. Don’t buy too much house – The purchase price is not the only thing to consider when you are buying a home.  Consider the bank rate, closing costs, property taxes, homeowner association fees, and the upkeep of the home.
  2. Consider your other debts – If you have student loans or credit card debt, these debts can put a considerable dent in the income you bring home.  Don’t forget to take into consideration the payment you will be made to pay these loans.
  3. Do you have children? – If you have no children but are considering having them, taking into account the expense children bring into the home can be very helpful in deciding whether you can afford the home you are considering buying or not.

If you are a homeowner now and want to make sure things are in order, these are some of the things many homeowners fail to do.

  1. Draft a will – According to research, 60% of Americans do not have a will.  A will is not only for the people that are sick or old, a will is a document that protects your children and their well being.  In case of a tragedy happening in your home, you want to make sure your children and your assets are protected.
  2. Health Care Power of Attorney – This important document is a document protecting your well being while you are alive.
  3. Homeowners Insurance – After buying a home why not protect it? Homeowner’s insurance is a necessity that you should never be without.  A home is one of the most expensive assets a family will ever own, why not protect your investment?

Now that you have owned your home for several years, have you kept up with the home maintenance? Are you thinking about selling?  According to many experts, to add value to your home or even if you  are ready to sell the home, you need to consider this:

  1. Declutter and clean your home – A home loses its beauty if it’s overflowing with junk.  Painting the walls if the rooms need it, or throwing away items that are no longer used nor wanted can clear a home pretty quickly.
  2. Staging your home- There are businesses that their entire income comes from the clever notion of staging the home to have it ready to sell for you.  You do not need to do this if it will cut into your profit, but having a home staged it’s a clever notion that you can do by yourself.
  3. Curb Appeal- If the front of your home is not clean, the bushes are overgrown, the flower beds are full of dead flowers, chances are your home won’t be appealing to many home buyers and the price they may offer won’t be what you are expecting.

These are some of the advice you need to consider if you have children, are a homeowner, or thinking about buying a home.  Due diligence pays and it can save you lots of headaches later on. Enjoy your home!


 

Basement Waterproofing For The Spring

One of the best parts of owning a home is that you are in total control of it.  Certainly, you do have a mortgage, and you do need to make the payments, but the upkeep, the additions, and the remodeling are all up to you. 

Basement waterproofing is a great way to make sure you can enjoy the basement of your home if that is your desire.  Using it for storage, or to have extra rooms to enjoy, the basement of your home can provide a lot of extra space for you and your family.

One of the most important factors for providing a dry basement for your home, it’s the drainage system you have outside the house. It is true that to have a dry, mold and humidity free basement, the proper drainage has to be in place first and foremost.    

The drainage system of your home includes many things many homeowners sometimes oversee. The gutters, downspouts, eaves, and the slopping and landscaping around the foundation of the home are all critically important to keep water from sitting around the foundation and eventually find its way to the basement as well.

According to many waterproof basement contractors, the surface water is one of the many concerns and problems that homeowners have.  Groundwater can be a problem as well, but surface water is the one that causes the most problems that can become costly.

How can you avoid surface water from entering the basement of your home?

Gutters: You have to start with the gutters.  A heavy rainfall can leave you with hundreds of gallons of water hitting the roof of your home and looking for a way to the ground.  If the gutters are clogged or your home doesn’t have gutters, water will undoubtedly remain around the foundation.

The gutters have to be free of debris so they can let the water runoff without difficulty.  To make sure the gutters are clear of leaves or other types of debris, clean the gutters from leaves or small twigs right after the fall season ends.

Downspouts:  Downspouts are your next item to take care of when dealing with surface water.  The downspouts should be directing the water away from the foundation of your home, and many experts believe 5 to 10 feet away from the foundation is the best distance to ensure the water does not linger close to the foundation.

Shrubbery:  The landscaping of your home is important to make the house look more appealing, but make sure the shrubbery, mulch and the slopping of the ground do not let water sitting around the foundation, and eventually the basement of your home.

Do you have questions about basement waterproofing and foundation repair? Call us, we will be happy to talk to you and offer a solution to your problem.


Home Safety This Holiday Season

The National Safety Council has a list of the top causes of Unintentional injury and death at homes.  Right now, in northeast Ohio, snow is not a problem at all.  The weather has been unseasonably warm and the thought of snow has not entered our thoughts yet.  But, snow will come and the many winter activities that snow brings along are some of the top unintentional injuries we have to be aware this winter.

Even if you are not thinking about sledding or skiing with your family, shoveling snow can be a strenuous exercise that you need to be aware of if you have heart problems or lead a sedentary life.

Fire-during this time of year, many families homes have an abundance of Christmas decorations or other holiday decorations that require electricity. Reading and following the safety precautions on these decorations can help you avoid a  fire in your home.

Fires in the kitchen are a common occurrence during the holiday season as well.  Be cautious while cooking your holiday meals, and do not leave the stove unattended.

For more about this and other topics, follow the links below.


Top Causes of Unintentional Injury and Death in Homes and Communities

According to Injury Facts 2017, about 146,571 people died from unintentional injury-related deaths in 2015. That’s an all-time high. Often, these tragedies happen when least expected – during a vacation, while doing chores at home or while driving across town – and they are all preventable.

NSC encourages everyone to be aware of hazards related to leisure and recreational activities, take proper safety precautions and sign up for NSC Monthly News. You’ll get timely and useful blogs, seasonal safety tips, survey results, legislative updates, event information and lots of other safety-related news.

Here, in order, are the top causes of unintentional injury and death in homes and communities.

#1: Poisoning

In 2011, poisonings overtook motor vehicle crashes for the first time as the leading cause of unintentional-injury-related death for all ages combined. Poisoning deaths are caused by gases, chemicals and other substances, but prescription drug overdose is by far the leading cause.  Learn more about this epidemic and other poisons in the home.


Tips for a safe holiday season from the Galt Police, Cosumnes Fire departments

The holiday season can be a wonderful time of year if you take the needed precautions while out shopping and in your home. Public Information Officer Brian Kalinowski of the Galt Police Department encourages all Galt residents to be more aware or their surroundings during the holiday season, and Cosumnes Fire Department’s (CSD) Public Education Officer Laurel Schamber has tips to keep your homes safe from fires.

“The police department often sees an increase in thefts during the holidays,” Kalinowski said.

In an effort to prevent you from becoming a victim, the Galt Police Department offers some suggestions:

• Package Theft: If possible, have your packages delivered to an address where someone will be home to receive them. Leaving them out on the porch only invites those looking for an opportunity to take your items. Use delivery notification options so you can track your packages and have them retrieved upon delivery.