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Ice and Concrete Cracks Don’t Mix

Ice and Concrete Cracks Don’t Mix

winterize your foundationWe wrote last month about preparing your home for the winter months, but we felt we needed to expand on the importance of taking care of cracks in your home’s foundation.

When water turns to ice it expands around nine percent. This may not seem like a big number, but when you are talking about cracks sometimes only being a hairline, it can make a big difference. The pressure this expansion can put on your concrete is very strong and cause the crack to spread and cause even more damage. The freezing and melting processes can both impact your concrete. The damage can occur with the first freeze-thaw cycle and it will just grow exponentially from that point, growing worse with every cycle.

The problems can affect both the concrete slab and the foundation walls. If the cracks allow water in, it can cause standing water to enter your basement or crawl space or water to enter your foundation blocks. It can also cause concrete shrinkage and other problems.

Concrete Damage From Ice

There isn’t anything you can do to stop winter from coming, as much as some of us would like to. The damage the weather causes isn’t limited to concrete foundation, it can affect any concrete surface around your property. The top layers of concrete can flake off in what is called mortar flaking. As mentioned above, cracks can appear or get bigger. Lastly, the water can cause popout. Popout is caused by water swelling under the surface, which can cause flaking and crumbling on the top of the concrete.

Some damage is visible, but other times it can occur below the surface. Protecting your concrete is important at any time of the year, but it is especially vital during the winter months.

Preventative Maintenance for Concrete

There are some things you can do to prevent ice damage to your concrete. In the past, people just used salt on their surfaces, but it was found that the salt can do as much damage as the ice. We recommend you use an ice melter that contains potassium chloride.

Make sure that the area around your home is ready for winter. Make sure that downspouts and gutters are clear and draining well away from the foundation. Clear snow and ice from around the foundation. Melting snow can trickle down the sides of the foundation wall and cause damage.

Matthews Wall Anchor & Waterproofing Services has waterproofing services available. We’ll come out and take a look at your property. If you only need waterproofing repairs we can do that; if your home already has cracks or other foundation damage, we can help with that, too.

It’s best to get your home ready for a visit from Old Man Winter before he gets here. Taking care of problems now, while it’s still nice out is better than dealing with it in the middle of winter.

Contact us now to learn more about getting your foundation ready for winter!


How Can I Tell If My Basement Wall Crack Is Serious?

wall crackHow Can I Tell If My Basement Wall Crack Is Serious?

The only fail-proof way to be sure that your wall crack is serious or not is to have an expert look at it. A foundation expert will be able to determine if the wall crack is superficial or a sign of a serious foundation problem. In addition, they will be able to determine the cause of the wall crack and recommend a solution to prevent it from getting worse or happening again.

Every house experiences some settling, so it’s no surprise that you’ll notice new wall cracks. This can happen within months of the house being built or decades after construction. The problem with wall cracks is if they horizontal, wide, or show up between joints. These types of cracks are usually big red flags that you have a serious foundation problem.

What to Look For in Basement Cracks

If your basement wall is made of cinder blocks, you may see stair-step wall cracks. These cracks run up and down along the cinder block edges, along the grout or mortar lines. These can be tricky. Sometimes it’s due to normal settling and the cracks just need to be filled, but it can also be a sign that the soil is no longer supporting the center of the wall. You will need to hire a trusted and experienced foundation expert to perform soil tests and other types of tests to determine if any repairs are needed. A weakened foundation can quickly turn into a major problem if the issue is not dealt with in a timely manner.

When looking at a wall crack, a vertical one is usually just a sign of expected settling. Usually, a vertical crack will start at the wall and ceiling joint and run along the drywall. These types of cracks occur during normal settling and are usually not signs of a serious problem. That being said, it doesn’t do any harm to have a professional come take a look.

A crack that runs horizontally or at a 45° angle is usually not a good sign and could be a symptom of a serious problem. Your foundation may be shifting or the wall is being pushed from the outside by hydrostatic pressure. Hydrostatic pressure occurs when the soil outside of the foundation becomes oversaturated and begins pushing against the foundation wall. This pressure can be extremely strong and if it is not addressed, it can cause the foundation wall to collapse. It is important that you have a professional foundation expert inspect the property and determine the best method of repair and to make sure that the situation doesn’t reoccur.

Other Things to Look For

There are other things that can indicate that you have a foundation repair problem occurring.  Look closely around the crack and see if the nails or screws around the area have come to the surface. The nails or screws have pulled away from the wooden studs they were fastened to. This “nail-popping” usually happens when the drywall is moved a significant distance and is a good indicator that there is a structural problem. Sticking doors or windows is also an easy way to determine if there is a foundation issue. If an interior door sticks, it can be a sign that the frame of the home has been twisted. If the sticking door or window is accompanied by horizontal cracks, this is usually a good sign that there is some structural damage.

Call A Professional

When it comes to dealing with foundation damage, it is better to err on the side of caution. Ignoring a problem won’t make it go away and your house won’t heal itself. If you suspect you have foundation damage, including wall cracks, water damage, or other signs, contact a trusted foundation expert like Matthews Wall Anchor. They will inspect your home and determine if you have a need for repairs and what the best method is. Foundation repair is not a DIY project and you can actually make the problem worse by trying to fix it yourself.

Basement Wall Repair Pennsylvania

Basement Wall Repair in Pennsylvania

There are many problems that can occur when it comes to your basement walls. Bowing walls, leaning walls, cracks, and much more. There’s an endless list of problems. Luckily, if these issues are found early on, they are an easy fix. Knowing the signs and causes of these problems may help you keep your home safe and secure from damage to your home’s foundation.

Bowing walls occur when the walls of your foundation start to bend and move. They are usually identified by a bulge in the wall. This is usually caused by the soil and water right around the outside of your home. Water and soil put pressure on the walls. When this happens the concrete will start to shift and cause these bowing walls. Helical piers, resistance piers, or wall anchors are just some of the solutions to fix these problems. Products such as helical piers are helpful to keep your home’s foundation in great shape. Helical piers, for example, are rods that are attached to the outer walls of your foundation and screwed into the ground. This will keep your home’s walls stable and safe from bowing walls.

Leaning walls are similar to bowing walls in that the walls and concrete start to move. Leaning walls are different though because the entire wall is shifting instead of just a certain part of the wall. There is no bulge in the wall to identify, but there are a few signs you can look out for. Doors and windows and stick and are hard to open are pretty good signs of your leaning walls. Leaning walls can be fixed by carbon fiber repair or wall anchors. Instead of replacing your foundation walls, which is extremely expensive and time-consuming, wall anchors are placed in the soil around your home and protects against moving walls.

Cracking in your foundation walls can Basement Wall Repair Pennsylvania also be a big problem. Cracking is also caused by water and soil around your home putting pressure on the walls. The bad thing about cracks though is that it leaves your home vulnerable to water leakage and damage. Luckily, cracks are some of the easier things to fix. Crack injection is a process in which a chemical is used to fill in the cracks. The chemical is usually flexible and will keep your basement safe from further water damage.

There are many problems that can happen to your foundation, but not to worry, all problems are fixable. Just remember, ignoring a problem can make it worse, getting these issues fixed as quickly as possible is the best way to keep you and your family’s home safe and secure. Contact the basement wall repair specialists at Matthews Wall Anchor & Waterproofing today for all your repair needs in Pennsylvania.

Foundation Contractor PA

Foundation Contractor in PAFoundation Contractor PA

Summer’s finally here! We thought it would never get here with this crazy weather all year and everything! But here it is, a nice, normal summer! What else could someone ask for? Summer is to die for all year! It’s the highlight that we all wait for! There’s parties, beaches, family, friends, barbeques, campfires, sprinklers, sparklers, the Fourth of July, fairs, carnivals, camping, vacations, and so much more! What’s not to love about summer? Beyond the sunburns, bugs, and clothes that seem to keep shrinking, there’s almost nothing to complain about.

Well, there is one thing: house troubles. You know what I’m talking about. Cracks in the walls, doors that won’t open, windows that are stubborn, leaking basement, that kind of thing. These are all signs of foundation troubles. So, you’re going to need a contractor, someone to help you out and find a solution. Well, we’ve got your back! If you need a foundation contractor in Pennsylvania, Matthews Wall Anchor & Waterproofing Services is your first call!

Foundation Contractor in Pennsylvania

What does a foundation contractor do? Well, they’re a lot like any other contractor. They take a survey of your house, decide what’s wrong, and give you possible solutions. Some things to look for before you call in a foundation contractor: cracked walls, cracked slab, cracked porches, sticking doors, sticking windows, windows or doors that look out of place or are dislodged, sloped floors, bowing walls, and a leaking basement. We have multiple solutions for all of these. We offer waterproofing systems, helical piers, push piers, helical tiebacks, porch piers, and anything else you could need to fix your problems. We know your home is important to you, and that’s why it’s important to us. We’re here to help you through any problems you’re having. If you need a foundation contractor in Pennsylvania, don’t hesitate to call! Come down or give us a call now!

Foundation Wall Cracks in Ohio

Foundation Wall Cracks in OhioFoundation Wall Crack OH

Summer’s here! Finally! It’s been a pretty long year for us, with all of the crazy weather and such, it seemed like normal, nice summer would never come along. But here it is! And you know what that means! Parties, family, friends, swimming, fairs, carnivals, vacations, camping, vacations, s’mores, sparklers, sprinklers, flip-flops, beaches, and just about everything awesome! There’s almost nothing to hate about summer, except if your home starts having troubles. I know, right? The highlight of the year, and your home starts acting up? Great timing, really. Anyway, if that’s the case, we can help you! You probably have wall cracks going on with all of that, and we have experts in that area that are willing to help you! So, if you have foundation wall cracks in Ohio, call us now!

Ohio Foundation Wall Cracks

You know what wall cracks mean? Foundation problems. Foundation problems are the curse of home problems because they’re so frustrating! For one thing, if you’re not looking for the signs, you could completely miss the fact that your home is damaged and the longer these problems are left unattended, the more you could be paying in the long run! Just to be sure that you don’t, check for these symptoms regularly: sticking doors and windows, windows and doors that seem to be out of place, sloped floors, bowing walls (mostly in the basement) a cracked slab, and a cracked porch. If you see any of these that aren’t caused by another source, you’re going to want to call in a foundation contractor. Don’t worry, though, because we can help you! Foundation problems don’t have to cause you to stress out! Let us worry about the details, and you enjoy your summer! Your home is important to you, and that’s why it’s important to us. So, if you have a foundation wall crack in Ohio, call us now!

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