We’ve been pretty fortunate so far this fall, with some very nice weather, but we know that the winter months are just over the horizon. What can you do now to protect your home and its foundation from the harsh cold and ice for the next few months?
Your concrete foundation can be impacted by freezing temperatures and moisture. If your foundation already has a crack, water inside it can freeze, making the crack even bigger. The soil around your foundation will also expand when the water in the earth freezes. This will put pressure on the foundation and can either cause damage or make problems even worse. Protect your home against the oncoming blast of winter!
Below are a few things to do outside of your home to protect the foundation during the winter months.
Clean Your Gutters and Downspouts: If melting snow or ice has nowhere to go, it will pool around your foundation, causing a wide variety of problems. If your gutters are full of leaves and other debris, the water will spill over the sides and straight down alongside your home. Clogged or missing downspouts will also cause problems for you. If the downspout isn’t draining the water at least 10 feet away from your home, the water can find its way back to the soil next to the foundation.
Clear the Snow: Once it snows, you should keep the accumulation away from your foundation. This is especially important once it starts to melt. The baseline ratio of snow to rain is 10 inches of snow equals 1 inch of rain. The average snowfall in Pennsylvania is between 30-45 inches, so around 3-5 inches of rain will be waiting to run down your foundation walls. Drifting snow can be even deeper, so keep that in mind. Use a snow thrower or shovel and keep snow away from your foundation before it melts.
Check Egress Windows: If you have egress windows with a window well make sure that there is no water in the hole after a rain. Also, make sure that there is no water inside of the window, as that can be a sign of a crack or leak. Make sure window drains are clear and free-flowing.
Seal Up Cracks: If there are already cracks in your foundation, you need to have them sealed before the snow falls. If melting snow or ice gets into the cracks, it can cause them to expand, causing more problems and bigger repairs. Don’t get a DIY crack repair kit from your local hardware or big box store, only a professional can make sure that the cracks are completely sealed. A partial seal is worse than no seal, because you may not know that there is water behind the “fix”.
Prepare Your Plumbing: Make sure that any pipes that are on outside walls are protected, especially if the wall is not insulated. If pipes are inside a cabinet or closet, open the doors to allow the heat of the house to keep pipes from freezing and bursting.
Inspect Your Sump Pump: Make sure that your sump pump is in working condition. You may think of a sump pump system as being a summer thunderstorm necessity, but it is also important during the winter. A huge snowfall followed by a warm spell can equal a lot of water in a short time. Make sure your sump pump can handle the amount of water. We also recommend a battery back-up. If the power goes out, you don’t want to be stuck without a working sump pump.
Keep Basement Humidity Low: Most people think of humidifiers in the winter time, as opposed to dehumidifiers. However, you want your basement to remain dry. Running a dehumidifier, encapsulating your crawl space, and installing other waterproofing methods can protect your foundation from damage due to melting snow and ice.
Taking care of your foundation is a year-round task, but we all tend to put it out of our minds during the winter. If you have any questions about preparing your home for the winter, give Matthews Wall Anchor and Waterproofing Services a call and let us help you protect your foundation from the winter weather.
When people think of wet basements, they may think of standing water and soggy carpeting. And, while a flooded basement is not a treat, even a little water can cause problems for your home and family.
High humidity and unseen water seepage can do as much damage, if not more, than a basement full of water. When you see that you have standing water, you know that you have to do something immediately, so you probably call in a waterproofing expert right away. If you are dealing with just a small trickle, you may not even notice that there is anything wrong.
There are a variety of problems that can occur if your home is experiencing water seepage. If it is a small trickle that you don’t notice, it could be inside your walls, weakening your supports and foundation walls. Another possible problem is that the water can cause a fire hazard if it comes into contact with electrical systems. It can cause cracks, wood rot, or mold growth.
A little bit of water or high humidity can cause mold and mildew to grow and spread. The spores are released into the air and can cause a wide variety of health problems. Over 40% of the air we breathe in our homes comes from our basement or crawlspace, so it is important that we are breathing healthy air. Spores can cause everything from runny eyes and noses to breathing problems and there are even studies that say that they can cause cancer. Children and elderly people are most susceptible to mold and mildew growth.
You may not notice actual mold growth, as this can happen behind walls or in air ducts. You may find that your home has a musty or stale odor and this is usually a sign of mold and mildew growth.
It is very important that you get your home tested for mold if you see any signs of growth or are noticing health issues in your family. The sooner you address the situation, the quicker and less costly the cleanup will be. Most companies will give you a free inspection and estimate for mold removal.
Your home is most likely resting on wood beams and a brick or concrete foundation. Water can wreak havoc on both materials. Your wooden supports can soften due to moisture or develop wood rot, causing them to weaken. You may notice your floors warping or sinking or doors and windows sticking or not staying open. Wood will swell with exposure to water, causing all kinds of problems.
Concrete can also fall victim to water seepage. Water can quickly erode concrete, weakening it. It only takes a crack as wide as a hair to allow water in and the water will take advantage and widen that crack even more. You may only see a small dribble on this side of the wall, but on the other side could be an extreme amount of water putting a lot of pressure on your foundation walls.
There are some small things you can do to keep water out of your basement. Make sure that your gutters are clear and that your downspouts are draining well away from your foundation. Trees and other landscaping should be away from your home, allowing water to drain properly. You may be tempted to go to your favorite DIY store and find something to seal your basement yourself. That usually doesn’t work out well for anyone.
Eventually, there comes a time where you just can’t (or shouldn’t) do repairs yourself. A reputable waterproofing contractor, like Matthews Wall Anchor & Waterproofing Services, will look for cracks in your ceilings, floors, or walls. They will be able to determine the cause of the cracks and the best solution for repairing them, in addition to making sure that they do not reoccur.
Solutions range from installing a dehumidifier to interior and exterior waterproofing, including the installation of sump pumps. If you have a crawl space, you may want to have the area encapsulated, in effect, sealing off the crawl space from the water source.
Before you start any waterproofing project, you need to make sure all gaps and cracks are sealed. It won’t do any good to install a waterproofing system if you don’t control the water to begin with.
Some interior waterproofing methods that are tried and true include commercial grade waterproofing coatings. These applications are thick and will bond with your concrete or masonry work. The sealers are silicate-based and will chemically react with the concrete, creating a permanent seal.
A step up from a waterproof coating may be needed. The installation of an interior drainage system will collect the water and send it away from your home. Some methods include vapor barriers, dehumidifiers, and sump pumps.
Your gutters and downspouts are the first lines of defense when it comes to exterior waterproofing. Make sure they are running clear and away from the foundation. The next step is to make sure the surface drainage is working. Check that the ground around your home is graded properly and drains away from the foundation.
Exterior waterproofing involves excavation, but the payoff is worth it. The installed drainage system doesn’t prevent flooding, but it will work with the interior waterproofing system to keep your basement or crawl space dry.
With a little work, you can protect your basement and home from damage caused by water seepage. You can reduce the chances of wall and floor cracks, weakened foundations, and mold growth. Contact the professionals today at Matthews Wall Anchor and let us help you with your water seepage problems.
There are a variety of ways that a dehumidifier can help and benefit homes and businesses in both Ohio and Pennsylvania. Dehumidifiers keep your home cool, dry, and more comfortable and safe for your home and possessions. Humidity can destroy your possessions and create problems in your foundation and around your home. It can cause mold and mildew to grow, as well as cause rust and water stains. Not only will a dehumidifier keep your possessions and home safe, it will prevent other problems such as dust mites, dust and allergens, bacteria, and musty odors. Your home will be a cleaner, healthier, and more comfortable place with our dehumidifiers. Our dehumidifiers prevent or help to prevent all of the following, including:
The problems listed above can lower the value of your home and possessions. We know that your home and many of your possessions are large investments; a dehumidifier can help protect those investments so you can maintain the value of your property. It will also keep your family or employees healthy. The air will be cleaner and safer to breathe. Sometimes, our dehumidifiers can even help a home or business become more energy efficient. We have seen some of our customers report lower energy costs.
At Matthews Wall Anchor we sell and install Santa Fe Dehumidifiers which have been known to save homes and businesses about $40 per month on operating costs. These products are all made in the United States, as well. Contact us today to learn more about the benefits of a dehumidifier in your Ohio or Pennsylvania home. We want to help you keep your home or business safe, clean, healthy, and comfortable. Give us here at Matthews Wall Anchor a call today!
Do you have a family member of family members in your Pennsylvania home that has asthma or other allergies? If so, there are so many good reasons to consider a Santa Fe dehumidifier from Matthews Wall Anchor for your home this winter. When all the windows are closed and there is no fresh air, having clean, breathable air in the home is extremely important for your family members with allergies or asthma. Here’s why.
People with allergies or asthma commonly have problems with these following things that are caused by excess moisture in your Pennsylvania home:
If you breathe in mold spores they can cause nasal stuffiness, skin, and eye irritation, as well as sneezing & wheezing.
Matthews Wall Anchor offers a line of Santa Fe Dehumidifiers for your Pennsylvania home. A dehumidifier can reduce the moisture in the air which limits the growth of mold and mildew, and prevent mold spores. Dehumidification can do more as well. It can reduce musty odors in your home, lower the amount of condensation on your windows which protects the wood around windows, it can lower your energy costs, and help prevent rust, corrosion, and water damage.
Matthews Wall Anchor offers open pricing on our dehumidifiers, so you can know ahead of time what it will cost. We offer open waterproofing pricing for all our Pennsylvania waterproofing solutions. We believe you should know the scope and cost of your dehumidification or waterproofing project in advance, but we also want you to understand the major advantages of having a good dehumidifier. If you have any questions about how a dehumidifier can help you, or if the water problems you are seeing in your Pittsburgh, PA home are more serious, give us a call. We are here to help!
High humidity in your home can cause damage to your personal possessions. Too much humidity can also cause moisture problems in your crawlspace and lead to the compromised structural integrity of your home’s foundational support system. That is why Matthews Wall Anchor provides quality dehumidifiers from Santa Fe. Putting a dehumidifier in your home, particularly in the basement can greatly reduce the humidity. This reduced humidity will prevent issues such as mold growth, wood rot, and metal rust from occurring in your home.
The dehumidifiers from Santa Fe are manufactured in the United States – not only will purchasing a dehumidifier from Matthews make your home healthier and safer, but it will also provide support for your fellow Americans. The value of a low humidity, dry living space is far greater than you may realize. In addition to removing the threat to your personal belongings and the structural integrity of your home, lowering the humidity in your home will create a cooler and more comfortable environment for you and your family. Some of the most noticeable problems caused by high humidity are:
Excessive humidity in your home will cause natural materials such as paper and wood to deteriorate. The humidity in your home can also cause mold to develop in your basement or crawlspace. If there is mold in your crawl space, it will most likely infect the air in the rest of the home, causing health issues for allergy prone members of your family.
The best way to dehumidify your home is to put in a dehumidifier. Matthews Wall Anchors can provide you with a Santa Fe dehumidifier to lower the overall humidity of your home, preventing mold growth and dust mites. Santa Fe dehumidifiers can help lower the humidity in your home to lower than 50%, which is recommended to prevent moisture issues. The dehumidifiers from Santa Fe also have a large capacity, making them perfect for keeping the moisture down in nearly any sized home. Using a dehumidifier from Matthews can also help to save you money, nearly $40 per month in operating costs. Our team of professional waterproofing contractors can help you determine the best dehumidifier to go in your home or business.
Another way to prevent excessive humidity in your home is to have a vapor barrier installed. This process, known as wall encapsulation, is excellent at sealing water vapor and moisture out of your home, reducing the humidity in all areas. The barrier is made of a water retardant foil or plastic that protects the interior foundation wall of the crawlspace or basement. Once the vapor barrier is successfully installed all along the interior walls of the crawlspace, you can work on installing a drainage method to further reduce humidity.
Interior waterproofing systems such as a sump pump and sump basin can also keep moisture out of the home. This system collects the water with a drainage pipe system and dumps the water in a sump pit. The water is then pumped out y the sump pump and carried away from the home.
If you are in need of dehumidification for your Pennsylvania home, contact the waterproofing experts at Matthews Wall Anchors as soon as possible.