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Category Archives: Q&A

Do Trees and Shrubs cause Foundation Issues?

Can Roots Cause Foundation Problems in Pennsylvania?

A common question is what affect plantings in the yard have on the integrity of the basement.foundation problems caused by roots in Pittsburgh, PA

Simply stated, roots don’t cause actual harm to the walls strength unless it was misplanted right at building within a few feet. If a tree or shrub is so close that it is heaving the dirt at the base of the plant, then it could cause harm. Plantings that are say 10’ or more feet from a structure won’t generally create issues with walls.

Trees and shrubs seek water and ample space. They aren’t trying to grow into the inorganic masonry.

It is possible that tree and shrub roots could affect old gutter discharge lines from the roof that lead out into the yard. That becomes more of an issue of crushed or rotted pipes than it is an issue of the root system. If those lines have failed, they have already been compromised to the point that they can’t displace the water from the roof and the result is often a leaky or wet basement.

You can test your downspout performance if you can actually see where the water goes after it has left the structure. Home inspections often include dye tests to verify that the water is making it to the street or displacement area. If the water can be seen, and it’s not coming through properly, the likely culprit is a clogged or broken discharge line. We regularly replace downspout lines when we do our interior waterproofing lines to the outside.

Planting usually help more than they hurt by using the water that they accumulate. Our representatives will be happy to access your unique issues at your property. Request an inspection online or by calling us! We can help you access any damage caused by tree roots or plants in your Pennsylvania area home and yard.

What’s causing our basement to leak?

Answers to Your Questions about Leaky Basements in Pittsburgh, PA

There are a number of reasons that your basement may be showing signs of water. Some can be fixed easily. Some require professional assistance. How do you tell the difference for your Pittsburgh, PA home?leaky basement in Pittsburgh, PA

The most common factors that are responsible for problems are…

1. Broken or dislodged discharge lines cause the water to leak out and accumulate wherever they are compromised. If that downspout is disconnected before it even gets to the line leading into the ground, it’s going to get worse. If you can’t reset it yourself, have a roofing professional consult with you for what should be an easy fix. Check your gutters and downspouts regularly during a heavy rain event. That should indicate where the exterior problems are.

2. The exterior footing drain has failed. Most homes were constructed with an exterior drain that runs the perimeter of the foundation. Those systems always fail over time. Some even go bad a few months after a home is built. Sand, clay, and good old fashioned mud easily leech into that pipe and once it’s blocked in one spot, the rest of the lines can’t displace the water. These outside the foundation methods don’t work over time and are why 90% of companies today are doing internal drain waterproofing.

3. Plumbing issues can mask themselves as foundation water problems. Tell tale signs a leaky basement are water seeping at the top of the wall instead of at the typical footing wall joint inside.

4. Mulch beds around the outside of the home can be raised higher than the inside sill plate. If the mulch or soil above is too high, the water may find its way over the top of the inside basement wall. The water on the wall may be the color of the dyed mulch outside. If this is your issue, reduce the mulch a few inches below the frost line.

5. Improper grading can cause water to channel toward the foundation. This is especially true in our hilly region. Adding dense soil to the perimeter can lessen the amount of water that is making its way in. It’s a good first step in seeing what you have.

6. There is always the possibility that there is a spring at or near the foundation. It’s actually uncommon to experience water this way. One indication of a natural spring leak is that it’s coming in 24/7, even when it hasn’t rained for days.

One of the great things about us is that we will explain what we find and we’ll let you decide what you want to do. There’s no hard sell, and we don’t use scare tactics with our clients. If we find something that you can fix, we we’ll tell you!

Why should customers choose Matthews for real estate transactions?

Matthews can Assist with all Pittsburgh, PA Real Estate Foundation Repair, Waterproofing

Foundation Repair, Waterproofing for Real Estate Transactions in Pittsburgh, PASelling or buying a home can be very stressful. Having the right company to assist with your homes major problems will allow you to proceed with confidence.

There are several reasons that customers and Realtors should choose Matthews to perform needed work prior to or after closing on the property.

1. Our Experience: We’ve been fixing foundations for 35 years and we’ve seen just about everything that can happen to a property.
2. Focus on Service: Our length of service shows that we will do it right and will be there for years to come if there are any problems.
3. We can Help Prove Quality Work: If our foundation repair or waterproofing work is done before the home goes on the market, the proposal can be left out to show potential buyers that the area most respected company in the industry did the work. It evidences the cost upfront and lets buyers know that you choose quality over price.
4. We do it RIGHT: We do a lot of real estate and we check to make sure that the proper permits and utility checks are done prior to the installation.

We charge an $85 fee for any real estate transactions that aren’t ordered by the sellers. That money is applied toward the cost of the finished work if we do the job. So if you are a Realtor in the Pittsburgh, PA area, or the surrounding area of Pennsylvania, call us. Learn more about our experience in waterproofing and foundation repair, and see why we go above and beyond when it comes to real estate transactions.

Why is Matthews Wall Anchor & Waterproofing Services better than the competition?

Why Matthews for Waterproofing and Foundation Repair?

There are dozens of companies to choose from when it comes to foundation and waterproofing repairs in our area. Most offer similar products with very different pricing structures. The real differences that affect customers are where we separate ourselves from the pack.

If you’re going to hire a professional company to perform the work, the first consideration should be the length of time that they have been in the business. An Incredible 85% of the companies that went into our field ten years ago are now gone. That means they won’t be there if there are any issues with changes at the structure. Is it worth the risk of that money if it were to fail after you do it?Sump Pumps are one of our open pricing waterproofing solutions for Pittsburgh, PA

When it comes to waterproofing, Matthews installs a deeper interior drain trench so that the water is fully collected rather than just sitting in the drain system just below the floor. We actually offered and still service what are called box systems (those that sit on the foundations footer) for a few years. We found that this type would fail to channel the water properly because you can’t get the proper pitch so the water actually flows to the sump. In addition, that water could sit in that system just below the floor only inches from the floor surface while accumulating bacteria. These kinds of water remediation systems are far less expensive to install for those companies.

We provide a deep system that manages water at the bottom of the footer! We typically use three times the concrete and clean stone around our drains to insure that the system remains free of mud and silt. This means our customers are given a highly effective sealed deep set system that will address water below the floor level, which results in a dryer overall basement setting.

Foundation solutions a cut above the rest in PAIn terms of our Piering and Wall Anchor systems, Matthews was one of the countries leaders and innovators when we started helping our clients in the early 80’s. Our products have continued to improve over the years and our ECP products are second to none in the industry for strength and durability. Please visit our ECP link for detailed information.

We offer a 50 year warranty for all of our structural work, and a lifetime warranty for our waterproofing systems. The sump pump comes with a three year manufactures warranty.

Lastly, we have our prices for waterproofing online for our customers. We believe that people should be able to get an idea what they may be spending even before our foundation specialist does the analysis!

Signals From Your Foundation it’s Failing

What are the signs common in Pittsburgh, PA that indicate Foundation Failure?

There are many signs your home may display to show that you are in need of foundation repair. If you look for these signs, you can prevent foundation failure. It is much less expensive to repair your foundation than replace it. Look for the following:wall cracks can mean foundation failure in Pittsburgh, PA

Interior Foundation Problems:

  •     Cracks in drywall, sheet rock
  •     Doors and windows that stick or won’t close properly
  •     Floor cracks
  •     Cracks in seams and corners
  •     Trim or molding misaligned
  •     Torn or wrinkled wallpaper
  •     Sloping floors
  •     Broken floor or wall tiles

Basement and Crawlspace Foundation Problems:

  •     Walls leaning, bowing in or out
  •     Cracks in the poured or block walls
  •     Water leakage through cracks at base of walls
  •     Water stains on walls, floors
  •     Mortar cracks in bricks or blocks
  •     Basement flooding, water pooling
  •     Basement or crawlspace mold or mildew
  •     Heaving wallsFoundation repair signs in Ohio, Pennsylvania

Garage and Exterior Foundation Problems:

  •     Separation from door
  •     Wall rotating out
  •     Cracks in the bricks
  •     Space around doors and windows
  •     Cracks in foundation
  •     Fascia board pulling away
  •     Leaning chimney
  •     Garage column cracks
  •     Foundation cracks

If you are buying a new home, these are all things to look for. If you notice these signs in a structure you own, you need to have them fixed quickly. They can affect the overall health of your home, limit your ability to sell your home, or cause the value of your home to fall. Have a free inspection done on your Pennsylvania, Ohio, or West Virginia home to find out what your problems are and the best solution for your budget to get it fixed. Call Matthews Wall Anchor today.

Why Water Around Your Pittsburgh Foundation is a Problem

They always say water around your foundation is a leading cause of foundation problems, can you explain why?

Support bowing walls with wall anchors in Pittsburgh, Beaver Falls, PAIt’s called Hydrostatic Pressure, and you are right, it is not good for your foundation, basement, or crawlspace. Water is far and away the number one enemy of foundations in terms of the cumulative damage that it indiscriminately does to so many homes. Summer and spring rains come along with the change in seasons. The additional moisture in the soil around your home can do damage to the structural integrity of your foundation walls. In the Winter snowfall and ice can also lead to problems when the precipitation melts. If the walls of your house are cracking, it’s not “because they’re old”, they’re cracking or heaving because there is some moisture related issue still creating an effect in the foundation area. That pressure that builds up can also cause your foundation walls to bow or lean as well. Luckily Matthews Wall Anchor has solutions for these problems. With a combination of waterproofing products, vapor barriers, wall anchors or piering products, we can strengthen walls and waterproof them so your foundation is safe. If you notice cracking or bowing of walls, call Matthews Wall Anchor right away. It is a serious problem that can lead to foundation failure, and should not be left for very long. We can help you protect the investment you have in your commercial or residential property. Get a free inspection today!

Does My Pittsburgh, PA Home Need Waterproofing?

How do I know If I need to have my basement waterproofed?

Basements are great to have because they add so much extra space to your home, but they can be a big headache when a water problem occurs. Because basements are in the ground, they are susceptible to high humidity, water seepage and flooding. These problems, however, can be permanently fixed by a professional, basement waterproofing contractor. Here are some tips to let you know if you need basement waterproofing:Wet basement in Pittsburgh, PA

  1. CHECK AFTER A HEAVY RAIN: If there is a water problem In the basement, it certainly will be evident after a heavy rainfall. Visit your basement within the next 24 hours to check for signs of seepage. listen for running or dripping water, and look for puddles of water on the floor. If you have a sump pump, make sure that it is adequately able to pump all of the water that has collected In the sump pit.
  2. BASEMENT WALL DISCOLORATION: A discolored basement wall is an indication that there has been water seepage In the wall. The discoloring may be a dark stain or peeling If the wall is painted. Basements in a high water table may experience this kind of seepage as water makes Its way through basement wall cracks.
  3. MOLD AND RUST: Look for a signs of mold growth on the walls, floor or on the stuff that you store in your basement. If there is mold growth, this is a sure sign of increased moisture In the basement, as moisture is necessary for mold to grow. Also look for rust on metal surfaces in the basement. Rusty metal will also indicate a high moisture problem.
  4. VISIBLE WATER DAMAGE: A water problem in a finished basement may cause damage to the walls. look for damage, such as rotting, at the base of the wall. Check drywall, plaster and paneling for signs of cracking or buckling. Unfinished basement walls that have suffered damage might also show signs of buckling or cracks In the concrete.
  5. EFFLORESCENCE: Look for a white, chalky deposit on basement walls. This is efflorescence, and it is a sign of a moisture problem. It Is the result of water that has seeped through porous concrete and evaporated. The water makes these pores larger and creates a potentially worse problem.
  6. ALWAYS VERIFY BEFORE FINISHING A BASEMENT: When finishing your basement, It Is Important to bring in a basement waterproofing expert to Inspect your basement and waterproofing system, or Install a system If there is not one already in place. Finishing the basement without a properly functioning waterproofing system is asking for trouble. You may need a sump pump or other interior and exterior waterproofing to ensure your investment in your new finished basement. Better to be safe than sorry.

Matthews Wall Anchor provides free inspections so if there is any question about your basement, call us and we can help you determine the extent of your problem and find a solution. We also have open waterproofing pricing so you know ahead of time the cost of your waterproofing project. Call today!

How Can You Ensure Your Won’t Get Scammed?

Avoid foundation, crawlspace repair scams in Pittsburgh, PAIf homeowners in the area need waterproofing or foundation repair, professionals can help. What are some ways to ensure homeowners they are getting a reputable company without waterproofing scams?

  1. ASK FOR REFERENCES: Any basement waterproofing company that has been in the business for a while will have plenty of satisfied customers who are willing to tell others about how happy they were with the work that was done for them.
  2. ASK FOR EXAMPLES OF THEIR WORK: A waterproofing company worth its salt will be able to showcase examples of its best work for new potential clients. If sample photos aren’t available, ask the contractor for addresses of local basements they have worked on. You can check out our photo gallery on the website.
  3. CHECK WITH THE BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU: Even small basement waterproofing companies should be members of the BBB in good standing. It’s a simple matter to do a quick Internet search for Information about companies you are looking at, or call the Better Business Bureau to find out if they are trustworthy.
  4. LOOK AT THEIR EMPLOYEES: This rule is much more Important than most homeowners realize. Don’t just shrug off unprofessional employees and assume that since they are doing manual labor, they have an excuse to be sloppy looking or rude. Unprofessional employees probably means that the company has unprofessional owners. If they aren’t serious enough to maintain a dress code or encourage good customer service with their employees, then they probably aren’t a company you want In your home.
  5. NEVER PAY FOR AN ESTIMATE: Even scammers aren’t usually bold enough to ask you to pay for an estimate, but there are still some who will try, especially when dealing with elderly customers. The only exception to this rule is if you are asking for an estimate on a home that you don’t own or are thinking of purchasing. In this case, many companies will charge you a small fee for an estimate or inspection, but with the understanding that It will be refunded If you use them for any future repairs.
  6. ASK QUESTIONS THROUGHOUT THE PROCESS: Don’t get in their way or be too bothersome while they are performing the work (especially when heavy equipment is being used), but never be afraid to ask questions If you don’t understand what they are doing
  7. WATCH FOR TYPE OF BACKFILL IN USE: This Is one of the most common ways that basement waterproofing companies cheat their customers, who might never even realize that they have been scammed. All trenches around the home that are dug for basement waterproofing should be backfilled with clean #57 limestone (which provides excellent drainage down to the footer drain tiles) or similar material. Some dishonest waterproofing contractors will fill in trenches with slag (a byproduct of steel production), which is similar looking to limestone gravel but much less expensive to buy. The problem is that slag, which can give off a sulfurous smell when used, will eventually solidify Into a mass that doesn’t allow water to properly drain down to your perforated footer drains.

If all else fails, call us. We will provide free estimates, provide you with testimonials, and prove to you that we can’t be beat in Pittsburgh, PA or the surrounding area!

How Matthews Beats the Competition

What does it take to earn a good reputation in a business that has so much competition?

Good Reputation comes from Satisfied Pittsburgh ClientsWe have found that being consistent with our customers and always being there to answer their questions and address any concerns over the years to be the way we earned our great reputation. By doing the work right the first time we have been allowed to have a huge list of satisfied clients that continue to give us solid reviews at the BBB, Angie’s List, etc. You can read the testimonials from our Beaver Falls, PA customers, to customers from Ohio and West Virginia and see that we have left our clients satisfied that their home or business is sound. Today you can find out just about anything online. It’s great for us because we’ve already been doing high quality work all along, so if you look for Matthews Wall Anchor online you will find good review, information to educate, and quality products. Our partnership with Earth Contact Products also helps our reputation. We use ECP Products for foundation repairs, basement waterproofing, and crawlspace repairs and encapsulation. By using products with a great reputation and by using employees with years of expert knowledge grounded in customer service, Matthews Wall Anchor has become the go-to team for foundation, basement, and crawlspace repairs and waterproofing in Pittsburgh.

The Process of Getting Repairs in Pittsburgh

Can foundation repairs and waterproofing processes be intimidating?

Open Waterproofing Pricing in Pittsburgh, PAFor sure it can be! It is scary when you see you walls cracking and bowing in. It’s awful when you have a flooded basement, or damp crawl space. All you can think of is how much it is going to cost to fix it. That’s exactly why it’s so important to have somebody like Matthews Wall Anchor to look at it that has the level of experience to fix whatever might be going on. We also want to help you with open waterproofing pricing, and free inspections to take the questions out of the process of repairing your wet basement, sinking foundation, or damp crawlspace. As with anything else, it’s good to at least have your issue looked at so you know what your options are. That is why we are here. We want to make the process let intimidating, and more an education into the investment you have in your home or business.

So check out more about us including:

The items above will help you learn about the common problems you will face if you own a home or business, and how to identify problems and what steps can be taken to fix them. If all else fails, just call Matthews Wall Anchor today. We can truly help make the process so much easier.

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