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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.

Who Benefits from a Dehumidifier?

Benefits of a Dehumidifier in Ohio and Pennsylvania

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:

benefits de-humidifier ohio pennsylvania

Dehumidifiers Protect your Investments and More

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!

Product Spotlight – Helical Piers for Pittsburgh, PA Foundation Repair

Understanding Helical Piers and their Uses for Foundation Repair in Pittsburgh

helical piers for foundation repair in Pittsburgh, PAWhen you are a home or business owner, you may know that you have a problem with your foundation, but you don’t know the tools used to fix it. Half the battle when you own a structure such as you home or your business is knowing the signs of foundation problems, and learning as much as you can about the tools used to fix these foundation problems. Matthews Wall Anchor believes strongly in educating you about your foundation problems and the possible repairs needed. Today we are going to focus on the helical pier. Many people have heard the term “piering” or “underpinning” and have a vague idea that these are foundation repair terms, so we will help you understand a bit further.

What is a Helical Pier? helical torque anchor use in PA

Helical piers are uses to shore up and add support to foundation walls, porches, steps, chimneys and more. They are one of the most widely used tools in the foundation repair arsenal for many foundation repair companies including Matthews Wall Anchor. You may also hear that referred to as helical anchors or helical piles. They are used for the following reasons:

  • They are easy to Install
  • There is Little to No Vibration During Installation
  • Immediate Load Transfer can be done upon Installation Completion
  • Installed Torque Correlates to Capacity
  • Easily Load Tested to Verify Capacity
  • Installs Below Active Soils
  • All Weather Installation, Which is Important in Pittsburgh, PA
  • Little to No Disturbance to Jobsite

Matthews Wall Anchor only uses helical piers, piles, and anchors from Earth Contact
Products. ECP is known for the very best in underpinning and foundation repair products found anywhere in the market today. They have been tested and proven over and over again. You can read case studies about ECP products and see for yourself how effective their helical piers and other products are. You can also check customer testimonials for foundation repairs from Matthews Wall Anchor.

When to use Helical Piers in Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas of Pennsylvania

detail of helical torque anchor assemblyHelical piers have a strong steel shaft, usually with helices. They are like a large screw that will provide foundation support. It can be used in various types of structures in both commercial and residential areas. When soil conditions become challenging, helical piers are extremely helpful. They can be installed in new construction to add additional support from the get-go as well. They are commonly used to add support to existing foundations after there has been foundation settlement or foundation failure.

The purpose of helical piers is to take the foundation load and transfer it from soil that is not strong enough for the structure to the more suitable deep soil in the earth. If you notice that you have cracks in your drywall, or foundation cracks, floor cracks, and wall cracks, there is a good chance you are experiencing settlement of your foundation and an installation of helical piers may be the right solution for you.

To learn more about helical piers and other foundation solutions from Matthews Wall Anchor, call us anytime. We provide estimates if you notice any of the signs or symptoms of foundation settlement and can tell you if helical piers are the right deep soil foundation repair solution for you. Call us today!

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.

foundation repairIf 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 to the structure. Is it worth the risk of that money if it were to fail after you do it?

The Box System: Outdated and Unhealthy

The box system would sit on top of the foundation. This type of system would fail to channel the water properly because you can’t get the proper pitch so the water will flow to the sump. In addition, that water could sit in the system just below the floor, only inches from the surface while accumulating bacteria. These kinds of water remediation systems are far less expensive to install for companies that care about price more than results.

Our Waterproofing System is Better

When it comes to waterproofing, Matthews Wall Anchor and Waterproofing Services 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) box systems for a few years, but were unhappy with the results.

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 ensure 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.

In terms of our Piering and Wall Anchor Systems, Matthews was one of the country’s leaders and innovators when we started helping our clients in the early 80’s and we still are today. 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 manufacturer’s 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!

Learn About Matthews Wall Anchor

Can you tell us a little bit about Matthews Wall Anchor?

bigmapMatthews Wall Anchor was founded by John Matthews over 30 years ago to provide excellent customer service for Pittsburgh, PA and the surrounding area for foundation repair, crawl space repair, and waterproofing services. Today Matthews Wall Anchor is known all over the Pittsburgh area and is one of the founding structural and waterproofing companies in Pennsylvania. We have over 30 employees to meet all your needs and provide the best customer services. You can find us on the airwaves or online, and we have customers to provide you with testimonials of our work. We are based in Beaver Falls, PA. We are here to answer any questions you might have about foundations, basements, crawlspaces. We stay up to date on the latest and greatest technology to make sure to help you protect the investment you have in your home or business. We use the very best in waterproofing and foundation products with our partnership with Earth Contact Products. Call us to learn more!

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