SCHEDULE AN INSPECTION









Our Location
Childrens Hospital Free Care Fund Sponsor

Category Archives: Water drainage

Basement Waterproofing Tips

Top Ten Tips for Waterproofing a Basement Yourself

downspouts1. Extend your downspout discharge lines away from your foundation and out into the yard or into an underground dry well. Downspout lines often fail even in newer homes so making sure that the roof water is being properly diverted is essential.

 

 

drylok2. Use Drylok on walls that only have minor dampness. This product, and some that are like it, can be an effective short-term solution to keeping dampness isolated. They only work for a few years in some instances and can chip and flake if the water problem becomes worse.

 

 

soil care3. Adjust the grade so the outside soil line by the home’s foundation wall slopes away from the house.

 

 

plumbing4. Make sure that you don’t have any plumbing issues. Upstairs leaks and those that are occurring inside of walls are often hard to diagnose and can appear as basement waterproofing issues since water flows down and tends to accumulate in unpredictable places. A professional plumber should be consulted where this may be in question.

 

 

gutters5. Check your gutters at the roof line to make sure that the downspouts are fitted correctly and are fully sealed. Leaks can occur at the roof and water can sometimes find it’s way up underneath the shingles and down through the walls of the home. That will often find it’s way down to the basement’s footing wall joint and appear as basement seepage.

 

dehumidifier6. Control your interior airspace by closing and sealing any wall cracks or places that are exposed to the outside. Clean and dehumidify the basement’s air quality with a high-performance unit.

 

 

 

 

sill plate7. Make sure the exterior soil level outside the home is below the top of the wall on the inside of the basement. That is otherwise known as where the sill plate is. If the outside mulch bed is higher than the top of the inside basement wall, water can seep through and wash down over the wall. Telltale signs are mulch colored stains on the inside walls.

 

 

basement walls8. Expose any finished basement wall sections that are showing signs of water damage. This could be spotted on wooden baseboards or on the drywall itself. Another sign of problems with finished basements is bad smells. Insulation can absorb water and lead to mold issues behind finished walls that don’t have sealed vapor barriers and proper drainage prior to their installation. Identifying bad sections should be done by a professional if there is any doubt at all.

 

curtain drain9. Create a Curtain Drain in the yard where water is accumulating. This is a non-warranted job by professionals because they nearly always become clogged after a time. They can provide temporary relief of basement water issues by collecting and diverting the marshy wet places to lower sections of the yard.

 

construction10. The construction of a new house is the time to properly seal the house for life. The old standby of plastic wrap and Styrofoam sheeting to protect does work. But it is almost always destroyed during the back-filling of the foundation, causing it to leak. This way of sealing no longer meets the international building code, along with many state, country, or city building codes. If you’re building a new home, it’s wise to have a good interior and exterior drain system put in place during the initial building process.

 

 

Disclaimer… The above information is intended for informational purposes only. Matthews Wall Anchor & Waterproofing Services does not warrant or imply that these basement waterproofing tips will solve the common issues described. A professional waterproofing expert is always recommended before attempting any remediation work.

Water Seepage: A Little Water Leads To Big Problems

Water Seepage: A Little Water Leads To Big Problems

water seepage, basement repairWhen 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.

Water Seepage Problems

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.

Mold & Mildew and Your Health

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.

Water Damage and Your Home

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.
clogged gutterConcrete 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.

Check Your Property

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.

When It’s Time To Call The Pros

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.

Interior Waterproofing

basement waterproofingSome 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.

Exterior Waterproofing

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.

An Ounce of Prevention

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.

Unseasonably Warm Winter Causes Flooding

Winter, What Winter?

flooding, OhioAs you have surely noticed as we pass the halfway point of the season, Old Man Winter seems to be on vacation this year. Over the last 30 years, the Pittsburgh area has averaged over 40 inches of snow every year. With only 8 inches of snow this year, it has definitely been a weird winter. However, in place of the freezing temperatures and mounds of snow, we have experienced large amounts of rainfall.

The National Weather Service has issued several flood advisories, watches, and warnings throughout the area. The Ohio River and the Allegheny River has been out of their banks a couple of times and the Mon Wharf in Pittsburgh was closed due to flooding. What does this warm weather and rainfall mean for your home?

Usually, when things are working the way they are supposed to, snow melts slowly, letting it absorb into the soil or run off slowly into rivers and streams. With the balmy temperatures this season, the precipitation hasn’t frozen and is going straight into the oversaturated soil.

Foundation Damage

Oversaturated soil can cause many problems to your home’s foundation. The soil can push against the foundation walls, causing them to lean or bow. This hydrostatic pressure can be very strong, so as soon as you notice a problem, you need to call Matthews Wall Anchor & Waterproofing Services immediately. It’s a lot easier to repair a bowed wall than it is to repair a collapsed one. The saturated ground can also allow cracks to form, allowing water and pests to invade your home. It doesn’t take much more than a hairline fracture to let in the elements. In addition, if water enters the crack, then freezes, the expansion will make the crack even bigger.

Waterproofing

If water does enter your home due to flooding (or other causes), it can quickly cause a lot of damage. It can ruin your belongings, drywall or paneling, furniture, and cause foundation issues. Matthews Wall Anchor & Waterproofing Services can help protect your home from water entering your home with both internal waterproofing and exterior waterproofing. Keeping your home dry will protect your home from water damage and your family from mold and mildew.

Go ahead and savor the warm weather, we know that in this area it could suddenly be below zero with a foot of snow. You’ll be able to relax and enjoy the unseasonable temperatures knowing your home is protected by Matthews Wall Anchor & Waterproofing Services. Contact us today and learn more about our foundation repair and waterproofing services for the Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania area.

Common End of Summer Problems with Foundations in Pittsburgh

drought, soil, foundation repairCommon End of Summer Problems with Foundations in Pittsburgh

The weather has been weird this year, but as the summer winds down, you need to keep an eye on the soil around your home’s foundation. Drought and dry conditions can cause the soil to shrink and withdraw. As the soil dries out from the hot dry conditions, you may notice some changes in the surrounding earth. Usually, during the summer, there’s not only a lack of rain but hot, dry winds. The soil quickly dries out, leaving voids between the dirt and the foundation walls and also between the footings and the earth. Homes in areas that have very wet, then extremely dry conditions are especially susceptible. The constant movement of the soil leaves gaps and pushes the foundation back and forth, weakening the structure.

Dry Earth = No Support

During droughts, your grass, garden, and trees are all fighting for the little bit of water that’s in the soil. Between the evaporation that naturally occurs and the roots sucking the water out of the soil, they being leeching the moisture out of the soil from underneath the foundation. You can avoid this by making sure that trees are planted far enough away from your home. A good rule of thumb is to determine how tall the tree will be at maturity and then plant the tree that distance from the home. So, if the tree will be 50 feet tall, then it should be 50 feet away from the house.

Another method is to plant a root barrier. This is placed between the tree and the foundation and is a 3- to 4-inch wide trench about 3 feet wide. Lined with plastic, it will stop feeder roots from moving too close to the foundation.

Your Home Needs Support

The ground around your home is what keeps it all together. This base of soil provides a firm foundation that holds the walls upright. When the weather is hot and dry, the moisture evaporates and the soil condenses. The soil pulls away from the foundation, leaving little or no support and walls that can crack or even collapse. Even a small crack can cause problems. Moisture can enter the crack and expand and contract, weakening the foundation wall until a collapse occurs.

If the foundation under your house cracks or fails, your house can sink, causing catastrophic damage. It is urgent for the safety of your family and your home that you contact Matthews Wall Anchor as soon as you suspect your foundation may be compromised. You will not only save money but your home and the well-being of your loved ones.

Matthews Wall Anchors To The Rescue

If you even suspect that your soil may be pulling away from your foundation or you have other foundation problems, call Matthews Wall Anchor today. Our team of experts can inspect your home for free and determine if your foundation has been weakened due to soil dryness or other factors. We even offer ECP Repair Now financing options for all of your foundation repair needs. We are your number one foundation repair contractor in Pennslyvania, Ohio, and the surrounding area.

Water Drainage

Poor Water Drainage

If you have poor water drainage around your home, it can cause major foundation Water drainage in Pittsburgh by Matthews Wall Anchorproblems. It will cause the foundation to buckle, rise and bow. Waterproofing and controlling water will prevent this damage and it will keep the structure stable.

Proper drainage is required by building codes. Keeping water drained away from the foundation protects you and keeps you dry. The soil that surrounds the foundation needs to be kept at a consistent moisture level to prevent settlement. When the soil gets too saturated around the foundation, the soil will heave, causing the foundation to shift and move.

Water Drainage Solutions

  • Gutters – Gutters need to be well maintained and the downspouts need to be directed below the soil surface through rigid piping to either pop-up emitters, drywells or to daylight. It is also important to maintain a proper slope and proper sizing.
  • Soil Moisture – Keeping the soil moisture beneath the foundation consistent is important. If the soil gets too dry, it will shrink and when it becomes too wet, it expands. This constant shifting of the soil will cause the foundation to shift and move.
  • Trees – Trees should not be planted close to a home’s foundation. As the tree matures, the tree roots will drink up the moisture in the soil beneath the foundation.
  • Surface drainage – The ground surface should be sloped at least 1/2″ per foot for 10′ to keep the water flow away from the foundation.
  • Channel drains – Channel drains are usually placed between driveways and garages to direct the water toward a catch basin or emitter.
  • Drainage boards – Foundation drainage boards are installed on the outside of concrete walls to direct water to the perimeter drain tile. These drainage boards are installed over a waterproofing membrane and have dimples that direct water away from the foundation toward the drain tile.
  • Drain pipe – Drain pipes are placed alongside the footing. These can be placed in the interior or exterior or both.
  • Subsurface drainage – Foundation drains are made from rigid drain tile and are then connected to a sump pump system to drain the water away from the foundation.
  • Building codes – Building codes require drain pipes around all foundations.

Matthews Wall Anchor uses waterproofing products that are manufactured by Earth Contact Products (ECP), the very best in the industry. We also use ECP products for foundation repair. If you are in need of water drainage solutions, contact the experts at Matthew Wall Anchor. We have the experience and products to get your water drainage needs done and keep your home and foundation safe and dry.

Page 1 of 212