Contractor Tips Blog

Mar
31

Masonry Concerns When Buying a New Home

Posted in Masonry

You find the perfect home for your family and you want to secure the deal with a down payment. Before you write that check, you need to make sure that you are buying a home that is structurally sound. While it is common to have a general home inspection, these basic inspections do not always catch hidden issues that could cost you thousands of dollars down the road. Masonry and foundation problems can often be difficult to catch by a general contractor; it may be worth getting a masonry expert to complete an inspection before you buy.

Chimney Inspections

One area that can get overlooked is the chimney. While a quick external inspection of the chimney will be done, this can easily miss hidden problems. You will want a closer look at the chimney, especially if it is an older home. A masonry expert can perform a more detailed chimney inspection to ensure there isn’t structural damage inside the chimney that could lead to fires and other expensive issues down the road.

Foundation Problems

Foundation issues come in many forms and may not be immediately noticeable during a basic inspection. If there is even a slight sinking or unstable component in the foundation, it can put the entire home at risk. A foundation or masonry expert can take a closer look at footings and other elements to ensure the home and other structures like decks have a solid, safe foundation underneath.

It is worth the extra investment for a masonry inspection to be performed on a home you plan to buy. If there are issues, you can negotiate to have them fixed before the sale or have the cost of repairs taken off the sale price.

Posted on behalf of:
Anglin’s Foundation & Masonry Repairs
1027 Oregon Trail
Marietta, GA 30008
(770) 422-2924

Nov
29

Common Causes of Brick Issues in Your Home

Posted in Masonry

Some of the oldest homes have been constructed from brick, a testimonial to the durability of masonry for long-lasting structures. However, even quality brick and masonry construction can need repair and maintenance. If you own an older brick home, you can expect that eventually you will need masonry repairs. Here are some common brick construction issues and what to look for it your masonry needs repair.

Foundation Settlement

A common reason that brick or masonry work cracks is settlement in the foundation of the home. These “stair step cracks” can begin small and grow as more settlement occurs. Luckily, these issues are easily repaired when you hire an experienced masonry company.

Another sign of foundation settlement or structural damage is bowing or bulging walls. Unlike stair step cracks, this is a sign of a serious underlying issue. However, it can be remedied if foundation repairs are made quickly by a masonry or foundation expert.

Steel Expansion

Masonry is often held in place by a steel framework underneath, especially in doors and windows. Steel can expand, causing damage to the brick work. Often a crack will appear in the upper corners of a garage door or window. The steel lintels that support these openings can need repair or replacement, as well as the overlying masonry work.

Other causes of brick issues are thermal expansion or weather-related damage. Regardless of the cause, at the first sign of cracks or changes in the masonry work in your home, call in a brick expert. Most issues can be repaired quickly if caught in the early stages. Waiting can lead to further damage to your home and more expensive repairs.

Posted on behalf of:
Anglin’s Foundation & Masonry Repairs
1027 Oregon Trail
Marietta, GA 30008
(770) 422-2924

Oct
4

Why Damaged Chimneys are Dangerous

Posted in Masonry

Your chimney is essential to allowing you to have a fireplace inside your home and still have breathable air. It allows smoke to escape and air to feed the fire in small doses. However, if you have a masonry chimney that has begun to lean or shows signs of damage, it may be putting your home and family in danger. Chimney repairs are not something you should procrastinate about fixing as they can potential be harmful, even when you are not using your fireplace.

Masonry chimneys can last for many decades when maintained. Occasional cleanings and small repairs to bricks is often all that is needed to keep them safe and intact. However, they do depend on a solid foundation to stay stable; sinking foundations can cause a leaning chimney that can come crashing down at any time. In addition, you can have a small chimney fire without knowing it that can damage the masonry from the inside out.

Once the integrity of the chimney is compromised, it becomes a dangerous element in your home. Single bricks can topple, endangering those below, or the entire chimney could fall, putting your family and home at risk. If the interior has been damaged, there is a higher chance that a small chimney fire can spread to the rest of your home instead of being contained inside the flue walls.

Considering the dangers, it is never a good idea to put off a chimney repair. If you notice your chimney is leaning or has cracks, call a masonry expert for an inspection. It is not worth the risk to your home and family – get your chimney repaired as quickly as possible.

Posted on behalf of:
Anglin’s Foundation & Masonry Repairs
1027 Oregon Trail
Marietta, GA 30008
(770) 422-2924

Jul
21

Buying a New Home? Don’t Forget the Chimney Inspection

Posted in Masonry

When you are searching for a new home, you want to ensure that this giant purchase is protected. It is standard to have a home inspection performed to understand any possible problems with the house. While this can cover many aspects from the foundation to the structural integrity, it does not cover everything. If your potential home has a fireplace and masonry chimney, add a high level chimney inspection to your list of ‘do’s” before you buy.During a standard home inspection, they will generally include an inspection the chimney for damage. However, this is a very basic look for any obvious problems. If the chimney is leaning or has visual damage to the structure, it will most likely be caught. However, big problems could be lurking under the surface of a chimney that looks structurally sound.

There are many different components in a chimney and factors that can affect the structure and safety. There are also different levels of chimney inspections that look at these components. Chimney inspections come in three levels, with number three being the most comprehensive. The levels include:

  • Level 1. A basic inspection of the accessible areas of the chimney for any problems, including the interior, exterior and connections.
  • Level 2. The next level goes above and beyond level 1 by also inspecting deeper into the chimney with a camera, plus other areas like the basement or attic. In many cases a level 2 is required for selling a home – check with your realtor.
  • Level 3. Level 3 is the most comprehensive inspection available, uncovering any structural issues that may be hiding inside the chimney.

Don’t risk an expensive chimney problem down the road. Insist on a level 3 chimney inspection by an experienced masonry company, especially on older homes with fireplaces, before you buy.

Posted on behalf of:
Anglin’s Foundation & Masonry Repairs
1027 Oregon Trail
Marietta, GA 30008
(770) 422-2924

Apr
19

Does Your Garage Door Lintel Need Replacement?

Posted in Masonry

The structure supporting the brick or stone around your garage door is called the lintel, a steel frame that can become corroded over the years. This can be a dangerous situation, compromising the structure of the frame that holds your heavy garage door in place. Older garages can be susceptible to lintel damage and may need this structure replaced to prevent collapse.

Signs that your garage door lintel may need replacement can include:

  • Cracks between bricks above or around your garage door
  • A sagging top beam above your garage door
  • Cracks or gaps in the seams around the garage door frame

The garage door lintel is usually a steel beam that goes across the top of the door. The most common place for corrosion or weakness is in the middle of the door, where the least amount of support is located. Not only does the beam need replacement, but the bricks or stone and the material between the lintel and exterior surface will need to be redone.

Lintel damage occurs form water and weather deterioration over the years. Rust and corrosion can occur, leaving your garage door susceptible to weakness. At the first signs of any underlying issues, you should call a masonry expert to examine your garage and determine whether a lintel replacement is needed.

Replacing the lintel on your garage door is a complicated process that should be left to the professionals. Your garage door can weigh several hundred pounds and will need removal before the lintel can be accessed and replaced. Once the interior structure is fixed, you will need new brick or stone to frame in your garage, requiring the expertise of an experienced masonry service. Find a local masonry company that offers lintel and masonry work to restore your old garage to last many more decades.

Posted on behalf of:
Anglin’s Foundation & Masonry Repairs
1027 Oregon Trail
Marietta, GA 30008
(770) 422-2924

Jan
10

Dangers of Chimney Damage

Posted in Masonry

Your chimney is a crucial part of your heating system, doing much more than just keeping smoke out of your home. It dispels dangerous gases that can be deadly to your family, while helping keep the right air flow needed to maintain your fire. Maintaining your chimney should be a top priority; this includes regular cleanings and repairs. Most homeowners that use wood heat understand the dangers of a dirty chimney, but chimney damage can be just as dangerous.

A loose brick or hole in your chimney can put your home and family at risk. Once the chimney structure is compromised, there are many possible hazards you can face. Here are a few of the dangers of allowing your chimney to function when it needs a repair:

  • Gas exposure. Any blockage or leak in the chimney structure can allow hazardous gases to escape into your home. Many of these gases are poisonous and can even cause death.
  • If one brick is loose, others may be as well. If these bricks come loose at the wrong time, they can cause serious injury to anyone who happens to under them when they fall.
  • Damage to your chimney can create a fire hazard. A chimney repair is much less expensive than needing to replace your home and furnishings, not to mention the danger it poses to your family.

If you notice any loose bricks or that your chimney is leaning, call your local masonry repair company right away for an inspection and repair. Chimney repairs can protect your home and family from extensive harm and are worth the investment.

Posted on behalf of:
Anglin’s Foundation & Masonry Repairs
Marietta, GA
(770) 422-2924

Mar
13

Dangers of Lintel Damage Above Garage Doors

Posted in Masonry

Behind the exterior of a brick garage lies the frame work that holds the masonry and structure in place. One of these crucial elements is the lintel, the steel support that spans across the top of the garage door. This steel can become rusted and begin to sag and bend due to water penetration under the bricks. This damage to lintels can put the structural integrity of the garage, especially the doors, in danger, causing a hazardous condition.

Once there is lintel damage, the garage door openings can begin to shift. In many cases, the garage doors will begin to lean or sag, causing dysfunction when they open and close. The danger is that the change in the underlying structure could cause the doors to fall or drop unexpectedly, or the entire opening could crumble. This could cause damage to vehicles, or worse, cause a severe injury to someone walking through the garage opening when it fails.

Although lintel repair is usually needed in older brick garages, it is not always age that causes the problem. Poor flashing and other construction issues when assembling the garage can lead to premature lintel failure. The first signs of issues with lintels in garages is usually cracks or shifting of the bricks above the garage doors or windows.

At the first sign of lintel damage on your brick garage, call a masonry specialist to inspect your garage door. Although lintel repair does require weeks to be completed correctly, if performed by a masonry specialist, it can last a lifetime. Most lintels need to be repaired due to lack of insulation on the steel or other issues that can be eliminated permanently with a professional masonry repair.

Posted on behalf of:
Anglin’s Foundation & Masonry Repairs
Marietta, GA
(770) 422-2924

Dec
3

Signs Your Masonry Chimney Needs Repair

Posted in Masonry

If you have a brick or masonry chimney that is decades old, it is important to know the signs of disrepair. A damaged chimney can be very dangerous; it can put your home at risk of a chimney fire or the chimney could fall, causing injury or property damage. Here are a few signs that it may be time to schedule a chimney inspection:

  • White substance. The white substance that accumulates on chimneys is called effloresence and is caused by excess moisture. While this white staining is not harmful, it is a sign of too much moisture that can damage your masonry.
  • Leaning chimney. Masonry chimneys depend on a solid, even foundation. If a chimney is leaning, the foundation most likely has settled. It is only a matter of time before gravity wins the war and the structure begins to fall.
  • Cracks and spalling. When the masonry begins to show signs of erosion, you need chimney repair. Cracks between the bricks and spalling, which is when pieces of masonry begin chipping off the outside of the chimney, are signs of damage from erosion or moisture.
  • Shaling. Sometimes the problem is inside the chimney. Shaling is when small shingles begin to fall off inside the flue, accumulating in the fireplace. If the flue lining is damaged it can put your home at risk for a fire, so don’t wait to schedule an inspection.

Considering the important role your chimney places in your heating system, it is vital to keep it in good repair. If your chimney has any of these signs, schedule a chimney inspection with your local chimney service contractor that handles masonry and foundation repairs.

Posted on behalf of:
Anglin’s Foundation & Masonry Repairs
Marietta, GA
(770) 422-2924

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