Contractor Tips Blog

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

Apr
4

Signs of Basement Foundation Issues

If your home has a basement, it relies on the stability of the basement foundation as part of the structural integrity. Over time, your basement walls and underlying foundation can become damaged, putting your entire structure at risk. Be aware of the signs that your basement foundation may need repair to avoid costly damage to the rest of your home.

  • Bowed basement walls. A definite sign you need to call a masonry expert is bowed basement walls. If your basement walls have begun to bow inward or outward, do not wait any longer to have a foundation inspection and repair completed.
  • Cracks in basement walls. Another sign of foundation issues is cracks in the concrete or bricks of your basement walls. If you have a finished basement, these cracks can form in the drywall covering your walls. Keep an eye out for any cracks on the inside or outside of your basement walls or in any masonry throughout your home.
  • Sagging windows and doors. Have you noticed that the windows and doors in your basement are sagging? This is a sign of a foundation problem that can quickly endanger the structure of your home. When windows won’t open or doors begin to stick, call in a masonry or foundation expert to inspect your basement.

Any foundation issue should be taken seriously and undergo immediate repair. Even a small change in the foundation can affect the entire structure of your home, putting excessive pressure on joints and beams that keep your home in place. If you notice any of these signs, call a local masonry expert that specializes in foundation repairs to protect the large investment you have in your home.

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

Jan
28

Do You Have a Sagging Floor in Your Home?

Is there a noticeable slope or sagging in one or more rooms in your home? This is especially common in homes that are built with a crawl space underneath the home. Over time, the floor boards can begin to sag due to a lack of support. This type of issue should never be ignored. The problem will only proceed to worsen, causing safety issues and can also impact the value of your home. Often the problem can be repaired with some added support to the foundation of the home.

Most sagging floors are on homes without the steel beams under the main level flooring that are usually in place for homes with a basement. This lack of additional support allows the floor boards to sag over time. Sagging floors can also be a sign of more crucial structural damage and are an indication that the home needs foundation repair.

In many cases a sagging floor can be repaired with the addition of steel support beams under the flooring. Contractors may use floor hydraulic jacks to bring the floor back to a level position, then add steel beams and/or solid footers to support the home. This creates a solid foundation that is lacking in homes with only a crawl space underneath instead of a solid foundation or structurally sound basement that adds extra support.

Don’t live with sagging floors. Call your local foundation contractor to get an estimate on repairing your home’s support system. Not only can it improve the look of your home by leveling sagging floors, it can extend the life and increase the value of your most important asset.

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

Jan
6

Is Your Home Sinking Under Your Feet?

Even the most carefully built homes can become victim to foundation settling. A house can remain level for decades and suddenly beginning sinking on one end of the building, causing walls to crack, putting the integrity of the home in jeopardy. Sometimes it is soil erosion from excess water or a natural disaster that cause the foundation to slip and move; often, it is just time taking its toll. But all is not lost. If you recognize the signs of a sinking or shifting foundation, you can have it repaired before it causes irreparable damage to your home.

Signs Your Foundation Is Sinking

A foundation that has already sunk is easy to recognize. Often you can feel it when you walk into a room with exterior walls at one end of the house. Rooms with hard floors may even be tilted enough to allow a pencil or ball to roll toward the outer wall. However, when the house’s foundation first begins to shift, the signs are more subtle. Some signs to watch for include:

  • Windows and doors sticking when you open or close them
  • Small cracks in floors, ceilings and walls
  • Additions to the home begin to separate or have a different level than the original structure

Once the process has begun, it will only get worse until it is repaired. If ignored, the sinking foundation could cause major structural damage to any masonry, plus cause the walls and roof to become unstable. It is crucial at the first sign of settling or sinking of the foundation to call a foundation repair specialist. Often repairs can be made to stop any further damage and to extend the life of the house for decades to come.

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

Oct
26

Signs of a Sinking Home Foundation

The foundation of a home is what protects the entire structure and keeps everything aligned and in place. When the foundation begins to sink due to soil erosion or other issues, the entire house is at risk of damage and even collapse. The good news is that a foundation that is sinking can be repaired and structural damage avoided if it is caught and repaired quickly. Often there are subtle signs that a foundation is sinking that can help alert homeowners to the problem before it cause substantial damage to the home.

  • Doors or windows are uneven. If suddenly doors and windows are not opening and closing easily or seem uneven, this could be a sign there is settling in the foundation.
  • Cracks. Cracks around windows, cracks in drywall, cracks in the actual walls or foundation – all these are signs that the whole house may be settling or the foundation sinking.
  • Uneven floors. Does one end of the house seem to have an uneven floor, usually leaning down toward the outside wall? The foundation may be sinking on that side of the house.
  • Roof leaks. If your roof is leaking, it can be a sign of a foundation problem. This is especially true if you have a newer roof that shouldn’t be having leaking issues.

A sinking foundation will only get worse and should never be ignored. The quicker the issue is addressed and repaired, the better chance you have of preventing further damage to the structure. In most cases, the longer you wait, the more expensive it will be to repair. At the first sign of a sinking foundation, call your local foundation repair professional to begin discussing repair solutions.

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

Jul
25

Top Signs of Home Foundation Problems

Your home’s foundation is the core structure that holds everything else in place. If it begins to shift, crack, sink or have other issues, it can endanger your entire home to sustaining major damage. However, most foundation problems can be repaired before major damage occurs to the home if you know the signs. Here are some of the top signs that your home may have foundation damage or problems: 

  • Wall cracking. One of the most noticeable signs of a foundation is cracks in interior or exterior walls. Settling or movement of the foundation can cause walls to crack above.
  • Sagging floors and doorways. If there are bows in the flooring or in doorways, it can be from a change in the foundation. You may also notice that flooring no longer meets perfectly in corners, with gaps between the flooring and wall.
  • Bowing walls. Any wall, load bearing or not, that is beginning to bow is a sign of a larger structural problem, often the foundation.
  • Strange odors. One of the signs that is not visual, yet can be a warning sign of foundation issues, is a strange or foul odor. This can be from mold and mildew growing in the home due to cracks in the walls and basement foundation.
  • Water pooling. If there is excess water pooling around the foundation or in the crawl space under the home, this is a sign of trouble. Excess water is one of the largest factors in foundation damage. 

At the first sign of possible foundation issues, call your local foundation repair contractor. They can inspect your home and foundation, then offer repair solutions to protect your home from further damage.

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

Apr
8

Is Your Porch, Steps or Deck Sinking?

Have you noticed a lean or sag in your front steps or stoop? Is your porch or deck uneven? These are common problems that happen when footings begin to sink or settle on older homes. Not only does this devalue your home aesthetically, it can be dangerous for you, your family and your guests. The good news is that these settling issues can be fixed, often without needing to replace the entire structure above.

Resolving Sinking or Settling Footings

The cause of most sinking or leaning porches, decks or steps is not the structure itself, but the footings or foundation that it is braced upon. Posts, footings and foundations will settle over time, allowing the structure above to become uneven. This can lead to many issues, including:

  • Cracked or uneven steps
  • Cracked or uneven porches or stoops
  • Leaning decks
  • Disconnected joints in railings

In many cases, an experienced masonry or foundation specialist can resolve the issue without needing to replace the entire structure. Foundation experts can use specialized equipment and techniques to permanently fix settling issues so that the base for footings or posts are level and secure. Those with expertise in masonry can also fix cracks and other damage caused by the settled foundation, making concrete or brick porches and steps safe and beautiful again.

If you have settling problems surrounding the entrances to your home, don’t wait to have them repaired. The more the posts, footings or foundations sink, the most damage they will cause to the structure. Call a foundation and masonry expert to evaluate the problem and offer solutions to get your steps, porch or deck back on even ground.

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

 

Feb
2

Do Your Masonry Walls Have Cracks?

If your home is built with masonry, there’s a good chance you will eventually see cracks appear on the walls. A small separation may be only a surface crack, with no real danger of affecting your home’s structure. On the other hand, the same small crack could also be a sign of bigger problems happening below the surface. There are a few common types of masonry cracks which can help you determine whether you should call a masonry expert for repairs.

Stair-Step Cracks

One of the most common cracks you will notice in masonry walls is the stair-step crack. These resemble the outline of a stairway, zig-zagging down the wall. Depending on where the crack is located, it may be caused by different factors, including:

  • Settlement. Homes will settle over time, causing cracks in the masonry. Most settlement cracks occur near the corners of the walls. While these are usually not a danger, they can leave the home open to infestation and other problems, so it’s best to have them repaired as quickly as possible.
  • Thermal expansion. Masonry is susceptible to expanding when heated, causing cracks in the walls. Most commonly, this happens on exterior walls exposed to afternoon sun. These can be located anywhere on the sun-exposed wall, and should be evaluated by a masonry expert.

The most dangerous crack scenarios are cracks combined with bowing or bulging walls. These walls may be in danger of falling, causing extensive damage to the structure and putting your family at risk of injury.

Any crack can be the start of more serious problems with your masonry walls. The best solution is to have all cracks evaluated and repaired by a masonry expert as soon you notice them around your home.

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

Dec
7

Garage Door Masonry Repairs

Cracks in the brick and mortar above garage doors can signal foundation settling or sagging of the lintel. Major settling will require foundation repair, but most cases are minor settlement issues and can be easily repaired by removing the damaged bricks and mortar and replacing them. It is important that any cracks in the bricks and mortar above the garage door(s), or any part of the home, be looked at and evaluated by a professional masonry company right away. Quick evaluation can save thousands of dollars and weeks of time in repair. 

The most important factor in any brick and mortar restoration once foundation issues have been eliminated or resolved is the mortar used. The replacement mortar requires more than just matching color. Improper mortar will not bond to the original mortar in the joints correctly, causing more damage to occur in the future. Cracks in the bricks and mortar above the garage must be carefully restored in order to ensure proper restoration and the longevity of the repair. Mortar that is too hard or too soft can crumble, crack, or deteriorate allowing re-cracking, additional damage, falling bricks, and even falling walls. 

Damage to the exterior walls of garage doors requires masonry repair. Masonry is thousands of years old, and it is the trusted method for all brick and mortar repairs to garage doors. If you have noticed a crack in your brick or mortar, contact a masonry contractor immediately. That crack could mean much more than a simple settling issue – it could indicate that the foundation of your home is compromised.

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

Nov
21

Will Your Chimney Last the Winter?

With the colder weather and holiday months upon us, it’s time to enjoy the heat that can only come from a roaring fire. However, to safely enjoy your fireplace, you must have a chimney which is properly functioning and in good repair. Over time, brick or stone chimneys can begin to lean, causing them to become an eyesore or worse, a hazard. If you have a chimney with structural problems, you need to have it repaired before it causes further damage to your home and ruins the upcoming holiday season. 

Causes of Leaning Chimneys

Brick or masonry chimneys that are leaning are a definite hazard, and need to be repaired. The heavy weight of these structures can cause them to become unstable, crumbling or toppling down with the pull of gravity or during a storm. This can cause damage to your home, property, and even injure a family member or pet. 

Most leaning chimneys are caused by a foundation problem. The footing the chimney rests upon may be sinking or cracking, making the chimney lean. An experienced foundation or chimney repair company can inspect your leaning chimney, and offer repair solutions before it causes more expensive damage to your home or family. It may need the footing repaired, as well as masonry repairs to the chimney, or even a full chimney replacement. 

Don’t let a leaning chimney ruin your holiday season. Have your leaning chimney repaired now to prevent any avoidable accidents.  Enjoy the winter months with a comforting fire, knowing your chimney is steady and stable, doing its job while you relax by the fireplace with your family.

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

 

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