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Hey folks, Tom DiGregorio, founder of AquaGuard Foundation Solutions. Today I want to talk about the importance of a quality covered gutter system, and three common myths people have about gutter guards. First of all, let me premise this by saying we’ve spent the last 24 years waterproofing basements and crawl spaces and fixing every kind of foundation repair problem. And I can tell you the number one reason why basements and crawl spaces leak and foundations settle, crack and bow is due to improperly channeled roof water. So obviously, making sure you have the right gutter protection system is invaluable when it comes to protecting your home, from the foundation all the way up. Now, the three myths that we hear all the time are, number one– I don’t have trees, so I don’t really need gutter protection. Well, you may not have trees, but your neighbors may have trees. When we get a windstorm, there’s debris flying around from all over the place that ultimately ends up on your roof and in your gutters. Then we have pollen, which is everywhere that time of the year and that too can add to the debris going in your gutters. And then we have the granules and any other debris coming off the roof that’s also clogging up the gutters. So you need to keep you gutter system as clean as possible at all times and really the only way to do that is with the right gutter protection system. The second myth is that gutter guards require installing new gutters. Well, sometimes that may be true, but it really depends on how old your gutters are and what condition they’re in. Remember the objective is to have a properly sized gutter installed correctly to capture all your roof water. You really need an expert to determine the proper product and application for your home. The third myth is that gutter guards just don’t work. And my answer to that is, “No, clogged gutter don’t work, but a properly installed quality gutter protection system does work.” Now there are a lot of components that go into designing the right gutter protection system. And if it’s not done properly, you could end up with a very poor performance on a system that you’re really counting on to do everything you need it to do. So, at the end of the day, if you really want to protect your home, you need to put a great gutter system on there with a great gutter cover system that works in conjunction with each other. The other big thing that we do that a lot of gutter companies don’t think about doing is not only where you drop the downspouts coming off of your gutters in areas that are going to be more conducive to better drainage but also taking that downspout wherever you have it and properly piping of off. So the hundreds to thousands of gallons that come out of these downspouts are well away from your foundation and protecting the long-term health of your home and foundation. If you have nay concerns about your gutter system not doing what you need it to do to protect your biggest investment, give us a call. We’ll be happy to come out and show you how GutterShutter is the best performing product for your home.
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Hey folks, Tom DiGregorio founder of AquaGuard Foundation Solutions. Today I want to talk about retaining walls and how they can potentially fail and why these are a little bit more susceptible than foundation walls. Now, retaining walls are typically walls that are retaining dirt. They might be attached to your home. They might be out in your yard, but they are typically not supporting the weight of the house. Which typically means there’s not something on top of these retaining walls. And they are very susceptible, like any other wall, to that lateral pressure, hydrostatic pressure, pushing on that wall where it can literally just fall right over. So it’s particularly important that you pay close attention to these early stages of some of the symptoms of cracking, bending, you might even see the wall leaning a little bit. Which is not unusual. It’s important that you be very proactive with these things. We do have methods that we can stabilize and in some cases straighten these walls. But if you wait too long it’s going to really leave you with pretty much just total replacement as the only option. So if you think you have any of these issues on your retaining walls, give us a call. We’d be happy to come out for a completely free inspection and give you back your peace of mind.
Hey folks, Tom DiGregorio founder of AquaGuard Foundation Solutions. Today I want to talk about bowing foundation walls, in particular block wall construction. So if your basement or crawl space is built out of a block wall construction then you really need to pay attention to this one. When a block wall is surrounded with a lot of water, that hydrostatic pressure builds up and pushes laterally against that wall. And it literally breaks it. And typically your first signs might be a tiny or very narrow horizontal crack that you might just be able to stick a business card in. But what happens with increased pressure over time, that crack can open wider and then can actually close based on the weather conditions. So if it’s really rainy out for a period of time, that crack may open up. And then if it’s dry for a period of time, then it can close up. And that can give you a false sense of confidence. But much like a paperclip, that when you bend a few times, it ultimately snaps and breaks. And that’s what can happen with your foundation wall if left unattended. And that’s what we call total wall blowout. And that’s where your concrete blocks are now sitting in your basement or your crawl space. So, obviously you don’t ever want to let it get to that point. So, if you’re concerned about any of these types of cracks in your foundation wall, please give us a call. We’ll be happy to come out for a completely free inspection of your foundation wall and give you back your peace of mind.
Hey folks, Tom DiGregorio founder of AquaGuard Foundation Solutions. You know, one of the questions we get asked all the time is, “How much does foundation repair cost?” In fact, it’s one of the most commonly searched terms on the internet, and it’s a great question to ask but not an easy one to answer. Until a true professional comes out and assesses the situation, nobody’s going to really know. But the cost of not doing anything about it can be a lot more. Quite honestly, these problems never get better by themselves and typically they can get worse over time. Which can definitely cost you more in the long run. To have us out to give you a completely free honest evaluation as to what your problem is and what your problem isn’t, cost you nothing. Then at least you have the peace of mind knowing what you’re dealing with and then budget accordingly. I can tell you a lot people are really quite surprised at the cost not being anywhere near as much as they thought it was. They think it’s my foundation. It’s big. It’s important. It must be expensive to fix. A lot of times they aren’t. And sometimes they are. But if they are, doing nothing isn’t doing anything but taking your biggest investment and really putting it in jeopardy. So do yourself a favor and have us out for a full and honest evaluation and let us give you back your peace of mind.
Hey folks, Tom DiGregorio, founder ofAquaGuardFoundation Solutions. Today I want to talk about foundation wall cracks and when you should be concerned about them. Now typically we have two types of foundation wall construction: We have block wall construction and poured wall construction. Let’s start with block wall construction first. Now when it comes to block walls, almost any crack could be a potential problem. So if you see a horizontal crack or a vertical crack or diagonal cracks or stair-step cracking, those are all signs or symptoms of what could be either a settlement issue or bending wall failure—something you definitely want to get looked at sooner than later. Now when it comes to a poured wall, understand that there are a lot of normal cracks in poured walls. It could be little shrinkage cracks or little hairline cracks that might be susceptible to water intrusion, but typically not a structural issue. But if you’re noticing cracks that are much wider that you could stick a nickel or a quarter into, or god forbid one of your little fingers in, or if you see diagonal cracks or vertical or horizontal cracks, or the cracks are so severe that you see one side of the crack is sticking out a little bit further than another, what we call “in shear,” then that is definitely something you want looked it. So if you notice any of these cracks in your foundation walls, be proactive, give us a call. We’d be happy to come out and do a completely free inspection of your foundation and give you peace of mind.
Hi, Tom DiGregorio, founder of AquaGuard Foundation Solutions. Today I want to talk about hydrostatic pressure. What is it, and what kinds of problems does it cause? Well hydrostatic pressure has to do with the amount of pressure that’s created typically around the foundation of your home. You have dirt, when you add a lot of water, that water has to find a way to relieve itself or level itself and, in doing so, creates a tremendous amount of pressure on your foundation walls. Kind of an abstract example of that is if you’re in a swimming pool and you have a ball in your hand and you push that ball just below the surface, it’s not too hard to hold it. But the further you push it down, the harder it is for you to hold, and then when you let go of it that ball just comes flying out of the water, relieving itself because of the pressure that was created. Same type of thing kinda happens with water around your foundation. When that pressure builds up to such an extent, it can literally push water through the tiniest of cracks in a poured foundation wall. That pressure can also push so strong laterally, especially on a block wall, that it will literally bend and bow a block wall. So if you think you have any of these kinds of problems, please give us a call before it’s too late. Have us out for a completely free inspection of your home and give you back peace of mind.
Hi, my name is Joe Rusk, co-owner of AquaGuard Foundation Solutions. Today I want to talk about dry rot. What is it? How does it affect my home? And how do we get rid of it? So let’s start with the what.
Dry rot is a wood decay caused by a fungus that only affects wood that is excessively damp, with a moisture content greater than 15–20%. Dry rot leaves the wood brittle, cracked, weakened. And since wood is used in your crawl space to support your home, what is the result? Well, the result can be a host of structural problems. Homeowners often experience sagging floors, damage to floor tiles, trip hazards in the home, cracks in drywall upstairs, and in extreme cases, failure of the floor structure itself. Unfortunately, once afflicted there’s no return for dry rot. The only fix is to cut it out and replace it which can be very expensive. And worse, if the conditions that caused the dry rot (excess moisture) are not rectified, it will happen over and over again to the new wood that’s put down there. So, what’s the cure? Well, the cure is to control water and moisture in the crawl space. Any water intrusion must be stopped by installing a complete and permanent waterproofing system, and high humidity must also be controlled so as not to exceed 55–60%. You see, if we can eliminate the water and control high humidity in the crawl space, dry rot can become a thing of the past—maintaining a healthy, structurally sound home and avoiding more serious problems down the road. If you think you’re noticing dry rot in your crawl space, give us a call for a free inspection. We’d be happy to stop out get you started with some ideas on how to get you back on the path to a dry, healthy home. Have a great day from all of us at AquaGuard Foundation Solutions.
Hi I’m Joe Rusk, co-owner of AquaGuard Foundation Solutions. Today I want to talk about something that’s usually at the top of the list when homeowners call us regarding water or dampness in their basement or crawl space. And that’s Mold. What causes it and how to get rid of it.
You see, mold comes from mold spores and those spores are all around us everyday. But in order to grow, mold needs two things: dead organic material and moisture. You see, mold has a purpose, and its purpose is to breakdown and eat dead organic material to rid it from the earth. That’s what mold does. Well the problem is our basements and crawl spaces are fill with organic material. Mold loves paper, boxes, furniture and clothing. Mold loves plywood and paneling and lumber. And mold really loves drywall. And the higher the concentration of mold, the more it affects us humans in the forms of allergies, asthma and respiratory illnesses.
Since we can’t empty our homes of organic material, the only factor that we can control is the moisture and humidity in our homes. You see, mold needs a moisture or humidity content of about 55 to 60 percent in order to grow. Do you want to control mold and create a healthier home for your family? Then you need to control the moisture and humidity in your basement or crawl space.
So if you’re concerned about mold in your basement or crawl space, give us a call. We’d be happy to help. Have a great day from all of us at AquaGuard Foundation Solutions.
Hi I’m Joe Rusk, co-owner of Aquaguard Foundation Solutions. You know, excess humidity is often the unseen enemy that wreaks havoc in a crawl space and up in the home itself. Crawl spaces are typically cooler than outside air during the summer because damp exposed dirt in the crawl space typically sits at 55 degrees all year. So when you bring warm humid air into a crawl space that air gets cooled and the relative humidity goes way up. Many years ago venting was added to the building codes, as a way to combat excess moisture and humidity. You see the thought was if we have more air flow, we’ll have less humidity. Well, they were wrong. During those hot summer days, those vents let hot humid air into the crawlspace. During damp wet rainy days, those vents let damp air in. Cold winter days? Those vents let ice cold air into the crawl space and at least 50% of this air flows up into the house. So, what’s the result? Mold growth, rot, odors, unhealthy air and increased HVAC bills.
What’s the answer? The answer is a dry, sealed encapsulated crawl space, with a commercial grade dehumidification system that can clean the air, and maintain the humidity at a safe and healthy level. Don’t let excessive humidity wreak havoc on your home and the health of your family. Give us a call, we’d be happy to stop out and address the reason why you have high humidity in your home.
Have a great day from all of us, at Aquaguard Foundation Solutions.
Hi I’m Joe Rusk, co-owner of AquaGuard Foundation Solutions. Have you ever seen a home that had permanent vent covers installed over the crawl space vents? Ever wonder why? I mean, weren’t those vents put there for a reason?
Well yes they were, you see years ago the installation of vents became code to help combat high humidity and mold growth and dry rot in vented dirt crawl spaces. These vents unfortunately, unintentionally made the problem worse, by allowing hot humid air to enter the crawl space during the summer, damp air to enter the crawl space during rainy days and cold air in the winter time; conditions were created for even more mold growth, dry rot and odors to attack the building envelope. In addition, heating and cooling bills soared due to HVAC systems having to compete with the outdoor air pouring into the crawl space all year long.
I mean, you wouldn’t leave your doors and windows to your basement open right? So think about sealing the vents to your crawl space as one important step toward encapsulation and creating a healthier, more efficient home for you and your family. If you have a question call us, and have a great day from all of us here at Aquaguard Foundation Solutions.
Hi I’m Joe Rusk, co-owner of Aquaguard Foundation Solutions. Have you ever noticed unwanted pests in your home, or should I say rather underneath it? Bugs and critters love the dark moist environments that exist in damp wet crawl spaces. Termites love wet wood. Spiders love eating other bugts and insects that are usually plentiful in damp dirt crawl spaces, snakes mice and rats love them too.
And did you know that the number 1 allergen in the home comes from dust mite droppings? Tiny dust mites do not drink water, they actually absorb it from the damp wet air. Damp wet high humidity crawl spaces helps them thrive upstairs in the home. So dry out the crawl space air, and you dry out the air upstairs which helps eliminate those pesky bugs.
A dry, encapsulated crawl space with controlled humidity will send all those pesky bugs and rodents looking for another place to live. Hope that helps, have a great day from all of us, at Aquaguard Foundation Solutions.
Hi I’m Joe Rusk, co-owner of Aquaguard Foundation Solutions. Today I want to talk about crawl space drainage. Vented dirt crawl spaces are just that. They’re short spaces beneath the home, that allow moisture and water to just sit there and attack the building envelope. Standing water is never a good idea in a crawlspace. Mold, dry rot, bugs odors, all find their way straight up into the living space of the home. Good drainage is a must, and we have a great drainage system here at Aquaguard. It’s called EZ Flow! EZ Flow is a 3’’ drain tile with several inches more of an engineered aggregate wrapped in filter fabric to keep the drain clean and water flowing.
EZ Flow is installed around the perimeter of the crawl space, as well as any lateral areas that may be holding water. The drainage is run to a custom-designed sump pump system with a battery backup that discharges the water a safe distance away from the home. Proper drainage will keep standing water out of the crawl space, and that is one important step in eliminating the damaging effects of water.
So if you’re noticing water in your crawl space, give us a call we’d be happy to stop out for a free no-obligation estimate. Have a great day from all of us at Aquaguard Foundation Solutions.
Hi I’m Joe Rusk, co-owner of Aquaguard Foundation Solutions. Do you care about the air that you and your family breathe in your home? Of course you do. That means that you need to learn a little bit more about the stack effect.
The stack effect creates an airflow in your home from the bottom to the top. As warm air rises it tends to leak out the upper levels of the home and new air must enter to replace the air that was lost. The fact is that half of the air, in a typically well insulated home, escapes the home through the roof rafters each hour. This creates a suction effect on the lower levels of the home to replace that air. As a result, building scientists say that up to 50% of the air you breathe upstairs, comes from the crawl space or basement downstairs. So whatever is in the crawl space or basement, is up in your home. It effects you and your family. High humidity downstairs? You’re going to have higher humidity upstairs. Mold downstairs? Likely you’re going to have mold spores upstairs. Odors downstairs? You get the picture.
You need to care about the air in your crawl space or basement, even if you don’t go down there. If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call and have us out; we’d be happy to take a look. That’s it for now, until next time have a great day from all of us at Aquaguard Foundation Solutions.
Hey everyone, today we’re going to talk about the different repair methods for foundation settlement issues, and typically we’re talking about helical piers, or push piers. And today I want to talk about push piers, and when to apply them. You know, a lot of companies have the one size fits all kind of repair methods and it’s important that you know we have various repair methods based on the type of your construction and the lay of the land around your home. Now when it comes to a push pier, these are typically used for heavier structures; a home that might have a 9ft foundation wall with a 2 story brick house on top of it there’s a lot of weight involved there and these push piers are designed to be driven deep into the ground using that weight of the home as resistance, to allow us to drive these piers deep down into the soil to where we get down to what we call bedrock or load bearing strata. And what that means is that we’re at a point where we can now safely shift the weight of the house, off the soil which has failed it in the first place, onto our piering and our bracket system. And once all the piers are in place that we need, we then will pressure them up and stabilize that foundation and in some cases based on circumstances, we even lift it.
Most importantly, you now will have a guaranteed, life of the structure, nationally backed transferrable warranty that says your foundation will never settle anymore.
So if you think you may have foundation settlement issues give us a call; we’ll be happy to come out and do a completely free no obligation inspection of your foundation and let you know exactly what condition your foundation is in whether there’s nothing to worry about of if it’s something that’s going to need some foundation repair.
Hey everyone, today we’re going to talk about the different repair methods for foundation settlement issues, and typically we’re talking about helical piers, or push piers. And why that’s important for you to know, is that we’re not a company that one size fits all. We have several different repair methods that the same type of problem based on the construction of your home, and the lay of the land around your home. The product we want to talk about first is helical piers.
Helical piers are typically used for lighter structures, meaning maybe it’s a crawl space wall that’s only 3 or 4 ft vs a 9ft poured wall on a 2 story home. So when the structure is lighter in nature we’re going to use a helical pier which is a foundation pier that has helixes basically welded around the outside of a tube that looks much like a big screw, if you will, and we hydraulically drive these into the ground until we get to what we call load bearing strata or bedrock. That means we can now safely transfer the weight of the home, off of the soil that has failed it, and onto our pier and our bracket which fits underneath your foundation, your footing in particular, and then we can now effectively stabilize and in some cases lift your foundation back into place. Most importantly, you’ll now have a guaranteed life of the structure, nationally backed, transferrable warranty that says your foundation will never settle anymore.
So if you think you may have foundation settlement issues give us a call we’re happy to come out and do a completely free, no obligation inspection of your foundation and let you know exactly what condition your foundations in, whether its nothing to worry about or something that’s going to need some foundation repair.
Hey folks, today we’re going to talk about a leaning or settling chimney. Now when I say chimney, I’m not talking the kind that are prefabbed. I’m talking about the kind that are literally constructed from the ground up. They typically will have an interior frame of concrete block and then they are faced with brick or stone and they’re very heavy. And the weight of that chimney is totally dependent upon on the condition of the soil that it’s sitting on. And many times the builder didn’t anticipate the weight of that chimney and the impact that it may have on the soil. It could also be a chimney that’s built on top of fill dirt. And fill dirt, what I mean by that is if you have an original basement or crawlspace wall they over-excavated your lot and, when they backfilled, it was just fill dirt. And they didn’t compact it anywhere near like it was with the virgin soil originally.
So when you have that tremendous amount of weight on top of the soil, you’re going to see symptoms like the chimney literally leaning away from the foundation. Pulling away from the house itself. You might see some cracking in the stone or the brick itself. It’s definitely not going to look right.
So if you think you have something going on with your chimney, give us a call. We’ll be happy to come for a completely free, no obligation assessment of your chimney. Let you know if you have anything going on and what your options are for repair.
Today folks were going to talk about roof water and the impact it has on our foundations. You know, most people don’t realize that the number one reason why basements and crawlspaces the leak and foundations crack, settle, and bow are due to improperly channeled roof water. Now this home here is a great example of that. We’ve got this roofline that has no gutter on it. I’m not sure it ever had a gutter on it. And the impact of that over the years is we’ve had hundreds of thousands of gallons of water all located right in this area with no place for it to go. So as you can see a result of all that water over the years has literally created this massive sinkhole. And the type of soils we have here in Georgia are expansive soils and, what’s important about that is that means that they expand when they get wet and they contract when they dry. And that constant expansion and contraction ultimately allows the soil underneath this footing, which is what’s supporting this section of the house, to shrinking contract and pull away from the bottom of the footing which is what that footing is counting on to support this house. That’s the reason why over a number of years this foundation is actually settled and, we’re here today doing a repair job to stabilize this foundation from any further settlement. All a result of improperly channeled roof water.
Okay, folks. Here we are just another day at the office. Well, not really. If you look behind me we’ve got a very very interesting job we’re doing here today. We’ve got a beautiful home that is actually built on a slab foundation. And the dirt underneath it is being supported by this retaining wall. And what has happened over the years is that the soil has become compromised. So our job is to come in here and to stabilize this with our helical pier system. Now that’s gonna be a real challenge because we have to get these piers on the backside of this retaining wall, but underneath the slab of the home. So one of the real challenges here that we’re running into and ready to rise to the challenge is installing conventional repair methods with very unconventional construction. So, what our plan here is to install our helical piers one at a time, starting on that end of the house, stabilizing that section of this slab. Then move over and dig another hole. We’ll end up having to remove some of this retaining wall, so we can actually get behind it because it gets much tighter to the house. So, once we remove a section of the wall, we will then install a second helical pier, support that slab and then move over and continue right down this corner here. So we will install a total of five helical piers. So as you can see this is not a job for the faint of heart or just anybody who claims they do foundation repair. When it comes to your home and what amounts to your biggest investment that you may make in your life, you want to have a company that you know is going to do it right, the first time, with a warranty you can count on. And that’s the advantage you get when you’re doing business with AquaGuard Foundation Solutions.
Good morning folks we’re here on this beautiful Monday morning here in Midtown Atlanta, and we’ve got a gorgeous historic home built in the 1920s. And there are some things on this home we want you to look out for that kind of typify what it is we look for when there could be potential foundation problems. Now if you look over here, you’ll notice on this brick veneer that you’ll see that there’s some horizontal cracking where it’s actually separated right at the motor joint. And there’s some more of it up there as well. And that is the symptom that this foundation is actually settling vertically, and of course, this brick being is rigid as it has no choice but to crack with it. So if you see cracks like this in your brick veneer, give us a call. These are symptoms you really want to be proactive with. Better safe than sorry. Have us come out to a completely free inspection of your foundation, and if there’s an issue we’ll let you know and if it’s something you need to just monitor we’re going to let you know that as well.
Hey folks, we’re here at this beautiful stucco home in South Atlanta and I want to talk to you about something that is very important to the health of your foundation and happens to do with your roof water and properly channeled roof water. It’s the number one reason why basements and crawl spaces leak, foundation settle, crack and bow, and we’ve got a lot of other situations going on here as well. If you look behind me, we’ve got three different levels of rooflines. Now each one of these rooflines have their own separate gutter that drops it down to the next roofline, and drops it down to the next roofline. And all of that water, in a heavy rainstorm can be thousands of gallons of water, is all supposed to come out of this one down spot here on my right. The reality of it is it’s not really working that way. Number one, we’re in a heavily wooded area. This customer went ahead and put gutter caps on their gutters, which is a really good system, typically, but in this case, it may be restricting the amount of water that’s coming off of this steep pitched roof and into these gutters. And if any water, which we think is happening here, is cascading over the top of that gutter, it’s just completely loading this area up with water in a heavy rainstorm. What’s the downside of that? Well, there’s multiple things going on here. First of all, we know that this water not only is not getting into the gutter, but it’s running down the side of the stucco. And that stucco is absorbing this into the home and on the other side of this stucco, especially in the crawlspace, there’s particle board. And that particle board, over the years, is literally completely rotted away. Secondly, this land right behind me, as you notice, has no grass here and there’s never going to be grass here under these circumstances. Because there’s so much water that is cascading over the gutters and just landing in this area here that this area is never going to really grow grass. Which isn’t the end of the world. But because this stays so soft over the course of the year and then dries up when we have these drought conditions, we get this expansion and contraction reaction, and ultimately what’s now happening is this stoop to my left is actually settling. And the only thing supporting those steps is the soil that were standing on. These gutters are actually causing a lot of problems. Rotten wood on the other side of the stucco; we’ve got settlement going on here under these steps. And the crawl space on the other side here has had a lot of ground water saturation and a lot of ground water seepage coming in from the outside. So it required, obviously, a drainage system as well. This is important for you to understand. These are situations and circumstances that you can do on your own. Look around your house, look at your gutters, look at your downspouts. Make sure they’re properly piped off away from your home and prevent what could be thousands of dollars of damage and repair to your home. If you have any more questions or concerns about your gutters or downspouts, feel free to give us a call. We’re here to help.
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