All About Basement Crack Repair

Basement crack repair can be a minimal job or it can mean something bigger and more costly. When you speak to a contractor get an estimate of what he thinks the costs will be and get a couple of estimates. Labor will be much of the cost incurred. You may even need to get an engineer to look at your property if the cracking is really bad.

An estimate will be made up of many factors and is based on the square footage of your home. You may have a combination of skilled and unskilled labor doing the work. You will need to determine the cause of the crack and eliminate this first. This can also entail the expertise of a plumber if the cause is a leak. If you have any damage to floors you may also have to employ a floor installer.

The least expensive bid may not be the best one. Get references on the contractor before you make a decision. Make sure and check the licences of the contractors as well.

At the same time you might check for termites or other pests that could be in the area. If you live in an area prone to earthquakes you might also consider having your home earth-quake proofed. You can do this by installing seismic anchor bolts.

Cracks that are larger than 1/4 of an inch and are increasing in size or if you note that there is movement it should be evaluated by a professional. To repair a crack that is not a result of movement or structural problems or conditions you can use sealant or epoxy products to fill the area in. They can seal against water leakage and can be used to repair the cracks. Chip out the crack and apply the masonry compound to the surface or use sealants or epoxies. If you have leaks caused by water entering at the foundation a polyurethane foam sealant can be used to stop the water from entering.

A structural engineer may be necessary if the cause of the foundation problem needs to be identified and you are unable to do so. If you have a repair done that is not engineered properly it can cause stress points and they in turn can cause secondary structural issues at a later date. An engineer will develop a report that the contractor can follow. You should ask the engineer about your soil, you could have problems due to drought conditions that have caused shrinkage and have caused an area to sink. This can create stress in the foundation showing itself as a crack.

This problem can be repaired with a water injection method. It involves drilling six inch diameter holes approximately 4 to 5 feet in the ground and filling them with gravel to within an inch of the top. Only do this if your engineer feels that your soil is shrinking and swelling.

Some foundation problems can be fixed with the addition of steel to … Read More

Home Renovation – Weatherstripping For Windows

With winter fast approaching, many homeowners are looking for ways to cut down on drafts in order to keep warm and maintain a handle on energy costs. One of the fastest, easiest, and cheapest ways for homeowners to cut down on energy consumption, and one of the first Energy Star home renovation recommendations is to seal all windows. Energy Star estimates that homeowners can save as much as 10 percent on their annual heating and cooling bills with an effective sealing and insulating home improvement project.

Having checked their windows for air leaks, homeowners will need to consider a number of factors before heading off to purchase weatherstripping. In order to determine how much weatherstripping a home will need, homeowners will need to measure the perimeters of all windows in the house, and then add approximately 10 percent to their figure to account for waste and cutting mistakes.

With an amount of weatherstripping in mind, homeowners must choose the type of weatherstripping that they wish to use. There are a number of options available, but the most important rule here is one of common sense – homeowners must consider the use of the window which they are sealing when considering a type of weatherstripping for their home improvement project. For example, weatherstripping destined for a window sash must take into consideration the fact that the window still has to be able to freely slide up and down to open and close. Therefore, the weatherstripping must be thin enough to allow the window to open and close, while still sealing well when the window is closed. Likewise, due to their differing movements, casement windows will likely require a different type of weatherstripping, one that allows them to be cranked closed easily.

The next step in this home renovation window-sealing project is to determine what material weatherstripping will best suit the needs of the homeowners. This is where things can get a bit complicated, as there are a myriad of options here. One idea is to select a material based on the location of the window. For example, open-cell foam and felt foam weatherstripping are usually susceptible to weather, visible, and somewhat inefficient, however, they are also extremely cheap, making them a good option for windows that are not often used and do not have serious problems with drafts. Vinyl weatherstripping is more expensive, but is far more durable and moisture resistant, making it a good option for wet climates and windows that receive a great deal of use.

Other popular options for windows include tape, which is cheap and easy to install, although not very durable, and magnetic weatherstripping, which is an excellent sealant, and virtually indestructible, although one of the most expensive options available. In the middle with regard to durability are reinforced silicone, fin seals, and tension seals, amongst others.

Upon choosing a material, homeowners are ready to install their weatherstripping. This is generally a simple process, with common sense dictating a couple of tips. The first … Read More