Stone Foundation Repair – What to Do?

Owning an historic property with an old stone foundation can be an interesting experience. Those with a strong will and a sound pocketbook can be true caretakers of a piece of history. The foundation of that history is the simple, bold and strong field stone foundation wall.

Older buildings with a stone foundation will generally have the original stone facing visible on the exterior and interior of the building. However it was common to apply a coating of plaster to the interior foundation wall in the basement area, as a means of waterproofing so the stone may not be visible from inside of the building.

Most of the original plaster would have worn off by today but if you are lucky, you just may run across an old stone foundation still in pristine condition but this would be the exception.

Usually after 30 – 50 years the foundation would have shifted cause cracks to appear in the foundation wall and it wasn’t uncommon to apply a second to the foundation with a masonry cement stucco. If the second layer is cement stucco than it would indicate that the second coating must have been applied after the early 1900’s, when mass produced cement stucco became available.

Regardless if plaster or stucco was applied to the walls, they will look lumpy as the individual stones shapes will show beneath the plaster or stucco.

What to look for -A lot of these older stone foundations were never well maintained and can challenge a building owner with problems ranging from water leakage, mortar turning into sand, loose stones and bulging walls. Anything beyond these few maintenance problems could be considered ‘in failure’ and may need an engineer’s inspection.

Stone foundation walls that leak – It wasn’t uncommon for these old stone foundation walls to leak. When they were originally constructed a hole was simply dug to the dimensions of the building and a trench dug where the walls were to be placed. Large field stones would be placed in the trench and became the bed stones of the foundation wall.

Drain tile were not in use around the foundations of older building so static pressure would have been a problem from the beginning depending or the soil type and topography. A high quality builder would have trenched to daylight from the low corner of the building site to take water away from the foundation, if the site permitted. The trench would be partially filled with rubble stones before covering but this simply drainage technique would be an exception and not the rule.

Most of the older homes were constructed high off the ground to keep moisture to a minimum. The basement area for these homes where never intended to be used as living space so a little moisture would have been common and of no concern.

Stone foundation wall problems – Decades of water infiltration will cause deterioration to the stone foundation walls. The result can be bulged walls from excessive static pressure or settlement of the foundation, deteriorated mortar joints from excessive moister or loose stones and missing mortar joints from simple aging and movement.

Bulged walls – This problem presents the biggest hurdle for a building owner depending on the degree and severity of the bulging problem and the location within the foundation wall. Generally though, a portion of the foundation wall can be removed and rebuilt but proper shoring must be in place to support the building load before you proceed. This should not be out of the range of an experienced mason contractor and you should seek their advice.

Loose stones and missing mortar – These items are simple to remedy. Loose stones should be taken out and re-set with fresh mortar. Care should be taken not to undermine any critical support areas within the foundation. If you suspect an area of loose stone is carrying a beam load or other loads then consult a professional for advice.

Holes and missing joints can be filled with mortar or tuck-pointed to help tighten the foundation walls. Any brand of masons mix available at the local box store should be adequate.

After you have completed the repairs mentioned above you may wish to apply another layer of cement stucco. This will help to smooth out imperfections, close small holes, ‘stiffen’ the walls surface and hopefully provide some protection against water leaks.

Check the foundation annually and make any necessary repairs immediately. By taking immediate action and implementing the repairs recommended above you will be one step closer to keeping that old, stone foundation in shape.

Foundation Repair Training

Foundation repair is the most complicated and the most expensive type of repair your home will ever need. This is the reason why many people to school to get training specifically to specifically become a foundation repair contractor. This type of course is very difficult and expensive, however, the rewards that comes with finishing the training is immense.

What you need to learn:

The most important skill you will learn in these training courses is how to spot the damage. You will be trained to see the signs of damage and the proper techniques on how to remedy the situation.

Foundation damage is very hard to detect due to the fact that the real damage is generally hidden from the naked eye of the untrained professionals. You will need to be specially trained to distinguish ordinary cracks on the concrete or bricks from serious foundation damage.

Another thing you will need to learn is how to determine the proper repair methods. There are many different ways to fix foundations damage, all depend on what type of damage it is, the location of the damage, and the strength of the surrounding soil around your home is. As a trained contractor you will need to take all of these factors and formulate a solution to the problem. This is very important due to the fact that the wrong repair method will do nothing to fix the situation for the homeowner, and cause them unnecessary aggravation.

Requirements:

In some locations, contractors that work on foundations need to pass a test and receive a license from the state, whereas, in other areas you will only need a license if your repair works will cost more than $30,000. However, some states do not regulate contractors that work on foundations. They do not need to get a license in order to work on foundations in these places.

Importance Of Refrigerator Repair Services

A refrigerator is an essential and useful appliance in every home, hospital, restaurant, hotel and office. It has multiple uses and should run continuously, night and day, to keep things inside it fresh and cold. It is important that the refrigerator gets regular maintenance to make sure that it remains functional for a long time.

Since a refrigerator remains functional 24/7, it can break down or become dysfunctional at some point of time. It might break down either due to a part being faulty or lack of proper maintenance. Breaking down of a refrigerator can cause a lot of discomfort. It needs to be repaired as soon as possible, or food and other things may rot. In such a situation, it is important to hire one of the professional refrigerator repair services for fixing the problem. A professional will make sure that the refrigerator is repaired properly and the same problem does not occur again. Hiring a professional refrigerator repair service becomes important as the refrigerator preserves the food products for a long period. If it gets out of order, you will be devoid of enjoying fresh and cold food products.

Gone are the days when refrigerator used to be considered a luxury. It has now become a necessity in every household, regardless of the financial status. Also, it is an essential appliance in commercial establishments. The importance of refrigerator in a person’s daily life cannot be denied. Therefore, timely maintenance and repair of this appliance by professional company providing refrigeration repair services becomes very essential.

What to Look for in a Refrigerator Repair Service?

  • Considering the importance of a refrigerator in our daily lives, it is important that the refrigerator repair services are available even after normal business hours. This is to make sure that if the refrigerator breaks down at odd hours, it can be attended well on time.
  • Repairing a refrigerator requires technical knowledge and expertise. The service you hire should have professionals who are adequately qualified and experienced. They should have the knowledge of repairing refrigerators of all major brands and models.
  • The professional attending the refrigerator should have all the essential tools and equipment to allow him to complete the repair work then and there. The technician should be well-equipped and capable of finishing the repair work within the premises of the client.
  • The technicians of the repair company should only use genuine spare parts.

Select a refrigerator repair service that makes sure that your refrigerator works properly and efficiently and offers maximum customer satisfaction.

Signs You May Need an AC Repair Service

Hiring a professional for AC repair service can be expensive but if you do general maintenance on your AC unit, you can reduce the AC repair service calls. One of the most effective and simplest ways to keep your AC running efficiently is to change the filter at least once a month. When a filter is clogged or dirty it will make your air conditioner work much harder. Buying new filters are easy on your budget, will help to extend the life of your air conditioner, and help to lower your utility bill. You should also make sure that the fins and AC coils on the outside of the unit are clear of obstruction and clean. Sometimes debris such as leaves accumulate around the AC unit so your unit will have to work harder to function. To clean it just use a broom and a regular garden hose but do not use a pressure washer. It could harm the system with the strong spray.

Even if you do regular maintenance on your air conditioner unit, there still may be times that you will need to call an AC repair service company. Here are some signs to look and listen for that might indicate the need for service.

• If it does not work at all, look to see if the thermostat is put on the “cool” position. Make sure that the cooling temperature is not higher than the home or room temperature. If those two things are okay then it could be a breaker has not tripped. After checking all of these and your AC unit is still not running you should call an AC repair service.

• If you can hear it operating but has no or little cool air coming from the vents and the thermostat is at a practical temperature there could be a problem inside the unit.

• Most air conditioners make some noise that seems like a normal part of the environment but if it starts to make strange unusual noises you should call the repair service

• If you start to notice strange smells coming from the AC unit, it could be an indication that there is mold, mildew, or dirt inside the unit. The contaminated air that AC is putting out will circulate through the house and could cause health problems. This problem should be addressed as soon as possible.

• Air conditioners normally cycle off and on to retain a steady temperature throughout the home. If the temperature outside is not warmer than usual and it starts to turn off and on more frequently than it usually does this could indicate that there is a problem with the AC unit.

• You notice water is leaking around or in the unit

How To Write A Repair Request – It’s In The Details

Disclaimer: While your Realtor may draft a repair request for you, or you may do it yourself, I strongly recommend seeking competent guidance from an attorney who specializes in real estate matters. Real estate agents cannot give legal advice unless specifically qualified to do so.

One of the major components of any quality real estate sales and purchase contract is the inspection contingencies. Once you have agreed to the basic terms and conditions with a seller, you should have allowed yourself a reasonable time period to fully inspect the property using any resource you see fit. It is very typical to find numerous items that may need attention during this period and you must decide what should be repaired and what you can deal with later.

The sales and purchase contract should have detailed instructions on how to handle any requests for repairs, and you should review these instructions with your Realtor before drafting a repair request. Failing to follow these instructions can be just a bad as failing to adequately express your expectations. Make sure you understand what you must do and what your recourse could be or you may end up purchasing a property with significant defects.

Let’s develop a scenario to use as an example of the many possible solutions to finding problems and getting them satisfactorily resolved. One situation I recently observed a friend go through with the sale of her home was the repair of a ceiling with water damage from a previous water leak. The buyers noticed the stain on the ceiling and the seller had disclosed the fact the roof had leaked and was repaired. The seller had sufficient documentation to prove this fact and provided it to the buyers.

The buyers took issue with the condition of the ceiling during the inspection phase and make a request to have the ceiling repaired. The exact wording of the repair request was “seller to repair ceiling in the living room”. This request was properly presented to the seller according to the contract and was agreed upon by both parties. At this point, all parties involved were content with the the status of the transaction.

Obviously, for this to be a good example for our discussion, something has to go wrong, right? Well, something did go wrong, and it led to some very heated arguments and accusations. The buyers’ intentions with the repair request was to have the ceiling opened up, inspected for further water damage and mold, and then repaired and painted to match the surrounding ceiling. The seller’s intention was to replace the affected area on the ceiling with new drywall and mud, but not repaint or inspect for other damage.

Now, re-read the exact wording of the repair request. Who has the correct interpretation of the intent of the request? The seller or the buyer? In my opinion, both viewed the extremely vague wording of the request to their advantage and failed to recognize the other party’s intentions. Both could be correct, but since money and time are involved, neither side wished to give in to the other.

The seller did exactly as I stated and had the stain removed from the ceiling and did not repaint. When the buyers came through the house on their 24 hour prior to close walk-through, they saw the ceiling and immediately protested. This led to an escalating argument that culminated with a war at the closing table over the meaning of the repair request. It was ultimately determined that the seller had complied with the letter of the request and the buyers were left with no further recourse.

What can we learn from this specific transaction? I hope the first and most important thing you learn is to write extremely detailed, well though-out repair requests. My personal suggestion in this case would be to have written… “Seller to repair stain on the ceiling in the living room. Seller to have repair made by a reputable company with a successful history in this sort of repair. Seller to have the ceiling inspected for further damage caused by the previous roof leak and to inform the buyer immediately if any water damage or mold is present. Buyer shall have the right to make further requests for repairs should other damage be found. Seller to have repair completely and accurately documented and shall transfer any warranties that accompany the repair. Seller shall repaint the ceiling to match the surrounding ceiling.”

I don’t claim to have the perfect request for repairs in this situation, but I think both parties would have had a much better understanding of the intentions of the buyers and it is possible to have alleviated some of the contention at closing if wording more similar to this had been used. When you need to make a request for repairs in a real estate transaction, make sure you have considered all of the details and it is very explicitly and clearly written on paper. I would even consider consulting with a home inspector and attorney to help with the language.

I hope you find this information helpful and will be very careful when making requests for repairs in your next real estate transaction…

Why Do You Need Appliance Repair Services?

Has your washing machine stopped working? Does your television show blurred images from time to time? Does your iron get overheated and burn your expensive clothes by sticking to them? Don’t worry; there is a solution for all these problems. A solution that is quick and efficient. There are a number of companies and repair professionals who can fix these defective appliances at affordable prices.

Appliances are a major part of our life. They can make household chores easy and fast and they can help you save your time, energy, and efforts. The downside is that no matter how you clean and care for your appliances, they are bound to break down at some point.

Some parts of the damaged appliances may need repair or replacement and doing this can make the appliances work smoothly again. It is also necessary to call an appliance repair expert to avoid the risk of getting electric shocks and higher electricity bills. Such experts can pinpoint the exact problem and give recommendations regarding parts that need to be fixed or replaced. Attempting to repair appliances by yourself may not only worsen the situation by further damaging the appliance it may also lead to the risk of causing you injuries through electric shocks.

As time goes by, appliances start losing their efficiency and stop functioning properly. It might be due to frequent usage, wear and tear. When machines break down, one has no choice but to do the tasks manually. This is not only tedious, but also requires a lot of time, something that working professionals are always short of. Replacement of the machines is not always the solution considering the fact that these appliances are really expensive. The better solution is to seek an expert in appliance repair who will fix these machines, so you can get on with your busy lives. There are appliance professionals offering repair and maintenance services for various appliances like refrigerators, air conditioners, ovens, washing machines and other kitchen appliances.

Make sure that you have already checked the warranty period of the machine to qualify for a free repair, before looking for an expert appliance repair service center. Spending money on repurchase is not the solution when there is an affordable way of making the appliances work properly again. Who knows, with the money you save on cost of purchase of a new appliance, you can buy more appliances!

Getting your defective appliances back to normal through appliance repair will not only bring back convenience in your life, it will also keep your house safe from the dangers of electric shocks. Appliances are reliable machines that work for you. They provide comfort and convenience. Repairing them with the help of experts can bring back convenience and safety in your life.

How Professional Garage Door Repair Services Can Keep Your Home Safe

Among the many ways we try to protect our homes and keep it safe, one way is to keep the garage safe. Yes, most of us often do not consider the safety of the garage and are casual about it. But contrary to this, a garage is one place or part of the house which needs a lot of maintenance, care and proper safety measures. If your garage door is not working properly, then that might prove as a threat to the safety of your vehicle. Thus it is really important for you to opt for professional services and get your door repaired as soon as you can.

The following are some of the ways through which a professional garage door repair service provider can keep your vehicles and home safe:

• The services providers have expertise of repairing door openers and torsion springs, which means that your garage will no longer be at a threat of easy unwanted entry. After getting the openers repaired, you can be rest assured that the door won’t open without your attempt to open it and hence will remain secure.

• Another way in which a professional service provider or garage door service provider can make your home or residential premises more secure is by installation of safety sensors. These safety sensors detect unwanted or forced entry and inform the owner of the garage about it.

• Garage door repair service providers also install and repair your remote controlled doors and this is another way your garage and the vehicles parked inside can remain safe and secure at all times. Having a remote controlled mechanism means that intruders won’t be able to open the door in any other way and only you, with the remote control will have access to it. So if you are worried about the safety of your garage or home, you must too contact a garage door service company now to avail these wonderful benefits.

• Professional companies have a lot of expertise at installing all necessary anti-burglar equipments and hence make your home and garage absolutely ‘theft proof’. Once you hire a service provider or an opener installer, you won’t ever have to worry about the security of your home, even when you are out of the home or city for a few days. The advanced equipments and technology make it possible for you to avoid any kind of outsider entry or intrusion.

So what are you waiting for? It is time you started paying as much attention to your garage and its door as you do to the other parts of the house.

The Importance of Drain Cleaning and How it Affects Your Home

Inside of every home are water drain lines, that carry gray water and sewage out of our homes. Drain cleaning to keep these lines clear and flowing is paramount to a healthy home. Too often, people ignore their drains until something goes wrong. But by then, dirty, bacteria filled water has soaked your floors, perhaps your walls, and the damage is already done.

Check Your Pipes!

As with many areas of home repair, preventing these occurrences through property maintenance, is the best way for residents to keep their home and family healthy, and keep unexpected repairs at bay. Pipes throughout your home take waster water from your home, under the house, through the yard, eventually leading it to your septic system, or the city sewer connection. It is important to keep these plumbing lines clean, and your drains flowing well.

When drain lines are working well, the water flows quickly, straight down the drain. Eventually, though, these drain lines get clogged up with an accumulation of food, grease, soap scum, hair, and even odds and ends that fall down the drain.

At the first sign of slow draining, you should call a drain cleaning specialist. This specialist can use the proper tools and chemicals to keep your drains clear, without damaging the pipes or fittings. Even a simple sink clog can cause serious flooding, which can damage drywall.

Such flooding is usually not covered by homeowners insurance. However, a qualified professional plumber can unclog your drains, and repair any plumbing issues, very quickly.

The Benefits Of Proper Maintenance

Preventative maintenance is even more effective; regular drain cleaning in homes can stop these drains from clogging, breeding bacteria, and eventually flooding homes. For the best prevention homeowners should have their bathtub, shower, and sink drains cleaned by a professional once each year.

Clogs do not happen only in the drains that lead directly from your plumbing fixtures, but also in your larger sewer lines. The plumbing fixture lines connect to larger plumbing sewer lines that run underneath the home, then out into the yard. These lines often become blocked by tree roots, resulting in sewage backing up into the home, usually through floor drains, in the lower level of the home.

This can be a serious problem, particularly for the older, more established neighborhoods where large trees, with established, far reaching root systems, are common.

Fortunately, with this type of blockage drain cleaning professionals can help, sending a rotating blade, called a snake, into your sewer lines, freeing trapped, accumulated debris, and removing tree roots from the lines.

Catch The Clogs Early!

When it comes to the drain lines in home plumbing systems, preventing serious clogs and back-ups is the best strategy, and the proper maintenance can help.

When a clog is caught early, inexpensive plumbing repair can remove the clog, restoring free flow to your waste water system, and ensuring that your home stays free of sewer water, keeping you and your family dry and healthy.

Top Signs You Need Home Appliance Repairs

Noticing when you need repairs for your appliances can help you save money. Fixing a broken appliance at the start can often prevent the need for a costly replacement appliance.

Paying attention to how well your appliances are performing is a good idea if you want to make sure that you don’t end up footing bills that are higher than they’d have to be. Keeping a look out for the signs that you need repairs can help you to ensure that you get the most out of your appliances and keep your wallet protected.

Obvious Signs You Need Repairs

There are quite a few obvious signs that you may need appliance repairs in your home. For one thing, some of your appliances may stop working altogether. For example, if your dishwasher won’t turn on, then you know it’s time to opt for appliance repairs. While you may think that putting off dishwasher repairs and washing your dishes by hand will save you a bit of money, the truth is that you may end up paying more on your water bills by doing things this way, since dishwashers are more efficient than hand washing. If it’s obvious that your appliance is broken, then you need to secure dishwasher repairs right away. Having your dishwasher up and running again will be more energy efficient and cut down on water usage, and you won’t have to spend a large amount on a replacement unit.

Sometimes, the signs that you need repairs for your home appliances are not so obvious. Many appliances will still turn on but will not function in the appropriate way, and this could cause you serious inconvenience as well as increase your household bills. As such, you should look for signs that your appliances are not working to the best of their ability. For example, if it’s taking twice as long to cook your favorite recipes, then you may need oven repair. If you let these problems go unattended for even a few months, you could cost yourself hundreds of dollars when you end up having to buy a brand-new appliance. Instead, you should find an oven repair expert and deal with them right away.

Increased Energy Bills

One of the major signs that you need appliance repair can actually be found in your energy bills. While you may not have noticed that it takes your dryer a lot longer to get your clothes dry, you will definitely notice a rise in the costs of your electricity bills if cycles are taking longer. When you first start to notice that your costs are rising, it’s a good idea to begin looking around your home to see if your appliances are performing in top condition. If your AC is working too hard, then this might be causing your bills to increase, and you may need to consider air conditioner repair. If you don’t take the initiative to hire appliance repair professionals right away to secure expert air conditioner repair, then you could stand to lose a lot of money in the long run.

Get Help Right Away

The best way to make sure that your finances are protected is to get repairs as soon as you can. While you may think that you can save some money by putting off refrigerator repair, the truth is that waiting usually ends up costing you more. Appliance problems can go from bad to worse in no time at all, so it’s best if you don’t take any chances. You should either find a way to perform refrigerator repair on your own at home, or you should contact a professional repair service to help you get your home appliances running in good condition once more.

Penny Jones is a home improvement guru and an Internet marketer for Prospect Genius, a leading provider of affordable marketing solutions for small businesses.

Shipping Container Repairs – Don’t Weld It, Patch It – A Quick Patch Hardens in Sunlight

I have sold shipping containers for a number of years and I sell them because I like them. I like the recycling aspect, I like the subsidised cost of them – subsidised because of the huge number of containers needed in the shipping industry. And I like the modern form of the symmetrical cube, a container home can be a thing of beauty but…

There are some serious issues to overcome if you are going to use a seacan for any of the numerous practical uses. Yes a container provides instant low cost storage. A shipping container can be easily modified as an office, workshop or cabin. Taken to their limits they are used as exhibition centres, hotels and of course homes. As long as they are primed, painted, sealed and elevated you can hold back the rust. But that’s a lot of effort if you purchased a rusty old seacan and need some easy non-insulated storage. Usually vehicle, materials or equipment storage.

So in the old days you either painted it or got a welder in every season or two. Now there are simple fibreglass pliable reinforced polyester patches that harden in uv light and are ready to sand, tap, drill or paint within an hour. Yes that is just sunlight! The patches will even bond to rusty surfaces, patches are waterproof and resistant to extreme temperatures, extreme heat and cold.

If your working with UV Quick patches inside, UV light may be an issue but UV flashlights are available for around $20 available in hardware stores. Although for shipping container repairs you are probably working on the outside of the seacan anyway.

Identifying a leak in a container is in my experience as simple as going inside the container in the light of day, closing the doors and searching for light. Once a hole is identified, locate it on the outside of the can and remove the pliable patch from the silver foil and apply over the hole. You can cut and mould the patch to shape. Bond the patch to the steel with pressure. Keep applying pressure over the entire area of the patch for a minute or 2 and your done. I use my thumbs to press down on the patch. Applying the patch is best done on a clean dry area so take a cloth with you. A wire brush if you’ve got some surface rust or a grinder with a wire brush attachment for more serious rust issues.

The patch will be rock hard in half an hour on a cloudy day. 15 minutes on a sunny day. You have about 3 minutes to place your patch from opening the foil package. After an hour you can sand and paint the patch. Or drill a hole and hang a shelf. It really is a solid bond.

I have now repaired a dozen or so shipping containers using this method over the last 6 months and now the rain and snow have arrived my container inspections have proven that this product really does work well.