Getting to Know Your Concrete Contractor

Concrete Contractor Birmingham AL

It is common for your concrete surfaces to crack and crumble from moisture and climate changes. When you are feeling as though your concrete is just too tough to work with, you might consider hiring a concrete contractor. A concrete contractor is someone who will help you construct and take care of your concrete, and when hiring one you need to make sure you are getting someone who knows what they are doing. So, there are a few questions Concrete Contractor Birmingham ALyou should ask before you set your mind on one.

You need to make sure that you know everything your concrete contractor Birmingham AL is planning on doing before they start doing it. If there is something that they tell you that you don’t understand, then keep asking questions until you understand. If it comes to a point where they do not seem like they know what they are talking about, then maybe they do not. You need to make sure that the person working on such a vital part of your home is doing things right.

Another idea to think about before hiring is what products your concrete contractor Birmingham AL plan on using to fix the concrete in and around your home. If it seems like a cheap product that won’t hold up, it probably will not. Make sure the products being used on your home are going to keep your home safe. For example, if you are having troubles with bowing or leaning in your basement walls and floors you might need the help of helical piers. This is a tool that will attach to the foundation walls and screw into the ground therefore keeping the walls and floors stable. If you need to, get a second opinion from neighbors, friends, or other businesses.

Knowing your Concrete Contractor Birmingham AL

Getting to know your concrete contractor Birmingham AL is an important part to picking out and hiring your concrete contractor. Make sure you feel secure in your choice, you should have no doubt that your hired concrete contractor will keep your home’s concrete safe and secure. You should feel as though you, your family, and your home are protected against any concrete damage in your home. If you find a concrete contractor Birmingham AL like that, that is definitely one you should keep around.


The Importance a Healthy Crawl Space

The importance of a Healthy Crawl Space

Not many people realize that the crawl space has such a big affect on you and your home.  It has a large affect to the health and energy efficiency of your home.  The crawl space is actually one of the most important areas, but most people only think about it a couple times a year if the moldy and musty smell returns.  More than half of the air you breathe on the first floor of your home is from the crawl space or the basement.  This is why it is so important to have a healthy crawl space.  When your crawl space is humid, the air is full of mold, dust mites, fungi, and other allergens that can cause asthma and other repiratory problems.  There are some cases that the air from the crawl space can be so intoxicated with poisons, that it can sometimes cause death.  This is a very serious situation, that needs to be taken care of.  A healthy crawl space can lead to a healthy life.

The affect of a unhealthy crawl space on your home can be very large.  Mold and fungi can be large factors of an unhealthy crawl space.  They need to main things to grow; humidity levels above 50% and an organic food source.  A lot of the times, the wood framing under the first floor is perfect food.  It then begins to rot the wood and make the floors soft and creaky.  The mold and fungi can also rise in the air and damage other organic materials in the house.  The moisture built up in a damp crawl space can also damage mechanicals that are installed in the crawl space; furnaces, water heaters, electrical supplies, etc.  They start to rust and it can greatly reduce the life span.

Not only can a damp unhealthy crawl space destroy your floor and mechanicals, it creates a nesting place for pests.  Insects, rodents, spiders and other pests love to stay in that kind of an environment.  Since the crawl space is usually undisturbed it is a safe home for the pests.  They can further damage the wood in the house as contribute more to the unhealthy air flow throughout the home.

A healthy crawl space can also save you a lot of money.  An unsealed, non-insulated, and drafty crawl space leads to higher energy cost throughout the year.  For crawl space repair Alabama services, contact Grout Tech today to help you out.  We are glad to be of service.

Soil and Your Home’s Foundation

Soil and Your Home’s Foundation

Depending on what types of foundation soils your home is standing on can greatly effect the stability of your home.  Each type of soil reacts differently to moisture because they are all different.  Generally you have your sandy soils, your clay soils, and your loam soils.  Sandy soils allows the water to pass right through rather than absorbing it.  This makes sandy soils very stable and reliable since it maintains a pretty consistent volume and density.  Clay soils can have the greatest potential to damage your home’s foundation.  It absorbs the water and expands which causes the foundation to crack, heave and shift.  Then when they shrink there are gaps left around the house where water can easily pass through from the next storm.  Loam soils are also basically stable since it has little change from the increase and decrease of moisture.

One of the foundation problems that occur is called foundation settlement.  This occurs when the soil can no longer support the weight of your home.  One of the causes is the drying and shrinking of soil.  This usually happens when there is a drought.  There aren’t extreme droughts in Alabama, but there tends to be several weeks without rain each year.  The lack of moisture in the soil then causes the shrinking because the clay dries out.  That causes a section of your foundation to crack where the settlement occurred.

Another cause of foundation settlement is when your soil has excess moisture or softening of the soil.  This usually occurs with heavy rain or flood, poor drainage or if there are plumbing leaks and broken water lines.  With the rain or flood it causes the clay to become soft because it absorbed the water, then it allows your home to sink down into it.  Then same things happens when there is a standing water next to your home or if there is a leaking or broken water line because the clay absorbs that also.

Lastly the main reason for foundation settlement is with poorly compacted fill soil.  Normally when the foundation to the house is built, there is soil brought in from another location to fill the hollow areas.  This soil is much looser and lighter than the dense and packed soil that hasn’t been disturbed.  When this occurs if the builder has not compacted the loose fill soil well enough, then it might begin to compress under the weight of your home which causes foundation settlement.

The soils in Alabama are greatly affected by the weather conditions and can have a great affect on your home.  If any of this occurs to your home, then you need to go to a professional and have it taken care of.  It can be very dangerous to live in a home with foundation problems if they are not taken care of.  Contact Grout Tech and we can take care of it for you!

10 WARNING Signs that You May Need Foundation Repair Services

10 Foundation Repair Warning Signs

When you have to deal with foundation repair problems in your home, it can be a very large hassle.  They can cause major problems to your home.  Knowing that you have these issues in your home can be scary, so it is necessary to know the signs of foundation problems to identify them.  There are signs both inside and outside  the home to let you know of any foundation problems that are affecting your home.

1. Squeaking or Sticking Doors.  If you notice your home’s doors are squeaking or sticking, then it could be one of the first signs.  So many people ignore this because it is just a small mishap that happens all the time, but your doors could be telling you that there are some beginning foundation issues.

2. Squeaking or Sticking Windows.  This is basically the same as the first sign, but this is applying to your home’s windows.  When your windows start to do this, it is also viewed as a common occurance.  However if they start squeaking and sticking out of nowhere, then this could be your sign that you have a foundation problem.

3. Check the Door Frame.  A way to tell if you have a problem is checking if the frame of your door is separated from the door itself.  If it is separated, then you most likely have a foundation problem.

4. Curling or Separating Wallpaper.  The walls of your home will shift if there is a foundation issue, so when your walls shift the wallpaper shifts along with it.  When this occurs it causes the wallpaper to separate or rip.

5. Bowed Walls.  These walls can be normally seen from the basement.  It is the easiest way to identify them and they will be curved either inward or outward.

6. Leaning Chimney. This identifies the need for foundation repair.  If it is not taken care of as soon as possible it can cause much greater damage as time passes on.  It can cause water leaks or cracks around the mantel of the chimney.

7. Cracks on the Corners.  In your house when you start seeing cracks appearing from the corners of window/door frames.  They may also appear where walls meet other walls, or on brick fireplace walls.

8. Unlevel Floors.  If your floor has an obvious slope, humps, or valleys, then you could have foundation problems in your home.

9. Nails Popping Out.  When the nails in your walls begin to pop out for no apparent reason, then it is an obvious sign that you need foundation repair.

10. Gaps between Patio or Stairs.  These gaps on your home are telling you that you have a foundation issue.  When foundation needs repaired they start to move and separate the attachments, like patios and stairs, away from the home.

This damage that can occur to your home from a foundation problem can be very dangerous.  Immediate inspection or repair is recommended as soon as possible so there is not further damage to your property.  Contact Grout Tech today!