Preparing Your Home for Winter

Preparing Your Home for Winter

Here in St. Louis, we often don’t get much warning before the seasons change. Sure, we know that in November and December it should be winter, but we aren’t surprised when we have a 65 degree day mixed in there.  We also aren’t surprised when we go to bed on that 65-degree day and wake up to temperatures in the teens.

How can you make sure your home is ready for those major temperature swings?  Read on for some tips!

Regular Foundation Inspection

First and foremost, maintenance on your home’s foundation should be done annually.  This can be as simple as a walk around your home. Check for foundation cracks or gathering water on the exterior and checking again for cracks or bowing walls on the interior.  Discovering potential issues early can prevent further damage and save money.  Take a look at your home now and get a baseline so that you can recognize any changes or shifts in soil, water, or cracks.

If you note any of these things occurring, contact Foundation Doctor of St. Louis today! We will be happy to inspect your foundation for any leaks, cracks, or compromises in the integrity of the walls.

Turn off Exterior Faucets

When we get far enough into winter to see snow, ice and freezing temperatures, you definitely want to have made sure that all of your exterior faucets have been turned off for the season. This includes all of your hose bibbs, plant irrigation pipes, and any other exterior water lines.

Turning these valves off will help you avoid freezing pipes, which can cause major damage. If your pipes freeze, the water inside will expand, potentially rupturing the pipes and causing flooding inside walls or in your basement depending on the placement of the pipes.  Many homes now have frost-proof faucets, but turning off the water at the shut-off valve is the best way to avoid these issues.

Do you have a sprinkler system?  It’s important to call your service provider to shut off your system for the winter to ensure that none of these lines freeze as well.

Prevent Ice Dams

Last winter, did you see any icicles on your home? They certainly can be a pretty decoration, but in truth they are bad for the health of your home. Noticing a lot of icicles means that it’s time to inspect your home for air leaks. Inadequate insulation issues, and/or clogged gutters may also be an issue.  It’s important to address these issues as quickly as possible to prevent melt-water from backing up into your home from these areas.

Melting water can gather around the foundation of your home and cause leaks or bowing of the foundation walls.  These issues are both ones that the Foundation Doctor of St. Louis can address, but prevention is always easier than repair.

Divert Water

On the subject of melting water, really you will want to keep any water away from your foundation.  Diverting the path of water away from your home will help keep your foundation dry and functioning at its desired level.

There are a few ways to achieve these depending on the layout of your home and your yard, including extending gutter downspouts or adding a French drain.

If you need help or recommendations on the best way to waterproof your foundation, call the Foundation Doctor of St. Louis today!

Winter is Coming… Make Sure You’re Prepared!

Even if it’s already cold outside, you still have time to take precautions. It’s important to prepare your home’s foundation against the harsh elements of winter. The Foundation Doctor of St. Louis is happy to help you keep your family safe and warm this winter. 

Call for a free estimate today!

Do Your Basement Walls Appear to Be Leaning? Here’s What You Should Do

Do Your Basement Walls Appear to Be Leaning? Here’s What You Should Do

It’s time to get out your holiday decorations! The family is together and everyone is excited to get to work, and you go downstairs into the basement to start bringing up the boxes. You flip on the light, move a few things out of the way, and then do a double-take—is that wall leaning? You take a few steps to get a different angle, and sure enough, that wall definitely has a bend to it.

Certainly not what you were expecting to deal with today, but you know it needs to be taken care of. You grab the first box, go back upstairs, and get the phone. You recently heard about the Foundation Doctor St. Louis, and you start dialing their number.

Call a Professional for a Consultation

The Foundation Doctor St. Louis has extensive experience correcting this issue, as it’s fairly common in the St. Louis area.  Unfortunately, by the time homeowners notice their walls bowing or leaning, the issue has been happening for quite some time. This only means that the homeowner must take action quickly to prevent further damage. Bowing walls can crack and let water into the home, which can further damage the walls and even cause them to collapse. If you notice this happening, call us today!

Why do walls bow?

A build up of hydrostatic pressure—water pushing against the walls—can  push against the foundation walls of your home with more pressure than the walls can withstand, and this causes the walls to bow inward.  Hydrostatic pressure can occur due to poor drainage, or sometimes walls bow during the changing seasons as they expand or contract with temperature fluctuations.

The Foundation Doctor St. Louis will inspect your home and identify the cause of the bowing or leaning walls.  From there, a solution and plan of action will be determined.

Repair the Leaning Walls

Foundation professionals have developed a few options for repairing bowing walls, and the extent of the damage will help you determine which is the best method of repair.

One option to secure your foundation is through reinforcement. The Foundation Doctor St. Louis accomplishes this through the use of our patented tool, the Reinforcer.  This is a 4”-wide strip of carbon fiber bonded together with structural epoxy, which is specifically designed to stabilized basement foundation walls.

A second option would be to use wall anchors. Wall anchors are metal plates installed on the interior of the foundation and then tied to an anchor buried in the yard, known as a “deadman.” This will prevent hydrostatic pressure from further moving the walls.

The Foundation Doctor St. Louis will identify the best option for your home, and then complete the repair. Additionally, we offer the best “Lifetime of the Structure Warranty” in the business. This warranty applies to the structure of the home and is fully transferrable to new homeowners at no extra cost. 

Call us today! We look forward to providing your solutions to any bowing or leaning walls.

Do You See a Crack in Your Foundation? Here’s What You Should Do

Do You See a Crack in Your Foundation? Here’s What You Should Do

Fall is well underway, and the temperatures in St. Louis are dropping! You’re outside in your yard, enjoying the weather, raking leaves, and all of a sudden you see it—a big, jagged crack in your foundation.

“Has that always been there?” you think, and get closer to take a look. And then you remember thinking that your foundation looked great just a few months ago when you were mowing your lawn.

Well, that can’t be good. But, lucky for you, you recently heard about the Foundation Doctor St. Louis, and you head straight inside and pick up the phone.

Call a Professional

Never attempt to repair a crack on your own. Your foundation is the cornerstone of your home, and maintenance and repairs done correctly are essential to the protection and safety of your home. Even if a crack looks visually small from the exterior, it likely signals larger problems elsewhere, and a band-aid fix can just make those issues worse down the road.

Consulting with a professional foundation repair company will help identify the problems and provide a solution.

The Foundation Doctor St. Louis is an expert in foundation inspection and repair. Our team has over 25 years of experience, and we are looking forward to increasing our list of satisfied customers.   Call us today!

Inspect Your Foundation

Make sure that the foundation professional that you have selected does a thorough inspection of your foundation.  Cracks can be caused by a number of issues, including improper drainage, overloaded walls, or settling.  Inspecting your foundation should be done from both the exterior and the interior, and the foundation professional may look for signs elsewhere, such as drywall cracking near the doorframes on the main level of your home.

Properly determining the cause of the cracks will indicate what the solution should be.  The Foundation Doctor St. Louis provides a free consultation and a detailed estimate, and our process is hassle-free and without high-pressure sales. Call us today!

Repair Your Foundation

After determining the cause, the foundation professional will recommend a course of action. This could be injecting the crack with epoxy resin or polyurethane resin, adjusting gutters and drainage around the exterior of your home, or installing wall anchors to prevent any further damage or cracking.

The Foundation Doctor St. Louis will work with you to repair the crack and provide information on how to prevent future damage. Additionally, we offer the best “Lifetime of the Structure Warranty” in the business. This warranty applies to the structure of the home and is fully transferrable to new homeowners at no extra cost.  Call us today!

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Finding a crack in your foundation can be unsettling—you may think that your home is unstable or may collapse. You may be scared of the scope of the repair, but fixing it right when you identify a problem will save you time and money down the road.  Your home is a large investment, and ensuring the strength of its foundation is a necessary maintenance item.

Let the Foundation Doctor St. Louis take care of all your foundation needs!  Call us today for a free consultation!

Effective Drainage Equals First Step Toward Stable Foundation

Effective Drainage Equals First Step Toward Stable Foundation

Ensuring that your yard is sufficiently prepared when it comes to water and drainage is key to the maintenance of your foundation. An effective drainage system will save you money and headaches down the road. You can (and should!) be proactive when preventing drainage damage instead of reactive.

 

Do you know what the drainage situation is in your yard? Where does the water go after a large rain? Do you notice any pools? Read on for tips on managing the drainage in your yard to increase the longevity of your foundation!

 

Landscaping

 

What does your landscaping look like next to your home? Does it slope away from your house, diverting water away? Or does it slope towards your home, potentially causing water to collect in the soil that touches your foundation?  Evaluating the slope will help tell you if you should consider making a change, or if your landscaping is correctly sloped away from your home.

 

The Foundation Doctor St. Louis can provide a free consultation to determine if altering the slope of your landscaping will reduce drainage runoff.

 

Along with the slope of the ground, the type of plant life present next to your home can affect the health of your foundation. Many homeowners enjoy the look of flowers or flower beds next to their homes. The most effective type of flowers to locate here are ones that require low water. This amount of water is ideal for plant life near your home’s foundation. Too much water can cause settling, and too little water can cause cracks in your foundation.

 

You will also want to avoid planting trees too close to your home, as their roots can expand and push into your foundation as they grow.

 

Gutters

 

An efficient gutter is an essential component to managing the drainage around your home. Is your gutter system updated? Does it need any repairs?

 

If your home does not have a gutter system, consider installing one. The savings you will generate far outweigh the cost of installation.  Routine maintenance is necessary for homeowners who have a system already. Every year, be sure to check gutters for clogs and downspout blockages, and contact a professional for any necessary repairs.

 

French Drains

 

If you notice a need for increased drainage management, a French drain may be an answer. A French drain redirects surface and ground water away from your home’s foundation. It can be effective in taking care of problem areas where you may have poor water runoff or oversaturated soil. If you are noticing pooling in one area of your yard, a French drain may be a solution, and the Foundation Doctor St. Louis can install one.

 

Call Us for a Consultation

 

Not sure if your yard is adequately prepared for drainage management? Call the Foundation Doctor today for a free consultation! We can address your questions, concerns, and plans for effective drainage.

The Foundation Doctor St. Louis wins the Angie’s List 2017 Super Service Award

The Foundation Doctor St. Louis wins the Angie’s List 2017 Super Service Award

Quality work and first class customer service are the cornerstones of the Foundation Doctor St. Louis’s business, and recently we were recognized as an Angie’s List 2017 Super Service Award winner!

 

Based on client reviews, this award honors service providers and businesses that have maintained exceptional service ratings on Angie’s List in 2017. To be recognized, winners must maintain an overall grade “A” in multiple categories, including price, punctuality, and professionalism. Winners must also meet strict eligibility requirements such as passing a background check, submitting a current trade license attestation, and abiding by Angie’s List operational guidelines.

 

The Foundation Doctor St. Louis is proud to be a winner!

 

Consistently putting our customers first, The Foundation Doctor St. Louis is also an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau. A large part of our business is based on referrals, and we work with realtors, home inspectors, insurance companies and structural engineers across the region. Our referral partners have written reviews of their experience with the Foundation Doctor St. Louis, some of which are highlighted here:

 

“Foundation Doctor has taken good care of every client I have referred to them and I would not hesitate to refer to them again.” – John, Real Estate Consultant at Keller Williams Realty

 

“Top-notch service, dependability, and very reasonable rates. Trust that when you hire Rick and the team at Foundation Doctor, you’re hiring the very best!” – Frank, Owner of Acropolis Home Inspection, LLC

 

“As always, I will continue to recommend you. I thin you are a fabulous company with great customer service!” – Bridget Rodriguez, Premier Realty Exclusive

 

Additionally, our clients fill out comment cards after we have completed work on their properties, and they have great things to say:

 

“The Foundation Doctor not only helped us feel that we were in excellent hands but also made us feel that the job would be done correctly.”  – Luke in St. Louis

 

“My basement has never been this dry in 65 years! I highly recommend them.” – Ann in Kirkwood

 

“All the guys were kind, courteous, and careful. They finished the work in a timely manner and left everything clean and in order.” – Lois in Lake St. Louis

 

Family owned and operated locally, The Foundation Doctor has over 25 years of experience. We have repaired over 1000 St. Louis area homes and buildings, and we continue to expand across the St. Louis metropolitan area.

 

Become one of our satisfied customers today! Call the Foundation Doctor St. Louis for your foundation repair and maintenance needs.

 

Have a Crawl Space? We’ve Got You Covered!

Have a Crawl Space? We’ve Got You Covered!

Have you inspected your crawl space recently? Do you know what it looks like? When was the last time you even thought about your crawl space?

Sometimes, unfortunately, homeowners have an “out of sight, out of mind” attitude about their crawl spaces.  This is most certainly not in the best interest of the home, and if this has been your attitude, keep reading—now is as good a time as any to change!

This is a damaged crawl space in St.Louis.

This is a damaged crawl spaces St.Louis.

Regular inspections should be done, just like maintenance on the rest of your home. The Foundation Doctor of St. Louis can help you determine a timeline for those inspections, and we will identify any potential issues and offer solutions.  Call us today for your FREE in home evaluation and estimate!

Still not convinced you need to check in on your crawl space? Below are some of the things that can damage your home from underneath.

Soil Moisture

Damp or wet crawl spaces can lead not only to foundation settling, but also to rotting wood, mold growth, foul odors due to standing water, and corrosion of metal fasteners. None of which you want in your home!

During an inspection, the Foundation Doctor will test soil moisture levels first using the expertise of the professional, and if necessary by using an electronic moisture meter to determine the precise level of moisture.  After evaluation, the Foundation Doctor can install a Vapor Bright system or drain tile to reduce the moisture.

Air Ventilation

 It may seem counterintuitive, but you do not want any air flow in your crawl space. This air can carry moisture in with it, especially here in St. Louis in these humid summer months.  Again, moisture can cause mold, wood rot, foul odors, and foundation settling if you do not catch it early enough.

The Foundation Doctor will inspect your crawl space for any open vents and ventilated areas, and provide what is usually a simple solution.

 Ready-to-be-Replaced Piers or Masonry

If you are aware of any concrete blocks or wood supports that sit below floor framing, it’s likely that these were installed as a quick, temporary fix for a foundation issue.  No need to panic, as the Foundation Doctor will do a thorough inspection of these items, the masonry, and any existing piering system.

Anything that is not in good condition should be repaired or replaced before worse foundation damage occurs.  The Foundation Doctor can replace columns to keep floors from sinking further, or recommend another solution if appropriate.

Call us Today!

Any of these issues that exist in your crawl space can cause damage to the foundation of your home.

Angie's List Super Service Award 3rd year in a row - Foundation Doctor St. Louis

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2nd year in a row – Foundation Doctor St. Louis

They also can cause telltale signs in the living spaces of your home, such as: interior drywall cracks, uneven floors, cold floors above crawl space areas, visible mold or a moldy smell, an unidentified foul odor, and even increased allergy symptoms.  These are often indicators that something is amiss in your crawl space.

If you are experiencing these problems, or if you have not had your crawl space inspected in a while, call the Foundation Doctor today.  Our team has over 25 years of experience serving the St. Louis community, and we have repaired over a thousand homes. Let us add yours to the list!