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Don't wait for an Emergency - get that foundation crack repaired this winter

In Chicago there are two seasons: Winter and Construction. But when it comes to your home's foundation problems, winter can be an ideal time of year to take care of cracks and leaks.

First of all, in the Chicago area the ground freezes around 40-inches below grade. That means that deeper than 3.5 feet, the ground isn't frozen and water is free to move about. When the ground freezes the soil expands. If you have a foundation problem, in cold weather heaving may occur. When this happens, the foundation wall moves or "heaves." This movement creates a space which then can fill with water coming up from below the frost line which will then freeze causing more movement, expanding cracks and creating a bigger problem come spring.

If you need to hear another benefit to getting your foundation repaired in the winter, again this has to do with the frozen earth. Exterior work is almost always cleaner when working with frozen ground. Digging machines don’t tear up grass as much when the soil is frozen. The removal of the top layers of soil and grass can be put back cleanly and neatly so come spring, the surrounding repair area will be back to normal quicker.

If you have a problem with your foundation, plan on calling sooner than later. And remember that winter can be an ideal time to get that leak fixed.

 

Frozen Sump Pump Discharge

Your sump pump is only as efficient as it's ability to discharge the water away from your home.  In many situations the drain tile under your basement floor or outside your foundation walls is tied into a basin or pit.  Inside this basin is a sump pump that is activated by the rising water.  The purpose of this pump is to eject the water from the pit (when it reaches a certain level) away from your house either into the sewer stack or, more frequently, out into the yard.  While this latter system is very effective, it can be problematic this time of year as discharges can become frozen.  If your sump discharge is frozen the water cannot pump out and this can cause the pump to fail.  If you suspect that this is happening in your home first try to melt the water in the discharge line.  If you are unable to do this, or wish to stop this from happening again, give Atlas Restoration a call at 866-841-6639 or log on to our website www.Atlasrestoration.com and one of our representatives will be happy to assist you.

Can Melting Snow Cause My Basement To Leak?

With the change of seasons, Atlas Restoration is regularly asked the question "Can melting snow cause my basement to flood?" While the long answer can get a bit complicated, the short answer is yes.  Considering the ground is typically still frozen under the snow pack it can prevent water from draining into the soil beneath.  This process can create pooling on the surface of the ground which can send the water over the top of the foundation wall and into the basement or crawl space!  While proper grading around the structure will help to mitigate this issue there are times where it is insufficient.  If you are getting water in your basement or crawl space during the change of seasons, a free thorough inspection and a 15 point Hydro-Structural Evaluation by an Atlas Restoration representative is your best bet at stopping the problem from ever happening again.  Click on the following link to see our Homeowner Waterproofing Symptom Checker to confirm your problem and schedule a free inspection: Atlasrestoration.com

Helical Tiebacks and Earth Retention speech at Structural Engineers Association Of Illinois annual breakfast

Marty Sobelman, Co-Owner of Atlas Restoration LLC., is scheduled to present a speech at the annual Structural Engineers Association of Illinois (SEAOI) Breakfast this Friday, March 1st at The University Club Of Chicago.  Marty will discuss the Chance Helical Tieback line of products and Atlas' extensive and innovative use of these products in projects related to Earth Retention and Basement and Retaining Wall Remediation.  

Marty will be joined at the breakfast and the display booth by fellow co-owner Chris Heintz as well as Gary Milligan and Jason Clesle.  

Please click on the link for more details: Seaoi.org

A Few Facts About Wet Basements

• Wet basements create the perfect environment for termite activity.

• Trapped musty air in basements travel to upper living areas in buildings.

• Wet basements are a breeding ground for excessive mold and mildew.

• Drywall mildew is known to be toxic.

• Wet basements promote allergies.

• Wet basements add to humidity throughout the entire the house.

• Heating damp air is costly, as wet basements take more energy to heat. 

• Proper waterproofing can as much as double useable basement space.

To learn more about how to repair wet basements click on the link below: www.atlasrestoration.com

Polyurethane Foam Crack Injection

Concrete Cracks

Cracks in concrete caused by shrinkage are a common foundation problem. Cracks due to shrinkage and are easy to detect, since they almost always extend through the full thickness of the foundation wall. Unfortunately, such large cracks also indicate a path for water entry. 

Where Cracks Most Commonly Appear

Common areas for cracks in concrete due to shrinkage are above a doorway, under your basement windows, or around the middle of a large poured concrete wall. Cracks above doorways indicate that the foundation has "stepped down." As soon as cracks form in your basement or crawl space wall or floor slab, water has the perfect pathway to your basement, right through these cracks. 

How to Treat Your Crack Problem

Although the unfortunate case often occurs where concrete control joints are not put in place in residential construction, there are a number of ways to take care of leakage due to cracks. Atlas Restoration has a quick, easy, and effective solution to this grave problem. Our most-used repairing solution includes injecting of liquid polyurethane, which forms into foam into the cracks. Injecting in liquid form enables a gentle and slow filling treatment of the basement crack that will fill the crack completely and quickly. In just a few minutes, the polyurethane liquid react with the water in the crack and begins to foam. In fact, water is the exact element that changes the liquid into foam. 

After the liquid forms into a foam, it restricts water from leaking into the cracks. The foam is effective enough to fill voids in the soil outside the basement as well. The strong bond formed by this foam to concrete is strong enough to tolerate even the most severe pressure caused by heavy rains and faulty roof runoff systems. forms a strong bond to the concrete. High underground or "subsurface" water levels are typically caused by heavy rains and most-often by faulty roof runoff systems. 

Polyurethane Injection Has the Following Advantages

  • Ensures a more permanent solution than all other crack patching methods
  • Repair occurs only on the inside of the basement wall, creating much less mess from repair
  • Quick repair process that effectively halts water leaks. 
  • Complete confidence that your possessions will be safe from water, and your basement free of water leakage. 

 

What Makes Our Backup Sump Pumps So Unique?

At Atlas Restoration, we know the importance of location for back-up sump pumps. Our pumps, unlike most others used by repair companies, are positioned outside the sump water. Positioning the backup pumps and floats outside the water prevents constant exposure to problematic elements such as mud, debris, and unclean water.

Where Other Repair Techniques Fail

A common mistake made in backup sump pump installation is their position above the main sump pump. Moreover, many of the average backup pumps often not have a suction pipe. They drain the sump pit's water only partially, creating more frequent starts, less durability, and shorter pumping cycles.

Another kind of error is the installation of a second pump inside a small pit. The problem here? This faulty repair will likely result in the trapping or entangling of primary or secondary floats, leaving both pumps not functioning properly, or not functioning at all. 

And yet another problem common to conventional backup sump pump installation methods is the positioning of the backup pump inside, or directly above the main sump pump. As a result of this faulty installation, your sump pump's primary check valve is just inches above the main pump, open to heavy turbulence and endless fluctuations in pressure. This kind of stress on a check valve will cause breakage or holes in the valve, leading to the recycling of water through the main pump, straight down into your sump pit, and right into your basement. 

Advantages of Atlas Restoration's Battery Backup Sump Pumps

  • Complete security and extended longevity of the backup system
  • No interference with your home's primary pump or its float.
  • A slim-line vertical float switch eliminates the danger of a stuck float inside a crowded sump pit.
  • The suction pipe of our back-up pumps reaches to the bottom of the sump pit, so that it can fully empty the pit in each cycle.                                                                                                                                                             

To schedule your free sump pump inspection today, click here: http://www.atlasrestoration.com/waterproofing.html

 

How Do I Know If My Drain Tiles Are Working Properly?

Since your floor's footing tiles are not visible and typically cannot be adequately seen by a sewer camera, the only sign that they are working properly is if seepage through the floor, or around the floor/wall joint is detected. If such seepage occurs, and your sump pump is working, then your drain tile system is not.

Click on the following link to learn more about basement waterproofing and foot tiles, or to schedule your free inspection: http://www.atlasrestoration.com/waterproofing.html

Do I Really Need a Battery Backup System for My Sump Pump?

Yes! If you have a pump that runs even occasionally, you should have a backup system, powered by either a battery or self-starting generator. When an electric pump fails, you risk substantial seepage and water damage. An adequately sized backup system prevents this kind of catastrophe.

More Reasons to Have a Backup Battery System for Your Sump Pump

Most people realize they need a backup sump pump one day too late, after the basement has flooded due to a power outage or sump pump failure. They then find out that home insurance does not cover flood damages to the finished basement. Nor does it cover mold remediation, should that become necessary. So, they pick up a pump in a store but nobody warns them that it cannot keep up with the primary pump although it will be called on during the year's worst storms, it is less reliable than the not-so-reliable primary pump it is supposed to back up, it may interfere with the primary pump float or its check valve (causing basement flooding), and within 2–5 years it needs replacing.

Click on the following link to find out how to have a lifetime guaranteed Atlas Battery-Backup Sump installed: www.atlasrestoration.com

Basement Waterproofing Benefits

Consider the following advantages of basement waterproofing:

  • An increase in your home's property value.
  • A structurally sound foundation.
  • A healthier home environment for you and your family.
  • A warmer basement during winter.
  • Increased living space for work or leisure activities.
  • A more attractive and more comfortable home. 

To learn more about basement waterproofing benefits or to schedule your free inspection and evaluation click on the following link: www.atlasrestoration.com

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