Recent General Posts

Should You Be Concerned About Cracks in Your Foundation?

1/29/2016 (Permalink)

The foundation underneath your home serves a very important purpose. It’s what keeps your house aboveground, deters moisture, and insulates your home against the cold weather. When that foundation starts to form cracks, it should make any homeowner concerned. This is because properly developed foundations are created to withhold natural settling that occurs when a house ages. This means that if you see cracks in your home’s foundation, something is not right. Because of its seriousness, SERVPRO of Yorba Linda/Brea wants to help educate others on how serious cracks in a home’s foundation can be. 

What’s the big deal with having cracks in a home’s foundation?

It doesn’t matter where the cracks are located or how big or small they become, finding a crack in the foundation is never a good sign, as it means that the foundation itself is moving. Because the foundation acts as the platform for a house to be built on, having the foundation move around only leads to structural problems and damages to your home. When cracks start to form, it can lead to many unwanted scenarios or events. Here are just a few: 

1. Water damage.

If there are cracks in your foundation, that means that the cracks can act as an entranceway for water to enter your home and ruin the basement and other parts of your house. Along with that, the water can help make the cracks larger and spread at a faster rate, which only means more damage to your home. 

2. Degrading foundation.

When a foundation starts to degrade, the water entering can cause the foundation to erode at a faster pace, which can also cause serious damage to a home. 

3. Termites.

Nobody wants to deal with termites. Unfortunately, cracks in a house’s foundation can help invite them into your home. The cracks make it very easy for them to gain access to your home. Once the termites are there, the repercussions are costly and no fun. 

How do cracks form?

All three items mentioned above are clearly things that no homeowner ever wants to deal with. Oftentimes the damage is not as bad if the cracks in the foundation are found earlier on. So what should a homeowner do? It helps to know the background as to how these cracks are formed in the first place. Here are a few ways cracks can form on your house’s foundation: 

1. Earthquakes.

Living in Southern California, earthquakes are a common occurrence. Along with the damage they can do to your personal items inside your house, earthquakes can also affect the foundation of your home. The stronger the earthquake, the weaker your foundation can become. Along with that, smaller earthquakes can also make current cracks worse, so beware of the possible damages caused by earthquakes. 

2. Improper mix solution.

The actual creation of a house’s foundation is very important as to whether or not cracks will form. If the foundation mixture has too much sand or water, it will not set properly, which overtime, can cause the foundation to erode.  

3. Exposure to extreme heat. 

An intense amount of sunlight exposure can cause concrete to expand during the day. When the sun goes down, the concrete can go back to its normal position. Having this constant expansion and shrinkage occur can cause your foundation to crack. 

4. Leaks in the plumbing. 

Having to deal with water leaks in your house is a pain and often very time consuming. But when a leak happens, don’t forget to check your home’s foundation. If there is an excess amount of water leaking into your basement, this can cause pressure against the foundation, making it more vulnerable to cracks. 

5. Droughts or floods. 

Southern California’s recent weather has caused quite a bit of chaos. First, there was the statewide drought. Then El Nino brought possible flooding issues to some homeowners. Both cases are no good for a house’s foundation. Droughts and floods can change the typical soil pressure around the foundation, which can then cause it to move and eventually crack. 

How Water Can Damage a Home’s Foundation

Water can have a huge impact on a home. Whether it’s a pipe leak or a flood, the damage it can bring to the home is overwhelming.  But on top of that, water can create major problems with a home’s foundation. Here is how water plays a major role in a home’s foundation damage. 

1. Soils make a difference. 

We can’t always escape water. At some point, rain or snow will hit your home. But there are certain soils that drain better than others. Those made out of loam or sand typically have good drainage, which means these soils don’t provide an issue with foundation damage. However, soils made out of clay are expansive and tend to absorb water around them. When the soil expands, it surrounds the foundation of a home and creates a pressure against the foundation. As this pressure starts to build against the foundation wall, cracks start to form. 

2. The absence of water hurts, too.

The absence of water can actually damage your foundation as well. In times of drought, the previously saturated soil under the foundation shrinks. This leaves a void in the soil that supports it, which can make the foundation drop or sink, causing damage to the foundation as well as the structure it supports. 

So, what can I do to prevent it? 

After reading about all of the terrible effects and damages a cracked foundation can have on a home, you may be wondering to yourself, “what can I do to prevent all of this from happening to my home?” Fortunately, SERVPRO of Yorba Linda/Brea has compiled a list of tips to help you prevent water damage and a cracked foundation to your property. 

1. Clean your gutters.

Cleaning your gutters on a regular basis can help ensure good drainage. This in turn can help prevent cracks to your foundation.

2. Test your sump pump.

In order to avoid cracks forming within your foundation, be sure to test your sump pump at least once a year. If it’s storm season in your area, be sure to check it more frequently.

3. Fix the water leaks.

Any visible leaks should be repaired as soon as possible, in order to prevent any future water damage. Be sure to check for dark spots on ceilings or pipes, as it can also be an indicator of water damage. Evidence of water damage has the ability to create cracks in the foundation. If your home shows any signs of water damage, be sure to contact SERVPRO of Yorba Linda/Brea, as we are leaders in the water damage removal process. 

How Cracks in a Home’s Foundation Can Create Slab Leaks

Oftentimes, a crack in a house’s foundation can lead to a slab leak in your home, which is another thing no homeowner wants to deal with. Fortunately, SERVPRO of Yorba Linda/Brea has lots of experience in dealing with slab leaks. 

Recently, SERVPRO of Yorba Linda/Brea received a call from a homeowner who realized that the carpet in their bedroom was very wet in a specific area, which had no connection to plumbing. Unsure of what to do, the homeowner reached out to their insurance agent who referred him to SERVPRO of Yorba Linda/Brea. 

When we received their call, we immediately sent out our Project Manager, Jonathan Arcila to inspect the damage. After looking around the area, Arcila realized that the homeowner had a slab leak that ended up affecting the bedroom, bathroom and laundry room. He reached out to Crew Chief Cesar Arcilla and his team of technicians started to get the project underway immediately. 

The SERVPRO of Yorba Linda/Brea team had to remove the wet baseboards in all the rooms and the padding in the bedroom, but they were able to save the carpet by floating it. They then set up dehumidifiers and fans to help the rooms dry out. 

The homeowner was very happy and appreciated all of SERVO of Yorba Linda/Brea’s help. They were thrilled that we were able to save their carpet and grateful for our quick service. They let us know that if they’d call us for their future water damage needs. 

If your home has been affected by a cracked foundation or has any other signs of water damage, give SERVPRO of Yorba Linda/Brea a call! We are happy to help with any water damage problems. 

Burst Attic Pipes: A Homeowner’s Worst Nightmare

6/11/2014 (Permalink)

Imagine this: you come home from a long, exhausting day at work, excited to heat up last night’s leftovers, prop up your feet, and catch up on all of your recorded shows. Instead, you walk into a house that is soaking wet—from attic to floorboards—because a pipe in your attic burst. There are puddles of water in every room—on the furniture, bedding, carpet, brand new hardwood floors, and worse yet, on all of your old family photo albums. What do you do? Where do you even start?

Most homes in the United States contain a three module plumbing system. That means that there is a water supply network of pipes throughout your home.  Piping runs under your house, through the walls on the first or second floor, and goes all the way up to your attic. However, depending on the material from which the pipes are made, the age of the pipes, or the amount of water pressure that is flowing through the piping, the tubes in your attic can burst unexpectedly. If that happens you will be facing hundreds of thousands of gallons of water damage to work through.

When attic pipes burst there is visible damage to the crown molding and ceiling in your home. SERVPRO Brea/Yorba Linda, an acclaimed water damage removal company, specializes in restoring your home as soon as possible. Our experienced technicians will come in, assess the damage, and create a customized water damage restoration package that will make sure the foundation of your home is satisfactory and your wood flooring won’t buckle. What should you do in case a pipe bursts? 

  • Turn off the water: Make sure to turn off the water at the main source. There will still be water that is flowing through the pipes but at least you know that it is coming to an end. 
  • Turn off the Electricity: You don’t want buckets of water to flow onto any electrical devices Water is a conductor of electricity and when water and electricity meet you can experience electrical shock. Even a small voltage can cause loss of muscular control.
  • Remove furniture: Water damage to furniture can degrade the structure and appearance, so move the furniture out of the way as soon as possible.

SERVPRO Brea/Yorba Linda is with you every step of the way. No matter what sort of water damage repair you may need, SERVPRO Brea/Yorba Linda has a talented team of experienced technicians that can reconnect burst pipes, install the fixtures and appliances needed to prevent further damage, and sop up the mess left behind.

Don’t be the next Victim of a Pesky Slab Leak

6/11/2014 (Permalink)

If you hear running water when all your water is turned off, there is excessive mildew under your carpet, or your water bills are alarmingly high, your residence may very well have a slab leak. 

A slab leak is when a pipeline under your house's foundation or along the walls develops a steady leak. The water that consistently streams out of the broken pipe under your foundation's "slab" may cause severe damage to the floorboards. This is troubling because if the foundation of your building becomes unstable it puts the whole building in danger. A building with a nagging slab leak is also a structure that has the possibility of collapsing. Slab leaks are plumbing disasters because they can be costly and time consuming to fix.  However, the experienced technicians at SERVPRO Yorba Linda/Brea, a water damage restoration company in Brea and Yorba Linda, are experts in water damage removal and will locate the source of the leak without destroying all the other quality property around it.

Here are some causes of why a slab leak can occur in your home:

  • Bad Pipes from the Beginning: Sometimes when homes are built the pipes under the home are fitted inadequately from the beginning.  If the initial construction crew used cheap pipe fitters or inexpensive plumbing materials, then the possibility of the piping system breaking is higher with the ebb and flow of the water pressure through the years.
  •  Old Pipes: If your residence was built more than ten years ago, then there is a high chance that soil, sand, or gravel can rust the pipes and rusty pipes can burst easily.
  • Abnormal Water Pressure: Piping is often made of copper. Small pipes that are made of copper can raise the water pressure and the pipe will just burst open. 

At SERVPRO Brea/Yorba Linda the last thing we want is for your house to collapse or your water bill to soar because of a pesky slab leak. No matter what sort of water damage repair you may need, SERVPRO Brea/Yorba Linda has a talented team of technicians that can fix slab leaks with minimal damage to the surrounding areas of your home.