Three Key Uses For A Residential Retaining Wall A Useful Home Improvement Feature 

June 23rd, 2018
Today residents of the Greater Raleigh Area and its environs sometimes rely upon a very ancient landscaping device to enhance their comfort and enjoyment of their real estate: a residential retaining wall. Many people don’t realize this useful feature also often offers significant home waterproofing benefits!

Residential Retaining Wall

Drainage & Waterproofing Solutions,LLC” constructs residential retaining walls for customers in this beautiful region of North Carolina. Ask us to conduct an inspection of your grounds to let you know whether or not your realty would benefit from including one (or more)Residential retaining wall on the property from a waterproofing standpoint. You might even consider requesting this structure simply to enhance the appearance of the yard and make regular maintenance easier.

About Retaining Walls

Essentially, a retaining wall permits a property owner to restructure the terrain of a yard in the best way to promote effective drainage. Just like a French Drain, this simple structure may help channel the flow of water runoff in a desired direction. Consider using retaining walls as cost-effective, harmonious tools for assisting your residential waterproofing and landscaping goals. We build Residential retaining walls in a variety of sizes and thicknesses across variable distances. These structures lend both beauty and utility to yards in this area.
Retaining wall step 3

Many retaining walls help prevent erosion by holding the ground along the slopes of hillsides in place. (The wall effectively “retains” the earth in a desired position.) You’ve no doubt seen hundreds of retaining walls as your travel through North Carolina. Most residential developments constructed near slopes or hillsides rely on one (or more) of these structures. We’d like to mention three popular uses for retaining walls:

Control Yard Drainage

Of course, Drainage & Waterproofing Solutions,LLC” frequently installs Residential retaining wall for customers to advance water runoff drainage goals. The use of these structures may assist a property owner in re-shaping the contours of the land surrounding the residence. We endeavor to further waterproofing objectives by employing this very basic landscaping technology.

In some situations, we even install interior drains inside the Residential retaining wall we construct. Taking this step may provide a channel for rainwater runoff to flow in a desired direction. It may also help prevent the formation of ponds or puddles in level areas demarcated by a retaining wall.(1)

Make Mowing Hillsides Easier

Do you dread watching a family member mow a particularly steep section of the yard? Angled slopes sometimes allow lawnmowers and lawn tractors to tip over. Instead of laboring strenuously to work around these natural terrain drawbacks, it may increase a homeowner’s peace of mind and satisfaction to simply level the slope with the assistance of a series of well-placed retaining walls.

A series of retaining walls can help divide steeply angled slopes into a series of leveled terraces effectively, creating useful, flatter areas for gardening or grounds keeping purposes (without allowing erosion to become a problem). In fact, these walls help some property owners optimize the utility they receive from their yards. Ancient people residing in mountainous areas around the world often utilized retaining walls to create terraced agricultural plots in the past. Sturdy retaining walls built hundreds of years ago still assist this goal in some parts of the world!(2)

Install a Secure Yet Scenic Rock Garden

Yet another popular use for retaining walls involves creating safer, cleaner rock gardens. If you’ve considered replacing a hard-to-mow grassy knoll on your land with an easily-maintained rock garden, consider utilizing a strong, thick retaining wall at the base as a safety precaution. The wall helps prevent loose stones from slipping downhill without encountering a barrier along the way.

Today, skilled builders can embed permanent hooks in retaining walls to help fasten secure netting over loose landscaping aggregates. This precaution helps maintain these decorative natural materials in place. Additionally, constructing a slightly higher-than-ground-level retaining wall offers additional protection against erosion. Customers may also request the construction of sites within the retaining wall for the deployment of LED outdoor lighting. The beautiful results of these efforts delight homeowners and visitors alike!

Further Information

Do you require an attractive, well-built Residential retaining wall to improve drainage for your residence in the Greater Raleigh, Southern Pines or Fayetteville area, or to enhance your home’s natural landscaping? Contact Drainage & Waterproofing Solutions,LLC” for fast, experienced assistance. Our company also offers a wide variety of other useful, affordable waterproofing services. We supply free written estimates, so you’ll know the reasonable cost of the project before we commence work. Call 919-235-5219 now to discuss your property with us. We look forward to helping you!

Don’t Overlook an Important Tool For Keeping Water Out of Your Basement!

November 3rd, 2017
Homeowners in North Carolina sometimes wonder if they can take any steps themselves to help prevent water from seeping into basement areas? One very powerful waterproofing tool often escapes attention. Yet it offers a practical way to help maintain dry basements and under-the-house crawl spaces. Don’t overlook the critical importance of keeping residential gutters and downspouts in good condition!

Gutter Systems Help Protect Foundations

Human beings learned thousands of years ago that rooftops served as excellent water-collection systems. You’ve probably watched classic films set in the Old West in which characters placed wooden rain barrels beneath the eaves, for example. People noticed runoff would sometimes cascade off man-made structures after heavy downpours.

During the modern era, sturdy metal gutters running along the edges of roofs have gained popularity. They usually connect with one (or more) vertical downspouts. Today most builders routinely install gutters when they first finish the roof on a new construction job. Gutters serve a dual purpose. They prevent rainwater, fallen leaves and other windblown debris from sliding off the roof and creating an unsightly mess in the yard. Most importantly, they also direct runoff away from residential foundations and basements. It sometimes surprises homeowners to learn their gutters actually supply an important tool for helping maintain the lower levels of the home in a dry condition!

Why Gutter Maintenance Matters

Correctly maintained gutters and downspouts help residents channel rainwater away from the home. When a waterproofing expert first inspects a basement or a low-lying crawl space, this specialist will typically also note the presence (or absence) of gutters and downspouts. Although most residences in this region of North Carolina utilize gutters, sometimes property owners overlook the importance of installing new gutters and downspouts following roof replacements. Keeping these systems in good working order can ultimately help you save thousands of dollars in waterproofing home repair expenses!

In our area, homeowners should periodically check the gutters and clean out any accumulated debris. Why? As rainwater drains down a roof towards the gutter, it carries along minute particles of dirt and sand which have blown onto the roof. It will also transport fallen leaves and branches from the rooftop into residential gutters. Unless periodically removed from the gutter system, this organic material can form clogs that interrupt the flow of water through downspouts. Clogged gutters not only eventually look unattractive, they will fail to perform a protective function.

Make Sure Downspouts Protect Your Home’s Foundation

Ideally, your residential downspouts will direct water away from the home’s perimeter. Runoff leaving downspouts typically drains onto concrete splash blocks. Waterproofing experts sometimes install runoff channels to extend the lengths of the splash blocks, ensuring water flows only seep into the ground at a point well removed from the residence.

If your gutters receive cleaning too infrequently, you likely won’t notice the consequences immediately. Yet over the course of months and years, a failed gutter system (or the absence of any gutter system at all) usually causes problems. Water may saturate the ground around the home during certain seasons of the year. It may begin leaking through small cracks in the foundation and enter the basement, for instance. Or it may permit damp conditions to develop in under-the-home unsealed crawl spaces. Maintaining your residential gutter system in good condition cannot guarantee you’ll never encounter waterproofing problems, yet it does reduce the likelihood of some types of runoff water damage.

Essential Gutter System Maintenance

Most experts recommend cleaning out the gutters and downspouts of a home during autumn and towards the beginning of spring. Gutter cleaning services remain available to assist homeowners with this messy task, which requires the use of a ladder or crane. Consider asking anyone performing gutter cleaning to also assess the general condition of the gutter system; older gutters in North Carolina sometimes sustain damage caused by heavy fallen tree branches or high winds. They may develop pinhole areas of rusting or leaking and require repair. If residential gutters show extensive wear and tear, you might consider replacing worn sections with attractive new gutters.

If you have any concern about the suitability of your home’s downspouts or gutter splash blocks, don’t hesitate to contact us. We strive to help residents maintain dry basements and crawl spaces. We serve customers throughout this region of North Carolina!

Proper Planning for Your Next Waterproofing Project

October 15th, 2017
Currently, the best option for homeowners looking to waterproof their home is to seek assistance from a full-time waterproofing firm. Projects to install an interior basement drain or obtain crawl space repair and encapsulation may significantly extend the useful lifespan of a residence. Yet even initiating this type of major home improvement sometimes strikes real estate owners as daunting. What steps should you take in order to obtain the best value from waterproofing? Just consider some of these tips:

1. Observe Conditions in Your Location Carefully

First, pay close attention to your real estate. Have you noticed significant pooling in one section of the yard during heavy rains? Do the sides of an unfinished basement display water marks from past water pooling? Does your residence already have a gutter system and downspouts in place? By observing the conditions of your home and grounds, you may suspect your real estate would benefit from professional waterproofing services.

2. Schedule an Inspection by a Qualified Waterproofing Company

Today, a growing number of firms offer waterproofing services on a full-time basis. Try and select an experienced firm with a good reputation in your local area to conduct an inspection of your home. You’ll likely pay for this service. However, obtaining a waterproofing inspection could help you save significant sums of money over the course of time. You’ll want to locate a firm willing to assist your documentation efforts if you do require bank financing for a waterproofing project. If you reside in a dwelling with a basement or cellar, the inspection will focus extensively upon waterproofing lower levels of the home. If your home lacks a basement, but does include crawl spaces, the inspector will want to observe the crawl spaces closely to check for any signs of water, mold or pest damage. Ask your waterproofing expert to prepare a written report documenting the findings of the inspection in detail. This document should include any recommendations for waterproofing services, as well as extensive photos of the basement or crawl spaces. (In some cases, a waterproofing expert may advise you to also obtain a further inspection from an engineer specializing in building foundations or soil conditions.)

3. Discuss The Inspection Findings With Experts

Discuss proposed waterproofing concerns and potential solutions in detail with your waterproofing firm and, if applicable, with an engineer. Your experts may outline a variety of possible solutions for specific types of water drainage issues. You’ll want to understand their recommendations in order to make well informed decisions concerning waterproofing your home.

4. Develop a Waterproofing Plan

You may discover your residence does not require further waterproofing at this time. Your plan of action on this issue may become as simple as scheduling waterproofing inspections every few years. On the other hand, if water in basements or crawl spaces does pose a hazard, you may wish to evaluate a number of possible solutions. Waterproofing companies often provide several available services to assist homeowners in maintaining dry basements. These approaches may include installing specialized drains, such as an interior basement drain with a sump pump, or cleaning and encapsulating a crawl space. In some situations, significant landscaping changes around the exterior of the home and the addition of a gutter system or retaining walls may prove helpful. Yet since the best approaches for waterproofing often hinge upon specific property conditions, it makes sense to discuss all your available options in depth. Ask for assistance from your experts as you prepare a waterproofing plan.

5. If Necessary, Seek Financing

In some situations, undertaking a significant waterproofing project, such as the installation of an interior basement drain beneath the basement floor, may offer the best long term solution for a water drainage problem. The waterproofing report and its attached photos will assist you if you need to obtain financing to implement a recommended solution for your home’s water drainage problems. Your discussions with your experts should help you explain the purpose of a proposed waterproofing project more clearly to lenders. Shop carefully if you must obtain a loan to afford home improvements. Consider discussing the terms and conditions of lending documents with your family attorney.

6. Use Qualified Contractors to Implement Your Waterproofing Project

Work closely with your team of experts to implement a waterproofing project. While these improvements sometimes cost significant sums, you may find you extend the anticipated lifespan of your residence by resolving water drainage hazards. Waterproofing an unfinished basement may allow you to eventually finish a basement to expand available living space within the residence, also.

Careful Planning

Plan waterproofing projects carefully to increase the likelihood of a successful outcome. Homes without drainage problems provide more pleasing living spaces. Waterproofing offers long term safety benefits, too!

Why Inspecting Crawl Spaces And Foundations Matters

August 15th, 2017

Thorough Residential Real Estate Inspections

In many locations, especially in warmer regions, developers erect houses with extensive crawl spaces. For instance, instead of excavating a basement, the builder may construct a wood frame residence resting on a slightly elevated foundation. If you live in a home with an unencapsulated crawl space (or crawl spaces), it usually remains a wise precaution to request periodic inspections by a waterproofing expert of the infrequently-accessed areas beneath the residence.

Taking this simple step helps ensure crawl spaces and foundations remain in good condition. It also may assist property owners in catching and correcting potential real estate problems at an early stage. The old adage “forewarned is forearmed” applies in terms of protecting living areas from some common crawl space-related hazards.

Clean, Dry Crawl Spaces

Of course, frequently homeowners don’t welcome the prospect of exploring out-of-the-way crawl spaces, building foundations, or attics. These locations may require considerable effort and discomfort to access. They typically lack light. In some circumstances, spiders, snakes or even bats frequent these dark places. Yet ensuring that these parts of a residence remain clean and dry could help maintain the useful lifespan of your house.

Water leaking beneath the home can create potentially serious consequences. Over the course of time, this situation may cause warping or rotting in wooden structures. The damp conditions may give rise to the growth of mold and mildew, a health concern. In wood frame houses, moisture may promote conditions conducive to termite infestations. Ultimately, seeping water holds the potential to damage building foundations, creating structural problems. All these considerations warrant periodic inspections of crawl spaces, foundations and attics by experienced waterproofing technicians. If you notice any possible signs of trouble developing, consider contacting a qualified inspector to check your home:

Tilting Floor

Do any of the lower level floors in your residence “bounce” or appear uneven? While many possible causes can contribute to this problem (including termites), water in a crawl space sometimes produces this defect. By asking an expert to examine the underside of the floor carefully, you’ll take useful corrective action to protect your household more effectively.

Any sagging floor imposes hazards, or course. It may cause people to trip and fall unexpectedly. If sections of a floor weaken, the problem could place furniture (or occupants) at risk of tumbling through floor boards.

Cracks in Interior Plaster or Dry Wall

If you notice cracks forming in the plaster or dry wall in one or more rooms, requesting a crawl space and foundation inspection may prove prudent. A variety of issues potentially cause crack formation; shifting in the ground beneath the home as a result of water pooling in a crawl space could contribute to this phenomenon.

Large cracks in plaster or dry wall usually remain apparent even after re-painting or the application of wall paper. They pose an interior decorating problem and may deter prospective home buyers when a property reaches the real estate market. Checking out the source of the cracks usually remains the best course of action.

Termite Infestations

If your house develops a termite problem, consider scheduling a crawl space and foundation inspection with a waterproofing expert. Some termites will infest dry wood, yet these wood-gnawing insects often show a marked preference for damp, rotting planks and timbers. It makes little sense to perform termite treatments before addressing an underlying water problem, if any, inside the crawl space or around the foundation. Unless repaired, wet crawl spaces under the home may continue to promote wood damage, encouraging termite re-infestation at a later date.

Most real estate experts recommend obtaining the assistance of a licensed pest exterminator in order to apply termite treatments. The insects can burrow inside wood and sometimes prove challenging to eradicate. Recently some new classes of insecticides reached the market. These chemicals prove less toxic to humans and pets, but eliminate entire termite colonies.

Odors

A foul odor in the home could signal a leaky roof or a wet crawlspace and foundation. Persistently damp conditions allow mold to gain a foothold. If you smell a musty, unpleasant aroma, consider calling a waterproofing company for assistance.

A careful examination of the premises helps isolate the source of water leaks. In some situations, leaking plumbing pipes and fixtures or sewer pipes spill undetected into crawl spaces for some time before the problem reaches an owner’s attention. Prompt corrective plumbing action to stop leaking sometimes resolves this type of crawl space issue (if extensive damage has not already occurred).

Available Assistance

Consider contacting a qualified waterproofing expert in all these situations. Taking this precaution could help prevent or minimize long term property damage!

Residential Waterproofing: An International Concern

July 19th, 2017

The importance of waterproofing in the architectural design and construction industries obtained international recognition recently. Increasing interest in this emerging field prompted the Property Care Association to sponsor a second annual conference. Experts in the fields of structural waterproofing, construction, real estate development and architectural design will speak at the event in Coventry, England on Thursday, July 6, 2017. The PCA has worked in the UK together with the NHBC, an insurance company, to promote a new set of proposed best waterproofing construction standards.

The day-long conference, held at Warwick University, will focus on three key areas of interest to businesses involved in waterproofing residential units: architectural design, planning specifications and best practices. Speakers at the conference plan to address topics such as the impact of soil mechanics and hydrology on basement waterproofing and correcting common problems with deck waterproofing systems. The PCA’s CEO Steve Hodgson described the 2016 conference as a “great success”.

Waterproofing Conferences in the United States

The waterproofing industry has also attracted strong interest in many parts of the United States. For example, a large international industry trade show and convention sponsored by RCI, Inc. will celebrate its 33rd year between March 22nd and March 25th in 2018. The sponsors anticipate many interested waterproofing industry professionals will attend the upcoming event in Houston, Texas. Papers presented at the proceeding will cover a variety of issues, including waterproofing walls and significant new developments in waterproofing materials research.

Around the USA, architects, home builders, engineers, construction industry professionals and real estate agents often discuss waterproofing topics in conferences and continuing education classes. The development of innovative new products to protect residential basements, foundations and crawl spaces from water damage has contributed to interest in this field. Some product manufacturers also offer programs about residential waterproofing.

Addressing a Pervasive Problem

Interest in promoting new standards for waterproofing housing in the UK arose after the disclosure insurance claims in that nation for damage to basements since 2005 had exceeded 21 million British Pounds (equivalent to over $26.7 million). Leaky, waterlogged basements have imposed significant costs upon residential insurance companies, home builders and homeowners in Britain during the past decade.

In the United States, a far more populous nation, the total financial toll exacted by seeping, water-filled basements likely proves considerably higher. However, homeowner policies in the USA do not cover most problems caused by water seeping into basements. A vivid illustration of the magnitude of this problem occurred last year. During August, 2016, heavy rainstorms across Louisiana produced flooding in many communities, damaging an estimated 40,000 buildings in a single weekend of heavy downpours. The incident caused severe hardship for thousands of families who sustained extensive property losses caused by water despite residing outside of designated flood plains.

Protection For U. S. Homeowners

Reportedly, a few insurance companies in the United States will provide specific endorsements for accidents involving the catastrophic failure of a sump pump. Special endorsements in some policies also safeguard against damage caused by sewer line backups. Experts caution property owners must consult their individual policy provisions to determine whether or not they enjoy coverage for those types of potentially very expensive disasters.

Flooding occurs fairly frequently in some locations in the USA. Home buyers seeking mortgages on homes lying within flood plains must typically request government-sponsored flood insurance marketed through private insurance firms in order to obtain purchasing finance approvals. Unfortunately, these insurance policies typically won’t cover water damage originating in basements. Additionally, as many unfortunate Louisiana residents discovered in 2016, seeping water does sometimes impact properties lying well outside designated flood plains. Both homeowners in low-lying areas who fail to purchase flood insurance and property owners of waterlogged residences in locations outside flood zones may encounter steep, sudden financial losses as a result of unexpected water damage.

Crafting a Waterproofing Strategy

If you fall into one of these completely unprotected categories, at a minimum you should probably consider consulting with a basement waterproofing expert to discuss strategies to better protect your residence in the event of nearby flooding or unusually heavy rainfalls. Installing a sump pump and/or interior basement drains, waterproofing lower level windows and carefully landscaping the area around the home may all help mitigate property losses in the event of heavy rains and rising water table levels. Planning ahead to remove water quickly from basements in some cases can prove valuable.