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Basement Technologies of WNY Inc. Blog
Check back frequently to stay up-to-date on the latest in foundation repair, basement waterproofing & more! 
By proadAccountId-360850 01 Dec, 2017
It is that time of year again in Western NY! Winter is here, whether it feels like it or not, and it is only a matter of time before the snow starts to pile up. Whether you move the snow yourself, or hire somebody to do it for you, it is very important to pay attention to where the snow gets piled.

We see a lot of people push the piles to the back yard right next to their home, garage, or sometimes even near their neighbor's home.

Keep in mind that there's not just the obvious concerns of the trucks damaging buildings and property (damaging foundation walls), but also the reality that all that snow will melt as some point.

Weather can be very unpredictable in our region, and large amounts of snow can literally melt overnight causing not only flooding, wet basements but even foundation damage.

It is always best to pile your snow as far away from any structure as possible. Doing something this simple could prevent a lot of headaches for you and your family down the road.

Have a happy and safe winter season!
By proadAccountId-360850 01 Nov, 2017
"Homes are supposed to settle", "all foundations have cracks" and "don't worry about wall cracks" are some of the phrases that I often hear from people say when I am looking at their home for an estimate. As one of the largest foundation repair companies in all of Western NY we cover a very large service area. So we tend to hear this more often than not.

We see a lot of homes that are fairly new, and people have been speaking with the builder about the cracks they've been seeing appear. It seems that this has become commonplace amongst average consumers and homeowners.

There are a lot of these misconceptions that originate from sources that do not have the best of intentions for those that they are telling them to.

Of course the builder is going to tell you “don't worry about wall cracks” and/or “every foundation gets cracks”. From a financial standpoint, the builder potentially stands to lose a great deal of money to remedy the problem correctly. What if the word around the neighborhood was that there were more neighbors with similar problems that need to be repaired?

Even if enough time had passed where they are not legally liable to pay for the repair anymore, no builder wants a bad reputation, or problems selling future homes they may build. The result of this is typically the builder telling the homeowner to not worry about wall cracks.

“Homes Are Supposed To Settle”
The next phrase that we most commonly hear from people is “homes are supposed to settle”. The very basic truth to this is no, your home is NOT  supposed to settle.

Foundation wall cracks are always a sign of damage to your home either from:
  • Hydrostatic pressure pushing horizontally on the wall from the exterior
  • Hydrostatic pressure pushing possibly from vertical settlement
This old wives tale originates from when homes were all hand built from the foundation to the rafters. Older homes used to have handmade rafters making up the roof section of the home. Because these timbers were simply toe nailed together, it was not uncommon for the timbers to shift around requiring bracing or collar ties to be installed to secure from further movement. When these timbers would shift, you would commonly see movement in the wall material of the superstructure in the main living level of the home. In more modern homes, factory made trusses are used instead of handmade rafters and, if installed properly, you won't get this type of movement anymore. When most people these days see shifting or cracking in the finished materials of their home, or have windows or doors that are pinching, it is normally as a result of the foundation shifting beneath the home. This is a problem that needs to be fixed.

Most common reasons for foundation walls to shift:
  • Hydrostatic pressure on the outside of the walls
  • Downspout not being extended far enough away from the house
  • Gutters spilling over
  • Grading issues that allow excessive moisture to be absorbed into the soil around the home: this will expand the soil & cause excessive pressure that can damage your walls
In some cases if the walls are repaired properly than the walls will collapse from the amount of movement that has occurred. These same maintenance problems can also cause vertical settling of the foundation walls.

Settling  is also sometimes caused by the home simply being built on top of unsuitable soil. We have entire areas that we do repeat foundation jobs for neighbors not because of lack of maintenance, but because their home was built on soil that was not capable of supporting the load that their home is placing on it. We have seen homes be condemned because the customer simply did not invest in corrective measures and the increasing damaged soon became too costly.

Please keep in mind, that we all have friends that work in the construction industry, however, if they don't work directly with the problem that you find in your home, you should always contact a reputable specialized contractor to investigate the problem for you and let you know whether you have something to be concerned with or not. Please call us to set up an appointment with Basement Technologies of Western NY Inc today!

Don't be fooled by these quotes! “All foundations have cracks.” “Don't worry about cracks.” “Cracks won't get any worse.” “Homes are supposed to settle.”
By proadAccountId-360850 01 Oct, 2017
Dehumidifiers come in all shapes, sizes and of course different costs. But what makes a really good dehumidifier?

The Santa Fe Classic  for standard basements can be bought at a lower price on Sylvane.com  than from most basement waterproofing contractors!

The Santa Fe Classic Dehumidifier is an American-made dehumidifier perfect for helping to prevent wet basements. This dehumidifier helps to eliminate mold and mildew problems in large humid basements and crawl spaces.

The Classic removes 110 pints of moisture per day under AHAM conditions (80 degrees F at 60% RH) and approximately 220 pints at saturation (100% relative humidity). It dehumidifies spaces as large as 2,500 square feet and does it with Energy Star efficiency.

This dehumidifier operates in temperatures as low as 56 degrees. It has a 275 CFM fan to move the air and dehumidify it. It also has a dial for you to control how much basement humidity you want in your basement and a drain hose so you never have to empty containers or have the unit shut off because it can't hold any more.

The average bathroom fan has an 80 CFM motor.

A cheap dehumidifier will only move the air around the unit, thus not significantly decreasing the humidity of the entire basement. Running a box or oscillating fan in the basement to move the air around will help with humidity by circulating the air so your dehumidifier can do a better job. But with the cost of running a fan and the inefficiency of a sub-par unit, a good dehumidifier should be considered.

Some customers order the dehumidifier through us because they are unable to navigate the heavy box down the basement stairs and set up the discharge tube. These same customers have called us years later to buy another identical unit: not because the original broke, but because the dehumidifier was specified on the appliance list on the buyer's agreement when they sold their home and the buyer paid additional money for it to stay with the house!

Basement Technologies of Western NY Inc sells dehumidifiers for crawlspaces and basements. We sell the Santa Fe Unit  which can be purchased directly, and usually cheaper, at Sylvane.com . If you continue to have a moisture problem or have water coming in, then a new basement waterproofing system may be considered. Make sure to call us today for your dehumidifier and if you have a wet basement or need foundation or basement waterproofing!
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