Features to Consider For Egress Windows – Middlesex County, NJ

Egress Windows

Egress windows in basements are important for safety. They should be properly configured in order to provide a reliable route of escape in case of an emergency. They should also be able to provide an entry way for emergency personnel who may have no other way to access your home. Keeping these functions of the windows in mind is vital when selecting windows for your basement.

If you want to ensure that your egress window is able to meet the requirements for safety discussed above, you should consider the following factors when choosing a window:

  1. Ground and cored corners

The installation process involves cutting a hole into the wall of the basement. Most contractors rely on a concrete saw for this. The round cutting blade limits how the contractor will cut the opening in the wall. To prevent cracking and leaking, use cored corners before applying a grinder to get 90 degree corners is best.

  1. Install metal window well liners

If you want to avoid the effects of hydrostatic pressure on your windows and foundation walls, it’s a good idea to install metal window well liners. These window well liners will be able to withstand the constant pressure exerted by expanding soils especially in the winter and during heavy rains.

Plastic liners are a bad idea since they can be torn as a result of extreme pressure. They can also be heaved upward as a result of the pressure of freezing soil.

  1. Consider choosing casement windows

There are various types of egress windows to choose from in the market today. Where possible, it’s best to go for casement windows. These are easy to open when there is an emergency. They are also large enough for an adult emergency worker with emergency equipment to climb through.

  1. Install a working drain

It’s important to ensure that the egress window has a working drain. This will ensure that water does not collect in the window well like an aquarium. The window can break under this pressure and you will have to deal with a flooded basement and the expense of replacing your egress window.

  1. Include a cover

Consider having a window with a cover. This may be in the form of reinforced polycarbonate. These covers not only provide privacy for the basement but will also keep pets, children and even adults safe from falling into the window well. The cover will also keep debris out of the window well.

Elevator Waterproofing | New Brunswick, NJ | Select Basement Waterproofing

Elevator Waterproofing – Fixing Leaks in Elevator Pits – Bergen County, NJ

Elevator pits are sensitive areas. However, they are often forgotten. These pits are often below the ground floor of the building. Modern elevators are constructed in the foundation and have concrete poured around them.

Leaks often occur in elevator pits that are found below the water table. The water table rises and falls as a result of changes in seasons. This results in movements in the soil surrounding the foundation and the elevator pit. The elevator pit develops structural problems that result in leaks.

Faulty elevator waterproofing:

If you ensured that elevator waterproofing was installed in the construction phase of the building, you probably think that you won’t have any seepage problems in your elevator pit ever again. The truth is that the installation of these systems is often faulty. This is especially true when the contractor carrying out the installation is not a professional waterproofing contractor.

In other cases, the leaking may occur simply as a result of the wear and tear of time. As the elevator pit succumbs to age, the waterproofing system will also begin to fail. The membranes used to keep water out of the elevator pit begin to disintegrate and this affects the performance of the system.

Take action:

The solution you apply to solve the elevator pit leaks will depend on the cause of the leaks. It is best to deal with the root cause of the problem before you deal with the cracks that are letting water into the pit.

The solutions you choose for sealing leaking cracks in elevator pits will depend on the construction of the elevator pit.

  1. Sealing leaks in poured concrete walls:

If the elevator pit has poured concrete walls, you can seal the cracks using a crack injection. It is important to choose a crack injection that you can use in both wet and dry conditions. It should not react with water and should form a tight seal within a short time.

     2. Sealing brick and block walls:

If the elevator pit is constructed from block or brick, the water is most likely seeping through the joints between the individual blocks. These joints are points of weakness in the wall. Sealing leaks in this case would require the use of grout to seal the joints.

Talk to an elevator waterproofing contractor to determine your options. They will guide you on the best solution for waterproofing your elevator pit.


The Basics of Basement Remodeling

Basement Remodeling

There comes a time when every homeowner finds their needs have changed and their home simply can’t meet them. Two options are available for those homeowners that need more space. These are to move to a bigger home or to increase the floor space of their current home.

Those who opt to increase their floor space will have two further options. They can either take advantage of the space currently available in their homes or invest in an extension. Utilizing space already available to you is the easiest and often most affordable option.

Considerations before basement remodeling

If you’re considering remodeling your basement in order to increase your floor space, you need to consider the following basics:

  • Waterproofing is a must

Moisture is one of your biggest enemies when it comes to finishing your basement. Moisture can lead to the destruction of your investment. It therefore makes sense to invest in waterproofing before you embark on remodeling your basement. Ensure you invest in a waterproofing method that offers long term benefits.

  • An egress window is required

It is important to ensure that your basement meets the requirements of building code when remodeling it. If you intend to use the basement as a living space, then building code requires that you install an egress window in the space. Egress windows are used for emergency escape from the building. They are also a good source of natural light for your new room.

  • Basements have special cooling and heating needs

Basements have special heating and cooling needs compared to rooms that are above ground. During the summer, basements will remain cool because they are below ground. During the winter, the basement may be warm if the furnace is located on this level. It is important to explore the special needs for heating and cooling the space to ensure that you meet them.

  • Consider specialized construction materials

Basements are prone to moisture problems. It is therefore important to consider this when choosing the materials that you will use for finishing the space. Consider choosing materials that are resistant to moisture. This will ensure that you won’t have to replace any time soon.

  • Ensure that you are up to code

It is important to ensure that all aspects of your project are up to building code standards. This is not only good for meeting the requirements of the law but also to ensure that you get the best results from your project for the long term.

5 Benefits of Basement Lowering

Basement Lowering

Do you look at your basement and sigh? Do you have dreams of a full height family room in your basement, but can’t envision it in your current cramped basement? If so, don’t give up on your dream. You can have a full height room in your basement by investing in basement lowering

If you’re still uncertain whether basement lowering is the right solution for you, consider the following benefits:

  1. Renew your home

The lowering process will uncover what lies beneath your home, which in many cases includes the working mechanics of your home. This will make them more accessible for repairs, upgrades and regular inspection. It will also give you the opportunity to replace old insulation, electrical and plumbing systems and therefore modernize your home. If your foundation is in need of waterproofing, this is a great time to do it too.

  1. Stabilize your foundation

Is your home in an area with extreme climate or a poor soil type e.g. clay? Was your home built by inexperienced workers? Do you experience any foundation problems? Basement lowering could be the answer to all your prayers. It is a great way to stabilize and strengthen your foundation. It will help you increase your home’s value and give you the peace of mind you need.

  1. Increased floor space

Lowering your basement by up to 50% will greatly increase your home’s floor space. You can easily turn an unusable storage space into a comfortable living space that can be used for just about any function.

  1. Improve lighting

Does your basement feel cramped and dark? Many basements with low ceilings do. Lowering the basement can help to create a feeling of space as well as improve the lighting in the space. With increased headroom, you can install window wells or other forms of lighting to improve the space.

  1. Affordable way of increasing floor space

Lowering your basement is an affordable way to increase your floor space. It is much cheaper and faster than investing in an extension for your home.

Whether you want to increase the value of your home or are simply looking for a way to improve the usability of your basement, lowering your basement is a great option to make better use of space that is already available to you. Get in touch with a professional and experienced foundation contractor to determine whether this option will work for you.

French drains

Using French Drains To Create a Healthy Living Environment

French Drains

One of the greatest concerns for any homeowner is to ensure their living space is safe. While there are many other sources of impurities in the indoor air, the basement is credited with many varieties of pollutants. The problem with these living spaces is their location below the surface making them susceptible to water leakage.

Basement water is a common frustration for homeowners and in fact, it has forced many homeowners to neglect these spaces. Water entry and high moisture levels cause mold growth, which is one of the major indoor air pollutants. By failing to deal conclusively with the water seepage issue, you will also have to grapple with high humidity levels that not only precipitate respiratory problems but also lead to property damage including dry rot and metal rusting.

However, you can now handle basement water through installation of a French drain and in the process, improve the quality of indoor air. If you have noticed an increase in respiratory infections in your family, it is likely that you have mold growth in your basement. While many people try glossing over basement water issues through painting and other temporary measures, it is advisable to talk to a waterproofing contractor who has experience installing French drains.

How a French Drain Helps

A French drain can be installed either externally or internally, but the function it plays is the same. The installation process involves excavation of an outdoor and indoor trench where a perforated PVC pipe is then laid. The pipe should be slanted in such a way that the collected water is driven away quickly. Once this is done, the trench is filled with porous materials such as rocks before the original backfill is returned.

All surface water will find its way into the perforated pipe and driven either to a sump pit for pumping or directly driven away from the property. The principle used here is that water uses the route with least resistance and now that this pipe is perforated and covered in porous materials, surface water will easily flow in to be driven away from your home.

When thinking of home improvement, a French drain might not be on your priority list but looking at the benefits it offers, it should rank up there. French drains not only help protect your home’s foundation against water damage, but they also protect your family by providing a healthy living environment.

Foundation Repair | Trenton, NJ | Select Basement Waterproofing

Do You Need Foundation Repair in Morganville NJ

Foundation Repair in Morganville NJ

Every homeowner takes pride in their home. A lot of time and resources go into making a home comfortable and for most homeowners, home improvement projects are a lifetime undertaking. With most home improvement projects focusing on aesthetics and functionality of the property, one area that receives little attention is foundation repair.

Most homeowners wait until it is tool late before initiating foundation damage inspection and repair. Failure to repair your home’s foundation early could lead to structural failure, flood damage in the basement, health risks caused by mold growth in the basement, diminished value of your home among other risks. When you consider the sacrifices you made to buy or build your house, it becomes obvious that repairing a damaged foundation must be a priority.

With this in mind, it is important to be proactive in home maintenance to ensure any form of foundation damage is detected early as this allows you to initiate immediate repairs. Some of the warning signs of foundation damage that you should be one the lookout for include:

  1. Water in the Basement

Foundation cracks caused by a bowing or bulging foundation could allow water entry due to unrelenting lateral pressure from the soil surrounding the walls. Water seepage through foundation walls comprises the integrity of the foundation and also poses the risk of flood damage. Water in the basement also leads to toxic mold growth, which causes health problems. Rusting, wood rot, effervescence on walls and peeling wall paint are signs of water seepage into the basement.

  1. Developing Gaps between Structures

If you have noticed Gaps between caulking and windows or doors, or between the crown molding and the ceiling, it is highly likely you are dealing with foundation damage. The gradual movement of the foundation walls causes these structures to pull apart and you should immediately call in a certified foundation contractor for diagnostic tests and foundation repair.

  1. Cracks in different Parts of the Structure

In addition to foundation cracking, you should also look for zig-zag cracks in a brick wall, interior walls on the dry wall, stair case cracks, and floor cracks among others. You should never initiate crack repairs with epoxy or other sealants without first carrying out a thorough inspection of the foundation.

  1. Structure Movement

Gaps are also common when the foundation is moving due to any form of damage, so lookout for gaps between caulking and windows or doors and also between crown molding and the ceiling.

Other things to look for include movement of patios away from the main house, sloping of floors, bowed basement walls, Sunken Floors, jamming doors and windows. Any of these signs necessitates foundation repair by a certified foundation contractor.

crawl space waterproofing

Is Crawl Space Waterproofing a Worthwhile Investment?

Crawl Space Waterproofing

While the debate on the place of crawlspace in modern construction continues, many homeowners are left wondering what to do with this space. Many others don’t even remember this space exists, which poses even more problems. If your home is in a low-lying area, it is highly likely that there is a crawlspace below the structure. Now that your home is a big investment, it is imperative to learn how to properly care for every part of the structure. This is where crawl space waterproofing comes in.

Understanding Crawlspace Water Problem

One of the main problems associated with crawlspaces is water leakage. The fact that these spaces are located below the ground level makes them susceptible to water entry. Surface and ground water always seeks the easiest way to flow and if there are cracks on the foundation wall, lateral pressure will push water through. Water can also leak through the earth floor especially during the rainy season when the water level rises.

Why worry about Crawlspace Water?

It is true the crawlspace is out of sight, but you will be surprised by the huge impact anything that happens in this space has on the rest of the building. Water in the crawlspace attracts critters and rodents, which might end up tampering with utility wires. These critters might also find their way into the main house.

The dampness and moisture in the crawlspace will provide the best conditions for mold growth. Toxic mold causes respiratory problems, eye and skin irritation among other health problems. Mold spores in this space will eventually travel to the upper levels of the house causing untold health problems to the house occupants. This is a good reason to invest in crawl space waterproofing.

There is also the risk of structural damage when foundation metal fasteners start rusting while wooden joists rot away. Your precious investment could be at risk if you don’t resolve this crawlspace water problem quickly.

Crawl Space Waterproofing Systems

When you hire a professional foundation contractor, they will carry out a professional inspection to identify the source of water leak. There are different waterproofing systems they can choose from including installation of a crawlspace sump pump, crawlspace drainage systems, vent covers, dehumidification, crawlspace pipe insulation, crawlspace vapor barrier and crawlspace encapsulation.

Through crawl space waterproofing, you can add extra room for storage while at the same time protecting your family from health risks. This home improvement project will also protect your home and improve indoor air quality (IAQ) in your home.

Contact us today!

mold remediation

Have a Healthy Home with Professional Mold Remediation in Plainfield NJ

Mold Remediation in Plainfield NJ

Every homeowner believes their indoor living space is safe. When thinking of home improvement ideas, there is always an attempt to make these indoor living spaces more comfortable and welcoming. There is little concern about the indoor air quality (IAQ) yet this is one of the most important parameters in determining how safe any living space is.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that indoor air pollution is now among the top 5 environmental dangers. Among the main causes of pollution is mold and if your house has a basement or crawlspace, it is important to contract a professional mold remediation service. There are many mold removal kits in the stores, but these will never get the job done as comprehensively as when a certified mold professional does it.

Why Is Mold Remediation Important?

If you are experiencing a musty odor in your basement or you can see a brownish growth on wooden surfaces in the basement, it is time to call in a mold expert. Mold growth is not easy to notice but the effects it has on your family’s health will cost you a lot.

Mold spores travel slowly to the upper levels of the house and cause respiratory problems, eye and skin irritation among other health complications. These allergens can cause fatal asthmatic attacks especially among kids, hence the need to deal with mold growth sooner than later.

Dealing with Mold Growth

Mold growth mainly affects basements because of their location below the surface making them susceptible to water entry. To comprehensively deal with mold growth, an expert will first find out the extent of damage and mark out the affected area. Once this is done, they will identify the water leak and work on how to deal with it.

The problem with DIY mold removal is the fact that it deals with the surface problem and does not focus on the underlying cause of mold infestation. Professional mold remediation goes beyond removal and instead deals with the moisture problem to ensure the homeowner does not have to deal with the issue again.

After the water leak has been sealed through an appropriate waterproofing system, the affected areas are removed. The next phase involves treatment of the affected surfaces and items with eco-friendly chemicals. A mold expert has the tools and gear necessary to handle these chemicals. They also know safety precautions to take to avoid the spread of mold to other areas during the cleanup.

Once the affected areas are cleaned, restoration takes place and testing is done to confirm there is no mold presence.

Contact us today!

egress windows

Egress Windows for a Safe Basement

Egress Windows

Egress windows are a requirement for the safety of a basement apartment. Building code requires that these windows be installed for emergency purposes. It is therefore common for homeowners to look at these windows as an obligation and fail to see the opportunities they present.

Egress window can not only provide a basement with more light but can also make a basement apartment a safer and healthier space in which to live.

The following are examples of strategically installed windows that make a big difference to basement apartments:

  • Kitchen

A kitchen is a necessary part of any apartment. It is also one of the most active areas of an apartment. Installing a window in the portion of a basement apartment that houses the kitchen can help to reduce humidity as well as smells resulting from cooking.

Kitchen windows also offer a great opportunity for kitchen gardens that can brighten up the apartment.

  • Bedroom

The bedroom section of a basement apartment should be calm and warm. However, adding a window can add a great deal to the appeal of the space. You get to watch the sun rise as you lie in bed especially if your window is an east-facing one.

Windows in the bedroom space can help to regulate temperatures especially in summer. They can help to keep the space cool and allow fresh air into the space, therefore promoting the health of the occupants.

  • Bathroom

You may think that adding a window to the bathroom of a basement apartment may be intrusive. However, a bathroom window will go a long way in not only making the bathroom a light and airy space but also in keeping moisture levels low in the apartment. Steam and moisture in the air can be vented out through the window. This ensures that the rest of the apartment remains dry and free of mold.

When choosing egress windows, it is important to consider the design and layout of the basement apartment. Consider what your windows will be adding to the space. The additional light as well as the opportunity to provide ventilation is a great motivation for the installation of windows in different parts of the apartment.

Ensure that you consult with a professional contractor from the beginning. This will help you select the right windows and identify the right places to have them installed. It will also ensure that you meet building code requirements.

basement remodeling

Basement Remodeling in Woodbridge NJ

Basement Remodeling in Woodbridge NJ

The housing market has been on the road to recovery for the past few years. There are many homeowners who are now looking forward to selling their homes for good value. Those who are smart are taking a step further by investing in basement remodeling to further increase their profit margins.

Creating a living space in the basement is a great way of increasing the value of your home. It is an easy and inexpensive way of increasing the square footage of living space in your home. You can turn your basement into practically anything including an extra bedroom, an apartment, a home office or even a media room.

However, basement remodeling doesn’t always go right. In fact, many homeowners have found that remodeling their basements resulted in an overall reduction of value to their homes instead of increasing the value of their homes. How?

Remodeling your basement can hurt the value of your home if the remodeling does not meet building code. It can also hurt the value of your home if the remodeling isn’t done right.

What does it take to get good value from basement remodeling? The following are some steps to consider taking.

  1. Know your code

It is important to understand building code and ensure that your plans meet the standards of the code. This is especially important if you’re planning to convert your basement into a living space such as an apartment.

  1. Hire a professional contractor

It is important to consult with a professional contractor from the beginning. Let them advise you in planning. They should oversee the implementation of your plans and ensure that your construction is in line with the requirements of building code.

  1. Invest in waterproofing

If you want to ensure that your investment is for the long term, you should invest in waterproofing. This will ensure that the space is not prone to leaks and other moisture problems that can otherwise undermine the value of your home.

  1. Consider demand

Consider the demand in the area. What are buyers looking for in a home? Do people want an apartment that they can earn some extra money from? Are buyers looking for luxurious spaces? Base your design and choices for the basement renovation on what potential buyers would want in their homes.

Ensure that your basement remodeling project is a success by hiring an experienced contractor to guide you through it.