Expand, Contract, Repeat

Winters in Iowa can be a rollercoaster ride. You may have subzero temperatures on Monday and have temps in the 50s on Wednesday. This drastic change in temperatures can take its toll on your home and property. Just like when you bend a paper clip over and over and it breaks, the constant flexing from temperatures will cause the concrete to crack.

Ice, Ice, Baby

frozen pipeFreezing temperatures can cause pipes to freeze, which can lead to broken pipes, water damage, and more. A broken pipe can leave you without water, or if it goes unnoticed, you will have flooding somewhere and possibly be paying for water that is going into the ground. Water expands when it freezes and PVC and copper pipes are no match for the strength of the expanding water. Dealing with a broken pipe in the middle of summer is bad enough, imagine if it’s subzero out.

Some pipes that are most likely to freeze include:

  • Outdoor hose spigots
  • Pipes on exterior walls
  • Supply pipes for pools or hot tubs
  • Irrigation lines or sprinkler systems

There are several ways that you can prevent these pipes from freezing and bursting. Make sure that water is drained from pools and supply lines. If the manufacturer recommends it, you can use antifreeze in these lines. Remove hoses from outdoor faucets and store them. Make sure that pipes that are in unheated areas or that run along exterior walls are insulated with a pipe sleeve or other method.

There are other things you can do to prevent your pipes from freezing. Open cupboards and closets where pipes may be. If there are water lines in the garage, keep the garage doors closed as much as possible. If your area is going to experience a severe cold snap, let cold water drip from the faucet. You can collect it and use it in your humidifiers or other uses. Running water will help keep pipes from freezing.

What do you do if you do have frozen pipes? First keep the faucet open, if you begin thawing out the pipe, the running water will help melt the ice inside. You can thaw the pipes with heating pads, hot towels, or a hair dryer. Do NOT use blowtorches, open flames, charcoal stoves, or propane heaters. Make sure you check other pipes, if one freezes, others might, also.

If a pipe breaks, shut the water source off and then give us a call. We’ll inspect your property and help you with any waterproofing repairs you may need.

Snap, Crackle, Pop

Pipes aren’t the only thing that can be impacted by freezing temperatures. Concrete walls, floors, and foundations can develop cracks when temperatures fluctuate. The concrete expands and contracts with the temperatures and eventually weak spots can develop a crack.

When water enters the crack, it can cause even more problems. The strength of expanding water is stronger than the concrete and the crack will increase in size. If you are experiencing cracks in your foundation, the up and down temperatures of an Iowa winter can quickly increase the amount of damage that can occur. Give the foundation experts at Iowa Home Restoration & Repair, LLC a call and we’ll come inspect your foundation and determine the best method of repairing them. We can work on your home any time of the year, so don’t let the winter keep you from having a stable and secure home.

No matter what the cause is for your home to have foundation damage, Iowa Home Restoration & Repair, LLC is here to help. Contact us for a free inspection and quote and we’ll get to work restoring your home’s stability and safety. Keep warm, Spring is on the way!

Why Battery Backup Sump Pumps Can Save You Money and Worry

battery backup sump pumpImagine you’re sitting at home in a downpour, your sump pump running, keeping your basement dry when suddenly, BOOM! the power goes out. Silence, except for the steady dripping of the rain, no humming of the sump pump as your basement begins to fill. What do you do?

If you were fortunate and spoke with one of our experts at Iowa Home Restoration & Repair earlier, you’ll quickly be hearing the soothing sound of your battery backup pump kicking in. You can sit back, light a couple of candles and ride the storm out, confident that your basement will remain dry.

Huh? A Battery Whatzit?

So, just what is a battery backup sump pump? It’s a secondary pump to help keep your basement dry. It will sit next to your primary pump, attached to a slow trickle marine battery. The battery is plugged into a charger that slowly keeps your battery ready to go. There are a couple of situations where you would want to have a battery backup sump pump installed in your home:

  • If the power goes out, the backup sump pump will operate in place of the main pump.
  • If your primary pump cannot keep up with the water, the backup pump will activate, helping to lower the water level.
  • If the primary pump fails for any reason, the backup pump will automatically take over.
  • If the float switch doesn’t work correctly on the main pump, the backup pump will kick in, taking over for the main pump.

Having an extra pump that doesn’t rely on power will give you the piece of mind of knowing that your home is protected. When does the power usually go out? During a storm, a bad storm. Just when you need your sump pump the most!

How Can I Get One of Those?

A battery backup pump can be installed anytime: you can add it during new construction or as an addition to an existing sump pump system. Most people know about the importance of a sump pump, but fewer people know about battery backup pumps or see them as an extra luxury. Call Iowa Home Restoration & Repair today, before the next big rain and have them show you how affordable and easy it is to install a battery back-up sump pump can be!

Excess Water Effects On Basement Walls

Some people dream of a pool in their homes, but having a wet basement is more of a nightmare! A little humidity is to be expected, but excess water can damage your home and your belongings. We all know that standing water will ruin your carpet and flooring and promote mold growth. These are both costly and can negatively impact your health. But water can also impact your basement walls.

Sources Of Excess Water

water basement damageIf you are finding excess moisture in your basement, it is important to find the source of the water and how it is entering your basement. Water can come from many sources, such as a leaking pipe or rainwater, and there are just as many solutions. Your home may not have good drainage or your gutters and downspouts aren’t taking rainwater far enough away from your house. Water may run down the sides of your home’s foundation instead of being absorbed into the ground if the grading is inadequate. Water can also enter the basement through poorly designed window wells. Lastly, your basement walls may have structural cracks. This can be caused by improperly connected floor joists, soil settling unevenly and moving joints where walls meet. Iowa Home Restoration & Repair can help you will of your basement waterproofing needs.

Effects On Your Home

water damage basementSome things you may find going on around your home caused by excess water:

  • Concrete or masonry becoming chalky
  • Water coming out of walls
  • Wooden pieces rotting
  • Water stains or blisters in paint
  • Puddles or streams of water on the floor
  • Carpet being stained or ruined
  • Dampness around the base of the walls
  • Mold and mildew
  • Damp and humid air
  • Condensation on walls or floors

Mold and mildew can present serious health risks to you and your family. The list of illnesses and diseases related to mold is long and scary. Click here to learn more about black mold. Excess water can damage your walls, causing your home to have foundation problems, such as cracked or decaying supports.

Fortunately for you, Iowa Home Restoration & Repair can help you protect your home from excess water by waterproofing your basement. Our team of experts will inspect your home and give you a free estimate. We will help you determine the best solution, whether you need interior drainage, a new sump pump system or more. Our knowledgeable staff will work with you to find the most suitable solution for your budget. Contact us today to learn more!

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