Serving Greater Pittsburgh, Cranberry Township, McKeesport, Bethel Park

Technical Papers

Technical Papers

How To Plan For A Large Home Improvement Project
A large home improvement project can be a big deal. Like most tings, much of how it goes depends on how well planned you are from the beginning. This paper will give some insight on how to better navigate and plan a large home improvement project.
Sunday, April 2nd, 2023
Why Does Water Damage Concrete Foundations
Water is constantly assaulting concrete. Below we will discuss why that is.
Saturday, March 11th, 2023
Transform Ugly Basement Walls with BrightWall
BrightWall® panels transform bare walls into bright, durable, maintenance-free finished walls BrightWall® Basement Wall Panels can easily transform damp, ugly basement walls into bright, beautiful walls that never need paint or other maintenance. The BrightWall® system includes semi-rigid, white plastic panels, trim strips used to join panels together and plastic fasteners that are used to attach panels to the foundation wall.
Wednesday, March 1st, 2023
Do Carbon Fiber Straps Work to Reinforce Foundation Walls?
For the past 20-years carbon fiber reinforcement straps have been a popular choice for reinforcement of some foundation wall issues. Even with an exceptional track record, many people who first encounter the technology ask the same question...Do these things work? This article will specifically explain the underlying property that carbon fiber straps leverage...tensile strength.
Saturday, February 25th, 2023
Brief History of Residential Foundation Codes in Pennsylvania
Residential foundation codes have evolved over time in Pennsylvania. Here is a brief history of some of those changes.
Monday, February 20th, 2023
Icicles and Wet Basements
Icicles on gutters can be a beautiful sight, but they can also be a hazard. The weight of the icicles can cause gutters to become misaligned and malfunction, leading to wet basements during spring rains.
Wednesday, February 15th, 2023
Why Do Water Pipes Burst When They Freeze?
Pipes can freeze and burst due to thermal expansion, which occurs when water in pipes freezes and expands. This can cause significant damage to a building's plumbing system and result in costly repairs. To prevent pipes from freezing and bursting, it's important to take steps to insulate pipes and keep them warm, as well as to be vigilant for signs of trouble and act quickly if a pipe burst occurs. By taking these steps, you can protect your home or building from the damage caused by frozen and burst pipes.
Sunday, February 12th, 2023
Bad Grading and Basement Wetness
It is imperative to ensure that proper grading conditions around a home are in compliance with the Pennsylvania residential building code and best practices in order to reduce basement wetness and foundation damage. This includes proper slope, grade height, fill material selection, and gutter and downspout installation. By following these guidelines, homeowners can reduce the risk of basement wetness and foundation damage, preserving the integrity of their homes and foundations and protecting their biggest investments...their home.
Monday, February 6th, 2023
Water Can Destroy Concrete Foundations
To prevent water damage to residential foundations, it is important to take a proactive approach. This can include regular inspection and maintenance of the foundation, including sealing cracks and holes to prevent water from penetrating the surface. It is also important to manage the growth of vegetation around the foundation, by removing any trees or shrubs that may be putting pressure on the foundation. In addition, it is important to monitor the water table around the foundation, and take steps to lower it if necessary.
Saturday, February 4th, 2023
What is the White Powder on My Basement Walls?
Efflorescence is a white, powdery substance that can form on the surface of residential foundation walls and is a common issue in many homes.
Saturday, February 4th, 2023
Hydrostatic Pressure and Basement Leaking
Hydrostatic pressure is a condition that occurs when water accumulates in the soil surrounding a home. This water can come from various sources such as rain, snow melt, or a high water table. When the water accumulates, it creates pressure that can eventually push through basement walls and floors, causing leaks. In a typical home, the basement is constructed with a waterproof barrier, such as a membrane or a sealant, to prevent water from penetrating the walls and floor. However, these barriers can deteriorate over time or be damaged by shifting soil, causing leaks to occur.
Thursday, February 2nd, 2023
A Brief History of the Internal French Drain
The history of internal French drain systems can be traced back to the mid-19th century when Henry Flagg French, a civil engineer and author, introduced the concept of subsurface drainage in his book "Drainage for Health and Beauty."
Thursday, February 2nd, 2023
What is Hydrostatic Pressure
H ydrostatic pressure refers to the pressure exerted by a fluid (usually water) at rest, such as in a static state in a container or in the ground. This pressure is caused by the weight of the fluid above the point in question and is proportional to the height of the fluid and the density of the fluid. When it comes to basement waterproofing, hydrostatic pressure can be a major concern. When the ground around a building becomes saturated with water, it increases the hydrostatic pressure against the foundation walls. Over time, this increased pressure can cause water to seep into the basement through cracks, porous concrete, or other openings.
Wednesday, February 1st, 2023
A History of Flooding in McKeesport, Pennsylvania
McKeesport, Pennsylvania is a city located in the Monongahela River Valley and has a history of severe flooding dating back to the late 19th century. Over the years, the city has been affected by numerous major floods, causing damage to homes, businesses, and infrastructure. In this essay, we'll examine the history of flooding in McKeesport and the measures taken to mitigate the impacts of such events.
Wednesday, February 1st, 2023
What Type of Soil is in Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA is located in the Appalachian Plateau region of Pennsylvania and its soils are largely influenced by the underlying geology and climate. The city is situated on a variety of soil types including clay, loam, sand, and silt.
Wednesday, February 1st, 2023
What's The Deal With Pittsburgh Clay?
Pittsburgh Seam clay is an important natural resource that has a wide range of uses. It is a type of fire clay that is found in the Pittsburgh coal seams of southwestern Pennsylvania and is characterized by its high temperature resistance, low thermal expansion, and high plasticity. These properties make Pittsburgh Seam clay ideal for use in ceramics, refractory materials, and fireproof building materials.
Wednesday, February 1st, 2023
The United States Army Corps of Engineers Protecting Pittsburgh, PA
The United States Army Corps of Engineers has played a critical role in protecting the city of Pittsburgh and its surrounding areas from devastating floods. Over the years, the Corps has implemented various measures to reduce the risk of flood damage, ranging from structural improvements to river management strategies.
Wednesday, February 1st, 2023
How to Fix a Frozen Sump Pump Discharge Line
A frozen discharge line is a common and major problem for sump pump systems. When the water in the discharge line freezes, it can cause the pump to burn out or even fail completely. This is because the pump has to work harder to push water through the frozen line, putting extra strain on the motor and other components. In extreme cases, the frozen line can even cause the pump to overheat and stop working altogether.
Tuesday, January 31st, 2023
Hurricane Ivan Floods Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania
On September 16th, 2004, Hurricane Ivan brought heavy rainfall to the Pittsburgh area, dumping over five inches of rain in just a few hours. The amount of rainfall was unprecedented, and it caused severe flooding in many parts of western Pennsylvania.
Tuesday, January 31st, 2023
The Pittsburgh St. Patricks Day Flood of 1936
The 1936 St. Patrick's Day Flood in Pittsburgh, PA was one of the worst natural disasters to hit the city in its history. On March 17, 1936, heavy rain and melting snow from the previous winter caused the three rivers that run through the city - the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio - to overflow their banks. The resulting flood caused widespread damage and displacement, and claimed the lives of at least 84 people.
Tuesday, January 31st, 2023
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Total Technical Papers: 48

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