April 30, 2012

JES Wins Fantastic 50 Award from Virginia Chamber of Commerce

Jesse and Stella Waltz
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (April  30, 2012) — JES, a leading engineering solutions company specializing in foundation repair, basement waterproofing and crawl space moisture control has received a Fantastic 50 award from the Virginia Chamber of Commerce.

The Fantastic 50 recognizes the 50 fastest-growing companies in Virginia. The Fantastic 50 is now in its 17th year and is coordinated by the Virginia Chamber of Commerce. Companies that receive the award must be privately held, have headquarters in Virginia, and show sales between $200,000 and $100 million.

JES was founded in 1993 as basement waterproofing company, and it was manned by one man with a jack hammer, Jesse Waltz, PE. Since then JES has quickly grown, expanding services to foundation repair, new construction foundation systems, and crawl space moisture management. The staff now consists of more than 160 people, and JES serves all of Virginia, Washington D.C., Maryland, Northeast North Carolina and Northeast West Virginia.

“We’re honored to receive the Fantastic 50 award” says Jesse Waltz, P.E., President of JES Foundation Repair, “We’ve been able to consistently grow in spite of the economy because we have a dedicated team and are able to make informed business decisions using our in-house developed business management software, BizWiz™.”

About JES Foundation Repair

JES is a structural engineering solutions firm specializing in residential and commercial foundation repair, basement waterproofing systems, and crawl space moisture control systems. The company is the region’s largest authorized dealer for Foundation Supportworks™ products, Basement Systems® products, and CleanSpace® crawl space encapsulation products. In 2011 JES was recognized as the number one dealer, world-wide, for the Foundation Supportworks SmartJack™ Floor Leveling System, the Foundation Supportworks Push Pier™ System second largest world-wide dealer for Foundation Supportworks ™ products in total sales, as the second largest world-wide dealer for CleanSpace® crawl space encapsulation products in total sales, and as the 6th largest dealer world-wide for Basement Systems® in total sales. JES operates out of three locations in Virginia including Virginia Beach, Chester, and Manassas and serves Virginia, Maryland,Washington D.C. and Northeastern North Carolina. For more information about JES Construction please visit www.jeswork.com.


For more information contact:

Eric Lackey
Office: (757) 558.9909
Toll Free: 877-JES-WORK
Cell: (757) 749.5875

April 27, 2012

What is Structural Damage to a House?

Foundation Settlement

You've probably heard about foundation problem signs and understand that they could be a sign that you have a structural problem. But what is structural damage to a house? 

When your home has structural damage then the foundation is no longer able to support your home. In every structural damage case your home is at risk for failure or collapse. 

Signs of structural damage can include:
    Cracked Block Foundation
  • Bowed walls
  • Cracked basement walls - horizontal, stair-step or vertical
  • Cracked bricks
  • Uneven or bouncy floors
  • Sticking windows or doors
  • Cabinets that swing open (No, you probably don't have a poltergeist. Your home may be uneven from settlement.)
Of course foundation problem signs don't have to be as dramatic as these photos. Sometimes something small, like a series of drywall cracks, can be a sign that you have a much larger structural problem.

Unless you're a structural engineer, the best way to find out if you truly have a foundation problem is to call a trusted expert

April 23, 2012

Foundation Repair - What You Need to Know

So, what is foundation repair? And why does it matter who you choose to fix your home? 

Let's start with defining foundation repair. There are many schools of thought when it comes to foundation repair, but at JES we only use extensively tested, engineered structural solutions. This means that all of the foundation repair products we use have been designed by engineers, meet industry standards* and have been extensively tested.

So, the answer to that question is: foundation repair involves installing a product or using a method to provide structural support to an existing building.

Now, why does it matter who you choose to repair your home's foundation problem? 

Let's think of repairing your home's foundation like going to the doctor. Would you trust your neighbor, who isn't a doctor, to prescribe you medicine or perform surgery? Most of us would say "no way!"

The same should be said about letting a "chuck in a truck" fix your foundation. Your home is oftentimes your biggest investment. The foundation is responsible for the stability and safety of your home. If it's repaired improperly then you could end up with a very serious structural problem - and this could put your family at risk. 

So it's important to choose a qualified foundation repair contractor. A recognized industry expert. Here are a few tips to help you make the right decision when choosing a contractor: 

  • Make sure to check references 
  • Verify insurance and licenses 
  • Research on their repair methods. After all, not all foundation repair methods are created equal. Some solutions work best in sandy soils while others are designed for clay soil. 
  • Have several foundation repair contractors come to your home, evaluate the problem and recommend a solution. 

When in doubt, feel free to give us a call for your free foundation inspection - 866-370-4816. We're happy to take a look, answer your questions and help you find the best solution to your home's problem.

*The ICC is the governing body for safety standards for foundation repair products. The newest products do not have an ICC standard set, yet. However all products are tested in accordance with available standards and are designed to meet and/or exceed the current safety standards. We believe in our products - after all we only install the best solutions - so we guarantee our foundation repair products with long-term warranties.  

April 20, 2012

Meet The Staff: Todd S.

Meet Todd S., our Chester office Chief Inspector. He's been certified by our national manufacturers as a foundation repair specialist, crawl space repair and moisture management expert and basement repair and waterproofing specialist. 

Todd's a true cowboy, spending his free time in the barn, raising painted horses. He's also mastered the musical art of playing the banjo and guitar. And Todd's always willing to break one out and treat his guests to a private concert. 

April 18, 2012

Dear JES: My Crawl Space Is Flooded!!

Dear JES: 

The weather here has been wacky! One day it's gorgeous the next it's raining cats and dogs. Every time it rains I end up with water in my crawl space! How do I dry out my crawl space and keep water from getting in?   

- Susan, Norfolk, VA

April 13, 2012

Hiring: Web Designer/SEO Specialist

Job Summary
The Web Designer/SEO Specialist plays a critical role within the organization, working with management, technology, and marketing teams with the responsibility to devise, plan and implement SEO and SEM strategies that increase online brand visibility, drive leads and maximize conversions.

The primary responsibilities of the Web Designer/SEO Specialist is to define SEO requirements and site changes that will increase quality traffic, maximize site performance, improve search result listings, and ultimately drive value and leads to our websites. Strategic requirements include elements such as: market/industry research, benchmarking, technical/site architecture assessment, keyword/content strategy, and landing page optimization. Additional responsibilities include the design and implementation of dynamic web pages/sites, utilizing industry standard CMS platforms such as DotNetNuke. The Designer will design, develop, test and deliver websites, applications and components.

This position requires experience in SEO and SEM, web design, scripting, programming, development including compatibility and seamless integration with various technologies such as, but not limited to, Java and CMS platforms.

Job Duties

  • Manage site analytics
  • Maintain and enhance existing web applications.
  • Develop new web applications, including graphic design, site navigation and content layout
  • Determine all coding requirements for site creation to include forms and specialized scripts
  • Develop and implement SEO/SEM strategies
  • Monitor competitive positioning and adjust SEO strategies when applicable
  • Generate monthly reports and ad-hoc reports
  • Manage and monitor PPC campaigns
  • Develop and implement PPC strategies
  • Establish search-key performance indicators and timelines
  • Develop and continually expand keyword lists
  • Provide and manage online content strategy and copywriting for landing pages, banner ads, and PPC
  • Optimize and analyze content to improve user experience and conversions
  • Conduct ongoing testing and evaluation of websites to include clicks through rates, conversion rates, ad positioning, and ROI using Google Analytics
  • Possess and maintain thorough knowledge of SEO and SEM, as related to our industry, our products and services, as well as those of our competitors
  • Evaluate SEO and social media tools
  • Stay up to date on search engine updates, trends and technology

Required Skills
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • PPC advertising management (PPC or SEM)
  • Landing page optimization (LPO)
  • Adobe Dreamweaver, Photoshop
  • Experience with asp.net, Dot Net Nuke or other CMS
  • Front-end and and some back-end development experience
  • Practical exposure and/or experience with some or all of the following: Java Server Pages and Java, XML, ASPX, MS SQL Server, IIS or Windows Server environments
  • 4 year degree or equivalent experience
  • 2+ years proven search engine optimization and search engine marketing experience
  • Familiarity and proficiency in analyzing and reporting on website metrics using Google Analytics
  • Experience in successfully executing PPC campaigns, preferably Google AdWords
  • Creativity in developing and executing ways to reach online audiences using blogs, email marketing, webinars, PPC, SEO, and social networks
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Must be self-motivated
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a collaborative environment

Send a resume, cover letter and salary requirements to hiring.marketingteam@gmail.com.

What Causes Nail Pops?

drywall nail pops
You've seen them, hammered them back in and wondered what caused them: drywall nail pops

Let's start with the definition of a nail pop: it's a small cracked circle in drywall or plaster. Drywall nail pops happen where the nail pulls away from the drywall, exposing the nail head or even pushing up the paint.

So, what causes those annoying, little nail pops? 

April 11, 2012

Moisture + Crawl Space = Termites

Termites! We all worry about getting them, knowing that these nasty little bugs can wreak havoc on your home. But did you know that your unsealed crawl space could be to blame for termite problems? 

Termites love moisture, dirt and wood. And chances are good that if your home has a crawl space it has all of these things. 

Most crawl spaces are designed with dirt floors - since it's much cheaper for the builder - and open vents. Back in the day it was common practice to install crawl space vents. It was believed that the air flow would help keep the crawl space dry. 

We now know that this just isn't true. Those open crawl space vents lead to moisture problems by contributing to the stack effect and letting water in. 

And once you have moisture problems in your crawl space, you could end up with termites who will devour your wood floor supports and joists. 

So how do you prevent the great termite invasion? The best way to deter a pest problem is to seal (a.k.a. encapsulate) your crawl space. To properly seal your crawl space you need to completely separate it from the outside elements. This involves: 

Want to learn more? Check out Crawl Space Encapsulation vs Pest Control by Jesse Waltz, PE. 

April 9, 2012

Basement Waterproofing Virginia

It's a common sight this time of year: water in your basement. Another spring storm blows through Virginia and you end up with a basement waterproofing problem. 

What causes basement water problems? Well, it could be a variety of things: 

Clogged Footing Drain: If your home has a footing drain, it's located just outside of the footing of your basement foundation. These drains can easily clog and create a hydrostatic pressure or waterproofing problem.

Hydrostatic Pressure: From severe weather and a clogged footing drain to watering your landscaping or poor drainage; that extra water has to go somewhere. It soaks up next to your foundation and collects, pushing against your basement walls. 

This is also called hydrostatic pressure. Over time the water will force its way into your basement through joints and even create wall or floor cracks.

Settlement: It happens, soil settles. And if the soil your home is sitting on settles then you could end up with basement floor or wall cracks which will let water in. 

Aside from water in your basement, there are several other problem signs that could let you know you may end up with a waterproofing problem:

  • Concrete cracks in the floor
  • Cracks in the concrete or block basement wall 
  • Damp or wet drywall if your basement is finished
  • Efflorescence - white, chalky powder on the walls or floor
  • Damp or wet carpet if you have a finished basement
  • Condensation on pipes or exposed beams
  • Leaking window
  • Musty basement smell

What do you do if you're in Virginia and have a basement waterproofing issue? That's easy enough! Call us at 866-370-4816. 

But if you're not ready to give us a call, here are a few steps you can take to clean your flooded basement
  • Open up the windows to let out any toxic fumes. 
  • Carefully remove the water. Take care to remove the water at a steady, slow pace otherwise you could end up with a structural problem.
  • Throw out debris and any damaged items.
  • Bleach everything! This will help prevent mold from growing and creating additional problems.
  • Dry out the space with blowers or a dehumidifier. 

It's important to remember that not all waterproofing problems are an easy fix. Putting a filler over basement wall cracks without addressing the cause, can end up creating more than a waterproofing problem. And investing in a DIY waterproofing system could end up creating structural damage. 

So before you fix your waterproofing problem make sure to do some research. 

Additional Resources: 
How Much Does Basement Waterproofing Cost?
Why Should I Waterproof My Basement? 
How to Repair Basement Leaks

April 6, 2012

Does Your Crawl Space Smell Like Rotten Eggs?

Mold = rotten egg smell
Unless you have a stash of last year's missing Easter eggs in your crawl space, it shouldn't smell like rotten eggs. That smell is a sign that you have a crawl space moisture problem and possibly mold! 

You'll end up with mold when there's moisture in your crawl space. Moisture can enter your crawl space through open vents, loose doors or dirt floors. 

The best way to eliminate crawl space moisture - and that rotten egg smell - is to seal up your crawl space. 

April 4, 2012

Photo Shoot!

JES Director of Engineering, David E. Stinnette, PE teaches VMI Cadet Will Luxho about the importance of deep foundations and helical pile design. 

April 2, 2012

Spring Foundation Checklist

Spring is here! It's getting warmer outside and the days are longer. Which means it's the perfect opportunity to take a walk around your home, check for problems and do some preventative maintenance. 

Here are a few easy things you can do to help protect your home: 

Check the Grade Around Your Home
Make sure the soil slopes away from your home - it should be 1 inch per foot for the distance of 8 feet from your foundation. But when that's not possible a gentle slope will help drain water away from your foundation.
When you’re installing the slope, make sure to press the dirt down and never use sand or mulch. This minimizes the amount of dirt runoff and seepage into the soil.

Check Plumbing, Drains and AC Unit
Check for leaky exterior faucets.and make sure that all downspouts and the AC drain point away from your foundation. Any drainage lines should extend at least 6 feet away from your foundation.

Close Up Your Crawl Space
If your home is built on a crawl space, seal it up! The best way to protect your home is to seal your crawl space but you can help minimize any damage from snow or water by closing up all entrances.

Think About Your Sprinklers 
If you're getting ready to install sprinklers make sure that they're not placed next to your foundation - six feet away is a good distance. And when positioning the sprinkler heads make sure that they are not pointing directly towards your home otherwise you'll end up watering your foundation and creating settlement problems. 

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