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Cure Your Basement Odor

Having odor in the home isn’t just displeasing to your nose. The two main causes for the odor is mold and mildew accumulation that can be harmful to your health (allergy and asthma are two main conditions caused by undetected mold). This is not a problem that should be ignored, especially if you are trying to maintain the integrity of the home for years to come or are trying to sell it in the future. No matter how lovely the home is staged on higher levels, once your guests open the basement door and catch a whiff, they will know what the smell represents; Water! Mold and mildew smells coming from your basement are likely caused by condensation, leaking, and poor ventilation. Luckily, this problem can be remedied fairly easily. Check out these tips.

Air It Out

The musty basement smell is strongest in spring and fall when utilities aren’t running and in the winter when windows are closed. Poor ventilation of the basement is how the smell permeates each square inch. The first thing you can do is buy a humidifier to remove moisture and dry the place out. Open all windows and doors in the vicinity of the basement in hopes it will tame the smell.

Inspect

Put on your home inspector hat because you are going to examine both the inside of the basement and outside the home around the perimeter of the foundation. Inside look for water spots that indicate leakage, cracks in the foundation, or actual mold. Look at exposed pipes to see if they are dripping or wet with condensation. These should be wrapped in a wrap product specifically made for the purpose. Note what you see and call a professional to make repairs immediately before severe damage is done to the foundation. The problems are likely from the outside where you will examine next. The land around the home should slope away so that rain water is drained away from the home instead of down the foundation walls. Even water soaking into the dirt and penetrating the home’s concrete can cause cracks and damage. See if you have an adequate and clean gutter system doing its job. Gutter down spouts should extend at least 6 feet from the home’s foundation.

Get Rid Of The Smells Long Term

To get rid of the smells long term you will need to apply several of these tips. Wear a mask as you use a water and bleach solution to spray and clean every surface of the basement to kill any harmful mold that has grown. Mold may not be visible, but is still there so I would not skip this important step. If you have any closets or tight enclosed places in your basement, kitty litter makes a great odor eliminator in these areas. White vinegar scattered around in bowls will eliminate odor over a period of a few days. The smell of vinegar will also go away. For long term odor eliminating, leave open containers of baking soda in the basement just as you would for the fridge. The baking soda boxes can assist in odor elimination up to 3 months.

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Instances You Should Call Your Plumber Immediately

Some plumbing issues are minor nuisances that you might ignore for a while until it bothers you too much. A leaky faucet, a slow drain, a running toilet that you have to jiggle the handle to get it to stop, are examples of potentially minor plumbing issues. Some plumbing issues require attention immediately before they turn into a disaster. Keep your plumber’s number handy if you notice these potential problems:

Leaks

 

Any signs of leaks such as water spots on ceilings or walls or under your sinks should be taken care of immediately. Catching a leak early may result in just needing to dry out the wet surfaces.

Leaking Water Heater

 

You probably don’t look at your water heater often so if you do see water around it take action now. It could be a crack in the internal tank. A small puddle can turn into gallons of water damaging walls and floors. Water heaters have limited life spans. Frequent inspections and maintenance is good practice.

A big Increase In Your Water Bill

 

This could indicate a leak in your underground pipes. It could be from a constantly running toilet that you never use or a leak in a part of your house that you don’t frequent.

Sewer Gas Smell

 

You’ll need a plumber if you have cracks in your sewer lines. Some sewer gas problems are easy to solve such as keeping the water level up in your drain traps by pouring a cup of water down the drain.

Mold and Mildew

 

Look out for mold and mildew on any surfaces. Check in closets and back of cabinets. A leak can go undetected for a long time and grow mold in a widespread area.

A Wet Spongy Lawn

 

A wet lawn when the weather has been dry could indicate an exterior water main leak.

Frozen Pipes

 

Thawing your pipes as soon as possible can prevent a burst pipe resulting in flooding. Your plumber can thaw your pipes and help you to prevent it from happening again.
 A good thing to do right now is to make sure everyone in your household knows how to turn the water off to the whole house in case of an emergency. If you have an instance that you need to call a plumber, it might be a good time to get a complete plumbing inspection to prevent other instances.
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Hair and Hard Water

85% of the water in the U.S. Is considered hard water on some level. Hard water is determined by the purity of water. Water with more mineral content and impurities is harder. It’s opposite is water like from rain which has no impurities or minerals until it falls and seeps into the ground where it picks up it’s elements from it’s surrounding, mostly soft rock. Rain water that falls down a mountain, against large non-porous rocks and not through them like with soft rocks, remains pure and what is considered soft.

This has to do with hair because when washing hair in hard water, no matter the kind of shampoo and conditioner you are in use of, you will notice an undesirable residue or texture to it when finished. This is not only from the contents of your water, but also how the contents react to what’s in your shampoo and conditioner.

The History

Nowadays we there are lots of additives to our water sources, such as chlorine. At one time, there were no additives and water was effected very little by people unlike now. On home steads where rain water was collected and used in makeshift showers, hard water and hair residue was not a thing. It wasn’t until humans began tampering with and creating our glorious plumbing that the soap, the only thing we were using on our hair and body, was reacting to the water we were pumping into homes. To combat the hard water issue, they invented shampoo to clean the residue left on the hair. Shampoo was harsh and still is, so then was born the need for conditioner as well. Conditioner was invented to heal the damage done to the hair at each washing.

The First Thing You Can Do

If you’ve suffered from a change in water due to moving, traveling or changing to a shampoo/conditioning system reacting poorly with the water, the first thing you can do is request the quality test results for your area from the city or view a hard water map online of your area. You can also check your own water using a meter that measures TDS or Total Deposited Solids and measures the hardness or softness of the water by how positive or negatively charged the water is. Too many positive ions are bad and negative ions are good. You’ve probably heard these terms used when discussing air quality as well. If your water is not too hard, you might get by with using natural shampoo and a little conditioner at each washing, but if your water is pretty hard than you might have to look into further solutions.

Water Filtration

A filtration shower head can pass your water through a replaceable carbon or charcoal filter that removes as many impurities as it can. You may have success with this or loose the water pressure you once had. It’s worth a try and inexpensive!

Rinse Water

If you don’t mind the inconvenience you might decide to just rinse your hair after conditioning with a different kind of water. This way you will remove the residue in the rinse. Rain water or distilled water are good purchasable options, or you can create your own low acid rinse using vinegar or lemon juice.

Enhancing Your Water Softener

A water softener is a device in the home that removes impurities from the water before it hits your pipes and then your hair. If you’ve done the testing you will know if it is working properly or needs to be adjusted, repaired or replaced. Having done an initial test, you have results of which to compare your water testing in the future.

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Commercial Building Plumbing Maintenance In 3 Easy Steps

The hard truth about commercial building plumbing maintenance is that it’s far more expensive to repair the water damage associated with a plumbing issue after it’s happened, not to mention the money lost due to having otherwise operating sections of your building under maintenance. If you’ve stumbled upon this article about commercial plumbing maintenance, congratulations! You are one step further from the costly repairs of neglecting to take these preventative measures.

Find Your Plumber BEFORE Your Problem Occurs

There is not only residential and commercial plumbers but even further classifications of plumbers for different types of commercial buildings. There is far more to it than you probably are aware and it would benefit you to have a company you trust come out and tell you what kind of commercial building you are operating in and what kind of plumber you need for routine maintenance and emergencies. Hopefully, this appointment builds a bridge for you to foster an on-going relationship!

Schedule Regular Maintenance

Once you’ve established the kind of building you operate and a relationship with a plumber or plumbers you trust, you should schedule regular maintenance to keep that relationship strong and ensure you’re doing everything you can to avoid any costly plumbing issues and loss of business in the future. Plumbing issues are inevitable due to aging buildings, shifting foundations and inadequate building materials used at different periods of time. Having a regular plumber you trust visit the building and assess your plumbing, will not only catch problems early but improve your future costs by recommending the best new building materials and replacement parts.

Look For Signs

Before you even call your plumber, you can assess your own building by visiting each bathroom and looking for any of the following signs: water temperatures of faucets being too hot, cold or slow to change, frequent clogged toilets or drains, and dripping faucets or other signs of leaking (check under sinks and look for water damage in ceilings). Having a list will streamline your plumber’s visit, possibly save you money and give you a reference point to compare how your plumbing has improved after your plumber works his magic!

Taking care of your plumbing needs before an emergency is of the utmost importance when taking ownership of a commercial building. You’re doing the responsible thing for your business and all those it affects, including employees and customers, by taking these three simple steps to ensure the integrity of your building well into the future!

 

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Simple Plumbing Repairs All Renters Can Do

Plumbing Repairs You Can Complete as a Renter

The fact of the matter is that not everyone owns their own home. There are more renters than in the past due to the housing market crash that took place a few years ago. Many people were forced to rent, which means that taking care of your property can be a bit more tricky. As a renter, you need to know what repairs you can actually handle on your own and when you need to call your landlord. When it comes to plumbing, there are a few repairs that you can do on your own with the help of just a few tools.

Here are the plumbing repairs that you can complete as a renter:

Clogged Drain

No matter how old or new the plumbing system is within your rental property, it is almost impossible to avoid clogged drains. This is something that is especially common in the bathroom. Clogs within the bathroom can be caused by hair and soap scum buildup. As a renter, it is possible to fix a clogged drain on your own without having to involve your landlord. In most cases, clogged drains will worsen with time so you want to be sure that you work to correct the issue right away before the clog worsens. You can even make your own drain cleaning solution by combing baking soda and vinegar within your drain. This will cause a reaction that will start to dissolve and dislodge the clog. All you need to do is to pour boiling water down the drain to remove the clog completely. This is a solution that is fast and affordable just for renters.

Toilet Problems Made Easy

It is also likely that you will have plumbing issues related to your toilet. There can be many different reasons behind your toilet that will not function properly. The first thing that you need to do is use a plunger on your toilet. This can be the easiest fix and should be where you begin when your toilet is not working right. You can try plunging the bottom of the toilet bowel to make sure that whatever is clogging the drain is removed. It is best to invest in a heavy duty plunger that is large and ball shaped. This is the type of plunger that will be most effective in removing the clog and allowing your toilet to drain freely when you flush it.

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3 Common Plumbing Mistakes You’re Likely Making

3 Common Plumbing Mistakes All Residents Make

As a responsible homeowner, you might think that you are avoiding all the common plumbing mistakes, but this is not always the case. There are most likely some major plumbing mistakes that you are guilty of making. It is time that you were aware of these plumbing problems and what you may be doing unknowingly to make them worse. It is time that you became more educated to ensure that the plumbing system within your home is functioning at a high level.

Here are some of the most common plumbing mistakes that you are making:

Trash in the Toilet

The toilet might be designed for waste, but only for specific types of waste. This means that you should not be using your toilet as a trash can. Putting garbage in your toilet might seem like an easy solution and the fastest way to get rid of waste, but it could cause major plumbing issues. It does not take much to clog your toilet and cause a major drain blockage in your home. This means that you should not be flushing any additional waste down your toilet. It will only lead to future toilet troubles.

Going Cheap

You might think that if you hire a very cheap plumber that you will be able to save money and still get access to great results, but this does not happen. In the world of plumbing, you get what you pay for. This means that if you hire a cheap plumber to correct a plumbing issue within your home, you will most likely get results that reflect the amount of money that you spent. This means that you need to make the smart decision and hire a skilled and qualified plumber with experience that you can rely on. This way you will know for sure that you are correcting the real plumbing issue.

Ignoring Small Leaks

You might think that small leaks are no major issue, but they are actually a warning sign of a much larger problem. This means that you always need to address small leaks right away before they turn into a much larger plumbing problem. A leak will not go away on its own. This means that you need to take action as soon as you notice it. It might be sometimes possible for you to correct the issue on your own, but in many cases you will need a professional plumber.