The importance of sewer line inspections before buying a home

Everyone knows that a critical step in buying a home is the home inspection. However, very few people realize the importance of also asking for a sewer line inspection – especially for older homes. Sewer line replacement is a costly endeavor. In fact, the average price of installing a new sewer line  runs anywhere from $5,000  up to $15,000 or more.  Taking the time to work with a reputable plumbing company to conduct a sewer line inspection before you buy a home can save you headaches and a significant amount of money if the inspection indicates the need for replacement.

Perhaps the most common problems affecting sewer lines is when tree roots grow into the lines. Tree roots get into tiny openings within pipes and expand in the sewer line. These roots affix themselves to debris that flows through your pipes, which then results in a sewage build up and often a back up of into your home.  Tree roots can damage your pipes and require a costly excavation to fix the problem.

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How to unclog your toilet

Toilet, Unclog a ToiletThe best way to unclog a toilet will be wholly dependant on the severity of the clog. For instance, if it is a clog that is caused by too much toilet paper then your best defense is a test of time. Also known as a “soft clog,” these tend to dissipate with time. With the simple force of gravity and the loosening action of water, you may be able to dislodge the blockage within an hour.

If you’re in a hurry, add a few squirts of biodegradable dish soap into your toilet bowl. Let it sit for a few moments and then flush your toilet with hot water to dislodge and unclog your toilet.

How? The dish soap becomes a lubricant that will detach the clog from the sides of the pipes. If the bowl water is close to the rim, then do not proceed with flushing. The bowl is designed to hold only one tank of water so you will run the risk of overflowing.

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Benefits of a Tankless Hot Water Heater

Hot Water Heater, Plumbing, Houston, TXDid you know that hot water heaters are one of the top five appliances that use the most energy in your home? For those in the Northeast region of the U.S., a standard 50-gallon electric hot water heater typically costs as much as $800 per year to run. The biggest issue with tank-style hot water heaters is that they use a lot of energy to keep water heated, even when you’re not using it. This can literally add up to hundreds of wasted dollars each year.

Fortunately, there is an alternative – tankless hot water heaters. Tankless hot water heaters are a great solution for replacing costly tank-style heaters because they heat water without using a storage tank, which helps to avoid standby heat loss. (Standby loss is the energy wasted to maintain a specific temperature within the tank). The basic premise behind a tankless heater is that it only heats water when you need it, which can save you 30% or more on your energy bills.

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Summer Safety Tips and Heatwave Awareness

Whether you’re working or playing outside this summer, it’s important to keep summer safety in mind as we approach the hottest period of the summer.

When outside, keep the following in mind:

  • Wear appropriate clothing, including a wide-brimmed hat
  • Take frequent water breaks
  • Apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15
  • Never leave kids or pets unattended in a vehicle

Learn more at The National Safety Council.

In recent years, excessive heat has caused more deaths than all other weather events, including floods. A heat wave is a prolonged period of excessive heat, generally 10 degrees or more above average. During the summer months, you can prepare in many ways:

  • Listen to local weather forecasts and stay aware of upcoming temperature changes.
  • Be aware of both the temperature and the heat index. The heat index is the temperature the body feels when the effects of heat and humidity are combined. Exposure to direct sunlight can increase the heat index by as much as 15° F.
  • Discuss heat safety precautions with members of your household. Have a plan for wherever you spend time— home, work and school—and prepare for the possibility of power outages.
  • Check the contents of your emergency disaster kit (bug out bag) in case a power outage occurs.
  • Know those in your neighborhood who are elderly, young, sick or overweight. They are more likely to become victims of excessive heat and may need help.
  • If you do not have air conditioning, choose places you could go to for relief from the heat during the warmest part of the day (schools, libraries, theaters, malls).
  • Be aware that people living in urban areas may be at greater risk from the effects of a prolonged heat wave than are people living in rural areas.
  • Get trained in First Aid to learn how to treat heat-related emergencies.
  • Ensure that your animals’ needs for water and shade are met.

During a heatwave you can respond with the following actions:

  • Listen to a NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Weather Radio for critical updates from the National Weather Service (NWS).
  • Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
  • Eat small meals and eat more often.
  • Avoid extreme temperature changes.
  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
  • Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
  • Postpone outdoor games and activities.
  • Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat.
  • Take frequent breaks if you must work outdoors.
  • Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.
  • Check on your animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat.

Learn more at the Red Cross.

If you should ever need assistance with your Air Conditioning, we’re only a phone call away. Call streetdance3.ru 24 hours a day, seven days a week .

4 Tips for AC Maintenance

When you own a home, it’s important to understand how to maintain your most important investments, including your air-conditioning system. In fact, the best time to service your system is before it’s actually needed. During the spring, routine Air Conditioning maintenance is most important as your air-conditioning system will be working overtime to keep your home cool in the upcoming months. Keeping up routine maintenance, could be the difference between relaxing in cool comfort and sweating a costly breakdown. Read more »

How to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in your Home

Risk of carbon monoxide poisoning increases during the winter and stormier seasons as use of gas furnaces and generators increases dramatically. Although you cannot see or smell carbon monoxide, it is responsible for more deaths than any other poison. This colorless, odorless poison is dangerous at any level including low levels which can get a person very sick, moderate levels can result in permanent neurological dysfunctions, or worse at high levels carbon monoxide may result in death.

Carbon monoxide poisoning can result whenever any fuel such as gas, kerosene, oil, wood, or charcoal is burned. The amount of carbon monoxide emitted from appliances that burn fuel yet are maintained and used properly is typically not hazardous. However, if appliances are either used incorrectly or not working properly, then dangerous levels of carbon monoxide can result. In fact, literally hundreds of accidental deaths are caused every year from carbon monoxide poisoning that results from malfunctioning or improperly used fuel-burning appliances.

Below are a few tips on how you can protect your family and yourself from carbon monoxide poisoning:
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Heavy rain can cause problems for your home:  Helpful Tips and Solutions to Keep You and Your Family Comfortable

The Capital Region commonly experiences heavy rain showers and thunderstorms. With this heavy rain, you may begin to experience a few problems. Basement flooding, mold growth, musty smells, and damage to possessions are common occurrences in weather like this.  So what can you do?  See some helpful tips to help you keep your basement dry and prevent moisture problems!

  • Ensure your sump-pump is in good working order – have it serviced by a licensed and reputable plumber annually.
  • Consider having a licensed plumber install a back-up sump pump in your basement if you a prone to flooding and you are in an area where power outages are frequent.
  • To reduce humidity levels in your home, have a professional add a dehumidifier to your HVAC system.
  • Keep your basement windows closed at all times.
  • Look for ways to divert rainwater away from your home—extend rain gutter down-spouts away from home and make sure the grade of your yard surfaces slope away from your home.
  • Make sure rain gutters are clean and unobstructed.

At streetdance3.ru our service experts are available 24/7 for you and only a phone call away

Go green and save money with low-flow toilets

Did you know that every time you flush your outdated toilet, you’re literally flushing your hard earned money down the drain? With the average person flushing the toilet six times a day that can really add up! If you live in the Houston Capital Region and you’re in the market for installing a new energy saver toilet, you should call us and inquire about a high-efficiency, environmentally friendly, low-flow toilet.

Traditional toilets use approximately 3.5 to 7 gallons of water per flush. For the average family, that can equate to hundreds of gallons of water every day, However, high-efficiency, low-flow toilets use no more than 1.6 gallons per flush (with some as little as 1.28). This means that a low-flow toilet can save your household up to 16,500 gallons of water in just one year – conserving not only water, but money as well.
Aside from your sprinkler system, the average household toilet uses more water than any other fixture inside or outside your home.  However, by installing low-flow toilets you can cut over $90 from your average annual water bill. Additionally, some low-flow toilets may qualify you for a tax rebate under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 which provides a tax credit to help offset the costs of making energy efficiency improvements to your home.

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Summer Plumbing Tips

  • Summer means more outdoor activities for you and your family which can mean more dirty clothes!  Check your washing machine hoses for cracks or leaks.  Make sure your washing machine is at least four inches from the wall too help prevent hose kinking and damage.  It is recommended that washing machine hoses be replaced every three years.  Remember to remove dryer lint regularly and never leave home with your washer or dryer running!
  • Be careful what you put down your kitchen disposal after your cookout.  Most are not equipped to handle cornhusks, celery, banana peels and other fibrous or stringy foods
  • As the summer heats up in the afternoon, we are prone with those heavy rains showers or thunderstorms.  Excessive rain can get into sewer pipes through cracks and cause the sewer line to back up. You might also experience trouble if tree roots spread underground and crack the pipes. If you see any signs of sewer line trouble such as water from the toilet backing up into the bathtub drain, call a qualified plumber right away.
  • It’s also a good idea to make sure your sump pump is working properly during the summer months.  You may want to consider a back up system if you are concerned about water damage should your current pump stop doing it’s job!

The best defense to ensuring your plumbing is running properly is to schedule an annual maintenance inspection!

Enjoy the summer with your family and friends!

Learn about Household Mold and How to Prevent It.

Kitchen Sink, Kitchen MoldThe best time to learn about the dangers of household mold is now. It can have a long-lasting, detrimental effect on your physical and even mental health. Although a little bleach and water can remove visible mold in the home, it does little to protect you from the unseen dangers.

Household Mold – What is it?

Molds are simple, microscopic organisms that thrive indoor and outdoors in any environment. Molds, which include mushrooms and yeast, are fungi that are necessary to break down dead material and recycle nutrients in the environment. Molds reproduce through tiny spores that are invisible to the naked eye. The spores float through the air and may grow rapidly indoors when they land on wet surfaces in your home. Add heat and humidity above 50% and you have mold that proliferates rapidly. Although there are many types of mold, none of them will grow without moisture or water. While toxic mold sounds both terrifying and catchy, it’s not the mold that is toxic but the spores it produces. Molds that include S. chartarum, Fusarium, and Trichoderma release spores that include dangerous substances called mycotoxins. Once they become airborne and you inhale them, they absorb into your skin and intestines. In addition to toxic spores, these molds produce gases that release mycotoxins.

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