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03

Apr

Preventing Common Plumbing Problems at Home

Your home’s plumbing is a complex system that includes pipes, drains, and appliances. Understanding the weak points in this system and how to protect your home’s plumbing will help you to prevent many common plumbing problems. If you aren’t sure how to maintain or repair your home’s plumbing, contact a Flagstaff plumber for personalized assistance and advice.

Replace Your Washing Machine Hose

Did you know that the hose connecting your water supply to your washing machine is one of the most commonly-reported causes of water damage in the home? Rubber degrades over time, especially in the dry climate of Arizona. Natural wear and tear on the hose can cause it to break, leading to a flood that can cause significant water damage to your home. You can avoid this plumbing problem altogether by replacing the rubber hose on your washing machine with one covered in braided metal. Metal hoses won’t degrade and split like rubber, although they should still be replaced every five years.

Flush Your Water Heater

Your water heater may require very little care, but it’s important to remember that this appliance is not completely maintenance-free. Over time, minerals and sediments in your water build up inside your water heater’s tank and cause corrosion. If this corrosion eats away at the tank until it causes a leak, you’ll need to replace the entire appliance. You can prevent sediment buildup by flushing your water heater once or twice a year to clear it and keep the tank in good condition. To flush the tank, turn off the power, gas, and water input to your water heater and attach a hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the tank. Check your manual if you aren’t sure where the tank’s drain is located. Place the other end of the hose in a utility sink, floor drain, or bucket—remember that you may need to empty a bucket a few times to accommodate all the water in your water heater’s tank. Open the drain spigot and drain the tank completely. Once the tank has been drained, close the spigot, remove the hose, and restore the power and water to the unit. If the water coming from the tank is dirty, you may wish to repeat this process a few times until the water drains clear to ensure you have removed all the existing sediment in the tank.

Know Your Plumbing

One of the best ways to prevent problems is to make yourself familiar with your home’s plumbing. Locate your water meter so you can monitor your water usage if you suspect you have a leak. Find your home’s water shutoffs in case of an emergency. Learn how to plunge a sink, toilet, or tub to remove clogs without the use of caustic drain-cleaning chemicals. If your home uses a septic tank, familiarize yourself with its function and have the tank inspected once a year to determine when pumping is needed. A little knowledge will go a long way toward protecting your plumbing and your home.

If you’d like to read more about maintaining your plumbing and how to know when it’s time to call in a professional, check out our blog to find more helpful articles and information. When you need to contact a Mr. Rooter plumber in Coconino, Yavapi, or Maricopa County, visit our website to request an appointment 24/7.

02

Apr

Hidden Leaks - Could You Have One?

Plumbing leaks waste water and cause damage to your home, inviting rot, mold, and pests. Hidden leaks can raise your monthly utility bill in addition to racking up repair bills for drywall, flooring, and other home furnishings. Learning to detect the signs of hidden leaks and address them quickly will prevent damage to your home and help to conserve a valuable natural resource.

Check Your Monthly Bills

It’s a good idea to keep track of your monthly water bills. Even if your bills are paid automatically via credit card or bank transfer, take a look at your monthly water usage to build up a baseline. While comparing bills from one month to the next can be helpful, it’s better to look at this month’s water bill and the bill from the same month last year. Because your water usage can fluctuate depending on the season, comparing your bills from one year to the next gives you a better idea of how much water you should be using—and this comparison can tip you off to increases in water consumption that aren’t caused by seasonal changes. If you aren’t sure whether your water usage is legitimately higher or due to a leak, you can use your water meter to determine if water is being used while you aren’t at home.

Check Your Basement and Garage

While you’re more likely to spot a water leak in an area of your home that is frequently occupied, your basement or garage could be harboring a leak that’s causing extensive damage over time. Take some time to inspect your basement and garage once a month to look for standing water, mold, or a damp, musty smell. These are all indicators that you could have a plumbing leak in these little-used areas. Take a look at your water heater as well, as these appliances often sit in low-traffic areas of the home. Look for water pooling underneath the tank or dripping from the temperature-pressure-relief valve. You can replace the TPR valve quickly and easily to eliminate a leak that could be raising your water bills and damaging your basement or garage floor.

Inspect Your Irrigation System

A home sprinkler system can keep your lawn looking green and healthy, but it could also be the potential site of a hidden leak. Every so often, watch your sprinkler system in action to check that the sprinkler heads are distributing water as they should. Gushing or spurting water from one or more heads indicates that they need to be repaired or replaced. Additionally, take a walk through your lawn to check for soggy, muddy areas. Look for places where your lawn or landscaping has exploded in growth, as these areas could be flourishing due to leaking water.

If you discover or suspect a hidden leak in your Memphis home, contact a plumber to evaluate the issue and perform the necessary repairs as soon as possible. The longer a leak persists, the more damage it can cause! You can find information about our Memphis plumbing services or contact an experienced Mr. Rooter plumber on our website. We also invite you to click through our blog to learn more about maintaining and repairing your home’s plumbing.

Electronic Key Management: How KEYperSCAN Works and How it Can Benefit You

Manual tracking of keys leaves ample opportunity for mix-ups, mistakes, and lost keys. Whether you have a large or small fleet or dealership, up-to-the-minute key tracking is necessary to keep your business running efficiently. KEYper Systems offers a variety of electronic key management solutions to keep your operations running without a hitch. The KEYperSCAN electronic key management system is a powerful but user-friendly system that allows you to keep track of vehicles and keys to manage your inventory instantaneously.

How KEYperSCAN Works

The KEYperSCAN system provides accurate and instantaneous electronic management of keys and vehicles in your inventory. Software creates a label for each vehicle that includes information such as stock number, year, make, model, and color. This label also contains a unique barcode identifier for each vehicle. In addition to a larger vehicle-mounted label, the KEYperSCAN system also provides four smaller labels, which can be affixed to keys, paperwork, and other items related to the vehicle. Each vehicle’s barcode will provide identification for both the vehicle itself and its key in your existing key management system. The KEYperSCAN system also utilizes a Bluetooth scan fob, which transmits information to your iOS mobile device for easy access using the KEYperSCAN system app. Changes made on your mobile device can be synced to your existing key management system via wireless network at the tap of a button. A desktop computer app allows you to analyze all scanned data so you can create standardized reports or export the information for other analysis.

How KEYperSCAN Can Benefit You

The KEYperSCAN system was specifically designed with fleet management and automotive sales in mind. This versatile and powerful system can turn your company’s existing mobile devices into an inventory management network, minimizing the amount of new equipment you will need to purchase to upgrade your key management system. Electronic key management provides little room for mistakes, making your inventory management more effective and saving you both time and money. Your employees and customers alike will appreciate the speed, ease, and accuracy with which your inventory can be managed at any time. KEYperSCAN includes GPS location capabilities, allowing you to accurately locate any vehicle in your database, whether it is on your lot or out on the road. The mobile and desktop apps provide easy-to-read information so you can instantly visualize inventory usage and scanning discrepancies. You’ll be able to perform complete inventory tasks in a fraction of the time it takes to do so manually, with no mistakes. When keys are checked out, the system will also check to determine whether the desired vehicle is blocked by others in the vicinity. If additional vehicles must be moved to access the desired inventory number, those keys will automatically be released as well. Your on-site KEYper Systems key management solution includes a built-in camera that can document events such as late key returns, unauthorized key removal, failed attempts to access a key, and access of the key cabinet using a master key. KEYper Systems offers electronic key management cabinets with various sizes and features so you can choose the system that is right for your needs.

Would you like to learn more about KEYper Systems’ electronic and mechanical key and dealer plate management options? Visit our website to find out which of our solutions is right for you! We are pleased to offer a wide variety of customizable, secure, and easy-to-use key and access management solutions for the automotive, hotel, and property management industries.

01

Apr

Most homeowners have come across a dripping faucet or showerhead at some point, but many make the mistake of not calling a plumber. While a small drip may seem inconsequential, it can add up to many gallons of water wasted and a lot of extra money on your monthly utility bills. Across the U.S., household plumbing leaks account for as many as one trillion gallons of water wasted every year! If you suspect you may have a leak, call the plumbers at Mr. Rooter to keep water—and money—from going down the drain. Take a look at this infographic, courtesy of our plumbing experts in Santa Rosa, to see how much leaks can cost you and where to look for them. A good plumber can easily fix most leaks in a jiffy. Please share this info with your friends and family!

Most homeowners have come across a dripping faucet or showerhead at some point, but many make the mistake of not calling a plumber. While a small drip may seem inconsequential, it can add up to many gallons of water wasted and a lot of extra money on your monthly utility bills. Across the U.S., household plumbing leaks account for as many as one trillion gallons of water wasted every year! If you suspect you may have a leak, call the plumbers at Mr. Rooter to keep water—and money—from going down the drain. Take a look at this infographic, courtesy of our plumbing experts in Santa Rosa, to see how much leaks can cost you and where to look for them. A good plumber can easily fix most leaks in a jiffy. Please share this info with your friends and family!

27

Mar

The Link Between Moisture and Pests

Excess moisture in your home is a pervasive problem that can occur at any time of the year. Drips, leaks, condensation, and humidity all contribute to moisture problems in your home that create an inviting environment for pests. Keep reading to discover why moisture control is an essential part of pest control for your Delmarva home.

Why Moisture Attracts Pests

Just like humans, insects and rodents need water to survive. When searching for a home, pests look for places that offer ready sources of food, shelter, and water. If your home has leaks, condensation, or other sources of moisture, these create an attractive place for pests to colonize. Termites and cockroaches thrive in damp climates, while standing water is a key element in the reproductive cycle of mosquitoes. Additionally, mold and mildew can spring up within hours of a leak. Many insects consider mold and mildew a ready food source as well, making your home an even more appealing place to live.

How Moisture Control Helps

Pest control is a multi-step process that involves not only eliminating the pests themselves, but the factors that attract them to your home as well. In addition to removing sources of food and shelter, you must also remove sources of moisture to prevent pests from returning to your home. Moisture control eliminates water that could serve as a drinking reservoir for pests, while preventing mold and mildew growth that could be serving as a food sources. Removing sources of standing water will also eliminate mosquito breeding grounds and any growing larvae as well.

What Moisture Control Entails

Moisture control is a multifaceted approach to eliminating sources of standing water in your home, making it more comfortable for you while creating a less attractive place for pests. Your pest control expert will start by identifying leaks, puddles, and areas of condensation that must be addressed. Rather than simply drying up the existing water, the cause of this moisture will be addressed to prevent it from returning. Your gutters and downspouts may be checked to ensure they are clear and functioning properly to funnel snow runoff and rainwater away from your home. Sweating plumbing pipes or appliances will be insulated to prevent condensation from forming, and leaking or worn appliances and pipes will be repaired. Ventilation may be added in areas such as garages, attics, basements, and crawlspaces to reduce ambient humidity and prevent condensation in these areas of your home as well.

Understanding the close ties between moisture and pests will help you take the steps necessary to protect your home. Eliminating sources of moisture provides an added layer of protection to keep termites, ants, mosquitoes, fleas, and rodents from moving in. If you have questions about pest control or moisture control on Delmarva, click through our website to find out how our pest control experts can help. You’ll also find more information about common pests you’re likely to encounter and how you can keep them from moving into your home. 

11

Mar

Wintertime Air Conditioner Maintenance

Although your furnace is the appliance that works hard during the winter, forgetting about your air conditioner during this season can cause problems when you need it in the spring. Making a small effort to maintain and protect your air conditioner during the winter can help you to maintain lower utility bills and a comfortable indoor environment all year long. Keep reading for some wintertime air conditioner maintenance tips to help you save money and prepare for spring.

Cover Your Unit
Your air conditioner’s condenser is designed to remain outdoors all year long. It can withstand cold temperatures without significant damage, but it’s still a good idea to cover your unit to protect it from debris and falling ice or snow. While it can be tempting to simply purchase a piece of tarp and strap it around your condenser, improperly covering your unit can lead to moisture buildup inside, which will damage its components. Talk to your HVAC maintenance expert about the type of cover you should use to protect your condenser. The right cover should leave a few inches exposed at the bottom of your unit to discourage accumulation of moisture inside.

Turn Off the Power
When you’re through using your air conditioner in the fall, it’s a good idea to turn off the breaker that leads to the unit. Turning off the power source to your air conditioner can save you money on your utility bills during the winter. It will also ensure that the unit does not turn on to provide cooling on unseasonably warm days or while it is covered. Activating your air conditioner while it is still covered to protect it from ice, snow, and debris can cause damage and strain on the system. Keeping the power off until you have uncovered the unit will prevent any damage of this sort from occurring.

Schedule Your Yearly Maintenance
Winter is actually one of the best times to schedule your air conditioner’s yearly maintenance. Have an HVAC professional inspect, clean, and make any repairs to your unit during the winter months, when your air conditioner isn’t being used and you can schedule an appointment at your leisure. Air conditioning repairs are often cheaper and can be done sooner during the winter, simply because there is less demand. By making sure your air conditioner is in good condition during the winter, you know it will be ready to perform at its best and save you money when you finally turn on your air conditioning in a few months.  

Maintaining your air conditioner during the winter will protect your investment and ensure your home stays cool and comfortable as the temperature rises in the spring. If you’d like to schedule repairs or maintenance for your HVAC system in Detroit or Ann Arbor, visit us on the web to contact a heating and cooling professional. We also invite you to explore our website to learn more about your air conditioner and how we can help you get the most from your home’s heating and cooling systems.

06

Mar

Signs Your Furnace Needs Attention

Excerpt: Furnaces often sit out of sight and out of mind—until you experience a heating problem. Learning how to recognize the signs that your furnace needs attention will save you stress and prevent high bills this winter.

How will you know when your furnace needs the attention of a trained heating professional? There are a number of signals your heating system may send out when it’s in trouble. Learning to read these signs and take quick action will minimize the need for repairs and help you to save money on your heating bills.

Loud Sounds

Over time, you’ll get used to the sounds your furnace makes. While it is not abnormal for your furnace to make some noise while it works, if you hear loud or disruptive sounds every time the heat turns on, there could be a problem with your heating system. Banging, clanging, hissing, whining, and popping are all sounds that indicate trouble inside your furnace. These sounds could mean anything from a dirty heating assembly to a worn or broken belt. Contact a heating repair service promptly if you notice sounds coming from your furnace that concern you.

Constant Function

A furnace that is not functioning efficiently will turn on frequently and stay on longer because it must work harder to heat the air of your home. If your furnace seems to be on more often than it is off or if you notice the system struggling to turn on and stay on, it’s time to have your unit assessed by a heating technician. In many cases, this type of problem can be solved by cleaning your furnace, replacing your furnace filter, or upgrading your thermostat for more efficient heating.

High Heating Bills

Heating costs that suddenly skyrocket are a sure sign of heating issues in your Atlanta home. Compare each month’s bill with the same month a year ago to get the best estimate of what heating should cost. Remember that there may be month-to-month or even year-to-year fluctuations in cost due to temperature changes. However, sudden large increases in your utility costs almost always signal the need for attention.

Poor Indoor Air Quality

If you notice a change in the air quality inside your home, it could be due to furnace troubles. A poorly-functioning furnace can circulate dust, mold, pollen, and other debris through your home, causing a higher incidence of allergies and asthma. The recurrence of dust on surfaces in your home that have recently been cleaned could also be a sign that your furnace or furnace filter is dirty. Condensation on the inside of your windows or indoor air that is extremely dry and irritating may also indicate that your furnace isn’t functioning as it should.

Knowing the signals your furnace might send when it needs attention can prevent disruptions in heating your home this winter. We invite you to visit us online to find more information about furnace repairs and replacement in Atlanta, Norcross, and Marietta. Our HVAC technicians are standing by to provide free service calls with any repair—check out our website to learn more!

05

Mar

Maintaining a Healthy Sewer Line

Excerpt: Do you know how to maintain a healthy home sewer line to prevent damage and messy backups? This article will outline a few simple steps you can take to protect your home’s sewer line and avoid plumbing problems.

Your sewer line is an important component of your Flagstaff home’s plumbing system. The sewer line is responsible for transporting wastewater away from your home so it can be treated by a city sewage plant. Problems with your sewer line can cause backups into your home or flooding in your yard, resulting in property damage and extensive plumbing repairs. Maintaining a healthy sewer line isn’t difficult and will prevent a significant amount of stress and damage.

Watch What (and Where) You Plant

Sewer lines are vulnerable to questing plant roots as they search for water. Roots can work their way into the plumbing pipes as they seek water and other nutrients in the soil, which can cause cracks or sewage backups. You can prevent these problems by taking care with the plants you place in your yard. Find out where your sewer line runs, and avoid planting trees or shrubs with deep or widespread root systems in these areas. Grasses, flowers, and plants with shallow or short root systems are safe to plant above your sewer line when landscaping your yard—check with your plumber for more information about which plants to use or avoid near your sewer line.

Install Lint Traps and Drain Covers

Lint, hair, and other debris are washed into your sewer line through everyday use of your plumbing. Over time, these materials can build up into stubborn clogs that affect your sewer line’s ability to transport wastewater, putting you at risk for a sewage backup. Installing a lint trap on your washing machine’s discharge hose can prevent laundry lint from building up in your plumbing—however, you’ll need to remember to clean out the filter periodically to prevent problems with the hose. In your bathrooms, mesh drain covers will prevent hair and other similarly-sized debris from swirling down your tub and shower drains. Remove and dump out the drain cover after bathing, then replace it for the best results.

Have Your Sewer Line Inspected and Cleaned

Because your sewer line sits out of sight beneath your yard, it can be difficult to spot problems if they develop slowly over time. Even when you take steps prevent sewer line issues, it’s important to have your sewer line inspected and cleaned by a professional plumber once every two to three years. A professional inspection will ensure that your sewer line is clear and intact, while cleaning will remove any clogs that may be forming before they can become a bigger problem.

Protecting and maintaining your home’s sewer line will result in decades of problem-free function. If you have questions or concerns about your sewer line or another aspect of your home’s plumbing, visit our website to contact a professional plumber or request an appointment in Yavapai, Coconino, or Maricopa County. You’ll find additional tips and advice on maintaining your home’s plumbing systems on our blog.

04

Mar

Warning Signs: Is Your Furnace Failing?

Excerpt: Could your furnace be reaching the end of its heating life? How will you know when it’s time to browse your new furnace options? This article will help you recognize the warning signs of a failing furnace to prevent you from paying more than necessary to heat your Columbus home.

Home heating systems are not designed to last forever. Even the highest-quality furnace has a usable lifetime of 10-15 years, though the right maintenance may extend that lifetime by up to five additional years. However, regardless of the care you’ve taken with your furnace, there are certain signs that signal the need to install a new heating system. Keep reading to discover the warning signs that your furnace is failing and will need replacement soon.

Major Furnace Repairs

Furnaces have often been likened to cars—toward the end of their useful lifetime, many major components will begin failing one after another. Check your records to see when your last major furnace repair took place. If your furnace has required significant repair work more than once in the past two years, it could be a sign that the system is beginning to fail entirely. When major components begin to fail, you can end up spending hundreds of dollars in replacement parts in just one to two years. Consider how much you are spending on these major repairs and whether that money would be better spent if you were to put it toward a newer, more efficient, and longer-lasting furnace system for your home. A new furnace represents a larger initial investment, but it will not require major repairs for at least a decade as long as you regularly maintain your heating system.

Damaged Burner

The burner assembly is at the heart of your home’s heating system, providing the heat that warms incoming air before it is distributed throughout your home. You should periodically inspect your burners by removing the back panel of your furnace to watch the assembly while it is running. When functioning normally, the burner flames should be steady and hot white or blue, indicating that they are burning cleanly. Flickering orange-yellow flames indicate trouble with the burner assembly and excess production of carbon monoxide, which could be dangerous for your family. Additionally, if you spot flames beneath the burners, you could have a cracked burner assembly. A damaged burner assembly is a major component to replace, and it may be a wiser investment to simply replace the entire furnace instead.

A Dry or Dusty Home

As your furnace ages, it becomes less able to create the comfortable environment you want. Older furnaces tend to suck the moisture out of the air in your home, causing indoor air to become extremely dry. If your furnace is robbing home of much-needed moisture, you may begin noticing problems such as excessive static electricity, skin irritation, cracking word finishes, or indoor plants that require watering more often. As your furnace ages, it also becomes less adept at removing dirt from the air before it is distributed through your home. You may notice surfaces gathering dust and dirt more frequently or flare-ups of allergies and asthma as your furnace fails to remove these contaminants from the air.

Are you wondering whether your furnace should be replaced to enhance your indoor comfort and reduce your seasonal heating bills? Visit us on the web to find out more about the heating products and services we offer throughout the Columbus area. You can find additional information about furnace repairs and replacement on our blog.

All About Bed Bugs

Bed bugs have been sharing human homes for thousands of years. Although they were largely eradicated by new pest control solutions in the 1940s, bed bugs remain an issue for many homes today. Understanding how bed bugs can invade your home, how to spot them, and how they are eliminated will help you to prevent or minimize the impact of a bed bug infestation in your home.

Bed Bug Information
Bed bugs are small, reddish-brown insects that obtain sustenance by feeding on the blood of mammals. These insects have a flat, oval-shaped body with six legs and range from a few millimeters in length to nearly a quarter inch in size. A female bed bug may lay between 500 and 600 eggs in her lifetime, which will hatch and mature to adulthood within 21 days. Bed bugs find their “victims” by sensing the carbon dioxide exhaled with every breath. They are primarily nocturnal, feeding on exposed skin while you sleep. The feeding process takes approximately five to ten minutes, after which an engorged bed bug will retire for up to ten days to digest and reproduce.

Bed Bug Infestations
Although bed bugs are small, they often leave behind multiple signs of their presence. Bed bug bites most frequently appear on any skin left exposed while you sleep and tend to be red, itchy, and clustered into groups. Signs of bed bug activity also include small brown or rust-colored stains on sheets, mattresses, walls, and floors. Molted skins or small white eggs may also be spotted if your home is infested with bed bugs. Large infestations are often accompanied by a sweet, fruity odor that is secreted by the bugs themselves.

Bed Bug Prevention
There are many steps you can take to protect yourself and your home from a bed bug infestation. When traveling, check your hotel room for signs of bed bugs before unpacking. Never place luggage or clothing directly on a hotel bed; instead, hang clothing in the closet and use a luggage stand for your suitcase. After you return home, wash all clothing on the hottest water setting and store your luggage and other bags in an outdoor closet or garage, rather than keeping them inside your home. If you do suspect you could have a bed bug problem, schedule an inspection immediately. Handling a bed bug infestation when it is small will prevent a more severe infestation that can cause discomfort and damage your mattress, carpet, and other home furnishings.

You can protect yourself from a bed bug infestation by following these simple tips and contacting a pest control expert if you think you may have a problem. Visit our website to find out more about pest control and extermination in Delmarva, or to contact a pest elimination expert. You can find more tips and information about preventing infestations and get the answers to your pest control questions on our Ask the Expert web resource.

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