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Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Most Frequently Asked Plumbing Questions

Residential plumbing is a service that is not often mastered by homeowners. In most instances, plumbing problems require the expertise of a trained professional. However, that does not mean that homeowners should not try to stay informed. Here is a look at the most frequently asked plumbing questions

What is the tank on my toilet overflowing and what should I do?

This is not uncommon and it most often occurs because of a leak in your fill valve. Replacement of that fill valve is a cheap, quick fix. But it could also be due to a corroded wire that sets your water level.

What should I do if there is a water leak in my home?

The first thing you need to do is locate the shut-off valve. This should be located before any problems arise as it shuts off the main water supply. Once that is done, call a professional plumbing service so that the problem can be immediately diagnosed.

Why is my monthly water bill higher than usual?

Unless you are housing a lot more people who take long and frequent showers, there is a problem. This often means there is a leak and that could extend to the faucet, toilet, underground pipes or sprinkler system. Water bills should be relatively the same throughout the year.

Should I invest in a water softener?

This is a good investment that will improve the health of everyone in the home. Softening your water will improve the quality of skin, hair and make for cleaner, fresher laundry. It is also safer to drink than hard water because water softeners remove minerals.

How do I avoid drain clogs?

The top reason for drain clogs is a buildup of soap scum. This soap scum acts as a glue that collects some particles like hair, dirt and debris that falls into a drain. Reduce the soap scum and it will lessen the chances of a clogged drain.

What is causing my faucet to leak?

A constant or subtle drip can be the result of numerous faults. A corroded valve or a washer that is worn can both be the culprits. A broken fitting or a worn seal can also be the cause and the good part is that all of these are relatively inexpensive fixes. 

Why has my water pressure dropped?

There is no universal answer, although it means there is something is amiss as water travels from the main water system all the way through to the faucets in your home. This could be caused by a variety of reasons and a plumbing professional can identify the source.


The team of trained technicians and customer associates at Vines Plumbing and Water Restoration welcome any other plumbing questions you may have.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

TANKLESS VS. TANKED WATER HEATERS

Many homeowners enjoy the benefits of a traditional tanked water heater. In addition, many people are discovering the great benefits of tankless water heaters. If your water heater is older and you want to replace it, check out these facts to determine if a tankless or tanked water heater is the right choice for you and your family.

Tankless Systems Reduce Energy Consumption

If you want to cut down on energy spending, a tankless water heater is a great choice because it can drastically reduce energy consumption.

If you use an average of 41 gallons or less of hot water per day, your tankless water heater may be 24 to 34 percent more efficient than a tanked system. If you use more water - such as 86 gallons or more per day - you may use 8 to 14 percent less energy than with a tanked system.

The biggest reason tankless systems are more efficient is because they don't heat the water until you need it. Once you turn on the hot water, it starts getting hot. With a traditional water heater, the tank is full of hot water, which uses electricity to keep it hot. However, as long as your water heater is well-insulated, it should keep much of the water naturally hot without wasting too much energy.

Tankless Systems Come in Point-of-Use or Whole-Home

With tankless systems, you can choose a point-of-use water heater or a whole-home water heater. With point-of-use water heaters, the water heater only provides hot water to one faucet. This can help you save money if you only use hot water on some faucets, such as the washing machine, dishwasher, or kitchen sink. You can also use a point-of-use system in conjunction with a tanked water heater, especially if you have problematic faucets.

A whole-home system provides hot water to every faucet in the home, much like a traditional water heater. You can install the whole-house systems in one central location, but they take up much less room than a traditional tank.

Tanked Water Heaters Provide Instant Hot Water

The biggest benefit of having a tank of hot water is instant hot water. If you have a tanked water heater, as soon as you turn on the hot water faucet, hot water starts flowing because it comes directly from the tank. If the house uses all the hot water, you'll have to wait for the tank to refill, but as long as you choose the appropriate size tank for your family, you shouldn't experience a problem.

With a tankless system, the water runs over a heating device, but the heating device isn't active until you turn on the hot water faucet. Therefore, you may have to wait for the heating device to fully warm. As a result, you may have to let cold water run for a while before the water reaches the desired temperature.

Tanked Water Heaters Are More Affordable to Purchase

Ultimately, many people choose tanked water heaters because they are more affordable to purchase and install. You can expect to pay between $300 and $3,500 for a traditional water heater and professional installation. The price depends on many factors, including the size, quality, and insulating properties.

A tankless system may cost $1,800 to $5,000 for the system and installation. Tankless water heaters tend to last longer than traditional tanked heaters, but tanked systems still last 10 to 15 years, making them an affordable investment for many homeowners.

Your home's water heater is invaluable for providing heated water for cooking, cleaning, and bathing. However, while many people prefer a tanked system, a tankless water heater may be a great choice to consider. For more information about water heater replacement or which type of system is best for your needs, contact us at Vines Plumbing and Water Restoration today.

Monday, November 26, 2018

PROTECT YOURSELF FROM MOLD-RELATED ILLNESS

Mold can become an issue in your house due to water damage from plumbing issues that aren't correctly dealt with. When you have mold in your home, it can spread quickly and lead to serious problems that affect everything from your flooring to the home's structure.

Mold can also cause many health problems. To protect yourself, learn about mold and the ways mold in your home can affect your health.

How You Get Mold in Your Home

Mold requires certain conditions to thrive. These conditions include oxygen, warmth, darkness, moisture, and mold spores. Mold also needs a surface it can feed on such as drywall, fabric, or wood.

Many places in your home provide these conditions to mold. If moisture is introduced to a dark and warm place in your home, such as a closet, cupboard, or basement, then you can find yourself dealing with mold. If you don’t have a professional remove mold correctly in the early stages, it can cause damage to your home as it grows and lead to a variety of health problems.

What Health Problems Mold Can Cause

Some people are more susceptible to mold reactions than others. For anyone who is predisposed to mold sensitivities, mold can cause allergy-like symptoms. These symptoms include red and itchy eyes, sneezing, coughing, stuffy nose, runny nose, and rashes.

People with serious predisposed sensitivities to mold can experience more severe reactions including breathing difficulties. People with conditions such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can experience asthma attacks and serious respiratory issues.

Exposure to certain strains of mold, such as aspergillus and stachybotrys chartarum, may lead to another major health concern. These strains of mold produce mycotoxins, which cause inflammation and other issues such as a condition called toxic mold syndrome.

Toxic mold syndrome is a type of black mold poisoning. Some of the symptoms that can come from toxic mold syndrome include anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, weakness, vertigo, memory loss, confusion, lack of concentration, verbal issues, learning difficulty, digestive issues, appetite loss, skin changes, depression, and infertility.

Toxic mold syndrome can be difficult to diagnose because many of the condition's symptoms coincide with the symptoms of other conditions, such as bipolar disorder, Alzheimer's, obsessive-compulsive disorder, autoimmune disorder, and attention deficit disorder.

How Conditions Due to Mold Exposure Are Diagnosed

The technology for testing for many mold-related conditions is still limited. However, in some cases, mycotoxins can be found in urine. Another way to diagnose conditions like mold toxicity syndrome is with a nasal swab test, which a doctor performs to test for the presence of bacteria.

Hormone changes often take place with mold-related issues that can be picked up in blood tests. For example, a skin prick test can show an allergic reaction to mold, which can help diagnose a mold-related condition.

Negative tests don't necessarily mean a person is free of mold-related issues. In many cases, a physician will make a diagnosis based off the patient's symptoms and/or the fact that mold was found in their home or workplace.

How to Protect Yourself From Mold

The best way to protect yourself from mold is to keep your home mold-free. Have roof leaks repaired immediately. Also, schedule repairs for plumbing issues as soon as you find them.

If you find a leak or see signs of moisture, such as damp carpet, bubbling paint, stains on the walls, or anything else that can point to plumbing leaks or other issues, contact us to come repair those issues right away.

If you think you already have mold in your home, we can come out and remove the mold safely from your home. You won't always be able to see mold, so call us if you notice other possible signs of mold growth, such as a musty smell or dark areas of flooring.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

HOW TO AVOID ACCIDENTALLY CREATING A MOLD UTOPIA IN YOUR HOME

Nobody sets out to encourage mold growth in their home. But between using natural materials such as fabrics and wood, and putting lots of water in the air, it can happen accidentally. Here are five ways to avoid providing a utopia for unwanted mold colonies.

1. Use an Electric Dehumidifier

If you have a small house and your excess moisture is coming from the basement, a large dehumidifier unit running in your basement could help keep your humidity levels appropriate. The ideal humidity levels for avoiding mold should be below 50 percent, but don't go below 30 percent or your skin might start drying out.

You can also purchase smaller units for individual rooms, or move the unit around to different rooms of the house as convenient.

2. Add Moisture Absorbers and Fans

A whole-house dehumidifier won't keep moisture from collecting on a window or behind the toilet. It can make sure there's less water available, but the water can still condense on a cool surface. For these situations, small electric fans can help keep air moving rapidly across the surface so it doesn't have time to allow moisture to condense out.

For small, enclosed spaces, even if there's no window pane for water to condense on, the lack of air circulation can encourage mold growth. Keeping the humidity levels even lower in these spaces (such as cabinets and drawers) can be accomplished by using individual moisture absorbers.

3. Check Humidity Levels With a Hygrometer

If you're not sure which areas in your house are the dampest, a small, affordable hygrometer could become your new best friend. Simply place it in various spots around your house, leaving it in each spot for 24 hours and keeping track of how the humidity fluctuates, to get a baseline for the level of dampness present in each room. Then, try putting it in more isolated spots such as inside cabinets or under sinks to gauge how much higher the humidity levels are there.

4. Clean Susceptible Surfaces Frequently

Mold spores float through the air until they land on a habitable surface such as a damp wall. Then they'll start sprouting and growing. But the more often you clean any given surface, the less time any mold spores will have to sprout and grow before you wipe them off.

Remember that cleaning to avoid mold is very different from cleanup after the fact. While you can't simply wipe mold off after it's started growing (it will grow back), you can clean the mold spores off with mold-killing cleaners before they've gotten established. If you already have visible mold growth, consider a professional remediation before the infestation worsens.

5. Leave Curtains Open (Except Shower Curtain)

Although sunlight doesn't necessarily kill all mold (some mold is quite happy growing around the edges of a sunny window), the UV rays that it provides do have a generalized anti-mold effect. In addition, leaving thick curtains down will trap cool, wet air against the window (and any parts of the wall that it touches), making any beginning mold colonies extremely happy.

An exception to this is the shower curtain. Opening the shower curtain directly after a shower can trap water in its folds, encouraging mold and mildew there. Instead, leave the shower curtain closed (stretched out across the bathtub) until it dries.

These tips will help you control the environment inside your house so that the mold spores floating through the air are less likely to find a perfect home behind your furniture or under your sink. If you need help with mold cleanup beforehand, give Vines Plumbing & Water Restoration a call today.

Friday, October 5, 2018

MOLDY BASEMENT: IDENTIFY, TREAT, AND PREVENT MOLD GROWTH

One of the most likely places you'll discover mold in your home is the basement. Your home's basement is often dark, undisturbed, and naturally moist due to being underground in your home's foundation, creating the ideal breeding ground for mold spores.

The key to keeping your basement mold-free lies in knowing how to identify a mold problem, treating affected areas effectively, and preventing mold growth in the future. Read on to learn how to manage mold in your basement. You can use this advice for other mold-prone parts of the home as well, such as your attic and garage.

Identify Mold in the Basement

Mold carries a particular odor, often smelling like wet dirt or an old, musty rag. You'll notice this smell in damp areas of your basement, such as in corners, under the stairs, or near windows where moisture is likely to get in. Mold will also grow around exposed pipes.

Not all mold is black in appearance: you may see mold in your basement — or stains from mildew — that is brown, yellow, tan, pink, or green in color. Mold comes in many forms, including large uneven shapes or small dots lining walls and exposed flooring. Mold will grow nearly anywhere in the basement as long as there is humidity, including along cement and brickwork.

Treat Mold in the Basement

The first way to treat a mold problem in your basement is to identify the type of mold existing in your home. Several species of mold are common to houses, including black or toxic mold. A mold remediation specialist will identify the type of mold you are dealing with. Black mold should always be treated by a specialist.

Some species of mold, such as aspergillus, are relatively harmless and easy to get rid of with ammonia or other chemical treatment. However, treating mold on your own poses a health risk to you and your family if you don't use the right treatments or don't have enough ventilation in your basement to prevent spreading mold spores.

That’s why you should leave mold remediation to a professional. A water damage restoration contractor will assess your basement's mold damage and remove all traces of mold from your home.

Prevent Mold in the Basement

Prevent mold growth by providing ventilation to keep the air dry. Install ceiling or wall fans, crack open windows, and wrap exposed pipes with insulation to prevent condensation buildup and in turn help avert future mold growth. If your climate is naturally humid, place a dehumidifier in your basement to manage humidity in your home.

If moisture is getting into your home from outside, replace or repair rain gutters and place gravel around your home's foundation. You can also waterproof basement walls with a special material to keep mold at bay.

Your water damage restoration contractor will identify where and how moisture is getting into your basement as part of your mold remediation process. Follow your expert's advice for keeping your basement dry to keep mold from returning.

If mold is a consistent problem in your basement, have your contractor visit your home periodically to check for new mold spores. Keeping on top of a mold problem may take more than one professional treatment, particularly if you have a very damp basement that floods or leaks easily.

Mold is a common household concern and managing the fungi is difficult to do on your own. Our team of experts at Vines Plumbing & Water Restoration are able to identify and treat your basement's mold problem. Call us to schedule a consultation for mold remediation and restoration services today.

Monday, September 3, 2018

HOME BUYING: STEPS TO TAKE IF YOU SUSPECT WATER DAMAGE

You've toured home after home, searching for your dream property. Now that you've found a house that has the perfect number of bedrooms, a backyard for your pups to run free, and closets that you can actually walk into, you're ready to put down an offer.

Before you sign anything, every would-be homeowner needs to make sure that the property isn't just everything you want aesthetically. The home also needs to have a full inspection. Water damage is sneaky in the way it can hide in almost plain sight. If you notice suspicious stains or any other possible water damage red flags, you need to take caution before moving on to the next step in the home buying process.

What should you do if you think your potential home has water damage? Take a look at how you can protect yourself and your investment.


Visual Inspection
Knowing what to look for when it comes to water damage is a step in the right direction - that is, if you want to uncover a potential problem before making a hefty down payment. Even though you may not have expert knowledge, you can still visually inspect the home for noticeable signs.

What are the symptoms of water damage? Look for peeling or flaking paint, moist or wet patches on the walls, or walls that are bowed. Keep in mind, peeling paint and damp walls aren't always the result of water damage from a plumbing problem, leak, or flood. These symptoms also show up if the air is too humid or when paint or plaster is incorrectly applied.

Along with peeling, bowed, or wet areas, you may also see dirty or stained marks from dried water or mold. Even though the home may seem dry, these leftover telltale signs indicate that, at some point, the home may have had water damage. If that damage wasn't handled correctly - that is, by a restoration expert - the home may have lingering problems that you'll have to deal with as the new owner.


Professional Inspection
Along with inspecting the home yourself, hire a professional inspector to assess the possibility of water damage. Not only will the inspector note areas of water damage, but they can also help determine what's causing the issue.

An issue such as this has many possible causes. Anything from a slowly leaking pipe to a previous flood during a rainstorm can result in water damage. The inspector will review the home's systems, as well as its exterior and interior components. This helps the professional determine the extent of the damage and what issues are at fault.


Post-Inspection
The home-buying process isn't an overnight or instant event. It takes time. What started with a water damage question following your own inspection may have turned into a water damage confirmation after the professional inspection. After you've received the full report from the home inspector, it's time to decide whether you want to buy the property or not.

Some types of water damage are fairly minor and won't require extensive repairs. A patch of peeling paint following a one-time washing machine leak or a stain after the dishwasher overflowed are more of aesthetic issues than functional problems. But if the inspector feels that the cause behind the damage is ongoing (such as a leaking pipe) or has left behind wood rot or mold that you'll have to repair, you may be looking at an expensive fix.

You have a few different options after getting the not-so-good news that the home has extensive or ongoing water damage problems. You can walk away and keep the search for your dream home going. If that's not an option, you can get a repair estimate from a restoration company.

A professional contractor can plan a safe, appropriate fix and provide you with a price. In some cases, the seller will agree to pay for the costs.

Does your would-be new home have water damage? Contact Vines Plumbing & Water Restoration for more information.

Monday, January 29, 2018

BUYING AN OLDER HOME? WATCH OUT FOR THESE COMMON PLUMBING PROBLEMS

Older homes can be romantic and beautiful, but they can also be a plumbing nightmare. Old pipes can cause leaks, water damage, and structural damage, and many older plumbing fixtures are inefficient and costly to use. Homeowners who aren't aware of their plumbing problems can find themselves paying hundreds or thousands of dollars in repairs, or may pay extra money for utilities over time.

If you're thinking about buying an older home, knowing the plumbing problems typically associated with an older property can help you identify issues before the deal is final. This can help you decide whether or not an older property is right for you.

INEFFICIENT TOILETS

Legislation passed in 1992 limited the volume of water that toilets could use for each flush. Before that time, many toilets used between 3 and 7 gallons per flush.

This means that a pre-1992 toilet may use thousands of extra gallons of water every year. If you're not sure how to check whether or not a home has an inefficient toilet, look inside or on the back of the tank where it connects to the bowl. If the home you're thinking about buying has inefficient toilets, consider negotiating an upgraded toilet into the purchasing agreement, or plan to replace the toilets after moving in.

GALVANIZED PIPES

Galvanized pipes were commonly used in homes the 1930's through the 1980's. At the time, they were the best kind of pipes available to homeowners. We know now that galvanized pipes last between 20 and 50 years.

Toward the end of their service life, galvanized pipes become brittle, corroded, and leaky. Fixing galvanized plumbing can be time-consuming and sometimes you cannot repair galvanized pipes.

Eventually, you'll need to replace galvanized pipes. If the home you're thinking about buying has galvanized pipes, plan to set aside several thousand dollars to replace the pipes in the next several years.

SCALE BUILDUP AND LOW WATER PRESSURE

Hard water causes scale to build up in pipes over time. Over many years, scale can cause the pipes to become narrow, which can affect the water pressure. Eventually, the scale can cause pipes to become so narrow that they clog.

Older homes are no more likely to have hard water than newer homes, but if the problem has gone untreated for many years, the pipes in an older home are much more likely to have irreversible damage. Watch for signs of hard water problems in the home you're thinking about buying. Green, flaky scale around plumbing fixtures and hard water stains on the windows and dishes is a sign that a home has hard water and the current owners have not fixed the problem.

LEAD SERVICE LINE

Lead was commonly used in main water lines for decades until modern plumbing eliminated the need for lead pipes. Many service lines still deliver water to homes through plumbing made of lead. You can tell whether or not this is a problem in the home you'd like to purchase by finding the main water line to the house.

Scrape away a tiny bit of the corrosion on top of the pipe with the edge of a screwdriver. If the metal underneath is silver and shiny, this is probably lead. Have it inspected by a professional for confirmation.

OLDER SEWER

Older sewers are susceptible to problems like root damage and pipe collapse. A sewer replacement can cost several thousand dollars and can be very disruptive in a busy household. The only way to find out if an older sewer has these problems is to have a professional plumber inspect the sewer with a camera. An inspection will reveal whether or not the home you would like to buy will need sewer replacement soon.

CONTACT A REPUTABLE PLUMBER FOR MORE INFORMATION

At Vines Plumbing, we take pleasure in answering customer questions about old plumbing and routine maintenance. To find out more about older plumbing systems, call us today.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

THE 4 MAIN TYPES OF WATER HEATERS

Your home's water heater is one of the main components of your plumbing system, and it works to provide hot water to all of the faucets and other water-using appliances in your home. There are several different types of water heaters available, each of which operates in a different manner to perform the same function.
Understanding the differences in each type of water heater and what they have to offer your home's plumbing can help you figure out which variant is the right choice for your plumbing needs.

CONVENTIONAL WATER HEATERS

Conventional water heaters use a large storage tank with an installed heating element to keep a supply of hot water at a constant temperature, able to be used at any time. They are the most affordable type of water heater on the market and can provide hot water to multiple sources at once.
However, conventional water heaters do require time to recharge once all of your hot water has been used. This can be offset by installing a larger tank, but that will take up more space within your home. Conventional water heaters are also not very energy efficient and can drive up your monthly electrical bills.

TANKLESS WATER HEATERS

As their name would suggest, tankless water heaters do not have a large storage tank to hold hot water in. Instead, they heat water up on demand. This means that they will not have to constantly cycle on and off to maintain a supply of hot water, which can save you money on your energy bills each month.
Further, their lack of a tank means that they take up much less room, which makes them ideal for smaller houses and apartments that don't have the storage space for a conventional water heater.
However, tankless water heaters do represent a higher initial investment than conventional water heaters do, which means that they won't be able to fit into every budget. Further, the fact that they heat water on demand means that they can have issues supplying hot water to multiple faucets or appliances at once, which can limit their effectiveness in larger homes.

SOLAR WATER HEATERS

Solar water heaters are designed to save you even more energy than tankless water heaters. Solar heaters use solar panels installed outside or on top of your home to generate power which then heats water in a conventional hot water storage tank.
This method of heating water can eliminate - or at the very least severely reduce - your energy bills each month.
However, solar water heaters are extremely expensive compared to other variants, as they require their own infrastructure to be installed in the form of solar panels and specialized electrical equipment. They also take up a great deal of space both within and outside of your home, and they require constant maintenance to ensure that the solar panels are kept in good condition.
There's also the obvious downside that solar water heaters are only well-suited for consistently sunny climates; colder and cloudy areas just won't generate enough power to provide an adequate amount of hot water.

HEAT PUMP WATER HEATERS

Heat pump water heaters work by moving heat from outside of your home into the hot water storage tank and don't actually make use of a heating element to heat up water. This makes them extremely energy efficient and more reliable than solar water heaters.
However, heat pump water heaters work fairly slowly and are only well-suited for climates that do not have cold winters. While they may be energy efficient, they can have trouble heating up large quantities of water. Because of this, they are usually installed as hybrid units so that a conventional heating element or tankless water heater can take over when they are not able to generate enough heat.
For any questions that you may have about your home's water heater or if you have any other plumbing concerns, please feel free to contact us at Vines Plumbing & Water Restoration.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

3 PARTS OF YOUR PLUMBING SYSTEM THAT REQUIRE AN ANNUAL CHECKUP

Annual checkups are recommended for a variety of household systems; and even if you remember to get your AC system checked at the beginning of every warm season, you may not realize that your plumbing system needs to be regularly maintained as well. Unlike your AC, your plumbing system works year-round and accumulates constant wear and tear.

So whether you decide to have your system inspected and cleaned as part of your spring cleaning or in the fall before winter storms can burst any unprotected pipes, there are a number of factors in your plumbing system that require a professional checkup each year. Here are a few examples.

1. Water Heater

Sometimes water heater problems can sneak up on you. For example, if there's sediment buildup in the tank, you might not notice that your system is sounding more rumbly than it did a few months ago - after all, each day sounded about the same as the day before.

A plumbing inspection includes water heater checkups, and a plumbing technician can find and diagnose problems such as sediment buildup, thermostat problems, valve problems and leaks in a tank easier than you could on your own.

A technician can also help you with problems that are just annoying, such as slightly-too-high water pressure. A technician can also perform regular maintenance services such as flushing out the tank and putting in a new anode rod, meaning there will be less maintenance work for you later.

2. Sump Pump

Your sump pump probably doesn't get used often, especially during the less-stormy times of the year. However, after months of inactivity, some sump pumps may develop a malfunction. You can't be sure yours will work perfectly just because it did so last year.

Instead, including the sump pump in your annual plumbing maintenance and inspection visit will help ensure that it's in good working condition next time there's a storm.

Although there are several maintenance tasks you can do yourself, such as cleaning out the pump screen, a professional inspection will include testing of the alarm and backup power, checking for functional valves and correct pit size and more, so you don't have to worry about those maintenance tasks unless you want to.

3. Water Pipes

Not all homeowners realize this, but your water could be negatively affecting your pipes in a variety of ways. For example, if the water is too hard, it could be causing a layer of lime scale to build up on the inside of your pipes, which can gradually reduce their diameter until no water can get through at all.

On the other hand, if your water softener is too strong, the chemicals might damage your pipes as well. In addition, a too-high or too-low PH can also have ill effects, causing erosion or other problems.

So no matter what type of water you have - well water or city water - an annual inspection to make sure your pipes are in good health is ideal.

The plumbing inspection will also include checking for any drips, slow leaks and other "small" problems that could develop into very large problems at some point during the next few years. Having a professional look at your pipes can be very helpful that way.

As you can see, there are a number of reasons that annual inspections are recommended for your plumbing system. These few examples show that there's a lot that can go wrong if you don't stay up to date with upkeep.

If you'd like more info about plumbing maintenance or if you'd like to schedule a repair or maintenance visit, contact the experts at Vines Plumbing & Water Restoration today via our website.

Friday, September 22, 2017

HOW TO SAVE WATER AT HOME

Whether you are concerned about your water bill or you simply care about the environment, you might be looking for ways to conserve water each month. Even when you make small changes to your daily routine, the savings can be tremendous.
Beyond the basics of cutting back on baths and turning the water off when you are brushing your teeth, you have other options. These tips will get you started on your quest to save money and water.

Save Money in the Bathroom
Most things you do in the bathroom may lead to water use, but there are several things you can do to prevent wasting water.
First, always fix plumbing issues soon after they appear. Leaking faucets waste money and could cost you more money than having a plumber come in.
You might also consider changing plumbing fixtures. Aerated faucets and low-flow toilets are great choices for conserving water. Plus, new toilets tend to use less water than their older counterparts. Dual-flush toilets also help conserve water.
Lastly, avoid disposing of unnecessary materials in the toilet. This uses many more gallons of water than is necessary and could lead to a clog in your pipes.
Of course, you may not be able to make big changes in your bathroom right now. Until you can, consider limiting shower time to only the essential amount.

Save Money in the Laundry Room
Laundry is a major source of water use, but it does not have to be. These tips help you save water when you are washing your clothes.
To start, use cold water to wash your dark clothes. Not only does this help your clothes keep their color, but it also saves both water and energy.
Did you know that some clothing does not need to be washed as often as others? Jeans are one of them. You may only need to wash your jeans every four to six wears, saving you money on your next load of laundry.
Next time you go to wash your clothes, use these tips in mind along with the advice that washing a full load is your goal if you want to be most efficient.

Save Money Outside
How much time do you spend watering the lawn and maintaining a garden? Doing this more efficiently can save money and water.
First, rethink your yard's irrigation or sprinkler system. Talk to the professional you hire about how you can make improvements to ensure that the yard is efficiently watered.
Want to water your yard less? Adjust your mower height so that it is at about two inches. Tall grass actually provides more shade for the root, allowing moisture to stick around. You can also opt for drought-resistant plants next time you are landscaping.
When you are efficient with your landscaping and watering routine, you can easily save more money outside the home. Your water bill will thank you for this.

Save Money in the Kitchen
From washing dishes to boiling water, your kitchen gets a lot of water action. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can save money in the kitchen.
Sometimes water can serve two purposes. Instead of dumping water from cooking down the drain, use it to water your plants. You can do this with ice cubes that have fallen on the floor too. You can also attach your steamer full of vegetables to something you are already boiling, like potatoes or noodles.
Then, wash your dishes in stages rather than running the water the entire time. Use one side of the sink for scrubbing and the other side for rinsing all the dishes at the same time. Dishwashers actually have the potential to use less water than washing dishes by hand, and this is something to keep in mind next time you shop.
Finally, simply be mindful that every drop of water is important. Taking care of your plumbing is one way to do that. Vines Plumbing & Water Restoration is here to assist you with your plumbing needs.

Friday, September 8, 2017

5 EASILY IGNORED PLUMBING ISSUES THAT DESERVE PROMPT ATTENTION

As a homeowner, you probably have a seemingly endless list of projects you want to complete when you finally have the time. Surely some projects, like re-painting a hallway or updating your cabinet hardware, can be put on the "one day" list with few consequences.

However, many homeowners place seemingly small plumbing issues on the back burner because they assume that these issues are not a big deal yet. Unfortunately, this mistake can be costly in the long run.

Plumbing problems — even the small ones — always deserve your prompt attention. Here are five often-ignored plumbing problems that you should address as soon as possible before they become much worse.

LEAKS

While you might figure a few drops of water from a tiny leak are not a big deal, the problems that the water causes are actually what is dangerous. A tiny plumbing leak often leads to a consistently moist surface, whether it be a wall or a floor, and consistent moisture encourages mold growth. Mold can cause respiratory symptoms, rashes, fatigue, nausea and an array of other health problems.

As soon as you notice a leak of any size, call your plumber to come repair the pipe in question. Otherwise, you may end up having to replace a lot of moldy, water-damaged building materials, too.

TOILETS THAT KEEP RUNNING

A running toilet doesn't make a mess and is not dangerous. Therefore, many homeowners consider a running toilet easy to ignore. However, a leaky toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water a day, or 6,000 gallons of water per month.

This water waste is not good for your wallet or for the environment. Plus, fixing a leaky toilet is usually as simple as replacing a component or two within the tank.

PIPES THAT FREEZE OCCASIONALLY

A pipe freezing and thawing occasionally may present a minor inconvenience if it keeps you from using a certain tap for a few days here and there in the winter. However, when a pipe freezes, you need to do more than just wait for the pipe to thaw. You need to take action to keep the pipe from freezing again because the next time it freezes could be the time it bursts and floods your home.

Adding insulation to exposed water pipes is often the best way to prevent them from continuing to freeze. You can also leave the tap in question on, just slightly, during very cold periods to prevent the associated pipes from freezing.

WATER HEATERS MAKING NOISES

Is your water heater making a rumbling or chattering noise every time you turn it on? If the water is still coming out hot, you may be tempted to just ignore the noise. However, rattling noises usually mean that sediment has accumulated in the bottom of your hot water tank.

This sediment increases your energy bills and can cause your water heater to fail prematurely. You can have your plumber come backwash the water tank to remove sediment and prevent future issues.

MINERAL BUILDUP ON FAUCETS

Mineral buildup can easily be removed from faucets with limescale remover or even white vinegar, but removing the deposits from faucets is really just treating the symptoms and not the true problem.

Mineral deposits occur when you have hard water — water with a high concentration of dissolved calcium and magnesium. If minerals are depositing on your fixtures, they are probably forming deposits inside your pipes too.

Pipes clogged by mineral deposits eventually need to be replaced as they lead to low water pressure. It's a lot easier to have a water softener, which is a device that removes minerals from your water, installed in your home. This will prevent future mineral deposits on your faucets and within your pipes.

If you ever notice one of these problems with your plumbing, do not hesitate to call Vines Plumbing. We can handle all of your plumbing issues — hopefully before they result in substantial damage or the need for extensive repairs.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

5 PESKY BUGS LEAKY PLUMBING ATTRACTS TO YOUR HOME

You know you should fix water leaks and drips in your home to keep from wasting water and running up your bill. What you may not know is a leaky drain or dripping pipe can attract household pests.

The dripping water plus an enclosed space behind a wall or under a sink creates a bug paradise. Here's a look at some common bugs that are attracted to high humidity or damp wood that's caused by leaky plumbing.

BOOKLICE

You probably have booklice in your home all the time. Their numbers swell when you have a leaking pipe that causes mold to grow under a sink or on a wall because booklice love mold.

They may have gotten their name from the fact that they are often found on moldy old books. These pests contaminate your food and destroy your paper documents and books. The best way to get rid of them is to dry out your home and remove the mold.

SILVERFISH

Silverfish love humid areas. If a water leak in your home is bad enough or goes on long enough that it increases the humidity, silverfish can thrive. They'll flourish, even if the high humidity is in an enclosed place behind your sink. Once the colony is established, they'll spread through your home and destroy books and documents.

They can wiggle inside cardboard food boxes and contaminate your food. Silverfish love to hide in folds of paper and clothing. They'll give you a surprise when they scurry out of a book you pick up. Repair water leaks in your home and dry out the humidity with fans or a dehumidifier to drive these pests out of your house.

ROACHES

Roaches are pests that love humid areas and water sources. If you have a drip under your kitchen sink, it probably won't be long until roaches are attracted to the water source and dampness. Roaches invade your food supply, and they are unsanitary.

You should eradicate them quickly, but they will keep coming back until your plumbing problems are repaired and the damp wood is dried out. Once you've dried out your home, you may need to use insecticide to get rid of lingering roaches.

CARPENTER ANTS

Carpenter ants are drawn to wet places that are out of the way of human activity. If you have a pipe dripping behind a wall, the ants can move in without you being aware of their presence.

Carpenter ants chew on whatever wood is in your home, but they love to live in damp wood. These pests can do a lot of damage to your home when their numbers grow. They are just as destructive as termites, so you definitely want to dry out damp wood in your home and give these pests the boot.

TERMITES

Termites have a reputation for destroying houses for a good reason. These bugs are among the most destructive pests to invade your home. There are different types of termites, but one type is drawn to moist areas. In fact, these bugs build mud tunnels to travel through so their environment is always moist and humid.

A water leak that keeps your wood cabinets, subfloor, or walls damp is a magnet for termites when there is a colony nearby. Termites alone are a good reason to have plumbing repairs completed as soon as you can.

If the thought of all these bugs moving into your home is creepy enough to make you want to repair your plumbing and dry out your house right away, brace yourself for even worse news: when your home develops an increase in bugs due to dampness, mold, and water leaks, it changes the entire ecosystem in your house.

When you have an abundance of bugs, you'll have an abundant food supply for other bugs that feed on them. That means you could see an increase in spiders as they move in to take advantage of the new food supply. The solution is to call Vines Plumbing to fix your leaks and repair water damage before you notice bugs so the pests won't find your home so cozy.

Monday, June 26, 2017

5 PESKY BUGS LEAKY PLUMBING ATTRACTS TO YOUR HOME




You know you should fix water leaks and drips in your home to keep from wasting water and running up your bill. What you may not know is a leaky drain or dripping pipe can attract household pests.

The dripping water plus an enclosed space behind a wall or under a sink creates a bug paradise. Here's a look at some common bugs that are attracted to high humidity or damp wood that's caused by leaky plumbing.

BOOKLICE

You probably have booklice in your home all the time. Their numbers swell when you have a leaking pipe that causes mold to grow under a sink or on a wall because booklice love mold.

They may have gotten their name from the fact that they are often found on moldy old books. These pests contaminate your food and destroy your paper documents and books. The best way to get rid of them is to dry out your home and remove the mold.

SILVERFISH

Silverfish love humid areas. If a water leak in your home is bad enough or goes on long enough that it increases the humidity, silverfish can thrive. They'll flourish, even if the high humidity is in an enclosed place behind your sink. Once the colony is established, they'll spread through your home and destroy books and documents.

They can wiggle inside cardboard food boxes and contaminate your food. Silverfish love to hide in folds of paper and clothing. They'll give you a surprise when they scurry out of a book you pick up. Repair water leaks in your home and dry out the humidity with fans or a dehumidifier to drive these pests out of your house.

ROACHES

Roaches are pests that love humid areas and water sources. If you have a drip under your kitchen sink, it probably won't be long until roaches are attracted to the water source and dampness. Roaches invade your food supply, and they are unsanitary.

You should eradicate them quickly, but they will keep coming back until your plumbing problems are repaired and the damp wood is dried out. Once you've dried out your home, you may need to use insecticide to get rid of lingering roaches.

CARPENTER ANTS

Carpenter ants are drawn to wet places that are out of the way of human activity. If you have a pipe dripping behind a wall, the ants can move in without you being aware of their presence.

Carpenter ants chew on whatever wood is in your home, but they love to live in damp wood. These pests can do a lot of damage to your home when their numbers grow. They are just as destructive as termites, so you definitely want to dry out damp wood in your home and give these pests the boot.

TERMITES

Termites have a reputation for destroying houses for a good reason. These bugs are among the most destructive pests to invade your home. There are different types of termites, but one type is drawn to moist areas. In fact, these bugs build mud tunnels to travel through so their environment is always moist and humid.

A water leak that keeps your wood cabinets, subfloor, or walls damp is a magnet for termites when there is a colony nearby. Termites alone are a good reason to have plumbing repairs completed as soon as you can.

If the thought of all these bugs moving into your home is creepy enough to make you want to repair your plumbing and dry out your house right away, brace yourself for even worse news: when your home develops an increase in bugs due to dampness, mold and water leaks, it changes the entire ecosystem in your house.

When you have an abundance of bugs, you'll have an abundant food supply for other bugs that feed on them. That means you could see an increase in spiders as they move in to take advantage of the new food supply. The solution is to call Vines Plumbing to fix your leaks and repair water damage before you notice bugs so the pests won't find your home so cozy.


HOW TO TELL IF YOU NEED A NEW WATER HEATER

Water heater is a key to the smooth operation of your home because without it, there are no warm showers, clean dishes or freshly washed laundry. But it can be tricky to know when it is time to replace your water heater. These three things may indicate when it is time for a new water heater.

THE AGE OF YOUR WATER HEATER

Every water heater is stamped with a manufacture date on it that helps you know when your water heater was made. It is recommended that water heaters be replaced every 10 years in order to avoid the damage that a leaky or broken water heater can cause.

THE NOISE LEVEL

All water heaters make a little noise as the heating elements inside warm up the water in the tank. However, if your water heater really raises a racket, there may be an issue with the heating element or with sediment forming inside the tank, both of which may be warnings of eventual failure.

THE PERFORMANCE

Rusty water, metallic tasting water, standing water by the water heater or a complete lack of hot water altogether may mean that your water heater is broken or on its way to failure.

Paying attention to your water heater and replacing it before it fails completely can help prevent possible damage to your home. To learn more about the signs that you need a new water heater, contact Vines Plumbing at (843) 258-5677.

WARNING SIGNS OF A SEWER LINE CLOG

Are you concerned about the possibility that your house’s main sewer line could be blocked? A sewer line clog can be a serious problem. It will generally need to be dealt with as quickly as possible to help protect your home from harm. Here are some of the most common signs that may indicate such a clog.

MULTIPLE CLOGGED DRAINS

A single blocked drain might not turn out to be a significant issue. You may even be able to resolve the problem on your own. If you notice that multiple drains are clogged simultaneously, however, you might need to call a plumber to check your main sewer line.

WATER BACKUP

Has water begun to back up from one drain line into another? If water that you run into the sink bubbles back up in the bathtub, you might have a problem. A local plumbing company can generally inspect your home’s pipes and main lines to try to determine the source of the issue.

BUBBLING AND GURGLING

If your toilet starts gurgling every time you run your washing machine or take a shower, this could be an indication that a large clog has begun to develop in the main sewer line. Bubbling or gurgling drains could potentially indicate significant plumbing problems.

Sewer line troubles can likely be addressed by a plumber in your area. Contact Vines Plumbing at (843) 258-5677 to learn more about pipe clogs.

THE HAZARDS OF WATER DAMAGE TO YOUR HOME

Your home is a lifelong investment and you want to do everything you can to maintain its value. Unfortunately, if your home is ever subjected to water damage, it could decrease its value and come with other costly hazards.

ASBESTOS

Asbestos growth in your home can be dangerous to you and your family. It can cause breathing problems and other lifelong side effects. Water damage may increase the presence of asbestos.

MOLD

Mold needs a damp place to grow and spread, and if your home has water damage, it provides the ideal environment for that to happen. The presence of mold in your home can cause breathing problems, allergies and other permanent side effects if left untreated.

STRUCTURAL DAMAGE

Water damage is not only bad for your health, but can also do harm to your home’s structure. Leaving water damage untreated can cause wood to rot, wallpaper to curl and flooring to bulge. It could leave a big dent in your wallet as you try to fix all the secondary problems caused by water damage.

The best thing you can do if your home ever gets water damage is to take care of it right away. If left untreated, it can really pose an expensive and dangerous threat to you and your family. Hire a professional to address your water damage issues and help you reverse the damage and fix the other issues in your home.

To learn more about the hazards of water damage, contact Vines Plumbing at (843) 258-5677.

THE IMPORTANCE OF BIOHAZARD CLEANUP

Biohazard cleanup is a crucial function for many crime scenes. Sometimes blood and other fluids are left behind, and it is up to professionals to collect these materials and analyze them in order to find the criminal. It is vitally important that the best experts in your area are on the case.

WELL-BEING OF YOUR FAMILY

If cleanup needs to take place inside your home, you will be thankful that professionals can remove substances in a timely fashion. You can get back into your normal routine faster. You also do not have to worry about reliving a potentially traumatic experience over again.

HELPING LAW ENFORCEMENT

In the event your house was badly damaged, you may need to hire a remodeling company to fix the damage. Professionals can remove blood and other substances so that renovation experts can come by to do their job efficiently.

DISCRETION

Perhaps the biggest benefit you get out of professional biohazard cleanup is discretion. You may not want the neighbors to know what just happened. Experts clean everything up without drawing the attention of any curious passersby.

In order to return your building to a safe, sanitary place, hire the experts. Your life can get back on track in no time. To find these experts, contact Vines Plumbing today at (843) 258-5677.

SIGNS YOU NEED A DRAIN CLEANING

If you own a home, you will likely need plumbing assistance at some point. Severe drain clogs may be one reason that you could have to call in an experienced plumber. Here are three of the top signs that indicate you may need a drain cleaning.

FOUL ODORS AROUND DRAINS

If you have noticed that unpleasant smells tend to hang around your drains or your toilet, this may be a bad sign. Sewer problems and severe clogs may both contribute to the presence of bad odors around drains. You may not know the exact cause until you enlist expert help.

VERY SLOW DRAINAGE

Are you frustrated with sinks or showers that tend to fill and drain very slowly? This is a potential indication of clogs that need to be addressed. You may be able to remedy minor problems yourself, but more severe clogs will likely require professional assistance.

SEVERAL CLOGGED DRAINS

Sometimes, you may notice that multiple pipes seem to have become blocked at the same time. This is often caused by a serious clog in your main drain line. The situation could potentially lead to backup or flooding, and needs to be dealt with by an expert as quickly as possible.

Are you in need of drain cleaning or maintenance? Contact Vines Plumbing today at (843) 258-5677 today!

THE HEALTH RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH MOLD

No one likes seeing mold grow in their home. Mold not only damages the walls and floors of your home, but it also poses a significant health risk. As soon as you notice it, contact a professional to have mold remediation  done to your home.

COMMON HEALTH PROBLEMS

Certain groups of people may be more likely to experience health problems as a result of mold than others. Infants and the elderly in particular are susceptible to issues. Some of the most typical problems that result from exposure include:

  • Headache

  • Sore throat

  • Coughing

  • Eye and skin irritation

  • Nasal congestion

  • Asthma

  • Nosebleeds

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Complications with a pregnancy

  • Cancer

  • Immunologic disorders

  • Neurotoxicity


Everyone experiences the effects of mold differently, but no matter how well-equipped you think you are for this disaster, it is always preferable to be safe than sorry. No amount of mold should be considered safe, and it is always easier on everyone if you eliminate mold from your home when there is still relatively little of it. Contact Vines Plumbing today at (843) 258-5677 to have mold removed from your home.

TRUST THE EXPERTS FOR WATER DAMAGE RESTORATION

Water damage from a flood in your home can be a very stressful event. It is important to hire a water restoration expert to deal with the cleanup properly to protect your health and the structure and stability of your home. Here are three reasons why you should hire a professional company for your flooding damage:

1. WATER DAMAGE CREATES HEALTH HAZARDS

Within 24 hours, a water-damaged home can suffer from the growth of:

Mold

Bacteria

Fungus

Mildew

2. PROFESSIONALS HAVE THE PROPER TOOLS AND EXPERIENCE

When there is water damage from pipe leakage, natural flooding, sewer backup or otherwise, technicians have the necessary equipment and knowledge to do a thorough cleanup for your peace of mind.

3. PROTECT THE STRUCTURE OF YOUR HOME

If water damage is not cleaned up properly, the structure of your home could suffer serious damage even to the point of collapse. An inspection by professionals can catch damage that a homeowner may not see.

When your home has suffered water damage, hiring an expert in restoration services is important to protect the health of you and your family, as well as the structure of your home. For more information on the benefits of professional water damage restoration services, contact Vines Plumbing & Water Restoration in Myrtle Beach.