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Why Should You Clean Your Downspouts and Gutter Drain?

Why Should You Clean Your Downspouts and Gutter Drain?

It’s easy to forget about the gutters and downspouts on a home when the weather is nice and sunny. But when it rains, they need to be functioning well to prevent you from dealing with water-related problems around the house. Let’s take a closer look at why it’s a good idea to periodically clean the gutters and downspouts to keep the water flowing away from your home. Gutter Design and Installation Gutter systems are installed onto the house to catch water from the roof and move it out away from the house. Otherwise, the water flows straight down where it can soak into the ground next to the foundation. This can cause erosion of the soil around the foundation of the house. Water can also leak into your basement and ruin carpet and wall materials. To prevent this, gutters are mounted at a slight angle along the roof to the downspouts. The downspouts direct the water away from the house into drains or other areas that slope away from the property. Anything that prevents the flow of water through this system can cause flooding and erosion around the house. Tips for Cleaning Gutters This is a good activity to plan during the spring and fall as you get your home ready for the spring rains and fall leaves. The gutters may need to be inspected several times throughout the year, depending on the type and amount of rainfall in the area. Here are some reasons why clean gutters are important and where to focus your attention when cleaning them. 1. A basic cleaning removes any organic material building up...
Damaged Sewer Lines Can Be a Real Drain on Your Resources

Damaged Sewer Lines Can Be a Real Drain on Your Resources

There are few things in life more terrifying to homeowners than the words “broken sewer line”— a phrase that brings to mind horrible thoughts of wastewater flooding your home and ruining personal belongings. While most sewer line emergencies are not this drastic, they are definitely something that you want to get taken care of sooner rather than later. Here are some of the main causes of damaged sewer lines and how you can get them fixed by a certified plumber quickly. Cracked Pipes Cracked sewer lines are one of the more common problems that homeowners are likely to encounter with their homes and one that can cause a significant amount of expense and damage. There are several reasons that sewer pipes can become cracked or damaged, including: Movement of the earth from settling or small earthquakes Ground temperatures that are above or below the stated limit for the pipe materials Corrosion of metal pipes Pressure from the waste water and the ground No matter what kind of problem you’re having with your sewer lines, professional plumbers at Crawford Mechanical Services can help you get them resolved quickly. If the problems are under your home, there are several options for trenchless pipe repair that may reduce or eliminate the need for costly and intrusive digging. Most sewer pipe problems will require a trained professional plumber to diagnose and treat the problems. Signs of Plumbing Problems How can you tell if you’ve got a plumbing problem? Not every issue is signified by wastewater shooting into the air from your sinks. Many problems start small and can be fixed inexpensively as long as you catch them soon enough. If you...
Easy Ways to Conserve Water in Your Yard

Easy Ways to Conserve Water in Your Yard

Growing concerns over water conservation have led to restrictions on water use in many neighborhoods across the U.S. That means learning effective ways to water your lawn without wasting water benefits everyone. You can rely on natural rainfall during some parts of the year, but when drought sets in, you may have no choice but to water your lawn or risk it dying. Follow these tips to conserve water while keeping your lawn healthy and green. Use Rainwater While you may not be able to rely on rainfall to keep your lawn watered at all times, you can collect rainwater and use it to water the garden when the weather is dry. While some people use a large water-collection system, you can probably get by with a rain barrel set under the eaves to catch the run off from regular rains. Check with your homeowner’s organization to make sure rain barrels are permitted in your neighborhood. Use Greywater Collecting greywater and using it on the lawn is also an option. Greywater is the water from your sinks, laundry and showers and is safe for watering lawns and gardens. Your plumber can set up your plumbing system to divert greywater into a collection system for watering the lawn. Talk to your plumber about any restrictions on the use of greywater for watering lawns in your area. He can advise you of the best system for your needs. Plant Drought-Resistant Grass Seeding your lawn with drought-resistant grass is an effective way to reduce your lawn’s need for water. Because these tough grasses can survive under drought conditions, they require less watering than traditional...
The Dangers of Natural Gas Leaks

The Dangers of Natural Gas Leaks

Our lives are powered by the electricity and fuel running through the wiring and piping that surround our homes and businesses. For all the benefits of these services, they are not without their risks. In particular, the ability of natural gas to combust makes it hazardous when even a small leak occurs. Keep reading to learn how gas leak explosions happen and how to prevent them. What Causes a Gas Leak Explosion? The most common cause of a gas leak is a faulty connection between the pipes that are carrying the gas and the appliances that use it. When the fittings are improperly sealed or installed, the small particles can slip out and invade the surrounding area. Many of these fittings are located in enclosed or obscure locations, such as a closet, which allows even a small leak to create a buildup of gas. Once that happens, all it takes is a hot day or a random spark to set off an explosion that can destroy property and damage lives. Preventative Care and Inspections An old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Most problems are easier to deal with in advance instead of when they become a serious issue, and the piping that carries your gas is no different. A robust inspection by a professional gas line plumber can identify all of the piping, fittings, and appliances that comprise your building’s system. With a clear picture of how gas is moving throughout your home, it becomes easy to check and verify that all of the disparate pieces are working as intended before they become...
Common Problems With Your Water Heater

Common Problems With Your Water Heater

Nothing screams, “I have a problem,” like jumping into a hot shower only to find out that the water is ice cold. Hot water heaters — both electric and gas — can have an array of problems. Here’s how you know if your water heater is in trouble. Out of Hot Water? When a water heater does not retain heat and the water cools, there could be a few issues going on. First, water heaters have a thermostat that tells the heater when to turn on and off. If the thermostat is faulty, the water heater will not know when to turn on the heater. The flip side of thermostat problems can result in water that is too hot to be safe. Another problem that causes lukewarm or cold water is a faulty main burner. In this case, when the thermostat tells the main burner (on gas water heaters) to ignite, it fails. The cause could be a blockage, such as dust or rust, that prevents the main burner from staying lit. Either way, you should call a plumber. Hearing Loud Noises? Sometimes there are loud banging noises that come from inside the water heater. Rest assured, it’s not a gremlin. Most likely it’s sediment caused by hard water deposits. One solution could be to flush the water heater and remove the sedimentation. If instead the problem is rusty pieces of metal floating around in there, you probably need a new water heater. Water Appears Brown in Color? When you have heavy rain or storms your water might have a slightly brownish tint to it if the water source is upset...
How to Prepare Your Bathroom for Holiday Guests

How to Prepare Your Bathroom for Holiday Guests

The holidays are a time filled with the joyful sounds of a house full of family and friends coming together to celebrate the good things in life. As you race around your house trying to clean and prep for guests this holiday season, don’t overlook your bathroom! Use these tips to make sure your bathroom is ready for your house guests. Check the Water Heater Between showers, dishes, and hand washing, your water heater is in for a rough time when the family is in town. Make sure yours is ready for the challenge with the help of a certified plumber who understands how to coax the most warmth out of it. Toiling at the Toilet A toilet bowl filled with stains and grime can be horribly off-putting to guests, and it’s one part of the house that everyone will visit before they head home. You can use a tank insert with a cleaning solution to limit the development of toilet troubles, but even the cleanest toilet can use sprucing up before a major event. A seltzer tablet in the tank will sizzle through the gunk and break it down in preparation for a scrubbing. Let Your Tiles Shine As soap, water and other substances splash over the tiles of the bathroom, a thin film forms over them. Put 1/2 cup of baking soda, 1/2 cup of ammonia and seven cups of water into a bucket to make a powerful cleaning solution, and then get down there and scrub. Save the tiles for last in case your other cleaning knocks dust and other particles onto the tiles. Get the...