October 24, 2016
While it is important to regularly keep an eye on your pipes, it’s even more critical to do so if you’re living in an older home. As a plumbing system ages, pipes will generally show indications of problems. If you don’t watch for pipe problems closely, you might miss the signs of issues that could result in extremely costly damage. Check areas of your home that you may not typically think about, places such as utility rooms, crawlspaces and basements, and look for the following clues that your pipes may need to be repaired or replaced.
Even a small leak could be a warning that something is seriously wrong with your pipes and they need to be replaced. More than likely, they are as old as the house itself and are beginning to deteriorate.
One sure sign of a leak is the accumulation of mold or mildew, either on a bathroom wall or somewhere else in your home. Mold grows in moist environments, of course, and a leaking pipe provides the perfect place for mold to thrive. This is especially the case if the leak is hidden under a floor or behind a wall. While spotting some mildew in your shower is not necessarily a cause for concern — seeing it anywhere else is an indication there could be a substantial problem.
The musty smell of mold and mildew is unmistakable. If you notice it after you’ve thoroughly cleaned and scrubbed your home, there is probably a leak.
2. Tube Corrosion
If your pipe tubing shows dimpling or flaking, that likely means some substantial corrosion has occurred and the pipe needs to be replaced. Additionally, if your water has a high-acid content, that could eat away at the tubing. Also, if copper pipes are idle for an extended period, that can lead to corrosion as well as water reactions to the flux used to connect pipes.
3. Discolored Water
If you notice odd-colored water coming from your sink taps, call us as soon as possible; rust is probably in the pipes. Rust not only makes water taste unpleasant, it also causes your water to harden, making it very difficult to thoroughly rinse the soap out of your clothes, off your skin and dishes.
If you check underneath your sink and see stains, or if you see discoloration on your walls, this could be an indication of an issue. For example, look at the ceiling of a room directly underneath a second floor bathroom. If it is stained, that could mean there is some sort of leak present. If the ceiling looks normal, closely inspect nearby walls. Any staining could signify that the leak is farther down a pipe.
Be sure to check the walls in your bathroom for any traces of stains or warping. This could mean that the drywall has become moist and began to bubble. When this takes place, it will usually start to warp and eventually break apart. There could be a chance you will need to call a plumber to come and fix the leak — and you may also need to contact a contractor to repair any drywall the plumber needs to tear.
These are just a few of the ways you can tell that your pipes may have worn out and the time has come to replace them. If you don’t have the time or ability to check your plumbing yourself and you want to be on the safe side, call us Toll-free at (888) 884-4122.
October 21, 2016
Fellow EM NARI members shared a wealth of information with the 500 students who attended yesterday’s Youth Remodeling Career Day! Jim Lavallee conducted mock interviews helping prepare future remodelers for the real world. We are honored to have taken part of such a successful day helping prepare today’s youth for tomorrows jobs.
October 19, 2016
A furnace will usually last between 15 and 20 years. If yours is getting up there in age, it may be wise to replace it now rather than risk a breakdown in the depths of winter. Look for an Energy Star-rated model that will run more efficiently, saving you money on utility bills in the process. Another bonus: You may qualify for up to $500 in tax credits if you upgrade to an energy-efficient unit, which could be a real boon come tax season.
As much as half of the energy used in your home goes to heating and cooling. So making smart decisions about your home’s heating system can have a big effect on your utility bills — and your comfort.
Although older boiler systems had efficiencies in the range of 56%–70%, modern conventional heating systems can achieve efficiencies as high as 97%, converting nearly all the fuel to useful heat for your home. Energy efficiency upgrades and a new high-efficiency heating system can often cut your fuel bills and your furnace’s pollution output in half. Upgrading your furnace or boiler from 56% to 90% efficiency in an average cold-climate house will save 1.5 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year if you heat with gas, or 2.5 tons if you heat with oil. If your boiler is old, worn out, inefficient, or significantly oversized, the simplest solution is to replace it with a modern high-efficiency model. Old coal burners that were switched over to oil or gas are prime candidates for replacement, as well as gas furnaces with pilot lights rather than electronic ignitions.
Click here for your high efficiency heating rebate form.