Posts

The water pressure within each of our homes can vary. Typically, the closer your home is to the water source, the greater your water pressure will be.

 

When the pressure begins to run high, you can begin to hear “screaming” noises, loud metal bangs, and even experience water leaks throughout your home. If this sounds like your home, you’re going to want to install a pressure-reducing valve (PRV) to regulate it.

 

The PRV protects your home from excessive water pressure beyond what your plumbing fixtures were designed to handle. The valves in your home are designed for water pressure less than 80 pounds per square inch (psi).

 

Installing a PRV can be relatively simple; you can call your local plumber or follow our step by step video to do it yourself.

 

  1. First things first, in any kind of home maintenance that involves plumbing work, the water in your home needs to be shut off and drained. This will help you avoid a potential mess or water damage when tapping into your water system.
  2. Locate the lowest faucet that is closest to the main shutoff and open it.
  3. Open all other faucets in the home and flush all the toilets as well to drain your home’s water lines.
  4. Make a cut in the main water line using a pipe cutter leaving enough room to install the pressure reducing valve. Sand down ends of pipe where cuts were made to remove burrs.
  5. Slide the valve over top of the cut ends of the pipe and secure with glue.
  6. Turn the water valve back on and the job is complete!

Watch Jon & Jack demonstrate these steps in the video below.

 

PRVs can help to fix a number of issues including water waste, protecting water-using appliances, and reducing the energy needed to heat water in your shower, dish washer, etc.

 

Home maintenance doesn’t have to be a headache. Identifying the problem is the first step, and then, with a little time and effort, you can keep your home in tip-top shape saving you hundreds if not thousands in bills and other expenses. 

When any of our clients who have just purchased a home move in, one of the first things we tell them to do is to check their smoke alarms.

 

Far too many homes have the alarms overlooked and pushed to the wayside, and according to the National Fire Protection Association, nearly two-thirds of home fire deaths are caused by broken smoke alarms or the absence of them altogether.

 

Regular maintenance of the smoke alarms in your home is vital, and is easier than most expect.

 

First, you’ll want to be sure that each level of your home and each bedroom has an alarm present. Then, walk around to each one and press the “Test” button. If you hear a beep, everything is in working order. If not, it may need a battery or entire alarm replacement altogether. You’ll want to do these tests monthly.

 

If swapping out the battery doesn’t do the trick, we have a step-by-step on how to replace the entire hard-wired alarm (even if you aren’t an electrician):

 

  1. Make sure the power in the given room is shut off. We cannot stress the importance of this enough as live wires are highly dangerous.
  2. Remove the alarm from the ceiling and have the new one at the ready. There will be a top piece and a base that can be removed with a screwdriver or drill. Many smoke alarms come with a series of wires that you can match up to the existing wiring in the ceiling and plug right in with ease.
  3. Once the wire is connected, install the new base plate piece with either a screwdriver or drill. On the back of the alarm itself, there will be a place to jot down the date so you know when it was last replaced. Then, plug the other end of the wire into your alarm and connect it to the base with a slight twist until it locks into place.

 

A few more helpful tips for the smoke alarms in your home…

 

  • Purchase ones that are backed up by battery in case of a power outage
  • Dual smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are a great two-in-one option to keep your home safe
  • Keep a chart somewhere in your home that you can write down each time your alarms are tested and whether or not you had to replace the battery or alarm itself 
  • Replace batteries twice a year just to be safe, daylight savings is a good reminder to do so
  • Involve all members of your household with proper maintenance of alarms

 

In the video below, watch Jon demonstrate the replacement of a hard-wired smoke alarm so you can implement the steps in your own home’s detectors.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvuVD_8BHcI&t=35s

A fire extinguisher is something found in just about every home (or at least, they should be).

 

But how many of us actually know how to properly use one should the situation arise?

 

Without the knowledge of proper use, a fire extinguisher is practically useless.

 

The first thing you need to know is there are three components that make up a fire: a fuel source, oxygen, and a heat source.

 

Removing just one of these pieces will put a stop to the fire, and that is where your extinguisher comes into play.

 

When operating a traditional fire extinguisher, remember the acronym P.A.S.S.

 

PPull the pin.

AAim at the base of the fire.

S Squeeze the handle.

SSweep back and forth, until the fire is out.

 

Placement of the extinguishers in your home is vital as well. You want to make sure you keep them in the following potential hazard areas of your home for ease of access:

 

  • Kitchen – this is where the majority of home fires start. Keep an extinguisher handy, but away from any sources of heat, like under your sink.
  • Laundry room – your dryer is another big hazard.
  • Garage – Chemicals, vehicles, and other machinery are all known for starting fires.
  • Outdoors – Fire pits and grills, though outside of the home, can easily spread to structures.

 

Watch the video below for a helpful visual demonstration by Jon of a few different types of extinguishers.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3r3Vc75tD4

One of the top causes of house fires are dryer vents that are clogged from years of neglect.

 

With all of the lint and debris stuck in your clothes dryer, it creates the perfect conditions for a fire to catch and spread quickly throughout the home.

 

The easy-to-remove filter that we often scrape clean after each load of laundry is just the surface of the lint that is inside your machine and throughout the ventilation system.

 

To be safe, we have to get inside the works and make sure we get it all out. 

 

Cleaning your dryer vent at least once a year can put your mind at ease that there is one less potential fire hazard lingering in the hidden parts of your home.

 

But how does one go about getting inside the dryer and clearing it’s vents?

 

Jon has created a video that you can watch below that goes over all of the necessary tools and a complete demonstration on cleaning out your dryer vent.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtngOUo1PAg

 

Some ventilation systems, however, are not as easy to access as the one in the video above. In these cases, you will want to hire a professional duct cleaner to handle the job. A small expense to pay for the assured safety of your home and family.

The last of the leaves are finally falling from the trees…and right into your gutters.

 

It’s mid-to-late fall, and the gutters on your home are likely at maximum capacity, having endured months of debris build-up and clogging them to the point that water can no longer drain through.

 

Though it may seem insignificant, when this clogging occurs, you could be in for more serious problems down the line. When rain water has no route of exit from your roof, it can begin pooling in places that will cause leaks in your roof or even cracks in the foundation of your home.

 

To avoid this from happening, we recommend cleaning out your gutters regularly as it is crucial to a safe and healthy home and here are just a few reasons why:

 

  1. Prevents water damage. Rainwater won’t drain properly when gutters are filled with debris. When that water overflows, it can cause water damage to the interior and exterior of your home.

 

  1. Protects your roof. With clogged gutters, rainwater has nowhere to go, leaving you with a rotten or a leaky roof.

 

  1. Keeps pests from causing trouble. Gutters full of leaves and what not can make desirable homes for rodents, birds, and insects. Keep those critters at bay by keeping them clear.

 

  1. Reduces the risk of a cracked foundation. That rainwater with nowhere to go can pool around the foundation of your home and crack it when expanding and freezing happens in the winter months.

 

  1. Saves you money. A clean gutter can help prevent expensive future repairs. Take preventative measures now to avoid a costly bill.

 

There are many companies out there that offer gutter-cleaning services, however, if you are more of a DIY person, there are also plenty of tools on the market designed specifically for this task.

To get this done with ease and as little mess as possible, the best tool for the job is a wet/dry vacuum to suck up all of the debris. This avoids any scooping out or blowing around of the junk that’s caught in there.