4 Home Maintenance Tips For Spring

Spring is here, it’s time to take care of 4 home maintenance tasks to be ready for the season.

Inspect Roof Shingles - Spring Tip
-Inspect your roof shingles to check if any were lost or damaged during this past rainy windy winter. Cracked or loose shingles need to be replaced, if your roof hasn’t had roof covering replaced in a long time, it .
is time to start thinking about a replacement. The summer sun will always damage roof shingles in the long run.

Inspect Concrete Slabs For Cracks- Spring Tip
-Inspect concrete slabs cracks or looseness, any cracks should be filled with concrete crack filler or silicone caulk. For a more effective repair, power-wash the cracked concrete and then seal it.

-Inspect hose faucets for any damage from cold weather. A good way of inspecting your hose faucets is turning on the water and placing your finger over the opening, if the water flow stops, it is very like water pipes may be damaged and will need to be repaired.
Inspect Hose Faucets For Freeze Damage - Spring Tip
-Schedule a maintenance service with a licensed heating & cooling company. Your AC system’s coils should be cleaned and filter should be changed annually for more operating efficiency and high performance.
Schedule AC Unit Maintenance Service - Spring Tip

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5 Things Every Homeowner Should Know

 

Whether you’re a new homeowner or been one for over 10 years, there are some things about your home and how to take care of it that you should know.

  1. Know where the main water shutoff valve is

Not knowing where your main water shut off valve is in the event of an emergency can cause serious water damage to your home. It is important everyone in your household knows where it is and how to turn it off. For more information on how to locate your main water shutoff valve, click here.

 

  1. Call 811 before digging a hole.

Before you dig holes on your property it is extremely important you call 811 first so they instruct local utility services to visit where you are trying to dig (which you mark with white chalk or paint) and mark underground wires, pipes, and cables with flags. Not taking this step, can lead to very expensive repairs if you accidentally damage something.

 

  1. Inspect your attic insulation

If you can see tops of joists (a joist is one of the horizontal supporting members that run between foundations, walls, or beams to support a ceiling or floor) you don’t have enough insulation.

 

  1. Be cautious when drilling your walls

In order to prevent expensive damage to your plumbing and electrical wires behind walls, only drill a quarter in, this method will prevent the drill from damaging anything. Also take note of where swatches are located such as the on/off switch and outlets, do not drill horizontally or vertically from these locations as wires will mostly likely be running in a straight line both ways.

 

  1. Cutting down a tree

If you’re trying to get rid of that tree that is either creating some kind of obstruction or is just not a good looking tree for your home, think twice before doing it yourself. The risk of the tree falling not the way you want it is very high, and not only could possibly damage your home or car parked in your driveway, it could also possibly damage your neighbor’s home or car! So just don’t do it yourself, hire a professional.

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How To Locate Your Shutoff Valve During In An Emergency.

Plumbing emergencies will happen sometime, and we believe it is important you know where to find and turn off your water supply in the event of one.
First of all, your shutoff valve will NOT:

  • be located under the sink.
  • be located on or near your water heater, that will only shut off the hot water.

There are 4 possible locations for your water shutoff valve.

  • If you remember where you put away your home’s inspection report when you bought your house, the inspection report will tell you the location of the shut off valve.
  • Keep in mind that a shut off valve will always be located on ground level. So if you have a basement it will usually be located on the ceiling of the basement.
  • It can be commonly found around the perimeter of your home. Thoroughly check the exterior of your home.
  • If you know where your water meter is, follow it in a straight line towards your house, that will usually help you find your shutoff valve.

Below are images of how a shutoff valve will look, there are 2 possible types of valves, a gate valve and a ball valve. As you can see, the ball valve has “ON” & “OFF” labeled on the handle, a gate valve will need to be turned clockwise to be shut off.

gate valveball valve

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El Nino Is Here

El Nino -Burbank Emergency Plumbing Service

Are you drains working properly and draining water away from the house?

Have you gotten your sump pump inspected? Cold water can potentially damage this powerful yet fragile device.

Some common sump pump issues you should be aware of:

Pump may be making noises, which can mean there is a clog or damage from an uncontrolled backflow.

Pump has been running for a long time, which can mean there is excessive water it is trying to digest or your pump may experiencing old age symptoms. (Pumps should be inspected after 7 years)

What is a backflow?

It is the undesirable reversal of the flow of water from its intended direction in any pipeline or plumbing system. Backflow is dangerous because it can allow drinking water in plumbing systems to become contaminated and unusable. If this is the case you may need to have a backflow prevention valve installed.

For more information on our backflow service or sump pump service give us a call at 818-438-7505 or email us at allinoneplumbingla@gmail.com

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How To Get Ready For El Nino Rain

plumbing - el nino - burbank, ca

 

Are you ready for El Nino? 


It is predicted that this will be the strongest El Niño since 1950.  Although we should look forward to a lot of rain since we’re in a drought, there are still precautions to take due to the flooding, mudslides, and damage El Nino can cause.

The following are some precautions we recommend to take:

  • Clear your storm drains: Besides common garbage and debris clogs, trees can dig their roots into your drains when searching for water which is clearly more possible to have happened in this drought. If not cleared soon, once El Nino comes it will backup your storm drain, and flood and damage your property.Storm_Drain
  • Clear your gutters and downspouts: A gutter is the narrow channel, or trough, forming the component of a roof system which collects and diverts rainwater away from the roof edge. A downspout is the pipe that carries the rainwater from a rain gutter. These are the first line of defense against floods and property damage.clean downspout burbank, ca
  • Inspect your sump pumps: Make sure your sump pumps are installed and working properly. They will eliminate flooding in your basement or water table. For more information on our sump installation and replacement service, click here.
  • Have your roof inspected for any leaks!: It’s obvious that this can be self diagnosed when actual rain water starts leaking down inside your home, but roofers will take advantage of such occurrence and charge you a lot more money in contrary to what you would have spent on a normal day before El Nino.
  • Have your heating and air conditioning system inspected: We are already feeling the cold, El Nino can bring colder temperatures, so make sure everything is in fine condition to keep you cozy and not trembling.
  • Insulation: Also, make sure your home is well insulated by caulking and repairing any leaks and cracks in your windows, doors, walls, etc. Not only does proper insulation prevent heat from escaping your home, it is a huge energy saver.
  • Stock Up: If you live in an area that’s flood prone, make sure to have emergency supplies such as sandbags and heavy plastic sheeting.

sandbags

 

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Preventing Your Pipes From Bursting During The Winter

How do pipes freeze and burst?

frozen pipe

When water freezes it expands, for example when you put a can of soda in the freezer and you forget to take it out, it explodes. So when water freezes in a pipe, it expands the same way, and if it expands enough, the pipe will burst, and potentially damage your home.

Usually such incidents occur from (1) poorly insulated pipes, cracks that allow cold air in your house (located near your pipes) will reach these pipes and freeze them, (2) lack of insulation on pipes located outside of your building insulation such as basements, attics, and crawl spaces, and (3) not running your faucets and fixtures for an extended period of time (perhaps because of a vacation), allows the water that was left sitting to be more susceptible to freezing.

 

Do temperatures drop low enough in Southern California to actually freeze pipes?

The answer is yes, it is still possible for your pipes to freeze. According
to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (a nonprofit organization), although the “temperature alert threshold” is below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, it is still possible for pipes to freeze when temperatures are above 20 degrees, especially when it is windy and cold air finds it way to your pipes due to lack of insulation or outside cracks in your home.

How costly are burst pipes?

burst pipe damage

First of all if you have a basement, according to the IIBHS, your pipes have a higher risk of experiencing frozen pipe failure. Also the damage costs can exceed $5000, considering there will be pipes that will need to be re
placed, there will be damaged walls, ceilings or floors from the burst, and also the labor costs that will be necessary for accessing your pipes, whether they are underground or behind walls.

What can I do to prevent my pipes from freezing?

insulate pipes

  • If your pipes, are not insulated, the first step to take is having them insulated, this can be a common issue in older homes. It will cost you .50 cents per foot of pipe you insulate, which on average can cost you $168. That sure beats the potential $5000 you can be wasting if water damage were too occur.
  • A common misconception is that by simply insulating your pipes you are saved from frozen pipes. The fact of the matter is that your pipes can actually still burst from very warm temperatures. That is why the next step to take would be to wrap your pipes with UL heat tape which prevents overheating.seal cracks and leaks
  • Allow your bathroom & kitchen faucets to drip both hot & cold water. As referenced before, allowing water to run in your pipes helps prevent it from sitting and freezing.
  • When using a furnace to keep warm, open your bathroom & kitchen cabinets to allow heat into the pipes below.
  • Caulk and seal any cracks or leaks that allow cold air into proximity with pipes. This also means keeping your garage closed (if you have one) as well as your basements and crawl spaces.
  • If going on a vacation, drain your water system which can be done by, shutting off the main valve, and turning on all your faucets and fixtures (hot and cold).foam cover on exterior faucets
  • Lastly place foam covers on any exterior faucets and disconnect and drain your garden hose.
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Lead In Tap Water

Today not many people drink tap water, usually dismissing it as “not clean enough”. Although this can be true, people still use tap water for many other things such as washing vegetables and fruits, cooking, and boiling it to be used for coffee or tea. The fact of the matter is that tap water does indeed have the risk of being contaminated. Lead being the most dangerous risk has actually been eliminated from most plumbing pipes, fixtures, and fittings since the Assembly Bill was enacted in 1953, which enforced the maximum possible of lead allowed in a component to 0.25%.

Water delivered from our reservoirs is lead-free but it’s the small amounts of lead in fixtures and pipes in the plumbing of older homes and buildings that can get into tap water. Not only does lead have the ability of getting into our water but lead levels can increase dangerously when water sits in pipes and faucets for several hours when no one is using fixtures.

Although being exposed to lead at first is hard to detect because it usually requires a high accumulation, the following are symptoms of lead poisoning:

  • Abdominal pain
  • High blood pressure
  • Memory loss
  • Headaches
  • Mood disorders
  • Muscle pain or numbness
  • Joint pains
  • Constipation
  •  
    The following are symptoms of lead poisoning in children:

  • Weight loss & loss of appetite
  • Learning difficulties
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Development problems
  • Fatigue
  •  
    Here are a few steps to take to reduce the potential of exposure to lead:

  • Have your tap water tested for lead. Especially when buying a new house.
  • Always use cold water for cooking or drinking.
  • Do not use hot water, hot water carries a higher risk of having lead.
  • When using said cold water for the first time of each single day, let it run for 30 seconds first.
  • Purchase a certified filtration system. A filtration system is able to remove 100% of all contamination’s that can be found in tap water.
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    Home Maintenance Tips For The Winter

    As winter approaches along with its good ol’ holidays and cozy family time, it also brings freezing cold temperatures and rainy days. In effort to always provide our community with advice and tips, we’ve jotted down a few home tips for you to consider before winter officially begins.

  • Inspect your heating system(furnace) before winter begins. Having problems with your heating system during the winter can be costly as service companies will take advantage of the cold weather and your need for warmth and charge you more than usual.
  • Inspect Furnace Before Winter
    Inspect your furnace before winter begins to avoid any expensive repairs and hazards.
  • Inspect your fireplace and chimney (if you have one) before using it for the winter. Doing so will eliminate the risk of any fire hazard that can happen when there is creosote (highly flammable) buildup.
  • Inspect Fireplace Before Winter Begins
    Inspect fireplace before the winter to avoid any hazards or expensive price hikes during the winter season.
  • Repair any air leaks on your windows, doors, or walls. This will save you energy when you using your heating system.
  • Inspect and Repair Air Leaks Before Winter
    Inspect for any air leaks on your windows or walls to avoid using too much energy and as a result receiving expensive bills.
  • Trim your trees! Cut any hazardous tree branches. Doing so will prevent any from falling and damaging your home or car parked in the driveway.
  • Trim Branches To Avoid Home Damage
    Trim branches and/or cut dead trees to avoid any damage to your home that can happen during winter season.
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    An Interview With Our Owner

    What services does your business offer and what makes your business stand out from the competition?

    We put our emphasis on the quality of our work. We want to exceed our customer’s expectations on any given visit and earn their trust. All this making sure are prices stay affordable & fair. We are insured & bonded & we offer full warranty on all our services.

    What was the inspiration to start or run this business?

    We are a family owned & operated business. Our goal was to provide an excellent service and today that still hasn’t changed. As the years have passed, we have created careers for members of our community and we want to continue to do so as well as serve our community with great service.

    What do you love most about your job?

    20+ years of experience in the plumbing industry and the passion is still there. There’s people that won’t understand, but when you fix things and solve problems, the feeling of hard work paying off and the satisfaction of accomplishing something continues to soothe me.

    What is the best reaction you’ve ever gotten from a customer?

    It is difficult to choose, Ive had many great customers over the years & they always have expressed gratitude at our work. We dont swindle, overcharge, or look for shortcuts, we do the job that is expected, and we try to exceed expectations. Many of our customers will always say you can count on us.

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    How Do I Stay Motivated?

    It is the final stretch of the year and as some of the best family holidays come near it makes it easy to sometimes deviate from our tasks at hand. This week we will stray from the usual newsletter topic, instead I will offer you some great tips on how to stay focused and motivated to finish off the year strong and productive.

     

    Make a List

     

    Using a pen or pencil only(no computers) write a list of goals with reasons why it is so important to you to achieve those goals. Be specific.

    Writing such list with only a pen is important because it makes a real mental connection.

    Also when writing the list, set rewards for yourself within goals. For example, I plan on painting my whole house, after getting 2 or 3 hours done, treat yourself to a good lunch or maybe play a video game for an hour.

     

    Be Mentally Strong and Ready

     

    Don’t try to do too many things at once. One of the main reasons for procrastination is having too many things to do, and already mentally giving up because you feel overwhelmed. Be reasonable. Set goals that you can accomplish in a timely manner.

    Always have a plan B. Be prepared to fail, but not give up, have “another shot mentality”, and be ready to use plan B in case things don’t work out the way you expected.

    In order to stay focused, continuously check the list you made. Read the reasons outloud to yourself to remind yourself why your are trying to accomplish a goal.

     

    Do The Bigger Tasks First

     

    Do the creative more difficult work first, then do the easy tasks. For example, updating website content and design, writing a proposal, and then doing the less difficult tasks such as responding to emails, working on invoices, etc. This way most of your beginning of the day energy is used more productively, rather than have dinner time approaching and feeling less motivated, and more thinking about those pork ribs you’re going to have.

     

    Train Your Mind

     

    Distractions are everywhere, social media is one of the biggest. How do you train your mind you ask? Like working on your cardio or weight lifting, you start small and then go by increments. So in this case, set time intervals for avoiding distractions such as 10 minutes straight of working on tasks, then take a 1 or 2 minutes break, and then continue eventually increasing the time spent working on tasks to a more significant time without distractions.

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