How to Help Prevent Expensive Water Damage in Your Home

Water damage can spell disaster for any homeowner. Clean up and repairs can be expensive and time consuming. The best strategy is to take preventative measures and protect your home from water damage.

Water Damage

Take a peek at these helpful tips to reduce your risk of water damage in your home:

1. Inspect your basement:

Take some time to head down to your basement and have a look around. Check out your walls for any cracks where water may seep in and have them repaired right away.crack-230676_960_720

While you are looking around for cracks, check for signs of existing water damage. See if you notice any leaks or water stains on the walls or floor. You will want to have this damage and its source fixed as soon as possible in order to avoid more costly repairs down the road.

2. Do not over work your water heater:

Traditional water heaters are equipped with large storage tanks. These tanks hold gallons and gallons of water, meaning even a small leak can cause a huge mess in your home. If you are still using a tanked water heater be sure to have a member of our plumbing team out to your home yearly, to inspect your system for signs of damage.

It is also recommended that you replace your water heater every 10 years or so. Since traditional water heaters only have a life expectancy of around 10 to 13 years.

3. Look up:

A leaky roof is a major cause for concern, especially when it comes to your risk of water damage. Be on the lookout for signs of damage to your roof. Loose, curling or worn out shingles are great early warning signs that your home may be at risk.

Additionally, look for cracks or signs of leaking on your ceiling. Even a small leak can lead to some major water damage to your home.

4. Do not ignore your plumbing systems:

All too often plumplumbing-840835_640bing systems get the out of sight, out of mind treatment. However, it is vital to stay up to date with plumbing maintenance. Over time, plumbing fixtures weaken or wear out, which can lead to leaks. Have your plumbing systems inspected annually to avoid unpleasant surprises and periodically check underneath your kitchen and bathroom sinks for signs of leakage.

You will also want to ensure that you have water pans under your appliances that may leak; water heaters, washing machines, air conditioners, etc.

5. Prevent basement flooding:

Life in the Midwest means wild and often unpredictable weather and heavy rainfall is common during the spring and summer months. Large amounts of rainfall can often led to basement flooding, especially if your sump pump cannot keep up. Making yearly maintenance and system checks crucial in your battle against water damage. A simple test you can perform to check the function of your sump pump is to pour five gallons of water in your sump hole. Call us right away if you notice any signs that your sump pump is not functioning properly.

You may also consider having a  backup battery added to your sump pump. Having a backup battery system will help ensure that your sump pump keeps working, even if a strong storm knocks out the power.

6. Perform simple maintenance tasks:

Make sure that your plumbing fixtures are properly caulked and sealed. Caulking is a simple task that you can perform periodically to help prevent leaks and water damage.

Do not forget to inspect and caulk around your windows as well. Improperly sealed windows will allow water and moisture to seep in and damage your home.

7. Remember, water damage is not only an inside problemrain-432770_960_720

The foundation and exterior of your home can also be at risk for water damage. Keep your gutters cleaned and make sure that your downspouts are always flowing away from your home’s foundation. Make sure any exterior drains on your property are clear from debris.

When landscaping, make sure that any top soil next to your home slopes down and away. Keep all shrubbery at least 18 inches away from your home. These steps will help keep water from damaging your homes foundation.

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If you have any plumbing, heating, cooling or electrical needs, simply call us at:

(866) 844-3770

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The 5 Most Serious Plumbing Issues to Worry About During the Summer

Plumbing issues are often tied to the winter months since frozen pipes are such a major concern. Unfortunately, plumbing problems that can cause expensive repairs can happen during the summer months as well. Be on the lookout for these five most common plumbing issues and avoid a summertime plumbing nightmare.

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Summer Plumbing Issues:

1. Damaged Sprinklers:

Embedded sprinkler systems are great and really help you maintain a healthy lawn all season long. However, like anything else, sprinkler systems need to be inspected and maintained in order to ensure they are functioning properly. And of course one of the most common issues with sprinkler systems happens when someone accidentally runs over a sprinkler head with a lawnmower. So be careful when mowing.

2. Broken or Clogged Garbage Disposal:

Cookouts, bonfires and summertime hangouts are a tradition here in the Midwest. And these events would not be the same without a selection of yummy summertime foods! But take caution with what you do with those scraps! Overloading or putting the wrong foods down your garbage disposal can cause some unpleasant plumbing issues. Chicken bones, potato peels/skins, corn husks, banana peels, pasta, celery and other stringy foods should never go in your disposal!

3. Overworking Your Washing Machine:

Summertime means more time spent outdoors and more time outdoors means clothes will get dirtier and you’ll go through more of them (this is especially true if ywashing-machine-902359_960_720ou have small children). So you will undoubtedly need to do more laundry to keep up. An older washing machine may have trouble keeping up and may give out altogether. Take a moment to inspect your machine’s hoses for signs of damage or leaks. And consider upgrading to a more energy-efficient model to save you money in the long run.

4. Sewer Line Backups:

Summer weather can be unpredictable in the Midwest; we can go through spots of drought, followed by days of heavy rains and storms. A large amount of rain can wreak havoc on your sewer lines, especially if your pipes have any cracks. If you notice water from your toilet backing up into your shower or bathtub or any other warning signs, call us out right away!

5. Sump Pump Nightmares:

Heavy rains can cause plumbing issues with your sump pump as well. An out of date or poorly maintained sump pump can spell disaster on a rainy summer day. It is important to have your sump pump inspected regularly, in order to prevent major basement flooding.

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If you have any plumbing, heating, cooling or electrical needs, simply call us at:

(866) 844-3770

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Rain, Rain, Go Away, Don’t Ruin Memorial Day

Memorial Day marks the unofficial beginning of summer, but the rainy spring weather isn’t ready to let go just yet. There is a lot of rain in the forecast this week and we are all crossing our fingers, hoping that the weather improves before the big holiday weekend. Unfortunately, along with the heavy rain falls, the temperature and humidity levels are also on the rise this week. One thing is clear as we head into Memorial Day weekend; the weather is not on our side. Don’t panic just yet! Here are some steps you can take to help prevent the extreme weather from ruining your holiday weekend.Memorial Day

1. Avoid a Sump Pump Disaster

Sump pumps are designed to help prevent basement flooding, especially during periods of constant and heavy rainfall. The protection offered by sump pumps is especially important in finished basements with recreation rooms, home offices, bedrooms or rooms storing electronics or valuables. Like all other vital equipment in your home, your sump pump needs regular maintenance to ensure everything is functioning properly and so you can avoid a major disaster.  We’ll be happy to inspect and evaluate your sump pump needs, to give you peace of mind.

2. Battling the Humidity

With the heat rising and the rain falling, dealing with humidity this week is not going to be pleasant. To help you get through this muggy week, try out a few of these easy humidity-busting tricks.

  • Turn on your exhaust fans when bathing, doing laundry or cooking.
  • Cover pots as much as possible when cooking.
  • Use portable fans to improve airflow in stuffy rooms.
  • Take cooler and shorter showers.
  • Make sure all windows and doors are shut tight and that air isn’t able to leak through them.
  • Turn on your air conditioning to improve air flow and lower your home’s temperature.
  • Use a dehumidifier.

3. Make Sure Your AC is ready for the Long Haul10411_image6 copy

Many people have been holding off on turning on their air conditioners, but the weather this week may mean it’s finally time to flip on that AC. The temperatures will be in the 80’s and the rain and humidity will mean that your windows will need to be closed. You’ll likely need to turn on your air conditioner for some much-needed relief but will your AC be up for the challenge? Air conditioning units require yearly maintenance and inspections to keep them running properly. Call on our expert technicians here at Team Tiger to make sure that your AC can handle the heat.

4. Keep the Power On

Power outages are always a real concern during stormy weather. Having a Whole-Home Standby Generator installed will help you keep the lights on and your AC running during even the most severe weather. A generator is not only useful during stormy spring and summer weather, but it can also come in handy during the winter months if a blizzard blows in. Like your sump pump and AC, generators require yearly maintenance. So if you already have a generator for your home, make sure to have one of our Certified Electricians come out and ensure everything is running properly and safely this season.

Happy Memorial Day!

 

If you have any plumbing, heating, cooling or electrical needs, simply call us at:

(866) 844-3770

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April Showers Brings…A Flooded Basement!

April Showers Brings May Flowers is a cute saying; however, April Showers can also do a lot of damage, especially to your basement. As you know, a flooded basement is a nightmare for homeowners. All of that flood damage is a mess to clean up and expensive to repair, plus a wet basement leads to mold in your home. And if your basement is prone to flooding, you’re probably not looking forward to April Showers season. The good news is that there are several preventative measures you can take to help protect your home and your bank account from a flooded basement this April.

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-If this April is anything like what we’re used to, then we can expect heavy and frequent rains that will compromise your sump pump. Sump pumps are designed to help prevent basement flooding. The protection they offer is especially important in finished basements containing recreation rooms, offices and bedrooms. As the water table rises and falls through the seasons, the pump collects excess water and moves it away from your home’s foundation, preventing flooding or other damage. Sump pump failure is one of the main causes of basement flooding but the good news is that it is easily avoidable. A typical sump pump has a lifespan of nearly five to seven years, but as you know, appliances and vital equipment have the tendency to fail when we need them most. That is why it is extremely important to check your sump pump operations regularly. You do this by removing the cover and slowly pouring water into the sump tank. Watch for the “float” to rise and trigger the pump. Once the pump is engaged, the water level will quickly lower and the float will shut off the pump. This is what is called a normal sump cycle and it is how you know your sump pump is functioning properly.

If your pump does not cycle properly or you’re just not sure if your sump pump is up to the numerous April Showers ahead, contact us and we’ll gladly send one of our expert plumbers to your home to make sure your sump pump is up to the challenge of a rainy spring.

-Keep the power on. Keep in mind that your sump pump only works when the power is on. If you tend to experience frequent power outages during strong storms, it might be a good idea to have a backup generator installed or invest in a battery-powered backup sump pump, just in case.

– Make sure your foundation does not fail you. Take some time and inspect the interior walls of your basement and your exterior foundation for cracks or damage that water could seep through. If you find any cracks, they need to be repaired as soon as possible.

– Do a gutter check. Keeping your gutters clear of leaves and other debris April Showers and making sure your downspouts are properly positioned, will help protect your home’s foundation from water damage. You want to ensure that your downspouts are draining water at least three feet away from your home. If your gutters are over flowing or your downspouts are not position correctly, the excess rain water will collect around your home’s foundation, causing it to erode and water will get into your basement.

– Have your sewer lines inspected and cleared if needed. Clogged and neglected sewer lines can lead to a flooded disaster during heavy rains. Our experienced team has the latest hydro-jet cleaning and camera inspection equipment. We can expertly clean your sewer lines from tree roots and debris that can clog your sewer lines before you have a major issue on your hands. Schedule your sewer line inspection appointment today and rest easy knowing that April Showers are no match for your newly cleared sewer lines.

– Invest in window well covers. If you have windows around the foundation of your home, meant to allow natural light into your basement, installing window well covers will go a long way in the fight against basement flooding. You can get clear acrylic covers, so your home is still protected from flooding and the sunlight will still be able to reach your basement. As a bonus, window well covers will also help keep pests and other debris out of your basement.

If you take these preventative measures, you’ll be able to sit back and enjoy the April Showers this season and dream of all of the beautiful flowers you’ll see this May!

If you have any plumbing, heating, cooling or electrical needs, simply call us at:

(866) 844-3770

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5 Home Maintenance Tasks You Won’t Want to Skip this Spring

Home maintenance tasks may not be your favorite thing to do as a homeowner; however, home maintenance is crucial in the upkeep of your home. Plus, proper home maintenance is the best way to save yourself a ton of money on repairs and damages caused by neglected equipment. So do yourself a favor this spring and don’t skip these vital maintenance tasks.

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1. Clean Your Refrigerator Coils. Hey, it’s spring cleaning time anyway, you might as well add the refrigerator coils to your checklist. Regularly cleaning your refrigerator coils will save you money on an expensive repair bill down the road. These coils can be found either at the bottom or in the back of your refrigerator. Over time the coils become clogged with dirt, dust, hair, cobwebs, etc. when this happens your fridge can’t release heat properly, leading to the compressor having to work harder and run for longer periods of time, this waste an excessive amount of energy and can greatly shorten the lifespan of your fridge.

2. Clean Your Dryer Vent. Each year, nearly 16,000 home fires are caused by lint-clogged dryer vents.  According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission,lint cleaning, home maintenance these clothes dryer fires result in 20 deaths, 370 injuries and over $75 million in property damage each year. The steady, silent accumulation of fabric particles that get beyond your lint screen will not only decrease your dryer’s performance, it creates a fire hazard. Cleaning your lint trap after every load will slow this process, but cannot prevent it. As your vent gradually becomes caked with lint, your dryer’s airflow decreases. This not only prevents your dryer from drying as it should, it can cause it to overheat and ignite the highly flammable lint. Cleaning your dryer vent this spring can help protect your family and your home.

3. Remove The Built Up Sediment From Your Water Heater. Drain a quart of water from your water tank every 3 months to remove sediment that impedes heat transfer and lowers the efficiency of your heater. Follow the manufacturer’s directions or call us at (866) 844-3770 and we’ll take care of your water heater for you!

4. Clean Those Gutters. Removing the leaves and other debris from your gutters this spring will help prevent your gutters from getting clogged. Springtime in the Midwest is known to be a rainy time of year and clogged gutters can lead to expensive roof damage, flooding and damage around the foundation of your home, damage to your downspout or the gutters themselves. It is a lot easier to keep your gutters clean than having to deal with a headache and expense that comes with allowing your gutters to become clogged.

5. Have Your Sump Pump Operation Tested. Spring is the time for rain in our area and that means your sump pump will be working overtime. That’s why you want to make sure having your sump pump tested is at the top of your home maintenance checklist this Spring. If your sump pump fails, you can expect serious basement flooding and the expense that accompanies repairing all of the water damage. Call us at (866) 844-3770 to have a professional plumber come out and ensure your sump pump is working at optimal levels.

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If you have any plumbing, heating, cooling or electrical needs, simply call us at:

(866) 844-3770

or feel free to check us out online at

Be sure to check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedInGooglePlus and Instagram