3 Common Plumbing Problems Needing Immediate Attention

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Previously we have discussed that plumbing is one home repair that you should almost in all cases have a professional or extremely handy individual on hand to assist you. While there are obviously little maintenance issues that crop up from regular wear and tear, especially if you have an older home, there are more serious issues that should be dealt with as soon as possible. Here are some of the more common plumbing problems that should warrant immediate intention.

1)      Galvanized Steel Pipes Corroding and Stopping Up

If you have an older home, one with plumbing from the 1960’s or before, it’s likely that you have galvanized steel pipes. One way to test if they are going is to turn on the hot water. If you have low water pressure, it’s a sign that the hot water pipes are soon to be in need or in need or being replaced. Many experts will say that the entire piping system will need to be replaced, but really all that needs to be replaced are the problematic areas with updated copper or plastic pipe.

It is important to note – if copper piping is being used as a stopgap measure, dielectric coupling is required to stop any corrosion that would be caused by the copper and steel touching. If done by a professional plumber you can be sure it will be done right. But it’s highly possible that a former homeowner might have tried to do a DIY repair on the cheap and that could be part of your problem right there. In any case, you want to make sure that any patches done to your plumbing are done correctly without any chance for corrosion or leakage.

2)      Vent Pipes

If you’re experience poor drainage in your sinks, tubs, or appliances connected to the plumbing, it may not be the sewer line. If you live in an older home, it’s also possible that the vent pipes used in the outgoing flow are only 2 inches in diameter. Being only two inches in diameter, slow drainage is very possible, especially with the load that modern appliances put on them. It’s also far more likely for them to be obstructed much more easily. Today, such pipes are usually 3 inches in diameter. If there is a replacement required, you will notice the difference after it’s replaced. You definitely want to be sure that these internal pipes aren’t the problem first.

3)      Sewer Line

If your home is connected to a sewer, while the street side is the responsibility of the city or town, the pipe leading to the street is the responsibility of the homeowner. The way to check if anything is wrong is to shut the water off in the house and if the water meter shows there is still water flow, it means that there is very likely a leak somewhere. If it’s determined to not be within the house itself, it could well mean there’s a problem with the sewer line.

A bad sewer line can be a serious problem because it means that you’re wasting water without even realizing it. It’s even worse on the outbound side, as it means that sewage is leaking out underneath your lawn or your driveway, which can cause long-term damage to both.

However, there could just as easily be a plug. One way to check the condition of the pipe is to rent a sewer camera, which can cost between $150-250 a day, but you need a professional to actually understand what you are seeing, which is a somewhat additional cost. Older sewer lines may have to be replaced, and depending on the extent of the damage it could be an extremely expensive repair. However, it could be something fixable within the house itself. If you suspect there’s a problem, it’s better to be safe than sorry, especially if it turns out that it doesn’t mean digging up your property;  in many cases you may not. You won’t know unless you look.

If you aren’t connected to a sewer, you’ll want to contact a septic tank expert. (Check with Dale about this)

City Renovations is equipped to deal with all sorts of plumbing problems, with an industry-leading five-year warranty on workmanship. If you are experiencing any sort of worrisome plumbing problem, feel free to give us a call!

3 Top Home Repair Projects Requiring Professional Help

Nowadays, the Internet has published so many Do-It-Yourself (DIY) guides to fixing pretty much any home repair that you could think of – and they make them sound so easy. Unfortunately, not all of us are so technically inclined and the last thing you want to happen is find yourself in the middle of a project only to find yourself overwhelmed. While there are plenty of little things that can easily be done yourself with someone with little or no technical knowledge, there are some projects that you should never attempt without at least some professional assistance.

Here are the top 3 home repair projects, in reverse order, that are best performed by a handyman or other home repair or remodeling professional.

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3) Roofing Repairs

It’s very possible that someone who is reasonably handy could shingle a garage roof or do some patchwork on the roof of a single-story home. But anything beyond that really should have at least the assistance of a handyman or other home repair professional. The number one concern here is that it is actually rather easy to fall off of a roof, even a flat roof. Also, because of the great amount of work involved, the exhaustion of someone who is not typically used to this sort of work could cause a stumble that can lead to serious, if not fatal, injury.

Also, incorrectly repaired roofs – something that actually happens more than you think it should – can lead to leaky roofs and expensive water damage. It’s one of those things that if you pay for the professional help the first time, you can save thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars of future repair work later.

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2) Plumbing

There is a reason that plumbers make as much money as they do. Plumbing work done incorrectly can lead to very small leaks that while may sound harmless, can over time do damage that could cost you thousands of dollars in future repair costs. While replacing a shower head or a faucet is something that should be something done easily yourself, you need to make sure that you’re not seeing any leaks. Water has a way of being one of the most destructive substances around. If you see that the plumbing under the sink or in your basement is showing any signs of leakage, you really should call a plumber to check it out. The upfront cost of bring a pro in will be far less expensive than the potential damage that a leak could inevitably cause.

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1) Electricity

Besides the obvious threat of electrocution, electrical repairs really should be done by a pro. Installing light switches or ceiling fans isn’t really a problem as long as you know the circuit is shut down. It’s best to buy a volt meter to test for any remaining currents just to be sure. Of course, an electrician can do that for you. Also, in some areas, any electrical work beyond the absolute basics that you do on your house requires a permit, meaning that a pro will absolutely need to be involved. A professional electrician may also discover problems that you never may have known about. Electrical fires are sadly more common than you would think, so if there is any doubt in your mind about anything having to do with electricity, call a pro.

City Renovations is proud to say that we have the staff and expertise available to deal with all 3 of these major repair projects. We also have an industry-leading five-year warranty on workmanship, so if we do your project and there is anything wrong with the work we have done, we will come back and fix it for free within five years.

If there is any repair or remodeling project that you have any doubts about being able to do yourself, please give your local pro a call. For the three above, especially, we highly recommend that you definitely seek professional assistance. It’s for the long-term good of your home and especially you and your family’s safety.