Water can be a beautiful thing. But it can be a very nasty thing, too. While water is an essential for life, it brings a high price tag when gone unchecked and allowed to seep, leak, and drain into your Hanover home. Damage caused by water can cause structural damage to a building and destruction of its contents. When left unchecked – over time – water damage can lead to mold growth and have a serious affect on building occupants’ health.
The destructive forces of water leave telltale signs throughout a building. Let’s look at some.
- Wood damage – water can saturate wood, causing it to rot and decay. Check for discolored wood around plumbing fixtures, a sure sign of an ongoing or older leak that has since been repaired. Just because a leak has been fixed, the after-effects can linger. Soft or uneven surfaces around a plumbing fixture are a sure indication of water damage. Pull back carpeting, pads, tiling, or flooring to get to the root of the problem.
- Drywall damage – porous material like drywall can leave many signs of water damage and, like wood, can be seriously degraded by water damage. Check for discoloration around plumbing fixtures and soft spots. Don’t assume that a dry surface that is stained is not a structural problem. You may have to cut out the drywall to reach the true source of the water damage.
- Ceiling tile stains – a sure sign that water is coming in from a source above a roof or ceiling. Ceiling tiles are a porous material that are great for showing every little bit of moisture or water that comes in contact with them. The same is true with plaster or drywall ceilings. Stains indicate a more serious problem and should be investigated right away.
- Damp, musty smells – water can leave some unpleasant odors, especially untreated water. Leaks or standing water are a source for higher humidity levels in a home. If you are standing in an area where water has soaked into floors or walls, there is often a damp, humid smell. Don’t mistake it for high humidity levels in the home. The smell can come from hidden sources like a leaking pipe joint or broken valve behind an access door.
- Mold build-up – wood and drywall surfaces provide great food for mold growth when saturated with water. The mold can be of a harmless nature but often can become dangerous black mold. When black mold spores are airborne they can cause respiratory problems and even worse, medial problems down the road. Look for unusual clusters of mold in damp areas and if you find some, immediately call a professional plumber to suggest clean-up and to repair the source of the water leak.
There are many signs of water leakage in the home, caused by leaking or broken pipes, dripping faucets from worn-out washers, cracks in the walls and foundations allowing ground and rain water to seep in, etc. Call a Larry & Sons if you have any signs water damage in your Hanover home.
A backup heating system is sometimes necessary for Blue Ridge Summit homeowners who heat their homes with an air-source heat pump. This style of heat pump transfers the heat from the outside air to your home in the winter, and it pushes the warm air outside the home in the summer. Although some systems are efficient enough to work in colder climates, most heat pump systems require a backup heater when temperatures drop below 20° F.
Furnaces are commonly used as a backup heater for air-source heat pumps, especially since the furnace fan blower can help distribute the hot air throughout the home. Although they are more expensive to buy and install, geothermal heat pumps typically do not require a backup heating system. These are also called ground-source or water-source heat pumps since they draw in heat from the ground below the house or from a nearby water source. Because they take advantage of the ground or water temperatures, they are also easier to maintain and have lower operating costs.
Getting the most cost-efficiency from a geothermal heat pump will depend on several factors, such as the size of your property, the temps of the subsoil, and access to local water sources. You will most likely not have to install a backup heating system with a ground-source or water-source heat pump; however, it is important to think about the installation costs and the variables that need to be in place before deciding on this type of heat pump.
Absorption heat pumps use a heat source, such as natural gas or solar-heated water, instead of electricity. Natural gas is typically used for absorption heat pumps, so they are also called gas-fired heat pumps. Depending on the source of the heat, you may or may not need a backup heating system. It’s always best to speak to a professional heating and cooling contractor if you are not sure when it’s necessary for a backup heating system.
Call Larry & Sons if you have any questions about a backup heater for your Blue Ridge Summit home.
If you’re like most people in Waynesboro, your plumbing is usually the last thing on your mind. Until something goes wrong, that is. And it’s pretty much guaranteed that you’ll have a clogged drain or leaky pipe in your home sooner or later. But while some plumbing problems are certainly unavoidable, there are quite a few things you can do to help keep them to a minimum and avoid larger plumbing emergencies later on.
For one thing, it’s a good idea to have your plumbing system checked by a professional every year or two. They can make sure that no roots interfere with the pipes in your yard and that things are generally flowing smoothly throughout the system. A professional inspection will also uncover any leaks, cracks or partial blockages that you may not have realized were there but that could cause significant damage later on if not dealt with promptly.
Do It Yourself Maintenance
In addition to professional inspections, though, there are some things you can do on your own. For instance, every season brings new challenges for your home plumbing. Many people know that there are dangers associated with freezing pipes in the winter, but did you know that there are things you can do all year round to help your plumbing work better?
Fall is the best time of year to start disconnecting outdoor faucets and checking them for leaks. If you take these steps before the really cold weather sets in, you’ll be able to get necessary repairs done well before freezing outdoor temperatures become a problem.
This is also a good time of year to check for proper insulation around pipes and to make sure your water heater is tuned up and ready to go for the winter. Sure, you use it all year round, but the colder it is outside, the harder your water heater has to work all winter.
Once spring rolls around again, there are plenty of other tasks you can take on to ensure the continued healthy functioning of your plumbing. For instance, you should check all of your outdoor drains and gutters to see that they’re clear of debris that could have built up during the winter. You can also flush out your water heater again to clear whatever’s accumulated over the winter and check any pipes and faucets for problems that may have developed during the cold months.
If you rely on a well for your Blue Ridge Summit home water needs, it is absolutely essential that you can depend on your well water pump at all times. The simple fact is that without a reliable well water pump, you will not have any guaranteed access to running water in your home, and that is a situation that you will want to avoid at all costs.
For this reason, it is important to take certain factors into consideration when you are having a well water pump installed. To begin with, you want to make sure that the unit you choose is high quality and has a reputation for durability and reliability. There are many good well water pumps out there, but there are also some that may not quite measure up. Make sure you thoroughly examine your options and consult with a professional before you make your final decision.
Another important thing to remember is that you need a pump that is big enough to accommodate the water needs of your household. You could get a great, top of the line product, but if it is not big enough, you will have endless problems with your water supply. A smaller system will also have to work harder to keep water flowing into your home and is likely to wear out faster as a result.
The power that the well water pump you choose has needs to match up with the depth of your well. If you have a very deep well, you will need a more powerful pump to get the water up and into your home. Of course, both larger and more powerful pumps tend to be more expensive, but it is worth it to pay the extra up front than to have a chronically insufficient water supply to your home.
There simply is no substitute to having a well-sized, high-quality well water pump installed for your home. This is a purchase that will impact your quality of life for many years going forward, so it is worth taking some time to evaluate your options and collecting professional opinions so you can be sure you are going with the best product.