Tips for how to fix Plumbing problems and when to call Henry Plumbing.

How Do I Prepare My Plumbing for Spring?

Preparing for spring

In our previous post, we covered World Plumbing Day, which takes place on March 11. In keeping with the theme of looking ahead, we’re going to discuss how you manage your plumbing as the days become warmer. Just as you have to take a number of precautions for the winter, you have to be ready for a significant shift in the other direction. Once again, staying on top of the adjustment will prevent expensive and extensive repair.

Sump pump discharge blockage

If you’ve kept up with all of the winter safeguards, you probably won’t be too surprised by what goes into doing the same for the spring and summer. Let’s begin outside. If you have a yard, take a walk and inspect your sump pump discharge pipe. Chances are, over the course of the fall and winter, something may have come into contact with the pipe and clogged it. With further melting snow and, eventually, a lot of rain, you need to make sure the pump is clear.

Gutter and drain blockages

Check out the entirety of your property to ensure nothing is blocking a gutter or an outdoor faucet. Generally, you should be on the lookout for leaves and branches or displaced mud. Even if it’s a little early to turn the outer plumbing on, it’s worth keeping up with the system as it gets warmer and making a habit of monitoring it. Otherwise, make sure any storm drains are unimpeded and all of your downspouts are facing away from your home.

Indoor and outdoor faucets

Clean off your roof as well––in order to prevent blockages that can result in a leak from above. Once you’ve cleared any debris from your yard, it’s time to check the structural integrity of your faucets, indoor and outdoor. One by one, turn on each faucet with hot and cold water, respectively. If you haven’t used the faucets in a while, you can expect a momentary delay as air makes its way out of the system. After a few minutes, the pressure should be normal.

Leaky pipes

If, however, the pressure is lower than expected, you should call a plumber to see whether you’ve accumulated a leak over the winter. Shut off the water and see whether any pipes have cracks. This is even more likely if you didn’t prepare any of your pipes for the winter. In addition to a crack––as well as ones you may be unable to see, other signs of pipe decay include mold, moss, and discoloration.

Leaky toilets

Next, check your toilet for a leak. The way to do this is by adding a few drops of food coloring into the water tank and seeing, after a few minutes, whether any of it has ended up in the bowl. If this happens, call a plumber for an effective fix. If you have a septic tank, you should see whether you can find any unprecedented wetness in or on the ground around it. In the event you find considerable wetness, call a plumber for an evaluation and a repair.

Sump pump leaks and blockages

You should be checking your sump pump as the spring approaches and then once every 3 or so months after the first inspection. A lot of people are unaware of the importance of the sump pump and find their basement underwater before they even know there’s a problem. Fortunately, you don’t have to be an expert to identify one. See if anything is blocking the outdoor drain, whether the pump or float valve are displaced, or if electrical wiring or the battery is damaged.

Flush your water heater

Finally, you need to flush your water heater. The more efficient your water heater, the lighter your water bill. Over the course of water moving in and out of the water heater, you can expect a regular buildup of sediment in the bottom. You should be draining the water heater once a year, so now is a good time for it. If you had your heater temperature higher for the winter, turn it to 120º or less. Lowering the temperature will also prevent overheating and scalding.

World Plumbing Image

What is World Plumbing Day?


This month, we’re posting a couple of articles about the future. Our first one is about a specific day in the future, March 11. By this point, virtually every day of the year is also connected with some other recognition or celebration aside from the day itself. We care about the 11th, however, because––as of 2010––the day is World Plumbing Day. Almost ten years ago, The World Plumbing Council identified the 11th in the midst of the 2005-2015 “Water for Life” decade as designated by the United Nations.


What is The World Plumbing Council?

The mission of The World Plumbing Council is “to unite the world plumbing industry to safeguard and protect the environment and the health of nations, for the benefit of all.” As you might expect, World Plumbing Day follows suit. In fact, the day is used as a global platform for advocation of the very principles on which the Council is founded. These values include awareness of the lack of clean water in many areas as well as the essential role of plumbing in the well-being of a modern society.


Danger of ineffective plumbing

In America, many of us take our water for granted; we assume access of a bathroom or a faucet for washing our hands. In reality, however, a lot of the Earth is without the convenience of useful amenities like the ones a first world country uses every day. And even in a first world country, only the application of skillful plumbing prevents an entire host of issues we’d otherwise suffer from on a regular basis: water scalding, lead in a pipe, Legionnaires Disease, and offsite pollution are among them.


Health crisis

Elsewhere, things are often way more dire. As of 2008, around 18% of the species defecated outside. Even as the United Nations, in 2015, was calling for an end of outdoor defecation by 2030, some 950 million people are still doing it. Some of this is cultural, some is by necessity––for now. Contaminated water, as a byproduct of the practice, may result in water-born diseases, like Hepatitis and Cholera, “kill more children, some 1.4 million per year, than measles, malaria, and AIDS combined.”


First world problems

And this is a crisis many of those living in a first world country aren’t aware of. This is why elevating a discussion of the importance of clean drinking water and efficient sanitation is essential. If we can embed the matter into the consciousness of the globe psyche, we’ll be even closer to accelerating the resolution of a plumbing epidemic, which includes installing plumbing in areas where none is available. Even in a first world country, you’ll find a variety of people being killed by plumbing issues.


The future of plumbing

As a result, it’s critical to empower the plumbing community and industry to optimize a way of life many are accustomed to. The wide availability of plumbing will help prevent injuries or deaths from a badly designed or ineffectively installed plumbing apparatus. Finally, inasmuch as the World Plumbing Day is about expanding the purview of the industry around the world, plumbers are also highly conscious of conserving water. If you want to involve yourself with the event, visit

Replace Anode

How do I Replace an Anode Rod?

The premise

There are two conceivable situations in which you’ll need to replace an anode rod. In the first instance, you’ve followed our advice on checking in on an anode rod after the ensuing three years and are now investigating the preferable methods for embedding a new one (or however many your water heater requires). The other scenario is you’ve forgotten about the anode rod (or never knew of it) and now are looking into the expense of buying a new water heater.



The benefit of being attentive to the replacement of an anode rod is your warranty will cover the cost of a malfunction in the water heater if you’ve sustained an effective ‘sacrificial hygiene,’ so to speak. Although, generally, every three years is enough for a check, you shouldn’t hesitate if you’re anxious. If you see around six inches of wire are exposed, your sacrificial anode rod is in need of a replacement.


Consult an expert

The simple answer for this question is allowing an expert the responsibility of any replacement. In a jam, however, you may give it a whirl yourself. The first thing you should do is shut off the water flow into the water heater as well as whichever fuel source you’re using, namely electricity or gas. If you fail on this measure, you’ll burn out the pieces of the water heater responsible for the heating. Turn off the fuel.


Turn off the water

We’re getting nearer to removing the rod. Once you’ve shut off the fuel and water, close the cold water shutoff valve and turn on a hot water sink in the vicinity in order to achieve pressure equalization in the tank. Using the drain valve, remove several gallons of water from any pipes above the upper limit of the tank in order to rid the space of additional heated water. You can facilitate the draining with a garden hose.


Remove the anode rod

Next is removing the anode rod itself. Be sure you’ve got enough space between the upper limit of the heater and the ceiling for removing the anode rod, which is, itself, around three feet long. If you’ve got enough space, unscrew the rod a little bit. You’ll need a ratchet wrench and a 1 1/16-inch socket. You may need a pipe for leverage. You should be able to remove the anode rod now––either directly upward or with a slight incline.


Make sure you actually need a replacement

Before you throw out the anode rod and replace it with a new one, check on the existing one so we know this entire process is justified. If you’re short of space, you might consider an articulated/collapsible anode rod, which will make the removal and replacement a lot easier in a squeeze. You should expect an amount of corrosion and rusting already, assuming the anode rod is doing its job. Wrap the threads of the replacement anode rod with Plumber’s Tape.


Rewrap and replace with a new anode rod

You shouldn’t need more than five or six rounds of wrapping. Using the new anode rod, replace the void left by the old one. Tighten the rod with your wrench and socket. Reopen the cold water valve with the faucet from before adjusted for hot water. Once water begins to emerge from the spout, you’ll know the tank is full again. Make sure you haven’t missed any leaks and turn the fuel on again.

Anode Pipe

What is an Anode Rod?

Pay attention

Keeping track of a plumbing infrastructure is a tall task when you’ve got a lot of other things going on. You probably want everything working without having to think about it. This is a reasonable expectation until one thing goes wrong. Much of the time, everything will function without an issue; however, especially during the coldest phase of the year, you need to be on top of any conceivable failing. An anode rod is an aspect of a plumbing apparatus you may forget.


Too late

In fact, you may never even know about one until it’s presence is obvious, which is usually a bad thing. Let’s change this for the better. An anode rod––a sacrificial anode rod (sacrificial is a functional modifier)––is an essential component of a water heater. Although a anode rod is not a factor in heating anything, its degradation actually enables a water heater to continue its job for a lot longer than without one.


Anode rod composition

An anode rod is made of either aluminum, magnesium, or zinc, and surrounds a steel wire inside of it. Depending on the size of the water heater, anywhere from one to five of these will be fastened into the top of the heater. The general purpose of an anode rod is protecting the rest of the water heater from rust and corrosion. Usually, the tank of the water heater is made of steel, which is less reactive than the material on the outer cylinder of the anode rod.


Sacrificial lamb

Now you may begin sensing the value of the ‘sacrificing.’ Eventually, the rod itself decays and will need a replacement––after which your water heater may continue on indefinitely. Assuming, of course, you replace recurrently. If you fail to replace an anode rod, your water heater will succumb in the same way. Unless, of course, you have a tankless water heater, in which case you won’t need an anode rod in the first place.


The heater is susceptible

In the many years before tankless water heaters, however, manufacturers faced a difficulty insofar as the gases of water, like carbon monoxide, make H2O acidic. The combination of oxygen, moisture, and the substance of the water heater induces corrosion and rusting, which is only accelerated by the heat of the heater itself. Moreover, the various elements of the water heater also produce an electrically conducive environment, another accelerant.


Chemical basis

Chemically, the activity involves oxidation, in which iron dispenses of two electrons after interacting with oxygen. The same is also true of aluminum, magnesium, and zinc, except the process goes a lot faster. As a result, as the oxidation occurs, the oxygen removes the electrons from the anode rod instead of the water heater, which is expected because the exchange always precedes any corrosion off the water heater. This is the sacrificial aspect of the anode rod.


Check on the anode rod every three years

It’s giving up electrons in order to save the water heater from giving any up itself. Naturally, you’ll be checking in on the anode rod with a measure of regularity in order to prevent an expense on an unnecessary new water heater. The regularity of replacement hinges on a variety of qualification, like water temperature, quantity of usage, efficiency, and fluctuations in chemistry. Generally, you should check on the anode rod once every three years.


Consider a powered anode

Finally, a water softener will also increase the rate of decomposition of the anode rod. If you decide to implement a softener, be aware of the accelerant and check earlier, often as much as every six months. One alternative is a powered anode, usually over $200, which reduces the rate of deteriorating by giving off an electrical current. For reference, a common anode is between $45 and $75.

Leaky Faucet

How to Fix a Leaky Faucet

Fix your faucet now

Among the many items you’ll attend to as you’re preparing your home for the winter, which will arrive in full force––someday––is a faucet. The condition of this is dependent on how you’ve cared for it so far, but if you have any concern for its condition right now, you shouldn’t wait any longer: set about fixing it or call a plumber and leave it for an expert. If you’re in a minor fix, however, and need one––follow along and we’ll indicate a few tips for the time being.


What you’ll need

Items you’ll need along the way:

-white vinegar

-plumber’s grease

-a wrench

-various screwdrivers

-a replacement kit or any parts you’re getting rid of


Shut off your faucet

First of all, shut off your faucet. Don’t just switch off the lever, but actually prevent water from flowing in. Do this by looking underneath the sink you’re addressing, where you’ll find another lever or handle on one of the pipes. It’s worth mentioning the kind of repair you need will vary depending on whether the leak is occuring in the end of the spout or earlier on. Moreover, there are a few different kinds of single-lever faucets as well as a two-lever version.


Identify any water valves

We’ll go through the measures you will need to apply no matter which kind of faucet you’re dealing with. If, in turning off the valve underneath a sink, you find the water is unaffected or else there is no valve in the first place, locate your main water valve. The location of the main water valve will change if you are living in an apartment, a suburban or even a rural location. The valve may be in a basement, near the street, or nowhere altogether.


Get rid of excess water pressure

In fact, if you live in an apartment, the valve may be elsewhere entirely. You may need to request a cease of water flow from the handyman or whoever is in charge. Once you’ve prevented the water from flowing, turn on the faucet––not the water––again in order to be sure there’s no more water emerging as well as dispensing of any water pressure. There are many conceivable causes for a leak, including defective sealing, buildup, and corroded or loose parts.


Close your drain

The next step, before maintenance, is closing off your drain. Use either a sink plug or a cloth or rag of some nature. This is primary in the interest of avoiding a loose metal piece like a nut, screw, washer, or bolt falling into a drain. This kind of detour will make a lot of extra work and prevent you from getting at the things you really need better. You’ll need a wrench: tape it so you avoid scratching anything. Lay out a surface for placing any removable components.


Which faucet are you using?

Figure out which faucet you have. There are four in all, including a compression faucet (two handles), a ball faucet, a cartridge faucet, and a ceramic-disk faucet. Rather than attempting an elaborate description, merely search for each of these online so you can see for yourself which resembles the thing in front of you. Be aware of the order in which you remove anything and even consider recording your progress or any mistakes along the way.


Compression faucet

For a compression faucet, remove each of the handles and their decorative caps. Remove the packing nut underneath using your wrench. You will see a valve stem, which you unscrew. If the seat washer is in bad condition, replace it. Remove the O-ring and place a new one as the O-ring is a frequent reason for these issues. Be sure you select the correct size O-ring. If you notice the leak is emanating from the handles, the O-ring may be the origin.


Ball faucet

For a ball faucet, you’re going to need a bunch of replacement pieces. Furthermore, the number of pieces will render the identification of the leak a more complicated process. You can buy an entire replacement kit. The kit will make the entire solution easier. Unscrew the handle and move it aside. With a set of pliers, take off the cap and collar. Loosen the faucet cam and take the washer and ball. Take out the inlet seals and springs with your pliers. Remove the O-rings and cover the new ones in plumber’s grease. Reassemble everything else with new pieces out of the kit.


Cartridge faucet

For a cartridge faucet, begin by once again removing the decorative cap if you find one. Take off the screw holding in the handle and then take off the handle, too. If you discover a retaining clip, use pliers to get it off. Pull off the cartridge and spout. Go through the same process as before with the O-rings: remove the old ones and, after applying plumber’s grease, affix the new ones. Place all the pieces as they were originally.


Ceramic-disk faucet

Finally, for a ceramic-disk faucet, displace the handle so you can get at the escutcheon cap. Take off the escutcheon cap and remove the disk cylinder. Remove the seals and clean off the cylinder. Apply new seals if the old ones are in bad condition. Clean everything. Put everything back together, including any replacement pieces, and gently readminister the water flow. Be sure you’re careful with your water, as a sudden increase in pressure can damage some of the components of your faucet.

Identifying Low Pressure

You can do a little maintenance on your own

Although water pressure, or its absence, may seem like a big deal––and there’s a chance the deficiency is a major issue––there’s no reason you should avoid a few different methods of improving the pressure on your own. There’s also no guarantee the fixes will work, but there’s little to lose unless you already suspect the culprit is a larger and more serious dilemma. If it’s widespread, call an expert and allow them to appraise the circumstance.


Identify a bigger issue, if one exists

Before beginning, communicate with a neighbor in order to find out whether others are affected by similar issues. If you’re not alone, you may rest easier; that said, you will also be unable to remedy as much of the situation yourself. Also check any measuring instruments in case the pressure isn’t on as much as you expected. Moreover, make sure neither the main water valve in your home or the one for your street is off.


Remove sediment and replace defective piping

One of the common causes of lower water pressure is clogged or clogging pipes. Over time, plumbing can accumulate sediment and, as there is less and less space for water to flow, the pressure can reduce dramatically. On occasion, you may be forced to replace some of the pipe itself. Whatever ends up in the middle of the pipe, however, you can at least clean the end by soaking it in white vinegar.


Pipes don’t last forever

If you unscrew the aerator, you can give the end of a faucet even more exposure. On the other hand, if opening up the end of the faucet doesn’t increase water pressure, you may need to deconstruct it even further. The fact is, all pipes eventually decompose or corrode and you will need to replace them if they’re old enough and in bad enough condition. Refer to our previous article on leaky faucets for information on how to take one apart and put it back together.


Replace the anode of your water heater

In the event you are only having an issue with hot water pressure, check your water heater. You may need to increase the size of the pipes that are carrying the hot water. Cycle water through your water heater and make sure you replace the anode rod of the water heater regularly. If not, your water will become acidic. Adding a water softener into the mix may make things easier on the overall plumbing system.


Wet piping and deposit accumulation

Make sure both the inside and outside of the pipes are intact, which means cleaning out any deposit and looking for weak areas. If you find any leaks along the way while tracing the path of the pipes, place a cloth underneath. If you return to the pipe later and the cloth is wet, you should call for assistance. You can check whether your toilet is having a pressure issue by dripping food coloring in the tank and seeing whether it shows up later in the bowl.


Check any valves

If your home is at a low altitude, check whether your pressure reducing valve is working effectively. The pressure reducing valve is meant to filter water pressure to an appropriate level for a given geography, but it can malfunction and reduce the water pressure to an undesirable level. Depending on how it looks, you may need to wash or replace the pressure reducing valve. That said, some homes do not have a pressure reducing valve.


Changing material

As an aside, if you use any water softener, make sure it’s being implemented consistently. If your pipes are made of galvanized steel, they are more likely to be clogged or corroded. Switching them out for either copper or plastic pipes may improve your water flow and quality, as they’re less susceptible to some of these issues. Regardless of the kind, make sure your pipes are big enough for the amount of water you need.


Adequate psi

If this is an issue you’ve experienced as long as you’ve used the pipes, call your water supplier and inquire about the pressure of water in your neighborhood. If it’s under 30 psi, there’s an external issue; however, if it’s under 40, you’ll still be underwhelmed by the amount at your disposal. Anything over 60 psi is probably all right for a normal home, although anything over 80 psi may cause damage to your plumbing.


Water pressure best practices

Modulate your water pressure regulator when you need to and apply a water pressure gauge to an outside water source for the cleanest reading. Sometimes a dip in pressure is to be expected in the event of repair on a water line or a major building project in the area near you. Be aware of plumbing best practices, including running water-intensive resources, like your shower and a sprinkler system (or even a toilet), independently.

Thanksgiving plumbing

Avoid a Plumbing Issue on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a plumbing nightmare

Many of us think of the winter and a white sheet of ice on the ground, but one of the bigger issues arises before the winter reaches this more idealized expression. When you are hosting a bunch of guests for Thanksgiving, your plumbing may be overwhelmed by all of the extra attention in combination with mechanical inattention. This also applies to Christmas, where you are eating a lot more of the food liable to be caught in a draining system.


Assume the disposal is breaking

Regular meal preparation or cleaning will fill your plumbing with grease and ‘leftovers,’ so to speak. And while your sink may be able to handle a buildup for a while, it’ll eventually catch up with you, making for an inconvenient roadblock to celebrating. In order to avoid this kind of blockage, expect the disposal to eventually be overwhelmed. The more you respect its limitation, the easier you’ll be able to continue using it.


Not everything goes in a disposal

One of the better means of keeping your disposal in effective working order is ensuring you only give it food the device can handle. Never feed your disposal egg shells, bones, rice, coffee, celery, lettuce, onion peels, corn husks, or pasta––any fibrous, stringy content may encircle the blade and cause a mess. In any event, regardless of the things you do insert, proceed in moderation: never force everything inside in one go.


Use running water in conjunction with your disposal

Also avoid grease downpour––a little may seem benign, yet the amount adds up where, more importantly, any grease solidifies in the bottom overnight. Running water will not get rid of the grease backup. Nevertheless, if you limit yourself to only the necessary amount of grease, rinsing the disposal for a minute will flush a reasonable amount. Facilitate the disposal by ensuring your water is running whenever the disposal is.


Ice cube or lemon peel for maintenance

As a preventative measure, dumping a few ice cubes in will aid in keeping your disposal blade sharp, which can alleviate a number of other blockages. From a sensory perspective, infusing your disposal with a citrus item, like a lemon peel, will enhance an otherwise dreadful odor. Returning to grease, the same concept applies to oil and fat––rather than tilting the cooking pan in the drain, wipe the surface with a cloth or paper towel, then dispose accordingly.


Think ahead

It’s easier to place everything in your disposal in the heat of entertaining a number of guests, but you’ll damage your sink and leave yourself a far higher amount of effort in the future. If you’re dealing with an unprecedented amount of one of the substances, leave it in bowl on a foil surface and, once the stuff is hardened, throw everything in a garbage can. You are your only line of defense against using your kitchen improperly.


Leave a note on toilet usage

The other likely culprit for plumbing complication amidst an increased number of houseguests is an accessible toilet. Again, the sensible usage of a toilet is up to the behavior of anyone using it. Nevertheless, you might consider leaving a note nearby in order to remind anyone under the influence they can’t flush anything they otherwise wouldn’t. If a guest confuses a napkin with a roll of toilet paper, you shouldn’t blame yourself; maybe cut off the eggnog.

Winter Plumbing

How to Prevent Common Plumbing Issues Ahead of the Winter

Take care of overdue plumbing issues

As we lean into the winter, you should resolve any plumbing issues you’ve noticed as well as investigate the ones you may have overlooked. Almost all of the usual difficulties are magnified as the year is colder, while the chill gives rise to further hassles you may nevertheless anticipate with experience or adequate research. In this article, we’ll identify ways to avoid major fiascos by being ahead of the new season.


Call for help if you’re uncertain

There are many reasons winter is a challenge for a plumbing system. Among those reasons are the obvious: very cold weather, winds, and ice itself. The maintenance may be tedious, but it’s a lot easier than the tedium of repairing a pipe in the middle of the winter. Bear in mind that while you can attend to some issues on your own, you shouldn’t hesitate in contacting a professional if you feel you’re in over your head or are extra cautious.


Various plumbing issues

Among the many problems initiated by cold weather are freezing shower water, leaking or icy pipes, or flooding––the latter of which is often a byproduct of a pipe bursting. Even in a mild Savannah winter, these difficulties are no joke: they’ll put your entire home out of commission. Fortunately, you may take measures for prevention after which you’ll stand a considerably better chance of avoiding all of the above. Let’s get into a variety of solutions.


Remove water from outdoor plumbing

As mentioned, most of the resolving you do on the way into winter involves taking action in advance. While everything is warm––or, if not, the warmer the better––turn off all the water originally directed to any outer supply. Generally, you’ll find the valves you need in the basement or beneath a sink near an outer wall. If you remove all the water from otherwise outdoor plumbing, there will be no water for freezing.


Make sure indoor plumbing is warm

There is a similar principle for indoor piping. While indoor plumbing is generally less at risk for being frozen, freezing is, nevertheless, possible. As such, maintain an indoor temperature of 55º Fahrenheit or more, especially if you are going on a vacation on which you’ll be unavailable for monitoring. If any of the piping is nearer to an outer wall, expose it by opening any drawer or door otherwise covering it. This will enable any warm air to circulate.


Close any openings around a water heater

An alternative for heating indoor piping is insulation, which involves placing a foam wrapping over each one. While insulation may be effective, you shouldn’t roll the dice by leaving the heat off, no matter the effectiveness of your insulation. A water heater is also susceptible to the influence of a freeze. Ensure the area around every water heater is guarded from any openings in windows or other like spaces. Reinforce the insulating if need be.


Preventing a flood/In the event of a burst pipe

Finally, with respect to a flood, look into all of your draining in order to identify any blockages. This also goes for ice once you’ve begun getting a good deal of snowfall. If you end up dealing with a burst pipe, immediately shut off the main valve and water supply. The main valve is either underneath your kitchen sink or else outside. Flush every toilet and turn on your cold water taps to rid your plumbing system of excess fluid.


Flooded Home

How to Diagnose and Repair a Flooded Home

Flood is a widespread issue

As hurricanes decimate houses and leave thousands without theirs, it’s clear not everything is fixable. Indeed, of the 100,000 homes in Houston affected by Harvey, a large number will need rebuilding. Around 30 to 40,000 are destroyed. That leaves 60 to 70 thousand, of which many may be salvaged. Of course, flooding is a feature of home ownership all over and is usually nowhere near as serious as it is in Houston.

Not every flood is Biblical

If you are lucky enough to live further inland or living in another part of the country, you can still benefit from knowing when a flood is manageable and whether you can do anything about it. Flooding isn’t always the end of a housing unit. Housing can suffer a large amount of damage yet nevertheless serve as a functional residence again. Alternatively, you may identify a home as a reclamation project, yet seek assistance outright.

Be aware of water damage

In order to determine whether you are in one category or another, you must understand what water damage actually does to a house. If you arrive at your house and everything is underwater, your home isn’t necessarily gone for good. In fact, effective practices before and after flooding may spare a home in the long run. If your house is already in bad shape, it stands a worse chance of making it out all right.

Build on a solid foundation

If you are in the process of building a home, you are wise to consider the surface of your foundation. If the substance of the ground is subject to alteration in the course of various weather conditions, your home is probably more susceptible to issues with plumbing and beyond. It’s especially problematic if the area around your foundation expands or shrinks, as the house may move and the piping may be forced awry.

Check for structural damage

One way to identify structural damage is by attempting to open or close a given window or door. If your home suffered considerable upheaval, you may be unable to do so properly. In lesser cases, however, you may only need to discard a few pieces of furniture and a carpet or two. That said, replacing your furnishing may run you a few thousand dollars. If you suspect your drywall is in contact with enough of the water, the paper may get moldy and need replacing.

Two kinds of flood

We are, of course, dealing with more than one kind of water damage. On the one hand, flooding may issue from torrential downpour as in a hurricane. On the other hand, the water may arise from a leak in your plumbing. Be sure to shut down all electrical outlets and outstanding appliances. Electricity is far more dangerous to your immediate well-being than an imminent case of mold. Once the electricity is off, be sure to shut off any remaining water.

Elevate your damp furniture

If you are indeed managing a bunch of wet furniture, move it upstairs if you have a second level. If you have no space, contact a storage company for removal. If the water damage is severe, you won’t be able to store it because it will be a source of mildew or mold. Ultimately, virtually all the measures you are able to take yourself will almost certainly only serve as a stopgap until you acquire professional assistance.

Seek a consultation

Even if you’re not certain of the extent of the damage, go about seeking a consultation for a better idea of what you’re up against. In the event you’re containing a leak, you are much better off knowing it is resolved for good––until the next one––than if you rely on a makeshift resolution. A professional consultation will also inform you as to which of your furniture and other items are safe and which have to be disposed of.

Document any changes

While you are moving everything around, make a note of the changes. Documenting all of your belongings will give your flood professional a better idea of where everything is supposed to be, as well as provide clarity if you intend on sending a claim to an insurance company. If the damage is serious enough, you shouldn’t spend further time in your home than you have to. Illness may arise from the combination of water and exposure.

Don’t rush

If the water is minimal, you may not need to seek any assistance. An effective dehumidifier will be an enormous aid in evaporation. They are particularly effective in a space with little or no airflow. However much time the flood took, cleaning it up will inevitably be a much longer process. Be thorough and refrain from using electronic appliances until you’re absolutely sure it is okay to do so. If you rush, you may sacrifice well-being down the line.

Roof Leaks

How to Identify and Reduce a Roof Leak

Prevention is ideal

In our most recent post, we discussed the method of diagnosing and repairing a flood in your home. Chances are, if you are suffering a major rainstorm, your roof is taking a beating. A common side effect of nonstop rain is a little permeability and seepage in the exposed areas of a house. This is especially true of a residence without effective upkeep. If you find out about a leak in the midst of a violent shower, you’re probably too late for an intervention. Time for a repair.


Walls and ceiling

In the event of a leaky roof, you should call a roofer or consult a plumber. In the space between a leak and repairing it, however, you can slow things down. One thing you may notice is a stain on the ceiling. A lot of the time, a leak will amass on a ceiling or inside a wall before accessing an opening or a weakness. The collection of moisture will often generate more than one leak at a time. If you are aware of one, be vigilant for even more.


Inside or outside?

Nevertheless, bear in mind an inside leak is different from an outside one. In the aforementioned circumstance, a single outer leak will give rise to the appearance of several indoors, thereby seeming far worse than it actually is. First, lower a bucket underneath any visible collecting moisture bulges and make a hole in them. Any subsequent flow will be concentrated in a lesser number of areas and be more manageable in turn.


Making a funnel

One alternative to collecting all of the water in a few buckets is making a funnel using a hose. If you connect a hose with with a wide container, you may be able to channel a fair amount of liquid outside. This might make it easier to manage and clean all the remaining water from a leak. Obviously, your efforts will be far less useful if the rain is coming down, but even a little relief can make a big difference.



In a number of cases, water damage is a result of something fairly benign––like a broken shingle. Even one worn-out shingle leaves room for enough liquid to permeate your home and the hole will only expand over time. Therefore, you should pay attention to your ceiling with a measure of regularity. In the event a leak is in an initial stage, you may be able to identify it and get help in time to prevent any or any more major damage.


Be overcautious

If you aren’t certain of which shingles are defective, you are better served removing any of the ones surrounding those you know are broken. If water made its way beneath, there’s a good chance you’ll find wet or even rotten wood under the roof. The exercise of evaluating a roof should be, at a minimum, a biannual event. If you aren’t experiencing any rain and are uncertain of the extent of the penetration, pour water on the area of the roof and follow it.


Temporary fix

If you are experienced and the circumstance is dire, you might consider putting a metal sheet over a relatively small opening on a roof. Any conceivably harmful activity should be avoided in favor of a professional––if for no other reason than acquiring an informed consultation. Another possibility is your roofing is installed with incorrect material, which renders the entire surface of your home vulnerable as well as in need of an overhaul.


Other causes

Another possibility is your shingles are fine as your roof was installed correctly. In especially bad weather, a shingle may fly off your roof and leave a space for a leak. If the weather is very cold, an ice barrier may form, preventing water from leaving off the side of the roof. If you see water marks, discoloration, darkening or peeling of any paint, mold, degenerative drywall, or water itself, you should have a fair amount of confidence in a leak. Check your attic.


Check regularly

Most of the time, a roof is constructed with the approximate climate in mind. Yet every once in awhile, a really bad system comes along and exposes infirmity unaccounted for by abiding the mean. Maybe weather isn’t entirely responsible. It could be an animal tore away a shingle and only now, weeks or even months later, is the damage immediately apparent. This is why you need to stay on top of your roof, both literally and figuratively.


Go for accuracy

When you communicate with a roofer or a plumber, be sure to give an accurate representation of your experience. Even though a leak may be very annoying, it is probably not a cataclysmic disaster. If it is, be sure to communicate its severity. And even though a roof leak may not be an enormous issue, one may lead to more serious damage later on. In other words, don’t exaggerate it, but don’t put it off, either.