As Ned Stark would say, "Winter is coming." We've been waking up with as low as 30 degrees and is soon to drop even more. Don't let our Dallas weather fool you, freezing temperates (32 degrees and lower) can come and stay for a few days, which would hurt your house if you're not prepared for them. Below you'll find 10 steps to prep your house for winter.
1. Tune Up Your Heating System
The last thing you want to happen is to wake up in the middle of the night because the temperature dropped, you're cold, and discover that your heating system is not working. A quick call to get your heating system checked - including measuring for a carbon monoxide leakage - should run you around $100 depending on the company used. Remember to look for a heating and air-conditioning contractor that belongs to the Air Conditioning Contractors of America and employs technicians certified by the North American Technician Excellence (NATE) program. The contractor should follow the protocol for the ACCAs "national standard for residential maintenance" (or the QM, short for "quality maintenance").
2. Reverse Your Ceiling Fans
This is a fun trick not many are aware of that Kiplinger shared a couple of years ago. If your ceiling fan has a reverse switch, use it to run the fan's blades in a clockwise direction after you turn on your heat. Energy Star says the fan will produce an updraft and push down into the room heated air from the ceiling (remember, hot air rises). This is especially helpful in rooms with high ceilings -- and it might even allow you to turn down your thermostat by a degree or two for greater energy savings.
3. Check Your Roof
Look for damaged, loose or missing shingles on your roof. A leak any time of the year is a bother, but when it happens while it's cold outside, it can be miserable. Contact a professional roofer and have them inspect your roof in detail, this will help you avoid any possible further damage to the roof or an unfortunate accident.
4. Check For Air Leaks Around Your Windows And Door Frames
You heard right. These are the silent culprits that can have us paying more on our electrical bills. It may not seem like a big deal, but having a crack - or multiple of them - around a window or door frame can impact your electrical bill during the summer months - and winter months, when your air conditioning is working to keep you warm. If gaps between siding and window or door frames are bigger than the width of a nickel, you need to reapply exterior caulk. Check the joints in window and door frames, too. Silicone caulk is best for exterior use because it won’t shrink and it is impervious to the elements.
5. Clean The Gutters
You've been hearing this all your life. Remove all dry leafs and debris from your home gutters to avoid a clog, which can potentially turn into a bigger problem. Do it now, while the weather is still nice. You want to avoid a clog from happening that may later freeze when the temperature drops. This will help prevent a plumbing problem.
6. Turn Off Your Exterior Faucets
Visit your exterior faucets one by one, open them and let the water run for a bit. Then close them well and make sure you don't have a leaking faucet. Undrained water in pipes can freeze, which will cause pipes to burst as the ice expands. Start by disconnecting all garden hoses and draining the water that remains in faucets. If you don’t have frost-proof faucets (homes more than ten to 15 years old typically do not), turn off the shut-off valve inside your home. If you aren't sure if you do or if you would like to make sure your home's water system is ready for winter, give us a call at 214-328-7371 and we'll be happy to perform a home inspection for you. Remember to always hire certified plumbers that have your best interest at heart and are available 24/7, even during the busiest time of the year.
7. Drain Your Lawn Irrigation System
Call in a professional to do the job. Your sprinkler service charge will vary depending on the size of the lawn irrigation system. Draining sprinkler-system pipes, as with spigots, will help avoid freezing and leaks, which will prevent potential plumbing headaches down the road.
8. Inspect Your Chimney Before Turning It On
Before you're tempted to turn on your fireplace and snuggle up beside it with a hot cup of cocoa on a cold winter night, make sure your fireplace (or any heating appliance burning gas, oil, wood or coal), chimney and vents are clean and in good repair. This will prevent chimney fires and prevent carbon monoxide from creeping into your home, which can be deadly. Search for a sweep certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America.
9. Check Your Drainage
Make sure the soil around your foundation hasn’t settled, creating areas for water to pool at your foundation. If you find a low spot, simply fill it in with some soil. Then go around and check your rain gutter downspouts. Make sure water is getting moved away from the home. Add downspout extenders if necessary. Saturated soil around a foundation can create real problems as it freezes and thaws throughout the winter months.
10. Cover Your Outdoor Furniture
Protect your patio furniture, but make sure you wait until a clear, warm day to cover it so you don’t trap moisture on it, this will prevent mold from forming, which could permanently damage your patio furniture.
Remember that if you need help with a plumbing issue or want to schedule a plumbing inspection, Metro-Flow Plumbing is open 24/7 and can help you. You may reach us at 214-328-7371. One of our certified and insured plumbers will assist you.
Summer plumbing problems can happen at any time; from a garbage disposal malfunctioning, to a leaky faucet or a clogged toilet. These and other plumbing problems are never welcomed, but being ready for them will help you enjoy your summer to the fullest.
Why do these four problems usually occur during the summer? Summer plumbing problems usually arise, because of the extra wear and tear your home receives during these hot Dallas summer months. Summer means family and friends, and you tend to have more guests over than usual to watch a game, enjoy the pool, a birthday, or a bbq - because there is no better time to enjoy brisket and a cold refreshing brew than summer time. It's the time in the year when the kids are home from school and the house is in use throughout the day, guests visit from out of town, and outdoor summer activities are top of mind.
Here are four of the most common plumbing problems that can happen during the summer months.
Clogged Garbage Disposal
Summer is the best time for cookouts, pineapple, strawberries, mineral water, and much more. Know exactly what can and cannot go down the drain, as this can easily hurt or clog your garbage disposal. Cookouts grease from grilling will quickly clog your disposal and prevent it from running properly - as well as pineapple rinds, banana peals, bones, etc.
Overused Washing Machines
Your washing machine tends to work overtime during the summer. Multiple loads due to having the full family at home and extracurricular activities can put a strain on your washing machine. Heavy loads can lead to blockages and overflows. Try to stick to small loads to avoid problems. It is also recommended for you to check the hoses from your machine for leakages or kinks and consider moving your washing machine out from the wall a little to reduce the risk of overheating.
Parties, lawn mowers, cars and increase traffic on lawns during the summer can contribute to broken sprinkler issues. Be aware of your sprinklers and double check they are in good shape before using them to avoid significant damage.
Clogged Shower Drains
Summer is full of days at the pool, lake, playing sports, and hitting the gym. Things like sand, dirt and pebbles can get caught up in bathing suits and empty out in the shower, blocking the drain. Our furry friends can also put a strain in our drains and it's important to keep their hair (and ours) away from the drain. Another tip to avoid clogged drains is to keep an eye on the drain cover and to remove hair that gets stuck in there.
Don't let these problems interfere with your summer plans. Get ahead of them by conducting an inspection and/or join our Diamond Club - and should you find yourself facing these problems in the future, give us a call at 214-328-7371. We have respectful, professional, and certified technicians ready to assist you 24/7.
Spring lawn care in essential for keeping your yard thriving and resilient through summer. If you want to a beautiful lawn and garden, follow these steps to keep your lawn and landscaping lush and green for the summer.
1. Rake It Up
The first step to preparing your yard for spring and summer is to do some raking and cleaning around the home. Use your yard waste container to collect all the leaves, twigs and other debris that has accumulated over winter. Try to do this every month.
2. Apply Fertilizer and Pre-Emerged Weed Killer
Fertilizer helps supplement the lawn with nutrients it lost during winter. Most experts agree that fertilizer should be applied at least twice a year. After your spring fertilization, six to eight weeks later, it’s a good idea to reapply both products. Speak with a professional about setting up the perfect fertilization schedule.
3. Consider Adding Mulch
Mulch is a great way to retain moisture and nutrients during the summer heat. Mulch can help keep your plants sated and growing, but in some cases it may be a bad idea. Speak with a professional lawn care expert about the proper use of mulch.
4. Mow Your Lawn
Don’t let grass grow too high. Try to keep grass height between 2.5 to 3 inches. During peak summer, however, allow the grass to grow about a half inch longer. This helps the grass provide shade and retain moisture.
5. Trim Back Landscaping From Structure
Mulch, grass, and plants that are too close to the foundation can cause major moisture and pest problems. Try to maintain a minimum 2-foot clearance around the entire perimeter of your home. Trim back any trees, bushes or plants that are touching or coming close to the siding. In addition to trimming plants from your siding and foundation, it’s also important to look for any dead or excess growth in other areas of the yard. Pruning promotes healthy plants by eliminating dead or infected parts. It also helps you shape the growth of the tree or bush.
6. Inspect Nearby Trees
Falling trees and branches can cause massive amounts of damage, injury and death. If dead and rotting trees are ignored, they can fall and cause damage and potential injury. To be safe, contact a tree expert every 2-3 years for a professional inspection and safety pruning. This is best done during late winter/early spring before the leaves come out and mask the damage.
7. Consider Aerating Your Lawn
Aerate your lawn if it shows signs of compaction, such as moss. Moss can also indicate soil acidity (lawns like a neutral pH). If you become aware of soil compaction during your spring lawn checkup, contact a professional for the best plan of action.
8. Perform A Soil Test
In addition to problems like compaction and thatch, your soil may also be suffering from a pH imbalance. The best way to know whether your soil has the right pH balance is by hiring a professional to take a soil sample or by sending a soil sample to a local soil testing laboratory.
Learn more about how to get your yard ready for summer, here.
Dallas weather can keep us on our toes . We can go from enjoying a sunny summer day at the pool or lake, to torrential thunderstorms. Then these happen, avoid walking or driving through flood waters. Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down and 2 feet of water can sweep your vehicle away. Below are the steps on how to navigate a flood.
BEFORE a flood...
DURING a flood...
AFTER a flood...
National Bath Safety Month is here, and Metro-Flow Plumbing is ready to share some helpful tips you can implement to help make your bathroom a safer place.
"Every year about 235,000 people over age 15 visit emergency rooms because of injuries suffered in the bathroom, and almost 14 percent are hospitalized."
One of the biggest safety risks is the risk of falling. It turns out the bathroom is the most dangerous room in your house. Here are a few simple, inexpensive ideas that will help you enjoy your bathroom a little more:
"The bathroom is the most dangerous room in your house. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 370 people of all ages have shower- or tub-related accidents every day.
AARP has put together a helpful bathroom checklist that could come in handy. You may review the list, here.
If you have questions on how to make your bathroom safer, maybe by installing a spa-style tub or a new toilet, give us a call at 214-328-7371 or contact us, here.
BBQ season is here. Day-long pool days, family, friends, cold beer, and rosé. While everyone is getting ready to come over, you have a list of things to take care of and can use all the help you can get to make everything look effortless, enjoyable, and delicious.
Here are some simple things to remember:
Last, but definitely not least. Try a new recipe. Here is one from Tip Hero: Bacon-Wrapped Pineapple Burger Recipe.
At Metro-Flow Plumbing we wake up early and are available 24/7 to give our customers the best of us. To do this successfully, we need to stay energized and keep a positive attitude. If you're struggling with your energy, here are some tips that may help you:
Discover more ways to increase your energy, here.
You're thinking about putting your house on the market and you want to make sure you fix the right things to help it sell; but you don't want to spend too much money? We understand and have done some research of our own.
Here are 10 tips to help you sell your house:
To review the full article, visit The Balance, here.
Even though spring is around the corner, we continue to get hit with very cold fronts that require more than yourself to put on a coat. You also need to protect your pipes, otherwise, they could freeze and burst, which can result in an unfortunate situation.
Have questions? Call us at 214-328-7371 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Moving can be complicated, but it doesn't have to be. If you're renting or moving into your recently purchased home, you want your move to go as smoothly as possible.
As you may imagine, we've heard our share of moving stories from our customers, so we wanted to dedicate a blog post to "moving tips" that can help you on your next move.
We hope you found this useful and wish you luck on your upcoming move.
Got a plumbing question? Call us at 214-328-7371 or email us at email@example.com.