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.
It's time to get your house ready for fall. Though it's officially fall, it doesn't quite feel like it in Dallas. However, this gives us the opportunity to do right by our home and get it ready for the epic change in temperature that's approaching. If you’re a homeowner, the drop in temperature can wreak havoc on your plumbing if you aren’t prepared. Below are five simple steps you should take to get your house ready for the coming months.
Store Away Your Garden Hoses
Help lengthen the life of your garden hose to last another year by draining all the water from it. Once disconnected, check again and make sure to drain all the water from it and place your garden hose in an area in your house that will not reach freezing temperatures. What you're trying to prevent by doing this, is to make sure that any water that may be left inside the garden hose does not freeze and expand as this would cause the garden hose to break.
Check Your Sewer System & Help Prevent Costly Repairs
The fall, winter and spring months can overwork your sewer system. It's recommended for you to check your home's sewer system, especially if you've had any issues in the past or would like to have preventative maintenance completed. You may call us at 214-328-7371. If preventive maintenance is of your interest, we recommend you inquiring about The Diamond Club Membership, which for only $9.99 a month, provides you with $200 in value that can help cover seasonal maintenance visits, preventive inspections, quick repairs, etc.
Inspect Your Water Heater To Ensure Warm Showers
If you love hot showers and long warn relaxing baths, we recommend you keep reading. Annual maintenance is crucial to extend the life of your water heater, which is something that Metro-Flow Plumbing can schedule and perform as soon as your schedule permits. Even-though most water heaters will last anywhere from eight to 12 years, water heater flushes tend to increase water efficiency and saves money on your future utility bills. If you'd like to increase water efficiency and save money on your utility bill, we recommend you schedule a water heater inspection by contacting us at 214-328-7371.
Give your Outdoor Faucets Some Love
Though it may sound a but excessive, especially if you're new to Dallas and to cooler weather, we highly recommend you protect your outdoor faucets from freezing temperatures (30 degrees or below) with styrofoam. Invest in a very affordable foam faucet cover. You'll be able to identify it because it looks like half an igloo and basically acts as an insulation to keep the outside cold out. Save faucets from freezing with this very simple and quick solution. Measures like this can help prevent water in your outdoor faucets from expanding due to the freezing temperatures, which can potentially cause the pipes to burst and turn into a costly repair. Should you have questions about the type of styrofoam to purchase, we are happy to help. You may call us at 214-328-7371. We are here and ready to help answer any questions you may have.
Clear Out The Gutters
Though this is something we like to recommend a professional to handle, particularly if you have a large home or a two story house, it is recommended for you to carefully use a ladder to inspect the gutters around the exterior of your home. This will help clear out any leaves or debris that could block water from flowing and draining.
One of the easiest ways to identify a clogged drain is by noticing how slow the water is draining in the sink or shower. This is a clear indicator that something is clogging the drain and should be addressed in a timely manner to prevent pricey plumbing repairs. Addressing plumbing problems earlier on is a best practice that has proven to help make of the fix a much easier one, therefore usually costing the home owner much less than if they would've waited to fix the problem much longer.
The following six reasons are the most common culprits of clogged drains:
Guilty! How many of us have been guilty of letting our hair wash away into our shower drains or even the sink? When shampooing and conditioning your hair, we recommend that you purchase a barrier, like a hair catching screen, to keep hair from getting into your plumbing pipes and slowing down your drains. A simple and cost effective way to prevent your drains from clogging.
Our fur babies can also be guilty of causing drains to clog. Hair catching screen can also help us prevent clogged drains when giving our little ones a bath.
It's very common to think that grease may be disposed in the kitchen sink or garbage disposal, however, even when hot it can damage the plumbing. Grease will harden and solidify as it cools and get stuck on the drains. When grease is dumped down the drain, it sticks to the sides of your plumbing pipes, cool, and harden. As a result, you’ll be left with a slow draining sink or garbage disposal that will not work to its full potential.
It can shock many to think that soap could hurt pipes, but it can. Soap can actually cause clogged drains over time. If you have hard water in your home, soap may coat the insides of your pipes, restricting the flow of water and delivering water that is not as clean as we would wish it would be. Hard water can leave your skin feeling like it has a soapy film after a nice shower, making you want to rinse it off multiple times. Hard water can also make your skin and hair dull, as well as contribute to hair loss and dandruff.
Now that we know hard water can cause hair loss and dandruff, let's look into what it can do to your pipes. If you have hard water at home full of minerals, these mineral deposits can cling to the sides of your pipes, making it easier for other materials to get stuck and clog your drains. There are ways to clean the water in your house and provide you and your family with the cleanest water. Call us at 214-328-7371 and ask us about the various water filtration systems we have available to our customers.
Baby wipes, even when the packaging claims they are "flushable", they are not and should be disposed in the trash - not the toilet. We shouldn’t flush anything other than toilet paper and waste down the toilet drains. Products like baby wipes do not break down as well as toilet paper does and as a result can cause some serious plumbing clogs.
It's time to discover what football and the thrown in your house have in common... particularly during the greatest day in the year, Super Bowl. Impress your friends with the following football plumbing fun facts:
These numbers show the passion we have for football in this country - much like the passion we have for clean pipes and drains, working garbage disposals, water pressure, hot water, and much more. If you find yourself in the need of a plumber during football season, or at any other time, please reach out to us at 214-328-7371. One of our certified plumbing technicians will be ready to assist you and provide you with solutions to your plumbing problem. We are available 24/7.
Buying a house? Make sure to run these quick plumbing tests before committing to this large investment.
Buying a house is one of the largest investments that a person will make in their lifetime. Between multiple online searches, realtors, brokers, inspections, and appointments with your bank, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and skip performing these simple and quick plumbing tests during even your first visit to the house you've been eyeing online for days.
Before taking the next step, make sure to perform these quick and simple tests to see if the plumbing in the house is working properly, but remember to still have it throughly inspected as you continue to move down the process to make of that house your home. Contact us should you have any questions. We are here for you 24/7.
Flush every toilet in the house. While it is flushing make sure it drains properly and that there is no visible leakage.
Hot Water System
Find the home hot water system and look it over for signs of corrosion. Using the outlet on the side, run some water and ensure that the hot water comes out. If possible, ask the current owner of the house when the hot water system was last serviced.
Run all showers to ensure that they have adequate water pressure. Low pressure can be a good indicator of a larger issue such as an unseen leak or clog. While you are there, make sure that all water drains freely and that no water is leaking from the fixtures.
Under the House
It's not a pleasant job, but it is important to get underneath the house to check for signs of leaks or water damage. Since the majority of a houses plumbing is located underneath the house, doing this will allow you to catch any plumbing issues that you might have missed in your initial inspections. One of our certified plumbers can perform this inspection for you. Give a call at 214-328-7371. We'll be happy to assist you.
Size matters! Particularly when it comes to girth. Check that your prospective new home has pipes of the correct size installed. If the pipes are too small, the water pressure will be lower and could increase the potential damage in the future. In most cases, you will want the pipes to be 3/4" from the source of water to the home, and 1/2" or larger from sinks and taps.
Would you like help with the above? If so, we are happy to assist you. We take pride in performing a detailed home inspection and promise to honestly share our findings with you, as well as recommendations on how to address any issues we may find. We always have your best interest at heart and want to be your ally during the home buying process and beyond. You may contact us via phone at 214-328-7371 or email at email@example.com.
Cleaning the house - particularly the bathroom - can seem like a drag, but it doesn't have to be. We've been hearing for years that the bathroom is by far the room that one dreads the most to clean. Bending over to clean the tub and the floors can leave us with back pain that can last for hours, if not days, even weeks.
The good news is that we can tackle the workload cleaning a bathroom by simply splitting the tasks into various days. There are items we recommend cleaning every day, but there are others that can be done on a weekly basis, and others even on a monthly basis. This way, you get some time back and your bathroom still gets the attention it needs to be clean and ready for you and your family.
Below is a Bathroom Cleaning Calendar that we hope will come in handy.
Should you ever run into any plumbing problems, feel free to reach out to us at 214-328-7371. One of our certified plumbers will be available to help you 24/7.
Taking a low water pressure shower can make many irritable. Here you are, starting your day and spending more time than scoped out for in the shower. It takes you longer to rinse the shampoo off your hair, even the soap off your body.
We understand these frustrations and are always looking for ways to make your life easier. Because of this, we've gathered a list of six things that can cause low water pressure:
Don't let a leaking pipe turn into an expensive repair.
Contact us at 214-328-7371. Our certified plumbers are available to help you 24/7.
Safe, legal, and long-term disposal options for prescription drugs and other pharmaceuticals remain largely unavailable for local governments due to funding and logistical limitations. The lack of registered collectors, such as retail pharmacies; the absence of extended producer responsibility for the cost of disposal options; and, confusion regarding the regulatory framework for the handling and disposing of unwanted medications are a few of the challenges. Improper drug disposal results in negative impacts to humans, streams, drinking water, wildlife, and agriculture.
Therefore, developing a solution for this significant problem is a priority for the North Central Texas region to address. Although many communities have taken advantage of twice-yearly take-back events, these Drug Enforcement Agency sponsored events are neither a regularly available nor permanent solution for prescription drug disposal.
Drugs and medications dumped down toilets or drains leads to water contamination and pollution. When taken to the landfill, prescriptions and drugs do not break down easily, and also can harm wildlife and again lead to the contamination of our water supply. These negative impacts will continue to get worse without a proper diposal method, as the number of medications and drugs improperly thrown away will accumulate over time.
Discover where to dispose of your medicine at medicinetakeback.com.
Summer is here. Everyone agrees. The heat in Dallas never disappoints... Keeping us warm even at night. Summer’s rising temperatures often coincide with an increase of water usage, both indoors and outdoors, which can have you taking care of your drains and pipes more than usual. It’s estimated that a family’s water usage can increase by 25%-50% during the warmest months of the year, because of this, we wanted to share five easy summer plumbing tips that could help your plumbing and water bill.
Turn Down Your Water Heater
If you’re vacationing away from your home for several days, turn down your water heater to save energy. It’s also important to know that the average life of a water heater is anywhere from 8-11 years old. If you don’t know the age of your system, check the last four digits of the serial number on the tank. This will show you the month and year it was manufactured. Learn more about our water heater services.
Inspect Your Washing Machine
With the kids at home and our various summer activities, it can feel like laundry never ends. These multiple loads of laundry can have your washing machine working overtime. Make sure to give your washing machine a break and visually inspect the hoses and machine. The rubber washing machine hose should be replaced approximately every 3 years.
Consider Replacing Your Appliances & Save
Consider replacing some of your older appliances such as your showerheads, faucets, and toilets with EPA WaterSense products. Click here to see how much you can save annually on your water bill.
Best Times To Water Your Lawn
Watering your lawn at the right time can make a difference in your water bill. It’s suggested that the best time to water your lawn and landscapes is in the early morning and evening, after the sun goes down. If you water your lawn in the middle of the day, that water can be lost due to evaporation from the heat throughout the day.
Check Your Sewer Lines
Do you have trees planted near your house? Any kind of tree growth, particularly during the summer months, can cause roots to make their way to your sewer line in search of water. If you suspect any damage or want to prevent a possible problem, give us a call to check your lines.
Every season brings a different challenge to your home's plumbing system. Whatever your plumbing problem may be, Metro-Flow Plumbing is ready to assist you 24/7. Our certified technicians will assess the problem, explain what will be needed to get done to fix it - as well as the costs - and will begin working once receiving your approval to proceed. Furthermore, all of our plumbers undergo a rigorous background check, are respectful, professional, and punctual. We look forward to hearing from 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.