No one ever said that being a homeowner was easy. There are rooms to decorate, bills to pay and if something goes wrong, you can't just call up your landlord to get it taken care of. Instead, you have to take matters into your own hands by fixing it yourself or calling a professional to get the job done for you.
Problems are sometimes unavoidable, but there are precautions you can take to help make sure your home stays in prime shape. Here are four things your Santa Cruz, California, plumber wants you to know about protecting your home.
Protect your pipes
Santa Cruz doesn't see harsh winters like the Midwest, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't take initiative to protect your home during the colder months. The biggest issue in winter comes in the form of frozen pipes. This is when the water in your pipes freezes, stopping the flow all together. That means you might not get any running water, from your kitchen sink to your bathroom showerheads. Unfortunately, by the time you notice that your pipes are frozen, it's already too late. However, there are plenty of steps you can take to ensure that your pipes don't freeze.
Swing by your local hardware store to pick up some insulation. That's the pink padding found in attics and unfinished basements. Cut and wrap this material around your exposed pipes. The insulation will help keep them warm when the temperatures drop.
Although insulation can help keep your pipes from freezing, there are other areas of your home to come into play, as well. For example, insulation won't do you any good if your heat isn't working. Sure, southern California probably doesn't get much, if any, snow during the colder months of the year. However, your home should be set to a comfortable heat so your pipe fixtures aren't too cold. In the same vein, make sure that your vents are actually producing hot air. Test run your ducts by putting your hand underneath the vent and feeling the temperature and pressure of the air blowing (or if its blowing at all). Make sure that no pieces of furniture or decor (like a side table or a rug) are shielding your vents from blowing air.
Use your garbage disposal the right way
Garbage disposals are a great way to get rid of food scraps and waste without the odor that comes with tossing them in the garbage. However, these appliances are sensitive as far as what materials they can actually disintegrate. Although it may seem like common sense, only throw items in the disposal that can be broken down easily. Materials such as bones, vegetable peelings, grains and grease may cause your plumbing to be backed up and may even break your appliance.
If you find yourself wondering if something can be broken down, just toss it the garbage just to be safe.
Take care of your toilets
Bathrooms are a mundane part of our everyday routine, so it's tough to imagine life if one in our home isn't working. Luckily, if you take care of your toilets, you won't have to discover how big of an inconvenience non-working plumbing can be. Be sure that you, you family members and guests aren't flushing the wrong materials down your toilet (aka anything but waste and toilet paper). Things like wipes, matches, sanitary pads, tampons and cotton balls don't break down in sewage systems. These items can pose a threat to your plumbing system and our environment as a whole. Just to be safe, take precautions by pitching everything in the trash instead. If it makes you feel better, hang a sign in your bathroom noting not to flush these materials down (like the ones in restaurants). That way, you can help prevent any issues down the road.
Give us a call
Many people think that whatever goes wrong in their home they can fix themselves. Although there are plenty of credible websites that talk you through fixing things step-by-step, sometimes you can do more harm than good. If you ever have a problem, just give us a call over at Roto-Rooter. We'll send out a professional and experienced plumber to take a look and get your home fixed and back in working order in a jiffy.
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