Plumbing Tips For Common Household Issues

Posted by on Oct 29, 2015 in Uncategorized |

There are some plumbing issues that require you to call a plumber, because they are beyond the scope of DIY repair, but there are also some plumbing repairs that you can do yourself that won’t cost you much money at all. Here are some of the common household plumbing repairs that you may face, and tips on how to take care of them on your own. Garbage Disposal You should never toss anything metallic or made of glass into the garbage disposal, as this can cause the grinder blades to become dull or to break. It’s also beneficial for you to use cold water to help food items flow through the disposal, because cold water hardens waste as opposed to hot water, which liquefies waste and makes it more likely for it to clog your disposal. If your garbage disposal stops working, there are two things you can try to get it working again. The first thing is to unplug the cord, clear any obstruction in the disposal itself, plug the cord in again and check to see if the disposal works. If it doesn’t work, unplug the cord again, reach under the sink and find a small reset button at the bottom part of the disposal. Press the reset button for a few seconds and let go. Plug the cord back in and in many cases you will find that the disposal will work again. These two DIY fixes are often sufficient to get your disposal running again, but if not, you will have to contact your plumber. Fixtures One of the most common repairs a plumber makes is on your fixtures, and those repairs can add up. To preserve your fixtures, you should think about investing in a water softener, because the main cause of fixtures that need replacing is sediment left by hard water that flows through your pipes. A water softener reduces the amount of sediment and build-up in your pipes, and it can help extend the life of your fixtures without costing you a lot of money. Dishwasher Sometimes when your dishwasher is in operation, water backs up into the sink and causes a mess. This is the result of food that’s still swirling in the garbage disposal or your pipes that weren’t properly processed by the grinding action of the disposal, and because the dishwasher water flows through the same pipes, you will see the backed up waste in your sink. You can prevent this issue by running cold water and turning on the garbage disposal for about 30 seconds to a minute prior to using the dishwasher. This clears any lingering food waste and flushes it through the...

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What You Need to Know about Planning and Building Approvals

Posted by on Oct 21, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Some people who have no prior experience of building a home hear about planning approval and mistake it for building approval. This mix up leads them to run into many problems with the local authorities, such as being fined for undertaking a construction project without municipal approval. This article discusses the two concepts of planning approvals and building approvals. Use this information to discover when each is required. Planning Approvals Municipal authorities may have master plans that are intended to provide guidelines so that development takes place in an organised way. For instance, an area may be designated as an industrial area. Developers may only construct industrial facilities like factories and warehouses in such an area. You should submit the plans of your proposed home to the municipal authorities so that they confirm that the purpose to which you intend to put that piece of land is in line with what that area has been designated for. Building Approvals Building approvals differ from planning approvals in a sense that building approvals are focused on ensuring that the structure conforms to all set standards of building construction. You may need building approval for different phases of the construction project. For instance, you may need approval of the external structure before you can be allowed to begin doing work on aspects like installing the wiring system. You may also need approval of the fire safety systems in place before municipal approval of your project is given. In short, you should find out what the different building approvals you need are before you can occupy the house. Building approval requirements keep changing as more information becomes available on how to increase the safety of building occupants. The building codes also evolve to improve energy sustainability and environmental conservation. It is important for you to know the differences between the different approvals that are required in your area so that you do not get into any problems with the law. For instance, it may be hard for you to get a buyer for your property if it does not have the appropriate approvals in the records of the municipal authorities. You can also be prosecuted and asked to demolish a structure that wasn’t built according to local codes. The easiest way to ensure that you comply with all municipal requirements is to hire an experienced architect and builder to handle those technical aspects of the project. You can also hire certification companies, like Thomas Independent Certification, to conduct building approval inspections. Your role would then be to confirm that everything has been done as required by...

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What Different Soil Conditions Mean for Your Home

Posted by on Oct 9, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Many laypeople look at having a soil test done as an inconvenience that cannot be avoided. Such people may not be aware of how the different soil conditions can affect the strength and durability of their homes. This article discusses some subsoil conditions, and how those soil conditions can affect your home if the builder does not take countermeasures. Clay Soils Clay soil may expand or contract dramatically, depending on its moisture content. For instance, it can contract and crack when it dries up. It can also absorb moisture and expand. Imagine what those variations can do to your home’s foundation if nothing is done to stabilise that soil; the foundation may be torn apart when the clay soil underneath it contracts after a prolonged dry spell. Soil testing alerts the builder to this risk; he or she can mix that clay soil with more stable soil so that expansion/contraction cycles are minimised. High Amounts of Organic Matter Many homes are constructed on lots that used to be streams or rivers. Those depressions (valleys, streams or riverbeds) were reclaimed by filling them with soil taken from other locations. Imagine that tree stumps, plenty of grass and other organic materials were in that fill material; the contractor may have compacted that fill material, and it may have looked firm at the time it was compacted. However, as time elapsed, the organic matter (such as tree stumps) may have started decomposing. That compacted soil can settle as the organic matter within it decomposes (and reduces in volume). That can cause sections of your home to settle (sink). This is particularly true for those parts of your home that are directly above the decomposing organic matter. Soil testing is important because it can detect such risky soil conditions, and enable the builder to take precautionary steps (such as setting up steel piers to support the foundation). Hazardous Materials A particular lot may have been a dumpsite (landfill) a long time ago. That dumpsite may have been abandoned, and it is now available for construction. However, someone may have accidentally dumped hazardous materials (such as soil contaminated with asbestos). The authorities may not have detected that hazardous material. You may risk being exposed to asbestos if soil testing is not done to rule out the presence of any hazardous substances at the construction site. As you can see, any time and money that goes towards soil testing is money and time well spent. Do not undertake soil testing as a formality; look at that activity as a very important way to ensure that your home, and your family will be safe from any risks that could have been prevented if the problems had been...

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