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Residential and Commercial plumbers and plumbing contractors available in Orland Park, Tinley Park, Oak Lawn, Palos Heights, Midlothian, Oak Forest, Homer Glen, Mokena, Frankfort, and the surrounding Chicago South Suburbs. 24 Hour Emergency plumbers.

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Kevin Szabo Jr Plumbing Blog

Kevin Szabo Jr Plumbing is Tinley Park, Orland Park, Oak Forest, Midlothian, Orland Hill, Homer Glen, Mokena, Frankfort, Crestwood, Palos Heights, Oak Lawn, local plumber. Read our blog for advice, tips, a good laugh, and basic home improvement.

**We are moving our old blog to our new and improved website. Too see all our posts visit kevinszabojrplumbing.blogspot.com

Filtering by Category: December 2018

Tips to Avoid Common Heating Problems This Winter

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Tips to Avoid Common Heating Problems This Winter 

They say winter is the most magical time of the year, but is that still so if your heater breaks down? There’s nothing more troublesome than going through the cold months with a faulty heating system. Sure, it’s nice to watch the snow falling and feel the cold breeze once in a while, but it’s a different story when you’re looking forward to a cozy night at home only to find your heater fail you.

Keeping your home warm over the winter months is not only essential to your comfort but your health as well. The drop in temperature can affect your immune system and make your body more vulnerable to sickness and infections. That said, it is imperative that you take the time to make sure that your heater works well before the colder days hit.

How To Keep Your Heater Working Smoothly 

Schedule regular heater maintenance

Nobody will ever do it better than the pros. Make it a point to schedule a heater tune-up before winter starts and another when it’s over. Having your heater cleaned and checked by professionals will extend its life and give you peace of mind throughout the season.

Make sure the pilot light is on

Checking if the pilot light on your furnace is lit should be one of the first things on your list when preparing for the cold days ahead. This is a fairly simple task, and the steps on how to do it should be on your user's manual.

Clean your heater and perform a visual inspection

Wipe the dust off your heater and clean or replace dirty filters. Also, give your heater a visual once-over to ensure that all parts are intact. Check the wires closely for any signs of damage or fraying. If you see something wrong with the wirings, get in touch with an electrician as soon as possible.

Watch out for weird noises

As you clean your heater, turn it on and listen for any odd noises. Any weird or gurgling sounds could mean that there's a leak, a crack, or some other problem within. Holes in the heater can be dangerous and should be addressed by an HVAC professional immediately.

Give your heater a trial run

Lastly, do a trial run. Turn your heater on for about 10 to 20 minutes to make sure that the system is generating the expected level of heat. This will assure you that your heater is in prime condition and will work like new when you need it to.

Guest Contributor, Michelle West

How to Navigate a Flooded Apartment

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How to Navigate a Flooded Apartment

No one wants to deal with a flooded apartment. Unfortunately, it’s sometimes unavoidable. Knowing what to do if such an incident happens is important.

You’ll hopefully never have to use these tips. That said, if your apartment ever does flood, keep the following points in mind.

Protect Yourself First

This point actually has more to do with preparing for a flood. The whole experience will be a lot less stressful if you’re prepared with renters insurance.

If your apartment floods, renters insurance might cover it. Most plans are very affordable, costing about the same as a few cups of coffee per month.

It’s also important to look for early warning signs. Identify them, and you may be able to prevent a flood.

Regularly check plumbing appliances for signs of leaks. After rain, check for leaking surfaces. Alert the landlord as soon as you spot a problem.

Protect Belongings During the Flood

Obviously, during a major weather-related flood, you need to get to a safe place.

Not all apartment floods are major, though. Some result from internal plumbing issues. During minor flooding, get valuable items away from the water as soon as possible. You might even prepare ahead of time by finding a place nearby where you could store your belongings in case of a flood. Perhaps a friendly neighbor would let you keep your valuables in their apartment should the need ever arise.

Once you’ve secured your belongings, alert the landlord. You might be able to stop the leak yourself as you wait for them to send a professional. However, if the flooding is substantial, don’t go into the apartment until the utility company has disconnected the electricity.

Addressing Post-Flood Damage

The process of handling the aftermath of an apartment flood will vary on a case-by-case basis. Different regions simply have different laws and regulations.

In general, though, your landlord’s insurance will only cover the building itself and any features of the apartment they provided. It will not cover your personal belongings if they are damaged in a flood.

True, there are circumstances in which the landlord may be found liable. Perhaps the flood resulted from an issue you had previously informed them about. If they failed to address it in a timely manner despite numerous reminders, they might be responsible for covering damage to your belongings.

That said, this usually isn’t the case. This is another reason to have renters insurance. You’ll avoid dire financial circumstances if you have a policy. Renters insurance could also help with relocation costs if flooding makes the apartment uninhabitable.

Depending on the degree of damage and the cause of the flood, you might be able to terminate your lease without any repercussions. Some landlords are also willing to let tenants relocate to similar units within their properties.

Investigate your options immediately after a flood. Again, the specific laws that apply vary from one region to another. Protect yourself ahead of time with renters insurance, and you could avoid a lot of headaches if the applicable laws don’t favor tenants in these situations.

Guest Contributor, Armand Levitz

How to Install a Ventilation Fan in Your Bathroom

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How to Install a Ventilation Fan in Your Bathroom

Your bathroom is the one room in your home that is constantly under assault from a variety of sources. Harsh chemical cleaners, steamy showers and the remnants of last night’s Mexican entrees all need a way out and vent fans can do just that.

While the odor of a recently used restroom is definitely something we want to get rid of, the more important factor in installing a ventilation fan is evacuating the steam and water vapor created from baths and showers. 

This moisture, if left unaddressed can cause floors to bow, caulking to degrade, and mold to grow in our bathrooms, leaving us with costly repairs and unsightly walls, floors and ceilings. 

When you’re ready to start keeping your bathroom dry, here’s how to do it. 

Selecting a Ventilation Fan

Finding the right fan for your bathroom is an easy process, but an important one. When considering which fan fits your needs, consider the following. 

● Square footage. Fans are designated by the CFM (cubic feet per minute) of air that they move. You’ll want a fan that has at least one CFM for every square foot of your bathroom. Find square footage by multiplying the length of a room by its width. 

● Features. It may sound silly, but this is the 21st century, even our ventilation fans come with features and options now. Modern fans can commonly be equipped with a built in light, a heater, humidity sensor, motion detector, night light and even Bluetooth speakers. 

● Install options. Vent fans can be installed with or without attic access, on the ceiling or walls, and with or without cutting into the wall material. Figure out which option suits you best and pick a fan to match. 

The Tools

Installing a vent fan is a diy task that most homeowners can take on. However, you will need a few tools. 

● A drill with bits and drivers

● Screws

● Flathead and phillips screwdrivers

● Utility knife

● Jigsaw or drywall saw

● Respirator and eye protection

● Duct tape

● Wire cutters and crimpers

● Assorted electrical connectors (may be included with fan)

Time to Get Started

Once you’ve selected the right fan and have assembled the tools, you’re ready to get going. First, determine where your fan will be installed and gain access to that area. If you’ll be venting the fan through the ceiling, you’ll need to be able to get into the attic. 

Drill a Reference Hole

Find a suitable position on the ceiling, ideally between the shower and the toilet, and drill a reference hole through to the attic. A 3/8” bit is big enough for this. 

Measure the vent fan housing and note it on a piece of paper, you’ll need this next. 

Now, climb into the attic and locate your reference hole. Clear away any debris, insulation, or stored objects from the area. Using the measurement you just took, locate the final position of the fan between two joists nearest your hole. 

Note that position in relation to your reference hole so you can transfer that to the ceiling back in the bathroom. 

Mark the Layout in the Bathroom

Back in the bathroom, measure the inside dimension of the fan’s intake. 

Using your reference hole and the notes you made in the attic, transfer the measurements from the attic to the ceiling and use a square to mark out the intake port on the ceiling. 

Cut the Hole

Using the saw you have on hand, cut along the lines you just drew for you intake port. Be sure to wear your airway and eye protection and support the cut-out piece so that it doesn’t rip drywall paper from the ceiling as you finish the cut. 

Drop in Your Fan

Now, head back into the attic with your vent fan. Attach a 90-degree elbow to the outlet port of the fan and secure it with duct tape (preferably foil duct tape).

Remove the knock out panel and attach applicable wiring (you may need an electrician for this portion).

Attach the metal brackets to the fan at the designated points. 

Drop the fan into position, through your ceiling hole 

Secure the Fan

Using the drill and 1 ½” drywall screws, secure the brackets to the joists. 

Slide the flexible ducting over the elbow you installed and secure in place with foil tape. 

Cut Your Vent Hole

All exhaust fans need to be vented to the outdoors. Never allow a fan to blow into the attic or other space, this will cause mold and water damage as the steam condenses into water. 

Locate a spot on the inside of the roof close to your vent fan. Using a hole saw sized to the cap kit, cut a hole through the roof to the outside. 

Connect Your Flexible Hose

Once you’ve cut your hole, make your way onto the roof and locate the opening. Using the cap or vent kit, place the cap in position and secure it according to the instructions provided.

The SheltonRoofing.com information guide says that while you’re up there, check out the condition of your roof. Aging and disheveled roofs cause homeowners a multitude of problems and can be extremely costly if they fail.

Back in the attic, connect the other end of your flexible hose to the cap or vent kit and secure it with foil tape. You may also need to fill any gaps around your ceiling hole with spray foam or caulking. 

Give it Power

Ensure that power to the wiring you’ll be using is disconnected. 

In the bathroom, expose the blower motor and its wiring. 

Make the applicable connections using the wiring diagram provided in the fan kit. If you’re uncomfortable with home wiring, consider hiring an electrician. 

Secure all wiring and attach the ground. Cover the blower motor and turn on power to the fan. If it comes on, you’re good to go. 

Finishing Up

Replace the cover to the vent fan and secure it in place. Caulk or silicone any gaps between the fan and ceiling. 

Retest the operation and that’s it, you’re in the venting business.

An exhaust fan makes an excellent addition to any bathroom and removes the water and odor vapors that can cause you bathroom headaches for years to come. With this guide, we hope you can get a new vent fan installed in no time!

Guest Contributor, Tom Masters  

Transform Your Bathroom into a Luxurious Spa Experience

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Transform Your Bathroom into a Luxurious Spa Experience

Can you imagine just how perfect it would be if you could enjoy a relaxing spa experience every day? Well, if you want it, you don’t have to dream it. You just need to go for it. And if this is something that feels like it would better your life considerably, investing your time, money and energy into creating a perfect bathroom spa experience in your own home is well worth it. Even more so if you live in a tropical climate such as Australia where taking the time for a shower or bath is true bliss. But, regardless of where you are in the world, bathroom time is your quality “alone” time and you deserve to make it truly special. So, what’s the secret to your own bathroom spa? Keep on reading to find out.

1. Take care of the colors

First things first: you need to create a relaxing atmosphere in your bathroom. This is one of the simple tricks that you can use even when you’re not ready to invest in your plumbing. In general, spa colors involve soothing neutral colors such as white and beige. You can’t go wrong with these. But before you decide to go in this direction, take the time to think about the colors that soothe you the most. While you should always go with gentle pastel hues, you may find that green, pink, yellow or blue work better for you.

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2. Incorporate natural elements

This is where things can get more complicated. But, if you want a perfect bathroom spa in your own home, wood and stone should be a part of it. Wooden elements and stone countertops don’t have to be too challenging if you know what kind of a layout you want. In recent years, Zen-inspired bathrooms have been all the rage in Australia, which is why it’s not that difficult to imagine the best ways to incorporate these elements into your bathroom. In the end, waterproof vinyl wallpaper that imitates wood and stone can be your budget-friendly option. Also, let your creativity run wild. It’s not just about the countertops and shelves. A wooden bench or a similar seating arrangement inside a bathroom is definitely spa-like.

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3. The real deal – plumbing

If you’re set on transforming your bathroom into a spa oasis completely, you’ll definitely need to invest more time and money into this project. Essentially, plumbing will be your biggest concern. But, as mentioned, the whole country of Oz fell in love with Zen-inspired bathrooms years ago, which is why you can have a professional service for plumbing in Gold Coast get this done for you. You may want to transform your shower area by making it bigger with proper seating and side table, or you may want to have a whole new spa tub installed. Just make sure to consult with your contractors in order to find the best possible option for your space. 

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4. Get rid of the clutter in favor of plants and candles

It’s important to know what your bathroom spa essentials are. You can’t possibly relax properly if there’s clutter everywhere, and especially half-empty bath products you never use. It’s time for a thorough declutter. Get rid of everything you don’t use. The whole point is to keep only those products that you love and that make you happy when you use them. Also, organize them so that you can keep them on display and easily reachable. On the other hand, don’t hesitate to enrich this space with real greenery. There are plenty of plants that thrive in bathrooms. Of course, don’t forget a scented candle here and there.

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5. Play with the details

Details are very important for the perfect bathroom spa experience. Just like plants and candles, these can make or break the whole project. In that respect, embrace natural light and openness and ditch the curtains altogether. You want to achieve that warm, relaxing look of a spa with the mentioned natural elements but opting for warm (perhaps bronze or rose gold) pipe and plumbing finishes can look absolutely amazing. Furthermore, a bathroom mat that matches the overall style will add much-needed texture to this room. And if you want, you can add more personality with the use of patterned vinyl wallpaper in strategic places or with an interesting mirror frame. 

While there are some general guidelines for creating a home bathroom spa, the important thing is to always follow your intuition and stick with the theme that helps you relax the most. The concept of self-care is very important in Australia, and it’s time for you to embrace it wholeheartedly. 

Guest Contributor, Diana Smith

 

Tech Treats For A Smart Home 

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Tech Treats for a Smart Home 

Since 2019 is almost upon us, it’s time to give your home something shiny and new for Christmas. Why not equip it with a few smart gadgets that will make your space safer, more comfortable and easy to maintain. However, there are so many devices on the market today, some of which are not worth the money. So, here’s a list of smart treats that are cost-effective, practical and worth the investment.

Smart thermostat

Programmable thermostats are nothing new (they’ve been here since the 50s), but most old models are complicated to figure out and difficult to use according to your needs. However, new smart thermostats take all of the thinking out of the picture and can basically function on their own. They sense when you’re at home and when you’re away and adjust the temperature of your space accordingly. Aside from them being practical, they will also save you some money on your utility bills since they are very energy-efficient.

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Smart smoke detector

This one is for all homeowners who want to have some peace of mind and sleep soundly knowing their family and possessions are safe. Smart smoke and CO detectors can connect to your mobile phone and send alerts to your phone in case they “smell” smoke and can even notify you when to change batteries. So, no more worrying about your safety and you can forget about those annoying low-battery 3 a.m. chirps.

Robo-vacuum

Keeping your home clean has never been easier! Consider getting yourself a smart robot vacuum cleaner that can both clean and mop your home while you enjoy your favorite TV show or run errands. In addition to the mopping function, new models can also be customized to clean the entire house, one room or just a small space by selecting an area on your map app. It’s that simple.  Just set it loose on all the dirt in your house and don’t worry about vacuuming ever again. Plus, it will also keep your cat entertained for hours, so it’s a win-win situation!

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Smart locks

If you’re tired of fumbling for keys in your bag or fear staying locked out of your own home, we have just the thing for you—a smart lock. This wifi- or Bluetooth-enabled device that connects to your smartphone can automatically detect when you get home and let you in when you reach the front door. Additionally, you can program your smart lock to connect to selected devices of family members, relatives and friends. It’s especially practical when your hands a filled with grocery bags or when your relatives arrive early for the holidays!

Video doorbells

For additional comfort and security at home, you can invest in a smart doorbell with a video camera. The camera is placed on a prime location: straight on your entrance doors. Whenever it detects that someone rang your doorbell or sense any motion at the door, it starts recording a video clip that saves on your cloud. This is a great way to secure your home and have visual material to provide to the authorities in case of a break-in.

Smart sockets

A super cool way to make any device “smart” and practical is to invest in a smart plug that will let you control the power with your smartphone and turn your devices on command. Some models have an “away” mode that will automatically turn some devices on to create an illusion of an occupied home. These smart sockets even connect to your other smart home devices like home assistance Alexa and Google Home.

This Christmas will be a real surprise both for you and your home. Place some of these gadgets under the tree and transform your home from a regular property into a smart 21st-century establishment full of comfort, safety and fun.

 Guest Contributor, Diana Smith

 

7 Tips For Designing A Modern Functional Office

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7 Tips for Designing a Modern Functional Office

The modern office has transformed from a cold corporate setting into a cosy, home-inspired work space. Enchanting co-working spaces and enjoyable offices for close-knit business communities are now the ideal models of a work environment. Creating such a workplace for your employees requires you to implement certain modern design solutions and adopt an innovative approach.

Create an open space

The open office floor layout has completely replaced the traditional office design. All modern offices, be it co-working or private spaces, aim at implementing a functional open design that will promote collaboration and togetherness among employees. Introducing such a layout into your office will enable you to create a more enjoyable environment where your employees can communicate with each other easily, brainstorm and come up with creative solutions and develop a sense of a community in the workplace.

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But plan for privacy

It’s important that you realize that an open office design is a double-edged sword and it needs to be introduced carefully. If not properly planned, it can actually hinder office productivity by bringing a lot of distractions into your workplace. Thus, you need to ensure that your employees have enough opportunities for private work. You need to provide them with personal spaces that will allow them to focus on their tasks at hand. Introducing low dividers can be a practical solution, especially if you choose a movable design. Dividers will provide your employees with privacy while still maintaining an open, cosy atmosphere.

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Design dedicated zones

Another great way to maximize the functionality of your office is to create different zones, each one with a specific purpose. Nowadays, modern offices provide their employees with everything from fully equipped kitchens and bars to shower spaces and wellness centers. You don’t have to go overboard, but simply introduce several zones that will contribute to your employees’ efficiency, satisfaction and well-being. A homey kitchen with a lounge area, a recreation space and an inspiring collaborative space are some of the must-haves of the modern office environment.

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Introduce the brand

Companies across the world, both aspiring start-ups and global giants, implement design solutions that will help them create a brand-conscious office ambiance. The brand should be deeply rooted in every aspect of your business operations. For instance, the foremost experts for Hong Kong interior design help their clients develop and express their brands coherently and in accordance with their work environment. It’s important that you establish a strong visual identity that will be reflected in your office design and across other domains because this will provide both your employees and customers with a more meaningful brand-inspired experience.

Go with a functional design

Functionality is one of the crucial factors that you need to include in your office design. Your workplace should provide the employees with the highest level of convenience and accessibility in order to boost their productivity. Introducing adjustable solutions, double-duty furniture pieces and portable elements will allow you to modify your office depending on your employees’ needs. Office equipment should be practically arranged and supplies neatly stored, ensuring an exceptional traffic flow in your workplace.

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Keep it clutter-free and organised

Organisation is one of the key elements of designing a productive, functional and inspiring office environment. Not only do clutter and mess have a negative impact on your employees’ productivity, but they can also affect their state of mind, which will hamper their job performance even more. When designing your cosy, enjoyable work space, you need to introduce plenty of storage units that will help you maintain a clutter-free atmosphere. Your office should have a place for everything and you should encourage your employees to contribute to the office organisation by tidying up their desks and work areas.

Green it up

Biophilic design is one of the most popular office trends that has gained great popularity over the past few years. The reason behind this lies in the fact that nature-inspired offices contribute to workplace productivity and satisfaction. Greenery can help employees relieve stress and focus while simultaneously making a workplace more enjoyable and positive. On top of all that, plants can purify indoor air, which fills an office with a fresh, airy atmosphere. From maximized natural light, eco-friendly materials and natural finishes to beautiful plants and green walls, there are plenty of inspiring ideas for giving your office a natural touch.

The modern office is about cooperation, functionality and home-inspired comforts that can help you contribute to your employees’ job satisfaction, productivity and well-being while also put your business on the path to success.

Guest Contributor, Mike Johnston

About the author: Mike Johnston is a home improvement blogger and DIY enthusiast from Sydney. He is a regular writer at Smooth Decorator and contributor on many interior design, lifestyle, real estate and eco-friendly blogs. Mike’s goal is to create and share meaningful content that helps and inspires people.

Top 5 Really Smart Blinds & Motorized Window Shades for 2018

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Top 5 Really Smart Blinds & Motorized Window Shades for 2018

As technology improves, the new dawn has peaked for future living with new gadgets continually being released in the market. You might be familiar with refrigerator, locks, and even lights available for your home. Now, even window blinds had been modified for a more comfortable and ultra modern lifestyle.

Smart Blinds and motorized window shades continue to advance, and demand for it has risen. While it can be more expensive than the traditional corded window blinds, motorized and smart shades are far safer, more convenient, and offer longer durability. Cheaper window blinds are often weak and break easily. When you think about it, these blinds are even more cost-efficient than the traditional solutions.

Regular window blinds come with cables and strings which often becomes tangled after long-term use. Compared to this, motorized and smart blinds are designed to be more convenient for the users. There are different options to control these blinds. They can be opened and closed by simply touching a button, remote control, a smartphone app.

The smart blinds can even be compatible with the latest voice assistants available to your homes such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit.   

The lack of cords with motorized blinds can also provide additional safety benefits. If you have children, it can keep you from worrying about keeping it out of reach from them.  Remotely controlling or setting a schedule can also help with home security. When occupants leave their homes, smart blinds can fool possible burglars into thinking the house is not empty

It’s undeniable that smart blinds and motorized window shades can improve your home but before you purchase one, be aware of the different options available for you.

Take a look at this infographic by Tech Your Space to learn more about the smartest blinds and motorized window shades for this year.

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Guest Contributor, Clarice Kirby

Important Plumbing Tips In The Winter

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Winter Plumbing

Important Plumbing Tips in the Winter

With winter just around the corner you are probably starting to think of some of the serious plumbing issues that you will likely have to deal with in due time. Snow will start to pile up near your home and the roads will become icier. Of course, the weather will also become much colder as temperatures drop well below freezing. The good news is you can plan ahead by being proactive. In other words, you can nip the problem in the bud by following some of the important plumbing tips in the winter that we’ve provided below. By planning ahead you will save yourself hundreds, if not thousands of dollars over the winter season, and save yourself a lot of stress while you’re at it.

Common Plumbing Problems

Frozen pipes are a big issue that many Canadians will have to deal with now that winter is around the corner. To prevent your pipes from freezing in the first place there are a few things you can do. For instance, you can leave a steady drip of water running before you head out. Furthermore, your pipes can take advantage of heat ventilation by keeping your cabinet doors open. Your outdoor irrigation systems should also be sheathed with insulated coverings and you should also unhook your water hoses during the winter. Your plumbing also be at risk when the temperature drops to below zero on a consistent basis. Now, you may be asking what you can do in the event that your pipes have already frozen over.

If they have already frozen over then turn off your main water supply as soon as possible. By doing so the pressure on the pipes will be significantly lowered, which will reduce the risk of the pipe bursting. However, the chance of serious internal damage to your pipes is very high after the pipes have frozen, so you will likely need professional plumbing maintenance services in Toronto.

Poor heating is another issue that you may have to deal with during the winter. Furnaces are prone to breakdowns during the winter as they are usually kept inactive all summer long. Then, when winter hits they are set into overdrive, which puts a great strain on them. If your home still feels cold after you turn the thermostat all the way up then check your furnace to make sure it is providing adequate heat. If it is not working properly then it is time to call a skilled plumber or technician.

The Dos and Don’ts of Plumbing

To prevent damage turn the heat up. While it may be tempting to lower the heat and wear a sweater to reduce costs, insufficient heat will lead to problems down the line that will actually increase costs in the form of repairs. Also, make sure that your pipes are properly insulated. Insulated pipes will prevent water from freezing when the temperature drops markedly. Insulated pipes will also reduce heat loss.

You should also keep your cabinet doors as well as your bathroom doors open. This will allow heat to get in. That is, if your home has rooms where the pipes are placed in the cold zones-such as on the outside walls-then keeping doors open around the house will allow heat to enter. You should also not keep your water running. Imagine you leave your water running and then fall asleep. Then, the drain could backup for some unforeseen reason, causing your sink to overflow. You may then wake up to an icy cold flood and severe damage to your floor and appliances.

Winterizing Tips

The winter season is often filled with parties and holidays, which can place great pressure on your drains. The extra wear and tear will quickly clog your pipes will all sort of substances that you definitely don’t want clogging up your pipes. A BioSmart drain cleaner, however, can take care of an icky situation licekty split. The reason why we would recommend this product is because it is not harsh and dangerous like many of the abrasive chemical cleaners being sold today. It should be a part of your plumbing maintenance routine, as it is not only environmentally friendly but also very effective at unclogging drains quickly.

You should also check your sump pump as often as possible. Your sump pump is actually your primary defense against costly damage and a very soggy basement.  As flooding is a serious issue that affects hundreds of thousands of Canadians, such as the flood that hit Calgary in 2013, the spring in particular is a susceptible season to flooding. As such the winter is the ideal time to clean up your sump pump kit so that it is working as it should. Also, keep a lookout for any ice pieces that may block the discharge pipe.

In sum, with winter around the corner it is very important to ensure that your home is secure from potential winter issues that can quickly become a nightmare if left untreated. At the very least, you should call a licensed and bonded plumbing expert to perform a thorough inspection of your home before winter hits.

Guest Contributor, Rebecca Hill

About: Rebecca Hill was community manager at HMS Plumbing and Mechanical, who provide wide range of services including repairs, installations, leak management, and replacements for both residential and commercial customers.

Easy Projects Which Will Upgrade Your Bathroom in an Instant

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Easy Projects Which Will Upgrade Your Bathroom in an Instant

 

Every now and then, we find ourselves looking around our home and wondering out loud what we can do to make it a bit better. When it comes to home upgrades, people tend to put it off because they feel (and fear) that it takes way too much time and money to do properly. Luckily for us, this isn’t necessarily true and today you can find plenty of simple and easy projects which will make every room in your home look amazing. Today, we’re focusing on bathrooms.

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Lighting

Replacing light fixtures in your bathroom isn’t too difficult and you don’t have to go bankrupt to make it happen. Light is very important in every room, especially here, as this is where you’ll be brushing your teeth, washing your face, applying your makeup and taking it off. Standard ceiling lights are convenient but also very boring, and you should try experimenting with other options. You could try installing a couple of wall scones next to the mirror, bring in a small chandelier, and even try recessed lighting. Not only do these look different, but they will also help you see better and set the mood when you want to relax.

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Storage cabinet

Your bathroom shouldn’t be filled with furniture but a sturdy storage cabinet is a must because there has to be a place where you’ll keep your cleaning supplies, towels, and makeup. Still, it doesn’t mean that it should look bad just because you need it to be functional. You can choose one of those modern freestanding cabinets that come with glass-panel doors. The doors will lighten the visual impact which the piece has and you can keep linen in there. If you have a lot of medicine and makeup products, opt for a solid-door cabinet or the one that has enough drawers.

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Faucets

Taps and faucets are very important parts of a bathroom, and if you’ve had yours for a while, it might be a good idea to have them checked and replaced. Even though you might do this yourself, if you’ve never done it before, it might be a good idea to call a reliable Perth plumber to replace them for you. In different parts of Australia there are different types of taps and faucets used, and if you’re not sure whether it’s time to replace them (or if you simply want to switch to something a bit more contemporary), don’t hesitate to call professionals.

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Shower curtain

No matter if you have a shower or a bath, there’s something you can’t imagine a bathroom without – a shower curtain. You might not have a curtain but a glass shower doors instead, but you could still find a way to upgrade it. Curtains should be washed regularly while glass doors should be cleaned in order to remove water stains. You can choose to install one of those modern frameless doors if you want a change, or you could always buy new shower curtains. Not only are they easily replaced and easy to maintain, but they can also become a powerful design feature, especially if you pick something funny or colorful.

Details

The rest of the rooms in your home are probably filled with accessories and simple decorative pieces, so why wouldn’t your bathroom be as well? You can start by bringing in potted plants, but you should make sure they’re the kind that can stand heat and humidity well – small ferns, certain types of orchids, and spider plant will thrive for sure. Replace your bath mat with a new one made of real pebbles and living moss and you’ll see how different these look on the floor. You can also try getting your hands on soft new towels in bright colors which will brighten the room up.

Just because you want to upgrade your bathroom and make it look more modern and cozy, it doesn’t mean that you have to spend a fortune doing so. You don’t even have to replace the bathtub and tiles to achieve this effect, with a few simple projects, you can completely transform your old bathroom into a peaceful oasis you’ll love.

Guest Contributor, Diana Smith 

Pro Tips: Pull Off A Bold Design In A Small Apartment 

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Pro Tips: Pull off a Bold Design in a Small Apartment 

Although a small apartment does bring certain design limitations, it still offers numerous creative possibilities that will help you give your personal touch to your home. Just because you have limited floor space, it doesn’t mean that you can’t go big and bold with décor. On the contrary, bold design features will help you draw attention to your stylistic expression and away from your small space. As long as you keep it balanced, everything is possible in a small apartment.

Play with a feature wall

A single feature wall can make a world of difference in a small space. You have a range of inspiring ideas, from an exposed brick wall to a textured wallpaper design. If you want to create a bold artsy look, you should opt for a mesmerising gallery wall. It’s surprisingly easy to create and it can be quite affordable. You don’t even have to stick to paintings, but combine them with artistic installations, photographs, vintage dishes and other unique embellishments. However, you need to create a balanced, cohesive look, so make sure to pick a specific theme or go with gallery items that share the same feature.

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Accentuate the floors

You should let your floors take the floor and dominate a room. Embellishing your floors with boldly designed area rugs is a great way to refocus the attention from your small space. If you want to try something different and unexpected, you can always paint your floors or create a beautiful stencilled design.

Or emphasise the ceiling

Don’t leave your ceiling behind because it can also help you create a “wow” effect in your tiny apartment. Instead of going with a traditional white ceiling paint, you can go with a different hue that will help you make a statement. It doesn’t have to be dark or overly vibrant, but simply different and surprising. Applying wallpaper onto your ceiling is another stunning option and a popular design trend. Either way, turning your ceiling into a statement feature will definitely help you accentuate the height of your space.

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Go bold with colour

Typically, a small apartment can greatly benefit from a bright, open colour scheme. However, you can actually use bold, dark hues without creating an overwhelming look. The key lies in aiming for balance and harmony, contrasting your dark features with bright ones. What’s more, a dark wall can make you feel even cosier in your space since it will create a cocoon-like effect. Whether you want a vibrantly coloured piece of furniture or a dark accent wall, go for it!

Stripe up

A simple feature such as a striped wall can actually create an amazing look in a small apartment. You can go with vertically striped wallpaper and use it as a stunning statement in your tiny home. It will create a bold look while also creating an illusion of height and drawing the gaze upwards rather than to your limited floor space. Similarly, if you want to elongate your space, you should go with horizontal lines.

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Choose a functional bed, then make it dramatic

If you have limited space in your bedroom, you can create a dramatic look, as well as an illusion of spaciousness. You should accentuate your bed as the dominant focal point, but make sure to pick a convenient design. Introducing a modern and functional bed with drawers is the perfect solution for a small bedroom. It will help you create an open, airy atmosphere by providing you with more storage and freeing your space from clutter. A clutter-free atmosphere will make your bedroom seem more spacious. Afterwards, you should use your comfy bed as a bold statement by picking authentic sheets or designing a lovely headboard if it doesn’t already have one.

Embellish with stunning mirrors

Mirrors are always welcome to a small home since they can create an illusion of openness and spaciousness. But why not use them to add a touch of drama to your tiny apartment, as well? You can find authentic mirror designs featuring unique shapes, unusual frames and intricate details. Not only will they visually expand your space, but they will also elevate your home décor.

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Create a “wow” effect with statement furniture

Furniture is always the most dominant element in every room, so why not use this to your advantage? You can let a single piece of furniture stand out and create a bold look in your space. Whether you choose an unusual upholstery design or just paint your old desk a vibrant colour, you’ll definitely create an authentic atmosphere in your apartment.

Choose bold curtains

If your apartment has a low ceiling, you can actually use curtains to trick the eye and make your space appear higher. You just need to place curtain rods as close to the ceiling as possible, which will make your windows seem bigger. On top of all that, you can create a dramatic effect by picking a bold curtain design or colour.

These inspiring ideas will help you design a home that truly reflects your style without being constrained by its size. 

guest contributor

Chloe is a graduated journalist from Adelaide and a regular contributor to Smooth Decorator. She loves everything related to decor, aesthetic and lifestyle topics. She is also passionate about photography. Her biggest dream is to travel the whole world and take some stunning photographs of beautiful places. Beside all this, she enjoys drinking coffee and reading a beautiful book from time to time.

Guest Contributor, Chloe Taylor