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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

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How to Reduce Hazardous Waste at Home

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Plumbers in Creswood IL

How to Reduce Hazardous Waste at Home

Products that we use daily in our homes can be harmful to both our health and the environment. Direct contact with some of these chemicals can cause irritation of the eyes, skin, throat, or nasal channels. Some of them may even cause headaches and nausea. On the other hand, some household chemicals can impact the natural environment unless properly disposed of as hazardous waste. Dumped into kitchen or bathroom drains, they can pollute water supplies and harm marine ecosystems. Here are some ways of dealing with hazardous waste in your home.

Reduce the use of cleaners

Many drain cleaner formulas contain sulphuric acid, while oven cleaners are known to contain potassium hydroxide. Both chemicals are highly corrosive and cause irritation of eyes and mucoid membranes. Cleaners that contain grease-removing chemicals such as petroleum distillates can damage lungs if inhaled. To reduce your exposure to these chemicals, use products made of natural ingredients whenever possible. For example, a mixture of baking soda can be used for cleaning drains, while lemon and vinegar are great from removing limescale.

Avoid pesticides

Pesticides are formulated to be deadly to insects, rodents, weed, and fungus, but some of them are potent enough to be harmful to other living organisms, such as pets and their owners. Instead of spraying pesticides, try to find alternative ways of pest control, such as using natural grade diatomaceousearth for getting rid of bugs, pulling weeds by hand, or using mulch, and using covers to keep flying insects at bay. Recently, the use of beneficial nematodes, microscopic parasites, has been reported highly successful in garden bug control.

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Remove contaminants professionally

Building sites, repurposed lots, and heavily cultivated soil sometimes contain contaminants that seem impossible to remove by their owners. Derelict homes are especially challenging as contaminants, such as asbestos, are often difficult to isolate from demolition debris and recyclable waste. Before you give up on the location, give these experienced demolition contractors a call. With more than 20 years of experience in providing remedial services, they can make your site clean and legally compliant again.

Check the laundry detergents

Many household laundry detergents contain ingredients that have nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) as by-products.These organic compounds are identified as one of the major threats to marine life. NPEs have been discovered to mimic hormone strings and disrupt the endocrine system in sea organism. They don’t decompose naturally, and in reaction with sewage bacteria, become even more toxic. Fortunately, companies such as Cintas and P&G offer many NPE-free detergent brands.

Be careful with motor oil

Almost all car fluids, from antifreeze and AC coolant fluid to motor oil and petrol, can be extremely dangerous if disposed of irresponsibly. Motor oil and antifreeze contain heavy metals such as lead and cadmium that can be potentially very hazardous, contaminating water supplies and poisoning aquatic organisms. Instead of contributing to the pollution, contact your local environmental agency or sanitation department and inquire about available disposal and recycling procedures for automotive liquids.

Recycle power-saving bulbs

Although LED bulbs have become a standard for energy-efficient lighting, there are still many compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) being sold and installed. Although the amounts of mercury used in those bulbs have been reduced due to more stringent laws, more than 670 million mercury-vapour light bulbs are thrown out only in the US every year. Most of them end up in a landfill or being incinerated, despite environmental expert’s warnings that recycling is the only sustainable way of disposing of mercury products.

Our homes often contain corrosive, flammable, chemically unstable, or toxic chemicals. Found in cleaning products, automotive fluids, and even the light bulbs, these materials shouldn't be disposed of with regular waste. Apart from recycling and using local safe disposal programmes, the only way to limit exposure and adverse environmental impact of those chemicals is to reduce their use to a minimum.

Guest Contributors, Lillian Connors

5 Home Improvements to Boost Water Efficiency

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Crestwood Plumbers

5 Home Improvements to Boost Water Efficiency

It's all too easy to forget that freshwater is a finite resource. With the convenience of public utilities, water conservation isn't a top concern in the United States. Even so, it's one of the most pressing issues of the 21st century, especially when you consider the EPA's findings.

The average family can waste as much as 180 gallons of water each week from household leaks. These leaks account for approximately 900 billion gallons of water waste across the nation each year. As context, that's equivalent to the annual household water usage of 11 million homes.

Clearly, the subject of water conservation demands attention. If the average family is losing that much from leaks alone, how extensive is the problem? More than that, what can you do to alleviate pressure on the country's water resources and participate in conservation efforts?

Here are five home improvements that can increase water efficiency.

1. Rainwater Collection Systems

The strategic placement of special barrels on your property can capture rainwater and reduce your water usage. Many towns and cities distribute these barrels to residents during annual sales, so check if your area participates. You can also purchase them from online retailers and home and garden supply stores.

However, it's essential to note that rainwater can pick up pollutants as it runs over the surface of your roof. If you're thinking about using rain barrel water on edible plantings, you should research the subject in greater detail and take the proper precautions. It's an essential preliminary measure.

2. High-Efficiency Sprinklers

Many sprinkler systems consume far more water than necessary to maintain your lawn and garden. When the water pressure is too high, the system will mist the air instead of providing a proper flow to soak the ground. As the mist evaporates, your plants receive less nourishment and your water efficiency plummets.

Fortunately, a high-efficiency sprinkler system is a simple improvement with both economic and environmental benefits. Certain systems with pressure-regulating stem heads can save up to 45,000 gallons of water per year. That's the equivalent of flushing your toilet 63 times each day, every day for one year.

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3. Low-Flow Bathroom Fixtures

According to the EPA, the average person uses at least 20% less water with efficient fixtures and appliances. Since showers and toilets are the two biggest sources of consumption, your bathroom is one of the best places to start. A variety of low-flow products are available today.

More specifically, low-flow faucets, shower heads and toilets can make a dramatic difference in your water usage. When searching for products, remember that a toilet should use less than 1.6 gallons of water per flush, and a shower head should have a flow rate under 2.5 gallons per minute.

4. Automatic Shower Timers

On the subject of bathroom renovations, shower timers are effective in regulating a homeowner's water usage. You simply install the device in your shower, and it monitors your consumption. If you're taking too long, it alerts you and automatically shuts the water off to let you know it's time to get out.

Of course, not everyone likes the idea of a shower timer. When you come back from an exhausting day at work, you might want to take a long shower before you call it a night. While this is fair, a timer will let you know when enough is enough, even when you're reluctant to admit it.

5. Upgraded Dishwashers

Your dishwasher makes your life easier, taking care of dirty plates and silverware without the time-consuming task of hand-washing. While this isn't necessarily bad for water consumption, the model of your dishwater definitely matters. If you have an older dishwasher, it can use as much as 10 gallons per cycle.

An investment in a newer dishwasher can reduce your consumption by almost half. Modern machines require an average of 5.8 gallons per cycle, which make them an excellent option for water efficiency. That said, you don't always have to upgrade your appliance if you clean and repair your current washer.

Start Planning Your Changes Today

As you assess the water efficiency in your home, consider some of the suggestions above. Any of the five improvements on this list can help you minimize your impact and make a big difference to our planet.

Holly Welles is a home improvement writer who believes anyone can make the most of their space. You can find more of her work on her blog, The Estate Update.

Guest Contributor, Holly Welles

How to Get Bali Bathroom Furniture Shipped To Your Door

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How to Get Bali Bathroom Furniture Shipped to Your Door

No one purposely lets their home fall out of style, but it is bound to happen to even the best of us. Life takes over, and more important things occupy the mind. As much as you may love design, chances are at least a few rooms of your home could use some attention.

If you think this is where you are at, maybe it is time to consider a remodel. If you keep up on current trends and place an emphasis on aesthetics, you have no doubt noticed the rise in popularity of Bali bathroom furniture.  

Just take a look at any design blog and you will see Bali influences everywhere. There is no question for those with objectively good taste—the elements present in Bali furniture design are like a breath of fresh air.

Whether it is because everyone is pining for a little piece of island life, or simply because this decor is highly modern, it is clear that this trend is sticking around for a while. In a time inundated with a great deal of maximalism, these fixtures offer a kind of reprieve from clashing patterns and color.

Picture vanities without fixtures, softly rounded bathtubs and sinks, light colored wood—these elements are all common in the Bali furniture trend.

These sleek designs prominently feature clean lines and smooth curves, sometimes accented by wood or stone, without anything extra or ornamental. Metal is not often featured in this style.

Bali furniture in the bathroom inspires a sense of calm and relaxation, so it’s no wonder why anyone planning a bathroom remodel right now is likely on the hunt for this kind of fixture—but how?

Bali is not exactly centrally located, but there are still ways to get authentic forms of this furniture shipped directly to your door, and it is not as difficult (or expensive) as you might imagine.

Here are a few simple steps you can take in order to achieve the goal of decorating your bathroom with Bali furniture.

●       Plan a design

Obviously, the first step in achieving your new, Bali inspired bathroom is to create a design plan, but this first step is actually three-pronged: you will need to choose a design, set a comfortable budget, and speak with a remodeler.

Take a look at some inspiration boards, and get an idea of how your bathroom would look in a perfect world post-remodel.

Sites like Houzz are aimed at helping homeowners find design ideas that resonate with them, and many reputable businesses will have accounts you can browse on the site.

Next, figure out a price point at which you are comfortable for this remodel. It is important to have a figure in mind, and to stay realistic about what that amount will buy you.

Finally, speak with a pro about how much of your vision is physically possible. You might love a waterfall shower, double sinks atop an expansive counter top, perfect soft lighting, but it may not all be achievable.

Bear in mind that no one is a miracle worker, and sometimes considerations like space and budget will get in the way of your ideal design, but a good remodeler will do their best to offer comparable alternatives if something is not possible.

Once you have a better grasp on what can be achieved, you will be able to confidently pick out what types of furniture and fixtures will be appropriate for your new, updated space.

●       Pick out your furniture

If you have already done the design leg work, sift through your inspiration pictures for ones that align with the plan you have discussed with your remodeler.

Make sure you have considered aspects like color palette and placement within your bathroom (including measuring the space) otherwise you may miss something that will impact the overall aesthetic.

Whether you are on the hunt for a new counter top, a pedestal sink, or just some shelving, you are sure to find plenty of beautiful options available for purchase, but which pieces you go with will depend on several factors.

These factors include things like cost and material, but perhaps the most important of these is authenticity. Is it important to you that your Bali bathroom furniture is actually made in Bali, and not just in that style?

If so, you will have a few more steps to complete before your furniture arrives.

●       Work with the creator

Assuming you choose to go with a Balinese creator, they may or may not have a preferred shipping provider available for you to use.

Even if the creator does have a preferred shipping provider, it may be in your best interest to explore your options, as there may be a more cost effective or convenient one for your location.

Talk with the creator of the furniture you have chosen about their flexibility on this point and how much they are willing to assist your efforts, then work on researching options.

●       Find a shipping company

This piece of the process will entail finding a reputable company who offers freight shipping. Make sure that they have the necessary capabilities to perform this kind of long-distance shipping.

Once you have found a company, request a quote so you know how much shipping your furniture will cost you. Legitimate companies should offer you a quote without requiring anything from you in return.

From here, you can set up coordination between the creator and the shipper, or facilitate the coordination yourself.

Whichever direction you decide to go, the most important factor of this step is choosing a shipper you can trust so that you do not experience undue anxiety waiting for the furniture to arrive.

After you have completed all of these steps, the only thing left for you to do is sit back and leave the rest to the professionals. Before you know it, your Bali bathroom furniture will arrive and your remodeler will bring your vision to life.

In just a few simple steps you can have high quality furniture shipped from across the world to your doorstep, and enjoy a wholly transformed bathroom.

If a more calming, tranquil room is what you are after, do not wait to start this process. Take your time researching designs and remodelers so that you can rest assured you will be pleased with the outcome.

Guest Contributor, Tom Masters

Poop And The Plumbing Saga

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Where does all the poop go

Poop And The Plumbing Saga


We all go about our daily pooping business, flush it down and forget about it.  As we rush through a typical day, we don’t stop and think much about poop, until something goes amiss-either we have a bad stomach or the toilet gets clogged. Till then its mindless flushing at our office and home toilets and life goes on.  

Who are the people we call in when the toilet malfunctions, is clogged-up or needs repair? The Plumber of course, who gets to work with his tool set and like magic everything is smooth flowing again. The relief that is felt once the situation is remedied is priceless as we no longer need to control the call of nature or make temporary arrangements that are not convenient. On the days that poop moves effortlessly through the drainage, it continues on an onward journey.

Where does all the poop go?

Let’s find out.

Within the sewage systems that carry away the poop, it meets water bugs, cockroaches, chemicals and other pollutants. It then flows and reaches a sewage treatment plant. After removing large debris such as nappies, tissues, cloth pieces, pebbles, etc. the human waste is separated from the water. The resulting sludge goes into further treatment using processes such as lime stabilization, thickening and anaerobic digestion. The sludge is then used as fertilizer or fuel as it is rich in micro-nutrients. The water, on the other hand, needs secondary treatment to remove the harmful bacteria using good bacteria and chemicals. The pure, clean water can be reused safely or can be simply released back to the rivers or seas.  Here, is an animated infographic explaining the whole process of where does the Human Waste go?

Why has Plumbing been a game changer?

The contribution of plumbers and the plumbing industry to humankind has been tremendous. In the early ages, unsanitary conditions had claimed thousands of lives due to outbreaks of deadly water-borne diseases. Getting to work to remove the sorry state of sanitation in our world were names such as John Snow, John Harington and Alexander Cummings, designing toilets and flushing systems to safely carry away tons of excreta each day, keeping killer epidemics in check.

Until the 20th century, there simply weren’t any bathrooms as we know them today. It was the plumbers, innovators, town planners and architects that worked tirelessly to make a significant shift happen. Plumbing continues to evolve with better techniques and improved sanitation systems in developed nations and is making strides in the developing world where unhealthy practices such as open defecation still exist.

Thanking the Plumber

Plumbers bring us immense convenience, and their contribution cannot be undermined. A slight malfunction in our home or office toilet can create mayhem if there isn’t an alternative close by and easily disrupt our routine. While the plumber gets to work, we must recall his contribution to health and hygiene and the importance of plumbing industry in building better cities, towns and countries.

Plumbing has given us some incredibly stylish and aesthetically pleasing bathing spaces as also tremendous convenience, be it showers, luxury tubs, public toilets that run without any glitches and bring respite in an emergency. Plumbing in every sense contributes to making our lives efficient and productive.

Guest Contributor, Megan Hudson

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Most Popular Landscaping Trends for 2019

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Most Popular Landscaping Trends for 2019

 

Whether you have a front yard or a back yard – or even both! – you surely understand why taking care of your outdoor space is so vital. This is where you can spend time with your friends and family, organizing parties and enjoying fresh air, and if you put your mind to it and aren’t afraid to invest some money, you’ll be able to keep doing that all year long. However, you first need to come up with an effective landscaping schedule that will keep your exterior cool and appealing. In order to do that, you need to learn a few of the newest trends, so here are some of the hottest landscaping ideas out there.

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Pavers and greenery

Getting from point A to point B in your backyard might not always be the easiest thing in the world, especially if you’re trying to protect your grass and keep it fresh for as long as possible. That’s why people all around the world, from Australia to South America, use an easy yet highly effective trick and equip their backyard with pavers and stepping stones. But, if you really want to be trendy, you need to arrange some grass around your pavers or opt for those helpful grass block pavers that really go a long way. This solution is simple, affordable, practical, easy to install, and even easier to maintain, so get as many of these block pavers as you need right away!

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Add a water feature

Every outdoor space needs a focal point, and water features are among the most effective and visually appealing focal points in the world. It doesn’t really matter if you opt for a fountain, a waterfall, or a pond – as long as it looks nice and attracts attention, you’re good to go! Keep in mind that all of these ideas need some proper maintenance, so don’t forget to do that regularly, and you’ll be able to enjoy your water feature in the decades to come as well.

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Build a pool

Now, if you’re a big fan of water features, none of the ideas mentioned above is going to work for you, but you can always build yourself a proper pool in your backyard. This is one of the best ways to give your exterior area even more purpose and show it the love it deserves, but also do something good for yourself, especially if you’re living in a hot region with lots of sunny days. This is an idea people in Australia use quite a lot, which is why they aren’t afraid to talk to those experienced pool builders from Sydney and let them work their magic. You’re going to end up with a brand new pool before you know it, and your backyard will start looking better than ever straight away!

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A corner for gardening

You don’t have to be the biggest fan of cooking in the world to understand why having a tiny garden in a corner of your backyard is so vital. Here, you can grow all those delicious herbs and vegetables you can use in your cooking, but you’ll also give your outdoor space an exciting new feature. Starting a herb garden isn’t as hard as it sounds, and you just need to invest some time and patience – and the results you’re going to get in just a few months are amazing and will surely make your backyard quite special.

Taking care of your garden and showing it some love doesn’t have to be too hard or time-consuming, but you need to stay consistent – come up with a schedule and stick to it week after week, and there’s nothing to worry about!

Guest Contributor, Diana Smith

9 TIPS TO BUYING A COUCH

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Plumber in Homewood

9 TIPS TO BUYING A COUCH

The furniture is featured in the room. When it comes to choosing yours, pay attention to the details. So you avoid unpleasant surprises in the future. If you want to know more tips based on buying a couch, then Sishawa will help you at their best.

1. Do not get carried away by the appearance of the fabric. Good sofa needs to have firm structure and quality foam . The problem is that in the store, we can not see these internal elements.

2. Speaking of foam: The densities of the seat, backrest arms and cushions should be different , as the fatigue is not the same. The seller does not know how to report this? Be suspicious.

3. When the sofa is new, everything looks perfect. But how will it be after a year of use? Before you get a headache, look for companies that offer warranty and, if possible, technical assistance .

4. The difference between a couch to play and a sofa to the living room is the depth of the seat . Want to relax, sleep, watch movies? Sofa deep. Need something more formal like, for example, a waiting room? Lean seat.

5. There is a trick to knowing if the sofa is comfortable specifically for you. Sit on it with your legs crossed one over the other, like "Indian leg" . If you fit in the seat without your knees being out, the piece passed the test.

6. Are there children and pets in your home? Choose models with washable covers. The cotton, linen and twill are the most suitable. Just remember that they should be pre-shrunk. Dark coats disguise dirt better, but fade more. Light-colored coats resist better washing.

7. In the doubt between reforming the old sofa and buying a new one? What it commands is the quality of the structure . Ask the opinion of good upholsterers before disposing of an antique furniture.

8. Sofas of distinct models in the same environment work superbem. If they are from very different times - one more modern, another vintage, for example - better still. Do not be afraid to mix .

9. If you are buying a pouf to support your feet, choose a model of the same height as the sofa seat . The piece will support a tray and also as an extra seat when you need it

Guest Contributor, Sherry K

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4 Effective Tips On Turning Your Basement Into A Chic Home Office

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Plumber in homewood

4 Effective Tips on Turning Your Basement into a Chic Home Office

The basement has the potential to become the favorite room in your household, instead of forever being that odd damp place you visit occasionally to check the water heater and if the mold is under control. Particularly, your basement has the potential to become the home office you always dreamed of, and skyrocket your at-home career in the process.

The possibilities here are endless, as you will be working with a blank canvas of sorts, a space where you are yet to bring a unique, personal setting to life. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the four key tips that will help you transform your basement into an elegant home office you won’t want to leave.

Inspect the space and make a detailed plan

First things first, you need to establish a foundation for your project based on meticulous research. You will need to conduct a thorough inspection of the available space, and most importantly, determine if there are any hazardous materials or air particles residing here. Typically, this will be mold, but you could also encounter asbestos from cracked walls if your house is old, so be sure to bring in a professional inspector.

Next, you will need to brainstorm the layout of your office. Keep in mind that this is not simply a space where you will work – this is a space where you will spend the majority of your day, so it needs to be functional, inspirational, and fully optimized for top productivity.

Make it functional first

When it comes to layouts, there are three key areas you need to consider: the main work and lounge area, the bathroom, and the kitchen. Consider this office space as you would any other, and remember that these auxiliary spaces will prove vital for your productivity throughout the day.

Particularly, you shouldn’t have to go upstairs every time you need to go to the bathroom, so focus on allocating enough space for a small restroom, making sure to introduce the necessary plumbing features. Additionally, consider adding a small kitchen area or even just a mini-fridge to avoid lengthy trips upstairs in the middle of your work.

Pay special attention to lighting

The basement is an inherently dark place, so one of your priorities should be to illuminate the entire area for top productivity and day-long zeal. The basement-office trend has grown widely popular with Australian homeowners, so take note.

In the Land Down Under, homeowners will plan their lighting scheme with the help of an experienced level 2 electrician in Sydney and other remote-work hubs around the country, in order to light the room for minimal eye and mental strain. In the absence of adequate natural lighting, nailing your artificial lighting scheme should be your no.1 priority as well, so be sure to let your electrician in on the project early on.

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Introduce your personal flair and brand

Designing a home office is a wonderful opportunity to make the space an extension of your personality, and a setting where your brand’s colors and stories can come to life. To that end, you want to choose a color scheme that will influence your mindset in a positive way, and introduce various decor elements on your desk, the shelves, and the walls that will speak to your heart and mind.

However, refrain from cluttering the space too much, as physical clutter can quickly become emotional stress. Stick with a couple of personal belongings on your desk, add vibrant artwork on the walls to give the room a sense of class, and allocate the rest of the space to storage – you are going to need it.

Transforming a basement into a home office is a unique project that requires careful planning, as there is plenty that can go wrong along the way. With these tips in mind, though, you will have no problem designing a basement office that is functional, elegant, and a natural extension of your true self.

Guest Contributor, Chloe Taylor

The Most Reliable Water Heater Brands on the Market

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The Most Reliable Water Heater Brands on the Market

The water heater is an essential part of every modern household. We depend on it night and day, all year long. Typically, the water heater is responsible for almost 20% of your energy bill. Those are the two prevailing reasons why everyone is interested in the most reliable water heater brands on the market.

The following list consists of some of the most reputable brands currently. They have been recognized as the leaders in their industry not just by the buyers, but by independent market researchers as well.

Rheem Water Heaters

Rheem is an American manufacturer that has been in business since 1925. They manufacture both commercial and residential water heaters. For almost a decade they have been considered as the largest manufacturer of water heating products in North America. They are present not just in Canada and the US, but in another 14 countries as well.

Their water heaters are available in various sizes and come with multiple warranties. Their tankless water heaters are their most popular product in the US. They are known to recover quickly and that they require minimum maintenance, like the RTEX-18. When it comes to on-demand water heaters, they are at the very top. Their energy efficiency is another of their trademarks. All in all, it is a brand that is well-known to the American consumer and one that will remain on top in the foreseeable future.

A.O Smith

A.O. Smith is a brand known not just in the US, but worldwide as well. The company is in business since 1874. They started operating in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and kept headquarter there till present day. Their water heaters are sold only by authorized dealers and contractors. Their main trait is their energy efficiency. As a result, many of their water heaters qualify for utility rebate and state tax credits.

Bradford White Water Heater

This is an American product, designed and produced on American soil. They are at the very top of most wanted water heater brands in the US. They are known for their outstanding quality and durability. They give a 10-year warranty for each of their water heaters installed by some of their authorized representatives. They are one of the most expensive brands on the market, but that’s the price of exceptional quality.

Ecosmart

Price, quality, and efficiency. That’s what Ecosmart water heaters are all about. Their patented technology can generate 60% savings. That’s 60% saving on the water heating bill. On top of that, they come with a limited lifetime warranty. All that for an unbeatable price. As a result, there is a constant flow of positive reviews on Amazon.   

Rinnai

Rinnai is a Japanese brand that has been around since 1920. They first started producing water heaters in 1964 and has been going strong since then. Today, by some industry experts, they are considered as the top-selling tankless water-heating brand in both the US and Canada. The fact that their water heaters come with a 12 years warranty speaks tons about the quality of their products. Also, there are thousands of five-star reviews on Amazon that play in their favor. According to their data, so far they have installed over 20 million water heaters worldwide.

Guest Contributor, Verner Ellen

Tips For Preventing Mold In Your Home

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Homewood Plumbers

Tips For Preventing Mold In Your Home

If your home is prone to damp and condensation, there’s a good chance that you also have a mold problem. While mold is unsightly it can also be damaging too. Not only to your home, where it can rot and damage the structures, but also to your health. Mold is known to cause respiratory problems, asthma and allergic reactions, none of which are pleasant to live with and, in the case of those with a compromised immune system, could actually be dangerous.

Mold spores easily spread and are hard to get rid of, so preventing its growth in your home couldn’t be more important. Since mold can grow all over your home – on your flooring, your walls, your basement and ceiling – you need to be vigilant at all times.

If you’re worried about mold, here are some top tips to help prevent it from taking hold in your home.

1. Identify The Problem Zones

It’s impossible to fully mold-proof any property, but it is possible to make it more mold-resistant. Go around your home carrying out a full audit of all the problem zones. Do you have issues with flooding in your basement? Is there condensation on your windows? Do you have water stains on your ceiling from a leak? Take steps to address those problem areas. Rip up the carpet in your damp basement. Install mold-resistant products. Repair damaged guttering. Waterproof your basement. This is the first step to getting rid of the problem.

2. Dry Any Wet Areas

Mold is unable to grow if there’s no moisture so make sure you dry any wet areas immediately you notice them. If there has been a flood after rainfall, leaking from a pipe or just a spill on your carpet, drying it within the first 48 hours is vital. Remove any water damaged furniture, bedding and carpets following a flood if it’s impossible to dry them completely. Also, don’t leave any wet items around your home and wipe down walls and flows following showers and bathing. Avoid leaving wet clothing in your washing machine too – hang them outdoors to dry.

3. Have Proper Ventilation

Whenever you bathe, shower, do laundry or cook food, make sure there is sufficient ventilation in the rooms you’re using. Vent any appliance which produces moisture to the outside and also ways use a dehumidifier as this will also help to solve your mold problems.

4. Use Mold-Resistant Products

Whether you’re building a brand new property or renovating your existing one, choose mold-resistant Sheetrock and drywall as well as paints with mold-inhibitors built in. This will guard against problems developing in the first place.

5. Monitor Your Indoor Humidity

You should maintain an indoor humidity level of 30-60%. This can be measured with a moisture meter that you can buy at any hardware store. Look also for any signs that your rooms are too humid. Condensation on walls, pipes and windows is a sign that you need to address the moisture source.

6. Direct Any Water Away From Your Property

If the area surrounding your property isn’t sloped sufficiently away from its foundations, you may find rainwater collects there and can seep into the basement. Call in professionals if necessary to adjust the ground so this no longer happens. Also repair your roof gutters if they are damaged or clean them out if they are blocked.

7. Keep Mold Away From Your Plants

Having plants inside your home is a great way to keep the indoor air clean and fresh, however they can also attract mold. The soil used for potting indoor plants is moist and helps mold to breed and thrive. It can then spread around your home exacerbating your mold problem. Luckily, you don’t have to throw away your plants. Instead, add Taheebo tea to your plants’ water and this will help to guard against mold naturally without chemicals.

Wherever you live, your region will respond different to moisture and there isn’t a single solution to preventing mold. However, if you follow these steps, you’ll find your home is better protected than ever before.

Guest Contributor, Emma Parker

Why Your General Contractor Must Have Insurance

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Why Your General Contractor Must Have Insurance

When you’re getting construction work done, you need to consider a lot of things. For one, you have to set a budget that you must work to stick to for the entire project. For another, you have come up with a design that will work for you. You will also have to find a good general contractor to help make your project come to life.

Finding a good general contractor can sometimes be tough, but you need to do your best to find one who does not only have the expertise, capability, and experience to oversee your construction, but also the proper contractor insurance coverage.

Why do you need your general contractor to be an insured one? Here are some of the reasons.

To confirm that the contractor is legitimate

Many individuals offer their services as a contractor but don’t actually have the license to do so. If a contractor is insured and provides proof of coverage, then you can be sure that that contractor is legitimate. Securing a license to operate as a contractor requires having insurance coverage. So if your contractor is insured, then he or she is a licensed one.

To not be liable for injuries and damages

The most common insurance policies contractors have are general liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance. The former pays for any claims made for third-party injuries or property damage, while the latter covers the medical expenses and lost wages of workers who suffer an injury while working on your construction project.

If your general contractor doesn’t have them, then you will in effect be the contractor, and therefore liable for the injuries, property damage, or even deaths that happen on the work site.

To lower costs in the long term

While you may be able to save money from the generally lower rates that unlicensed and uninsured contractors may offer you, you may still end up spending more in the long run. You could be shouldering the cost for construction mistakes that need to be rectified, or pay for an injured worker’s hospitalization and medications if your general contractor has no insurance coverage.

Hard pass on uninsured contractors

Their services may come cheap, but uninsured contractors could cost you more. Aside from being unsure about the quality of work because of the lack of qualifications, an uninsured general contractor can make you a target for a lawsuit that could end up bankrupting you.

So even if someone offers you such services for cheap, steer clear of them if they have no insurance. The risks are just too high, and you wouldn’t want to take them on.

Guest Contributor, Rachel Porter