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Tinley Park, IL

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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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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 Build the Perfect Home Gym

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How to Build the Perfect Home Gym

If you wish to improve the living conditions in your home in a way that it would also contribute to the health and fitness of the whole family, there is nothing better than creating a home gym. Although it would require an initial investment, it will soon pay off because you’ll have a nice feature that can be used by the whole family and guests and it also increases the resale value of your home.

So, if you realize that you have a spare room because your kid has gone to college or moved from your home or you’ve decided that you don’t need so much storage room in your basement, converting such space into a home gym makes a lot of sense. If that’s the case, what is your next step?

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Make Sure It’s The Right Space

Depending on the type of gym you’d like to have, there are several things you need to consider. If you’re planning on introducing some heavy equipment, make sure you don’t install the gym on the upper floor, since the floor may not be strong enough to support all the weight. Consider turning your back porch or patio into a gym if possible, since you might want to have an opportunity to exercise outdoors.

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Let There Be Light And Air

It’s very important that your home gym is as light and airy as possible. Ideally, you would have plenty of natural light coming from windows and doors, which would also make it possible for you to have enough ventilation. If that’s not really possible, you should install some kind of recessed lighting or simple lamps with soft white bulbs. Another option to make the space more inviting is to add plants. They will increase oxygen levels in the room and add a touch of nature to the place.

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Get Rid Of Clutter

It’s very important that your home gym doesn’t contain any items that are not really necessary. Otherwise, you may run a risk of tripping and falling over and thus injuring yourself. It’s also important to find the right place for every machine you need. Should you decide to have one of those amazing exercise bikes, make sure you place them closer to the wall, so that it doesn’t create a problem for anyone using the gym at the same time as you. Also, it’s a good idea to place it closer to a window, so that you can get more fresh air as you exercise.

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Step By Step

You don’t need to have everything at once. Some equipment is rather pricey, and you may not want to splash a lot of cash immediately. Instead, make a plan depending on your financial situation and furnish your home gym gradually. However, it’s important that you know exactly what you’d like the gym to look like so that you can tackle some construction works first. For example, if you know you want some heavy equipment, you need to make sure your floor is strong enough to support it and you need to address such an issue before you bring anything into the room. Also, it’s very important that everything you need for exercising has its place in the gym and that you don’t create a mess.

Use Your Gym!

The worst thing you can do is actually spend a lot of money and effort into creating a gym and then use it rarely or never. If you’re having trouble finding motivation, you could invite a friend and schedule a session together. That should help you keep your motivation high and you’ll both benefit from spending time together. Needless to say, if you have little or no experience with working out, you should consult a fitness trainer and your doctor before hitting the gym. The last thing you need is to jeopardise your health or injure yourself because you’ve chosen a wrong kind of exercise or pushed yourself too hard.

Having a gym at home is no longer the privilege of the rich and we should all use the opportunity to install one if we have enough room and are keen on keeping fit. Have fun working out!

Guest Contributor, Diana Smith

 

Ways To Decorate Your Bedroom For A Good Night’s Sleep

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Ways to Decorate Your Bedroom for a Good Night’s Sleep

Can’t get a decent shut-eye at nights? Well, your bedroom design might be to blame. If you are wondering what can possibly the décor of a room have to do with the quality of your sleep, when your mattress is comfy and your pillow is adequate to your sleep position, you should know that a lot of things in this room, including the colors, lighting and materials can affect your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. In this article we’ll show you the impact of design features on your sleep, and what you can do to make them work for you.

Start With Soothing Colors

Color psychology is no pseudo-science seeking to deceive you or steal your money. It is a philosophy based on research and experience, and you should arm yourself with it before you start redecorating your bedroom. For example, painting the room where you sleep in striking colors, such as red or bright orange, can cause accumulated sense of stress and lead to anxiety, which will make it difficult for you to fall asleep. Instead, choose mild relaxing tones, such as warm neutrals, lavender, light green or gentle blue.

The Dark-Light Cycle

The bedroom needs to receive a generous amount of both light and fresh air during the day. This is only possible if you have a large window and treatments or drapes that can be pulled up or aside during the daylight period. The drapes or treatments also need to be capable of preventing the outdoor and street lighting from getting into your bedroom while you sleep.

Soft And Quiet

Nobody likes squeaky floors, especially if you are sharing the room with a partner. Changing and repairing your floor boards at every sign of damage is expensive and exhausting. That’s one of the reasons why bedroom carpet installation in Sydney and other trendy cities is making a huge comeback these days. For an even softer spot to land on and to score a few design points, you can also go with area rugs on both sides of the bed. Opt for a soft, tender material, such as faux fur.

Everything Within Your Reach

Many people like to read a book before going to bed. In fact, this is a great way to calm your nerves and induce sleep. However, if this requires you to get up and turn off the light using the switch by the door, it can completely disrupt your sleepiness. A bedside lamp will save you this trouble, and it will be an additional décor element. Speaking of everything being within your reach, you should have a stylish nightstand to place the lamp, the book, a glass of water, or anything else you need.

Less Is More

A cluttered room is a one-way road to a cluttered mind. And a cluttered mind? Well, this definitely leads to a hectic night of various thoughts and stressors running through your head, which means – no sleep. This is why you need to focus on creating a minimalistic look without many unnecessary trinkets.

Clear The Air

The air in your bedroom needs to be free of toxins (as much as that is possible), so that your sleep quality would be at its maximum. You can achieve that with frequent ventilation and air purifiers, but you can also introduce a few air-purifying plants, such as Aloe Vera, Snake Plant, and English Ivy.

There is nothing more important than getting a good night’s sleep. It keeps you functioning throughout the day. Follow the tips we gave you, and your bedroom will tuck you into your sleep every night.

Guest Contributor, Amelia Atkins

Tips For Building An Energy-Efficient Home

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Tips For Building An Energy-Efficient Home

One of the biggest expenses an average household needs to deal with is the heating and the AC bill. Traditional energy sources are also damaging to the environment and they are going to become more expensive in the years to come.

Building a more energy-efficient house requires an initial investment that can be troublesome for some homeowners, but it cuts down energy bills in the long run and, most importantly, makes your home less responsible for the carbon footprint and overall damage to the environment.

Solar Panels

Solar panels are probably the best way to get off the traditional energy grid. They used to be expensive and complicated to install, but this is no longer the case since the technology has improved and there are government incentives to use them, at least in countries such as Australia and Denmark.

A good thing about these panels is that you can use them only occasionally and rely on the traditional power grid when the weather isn’t suitable. That way, you can slowly make the change and not burden your household with the possible issue that might arise during the installation.

Appliances

Ordinary home appliances probably consume the most of the energy that an average Australian household uses. These are small amounts of power individually, but when they add up, they can really hurt your bottom line. It’s important to handle this issue by changing or fixing up the appliances one at a time.

Try to purchase the appliances that are designed to waste less energy. Those are usually marked with a blue star. Beyond that, it’s imperative for you to organize regular check-ups for the older devices you’re not replacing. Once a year, a licensed electrician should take a look.

Infrastructure

The infrastructure of the building itself means more than any small tweaking you can make when the construction is completed. If you’re building your home from scratch, you should hire formworkers from Sydney to make sure your property is constructed in the least wasteful way.

This is also an opportunity to handle the insulation of the entire home. A good insulation can cut down the energy bills for as much as 30 percent during both summers and winters. There used to be a time when all insulation materials used to be harmful to the environment, but this is no longer true and you can have a well-insulated home without using damaging materials.

Having Your Own Garden

A backyard garden is one of the best additions you can make to your home, both in terms of aesthetics and in terms of energy savings. Transporting food to your grocery store is probably the biggest addition you make to the carbon footprint. By cutting down on these expenses, you’re saving the environment and making sure you’re eating healthy food.

It takes time and effort to build a garden. It’s best to start with the produce you can find and grow locally and have a small plot that you can cultivate in your spare time and probably with a help of someone with more experience.

Water Savings

Water is rarely thought of as a resource at all, but it is a scarce one and it will become even more important in the years to come, when there’s less of it. Small tweaks around the house are often enough to cut down on your waste, but if you want to go all out – you could install a rainwater collection system.

It’s best to start with installing faucets that are motion activated. They turn off the water much faster than traditional faucets and thus waste much less of it. These are a bit more expensive but you only need to have them in the kitchen where they are used the most.

Building an energy-efficient home will cut down your spending and make the household more eco-friendly. It takes some funding to build but it pays off in the long run. 

Guest Contributor, Amelia Atkins

Green Attic Renovation Tips and Tricks

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Green Attic Renovation Tips and Tricks

Attic renovation and re-purposing is a great way to add some extra living space to your home without any big investments. But, how you conduct your reno in a green and eco-friendly way? Well, here’s how!

Boost Insulation

A lot of energy is wasted through the attic, which you don’t even realize until you start spending more time up there. So, if you want to stay warm in the winter, cool in the summer and still have a full wallet, you must insist on good insulation. This will reduce the need for cooling and heating (which is great for the environment) and allow you to save some extra money!

Boost Natural Lighting

Most attics don’t get enough natural light, even though there are efficient and aesthetically pleasing ways to let the sunshine in. So, make sure to increase the light in your attic during your renovation with skylights and sky tubes! If you opt for skylights, you’ll get plenty of light and natural ventilation options, but they might take up too much ceiling space. Sky tubes, on the other hand, take up very little space, give good lighting but don’t really allow any fresh air to enter your attic. Just make sure your attic natural light sources are well-insulated and sealed to prevent any energy loss.

Invest In Good Flooring

If you want to have a safe space for living, fun or just storage, you need to install some sturdy flooring. It’s very important to aim for quality attic flooring, because it will last you practically a lifetime and endure a lot of wear and tear. It’s much more cost-effective and better for the environment if you don’t have to repair and replace your flooring every few years! Also, make sure to improve your flooring insulation to reduce noise that transfers downstairs. Thick insulation will greatly hush up your footsteps and provide good thermal insulation as well. Carpets and rugs also help keep things cozy and quiet!

Buy Energy Star Appliances and Gadgets

Are you turning your attic into a game room? Or are you adding an extra bedroom? Well, no matter its purpose, you will certainly need a few appliances and gadgets in your newly renovated space! So, make sure to keep your eyes open for Energy Star labels which guarantee that your new electronics are much more energy-efficient than your traditional ones.

Reduce VOCs

If you want to create a healthy and eco-friendly attic space during your renovation, you must pay attention to what kind of paint you use. Most traditional paints release volatile organic compounds or VOCs that will leave your space smelling unpleasant, pollute the environment and even cause all sorts of health issues when inhaled. Luckily, you can find different low- or zero-VOC paints on the market that are almost completely odorless, harmless to the environment and the human health and offer great coverage and vibrant colors!  

Buy Reclaimed Furniture

Sure, furnishing and decoration are the most interesting parts of every renovation, but don’t get too carried away with buying new pieces! New and shiny products fresh from the store aren’t always better. Consider getting reclaimed furniture and materials instead! They will serve the same purpose, help keep landfills empty and give your attic a unique vibe and character. Plus, these materials and furniture pieces are also much cheaper.

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Opt For Natural Decoration

Your attic decoration can also be more eco-friendly, especially when you employ nature as your décor! For instance, plants have a strong aesthetic presence, add a pop of color to any space and help purify the indoor air. Another way you can use nature as decoration is with driftwood. It fits into any space, especially Scandinavian style design, it’s free and completely natural! So, next time you visit the beach, bring a few interesting finds and put them in your attic!

Once you’re finished with your attic renovation, you’ll have a beautiful space that’s eco-friendly, energy-efficient and healthy. So, get to work and give your attic a new life and purpose now!  

Guest Contributor, Amelia Atkins