Prepare Your Home for Snow and Ice: Winter Safety Tips

Falling snow is a beautiful part of winter, but it can also pose potential dangers for homeowners. It’s important to prepare your home for snow and ice so you can stay safe and prevent extra work down the road. To ensure no problems show up and to keep your family safe, these projects should be done throughout the coldest months.

Prevent Water Damage

  • Ventilate the attic and insulate the attic floor to stop warm air in the house from melting snow and ice on the roof.
  • Wrap exposed pipes with insulation sleeves.
  • Caulk cracks and holes in the home’s outer walls and foundation. Holes left by cable installation can also leave pipes exposed.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors so warm air can circulate around pipes.
  • Trickle water from any faucet connected to pipes that run through unprotected spaces.
  • Locate the home’s main water valve, usually found in the basement or outside near the curb. Turn water off quickly if a pipe does burst.
  • If you are traveling and leave the house unoccupied for an extended period, shut off the water and have a professional drain the system. Turn the heat down, but don’t turn it off.

Buy a carbon-monoxide detector.It is important to have a carbon monoxide detector on each floor of your home

  • Install carbon-monoxide detectors on all floors of your home to prevent one of the biggest winter dangers, carbon-monoxide poisoning. This can happen when ventilation of furnaces, generators, charcoal-burning or propane-burning devices, or wood-burning stoves are not properly ventilated.

Buy a generator

  • Use a generator to keep your heat and power running. This includes your sump pump, and your fire and burglar alarms.
  • Consider installing an automatic standby generator, which immediately turns on after a power outage. You may qualify for a discount on your homeowners insurance, too.

Prepare for a Flood

  • When snow and ice begin to melt, be aware of flooding for localized trouble spots around your house. Water can buildup can seep into your foundation and flood the basement.
  • If you have a sump pump, check to ensure it’s working properly in advance.

Ensure Proper Ventilation

  • Clean exhaust fans and filters in the bathrooms and kitchens because we spend more time indoors.
  • Dust and airborne particles can cause indoor air quality issues in the absence of adequate ventilation. They can even become a fire hazard.
  • Monitor other filters in your home, including cleaning out the dryer’s filter and replacing the furnace filter.

Prepare Your Pipes for the Cold

  • Prevent water issues by insulating water pipes exposed to freezing temperatures. Pipes that border an exterior wall have the greatest freezing potential, so they should be insulated with a towel or other piece of cloth.
  • In extreme cold weather, open water lines slightly to allow water to drip slowly into an indoor sink.

Prevent Icy Gutters

  • Clean gutters before the snow falls to help prevent water and ice buildup that could eventually find its way into your home.
  • After the colder weather arrives, look for clogged gutters by checking for large icicles hanging from them and/or an accumulation of ice on the roof.

Eliminate Outdoor Electrical Problems

  • Prevent electrical problems by inspecting the outside of your home. Specifically, look for damaged or frayed wires vulnerable to harm from snow and ice.
  • Check for any bird nests near electrical fixtures. Nests can cause a fire.
  • Make sure any electronic decorations have tight-fitting connections: three-pronged outlets are optimal. These cords should be stored away from main walkways, and never beneath a carpet or rug, as this creates a fire hazard.

For professional help with your HVAC, plumbing, and electrical work, contact Central Carolina Air Conditioning at 1.800.461.3010. This winter, we can help you prepare your home for snow and ice!

Signs Your Water Heater Needs Maintenance

Tucked away in a closet, basement, or garage, our water heaters are often out of sight, out of mind.  It’s a good idea to check regularly to see if your water heater needs maintenance and to observe its function. You’ll want to catch potential problems early, before they cause damage to the water heater or your home.

Here are several signs to look for:

Your water heater is dripping, or water is gathered around it Hot water heater

If your water heater is dripping water, this could be coming from the drain valve or from the tank itself.  Check your water heater regularly to see if there is any water dripping or any puddles have formed. Sitting water can cause serious damage to the walls and floors. If you suspect that your water heater has a leak, call a professional to see if it needs maintenance or replacing.

Your water looks discolored

If your water has any signs of rust or a brown tint to it, then you may have a problem with your water heater. The brown color or rust in your water may be a symptom of your water heater corroding. When this happens, the rust and corrosion from the heater can come off in the water. It’s also possible that there are other sediments in your water that are causing the discoloration.

 Your water isn’t hot

This sign is rather obvious, but if your water is cool or cold, it could be a sign that your water heater needs maintenance.  First, how much hot water is in use? If you have the washer running at the same time while doing dishes, and someone is also taking a shower, then these sources running at one time will drain the hot water. If this happens on a regular basis where you can’t get hot water when running the sink or shower, then it could mean a few things. The tubes may have damage. There could also be a bad energy supply to your home that’s causing the lack of hot water. A third possible cause is a faulty heating element.  It’s also important to monitor whether or not your water temperature is too hot, due to a faulty water heater.  Tap water scald is a serious danger, especially for children and the elderly.

When dealing with any maintenance or repairs, it’s always safest and best to call a professional. Not only can a professional do the maintenance or repair work, but they also provide peace of mind for you knowing it’s done the right way! Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical to check your water heater for any signs of damage. We can also provide routine maintenance on your water heater! While we’re out there, we will check for any money-wasting leaks. Our services also include maintaining and/or fixing drain pipes, exposed hot and cold water lines, and ventilation systems!

Call today to schedule your appointment at 800-461-3010.

How to Avoid Water Damage

Repairs and maintenance are a normal part of home ownership. If the thought of leaks, floods, and overflows scare you, you aren’t alone. Water damage can be highly destructive to your home and cost you significantly. Let’s look at the most common culprits of water damage, and what you can do to prevent it.

An Overflowing Toilet

That one phrase makes most people uneasy! Most homeowners have encountered some kind of overflow from their toilet. Depending on how much damage the overflow causes, you could be looking at a cost of up to $5,000 to repair the water damage. So what can you do to prevent an overflowing toilet? Your best bet is routine maintenance! Have a professional regularly check the flush valve, toilet fill and water supply to ensure that everything is running properly.

Washing Machine Problems

Washing machine water damage is commonly caused by an exploding hose. This is an easy way to flood your whole laundry room. Follow this simple tip to prevent your machine hose from exploding and causing a flood: don’t overstuff your washer with clothes. It may be extra work to do two separate loads of laundry, but it will save you a headache and money down the road.

Plumbing System Failure

Water pipes run throughout your entire home – including the walls, floors and ceilings. Depending on how old you pipes are and the condition they are in, they could burst and cause significant damage. An annual inspection by a professional is the best way to prevent pipes from bursting, because a professional will be able to catch any problems before they turn serious.

When dealing with any maintenance or repairs, it’s always safest and best to call a professional. Not only can a professional do the maintenance or repair work, but they also provide peace of mind for you knowing it’s done the right way! Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical to provide routine maintenance on the water appliances and pipes in your home. While we’re out there, we can also check for any money wasting leaks! Our services also include maintaining and/or fixing water heaters, drain pipes, exposed hot and cold water lines and ventilation systems!

Give us a call today at 800-461-3010 to schedule your appointment.

Have you been Flushing these down your Toilet?

Have you been Flushing these down your Toilet?

Have you considered the items that you flush down your toilet? There are many things like sanitary products that most people know not to flush. There are other products like baby wipes that may seem safe to flush, but could pose a problem to your plumbing system. Today, baby wipes are sold almost everywhere in tubs to small packs designed to slip in your purse. Although they are marketed as “flushable” wipes, this label can be misleading. We’ll go over a few of the reasons why flushing wipes can be dangerous for either your septic system or your pipes.  Image result for toilets

  • The baby wipes are made of disposable cloths that are non-woven. They are comprised of synthetic and natural materials to make the wipes both strong yet also thin. The baby wipes include the same material that is used in dryer sheets and diapers – both of which you would not flush down the toilet.
  • The label on baby wipes that claims they are flushable is referring to the fact that they will fit down your pipes. Multiple wipes flushed down the toilet can still clog the pipes, however. “Disposable” is also a term that indicates they can be thrown away in the trash, not necessarily in the toilet.
  • Toilet paper is designed with material that is biodegradable, unlike baby wipes. The material used in baby wipes is the same material found in plastic bags and plastic bottles, which either takes a long time to denigrate or is not biodegradable at all.
  • The size of a household drain pipe is typically 4 inches thick. When wipes are flushed down the toilet, sometimes they can get stuck to the side of the pipes. When these wipes accumulate in the pipes and stick to the side, they can trap other waste materials that flow through the pipes which can end up clogging the pipes. Your pipes are not the only things that could potentially get clogged. Sometimes these wipes can also cause a clog in your entire septic system. If this happens, the problem will cost a lot to repair.

All these potential problems can be prevented by throwing away wipes in the trash can instead of the toilet. If there is a problem with your plumbing system and your pipes are clogged, call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical! We will come out and solve any problems in your pipes or your septic system. While we’re out there, we can also check your drain pipes, and we’ll also check your exposed hot and cold water lines and ventilation systems while we’re there!

 

Give us a call today Call to schedule your appointment today at 800-461-3010.

 

Outdoor Kitchens

 

A great way to enjoy the outdoors is to step up your outdoor cooking game. What are some things to know before you undertake this big project?

An outdoor kitchen area can cost several thousand dollars, depending on what you want. A basic setup will typically include at least an island with counter and gas grill.

Some of the first things to think about are the weather and the weight of the appliances. For example, tile or marble flooring can get very slippery with rainwater or drink spills. You also want to make sure your flooring can hold up all of the weight.

Location is also crucial. Make sure smoke will not blow into your home from the grill. Look for an area that is easy to access, goes with the traffic flow in your yard, and isn’t near anything flammable. Also consider any future plans. Will you add a pool or a garden later on? These are all important things to consider.

Another consideration is how much room you’ll want. At the very least, you’ll need space on the sides of the grill for plates, etc. Will you want a sitting area or is there a separate table? Will more than one family member want to prepare food/cook at the same time?

Storage is also important. You’ll want enough space for all of the items you’ll regularly use. Keep in mind whether or not you’ll use the kitchen in the colder months or only in the summer. Waterproof, easy-to-clean materials such as concrete are best.

Appliances will also need to be made of weatherproof material such as stainless steel. When thinking about appliances, you’ll also need to consider water supply and electrical connections. An outdoor sink will need to be hooked up to a yard hose or the house’s water supply. It is best to have a plumber take on this work. An electrician should also make sure everything in your outdoor kitchen is up to code. A professional would also need to be called if you want a plumbed gas line for the grill.

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Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!