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Friday, April 4, 2014

Commercial Roofing Solutions

The choice of commercial roofing material has a significant impact on the look and integrity of your professional building. Selecting the best roofing material for your needs will protect your property and keep it looking its best for decades without the need for extensive updates or repairs. Additionally, recognizing the signs that your commercial building’s roof is in need of repairs can help you head off larger problems that can damage your property, harm your employees, or cost you more in heating and cooling bills.

Signs of a Failing Roof
As a business owner, it’s important to recognize the signs that your building’s roof needs repairs or replacement. Have your roof inspected annually by a professional to look for indications of trouble. Because many commercial buildings feature flat rather than sloped roofing, they are at higher risk for the accumulation of water or moisture on top of the roof deck. This can be especially true if your drainage system is in need of cleaning or repairs. Pooling or standing water on your roof can also occur due to malfunctioning HVAC equipment. Over time, standing water causes premature wear of roofing materials and can lead to cracks or leaks that cause damage to the interior of your building as well. Bubbling or warping of the surface of your building’s roof indicates trapped moisture or gas beneath the roof deck that can also cause leaks or splitting of roofing materials. Other signs that your roof needs attention include visible cracks, missing or damaged flashing, and signs of water damage on the exterior of your building. If your building contains skylights or a lightning protection system, these components should also be inspected regularly and repaired when necessary to prevent damaging the materials of your roof.

Commercial Roofing Options
If you or your roofer has determined that it is time to replace your building’s roof, there are a variety of materials and options available. Modified bitumen is a durable rolled roofing material ideal for many commercial applications. Seams may be self-adhering or welded together for ease of installation. Metal roofing is another excellent commercial roofing choice. These roofs can stand up to severe weather, including extreme heat and cold, as well as very windy conditions. Metal roofing is available in a variety of colors and styles to tailor the look of your commercial building. Other popular commercial roofing materials include slate, and asphalt shingles, and wood shake shingles. There are also a number of green roofing solutions for your property, including skylights, solar hot water systems, roof-mounted solar panels, and vegetated roofing. These green options can reduce power usage in your building while providing a comfortable and eco-friendly environment for employees and clients. Regardless of your preferences, budget, and needs, your roofer can help you select the best option to protect and enhance your commercial building.

Your roof provides essential protection for your business, your property, and your employees. If you spot signs of roof deterioration or would like to learn more about your commercial roofing options to save money on everyday utilities, click through our website to find more information about your commercial roofing solutions in Alexandria, Bethesda, Fairfax, and McLean. 

The Importance of a Proper Ventilation System

Most homeowners never think about attic ventilation. You may not even know if your attic is properly ventilated. However, ventilation is an integral component of your roofing system that protects it from moisture and the damage it can cause. If you aren’t sure whether your roof has adequate ventilation or you’ve experienced problems with mold, leaks, and ice dams in the past, contact an experienced roofer to analyze your roofing system and provide a ventilation solution that could save your roof.

What a Ventilation System Does
Today, many homeowners are concerned with conserving heated or cooled air produced by their HVAC system. They believe that a home should be well sealed against air exchange that could put stress on a furnace or air conditioner and raise utility bills. While these concerns are valid, some air exchange in your home is necessary to protect its structure. A properly-installed ventilation system consists of a balanced intake and output of fresh air that is continually circulated through your attic. During warmer months, ventilation can help to keep your home cooler by circulating air through the upper level of your home to reduce the temperature of your roof. When the temperature drops, attic ventilation reduces the moisture content inside your attic to keep it dry. Moisture buildup inside attics is a widespread problem throughout the U.S., with architects estimating that up to 90% of American homes have attic moisture levels well beyond recommended limits.

Why a Ventilation System Is Necessary
Poor attic ventilation is a leading cause of extensive roof damage, which is often caused by excessive moisture buildup. When moisture forms beneath your roof, it can damage your roofing and your home. Moisture can cause drips and leaks that damage your home’s structure, finishes, and floors. Plentiful moisture also attracts mold and pests, which in turn damage your home and your belongings. Moisture buildup and temperature differentials between your roof and the surrounding air can also cause ice dams to form. Ice dams prevent proper drainage of snow runoff from your roof, causing melting snow to drain into your home and damage drywall, ceilings, flooring, and other components of its interior. The best way to prevent ice dams is to ensure your roof is properly ventilated. Ventilation prevents extreme temperature differentials between your roof and the air outside your home. Additionally, proper attic ventilation also plays an important role in protecting your roof and lowering your cooling bills during the summer. Roofing materials can be damaged by extreme heat, while hot air trapped inside your attic can cause temperatures to rise elsewhere in the house. By circulating air throughout your attic, a ventilation system reduces the heating effect on your roof, also reducing the amount of heat transferred from your attic to the rest of your home.

Do you have more questions about roof ventilation and repairs in Alexandria, Fairfax, or Bethesda? Visit our website to find more information about roofing solutions and repairs in your area or request a service estimate. You can also contact a roofer online to get personalized answers, advice, or schedule roofing services for your home or business. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Basic Water Heater Maintenance

It can be easy to forget about your water heater when it sits out of sight in a closet, garage, or basement. However, this important plumbing appliance requires some basic maintenance to function efficiently throughout the course of its lifetime. With the right care, your water heater can last 10-15 years or more before requiring replacement. If you have questions or concerns about your water heater or any problems you might be experiencing, your Sonoma County plumber can provide you with personalized advice and assistance.

Flushing Your Water Heater
One of the easiest tasks you can perform to maintain your water heater is to flush the tank. You should flush your water heater two to three times a year to remove sediment and other materials that can build up inside the tank. Over time, sediment can stick to the walls of the tank and cause them to corrode, requiring replacement of your water heater. To flush your water heater, first turn off the power or gas to the system and close the incoming water valve so the tank will not refill with water until you are done. Attach a hose to the drain spigot at the bottom of the tank, placing the other end in a drain or sink. Open the drain valve at the bottom and drain your water heater’s tank completely. If the water running out of the tank is dirty, close the drain valve when the tank is empty and turn on the water input to fill the tank; drain the tank again until the water runs clear. When you see clear water draining from the tank, close the drain spigot, remove the valve, and allow the tank to fill with water. Restore power or gas to the unit last.

Changing Your Water Heater’s Sacrificial Anode Rod
Most water heaters use a sacrificial anode rod to reduce corrosion in the tank. This rod, made of aluminum or magnesium around a steel wire core, is designed to corrode in place of your water heater’s tank walls to prolong the lifetime of the appliance. Once the rod has corroded, it must be replaced. Typically, you’ll only need to replace your anode rod once every five to ten years. To check or replace your sacrificial anode rod, turn off the power, gas, and incoming water to your heater. At the top of the tank, you’ll see a large hexagonal bolt, which is at the top of the anode rod. Use an adjustable wrench to loosen this bolt; once the bolt is loose, pull the anode rod out of the tank and inspect it. If you can see the steel wire core of the rod, it needs to be replaced. Simply put a new rod into your tank and screw it back into place. If you aren’t sure how to access or replace the anode rod, your plumber will be happy to help you.

These simple water heater maintenance tips can prolong the lifetime of the appliance and prevent many common hot water problems. You can find more tips for maintaining your water heater, disposal, septic tank, and other plumbing systems on our blog. Visit our website to contact a plumber in Santa Rosa, Windsor, or Petaluma.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Eco-Friendly Plumbing Solutions

Did you know that the small things you do to fix your plumbing today can have a big impact on the environment tomorrow? There are many eco-friendly plumbing solutions you can use every day to keep your home’s plumbing healthy and prevent damage to the environment. Keep reading to discover a few simple green plumbing tips to help you solve some of the most common plumbing problems.

Use Natural Drain Cleaning Solutions
Most chemical drain cleaners contain harsh chemicals that can burn your skin and cause illness if ingested. Every time you pour these solutions down your drain, they flow through your sewer system and can be introduced into your local environment. Furthermore, if your home uses a septic tank, drain cleaning chemicals can kill off the beneficial bacteria in your tank, affecting its function and allowing contaminated wastewater into your drain field and the surrounding area. Rather than reaching for a caustic drain cleaning solution, try using an enzymatic drain cleaner instead. Enzymatic drain cleaners contain natural enzymes or bacteria that harmlessly break down clogs without the need for toxic chemicals. Alternatively, you can clean out stubborn clogs using a combination of baking soda and vinegar, two extremely versatile natural cleaning agents. Pour 3/4 cup of baking soda down a stubborn drain, and follow with 1/2 cup of vinegar. The solution may fizz, bubble, and foam—that means it’s working! Cover the drain if possible and let the solution sit for 30 minutes. Once half an hour is up, uncover the drain and run your hot water to clean out any remaining clog and cleaning material.

Clean and Freshen Your Disposal Naturally
Your kitchen disposal helps you dispose of food wastes every day. When food is not completely flushed down the drain, it can stick to the blades of your disposal, causing poor performance and an unpleasant smell. However, a clean, fresh-smelling disposal is easy to achieve without the use of artificial chemicals, cleaners, or scents. You can clean and freshen your disposal in just minutes using ice, rock salt, and a few citrus peels. Pour two cups of ice followed by one cup of rock salt (or vinegar) down your disposal. Turn on the cold water and run the disposal for ten to fifteen seconds. Once it’s clean, place a few citrus peels down the drain and run your disposal with cold water for a natural fresh, clean scent.

Your Mr. Rooter plumber can help you solve plumbing issues in an eco-friendly manner with options that include BioChoiceES Green Drain Cleaner and grease-eating bacteria solutions. Click through our website to learn more about our dedication to providing green plumbing services throughout Santa Rosa, Windsor, and Petaluma. You can find more eco-friendly plumbing tips and solutions on our blog

Toilet Troubles? Common Problems and Solutions

Toilets are some of the hardest-working plumbing appliances in your Houston home. Every day, the majority of water usage in your bathrooms is attributed to your toilets. Toilet troubles can cause stress and waste unnecessary water, costing you more on your utility bills and even causing water damage to your property. Many common toilet problems, such as a sweating tank or a leaky flapper valve, can be easily fixed on your own to eliminate your plumbing worries.

A Sweating Tank
Are you noticing condensation or “sweating” on the outside of your toilet tank? Not only is this common toilet problem unsightly, but dripping water can damage the floor beneath your toilet as well. If you’ve got a sweating toilet tank, there are a number of solutions you can pursue. Toilet tank jackets and drip pans are designed to either absorb or collect condensation to prevent damage to your bathroom flooring. However, these solutions do not address the source of your toilet’s sweating problem. If you want to stop your toilet tank from sweating, consider installing a temperator valve. A temperator valve is designed to mix hot and cold water together so that the water in your toilet’s tank is not too cold, which causes condensation to occur on the outside of the tank. Temperator valves require two inputs: the regular cold water input that already runs to your toilet’s tank, and a second hot water input. If you don’t want to add a second water input for your toilet, a tempering tank is an alternative solution. A tempering tank increases the temperature of incoming water before sending it on to your toilet. Your plumber can help you install a temperator valve or tempering tank if you don’t feel confident tackling this job yourself.

A Running Toilet
A running toilet is actually a leak that allows water to continuously flow between your toilet’s tank and its bowl. Not only does a running toilet generate annoying background noise, it can waste tens of gallons of water each day. If you’re not sure whether you have a toilet leak, remove the lid from your toilet’s tank and place a few drops of food coloring in the water. Avoid flushing the toilet for at least 20 minutes, then return to check the bowl. If there is any food coloring in the bowl, you have a running toilet. To fix a running toilet, inspect the toilet’s flushing mechanism. The handle is attached by a lever to a round flapper valve at the bottom of the tank; when you pull the handle, it lifts the flap and flushes the toilet. If the flapper valve isn’t completely covering the drain hole, you’ll get unwanted water transfer between the tank and the bowl. Realign the flapper valve to see if this solves the problem. If the valve is broken or won’t stay aligned, you’ll need to replace it with a new one. Ask your plumber for assistance if you don’t feel comfortable replacing it yourself.

Toilet troubles may be common, but they are often easy to solve on your own as well. You can contact a professional plumber in Houston or find more information about our plumbing services by clicking through our website. Take a look through our blog for additional do-it-yourself tips on fixing toilets, water heaters, clogged drains, and more!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

How to Maintain Your Septic Tank

Does your Anderson home use a septic system to treat wastewater? Caring for your septic tank is a simple yet essential component of maintaining your home’s plumbing. While septic tank maintenance is not difficult, failure to care for your system properly can cause damage that affects your health and requires the costly installation of a new system. Understanding how a few simple steps can improve the function of your septic system will save you time, money, and stress.

Don’t Use Additives
There are a variety of septic system additives available on the market today. These products claim to improve septic system performance, degrease your plumbing pipes, and even prevent the need for septic system pumping. However, multiple studies have shown that septic system additives often do more harm than good. Additive products contain bacteria, enzymes, or chemicals that can upset the balance of a healthy septic system. Too much bacteria can speed up the decomposition process, releasing gases that push solids into your drain field and affect the absorption rate of the soil. Chemical degreasers often contain known carcinogens, which can be distributed to local water sources—including drinking water—because they are not broken down inside your septic tank. Never use any additive in your septic system; if you experience a change in performance, talk to your plumber about a better long-term solution.

Have Your Tank Pumped
Regardless of how well you care for your septic system, it must be pumped regularly to remove solid wastes that build up over time. These solid wastes are an unavoidable byproduct of the way the system works. Neglecting to pump the tank can clog it, leading to plumbing backups and other problems in your home. You should have a professional plumber inspect your tank every year to determine when pumping is necessary. Although most septic tanks require pumping at least every one to three years, factors such as the occupancy of your home and your average water usage can affect the amount of time your tank will function between pumping services. Only a professional can tell you when your tank requires pumping, and it’s always best to pump your tank before you notice any problems. Once you start noticing plumbing issues, you’ve already done some damage to the system that could reduce its working lifetime.

Don’t wait until you’ve had septic system problems to call for help—contact your plumber today to ask about maintaining your septic system for trouble-free function and a healthier home environment. You can learn more about our septic system and plumbing services in Anderson by clicking through the information on our website. We also invite you to check out our blog for additional tips and information that can help you reduce water waste, prevent plumbing problems, and save money.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Importance of Regular Roof Maintenance

Excerpt: You may not think about your roof very often, but it works hard to shelter your home or business every day. Regular roof maintenance is essential to protect this valuable asset—check out this article to learn more!

Roofs are subject to wind, weather, and intense sunlight on a regular basis, all of which can cause damage or wear that affects performance. A poorly-maintained roof represents not only an aesthetic problem, but an issue that affects your comfort and can cost you greatly to repair when something big goes wrong. Maintaining your roof is therefore not only important to keep your property looking its best, but to ensure indoor comfort and reduce your expenses as well.

Prevents Problems
Every problem, even a large problem, starts as a small one. Significant roof issues arise only after small problems have been allowed to persist over time without resolution. Both property owners and roofing contractors agree that the best type of maintenance program is a proactive one, rather than a reactive solution. This means that regular inspections and maintenance tasks are performed even when no obvious problem is observed. Reactive maintenance, which only calls for repairs when damage such as leaks become obvious to the property owner, can allow small, unseen problems to spread until they completely ruin your roof. Consistent exposure to water damages roofing materials, insulation, and eventually the infrastructure of your home or office building. Failure to regularly clean gutters causes them to overflow, affecting your foundation, or pull away from your roof, causing large-scale damage. Widespread damage and large leaks cost significantly more to address than small issues, especially if these problems affect other aspects of your home or business. Pursuing regular proactive roof maintenance will reduce your overall expenses by eliminating the need for costly repairs.

Improves Energy Efficiency
A leaking or damaged roof allows for air exchange as drafts enter and exit your property. Air exchange reduces the efficiency of your home or office building’s heating and cooling system because these appliances must work harder to offset temperature changes and maintain a consistent indoor temperature. This added stress on your HVAC system can cause components to wear out more quickly, costing you in repairs to your heating and cooling equipment to keep them functioning properly. Additionally, the more work your furnace and air conditioner must do, the more energy they require and the higher your utility bills. Maintaining your roof will prevent drafts and maintain a closed system inside your building, reducing the amount of work and energy required by your HVAC equipment.

Maintains Curb Appeal
Whether your roof covers your home or other property, appearances are important. A poorly-maintained roof will show deterioration, affecting the overall appearance of your property. Many homeowners’ associations require homeowners to maintain the exterior of their home, while an office or business building that looks to be in poor shape may drive away or disappoint customers and clients. Proactive maintenance ensures that any damage that could affect the appearance of your roof is addressed regularly to keep your roof looking its best.

Even if you’re not concerned about your roof right now, preventive maintenance will ensure you never need to worry about leaks and other issues affecting its quality or performance. We invite you to click through our website to learn more about how roof maintenance is performed and why it is so essential for your home or business. You can also contact a roofing professional online to get more information about maintenance, repairs, and roof replacement in Alexandria, Arlington, or Columbia.