6 Things to Never Put Down Your Garbage Disposal

Thanksgiving is abundant in family time, festivities, and most importantly – food! In fact, some of us may spend the greater part of the holiday in the kitchen, preparing savory dishes and deserts.

While your friends and family members may enjoy the assortment of things you have so carefully prepared, your plumbing might not. When it comes time to throw away the remainder of your food, be smart as to what goes down the disposal.

6 Thing to Never Put Down Your Disposal (2)

Did you know that the day after Thanksgiving is the busiest time of year for plumbers? It’s because of all the junk that people put down their garbage disposals on Thanksgiving Day. You wouldn’t put money down your garbage disposal, so why would you put other things down it that will cost you upwards of several hundred dollars to fix?

Since we like to sleep in and enjoy the Thanksgiving weekend with our families too, we are going to offer you some friendly advice about how to prevent disastrous clogs in your drains and garbage disposals:

1.) Grease/Oil

Avoid putting any grease, fats, or oils down your garbage disposal. Grease and oil accumulates on the sides of your pipes, eventually causing a very costly clog. Your wallet and pipes will thank you for not doing so.

After using grease, wait for it to cool down a little and then pour it into a jar or can, which you can later throw in the trash.

2.) Fibrous Foods

Your green been casserole, onion peels, some lettuce, corn husks, kale, asparagus, and other Thanksgiving side dishes are hard for your garbage disposal to break down, especially in large quantities. Put these food items in the trash or compost.

3.) Peels

Whether you’re preparing loaded baked potatoes, a hash-brown casserole or plain ole’ mashed potatoes, keep the peels out of the garbage disposal! The starch from potatoes and potato peels can turn into a “thick paste,” which may cause the blades to stick.

4.) Bones

Avoid putting large animal bones down the garbage disposal. Your disposal is just not strong enough to handle them! However, small bones, and we do mean small, can go down your drain.

5.) Eggshells

Thanksgiving is a time where there are more pies than there are people. And you can’t make a pie without eggs. So whether you’ve prepared chocolate pies or cherry pies, make sure to avoid placing eggshells down your disposal. The inner membrane can actually get caught up in the disposal’s blades and the shell can get ground into a sand-like substance that gets stuck in the trap.

6.) Pits & Seeds

What do peach cobbler, cherry pie and apple pie have in common? Pits and seeds! Unless you want your disposal to be a DIY pinball machine, we recommend keeping these out of your disposal! For a fresh-smelling scent, put lemon and lime wedges down your disposal.

Here are a couple of things that you can, and probably should put down your garbage disposal:

  • Putting ice cubes down your disposal will help sharpen the blades.
  • Always run cold water down the disposal whenever the disposal is on.
  • Put lemon or other citrus peels/wedges down the disposal to help get rid of bad scents. Only a little at a time though.

For a recap, here is a video from ABC 15:

Despite all the precautions you take, you might still experience plumbing problems. Things just happen sometimes. In the unfortunate case of a plumbing problem, pick up the phone and call the experts at Boulden Brothers Home Services at (302) 368-3848.

We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer any questions you might have.

Visit us on our websiteFacebook, and Twitter for more useful information and advice for maintaining a safe and efficient home.

Everyone here at Boulden Brothers wishes you a safe, warm, and clog-free Thanksgiving.

Preventing Clogged Drains

In previous posts, we talked about the problems caused by clogged drains and some of the possible solutions. Now, let’s focus on some easy steps everyone can take to avoid clogs from occurring in the first place.

  1. Watch what you flush.

Only waste and toilet paper should be flushed down the toilet. Other objects can cause clogs or buildup in the line.

Young children tend to flush foreign objects down the toilet. They should be educated and properly supervised on toilet usage so they don’t flush anything that will cause problems.

  1. Clear out the buildup.

We recommend regular use of BioSmart to clear out sludge and buildup. This product will eat through organic material (like hair) over time and keep the line clear of obstruction. Of course, BioSmart will not help if inorganic foreign objects are obstructing the line. BioSmart is EPA approved, so the bacteria in the product is naturally occurring and safe for use in the plumbing system. While not advisable, accidental skin contact or ingestion of BioSmart is non-toxic.

Other chemical drain cleaners available for purchase at the supermarket are not recommended. These acidic chemicals are toxic if they are ingested or if they come in contact with the skin. Additionally, they will cause the pipes to wear over time and could shorten their lifespan. The worst case scenario from regular use of chemical cleaners would be holes in the pipe, leading to slow leaks in the walls or ceilings.

Whereas BioSmart can be used regularly for maintenance of the system, harsher chemical drain cleaners are used to deal with the acute problem and should not be used on a regular basis.

  1. Don’t dump grease down the sink.

Grease is a big problem because it can build up over time, slowly restricting drain flow. It’s a good idea not to drain leftover grease from foods with high fat content (such as bacon).

  1. Get professional help.

If you notice slow drainage, lingering smell, or any unusual issues with your plumbing, give us a call so we can check it out. It’s better to have professional help fix the problem early, before it leads to something more expensive and inconvenient.

The first thing that we will do is restore flow to the system by clearing the line. Then, we will send our camera down into the line if possible to get a better look at the problem. We will look on a case by case basis to determine exactly what the problem is and what your options are to get it properly fixed.

If you’d like to learn more about proactive solutions such as BioSmart that you can use in order to prevent household calls, give us a call today.

5 Home Heating Tips to Stay Warm All Winter

As cold fronts continue to grip the nation, here are some home heating tips to stay warm and cozy all winter long.

5-Home-Heating-Tips-for-the-Holidays-(2)

Who doesn’t have fond memories of curling up by a fire with a book (or tablet)? Rather than getting sad and blue about the cold weather, take joy in the fact that you can now put on your wool and fleece clothing, cuddle up for warmth, and relax by the fire.

Light a Fire (or Candles)

If you have a fireplace, use it, but make sure that it has been inspected and cleaned within the last year. If you want to inspect the chimney yourself, make sure:

  • the flue damper is working properly by testing to see if it opens, closes, and seals.
  • while the damper is fully open, use a flashlight and mirror to inspect the flue for a buildup of soot and creosote, as well as any animal remnants or other foreign objects.
  • do a rough visual inspection, inside and out, to determine if there are is any damage that could pose a problem.
  • when in use, the damper should always be fully open. Do not close the damper until the fire is fully out and there are no embers left. Leaving the damper open when the fireplace is not in use is like having a large window open in your house. You can save up to 30% on your home heating costs by making sure that air isn’t escaping up your chimney. If your damper doesn’t fit properly, consider replacing it.

If you don’t have a fireplace, you can always use candles to create one. You can buy Woodwick candles that make the crackling sound of a fireplace.

 

RibbonWick

 

Use Rugs to Cover Up Cold Floors

There’s nothing better than sinking your toes in a nice lush rug. Puts thick rugs down on the sides of your bed so you never have to wake up to freezing feet again.

shutterstock_224639506

Bundle Up

Use Snuggies, robes, wool socks, sweaters, sweatpants, onesies, pajamas, and other warm items to wrap yourself up in. Winter clothing is essential for keeping home heating costs down. In the bedroom, use a thick duvet cover and warm the insides with a hot water bottle.

hot-watter-bottleKrissa Curran

Bundle Up Your Attic, Basement, and Water Heater Too

You can find out what kind of insulation your home as from energy.gov. Also, from energy.gov, check all of the following areas for potential leaks:

where_to_insulate

Examples of where to insulate. 1. In unfinished attic spaces, insulate between and over the floor joists to seal off living spaces below. (1A) attic access door 2. In finished attic rooms with or without dormer, insulate (2A) between the studs of “knee” walls, (2B) between the studs and rafters of exterior walls and roof, (2C) and ceilings with cold spaces above. (2D) Extend insulation into joist space to reduce air flows. 3. All exterior walls, including (3A) walls between living spaces and unheated garages, shed roofs, or storage areas; (3B) foundation walls above ground level; (3C) foundation walls in heated basements, full wall either interior or exterior. 4. Floors above cold spaces, such as vented crawl spaces and unheated garages. Also insulate (4A) any portion of the floor in a room that is cantilevered beyond the exterior wall below; (4B) slab floors built directly on the ground; (4C) as an alternative to floor insulation, foundation walls of unvented crawl spaces. (4D) Extend insulation into joist space to reduce air flows. 5. Band joists. 6. Replacement or storm windows and caulk and seal around all windows and doors. Source: Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Although, this one is not really a small project, if you really want to save on your energy bills, you will need to insulate your home. If you do make major insulation changes, call your trusted HVAC professional to assess the ventilation balance of your system.

Install and Set Programmable Thermostat

shutterstock_92965054

A programmable thermostat will allow you to automatically lower or raise the temperature of your home during specific times of the day. If you are going to bed or are away from your house, we suggest setting your thermostat for 68 degrees or lower.

Remember, for every degree you lower your thermostat, you can save up to 5% on your heating costs.

The Furnace

  • The best thing you can do for your furnace and for your home heating efficiency is to schedule maintenance every year. Some warranties even require it, and a yearly check-up ensures that your system is working properly and at its maximum efficiency.
  • Replace furnace filters every 1-3 months, depending on your filter. Some filters just need to be cleaned with a garden hose, while others get replaced entirely. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the package and make sure you are inserting the filter correctly.
  • Advances in HVAC technology has made it so furnaces and air conditioners are more efficient and cost-productive than they have ever been. If you have a furnace or air conditioner that is older than 14 years and isn’t working properly or costing you more money than you can keep up with, definitely consider purchasing a new HVAC system.

Other things to check include your air quality system, your ventilation system and anything used to heat or cool food in the kitchen – all of which may be less efficient than you might like.

If you have any further questions on how to save money and energy on home heating this winter, talk to the licensed, trained technicians at Boulden Brothers.

Visit us on our websiteFacebook, and Twitter or give us a call at (302) 368-3848. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer any questions you might have.

Identifying Household Drain Clogs

Not only can clogs in home drain systems become a very expensive problem, but they can also be a huge inconvenience and end up creating an enormous mess. Some slow leaks are practically unnoticeable, causing unseen damage over a long period of time. In other cases, backed up toilets, tubs, or showers risk causing considerable water damage.

Common Signs & Causes

If every drain in the house is experiencing slow water drainage, this is a sign of tree roots that have grown into the outside pipes. Once roots migrate into the pipes, they will reduce flow to the sewer line in the street. This is a gradual occurrence that worsens over time—instead of waiting until the roots have caused significant problems, homeowners should act immediately when they notice that drainage throughout the home has noticeably decreased.

If there is a localized stoppage that only affects one sink, bathtub, or toilet, this indicates that there is probably buildup, debris, or a foreign object that is obstructing the fixture. As opposed to root blockage, this problem will only affect a single fixture in the house.

If the restroom sink is experiencing drainage problems, this often occurs due to buildup of personal hygiene products such as soap or toothpaste. Many of these items have waxes and other ingredients that will build up on the interior of the lines.

Identifying the Issue

The first and most important step is to correctly identify the issue. Boulden Brothers has the technology to spot the problem, whatever and wherever it may be. Clearing the drain with a drain cleaning machine is a crucial next step to restore flow and make room for us to send a camera down into the affected area.

The camera will allow us to make a close inspection of the interior of the line, giving a bird’s eye view of exactly what is going on. As long as there is an access point at the house and/or one at the street, we should be able to get a clear view of the entire line.

Once we know exactly what caused the issue, we will develop possible courses of action to fix the problem. If it’s a localized drain problem (e.g., a clogged restroom sink), it may be as simple as replacing the P-trap.

In upcoming posts, we’ll cover some of the many options available to homeowners that not only solve their drainage problems, but prevent them from occurring as well.

If you’re noticing a stopped up fixture or slowed drainage throughout your entire home, give us a call today.

How to Prevent and Thaw Frozen Pipes

The Northeast and Southeast were hit with record low temperatures and early snowfalls this weekend, making it obvious that winter is coming a little early this year (Accuweather).

howtopreventfrozenpipes

You may think that you have no problems with your plumbing system, but when the temperatures drop to freezing temperatures, which has already been happening in many parts of the country, the water in your pipes can freeze. Anyone who has ever exploded a can or glass bottle in the freezer knows firsthand how otherwise stable objects can explode due to the fact that liquid expands when it freezes.

The same principle applies to pipes. Even though your pipes are in great shape, the added pressure that is created when water freezes is enough to cause a tiny crack which can quickly escalate into a full force explosion of water.

Next to hurricanes, frozen or broken water pipes damage more homes in the U.S. than anything else. The average homeowner insurance claim from burst pipe is just around $5,0000 (HouseLogic). To reduce the risk of pipes freezing and breaking, follow our tips and advice before it is too late. You don’t want to wait until temperatures drop to below freezing to form a plan.

Before the IcePocalyse (Preventative Measures):
  • Locate and become friends with your water shut-off valve. You will want to be familiar with this in case you run into a problem with broken pipes. 
    • Your main shut-off valve is located near your water meter, if you know where that is. If you don’t know where either is, don’t wait until water is flooding your house to find it. If there is ever a leak in your home, you can become the home hero by running to your water shut-off valve and turning it off before further damage occurs.
    • Your water meter and shut-off valve can be located in one of several places. 1.) If you have a basement and crawlspace, the water valve might be located somewhere in the basement near the front of the house. 2.) If your house is located on a slab, look around your water heater or garage. 3.) If you cannot find the valve inside the home, the next place to look is outside. Most water meters and valves are located near the front curb of your house, underneath a concrete lid, buried underground. If you have any trouble locating your water meter and shut-off valve, give your Boulden Brothers plumber a call and they will help you find it or stop by to shut the water off for you.
    • The main shut-off valve is usually a gate valve, but in newer homes it might be a ball valve.
    • Brass_Gate_Valve-shut-off-2-268
    • If your meter box is located in that concrete box outside of your home, you may need to purchase a meter key from your local home improvement store to be able to turn the valve. If it is an emergency, you may be able to use a flathead screwdriver and adjustable wrench in its place. Remember the old adage, “Righty Tighty, Lefty Loosey.” If you have a ball valve, turn the handle clockwise until it is perpendicular to the pipe. Once you have shut off the water to your house, look at the water meter. The needle and leak indicator should have stopped moving, indicating that water is no longer moving through your water meter.
    • Now that you know where your water shut-off valve is, you won’t look like a chicken with its head cut off the next time you have a leak in your house. You’ll know exactly where to go and what to do and everybody will love you for it.
  • If you leave your home for more than a day, make sure you set the thermostat at or above 55°F. It is not worth the risk of a broken pipe to try and save a couple dollars on your heating bill.
  • Open cabinet doors in bathroom and kitchen to allow warm to air circulate around your plumbing. If there are freezing temperatures outside and you have pipes located in cabinets and cupboards, open them to circulate warm air, especially if the pipes in question are next to an exterior wall.
  • If the temperature remains freezing for a long time, let faucets drip water slowly. This relieves pressure from the pipes and activates both your cold and hot lines (warm setting), which helps prevents pipes from freezing and breaking.
During the IcePocalypse (Thawing a Frozen Pipe):
  • If you turn on the faucet and the water is barely trickling out or isn’t flowing at all, it is likely that you have a frozen pipe. You can find out which pipe is frozen because it normally covered in frost.
  • Keep faucets open. As your frozen pipe begins to melt, the water and steam will run through the frozen area. The running water will help prevent pressure build-up when you are attempting to thaw your pipes.
  • There are several safe ways to apply heat to a frozen pipe. 1.) Perhaps the best way to thaw your pipe is to insulate the frozen section of your pipe with a thick towel and run hot water over it. 2.) You can also use an electric heating pad to wrap around the pipe.  3.) Another easy, but more time-consuming process, is to use an electric hair dryer, portable space heater, or heat lamp to thaw the frozen section. 4.) Home improvement stores sell heat tape that can be used on frozen pipes to quickly thaw the problem area. Whatever you do, Do NOT use any kind of open flame to thaw your frozen pipes. It will potentially damage your pipes and start a fire.
  • If you are unable to thaw your pipes, or you are in need of further assistance, call the plumbing experts at Boulden Brothers Home Services. 

Watch this video if you want a recap of what we went over:

If you have any further questions on dealing with frozen pipes, talk to the licensed, trained technicians at Boulden Brothers. We don’t want you to have to call us for expensive plumbing repairs because of frozen pipes!

Visit us on our website, Facebook, and Twitter or give us a call at (302) 368-3848. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer any questions you might have.

Fixing Household Drain Clogs

There’s no need to panic if your home has a serious clog. Boulden Brothers can give you options so your toilets, sinks, and showers drain like they are supposed to. Whenever a plumber from Boulden Brothers visits your home, you can be sure they will be well prepared with a fully stocked truck. They’ll make sure to bring all the tools needed for the job at hand, including the right size cleaning equipment for the drain that is experiencing issues.

Determining the best tool for the job depends on the plumber’s experience. They will be able to make an educated assessment about where the blockage probably is, and what’s the best way to go about accessing it. More often than not, the plumber will use a mechanical cleaning method such as electric or hand drain cleaning equipment. Using these tools involves placing a cable down the line with different heads attached that will either push or cut through the blockage.

If the clog is household-wide due to root growth, there are many possible ways to fix the problem. It depends on whether it is a localized intrusion where the roots are hitting one portion of the line or if they have permeated the entire line. The experienced team at Boulden Brothers will look at the situation on a case-by-case basis and decide the best course of action.

While homeowners might use a plunger for clogs, it’s not preferable because it can damage the toilet’s wax ring if used too frequently. There are also many commercially available chemicals that do more harm than good. First of all, they are very hard on the plumbing system. Because they are harsh chemicals that eat right through the blockage, they also indiscriminately eat right through the pipes. We have seen situations where people have used commercial drain cleaners for so long that the pipes are almost crumbling.

If you can imagine how harsh a chemical must be to eat away at everything it touches, think about the damage it would cause if misuse or accidents were to occur. It is extremely hazardous to the point that any skin contact can result in significant injury. If children or pets were to find the product, it could quickly spell disaster. You should always use special care and consideration if ever deciding to use one of these chemical cleaners.

Aside from being equipped to fix your home’s clogged drain, we take steps to avoid the problem from resurfacing in the future. One of the ways we do this is with a bacterial treatment called BioSmart. BioSmart is put into the drains, eating organic material that would create blockage while causing no damage to the pipes.

If you’d like to learn more about how the experienced team at Boulden Brothers can fix your household clogs, give us a call today.

Your Haunted House and How to Fix It

Halloween is here, which probably means you’ve been hyper-aware of a lot of creepy noises and other unexplained activity coming from your house. You were thinking about visiting a haunted house, but since your own house replicates the experience so well, you figure that people should be paying you to enter a dark and creepy home if they want to feel fear and anxiety.

 

hauntedhouse_boulden

 

Although many people think that they live in a haunted house, whenever there has been a full inspection of the situation, those spirits turn out to be caused by faulty electrical wiring, air leaks and drafts, plumbing, and old appliances.

 

If people frequently ask you if your house is haunted, you may want to take a look at this list of ghostly phenomena and the real reasons behind those apparent supernatural signs. We will provide you with the paranormal explanation followed by our own, more scientific explanations. Our reasons are going to be a lot less amusing, but they will provide you with real solutions to get rid of your creepy companions. Are you ready, guys and ghouls?

 

COLD SPOTS/DRAFTS – You always feel like you are sharing the room with some invisible other because sometimes when you walk by a specific spot, it immediately gets cold. You take a step forward and the air temperature returns to normal. One step back and it gets cold again.

 

Paranormal Reason –  This is what ghost hunters and parapsychologists refer to as a “cold spot.” The paranormal explanation is that in order for ghosts to materialize and scare the bejeezus out of you, they need to suck the heat energy out of the air, thus creating an area of the room that is referred to as a “cold spot.”

 

Boulden Reason – When Boulden technicians encounter a “cold spot,” they instantly look to find an area nearby where cool air is leaking in. By simply closing the air leaks in your home, you can save up to 15% on your heating and cooling bill every month. A simple and inexpensive solution is to use weatherstripping on your windows and doors.

 

If you want to try to find the source of the leaks yourself, go around your home with a smoke stick and hold it up to areas you suspect might have an air leak. If the smoke moves, you know that air is flowing through a crack somewhere. You can also just check to see if light is coming through any edges of your windows or doors. Weatherstripping will stop the air from coming in around the top and sides of the door, but to prevent air from flowing underneath your door, you will need to add a door swee. Cut the sweep to fit the door and mark and predrill your screwholes. With the door shut, screw the sweep to the door. Check the instructions on the door sweep package to see whether it is supposed to be installed on the inside or the outside of your door.

 

 

ACF9F1B6-C81F-4F77-BAB98C0CB2989F1F_article
Rubén Hidalgo

 

CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING – There are several stories of apparent ghost sightings and haunted houses that can be attributed to carbon monoxide poisoning.

 

 

Paranormal Reason – The house was haunted and the ghost that Mrs. H saw was real. It is well known among parapychologists that ghosts try to run families out of the house, and that’s exactly what this ghost family did. When slamming doors and creaking floorboards weren’t doing the trick, they fiddled with the blower to the furnace so that it would leak a poison gas. W

 

Boulden Reason – As a colorless, odorless gas, carbon monoxide (CO) is very difficult detect. If you don’t have CO detectors throughout your home, you’ll never know its there. The symptoms of CO-poisoning include weakness, nausea, dizziness, confusion, blurred vision, and hallucinations before loss of consciousness and death. These effects are due to a lack of oxygen because our red blood cells absorb CO faster than they do oxygen. The oxygen that is normally in our blood gets replaced with CO molecules, which blocks the path for any new oxygen to enter.

 

How to Avoid CO Leaks in Your Home:
  1. Schedule annual furnace maintenance – Right now is the perfect time to schedule your fall furnace maintenance. Don’t wait until the first cold day of winter to turn your furnace on and realize that you have a problem. Most factory warranties even require that you have regular maintenance done on your HVAC equipment. When you schedule repair or maintenance with Boulden Brothers, you will get a full cleaning and inspection of your system during which we will perform a wide range of tests and and identify any problems your furnace might have.
  2. Change your air filters every 30-60 days – A clean filter will allow your furnace to breath easier, preventing airflow backups and keeping dust from circulating in your home. A blocked up filter causes carbon monoxide to build up within the furnace, raising the risk of CO poisoning. Click here to learn how to change a furnace filter form Bob Vila. 
  3. Have furnace installation and repair done by a trusted professional – Learn from Mrs. H.! If you need repair or installation of any piece of HVAC equipment, make sure you do your research and hire a trusted professional. You have probably heard the phrase, “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do a job, wait until you hire an amateur,” but it is especially true in the home service industry. Call Boulden Brothers at (302) 368-3848 for true professionalism and 100% Customer Satisfaction Guarantee. 
  4. Install carbon monoxide detectors –  Carbon monoxide is produced whenever a fuel such as gas, oil, kerosene, wood or charcoal is burned. Have a trained professional check all your fuel-burning appliances and make sure you have carbon monoxide detectors outside of every sleeping area.

symptoms-image

If you have any further questions on how to tell if your house is haunted or not, talk to the licensed, trained technicians at Boulden Brothers. From everyone here at Boulden Brothers, we wish you a safe and happy Halloween!

Visit us on our website, Facebook, and Twitter or give us a call at (302) 368-3848. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer any questions you might have.

Drain Cleaning and Maintenance

Boulden Brothers provides many options to homeowners when it comes to drain cleaning and maintenance. One highly recommended product is Aqua Bright Pipe Rejuvenation, which is basically a pressure washer designed for the plumbing system.

Standard drain cleaning equipment consists of a flexible metal rod that spins to clear up the pipe. While it does a good job of removing large obstructions, it does not scour the edges of the pipe (like a brush would).

The pipe rejuvenation system uses pressurized water to blast away any remaining dirt or sludge that is stuck on the interior surface of the pipe. After the process is completed, the pipe will be practically new on the inside.

One big advantage of the Aqua Bright system is that it uses only water and no harsh chemicals to get the job done. Keep in mind, any chemicals released into your system would ultimately end up in the municipal sewer system. Not only is Aqua Bright environmentally friendly, but it is also completely safe.

Finally, BioSmart is an EPA approved bacterial agent that eats any organic material in the lines. This in combination with the Aqua Bright system and standard drain cleaning will add up to a pristine drainage system.

Here’s a breakdown of the guarantees we offer with different levels of drain maintenance:

Standard drain cleaning: 90 day guarantee

Standard drain cleaning + BioSmart: 1 year no clog guarantee

Standard drain cleaning + BioSmart + Aqua Bright: full 5 year no clog guarantee

Homeowners are very unlikely to encounter a problem once we clean all the lines and restore them to practically new condition using Aqua Bright. Aqua Bright comes with our care-free 100 percent tri-five no clog guarantee. That means that all your interior lines will remain clear, clean, and clog free for the next 5 years, 5 months, and 5 days.

In the unlikely event that you were to have a problem, you will receive priority service from us. Our tech will be right out to restore flow at absolutely no additional cost to you. For people who have had major drain problems in the past, this is a huge guarantee.

Your household can have peace of mind knowing that there will be no drain problems. Boulden Brothers knows how important having properly working drains is to your home. Give us a call today so we can make drainage issues a thing of the past.

Damage Caused by Household Drain Clogs

In the past couple of posts, we’ve been talking about identifying household clogs and different ways they can be fixed. Another concern that has immediate consequences for homeowners is the potential damage that can occur due to clogs.

At Boulden Brothers, we’ve seen the extensive damage that can be caused by clogged drains firsthand. Homeowners go through significant stress when a toilet is clogged because gray water needs to be properly (and safely) cleaned.

Toilet, shower, or sink back ups also have the potential to cause mold and mildew if any moisture remains. This is especially worrisome because moisture is often inconspicuous. Ultimately, drain issues have the potential to cause the same problems as flooding caused by broken pipes.

While we aren’t a professional cleaning service, we will come to the rescue with your plumbing issue as fast as possible. Our professional plumbers have the proper tools to get the job done, and we will clean the areas that we are capable of (depending on the severity of the situation). If the damage is too significant, we will refer you to a qualified professional cleaner.

Not only does gray water produce a foul smell, but there are significant health considerations as well. Homeowners need to get their problem handled quickly and correctly, and the Boulden Brothers are here to help.

If you ever find yourself with an emergency toilet issue caused by a clogged drain, or if you think that remaining moisture is a concern that needs to be eliminated, give us a call.

Chilling Chores: Tricks and Tips for Winterizing your Home

Sure, ghouls and goblins are scary. But, so is getting atop a tall ladder to clear out gutters or worming around in small and dirty crawlspaces to check pipes and vents. What is even scarier, however, is all of the problems that can occur if you don’t do these home maintenance chores. When it comes to winterizing your home, here are the regular maintenance issues that scare us the most:

bouldenchillignchores
  1. Check your crawlspaces and underneath your house for moisture penetration and water buildup. Use weatherproof caulk and expandable foam spray to seal up any cracks and leaks you find.
  2. Make sure gutters are free of debris and water spouts are diverting water away from your home’s foundation. Getting atop a tall ladder is one of the most common fears, and rightly so. Be careful up there! You may have to clean out the gutters again at the end of fall, when all the leaves have fallen. While you are up there, inspect the status of your gutters and make sure to tighten brackets if needed. If they are beyond repair, install new gutters (w/ leaf guards).
  3. Is your basement always wet after a heavy rain? Learn how to waterproof a basement here.
  4. Replace your furnace or heater filter. Have an extra filter on hand for when you need to change it next.
  5. Inspect your roof for damaged shingles. Damaged/Missing shingles can be a warning sign for a more serious problem. You can inspect your roof yourself and even replace shingles by yourself, but if you have leaks or water coming into your house, you should have a professional roofer assess the situation.
  6. Drain and winterize any outdoor faucets and irrigation systems. Inspect all outdoor water faucets for damage. If they have a shut-off valve, close it off and turn on the faucet to drain any excess water in the faucets. For irrigation pipes, shut off the water supply and manually open all of the drain valves For more information about how to drain and winterize faucets and irrigation systems, click here. To help winterize your outdoor plumbing, hire a local plumber to ensure the job is done right.
  7. Schedule your annual furnace tune-up before winter starts up! Have your furnace serviced regularly and check the filter every month. Filters need to be changed every 30 to 60 months.
  8. Have your local HVAC technician inspect your fireplace and heating system to make sure that everything is running properly and that you are using fuel/energy in the most efficient way to save money and make your heating system last longer. It is very important that your heating system is in working order before you fire it up for the winter. I know it is scary, but go down to your boiler/furnace room and test to see if it runs. That way, you can take advantage of pre-season deals and won’t have to put on a waiting list for your work order.
  9. Reverse your the direction of your ceiling fans so that it is redistributing the warm air near the ceiling.
  10. Last, but not least, make sure you winterize your yard equipment like lawn mowers, leaf blowers, and chain saws. To avoid start-up issues in the spring, make sure you drain all of the fuel from all of your gas-powered yard equipment. Make sure these items are stored in a safe location. You don’t want your kids thinking it is a good idea to use your chainsaw to liven up their Halloween costume or party.

 

And lastly, the scariest thing we can think of is a home fire. Unless a smoldering pile of ash is what you’re going for this Halloween, make sure to have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors installed outside of every sleeping area in your home. Over 60% of all home fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke detectors.

If you have any further questions on winterizing your home, talk to the licensed, trained technicians at Boulden Brothers. We want to help you have a safe and happy Halloween. Visit us on our website, Facebook, and Twitter or give us a call at (302) 368-3848. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer any questions you might have.