March 1, 2018 Plumbing Services Newsletter - Water Damage

"I sure appreciated how quick and cost effectively you guys took care of my leaking copper pipes under the house this past summer. Highly recommend you to anyone I know who needs plumbing service!"

Andy Krivy, owner of Infinity Signs, Boise, Idaho

How Water Sensors Can Help Prevent Costly Water Damage

Imagine coming home from that dream vacation only to open the front door and have water come pouring out at you – your dream just became a nightmare.  Unfortunately, water leaks are fairly common and if left undetected a crack just 1/8” long can send up to 250 gallons of water a day into your home.  Certainly a more major leak or failure could cause immeasurable damage.  Luckily new technology can help prevent these types of tragedies.

There are generally 3 levels of protection available to consumers.

  • Leak Detection
  • Leak Detection with single location shut-off
  • Whole-home Leak Detection with Automatic Shut-off

To choose the type of protection appropriate for your home you’ll want to consider how much protection you’re looking for, as well as the budget you have for the project.  The most thorough way to protect your home is through a whole-home leak detection system.  For this system a professional plumber, such as All Star Plumbing and Restoration, would come in to your home to properly set-up and install the unit.  Sensors would be installed throughout the home anywhere water is likely to spring a leak.  This would include around the hot water heater, garbage disposal, washing machine, sinks and toilets.  If water is detected at any point by one of these sensors an alarm will sound and the main water supply to the house will be shut off.  This will give the homeowner an opportunity to locate the source of the water, complete necessary repairs and reset the sensor without any water damage at all.  For many of these systems they offer apps that can be put on your phone or tablet to provide instant notification of a leak and water supply shut-off.  There may be permits or inspection regulations required for these systems, so it’s recommended that a professional complete the installation.  While this is the most expensive level of protection often homeowners’ insurance companies will offer policy discounts if these systems are installed.

The next step down would be a leak detection system with a single location shut-off.  Again these sensors are placed in a variety of areas where water could become a problem.  If a leak is detected the sensor will shut-off water coming to that location but not the entire home. 
The lowest budget option would be a simple leak detection sensor.  These sensors are again located throughout the home and if water is detected an alarm will sound, but it will not have the ability to shut-off the water supply.  While this is still incredibly helpful it certainly has its limitations to prevent damage if the homeowner is away at the time of a leak.  These systems may be able to integrate with a home security system to notify you even if you’re not home, but water will continue to leak into your home until you’re able to get there and shut it off.

If you want to be able to guarantee the highest level of protection for your home and all of the treasures held within you’ll definitely want to contact All Star Plumbing today to schedule installation of a whole-home leak detection system.



Maximizing Space in a Small Bathroom

While adding actual square footage to a small bathroom may not be possible there are still great options to maximize every inch. 

1. Hang towel racks for bath and hand towels on the back of the door.
2. Choose soft, pale colors on the walls and reserve stronger colors for towels and other decor.
3. Use clear glass rather than shower curtains or frosted glass/
4. Install a wall mounted or pedestal sink it creates an optical illusion of additional floor space.
5. Hang a shelf above the toilet and/or door to create storage space for extra toilet paper and other bathroom necessities.
6. Maximize natural light.  If able to, increase the size of the window, raise window treatments or install window treatments that let in as much light as possible.
7.  Draw attention upward by installing a decorative light fixture.
8.  Use space under the sink with a set of small drawers.
9. Add a narrow pull-out cabinet next to the sink for more hidden storage.



The Value of a Crawl Space Inspection

Home Inspection Idaho

The crawl space under a home is often completely forgotten about by homeowners unless they’re looking to buy or sell the house.  Generally, an inspection of the crawl space is included in a home inspection at the time of a sale however there’s great benefit in having one done regularly while living in the home.  A crawl space is a cool, dark environment – the perfect place for all kinds of hazards to hang out.  Everything from unwanted pests to mold growth can be found during an inspection and are certainly things homeowners want to be aware of to get resolved.

All Star Plumbing & Restoration offers crawl space inspection services to their customers to help them detect potential problems early on and get them resolved.  When an inspector arrives they will assess the area to make sure it’s safe to complete the inspection.  This involves ensuring that the opening to the crawl space is large enough, that the space under the home is large enough, and that there are no visible hazards such as lose wires, broken glass, or sewage leakage.  An inspector will also have the appropriate protective equipment should they encounter any surprises such as snakes, scorpions, spiders or bees. Once it’s been determined that an inspection can take place the inspector will proceed into the crawl space. 

There are many things that the inspector will be looking for such as:

Termites – either currently visible or evidence of burrowing

Mold and/or Mildew – these can grow rapidly in this environment and can pose both a health hazard to the homeowner as well as potential for wood decay

Standing Water or Sewage – often an inspector will use an electronic moisture meter to determine the level of moisture in the soil this information can help assess whether there may be a problem from a plumbing leak or natural water movement through the soil.

Ventilation – it’s important to have proper ventilation to prevent many of the other potential crawl space problems.  If done properly ventilation openings will be located around the perimeter to create cross-ventilation and near each corner to prevent dead air space.

Foundation Issues – finding cracks or evidence of shifting or settling foundation early on may mean the difference between something easily fixed verses a problem that will cost the homeowner a small fortune.

There are many other items that the inspector will watch for as well such as the presence and quality of vapor barriers, the condition of the floor framing, any potential plumbing or wiring problems, the presence of dangerous materials such as asbestos, as well as the presence of any potentially dangerous temporary supports that should be removed. While some homeowners do occasionally take a look in the crawl space they often miss signs of a problem simply because they don’t know what to look for so a trained professional is the best option.  


Past Plumbing Newsletters

February 15, 2018

February 1, 2018

January 15, 2018

January 1, 2018

December 18, 2017

December 1, 2017

November 20, 2017

November 6, 2017

October 23, 2017

October 9, 2017

September 25, 2017

September 11, 2017

August 31, 2017

July 30, 2017

July 17, 2017

July 3rd, 2017

June 19th, 2017

June 1st, 2017

May 8th, 2017

April 27th, 2017

April 10th, 2017

March 27th, 2017

March 13th, 2017

February 27th, 2017

February 14th, 2017

January 30th, 2017

January 16, 2017

December 19, 2016

December 5, 2016

November 21, 2016

November 7, 2016

October 17, 2016

October 3, 2016

September 12, 2016

August 30, 2016

August 1, 2016

July 13, 2016

June 13, 2016

May 30, 2016

May 2, 2016

April 15, 2016

March 28, 2016

March 2, 2016

February 15, 2016

January 26, 2016

January 12, 2016

December 7, 2015

November 19, 2015

October 29, 2015

October 6, 2015

September 16, 2015

August 31, 2015

August 3, 2015

July 8, 2015

June 22, 2015

June 3, 2015

May 21, 2015

April 16, 2015

March 17, 2015

March 2, 2015

February 2, 2015

January 7, 2015