Building the #DryVault: Framing and Airsealing

from Home Performance


How to Remove and Prevent Bathroom Mold

Bathroom mold can easily occur, but isn’t always the easiest to remove. And unfortunately, it’s not always obvious, as it can begin growing beneath plumbing fixtures, surfaces, and walls. Every homeowner should know how to remove any mold they currently have and how to prevent it from occurring in the first place.

plumbing leaks

What Causes Bathroom Mold?

  • Excessive moisture due to lack of proper ventilation
  • Leaky plumbing fixtures and pipes
  • Constant presence of damp towels, rugs, wallpaper, curtains, etc.

How to Remove Bathroom Mold

  • Check all caulking within the bathroom. If you happen to find some with mold growth, completely remove that section and replace it with new caulking.
  • Any surfaces with small traces of mold should be cleaned with bleach or hydrogen peroxide.
  • Keep windows open during mold removal to help dry out any excess moisture and to provide the bathroom with some fresh air.
  • Areas with a large amount of mold should not be handled by the homeowner, as disturbed mold can spread further and be dangerous to inhale. Instead, hire a professional to remove the mold (especially since a lot of mold lies beneath plumbing fixtures and walls).

How to Prevent Bathroom Mold

  • Always use the bathroom ventilation fan before turning on the shower or drawing a bath. If your full-sized bathroom doesn’t currently have a ventilation fan, have one installed.
  • Open the window or leave the bathroom door cracked when showering to allow excess steam to escape.
  • Purchase a mildew-resistant shower curtain and wash it regularly.
  • Avoid keeping bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and soap in the shower, as they can cause mold to grow beneath them.
  • Wash bathroom towels, rugs, and other fabrics regularly to keep them from being damp.

Bathroom mold isn’t just unsightly, it can be harmful to your bathroom’s surfaces and even your own health.When you need plumbing leaks fixed or new plumbing fixtures installed, contact Len The Plumber. If you’re looking for a reliable plumber, check to see if you live in one of our many service areas!

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How to Make Your Tile Smile :)

Have you ever seen a bathroom with dirty, stained tiles? It’s not exactly the prettiest sight to see and can be completely embarrassing when you have company over! The good thing is, cleaning your bathroom tiles isn’t difficult at all — you just need to know the right cleaning method.

water softeners hard water stains

Removing Hard Water Stains and Mineral Buildup

If your bathroom tiles are covered in hard water stains and limescale buildup, you’ll want to address this first. Spray down the tiles with a mild limescale remover (a normal or “extra strength” remover can strip the tiles of their protective finish). As an alternative to a limescale remover, spray warmed vinegar on these stains and allow it to sit for a few minutes.

Cleaning the Bathroom Tile

If you have the option to use a natural cleaning solution, why wouldn’t you? Create a natural cleaning solution by mixing together:

  • 1/2 cup of white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of ammonia
  • 1/4 cup of a borate detergent
  • 1 gallon of water

Cover your bathroom tiles with a layer of baking soda. Throw on a pair of gloves, grab yourself a sponge, and start scrubbing your bathroom tiles with your homemade cleaning solution.

Pay Attention to the Grout

Cleaning your tiles is only half the battle — don’t forget about the grout! Create a natural cleaner by mixing together equal parts of lemon juice and cream of tartar until a nice paste forms. Apply this cleaning paste to the grout and proceed to scrub it with a soft-bristled brush. You can also spot-clean dirtier areas with more paste and a smaller brush, so you can really get in there!

How to Prevent Tiles From Getting Too Dirty

Rather than heavily cleaning your tiles on a non-regular basis, keep up with routine care to avoid too big of a cleaning session.On a regular basis, spray down your bathroom tiles with a solution of 2 tablespoons of all-purpose cleaner mixed into a gallon of water. Allow this solution to sit for 10 to 15 minutes before wiping down with a damp sponge.

Dirty and tired looking bathroom tiles can make even the nicest of bathrooms look like something out of a horror movie. For those who are sick of hard water stains and limescale, consider installing a water softener or whole house filtration system. If you’re looking for a reliable plumber, check to see if you live in one of our many service areas!

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The Best Way to Give Your Dog a Bath

Giving your dog a bath might seem like a simple process, but everyone knows how messy things can get. You want to give your furry friend a good cleaning, but things can get hectic real quick! Here’s a list of tips that will help you clean your pup with minimal mess.

Bathing Frequency

How often should you bathe your dog? The answer varies, but you really shouldn’t wait months like most owners do. For dogs with skin infections, allergies, and those who are constantly making a mess, more frequent bathing is recommended. Aim for once every other week.

Gather Your Supplies

drain cleaning

Before you call your pup into the bathroom, make sure you have all of your supplies ready to go.

  • Shampoo recommended by your veterinarian for that specific breed (or for a specific skin condition)
  • Cotton balls (to place inside of its ears)
  • A brush
  • Multiple towels
  • Drain blocker (or a piece of steel wool)

Before the Bath

Right before you place your pup in the tub, brush your pet to remove as much loose hanging fur as possible. Skipping this step will fill your tub with more hair than you care to have, which will end up down the drain. Plumbing pipes filled with hair are a common cause of blockages that will inevitably require drain cleaning.

Wash Away

Begin washing your furry friend by rinsing them off with lukewarm water. Once rinsed, apply shampoo generously from the neck, all the way down to the paws and tail. Keep an eye out for fleas and ticks looking to escape from this sudsy nightmare. After a nice scrub, wash all soap and shampoo from the dog.

Drying and Cleanup

To avoid water from being splashed all over the place, drain the tub before letting your dog out. Then lay a towel down outside of the tub for them to stand on. Place another towel across their body, with another one being used to dry their head and ears. The more towels you use, the less water will end up on the floor — and on you.

Pampering your pet is no easy feat, but it needs to be done — and we’re here to help! If your plumbing does develop clogs or blockages, contact Len The Plumber. If you’re looking for a reliable plumber, check to see if you live in one of our many service areas!

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How to Remove Broken Glass From the Garbage Disposal

Glasses and dishware can occasionally break when they’re handled in the sink. Unfortunately, glass and other broken shards can make their way into your sink’s garbage disposal. Great! Now we have to fish these pieces out very, very carefully…

Kitchen Sink garbage disposal

Step 1: Cut the Power

Before you do anything, the power being supplied to the garbage disposal must be turned off. You can turn off the power on the disposal itself, but just to be safe — switch off the breaker at the panel too.

Step 2: Go Fishing

First things first, do not stick your hand into the drain in hope to pull out the glass. Instead, grab a pair of needle nose pliers and begun pulling out as many pieces as you can find. Most of the bigger pieces will live toward the top of the drain’s opening.

Step 3: Vacuum or Bust

Next up, bring your Shop Vac into the house from the garage. Using the long-head attachment, begin sucking out glass from the drain opening. If you don’t have this long, yet skinny attachment, tape thin PEX tubing to the nozzle of the vacuum. Some pieces will need to sucked out one by one if the opening of the nozzle isn’t wide enough.

Step 4: Turn the Blades

To remove the last bits and pieces of remaining glass, you’ll need to turn the blades of the disposal. Do this by using a hex key underneath the disposal, or by using a broom handle (or stick) via the drain opening to turn the blades. Suck up any remaining glass with your vacuum.

Step 5: Power On

Once all of the glass has been removed, turn the power back on for the garbage disposal. Run the tap to wash away any extremely small piece of glass that might linger behind.

Removing glass from a garbage disposal isn’t difficult — but it is dangerous. When your garbage disposal or plumbing needs service or repair, contact Len The Plumber. If you’re looking for a reliable plumber, check to see if you live in one of our many service areas!

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The Different Types of Plumbing Pipes

Did you know there are many different types of plumbing pipes to choose from? If you’re looking to replace your home or business’s plumbing, make sure you know what your options are. Some materials are better than others depending on what job they’re going to have.

water line repair

PEX Piping

  • Flexible, plastic piping that is generally leak-free
  • Best piping for indoor water distribution
  • Initial cost is higher than other piping materials, however, maintenance is little-to-none and installation is extremely quick
  • Popular in small businesses and residential homes
  • Can not be used outside, as UV rays can ruin the plastic

Copper Piping

  • Most common material seen
  • Extremely durable and reliable against corrosion
  • Can be used with both hot and cold water
  • Does need to be soldered together, so expert skill is required
  • Additional fittings might be needed

PVC Piping

  • Used for potable (drinking) water and sewage-related applications
  • Depending on the type of job, PVC pipes with different levels of thickness are available
  • PVC piping used for potable (drinking) water will be specially designed so that it will meet the proper health requirements

Galvanized Piping

  • Used more frequently years ago
  • Hasn’t been used as often due to possible rust buildup
  • Visible pieces of rust can be seen in contents of water over time
  • Mainly used for grey water (excess bath, sink, and appliance water)

You’ve seen many different types of plumbing pipes, but which ones are meant for what jobs — and which one is best? When you need a professional plumber to help you decide (and to professionally install them for you), contact Len The Plumber. If you’re looking for a reliable plumber, check to see if you live in one of our many service areas!

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