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Preventing Damage to Your Foundation

 

When was the last time you thought about the health of your home’s foundation? Unfortunately, until there’s a problem, many homeowners don’t give it much consideration. However, the state of your foundation can directly impact how well your home ages.

In order to keep your foundation strong, there are a few things that you can do. First, the soil grading around your home should decline away from your home. This prevents pooling of water around your foundation. If you find that the grading angles toward your home, call a professional to assess your options.

Next, your downspouts and gutters are critical components in the battle to keep your foundation healthy, yet they are often taken for granted. Their job is to move rain and roof water away from your home rather than allowing it to sink into the ground at the base of your foundation.

And, with fall approaching, it’s important to plan a time to remove the leaves from your gutters. Why? Gutters full of leaves keep the water from running through the gutters to the downspouts, taking the water away from the home. Instead, the water will overflow from the gutters directly to the base of your foundation, potentially creating serious issues.

Especially during a drought, keep the soil immediately your home moist enough such that it does not dry out completely. If clay, for example, dries out and then is soaked in a rain shower at a later time, the clay is apt to expand and put tension on the foundation wall.

Next, plant those large shrubs and trees a slight distance away from your home. By doing so, you can help prevent the competition for water between the plants roots and the soil around the perimeter of your home. If the roots of your shrubs are competing with the moisture needed to keep the soil moist around your home, you may identify damage to the foundation via cracks in your dry wall and windows and doors that won’t open and close easily.

In conjunction with all of the above, scheduling regular plumbing and foundation inspections with a professional is always a good idea.

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Have more questions? Call us—we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day. If water runs through it – We Do It!

Cleaning Your Front Load Washer

 

With the advent of front load washers just over a decade ago, consumers rejoiced with this new technology. While it is a marvel unto itself, the day-to-day reality is that it comes with some challenges. Because these High Efficiency front load models use less water and contain a seal lock to keep water from escaping the washer, they also tend to be more vulnerable to mold and mildew than their predecessor, the top load washer. So, what to do?

Plan to clean your washer on a regular basis to ensure that mold and mildew are not taking over your washer. While it’s always good to wipe down the inside of your washer and clean the detergent dispenser, the primary culprit for mold growth is the rubber gasket found in the front of the washer, when you open the door. Below are a few steps to help you keep your rubber gasket clean.

  1. Find your rubber gloves, you will need them for this project.
  2. Create a mixture of 50/50 bleach and warm to hot water in a large bowl or bucket.
  3. Soak a rag in the bleach mixture and wipe the gasket thoroughly.
  4. Next, pull the rubber gasket back to check for mold that may be hiding. If you find it there, wipe aggressively with the bleach soaked rag.
  5. If the mold is not budging, thoroughly soak the rag in the bleach mixture and lay it firmly inside the rubber gasket. You can let it sit for 30 min to overnight. If you do leave it there overnight, be sure to open windows and doors for extra ventilation if you haven’t already done so.
  6. When you remove the rag, use an old toothbrush to loosen any residue, then wipe it thoroughly with a clean, dry cloth.
  7. Once your gasket is clean, place the rags that you’ve used into the washer and run a full cycle on the hottest setting.
  8. When complete, run the machine through another cycle with 2 cups of vinegar only.

 

After you’ve wiped down the inside of the machine thoroughly, the only thing left to do is to clean the filter (typically found on the lower right of the washer). To do this, check your owner’s manual for instructions, as different models and manufacturers require different processes.

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Have more questions? Call us—we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day. If water runs through it – We Do It!

Keeping Your Dishwasher in Good Shape

 

For decades, Americans lived without this handy kitchen helper. But today, most of us can’t imagine living life without it. The dishwasher. If you’re lucky enough to own one, then you want to make sure you’re taking good care of it not only to keep your dishes clean and sanitized, but to help it go the distance.

Many people think that the dishwasher is essentially self-cleaning because you’re always washing dishes in it, but that’s not the case. Hard water scum and food build-up is real and can cause problems over time. So below, you’ll find a few easy tips that you can schedule every 1-2 months to keep your dishwasher working as the mighty machine that it is.

1 – Find Your Owner’s Manual.  Keep your Owner’s Manual handy¾whether online or in a file¾so that if any issues come up, you know how to handle them quickly and aren’t tempted to put them off, leading to potentially bigger problems.

2 – Inspect and Clean the Spinning Arms. Before doing this, remove the dishwasher racks. This way, you won’t damage the racks and it’s easier to access the spinning arms. Next, check the holes in each of the arms to be sure there’s no build up. If there is, simply use a toothpick or pipecleaner to extract the debris. Finally, make sure the spinning arms are in good shape, and feel free to wipe them down with a good household cleaner and sponge.

3 – Wipe It Down. Grab a towel and some household cleaner like windex and wipe the edges of the doors, under the door (on the inside), the gasket and the detergent dispenser. These are areas that can hold odors and buildup.

4 – Clean the Drain. This is critical. Without question, this may be the dirtiest part of the dishwasher. Here you may find most of your buildup and food debris and even potentially paper remnants from stickers left on dishes. Check your owner’s manual for instructions tailored to your model.

5 – Remove hard water deposits and build up. Last but not least, fill your detergent dispenser with unsweetened lemonade mix or place a cup of vinegar on your top rack and let the washer run a full cycle. This will do wonders to eliminate buildup and keep your dishes sparkling.

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Have more questions? Call us—we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day. If water runs through it – We Do It!

Maintaining Your Hot Tub

Have you just installed a hot tub? Or are you considering purchasing one? Many homeowners like to add a hot tub or spa to their homes as part of creating their own private retreats. While hot tubs can be a wonderful addition, they do require necessary maintenance to keep it clean, and thus safe for your family’s health.

If you can carve out just a little time each week to keep your Jacuzzi or spa in good shape, the task of maintenance is not as overwhelming and it will serve you well for a long time. Here are a few tasks to add to your calendar to help keep you and your family maximizing your time in your hot tub.

Each day, especially after storms or windy days, it’s a good idea to just take a peek out your door to make sure no debris has fallen and damaged your cover. If so, remove the debris and repair any damage immediately.

A few times a week, schedule a time to check the water temperature, which if too low can signal a bigger problem. In addition, check sanitizer levels and the pH balance to make sure all is well. The pH alone is an important gauge of your hot tub’s health, and thus your family’s health.

Once a week, add a chlorine tablet and clean your spa filters. If you don’t use your hot tub too often, then you can change filters less frequently, but it’s recommended that you not go more than three weeks without changing filters. In addition, especially if you use the hot tub frequently, shocking, or super chlorinating, the water is a good idea.

Each month, take some time to give your hot tub cover some love. The cover is your first line of defense against the elements among other things, so cleaning and conditioning it regularly will pay off over your hot tub’s lifetime.

Finally, be sure to drain your Jacuzzi every 3-4 months and clean the shell and jets. Once that is complete, you can refill with fresh water, chlorinate as needed and continue to enjoy your own spa retreat.

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Have more questions? Call us—we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day. If water runs through it – We Do It!

 

 

 

Indoor Water Safety

When most people think of water safety, they think of pools, lakes and beaches. Yet, the bathtub, among other places, in your home can be a dangerous place for both young children and the elderly if not properly supervised. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, between 2006 and 2010 a total of 303 children under age 5 years old drowned in just bathtubs, and if you include children placed in infant bath seats in bathtubs, the total rises to 346.

Though these statistics can be alarming, there are some things that you can do to help prevent incidents in your own home:

Never leave a baby or child unattended in a bathtub. Believe it or not, Infants can drown in as little as 1 inch of water.

Drain your tub immediately after each use. And teach your children to do so as well.

Make sure that any buckets or containers that hold water are always emptied after use and stored upside down.

Close toilet lids and install toilet locks if you have very small children.

Be certain to close the lid on your clothes washer so as not to tempt little ones. And while some parents allow their children to play in the drum of their washer when not in use, remember that the more comfortable a child is there, the more likely he or she may be to try to climb in when you are not around

If possible, keep doors to bathrooms and laundry rooms closed. Out-of-sight and out-of-mind is the goal.

Always, always use a safety cover if you have a hot tub or spa in your home. And be certain that your child is always at arm’s length when around a hot tub – just as you would an outdoor pool.

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Have more questions? Call us—we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day. If water runs through it – We Do It!

 

 

 

Backyard Water Games for Kids

August has arrived with a vengeance. Its heat and humidity are reminders that summer isn’t ready to give up its reign anytime soon. And after two months of free time under their belts, kids are looking for new things to do to keep them entertained. Don’t let the temptation to stay inside all day and watch screens win! Outdoor play is so important for children’s health and development – not to mention your sanity.

In that vain, below are a few outdoor games that revolve around water and will keep them cool and entertained. The one item you’ll need to purchase is water balloons. The more the better, so look for the popular new water balloon product that fills up dozens in 90 seconds or less using an outdoor faucet. You can set the games up for them and let them go – or jump in and join the fun!

Hot potato – Sometimes old standbys are old standbys for a reason. They’re fun!! To add to the excitement, let water balloons be the “hot potato”!

Sponge Bombs – While you’re purchasing those balloons, buy a half dozen or more inexpensive sponges. Proceed home to get the kids to help you cut them up. Then fill up two buckets with water and drop half of them in one bucket and the remaining in the other bucket to absorb as much water as possible. Place the kids on opposing sides, blow the whistle and let the sponge-bomb free-for-all begin!

Parachute – If you have one of the fabric parachutes used by kindergarten and elementary classes to toss balls in the air during recess, go grab it and substitute water balloons instead! If you don’t have a parachute, an old sheet or beach towel can work too!

Water Balloon Baseball – This one is pretty straightforward. Get one of your children’s plastic bats and use water balloons instead of baseballs for batting practice. That will get them practicing their aim!!

Ready to get started?! Go get those water balloons and let the fun begin!

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Have more questions? Call us—we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day. If water runs through it – We Do It!

Avoiding Dehydration on Hot Summer Days

With summer dwindling to a close, many families are trying to maximize their time outdoors before school beckons. Though cool weather will be here soon, summer’s hottest days may very well still be ahead.

Unfortunately, when you mix hot temperatures and outdoor activity, potential dehydration is a risk that you take. Signs of dehydration include dizziness, fatigue, flushed skin, heat intolerance and even confusion.

So when you and your children are outside in the heat gardening, swimming, riding bikes, or whatever activity you choose, taking a few preventative steps could mean the difference between a lovely summer day and a visit to the hospital. Here are just a few things you can do to make sure you are staying hydrated:

Drink water before, during and after any type of physical activity outdoors. If you know that you will be participating in an outdoor sports activity, make sure to drink about 16-20 oz of water about an hour prior to the event. Then, plan to drink about 8 oz every 10-15 minutes, depending on your activity’s level of intensity.

Avoid caffeine which can be found in drinks like coffee, sodas and tea. Though sodas and especially sweet iced tea are a Southern tradition during the summer, it’s best to pass on caffeinated drinks if you plan to be outdoors. These types of drinks tend to pull water from the body that it so desperately needs on extremely hot days.

Avoid alcohol, including beer and wine. Though you may enjoy having an adult beverage while you’re participating in any number of summer activities, the reality is that alcohol and heat don’t mix well. If the weather is especially hot, do yourself a favor and pass on the alcohol that day.

Eat popsicles. Finally! Permission to eat sugar! Seriously, popsicles are one of the best ways to get water into little ones. So open the freezer and

Avoid high protein diets. What? With several weeks still on the calendar before Labor Day, many people are still working on their swimsuit physiques. So if you must, it’s even more important that you drink atleast 8-12 oz (or more!) of water each day.

Wear one layer of light clothing. Make sure your clothes are light and loose fitting — especially if you plan on intense physical activity or being in the sun for a long duration.

And last but not least, stop, sit down and go to an air-conditioned location if you begin feeling dizzy or light headed.

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Have more questions? Call us—we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day. If water runs through it – We Do It!