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Installing a French Drain (Part Two)

 

Now that you’ve identified a good location for your drain, it’s time to get started. Before you start digging, mark the area extending from your rain gutter for your French drain with spray paint. This will serve as your guide.

To begin building you’ll need a shovel, gravel, water permeable landscaping fabric, a few long nails and a perforated drainage pipe. The amount of each of these materials will depend on the depth, width and length of your drain. A standard French drain is 6 inches wide, 18-24 inches deep and about 3 feet long. (Keep in mind that you’ll need to dig deep enough to place the tubing so that the finished product doesn’t lie above your foundation.)

Once your trench is completed, spread about 3 inches of gravel along the bottom of the trench. Next, lay the landscaping fabric over the fabric, with about 10 inches of excess on either side of your trench. At this point, pin the fabric on either side with nails so that it will not move when you’re placing the drainage pipe and gravel. While some people don’t bother with using fabric, without it, your drain will fill with soil and clog over time.

Now you’re ready to lay your drain pipe and cover completely with more gravel. You’ll need to leave about 5 inches between the top of the gravel and the ground surface. Fold the fabric over the tubing and gravel, overlapping like you’re wrapping a present. Then fill the trench back in with soil. Depending on the location of your drain, you may wish to top the soil with sod. To further assist with drainage, create a bed of stones at the end of the drain pipe.

And voila, your new drainage system is ready to go!

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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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Installing A French Drain (Part One)

 

Have you discovered standing water around your foundation or do you have a leaky basement? Then you may want to consider installing a French drain on your property. By helping keep water away from your foundation and your basement, a french drain can be an essential tool in keeping your home free of water and mold. Though it may sound intimidating, installing a French drain is a relatively easy project that can make a big impact.

First and foremost, identify the best location for your drain. This is a critical first step, so don’t rush it. Your location can make or break the success and life of your drain. So grab your pen and paper for some tips to get you moving in the right direction.

Call your homeowner’s association and city or county officials to make sure you know your neighborhood’s regulations for digging. Once you’ve received the green light from the municipal powers that be, the next step is to check for underground cables, pipes or other installations.

Each home in the US has a network of pipes and cables underground that provide water, sewer, gas, electric and communications services. If you unknowingly dig in a location that has a cable or pipe below, you can damage your utilities, costing unnecessary expense, hassle and even serious injury. To help you with this process, call 811 (“Call Before You Dig”), which is a free resource that will connect you to a local call center. There they will have a record of utility cables, etc. that are underground on your property.

Now that you know where you can dig, you’ll need to identify the most effective place to install the drain. First, look for an area that has a slight slope that runs away from your home and is free of shrubs, trees or structures of any type. Also keep in mind the most effective drains are at least 3 feet long and run parallel to your home and horizontally down your slope.

Now that you’ve identified the ideal location for your French drain, come back later this week to learn how to build your own French drain.

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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!

 

 

 

Fall Home Maintenance Part Three: Your Lawn

There’s no question that home maintenance is critical to retaining the value of your home. And a vital part of your home’s curb appeal is your lawn and landscape. To make sure your yard is prepared to look its best next spring, you’ll need to take a few steps.

Keep watering and mowing. Your lawn will love you for this. As it prepares to go dormant for winter, its soaking up all the water and nutrients it can to support it through the winter.

Aerate. By allowing oxygen, water and fertilizer into the soil, aerating will help keep your lawn looking beautiful. If you don’t have an aerator of your own, you can often rent one from a local home and garden store, like Home Depot or Lowes.

Fertilize. Want a thick, green lawn next spring? Experts say mid to late fall is the best time for fertilizing. This will help your grass grow deeper, stronger roots.

Control weeds. Apply an herbicide in early fall to ensure you’re not dealing with weeds come Spring.

Rake leaves. As the leaves fall, take the time to remove them quickly so that they don’t sit too long on your healthy lawn. Wet leaves from rain or morning dew create a prime environment for mold and fungus growth.

Fill in bald spots. Everyone one has a spot or two that just needs a little extra help. Grab your rake and scratch up the bald spots, then follow with a lawn repair mixture, which is a combination of grass seed, quick start fertilizer and organic mulch.

Plant flowering bulbs. For beautiful spring tulips and day lilies, now is the time to plant. So go pick your favorites from the garden store and start planting!

Cut your grass short. Towards the end of fall, begin cutting your grass short to help your grass look it’s best throughout the winter while minimizing chances for snow mold growth.

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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!

Fall Home Maintenance Part Two: Your Home’s Exterior

 

While indoor home maintenance is critical as you prepare for the fall and winter months, your home’s exterior is equally important. There are key items that need to be checked to ensure you and your home are well-cared for this winter.

Clean your gutters and downspout. If this isn’t on your annual to-do list, it should be. If the gutters or downspouts are full or clogged, rain water doesn’t flow as it should through your gutter system, thus it will overflow from the gutter straight to the ground below which can mean trouble for your foundation. Too much water at the base of your foundation is a breeding ground for many issues, including a cracked foundation.

Inspect the roof. Now’s a great time of year to identify and replace any missing or damaged shingles. If you are comfortable doing this, great. Otherwise, hire a trusted professional.

Weatherize windows. Again, a good time for making sure screens and weather-stripping are in good shape and ready for cold temperatures.

Inspect the perimeter of the house. Take a stroll around the house to inspect your foundation and grading. If soil has washed away from the base of the foundation, now’s the time to refill it, making sure the grade declines away from your home.

Repair and seal driveway. Before cold weather hits, you need to inspect your driveway and walkways for cracks and damage.

Clean the deck. After a summer full of activity, including small kids, family gatherings and pets, your deck deserves a good cleaning. Break out the pressure washer and make her shine.

Cover and store outdoor furniture. Take advantage of the beautiful weather to clean your outdoor furniture and store what you won’t be using this winter. When spring arrives, it will be ready to be put to work.

Bring latex paint inside. Many people don’t realize that freezing weather can and will ruin latex paint.

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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!

 

 

 

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!

Is There a Downside to Salt Water Pools?

 

Are you considering building a salt water pool at your home? If you are, you’re not alone. Thousands of homeowners are now enjoying the aesthetic benefits of salt-water pools that were traditionally reserved for guests of luxury spas and resorts. While there are many pros to installing a salt water pool, there are a few things that you need to consider before taking the plunge.

While chlorinated pools can get a bad rap for being high maintenance, the reality is that because you control the amount of chlorine going into your pool, you have greater control over the end result – especially when you have sanitization issues. If your salt water pool does have any sanitization issues (such as after a party), it will more likely require the help of a professional to rectify the situation.

Further, the upfront costs of a salt water pool are without question more expensive, but many owners rationalize that expense with the fact that their ongoing expense of chlorine is eliminated. That said, some argue that owners can recoup their costs in the absence of not having to buy chlorine.

And don’t forget the electricity required. While all pools require pumps, a salt water pool’s life is dependent on salt chlorinators, which require additional electricity. Last but not least, many homeowners report that the salt water, though estimated at 1/10 the salinity of ocean water, has a tendency to damage other pool accessories such as the pool liner, underwater lighting fixtures and even the masonry.

While there are definitely reasons to install a saltwater pool, a chlorinated pool may be more suited to you and your family. Alternately, you may decide to join the throngs of those who are installing salt water pools in their backyards.  Read more about saltwater vs chlorinated pools here.

Either way, a new pool is definitely something you and your family can enjoy for years to come. Enjoy!!

 

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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!

 

 

 

 

Chlorinated or Salt Water Pool?

While chlorinated pools have dominated the marketplace for decades, salt water pools have found their way beyond luxurious spas into the backyards of many Americans. If you are considering which type of pool to install in your back yard, below you’ll find some frequently asked questions about salt water pools that may help you as you explore your options.

What exactly is a salt water pool? It’s a type of pool that uses the process of salt water chlorination via a chlorine generator. (You may also hear the generator called a salt cell, a salt generator or a salt chlorinator.) Essentially, rather than dumping chlorine into your pool directly, you are feeding pool salt to the chlorine generator which produces chlorine as it is needed.

How does a salt water pool stay clean? The chlorine generator uses electrolysis via dissolved salt to produce hypochlorous acid (HClO) and sodium hypochlorite (NaClO), which are the sanitizers traditionally used in chlorinated pools.

Why is a salt water pool better for your skin than a chlorinated pool if they both contain chlorine? The salt water pool’s generator creates chlorine only on an as-needed-basis, therefore, there is typically significantly less chlorine in the water. And lower chlorine levels translates into happier skin and eyes.

What are some benefits of a salt water pool? Besides the fact that they are easier on the skin and eyes, you don’t have to store or transport chlorine, which is a more unpleasant substance to handle than salt. In addition, owners often report enjoying the soft-water feel of these pools.

Which requires less maintenance, a salt water or chlorinated pool? Hands down, a salt water pool requires less maintenance because you don’t have to deposit chlorine into the pool regularly. For example, if you have to leave your home for a few weeks, it’s doubtful you’d have to worry about returning to a pool laced with green algae. That said, you must still keep a somewhat regular check on the salt levels, etc.

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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!

Considering Building a Pool? 

It’s July. It’s hot. And having your own pool is beginning to sound like a great idea. While some homeowners prefer public or community pools, others desire a pool in their own backyard. If you find that you’ve begun calculating yardage as you gaze at your backyard while doing dishes, you may be one of them. To get beyond dreaming and begin assessing your options, below are some key considerations to get the ball rolling in the right direction.

What is YOUR primary purpose for the pool? While this may seem like a ridiculous question, you should ask yourself how you see the pool being used. Were you or are your kids competitive swimmers? If that’s the case, you may want the pool long enough to do laps. Is it primarily for you and your husband? Or do you see a future full of birthday parties with countless kids and teens? The answers to these questions will begin to help you assess the size, depth and shape of pool you may want or need, as well as the amenities you’ll require.

Do you have the space? After getting an idea of the size and shape of the pool you want, you’ll need to align that information with your available space to determine the best location for your pool. Keep in mind that most rectangular pools are about twice as long on one side as they are on the other, with an average depth of around 5.5 feet. Typically, pools measure 10 x 20, 15 x 30, and 20 x 40.

How much will it cost to install a pool? According to homeadvisor.com, the cost of installing a pool in 2017 can range from $20,000 to $80,000, with the average cost landing around $40,000 depending on the type of pool, the amenities included and landscaping choices. That said, keep in mind, you’ll need to develop an annual maintenance budget for chemicals or salt, etc.

Is your family ready for a pool?  Are you retiring and looking forward to having a personal retreat just a few steps away? Or are you newly married and planning a family. Regardless of your season of life, a pool can be a lot of fun but it can also be a lot of work so be prepared to set aside time and money to maintain and make repairs.

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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!