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Fall Sprinkler Maintenance

Where did summer go? It seems that we wait through a long, never-ending winter for summer to arrive, and then summer leaves as quickly as it arrives. Fall is already upon us. The weather will soon be cooling and splendid sights of Utah’s leaves changing colors will grace the Rocky Mountains. Here are some tips to prepare your home for the upcoming cold season. With the sea of leaves on the ground, trees sure do unload on your yard. Keep in mind that if a tree sheds a lot of leaves on the ground it can also shed them wherever is in their path of falling, which includes roofs and rain gutters. We don’t want those leaves clogging our drains, do we? Clogged rain gutters can wreck a home during winter. Backed up drains can back up watershed, which can freeze on a roof top and cause ice dams. As ice dams thaw, they lead water into a home, down walls, and on floors, causing immeasurable damage. While raking your leaves on the ground, improve and ensure rain gutter drainage by scooping up leaves and clutter from your home’s roof and drainage systems. Avoid sprinkler damage and an unusable summer sprinkler system next year by properly maintaining your sprinklers during fall, now. Expel any water from your sprinkler systems before turning off for the winter. This can be done by allowing them to remain in the “on” position but with the water turned off. Leaving sprinkler lines open for several weeks will allow leftover moisture in the lines to evaporate. With the proper equipment ,you can expedite expelling water...

Swamp Cooler

Swamp coolers are an affordable alternative to full air-conditioning.  Swamp coolers, also known as “evaporative coolers,” require minimal maintenance and run quite efficiently.  So, how do swamp coolers work?  All swamp coolers essentially work the same way.  Water is pumped dripped onto sponge-like retaining inserts.  A large blower pulls air into the saturated inserts and cools the air.  Simply put, they take hot air and cool it by cycling it through a water reservoir and then blowing that air into your home.  To make the most of a swamp cooler you should have a few windows cracked.  This allows for the hot air to be blown out as the cool air is cycled in. If you find yourself considering a swamp cooler, here’s 7 tips to keep in mind. Do you have a place to install your swamp cooler?  Can you mount one on your roof, or would it need to be installed on a window? Can you provide for proper air flow?  As mentioned before, air flow is important to proper cooling from a swamp cooler.  If yours is installed where no open windows or ventilation can occur than you can cause excessive moisture. How hot is too hot?  Swamp coolers work ideally when cooling average temperatures between 70-90F.  If you find your temperature to frequently exceed 100F, a full air-conditioning system may be of consideration. Keep your water retaining pads clean.  If the panels that hold the water that the swamp cooler blows through to cool are not clean, they will not retain water properly.  If water cannot be retained than the cycled air won’t cool. Do...

Sprinkler Maintenance Tips

Sprinklers are a daily staple in the lives of suburban America.  Sprinklers keeps our lawns beautiful and enhance our landscaping.  Maintaining these vital lifelines of water keeps our home’s curb appeal looking top-notch.  Regular sprinkler maintenance during the warm summer months, and proper winterization and de-winterization each year will ensure you protect your sprinkler (and landscape) investments. When proper sprinkler maintenance is neglected it can result in the following. too much or too little water pressure (over/under watering) clogged sprinkler nozzles water wasting due to leaky/broken sprinkler pipes or nozzles uneven water spray misaligned and buried sprinkler heads Should you find your sprinkler system to have some problems, many you can resolve on your own.  The most important part of maintaining your sprinkler system is with basic, regular inspections.  By keeping a checklist handy to run down every few months you can ensure you keep your sprinkler system running smoothly and your lawn looking beautiful.  Here’s a sample of items that the average homeowner should look for each season. clogged sprinklers leaking valves broken pipes broken or missing sprinkler heads grass overgrowth that consumes a sprinkler inefficient spray patterns Clogged Sprinkler Lines It is common for sprinkler heads to get clogged with dirt or grass overgrowth.  This can be identified by dry spots in the grass that should otherwise be receiving water from the sprinklers under normal use.  It can often be easily seen visually by a split pattern of water spray.  A clogged sprinkler can also often be identified by a pool of water around a sprinkler head, caused by backlogged water that doesn’t disperse properly. Sprinklers typically...

Keep Pipes from Freezing

Let’s face it; Utah winters can be harsh.  Cold temperatures can freeze pipes, which lead to them bursting.  This can cause massive financial damage to a home.  Hiring a company to repair damaged Utah plumbing pipes can be expensive. So, how do you keep your pipe from freezing and bursting? First, let’s understand how burst pipes happen.  When temperatures drop inside a home, due to either poor insulation or no heating, pipes freeze.  As the pressure builds up from compressed, frozen water, pipes can burst.  The amount of damage is immeasurable.  It could be as little as repairing the pipe itself, or the entire house could be damaged if a pipe breaks in a roof and floods the home.  Such repairs can be expensive and time consuming. Pipes freeze more commonly in areas where the climate is typically warm as opposed to areas where the weather tends to be cooler. This is because most of the pipes located in warmer areas are often located outside of insulation. This makes them incredibly susceptible to freezing weather when unusual weather rolls around.  However, pipes that are properly insulated can still be subject to freezing.  Here are some tips you can consider to proactively try and avoid pipes from freezing. Keeping Pipes From Freezing When the temperatures drop outside, open cabinets and room doors can allow heat to circulate throughout a home.  Areas that are sealed off can become too cold, thus causing the pipes to burst. Pipes in attics, crawl spaces, or outside the house are especially susceptible to freezing. These should be wrapped with insulation or heat cables. Cracks and...

Furnace Maintenance

It’s that time of year again.  You step outside and experience that chill in the air and the feeling of winter being near.  You then realize that it will not be long before temperatures are cold enough to begin using your furnace again.  As the temperature drops, proper and proactive furnace maintenance should be a priority.  This will also give you peace of mind that you’re less likely to be stuck in a cold home if something goes out with your furnace. Statistics have proven that keeping up with furnace maintenance will not only allow your unit to last years longer, but also deliver better performance and lower energy costs than that of a poorly maintained unit.  It makes sense that the more efficient your furnace is at heating your house, the less it will cost you in electrical, fuel and maintenance costs down the road. Save on Bills and Maintenance If you are like most people, when fall time is here your furnace has likely been sitting idle at least 6 months.  Unfortunately, many homeowners do not make furnace maintenance a priority.  Many homeowners put it off or think it is a task to be done every 5 years or so.  Regrettably, this can lead to a furnace that is inefficient, malfunctions, or ends up damaged.  Your furnace is a fair part of the investment in your home and keeping it in top working order is something that will pay off for years to come. Below is a complete checklist for typical residential and small business furnace units.  This furnace maintenance checklist should be performed yearly by a...

Kitchen Sink Maintenance

Did you know that you can maintain the efficiency of your kitchen sink and related plumbing with a few tips?  Staying up on these basic maintenance items can save you big bucks. 9 simple sink maintenance tips 1. Eliminate Build- ups It may sound counter intuitive, but kitchen sinks should be clean as much as possible.  Yes, it’s a place where all the dirty dishes go.  However, they should be cleaned promptly or put in the dishwasher.  Avoiding unnecessary garbage clogging up the sink is one of the easiest things you can do to keep your kitchen sink’s plumbing in top shape. If you find your sink a bit more on the dirty side than it should be, use the following tip for kitchen sink maintenance from our plumbing experts to eliminate excess and to reduce harmful microorganisms.  Fill one part of the sink (for a double basin sink) with hot water and mix in a cup of Clorox. Open the drain and let the water pass through. It will clear the sink and help minimize germs within the drains.  Repeat the process on the other half of the sink. 2. Scrubbing the Sink Unless you scrub your sink, water spots, rust, food stains and soap deposits can build up.  Excessive build up can lead to you having to spend money to have drains unclogged, when it could have otherwise been prevented.  For a quick, easy way to scrub your sink, simply squirt dishwashing liquid in warm water and mix it in a bowl. Dip a cleaning cloth or sponge into the mix and scrub your sink gently. For...