Are you finding water stains on your walls? Do you hear clanking sounds when you run water? If so, it might be due to a broken pipe. This article will explore common causes of broken pipes and a few signs that your living space might have one.
What Causes Broken Pipes?
Broken pipes can be the result of various things. Some of the most common culprits behind them include:
Old or worn pipe pieces
Strong water pressure
5 Signs You Might Have a Broken Pipe
There are Water Stains: One common sign that your home has a broken pipe is that you see water stains on your walls or ceiling. Most of the time, these stains indicate that the pipe is corroded and leaking water. If the pipes are located close to your walls, they will soak into them causing discoloration and potential mold growth.
There are Strange Smells or Sounds Coming From the Pipes: If you smell an unpleasant odor or hear loud noises behind your walls, it could be a cracked pipe. The strong odor is usually because of heavy minerals in the pipe that caused it to crack. On the other hand, unusual sounds tend to indicate an obstruction or puncture that is adjusting the air pressure inside the pipe.
You Have a High Water Bill: Another indicator that you have a broken pipe is that your water bill is surprisingly high. This shows that there’s a leak somewhere causing the pipe to constantly drip. Because it doesn’t stop, the consistent water flow will rack up your water bill and will continue to do so until it’s fixed.
Your Home Has Poor Water Pressure: Poor water pressure often shows there’s a problem with your pipes. While this could be a sign of a blockage, it could also be due to a crack in the pipe causing water to drip out of it.
The Water is Discolored: Discolored water is caused by mineral build-up, especially iron and manganese. If you find that discolored water is coming out of your faucet, it could indicate that you have rusting pipes that could be corroding.
Broken pipes are a common issue in homes, especially if they are older. If you’re concerned you might have water damage caused by a broken pipe, contact RCS. We offer a 24-hour water extraction service in Sonoma County that will quickly remove water damage. We can also offer tips as to how you can keep your pipes in good condition.
Electricity is a staple in most homes. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to run appliances, use devices, or see during the night. However, sometimes damaged wires could affect how well devices run and could even be a fire concern. Below are five signs to look out for that indicate you need new electrical wiring.
5 Signs You Need to Replace Your Home’s Electrical Wiring
The Outlets are Hot: Hot outlets are usually caused by an overloaded circuit or a loose wire. If you find that certain outlets get hot often, they need to be replaced. Otherwise, they could spark a fire.
To cool an outlet down, unplug any wires in it. If the outlet is still hot after 30 minutes, immediately contact a professional for help.
There are Burn Marks Around the Outlets: Burn marks are a major sign that you need to quickly replace your home’s wiring. These will create a black path on or around the outlets. Burn marks indicate a loose connection or power surge. If this isn’t fixed, the heat could spread to other wires causing them to ignite.
Most outlets, such as GFCIs, are equipped to immediately turn themselves off if they sense a power surge. However, older outlets don’t usually have this feature making them more susceptible to burns.
The Circuit Breaker Trips: If you notice that the circuit breaker often trips, there’s probably a wiring problem. A circuit breaker is designed to stop an overloaded current. If this keeps happening, it shows that there’s a wiring problem that needs to be quickly addressed.
The Lights Flicker: Flickering lights are caused by a faulty circuit or a loose component in the circuit breaker. While they can be sometimes due to a bad bulb, if your entire home is having a problem, it’s more than likely a wiring issue. While this might not be a problem at first, flickering lights could potentially become a fire hazard.
You Hear Buzzing Noises: If you hear buzzing noises once you turn on your lights or other electrical appliances, you definitely need to get your wiring replaced. A buzzing wire indicates a burst of electric energy that is too much for the voltage to handle. This not only is dangerous, but can affect how well the electric works.
Electricity is crucial, but electrical wirings in homes can run into some problems. If you’re concerned that you’re having electric issues or need to replace your wiring due to water damage, consider contacting RCS in Santa Rosa, CA. We offer an electrical line replacement service that will safely remove and replace faulty wirings.
Termites are pesky creatures that often go unnoticed until it’s too late. Despite their small size, they leave behind some huge problems. Below you’ll discover what causes termites and a few signs that they might be living in your home.
What Causes Termites?
Many different conditions invite termites to infest your home.
Moist soil around wood
Types of Termites Found in California
Three types of termites can be found throughout California. These include drywood termites, dampwood termites, and subterranean termites.
5 Signs Your Home Has Termite Damage
Small Holes in the Walls: Pinpoint holes in the walls are one of the most obvious signs that your home has termites. These holes are dug into your wall as a place for the termites to discard their fecal matter. The holes can usually be found in materials like wood and drywall. Even if you’re unable to see the holes, you’ll find wood shavings and strange dust mounds located near the edges of your walls.
Buckling Floors: Some homeowners might think that buckling floors are a sign of water damage. While this is true, it can also be due to termites. This insect will create small tunnels beneath flooring boards that can loosen them and cause them to buckle and swell.
Clicking Sounds Coming From the Wall: Termites do what is called “head banging” when warning others about danger which results in quiet clicking sounds. If you hear these strange sounds coming from the wall, they’re probably because you have termites.
Mud Tubes: Mud tubes are usually created by subterranean termites as a way to help them safely move from the soil to a food source. The tubes are packed with moisture which creates a comfortable environment for this insect to thrive. Mud tubes tend to be located near a home’s foundation.
You See Flying Insects in Your Home: If you see flying insects in your home they could be termites. Flying termites, also known as swarmers, will leave their nest and try to find a mate. If there’s a large colony of them hidden within your home, you might find them floating through the air to get to a different area.
Termites can cause substantial damage if not removed. If you’re concerned that your home might be infested with them, call RCS. Our team will investigate your living space for any signs of termite damage and advise you as to how you can fix it and prevent them from ever coming back.
Dealing with a water-related disaster in your home is the last thing you want to be doing. Whether the incident was from a frozen pipe that busted, a flooded basement due to a storm, or from the washing machine going crazy, water damage can be a hassle to handle, can end up being costly, and if not treated quickly, can impact the air quality within your home and you and your family’s health.
One question many people have when in the midst of a huge water damage crisis is whether or not their homeowners insurance cover the cost.
The answer is...it really just depends. Each insurance company is completely different and there are so many variables they must consider when it comes to paying out.
Standard homeowner insurance will cover “common perils or disasters” that can affect homes. The Insurance Information Institute gives a list of these perils on a basic HO-1 policy:
Fire and smoke
Windstorms and hail
Vandalism and malicious mischief
Damage from an aircraft, car or vehicle
Weight of ice, snow or sleet
Now, if you are wanting additional coverages, these are offered through a HO-2 or HO-3 policy (you can see these differences by clicking on the Insurance Information Institute link above.
A flood coming from the outside due to weather is not usually covered and you will have to ask your insurance company if they offer a separate policy for flood insurance. This will vary from company to company and state to state. You can read more about specific flood insurance policies by clicking here.
Another important thing to know: If the water damage is caused by neglect or general deterioration, for example if you failed to replace a part and it started rusting and caused a flood, that will more than likely not be covered.
What should you do if you have water damage?
Call your insurance company immediately and discuss your coverages. The representative will be able to inform you of the process.
Or even better...call them NOW to be proactive and ensure that you have the proper coverages that you need before a water disaster strikes!
If you are in need of some assistance with your water damage cleanup and it becomes too much for you to handle, don’t worry—Restoration Certified Specialists, Inc. will take care of you! They have been proudly serving the Santa Rosa and North Bay areas since 1975.
You’re unaware of what goes on above you and you don’t want to know. To you, the attic is a dark, dank, and desolate place you do not want to venture into. And if you’re okay with going up into the attic, there is nothing more frustrating than trying to find something important or sentimental among a maze of poorly labeled boxes and container tubs facing every which way. In addition, you may be overwhelmed by the random items lying around the attic floor that you no longer have a use for but your spouse or children insist on keeping. Aside from regular maintenance, keeping your attic clean and tidy has its benefits--not only for your sanity but to keep the area clear so that you are better able to identify maintenance needs.
Before you go exploring your attic for buried treasure, make sure you are well-prepared.
Let someone know you are going up into the attic in case something happens.
Wear thick or hard-soled shoes and depending on what you are doing up there, it may be best to also wear gloves--protruding nails can give a big bite.
Wear a headlamp if there is not adequate lighting so that your hands remain free in case you trip on something.
To avoid dust, especially if you have allergies, consider wearing a face mask and/or protective goggles—but this is more of a preference rather than a safety tip.
Avoid putting all of your weight on one joist is a big mistake—you don’t want to come tumbling down. If you’ll be in the attic for a lengthy period of time, consider bringing up a large single sheet of board with you and place it across two joists and work from there.
Tips on Efficiently Cleaning Your Attic
Remove everything. Yes. Everything. It will cost a little more leg work up front to move boxes and such out of the attic, but it will be much easier and more convenient to go through everything in a roomier, well-ventilated, and well-lit area—which is the next step.
What sparks joy? Keep, toss, donate...and keep going until you are finished. You didn’t do all of that work for nothing. Separate everything into piles and move on from old VHS tapes and that seashell collection your grandma got you started on.
Dust, sweep, vacuum, then sweep one more time in that order. This will guarantee to leave a spick and span canvas to work with when reorganizing.
Inspect your insulation, check for drafts, look around for dampness or moisture, and be on the lookout for mold, mildew, or wood rot. Poor insulation along with any of those issues listed can be costly and time consuming if not taken care of immediately.
Be proactive and use preventative measures. Conduct regular checks—do not completely forget about your attic after you deep clean it. Make sure the attic is well ventilated to decrease the chance of humidity, which can lead to mold and mildew, ensure that nooks and crannies are inspected and cracks and gaps are sealed, and call a professional ASAP if evidence of pests or critters are noticed.
Replace everything that you decided to keep. Use those organizational skills. Think about replacing boxes with plastic containers or tubs; make sure to label everything and have the labels facing outward for easy access; place anything valuable or sentimental away safely in case pesky pests decide to make your attic their home; and place more frequently used items closer to the attic entrance or somewhere that is easily accessible.
Once you are finished with this arduous cleaning task, you can grab a drink and sit out on the back patio and stretch your legs. Whew!
But you’re not entirely finished—remind yourself to regularly inspect and clean your attic in order to prevent any inconvenient or costly issues. A well-maintained attic will save your home energy, cost you less money in the long run, and will allow you to easily access anything you may have stored up above.
While inspecting and cleaning, if you come across any mold, mildew, or water damage, give Restoration Certified Specialists, Inc. a call in Santa Rosa, CA. RCS prides themselves in excellent customer service and in being experts in water and mold restoration. They treat each project with the utmost importance and care. Their vast experience and expertise enables them to handle emergency clean up of all sizes, both residential and commercial.
If you see wood damage around your home, you will probably assume you have termites, but it might be a carpenter ant infestation. Carpenter ants also lead to structural damage because they build nests in the wood of your home.
Carpenter Ants Damage Your Home, What You Need to Know
How Serious Is Carpenter Ant Damage?
Carpenter ant damage is not as severe as termite damage, but the ants can cause extensive damage over a period of several years. The colony may go undetected, and as it grows over time, the ants expand through your wood, leading to a potentially dangerous and costly situation.
Where You Can Find Carpenter Ants
The ants damage any wood in which they nest, but usually they nest in wet wood. Look for nests around windows, sinks and bath traps. The ants always have a point of entry into your home—through the foundation or a crack in the home. They can enter along electrical wires, telephone lines and water pipes. To find them, try to follow their trail into your home.
Once inside your home, they prefer to build nests in structural lumber areas like hollow walls or doors and around windows. If you see piles of wood shavings around your home, you very likely have an infestation. The ants create the shavings as they burrow into the wood to make nests. The shavings actually look like pencil shavings you’d see after sharpening a pencil. You also might hear them at work—a faint rustling sound inside the walls. Finally, if you see large ants with wings coming out of ceilings, walls or crevices, your home is almost certainly infested.
Carpenter ants can also build their nests outdoors in trees that have moist or rotting wood. If you see them outside, be particularly proactive about checking for carpenter ants inside.
Carpenter Ants Versus Termites
Many people mistake carpenter ants for a termite infestation. Carpenter ants have winged ants called swarmers that reproduce in warmer months, usually March to June. While termites actually eat the wood, the ants do not. Instead, they just damage the wood as they make their nests. The U.S. has 24 species of carpenter ant, and because the ants have wings, they are often mistaken for termites.
Carpenter ant nests are very difficult to find. They can go undetected in your home for years. A large colony can grow to 2,000 worker ants in a few years time. If you suspect an infestation, call a professional pest control company. When they're done, call us to repair carpenter ants damage.