Homeowner Tips

Ignore Your Home’s Drain Tile at Your Peril

Drain tile, also known as weeping tile or a French drain (so named for its inventor – not the country), is a crucial component of a building’s system for protection against water and, ultimately, building integrity. A building’s foundation is in the ground, and that ground gets wet, especially on the west coast. Perimeter drainage systems prevent ground and surface water from damaging your home’s foundation by redirecting water away from the foundation and are even necessary to relieve water pressure against retaining walls. Without a good drainage system, groundwater would find its way into basements and crawl spaces resulting in damage to furniture, stored goods and the flooring and walls of a finished basement, as well as to the foundation itself.

Water in Your Basement

Should water appear in your basement or crawl space, the sooner you have it addressed the better. It is a sign of a problem and the longer you wait to have it addressed the worse the damage will be. The four main sources of water ingress through foundations include surface water, groundwater in saturated soil, and storm sewer and sanitary sewer back-ups. Should you experience a wet basement for the first time, it is crucial that you have professionals determine the cause and whether or not it is likely to reoccur. Failure to repair or replace failing drain tiles can result in a cracked foundation that needs to be completely rebuilt.

How Drain Tile gets Damaged

There are numerous things that can damaged drain tile Vancouver, including invasion by tree or plant roots, tiles being clogged with dirt and sand, and even being crushed by the weight of wet earth above, particularly if the drain tiles are of the old clay or concrete type and have deteriorated over time.

Your home’s foundation can actually be destroyed by clogged roof gutters as overflowing water in one spot can overwhelm the drain tile’s ability to remove the water from the soil against the foundation. This puts undue pressure on foundation walls and can erode the soil under the footings.

The Importance of Regular Maintenance

As you should have gleaned from the last paragraph, cleaning gutters each fall is a necessity. It isn’t an easy job and the consequences of falling are reason enough to have a professional take care of this as part of an annual plumbing inspection. With regard to Vancouver drain tile cleaning, problems can be prevented with regular maintenance, and professionals recommend having your perimeter drain system serviced every 5 years. Such maintenance ensures dry basements and the structural integrity of your home and is also an important selling feature when it is time to move.

Quick Tips To Fix A Clogged Shower or Toilet

One of the worst problems that people will ever run into when they own a home, business, or at the house of a friend or family member is dealing with a clogged shower head or toilet. Not only is this embarrassing, it can also be quite expensive to fix if the person in question does not have the expertise to deal with the issue at hand. If the problem is large enough that it might cause a risk to the plumbing system or home, it should not be dealt with except by a trained professional. However, there are some small things that you can do to fix a clog without needing professional help.

Clogged Shower Heads

A clogged shower can be one of two things. You can be experiencing a problem with the shower drain, or perhaps the shower head is not working correctly. While the drain part might not be as hard to deal with using common knowledge, the shower head is definitely the more difficult part.

Unless you have a special water filter, you will probably know that there are minerals, calcium and other deposits that come naturally in water. The problem here is that these items eventually build up over time and clog the shower head. You can spend a ton of money on expensive items at a store to fix this, but these items might actually prove to be caustic to the shower head itself. These chemicals can eventually corrode the metal and result in needing a new shower head. Instead, using a common household item like vinegar can save the day.

Clogged Shower Drain Tip

This vinegar fix is simple to do. All you need is a plastic baggie, an elastic band or string, and regular white vinegar. You simply fill the plastic bag with vinegar and tie it around the shower head with the elastic string or rope. The shower head must be completely immersed in the vinegar. Leave this for at least 24 hours for best results. This simple fix enables the vinegar to eat away at anything that is not actual metal, thus cleaning the shower head. All that you need to do afterwards is clean the vinegar out of the shower and tub. If this does not work and you are still experiencing problems, you might need to replace the shower head anyway.

Fixing A Plugged Toilet

This is by far one of the most common problems people face. The first thing that you need to do is flush the toilet if you have not already done so. This shows it is indeed clogged, but never continue flushing it afterward. Before cleaning a toilet clog, always be sure to wear protective gloves and/or goggles, and try to ensure that the floor is protected from anything that might come out of the toilet, as it may be messy. The next step is to turn all water that is supplied to the toilet off. This ensures that the toilet will not continue to flood while you work.

Another important thing to do is to be sure that the bathroom is well ventilated so that any chemicals or materials in the toilet do not cause you dizziness. Two ways to fix a clog in the simplest manner are as follows.

clogged toilet

Clogged Toilet

You will usually have either a plunger or coat hanger handy. These two items are a boon when fixing a clogged toilet. Ensure that you do not get toilet splash back when using a plunger by using slow and firm movements to push the water and anything inside of the clogged drain down. This helps to ensure pressure can build up to clear the drain.

You can also use a coat hanger that is straightened out to remove whatever happens to be plugging the toilet. Using the end of the hanger in the toilet, you will want to move it in slow circles, usually with cloth on the end to avoid scratching the porcelain. Do this and push the hanger in and out, as well as in circular motions, to either break up or unclog the toilet. If the clog persists it is possible that there is something deeper in the drains backing everything up. If the sewer line blocked with roots or worse, have broken down then you need to call a professional.

You will know you are successful in these activities when the toilet flushes itself. Never pour any drain cleaners or caustic liquids into a toilet bowl if it is not draining. The only thing this accomplishes and filling the toilet bowl more as the water within will dilute the chemicals you put in.

If you try these ideas and are still not able to fix the problem, or feel you are not up to doing any other techniques, you should try to call a licensed plumber in. Always remember that it is better to spend a bit of money to fix a problem as opposed to destroying the plumbing in your bathroom by damaging something. This Vancouver plumber will be able to fix the problem you are having and show you the proper way to remedy it should it happen again.

Ideas for a Bathroom Renovation

Bathrooms are seen by some as simply a functional room where one spends as little time as necessary, whereas others want their bathrooms to be esthetically pleasing places of refuge and comfort. Tired, older bathrooms can be remodeled and re-equipped within a very reasonable budget for those in the first group. However, if you want a bathroom a queen would be comfortable in, well… you don’t actually have to have the finances available to royalty, but your options are unlimited. In either case, Goldbay Construction can help.

Consider the Process

Bathroom Renovations Vancouver BCBathroom renovations can be expected to involve plumbing and electrical work and possibly gas fitting and structural modification, too. The pros at Goldbay Construction, Vancouver’s leading renovation team, have decades of experience in all aspects of renovation and construction to bring to your project. They can even help you navigate the overwhelming and oh-so-wonderful selection of products on today’s market in order to find what’s right for your tastes and your budget. In fact, one of the things Mike Kultalahti – Goldbay’s founder and owner – enjoys most is helping customers move their plans from ideas to actual choices in design and selection of materials and finishes. He has developed a keen sense for visualizing people’s ideas and needs and that’s what will get your renovation project off to a great start.

Consider the Contractor

Mike inherited his Finnish father’s old-world mentality of honesty, integrity and craftsmanship and has built Goldbay Construction around those principals. He has become a successful leader in the industry by doing things right and keeping the customer’s interests in mind for over thirty years. When you invite Goldbay to discuss a Vancouver bathroom renovations project you will be sure to meet Mike as he is a hands-on guy who insists on getting to know his customers right at the start.

Little Job/Big Job

Should you need renovations in the bathroom, such as new fixtures, storage options, paint, flooring and so on, Mike and his team will be pleased to help you with their expertise, guaranteed work and competitive rates. If you want to turn your bathroom into a showcase or an oasis of relaxation, Mike will work with you or your designer to bring your dream to reality. He can also recommend designers and architects who have earned his respect throughout his decades-long career in the construction industry. Give Mike a call when you want the best renovation team in the Vancouver area.

One of Western Canada’s Best Payday Loans Companies

Blue Copper CapitalFounded in Alberta, in 2006, with the goal of reducing the hassle of obtaining fast cash payday loans, Blue Copper Capital has since expanded its operations into Edmonton and Vancouver, and now also offer personal loans as well as trade and apprenticeship loans.

Blue Copper’s Owner has Been There

Dave Chen, founder of Blue Copper Capital, has shared the same experiences as most of us when he needed a short-term cash infusion to help him over a financial hump. Because of this, Dave wanted to do something to make that process more human and understanding, and that is why he created Blue Copper Capital. Placing the emphasis on people ahead of profits was his goal from the very beginning and it is something he insists all of his employees demonstrate.

A Loan Company that Understands

Dave created Blue Copper Capital to take away the stigma and the hassle and the pressure of getting short term loans in Vancouver. Dave and his team are proud to have helped thousands of good people get back on their feet. His staff will happily meet at the time of your choosing and in your home – if that is what you wish – to take your loan application. Alternately, you can visit their Vancouver office or get an online cash advance by downloading and filling out a Credit Application Form directly from their website by simply clicking on one of the four loan category windows. A bad credit cash advance isn’t out of the question: with your proof of employment, up to $1,500 in cash is available instantly and without a credit check.

Loans for Emergencies, Vehicles and the Trades

Though Blue Copper Capital began as a payday loans company in Calgary, they now offer personal loans for everything from vacations to unexpected bills to cars and recreational vehicles. One area Dave and his team are really excited about is their Trades & Apprentice loan department. They know it can be difficult getting enough hours on the job while studying. Worrying about expenses for things like tools or a vehicle shouldn’t get in the way of your achieving your goals either.

Regardless of why you need a loan you can rest assured the people at Blue Copper Capital will treat you with the respect you deserve and will offer personalized fast cash solutions for your needs. If you live in the Vancouver area and need a loan to get you over the hump to next payday, or if you need money to buy tools so you can get back into the workforce, call Blue Copper Capital for prompt, friendly, professional and confidential service.

Great Vancouver Moving Company

Piano Movers

Piano Movers

North Vancouver’s Smoother Movers are proud of their decades long track record but even more important is the fact that their business has been built on customer referrals and word-of-mouth. That kind of endorsement is the direct result of a dedication to providing the very best in customer service. With a quarter-century of experience and more than 60,000 moves under their belts, Smoother Movers still treats every customer – and their possessions – with the utmost respect.

Full Service Residential and Commercial Moving

Every aspect of the moving process is covered by the Smoother Movers team, including packing, temporary storage, waste removal and even donations of unwanted items to local charities. Customers can expect all of their items to be handled with expert care, from the most delicate crystal to clothing and even grand pianos. In fact, Smoother Movers have become the mover of choice for Vancouver’s film and television industry as well as for professional concert pianists. They are also acknowledged by businesses as the movers to call when relocating a business. For those contemplating a self-move, they are happy to provide tips and advice as well as packing materials. A simple phone call is all that is required to get the ball rolling with a free in-home estimate. Alternatively, you can fill out the online estimate form to get a relocation quote by email. Either way, (barring unforeseen circumstances) estimates are competitive and accurate.

Moving Tips From a Long Established Moving Company

Anywhere in British Columbia and Alberta

Seen as one of the best Vancouver movers in the lower mainland, they have more than 25 trucks which can handle any type of residential and commercial move throughout British Columbia and Alberta. Every truck is fully equipped with all the necessary moving tools including dollies, poly wrap and clean protective blankets to ensure your valuable possessions make it to their destination in the same condition as when they were loaded.

Moving Peace of Mind

Finding a trustworthy Vancouver moving company can be stressful, but if you recognize the value of customer referrals and word-of-mouth advertising, your selection process is that much simpler. You can count on Smoother Movers – just as thousands of others before you have – to take care of everything for you and to do so with the greatest concern not only for your possessions but also for your peace of mind throughout the moving process.

Drain Tile Is An Important Part of Your Home

When building a new home it is important to install drain tile with attention to detail. Drain tiles move water away from the foundation of your home and protects the basement or crawl space from flooding. Where there is no basement or crawl space you still need to protect your home from damage caused by erosion. Rain water and underground flow will cause problems when not directed away from the house.

In open country, water is constantly flowing and eventually enters deeper groundwater reservoirs or exits the ground into springs, creeks, brooks and rivers. Buildings must have water diversion set up to stop the damage that would otherwise occur from the constant deluge.

Set Drain Tile Up Right

Drain tile, or French drain as some call it is placed around a foundation needs to be set up correctly. Holes in the pipe point downward and allow water to drain into the drain tile around the foundation. Water enters the pipe from the bottom up and then flows to the planned exit.

We could list specifics of how we install drain tile, but it is one of those things that need to be done correctly from step one, or you face expensive consequences. There are a wide variety of weather conditions in North America and different climates have varying critical aspects regarding drainage. Here in Vancouver the rainfall levels change from place to place. The north shore gets more rain then White Rock for instance.  You need to pay attention to slope, drainage and other natural elements in the landscape.

In general you want to set things up so that the drain tile stays clean as long as possible, the pipes are embedded in gravel at the correct position relevant to your home. It is also vitally important that drainage is done correctly. If any of these elements are overlooked or poorly done, then chances are good you are facing excessive replacement bills.

Use Clean Gravel For Drain Tile

For instance drain tile should be covered with with two or three-feet of round, washed gavel. The gravel should also be covered with a thick layer of straw, a layer of 30-pound felt paper or a geo-textile fabric An experienced contractor will know what materials depending on the amount of rainfall, slope of the land you’re on, underground flow and a variety of other considerations.

There is a lot more to drain tile than meets the eye. If you are building a new home then this is an important area to spend time on research. In the case of proper drainage there is no such thing as overkill, especially if you want to avoid a $10,000 bill a few years later to replace a poorly done drain tile installation.

For more details on our drain tile cleaning services ask to speak to one of our consultants in Vancouver and we will be happy to go over your options.

Read more about how good plumbers treat their customers

Plumbers You Can Count On

Mr. Rooter plumbing of Vancouver BC is the kind of contractor who cares about your security, comfort and peace of mind, because your home is probably your biggest investment. We appreciate how important that is to you and your family and we take care to deal with anything we come across with kidd gloves.

Dependable Plumbers

If you look at our BBB history you’ll see we are listed as a quality company. You can depend on excellent solutions from us since we use advanced tools, constant training and we pay attention to the little things. Whether it’s a clogged drain or a plugged sewer, we repair it and clean up the mess. Our team of plumbers deal with water damage caused by blocked drains, wet basement problems, hot water tank leaks, heater and boiler issues, all related to drain cleaning and repair.

If extra measures such as restorations for a flooded basement are required we know the best in the industry and will help you with filling out paperwork and anything connected to get your home back the way it was before. We come across situations like water damage all the time so it’s something we deal with on a regular basis. The sooner you call us the better off you are. If you notice a wet basement or you discover the washing machine has popped the hose and you are knee deep in water, call us.

No matter what type of problem we encounter we are careful to clean up when we’re finished. Our technicians bring floor mats and plastic shoe protectors with them when we arrive. If there has been a flood we call the pumper truck and initiate clean up operations fast as we can.

Patrick Shows Where Your Main Water Valve Is Located

One thing you should be aware of is where your main water shut off valve is situated. When you have a problem like a broken pipe, you can shut off the water to your home immediately if you know where that valve is located. Take a moment after you’ve read this article and find  your main water line. That is the first thing we do when we come upon a situation like a flooded basement. If you are fortunate enough to be at home when disaster strikes you can save yourself serious expense if you turn off the main water supply quickly.

Regular Plumbers Inspections

  • Make a habit of calling us at least once a year to check the plumbing and heating equipment in your home
  • Excessive water pressure can cause problems and is undetectable without proper gear
  • Your furnace should be looked at yearly to be sure that it`s running at peak efficiency and for safety reasons
  • Radiant heat needs to be examined yearly too. Boilers usually run on natural gas and the burners should be inspected regularly

What we mention here barely covers the full range of appliances and equipment we service. If you have not had a qualified plumber over to visit for quite some time then now would be the right time to handle that before something breaks down.

Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Vancouver BC
Phone: (604) 433-5555
1322 Adanac St
Vancouver, BC V5L 2C3

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How To Find a Good Contractor

off-page-header.jpg kid at workMany homeowners have had a bad experience with tradesmen, such as plumbers who completely butcher your bathroom or a builder that built something that falls apart. You definitely want to avoid that, so here are a few tips on what to look for. For the most part tradesmen will do the job they’re asked to do superbly, but there are always a few bad eggs out there and hopefully these steps will help you avoid them.

Get Recommendations

Word of mouth has always been a great way to find a good service provider. Family and friends are an excellent source of recommendations, and many tradesmen rely on word of mouth to get business. On the Internet it’s easy to see if the company you’re considering has any online recommendations. Do your research before hiring anybody by searching for review. All you do is look up company names and then search on the company name with the word “review” behind it. A bunch of sites will come up with dozens of reviews some times.

Be Wary of People Who Knock On Doors

A good contractor would never knock on doors because recommendations and word of mouth is part of their business and advertising does the rest. If they point out a problem and say they can fix it then be wary as this is a common tactic by rogue traders to make money off fixing a problem that doesn’t exist.

Know Your Problem

The more you know about what you want the clearer you can explain details to the tradesman. You will get a better quote and time frame for the work.

Get More Than One Quote

Don’t hire off the first quote. Three quotes should be the minimum because it will help you figure out the value of a job. You just simply have no idea if the first quote is the standard. You may end up going back to the tradesman who gave you the original quote, and that’s okay.

Quotes should also be in writing. They will contain details like a description of the job, the costs and any taxes. Get a record of the original quote so you have evidence if the tradesman tries to charge you more than originally stated.

Ask About The Guarantee

See if they offer a warranty on the work. If anything goes wrong you will want them to fix it. The last thing a tradesman wants is to get a bad reputation because the work they carried out. All reputable tradesmen will back up their work.

Price is Not Everything

We all want a good price, but that’s not always the best choice. A low price can mean substandard work, but if you’ve done your research then you should have a good idea of the price anyway.

If you’re uncomfortable with the person you’re talking to then simply don’t hire them. If a problem crops up would you feel comfortable pointing it out? You don’t have to be friends, but go with your instinct on who you feel best fits the job and you will usually be right.

Get Everything Written Down

Agree on everything in writing, because a verbal agreement isn’t enough. Make sure it details all the work to be done, the time it will take, costs, and payment details. Get a receipt for EVERY payment you make!

If it’s a small job you’ll usually pay on completion. Larger jobs may be paid in stages, holding back some for payment on completion. Get a breakdown of what’s being paid for in writing at each step. If you’ve agreed to pay for materials then make sure they have been delivered before you pay for them.

House Painting Professional

Exterior House PaintingWhile some homeowners hope to put off repainting their home just one more year, this can end up being a costly decision. An excessively wet winter in Vancouver for instance, will increase paint failure, damage the siding, and possible internal water damage that would need expensive repairs. With that in mind it’s best to get the painting done as soon as you sense the need.

Exterior House Painting Tips

Perhaps the first thing to do when painting a house is to take a walk around the property and look at your siding. Look for areas where your siding is no longer protected by paint, and where wood rot, or clear evidence of water damage and expansion in fiberglass siding, is present. If these issues are obvious, the best thing you can do is to act as quickly as possible to head off larger problems.

Touch Up For The Interm

Always begin with an evaluation of the exterior paint job of your home. If there is significant chipping, flaking, or other areas where the paint is failing you should plan on painting the entire home. Talk to a Vancouver house painting contractor who has experience in painting a house, about getting your paint job scheduled right away. If the rest of your exterior looks like it’s holding up okay, however, you may just need to do some touch up work. Cookie cutter houses are notorious for having their paint fail faster than custom built homes.

If that seems to be your problem and you want to do this yourself, purchase a bucket of primer and another bucket of exterior finish paint that matches your home’s current color. Then set aside a few days for some touch up work. Scrape and clean the affected areas first, then put on a layer of primer for protection and to make the finish coat stick. Once that has dried, touch up the primer spots with the finish coat to match the rest of your home. Performing these simple tasks can put off a whole house paint job by several years if you’re lucky and if you’re okay with the patch work being a little off color if the match isn’t exact.

The Best Time of Year to Paint

There isn’t any set time when you should paint your home, other than in good weather. It varies depending on climate, the quality of paint that was previously applied, and whether you hired a good painter or plan on doing it yourself. A poor paint job can fail within 3 years before it needs attention, and a good one can last for upwards of 20. The most important determining factor is the condition of home’s current coat. Is the paint chipped, cracked, flaking, or peeling anywhere? Are there areas of exposed wood or is there sign of water damage to either your siding or the paint itself? If you see any of the signs mentioned above, a new paint job is probably in order.

Heritage Painting & Decorating
Phone: (604) 818-5485
5845 Culloden Street
Vancouver, BC V5W 3S1