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How To Clean Window Air Conditioner Mold

Living in a home with no central air conditioning can be an issue for many people. Unfortunately, many northern homes did not come with central air. Homeowners are sometimes forced to install a window air conditioning unit so that they can cool their room or home.

In southern homes, window AC units are often used to reduce the amount of electricity used to keep electric bills down. Often, you can see a window AC unit simply to cool down a specific room, rather than a whole home. With the ac window unit comes necessary cleaning and maintenance.

How to clean window air conditioner mold? This requires a process that any homeowner can achieve by using chemicals, scrub brush, and vacuum.

Let’s take a look below at a detailed process to keeping you healthy and free of mold.

Cleaning supplies for mold removal
Cleaning supplies for mold removal

What Do I Need To Clean

Believe it or not, the recommended items needed to clean mold from your window ac unit are not extensive. The majority of the products are to protect your skin from being exposed to bleach or the mold itself as well as from breathing in the mold spores.

  • Plastic Gloves-needed to protect your hands from mold and chemicals, while you scrub.
  • Face Covering-needed to keep your face safe from exposure to the mold spores and keep you from inhaling them.
  • Plastic Bucket-necessary to mix a solution of water and chemicals to clean the mold spores off the window ac unit.
  • Wet/Dry Vac-used to vacuum dirt, dust, and debris from the window ac unit.
  • Screwdriver-necessary to unscrew the frame that holds the unit into the window.
  • Scrubbing Sponge-necessary to loosen the mold and mildew from the ac unit and its internal coils.
  • Commercial cleaner-spray onto the internal coils of the window ac unit.
  • Dish Soap-used to soak the grille and filter of the window ac unit.
  • Bleach-necessary to kill the mold and mildew spores.

How Can I Prevent Mold Growth

There are a few factors involved in preventing mold growth in your home. Let’s take a look at the list of how you can prevent mold growth.

  • Remove dust-by removing dust from the home, mold will not have any rich food source. Dust, dirt, pollen, and other organic materials are great at becoming starting points for mold growth. Removing them from the equation is key.
  • Fan mode-using the fan mode of the ac unity you will dry out the interior of the ac unit. This keeps the unit from becoming a moisturized zone that mold loves to grow on.
  • Clean the window-don’t forget that your window will need to be cleaned at least two times during the cooler months. Keeping the window sill and frame itself clean and free of dirt and debris will keep the mold from having a petri dish to grow on.

Remember, the Environmental Protection Agency recommends that to properly control mold from growing in and around your home, you will want to keep moisture at the lowest point possible.

Moldy window sill on air conditioning unit
Moldy window sill on air conditioning unit

How Much Does It Cost

Removing mold from your home or central air unit is very expensive. The cost range goes from $3,000 to $10,000 depending on the size of your home and the region that you live in. However, keep in mind that you are completing cleaning maintenance on your ac window unit.

This typically requires the cost of the supplies and cleaning materials that you will use to create a solution that can remove mold from the ac window unit. You’re probably looking at a cost range of $25 to $75 depending on the number of chemicals needed.

Other Recommended Maintenance

Since you are on the topic of cleaning mold from your window ac unit. Why don’t you also explore how to stop mold growth in your home? Understanding these processes is hugely important to your health and well-being.

Areas of mold growth can occur around the window frame or window sill as well. Making sure that the window is sealed properly is the key to this.

Having a window ac unit requires that the window remain partially open and is secured by an extender frame. Water can get in during rainstorms if this is not sealed correctly. Understanding how windows leak during a rainstorm is important information.

While you are at it with regards to understanding how to seal your bathroom shower windows and window ac unit from leaking water that could cause mold and mildew growth, you should explore the windows in your bathrooms.

If you have windows in your shower you need to ensure that they are waterproofed and not leaking. Reading up on this area at the same time you are figuring out how to clean the mold from your window ac unit is a great idea.

Window air conditioner mold on the filter
Window air conditioner mold on the filter

When Do I Call A Professional

Although cleaning mold off an ac window unit filter and screening might seem simple to you as a homeowner. You never can tell if the mold spores have traveled long distances and begun to grow in other places of your home.

Mold spores can travel and begin to affect your walls, windows, and other areas of the home. Calling out your local home inspection company is a great idea at this time. Having peace of mind that all mold is removed from the home is vital to your health.

Conclusion

When cleaning anything related to mold, you should always consult a professional first. It is highly recommended that anything dealing with mold, that you utilize a home inspection service as they can determine if the mold is growing in other areas of your home. Chances are that if the window ac unit has mold spores on it, those spores could travel to other areas of the home. Luckily, Waypoint East can test for mold in the South Florida area.

How To Waterproof A Window In A Shower

It has been a long day at the office and all you want is to take a hot shower. You start the water and get the shower all steamed up and step into it, only to notice some dark spots on your shower tile. Once out of the shower, you get your tile cleaner out and start to scrub the dark spots off your tile grout. As you work your way up, you begin to realize that your shower window has been exposed to the outside elements, and is causing mold growth from a water leak.

You get out of the shower as you have made your discovery after cleaning it and research the question: How to waterproof a window in a shower? Caulking and sealing the window is vital to waterproofing the shower window.

Following the steps listed below will allow you to ensure that your shower window is waterproofed. Let’s take a look.

Single window in the shower
Single window in the shower

What’s Involved

There are a few steps that you will want to follow in order to ensure that the shower window is properly sealed and waterproofed. Keep in mind, a window will always need consistent maintenance. Let’s take a look at what we can do to make this happen.

  • Make sure that your window is higher than your shower head. This prevents water from getting into the window frame and seals. If your window is below your shower head, the window will need more maintenance.
  • Choose the right window. We recommend windows with PVC trim.
  • Make sure to run your waterboard up to the jamb and properly seal it with caulk.
  • Wrap the entire waterboard and area around the window with a latex-modified thinset. The thinset is your waterproof membrane.
  • Install a window sill on a slight slant so that any condensation or water will run off the window sill and not puddle up.
  • Run your tile all of the way up to the jamb after you have installed the window sill.
  • Caulk and fill every hole and crevice.

Following these steps will allow you to ensure a secured and waterproof window in the shower.

Sealed windows in the bathroom
Sealed windows in the bathroom

How Much Does It Cost to Waterproof a Window in a Shower

Believe it or not, sealing a window in the shower can be relatively inexpensive. Your national average cost is $44 to $108 per window. The materials are typically the cheaper part of the process. The labor cost is what drives the varying costs. Keep in mind, it is not the best idea to seal or reseal a window for your shower by yourself.

It might seem like an easy cost-saving project, however, having a professional contractor that knows what they are doing will save you from future headaches. Water leaking into your window, water getting into your walls, or even mold and mildew growth can happen if it is not fixed properly.

Depending on the window type and installation, you may decide to replace the window instead to prevent continuous maintenance.

Other Recommended Maintenance

If it looks like the window leaks when it rains it can be several reasons. These reasons are poor insulation, wall leaks, improper overhangs, or clogged gutters to name a few. The easiest thing to do is paint/caulk the exterior.

While you are searching for leaks within the shower window, you should also check for mold. Mold can show up in the home. Builder error, an actual window leak, or even too much humidity due to the shower can cause mold growth. Keep an eye out for it when you are checking the shower window and get rid of it as soon as possible.

Another area that you will want to check once the shower window has been inspected and repaired are your outlets. Making sure that the outlets in your bathroom are GFCI and grounded is important to avoid electrocution. It’s recommended to double-check the outlets as you are making other bathroom repairs.

Shower windows
Shower windows

When Do I Call A Professional

Call a professional if you have a leak and it is from the shower window or another area near there. Typically, the sealant around the window frame might be cracking or coming undone due to weathering and moisture, however, some pipes running through the walls could also be a leaking issue.

Thus, you should hire a professionally licensed contractor to check the walls and the framing around your shower window. Hopefully, it is something as simple as fixing the sealant, but it can be more than that. Also, having a professional take a look at your shower window issues is a great idea as they can be tricky to maintain and take care of and you don’t want someone who is not trained to do this. It can lead to more repairs down the road and you don’t need the headaches or the expense.

Conclusion

When installing or repairing shower windows, you will always want to consult a professional first. It is highly recommended that anything dealing with a window, that you utilize a home inspection service as well as a professional licensed contractor as they know the building codes for window installations in your area.  Waypoint East Property Inspections will take a look at your windows while conducting home inspections in Boca Raton, FL, and surrounding areas.

Will A GFCI Breaker Protect Ungrounded Outlets

Understanding your home’s electrical system is a very important step. You need to determine if your home is safe from electrical issues, damage, or death from electrocution. One of the many ways we do that is by having a GFCI breaker in the home as this will protect the ungrounded outlets. Will a GFCI breaker protect ungrounded outlets? Yes, a GFCI without a ground wire will protect ungrounded outlets so now you don’t need to worry.

Let’s take a look below to examine how to wire a GFCI outlet without the ground wire and make sure it trips for safety if the outlet shorts out, even without ground.

Why Is Grounding Important

Grounding your electricity and using a GFCI outlet for your electrical protections are not the same thing. GFCI monitors the electric currents sent out by the circuit breaker. All currents that are hot or neutral are kept in check by the GFCI so that electrocution will not occur. Adding a GFCI to an ungrounded outlet or circuit breaker will only protect against ground faults.

Grounding your circuit breaker will ensure that any outlet on your system will not send electric shock or cause electrocution.

GFCI Circuit Breaker and Protecting Ungrounded Outlets

GFCI circuit protected outlet with reset button.

When a ground fault occurs, the GFCI quickly shuts off the power. The acronym GFCI stands for ground-fault circuit interrupters or GFIs. These are safety devices built into outlets that protect against electrical shock. Making sure that every outlet is grounded by the ground wire is important as well. In addition, GFCI outlets protect all other outlets that are on the same circuit. This includes any tools or appliances that are plugged into the GFCI outlets. However, protection only includes down the circuit so if there is an outlet before the GFCI on the circuit, that outlet is not protected.

Ground fault causes include the following:

  • Using damaged cords or wiring
  • Using equipment in wet areas 
  • Plugging in faulty or leaking tools and appliances                                                           
Ungrounded outlets need a GFCI breaker to protect them.

Will A GFCI Breaker Protect Ungrounded Outlets

A GFCI protected outlet or breaker can detect when more current is coming in on the hot wire than is exiting on the neutral wire. This shuts off the circuit quickly before the current can stray and cause shock or electrocution.

The GFCI protected outlet or breaker does not create a path to the ground. Only a connected ground wire and re-route the electrical current to the ground and save you from electrocution. GFCI protected outlets simply make the un-grounded outlet safer.

Is It Cost-Effective To Replace My Non- GFCI Outlets

Looking to ground your electrical circuit breaker? You are likely going to pay between $200 and $1,000. The cost range is due to local codes and the accessibility of the breaker box. Also, the electrical design behind the wall where the breaker box is located.

Let’s take a look at the video below and see how we can save some money by installing GFCI outlets to fix those that are ungrounded.

You might be thinking that you want to save more money, but let’s take a look at bootleg grounds and why you DON’T want to go this route.

Bootleg grounds are dangerous and illegal.

Bootleg Ground – What Not to Do

Even though it may be tempting, and someone who is not a professional may tell you it is okay, you want to stay away from a bootleg ground. This is where a jumper wire is installed on a receptacle, in between the neutral wire to the ground screw. The purpose is for the receptacle to be grounded but it doesn’t actually work and is illegal.

Tamper resistant outlet helps with GFCI .

Other Recommended Maintenance

The GFCI outlets that are installed are tied to the circuit breaker box and will be grounded by a ground wire. Double-check that you don’t have a Challenger GFCI circuit breaker box installed while this version of the circuit breaker has been recalled.

The need for GFCI outlets that are grounded is vital to your home’s electrical safety needs. Consider using tamper-resistant outlets. This saves some of the tools that you plug into the GFCI from being damaged and also prevents electric shock as they too will be grounded outlets.

When Do I Call A Professional

Electrical fires are dangerous and can destroy homes so make your home safe by checking the GFCI outlets and the non GFCI outlets. Making sure that the outlets are both GFCI and grounded is the most important part of electrical safety. Lastly, remember that you will only want to keep two GFCI outlets on the same breaker to avoid regular circuit breaker tripping.

Conclusion

Many people fail to inspect the outlets in their homes. Outlets could become exposed to harsh temperatures or dampness not otherwise seen in other states. In addition, adding appliances onto ungrounded circuits can be dangerous for everyone in the home. Safety should be the priority here. Getting a home inspection done once a year is a great idea.

Often we don’t know if the heavy rain or winds have damaged our GFCI outlets until the inspection is completed. If you need someone to provide a home inspection to recommend any GFCI outlet changes, then reach out to Waypoint East Property Inspections, we will take a look at your GFCI outlets while conducting home inspections in Boca Raton, FL, and surrounding areas.

Do Metal Roofs Need Gutters

Finding the right roof for your home can be tricky. There are so many trends to choose from to make your home stand out. Let’s say that you select a metal roof and you are very happy about this selection. The roof goes on and it looks sharp! Your home is standing out in the neighborhood and looking like the top show! The first rain comes and you begin to notice an erosion line along with the soil and near the foundation.

Do metal roofs need gutters? This is a great question. In all cases, roofs need gutters to ensure that the rainwater is sent as far away from your home as possible. Not all gutters are created equal and they certainly aren’t one size fits all. Selecting a gutter system for your metal roof is a necessity, but you will want to choose the correct product for your metal roof.

Let’s take a look at the options for a metal roof system and see how it fits your needs and roofing design.

Why Metal Roofs Need Gutters

Believe it or not, gutters and downspouts are two of the most functional items on your entire home. Keeping water away from your home’s foundation is vital to your home’s longevity. In addition, gutters and downspouts give your home a curb appeal. Together they tie your beautiful roof to the paint and accents of your home.

Without seamless gutters, you will experience water runoff that will erode your soil, soak your walls, door frames, and window frames. In addition, you could experience long-term issues, such as mold in your walls, rotting wood, and other structural damage. Gutters will prevent water from getting into your roof decking and your fascia boards.

Knowing the value of gutters on your home will allow you to take a look at the best gutters for metal roofs.

Designer gutters to match the metal roof
Designer gutters to match the metal roof

What Problems Might Arise With Gutters On a Metal Roof

You would be surprised that gutter issues do occur, especially with a metal roof. Let’s take a look at some of the potential issues that could arise, if not installed properly:

  • Water overshooting (water shoots over the gutter system) – ensure that the gutter system is mounted high and you have installed rain guards.
  • Gutter collapse – securing a gutter system yourself is not recommended. Hiring a professional to mount your gutters is the best way to secure your gutter.
  • Clogged gutters – regular cleaning with gutter guards are the best ways to prevent clogging of gutters.
Roofing gutter system attached to a metal roof
Roofing gutter system attached to a metal roof

Cost of Gutters For a Metal Roof

Since gutters can come in a wide variety of materials and styles, the cost of the installation can have a very broad range. The national average for gutter installation is $900 – $5,000. This depends on the size of your home and the matching of specific details to the roof of the home. In most cases, you can expect to pay around $1,409 for 150 linear feet of seamless aluminum gutters and downspouts.

Other Recommended Maintenance

While you are in the middle of preparing for the possibility of adding gutters to your metal roof, this would be a good time to consult your roof inspection checklist.

You will also want to consider checking the downspouts. These are the pipes that are installed on every 20 feet of gutter. Their purpose is to carry the water from the gutter down and away from the home.  Downspout extensions should extend 4 to 6 feet away from the house, but 10 feet when possible.  This is so the water is far away from the home and will not cause a possible leak near the foundation.

Gutter system for a metal roof
Gutter system for a metal roof

When Do I Call A Professional

It is always best to call a professional licensed roofer when looking to make changes to your roof. This includes adding an installed gutter system, and downspouts. Also, the licensed roofer will be able to refer a high-quality gutter installer to ensure that the work quality is up to the same standard as the metal roof installation.

Conclusion

When installing gutters for your metal roof, you will always want to consult a professional first. Using the home inspection checklist will help so you know what to look for if you choose to install yourself. It is highly recommended that anything dealing with a roof, that you utilize a home inspection service as well as a professional licensed roofer.  Waypoint East Property Inspections will take a look at your roof while conducting home inspections in Boca Raton, FL, and surrounding areas.

How To Build Up Soil Around House Foundation

You just returned home from a nice time at the movies. You have no idea that it rained heavily as the movie was very loud. As you approach your home it is clear that the rain was so much that the streets are still a bit flooded. Luckily, the sun is out and you are able to walk to your front door as usual. Upon your approach to the front door, you notice a large pooling of water near your foundation. After inspecting the plants and shrubs around this area, you begin to realize more needs to be done to your yard.

The question comes to mind, how to build up soil around my house foundation? There are a couple of different options ranging from how high the new slope needs to be, to the type of soil or fill dirt that you will need to utilize. A few choices will need to be considered before taking on this project.

Let’s take a look at what it means to build up soil and how much it might cost me.

Layers of soil for building up house foundation.
Soil Layers

What Does It Mean To Build Up Soil

Exposure of your foundation and drainage issues are the two main reasons to build up the soil around your home. A proper gradient of dirt sloping away from the foundation will not only improve the drainage but also protect the foundation walls. Let’s take a look at a step-by-step process to build up dirt around the foundation of your home.

  • Figure out your starting point-get a 10-foot wood board and place it next to your foundation. Use a level on top of the board to elevate the board to the slope that you need and measure the length where the board meets the ground.
  • Determine the slope needed-this will depend on the soil type. However, the higher the slope the better drainage you will have.
  • Begin to build up your soil gradient-begin bringing in your soil to meet your desired slope.
  • Fill in any excess areas-start at the lower areas and then move closer to the home.
  • Perform a check for consistency-use the same 10-foot board to measure your consistency around the foundation of your home. Checking the slope each time is important for leveling.

Fill Dirt vs Topsoil To Build Up Soil Around House Foundation

One of the most important things to think about building up soil around the house foundation is determining the type of dirt to use. Depending on where you live will dictate what is best for you to add around your home’s foundation. You will want the fill dirt that can be compacted and not stay loose. After you add your layer of fill dirt, it is best to add a top layer of topsoil.

It is important to note that fill dirt is great for filling in openings around your foundation walls, while topsoil is great for planting and vegetation. Understanding the amount need to raise the slope of your yard around the foundation is important. It is easier to lay the topsoil than it is to lay the fill dirt. Topsoil is looser and contains nutrients and organic material for gardens. In addition, topsoil, can and should be used as the top layer (roughly 5 to 10 inches above your fill dirt) when you build up soil around the house foundation.

Soil tiller to help integrate the new layers to build up the house foundation.
Soil tiller to help integrate the new layers.

Why You Should Fix Negative Grading

Fixing negative grading is important because as rainwater falls it can begin to flow towards your foundation and start to degrade the foundation surface. You might also experience major puddling that finds cracks in the foundation and becomes absorbed into the home walls, which will start causing a mold problem. Making sure that water runs off the slope of the yard and your slope is 6 inches for every 6 feet is important.

What Is The Best Way To Fix Negative Grading

You will likely be adding soil to fix your negative grading situation. This not only prevents the pooling of water but also protects the foundation of the home.

  1. If you have any plants or vegetation in a negative drainage area, you will want to remove them and save for replanting.
  2. Remove grass from the negative drainage area and make sure that it is only located 6 to 10 feet from the home.
  3. Adding around 8 inches of soil will ensure the grade is not forcing water away from the home.
  4. Be sure to check the height against your foundation, so that the topsoil isn’t completely meeting the bottom of your exterior wall.
  5. Compact the soil as much as possible after you have tilled the topsoil into the existing soil.
  6. Use a level to ensure the slope is where you need it to be.
  7. Replant your grass, plants, and other vegetation that you removed during your first steps.

Consider A Downspout Extension To Your Gutters To Reduce Erosion

Once you have the slope of your yard figured out, you will want to look at your gutter system and the downspouts. Typically, the downspout only extends a few inches from your foundation. However, the water can pool up in that area near the foundation and not drain far enough from your home. Water should always be diverted 4 to 6 feet away from your home but 10 feet if possible.

The solution to this problem is to install downspout extenders and attach them to your gutter system. In addition, you will want to place gravel and rock at the end of your downspouts to avoid erosion. All of this can be purchased at a local hardware store.

Downspouts should extend 4-6 feet from your home, but 10 feet if possible.
Downspouts should be extended 4-6 feet from the home, but 10 feet if possible.

How Much Will It Cost

The average cost to slope your yard is $700 to $1,700 depending on home much fill dirt is needed. If you have a large home, you could see the costs balloon up closer to $5,000. Consider a national average range of $700 to $5,000 depending on the size of the yard and home square footage.

Selling/Buying a Home

If you are selling a home that has negative grading and you don’t want to fix it, you may want to do a Pre-Listing Inspection. This will be a great selling point as you can find out what else may be wrong with the home and fix it before putting it on the market. Buyers will like that you have already had a Pre-Listing Inspection and it will make your house that much more attractive.

If you are buying a home with a Pre-Listing Inspection, then you don’t need to have a home inspection done, if it is current. This will save you money from paying for one. However, keep in mind that the seller is letting the buyers know what is wrong and they are not required to fix it unless it is a safety issue. Some sellers also have this done to avoid negotiating after a home inspection.

Other Maintenance

One area that you should be inspecting while you have your yard tilled up and are adding new layers of soil is your sprinkler system. There are ways to maintain your sprinkler system to ensure that it is going to work properly after you have added more soil layers.

Another area of concern when you are adding more soil or fill dirt to your yard is the possibility of water pooling from rains, a broken sprinkler head, or underground pipe. Allowing the project to take too long and the water to pool in your yard is a recipe for mosquito breeding. Take a look at ways to naturally control mosquitos while taking on this large project.

When you don't want to shovel the soil to build up the house foundation, call a professional.
When you don’t want to shovel the soil yourself you should call a professional

When Do I Call A Professional

Hiring a professional landscaper to come out and complete the project of sloping your yard to a higher gradient is a great idea. Attempting to bring in fill dirt and topsoil to move around your yard and spread from your foundation to the low point away from your foundation can be tricky. A professional can build soil around a house foundation and do it the correct way.

If you don’t know how to compact and till your soil, you could end up causing more damage in the long run, than a solution to a problem. The time it would take you to change the slope of your yard could be very costly to you. Soil grading can be tricky so it is always best to get multiple quotes and let the professionals handle the task for you.

Conclusion

Deciding if it is necessary to increase the slope of your yard can be difficult. You might see a drainage issue around your foundation, or even exposed foundation walls that you will want to protect. If either of these scenarios arises, it is a great idea to reach out to your local home inspection company. You will want ideas and ways to fix the yard and build soil around the house foundation, without causing damage to your home. Waypoint Property Inspection East can take a look at your foundation to see if the yard needs any upgrades during a home inspection in Boca Raton, FL, and surrounding areas.

How Do You Clear Roots From Drain Pipes

Imagine the distance that it would take for your tree roots to access your underground drain pipes. Is this even a possibility? Absolutely, it is possible for tree roots to attack your drainage pipes. Once you have identified that tree roots are the clogging problem with your pipe drainage, you can ask yourself, How do I clear the roots from my drain pipes? The answer is copper sulfate, rock salt, auger, hydro-jetting, or reroute or repair.

Underground drain pipes.
Underground Drain Pipes

What Are Drain Pipes

Drain pipes are exactly what they sound like. They are responsible for carrying all of your waste from your home to the city sewer system. This includes all of your plumbing and any gutter system runoff that you may have had installed. Let’s take a deeper dive into how and why root systems can intrude upon your drain pipes.

Roots growing inside a drain pipe cause problems in a yard.
Cracked Drain Pipe Showing Roots Inside

How Tree Roots Enter Drain Pipes

Tree roots gravitate towards moisture and food for the tree and the drain lines happen to be a perfect food and moisture source. If your drain lines become damaged from soil erosion, movement, or older pipes, the roots are going to naturally grow into your sewer lines. In addition, this can dramatically increase the damage to your drainage pipes.

Signs Of Tree Roots In Your Pipes

Believe it or not, there are a couple of ways to determine if your drain pipes have roots in them. Below are a couple of areas to keep an eye out for, prior to calling in the professionals.

Very Green Patches in Your Yard

Roots that have made it into your drain pipes will be healthy and have more access to food. This food source allows the foliage to remain healthy and strong.

Odor Smells

Serious blockage can cause a build-up of waste in the pipes. This will produce a foul odor that needs attending to from a home inspector.

Sinkholes

A sinkhole occurs due to the pipes being cracked by the root system. This allows water to continue draining through the soil, leaving the area soft and vulnerable to movement and erosion.

Slow or Gurgling Drains

Slow draining pipes or clogs can also be a result of roots getting into your drain pipes. The only way to tell is to scope the drainpipe with a sewer scope camera designed to snake through the pipes.

Checking for an underground water leak is important. This can be done in five easy steps, starting with checking the water meter.

Cost to Clear Roots from Drain Pipes

The initial costs for you to clear or replace the drain pipes are determined by the professional team that you hire to service the pipes to check the lines for tree roots. This can range from a couple of hundred dollars to thousands. The drain pipes or sewer lines, the size of your home, and the location will determine the costs.

Clearing Roots from Drain Pipes

Believe it or not, there are a few good home remedies for helping keep roots out of your drain pipes. Let’s take a look at some of those options:

  • Copper Sulfate-this will kill any root system in your pipes with just half a cup of these blue crystals. Copper sulfate is a natural herbicide and can be purchased at most hardware stores.
  • Rock Salt (Sodium Chloride)-adding the salt into your toilet that is farthest from the road. You will add a handful to your toilet and flush it down with buckets of water. You will need to avoid flushing the toilets until the following afternoon. This will give the salt time to dry out the roots. This is a temporary solution, as roots will tend to grow back.
  • Hydro Jetting-this involves thrusting a high power amount of water at 4,000 psi through the pipes. The water pressure is so powerful that It destroys the roots.
  • Rooter or Auger-this item will be shoved through the piping system all the way to the obstruction. Once the obstruction is located, the auger will slice up the roots and allow the pipes to be flushed out. Any debris that is left is washed away into the sewer.
  • Reroute or Repair-a professional might locate the issue and cut the pipes in hopes of rerouting the pipe trail away from the root system. This could typically cost the most. Also, materials are not cheap and neither is the time it takes to dig and locate the repair or problem site.

Keep in mind, any of the above solutions might damage your sewer drain lines if they are weak. Therefore, you may have to replace the sewer lines instead.

Sewer Scope Inspection

Homebuyers will want to have a sewer scope inspection completed prior to doing anything. This will allow you to determine the condition of the sewer system throughout your home. In order to do this, you will need to hire an inspector who will snake a camera through your sewer lines and determine if any damage is present. Knowing that everything looks good will give you peace of mind to purchase the home. Waypoint Property Inspection East can help you with your sewer scope inspections in South Florida.

Other Preventative Maintenance Ideas

You should consider maintaining your vegetation in the yard and keeping it away from the house. Also, keeping trees and other plants away from your drainage pipes is key to success. The root systems are always looking for nutrients and water, and both can be found inside your drainage pipes. So, the further away you can keep the plants and trees from your pipes, the better off you will be.

In addition, making sure that the yard gradient slopes away from the home will allow for the water to flow faster through your pipes. You do not want the pipes to end as level or sloping backward. This will cause slower flushing of the items in your drainage pipes and could also cause a backup into your home.

Other Recommended Maintenance

While you are busy inspecting or repairing your drain pipes, you might want to consider inspecting your sprinkler system. There are a few ways to maintain your sprinkler system while you have your yard dug up for drain pipe repairs.

Problems with yard drainage can be due to roots in drain pipes or other issues.

If you have water developing in the yard, check to make sure it is indeed a broken or clogged drainpipe underground causing this. When in actuality, it could be a drainage issue and a drainage system may be a cheaper fix. A professional can help you figure out the culprit.

Be careful of allowing water to sit in your yard for too long as it will be a breeding ground for mosquitos. The good news is there are natural ways to get the mosquitos under control while fixing the issue in your yard.

When Should I Call A Professional

It is highly recommended that you reach out to a professional right away to clear roots from drain pipes. Attempting to determine a clog in your drain pipes can take a long time, and set you back a lot of money. In addition, if you don’t know what you are doing, it can cause a lot of headaches and additional costs. Lastly, the time that it will take you to rent the equipment and dig up the area is not worth the amount that you would pay a professional.

Conclusion

It is always difficult to determine if tree roots have intruded into your underground plumbing. Using rock salts or copper sulfate to help combat the problem is a great idea, however, it is a very temporary solution. Waypoint Property Inspection East can take a look at your underground pipes during a home inspection in the Boca Raton, FL, and surrounding areas.

Why Won’t My Garage Door Close

You and your family are leaving on a Monday morning to head out to school and work. You hit the remote control to close the garage and it isn’t moving. Why won’t my garage door close? There can be several reasons: the sensors, tracks and rollers may be out of alignment, tension springs are broken, or the disconnect switch is separated.

We will take a look below at each of these areas that can affect the garage door closing.

Background of Garage Doors

Have you ever thought about all of the parts and pieces that are involved with a garage door? Well, there are so many moving parts and pieces. If one of them breaks down, it could cause your entire door not to function properly. The working parts go beyond the simple big parts in front of your eye.

You will first take note of the garage door itself and determine if it is structurally sound. After a quick review of your garage door, the track and other parts, you will begin to notice what might be causing the problem. Let’s take a look at the possible reasons to cause your garage door to malfunction.

Check the Sensors

You will first want to determine if the sensors are working properly. You will find them on the bottom of your garage door track. The sensors are located about 6 inches from the ground and attach to the bottom of the garage door track. The purpose of these sensors is to provide you with a safety stop. This is in case something ends up underneath the door.

Check the Sensor Batteries – If It is Wireless

Making sure the sensor batteries are working properly is important. If the batteries are not good, your garage door sensors thinks an object is in the way and will not close.

The other part of the garage door sensors is the actual outside casing of the sensors themselves. It is important to clean the sensors from dirt and spider webbing. The sensors might think that an object is in the way and stop the garage door from closing. So, you will want to clean the sensors will a damp rag every so often to keep them clean.

Lastly, the sunlight can also hit the sensor and make the garage think there is something in the way and it will not close.

Check Your Tracks and Rollers If the Garage Door Won’t Close

Once you check the sensors and see that they are working properly, you will check the track and door rollers. If any part of the track becomes out of alignment, the garage door will stop functioning and will not close.

Once you have inspected the full track to ensure it has a proper alignment, you will next inspect the rollers. At this time, it is a good idea to grease the rollers with lithium-based silicone to ensure that the rollers will not get stuck in the track. If you see that the roller is worn or not moving very easily, it is recommended that you replace it.

track alignment may be off on a garage door.

Track Alignment is Off

When you discover that your garage door tracks are out of alignment, it is important to act. If the tracks are out of alignment, the door will not close properly. At this point, you should call a professional.

The Tension Springs or Cables Broke

Inside the garage at the top of the garage door, you will see a straight bar that holds tension springs or cables. These tension springs or cables are in place to ensure that the weight of the garage door doesn’t close too quickly. This is much like a hydraulic motor that will keep the basketball goals from slamming down too quickly when lowering them in a gymnasium. This is to protect anyone or any animal from getting crushed by the garage door as it closes.

If you have a broken tension spring or cable, your garage door will close very quickly and you will hear a loud banging noise. At this point, a professional needs to make the repair. It is not a safe situation and you should inspect your garage door parts and pieces on a semi-annual to annual basis. This is to make sure it is working properly.

Check the Disconnect Switch

Every system has a disconnect switch so that you can manually open or close the garage door when your power goes out. It is important to check that the disconnect switch has not separated from the track/chain. The disconnect switch is typically off the top metal arm that attaches to the garage door panels and the track with chain.

There is a rope with a handle that you can pull down to disconnect the switch from the track. If someone accidentally pulls on this handle and forgets to reattach the disconnect switch, then your garage door motor will run through its cycle and the garage door itself will not move. Annual maintenance is checking the disconnect switch to make sure it is attached to the track/chain.

Garage Door Sensitivity Settings

You could also check the garage door sensitivity settings. If the garage door starts going down but then shoots back up, it might be too sensitive. To adjust, there are adjustments on the opener just like the limit screws.

How Can I Fix The Garage Door On My Own

Once you have checked all of the visual areas of the garage door, it is time to check your limit screws. The limit screws are located in the main component box at the end of the middle track of your garage door chain suspension. You will need to get your ladder out and climb up to a safe level where you can reach the main component box.

You will remove the cover of the light bulbs. Once you remove the cover, you will see two screws. They are labeled up and down. You will take a flat head screwdriver and twist up or down a quarter of an inch at a time. This will adjust your garage door closing depth and allow you to determine if this is your simple fix.

Remote may need replacing or replace the batteries if the garage door won't open or close.

Check The Remote If the Garage Door Won’t Close

Often times we forget that the remote to our system might need a battery replacement. We make assumptions that there are bigger issues with the system when it could be as simple as needing a new battery in your remote. You will also want to get your ladder out and remove the cover from the main unit of the garage door opener.

Once you remove the cover, you will see a button that says “learn.” Pushing the learn button and then pushing a button on your remote will allow the remote to identify with the system and should begin working at that time. Reinstall the cover and put your ladder away, if that is the solution to your garage door issues.

Here is a video that talks about the above reasons why a garage door won’t close:

Life of a Garage Door Opener and Signs It Needs Replacing

The garage door opener has a life of about 10-15 years with proper maintenance but it also depends on the climate, construction, and door quality.

Here are some signs that the garage door opener may need replacing:

Loud noises when it opens and closes

It may just need lubricating on the tracks and rollers so try that first.

Garage opens intermittently

This may be a sign that the batteries need changing in the remote. Try changing the batteries before calling a professional.

Garage door detaches and falls to the floor

This is an emergency situation and calling a professional right away is important.

The garage door doesn’t stop when something is in the way

A major hazard and every year, 20,000 injuries occur each year because of faulty garage doors.

Hollow door in the interior of the home. A garage door needs to be fire-rated.

Other Maintenance

Taking a look at your garage door every year is important to make sure it is working well. While you are checking out the garage door, take a look inside the home at the hollow core doors you may have inside the house. Remember, you cannot have a hollow core door that leads to the garage, instead, it must be fire-rated.

Check the landscaping in the yard. You want to be sure that plants are not getting too close to the garage door so that it has trouble opening. Also, you want to make sure that the landscaping helps keep water away from the house and not bring it in.

When Should I Call A Professional

Calling a professional is necessary when you simply have run out of solutions. If you have trouble-shot every possible scenario and you still cannot fix your garage door closing issue, then it is time to call a professional.

Unfortunately, fixing a garage door closing issue might not be the easiest thing for the regular homeowner. It also, might not be something that you even care to do. So, in this case, calling a professional to avoid further damage is highly recommended.

Conclusion

Fixing a garage door because it won’t close all the way, or close at all, is not the easiest task. However, if you follow the suggested steps on what to check first and go through the process of each one, you will quickly find a solution.

If a solution is not found then you will quickly realize a phone call to a professional is necessary. Either way, taking time to troubleshoot the issue could save you a lot of money in repairs down the road. Waypoint Property Inspections East will check your garage door and its mechanical parts during a home inspection in Boca Raton and surrounding areas.

6 Ways to Fix Cloudy Tap Water

Many households in the Rockies and Southwest drink water from their tap. They are lucky to have mountain spring water. However, in other areas like the deep south, the water does not taste good and many people use filters on their refrigerators or drink bottled water. No matter which you use, you will notice when running tap water in your kitchen sink if it is cloudy. How to fix cloudy tap water? There are 6 ways. Get rid of the bubbles, soften the water, test the water if you have a well, use a sediment filter, get rid of methane gas and turn off the water if there is a sewer smell.

Water is important for our survival as humans and we need to make sure we are drinking from a clean source. Taking a look at various signs can help do just that!

Let’s take a look at the 6 ways to fix cloudy tap water:

1. Get Rid of the Bubbles

Bubbles will show up in the water because of the air that is in the water lines. The built-up pressure will cause the tiny air bubbles to appear and the color of the water may be a milky shade. Sometimes this is because of high-temperature fluctuations so insulating the pipes might be your next step. You won’t be putting blankets on the pipes, but instead fiberglass or pipe sleeves. Not sure what to do? Contact a professional.

How to fix: Put water in a glass and set it on the counter for a few minutes. If the tiny air bubbles disappear, then it was likely to air in the lines and the water is safe to drink. Most likely, you just hvae to run the water enough to remove all the air bubbles. If it only happens in hot water, then there is an issue with the water heater. We will talk a little later about water heater maintenance.

2. Soften the Water to Fix Cloudy Tap Water

Sometimes the water will be cloudy if you have hard water. However, the first place you may notice this is staining on your dishes or clothes.

How to fix: Install water softeners under your sink. Be aware that they are high in sodium so if this is a problem, then boiling water can get rid of the hard water problem. If it is an issue in the whole house with hard water, then you will need a system that is made for the house.

well in a yard

3. Test the Water if You Have a Well

A well lasts about 30-50 years and needs maintenance at least once a year. Always make sure that the well cap is on tight as this will keep out insects and animals. Additionally, if you notice the water changes in taste or color, have it tested right away by a professional. This is because wells are not treated for contaminants like the municipal water systems so you have to be extra careful with well water.

You can have contaminated water if you have a well or city water so getting it tested is important.

How to fix: You may need to invest in a reverse osmosis unit. This filters water through a series of membranes and these systems catch up to 99 percent of contaminants. These contaminants include chemicals like pesticides and chlorine. Unfortunately, it is not cheap starting at $300 and goes up from there. Check out the video below about how this works.

4. Use a Sediment Filter to Fix Cloudy Tap Water

Sediment is seen in most tap water but in low concentrations. It is normal to see a few small rocks, soil, and stone. However, if the levels are higher, your water can be cloudy.

How to fix: If you have city water, you can fix this by adding a sediment filter to your faucet. This will fix the cloudy tap water and improve the taste.

5. Get Rid of Methane Gas If it is in Your Tap Water

Methane gas in your tap water is rare but does happen.

If you live in rural areas, it is possible for there to be methane gas in the water.  This is seen in rural systems or when the well is next to oil or gas lines. 

How do you find out if there is methane gas in the water?  First, take an empty gallon jug and fill it halfway. Then, put the top on it.  After an hour, remove the top and light a match at the top.  If a flame sparks, then there is methane in the water.  If it does not, you are clear. 

How to fix: A professional will need to install an aerator on the water line for you.  Additionally, this is a good thing as the methane is non-toxic but does need to be taken care of as it is a fire hazard.

6. Turn Off the Water if There is a Sewer Smell

A strong sewer smell can mean that there is bacteria growing in the drain.

How to fix this: pour half a cup of baking soda and half a cup of vinegar in the drain. This will get rid of the smell if this is the issue.

However, if the water tastes metallic or comes out smelling fishy, then turn off the water and drink bottled water. You will want to do this until you have the water tested.

sewer cap

Additional Areas to Check

1. If you are finding that the water is cloudy or murky after 24 hours, you may need to contact a professional to check for a water leak in the pipes or undergroundAdditionally, if you also notice low water pressure, leaks underneath the sink, or water forming in the yard, this will signal there is an issue. Are the pipes in your yard made of PVC? If yes, you can replace them!

2. Check your water bill.  If the water bill is higher than normal and your activities have not changed, there could be a water leak.  Lastly, locating and reading the water meter will be helpful to find out if there is a leak somewhere in the home or the yard.

3. Water heater maintenance – there are a few things to keep an eye on with the water heater. These will help you notice when there may be an issue. They are: flushing the water heater, adjusting the temperature and resetting the unit, and turning the gas water heater off and on to name a few.

When to Call a Professional

  1. Water is not clearing up
  2. Discoloring of water or it smells
  3. You suspect there is a leak
  4. Your water needs testing
  5. You are not sure what to do

Conclusion

It is very important to make sure that our tap water stays clean and safe to drink. Paying attention to what it looks like and smells like is important. The good thing is any issues can usually be fixed easily, but make It a priority. Waypoint East can take a look at the water in your faucets if you are having any problems!

What is a Wind Mitigation Inspection

Every summer in Florida, we have summer rains, tropical storms, and hurricanes. Living in a beautiful paradise comes with dealing with mother nature. Moreover, most of us would agree that it is a sacrifice we make to not deal with freezing cold temperatures and snow storms. However, do you know how strong your home is going to be in one of these storms? This is where a Wind Mitigation Inspection comes into play.

What is a Wind Mitigation Inspection? It is an examination of a homes ability to withstand storms and water intrusion. It examines the roof and any openings in the home. While it is not required, you can save on your home owners insurance if you have it done.

Let’s take a look at why homes in Florida should have a wind mitigation inspection, who conducts the inspection, the length, cost, and what is checked.

strong storms in the south

Why Homes in Florida Should Have a Wind Mitigation Inspection

Florida is prone to strong storms and hurricanes. Homeowners Insurance companies (and home owners) want to make sure their homes can withstand the high winds and rains that come from these weather makers. In order to know this, you need a wind mitigation inspection.

For example, here in Florida a law passed after Hurricane Andrew that requires insurance companies to offer their customers incentives and credits for building structures that reduce structural damage based on wind. This law requires a home owner in Florida to undergo a certified wind inspection on their home in order to receive the discounts.

However, once completed, the homeowner receives substantial insurance discounts post inspection. With that being said, homeowners in Florida should undergo wind inspections on their homes in order to receive the discounts afforded to them by the insurance companies.

Who Does the Wind Mitigation Inspection, Length, and Cost

Depending on the state you live in, the wind mitigation inspection can be performed by general contractors, engineers, architects, building inspectors, or home inspectors. Here in Florida, a certified home inspector is generally used to complete the wind mitigation inspection report.

A wind mitigation inspection takes about 30 minutes and costs about $100.

How Long the Wind Mitigation Inspection is Valid

Wind Mitigation inspections will cover you for up to five years. Simply put, they are valid on your insurance premiums for up to five years.

new home

Seven Areas Covered in a Wind Mitigation Inspection

1. Construction Year of the Home

The year that the home was completed will tell the inspector what the building codes were for that year. Therefore, to ensure proper state statutes were followed, the inspector will look up the year it was built and compare with the state statutes for that year.

2. Roof Covering

This refers to the type of roof used. Tiles, shingles, or metal will tell the inspector all he or she needs to know with regards to materials used and structural soundness. Newer roofs, installed sooner than March 1st of 2002, can receive a discount with insurance.

3. Roof Decking

Roof decking is the nail size and spacing of the roof decking attachment. It has to do with what size nail was used to apply the deck sheathing to the truss and how spaced out those nails are. To receive the discount, you need 8d nails and spaced every 6 inches at a minimum.

4. Roof To Wall Attachment

This can refer to the type of material used to attach the roof to your walls. In most cases, the best bang for your buck in roof to wall attachment is the “clip” thus ask your inspector or insurance company what you have. Learn more about upgrading your attachment here.

slope roof

5. Roof Shape

This would refer to the slope or style of your roof itself. To qualify for this discount, more than 90% of the roof shape must be a hip roof. This is where all sides of the roof come down to meet the wall. Rather than making a point/triangle which is common above front entries and garage and knowns as a gable.

6. Secondary Water Resistance

This often refers to the material between the shingles and the roof decking.

7. Opening Protections

This inspection looks at “glazed openings” which are openings with windows or glass and “non-glazed openings”, which are entry doors and garage doors and how impact resistant they are. Therefore, the inspector will check for windows that are shatterproof, bracing on the garage door, doors that are hurricane-rated, and storm shutters.

These are important as without these, flying debris can cause destruction. A good piece of advice is to put up hurricane shutters before the inspector arrives to make sure you get the credit.

After the Inspection

After you had the wind mitigation inspection, you will provide the report and results to the insurance company. Remember, a wind mitigation inspection must be current, as in within the last 5 years.

Hurricane ready home

Benefits of a Wind Mitigation Inspection

Two of the biggest reasons for ordering a wind mitigation inspection are to save on insurance premiums and for peace of mind. Each state along with each company varies on what they will give discounts for so check with your state insurance website or contact an insurance agent.

However, some of those discounts include the following: newer roofs, longer nails placed closer together, upgrade materials, hipped roofs, secondary water resistance, and high rated doors, windows, and shutters.

Peace of mind is a benefit because you will know that your home is ready for the next weather event that comes your way.

Here is a great video that explains Wind Mitigation Inspection.

Other Inspections to Think About

Additionally, many inspectors will offer a discount to perform multiple inspections on your home. For example, a professional building inspector will offer to complete a wind mitigation, home inspection, and four point inspection at the same time. This allows the home buyer a variety points of information and saves them money in the long term.

Do you have a reason to believe you might have radon in your home?  The inspector can do an add-on for a radon inspection.

A home maintenance inspection might be good for you as well. This is a visual examination of your home’s systems, mechanicals, and structure. It let’s you know what existing problems you have in the home so you can fix them.

Lastly, if you live in Florida, a 4 point inspection may be required if you are purchasing a home that is 20 years old or older or changing insurance policies.

When to Call a Professional

Call a professional to have the wind mitigation inspection done. Remember to find out requirements in your state. Not sure where to find the professional? Take a look on google and check reviews. Also, put a question out there on Next Door Neighbor and ask for a referral from friends. It is a great idea to have this done for safety and peace of mind. Lastly, it will basically pay for itself with the savings you will get in the end.

Conclusion

A home is a big investment and you want to make sure it is able to hold up in a weather event. Having a wind mitigation inspection is important so you know that the roof and door openings can withstand the winds and rain that may come your way.

Additionally, if your insurance company will give you discounts on your policy, it is even more of a reason to have the inspection done. Waypoint Property Inspection East conducts Wind Mitigation Inspections in Boca Raton and surrounding areas.

How to Repair PVC Pipe in the Ground

It’s a nice summer day and you go to sit in your favorite chair in the yard to enjoy your morning coffee. All of a sudden, the chair you are in starts sinking in the ground! You look down and your feet are surrounded by water! It hasn’t rained in a week and the sprinklers don’t produce this much water. What could be happening? It sounds like there is a leak or break in the Polyvinyl Chloride pipes or (PVC).

This type of piping material is commonly used in the yard as drain, vent, and waste piping. Even though they are known for their durability, they can leak or break. Are you wondering how to repair PVC pipe in the ground? There are a few ways: Using fiberglass resin tape or cloth, tape made of rubber and silicone, epoxy, hose clamps and rubber tape, or just by replacing the pipe.

Let’s take a look at why you need to know how to repair PVC pipe in the ground. finding the leak, materials to use, before repairing or replacing, steps to do this, other areas to check, and when to call a professional.

Why You Need to Know How to Repair PVC Pipe in the Ground

As mentioned above, PVC pipe is often in the yard for drains, vents and waste piping. It doesn’t rust and is very durable. If you know how to repair PVC pipe in the ground, you can save yourself a lot of money. Some fixes may be easy and minor, while some may require replacing the pipe or contacting a professional. It will depend on how big the leak or crack is, but it is always worth trying to fix it first before replacing, if possible.

water meter

Finding the Leak

Not sure if you have a water leak underground? Here are some things to do first:

  1. Find the water meter – it is usually outside, on the ground near the driveway, and under a heavy lid.
  2. Use the shut-off valve and turn off all the water.  The shut-off valve may be in the basement or front or corner of your home.
  3. Turn off all faucets in the home
  4. Mark the rim of the gauge in the water meter
  5. Leave shut off for 30 min and see if the needle has moved.  If yes, call a home inspector to find possible areas of leaking.
sewer scope camera

Sewer Issue

Is it possible it is a problem with the sewer instead? Sure can be! If the inspector doesn’t think it is the PVC pipe, it may be a sewer issue. Thus, the inspector can use a sewer scope camera to do an inspection . If there are any thoughts it can be one or the other, an inspection is needed.

If it turns out it is an issue with the PVC pipe, you can decide to try to fix it. Here are some ways to repair or replace.

Materials to Repair or Replace the PVC Pipe in the Ground

Fiberglass Resin Tape or Cloth Can Repair PVC Pipe in the Ground

If it is a small leak, you can first try using fiberglass resin tape or cloth to fix the pipe. If you choose the tape, it will buy you some time to get the cloth or a full replacement. To do this, clean the area of the pipe first with a damp rag. Then, wrap the tape around the pipe and let it harden for 15 minutes. The tape must be wet for this to work.

resin tape

Do you want something more permanent? Try using resin cloth. To do this, use sandpaper and sand the surface to create a surface that is more adhesive. Put the resin cloth over the break and cure the resin by putting it in the sun or using a UV light.

Rubber and silicone repair kit

Rubber and Silicone Repair Tape

If you have a minor leak, rubber and silicone repair tape can help. Like fiberglass resin tape, rubber and silicone tape comes in a roll and it can be wrapped directly around the PVC pipe. However, instead of adhering to the pipe, the repair tape adheres directly to itself.

To fix damage to a PVC pipe, wrap the tape around where the leak is. Cover a little bit to the sides of the affected area. The compression will fix the leak, so ensure that the wrap is tight and secure before using the pipes again.

hose clamps

Rubber Tape and Hose Clamp

Similar to rubber and silicone repair tape, rubber tape and hose clamps also uses compression to repair small leaks in PVC pipes. However, it is a temporary fix as the tape and clamps won’t be able to do their job anymore as the leak grows. To do this, wrap rubber around the damaged area and then separate the hose clamps. Then, place the clamps around the affected area and tighten. This should slow the leak or stop it. Remember, this is only a temporary fix. I

glue for PVC pipe

Epoxy Can Repair PVC Pipe in the Ground

Another way to fix the PVC pipe is with epoxy. This type of epoxy is a putty or liquid that can repair leaks. Start by cleaning and drying the area and make sure water can’t get near it. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for mixing the putty or liquid. Next, apply the epoxy and give it about 10 minutes to cure. When this is done, let water into the pipe and see if there are any leaks.

Before Repairing or Replacing the PVC Pipe in the Ground

Sometimes the best thing to do – or only thing- is to replace the pipes. However, you want to make sure that you do a few things first.

  1. Check with a professional to see if this is necessary
  2. Gather your supplies together- correct size PVC pipe for replacement, hacksaw or ratchet cutter, clean cloth, PVC primer solvent, glue for PVC pipes and of course a shovel (unless the area is already exposed).

Steps to Repairing or Replacing the PVC Pipe in the Ground

  1. Turn off the water as mentioned at the beginning of this article
  2. Using a ratchet cutter or hacksaw, cut the pipe about 1 inch to the left and right of the damaged area
  3. Let excess water drain out and dry it with a cloth
  4. Dry-fit the replacement pipe in the hole and make sure the fitting of the pipe is properly secured. Here is an article that shows how to do this.
  5. Use PVC primer solvent and apply to the inside of the replacement pipe’s fittings and to the outside of the existing pipe.
  6. Then, apply glue for the PVC pipe to the existing, exposed PVC pipe and around the inside of the replacement fitting.
  7. Insert the existing pipe into the replacement fittings, and use a twisting motion to get the pipe to fit.
  8. Hold the pipe firmly for 10 seconds to ensure a strong bond as the glue dries. Let it set for 2 hours
  9. Turn the water main back on and test the line to ensure the sealant has set. This is also to check that there are no other leaks and run the system for 20 minutes.
  10. Once you have tested the line and all works well, cover it back up with the dirt.

Here is a great video that shows how to fix the PVC pipe with a small hole on your own:

If the thought of doing this on your own worries you, you can call a professional to fix it.

After you replace the pipe, take a look around the surrounding area of soil for what may have caused the damage to the pipe. Was it a tree or plant root? If yes, cut the root entirely around the piping. If possible, transplant the tree or plant to avoid future issues.

Other Areas to Check

Sprinkler System– if the sprinkler won’t turn on, this will also signal there is a leak underground or there is an issue with the well. This will depend on where the sprinkler hooks up. Take the time during maintenance to clean the sprinkler heads and replace any damaged valves.

Landscaping– water can puddle in the yard due to many things but it is important to keep it away from the home. One way to do this is by landscaping and adding bushes, plants, palm trees, or even decorative stone.

Vinyl Siding- Check the vinyl siding on the home as part of your home maintenance. You may have water issues in the yard when a pipe breaks, but if the siding is warping on the house, water will get inside the home as well. You don’t want that to happen so keep an eye on the siding. Also, if the siding is warping, bugs and other animals can get inside the home.

When to Call a Professional

Call a professional if you have water pooling in the yard and not sure what is causing it. Another reason is if you know a pipe is broken, but you aren’t sure where it is or if you can fix it yourself. Pipes are an important part of the plumbing system so unless you know what you are doing, a professional would be a better choice.

Conclusion

Just like we don’t want the air conditioning to go out here in Florida, we also don’t want pipes to break. However, unfortunately, it happens. Keep an eye in your yard on where you plant trees and other plants to make sure they are not growing into the pipes. Also, when you notice water starting to pool, take note of it and start researching what is causing it. Finding out earlier is better than later. Lastly, PVC pipe is very durable and a great material to use for pipes in the yard and thankfully is repairable most of the time. Waypoint Property Inspection East can inspect your pipes during a home inspection.