Avoid the Shame and Learn How to Unclog a Toilet

Avoid the Shame and Learn How to Unclog a Toilet

No one likes to admit it, but everyone’s felt their blood turn cold as they watch the toilet water rise instead of drop. To top it off, you could be in a carpeted bathroom of an acquaintance. Well, don’t worry; here’s how to keep the clogged toilet a secret.

The Easiest Way to Unclog a Toilet

Occasionally, disaster strikes and there isn’t a plunger in the bathroom. Don’t despair. Here’s how to unclog a toilet without a plunger, even if you only have the typical resources a bathroom holds.

  1. Quickly take off the lid of the tank, and close the flapper. The flapper is the rubber piece that is lifted up when you push on the handle to flush. You’ll need to stick your arm in the tank to push the flapper down. Don’t worry, though. Tank water is very clean.
  2. Add some hot water to the clogged toilet. This can often break apart what’s doing the clogging (unless a cute child threw something like a toy in the toilet earlier that day). You’ll need something to transport the hot water from the sink or tub into the toilet. A toothbrush holder or anything like a cup or bowl will do the trick. If things get dire, you could resort to dumping out the contents of the trash bin and using it as a water carrier. Leave the water to sit for a couple of minutes. Everything might naturally flush down at this point.
  3. You tried the step above, but nothing – or not enough – has happened. Now try adding a few drops of soap to the toilet. Dishwasher soap would be the first choice, followed by hand soap, and shampoo can be your last resort. Again, wait a few minutes for the soap to do its magic. Then, try flushing again.

The Simple Way to Unclog a Toilet

If the hot water and soap isn’t working for you, you could try baking soda and vinegar.

  1. Start with adding one cup of baking soda to the clogged toilet. Let it sit for a few minutes so the baking soda can start working.
  2. Follow by slowly adding two cups of vinegar to the toilet. Be sure to be slow. Otherwise, the toilet contents could bubble over.
  3. After leaving the baking soda and vinegar to sit for another couple of minutes, flush.  

The Good, Old-Fashioned Way to Unclog a Toilet

There’s nothing wrong with getting out the plunger to conquer the clogged toilet.

  1. If you can, get the best plunger. There are three kinds of plungers.
    • A sink plunger. It has a regular round edge. Nothing too crazy going on there. This is typically the most common kind of plunger, but it isn’t very effective for toilets.  
    • An accordion plunger. This looks like the most heavy duty. So, you may be tempted to think it’s the best for toilets. It isn’t a bad option. But, it can be difficult and bulky to use.
    • A toilet/flange plunger. This is our winner. It looks like a sink plunger with an additional circle coming out at the bottom. That addition fits right into the entrance of the toilet drain, and it’s great for the suction a plunger needs.  
  2. Run the plunger under hot water. This makes it more malleable and more effective.
  3. Again, suction is the key to effective plunging. And a good seal is the key to suction. So, apply pressure and move the plunger around a bit until it feels solidly stuck to the bowl.
  4. Push and pull on the plunger a time or two. Then, flush the toilet. If everything doesn’t go down, repeat plunging again.

The Hardware Way to Unclog a Toilet

If your toilet is still clogged and you’re starting to feel discouraged or furious, don’t fear. A toilet auger (also called a plumbing, closet, or toilet snake) will reach out the the clog and allow you to dislodge the blockage.

  1. Find a toilet snake. If you go looking at the store, remember that this is a tool of many names. Most hardware stores will call it an auger instead of a closet or toilet snake. There are also many types of augers, and the toilet auger will be best for the job.
  2. Maneuver the auger down the toilet drain. Extend it until you reach the blockage. Then remove the auger. You may need to repeat the process once or twice.
  3. Flush once you can tell that the blockage was broken up.

The Innovative Way to Unclog a Toilet

This technique might be the solution if you have an especially stubborn clog. But, be ready to get your hands dirty.

  1. Put on a pair of gloves and dirty clothes.
  2. Find a wet and dry vacuum. This is very different from a regular vacuum. Do not use a regular vacuum.
  3. Vacuum the water out of the toilet bowl.
  4. Snake the vacuum hose down the toilet drain. Put a towel around the hose where it meets with the toilet drain. This will help with suction.
  5. Hold the hose in place and turn the vacuum on. This can suck the obstruction out of the way.
  6. Clean the vacuum thoroughly.

The Professional Way to Unclog a Toilet

You can clear almost all clogs with the above techniques. But, sometimes the plumbing is in need of professional help. Don’t hesitate to call a plumber if you can’t unclog the toilet, especially if sink or shower drains start to bubble up with water.

The Prevention Way to Unclog a Toilet

If learning how to unclog a toilet isn’t your favorite pastime, you might want to learn how to avoid a clogged toilet.  

  1. Keep the jets in your toilet clean. If these jets get blocked then they can’t flush the toilet with as much force.
  2. Teach children not to throw items in the toilet.
  3. Don’t be too indulgent with toilet paper. Too much paper down the toilet is an easily avoided clog.
How to Clean a Smelly Dishwasher

How to Clean a Smelly Dishwasher

Is there a rotten smell coming from your kitchen? You’ve taken out the garbage, cleaned out your old leftovers, and treated your garbage disposal but the smell keeps coming back. It could be your dishwasher. If you notice an eggy or fishy smell coming from your kitchen, check to see if the odor is coming from your dishwasher. Then, take these next easy steps for a simple DIY project to remedy the problem for good.

Why Does My Dishwasher Smell?

If you are wondering “why does my dishwasher smell,”  food particles is the answer. Your dishwasher works hard to get the grease and grime off of your dishes and make them safe to cook with and eat off, but those food particles have to go somewhere. A well-functioning dishwasher will wash them all away and out through your home’s sewage line. But with time, food particles can get stuck in different places and start to cause a terrible odor whenever they are disturbed.

How Can I Get Rid of Dishwasher Odor?

To get rid of dishwasher odor, you have to find the food build up and clean it out. The most common place to check is the screen or filter at the bottom of your dishwasher’s tub. This if your dishwasher’s first line of defense and is a common gathering place for unwanted and smelly food particles to gather. Clean out the filters if you notice a smell, and make sure to check them regularly to avoid any future malodors.

If the filters seems clean, it’s possible that there is food stuck in the holes in the sprayer arm. You can remove the arm, wash it out thoroughly, and return it to its rightful place. Make sure to check around the door of the dishwasher too, especially where it seals shut. Food can get stuck in there while loading, and isn’t washed away during a cycle.

A less likely but still possible reason for the smell is a problem with the drain hose or air gap. For your dishwasher to work properly, the dirty water is washed out through a drain hose and the air gap ensures that it can’t wash back in. If there is a kink in your drain hose, if it was installed improperly, or if there is a significant clog in your air gap, dirty water may be washing back into your dishwasher. Not only does this cause a foul smell, but it also dirties your dishes making them unsafe to use. Make sure to repair any damage to your drain hose immediately for the safety of you and your family.

If you’ve checked all of these and the dishwasher still smells a little off, consider how much you use it. If you eat out a lot or favor hand washing your dishes, it’s possible that you’ve simply kept the dishwasher door closed too long. This allows mold or bacteria to grow inside and start stinking up the place. Make sure to open your dishwasher door regularly, run at least a cycle a week, and don’t let dirty dishes hang out in there for too long.

How to Clean out the Odor

Once you’ve found the source of the odor and fixed it, the smell will probably still linger since it’s been working its way into every corner of your appliance. There are a couple DIY projects that will rid your dishwasher of the smell once the source is gone. You can spend the time and energy on your hands and knees scrubbing every inch with soapy water. While this may be effective, it is tedious.

A much simpler way is to use vinegar and baking soda. Empty your dishwasher completely, fill a dishwasher safe cup or bowl with vinegar and place on the top rack. Run the dishwasher for a full cycle and the vinegar will permeate every inch and eliminate the smell for you. Once it dries, the strong vinegar smell disappears too. To speed up that process, however, you can always sprinkle some baking soda on the bottom of the dishwasher floor to help. Don’t add the baking soda until you’ve run the dishwasher once with the vinegar. Then run it again on the fastest cycle with the baking soda in it. After the second run through, your dishwasher will be sparkling clean and smell good as new.

If your dishwasher smells like rotten eggs, sewage, or fish, make sure to take a few simple steps to clean it out. Even if there isn’t an odor, it’s wise to take care of your appliance to not only avoid dishwasher odor but to keep it working at its maximum efficiency.

What’s the Average Cost of Furnace and Air Conditioner Replacement?

What’s the Average Cost of Furnace and Air Conditioner Replacement?

If you’ve noticed your heating and cooling system is acting up, your first thought is probably concern about how much this will cost. Unfortunately, the average cost of furnace and air conditioner replacement varies widely. There are a lot of variables that go into the overall cost of a new furnace or air conditioner. The best thing to do is a little research first before worrying too much about the bottom line. Below we’ll give you some general figures so you know where to start, and then take you through the important variables and decisions that go into a new furnace and ac cost estimate.

Ballpark Figures

What you really want here is a general number. Is this kind of replacement an expensive everyday purchase or is this a loan type of situation? Again, that really depends on a lot of factors. A general range that you can expect to buy a new furnace for is anywhere between $1,000 and $8,500. Now keep in mind, that’s just to buy the unit. That number doesn’t take into account delivery, installation, or new ductwork that may be required for a new HVAC system. You can see where the exact number may be hard to come by. Once you start thinking about replacing your furnace and air conditioner, you’ll want to take a look at the variables that affect the cost, decide which are the most important, and make sure that you can fit it all in your budget.

Electric Furnace Replacement

The cost of new furnaces is affected most dramatically by the type of furnace you buy. In today’s market there are three significant options, each with their own pros and cons.

Cost of an Electric Furnace Replacement

The first is an electric furnace. Because these are often the cheapest, it may seem like a no-brainer. A new electric furnace will only set you back a few hundred dollars. But there some important asterisks to consider first. If you live in a relatively warm place and your home isn’t enormous, then an electric furnace may be for you. But they are not the most efficient way to heat a home. If you find yourself running it a lot, or combating particularly cold weather, your electric bill may shock you and it will definitely offset the savings of buying the less expensive model.

Cost of a Gas Furnace Replacement

The second is a gas furnace. A gas set up is most common in the Midwest and on the east coast where winters can be harsh and unforgiving. Heating your home with gas is the most efficient way to do it, but the new unit itself will run you well over a thousand dollars. That initial cost is offset by the much lower utility bills you’ll get during the winter, however. If your house isn’t already gas ready, the installation of gas lines can be quite expensive. So make sure to weigh the costs and benefits before making such a big commitment.

Cost of Oil Furnace Replacement

The third and much less common type of heating is oil heating. A brand new oil furnace will probably cost you just south of $2000. But unlike gas or electric, you don’t have a monthly utility bill. These are rare because they only make financial sense if you have easy access to a lot of oil.

Air Conditioning Replacement

Deciding on a new air conditioner may not seem pressing in January or February, but once that first heat wave rolls in at the end of June, you’ll be wishing you would have taken care of it much sooner when your fans aren’t sufficing. Most homes use one of two options when cooling their home.

Cost of Window Air Conditioning Replacement

The first is window units. The benefit of using a window unit is the cost. The purchase of a brand new window unit and installation is usually no more than about $300 total. Of course, your electric bill is something to consider when deciding how much you run it, but to get it up and working isn’t too bad. Window units work best for small homes in locations that don’t get too hot. If you’re trying to cool a 6,000 square foot house or you live in Death Valley, a window unit may need to be placed in every room, cranked all the way up, and end up costing so much in your monthly utility bill that the savings aren’t worth it.

Cost of Central Air Conditioning Replacement

The second is a central system. More often than not, this is a furnace/air conditioner combo that uses your duct system to circulate warm or cold air throughout your house depending on what season you’re in. If you already have all the ductwork in place and just need to replace the actual AC unit, you could pay anywhere from $400 to $4,000. If you need to install all of the duct work for central air, your price goes up, way up. Most homeowners end up paying about $6,500 for the entire thing.

Combining Air Conditioning and Heating to Save Money

One great way to save money when you need to replace your furnace and air conditioning units is to replace them together. If your home isn’t already set up for central air but you would like it, replace both your furnace and AC to combine the purchase and installation. This will save you money on labor and construction costs. It will also save you money on your unit purchases. A furnace and air conditioner combo is usually a much better deal than buying them each separately. Customers who buy both at the same time will save, on average, $1000. Don’t, however, replace both if you don’t need to. A little furnace troubleshooting may save you thousands of dollars. While it may be tempting to buy them together, if your furnace can still work effectively and efficiently for a few more years, it would actually make more sense to get more miles out of it than to save a little furnace and air conditioner combo.

Variables in Air Conditioning and Furnace Replacement

As discussed above, the average cost of furnace and air conditioner replacement is highly variable. There are a lot of moving pieces that go into a purchase and each comes with their own pros and cons, especially when is comes to cost.

It’s important to consider the brand you’re buying. Some brands come with certain reputations and therefore cost more of less. Do your homework and figure out if a certain brand’s reviews are worth the price. Just because you’ve heard of something doesn’t necessarily make it better, but if you haven’t heard of a particular brand, there may be a reason. Brand can affect a furnace air conditioner combo cost considerably.

You’ll also need to consider things like the size of your home, the weather in your geographic location, and what kind of labor will be needed for the successful installation of the units. All of these factors should play an important role in your initial research. Figure out how much you can put into the installation now and how much you can handle to pay for your monthly utility bills. A more expensive unit may be worth it now if you’re paying significantly less in the long run.

Do Your Research and Save on New Air Conditioning and Furnace

In conclusion, a new furnace and AC cost may not be as straightforward as you would have liked. There are a lot of things to consider before making such a big purchase, including type of furnace and air conditioner you want, the HVAC system you already have installed in your home, the brands you know and trust, the AC and furnace cost independently, and the combo cost. Plus, there are labor, construction, and installation fees. It’s important to make sure your home is well heated and cooled throughout the year so don’t make the decision lightly. Do your research, shop around, and look for good deals on quality appliances. You’ll be able to save big with a little bit of work. Better yet, if you invest in a home warranty, you may be able to get your major appliances replaced for free.

What to Do When Your AC Unit Freezes Up

What to Do When Your AC Unit Freezes Up

In the middle of August, during a heat wave, while the sun is beating down, the last thing you want is a busted air conditioner. One of the first signs of AC trouble comes in the form of ice. Blocks of ice or even icicles can form around your AC unit and can not only cause leaking and block the outflow of cold air, but also serious damage to your unit, causing it to break completely. Whether your home has window units or central air cooling, a frozen AC unit is a common problem that, luckily, has common solutions. We’ll explain a little bit about how your air conditioner works, what causes it to freeze up, and some important ways you can fix the problem and ensure that your summer lifesaver keeps providing cooled air all season long.

How Does Your Air Conditioner Work

Without going into too much physics, it’s important to know that your air conditioner runs on a simple scientific principle: when gas expands, its pressure — and therefore temperature — decrease. On the other hand, when gas compresses, its pressure and temperature increase. This thermodynamic fact explains how air conditioners work. The refrigerant inside of your air conditioner’s evaporator coil expands, causing the temperature of the coil to decrease. Your unit pulls in your home’s warm air, runs it past the cold coil, and it comes into your house cool. The refrigerant absorbs the heat, or energy, from the air and releases it outside.

Your AC unit is a perfectly balanced physics masterpiece that keeps you comfortable inside your home no matter how hot it is outside. But, when that perfectly balanced physics masterpiece isn’t as balanced as it should be, you get problems: namely, your AC freezing up.

Why Is Your AC Freezing Up?

There are, in general, only a few things that could cause your AC unit to freeze up.

1. Not Enough Air Flow

Our elementary physics lesson above makes it clear that for an AC unit to work properly, there has to be a sufficient amount of air flowing through the unit to exchange the heat from the expanded refrigerant inside the evaporator coil. The condensation that occurs around the coil is usually whisked away by the exchange of heat. But if the unit isn’t receiving enough air, that condensation doesn’t heat up. Instead, it freezes.

2. Not Enough Refrigerant

An integral part of a successful air conditioner is the refrigerant that courses through the evaporator coil. Not only does it expand to create the cold coil, but it carries out the heat from your home’s air and releases it outside. If your unit is running low on Freon, then it is forced to expand more to fill the space. The more it expands, the colder it becomes. Air conditioners are programmed to work best at certain temperatures, so making sure the coil doesn’t get too cold is important. If the refrigerant expands too much and the coil temperature drops too low, the coil freezes and builds up ice that threatens water damage, complete blockage, and a non-functioning AC unit.

3. Mechanical Failures

Sometimes your frozen AC unit is the result of a mechanical failure. The most common part to break is the blower fan, which helps to suck out the warm air from your home and replace it with the new cold air. Because colder air is denser, it doesn’t flow as easily as warm air, so the fan is essential in getting cold air out. If the warm and cold air don’t switch places, a pressure problem within your unit can cause a backup, leading to the formation of ice.

What to Do When Your AC Unit Freezes Up

Now that you know what might be causing the air conditioner problems, it’s time to decide what to do when your AC unit freezes up.

1. Clean Your Air Filters

The most common cause of an air conditioner freezing up is the lack of airflow. The most common solution to this problem is to clean the air filters. You don’t want dust and other airborne irritations to get into your AC unit, so your air filters collect them and keep your unit safe. This means, however, that the filters need to be cleaned regularly to make sure that the dust isn’t blocking your home’s air from getting in.

2. Add Refrigerant

If your air filters are clean, the next thing to do is ensure you’ve got enough refrigerant in your system. Check your owner’s manual or consult an HVAC professional if you’re unsure how much or what kind of refrigerant you should put in your air conditioner.

3. Check for Mechanical Deficiencies

The blower fan can prevent the cold air and warm air from changing places and cause a frozen air conditioner. But there is more that could be broken. After checking for a fully functioning blower fan, check to make sure there isn’t a kink in your refrigerant lines, preventing it from reaching the evaporator coil. If that looks to be in place, take a look at your duct work. There could be a blockage restricting air flow.

Tips and AC Maintenance to Avoid a Frozen AC Unit

It’s always best to prevent a frozen AC unit before it happens, so make sure to take care of your air conditioner so that it can take care of you all summer long. Make sure to never run it when it’s cold outside, as that will throw the pressure out of balance and cause freezing. And make sure to clean your coils regularly. Dust can prevent water from absorbing fast enough, which can cause faster ice build up. Along with cleaning the air filters regularly, make sure to keep the rest of your air conditioner clean for optimal performance.

Air conditioners can seem intimidating, especially when they begin to show signs of failure like freezing up. But with a quick physics lesson and a little bit of care, you’ll know what to do when your AC unit freezes up. If these tips and tricks don’t help, it may be time to replace your unit. Always contact an HVAC professional for major problems and have your units inspected regularly to ensure proper function and efficiency so that you can stay cool even in the hottest weather.

How to Unclog a Shower Drain

How to Unclog a Shower Drain

Nothing will ruin your morning shower faster than looking down and realizing you’re standing in a puddle of grimy, lukewarm water. You may have also noticed that your shower takes forever to drain or an unpleasant odor emanating from the drain.

You’ve most likely got a clogged shower drain. But before you pick up the phone and call a plumber, there are a few things you can do to try and unclog it yourself and avoid a costly repair bill. This article will show you how to unclog a shower drain with a few simple tricks and some common household items.

The most common cause of a clogged drain is a backup of hair and soap scum, but dirt and minerals in your water can also get stuck in the drain over time and cause a clog. Sometimes, tree roots can cause a pipe to crack underground and contribute to the blockages.

How to Unclog a Shower Drain: 8 Quick Tips to Save You Money

1. Run Boiling Water Through the Drain

This is probably the simplest method of clearing minor clogs and backups. The heat helps soap scum and dirt break up easier and can often clear small clogs. Make sure that your pipes are metal, not PVC because boiling water can loosen the joints in PVC pipes and cause leaks. You can also do this as part of your weekly maintenance to prevent future clogs.

2. Experiment with Vinegar and Baking Soda

These common kitchen supplies when mixed together can often dissolve hair and soap blockages without the need to use harsh or toxic chemicals. Pour the baking soda down the drain first, wait a few minutes and then add the vinegar. Let it sit in the drain for a couple hours and rinse it (and hopefully the clog) down the drain with boiling water. This mixture is also an effective way of cleaning your shower drain on a regular basis.

3. Grab the Toilet Plunger

You probably have one of these lying around the house already and in some cases it can work on clogged drains as easily as it does on toilets. Plungers are often an effective way to clear blockages caused by hair, just make sure to clean loose hair off the drain cover after every shower to prevent future problems. If your drain cover is missing, you can purchase a replacement at any hardware store.

4. Remove the Clog By Hand

If the previous methods haven’t worked or you can see the clog, removing the clog by hand may be a quick, easy solution. Take off the drain cover and pull out the blockage. Make sure to wear gloves because it’s going to be a dirty job. This method won’t work on soap or mineral buildups so you may still need to use another method to fully clear the clogged drain.

5. Utilize a Hook

If you can’t reach the clog by hand, you can try using a hook fashioned from a wire hanger to snag the blockage. This is a fairly effective method for clearing hair clogs but again, it won’t work on other types of clogs.

6. Use Chemicals

Most supermarkets and hardware stores sell a variety of drain-cleaning products designed to dissolve soap scum and mineral blockages. Make sure to follow the directions carefully as these are typically made with very strong chemicals that can cause burns and respiratory problems if they contact the skin or you inhale the fumes. Also make sure you do not mix different products together because they can create a poisonous gas when combined.

7. Try a Plumber’s Snake

Also called a “toilet jack” or an “electric eel”, this tool can be rented from some hardware stores if you don’t already have one. It consists of a metal “rope” wound inside a drum that you push down the drain until you reach the clog. Turning the handle spins the “rope”, which can often break up the clog, allowing it to be washed down the drain. A plumber’s snake will clear most blockages, however, it is not very effective against clogs caused by the roots of plants or trees.

8. Call a Plumber

If none of the above methods have cleared your clogged drain, it’s time to call in the professionals. This is definitely not the cheapest option but may be the only way to fix the problem.

Preventing Future Clogs

Now that you’ve learned how to unclog a shower drain, there are some things you can do to prevent the clogs from reoccurring.

1. Buy a drain protector

For a couple of dollars you can buy a protector that will catch hair and other small objects and prevent them from washing down the drain and causing a clog.

2. Install a secure soap dish

Soap can cause loose hair to stick together into larger clumps and make it harder for it to wash down the drain.

Prepare and Prevent a Clogged Shower

Keep in mind that you can also use any of the methods described above as preventative maintenance to ensure that your drains stay clear and most of them will work on a clogged sink too. Remember, prevention is always better than the cure, and in the case of a clogged drain, much easier on your wallet as well.

The Dangers of Standing Water

The Dangers of Standing Water

It’s happened to all of us at some point: a clogged drain leaves behind a sink full of smelly water, a heavy rainstorm turns your front yard into a lake, or your neighbor moved out and abandoned his swimming pool full of nasty water and dead plants. Now you’ve got a real problem: standing water.

This article will explain what standing water is, where it comes from, the risks it can pose to you, your family, and even your pets, and most importantly, how to get rid of standing water.

What is Standing Water?

Standing water, or stagnant water, is water that doesn’t move or flow. It is a collection of water that stays in one place until it becomes smelly and dirty. It can be any size, from a bucket left under a leaky drain to a poorly-maintained swimming pool or even an entire backyard.

Standing water can come from either clean or contaminated sources. The most common sources of clean standing water are water supply lines that bust or leak and rainwater leaking into your home through roofs, windows or other unsealed areas. Although this water is clean to start with, it can quickly become a real problem if it is not addressed immediately.

Standing water coming from contaminated sources, such as flooding and sewage backups, is an immediate problem. This water is already filled with parasites, bacteria, and mold, and poses serious health risks to you, your family, and your pets.

Health Risks of Standing Water

Water that has been sitting still for a long period of time is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, mold, and parasites. Many types of bacteria thrive in moist environments and can cause serious illness in humans and animals. Mold can begin to grow in as little as 48 hours in the right conditions, and mold infestation has been known to cause respiratory illnesses in both people and animals.

Standing water also attracts insects and rodents. Mosquitoes use shallow pools of standing water as a breeding ground and have been found to carry diseases such as malaria, West Nile virus, Zika virus and some forms of encephalitis that are easily passed to humans.

Standing water inside your home can attract vermin searching for watering holes and nesting space. Rodents such as rats, mice and possums can spread disease through their waste or by biting and scratching if you come into contact with them. They can also cause massive amounts of damage to your home as they gather and build nests.

Standing water inside the home can pose a health risk and wreak havoc on the home structure itself. During severe storms, floods, or other disasters, broken water pipes can allow water to accumulate in places that are not always immediately visible, such as basements or under floors. The growth of bacteria and mold in these hidden pools can cause illness in the people exposed to it. If left untreated, this can lead to rot and structural damage inside the home.

How to Get Rid of Standing Water

The key to minimizing the damage caused by standing water is speed. Removing the water and preventing it from reappearing as quickly as possible will greatly lessen the negative impact of standing water both inside and outside your home.

1. Remove The Water 

Remove the stagnant water as soon as possible. Use rags or towels to clean up small areas of standing water. Utilize pumps or wet/dry vacuums for larger regions of standing water. If the area is too large for you to handle on your own, call an emergency plumber.

2. Dry The Affected Area

Dry the entire area as quickly as possible to prevent mold growth and structural damage.

3. Remove Damaged Materials

Water can weaken structural materials such as drywall and woodwork. Carpeting and carpet padding can deteriorate and lead to increased mold growth. Any material damaged beyond repair should be removed as soon as possible.

4. Find the Source of the Damage and Repair It

Find whatever allowed the standing water to accumulate in the first place and fix the problem. If you don’t, it is highly likely the standing water will return.

5. Clean, Sanitize and Restore the Affected Area

Proper cleaning and sanitation of the affected areas will prevent future growth of mold or bacteria as well as remove any odors left behind by the water. Finally, restore the damaged area by replacing drywall, carpet, repainting, etc.

Standing Water Outside the Home

Stagnant water outside your home can be almost as destructive as water inside the home. You face all the same health risks regardless of whether the water is in your basement or your backyard.

There is less risk of structural damage with a flooded yard, but standing water can wreak havoc on your landscaping. Typically, standing water outside the home is caused by poor drainage, issues with soil quality or landscaping features that hinder water absorption. A professional landscaper can identify any issues and suggest both short- and long-term solutions.

Stagnant water can cause a lot of headaches and cost you a lot of money if it is not addressed promptly. Educating yourself about the causes of this problem and addressing maintenance issues to prevent water from infiltrating your home will ensure that your home remains a healthy environment for you and your family.