Keep an Eye on Your Sump Pump this Weekend

Be Sure to Check Your Sump Pump as We are Expecting Several Inches of Rain this Weekend. Local meteorologists are predicting that our area could see three additional inches of rain before the end of this weekend. The team at Thompson Building Associates would like to take a minute to remind you to keep an eye on your sump pump to help prevent your basement from experiencing water damage. The modern sump motor is more resistant to rust and corrosion and is now made mostly of plastic and stainless steel. The sump motor is like any other motor, the older it is the more likely it is to not work. The estimated lifespan of a sump motor ranges from 5 to 15 years. If it is over 10 years have a plumber evaluate it and replace if necessary. We recommend that you have a plumber perform an annual check-up on the sump motor. However, you can also give your sump pump a check-up and the only tools you’ll need are a flashlight, a bucket and about 10 minutes. A sump pump is a pretty simple operation. Most sump pumps have a float switch. When the water rises the float activates a switch, the motor turns on, and the pump pulls the water out of the pit and sends it up through the PVC piping. To inspect the pump: First, unplug the sump pump (modern electric code calls for a GFCI outlet) from the outlet. Next remove the sump cover (if your home has a radon mitigation system the sump cover needs to be removed by a professional). Look into...

Where Did This Water Come From?

  Unexpected water in your basement can damage walls and floors, destroy carpeting, ruin furniture and other valuables. If not properly cleaned up and treated, it can also lead to mold. When you experience a flooded basement for the first time, it’s important to determine if the problem is going to recur or if it was a one-time event. Where did this water come from? Outside of obvious flooding around your home and in your neighborhood, there are four common sources of water entering basements: Surface water running down foundation walls. Groundwater in water-saturated soils being pushed into the basement by hydrostatic pressure. Storm sewer from the municipal storm sewer system backing up into the home’s existing perimeter foundation drain and leaking into the basement. Sanitary sewer from a clog in your home’s sewer line, the municipal sewer line, or the combined municipal storm/sanitary sewer system backing up into the home’s drain system, causing sewer water to come up through sink drains and floor drains on lower levels. Each source has its own specifics and requires its own course of action. Surface Water: If this is the first instance of moisture problems in your basement, the first thing to check for is surface water draining down next to the foundations. If it is coming in at one location or only at the exterior foundation wall indicates surface water problems. Here are some things to look for once you get outside. Overflowing Gutters: Leaves and debris- Keeping gutters clean of debris should be a part of every homeowner’s routine maintenance program. Depending on the surrounding trees, gutter cleaning may be...

Mold During Winter Months?

  Did you know that mold can be a problem during the winter months, too? When you deprive mold of moisture, warmth, and food, you will stop it from growing, but you won’t kill the mold that is already there. Mold spores can stay dormant and start growing again if they get moisture, warmth, and food. So, it’s important to keep spores from growing in the first place. Our team offers the following tips for keeping the risk of mold growth minimal during the winter months: If you live in a climate where you need to heat your home frequently, mold can start growing in the winter on your home’s inside walls, especially on the surfaces closest to the outside of your home. Moisture that travels through the air from your basement, bathrooms, or kitchen may condense when it comes in contact with a cold wall. One thing you can do to prevent spore growth is makesure your walls are well-insulated. Well-insulated walls can prevent condensation and mold, as well as cut down on your heating and cooling bills. Make sure your windows are properly sealed; moisture from the warm air condenses on cool glass, if there are cracks or spaces around your windows, mold can form in those cracks. Make sure that your gutters and downspouts are clean and that the area under your downspouts is graded so that water from the roof flows away from your foundation. If water pools around your home think about extending your downspouts. Turning on the heat makes the air in your home very dry. Many people combat the dryness by using...

Preparing Children and Young Adults for Emergencies and Disasters

Preparing Children and Young Adults for Emergencies and Disasters When an emergency happens, would your child know what to do? Disasters can strike anywhere and usually with little to no warning. Talking about disasters with children can be hard because no one wants to create unnecessary fear, and no one wants to think that an emergency could happen to them. The best defense against emergencies is “Planning.” Preparing Our Youth It truly does take a community to educate our youth through preparedness tips and advice. With everyone doing their part, children can understand the seriousness of an emergency and strive to become leaders in their classrooms and neighborhoods. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), offers a document that outlines a vision for prepared youth in the United States. This document seeks to educate youth and their parents so that communities are better able to prepare for, respond to, and recover from future disasters. Curriculum can be found here for children of all ages. Preparing Kids of for Emergencies and Disasters  Stress the importance of planning. Showing the importance of youth preparedness learning programs in schools and civic organizations allows children to recognize the importance of being prepared. Evaluate the emergency plan. If existing youth preparedness programs aren’t up to par, work with other in the community to discuss changes for the plans to keep them up-to-date. Gather support in your community. Work with other community organizations allows you to reinforce the preparedness message. Get to Know Your Local Heroes. Develop a relationship between local youth and the first responders in your community. This will help kids understand how these heroes respond in...

Remodeling in 2018?

Remodeling in 2018? Remodeling regardless of the size of job can seem completely overwhelming at times. However, with a little time and pre-planning it is guaranteed to go more smoothly if you keep a few things in mind. Plan Ahead Making product selections early can prevent delays later. Proper planning can also help keep you on budget. Remember the Big Picture Long-term-maintenance, energy-loss, and repair expenses can add up quickly. Make sure you include them in your calculations when comparing prices. Find Good Help Hire remodelers who have more than three years of experience, membership in the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), a good record with the Better Business Bureau, and positive customer references. Most important, select a contractor that you trust. Visit a Job Site When evaluating contractors, make sure you visit their current job sites. The best contractors maintain clean and organized work sites. The best also take precautionary measures to ensure safety for the homeowners and their team. Be a Good Boss  Make sure that you and your project manager are both on the same page and maintain open communication throughout the project. Insist on a Detailed Contract The contract needs the right address, a start date, a completion date, and a detail of what is and is not going to be done. Remember, delays like product selection can delay your completion date as can inclimate weather in the case of outdoor project. Know What You’re Getting Into Sure, remodeling is exciting. But there’s also a lot of frustration as you encounter unexpected snags, delays, and the inevitable inconveniences that come from living in...
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