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DIY Plumbing Tips
Most of us ignore plumbing because it can be a daunting task mostly because it requires skills. Plumbing maintenance on your property requires time, effort, and energy. Every home needs functioning drainage, piping and heating systems. An efficient plumbing system is an essential element that homeowners ought to mull over.
Knowing how your home’s plumbing system functions can help you solve small problems that may crop up, saving you the cost of hiring a plumber and the embarrassment after calling a plumber for no reason. Below we explore some of the most popular plumbing tips for homeowners. This advice has been supplied by a very popular plumbing contractor in South East Queensland called Pro Plumber Brisbane who have been I the industry for over 10 years. They supplied us with their latest top 10 plumbing advice so we hope you enjoy.
Here are some of the best 10 plumbing tips for homeowners to consider:
Knowing where the main cut-off is located
Any minor plumbing mishap can lead to an indoor flooding incident. If you care about your furniture and carpets, make sure people in your household know the exact location of the main water supply cut-off.
Check for seepage with some colour
Add some food colouring to your toilet tanks to check for leakages and water loss. If you notice any staining in your toilet bowl after half an hour, which would indicate that you have a seepage problem, probably around the flapper tank. It is cheap and easy to fix, as long as it is detected early enough.
Often check your water meter dials
When nobody is using water and the dials are active then something is wrong. The chances are high that you might have a leak somewhere that you are not aware of. The tip could save you some money; remember to check your faucets and toilets. These are the usual suspects.
Have basic replacement parts at in the home
Toilet kits and rubber gaskets are cheap and can be readily replaced by homeowners themselves without seeking expensive professional help. Learn how to use them and always ensure you have them in stock.
Water heater tank maintenance
Invest in a tankless water heater is you can afford to. It is a definite upgrade that will decrease energy bills. However, if you still have the model with a tank attached, drain some water from it at least twice a year to avoid sedimentation and improve energy efficiency.
Avoid chemical drain cleaners
Chemical drain cleaners can adversely shorten the life of your pipes and drains. To unclog pipes and drains, use a plunger. For stubborn clogs, use an auger. It is a rotor built clog removal tool also known as the snake.
Always have a plunger
A plunger is very cheap and efficient and can manage basic plumbing issues like clogged sinks and toilets with ease. It is a must to have tool in every home and can be used to unclog toiles, sinks, and drainages.
Some other plumbing tools you should have are:
- Propane Torch
- Tongue-and-Groove Pliers
Delaying a toilet overflow
You do this by plugging the hole at the bottom of your tank immediately. Remove the lid of the toilet flush tank and press down firmly on the flush valve. This will give you the time necessary to identify the source of the clog leading to the overflow.
Other toilet problems
- Phantom flushes
- Water dripping into the tank
- The bowl empties sluggishly
Avoiding frozen valves
Frozen valves are a severe plumbing issue that can cost you a lot of money. It can be prevented by ensuring that your valves don’t freeze up over time. Don’t forget to open and close all your water and drainage valves, twice every year without fail to keep them working just fine. Click here for more information on frozen pipes and valves.
Try to isolate an issue locally
Closing off the whole water supply to handle a minor faucet issue can be a significant pain. You can prevent this by locating the location of individual stop valves for all your toilets and faucets. Also, ensure that everybody in the house knows these points.
Below are some emergency tips that could help you prevent these problems.
- Know how to turn off the water heater.
- Backing off allows the wrench to absorb the stress.
- Slip joint pliers can be used to tighten collar nuts.
A plumber will be happy to take care of any and all plumbing requirements you may face in your home. However, with these best 10 plumbing tips for homeowners, you can make sure that you need to call a plumber only when a serious issue arises.
Guide To DIY Asbestos Removal
What Is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a common term used to refer to a group of six minerals. The minerals are usually made up of durable fibers, and they are highly resistant to heat and different chemicals. In the past, asbestos was used in manufacturing a broad range of products such as building materials and fireproof protective gears. It is has been proved that constant exposure to asbestos can cause various types of cancer and it is highly poisonous.
Places Where Asbestos is Found in Your Home
You would be surprised at all the different locations asbestos might be found in your home especially if your house was built before 1990. If you are unsure, you should get an asbestos inspection from a licensed company like Pro Asbestos Removal Melbourne who offer free appraisals for domestic homes. Below are some places you should check for asbestos.
Asbestos was commonly used as a roofing material for the older houses in Australia. Asbestos roofing comes in two different forms;
- Corrugated asbestos sheeting which is widely known by its brand name “Super Six.”
- Roof shingles. The roof shingles look very much alike like slate, and most of the real estate agents will lie to you about it.
Asbestos in eaves, gutters, pipes, and chimneys
The chances of other structural features of homes containing asbestos are high. The structural features include gutters, eaves, chimney flues and pipes such as hot water pipes and down pipes. The possibilities of having asbestos in these areas are so high, and it isn’t easy to spot it if you aren’t an expert.
Asbestos in Vinyl flooring and carpets
Don’t be surprised that asbestos may be found beneath your feet. Before 1990, asbestos was widely used to extend the lifespan of linoleum. There is a possibility of finding it in both lino floor tiles and lino sheets. Sometimes, the Hessian bags that are commonly used to make carpet underlay also contains asbestos.
Most of the flooring materials contain a high concentration of asbestos that can easily be released into the air when the carpet or lino is ripped up.
Asbestos in walls
Older homes, garages, and sheds contain asbestos in both their interior and exterior walls. The asbestos is commonly in form of fibro. The term refers to the bonded form of asbestos meaning that for as long as it remains intact, the asbestos can’t escape to air. Problems arise when the fibro is disturbed either by drilling a hole inside the fibro or by knocking the wall down. It becomes friable hence releasing dangerous asbestos into the air.
Asbestos in Insulation
Asbestos is commonly used as a strengthening material. Further, the material is also preferred by manufacturers for its fire-retardant and insulating properties. It can be found as an insulation material for older stoves and heaters. Asbestos is also used as a loose insulation for inside ceilings.
Asbestos Regulations in Australia
Keep in mind that every Australian state has different requirements for the safe removal of asbestos containing materials (ACM). All the States don’t require you to have a valid license to remove limited amounts of ACM, if it’s less than 10 square metres. The asbestos licensing is currently regulated through the Planning and Land Authority Act. The type of license you require to remove ACM depends on whether the material has been classified as friable or non-friable. For more information about the removal of ACM, you can visit http://www.asbestos.vic.gov.au/ the Victorian Asbestos Safety website.
Steps To Removing Asbestos
If you are thinking of removing even the smallest amount of asbestos yourself, be sure to follow all the precautionary measures to stay safe.
Make sure that you wear the appropriate personal protective equipment that meets the minimum set standards. The PPE equipment should include the following;
- Disposable overalls
- Footwear- gumboots are the best option. Never wear shoes with laces
- Shoe covers-They are worn over shoes and should cover the whole gumboot
- Hand gloves- use disposable neoprene gloves
- A mask-should be worn at all times
- Protective eye-wear- Wear the protective eye-wear when working with materials that can easily produce dust
Don’t eat or drink anything in the area you are working from and avoid using power tools. To find more information about safety before removing asbestos check it at Asbestos Awareness.
- Before you begin removing the asbestos make sure that you have closed all the doors and seal the work area using a tape and plastic sheets. This is to avoid contaminating your whole house with asbestos.
- Cover all the vents, heating ducts, and air conditioning
- Get rid of all soft furnishings and curtains from the working area. Alternatively, you can seal them in plastic if they can’t be removed.
- Carefully lay the 0.2 meters thick plastic sheeting under the work area to prevent any dust from contaminating the floor.
- Carefully remove the asbestos while taking precaution not to harm yourself.
- After you are done be sure to clean up the area as explained below
- Stack the asbestos cement very carefully on safe plastic sheets. Make sure that you wrap the material at least twice while still in the work area. The plastic sheets need to be at least 200 mm thick, and they must not be used for any other purpose.
- While stacking the sheets, avoid skidding one sheet over the other because the fibers may end up being released
- Don’t leave the plastic sheets to lie in the area once you are done because they may be broken down by people.. Make sure that no dust leaves the workspace either by shoes or clothing. You should stack all the used overalls and masks in bags for removal with the plastic sheets.
- Avoid dry sweeping the area. You should dampen the dust first with some little water from a spray pump.
If you know that there are asbestos materials in your home, make a point of checking them regularly for any signs of damage. Limit the interaction of children with any asbestos containing materials. Take measure to protect your household against the risks associated with asbestos today.
Asbestos Roof Replacement Procedures and Costs
Replacing Your Asbestos Roof
What you need to know
Asbestos was outlawed in 2001 because of the dangerous nature of the material. It is still found in many houses, particularly in roofing and guttering. It Worked great as an insulator. Installation was affordable, and the asbestos concrete sheets were effective at stopping the spread of fire. But the sheets carry a deadly secret. They contain between 5% and 10% white asbestos, which is made of tiny hook-like fibers. If you have asbestos tiles on your roof, or asbestos guttering, it is important to replace it. Any structural upset can trigger the release of the harmful fibers into your home. When released in the air, usually through breaking or disturbing an existing sheet, the asbestos fibers are free to attack the lungs.
How harmful is asbestos?
White asbestos is made of microscopic hook-like fibers. These fibers invade the lungs and cause Mesothelioma, also known as Asbestosis. Mesothelioma causes shortness of breath, pleural plagues and even death. The risk is highest when white asbestos is “stirred up.” Even gentle handling can release white asbestos fibers.
How do know if my roof contains asbestos?
Fibropanels have been used in construction since the 1950s, and are still in use today. Modern panels don’t contain asbestos, but in older homes asbestos panels may still be present. There is really only one way to know if your fibro roof and gutter panels are free of asbestos, and that is to test them. You can get samples tested by iAsbestos Removal Brisbane companies who will send the samples to NATA testing facility. Home sample kits are available, but great care should be taken when collecting a sample. The test kit will come with special instructions. If you take the sample yourself, you should remember to:
- Wear protective clothing and boot covers.
- Spray the test area with PVA glue to prevent stirring up the fibers.
- Vacuum the area to collect any dust.
- Wear a face mask and safety goggles.
In general, it’s easier to leave this to a professional. Otherwise, you risk contaminating yourself and your family.
What does replacement involve?
After you have discovered that asbestos is present, the best thing you can do is to get rid of it. If a panel breaks or Cracks at any time, the dangerous fibers will be released, and you don’t Want them in your house. The roof replacement is performed by an asbestos removal company and the process involves the following.
- Spray the entire roof with PVA glue.
- The front yard is “cordoned” off.
- An “asbestos work site” sign should be erected as well.
- Protective clothing is usually worn which includes special suits, mask, gloves, shoe covers, and eye protection.
- Sheets are removed carefully to minimize dust risk.
- Sheets are then lowered carefully to the ground to prevent cracking or breaking.
- Sheets are wrapped in builders plastic and taped shut.
- The whole ceiling cavity is then vacuumed to remove fibers.
- All of the sheets must be transferred to an asbestos Waste site.
- The roof area is sprayed again with PVA glue.
- The yard around the home is scoured for any remaining pieces of asbestos debris.
- Asbestos is loaded and taken to an approved asbestos waste facility.
Asbestos roof replacement jobs must only be performed by companies or individuals who have an asbestos removal license. Small amounts of asbestos can be removed without a license. However, a large project like a roof is going to require a class A or class B license holder to supervise.
What’s this going to cost me?
While prices will vary from one contractor to another, some general ranges apply. There are on-line calculators to help you figure the approximate cost per square meter. As a general rule, you should expect to pay from $50-$100 per square meter for removal. You can calculate the area roughly, by measuring the length and width of the area to be removed, and multiplying. You will likely also have to pay disposal fees separately, and there will be inspections before and after removal. Most contractors will also charge a site inspection fee. Damaged sheets will cost more to remove as they pose a higher risk and air monitoring is required.
Another cost to figure in is the new roof. Metal sheets or newer fibro can be used as the replacement to the existing roof. Then you will also need to factor in whether you need new gutters and downpipes. Altogether, for a 150 square meter house, the process could cost as much as $15,000. It’s going to bite the wallet. The real question is, how much are your lungs worth?
We hope you enjoyed this article and if you have any questions please comment before or contact us.
Why Metal Roofing Is The Preferred Choice
Metal roofing is being adopted a lot in Australia because of its durability. Whether you live in sunny Brisbane or the cooler Southern climates of Sydney and Melbourne you have probably considered either restoring or re roofing your home at some stage. Using steel as the material for your roof is becoming more popular as people recognise the benefits both aesthetically and financially. Colorbond and Zincalume provide coated steel materials for metal roofing. Steel is strong and protects houses significantly more than tiles. Metal roofing can be layered over an already existing roof which makes it extremely popular. The siding and roofing material can be the same. It raises the re-sale value of the house.
Metal roofing can be added to both residential and commercial roofs and still appear elegant. It is durable, cost friendly as well as eco-friendly.In the warmer climates of Queensland where the salt residue and harsh sun beam down nearly all year round, using a steel material is the favored choice. Many local roofing contractors in agree, Trevor Bransden from Pro Build Roofing Brisbane quoted “We predominantly install metal roofs these days, I would estimate that only 20% of our jobs are tiled.”
It brings about a stylish and sleek appearance. These are major reasons as to why metal roofing is on the rise.
Benefits of the Metal Roofing
- Metal roofing raises the overall quality and re-sale price of any given house.
- It is very durable in the cold seasons although Australia is known to have more of the hot seasons. The durability of metal roofing stretches to roughly 50 years.
- Metal roofing can be installed on an existing roof. It protects the roof from any natural occurrence such as fire and corrosion. It prevents rot infestation and mildew.
- Available in a variety of beautiful designs, textures, styles and colors to choose from.
- Metal roofing panels are designed with interlocking panels. This means it remains in one piece regardless of what hits it.
- Metal roofing is very eco-friendly. It uses reflective pigment technology in most residential houses. This technology is aimed at lowering on energy costs while increasing in utility bill saving. It is made from steel uses roughly 50% recycled material.
- Steel is energy efficient and saves energy costs by 40% annually. It regulates heat transmission depending on the environment.
- Metal roofing also reduces on the external or outside noises.
- Metal roofing does not have combustible or flammable properties. This means that it is not affected by lightning storm.
Metal Roofing Material Options
A popular choice for many Australian home owners. This is because of its wide selection of colors and long life span. Colorbond is a tolerant roofing material when it comes to adverse climatic conditions. This means it does not peel or blister easily when attacked by various climatic factors. Colorbond has been there for over 17 years and has undergone testing to ensure that it is fit for roofing. Its negative impact on the environment is very minimal. Colorbond comes with a full warranty from the manufacturers. The chart for color choices include Basalt, Mangrove, Shale Grey, Dune, Evening Haze, Gully, Ironstone and Wallaby. The list is endless and one is able to get a custom made color as well.
Zincalume Steel Coating
Zincalume has been around for over 30years. It is recognized for providing quality service to those who use it. It is durable and corrosion resistant. Zincalume is able to withstand a lot of hash weather conditions. It is a lightweight and versatile material that is also cost effective. Zincalume affordable and durable nature has made it popular among many home owners.
Polycarbonate roofing material
Although polycarbonate is not steel tt contains amazing physical properties so we have included it here as a reference. It has a great impact strength as well as a wide service range of temperature. Polycarbonate roofing material has a high transmission of light. It also has unlimited profile range. These properties enable polycarbonate roof to rank high on the metal roofing materials in Australia. It also comes in a variety of colors to choose from.
Roof Restoration Benefits
Roof restoration is a process of restoring a roof to its previous state. If the original roof was made using tiles then they are prone to decay and deterioration. When this happens it is time to restore your roof.
- Roof restoration reduces roof damage as well as roof deterioration
- It saves one from future expensive repairs therefore saving on money
- Roof restoration gives one’s house an attractive look as if it is in its new state
- It improves the value of the house
- It improves the purity and quality of water run off
Home owners restore old roofs because of the various problems that come with ignoring it. A roof may start to leak. This is usually a very discomforting feature. A roof that is old and not restored usually has a very bad appearance. Home owners restore their old roofs so as to save on energy costs as well. When one does not do old roof restoration, they are hit with huge expenses in the future. This puts fear in home owners therefore seeking roof restoration services.
Metal Roof Pricing
Metal roof prices vary according to several factors such as size, material and design. The average price per square meter ranges from $3-5. This applies to the 0.5 meters in length. The 8m costs $70-120 per sheet. The materials vary in prices. Some designs are more expensive than others. This basically depends on the preference of the buyer. Different prices are offered by different companies as well. The prices vary everywhere, one just needs to locate that genuine Metal roofing company that suits their needs and budget.
Metal roofing is a very good roofing choice to make for houses. It is the new popular roofing in home owners. The discussed advantages makes one to opt for them as their roofing types. Of course they have their own disadvantages like any other roofing type but the pros outweigh the cons.