roof leaking what to do

What To Do When Your Roof Is Leaking?

In the lower mainland, the one thing you can count on is the rain. Vancouver has often been nicknamed “Raincouver” by its inhabitants, and rightly so!

It is a temperate rainforest after all. In general, the rain is an often welcome alternative to snow. However, there are a few things that are less likely to benefit from the constant rainstorms of the fall and winter months.

One of these factors is your roof! Your home may seem cozy with the sound of rain pattering down on your rooftop. But if you are ill prepared for storm season, you could find yourself in a very different situation. Many things can cause your roof to leak, and when it happens, it’s important to stop the problem as quickly as possible.

An excessively leaky roof can cause permanent water damage and harmful mold to grow inside your home this can permanently damage your insulation. It can eventually lead to interior rotting, flooding and decay if it is left unattended for longer periods of time. It’s best to fix a leaky roof as soon as it starts. Follow these steps and your roof should be safe and dry in no time.

Collect excess water

If you notice a leak starting, sometimes the only immediate thing you can do to prevent further water damage is to collect the water that is leaking from the ceiling.

Place a pot or plastic, waterproof bucket under the area that leaks. Keep a towel or piece of cardboard under the bucket in order to absorb any backsplash from the water droplets.

Turn off the lights

If the water has started to leak through your ceiling, it will continue to spread as long as a water source remains. It will find any and all outlets to drain from, and a very dangerous and convenient place leaks tend to appear is through your ceiling lights or chandeliers. Water often chooses the path of least resistance and the holes in the ceiling where your light fixtures are placed are often places water collects and leaks in storms.

As everyone should know, electricity and water are a lethal pair. As soon as you see any sign of water damage around your light fixtures, cut the power and turn off the lights in that part of your home. Do not attempt any repairs and call a professional right away.

Get destructive

Depending on where your leak is, there are a few different ways to take the next steps. If your leak is in the ceiling of your home, chances are that it is easy to locate. Look for signs of water damage in your ceiling, specifically look for ripples or bubbles forming.

It will look like an obvious bulge in the drywall. This bubble is caused by the water leaking in and collecting in the area above your ceiling. It will continue to grow as the weight and pressure of the water builds.

If the bubble is growing rapidly or if the bubble appears to be getting larger or spreading across your ceiling, simply take a screwdriver and poke a small hole in the largest part of the bubble. Place a bucket below the leak after poking a hole.

If anything, this hole will help to centralize the leak and it will relieve the pressure building up in your ceiling. It will keep the water damage from getting worse. You will only have to fix the single hole, rather than a gaping crack across your ceiling.

Minimize damage with a temporary patch

Your roof’s tendency to leak partially depends on external and structural design patterns. If your roof is completely flat, it is much more likely to gather water when it starts to rain or snow. This water has no means of draining off of your house and instead, it collects and puts pressure on your home.

For homes with flat roofs, there isn’t much that can be done. The best idea is to buy a waterproof tarp and outfit your entire roof with a waterproof substance for the winter months. You can also use roofing cement.

This method isn’t an ideal fix, but putting a tarp sized patch in the area that tends to leak in the winter months is a good idea for homes with flat roofs. Keep the tarp in place with nails or plywood. Water can still enter areas around the tarp, but the leak will appear less severe.

Check your gutters

If your roof is slanted and continues to leak, check your gutters before you worry about structural problems in the roof itself. It could simply be that your gutters or your downspouts are clogged and the water is gathering and leaking into your attic instead. Clear your gutters and watch to see if the leaking subsides.

What if the leak is coming from my windows?

If you notice moisture seeping in from your windows instead of your ceiling, sigh a sigh of relief, this is often a much easier fix. The caulk sealant along the outside of your window is most likely old or cracked. Take a look outside the window that leaks.

If you notice any cracks in the white sealant material along the outside edges of the window, water could be seeping through and into your home. You can test our theory by taking a garden hose and running it against the cracks by your window. Have someone inside let you know if the leak starts to show.

If your sealant is the problem, it is easy to replace. Simply remove all of the old and cracked caulk with a putty knife. You can buy these at any local hardware store. once the sealant is removed, you can replace it with new, latex or silicone caulk. This will ensure it is water resistant.

Take action right away

Take action as soon as you notice a leak starting in your home. Even if it seems minor and doesn’t bother you, it can lead to much more dangerous issues like mold, ruined drywall, and interior rot.

In any situation involving leaks, your role as a homeowner or tenant is simply to limit the damage to your home, until professional help arrives. Any and all leaks are a plumbing emergency.

At Hillcrest Plumbing we have 24-hour emergency service, so you can rest assured help is on the way at all hours if the day or night. With over 50 years of experience, our certified plumbing professionals have the experience and knowledge they need to fix and repair your leaks. Give us a call.

gutters

How To Clean Your Gutters

It is a good idea to clean your gutters every spring and fall. It is beneficial in many ways and helps to reduce the chances of buildup, roof leaks, and exterior flooding. As the seasons’ change, dead leaves and twigs can clutter your gutters and cause them to function poorly and even break. A buildup of debris and water in your gutters and downspouts will eventually weigh them down and morph them or pull them loose entirely. As a result, you should plan to clean your gutters at least twice a year.

Fall is an especially good time to clean your gutters because leaves can gather in the gutters and cause clogs if not properly dealt with.

Things You’ll Need

  • Gloves
  • Tall step ladder
  • Medium sized bucket
  • Small, metal shovel
  • Non-slip shoes
  • Plumbers snake
  • Garden hose

Get Started With Cleaning Your Gutters

Pick a day with good weather, you do not want to be on your roof with a ladder in a storm, or icy, frosty conditions. This is very dangerous and should be avoided.

You should never rush when cleaning your gutters. Set aside a large period of time during the day so that you can take your time. You never want to be in a hurry when you are on a ladder.

Set up your step ladder, never rest the ladder against your gutters. Manually remove the leaves and debris from the gutters around you. Slowly make your way around the perimeter of your house, moving your ladder every few meters until all of the debris has been removed.

Test Your Downspouts

To be sure everything has been removed, flush your gutters out with a garden hose once you have finished cleaning them.

Be sure that the water is draining properly out of the downspouts by watching the flow carefully. If the water trickles out, the downspouts may be clogged with further debris. When this happens, it is a pretty easy fix. You can use a plumbing snake to loosen the debris in the downspout, you can buy these at your local hardware store.

Move the snake from side to side and when it moves freely without resistance you can remove it and use a garden hose to flush the remaining debris out of the downspout. Repeat the process and if water does not flow freely through the spouts and call your plumber if a clog remains.

Get A Professional Gutter Cleaning

By the end of the process, your gutters should be clean and clear of excess debris. Your downspouts should be clear of any clogs and should allow water to consistently and freely flow through.

If your roof is difficult to reach, or your gutters are excessively clogged or breaking, it is a good idea to get help from the professionals. Hillcrest Plumbing has been working throughout the lower mainland for over 50 years.

They are professional and educated plumbers who have the experience and qualifications necessary to successfully clean, or repair your gutters, downspouts, or other plumbing problems. Give Hillcrest Plumbing a call and get help with your gutters.

Man digging a ditch outside

How To Prevent Outdoor Flooding In Vancouver

The Lower Mainland is famous for excessive amounts of rainfall during the fall and winter months. This can be problematic for those whose homes or apartments aren’t optimized for this type of weather.

In fact, the more water accumulates near a house, the greater the chance of unwanted leaks or water damage in and around the home. Here are some ways to avoid outdoor flooding during the winter, so you can be sure your house stays dry!

Clean Your Gutters

The most effective drainage system to keep water from collecting on the roof of your house is your gutters. They gather water that would otherwise run off your roof and fall around the base of your house. Gutters divert water from gathering on the roof and the ground and effectively drain it.

It is a good idea to clean your gutters or have them professionally cleaned before the fall and winter months. This is because you want to rid your gutter of any obstructions that could cause a clog. It is a good idea to get your gutters cleaned once or twice per year.

Cluttered gutters won’t effectively drain water. They may also become heavy with debris and break or change shape.

Strategic Landscaping

Ideally, your home or apartment building is built on higher ground. Water runs downhill and can collect or flood in areas that have a lower elevation. If your home isn’t built on very high ground, there are some things you can do to prevent flooding.

  • Plant a raised flower garden by your house.
    • The soil, plants, and pebbles will help to absorb water before it seeps into your basement. Be sure to leave a 6-12 inch gap between the soil mulch and the home. You do not want the soil directly next to your home because it can cause dampness and decomposition.
  • Dig a decorative creek in your yard.
    • These can be beautiful landscaping options and they help drain water away from the house. Fill the creek with decorative stones and various sizes of rocks. The creek should be a dry creek, it will not fill with water, but in periods of heavy rainfall, water will collect and drain into the decorative creek, rather than disperse around your home.
  • Use patches of grass or plants as barriers.
    • If the flooding is not that bad in your yard, you can use grass to help soak up excess moisture in the ground.

Check Your Sewer Line

If there is a particular area in your yard that always appears flooded, even when precipitation is low? You could have a cracked or broken pipeline underground. This is a plausible reason for why water gathers and collects in certain areas even when it is dry out.

At Hillcrest Plumbing, we are experts in all drainage and sewer repair so give us a call if you notice that this is a problem in your yard. You may simply need your drainage pipes replaced.

Clear Your Drains

If you notice that water is collecting and pooling over areas that have a drain, there is a good chance that it is not draining as fast as it should. You could have a clogged or blocked drain outside. If you see that water drains away from your house but collects on the street, the city storm sewers could be clogged.

Brush away any obstructions or dry leaves if you see them, but you should also contact the city and inform them of the clogged drain as well, especially if water is collecting on the street.

Contact Your Plumber

It can be difficult to avoid the heavy rains and constant puddles characteristic to the lower mainland. However, there are some things that you can do to try and stay dry. Protect your property and take these initial steps to creating a better drainage system for your yard.

If you have any questions, or you are experiencing a plumbing emergency, contact your local plumber. Hillcrest Plumbing has been servicing the lower-mainland for over 50 years. We are experts in both plumbing and heating problems. If you want an outdoor plumbing assessment give us a call.

furnace in basement

Signs My Furnace Needs Servicing

It can be difficult to know when your furnace needs repairs. In general, the home furnace is the last thing on our minds. But as winter approaches and the weather gets colder, it is a good idea to check your core appliances. This ensures that you know everything’s functioning properly for when you need it most.

In general, it is a common practice to have your central heating system checked every year. You want your furnace functioning at its highest level of efficiency, so you’re not wasting money.

The Home Does Not Feel Warm When The Furnace Is On

If your home doesn’t heat and the furnace is running, that is the most straightforward sign that there is something wrong with your HVAC system. There could also be several different reasons for why this occurs. The most common reason is that your air filters are clogged.

Dust and debris can collect in your filters over time. Eventually, if they are not replaced frequently, they can clog and prevent hot air from flowing through. If you notice that your house is still cold with the furnace on, the first thing you should do is replace your filters.

Secondly, if this doesn’t resolve the problem, be sure your furnace is connected to a power source. Ensure the switch is set to “on.” It is a good idea to contact your local HVAC repair operators once you’ve checked the vents and the power source if the problem persists.

Your Furnace Is Noisy

The furnace makes a natural humming sound when it is functioning normally. If you listen and you hear anything out of the ordinary, it could be a sign that there’s something wrong with your heating system. There are a number of problems that can lead to a noisy furnace. In general, your furnace should give off some form of noise.

A healthy furnace has a low, humming noise. There is a problem when the furnace makes a banging or creaking sounds. The best solution for a noisy furnace is to contact a professional. There could be something broken internally, or it could simply be an outdated model.

The Furnace Is Older

It is always a good idea to keep an eye on your older appliances. Even if they seem to be running smoothly, they are more likely to run into problems, leak or unexpectedly stop working, simply because they are older. Your furnace should last between 10-15 years. If yours is getting close to this age, it is a good idea to think about having it checked, or start to budget for a replacement.

If you experience any of these problems with your furnace, or there are other things that seem out of the ordinary, it is a good idea to call your local plumbing and heating service.

At Hillcrest Plumbing, we have over 50 years of experience in the business. We help with all plumbing and heating problems and we service the entire lower mainland. We can replace parts on your furnace, suggest replacement options or simply run diagnostics to ensure that it is functioning at its best. Give us a call!

feet in fall leaves

How To Prepare Your Plumbing For The Fall And Winter

The fall and winter months pose a unique set of plumbing problems for your home. It is a good idea to properly prepare early before it starts to get cold. The last thing you want during the holidays is a plugged sink, leaking shower or overflowing toilet. During the winter, you normally spend more time inside, this is why it is especially important for you to have highly functioning plumbing and heating systems.

Compost leftover foods

This isn’t something specific to the winter months, you should practice composting all year round. However, during the winter, the majority of cooking is done inside. There are no more summer BBQ’s when there’s snow out, and a picnic in the park is out of the question. Food can gather in your sink over the winter months, with an increase in family gatherings and eating indoors. Be sure you dispose of it in a sustainable way, to avoid clogged sinks.

Watch for frozen pipes

In the sub-zero temperatures, there is a chance that the water in your pipes will freeze. This can cause the pipes to burst and rupture because water expands when it is frozen solid. The resulting ice can put intense pressure on your pipes, eventually causing them to warp and rupture. Even if your pipes do not break, you will immediately notice when they are frozen because you will not have flowing water. The water will be ice and won’t move in the pipes. Be sure you have a proper heating and insulation system in place before the winter months.

If your pipes do end up frozen, the fastest way to unfreeze the water is too warm the air around the pipes. Turn up the heat in your home. If that is not possible, manually apply heat to the frozen pipe, in the form of hot towels or standing heaters. If you notice any cracks or leaks in the pipe, call your plumber immediately.

Insulate your pipes

If you have pipes that are directly exposed to the elements, there is a good chance that they will freeze if the temperatures drop low. Insulate your pipes by wrapping them with insulated tape. You can purchase “all weather” tape that is water resistant and keeps heat in. This is commonly used for electrical cables, but it can be useful for your pipes in the cold!

Check up on your water heater

The winter is when you use hot water the most. It is a good idea to prepare for sub-zero temperatures by servicing your water heater. You can have it drained and repaired if necessary so that it is fully functional when you need it most.

Away for the holidays?

If you are planning a trip over the winter break, whether you are going for a weekend to visit relatives, or leaving for several months, it is a good idea to shut off the water in your home. If your pipes freeze while you are away, there is only a limited amount of water in the pipes that can cause damage when you turn the water valves off.

When you want to take it a step further, you can contact your local plumbers and have your pipes drained before you leave. This ensures that your pipes are free of any water while you are away, which will fully prevent them from freezing.

Call your plumber!

Let your local plumbing company know that you are concerned about your pipes freezing. If you have frozen pipes, call your plumber immediately. Leaking water from these pipes is not only a waste of water, it is also a hazard to those in your home, as well as your house itself.

At Hillcrest Plumbing, we have over 50 years of experience in the plumbing and heating industry. We service all of Vancouver and the lower mainland. Give us a call if you have any questions.

open window

How To Keep Your Home Cold Without The A/C

Whether you just moved to a new home without air conditioning, you’re traveling and the place you stay is very hot, or you simply prefer not to use the A/C, there are still ways to keep cool. The heat can be overwhelming at times, especially during the summer months. It can make you feel sluggish or tired when it gets too warm. Here are some alternate ways to keep your home colder, without the A/C.

Keep the windows open at night

In most places, even tropical countries that are hot year-round, it gets slightly colder at night. Take advantage of the evening temperatures by opening your windows. Let the cool air into your house at night. Close your windows in the morning and your home or apartment should retain the cooler temperature throughout the day.

Keep the blinds or curtains shut during the day

Just like when you open your windows at night, you should keep your windows and blinds shut during the day. The hot sunlight can shine through the windows and heat your home, just like it would heat a greenhouse. The warmth gets trapped inside your house, leaving you sweltering. Invest in blackout blinds, or heavy curtains to really keep sunlight from shining in. Be sure you have heavily insulated, double paned windows as well, to keep heat out.

Avoid using your oven

Summer is BBQ season, and there’s a good reason why. Cooking with your oven in the heat also warms your home. the effect is only minor, however, if you live in a smaller home, the heat from the oven can create noticeable, unwanted warmth. Try cooking outside, or let the oven take a break by trying new recipes that don’t require cooking.

Keep your sheets in the freezer

Yes, you read that right. This is one of the more desperate measures you can take to stay cool. However, it offers an immediate cooling sensation. If you simply can’t fall asleep in the heat, this is a good experiment to try. You can leave them in the freezer for the entire day, and make your bed with the cold, slightly damp sheets at night. Your covers will trap the cool air around you and you’ll be able to fall asleep. Some people also try this trick with their pajamas.

Buy a fan

A fan is the best way to ensure you have a constant breeze in your home when you don’t have the A/C. There are many ways to strategically use fans to create active air-flow through your house. You can use the fan with your windows to move air through your house and create a breeze in the evening.

Simply open two windows on opposite sides of your home, and place the fan in between. This keeps cool air moving in through the windows and flowing through your house. You can also try this with multiple fans.

If these tips don’t do the trick, you may consider installing an A/C system. If you are interested in buying an A/C system, or you simply need one installed, feel free to call Hillcrest Plumbing. We have over 50 years of experience working with plumbing and heating systems. So you can wave goodbye to the days of melting in your home.

Tankless water heater

Pros And Cons Of Tankless Water Heaters

It is a common belief that tankless water heaters are more efficient than the traditional tank water heaters. The theory rests on the fact that tankless water heaters warm water only when it is needed, essentially saving you on energy costs. They are more compact and do not require as much setup. Therefore, over the years, tankless water heaters have become a popular alternative to their older counterparts.

Pro’s Of Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters are seen as modern, minimal, energy saving alternatives to the traditional tank water heater. There is a lot of new information about them, but that doesn’t mean you should abandon your tank water heater right away. Here are some of the core benefits to a tankless water heater.

They Save Space

Tankless water heaters are naturally smaller than traditional water heaters. They take up less space and they are easy to set up. There is not a major installation process required. They are fairly portable and versatile. Tankless water heaters would be useful in a home or apartment where space is minimal.

They’re Good For The Environment

Tankless water heaters are said to be better for the environment because they do not require energy all of the time. A traditional water heater uses energy constantly so that the water inside of it is constantly hot. This can waste energy in the long run because you are paying for your water heater to stay warm, even while you are not using it, like as you sleep.

A tankless water heater on the other hand only heats your water when you need it. It does not use energy 24/7, it simply heats your water immediately when you need hot water. This saves money on electricity, while simultaneously helping the environment but cutting down on your electric output.

The one downside that occurs is that a tankless water heater uses more energy all at once so that it can heat water on demand. In some circumstances, this means that you end up using the same amount of energy as you would with a tank water heater. Tankless water heaters only save you energy if you use hot water less.

Tankless Water Heaters Last For A Long Time

Your tankless water heater has a lifespan of around 20 years if it is properly maintained. A regular tank water heater lasts for around 10 years. The tankless water heater has virtually double the lifespan. This saves you money in the long run because you will not have to replace it as frequently.

Con’s Of Tankless Water Heaters

They’re Expensive

Tankless water heaters may save you money in the long run, with longevity and energy costs, however, they cost more initially. This is in general, however, and depends on the style and model of water heater you want.

They Only Work When The Power Is On

Your tankless water heater still runs on energy, and it uses much larger amounts of energy in order to heat your water immediately, rather than at a constant rate. In the event of a power surge or outage, you will also lose your hot water.

You may be thinking that a warm shower isn’t the first thing you’d want in a power outage, so this is a minor con to the tankless water heater, but if there is a blackout for long periods of time, this could become problematic.

Tank water heaters keep water warm 24/7, so in the event of a power outage, there will still be hot water for several days. Even if the tank water heater can’t continue to use energy to keep the water warm, there is already hot water for a period of time.

It Is Hard To Run Multiple Appliances At Once

When your water heater has to heat multiple different appliances at once, it can be less effective. When you have a tank water heater, you can wash dishes and take a shower at the same time because your source of water is warm at all times. Tankless water heaters are also less effective in homes with a naturally low water pressure.

Should You Make The Switch?

If your current water heater is getting old, or you notice changes in its effectiveness, it might be time to get a new one. If you were happy with the make and model of your old water heater, see if you can simply get it repaired before seeking to install a new one. Replacing old parts is often all you need to do, it is a cost effective and relatively stress-free process.Instead of replacing your water heater altogether.

If you are moving or live in a newer home, there is a chance that you have a tankless water heater already. The best thing to keep in mind when thinking of switching water heaters is to pick what works for you.

If you and other members of your household don’t use large amounts of hot water on a daily basis, a tankless water heater might be a good idea. Keep in mind the pros as well as the cons. Getting a new tankless water heater depends on your needs.

If you want to save space and conserve slightly more energy, it is a good option. If you have several people living in a home and you run multiple appliances at once, a tank water heater is a better option.

Talk With Your Plumber

If you are still unsure about whether or not a tankless water heater is right for you, you can always ask your plumber! At Uncle Bill’s Hillcrest Plumbing and Heating, we have over 50 years of experience working in the field. You can always call for a plumbing assessment, or ask us about what appliances would best suit your home and situation. Call us or come on in today!

A leaking shower head

How to Fix a Dripping Shower Head

No one likes the sound of constant water droplets coming from the shower. It indicates that you may have a leak! Leaks in the shower can cost you a lot of money on your water bill. It’s also a waste of water, which is bad for the environment.

There’s no need to worry however, you can put away your duct tape, there are several different ways to fix a leaky shower head.

1) Tighten The Shower Handles

There could be many reasons that your shower is leaking. Take care of the first and most obvious reason and tighten each handle to be sure it is fully turned off. This may seem like a simple solution, but it is often the case, especially if you have children, that the handles aren’t turned off.

2) Turn Off The Water Valve

If the shower head continues to leak, it’s a good idea to turn off the water, before you attempt to fix it. In some homes, you can’t access the water valves to your shower. In this case, the valves are in your wall, inaccessible unless you tear part of it down.

Other homes have the shut-off valve in the basement or in the bathroom. If you have the option to turn the water off, do so. If not, tightening the H/C shower handles is the best you can do.

When you do not have an accessible water valve specifically for your shower, but there is a lot of water leaking, turn off the main water valve for your house. This is usually located outside. Do this in an emergency if there is a large amount of water collecting.

3) Unscrew The Shower Head From The Wall To Fix Old Parts

This can often be done by hand if you have a good grip on the shower head. Unscrew it from its position and proceed to inspect the pipe behind it. A common cause of leaks is simple wear and tear over time. Take a look inside the pipe.

A fixture inside called the “O band” gets worn out and can crack with exposure to oxygen. Take a look and check for any signs of wear and tear. You can purchase replacement O bands at your local hardware store.

4) Check For Mineral Deposits That May Be Causing Leaks

Hard water, water that is rich in minerals, can often clog your shower head. This can cause backups in the pipes and lead to excess pressure and leaks.

To clean your shower head and remove mineral deposits, simply remove the shower head. Immerse the face of the shower head in a bath of white vinegar.

Leave it in the vinegar for an entire day. This will wear away the mineral deposits and buildup. Remove the shower head from the mixture and manually wipe away any leftover mineral deposits.

You can screw it back onto the pipe in your shower and test the flow. The water should flow much better and the leaking should be gone.

6) Call A Plumber

If replacing older parts and cleaning your shower head doesn’t work, there may be something more serious going on. If there is a large amount of water rushing from the shower head, or the problem worsens after you’ve tried to repair it, you should call your plumber.

Letting the leak persist will cause water damage to your home, waste water and waste your money in the water bill. Hillcrest Plumbing does shower repair along with a host of other plumbing services.

We have over 50 years of experience and have a highly educated team of trustworthy plumbing professionals. Contact us today and get that shower fixed once and for all!

Blue pool water

Pool Maintenance and Plumbing Tips

Having a pool at home may seem like an attractive option. Your backyard offers the luxury and privacy of swimming at your own convenience. It is a great escape from hot weather, and a place to just relax. It is also a great deal of work to care for.

A pool requires a large amount of water to be functional. It is essentially, a sitting body of water on your property. This comes with its own set of challenges when we consider the plumbing that is involved.

Pool water contains chemicals that can be harmful if they start to leak into your surrounding yard. Pools can also gather large amounts of bacteria if they are not properly drained or cleaned.

Leaks And Troubleshooting

The worst part about owning a pool is noticing when you have a leak. It is a pool owners nightmare for practical reasons. You can test to see if you have a leak by marking the water level and checking a few days later to see if it has dropped. There may be several different solutions, depending on what kind of pool you have.

Leaks in above ground pools

Leaks in above ground pools are easy to identify. They are generally really easy to repair once you have located them. Look for areas of wetness around the pool area. Check the vinyl lining for any tears or rips in the fabric.

The hole can be tiny in the fabric so be sure to clean the pool out first. The smallest collection of leaves, grass or dirt can hide the leak. Holes in above ground pools usually occur in the bottom of the fabric, where a small rock or excess pressure could cause it to tear.

The hole can be tiny so you may need to get in the pool to see what’s happening beneath the surface. The fastest way to locate a leak is to take food colouring or dye and place a few drops where you think there’s a tear. the dye will be pulled into the crack and you will be able to see where the crack is!

To repair a leak in an above ground pool, you will have to patch the fabric. You may also simply want to replace the entire pool liner if it is getting worn out. This usually happens after around 5 years.

Leaks in below ground pools

Below ground pools are a little trickier to figure out leaks. This is simply because the majority of the plumbing for below ground pools are underground. This means that leaks in your pipes will require digging.

In below ground pools, there can either be a leak in your plumbing and drainage system, or in the actual concrete structure of the pool itself. If you suspect a leak in the structure, scan the layout for any cracks. You can easily patch a leak with a cement patch, or similar, waterproof material.

A leak in your filter or the drains and plumbing of your pool is slightly more difficult to fix, due to the fact that you probably can’t see where the leak is coming from. It may also require some digging… literally, to find and repair the pipe with a leak. We recommend that you call your plumber if you experience this type of leak in your pipes.

They can use special devices to quickly identify where the leak in the pipes is coming from. They also have the tools and experience to quickly and safely fix the situation. Your plumber may need to replace part of your PVC pipes that sit underground and connect to your pool.

Depending on whether or not you have rigid or flexible pipes, you may have a higher risk for getting leaks. It is best to use rigid PVC pipes when your pool is installed, despite the fact that they take longer to install.

Winterize And Drain the Pool Properly

If your pool is properly insulated and installed, you should not have to worry about the effects of winter temperatures. However, older pools that have not been updated can suffer cracks from changing temperatures in the winter months.

Always drain your pool before cold weather starts and ensure it’s properly cleaned. You don’t want your pool collecting and breeding bacteria while it is empty.

Place the insulated pool covers over the surface so that the pool is protected from snow, fallen leaves, curious animals or other potential problems that arise in the winter months.

Book A Yearly Cleaning And Servicing

Whether or not you think you need one, a yearly pool servicing ensures that your pool is working smoothly. A leak in your pool can be hazardous to the environment, it can lead to property damage and be a major waste of water.

That is why it is a good idea to have a plumber or specialist check the pool every year. This ensures it is properly cleaned, functional and working smoothly.

At Hillcrest Plumbing we have over 50 years of experience dealing with plumbing needs and emergencies. If you think you may have a leak in your pool, or you need help repairing it, give us a call!

Home and garden

Selling Your Home? How To Prepare Your Plumbing For A Full House Inspection

Whether you are selling your home or simply getting ready for a property assessment, it is a good idea to know the value of your home.

A home inspection ensures that everything on your property is in good, working order. It helps you gauge the market value of your property, as well as figure out what needs maintenance and repair.

An important aspect of the full house inspection is plumbing. There are a lot of things that can go wrong with your plumbing system and when problems do arise, they are often time sensitive emergencies. Your home inspector will check your plumbing to see if it is working effectively.

You will have an easier experience during the home inspection if you prepare for the inspection in advance. Check to be sure your plumbing system is in order and get repairs before the home inspection!

What Will The Home Inspector Look For?

The home inspector needs to be sure that your house is safe and functional. They will test all of your appliances, as well as check the age of your home and your recent upgrades. They need to be sure that your home is safe, functional, and viable for prospective buyers.

The home inspector will look for signs of deterioration and decay on the exterior of your home. Any outlying cracks or discoloration indicate signs of water damage or age in the home. These may need to be repaired before inspection, or after if it is recommended.

The home inspector isn’t out to find problems in your home, they simply are checking to be sure everything is working and safe. A key component to doing well in the home inspection is making sure your plumbing is in good working order.

How To Prepare Your Plumbing For A Home Inspection

The home inspector will not check your entire plumbing system, however, they will be looking for functionality in your plumbing. A general home inspection is different from a plumbing inspection, which is much more in-depth as it is just focused on plumbing.

It is a good idea, whether you are preparing for a home inspection, or a plumbing inspection, to be sure your plumbing is in good working order. The home inspector will check to ensure that all of your taps run and that the water drains at an appropriate speed.

They will check to see if all of the toilets flush properly and that all of the baths and showers are working and draining well. They will scan the home for common signs of water damage such as cracks, uneven drywall, and stains in the ceiling or flooring.

An easy way to prepare for your home inspection by keeping these things in mind. Home inspectors look for these signs when assessing your plumbing:

  • Be sure all drains are working
  • Check water levels
  • Be sure nothing is leaking
  • Check for water damage and have it repaired
  • Check to see that your shower drains work
  • Check your basement for mold or dampness
  • Look for cracks and blockages

These are the major things that the home inspector will be looking for. It is a best practice to prepare before the inspection by addressing these major aspects first.

Clean Your House Thoroughly Before Any Home Inspection

Your home inspector wants to be sure that your house is working at its best. That’s why it is important for it to look its best too. The home inspector will appreciate that your house is clean and easy to navigate.

It will help them see that the house is well taken care of and that the owners are responsible. your plumbing is important in the home inspection, but you’ll want to think of the whole picture too.

Be sure that your home is clean and presentable. If you are trying to sell your home after the inspection, this is especially important.

Ask Your Plumber About Plumbing Inspections

If you are checking your plumbing systems to prepare for a home inspection, or the home inspector recommends that you update your plumbing system, you may need professional help. At Hillcrest Plumbing, we know the importance of keeping your house looking its best, and working effectively.

We offer 24h emergency service for those experiencing a plumbing emergency. We also offer plumbing assessments and maintenance. Come on in to Hillcrest Plumbing for all of your plumbing needs.