Top sink designs 2017

Top 8 Trending Sink Designs Of 2017

Your sink may not be the focal point of your kitchen, but it is certainly one the most heavily used items in any home. You may not know it but the style and appearance of your sink play a large role in the design and appearance of your kitchen.

You can easily upgrade the look of your kitchen by simply replacing or redesigning the sink. As 2017 comes to a close, we have created a list of the years top, trending sink designs.

1. The Pop Of Color

A major trend of 2017 that we saw in sink design was a splash of bright color. Vibrantly colored sinks not only help to highlight an accent color in your home, they can also be used as a way to add color to a more monochromatic interior pallet. A colored sink is usually used as a point of contrast or as an accent color. Use a warm brick color or a cooler splash of bright turquoise to bring a little life to your kitchen or bathroom.

2. The Classic Steel

This is the classic stainless steel sink in your kitchen. It generally appears in homes as a double sink (two basins) but it looks just as nice as a single sink too. Stainless steel is a trend that never ends for kitchen sinks. The reason behind that is that it’s a functional and practical look. Pair a stainless steel sink with a unique faucet for a more modern flair.

3. Earthy Elements

Wood is not the typical material you’d think of when you think of your sink. However, there has been a rise in the trend. Bamboo has been popular in sink designs throughout 2017. If your home has a strong wood accent, or you simply want to add one, bamboo and bamboo-like materials add a beautiful, unique and natural essence to your kitchen. Go against the stainless steel norm and try something a little more earthy.

4. Bold Backsplash

Sometimes the best way to spice up a simple sink is to place a bold backsplash directly behind it. If your kitchen sink doesn’t have a window behind it, you can infuse the otherwise empty space with a splash of colorful paint, tile, custom stone or a mirror for a sleek and modern effect.

5. The Fancy Faucet

If you are not looking to replace your entire sink, but you still want to improve the appearance of your kitchen or your bathroom, sometimes a simple switch of faucet can make all the difference.

6. Make It Marble

2017 has seen a rising trend in sinks crafted entirely of marble or granite. It makes sense when you look back to the rise of popularity in granite countertops in recent years. Marble sinks look incredibly stylish. They add continuity to your kitchen when the same material is used for both your sink and your countertops. It makes for an understated yet timelessly classic appearance. Choose between dark or light marble and transform the look of your home.

7. Metallic Glaze

Copper, gold, bronze, onyx or silver. Your sink can be painted in a custom metallic glaze. The color can be carried out throughout the kitchen, however, it can also be used as a focal point or point of contrast. You can have the sink custom made and painted or you can visit your local hardware store and inquire about glazes for a DIY renovation project.

8. Matte

Matte has been a trend in 2017 with everything from cosmetics, photography, cars, clothing and home design. It is no wonder that matte sinks have become popular. One style, in particular, the matte black sink with a matching faucet. There is something deeply sophisticated and appealing about the muted color. You can use a matte black sink to contrast with a predominantly white kitchen or set a darker mood with matte black as your focal point.

Maintain Your New Sink

At Hillcrest Plumbing we have over 50 years of experience in plumbing and heating maintenance. If you need help installing your new sink, or you want to be sure it is running at its best capacity, give us a call.

sink with the tap running

7 Items You Should Never Pour Down The Sink

Your kitchen sink may seem like a bottomless pit for discreet disposal. We pour spoiled milk down the sink, dirty dishwater, yesterday’s soup and a plethora of other things.

However, there are certain things that you should never pour down the sink. Your kitchen sink is connected to several pipes that allow water to flow to your kitchen, and also drain out. But where does this drain lead? And how easily can this drain get plugged?

The answers are simple, you can plug your kitchen sink easily when you pour the wrong things down the drain. You can also harm the environment when you pour the wrong materials down the drain. They can leach into the sewage system, and subsequently our rivers and oceans. So here is a list of things you should never pour down the drain.

Grease

Grease is tempting to pour down the drain, but it is actually very harmful to both your pipes and the environment. All restaurants in the Vancouver area must abide by strict grease disposal standards and your home kitchen is no different. Keep all used grease in a container and let it harden. Once it is more solid, throw it in your green bin instead.

For larger amounts of grease, you will have to contact a grease recycling company. You can learn more about recycling grease in Vancouver here.

Grease will harden in your pipes and create some pretty bad blockages if left for too long. This leads to clogged pipes and backed up sewers, and a sticky, expensive mess in general. This happens on a larger scale as well when restaurants pour grease down the drains. It can end up costing the city thousands of dollars.

Coffee Rinds

Coffee rinds seem small and harmless. They are easily washed away if they are left in the sink. However, like grease, coffee rinds can clog your drains. In larger quantities, coffee rinds act like sludge and clog your pipes. You can properly dispose of coffee rinds by placing them in your green bin and using them in composting.

Paint Thinner

Paint thinner is a highly toxic material. It should not be flushed down the sink for obvious reasons. It also should never be put in the garbage or recycling. You should avoid breathing the smell of paint thinner, it is toxic and can be harmful to your body and the environment.

When you are painting your home or business, try to choose a more environmentally friendly product instead. It is a good option to use a water-based (latex) paint or varnish that reduces the need for thinners in general.

Take paint thinner to a certified disposal depot. In the City of Vancouver, you can take your paint thinner to a ReGeneration depot. Paint thinner is an accepted product at this specialized recycling depot. You should never throw paint thinner out or try to recycle it on your own.

Medications

Old medications can pile up in your kitchen cabinets. You may think that simply flushing them down the sink is a quick way to get rid of them. However, it is a much better idea to recycle your old medications. Learn how to recycle medicine instead, at the British Columbia Medication Returns Program.

Anti-Freeze

Anti-freeze is considered a hazardous material in British Columbia. Used anti-freeze can contain harmful chemicals and minerals from your car. If you take it to a recycling plant, it can be refined, purified and reused. There are several recycling programs for used anti-freeze and anti-freeze containers.

They allow you to drop off your anti-freeze for free and they recycle it for you. Learn more about how anti-freeze is recycled in Vancouver, never wash it down your sink.

Food Scraps/Bones

This may seem like an obvious point. You can garburate smaller, soft food scraps, however, the majority of food scraps and bones especially should never go down the sink. This can be tricky, especially if you wash your dishes by hand instead of in a dishwasher.

The best way to avoid accidentally washing food scraps down the sink is to keep your sink grate on at all times. This filters out larger scraps so you can place them in your composting bin instead. You should also always brush food scraps into your compost bin before you place your dishes in the wash.

Bone and food scraps can create harmful blockages in your plumbing system, as food will build up over time. If you notice a bad smell coming from your sink, you likely have old food waste rotting in your pipes. To avoid this, brush food scraps into the compost bin instead!

Pesticides And Flammable Liquids

Pesticides from gardening and other flammable liquids like gasoline are harmful to both humans and the environment in large quantities. Never wash anything flammable down the sink. You need to take these liquids to a certified recycling drop off depot in BC. To learn more about where to dispose of your flammable materials visit the Regeneration program website.

Contact Your Plumber

At Hillcrest Plumbing, we have over 50 years of experience working in the plumbing and heating industry. If you are having difficulties with the plumbing in your sink, give Hillcrest Plumbing a call.

shower head

How To Unclog Your Shower In Seconds

Your shower is an essential part of your home. As one of the most heavily used appliances, it is vital that your shower stays in good working order.

There are many reasons for your shower to stop working, but the most common and easiest to fix is the classic shower clog. Here are a few tips on what to do if you notice that your shower is draining slower than usual.

Inspect The Drain

As soon as you notice the shower draining slowly, turn off the water and take a look at the drain. Remove any visible blockages that could lead to clogs.

This can be anything from a clump of hair to an abandoned bath toy. If there is a visible blockage at the drainage site, try to remove it. Once removed, run the water again to test whether or not the rate of drainage returns to normal.

If there is no visible blockage, try using a flashlight to see if there is anything lodged slightly deeper in the pipes.

Remove The Drain Cover

Some shower drains are easily removed by hand. You can simply pull them out and inspect the drain below. Other drain covers have to be manually unscrewed. Use a screwdriver if this is the case.

Look inside the drain with a flashlight and look for a visible clog or blockages in the pipes. You can use a plumbers snake to remove any blockages that sit deeper down the drain.

Use A Plunger

If water has collected around the drain and you are unable to see clearly through the drain pipe, you should use a plunger to try and dislodge the clog.

You may need to scoop some of the water out of the shower before you start plunging. Plunging a shower drain is often less successful than using a plunger for your sink or toilet, however, it can be beneficial nonetheless.

Boil Water

It’s quite possible that the clog in your shower is from old soap scum and grease. In this case, it is a good idea to use boiling water. The heat can melt away any debris that may be clogging the pipes or holding a clog in place.

Use Baking Soda And Vinegar

These two kitchen staples can effectively clear a drain in a matter of minutes. The classic, explosive chemical reaction formed between these two elements is the perfect remedy for a simple clogged drain. You have to combine this method with the previous boiling water method. First, pour a pot of boiling hot water down your shower drain.

Pour baking soda in after the hot water. Pour a generous amount. Wait a few minutes for the mixture to settle. The baking soda will cling to anything leftover in the drain after the hot water.

After a few minutes of letting the baking soda sit, pour in several cups of the vinegar. The combination will immediately begin to bubble and ideally dislodge the blockage.

Call Your Plumber

A clogged and leaking shower can become a serious problem in no time. It can lead to permanent water damage to your home. If you have a stubborn clog it is a good idea to call your plumber. Why waste your day toiling over a clogged shower when a professional can save you time.

At Hillcrest Plumbing, we have over 50 years of experience in the plumbing and heating industry. Our experts have the education and experience they need to successfully unclog your shower, and take care of any of your other plumbing needs. Call Hillcrest Plumbing today and get that shower running smoothly.

Mineral deposits on shower head

How To Clean Mineral Deposits In Your Sink And Shower

There are several different types of minerals present in everyday drinking water. Some water contains an excess of these mineral deposits. When water contains a lot of naturally occurring minerals, it’s called hard water. Hard water is perfectly healthy, and some say it’s better for the body, as opposed to mineral lacking soft water.

However, the minerals in hard water can be problematic when it comes to your household appliances and plumbing. Minerals from hard water collect and cause unsightly stains to form in your shower, sink or bathtub. These stains are harmless to people, but they can be harmful to your plumbing system!

Why Are Mineral Deposits A Problem?

Mineral deposits don’t pose an immediate problem. They form over time, it is only when they build up to a certain point that they can pose a threat to your pipes, or cause stains. Some common problems that mineral deposits cause include:

  • Plug your drains
  • Affect the water pressure of your shower or sink
  • They can gather in your pipes and block water flow
  • They make your appliances look dirty

Mineral deposits in your sink or shower can affect your plumbing systems, but the good news is that they are very easy to clean.

How To Clean Mineral Deposits

The fastest and most environmentally friendly way to clean mineral deposits is by using a mildly acidic substance to combat the alkaline mineral substance. The handiest, easy to find ingredient is vinegar. Most people already have a bottle of vinegar on hand at home. It is an effective and affordable method of cleaning mineral deposits.

What You’ll Need:

There are only a few things you’ll need to start cleaning away those unsightly stains on your bathroom appliances. These include:

  • An empty spray bottle
  • White vinegar
  • Rubber gloves (optional)
  • A metal scrubby or old toothbrush
  • A dry cloth
  • Regular liquid soap

Steps:

  1. Fill the spray bottle with vinegar
  2. Spray a generous amount of vinegar on the surfaces with excess mineral deposits
  3. Wait for 1 hour and let the vinegar to saturate the deposits
  4. Use the toothbrush and soap to scrub away the mineral deposits, spraying vinegar as needed
  5. Gently wipe away the vinegar, the mineral stains should be removed
  6. Repeat the process for stubborn stains

Identify Any Plumbing Problems Or Blockages

Mineral deposits can be easily cleaned and they are not a problem if you stay on top of them. However, it can be harder to clear mineral deposits from the inside of your pipes. They can collect in your sink, drains and shower head, and affect your water pressure and drainage.

  • Low water pressure
  • Mineral deposits inhibit the flow of water
  • could be gathering inside the pipes where it is harder to reach
  • call a plumber for a yearly pipe cleaning

Hillcrest Plumbing has over 50 years of experience working in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. Our team has the education and experience to effectively clear blocked pipes, and attend to any other plumbing problems that may arise. Contact Hillcrest Plumbing for plumbing emergencies or a simple yearly servicing. There is no problem is too big or small, so give us a call!

Hard and soft water

What’s The Difference Between Hard And Soft Water?

You may have heard the terms before but it is not always clear what exactly the differences are between hard and soft water types. In this post, we discuss the similarities and differences between hard and soft water.

What Is Hard Water?

Hard water is water that contains a very high mineral content. The water gathers microscopic mineral deposits when it flows through rocky regions that are rich in limestone or chalk. As a result, the water itself is high in minerals such as magnesium and calcium.

Hard water has a slightly different flavor as it is less refined than soft water. There are minor health benefits from consuming hard water, as it is rich in vitamins and minerals. It has a slightly murky appearance but it is perfectly safe to drink. Some regions have naturally hard water, there are filtration devices that you can use to reduce the number of minerals in the water you drink.

Generally, hard water leaves traces of mineral deposits that can appear on your cups or glasses. The traces of minerals can become problematic and build up in machinery that is exposed to it over a longer period of time.

What Is Soft Water?

Soft water is water that has been refined or “softened” through a filtration process. It is a smooth, clear consistency, relatively free of minerals. Soft water can also be found naturally in regions that contain a lower mineral level.

Soft water in nature is generally rainwater, rivers that are fuelled mainly by rainwater, rivers that are low in calcium-rich stones or the water at the surface of any water body. Generally, in a lake, hard water sinks to the bottom whereas soft water resides at the surface.

Soft water is easy to drink and it is generally free of any specific, mineral-like taste.

Which Is Considered Better For You?

The human body is over 70% water, but what type of water is best for you? Both hard and soft water is perfectly drinkable and many people drink both, all over the world.

Hard water is rich in trace deposits of minerals. Hard water introduces more calcium and magnesium into your diet, but it can have a slightly mineral rich taste. Soft water is generally perceived as the more enjoyable for drinking, due to its neutral flavor.

Where Can I Find Hard And Soft Water?

Soft water can be created anywhere through an at home filtration device. Most parts of the world have very thorough filtration and distillation devices in place, so the majority of drinking water is soft.

However, in more northern parts of the world, or any region where there is a high level of limestone or chalk, the water gathers more minerals and retains most of those minerals through the refining process.

How Does Hard Water Affect Plumbing?

Hard water has the greatest effect on plumbing and potential plumbing problems. If your region has water that contains a high mineral content, the minerals often gather and build up in your pipes and plumbing system. This can become problematic over time because the minerals can eventually clog your pipes and make it difficult for drainage.

Talk With Your Plumber About Hard Water Buildup

There are several products that can easily clean away the mineral deposits that build up over time. If you live in an area with hard water, it may also be a good idea to enlist your plumber in cleaning the pipes that are harder to access.

This does not have to be done frequently but once a year is a good idea if you notice your water pressure is lower than normal, or there are noticeable mineral deposits and drainage problems.

At Hillcrest Plumbing, we have over 50 years of experience serving Vancouver and the lower mainland. Contact Hillcrest Plumbing for all problems or questions related to hard and soft water. Our experienced technicians can help clear mineral deposits, as well as suggest filtration devices if hard water becomes problematic for your pipes.

pipes

The 7 Plumbing Tools Every Home Owner Should Have

You never know when you’ll experience a plumbing emergency. As a homeowner or tenant, it’s a good idea to have a toolkit set aide to help quell plumbing emergencies until help arrives. There is certainly no limit to the tools that you can acquire for plumbing, but these are a few of the essentials to help you get started.

Plunger

Perhaps the most evident tool, and the tool most commonly associated exclusively with plumbers. Plungers come in many different shapes and sizes, depending on their usage. You should ideally have two separate plungers in your home. One used exclusively for your toilet and the other used for all sinks and drains. For sanitary reasons, you do not want to use a toilet plunger in your kitchen sink.

Wrench

There are many different types of wrenches that every homeowner should be familiar with. The wrench is used to loosen tight bolts or pipes. It gives you a firm grip on metal pipes and bolts that you cannot move or adjust by hand. A wrench is often the tool you would use to tighten a leaking pipe. You can buy wrenches at any local hardware or utility store.

Caulk

You know that leak dripping in through your windows? Is there a cracked and worn substance lining the edges of your bathtub, window pane or balcony? Caulk can be used as a multipurpose sealant, a temporary fix or a permanent improvement to a pesky leak. This filler is water resistant and weatherproof, so you can rest assured that once you’ve sealed a crack, it won’t be leaking any time soon.

Caulk Gun

Use this tool with caulk to get into precise and intricate, hard-to-reach places. A caulk gun helps you improve your level of control over the product, so you can get an even amount where you really need it. It is perfect for accessing hard to reach places like corners and cracks so you can get the best possible coverage.

Flashlight

You never know when a flashlight may come in handy, it is always good to have one laying around the house. They are especially useful when there is an unforeseen plumbing problem in your home.

Plumbing emergencies can take you into the lesser explored areas of your house. Leak in the attic? You’ll need a flashlight to safely navigate your surroundings.

A flashlight is also the perfect way to see water damage in the walls or ceiling, in areas that are poorly lit. You can scan your basement, attic, or crawlspace for leaks and damage easily when you have a flashlight on hand.

Plumbers Tape/Duct Tape

This is an absolutely essential addition any at home plumbing tool kit. Duct tape was originally used in the military when temporary repairs were needed. It is extremely strong, water resistant and durable. In the event of an out-of-control leak, duct tape may be your best bet at maintaining the problem until help arrives.

Call Your Plumber

There is only so much you can do to help repair a plumbing problem. If you are experiencing an emergency, these basic tools can give you the equipment you need until help arrives. However, if something gets out of control, it is best to call the professionals.

At Hillcrest Plumbing, we have over 50 years of experience helping with plumbing emergencies and repairs all over the lower mainland. Our team of professionals would be happy to help, contact us for professional and effective plumbing repairs.

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!