Know Your Options for Water Heater Repair

Who doesn’t like to linger in a warm shower after a hard day?  It’s a relaxing reward before we head off to bed.  And on a cold morning, a hot shower motivates you to get out of bed and to get ready for the day.

Know Your Options for Water Heater Repair

When you go to turn on the hot water and it’s not there, it’s a source of panic.  We rely more on heated water than we realize sometimes.  Water heaters can slowly produce less and less hot water over time or even break completely.  When they do, you will need to know your water heater repair options.

There are a variety of things that can go wrong with your water heater:

  • Corrosion.  Visible signs of rust and corrosion can indicate leaks or improper plumbing.  If there is rust or corrosion, the problem has probably been there a while.
  • Bad smelling water.  If your hot water has an odor to it, there is a problem with bacteria.  A common odor caused by bacteria is a sulfur-like or “rotten egg” odor.  You can determine if it is a water heater problem by running only cold water to see if the cold water has the same odor as the hot water.
  • Not enough hot water.  If you notice that the hot water seems to run out more quickly than usual, there are a number of potential causes including a failing heating element.

If you are experiencing any of these (or other) problems with your water heater, contact us so that we can help you understand your options to repair or replace your water heater.  We will help get you back into a nice warm shower in no time!

4 Signs It’s Time to Repair Your Garbage Disposal

Your garbage disposal is one of the handiest tools in your home, that is, until it stops working. Don’t wait until it needs to be replaced, look (and listen) for these 4 signs that your garbage disposal needs repair.

4 Signs It's Time to Repair Your Garbage Disposal

The garbage disposal smells bad, really bad. If you have tried to clean your garbage disposal with vinegar, citrus, or harsh chemical agents, and it still smells horrible, chances are it’s time for a professional to take it apart and clean it thoroughly. Depending on how old the device is, though, you may just want to replace it completely and instantly have cleaner air!

Something doesn’t sound right. While a garbage disposal is noisy, it should never sound like metal is grinding on metal. This could signal that parts have begun to move incorrectly. Call in a professional right away for a tune-up. If you let the problem go on for too long, you might have to replace the whole unit.

Water is leaking from the disposal. If the water is leaking from a seal on the unit, chances are a professional can nip the problem in the bud. Unfortunately, a leak coming from a crack in the device itself, is a sign that you should just replace the whole disposal.

The garbage disposal jams, constantly. We love garbage disposals because of their ability to break down various sizes of food items. If your disposal jams at even the smallest particle of food, it is definitely time for a professional inspection.

If one of your kitchen chores for this year is repairing your garbage disposal, contact us today for more information!

Do I Need an Annual Plumbing Maintenance Inspection?

People don’t often put much thought into their plumbing systems. Their design makes them durable, and the expectation is that your water will always flow. Nevertheless, your plumbing does need regular care to ensure its longevity and limit costly repairs. Consequently, a trusted, professional plumbing service can help ensure that your system is in the best possible shape with regular annual plumbing maintenance inspections. Even if you have a new home, or a newly installed plumbing system, you can benefit from annually scheduled maintenance.

Do I Need an Annual Plumbing Maintenance Inspection?

Plumbing maintenance is more than just checking for leaking pipes or corrosion. Plumbing maintenance inspections also encompass many appliances that you use on a daily basis: water heater, garbage disposal, dishwasher. As an example, it is vital that your water heater receives an annual inspection and maintenance tune-up. This is the only way to ensure the water heater works correctly and efficiently. It is a simple fact of the matter that you are going to need a new water heater long before you need to repipe your home.

Regardless, you can avoid many potential problems with an annual plumbing maintenance inspection. A failure of your water or sewage lines can cause extensive damage to your home. A professional plumbing service will check your supply lines, shut-off valves, faucets, toilets, and drains. Additionally, they will check your water heater, washing machine, sump pumps, and any other appliances. They are looking for any leaks, corrosion, and blockages. At the inspection’s completion, the plumber will provide you with a list of repair and upgrade recommendations.

Do you have any questions? What haven’t we covered yet that is important to you? If you would like to talk about an annual plumbing maintenance inspection, or a related topic, please contact us.

Got Wood Rot?: Wood Repair and Window Replacements Can Help!

Wood rot is decomposition of wood caused by a fungus. While mold only occurs on the surface of wood, wood rot occurs from the inside out, hence the rotting process. According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, there are three kinds of wood rot:

Got Wood Rot?: Wood Repair and Window Replacements Can Help!

  1. Brown rot, which causes the wood to break down into brown cubes and split against the grain. When this problem becomes severe, the wood becomes powdery in texture and crumbles.
  2. White rot, which has a stringy and mushy texture. It is typically found in hardwoods. You can spot it by its yellow-white or gray color.
  3. Dry rot, which is wood that has decayed in the past but is now dry. Interestingly, moisture must be present for dry rot to occur. You can spot it by its dry, powdery appearance.

Additional signs of wood rot include:

  • a spongy or soft texture
  • a musty smell
  • wood that seems to be shrinking
  • paint bubbling up
  • cracks

Wood rot can affect your windows by attacking a sill or frame. Even if your windows are not currently affected, they can develop rot over the course of time. Once rot starts, the elements can cause fungus spores to spread, and the rot appears in additional locations. So, you can prevent it from becoming a big problem by taking quick action as soon as it is discovered.

One way to prevent wood rot is to have as little untreated wood around your home, as fungus thrives in untreated wood. When making repairs to your home, use oil-based primer on the wood before painting. And, painting wood will actually help protect it from from developing wood rot.

When it comes to windows, wood rot often occurs in the wood located below them, such as the sill or ledge. Skylights are more susceptible to wood rot than other types of windows. The kind of repair needed depends on the location of the rot. If wood rot is limited to the sill, we may be able to repair or replace the damaged wood. But, if the affected wood is part of the window frame, it is usually best to opt for window replacement.

With expert carpenters on staff, we are equipped to serve your needs. Contact us to learn more!

How Often Should I Be Pressure Washing?

New homeowners are often at a total loss when it comes to all the new responsibilities. Many move from cities, or even from childhood homes. When they hand you the keys and deed, they should also give you a handbook for everything you have to learn/do when owning a house as it is truly another full-time job.

How Often Should I Be Pressure Washing?

After the first year of ownership, some may noticed that a once beautiful deck and exterior of a house often becomes grimy and brown. Needless to say, power or pressure washing was something that most new homeowners have not done, or even know is necessary. And boy what a difference it makes.

In order to avoid future degradation, power washing is a great alternative to scrubbing by hand since the water does the work for you. The amount you should do it really depends on the area in which you live as more harsh weather brings more debris. A good rule of thumb is once a year. In more mild environments people may to it every other year, but mold can also be an issue, so people have been known to even do it twice a year.

For decks, every 8 to 12 months should suffice. That said, the state of the finish is a good indicator. If the water absorbs right into the wood as opposed to beading off, it is probably a good time to think about power washing it before you add another coat of finish.

Fortunately, a good service can take this concern off of your plate and give you one less household chore to worry about. To find out more about all of our commercial and residential cleaning services, contact us today!

The Case for Pressure Washing around your Dumpster Pad

You may think the area around your dumpster isn’t important; however, it is probably noticed more often than you think. Here are some reasons you need commercial pressure washing around your dumpster pad.

The Case for Pressure Washing around your Dumpster Pad

#1. Keep potential customers (or tenants) from leaving

A dirty dumpster pad can turn people off. If you’re a restaurant owner, you could lose customers because they notice the filth outside and decide they do not want to come inside. If you operate an apartment complex, you could have a hard time renting units because people will worry about a lack of maintenance.

#2. Prevent rodent or insect infestations

Vermin and insects are often attracted to the residue on your dumpster pads. Once you become infested, it can be extremely hard to get rid of these pests. It’s easier to prevent them in the first place by keeping your dumpster area clean.

#3. Eliminate Odors

Just because you have an enclosed dumpster does not mean that odors from it are contained. Dumpster odors have a way of traveling far beyond the container, and are annoying for anyone within smelling distance. Have your dumpster pad cleaned, and these odors will be less of a problem.

#4. Cut down on bacteria

Cleaning your dumpster pad will cut down on some of the harmful bacteria that could cause disease. As such, it can ensure the good health of everyone in your building.

#5. Preserve your Concrete

Grease and solvents can wreak havoc on your concrete, causing it to wear out faster than it should. Here at Excellent American Painting, we clean your dumpster pad in an environmentally-safe manner, ensuring not only that your concrete is protected, but also that there is no runoff into nearby storm drains.

These are all good reasons to have your dumpster pad cleaned, but the biggest one is that doing so will simply make you feel better. It is also very easy to schedule a dumpster pad cleaning at the same time you are having drywall repair or touchup painting performed. To find out more, please contact us.

Transforming Old Furniture with a Custom Paint Finish

Some of the hottest trends now are custom paint finishes on furniture, decorative painting, and faux paint finishes. You can easily make your home a true reflection of your personality with a little paint! That old dresser will look better than ever with a new coat of color. If you’re considering transforming old furniture with a custom paint finish, then you’ll want to make sure you know these three things:

Transforming Old Furniture with a Custom Paint Finish

    • Preparation is very important. Start with clean wood. Use a good no-suds detergent. TSP is the most popular and easily found at home improvement centers. Rinse well. Sand any peeling finishes, scratches and shine. Rinse again and allow the piece to dry. Use painter’s tape to cover any areas that you do not plan to paint. Taking time to prep your furniture before paint will save you time and trouble later.
    • Use the right paint. Evaluate the needs depending on the amount of traffic or use your furniture piece will receive. You can’t go wrong with a high quality chalk paint. However, if your piece is mainly for show, a budget paint may perform just as well, especially with a coat of sealant.
    • Watch your paint strokes. Follow the lines of your wood grain and never paint across the joints. Most furniture is made of an array of wood pieces. Each piece has its own grain. Paint strokes that override the movement of the wood can ruin the look of your painted furniture, making the job appear amateurish.

To learn more about this subject and many more, please contact us at Excellent American Painting & Handyman Service.

Maintaining your Water Heater

We may not realize that the home’s water heater is a vital part of our daily lives. We take hot showers and baths, wash our clothes, run the dishwasher, and a variety of other needs. We often take it for granted and it’s a shock when it stops working. It’s important to maintain your water heater with regular checkups once a year by a professional service. Here’s a list of reasons:Maintaining your Water Heater

1. Helps Boost Performance

Regular maintenance helps stop a variety of problems from occurring that can slow down your water heater’s functioning. Such as preventing sediment buildup inside the tank and if ignored, prevents the heating element from heating the water properly and thus your water won’t be as hot. Maintenance will also replace what’s called the anode rod, which prevents the whole tank from rusting up.

2. Saves Money

An annual inspection of your water heater can prevent costly surprises from happening. You do not want the hassle of finding alternative ways to wash yourself, your hair, and your clothes. Even worse would be the cost of cleaning up the water damage, or perish the thought, an explosion. There’s also the hiked fee for emergency repairs by services.

3. Lasts Longer

The lifespan of a standard water heater is about 8 to 12 years. Having a yearly repair schedule can extend its life by several more years. This again saves you money in the long run.

What homeowner wouldn’t want to save money, prevent potentially dangerous surprises, have less stress and hassles with their home’s maintenance?

Contact us for more ways we can help you.

Considering a Custom Remodel? -There’s a Lot to Consider.

Being a homeowner can sometimes make you feel like you need to be a jack-of-all-trades.  And while there are many facets of home maintenance that you may have grown to enjoy and take pride in, when considering a project such as a custom remodel of a room or your entire home, it’s easy to understand the benefits of having an experienced crew of experts who focus their talents on every step of your home-improvement project.

Considering a Custom Remodel? -There's a Lot to Consider.

At Excellent American Painting, we can work with you to understand and implement your goals for your home. Our design staff will consult with you to create a solid vision of what you want your home to be and find a design that fits your life, including appliances and cabinets, and every other component from lighting to flooring.

Our carpenters build to your specifications, and our Handyman services will ensure safe & solid re-routing of any plumbing & electrical components of your custom remodel. Taking the worry out of your remodel is what we do best!

And no project is complete without the finishing touch of our meticulous Painting services, who bring their years of experience to every project, giving results that can’t be matched.

You don’t need to be a jack-of-all-trades to recreate your home into something you can be proud of, and enjoy for years to come. At Excellent American Painting we have you covered for every step of your project. Come visit, or contact us today and tell us about your dreams for your home!

Water Heater Repair, What Can Go Wrong?

It is understandable that people want to save money by tackling seemingly minor household maintenance themselves rather than hiring someone else to do it. When it comes to your water heater, however, that can lead to problems. Sometimes, very expensive problems.

Water Heater Repair, What Can Go Wrong?

Your water heater needs periodic service to remove sediment build up. Depending on your home’s water quality, this might need attention every one or two years. This build-up affects the efficiency and output of the appliance, as well as the life expectancy of the tank liner. The more build up in your heater, the harder the heater has to work to maintain temperature, and the quicker the lining deteriorates as that build up reacts with the storage tank itself.

The process of dealing with this involves turning off the appliance, shutting off the water supply, draining and flushing out the tank, and refilling and turning everything back on. It is also an opportune time for replacing or servicing parts of the heater, including the electrical elements or gas burner, anode rod, dip tube, thermocouple/igniter, temperature/pressure relief valve, and checking for gas leaks.

Some of the problems that can occur include the following:

  •    Dysfunctional Water Shut-Off Valve
  •    Water Shut-Off Valve That Starts Leaking When Operated
  •    Clogged Drain Valve
  •    Drain Valve That Won’t Shut Off After Use
  •    Clogged Drain When Flushing Out the Heater
  •    Leaking Temperature/Pressure Relief Valve

These direct issues and other indirect problems arising from the interruption of the water and gas/power supply are things that most are not prepared to handle. These problems can lead to requiring emergency service, or potentially lead to water damage in the case of a leak or clog, particularly if your water heater is on a finished level. Hiring a service professional, who is equipped to handle these scenarios, not only makes it easy for you but may end up being less expensive than trying it yourself. Contact us!