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How to get emergency plumbing services

Water bursting through corroded pipe along seam

What is considered a plumbing emergency?

When you turn on the shower every morning, you expect water to flow from the showerhead and disappear down the drain. When you flush the toilet, you expect water to wash the waste until it disappears. This has become natural for us, and when these things don’t happen as expected, sometimes it requires emergency plumbing service, or do they?

Plumbers say are the most common emergency plumbing issues they get phone calls for are the following:

  • Busted Water Pipes
  • Frozen Pipes
  • Leaking Fixtures
  • Clogged Drains and Toilets
  • Gas leaks          

Is a water leak an emergency?

Some people would say it depends on the size of the leak, but a plumber will tell you that if you can see water leaking, it needs attention, and the sooner the better. The first thing you should do as the homeowner is to turn the water off at the water main, which is something that you should locate as soon as you move into your house just for this reason.  Don’t wait until you have a need for emergency plumbing service to find it and know how to access it. 

Sometimes, a leak doesn’t seem bad enough for emergency plumbing service, does that mean it isn’t a real emergency?  Like a leak that doesn’t appear too bad, a small leak. Even though it may not seem to be a leak that requires you scrambling to get emergency plumbing service, it is still a leaking problem that should be dealt with as quickly as possible. 

Even the smallest of leaks, dripping under a sink from a drainpipe, water stain on the ceiling or walls, can be a bigger issue in the near future that will require emergency plumbing service. Because you can put something under to catch the drip, it doesn’t mean it’s “fixed”. You’ve simply applied a bandaid, and the problem will only get bigger and that drip or small leak is your warning sign to get ready for an emergency plumbing fixtures or pipe repairs.          

Can clogged pipes cause leaks?

Yes, emergency plumbing and drain call that plumbers get are from a clogged drain that caused back up in the pipes, then overflowed. Water always seeks the path of least resistance, meaning it will go through cracks in caulking, around pipe threads, and eventually end up in places you least expect or need them. So, a clogged upstairs bathtub drain could end up on your dining room table.

Maybe the bathtub drain was slowly draining for a while, a warning sign that you may have not noticed or thought you’d address later. Now that it has busted through the pipe or overflowed onto the floor and found its way to the dining room below, you have an emergency plumbing service need that will cost you a lot more money and time than if you had addressed it earlier.         

How long does it take for a plumber to fix a leak?

Well, that can depend on the leak. Factors that affect the time to fix a leak is where is the leak? If it is under the house that is pier and beam, it could only take a couple of hours. However, if the leak is under the house on a concrete slab, it could take two to three days, maybe longer. Or if the leak is underground in the yard, that can take a few days.
Those hidden leaks in slabs and underground have to be found first. Then there will be jackhammering of the slab or trenching the ground. Fortunately, most plumbers have a camera system that allows them to make a small hole in the foundation or ground and push the camera through until they find the leak. Then they know exactly where the leak is and what they need to fix the leak.

Water damaged wall torn out to expose plumbing issue

Do plumbers fix water damage? 

Emergency plumbing services may or may not include repairing damage caused by the leak. It is decided by the plumber to what extent they will go with making repairs. If the interior of your home has sustained water damage, in addition to dealing with the water leak too, it can be overwhelming. 

Depending on how much water has built up, you may need to have it professionally extracted so that mildew and mold don’t get started. It is imperative to address this issue right away and get the drywall, flooring, furniture, and other damaged items dried out, repaired, or replaced. 

Nobody wants to experience the need for emergency plumbing service, and we tend to put these things out of our mind, not wanting to jinx ourselves.  The best thing any homeowner can do is find services like an electrician and plumber to have on speed dial, so when these things happen, you’re one step in getting things fixed.  Do you need emergency plumbing service in Virginia Beach, VA? Call Neblett Construction at 757-633-9949 today!

How Do I Test the Air in My Home?

Plant in a home with quality air

Breathe easier with quality air

When you think about pollutants, you probably think about the air outside or perhaps the ground and water being polluted. Most people do, rarely do we think about indoor air quality, but we should. Indoor air quality is just as critical to our health, especially when we consider the pollutants that are found inside.

The good news about indoor air quality, we can do something about it that is immediately beneficial, whereas the outdoor air quality needs help from the rest of the world. What is indoor air quality? This refers to the air quality is in and around your home or office and how it affects the comfort and health of those inside.

Once you understand the importance of indoor air quality and what you can do for controlling the common pollutants, you can reduce the risks concerns to your health. What may not be affecting your health could show up later.  Health consequences from indoor air pollutants may be experienced soon after exposure or, possibly, years later.

What are the symptoms of bad air quality in the home?

Some immediate effects of bad indoor air quality on your health are indicated by irritation of your eyes, nose, and throat.  You may suffer from dizziness, fatigue, and headaches. These are typically short term and can be treated with over-the-counter medications or by eliminating the source causing these things.  It is common for asthma or other similar type diseases to develop after long-term exposure to certain indoor air pollutants, such as cigarette smoke.

What are the 4 major indoor air pollutants?

There are several things that cause and create indoor air pollution, with the primary ones being the released gases or other particles and inadequate ventilation. It may seem odd that not having adequate amounts of outdoor air, where a lot of air pollution exists, can be harmful to indoor air quality, but that is the truth.  The outdoor air around your home is less pollutant than the air inside your home.

The following are the 4 main sources of indoor air pollutants:

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Central heating/cooling, humidification devices
  • Household cleaning products

Other sources for indoor air pollution include:

  • New flooring, upholstery
  • Building materials
  • Asbestos
  • Deteriorated insulation
  • Certain pressed wood products
  • Excess moisture

How do you test indoor air quality?

Some say that the air inside our homes has 5 times the pollution than outside. While this may seem impossible, you can perform indoor air quality testing with any of the following methods:

Indoor Air Quality

This is an electronic device that monitors your home’s indoor air quality consistently and provides reports on the pollution levels inside your house. It checks for chemical pollution, humidity, and particulate matter. There are models that also check for carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde levels, and temperature. You can purchase them anywhere from $50 and upward.

Carbon Monoxide

We know carbon monoxide as a silent killer because it is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless. If you’re exposed to it long enough and with large amounts, it is deadly It is a fuel byproduct that comes from gas appliances in the home, like your clothes dryer, cook stove, or gas furnace. If you have any of these appliances in your home, pick up a carbon monoxide alarm at your local big box home improvement store. They are typically around $10 and should be placed with ten feet of each bedroom.

Mold

Mold is one of the most common household pollutants affecting indoor air quality in your home. Every home has had mold at some point, even it was the forgotten last bagel or a piece of bread. Fortunately, if found early on, mold can be dealt with easily, like throwing away that last bagel. The mold that is less obvious is more difficult. If you suspect you have a mold issue, especially black mold, calling in a professional for mold testing is recommended.

Any big box home improvement or hardware store sells home mold test kits, and they are inexpensive. The standard mold test contains a petri dish and a substance that creates mold growth. You place this dish with the substance in your home and after a stated time, put a lid on the dish, and incubates. Every manufacturer will have their own guidelines and follow their instructions exactly to get the best reading. If the dish contents mold grows, then your home has mold. 

Radon Test

Another colorless, odorless, and tasteless killer undetectable without a detection device. Radon won’t asphyxiate you but has long-term danger like lung cancer. It enters through any cracks in your home through the floor, foundation, pipe openings, and walls from natural uranium deposits breaking down in the soil.

How much does an indoor air quality test cost? 

The types of indoor air quality tests and the size of your home will determine what type of indoor air quality test unit you need, but the typical cost a homeowner spends is less than $300. If you choose to go with a professional unit, you could spend as much as $500 and up.         

clean air filter

How can I improve indoor air quality?

Seven things you can do today that will improve your home’s indoor air quality:

  • Change or clean the HVAC filter
  • Change or clean other air filters in your home
  • Have the air ducts professionally cleaned
  • Clean the cooling vents
  • Have carpets, drapes, and rugs professionally cleaned
  • Purchase and home humidifier
  • Keep fresh plants in the house

For a healthy home, it is important to know how to indoor air quality improvements, as we have discussed in this piece. If you aren’t sure where the problems are within your home, or if you even have a problem, there are professionals that will evaluate and test your home. They will then provide you a report on their findings and make suggestions accordingly. For indoor air quality in Virginia Beach, VA, call 757-633-9949 today!

What is the best home siding material?

close up siding

Time for new siding?

A home with siding can look wonderful, or it can look old and worn. Sometimes, home siding cleaning with a power wash can bring it back to life, sometimes it needs painting. Then other times, siding replacement, more expensive, but is the best option. 

If you like the appearance of your current wood siding looks, you can upgrade with a siding replacement with a home siding that looks like wood but is longer lasting. Today’s home siding benefits are various and will give you a bigger ROI than the old school siding that you may have now. 

What is siding on a house?

To enhance a home’s curb appeal and increase the value, home siding replacement is one of the top choices among homeowners.  Over the years, there have been a variety of siding materials, good ideas, and “what were we thinking?” ideas too. Still, there are a few that have come along and stayed. Asbestos siding has gone by the side and vinyl siding has replaced fiberglass and hardboard composite. Then there is a new kid on the block – fiber cement siding. 

Of the sidings are on the market today, the four most popular are: 

  • Fiber Cement Siding
  • Metal Siding (Aluminum or Steel)
  • Vinyl Siding
  • Wood Siding

Is siding waterproof?

Because it has an overlapping profile with a standard interlocking system, there is a misbelief that vinyl siding is waterproof. It is not waterproof, but the horizontal pattern that vinyl replacement siding panels are installed, they shed nearly all the water away, which provides some water resistance. 

Believe no sales pitch that your vinyl siding is impervious to exterior moisture because it is not. There are some brands of siding replacement panels that have “weep holes” manufactured at the bottom of every projection edge. These small outlets important to help channel water away so it is less likely of finding its way to the inside of the siding wall through the panel seams or around a door, fixtures, moldings, and windows.

The weep holes also provide an infiltration of air that dries out the inner surface to promote evaporation of any moisture that makes its way in. Contractors will use a house wrap or insulation board as a secondary defense against moisture that can penetrate the siding and contact the sheathing.

Does siding increase home value?

Vinyl siding made the scene on American homes the late 1950s and into the early 60s. It was quick to knock aluminum siding off its reigning high seat. Then, we fell out of love with vinyl as it began to crack, sag creating a bad reputation.

That was then, this is today: A better-manufactured vinyl siding thanks to modern manufacturing techniques. It is an exceptionally high-performing, versatile material today, just what homeowners have wanted all along.

We’ve mentioned in this piece earlier how siding replacement adds value significantly to a home’s value, regardless if you choose fiber cement, foam-backed vinyl, or fiber cement. If siding replacement is something you’ve been considering for your home, don’t overlook these other benefits that today’s vinyl siding offers. 

1. Cost Are Less Overall: Vinyl siding is a cost-effective upgrade for a home, making it the most popular choice for homeowners. Professional contractors charge anywhere from $2,000 to $9,000 to install vinyl siding replacement on 1,200 square feet in most areas of the country. A DIY vinyl installation will cost you around $1,000 less. While these numbers vary from city to city, state to state, the savings to DIY aren’t worth knowing the job was done right and will come with a guarantee and warranty if you were to have problems.

2. Incredibly Versatile: The vinyl available today comes in a wide choice of colors, profiles, and textures. Every home on the block can have vinyl siding replacement installed at the same time, and none of them would like identical. You can choose a vinyl siding replacement that looks like cedar shakes or choose a Victorian scallop style or go with an inexpensive vinyl option for a tight budget. Go with a horizontal or a vertical application, create a look that is yours.

3. Durable and Maintenance Free: Vinyl siding today can withstand the elements better than the siding replacement of yesterday. From hailstorms to heavy winds, vinyl siding is resistant to moisture and pests, so it won’t corrode or rot. Most vinyl siding replacement will come with a lifetime warranty with a 40 year prorate for successive owners. That durability is almost maintenance-free. The original qualities of vinyl siding for years to come, giving you the best ROI possible. No longer will you need to paint again, and an annual simple cleaning is enough to maintain the look you paid for. 

5. Cut Energy Costs: Insulated vinyl siding replacement can prevent the heat from escaping through the wall studs, even insulated walls studs, the technical term is “thermal bridging”.  Insulated vinyl siding replacement will add a layer of protection over the wall studs. This keeps your home warmer during the winter and cooler during the summer, putting less strain on your HVAC system. Another benefit you can look forward to is energy tax credits, another way of offsetting the cost.

What is the cheapest siding to put on a house?

Cost of siding replacement can vary from region to region, but typically the least expensive is metal siding, which includes aluminum siding and wood siding would be next. Vinyl would come in last in the order of least expensive. 

New blue siding

What can I use instead of siding?

Technically, you can put anything on the exterior of your home if it is allowed by local and regional building codes or property owners’ association. If standard siding replacement isn’t for you, other materials to be considered would be brick, glass, stone or stucco.

As you are considering which exterior option you want, consider the costs and durability, and the aesthetics and energy efficiency. Each of these things will determine not only the installation costs but the maintenance costs down the road. 

Your home is your biggest investment, it is only normal to want to get the best you can afford for siding replacement. Get several quotes on different options and consider all the pros and cons before making a final decision, remembering that you’ll have this for years to come. Dial 757-633-9949 when it is time for your new siding installation in Virginia Beach, VA.

Why My Furnace is Not Working?

A Gas Furnace Open for Repair Service.

Why my furnace is not working?

When it turns cold, the last thing you want to happen is to discover your furnace is not working. If your furnace is not working, it could mean you need furnace repair or it may need to be replaced. There are several reasons why your furnace may not be working.

If you have a gas furnace, it’s possible the pilot light is off. This could be a simple fix: the pilot light just needs to be lighted. If that doesn’t do the trick, or the pilot light won’t stay lit, it could mean the pilot orifice is clogged or the thermocouple is loose or faulty.

Similarly, on an electric furnace, make sure your thermostat is switch over to heat. If your heater doesn’t switch on then, you could have a tripped circuit breaker or blown fuse. You may also wonder, “Can a bad thermostat cause furnace to not work?” The simple answer is, “Yes.” Problems with the thermostat are often the cause of heater problems. This is usually a result of faulty or aging wiring, so the wiring needs to be checked out.

Another common problem is a dirty filter. Dirty filters can cause your heater to blow cool air or not work at all. Changing your filter or having it cleaned regularly will ensure the heater is running properly. 

General aging and wear and tear may cause problems with your furnace as well. Worn out belts or fan motors, worn out ball bearings or cracked heat exchangers or other malfunctioning or faulty parts could lead to your need furnace repair or even replacement.

If you’re having trouble getting your furnace to heat up, and want expert furnace repair in Virginia Beach, VA, count on the professionals at Neblett Construction. To schedule service, give us a call at 757-633-9949.

What happens if you run your furnace without a filter?

While you can run your furnace without a filter for a day without much harm, running it continually without a filter can harm your furnace and ruin your indoor air quality. The filter helps manage airflow into the system and filters out contaminants like dust, pollen, and other harmful particles. Without a filter, these contaminants can eventually damage major components like the blower motor and evaporator coils, which could lead to the furnace breaking down and requiring furnace repair or even needing to be replaced sooner than normal.

Running the furnace without a filter will also sooner than later drastically diminish your indoor air quality. The dust and debris and other particles will get into your air and ventilation ducts, clogging the ductwork and preventing quality airflow. The dust will also be pushed back out through your vents and into your home. This could lead to health problems. 

If you are having problems with your ductwork, you may want to check your attic for damaged ducts. Poor insulation or damage to your roof can also affect airflow, ventilation, and energy usage in your home. If you have roof damage and need asphalt shingle repair in Virginia Beach, VA, you have plenty of reliable residential roofing options.

What do you do when your furnace goes out?

If your furnace goes out or doesn’t heat up, there’s no immediate need to panic. Often some simple checks can get it running again. The first place to look is the thermostat itself. It may be set on cool instead of heat, so it just needs to be switch over. You may also want to set it up to five degrees higher than room temperature to see if it will kick on the furnace. You’ll also want to check the wiring to see if it is loose or faulty.

If your filter is dirty, it can block airflow and even cause the system to shut down. Clean or change the filter regularly. You may also want to check your air ducts, especially if you’re getting heat in some rooms but not others. Make sure the dampers are completely open, and the air ducts themselves aren’t leaking.

If you have a gas furnace, check to see if the gas valve is turned on and the pilot light is on. If you’ve had recent furnace repair, check to see if the blower motor panel is closed all the way. If it is open even slightly, the unit will not turn on. This is a safety feature of the system.

Should these tests fail, your best option is to call professionals like those at Neblett Construction for furnace repair. You can reach out to schedule an appointment with us by calling 757-633-9949.

Furnace repair vs replace

While occasional furnace repair may be necessary, frequent repairs are one reason you might choose to replace your furnace rather than just continuing to repair it. When considering furnace repair vs. replacement, you’ll want to stay alert to these signs:

  • If it’s 16 to 20 years old or older, it’s time to replace the furnace. Furnaces rarely last longer than 20 years or so.
  • A furnace that’s less than 12 years old will probably just need repairs. Check with a professional who can recommend repairs or replacement.
  • If your energy bills are going up in the winter, your furnace may be the culprit. As furnaces age and wear out, they use more energy to run.
  • When you begin to repair the furnace frequently, you’re probably better off replacing it. Furnace repairs tend to occur more often in the last two years of the furnace’s life.
  • If you are noticing you’re having to adjust your thermostat frequently or finding some rooms that are too cold while others are too hot, your furnace isn’t distributing warm air properly in your home and needs to be replaced.
  • Both gas and electric furnaces as they age can begin to produce carbon monoxide, which can be dangerous to your health. If your furnace is producing carbon monoxide, it needs to be replaced.
  • Strange noises like banging or popping or squealing, are signs your furnace has major problems and you should consider replacing it.

What is the average cost of furnace repair?

On average, the median cost of a furnace repair is about $300. Much of the cost of the repair will depend on what is being repaired, if you have parts still under warranty, and if you have to pay service fees or labor costs. The size and age of the furnace will also be factored into the cost of the repair.

Furnace repair for low income

While furnace repair can be costly, if you are low income you may qualify for assistance through the federal government. The Heating Repair and Replacement grant provides assistance for repairs for those with low or moderate incomes. To find out if you qualify, you can check with your local Department of Social Services, Housing and Human Services or a community action organization. 

A Technician Cleans Out a Furnace.

Furnace repair near me

If you are wondering who to call for furnace repair in Virginia Beach, VA, you need to look no further than Neblett Construction. We’ll provide you with exceptional service every time. Give us a call today at 757-633-9949 to schedule a service appointment.

What Does Your Kitchen Renovation Look Like?

Kitchen Renovation in Cream and Black Tones

Kitchen Renovation Ideas

Your kitchen is your pathway to a realm of savory delights. Home-cooked dinners and family gatherings all take place in the kitchen. Have you looked at your kitchen recently and discovered it lacking in efficiency or taste? There are many kitchen renovation ideas that can transform your kitchen into a place where you can truly cook to your heart’s content. These kitchen ideas include gorgeous counter tops, unique back splashes and even kitchen islands where you can prep and stage different varieties of food.

What Does It Take to Add a Kitchen Island?

At the focal point of the kitchen space, a kitchen island can add incredible function and aesthetics. There are many types of kitchen islands, thus it will be important to make some strong, certain decisions that you can your contractor can agree on. Your local general contractor will be able to inform you whether your kitchen island can be installed based upon your specified budget. If you would like to add a gas hook-up, for example, that will impact costs. Please make sure to draw up some blueprints concerning where storage will be located, where food prep areas will be located, and your appliances. The more planning you do beforehand, the better and more specific the outcome of your kitchen island 

How to Select a Backsplash

Your back splash can create a huge impact in your kitchen. Nestled between your cabinetry and your appliances, a pop of color can truly create a resonant effect. Consider the make and composition of your appliances. Are they white? Black? Or stainless steel? These will impact your eventual back splash decision. If you are going for a more muted effect, shades of beige, white or another neutral can create an undercurrent of elegance. Depending on the color palette of your kitchen, you can truly create a sparkling effect.

Opening Up and Updating Your Kitchen to Suit Your Needs

There are some realistic ways you can update your kitchen without going to the expense of a large renovation. For example, switching out the hardware of your kitchen can not only create more efficiency, but it can also stylize your kitchen. Adding some under cabinet lighting increases the amount of light you have in your food-prep areas. Have you been looking at a new dishwasher? Splurging on a new appliance can increase your happiness and translate into some real value.

Countertop Flair

While aesthetics are certainly important, when it comes to your kitchen counter tops, the most important factor is how durable they are and how they are going to stand up to food prep. Food prep includes stains, spills, contact with knives, heavy kitchen appliances, and bacteria. Not every counter top on the market will stand such treatment in the same way. That’s why it’s important to measure your enthusiasm for the look of your new counter tops with enthusiasm for their strength.

Upgrading Your Appliances

Upgrading your appliances is a good idea, considering the expense is in your budget, and you do research on the most reliable brands for your kitchen usage. According to many home improvement sources, upgrading your refrigerator should be your first option. Among all the kitchen appliances, the refrigerator is the greatest energy hog. Replacing a refrigerator from the ’80s with an Energy Star model will save $100 per year on your energy bill while replacing a ’70’s model with an Energy Star model will save $200 per year. Refrigerators with the freezer located on top are the most energy-efficient models of all. Home remodeling projects often include some new appliance purchases.

Small Kitchen Renovation Ideas

When it comes to renovating a small kitchen, creativity is key, as space is at a premium. In one small kitchen example, a homeowner was able to transform a U-shaped kitchen with a bar into an open concept kitchen with a small kitchen island. The orientation of the space was improved, as was the mobility of the cook. Another example of a successful small kitchen renovation was with a simple changing of the layout and reorganization of the space. In a small kitchen, the homeowner should ponder, “what do I really need?” and then write up a list and blueprints based upon those basic needs. 

Cream tones for Kitchen Renovation

Can I Switch My Electric Stove to a Gas-Range?

Gas stoves are far more efficient in terms of energy. They are also vastly preferred by chefs and cooking aficionados. If you would like to switch your electric stove to a gas-range, it is entirely possible. Gas stoves require both gas and electricity to work, thus it will be important to select a contractor who is skilled at converting such stoves. A reputable contractor will be able to size up the current size of the pipes, assess the current gas usage and figure out the best way to drop in a line.

If you need a kitchen renovation in Virginia Beach, VA, you need a company that consistently delivers proven results. Call Neblett Construction at 757-633-9949 to speak with our staff about making an appointment today!