The Leaky Hot Water Tank. North Star Clean of Wisconsin.
What a mess! What are we going to do!
Have you ever said something like that? If you have experienced a leaky hot water tank… you probably have.
When it happened, hopefully it was in an unfinished basement and not in an area of the house that suffered severe damage.
Leaks can happen anytime there is contained water, in any pipe, hose, or appliance. For hot water heaters, you add the element of pressure and heat. A leak can quickly turn into a spray of water, and a bad flood.
To add insult to injury, when you discover a hot water tank is leaking or flooding your home and you turn off the water, chances are those remaining 50, 60, 70, 80 or more gallons are still going to come out to haunt you. Some water tanks are big. Good for multiple occupants in your home… bad for flooding.
Adding insult to injury, when your hot water tank fails, you not only have to clean up the mess, but now you don’t have… hot water. It’s a cold shower for everyone until you get it fixed.
Of course, if a leaking hot water tank ruins your day, it’s time to bring in the water damage professionals. But there are some steps you can take so this never (hopefully!) happens to you.
An aging issue
Like any appliance, the older it gets, the more likely it may have issues. Some experts say a tank should last between 8-12 years. How long have you had your tank? If much longer than that, you may be living on borrowed time! Replacement may be necessary.
You can keep an eye on things yourself. Once a month, look over your hot water tank, inspecting for evidence of water seepage. Often, this comes from underneath the tank. If any moisture is noticeable, call a plumber and get it fixed ASAP.
An annual inspection by a plumbing company is a good idea as well. These visits are not that expensive and can really save you in the long run.
Flush away troubles
When you don’t see it, you don’t think about it. But inside your water tank, sediment and residues are building up. These can cause all kinds of issues. You can flush out your tank by (after reducing the temperature, of course) attaching a garden hose to the connection at the bottom of the tank and removing all the gunk and goo down there. It will have to drain somewhere, which could be a challenge. Of course, if you don’t want to mess with this, have your plumber do it for you.
When the unthinkable happens, though, and you are facing inches (hopefully not feet!) of water to clean up, and damaged belongings in your home as well, it’s time to call your water damage experts. After all, it pays to call a pro!
Urine Odor Removal 101. North Star Clean of Wisconsin.
Phew! What is that smell?
You might have uttered those words a few times, and when it happens, it is often from pet urine in carpet or perhaps some clothing attacked by a baby or toddler.
When left untreated, many problems can arise, the most noticeable being by the nose.
With carpet and other surfaces in the home, one of the toughest chores in urine odor removal is the first one — finding the location of the odor. Following your sense of smell often helps, and keeping an eye on the offending pet(s) and tracking them to the source can also work. Professionals, like your favorite carpet cleaner, have special detection devices that locate exactly where urine contamination is located.
Then you must clean and treat the area. A small spotting machine with water and a small amount of detergent can remove what’s in the carpet pile, but there’s really no way to get deep down in the backing or pad where some of the urine might have penetrated. That’s something only the pros can do. But getting to a urine spot while still damp and using lots of blotting with disposable towels is a great urine removal 101 tip. Once it dries, it becomes much more challenging.
Remember this: If left untreated, especially if the pet continues its accident-prone activities, and urine builds up in carpet, it doesn’t really dry out. Urine crystalizes and a salt-like substance forms, which attracts moisture from the air. That’s why you notice urine odors in the summer more so than in the winter, because winter air is drier.
What about clothing?
If fresh, a normal laundering should suffice. You might want to wash separately from other garments. Wash with cold water if colorfastness is a concern, although hot water does clean better.
But occasionally, urine odors can persist in clothing because of the age of the contamination or other factors. When this happens, a pre-soak is necessary. Fill a sink or tub (or use a bucket if the item will fit) and fill it up with hot water. Add ¼ cup of white vinegar per gallon of water that you are using. Soak the clothes for two hours. The vinegar, being acidic, will counteract the aging urine salts that have built up.
Bottom line? Fresh urine contamination in carpet or clothing is easy to remove. Get to it quick. Blot the carpet, rinse with a spotting machine, but never apply products to the area because that can just make it worse. Don’t be tempted by those products on the shelf at your grocery store. For clothing, put it in the laundry right away.
But if odors persist and urine contamination and related odors are ruining your day, it’s time to get some help. Don’t delay — call your cleaning experts today. After all, it pays to call a pro!