Will My Drywall be Ruined by Water Damage

The question is asked all the time about whether flooding or water leaks will ruin the drywall in our home?  The short answer is yes, it will. Drywall water damage is quite a common result of leaking and flooding.

Drywall is called by several names. It may be called gypsum board because of the main ingredient, gypsum. It may also be called Sheetrock, which is actually a product name. Sheetrock was a product developed by the United States Gypsum Company in 1916. It was developed to be an efficient alternative to hand plastering after World War I, mainly because of the boom in the housing industry after the war.

Drywall is composed mainly of gypsum that has been manufactured into a powder form. Small bits of paper, cotton, fiberglass and other chemicals may be added to the powder to enhance its strength, facilitate manufacturing and add fire or mildew resistance. This powder mix is then turned into a slurry by mixing it with water. After the slurry has been applied to its paper backings and pressed into shape, it is cured in an oven. The drywall retains some water content for flexibility and a measure of fire resistance.

Once the drywall has become saturated with water, its composition begins to deteriorate, rendering it unusable. The interior begins to crumble and the drywall will literally fall apart. Additionally, the paper outer coverings will begin to mildew, promoting the growth of bacteria, mold and other health hazards.

The extent of the drywall water damage depends on how quickly the leak is discovered and repaired, along with the location of the damage. Water-damaged drywall cannot be repaired; it can only be replaced. If the damage is from a roof leak or flooding, all of the affected drywall will probably need to be replaced. The wooden framework to which it is attached is the load bearing structure, so drywall removal will not weaken the structure.

Plumbing leaks that are located close to the floor may only damage the bottom of the board; therefore, removal and replacement of just the damaged section may be possible after the leak is properly fixed. In any event, drywall water damage must be handled quickly to prevent air and surface contamination and the resulting health hazards that are possible.

Five Things to Consider When Hiring an Orlando Plumber

We would all like to have a worry free, no problems life without any major stress. Nevertheless, we all know that sometimes it is just not possible. Plumbing problems, like water leaks or drain clogs, will happen and somehow they happen at the most inconvenient time.

What do you do when a plumbing disaster strikes? Unless the problem is minor and you are a skilled do-it-yourself repair person, you call a plumber. The trick is to know just what to look for when contracting an Orlando plumber. Here are some things to consider.

Qualifications

Is the plumber qualified to make the necessary repairs? Most major plumbing repair jobs require a licensed plumber unless done by the homeowner. The plumber must be familiar with current codes and have taken the necessary training to perform repairs properly and safely.

Customer Consideration

You should find out, from referrals, if the customer and his or her property are treated properly. What kind of a mess will they leave and are they careful around your property? Along with a license, a good plumber will be insured so that accidental damage will be handled. Additionally, the customer should be treated with respect and kept informed of all developments.

Preparedness

While not every event can be planned for, a service technician who constantly runs back to the shop or to the hardware store is not a professional. The service truck should be stocked with an adequate supply of materials to handle most jobs.

Honesty

This should be a given, but it is not always the case. Again, referrals and research will give clues to the company’s honesty and integrity. There are two things to look for here. The first is an upfront, firm quote. While unforeseen circumstances can happen, the plumber should be able to give a good estimate and stick to it. Deviance’s should be explained to and approved by the client. The second item is a good warranty. If the company is unable to give a warranty on the work done, find someone who can.

Helpfulness

While this may not be a requirement for quality, the best Orlando plumber will offer tips on how to prevent service calls. Those plumbers may never be called back for that clogged dishwasher drain, but you will remember their helpfulness and call them for future needs. We’d love it if you’d give us a call the next time you need an Orlando plumber. You can reach us at Total Plumbing Orlando by calling 407-435-9807.

Help! I Need Flood Repair

Flooding in your home is not something that should be taken lightly. There are many problems, even dangers, that result from house flooding; therefore, flood repair and restoration should be performed immediately. Most homeowners are not equipped to do a safe and effective restoration.

While some equipment can be rented, there is more to major restoration than just renting a vacuum. The process involved can be complicated and should be left to professionals.

Flooding can come from several situations. Obviously, traumatic weather events play a big part in flood situations. Floods from natural causes can linger for days, even weeks. Therefore, they should be handled as soon as possible and the restoration should be done effectively and carefully. Not only is property damage a concern, but there are health issues as well.

Some of these health concerns pose potentially life-threatening problems. Others can affect the quality of life for the victims involved. The one-two punch of health concerns and property damage make flood repair a vitally important task.

Water damage and its associated dangers also come about from plumbing problems, such as leaky piping or leaking equipment. This includes refrigerators, icemakers, dishwashers, washing machines and air-conditioning units. That is why it is important to handle piping leaks or leaking equipment quickly and properly.

Unrepaired leaks cause water saturation of wooden frame structures, masonry, drywall and other building materials. Not only will this weaken these structural members, but also the dampness of the materials promotes the growth of various strains of mold and mildew. These mold strains can affect the health of the occupants through physical contact and through inhalation of airborne contaminants.

Clogged drainage pipes cause the overflow of sewage materials and should be repaired and decontaminated quickly to prevent the spread of disease. The diseases spread by raw, untreated sewage are especially dangerous for the elderly and for young children. Their immune systems may be depressed or not fully developed, allowing the various diseases easy access. People who suffer from chronic respiratory illness are also at risk.

Another source of water damage is damaged roofing. Water that enters the home through the roof is often undetected until mold, mildew, bacteria and parasites have already taken hold. These areas must be treated effectively and promptly to remove health threats. It is often necessary to remove and replace attic insulation to completely remove all mold infestation.

The area must also be sanitized and disinfected to insure complete removal. Molds come in a myriad of strains, many with possibly deadly consequences. Some molds will affect the physical health and cause both acute, immediate symptoms, as well as chronic, long-term health problems. Other strains affect the nervous system of the victim and cause mental problems and illnesses, often related to learning disabilities and brain function.

As can be seen from the above, flood repair and water damage restoration is not limited to water extraction. That is why sucking up the water with a shop vacuum is not always the end of the story. If the flooding or leakage has been extensive or has been undetected for an extended period, a qualified and certified water and flood restoration company should be contacted.

The consumer should check the credentials of the restoration contractor and make sure the company is truly qualified to handle all aspects of the process, both physical and biological. Total Plumbing Orlando is fully credentialed, licensed and insured. Call us at 407-435-9807 with questions or if you need help with flood repair.

Plumbing Leaks May Mean It’s Time for Repiping

Polybutylene piping can be the cause of plumbing leaks in your Orlando home. Polybutylene pipe was once touted as the pipe of the future because it was easy to install and the cost of the material was inexpensive compared to other materials. However, it has been found that this “miracle” plumbing material has turned out to be more of a nightmare than a pleasant dream.

Why So Many Plumbing Leaks?

Many homes during the time period from 1978 to 1995 were plumbed with polybutylene piping and fixtures. Today, many of these homes suffer from plumbing leaks. It was used both for underground mains and for interior water distribution systems. Most commonly found in the “Sun Belt” region of the United States, this material was also used as a substituted for copper plumbing in the North Pacific states and the Mid-Atlantic region.

Chemical reactions between the chemicals in the piping composition and the water makeup itself can cause weakening of the piping structure. This often results in plumbing leaks when the flaking off of interior piping walls and eventual weakening of the pipe structure begins. While a pinch test can sometimes indicate a weakening of the polybutylene structure, it is no guarantee that problems will be caught before multiple plumbing leaks result in plumbing failure.

Many homeowners have come home from vacations and business trips, only to find that their home has suffered plumbing leaks and has been flooded by failed plumbing, with property damage often ranging in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

How To Avoid Plumbing Leaks And The Damage They Cause

Because there may very well be no indication of imminent failure, it is important for Florida homeowners to have this piping replaced before they have plumbing leaks in your Orlando home. The telltale signs of problems, such as rusty, corroded fittings will not be seen unless some of the fittings used in the installation are of the more conventional material. Having a qualified, professional plumber is the only sure way to tell if and when your plumbing is about to fail.

Got a Leak? Plumbing Re-piping Might Be Necessary

One thing that every homeowner dreads is leaky water pipes. Leaking pipes can force the water utility bill to skyrocket. Unfortunately, many leaks are not even discovered until the hefty bill arrives because they may be hidden underground or in the house slab.

While the individual leaks can be repaired as they happen, multiple leaks or a series of leaks during a short time period may indicate that a complete potable water plumbing repiping may be in order.

Many leaks are the result of the aging of the piping. Older homes, most built before 1970, are particularly susceptible to aging pipe problems. These homes were very likely built with galvanized iron piping. Iron piping is easily corroded and oxidation attacks the iron, causing rust.

Galvanized iron pipes have been coated with zinc to prevent rusting. Actually, the nature of the zinc is to sacrifice itself and take on the corrosive chemicals. Eventually the coating will be completely removed, exposing the iron pipe and allowing it to rust. Time, the corrosive properties of the water and environmental conditions all contribute to zinc depletion.

Potable water plumbing is more of an issue that non-pressurized piping, such as drains and overflows. Potable water pluming leaks are best remedied by a complete plumbing repiping , replacing aging pipes with a new installation. The piping can be re-plumbed with materials that are manufactured using newer technologies, such as PVC and CPVC.

Even copper piping can fall victim to leakage caused by internal pitting and corrosion. While the process may take longer, it is often harder to discover as much of the damage will be internal, out of sight. Corrosion seen on the outside of the piping and away from joints could be an indicator that failure from internal damage is imminent.

Plumbing repiping should be done as soon as possible to prevent catastrophic failure. Always use a licensed Florida Contractor to do projects like this – Total Plumbing Orlando is fully licensed and has top ratings from Ask The Seal.com, Angie’s List and the BBB. You can reach us at 407-435-9807 seven days a week.

How to Properly Load a Dishwasher

We all load our dishwashers, perhaps more than once a day, but we usually just shove the dishes into the machine as quickly as possible. Rarely does one stop to analyze the best way to load a dishwasher. But we at Total Plumbing Orlando suggest there is a method behind the madness, and by implementing these strategies, you could discover a better dish washing experience.

Of course, when loading your dishwasher, you want water to be able to reach all surfaces of the dishes. To accomplish this, space the dishes apart and make sure they all face the center of the dishwasher. The top and bottom racks of the dishwasher often exert different amounts of water pressure, so make sure that you pay careful attention to what you place on each rack.

Place smaller items such as glasses, small bowls and utensils on the top shelf. Place plates and larger bowls on the bottom shelf. Plastic items should be placed on the top shelf whenever possible to minimize the risk of it melting.

Glasses should be loaded with the open end down. Also, make sure to place glasses between the tines of the rack instead of on top of the tines. This will allow the glass to lean slightly and achieve a better wash. Make sure that large dishes won’t get in the way of water and detergent reaching smaller items.

When it comes to flatware, make sure that you don’t load the flatware in a way that encourages it to nest. A good strategy to prevent nesting is to load some of the flatware with stems up and some of the flatware with stems down. For safety’s sake, you should always load knives with their handles (not the blade) facing up.

For more tips on dishwasher efficiency, be sure to ask Total Plumbing Orlando as we have plenty of experience in kitchen sink plumbing.

When Should You Replace Your Old Dishwasher?

How do you know when it’s time to replace your aging dishwasher? The simple answer is to replace it when it completely stops working, but that can leave you in a tight bind. A dead dishwasher is particularly inconvenient when you are hosting a family reunion, or if you are the lucky one hosting Easter dinner for thirty people.

Most Orlando plumbers like Total Plumbing Orlando are ready to install your new dishwasher as soon as you know it’s time. Don’t wait for your existing one to fail completely and leave you in the lurch. Watch for warning signs, and get it replaced before it completely fails. Below are three tell-tale signs that now is the time to call us at (407) 435-9807 to replace your dishwasher.

Consider the Age

Dishwashers produced before 1994 are notorious for being energy hogs. According to the United States government Energy Star standards, these older dishwashers use 8 more gallons of water for every single load of dishes, as well as more electricity. Even if your dishwasher is still functioning, if you’ve had it since the early 90’s (or even longer) it is probably a good time to replace it.

Tired of Pre-Rinsing

A big warning sign that your dishwasher is on its way out is when it simply isn’t getting the dishes as clean. Think back to when you first got your existing machine. If you never had to pre-rinse the dishes, and now you have to wash everything before it goes in, that is an indicator that your dishwasher is having serious issues. An Orlando plumber like Total Plumbing Orlando can hook up the new one for you, so a quick rinse is all you need before you put them in your dishwasher to be cleaned and sanitized.

Standing Water in the Bottom

Once in a while a cycle can be disturbed and you might open the dishwasher to standing water in the basin. However, this should only happen once in a while. More importantly, resuming the cycle should see that water drain out completely. If you are finding standing water in the bottom of the machine, start shopping around for a new dishwasher.

Whatever dishwasher you choose as a replacement, it’s important that you contact a qualified Orlando plumber to install it. Installing a dishwasher is not as simple a job as the guys at the home improvement store would lead you to believe.

A simple mistake made during the installation can leave you with serious water damage from leaking connections. Don’t take any chances with your home. Once you know it’s time for a new dishwasher, contact Total Plumbing Orlando at (407) 435-9807 to take care of the installation for you.

How To Buy A Kitchen Sink Drain Kit

A kitchen sink plumbing job that is very common is to replace the sink drain. This requires the homeowner to purchase a kitchen sink drain kit.

When buying a kitchen sink drain kit for your kitchen sink plumbing job, keep in mind that almost all of the hardware you’ll need is included. Sink drain kits generally include all the pipes, washers, and fittings needed to complete an installation.

Where To Buy Your Kitchen Sink Drain Kit

Drain kits can be purchased in nearly all hardware and home improvement stores, but simple kits can also be found in large department stores like Wal-Mart and Target. Remember that kitchen sink drains and traps need to be 1 1/2″ in diameter. The smaller 1 1/4″ diameter pipes are usually reserved for bathroom sinks.

Kitchen sink drain kits are usually equipped for a double-bowl installation. Some bathroom sink kits are as well, but most bathroom sinks are single bowl installations. If your drain line goes into a main wall branch, you’ll need a kit with a P-trap.

A P-trap holds some water in the trap to keep sewer gases from coming up through the sink and into the home. If your water drain line is in the floor, you’ll want to purchase a drain kit with an S- or U- trap instead, and make sure that the overflow drain is also clear and up to code.

Chromed brass or PVC with slip fittings are the most common installation materials for a kitchen sink drain kit. These allow the average do-it-yourselfer to easily uninstall and reinstall pipes in the event of a clog. The wall thickness for drain pipes varies as well.

Remember that while thinner walled pipes are less expensive, it is much more difficult to obtain an adequate seal. Again, because bathroom sink drains are generally lower capacity, a thinner walled pipe is acceptable for these installations.

What’s Included in A Kitchen Sink Drain Kit

Also, a kitchen sink drain kit will usually include slip joints. Simply put, slip joints help provide the strongest possible seal at pipe and drain connections. A male threaded nut is screwed onto a female fitting, and a rubber or nylon gasket is compressed between the two to form a water-tight seal.

A spud wrench may also be necessary in order to form a tight seal when tightening the strainer to the underside of the sink bowl. A layer of plumber’s putty should be applied to the strainer flange before tightening in order to provide a proper seal.

If this type of kitchen sink plumbing job sounds difficult or is just not your idea of how to invest your time, reach out for us at Total Plumbing Orlando at (407) 435-9807. We’ll get the job done quickly and with no hassle.

House Re-piping is Common For Florida Homes

There are several indicators that your home may need to have the water piping replaced. House repiping is fairly common for Florida homes, especially if they were built before 1970.

Houses built during that time were commonly plumbed with galvanized iron pipe. Galvanized pipe is iron pipe that has been coated with zinc to prevent corrosion. Zinc is actually a “sacrificial” coating, meaning that it attaches to the oxidizing chemicals in the water and “sacrifices” itself to keep the iron pipe from rusting.

Will Your Florida Home Will Require House Re-piping?

Unfortunately, this also means that the protective zinc coating will eventually completely dissolve. When the coating is depleted, the iron pipe has no protection against rust and corrosion. Eventually the piping will corrode to the point of failure which triggers your need for house repiping.

Some of the indicators that the piping has or is about to fail are:
• A rusty or discolored tint to the water, indicating that rust is combining with the water
• Low water pressure, easily seen at faucets showers and laundry equipment, indicating that rust and corrosion is restricting water flow in the piping
• Leaky pipes, especially at the joints, indicating that there is a thinning of the metal at the joints, perhaps even pinholes or larger breaks leading to a need to choose house repiping instead of another repair.

Reasons Why Florida Homes Require House Repiping

Additionally, Florida has a rather unique problem, that of copper pipe corrosion. There are several possible contributing factors to copper pipe corrosion and the resulting pinhole leaks. Improper installation with the use of excessive amounts of corrosive flux, a low PH factor of the water, and improperly sized piping for the water flow can all contribute to pinhole leaks in the piping.

Pinhole leaks cannot always be detected easily, especially if located in the house slab. Undetected leaks can contribute to property damage and the growth of highly toxic black mold.

While leaks can be repaired as found, advanced corrosion should be remedied by a complete house repiping. All of the potable water piping in the home should be replaced. The cost of a complete house repiping will more than offset the price of continual repairs and damage abatement.

Kitchen Sink Plumbing 201: Install a Faucet With a Sprayer

It is common in kitchen sink plumbing for sinks to have a sprayer, either attached to it or as part of a sink. This article will show you how to install this specific type of faucet. If you have any questions throughout the process, feel free to contact Total Plumbing Orlando to speak to a professional.

Materials You’ll Need For This Kitchen Sink Plumbing Job:

  • Silicone/Caulk
  • Plumber’s Putty
  • Pliers or Basin Wrench
  • Supply Tubes
  • Coupling Nut

Before you start your kitchen sink plumbing project: you should have already removed your old faucet and cleaned the area where you want to put the new one. Also, if your new faucet has a different amount of holes than the previous one, you should either create new ones or cover the old ones up before installing.

Instructions For This Kitchen Sink Plumbing Project:

  • Ensure that your work environment is clean and free of clutter. Lay down towels in the work area in case of leaks or drips.
  • Add caulking to the bottom ring of the faucet. Make sure the ring is quite thick so that it will stick to the counter/sink when you lower it.
  • Insert the tailpieces into the underside, one on each side.
  • Lower the faucet onto the sink deck. Press down lightly, alternating from side to side to ensure it is level with the sink deck.
  • Add a washer and mounting nut to each tailpiece. Hand-tighten with your fingers first, then with your basin wrench. Your faucet should now be attached securely to the sink deck.

Note: You’ll want to wipe up any extra silicone that is peeking out from underneath the faucet before it dries; otherwise, it is difficult to remove.

  • Now it is time to connect the tailpieces to the supply tubes. Add a coupling nut to the tube and tighten it. It is important to make sure that you don’t tighten the nut too much.

To add the sprayer:

  • Add some plumber’s putty to the bottom part of the sprayer base. This will make the base stick and ensure that no leaks or drips will come out of the base area. Just like above, you’ll insert the tailpiece and thread it through the sink deck.
  • Thread a friction washer and a coupling nut onto the tailpiece. Hand-tighten the nut, then tighten with your basin wrench.
  • Attach the sprayer hose to the hose nipple on the bottom of the faucet. Tighten with your basin wrench. Note: only give the nut a ¼ turn with the basin wrench to make sure you don’t over-tighten.

Your faucet is now successfully installed! Now it is time to test it and make sure there are no leaks.

Final Step of Your Kitchen Sink Plumbing Project: Test the Faucet:

  • Turn the water supply back on. It should be located underneath the sink.
  • Remove the aerator from the tip of the spigot and turn the water on. Let it run for a few minutes. If you don’t see any drips, then your project has been finished successfully!

Do you have questions about this kitchen sink plumbing project? Need help completing your upgrades? Call us today at (407) 435-9807.  The professionals at Total Plumbing Orlando are available 24/7 to handle emergencies and get you the help you need!