Repair or Replace?

faucetFrustrated by a leaky bathroom faucet?

You have two easy options, either repair it or replace it. Both options are simple enough to do yourself; follow the steps below and stop that annoying drip once and for all!

To Repair: (slightly easier than replacing)

  • First, you need to determine the source of your leak; is it coming from the tap or the handle?
  • A leak from the tap means you need a new Washer, a leak from the handle means you need a new O-ring.
  • Next, turn off the water using the valves located under your sink and then drain the faucet by turning it on and allowing any remaining water to drain out.
  • Place a towel in your sink to avoid any damage or scratches to the bowl while you make the repair.
  • Now remove the decorative handles and the screw underneath; then remove the lug nut using a wrench, turning it counterclockwise.
  • Take out the “stem” and replace the Washer or O-ring with an exact match purchased at your local hardware store.
  • Put all parts back in the way they came out.

To Replace:

  • If you are not replacing the entire vanity top, be sure to select a new fixture that is the same configuration as your current faucet; either a single-hole, all-in-one fixture or a center-set faucet with decorative handles set the standard 4” apart. If your wash bowl sits on top of the vanity, faucets that attach to the wall are an option or even a goose-neck style will work (will be more difficult to replace).
  • Turn off the water supply at the valves under the sink. Loosen the supply tubes at the hot and cold valves. Use a basin wrench to loosen and remove the nut at the faucet stem. Remove the nut holding the faucet to the sink, and remove the faucet.
  • Remove the nut above the P-trap (curved piece of pipe under your sink), and loosen the nut attached to the P-trap. Remove the P-trap. Remove the pop-up lever from the drain. Loosen the lock nut holding the drain to the sink. Unscrew the drain and the drain flange (usually metal, visible in the bottom of the sink bowl).
  • Place paste or plumber’s tape on the faucet stems. If your faucet has a rubber gasket, install it on the base of the faucet before inserting the faucet stems in the appropriate holes in the sink. If your faucet doesn’t include a gasket, run a line of caulk under the faucet before installing it to prevent leaks.
  • Secure the nuts holding the faucet to the sink. Tighten the nuts by hand then give them another quarter-turn with a wrench. Connect the water supply tubes to the faucet stems. Apply more paste to the shutoff valve threads, and tighten the coupling nuts to the faucet-supply stems. Do not over tighten.
  • Apply caulk or paste to the underside of the drain flange and press it into the drain hole. Place the lock nut on the drain housing, followed by the metal washer and the gasket. Screw the drain housing tightly to the flange.
  • Drop the pop-up drain into place, keeping the hole for the control pin toward the rear of the sink. Place the bail lever in the side hole of the drain assembly so the control pin fits through the appropriate hole in the pop-up drain.
  • Set the drain rod into the hole in the faucet, and attach the connecting link to the faucet rod by tightening the attached screw. Make sure the pop-up is up and the drain rod is down, then attach the bail lever to the connection link, using the V-clip. The pop-up should go down when the lever is pulled up.
  • Replace the p-trap and turn water supply valves back on. Clean the supply tubes by removing the aerator from the faucet and turning on the water. While the water is running, check for leaks. Shut the water off after you’re certain there are no leaks and replace the aerator.

You can do this project in about 2 hours and save yourself the expense of
hiring a professional plumber, it’s that easy! Good luck!

Repair or Replace?

Ongoing Winter Home Maintenance

The holidays will come and go but we still have a few more months of winter to endure. Here are some tips for keeping your home in tip-top shape during the weather.

January 2013 IOV - Ecard

These simple steps could help you navigate the next few months without home repair headaches!

Ongoing Winter Home Maintenance

Be a Savvy Home Buyer

When searching for a home, you will find some things you can live with, but others should raise a red flag! Read on to discover the pitfalls you’ll want to avoid and which ones you can fix!

Some Red Flags 

 Asbestos – Asbestos has been proven to pose serious health risks. Check attics and around plumbing for asbestos insulation. Be sure to opt for a home inspection when looking at older homes if the insulation looks worn or is disintegrating.

 Plumbing and Wiring – Amateur plumbing could cost big bucks if you have to rip out pipes and replace floors or walls because of leaks! This is also true for novice electrical work. Non-professional wiring can lead to shorts and cause sparks and fires. Look for exposed wiring in the basement and S-traps under the sinks; these are sure signs of shoddy workmanship!

 Buried Oil Tank – Removal of an old tank can be very expensive! If left intact, you run the risk of an environmental issue; the clean-up and repairs from this could easily cost upwards of $40,000! Since this is a hidden pitfall, be sure to ask the home seller and check all details of the home’s listing information.

 Water damage –Water damage found on basement walls could indicate poor drainage around the home and result in having to hire expensive experts to dig, repair, and re-grade! Water spots found in high corners could be a sign of a leaky roof or pipe damage. Check out this blog post on dealing with water damage in a flooded basement.

 Shaky foundation – Take notice of uneven floors, crooked chimneys, cracks in the bricks, or even doors and windows that stick. These can all be signs of a structural issue with the home’s foundation. Serious structural issues could cost thousands of dollars if you need to repair!

 Pests – Hard to spot on your own, you’ll want to hire an inspector to check the home thoroughly before buying! Wood-destroying insects (termites, carpenter ants, etc.) could cost you thousands, if undetected and untreated!

Problems you can fix: 

 Old Roof – Old does not necessarily mean bad, just make sure you start saving $ right away so you are prepared to replace in the future.

 Ugly carpet or wallpaper – Not deal breakers! Can easily be replaced, as long as they are not being used to disguise a bigger problem!

 Electric appliances – If you prefer gas, you can replace them and have a propane tank installed or the gas company run a line to your home.

 No Central A/C – Window units can be used until you decide to spend the money to have a system installed.

Being a smart home buyer can make
your biggest purchase, your best purchase!

Be a Savvy Home Buyer

What to do When Your Basement Floods?!?

We hope you and your families are safe after the passing of Hurricane Sandy! 
Should you find yourself with a flooded basement, the clean-up can be a daunting task. Read on to learn how you can start the clean-up and repairs…

Things you will need:

  • Electric Pump
  • Spray Bottle
  • Bleach
  • Industrial Size Fan

1) Contact your Insurance Co. – First and foremost, contact your insurance company immediately to find out what your specific policy covers and what the requirements for filing a claim, cleaning up, etc. might be!

2) Fix the source – If POSSIBLE you need to stop the flooding as quickly as possible to reduce the amount of damage.  If the culprit is a broken pipe, shut off the main water valve immediately.  If the water source is Mother Nature, unfortunately you may need to wait for the flood waters to recede.

3) Remove the water – It is important to get the water out of the basement as quickly as possible.  Some homeowners may be aware that their basement is prone to flooding and already have a sump pump in place.  If this is a new problem for you, you will want to look into getting a sump pump asap!  Many hardware stores will rent them or perhaps you have a friend/neighbor who can lend you a pump.  Make sure it is powerful enough for the task at hand and that the hose is long enough to drain the water far away from your home.  A last resort would be a wet-dry shop vac, but be prepared for a time-consuming, back-breaking job!  Another good idea, if the weather permits, is to open windows in your basement.  This will help get some moisture out of the air in your basement.

4) Remove your belongings – Once the majority of water has been controlled and removed, get your belongings to drier ground and begin the process of drying them and salvaging what you can.  Spread everything out in a dry area.  All toys and similar objects should be dried and then washed with a bleach solution to get rid of bacteria.

5) Pull up carpets and discard – Carpets and padding unfortunately do not usually survive water damage!  They are the perfect soggy source for the growth of mold and bacteria.  It is best to destroy and replace them.

6) Disinfect – Not only will your possessions need cleaned, but any surface in the basement that can be cleaned SHOULD be cleaned!  All walls and the floor should be washed with a weak bleach solution and rinsed with warm water.  You can use the spray bottle for easy application of the cleaner.

7) Dry, dry, dry – Once all belongings, carpets, etc… have been removed, and everything has been disinfected……continue with the drying process!  You want to make sure EVERYTHING is COMPETELY dry!  Some hardware stores will have industrial-sized fans you can rent.  Place at least one in the doorway and/or window and point it out of the basement to suck the moisture out.  Another option is to turn up the heat, keeping the windows open to allow moisture to escape.  However, if the heating system has been damaged by the water…….contact a professional to look at it before you try to turn it on!  A dehumidifier can also be used, but if you choose this option you will want to close the windows.  Keep an eye on the holding container it will need to be emptied frequently until all moisture is absorbed.

Once DRY, you can begin to replace the flooring and put your possessions back where they belong.  Whew…….quite a task!!  Hopefully this is one you won’t have to perform too many times!!

Take a look at the services that Homesale VIP Services has to offer

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Worried about your home appliances? Maybe consider a Home Warranty.

What to do When Your Basement Floods?!?