5 Simple Ways to Deal With Foul Plumbing Odors

You already know how awful plumbing odors can be if you've ever had to deal with them. They are not just a nuisance; they may also be a symptom of a more serious problem. Bad odors might affect your family's health if they are not handled.

Don't fret. There are easy ways to deal with foul plumbing odors. You can get rid of foul odors for good by taking some simple steps. Keep reading to learn some easy ways to deal with foul plumbing odors!

What Causes Foul Plumbing Odors

Foul odors coming from your plumbing can be a sign of a serious problem. If you're dealing with this issue, don't panic! There are easy ways to deal with foul plumbing odors.

Clogs and germs that produce odors are the most frequent causes of drains that smell bad. Even worse, the stinky clogs are the ideal environment for microorganisms producing the odors. Like a tangled ouroboros of stink, the two main causes of sewer odor feed one another. However, blockages and bacteria aren't the only things to blame for drains that smell bad. Other well-known causes of drain stink include:

Sewage

As sewage breaks down, poisonous gases and vapors are released. These gases have an offensive sewage-like odor. When drain traps are empty, sewer gases may seep through your drains. Sewer odors typically appear in drains that aren't utilized frequently.

Mold and Mildew

The presence of mold or mildew close to your drains is the primary cause of mold and mildew odors. Drains typically smell like mold and mildew when there is a leak in the gutter or pipes connecting to it.

An error by the Plumber

Like everyone else, plumbers could be better. They err from time to time. Severe drain odors can be caused by small mistakes, such as failing to install drain traps or sewage outlets. It can be mitigated by having regular plumbing system checks. We could not emphasize enough the importance of HVAC inspection.

Simple Solution to Eliminate Foul Odors

The initial step to solving the problem is to figure out where the odor is coming from. Is it coming from your drains? Or is it coming from your water heater? When you have an idea of the source of the problem, you can take steps to fix it.

If the odor comes from your drains, it could be due to a buildup of hair, soap scum, or grease. You can use a natural drain cleaner or a plunger to clear the obstruction to fix this issue.

If the odor comes from your water heater, it could be due to a buildup of minerals in the water. You can flush your water heater to remove the minerals to fix this problem.

No matter the source, there are easy ways to deal with foul plumbing odors. With a little investigation and a few simple steps, you can eliminate the foul odors in your home.

Here are some simple DIY solutions to eliminate the nasty plumbing odors:

#1. Pour some bleach

Like other disinfectants, bleach eliminates practically all of the odor-causing bacterial species that are typically found in drains and sewage pipes. So, using bleach is a simple do-it-yourself method to reduce drain stink. Fill the sink with hot water, then add a cup of bleach to clean the drain. After that, let the bleach and sink drain. Continue until the smell is gone.

#2. Pour boiling water

Pouring boiling water down the smelly drain is another simple do-it-yourself method for reducing drain odors. If you use boiling water, be cautious and pour a small amount at a time. Continue doing this until your drains no longer smell.

#3. Sprinkle some baking soda

You may get rid of bad odors by occasionally pouring baking soda down the drain. Did you know that? It is also a great technique to keep the smell out of your drains. Instead of allowing the scent to permeate your home, baking soda left to sit in the drain will completely absorb and eliminate it.

When should baking soda be sprinkled? It can be done immediately following dishwashing at least once each week. Pouring some baking soda into the sink before you leave is a good idea if you're going on vacation.

#4. Pour hot vinegar

Do you have any prior knowledge of the use of hot vinegar? Most of us are aware of using white vinegar to combat unpleasant odors, but what about hot vinegar? Using hot vinegar to keep your drains clean is a terrific idea. It works wonders to clean your coffee maker.

Put water and white vinegar in the water pot of your coffeemaker in equal amounts, and then let it brew for half the time before shutting it off. Complete the brew cycle after an hour. Pour that hot vinegar down the drain instead of throwing it away to eliminate the stale smell coming from your drains. You can mix vinegar and baking soda for even more odor-suppressing effectiveness!

#5. Pour some mineral oil

First and foremost, refrain from pouring mineral oil down your home's foul drains. That can lead to a clog. On the other hand, mineral oil acts as a significant protective layer between your nose and the sewage vapors that can escape from unused drains. Therefore, if a relatively new drain in your house has started to smell, consider pouring a little mineral liquid down the drain to see if it solves the issue.

Bonus Tip: Preventing Smells from the Garbage Disposal

The garbage disposal starts to smell when food is allowed to sit in the pipes. After using the garbage disposal in the sink, run hot water for 30 seconds to rinse the unit. It will significantly reduce the occurrence of foul garbage disposal odor.

Spend some time cleaning your garbage disposal to avoid problems later. Pour some dish soap and hot water into your disposal, plug it with the stopper, and run the disposal for a brief period for milder cleaning. Next, take out the stopper and clean the flaps at the bottom.

Adding salt and ice to your disposal is another excellent way to keep it clean and prevent odors. Running your disposal with these two aids in breaking up and removing filth, buildup, and food residue from your system, as they are abrasive.

Final Word of Advice

Consider calling a professional to check your system and schedule a drain cleaning service if the smell from your drains doesn't go away despite regular cleaning and preventive maintenance. They'll get your property functioning (and smelling) at its best, using everything from expert drain snaking to more intensive drain cleaning techniques like hydro jetting.

About the author

Shelby Bartz is the new Content Editor of Precision Air & Plumbing, a full-service HVAC, plumbing and home performance contractor operating in Chandler, Arizona. Shelby is a devoted bookworm but when she isn’t reading, you’ll find her cruising around town with her beloved ginger husky, Maxxy.

Common Causes of Clogged Drains and How You to Avoid Them

Clogs are among the most common plumbing issues and are often the reason why people have to call a local plumber. Whether they happen in the kitchen sink, bathtub, or toilet, clogged drains can be a significant disruption to daily life. What may seem like a minor plumbing issue can damage your pipes and even cause server sewage backups If you ignore them long enough.

Plumbing clogs are usually caused by what we send down our drains and, in most cases, poor plumbing maintenance. Many homeowners nowadays forego complete plumbing tune-ups to cut back on household expenses, only to find themselves dealing with costly plumbing issues down the road.

To avoid this unnecessary inconvenience in your home, you need to be aware of what causes them in the first place. 

Here are the common causes of clogged drains at home:

1.     Hair

Hair is a major contributor to clogged drains. Prevent them from going down your drain by adding drain guards to your shower drains. And don’t forget to clean them regularly.

2.     Food Waste

Food scraps are another thing that should never go down the drain, even when there’s a garbage disposal in your sink. Instead of dumping leftover food in the trash, why not create a composting pile instead? It’ll be good for your drains and the environment.

3.     Dirt

We often make the mistake of washing away everything in our sinks, thinking drains and pipes are there to wash away everything. However, this simply isn’t true. Excess dirt can build up and clog your drains and block your pipes, especially if they mix with hair and other greasy substances.

4.     Mineral Deposits

Hard water is notorious for accumulating insoluble mineral deposits, which can clog drains and reduce water flow. Sometimes, using a water softener is enough to restore water flow. If not, you’ll have to call a professional plumber to descale your pipes.

5.     Soap

 It's difficult to believe that soap can also cause pipe blockages. But unfortunately, it's true. Soaps are made of minerals and fats, which can build up over time. This is called soap scum or soap residue. When soap scum combines with hair and mineral deposits, they can result in severely clogged drains.

6.     Foreign Objects

 Anyone who has children has probably had a toy or other stray item dropped down a toilet or bathtub drain. Even if an object is small enough to fit down a drain, it is probably still big enough to get stuck in a pipe's u-bend. These objects can obstruct the flow of water and cause a serious clog.

7.     Tree Roots

 Tree roots can grow in the smallest cracks or leaks in your underground pipes. Once inside your pipes, tree roots can quickly grow in size, obstructing water flow and causing pipe damage. Removing tree roots can be a complicated process that may necessitate using a rooter, pressure jet cleaning, trenchless repair, or even excavation.  

Prevention is Key

Most drain clogs form over time, so if you discover one of your drains is draining slower than it used to, it’s a good indication that a clog is forming. Call your trusted plumbing service company immediately and have your drains checked.

With so many possible reasons behind drain clogging, the best way to fix them is to keep them from getting clogged in the first place. In the infographic below, you’ll find useful tips and tricks to avoid clogged drains.

About the author

Shelby Bartz is the new Content Editor of Precision Air & Plumbing, a full-service HVAC, plumbing and home performance contractor operating in Chandler, Arizona. Shelby is a devoted bookworm but when she isn’t reading, you’ll find her cruising around town with her beloved ginger husky, Maxxy.

A Guide to Hiring the Best Mechanical Maintenance Company for Your Building

HVAC systems are one of the most expensive investments in our buildings. We do everything we can to ensure they run efficiently and properly. Even though it may be easy to check the thermostat and change the filters, we still require professional, reliable HVAC/heating and plumbing experts to do installations and perform routine maintenance.

Choosing the best mechanical contractors can be a hassle for property owners and property managers alike. If you're unsure of how to hire the best heating and air, plumbing company, you're not alone. So many people are not sure how to go about identifying, comparing, evaluating, and working with mechanical maintenance companies and HVAC companies. Here's where Hank’s Plumbing comes in.

HPG is an experienced, 50+ year-old, commercial plumbing and gas fitting company offering mechanical services for property managers, building owners, condo boards, strata companies, etc. in the Calgary area.

There are various companies offering maintenance services for your HVAC and plumbing needs. Your responsibility as a consumer is to look for the best mechanical maintenance company you can find in Calgary. Sometimes it isn't easy for you to figure out the exact problem you are facing. So for the sake of your peace of mind, here are some of the things you need to consider when choosing the best mechanical maintenance company for your building:

  1. Experience

Property managers know that compromising on the quality of a building's components can mean huge long-term risks. Therefore, choosing the best mechanical maintenance company has a lot to think about. Being in the industry for quite a while sometimes does not make a company the best nor does it make it the worst. Experience is indeed the best teacher, but training is what separates the ordinary companies from the extra-ordinary ones.

Mechanical maintenance is a matter of precision and that comes with having a great track record even after working in the industry for years. It is wise to always keep a check on the qualifications of the technicians as they know how to deal with different complicated cases compared to new companies. This might end up saving you a lot of trouble.

The slightest miscalculations can negate performance, reliability and efficiency. To avoid costly problems, working with an experienced company that has served the community for several years is a great bargain. Besides, companies with solid reputations have highly experienced technicians who understand how to handle tasks that involve modern and outdated equipment.

Also, experienced company contractors never use improper replacement supplies to simplify repair tasks. They use the best components that are tailored for certain functions so that mechanical problems won’t develop in future. Building owners and property managers understand what it means to provide their customers with exceptional HVAC maintenance services. All these can be provided with experienced companies

2. Industry Certification

The company license is a critical factor to consider before choosing your mechanical maintenance company. The most successful air conditioner businesses serve locals by establishing trust. In the HVAC industry, trust is mainly gained after technicians obtain certain certifications. Typically, HVAC companies that are recognized by property managers and condo boards are trusted in many neighbourhoods.

Reputable companies have dependable technicians who meet industry standards. These specialists maintain trust by incorporating proper procedures to ensure professional results throughout HVAC projects.

It is the duty of property managers to ensure the safety of residents is upheld. Therefore, important certifications should also be put into consideration.

3. References and Referrals

A reputable company that has successfully served building owners will have many referrals and be talked about in condo boards. Even though they might seem challenging to track, there are ways to notice them efficiently.

You can ask for references or even call them up. You can ask if jobs were completed on time and within the allocated budget. Ask whether the company performed clean installations and took care of the building owner's property.

Determine if the company tested the system after it was installed to ensure maximum efficiency. Make an effort of going online to check complaints or ratings, but also considering that some reviews could be fake.

4. Quality of Customer Service

As a client, you have the right to be guaranteed high-quality service and expect your HVAC contractors to deliver results as promised. Always choose the company that offers the best service, even if they may have higher prices than other options. Efficiency is essential and prices can be justified by the exceptional quality of service and results.

5. Personalised Maintenance Services

Property managers should ensure their tenants always remain happy and avoid costly emergency repairs. To have your condominium building regularly maintained, building owners deserve a maintenance program tailored to the construction as agreed by the condo board.

Every building is unique, therefore, a company that provides customized mechanical maintenance programs suitable to the needs and budget of the condo boards. Before executing a maintenance program, it has to perform a site inspection of their equipment and discuss their requirements and concerns. Having a customized routine maintenance plan for your HVAC system will assist in keeping the HVAC system at optimum performance all year round.

6. Building Evaluation

Before having any HVAC systems installed, potential contractors should provide a thorough evaluation to determine the best components and solution. Once one has an evaluation, the prospective contractor should provide a written, itemized estimate so as to compare costs, warranties and energy efficiency in the proposals.

7. Reliability

A good contractor should always be able to explain the problem on the spot without causing too much confusion with unnecessary information. When they use too much technical jargon, it proves that they are not honest about it.

8. Resources

Avoid any mechanical maintenance company without adequate resources to work. Resources may include a reliable team of sub-contractors at its disposal, advanced and cutting-edge components, and adequate staff for larger projects.

9. Environmentally-Friendly

Nowadays, we are going back to basics by providing sustainable, environmentally-friendly services. A mechanical contractor who cares about the environment should contribute to energy and water conservation.

Conclusion

All you need is the best contractor for the job. HPG is the one-stop solution for all your plumbing and HVAC needs, committed to providing their clients with the best possible services available.

Heating and cooling systems that have been poorly installed in your commercial property can have a huge impact on the residents' comfort and your finances.

When not maintained, even the best heating and cooling system can cost you by wasting energy. Some of the maintenance tasks are performed by property owners, but most should be performed by professionals, especially in strata and commercial properties. You will need an HVAC contractor if your system is at the end of its useful life.

Peace of mind is your bottom line!

PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE

Preventive maintenance is the best way to keep your building running smoothly and efficiently. If you take care of these important machines, they'll last much longer than if we had relied on reactive measures like fixing when something breaks or needs replacing after an accident happens - this can cause more expensive repairs down road!

Preventative maintenance is important for looking after your building's mechanical equipment. When performing Preventive Maintenance, you can save money in the long run by preventing costly repairs or replacements from happening when they're still under warranty!

I’ve seen buildings with broken boilers, lacking in heat or air conditioning. It can be really uncomfortable and unsafe for employees if they don't have the right equipment to stay comfortable during their work day!

But what about preventing these problems before it gets too bad? Preventive maintenance will help you keep up on things that regularly need attention like replaced filters (which are usually cheaper than reactive ones), greasing joints where water introduced through faulty connections could lead damage farther along an already failing system  In addition this also helps reduce downtime by catching issues early instead of waiting until there is major catastrophe at least partly due because preventative measures were not taken

If you're looking for a way to cut down on costly repairs, then it's time that we taught your building systems some preventive maintenance. By taking care of these important machines early in their lifecycle - before any problems arise- than can lead not only lower costs but also increased efficiency and safety!

Reducing the cost of maintaining buildings is beneficial to everyone, but it can be difficult without proper knowledge on how. Preventative maintenance will help you avoid costly repairs down the road while reactive measures are taken when something goes wrong already - which may not give optimal results because there could have been potential problems beforehand that went unnoticed due carelessness or lack thereof by staff members who should've done their job better!

Feeling the Pressure?

Here's How to Identify if You Have Too Much Water Pressure

Have you ever noticed how every shower in the world is slightly different? When you’re on vacation or staying in a hotel, the shower just feels different. Maybe the place has more minerals in their water, or they have a seemingly endless hot water tank, or maybe the water pressure is fantastic and you’ll miss it when it comes time to check out. 

Yet, there’s nothing quite like the familiar feeling of YOUR shower; the right temperature, the perfect flow. What’s not to love? And while some people may love the idea of having more water pressure (Who doesn’t love a power-wash exfoliation?), having too much water pressure can, in fact, be a bad thing. 

Put it to you this way: Every gasket has its limit. Sooner or later, she’s gonna blow… 

The water coming from your municipal connection at a rate of anywhere from 50-100 PSI (pounds per square inch). Most residential homes typically have 45-80 PSI coming into their homes. Commercial and large residential buildings might have a larger connection to handle more capacity.

Here’s the thing: Most residential appliances and fixtures are designed to handle maybe 30-40 PSI.  Washing machines, kitchen taps, the icemaker - 35 PSI on average. While most fixtures are fine between 40-60 PSI, anything above 80 can cause some issues …

Season 6 Water Bursting The Barrel GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

And here comes the mess. Not only does persistent high water pressure wreak havoc on the endpoints of your plumbing system, it can also stress any of your building’s pipes. Before long, you’re rushing around trying to turn off the primary water connection to the building, so you don’t have to file an insurance claim. Fortunately, most buildings are equipped with a water pressure regulator to keep plumbing hijinks to a minimum.

The regulator uses a diaphragm mechanism to reduce the flow of water as it comes into the building off a municipal source. Many modern regulators can automatically adjust the inbound PSI to your house to a set level no matter the pressure coming off the connection. Many regulators can also be manually set and adjusted by a valve. 

Noisy pipes. 

Clanging, rattling, or just noises pipes shouldn’t be making (which is any noise at all). These clanging noises mean water isn’t moving through your pipes evenly, meaning they are banging against your pipes and causing them to rattle. 

Appliances that are on the fritz. 

Washing machines or dishwashers, especially the ones in your tenant’s units, might already take a lot of abuse. But if tenants are frequently calling for repairs or complaining about how loudly the machines operate, you may be dealing with too much water pressure. These machines are working overtime to manage the task at hand while also working with too much water. 

No Hot Water. 

If your tenants complain about the water running cold too soon (and they will FOR SURE let you know quickly), the issue might not be isolated to your boiler. High water pressure means water is flowing through the system faster than usual. There is just as much hot water as there always was, but most of it is flying down the drain.

Outrageous water bills. 

More pressure means water is flowing through faster, which means you may end up paying the price.

When it comes to high water pressure flowing through your building, you can’t afford not to act on it. Checking to make sure your inbound PSI is within working levels is just one of the many ways we work with building owners and managers to ensure their systems are running optimally so you save time, money, and headaches.

Give us a call today and find out how we can make your building’s mechanics work efficiently.

The Real Reason We've Stayed In Business for Over 50 Years

Why do you do what you do?

When was the last time you really thought about it? We know a lot of owners who love the prospect of an investment property. There are building managers who like working with their hands and solving problems.

Under it all, what is your core reason for doing what you do?

Ownership is, in part, a business: money in, money out. The rents and mortgages are consistent from one month to the next while expenses can fluctuate. There is always the possibility of having major, costly repairs or upgrades to your building's maintenance systems show up unexpectedly. Not only do the books need balancing, but the building needs to be in good shape to maintain and even increase its value.

The problems in poorly maintained buildings tend to worsen exponentially because of one crucial variable: your tenants—the people behind the doors and the names on the mailboxes. Without them, your collection of units are lifeless.

The truth is: focusing on the welfare of the people around you will always bring the long-term results you are after.

We are in business to make sure your tenants are comfortable. When they are comfortable, they stay longer and have an emotional investment in the building. Your tenants are what transforms your business. We're in business for them, which is why we are eager to deliver the best service to building owners and managers. The team at Hank's Plumbing follow a few main ideas to help keep us accountable to the communities we serve.

Preserving Your Reserves

We work on quite a few condo buildings throughout the Calgary area, and we know all about the reserve fund. Funded by Home Owner Association fees, the reserve fund is on hand to cover emergency expenses - like a late-night visit from your plumber. Emergency callouts usually means something expensive happened. With each preventative maintenance consult we do, we show you all the ways you can save money by removing the surprises and preparing for the future. The goal is to drain your sink, not your reserves.

Convenience for the Customer

Building owners and managers are OUR customers, and your tenants are YOUR customer - and we aim to make both happy. This is why we have an extensive fleet of fully-stocked vehicles and stick to a rigorous timetable. When we arrive on time with the tools to do the job, everyone can go back to relaxing sooner.

A Community is Built On Integrity

When you tell a tenant something will be fixed "tomorrow," you have exactly that long to get the job done. Anything after tomorrow means you have lost their trust. Excuses don't get people anywhere, which is why we always give an honest and straightforward answer. From the repairs and upgrades your mechanical system might need to the inevitable discussion of price and service time, we are always going to be straightforward.

Honesty and integrity, all the way down the line - because that’s what everyone, especially your tenants deserve.
The team at Hank’s is dedicated to helping you maintain your building’s mechanical systems so you can best serve your tenants. Our preventative maintenance approach is a simple way to prevent surprises while planning for energy-saving upgrades in the future. Click here to schedule a visit from one of our certified professionals and see how Hank’s can help you.

A Community is Built On Integrity

When you tell a tenant something will be fixed "tomorrow," you have exactly that long to get the job done. Anything after tomorrow means you have lost their trust. Excuses don't get people anywhere, which is why we always give an honest and straightforward answer. From the repairs and upgrades your mechanical system might need to the inevitable discussion of price and service time, we are always going to be straightforward.
Honesty and integrity, all the way down the line - because that’s what everyone, especially your tenants deserve.
The team at Hank’s is dedicated to helping you maintain your building’s mechanical systems so you can best serve your tenants. Our preventative maintenance approach is a simple way to prevent surprises while planning for energy-saving upgrades in the future. Call us at 403-259-0049 to schedule a visit from one of our certified professionals and see how Hank’s can help you.

Customer Service? Everyday Kindness

There is something particular we look for in every technician we hire and work with at Hank’s Plumbing & Gasfitting. Of course, we’re always on the lookout for licensed and bonded professionals with the technical experience in plumbing and HVAC that our customers have come to expect over the past 50 years. But we also keep an eye out for those with an innate ability to serve customers.

There is that old saying: “You can teach everything but work ethic.” We think the same goes for customer service. Anyone can show up and complete a job, do it well, and meet the most basic needs of the request - but in all of our years of business, we know that it takes a certain kind of person to deliver the top-notch customer service that we need more of in this world.

Everyone loves the feel-good headline stories of someone going above and beyond: police officers who help out stranded motorists, classrooms of students who volunteer for library programs, or just one neighbor who is always looking out for another. These are all good stories when they come about, but we believe they should be everyday occurrences. The pros at Hank’s have kept customer service at the top of mind for so long it’s second nature to us. It all comes down to one question:

How does this look from the customer’s perspective?

In other words: empathy.

It’s more than just getting the job done; this is about solving a customer’s problem. This goes beyond getting the water, gas, or air to flow in the right direction. Solving a problem means ensuring the customer feels like their issues are heard so they feel satisfied.

This is why we make ourselves available for homeowner associations and condominium board meetings - so you and your tenants can feel heard.

This is why we make sure our trucks are stocked with the tools and parts necessary to do just about any repair on the spot.

This is why we do preventative maintenance checkups on every system we service - to resolve the problem you have now, while advising on ways to prevent issues in the future.

Customer service is as essential as everyday kindness. It is why we do what we do and why we’ve been active members in the Calgary community for over 50 years. Our customers love having us (and we love having them!) and we’re excited for you to discover the Hank’s difference.

Give us a call for your plumbing, heating, and gasfitting needs anytime, and the professionals at Hank’s will show you what customer service really means.

Is Your Building Primed For Winter Comfort?

There is that saying: “This building has good bones”? It generally means that even if the building looks like it is in disrepair, the structure underneath is rock solid and is worth building around. The thing is, you have to tear down a wall or two to get to see how good the bones really are.

Your tenants are probably only thinking about how your building looks on the surface. Turn a faucet, get water. Press a button, the heat turns on. But as the building owner, you’re always thinking bout the bones behind the walls and how they tend to be where expensive problems begin. 

With the onset of November and the briskness of winter closing in, we’re trading outside time for indoor comfort - which means building owners all over the Calgary area are thinking about their building’s heating systems.

But are you also thinking about how your plumbing is holding up? 

When it comes to cold-weather problems, you might envision the flooding caused by burst pipes. Ruined drywall, warped floors, and your tenant’s ruined furniture and property are just a few of the problems you might face with a major plumbing catastrophe - but even the smallest leaks can cause a big headache. 

Little Leaks, Big Damage.

It might start with the little leaks - a drippy shower head in apartment 3A, a toilet that is always running, the hot water connection for a kitchen sink - they might seem too small to worry about today, but most leaks tend to grow. 

Every owner dreads the day where they find water where it shouldn’t be. Roofs are secured against rain, and basements are sealed so nothing seeps through the walls come springtime. Still, water hast this nasty habit of finding a small opening and flowing wherever it wants. Once the leak starts, the damage isn’t far behind. How much damage? That’s all depends on how quickly you can get it fixed. 

It’s not just water damage you need to worry about. Warped finishes can be fixed, and the renter’s insurance can replace a ruined TV, but water leaks can often lead to something far more dangerous, like…

MOLD

Most of us are taught, rightly so, that mold can be dangerous stuff. When it shows up on a loaf of bread or groceries we forgot about in the back of the refrigerator; we know to toss it out. For the most part, mold spores occur naturally. They turn into a problem when they find a host surface that is the right mix of damp and dark. Or, they turn into delightful fungi that can be harvested and eaten (mushrooms, anyone?). 

When it is cold outside, we close our windows, turn on our furnaces, and spend more time indoors - ultimately increasing the risk of mold exposure. It might be a challenge keeping your entire building de-humidified, and every tenant has their preference for heat and comfort, so keeping the flow of water in check might be your best defense. 

Ultimately, you want to be on the lookout for black mold. When water gets to where it shouldn’t be, toxic black mold might show up and cause all sorts of respiratory issues and ultimately require expensive mitigation measures. Poorly ventilated bathrooms and laundry areas are breeding grounds for black mold. Fixing small leaks is your best defense against a big problem.

Your Tenants, On The Boil

After a chilly commute home, who doesn’t love to warm up with a hot bath or shower? Your building’s hot water heater takes on a whole new measure of importance in the colder months. Not only are boiler systems in residential and commercial buildings larger than what you might find in a home, but they are also often far more complicated to manage and troubleshoot issues.

Yet, they are the first thing your tenants will let you know about when it’s on the fritz. No one likes starting a cold morning with a cold shower! 

Having a properly working thermostat is a sure way to make sure your system is heating properly. Water still feeling lukewarm on the upper floors? It might be worth looking into some insulation for the hot water delivery. 

While the winter months may feel long and cold, there is still no reason you shouldn’t feel uncomfortable in our home. We know your home has great bones, and we’d like to keep them that way. There are always plumbing and heating issues that might be hiding behind your walls, but the pros at Hank’s Plumbing and Gasfitting know what it takes to keep your home happy and healthy.

Our business is built on preventative maintenance. With over 50 years of experience in the field, we know what to look for and where the problems tend to start and find ways to prevent them from happening.

We’d love to come by and give your building’s systems a checkup so you can have peace of mind and your tenants can rest comfortably this winter. From furnace maintenance and filter replacements to installing frost-proof spigots, we stop little problems from turning into big problems. 

All you have to do is give us a call today! 

HL: Plumbing and HVAC Changes From The Past 50 Years

We’ve seen it all, and we’re ready to see more. 

Archeologists have found evidence of the first plumbing system dating back more than six thousand years. The first hint of indoor heating systems came from the Ancient Romans, who would use channels under marble floor tiles to distribute heat from fireplaces. 

More modern ideas of plumbing and HVAC - at least as we know them - are only a few hundred years old - such as leaden pipes, water pressure, and boilers to deliver hot water to residents in large, complicated city centers. Or the large windows of Colonial-style houses, the technology of the ceiling fans from India, or using chimneys and flues to distribute heat upward through a home may all seem old-fashioned, but are still present in today’s homes. 

Point being: a lot can happen over thousands of years, but as technology develops, even more can happen in 50 years. 

Thirty years ago, we were amazed that someone could put a cell phone in a car. Today, we all seem to have a pocket-sized supercomputer that can do everything from check the weather, shoot 4K video, and turn on our home air conditioner while we’re at the office.

The changes have seemed two-sided when it comes to modern advances in your home or building’s plumbing and HVAC. As more fixtures are mass-produced and distributed worldwide, they have become cheaper. While it may seem good for the budget, it also means the quality has degraded some. Some water heaters used to endure the life of the home. Now, most gas-powered water heaters are lucky to survive 15 years before they need to be replaced.

On the upside, appliances and fixtures are far more efficient and user-friendly. Many toilets are now low-flow, using less water per flush. Newly constructed buildings are now being held to all new environmental standards, meaning they use less energy to heat and cool the interior spaces. Additionally, many countries are working on phasing out the HFC emissions that are common with air conditioners. As of 2019, Canada started enforcing policies to phase out the consumption and emission of HFCs - the coolant tied to climate change. 

In the last decade, smart devices and connected homes have become more commonplace. Large office and apartment buildings have long since relied on building automation to manage thermostats, lighting, and airflow. Now, at a smaller scale, you can use your phone to change everything from your thermostat settings, your water heater temperature, all the way down to which lights are on and what shades are open. All while keeping an eye on your energy use and - of course - the cost of next month’s utility bill.

Even with these tremendous changes, one thing remains the same from the last 50 years: how the team at Hank’s Plumbing & Gasfitting does business. Since 1971, we have been putting the needs of our customers first. Whether responding to plumbing emergencies, installing updated fixtures, or consulting on the best way to prevent costly repairs down the road, we’ve been in this business for our customers since day one.

And no matter what grand change comes over the horizon for the next 50 years, we’ll be here for that, too.