Basement Water Damage

Basement Water Damage Woes

I was thinking about basements the other day, as I was driving to my next job. Almost every home in Pittsburgh has a basement, whether that be old or new! I can recall many, many homes having basement water damage over the years. It was especially when tropical storm Ivan came up from the gulf and “parked” itself over Pittsburgh for more than 24 hours back in 2004.

Although, when a storm like Ivan hits our area, there is really not much that you can do to avoid any on coming flooding. In a case when a big storm hits, I think you just have to wait it out, hopefully after you have moved your important “stuff” as much as possible out of harm’s way. But basement water damage can occur in any number of ways. You don’t have to have a big storm to have some flooding.

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What to do when you smell gas

What to do When You Smell Gas

In the Pittsburgh area, there are a ton of older homes. I’m talking about homes that are in the 60 to over a 100 year old age range! These homes in many cases were built close to the steel industry plants and mills of many years ago. This was before the big suburbia boom of the ‘50s and early ‘60s. It was common for folks to smell gas and other industrial odors. But it’s now 2018, and the city is becoming cleaner. The air is fresher and we are focusing on bringing less pollutants into the air. But with these older homes in Pittsburgh, we also have a lot of older gas lines coming into these homes underground.

As pipes age they may become cracked or damaged. And sometimes they can be disconnected by things like surrounding tree roots. As a result, the odorized natural gas that flows through them will begin seeping to the top of the ground. You may notice a strange or smelly odor in your yard, especially a rotten egg-like odor. This may turn the grass in certain areas of you yard brown. A leaking gas line underground can cause the grass and vegetation above to turn brown and die. Dry spots in moist areas or dead plants surrounded by live, green plants is a classic indication that it could be time to replace the gas line coming into your home. So what should you do when you smell gas?

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Hot Water Heater System

Choosing the Best Hot Water Heater System

When people find out I own my own plumbing and heating company, I’m often hit with a plethora of questions. Many of them refer to choosing the best hot water heater system. As you might guess, that will probably have a multi-faceted answer. I guess a better question to ask is what would be right for you? Many homeowners have different needs and wants. Some want hot water on demand. And some don’t mind waiting a minute or two (or three) for the water to get hot.

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ac service

Is It Time for Some AC Service?

This Pittsburgh Weather

It’s Pittsburgh in April! And as always here in Pittsburgh, it just doesn’t seem to be “typical”. For those of you out of town, about a week or so ago, it felt like summer was finally approaching. Then, over the last week, temperatures dropped and the snow returned. And now, we are happily sitting at around 65 degrees! I had a good friend tell me that his wife switched from using the furnace to using the AC in just one day! She then had to change it back again two days later! He told me he was glad that his AC was working properly as he hadn’t done any AC service since last fall.

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thing you need to know

Things You Need to Know Before Buying a Mini-Ductless AC or Heat Pump System

You Might Have Some Questions

I got to thinking the other day while headed to a scheduled appointment. What are the things you need to know before buying a mini-ductless system? What are the questions might people ask if they’ve never had one before? Installing these systems is a part of our business here at Proudfoot. For us, it’s somewhat commonplace to install and maintain these units. But for someone who has a gas furnace and a standard type coil/compressor AC system or has never dealt with this type of mini-ductless system before, it could be a little scary! But there’s no need to worry! 

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radiator disaster

Radiator Disaster: How and Why?

The Call

I just got a call from a long time customer of mine saying that the upper floors in her home were colder than normal. These folks have a radiator system for home heating as it is an older home here in the Pittsburgh area. Radiator systems can sometimes be “tricky” to figure out. A radiator disaster can occur when they are not operating as intended. A lot of homes in Pittsburgh have radiator heating. And I must admit, they are an efficient way of heating your home.

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Furnace Making Noise

Furnace Making Noise? What To Do…

The Call

I got a call from a perspective customer last week saying her furnace was just too loud! She wanted to know what to do to stop the furnace making noise. This problem may appear to be a bit vague in nature. But as I reflected on it, seems like I’ve gotten a number of calls like this in the past. In some cases, I’ve found that folks really do know if there is a problem with something in or around their home simply by listening.

Although this may sound “funny”, it actually rings true! Just like with your car; if it sounds different from what you are used to, then there just might be something wrong. How many of you have been in the following situation? You take your car into a mechanic and they try to have the car make the same  suspicious sound back.  But he car, of course, never makes that same noise that it did for you! Normally the mechanic would check it out. Perhaps he finds nothing is actually wrong with your car. Then you at least have some kind of relief knowing it was looked at by a professional.

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basement water damage

Basement Water Damage? What To Do When There’s Water in Your Basement

The Call

There has been a lot of rain and snow in Pittsburgh lately. I’ve found that I’ve been getting a number of calls from folks having garage or basement water damage. In all cases, I’m asked is there anything that can be done about this? And can I possibly take care of this problem for them? Seems that people understand that this is not directly a plumbing problem; however, there just might be a “plumbing” solution for this!

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trenchless water line replacement

Trenchless Water Line Replacement

As water lines age, they begin to become damaged and more susceptible to problems. They can become more vulnerable to the effects of extreme temperatures, ground movement, water pressure, and mineral buildup. They can even be affected by tree root intrusion. A damaged water line is cause for concern as even though the problems may seem minor at first, they can quickly lead to trouble. What begins as a lack of water pressure or discolored water can quickly create the perfect culture for toxic mold, mildew, spores, and pest infestation to manifest.

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plumbing school

Should I Go to Plumbing School?

Is Being a Plumber/Heating Tech a Good Career Choice?

I was on my way to a customer call just last week. It was quite a ways from our shop, as we will travel almost anywhere in the Pittsburgh area to help people out. So, since I would be on the road for a while, I began thinking a little bit about my own past. I pondered when & why I decided to go into the plumbing and heating business. And I thought about the amazing choice I made in going to plumbing school in the first place.

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