We found this article on the Home and Living Cheat Sheet website and think this is excellent advice.
The authors suggest two key factors in getting rid of mold and mildew in the bathroom:
- Make sure you have a properly installed shower curtain liner. Curtain liners are cheap, so there's really no reason why you can take their advice and put up one that completely covers your shower opening. Then of course, make sure you keep the liner inside the tub so the water that hits it flows down inside the shower. Spending a few dollars on a shower curtain liner could literally save you thousands of dollars in repairs from mold, mildew and dry rot.
- Test your shower or bath tub liner. If you have a liner installed in your bath or shower, it's very important to be sure they don't leak. If water gets between the liner and the original shower enclosure, you can end up with some really nasty mold growth, and once that starts the only real way to fix it is to remove the liner.
Licensed, bonded and insured: You see this on contractors' business cards, websites and print ads all the time. And consumer experts tell you that you should only hire contractors who have these credentials. But what do these words mean and why are they important to you? We'll break them down for you so you understand the meaning of these terms, and why each of them protects both you and the contractor.
All contractors in the State of Washington are required by law to carry a state license. Plumbers are required to carry a specific plumbing certification. Contractors must also post their license number on all their marketing materials -- including their business cards, brochures, website and even their truck. You can easily verify the status of a contractor's license by visiting the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries website at https://secure.lni.wa.gov/verify/
With the rising cost of energy, some people are tempted to turn off their heat when they are away from home for extended periods, like when they are on vacation. Likewise, people who own vacant houses, for example, homes that are up for sale or for rent, may shut off the heat to save money.
This is bad idea. While the Olympia, Washington area has a relatively mild winter climate, it does get below freezing during the winter fairly regularly, and we occasionally get cold snaps where temperatures plummet below 20 degrees. Without the heat on to keep your home above freezing, you risk pipes freezing, which can result in burst pipes. And since no one is in the home, it could be days or even weeks before the damage has been discovered.
To make matters worse, many insurance plans will not cover frozen pipe damage if reasonable precautions are not made to prevent the damage. The insurance company will likely consider leaving the heat off to be an act of negligence, voiding your claim and leaving you with thousands of dollars in uninsured homes repairs, including water pipe replacement, flood damage, dry rot, drywall, and even electrical problems.
As we've mentioned in a previous post about underground sprinkler systems, it's not 32 degrees you have to be worried about, but 39 degrees. At 39 degrees, water goes through a molecular change where it actually expands. As water cools below that temperature it starts to contract again. Ice also continues to contract as it gets colder.
Here is a scary scenario. Make sure you read this, because it could certainly happen to you.
You're all ready to go on your week-long, family vacation to Hawaii. As usual, you've been careful to "button down" your house, making sure garbage cans have been put away, the mail has been put on hold and the newspaper has been stopped. You've let your neighbors know you'll be gone and given them a contact number in case of emergency. You've checked all your appliances to make sure they've been turned off, and even checked all the faucets and toilets to make sure they aren't dripping or leaking.
One week later you return after a long flight and return drive from SeaTac Airport. You and your family are tired from the trip and looking to get home, unpack and get some rest. You pull into the garage, and are alarmed to find the floor of your garage soaking wet. Opening the garage entry to the home, you're greeting by soaking wet carpet that squishes like a sponge when you walk on it.
Frantic and confused, you search for the cause. It's not a burst pipe. It's not a backed up toilet. No, it's the one thing you never thought to check: your washing machine. The hot water hose leading from the spigot to the back of the washing machine burst, leaving the spigot to run freely for who knows how long while you were away.