5 Signs of Basement Mold

Posted on: June 28th, 2017 by
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Basement mold is a homeowner nightmare! But what is there to truly hate about these unsightly colonies of fungus?

Here’s a refresher course:

1. Mold destroys the stuff you store in your basement.
2. Mold can cause health problems (particularly if you suffer from a respiratory illness like asthma).
3. Mold hurts your property value/makes it difficult to sell your home.

Basement mold, like mold in all other parts of your house, is caused by water infiltration. So if you’re looking for mold, you’re looking for places where water easily invades – i.e. your basement.

Since mold can often hide behind walls, looking for the triggers and signs of mold is often easier than hunting down the culprit itself.

Look for these signs of basement mold growth:

5 Signs of Basement Mold Growth

1) Visible Mold

Naturally, the most obvious warning sign of mold growth is mold itself. Seeing a smattering of black texture anywhere in your basement means it’s time to do something.

2) Musty Smell

Catching a whiff of something musty and foul whenever you enter the basement is a sign that some serious mold growth might be underway. If you have this sign in conjunction with a few others, you need to keep your guard up.

3) Your Drywall is Peeling

Since water infiltration is the catalyst for mold, other signs of water damage are a tip-off. Take a peek behind a peeling wall or peeling wall paper and chances are you might see some mold damage.

4) You Have Trouble Breathing in Your Basement (And Dust Isn’t the Cause)

Since mold irritates the airways, struggling to breath in your basement can be a sign that mold has gone airborne. For people that have asthma, mold exacerbates symptoms. However, if you find yourself uncharacteristically out of breath, mold might be to blame.

5) Your Basement Floods

In addition to the water damage, a flooded basement also proves to be one of the most common causes of mold. While most home water leaks are isolated in just one spot, a flood soaks the entire basement, leaving a breeding ground for the nasty fungus.

If basement floods are an issue for you, we can help.

Benjamin Franklin Sump Pumps

Want to ensure you’ve seen your last flooded basement? You’ll want a Benjamin Franklin Plumbing Sump Pump.

These electric pumps divert water from your basement to the outside. Whether your basement sits below the water table and is a constant flood risk or if you just need help during rainstorms, a sump pump is your answer.

If you have a professionally installed sump pump in your basement, you can count on it to stay bone dry.

The only Achilles heel of a sump pump is a power outage—which unfortunately often occurs with torrential rainstorms. If the power goes out during a storm, your electricity-dependent pump will shut off – meaning a flooded basement and the risk of mold.

To combat the sump pump’s kryptonite, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing offers battery backup sump pumps which keep you dry, whether they are electrically powered or not. If you want to put an end to flooded basements and hunting for basement mold, we can help.

Contact us to discuss installing a high-powered sump pump and for all of your plumbing needs.

Water Heater Noise: What YOU Need to Know to Protect Your Water Heater

Posted on: May 30th, 2017 by
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Water heater noise from a tank water heater

Is your water heater making noise? Then you’ve come to the right place. An annoyance and a sign of possible damage, water heater noise demands your attention.
Since Benjamin Franklin Plumbing is a water heater expert, we can explain why your water heater is making noise, what that means, and what you can do about it.

• A popping or a rumbling noise is the most common sound that water heaters make. Sediment from hard water causes the telltale sound.
• Although the sound itself is not harmful, it is indicative that sediment is present in your system, potentially causing serious damage in the future.
• You have options to prevent water heater noise. A professional sediment flush can is the first step. If enough damage has been done you may need to replace your water heater.

Read on to learn the facts about water heater noise.

Water Heater Noise

From your shower or from your sink, hot water on demand is an expectation. For most homeowners, your showers turning cold is the only reason to pay attention to your hot water heater. However, when you hear a popping or rumbling sound coming from your hot water heater, you should pay attention!
If you’ve ever heard the distinct water noise, you know exactly what we’re talking about. If you haven’t, imagine the sound of a percolator coffee pot turned up to 11!

The Cause: Sediment in the Water

Hard water, or the presence of hard minerals in the water, is an issue for the majority of the country. That means unless you are one of the lucky few, you need to pay attention.
As the hard water evaporates inside your heater tank, it leaves those hard minerals behind. Those minerals linger in your water heater, making the water heater noise and eventually causing damage.
The distinct popping water heater noise is caused by the minerals forming a layer on the surface of the water heater. The popping sound is caused by the pockets of air in the sediment layer boiling along with the water in your hot water heater tank.

Hard Water Damage

While the water heater noise isn’t inherently harmful, it is a sure sign of sediment in your water. Sediment in your water heater, however, IS harmful.

Firstly, sediment in your hot water heater keeps your hot water heater from running effectively, meaning you and your family enjoy less hot water for your morning showers.

Additionally, that hard water actually DESTROYS your expensive hot water heater from the inside out.

Hard water sediment damages hot water heaters in one of two ways:

1. The sediment damages the heating element, eventually breaking your entire water heater.
2. The sediment destroys the water heater tank, spilling gallons of water across the floor.

The Solutions

When it comes to combating water heater noise and preventing hard water damage to your heater, you have three solutions:

1. Schedule a water heater flush — our plumbing professional will empty all of the sediment from your water heater.
2. Replace your water heater — your new water heater won’t be coated in sediment and won’t be a risk to leak for at least half a decade.
3. Whole house water filtration — want to keep hard water out of your water heater for good? You want our powerful whole house water filtration. Make sure you

Water Heater Making Noise? You know what to do!

If you discover your water heater making noise, that’s a sign its under attack. We’ve solved the water heater noise mystery. And we can help you solve the problem of hard water sediment in your hot water heater.

Before you make any other decisions, the first order of business needs to be a professional sediment flush. Our expert plumbers flush the years of nasty accumulated sediment out of your water.

Contact us for a conversation about your hot water heater.

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