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Kost's Korner

Running Toilet

by Nicole Stevens

running toiletA running toilet can strike a mild panic in any homeowner, worried that a repair may be soon to follow. Chances are a running toilet can be easily fixed without making an emergency call to a plumber.  Here you’ll find a few quick tips to stop that constant running of your toilet before it becomes a bigger problem.

  • Check your tubes. Sometimes the fill tube can become loose or come out of the overflow tube. Checking the tubing makes sure the fill tube is fastened tightly to the valve and is placed inside the overflow tube.
  • Along with the tubes, check your flapper. If the flapper isn’t closed, water will continuously leak into the bowl. The cause of this could be something obstructing the closure of the flapper or a chain that is too short to allow it to fully close.
  • Adjust the fill height in the tank. If this height is set too high, it causes an overflow in the tank and creates that nonstop running noise. Adjust your levels until the noise goes away and make a note of the fill level mark.
  • Replace old flappers and chains, and you’ll notice a world of difference. A universal model will be the best bet, and all that’s needed for the installation is a pair of pliers and the new pieces.

Following any of these steps will save you from calling a local plumbing service. But just in case none of the above can fix your problem, set an appointment with a plumber as soon as possible to get to fixing your porcelain.

Home Repairs Post Irma

home repair hurricaneIf you live in Florida, chances are you or someone you know  dealt with damage to their home thanks to Hurricane Irma. Hurricane Irma was so large that it covered the entire state at one point, with varying degrees of severity. A lot of homes made it out unscathed and just dealt with annoying power outages, but some were not so lucky. From missing shingles to missing entire roofs and walls, home repairs are a top priority to getting things back to normal after Hurricane Irma.

Some spent days preparing for Irma to hit, cleaning out grocery stores and lumber yards for provisions and protection. But bottled water and plywood can only do so much for so long. One of the first steps in returning to some normalcy after a chaotic storm like Irma is to assess the damage. This should be done by a licensed contractor, as not everyone is trained to see hidden danger/damages that aren’t easily visible.

Make sure you document all damages done to property after a hurricane. Irma hit hard in heavily wooded areas in Florida (Ocala National Forest was near the eyewall while Irma made her way north), causing many trees to come down. As long as it is safe to do so, and the area has been assessed by a professional or first responder first, take pictures of damage done to homes to apply to repairs and insurance claims later on.

One of the most common issues/repairs after a hurricane is flooding. Irma ended with causing major property damage with potential for mold. Another problem with this is any appliances that have come into contact with the flooding damage. This could hold a high risk for electrical shock or fire that could cause even more damage to the home. Keep electricity turned off in rooms where flooding has occurred and until repairs can be made to the affected area.

Besides flooding, another elemental danger wreaks havoc during (and usually the day after) a hurricane, wind. Wind is what causes the most damage because of the high speeds and shear force. It can rip an entire roof clean off a home, and take out a few other pieces of the house on its way. This is one of the more time-consuming fixes that will require the use of the licensed contractor and home repair people if it can’t be done DIY.

After a hurricane the likes of Irma, it can be a very stressful time. But with the right knowledge and professional help, your life will be back to normal, and your home will look better than ever. And hopefully even be able to withstand whatever else Mother Nature has to offer!

Plumbing retrofits for a home for seniors with limited mobility

senior mobility issuesIt’s no secret and a fast-growing trend for more seniors to choose to remain living at home instead of moving into assisted living facilities or nursing homes. Seniors who make this decision often rightfully do so  to maintain their dignity and independence.

When performing a bathroom remodel for the elderly, it is vital to make changes that allow free movement through the bathroom without the risks of slips and falls. You’ll want to take a look at a variety of option from walk-in bathtubs and showers to grab bars, lighting and more.

Statistics from the CDC show that approximately 235,000 individuals seek medical attention from bathroom related injuries annually. For the elderly, remodeling for safety should always come first. 

Some plumbing retrofit ideas for bathroom safety include walk-in bathtubs, fixed showerheads, handheld showerheads with an adjustable setting and relaxing whirlpool jets. When you go shopping for a walk in bathtub or shower, be sure to inquire whether these features are included or can be added by a plumber before you purchase. 

Senior-friendly toilets (also called chair height toilets) give the elderly the freedom to lower and raise their body using minimum effort. Special lift chairs are also available that help lift and lower.

Height adjustments to existing bathroom appliances can also significantly enhance ease of use for seniors. Lowering the sink or toilet makes a substantial difference, and if the person is in a wheelchair, always be sure there is enough knee clearance to comfortably go to and from the sink.

Painting your cabinets is the newly affordable fix to revitalizing your kitchen!

Kitchen renovations are high on the list of most expensive home-improvement projects, but it is entirely possible to give your tired kitchen new life without breaking the bank. At the most basic, new paint and cabinet hardware freshen the look; while at the high end, upgraded cabinets and appliances within the original framework save the expense and hassle of moving plumbing and electrical lines. So, if changing trends or normal wear and tear means it’s time for a “kitchen -lift," here are a few simple and affordable upgrade ideas from thisoldhouse.com:

Cabinets

Sturdy wood cabinets are often worth saving. To change the look:

Change hardware: Replacing knobs, pulls, and hinges cost as little as a few dollars per door. Make sure the new hardware matches the existing hole locations.

Paint: A coat of paint can brighten up old cabinets and cheer up the whole room. (Metal cabinets can be sent out to an autobody shop for a durable refinishing.) The cost of a professional paint job: about $35 to $85 per linear foot.

Reface: Refacing can make cabinets look brand new. First, doors and drawer fronts are removed, and all exterior surfaces are covered with a veneer of prefinished wood in whatever species and finish you prefer. Then new doors and drawer fronts are made to match. Make sure to hire a reputable company, and only after you've seen examples of its work. Cost: approximately $125 to $325 per linear foot, depending on the type of veneer and the method of installation.

Change doors: It's possible to replace just the panels on cabinet doors. Decorative filler panel options include glass (clear, etched, tinted, patterned, stained) and metal (stainless steel or punched or patterned tin). Simply use a router to cut away the existing panel and rout a lip on the back of the door to hold the new panel. Replacement panels typically cost from $100 to $250 per door. Other options include removing the doors altogether (free!) for an open-shelf look or replacing them with new doors ($100 to $400 per door).

Add moldings: Wood moldings and trim add character to plain cabinet fronts. If your old cabinets don't go to the ceiling, adding a crown molding or soffit around the top will make a room look more elegant. Cost: about $15 per linear foot, unfinished.

Signs of a major leak under your home

plumbing leak ocalaIf you’ve noticed unexplained cracks in your home and office that appear to be growing larger every day, it’s likely these cracks in your walls or pavement are only a small sign of a much bigger problem - below your feet. Foundation problems can  undermine the infrastructure of a home or commercial building.  Foundation plumbing leaks or slab leaks have been known to literally tear building structures apart slowly over the course of years before an owner suspects anything.

Symptoms of foundation or slab leaks include:

  • Foundation movement
  • Cracking walls
  • Buckling floors
  • Floor damage
  • Doors Sticking

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • How did my foundation reach this point?
    Unstable soil conditions can account for a huge portion of your foundation problems. Land movement shifts loose sand and dirt that causes stress on fresh water and drains line systems. This causes sub-slab pipes to stress, separate, snap, or leaks underground allowing water to seep through and unsettle the foundation. Root intrusion from surrounding large trees can also cause unnecessary stress and pressure to underground plumbing.
  • Why should I care about a foundation problem?
    Foundation problems can create detrimental complications to your entire building structure. Left untreated, symptoms grow more and more destructive to entire residential or commercial infrastructures. These problems cost thousands of dollars in foundation restoration for homes or businesses. Health risks for building occupants also occur due to contamination from broken sewers and leaking drain pipes.
  • How can you locate a foundation problem?
    A thorough inspection of your underground plumbing can avoid continuous slab movement orto rule out plumbing leaks as a culprit for your shifty foundation. We specialize in diagnostic testing of sub-slab plumbing for residential and commercial properties. Our electronic listening and hydrostatic pressure tests find all breaks, leaks, and clogs in water systems and sanitary sewer systems. We can even determine the exact amount of fluid lost beneath slab during normal conditions.

What Others Say About Kost Plumbing

We had Kost Plumbing come out on weeknight when we had no water and he fixed the problem THAT NIGHT! We were amazed at his great work ethic and honest prices that he will be our Plumber for Life!!

Susan J., Ocala, FL

I do now know where to start, your prices and plumbing expertise are exceptional. I also appreciate your deck building and carpenter skills, not to mention that outstanding kitchen remodel. With your card I do not need anybody's "List" or any "Referral Program". Keep up the good work!

Chuck F., Reddick, FL

Thank you so much for all the help and support you provided when we had that leak! I couldn't have asked for a better job or price and the fact that you got it fixed so quickly that we were able to keep up our busy schedules without hardly missing a beat was AWESOME!!! Thanks again.

John D., Citra, FL

Thomas has done numerous jobs for me, and his work is always exceptional. He is very dependable and is willing to go out of his way to make sure the job is done right. In my opinion you could not hire a more professional or honest person.

Barbara A., Ocala, FL

Kost's Korner

Running Toilet

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

by Nicole Stevens

Read more...

Home Repairs Post Irma

Thursday, November 16, 2017

If you live in Florida, chances are you or someone you know  dealt with damage to their home thanks to Hurricane Irma. Hurricane Irma was so large that it covered the entire state at one point, with varying degrees of severity. A lot of homes made it out unscathed and just dealt with annoying power outages, but some were not so lucky. From missing shingles to missing entire roofs and walls, home repairs are a top priority to getting things back to normal after Hurricane Irma.

Read more...