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The New Homeowner’s Guide To Plumbing

So, you’ve just purchased your very first home, or are in the process – congratulations! As you may be aware, there are a number of important steps when purchasing a home, including the inspection. Thanks to this process, it’s likely that the plumbing in your house is in good shape and up to code, unless you came across any issues and have taken measures to address them.

Unfortunately, the initial help ends there, and it’s time to become familiar with the parts of your home to save yourself from stress and keep future maintenance and repair costs as low as possible. While you can call the experts as soon as you experience an issue, there is a lot of value in having a basic understanding of the way your plumbing works. Here are a few things you’ll want to know:

Where to Turn Off Your Water Supply

If you ever experience severe leaks or bursting pipes, the first thing you should worry about is the supply of water now entering your home – not how to fix it. Find the main shutoff valve in your home, and make sure you know how to use it to avoid any calls to the local fire department and potential water damage.

 

How Your Water Is Heated

Learn the ins and outs of your hot water heater by finding the warranty, researching the model, and how to control the temperature. If your home runs on gas, know how to light the pilot light. If you have a large family and your hot water can’t keep up, you may want to consider a replacement.

 

How to Spot A Leak

It may seem easy to just accept a water bill that is a few dollars higher each month, but this could be a sign of a problem than may cause bigger issues later on. Leaks can develop at any time, so watch out for the signs.

It’s always a good idea to have the number of a trusted local professional handy for any issues you’re unsure of. Give us a call at (703) 330-0400 to find out more, or to talk to us about any of our residential plumbing services.

Tips For Spring Cleaning

How often do you clean the areas around your kitchen sink, bathroom sinks, toilets and tubs? For most homeowners, a quick wipe-down with surface cleaner and a rag or paper towel keeps your kitchen and bathroom looking presentable. However, grime can still build up over time, and eventually you’ll need to go deeper with some scrubbing. As much as we hate to admit it, chores in these areas often gets pushed aside on weekend mornings. If you’re completing your spring cleaning this month, it’s time to finally tackle your plumbing and fixtures.

The What

It’s time to make a list of the areas you want to tackle, and the tools you’ll need to do so. The options are endless, so take into account your own personal preferences. Some homeowners prefer the heavy-duty chemical cleaners, while others prefer the natural versions. Don’t forget your tools, too – old toothbrushes work well, but you may need some rougher brushes for hard water stains or mildew. To be even more efficient, use “sit and soak” products that allow you to work on other tasks while the cleaner is setting. This will likely make the scrubbing part faster and easier as well.

The How

With a bit of planning, finally tackling the more difficult and time-consuming chores can actually take little time at all. During the week before your cleaning day, be sure you’re stocked up on everything you’ll need from your list. Then, there will be no “I’ll do it next weekend” when you realize you’re out of bleach or sponges. When the day comes, wake up early and get your chores out of the way as soon as possible. Put on your favorite playlist and get to work!

If you have plumbing problems bigger than a water-stained faucet, give the experts at RLB a call. We are dedicated to finding and fixing the problem, while keeping you in the know about what is happening. Our experience, expertise, attention to detail, and positive customer feedback provide exactly what you need to get the job done! Give us a call at 703-330-0400 today to discuss your needs, and let’s get started!

Spring Service Reminders

Spring is finally here, and many of us are saying, “good riddance” to winter temperatures and dark evenings. It’s also time to get started on spring cleaning – open the windows and let in the fresh air, put on a good playlist and say goodbye to the stuffy feeling that can build up after a season of sitting inside.

However, spring cleaning isn’t limited to dusting surfaces and scrubbing floors – you’ll likely have a few home tasks to complete as well, including servicing your equipment and appliances. Because of how often you use the plumbing in your home, you may hardly notice changes in quality over time. Once the problem is gone, though, you’ll understand how much of a difference a fully functioning home can make in your everyday routine.

For example, if you’re taking shorter showers in the morning because your family has used most of the hot water or your water pressure isn’t relaxing, it could be that your hot water heater isn’t working as efficiently. Flushing the system each year can ensure your water heater is working well and that you have a more enjoyable morning routine on these beautiful spring days.

Other, smaller problems should make it onto your checklist too. Stop giving your shower drain the “quick fix” with chemicals every few weeks when you could rid of the problem completely and save money in the long run. Fix that leaky faucet and save water during the seasons when water usage spikes.

Rlb Services believes in proactive maintenance when it comes to your home and especially your plumbing system. They have served their customers and your neighbors with great care and satisfaction for years. If you have a plumbing need, call RLB Services at 703-330-0400 — and get the peace of mind that you deserve!

Three Water-Saving Tips For A More Efficient Home

Today’s homeowner is more environmentally conscious than ever, and everyone loves to save money on their utility bills. Thankfully, using less water is one of the best ways to reduce your home costs and help the earth. Now that spring is here, you and your family will likely spending more time outside, and will be using more water for tasks like washing the car or tending to your garden. So, how can you save water? Here are three tips to get you started:

  1. Turn off the faucet. One of the simplest ways to save water is just to be more conscious about your usage. For example: turning the faucet off while brushing your teeth can save up to 200 gallons of water per month!
  2. Recycle. There are often situations where running the faucet is necessary while waiting for water to heat up. One solution for this is to save the water you’re running and recycle it for use later – instead of letting it run down the drain, place a container into the sink. Save it for drinking, watering the plants or for feeding pets. If you’d like to save water by eliminating the need to run it, improving your hot water heater’s efficiency, talk to one of our experts about the benefits of a tankless water heater.
  3. Use more efficient appliances. If your home is older, it’s likely that your appliances are using more water than newer versions. From more efficient dishwashers to low-flow shower heads, you can save water in almost any area of your home! Remember, plumbing is one part of your home that you shouldn’t DIY, so give us a call if you’re ready to install more energy efficient plumbing products or fixtures.

Give RLB Services a call to talk with one of our experts about our top summer services or any of the other services we offer.

Are You Up To Code?

How old is your home? Whether you’re selling a home that’s just 10 years old, or buying a fixer-upper that’s has been around since the 1800’s, one of the most important parts of maintaining a residential property includes making sure it’s up to code.
The condition of your plumbing depends on the care that the previous owner took to make sure all installations and repairs were up to code. Unfortunately, some homes that are sold as-is may have older, poor plumbing. Others may have had building owners or homeowners that chose to handle plumbing problems with quick and easy handyman fixes to avoid the hassle of finding and hiring a contractor who will take extra precautions. These fixes may solve the problem temporarily, but they can become dangerous and create larger, more expensive problems over time.
Of course, an inspection is always a good idea when purchasing a new home – a good inspector will help you identify any violations and will pay careful attention to stricter local codes you may not be familiar with. But what is the next step if you find code violations? Finding a trustworthy expert to bring your property up to code will save you from the stress and expenses of trying to fix things on your own.
Did you know that RLB offers residential code violation repairs? With over 40 years of experience in residential plumbing, our professional services are just what you need to get your home’s plumbing in top shape and ready to pass inspection.

The experts at RLB Services are dedicated to finding and fixing the problem, while keeping you in the know about what is happening. Our experience, expertise, attention to detail, and positive customer feedback provide exactly what you need to get the job done! Give us a call at 703-330-0400 today to discuss your needs, and let’s get started!

Start Fresh In The New Year

The year is almost over, and you’re probably ready to take on new habits, new hobbies and new goals – but what about your home? Starting fresh in the new year also extends to the environment around you, and now is a great time to start thinking of how you can transform your space to be ready for another year of use. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Set up an annual review. Just as you should have your appliances serviced to extend their life and keep them working efficiently, you should have your plumbing checked out. Walk around your home and check for leaks, and keep a list of other problems you may have noticed, like running out of hot water or a running toilet. Then, give RLB a call to set up your annual review. We’ll come out and check on your home plumbing items and ensure everything is working properly!
  2. Give your home a makeover. You probably won’t get excited about cooking more at home or relaxing more in the new year if your appliances are outdated or inefficient. Giving your home a makeover will leave your space looking fresh, clean and ready for whatever resolutions you have planned. Even something as simple as new sink fixtures can make a big difference!
  3. Treat yourself. Resolutions don’t have to be all about productivity or health. This year, be sure to set a few goals that allow you to treat yourself and create a more stress-free and comfortable environment. Transform your space by adding the thing you’ve always wanted: a fireplace to read by on cold days, a giant bathtub to soak in after a tough day at work and whatever else will bring you joy throughout the year.

 

We are so thankful to have spent another year working with our amazing team and clients, and look forward to what the new year will bring! Give us a call today to find out more about our annual review and other services.

Home Efficiency For The Holidays

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Holiday lights are out, temperatures are dropping and families are visiting for all of the fun that the season brings. However, if some of your relatives are also staying at your home for the holidays, it means you’re using more water for cooking, have more people using dishes that need washing and more people wanting a long, hot shower after a cold day.

If you live in an older house or have plumbing and appliances that aren’t equipped for keeping your water hot for long, having family over for the holidays can quickly become a nightmare. The last thing you want after a stressful day of cooking, wrapping gifts or shopping is to discover that there is no hot water left when you’re ready to wind down. You may also discover an energy bill you weren’t expecting, which can add even more stress after a month of spending.

Now is a great time to think about how you can make your home more efficient for the holidays. Unfortunately, small tricks for saving water might not cut it. The best thing you can do for your home is to replace your old water heater with one that will make sure you never run out of hot water AND will save electricity!

For residential properties, tankless hot water heaters are the way to go – only heating water when you need it, saving space and allowing multiple appliances to run at the same time. This means that while you’re enjoying your hot shower or bath on a cold day, your family can do the dishes for you without turning it cold!  If you already own a tankless water heater, it’s also a great idea to have it serviced to make sure your system is safe and working efficiently.

If you’re ready for a stress-free holiday season, give us a call at 703-330-0400. You can also visit our website to see all of the services we offer. You might be surprised what problems RLB can take care of for you!

Staying Warm

It’s that time of year again! Temperatures in Virginia are finally dropping, which means you’ve probably turned your heating system on and are looking for ways to make your home cozy and warm without increasing your energy costs. Here is how you can start:

  1. Replace old appliances or have them serviced. If you’ve read our blog post on how your plumbing can help your home run more efficiently, you know that damaged and older appliances can be extremely costly to continue operating. Before you try out new ways to keep your home warm, make sure the old ways are functional! If your gas boiler is more than 10 years old, or your water heater just isn’t working like it used to, colder temperatures are going to be even more uncomfortable.
  2. Add another heat source. Gas fireplaces are beautiful, efficient ways to add another heat source to your home, especially if you already heat your home with an existing gas supply. They are also a staple of the holiday season, and add ambiance to any family gathering.
  3. Small tricks. Remember to check your windows and doors for drafts to see if your weather stripping and insulation needs to be replaced. You can also try other small tricks to keep your home warmer – letting in natural light during the day for extra heat, using curtains at night to block cold window glass, and placing rugs in areas with wood or tile floors.

Remember, plumbing and gas appliance installations are tasks that are best left to professionals for the safety of you, your family and your home. Thankfully, the experts at RLB services are here to help keep your water and home warm this season! If you need your gas boiler replaced, tankless water heater or fireplace installed, or plumbing serviced, give us a call at (703) 330-0400 today.

Transform Your Home for Fall

The transition from summer into fall is an exciting time, bringing fond memories of cooler weather, family time and more relaxation. During the summer, we typically spend our time outside, soaking up the sun or packing up and heading to the beach. However, as temperatures begin to drop outside, we take refuge in our homes, needing a warm and comfortable space. But, if you aren’t happy with the way your bathroom or kitchen looks, how will you be able to enjoy your time inside?

Your kitchen shouldn’t be just a place to cook. It should be a place to huddle and spend time with your family and friends, especially during the fall and winter months when baked goods become a daily essential. If you’re finding that you just don’t have enough counter space and you become stressed when you aren’t the only cook in the kitchen, or you can never find the space you need in your refrigerator to store your leftovers, it’s time for a kitchen remodel.

Your bathroom also shouldn’t just be a place to bathe, with the standard, boring features you see in every bathroom. You should look forward to coming home on a chilly day to a warm bath or shower in your own personal spa. A bathroom remodel can make your space less cold and uninviting, like you’re living in a hotel. It can help make your home more personal, like it’s truly yours, and help guests feel more welcome.

If you’re ready to transform your home for fall and get more enjoyment out of your spaces, it’s time to talk to RLB about our kitchen and bathroom plumbing remodeling services, such as a new tub or shower, sinks or working with your contractor. Give us a call at (703) 330-0400 to find out more, or to talk to us about any of our other residential plumbing services.

Are You Settling for Poor Plumbing?

Many property owners go months, or even years without realizing there is an issue with their
plumbing, or that they could be using water in their home more efficiently. Unnoticed leaks or
cracks can lead to much bigger problems later, and old heaters and appliances can cause your
utility costs to rise. But how do you know if you are settling for poor plumbing?

One of the best ways is to look for obvious signs of damage. Take a walk around your home and
check in spots you wouldn’t look at on an everyday basis for any water stains, curling vinyl or
other damaged flooring and mold. Note any sudden surges in your water bill, as it can be a sign
that you have a water leak somewhere.

Another is to note any changes in your plumbing. Have your sinks, showers and toilets been
clogging more frequently lately? Has your water pressure been unusually low when you take a
shower or wash the dishes? Are there specks of material or discolored water coming out of
your faucets?

There are only so many signs that will be obvious to homeowners. Others may only show up in
your bills, which many will attribute to an increase in water usage and not feel concerned.
Though a couple dozen extra dollars a month may not feel like a huge deal, it adds up over
time! Hiring a professional to service your water heater and check out old pipes and appliances
will save you money in the long run, and will make your home feel more comfortable for all of
those daily tasks that require water.

It’s time to stop settling for poor plumbing! Give RLB Services a call to talk with one of our
experts about our top summer services or any of the other services we offer.

"Thank you for servicing my listing in Reston so promptly and professionally. I appreciate your help and I hope we will have the opportunity to do business again."

- Vicki Read More

RLB Services, Inc.

703-330-0400

7699 Sawmill Ct.

Manassas, VA 20111

Board for Contractors Class B #2705-089491
Board for Contractors Tradesmen License #2710 018062

Proudly serving Northern Virginia: Manassas, Prince William County, Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church, Manassas Park, Centreville, Lake Ridge, Fairfax, Burke, Dale City, Oakton, Lorton, Woodbridge, Springfield, Dulles, Vienna, Herndon, Reston and surrounding areas