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The Ultimate Spring Cleaning Guide

Though spring doesn’t officially begin until mid-March, the end of February often marks a change for most people. Flowers and trees are beginning to bloom early after a mild winter, plans for vegetable gardens begin and it’s time to get rid of the winter dust and gloom that can collect around the house after the post-holiday season. Spring cleaning is a yearly ritual that can help shift the atmosphere in your home, and even your mood.
Of course, at RLB, we are all about taking care of your plumbing and fixtures, and spring cleaning is a great opportunity to deep-clean your bathroom.
Don’t get overwhelmed – start small!

It can be easy to continue putting off your spring cleaning when you walk into your bathroom and see just how much there is to do. The best way to take on this task is by starting small, getting rid of clutter and making space to move onto bigger projects:

  • Begin by clearing out dirty laundry, towels and your shower curtain to be washed.
  • Next, throw away or recycle old, out-of-date products, mostly empty shampoo bottles and other items you haven’t used in months.
  • Organize the items you decide to keep.

Time to scrub. 

Once the small stuff is out of the way, it’s time to move on to the tough part. Make sure you have all of the cleaners you need on-hand before you begin, so you can get everything done in one go. Remember, this is a deep clean – not your weekend once-over. Scrub away mineral build up on your shower glass and faucets, look for mildew along caulking, dust ceiling and floor vents and sanitize door and cabinet handles.
Make repairs. 

Spring cleaning doesn’t always just mean cleaning. If you have repairs that you’ve been meaning to make but just haven’t gotten around to, now is the time to fix that leaky faucet or toilet that never stops running. Whatever the issue is, RLB can help! Contact us at (703) 330-0400 to talk with one of our experts about our residential plumbing services.

What Does A Modern Bathroom Look Like?

If your home is 15 years or older and you haven’t made any updates to your bathroom, chances are that both the style and fixtures are outdated. Whether thinking about selling your home, want to increase its value and efficiency, or simply desire the space and comfort you’ve been dreaming of, this year is the perfect time to upgrade your bathroom with modern features. But, what does a modern bathroom even look like? Use these ideas to get started on your planning:

  1. A space of your own. Are you still sharing sinks with your spouse? Fighting for the mirror before work, battling to brush your teeth, and claiming counter space when there is little to go around? A modern master bathroom often features two sinks, and sometimes separate vanity mirrors to give each person a space of their own. It’s an easy upgrade to take your bathroom from tolerable to comfortable
  2. Let there be light. Nothing is worse than waking up in the morning and heading into a bathroom with harsh, dim yellow lighting to get ready for the day. Add fixtures with brighter, white lighting to reach those darker corners, and consider using more glass when renovating your shower, and even more windows. Mirrors can also be helpful to reflect light and make smaller spaces feel bigger and more open.
  3. Shapes and colors. When it comes to modern bathrooms, the biggest factor is often the design – shapes and colors. “Modern” designs usually feature geometric shapes and neutral color palettes with grays and whites. Clean lines and simple colors can transform your bathroom into a spa-like retreat and every day can feel like you’re waking up in a luxury hotel – without the price.

Whether you’re adding new fixtures to renovate your bathroom this year, or simply need your leaky pipes fixed, the experts at RLB are here for all of your residential plumbing needs. Learn more about the services we offer here, and give us a call today!

Stay Warm This Winter

By this time in December, you probably know whether your home is running efficiently enough to keep you warm and comfortable all through the winter season. Do your showers end prematurely, not because you’re ready to get out, but because the water is getting colder and colder? Are you constantly bundled up in sweaters and thick socks in the house? While it may seem manageable, it’s more likely a sign that your heating appliances are showing their age and may need repairs or replacement.
The first step is to have your appliances and HVAC system inspected. If they aren’t running as well as they have in the past and you aren’t keeping up with annual inspections, it could be a smaller issue that can be easily fixed. However, if the appliance itself is 15 years or older, it may be time for a replacement. Newer technology for water heaters means that your bills may be lower, and you’ll have access to hot water even faster, and for longer. No more letting the faucet run before washing dishes, or waiting for the shower to warm up when you’re on a time crunch to get to work. The same goes for gas boilers – A gas boiler that’s more than 10 years old can be functioning perfectly but only working at 65% or less efficiency. Newer gas boilers are available that operate above 90% efficiency.
Another option is to add more sources of heat. This can mean adding more vents for better circulation of central heat through your home, adding more furnaces for gas heat or even adding a fireplace to your living room for maximum comfort and warmth on cold winter nights.
If your home isn’t as warm and comfortable as you’d like it to be, turn to the experts at RLB Services for hot water heaters, gas boilers and fireplaces. Give us a call today at (703) 330-0400.

We Are Thankful… For You!

Can you believe the year is almost over already? November marks the beginning of the busy season for many families and households – completing tasks at work before the year ends, preparing goals and planning for 2020, getting your home ready to host a family holiday get-together and more. However, it’s also the month to take a little extra time and give thanks and reflect on what, and who, made your year special. We often do this at home, but here at RLB, we want to make sure our customers know who we are most thankful for… you!
Thank you to each and every customer who has trusted us with their home, whether it’s new plumbing fixture installations for your bathroom remodel, or leak repairs. Without you, we wouldn’t be who we are as business today! We always enjoy visiting our customers and their families (and pets) and helping make their homes more efficient, or making everyday life easier with faster, longer-lasting hot water or modern fixtures. We cannot express how rewarding it is to give our clients the peace of mind that their plumbing is free of issues and that they can relax a little more over the holidays, or any other time of year.
We hope you will continue to use RLB Services for your residential plumbing needs into 2020 and onward. Please know we will always take great care of your friends, extended family and co-workers, too, when they have plumbing needs. Our goal is to continue growing to give our customers the best experience possible, and we look forward to you joining us! We hope you have a wonderful holiday season with your family and friends.
If you have residential plumbing needs that should be addressed before the holidays, or simply want to upgrade your home with a gas fireplace or new water heater, now is the time to give us a call. Contact us at (703) 330-0400 to talk with one of our experts about our residential plumbing services.

Don’t Be Scared: The Ease Of Working With Professionals

The month of October often signifies a big shift for most families: the holidays will arrive sooner than you expect, and summer has officially passed. It’s time to wind down and get ready for fall’s earlier sunsets and new activities. While it may still be mild in Virginia, temperatures are starting to cool, and it’s time to turn on the fireplace and get ready for the season of spending time with family and friends.
October is also the month of frights, but your home should only be spooky with the help of decorations – not because of dripping faucets, water stains, outdated plumbing or gas fireplaces that don’t light. Thankfully, a trusted local plumbing and gas fitting professional can help you get your property looking great in a timely manner, without the stress of finding the right fix or DIY errors.
We know it can feel scary to open your home (and wallet) and trust others to get the job done without going over budget – but it doesn’t have to be! Here are a few benefits to hiring a trained, certified professional:

  1. Knowledge of local climate. The internet and magazines may be helpful for general ideas, but a local professional will have knowledge of which materials to use, where to place insulation and how much to use, and more to keep your home safe and your pipes in good condition when temperatures reach below-freezing.
  2. The right paperwork. Does your city or neighborhood have local restrictions or requirements when it comes to building codes? Do they require permits for new gas lines? A local expert will either have prior knowledge or do the research to make sure the job gets done with no interruptions.
  3. Ease on future jobs. It’s likely that you always visit the same hairdresser, doctor and dentist because they are familiar to you and make your trip easier – the same concept works for contractors and plumbing professionals, too! This is especially helpful if you have big plans to renovate your home or build an addition, but want to take your time and finish the project over a few months or even years.

RLB Services are the northern Virginia locals you can trust. We are ready to provide any residential plumbing and gas fireplace services, large and small. For over four decades we have been the “go to” plumbing team for homeowners living in communities throughout Northern Virginia. Whether you need new plumbing and appliances installed, or your hot water heater serviced, our experienced staff is ready to help. Give us a call today at (703) 330-0400.

Why Schedule A Plumbing Inspection?

As much as every homeowner wishes cleaning were the only chore they had, every house requires a certain amount of yearly maintenance, no matter how recently it was built. Gutters need to be cleared, trees need to be trimmed, and various areas of your home need to be serviced – including your plumbing.

You may have crossed off most of your to-do list, but never actually scheduled a plumbing inspection or service. In fact, most homeowners don’t even consider a plumbing service call for preventative maintenance or a checkup.

Some homeowners may be required by their Home Owners Association to complete a yearly inspection, while others may not think twice about their plumbing until a pipe starts leaking or hot water runs out. Just like a car, regular service and maintenance can save you hundreds of dollars in the long run by extending the life of your plumbing and avoiding costly replacements and utility bills.

Of course, the length of your to-do list depends on the different features in your home. Hot water heaters should be serviced/flushed at least once a year, but tankless water heaters may require it less often depending on the model. Gas boilers should also be serviced once a year, especially if it is required to keep the product warranty active. Other appliances, gas lines or even drains may need attention depending on how old they are, or how well they are functioning. When in doubt, consult a trusted plumbing expert who can review your systems and identify any  potential issues.

RLB Services is ready to provide any residential plumbing services, large and small. For over four decades we have been the “go to” plumbing team for homeowners living in communities throughout Northern Virginia. Whether you need new plumbing and appliances installed, or your hot water heater serviced, our experienced staff is ready to help. Give us a call today at (703) 330-0400.

Summer Water-Saving Tips

It seems important now more than ever for us to pay attention to our water usages as both households and as individuals. In a previous blog post, we wrote about a few ways to save water through using more efficient appliances – but what else can we do in our everyday lives?

Now that summer is officially here, it’s a great time to take an assessment of your personal water use. As the weather warms up and temperatures rise into the mid-90’s, water usage tends to increase. Are you taking more frequent showers after spending time at the beach, pool or just outside in the sun? Are you doing more loads of laundry because of warm weather sports and activities? Does your summer vegetable garden require more watering on weeks without rain?

Our number one tip? Start paying more attention. We aren’t suggesting you start measuring the amount of water you use, but a great start is to set a timer next time you take a shower or do the dishes. You may be surprised to find that your 5 minute showers are actually 15 minutes long, or that you’ve been leaving the kitchen sink running for a little too long each time you wash up after dinner.

From there, you can begin to make small changes. Next time you rinse the dishes, fill the sink up instead of letting the water run. Set a challenge for yourself to take a shorter shower next time, or even have fun with a household competition.

Of course, if you’re ready for a bigger change, RLB Services is here to help. From water leak repair, to tankless water heater installation, we’ve got you covered! With over 40 years of serving the needs of homeowners, you can be assured that our team will have the solutions. Give us a call today at (703) 330-0400.

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!

"We know you took a chunk of your day to come over an install the water heater. You really saved Mom and Dad alot!"

- Robin Read More

RLB Services, Inc.


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