At a recent home inspection on Orcas Island, I discovered water stains around a toilet that the Seller informed us were “historic.” Probing with a moisture meter, it was clear that the subfloor was clearly saturated with the possibility of underlying damage not visible without pulling the toilet and invasively inspecting. Moisture meters and infrared thermography help home inspectors determine elevated moisture conditions not visible to the naked eye.
I was unable to test a bathroom outlet at a recent home inspection in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island because it was placed directly against the vanity cabinet, rendering plugging any appliances into it very difficult. I certainly couldn’t insert my plug tester. This is a reportable issue because, (1) I couldn’t test the outlet or verify it was GFCI protected and (2) future homeowners need to know they likely need to make repairs to have a functional MBA outlet.
If you are not on a sewer system, then you are likely on a septic system. As with most things, a little maintenance can go a long way and help prevent potentially expensive (and smelly) problems. A still pertinent ten-year-old article by the National Environmental Services Center says, “Septic system maintenance is often compared to automobile maintenance because only a little effort on a regular basis can save a lot of money and significantly prolong the life of the system.” See their comprehensive Homeowners Guide to Maintaining Your Septic System.
Here are some tips to consider for remodeling your bathroom. It’s not always practical, or affordable, to spend a lot of money on a big bathroom remodel. With these DIY tips and simple remodeling ideas, you can save on costs to make the project much more affordable.
We ask a lot of our bathroom sink drains. We pour toothpaste, soap, shaving cream, makeup and stray hair into them and expect them to work. Unfortunately, sometimes they don’t. A serious clog usually requires a chemical drain cleaner or a plumber’s snake. For a slow-moving drain, you might first try a plunger to dislodge the clog. It’s easy to use; be sure to use it carefully and avoid splashes. Before you begin, put a few inches of water in the sink to provide a good seal around the plunger. Next, stuff a wet rag into the overflow opening of the sink and seal it well. This air block greatly increases the effectiveness of the plunger. Then plunge away! You may have to refill the basin with water a few times to free a very stubborn clog.
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