Garbage Disposal Maintenance Tips

Your garbage disposal is designed to grind food scraps and nothing more. Some of the objects that you should avoid putting down your drain include large animal bones, grease, fat, oil and objects made of glass, plastic and metal. It’s also best to avoid grinding any food that expands such as spaghetti and rice because they can clog your disposal.  If you have large food scraps that you want to put down your disposal, give your unit a helping hand by breaking them up into smaller pieces and grinding them separately.  Use cold water when running your disposal. Always run your disposal with cold water. This will help prevent any grease or oils that have made their way down your drain from solidifying and clogging your unit.  Keep your disposal clean. After using your disposal, pour a small amount of dish soap down your drain with cold running water. This will help keep your disposal clean and combat bad smells.  Grind citrusy fruits to help with bad smells. If your disposal begins to smell, try grinding a few lemon or orange peels to naturally freshen it up.  Grind ice cubes to help maintain your unit. Grinding a few ice cubes once a month will help sharpen your unit’s blades and clear away waste that’s stuck on the walls of your disposal.  Don’t use drain cleaners on your disposal. The chemicals in drain cleaners can damage your disposal. If you have a clog, give a plumber a call or try the step below to fix it instead.


Is Your Attic Insulated?

An attic space is most likely the only place in your how that the insulation is visible.  One quick way to determine if you need more insulation on the floor of your attic is to simply look across the floor of your attic.  If the insulation is level with or below your floor joists, more insulation is needed.  If the insulation is well above the joists, you may have enough.  The recommended level for most attic floors is R-38 or about 10 to 14 inches, depending on the type of insulation and your climate.  When adding insulation, you do not have to use the same type of the currently exists insulation in your attic.


Foundation/Water Intrusion

Monitoring the masonry walls of the house is needed.  Although masonry can deform elastically over long periods of time to accommodate small amounts of movement, large movements normally cause cracking.  A clean crack indicates recent movement; a dirty or previously filled crack may be inactive.  A 1/2 inch crack in a new building may be a sign of rapid settlement, but in a building 50 years old, it may indicate a very slow movement of only 1/100 of an inch per year.

Most often, mortar deterioration is found in areas of excessive moisture, such as near leaking downspouts, below windows, and at the tops of wall.  In such cases, the remedy is to redirect the water flow and repoint the mortar joints.  The use of high-strength mortar to repair mortar of a lower strength can do serious damage to the masonry because the pointing can't flex with the rest of the joint.