Hot water leaks accelerate mold growth rates!

Black mold in the corner of room wall

– Tony Falco, CEO Accurate Leak Locators

How to prevent mold in your home

Many homeowners are unaware that the number one cause of mold is excessive moisture. Without the moisture mold cannot grow. If you are a homeowner who cannot figure out where mold keeps coming from, you can use a hygrometer to check the humidity levels in your home. Experts say humidity levels should be below 55%.

Here are the steps

As a homeowner there are always preventative measures that can be taken to prevent mold growth in your home.

  1. Perimeter Check:
    Check the window framings around your home. You’re checking to make sure that everything is sealed tight so no water can seep in.
  2. Bathroom Fixtures:
    Check in and around all showers, tubs, sinks and toilets. Check the caulking periodically and make sure there are no visible leaks or drips. You can purchase a water leak sensor kit from a local hardware store or on line. We recommend water cop system. These devices are installed under sinks and any detection of moisture or water the alarm will sound.
  3. Hot water heaters:
    Hot, humid areas produce mold growth at a faster rate than colder areas. Check around your water heater for leaks and contact a plumber right away if you notice a water leak.
  4. Roofs:
    If you are not able to check the exterior roof and interior roof (attic space) for leaks have a local contractor or roofing company inspect the roof for any possible leaks. Roof leaks may not be visible on the ceiling right away.
  5. Basements/attics:
    Basements and attics are known areas to trap moisture and create humidity. Perform a sniff test with your nose for mildew-like smells. Also inspect the area for water spots or water damage. On all water-damaged areas use a moisture meter reader to detect if the area is dry or wet.

That’s a wrap

Protect your home and health before mold begins to grow!

Homeowners Beware!

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September 08, 2015

From the Desk of Tony Falco,

When it comes to home improvements, maintenance, and remodeling some of us are not handy. While others are very handy, however there just is not enough time in the day to get the task(s) done. So sometimes it is easier to pay someone else to do it, like a Contractor. While this might be reasonable and in most cases work out, there are some unfortunate people that get taken advantage of.   

How do you know if the Contractor you chose is the right contractor for the job?

Here are a few steps to help. Be careful choosing a handyman, it is recommended to use a licensed, trustworthy Contractor.

The first and most important thing when hiring a contractor: make sure he/she is a licensed Contractor by the State of California.

A Licensed Contractor must first take a test on State guidelines and laws for general contractor procedures. If they passed this test they get a license. Also, a licensed contractor has to provide a state-mandated warranty on the parts he/she installed for one year. To verify that the license belongs to the specified contractor or hasn’t been suspended, you can log on here, on the California Contractors State License Board website. Type the number in the designated area to verify.  When verifying the license, make sure the holder of the license is the name of the person doing your job.  Make sure it is not a relative or in-law, it needs to be the person performing the work.  (For larger corporations, the CEO, would be the license holder).

Make sure the license is valid in California. Many contractors hold licenses in other states. Other states guidelines differ on certain laws and regulations in regards to construction. It needs to be a California state contractor’s License.

Another important step is to verify, the contractor is bonded and insured.

Sometimes mistakes can happen that cause a lot of damage to your home. If he/she is bonded/insured and a mistake occurs he/she is insured to cover the accidental damages.

Before signing any contract or agreement, be sure to fully read and review the contract, ask what you are signing. Look to see if the License # is on the contract and matches the number that you researched. Be sure that everything you and the contractor talked about is on the contract and start and completion dates are listed.

Do not pay any money to the contractor for materials before-hand, a good contractor will provide his/her own materials to complete the job. Some contractors may ask to collect a percentage of the costs or a credit card number for larger jobs prior to starting. Be sure the money paid up front will come off the final bill and only pay what is requested after the first start date to ensure work gets done. It is a law that in the State of California a contractor can only collect 10% of the job cost prior to starting. DO NOT pay more than that.

Handyman are not recommended because most handyman are not licensed.

A handyman is a person who basically is a jack-of-all-trade’s. Meaning they can do everything. And they will for the cheapest price using improper application, causing you trouble down the road. For example, some handyman or contractors will say, I can install your marble counter top, when they only do cabinets.  Chances are they have only assisted tile installers on a job site in the past but have never performed the task on their own. This could result poorly and be costly.  However, most contractors specialize in certain trades only to ensure your marble counter top is installed properly and cabinets installed correctly. Be sure whoever you choose for improvements on your home is thorough in explaining and showing you each step they will perform prior to starting work on your home.

These days money is precious and very hard earned. Protect your money and your home by making sure the contractor you choose is license, can be trusted and has experience.

Sincerely,

Tony Falco, CR

Summer is here

Illustration of house + sun

From the Desk of Tony Falco,

As we all know, home maintenance is not always cheap, but it is a necessity. Just as our cars need to be maintained so does our home.   Accurate Leak Locators (ALL, Inc.) has a sister company, (DBA) Menifee Plumbing, Falco and Sons for those home maintenance needs.  Both companies are owned and operated by the same individuals however they provide different services.  Tony Falco and Accurate Leak Locators have been working for insurance companies for well over 25 years throughout Southern California. They specialize in plumbing work for insurance companies, as well as homeowners in over six counties. Menifee Plumbing is a local service company serving the Menifee Valley and its surrounding areas as a full service plumbing company.

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Wait, I have a Leak?

From the Desk of Tony Falco,

Did you know that in Southern California the number one cause for water loss claims are plumbing related leaks, causing over $10,000 worth of damages. You may be thinking what do you mean plumbing leaks? Isn’t water just there when I need it, there’s such a thing as a leak? For those of you who are not plumbing savvy, we hope this article will broaden your basic plumbing knowledge when it comes to protecting your home.

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Water is Precious—Part II 

From the Desk of Tony Falco

In last months’ article we covered the recent drought and how water is precious and ways to conserve water around your own home. Since April the weather has been changing; there has been frequent rain storms, volcano eruption, earthquakes locally and around the world, and tropical storms and yet, we are still in a drought. Governor Browns’ bill is already in full effect. Have you been to a hotel recently in the last month? Did you notice the sign on the bathroom counter from the hotel in regards to guests reusing bath towels? Or how about restaurants (mostly higher end restaurants) in the middle of the tables are courteous signs that state along the lines, in efforts to conserve water, refills of water will only be upon request.

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Menifee Plumbing Top 5 Kitchen Faucets

kitchen faucet

Two places in a house are integral to the working of the house and the well being of its inhabitants. What are these two things? One is your bathroom and the other is your kitchen. A kitchen is vital in the house because it’s the lab where all our food is created and the utensils kept and washed. When one moves around in the kitchen, one can’t help but notice the large amount of water that’s connected to the effective functioning of the kitchen. The best source of water in a kitchen thus is the faucets in a kitchen. These faucets are used to make use of the water in the kitchen to wash groceries, utensils and much more.

With so much use of water in the kitchen, what is the optimum place to look for when checking for leaks? Kitchen faucets are great leak locators in the kitchen. If you get the best faucets in your kitchen leak locating will become an easy task for you.

Here is a low down of what we think are the 5 best kitchen faucets:

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