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Even the most responsible people could leave for winter vacation without preparing their homes properly. If you’re one of those people, and you’ve returned to a flood or a smelly home, you may be tempted to turn around and go back on vacation.

Instead, follow the tips below to get your home back on track. Here are some tell-tale signs, so that you to call your local Rakeman plumbers for an emergency visit!

Confronting the Awful Odor of a Gas Leak

If you open your front door upon returning home and a sickening-sweet smell of rot assaults your senses, step back for a moment and think: do you have any gas appliances?

If you do own gas appliances, sniff the air to determine whether the awful smell indicates a gas leak is present somewhere inside or around the home.

If you do smell gas, be careful. Dangerous levels of carbon monoxide may have built up inside the dwelling. It’s best to call your utility company or gas supplier before entering the home if you suspect a gas is the source of the odor.

One possible source of the smell could be a gas pipe burst that has caused natural or LP gas to pool in rooms.

If you have an LP tank outside, it may have run out of gas, causing the pilot lights on your stoves and heaters to go out. It may be that the line to the pilot light spews just a tiny bit of gas, but that tiny bit could be enough to fill your home with the rotten-egg scent.

If the smell is not overpowering and you don’t hear a hissing or roaring sound, open the windows and doors to let air inside the home, and then try to find the source of the leak. If you can’t find any leaks, or if the smell of gas is too overpowering, call your gas supplier to come check out your home.

In fact, if the smell of gas is overpowering, don’t go inside the home. To avoid a possible gas explosion, you also shouldn’t turn on any lights in the house or garage or start any vehicles inside the garage.

Stay somewhere else with your household members until the problem is resolved. Call your local Rakeman plumbers and HVAC experts for an emergency visit!

Confronting the Smell of Rotting Food 

If power to your home was interrupted for any reason, perishables in your refrigerator may have begun to rot.

Clean the lingering odors left inside the fridge by tossing the perishables. Items like butter and milk will retain the rotten smell and taste. Remember that no perishable food is safe if it’s been unrefrigerated for more than four hours.

Remove all of the bins, shelves, and drawers in your refrigerator. Wash every piece you took out of the fridge in hot, soapy water. Rinse with a deodorizing, sanitizing solution of one tablespoon of bleach in a gallon of water. Clean the inside of the fridge and freezer areas with baking soda or white vinegar and water, avoiding abrasive scrubs or cleaners.

Unplug the refrigerator and open the door. Let the appliance sit like this for a day or two; you can even set up a fan to circulate air inside while it’s shut down.

If the smell remains, have a qualified Rakeman plumber to clean your evaporator coil, as this refrigerator part may be retaining odors from a past power outage.

If old trash is the source of the stench, use a fresh bag to dispose of the garbage. Take the trash bin outside and wash it in warm, soapy water. Use the bleach solution to sanitize the bins, and then let them dry in the sun to air out the odors.

Dealing with the Aftermath of Flooding

As the weather starts cooling down for winter, our water heaters start working overtime.

Did you know that people use more hot water during the winter months than at any other time of the year? As a result, our water heaters work harder in the winter than they do in the summer.

This can especially be a problem after getting back from a holiday vacation. If you left the water on while you were away, you may return to a flood. Perhaps the water heater overheated when no one was taking showers, and the pressure-relief valve blew out.

The first thing you should do when returning home to a flood is turn the water to your home off. If the flood is posing a risk to electrical lines or devices, you must shut off your main electrical breaker too.

It may not be fun to clean a waterlogged house with no lights or air conditioning, but being somewhat uncomfortable is better than being electrocuted.

If you can’t reach or touch the main electrical breaker, call your power company to come turn off the electricity safely. Leave your home until the power is shut down.

Take pictures and videos of all damage before you begin the flood cleanup. You may need the images and video as proof to show your landlord or insurance company.

If you suspect you have water behind the walls, contaminated flooring, or other serious structural damage, ask your insurance company about reimbursement for a professional flood-cleaning service.

Make sure your water heater is prepared to handle the pressure. Call your local Rakeman Plumbers to have your water heater checked out or serviced, today!

Rakeman Plumbers or HVAC Experts

Call a Rakeman plumber too so you can have any faulty plumbing or a blown water heater replaced or repaired.

Next time, have your plumbing and water heater inspected and serviced before you leave for vacation. It can’t hurt to be prepared right?!

In fact, it’s getting cold outside. And no matter how your home, office, or business is heated, Rakeman plumbers and HVAC experts are ready to help with any issues you may encounter this winter.

We specialize in all things HVAC and plumbing. If you are experiencing an issue with heating, water heaters, or anything beyond, Rakeman can get you back to a warm, comfortable temperature without breaking the bank.

If your system only requires a small part replacement, we will replace that part without trying to sell you a whole new system-because we understand your time and money are too valuable to waste.

Reach out to the professional Rakeman plumbers in Las Vegas today to get your home all squared away for the holiday fun and vacation season!

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