How to Choose a Residential Roofer

Residential roofers work on the roofs of single- and multi-unit homes. They know about different roofing materials and can install or repair most residential roofs.


A well-chosen and properly installed roof can protect a home, add value to the property, and enhance its beauty. Choosing the right residential roofer requires thorough research and evaluation of qualifications. Contact Roofers In Columbus GA for professional expertise.

Residential roofers repair and replace the roofs of single-family homes or multi-unit housing complexes. They also work on other types of buildings, including schools and hospitals. In addition to installing and repairing roofs, they also inspect and assess the condition of existing roofing systems and provide estimates for new roofing systems. Roofers need to be efficient, work safely in high places, and be able to interact with clients to discuss project details and address concerns.

Experienced roofers have a solid understanding of building codes and standards and can install energy-efficient materials. They are also familiar with the different roofing materials available and can recommend options that fit your home’s style and budget. They can also help you choose a shingle color that will complement your home and increase its value.

If you are considering hiring a roofing contractor, look for someone with positive online reviews and referrals from friends and family. Read these reviews carefully, as negative ones are an indication that the company may have a problem with customer service. Additionally, make sure that the roofing company you hire offers a warranty on their work and is licensed by your state.

Many large companies specialize in roof repairs and replacements, offering a range of services. They typically have a dedicated point person on site to answer questions and to interface with the crew. These people often offer a variety of financing options and can be helpful in navigating the insurance process. However, they tend to focus on larger jobs and may be less interested in providing a great customer experience.

A reputable roofer should have a solid track record of working with local homeowners and businesses. They should be able to handle multiple projects at once and have the tools and equipment needed to complete them in a timely manner. They should also be able to work in a variety of weather conditions and be comfortable working in high places.

Residential roofers can sometimes break into commercial roofing, but this is usually a challenge because it requires a higher skill set and different client expectations. In addition, it is often more time-consuming than residential roofing. It is also important to understand that there are different payment terms, and it can take a while for you to receive payments for your work.


When choosing a residential roofer, it’s important to find one who has the proper license and insurance coverage. These requirements vary by state, so it’s important to check with your local authorities for the specific guidelines in your area. Additionally, it’s crucial to choose a roofing professional with the right skills and experience for your project. This will ensure that your roof is in good hands and that you’re receiving the best value for your money.

To obtain a roofing contractor’s license in Alaska, applicants must first complete pre-licensing education and submit the required documentation. They then need to pass the examination and provide proof of liability insurance and workers’ compensation coverage to meet the state’s requirements. In addition, Alaska requires roofers to register as specialty contractors with a roofing classification. Those who do not comply with the state’s licensing regulations may be subject to stiff fines or imprisonment.

While the road to becoming a residential roofer can be long and arduous, the process is well worth it. The benefits of this career include a solid salary, flexible hours, and an opportunity to advance in the field. In addition, a roofer’s license provides a good standard of workmanship and safety, and it protects homeowners from fraudulent contractors.

Commercial roofers have different skill sets than residential roofers, as they work with larger-scale projects that require more complex roofing systems. In addition, commercial roofers must understand the multitude of material options and how to properly repair and patch them all. Residential roofers, on the other hand, work primarily with asphalt shingle roofs and require less specialized skills.

When selecting a residential roofer, you must carefully evaluate the qualifications and prices of each candidate. It is also important to ask about any warranties and guarantees that the roofer offers. In addition, you should check that the roofer has worker’s compensation and general liability insurance. Finally, you should choose a residential roofer with excellent customer support practices. After all, a great roof is the foundation of a home, so it’s critical to find someone you can trust with your investment.


Homeowners understand that accidents happen, and they often prefer to engage with roofing professionals who carry general liability insurance. This type of policy covers third-party property damage, bodily injury, and advertising injuries, among other risks. It may not cover all losses, however; if you’re sued for a large sum due to an unavoidable accident, the homeowner can tap into their own personal assets and insurance to cover the costs. This is a risk homeowners don’t want to take, and they may ask you for proof of general liability insurance before you perform any work.

Besides general liability, roofers also need workers’ compensation insurance for employees injured at the workplace. This type of insurance reimburses employees for lost wages and medical expenses. It also protects them from lawsuits that could arise out of a workplace-related injury. Depending on local laws, this type of insurance might be mandatory for roofing businesses.

Errors and omissions insurance, sometimes known as professional liability insurance, is another policy that may be useful for roofing contractors. It covers the legal fees and damages if a client sues you over your advice or recommendations, even if they don’t succeed in proving that you were negligent.

Other types of insurance that may be beneficial for roofing companies include commercial auto insurance, business owners policy (BOP), and builder’s risk insurance. The former provides coverage for vehicles and equipment used for business purposes, which is usually excluded from a personal auto insurance policy. The latter protects against damage and loss if a building under construction is damaged by an unexpected event, such as a hailstorm or hurricane.

The cost of roofing contractor insurance varies based on the policy’s coverage needs, limits, and claims history. Other factors that can influence the cost include the number of insured employees, your business location, and the size of your payroll. You can also save money by purchasing a combined business owners policy that covers general liability, commercial auto, and property insurance all in one policy. A deductible, which is the amount you agree to pay out of pocket before the insurance company starts covering expenses, may also affect your premiums.


Residential roofers can charge different prices depending on the material they use, the size of your home, and whether you’re having an insurance-related repair or replacement. The geographical area can also influence the cost, with some areas having higher or lower costs due to local materials, housing costs, and weather conditions.

If you’re repairing or replacing an existing roof, the roofing company may include the cost of any underlying problems in their estimate. This can include issues like rotting wood, mold growth, or missing shingles. These underlying problems can add up to significant additional costs. The roofer should explain any underlying issues to you and give you a complete list of the work that’s needed.

Service roofers focus on servicing homeowners in their areas, and their crews are able to respond quickly to calls. They can handle both insurance and non-insurance jobs and offer a wide range of options, including ENERGY STAR roofing materials. They often have a salesperson who can help you sort through your options and choose the best options for your situation. They may offer long-term warranties and high-quality materials at competitive prices.

Retail sales roofers do normal roof replacements and usually have a dedicated customer service department. Their sales presentations can be up to four hours long, and they’ll start with their highest-priced options. You’ll have to negotiate hard for the pricing you want. They’ll likely offer you financing, and their terms are typically better than those of service roofers.

Storm chasers are primarily insurance-focused and follow storms around the country. They’ll go door-to-door after a tornado, hurricane, or hailstorm and offer to do an insurance check of your roof. They can offer a quick turnaround and are well-known for taking care of the insurance process. They’re also known for offering low warranties and cheap materials.

You can sometimes finance a new roof through a personal loan from a bank or credit union. However, this method can carry high interest rates and can put your home at risk if you’re not able to pay back the loan. You can also borrow money from a family member or take out a home equity loan, which will allow you to access a line of credit that you can use for other home improvement projects.

Understanding the Hardwood Refinishing Process: A Step-by-Step Guide

Hardwood Floor Refinishing Bergen County NJ is a labor-intensive process. You must remove all furniture and rugs, clear the floor of dust or dirt and repair any damage like holes or scratches.

Hardwood Floor Refinishing

It would be best if you also pulled up the baseboard molding along the wall-floor joint, using a pry bar (but not a crowbar) to protect it from damage and make the job easier. Number or otherwise mark each piece of baseboard to make it easier to put back together after refinishing.

Hardwood floors are an investment that add beauty and value to your home. They also provide a healthy living environment by reducing allergens and dust particles. However, hardwood floors require periodic professional cleaning and maintenance to extend their lifespan. Regular, deep cleanings help protect wood from damage, scuffs and scratches, and promote proper aeration and moisture management. This is why it’s important to choose a professional restoration company that understands the specific needs of wood floors and knows how to clean them properly.

Before sanding or applying stain to your wood floors, it’s important to thoroughly clean them. This will prepare the floor for the new finish and ensure that the refinishing process will be successful. Using the wrong cleaners or methods of cleaning can damage the hardwood and lead to long-term problems.

While most refinishing companies use some form of dust containment, there is always going to be some level of mess when working on a room. To minimize the amount of debris created during sanding, you should remove all furniture and rugs from the room. This will allow the refinishing crew full access to the floor and will prevent items from being covered in dust.

The sanding process typically involves three steps: rough sanding, intermediate sanding and finish sanding. Each step uses different grits of sandpaper to create a smooth, even surface. It’s essential to use the right sanding equipment and sandpaper for each step in order to get the best results.

After sanding, it’s important to thoroughly clean your hardwood floors again. This will remove any residual dust and dirt from the surface of the wood, ensuring that the new finish will adhere properly. It’s recommended that you use a commercial wood floor cleaner that is safe for your type of hardwood flooring. It’s also a good idea to use a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment to remove any remaining dust.

After sanding and cleaning, it’s important to dry your hardwood floors. This will prevent water from seeping into the wood and causing warping or swell. To dry your hardwood floor, use a mop or cloth with a gentle cleaning solution. Once the floor is completely dry, you can apply a maintenance oil. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and frequency of application to keep your hardwood floors looking great.


Refinishing a hardwood floor is an extensive and time-consuming process. To do it properly, you must sand the hardwood down several times with progressively finer grit sandpaper to achieve a smooth, even surface. It also involves the removal of old finishes, as well as repairing deep scratches and gouges in the wood. The floor must then be stained and sealed.

To avoid the expense of a complete refinish, consider screening and recoating your floors. This method is less invasive than a full refinish, but still takes some time to complete. It involves buffing the existing floor with a floor buffer to remove dirt and grime, then adding a new layer of water-based polyurethane. This keeps your floors looking good without removing too much of the top layer of wood. It’s ideal for rooms that get a lot of use.

When sanding hardwood floors, it’s important to take the proper precautions to protect yourself and your home from the dust that will be generated. Vacuum attachments and indoor vacuums that are designed specifically for sanding will help to reduce the amount of dust that is produced. In addition, it’s a good idea to wear a mask and eye protection to avoid inhaling the airborne dust particles.

Before sanding, it’s a good idea to clear the room of furniture and other items. This will make it easier to move around the area and will prevent them from getting scratched or damaged by sanding equipment. It’s also a good idea to cover or tape over any electrical outlets, vents and window openings to protect them from the sanding dust.

The sanding and staining process will likely take two to four days, depending on the size of the room. It’s crucial to allow enough time for the finish to dry and cure completely before returning furnishings to the room.

Once the floor is dry, it’s a good idea to apply a few additional coats of finish to ensure that the color remains consistent throughout the entire floor. It’s also a good idea at this point to reinstall any baseboards or trim that were removed during the refinishing process.


Staining is the next step in hardwood floor refinishing. It can help to change the color of your floors, accentuate the wood grain and add a warmth to your home. Staining can be done yourself if you have the right tools and experience, however if you aren’t comfortable working with power tools like a drum sander or if your floors have been previously stained you will need to hire a professional.

Before staining you will need to vacuum and dust the floors thoroughly. Make sure that there are no lingering particles of dirt or dust, even the smallest speck can mar a finished stain job. Once your floors are clean, you will need to let them dry completely before proceeding. Once your stain is applied and dried according to the manufacturer’s instructions you can enjoy your refinished floors.

If you’re going to refinish your own hardwood floors, it is best to work in columns of 3-5 boards wide, instead of trying to do the whole room at once. This way you can get a more consistent appearance and avoid lap lines. Also, it’s important to work with a partner when applying stain, one person should apply the stain and the other should wipe it off, starting in the same corner and moving outward from there. This will ensure that both ends of the room look the same.

After the refinishing process is complete, your floors will need to be sealed. This will protect your investment and keep your new finish looking beautiful for longer. To seal your hardwood, you will need a polyurethane based product. This product can be purchased at any hardware store and is relatively easy to use.

Hardwood floor refinishing is a time-consuming project but it can be worth the effort in the end. By refinishing your hardwood floors you can extend their lifespan and make them look as good as new again. By following some simple preventative maintenance tips you can make your hardwood floors last longer too. Placemats at entry doors and felt pads under furniture can reduce scratches, sweep regularly to remove debris that could scratch the surface, and vacuum and dust the floors regularly. It is also a good idea to schedule regular deep cleanings by a professional to remove any buildup that may be scratching the surface of your hardwood floors.


Sealing is one of the most important parts of refinishing hardwood floors. Unsealed wood is susceptible to discoloration and can also be damaged by water, mud, dirt and other household liquids. Sealing protects the hardwood and keeps it looking great for a long time.

If your flooring isn’t sealed, you should consider having it done immediately before refinishing. This is especially important if your flooring has been in place for a while and the finish has worn down or been scratched. The sealant will help the sanding process go much smoother and keep your new finish looking its best.

It’s important to choose a low-VOC sealant that will be safe for your home. High VOCs can negatively affect indoor air quality and make it difficult for you to breathe. A reputable hardwood floor company will use a low-VOC product that won’t release any harmful vapors into the air.

Hardwood Floor Stain

When you refinish your hardwood floors, it’s a great opportunity to change the color of the flooring. You can use a stain to highlight the grain pattern of your hardwood and give it a richer look. However, a common mistake that amateurs make is applying too much stain to their hardwood floors. This can cause streaks or blotches that aren’t attractive. It’s also important to follow the directions for your particular type of wood when staining.

Before sealing your hardwood, make sure to sand it again and remove any remaining dust. Then, apply the sealant following the manufacturer’s instructions. Once you’re done, let the hardwood floors dry for a day or two.

Refinishing your hardwood floors is a labor-intensive project that takes a lot of skill to do correctly. It’s worth it, though, to have beautiful, durable hardwood floors in your home. They add a lot of value to your property and can even increase your property’s resale value if you decide to sell. Schedule an in-home appointment with a reputable hardwood flooring company to see how our professional service can help you get the floors of your dreams.

How to Prevent and Minimize Water Damage

Water Damage Los Angeles CA can be destructive, expensive and even dangerous. It can also cause long-term problems like mold, mildew and rotting wood.

Water Damage

Many water damage incidents are preventable. Performing regular maintenance on appliances, such as washing machines and refrigerator hoses, can help prevent problems.

It is also important to check the hygrometer frequently. High humidity can contribute to hidden leaks and moisture buildup.

Water damage is often a result of natural disasters like flash floods and heavy thunderstorms, but it can also be caused by manmade incidents such as damaged appliances, faulty plumbing fixtures or broken pipes. The best way to avoid extensive water damage is through vigilance and prompt action. Incorporate a water damage prevention plan into your regular home maintenance routine to minimize the risk of costly repairs and loss of property value.

Conduct Routine Walk-throughs – Inspect the interior and exterior of your home at least twice per year for signs of moisture damage. Watch out for discoloration on ceilings and walls, soft spots in flooring and the sound of dripping or rushing water. Check frequently-used areas, such as basements and attics, for leaks and mold growth.

Keep Water Out – Ignoring even small leaks can quickly lead to the spread of mold, mildew and dry rot, which can cause substantial structural damage to your home. In addition, most standard home insurance policies will not cover damage that is the result of neglect.

Consider Leak Detection Sensors – Water damage sensors offer a cost-effective solution for early warnings of hidden leaks throughout your home. These easy-to-install devices monitor and transmit temperature and humidity data to your smartphone, alerting you to problems that can’t be detected by visual inspections.

Create a Seasonal Preparation Plan – Ensure that your home is ready for the winter by draining outdoor hoses and disconnecting water supply lines, as well as installing ice dam barriers around gutters and downspouts. Make sure to clean out your gutters regularly, and be sure to remove any fallen leaves or debris that could block water flow during a storm.

Develop a Response Plan – Prepare your family for potential emergencies by creating a water damage response plan that includes shutting off the water supply, calling emergency professionals and documenting damage to support insurance claims. Encourage all family members to learn the location of water shut-off valves and how to operate basic household appliances.

Commercial buildings and industrial facilities can also benefit from a preventive water damage plan. A thorough building inspection can identify vulnerable components such as the roof, windows, doors and walls (the “building envelope”) that are prone to moisture intrusion.

Identifying the Source

Water damage can result from natural disasters like floods and storms or from manmade causes such as plumbing issues. It can be slow and imperceptible, such as a water spot that slowly marles a surface, or it can be sudden and catastrophic such as flooding caused by burst pipes. Either way, it is important to know how to identify water damage in order to prevent or minimize the damage.

One of the most obvious signs of water damage is a musty or mildewy odor. This is because the water can carry bacteria and other contaminants that may make you and your family ill. The odor is also a good indicator of how long the water has been present. If the odor is strong and lingering, it is likely that the water has been in the house for a while and needs to be addressed quickly by a professional.

Another sign of water damage is discoloration in the walls or ceiling. This is because the water can cause the drywall and wood to warp. It is also important to note if any areas of the house are sagging. This is because it could be a sign of a leak in the roof or wall studs.

It is important to carefully inspect adjacent rooms when looking for signs of water damage. It is not uncommon for the source of the leak to be in a room other than where it is visible. For example, a wall with water damage in the downstairs bedroom may actually be from a leaky upstairs bathroom.

It is also helpful to know what type of water it is that you are dealing with. There are three categories of water damage: Category 1 water, Category 2 water, and Category 3 water. Category 1 water is clean, potable water that does not pose a health risk. Category 2 water is gray water that contains contaminants that can lead to illness if ingested. Category 3 water is black water that carries serious diseases and should only be handled by professionals. Fortunately, most homeowners insurance policies cover the cost of cleaning and restoring property damaged by water.

Cleaning Up

Water damage is one of the most common issues homeowners face. It can happen due to floods, burst pipes, construction-related issues or appliance malfunctions. No matter what the cause, it can lead to serious underlying issues like mold and mildew. Therefore, it is important to act quickly and get the issue fixed before the damage worsens.

Before beginning the cleanup process, ensure that the electricity is switched off in the affected area. Electrical wires and cables are often exposed and can create a lethal risk if they come in contact with water. Furthermore, you must also switch off the gas supply if it has been turned on.

The next step is to remove any items that are soaked or have been damaged by the water. This includes furniture, carpeting and rugs as well as books and papers. If possible, try to move these items into dry areas like garages or porches. It is also a good idea to place dehumidifiers in the area to speed up the drying process.

You should then determine which items are salvageable and which cannot. Any items that have come into contact with raw sewage or flooding waters must be discarded as they can’t be disinfected. This also applies to items that can’t be washed and dried such as mattresses, pillows, cosmetics, baby toys, upholstered furniture and drywall.

Once you have removed any items that are unsalvageable, it is time to start cleaning up. It is important to wear protective clothing and use gloves, masks and goggles during this stage. This is because flood water can contain a wide variety of bacteria and viruses that pose a health hazard.

It is also a good idea to wear rubber boots and waterproof gloves as these can help prevent slipping in the muck. You should also use a wet/dry vac to remove excess moisture from the floor and walls. Lastly, it is a good idea to use industrial air movers as opposed to regular fans to speed up the drying process. It is important to be careful during this stage as it can take up to 24 hours for mildew and mold to grow after water damage.

Repairing the Damage

Water damage repair involves the restoration of damaged materials and systems to their pre-water condition. This typically includes removing and replacing all porous materials, disinfecting the affected areas to prevent mold growth, and using specialized equipment such as flir thermal imaging cameras and hygrometers to measure moisture levels in building materials. Professionals also use a variety of pumps, dehumidifiers, and extraction wet vacuums to remove excess water from the site and speed up the drying process.

Class 1 water damage is characterized by minimal water absorption and a lack of contaminants. This type of damage is usually caused by clean rainwater, or by a washing machine or dishwasher leakage. It is usually possible to dry this type of damage with little or no difficulty.

Once the source of the water has been identified and stopped, the water removal and evaporation process can begin. However, it is important to know that water can continue to damage materials even after the initial evaporation. That is why it is vital to take the time to assess all areas of the home or building for water damage and to make necessary repairs as soon as they are needed.

Water that has been allowed to linger can cause structural damage, as well as damage personal belongings and other materials in the home. In addition, it can create a health hazard in the form of mold and bacteria. In some cases, the moisture lingering behind walls and under floors can even be toxic to occupants’ health, especially children and elderly people.

If you are considering purchasing a home with existing water damage, it is essential to get professional estimates for the repairs that will be required. These estimates can be used to negotiate a price with the seller or as evidence of the need for certain repairs as part of an insurance claim. It is also recommended to consult with a licensed home inspector to learn more about the extent of the existing water damage and any potential health hazards that may be present. This will allow you to make an informed decision about whether or not the property is a good buy.

How Your Home Plumbing Works

Bryco Plumbing is a crucial system that ensures access to clean water and facilitates many essential functions. Understanding how your home plumbing works can help you identify and address problems before they become major. 

Measure your pipe diameter using string or a standard water pipe sizing chart. You can also use a flexible tape measure to find the circumference.


Home plumbing systems use pipes, valves, fittings, and other components to convey clean water to every faucet and appliance in the house and remove waste from them. The system is split into two subsystems to keep the potable water supply separate from the sewage system. It relies on pressure to get water where it needs to go, and gravity to flush wastewater away.

The main water supply line is a large pipe, often made from copper or galvanized iron, that connects your house to the public water supply or your private well. From there, it runs to the water meter, where your water usage is tracked and recorded. The meter also houses the main shut-off valve that controls the entire water supply for your house.

From there, the water supply lines branch out to your individual faucets and appliances. The paths that these lines take vary, but all of them must be durable and strong enough to withstand the amount of pressure that they are under on a daily basis. This is why many homeowners choose to upgrade from the traditional galvanized iron or steel pipes to more modern plastic or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) piping.

The water supply lines branch out to each of your faucets and appliances from there. These lines follow different routes, but they all need to be robust and resilient enough to bear the daily strain that they endure. For this reason, a lot of modern homes opt to replace their outdated steel or galvanized iron pipes with polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or plastic pipes.

These newer materials are more resistant to corrosion and less likely to develop leaks or burst. However, even these more resilient pipes can still experience problems. For instance, if a water line connection is not quite tight enough, a slow leak may occur that can eventually lead to significant damage.

Every plumbing system also needs a drain-waste-vent system to carry wastewater and sludge from toilets, sinks, showers, washing machines, dishwashers, and other household appliances to the sewer or septic tank. This is important to ensure that the sewage and waste doesn’t contaminate the freshwater supply or cause a backed-up sewer line.

Like the supply lines, these drain lines are usually made from either copper, galvanized iron, or plastic. Each of these materials has its own unique set of benefits and drawbacks. However, most plumbing professionals recommend using PVC piping whenever possible for its durability and resistance to blockages.

Drainage systems remove wastewater from fixtures and appliances. They also prevent wastewater from seeping back into water supply lines, which would create dangerous health issues and disgusting messes. This system uses the basic laws of gravity to ensure that waste water moves downhill and away from your home. It also uses a series of venting pipes to help keep air pressure high and prevent sewer gases from entering your home.

Wastewater is extracted from fixtures and appliances by drainage systems. Additionally, they stop effluent from seeping back into water supply lines, which could result in nasty spills and hazardous health problems. This system makes use of gravity’s fundamental laws to make sure that waste water travels away from your house and downhill. In order to maintain high air pressure and keep sewer gases out of your house, it also makes use of a number of venting pipes.

Like the water supply pipes, all drainage pipes are made from a variety of materials. However, they all function in the same way. Drainage pipes pitch, or angle, downward to the main drain line that runs to your sewage treatment plant or septic tank. This slope helps the used water move along quickly and easily, as gravity pulls it downhill. The drain line itself is shaped in a U-bend, known as a p-trap, to keep standing water and debris from blocking the flow.

All drains also feature a stop valve that allows you to shut off your home’s drainage system in the event of an emergency. This is usually located near the water meter. If you have a drain that is blocked, sluggish or emitting bad odors, it’s important to take immediate action to avoid a bigger problem.

If you’re unsure how to unblock a sink drain, consult the manual for your home appliance or contact a plumber. The process is relatively simple and requires only a few steps. First, shut off the water to the fixture by turning the stop valve clockwise. Next, remove the drain cover and clean it thoroughly. Then, use a plunger to force air out of the pipe and create a seal at the bottom of the drain. After a few attempts, the drain should clear. If not, turn off the water again and call a plumber. Before you begin, be sure to close all the faucets in your home to prevent any water from running out as you’re attempting to drain it. Also, be sure to open any toilet tanks and flush all the drains to eliminate any remaining water in them.

See the handbook for your household appliance or get in touch with a plumber if you’re not sure how to unclog a sink drain. There aren’t many steps in this relatively easy process. Turn the stop valve clockwise to first turn off the water to the fixture. After that, take off the drain cover and give it a good cleaning. Next, create a seal at the drain’s bottom by using a plunger to force air out of the pipe. It should clear the drain after a few tries. If not, call a plumber and turn off the water once more. Make sure to shut off all of your home’s faucets before you start so that no water will run out while you’re trying to empty it. Moreover, remember to open any toilet tanks and flush every drain to get rid of any last bits of water.

Running water, hot showers and flushing toilets are marvelous amenities to have in a home. But how does plumbing work to make these things possible? Home plumbing relies on simple principles like gravity and pressure. Understanding how these systems work can help you make sense of your home’s pipes when something goes wrong.

Whether you get your water from the city or a well, it enters your house through the main valve, which is usually in front of your house buried in the street (if you live on a hill). From there, the freshwater supply system distributes incoming water to all areas of your home.

The drain vent system is a little more complicated than the intake systems, but it’s still mostly dictated by gravity. This is because all of these pipes are angled downward to allow waste water to flow down and away from your home. This system also typically includes a shutoff valve before and after your water meter, making it easy to shut down your home’s incoming water when you need to work on plumbing DIY projects.

The disposal grinds up food scraps that would otherwise go down the drain, helping to reduce kitchen odor and avoid clogging the plumbing. Without a garbage disposal, these small bits of food can clog the pipes and even lead to sewage backups that require costly plumbing repairs.

A disposal can be activated using electrical switches that mount behind the sink or an air pressure switch that doesn’t need professional installation. The air-powered type requires the drain opening to be covered with a stopper to operate, preventing fingers and hands (and sometimes paws) from falling in or getting stuck inside.

Most home plumbing systems are connected to municipal sewer pipes that carry household waste to a sewage treatment plant, where it undergoes secondary and tertiary treatment before it is returned to the public water supply. But some homes have septic tanks that treat the waste before it is pumped into the sewer pipes.