How To Dry Out a Wet Basement

.

 

Does your basement feel damp and musty? If so, you’re not alone. This is an area of the house that is  often dark and humid on its own and if you throw in a severe summer storm, things can quickly go south. In order to avoid the nuisance and keep carpeting, drywall and framing from being damaged, here’s how you can dry out a wet basement.

Condensation

You can check for condensation by taping foil over damp spots in the basement and checking on it the next day. If moisture forms on the outside of the foil, it’s coming from the air.

You can tackle this problem by airing out the basement. Open up windows and doors leading to the outside while running a fan simultaneously. Additionally, we recommend installing a dehumidifier. For a more permanent solution, consider damp-proofing walls with a waterproof coating.

Runoff

Damp crawl spaces and wet walls and floors are good indications that the water is entering as runoff from a storm.

Check to make sure your gutters and downspouts are working properly and that they are carrying water far away from the foundation of the house. It’s also important to check for cracks or gaps in the foundation as well as the driveway and walkway.

In need of a home dehumidification system? You’ve come to the right place. The home comfort experts at Uptown can visit your home to assess your humidity levels and provide the perfect solution to suit your needs and budget.

Why You Shouldn't Count Old Homes Out

.

 

Purchasing a home? It can be very appealing to look for something move-in ready that consists of new construction, new appliances and the like. But there are lots of great reasons to keep a few older homes on the list. Why? Find out below:

  1. “They Just Don’t Build ‘Em Like They Used To.” You’ve probably heard that saying before and most of the time, it’s true. Lots of established houses on the market are built to last and many aspects of the construction simply cannot be duplicated today. With that said, it is a good idea to replace older heating and cooling systems as they can cost you much more over time.

  2. They’re Situated In Established Locations. Take the Twin Cities for example - we’re known for older harms with unparalleled charm, our school districts are magnificent, and the crime rate is relatively low compared to other cities. If older homes are still prevalent, it’s a good sign that the area is stable.

  3. They Have Unmatched Character. Mature trees don’t form overnight and original crown moldings are hard to come by. While some new homes try to copy older styles, you may opt for the real thing instead.

At Uptown Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, we’re the old home specialists. From repairs and service to installations and maintenance we’ll help keep your older Minneapolis - St. Paul home in tip-top shape. Call us today to find out more about our services or to schedule an appointment. 651-315-7995.

How To Save Money While Running Your Air Conditioner

.

Let’s face it, most us simply can’t even entertain the thought of turning the air conditioner off in order to save money during the sweltering summer months. While we tend to agree that it’s tough to withstand a hot summer day without having cool air pumping through the house, we’re here to let you know there are plenty of ways to save money while the A/C is running. Ready to find out how? Read below.

  • First off, you’ll need to get the right sized air conditioning system. Not only can the upfront cost save you over time, a properly sized system will use less energy to keep your house cool than one that is too large or too small. Remember, bigger isn’t always better when it comes to air conditioning.

  • Opt for an Energy Star system - they must pass through rigorous efficiency tests in order to qualify so you know you’re going to save money compared to other less-efficient systems.

  • Make sure your system has a high-efficiency filter installed. It will help keep the air inside your home much cleaner and help your system last for years to come. That means less spending on maintenance and repairs over time.

  • Pay attention to the temperature settings. You’ll want to set it relative to the temperature outside - so if it’s 90°F outside, you really need to set it to around 75°F rather than 60°F or  65°F inside. The drastic change in temperature will make the house feel much cooler.

  • Insulation is key. If your home is not properly insulated, cool air can escape easily which will make your system work much harder. The result of your system working harder? You guessed it, higher energy bills.

And don’t forget about routine maintenance. It’s vital to keep your system running at peak performance in order to keep some green in your wallet this summer. Call on the experts at Uptown today to schedule an appointment: 651-315-7995.

Water-Saving Tips To Help You Save This Summer

.

 

Did you know that the number one water conserving tool is in fact, you. That’s right, it all starts with you. And as we continue to trek through the dog days of summer, where temperatures are at their highest, it’s up to you to make a difference. See below for a few quick ways to use less water around your house:

  1. Rinsing off fruits and veggies? Don’t let the water run down the drain. Instead, use a bucket or watering can to collect it and then use it to water your garden.

  2. Have a pool? Use a cover to help keep it clean, reduce chemical use and prevent water loss through excessive evaporation.

  3. Think you might be over watering your yard? Look for warning signs such as leaves turning lighter shades of green or yellow, young shoots wilting or the formation of algae and fungi.

  4. Kids enjoy spending time playing outside? Avoid the recreational use of water toys that require constant water flow. Stick to things like water balloons or inflatable pools instead of slip n slides and sprinklers.

  5. Need to wash your car? Consider doing it over an area of grass that needs water rather than on the street or the driveway. Concrete and blacktop don’t need the water!

Notice a leak around your home this summer? Contact the professional plumbers at Uptown. After all, we have over 100 years of experience in the Twin Cities so you know you can count on us!

Maximize Comfort With Home Humidity Control

.

 

Did you know that a humid house can make it feel 10° - 20° warmer than it actually is? Yeah -- we see you scratching your head and staring at the thermostat! It's not your imagination, but it still poses a problem. And it goes well beyond simply, being uncomfortable - excessively high humidity levels can cause severe damage to things inside your home.

Why Control Humidity?

Put simply, humidity is the measure of moisture present in the air and it dictates how we feel temperature. When it’s high, it can make things feel sticky and wet and it makes it harder for our bodies to cool down. With that said, it can cause paint to peel and wooden objects to expand - not to mention, mold and mildew thrive in humid conditions.

Ways to Control Humidity

When humidity levels inside your home are high during the summer months, it’s vital to take them back down to comfortable levels. Have a damn or musty kitchen or basement area? A dehumidification solution will surely help! Not only will it help preserve things inside your home such as furniture, art and woodwork, it can help you save on energy bills, too!

Ready to make the move to a cooler, more comfortable home? Our home comfort experts can visit your home to assess your humidity levels and provide the perfect solution to suit your needs and budget. Call and speak with the home comfort experts at Uptown Air Conditioning today.

7 Outdoor Water Conservation Tips For Summer

.

It’s getting hot outside and that means it’s time to save water. When it comes to conserving, a few small adjustments can have a major impact on our environment. See below for a few to get you started this summer and make sure you keep up with them all season long!

  1. Use a nozzle on your garden hose. It can help you save up to 100 gallons every time you wash your car or water your flowers.

  2. See a broken pipe or leaky fire hydrant? Report it to your local water provider right away.

  3. Know where your main water shutoff valve is located in case of a leaky hose, outdoor sink, or pipe. Not only can it help save water, it can prevent water damage to your home or property.

  4. Pet need a bath? Wash them outside in an area of your lawn that needs watering.

  5. Cleaning out a fish tank? Give the water to your non-edible plants. The nutrients in the water can help your plants stay healthy.

  6. Dirty patio or driveway? Don’t use the hose to wash it off, use a broom instead.

  7. Have a water softener in your home? Set it for a minimum number of refills to save water, chemicals and energy.

Notice something isn’t right with your outdoor plumbing this season? Don’t hesitate to give Uptown a call. We’ve been serving the Minneapolis - St. Paul area for over 100 years so you know you can count on us!

The Ultimate Guide To Summer Plumbing

.

 

Today marks the official first day of summer and you can expect warmer temperatures to stay put for a while. With that said, it’s important to make sure your home’s plumbing system is ready to handle everything summer has to throw at it. Check out the summer plumbing checklist below to ensure your house is in tip-top shape:

 

  • Give your outdoor appliances some attention. Chances are, they’ve been sitting in the yard without being used for about a year now, so it’s important to make sure they’re still working properly. Check water and gas lines and don’t be afraid to call in a professional if anything seems to be malfunctioning.

  • Inspect the pool for cracks, leaks or other damage. A leaky pool can become a very expensive problem if it’s not taken care of right away. It’s also a good idea to check the heater, if you have one, especially if it operates off of a gas line.

  • Clean your drains and gutters. Severe storms are common during the summer months and if the water isn’t draining properly, you could be in for some major headaches.

  • Check your sprinkler system and if you notice that it’s not as powerful as it was in recent years, you could have a leak.

  • Open up outdoor water valves and attach garden hoses to the spigots. Pay attention to leaks or broken or damaged parts.


For fast same day, quality plumbing services and solutions for your home or business in Minneapolis - St. Paul, call and speak with the team at Uptown Plumbing today. Don’t forget to connect with us on Facebook!

How To Find The Right Ceiling Fan

.

Contrary to popular belief, a central air conditioning system isn’t the only way to keep your home comfortable during the summer months. In fact, there are lots of other ways to cool down without causing energy bills to spike - and today, we’re zeroing in on the ceiling fan. Find out what you should be looking for as you shop for ceiling fans, below:

What Size Ceiling Fan Do I Need?

Fans come in lots of shapes and sizes and trust us when we tell you it’s not a one-size-fits-all type of ordeal. Look for a fan with a 36 inch span for rooms up to 100 square feet, 42 inches for up to 200 square feet or 52 inches for up to 400 square feet. If your room is larger than that, you can choose to go with one 60 inch fan, or two or more smaller fans.

 

Where Should My Ceiling Fan Go?

The positioning of your ceiling fan makes all the difference. Aim to hang them at about 8 feet from the floor or if you have a room with high ceilings, subtract 8 feet from the ceiling. Note: you may need to purchase a downrod for rooms with high ceilings.

 

Can I Install A Ceiling Fan Myself?

We don’t recommend installing your own ceiling fan. There are lots of moving parts when it comes to the installation process and if you’re familiar with the wiring and other potentially dangerous aspects, you could be in for a rude awakening. Save yourself the hassle and call in a professional!


Be sure of expert repairs and new installations, from a family-run business trusted in Minneapolis - St. Paul since 1914. Call on
Uptown Plumbing, Heating & Cooling today to speak with our friendly staff and find out how we can help with all of your cooling needs this summer.

3 Father's Day Events Dad Will Like More Than A New Tie

.

Scrambling to find a last-minute gift for Dad this Father’s Day weekend? Put down the necktie and treat him to one or more of these wonderful events taking place in Minneapolis instead. Trust us when we tell you he has enough ties and dress shirts to last a long, long time. And spending the day with his family will mean so much more!

 



1. Stone Arch Bridge Festival

If you think your father would like the idea of beers, cars and the arts this is the spot for you. Take him to the 23rd Annual Stone Arch Bridge Festival with a concert on Friday evening and then two full days of art, food, music and more!

 

When/Where:

June 16-18, 11am - 5pm

Main Street SE between Hennepin Ave. and 8th Ave. SE, Minneapolis

 

2. Star Tribune Ugly Tie 5K

Does your dad like to exercise? Well, this year he can finally put that old tie you got him a few years back to good use! Treat him to a 5K along the Mississippi riverfront and don’t forget to pack your ugliest tie!

 

When/Where:

June 18, 9:15am - 10:15am

Father Hennepin Park, 420 SE Main Street, Minneapolis

 

3. Padelford Riverboats Father’s Day Brunch

If Dad is a foodie, he’s going to LOVE brunch on a boat. After all, what’s better than cruising around the Mississippi River on a two-hour boat ride while consuming French toast, smoked salmon and other breakfast staples?

 

When/Where:

June 18, 11am - 1pm

Dock at 205 Dr. Justus Ohage Blvd., St. Paul

 
And remember, don’t make Dad spend his weekend tending to problems around the house. Call on the experts at Uptown and let us tackle all of your plumbing and air conditioning needs!

Beat The Heat For Less This Summer

.

How much do you think it costs to stay cool during the summer? If you’re thinking hundreds of dollars - think again. That’s right, you can beat the summer heat for as little as $25. All you need to do is make a few minor changes and you’ll be well on your way!

 

  1. Don’t Be Afraid To Use Your Fan: running a ceiling fan only costs about 2 to 5 cents per hour and it can make a room feel 4 to 6 degrees cooler. Ceiling fans and air conditioners work well together. As the air conditioner pumps cool, dry air into your living space, a ceiling fan can help distribute the air and keep it circulating throughout your home.

  2. Be “Texas Cool”: even though we live in Minnesota, you can adopt some of the practices they use down in Texas. Take advantage of cooler outdoor temperatures during the evening and nighttime hours by opening up a few windows. Just remember to close them when the sun comes up!

  3. Take Dinner Outside: did you know that leaving the oven on for roughly 20 minutes can heat make indoor temperatures rise by as much as 10 degrees? If you must your indoor appliances to cook, save it for the cooler hours of the day. Otherwise, make use of your outdoor grill.

  4. Seal Air Leaks: take a quick walk around your house and look for cracks or gaps around windows and doors. A tube of exterior-rated silicone caulk will run you roughly $5-$10, but it can cut nearly 10% off your cooling bill.

 
When it comes to keeping your Twin Cities home cool and comfortable all summer long, Uptown has you covered. We’ve been serving the area for over 100 years so you know you can count on us! Give us a call today at 651-315-7995 to learn more about our air conditioning services.