Before you hire a plumber, you’re going to want to do some homework to make sure you’re choosing the very best. It’s a big decision, after all. Choose one that isn’t reputable and you’re in danger of being overcharged, scammed, and you may even need more repairs than when you started. 

But don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. Take a look at our eight tips on how to choose a reputable plumber.  

Ask friends. Always start by asking trusted friends to give you a recommendation when choosing a plumber. Today anyone can go online and write a great review for a plumber, so your best bet is to ask friends because they’ll be honest and unbiased. 

Check review websites. Of course, online reviews are still very relevant, but stick with review sites that verify their reviews. Angie’s List, Facebook, and Yelp are good sources, as is Houzz. When you’re looking for plumbing companies on review sites, steer clear of the ones that receive consistent negative reviews. 

Make sure they carry insurance. Before you schedule any plumbing appointments, make sure the company you choose has insurance and that it’s current. That way, if they break something and cause damage to your home while on the job, you won’t have to waste time in court trying to get your money back. 

And that they’re licensed, too. Think anyone with a toolbox can be a plumber? Think again. Professional plumbers have to go through extensive training before they can become licensed. Just as you make sure your plumber is insured, you should also make sure that they are licensed. 

Plumbers should look professional. Sure, plumbing is a messy job – but that doesn’t mean your plumber should show up looking less than professional. Most reputable plumbing companies provide their employees with uniforms or clothing with the company name. And most drive stocked company trucks. If your plumber shows up in everyday clothes in an unmarked truck, be wary. 

They should offer a warranty. Make sure you choose a plumbing company that stands by their work and offers a warranty.  

They provide accurate estimates. All reputable plumbers give accurate estimates and stick to them. They do this for two reasons – not only because it’s good customer service, but a good professional plumber understands before they get started on a job how much time, labor, and materials it should take to do it right. 

They should value your time. The plumber you choose should schedule a time that works for you, and arrive on time. Avoid plumbing companies that won’t commit to a set time or can only give you a big window of time when they may (or may not) show up. The best plumbers value your time because we value your business. 

Mold and mildew in your bathroom isn’t just smelly and unsightly, it can also lead to health issues if not treated. Luckily, mold and mildew growth is also easy to control and eliminate. 

One of the best ways to tackle mold and mildew growth in your home is to not let it happen in the first place. But sometimes that’s easier said than done – especially in the humid summer months. 

Here are eight ways to keep mold and mildew at bay. 

Avoid leaks. One of the top causes of mold in the bathroom are from  leaks from faucets or showerheads. Even a small leak can lead to mildew and mold growth. As soon as you detect a leak, locate the source and get it repaired. While you may be able handle a small leak repair on your own, it’s best to contact a plumber if the leak is major. 

Use proper ventilation. Your bathroom should be equipped with a fan or ventilation system to reduce moisture caused from steam and heat. Always use your bathroom’s fan after bathing or showering and keep it turned on until all the humidity and any dampness is gone. If you’re concerned you don’t have adequate ventilation in your bathroom, it’s time to get a professional opinion.

Do a grout check. Look regularly at the grout surrounding your bathtub and shower, sinks and toilets. It’s a good idea to check the grout around tilework as well. Grout should completely seal spaces. If it doesn’t and there are open spots or holes, use grout sealer to fill in those places. This will keep bacteria and mold from growing. 

Replace old shower liners. Shower liners are one of the most common sources for mold and mildew, however,  liners are inexpensive enough that you could ideally replace them every few months. An alternative is to wash them thoroughly every week. 

It’s also a good idea to wash shower curtains, rugs and linens on a regular basis as well. Or, purchase a mildew and mold resistant shower curtain and liner.   

Wipe down the shower. Have a sponge on hand, as well as some shower and bathtub cleaner, when you shower, so that afterwards, you can quickly spray and wipe down the tile and grout. You can keep the spray bottle in the shower, stored with your other bath and shower products.  

Do a major bathroom clean regularly.  While wiping your bathtub and shower often can help with day-to-day mold management, make sure to schedule time to thoroughly clean your bathroom at least once a week. Use a heavy-duty cleaning solution for the shower and bathtub, and take this time to inspect the bathroom for mold, and for leaks as well. 

Control the humidity. To reduce mold and mildew, homes should remain below 50% humidity at all times. Invest in a dehumidifier if needed.  

Store away soaps and shampoos. Mold and mildew can hide on bottles of shampoos, soap containers, toys, and almost anything else that stays in the shower or the bathtub. Make sure to wash and dry all bottles after showering, or better yet, keep them stored in a dry area within easy access when you’re showering.