French Drains – Repair and Maintenance

By David Linn Cook and Joe Soster, Waterproofing One

When basement waterproofing installation jumpstarts a new utility storage room and/or a basement den/office, humidity control and air quality ventilation are key factors. This must be maintained to assure continued full utilization of the new “third floor.”

A senior couple’s home had recently flooded due to a lack of ongoing maintenance and

job detailing. This became an even bigger issue since they started babysitting their very first grandchild five days a week! 

Their lawn, leaf raking, mulching and snow removal was done by local individuals, so it wasn’t always adequately maintained. Walking around the home’s exterior was not easy and in places was even impossible, especially with baby pick-ups and drop-offs, two senior dogs needing to be walked, and an active home with family and neighbors visiting and checking in on the couple.

The water and mold prevention crew removed wet carpets and the lower sheetrock walls, but the main source of where the water emanated from was still a mystery. Quickly replacing a mud filled section of a 20 year old French drain system helped, but the partial replacement and sump pump/well upgrade was still insufficient to prevent another flash flood disaster.

This simple question remained – how do we eliminate water entering the basement? Another question being why, after two decades plus, did everything fail? A thorough exterior inspection quickly revealed the reasons why. The downspouts were all backed up so the window wells were completely filled with mud, leaves and debris. On top of that, most if not all of the sump pump discharge was circling back into the basement, with lots of silt clogging mud.

The solution – proper basement window well vents were opened up for the first time in many years, the sump discharge was changed and the gutter spouts were extended away from the exterior perimeter. After cleaning out the sump pump closet and coating the mold free walls, the basement could then be restored with new flooring and paint.

You can’t do “clean laundry” in the dirtiest room in the home. With the dry storage area compromised and leaky HVAC ducts spreading moldy/moist air to the floors above, the answer is yes, it matters that seasonal maintenance is done correctly to maintain a truly waterproofed basement year-round. Composting mulch with closed window vents, prevents water run-off and provides sweet smelling, fresh air intake. Problem solved with accurate diagnosis and detailing by a local Waterproofing expert at Weatherproofing Plus, Inc. Phone: 610-325-0596. Email: [email protected].

Current Trends in Fireplaces

by Scott Magness, Scott’s Fireplace Products

Direct Vent Gas Fireplace Inserts

With their ability to keep you warmer, improve indoor air quality and save money, direct vent gas fireplace inserts are all the rage on home renovation shows. Traditional open-flue fireplaces draw air from inside your home for combustion, however direct vent gas fireplace inserts take air from outside of your home. They are sealed to stop cold drafts and to prevent warm air from escaping. 

Gas Flames That Look Just Like Wood Flames

With advancements in gas burner technology, you can now enjoy the clean convenience of natural gas flames that dance and flicker just like real wood burning flames. Head over to your local fireplace products store to learn more about how you can have a gas fireplace that would look as beautiful as the real thing.

High Efficiency Heat

You can lower your monthly home heating bill with a high efficiency fireplace insert. Most fireplace inserts cut the chilly draft from the chimney, but superior gas fireplace inserts are engineered to keep you warmer for less. The improvements include ceramic radiant heating technology, multi-speed blowers, programmable heat controls and multi-room heat distribution kits. 

Smart Gas Fireplace Inserts

It’s common to use a remote to turn on your gas fireplace, but now with wifi and bluetooth technology, gas fireplace inserts can be programmed to turn on and off at specific times, or program temperatures you want to maintain at specific times of the day or night.

Small Gas Fireplace Inserts

Smaller gas fireplace inserts are perfect for heating cozy spaces, such as a small bedroom, bathroom or home office. It’s best to pick a gas insert that fits the size of your room, but sometimes that’s not possible. If your existing fireplace opening is too narrow or shallow to fit a medium or large insert, a small insert may be your only option. Keep in mind that if you need to heat a large space with a small insert, it’s important to choose one that has a built-in blower.

For more info contact Scott Magness at Scott’s Fireplace Products; 3137 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square, PA. By Phone at 484-422-8334 or eMail [email protected]

Electric Car Charging Speed: What You Need to Know

By Joe Voci, JDV Electric, LLC

Did you know that you can charge your electric vehicle (EV) battery with the standard outlet? In the world of electric vehicles, this type of charging is called Level 1 charging. The charging station for this Level 1 charging is usually supplied with the car; therefore, all-electric vehicle owners have access to it.

Now, we know what you’re thinking: “All I need to charge my EV at home is a household outlet? Easy peasy!”

Just a moment! There’s more to know about electric car charging speed and how to use Level 1 charging.

Although using a Level 1 charging station is the most straightforward way to start charging your EV at home, it is generally only used for emergencies and roadside troubleshooting. Most of the time, it stays in the trunk of the vehicle. Here’s why:

Level 1 charging stations are 120-volt plugs, and:

  • They can take over 24 hours to deliver an optimal battery charge of 80% at a speed of about six miles per hour. 
  • They can only charge one electric car at a time (the plug cannot be used by other appliances either).

You now understand that if you want to take advantage of a faster charging speed at home, you will need to equip yourself with a more efficient charging station.

The fastest way to charge your electric car at home is with a Level 2 charging station. It can be installed on the side of your house, in a garage or in your private parking lot. It also needs to be wired directly into your main home electrical panel; a licensed and insured electrician should wire it.

Level 2 charging stations have a 240-volt plug, and:

  • They can deliver an optimal battery charge of 80% in four to five hours at a charging speed of about 15 miles per hour for a plug-in hybrid and up to 40 miles per hour for an all-electric vehicle.
  • They are plugged into a special outlet or connected directly to the electrical panel.

A Level 2 charging station is, therefore, a key element in truly enjoying all the advantages of charging at home for its practicality, ease of use, reliability and savings!

For more info contact Joe Voci of JDV Electric, LLC by phone at 610-364-5099 or email: [email protected]

How to Know If Your Home Needs Duct Cleaning Services

By Ashley Dennon, Oliver Heating and Cooling

It’s no secret that having an efficient heating and cooling system is essential. You and your family need relief from hot summer days and chilly winter nights. However, one thing many homeowners don’t often think about is everything that goes into an efficiently functioning heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system, particularly the need for air duct cleaning. That’s where Oliver Heating and Cooling comes in!

What is air duct cleaning?

The process of cleaning your air ducts helps remove buildup, including dirt, allergens, dust, debris, mold spores, bacteria and viruses. In some homes, additional filtration systems may be necessary to reach optimal indoor air quality, including adding a humidifier or dehumidifier or optimizing filters or air scrubbers.

There are a few key signs that the ducts in your home need to be cleaned:

  • Your utility bills have suddenly spiked without an apparent reason.
  • You’re experiencing a problem with insects or rodents in your home.
  • You have a buildup of dust around the vents in your home.
  • You or a family member has suddenly had an onset of respiratory or allergy symptoms.

Benefits of duct cleaning services

There are many benefits to cleaning the air ducts in your home. The most important benefit, of course, is improving the air quality for your family. Clean air improves your health and helps to keep respiratory and allergy problems at bay. In addition, removing the buildup inside of your ducts will allow for your HVAC system to be more efficient which will in turn lower your heating and cooling costs.

How often should you clean your air ducts?

At Oliver Heating and Cooling, we recommend duct cleaning every 3-5 years. Keep in mind, there are a few outlying factors that may affect your schedule. For example, you should always have air ducts cleaned after new construction or a major renovation in your home due to excess dust and debris. Also, if you have had any water damage or signs of mold in your home, air duct cleaning is essential to avoid triggering respiratory problems.

Could your home benefit from air duct cleaning? An HVAC services company like Oliver can help. You can request information online or give us a call. We’ll make sure the air quality in your home is safe for your family.

Springfield Neighbors Advertiser: David Oliver, Owner, Oliver Heating & Cooling. Phone: 877-712-1482, Website:

Reinvigorate Your Home with the 2023 Color of the Year Raspberry Blush

By Mariel Middleton – Founder, m. ariana interiors / Stacey Middleton BHHS Fox & Roach – Newtown Square

Both nature and fashion work in cycles – though no two years are ever the same. Cycles evolve and update even as they return, familiar and yet new. Benjamin Moore’s 2023 Color of the Year Raspberry Blush harkens back to the Tuscan terracotta earth tones of the 90s, the playful warm corals of the mid-00s, and a timeless nautical salmon, now turning up the volume on this classic for a joyous modern feel.

This truly dynamic near-red shade has a healthy dose of coral-pink and orange undertones for an instant dose of warmth in any room. But don’t let the professional photography lighting fool you: Raspberry Blush interacts with natural light throughout the day to a perhaps surprisingly neutral effect most often, with mid-morning rays, afternoon direct sunlight and evening ambient lighting each bringing out different shades of terracotta, dusty rose and warm beige beneath the initially vibrant hue.

Still, if you’re not ready to paint your whole home in a monochromatic bright coral red right away, there are lots of lower-commitment and renter-friendly ways to embrace the 2023 Benjamin Moore Color of the Year Raspberry Blush: 

Painted accents go a long way. See how much a painted ceiling warms up an otherwise neutral space and how the color works with mid-century modern medium brown wood tones and gold accents for a very rich environment. Using Raspberry Blush in a matte finish is also a great way to tone down the saturation on this bright hue for use as more of a neutral tone in your color palette.

Small room makeovers are a great way to feel a big difference with the least effort. Update your bath towels, shower curtain and bathmat for a completely new bathroom vibe.

Smaller accents in the same color family, like a ceramic vase, woven coasters and placemats, or an ornate pink glassware set, can be among the easiest ways to bring new color to any space.

Larger accents that bring in tastes of the Raspberry Blush color family, like a patterned rug, can help tie in many smaller accents within a space. Alternatively, go for a bolder look with a monochromatic terracotta rug and balance it with color-saturated textiles that explore the variation within the hue, like a color-blocked throw blanket or assorted throw pillows in varying shades of orange, red and coral. Or, lean into the more muted jewel-toned range of the Raspberry Blush color scale for a sophisticated aesthetic focused on textured neutrals. Try an earthy bedroom update this year by matching monochromatic sheets and a duvet cover for a trendy bedroom refresh. Make sure to include different textures, materials and patterns within a space when celebrating a single color to really nail a top-to-bottom look.

Stacey Middleton is an advertiser with Springfield Neighbors as Realtor, with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, Fox & Roach in Newtown Square. Phone: 610-353-6200, Email: [email protected],

Fireplace Accessories – The Options Are Astounding!

By Scott Magness; Scott‘s Fireplace Products

The fireplace is a beautifully visible part of the home. It plays an important role in our lives and is a sought-after feature for people looking to build or buy a house. The fireplace reflects the heart and soul of its owners, and can turn a plain room into an inviting retreat. Yet, one of the most exciting characteristics of a fireplace is its role as a design focal point, bringing together furniture, artwork, lamps and draperies in a pleasingly harmonious décor within a room.

The Key is Accessorizing

Adding accessories is the secret to creating a fireplace that integrates form and function. A basic fireplace can be enhanced by simply adding an attractive standing firescreen, which offers a myriad of finishes, including satin and textured black, brushed nickel, natural iron, polished brass, vintage iron and many others. We also have spark guards available which can be a more traditional alternative to a firescreen.

Quickly Get Your Fire Burning

There is no more need for newspaper or traditionally hard to ignite kindling to get your fire started. Two or three sticks of Fatwood or just one Lightning Nugget FireStarter is all it takes to quickly get your fire burning.

Grates and Log Rings

  • Grates – A quality grate offers good airflow and ensures excellent combustion, plus the tight casting design holds the burning logs and bed of hot coals until they are rendered to ash.
  • Self-Feeding – The high front and low back profile of the self-feeding grate allows wood to self-feed to the rear of the fireplace where the natural draft is.
  • Safety – The self-feeding grate features a higher front edge, which minimizes the possibility of a burning log rolling off the grate into the living area.
  • Log Hoops – Made of a solid grade steel material in a bar-stock design, log hoops traditionally come in three sizes: 24”, 36” and 48”.

Outdoor Log Racks

Wood racks are designed with quality and simplicity in mind. They feature the look and strength of a traditional firewood rack, and include a standard reinforced vinyl cover that fits over the rack posts, and slides down as wood is used. The stack of firewood is protected from rain and snow while allowing cross ventilation. 

Author of this article is Scott Magness of Scott’s Fireplace Products in Newtown Square, PA.  
Phone: 484-422-8334 eMail: [email protected]

Electrical Safety in a Residence: Protecting Your Home and Family

By Joe Voci JDV Electric, LLC

Electricity is an essential part of our daily lives; it can also be dangerous if not used and maintained properly. Electrical accidents can cause serious injury or death, so it is important to take electrical safety in your residence seriously. Here are some of the key ways to protect your home and family from electrical hazards.

  • Install and maintain smoke detectors.

Smoke detectors are crucial for protection from fires caused by electrical faults. Install them on every level of your home and in every bedroom, test them regularly to ensure they work correctly, and replace the batteries at least once a year.

  • Use certified and approved electrical appliances and fixtures.

Electrical appliances and fixtures like lamps, power strips and extension cords that are certified and approved by a recognized safety organization are tested and designed to meet strict safety standards and are less likely to cause electrical hazards.

  • Do not overload circuits.

Overloading circuits can cause electrical fires and damage appliances. Avoid using too many appliances on one circuit and never plug in too many extension cords or power strips. Consider installing additional circuits to use multiple appliances in one area.

  • Keep electrical cords away from water.

Water and electricity do not mix. Keep electrical cords away from water sources such as sinks, bathtubs and pools. Ensure outdoor outlets are weather-resistant and protected from rain and moisture.

  • Use ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs).

GFCIs are designed to prevent electrical shocks and should be in all areas of your home where water is present, such as kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms. They detect imbalances in the electrical current and shut off the power if a fault is detected.

  • Do not attempt electrical repairs yourself; hire a licensed electrician.

Electrical repairs should only be performed by a licensed electrician; licensed electricians have the expertise and knowledge to ensure that your electrical system is safe and up to code. Attempting to fix electrical problems yourself can be dangerous and/or cause further damage. 

  • Replace damaged or worn cords and plugs.

Damaged cords and plugs can cause electrical shocks and fires, so replace frayed or cracked cords immediately.

  • Use surge protectors.

Protect your appliances from power surges and spikes. Surge protectors are particularly important for expensive devices such as computers, televisions and home theater systems.

  • Use arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) protection.

AFCIs are designed to recognize dangerous arcs in your wiring and immediately break the flow of electricity. They prevent your electrical system from becoming an ignition source for a fire. The life-saving technology and superior design of AFCI protection, now standard in new construction, has been refined to also reduce unwanted nuisance tripping due to interference from electrical devices or appliances. Arc fault receptacles and circuit breakers provide fire and electrical safety protection.

In conclusion, electrical safety is an important aspect of home maintenance that should not be overlooked. By following these tips, you can help protect your home and family from electrical hazards and ensure that your electrical system is safe and up to code.

For all your Electrical needs contact Joe Voci at JDV Electric, LLC at 610-364-5099 or [email protected]

This Is How Many Gallons of Water Plumbing Leaks Cost You

By Jeff Goane Murphy’s Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning

If you had a gushing leak in your home’s plumbing, you’d notice it right away, right? Aside from the potential water damage, you’d be thinking about the amount of wasted water and just how much your next water bill might cost.

What if we told you that most of the wasted water isn’t caused by huge emergencies? Would you want to know just how much water might be going to waste in your home right now? We’ve got some fascinating facts for you about just how much water is wasted in American homes and why. We’ll even tell you just how much money that could be costing you. And yes, we do have a great solution to this problem.

Water Usage
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average American uses 82 gallons of water per day. For a family of four, the household would then be consuming 328 gallons every day. That’s almost 120,000 gallons in a year! 

Water Bills
One statistic from 2019 suggested that the average American water bill for a four-person household was nearly $73 a month. However, according to the Census Bureau, as of 2021, the average American household contains 3.13 persons. Another study determined that for the average American household, the monthly water bill was $45.44. Even at this lower estimate, that’s nearly $550 per year; the higher estimate would put it around $875. 

Water Waste
The EPA determined that plumbing leaks account for 10,000 gallons of wasted water in the average American household every year. Even worse than that, they say that 10% of homes have leaks that waste at least 90 gallons of water every day. That’s more water than adding a family member would use. These leaks add up to over a trillion wasted gallons of water every year in the U.S. 

Crunching the Numbers
If ten thousand gallons are wasted each year in a household that uses 120,000 gallons a year, that’s the equivalent of losing an entire month’s water bill each year. If you’re unlucky enough to be in the 10% of households that waste 90 gallons a day, that’s 2,700 gallons per month (more than a quarter of the average household’s water use). That potentially adds up to nearly $20 every month going down the drain.

Sources of Leaks
It’s astonishing just how much water can be lost to a very small leak. A shower dripping just ten times a minute allows 500 gallons a year to be lost down the drain for no reason. If your toilet won’t stop running, it might be going through two gallons of water every minute! Having your fixtures tightened could make a huge difference. If you’re worried that water is being lost in other ways, our team can use video pipe inspection to check your entire plumbing system for problems, so you can get plumbing leak repair and stop wasting water—and money.

For an assessment of your plumbing by Jeff Goane contact Murphy’s Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning. Located at 565 Abbott Drive, Broomall. Phone: 610-461-6502; [email protected] or visit
(PA License #113639)

Our Home Should Feel Safe and Comfortable All Year

Heat-induced illness is a very real threat as temperatures climb during the summer. Heatwaves and other hazardous weather can settle in, and, if you aren’t taking the proper precautions, things can take a turn for the worse. While heat and humidity make us all uncomfortable, there are ways to mitigate risk and ease the impact of extreme temperatures. Oliver is here to provide some helpful tips. If you live in the Delaware Valley, we can give your home an air conditioning safety inspection so that you know you’re ready to handle the heat.

The best way to safeguard yourself from heat-induced illness is to stay hydrated. It is recommended to drink eight glasses of water a day–not just to keep your body hydrated, but also to help flush out toxins. While sports drinks or caffeinated beverages may help increase your body’s water level, they are not as effective because they can sometimes contain other dehydrating elements. Staying hydrated will help reduce the risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Another important way to avoid the summer heat is to stay indoors in your climate-controlled home. Your air conditioner regulates the temperature inside your house and can be a haven for anyone at risk for heat-related illness. Making sure your air conditioner is in working order before the heat comes can help you avoid an emergency. The experts at Oliver recommend an annual home A/C safety inspection to make sure your system is clean, operational and running efficiently this season. By ensuring your home will be cool all summer long, you have one less thing to worry about.

A membership with Oliver provides true peace of mind when your heating, cooling, plumbing and electrical equipment has been inspected to keep it running safely and efficiently all year long. Annual inspections and testing by our professional technicians help to identify issues before they become unexpected problems or expensive repairs. Here are just some of the benefits of our Peace of Mind Membership:

  • Plumbing and electrical inspections
  • Convenient payment options
  • Priority service
  • Appointment reminders
  • No-breakdown guarantee
  • 10% discount 

Expert Article provided by Ashley Dennon of Oliver Heating & Cooling. To learn more about the Peace of Mind Membership, call 610-616-5691 or visit