Lewis Maclean July 2019

JULY 2019

SMALL Leaks Can Equal HUGE Problems

For a lot of kids, summer means playing in the water. Whether they’re running through sprinklers, jumping in the inflatable pool, throwing water balloons at one another, or just swimming at the community pool, they’ll find a way to get drenched. This makes it the perfect time to talk about your outside taps. During the spring, summer, and fall, many homeowners put those taps through the wringer. Between watering the garden and the kids playing in the sprinklers, the taps are often on for long periods of time. As you use your outside taps and hoses, don’t forget to check all the connections periodically. Over time, it’s not uncommon for taps and connecting pipes to develop leaks, even if it’s just a small drip. A small drip today can be a huge headache tomorrow. For one thing, even a tiny amount of water is enough to promote the growth of mold. You might not even see the mold growing as the water gets into the foundation or frame of the home. And that’s another major problem — as water drips, it can also cause the surrounding wood, siding, or other material that may be around the taps to rot. Rot can lead to structural damage, which then turns into huge costs for the homeowner. Summer is a great time to watch for leaks. Once a month, do a walk around of all your outside taps. If you can, check the pipes that lead into the home. Look for moisture and signs of moisture (water stains, mold, rot, and so on).

It’s so much better to find leaks and take care of them now rather than during the cold months when freezing temperatures can cause even more problems, including burst pipes.

This is also a great time to talk about backflow prevention. If you’ve followed our newsletter, you may remember our discussion on backflow prevention from last year. It all comes down the backflow prevention device. Not every home has one of these devices, which connects to your water line. Homes with a well or an irrigation system should have one. Basically, if there is any chance your home’s clean incoming water can be contaminated by outgoing wastewater, you should have a backflow device. If water pressure does happen to drop, this can cause wastewater to flow backward and into your system. Water pressure drops are typically caused by leaks and pipe breaks. Nearby fire hydrants can also cause water pressure drops when in use if the hydrant is sharing the same line as your home and neighbourhood. Should you experience a water pressure drop, and should your home’s water become contaminated, stop using it immediately. Bacteria and other pathogens may be present. You need to call in professionals who can track down the problem and restore your home’s clean water supply. With that said, get out there and enjoy your summer, and we’ll deal with anything that comes up along the way. We’re standing by the phone, ready to take your call 24/7, no matter your plumbing, cooling, heating, or drainage needs!

1 604-532-9625 • –Tyler Dillon

3 Tips for Swimming in Open Water SUMMER Swimming Safety


There’s nothing like taking a dip in a nearby pond, lake, or even

It’s a harsh truth: Air conditioners don’t last forever. Over time and with use, they degrade and eventually fail. When you start to notice poor airflow coupled with a lack of cool, crisp air, or you see your energy bills going up and up but you’re not using your A/C more than normal, you know something is wrong. In addition to these common signs, here are four more. It produces excess moisture. While some condensation around an A/C unit is normal, it shouldn’t be excessive — and moisture should not be leaking out of the appliance. Should you notice refrigerant or water pooling in or around the unit, don’t hesitate to call in the experts to take care of it. Excess moisture leads to mold growth, and refrigerant leaks, while rare, can pose a health hazard to both people and pets. It’s making odd sounds. When an A/C unit starts making noises you’ve never heard before, it’s a good idea to get someone to look at it. This is often a sign that a component has broken or deteriorated or become misaligned. If an A/C unit is allowed to continue running with a broken or misaligned part, it can cause serious, sometimes irreparable, damage to the unit. It’s old. After 10 years, many A/C units tend to show more signs of age, along with wear and tear. At about 15 years, it may still work, but it’s going to be far from efficient. Here’s a general rule of thumb: The older an A/C unit is, the less efficient it will be, meaning you will spend more to keep it running. Energy costs and increased regular maintenance will quickly add up. It needs constant repairs. Speaking of more frequent maintenance, if you’re constantly calling someone to repair your A/C unit, you may be throwing your money away. However, the experts at Lewis MacLean will only recommend a new unit if it’s clear nothing more can be done. It’s always important to weigh the cost of repair with the cost of replacement, particularly in older units. If you’ve experienced one or two of these issues, that’s not a definitive sign you need a new A/C unit, but it’s always good to address any problems head-on and consult with the pros. If you’re experiencing several or all of these issues, then it’s a sure sign it’s time for a new A/C unit.

the ocean. For many, it’s a summertime tradition.

However, swimming in open bodies of water brings certain safety risks, as these environments are not nearly as controlled as public, club, or backyard pools. Everyone should

follow these tips to have a fun and safe time cooling off under the summer sun. Never swim alone. When you swim in virtually any body of water, having someone there to keep an eye on you

can be a lifesaver: the more people, the better. Stick to bodies of water with a professional lifeguard on duty when possible, though that’s not always an option. When swimming in open bodies of water, have a “designated spotter” to keep an eye on the swimmers. This way, you’re prepared if anything bad happens. It’s also a great idea to keep flotation devices nearby, such as life jackets, life rings, foam boards, etc. Know what you’re getting into. Sometimes, it’s next to impossible to see what’s under the surface of the water. If you are unfamiliar with a body of water, don’t jump or dive in without knowing how deep it is. If you cannot confirm what is under the surface (and the spot is not a known diving location), don’t risk it. It may be okay to swim or wade, but jumping is out of the question. Along these same lines, be VERY careful around bodies of slow-moving or standing water. These can house dangerous microbes and other contaminants that can make you ill and potentially be deadly. Watch for rip currents. These can occur at any beach without warning. They pull swimmers away from shore and are strong enough that even excellent swimmers struggle to get through them. In fact, rip currents are behind nearly 80% of beach rescues. Keep an eye on the foam at the surface of the water. If it seems to suddenly pull away from the beach, there’s a good chance a rip current is lurking beneath. If you find yourself in a rip current, it’s crucial to remain calm and avoid expending energy swimming directly back to shore. Instead, try swimming parallel to the shore until you’re out of the current.

2 • www.lewismaclean.com

Find Sunburn Relief With Oatmeal

With every summer comes the dreaded sunburn. As you’re out and about, enjoying the weather while swimming, camping, hiking, boating, and doing your favourite summertime activities, it can be easy to forget to apply sunblock to protect your skin. When you do use it, you may forget to reapply every two hours (or again directly after swimming) as is recommended. Enough time in the sun will give anyone a sunburn, even with protection. And given the frequently overcast skies in the Lower Mainland, many people don’t realize you can get

To apply oatmeal directly to the sunburn, start by making a batch of plain oatmeal. Use quick, old-fashioned, or steel-cut — any kind of oats will do. Once you have a batch made, let it cool. Place it in the refrigerator or freezer for a few minutes or mix in a few ice cubes, but be careful not to dilute it. You should keep it nice and thick. Once it’s cool, apply it to the burn for 20–30 minutes. For a soothing oatmeal bath, you’ll need a blender, a coffee grinder, or a food processor and one cup of oats. Blend the oats into a very fine powder. Then, begin filling

a sunburn on cloudy days too. The sun will always remind you that it’s there. And when it is, you can be ready! If you find your skin red and sore, there is one remedy most of you already have in your kitchen or pantry: oatmeal! Oats have been used to treat skin conditions for centuries. The whole grain helps reduce inflammation, which then cuts down on pain and discomfort. When it comes to the oatmeal remedy, you have two options: apply it directly to the burn or take an oatmeal bath.

a bath with lukewarm water. As the tub fills, slowly add the powder to the water, mixing evenly and removing any clumps. When the water looks milky, climb in and soak in the relief. Oatmeal not only helps lower the pain and skin irritation of the sunburn but also helps reduce healing time. For severe sunburns, oatmeal will still provide some relief, but it won’t be as effective. It’s always a good idea to consult with a doctor or skincare professional if you experience a severe, painful sunburn.


Skewers are a summer favourite, but these are not your classic kebabs. They’re a fresh, light, and fun way to start a barbecue. Oh, and they don’t require any actual cooking.


1 medium-sized watermelon, cubed 2 cucumbers, cut into 1/4-inch rounds

• •

1 bunch fresh mint leaves

Salt, to taste

Equipment •

1 block feta cheese, cubed

1 packet of bamboo skewers






1. Assemble skewers by placing one watermelon cube, one cucumber round, one feta cube, and one mint leaf on skewer in that order. Repeat until skewer is full.

2. Lightly season with salt and chill in fridge until right before serving.


Inspired by CookingLight.com

3 604-532-9625 •

23008 Fraser Highway Langley, BC V2Z 2V1 604-532-9625 www.lewismaclean.com


Inside 1 2


Small Leaks, Big Problems 3 Things Everyone Needs to Know Before Swimming in Open Water Signs It’s Time for a New Air Conditioner Soothe Sunburns With This Breakfast Staple Watermelon Cucumber Skewers Avoid the Summer Heat Somewhere Cool



Chill Out


As the scorching summer sun beats down, it’s hard to remember that just six months ago you were shivering through the winter, whether that meant a chilly 50 F or bitter subzero temperatures. But if cooler temps sound like paradise, and a dip in the pool is no longer keeping you cool, it might be time to take a vacation somewhere chilly. Check out these three destinations to avoid the summer heat. Alaska No place says chilly quite like Alaska. Trips to Alaska can be expensive during this time of year, but when you step into that crisp air with a cool mountainous view, you’ll understand why it’s a popular summer voyage. Travellers can choose to fly or take a cruise ship, and many cities feature tourism-packed excursions. A few notable locations include Anchorage, the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, and Denali National Park and Preserve. Iceland Just as its name suggests, Iceland can be the perfect destination for travellers yearning to get away from the unbearable summer heat. With temperatures rarely exceeding 60 F — the average high for the country — packing is easy for this relaxing vacation. Take a relaxing dip in one of the country’s many hot springs or enjoy tremendous

views of the fjords. Even better, you can tour the country at any time because it’s sunny almost 24 hours a day. What could be

better than a midnight hike around the fourth happiest country in the world? Norway

Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean you have to give up your skiing hobby! Venture off to Norway and experience some of their most popular summer ski resorts. After a day or two shredding the slopes, experience the popular Norwegian Opera and Ballet in Oslo or choose between numerous outdoor and indoor exhibitions. Best of all, you won’t even break a sweat, as the average temperature in Norway’s hottest month barely hits 70 F. Bordering Sweden and northern Finland, Norway can even be the beginning to a cool European tour this summer.

4 • www.lewismaclean.com

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