If it Keeps on Raining
In efforts to protect your home from flood damage there are several steps to take and decisions to make. First you should assess the risk of flooding in your region and your home specifically. Next, decide what best fits your needs, such as installing a flood control system and applying sealants to any cracks in your home's foundation. Finally, make sure to check with your insurance agent to see if any additional coverage is needed.
Flood-Proofing to Protect Your Home
-If you're building a house in a flood-prone area you can choose to build id on stilts or piers. Even an inch of water can lead to substantial damage so by raising your home above the flood level; it will significantly increase the protection of your home.
-Install foundation vents or a sump pump. Foundation vents allow flood water to flow through your home, rather than collecting inside. Of course this method would still cause water damage to the areas that water flows through. However, a more common option is a sump pump, they are frequently used to pump water out of basements where flooding happens regularly. Keep in mind that if you loose power in your home the sump pump will not work without a backup. You can purchase a sump pump with a battery backup, so that you can still protect your home from rising water, should power goes out.
-Apply coatings and sealants to your foundation, walls, windows and doorways will help prevent flood water from seaping into your home through cracks.
When Cold Approaches, Take Precautions
Give Your Boiler Room to Breathe
Be careful not to store flammable items, such as boxes and newspapers around your boiler system. This is something that many homeowners may forget when storing belongings, out of sight out of mind.
Don’t Forget about the Laundry Room
Most homeowners don’t realize the laundry room can be a source of home fires due to the duct that connects to the back of the dryer and collects flammable lint. Homeowners should have their duct cleaned at least once a year. Your dryer doesn’t capture 100 percent of your lint and a portion of it ends up in the ducts, which is very hazardous. If you have too much dryer lint built up in the duct, you could have a huge fire on your hands!
Get the Best Coverage
Unfortunately, even with the proper precautions, fires can still happen. That’s why you need reliable home insurance coverage that will protect you in the event of a fire. Get a homeowners insurance quote and compare a few different companies so you have a policy that fits your needs and can protect your home and belongings in the event of fire damage, theft, vandalism, etc.
Home tips for summer
With summer right around the corner you should consider preparing your home and yard for the heat. A few simple chores will help keep your home running smoothly and maybe even save ya a little money.
- Check Detectors-Check your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors to be sure the batteries are good and they’re working properly.
- Check air-conditioners-As for window air-conditioning units, clean the filters before using the unit. If you have central air-conditioning, you may want to call SERVPRO to have your unit and ducts serviced. This should be done every one to five years. Also cleaning ceiling fans and other fans with a damp rag will help ensure them working more efficiently as well as better air quality. For high ceilings you may want to use a ceiling-fan duster for those hard-to-reach blades.
- Install an outdoor clothesline-Opt to dry your laundry out in the sunshine; by skipping the dryer you'll save money and energy.
Quick Home Improvements
- Check your deck-Inspect your deck for signs of rotting and don't forget to hammer in any nails that may be poking up. Next, decide if it’s time to seal or reseal your deck. A simple test can help you decide. Just sprinkle water on the surface of the deck, if the water beads up, you're good to go; but if it immediately soaks into the wood you should reseal it to help preserve the deck for as long as possible.
- Check exterior faucets for leaks- A tiny leak can add up to a rather large bill and a substantial waste of water. Something like a pinhole leak in a hose can be fixed quickly by winding electrical tape around the area. Make sure hose is dry and wrap tape in overlapping layers.
First, you want to be sure the grill is clean to avoid and possible grease fire from residue. For a gas grill, turn the heat up to high, letting the grill cook with the lid closed for about half an hour. Then, let the grill cool for a bit and brush leftovers off with a grill brush. Don’t forget the outside. Simply wipe down the outside of the grill with a damp rag. Last but certainly not least, you need to clean the drip pans and then you’re ready to grill!
For charcoal grills you want to completely empty the grill and wipe out any residue. Next, use hot water, a rough sponge and some liquid dish washing soap to clean it thoroughly. Let the grill dry fully before firing it up.
Always keep a fire extinguisher close by to be prepared, of course if a fire should occur and you are unable to get it under control immediately have family vacate the home and call the fire department. Safe grilling is happy grilling!
A Better Home and Garden
Prune your plants. Trim back perennials and annuals to keep them producing beautiful buds. If there is visible dead foliage from spring bulbs, pull them out to maintain a clean look, however if the daffodil/ tulip leaves are still green, let them be; they're nourishing the bulb to bloom again next year.
Make a watering schedule. You can actually train your garden to withstand the dry days by watering deeply just a couple times a week. This type of watering will promote the growth of deep, strong roots.
Stop dirt at the door. Keep the dirt where it belongs, outside with not just one, but two doormats at door. Start with a coarser mat at the exterior and a cloth one on the inside. If you want to get serious about it, tell the family to take off their shoes before coming in. If you live near a sandy area, a small tub of water to rinse feet can be placed by the door to keep sand outside.
Tips to prevent house fires
Inspect your furnace
The first thing on the list is have you furnace inspected and all the ducts cleaned. Don’t forget to change your furnace filter each month during the winter and to keep all flammable material from the area around your furnace. Duct cleaning services are available at SERVPRO of Martinsville and Henry County.
Clean your chimney
If you only use your fireplace 6 times a year it is a good idea to have it cleaned of soot and creosote yearly. A Creosote Sweeping Log can be a less expensive alternative to hiring a chimney sweep.
Use a diffusion screen for your fireplace
A diffusion screen will provide a barrier to prevent hot embers or logs from escaping the fireplace. This is especially important if there is a rug or a carpeted area in front of the fireplace or a sitting area.
Tips for space heaters and water heaters
Be careful with space heaters
Space heaters are involved in 74 % of fire-related deaths according to the U.S. Fire Administration. If you are going to use a space heater, choose one with an emergency cut-off. It will automatically shut off if accidentally knocked down. That alone can prevent a house fire! Make sure the heater is placed on a level surface and keep them away from flammable objects such as curtains, clothing and carpet, etc. Finally never leave a space heater unattended!
Check your water heater
As you use your water heater through natural wear and tear the flame will become inconsistent due to the aging of the heating element and thermostat. This could cause a flash fire, especially if the water heater is located in the garage where it is exposed to wind or changes in air supply.
Sump Pump Slump
Finally, spring has arrived and that mean lots of rain! Along with May flowers, April showers can bring flooding as well! That's where your sump pump comes in! Unfortunately, this is the time of year many sump pumps fail and this could be for several reasons, a big one is that soil is over-saturated with melted sonw.
The number one reason is over-saturated soil. If you live in an area that gets a decent amount of snow during the winter months, you know that melting snow can easily cause flooding. While most homeowners are usually somewhat prepared for this, they may not realize that melted snow continues to cause problems after it’s long gone. Because the soil is so saturated with melted snow it is unable to absorb anymore water and then when all that rain comes in the spring it can lead to a flooded basement!
Simply because your sump pump may not be ready to handle this increase in water. If this does happen don't worry, don't fret, just call SERVPRO of Martinsville and Henry County!
Get Your DUCTS In a Row
Recently, studies conducted by multiple health organizations have proven that the quality of air indoors is much lower and is more hazardous to us than the fresh air outside. Now is the time to get your DUCTS in a row! Here are a few benefits of a good duct cleaning:
1. Heath and Wellness
Dust, mildew, allergens and even mold can collect in your home or office's duct work and can be easily overlooked, out of sight out of mind. However the cleanliness of the duct work and registers can play a huge art in the occupants health. A thorough duct clean still may not remove ALL pollutants, but it can help prevent build-up form accumulating in the duct work, which then leads to an increase in the quality of air being circulated and over all increased heath.
2. Removes dust
When dust particles have collected in the air ducts and registers the particles will then move with the flow of air throughout your home or business. It is very important to keep up with the duct cleaning to eliminate the dust, which in turn makes cleaning your home and office more effective and efficient.
3. Limit Mechanical Issues
As pollutants collect in the duct work and registers the heating and cooling systems will have to work harder to do the job. However, if you keep up with regular maintenance, such as a duct cleaning every 1 to 5 years, that can help prevent unnecessary maintenance and unwanted expenses.
4. Saves energy
Accumulation of impurities in your the system requires the equipment to run longer when you need to cool/heat your home or office. The longer your system runs, the more likely you are to increase your energy cost.
Do yourself a favor and give SERVPRO a call for all of your duct cleaning needs!