Rain, Rain, Go Away
To protect your home from flood damage there are several options that can help. First, you should assess the risk of flooding in your area and your home specifically. Then 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 an area prone to flooding you can choose to build it 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. 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 the power go out.
-Apply coatings and sealants to your foundation, walls, windows and doorways will help prevent flood water from seeping into your home through cracks.
What is a sump pump anyway??
A sump pump is used to remove water that has accumulated in a water-collecting basin, usually found in the basements of homes. Sump pumps are used where basement flooding happens often and helps to solve dampness where the water table is above the foundation of a home. However, if the electricity goes out, that sump will not pump.
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 already so saturated with melted snow it is unable to absorb any more water and then any precipitation can lead to a flooded basement! If this does happen don't worry, don't fret, just call SERVPRO of Martinsville & Henry County, we’ll make it “Like it never even happened."
The party season is upon us! You have to clean before the party and you definitely have to clean after the party, what fun! First it’s the Halloween parties and it carries on through Christmas and finally calms down after News Years! There’s always that one person that gets more salsa on the Oriental rug than in her mouth, or the infamous family that brings their “well behaved” kids to the adult party and suddenly, there is chocolate everywhere! These things happen and instead of stressing about it, relax. SERVPRO can help! When the dust settles and it's time to clean up the aftermath of an awesome shindig or you’re just ready for a good deep clean, Contact SERVPRO of Martinsville & Henry County for your most difficult jobs. We will make it "Like it never even happened." We offer upholstery, carpet and even duct cleaning.
Your boiler system needs to be clear of clutter so be sure not to store flammable items, such as boxes and newspapers, etc. in that area. This is something that many homeowners may forget when storing belongings, out of sight out of mind.
Most homeowners don’t realize that the laundry room can often be a source of home fires. Due to the duct that connects to the back of the dryer that can collect flammable lint. Homeowners should have their duct cleaned at least once a year. Did you know that your dryer doesn’t capture 100% of lint? 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 possible fire on your hands!
Unfortunately, even with all of the proper precautions taken, 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.
Last but certainly not least, change the batteries!! Be sure to put fresh batteries in smoke/carbon monoxide detectors and have fire extinguishers placed in areas of the home that may be prone to fire such as the kitchen laundry room, near the fireplace, etc.
Tips: Fire Prevention
This is a big one the list. Have your furnace inspected and the duct work 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.
Even if you only use your fireplace 6 times a year, it is still a good idea to have it cleaned yearly to avoid soot and creosote buildup. A Creosote Sweeping Log could be a less expensive alternative to hiring a chimney sweep.
This is a must! It is a simple solution to what could be a major problem. 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, a carpeted area or a sitting area in front or the fireplace.
Space Heater Safety
Make sure to read all labels on your space heater before using. Make sure there are no burn marks on cord, plug or outlet being used. Keep the heater away from fibrous and of course, knowingly flammable objects. Make sure the heaters are sitting level and can’t be easily knocked over. Finally, teach children about the possible dangers of space heaters and how to be around them safely.
There are some home issues that you can see as soon as they happen and they can be fixed quickly. However, mold is a different story. Mold can be quite sneaky, just because you don't see it doesn't mean it isn't there. If you don't see visible evidence of mold but you do smell a strong musty odor, it's time to investigate. Ask yourself, has there been a history of moisture problems in the past such as excessive humidity or a leak that has needed to be fixed previously?
These conditions are perfect for our unwanted friend to grow and thrive in the hidden areas of our homes and businesses. There are some health concerns involved with mold but are particularly dangerous for "at risk" individuals such as young children, those with immune deficiencies, and chronic inflammatory lung diseases such as asthma and severe allergies.
Possible symptoms of mold exposure include: runny nose, sneezing, coughing, aggravation of asthma, sore throat, or inflammation of the sinuses. If this sounds like a problem you may be experiencing contact SERVPRO of Martinsville & Henry County.
Clean Ducts are Happy Ducts
Benefits of Cleaning Your Air Ducts
One major benefit that comes along with Duct cleaning is it will improve your air quality. Take a deep breath. What are you breathing in? Every time you breathe in dust and pollutants, they have the potential to trigger sneezing and coughing, as well as impact your sinuses or bronchial congestion. Cleaning your air ducts regularly ensures you’ll always have a clean air supply to breathe in.
Reducing irritants in the air
Let’s be real here, it isn’t just dust in your air ducts. Harmful contaminants and microorganisms live there too. Irritants such as pet dander, bacteria, pollen, mildew, and other pollutants can all impact the air you breathe. An annual air duct cleaning helps keep the family members in your home healthier instead of circulating potential problems…over and over again.
Removing smells and odors
Pets, cleaning agents, paint fumes, mildew, food, tobacco use, and more all contribute to stale smells that can settle in over time. A thorough cleaning of the air ducts can help remove odor that is trapped in dust particles, giving you a fresher smelling home.
When duct work and registers have a heavy buildup of dust and grime, they are likely not going operate as efficiently. When the air supply is cut off in any capacity, it means your system has to work harder to accomplish the same outcome. A cleaner system is designed to operate as efficiently as possible, giving you a system that operates at peak efficiency and provides cost-effective performance year round.
Weatherproofing Your Home for the Fall
- Seal Crawl Spaces
When your home’s crawl space is properly sealed and maintained your house will be cleaner, dryer and more energy efficient. A properly conditioned and encapsulated crawl space will easily pass inspection, not just maintain but add value to your home.
- Insulate Ducts and Pipes
One of the best energy-conserving measures you can take is to insulate ducts or pipes in your home! One very important fire safety note: Never place duct or pipe insulation within 3 feet of the heating system, exhaust flues, or any other high-temperature areas.
- Caulk Windows
Windows are another part of your home that must be tested for drafts. If your home has storm windows, make sure they’re installed before the weather turns colder. Be sure to check for drafts around the windows, and install weatherproofing strips to seal them properly.
- Check Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
It’s easy to forget about the detectors in your home. A good routine to get into is to change the batteries when the seasons change! You can’t be too careful with this step, especially with carbon monoxide being “the silent killer.”
- Inspect Your Roof
Always inspect the roof of your home, garages, greenhouses and tool sheds before the first heavy snow or rainfall that will ice over. Take note of loose shingles, damaged or weak spots where a collapse could be possible. Also, if you’ve had an addition built onto your home, the materials are often not the same as those on the original structure!
- Insulate Plumbing
The cold weather can wreak havoc on the plumbing in your home. To avoid your water freezing and or your pipes breaking when temperatures reach below freezing you should have insulation protecting your hot and cold pipes throughout as much of the home as possible. The insulation will help stop your cold pipes from freezing and bursting while protecting your hot water pipes from thermal loss, making your electrical or gas consumption more efficient.
One thing most of us do not think about often is air purity. It's not a popular topic but it is very important. No one wants their family, especially the elderly or children breathing in harmful spores or bacteria on a daily basis. It is recommended that you have your air ducts cleaned every 3-5 yrs to be safe.
The Environmental Protection Agency recommends cleaning your ducts when the following conditions are present:
· Infestation inside the home or if you see insects or rodents around the duct work.
· Visible dust or dander being released from the supply registers when air is exiting the vents.
· If visible mold is present, it would definitely need to be taken care of as soon as possible to avoid the spread of spores and possible health complications.
Take a gander and check the dander inside of your vent register. Black debris and dust build up is a sign your system is excessively soiled.
If your dealing with a dirty duct give SERVPRO a call and we'll clean it up... "Like it never even happened."
Spring has sprung! While April showers do bring May flowers, they can also bring high winds, flash floods and unexpected damage. It's time to get prepared!
Here are some helpful tips to help you along the way:
- Remove diseased and damaged limbs from trees to avoid them landing on your home.
- Store law furniture and other outdoor items in a safe and secure place, anchor to something secure or move inside for storage.
- If you have a storage area or basement that may flood, be sure to store all valuables in a plastic (waterproof) container and store off the ground if possible to prevent damage to important papers, pictures and keepsakes.
- Have emergency numbers easily accessible such as plumbers, the power company and of course, SERVPRO.
Contact SERVPRO as soon as possible after damage occurs so we can help, and don't forget, April showers bring May flowers!