Archive for the ‘Preventative Maintenance’ Category

Five Ways to Protect Your Home from Extreme Weather

Five Ways to Protect Your Home From Extreme WeatherExtreme weather can occur anywhere, and while many homes are meant to resist the weather conditions where they are built, the fact is that many homes can’t withstand well when exposed to some extreme weather conditions, particularly over time. Below are five ways to protect your home from severe weather circumstances.

Analyze the weather situation and its risks

A thorough assessment of the dangers of extreme weather condition in your vicinity should be established. Your location and its conditions should at all times be your main concern. For instance, if the altering weather in your area suggests more repeated and violent storms and worsening floods, you should perform the needed steps to make certain that your family as well as your home is ready for such calamities. Coordinate with your neighbors to learn about any contingency measures when disasters strike.

Fortify your home

If you know the weak spots in your home, it is best to fortify and strengthen those areas. Installing shatter-resistant windows and steel-door entrances are highly recommended. Below are some options for shielding windows.

• Storm panels
• Accordion shutters
• Roll-up shutters
• Perforated metal screens
• Aluminum awnings

Regular maintenance

Constant maintenance can safeguard your home during severe weather conditions. Make certain any air-conditioners are mounted snugly, refasten exterior lighting fixtures, trim shrubs and trees, and maintain roofing, so possible uplift is prevented in high winds. In order to prevent flood damage, you should apply a waterproof covering or coating to the outside walls of the home and install watertight protections over openings. There are many wood siding or cement products that aid harden the wood frame.

Install a home security and automation system

In your home, with no proper security or detection devices, there are certainly many different kinds of concerns that can arise. The greatest damage is often caused by extreme weather conditions. One of the most famous devices used by homeowners to counteract the severe weather is the home alarm system. Installing automation system is very simple and economical. There is a lot of different manufacturers that make home security and automation systems, and they come in many different models. Make certain that you do the appropriate research and consult with professionals such as those with a San Francisco CA home automation system, prior to purchasing in order to guarantee that you get the perfect alarm for your home.

Get home insurance

If extreme weather condition is becoming the norm close to your home, you might need to purchase or revisit your home insurance policy. Many plans don’t cover damage associated to earthquakes, flooding, or sewage backup. Some policy providers offer extra coverage with additional cost.

HVAC Maintenance Tips

HVACYour HVAC system needs to be maintained in order to continue to create a comfortable, healthy and safe environment. Now that summer is quickly approaching, you need to make sure that your HVAC system is up to date and able to run efficiently. You don’t want to get stuck in one of the heat waves of summer and have your HVAC unable to run properly. Here are some maintenance tips for your HVAC system.

First off, your filters should be cleaned or replaced every month. This might seem a lot, but consider all of the dust particles that will build up on the filters over time. Once a month is ideal for a cleaning to get rid of the dirt and dust so that you aren’t breathing in these particles that can cause harm to your body. Replacing filters should only be needed every six months if you keep them clean every month.

Avoid mold growth by cleaning and disinfecting the evaporator coils. A simple solution such as bleach and water will effectively destroy and possible mold growth. The coils are a great breeding ground for mold, so keeping it clean will help you from breathing in harmful mold. Make sure the system is turned off while you clean it for safety reasons.

Check the HVAC system fans to make sure they are not accumulating dirt which can decrease air flow and efficiency. Before you inspect the fans, turn off the system and then clean it with a wet cloth. This is going to help the system run more efficiently as you remove and dirt and debris that could be building up in the fans, producing less air flow.

Besides maintaining your HVAC system on your own, you should also consider having a professional HVAC technician review your system every couple of years. A regular maintenance plan will help keep your system clean and even more efficient than your monthly upkeep. A professional can get to the little cracks and nooks that you might be unable to get to, getting more of the dust and dirt that has accumulated over time.

Your HVAC system is your life saver on those hot summer days. Without it running properly you are wasting money on your electricity bills and having the system run more than necessary. By keeping up on maintenance on your own and with a professional, you can extend the life of your HVAC system while keeping you comfortable.

 

Denver HVAC Company, Chiller Systems Service is pleased to bring you this article on HVAC maintenance tips. If you are interested in Denver HVAC repair, be sure to check out their website today.

Home Mold Removal

moldMold is a topic no homeowner wants to discuss. It is an issue that many older homes have an issue with, and the older the house gets the worse the mold can get. Even new homeowners with younger houses should be protecting their home from mold. Mold can cause many health issues and do damage on your home, making it inhabitable. It’s better to take care of mold before it becomes a larger issue and costs a fortune to remove. How can you remove it when it is a smaller amount, without spending a ton of money?

First, you should identify the mold to know what you are dealing with. As a fungus, it grows from tiny spores that float in the air, growing anywhere that has moisture and a cooler temperature. Mildew, which is easily to spot because it begins as black spots and grows into larger black spots and usually is found in your shower, on damp walls, and outdoors on surfaces of deck boards and painted siding. You might just think the surface is dirty, but it could be mildew as it is hard to tell. If there is a different type of mold, you can usually smell a musty odor and tell that it is a more serious mold situation.

Getting rid of the mold is the next step. If it is a smaller infestation, you can scrub away the surface with a 1-to-8 bleach and water solution. This is only for smaller amounts of mold, however. If you have to remove mold from a larger area, special precautions must be taken.

You should wear old clothes and shoes that you can throw away, as you won’t want to keep the mold spores on your body. Goggles and gloves, as well as respirators might be necessary as mold is very toxic to the lungs. Moldy carpet needs to be removed with a double-bag and thrown into proper disposal, and anything else needs to have the mold removed properly as well. A wet/dry vacuum will help to vacuum up anything that is left, and you will need special solutions to ensure you get the entire mold problem.

After you have cleaned up any mold, you will want to keep any areas dry to prevent the mold from growing back again. By preventing mold, you will be able to live a healthy life in your home for a longer period of time. It doesn’t take long for mold to overtake a home, and as mold grows the more expensive it will be to get rid of.

 

Asbestos Abatement is pleased to bring you this article on home mold removal. Asbestos Abatement specializes in mold removal in Denver. If you are interested in learning more about mold removal, be sure to check out their website at http://www.abateproco.com/.

Postulating a better way of living without pests

ant on flowerWho does not wishes of residing peacefully in their dream house. But if your dream house becomes a home for some disgusting creatures and pests like cockroaches, bed bugs, mosquitoes, rats, ants, etc. then it is for sure that you will lose your control by maintaining then years after years. These pests also make your life miserable by creating damage to your food, furniture, clothes and toilets. So you have to opt for controlling it effectively by subscribing to a proper pest control services. However there are the best solutions for getting rid of these pests.

 

Measures for getting rid of pests

Firstly is to make your house clean and wipe the floors always using good phenyls or cleaners as pests love to stay in dirty places. Secondly is sealing the cracks and tiny holes which provide an easy passage for entering of ants and other pests and making their nests in it. Using of plasters and chalks provides a barrier for these pests to enter in your house. Thirdly use borax powder in the drains where cockroaches and ants crawl and find a good way for entering your house. Borax powder is mainly found in detergents and readily available in local shops. Fourthly is to check the dripping of water of any of your leaky pipes which create a moist atmosphere for rodents, bugs and many insects.

 

The moisture created in the walls, carpets and floors houses a good place for these pests, it is better if you check for any cracks in the structures of water lines. Lastly is that you have to use some useful and effective pesticides like the canned with nozzle sprays which assist you for spraying in the out of reachable locations of your house. They are appropriate for killing mosquitoes, bed bugs, insects and you will readily get this in any market. Contacting a pest control service is also a better solution for getting rid of mosquitoes and cockroaches. The usage of gamaxine powder and making home remedy solutions decreases the number of pests. For killing rats you can use the rat traps or powerful medicines. Moreover using mosquito repellant in those places where the births of mosquitoes are more minimizes the count of mosquitoes.

 

Effectiveness of pest control services

Some measures which you also can be taken by yourself are by keeping nets in windows, keeping your house tip top and eliminating stagnant water sources for decreasing the breeding sites of water born insects. Another effective solution for keeping insects out of your wardrobe is by using naphthalene balls beside your clothes, as it has an excellent formula for making the insects out of reach. The pest control services also offer you the best assurance by giving the solution for getting rid of harmful insects in affordable prices.

 

They inspect your house and make your house pest free for a limited period of time or for several years. There is however two types of services like herbal and chemical. Herbal pest control kills the insects with the use of medicines and natural pest killing products whereas chemical pest control provides in killing the insects with the use of powerful chemical products. Getting rid of pests is an effective need for dwelling peacefully in your house.

3 Household Threats That Might Be Hiding in Your Walls

Our homes are supposed to be sanctities of harmony and comfort. We might think we’re living in peace and in good health, but chances are we’re not alone and our health might be in danger. Potential environmental threats hide within a home’s walls and harm people’s overall health, along with the health of the home.

Walls are the structure of a home and are essential to its strength and durability. They need to be in good condition and free of environmental threats if a homeowner wants their home to be healthier and higher in value. Three common household threats that linger in walls are mold, lead and bugs, arachnids or rodents. It’s important to understand the causes of these problems in order to resolve them.

 

Mold

Mold forms from a combination of moisture and a lack of ventilation. The type of mold may vary, but no matter what the kind, it has a negative health impact on the people living in that home. Moisture forms from several situations, such as:

Leaky pipes:  Leaky or busted pipes occur frequently, particularly with older homes, poorly installed pipes or homes that experience many temperature shifts. Pipes are a common culprit for mold formation.

  • Older homes and leaky pipes oftentimes go hand-in-hand. That’s why it’s important to perform routine check-ups and inspections for moisture detection or mold removal with older homes.
  • Poorly installed pipes are by far the most frustrating since the problem simply comes to down something that should’ve been avoided in the first place.
  • Homes that reside in habitats with fluctuating temperatures exacerbate pipes because they expand and contract frequently. Pipes freeze, which then burst or they loosen due to the frequent expansion and contraction.

Crack in a home’s foundation:  When a foundation has a crack in it, it allows water to seep into the home, visible or not to the homeowner. Depending on the size of the crack, the amount of water and moisture could be tremendous, which would result in a significant amount of mold damage. The more time moisture has and the more moisture there is, the more difficult the mold removal process will be.

Improperly insulated attic:  If an attic isn’t insulated properly, the roof gets warmer than it should. When this happens and snow is on the roof, the snow melts, seeps into the roof and into the home. The attic is a dangerous place for mold to grow because the chances of anyone going up to the attic are slim, which means the mold has plenty of time to grow and spread.

 

Lead

waterLead isn’t as big of a problem as it used to be. Since the 1970’s, lead-based paints were replaced with options of nontoxic or less toxic paints. If a home hasn’t been remodeled since the 1970’s, then the risks of residents, particularly children, acquiring lead poisoning are high. Exposure to lead occurs in several ways, but two main ways from lead-based paints.

  • Airborne: As the paint deteriorates the lead breaks down; this becomes dust and is breathed by residents. It also falls deep into carpets making it even more difficult to get rid of.
  • Drinking water:  Lead pipes can contaminate a household’s drinking water, as well. Even lead-based paints can seep into walls and pipes and eventually contaminate the water.

 

Bugs/Arachnids/Rodents

spiderAll homes have some sort of bugs or rodents taking advantage of the comfort and warmth they provide. Spiders, ants, mice, you name it, it’s safe to say we’ve all experienced some sort of bug, arachnid or rodent. It’s not pretty either. They creep inside walls and linger in hidden places without us knowing, but we know they’re there. Why wouldn’t there be some kind of creepy crawler? We just ignore the facts because it’s easier. The good news is ‘out of sight, out of mind’ works wonders for residents to not think or worry about these pests. Nonetheless, they still can harm residents from time to time. For instance, mice may get into food supplies and contaminate the food or a household may be infested with brown recluse, which are poisonous and hide in dark, close-quartered areas, such as piles of clothes, cluttered areas or even in shoes.

Regardless of the threat that lies within the walls of a home, it’s important to understand the homeowners are still in control.  No matter how pesky a rodent is, how old your home is or how much mold infests your home, do not freak out. Whether it’s pest control, home remodeling or mold removal, there is a perfectly fine solution to any household threat.

 

Sam Ott writes for Paul Davis Restoration of Kansas City, mold removal experts and home restoration providers. Find out more on mold exposure and the solutions for the families affected.

How to Bleed your radiator and ensure that you are getting the most out of it

how to bleed a radiatorIf your radiator is not at a level temperature throughout and feels cool at the top and warmer towards the bottom.  It could be that gas and/or air is trapped in your radiator, stopping it from heating the radiator fully.  You can fix this yourself without having to call anyone out like a plumber/central heating technician. This will save you a bit of cash and it doesn’t take very long.  Doing this you will realise how much of a difference it will make to the efficiency of your radiators in your home (this in turn will save you a bit of cash also).

This is a safe way to bleed your own radiators and it doesn’t take that long!

  1. Firstly, you need to turn the heating on and get all the radiators on and working.  You may need to go round to each radiator individually and turn them up.
  2. Once the radiators are all going, check each one to see if the entire radiator is heating up. Careful not to scold yourself.  Make a note of which ones are not heating up correctly. Which ones have cool spots, these are the ones that will need to be bled.
  3. Then before you start bleeding the radiators, TURN OFF THE CENTRAL HEATING! This is an important step!
  4. To bleed older radiators you need a radiator key, but you can use a flat head screw driver with newer or more modern radiators. If you don’t have a radiator key, you can pick them up at a good DIY store.
  5. Locate the Bleed valve, this is mainly found on one side of the radiator.  You will need to protect the area and yourself, so put a cloth or a bowl under the valve to catch any water.

CAUTION – The water that comes out might be hot. So you might want to protect your hands.

  1. Insert the key into the bleed valve, turn it (about a ¼ turn) anti clockwise. The air or gas in the radiator will start escaping and you will be able to hear it making a hissing sound. Once water starts leaking out instead of air, this means that all the trapped air or gas has escaped.  So re-tighten the valve the other way to close it off.
  2. Repeat this with each radiator you noted that needs bleeding.
  3. Then turn your central heating back on. Check on your radiators after a while and each radiator should be heating up all over the radiator.

Enjoy The Warmth!

A To Z of Energy Saving Tips

Alternative Fuels – If you are buying a new car, investigate what kind of fuel the car runs on. Hydrogen can now be used to power newer models, along with other diverse fuels. Gasoline and diesel aren’t the only choices for running cars.

Boiler – If you want to make a number of savings on your energy bill then change your boiler, particularly if it’s older than 15 years. Older boilers can cause difficulties, are incompetent and will cost you extra money in upkeep.

Car – The highest amount of carbon emission worldwide comes from cars. Merging a quantity of minor trips into one decrease the oil used. Inflate the tyres to the pressure outlined on the tyre. It is also important to note that a cold engine will use 60% more fuel than at its optimum temperature.

Doors – Save money by placing PVC in gaps. This will also cut the amount of heat that is lost in your home. Doors are the main cause of heat being lost.

Energy Monitors – Check how much energy is being used around your home with an energy monitor. They will allow you to estimate how much it will cost you.

Fruit BasketFood – Some foods clock up hundreds of air miles before landing on our plates. Buying local food cuts the need for transportation around the world. The local economy will also benefit.

Garden – It’s best not use patio heaters, they use more energy than they’re worth. They don’t provide much heat, but use lots of energy. Get composters to turn refuse into source and help your garden develop. You can produce several of your own vegetables with the manure.

Heating Oil– If you use oil central heating, think about changing to carbonclean kerosene. This is a new central heating oil that generates less carbon. It takes extra time to burn, meaning it will save you money.

Insulation – Your home will stay warm for longer if it is well-insulated. This will use a smaller amount of energy compared to warming the home again and again.

Jackets – To reduce your energy bills, buy an insulation jacket for your cistern. This can reduce heat loss by as much as 75%.

Kettle – Don’t fill the kettle, only use as much water as you’re going to need.

Light bulbs – Energy efficient light bulbs last up to 10 times longer than regular light bulbs. Switching to energy efficient light bulbs is an easy change. Similarly they use a smaller amount of power and generate the equal light. A home using energy saving bulbs can save about £600.

Mobile Phones – Some online sites will buy your old phone off you and recycle it. When you think about buying a new phone, always think whether you need it or not.

Oven – A chicken can be cooked in just 30 minutes in a halogen oven. This is 50% faster than a normal oven and decreases your bill.

Pipes – Protecting pipes can keep warm water in the pipes warmer for longer. This can save you £10 a year and 60kg of CO2.

Quarterly Cleaning – A filthy air filter will use extra energy as it decreases airflow. So, it is sensible to clean applications with filters, for example air conditioning once each quarter.

Renewable Energy – Solar panels are currently widely obtainable. Although they can be fairly expensive to connect, they will save you cash on your central heating bill.

showerShower – An average shower will use around 35 litres of water, while a bath can use up to 100 litres of water. So, it is sensible to have a shower instead of a bath, and if possible shower for a shorter time, to save water and energy.

Timers – If you frequently forget to turn off appliances, you can get a device that will switch them off at the time you set.

Use Your Hands – Using commercial applications to help make food can use up lots of unnecessary energy. Try mixing your food by hand to save cash.

Windows – Double glazing is the utmost efficient method of preventing the warmth from escaping through your windows. Ensure all your windows are shut tightly as even the tiniest opening can cause a massive draft.

Termite Inspection for Stopping Termites from Destroying Your Home

termite inspectionTermite inspection is a process where your house is checked to find any sign of termites in your home and also assessing the severity of the damage caused by the termites if found in your home. Termites are tiny white antlike creatures that like to feed on wood mainly. And there is a whole army of the termites, so if you see even a small sign of termite infestation in your home do not ignore it as it will be only a tip of the iceberg, and you have no idea what lies beneath.

If you see any signs of termites in your home then it is better to hire a professional termite inspector as he will check every space in your home where there is a possibility of termite building up a colony. It is necessary to get you home checked methodically as these white ants can sneak up into places that you cannot see in your home and the probability of finding more colonies of termites increases if there is even one visible sign of termite.

There are some obvious signs that can be linked to termite infestation, which will help you to know and identify them. The most common sign is the presence of termite tubes. Termite tubes are thin brown trails that look like mud trails and can be seen on floor, walls and other places. If you see such trails then there is a live termite problem in your house and you immediately need to go for professional termite inspection, because these tiny ants have a potential to contribute a sizeable amount of destruction in a very short span of time. The other signs include bumps on the wooden frames, floors, furniture and other items made of wood, and when you push these bumps using tools like screwdrivers you will see that it had become soft and hollow. This actually means that, that much wood is already been eaten up.

When you contact a termite inspector, he will thoroughly check the exteriors, interiors, crawl spaces and even attics of your home to see how severe is the infestation and where all it is present.

Exteriors – The inspector will know the signs of termites, and will thus inspect all the external walls for the signs of termite tubes. Your ground and entire foundation will be checked to know where the termites have erected colonies. If there are brushes in or around the perimeter of your house then they are also checked as they are prime locations.

Interiors – Once the inspection is over outside your house, the insides are to be checked carefully. This starts with inspecting the open spaces of the home and then also includes the crawl spaces like basements and even the attics as these ants can reach anywhere.

Conclusion:

After the inspection, the inspector will explain where the termites have infested your home, so that you can explain the same to the pest control to get rid of these creepy crawlers. Save your home from getting eaten by termites and get the termite inspection done today.

 

The author of this article has written many articles for New Jersey Termite Inspectors and New Jersey Home Inspector. They are very efficient in detecting the signs of termites in the house.
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