Is Your Home Ready for Fall? 4 Things You Must Do Before the Season Changes

Is Your Home Ready for Fall 4 Things You Must Do Before the Season Changes

Fall is a time when the leaves change color, football is back on television and the temperatures start to cool off. This is a good time to inspect your home and make sure that it is ready for the cooler and wetter weather typical of fall and beyond. Let’s look at some items that you should check before summer ends.

Check for Nests of Any Kind

While there may not be any wasps or bees flying around this late in the year, it is a good idea to check for nests. If you see any, it is a good idea to knock them down as it increases the odds that they don’t come back next year. You should also spray for bees, ants and any other pest that may try to make a home in your home.

Organize and Clean the Garage and Shed

As the weather gets colder and wetter, dirt can easily turn into mud that gets tracked into your house. If you have old grass clippings or other debris in the garage or shed, it can turn into sludge or otherwise decompose, which can lead to a nasty smell. It may also attract insects looking for an easy meal. If you own a lawn mower, make sure to clean it and store the gas securely before putting it away for the fall and winter.

Have Your Roof Inspected

Even a slight amount of water damage can wreak havoc on your home. In many cases, water leaks from the roof and flows throughout the entire home. Inspecting your roof and having it worked on by a professional, such as one from Berwald Roofing Inc, can prevent water damage from becoming a major issue. It can also prevent damage caused by insects and exposed roof decking.

Get the Furnace Inspected Too

The summer months are the perfect time to have your furnace inspected because demand will be low. This means that you can get someone to look at it in a timely manner and for a lower price. Many contractors offer service packages that provide seasonal inspections for a flat fee, and repairs may also be covered with a service package.

The fall season is considered to be a transitional one. While it won’t be cold and snowy for another couple of months, you know that winter is coming sooner rather than later. Therefore, now is the best time to get your home ready for the changing weather conditions. If you aren’t up to doing this work yourself, don’t hesitate to call a professional as soon as possible.

Water Worries: How to Quickly Fix Leaky Pipes in Your Bathroom or Kitchen

Water Worries: How to Quickly Fix Leaky Pipes in Your Bathroom or Kitchen

If you notice that a faucet is leaking in the kitchen or bathroom, it is imperative that you take care of it as soon as possible. If allowed to linger, it could cause water damage throughout the house in addition to the water making that annoying sound as it falls from the pipe to the floor. What can you do to fix this issues in an affordable and timely manner?

Tighten Them First

It is possible that your pipes just need to be tightened with a wrench. In a matter of seconds, you could have the issue resolved permanently with the tools that you have in your home. If you aren’t sure how to tighten a pipe, you can watch a tutorial or have a friend or family member help you. Remember, you want to go to the right to tighten and to the left to loosen a pipe or any other object.

The Pipe May Need To Be Replaced

There may be a crack or fracture in the pipe that may be allowing water to leak out of it. Some companies, such as Clearwater Plumbing, realize that if that is the case, you need to replace the section where the leak is. Even if the problem is a minor one at the moment, it is important that you take care of it before winter as the cold temperatures could cause small cracks to become complete breaks in the pipe.

You May Be Able to Tape the Leak

The use of sealing tape may help stop a leak for a few hours or days. Ideally, you will then call a plumber to take care of the issue as the tape is no substitute for repairing or replacing a leaking pipe.

Check the Temperature in the Room

In some cases, your pipes may not be leaking at all. They could just be collecting condensation because the room is too hot or humid. To fix the issue, you may just need to find ways to improve air circulation as that will help to get rid of excess moisture in an easy and efficient way.

If the pipes in your bathroom or kitchen are leaking, there is probably a simple fix to resolve the issue. However, don’t hesitate to call a plumber if you aren’t sure what the problem is or if you have tried other remedies that haven’t worked. Regardless of how minor the problem may appear, it could lead to major issues in the future if not addressed quickly.

Plumbing Blunders: What to Do When Your Home Has a Water Leak

Plumbing Blunders What to Do When Your Home Has a Water Leak

Almost every person has dealt with a water leak in their home at some point. A high number of homes and apartments that have suffered from water damage in the past are mostly due to leakage in their plumbing systems. Whenever you discover that you have a water leak at home, you must call a plumber. However, there are a number of things that you can do before the plumbers arrive to prevent any further damage. Here are some important tips on what to do when your home has a water leak.

Shutting Off the Water

As a homeowner it might be best to call a professional such as those from The Clean Plumbers to help with your water pipes. Immediately you discover that a water leak at home, you must act quickly. You should shut off the water going into the appliance or room where you have detected the leak. If there are any electrical appliances connected near the water leak, switch them off and unplug them immediately. You may consider shutting off your circuit breaker depending on the magnitude of the water leak. If the water leak does not subside, you should turn off your chief water valve located in the garage, yard or basement.

Eliminating Water Pressure in Your Pipes

In order to reduce the amount of water leaking in your home, turn on both the hot and cold levers of the lowest spout inside your home either on the first floor or basement. The same should be done on the faucets found in the uppermost floor. This allows air to enter into the pipes and allows them to drain their water via the lever (mostly yellow in color) opened on the house-side water meter. The water will drip for about 10-15 minutes and then slow down if it was leaking from your finished ceiling. If the dripping persists, shut off the water meter using the street-side lever.

Wrapping the Leaking Pipe

As the water pressure in the pipes will have been eliminated, you can use a tape product to wrap around the leaking pipe to act as a temporary fix as you wait for professional services. If the tape is wrapped correctly, it can stop the leakage for a while before the plumbing repairs are done. A rag can be used to wrap the pipes to stop water from being sprayed all over and instead direct it to a bucket or drain.

No homeowner wishes to contend with a water leak in their home. However, in the event that it happens, all the above steps will be useful in controlling a water leak before professional plumbers arrive. They are preventive measures against water damage in your home.

 

Problems Caused To Homeowners By Storm Water Drain

Your backyard is flooded and the reason for this is that the stormwater drain is blocked and not letting the water through.
Storm Water Drain

How messy does that sound? Especially, when it’s the rainy season and the stormwater drain is still blocked, you can imagine the situation you will be in. So, before the monsoons come by, and the nightmare comes true, it’s time to take action and get the drains fixed. You can try fixing it DIY style. However, if all self-methods fail then, you must call in the help of a professional plumber to help you get things done smoothly and fast.

Here, are some tips for you to try to unblock your stormwater drain. Try them and get rid of the hassle as soon as you can.

Tips to unblock the stormwater drain

Storm Water-Drain

  • Storm water drains are pipes that connect pipes from the roof to sumps in the garden, which then discharge water into the water table or curb in the street. They most commonly block due to tree roots, dirt, and silt lying in the pipes. It’s pretty hard to clear the pipes by your own. So, there is a need to call in a professional to do the work.
  • Get a full inspection of the stormwater drain to understand the real cause of the blockage. The gravity of the blockage will determine the repair it requires. Stormwater drains usually, block due to fallen leaves, debris, or grime build-up or because of a collapsed pipe. If the stormwater pipe is cracked, you can restructure it by application of plaster.
  • When you call in the plumbers, ensure that you instruct them to bring along a high water pressure drainage machine, as they are the best drain cleaners and absolutely perfect for this kind of situation. High water pressure drainage machines utilize high-pressure water to remove any dirt, leaves, and silt caused in the storm water pipes. Any other conventional methods aren’t as suitable.
  • You can also use hand rods to remove any obstacle that is causing the stormwater drain from being blocked. Hand rods can help to drive any dirt particles hooked to the lining of the pipe. A high-stress water jitter is especially used for pressurized cleaning of any debris that would not budge otherwise.
  • Another way to clean the pipe is by using the electric auger, which chews through any kind of dirt present inside a pipe blocking its way. The strong blades of the electric auger propel into the blocked pipe taking away any obstruction present.
  • Get your stormwater drain regularly check and maintain it. A little precaution does not hurt anyone. Keeping a regular eye out for problems can keep you worry-free of the problems coming to you unannounced. Keep in touch with your local plumber and call in every six months to check the functions of your drain. A little bit of cleaning and repairing every now and then will save you a lot of money in the long run.

Conclusion

Clear any type of blockage in your stormwater pipe at the earliest possible way to prevent damage to your property. Unlike clearing a block in your regular drain, unblocking stormwater pipes is not easy. You must understand this gravity of the situation before you move forward to make any effort to clear the block yourself. Your drain cleaners are not going to work here and you will need proper tools and some amount of technical know-how for clearing the block or blocks in the stormwater pipes. If you are unsure, please call a plumber and save yourself from further damages.

 

Leaking Roof: What Causes It & How to Fix It

roof repair

If you notice water or water stains on the roof, it could be the telltale signs of a leak. Roofs leak for a variety of reasons, so it is important to have it inspected quickly to diagnose the issue. From there, it is critical that you have the leak fixed to limit any further damage to the roof or to the rest of the home. Before you try fixing it, here is what you need to know:

The Causes of a Leaky Roof

Roofs can leak after a long winter in which rain or snow penetrated through the shingles or roof deck. In many cases, water will back into the shingles because gutters were clogged by debris or covered with ice during the winter months. Roofs may also leak because there is a lack of air circulation, which allows humid air to be present near the roof and in the attic.

How to Spot a Leaking Roof

If you see water actually dripping from the roof or from your ceiling, it is likely that there is a leak that needs to be fixed. However, the source of the water and the source of the leak are not necessarily the same thing. Therefore, you may need to take some time tracing the water back to where the roof is actually failing.

Call a Professional for Repairs Immediately

As soon as you see signs of a roof leak, it is a good idea to call a roofing professional to formally diagnose the problem. From there, he or she may be able to make suggestions as to how you can remedy the situation. Even if you think that you have the experience to make the repairs on your own, it may be best to let a professional, such as one from Stevens Roofing Corporation, do any necessary roof work instead.

Repairing

If water or other damage is prevalent on the roof, it may be a good idea to replace it instead of repairing the damage. A new roof may last for up to 50 years, which could make maintaining your home much easier. You may also be able to get a warranty on both materials and labor, which means that you won’t have to pay for repairs in the future.

A leaky roof is something that you need to take care of immediately. Otherwise, you risk damage to ceilings, walls and even the foundation of the home. While roof work may be costly, it is almost always less expensive than repairing water damage throughout the entire home.

Dealing with Damage: Tips to Restore Your Property After a Fire

Dealing with Damage, Tips to Restore Your Property After a Fire

After a fire sweeps through your home, you might think that there is no way that you can restore the home back to what it looked like. While it won’t be exactly the same, there are tips to getting your property back to a condition where you can live in the home once again. Use the time to design the home the way that you want it to look and to create a space that you can relax in.

Scrubbing And Washing
As soon as the dust and smoke settle, you want to begin washing the soot from the walls and the floors. You also want to begin washing the items in the home that can be saved. A pressure washer is ideal for using on the outside of the home and on the inside once everything is removed. A steam cleaner can also help in getting the soot from cracks and other small areas.

Linens And Clothing
The clothes that can be washed should be stored in a bag or box until you can get them laundered. Items that are damaged beyond repair can be tossed into a trash can or even a dumpster as the smell of smoke can linger. Even if items like linens or towels don’t seem to be damaged because they were in a different part of the home, you still need to wash them as the smell from the fire can settle into them.

Disinfecting
Once everything is cleaned, you need to use a disinfectant on everything to get a fresh scent in the home once again. A professional restoration company like Icon Property or someone similar in your area can help with eliminating the smells that are present by using fans and air fresheners. The company often has items that can get deep into the structure of the home to remove odors.

New Flooring And Walls
Avoid replacing the carpets, paint and other large components of the home until it’s completely clean and the smell is gone from the home. Once everything is stripped to its base, you can begin adding new flooring and paint. This is when you can get the floor that you want, such as a hardwood look in the home with linoleum or new colors on the walls.

A fire can be devastating. It can take away everything that you own, but if you are prepared, then you can save some of the items that are in the home. Once the property is safe to enter once again, you can begin the process of restoring what you can and getting the house back into a condition to sell or live in with your family.

House in Flames: How to Restore and Rejuvenate Your Home after a Fire

House in Flames

Local fire departments respond to over 358,000 residential fires every year, and these disasters can change your life forever. In addition to structural damage, you might find yourself struggling to find important documents and prized personal possessions. While you will no doubt be in a state of shock for at least a short period of time, you need to immediately begin taking steps to restore your home as soon as the fire has been put out.

Contact Your Insurance Provider

Almost all home insurance providers require their clients to notify them of residential fires as soon as reasonably possible. Even if you are not ready to begin dealing with a claims adjuster, you should still speak with your insurance company about getting an advance. An advance can help you cover some of the initial costs such as replacing your clothing and toiletries. You must also track your living expenses during that time if you have a “loss of use” clause in your insurance policy.

Assess the Damage

Assessing the damage is one of the most difficult steps in this process, and making any mistakes on your claim could end up costing you quite a bit of money. That is why all homeowners should immediately invest in a binder or folder to store all of the information regarding the fire. As you remember new possessions that were in the home or the fire department notifies you of specific damage, that information must immediately go into the folder.

Account for Personal Belongings

Your home insurance most likely includes a clause regarding personal possessions that are damaged in a fire. Unlike the structural damage that will be assessed by the claims adjuster or an inspector, you will most likely need to estimate the price of your personal possessions that were lost. You should begin with some of the more expensive items that you had in your home including your furniture and appliances. Many of the smaller items like your clothing and decorations will most likely be lumped into a single payment from the insurance company.

Speak With a Fire Restoration Specialist

Depending on the severity of the fire, you might prefer to work with a fire restoration specialist instead of having your home completely rebuilt. Some companies, like Icon Property, know that many homeowners must speak with a variety of contractors to determine if it will be more economical to rebuild or restore. Most homes can be restored if the fire didn’t damage any of the key structural components such as the foundation or load-bearing walls.

Once you are finally able to move back into your home, you want to be absolutely sure that your family will remain safe in the coming years. You must install new smoke alarms and fire detectors throughout your home and then test them as often as possible. You should also have an escape plan in place so that your family knows exactly what to do in the event of an emergency.

Thinking of DIY Repairs? 7 Times You Should Call a Pro

Thinking of DIY Repairs? 7 Times You Should Call a Pro

The growing popularity of home improvement and repair shows can make us believe that we are capable of doing just about anything when it comes to improving or repairing our homes. However, that is just an idea that is far from reality. In case of an emergency, you might want to grab a tool and handle the problem yourself, but DIY repairs are rarely as simple as they may seem on TV, and they can end up in a disaster that could cost you more money than hiring a professional. The common rule of thumb is that you can fix some cosmetic flaws yourself, but just in case you are wondering, here are the situations when you really should seek the help of an experienced professional.

Fixing electrical wires

Here’s another rule for you: if it can put you in a hospital, don’t do it. Really, fixing faulty/burnt electrical wires might remind you of the familiar movie scene where you should cut the red wire or match some colors, but it is far from being so. Unless you have some practical knowledge about working with electricity, it is better to leave this job to the pros.

Adjusting electrical lines

This is an even more complicated chore. Again, if you are not well-versed in this skill and you’re not familiar with the local code requirements, you could put yourself in an extremely dangerous situation. Poorly performed electrical works are a common cause of fire, so even if you don’t see any consequences right away, there could still be a pending doom. Also, if one day you decide to sell the house, this problem could be discovered by inspection and you could end up spending much more money than you’ve saved by taking matters into your own hands.

Window repairs and replacement

Unless you’re doing it on the first floor, window repairs and replacements can be quite tricky. In fact, anything that requires a ladder or scaffold can lead to a nasty fall. Don’t you think that the risks are too big to justify saving a few bucks?

Unclogging blocked drains

In some cases, this can be solved by an amateur, but unclogging drains isn’t always a simple task. Sometimes, clearing a blocked drain pipe requires professionals working with high-tech tools that can detect and remove blockages from your pipes quickly and efficiently. You will notice such persistent blockages when the usual boiling water and plunger methods fail.

Frozen pipes repair

Frozen pipes are quite common in some climates, but that doesn’t mean that you should tackle this problem all by yourself. They can lead to accidents that can cause some serious damage to your home. If the cold hasn’t already caused them to burst, professional plumbers can solve the problem before your whole house is flooded. Altering plumbing lines is also out of the question.

Leaky roof

There is nothing more annoying than hearing tiny raindrops dripping from your ceiling to the floor or furniture piece. Besides being annoying, this problem may damage the ceiling structure and cause health hazards like mold and mildew. This is not the time for showing your housework skills. Remember what we mentioned a couple of paragraphs above? Improper use of ladders and scaffolding can result in falls, and you don’t want that.

Removing large amounts of paint

What could possibly be dangerous about this? Nothing, unless you are removing large amounts of paint that may contain traces (or even larger amounts) of lead. Health concerns and legal requirements make this job an endeavor that should be left to professionals who possess protective equipment that can shield them from hazards associated with lead (e.g. kidney damage and anemia).

Wishing to take things into your own hands when it comes to maintaining your household is perfectly understandable. However, in some cases, it is better to call the professionals instead of biting off more than you can chew.

Guest Post By:

Chloe TaylorChloe is an art historian, recreational ballet dancer and a contributor at smoothdecorator.com. She is passionate about photography, dance and music. Her biggest dream is to travel the whole world with her husband and take stunning photographs of beautiful places. She also enjoys learning and writing about home design, since she is crazy about aesthetics. You can find Chloe on FB, Twitter, and G+.

 

 

4 Safety Hazards That Your Home Might Have & You Don’t Even Know It

Even if you have a relatively new home, there might be more dangers lurking on your property than you realize. Everything from contaminants in the air to damaged appliances can pose a major risk to you and your family, and that is why it is so important to be vigilant around the home. Here is a closer look at four common dangers and what you can do to take care of them.

4 Safety Hazards That Your Home Might Have and You Don't Even Know It

Damaged Pipes

Not only will a small leak cause an incredible amount of damage in a short period of time, but it can also be a major health risk to all residents. Within just a few days, standing water creates problems such as mold, mildew, and pest infestations. Anyone who believes that they may have broken pipes in their home should keep a close eye on their water bill to see if there are any fluctuations. They should also have a professional, like those at HELP Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric, come check the situation out. Many plumbers offer affordable inspections to test pipes for leaks or other forms of damage.

Dirty Ducts

Dirty air ducts can cause a wide variety of serious health complications including chronic congestion, severe allergies, and respiratory infections. That is why most specialists suggest that families should have their ducts professionally cleaned at least once or twice a year to dislodge any lingering debris. It is also important to change one’s air filters at least a few times a year to improve the efficiency of the system and prevent dust from getting into one’s home.

Old Water Heaters

Modern water heaters have many different safety features, but they can still become dangerous when they are not properly cared for. Issues such as sediment collecting in the bottom of the reservoir or the pilot light going out can put a family in danger. Much like your HVAC system, you should consider having your water heater serviced by an experienced plumber once a year. Servicing the water heater will also improve its efficiency and extend its lifespan.

Radon

Radon is a radioactive gas that can eventually cause lung cancer if an individual is exposed to it for a long period of time. Radon is completely invisible and odorless, and that is why all homeowners should install radon detectors throughout their property. The easiest way to clear radon out of a home is to make sure that all rooms have good ventilation.

Those who are considering carrying out major home renovations to mitigate these risks should speak with experienced contractors to explore their options. Trying to complete these projects on your own could impact your home insurance policy and potentially violate local safety regulations.

Easy Springtime Fixups Homeowners Should Put on Their Checklist

Easy Springtime Fixups Homeowners Should Put on Their Checklist

With spring come warmer temperatures and more items on one’s to-do list. While homeowners may want to bask in the glow of a sunny spring day, there are a few easy projects that they should look into first. These should be quick and easy now and will ensure that homeowners are not hit with costly repairs later.

Garage Door Reinforcement

The spring is the perfect time to look into a home’s garage door mechanisms. For one, garage door springs can be weakened from winter’s cold temperatures. Replacing one or two springs now will keep undue pressure off the rest of the garage door system. In addition, homeowners may want to look into reinforcing their garage doors to protect from wind damage during spring and summer storms.

Roof Repair

Early in the spring before torrential summer downpours arrive, homeowners should scan their roofs themselves to see if the shingles and other materials are wearing down. Most roofs are designed to last approximately 15 to 20 years although steel roofs last longer. Even if it is not time for a full re-roofing, homeowners may still benefit from minor repairs and replacements of some shingles, which should only set them back $200 or less.

Gutter and Soffit Cleaning

If the gutters were not cleaned out in the fall, the spring is prime time for doing this to ensure that rain does not cause leaky gutters that pull away from the house. Some companies, like D.S. Bahr Construction Inc., realize how important it is to keep your soffit in good repair, especially when it comes to leaks in the roof. Cleaning out the soffits and vents will also provide circulation to the attic to cut down on cooling expenses in the summer.

Air Conditioner Maintenance

Homeowners should have a technician check out their air conditioning units before the start of the hot season. It is better to take care of problems now than to have the unit break down on the hottest day of summer. Homeowners can also clean off their units with a hose while it is off. This will take care of leaves, pollen and other items that have gotten stuck in the housing.

Once homeowners have taken care of these tasks, they can be sure that their homes will be cool and comfortable all summer long. Most of the time, these easy repairs can preclude major, costly repairs later in the year and can ensure that one’s home stays in prime condition should a family ever want to sell. Plus, a well-maintained home is the perfect place for summer relaxation and parties with friends and family.

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