Is Your House Unfit to Live in? Top Remodeling Tips to Make Your Home Safer

Is Your House Unfit to Live in Top Remodeling Tips to Make Your Home Safer

A dirty and disorganized house is more than just an eyesore: It can also be a legitimate health hazard to you and your kids. The good news is that it’s possible to beat back these perils if you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and take action, so here are just four ways to remodel and revamp your home into something a little more livable.

Tend To Your Chimney

Many people don’t even think about their chimneys unless they hear birds chirping in there, but animals are only one of the concerns that you should have about a disused fireplace and flue. If your chimney cap is falling apart, you might be exposing your roof to dangerous sparks. If your interior chimney walls haven’t been cleaned in a while, you could be breathing in hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) or volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Raise Your Cupboards and Cabinets

According to Poison Control, 99 percent of child poisonings are unintentional. This means that kids are getting under the sink and into the medicine cabinet to ingest things that they shouldn’t be ingesting. One option is locking your cupboards from curious fingers, but if you already know that you’ll be terrible about remembering that kind of thing, consider raising your cupboards off the ground entirely. This will protect your pets from an accident poisoning, too.

Get Smart

Smart technology is controlled by wireless signals that send information from one device to another. It’s available in everything from baby monitors to home security alarms, and it can be a real help in making your home a safer place to live. You’ll no longer have to worry about locking your doors, turning off your appliances or shutting the dog gates. Your smartphone can do it all for you even if you’ve already left the premises.

Repair Your Roof

You’ve been meaning to fix those shingles for years, but little did you know that water damage is creeping into your entire attic space and compromising the structural integrity of the ceiling. It’s quite common for small roofing problems to become big disasters over time, so do yourself a favor and call some roofing contractors, like those at Select Exteriors, when you first notice that something is amiss. Your future self will thank you.

These are just a few ways to remodel your home with safety in mind. While you shouldn’t live in fear of things like dirty chimneys and unlocked cupboards, you shouldn’t brush them off, either. An important part of protecting your family is dealing with household issues even when they’re annoying.

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.

Be Prepared: 4 Essential Plans For Facing A Natural Disaster

Be Prepared 4 Essential Plans For Facing A Natural Disaster

There are many different types of natural disasters so try to prepare a general plan for emergencies, and think of different ways to use it. For example, take into account that you may be at work or traveling when the natural disaster occurs. Grabbing your family photo albums won’t be possible in that scenario. Use these tips as a guideline to create a customized plan for your own home and situation.

Windstorms and Tornadoes

If you have time to evacuate, do so quickly. As a backup plan, your home should have a safe room, or at least a safe area, where you can quickly take shelter. Tornadoes may be the hardest natural disaster to prepare for because, after they pass you may find that nothing you own is where you left it. If you can create a safe room be sure to keep your emergency kit there too.

Floods

If you wake up in the middle of the night to a flooded bedroom what would you do? If you live in a flood plain know the location of the nearest high-water shelter. Put together a waterproof bin with essentials items in it. If a bin is too unwieldy, pack everything into a backpack, which you can carry safely, and stay hands-free. Whatever is left behind can be cleaned up with a service, such as NiteOwl Restoration.

Earthquakes

Until the weather service better discovers how to predict these people will be surprised by them. Often an earthquake is the precursor to other dangers, like mudslides and fires. A good emergency plan would be to keep a backpack with essentials in it, such as a first aid kit, water, snacks, a flashlight, some cash or a debit card, and pet food. Keep one at home and one in your car. Expect that cell phone services and emergency providers will be overloaded after an earthquake, or other natural disasters, so try to be self-reliant.

Fires

Like tornadoes, a wildfire may leave you with nothing to return to. And you may need to evacuate at a moment’s notice. The important thing is to get the whole family to safety. Focus on having evacuation-backpacks, or bins, already packed up with important items. If these are ready to go, it will help to reduce panic and stress. Once you reach safety contact friends and family with your status and location.

Don’t count on a stash of supplies as a solution. Depending on the natural disaster it may all go to waste. Rather, put together an evacuation kit that will help you recover from a disaster. Be sure to practice executing your disaster plan with your family. Also, make a backup plan because your vehicle may break down, or your escape route may be blocked. These are the important things to consider when facing a natural disaster.

How To Prevent Your Property From Being Vandalized

When it comes to your home, one of the biggest ways to feel comfortable is to feel safe. But at times this can be difficult because of the threat of vandalism to your property. Statistics say that 77% of all crimes are property crimes, which means no matter the community or neighborhood you live in, the possibility of your home being burglarized or vandalized will always be present. Even if the damage is relatively minor, vandalism can shake a homeowner’s confidence to its core. What’s more, vandalism can depress a neighborhood’s spirit as well as property values. The following slides represent some common-sense approaches to help you protect your property, neighborhood and peace of mind.

 

How To Prevent Your Property From Being Vandalized slideshow create by Gate Options

Author Bio

Dean White is the owner of Gate Options, the premier automated gate company in northern Illinois. He has over 30 years of experience in the industry.

 

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.