6 Common Household Things That Can Spark Dangerous House Fires

6 Common Household Things That Can Spark Dangerous House Fires

According to the American Red Cross, the frequency of house fires increases in the fall and winter. December and January are the months when residential fires occur the most often. In fact, the average person will deal with at least five fires in their lifetime. While most fires in the home are small and easily contained, they still cost over $7 billion each year in property damage. The good news is that most household fires are preventable. To help protect your home from fire, follow these simple tips.

Space Heater Precautions

Many homes, especially older houses built before energy efficient materials were available, have cold spots that furnaces may not reach. People who live in homes with cold spots often use portable plug-in heaters. However, portable heaters are one of the leading causes of house fires in the country. That does not mean you shouldn’t use space heaters, but you should follow some safety rules. Keep heaters three feet away from flammable items and plug the heater directly into an outlet, not an extension cord. Turn the heater off when you are sleeping as most space heater accidents occur when the heater is unattended.

Practice Cooking Safety

Unattended stove top cooking is another leading cause of residential fires. Most cooking fires happen in the first five minutes of cooking, and although it may be tempting to walk away from the stove, it is critical that you remain within reach of anything you are cooking should a fire develop. If you are baking, it is okay to leave the kitchen, but check back often. Be sure that flammable items like dish towels, paper towels or oven mitts are at least three feet from the stove. If a fire develops, turn off the stove, cover the pan with a lid and let it cool. Do not try to move the pan until it is cool to avoid spilling the contents. Keep a fire extinguisher near the stove at all times and it is a good idea to invest in elbow-length fire-resistant cooking gloves.

Reduce Use of Extension Cords

Extension cords can be very helpful when your cord does not quite reach the outlet. However, we tend to plug too much into extension cords, a problem that is especially frequent during the holidays. Overloaded or damaged extension cords cause 3,300 fires each year. Touch each extension cord. If it is warm, it is overloaded. Never run extension cords under rugs or across travel paths. It is also not recommended that you tape them to floors and never staple or nail them. Do not string several short cords together to make one long cord.

Avoid Fireplace and Wood Stove Fires

There is nothing more satisfying than a hot fire on a cold winter’s night or the glow of a wood stove when the weather outside is nasty. To avoid a fire getting out of hand in a fireplace or wood stove, have your chimney inspected several times each year. Be sure to put out any fires in fireplaces before you leave the house or go to bed. Keep flammable objects at least five feet from both fireplaces and wood stoves. Embers can smolder for up to two weeks, so be sure to empty ashes into a metal container and store them away from anything flammable for at least two weeks. Clean the fireplace and flue at least once each year.

Candle Safety

Candles have grown in popularity over the past few years but so have fires caused by candles. From 2009 to 2013, candles caused three percent of household fires. Never light candles sitting on tablecloths or near curtains. Only place lit candles on sturdy, stable surfaces away from children and pets. As candles soften, a hot candle can tip out of a holder, igniting things around it which is why you should never burn candles unattended. If possible, switch to electric candle warmers or battery-operated candles with scent.

Christmas Tree Precautions

Although it is more common for a live tree to cause a fire at Christmas time, artificial trees can also develop problems that can lead to fire. Check all bulbs and wires for damage before plugging them in. Do not use the old bubble lights on your tree even if they have been handed down through generations. Bubble lights are five watts each, so even if you only have 100 lights, that’s 500 watts of heat on a tree. Keep trees away from open sources of flame and do not overload sockets.

In addition to these tips to avoid house fires, be sure to install and maintain smoke detectors in your home. Learn how to use your fire extinguisher before there is a fire and create an escape plan with your family. Practice escaping the house using various escape routes as well. For more information on fire safety, contact us by phone at 215-322-0110 or visit us online.

How to Prevent Ice Dams This Winter

How to Prevent Ice Dams This Winter

An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of your roof, preventing water from draining.

This can lead to leaks that can cause damage to your roof, walls, ceiling or insulation as the backup behind the dam forces water inside your home rather than draining from the roof as it should.

In order to prevent damage to the interior of your home, you need to understand how to prevent ice dams.

Keep Your Roof Cold

It may seem counterproductive, but one of the best ways to prevent an ice dam is to keep your roof cold. The underside of your roof should not be higher than 30 degrees Fahrenheit in order to allow snow to dissipate without creating large amounts of water. Check to be sure there is adequate insulation and sealing gaps that allow warm air to exit the attic. Your attic also needs ventilation so that heated air escapes rapidly when cold air enters. The problem with a warm roof is that snow melts rapidly, but once it reaches the eaves, which are colder, the water freezes leading to ice dams.

Attic Furnaces

If your furnace is in your attic, it may be difficult to prevent ice dams. One of the best methods for preventing an ice dam if your furnace is in the attic is to add extra insulation between the roof rafters. Keep air space between the roof deck and the insulation to avoid condensation. Before adding insulation, install polystyrene rafter air channels that are available at home centers. Lay insulation batts or blankets over the heating ducts to help reduce heat buildup. If your ridge vents and gables do not dissipate the heat enough, add a motorized vent at one end to remove heat and another vent on the other end to draw in cold air.

Signs of an ice Dam

Even if you take all the precautions mentioned for how to prevent ice dams, it is still possible that one could develop. If you notice dark lines on the ceiling, it is possible you have an ice dam. Even with insulation in your attic floor the bottom of your trusses are often bare. Because they are exposed to low temperatures, they create a cold strip on the ceiling that allows condensation to form. The moisture traps dust and can lead to mold growth creating the lines which are called shadow lines. You can clean the mildew by washing the area in a bleach solution of one part bleach to three parts warm water. Rinse and allow to dry.

Learning how to prevent ice dams is critical to keeping your home from damage due to leaks. For more information about preventing ice dams, contact us by phone or visit our website to speak to one of our knowledgeable staff members.

5 Things To Look For When Choosing a Roofing Contractor

5 Things To Look For When Choosing a Roofing Contractor

A new roof is a major expense that a homeowner should see as a long-term investment. The quality of the job is very important, and choosing the right contractor to handle the project is going to provide the best result. Use the following guidelines to start narrowing the selection of roofers based on the most important factors.

Choose a Roofer Local to the Area

An expert that is familiar with the location is going to understand the typical weather conditions and climate. This ensures that the type of roof recommended and installed will be suited to handle adverse conditions so that you do not have to worry over the integrity of protection.

Experience

A handyman or general contractor may not have the relevant industry experience necessary to handle roofing work. Rather than get overwhelmed with dozens of contractors willing to take on the job, do the research to find someone with at least 3 years of experience. Don’t be afraid to ask questions until you feel confident with the reputation and knowledge of a specific contractor.

Recommendations

Everyone has a roof over their home, so why not start your search with a few personal recommendations? Ask around to find out the names of professionals your friends and family have worked with previously, especially if they were given great service.

Testimonials

The Internet has provided business professionals an opportunity to advertise their services to a wide audience of potential clients. Check out the customer testimonials to get an honest review of positive and negative experiences others have reported. Some may be featured on the site of the roofer, but don’t forget to check out review sites for an unbiased opinion.

Warranty

Manufacturers that create the materials used in roofing offer warranties that will come in handy if there is ever an issue. Homeowners need to be aware of the protection they have on their finished product by reviewing the warranty with the contractor ahead of time.

It is important to feel confident in the skill and knowledge of any roofing contractor you are interested in hiring for a replacement installation. Always verify that they are licensed, insured, and able to provide the peace of mind provided by an exceptional product. We are happy to take on the responsibility of providing our roofing services to any local client. Take a moment to fill out the contact form so that we can schedule a consultation visit to your home.

Does Your Roof Need To Be Repaired?

Does Your Roof Need To Be Repaired

I just bought a house with a roof that has seen better days. The shingles are worn and cupped, and there’s lots of rough-looking flashing. Anything I should worry about before I start interior repairs?
“The roof comes first” is an old expression, but it remains as meaningful as ever. The roof is your home’s first defense against the elements, so don’t tackle any interior remodeling projects until you evaluate what’s above the eaves. “If the roof is bad, everything below it gets wet: walls, ceiling, insulation, electrical wiring, floors, carpets, furnishings, and heating and cooling equipment,” says Jason Joplin, program manager of the Center for the Advancement of Roofing Excellence, which offers professional courses under the aegis of GAF, the nation’s largest roofing manufacturer. “If any of this stuff stays wet, mold can formand there’s a real danger of structural deterioration.”

If a roof inspection reveals problems serious enough to warrant repairs, the next step is to decide whether to fix it yourself or call a professional. In most cases it’s better and safer to hire a pro. Still, it’s important to educate yourself before making the call so you know what to expect.

If your roof is shallow and low to the ground, and you’re confident you can walk on it safely, climb up there and start inspecting. Watch your step and avoid low-hanging electrical cables. If it’s too steep or high, inspect it from the ground using binoculars.

Start by checking the roofing material. Look for loose or missing shingles, as well as those that curl up, cup down, are chipped or torn, or have lost their granule coating. Generally, if more than one-quarter of the shingles are bad, it’s time to replace them all. That can cost as much as $10,000, though the bottom line depends on the type of roof, its size, its pitch, and the number of valleys it has.

Next, inspect the roof deck for sagging areas that could indicate a compromised structure beneath. Then note any loose, damaged, or previously repaired flashing, and check the valleys for cracked roofing material. Look for severe weather deterioration or previous repairs around skylights, vents, and chimneys. While you’re up there, check that the gutters are well secured.

Finally, head into the attic and inspect the underside of the roof deck. Mold or water stains on the plywood sheathing and the insulation could mean that moisture is coming in through the roof or that condensation is forming inside the attic.

Staff Writer (2015 January 14) Does Your Roof Need To Be Repaired? Retrieved on February 7, 2015 from PopularMechanics.com

Chimney Tips to Keep Your Family Warm—And Safe

Chimney Tips to Keep Your Family Warm—And Safe

Fall chimney maintenance and proper cleaning are key steps to keeping your family safe and warm as the temperatures drop. Neglected chimneys accumulate creosote, a combustible byproduct of charred wood, along their walls. Add to that a high internal flue temperature and you’ve got a potentially dangerous chimney fire on your hands.

The best way to avoid a house fire caused by the fireplace or chimney is to hire a professional chimney sweep to inspect for cracks and loose bricks. He’ll also clean your chimney. Chimney inspections are typically broken down into three categories.

 

Level 1 is a standard, annual inspection for chimneys that have no major changes to investigate. The chimney inspector will examine the interior and exterior, as well as the chimney connection. The general soundness of the chimney will be examined, and any obstructions will be noted.

Level 2 is an inspection that follows a change in fuel type or changes to the shape or materials in the flue.

Level 3 is rare. These inspections are conducted when a hazard is suspected. Typically, part of the building or chimney is removed to examine the chimney thoroughly.

Once your chimney gets the all-clear, you should follow some basic safety tactics when it comes to your chimney and the vicinity of the fireplace or woodstove:

• Keep the area in front of the fireplace clear of paper and debris. It can be tempting during the holidays to place decorations close to the fireplace, but keep them at a safe distance.
• If your fireplace doesn’t have a glass door, use a wire mesh screen.
• Use seasoned hardwoods that have been split for six months to a year. “Green” wood creates more creosote. Don’t burn your Christmas tree (pine creates more creosote) or be tempted to throw wrapping paper, boxes, or trash into the fireplace.
• Keep the area near the chimney clear. If you have trees that hang over the house near the chimney, make sure branches and leaves are at least 15 feet away.
• Cap your chimney. A top that has wire mesh along the sides will keep out rain and snow, birds, and other critters that might be running around on the roof.
• Think small. If you try to burn too much wood, the chimney can crack and you run the risk of creosote build-up. Burn wood on a grate placed near the back of the fireplace.

Like fire, carbon monoxide can be a deadly threat. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, invisible toxic gas that kills about 400 people per year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and sickens many more.

While carbon monoxide poisoning can result from poorly functioning home appliances and heating systems, it can also come from poorly maintained chimneys. The chimney and chimney connector serve as a furnace’s exhaust system. If debris is blocking the chimney, carbon monoxide can accumulate inside the house.

Perhaps the most important rule of all when it comes to fall chimney maintenance is to install and maintain smoke and carbon monoxide detectors inside and outside of bedrooms. Replace the batteries each season and test the detectors regularly. If the detector is more than 10 years old, replace it.

Dawson Michele (2013 October 17) Chimney Tips to Keep Your Family Warm—And Safe. Retrieved on September 5, 2014 from PopularMechanics.com

Follow checklist for fall home maintenance

Follow checklist for fall home maintenance

With fall quickly approaching, now is the time to focus on a few simple home maintenance projects to prepare for the changing weather ahead. The good news is that many of these are low- or no-cost DIY projects that can also help you save money on your energy bills. Most importantly, they help protect your home investment.

Here are a few projects to check off your to-do list in the next couple of months:

Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

Mind the gaps

Heated air can escape from gaps that develop where building materials meet. Inspect areas where building materials may have pulled apart and caulk or seal any gaps that have formed. Check places where exterior siding meets windows and doors, around roof and foundation lines, around chimneys and where pipes protrude through walls or roofs.

Insulate escape routes

Heat rises, which means heat from your home also can escape through any vulnerable areas of the roof. The most efficient way to stop that heat loss is by installing ceiling and roof insulation with an R-value of approximately 38. The R-value refers to the ability of any material to resist the passage of heat. For example, a fiberglass bat or blanket 9½ to 10 inches thick has an R-value of approximately 30. You can raise that number to 38 simply by adding 2 or 3 more inches of fiberglass.

Weather strip your windows

Ensure that your storm windows and doors are effectively keeping warm air in and cold air out. Look for any cracks around glass, sashes and window frames. Apply adhesive foam weather strips to the top and bottom window rails or nail felt weatherstripping where window sashes and frames make contact. If you live in a home built in the past 15 years or so, you likely have double or triple-paned windows and low-emissivity (Low-E) glass. Both these products increase your energy efficiency and can lower your energy bills.

Give your gutters some love

Gutters and downspouts are easy traps for leaves and pine needles, and squirrels often use them to store food. Be sure to clean gutters thoroughly, and pay special attention to elbows and bends in the downspouts. Keep hangers fastened securely and plug any holes and cracks. Touch up any sections showing signs of rust with rustproof paint.

Inspect your heating unit

Consider replacing an older or inefficient heating unit with a gas or oil furnace or a heat pump with a high efficiency rating. If your system already is efficient, be sure to inspect and clean it regularly. Be sure that filters are clean and that you change them monthly. A timer model thermostat that can turn the heat down while you sleep or when no one is at home also can help you save money.

Performing routine fall home maintenance is essential and well worth the time and effort to keep energy bills low, protect your investment, keep your family safe and prolong the life of your home.

Dillon Mike (2014 August 29) Follow checklist for fall home maintenance. Retrieved on September 4, 2014 from the Tennessean

The Non-Abrasive Ways to Clean a Roof – Clarifying on the Best and Worst

The Non-Abrasive Ways to Clean a Roof ? Clarifying on the Best and Worst


It’s been known for long that the topic regarding cleaning a roof may cause a lot of confusions among many property owners. If you have a concern on how to remove moss from your roof, it is likely for you to receive, say, ten different feedbacks when you ask around ten roof cleaning service providers who are operating on a separate basis. You may even question yourself if cleaning a roof is really that complicated. The good news is it’s not.

Reasons why you’re likely to receive different opinions on roof cleaning methods

Firstly, it is crucial to find out the reasons of the presence of different opinions when it comes to techniques in roof cleaning and questions regarding the best roof treatment to use. Basically, it all depends on the availability of capital and access. Many roof cleaning companies tend to operate in a small scale. Generally this kind of operation is considered very good, as small businesses seem to be the major contributors to our present financial condition. Additionally, clients have the opportunity to deal directly with the runner and decision maker of a small business.

Nevertheless, the presence of disadvantages is still there. Roof cleaning companies that are too small in size are not always equipped with the right amount of capital and tools to start providing services immediately. Many businesses only have around $1000 to $10000 to buy a power washer and after that they are left with zero capital. Additionally, when the company purchases a certain tool that helps in the process of roof cleaning in a certain unique method, it is often too difficult to convince clients that this single cleaning method is the one to look for all the time.

The disadvantages do not stop around the issues of not having enough capital. This is understandable as certain cleaning techniques do not need the use of many cleaning tools. However, most of the business owners need to get their hands on the latest technology in roof treatment solutions in which many of them are unable to get access to. If these businesses are not knowledgeable about these treatment options, no services associated to these can be offered to customers. In a way, the main issue still falls back on capital as such businesses are, in general, unable to spend more than a few thousand dollars to develop their own custom treatment options.

On the contrary, general roof cleaning options like zinc sulfate and bleaching treatment can be obtained from most companies. These treatment options are often considered as the crucial requirements in any roof cleaning solutions, but in reality they don’t really address specific and unique requirements of the roof.

At the same time, the license for pesticide imposed in a number of states is adding up to the educational requirement to services related to roof treatment. In order to get rid of moss on the roof, in many situations a license for pesticide is considered an obligation. However, ‘pesticide’ should not be a word to be afraid of as the substances used for cleaning are rather common; for instance, zinc sulfate. Others are gentle in nature but these need to be tested and this provides another problem that needs to be solved.

In general the varied opinions collected from different roof cleaning companies might strongly be due to the fact that they’re only capable of providing one treatment solution only, regardless of its level of effectiveness.

The role of awareness and familiarity

Most of us would go for services that we’re well aware of. This is rather understandable, as the nature of life is often as such. The same goes with roof cleaning. Many businesses are actually created by people who were formerly a foreman who worked for other companies. When they are asked to offer a service, typically they are inclined to provide the one they had offered at the company they previously worked for. I would rather regard this as a positive energy but with the use of wrong information. This same scenario keeps going on and on.

In addition, when a person puts in too much energy doing laborious jobs for long hours, they have no time to spend to put together the kind of professionalism and industry-relevant services anymore. In other words, a lot of roof cleaning companies are actually clueless on the presence of more effective techniques and roofing treatments.

It’s beneficial to be a smart property owner

As most of property owners do not know much about roof cleaning, many are easily scared off by service providers as these are the people who should know the whole extent regarding roof cleaning. This is especially true in cases when a roof cleaning contractor is able to pitch his client excellently; a client would normally agree and remain not knowing whether the opinion is true.

The extensive list below is comprised of a number of different techniques that can be utilized for roof cleaning and roof treatment:

  • Air blowing via low pressure cleaning substance
  • Air blowing via high pressure cleaning substance
  • Manual brushing
  • Roof sweeping (with a broom)
  • Roof rinsing via low pressure
  • Roof cleaning (with detergents)
  • Powerful roof washing (via low pressure but high volume of cleaning substance)
  • Treatment to prevent growth of moss
  • Roof treatment with self-cleaning methods and substances
  • Wooden roof quality preserving services
  • Roof UV protection services
  • Treatment for roof discoloration issues
  • Roof cleaning before elimination of moss
  • Roof cleaning after elimination of moss

Conclusion: Roof cleaning services are available in different techniques and combinations; every service offers different advantages as well as disadvantages.

Staff Writer (2014 March 31) The Non-Abrasive Ways to Clean a Roof – Clarifying on the Best and Worst. Retrieved on September 3, 2014 from RoofersAdvice.com

Top 10 Factors affecting your roof

Even the most well-built, durable, high quality roof will only last for so longer before repairs or a replacement is required. While there are many factors that can lead up to this situation, including lack of regular maintenance, there are 10 factors that are considered the top culprits affecting your roof today. Learn how to identify each.

Sun

Sunlight is not just detrimental to the human skin. The UVA and UVB rays can also degrade and deconstruct roofing materials over time. Add in heat and in time shingles will begin to deteriorate.

Rain

Rain will affect a roof if it is not properly maintained by seeping into cracks and crevices and damaging the interior.

Wind

High wings are a major culprit in tearing off or damaging shingles. Even if shingles are not completely torn away, debris can collect beneath damaged shingles and in time degrade the quality of the roof.

Snow and Ice

As snow and ice accumulates during the winter season, the sheer weight can cause cave-ins. As well, ice and snow can block debris, which can then block gutters and drainage pipes, leading to the need for gutter cleaning and sometimes shingle replacement.

Condensation

Condensation forms in humid conditions and can lead to wood rotting. The moisture really affects shingle wood and compromises its integrity.
Moss and algae

Trees and leaves

Trees and leaves can cause degradation of the roof’s integrity in more than one way. The weight of falling tree limbs or branches can damage or tear away shingles. Leaves and debris can also collect and build up, leading to dangerous blockages.

Missing/torn shingles

Missing or torn shingles will cause leaks in the roof and in time will cause adjacent shingles to also begin to tear away.

Shingle deterioration

As shingles get older, moisture, the elements, and other causes can create weakened wood. Affected shingles may curl, tear, break, or even fall off.

Flashing deterioration

“Flashing” is the sealant material used to ensure no cracks or fissures between the roof and ducts, vents, and other pipes can create leaking. As the flashing material ages, it degrades and pulls away from the roof, creating dangerous situations where moisture and debris can contact wiring, insulation, and interior spaces.

When these situations occur, the best solution is to contact roofing specialists to advise and guide you. Click the button Contact Us

The Slackers’ Guide to Spring Home Maintenance

OUTDOOR MAINTENANCE

Divert WaterCleaning-Gutters-5368177-s4x3_lg-300x225



Gutters do their job best when clean. Check yours for foliage build-up, particularly if trees hover over the roof. The rainy season is a prime time to ensure all drainage areas remain unblocked by leaves and/or debris. Trapped moisture can leave a house susceptible to moss and mildew and cause major damage to your roof and walls. While you’re at it, make sure the downspout is clean and pointing 2-2-1/2 feet away from foundation walls.

Retain the Roof Repairing-Roofing-5368177-s4x3_lg-300x225

It’s easy to take for granted the one thing that shields you from the elements. But doing so could cost you unnecessary repair costs. Be diligent about roof maintenance. After the next rainy day, inspect your ceiling for wet spots. Ask a licensed professional to inspect your roof for wear and tear. “If the shingles are curling, buckling or crackling, it’s time to replace the roof,” according to Dan Cornwell, president of CC&L Roofing in Portland, Ore.

Check Your Paint Job Pressure-Washing-5368177-s4x3_lg-300x225

Look for chipped, cracked paint along the exterior of your home. “The worse thing you can do is leave wood exposed, because that’s when it will begin to rot,” says Brian Gummel, president of The Painting Company in Edgewater, Md. Scrape off any failing paint. Sand it down so there are no rough edges, prime the bare wood surface and paint it with a high quality paint product. Don’t wait until siding accumulates too much dirt. Brighten up the house with a good power washing.

Cut Shrubs and Trees Trimming-Shrubs-5368177-s4x3_lg-300x225

Trim overgrown trees and hedges away from your home to discourage the growth of mildew and moisture. Branches should be at least 7 feet away from the exterior of your house to prolong the life of your siding and roof. Get rid of out-of-control vines, as they can help crack siding and allow moisture and pests entry into your home.

Love Your Lawn

Rake up the excess leaves you didn’t get around to last fall. Too many can suffocate your grass and stop it from growing. “Pull up weeds, and remove foilage from the lawn, shrubs and any plants,” says Neal Julien, landscaping expert with Neal Works Landscaping in Capitol Heights, Md. Pull up dead flowers and replace them with a low-maintenance variety such as pansies, begonias or mums.

INDOOR MAINTENANCE


Keep the Air Fresh Changing-Filter-5368177-s4x3_lg-300x225

With warm, sticky days ahead, do yourself a favor and give your air conditioning unit a little TLC. Not only does it cool you down, but an efficient air conditioner removes moisture and humidity from your home, which in excess, can damage its foundation. So if you aren’t changing air filters monthly, start now. A unit free of dust and dirt runs more efficiently, saving you money on your energy bill. While you’re there, check hose connections for leaks. Make sure the drain pans are draining freely. If you suspect a problem, contact a certified technician.


Watch Windows and Doors Windows-5368177-s4x3_lg-300x225

Investigate all doors and windows for leaks and drafts, particularly near the corners. Look for peeling and chipping paint, which can signal water intrusion. Seal any open areas between the frame and the wall to keep out water, which can deteriorate building materials. Neglecting these tasks can open up potential for environmental hazards like mold growth, experts say.


Control Pests Exterminator-5368177-s4x3_lg-300x225

Keep garbage and debris under control around the exterior of your home. “Do what you would do inside, and get rid of junk,” says Genma Holmes, owner of Holmes Pest Control in Hermitage, Tenn. Inside, check the house for entrances and gaps where mice and insects may be tempted to come through. Seal up cracks, even if you just did so in the winter. Mulching the yard this spring? Use a liner underneath. “It’s good to keep a barrier between your mulch and your home,” she says.


Take a Peek at the Plumbing Plumbing-5368177-s4x3_lg-300x225

Except for a coffee maker, anything dripping in your house is a bad sign. Check for leaking faucets or sweating pipes, clogged drains and faulty water drainage systems. On laundry day, look at the washing machine hoses for bulges, cracks or dampness. Check under the kitchen sink for leaks, and make note of wetness around the dishwasher. Inspect your water heater for leaks and corrosion.

Tackle the Tiles

While you’re in spring-cleaning mode, pay attention to worn grout between floor tiles in the bathroom or kitchen. A small crack in the grout or caulk can lead to an expensive repair later. If necessary, re-seal as soon as possible. For the bath, get into the habit of wiping down shower walls and tub after each use to eliminate soap and scum build-up. Gilliam Stacy (2014 March) The Slackers’ Guide to Spring Home Maintenance. Retrieved on March 3, 2014 From HGTV.com For more information about spring home maintenance please click the button below. Contact Us

Snow and Ice Removal on Composite Decks

Whether you live in a northern state where snow and ice are common occurrences, or farther down south where even the hint of wintery mix sends folks in a bread-and-milk-buying frenzy, knowing how to properly remove snow and ice from a PVC or composite deck is important.

The best option for removing snow and ice on composite decking is a calcium chloride-based “ice melt” or rock salt. Look for the phrases “safe for concrete”, “safe for flagstone” and “will not kill grass.” If you have children or pets that frequent your deck in the winter, look for a product that is safe for them as well.Things to avoid:

  • Ice melt with a colorant added: while convenient to see how much and where you’ve spread, the dyes can stain decking
  • Sand: while it offers traction on slippery surfaces, this can grind into the decking and damage its surface
  • Metal shovels and sharp-edge tools: these can damage even the most resilient decking

Soon after your snow and ice melts, and that danger of slipping and falling is over, take a broom and sweep up any extra granular pieces. This will help avoid spreading it to places you wouldn’t want, such as tracking it into the house.

Build up of salt and calcium chloride from snow and ice removal is easily removed with enough water and perhaps a light scrub. When the weather gets warmer, use a garden hose or sprinkler and rinse off your deck. If you using a pressure washer, be sure to use at low pressures under 1,500 psi and at safe distances (12″ above deck or more) to avoid damaging your deck.

Following these tips will help keep you safe, and your deck looking good, to enjoy it another season!

Wilson Edie (2009 December 12) Snow and Ice Removal on Composite Decks Retrieved on January 24, 2014 from Fiberon.com

For more information on deck maintenance please click the button. Contact Us

 

 

 

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