It’s getting closer to spring every day. With the lengthening of the days and the warmer temperatures approaching it’s time to take a good look around your house and get down to some good old Spring cleaning. Don’t look at it like a chore but appreciate the chance to not only brighten, freshen and clean but to also improve your health. Improve your health you may ask? Yes! Opening up all the windows gets rid of the stale air and all the dust and microbes that been floating around in your environment as you overwinter in your well insulated home. It’s also a chance to get ready for summer. And with summer comes the insects. So take a look and repair the screens if they need it. Make sure the windows and doors close tightly. And make sure you change those bulbs around the house to yellow incandescent so they don’t attract mosquitoes. This year we have several viruses that will be carried by different mosquito populations so things that you do now can help you prevent problems and preserve your health in the long term. One of the major mosquito breeding areas that homeowners often overlook are the gutters that travel around the perimeter of our home channeling water away and keeping our basement dry. Because these are over our head they are often neglected and they become filled with debris such as leaves and the grit from our roofing creating ponds of water that create perfect environments for breeding thousands of mosquitoes. Systematic Cleaning and Restoration can help you with this. We can clean and we can also repair the gutters that travel around your home making sure that they safely channel unwanted water away from the foundation and at the same time do not create a breeding area for disease carrying insects.In addition with our sister company A3 Superior Pest Control we can create a regular treatment regimen that will keep the mosquitoes at bay as well as many other biting insects including disease carrying ticks and make the use of your yard not only more healthful but more enjoyable as well. It’s also important as you survey your yard this Spring to make sure that you eliminate areas were standing water can build up. It only takes a week for mosquitoes to reproduce from eggs being laid to adults emerging and continuing the cycle. Don’t like days of old put kerosene on top of standing water but determine the best and proper method of eliminating the standing water as that is much more environmentally friendly. There are items such as Dunks, mosquito larvae eating fish, and for ponds organic treatments that will help in preventing mosquitoes from breeding. If you have too much junk in the yard such as old appliances, tires, cans etc. call Systematic and we can arrange to provide a free quote for removal of these items. This will not only improve the value of your property but give you more use of it and protect yourself as well as your neighbors. During your time spent around the home cleaning make sure that you inspect your basement closely for any signs of mold growth or excessive moisture. These can build up over the summer months and create many different issues with the various systems in the body. Within our service area we provide free mold inspections and can come up with an affordable actionable plan that will save you lots of money, preserve the value of your home, and most importantly protect those that you love from the detrimental effects of these microbial organisms. During the Spring cleaning make sure to inspect your attic. Winters can be tough on roofs and small leaks can develop that can blossom into major issues within the envelope of your home. It’s also a good time to clean out that dryer vent. Dryer vent should be cleaned out yearly and it goes a long way to preventing fires. If this is something that you do not feel like doing we would be happy to assist. Remember that senior citizens, military and their families, and first responders (police, paramedics, firemen) all receive a 10% discount on any service offered. So we see that Spring cleaning although may not be the most pleasant task, gives you the opportunity to survey your home, get everything in order and provide some pretty good health benefits to you and your family. Happy Spring everybody!
Did you know that a lot of National Companies that provide water damage restoration don’t even try to salvage wood flooring? They dont provide water damage restoration for wood flooring. In certain cases such as sewage backup or grossly contaminated water you must as per IICRC code S500-the standard for water damage restoration.remove contaminated materials. But what about a domestic water leak, a tub overflow, a dishwasher leak-these are types of water losses where wood flooring should be saved. Most companies come in, see the cupping(the warp) and immediately deem it not salvageable and want to rip it out. Not with Systematic. We have systems designed specifically to remove the water from underneath the flooring(wood or tile) and in most cases can save the floor. It may have to be sanded and refinished but thats a lot cheaper than replacing a wood floor due to water damage. We use a system that uses mats positioned across the floor with suction tubes attached to remove water and pump warm dry air below the floor. See below the system I am talking about:
Of course laminate flooring cannot be saved but almost all other types of wood floor can be restored using this or similar systems. Dont rip up a perfectly good floor because the company you are dealing with does not have the equipment or expertise to save the floor from destruction. Wood is a very resilient material and can stand the test of time. It will even withstand flooding if handled quickly and professionally be a good water damage restoration contractor. Dont let your floor get ripped up and removed because the remediation company doesnt want to put the time and effort into saving what you have. Call around and make sure the company you hire is outfitted with the proper tools, the proper equipment and the proper training to provide a service that will save you lots of time and trouble once the water has been removed and the house is dry.
You wouldnt think that snow could cause extensive damage-even flooding- to your home. But if you made it through the winter of 2015 with no leaks in your house and you had snow and icicles hanging off of it like in this picture you are lucky, very lucky. We have had many calls from local homeowners with wet ceilings, wet walls, drips coming from the moldings around ceilings doors and windows. In some cases it was minor but in several homes it caused major damage. And if left untreated can cause mold and other problems. The main issue is when we have as many snow storms as we did, with few thaw times in between you get an ongoing freeze buildup. In most cases if the attics are kept cold and the home is well insulated this will not occur but in certain cases where roof angles come together, when solar radiation causes melting, and when you have heat melting the snow from underneath and refreezing ice dams occur and can eventually lead to water intrusion.
What is an Ice Dam and how does it cause leaks?
An ice dam causes flooding in a home by allowing water to puddle on the roof and in a lot of cases ice has backed up disrupting the lay of shingles so water will seep underneath and make its way into the home. The only way to stop this from occurring and prevent home flooding is to destroy the dam. This allows the water to run off the roof and doesn’t intrude into the structure. In a lot of cases this is a difficult thing to do because of access. If not done properly it can damage your roof and if you arent careful it can damage you. Working on a ladder or walking on an icy roof is hazardous to say the least.
What Can You Do to Prevent Ice Dams?
The most important thing is to stop the ice and snow from building up on your roof. This can be accomplished by using a snow rake to remove the last 3-4 feet of snow from the edges of your roof. This is easier said then done. Increasing insulation in the summer months and making sure your attic stays cold so there is limited under-melt is a prudent step to take. The added insulation will save you money on heating (and cooling) costs and prevent hot air from escaping from the main home area building up in the attic and creating ice dams. Another option is to install heat tracing lines along the edges of roofs and gutters so these areas remain ice and snow free no matter how bad the winter becomes. In many cases this work can be done by a roofer or local handyman and will save you lots of headaches and worry when next years cold weather arrives. Lets hope next winter is milder but with global environmental change occurring who knows what will happen. Some relatively easy maintenance now will save you trouble and heartache when next winter rolls around.