Preventing Basement Flooding with Landscaping
Landscaping can add some serious curb appeal to your home, whether you enjoy shrubs and flowers or a more zero scape look, each home is unique. Landscaping gives each homeowner a chance to create the look they desire and show off their creativity. The downside to some landscaping choices is that they can contribute to water entering your home, usually into the basement. In fact, some flooding problems may be directly related to the landscaping around your house. Here are a few things you can do to your landscaping to prevent flooding.
Grade Your Lawn the Right Direction
Landscaping that grades towards your house instead of away from it may lead to flooding in your basement. You want to make sure that you are directing the water away from your home when it rains. One way you, as a homeowner, can prevent this is to install a dry creek bed in your yard that can provide a path for water to flow away from your house.
Determine How Water is Entering the House
If you notice that you have water in your basement after a rainstorm, investigate where that water is coming in. A possible culprit could be your sump pump. If the sump pump is not dispelling water far enough away from your home, you could be experiencing water intrusion. Also, foundation cracks can be the cause of water entering your basement.
Direct Downspouts Away from the Home
Downspouts should properly direct water away from your house. If your downspout is too short, it can cause water to pool near your foundation which can lead to water intrusion. During a rainstorm, you can go outside to ensure that the water coming from the downspout is flowing away from your home. If needed, you can extend the downspout, given you have the space.
Leave a Gap Between Mulch and Siding
Mulch can be a great option for landscaping however, if you choose this material, you may want to consider leaving a gap between the mulch and your siding. Mulch soaks up moisture so when that rests on the siding of your home, it can cause that siding to rot over time. Leaving as little as a 6-inch gap can help prevent this.
Next time it rains, step outside and do a walk around the perimeter of your home. Check the landscaping you have around your house and see if you notice any areas of pooling water or perhaps a downspout that you can tell is not leading the water where it should be.
Checking the surroundings of your home as a preventative measure, before you have a flood, can save you and your home in the long run. If your home has already experienced basement flooding, contact the Mitigation experts here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today.
SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County also proudly serves Spencer, Henry and Trimble Counties.
Hail Damage: Steps to Follow After A Storm
Depending on your roof material, it isn't always easy to determine whether it has sustained hail damage after a storm. For example, if your building has asphalt shingles or a metal roof, you may be able to see obvious dents. However, on a built-up (tar and gravel) roof, you may be no visible signs of damage.
Why is Determining the Extent of Roof Hail Damage Important?
Whether or not hail damage is visible, roof repair costs add up fast, as do the costs from water damage that could impact your building if the roof is not repaired properly. Bear in mind that it can take several years for hail damage to lead to water incursion issues, and most hail damage insurance policies only give you one year from the date of a loss to file a claim.
This is why it’s so important to know what to consider after a hail storm—even when you don’t see obvious signs of damage. Before we discuss a few of the items to survey and consider after a hail storm, let’s quickly look at the interplay between hail and a few common roofing types.
Asphalt shingles include a fiberglass membrane that needs to stay structurally sound for the shingles to protect the roof from the elements. The issue is not simply cosmetic when hail damages the membrane; over the course of several years the shingles will begin to disintegrate, which can actually lead to significant water damage. Given the slow-to-appear nature of the damage, and the high costs of replacing a roof on your own dime, it’s important take a close look at asphalt shingles after a storm (you can very rarely determine the extent of the damage from the ground).
Flat roofs are constructed using a variety of materials that often look perfectly fine after a hail storm, but may be damaged. For example, TPO or PVC roofs may not show any visible damage, but large hail could break the fiberglass mesh underneath the shell, which will cause the roof to wear out faster than normal. Often times, there is a recovery board or insulation layer under TPO or PVC roofs that can be compromised, impacting the fire rating of the substrate to these types of roofs.
Built-up roofing systems (tar and gravel) can also be difficult to assess because there are often no clear visual indicators of hail damage. Built-up roofing is put together using several crisscrossing layers of black tar paper or felt, each of which gets saturated with tar. While the top layer (which is often covered in a thin layer of gravel) may look completely unchanged after a big hail storm, the felt membranes may in fact be dented and damaged. Over time, the expansion and contracting of the tar can lead to water incursion in the damaged areas. Fortunately there is a method to assess damage to built-up roofing, which involves shipping a small cutout portion of the roof to a lab that can dissolve the tar to assess the felt membranes.
Metal roofing systems are often pieced together using two to three-foot-wide strips. In some cases, hail may only cause visual damage to the metal in the form of dents. But in many cases, hail could also damage the seams and joints of the metal strips across the roof, which could lead to water leaks and associated damage.
When Do You Need Professional Help? Three Helpful Indicators:
Hail comes in many sizes and densities, so it can be difficult to know when you actually need to be concerned about damage. Whether you’re staring at piles of pea-sized hail on the ground after a 20-minute storm or there were only a couple of minutes of golf-ball size hail, here are some signs that indicate it would be a good idea to at least talk to a professional:
- Damaged vehicles—If the roofs of nearby cars were dented, then there’s a good chance your building also sustained hail damage (especially if you have a roof type that won’t show visible damage).
- Damaged siding, downspouts or windows—If you are unable to safely inspect your roof, hail damage to other parts of your building, such as dented downspouts or siding, can be a good indicator you may need to take action.
- Work on neighboring properties—If a neighboring building sustained hail damage and is being repaired, it’s a sign you should more closely inspect your roof and building. This can be especially helpful if you have a difficult-to-evaluate roof type and your initial survey of the area doesn’t indicate any trouble.
With any storm that creates roof damage it is always a wise decision to seek the help of a roof contractor.
Leaky Windows and Water Damage
If you suspect or witness a window leak, there are a few things you can do to assist your home repair professional with diagnosing and solving the problem. During the next rain event or storm, ask yourself the following questions and note your observations:
- Does the window always leak when it rains? Or only in a heavy downpour
- Does the window leak when the rain is being driven by wind from a particular direction?
- Approximately long has the window been leaking? Can you identify any particular event associated with the first time you noticed the window leak? (i.e. significant storm, icing out, high winds, etc.)
- Has the window leak worsened? Or remained consistent over time?
- Have you attempted to stop the leak? If so, what has been done to prevent it? Has that helped?
- If you can obtain this information, find out who built your home and when it was constructed.
Providing this key information can make the handyman’s job easier and his repair more effective. It can also help determine correct parts and materials needed, more importantly, if your leak is still covered by a warranty.
Spotting Window Leaks
A window leak may look different from how you might imagine. The most obvious, of course, is water and visible moisture on the window or around it.
The good news is you don’t have to panic. A talented home repair expert can decipher what is going on to isolate, and solve the problem.
The bad news is that the longer something like wood rot and mold growth goes unattended, the worse things will get, not just for your home but for your budget too.
What many homeowners don’t realize is that window leaks during rain are often the result of improper home construction or poorly installed windows. Solutions such as caulk may keep some water out but they leave the real problem unaddressed, possibly leading to expensive structural repairs down the road.
Bigger Problems Than Just Window Leaks
A window leak can be the cause of a lot of things, and one cause many homeowners overlook is the box gutter. If you’ve ever had box gutter issues in the past and suffer from unexplained window leaks, your box gutter may be to blame.
Water Damage as a result of a window leak. Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 502.241.6861
Repairing Your Basement Water Damage
Water damage in the basement is a common issue for many homeowners, and it is imperative that you know how to repair basement water damage. There are many potential ways for water to come into the home, including seepage through cracks in the foundation, broken pipes in the plumbing system, sump pump failures or malfunctions, leaks around windows, and improper grading that allows water to pool up around the foundation. It’s possible to recognize and address some of those problems before the basement is harmed, but situations such as clogs in the municipal sewer system or heavy rainstorms and flooding cannot always be avoided.
During the First 48 Hours:
What steps should you take to avoid serious damages while you wait for professionals to arrive? There are several steps you should take immediately. Putting off the work for an hour or two could have long-lasting consequences. The first 48 hours is a crucial point. Take action within this time frame to prevent lasting damage to your basement materials as well as your homes contents. This is also your chance to avoid a potential mold problem.
1: Turn Off Gas and Electricity
Before you go near the water, be sure to turn off the electricity and natural gas. Never enter a flooded area until the electricity and gas have been turned off and/or disconnected. The combination of electricity and water presents electrocution hazards. Floodwaters often damage appliances, increasing the risk of harm from the gas or electricity.
2: Contact Your Insurance Company and Restoration Professionals
Find out whether your insurance policy covers any of the damages. There’s a wide variety of differences in policies, but most companies require you to purchase a special insurance to cover flooding. Sometimes, however, damages from the plumbing system or a leaking water heater may be covered. Call your insurance company to get accurate information and tell them you plan on contacting United Water Restoration Group for your water remediation professionals. Sometimes your insurance company will offer you other companies but ultimately, it is up to the homeowner to decide which company they would like to use.
3: Remove Water Quickly
Begin by removing as much water as you can, as quickly as possible. You could use buckets, mops, towels, sponges, and a wet-dry vacuum. It’s a good idea to open windows and doors, so water moves through the basement, carrying out moisture-filled air.
4: Move Your Belongings to a Dry Area
With drying underway, your next step is to remove your belongings to a dry area. Be aware that as furnishings absorb water, they become very heavy. If you’re not prepared to safely lift and handle the additional weight, you could injure your back or legs. Slips and falls create other hazards when there’s standing water because surfaces become slick and it’s hard to see submerged items. Take precautions to safely transport couches, carpeting, appliances, and other belongings from the basement. Move them to a dry, well-ventilated area.
5: Discard Damaged Possessions
Unfortunately, some of your belongings may not be salvageable. If you’ve acted within 48 hours of the flooding, there’s a chance to save porous or organic items. However, you must have these items completely dry before the 48 hours have passed. However, take extra care with the following materials:
- Fiberglass insulation
- Upholstered furnishings
If these items aren’t thoroughly dried, mold could develop inside the belongings and cause more damage in the future.
Beware of the Risk of Mold
If the water in your basement has been there for more than a day, there may be mold present. Professionals can address this problem as part of their work. However, it is too easy to transfer mold from the basement to other areas of the home. Spores travel on moving air and through ventilation systems. Spores may also travel on shoes and clothing. Take steps to prevent the transfer of mold from the flooded area to the clean part of the home.
Although you may know how to repair basement water damage, it can be dangerous to address mold without the assistance of a professional. If the flooding resulted in gray or black water, don’t attempt to do any cleanup work on your own. These contaminated waters can harbor pollutants, chemicals, and waste that cause serious health problems.
Protect Your Home From Future Flooding
Focus part of your recovery efforts on flood-proofing your home against future trouble. Take this opportunity to upgrade pipes and appliances. Replace the sump pump or learn how to properly maintain your water heater. Replace basement materials with products that won’t suffer if flooding happens again.
As always if you have Water Damage in your basement contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 502.241.6861
Causes of Standing Water In Your Yard
Standing water is caused by many things: soil that doesn't absorb water, grading issues, etc. Try these drainage steps to keep your yard above water.
Keeping your lawn green is a matter of pride. So it can be upsetting to find large puddles of standing water in your yard. Not only is stagnant water unsightly, it can also kill your grass, damage ornamental plants, compromise your home’s foundation, become a breeding ground for mosquitoes and be symptom of larger problems.
What causes water to accumulate on your lawn? What are the best methods of eliminating standing water? Here’s what homeowners need to know.
Causes of Standing Water
When stagnant water forms on your property, it can be a sign of easily correctable habits or more fundamental design flaws.
Be cautious of over watering your lawn. If your home is equipped with an automatic sprinkler or irrigation system, you may need to make certain adjustments to address a problem with standing water. Try watering your lawn less frequently and/or for shorter periods of time.
If altering your gardening and maintenance habits doesn’t correct the issue, further investigation may be necessary. The following are common culprits in cases of standing water.
Grading. Lawns should be graded or leveled to ensure proper drainage. The slope should trend away from the house and direct run-off down towards the street, alleyway or storm sewer. If your landscaping doesn’t take the proper angle, water may collect on your lawn faster that it can drain. Improper drainage can also cause natural low spots in your yard to accumulate more and more water with each rainfall.
Thatch. Proper drainage also depends on your lawn’s permeability. A permeable lawn allows water to seep into the earth instead of collecting on the surface. If grass clippings or leaf litter clog on your lawn, they can prevent the soil from absorbing water as it would under normal conditions.
Soils. Hard, compact soils and heavy, sticky clay soils are also less absorbent and prevent surface water from seeping into the ground.
Hard subsoil. Hardpan is a thick layer of impervious subsoil. Hardpan can be naturally occurring, or it can be the result of construction equipment densely compacting yards and lawns which are then topped with a layer of topsoil, disguising the issue. Once water percolates down to the hardpan, it has nowhere else to go and begins pooling.
High water table. As rain seeps into the earth, it becomes groundwater. This groundwater forms a water table, a completely saturated level of subsurface soil and rock. In some instances, however, the water table can rise very close to the surface, creating waterlogged conditions.
Ways To Get Rid of Standing Water
Fortunately, you don’t have to live with standing water. Depending on the ultimate cause of your standing water problem, you can take immediate action to boost your lawn’s ability to shed water.
Re-grade. Consult with a professional landscaper on re-grading the terrain around your home. Be sure to request that the landscaper provide a survey of your lawn’s low-lying points, natural channels and drainage outlets.
De-thatch. You can remove heavy thatch using a dethatcher, vertical mower, or even a simple lawn rake. Once you’ve removed the plant debris, pierce the turf with a garden fork or a lawn aerator. The small holes you make should be at least 4 inches deep and spaced 2 inches apart. Aerated soil is not only soil that drains properly — it’s also healthier soil.
Break it up. In order to make your lawn more amenable to water absorption, work organic matter into your soil. Garden compost, leaf mold and manure will all open the soil up and create more minute channels through which water can escape.
Dig. For hardpan problems, a shovel may be the best solution. If the hardpan is less than 2 feet thick, wait for a dry spell and then dig up as much as you can. If you can’t break up the hardpan yourself, consult with a professional contractor who specializes in drilling through densely packed subsoil.
Make accommodations. A high water table is a much more difficult issue to address. Instead, it’s a fact of life that you will likely have to work around. However, you can still improve drainage by increasing the depth of your lawn borders. You can also add layers of soil to create raised beds. Finally, you can landscape using more shallow-rooted plants capable of surviving wet conditions.
Install a French drain. A french drain (also known as a curtain drain) is actually a comprehensive drainage system made from rather simple materials. A graded trench directs the flow of water away from the home. The trench is then filled in with gravel, which lets gravity do the work of channeling the water into a perforated pipe that sits at the trench’s base.
Don’t let standing water keep you and your family from enjoying the outdoor areas around your home. By identifying the cause of your drainage problem and relying on good common sense, you can ensure that gray clouds don’t linger even after the storms have passed.
Water Damage to your home as a result of standing water? Call the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today. 502.241.6861
Humidity and Your Home
Humidity can be beneficial for many things, from keeping your skin moisturized to minimizing the spread of airborne viruses. However, coming home to a humid space can be a real damper. If you’ve ever come home to muggy air, you may have at some point, simply wondered…why?
CAUSES OF HOME HUMIDITY
High home humidity ultimately boils down to an accumulation of excess moisture. This moisture can accumulate when you:
- Have a leak in your home
- Improper ventilation
- Shower, cook, and/or clean in a room without windows or fans
But how do you know for sure that your home is too humid?
INDICATIONS OF A HUMID HOME
There’s a great chance that the humidity level in your home has gotten relatively high if:
- Your windows have moisture on them
- The air feels still or stale
- There are water stains on your walls and ceilings
- You can smell a musty odor
If you not sure that your home is too moist, you can measure your home’s humidity levels with a relatively inexpensive humidity monitor. The ideal home humidity levels will fall somewhere between 40% and 60%. That being said, the indoor humidity may change based on seasonality—it’ll likely trend more towards the higher end of the range during summer and towards the lower end of range during the winter months.
HOW TO REDUCE YOUR HOMES HUMIDITY LEVELS
There a number of ways to clear the air in your home when it starts to weigh you down. Here are a few of the most effective ones.
Use the exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathroom to get rid of excess moisture. If you don’t have access to exhaust fans, be sure to crack a window open to get rid of the stale air. Covering pots and pans while cooking can also suppress additional moisture levels in your home. Turn on any ceiling or box fans to increase air circulation. Be sure that your clothes dryer vents outside.
- Turn on your Air Conditioner.
While you may be saving on your electric bill by not running your air conditioner, you are actually contributing to that muggy feeling in your home. Instead of turning your your A/C completely off, set your thermostat to a higher than normal temperature. Or open the windows and turn on fans to keep cool.
- Use a Dehumidifier.
Dehumidifiers do exactly what you need them to: pull excess moisture out of the air. They also get rid of musty odors, protect furniture, reduce pests, and prevent mold in the process.
EFFECTS OF HAVING A HUMID HOME.
- Mold grows and thrives in humid spaces. Constant exposure to mold can lead to health problems for those allergic to it.
- Heat exhaustion can be a result of living in a too-humid home. Once you’ve started sweating, the excess moisture trapped in a humid home keeps the sweat on your skin instead of letting it naturally evaporate. You may become dehydrated as you lose moisture through your skin. If you experience this issue, be sure to drink lots of water and avoid physical exertion until your body adjusts to the higher temperature or you dehumidify your home.
- Indoor air pollutants are exacerbated by high humidity levels. Dust mites, in particular, thrive in humid environments. Using an air purifier and changing your A/C filter once per month will help mitigate these effects. However, it’s best to just reduce your home humidity levels to squash the issue.
- Higher cooling costs go hand-in-hand with humid homes. The high humidity levels make the home feel hotter, so you’ll probably run the air conditioner more to feel cooler and potentially end up with heat exhaustion as we discussed earlier.
Keep in mind, you won’t have to deal with these effects the sooner you get your home humidity levels back in that ideal range of 40% to 60%. Dehumidifying your home is definitely worth your effort.
How to Prepare for Summer Storms
With tornado season approaching it's time to start thinking about your summer storm preparedness plans as well as supplies needed. Even if you don't live in Tornado Alley or on the Gulf or Atlantic coasts, a severe thunderstorm can happen anywhere and have devastating effects.
In this the kind of weather you hunker down and ride it out, however, you'll need some supplies on hand to make you more comfortable. Here are some of the goodies you'll want to have on hand before the next batch of bad weather hits and knocks your electricity out.
You won’t exactly know what’s going on in your area unless you have some means of listening to the news and or weather reports. A small battery-operated radio can become one of your most valuable possessions. Be sure to purchase one that broadcasts the NOAA weather bands (which are very informative in bad weather) and is rechargeable as well. There are models that are solar powered, which can be charged with a hand crank, or take a charge via USB, and some that feature all three options. If a weather radio is not an option, use any radio you’ve got in order to stay informed, even the one in your car will work providing it's safe to be in your vehicle. Water
If you live in an urban or suburban area and a storm knocks out your power, the water may soon follow. If you draw water from your own well, then your supply will be gone as soon as the power is out. Store ample amounts of drinking water for you and your family in a place that is cool and dark. Gallon jugs are easy to carry and their size can help with water rationing. Set aside 3 gallons per family member to last through the average storm emergency. Should you run out, it's wise to have disinfection options to resupply from other water sources.
Food and Cooking
Stock up on foods that you know your family will like, and pay special attention to foods that are ready to eat. MRE's (meals ready to eat) are good, but they are expensive and would possibly be rejected by picky eaters. Easy-to-cook foods can be manageable, if you are prepared and have a cooking source. Sterno cans, alcohol stoves, and MRE heaters will warm up some foods for you, without any home ventilation issues. Other types of camping stoves can serve your needs given you have proper ventilation. Cooking outside after the weather has cleared is another option. You can grill those rapidly defrosting steaks you had in the suddenly useless freezer. If none of these are an option for you, eat cold foods. Peanut butter and crackers, canned meats and crackers, cold sandwiches, and all kinds of snacks can be eaten without the bother or dangers of cooking. Don't forget to have extra food for your family pets as well.
First Aid Supplies
Emergencies and injuries seem to coincide. This makes first aid gear an important part of your self-reliance strategies. If you currently don't have a first aid kit, buy a pre-stocked one from the store and beef it up by adding your most commonly used medications and additional supplies for wound management, such as extra gauze, dressings, and antibiotic ointments. Their are plenty of examples of what your kit should contain on the internet.
While a room full of candles might sound like a cozy place, it can be a serious fire hazard. The last thing you need during a severe storm is your for your house to catch fire and the firefighters unable to reach you through the blinding wind and rain. Buy several different items that provide battery-powered light for your home, and keep the candles to a minimum. Choose LED lights, as they're typically very bright and a very long battery life. Keep extra batteries on hand, in case you get caught in the dark longer than expected.
Following these simple steps will better prepare your family for approaching summer storms.
How A House Fire Affects Your Homes Contents
Fires can destroy your property and definitely cause irreversible damage. The flames move from item to item burning everything to a crisp. The heat produced by the flames will radiate causing surrounding items to melt, crack and sometimes even shatter. After the fire has been put out, you are then left with smoke damage. Smoke damage left unaddressed can devastate your home as well as its contents, and the actual fire doesn't necessarily have to occur in the same room. For example, in the case of wildfires, homes and businesses have been completely ruined just from smoke while the buildings remained untouched by flames.
Even the smallest fire that has been put out relatively quickly can still cause smoke damage to your possessions. Not only that, it can even affect the very structure of your home. This precisely why cleaning up smoke and soot soon after a fire is so imperative. Smoke can act like an acid, and will eat away at different materials if left for too long. It’s best to say that if a fire happens in your home, or if you live near an area where a wildfires has occurred, it’s crucial to act immediately to reduce damages. A professional restoration specialist can assess the damage and create a custom mitigation plan to ensure your home is completely clear of any fire related damages.
What can be saved?
Depending on the extent of the damage and material of the items, it may not be salvageable. Cost is a factor that should also be taken into consideration as some items will cost significantly more to salvage as it is to replace it. A restoration specialist can determine what items should be cleaned, discarded or replaced.
How Does Smoke Affect Your Home?
Smoke affects various materials in different ways. Not only that, but the temperature and type of fire will cause different variations of smoke damage throughout your home. One of the worst ways that smoke can causes damage is by seeping into small cracks and crevices, since the particles are so fine. They can often go undetected for a longer periods of time, leaving a lingering odor of smoke that can last for months. The only way to get the smell out of your home is to remove or clean affected items and the building materials with agents designed to deodorize the smell.
How to Clean Smoke Damage
After a fire, your home needs to be properly and thoroughly ventilated. This will allow some smoke particles to leave your home and prevent them from settling onto other items. Remove as much debris as you can, and clean every area where the damage occurred. Odor neutralizing products can help rid the building of the smell, and remove the very particles that causes it. Getting this done as quickly as possible reduces the chances of cross-contamination.
Upholstery Items and Curtains
There are special tools and techniques that are designed to remove smoke particles from upholstery such as curtains and furniture materials. A professional can best decide which tools will be most effective in cleaning this portion of your. Using a regular home vacuum can actually cause more damage by pushing the smoke particles and soot even deeper into the material itself.
Bedding and Clothing
Clothing and bedding can come into contact with smoke even when inside a closed drawer or closet. Simply washing them may be enough to remove the smell but commercial cleaning detergents may be needed depending on how strong the odor is. It's actually best to have these items laundered by a professional dry cleaner.
Cleaning wood furniture can be tricky. If you use the wrong cleaning agent you can end up stripping the stain and varnish. Certain cleaning products can also rust metal frames, so it is important to use the right cleaning agent for each material. A professional restoration specialist will have access and knowledge on the right products to use on your wood furniture.
Unfortunately, hardwood floors are porous, meaning that smoke particles can easily get nestled into the wood itself. In some cases, it may be necessary to refinish the floor, or even replace it entirely depending on how extensive the damage is. In the best case scenario, a simple mopping and deodorizing should do the trick.
How Quickly Should You Act?
Time is always of the essence when it comes to smoke damage. The sooner you act, the more likely you are to prevent permanent damage. For example, some materials, such as synthetic fibers and porous items, need intervention within minutes to be effectively saved. The components of your house, such as painted walls and flooring, need to be addressed in no more than a day or two, and in some cases hours. In addition, painted walls and wood furniture can become permanently stained if not addressed quickly. Metal surfaces can rust and corrode when smoke and soot particles are left sitting too long. The longer you leave your smoke damaged home untreated, the more extensive the damage will become and the cost to mitigate will continue to rise.
Steps to Avoid HVAC Water Damage
Summer is vastly approaching and there is no doubt you're air conditioner cranking 24/7. Oh, the sweet, sweet relief of an air-conditioned environment in 90 degree temps!
However, summer doesn’t just bring the heat, it also can bring an excessive amount rain. On hot days, this rain sometimes just makes it even nastier outside by increasing the humidity level. Did you know all this moisture can lead to serious damage to your ac unit?
An air conditioner works in part by removing moisture and heat vapors from the air to help cool off your home. This moisture and vapor are turned into condensation that is dripped into a pan and then out of your unit into the sewer system. Excess moisture from rain or extremely humid days can greatly increase the amount of condensation from your unit. Thus, creating a large puddle of water.
If left unattended, high water levels can result in clogs which turns into leaks that can cause damage to your unit and home or the growth of mold in your home.
There are simple measures you can take to help ensure you won’t have to be confronted by expensive water damage in your home and even possible repairs to your air conditioner. Here’s how to prevent this from happening.
Like many common trouble areas that can come up with your air conditioner, one of the key prevention methods is regular maintenance. Ensure that your HVAC system is inspected by an air conditioner repair professional at least once a year.
One of the main reasons for these clogged drain lines are algae that can build up over the years. Your technician can spot and address algae before the build-up becomes too great.
Remember: leave these inspections and repairs to the professionals.
Clean Your Air Filter
As your air conditioner cools the air it also cleans it. Over time, your air conditioner’s air filter can become cruddy and full of dirt, human and pet hair, lint and more. As it gets clogged up, it is harder for air to pass through and moisture can build up on the dirt, where mold begins to grow.
Thankfully, an expert HVAC service technician is not needed to change an air filter. Be sure to change your air filter every month. This keeps your air clean and help prevent build-up that can lead to moisture and mold inside your unit.
A clogged system also has to work much harder, which can wear it out sooner and lead to costly repairs.
Clear Away Outside Blockages
It is important to make sure anything that could block air flow is cleared from your HVAC unit. Like a dirty air filter, any blockages like bushes, trees, fallen leaves or anything else that could get in its way can cause your system to work harder.
These obstacles may also cause or produce additional airborne blockages that will clog up your filter.
Following the steps above should ensure that your unit is in tip top shape. Call an HVAC professional to schedule a yearly inspection today.
Water Damage as a result of clogged HVAC? Contact SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County to speak to a Mitigation specialist. 502.241.6861
Preventing Roof Damage
Summer is definitely a beautiful time of year. The long days and warm weather are a nice reprieve from the harsh winters.
But summer also brings about thunderstorms, and those storms can lead to hail, As a result roof hail damage can occur, creating a headache for many homeowners.
Large pieces of hail produce cracks and other roof damage, which cause leaks and drafts. These cracks will also threaten the integrity of your roof.
Luckily, there are a few steps you can take to protect your roof against hail damage. Let’s take a closer look.
PREVENTION IS KEY
The average residential roof lasts around 20 years. However, factors like roof hail damage can lead to a need to repair the roof before that time.
Roof repairs can be extremely costly. And, if you make a claim on your homeowner’s insurance to pay for the repairs, your rates could rise. That’s why it is always preferable to take steps to protect your roof, rather than fixing the damage.
LIMIT ENVIRONMENTAL RISKS
Direct damage to the roof isn’t the only way that hail can damage your home. For instance, a powerful hail storm could also knock branches onto your roof. To protect your home from these effects, make sure to trim all trees especially branches that hang over your roof.
Also, be sure to regularly clean leaves and branches from your roof. This added weight adds strain to your roof, which can make it more vulnerable to hail damage.
RELY ON PROFESSIONALS FOR INSTALLATION AND INSPECTION
Getting work done on your house is expensive. For this reason, it can be tempting to save money by completing some of the work yourself.
But a poorly done, amateur roof job can end up costing you more in the long run. A professional will also be able to ensure that the completed work is done to code.
Also, it’s a good idea to have your roof inspected every few years. Most get their home inspected when they purchase it, but usually don’t think to have one after they own it. Having regular inspections is a good way to catch damage before it becomes serious.
CHOOSE MATERIALS THAT ARE RESISTANT TO ROOF HAIL DAMAGE
Not all roofing material is created equal. It’s important to choose a high-quality roofing material that will stand up to weather damage.
Asphalt shingles are one of the most popular roofing materials. This is because they are lightweight, durable and affordable. For the best protection, choose class 3 or 4 resistance.
Metal roofs are also a sturdy option. Keep in mind, however, that these often receive cosmetic damage during hail storms.
One of the highest quality roofing materials you can get is slate. The natural stone look also has great aesthetic appeal.
Taking these necessary steps will help prevent your roof from ever being damaged.
Water Damage as a result of a roof leak? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 502.241.6861