3 Furnace Maintenance Tips
Furnace Maintenance Tips
A furnace that is not properly maintained can increase your heating bill, break down or even cause a fire that could leave you with a fire cleaning bill. These three furnace maintenance tips can help keep your furnace running smoothly.
1. Do Not Wait Until It Gets Cold
Repairs can take multiple days to complete or even longer if a part has to be ordered. Additionally, technicians are usually busier in the winter months, so if you wait until winter to request an inspection, you may have to wait longer to book an appointment and if the inspection turns up anything that needs repairing, you may be stuck with no furnace during cold weather.
2. Check For Gas Leaks
If you have a gas furnace, it is important to check for gas leaks. The lines that supply gas to your unit can wear out, develop small holes or become loose-fitting over time. If you notice a rotten egg smell around your gas lines, you may have a leak. If you suspect a leak, you should shut off the gas to your home and call a repair technician. Gas leaks can cause explosions that can lead to fires and the need for fire cleaning.
3. Change Your Filters
Clogged air filters restrict airflow which can shorten the life of your fan motor, cause your furnace to use more energy, reduce indoor air quality, such as lingering smoke smells from cooking, and clog ductwork. Filters should be changed every one to three months. If you have lingering smoke smells due to clogged filters, consider using the services of a smoke cleaning company to remove them.
Proper furnace maintenance can save you money, extend the life of your furnace, and help avoid potential fire damage that could create a need for fire cleaning. Start your maintenance plan now to make sure you are ready for winter weather.
How to Keep Pets Safe During a Fire
How to Prepare for a Potential Fire Emergency
A fire can quickly engulf any home; an inferno can also threaten everyone's well-being, including pets. While you may communicate evacuation instructions to human family members, ensuring pet safety can be challenging. Employing four useful strategies can help everyone in your family prepare for a potential fire emergency.
1. Keep Leashes Accessible
A leash is an essential pet care accessory that can safely extract your dog or cat from the premise and keep track of them in the ensuing chaos. To expedite its retrieval, you should store this device near a frequently-used exit. You should also train your pet to come to you when called promptly.
2. Practice Evacuating With Pets
If you have children, consider routinely performing fire drills to ensure everyone understands crucial evacuation procedures. Including your pets in these exercises may be extremely beneficial.
3. Post a Pet Alert Sign
A pet alert sign is another useful fire emergency planning tool that you can attach to windows near your front and back doors. These placards are designed to help first responders quickly identify the number of animals living inside the residence. Posting this information may be especially vital if a fire erupts when no one is home.
4. Help Others Identify Your Pet
A frightened animal may run away during a crisis. Purchasing an identification tag and microchipping each pet can enable others to determine the correct owner quickly. To eliminate communication problems, be sure to update both items if your contact information changes.
Enduring a fire emergency can be a daunting experience. If you have animals inside your home, pet preparation should be a component of your family evacuation plan. In addition to providing peace of mind, knowing both your human and furry family members are safe may reduce the stress of the fire cleanup and restoration process.
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Recognize Signs Of Mold
In as little as 48 hours, mold can become a problem in your home or business when there’s a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water line. If you have a mold problem in your home or business, your primary focus should be safety. Make sure you avoid affected areas and turn off the HVAC system and fans. Contact SERVPRO of Elk Grove for mold remediation services. Remember, significant mold growth can occur in as little as 48-72 hours. You might notice a strong, musty odor; this may indicate mold hidden by drywall or under carpeting; mold isn’t always visible, but the odor can help identify it. Mold may present a greater risk to children, the elderly, and anyone with respiratory problems. If you suspect mold growth in your home or business, give us a call at (916) 525-1241
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Cleaning After a Storm
When a storm causes damage to your home, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure how to start the cleanup process. Due to flooding and other factors, however, there are several ways in which cleaning after a storm often differs from cleaning after different types of damage from water.
1. Water is Removed
Whereas a pipe break may only require a certain area of the house to be cleaned and likely will not result in a significant flood, storms can cause extensive water damage. Standing flood water can often be contaminated, meaning that removing the water can be hazardous if not done correctly. It’s essential to use protective equipment, like masks, boots, gloves, and other items when removing polluted water.
2. Home is Dried
Once water is removed from the home after a storm, it’s important to dry out the area. Keep the home dry will help prevent mold growth. However, it’s essential to make sure the right equipment is used while drying the area after flooding. Using a vacuum cleaner or putting on a fan when a ceiling is drooping can be hazardous and ineffective. Once the home is dry, the next process of cleaning and restoration can begin.
3. Sanitization is Required
Since storm floodwater is often contaminated, a home with sustained flood damage is often typically thoroughly sanitized. Besides cleaning items within your home, including furniture, clothes, or other personal belongings, the home itself may require special cleaning. Often, the process of disinfecting a home includes eliminating the causes of unpleasant odors and eliminating odors themselves, and the use of disinfectants as well as the use of antibacterial treatments.
Knowing the differences between pipe burst flooding and storm water damage can give you a better idea of what to expect and where to start the cleanup and restoration process. You could find it useful to work with water and storm damage professionals as you begin to restore your home.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Mold
Preventing black mold in your business may not be on the top of your to-do list each day. As a business owner or manager, you have plenty of tasks on your plate. However, it is helpful to understand some basic facts about mold to prevent costly repairs.
1. What is Mold?
First, mold is a fungus that is found everywhere. Mold is present in the air both indoors and outdoors. Moisture and oxygen are the two components necessary for mold to survive. Mold is essentially harmless and doesn’t become a problem unless excessive moisture is allowed to accumulate. Mold remediation specialists are trained to properly clean up and restore homes and buildings that have been affected by mold.
2. How Does Mold Grow?
Mold spreads when microscopic spores travel in the air. Mold enters buildings through HVAC systems, windows, vents and open doorways. If moisture or humidity is present, it creates the ideal environment for mold to reproduce.
3. Where is Mold Commonly Found?
Because black mold thrives on moisture, it’s common to find it in areas with high humidity such as bathrooms, laundry rooms and kitchens. Building maintenance managers should be aware of high-moisture areas and inspect them regularly to watch for any signs of mold.
4. Are There Ways To Prevent Mold?
Fortunately, there are simple ways to prevent mold. First, promptly repair leaks around pipes, windows and roofs. Next, keep humidity levels below 45 percent. Third, completely dry any area that has experienced flooding. Throw away carpet, drywall or other porous materials that have been damaged by flood water. Finally, ensure proper ventilation in bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms to prevent a moisture problem.
As a business owner, you can prevent black mold from growing by following these prevention methods. Regularly inspect your building for the sight or smell of mold. By doing so, you’ll prevent major mold cleanup in your building.
Mold Cleanup Standards in Your Area
How Can You Tell That a Mold Problem Has Been Appropriately Addressed?
The good news is that mold clean up and recovery professionals are held to specific mold standards. These standards have been established by several agencies:
- The Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, focuses on how mold may affect the environment in your building and on the environment. It also offers insights into who should handle the cleanup efforts.
- The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification is the go-to source of training, standards, and certification. In addition to establishing high standards for professionals in the industry, the IICRC also oversees the quality of mold removal and cleanup within the industry.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the CDC, also provides a lot of helpful information about upholding the standards established by the EPA. It also provides official recommendations pertinent to specific mold growth situations.
- OSHA, or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, is another source of cleanup standards. This agency covers details about how to clean up specific types of mold, such as black mold and gives specific information about business and property owner responsibilities.
The IICRC Mold Remediation Standard
It's important that you understand the mold standards that affect your business property. Familiarity with these standards can help you ensure that you have a clean, safe place for people to live or work. Technicians in your area may uphold the IICRC S520 Standard which protects the health of the workers and the people using the building, outlines the use of equipment, governs removal of contaminated materials, and dictates how the original moisture problem is addressed.
Standards and Your Confidence
When professionals adhere to mold standards established by the government and industry leaders, you can be confident that remediation has been carried out appropriately and thoroughly. You can also feel confident in the well-being of your building.
The Correct Response to a Flooded Furnace
Broken pipes can lead to extensive losses, putting your business out of action for a while and causing costly damage to your property. One of the most serious types of damage resulting from a broken pipe is a furnace flood.
What Steps Should You Take If You've Got A Flooded Furnace?
1. Ensure employee safety. Water-damaged electronics pose significant hazards. If your furnace is powered by electricity or gas, don't attempt to turn it on. Remove yourself and employees until a professional determines that the area is safe.
2. Seek professional cleanup. After the floodwater has been removed and the area is completely dry, your furnace must be cleaned and professionally maintained. This is especially true when the furnace flood-affected an electric or gas appliance. Cleaning a furnace is a complicated process that is best left to professionals.
3. Assess the need for replacement. Some furnaces may have to be replaced due to irreversible repairs and an unsafe situation. If a professional has assessed your furnace and recommended replacement, take steps to complete this action as quickly as possible.
4. Schedule an air duct cleaning. The CDC recommends that all contaminated insulation and filters be removed from the HVAC system. It is also necessary to disinfect all component surfaces and to follow the disinfecting process with a clean water rinse. It may be necessary to upgrade components of the filtration system to ensure the health of your clients and employees.
Identify the Source of Damage
Addressing the cause of the broken pipe is an important step toward ensuring the disaster doesn't happen again. Work closely with technicians and recovery experts to determine why the break happened and how you can protect your business from future flooding.
The disaster that led to a furnace flood can leave you feeling overwhelmed. Working with a professional can reduce some of that strain and concern. These experts can lead you through the recovery process and get your business back into action.
How to Address a Chirping Fire Alarm
Keeping your home and the people in it safe is important, which is why you rely on a fire alarm as the first line of defense to avoid the need for fire damage and restoration professionals. While these devices are designed for early detection, they still require general maintenance. If an alarm starts chirping on its own, consider the following to determine if a fix or replacement is needed.
In most cases, a fire alarm that won’t stop beeping is a result of a battery issue. Below are steps to verify if that is the issue.
- Ensure the correct kind of battery has been installed.
- Verify that battery has not passed its use-by date.
- Inspect fitting to verify nothing is loose and the battery can be properly snapped into place.
- Take out the battery and put back in to check the connection is stable.
- Look for any loose wires that could be creating an echo.
Clean, Reset, Replace
Like with many other electronics in the home, dust and other particles can settle in an alarm’s sensing chamber. If the battery doesn’t seem to be the issue, it may be time to clean the alarm. This is an easy process that involves removing the alarm, cleaning the interior with compressed air and wiping down the outside with a damp cloth. After cleaning, press the silent test button to see if it beeps. If it continues to make steady noise, remove the batteries and test it again. If the problem persists, the best bet is to replace the smoke detector. If you know the alarm is more than 10 years old, it should always be replaced.
A fire alarm is an essential safety tool for every home. When a problem arises, such as steady beeping, addressing the issue is a much better solution than risking extensive fire and smoke damage in your home.
Fast Response Essential After Storm Damage
After a storm wreaks havoc on a commercial property, time is of the essence. The longer flood damage sits, the more costly the storm restoration process will be. For both the property owner and insurer, minimizing damage and replacement is key to a smooth claim and getting back to “Like it never even happened.”
Reliable, 24/7 Service
When choosing a storm damage and restoration company, you want to feel confident that you are turning to a professional provider that understands every aspect of the process. As you decide where to turn to help, a national franchise company is an easy choice for a number of reasons.
24/7 national call center
1,700 local franchises
IICRC-certified and trained professionals
In extreme situations, trusting in a national network means knowing that a disaster team is just a phone call away. Teams are strategically placed and ready to handle whatever Mother Nature may be doling out. No matter what kind of storm restoration is needed, you can trust that only thoroughly vetted professionals will heed the call for help.
Fast storm response is essential for a faster and more cost-effective recovery. The right restoration provider will know the importance of a sticky to a speedy timeline. After the first call is made, you can expect:
- The client will be contacted for an on-site inspection within one hour.
- In under four hours, a professional will be on-site to assess and inspect the damage, including pretesting restorability.
- The insurance provider will be contacted within eight hours and given a detailed overview of the findings and a restoration plan.
A lot of questions arise when dealing with storm restoration, for both the owner experiencing the loss and the insurance provider. Counting on a professional dedicated to quickly providing help and backed by a national network minimizes those questions and ensures the loss is minimized.
Home Fire Safety Tips
The rate of home fire accidents has been rising for so many years. There have been many incidents related to Fire Safety Tips that have claimed the lives of so many people. It just goes to show that a lot of families didn’t pay attention to taking preventive measures. And that’s really very worrying. Although it sounds so simple it is really important for every family.
Everyone knows that fires are usually caused by an accident. However, this does not mean that it is inevitable. If you are fully aware of the security measures in your home, you can always prevent this from happening. Remember, fire can be stopped. You just have to know how to do it before it gets worse.
It is important to observe proper preventive measures because it can save lives not only for you but also for your family. Nothing bad can happen in a person’s life without putting your house on fire. So if you are not a victim of this horrific incident, check out the rest of this article for more fire safety advice.
The best way to avoid a fire is to reduce or eliminate the risk of fire in your area. In case of emergency, fire tactics should be done which you should be fully aware of. You should also inform all family members who are with you. That way, they won’t panic whenever an emergency occurs.
It helps to install fire alarms and smoke detectors in your home. These devices can help give you an early warning. There are different types that you can choose from. There are water sprinklers and fire extinguishers. For others, they thought these alarms were only for businesses. This is not entirely true; These can actually be installed in your home.
All electrical devices and applications should be plugged in to secure. Do not leave them in the still mode as they still use a small amount of energy. Check regularly to see if they are still in good condition. There are many times that electrical gadgets are already broken but still used can cause fatal events like fire. So don’t ignore the condition of your tools.
If there are no leaks, always check your gas tank and gas limit. You should monitor when the tank needs to be replaced and the gas controller installed correctly. This can be really dangerous as you can smell the leaking gas which is harmful to your health.
There may be plenty of fire safety tips that every family should consider. But regardless of what these preventive measures are, homeowners should not underestimate the importance of getting to know them. It is very important to learn how to stay away from dangers and how to prevent them from happening. Doing so will not only save your house from burning, but you will also save your family and family.