Potential Causes of Water Damage to Your Home This Winter

Causes Of Winter Home Water Damage – The more you know, the better prepared you can be. While water damage may occur at any time of year, cold temperatures and inclement weather can combine to trigger winter water damage such as leaks and water intrusion, particularly in residential structures. Another aspect of winter damage is the simple fact that it’s an inconvenient time of year to have to dry out a house. To reduce seasonal risks, be aware of these common sources of water damage in winter: Frozen Pipes: Ice forming in a water supply line can cause internal pressure as high as 2,000 p.s.i. and rupture the pipe, releasing hundreds of gallons per hour. Install pipe insulation on all supply pipes potentially exposed to freezing temperatures such as in the crawl space or up in the attic. When a hard freeze is forecast, open faucets slightly and allow them to drip to relieve pressure if pipes freeze. If water flow stops during extreme cold, assume a pipe has frozen. Don’t wait until it thaws to find out there’s a rupture. Contact us immediately. Ice Dams: When the underside of the upper portion of the roof is disproportionately warm, snow melts faster. Water runs down to the colder portion of the roof then freezes again, obstructing flow of runoff into gutters. Pooling water then seeps through shingles and sub-roofing and causes water damage in the attic. Uneven roof warming is caused by excess attic warmth. Prevent ice dams by making sure the attic is properly ventilated to remain uniformly cold. Seal ceiling cracks, gaps and other openings with caulking...
Keep Air Free of Rodent Allergens

Keep Air Free of Rodent Allergens

It’s getting cold, and who can blame them for seeking a little comfort? We may all find the little mice in “Frederick” adorable as they winter in the stone wall, their droppings can spread disease and increase allergens.  So we definitely don’t want them in our homes or crawlspaces to contaminate the air. Here are 5 Tips to keep Frederick and his Rodent pals in the stone wall and out of your home.

Groundwater Intrusion

Groundwater Intrusion

Thanks to advances in construction and building codes, groundwater intrusion flooding isn’t usually a problem for most homeowners.  This is because builders know how to create a constant flow from the roof of a building, out the gutters and away from the foundation.  Homes and other buildings sit on the highest part of a graded slope, ensuring water runs away from the structure, not towards it. However, extreme weather events can still cause flooding and groundwater intrusion is possible through seepage into basement or crawlspaces and leaking through thresholds at exterior doorways.  If you have experienced groundwater intrusion into your home or office due to recent heavy rains, there are a few things to consider. The first and most important step is to check if surface water is draining at the foundation or next to the basement.  Your insurance company can help by sending someone to assess the situation, but the more you understand, the more you will be able to make the right decisions to restore your property after a flooding event. Second, check to see if gutters are overflowing or not channeling water properly during rain storms.  Malfunctioning gutters can cause water to seep along the walls of the structure, draining it near the foundation or basement.  When gutters overflow, water can intrude higher up in the structure as well. Evaluate downspout distance and slope if you can.  As you’re watching how water drains, see if the downspouts are hindered at all from sending water away from the structure.  Ideally, water should be discharged about 10 feet away from the foundation or basement wall.  If water is...
Natural Indoor Air Freshners

Natural Indoor Air Freshners

Pets and kids are often the most valuable, fun, entertaining element of our lives, but they come with plenty of dirt and stinky odors.  If you’re tired of spending money on expensive aerosols or chemical-based solutions, you can use natural methods to freshen the air in your home.  There are many ways to neutralize odors from cooking, pets, and stinky kiddos without using wax or sprays.  Here’s some of our favorites: What’s in your pantry? Ginger, Lemon and Baking Soda are probably already in your kitchen, so put them to good use.  You can simmer ginger slices in a pan, or place baking soda with lemon wedges on small trays throughout your home.  Both are great solutions for absorbing strong odors. Dried herbs and flowers including rosemary, lavender and roses  are a great way to provide a subtle hint of outdoor freshness in your bedroom, office, or any other areas where you need to relax and feel clear-headed. Did you know that houseplants actually help clean the air? They DO! Wow, just having a few great indoor houseplants can help increase the amount oxygen and fresh air in your home or office, and they provide a touch of beauty too! Put coffee grounds through the garbage disposal occasionally, and even at the bottom of a new garbage bag in the kitchen to freshen these typically stinky areas. Simmering potpourri is a great way to “personalize” your air freshening.  Rummage through your refrigerator and spice rack, and put some of your favorite flavors in a pot of simmering water.  Using your favorite scent combinations like apple and cinnamon, oranges and cloves, or mint...