Recent Posts

Where do Most House Fires Occur

4/25/2022 (Permalink)

Kitchens

In the heart of the home, kitchens are also the most common spot in the house for fires to start. Specifically, unattended cooking is the leading cause of kitchen fires and fire-related injuries.

These man-made fires are also easily preventable: Keep an eye on the stove, oven, and other appliances like toaster ovens, and move combustible items away from the stove. Never leave the kitchen when you’re working with high heat during preparations like frying, boiling, or broiling—fires need only seconds to go from a small flame to an out-of-control blaze.

A few more tips for safe cooking:

  • If someone else can’t watch things while you step away for a bathroom break or to help the kids, turn off the cooking appliance while you’re in the other room.
  • Turn off the stove and all appliances once you’re done cooking.
  • Keep everything off hot surfaces. Pay close attention to where you set dish towels or hot pads. Designate a spot, like a hook, to practice putting them back between each use.
  • Roll up baggy sleeves or wear a securely fastened apron over billowy shirts or bottoms to prevent singeing.
  • Do not heat your home with your oven.
  • Keep a Class B fire extinguisher handy in case of fire. Water will only spread oil or grease and feed the flames.

for more info visit safewise.com

How To Get Smoke Smell Out Of Your House: A Complete Guide

4/20/2022 (Permalink)

Tips on eliminating smoke odors, featuring DIY deep clean methods.

There are a lot of reasons you’d need to get the smoke smell out of the house. Burnt toast, cigarette smoke, or an unfortunate house fire… whatever your reason, no one likes a smoky house, and we’re here to help you get rid of that smoke smell that won’t quit.


As a general rule of thumb, increasing ventilation, enhancing natural light and decreasing humidity can help with house smells, including smoke. Depending on how irritating the smell is, a full-on, deep cleaning could be on the horizon for your house. Go through our following guide thoroughly and we hope it helps you come out on the other side with an odor-free home. It’s full of smell neutralizing tips and suggestions to clean items you may have overlooked that could be harboring lingering smoke smells.

Air out your house by opening all of the windows and doors and letting the sunshine in, which can help kill germs and bacteria. (Plus, it’s good for morale!)
Turn on all the fans, even the exhaust fans in the bathrooms and kitchen. Get some cross-ventilation going by sticking box fans in your windows — facing out! — to recirculate your home’s air and replace that smoke smell with a fresh, outdoor breeze.
Sweep, mop, vacuum, repeat. And don’t stop vacuuming the carpet — vacuum everything! The rugs, curtains, furniture (under the cushions and under the furniture), and floors. And double-check to be sure your vacuum’s filter is clean between sessions. Then sprinkle baking soda all over the carpet, leave it there overnight and vacuum it up the next morning. You can do the same thing with upholstered furniture.

For more info visit homemadesimple.com

How Smoke Causes Damage

4/13/2022 (Permalink)

Smoke causes damage by overheating electronics, leading to failure. It infiltrates the inner components and coats parts with a black film.

When the inner workings are coated, especially the parts that produce heat as part of the electronics, it creates insulation and a magnetic charge. Then, the equipment will experience a short circuit and overheat. Extensive studies have examined this type of harm, covering how duration and concentration can affect electronics.

It also causes damage through soot buildup that gets pushed by smoke and makes contact with anything in its path. It will travel to cooler temperatures and keep traveling until it eventually dissipates. Soot from smoke contains acidity that will destroy metals and cause disintegration and discoloration.

These harmful traits can completely destroy electronics even after the fire is put out. This damage is even a risk if there isn’t a fire. Smoke and soot will linger and corrode circuity, causing short circuits. If you’ve had a small fire where flames did not reach the electronics, you should still be wary of this type of damage.

Also, if the area is damp, the moisture will make the soot more acidic, permanently staining surfaces, walls, and electronics. 

For more info visit www.alldryus.com

Benefits of HVAC System Cleaning

4/8/2022 (Permalink)

Why should you have your HVAC system cleaned? The short answer is simple: because they get dirty over time and they have the potential to contain large amounts of dust and particulates.

Energy Savings

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 25 to 40 percent of the energy used for heating or cooling is wasted. Contaminants in the heating and cooling system cause it to work harder and shorten the life of your system. Although filters are used, the heating and cooling system still gets dirty through normal use. When an HVAC system is clean, it doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain the temperature you desire. As a result, less energy is used, leading to improved cost-effectiveness. 

View NADCA's White Paper on Restoring Energy Efficiency Through HVAC Air Distribution System Cleaning

Indoor Air Quality

Indoor air quality is one concern that building managers and building inhabitants have when they decide to investigate HVAC systems. Through normal occupation in a building, we generate a lot of contaminants and air pollutants, such as dander, dust, and chemicals. These contaminants are pulled into the HVAC system and re-circulated 5 to 7 times per day, on average. Over time, this re-circulation causes a build-up of contaminants in the ductwork.

While a contaminated HVAC system doesn't necessarily mean unhealthy air, the situation may be contributing to larger health issues or harboring contaminants that could cause serious problems for people with respiratory health conditions, autoimmune disorders, or some environmental allergies.

Benefits of HVAC Inspection

HVAC inspectors conduct comprehensive examinations of components and systems to determine whether they are contaminated with a significant accumulation of particulate or microbial growth, or if HVAC performance is compromised due to contamination build-up.

The role of an HVAC inspector is to assess the cleanliness and structural integrity of an HVAC system. Inspectors search for obstructions, excess moisture, and microbial contamination in the HVAC system.

NADCA offers a certification geared toward HVAC inspectors, called the Certified Ventilation Inspector (CVI) program. CVI-certified personnel has received training based on the EPA’s structured method of performing inspections, which is also in compliance with NADCA’s standard. The training covers applicable building and IAQ standards and codes, maintenance and housekeeping programs, diagnosing IAQ problems, and reporting findings to building owners.

Benefits of HVAC Restoration

Restoration of HVAC system components is the process of preparation, refurbishment, resurfacing, repair, or replacement of any surface common to the air stream. Restoration procedures must only be performed after mechanical cleaning.

Airside surfaces of HVAC systems found to be compromised during the HVAC cleanliness evaluation or during cleaning must be documented for restoration or replacement to industry standards, as required.

HVAC system components subjected to catastrophic events such as fire, smoke, flood, or water damage must be subject to restoration procedures. Component degradation that results in compromised system performance must be corrected through restoration procedures if possible.

For more info visit NADCA.com

What You Need to Know About Air Duct Cleaning.

3/31/2022 (Permalink)

Air duct cleaning is a misnomer. In actuality, the entire HVAC system should be cleaned. Failure to clean all components of the system can result in recontamination of the entire system, thus minimizing the benefits of cleaning.

Just as you wouldn’t clean only half of your living room floor, you also would not want to clean only part of your HVAC system. NADCA recommends cleaning the entire HVAC system, including the following components:

  • air ducts
  • coils
  • drain pan
  • registers
  • grills
  • air plenum
  • blower motor and assembly
  • heat exchanger
  • air filter
  • air cleaner

There are two key components to HVAC cleaning: breaking contaminants loose, and collection of contaminants.

Breaking Contaminants Loose

Properly cleaning HVAC systems requires removing the sources of contamination. Source removal begins with the use of one or more agitation devices designed to loosen contaminants from the surfaces within the heating and air conditioning system. Examples of agitation devices include brushes, air whips, compressed air nozzles, or “skipper balls.” Agitation can also be achieved through hand-brushing or contact vacuuming.

Collection of Contaminants

During cleaning, the entire HVAC system is placed under continuous negative pressure (a vacuum) to prevent the spread of contaminants. The continuous negative pressure allows very fine particles to be removed from the system as they become airborne, ensuring that these particles are not released into the living space when the system is turned on after cleaning. This negative pressure also serves to extract the loosened contaminants, which are collected and removed from your home.

System Access

HVAC system cleaning is not a complex process, but each job is unique. Where possible, access to duct interiors should be made through existing openings such as supply diffusers, return grills, duct end caps, and existing service openings. Cleaning technicians may need to cut access holes in the ductwork in order to reach inside with various cleaning tools. The creation of these service openings, and their subsequent closure, requires craftsmanship and professional skills.

Equipment Requirements

There is a wide variety of equipment available to HVAC cleaning professionals. Both truck-mounted and portable vacuums can be used to stop the spread of contaminants and get the system cleaned to the NADCA Standard.

Antimicrobial Chemicals

Antimicrobial chemicals include sanitizers, disinfectants, and deodorizers that can be applied to nonporous surfaces in HVAC systems to address microbial contamination and help control odors. Only chemicals registered with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can be used. These products should only be considered after mechanical surface cleaning has been performed and if the need for such treatment has been deemed necessary. 

For more info visit nadca.com

The Dishwasher

3/28/2022 (Permalink)

Dishwashers can leak and lead to serious flooding. This is a problem most people want to avoid, especially because the water can seep into the floor and cause water damage problems below. To prevent any dishwasher mishaps, keep the kitchen sink unclogged. If kitchen repair is needed, it’s best to dry out the area and call a professional.

The Solution

There are a few common ways to discover water problems in the home. If you are concerned about kitchen leaks or water damage in your home, look out for the following signs:

  • Dripping water
  • Stained ceilings or floors
  • Swollen or wet walls
  • Mold

If you discover any of these, contact a professional for help. Water damage should be taken care of quickly to avoid further problems.

4 Easy Ways to Seal Windows & Air Leaks Around the House

3/26/2022 (Permalink)

A typical family spends about a third of its annual heating and cooling budget -- roughly $350 -- on air that leaks into or out of the house through unintended gaps and cracks. With the money you waste in just one year, you can plug many of those leaks yourself. It’s among the most cost-effective things you can do to conserve energy and increase comfort, according to Energy Star.

Start in the attic, since that’s where you’ll find some of the biggest energy drains. Then tackle the basement to prevent cold air that enters there from being sucked into upstairs rooms. Finally, seal air leaks in the rest of the house. Here are eight places to start.

#1 Insulate Around Recessed Lights

Most recessed lights have vents that open in to the attic, a direct route for heated or cooled air to escape. When you consider that many homes have 30 or 40 of these fixtures, it’s easy to see why researchers at the Pennsylvania Housing Research/Resource Center pinpointed them as a leading cause of household air leaks.

Lights labeled ICAT, for “insulation contact and airtight,” are already sealed; look for the label next to the bulb. If you don’t see it, assume yours leaks. An airtight baffle ($8 to $30) is a quick, 10-second fix. Remove the bulb, push the baffle up into the housing, then replace the bulb.

#2 Plug Open Stud Cavities

Most of your house probably has an inner skin of drywall or plaster between living space and unheated areas. But builders in the past often skipped this cover behind knee walls (partial-height walls where the roof angles down into the top floor), above dropped ceilings or soffits, and above angled ceilings over stairs.

Up in the attic, you may need to push insulation away to see if the stud cavities are open. If they are, seal them with unfaced fiberglass insulation (less than $1 a square foot) stuffed into plastic garbage bags; the bag is key to blocking airflow.

Close large gaps with scraps of drywall or pieces of reflective foil insulation (less than $2 a square foot). Once you’ve covered the openings, smooth the insulation back into place. 

#3 Close Gaps Around Flues and Chimneys

Building codes require that wood framing be kept at least 1 inch from metal flues and 2 inches from brick chimneys. But that creates gaps where air can flow through.

Cover the gaps with aluminum flashing ($12) cut to fit and sealed into place with high-temperature silicone caulk ($14). To keep insulation away from the hot flue pipe, form a barrier by wrapping a cylinder of flashing around the flue, leaving a 1-inch space in between. To maintain the spacing, cut and bend a series of inch-deep tabs in the cylinder’s top and bottom edges.

#4 Weatherstrip the Attic Access Door

A 1/4-inch gap around pull-down attic stairs or an attic hatch lets through the same amount of air as a bedroom’s heating duct. Seal it by caulking between the stair frame and the rough opening, or by installing foam weatherstripping around the perimeter of the hatch opening. Or you can buy a pre-insulated hatch cover kit for stairs ($150) or doors ($350 and up). 

For more tips visit www.houselogic.com

Plan Ahead

3/22/2022 (Permalink)

Losing data, production time, and possible revenue can disrupt your business for more than the length of the storm. By planning ahead, you can help your company get back to business quickly with very little trouble after a power disruption. Here are a few things to include in your survival plan:

• Flashlights – To ease fear and promote safe movement.
• Portable generator and fuel – A portable source of power for emergency electricity that can be critical in heating, lighting, and preventing injuries.
• Bottled water – For customer and employee safety.
• UPS stations - To protect computer files and allow employees to save work during an outage.
• Safe room – A protected area in which individuals can gather during extreme weather.
• Disaster Help – A number to call for cleanup or restoration specialists if needed.

Home repair after water damage

3/17/2022 (Permalink)

A restoration company can help you to undertake the restoration process that entails drying a flooded home as well as the mitigation procedures. The water cleanup job on the flooded home requires a reputable restoration company and special equipment in the quest to expedite the drying and restoration process. Drying all the water in home appliances helps to fast track the water cleanup, restoration, and drying process. Embarking on the water cleanup without dealing with the pipe break can be a futile venture. Expensive items such as carpets, wallboards, and electronic appliances can also be ruined.

When it comes to the removal of the water in business drains, it is vital to unblock them too. When it comes to flood damage mitigation in a flooded home, sandbags can come in handy if you want to redirect the water. As you redirect the water in home drains, be sure to repair the supply line break if you want to save time during the water cleanup and mitigation process. You should always think of mitigation if you want to minimize the flood damage. Repairing a flooded home is more expensive than preventing the problem by addressing the main culprits such as leaky drains and the supply line break.

Understanding the Risks

3/17/2022 (Permalink)

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, more than 2,900 home fires are started by clothes dryers each year, due largely to the buildup of lint in the dryer. This lint builds up in:

  • Lint traps
  • Dryer vents
  • Duct work

Lint is combustible, so when it combines with heat, the stage is set for a lint fire. What is a homeowner to do?

Clean the Lint Trap

This may seem obvious, but many of us are doing it wrong. After every load, remove the lint from the screen and wipe the edges. Periodically place it in a sink of hot water and scrub with a bristle brush to get it completely clean and prevent a dryer fire.

Invest in A Brush

A dryer lint brush is a long-handled brush that will help reach the nooks and crannies. Remove your dryer lint filter, stick the brush inside and gently loosen the built-up lint. This will remove big chunks of lint that you can gather and discard. Run the dryer on air only to remove any small leftover particles.

Check Your Exhaust

Once a year, unplug your dryer and get a good look at where your exhaust vent connects. Remove that piece, reach inside and use your vent brush to get out as much lint as possible.