Water Damage Tips
SERVPRO of Bowie wants to help you prepare your property to prevent any water damage. Here are some simple tips to keep water flowing the way it should through the winter months.
Know the location of the water shut off valve.
If you were to have a major incident with your home’s plumbing this is the number one thing to know. Typically, shut off valves are outside about 4 feet from your home and can be hidden beneath landscape. Occasionally, it can be beside the water meter. It is crucial to know where the shut off valve is in case you have a pipe burst and need to cut off the water supply to your home to prevent further damage.
Turn off outside spigots to prevent them from freezing.
Did you know the average homeowner spends $10,000 for a pipe rupture? Having an emergency plumber fix the plumbing, and then, SERVPRO of Bowie your home and replace flooring, walls etc. is a huge expense. Take a few minutes and disconnect garden hoses from the spigot and purchase a cover from your local hardware store to protect the outdoor spigots. Plumbing pipes, like all materials, deteriorate overtime. Along comes old man winter, and the water in that thin pipe freezes and burst. As it begins to thaw you are left with a plumbing emergency.
Look for pipes in uninsulated areas of your home.
Pipes running on the outside edge of your home’s exterior are most susceptible to freezing. They should be covered with towels or foam to protect them from cold temperatures. Allowing your faucets to drip water slowly to encourage water flow is another good winter weather tip.
Preparation is the key to make it through any type of disaster, whether it is a small water leak or a ruptured pipe. Review these tips with everyone in your home to ensure safe water flow throughout your property.
Holiday Tree Lighting Tips
The holidays can be a magical time for families to come together and celebrate the passing of another great year! However, the décor that comes with celebrating can cause some accidents if not handled properly. Here are some tips to help prevent obstacles that may interfere with your holiday Spirit!
One major factor to consider is your Christmas tree! Each holiday season, fire departments respond to an average of 210 Christmas tree fires nationally, reports the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Tree fires aren't super common, but when they do happen, they're more likely to be serious.
- Keep your tree at least three feet away from all heat sources (like fireplaces, radiators, and heat vents).
- Check the condition of your extension before, during and after using lights for the tree.
- If you have a real tree, remember to keep it watered; the drier the tree, the more easily it could ignite.
- Buy a fresh tree rather than a dry tree to decrease the possibility of a fire
- choose a sturdy stand so the tree won't tip over.
- Get a timer for your Christmas lights to save on electricity and safety when you’re not around.
- Organize any Cords or wiring to prevent tripping
- Keep a fire extinguisher nearby
- Ensure your artificial trees have a seal of approval when it comes to flame resistance
- Never use electric lights with metal leaded trees as it can cause electrocution
If a fire does occur please immediately evacuate and call 911. Call us at (301)-459-0444 so that we can assist you in remediating any fire damage that comes your way this holiday season.
Back to School Tips
So the blissful days of summer seem to be coming to an end. This means that the kids are heading back to school and the headaches of scheduling activities are going away right? Well, if you’re children, and yourself of course are having some trouble getting back into a routine, then check out these tips to help ease the idea of Math, Social Studies, and English for your kids:
Your kid needs a good breakfast.
With a less-structured summer schedule, parents can tend to be more laid-back about meals. I’ve had students fall asleep or burst into tears in class, and I know it’s because they haven’t eaten. Get back into healthy breakfasts when school starts so kids can focus better. We’ll love you for it. —Colleen Mier, Irving, TX
Shoes can make or break their day.
There’s nothing more distracting than a pair of uncomfortable shoes. Make shopping for a new pair of sneakers a fun event that hypes the new school year. And please, have kids walk around in them for a few days before Day One. That way the shoes are broken in and I can have their full attention. —Jill Armstrong, Carlsbad, CA
Exploring the Globe with Kids
Life is short—why not explore? This blogger is committed to encouraging diversity while she shows her young family the world.
From HSBC Bank
If you get them excited before school starts, Day One will go easier.
Shop for a cool lunch box or backpack in the weeks leading up to school. Some principals will let kids visit their new classroom and even meet the teacher if you’re lucky. But we’re busy prepping, so please keep the visit to a few minutes! —Len Saunders, Montville, NJ
Setting goals can lead to success.
As the first day back draws closer, talk to your child about what a “good” day looks like and what the reward will be. Also discuss what would constitute a “bad” day and go over the consequences that would involve. A clear understanding of your expectations makes it more likely your kid will succeed. —Traci D. W. Jackson, Atlanta, GA
We dread when your child is late.
I don’t think parents realize the stress that being late puts on a kid. To make mornings run smoother, prepare everything the night before. I’m talking all clothes chosen and laid out, water bottles filled, schoolbags ready. I have my son and daughter, who are 13 and 11, put their backpacks in the car before they go to sleep. —Ann Boles, Plano, TX
You’re probably more nervous than your child.
Parents have a hard time—on so many levels—transitioning from elementary to middle school. Their sons and daughters are growing up! But kids see this as an exciting time. They could be going to a new school in a new environment with new teachers and new kids. I know it’s easier said than done, but please don’t convey to your kids that you’re anxious because they’ll feel anxious too. —Karen Evans, Old Saybrook, CT
Mindset-wise, sooner is better.
With my own kids, I gradually start transitioning back to school-year thinking in late summer, asking them to help pack lunches for the beach and getting them into bed a bit earlier. Sometimes we sit at the table and do a little reading or writing. It doesn’t have to be anything grand, just enough to ease them back into the routines they’ll need when school starts. —Sarah May, Bristol, CT
Don’t believe everything you hear.
If your child is assigned a teacher that other students supposedly hate, or someone goes out of their way to tell you how “mean” a certain teacher is, don’t agonize over it. Everyone is different, and your child may very well get along just fine with that teacher. —Stacy Kasse, Haddonfield, NJ
The locker may be the toughest part. Buy a lock early enough that your child can practice opening it until it’s easy. —Amy Buckelew, Bridgewater, NJ
We want you at Back-to-School Night.
By the time your kids reach high school, you’re likely not getting much face-to-face time at school, so it’s important to attend Back-to-School Night to get to know your child’s teachers and routines. Many districts have school websites or apps to keep you in the loop about assignments, tests and other key events. Use them! —Karen Herman, Richmond, VA
Trust me, I’m your partner.
I would love for parents to email me at the beginning of the year to introduce themselves. And yes, tone counts. Make it positive, with the assumption being, we’re a team. Something like, “I’m looking forward to working with you this year. If there’s anything I can do to make Suzy’s year better, please let me know.” That tells me you trust my experience. By supporting me, you empower me to get the best from your student. —Adrienne Oliver, Charlottesville, VA
Don’t do it for them.
In elementary and middle school, parents and teachers play more of a coach role. And students’ successes and failures rest on how well the adults do their job as coaches. But when kids get into high school, they have to control their own successes and failures. Remember, I want your child to succeed. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to fail them if they don’t do the work. I’m here to facilitate, but students have to do the work on their own. —Kim Mohn, Durham, NC
The work in high school can sometimes feel overwhelming. Finding something that interest’s teens and surrounds them with people who like that same thing can provide a welcome escape and be the key to staying positive. For instance, my daughter was involved in theater, French and art clubs. Those connections really helped her when things were tough. —Donna Allen-Krug, Plant City, FL
Your teen has to keep reading.
Most high schools give reading assignments over the summer, so make sure your kid does them. And as an English teacher, I’d like your child to be reading more than just that one assigned book. So read yourself—your kids need you modeling the behavior you want them to follow. —Lori Belbol, Franklin Square, NY
Connecting with one teacher can make all the difference.
High school teachers generally have large rosters and multiple subjects or sections. It can be easy for a child to start feeling invisible. A great solution: Encourage your child to find one teacher they trust. Send that teacher an email, introduce yourself and build a relationship with them as well. When your child is struggling, reach out to that teacher for guidance, suggestions or advice. —Jessica Todd,Saint Louis, MO
Help them get and stay organized.
There are a lot of moving pieces in high school, so a planner is crucial. Most versions have a month, a week and a day at a glance for scheduling homework. Also, teens can use their phones to set up reminders about assignments and due dates. Ask your kids at least once a week, “Do you have everything in your planner? Are you on track with all your work?” Then hopefully they won’t get crushed at the last minute. —Jeannette Wilt, Wilmington, DE
If you have any more questions, go to https://www.familycircle.com/family-fun/20-back-to-school-tips-from-teachers/ for more information.
Is your AC in the heat of battle?
All of us here at SERVPRO of Bowie hope you are enjoying the summer break, whether it’s hitting the pool or the ocean for a family vacation. As we are reaching record highs this season, your AC maybe taking a toll and packing heat from the outside air.AC leaks are very common and can actually freeze the refrigerant coils due to extreme heat. This may not seem like a big deal at first, but it will lead to leaks around your HVAC Unit and furnace. With that being said, here a few tips and suggestions to help you avoid a hot mess of an AC unit:
- Turn the AC unit immediately if you spot frozen evaporator coil until the problem is successfully corrected.
- Replace your Air filter every 30 to 90 days
- Do not Cover any air vents or registers
- For systems that drain by gravity, be sure the condensate is flowing freely to the outside; the drain line (especially the elbow) may be plugged with mold and slime.
- For systems that use a condensate pump, if the pump has failed, that could lead to water backing up in the system and overflowing the pan.
- That the large pan below the cold coil (called the condensate pan) is not rotted and full of holes, and leaking water into the house. Note, that in most cases, replacing the pan below the coil is usually not something a homeowner can tackle. A leaking pan is almost always better repaired by a licensed air conditioning heating ventilation contractor (HVAC).
- Clean the elbowed plug that leads to the condensate pan. You may need to cut and replace the plastic elbow, depending on whether it has slime/mold or not.
- Use a shop vacuum to the end of the condensate drain, if any, and run the vacuum for a few seconds to pull any dried or wet contents out of the line. You need to remove the shop vacuum’s paper air filter to do this.
- For metal Condensate pans, use bleach and water solution to routinely clear you drain line and prevent it from creating mildew.
- Plastic/copper drains can be corroded and damaged. It may easier to use chlorine tablets instead.
For more information, go to https://www.popularmechanics.com/home/how-to/a7782/quick-fixes-for-leaky-ac-systems-8925561/
And if all else fails, we’re always here to help remediate any water, fire or mold damages that wreak havoc on your home. Please call us at (301)-459-0444 or 1-800 SERVPRO for SERVPRO of Bowie.
SERVPRO of Bowie's Drying Equipment
Small water damages have the potential to cause serious structural and indoor air quality issues over time. The key to avoiding costly future restoration is to handle every water problem as a real threat to your property. SERVPRO of Bowie has the equipment, training, and experience to find and dry unseen water before secondary damages occur. The proper equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing the damage expense during a fire or water loss. When time matters, technology, and equipment must be counted on to perform properly. Our team will answer your call with fast action and a full arsenal of drying equipment. Here are a few of the tools used by our SERVPRO of Bowie technicians.
Moisture Sensors - Used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards, and walls.
Moisture Meters - Used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials. The moisture tester provides accurate readings, allowing SERVPRO of Bowie to monitor the drying process.
Thermohygrometers - Measure temperature and relative humidity. When armed with this information, we can calculate and create an environment most conducive to drying. When facing a contaminated water loss, it is not only important to dry the structure, but the structure must also be disinfected and often deodorized.
Ultra-Low-Volume (ULV) Foggers - Atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that can easily penetrate the site where odor-causing residues may accumulate. This device can also be used to inject fungicides and disinfectants into wall cavities and other hard-to-reach areas.
Thermal Foggers - Dispense solvent-based products by creating a dense fog. The fog consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that attach to and neutralize odor-causing particles to deodorize structures, garments, automobiles and other places where cleaning cannot reach. Call us Birmingham, we have the training and equipment to make it “Like it never even happened.” Remember, we’re always here to help! Call us at (301)-459-0444.
It’s estimated that more than 1 million types of mold exist, yet less than 10 percent have actually been named. This means mold is very common in both indoor and outdoor environments. While mold and humans can sometimes co-exist without issue, there are certain species of mold that can cause health effects for some people.
If the right conditions exist, mold will grow. Those conditions include:
- Water - Different mold types require varying amounts of liquid before growth begins.
- Temperature - Normal indoor temperatures will promote mold growth.
- Time - Initial mold colonizers can take hold within one day after being exposed to an adequate water supply.
Mold growth can occur in any home, so it’s important to keep an eye out for situations that might promote mold activity. Roof/chimney leaks, wet basements, or condensation from ducts that dampen surrounding insulation are just a few examples of issues that make a house a prime target for mold growth.
If you suspect mold in your home, call SERVPRO of Bowie to assess the situation. We have the knowledge, tools and track record to effectively remediate mold in your home or business. If you suspect mold, call us today at (301) 459-0444
A Snowed-in Home Improvement weekend
Most would believe that the best time for home improvement projects is only during the warm seasons, but contrary to popular belief, there are many projects that work best during the winter! Even better, here are two projects for your home this season that cost less than $500!
One thing to tackle this winter is applying new paint to the interior of your home. Not only is this a fun indoor project, but it also adds value to your home by providing a blank slate to any potential buyers if you are planning to sell, or even for yourself! With a fresh coat of paint, your home can be rejuvenated and have new paint shimmer.
Technology has greatly influenced home appliances in recent years, especially when it comes to programmable thermostats. This winter home improvement project lets homeowners customize the heating and cooling of their home to fit their needs, automatically regulating the temperature in their home. With different programming options available, including the ability to control some thermostats remotely, this improvement project will not only enhance your quality of life but save you money in the process!
For more winter projects to do this year, check out this awesome article from Fortune Builders