Warren Restoration blog
photo by giani- https://pixabay.com/en/users/giani-1202/
photo by giani- https://pixabay.com/en/users/giani-1202/

Fall is one of the most beautiful times of the year. The leaves turn vibrant colors, pumpkins and decorative corn husks adorn buildings, and the heat of the summer mellows into a comfortably moderate temperature. Fall is also a very important time for annual home maintenance. By taking care of your home’s critical features in the fall, you can assure yourself of energy efficiency, reliability of the systems you need, and of course, less stress in the coming winter.

Below, we’ll highlight which areas of the home need the most attention in the fall, and what you can do to keep everything running smoothly on into the winter.

  • Clean the Gutters – After the leaves have fallen, clear out all muck and debris from your gutters. Run water through them to flush anything else out and to test for leaks and holes. If you live in a wooded area and your gutters are more prone to clogs, consider installing mesh covers on them, to prevent buildup of leaves. Clogged gutters are a primary factor in causing ice dams, which are deposits of ice on a roof in winter which can cause water to pool and eventually leak through the roof and insulation into your home. While you are up in the vicinity of the roof, it is also a good idea to inspect for missing or damaged shingles. Repair any such problems, as these could also result in leaks or water damage during the winter.
  • Prepare the Driveway – Fall is a good time to check the condition of asphalt driveways. If there are cracks or surface damage, clean these out and fix them with driveway filler. When this is done, apply a coat of asphalt sealer. The harshness of the cold winter months and the frequent uses of salt tend to wreak havoc on asphalt. Ideally, your driveway should be in top condition before the snowy season, so that winter doesn’t exacerbate any pre-existing damage.
  • Clear the Lawn and Foliage – Rake up the dense accumulation of leaves on your lawn. If you allow leaves to sit too long, moisture will compact them together, which can suffocate your lawn and invite insect problems. Don’t, however, let those leaves go to waste. Your leaf pile can be used for composting or mulch, or piled over your garden to create a protective blanket through the winter. Use the opportunity granted by a clear lawn to aerate and fertilize the area, and plant cool-season grasses. It is also a good time to fertilize turf grasses, so that when spring comes, your lawn will already be in good shape. Fall is also a good time to trim the branches of trees around your home, to prevent weak and dead limbs from falling under the weight of snow and ice during the winter months and causing damage to your property.
  • Properly Store Cooling Devices – At the end of summer, remove window-mounted air conditioning units, thoroughly clean them, and store them in a dry place. For central air systems, vacuum the internal parts and be sure to cover the outdoor components with a tarp or specially designed cover. This will prevent rust damage through the winter.
  • Check the Heat System – Don’t wait until winter to discover problems with your heat. Have your heating system checked by a professional in the fall. Regular maintenance will increase fuel efficiency and longevity. If your home has a woodstove or fireplace, check this too. It is a good idea, when applicable, to have your chimney swept before the winter wood-burning season. This will decrease your risk of a chimney fire, which is typically caused when an accumulated residue called creosote ignites in the chimney. Additionally, to help with energy efficiency, you must be sure that the heat you generate stays in your home. Check for drafts around windows and doorframes, and use caulk to fix problem spots.
  • Reverse the Direction of Your Ceiling Fans – Remember to do this in the fall, so your fans will create an upward draft which distributes warm air throughout the area.

In spite of taking precautions to properly care for your property in advance of the winter months, damage can occur at any time from fire, water, and storms. Warren Cleaning and Restoration can help solve problems you encounter as a result of such damage. Our two family-owned and operated offices are located in Big Stone Gap, VA, and Hendersonville, NC, and we serve an approximate 2-hour radius from each.

You can also learn more about fire safety rules to secure your house.

The Life Expectancy of Home Appliances

It’s not uncommon for homeowners to forget how long they have had their appliances

Like most things, appliances have a life expectancy. After a certain amount of time it’s a good idea to replace them before they have a malfunction and cause serious damage. Although, people tend to replace appliances long before they become worn out due to changes in styles and updated technology. Life expectancy also depends on a great deal the use it receives. Here is a list of things we use; things we need; things we can’t live without in our everyday lives and just how long their life span is.

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Christmas Decorating Safety Tips

Christmas Decorating Safety Tips

How to Avoid a Decorating Disaster

Warren Restoration wants you to take some extra precautions for your home this Christmas. While the Holiday season is a time for decorating fun, it can also pose several dangers. You wouldn’t think that decorations could cause such a threat! The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates there were 15,000 injuries involving holiday decorating seen in emergency departments nationwide during November and December 2012. Here are tips on how to prevent these decorating dangers!

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Keep Safe for the Holidays

Keep Safe for the Holidays

Holiday Shopping Safety Tips

Now is the time when everyone is out shopping!! People are shopping to prepare for upcoming holiday parties, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas gifts, and New Year resolutions. This time of year is also a dangerous time to be out! Here are some Safety tips to keep in mind the next couple of months.

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Tips to Prevent Pipes from Freezing

It’s finally October which means temperatures are going to start getting lower and lower. Now is the time to prepare you for the freezing temperatures to come! The temperature threshold for freezing pipes is 20 degrees F. Water freezes when heat in the water is transferred to subfreezing air. The best way to keep pipes from freezing is to slow or stop the transfer of heat. Here are great tips to keep in mind for this winter to come.

  1. Vulnerable pipes that are accessible should be fitted with insulation sleeves or wrapping. This will slow the heat transfer. You can find these at any hardware store, but we suggest spending a little more for the extra thick insulation that can be found at a plumbing supply store.
  2. Any cracks or holes in an outside wall and foundation near water pipes should be filled with caulking.
  3. Keep cabinet doors open that have water pipes inside. This lets warm air circulate around the pipes.
  4. Letting a faucet drip slowly can prevent a burst in pipe, but not the water inside the pipe from freezing. The small flow relieves the excessive pressure between the ice blockage and faucet.
  5. Going on a trip? Be careful how much you lower the temperature. Also, you can drain the water system. If there is no water in the pipes then they cannot freeze. Do this by turning off the main valve and turning on all water fixtures (hot and cold lines) until no more water comes out.

If no water comes out of the faucet after turning it on then don’t wait! Call a plumber. If a pipe DOES burst then turn off the water at the main shut off valve. This is usually located near the water meter or where the main line enters the building. If in case a pipe does burst please do not hesitate to call us at Warren Restoration!! We of course are here for you when things like this happen!

How to Get Your Home To Smell Fresh

Stinky Situations

Tips for Keeping Your Home Smelling Fresh and Wonderful

Odor can develop in many different places like your kitchen, closets and bathrooms. It also can be very displeasing for any guests coming over to visit. Here are a few easy natural tips to keep your home smelling fresh.

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5 Tips Homeowners Should Know About Sewage Backups

Not only is sewage disgusting but it’s extremely hazardous. It contains fungi, bacteria and viruses, many of which are disease-causing. People that are likely to be more affected are very young or very old people or those with compromised immune systems, respiratory problems or pregnant. Here are 5 key principles homeowners should know about sewage back-ups.

  1. Anyone who works on sewage losses must have updated vaccinations, including one for Hepatitis B.
  2. Sewage exposure is dangerous for people with weakened immune systems, including anyone under two or over 60, those who are pregnant, ill, and are recovering from surgery.
  3. It is unsafe to live in a home that’s flooded with sewage unless the contaminated area can be completely sealed off and placed under controlled air flow so that there will be no cross contamination of unaffected areas.
  4.  Sewage-saturated materials, such as carpet, pad, upholstery, bedding, wicker, paper or even fabrics that can’t be washed in hot water (130°F/54°C) for at least 10 minutes, must be contained and disposed of properly. This goes for sewage-saturated drywall, insulation and several other structural materials too.
  5.  Only trained professionals like Warren Restoration should attempt sewage remediation work. Then, a “third party” indoor environmental professional can provide post-remediation verification or “clearance testing” to ensure that the home is safe.

Warren Restoration is here for you 24/7 with a 90 minute or less response time for any of your emergencies. Call us if sewage has backed-up into your home or business and let us be your Restoration Heroes!

Don’t Get Burned with Fire

Don’t Get Burned with Fire

A fire in your home or business is a serious disaster! Not only can it destroy your stuff but it also hurts any living thing in its way. The U.S. Fire Administration says the leading causes of fire are:

1: Cooking related
2: Electrical short circuits
3: Cigarettes.
4: Portable heaters
5: Unattended candles

Here are some prevention tips from us to help you stay safe! For cooking related fires remember to remain in the kitchen while cooking. Additionally, keep anything flammable like paper towels or oven mitts away from the hot stove or grill. Another tip is, if you see a fire in the oven then leave the door closed and turn the oven off. Do not pour water on a grease fire, but instead turn off heat and cover with metal lid. Furthermore, keep the grill away from buildings or fences, and always after cooking, double check to make sure everything has been turned off.
Tips on electrical fires are to make sure your outlets aren’t overloaded with plugs. Also, check to see that there isn’t any bare wires showing. As for cigarette fires, avoid smoking in bed. Likewise, don’t empty ashtrays shortly after smoking. For portable heaters we suggest placing the heater at least one meter away from anything that can burn. Lastly, candles need to be in a sturdy holder on a level surface and never left unattended.

Spring has Sprung in Asheville

Spring has sprung! And with spring brings bright green leaves growing on trees and blooming colorful flowers, Mother’s day celebrations, children swinging on ropes into rivers, men grilling out with their buddies, and women preparing their gardens. What spring also brings is high heat, humidity, and heavy rain storms. Spring can be great but people should always prepare themselves for the worst. A few tips from Warren Restoration to protect your home or business would be to:

  1. Keep gutters clean and free of debris. Especially the drain line and make sure it’s diverted down and away from the building.
  2. Make sure to maintenance you’re heating and cooling system. When using heat it will dry out the p-trap on the condensation pump which in return will cause an odor like sewage in your home or business. Check to make sure if it is dry and then add a small amount of water to it.
  3. Have your water heater inspected. Water heaters life span is usually 6 to 8 years.
  4. Never leave your home with anything that has running water on while you’re gone. Some signs of water damage occurring would be if you start noticing mildew on boxes, puddles forming in front of doorways, wet floors where your water heater, washing machine or dishwasher is located, discoloration in your walls or ceiling and sudden strong odors coming from bathroom.

As soon as you realize these or other water, mold, or sewer issues in your home or business call us at Warren Restoration immediately! The longer you wait these small damages can turn into big damages. We are here to save your property!