3 Helpful Tips That Will Save You Money on Home Maintenance
Change air filters
Three Tips for Making Facility Management Less Expensive
When it comes to keeping an updated and efficient home, many homeowners are concerned about the maintenance cost. From adding updates to keeping things in working condition, the bills can add up quickly. If you are looking to save money on the upkeep of your Colorado Springs, CO home, consider the following three tips for making facility management less expensive.
1. Reduce Lighting Costs
While it may sound simple, reducing the cost of lighting your home can be a huge cash saver. If you are using the same old light bulbs and fixtures that came standard in your home when you moved in, you may be spending more than you need to in monthly electricity expenses. While switching out cheap incandescent bulbs may sound counter-intuitive, the long-term savings can really pay off. Swap out standard light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) to take advantage of the following savings:
- Reduce your energy use by up to 75%
- Go up to five times longer between switching out light bulbs
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to a healthier planet
2. Small Updates Over Time
Although it can be tempting to go all-in on your list of fixer upper projects, doing small updates over time may be a more frugal option. Save-up for projects that will lower you home maintenance cost. Rather than adding pretty new cabinets to your kitchen, think about getting a more energy efficient furnace or air conditioning unit to save on your monthly utility bill.
3. Don't Forget Routine Upkeep
While updating and upgrading is always appealing to homeowners, it is important to remember to take care of your existing fixtures. Some of your long-term home maintenance cost can be reduced by doing simple things regularly, including the following:
- Change air filters
- Replace missing or damaged roof shingles
- Clean drains of debris and buildup
By taking care of your home's structure on a regular basis, you may avoid the need for home repairs after a storm strikes near Colorado Springs, CO.
Dealing With Smoke Damage After a Fire
Smoke damage in a Colorado Springs property
When a fire happens to your commercial property in Colorado Springs, CO, there's a lot to handle in the aftermath. One aspect that is not immediately obvious is the task of smoke cleaning. This is an important step that should not be skipped, so be sure to add it to your to-do list.
What It Harms
Smoke damage doesn't just mean seeing some dark smudges on the ceiling. Smoke and soot spread quickly and can manifest on almost everything in your building. It will affect different items and surfaces in different ways. Some common problem areas can include:
- fabric materials
How It's Cleaned
Depending on what needs cleaning, there can be a method for every scenario. Specific items, such as those listed above, each require their own customized type of smoke cleaning, that should be conducted by a qualified remediation specialist. Surfaces such as walls and solid furniture can handle a process of dry to wet cleaning. For upholstery and fabric than will shrink if exposed to wet cleaning, there is an option called foam cleaning. Immersive cleaning is a form of wet cleaning in which smaller objects can be totally sunk into a cleaning solution. The list goes on for many more categories.
How It's Reported
If you've hired a smoke odor and cleaning service, they most likely can help you with your insurance claim, as well. You will probably need to inventory all your content that has been damaged by fire or smoke, and gather all you can to verify each item's value. Then you can contact your insurance to determine your coverage. If you don't already have coverage, this moment would also be a good time to consider adding it.
Fire damage is a dynamic problem that needs to be approached from multiple angles. One of these angles that shouldn't be dismissed is that of smoke cleaning. Smoke damage can hinder functionality and cause a strong odor. Give it proper attention for a complete rehabilitation of your commercial property.
How Can You Prevent Water Damage During Construction?
Heavy rain can sometimes bring a building construction to a stop
How to Avoid Water Damage During Construction
The construction process is often an exciting time for business owners. However, having to worry about making a water pipe repair and the resulting water damage can make the process stressful. There are several ways businesses in Colorado Springs, CO, can avoid water damage during construction.
1. Prepare for Rain
Heavy rain can sometimes bring a building construction to a stop. Though you can't prevent rain from falling, there are steps you can take to protect your building from flooding. Throughout the construction process, it can be helpful to ensure that building materials remain covered. Additionally, keeping water drainage away from your building can help to prevent major water damage from affecting your property.
2. Use the Right Materials
Faulty or outdated equipment, such as a broken pipe or damaged appliance, can often cause major delays during the construction process. If major water damage occurs, it may be useful to contact water damage restoration experts. However, using materials that meet relevant building code standards can help to prevent the need for a water pipe repair or other costly and time-consuming repairs. If you are adding on to a property, it can be particularly helpful to check existing building materials prior to construction to ensure the original structure is sound.
3. Keep Contact With the Project Manager
Throughout the process of construction, you will likely have a variety of questions. A project manager can often help to guide you through the construction process. Asking your project manager, contractor and other important professionals who are taking part in the construction process what measurements they are taking to avoid water damage can bring you peace of mind. If active steps to prevent a flooded building are not being taken, you can request that measurements be put in place quickly.
Avoiding the need for a water pipe repair or a supply line repair during construction can help to make construction a less stressful process. Knowing how to avoid major water damage during construction can help to make the construction process quick and easy.
Do You Need to Worry About Your Bathroom Supply Line?
Toilet supply line burst in this Colorado Springs home
Supply Line Damage and Maintenance
Homeowners are incidental experts on a range of topics they might never have expected to know about, like plumbing. This knowledge usually comes with time and experience. One such mysterious category is supply line damage and maintenance. If you are new to owning property in Colorado Springs, CO, you have come to the right place.
Know Your Warranty
Unless you have noticed a supply line leak, you should plan your maintenance and replacement schedules based on the warranty. There are various types of supply lines, and each has a different policy. The first step is to identify your own. Some common lines are:
Plastic tubes- typically have a warranty of 5-8 years
Steel braided tubes- typically have lifetime warranties
Copper tubes- warranties are determined by factory brand
Keep Track of Time
It is best practice to replace your supply line once a decade, unless specified otherwise by your warranty. That is, if you don't discover any supply line damage. It can't hurt to set up a more frequent inspection schedule to make sure this doesn't occur. This will also help if you can't remember how long it's been; ten years is a long time. If you have just moved into an older home, you should also consider inspecting the supply line to determine how you should move forward.
Know Who to Call
You probably shouldn't attempt to investigate a bathroom leak or replace a supply line on your own, for fear of making it worse. Then you'll have water damage to deal with. Do some research and have a professional home water service on call. Enlisting a company you trust can help with staying on top of your replacement schedule, as well.
Plumbing issues can be difficult to grasp if you are a new homeowner, but with some organization and some help you should be just fine. Before you know it, dealing with supply line damage and bathroom leaks will seem like a breeze. You may be the one giving this advice, next time!
How To Determine if Your Washing Machine is Moldy
Does your washing machine stink? There may be mold growth in the drain
Mold grows in moist places, so it is no surprise that a washing machine is a prime place for it. These spores can sometimes hide, so you won’t always know they are there, but it is important to know if your machine in Colorado Springs, CO, has any type of mold growth. Here are some ways you can determine if there is mold.
Call a Professional
Fungi is not something you should deal with yourself. Mold remediation experts have the proper safety equipment to handle different types of fungus that grow in homes. That is why it is always safest to call a professional if you believe there are signs of an infestation in your laundry room. The experts may be able to tell you what type you have and give you an estimate on the cost of cleanup. The mold in your laundry room could be due to:
- Wet laundry
- Cracks in the hoses
- Machine leaks
Check for Strange Smells
If you start to notice a mold smell coming from your washing machine, you may want to look around for leaks as this could be a sign of growth. Washers that have fungi in them often cause dirty laundry to smell bad even after it has been washed. It is important to watch out for these signs so that you know when to bring in help.
Do an Inspection
It’s a good idea to regularly inspect your washer as it is a constant source of moisture. Look around and check for leaks and cracks in the hose. Check behind the machine to see if there is any mold growth. Front loading machines are more susceptible, so clean that style regularly. Checking the pipes and doing regular maintenance on your washer can help prevent mold, but always bring in help when needed.
If you think there might be mold in your washing machine, you should call a remediation expert right away. If left unattended, it might continue to grow and could end up costing you more in the long run.
Understanding Emergency Board Up Practices
Emergency board up services in Colorado Springs, CO
Understanding Emergency Board Up Practices
Fires can be destructive forces that feed on wood, insulation and other substances that make your home as its kindling. Therefore, depending on the emergency response time to your home, significant damage may occur before the blaze is extinguished. While the resulting material loss may be substantial, it is necessary to protect the surviving structure from further damages, which is where professional board up services come into play. By mitigating any further loss, these services help to reduce homeowner liability and improve the chances of a successful restoration.
An emergency board up occurs quickly after a fire has been extinguished. A restoration company will enter the property, assess the structural integrity of the home, and then begin the process of securing the assets from would-be intruders, animals or other natural phenomena. Boarding up is typically used to cover any broken windows or unsecured doors. However, it may also be used to cover any holes in the walls of the building. Primarily, boarding a property will aim to secure the vertical structure.
Aside from the board up process, it may be necessary to use tarps to cover any hole in ceilings or upper floors. Tarps are primarily used to cover large horizontal holes in the structure. The practice of tarping secures the property from exposure to the natural elements.
The boarding up and tarping services are used to mitigate the potential for further property loss. Most insurers require homeowners to protect their homes from further damage, and this mandate is a prerequisite to receiving aid or their policy’s coverage. Therefore, mitigation through quick response boarding and tarping services is often necessary for securing funds to help in the restoration efforts.
You can contact a fire damage specialist in the Colorado Springs, CO, area to help with your restoration efforts. These companies should be able to walk you through the process of mitigation and insurance protocols. However, you should also contact your insurer.
Board up services are only a piece of the restoration puzzle, but they are instrumental in the process. Therefore, after a fire, hire a restoration company to secure your property.
Protect Your Property From Storm Damages
Other inspection maintenance should include trimming trees
Protect Your Property From Storm Damages
Exterior maintenance is an ongoing concern for commercial property owners. The issue becomes even more important when storms threaten. The best way to avoid expensive trouble, especially during seasons of high winds and extreme weather, is to schedule routine inspections. This makes it possible for property owners to target problems before they get to be too large.
Some crucial areas to target include
- Membranes, such as on roofs and around windows
- Drains; watch for debris and other things that lead to clogs
- Aging roof shingles
- Foundations; watch for cracks and weak areas
Whether you perform visual inspections yourself or schedule inspections through professional construction and damage remediation professionals, it's important to keep your building maintained. For example, keep the areas around exterior appliances and electrical equipment clear, for easy access and for a clear view during inspections. Other inspection maintenance should include trimming trees and shrubbery, clearing out rain gutters and spouts, and providing access to doors and windows.
During the building inspection, watch for problem areas and plan for potential risks. For example, intruders often take advantage of times of crisis to break into properties. Be sure you can secure doors and windows quickly when storms hit. You may also want to learn more about how storms affect buildings. For example, during tornadoes, buildings may become pressurized, causing windows to burst. Ask inspection and remediation professionals what the risks are in Colorado Springs, CO.
Other trouble spots may include the following:
- Power lines that could fall onto your buildings
- Tree branches that may break off during storms
- Weaknesses in the property perimeter
It's important to note any suggestions and recommendations made by the professionals during a building inspection. In addition to tips about exterior maintenance, you may get valuable information about reducing property damage when storms arise and decreasing any risks to personnel, customers, and inventory.
A regular inspection and exterior maintenance schedule could prevent expensive damages. Don't wait for storm warnings to prompt action. Keep your Colorado Springs, CO, business safe from storms with preventative steps.
3 Tips for Preventing Post Flood Mold
Mold growth in a Colorado Springs kitchen
3 Tips for Preventing Post Flood Mold
If your Colorado Springs, CO, has experienced flooding after a storm, then you may be worried about the possibility of mold growth. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to help mitigate this potential problem. Many mold remediation professionals recommend the following
1. Thoroughly Dry the Area
The first step to take care of in the event you may have mold damage is to completely dry any area affected by water. In many cases a professional restoration company may use a dehumidifier. Getting rid of the water can help make the area inhospitable to mold spores.
2. Have an Expert Test for Mold
On some occasions the potential mold growth may not yet be visible. If you believe you may have mold in your home, even after drying and sanitizing the flooded area, then a professional may be able to perform a test. Testing can include taking air samples, pulling a sample from an at-risk material, or taking a surface sample. If mold has been found, then your mold remediation professional can formulate a plan for mold removal.
3. Clean Any Water Damaged Items
Another common tip for complete mold removal includes thoroughly cleaning any items that may have been affected by the storm damage. Mold spores can grow on any organic material that contains moisture. This can include carpeting, wood, upholstery, and even drywall. Fortunately, there are a number of methods to properly clean and sanitize these items.
Because mold growth usually occurs in damp areas, thoroughly drying any flooded areas can help prevent this type of problem. If you believe mold has already set in you can have a professional test for spores. It is also a good idea to properly clean any items affected by the water damage as well. If you have any questions a professional may be able to help.
The 4 Stages of Sewer Damage Cleanup
Mitigation experts may recommend increasing ventilation with air movers
Four Stages of Cleaning a Sewer Backup at a Commercial Property
Sewer cleanup procedures are intended to prevent building occupants from coming into contact with sewage or contaminants. It can take several hours for mitigation professionals to eliminate damage and a few days for the affected area to dry. Learn more about the four stages of cleaning a sewer backup at a commercial property in Colorado Springs, CO.
Removing standing water and solid waste is the most critical stage of cleanup. The longer Category Three water is left standing, the higher the risk for severe primary and secondary damage to building materials and contents. It is ideal to extract water within hours of a backup.
2. Tearing Out Damage
Porous building materials and contents can sustain irreparable damage from exposure to waste water. Carpet, drywall, insulation and even ceilings beneath areas that experience a major sewer backup may need to be torn out and replaced. Sewer cleanup experts will tear out ruined materials prior to cleaning and disinfecting the area to prevent recontamination.
3. Cleaning and Disinfection
After standing water and damaged materials have been removed, the area exposed to contaminated water should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. This step is critical for reducing contagion and mold risks.
The affected area must be completely dry before restoration can proceed. Any residual moisture in a structure when rebuilding starts can increase the risk of mold growth. Mitigation experts may recommend increasing ventilation with air movers or fans and running a dehumidifier.
These are the major stages of a sewer cleanup. Depending on the severity of damage caused by a flooded toilet or sewer backup at a building in Colorado Springs, CO, it may take damage mitigation experts several days to progress through all of these stages. Non-professionals may not be able to work as quickly or eliminate every trace of contamination that could continue to support bacteria or mold growth.
Facility Maintenance: Cleaning Moldy Carpets
Vacuums with HEPA filters can help with carpet cleaning
Facility Maintenance: Cleaning Moldy Carpets
Carpet cleaning is likely part of any property’s maintenance routine. However, when dealing with mold growth, regular cleaning must be adjusted, and special precautions taken to reduce the spread of mold spores and to control the risks of further contamination.
1. Control Ventilation
The main rule when dealing with mold problems is to control ventilation. Typically, ventilation is encouraged in a property to reduce the risk of fungal development, but when dealing with an infestation, the focus is on lowering spread within the facility. Therefore, the contaminated area should be sealed off with plastic, including thresholds and vents. You can open an exterior window, placing a fan in the opening blowing outward, which will help to force spores out of the building as the carpets are cleaned.
Moldy carpet cleaning requires a stiff, dry brush. Gently scrub the affected areas, freeing the surface mold. Sweep or brush the loose material into a bag, seal it and discard it. While you can use a vacuum with a HEPA filter for this, keep in mind that you will need to clean the vacuum thoroughly before using it in other areas of the property. If you do not clean the vacuum, you risk exposing other areas to mold development.
3. Use an Appropriate Cleaner
Do not use bleach. Bleach is for a nonporous surface. When used to clean mold from porous materials, it may contribute to further growth. There are some commercial mold cleaners available, but make sure that they are for mold, not mildew and that they can be used to clean porous surfaces.
4. Consult with a Specialist
A better choice for mold removal is to hire a remediation specialist in the Colorado Springs, CO, area. These professionals are certified and experienced and are likely aware of all safety precautions and chemicals needed to restore your facility.
While carpet cleaning is a routine part of property maintenance, mold removal is not. Therefore, ensure you follow basic cleaning practices to limit further exposure or hire a professional to eliminate the problem for you.