Summer Pool Cleaning and Safety Tips
Keep your pool clean to enjoy all season long!
When summer brings the heat crashing into your daily routine, a pool is a great way to cool off and break up the dog days of summer.
But a water feature on your property requires a few important things, such as regular maintenance and awareness of safety when friends and family, particularly small children, come to take a dip in your outdoor oasis.
An above or in-ground pool can get slick with bacteria quickly if the water circulation, chemical balance, and equipment maintenance aren’t regularly cared for.
SERVPRO of Percy Priest / Hickory Hollow has an excellent team of professionals who can quickly and efficiently assist if your water features cause any damage to your property. From backyard ponds, spas, waterfalls and pools, we can evaluate and offer advice on how to fix damage from broken equipment or other ancillary issues.
A glistening pool can turn murky and green within a day of neglect. A breakdown in water circulation, pH balance or clogged equipment can turn your water wonderland into a heck of an expensive fix. SERVPRO of Percy Priest / Hickory Hollow can save you time and peace of mind by fixing water damage before it creates serious problems.
Safety around pools is often overlooked when the summer season begins. Follow the A, B, C, and D’s of drowning prevention for a fun, safe summer season. Don’t delay in protecting your home and backyard from any drowning risk. Most drowning deaths among young children happen at times when parents are nearby, but a child visits the pool alone.
- A – Adults should be supervising at all times.
- B – Barriers installed around the property prevent unsupervised swimmers from entering the water.
- C – Classes for CPR and swimming can offer an added layer of safety.
- D – Devices such as a lifesaving ring and shepherd's hook are crucial when someone is in trouble in the water.
Never leave your child or their friends unattended around water. Infants and children under the age of 2 can drown in as little as one inch of water. Enroll your children or children who visit your pool regularly in age–appropriate, year-round swim lessons taught by qualified instructors to maintain swimming skills. Non-swimming family members need lessons as well.
How To Care For Hardwood Floors
Follow these tips to keep your hardwood floors beautiful!
Imagine smooth, glossy, flawless hardwood floors on a mild summer day. Sunlight tumbles in through the window and highlights the surface. In the dead of winter, the floor shines with a rosy brown hue, welcoming its guests into the warmth of the room.
Hardwood floors are beautiful and need special care to stay that way. So it is important to clean them carefully to preserve their beauty. Be sure to remove all dirt, grime, mold, and debris using a natural bristle brush attachment which will not scratch the floor. Over the years, water damage, fire damage, mold growth, and other disasters may strip the floor as well. Additional restoration efforts are vital in these cases.
Polyurethane surfaces are the most common type of hardwood floor surface and can be easily cleaned by vacuuming. Remove dirt with glass cleaners such as Windex, and take care of spills by wiping with water. Steer clear of diluted vinegar, ammonia, and oil soap as cleaning agents, as these substances desaturate the floor’s color. Avoid rough cleaning, such as aggressive scrubbing of the floor’s surface, as this will also cause the surface to lose its color.
Clean these floors by vacuuming and dry mopping then applying a wood cleaner. Oiled hardwood floors tainted with stains or degraded with age can be restored through an application with hardwood oil, which can be found at many hardware stores. Let the oil sink in for two hours, and let dry.
Waxed floors require more constant care, as they will need to be re-waxed approximately once every two years. Strip old wax with a wax stripper, odorless mineral spirits or fast-drying Naphtha. Rub the stripper into the wood and then wipe off with a clean, soft cloth. Keep the area well ventilated at all times.
Why do all this work by yourself, though? If your hardwood floors incur water damage, give us a call. At SERVPRO of Percy Priest / Hickory Hollow, we are dedicated to helping you fix these problems and more with our 24/7 commercial service and a team of highly trained individuals. Contact us by phone or online, and we’ll be there in a couple of hours to check it out. With SERVPRO, restoration is simple, the damage becomes nonexistent, and any hardwood floor “disaster” won’t seem so bad once our crew rolls around.
Reasons Why Duct Cleaning is Important During the Summer
Air duct cleaning is beneficial for everyone in your home!
Can you answer the following questions: what exactly is duct cleaning, what does it do, and why is it significant for me and my home? Also, why is it especially important to have the air ducts cleaned during the summer time? This is something the professionals at SERVPRO of Percy Priest / Hickory Hollow hear a lot.
Luckily, we’re experts in the subject matter! We can respond to those questions and make the decision-making process a tad easier. So the next time you’re thinking about ways to boost your home’s air quality or keep your system from needing frequent heating repair, you know what to do!
What is duct cleaning?
Duct cleaning is the elimination of dirt, particles, and debris inside your home’s air distribution system (the ductwork). Duct cleaning usually involves special tools, vacuums, and a process to free dirt and debris clinging to the interior walls of the ducts before being taken out with a powerful vacuum system. This varies from your routine air conditioner or furnace maintenance service that focuses mostly on your heating and air conditioning equipment.
What does duct cleaning do?
Duct cleaning can help your home and indoor air quality in a variety of ways, like:
*Removing dirt and dust from your home and the air you breathe, allowing clean air in.
*Eliminating germs and bacteria caused by excess dirt.
*Improving your heating and air conditioning system’s energy efficiency.
*Potentially relieving the symptoms of seasonal allergies inside the home.
Having the air ducts in your home cleaned is as painless as adding it onto your next heating repair service appointment with our experienced team. There’s no real excuse to delay duct cleaning like so many of us do, plus you’ll end up with heating and cooling equipment that’s working at its best efficiency as well as having clean air.
Cleaning Up After Kitchen Disasters
Kitchen disasters can be restored even after fire damage
Fire is always devastating but one that starts in the kitchen can be especially bad. A kitchen is full of many flammable substances like oil, wooden cabinets, and cleaning solvents. Returning your kitchen to a useful state takes time and effort, something that SERVPRO of Percy Priest / Hickory Hollow can help you with. While waiting for the fire remediation experts to arrive, here are a few things that you can do:
- Take pictures: Before you do anything else, make sure that you take as many pictures of the damage as possible. If you're filing an insurance claim, the adjuster will most likely take his or her own pictures when he or she gets to the scene.
- However, having your own set of pictures can be good for comparison purposes. They can also be useful to check against what's been repaired and replaced so that you can see whether everything's been put back into its proper place.
- Unplug appliances: Depending on the severity of the blaze, the fire department may already have shut off or removed your power meter. Now is a good time to unplug any appliances. This will make sure that, if the electricity is turned back on, they won't have any current running to them. It will also make it easier to move the appliance out of the way. Many large appliances can be repaired for minimal cost, especially if you take action now. Remove any food from the refrigerator and freezer, putting the food into ice chests or otherwise disposing of it before it has a chance to go bad.
After taking the above steps, give us a call. The smell of smoke and the potentially toxic byproducts of burning materials can linger in your home for a long time if not remedied on time. While there are some things that you can do, hiring a professional company to clean up the smoke and repair the damage is going to be the fastest and easiest way to make your kitchen usable after it's been damaged by flames. SERVPRO of Percy Priest / Hickory Hollow can help you get your house back together after fire disaster!
Tips to Keep Rugs in Top Condition
These tips will keep your rugs as good as new!
A new rug can add color and liveliness or a sense of gravity and sophistication to any room. To keep a rug looking its best, the homeowner should consider the following:
The Care Tag
A homeowner should read the tag that came with the rug. If it can be removed, it should be filed away.
Where the Rug Is
A rug that's kept in a room that is used often, such as the den or family room, is going to need more care than a rug in a room that gets little traffic. The homeowner may want to buy a rug that’s made of synthetics for a frequently used room. Nylon, or example, is a tough fiber that can hold its own under a great deal of traffic.
On the other hand, a rug in a seldom-used room that gets direct sunlight needs care. The sun’s ultraviolet light fades colors and can even cause some fabrics to deteriorate. Some homeowners move the furniture around seasonally so most parts of a room-sized rug can be exposed to the sun. A smaller rug can be rotated.
Floor-sized rugs can be vacuumed. Smaller rugs can be taken outside, hung on a clothesline and beaten with a rug beater or shaken out. Many rug beaters are as decorative as they are useful, and can be hung on a wall.
The homeowner should check the label to see if a rug can be dry cleaned, put in the wash or spot cleaned. If the label says to spot clean, the homeowner should test an inconspicuous area on the rug beforehand. It’s best to machine wash a rug on the delicate cycle, then let it air dry. It should not be slung over a clothesline because it may be pulled out of shape. It should be left to dry on a rack, a group of bricks on the deck or over old towels or sheets on a table.
The homeowner should use an enzyme-based cleaner to remove pet stains and brush out pet hairs with a stiff brush. All stains should be blotted up immediately.
How to Store the Rug
A rug should first be cleaned by a professional such as SERVPRO of Percy Priest / Hickory Hollow before it's stored. It should be wrapped up and placed in a dark, cool, dry place. A storage space whose climate can be controlled is ideal.
SERVPRO of Percy Priest / Hickory Hollow is pleased to attend to the rugs of both residential and commercial clients. Visit their website for more information.
Worried About Summer HVAC Costs? How to Lower Utility Bills
If you feel that your electricity bills are unnecessarily high in the summer because of your heating and cooling system, there are some changes you want to make and some things you can look into. You want to have a service expert look at your heating and cooling system so you can stop wasting money, and to make sure there aren't repairs that are costing you. Talk with the service expert about these things to maintain your air conditioning system in the summer.
Service Your AC Unit
The air conditioning unit is the HVAC appliance that runs throughout the summer, and if it isn't maintained properly, it could be costing you a lot of money. A service professional can check the Freon levels, change the filter, lubricate all the gears and mechanical components, and tune the machine up so that it works more efficiently and correctly. This also allows the expert to see if there is anything problematic with the unit.
Run an Attic Fan
During the hot summer months the warm air in your home will rise to the top of the house and get trapped in the attic. An attic fan helps to remove the air from the attic, allowing the house to keep cool, and reduces the amount of time your air conditioner has to work to keep the temperature down. If you don't currently have an attic fan, find out how much it will be to have one installed.
Check Your Vents
If any of the vents are closed around the house, it makes it hard to control the temperature in the house. This could be causing your air conditioner to run harder and for longer, which is costing you money. A service company can also look through your air ducts to see if there is anything causing airflow problems, which can relate to poor efficiency. SERVPRO of Percy Priest / Hickory Hollow can help diagnose your air vents and save you money.
The summer temperatures are hot enough, and you don't want your utility bills to be high too. With seasonal home maintenance you can bring down the cost of your summer utility bills, and the expenses associated with running your air conditioner.
Blinds Can Help Control the Temperature in Your Home
Save money on heating and cooling with window treatments and blinds.
The temperature inside your home is a critical component to your comfort and your HVAC system moderates that temperature. We all want to be comfortable but your heating and cooling system does not need to operate all day and night. This can inflate your energy bills and lead to unnecessary wear and tear on the heating and cooling system. A smart idea is to use window treatments to moderate the temperature inside the home. This can be accomplished in two distinctive ways.
A Thermal Buffer
Your blinds can serve as a thermal buffer that insulates the windows. Some windows have multiple panes, and the windows themselves are well-insulated to prevent temperature changes. However, glass can still allow some cold or hot air to pass into the home, and you need an additional layer of insulation. Some types of window treatments block temperature transfer between the interior and exterior of the home. You should keep the window treatments closed for the best results.
Moderating Radiant Heat
While the air itself can transfer heat or coolness into the home, radiant heat can also be a factor. When sunlight streams into the home, the radiant heat from the sunbeams can warm the air in the home. This happens on both warm and cool days, and it can impact how well your heating and cooling system operates. In addition, it can create drafts in the home that make the space uncomfortable to be in. A simple solution to this problem is to close your blinds to block direct sunlight from entering the home.
The air and light that passes through your windows can impact your home’s indoor climate in critical ways. Additionally, both of these issues can cause your HVAC system to work overtime. When this happens, repair issues are common.
One way to keep your HVAC unit in great condition is to have your air ducts cleaned. You can schedule an appointment with the skilled and trained technicians of SERVPRO of Percy Priest / Hickory Hollow. By scheduling service at the first sign of a problem, you can minimize the risk of a more significant repair issue from developing. The team at SERVPRO of Percy Priest / Hickory Hollow can handle all your air duct cleaning service requests at home or in the office. Give us a call today to see how we can help.
Effective DIY Alternatives to Running an Air Conditioner
Opening windows instead of running the AC is a great option in the summer time!
If you don’t have an air conditioner, there may be a few alternatives to cooling your home that you can set up yourself. While you may not achieve the same exact results, you can likely lower the temperature enough to a level that’s most comfortable for you.
The following tips, from SERVPRO of Percy Priest / Hickory Hollow, offer several DIY alternatives to running an AC to keep cool this summer.
Take It Easy
A lot of the heat that’s generated in your home comes from your movement, using appliances like the dryer or the oven, and using electronic devices, especially computers. So, if there’s a heatwave, avoid cooking or using your oven if possible. Order takeout or make meals that are easy to prepare, like sandwiches and cereal. This way you’ll generate minimal heat in your house.
Close your blinds and curtains to keep the sun out as much as possible. Your windows should also be shut as well. Keeping them open during the night when temperatures are lower allows cooler air in, and if you keep them shut during the day, it’ll trap whatever cool air entered overnight in your house. If it’s hotter inside than it is outside, though, then by all means, keep the windows open to cool things down a bit. You can even put a box fan in the window to let in the cooler air.
If you’re finding that opening a window isn’t cooling it down fast enough, then spray a sheet with cold water and use it to cover the open window. As the air passes through, the cold and damp sheet will cool the air in your home.
Homemade Air Conditioner
By itself, a fan isn’t always cooling, because if the air inside is already warm, the fan will just be blowing warm air around instead of cooling the existing air like an AC does. However, placing a bowl full of ice in front of a fan to help cool the air as the ice evaporates.
Take it to the next level by constructing an inexpensive homemade AC using tubing, a barrel of ice water and a fan. The cold water flows through tubing attached to the back of the fan which cools the blowing air. It works like a central AC system where the air flows through the air ducts to escape through different rooms of the house. It may get a little bit messy with handling the condensation, but it is an affordable option.
How does your HVAC work?
What keeps your HVAC unit running?
A home’s HVAC, (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system keeps rooms comfortable throughout the year. Heating the home can happen in several different ways. If the house uses forced air, the air is warmed then forced through the air ducts of the house and up through registers or vents. Radiators use steam or hot water from a boiler to heat the house, and radiant heat uses pads or coils that hide beneath the floor or behind walls.
More and more people are turning to solar heating to warm their homes. A solar heating system uses collectors on the roof of the house to gather the sun’s energy and distribute it through the rooms in the form of heat. Some people in milder climates use geothermal heating. It takes advantage of the fact that after a certain depth the ground stays at a constant temperature, no matter how warm or cold the air is. In geothermal heating, pipes buried in the ground help warm the house in the winter and help cool it in the summer.
Forced air heaters and boilers are often large pieces of equipment found in the basement or crawlspace of a house. Heaters can be powered by electricity, oil or natural gas. Some heaters are converted into air conditioners during the summers. In that case, they’re called heat pumps.
Air conditioners are far more complex than heating systems. The job of an air conditioner, whether it be a central air conditioner or a room unit, is not to add cold but to remove heat. It does this through a system of coils, condensers, fans and refrigerants. The cooled air is then blown into the house through the air ducts.
The ventilation system makes sure that fresh air moves into the house and stale air is taken away. The ventilation can be powered or static. Static ventilation includes doors, windows and vents. Powered ventilators include exhaust fans or attic fans. These work with windows and doors to remove excess heat from the rooms. This system may cool a house down so much that the air conditioner doesn’t need to be used. Ventilation systems may also use dehumidifiers to pull excess humidity out of the air.
For more information about the HVAC system or to set up an appointment to have it serviced, get in touch with SERVPRO of Percy Priest / Hickory Hollow.
How Can Dehumidifiers Help At Home
Dehumidifiers can help keep humidity levels in your home manageable!
There are many reasons we can have too much moisture in our home. Condensation, a leaky HVAC system, poor insulation, or the weather can end up causing an array of health hazards to your family and structural issues to your home.
The most common problem caused by moisture is mold. It starts off unseen, but quickly gets out of control. Mold can occur behind sheetrock, behind wallpaper, underneath baseboards - anywhere. If not found and removed, mold can cause serious breathing issues, especially in those with allergies or asthma. It is always important to speak with a mold remediation service as soon as possible when spotted. Trying to tackle this problem yourself could only end up costing more and not solving the problem.
Less thought about are the microbes, allergens, and bugs that thrive in a moist environment. From dust mites to bed bugs, these creatures reproduce in high humidity. Eliminating the extra moisture will help slow down their life cycle and may help eliminate the problem. Not only are these organisms disgusting to think about, but they can also cause major health issues. Of course, those with compromised respiratory or immune systems are more affected.
What can you do? If the problem is from cooking or taking a shower, then opening a window may solve your problems. But after a major incident, such as a burst pipe, it may be better to call a professional. SERVPRO of Percy Priest / Hickory Hollow provides the equipment and expertise needed to handle any major humidity or moisture issue. Professional dehumidifiers, high powered fans, meters and other equipment can be brought into your home to help get rid of unwanted moisture quickly.
Whether the job calls for a professional, or is the perfect DIY project, humidity problems must be addressed properly to protect your family and your investment. Dehumidifiers are a simple, inexpensive, yet effective way to eliminate moisture from your home. When used properly, they help create a comfortable and healthy living space, while easing your mind about the potential problems high humidity can create.