Preparing Your Home for Summer Heat

Posted June 21, 2017 at 10:00 am
As the weather heats up, there are plenty of summer home maintenance chores for Rockford homeowners to check off their lists. From ensuring that your AC unit is functioning correctly to properly ventilating the home, here are some warm weather tips to keep in mind.

Schedule an AC Inspection

HVAC systems can fall out of repair during the winter months, so it is important to have your air conditioner checked out before summer arrives. Be sure to clean any vents or filters thoroughly before you use your air conditioner for the first time. Accumulated dust and debris can easily circulate around the home, leading to allergies.

Keep an Eye Out for Mold

Because summer means drier conditions, many people make the mistake of assuming that mold is not an issue when the temperature rises. Air conditioning units often produce condensation, which can lead to the growth of mold during the summer. If you notice the growth of mold in or around the home, be sure to call Leaders in Disaster Restoration to schedule an inspection for home mold remediation Rockford residents can trust.

Inspect for Leaks

From summer storms to HVAC leaks, it is important to thoroughly inspect your home for any sign of leakage. Weather stripping and caulk around windows and doors are also important when it comes to maintaining the efficiency of your HVAC system. Improperly sealed windows and doors leak cool air, meaning that it takes more energy and money to keep your home at a comfortable temperature throughout the summer months.

Choose Green Energy Products

There are a variety of green energy products available to help keep your home cool during the summer without spending too much money or wasting electricity. Consider purchasing reflective film, room darkening blinds, or roller shades that reflect sunlight to prevent the summer sunshine from heating your home in the first place. Also keep in mind that older cooling units, such as fans and outdated air conditioners, can be a huge drain on your power supply. Even when your cooling devices are not plugged in, they may still be draining energy. A great summer tip is to ensure that only necessary appliances remain plugged in when not in use. Since many homeowners spend extra time outdoors during the summer, you can save big by only using your air conditioner when the house is occupied.

Adjust Your Ceiling Fan

Ceiling fans should rotate clockwise during the winter so rising heat can flow evenly throughout the room, but when summer rolls around, you should adjust your fan to spin counter-clockwise. This minor adjustment makes a big difference by producing a cooling breeze that reduces the need to rely on an air conditioner. Summer is a fun and exciting time of year that doesn't have to coincide with a higher energy bill. Use these tips to keep your Rockford home cool throughout the summer and call Leaders in Disaster Restoration today at (888) 874-7066 to schedule a summertime inspection.

Questions to Ask After a Flood

Posted June 7, 2017 at 10:00 am
After a flood or a burst pipe, homeowners may feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of tasks on their to-do list in order to get everything back in working condition. Read on to learn more about the questions regarding water damage restoration service Janesville homeowners need to ask.

Is It Safe?

One of the most important questions to ask after a flood is whether or not it is safe to return to your home. Water damage can not only lead to the destruction of valuable property but serious safety hazards as well. Downed electrical lines or water-damaged appliances pose serious electrical and fire risks, so it is important to have your home inspected for safety before trying to assess the damage. Once the electricity has been shut off and the water has been removed from the area, you can begin taking inventory of the damage.

What Type of Damage is Covered?

After your home has been secured and any safety hazards have been addressed, be sure to speak with your insurance adjuster to discuss your policy. The best time to learn what is and isn't covered after a flood is before a disaster happens, since many policies require a waiting period before certain types of water damage qualify for coverage. In some cases, you may be unable to receive coverage for insurance purchased during a high-risk period for flooding until a certain time limit has passed. Knowing what insurance will pay to repair or replace goes a long way toward reducing the stress associated with water damage.

What Can Be Salvaged?

Many homeowners make the mistake of throwing away salvageable items, thinking the water damage is too extensive to repair. A professional water damage restoration service can help you recover your most precious possessions as well as practical items. From appliances to carpeting and hardwood floors, it is often possible to salvage items that have been exposed to water. The sooner you begin the restoration process, the better chance it has of success. Before you throw out your antiques, schedule a consultation with a restoration service to find out how much you could save on replacement costs.

How Can It Be Prevented?

The best way to address water damage is before it strikes. Whether you live in a flood zone or simply want to reduce the risk of water damage in general, it helps to have a plan before you need one. Regular inspections make it easier to identify irrigation issues, faulty plumbing and other common causes of water damage. If your home has flooded, call Leaders in Disaster Restoration today at (888) 874-7066. Our friendly and knowledgeable technicians are available 24/7 to take your call and answer any questions you may have about the repair and restoration process. From salvaging your family heirlooms to preventing storm damage, we will work with you to develop a plan that is tailored to your unique situation.

Mold Damage in Commercial Settings

Posted May 31, 2017 at 10:00 am
Mold damage can be a serious issue for homeowners, but it is also a major issue in commercial settings. If you believe that your business may be developing a mold problem, it is important to reach out for assistance as soon as possible and learn to recognize the signs.

Be Aware

Often, the first sign of mold in a commercial setting arrives in the form of employee complaints or call outs due to workplace-related illness. If employees have reported allergy symptoms, mold may be the cause. Depending on the location of your business, certain times of year could pose more of a mold risk than others. It is common for areas that receive heavy rainfall in the spring and fall to have an uptick in mold growth during these times of year.

Use Dehumidifiers and Proper Ventilation

Mold thrives in moist, dark environments, so any area near an air conditioner or unsealed windows is especially prone to mold growth. Condensation creates a perfect environment for mold to grow in, but the issue is not always as visible as you would think. Mold can even grow underneath wallpaper, inside of drywall and under floorboards, so it is important to schedule a thorough inspection if you suspect that mold growth is an issue. Open air environments are far less likely to facilitate mold growth, so ventilation is the key to effective prevention.

Act Quickly

The longer a mold problem is left unaddressed, the more likely it is to get out of hand. While most forms of mold are non-toxic, all mold can lead to allergies and unsanitary work conditions. Providing a safe and sanitary environment for your employees and customers begins with eliminating the threat of existing mold and preventing mold growth in the future. Properly sealed doors and windows go a long way toward reducing the risk of mold growth as well.

Call in the Experts

When it comes to dealing with mold damage in your business, the easiest way is to call in a professional service for mold removal Janesville companies can trust. From toxic mold issues to general health and sanitation hazards, an ongoing mold problem could present numerous legal issues for businesses that fail to take action. Protect your employees, your customers and your brand by calling for a professional mold inspection. If you do have a problem with mold in your place of business, addressing the issue as quickly and thoroughly as possible with professional mold remediation could save your company a significant amount of time and money in the future. Call Leaders in Disaster Restoration today at (888) 874-7066 for more information on scheduling a mold remediation consultation. Even if you are unsure of whether your business has a mold problem, it pays to work with professionals who are trained to identify the earliest signs of mold growth and act preventatively against future problems.

Fire Safety Tips for Summer

Posted May 24, 2017 at 10:00 am
Amid backyard barbecues and picnics, there are some summertime safety hazards all homeowners can take steps to mitigate. Warmer weather brings an increased risk of fire in and around the home, but with these safety tips, you can stay prepared.

Keep a Fire Extinguisher in the Home

All homes should have at least one fire extinguisher that is easy to access in case of an emergency. During the summer months, it is helpful to keep a fire extinguisher where it can easily be accessed to address outdoor brush fires. The kitchen is the ideal place to keep a fire extinguisher since cooking is one of the most significant fire hazards around the home.

Avoid At-Home Fireworks Displays

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety, an average of 200 people visit the emergency room as a result of July 4th-related activities. Safety experts recommend avoiding home fireworks displays altogether since the risk of fire and injury is so high.

Store Flammable Gear Carefully

Flammable items such as lighter fluid should be stored well away from fire pits and other areas near electrical devices or open flame. This is especially important during the summer months, when bottles of lighter fluid are often left around during barbecues and grilling sessions.

Never Leave a Fire Unattended

From a small scented candle to a grill, it is important to remember never to leave flames unattended for even a short period of time. This is true of hot stoves, ovens and fireplaces throughout the year as well. While many people are cautious of the fire hazard posed by faulty wiring in Christmas decorations or old appliances, many homeowners make the mistake of leaving gas grills or other outdoor fire hazards unattended during the summer. A fire can spread rapidly in a matter of seconds, so supervision is the key to summer safety around the home.

Monitor Outdoor Wiring

From garden party lights to pool equipment, any electrical appliance or device that is left plugged in can malfunction, leading to a fire. Make a habit of checking to ensure that all of your outdoor wiring is properly stored and turned off before going to bed or leaving the house.

Keep Brush and Yard Clutter to a Minimum

Brush fires are especially common during the hottest months of the summer, but they are always easily prevented. Check with your local sanitation department to find out the proper procedure for getting rid of yard waste to avoid unsightly brush piles that can turn into a major fire hazard. The closer piles of wood and brush are to the structure of the house, the easier it is for a fire to spread. If a fire breaks out in or near your home, call Leaders in Disaster Restoration today at (888) 874-7066 for information on what to do after a house fire Janesville residents can trust.

The Most Common Types of Water Damage

Posted May 17, 2017 at 10:00 am
Water damage is a nightmare for any homeowner, but the different causes of flooding affect which type of water damage restoration service Janesville homeowners need to seek. Whether your basement has flooded after a summer storm or you need to have excess water removed from your yard due to improper drainage, it helps to know what type of water damage you are dealing with.  

Flood Water Damage

Flooding is a significant issue for homeowners during multiple times of the year. In the spring and fall, an increased frequency of thunderstorms and rain showers can result in the flooding of low-lying  areas. In the springtime, as the winter snow begins to thaw out, large quantities of melted ice, slush and water can find their way into the home, causing a significant amount of property damage. Flood damage is especially a problem for homeowners with basements and foundations that are not properly sealed against the elements.  

Appliance Malfunction

Many household appliances use large quantities of water, including the water heater, washing machine and dishwasher. If any of these appliances malfunction, it could lead to a significant amount of water damage in your home. Dishwashers may overflow or become backed up, causing damage to hardwood flooring in your kitchen. Likewise, a malfunctioning washer can easily soak through carpets in the laundry room.  

Burst Pipes

Burst pipes are one of the leading causes of water damage in both commercial and residential settings. From rust to faulty pipe connectors, there are a variety of culprits behind a burst pipe. In the winter, water within the pipes can freeze, resulting in the expansion and subsequent weakening of the metal. Whatever the cause of a burst pipe may be, it is important to address the damage as quickly as possible. Once the water is shut off, the process of removing the excess water in a basement or other areas of the home can begin. A non-electric water pump is a great appliance to keep on hand in the case of a burst pipe that requires you to have your electricity shut off as well.  

Improper Drainage

A proper drainage system is designed to route water around and away from the home. If your home sits at the bottom of an incline or is otherwise improperly irrigated, you may be at an increased risk for flood damage. The best way to deal with drainage issues is to keep your gutters well-maintained to prevent water backup and ensure that your foundation and lower-level windows are properly sealed. A yearly inspection is even more important if you live in an area with heavy rainfall. If you are a Janesville homeowner dealing with the aftermath of water damage from any of the above causes, Leaders in Disaster Restoration can help. Call today at (888) 874-7066 to schedule a consultation and receive an honest quote from one of our highly trained technicians.

What Can Be Salvaged After Water Damage (And What Usually Can’t)

Posted May 3, 2017 at 10:00 am
SalvagedOne of the most common myths about water remediation Janesville homeowners believe is that most property can't be salvaged after a flood. From furniture and clothing to priceless heirlooms, there are a variety of items that can often be salvaged and restored after water damage. Read on to learn more about the items a professional restoration service like Leaders in Disaster Restoration can help you with.

Heirlooms

Family heirlooms are some of the most sentimental items a homeowner can own, and many people grieve these items the most after a flood. While upholstered items are more prone to water damage than others, it is often possible to save them with the right techniques.

Wooden Furniture

While it is true that water-damaged wood can become rotted and compromised, professional restoration services are often able to restore these items to great condition. Whether it involves refinishing the base or removing water damaged upholstery and reupholstering an antique frame, there are various steps that can be taken to protect and preserve your favorite wooden furniture items.

Clothes

While it may be easier to simply replace cheaper items of clothing and linens, some clothes can be salvaged with thorough cleaning. If the clothes have been left in a moist area for an extended period of time, it may be necessary to perform more intensive cleaning than an at-home washer or dryer can provide. Dry cleaning services are often tailored specifically for addressing water damage. The most important thing when it comes to restoring water damaged clothes is to lift and eliminate any mold or mildew. Wet clothes that are allowed to dry will develop a musty smell that can linger forever if not properly treated with safe chemicals designed for the purpose.

Flooring

Carpeted basements are often difficult to deal with after a flood, but it may be possible to salvage your flooring. Simply drying the carpet is not enough if it has been exposed to sitting water for a long period of time. Flood water is often contaminated, making it important to have the carpet thoroughly cleaned with professional-grade chemicals. Shampooing and drying the carpets is often enough to remove any mildew or set-in debris that occurs as a result of a flood.

Electrical Items

Electrical items are often the most difficult to salvage, and you should never attempt to test or restore water-damaged electrical appliances on your own. A professional restoration service can safely address these items to minimize the risk of electrical shock. If your home has been subjected to flooding, call Leaders in Disaster Restoration today at (888) 874-7066. Addressing flood damage as soon as possible is the key to preserving your most important possessions. The longer water has to set in, the more extensive the damage will be.

Simple Ways to Get Rid of Mold

Posted April 26, 2017 at 10:00 am
Simple MoldMold is one of the most common issues homeowners face, yet it is also one of the most difficult to address. These tips will help you manage various types of household mold, but it is always important to consult professionals if you notice any signs or symptoms of mold toxicity. Most types of household mold are harmless and can be cleaned in a matter of hours, but some forms are toxic and can cause serious health issues.

Tea Tree Oil

A simple mold remedy can be made by combining two tablespoons of tea tree oil with two cups of water in a small spray bottle. Spray the simple mixture on any water-safe area where you notice the growth of mold. The tea tree oil is a mild cleaning agent that is gentler than bleach and most store-bought cleaners.

Bleach

Bleach is by far the most common means of getting rid of mold, but it should be used with caution. Bleach should not be allowed to make contact with the skin, so it is important to wear gloves whenever cleaning with it. Bleach can also lighten certain types of material, so it is important to make sure the area you are cleaning will not be damaged by the chemical. Dilute bleach in water and let it sit for at least 10 minutes to disinfect before wiping down the surface to be cleaned. Bleaching should always be done in a well-ventilated area to prevent the exposure to toxic fumes. It may be necessary to re-bleach the moldy surface twice or more to ensure a thorough cleaning. You should always discard any rags or sponges used to clean mold.

Borax

A solution of borax diluted in one gallon of hot water is a common disinfectant used to address mold. Simply spray the solution on any water-safe surface where mold has grown and leave it for approximately ten minutes to allow the solution to lift the mold. When you clean the area with a sponge or cloth, the mold should come off easily. Apply the solution or another cleaning product a second time to ensure that any lingering mold or residue is cleaned away. Because borax is a natural powder, it is a popular disinfectant and fungicide.

Call in the Mold Remediation Janesville Professionals

In many cases, the extent of a mold problem is too severe to manage on your own. Call Leaders in Disaster Restoration today at (888) 874-7066 to schedule a consultation and find out more about how our expert technicians can help. Mold is unpleasant and sometimes dangerous, so a professional inspection and cleaning service is often necessary to return your property to top condition.

Shocking Facts about House Fires

Posted April 19, 2017 at 10:00 am
House Fire FactsHouse fires are every homeowner's worst nightmare, and most are completely preventable. Read on to learn more about the most shocking facts related to house fires as well as tips for fire damage restoration Janesville residents can trust.

House Fire-Related Deaths

Each year in the United States, house fires kill approximately 3,800 people and injure another 18,300. Most house fires are easily preventable with proper fire safety procedures. Properly installed and maintained smoke detectors are the key to preventing fires and protecting your home.

Kitchen Fires are the Most Common

Kitchen fires caused by cooking are the number one source of fire-related injuries. Grease fires are the most common cause of kitchen fires. While there is a myth that gas stoves are more likely to cause a fire than electric stoves, both result in thousands of fires each year. To minimize the risk of a fire in your kitchen, never leave the stove unattended while you are cooking. A few seconds is enough for food to ignite on a burner, and looking away for a minute could result in a fire that causes extensive damage. While it may be tempting to remove or turn off your smoke detector while cooking, this should never be done. Not only is it dangerous to cook without a working smoke detector, but it is common for homeowners to take the batteries out of a detector and forget to re-install them later as well.

Smoking

Smoking is another common cause of house fires. Many people make the mistake of leaving cigarette ashes in unsafe containers. Indoor smoking can expose all occupants of the home to lung damage and increases the risk of a house fire dramatically. Even outdoor smoking near the home can result in a fire if cigarettes are disposed of improperly. The wind can easily blow embers from a cigarette onto a flammable object, such as a pile of leaves or a bush near the house.

Fire Damaged Property Can Often be Salvaged

Despite the common misconception that everything affected by a house fire is lost beyond repair, many possessions can be salvaged after a fire. The potential for salvaging furniture and other items depends on the extent of the fire, but a professional restoration service may be able to help you save some of your most valued possessions. Leaders in Disaster Restoration is a company with more than twenty years of experience in fire and water damage restoration. Call today at (888) 874-7066 to schedule a consultation to learn which items in your home can be salvaged after a house fire. The LDR team is experienced and knowledgeable in all aspects of fire damage repair and restoration and will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the process.

Preparing Your Home for Spring Storms

Posted April 12, 2017 at 10:00 am
Storm PrepWith springtime weather comes the increased risk of thunderstorms. While a bit of rainfall is a welcome part of spring, there are steps you can take to protect your home from any serious storm damage.

Weatherize the Exterior

Older homes may not be treated with weatherizing materials that protect your home from storm damage and rain. This could leave your roof, siding and windows vulnerable to the elements, such as water and hail. While weatherizing requires an upfront investment, it can save you thousands of dollars in the long term.

Keep Gutters Clean

Keeping gutters clean is one of the most important steps you can take when it comes to protecting your home from stormy weather. Winds often blow leaves and other debris into your gutters, or tear the gutters away from your home itself. Proper drainage is the key to keeping your roof in top condition, and accumulated debris or loose gutters allow water to pool and cause damage.

Minimize Basement Clutter

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, basement flooding happens. To prevent flooding, ensure that all downspouts on your roof are facing away from the foundation of your house, directing water away from the home. You should also keep clutter in the basement to a minimum in the event that a flood does occur. From furniture to boxes being kept in storage, the more clutter that is present in a basement, the more difficult it will be to clean up after a flood. Keep a non-electric water pump in an out-of-the-way location so you can immediately begin to move water out of your home if a storm results in a loss of power.

Stock Supplies

While most spring storms are mild, electrical outages are relatively common. Keep flashlights, batteries and basic supplies on hand at all times to avoid having to go out for supplies right before a storm hits.

Have an Inspection

A certified contractor can identify any leaks or weakness in your roofing materials. Debris on your shingles can easily turn into rot, resulting in thousands of dollars in repairs if left untreated. Replacing a roof can cost tens of thousands of dollars, so it is important to make a yearly inspection part of your spring cleaning routine to address issues as soon as they arise. Siding should also be inspected for any signs of leakage that could worsen in spring weather. If you are looking for more ways to prepare your home for spring storms or to address existing damage, call Leaders in Disaster Restoration today. With more than two decades of experience in repair and restoration, we are equipped with the knowledge and expertise to restore your home after storm damage. Call today at (888) 874-7066 to set up a consultation and we will be happy to develop an action plan tailored to your home. LDR offers solutions for storm damage Janesville residents can trust.

Mold in Surprising Locations

Posted April 5, 2017 at 10:00 am
Surprise MoldMost homeowners understand that mold growth can pose a serious health and safety risk to all occupants in the home. Whether you have recently dealt with flooding, heavy snow or have discovered mold in your basement or attic, you will benefit from choosing a water damage restoration service Janesville and Rockford residents can trust. It is important to reach out for a professional inspection because mold can grow in places you would never expect, particularly if you own an older home.

Mold Growth Inside of Walls

Walls are a common source of mold growth, especially in unfinished basement areas. The fact is that mold can grow inside any wall within your home, especially if the structure is compromised or you live in a moist climate. Ventilation is important for any home, but poorly ventilated walls are a breeding ground for mold. In extreme cases, you may actually have to have the drywall in your home replaced if there is a mold infestation. Black mold is a fungus that commonly hides inside of walls and some varieties are highly toxic. The mold may be either visible or invisible, and disturbing it can release spores into the air. Even closing a door can be enough to cause the vibrations necessary to release mold spores.

Underneath Wall Paper

Old wallpaper is a common place for mold to hide. Many homeowners do not discover that they have a mold problem until tearing up old wallpaper. If the mold remains between the surface of the wall and your wallpaper, you can usually remove the wallpaper and clean the mold with a cloth. A mold remediation service from a professional company may be necessary to ensure a thorough removal process so the mold does not return.

Under Flooring

From hardwood floors to carpeting, mold can easily grow under the flooring of your home. If you have recently moved into a new home and have noticed the signs of mold growth, mold under the floorboards may be the cause. Mold under the flooring happens when moisture makes its way into the flooring materials. Properly sealed hardwoods and treated carpeting should prevent the growth of mold, but many homes were built before these chemicals were widely used. In some cases, you may have no choice but to tear up the damaged flooring and replace it to start over. A rotten floor can pose serious health and safety risks. In extreme cases, the mold can eat through the floorboards to the point where the floor is vulnerable to collapse. If you have discovered mold in your home, call Leaders in Disaster Restoration today at (888) 874-7066. Our knowledgeable technicians will provide a thorough inspection and assessment of the type of water damage restoration service Janesville homes require. It may be possible for professionals to salvage materials you would be unable to repair on your own, so contacting a professional mold remediation service could actually save you money in the long run.

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