Tuesday, December 3, 2019

The Importance of Keeping Your Crawl Space Dry in Winter

Winter can bring a variety of unexpected problems into the home. Due to the season's cold and wet climate, rot and mold can form in many areas. The crawl space of a home is particularly vulnerable during the winter months. Keeping your crawl space dry and clean year-round is an essential aspect of maintaining your home.
What Is a Crawl Space?
Most crawl spaces are just hollow areas located underneath a house. They are usually between 1 and 3 feet high--just enough room for somebody to crawl through them.
There are a few different advantages to having a crawl space. By propping your house off of the ground, you can reduce your risk for termites. Crawl spaces also add additional space for clutter or storage that may not fit in other areas of the house.
Why Do I Need to Keep My Crawl Space Dry?
Since your crawl space exists below your house, you might assume that moisture is simply a natural and insignificant occurrence. However, excess water can cause several problems if not quickly addressed.
Moisture in crawl spaces frequently leads to rot and mold growth, both of which can attract insects and other types of pests to your house. Spores, humid air, and a particularly musty odor can all creep into your home from the crawl space if moisture is not kept out.
How Can I Keep My Crawl Space Dry?
During the summer months, crawl spaces do not usually need help staying dry. The winter and spring months can be tricky when snow and rain start to impact a home. Luckily, there are steps you can take to prevent a moldy crawl space.
The first step to preserving a dry crawl space involves finding the source of water. If there is an ongoing leak, repair it immediately. Without solving the original problem, trying to fix an already-soaked crawl space is futile.
Dehumidifiers can effectively help cleanup moisture. Since dehumidifiers usually have an automatic timer setting, they can frequently turn on as soon as they detect high levels of humidity in the air.
Sealing a crawl space can also cut down on trapped moisture. Closing all holes and cracks can prevent the free flow of air, helping your crawl space stay dry during winter.
For professional crawl space cleaning services, contact GreenPro Cleaning & Restoration.

4 Ways that Excess Moisture Can Damage Your Chimney

When it comes to home maintenance, it can be easy to overlook your chimney. Damage from excess moisture in this location can be a significant problem that you may face as a homeowner. Have your chimney inspected once a year to prevent the damage described below.
Rain and snow are a threat to the metal components in and around your chimney. The damper or firebox in your chimney can rust if water seeps in. Rust deteriorates the integrity of the metal and creates a severe hazard in your fireplace. Also, a rusted damper will not create a proper seal, and the conditioned air in your home can leak out through the chimney. A properly installed chimney cap prevents moisture from entering.
Bricks are made of a porous material that allows them to absorb moisture. Trapped moisture inside them expands and contracts as the temperature drops and rises. The process that causes the surface of the brick to break off is called spalling. Spalling compromises the structural integrity of your chimney. A professional can apply a treatment to reduce the risk of spalling in your chimney.
Mortar Damage
The same cycle that causes spalling causes damage to the mortar between the bricks. Also, the exposure to water on the exterior of the chimney can cause the mortar to deteriorate. Damaged mortar results in damage to the bricks, and it also compromises the structural integrity of your chimney. Tuckpointing is a process done by professionals that involves repairing the damage.
Linear Deterioration
The lining of the chimney protects the walls from exposure to intense heat and harsh by-products. Cracks and holes in the lining are a result of excess moisture. When the liner becomes damaged, it exposes the chimney walls to extreme conditions as the heat and by-products rise out of your chimney. This also compromises your chimney's structural integrity and can damage the walls and ceiling in your home. A chimney cap can help to prevent this issue.
Need assistance with water damage? Contact GreenPro Cleaning & Restoration.

Monday, December 2, 2019

How to Prevent and Deal with Ice Dams

Many people think that the icy wall slowly forming along the edge of their roofline during winter is harmless and picturesque. What you might not know is that these formations, called ice dams, can collect water that backs up underneath shingles and seeps into homes. By the time you notice the damage, you'll need extensive repair work at the worst possible time of year, at a cost that may bust your budget.
When you learn how to prevent and deal with ice dams correctly, you can erase your worries about this common source of winter water damage. 

How to Prevent Ice Dams from Forming on Your Home

1. Make sure you have adequate attic insulation.

Check to be sure that your attic insulation provides the minimum R-value your local building codes require. Make sure the insulation forms a complete blanket across your attic floor, without gaps.
2. Close up areas of heat exchange from the main floor.
Heat loss from your living space rises into your attic, which triggers ice dam formation.
Seal any air leaks from gaps in drywall, light fixtures, plumbing, electrical wiring, chimneys, and even the attic access door. Exhaust fans must vent to the home's exterior and not into the attic space.

3. Unblock or add attic and roof vents.

If your attic feels warm, you must increase airflow between the outside and your attic.
Add more vents to the roof and eaves if necessary. Ensure storage containers or leaf debris never block vents.

How to Deal with Ice Dams that Form on Your Home

Getting rid of ice dams after they establish can be tricky business. Working in cold weather with ladders, rakes, de-icers, or heat cabling can be dangerous. If possible, hire a company that specializes in ice dam removal. Call a professional remediation service to deal with any water leak damage, and provide ways to stop future ice dams from forming before they ruin your holiday season.
Need assistance with water damage? Contact GreenPro Cleaning & Restoration.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Tips for Preventing Winter Water Damage

If sudden snow or freezing temperatures catch you off guard, you can end up with a lot of costly water damage in your home. If temperatures drop too low, your pipes can freeze and burst, leading to leaks where you can't always see them right away. Melting snowfall can also wreak havoc the exterior and interior of your home, particularly when it seeps in through your roof.
To prevent costly repairs from winter water damage, check out our tips below!
Keep Your Pipes Insulated
Protecting your pipes should be your first course of action when it comes to preventing water damage. You can find insulation explicitly made for pipes at relatively low costs in just about any hardware store.
You can keep inaccessible pipes warm by setting your home's thermostat to 55 degrees Fahrenheit and leaving your kitchen and bathroom cupboards open. This allows the warm air from your home to warm pipes that you can't physically reach.
Clear Out the Gutters
Clogged gutters are one of the most common causes of water damage during winter. They tend to become clogged during the fall, but many homeowners don't realize this until it's too late. Before your gutters end up destroying your home, make sure to check and clean them routinely. Remove any rocks, leaves, nests, and debris that have accumulated to prevent them from clogging and overflowing.
Invest in Coverage
When we talk about investing in coverage, we’re not talking about your homeowners insurance. There are other forms of coverage that can keep your house safe such as sewage-backup coverage. The storm drains might become overwhelmed due to all the water coming from the rain and snow.
This can actually cause sewage and water to flood your home. If you can catch it before it does anything harmful, then you won’t have to worry about much. But if things take a turn for the worst, the insurance can help pay for any damages.
Regardless of the season, no homeowner wants to deal with water damage. However, if you suspect that water damage has taken place in your home, don’t wait to take care of the problem! The first step toward fixing it is getting the damaged area inspected by a professional.
For quality water damage inspections, contact GreenPro Cleaning & Restoration.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Big and Small Ways to Make Your Home Warmer and Cozier

You’re tired of constantly being cold at home, but on the other hand, you’re also worried about your energy costs. Is there a way to feel warm and cozy at home without having to contend with a monster heating bill at the end of each month?
Yes! In fact, here are six adjustments and improvements you can make around the house to feel warmer and lower your utility costs simultaneously.
1. Cover your crawl space floor.
If your crawl space floor is nothing but dirt, it could be making your home a lot colder than you realize. As warm air rises through your home, cool air from your cold, damp crawl space moves in to fill its place. This is known as the stack effect. Covering your crawl space floor with a vapor barrier will not only prevent cold air from entering into your home, but it will also prevent mold and moisture issues.
2. Seal your windows and doors.
To lower your energy bills, invest in some caulk and weatherstripping! Weatherstripping prevents drafts from sneaking in and out through the gaps between doors and their frames. Weatherstripping also works for windows that you intend to open and close. You can use caulk for windows that are not made to be opened.
3. Make sure your air vents are exposed and open.
Sometimes air vents end up hidden away under a rug or behind a piece of furniture. Inspect your home to make sure that none of the air vents are covered up. Also, make sure that the registers over the vents are open. Closing registers in specific rooms to try to control your home’s temperature will create pressure issues and inhibit your HVAC system’s ability to heat your home effectively.
4. Keep window coverings open during the day.
If you have rooms that get a lot of sunlight, take full advantage! Leaving the curtains or blinds drawn will allow the sun to warm up the room. Not only will your heater get some help, but you can cut down on your lighting costs as well with some of that free illumination.
5. Close window coverings at night.
Your house had a chance to warm up during the day. Once the sun goes down, you’ll want to keep as much of that warmth inside as possible! Close all of your curtains and blinds to prevent heat loss during the night. Thermal curtains are especially effective for retaining heat and can make a room feel a few degrees warmer than it would with only standard curtains.
6. Invest in proper insulation for your home.
When your home was built, it may have contained top-of-the-line insulation at the time. However, the insulation available today may be much more effective than what you have currently. Check out ENERGY STAR’s website to see what the recommended insulation R-Value is for your region of the U.S., and consult an expert about possible upgrades.
Need debris removed from your crawl space before you cover it? Contact GreenPro Cleaning & Restoration for thorough crawl space cleaning services.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

The Best Types of Floors for Bathrooms

Because of the humidity released by baths and showers, your bathroom is one of the most mold-prone areas of your home. Plus, no matter how hard you try, your bathroom floor is going to get wet, which can increase the chances of a mold problem. Therefore, it’s crucial to choose a bathroom floor material that’s easy to clean and that will repel moisture.
Before moving forward with your bathroom makeover, these are the ideal types of flooring you’ll want to consider.
The Look of Wood Without the Risks: Vinyl Plank Flooring
If tile is not your cup of tea and you prefer a more rustic look, vinyl plank flooring might be the perfect option for you. It looks like wood planks but does not require the same level of maintenance.
All of this material’s surfaces, including its seams, are completely waterproof. Also, this type of flooring is relatively easy to install for DIY-ers and easy to remove and replace. Just keep in mind that the price is going to vary significantly with the look and quality level.
The Most Versatile: Ceramic or Porcelain Tile
Whether your tastes are traditional or contemporary, you can find a tile style to match your taste. Tiles come in a variety of hues, textures, sizes, and shapes, allowing your floor to take the spotlight or blend discreetly into the background.
Porcelain tile is just one type of ceramic tile. Porcelain, in particular, is categorized by the Porcelain Tile Certification Agency (PTCA) as having a water absorption rate of no more than 0.5 percent. Ceramic tile is waterproof—just remember that you’ll have to seal the grout to prevent mold and mildew.
The Best Resale Value: Natural Stone
When correctly sealed, natural stone is an excellent, durable flooring choice for bathrooms (though at a luxury price point). Polished marble has a classic elegance that can suit modern or traditional tastes. Granite and limestone offer an earthier appeal that’s perfect for transforming your bathroom into your private spa.
Though natural stone will last the longest of these flooring options and offer you the best resale value, it will require regular resealing to protect against moisture. Also, to ensure the stone is cut precisely to your bathroom’s specifications, it’s best to hire a professional to install this flooring.
Do you need a water damage survey in your bathroom? Contact GreenPro Cleaning & Restoration today at 631-940-8100.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

How to Properly Store and Protect Your Warm-Weather Wardrobe

If stored incorrectly, your warm-weather wardrobe could fall prey to moths, mice, mold, and mildew! To ensure that your clothes make it to next spring intact, stick to these tips during and after packing away your apparel this fall.
1. Wash all of your clothes before storing them.
Moths and mice find dirty clothing much more appealing than fresh, clean clothing. Before storing your clothes for the winter, wash them in water that’s as hot as the fabric can handle. Washing clothes at 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher will destroy the larvae that female moths lay into the fabric.
2. Store your clothes in airtight, plastic containers.
Airtight, plastic containers are the best way to keep your clothing safe until the weather gets warm. Rodents can easily chew through cardboard boxes. Plastic garment bags, while effective at keeping out moths, can trap moisture, which can lead to mold and mildew growth.
3. Store clothes with cedar balls or sachets of lavender.
Steer clear of mothballs and moth crystals, as these products contain pesticides that can harm people and pets--and even unborn babies. Instead, opt for all-natural cedar or lavender products. The oils in these plants help repel moths without the use of toxic gas.
4. Vacuum often.
Vacuuming helps to suck out the moth larvae from places where female moths lay them. While vacuuming rugs and carpets is a given, make sure to also vacuum underneath beds and behind radiators, as moths are attracted to the warmth there.
5. Monitor the humidity levels in your home.
Both moths and mold thrive in homes with high humidity. To make sure your clothes stay free of larvae and mold growth, you may need to lower your home’s moisture levels with a dehumidifier. You can also reduce your home’s humidity through other means, such as covering your crawlspace’s dirt floor.
Having trouble with crawlspace mold and moisture? Contact the professionals at GreenPro Cleaning & Restoration for an effective, bio-friendly solution.