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.