Saturday, January 7, 2017

Precautionary steps for snowmelt flooding


Protect your assets:

Call your insurance agent and get flood insurance. Outside water coming into your home is not something that is typically covered by insurance. Keep in mind, in most cases, there will be a minimum of 30 days for the policy to activate. This policy also has to be in effect for a year and is not something you can pick-up only when needed. The small price you pay for insurance will be well worth it in the long run. This will also protect you in a number of other instances: sprinkler water, heavy rain, and the one we are all worried about right now, snow melt.
Snow needs to be moved an additional 5 to 6 feet

First Line of defense:

Remove the water or snow away from the house.
 Diverting the water.
Snow Blowers work well to get snow away from home
















Get snow away from the home. Nate Morris with Resto Clean said the snow load needs to be a minimum of 6 feet from the side of your home (slope or grade needs to be considered). If the soil next to your home becomes saturated with water then freezes this can cause foundation cracks as expansion occurs. A pile of snow is like a mini river ready to take the path of least resistance. A snow blower is ideal for this task, if not that....welcome to the gun-show, grab a shovel!  You can call local landscaping companies to remove the snow away from your home also. Removing snow off decks and patios is a must, these items are usually not sloped away from the house and can be easy penetration points for water to get into your home.




Do you have proper grade at your house? If not think how you could change the flow
of the water. Divert the water with sandbags, ice melt trails or chiseling through the ice and snow making a channel for the water to flow. 

Shovel the snow off of your roof before it melts. *Remember after you shovel the snow you will need to make sure it is away from the home.

Roofing companies will remove snow from roofs and have
the proper insurance and harness equipment needed.

Drainage System
 
If you have a drainage system or a sump pump installed check to make sure it is working properly. Sump pumps should be plugged into a GFI outlet, make sure these are getting power and working properly. If drainage lines are going outside of a crawlspace vent, make sure it has heat tape or a heater hose attached to the system.

Heat tape for pipes
 




Typical basement sump system









  








Cleaning Drainage Ditches

Clearing a way for the water to flow to the proper drainage area. This also means you may need to clear a path and the drainage ditch the cities typically clear. In emergency situations like we are currently in it takes a team effort with neighbors and cities to make this work.


Drain and canal needing cleared






























Cleaning snow out of and around window wells is a must, this is a low point for water to enter. You should install window well covers that can be opened in case of emergency.



Widow covered in snow

Last Resort (preparing for the flood)

If you have a finished basement or a crawlspace here are a few things you need to go purchase and have ready to setup.

If you have a concrete slab foundation you will need to make sure the snow and water is lower then the slab.


Small garden hose pump
Small sump pump with a heated garden hose. (buy an extension cord) If you do not have a heated hose you can use a regular garden hose, you will need to keep it indoors after every use.
Note: If you buy a pump made for a larger hose and convert it to a garden hose it will make the pump cavitate  and burn out. If you get a larger pump make sure you have the right hose, you may have to use heat tape in this case if you keep it set up. Either buy a sump pump basin or get a 5 gallon bucket and put holes in it for the pump to sit into so it doesn't suck up soil or plastic.




Placement of pump.
If you have a basement with window wells, this is a great place to set a sump pump. If the water is coming into the basement and you have a designated spot for a pump (pit) this would also be an ideal location.

In the crawlspace:   Nate Morris with Resto Clean sets most pumps up right at the access so you do not have to crawl around in water to remove it or check on it; also makes it closer to power. Remember to get the water as far from the hose as possible, this keeps the water from draining back into the basement or crawlspace.

Heated garden hose







Sand Bags: Stocking up on sandbags and ice melt can help you divert water, making channels with a pick or a shovel can also help. If the ice melt is sold out you can buy salt water softener (granules work best). You can also buy sand at nurseries and landscape supply stores in bulk.




















A water alarm is a inexpensive way to keep peace of mind and let you know when water is entering your home; Window wells, edge of basement and near the crawlspace access is a good location for them.
Water is in my house what do I do?

Block furniture off the ground with buckets, crates, tin foil, Saran Wrap, etc. If water is over your outlets, stay off the floor and turn off the breakers!


*Call a professional restoration company like Resto Clean  208-899-4442




Friday, January 6, 2017

Ice Damming Prevention

Nate Morris doing a ice damming training. This Is going to be a serious problem in the valley the next week.
An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow (water) from draining off the roof. The water that backs up behind the dam can leak into a home and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, and other areas.
Check your soffit vents for ice coming out. This is a sure sign that you are going to have water in your house in a short period of time.
Here is some more information on how to prevent and remove ice dams.


Ice dam on home exterior

Icicles hanging along the eaves of your house may look beautiful, but they spell trouble. That's because the same conditions that allow icicles to form—snow-covered roofs and freezing weather—also lead to ice dams: thick ridges of solid ice that build up along the eaves. Dams can tear off gutters, loosen shingles, and cause water to back up and pour into your house. When that happens, the results aren't pretty: peeling paint, warped floors, stained and sagging ceilings. Not to mention soggy insulation in the attic, which loses R-value and becomes a magnet for mold and mildew.
Keep reading to learn more about how ice dams form so that you can prevent them altogether or make a quick fix if they've already formed.
TOH Tip: To keep ahead of water damage, snap photos where you see frosty buildup. Use the pictures to help target an interior inspection, during which you should check for leaks.

Life of an Ice Dam: Birth

Illustration of ice dam on home exterior
ILLUSTRATION BY YUKO SHIMIZU
Here's a breakdown of the conditions that lead to the formation of ice dams: First, heat collects in the attic and warms the roof, except at the eaves.
 
 

Life of an Ice Dam: Growth

Illustration of ice dam on home exterior
ILLUSTRATION BY YUKO SHIMIZU
Next, snow melts on the warm roof and then freezes on the cold eaves.
 
 

Life of an Ice Dam: Maturity

Illustration of ice dam on home exterior
ILLUSTRATION BY YUKO SHIMIZU
Finally, ice accumulates along the eaves, forming a dam. Meltwater from the warm roof backs up behind it, flows under the shingles, and into the house.
Now that you know how ice dams form, here's a quick and easy way to prevent them.
 
 

Prevent Ice Dams: Use Heated Cables

heated cable
COURTESY WRAP ON
Attached with clips along the roof's edge in a zigzag pattern, heated cables combat ice dams that lift shingles and cause leaks. This solution allows you to equalize your roof's temperature by heating it from the outside instead of blowing in cold air from the inside (as we mention next in "Fast Fixes"). Just be sure to install the cables before bad weather hits.
For more information on this and other electronic snow and ice melters, see Plug-in Snow Busters.
Keep reading for fast fixes you can do yourself after a dam has already formed.
 
 

Fast Fixes for Ice Dams: Blow in Cold Air

Illustration of ice dam on home exterior
ILLUSTRATION BY YUKO SHIMIZU
Hacking away at ice dams with a hammer, chisel, or shovel is bad for your roofing—and dangerous for you. And throwing salt on them will do more to harm to your plantings than to the ice. Short of praying for warm weather, here are stop-gap measures we recommend.
Take a box fan into the attic and aim it at the underside of the roof where water is actively leaking in. This targeted dose of cold air will freeze the water in its tracks. "You'll stop the leak in a matter of minutes," says TOH general contractor Tom Silva.
For more advice from Tom, see Stopping Ice Dams.
 
 

Fast Fixes for Ice Dams: Rake It

rake
COURTESY AVALANCHE
Pull off snow with a long-handled aluminum roof rake while you stand safely on the ground. A rake with wheels, like the one shown here, will instantly change the exterior temperature of your roof without damaging shingles.
 
 

Fast Fixes for Ice Dams: Deice It

Illustration of ice dam on home exterior
ILLUSTRATION BY NARDA LEBO
You can also diminish the damage after the dam has formed with...panty hose! Fill the leg of discarded pair of panty hose with a calcium chloride ice melter. Lay the hose onto the roof so it crosses the ice dam and overhangs the gutter. If necessary, use a long-handled garden rake or hoe to push it into position. The calcium chloride will eventually melt through the snow and ice and create a channel for water to flow down into the gutters or off the roof.
Next up, a list of long-term fixes that will help you get rid of your ice dams for good.
 
 

Permanent Fixes for Ice Dams

Illustration of ice dam on home exterior
ILLUSTRATION BY YUKO SHIMIZU
Getting rid of ice dams for good is simple, in principle: Just keep the entire roof the same temperature as the eaves. You do that by increasing ventilation, adding insulation, and sealing off every possible air leak that might warm the underside of the roof.
By taking care of common trouble spots, listed here in order of priority, you should enjoy dam-free winters and use less energy to boot:
1. Ventilate Eaves And Ridge. A ridge vent paired with continuous soffit vents circulates cold air under the entire roof. Both ridge and soffit vents should have the same size openings and provide at least 1 square foot of opening for every 300 square feet of attic floor. Place baffles at the eaves to maintain a clear path for the airflow from the soffit vents.
2. Cap the Hatch. An unsealed attic hatch or whole-house fan is a massive opening for heat to escape. Cover them with weatherstripped caps made from foil-faced foam board held together with aluminum tape.
3. Exhaust to the Outside. Make sure that the ducts connected to the kitchen, bathroom, and dryer vents all lead outdoors through either the roof or walls, but never through the soffit.
4. Add Insulation. More insulation on the attic floor keeps the heat where it belongs. To find how much insulation your attic needs, check with your local building department.
5. Install Sealed Can Lights. Old-style recessed lights give off great plumes of heat and can't be insulated without creating a fire hazard. Replace them with sealed "IC" fixtures, which can be covered with insulation.
6. Flash Around Chimneys. Bridge the gap between chimney and house framing with L-shaped steel flashing held in place with unbroken beads of a fire-stop sealant. Using canned spray foam or insulation isn't fire safe.
7. Seal and Insulate Ducts. Spread fiber-reinforced mastic on the joints of HVAC ducts and exhaust ducts. Cover them entirely with R-5 or R-6 foil-faced fiberglass.
8. Caulk Penetrations. Seal around electrical cables and vent pipes with a fire-stop sealant. Also, look for any spots where light shines up from below or the insulation is stained black by the dirt from passing air.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Water In my Crawlspace

Most homeowners don't tend to look in under their house too often. Sometimes though you'll have to peek down there to check something or have something fixed and you'll notice a standing water. Is that bad? Can something be done to get rid of the standing water? And how did that water get their in the first place? Resto Clean specializes in home drainage, but here is an information article about what you can do if you find water in your crawlspace.

http://homerenovations.about.com/od/houseexteriorframework/a/WaterCrawlSpace.htm

http://restocleanpro.com/drainage-system/

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Home Insurance Claims

Did you know that if you are purchasing a house you might be denied homeowners insurance if the house you are purchasing has had too many claims in the past? There is a simple tool to find out if the house you are interested in has had insurance claims filed on it. This $20 report can be show you the entire insurance history of the house you are interested in purchasing! 

Visit our Website! 

Insurance History Report 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Idaho Mold Symptoms

Idaho is a dry climate and most people don't think about mold in a high desert. The fact is, mold is absolutely everywhere, including inside very clean homes. If you were to take an air sample of the outside air, you would see hundreds of mold spores floating around. So how does this affect your health? Mold affects everybody differently. Typically, people who are susceptible to allergies and asthma are more affected by mold. Some types of mold produce mycotoxins. Below is a list of typical molds found in Idaho, what they look like, and possible side effects. Whenever you have a mold problem, consult a licensed professional.

For a free inspection and consultation contact Resto Clean.

Common Mold Spores In Idaho and Their Side Effects
Alternaria
Possible Side Effects
Spore Colony Specs
Sinus Congestion
Grows Very Quickly
Asthma (can be severe)
Grey,brown, green, black
Sore Throat
Fuzzy Texture
Sneezing
Itchy and Watery Eyes
Hyper Sensitivity
Skin Infections
Sinus Infections
Pathogenic Health Effects
Ascospores
Possible Side Effects
Spore Colony Specs
Sinus Congestion
Many Types
Sneezing
Itchy and Watery Eyes
Aspergillus
Possible Side Effects
Spore Colony Specs
Sinus Congestion
Appearance based on genre
Asthma
Different types of Ascospores
Sore Throat
Sneezing
Itchy and Watery Eyes
Possible Ear Infections
Possible Skin Lesions
Possible Ulcers
Pathogenic Health Effects
Aureobasidium
Possible Side Effects
Spore Colony Specs

Sinus Congestion
Grows very quickly
Asthma
White, Pink, yellow, black
Sore Throat
Sneezing
Itchy and Watery Eyes
Upper Respiratory Infections
Basidiospores
Possible Side Effects
Spore Colony Specs

Sinus Congestion
Many Types
Asthma
Sore Throat
Sneezing
Hay Fever
Itchy and Watery Eyes
Toxicosis (poisoning)
Upper Respiratory Infections
Beltrania
Possible Side Effects
Spore Colony Specs
Variety of Health Effects
Brown, Black
Bipolaris
Possible Side Effects
Spore Colony Specs
Sinus Congestion
Grows very quickly
Asthma
White, Green or Black
Sore Throat
Many Types of Bipolaris
Sneezing
Itchy and Watery Eyes
Upper Respiratory Infections
Botrytis
Possible Side Effects
Spore Colony Specs

Sinus Congestion
Grows very quickly
Asthma
white, grey, brown, black
Sore Throat
Sneezing
Itchy and Watery Eyes
Asthma
Chaetomium
Possible Side Effects
Spore Colony Specs
Sinus Congestion
Grows very quickly
Asthma
white, grey, brown, or black
Sore Throat
Sneezing
Linked to cancer
Itchy and Watery Eyes
Serious Neurological Effects
Brain Lesions
Alzheimers Disease
Pathogenic Health Effects
Cladosporium
Possible Side Effects
Spore Colony Specs
Sinus Congestion
Speed of growth varies
Asthma
white, grey, brown, or black
Sore Throat
Sneezing
Hay Fever
Itchy and Watery Eyes
Skin Infections
Toe Nail Infections
Sinus Infections
Upper Respiratory Infections
Curvularia
Possible Side Effects
Spore Colony Specs
Sinus Congestion
Grows very quickly
Asthma
white, grey, brown, or black
Sore Throat
Sneezing
Itchy and Watery Eyes
Asthma
Epicoccum
Possible Side Effects
Spore Colony Specs
Sinus Congestion
Grows very quickly
Asthma
yellow, orange, red, brown, black
Sore Throat
Sneezing
Itchy and Watery Eyes
Asthma
Grows very quickly
Fusarium
Possible Side Effects
Spore Colony Specs
Pathogenic Health Effects
yellow, orange, red, brown, black
Toe Nail Infections
pale, red, violes, or blue
Respiratory Infections
Skin Infections
Memnoniella
Possible Side Effects
Spore Colony Specs
Respiratory Infections
Grows at moderate speeds
Itchy and Watery Eyes
Sneezing
Erosion of Immune System
Throat Irritation
white, pink, orange, black, or pale
Myxomycetes
Possible Side Effects
Spore Colony Specs
Sinus Congestion
Do not grow fungal media
Asthma
Sore Throat
Sneezing
Itchy and Watery Eyes
Asthma
Hay Fever
Nigrospora
Possible Side Effects
Spore Colony Specs
Sinus Congestion
Grows very quickly
Asthma
White or black
Sore Throat
Sneezing
Itchy and Watery Eyes
Eye/Skin Infections (rare)
Penicillium/Aspergillus
Possible Side Effects
Spore Colony Specs

Sinus Congestion
Grows rapidly
Asthma
Many colors of growth
Sore Throat
Velvety and powdery texture
Sneezing
Itchy and Watery Eyes
Hay Fever
Pneumonitis
Pathogenic Health Effects
Pithomyces
Possible Side Effects
Spore Colony Specs
Unknown Effects
Grows very quickly
Wooly Texture
Grey, Brown, Dark Brown
Rusts
Possible Side Effects
Spore Colony Specs
Sinus Congestion
Do not grow fungal media
Asthma
Sore Throat
Sneezing
Itchy and Watery Eyes
Hay Fever
Scopulariopsis
Possible Side Effects
Spore Colony Specs
Sinus Congestion
Grows at moderate speeds
Asthma
Velvety and powdery texture
Sore Throat
White, grey, cinnimon, or black
Sneezing
Itchy and Watery Eyes
Hay Fever
Alveolitis
Stachybotrys
Possible Side Effects
Spore Colony Specs
Wide Range of Effects
Grows at moderate speeds
Fatigue
Powdery Texture
Headaches
white, pink, orange, black, or pale
Irritaion to the Eyes
Fever
Sneezing
Rashes
Nausea
Vomiting
Bleeding in the Lungs and Nose
Sore Throat
Linked to 2 infantile deaths
Stemphylium
Possible Side Effects
Spore Colony Specs
Sinus Congestion
Slow Growth
Asthma
Sore Throat
Sneezing
Itchy and Watery Eyes
Hay Fever
Pathogenic Health Effects
Torula
Possible Side Effects
Spore Colony Specs
Sinus Congestion
Grows at moderate speeds
Asthma
Grey, white, or brown
Sore Throat
Sneezing
Itchy and Watery Eyes
Hay Fever
Ulocladium
Possible Side Effects
Spore Colony Specs
Sinus Congestion
Grows very quickly
Asthma
Wooly/Cottony
Sore Throat
Olive, brown or black
Sneezing
Itchy and Watery Eyes
Hay Fever
Zygomycetes
Possible Side Effects
Spore Colony Specs
Sinus Congestion
Different Genres
Asthma
Sore Throat
Sneezing
Itchy and Watery Eyes
Hay Fever
Pneumonitis
Pathogenic Health Effects