By: Karli Willden
As a home cleaning and restoration company, we regularly work with families who are victims to fire damage, water damage, or even mold growth in the home. While it is our job to be there when crises hit, we seek to help educate families on how to avoid these crises in the first place. Listed below are some tips on how you can avoid fire, water or mold problems in the home.
Water Damage Culprits
- Get Rain Gutters: If you haven’t already gotten rain gutters for your home, get them. Rain gutters redirect water away from the house and prevent water leakage into the windows, doors, or window wells.
- Correct Faulty Landscaping Mistakes: Basement flooding is often caused by poor landscape design. If the landscape causes water to flow towards the house, you can count on water pouring into your window wells at a much higher rate. Always make sure water flows away from the house and window wells.
- Have Your Indoor Plumbing Checked: If you have older plumbing in your home, it doesn’t hurt to have it inspected every now and again. Preventing a leaking pipe, or catching it early, can save you a lot of money in repairs.
- Keep An Eye On Window Wells: With heavy rain and snow melt, window wells can fill up quickly and lead to flooding in your basement. Keep an eye on the window wells and make sure they don’t overfill. As a long term precaution, make sure your window wells are properly sealed, have proper draining, and water flows away from the window well.
- Be Observant of Household Appliances: Sometimes water damage can come from simply leaving the water running in the bath or sink. Other times water damage can be caused from a leaking dishwasher, household washer or pipe. Be sure to turn the water off when you are not using it or not in the same room. When running a washer or dishwasher, periodically check on it, to catch any potential flooding before it is too late.
Fire Damage Culprits
- Smoke Detectors Not Working: Make sure your smoke detectors are working properly and any dead batteries are replaced. Smoke detectors are essential to alerting you in the case of smoke or CO2 in the home. Homes without working smoking detectors are at a much higher risk for fire damage and personal injury.
- Kitchen Fires: Some of the most common sources of fire in the home are from kitchen fires. Be involved when cooking in the kitchen, and do not leave the stove tops or ovens unattended. Keep a fire extinguisher in close proximity.
- Electrical Fires: If you are one to overload plugs and extensions, make sure you are not overloading the circuit board, as this can cause a fire. Check the watt capability, and make sure to not exceed it.
- Smoking: Avoid smoking in the house at all times as it is harmful to your health and causes smoke damage in the home. Cigarette butts left in the home may cause home fires, so if you must smoke, do so outside.
- Children Playing With Fire: Keep matches and lighters away from children. Store them in a place where they will be out of reach. Teach children and teenagers to be responsible with fire and not use it for play.
- Candles: Be sure not to leave lit candles unattended. Blow out any candles when you leave the home, and do not leave a candle lit when you are sleeping. The candle wick can melt and easily start a fire.
- Flooding/Moisture: Water residue is one of the leading factors for mold growth. When there is flooding, you can expect mold to follow closely behind. Stop the water flow, soak up the water, and keep the area well ventilated.
- Poor Ventilation: Areas where moisture may be present, extra ventilation will be needed. After a bath or shower, always be sure to turn on the bathroom fan or open a bathroom window. Good airflow in a room helps to prevent mold growth.
- Dark Areas: Basements are a common place for mold growth, because they do not receive as much light and mold thrives in the dark. Be extra vigilant of these areas, and be sure to check on them every so often. If you found mold, be cautious as some molds are more dangerous than others. If you are unsure what type of mold you are dealing, call in for an inspection.
Dealing with fire damage, water damage or mold growth can be expensive and time consuming. Taking these simple precautions can reduce the likelihood of these home crises from occurring. If you need extra assistance with cleaning or restoration, do not hesitate to give Tobin Restoration a call.