Avoiding water damage at your property should be a priority. Every year thousands are New Hampshire and Massachusetts basements suffer from flooding. This costs millions of dollars in damage and provides endless frustration to owners. Rest assured that there are precautions you can take to protect yourself and reduce the possibility of a flooded basement.
Below are three simple strategies that you can employ to help prevent costly water damage at your property. Please understand these ideas are not a total solution, but they serve as a large step in the right direction towards your quest to avoid basement flooding…
1) Gutters: These simple devices serve to divert rain water away from your home. Do you have gutters? If not, have a qualified contractor review your property to discuss options for installation. Are they clean? Gutters can accumulate dirt, debris, and leaves. Fall and spring are the best times to clean them out. Are the downspouts channeling water away from your foundation? Gutters can create problems such as pooling near the foundation if they are not directed properly.
2) Grading: Believe it or not the slope of your property can have a huge impact on flooding. Inspect your property during the next rain storm. Do you have pooling in areas around the foundation? If there are apparent low spots that are susceptible to accumulating water, you could have a problem. We suggest a property regrade that will divert water away from your home. Seek the counsel of a qualified landscaper or excavation contractor.
3) Sump Pump: As ground water levels rise a sump pump can come to the rescue. This important device works to keep the area under a building dry. They are typically installed in the lowest area of a basement in a special pit. As water accumulates in the pit, the pump will work to drive water away from the building. When planning the installation, make sure to take into account the power source of the pump. Make sure to have a backup solution in the event power is lost.
If you are submitting a water damage claim to your insurance carrier for your New Hampshire or Massachusetts property, let them know you are using Soil-Away.
Soil-Away is proud to be working with Make-A-Wish again this year. On Thursday, May 8th company representative, Josh Solloway, will be captaining a table at the 6th Annual Breakfast of Wishes in Manchester. This event is aims to build awareness of the organization’s mission, showcase their positive impact on the New Hampshire community, and raise money to support their cause.
This is the third consecutive year that Solloway has participated in the event as a table captain. “Make-A-Wish had a huge impact on my family when they supported my baby cousin during her battle with Neuroblastoma,” explains Solloway. “Our family cannot thank the organization enough and we will never stop supporting the entire Make-A-Wish team and wish families.”
Last year, the event included revealing 4-year-old Hailey’s wish to be a cowgirl. At the event, Hailey and her father were showered with gifts from Make-A-Wish volunteers preparing them for their trip to a Colorado Dude Ranch and Hailey’s transformation into a cowgirl. One of the most memorable moments was when wish child Meghan sang “The Climb” to attendees, showing her strength through her battle with her illness.
The Make-A-Wish mission is to “serve a unique and vital, role in helping strengthen and empower children battling life-threatening medical conditions.”
If you are interested in attending this event or donating to Make-A-Wish, please contact Josh at 603-641-6555. The event is Thursday, May 8th from 7:30-8:30am at the Best Western Executive Court Banquet Facility in Manchester, NH.
Spring had finally arrived in southern New Hampshire and the entire community was busy transitioning seasons. A Concord family of four was eagerly packing away their snow suits, winter boots, and sweaters. The father and two young sons just finished lugging the winter storage bins to the basement. They were transitioning their focus to the outside to rid the yard of leftover leaves from the fall and sweeping up accumulated sand from the winter.
Inside the mother was going through the family spring cleaning check list. It was nearing an end and the time to call the professionals was here. Every year the family hired Soil-Away to perform annual carpet cleaning for their Concord residence. Between the two active boys and their friends, the carpets build up significant dirt, spills, and odor over the course of the year. The Soil-Away carpet cleaning team had been performing annual service for over twelve years now. Every year the carpets were rejuvenated and bounced back following the cleaning.
As the wife pulls her Soil-Away magnet off the refrigerator, her two sons run through the front door. The older is loudly chasing the younger up the stairs. She turns the corner out of the kitchen to tell them to slow it down. Glaringly obvious is the trail of footprints on each carpeted stair showing off the fresh spring Concord mud. Mom just shakes her head and smiles. She cannot call Soil-Away quick enough to schedule her carpet cleaning.
Are you concerned about mold? Interested in learning a little more about the subject?
Listen to Jack and Josh on the Girard at Large Radio Show discuss this issue with host Rich Girard.
Soil-Away is a certified mold remediation contractor serving New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
The “honey-do” list was dwindling for new homeowners in Amherst. The mailbox had been fixed, new shrubs had been planted, and the driveway had been sealed. Now it was time to focus on the interior of the home. The couple was expecting a baby in five months. The nursery had to be painted and prepared. In addition setting up the crib, the couple wanted to ensure the house was as clean as possible.
They purchased and moved into their Amherst home in the fall. During the winter heating season they had both noticed dust built up on the heating registers. They property was five years old and as far as they knew, the heating and A/C ducts had never been cleaned. The former owners had two kids and a dog. The house was in great condition, but got plenty of use from the previous family.
The couple received a mailer from Soil-Away promoting their air duct cleaning services. Upon researching the company online and calling some of their friends for referrals, they decided hire Soil-Away to clean their ducts. The process to get an estimate and schedule the service was easy and conducive to their busy lives. The service was performed within two weeks of the call and they could cross yet another item off of the “honey-do” list. They also had peace of mind knowing that the accumulated dust, debris, and pet dander had been removed from their home’s HVAC system.
It was a rainy weekend in late March. Over 48 hours of continuous precipitation hovered over much of New Hampshire, including the community of Bedford. Over the weekend Soil-Away received an emergency call from an elderly couple who had just discovered over six inches of water in their basement. Increasing water levels in the ground and neighboring bodies of water had caused their home to flood. The concerned couple called a trusted friend who referred Soil-Away. A water mitigation team arrived to the Bedford property the same day.
Upon arrival, Soil-Away technicians inspected the property, established safety precautions for the scene, and began the flood damage cleanup process. The anxious couple was both relieved to have help and reassured by the organization and proficiency of the team. Technicians diligently worked to pump and extract the excess water out of the basement. They relocated wet and damaged contents to the garage where they could be sorted and inventoried. Each phase of the job was documented by pictures and notes.
Following the flood extraction, the basement was cleaned and treated to avoid potential microbial growth issues down the line. Commercial dehumidifiers and air movers were set up to remove excess moisture and complete the drying process. A Soil-Away technician returned daily to Bedford to check on the couple, answer any questions, and inspect the drying progress. After three days the house had been returned to pre-loss conditions and all the drying equipment was removed.
During the process the relieved couple referred Soil-Away to their Bedford friends and neighbors who had also suffered flooded basements. Soil-Away’s water damage cleanup teams performed dozens of similar jobs as a result of helping this couple in need.
Water damage is one of the leading causes of property damage. Water damage can result from a broken pipe, roof damage, malfunctioning appliance, flooding from ground water, etc… The mitigation process can be time consuming and expensive if you are not properly prepared.
The first step in preparation is insurance. We encourage all our clients to have a conversation with their insurance agent over what their policy covers and what it excludes. Make sure to take the time and really understand your policy. Know that there is a difference between homeowners insurance and flood insurance.
In typical circumstances, a homeowner’s policy should cover water damage situations resulting from roof damage, such as a tree falling or wind blowing shingles off. It should also cover something like a hot-water tank failing or washer machine overflow. Homeowner’s policies typically do not cover ground water entering the basement through the foundation. These occurrences typically take place in the spring when snow-melt and heavy rains combine to raise the water levels in bodies of water and the ground. Separate flood coverage may be available and worth considering if this is a concern. Bring it up to your insurance agent to understand your options.
The final step in preparing for water damage cleanup is to build a relationship with a certified, reputable water damage restoration company. You do not want to be caught off guard in the event you need emergency water damage or flood cleanup. Soil-Away’s water damage mitigation team serves south/central New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts. In the first quarter of 2014, Soil-Away restored hundreds water damaged properties in towns such as Manchester, Hampstead, Portsmouth, Concord, Bedford, Moultonborough, and Laconia, NH.
Please join Soil-Away as we support our good friends at The Dry Cleaner by Val in their quest to raise $10,000 for Brigham and Women Hospital through the March of Dimes. Team Dry Cleaner by Val will be walking on May 10th in Boston for this great cause. March of Dimes Mission is “to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality.”
The Dry Cleaner by Val is dedicated to this cause because of a recent miracle within their family. Richard and Gracielle Swanson had a premature son born at 26 weeks weighing in at 2.5 pounds. The Brigham and Women Hospital’s NICU team helped support baby Roy until he grew healthy and was able to go home. Please learn more and DONATE HERE!
The Soil-Away Team is deeply saddened by the recent passing of industry legend William Francis Bane (June 25, 1927 – February 20, 2014). Mr. Bane, the Chairman of Bane-Clene Corporation in Indianapolis, was a founding father in the carpet cleaning industry. His entrepreneurial spirit led him to produce the first “Truck Mounted” carpet cleaning unit in 1970. The industry has been revolutionized ever since.
Founded in 1962, Mr. Bane and his family grew their small janitorial company into a world-wide carpet cleaning force. In addition to running their own carpet cleaning company, they built a large production and sales facility to support the industry as a whole. Bane-Clene designs and distributes their own patented products such as carpet cleaning equipment, chemicals, and supplies. These products are proudly used at Soil-Away and all over the world.
In conjunction with running a successful business, Mr. Bane dedicated himself to validating the carpet cleaning industry amongst carpet manufacturers and consumers. In addition, he helped thousands of entrepreneurs start their own businesses. Bane-Clene hosts educational seminars on starting a carpet cleaning company and succeeding in the industry.
Mr. Bane’s legacy does not end with his contributions to the carpet cleaning industry. He served in the Marine Corp during World War II. This year would have been his 67th year of marriage to his wife Elizabeth Ann. Mr. Bane also served in numerous leadership roles with civic organizations in the community.
The Soil-Away Team owes a lot to Mr. Bane and the Bane-Clene Corporation. “Our relationship with the Bane family started in 1992,” states Soil-Away founder Jack Solloway. “In addition to using their equipment and supplies, we have utilized their extensive industry knowledge and training. The ‘Bane-Clene Way’ is ingrained in our daily operation and big part of our carpet cleaning success.” Soil-Away has five dedicated truck-mounted carpet cleaning trucks serving areas such as Manchester, Nashua, Exeter, Concord, and Laconia, New Hampshire along with Andover, Newburyport, and Haverhill, Massachusetts.
To learn more about the amazing life and legacy of William Francis Bane please visit the official company blog.
Mr. Bane with Soil-Away techs (Sept 2012)
Soil-Away truck at Bane-Clene
Do you have a wood-burning fireplace or stove? If so, it likely gets a lot of use during the cold New Hampshire or Massachusetts winters. When was the last time you had your chimney inspected or cleaned? If you cannot answer this question, it has been too long.
Hundreds of chimney fires occur every year. Many of the fires are a result of built up soot and creosote. Creosote is the thick, slimy material that is a byproduct of burning wood. When it cools off it can solidify and accumulate on the interior of your chimney and become a clogging hazard. If a fire burns too hot, creosote combustion can be a major concern as well.
Chimney fires are extremely dangerous and destructive to properties. Often times they can go unnoticed for a period of time because they are hidden behind walls. They can also spread to other parts of the house by breaking through weak points in masonry or flue pipe joints. Indications of a chimney fire occurring have been described as the following: loud cracking and popping noise, increased volume of dense smoke, and intense/hot smell.
What can you do to prevent a chimney fire? Regular maintenance is the solution. Having a certified and licensed chimney firm inspect and clean your chimney on an annual basis will drastically reduce the threat of a fire. Simply put, clean chimneys don’t catch fire. If you need an inspection or cleaning, please contact Soil-Away for a referral to a qualified chimney company.
If your property has sustained fire, soot, or smoke damage from a chimney fire, Soil-Away can help. Soil-Away’s team of certified fire restoration technicians will clean, deodorize and restore your property to pre-loss condition. We will work with your insurance company to process the fire damage claim and ensure life gets back to normal as soon as possible. Soil-Away’s fire/smoke damage cleanup team serves south/central New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts. In the first quarter of 2014, Soil-Away restored chimney-related fire damaged properties in Windham, Franklin, Sunapee, Nashua, Dover, and Salem, NH.