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Post-Winter Property Inspection Checklist

Written by jsolloway on . Posted in , .

With the snow and freezing temperatures behind us, it is time to assess any damage that your home and property may have incurred over the winter months.  The following is a spring checklist to inspect your home or business to determine if there is any damage that needs to be addressed.

Gutters.  Snow and ice can damage gutters, preventing water from running through properly.  This damage can cause the springtime rainwater to build-up around the building, leading to flooding indoors.

Roof.  It is important to inspect the roof for any damaged, missing or lifted shingles.  Addressing these problems now can head off any problems that a leaky roof can cause inside the property, including flooding and mold.

Attic.  As the weather warms, check the attic for any signs of mold or mildew forming.  These areas can have a high humidity level, making these optimal conditions for this growth.

Vinyl siding.  Just like roof shingles, a loose piece of siding can lead to big problems during the winter.  Take the warmer weather as an opportunity to inspect the exterior of the building, checking for loose or missing siding.

Pipes.  Frozen pipes can be a big problem during the winter, but very small cracks and leaks may go unnoticed.  Doing a visual inspection of the home’s pipes, checking for any leaks can prevent this from becoming an even bigger problem. This is especially important with your exterior water spigots. When you turn them on for the first time in the spring, make sure to monitor for flooding in your basement.

Basement.  During the winter months, humidity levels are typically lower.  Springtime not only brings warmer weather but also increased humidity.  The basement can quickly become a breeding ground for mold as a result.  Check humidity levels and set up a dehumidifier to regulate this.

Boiler and Furnace.  Spring is a good time to visually inspect the boiler and furnace, checking for any leaks around the area that may indicate that the unit needs to be serviced.

Walkways and steps.  The winter months may cause cracks or damage to the property’s walkways and steps that should be corrected.  Be sure to also make sure that any outdoor railings remain secure and stable.

Foundation.  A quick visual inspection of the foundation of the home now that all of the snow has melted will show any cracks in the foundation that need to be filled.  If left unattended, moisture can leak into the home through these cracks.

Yard.  As the snow melts and the spring rains arrive, check the yard for any standing water.  This could indicate that you have drainage problems that need to be addressed, particularly if the standing water is close to the building.

Taking the time now to visually inspect the property will ensure that any winter damage is addressed before it can become a problem.  If you do have flooding, mold or other damage in the home, Soil-Away has teams on call 24/7 to help.  Contact Soil-Away at 603-641-6555.

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak

Written by jsolloway on . Posted in , , .

March 3, 2020

Dear Value Soil-Away Client,

Thank you for trusting Soil-Away Cleaning & Restoration Services, LLC as your disaster restoration contractor. We are taking a moment to contact you in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Our office has received several inquiries from clients about potential solutions and/or proactive measures to assist in mitigating the threat.

As it stands now, we do offer a spray sanitization service as a proactive plan to reduce the risk of viral/bacterial transfer among building occupants. Soil-Away is the exclusive SanitizeIt™ certified operator of New Hampshire and Massachusetts. The process utilizes an electrostatic sprayer or ULV fogger to treat spaces with Aseptic Plus™, a proven and safe product when it comes to combating bacteria and viruses. See the attached pages to learn more about the product.

Please know that we are working with multiple local and national organizations to stay up to date with latest information on the coronavirus so that we can best serve you. We hope that this outbreak passes quickly and does not affect your facility but know that we will be there if needed. Below is our contact information if you should need more information regarding our spray sanitization services or have disaster restoration needs.

Thank you!
Team Soil-Away

Preventing Fire Damage from Supplemental Heat Sources

Written by Web Admin on . Posted in , .

Many of the sources that we use to supplement, or entirely heat, a home in the winter can actually pose a potential fire risk if you are not careful.  These include wood-burning fireplaces, pellet stoves and space heaters.  While they can be great sources of heat, you should take precautions to ensure that there is no risk of a fire, which can badly damage your home and belongings.

Fireplace Safety

  • Keep all flammable objects a safe distance away from the fire, typically a minimum of three feet
  • Place a screen over the fireplace to prevent burning embers from escaping
  • Have the chimney professionally inspected and cleaned annually
  • Ensure that there is appropriate venting
  • Install a chimney cap to prevent leaves and debris from falling into the chimney
  • Burn only well-seasoned, dry hardwood
  • Dispose of ashes safely in a metal container with a lid

Pellet Stove Safety

  • Keep flammable objects, including walls and furniture, a safe distance away from the stove
  • Use only high-quality pellets
  • Inspect and clean the stove regularly
  • Schedule annual maintenance by a professional
  • Dispose of ashes safely, placing them in a metal container with a lid

Space Heater Safety

  • Always turn off and unplug the space heater when it is not in use
  • Never leave a space heater unattended when turned on
  • Do not place the heater under a desk or in an enclosed space
  • Plug directly into the wall outlet
  • Ensure that your space heater has an automatic shut off

Beyond these safety precautions, it is important to have working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors throughout the home.  Fire extinguishers should be easily accessible near any of these heat sources and they should never be left unattended or with small children or pets alone.  By adhering to these safety practices, you can ensure that your home is toasty and warm all winter long. 

If you do experience a fire, Soil-Away has teams on call 24/7 to assess the damage and begin the restoration process immediately.  In an emergency contact Soil-Away at 603-641-6555.

Winter Water Damage Woes: Protect Your Home from Damage this Season

Written by WSI Genesis on . Posted in , , .

The winter months can be particularly hard on homes, as the cold temperatures, ice and snow can leave behind devastating damage.  Being vigilant can help to prevent winter damage, ensuring that your home comes out of the season without any lasting problems.


Frozen Pipes

This is a common fear for any homeowner in New England.  Frozen pipes can quickly lead to flooding, as the pipe swells to the point of cracking.  Frozen pipes often occur during extreme cold weather in those pipes that are on the exterior of the home or in unheated areas. 

The following are some tips to prevent frozen pipes:

  • Insulate piping that is at risk for freezing, including those that are in the basement, attic and garage.
  • Keep the garage and exterior doors securely closed.
  • Seal windows and doors with weather-stripping.
  • Keep the home’s thermostat consistent throughout the day and night.
  • Even when away, do not set the thermostat lower than 55 degrees.
  • If you lose power and the indoor temperature is dropping, let the faucets drip to allow water to continue running through the pipes.

Ice Dams

Snow and ice that builds-up on the roof and gutter of a home can melt and refreeze, creating drainage problems.  With nowhere to go, the water can leak into the roof causing significant damage and flooding in the home. 

Follow these tips to prevent ice dams from damaging your home:

  • Use a roof rake to clear heavy snow.
  • Keep gutters clean and free of debris.
  • Ensure that the attic has good ventilation to allow for continuous airflow.
  • Eliminate any heat sources that are located in the attic.
  • If ice has begun forming, apply calcium chloride (or any ice-melt product).

Flooding

Despite your best effort, your home may experience flooding damage during the winter.  If you do experience a flood in your home, remove the water as quickly as possible.  This will ensure the best chance of preventing mold growth, which can lead to big problems in the future. 

Even after the standing water has been removed, the humidity levels are often very high, with underlying moisture in the walls, flooring and other areas that cannot be seen by the naked eye.  Soil-Away can ensure that all of the moisture is removed after a flood has damaged your home.  This will not only restore your home to its pre-flood state, but you can also be confident that the area is not a breeding ground for mold growth.

After a flood has damaged your home, contact Soil-Away at 603-641-6555.

Winter Worries: Extreme Weather

Written by jsolloway on . Posted in , , , .

Common Home Insurance Claims Seen During Extreme Weather

The winter months, bringing snow and ice, can be fraught with threats of damage to your home.  From frozen pipes to a hail storm, extreme weather can take its toll leaving behind damage that may require filing a homeowner’s insurance claim.  While you can prepare your home for the winter, in some cases winter damage is inevitable. 

The following are the most common areas of damage to the home seen during extreme winter weather.

Preventing Fires: Kitchen Safety Tips this Holiday Season

Written by jsolloway on . Posted in , , .

This is the time of year when families come together often to enjoy a large meal with one another.  The meal preparation may not always go as planned.  In fact, this is also the time when there is an increase in accidents in the kitchen, including fires.  Taking the necessary safety precautions in the kitchen can minimize the risk of fire, so that everyone can enjoy the holidays together.

Be Aware of These Home Heat Sources for Fire and Smoke Damage Prevention

Written by jsolloway on . Posted in , , .

A fire can develop and spread very quickly in a home.  Many homeowners may be putting their home at risk through everyday actions and not even realize it.  In some cases the fire and smoke damage could have been prevented if the homeowner was aware of heat sources in the home that could be increasing their risk. 

Prevent Property Damage During Hurricane Season

Written by jsolloway on . Posted in , , , .

Hurricane season, which runs from the first of June through the end of November, is well underway.  In New England the peak season for hurricanes is during the month of September.  From storm damage as a result of high winds to rising water levels and coastal surges, it isn’t unusual to experience property damage from hurricanes this time of year.  Those living on the coasts are particularly vulnerable to damage from a hurricane.  However, everyone should take some necessary precautions when one of these powerful storms is passing through.

Make a Plan, Disaster Planning for Your Business

Written by jsolloway on . Posted in , , .

New England is far from immune to natural disaster.  From winter storms to flooding and hurricanes, it is important that you have a disaster plan in place to protect your business from this type of uncontrollable inclement weather.  A business struck by a natural disaster that is unprepared can be devastated, even beyond the point of recovery.

Summer Storms: Protecting Your Property from Damage

Written by jsolloway on . Posted in , , .

The heat and high humidity levels of summer can lead to unsettled weather, resulting in short but often intense summer storms.  It isn’t unusual for these storms to come on very suddenly and unexpected.  These powerful summer storms can lead to property damage, from roof shingles to falling trees and flooded basements.

Summer’s High Humidity Can Lead to Mold Growth: What You Need to Know

Written by jsolloway on . Posted in , , .

With summer finally here, the temperatures and humidity levels are already soaring. This is great for a day at the beach or lounging at the pool, but these warmer temperatures also encourage mold growth. Mold loves warm, humid areas and can quickly spread during the summer months, as the weather provides the perfect climate.

Springs Rains Are Upon Us: Take Steps Now to Protect Your Home from Water Damage

Written by jsolloway on . Posted in , , , .

The month of April is notoriously a rainy one.  The benefit of the rain will be seen in the signs of spring that are on their way; green grass, leaves sprouting on the trees and of course beautiful flowers.  But first we need to ensure that we get through the spring rains, part of which means protecting your home from water damage

Taking the following precautions can ensure that your home makes it through the rainy season with no costly water damage.

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