Fireplace Safety: Part 1
We don't really think about the fireplace until we are ready to fire it up. The truth is, there is some maintenance that should happen every year to keep this popular heat source operational.
- annual inspections by a professional chimney sweep
- regular cleaning to keep the fireplace free of obstructions and creosote
- installation of a removable cap at the top of the chimney to keep out debris and animals
- installation of a spark arrestor with mesh
- keep the area around the fireplace free of combustible materials
- keep the screen closed when using the fireplace
- keep glass doors open when using the fireplace
Healthy Indoor Environment
During colder weather, all of us spend more time inside. The Environmental Protection Agency says that air inside your home is more polluted than the air outside your home - two to five times more. One way that you can help improve your air quality is by keeping your humidity level below 60%. Allergens and mold are less likely to thrive with lower humidity levels. Be sure to vacuum often to keep mold spores, dust, soil and allergens at bay. Have your rugs and plush furniture cleaned once a year by a IICRC certified firm...Like SunGlo. These actions will help to maintain a healthy indoor environment.
Be Prepared: Identifying Solutions to Basement Flooding
Basement flooding can be a problem in some homes, and there are steps to take to minimize potential damage. Since a flooded basement can result from a number of things, there is no single method for prevention. The most important things are to determine:
- When is the basement flooding?
- Where is the basement flooding?
Inspect the location where water is entering and caulk any cracks on the interior.
If the entire wall is damp, or water is entering through multiple wall surfaces, this may be a sign of a faulty or missing water proofing membrane.
- Remove soil around the foundation
- Consider a waterproofing membrane
- Consider applying an internal sealant that can be painted on basement walls (not an option for finished basement walls. These products required maintenance or they will stop working.)
If the water appears to be entering the home near the foundation or through a floor drain;
- Install a French Drain at the base of the foundation
- Install a sump pump with a battery backup