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With an absolutely brutal winter coming to a close, now is best time to consider two related issues: home repair and preventative maintenance. After the damage from this year’s Polar Vortex has been mended, homeowners should turn their thoughts toward next year and how to better outlast the unpredictable winter weather. Here are a few tips to help begin preparations.
Fall leaves and winter ice and snow can all impact the condition of a home’s gutters. Keeping them cleaning year round, especially during the late fall and winter, can be a huge asset in terms of basic maintenance and damage prevention. Clogged gutters can also contribute to the formation of ice dams during severe winter weather, which in turn leads to roof damage, leaks and costly water damage to the home’s interiors.
Preventing and Managing Frozen or Burst Pipes
During a Polar Vortex or other severe cold event, water pipes can freeze or burst, causing catastrophe leaks inside the home. To prevent this, consider adding more insulation to pipes and inside exterior walls. The latter option can also reduce heating costs and make the home more energy-efficient. In the event that water pipes burst or crack, it is important that homeowners know where their shut-off valve is located so that they can stop the water flow as soon as possible, minimizing damage.
Basements and Sump Pumps
Following a winter weather event, snow melt can be a possible source of difficulty. For homes with a basement and sump pump system, it is important to know that the pump can keep up with the demands that may follow a Polar Vortex. Testing the pump with a few buckets of water is an excellent way to know for sure that it’s still providing good service. If not, maintenance, repair or replacement may be in order.
Next winter will come soon than many realize. Preparing now, during more seasonable weather, will help ensure that next winter is a happy time of year, not one marred by home damage and disaster.
For more questions regarding how to protect your property from winter, cold disasters, contact the friendly staff at NuBilt Restoration & Construction in Denver, CO at (303) 368-4688
Every year winter comes and goes, and when it leaves, there are often some effects that it has on the roofs of homes. There are common issues that winter and snow has on roofs and ways that you can try and prevent these issues from taking a toll on your roof.
- Tree Limbs – If you have a lot of trees in your yard, they could pose a threat to your roof in the winter months. Without the protection of the leaves and with the weight of snow and possibly ice on the limbs, they could scratch against your roof and damage it. The weight of the limbs could also cause them to break off falling onto your roof possibly causing damage as well. You can protect yourself by ensuring the limbs and branches are trimmed up and kept approximately six feet away from your home.
- Strong Winds – Extremely strong winds are not always common, but when the winds pick up to great speeds, there is a potential for damage to your roof. It could begin to loosen your shingles. Once they are loose, strong winds could rip them off of your roof. It is important to have them replaced as soon as you notice they are loose.
- Condensation – Condensation, or moisture, will form when there is a cold surface that is meet with warm air. This condensation can lead to the growth of mold and mildew. If this is growth is left untreated, it can damage to your home as well as the health of your family. Condensation will most often happen in the attic, so it is extremely important to ensure that your attic is properly vented.
- Flashing Leaks – The majority of homes have slopped roofs. All of these roofs have the potential for flashing leaks. The flashing is the metal strip that is on the corners, front edges, and ridges of your roof. If these metal strips become loose, they can allow water to leak in and cause damage. The flashings should be inspected twice a year to ensure that they are properly in place and holding tight.
If you experience any of the above mentioned winter issues at your property or have questions about them, contact the friendly team at NuBilt at (303) 368-4688.
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Extensive property damage from a fire, flood, or other natural disaster is devastating for a family. While adults typically have the coping skills to recover from the trauma caused by a loss of home and property, dealing with the aftermath of a natural disaster can be more difficult for your child. Read on to learn more about strategies to help your child cope with a property disaster.
Encourage Your Child to Be Open with His or Her Feelings
Sorrow, anger, and fear are all natural reactions when a disaster has caused extensive home and property damage. It’s important to be a safe outlet for your child to discuss these feelings without judgment. Talking through their emotions with a family member, teacher, or other trusted adult is a critical step toward constructively dealing with these feelings.
Maintain Daily Routines
The sooner that children can return to daily routines like school, activities, and friends after the disaster, the easier it will be for them to cope. Let your child do whatever makes them feel most comfortable, while encouraging them to attend school and other events as soon as possible after the disaster.
Be Aware of Behavior Changes
A professional counselor can be an invaluable resource in helping your child cope. If behavior changes like bedwetting, sleep disturbances, irritability, tantrums, fearfulness, and physical symptoms occur for longer than a few weeks after the event, talk with your pediatrician. He or she can recommend resources that can help dispel your child’s anxiety and fear.
Stick to the Facts
Be honest with your child about the event so that he or she can process what occurred. Regularly assure him or her that you are doing everything possible to keep the family safe, focusing on safeguards that you have in place. Talking about the ways that your community is protected from future disasters will help your child feel more secure.
If you’re one of the lucky ones, you don’t know how expensive getting a new roof or even repairs can be. Unfortunately, many of us know there comes a time when even a well maintained roof could need work.
You can extend the performance of your roof and avoid costly repair or replacement with a few basic procedures you can deploy without professional help.
- You can monitor the possibility of foul weather damage. After a bad storm, take a look at your roof. If you’re not interested in climbing up on a ladder, grab a pair of binoculars. You want to keep an eye out for missing, loose or bending shingles and damage around the chimneys, vents and openings.
- Check for debris. A peak roof is safe from leaf build-up. A lot of rooftops, especially around trees, are definitely susceptible to leaf collection in roof valleys and around the chimney. Their decomposition will let moisture accumulate in the roof.
- Overhanging branches gives rodents and squirrels quick access to the roof. They can gnaw at sidings and shingles. Limbs can scratch shingles. Keep branches trim and away from the house. This also stops moss and leaves from getting on the roof.
- Maintain the gutters. Clogging will lead to ruined paint and water damage in your basement. It can also cause rotting. Clean the gutters every spring and fall.
- In colder climates where snow and ice accumulate, you need to remove any snow and ice after storms. Use a rake designed specifically for dislodging roof ice. This can help prevent leaks in the roof.
These are basic procedures you can implement to maintain the life of your roof and minimize the risk of needing repairs or replacement. If you do find issues outside of removing ice and snow, you should contact a professional immediately. It’s the best way to catch small issues before they become big, costly ones.
Photo Credit: Derek K. Miller @Flickr
Most of us, if we think of roof soffit vents at all, or even know the word, see them as mysterious and maybe unnecessary vents dotting the underside of our eaves. We shouldn’t be so dismissive. Roof soffit vents are critical to maintaining proper temperatures in attics, and failure to install enough or maintain them is the most prevalent cause of premature roof failure.
Besides roof failure – curled shingles are a telltale sign of attics overheating in the summer – inadequate soffit ventilation can cause wood rot, discolored or stained interior ceilings, peeling paint, energy loss and rusting nails.
Fortunately, most soffit vent repairs and installations are fairly straightforward and inexpensive, and the investment is money in the bank in terms of preventing more costly future troubles.
Soffit vents serve two main purposes – cooling in warm months and moisture control in colder months.
Attic temperatures in summer can reach 150 degrees in poorly ventilated homes, which not only causes roof deck and shingle problems, but also greatly increases cooling costs inside the home. Properly installed and maintained soffit vents greatly minimize the temperate and the damage.
In winter months, and this is counterintuitive to the temptation to close vents in cold weather, proper soffit ventilation controls moisture that, left unchecked, causes damage. Indeed, a cold and drafty winter attic is a sign of a healthy house. Insulation – add more if you need it – is used to keep the interior warm and control heating costs.
Many older homes will have nothing more than soffit vents, or eaves vents – which often look like small grates or heat duct covers – on the underside of the eaves. Those should be checked periodically to make sure they are not blocked by insulation or other debris.
Many newer homes get better ventilation by adding a roof vent, often running most of the length of the home at the peak of the roof. Older homes can be retrofitted to add one, and doing so will greatly improve attic ventilation and lessen the chance of serious damage.
If you are experiencing roofing concerns related to moisture or ventilation issues, contact the friendly staff at NuBilt Restoration & Construction for professional advice on your roof.
Photo credit: GreenYour.com and OdorXit.com
A homeowner should take steps to protect his or her property from the winter weather. When taking a few hours to get ready for the cold season, the residents will feel warm, the head of the household will have a lower energy bill, and the property can be prepared to withstand the harsh effects of winter. With that being said, here are three ways to prepare for the winter.
- Wrap pipes: In extremely cold areas, people have to take time to cover their pipes. When insulating them properly, residents will enjoy water during the cold months. Otherwise, when a person does not protect their pipes, they may burst in poor weather and leave the residents without water for a week. Moreover, repairing a frozen pipe burst claim is an expensive and time-consuming fix. Luckily, a homeowner can, with ease, wrap the pipes and prevent this issue from occurring in the first place.
Bottom line: Insulated pipes help reduce frozen pipe bursts occurrences.
- Plug holes: In cold climates, residents can feel the draft and cold air seeping through the poorly insulated and sealed windows and doors. To combat this, a homeowner should buy caulk and a caulking gun. Then, he or she should fill any holes that allow cold air in the building. With this quick step, the residents can enjoy cooler air and the owner will not have to waste money on electricity.
Bottom line: Minimized heat loss can reduce ice damming occurrences and expensive heating bills.
- Clean gutters: When the gutters fill up with debris, they will not function properly. This can become the starting grounds for damming, flooding and roof damage. With a 10-15 minute job, homeowners improve the chances of the gutters performing as they should–to remove melted water off the roof.
Bottom line: Clean gutters help reduce roof ice damming occurrences.
With these three tips, a homeowner can help reduce severe and costly problems during the winter. For more information on Winterization techniques or help, contact your friendly team at NuBilt Restoration & Construction in Denver, CO (303-368-4688).
There are a lot of things that homeowners should be keeping an eye on, with one of the most important ones being the potential pest problems in their home. Especially in Denver, Colorado, it is very common for pests to live in a home, which can case several different issues.
Rodents are one of the most well known pests that plague homeowners in Colorado. Once mice and rats choose a home as a reliable food source, they will hole up and stay there for as long as that food and easy lodging is available. Rodents can cause many different types of damage to a home, as well as potentially spread diseases to the people who live in it.
Ants are another common pest in homes in Denver and the surrounding area. This is especially true during the spring and summer months, as the warmer temperatures bring the ants out of hiding and into homes looking for food. Certain types of ants can actually eat at the wood that makes up the structure of a home, which is the biggest reason why they should be removed quickly once they are identified on a property.
Bees are another type of pest that can be particularly annoying and even dangerous during the warm Colorado springs and summers. Once bees begin to build a nest in or outside of a home, it does not take long for them to have a large and thriving colony up and running. Bees move fast, just as homeowners should when they determine that they have a bee problem. Bees can deteriorate the structure of a house over time, as well as be a health hazard to those who are allergic to their stings. Bees should be removed from every property to keep everyone, both residents and visitors, safe at all times.
Spiders are a type of pest that absolutely everyone wants out of their homes. Spiders can not only be seen as being unpleasant because of their appearance, but also because they sometimes have the potential to be poisonous to people they bite. This is especially critical for Colorado residents to realize, as the state has several types of poisonous spiders, including both the brown recluse and black widow species.
These are just a few of the pests that are most commonly found on properties in Denver, Colorado and the surrounding area. As long as a homeowner reacts quickly when they notice any pest problem, they should not run into any major issues and have a home that is pest free.
If you think you’ve experienced damage due to pests in or around your home, contact the friendly team at NuBilt Restoration and Construction to mitigate and restore any property damages.
Photo credits: Voxphoto @ Flickr
While there is plenty of accurate information about mold problems available online, there are still some myths that persist, causing confusion among homeowners everywhere. Here are some of the most common ones:
Myth: Mold can easily be killed with bleach.
Bleach is very misleading. While bleach will whiten the color of the mold, it will not kill the mold. However, the physical wiping of the non-porous surface will actually remove the mold.
If certain porous surfaces are infected with mold such as wood, upholstery or drywall, they cannot be safely and effectively treated so generally they will be discarded.
Myth: Mold is always visible.
The best way to detect the presence of mold is by smelling it, as it has a characteristic musty odor. You will actually be able to smell mold long before you see it.
It is also important to note that if you are performing demolition work in which mold is present, the mold spores can become air born and may promote cross contamination to other unexposed areas of the property.
Myth: Mold is always dangerous, no matter where it is found.
In reality, mold is mostly found outdoors and is an important component of the planet’s ecosystem. Various species of mold exist in nature and have a very useful role: they help break down many kinds of dead organic matter, like dead trees. When found outdoors, mold is usually not dangerous to humans, as the spores that it releases to reproduce are diluted in the atmosphere.
Myth: Any type of indoor mold will be toxic.
There are millions of different mold species, but only a couple of them could be considered toxic. The most common toxic mold is called Stachybotrys, also referred to as “black mold.” Stachybotrys can make people sick by releasing mycotoxins into the surrounding air. It is difficult to identify the exact species of mold just by looking at it, as there are many kinds of mold that are black in appearance but are actually not toxic.
But any kind of mold growing indoors can have negative health effects, since the released spores may cause allergic reactions in some people. Therefore, no matter what kind of mold you see, it is better to take action to eliminate it.
In conclusion, mold in the home is something not to be taken lightly. If you’ve undergone a water damage loss, be sure to seek professional help in removing the sources and signs of mold. Proper mold removal can save your property and health.
One of the most devastating natural disasters is flooding. For its victims, they can do nothing but watch a lifetime of hard work and memories get swept away in mere minutes. Unfortunately, many people think their homeowner’s insurance will automatically cover their losses from a flood. By the time they find out otherwise, it’s too late. The answer is to purchase residential flood insurance to cover any losses stemming from these disasters. However, before doing so there are many points to take into consideration. Continue reading “Flood Insurance: What You Should Know” »