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8 Tips to Keep Your House Cool During Summer

8 Tips to Keep Your House Cool During Summer

Keeping the hot weather out all summer without causing your bills to skyrocket can be tough. However, there are still a few things you can do to keep the temperature down throughout the hottest time of the year.

Don’t leave the lights on.

Not only does this up your electricity bill, but it also causes your house to get warmer. Light bulbs produce heat and when on for long periods of time, they can begin warming up rooms.

Keep the sun from getting in.

By reducing the levels of sunlight that get in through your windows, you’re also helping keep hot air out. Try using reflective windows, blinds, or curtains to keep excess sunlight from getting in and warming your home.

Use ice!

Putting ice in front of a fan can actually act as a form of air conditioning. You’ll have to pay attention to the ice as it melts, but this method is both cheap and incredibly effective.

Use light-colored decor.

Light furniture, paint, and decoration can help reflect sunlight (and therefore the sun’s warmth) out of your home. On the other hand, darker furnishings can instead absorb the heat and further heat up your house.

Try cross ventinating.

You can cross ventilate your home by opening windows on both ends of your house, allowing for air to efficiently flow in and out.

Open your windows at night.

If you are in a safe neighborhood, try cracking your windows at night to let the cool night air in before the hot sun comes around.

Cook outside when you can!

Cooking with your oven indoors means a lot of escaped heat that fills your kitchen and the rest of your home. Ovens and stovetops are really just big heaters. The other option (if you can’t cook outdoors) is to simply cook early in the morning or late in the evening when everything cools down outside.

Plant some trees!

Not only is this good for the environment, but it can really help keep your house nice and cool during hot weather. By planting the trees strategically, you can shade your home so it’s out of the sun.

Another great way to keep the cool air circulating in your home is with an HVAC system cleaning. Luckily, Valley Restoration and Construction can help! Call 970-964-4437 to get started.

Kid-Proofing Your Home

Kid-Proofing Your Home

Hundreds of thousands of kids need to go to the hospital each year because of injuries from things like kitchen appliances, stairs, and electrical wires. You can keep your little ones safe by following these steps to help kid-proof your home!

Cabinets, Drawers and Doors

Keeping kids away from medicines, poisons, or other dangers is incredibly important. Luckily, this is an easy problem to fix. Buying child proof locks or handle covers for the places these things are stored can aid in keeping your children out of harm’s way!

The Kitchen

There are endless amounts of hazards in kitchens. Heated surfaces, knives, heavy objects, and other dangers could all cause harm! However, there are things you can do that will help avoid any accidents. Similar to above, it’s important to put locks and covers on cabinets and drawers. Most of these objects can be found in any general store. You can also try a baby gate.

If your child is old enough, be sure to educate them on the dangers that come along with hot surfaces and keep any hot pots, pans, or rags away from the edge of the counter in case a child pulls it down on top of them. Finally, you can help your children learn about knife safety by first starting them with butter knives or plastic knives before they go near a real one.

Stairs

As kids, we’ve all had our fair share of stair accidents. However, these can be avoided! Check all banisters and railings to ensure they aren’t loose or wide enough for a kid to fit through. Putting baby gates at the top or bottom of the stairs can also help prevent them from falling down. These gates can also be used to keep children out of other dangerous areas in the home.

Outlets

Electrical outlet covers keep loose wires out of reach. Electrocution could cause extreme harm to a child. If you’re willing to take the extra step, purchasing outlet covers that keep kids from sticking objects into the outlet can also help keep them safe.

Windows

Any home should have some sort of window guard or netting to keep children from falling out a window. This is important even with windows on the first level of your home. Ensuring your windows have limited space to open can also help keep accidents from taking place. However, make sure at least one window per room is available for escape in case of a fire.

The safety of your child could also be at stake if you have any issues with asbestos, radon, flooding, or fire hazards. Luckily, Valley Restoration and Construction can help with all these things! Visit our homepage to see how.

The Ultimate Spring Cleaning Checklist

The Ultimate Spring Cleaning Checklist

After being stuffed up in your home all winter, spring is the perfect time to deep clean your home. However, a top-to-bottom cleaning may get overwhelming. Here’s a list of things to focus on when deep cleaning your home.

Take care of your floors.

First, mop and vacuum your wood, tile, and other hard flooring. Wax any faux-wooden floors (often made of vinyl or linoleum) and scrub and reseal tile grout lines to get rid of the excess oils and general grime that have built up over the years.

Once you deal with the hard flooring, work on your carpets. Carpets are known to catch allergens, dirt, and grime so it’s important to get your carpets professionally cleaned on an annual basis.

Declutter.

Decluttering can help you free up space and your home seem more tidy. Throw out anything in the infamous junk drawer that you don’t need. Give old clothes you haven’t worn in a year to a second hand store.

Clean your windows.

Spray down window screens and glass to rid of built up grime. During the winter, our consistently closed windows can cause cobwebs, dirt, and dead insects to gather in window sills and the space between the glass and screen. Not only will spraying down your windows help your home look and feel cleaner, but it will also aid in allergen reduction.

Clean out your air ducts.

HVAC ducts ventilate air in your home and help regulate temperature. However,the ducts can get incredibly dirty, especially if the fans are as well. Not cleaning out the mold, dust and debris, or pests can cause an increase in your power bills and seasonal allergies.

Ensure fire safety.

The perfect time to check all your smoke detectors is during a spring cleaning. Make sure each alarm is still charged with batteries. Another good thing to do during this time is review your family’s fire escape plan.

Polish and dust furniture and appliances.

Take books and knick-knacks off of shelves for a good dusting. Use a vacuum hose for any corners that are hard to reach. Polish wood and metal surfaces as well to keep your furniture looking new!

When you’re cleaning, consider asking a professional for help! Valley Restoration and Construction specializes in carpet cleaning, HVAC cleaning, and more! Visit our homepage to learn more about our services.

How to Know if Your Home has Dangerous Molds

How to Know if Your Home has Dangerous Molds

Mold is a fungus that may appear in your home without you knowing. It can grow in HVAC systems, behind appliances and installments (like showers or toilets), or in your attic or walls. If this problem worsens, your health could be at stake. How do you know if there is dangerous mold in your home?

Look for it.

Simple as it may sound, many people don’t often go looking for this fungus. However, looking under sinks, behind washing machines or dishwashers, or along your walls and ceilings can help with detection.

Mold is something that’s easy to spot. Often, you’ll notice a fuzzy substance on a wall or appliance that may be pale green, white, yellow, grey, or black. If it’s black, take immediate action to get it immediately removed. Black mold is the most dangerous.

When behind paint, mold will cause the wall to bubble or become warped in some way. Fabrics or any other place that may have been exposed to water may also have yellow or fuzzy growths on it.

This fungus can sometimes be detected through smell. If something smells musty, search it for anything looking fuzzy or discolored.

Think about water or piping issues.

If you have had any floods or burst pipes in the past, there is a high probability that mold has grown and thrived in the damaged area. Check the damaged location for signs of water damage or musty smells.

Even if you had the damages immediately attended to, there is a high possibility that the fungus made its way into the cracks between your walls or floors as water seeped through. Make sure you thoroughly inspect any previous areas of water damage.

Take a test.

Mold test kits are available in various stores. This is an inexpensive option to ensure there are low levels of dangerous molds in your home. However, no DIY test kit is completely accurate so it’s always a good idea to have a professional inspect your home.

If you fear there are high levels of dangerous molds in your home, Valley Restoration can help! We will aid in testing for and remediation of mold in homes and businesses. Call us at 970-964-4437 to learn more about our services!

How to Repair Smoke Damage

How to Repair Smoke Damage

Whether a house fire is big or small, it’s going to leave behind smoke damage that’s hard to scrub away.

Safety

Even after the fire itself is gone, there are some dangers that still exist while cleaning up.

  • Make sure it’s safe to go inside your home! Talk to a fire marshal and get permission before you enter. The damaged area could still have lingering sparks or unstable objects that could collapse.
  • Wear your safety gear. When plastics and other materials burn, toxic chemicals are created. Make sure when you’re cleaning up soot, you have goggles, gloves, and a mask so you don’t breathe in the toxic soot!
  • Let the air circulate. The smoke and soot are toxic to breathe in, so ensure there is plenty of ventilation before going in to clean up.

Fixing the Visible Damage

Smoke damage repair can be a challenging process, but it’s not impossible.

  1. First, vacuum up the loose soot.
  2. Next, get some supplies together, You’ll need a sponge or magic eraser, warm water, and a strong cleaning product such as TSP (Trisodium Phosphate solution). The soot that’s been embedded in your walls or furniture can be scrubbed out easier using a cleaning solution such as TSP.
  3. Then, scrub away at small sections. It will take quite a bit of time, but it’s important to be patient and keep working at each area! Before you move on to the next section of wall, take a damp rag and water to wipe away the soot and solution mixture.
  4. Finally, do the same process over again in a different section of the room.

When scrubbing, make sure you don’t use too much water when rubbing at the various sections! This could cause mold and damage your drywall.

Getting Rid of the Smell of Smoke

Other than the yellowing of your walls and furniture, the smokey smell that comes after a fire is one of the hardest things to get rid of. However, there are ways to get rid of the smell using strong cleaners such as white vinegar, activated charcoal, or baking soda.

If you use vinegar, wipe at the walls, furniture, floors, and ceiling with a damp vinegar rag. If you use one of the other options, it’s easier just to set out bowls filled with baking soda or charcoal and it will simply absorb the odor.

One of the best ways to get rid of the smoke smell is to clean your air ducts! Valley Restoration and Construction can help get rid of the smells as well as help restore your home after it undergoes fire damage. Visit our homepage to learn more about our restoration services!

Why You Should Get Your Floors Professionally Cleaned

Why You Should Get Your Floors Professionally Cleaned

Our floors can take a lot of wear and tear throughout a year, especially when pets and children are factors. Getting your flooring professionally cleaned can enhance your home and eliminate some health hazards.

Tile

With tile comes grout. It’s important to get both aspects of your flooring professionally cleaned. Why is it so important?

  • Allergens can build up. Because of the texture of grout, allergens can begin to embed themselves between tiles. After  while, they will build up without a professional scrubbing to keep them at bay. Bacteria, mold, oil and dirt are just a few of the common allergens that end up coating your kitchen and bathroom floors.
  • Your floors will look better. Any grout lines (specifically lighter-colored lines) can turn brown or yellow with all the oil and dirt that builds up over time.
  • It will prevent premature aging. Tile is meant to last for a long time. Not only will it begin to break down without proper maintenance, but you’ll also have to regrout your floors more often.

Carpet

Carpet is one of the most important floor types to professionally clean on a regular basis. Here’s why:

  • It will last longer. Your carpet will stay in proper condition for longer when it’s properly maintained. It’s much more expensive to get brand new carpet than to get an annual or semiannual shampooing.
  • Allergens will decrease. Dust mites, pet dander, pollen, and other airborne allergens love to catch on the fibers of your carpet. These unhealthy contaminants will continue to build up without proper cleaning.
  • Your home’s air quality will improve. After bacteria, pollutants, and airborne allergens settle in your carpet, movement or disturbance can cause the loser contaminants to release and float in the air, therefore being breathed in by you and your family.
  • Your carpet will look better! Stains and dirt packed into your floors can give your home an ugly appearance. Get your carpet looking brand new with a professional carpet cleaning!

Overall, professionally cleaning your floor can improve your flooring’s lifespan and help keep your air quality intact. Call Valley Restoration and Construction at 970-964-4437 to get your floors clean!