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Why Should you get Your HVAC Ducts Cleaned?

Why Should you get Your HVAC Ducts Cleaned?

How to Know if You Need to Clean

Unless your air ducts are visibly filthy, it may be hard to detect a dirty air duct without inspecting it. If your air ducts are in need of cleaning, you may experience:

  • Higher level of allergy symptoms: If you find yourself sneezing, itching your eyes, or experiencing other allergy-related symptoms on a more regular basis, it may be because of a dirty HVAC system. When it gets dirty, the dust and grime inside blows out, gets into your air, then gets cycled back through the system.
  • Increased mold: Especially when in humid environments, mold could be an issue. In general, if you believe mold could be in any of your home’s ventilation systems, make sure to get them cleaned as soon as possible.
  • Pests: Any signs of pests or vermin in your home may mean you need to get the air ducts cleaned.
  • Dirt: Sometimes, the need for cleaning is obvious when dirt and grime starts to build up in any visible areas of your home. It could be seen on the ceiling or walls around the vents or on the vents themselves.
  • Air Filter: HVAC systems often have an air filter attached. If this filter is covered in dust, dirt, and grime, it should be replaced your ventilation system should be cleaned.

Why You Should Clean the Ducts

No matter the season, not cleaning your HVAC system and air ducts can have a huge impact on your health and quality of living.

  • Indoor air quality: Dirty ducts means dirty air. As stated above, grime in your ventilation system can cause debris to blow out into your home.
  • Allergies: Some people have found their allergies decrease significantly after a duct cleaning.
  • Expenses: You can actually save money by cleaning out your AC or swamp cooler (also known as evaporator cooler) ducts! Air can flow better when the pathways are clear and the system will not have to be repaired as often. Also, your bills may decrease because less air and energy is being used.
  • Mold: Dirty ducts are known to collect moisture, meaning mold may become an issue.
  • Pests: Some people have noticed a higher level of bugs and vermin when their air ducts are filled with debris. If this is an issue, get your home’s system cleared out.

If you are unable or unwilling to clean the air duct system on your own, contact the professionals here at Valley Restoration and Construction! Learn more on our web page:

Finding Issues with Your Home’s Foundation

Finding Issues with Your Home’s Foundation

The foundation of a home or building is meant to provide structural support. It keeps the structure’s walls, flooring, roof, windows, doors, and firmly in place. When parts of the foundation begin to sink or develop large cracks, it can affect all of these places throughout your home. Here’s how you can know if there is an issue!

Signs of a Foundation Problem

The foundation may cause signs of excessive wear and tear in many different places in your home.

  • Doors and windows aren’t closing or opening properly. You may notice your doors or windows either aren’t closing all the way or are failing to stay closed. On the other hand, they may be almost impossible to open. In any of these cases, it’s possible that the window and door framing have shifted as the foundation has shifted.
  • You can see gaps. Gaps may be visible around doors (particularly exterior ones) or windows. They may not be correctly aligned. Similarly, cabinets, countertops, or baseboards may be visibly pulling away from the walls and creating a gap.
  • Your floor is no longer flat. Sometimes, foundations are pushed upwards by soil and cause an upheaval of soil and concrete under your floor. This is a major example of foundation changes that can affect not just the flooring, but walls, windows, and doors as well. You may notice that certain places on your floor have bubbled, sagged, or taken on a wavy appearance.
  • You have noticed cracks and fractures. The walls, floors, or ceiling may start to create cracks along their surfaces. Bricks, concrete, and chimneys may see similar signs as they break apart due to foundational shifts.

What causes these problems with the foundation?

The foundation of your home is meant to protect the structure from the constantly changing soil beneath it. However, after a while, even this base starts to be affected by the earth’s shifting.

  • Water: Just like any other part of a building, there are always going to be small cracks in the foundation that, by themselves, have no effect on the home. However, when water gets into these cracks, it will begin to erode the material. Places like Colorado where it gets quite cold see the most problems of this kind because when the water fills the cracks, it can also freeze and expand. This further breaks down the foundation material.
  • Wet and dry soil: When there is a lot of moisture in the soil, it will swell and put pressure on the base of your home. However, when the soil dries at a quick pace, the soil will contract and your home will settle into the ground. When the soil later expands again due to moisture, the materials supporting your house may begin to break down again.
  • Movement of Land: Even the smallest of earthquakes or general shifting earth can move the foundation around and cause problems.

Although there isn’t much you can do about the natural shifting of the earth affecting the foundation from the outside, you can help preserve your foundation from the inside! Remember that water is the main cause of foundation problems. That’s why when it floods, you’ll want to take care of it quickly and effectively. Valley Restoration can help when it comes to restoring water damage! Learn more about our services by calling 970-964-4437.

How to Clean or Remove Popcorn Ceilings

How to Clean or Remove Popcorn Ceilings

Popcorn ceilings are an out of date trend not only because of their appearance, but also because of the level of maintenance they require. People usually remove this texture not only because it is out of date, but also because of how dirty it can become. However, they can be a pain to remove from older homes.

How can I clean my popcorn ceiling?

The rough textures catches grease, cobwebs, cigarette smoke, and other grime which will cause the once white paint to turn slightly yellow. Here are some methods of cleaning:

  • Remove stains with a bit of bleach. Mixing a lot of water with a little bleach (a bleach to water ratio of 1 to 5) can help slightly yellowed paint to be restored back to white. Make sure it doesn’t get too wet, though, because the popcorn texture will dissolve. If the stain doesn’t come out, another option is to simply repaint.
  • Clean up loose particles. Cobwebs, dust, and small particles can get lodged throughout the popcorn texture. One of the best ways to remove them is to vacuum them up with a wet/dry vac or other vacuum hose.
  • Get rid of grease! Popcorn textures in the kitchen gather a lot of grease. Use a damp cloth (again, not too wet if you don’t want the texture to dissolve) to wipe up any grease. A warm, damp dryer sheet also gets kitchen grease up quickly!

Before you start cleaning with any liquids, test the mixture on a portion of the ceiling before moving on to the rest of the house.

How can I remove the popcorn texture entirely?

If you don’t want to deal with constant cleaning and repainting, it’s best to get rid of it. Here are the steps to take:

  1. Prep the room you’ll be working in. When you start to scrape, debris from the ceiling will get everywhere. To avoid a massive mess, set down trash bags or tarps to cover all floors and furniture.
  2. Work in sections. This will keep you more organized as you work and the process will go by a lot quicker.
  3. Use water then scrape. The popcorn texture will dissolve best if is is wet. After the section is thoroughly soaked, you can scrape it off.
  4. Retexture and paint. Get a newer, more modern texture stamped on and then paint.

Before you start working with any drywall or texturing, make sure to get your home checked for asbestos! It’s an incredibly dangerous mineral used in homes that were built any time before the 1980’s. If you disturb any materials that contain asbestos, the fibres of the mineral could lodge in your lungs and cause a lot of issues. Call Valley Restoration and Construction to get your home checked today!

What You Need to do After a House Fire

What You Need to do After a House Fire

After a house fire, there are several steps you need to take to stay safe and recover your belongings.

Take care of insurance.

  • Contact your insurance company. Most insurance policies cover disasters such as fires and fire damage. Get a hold of your insurance to know what your options for recovery are.
  • Get a fire report. Fire reports are public documents that detail all of the more specific things that took place during the fire. It helps fire departments and your insurance company will want a copy.
  • Make a list of items you lost. Your insurance can better help you cover what you lost if you have a list of damaged or destroyed items. Save the receipts for any new items you buy so you can prove the damaged possessions as lost for your taxes and insurance.
  • No insurance? If you don’t have any insurance, there are plenty of other organizations that are still able to help you. Salvation Army, Red Cross, and religious or public organizations are all there to help.

Find a place to stay.

It’s unsafe to go back into your damaged home, so you will need to find a place to stay with friends of family while your home and belongings are restored.

Look over your finances and other documents.

Sadly, even though you are unable to live in your home, you will often have to continue to make payments on the property. Talk to the lender for your mortgage and find out what options are available.

You will also want to consider credit cards you lost in the fire. Report any losses to your credit card company.

As far as burnt money goes, try to handle it as little as possible. Put any damaged bills baggies or plastic wrap to try and preserve it. If the bills are only slightly damaged, you can replace it at your closest Federal Reserve Bank or the Treasury.

Check for any lost documents and take the necessary steps to replace them. These may include:

  • Driver’s License
  • Insurance policies
  • Automobile Registration
  • Life certificates (birth, marriage, death, citizenship papers, as well as wills)
  • Passports
  • Discharge papers from the military
  • Medicare cards or social security cards
  • Important warranties
  • Medical records
  • Tax records

No matter what, wait to enter your home until you know it’s safe. The fire department or other authority will let you know when it is okay to enter again. If you’re property has caught fire at any point, Valley Restoration and Construction offers fire restoration services to help! Contact us at 970-964-4437 to get started.

The Top 9 Places in Need of Dusting

The Top 9 Places in Need of Dusting

We all know the importance of cleaning, but there are some places you may miss. Allergens build up throughout the year and the summer is one of the best times to purge your home of as many allergens as possible. One of the biggest things to cause allergies is dust mites and the substances they leave behind, so it’s best to clear them out whenever you clean.

1 – Fabric

Your bedding and furniture actually gathers a lot of dust that easily attaches to fabric. Using the hose on your vacuum to suck up dust on couches and chair cushions will help rid of any dust mites and debris. Don’t forget to vacuum your mattresses or mattress pads as well.

2 – Bookshelves

When books or knick knacks are on shelves, people often dust around them rather than dusting off the entire shelf. It’s a good idea to remove everything off your shelves and dust them thoroughly about once a month to make sure you aren’t missing anything.

3 – Baseboards and Window Sills

Many people often forget to clean these areas. However, over time, a lot of dust, bugs, and other debris can build up and add to any allergic reactions you may be experiencing.

4 – Closets

A lot of dust forms through fabric fibers. Sweeping out your closet and wiping down the shelves and racks inside can help a lot. Give any clothes that haven’t been worn in two or more months a wash as well.

5 – Ceiling Fans

When dust collects on the tops of fan blades, it’s only distributed in the air when the fan turns on. Any other fans that haven’t been used in a while may have this same issue, so don’t forget to wipe them down!

6 – Carpets and Rugs

Just like with other fabric in your home, carpets and rugs collect a lot of dust. Getting rid of it is easy though! Get an annual carpet cleaning to kickstart the process, then make sure to vacuum weekly and beat your carpets and rugs every once in a while.

7 – The Tops of Appliances

The tops and sides of things like refrigerators and microwaves collect a lot of dust pretty quickly. Try to wipe them down about once a month to keep too much from accumulating.

8 – Under furniture

The space underneath couches, beds, refrigerators and other furniture allows a lot of dust to accumulate. A lot gets swept underneath and it’s smart to clean it out at least every other month.

9 – Air Vents

While dusting and cleaning can decrease a large percentage of allergens, one of the best methods of allergen reduction is cleaning your air ducts and getting a professional carpet cleaning. Call Valley Restoration and Construction to get started! 970-964-4437

The Harmful Effects of Asbestos

The Harmful Effects of Asbestos

Asbestos is a mineral that’s incredibly harmful to anyone exposed to it. However, it has been used in an almost endless amount of products. While banned in the United States and a few other countries, most of the world still uses asbestos because it’s insulating and fire-resistant.

Harmful Effects

Asbestos has more than one harmful effect on you and your health. Overall, breathing in these fibers can lead to a decrease in the ability and function of your lungs, affecting your breathing. More drastically, it may also lead to death (especially when paired with long-term inhalation of the mineral).

  • It could cause mesothelioma. This is a tumor that grows on the tissue lining the inside of the lungs. It causes a lot of painful coughing.
  • Lung cancer is another potential issue that can arise. Asbestos fibers are known to lodge in the lower region of the lungs and cause cancer and other illnesses years after you breathe them in.
  • Asbestosis is a fibrotic lung disease and is caused by this mineral as well.
  • The lining of the chest cavity (the pleura) may change due to asbestos, causing further illness.
  • Because there is less blood flow to the lungs, heart enlargement may also be an issue.

How it Works

This mineral was used in an endless amount of products before it became illegal. One of the biggest uses was in the drywall and insulation of homes. Whether you’re living in a home with it. or worked on a job site with it, asbestos may be or may have been a part of your life.

When this material is broken up or disturbed in any way, the tiny fibers float in the air and are later inhaled. However, your chances of getting any illnesses from it depends on a few different factors.

  • The amount of time you were exposed
  • How much you were exposed to
  • How long it’s been since exposure
  • Your age when you were exposed
  • The size/type of fibers
  • Health history and smoking history

How You Can Stay Safe

If you’re living in an older home, it’s always a smart idea to get your home professionally checked for asbestos. This is especially the case if you are going to be remodeling. If your home does have this mineral, it’s possible to mitigate it! Luckily, here at Valley Restoration and Construction, we specialize in asbestos mitigation. Visit our homepage to learn more!