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How Ice Dams Form & How to Prevent Them

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Ice Dams are very common on properties in cold and snowy areas. Although very pretty to look at, they can cause major damage to homes and businesses. Ice dams can tear off gutters, loosen shingles, and even cause water damage to the property. Avoid the greatest risks by learning how to prevent ice dams from forming in the first place. If you weren’t able to get your home and roof ready in time or an ice dam formed despite your best efforts, the experts at ServiceMaster DSI are here with four ways to remove ice dams effectively yourself. Please feel free to share these tips with your policyholders.

Use a Chemical De-Icer Product: Spray a calcium chloride ice melt product, which you can generally purchase from your local hardware store. Be sure not to use rock salt or sodium chloride, which can damage your roof. Also, you’ll want to protect any plants below the gutters, as they’ll die from overexposure to the chemical. You may also fill a nylon stocking with calcium chloride, and throw the stocking up on the roof so that it lays perpendicular to the edge of the roof.

Remove the buildup: Remove the Ice and Snow with a snow rake. Snow rakes are retractable rakes that can extend. Using this rake, remove snow and icicles 3-4 feet from the edge of your roof. Be sure to pull the snow toward you; don’t use a side-to-side motion because doing so could dislodge shingles.

Use Heated Cables: Heated cables are a great fix for ice dams because they essentially stop them from forming in the first place. Place the cables on the roof with clips in a zigzag pattern vertically on the roof before the snow falls, and watch as they melt snow before it has a chance to freeze and create ice dams.

Spray Warm Water: This is only a stopgap solution, but it can produce immediate results and is the cheapest way to remove an ice dam. Obtain some hot or warm water and pour it into a spraying device of some kind (large spray bottle, lawn fertilizer canister, etc.). Then spray the water along the ice to loosen it up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cleaning Tips for the Holidays

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1. Make a cleaning tote to save time. 

Make a cleaning tote to make things easier for the holiday.

You’ll want to grab a couple of caddies and fill it with all of your favorite cleaning supplies. Place one in each room of your house. No more running all over to find the things that you need. Plus having everything in one place will save a ton of time.  Cleaning wipes, disinfecting sprays and microfiber cloths are a just few items that I would recommend having on hand.

2. Use dryer sheets to dust and clean.

The anti-static chemicals in dryer sheets work wonderfully to repel dust. Grab a few sheets to dust your baseboards as well as your furniture to keep them dust free. They also work really well to clean your chrome faucets.

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The Top 6 causes of Water Damage

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Water damage occurs whenever water begins to collect someplace it shouldn’t. No matter what the reason may be, you need to act fast! Contact ServiceMaster for all your water damage restoration needs, and let our team of professionals clean up the mess. Continue reading to learn what the top causes of water damage are in most homes.

1. Leaking Pipes

Pipes can burst or begin leaking due to a number of reason, so keep them in mind when preventing water damage. A backed up toilet, old rusty pipes, and damaged garbage disposal are all examples of issues that can lead to a serious pipe leak. Check for these damages frequently.

2. Plumbing Problems

Doing a periodic check of the pipes under your sink may help you prevent water damage in the future, as many issues happen when the hoses and pipe joints are not fully attached.

3. Basement or Attic Concerns

Dark spaces tend to collect moisture and allow mold to grow freely. Any moisture making its way through the concrete foundation of your home can lead to leaks in your basement. If you have an air leak between your attic and your home, you may be accumulating moisture on the under side of the roof.

 

4. Broken Household Appliances

As your appliances age, normal wear and tear can begin to escalate past the point of repair. Pipes rust, hoses weaken, and these issues an only lead to water damage in your home. Check up on older appliances, especially washing machines and hot water tanks.

5. HVACS

Air conditioners need frequent servicing, and when they are not taken care of properly, they can collect quite a bit of moisture and leak into your home.

 

6. Weather and Natural Disasters

Flash flooding, storms, and other natural disasters can lead to significant water damage in your home,. Make sure to do every thing you can to prepare for any impending damage.

 

*this post is brought to you by ServiceMaster Absolute

Tips to Prevent Mold on Your Home’s Siding

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Tips to Prevent Mold on Your Home’s Siding

You might typically associate mold growth with damp, dark interior spaces, but your home’s exterior siding can be susceptible to mold growth, as well. Excessive moisture and humidity can create an attractive environment for mold growth on several kinds of siding, including low-maintenance vinyl. Learn more about what causes mold on vinyl siding and other materials, and discover how you can reduce the risk of a dangerous or costly mold outbreak on your home’s exterior.

Causes of Mold on Siding

Siding is designed to allow rainwater and other types of moisture to run off the exterior walls of your home, but even otherwise durable siding can be susceptible to unsightly and mold growth under certain conditions. Excessive rains or continual contact with water (such as from a lawn sprinkler) can increase the moisture content on and under your siding, thereby elevating your risk of mold. Since some mold types may need humidity to grow, warm and humid weather conditions can also help make circumstances ripe for a mold outbreak on your siding.

How to Choose and Use Smoke Detectors

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How to Choose and Use Smoke Detectors

Smoke detectors strategically placed around the home can save lives. In fact, according to the United States Fire Administration (USFA), the risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half when working smoke alarms are present. Use these helpful tips from the experts at ServiceMaster Restore® to determine the best type of smoke alarm for your home and the appropriate places to install them to keep your loved ones and your home safe.

Types of smoke detectors

While there are several brands of smoke alarms available, most fall under two categories: ionization and photoelectric. Each one detects different types of fires.

Ionization smoke alarms

These alarms are quicker to warn about flaming fires. Ionization smoke alarms have a small amount of radioactive material between two electrically charged plates, ionizing the air and creating an air current between the plates. If smoke enters, it will disrupt the flow of ions, causing the current to stop and the alarm to activate.

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