Posts Tagged ‘basic household maintenance tips’

Basic Household Maintenance Tips: Preventing Ice Dams

Friday, January 11th, 2013

What is an Ice Dam?

An ice dam occurs after it snows when the roof becomes warm enough for the snow to begin to melt. This melted snow then runs down the roof, under the snow cover, and eventually refreezes along the roof overhang, forming a sort of dam.

ice dams

Why is an Ice Dam bad?

Ice dams block the natural flow of water from your roof, preventing it from ever reaching your gutters. Instead, water builds up behind the ice dam and eventually finds its way under your shingles and into your home.

How can I prevent an Ice Dam?

There are three primary ways to prevent ice dams from forming on your roof:

1. Have a home energy auditor visit your home and identify any problematic air leaks or areas of inadequate insulations.

2. The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) recommends minimizing the amount of heat allowed to reach the roof deck. You can do this by sealing interruptions in the ceiling vapor retarder with air-impermeable materials or by adding a continuous ceiling air barrier.

3. Properly ventilating your attic will help remove excess heat and keep the temperature of your roof deck from rising.

Hopefully you have found these Basic Household Maintenance Tips useful. If you have any questions, please contact Potomac Valley Management by calling 1.877.390.4090 or visit PVMGT.com today!

Happy New Year from everyone here at Potomac Valley Management!

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Basic Household Maintenance Tips: Preventing Thanksgiving Day House Fires

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Nearly 2,000 house fires occur on Thanksgiving Day, annually. These house fires, the majority of which are caused by cooking mishaps, result in 41 injuries, 15 fatalities, and nearly $21 million in property damage.

“The reality is the doorbell rings and your friends and relatives are at the door and you want to greet them and chat, and you just don’t think to go back to the kitchen,” said John Drengenberg, the consumer safety director for Underwriters Laboratories.

Thanksgiving Safety Tips to Prevent House Fires

1.     Never Leave Cooking Food Unattended: If something goes wrong when you are out of the room, things could escalate quickly.

2.     Keep a Fire Extinguisher Handy: It is important to have a fire extinguisher nearby to deal with any fires before they get out of hand.
3.     Check the Batteries in Smoke Detectors: Smoke detectors are no good if their batteries have died. When was the last time you checked yours?

4.     Know how to handle Grease Fires: Grease fires are different than regular fires and cannot be extinguished quite as easily. You will need to smother the flame.

5.     Avoid wearing Loose Clothing when Cooking: Loose clothing can easily get too close to a burner and catch fire.

6.     Avoid Decorating the Kitchen for Thanksgiving: Thanksgiving decorations, which are typically made of paper or cardboard, are extremely flammable and do not belong near the stove.

7.     Do not Overachieve: Do not try to cook more than you can handle. This is when things can easily go wrong.

8.     Avoid Frying a Turkey: Turkey fryers are a huge fire hazard.

9.     Be Safe!

Happy Thanksgiving from everyone here at Potomac Valley Management!

Hopefully you have found these Basic Household Maintenance Tips useful. If you have any questions, please contact Potomac Valley Management by calling 1.877.390.4090 or visit PVMGT.com today!

You can also follow PVMGT on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

 

Basic Household Maintenance Tips: HVAC Maintenance, Inspection, and Repair

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

The temperature is quickly dropping as fall is now in full swing. This means that winter is right around the corner. Is your HVAC system ready? The only way to know for sure is you call your local HVAC contractor and have them inspect your system.

Although you should leave HVAC system inspection and repair to the professionals, there are still several do-it-yourself HVAC maintenance projects that you can perform.

DIY HVAC Maintenance Tips

1. Air Filters: As a homeowner, you should change your air filters on a monthly basis.

2. Thermostat: Check your thermostat to make sure your HVAC system is working properly. Is your system achieving the set temperature? If not, you could have a problem.

3. Programmable Thermostat: You could also consider installing a programmable thermostat, allowing you to preset temperatures for different times of the day. This will ensure that your heating system only works when it needs to.

4. Vacuum: Vacuum any debris from your furnace blower compartment.

5. Air Vents: Always make sure your supply-air and return-air vents are open and unobstructed to ensure proper air flow.

6. Unusual Behavior: If you witness any unusual noises, or excess heat or water, you may have an issue.

7. Attic Insulation: While not directly related to your HVAC system, your attic insulation, or lack thereof, can affect the energy efficiency of your home. As a general rule of thumb, if you look across your attic and can easily see your floor joists, you do not have enough insulation.

8. Weather Stripping: Like attic insulation, weather-stripping doors that lead to cold or outside areas can help increase the energy efficiency of your home.

If you notice any issues, call a professional HVAC contractor to have these issues fixed before winter. Delaying repairs could cause your system to work inefficiently, costing you every month on your heating bills, and could cause your system to fail prematurely, costing you even more money.

Hopefully you have found these Basic Household Maintenance Tips useful. If you have any questions, please contact Potomac Valley Management by calling 1.877.390.4090 or visit PVMGT.com today!

You can also follow PVMGT on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.