Tips for Cooking with Oil
The number one cause of house fires is from cooking. The heat we use to cook our food can be dangerous when we are careless or leave a hot surface unattended. Cooking with oil is especially dangerous due to the volatility of hot oil. Below is a list of best practices for cooking with oil to make sure you and your home stay safe.
Never Leave a Hot Frying Pan Unattended.
A fire can quickly ignite and become uncontrollable within seconds. Leaving the kitchen for even a shot time can be disastrous for your home.
Smoking Oil is Dangerous.
If you are heating up oil and it begins to smoke, this is a warning sign. Immediately turn off the stovetop and wait at least 15 minutes for the surface to cool. If possible, safely move pan from burner and set on an unheated burner or other surface.
Keep a Lid Nearby.
If a fire does happen, place the lid over the pan to suppress the fire. Do not throw water onto the hot oil as the water will instantly boil and set off a burst of hot oil & water that can only spread the fire.
Cooking with oil is a quick way to make all of your favorite foods and recipes. Using caution, you can have a wonderful meal with no worries. Be sure to exercise safety when cooking at all times and hopefully you will never have to worry about cleaning up a fire in your home.
What Needs Replaced After Water Damage?
Water damage can happen unexpectedly. Anything from a dishwasher hose break, a sump pump failing, or a toilet backing up can lead to hundreds or thousands of dollars in damage. This cost is what it takes to remove the water, dry out the affected area, remediate any potential mold growth, remove unsalvageable materials, and replace those materials. This is why a full coverage insurance policy is a must-have for homeowners, covering the cost for the work to get your property back to a preloss condition. Here are some items that you might need to replace if you have a water loss in your home.
An important note is that anything touched or effected by dirty water such as sewer or that contaminated by waste, needs to be replaced or thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Other items that may need replaced are:
- Water can seep into the wall and soak up into the insulation behind it. To prevent further damage, we create 3ft flood cuts on any affected walls. This means removing the bottom 3ft of wall and removing wet materials.
- Like walls, removing and replacing flooring affected by water damage is necessary, (if the floor can’t be dried out properly).
- Children’s Toys
- Dog Toys
While we never think of water damage happening in our home, it is important to be prepared for it. Check your insurance policy, maintain your home, and if you ever have water damage in your home, call SERVPRO as soon as possible to get the water damage cleaned up quick!
What to do if you Discover Water Damage in Your Home.
Here is what to do if your basement floods, roof leaks, or sewer backs up!
Water damage comes in many forms, when you first discover it you can be in a panic and not know what to do. Here are the first steps you should take if you discover a large water damage incident in your home.
Turn off the water.
It doesn’t matter how quickly you can clean up the existing water if you do not stop more from coming in. Find and close your home’s main water valve. Also turn off any circuit breakers to that area, to prevent an electrical shock.
Call your insurance provider.
Get in touch with your home insurance company and let them know you have had a water damage incident. They will open a claim and will schedule an adjuster to come assess the damage.
After you get the claim number from insurance, contact us so we can immediately send a technician to begin the mitigation process. With water damage, the sooner the excess water is removed and drying, the cheaper and quicker the process will be. Once you give us your insurance information, we can work with that provider to begin work.
Clean out any items that could be affected.
If water is in an area, it will continue to spread out and absorb into materials. Place furniture on wood blocks and remove boxes, clothes, or other items in the immediate area that could be damaged by water. Preventing further damage will save everyone time and money. If the water is contaminated by either sewer or wastewater, anything that it touches will need to be cleaned or replaced.
Discovering a water loss in your home can be scary, just follow these steps and you will be on your way to making it "Like it never even happened."
Three Tips for Fire Prevention.
358,500 homes experience a structural fire each year (NFPA). This is a heartbreaking statistic so we wanted to share three quick tips you can use to prevent a fire in your home.
Leave space around heat sources.
No matter how you heat your home, it is important to leave room around the source of heat for each room. Dry materials can combust without directly touching a hot object. Items like clothes, papers, furniture, and pet/baby toys should be kept away from hot air that could heat them to the point of combustion.
Don’t sleep with space heaters on.
Leaving a space heater on at night is a recipe for disaster. Anything from a wiring failure, manufacturer defect, or a pet knocking it over could be the cause of a fire. While we all love to sleep in a warm, cozy room, running a space heater at night is a bad option. Instead, run it a few hours before you go to sleep, to heat up the air
Clean cooking surfaces and range hoods.
Grease builds up quickly in kitchen, especially those that use a lot of oils or butters to cook. Make sure to clean off your stovetop and oven to prevent buildup of grease on these surfaces. Additionally, clean the range hood which is a forgotten surface that builds up grease and dirt quickly.
As we approach colder weather and we start firing up the furnace to heat our homes, remember these tips for protecting your home.
Our Three Steps for Removing Pet Odor from Carpets
As a homeowner, property manager, or new tenant one of the worst things you can find on your property is the smell of pets. Pet urine, and especially cat urine, is one of the most notorious smells for its terrible stench along with the difficulty in removal. Here are the steps we take when trying to remove those unpleasant odors from your home.
Deep carpet cleaning with deodorizer
If pet odor is in the carpet, the first thing that should be done is clean the carpets. Adding a deodorizer agent will help to break down the molecules that cause the smell. Using our powerful truck-mounted steam cleaners, we are able to remove dirt, hair, and stains to help eliminate the smell from the carpet.
Using an ozone machine, also known as an ionizer or ionizing machine, we are able to release ozone molecules into the air, which break down contaminants in the air such as odors. This process breaks down the actual molecules causing odor rather than trying to cover it up or remove the odor.
If the above steps are done and the pet odor is still in the air, we may look at carpet replacement at that point. We have an in-house team of remodel and reconstruction experts who can replace a small section or an entire room of carpet. Using lab analysis, we can match a carpet sample to the exact manufacturer, and have it replaced to get the exact look you need and enjoy.
Although nobody ever wants to find pet odors in their home, we are Minot’s local experts at odor removal and will help you to get your property smelling fresh as new!
You’ll Need to Add these Three Things to your Fall Chore To Do List
None of us North Dakotans want to think about the end of our warm weather and the bitter cold winter that is approaching. However, as we get into September and further into autumn weather, there are some things you will need to have on your to-do list this fall to prepare your home for winter.
Cleaning Gutters and downspouts
This is a chore that should be done after the leaves around your home have already fallen. Clean gutters allow your home to drain rainwater properly during the winter. Proper drainage also helps prevent ice dams from forming on your roof, leading to leaks and water damage in your home.
Clean fireplace and replace furnace filter
These two moves will drastically improve the air quality in your home as well as reduce the risk of fire once the temperatures begin dropping outside and you need to keep your home warm on the inside.
Drain and put away outside hoses.
During the summer we use hoses on everything from watering plants to filling up a swimming pool, yet once the cold weather comes in, it is easy to forget and leave them outside. This is a quick and easy step that can prevent water in the hose and pipe from freezing and causing damage in your home.
Although we hope to have a wonderful autumn this year, be sure to remember to get your chores done before the snow starts to come down.
Three Natural Cleaning Ingredients to use in your Home.
Today there are a wide variety of cleaning products available in our stores. Products designed to clean specific items and areas of our homes. Rather than have your cupboards overflowing with different spray bottles, here are three simple, natural ingredients you can use to clean up your home.
One of the most versatile products for cleaning, baking soda can be used on almost anything to get rid of odors and clean up stains. Sprinkle some at the bottom of the garbage can to get rid of the odors. Use half a cup of baking soda in two quarts of water to scrub down appliances, inside your fridge, and other surfaces like tiles, toilets, and showers. You can also use a heavy amount of baking soda on your carpets, leave for a few hours and vacuum up late for a refreshed new smell and feel to your carpets.
Lemons are great for cleaning, they are a natural smell and air freshener, which is why a lot of cleaning products have some sort of “lemon” scent to them. To perfume the air indoors naturally, cut a lemon in half and set the cut halves in an inconspicuous place, such as behind plants or table ornaments, just remember to throw them away after a few days. Lemon juice is also a great addition to a water solution used to wipe down tables and counter tops.
Although most people enjoy their cup of coffee. Many do not think of coffee ground as a natural cleaning solution. You can use coffee grounds to clean up vomit from your pet or toddler, sprinkle liberally and allow the grounds to soak up the mess, then just sweep or vacuum up the rest. As an air freshener, you can place new or used coffee grounds in a bowl or container and place in cupboards, car trunks, or the refrigerator for a fresh smell.
Although it is easy and relatively cheap to buy cleaning products today, here are some natural solutions you can use to bring a new fragrance into your home.
Warning Signs of Mold in Your Home
As summer weather continues to heat up our area, you may begin to notice signs of mold in your home. Read below to get a step ahead of these signs and stop mold growth before it becomes a major, and costly problem.
If you notice a musty odor, especially one coming from a basement or crawlspace, this is a very good indicator of mold. Even if you can’t see any discoloration, the smell could be coming from behind the flooring or walls where you can see it. By the time you can smell it, steps should be taken to inspect for mold and then clean or remove and affected materials.
Leaks or Past Water Damage
If you have experienced recent or past water damage, or if you notice there is a current leak in your home, mold growth may have taken place. Mold grows in dark; moist environments and a leak can provide enough moisture for mold growth. Additionally, past floods can contribute to mold growth. To prevent water damage from turning into mold, act quickly to dry up any leaks or spills and if it is major damage, contact a professional remediation company, such as SERVPRO, to clean it up fast.
Which Appliances are Most Likely to Leak.
Although any appliance that uses water is susceptible to a leak, here are the ones you need to be most aware of, to prevent a wet disaster in your home.
Hot Water Heater
Most water heaters will last 10 – 15 years, but leaks can happen at any time. The seals going into the water heater can break down quickly because of the constant pressure from heating and cooling. With hot water heaters also being tucked away into closets, leaks can go unnoticed until they become a major problem.
A dishwasher’s water lines are typically made from a soft plastic that can easily fail, so checking for leaks under the dishwasher as part of your annual home maintenance is wise. If you notice dishes not being clean, strange noises, or your dishwasher just not working right, inspect for a leak.
Washing machine hoses are some of the most common sources of leaks. Because they are notorious for this, it is recommended that they are inspected at least once a month by homeowners so you can be sure no issues have arisen. In addition to these regular checks, they should be fully replaced every five years in order to prevent hidden deterioration.
The drain in your HVAC unit is designed to keep condensation from pooling in and around the unit, but if this drain malfunctions, water damage can quickly be caused. Reference your manufacturer’s manual to determine how often your unit should be inspected and serviced—having a professional technician evaluate your machine is the best defense against HVAC-created water damage.
While not as likely to create as big of a mess, window air conditioners can also create leaks from condensation buildup, pump failures, and a number of parts issues. Most of the time these leaks can be cleaned up with towels and the unit repaired, but improper use over a period of time can create a leak and cause a mold problem as well.
Different ways a Summer Storm can Damage your Home.
As we head into the summer months, North Dakota storms may be on their way, that can cause damage to your home. While we have experienced a dry spring, you never know when a sudden storm could form in our area. Below are some different ways a storm can cause property damage.
High winds and water are the perfect combination to damage your roof. Whether it is tearing off shingles or opening a crack that creates a leak, your roof is the first and foremost concern after a violent storm. Additionally, trees and branches could be brought down during the storm, causing obviously devastating damage.
Similar to your roof, wind and rain can tear siding off your home or create leaks. After a storm, walk around the perimeter of your home and make sure nothing has come loose or been torn off.
While you may not think about your foundation being damaged in a storm, a storm with a large volume of rain can cause flooding into your basement. Rain can sink down and pool up next to your foundation, increasing the pressure of water against your foundation wall, which could result in cracks, shifting, sinking, and bowed foundation walls.
These are just a few ways that storms can damage your home, if you ever have damage that you want professionally inspected, give us a call and we will see what we can do to help you get your home back to normal.