Are you ready for the winter?

Are you ready for the winter?

Winter is just around the corner. With the first few snowflakes that landed this morning and melting as it hit the ground we start thinking about the last minute fixes and things we needed to get done before the winter hits. Are you and your home ready for the cold weather? Have you done any upgrades during the summer that will allow your home to hold in more heat? Upgraded from a chimney vented furnace to an energy efficient? These type of upgrades are great however, they may cause higher humidity and in turn condensation at any cold spots such as where the drywall meets the ceiling. Getting the exterior of the home ready for the cold winds, snow and ice is critical for keeping Old Man Winter out and keeping it warm and toasty inside.

Windows and Doors

  • Check and replace if necessary all the weatherstripping around windows and doorframes for leaks to prevent heat loss, condensation and frost build up.
  • Examine wooden window frames for signs of rot or decay. Repair or replace framing to maintain structural integrity. If you believe it is mold infested and has wicked into your walls contact a professional for a mold inspection – Thermal Imaging  may be necessary and the best time to detect heat loss in your home is when it is cold outside.
  • Check for drafts around windows and doors. Caulk inside and out, where necessary, to keep heat from escaping.
  • Inspect windows for cracks, broken glass, or gaps. Repair or replace, if needed.

 

Lawn, Garden, and Deck

  • Trim overgrown branches back from the house and electrical wires to prevent iced-over or wind-swept branches from causing property damage or a power problem. In some cases it could be the cities responsibility to do this and all you usually have to do is report it. .
  • Ensure rain or snow drains away from the house to avoid foundation problems. The dirt grade — around the exterior of your home — should slope away from the house. Add clay and or extra dirt to lower areas, as necessary.
  • Clean and dry patio furniture. Cover with a heavy tarp or store inside a shed or garage to protect it from water damage or rusting.
  • Clean soil from planters. Bring pots made of clay or other fragile materials indoors. Because terra cotta pots can swell and crack, lay them on their sides in a wood carton or better yet a plastic tote.
  • Remove any attached hoses and store them away for the winter to prevent cracks, preserve their shapes, and prolong their life. Wrap outside faucets with covers to prevent water damage.
  • Shut off exterior faucets. Drain water from outdoor pipes, valves, and sprinkler heads to protect against pipe bursts. Have your sprinklers professionally blown out.
  • Inspect decks for splintering, decay, or insect damage and treat, if needed, to prevent further deterioration over the winter.
  • Clean leaves, dirt, and pine needles between the boards of wooden decks to thwart mold and mildew growth.
  • Inspect outdoor lighting around the property. Good illumination will help minimize the chance of accidents on icy walkways at night.
  • Check handrails on exterior stairs to make sure they’re well secured.

 

Tools and Machinery

  • Bring all your seasonal tools inside and spray them with a coating of lightweight oil to prevent rust. Pam cooking oils work great for this.
  • Move your snow blower and shovels to the front of the garage or shed for easy access.
  • Prepare the snow blower for the first snowfall by changing the oil and replacing the spark plug.
  • Sharpen ice chopper and inspect snow shovels to make sure they’re ready for another season of work. There is nothing worse then finding out your shovel is broken when you need it most!
  • Make sure you have an ample supply of ice melt or sand on hand for steps, walkways, and the driveway. If you rent – make sure your landlord is okay with you using salt on your walkways and always make sure to keep the salt off the grass to keep the lawn nice and green in the spring.

 

Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning

  • Inspect the firebox and flue system to ensure that they’re clean of any soot or creosote and that there aren’t any cracks or voids that could cause a fire hazard.
  • Clean or replace the air filter in your furnace for maximum efficiency and improved indoor air quality. The filter should be replaced every month for best efficiency.
  • Clean any humidifiers and replace the evaporator pad.
  • Bleed valves on any hot-water radiators to increase heating efficiency by releasing air that may be trapped inside.
  • Check that smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order. You should replace the batteries regularly just to be safe!
  • Install foam-insulating sheets behind outlets and switch plates on exterior walls to reduce outside airflow.
  • Flush a hot water heater tank to remove sediment, and check the pressure relief valve to make sure it’s in proper working order.
  • Examine exposed ducts in the attic, basement, and crawl spaces, and use a sealant such as spray foam to plug up any leaks.
  • Check and make sure the insulation in the attic is not being compromised by mice, bats or other rodents. This is a lot more common then you think!

 

Gutters, Roof, and Drains

  • Check for missing, damaged or warped shingles and replace, as necessary before you get stuck with a leak.
  • Check for deteriorated flashing at the chimney, walls, and skylights and around vent pipes. Seal joints where water could penetrate, using roofing cement and a caulking gun.
  • Rake up leaves and debris from the yard and pool storm drains to prevent blockages.
  • Check all vents and openings and make sure they are covered to prevent insects, birds, and rodents from getting inside to nest in a warm place.

 

For a mold inspection to ensure the air quality of your home is safe call us today! Peace of mind is just a phone call away! 1-888-909-6653 a friendly knowledgeable representative is always available for information and advise.

Mold in the News: Issue 11

Mold in the News: Issue 11
At Got Mold? our goal is to keep our followers aware of mould related news stories. Each day, we scour the internet looking for relevant information. Here are some stories we thought may interest you!
Please share this information so that we can continue to increase awareness of mould and mould related illnesses. Follow us on twitter because we tweet important mould news. Our facebook page is also full of mould news…please LIKE us. Our founder, James C. Watson, is donating $0.50 for every new LIKE we get to Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Thanks for your support.
Halstead: ‘Mould making me ill’: A family say they don’t know where to turn after being told their windows will not be replaced for another three years despite pools of water appearing inside their house. Mum Lisa Scrimshaw, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, says her condition has been made worse because the house is so cold. She also said the family have been forced to buy electric heaters and blankets at their own expense to keep warm during the winter because the windows won’t close properly.
Safety of students priority after mould discovered in school, says government: Newfoundland and Labrador’s education minister is trying to quell concerns after mould was found in a small community’s only school. Clyde Jackman says the safety of students at William Gillett Academy in Charlottetown, along Labrador’s southeast coast, is a priority for the government. Jackman says preliminary results of testing carried out last week by an independent consultant found elevated levels of mould in some areas of the kindergarten to Grade 12 school.
Labrador town needs new school because of mould problem: A leaking, mouldy school in Charlottetown, Labrador, needs to be replaced, says MHA Yvonne Jones. Several tests have shown mould at William Gillette Academy despite some remediation measures, Jones stated in a news release. The school was closed three weeks ago after a leaky roof led to water-soaked ceiling tiles falling into classrooms. Since then, students and teachers have been using church basements as a temporary school.
Prevent mould in key areas of the home: Singapore has a climate of high humidity and creates the perfect conditions in which mould likes to grow. A key area of mould growth is the bathroom, not surprisingly because it is an area of the house that attracts condensation and water retention.
Waterford voters reject school upgrade prompted by mold problem: Township residents on Tuesday overwhelmingly rejected a $9.2 million plan to upgrade local schools in the wake of a mold infestation. Residents voted 738-369 to defeat the plan, which called for improvements to Waterford?s three elementary schools. Those schools closed for a week last fall due to mold problems, and district officials had said the project would address structural problems, such as leaky roofs, that had led to the infestation.
Mold causing health concerns in Hartford School: Numerous parents, the leader of the local teachers union, the director of the national group that supports the union are concerned for the safety of teachers and students at William Paca/Old Post Road elementary schools after new reports and photos of black mold and rust in the facilities have been revealed.
Video: Little Havana Apartment Residents Living With Mold: Carla Balladares has to wash her dishes with extra care because she can only use cold water. She says the owner of her Little Havana apartment building has failed to provide hot water since January. “It’s difficult when you have three children. You want them to have a house, a home,” she told CBS4’s Natalia Zea in Spanish with tears in her eyes. She says her six-year-old daughter keeps getting colds despite her attempts to give her a warm bath using water she heats up in the oven.
Lead, Mold Contaminate Honolulu Hale: A new report says mold and lead dust has been found in Honolulu Hale, raising health concerns for those who work and do business at City Hall. Indoor mold, the report notes, proliferates in moist or humid areas and can induce “allergic respiratory disease” for some individuals. Lead, meanwhile, is often found in paint flakes and poses more of a concern for children younger than 6 than for adults.
Blight fight: Ypsilanti Township targets 10 property owners with mold, mice and other code violations: Once again, Ypsilanti Township’s Board of Trustees approved staff and its legal department moving forward with court action against multiple property owners. At its March 12 meeting, the board unanimously approved staff to take legal action – if necessary – against 10 property owners, which is triple the usual load.
Spring cleaning efforts can lead to healthier lifestyles: Annual U.S. Prevalence Statistics for Chronic Diseases reports that allergies and asthma strike one out of five Americans each year, and though there is no cure for allergies, simple measures such as spring cleaning can greatly impact the physical and mental health of those living in a home. A sure sign of spring is increased pollen and mold counts, but bacteria, mold and haphazardly stored items throughout a home can negatively impact a person’s health as well, according to health experts.