Dryer duct cleaning tips
Melted dryer duct from a fire caused by back up dryer lint
When most people think about duct cleaning, they often don’t think about the exhaust vent for their dryer. It’s just as important to make sure those get cleaned out. In some ways, the dryer vent is even more important than the HVAC system. Here are 5 reasons why your dryer vents should be cleaned.
Dryers run hot, and lint is highly flammable. This can be a dangerous combination. According to the US Fire Administration, clothes dryers are responsible for more than 15,000 structure fires each year, and 80% of those are due to clogged dryer vents.
A clogged dryer vent could mean your clothes will need multiple cycles before drying correctly, or will need to run longer. This means that the proper amount of hot air is not reaching your dryer. Multiple cycles and extended drying times mean additional energy spent and could lead to an increase in your electrical bill.
The purpose of the dryer vent is to release moisture and hot air outside. The moisture can sometimes create wet spots inside the tube. Built-up lint can get caught in these wet spots and create mold.
- Less Maintenance
Like any other appliance or machine your dryer will last longer and work better if it’s properly cared for. Cleaning the vent regularly will help ensure that your clothes are being dried in a timely manner and you aren’t unnecessarily wasting energy. Extended drying times can even cause strain on your fabrics. A dryer that continues to run with clogged vent can cause internal problems and require repairs. This means more money out of your pocket, and your household budget.
Your dryer vent should be cleaned once a year. If you’re unsure of how to clean your vents or want professional assistance, contact SERVPRO of Casper today!
Fire Safety for Pets
The best way to protect your pets from the effects of a fire is to include them in your family plan. This includes having their own disaster supplies kit as well as arranging in advance for a safe place for them to stay if you need to leave your home. When you practice your escape plan, practice taking your pets with you. Train them to come to you when you call. In the event of a disaster, if you must evacuate, the most important thing you can do to protect your pets is to evacuate them, too. But remember: never delay escape or endanger yourself or family to rescue a family pet.
Prevent Your Pets from Starting Fires
The National Fire Protection Association estimates that nearly 1,000 homes fires each year are accidentally started by the homeowner’s pets.
The American Kennel Club and ADT Security Services have joined forces to provide the following tips:
Extinguish Open Flames – Pets are generally curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles, or even a fire in your fireplace. Ensure your pet is not left unattended around an open flame and make sure to thoroughly extinguish any open flame before leaving your home.
Remove Stove Knobs – Be sure to remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house – a stove or cook top is the most common piece of equipment involved in a pet starting a fire.
Invest in Flameless Candles – These candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame, and take the danger out of your pet knocking over a candle. Cats are notorious for starting fires when their tails turn over lit candles.
Secure Young Pets – Keep them confined away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home such as in crates or behind baby gates in a secure area.
HELP FIREFIGHTERS HELP YOUR PETS
Keep pets near entrances when away from home. Keep collars on pets and leashes at the ready in case firefighters need to rescue your pet. When leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near entrances where firefighters can easily find them.
Utilize a pet alert window cling. Write down the number of pets inside your house and attach the static cling to a front window. This critical information saves rescuers time when locating your pets. Make sure to keep the number of pets listed on them updated.
Source: American Red Cross
Extension Cord Safety
Extension Cord Safety
Using extension cords properly is critical to your safety. With continuous use over time, an extension cord can deteriorate, creating a potentially dangerous electric shock or fire hazard. The Electrical Safety Foundation International offers the following tips for staying safe from electric shock and electrical fires.
- Do not overload extension cords or allow them to run through water or snow on the ground
- Do not substitute extension cords for permanent wiring
- Do not run through walls, doorways, ceilings or floors. If cord is covered, heat cannot escape, which may result in a fire hazard.
- Do not use an extension cord for more than one appliance
- A heavy reliance on extension cords is an indication that you have too few outlets to address your needs. Have additional outlets installed by an electrician where you need them.
- Multiple-plug outlets must be plugged directly into mounted electrical receptacles; they cannot be chained together.
- Make sure the extension cord or temporary power strip you use is rated for the products to be plugged in, and is marked for either indoor or outdoor use.
- The appliance or tool that you are using the cord with will have a wattage rating on it. Match this up with your extension cord, and do not use a cord that has a lower rating.
- Never use a cord that feels hot or is damaged in any way. Touching even a single exposed strand can give you an electric shock or burn.
- Never use three-prong plugs with outlets that only have two slots for the plug. Do not cut off the ground pin to force a fit. This defeats the purpose of a three-prong plug and could lead to an electrical shock. Never force a plug into an outlet if it doesn’t fit.
- Use extension cords with polarized and/or three-prong plugs.
- Buy only cords approved by an independent testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL), ETL-SEMKO(ETL) or Canadian Standards Association (CSA).
RAIN IS ON THE WAY, ARE YOU READY?
Rain is on the way!!
Before you know it, Spring will be here, and we will get rain. Rain can be a good thing as long as it’s not in your house. Here are some helpful tips to try to keep rain out of your home or building.
- Get your yard ready for the rain by running a metal rake over the tops of shrubs and flowers beds to loosen the soil. This will allow the dirt to better absorb the excess moisture. This should only take a few minutes, but you might prevent rain water from pooling or causing a small flood.
- Close all of your vents and windows. If you forget to do so, you could end up with costly damage. Remember to check rooms that are easily forgotten, such as basements, attics and any rooms you don’t go into on a regular basis.
- Clean your gutters. The leaves aren’t falling yet, but other debris can clog up your gutters. Clean gutters will ensure that excess rain water has proper runoff from your roof.
- Know your roof. Don’t be blindsided by roof damage in the middle of a rain storm. Make sure to get annual inspections and know when your roof is in need of repair.
If water still finds its way into your home or business, don’t worry. We will perform a free inspection and damage assessment, and talk about your options We are always available at 307-235-6558.
Fire Assessments in Casper WY
When we get contacted to respond to a fire damage, our first step is to do an assessment. We look to see what is affected, how severely, and determine our initial course of action in the restoration process. If a fire has affected the structure severely enough that substantial construction will be necessary, we will typically start the job by packing out the contents from the property. Sometimes, this will be necessary in a few rooms, or a level of the house. On other jobs, it may be necessary to remove all contents from the property to make way for demolition and reconstruction.
Once the contents are packed out, we bring them back to our shop to be cleaned and deodorized. As part of the cleaning process, the contents may be treated with ozone or thermal fog to reduce smoke odor. Contents that were packed into boxes are unboxed, cleaned, deodorized, then re-packaged into clean boxes. Often, some of the contents cannot be fully restored, or restoration may exceed the cost of replacement. For these non-restorable items, we isolate them from the rest of the contents, and store them to be inventoried later.
After contents restoration is complete, the clean, deodorized household goods are stored in our temperature-controlled facility, and returned to the home once structural restoration has been completed.
Commercial Water Damage Casper WY
Pumping out 250.000 gallons of water.
We received a commercial water loss in Casper on a Saturday afternoon. The source seemed to be a broken pipe in the utility room. Most of the flooring in the structure has been affected, and condensation has started affecting other materials in the area. In the crawl space there is about 250,000 gallons of water. We are doing the restoration in stages. The first night, we ran two submersible pumps for a few hours, and did water extraction on the carpeted floors. We placed air movers, portable desiccant dehumidifiers, and 2 low-grain refrigerant dehumidifiers. The following day, we continued to perform volume pumping in the crawlspace, and adjusted the drying equipment. On the third day, we continued the volume-pumping efforts, and made arrangements for larger commercial drying equipment to properly address the nature of this large water damage.
Carpet Cleaning in Casper WY
There are many things you can do to help preserve the life of your carpet. Some of these things are common knowledge, while others are lesser-known. Carpet is an expensive investment. The longer you can maintain it, the easier it will be on your wallet. Here are some easy tips to help you maximize the life of your carpets, and other household fabrics.
Frequent Vacuuming – One of the easiest ways to curb the amount of dirt and soil that accumulates on your carpeting is to vacuum it. The IICRC recommends vacuuming your carpets twice a week to keep up with the dry soil accumulation in your carpets. This may seem like a major chore in your Casper home, but it actually can help pick up hidden dirt and hair particles that would otherwise settle into your carpet fibers, and cause abrasive damage.
Household Dusting – Dust accumulates on a daily basis. Dusting daily will help trap dirt that would otherwise land on your flooring surfaces, including your carpeting. You can also combat this issue by making sure that you have a new air filter installed in your furnace. This will help to trap unwanted dust that could make its way to your carpet fibers.
Air Duct Cleaning – Air passes through your home’s HVAC system and into the air ducts. Dust, bacteria and allergens are often trapped in this space and eventually make their way through your home’s air vents and onto the carpeting. Having your air ducts professionally cleaned helps reduce dust and improves air quality.
Spot Cleaning – Anytime there is a mess from food, household products or pets, it is best to address the spot promptly. You can spot-clean with SERVPRO of Casper spotting kits. This allows you to safely target and lift spots. These products are safe to use on carpeting and many other surfaces inside your home.
Professional Deep Cleaning – Having the carpet cleaning pros from SERVPRO of Casper visit your home at least twice a year can help you keep your carpet and flooring looking its best. The powerful steam wand allows the cleaning formula to penetrate the carpet fibers. Deep down dirt, stubborn spots and odors are extracted and removed from your carpet. This not only helps to keep your carpets looking like new, but it also pulls fibers upward – reducing or eliminating dents and marks.
Area Rugs – You can help keep your carpets looking newer longer by investing in area rugs or walk-off mats. Rugs and mats can reduce soiling in areas where heavy traffic occurs. When rugs begin to show soiling or spots, SERVPRO of Casper has methods to safely and effectively clean them, and keep them looking their best.
Create a Clean-Up Station – Setting up an area where everyone removes dirty shoes and clothing before they enter the home or carpet area can help cut down on soiling. It will help reduce the amount of vacuuming and dusting you’ll have to do over time. Be sure to keep this area tidy on a regular basis.
Upholstery Deep Clean – Having your sofa, curtains and other upholstery cleaned professionally at least twice a year can help cut down on dirt. SERVPRO of Casper technicians have the knowledge and products to clean delicate upholstery, and leave them smelling fresh and odor-free.
Garbage Disposal Deodorization Tips
Have you ever stood in your kitchen and noticed a faint but terrible odor? You’ve taken out the trash, you’ve thrown out bad food in the fridge, and you can’t figure out where this mystery odor is coming from. There is a good chance that this odor is originating from your garbage disposal.
When you put food waste down the garbage disposal, food gets thrown on to the sides of the garbage disposal and on the underside of the rubber splash guard. Over time, bacteria can grow in this material, and the food residue starts to rot.
Here are some effective remedies that you can use to get rid of this odor.
- Take 2 cups of ice and 1 cup of salt and put it in the garbage disposal. Then run cold water, and turn on the garbage disposal for 5-10 seconds at a time until the ice has been crushed. If you want to add a boost, you can use frozen vinegar cubes.
USE BAKING SODA AND VINEGAR
- You can also use baking soda and vinegar to clean the disposal. Let the vinegar and baking soda foam for a few minutes, and then rinse it down the drain with running water. This will clean a lot of the “sludge” off of the interior sides of the disposal.
USE LEMON PEEL
- Take extremely small slices of lemon rind and grind them up to freshen the smell.
CLEAN THE UNDERSIDE OF THE SPLASH GUARD
- Don’t forget that the undersides of your splash guard need to be cleaned as well. You can lift up the undersides of the guard and clean it with an old toothbrush.
Types of mold in Wyoming
The various species of mold that can grow in a home or business can vary from region to region. Certain varieties of mold may be more common in the Southern parts of our country, but rare in Northern regions. In the Rocky Mountain region, the most common mold types found in homes are Cladosporium, Penicillium, and Aspergillus. Stachybotrys, often referred to in the media as “the black mold”, can occur in Wyoming, though it is not as common.
The only way to determine what species of mold is present in your home or commercial property is through testing by a qualified Indoor Environmental Professional (IEP). Through a series of air sampling and/or surface sampling, an IEP can determine what molds are present in your home, and the levels of concentration. They can also write a mold remediation protocol, detailing precisely what steps need to be performed in order to effectively correct the mold issue in a home or business.
The professionals at SERVPRO of Casper are certified and highly-trained in mold remediation and removal. We carefully follow written IEP protocols to remediate the problem in your property, and bring it back to a safe, normal state.
Know the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning.
There is always a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning in your home or business. There are various appliances and systems that could accidentally introduce carbon monoxide into your building, and cause poisoning. Household appliances, gas fires, boilers, central heating systems, water heaters, cookers, open fires that use gas, oil, coal and wood can all pose a risk. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that can be very dangerous at high levels. It can be particularly dangerous for people who are sleeping or intoxicated.
Signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning may include:
- Dull headache
- Nausea or vomiting
- Shortness of breath
- Blurred vision
- Loss of consciousness
If you feel you have been exposed with carbon monoxide poisoning, get into fresh air immediately and seek medical help. If you go to the hospital, they may have you breathe pure oxygen through a mask. This helps oxygen reach your organs and tissues.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy may be used in cases of severe carbon monoxide poisoning. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is air pressure that is about two or three times higher than normal. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy may be used in cases of severe carbon monoxide poisoning.
Hospital staff will need critical information as soon as you arrive. On the way to the hospital, try to prepare to answer questions about:
- Possible sources of carbon monoxide exposure
- Signs or symptoms, and when they started
- Any mental impairment, including confusion and memory problems
- Any loss of consciousness
- Other medical conditions with which the affected person has been diagnosed, including pregnancy
- Smoking habits