Over the Range Microwave Cleaning: How to Prevent Smells and Ensure Longevity
Avoid odors in your microwave with a maintenance routine
A microwave can produce a smoke smell when not properly cleaned and maintained. There are several ways to avoid the development of strange odors, but routine maintenance is key. Follow the suggestions below to reduce the risk of odor.
1. Replace the Charcoal Filter
Microwaves that vent to the inside depend on charcoal filters to prevent pollutants and other substances from dispersing into your home. Most manufacturers recommend replacing these filters once every six months. You can access the charcoal filter by removing the vent grill and proceeding with the steps provided by the manufacturer.
2. Clean the Grease Filter
The grease filter is another part of your appliance that may produce an odor, like a smoke smell, if not routinely cleaned. While a charcoal filter needs to be replaced every six months, a grease filter should be thoroughly cleaned once a month. Most manufacturers provide instructions for this, but if not, you can soak the filter in soapy water and gently brush away debris.
3. Scrub Down or Steam Clean
Another way to minimize odors is to clean the interior routinely. You can wash it down after every use, but cleaning it weekly or monthly, depending on your overall use, should suffice. Steam cleaning with vinegar and water is an excellent way to wash down the appliance because the vinegar mixture will help to loosen any residual food particles.
4. Follow Manufacturer Instructions
It is important to follow manufacturer instructions when cleaning and maintaining your appliances because failure to do so can void any warranties provided with the purchase. Additionally, the failure to maintain equipment properly can lead to property damage that may require a specialist from Montclair, MA, to fix, and that damage may be costlier and more time-consuming than maintaining your appliance from the beginning.
If you do not maintain your appliance, you may end up with a smoke smell, but many of these odors can be avoided with routine maintenance. Replacing your charcoal filter every six months, cleaning your grease filter monthly, and steam cleaning your microwave’s interior weekly can ensure the longevity of your appliance.
4 Fool-Proof Ways To Keep Your Business Safe During a Winter Storm
This facility was heavily flooded after a pipe burst in Merrymount,MA
Every year, winter storm damage wreaks havoc on businesses in Merrymount,MA. Your business does not have to be a sitting duck, however. With a bit of preparation, you can increase the chances your business will survive the winter without sustaining significant damage.
Here are four fool-proof ways to keep your business safe.
1. Keep an Eye on the Forecast
Winter weather can sneak up on business owners. When the temperature falls, you should pay special attention to the forecast. If a blizzard is on the horizon, sealing windows and doors is a good way to minimize storm damage. Also, planning for snow removal before ice dams have a chance to form helps you keep water damage in check.
2. Watch for Pipe Problems
In frigid winter months, pipes are at increased risk of freezing. If you want to avoid a pipe break, you should think about draining water from your business’s plumbing system before pipes freeze.
3. Remove Debris
High winds, snow and ice are common when a winter storm blows into town. These are not friends of your business’s landscaping or roof. Before winter weather hits, try to clear low-hanging branches from over your business. Also, remove any debris that could accumulate snow and ice.
Finally, it is difficult to overstate the importance of winterizing your business. If there are parts you only use during warm-weather months, you should pack them up for the winter. Inspecting the premises for signs of weather damage and storing unnecessary equipment is a good idea. Also, plan to leave unused areas clean until the weather warms up again.
If your business sustains winter storm damage, you must work to remediate it as quickly as possible. Often, collaborating with a restoration service in Merrymount,MA, is your best bet. These professionals have the skill and equipment to return your business to its pre-damage condition in a safe and responsible way.
4 Common Causes of Basement Floods
Church flood in Quincy, MA
A basement flood is a terrible inconvenience at any time, and some homeowners have to deal with this trouble many times. Sadly, some of these homeowners could have prevented further flooding but didn't recognize the reasons their homes were flooding.
1. Unsuitable Home Sites
Unfortunately, there's not much you can do if you've already moved into a home on sloped terrain or the low part of the yard. However, once you understand this situation, you may be able to alleviate the problem by working closely with home remediation specialists. Maybe you'll need to work with professional landscapers to adjust the shape of your property.
2. Damaged Drainage System
Sometimes downspouts of drainage systems are positioned within 6 feet of the basement or they point toward the home rather than away. It doesn't take long for this water to get into the basement and cause water damage to walls, carpeting, and belongings. A drainage system that doesn't work appropriately can often be fixed on a weekend.
3. Broken Pipes
Many of the pipes running through the walls, ceilings, and floors of your home carry water. Without a little bit of maintenance, those pipes can weaken, crack, or rust, turning into openings. Sometimes home repairs result in connections that aren't completely sealed. These can all lead to flooded basements.
4. Lack of Home Maintenance
Too often, homeowners ignore minor tasks, such as cleaning the leaves out of the gutters around the roof. That collection of debris leads to clogs and more damage. Eventually, this can lead to leaks within the walls that reach the very foundation of the home. It isn't surprising when this type of damage leads to a basement flood. Don't forget to remove hoses from the home before cold weather settles in.
A basement flood is more than inconvenient. It can be an expensive and time-consuming problem that often affects mementos and heirlooms that have been stored in the basement. What are other causes of flooded basements in Quincy,MA? What can you do to avoid this trouble?
The Business Continuity Plan: What Is It and Why Does It Matter
Water damage after a pipe brake on a office in Adam Shore, MA
Both small and large businesses can easily overlook a business continuity plan; however, it is often the most valuable tool in your arsenal when a disaster happens and threatens continued operation.
1. What Is It?
A business continuity plan (BCP) is an emergency document that ensures a business can continue to function during any unforeseen events. The BCP will likely include contacts, emergency response procedures, checklists, and any change management procedures. While a business may not be able to operate out of a specific location physically, it is still necessary to manage assets and vital information.
2. Why Does It Matter?
While a company can seek assistance from restoration specialists in the Adam Shore, MA, area, their facility may be out of commission for a lengthy period, depending on the severity of the emergency. A BCP provides a company with an emergency response plan that helps operations continue despite any difficulty.
3. Basic Things to Consider
A basic BCP should focus on the continuity of business, and this means that it should include any revisions to management procedures, any necessary contacts, any critical data, and steps that outline any expected actions to be taken by the manager in charge. Also, BCPs are fluid documents, meaning that it may be necessary to change and revise them from time to time.
4. Where to Find More Information
If you are looking to begin the process of developing your business’s BCP, then you may want to review the information at ready.gov. You will find information on every aspect of a BCP, from the business impact analysis, recovery strategies, plan development, and to the testing and exercise phase.
A business continuity plan may be one of the most valuable documents to your business, as it ensures that in instances of emergency and business interruption, your company can still find a way to operate and maintain continuity.
Flooded Basement: What's the Cause?
Flooded facility after severe storm in Montclair, MA
A flooded basement can cause a lot of stress and headache for the average homeowner, as most people store sentimental items, excess furniture and stockpiled goods in this out-of-the-way area of the home. In addition to causing damage to stored items, unexpected water can destroy the walls, carpet, rugs and other permanent fixtures.
Common Causes of Sewage Backup
Whether you're experiencing this problem for the first time or have dealt with a flood in the basement before, it's important to determine the cause to ensure that it doesn't happen again. Ask any Montclair, MA, floor restoration expert, and he or she will tell you you’re your flooded basement likely occurred because of one of four reasons:
- Water from your home's surface somehow seeped through your foundation.
- Groundwater from outside saturated the soil to the point where it was forced to enter your home via hydrostatic pressure.
- Storm water built up in the city's sewer system and backed up into your home.
- Your home's sewage line, the city's sewage line or both was clogged and the pressure caused a backup in your home.
Pinpointing the cause of the backup is key to finding a solution and implementing measures to prevent future sewage backups. A skilled plumber can help you determine why your system is backing up and what needs to be done to correct the issue.
Easy Fixes to a Sewage Backup
Not all plumbing issues require an expensive solution. If you're lucky, the fix will be something as simple and affordable as one of the following four solutions:
- Extend your downspouts farther away from your home.
- Redo the pavement around your home so that it slopes away from the foundation.
- Seal the pavement that buts up to your home to prevent water from leaking in through the cracks.
- Re-grade your landscaping so that water flows away from your home.
- Keep lawn irrigation away from your home.
If you're dealing with a flooded basement, the best thing you can do is contact a flood restoration expert for cleanup assistance. Afterward, schedule an appointment with a plumber to determine the root of the issue and fix it for good.
10 Facts About Mold
Mold on boat in Quincy, MA
10 Facts About Mold
Many homeowners will experience mold damage at some point. If you think there is mold growth in your home in Quincy, MA, it may be helpful to understand a few facts about mold. There is a difference between mold being present and mold being a problem.
1. Mold is all around. Mold only becomes a problem when it is drawn to a surface to land and thrive on.
2. Mold likes moisture. Mold needs water to grow rapidly. Areas with high humidity often see more frequent mold growth.
3. Mold smells musty. One of the first signs that you have a mold problem is that you will smell a dank, stale odor.
4. Mildew is not mold. What most people think of as mildew in their bathroom is more likely a type of mold. Mildew mainly grows on plants, whereas mold tends to grow on surfaces.
5. Bleach doesn't kill mold. Because bleach is mostly water, it can actually increase mold growth. Rather than killing it, it merely turns it white.
6. Mold is airborne, but doesn't stay that way. Mold travels indoors by hitching a ride on clothes, shoes, bags and pets.
7. Mold is diverse. There are over 10,000 species of mold, and they come in a variety of colors and textures. Only a handful of species are common indoors.
8. Mold happens quickly. Mold can start to grow in as little as 24 hours after excess moisture has entered the environment.
9. Test kits aren't helpful. Because DIY test kits report the presence of mold rather than the excess of it, they aren't helpful in detecting a problem. A test by a certified industrial hygienist is necessary.
10. Mitigation is for the experts. While you may be able to take care of a small patch of mold in your home, large problems require professional mitigation so that they don't get bigger or return.
Whether the mold growth in your home is the result of water damage or humidity, knowing how to resolve the problem and prevent it is important. Armed with these facts, you are more likely to notice signs of mold.
Debunking Myths About Fire Sprinklers
Fire damage in a North Quincy, MA home
You may have viewed a scene in a movie where a fire sprinkler started spewing water because someone lit a cigarette in the room. While this certainly increases the drama in a story, the likelihood of that happening in your commercial property in North Quincy, MA, is really more fiction than fact. Here are three common myths that people tend to believe about sprinkler systems.
1. All Sprinklers Activate at the Same Time
Every sprinkler doesn't have to go off for the system's fire suppression capabilities to be effective. In fact, the mechanism that controls whether water is released is in each sprinkler. When room temperatures get high enough, the sensor bulb bursts and unplugs the valve connected to the full pipes. If temperatures are only in the danger zone around a few sprinklers, those are the only ones that will activate to subdue the fire.
2. Sprinklers Are Activated by Smoke
Contrary to popular belief, a fire sprinkler is not set off by the presence of smoke in the room, though it is easy to see why this myth is so prevalent. When there is a fire in the room, there is usually a lot of smoke, and smoke rises. Therefore, it may look like the smoke is what triggers the sprinkler's activation when in fact it is the rising temperature in the room that does so.
3. Sprinklers Are Super Sensitive
Some people may hesitate to install a sprinkler system in their building because they are under the impression that a renegade smoker in the break room is going to set the sprinklers off and flood the building so badly that water remediation experts have to be called in for fire sprinkler cleanup. This is highly unlikely. Sprinklers are only sensitive to high heat, so you don't generally have to worry about them going off accidentally.
A fire sprinkler system is one of the best ways to protect your property from extensive fire damage. Now that you know which stories about sprinklers are true and which ones are not, you can explore the possibility of installing them.
Flood Coverage: Protecting Your Business From Water Damage
Air mover on building after storm damage in Adam Shore, MA
When you purchase your commercial insurance package, you probably don't think about getting extra coverage for specific damage to your building in Adams Shore, MA, that may occur if a powerful storm hits. Your property insurance, however, is unlikely to protect you if your building needs water remediation services for damage caused by floodwaters. Flood insurance provides extra support if your commercial property is damaged by a natural flooding disaster.
What It Covers
If you purchase a policy that covers damage caused by floodwaters at least 30 days before such an event occurs, you can save yourself quite a bit of out-of-pocket expense. This type of coverage gives you the means to rebuild or replace:
- Waterlogged walls and insulation
- Soaked flooring
- Damaged ceiling tiles
- Ruined furniture, electronics or other items
Flood insurance doesn't just save you money. It can also keep you from having to shut down your business while you pay for repairs. Many businesses that have flood damage with no insurance remain closed permanently if the aftermath is too great to overcome.
When It's Needed
Property policies usually only cover damage that occurs as the result of an internal cause. For example, if a pipe bursts or a fire breaks out, your property insurance is likely to pay for the repairs you need. Flood coverage is necessary, however, when the water damage is the result of an external cause, such as a thunderstorm, hurricane, municipal sewer backup or water main break. If you live in a Special Hazard Flood Area or an area particularly prone to flooding, you may be required by law to have a separate flood policy. Even if you don't live in a flood plain, if your area experiences seasons of heavy rainfall or snow, it is advisable to build extra protection into your commercial insurance portfolio.
Flood insurance can save you money and save your business. It offers protection beyond the property policy and thus is an important part of your insurance portfolio.
The 4 Rules of Fixing a Flooded Basement
Flooded office in Quincy, MA caused by broken pipe
The soft pitter-patter of rain on the roof can be a delightful sound when the area around your home in Quincy, MA, has been dry for too long. However, when the rain pounds against your home in torrential sheets, it can be an unwelcome surprise, and it is almost a certainty your basement will turn into a swampy disaster zone of dirty water. So, how do you overcome a basement flood and get your life back? Here are the four rules of fixing a flooded basement:
Water doesn’t belong in an area filled with electrical outlets, bathrooms, and chemicals, and neither do you. Rule one is that you don’t enter the flooded area until the water has been removed. There are numerous professional services that can help you restore your basement, but if you are a do-it-yourself type of homeowner, here are the most popular water suction devices:
- Shop vacuum
- Submersible pump
The machine you should use depends on the depth of the water standing on your basement floor.
Your house can be a deadly trap if you are not careful about what utilities are active in your water-soaked basement flood zone. Rule two is that before you step on the wet floor, turn all the utilities off. Even if all the water is gone, you have no idea what electrical outlets or gas-powered units are still active. If a soaking wet item is still active, it can be a hazard.
Once an item sits in water for more than a couple of minutes, the general rule is that it should be discarded and insurance coverage requested. Rule three is that you should remove and discard electrical items, fixtures, wiring, furniture, carpets, and appliances. This is especially true of anything that has a motor.
The last thing you need is another flood. Rule four is that you do whatever you can to take steps to prevent it from ever happening again.
A basement flood is never a friend. Remove the liquid, and then take steps to prevent water from entering your home during the next deluge.
What Can You Expect From a Fire Cleanup?
Fire damage can be a loss to your belongings
In Quincy, IL, you may need to go through a fire cleanup after flames have erupted in your home. Calling a residential fire damage crew can make this process easier. However, you may still want to know what to expect before the professionals get to your house. Use this quick guide to prepare for the cleanup techniques used to mitigate fire and smoke damage.
• Assessment: You may want the cleanup to get started as quickly as possible. However, the crew will better know what to do after an initial inspection is done on your house.
• Mitigation: Soot damage isn't the only thing you have to worry about after a fire. The flames can leave your home susceptible to other types of damage. That's why many professionals will board up windows, doors and holes to ensure rain and intruders cannot affect your house. Putting tarps on the roof may also be necessary.
• Removal: The first removal that may be needed is water removal. When firefighters put out flames, they use copious amounts of water to ensure your home does not stay ablaze. Your cleanup crew may need to remove standing water and start drying out your belongings. Next, the team may remove signs of smoke damage from the surfaces in your home.
• Sanitization: An important part of smoke cleaning is the sanitizing of your belongings. Clothes, electronics and furniture may have been affected by the soot, so these items may need to get cleaned by professionals.
• Repair: Once the damaged items have been removed from your home and the other surfaces have been cleaned, the crew has to start returning things to normal. This often means repairing siding, windows, roofing, flooring and walls. Because the team wants you to feel comfortable, this may even include painting walls and installing new carpet.
Fire and smoke damage can do a lot of harm to your home. Residential cleanup crews go through a laborious process to help you get your place back to normal.
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