How to Save Money this Winter.
I dread this time every year. Not only am I ready for warmer weather, but also a smaller heating bill! I can not change the weather. However, I can provide you with some tips for lowering your heating cost.
- Buy a programmable thermostat. This way you can set your temperatures to automatically go down 5-10 degrees when you are going to be gone for a long period of time. You should also lower the thermostat while you sleep.
- Unplug electronics and appliances that are not being used.
- Block any breezy areas. You can use blankets or plastic.
- Routinely maintenance your heating system to ensure it is running at it's most efficient.
- Make sure all your register and air vent are open, and that nothing is over top of them.
Heating with a Wood Burning Stove?
With the temperatures so low and the cost of heating so high. Many homeowners have opted to use wood burning stoves to heat their homes. This method is efficient and perfectly safe. As long as you follow a few safety tips.
- Most importantly make sure you have smoke and Carbon monoxide detectors installed throughout your home
- Make sure your stove is properly installed, and has been inspected by a professional.
- Keep all contents the proper distance away from the stove. Per your cities fire safe guidelines. It is usually at least 3ft.
- Use seasoned wood only and light small bright fires. No paper or trash!
- Clean you chimney yearly and have it inspected.
Have a safe warm winter!
Mold Even When it is Cold!!!
Photo taken outside of our office 1/17/2018
In the winter it is a common thing to winterize your home. You may put plastic over your doors or windows. You take extra precautions to block any of the cold air from entering your home. The main goal of winter is to keep it out. Right? This most certainly does keep your heat bill down, but it also keeps moisture that your home produces in. You may start to see mold grow. It will show up in along your windows, walls, and even in your closets. To avoid this make sure you check your windows often, and clean any growth immediately. It is also a good idea to run fans, or even purchase a small dehumidifier or two. Depending on the size of your home. This will circulate the air and reduce moisture. If you do experience a problem or discover mold. Remember you can always call us!
Icicles: Friend or Foe?
I don't know about you, but when I was young I used to love Icicles. They are just pretty and somewhat magical. We used to have sword fights, and eat them like a Popsicle. Looking back probably not the best decisions, but hey. We were kids. In reality icicles can be very bad for homeowners. They occur when snow starts to melt and the water ends up somewhere the temperature is still below freezing. Icicles if in abundance can put stress on your homes structure causing damage. Icicles can also lead to ice jams. This is where water drainage in places, like your gutters is blocked. The water then retreats and usually ends up in your attic or walls. To prevent icicles make sure your home is well insulated and your warm air is not getting out and helping to melt the snow. Make sure your home is well ventilated. You can also take a rake and be sure to remove as much excess snow from your roof as possible.
Photo taken outside SERVPRO Zanesville/Cambridge office
Winter is in full affect, and we have the snow to prove it. Recently, our area has experienced two major snow storms within days of each other. This amounted to an accumulation of 8-10 inches of ice and snow in most areas of Ohio. Although, it may be beautiful. Snow and ice can cause major damage to your home. While temperatures are low you can experience things like frozen pipes, blown out gutters, and excess weight on your roof. When temperatures begin to rise. You are faced with a lot of excess water around your home. You get about 1 gallon of water to every 1 foot of melted snow. This water is generally going to settle in the lowest area. Most of the time this means your basement. To help prevent water backup. Start to clear snow from around the foundation of your home as soon as temperatures start to rise. Make your paths lead towards storm drains and away from your home. This will help to deter the melted snow from going towards your home. Hopefully, keeping it safe, and warm!
Temperatures have reached way below freezing already this year. During this kind of weather it is very important to prepare your home for the harsh weather. Make sure your pipes are insulated. You can even buy heat tape to wrap your exposed pipes in at your local hardware store. It is also a good idea to leave your cold water dripping in the night, and when you will not be frequently using water. This keeps movement in your line and helps to prevent freezing. When water freezes it expands. When this happens in an enclosed area. Such as a pipe. It can cause severe damage. Your pipes can burst under the pressure and leave your home soaked. Winter is one of our busiest times of year, and frozen pipes are the leading cause of water damage in the winter. So stay warm, and stay dry this winter!
First Day of Winter!
Ready or not winter is here! I don't know about you, but I am already chilled to the bone. In Ohio you never know what kind of winter we will have. I always hope for mild temperatures with a lot of white fluffy snow. It is the 21st of December.Not only does today mark the first day of winter, but it is also the shortest day of the year. So in translation that means you get to get in bed early and drink hot chocolate while snuggled deeply into a blanket. Right? Either way stay safe,stay warm, and enjoy the holiday season! Take the time to hug your loved ones, and make memories that will last a lifetime.
Happy Holidays from SERVPRO Zanesville/Cambridge
A Clean Chimney is a safe Chimney
There are only 7 days until Christmas, and this winter is going to be a cold one. With it fast approaching. It is important to make sure your chimney is clean. Not only does the big guy appreciate it. It also helps to prevent unwanted fires, smoke and soot back up. You want to always check for material build up and small animals. You can call in a professional or clean your chimney yourself. With the proper tools of course. If you choose the DIY option.Make sure to prepare your home with a few drop cloths around the fire place. This is to prevent your contents from being soiled. Also always clean top to bottom. Your chimney will be Santa approved and ready for his arrival.
Happy Holidays from SERVPRO Zanesville/Cambridge!!
Are you a snowbird?If you are going away for the winter always make sure to winterize your home. This will protect your home from bursting pipes, and unwanted water damage while you are away catching some sun. Here are few quick steps to get your house winter ready.
- Shut off main water line
- Shut off water heated at the electrical box
- Flush out all excess water in your pipes
- Pour antifreeze in all your sink traps
- Make sure to tape off and post that sinks and toilet are not accessible
Doing these few simple things can save you thousands in damage. If you need assistance. Give us a call. Always here to help. Enjoy the holidays, and stay warm!
DIY SERVPRO Holiday Cookies!
I wanted to come up with something creative and heartfelt for my clients this holiday season. So I decided to bake cookies. What says we appreciate you more than homemade cookies? Homemade SERVPRO cookies of course!
To share the love with my fellow marketers I am posting a how to guide. Don't be discouraged though. You can use any design or color with my quick sugar cookie method.
You start off with your favorite cut out sugar cookie recipe. Remember most will require a chill time. I added a link to the one I used. It turned out great and the dough only needs to chill for an hour. The only thing I did differently is use lemon extract instead of almond, and of course I added food coloring.
I chose orange for my dough. It took about 20 drops. Some of the color will bake out, and you do not want them to end up looking brown. To avoid this make sure dough is brightly colored. It will fade some. Use gel coloring to avoid changing the consistency of the dough. You want to add the coloring after all other ingredients are combine. I kneaded mine in.
After your dough has chilled it is time to cut your houses out. I could not find a cutter the shape I wanted so I cut one out of thin cardboard. It worked great, but is more time consuming.
Then you bake. Mine were in the oven for about 7 min.
After they are completely cooled. It is time to decorate.
I used a squeeze bottle for my border, and letters. I then used a sparkling green gel, and sprinkles for my lights. It takes a steady hand. My advice is to do it quick and steady. That helps to avoid breaks in the pattern.
What I would change?
I would use royal icing instead of creamy. It holds better and isn't as messy.
They may not be the prettiest, but they are from the heart, and taste delicious!