When Your Deck Falls or Fails

When Your Deck Falls or Fails

Having a deck attached to your home is a great way to enjoy the outdoors. However, an exposed deck is subject to all the weather we face here in Maryland. Over time, rain, snow, and sun can take their toll and cause the deck’s condition to deteriorate. The older a deck is, the more likely its condition can lead to failing and potentially falling. The last thing you want is to put your guests in danger while they are enjoying a beautiful Maryland day or evening. An overcrowded deck could collapse if not properly maintained. Here are a few problems that could arise and lead to deck collapse. Ledger Boards Pulling Away or Splitting The most common cause of deck collapse is a failure in the ledger boards, as the ledger boards attach most decks to the home. Depending on the age of your deck, you might have nailed it

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The Truth About Asbestos Floor Tiles

The Truth About Asbestos Floor Tiles

Having asbestos floor tiles in your home should not be a danger to your health until you have to remove them. If asbestos becomes airborne, it can cause asbestosis, mesothelioma, or lung cancer. Asbestos used to be a common substance mixed into building materials to make them stronger and heat resistant. If your vinyl floor tiles were put down before 1980, they most likely contain asbestos. Removing Asbestos Floor Tiles Properly Because of the serious health hazard caused by airborne asbestos, it is not recommended for homeowners to remove floor tiles themselves. Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) only allows homeowners to remove non-friable asbestos floor tiles. If floor tiles are friable, hand pressure can crumble or pulverize them. In this case, a licensed asbestos contractor must handle the removal. MDE recommends using wet disposal methods and for homeowners to wear proper PPE, including a respirator and protective disposable clothing.

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The Case for Roof Repair

The Case for Roof Repair

Roofing replacement can be costly, with most homeowners putting it off until problems show up. Whether it’s a leak in the roof or shingles blowing off in high winds, there is a case for roof repair and replacement. The choice to make depends on a few factors. The Age of the Roof The average lifespan of an asphalt shingle roof is between 15 and 30 years. If your roof is relatively new and in good shape, repairing just the damaged or missing shingles may make sense. However, if your roof is nearing the end of its lifespan, it’s probably best to replace it. How Long Do You Plan to Live There? If you plan to sell your home in a few years and the roof is in good shape, you may consider repairing it. However, if you want to stay in your home long term, it might make more sense

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Creating an Emergency Family Plan

Creating an Emergency Family Plan

A disaster can strike without warning. If a fire, emergency, or severe weather were to occur, does your family have an emergency plan in place? If not, we’re going to help you with creating an emergency family plan. Gather the Family The first part of making a family emergency plan is to gather all your family members together. Walk through your house and inspect all windows and doors as possible escape routes and emergency exits. Once you’ve figured out the best escape route, move on to the next step. Sketch a Map Creating a map of the home and all emergency exits is a great way to visualize how to get out of the house safely during a stressful situation. This is especially useful if you have children. On the map, have your kids help you mark all the doors and windows and where the escape routes are. Including your

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Prepping for the Big Thunderstorm

Prepping for the Big Thunderstorm

The Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1st and is trending to be more active than usual. It’s essential to be prepared for any natural disaster before it happens. Getting organized and having a plan in place will make it easier for you and your family when severe weather hits. Create a Storm Plan If you have not already done so, create a written disaster plan with your family and have them all review it. It should include: Marked emergency exits A meeting place near your home (building, known landmark, park, etc.) The location of emergency kits If the family gets separated during a big thunderstorm, hurricane, hail storm, or other weather events, have them meet at the designated location when it is safe to do so. Assign a relative or trusted friend as an emergency contact person and make sure each family member has their contact information. Ensure all

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Smoke Damage Mitigation

Smoke Damage Mitigation

Experiencing a residential fire is bad enough. Having to deal with the smoke damage left behind can be even worse. Depending on the fire’s severity, you may only have smoke damage in one room or throughout the entire home. Here are some things you can do to help with smoke damage mitigation and which items are better left to the professionals. Smoke Damage Mitigation What You Should Do If the weather is warm, open doors and windows to allow the house to air out and remove the odor from fire and smoke. If you have a forced-air furnace or heat pump, change the air filter to eliminate odors further. Throw away any open food containers or packages. Use a damp towel or piece of cheesecloth to remove soot from air vent covers and registers. Clean nonporous surfaces to prevent further damage and reduce odors, including: Aluminum Chrome Laminate Porcelain Clean out

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Basement Flooding – Management and Prevention

Basement Flooding - Management and Prevention

Basement flooding is a common problem, and it can occur at any time of the year. Although most flooding cases occur during heavy rains, they can also occur in dry weather. The fact that most basements are partially or completely underground automatically makes them prone to flooding. What Causes Basement Flooding? Basement flooding can occur in both rainy and dry weather. It can also happen for a variety of reasons. Here are some common causes: Cracks in Foundation The water table can rise during heavy rain. If your foundation has cracks, water can enter the basement through these cracks in the foundation. When this type of flooding occurs, it is generally because your foundation needs inspection and repair or an older building with foundation problems. Sump Pump Failure Most basements are equipped with sump pump(s) to help keep up with the groundwater around them. However, when the pump fails, it

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A Guide to Swimming Pool Repairs

A Guide to Swimming Pool Repairs

Owning a swimming pool can be so much fun, but it carries with it a lot of responsibility for maintenance. You should always make sure the pool is operating correctly by cleaning it regularly, keeping up with the repairs, and preparing it for seasonal changes. Generally, it is essential to understand everything you need to take care of when you own a pool. Remember, it is always best practice to seek expert help for your pool maintenance and repairs. The Basics of Swimming Pool Repairs Sometimes, it is easy to tell when your pool needs repair services. For instance, when a pump is not working correctly, it is obvious you should call in the pros. In most cases, it is not so easy to detect when the pool needs repair services, and you may end up in a panic situation. By keeping up with regular maintenance, it’s easier to tell

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3 Ways to Prevent Mold From Growing In Your Home

3 Ways to Prevent Mold From Growing In Your Home

Are you ready to learn how to prevent mold from growing in your home? Here are some tips from the pros. Mold isn’t a friend to anyone. We all know that. So what are the easiest ways to target mold prevention in your home? Moisture control. Certain kinds of mold are essential in life. Where would we be without brie cheese and penicillin, but when you fail to prevent mold in your house and it keeps growing, the human health implications can be both bad and serious. Most people assume mold is contained to grow in bathrooms, where hot showers can cause moisture buildup on the walls, floors, and ceilings, but mold can grow anywhere.  Learn to prevent mold from building up on carpets and clothing and even in places that you can’t see, like the backside of drywall or above the tiles on your ceiling. While you can’t mold-proof your

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4 Reasons Why Homes Need Dehumidifiers

4 Reasons Why Homes Need Dehumidifiers

Homes with humidity issues need help, and dehumidifiers are often a convenient solution. Dehumidifiers, which work to cleanse the air of excess moisture and prevent mold, help maintain a healthy level of humidity within your home and living space. They also keep bacteria and other forms of particulates from growing, which in the long run can lead to serious health harm for humans. These machines can be pricey, but they’re simple to use. They are convenient to use in a variety of locations around your home. You’ll be thrilled to find that they will help save you money in the long run. Dehumidifiers can help: Dehumidifiers Tackle Mold In large quantities, mold can become dangerous and even put your own health at risk. Mold allergies can include symptoms like eye and throat irritation, rashes on the skin, sneezing, itchy throat, coughing, and not to mention awful asthma attacks. Ideal conditions

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