How to prevent your pipes from freezing while you’re on holiday

Temperatures start to plummet during the winter months, leaving your water pipes a hazard if left unattended. This can prove to be catastrophic if you are away for the holidays or on a vacation. Luckily, there are some precautions you can take while away to make sure your pipes do not freeze and burst in the sub-zero temperatures winter brings.

 

Never turn off your heat in the winter

When you leave for the holidays, a long week or even a family vacation, saving money on your electric bill may seem like a smart idea. But, turning the temperature in your home down too low can cause your pipes to freeze and potentially burst. At a minimum, your home’s thermostat should be set at 55 degrees Fahrenheit. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends that homeowners set their thermostats to 68 degrees Fahrenheit when homeowners are home and awake.

 

Get a house sitter

If you intend to leave your home unattended for long periods of time, you might want to consider hiring a house sitter or asking a trusted friend or family member to occasionally check on your home. It’s better to catch a water leak or burst pipe sooner rather than later to make sure it does not permanently damage your home.

 

Another option for homeowners who are leaving for long periods of time is to get their water turned off and drain their pipes. This is something we recommend to snowbirds or people who go down south for the winter months. Make sure that you turn on all the faucets and hoses within the home to make sure all the water currently in the pipes is also drained out.

 

If your pipes are prone to freezing

If you’ve already experienced pipes freezing within your home, there are a few ways to ward off causing future damage to your pipes this winter. A quick fix is allowing your faucet to drip slightly to prevent pressure from building up in the pipes. Pressure building within the pipes is what causes pipes to burst in cold weather. Make sure that you allow both the cold water and hot water faucets to drip.

 

Another quick fix to avoid frozen pipes is opening cabinet doors. Many pipes are housed within the cabinets of bathrooms and kitchens. These rooms often rely on heating throughout other parts of the home to keep them warm. By opening the cabinet doors, it allows for warmer air to circulate around the pipes, which can prevent freezing.

 

Consider if more insulation is needed

When pipes are prone to freezing, you can apply heating tape to problematic pipes. This only works if there are only a few pipes that freeze during extra cold temperatures. This is often only prescribed as a quick fix. If this keeps occurring, you might want to consider more permanent measures to correct the problem.

 

A more permanent correction to freezing pipes is adding insulation. Depending on where your pipes are located will determine what insulation will best suit your needs. Consulting with a renovation professional will help you determine how to best prevent bursting pipes within your home.

 

If disaster does strike this winter and causes your pipes to burst, our emergency repair professionals at Royal Renovations have got you covered. Call us today if you have experienced frozen pipes in the past and we can get you outfitted for the upcoming winter season. Royal Renovations is here before and after disaster strikes.

Let it snow, but please don’t hail! How hail damage causes bigger problems within your home

Not all of us are fans of snow, but all of us will take snow over hail damage any day. Unfortunately, there is not much you can do to protect yourself from an unexpected hail storm, but you can be proactive in fixing the damage caused to your home and other belongings. Here’s why you should address hail damage immediately and not let it sit for long periods without repairs:

 

How to check for hail damage

Hail can vary in size. Sometimes hailstones can be as small as a pea to as big as a softball. Depending on the size will determine how much damage is caused. The main area of your home that you should check for hail damage is your roof. Once the storm has cleared, set up your ladder and climb onto your roof. The first area you should examine if your roof’s ridge cap. This is one of the flattest areas of your roof and will receive the most damage. If you see dings and even cracks, depending on your shingling material, you know that hail has damaged parts of your roof.

 

The next area you should examine is your shingles. Underneath your shingles, you should have black substrate installed. If you are able to see the black, gummy material, this means that you are missing shingles. Shingles can also be bruised and cracked by hail, so it’s important to get a close look. Depending on your shingling material will also determine what other signs of damage you should be looking for. For instance, wooden shingles can split from hail damage. To know exactly what you should be looking for, consult with a renovation expert.

 

You should also examine the metal areas on your roof including, roof vents, flashing and gutters. These areas will show signs of dents and dings caused by the hailstones.

 

Bigger problems

Your home’s roof is often its first defense against storms and extreme weather. Leaks in your roof can cause water damage in the upper levels of your room that can negatively impact the integrity of your home. If you suspect that your roof has been impacted by hail damage, get it checked by a renovation professional and they can determine the extent of the damage.

 

Repairs

How to repair your roof will depend on the size of the hailstones and the extent of damage caused. If you are missing a few singles and your roof suffered no further damage, you might be looking at a simple shingle replacement job. Otherwise, if hail has caused your roof’s integrity to be compromised, it will be a bigger problem. Again, it’s best if you consult with a home renovation professional to determine what steps to take to fix and repair your home. If your home has suffered from a recent hail storm or you have other emergency repairs, contact Royal Renovations for a quote today.

 

Signs of Hoarding in Loved Ones

Would you consider your loved one a pack rat? Trouble throwing away items, regardless of their value, is one of the telltale signs of hoarding. Hoarding can have serious consequences financially, physically, mentally and even emotionally. Hoarding negatively impacts an individual’s life by creating unlivable conditions due to the unnecessary clutter. Unfortunately, these problems are not usually addressed until disaster strikes. Here are some preventive tips to help you understand hoarding and how it can negatively impact your loved ones and their homes.

 

What is hoarding?

Hoarding is when an individual has a hard time parting with material possession, regardless of its value. Common hoarded items include newspapers, magazines, photographs, food, clothing, household supplies and more. There are numerous kinds of a hoarders and reasons why someone feels compelled to keep everything.

 

How can hoarding be dangerous?

Collecting unnecessary clutter may seem like a harmless hobby until it’s apparent that your loved one’s quality of life is diminishing. Hoarding often use every area of their home to store their compulsive finds. If their compulsive behavior isn’t addressed eventually their homes may be consider unlivable and even potentially dangerous. Living spaces become unfunctional and hoarders neglect necessary comforts such as heat or other appliances because they do not want to part with broken appliances.

 

The reality of hoarding is that the situation usually isn’t addressed until their homes are damaged. This is when the hoarding problem finally gets addressed.

 

Why do people hoard?

Understanding why a loved one is hoarding will help them begin to let go of some of the overwhelming clutter that surrounds them. Hoarding is sometimes rooted in anxiety and having to discard items that might be potentially useful or wanted in the future.

 

Hoarding also occurs when individuals hold a surplus of items for sentimental reasons. Hoarding is different than collecting, but of the emotional response associated with it. Collectors are proud of their displays while hoarders often feel ashamed or embarrassed by the items they’ve accumulated.

 

There are several disorders associated with hoarding including obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), depression, eating disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and numerous others.

 

Hire a professional cleaning service

The attachment that hoarders sometimes associate with their objects is what makes it hard to throw away. The sheer number of things they’ve collected over the year can be overwhelming, which is why having a professional step in and assist might be beneficial. A professional is able to approach the situation objectively and help hoarders overcome their urge to keep everything, regardless of its value or importance.

 

Often professionals do not get introduced into the hoarding situation after a home is damaged and is in need of repairs. Helping repair and renovate these homes takes an extensive amount of time. The costs associated with cleaning up these homes is often more expensive that what clients anticipate.

 

Seeking help

Every individual is different so involving medical professionals in helping your loved one is essential. For more resources on hoarding and how to seek out help visit: https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/hoarding-disorder/

 

The Long-lasting effects of not fixing smoke damage in your home

When your life is uprooted by a housefire, the first thing you want to do is return to your home. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. Many individuals do not take into account the smoke damage that has affected their home. In addition, many want to skimp on clean-up costs because they are deemed unnecessary. This is far from the truth. Smoke damage is not something that should be ignored. It has seriously implications and is best to get it addressed as soon as possible.

 

What happens if you don’t fix your home after a fire?

In addition to the obvious structural fixes that need to be corrected after a fire, cleaning up smoke damage and leftover soot should be a top priority. Soot can contain harmful chemicals from the fire, so it’s essential that a properly-trained, clean-up crew eliminates it from your home. If homeowners and families continue to breath in these harmful chemicals, it poses serious implications on their health.

 

What needs to be fixed after a house fire?

After a fire, a house’s structural integrity may be compromised. This means that homeowners should consult with a home renovation company about the extent of the damage. This also means that your possessions inside your home have been affected by smoke damage.

 

A home renovation company will educate you on what items need a deep cleaning. For instance, upholstery and carpets cannot be cleaned with a household vacuum, homeowners will need to use an industrial vacuum with a special filter, owned by most home renovation companies. Furthermore, clothing and bedding will need to undergo and intense washing regiment to get rid of the smoke and possible chemicals that were absorbed during the fire. Finally, many of these items may be corroded in addition to stained and discolored. A home renovation company will be able to help you determine the condition of your possessions and how to properly clean them.

 

Smoke and soot negatively impact your personal health

Inhaling smoke also has a negative impact on your health. You might experience minor ailments such as itchy eyes and skin, but inhaling too much smoke can also lead to major health issues. Studies have discovered a correlation between smoke inhalation and cancer, strokes and heart attacks. It’s best to consult with your doctor to learn what precautions you should take afterwards to ensure you are in optimal health.

 

House fires are a traumatizing and an uprooting experience for all homeowners. To make sure your home is safe to return to, consult our experts at Royal Renovations by calling 320-743-3440 or stopping into our office in Clear Lake.

 

Readying the Cabin for Summer Fun

The summer is finally here and that means it’s time to start spending the weekends at the cabin! Whether you’ll be spending time with the fam at the cabin this summer or using the space for hosting get togethers, there are a lot of things you need to do to get the cabin ready for some summer fun. You’ll have to clean up the outdoor space, put the dock in, set up the lawn and patio furniture, and probably spray for bugs, but that’s just the beginning.

 

One of the first things you’ll want to do on the inside of your cabin is air it out. It’s bound to be a bit musty and stuffy. The good news is that there are some amazing products out there to help make the whole thing a little easier on you and your nose. Here are the top 3 reasons Vaportek is the best way to prepare for summer:

 

Vaportek is a simple, natural, and economical way to neutralize odors, not mask them. This is the perfect solution for cleaning and eliminating odors that happen over the winter. Vaportek uses essential oil and dry vapor technology permanently eliminate odor.

 

There are plenty of options to remove the organic odor from your space. The EZ-Twist is great for bins or trunks that house your sleeping bags or stored bedding. The Vaporshark is great for eliminating the stuffy smell from your cabin. You can place a battery operated Vaportronic 2.0 in your houseboat or recreational vehicle. Plus, there are plenty of different scents to choose from so whatever you’re looking for, Vaportek has a solution. Call Royal Renovations for more information about Vaportek and how we can help you get your cabin ready for the summer!

 

Summer Fire Risks and Fire Damage Restoration

Summertime is naturally hot—that’s the best part about summer. That said, just because we look forward to the summer heat every year doesn’t mean there aren’t elevate fire risks.

There are many different ways residential fires occur during the summer months. Here are a few of those risks and some steps you can take if your home has fire damage.

 

Storm Damage:

With the increase in extreme weather wreaking havoc all over the country, it’s no secret that many fires are started from storms. The weather can impact geographic regions differently—dry heat can cause wild fires to spread. Forest fires can expand and reach residential areas. Lightening and severe thunderstorms can damage powerlines which can cause fires as well. Avoid using water during a thunderstorm as water can conduct electricity.

 

Grilling:

32% of all house fires start from grilling or cooking incidents. Maintain a grilling safe zone of at least 3 feet when grills are in use. Keep your grill at least 10 feet away from the house in case the flames get out of hand. Make sure to clean grills properly to prevent grease fires.

 

Fireworks:

Firework safety is incredibly important. Make sure you have a hose or bucket of water at the ready before lighting any fireworks. Maintain a safe distance from any structures that could cause a house fire if ignited.

Fire Pits:

Fire pits and patio heaters are another source of house fires. Follow guidelines similar to grilling when dealing with a fire pit or patio heater. Follow manufacturer instructions when lighting a patio heater and never leave the fire pit unattended. If it’s windy out, avoid using either.

 

If your summer fun turned ablaze, contact Royal Renovations where we specialize in fire damage restoration.

 

Content Restoration for your Cabin

It’s that wonderful time of year again! With the warmer temperatures and vacation days looming, it’s time to head to your cabin. But what happens when you walk in the door and it’s not as expected? Maybe you didn’t seal the cabin properly and critters got in or some bad weather caused water damage. Either way, you need a plan for content restoration, and you need a plan fast.

 

The first step in getting your cabin back to new is to address the damage and take photos. Try to assess the source of the damage. Is there a problem with the foundation? Is there a leaky roof? Is there a hole in the window screen that might be letting insects and other critters in? Take care of any issues that need immediate attention, such as a hole in the roof. You might have the urge to throw all your damaged items away or sell your cabin, but fight that urge. Water damage can be fixed, and even issues with mold can be taken care of by the professionals. A few well-placed rodent traps should take care of mice issues, too.

 

If the damage to your cabin is extensive, it’s time to call in the experts. At Royal Renovations, we’re experts in content restoration. We can take care of everything, from content pack-outs, to claims management and photo inventory, to content cleaning, odor control, non-salvageable inventory, and mold remediation. The urge to panic might be strong, but not all is lost. We will clean what we can onsite—from specialty items to your favorite old couch—and the rest will go to our facility to be cleaned before they are returned to you in restored condition. Even if structural damage is an issue, we can help you take care of the problem. After all, you don’t want the first summer storm to send a flood of water in through a leaky ceiling.

 

Don’t let the place you look to for fun and adventure all summer be a source of stress and frustration. Call Royal Renovations today and we’ll help make your happy place homey again.

 

Mold Remediation

So you’ve discovered mold in your home…yikes. What do you do now? Sure, you can throw away carpet and even insulation, but you can’t necessarily throw away wood, drywall, paint, and ducting. What do you do? You call the experts!

 

At Royal Renovations, we understand how devastating and frustrating it can be to find mold in your home. Unfortunately, mold can grow on virtually any organic substance or building material, so your wood, wallpaper, drywall, carpet, paint, adhesives, fabrics, ducting, and insulation are all at risk. Your home can move rapidly toward mold invasion when it comes into contact with a water source. This could be caused by a leaky rooftop, leaky pipes, a flood, or even window condensation. Mold loves a damp, dark place. With little to no exposure to light, mold begins digesting and growing. In just as few as 48 to 72 hours, you can have a full-on home invasion. As mold spreads throughout the property, it’ll deliver allergens and other harmful aggravations that can put the health of you and your family at risk.

 

There are a few problem situations in which mold remediation is immediately required, such as a natural weather disaster. It may also be needed after equipment malfunctions or following improper clean-up after a problem. A poorly designed or maintained facility may see more mold growth as well, especially if humidity levels aren’t properly maintained. Delaying remediation after a disastrous event is never a good idea, and will only promote more mold growth.

 

Mold remediation experts will immediately begin the process of removing excess moisture upon arriving at your home or workplace. Mold begins growing on materials that remain wet for 2-3 days, so they will dry the building structure and contents to remove excess moisture and water damage. It’s important to try to contain the mold before it can spread further. Then, they will isolate the contaminated area to avoid any mold exposure for the homeowners and begin the process of cleaning up existing mold. Non-porous materials can be cleaned, but other materials may need to be disposed of. Depending on the level of mold growth, the area may also need to be vacuumed with a High-Efficiency-Particulate-Air (HEPA) vacuum. A visibility test will be conducted, followed by additional drying if needed.

 

Let us help you get your home and life back to normal. Give us a call to request an estimate.

Spring Storm Damage Prevention

They say April showers bring May flowers, but they may also bring damage to your home. You might be more prepared for the crazy thunderstorms common in the summer, but spring storms can take us by surprise. You’ll want to take any and all precautions to prevent flooding, siding damage, hail damage, and more. Spring is the perfect time to prepare for any bad storms that may be coming, especially in the summer.

 

Inspect your home after the snow melts. Is anything amiss? Does the foundation still look intact? Are the gutters clogged? Are there signs that a tree root has begun to grow into your pipes? Look for damage to the outside of your home and make any necessary repairs to the roof, windows, and siding to avoid further problems down the road.

 

Flooding is a common problem in the spring. You can avoid it by addressing the slope of your yard if it’s designed in such a way that it causes water to flow toward your home. Make sure you don’t have any cracks in your foundation or basement walls, and make sure your sump pump is functioning properly. Clean your gutters and your septic system, too. Trim trees to avoid loose limbs snapping off and flying into your home or falling on a power line.

 

Your home’s siding can suffer different kinds of damage during a spring thunderstorm depending on the material it’s made of. Aluminum siding can suffer dings and dents, and siding may come off during intense storms. Vinyl siding can suffer worse damage, such as cracks, chipping, breaking, and holes. You’ll want to inspect siding after a hailstorm. If you live in an area with a lot of intense storms, consider investing in a more durable siding option. If you have storm shutters, these may become damaged too. Otherwise, you may notice damage, such as shattered windows or broken panes. During intense storms, be sure to close blinds and keep your shades drawn in case of shattering windows. If you are worried about hail damage to your vehicles, you can even tie thick blankets over them.

 

Overcoming a Home Tragedy

Overcoming a tragedy in your home is a difficult process. Whether there’s a flood, a fire, or a sewer back-up, not only will the damage itself be frustrating, it has the potential to be emotionally scarring.

 

There are various causes of a home tragedy. A sewer backup can send sewage into your home, coating your basement with harmful bacteria. Your pipes can freeze and burst, destroying your walls and wrecking furniture. A flood can turn your home into a personal swimming pool, and the flames of a fire can turn your items to charred remnants of what they once were. Losing your home in a fire is a whole new level of distress. Not only will you have to deal with the loss of important items, but you’ll also need to evacuate. You’ll also have to find a place to relocate and decide whether or not you’ll rebuild or move somewhere else. Each tragedy is unique, and everyone will react differently.

 

Your home is your safe place. It provides comfort and security. There’s a reason they say, “There’s no place like home.” A home tragedy takes away that sense of comfort and security. It isn’t uncommon for individuals who experience a home tragedy to go through the traditional stages of recovering from a tragedy and trying to adjust. Those stages include shock, anger, depression, and hopelessness before moving on to acceptance. Eventually, individuals are able to move past negative feelings and regain a sense of safety and comfort in their home, but it may take some time.

 

When a home tragedy occurs, your sense of normalcy is interrupted. Your daily routines have to adjust. It can be very jarring. The road to recovery and coping involves reestablishing a new sense of normalcy. You have to focus on healing and self-care. Allow yourself to feel upset, sad, frustrated, and whatever else you might be feeling. Also allow yourself to feel happy; even though you are working through a difficult period in your life, you are allowed to experience joy during happy moments. Focus on stress relieving activities, whether that means exercising, listening to music, or engaging in your favorite activity. Start to make small decisions that will make you feel more in control of your life again, but avoid making major life decisions that may increase your stress level. Reach out to your friends and family for support, and talk about the tragedy in order to work through your feelings. Remember that even though something bad has happened, there are still good things in your life.

 

If you have children who have also experienced the home tragedy, they may react differently. They may have anxiety or nightmares. They will look to you as an example of how to handle the trauma. If you cope successfully, you will act as a positive role model for your children. Encourage them to talk about their fears and anxieties, whether it be with you or a licensed professional.

 

At Royal Renovations, we understand how devastating a home tragedy can be. We will be there for you in your time of need, and treat your items and home with the utmost care—whatever your home emergency.