How to Get Rid of the Musty Smell in Your Camper

When you unlock your camper for the first time after the long cold winter, you want to be saying, “I can’t wait to go camping!” and not “What in the world is that smell?” Maybe every time you open up the RV you are playing the guess that smell game. Save your sniffer and learn how you can protect and mitigate strange smells in your camper.

 

 

Odors from the Kitchen and Bathroom Drains

When your camper or RV is not in use, especially for long periods of time, water can become trapped in the P-traps under the kitchen sink and in the pipes of the bathroom. Bacteria will begin to grow in this water, which creates a foul stench throughout your camper. To keep the smell from forming, mix a cup of baking soda with a gallon of water and pour the mixture down every drain. That way this mixture will go into the gray water tank as well. If this is the source of the musty smell, it is easy to prevent this old water from sitting in the pipes for long.

 

 

Odors from the Carpet

With camping comes water, mud, pets, and cooking in tight quarters. Spills and stains are bound to happen to the carpet. To avoid this, you can invest in throw rugs to place on top of your carpet. Throw rugs are much easier to clean and clean more often. You can also have the carpet professionally cleaned at the end of the camping season. The most effective way to fully remove the stench of stained carpets in the camper is to tear out the carpet and replace it with laminate flooring. This is an expensive option, but they are easier to maintain throughout your camping trip. Additionally, you won’t have to worry about cleaning the carpet at the end of every season.

 

 

Odors from the Fridge and Freezer

A package of hot dogs or some yogurt left in the fridge will leave you with some bigger odor problems. To avoid the stale or mildew smell in the fridge, wipe it down and disinfect it after every single trip or time in the camper. Leave the fridge door open a tad to allow all of the remaining moisture to evaporate. Also, leave a box of baking soda in both the fridge and freezer to absorb any remaining odors.

 

 

Sometimes smells in the camper are out of our control and have occurred from storm and water damage. Nature happens. Be sure to take care and make the proper and necessary repairs to prevent further damage and rot inside. If you have continually battled strange smells in your camper but can’t seem to win, call Royal Renovations to tackle any storm or water damage or carpet cleaning. Enjoy the first step inside your camper every year, don’t dread it!

Should you Call for Professional Water Damage Restoration?

It would be pretty cool to have an indoor pool in your home, that’s every kid’s dream! But if you wake up in the middle of the night to find that the summer storm has started that indoor pool for you, it doesn’t sound exciting anymore. When talking about water damage, it’s not a spilled glass of water at the dinner table, here are some scenarios that may cause some serious water damage to your home.

 

 

If a limb falls on your roof in a summer storm and it continues to storm right into your house.

If the sewer backs up into the house.

If the washing machine breaks and floods the laundry room.

If the dishwasher floods the kitchen.

If you live at low elevation and heavy rainfall leads to a flooded basement.

If a leaky pipe, turns out to have a huge crack.

If the toilet overflows in the bathroom.

If you can smell a distinct musty smell.

If there are visible water lines after a flood remaining on the wall.

If any of these statements may apply to your situation then you might want to call in professional help.

 

 

Why do you need professional help?

Summer storms and burst pipes can bring on major home floods. Proper water mitigation, repair, and replacement of water logged materials are essential to the preservation of your home and health of your family. Water damage can be classified into the following three categories:

 

Category 1 water damage is “clean water” from a source such as a toilet tank or pipe that supply clean water. This water won’t stay clean forever. If it is left untreated, it will escalate into a category 2 or 3.

 

Category 2 water damage is called “gray water”. This type of water comes from washing machines and dishwashers or backed up toilets. It is any contaminated water that wouldn’t be suitable to drink. Not saying water that has flooded your home is suitable, but gray water isn’t to being with.

 

Category 3 water damage is also called “black water”. This water contamination ranges from chemicals and sewage to oil and harmful bacteria. This water is just as unappealing to deal with as it sounds and requires proper equipment.

 

 

It doesn’t take a long time for mold to grow. If you think the smell of category 3 water would be bad, think about what you would smell everyday if it wasn’t cleaned up properly. Without properly drying out the damaged area and replacing materials, mold will grow wild. There are serious health effects to those who are exposed to mold such as nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing or wheezing, eye irritation, skin irritation, and for those with allergies the symptoms are worse. Materials that may need to be replaced include walls, floors, shelving units, curtains, ductwork, and heating and cooling systems.

 

 

Professionals like Royal Renovations of the St. Cloud area, use thermal imaging cameras and moisture meters to make sure your home or business is drying out effectively. Royal Renovations also uses specialty drying equipment for water damage behind cabinets, inside of walls, and other hard to reach places with minimal disruption to the building structure. Royal Renovations offers 24/7 service, so give them a call next time that midnight summer storm hits.

 

 

How to Prevent or Fix Summer Storm Damage to Your Home

It’s time for some fun in the sun! Along with the sun, over the next few months, there will be some pretty hefty storms. These storms will bring lightning, high winds, torrential rain, and hail. Are you prepared? Or, is your home prepared for this weather?

Safety First

Plans are important! For high winds or possibly a tornado, designate a safe spot for you and your family to seek shelter in your home. A safe place would be on a lower level, an interior room, far from any windows, and with strong overhead support. Power outages are common during summer storms. Be prepared for a power outage and put together an emergency kit to keep in the designated safe spot of your home.

Preventing Storm Damage

Unfortunately, you can’t prevent the storm from hitting, but you can take the appropriate measure to protect your home. One action to take is to maintain the trees in your yard. This doesn’t mean to shape them into elephants; sadly they won’t protect you from a storm. You need to remove the dead branches or any limbs that pose a threat of falling on your home. Make sure your gutters are securely attached, there is a possibility they could fall off your house in the event of heavy rain or high winds. Also, clean the gutters so water can properly flow away from your home.

The Aftermath

Some things are out of our control. If your home incurs damage during a storm this summer, don’t worry it can be fixed. Having homeowners insurance is extremely important in such instances. After a weather disaster, you don’t want to go through a financial disaster as well. Before you begin to clean up the damage snap a few pictures to present the situation to the insurance agency accurately. Get your detective skills on, because you don’t want to miss any small damage that you may end up paying for later after an insurance claim had already been filled out. Your home could incur anything from hail damage, a limb falling through the roof, or your satellite being struck by lightning. Remember to have you and your family’s safety at the forefront; this means don’t stand under anything that may be falling through your ceiling and stay away from electrical hazards. After a storm hits the St. Cloud Area, be sure to call Royal Renovations to come and repair storm damage to your home.

To help you and your family stay safe and prepared here is a checklist for an emergency preparedness kit to keep in a safe spot in your home. Have a plan before a storm hits, so after it’s not such a headache.

 

 

Should you Call for Professional Water Damage Restoration?

It would be pretty cool to have an indoor pool in your home, that’s every kid’s dream! But if you wake up in the middle of the night to find that the summer storm has started that indoor pool for you, it doesn’t sound exciting anymore. When talking about water damage, it’s not a spilled glass of water at the dinner table, here are some scenarios that may cause some severe water damage to your home.

If a limb falls on your roof in a summer storm and it continues to storm right into your house.

If the sewer backs up into the house.

If the washing machine breaks and floods the laundry room.

If the dishwasher floods the kitchen.

If you live at low elevation and heavy rainfall leads to a flooded basement.

If a leaky pipe turns out to have a huge crack.

If the toilet overflows in the bathroom.

If you can smell a distinct musty smell.

If there are visible water lines after a flood remaining on the wall.

If any of these statements may apply to your situation, then you might want to call in professional help.

Why do you need professional help?

Summer storms and burst pipes can bring on major home floods. Proper water mitigation, repair, and replacement of waterlogged materials are essential to the preservation of your home and the health of your family. Water damage can be classified into the following three categories:

Category 1 water damage is “clean water” from a source such as a toilet tank or pipe that supply clean water. This water won’t stay clean forever. If it is left untreated, it will escalate into a category 2 or 3.

Category 2 water damage is called “gray water.” This type of water comes from washing machines and dishwashers or backed up toilets. It is any contaminated water that wouldn’t be suitable to drink.

Category 3 water damage is called “black water.” This water contamination ranges from chemicals and sewage to oil and harmful bacteria. This water is just as unappealing to deal with as it sounds and requires proper equipment.

It doesn’t take a long time for mold to grow. If you think the smell of category 3 water would be bad, think about what you would smell every day if it weren’t cleaned up properly. Without properly drying out the damaged area and replacing materials, mold will grow wild. There are serious health effects to those who are exposed to mold such as nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing or wheezing, eye irritation, skin irritation, and for those with allergies the symptoms are even worse. Materials that may need to be replaced or sanitized include walls, floors, shelving units, curtains, ductwork, and heating and cooling systems.

Professionals like Royal Renovations of the St. Cloud area, use thermal imaging cameras and moisture meters to make sure your home or business is drying out effectively. Royal Renovations also uses specialty drying equipment for water damage behind cabinets, inside of walls, and other hard to reach places with minimal disruption to the building structure. Royal Renovations offers 24/7 service, so give them a call next time that midnight summer storm hits.

 

Dealing with Storm Damage to Your Home or Business

Whether it was torrential rain, or it seemed like a small hurricane hit Minnesota, your home or business can be affected by storm damage. By assessing the damages entirely, you’ll be in a better position to finalize your claim and start the storm damage repair process.

 

Safety

Safety is always the number one priority. Watch out for broken glass and fallen power lines. Make sure you are wearing shoes with a thick sole. Those flimsy summer flip-flops just won’t cut it in this instance. Electricity and water don’t mix. Shut off your electricity and alert the utility company for fallen power lines near your home. If you smell gas or suspect a gas leak, shut off the main gas line immediately, open windows, and evacuate the home or business if possible.

 

Damage

Your roof is susceptible to the most damage. Think about it; your roof takes a beating with all the snow in the winter and rain and wind in the summer. If a tree limb or heavy debris falls through your roof, the roof will obviously be damaged, but your home may be structurally damaged as well. This is a serious problem and should be addressed as soon as possible. Hail is also a common threat to your home. Walk around your house to assess dings, dents, cracks, and holes caused by the storm. The most common places to spot storm damage is on the siding, windows, and air conditioning unit.

 

Repair

After assessing the damage, the repair may seem like a daunting task. First, contact your insurance provider. They will walk you through making a claim. It is necessary to take care of the damage right away. Letting the problems go unaddressed can compromise the safety of the people inside your home or business. After a storm blows through Central Minnesota, call Royal Renovations to help you with the damage.

 

Here is a comprehensive list of the storm damage services offered by Royal Renovations.

  • Emergency Board-Ups
  • Water Extraction
  • 24/7 Claims Management
  • Content Pack-Out/In
  • Temporary Utilities
  • Structural Drying
  • Odor Control
  • Climate Controlled Storage
  • Moisture Reading
  • Complete Construction
  • Content Processing
  • Content Cleaning

 

 

The Rainy Season is Here but Hopefully Mold Isn’t

You can be a “fun guy,” but you don’t want fungi growing in your home. Mold is a fungus that commonly appears in homes in the midst of the rainiest time of the year. Mold grows anywhere under the right conditions. Sometimes it is possible to treat the mold yourself, but other times the mold gets out of control and professional backup needs to be called.

 

What is Mold?

Mold thrives in damp, dark places. The sun or ultraviolet rays inhibit mold growth. The mold spores lay dormant in dry conditions, but once moisture is added, the mold goes wild. Moisture is the key ingredient; mold won’t develop until there’s moisture. Moisture comes from humidity, condensation, or water intrusion from leaks, spills, or floods. Mold’s purpose is to break down and decay organic matter, so it eats what it grows on. This is why mold in the home is a problem; mold will degrade the surfaces it’s found on.

Where is Mold hiding?

Since mold likes damp, dark places, it makes sense that you will likely find it growing in the walls, ceiling, windows, floors, furniture, insulation, air ducts, clothes, food, and crawl spaces. Some unusual places that mold likes to grow include dehumidifiers, air conditioners, potted plants, and air filters. Mold is in the air everywhere, and when it meets a damp indoor spot with little or no UV light, it begins digesting and growing.

How do you know it’s there?

Those fuzzy dots you see in the corner of your home might actually be mold and not just your blurry vision. If your allergies start acting up, you notice a musty smell, or you can physically see mold, it is probably a good indicator that you have a mold issue. Needless to say, mold doesn’t have a positive effect on your health. Breathing in mold spores causes respiratory effects such as coughing, wheezing, the development of asthma, respiratory infections, and chest tightness. Other health effects include fatigue and headaches.  It is best to seek advice from a health professional to accurately diagnose the cause of your symptoms.

 

Mold doesn’t disappear on its own

Some products that you can use to remove mold spots include borax, vinegar and baking soda, ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, or detergent. You can use any of these products where you find only a little mold, but if you suspect large areas of mold under the carpet or in the walls, it is time to call in professional help. For professional mold removal and mold remediation in the St. Cloud area, call Royal Renovations to get the job done for you.

Here is a comprehensive list of services provided by Royal Renovations:

 

  • Mold Containment
  • Water Extraction
  • Odor Control
  • Content Pack-Out/In
  • Demolition
  • Sanitization
  • 24/7 Claim Management
  • Climate Controlled Storage
  • Moisture Readings
  • Complete Construction
  • Post Testing
  • Content Cleaning

 

 

What to do After a Sewage Backup in your Home

Ah crap! No really, ah crap! What do you do when you find that sewage has backed up into your house? A sewage back-up can be caused by a toilet overflow, a clogged pipe, a frozen pipe, or a septic backup. A small sewage backup is usually confined to the bathroom or kitchen and can be managed to take care of on your own. Let’s get down and dirty on how to clean up this mess.

 

A sewage backup into your home needs to be taken care of right away. Nobody wants to live with that anyway; the flush option was invented for a reason. The flooded area must be thoroughly cleaned to reduce the risk of disease. Before you begin cleaning, put on protective clothing such as rubber gloves, waterproof shoes, and safety goggles, because the waste water is very harmful to you. If there is a considerable amount of water and it is covering an outlet or electrical cords, there is potential that the waste water could be charged. You should have the utility company shut off your gas and electricity immediately to prevent electrical shock and explosion. Now you are ready to get a little dirty.

For a substantial amount of water, it will need to be pumped out. Otherwise, a wastewater mop, wet vac, or squeegee can be used. If necessary, shovel out solid waste into heavy plastic garbage bags first. Open your doors and windows and turn on fans and dehumidifiers to dry out area and circulate clean air. Mop and scrub affected surfaces with an EPA registered disinfectant and hot water. The hotter the water is that’s used to clean the more bacteria and germs it will kill, so use water as hot as you safely can. If an area such as your basement or utility room floods, the concrete should be cleaned, disinfected, and dried as well. Concrete doesn’t soak up as much as wood or drywall would but will absorb a little bit of the moisture, and this kind of water you don’t want to linger around. Additionally, wooden wall studs and window sills probably won’t need to be replaced if they are cleaned, disinfected, and dried properly.

 

So what do you keep and what do you throw? What can be salvaged after a sewage backup depends on the extent of exposure to sewage water and ability to be adequately disinfected and dried thoroughly? Carpeting or large rugs with a foam back will probably have to be discarded and replaced. If only a small portion were affected, it might be salvaged by a professional cleaning company. But surfaces such as hardwood floors, tile, or linoleum are easily cleaned using disinfectants. All potentially contaminated food items, cosmetics, stuffed animals, baby toys, and mattresses should be discarded. Your soiled clothing or rugs should be washed thoroughly with hot water and bleach if possible. All of your discarded items should be sealed in a heavy plastic garbage bag, and it is even a good idea to notify your garbage collection company of the bag contents.

Don’t be alarmed if you find a sewage backup in your home you are now more knowledgeable to handle it, but if the thought of getting your hands dirty in this case doesn’t appeal to you, professional help is always there.

 

Why Pipes Freeze and Break in Winter

It’s inevitable, the cold hits hard every winter and sometimes, despite all efforts, the cold wins and something breaks or bursts. Your pipes can take a beating in the winter. Prevent and protect your pipes from freezing and breaking, so a spring flood doesn’t hit you early. Your water pipes are at risk for freezing anytime it is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. As the water in the pipes freezes, it expands and your pipe doesn’t expand with it, causing it to rupture.

Some pipes that are vulnerable in your house are any pipes exposed to severe cold. This would include water sprinkler lines, outdoor house bibs, or water supply lines in unheated areas. Some areas to watch out for vulnerable pipes would be in basements, crawl spaces, attics, garages, kitchen cabinets, or pipes running against outside walls with little insulation.

Some tips to prevent your pipes from freezing and breaking include keeping your garage doors closed as much as possible. It is also important to drain any remaining water from your water sprinkler lines before winter and don’t put antifreeze in these lines unless you are specifically directed to. Next, disconnect and drain outdoor hoses and store them inside to prevent them from cracking. After you do that, leave the hose valve open so water can drain and the remaining water will have room to expand as it freezes and won’t break the pipe. Another way to protect your pipes is to keep your thermostat set at a constant temperature during the night and day. If you’re a snowbird leaving for the winter, don’t turn your heat completely off. The lowest you should ever set your thermostat is 55 degrees.

There are a few signs to watch out for so you can be proactive before your pipes burst. One sign is very low water pressure. Low water pressure could also indicate a clog in the pipe, but usually clogs grow, so the decreasing pressure is something you would notice over time.  A likely spot for your pipes to freeze is in an exterior wall or where your water supply enters the home, usually through the foundation. If you can locate the pipe that is starting to freeze, wrap an electric heating pad or blanket around a frozen pipe, use a hair dryer, or a portable space heater. When you’re heating up the pipe leave the faucet open because all that frozen water will need to go somewhere.

All in all, a burst pipe could be around $5,000 in damages, if you’re lucky. The best way out of everything is to use insulation in your attic, basement, crawlspace, garage, anywhere a pipe runs! Pipe insulation can cost as little as 50 cents per linear foot. That 50 cents looks much better than $5,000 does. Take care of your pipes beginning in the fall and make sure to keep an eye on them until May, we all know how Minnesota winters go.

If you run into any of these problems first-hand, contact Royal Renovations and we’ll be on our way to restore your pipes to their intended condition, ensuring your house doesn’t freeze during this Minnesota winter.

How to Prepare for a Fire | Fire Escape Plan

Fire is dangerous. That is why it is important to have a good understanding of fire safety. Don’t get into the mindset that a fire could never happen in your home, instead be precautious and come up with a family fire escape plan. Call the family together and sit down for your first family fire meeting.

One of the first and most important things to go over is your family’s emergency contact numbers and home address. It is always helpful to have mom and dad’s cell phone numbers memorized for any type of emergency, not just a house fire. Go over calling 911 and the questions that emergency personnel will be asking: type of emergency, name, age, address, etc. In the case of a house fire never call 911 from inside the house. Your first priority is to get out of the house. Choose a family meeting place a safe distance from the house such as the neighbor’s house, the mailbox, a light post, or a street sign. Once you have reached your safe spot outside of the home then call 911.

Next step is to put your plan into action. Walk through the house as a family to point out the possible exits in each room and the locations of the smoke alarms. While walking through practice opening doors and windows to make sure they operate smoothly. Next, run through a family fire drill during the day and during the night. Make sure your family is aware it is a drill to prevent anyone from being scared or taking unnecessary measures.

Finally, talk about extra precautions to take during the event of a house fire. As you are following our family’s fire escape plan, there are a few things to keep in mind. If you are escaping through an area that is very smoky, stay low and pull your shirt over your mouth to protect yourself from getting smoke into your lungs. Try to close as many doors behind you as possible. A closed door will slow down the spread of heat, smoke, and fire. If you are trying to exit a room and the door is closed, check to see if the fire is close to the other side of the door by putting the backside of your hand close to the door handle. If the handle is hot don’t open the door, instead escape through another door or window. Lastly, it is so important to know never ever, ever go back into a burning house!

Take the time to prepare your family for a house fire. It doesn’t hurt to be too cautious and your kids are never too young to start learning your family’s escape plan. Our family of staff at Royal Renovations has a plan to help clean up after a fire, but we need you and your family to have a plan for your safety.

 

Click here for a Family Fire Escape Plan Checklist

 

 

 

Importance of Fire Inspections

While it may be cold outside, things can still heat up inside as fires affect thousands of homes each winter resulting in property damage and loss. The importance of ensuring fire inspections are conducted cannot be emphasized enough for the most effective way of avoiding damage by fire is to prevent the fire. Here are some reasons on why you should be having an inspection done at least two times a year.

Fire inspections help identify any potential problems that lead to fire hazards. This way they can be corrected and people can be educated on how to identify them and how to respond. Sometimes property owners don’t think this as part of maintenance but regular fire inspections help ensure that the house is as safe as can be.

 

Residents of your community can benefit from a home fire safety inspection program. Home inspections provide an opportunity to inspect for fire safety issues in the home, provide measures to improve the safety of residents and increase fire safety and awareness outreach.

 

Here are some steps to take when inspecting your home for fire hazards.

  • Look at the exterior of your home for potential hazards such as obstructions to fire escapes, combustible liquids like gas, and overgrown vegetation obstructing windows or exits.
  • Inspect the main door, ensuring it opens and closes easily. Deadbolts are great for security but make it hard to leave in a hurry; consider changing the lock system.
  • Locate all of the smoke detectors inside your home. Start in the basement and work your way up ensuring there’s one in every room.
  • Take any present detector down and check for a date. If it’s older than 10 years, the unit should be replaced. Also, check to see if it’s working and change batteries if you haven’t done so within the last 6 months.
  • Draw up a fire escape plan and practice it; know two ways out of every room and practice the plan twice a year.
  • Make sure windows easily open. If the window’s sash can be removed, practice and show all members of your family how to open windows properly.
  • Locate fire extinguishers in your home. If there are none, purchase and place one on every floor in your house.
  • Inspect electrical outlets, power cords, and surge protectors making sure they are not overloaded and are being used for their intended purpose.
  • Inspect the areas around appliances that produce heat such as the stove, furnace, hot-water heater, fireplace, space heater, wood stove, and any other heat producing device. Make sure that the area around the appliances is free of combustibles. Have all fuel-burning appliances inspected, cleaned, and maintained by a licensed professional on a regular basis.

 

Royal Renovations can handle every aspect of the restoration process whether the fire damage was small or large. We’re here to help you.