Duraclean Services

Category Archive: Blog

  1. 24 Hours a Day, 7 Days a week, 365 Days a year . . .

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                In a perfect world, disasters would only strike between the hours of 9am -5pm, leaving plenty of time for hanging out with the family, visiting with friends, and catching up on sleep…however, we do NOT live in a perfect world, in fact, most would venture to say that the probability of a disaster striking your home after 5pm is more likely than not! That is why it is so important to be prepared at ALL times. Having a plan and knowing what to do and who to call at a moment’s notice enables you to have peace of mind, even in the toughest situations. Even though you can’t control what disasters come your way, you can control how you handle them.  Just as you should have a plan in case of a fire or robbery, you should also have a plan for a home disaster. Major storms, burst pipes, broken sump pumps, flooded basements, water logged carpet, and soggy drywall are just a few of the things that can go wrong for a homeowner. Add in the severe complications from fire and smoke disasters, or the dangers of untreated mold and you have urgent situations that call for fast action, so you better choose the right Restoration Company. Instead of trying to gather your thoughts and make important decisions in the middle of a “surprise” disaster, why not plan ahead, read reviews, gather information, and decide what company you will use before a disaster happens, not during one. In doing this, you will save crucial time, avoid a lot of frustration, and be sure to get your restoration clean up started and done as quickly as possible.

    Although there are other Restoration Services available in our area, the thing about Duraclean is that we work with ALL major Insurance Companies, journeying with you from the time you first call, until your home is fully restored, walking with you each and every step of the way.  From beginning  to end, starting the job immediately, from the moment we speak, until the job is complete. Through clean up, mitigation, remediation, and reconstruction, Duraclean offers top of the line service, excellent workmanship, affordable prices and a friendly disposition to reassure you that everything is going to be alright! Full Restoration, putting the customer first, hiring the most experienced employees and offering the latest techniques and services to complete your Restoration in a safe & timely fashion . .  that’s what Duraclean is all about!

    So take the time to look around, be informed, and feel free to give us a call (even before disaster strikes) ask questions and have a plan. Always be prepared for what tomorrow may hold, but make sure to take the time to enjoy today. Remember, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, Duraclean has been servicing the Harford, Baltimore, and Cecil County areas of Maryland for the past 28 years and counting.  Our reputation, service record, and integrity speak for themselves. So have that plan in place and enjoy the sweet peace that comes from laying your head down at night  knowing that no matter what disaster strikes, Duraclean is ALWAYS ready to go at a moments notice to meet ALL of your Restoration needs, because  . . . No One is Faster to the Disaster!

    Call today 410-838-7330.

     

     

  2. Tips for Making Sure Your Sump Pump is Working

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    As we get ready to head into another rainy week, it’s always good to be aware that with drastic weather changes, the likely hood of weather related home disasters increases too. In fact, home flooding, particularly in the basement, soon becomes a real possibility. One of the main causes of basement flooding, is from a sump pump failure. These basement disasters can happen from something as simple as the power going out, to the extremes of heavy rainfall and outside flooding,  to the age and deterioration of your sump pump,  to something as drastic as frozen or clogged pipes, or the lack of routine maintenance, or a faulty installation.

    The way a sump pump works is pretty basic. Your basement has a drain system around the perimeter of the outside wall that feeds into the sump pump. In the corner of your basement, there is a hole dug and a sump pump is placed in order to capture and pump out that water. The pit can fill up from rain, for example, and the pump will switch on and pump the water into various pipes that feed out away from your home’s foundation. It is a very simple mechanism.

    The key to avoid failure all comes down to maintenance. Some of these problems can just occur, and are hard to avoid, but the odds are in your favor if it is something you regularly keep an eye on. It is always a good idea to do regular checks on the pump. The best way is to simply lift the float up and the pump should come on. If not, then you will need to find out why it is not working. Here are some other tips:

    1. Try to check the pump for particles and debris by properly cleaning it
    2. There is a float switch on the sump pump, make sure it is not restricted
    3. Clean all the vents and spaces to allow it to function at its best
    4. Have a battery backup in case of a power outage to ensure your sump pump can still run

     

    Again, sump pumps sometimes fail, so always be prepared! In order to have a good chance of it NOT failing, be sure to make regular maintenance a part of your routine, and don’t hesitate to call a licensed professional to determine if you are having a serious issue. Remember, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, Duraclean is ALWAYS ready to get the job done! Call ANY time 410-838-7330. #NoOneIsFasterToTheDisaster #WaterFireMold #RestorationSpecialists

  3. When Disaster Strikes . . . Saving Important Papers and Vital Documents

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    In the event of a disaster, the last thing that you need to be doing is running around from room to room gathering important papers and vital documents. Passports, social security cards, birth certificates, a marriage license, adoption decrees, and a plethora of financial statements, medical records, and passwords (never ever forget the passwords) as well as your favorite family photos, old movies and sentimental keepsakes. . . Wow! That is a LOT of stuff to be gathered, and there is just NO way you are going to be able to grab it all, and safely run out the door at a moment’s notice. So, what can you do to ensure that in the event of a disaster you will have not only things deemed necessary to “starting over”, but also be able to save the sentimental items that you hold dear ? You make a plan. Not tomorrow, but today…right now, at this very moment… you begin.

    Disasters happen every single day, and chances are that in your life time, there will be some sort of emergency that warrants you having to run out of your home quickly. Fires, floods, and an array of natural and sometimes man made disasters can come your way very unexpectedly, forcing you to leave your home immediately  with very little notice (sometimes, with just the clothes on your back).  Although you cannot be prepared for every single thing that may come your way, you can take the time to gather, organize, and put a plan in place for your family to assure that you have the best chance of walking away safely AND still having the important documents necessary for starting over.

    So . . . make a list of things you would NEED to start all over again, then add to that list sentimental things that you would WANT (remember, you don’t have a lot of space, so really think about what is important).  A Social Security card is at the top of the list, followed by a Birth Certificate, Marriage License or Divorce Decree, Adoption or Custody Papers, and even your Will would go in the “necessary” pile. Next, gather your financial statements-numbers of bank accounts, credit cards, or loans. If you are a traveler, find your Passport and throw it into the pile too. Make sure that you have ALL of the passwords to each of your accounts written down somewhere and add them to your ever increasing pile of “necessities” as well. Next comes your medical records. If you battle an ongoing illness, or have reason to keep your medical records at home, add them to the pile too. Now it’s time to tackle the “sentimental” stuff. Favorite family photographs, old movies, or special keepsakes that are irreplaceable, need to find a spot also. By now, your pile should be big … really, really, really, big…and that’s good, that means that you have been thoughtful and intentional to what you would NEED and what you would WANT if you ever have to start over again (which we really, really, really hope that you don’t).

    Now, here is where the work begins, make copies, notice I added an “s” as in several. We aren’t talking one copy of each, but at least 2 or 3. When you have copied everything possible, make 3 distinct piles. Each pile will end up in a different place. Now you can make as many piles as you want, but I think that three is a good number. Here is where you are going to need to invest a bit of money, not a lot, but definitely some. Purchase 2 fire proof safes. One to keep at your home, and one to keep at a trusted family member or friend’s home. You can buy a good safe for less than $100 at any Home Improvement or Retail store. Fill each safe with 1 copy of each thing you would like to save, and then take it to your trusted place and give them a key, and a keep a key for yourself. Now, not that your friend cannot have a disaster as well, but chances are, they probably wont have a disaster at the very same time that you do, so keeping your safe at their home should should give you an extra layer of protection against loosing everything.

    Next, it’s time to fill an envelope and head to the bank and invest in a safe deposit box. Now, you can fit a lot more in these than you think, but still, try to consolidate only what you need, instead of bringing everything but the kitchen sink! Again, have a key for yourself, your spouse, or person that you trust as well.

    Finally, fill that last fireproof safe up and find the perfect spot to keep it in your home. Maybe it’s in your bedroom closet, maybe it’s in the coat closet near the front door, maybe it’s safely tucked under the living room sofa. There is really no wrong place to keep your safe. Just remember, in the event of an emergency, you want to be able to grab it and run right out of the house as quickly as possible.

    Now, chances are, that in the event of a disaster, at least 1 set of your important papers and most likely, even 2 sets will still be be safe and sound, ready and available to help you move forward and start over in rebuilding a new life.  Although it is truly our hope and prayer that you never ever find yourself needing to open these safes and begin again, it is so good to know that the things inside will help make for a much smoother transition in starting over again and moving forward in the rebuilding process.

    Always, be sure to keep watch around your house, aware of anything that could potentially cause an emergency situation. Stay in a routine of regularly changing the batteries in your smoke detector, invest in a carbon monoxide detector, even consider purchasing a flood alarm for your sump pump, and should you ever smell gas, leave the house immediately and call 911. Do what you can to prevent disasters and to be prepared for them, and be sure to pass on your wisdom and knowledge to those you know and love.

    Wishing you and your family safety and protection, at all times. If for any reason you do face a disaster, Duraclean is ALWAYS ready to go 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days  a year to get the job done! Call ANY time 410-838-7330. Remember, No One is Faster to the Disaster!

     

  4. When the Smoke Clears . . .

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    Each and every day, we turn on the news to see tragic stories of local fires and the loss that they bring to families in our area. Through National Fire Safety programs, we continue to educate and encourage our community to take extreme precautions to protect their homes and families from the dangers of Fire and Smoke. Although we have a long ways to go, we are making strides, each year reducing the number of local fires in our area little by little, and for that we are grateful.

    Fire. . . just the thought of the word evokes fear and trembling. Usually unexpected and fiercely swift, there is often very little time to get your family out safely, let alone to gather much else from your home. House fires can be incredibly devastating, but along with the flames comes some pretty intense Smoke that causes lots of damage as well.

    Smoke/soot is the product of incomplete combustion.  It is made visible through the presence of small particles of carbon. Smoke damage can affect your home in a number of ways. Since the fire that causes Smoke and Soot is non-discriminatory(it will burn ANYTHING which can be burned) it is able to destroy whatever is in it’s path and cause tremendous amounts of damage to a house. Residue that has been created through the fire mixing with flammable materials such as particle board, plastic, laminates, or vinyls, will also produce very complex and overwhelming odors that will affect everything around them!

     

    Three Categories of Smoke Residue and Odors

    Smoke odors can normally be classified into three categories.  These categories also need customized deodorization to restore them:

     

    1. Protein Odors – These are produced from burned meat, flesh and poultry.

     

    The residue is identifiable by a brownish or yellowish color and has a greasy texture. Odor removal and deodorization usually entails a complete cleaning of the affected surfaces.

    1. Natural Substance Odors – Natural burned substances include paper, wood, jute, cork, feathers, and wool, anything that has a plant or an animal hair source.  Identification is made through a gray/black residue that has a dry, powdery consistency.  

     

    1. Synthetic Substance Odors – Synthetic (man-made) burned substances encompass burned plastics and textiles.  Residues from these substances are black in color and smudge easily since they come from petroleum-based sources.  Burned synthetic residue can create smoke webs visible where walls and corners meet the ceiling and in streamers handing from curtain rods.  These smoke webs are called soot tags.

     

    NOTE:  Soot tags are often misidentified as “spider webs” which supposedly became visible because of the smoke/soot residue.

     

    Five Factors That Influence Smoke

    There are five factors that influence smoke damage and can affect the related surfaces:

     

    1. Heat – Warmed or heated air rises and migrates to cold areas such as outside walls and closets.  Heat causes pores in surfaces to expand which then readily accepts the smoke residue and odor.
    2. Pressure – The energy created by the fire produces heat which enables the smoke to penetrate into the most minute cracks and crevices.
    3. Impingement – Burned objects can hit another surface with sufficient velocity so that it will impinge (or splatter) and remain on the surface.  (Think of candle wax.)
    4. Magnetism – Smoke is attracted to metal surfaces such as plumbing pipes, nail heads and metal coat hangers.
    5. Ionization – Opposites attract so smoke webs may form on structural surfaces.  Plastic bags on clothing from dry cleaners retain electrical charges which attract smoke.  More smoke damage can be found on clothing inside plastic bags in a closet as opposed to unprotected clothing!!!

     

    For expert fire damage restoration contact us here @ 410-838-7330 to have one of our experienced professionals come out to assess your situation. Because we offer 24 hour a day, 365 days a year emergency services, you are able to call both day or night to have us start in the Restoration Process. With over 30 years of experience in Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration, Duraclean is always aware of the newest techniques and most up to date treatments to get the Process done as quickly and efficiently as possible. Let us walk with you through the Restoration Process from beginning to end. . . Call today!

     

  5. Spring . . .

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    Spring, the time when the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and everyone takes a long hard look at their home both inside and out; day dreaming about the newest trends and future wants, but seeing up close and personal the reality of the flaws that are making your home less than perfect in so many ways.

    From deep cleaning Saturday’s, to re-organizing a little bit at a time through out the week, even so, when you step back to take a look, there is still something missing . . . Perhaps a coat or two of a new color on the wall, maybe even a few new pictures or a couple of throw pillows on the couch will make things look fresh and new for the season. You were right, they do, but still something is missing. Finally, instead of looking up or all around,  you look down and realize that what still needs to be cleaned to make Spring Cleaning complete  . . . is your carpets!

    Carpets, most people have them.  In fact, home owners and renters alike seem to enjoy the warmth and coziness that carpets bring to a room. The way the look, the way they feel, and the way they smell when they are freshly cleaned, all set a tone not only for a room, but for an entire home. Still, somehow we seem to focus on Spring Cleaning the rest of the house first, and put them at the bottom of the list, waiting until the very last minute to get the job done! Now you can always go to the grocery store and rent one of those “contraptions” to clean your rugs yourself . . . but the thought of having to fit it into your car, taking the time to read all of the directions to figure out how to properly use it, as well as exposing your household to harsh chemicals, and then having to dispose of the dirty remains after the cleaning is done can be pretty overwhelming. Personally, I don’t think that it’s worth it, and that is definitely NOT how I want to spend an afternoon off at my house!

    Here’s where Duraclean comes in, we are experts in cleaning carpets. We have over 30 years experience in removing debris, getting out tough stains, and cleansing your carpets from pet dander, and other allergens that can be lurking in your carpets and affecting your family’s health. We bring our PROFESSIONAL equipment, we use environmentally SAFE cleaners, and we know how to PROPERLY deep clean a carpet until you are completely satisfied! Our technicians are experienced, trustworthy, dependable and friendly, always PREPARED to get the job done!

    So as we welcome Spring and make the transition from being cooped up with our families for the winter, to opening up our windows and doors to invite our friends and neighbors to come on in and sit awhile, there’s still a enough time to get ALL of your cleaning done. Call 410-838-7330 to set up a Carpet Cleaning appointment, and then tell us what you think. We are confident that you will have a great Carpet Cleaning experience with Duraclean Services, and that you will make us a part of your annual Spring Cleaning routine!

    Have a safe and Happy Spring and enjoy every moment!

    The Duraclean Family

     

  6. Simple Tips For a Cleaner, More Efficient Home

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    • With Spring just around the corner, it’s the perfect time for those who want to get a jump start on cleaning (not just straightening up, but actually cleaning),  but don’t quite know where to start. The experts from the Institute of Home Science have some practical advice and useful guidelines to help you get your home in tip-top shape. From the laundry room to the kitchen, here’s  a quick list on how to kick-start your cleaning.
    • The laundry room:  This room sees quite a bit of action in most homes. It’s the place where stains are treated, clothes are folded, and washers and dryers take on the battle of keeping all sorts of fabrics looking their very best. From the smallest, to the largest of families, this room can be a daunting place, but a little effort can go a long way.
      • Organization is key – Make sure to pre-sort your laundry into designated baskets for lights, darks and whites. When you’re ready, your laundry will be too.
      • Less is more – Don’t overload the washer or dryer. Clothes will come out cleaner and less wrinkled when given room to move freely.
      • Go easy on the suds – If you have a high efficiency (HE) washer, use only HE detergents in the proper amount to help prevent over-sudsing and the buildup of odor causing residue. With a regular washing machine, remember that concentrated detergents require using smaller amount.
      •  Don’t over-dry your clothes. It’s actually a lack of moisture that causes your clothes to shrink (which in turn makes people, especially Mama’s annoyed!)
      • Be sure to remember to clean out the lint trap of your dryer after every use, and be sure to have your dryer vent professionally cleaned every 2 to 3 years. This will ensure that your  dryer is working at it’s very best AND protect against a potential fire hazard.

     

    Next the kitchen:  This room is typically both the busiest and messiest room in a home. Often filled with laughter, sweet conversations and 3 or more meals a day, every square inch of this place is covered with hand prints, tasty ingredients and a plethora of dirty dishes!

    • De-clutter the countertops – Rather than displaying your small kitchen appliances, store them in easy access cabinets and take out only when needed.
    • Shield your cookware – To make cleanup a breeze after cooking or baking, line your cookware with tin foil before placing in the oven. Just toss out the foil and wipe down any spilled residue.
    • Stop pre-rinsing the dishes–Remember, most dishwashers are designed to sense the amount of soil on the dishes and will run the cycle accordingly. Scrape food off, but there is no need to rinse.
    • When in doubt, throw it out – Start clearing the refrigerator by putting contents on the counter. No idea how long that mustard has been in the fridge? Get rid of it.
    • Be sure to clean your oven regularly. By keeping the grime in check, your chances of a kitchen fire decrease, and you have the “freeing” feeling of being able to open your oven door in front of company without the fear of any “judgement” (especially from your mother in law!)

     

    When deciding what to get rid of, use the three “E” rule as your guideline – if it’s Expired, Empty or makes you say “Ew,” toss it.

    Keep these tips in mind and implement them over the next few weeks, and soon you will begin to see a huge difference. From de-cluttering to deep cleaning, you’re on your way to a cleaner, more organized home . . . which makes for easier upkeep and peace of mind.  To make an appointment for  carpet cleaning or air duct cleaning  contact us here, or call our office @ 410-838-7330. . . And Remember, Duraclean is ALWAYS ready to get the job done!

  7. Winter Fire Safety Tips . . . the “This Is Us” Edition!

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    If you spend your Tuesday nights like most American’s, chances are you curl up in front of the television watching a very popular  series centered around a lovable, yet oh so complicated family. If you’ve tuned in over the past few weeks, you have probably gone through at least a box or two of tissues AND have decided to forgo any crockpot recipes for a while (not forever mind you, but definitely for a while!) . . . After last night’s episode, there is absolutely no way that Fire Safety has not crossed some of our minds over the past 24 hours . . .Yes, I know a few months back, we did a blog about Fire Safety, and even visited the local Fire Department, but truth is,  it’s a REALLY important topic, so it’s worth talking about one more time.

     

    So welcome to Fire Safety, (aka the “This Is Us” edition). . . when the snow is falling, the winds are blowing, and the thermometer is far below our preferred comfort zone , that means that Winter has come , and is most likely going to stay for a while! With the change of seasons, comes an important reminder to be aware of fire safety rules, to remember those year round tips, as well as spending a few moments focusing on extra precautions that should be taken during the winter months ahead . . .  so here we go:

     

    Who doesn’t love to sit around a beautiful fire place or rustic wood stove, curled up under your favorite blanket all warm and cozy, while reading a good book or sipping on a fresh cup of coffee? Even though doing so may feel incredibly relaxing, it is SO important that before ANY fire happens,  to be sure to have had your chimney professionally cleaned and serviced. Also, make sure to keep a screen in front of the fire place. Although often very pretty, don’t be fooled, this piece is far more than a decoration.  It will protect your flooring from “runaway” embers that can start trouble (remember, it only takes a spark to get a fire going ) protecting not only from a possible fire, but from any damage that could occur to your carpet or flooring surface.

     

    1. Of course, NEVER use flammable liquids to start a fire, or even to keep one going, and move ANY flammable objects at least 3 feet or more away from the fire source. Once you are done enjoying the fire, be sure to take plenty of time to let the ashes cool down before closing the damper. Remember, a closed damper CAN reignite a flame, which will force carbon monoxide into your home . . . causing a potentially deadly threat to you and your family! Also, never place ashes (even cooled ashes in a cardboard or wooden box)  a metal container with a lid is the way to go just in case the ashes aren’t quite as cool as you thought they were!

     

    1. If you are using gas, verses wood burning appliances, thoroughly check your furnace out before you turn it on. Be sure to place your hands on the walls around it to make sure that no heat is coming through and check for cracks or holes in the furnace or adjacent pipes as well. As as always, keep all flammable and combustible objects far far away from the furnace, a 3-ft “safe zone” is usually your safest bet.

     

    1. Have that one room that is always “extra” cold no matter how high you turn up the heat?  Space heaters are a great heating source and can make a huge difference in your comfort level without adding to a huge electrical bill. However, just like everything else, you must be wise in how you use them. One heater per outlet is the max. NEVER plug them into an extension cord (they don’t have the safety of a circuit breaker that will “trip” when overloaded!). Be sure to keep heaters clear of ALL flammable objects, and debris, and of  course, remember that electric heaters shouldn’t be near water, so bathrooms and kitchens are NOT the best choice for them. If you do decide to use them in those rooms, be extra careful that they do not get wet, and NEVER ever leave them unattended.

     

    1. While we are using the NEVER word, NEVER ever  go to bed with a crock pot or oven on, with a dryer running, pre-strung lights (such as Christmas lights) or a lithium battery plugged in ( yes, I know you need to charge your phones and computers friends, but try to get into the habit of charging them while you are awake) Once they are fully charged, unplug them from the wall outlet and sleep with a bit more peace. Remember, a habit can be established within 2 months, and a 2 month investment is definitely worth the safety of your family.

     

    1. Be sure to have a smoke alarm in EVERY bedroom AND on EVERY floor of your home, and be sure to change the batteries regularly (at least once a year) and remember, smoke alarms need to be fully replaced every 10 years (even if you think they are in good shape, trust me, they aren’t!)

     

    1. Make sure that EACH floor has it’s own fire extinguisher (if you are a little on the paranoid side like I am, especially after last night’s episode, it probably wouldn’t be such a bad idea to have one in every bedroom either!) . . . and please be sure that EVERYONE  knows HOW TO USE THEM (during a fire is not the time to try to read the directions!)

     

    1. Know your house inside and out, think ahead and find 2 ways out of each and every room (doors and windows), and practice family fire drills often. Remember to have a meeting place nearby (usually in the front of your home) so family members will quickly know who has made it out of a fire and who is still inside.

     

    1. This Safety Rule is pretty important friends, in fact, I would probably call it the “Jack Rule!”  . . . NEVER EVER EVER go back into a burning house once you have made it out safely,  let the Fire Department take care of going back in to rescue or bring things out . . . they have the training, the experience and most of all the protective gear to be the person to get the job done! bottom line, GET OUT AND STAY OUT!!!

     

    1. Go over these fire safety rules with your family often. Don’t make them a conversation that you just check off your list every Winter, but truly make them a way of life for your household . . . Enjoy the Winter months, stay warm, have fun, make memories . . . and most of do your best to STAY SAFE . . . AND be sure to buy a new box of tissues before Tuesday night!
    2. #THISISIMPORTANT #THISISFIRESAFETY #PROTECTYOURFAMILY #THISISYOU #THISISME #THISISUS #WELOVEYOUJACKPEARSON #BESTSHOWEVER #SEEYOUTUESDAY#DONTFORGETTHETISSUES #DURACLEANCARES #NOONEISFASTERTOTHEDISASTER #CALL4108387330
  8. Ice Damming 101 . . .

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    Ice Damming, there is a strong possibility that you may have never heard of the term before ( you’re not alone, I didn’t know what it was until I began working for a Restoration Company), but chances are that you have definitely seen Ice Damming with your own eyes! Those beautiful long icicles that hang off of the eaves of houses in the winter time, ( you know what I am talking about) the ones that glisten and catch the sunlight, making houses seem as though they should be featured on the front of a Christmas card. Those aren’t “just” Icicles, they are really Ice Dams!

    Basically, an Ice Dam is caused when a ridge of ice forms at the end of the roof (aka an icicle)  and causes a “dam.” (nothing can penetrate it) This dam prevents melting snow (aka water) from draining off of the roof properly. Once an Ice Dam attaches itself to a home, major problems usually aren’t too far away!  As heat and warm air leak from the living space below (inside the house) the snow on the roof begins to melt, and water begins to trickle down, until it finds it’s way to the coolest edge of the roof line (right above the eaves) where it then refreezes into long, strong pieces of ice. . .  lots and lots of ice!  Once this ice has hardened itself into a Dam, it becomes virtually impossible for any melting snow to get around it, so it looks for other places to seep into. . .walls, ceilings, and insulation are usually the first places to be hit, but Ice Dams can also warp floors, and damage other areas that require the immediate help of a Professional (aka Duraclean Services).

    Although Ice Damming is pretty common especially in ice cold winter months, there are a few things that you can do to help prevent them:

    . Pulling off snow with a long handled rake (aluminum with wheels) is a great start. While you are standing safely on the ground, you are able to manipulate the rake on top of the roof without damaging roof top shingles or yourself.

    . Calcium Chloride is a great ice melter. When put into a pair of old pantyhose and laid across the top of the Ice Dam and gutter, it will eventually melt the Dam, creating a channel or passage for the water to flow down (Guys,  this is important, make sure that you ASK your wife before using her pantyhose, or an icy roof will be the least of your worries!)

    .If you can, make sure the roof temperature is the same in every area, that way, Ice Dams cannot form. The key to doing this is good insulation and proper ventilation.

    . Be sure you have enough Insulation, if you don’t, add some more. By adding it to the attic floor you will keep things warm, and when it’s nice and warm, ice cannot form.

    . Make sure that all ducts (kitchen, bathroom, and dryer)  are directed through the roof or walls and are sealed and insulated properly.

    . Be sure that there are no gaps around your chimney, if there are, be sure to fill them in with a fire-stop sealant.

    . Be aware, keep a watchful eye, and don’t hesitate to call a Professional (Duraclean Services) at a moments notice.

    Remember, Duraclean is ready to go 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to meet ALL of your Restoration needs. Call ANY time 410-838-7330.

     

     

     

  9. Watch the Christmas Tree Please . . .

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    It’s that time of the year again, Christmas music is playing, cookies are baking, and it’s nearly impossible to find a parking spot at the mall any time of the day or night! Stockings have been hung with care, letters to Santa have been sent, and all of the Christmas decor has finally made it’s way down from the attic, to the living room floor to be divided and dispersed throughout the entire house; both inside and out . . . After all, it is the most wonderful time of the year!

    At the center of hustle and bustle of the season, you will usually find a beautifully decorated Christmas tree. Some are short, some are tall, some are plump and some are narrow, some are “themed” trees, and some are filled with old family memories . . . but none the less, most homes have at least one (or more) up during this special time of year. Putting up trees can be exasperating, in fact, we usually set aside an entire day to get the job done! From going to the farm to cut one down and strapping it to the top of the car, to pulling it out of a box and assembling all of the pieces, putting up a tree definitely requires a bit of “elbow” grease and a whole lot of patience. Should you go with colored lights for the kids, or clear lights to please mama? Should you use homemade garlands or store bought ribbon? How about new ornaments verses old ones that have a special memory behind them?

    There is definitely no “right way” to put up a Christmas tree, but there is a “right way” to take care of one. Every year, 250 or more home fires are started by a Christmas tree, causing an average of 16 deaths and 13.1 million dollars worth of property damage . . . these fires are a very serious matter, but don’t lose heart, there are some simple steps you can take to ensure a safe and happy holiday season.

    1. Selecting the “perfect” tree for your family – If having a real tree adds to your Christmas experience, be sure to pick a tree that is slightly sticky to the touch. If the needles are already falling off, it has been cut too long and will be more of a fire hazard. Remember, fresh is best!
    2. Caring for your tree- This is an important one friends! Although they are lovely to look at, a fresh tree should never be up for more than 2 weeks, and the tree stand should always be filled with water. It is also very important not to place your tree near a heat source, that means that fire places and heating vents are not the right spot to display your holiday splendor.
    3. Lights – Let’s face it, lights are a HUGE part of the holiday experience, but they are also one of the most dangerous parts. Broken plugs, kinked or frayed wires are an accident waiting to happen. Be sure to check your lights every season and make the investment of new lights every 5 years (or sooner if needed) to ensure safe lighting for your tree. Always remember, you should never link more than 3 strands of lights together (unless otherwise specified) and that lights should never ever be warm to the touch! Even if you are tempted, be sure to turn off your tree lights when leaving your home, Santa won’t mind, we promise!
    4. Holiday Candles – They are pretty, they smell amazing, and their soft lighting gives a warm and inviting glow to a room, but candles can be very DANGEROUS if not used properly! Be sure to use stable candle holders, be careful not to have any flammable materials close by, and above all, if there aren’t going to be people in the room. . . .BLOW IT OUT!
    5. Test your smoke alarms- Although we encourage you to do this several times a year, this is one of the most important times . . . be sure that your alarm is stocked with new batteries, tested and ready to go!
    6. Have an Escape Plan – It is so important for the entire family to know how to get out of a burning house and where to meet afterward so there is no confusion to who is out safely,and who may still be inside. Remember, you ALWAYS want to get away from the fire as quickly as possible!
    7. Now that we have reminded you of all of the things that can go wrong, be sure to focus on all of the things that are going right during this Christmas season. Spend extra time with your family and friends, make sweet memories,  give to those less fortunate, and spread kindness wherever you go. Remember in the event of a fire, (or any other disaster) that Duraclean Services is ALWAYS ready, 24 hours a day 7 days a week to get the job done! We are able to service ALL of your Restoration needs . . . No One is Faster to the Disaster! Call anytime 410-838-7330.
  10. Last Minute Odds and Ends to Remember for the Holidays…

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    Well, it’s finally here! Just a few more days, and we will gather around dining room tables across America to give thanks for all we’ve been blessed with in the 2017 year. We will dine on delicious food made from family recipes handed down from one generation to the next, we will play games, catch up on conversation, do our best to carry on with old traditions and even incorporate some new ones. We will probably eat too much, shed a tear or two while reminiscing over past memories, and laugh til we cry as Uncle Roger tells the same joke for the hundredth time, but most of all we will enjoy spending an extra special day together with those who mean the most to us.

    Although some of us live in the same town where we will share a Thanksgiving meal with family and friends, there are many of us (51 million according to AAA) who will be traveling during this Thanksgiving season. One million are expected to hit the road from Maryland alone! If you are one of those families getting ready to travel hundreds of miles to spend time with those you hold dear, here is a quick check list to make things easier for you before you leave.

    DID YOU  . . .

    1. Turn off the water!

    If a pipe should burst while you are gone, you will come home to quite a mess! Basements, appliances, carpets and furniture can all be ruined in a matter minutes, so shut off the main water valve, flush your toilets and turn on your faucets to drain the pipes. Also, be sure to turn down the temperature on your water heater, no sense paying if there’s no one around to use it!

    Should a problem arise, remember, “No One is Faster to the Disaster” -the Duraclean Motto

    2. Turn down your thermostat!

    55 degrees is the perfect setting (as long as no people or pets are in the house) things won’t freeze, and it will give your furnace and energy bill a break too!

    3.Unplug your electronics!

    Well, everything except for a light or two on a timer to keep burglars away. Other than that, unplug it all; televisions, washer & dryers, extra lamps, toasters, and any other small  kitchen appliances you have. Doing this will help lower your electrical usage, and also help to prevent fires while you are away. Remember, a penny saved, is a penny earned!

    4. Let a neighbor (that you trust) know that you are headed out of town!

    Leave them a phone number to contact you in the event they see something “suspicious” or out of the ordinary. If you really (really) trust them, leave them a spare key in case you need someone to check on something while you’re away.

    5. Be sure to lock all doors and windows!

    Burglars can still break into your home, but by all means, don’t make it easy for them!

    6.Pack Light!

    Nobody, I mean nobody wants to ride in a car (or on an airplane) with too much “stuff”. Take what you need, and maybe a little bit extra, but do your best to keep it light. You and everyone you are traveling with will be happy you did.

    7. Leave early!

    Whether heading to the airport, or settling in for a 20 hour ride, early is the way to go. You hit less traffic, and use as much of your daylight as possible.

    8. Make sure your cell phone is charged!

    No matter what you think, you ARE going to be using that phone. Whether being used for emergencies, for pleasure, or as a GPS to get to your final destination, phones are a giant necessity on a long road trip. So make sure it’s charged, and be sure to pack both a car and wall charger, you will be glad you did.

    9. Pack snacks!

    No one wants to feel “Hangry” or be stuck in a car with someone who is . . .  do your travel companions a favor and pick a different week to diet!(hint, December is not a great time to diet either!)

    10. Have plenty of cash with you, as well as an extra credit card or two!

    Hopefully, your trip will go smoothly, but just in case it doesn’t, it’s always good to be prepared; hotels, rental cars, extra food, or even a surprise hospital visit are never free, so be sure to have plenty “just in case” $$$ with you.

    11. Be comfortable!

    Comfy clothes, extra blankets and a fluffy pillow or two always make for a much more enjoyable trip. Even though you are about to embark on a long weekend of looking your very best, it’s definitely ok to “go casual” while you travel.

    12. Have fun!

    Last, but certainly not least, have tons of fun. Whether you are off to the Bahamas for a secluded vacation or headed to see all of your extended family in North Carolina at Granny’s, be intentional to have meaningful conversations, and to make  wonderful memories during this Thanksgiving season. Play touch football, watch parades, eat more, (this is the one time of year where it’s allowed and even encouraged!) laugh hard, and take it all in. Enjoy the season, and the beauty and wonder of it all . . . Don’t miss a single moment!

    Happy Thanksgiving and Safe Travels,

    Duraclean Services