Recent General Posts

HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!

12/1/2021 (Permalink)

Miss Baby and the Tree She is trying to look innocent laying in front of the tree. Did she succeed?

We do love our Christmas trees with all the ornaments and lights.  However, there are a few things to keep in mind when purchasing and decorating your tree.

Christmas Trees

If you own or are buying an artificial tree, look for a fire-resistant label. When putting it up, keep it away from fireplaces, radiators, and other sources of heat, including candles.

If getting a live tree, make sure it’s fresh by bending the needles up and down to make sure no needles fall off. Water daily to keep it fresh. If you have dogs and/or cats, you know that they love to drink tree water.  Make sure to check the water frequently.

Decorations

If using older decorations, check their labels. Some older tinsel is lead-based. If using angel hair, wear gloves to avoid irritation. Avoid breathing in artificial snow.

Lighting

Check all holiday light cords to make sure they aren’t frayed or broken. It’s also best to check that all of the lights are working before you put them on the tree. Don’t string too many strands of lights together—no more than three per extension cord. Don’t use electric lights on metallic trees. And please don’t forget to turn off all holiday lights when going to bed or leaving the house.

From all of us at SERVPRO® of Winnetka/Wilmette/Skokie, we wish you a very merry and safe holiday season!

Sources: ARyan

LET’S GET READY FOR SUMMER!

6/4/2021 (Permalink)

Grilling Out This picture depicts yummy food being cooked outdoors on a grill. mmmmm

We all want a relaxing fun summer.  However, there are things that should be taken care of before the fun can begin.

  • Trim your trees. Clean up your yard by directing the growth of your branches
  • Clean your gutters and drains
  • Check your downspouts to make sure water is guided away from your property. If they are cracked or smashed, replace them.
  • Check your hose
  • Check out the deck and patio. 
  • Replace any broken and/or rotting wood, popped nails, and screws.
  • Sweep the deck and use a deck cleaner.  Now it is time to use a sealer or stain.  Always use sealers and stains that are meant for decks.
  • If you have pavers, replace, fix broken or missing ones.  Sweep and clean.
  • Wipe down exterior lights
  • Replace old weatherstripping
  • Wash your windows
  • Turn your ceiling fan counterclockwise
  • If your home needs new or additional insulation now is the time to do it.
  • Have your chimney cleaned 
  • Give your BBQ a deep clean. Give your outdoor grill a good clean before you begin using it regularly again.  LET'S EAT!

NOW IT’S TIME TO ENJOY SUMMER TO ITS FULLEST!!!

 Source: Google and ARyan

RENTERS INSURANCE

4/16/2021 (Permalink)

Water Damage to an Apartment In this caricature, there is a woman sitting on a seat in her kitchen with water sitting all around her.

We all know that we have to have homeowner’s insurance for our house or condo.  But what if you are a renter? Do you need insurance?  The answer is, yes. 

For example, if a pipe breaks, floods from storms, or there is an electrical fire, the home or building owner is responsible for the damages.  The owner’s insurance company will only cover the damages to the structure, not your contents.  However, if you cause damage to the property, such as a stove fire, you will be responsible for paying for those damages.

This is where the renter’s insurance comes in.  If something does happen, whether it be your fault or not, you will have insurance coverage to cover your contents and any damages that you may have caused.  Your insurance agent will help you pick the best plans for your needs.

Say “yes” to getting renter’s insurance! Don’t get caught without it.

Remember; Call SERVPRO® of Winnetka/Wilmette/Skokie at 847.600.0102 for your restoration and content needs.  We are always here to help!

SPRING IS IN THE AIR!

4/6/2021 (Permalink)

AC Unit in Various Cleaning Stages This picture shows the AC unit with the fan removed, the vacuuming of the fins, and the water-hose cleaning method.

Now that spring has arrived, you should be thinking about getting your HVAC’s external unit (Condenser and Compressor) ready for our hot summer days.

Preventative maintenance for HVAC systems

Regular maintenance can help you save a substantial sum of money.   Properly maintained, an HVAC system, interior, and exterior can last over a decade without any need to replace major components.

Just like your interior HVAC system, the HVAC’s external unit (Condenser and Compressor), needs a regular air conditioning service schedule to keep it in top condition. The condenser is one of the most critical parts of the air conditioner system, and you need to keep an eye on it for faults and mishaps.  It is suggested to periodically hire a professional to have the AC inspected.  A well-trained technician will find and fix problems in your air conditioning system.

PROFESSIONAL PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE:

The technician should:

  • Check for the correct amount of refrigerant
  • Test for refrigerant leaks using a leak detector
  • Capture any refrigerant that must be evacuated from the system, instead of illegally releasing it into the atmosphere
  • Check for and seal duct leakage in central systems
  • Measure airflow through the evaporator coil
  • Verify the correct electric control sequence and make sure that the heating system and cooling system cannot operate simultaneously
  • Inspect electric terminals, clean and tighten connections, and apply a non-conductive coating if necessary
  • Oil motors and check belts for tightness and wear
  • Check the accuracy of the thermostat.

DIY PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE:

You can do some maintenance of your own.  The following are some of them.  You can go beyond what is listed by googling DIY AC maintenance.  Here you will find many sites that will give you more maintenance suggestions.

Cleaning the external unit (Condenser and Compressor)

Step 1 – Power Off the Unit/Mains

Safety first. You need to make sure that power is not running through the unit when you are going to clean it. You can get this done either by removing the breaker/block or by moving the switch to the off position. If you think that is hard to do, you can also turn off power to the air conditioner condenser at the main electrical panel.

Step 2 – Clear debris and areas around the unit

Keep the area around the condenser free of plant growth.  Clean the surrounding area by removing all loose dirt, leaves, and other debris with at least a 2-foot radius around the unit.

The condenser fins are where most of the debris will get stuck, and you need to carefully clean this away. Ideally, you could use a rough paintbrush to remove the debris that is easy to dislodge. After this, you could clean the finer debris with your vacuum cleaner and the brush attachment.

Step 3 – Cleaning the Condenser Fan

This is also an area where a lot of dust and debris can accumulate over time and it needs to be cleaned at regular intervals. There are chances for leaves also to get stuck here. The easiest way to get it cleaned is by wiping it down with a damp cloth and then letting it dry in the sun.

Step 4 – Cleaning Fins Inside Out

Use the brush attachment on a powerful shop vacuum to remove all outside dirt. Then, using a gentle stream from a garden hose, spray through the fins from the inside out to remove any built-up dirt or debris from between them.  Never use a pressure washer, since the pressure can damage the fins.

If the fins are particularly dirty, use a commercially available fin cleaning spray available at home improvement centers.  Read and follow manufacturer directions.

How far you want to go with DIY maintenance is up to you.  It all depends on how handy you are.  If the unit is under warranty, verify that any maintenance you do is not going to cancel the warranty.

Now you can have a cool summer! Enjoy!

Source: Hgtv.com, Energy.gov, Acdesigns.net, and A Ryan

2020 IS ALMOST OVER! HIP-HIP HOORAY

12/23/2020 (Permalink)

Welcome in 2021! 2020 is nearly gone. With 2021 coming in, we will need to be vigilant in making it the best year ever!

2020 has been an extremely rough year for everyone.  COVID-19 has destroyed people's lives in more ways than one.  Sickness, death, lockdowns, civil unrest.  Small business owners are struggling and a majority of them have or are going out of business.  Most schools are shut down and replaced with eLearning.  Our children are no longer getting the education they so need.

HOWEVER, let’s hope that 2021, with the help of the vaccine, will be a better year.  We all must support our local small businesses so they can rebuild and become prosperous once again.  We can do it.  With love in our hearts, we can make anything happen.

Here’s to a New Year!  We will make it the best!

HAPPY 2021 EVERYONE!