Home Safety This Holiday Season

The National Safety Council has a list of the top causes of Unintentional injury and death at homes.  Right now, in northeast Ohio, snow is not a problem at all.  The weather has been unseasonably warm and the thought of snow has not entered our thoughts yet.  But, snow will come and the many winter activities that snow brings along are some of the top unintentional injuries we have to be aware this winter.

Even if you are not thinking about sledding or skiing with your family, shoveling snow can be a strenuous exercise that you need to be aware of if you have heart problems or lead a sedentary life.

Fire-during this time of year, many families homes have an abundance of Christmas decorations or other holiday decorations that require electricity. Reading and following the safety precautions on these decorations can help you avoid a  fire in your home.

Fires in the kitchen are a common occurrence during the holiday season as well.  Be cautious while cooking your holiday meals, and do not leave the stove unattended.

For more about this and other topics, follow the links below.


Top Causes of Unintentional Injury and Death in Homes and Communities

According to Injury Facts 2017, about 146,571 people died from unintentional injury-related deaths in 2015. That’s an all-time high. Often, these tragedies happen when least expected – during a vacation, while doing chores at home or while driving across town – and they are all preventable.

NSC encourages everyone to be aware of hazards related to leisure and recreational activities, take proper safety precautions and sign up for NSC Monthly News. You’ll get timely and useful blogs, seasonal safety tips, survey results, legislative updates, event information and lots of other safety-related news.

Here, in order, are the top causes of unintentional injury and death in homes and communities.

#1: Poisoning

In 2011, poisonings overtook motor vehicle crashes for the first time as the leading cause of unintentional-injury-related death for all ages combined. Poisoning deaths are caused by gases, chemicals and other substances, but prescription drug overdose is by far the leading cause.  Learn more about this epidemic and other poisons in the home.


Tips for a safe holiday season from the Galt Police, Cosumnes Fire departments

The holiday season can be a wonderful time of year if you take the needed precautions while out shopping and in your home. Public Information Officer Brian Kalinowski of the Galt Police Department encourages all Galt residents to be more aware or their surroundings during the holiday season, and Cosumnes Fire Department’s (CSD) Public Education Officer Laurel Schamber has tips to keep your homes safe from fires.

“The police department often sees an increase in thefts during the holidays,” Kalinowski said.

In an effort to prevent you from becoming a victim, the Galt Police Department offers some suggestions:

• Package Theft: If possible, have your packages delivered to an address where someone will be home to receive them. Leaving them out on the porch only invites those looking for an opportunity to take your items. Use delivery notification options so you can track your packages and have them retrieved upon delivery.


 

Basement Waterproofing and Other Home Repairs You Can’t Ignore

It is difficult to budget for a home problem when you don’t know if you have one.  An emergency fund can help you solve that problem, but if you have a basement waterproofing issue you may need a bigger emergency fund than you thought.

How do you know if you have a basement waterproofing issue? One of the first and most obvious ones is whether your basement has damp walls. If you have marks around a  specific area on the walls, that may a sign water is getting into that area. If you notice mold or mildew growing on the corners or any other part of the basement, that means you have a lot of moisture and possible water leakage in some parts of the basement.

Don’t wait too long to take care of those problems.  Ignoring them can bring you bigger more expensive problems in the future.  Call waterproofing companies to give you an estimate, and find out whether they have financing available.

For more about this and other problems, follow the links below.


Ask the Carpenter: Tips for dealing with a wet basement

Q. I get water in part of my unfinished basement. I can’t determine whether it is coming in from the outside or up from the water table. I installed a dehumidifier, but I’ve been told that this actually draws in more water if the problem is the water table. What are your thoughts?

A. You may be getting water in your basement for any of the following reasons: lack of gutters, improper ground sloping, clogged perimeter pipes, or hydrostatic pressure.

Your dehumidifier is not causing the water table to rise. Water is seeping in at the wall and floor joint, and oftentimes that can mean hydrostatic water pressure is present. During wet weather, the soil outside your basement becomes saturated. Exterior footing drains aren’t very effective at relieving water pressure, because they usually become clogged with silt or plant roots. With no place to go, hydrostatic pressure continues to build up, and the water will eventually seep in. You have options:


8 Home Repairs You Should Never Put Off

Or you might have a bigger problem in the future.

Hate to break it to you, but ignoring that ugly water spot on the ceiling is the wrong move. Lingering issues around the house can get worse—much worse—if you don’t address them ASAP. Here’s how to identify and fix seemingly small problems before they morph into expensive repairs.

The basement is damp. A musty basement can lead to mold and mildew. Plus, it stinks. Many times, grading the yard encourages the water to run away from the house, rather than leaking into the basement. Installing gutters and downspout extensions channels rain water away from the foundation, which can help keep the basement dry. The worst case scenario is you’ll need to place drain tile around the footings. This job typically requires a pro and costs several thousand dollars.


Three Ways to Ensure Effective Repair Management

After the hottest July on record for the Salt Lake City area, during which my air conditioning unit worked overtime, I noticed a performance slump along with wet carpet in my basement. So, I turned off the AC and called a repairman. He showed up Monday afternoon and simply removed an internal panel, cleaned the drip tray that captures the condensation from the evaporator coil, and unclogged the ¾” drain pipe. I paid a $120 service fee and realized: Had I taken a few extra minutes, I could have saved myself $120, multiple phone calls, and two days of no air conditioning.

Of course, effectively managing repairs for numerous homes across different cities, counties, or even states is much more challenging than doing so for one’s own home. That’s why many lenders and investors hire a vendor partner to develop and execute a successful repair program for their REO or SFR assets. So, what should you look for in a repair management vendor to ensure your repair dollars are maximized?

Understand the Scope of the Repair

Had I really understood what it took to repair my AC unit, I could have done it myself. Similarly, many lenders and investors want to fully understand the scope of repairs, including all the deficiencies of the asset compared to the comparable properties that are available in the neighborhood. Having dedicated, trained vendor partners in the field that are in tune with the local market is essential. Without their input, including photos, descriptions, and their commitment to the best strategy for the asset, you won’t be nearly as effective as you could.


 

What To Ask A Contractor

Are you planning a home project that requires you to hire a contractor?  Do you know what to ask before you begin?

Five questions you must ask a contractor:

  1. How long have you been doing this kind of work?
  2. Are you Insured?
  3. Will you provide a written estimate and warranty?
  4. Are you a licensed and registered contractor with the state?
  5.  Can you provide references I can contact?

Many honest, long time contractors won’t hesitate when you ask them these questions.  They probably expect them and would be more than happy to answer them.  A long history in the community doing the job you are hiring them to do speaks volumes and build trust between the parties.  If the company you are trying to hire has a long history in your community doing great work, the references request you are supposed to ask won’t be a problem for them.

Now, if you call the references they provided, what are some of the questions you may ask?

  1. Are you satisfied with the work they did?
  2. How long ago was the job completed? Is the job holding up?
  3. Was the price agreed upon the final price, or were there other expenses not specified in the contract?
  4.  Were they clean and orderly? Did they arrive on time?
  5. Would you work again with this contractor or company?

The secret to finding a great home contractor

Right now, renovating a home is much, much easier than it was during the real estate bubble. So how do you pick a contractor?

I recall back during the bubble how often I’d get calls from homeowners complaining they couldn’t get a call back from contractors. The frenzy around housing values going up and up and up drummed up plenty of business for contractors at that time.

During the bubble, I even heard of contractors who were so successful that they wouldn’t even give price quotes. The price would just be whatever it would be and you’d have to be in a position to pay it when the bill came due.


 

 

 

 

 

Basement Waterproofing and Foundation Repair

According to the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness, peak tornado season for the state of Ohio is officially between the months of  April and July. It does not mean however that tornados won’t happen at any other time. In 2016, there were 24 tornados in Ohio and the severity of each was different. According to the Ohio weather safety page, the basement of your home is the safest place to be in case of a tornado warning. 

Extreme downpours or a few inches of rain can easily tell you whether you have a dry basement or not.  If there is a problem with the drainage of your home, the few inches of rain can find a way to the basement  and make the basement unlivable.

Finding a safe, comfortable place in case of a tornado warning becomes a bit unlikely if the basement has issues.  But, that is not the right reason to find a waterproofing company. If you have water in the basement of your home, the structural integrity of the home becomes an issue, and a huge liability if you ignore the problem.

There are many problems associated with a wet basement:

  • Structural damage to the home
  • Damage to the walls, floors and belongings stored in the basement
  • Respiratory Issues
  • unlivable wasted space
  • Mold and mildew
  • humidity that can affect the air quality of your home

Finding the right waterproofing company to take care of your basement issues is not difficult.  At Pioneer Basement Solutions, we have a long history in the community with great customer satisfaction.  We let our work and customers speak for our workmanship and professionalism. If you want to tackle the basement problem, contact us, we will be happy to work with you.


Basement Waterproofing and Sump Pumps

Sump pumps are a necessity every household should have.  Flooding occurs in the basement of our homes when rain, snow or faulty pipes break, and we have a water problem we need to fix right away.

Many homes have sump pups already installed in the basement of our homes, the problem is that we don’t really know whether they are in working order or not.  The buying of a sump pump can be as inexpensive as you want it, or you can pay a nice price for a battery-powered sump pump that can cost you close to $500. There are many sump pumps that offer nice warranties when you buy them, and considering the time and expense you need to spend if you have a flooded basement, the price is really not something to frown upon.

For more about this and other topics, follow the links below.


 

How to prevent basement flooding

That’s doable with a reliable sump pump and backup system, or after a relatively inexpensive fix for cracked foundations, says Roy Spencer, founder and president of Downers Grove-based Perma-Seal.

“My feeling is that all basements should be dry all the time, no matter how much it rains. But in order to do that, you have to do certain things,” Spencer said. “The sump pump is critical, so it needs to be reliable and it needs to be powerful enough. A reliable sump pump is critical. It’s the heart and soul of any waterproofing system.”

If you’re getting seepage, small puddles caused by water running in through cracks in the foundation, Spencer says that is also an “easy fix” that could cost between $400 and $800, depending on the size of the crack to be sealed and how much work has to be done to find it.

For instance, unfinished basements, he said, are typically easier to repair than finished basements with walls and carpeted floors.

Ultimately, Spencer said it’s important to know what caused your flooding.


What You Need to Know Before Buying a Sump Pump

Have a serious flooding problem at home? A sump pump could help. Find out whether one is right for you—and what to consider when buying one.

If you’ve ever wondered, “What is a sump pump?” then you’re lucky, because you probably don’t need one. But for the unlucky owners of wet basements, here’s the scoop: A sump pump sits in the basement, either beneath (in the case of a submersible pump) or above the floor. It pumps out water that collects in the sump basin, discharging it to the outdoors.

You’ll never have to buy one if you purchase a house that never floods. And even if you do buy a house with a water problem, there may be several ways to correct it before resorting to a sump pump and pit. Should you decide to invest in one, put your money toward a model that is high-quality and well-reviewed—in fact, it may make sense to buy two or three!


7 Causes of Sump Pump Failure and What to Do

With all of this rain the past few days, the last thing you need is your sump pump to fail on you. It’s already happened to several homeowners in the area, and fortunately my company has been able to help those people out.

But prevention is always better than reaction.  This article will hopefully shed some insight on how to prevent your sump pump failing on you when you need it most.

If you have a basement in Indiana, then you know all about sump pumps. The problem is that these things fail all the time. While it’s not to say that we have a fool-proof method for preventing 100% of failures, there are certainly some tips you can follow to better your chances of a properly working sump pump


 

What To Do If You Have Basement And Foundation Problems

One of the most widely given advice for any homeowner is to take care of a problem right away before it escalates in time and money spend.  For a basement or foundation problem, this advice holds more truth than for any other home problem.  Leaving a leaky basement problem till you have saved enough money to pay for repairs is not something that is advisable.  Considering cracks on the basement walls as something unimportant can jeopardize the home you live in.  Taking care of these problems right away can save you time and money in the long run.

Call us, we will be happy to work with you.


Stone and rubble foundations: What to do if there’s a leak

The experts at H&N Basement Worx in Hamilton want to share some information about stone and rubble foundation damage to help you hire a contractor that has the knowledge and expertise to provide the proper repairs.

Stone and rubble foundations create the worst type of leakage once a leak has begun, and the reason for this is simply that stone or rubble foundations are generally old and were built before it was code to have a proper drainage system.

Not all stone foundations are without a proper drainage system, and not all leakage with stone foundations is the same. The type of repairs, and the extent of the job to execute these repairs, will depend on several factors, including if a drainage system needs to be installed or an existing one repaired, and how much damage has already occurred.

The H&N Basement Worx team will gladly come to your home to do a complete inspection, explain their findings thoroughly, and communicate their recommendations for repairs.


Don’t Dally On Foundations

There’s one bill that many Republicans and Democrats do agree on in this year of particularly nasty partisan sniping. It would help homeowners in eastern Connecticut replace their crumbling foundations. And yet the bill could be caught up in cruel political wrangling as basement walls crack and bow.

The bill would set up an assistance fund with bonded money from the state, and the hope is that insurers, banks, mortgage companies and the construction trade would contribute to it. It also would also establish a low-interest loan program to help homeowners with their deteriorating foundations.

The size of the fund and the state’s contribution haven’t been determined yet because the bill is still being worked on. It’s apparently a substitute for a fund that would have been created by charging homeowners $12 yearly on their insurance policies. That bill never made it out of committee.


Soil expansion may cause basement wall to bulge

Dear Jerry: While preparing the basement of our 1950 home for two bedroom additions, each with an egress window to be installed at the locations of existing basement windows, I removed the finish plywood and discovered on the east wall a large horizontal crack about 32 inches (four blocks) below the top of the foundation. Some of the mortar is loose, and the wall bulges in a little over one-half inch at the center of the crack.

Outside the house, there are two large trees about 10 feet from the house, with large roots headed straight for the center between the two cellar windows. The theory is that the roots have pushed in the blocks. Our arborist looked at the root structure, and said that he hasn’t seen proof of roots pushing against the foundation.


 

Is Your Company Talking To The Right Person?

A 1992 book called Men are From Mars and Women are from Venus explores and explains the relationship between men and women and the way women and men communicate and view things differently.  The author explains thatnot only do men and women communicate differently, but they think, feel, perceive, react, respond, love, need, and appreciate differently.”

Business across industries have to addressed the fact that women and men respond differently to the sales pitch, the way they are addressed, and the information they received by the sales people.  We all know sales people are doing their job, and that they have to “pitch” their products and services.  We – as employees ourselves-know they have to do a job.  But, the way they do it can be pivotal to the sale.

According to the US  Census Bureau there were an approximate 12 million single parent families last year.  And of those 12 million single parent families households, more than 80% were headed by single mothers.

When female customers call a company for a free consultation for a home project, and the company asks whether they are married or not, or that the male of the house needs to be present for them to come over, it sends a message that perhaps women cannot make a decision or worse yet, they cannot possibly understand their “lingo.”

For any big or small company doing business in the United States, it pays to consider this: A 2008 Pew Research Center Survey found that in 43% of all couples, the majority of decision making is done by women. That is to say, if a woman calls your business and asks for a quote, chances are that she will be making the decision to hire you or not.

The times have change, but the decision making in a household has not.  From which company to invest, how much money to save, or where to go on a vacation, women are the decision makers in a family.

Studies in the United Kingdom have shown the prominent role women play in financial decision making.  More and more, women research what they need and they communicate their decision to their partners.  Up until the last stage of the decision making process will the “spouse” play any role in making a financial decision.

In the United States, the similarities are the same.  Financial decision making is mostly a woman’s role.


Preparing Your Home For Spring

Springtime can be a very enjoyable season if you have no issues with the basement.  Spring showers can play havoc with the humidity level and water seepage in your basement, and around the foundation of your home.  Water into the basement of your home can damage the structural integrity of your foundation, your belongings, and your living space.

Leaving humidity problems and foundation problems till later, can end up costing you more than expected.  If you do not know what type of basement problem you have, call Pioneer Basement Solutions for a hassle free consultation.


External versus interior waterproofing: Hire the right contractor

When you are looking to waterproof your basement, the experts at H&N Basement Worx in Hamilton want you to know there are different options to consider so that you don’t hire the wrong contractor for the job.

When a basement has leakage, there are two waterproofing solutions available to fix the problem: internal and external. If there is a drain tile or weeping tile system malfunction, you will likely need an internal waterproofing system. This involves the installation of a de-watering system to better manage water that passes under or through your foundation.

Exterior waterproofing will stop water from coming into contact with your foundation walls altogether. This is achieved by rerouting the water towards the weeping tile, which then moves the water away from the base of your foundation, keeping your basement dry.


Neglecting Your Home’s Crawl Space Could Cost You Big

When was the last time you checked out the crawl space under your house? It’s an area most homeowners avoid because no one relishes the ideas of crawling through cobwebs or encountering some creepy creatures in dark corners.

But leave the crawl space unchecked and you could find yourself facing a serious foundation issue. The crawl space is part of your home’s overall structural system and if it begins to experience problems, those issues will seep into other parts of your home. The result can be unpleasant and expensive.

How do you know if have a problem in your crawl space? Look for these signs:

  • Drywall cracks in the interior
  • Uneven, sagging or bouncing floors
  • Foul odors in the home
  • Heightened allergies or asthma symptoms

By their very nature, crawl spaces are prone to dampness. Add springtime rains and possible flooding, and it’s a recipe for a damp disaster. Many Charleston area homes also experienced some flooding or, at a minimum, heavy rainfall after both the historic flooding in October 2015 and Hurricane Matthew a year later in October 2016.


Preventing the problems of wet basement season

While most people welcome the arrival of spring, the experts at H&N Basement Worx in Hamilton know that along with springtime also comes wet basement season, which is a huge hassle for unsuspecting homeowners.

A wet basement occurs when water comes in through the foundation of your home, through cracks or foundational damage, or when something has gone wrong with your existing waterproofing system.

In the spring, weather becomes warmer and higher volumes of water can accumulate quickly due to melting snow, ground thaw and spring rainfall. If your home has cracks in the foundation or a basement that has not been properly waterproofed, the result is a wet basement.

Whatever the cause, the experts at H&N Basement Worx offers complete foundation repair services and will quickly diagnose and repair your problem with the latest, most efficient waterproofing and repair solutions.


 

The Dangers of A Flooded Basement

California has for many years been dealing with droughts that year after year seem to be expected.  This year’s flooding across the Northwest has come with many unexpected surprises.  Flooding across the Northwest has affected many families, businesses, and public places. Floods are natural disasters that affect many people and cost the lives of many others.  The financial repercussion of flooding in the United States cost about $3.5 billion a year, and causes 128 deaths, reaching a maximum of 554 lives lost in 1972.

Flooding across many homes is expected.  The dangers lurking in your basement are real and you should take all precautions before you start.  Death by electrocution is a very serious matter when you are dealing with a flooded basement. If you are not sure what steps to take before  entering a flooded basement, call an expert electrician to help you.

For more about this and other topics, follow the links below.

Cuyahoga Falls, Stow, Hudson, Barberton, Norton, Green, Springfield, Lakemore, Tallmadge, Mogadore, Munroe Falls, Richfield, Peninsula, Fairlawn, Bath, Copley, Coventry, Silver Lake, Sagamore Hills, Boston Heights, Macedonia.


When Nature Attacks: Tree Roots, Earth, and Ground Water Damage

Ah, trees, Earth, and water. Our Pacific Northwest home wouldn’t be what it is without them. Green, fragrant, and oh so scenic, we all love our luscious tree friends. Of course, the earth is what we’re all here for. Mountains and hills, all rolling into scenic shores. Take one look at an aerial shot of Seattle, and you’ll see, the city’s geography is completely shaped by bodies of water. From Elliot Bay to Lake Washington to the Duwamish River, Seattle is a city defined, and complimented by its waterways. Not to mention all the rain. All of this foliage, land, and moisture, as lovely as it is, can wreak havoc on your home! Tree roots, Earth and ground water can cause serious and costly damage to your home and property. Get prepared, so you’re not caught off guard when nature attacks!

Tree Root Damage

As beautiful as they are, trees can cause some serious damage to pipes. Powerful and versatile, tree roots seek water and they will stop at next to nothing, pipes included, to get it.


Man electrocuted in flood-prone basement

A tradesman who was electrocuted on Brisbane’s southside on Monday morning is understood to have been working in a basement prone to flooding when he was killed.The man was working underneath a rented commercial kitchen at Annerley but had not been contracted by the catering company, Zen Catering.

The basement is accessed through a neighbouring property.

“It is understood a tradesman engaged by the property’s landlord was working in the basement, which is prone to flooding, when the incident occurred,” Zen Catering’s director Steve Morris said in a statement.

Police and Energex workers were at the Palmerston Street site earlier on Monday and Workplace Health and Safety officers will investigate.


Water run-off causes flooding in Spokane homes

SPOKANE, Wash. – If you live near a stream or river, flooding is probably something you’ve had to deal with before. But now, this winter is bringing unwelcome water to places you might not expect.

On the upper South Hill, something hidden beneath the soil is triggering urban flooding as well.

The homes and businesses around 57th and Regal sit on depressions in the ground called “Basalt Saucers.” When we have this much rain and snowmelt, the saucers fill up like this swale and end up in people’s basements because it can’t drain through the solid rock up here.

Out in the Spokane Valley, a different problem occurs where water can’t percolate through a bullet proof layer of ice. Up until now, only sunlight poured through Pam and Jeff Miller’s window wells in their basement. But on Thursday, it was something else.

“I came downstairs and as soon as I stepped on the carpet, water went up and over my shoe,” said Jeff Miller.
That’s when the Miller’s tasked their seven children with finding and stopping the leak.

“It was clear it was coming from the yard,” said Pam Miller, “because there was just a sheet of ice and the rain was coming down, hitting the ice, and then running off under the deck and into the window well downstairs.”


Cuyahoga Falls, Stow, Hudson, Barberton, Norton, Green, Springfield, Lakemore, Tallmadge, Mogadore, Munroe Falls, Richfield, Peninsula, Fairlawn, Bath, Copley, Coventry, Silver Lake, Sagamore Hills, Boston Heights, Macedonia.

Humidity In The Basement? Read This

Where is the humidity in your basement coming from:  There are a few reason as to the why, but the three main reasons are:

1. Ground water or rain water seeping into the basement

2. External air that enters the basement and condenses on cool surfaces

3. Leaks from pipes in your basement, bathrooms or leaky faucets that are constantly on.

How do you know you have too much humidity in your basement?

Having a humidifier in the basement of your home is a great solution to your humidity problems, but if you are collecting a gallon of water in the container of the humidifier every single day, then you may have other issues that are far more serious.  Sitting water around the foundation of you home and seeping to the basement of your home may be a reason why you have so much humidity in your basement.  Making sure water does not sit around the foundation of your home, could be the only solution you need. 

Providing a clear and an unobstructed path for the rain water to find a way far enough from the foundation of your home, is a solution that does not cost a lot of money and can solve a problem for your in the future.

What to do in case you need a waterproofing Company?

A Google search for a basement waterproofing company will give you about 896,000 results in about .82 seconds.  How do you  choose one?  I researched landscaping companies by doing a Google search once.  Their rating ( 5 stars, 4stars, etc…) were very good. When I tried to find them at the BBB online, some of them didn’t even exist even though they were rated as a 4 start company using other home improvement sites. They were either long gone, or their rating at the BBB was very bad.Be careful when choosing.  Not all home improvement sites have the same level of ratings for the companies that advertise there. Waterproofing companies, or landscaping companies that are listed on those sites should be checked thoroughly using the BBB, or asking those companies for testimonials that are not from family members or friends. And you should truly check those testimonials before committing to anything with a company. Don’t sign anything and do not advance huge quantities of money before the work begins.

Do you need to check a company using the BBB?

Then, here is a link for you to do so, but remember that is only the first step.  You need to talk to the people that will be doing the work at your home, and if you don’t feel “right” about them, choose another one with a good rating and begin the process again.

BBB – The Better Business Bureau Locator

BBB of Akron, Ohio  – It serves the counties of  Ashland, Medina, Portage, Richland, Summit & Wayne Counties.