Fall Roof Maintenance

In past blogs, Blue River Restoration has brought you fall tips to help make sure your home is ready for winter. Along with those tips, here are fall roof maintenance tips to help your roof be ready for winter. These tips can be done year-round for your roof.


Seasonal Fall Roof Maintenance, Protect Your Home From Trees

The first thing to do when it comes to fall roof maintenance is to make sure that no tree branch is within fifty feet of your home. If a tree and its limbs are even close to touching your roof, we recommend trimming those limbs to stay out of trouble. We’re talking insects, critters, even damage to your roof; keep tree limbs away from your home. As the leaves begin to fall around your home, you will see branches on your trees that are getting a little too close to your home. Trim those back so they do not danger your roofing later. If you can do this early on in the fall, you can also minimize the leaves that clog your guttering system. This could be done year round with spring and summer winds/storms.


Inspect Your Roof and Flashings When Conducting Fall Roof Maintenance

Get up on your roof, safely and with the correct personal protective equipment, look for cracks. Pay close attention to where your roof meets your chimney or any other rising or falling parts of your roof. These areas will not be covered with regular roof material but rather a smooth metal called flashings. Make sure there are no wrinkles in the flashings as they can eventually become cracks which lead to leaks.

Even though you could climb up on your roof and play fix it, man or woman, you probably want to get a trusted professional in there at some point. Just to make sure you did not miss something that is an issue. Sure it’s fun to do it yourself, but when it comes to your roof, you may want to be a little less adventurous.


Fall Roof Maintenance Should Include Cleaning Your Gutters

Clean your gutters; it is a good idea to go into winter with clean gutters.  As the snow melts and runs off your roof, it follows the same path as rain, and therefore you want to bring as much of it off and away from your home as possible while it’s melting. The usual course of snow is that it melts when it warms up during the day and freezes up again as it cools down at night. If your gutters are not squeaky clean, the snowmelt will build up in there and drip over the sides; this will create icicles. These icicles are pretty to look at but present a major risk for tearing your gutters off your roof and even worse, falling and hurting someone. Gutter guards are extremely affordable, and they will greatly reduce the amount of time you spend cleaning out your gutters. These simple caps go over your guttering to prevent leaves from falling inside. Water is still able to get through thanks to small holes in the caps, but large debris will simply dry up and blow away. You won’t have much cleaning to do at all after that.

More Fall Prep Tips

Along with Blue River Restoration’s 3 Fall Prep Tips for your Property,  we are bringing you a few more fall prep tips now that the season is here. Cleaning gutters/downspouts are something that should be kept up on all year long but especially in the fall. Also raking your leaves is a big part of cleaning t0 making sure your yard is ready for the spring.

When cleaning out gutters/downspouts, this process requires cleaning out the gutters by hand then washing them out with water. Either having a bag up on the ladder with you or just throwing the debris on the ground then cleaning it up that way, either way, works.  Unclogging the downspouts, you can use an auger and push or pull the barrier to free the water’s way. As you go through this process, flush some more water down the tube to guarantee that you’ve successfully unclogged the downspouts. Keeping up on both of these tasks will help from having only done it 1 time a  year.

Another part of more fall prep tips is raking up the fallen leaves. Depending on the size of your yard, taking care of raking your whole lawn in one day can seem very overwhelming (not to mention, tiring), especially when you consider you need to perform this job regularly. Performing this task can be done a few different ways, some people prefer to rake into piles then bagging them, some will burn the piles. Others have the ability to use a mower with a leaf vacuum. Both options work well.  Removing the dead leaves from the ground will help your yard look good in the fall and then in the spring with the leaves not sitting under the snow all winter.

The last piece of advice for the fall is if you have a garden. Gardens can be a huge part of somebody’s life for how they get their food or just a place to escape their busy lives. Winterizing a garden works under the following steps:

  1. Know your USDA Zone.
  2. Chop, clip, cut and clean.
  3. Remove invasives.
  4. Divide perennials.
  5. Give the bulbs some love.
  6. Baby the beds.
  7. Spread mulch.
  8. Hydrate evergreens.
  9. Protect bark on young trees.
  10. Create windbreaks.
  11. Saving the shrubs.
  12. Water features.
  13. Fresh veggies.

Other tips are to winterize the parts of your property that could get damaged from cold weather such as barns, sheds, shelters, pool, pond, boats, RVs, or anything that either may not get used a ton during the colder months or that may not be sealed 100% or does not have electric. Blue River Restoration’s more fall prep tips hopefully will help you reduce the chance of major issues happening.


Hurricane Michael Response Team

Hurricane Michael hit land during the week of October 7-13 and has now phased out through Virginia and North Carolina. When Hurricane Michael hit the panhandle of Florida on Wednesday, October 10th as a category 4 hurricane, this storm was moving at 155 mph. As a part of DKI Services, Blue River Restoration sent team 1 to the Mexico Beach, Florida. With the amount of damage done in those areas, our team 1 will be working with other DKI members to restore commercial properties.

Any form of water damage requires immediate attention especially on this high of a level.  It’s this fast response time, combined with our proven water damage mitigation techniques and cutting-edge equipment that help result in lower repair costs and a speedy recovery to get your life back to normal. This was the team that was in Wilmington, NC for Hurricane Florence.

When arriving on the scene, Blue River Restoration will access the damage, start removing the water and bring the building back to its pre-loss condition. Mexico Beach, Florida was hit with the eye of the hurricane with the third most intense landfalling tropical cyclones in the United States at 919 mbar (hPa). the strongest by wind speed since Andrew in 1992, which had 165 mph (270 km/h) winds. Michael tied with 2017’s Hurricane Maria and a typhoon in 1900 for the sixth-strongest tropical cyclone by the wind to impact the United States (including its overseas territories) and was the fourth strongest to impact the U.S. mainland.

Hurricane Michael is seemed to be somewhat of an unusual storm because of its increasingly way of gaining power. Scientific studies are linking climate change to a more dangerous hurricane season. Warmer temperatures are capable of carrying more moisture, and scientists say that warmer ocean waters will lead to hurricanes that dump more intense—and deadly—rainfall.

Blue River Restoration uses leading industry water mitigation and drying techniques and equipment to efficiently remove moisture from even the hardest-to-reach areas of your property damaged by Hurricane Michael. Our restoration contractors are continually trained and certified. With our immediate response, proven techniques and cutting-edge equipment, you can rest assured you will receive the best quality service at a lower cost. Count on Blue River Restoration and DKI to quickly and efficiently work with you and your insurance company to develop a seamless, quick and cost-effective plan to repair your property.

October 7th-13th National Fire Prevention Week

Since 1922, the second week of October has been designated as Fire Prevention Week (FPW). In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed National Fire Prevention Week a national observance, making it the longest-running public health observance in our country. During Fire Prevention Week, children, adults, and teachers learn how to stay safe in case of a fire. Firefighters provide lifesaving public education in an effort to drastically decrease casualties caused by fires. The campaign is sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), who also sets the FPW theme each year.

National Fire Prevention Week is observed each year during the week of October 9th in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire, which began on October 8, 1871, and caused devastating damage. This horrific conflagration killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures, and burned more than 2,000 acres of land.

This year’s theme is “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!”. It was inspired by the alarming results of a survey conducted by the NFPA which showed that about 75 percent of Americans have created a home fire escape plan, but less than half of them have ever practiced their plans. NFPA recommends you map out detailed escape routes, as well as practice them with your family at least twice a year.

During FPW, there are many ways to spread fire safety awareness. On NFPA’s website, you can find a variety of materials to teach fire safety to students, the elderly, and others in your community. It also shares simple steps to promote FPW through social media and other outlets.

National Fire Prevention Week is the perfect time to discuss fire safety with your family. Follow these guidelines for creating a home fire escape plan:

  1. Draw a map of your home with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.
  2. Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.
  3. Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
  4. Make sure the number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.
  5. Smoke alarms should be installed throughout the home including the kitchen, basement, and every bedroom and outside sleeping area.
  6. Never remove or disable smoke alarms.
  7. Test smoke alarms at least once per month by pushing the test button.
  8. Interconnect smoke alarms so if one sounds, they all do.
  9. If smoke alarms don’t work, replace the correct size battery or the entire smoke alarm unit.
  10. Place a portable ladder in each second-floor room.
  11. Have an updated emergency first aid kit.
  12. Check fire extinguishers for expiration and replace as needed.
  13. Install carbon monoxide detectors.
  14. Close doors behind you as you leave – this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.
  15. Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.

Gas Furnace Maintenance Tips

Making sure that maintenance on your gas furnace happens every season is how to prolong its life and keep it working properly. This piece of equipment needs to do you justice and serve you several years before you think about replacement or repair. Here are some furnace maintenance tasks you can do yourself, but you can always hire a professional if you don’t feel comfortable doing them:

  • Ensure Your Safety First: Before doing gas furnace maintenance, shut off the gas supply and power it off to prevent accidents. The gas line is typically connected to the furnace in a black pipe and has a shut-off valve nearby. The power switch can be found on the side of the gas furnace – if not, shut off the appropriate breaker at the electrical panel.
  • Clean the Furnace Interior: Open the furnace door and clean all crevices and inner components of dust and debris with a soft-tipped paint brush. Then, vacuum out the base of the gas furnace, the gas burners, and inner components using a vacuum cleaner with a long snorkel attachment.
  • Check the thermostat: Are you setting your thermostat but still feel uncomfortable around the room? If yes, know that there is a problem with your thermostat especially if it has been working for many years. Chances are your thermostat has stopped working and needs to be replaced. Check the thermostat and ensure it’s in proper condition and replace it when need be.
  • Replace the Air Filter:  The filter traps dirt and dust, maintaining the efficiency of the furnace. Check and change the air filter monthly during the heating season, but read the manufacturer’s instructions on how often to change the filter.
  • Clean the Blower:  Located just behind the air filter, the blower can accumulate dirt and dust that penetrates through the air filter. To clean the blower, first, remove it (unscrew the two bolts that keep it in place) and carefully clean the blower blades with a small brush, as well as the blower assembly with a damp cloth. Vacuum the dirt and dust once you’ve brushed off the blower.
  • Check the Drive Belt: This component can get too loose or suffer fraying, glazing or cracks. Check it for damage and ensure it feels tight but not too loose (it should deflect ½ to ¾ inches when pushing down in the center of the belt). If it’s extra loose or damaged in any way, replace it.
  • Clean the Flame Sensor:  Over time, residue builds up on the flame sensor which may stop the furnace from working. Pull down the sensor from its bracket and clean it carefully with a fine emery cloth. Place it back into its bracket once it’s clean.
  • Clean the Gas Furnace Ducts:  As dust and dirt accumulate in the furnace ducts, it should be cleaned to keep the furnace working at maximum efficiency. Professional duct cleaning is your best bet at cleaning out your ducts thoroughly.

Follow these furnace maintenance tips to make sure that your home is warm during the fall and winter months so you can sleep at night. Keeping maintenance and monitoring of your equipment can help prevent further and bigger problems. And when the bigger problems come, Blue River Restoration is here to bring your property back to its pre-loss condition.

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