Mitigation Vs. Restoration: What You Need to Know
Putting a stop to the progression of water damage to the frame and drywall.
What You Should Know About Mitigation vs. Restoration
When a flood damages your Oakdale, MN, business, taking immediate action can mean the difference between salvaging the building and suffering a total loss on your commercial investment. Contacting a flood cleanup company can be an effective first step to take, especially if it offers both mitigation and restoration services. Working with a restoration company can help you learn the difference between these two actions and allow you to form a useful plan when it comes to recovering from flood damage.
Mitigation Is the First Line of Defense
Flood waters can cause a great deal of damage to your business and effect both systems and inventory. To reduce the risk of loss, the cleanup and restoration company you work with may offer you mitigation services as a way to prevent ongoing harm to the building. Mitigation is performed quickly and might include the sealing of windows and doors to keep water and debris at bay, as well as the removal of water from areas that need immediate protection. A flood cleanup company will usually perform mitigation before advising you about any long-term repair options.
Restoration Can Provide Repair and Cleaning Solutions
Once flood waters have receded, a restoration company can help you move forward with repairs that might include water removal, the tearing out of damaged walls, carpeting and machinery, and checking for structural soundness. Restoration typically takes longer than mitigation but can ensure that your business is repaired and cleaned properly for the safety of your employees and customers.
Which Do You Need?
Whether you need mitigation or restoration services may depend on the extent of the damage and the severity of the flood. However, investing in both services can prevent immediate damage and remove water, mold and unpleasant odors afterward. A storm cleanup and restoration company can advise you about which services may best benefit you.
Flood waters can cause serious damage to your Oakdale, MN, business. However, working with a flood cleanup company and understanding the difference between mitigation and restoration can help you choose the services that will help your business get back on track.
Rain Rain Go Away
Debris from trees still falls on your roof.
During the winter months we talk a lot about watching your roof and gutters for ice buildup, to help avoid ice dams. Today we are going to talk about your house gutters again, but only with a non-winter slant. It may not be fall yet, but debris from trees still falls on your roof, the usual leaves or sticks on a winter day, or the really messy dried pine needles. All of which can plug your gutters and cause rain run off to flow over the edge and collect around your foundation.
We suggest that you periodically check your gutters and remove the buildup. Especially when the weather man is predicting a heavy rain fall. If the water over flows and lands around your foundation causing an excessive saturation, which can seep into your basement and cause damage. The good news is, SERVPRO can help with the mitigation. The bad news, homeowner’s insurance doesn’t always cover for seepage of this sort in most policies. That’s why it’s a good idea to keep up with your home maintenance to avoid having to call us out.
What To Do When Your House Floods
98% of basements in houses in the US are prone to flooding and will experience water damage during their lifespan.
Flooding is a major problem for many residents in the US. Water Damage Defense states that about 98% of basements in houses in the US are prone to flooding and will experience water damage during their lifespan. And when it comes to house floods, no matter how minor it is, it can be damaging and can leave your home vulnerable to damage and mold growth.
Whether the flooding is caused by heavy rain, sewer back-up, or a broken pipe, it is crucial to deal with the flood as soon as possible to prevent further water damage. Here are the first things that you need to do when faced with house floods.
Floodwater poses a lot of risks both to your safety and health. The electricity that has come in contact with water can be life-threatening. Make sure to turn off the main breaker and all other individual fuses in your home before you step into the floodwater. If the water is too high, call a licensed electrician to inspect and evaluate your power box condition. Don’t forget to wear protective gear too, such as gloves, boots, and a mask. You don’t know what contaminates the water; it is best to protect yourself against the harmful chemicals present.
If you have kids at home, make sure to refrain your children from eating the foods that may have come in contact with water for an extended period. Transfer furniture and other items that can still be salvaged in a higher area.
- Identify the source of the flood and stop it.
Once the main power supply is turned off, the next thing that you will need to do is to find the cause of flooding and prevent more water from coming into your home. This will help prevent further water damage to your house. If the cause of a house flood is a leaky or broken pipe, then turn off your home’s main water supply.
Before you start removing the floodwater to clean up your home, take a video or pictures of everything affected by the water. Documenting the damage done by the flooding is crucial for your insurance claims. Take photos of the damaged items, the warped wall and flooring, and other water damage in your home. Then keep a copy of every single document that you have presented to your insurance agent.
- Call your insurance provider.
Once all the necessary documents are ready, call your insurance provider and inform them about the incident. Your insurance company will then send an adjuster to inspect the damage and evaluate the losses.
- Get help from a reputable water damage professional.
You may be tempted to do the water removal and cleaning process on your own. However, time is of the essence when it comes to water damage. The earlier and the faster you deal with the flood, the lesser damage it will cause. The best way to deal with water damage caused by house floods is by calling a reputable water restoration company like Water Damage America. The good thing about hiring professional water restoration contractors is that they can also assist you with your insurance claims.
How Mold Can Damage Your House
Water damage is the leading cause of mold growth in many homes.
While mold is not harmful at all as it participates in the decomposition of dead organisms and other aspects of the environment, the problem happens when it enters your house and damages it.
Water damage is the leading cause of mold growth in many homes. According to insurance industry research, 98% of US basements will experience some type of water damage, while about 14,000 Americans suffer water damage emergencies at home or work each day.
Once molds enter and penetrate your home, its population can start growing in just 24 hours. It’s only then a matter of time before they cause permanent damage to your house.
Where do molds usually grow?
Molds only need two things to thrive and multiply —- damp and humid environment and permeable objects. With this, the following areas in your home make it the perfect breeding ground for molds.
-Ventilation and air-conditioning system
-Areas around washing machines and dryers
-Fireplaces and chimneys
How molds damage your home?
Once molds are attached to a specific area or part of your house, it starts to eat away the material of its host; causing it to weaken. A weakened foundation of the house should be dealt with right away, or else it may collapse or result in a more costly repair.
Early detection is the best solution to deal with molds in your house. Here are the sneaky signs that molds may be growing inside your home.
-The nasty smell coming from your heating and cooling systems
-Discoloration or dark spots forming on the wall and ceiling
-Musty odors that seem to linger in the air
-Mold can cause health effects
How to deal with molds in your home?
Molds may be microscopic, but they are also tough to deal with. They can’t be removed with simple cleaning using soap and water. It is important to note that where there are molds, there is also a source of moisture. Deal with water leaks right away, no matter how minor the problem is. For significant water damage, calling water damage professionals is the best option.
It is also crucial to call a professional mold remediation company when you spot molds in your house. The good thing about hiring professional services is that they have the proper equipment in dealing with molds. They can altogether remove mold out of your home and even get to its source.
How Often Should Fire Sprinklers Be Tested?
Many buildings in the United States rely on an automatic fire sprinkler system as their primary source for overall fire protection.
Many buildings in the United States rely on an automatic fire sprinkler system as their primary source for overall fire protection. Because of the emphasis placed on these systems for protecting both life and property, there are stringent rules and regulations governing their upkeep—two of which (testing and inspection), are critical to maintaining fire sprinkler system effectiveness in the event of a fire.
Fire Sprinkler System Testing Frequency
Every 3 Months
Physically test fire sprinkler mechanical devices
Physically test the entire fire sprinkler system—water flow, alarms, valves, dry pipe, fire pump, etc.
Every 5 Years
Physically test sprinklers exposed to high temperatures or harsh conditions as well as all sprinkler system gauges (alternatively, gauges can simply be replaced), then every 10 years thereafter
Every 10 Years
Physically test dry sprinkler systems
Every 20 Years or Longer
Physically test fast-response sprinklers at 20 years and then every 10 years thereafter
Physically test standard sprinklers at 50 years and then every 10 years thereafter
Fire Sprinkler Systems Inspection Frequencies
Inspect dry pipe, pre-action, deluge, and wet pipe fire sprinkler system gauges
Every 3 Months
Inspect water flow and valve alarm devices, signal devices, hydraulic nameplates, electrically supervised control valves, and fire department connections
Inspect hanger/seismic bracing and supports, signage, piping/fittings, and sprinklers, including spare sprinklers
Every 5 Years
Inspect all sprinkler piping for any blockage
As a Facility Manager, keeping up with your facility’s automatic sprinkler system is one of the most critical parts of your building’s overall fire protection plan. And because it’s so important, you need to trust it to a qualified National Fire & Life Safety Provider. Besides having the expertise to handle the testing and inspections of your fire sprinkler system, they are typically licensed, meaning they are trained and certified to do this kind of work.
How to Prepare for a Natural Disaster
Disasters often come quickly and unexpectedly.
It’s unlikely that you’ll have a lot of time to prepare when a natural disaster strikes. Disasters often come quickly and unexpectedly. According to the Public Policy Institute of California only 29% of Californians feel they’re very knowledgeable about preparing for a disaster.
Being prepared can greatly reduce your risk of injury or damage following a natural disaster. Follow these steps to prepare for a natural disaster.
- Understand Your Level of Risk
Before you can set up an emergency plan or create a disaster kit, you need to know what types of natural disasters pose a threat in your area. You should try to create your disaster plan based on the most likely emergencies to happen in your area. Common types of natural disasters in California include:
Earthquakes: California has many active fault lines, which make it prone to earthquakes. An earthquake occurs when the earth’s crust along a fault line shifts suddenly. This causes movement, like shaking, on the ground level. This shaking can cause unsecured objects to fall, such as a book falling off of a bookshelf, or cause damage to the foundation of buildings.
Wildfires: Wildfires are fast-moving fires that feed off of dry vegetation, such as desert plants like sagebrush. They commonly start due to a lightning strike, but can also be caused by human carelessness. A wildfire can grow quickly and cause major damage to entire neighborhoods or destroy thousands of acres of wilderness. Southern California, in particular, is prone to wildfires due to limited annual rainfall and dry vegetation. Wildfires can potentially be stopped or slowed using a wildfire defensible space around your home.
Mudslides: Mudslides are a type of landslide that is caused by heavy rainfall sweeping loose soil and debris down steep hills. Several areas in California are prone to landslides and mudslides, especially desert landscapes after a sudden rainfall.
Extreme heat is when there is a long period of time with high heat and humidity. This could be 2-3 days of temperatures above 90 degrees. Not only can extreme heat be dangerous to the human body, it is also dangerous to your home. Damages include inconsistent moisture in the foundation, deteriorating roofs, or even warped hardwood floors.
- Plan and Practice Your Disaster Plan
Once you know what natural disasters you’re most likely to encounter, you should come up with a disaster plan in case of an emergency. Since disasters strike unexpectedly, you may not be with your family when one hits. Having a plan in place that everyone knows should help you find one another, even if there’s a power outage or you can’t use a phone.
Your disaster plan should include information such as:
The meeting place for your family.
Potential evacuation routes from home, work or school.
A shelter plan in case your home is damaged.
Considerations for family members with special needs, including children, seniors or those with disabilities.
An emergency contact, such as a family member in a different state.
The location of important documents, such as a bank deposit box or fire-proof safe in your home.
A plan for pets in case of an emergency.
Your plan is only helpful if everyone in your family knows and understands it, so it’s crucial to practice it regularly. This is especially true if you have young children. Sit down as a family and go over the plan in detail, then start practicing.
Remember that different disasters may have slightly different emergency plans. For example, if a wildfire is heading towards your neighborhood, you’ll likely have to evacuate the area and won’t be able to meet your family in front of your home. Be sure to set up multiple meeting spots for different scenarios.
- Invest in a Disaster Preparedness Kit
Whether you buy a pre-made kit or build one yourself, a disaster preparedness kit could help your family stay safe after a disaster. You can create an emergency kit for your home, and smaller kits for your vehicles. This helps you stay safe even if you experience a disaster while on the road.
Your disaster kit should include:
Clean drinking and sanitation water in airtight containers
First aid kit
Bedding and a change of clothes
Power bank and charging cables for your cell phone
Pen or pencil and a notebook
Copies of family documents, such as insurance cards and ID
Tarp, duct tape and rope in case you need to build a shelter
Personal supplies – prescription medications, glasses, feminine hygiene products
Infant supplies – diapers, formula, wipes
You should check your kit at least once a year to make sure everything still works and nothing has expired. Put the kit in an easy-to-access location in your home and make sure each family member knows its location.
- Learn Basic First Aid Skills
Investing in a CPR certification program could potentially save a life in a disaster situation. If you can’t take a CPR class, you should at least learn basic first aid skills. Not only are these skills helpful in the event of a disaster, but you can use them in non-emergency situations as well. There are lots of ways to learn basic first aid- from taking an in-person class to watching instructional videos on the internet. Find the method that works best for you to learn.
You should also consider teaching your children how to use vital components of your first aid kit. Sit down with your family and go through the kit. Remember that many children may feel anxious at the thought of their parents getting hurt, so try to keep your lessons fun. For example, let your child pretend to be a doctor and use extra supplies, like gauze, to treat your fake injuries.
- Reduce Risks in Your Home
Eliminating hazards in your home, office or vehicle could help you avoid an injury if you experience a natural disaster. Earthquakes, for example, are common in California. The shaking of an earthquake can cause items to fall off shelves or even knock over furniture. Securing objects on tabletops or bookshelves and anchoring your furniture helps reduce the chance it falls over. A wildfire defensible space is another example of reducing risks around your home.
6 Steps You Should Take During a Power Outage
Most power outages are short.
Most power outages are short. They may only last a few seconds to a couple of minutes. Now and then, however, you could face a more prolonged outage. Being prepared for a longer outage should help your family stay safe while the power’s out and properly return to using electricity in your home when the power comes back. Follow these six steps to prepare for and handle any prolonged power outages that could come your way.
- Create an Outage Kit
The key to safely navigating a power outage — especially an extended outage — is being prepared before the outage happens. Create a home emergency kit that includes supplies you’ll need if the power goes out. Some things you might want to have in your kit include:
Flashlights — either fully-charged rechargeable or battery-powered
Candles in safe holders
Lighter or matches
Battery-operated or crank radio
External battery packs/charging ports for cell phones and other small electronics
Basic first aid kit
A few bottled waters and non-perishable food items like granola bars
Store your outage or emergency kit in a place that’s easy to find and access if the power goes out and you’re left in the dark. The last thing you’ll want to do when the power goes out is rummage through boxes in the dark.
- Practice for Power Outages
If you have small children or someone with special needs, like an elderly parent, living in your home, do a few tests runs so you know what to do when your power goes out. Small children are often scared of the dark and may panic if the power goes out at night. Store a child-sized flashlight in their room and teach them where to find it. This makes it easier for them to go right to their flashlight if the lights suddenly go out.
For households with someone who has special needs, like medical equipment that needs electricity, be sure you have a backup plan in case of a power outage. You might consider asking friends or family within driving distance if you can use their homes when the power goes out, as long as they have power.
- Investigate Why the Power Is Out
When the power goes out, your first step after grabbing your outage kit should be to find out why it went out. Look out of the nearest window to see if your streetlights or neighbor’s homes still have power. If only your house is dark, you may have tripped a breaker. Find your electrical box and check if any breakers are off. If so, switch them back on to see if that restores power.
If your entire block is out of power, you can check with your electric company to see if they know about an outage. Many electric providers have outage maps and data on their websites so you can easily check on the status of your power from a cell phone. If no outage is reported, call your electric company and let them know an outage has occurred. They’ll likely send out a crew right away to identify the problem and restore power as soon as possible.
- Unplug Electronics and Turn Off Lights
Go around your home to unplug electronics and turn off any lights that were on before the power went out. This is an important and often overlooked step during a power outage. Unplugging your electronics like your TV or microwave can help reduce potential damage to your electrical system or electronics when the power is restored.
When power comes back on after an outage, your home’s electrical system gets a surge of electricity. This surge can cause damage to electronics. You might want to leave one light on the inside and one light on the outside. The inside light will help you know when power is back on, and the outside light can help the power company’s crew know when they’ve restored power to your home.
- Use Generators Safely
A standby generator can be an important tool to keep your power up and running if the power to the grid goes out. Generators also come with a lot of inherent risks. Know how to operate your generator safely before you need to use it during a power outage. Some essential generator safety tips include:
Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Consider hiring an electrician to help you install a back-up home generator to your electrical panel.
Never connect portable generators to your home’s electrical system.
Always operate your generator outdoors in a well-ventilated area away from doors or windows.
Never bring a running generator into your home, garage or basement.
Connect lights or appliances directly to the generator.
Along with generators, you should never bring outdoor heating or cooking equipment into your home to help heat it. Things like propane camp stoves, charcoal grills, and outdoor heaters give off carbon monoxide and need to be used in well-ventilated, outdoor areas to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Know What to Do When Power Comes Back
Short power outages will usually end with your lights and appliances coming back on in one wave. After a longer outage, however, you may need to take a few steps to restore power to your home safely. When the power returns, first inspect your home for damage. If there’s standing water in your basement, do not enter the water until you’re sure there are no live electrical wires that could electrify the water.
If you find no damage to your home, start plugging your appliances and electronics back in. Start with large appliances like your refrigerator and wait a few minutes before plugging in each new electronic. This will help your home’s electrical system safely send electricity to your electronics without surging. When your electronics are back on the grid, check your emergency kit and restock any supplies you may have used so you’re prepared for the next power outage.
Spring Cleaning Tips for Homeowners
Long days and warmer temperatures make for a great time to do a little spring cleaning.
Winter has finally started to thaw and the chill in the air is beginning to fade away. Even if you live in a warmer climate with mild winters, springtime brings longer days. Those long days and warmer temperatures make for a great time to do a little spring cleaning.
As a homeowner, your spring-cleaning routine should include a little more than just scrubbing the bathrooms and vacuuming the floors. You can use spring as a time to check up on parts of your home that affect property value and longevity of your house. Our list of spring-cleaning tips for homeowners gives you some ideas for not only cleaning your home but making sure all systems are running correctly.
Remove Dust and Built-Up Dirt
Just like a regular house cleaning, your spring-cleaning routine should include a complete scrub down of your home. You can sweep, vacuum and mop floors to pull up the dust and grime that has built up over winter. Dust along molding and floorboards to pick up the dirt that has settled there. Ceiling fans tend to collect a lot of dust over the winter, so be sure to wipe them down thoroughly using a vacuum attachment or old pillowcase for dusting. Also, be sure to check that the fan is rotating in the correct direction. In spring and summer, you want it to spin counter-clockwise by pressing the switch on the fan’s side. As hot air rises, the counter-clockwise rotation forces cool air down towards the floor.
Do the Laundry
You’ve been doing laundry all winter so you’ll have clean clothes to wear, of course, but spring is a great time to air out warm-weather clothes and linens. Perhaps you use heavier sheets, such as flannel sheets, in the cooler winter months. Use your spring-cleaning day to pull out lighter bedding and wash the winter sheets before storing them until next winter. Alternatively, you might just want to switch up your color palette or décor for the warmer months. Many people switch to a light color scheme for the warmer months. Fresh colored bedcovers such as green, yellow and light blue can help welcome spring into your home.
While you’re doing your laundry, make sure to clean out your washer and dryer and check them for any issues. Be sure that the water lines running to your washing machine aren’t leaking. Give the tub of the washer a good rinse and sweep or vacuum behind and underneath the machine. You will probably also want to do this with your dryer, as well as checking that the vent is properly connected and vents cleanly outside your home.
Check Pipes and Water Lines
An increase in your monthly water or utility bill could be a signal that you have a burst or leaking pipe. Water damage in your home can be a costly expense that is a pain to deal with. Even if you don’t suspect a leak, springtime is a great opportunity to look through your home for any potential leaks or cracks. Check each of your faucets, including the ones outside your home, to make sure that they aren’t dripping. In bathrooms, you should inspect the areas around bathtubs, showers and toilets for leaking or damaged caulking so you can fix it before it becomes an issue.
Service Heating and Cooling Systems
Your heating and cooling units might be some of the most expensive and important equipment in your home. Luckily, these systems tend to have a long life with proper care. Proper maintenance of your heating and cooling systems can save you a lot of money, and a lot of hassle down the road. Spring makes an excellent time to have your heating system checked out after running it all winter. Your air conditioner, likewise, could likely use a checkup from a professional before using it through the hot summer months. You may need to replace things like air filters that have gotten filled with dust and dirt.
Declutter Closets and Storage
Spring cleaning is an ideal time for going through old winter clothes or items and getting rid of things you don’t need. Go through each of the closets or storage spaces in your home and make three piles of the items you find. One will be for keeping, one for donating to charity and one for tossing out in the garbage or recycling. Put your items into their respective piles to help declutter your home. This exercise is also great for making a home inventory list. Home inventory lists are a breakdown of the items in your home that could assist you when filing a homeowners insurance claim. Your list should include important items you would want to be replaced and a short description of each item, including brand and serial number if possible.
Let in Fresh Air While Checking Windows and Doors
One of the best parts of a spring-cleaning day is the chance to let in fresh new air and let out the stuffiness of winter. You can open up all your doors and windows while cleaning to enjoy the sunshine and the springtime breeze. Not only does this make your home feel refreshed, but it also gives you a chance to look at doors and windows for signs of damage or leaks. Be sure to check the caulking around the windows and doors. Sunshine and exposure to the elements can cause caulk to dry out or flake off. Also, check for signs of water damage anywhere around your windows or doors. This might indicate you have a leak from a broken seal.
Over the winter, your gutters may have gotten clogged with debris from trees, birds or squirrels. You can either hire a service to clean your gutters for you or you can clean them yourself. If you choose to clean them yourself, remember to be cautious when using a ladder. Always have someone there to help you and hold the ladder for stability.
A new roof is an incredibly expensive undertaking, so it’s important to keep your current roof in the best shape possible. Check your roof for signs of stress or damage. This might include missing, broken or loose shingles. Additionally, check shingles to make sure they haven’t lost their protective layer. That gritty, asphalt-like substance on a roof tile protects it from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Just like with gutter cleaning, you will want to use caution and have a friend on the ground when you’re up on your roof.
Touch Up Peeling Paint
Peeling or cracking paint on a home never looks good. Even if it’s just cosmetic, peeling paint may lower the overall value and curb appeal of your home. It’s also usually a fairly easy fix. For homes with a lot of peeling paint, or cracked paint in hard-to-reach places, consider hiring a professional contractor to take care of the work for you. If you have a few small spots, you might want to take on the project yourself.
Refresh and Renew Your Home with a Spring Cleaning
A good spring cleaning helps your home feel refreshed and renewed for the warm season. Additionally, spring cleaning gives you the chance to go through your home’s important equipment and systems. You’ll be able to ensure everything is working properly and should be able to feel confident enjoying your home throughout the sunny spring and summer months.
Spring Cleaning Benefits and Tips for the Office
Warm weather is just around the corner and that can only mean one thing—spring cleaning. No more dreary weather, muddy footprints, and soaked carpets. Spring is almost here and that means we get to welcome a fresh start.
Now is the perfect time to stow away your winter-related items, declutter unnecessary items, reorganize, and refresh the office. We encourage you to make the most of the upcoming season by reading the rest of our blog post which contains the benefits of office spring cleaning and tips on where to begin.
Cleaning is always a good idea—especially now—as we continue to live with the pandemic along with practicing better hygiene. Five benefits that can stem from spring cleaning your office include:
Allergy symptom relief
Cleaning can help reduce stress because it offers a sense of accomplishment and also makes for a very relaxing experience. Digging through piles of papers and other office materials can be extremely time-consuming and stressful if you cannot find what you are looking for. By cleaning out your office space, you’ll spend less time worrying and stressing about where specific items are.
It should come as no surprise that a clean workspace helps to increase productivity. Having pens, papers, staplers, and other office supplies scattered around your desk can be distracting you from your priorities. By cleaning, tossing away unnecessary clutter, organizing, and placing your items back where they belong, not only will your workspace look more presentable, but you’ll also improve your workflow efficiency.
Clutter is often linked with negative emotions such as irritability and confusion, whereas a clean workspace is linked with positive emotions such as calmness and contentment. A clean environment will help to elevate your mood as it gives you better control of your surroundings. Not to mention, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment once your workspace is neat and tidy.
Allergy Symptom Relief
Aside from cleaning, the springtime is also unfortunately known for being allergy season. If you have employees who suffer from seasonal allergies, we recommend putting together a regular cleaning and disinfecting routine in order to get rid of immune system triggers such as dust and pollen. We also recommend checking your office’s ventilation system to ensure good indoor air quality.
All of the benefits above can be combined to support an overall healthier lifestyle physically, mentally, and emotionally. Spring is the season for new beginnings so get started by cleaning out your workspace today. Not sure where to start? Read our tips below!
Spring Cleaning Tips
Clean and disinfect all surfaces, especially the ones you are in daily contact with such as your desk, keyboard, door handles, etc.
Declutter and organize your drawers, placing everything back where they belong and tossing away unnecessary items
Keep only your frequently used items on your desk and store the rest
Manage long, messy wires or cables by using Velcro strips for a neat and professional look
Perform a digital declutter by getting rid of files and emails that you no longer need and organizing the icons on your desktop to make them more easily accessible
Check in with the appropriate manager regarding the office ventilation system
Make cleaning and disinfecting a part of your weekly routine if possible—if not, consider hiring a commercial cleaning company to come in once a week or as needed.
6 Ways to Save on Electric Bills
When you’re looking for ways to save money, lowering your bills should be a top priority.
When you’re looking for ways to save money, lowering your bills should be a top priority. Some bills are easy to lower, such as that premium cable subscription you never use. Others might seem impossible to cut down.
If you’re like a lot of people, you’d love to lower your electric bill, but you’re not sure where to start. The good news is there are a lot of little changes you can make to help cut energy costs. Start by trying these six simple tips to lower your electric bill.
- Program Your Heating and Cooling
There are a lot of fancy smart-home devices available today, and they can get pretty expensive. Luckily, you don’t need to spend a fortune to add a few smart elements that can help cut your power bills.
Start with a programmable thermostat. You can opt for a top-of-the-line smart thermostat or a simple programmable one. Some smart thermostats allow you to change your home’s temperature from your smartphone remotely. Even a simple programmable thermostat lets you set the temperature in your home for specific times of the day.
Programming your heating and cooling saves you money on electricity by maximizing efficiency when you need it most. In the summer, you could set the thermostat to start running the air conditioning about an hour before you get home from work in the evening. You’ll come home to a cool house while not wasting money cooling the house when no one’s home.
- Unplug Appliances When Not in Use
It’s not always easy to tell if an appliance or gadget is using electricity when it’s turned off, but a lot of them do. Even if you hit the “off” button, leaving an appliance plugged in could be costing you money.
You can cut this unnecessary expense by unplugging appliances when you’re done with them. After making breakfast, unplug the toaster so it doesn’t sap energy till the next morning. You can do the same with almost any appliance or tool in your home — from gaming consoles and televisions to coffee makers and microwaves.
Unplugging all of your appliances after each use might seem inconvenient. Once you’re in the habit, however, you’ll enjoy a lower electric bill while also reducing your chance of overloading an outlet and causing a home fire.
- Wash Your Clothes in Cold Water
Traditional clothes-washing wisdom might tell you to use hot water to get your clothes clean. That’s because laundry detergents of the past needed the heat from hot water to activate. Most modern detergents, however, can work just as well in cold water as hot.
This is good news for your wallet since heating the water for a load of laundry uses a lot of energy. By washing clothes in cold water, you’re reducing the amount of electricity you need.
As a bonus, you’ll also get more use out of your clothes. Cold water is generally less harsh on your clothing than hot water. Hot water can cause fibers to break down and lead to shrinking, running dyes, or faded colors.
Make your laundry even more energy-efficient by skipping a cycle in the hot dryer. You can line-dry your clothes for similar benefits — you’ll save money on energy costs and your clothes won’t be exposed to extreme heat.
- Wear the Right Clothing
It may sound silly but wearing the right clothes indoors can help reduce your heating and cooling costs, ultimately lowering your electric bill.
In the winter, you might be tempted to crank the heater and start a cozy fire in the fireplace. After a while, you realize you’re warm. Instead of turning down the heat or putting out the fire, you change into shorts and a tank top to beat the heat.
In the summer, you could end up doing the opposite. You run the air conditioner so the house is cold, then pull on a sweatshirt or long pants because you’re chilly.
Most of the time, you probably don’t realize you’re changing to match your current comfort level. The next time you reach for an extra layer or change into summer clothes in the winter, try adjusting your home’s thermostat instead.
- Maintain Your HVAC System
Your heating and cooling system has to work hard to give you an ideal indoor temperature, especially if the outdoor temperature is extreme. The best way to keep your HVAC system from running up your electric bill is to practice proper maintenance.
The easiest step is to replace your air filter regularly. The air filter works to keep debris, dust, and allergens out of the air in your home. As the particles collect in the filter, the system has to work harder to move air through. Check your air filter regularly. If it’s dirty and dusty, it’s time to replace it.
You should also consider hiring a professional HVAC technician to service your system each year. A professional will have the tools and knowledge to alert you if there are any issues and clean your system so it’s running properly.
- Keep Your Appliances in Good Condition
A dirty appliance in need of repairs often costs a lot more to run than a clean one. Reduce your energy costs by keeping your appliances in good repair. If you notice an appliance isn’t running as efficiently, such as a dryer not drying clothes, clean out dust, dirt, and buildup or contact a repair company.
When your appliance gets beyond repair, you might want to think about replacing it with a newer, more efficient model. Many modern appliances are designed to reduce energy costs and may even come with a rebate from your local power company.
Reducing your energy expenses can be easy is you follow these six steps. Remember to monitor your monthly bill to see the impact these costing-saving ideas can have on your electric bill.