Mitigating Water Damage: Timing Is Critical

Here in Katy, Texas, we see it all of the time: Water damage can happen to anyone.

A broken water pipe, damaged water heater, rainwater flooding, leaky roof, leaking faucet, and a backed-up sewer line are all possible causes of flooding. Whenever a large amount of water stands freely on a surface in your home, water damage is bound to occur – and quickly. Repairing the damage and restoring your home can be incredibly costly and your insurance policy may not cover that kind of liability.

Thankfully, there are steps homeowners can take to mitigate water damage. The following is a simple guide to acting correctly and decisively when your home is flooded.

Step 1: Turn Off the Power
When water fills your home, socket outlets and extension cords may all be in contact with that water. That may lead to electrocution if you try to wade through the water – a serious risk which you need to avoid. Furthermore, water can short-circuit electrical appliances which may also be flooded. When your home is filled with water, don’t do anything before you turn off the power at the main control panel of your home.

Step 2: Stop the Flooding
Once the power is turned off, the next thing you should do is try to prevent further flooding. If a broken water pipe or a damaged faucet is the cause of flooding in your home, cut off the water supply by turning off the main shut-off valve; this valve may be located outside the house next to the water meter. If a backed up sewer line is to blame for the flooding, the only thing you can do is stop using faucets, toilets or bathrooms until the problem is fixed.

If rainwater from outside finds its way into your home, there is little you can do if you did not anticipate the flooding. You’ll want to contact a water damage mitigation specialist right away – Rainbow International is one that I trust. If you have a few sand-filled sandbags at the ready, place them at the main water entry points to act as a barrier.

Step 3: Salvage Valuable Items
Water damage is a factor of time: The longer a surface or property is flooded with water, the greater the damage will be. Therefore, you must act fast to salvage your property. However, you should not try to move heavy objects by yourself on a watery surface. Instead, get some help or leave it where it is. Start with lighter items, such as TVs, computers, home theater system, cushions, paintings, area rugs, and smaller tables among other things.

Step 4: Pump Out Water
If you have a sump pump, use it to pump water out of your home. Alternatively, you can use a piece of rug and bucket to remove any free-standing water on your floor. However, this is only practical if there is a small amount of water on the floor.

Step 5: Call a Water Damage Mitigation Company
Even if you remove all free-standing water, you still probably need to call water damage company. Water may still be hidden under the floor and walls, which will require drying of all the surfaces using powerful equipment. Humidity must also be controlled in order to remove excess moisture from the house. Depending on the type of water which caused the flooding, carpets and pieces of furniture may need to be cleaned as well as dried. Water damage companies often specialize in carpet and furniture leaning as well.

When your home is flooded, timing is everything. Deal with the problem immediately, or contact someone who can. In the meantime, be sure to take the above-mentioned steps as you wait for professional help.

Saving Energy with Window Tinting

In Indianapolis, window tinting is a popular option for reducing both heat and glare and – as a result – lowering energy costs. Typically, the tint is applied to the insides of the windows and heat is reduced as the harmful rays of the sun are prevented from entering the home. In areas with colder winters, like Indiana, windows can also be used to trap precious heat.

Today’s window tints come in many options, including tints that are almost completely clear. Despite providing a clear view, modern tints greatly reduce the fading of carpets, drapes and furniture This is because damaging UV rays will be blocked out. Let’s take a closer look:

How Window Tinting Works

There are three components into which sun rays are divided; ultraviolet, visible, and infrared light. Tints can adjust the extent to which these types of light enter the window. When radiation or solar heat hits the glass, window tint can prevent the UV rays from entering. This lowers the levels of light and heat that pass through the glass to get into the home. Based on the strength and type of the window tint chosen, there will be a difference in the quantity of light and heat that enter the home.

Excellent energy efficient tints boost the thermal “bounce” of the windows. They decrease solar heat gain and this will, in turn, lessen the amount of time the air conditioning system has to run. Additionally, certain window tints can also radiate heat back into the home, providing year-round comfort and energy savings.

Primary Energy Saving

Window tints are often used to cost of keep a potentially overheated room cool. Lowering the quantity of light coming into the space keeps it from rapidly heating up. The room might only require cooling towards day’s end when the collective impact of the sunlight has become excessive. At this point, carefully using the air conditioning can get the room to a comfortable level, after which the system can be switched off. The room temperature will be maintained for a while by the reflection of heat into the room by the windows.

In times past, tinted windows could only keep heat out. Now tints can serve almost like an additional pane of glass, adding insulation to keep heat in as well. If you are interested in saving on your heating bills this winter, you should contact a local window tinting company before the weather gets any colder – we’ve had great luck working with Solar Concepts.

Secondary Energy Savings

Window tints can assist in the reduction of condensation as well. Heat that would normally be lost – absorbed in the evaporation of condensation – is reduced. The decrease in humidity tends to make the air feel more comfortable and warmer; with less use of heating energy, comfortable ambient temperatures can still be maintained. If a transparent window tint is applied, no additional lighting will be required, saving more energy.

A darkly tinted window has the capacity to cut up to 65 percent of the visible light spectrum. This will make the space relatively dark – even in broad daylight. For those who prefer more light, a clearer tint will leave the room bright, with no need for artificial light. Whether you want a brighter room or a darker one, a cooler room or a warmer one, today’s window tints let you choose without compromise.

Granite, Marble, Quartz, and Beyond

The Many Aspects of Natural Stone Countertops

Choosing granite can be overwhelming – it comes in so many different grades, colors, patterns, and finishes. It is best to do some online research to understand the terms before going to a showroom to choose what you like. Understanding the different price ranges and quality of stone can also be helpful in making your ultimate selection. NEKA Inc, for instance, has an expansive showroom in Northern VA with hundreds of color, price, and finish combinations.

Which stone should I choose?

Granite is usually more popular for kitchen surfaces, while marble may work better in a bathroom. Granite is less expensive, and marble is more delicate and porous. Onyx and soapstone are other natural stones that give a similar appearance for a cheaper price. In general, you will be choosing between:

granite, marble, and quartz

  • Granite
  • Marble
  • Quartz
  • Soapstone
  • Onyx
  • Limestone
  • Bluestone
  • Basalt

Choosing Between Different Colors

Typically, you will be choosing between whites, grays, browns, and blacks. White countertops give a more open appearance that can make a room appear more spacious, beige and brown blend best with a variety of decorating options, and grey and black make a more striking, dramatic statement. Whichever color you choose, no two slabs will look alike. Granite, marble, and other natural stones each have a unique, natural veining or speckling pattern. This blog goes into further depth with granite colors.


Natural stones come in different grades, or levels of quality and price. The lower grades will mean thinner slabs of stone that are less sturdy. They may come in more ordinary, easy-to-find colorsmarble bathroom as well. Medium grades are thicker and more durable. They come in colors that are more desirable than low grades, although they may have some blemishes or scarring. Finally, a high grade slab is rare, durable, and as close to perfect as you can get. They may also consist of interesting patterns and veining that is difficult to find.


When it comes to cleaning your new countertops or surfaces, avoid harsh cleaning agents. Mild soap and warm, damp washcloth is the best way to wipe away any residue. You can also find granite or marble cleaners that are specifically designed to clean and protect your fixtures. Keep in mind that even with the right sealants and finishes, each of these stones are porous and will granite kitchen countertopabsorb any puddles that sit in one place over periods of time. A quick wipe-down at the end of the day is the best way to protect surfaces.

Visit a Showroom

After getting a general idea of the type of and grade of stone that you would like, visit a showroom to see what options are in stock. Your local granite manufacturer will be able to further explain different finishes – such as leathered, honed, flamed, sandblasted or brushed. For instance, some of these finishes will create a stronger seal, some will make for a glossy reflective surface, and some will provide a matte coating to hide flaws. Seeing these different options in person is usually the easiest way to determine which will be best for your interior design style.

Save Big with Home Window Tint

Windows are an essential part of a home, they enable us to see outside as well as allow natural lighting to enter. To reduce the amount of heat and glare that enters windows; many homeowners rely upon home window film. Window Tinting allows a home to receive an ample amount of sunlight without the added heat. Home window tint is energy efficient, some films can block up to 99% of U.V. rays that would otherwise enter a home.

The U.V. protection of home window film aids in maintaining a comfortable home during hot summer months. Many homeowners are astonished when they discover the difference that window tint can make. A window that was once known for being a hot spot inside a home will no longer be a source of excess heat. If factoring in the potential energy savings along with the additional comfort, the investment in Window Tinting can pay for itself in a very short time.

In addition to savings and comfort, home window tint can also be rather attractive. There are numerous different types of window film available, ranging from dark shades to decorative window tint. Some of the most popular of the decorative films are those that offer the look of etched glass. This type of decorative tint is available as solid sheets of etching, or it can have beautiful and unique designs printed onto the tint.

Privacy Window Tint Options

privacy window tintEtched glass tint offers more privacy and can even eliminate the need for curtains. Most of the film that is manufactured to look like etched glass is rather elegant looking while still offering U.V. protection, so it definitely has a lot to offer besides just savings and comfort. Etched designs such as geometrical patterns, nature elements, and other attractive designs are the perfect addition to any home window.

Decorative Home Window Film

Another popular type of decorative window tint looks just like stained glass. Stained glass home window tint is one of the most remarkable of all window films.  Created to look exactly like real stained glass, this faux version can fool even the most discerning eye. Not only is this film energy efficient, it adds beautiful splashes of color that is welcoming in any room. These can be found at any Colorado Springs window film company like High Country Window Tint.

Homeowners can choose from a vast array of stained glass patterns such as modern art, scenery, as well as traditional patterns such as those seen in old cathedrals. Window tinting not only offers beauty, comfort, and savings, it also offers security. A window that has been tinted poses far less risk in the event of being broken. Some films are designed to prevent shattering, which provides safety during accidents and can even help to deter a burglar from entering a home.

Safety and Security Home Window Tinting

security window filmsFilm that offers this added safety measure can help make a home feel far more secure by adding extra layers to windows. The absolute best way to ensure that home window film is installed correctly is to hire a professional window tint company for this task. Window film is rather tricky and can be difficult to install, especially on large windows.

If not applied correctly the film can bubble up and eventually peel off, making this a job best left to the professionals. It is wise to do some research and price comparisons before hiring a window tint company. This helps to ensure that only the highest quality of tint is used and that it is installed by an expert. Energy efficient window film could absolutely be called one of the most beneficial home improvement products on the market.

Discover the Best Carpet Cleaning Method

Carpet cleaning is necessary if you would like to keep your home clean, healthy and safe for all the occupants. Over time, carpet fibers trap dust, chemicals, animal fur and pollen among other types of debris, which must all be removed. There are also times when a carpet may be soaked in water after flooding. In such cases, water damage restoration is needed. Whatever the case, it is important for homeowners to hire the best carpet cleaner to take care of their precious carpets.

carpet cleaning by handTypes of Cleaning Processes

There are many ways to clean a carpet. They include; dry cleaning with carpet absorbent cleaners, steam cleaning, shampooing, Bonnet method and hot water extraction cleaning method. All these methods are rated based on their ability to remove different types of stains and impurities as well as their dry time, Eco-friendliness and kid friendliness among other things. Hot water cleaning scores highly on all these parameters, In fact, manufacturers recommend this cleaning method for all carpet fibers.

Hot Water Extractioncarbonation

This is the only cleaning process classified as deep cleaning. This is because it is the only method capable of removing soil embedded deep within the pile. Shampooing, Bonnet, and dry cleaning methods are all classified as interim cleaning, or light surface cleaning because they only remove impurities or dirt on the surface of the carpet. The main disadvantage of “surface cleaning” methods is that they often leave a large quantity of the cleaning agent on the carpet, making them unhealthy and unsafe for kids. This leaves hot water extraction and steam cleaning as the most suitable carpet cleaning processes. Hot water extraction is preferred over steam cleaning because it has a shorter dry time.

How it Works

In this carpet cleaning process, the rug cleaning technician uses hot water under high pressure to remove stains. Hot water dissolves dirt and other types of impurities and the mixture is extracted by a powerful vacuum pump, leaving the carpet fibers dirt-free. There are two types of hot water carpet cleaning machines – portable and truck-mounted. The two options have varying strengths, which make them suitable for different types of carpet cleaning jobs. For instance, portable machines can be used to clean hard to reach places while truck-mounted hot water extraction machines are much more powerful. Therefore, they provide faster drying times and can complete the job much faster. While these machines normally operate at high temperatures, our technicians always take the necessary precautions to prevent scalding.

baby walkingBenefits of Hot Water Extraction

Carpet, rug, and upholstery manufacturers recommend hot water extraction method because it is a thorough cleaning method as it can remove soil embedded deep in the pile. The method also has a shorter drying time compared to shampooing, which means you will have a shorter downtime. In addition to being Eco-friendly, the method is also kid-friendly since it does not leave harmful cleaning agents on the carpet fibers.

Other Cleaning Services

In addition to carpet cleaning, we also do upholstery cleaning and furniture cleaning as part of a scheduled cleaning service or emergency water damage restoration process. Whether your carpet and furniture are soaked in clean or dirty water, you can count on us to clean it effectively along with your carpet. The furniture, carpet and upholstery will be safe for your kids and pets to use after we are done with the cleaning job.

Do You Have a Leak in Your Plumbing?

It’s not always obvious when there’s a leak in your house. Many leaks are hidden and occur inside the walls, beneath the sink, or even underneath your house – and unless they’re spotted and repaired right away, they can cause damage to your home and sustain mold growth. Luckily, there are several telltale signs of home water leaks that can help you identify and source the problem.

plumbing repair

Signs of a Water Leak

Keep an eye on your water meter. Do you notice the meter rising, even when there hasn’t been any water usage in your home? This could indicate a leaking hose or an underground pressurized leak. First, check to make sure that water isn’t flowing to the hose when it’s not in use in your yard. If the connection is tight, then it’s possible that the leak could be under your home. Underground leaks can be detected by cracks in the foundation or wet areas of your yard.

Another sign of a plumbing leak could be an abnormally or suddenly high gas bill. A gas leak will be readily noticeable by a smell of gas. If you know the high gas bill isn’t a result of a gas leak, then it could be a leak in the hot water line from your hot water heater. Warm spots in a certain area of the floor could also indicate a pressurized water leak beneath your home.

What to Do

So now you know a couple ways to detect a leak in your plumbing – but what now? If you’re uncomfortable with tracing a hidden leak and repairing it yourself, you should stop right now and call a local West Palm Beach plumber to come by and take a look.

Otherwise, locate the main water shut-off valve in your house and turn off the water. This will turn off all the water in your house and prevent any further water leakage until the problem is fixed and the water is turned back on. If you’re able to find the source of the water leak, you may want to install a separate shut-off valve at the specific appliance or fixture so you can keep the water flowing to other areas of the house while you make the repair. Once the water’s turned off, gather the tools and materials you need – likely a wrench and caulking. Do not hesitate to call a plumber if you need to.

Bonus Tips

If you live in an area that experiences frigid winters, you will want to take special measures to prevent your pipes from freezing and cracking. For example, hoses should be removed from outdoor spigots or frost-free hose bibs can be installed. On especially cold nights, you may also want to slightly drip your faucets, as moving water can’t freeze.

If you’re concerned about future plumbing leaks, flow sensors can be installed for your entire house or just for a specific appliance. These sensors will detect a water leak and automatically shut off the water to either the whole house or the appliance, and prevent water loss and damage.

Plumbing repairs should only be performed by an experienced professional. If you’re not sure of what you’re doing, call a plumber immediately.

Replacing Your Windows after a Storm

broken windowSevere storms can be a devastating occurrence. One of the first things that a severe storm or hurricane will damage is your windows. Old windows are especially susceptible to wind and storm damage, due to commonly rotting wood frames and cracked glass panes. To keep your family and the interior of your home safe after a storm has broken or damaged your windows, you will need to replace them with new ones. Fortunately, there are a variety of benefits that arrive with replacing your old windows.

Professional window replacement and installation can improve the appearance and aesthetic of a home, as well as its indoor comfort level. But appearance and security are only a couple of the more readily noticeable purposes of great windows. Once you replace your damaged your windows with newer, more-efficient models, you will immediately reap the following benefits:


Damage from accidents, storms, or other catastrophic events can cause serious breaks – especially with older windows which are already weakened. Homeowners who face rotting in wooden window frames often turn to vinyl when replacing their windows. Sturdy and energy efficient, vinyl windows have no tendency to rot over time. Manufacturers might also have windows made of other durable materials, such as aluminum, that will perform well over the long term. Stronger, more durable window frames will decrease the chance of structural damage resulting from storms and other events in the future.

Curb Appeal

Replacing some or all windows in a home is often integral to giving a dated home new life and a rejuvenated appearance. Landscaping and paint can help revitalize a home, but new windows can be the key to improved curb appeal and a distinct “wow” factor. Bay windows, for instance, can give a home both charm and elegance, often adding architectural interest to its appearance. A project involving window replacement is also a good time to add window boxes if the style of the home warrants them.

Newer windows, in the form of wide gliders, can also create a contemporary look to a home, or a buyer can choose to craft a traditional appearance with custom grilles. Creative choices with colors can be another way to boost curb appeal with new windows. The many choices for types of windows, architectural styles and colors give homeowners nearly endless options.

Noise Reduction

Even if damage is your primary reason for replacing your windows, new windows will also provide you with the added benefit of noise reduction. Airport noise, traffic from a major nearby thoroughfare, or a neighborhood with barking dogs are all noises that can disrupt the peace and quiet of your home when you have poorly insulated, old windows. Dual pane windows are a popular choice for achieving noise reduction, and buyers should choose a manufacturer that offers high quality glass. Professionals in the industry can recommend the best types of glass for each pane in a dual pane window – the right combination being key to noise abatement.

Energy Efficiency

A major reason to replace windows is to improve the energy efficiency of your home and to reduce monthly utility bills – so if you’re replacing your old, drafty windows after a storm, be prepared to see those numbers go down. Energy efficiency is accomplished through the properties of the glass and the quality of construction of the window and the window frame. An airtight seal will prevent leaks, and high quality glass will protect your home from UV rays. Blocking the sun’s rays, however, is just one aspect of efficiency. The other goal is to keep the home warm in colder temperatures. When the glass and the overall window construction are both of sufficient quality, consumers will see results in both their utility bills and their comfort level.

Decisions regarding new windows continue throughout the installation process. At this stage, choosing the right installer is crucial. Installers should be experienced, and their reliance on sealants or expanding foams for proper fit should be minimal. Professionals such as this New Jersey replacement window company can install windows with the best fit, and they can make certain that homeowners get what they need from their new windows. Storm and hurricane damage may not be an ideal circumstance to deal with, but the benefits that arrive with new windows will hopefully make your investment worth it.

Insuring Your Personal Belongings

home insuranceWhen your home is severely damaged by a fire, storm, or a flood, it can be incredibly expensive to replace all of your belongings that were lost. And depending on the sentimental value of your personal items, some of them may even be irreplaceable. Luckily, having dependable homeowner’s insurance will help to protect the value of your treasured belongings in the event of a catastrophe. However, don’t assume that all of your items will be covered under your policy, or that you’ll be covered for the full replacement cost of your belongings. Before disaster strikes, be sure to consider the following to make sure that your most beloved possessions are protected.


If you rent your home or apartment, there’s a good chance that your personal property isn’t covered under your landlord’s insurance policy. In the event of damage by a fire or storm, the apartment building may be covered under their policy, but your personal items won’t be. Consider investing in renter’s insurance, which will insure your belongings for a small premium.

Flood Insurance

Your homeowner’s insurance will not cover any losses due to flooding. Especially if your neighborhood has a high flood risk, you will want to add flood insurance to your existing policy to ensure that you’re protected.

Document Your Possessions

Take pictures of and save the receipts for any valuable items you own. In the event that you need to make a claim to your insurance provider, having evidence of the value and condition of your possessions will make it much easier to be reimbursed for your losses.

Scheduled Personal Property Coverage

Be aware that your personal property coverage under your insurance policy is capped to a specified maximum value for certain items. For example, if your policy only covers jewelry worth up to $1,000, and you own a $10,000 engagement ring, you will not be covered. Adding scheduled personal property coverage to your policy for extremely valuable items will ensure full coverage for your belongings. And if you’re not sure how much your jewelry is worth, take your items to your local Richmond jewelry store for an appraisal.

Cash Value vs. Replacement Cost

Your insurance policy may not cover the full replacement cost of a lost item. In case of a personal property claim, your insurance may either reimburse you for the cost of replacing the item with a brand new one, or for the cash value of the item – meaning what you could expect to receive for the item if you sold it at a yard sale or online.

Insuring your valuables may be an additional monthly bill, but if you’re concerned about losing them in a natural disaster, you’ll want to protect your belongings now before it’s too late. If you don’t already have homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, shop around online for a policy that’s right for you. And if you’re already insured, make sure that your personal property is being adequately covered by your policy.

Is it Advisable to Purchase an Expensive Rug?

Rug Choices

rug choicesWhen designing the interior of our homes, there are many accessories to consider.  One that has the biggest impact on a room with hardwood flooring is an area rug.  There are numerous options available in endless designs, making it easy to find one that fits in with your vision, though it may take going to a few different stores around town to make that visions come true.  You will probably find rugs that suit your taste in a wide variety of prices as well.  This means that you will need to weigh your options before purchasing the right rug for you. If you are anything like me though, the shopping is the enjoyable part but you should also consider how much you want to spend on this new home design feature; after all, there are probably other things you are going to want to spend your money on to make your home more visually appealing.

Benefits of More Expensive Rugs

More expensive rugs will often be of a higher quality, feeling better to the touch and being more durable than cheaper options.  However, you might be hesitant to buy them due to the possibility of stains and damage, especially if you aren’t planning on having it cleaned regularly.

Cleaning is Always an Option

green rug cleanIf you really like an expensive rug, fears about cleaning shouldn’t stop you.  There are plenty of guides you can access online that will walk you through different forms of rug care step by step should you wish to handle it on your own though I would not recommend doing this. Hiring a green certified rug cleaning service is always the best way to go as they will safely clean your rug i a thorough manner.

Professional rug cleaning services can come by on a regular schedule to maintain your rug, at least I like to do this to schedule them in advance. You can also call them for emergency visits to treat stains or other problems, such as set in smells after a dinner party.  Most rug cleaning services like any Chem-Dry location will guarantee their work and are insured, which should help you feel more at ease-more so than if you were doing it yourself.

So, should you buy that expensive rug?  If you like it, why not?  There are ways to protect than investment for years to come.

Prepare Your Home For Emergencies

A red home fire extinguisherA saying my father always drilled into me was, “You have to be prepared for anything”.  Time and time again I’ve come to see how right he was.  Everything from having backup batteries to having a savings plan is essential when preparing for the worst.

Now, I’m a little older now and a little wiser last week I moved into a new one bedroom apartment, because I no longer had any use for a house.  It was just too much upkeep and too much space for just me.  So now since I’m moving into a new place, my dad’s words are staying top of mind and I need to have my new home in order just in case of an emergency.  I’ve enlisted the help of my senior care helper to drive me around town to pick up essential items.  Some of the items on my emergency plan shopping list are:

Fire Extinguisher

It’s essential to always have a fire extinguisher in your home.  It should be in an easily accessible place and everyone in the home should know how to access it.

First Aid Kit

Every home should be equipped with a first aid kit.  Just as with the fire extinguisher, it’s important that it be easy to get to and that everyone knows where it is.  With this kit, I like to keep extra medication, just in case I run out and have no way to get to the drugstore.

Radio, Flashlight, Water, Non-Perishable Food

In my home, I like to keep all of these items together, because they’re likely all going to be used together, especially in the event of a power outage.  If you’ve ever been stuck without power, you know how stressful it can be, especially if you have no light and no way to hear about potential updates.  With this kit, I also keep a few extra packs of batteries.  Radio and flash light can’t run on the same supply all the time, so it’s important to have reserves.