Summertime in Iowa means hot, humid weather with the potential for severe storms. It also means it’s time to break out the grills and gather around a fire with friends and family. A change in the season means a shift in focus for home safety. Heavy rains can lead to flooding, humid weather promotes mold growth, and outdoor family fun can cause fires. We want to help you stay safe all summer long. Read through our tips on how to prevent a disaster from falling upon your home.
Preventing Mold During The Summer
Monitor In-Home Humidity
Humidity is produced by water vapor, or moisture, in the air. Mold thrives in environments where moisture is present and the temperature is over 77 degrees Fahrenheit. The most effective way to control the humidity level in your home is to run the air conditioner. Air conditioners cool your home down by removing heat and humidity.
Additionally, you can run a dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers are commonly used in the basement where humidity levels are higher because of the moisture found in the soil around the foundation of your home.
Check For Leaks
Leaks from any plumbing fixture can be problematic and promote mold growth. Be sure you check under your sinks, around toilets, dishwashers, and washing machines. It’s important to fix the issue to eliminate current and future problems. Patchwork and temporary solutions will not resolve a leak or the potential for mold growth.
Keep Surfaces Clean
Mold feeds on organic matter like dust and dirt. Be proactive in cleaning surfaces, especially those in humid, damp areas of your home.
Seal Windows And Doors
As rain falls, it will find its way into cracks and crevices. Your windows and doors are common spots around the home for rainwater to collect and become a problem for mold growth. Seal your doors and windows with weather stripping, caulking, or other sealants to prevent water from collecting.
Flood Prevention Tips
Test Your Sump Pump
Swimming pools are best when they are outside, not in your basement. A functioning sump pump plays a big role in keeping rainwater outside. Most sump pumps function using the home’s electricity. To assure your pump will work in the midst of a power outage, we recommend having a backup battery installed.
Seal Cracks In Basement Foundation
Identify cracks in your basement foundation and walls. Use a hydraulic cement or another waterproof sealant to eliminate the pathway for water to enter the basement. Some basement foundation repairs are beyond DIY solutions and require professional attention.
Guide Water Away From Your Home
When a heavy thunderstorm strikes, it’s important to keep water away from the foundation of your home. Doing so will reduce your chances of having to deal with water in the basement. One of the most effective ways to do this is to be sure your gutters and sump pump are carrying the water away from your house.
Check Your Insurance Coverage
Know what your homeowner’s insurance covers when it comes to flood damage. Unfortunately, flooding is unpredictable and powerful. Even the most meticulous preparation cannot compete with strong storms and raging floods. Learn more about flood insurance coverage in Iowa to be sure you’re covered in the worst-case scenario.
Fire Prevention Tips
The summer is prime time for grilling and bonfires. Both activities can cause problems if you don’t pay attention to detail and practice safety.
Grilling Safety At Home
Keep the char on your steak and away from your home by practicing safe grilling. The most important factor is to keep distance between the grill and the side of the home, including deck railings. At least 10 feet of distance is recommended. Clean your grill regularly to prevent grease build-up. We recommend having a fire extinguisher on hand in the event a fire does start.
Backyard Fire Safety
A fire should only be built in an enclosed pit and away from furniture, trees, and the side of your home. Don’t ever leave a fire unattended and be sure to put it out completely before heading in for the night.
Damage Restoration With ServiceMaster by Rice
Get in touch with the restoration professionals at ServiceMaster by Rice if your home has suffered from flood, fire, or mold damages. We have certified technicians available 24/7 across the state of Iowa and in southern Minnesota. See a full list of our services and let us help you get life back to normal.