Sweating

Stop House Windows from Sweating

sweating

What Is Sweating?

Sweating is when warm moist air meets a smooth, cool surface. This is also known as condensation. It is the same process that causes the outside of your glass of Diet Coke to become moist.

If you have a problem with the windows in your home sweating, you may think the problem is with the windows. However, that may not be the case.

A simple wall hygrometer can tell you the humidity level inside your home. Humidity levels in your home should be between 30 to 50 percent (lower when the temperature outside is colder). When humidity levels exceed this, you will start to see condensation or sweating on your windows.

Alpine Cleaning & Restoration has a few simple suggestions below to keep humidity levels in your home lower and to prevent your windows from building up condensation.

Immediate Solutions to Stopping Condensation on Windows

1. Open the windows and doors to let your house breathe when the temperature allows it. Poor air circulation and lack of ventilation causes high humidity.  When you open a window or door, it equalizes air in your home with the outside.

2. Check that your clothes dryer exhaust hose is free of debris and that it is properly vented to the outside and not the attic. Ensure that vent ducts as short as possible and seal them with foil/duct tape or caulk to ensure that the moisture exits your home.

3. Always turn on a fan when cooking. Also try to minimize cooking times.

4. When showering turn on the exhaust fan and take shorter showers with cooler water.

5. Place a fan blowing onto the window to evaporate the liquid and put it back into the air. Of course, this will only work as long as the fan is turned on. You can also wipe the windows to remove the moisture. This will help prevent mildew or mold from growing.

6. Cover windows with plastic film or interior storm windows. Doing so will provide a layer between the moist warm air and the cold surface.

7. Setting your thermostat lower will reduce the temperature difference between the air and the glass. Temperatures between 66 to 68 degrees are most effective.

Ways to eliminate the problem indefinitely

1. Install exhaust fans in your bathrooms, kitchen, and laundry room. If possible, install a timer that will keep the fan running for 15 to 20 minutes after you shower to remove any excess moisture. A timer can also be used in the laundry room as well.

2. Invest in double paned windows and/or storm windows. If condensation is still prevalent despite new storm windows, then you need to caulk or weather strip around the two windows.

3. Seal the areas around your window using caulk, then spray foam or weather stripping to close any gaps.

4. Reduce the number of aquariums and plants in your house–both add moisture to the air, increasing humidity levels. If possible, water the plants in your home less often.

5. Invest in a dehumidifier with a humidistat to keep the humidity in your home between 30-50%. Dehumidifiers are great for bathrooms and basements where humidity levels are highest.

For problems with wall condensation or mold growth contact us at 1-855-4ALPINE to get a free estimate.

holiday safety tips

Holiday Safety Tips

holiday safety tipsSafety First

Everyone loves the holidays.  Getting to meet with your family, giving (and receiving) gifts, eating good food; what’s not to love?  But you don’t want your joyous event to turn into an unexpected tragedy.  According to CNN, there are plenty of accidents that can occur around the house during the holidays, especially fires.  Every year, accidental fires kill more than 400 people and cause over $900,000 worth of property damage.  Sparing a moment’s thought for your safety can prevent it.

While enjoying your holiday will be your top concern, don’t let your fun outweigh your safety.  There are a few things you should keep in mind if you want to stay safe during the holiday season.  Here are some tips for you.

10 Safety Tips For the Holidays

  • Use a timer when cooking on the stove top or oven so you can’t forget and leave it on
  • If you have a log fire place, make sure to use the screen
  • Never burn wrapping paper, boxes, or trash in your fire place
  • Don’t leave a fire, candles, warmers, or space heaters unattended
  • Lit candles can start fires; use candle or fragrance warmers instead
  • Real Christmas trees dry out in 2 weeks- get rid of the fire hazard
  • Check holiday lights for cracked or broken bulbs, or frayed wires; don’t use them
  • Replace overheating Christmas lights
  • Never over fill a turkey fryer with grease
  • Never use “indoor lights” outdoors

Let Us Help

Alpine Cleaning and Restoration Specialists, Inc. knows that fire damage in your home can be devastating.  While we hope nothing bad happens, be sure to get in touch with us if a fire should strike.  Our disaster response team is on call 24/7 and promises a 1-hour emergency response time, so if you need us, we’ll be there.

We wish you a happy and safe Merry Christmas!

Frozen pipes

Prevent Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes

Winter Is Upon Us

Temperatures plummeted in the aftermath of Tuesday night’s storm.  The air is now well below freezing across the whole state of Utah, creating all kinds of problems.  Heavy snow may collapse roofs.  Frozen sidewalks may lead to injuries in falls.  And there’s always that one neighbor who borrows your snowblower and never returns it (looking at you, Adrian!).  These aren’t the only problems, though.  You also have to worry about frozen pipes.

Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes are a common problem in any winter month.  They can be difficult to thaw out and, if not fixed quickly, could burst and flood your home.  There’s nothing worse than flood damage when it comes to ruining the value of your property, so be sure to protect yourself against frozen pipes.  KSL.com has provided a useful article that provides some pretty good tips for keeping your pipes from freezing.  In addition to what KSL has to say, we’d like to add some extra tips you might find useful.

Additional Tips

  • Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer’s or installer’s directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful, and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.
  • Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
  • Add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas.
  • Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.
  • Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes.  Pipe sleeves, UL-listed heat tape, heat cable, or similar materials can keep exposed water pipes warm.  In a pinch, newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes.  For pipes not normally subject to freezing temperatures ¼” of newspaper can provide significant protection.
  • Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing.

Give Us A Call

With proper care, you can protect your pipes from freezing over, but there’s always the chance something else can go wrong.  If your pipes do freeze and burst, it will cause flooding when the pipes thaw out.  If you experience flooding as a result of burst pipes, get in touch with us.  We are on call 24/7 and promise a 60-minute disaster response time for just such an event.  We’ll get your house cleaned and dried before mold has a chance to set in.  Afterwards, you won’t be able to tell that any damage ever happened.

Cleaning carpets on stairs

How Often Should You Clean Your Carpets?

“How often should I clean my carpets?”

People ask this question a lot at Alpine Cleaning and Restoration.  The answer is . . . well, there really isn’t any single answer that is always correct.  There are a lot of factors that go into determining how often you should have your carpets cleaned.  How often is it used?  How many kids do you have?  Do you have any pets?  All of these questions need to be asked before you can answer the question.  To satisfy most carpet warranties, you usually need to have your carpets professionally cleaned once every 8-12 months.  This is a good guideline, but it may not be enough.

The Chart

The following chart from the IICRC S100 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Carpet Cleaning serves as a guideline for recommending cleaning frequencies for carpet. They consider traffic, soil rating, vacuuming schedules, spot cleaning schedules, and professional interim and restorative cleaning.

carpets cleaning chartAlong with regular vacuuming, professional carpet cleaning will extend the life of your carpets, so don’t neglect it.  Alpine Cleaning and Restoration Specialists recommend the chart above as a guideline for how often you should have your carpets cleaned if you want them to stay fresh and clean.

Let Us Help

Carpet cleaning is the bread and butter of Alpine Cleaning and Restoration.  Our business started with it and we have over 20 years of experience.  We pioneered a unique process that helps ensure that your carpets get clean and stay clean longer.  With our help, you can rest assured that your carpets will last for years to come, saving you time and money in the long run.  If you want Alpine Cleaning and Restoration to help you out, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.  We’re on call 24/7 to provide you with the best service possible.

Emergency fire damage restoration

Emergency Restoration Tips

What Do You Do In an Emergency?

Fires and floods can do some pretty serious damage to your home.  Even after the dust has settled, the emergency is still only half over.  Now comes the costly and time consuming business of cleaning and restoring your home.  But where do you start?  Here are some do’s and don’ts for general emergency restoration.

Smoke and Fire Damage

Emergency fire restoration

Do’s

  • Blow off or brush-vacuum loose soot particles from upholstery, drapes, and carpets.
  • Cover carpeted traffic areas with towels or old linens to prevent additional soiling.
  • Discard open food packages. The food could be contaminated.
  • If your electrical service is off, clean out your freezer and refrigerator. Leave the doors propped open or place charcoal in the unit.
  • Send clothing with heavy smoke damage to a qualified professional dry cleaner.
  • Clean formica and chrome fixtures in the kitchen and bathroom to prevent permanent tarnishing.
  • Wipe residue from porcelain bath fixtures to prevent etching.
  • Wipe the leaves of house plants to remove smoke residue.
  • Change the air filter on your furnace if it uses forced hot air.
  • Tape cheese cloth over the intake and outlet air registers to capture any loose soot in the air. This is even more effective if the cheese cloth is damp.
  • When the outside temperature is above 60 degrees, air out the house to reduce smoke odor.

Don’ts

  • Do not attempt to wash any papered or flat painted walls without consulting your professional cleaner. Incorrect cleaning procedures will compound the soot residue problem.
  • Do not attempt to clean carpets or upholstered furniture. Incorrect procedures could also increase damage to them.
  • Do not use electrical appliances that have been close to fire or water before having them checked. They could malfunction.
  • Do not use ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet. A short circuit could result.
  • Do not touch anything. Soot on your hands can permeate upholstery, walls, and woodwork, causing further damage.
  • Do not eat food that has been exposed to fire or smoke.
  • Do not wait to call for professional help.

Water Damage

Emergency flood restoration

Do’s

  • When the outside temperature is above 60 degrees, use dehumidifiers if available.
  • Use fans to circulate the air and assist drying.
  • Remove as much water as possible by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe furniture dry.
  • Lift draperies off carpet, loop through a coat hanger, and place the hanger on the drapery rod.
  • Prop up wet furniture cushions for even drying and place small wood blocks or aluminum foil under furniture legs.
  • Remove wet area rugs or other floor coverings.
  • Open furniture drawers, closet doors, and luggage to enhance drying.
  • Move photos, paintings, and art objects to a safe, dry location.
  • Remove wet fabrics and dry them as soon as possible. Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.
  • Remove damp books from shelves and spread them out to dry.
  • If damage occurs during a cool season, leave heat on; if in summer, use an air conditioner if available.

Don’ts

  • Do not attempt to remove chemical stains such as ink or paint.
  • NEVER operate damaged electrical appliances.
  • Do not throw away damaged wood chips or other small articles. They might be helpful for repair.
  • Do not use household cleaning products on fabrics, upholstery, or carpet without consulting a professional cleaner.

Let Us Help

When an emergency hits, response time is critical to avoid permanent damage to your home.  That’s why Alpine Cleaning and Restoration Specialists guarantees that we’ll be there within 60 minutes of your call or e-mail.  Your satisfaction is our first priority and we’ll do our best to get you back on your feet as soon as possible.  Get in touch with us today and find out how we can help you.

winterize your home

10 Tips to Winterize Your Home

winterize your home

As David Letterman says, “Fall is my favorite season in Los Angeles, watching the birds change color and fall from the trees.”

While fall is a beautiful season with reasonably nice weather, it’s only a prelude to the frigid months of winter.  Did you know there is only one state in the United States where the temperatures have never dipped below zero?  In case you couldn’t guess, that state is Hawaii.  Since most of us aren’t lucky enough to live there, that means fall is a time to winterize your home.  Here in Cache Valley, you have to protect yourself against heavy snow, freezing temperatures, and that guy who keeps borrowing your snow blower and not returning it.

Here are ten tips to help you winterize your home in Cache Valley:

  • 1) Furnace Inspection

First of all, call an HVAC professional to inspect your furnace and clean ducts. Stock up on furnace filters and change them monthly. Consider switching out your thermostat for a programmable thermostat. If your home is heated by a hot-water radiator, bleed the valves by opening them slightly and when water appears, close them. Remove all flammable material from the area surrounding your furnace.

  • 2) Get the Fireplace Ready

Cap or screen the top of the chimney to keep out rodents and birds. If the chimney hasn’t been cleaned for a while, then call a chimney sweep.  Buy firewood or chop wood. Store it in a dry place away from the exterior of your home. Inspect the fireplace damper to make sure it properly opens and closes. Finally, check the mortar between bricks and tuckpoint, if necessary.

  • 3) Check the Exterior, Doors and Windows

Inspect exterior for crevice cracks and exposed entry points around pipes.  If you find any, seal them. Use weatherstripping around doors to prevent cold air from entering the home and then caulk the windows. Replace cracked glass in windows and, if you end up replacing the entire window, prime and paint exposed wood. If your home has a basement, consider protecting the window wells by covering them with plastic shields. Switch out summer screens with glass replacements from storage. If you have storm windows, install them.

  • 4) Inspect Roof, Gutters & Downspouts

If your weather temperature will fall below 32 degrees in the winter, then adding extra insulation to the attic will prevent warm air from creeping to your roof and causing ice dams. Check flashing to ensure water cannot enter the home. Replace worn roof shingles or tiles. Clean out the gutters and use a hose to spray water down the downspouts to clear away debris. Consider installing leaf guards on the gutters or extensions on the downspouts to direct water away from the home.

  • 5) Service Weather-Specific Equipment

Gasoline is likely to go bad over the winter, so drain gas from lawnmowers. Service or tune-up snow blowers before the snow comes so they’ll be ready. Replace worn rakes and snow shovels. Clean, dry, and store summer gardening equipment. Sharpen ice choppers and buy bags of ice-melt/sand to avoid slipping on ice.

  • 6) Check Foundations

First, rake away all debris and vegetation from the foundation.  Then, seal up entry points to keep small animals from crawling under the house.  Check for cracks in the foundation’s seals. Mice can slip through space as thin as a dime. Inspect sill plates for dry rot or pest infestation. Secure crawlspace entrances.

  • 7) Install Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Some cities require a smoke detector in every room. Buy extra smoke detector batteries and change them when daylight savings ends. Install a carbon monoxide detector near your furnace and / or water heater. Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they work. Buy a fire extinguisher or replace an extinguisher older than 10 years.

  • 8) Prevent Plumbing Freezes

Locate your water main in the event you need to shut it off in an emergency. Drain all garden hoses. Insulate exposed plumbing pipes. Drain air conditioner pipes.  If your AC has a water shut-off valve, turn it off also. If you go on vacation, leave the heat on, set to at least 55 degrees.

For more detailed tips, check out our article.

  • 9) Prepare Landscaping & Outdoor Surfaces

Trim trees if branches hang too close to the house or electrical wires. Ask a gardener when your trees should be pruned to prevent winter injury. Plant spring flower bulbs and lift bulbs that cannot winter over such as dahlias in areas where the ground freezes. Seal driveways, brick patios and wood decks. Don’t automatically remove dead vegetation from gardens as some provide attractive scenery in an otherwise dreary, snow-drenched yard. Move sensitive potted plants indoors or to a sheltered area.

  • 10) Prepare an Emergency Kit

Buy indoor candles and matches / lighter for use during a power shortage. Find the phone numbers for your utility companies and tape them near your phone or inside the phone book. Buy a battery back-up to protect your computer and sensitive electronic equipment. Store extra bottled water and non-perishable food supplies (including pet food if you have a pet), blankets and a first-aid kit in a dry and easy-to-access location. Be sure you also prepare an evacuation plan in the event of an emergency.

Let Us Help

While you can’t prepare for everything, these tips should help you keep on top of most problems.  Don’t hesitate to get in contact with us if the winter months start causing you problems.  Our staff is on call 24/7 to serve all your cleaning and restoration needs.

Storm Damage Restoration

Disaster Strikes!

Disaster

Have you recently been the victim of a disaster?  Was it a Flood?  A Fire?  Hit by a storm?  Did Adrien borrow your leaf blower again?  We totally understand how that is.  Disasters can strike at any moment.  They’re hard to prepare for and costly to fix.  Insurance helps, but it still takes time for things to get back to normal.

It Could Be Worse

While we don’t want to make light of your situation, we just want to provide a little perspective.  Whatever it is, it could be worse.

A few years ago, the dam at Lake Delton burst when flood waters eroded its foundations.  Hundreds of homes were washed away.  Some were completely destroyed, ripped in half as the lake shore collapsed beneath them.

You don’t need a dam-break to destroy your home, though.  Sometimes, all it takes is a falling tree, as this report shows.  Nature is always the bigger beast.  When we get in the way, it will steamroll us.

But Don’t Worry!

Feel free to relax.  A disaster of this magnitude is uncommon.  While there are plenty of disasters that can happen anywhere, they’re unlikely to do this level of damage to your home.  With a bit of common sense and a good insurance policy, you can avoid the complete loss of your home.

Alpine’s Disaster Response Team

Should the worst actually happen, know that you’re not alone.  Alpine Cleaning and Restoration has a disaster response team on call 24/7 to help you recover.  Whether it’s fire, flood, or storm, please give us a call.  In emergencies, we promise to get there within 60 minutes of your call.  We’ll get you back on your feet as soon as possible, saving you time, money and stress.

Get in touch and find out how we can help you today!