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6 Preventable Homeowners’ Disaster Emergencies

fire damage southern maryland, fire damage calvert countyLiving in Southern Maryland, we are willing to bet your furnace has been fired up and running for perhaps several weeks by now. Jack Frost is here to stay for the winter months, and he knows how to wreak havoc on homes.

Many house fires happen in the winter when people are using space heaters, have candles lit, or experience a random malfunction with their HVAC system. In fact, winter is literally “fire season” when it comes to homes and businesses. But, other disaster emergencies come up in the winter, too. Homes flood when pipes freeze and then burst. Storms and snow piles can damage roofs causing leaks into a structure. Fire damage, and other disaster emergencies, happen very quickly and can destroy a lot in a very short period of time. If a fire damage emergency happens to you this season, take proper action and contact a fire restoration company that can help you at any time, day or night. For Southern Maryland and Calvert County, Regional Property Group is a fast-acting disaster emergency company with highly trained and experienced professionals that know how to help!

In the meantime, here is a list of 6 common fire damage emergencies and other disaster emergency situations and how to keep them from happening to you.

  • Furnace & boiler puffbacks.

A puffback happens when smoke or soot is released from a boiler or furnace misfire. The misfire is a result of the furnace or boiler not igniting properly. When that happens, oil or gas vapors become built up in the ignition chamber and eventually ignite, causing the puffback. If you Google images of this, you will see what often looks like black spider web-type damage. Depending on the severity of the puffback, the soot and oil can be pushed through the ductwork and spread into every room of a home. To avoid having this happen, it is key to properly maintain your furnace or boiler system.

  • Chimney & fireplace fires.

When was the last time you had your chimney cleaned? Do you know how to properly open the flue and make sure that crackling fire is contained and fueled? On top of regular chimney cleanings, be sure to dispose of ashes in a metal container, never paper or plastic which would catch fire.

  • Washing machine mishaps.

Yep, this is a loss that can happen to anyone, any time. To avoid an overflowing washing machine, or flood from a drain line, be sure hoses are replaced every three years, and your machine is put in an area where you can see a water problem right away.

  • Tub & shower leaks.

Do you have some cracked grout in your tub or shower? The sooner you repair it the better. Over time, water can seep into those openings, and down into the walls and onto the floor beneath. Reseal, and reseal often.

  • Roof leaks and collapses.

When was the last time you took a good look at your gutters? It’s important that gutters are free and clear of debris year-round, including going into winter so ice and snow have a place in which to melt and drain away from your home. Overflowing gutters put unnecessary strain on your roof, which would eventually collapse under the weight.

  • Hot water heater leaks.

Tucked away in the depths of the basement beside your furnace is your water heater. How often do you inspect it? How old is it? Is it corroding? Are the pipes around it showing signs of leakage, moisture, or mold buildup? Any of these can be warning signs there might be something up with your hot water heater. Many manufacturers estimate these appliances last between 8 and 12 years. Thankfully, in the grand scheme of home improvement projects, this is a relatively inexpensive purchase and could even score you some energy efficiency rebates.

Southern Maryland is cold and the last thing you want is to experience a fire damage emergency because of not taking precautions prior to turning on the heat or starting up a fire. Take some time this season to do some routine maintenance and save yourself the trouble of having to clean up after a fire or water damage situation. If one does happen to break out – don’t forget about the professional team that cares about you at Regional Property Group. Call us if you are in need of immediate fire and water damage assistance.