Prepare Your Home or Business for Winter

Don’t wait until it’s too late…

Atlantic Power Cleaning provides commercial and residential HOT water gutter flushing services.  Properly cleaning and flushing out gutters and downspouts allows the water to flow effectively and helps prevent emergency situations with your home or business.
Our HOT water GUTTER FLUSH SYSTEM:

  • Safely removes dirt, leaves and debris from your gutters and roof drains
  • Removes clogs in downspouts
  • Helps prevent the growth of mold and mildew in your gutters and on your roof

Clean gutters and downspouts are the first line of defense in preparing your home or business for winter and helping prevent ICE DAMS.
Downspouts are often overlooked –Alleviate downspout damage – a HOT water flush clears debris to prevent clogging and freezing which can cause the downspout to split.
Contact Atlantic Power Cleaning today for a free estimate.  

Stay off those ladders!

Having Safer Holidays

About your home from Jameson at Another Level Home Inspection LLC

Boiler with significant backdrafting/rollout

The holidays bring many exciting events and things to look forward to with family and friends. As a home inspector, this is also the time of year that certain issues tend to be at their greatest frequency. Weather is getting colder, systems for heating are getting their first use of the season, and appliances for cooking are getting the most use of the year. We run across more venting, exhaust, and gas leakage issues now than any other time of year. There are many aspects of these systems that can result in an issue, but here are a couple tips to improve safety.

               Get your heating system and any combustion appliances serviced: We come across improperly vented boilers, furnaces, water heaters, and all other appliances regularly. I find it alarming the frequency I find improperly installed equipment. We also find birds’ nests or other obstructions that cause improper drafting when the units are first utilized again. Prior to use, having the equipment serviced to ensure proper function is a great way to be proactive. You should also have chimneys and flues swept and inspected annually.

               Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors: You probably don’t test them enough, but consider this the perfect time to evaluate them. You can get information from your town on the requirements for your smoke and CO system. Keep in mind that this is the minimum requirement, and you can consider other appropriate locations and/or make upgrades – like adding hardwired smoke alarms and upgrading the sensor type. I would recommend doing some research about what type of smoke alarms are the safest. There is some startling information on the difference between photoelectric and ionization alarms and the deaths related to each type. Both are allowed, but the performance is drastically different.  You should check batteries, age of the detector, and anything else that will impact performance.

               Know what you’re venting: With impending snow, you should evaluate and take note of anything venting out of your house. Make a checklist of all your appliances that are vented on the interior and note every vent and chimney visible on the exterior. First off, this will help you confirm everything is vented to the outside, secondly you can see if there are any obvious issues with vents – such as damage or obstruction(s).  As a rule, every vent should be 12 inches above the expected snowfall height, if not more. Keep any low vents clear of snow and check regularly throughout the winter. I recommend evaluating every vent and making sure it is installed per manufacturer’s recommendations and repairing any issues now. Some appliances like gas dryers may not be on your radar for potential safety concerns and these units are frequently improperly installed and blocked by snow.

               Trust your senses and investigate any potential issues: Natural gas typically has a chemical called mercaptan to give it a distinctive odor. The smell has rotten egg or hydrogen sulfide like odor. A perfectly performing gas appliance exhaust has no smell, however there is a detectable odor for many appliances, and I often experience a headache with most considerable venting issues I come across. One advantage to oil is the exhaust is detectable and you will typically smell the exhaust if an issue is present. If you smell gas or detect a potential combustion issue don’t dismiss it. I run across numerous gas leaks every year. I have heard many times a homeowner say they’ve noticed an odor, but their heating technician didn’t find an issue. If you think there is a leak or issue, there probably is and you should take immediate action. National Grid has information on their website on what to do in the event of a gas leak.

Ventilation cooking areas: If your stove is running all day, ventilate the area. Many homes do not have hood vents, even with gas appliances present. Your gas stove is a combustion appliance and even though it has less exhaust, it still creates a byproduct. Find a way to ensure your lungs are not the only thing venting the appliance.

There are many more components we could talk about – as getting the exhaust out of your home is a complex issue. The main goal is to be aware of these potential issues and to be as proactive as possible. Unfortunately, these appliances will result in deaths every year and these problems will always be around. Make sure your home is safe and spend a little extra time getting ready for winter.

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Choice by Choice

Creating a new home is hard. There are so many decisions to make. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. And it’s incredibly rewarding. Whether you are moving into a new apartment, renovating your kitchen, or building a whole new home. It’s an opportunity, full of decisions and hard work. And at the end, you will have a space to share with the people you love.


Grand Banks

7 Crafts Road

Gloucester, MA 01930

CONTACT US

HOURS

7am – 4pm Monday – Wednesday

7am – 4pm Thursday

7am – 4pm Friday

Saturday + Sunday by appointment
7 Crafts Road

Gloucester, MA 01930
P| 978-281-2421

F|978-281-6320

team@grandbanksbp

@grandbanksbp

Cultivating Home 🏡

The world is full of chaos. Technology has us constantly connected and always providing some new story for us to be excited about. Home has increasingly become a place where we need to cultivate peace and stillness. Sometimes we just need to escape the chaos and reset. This family home in Essex was designed for just that.


Sesame Street Tribute

Grand Banks

7 Crafts Road

Gloucester, MA 01930

CONTACT US

HOURS

7am – 4pm Monday – Wednesday

7am – 4pm Thursday

7am – 4pm Friday

Saturday + Sunday by appointment
7 Crafts Road

Gloucester, MA 01930
P| 978-281-2421

F|978-281-6320

team@grandbanksbp

@grandbanksbp

Aftermath of high winds – Checking your home

About your home from Jameson at Another Level Home Inspection LLC

Chimney Drone Photo

*Picture from drone of missing rain cap and resulting damage

Given the recent weather we have had on Cape Ann, I thought it would be an appropriate time to discuss some of the things you can look for around your home. Whenever an unusually powerful storm comes through it’s a great time to check areas you may not normally pay attention to and make sure no repairs are needed. Here are some general areas to focus on.

Roofing – It’s not often you spend a few minutes really looking at your roof. You should check roof shingles, flashings, skylights and pay particular attention to where roofing starts, stops, and changes directions. Many roofs, even newer roofs are installed in a way where shingles do not properly adhere to one another or even lift making them very vulnerable to damage.

Gutters and Downspouts – Check for obvious issues like separation and pulling away. You should also visually check the gutters during the next heavy rain to check for leaking seams or other drainage issues. Most issues are obvious, but even a minor issue can cause water to end up around the foundation risking seepage into your basement.

Electrical Service – You may not be an electrical expert but visually looking at the electrical service is still a good idea. There is an attachment point with the home that can pull away, a splice connection where wires can separate, and tree branches often contact the service and need to be removed or pruned away. If something doesn’t look right, it probably isn’t, and you can have a professional look at it.

Siding and Trim – We see many homes with siding and trim coverings missing, hanging off, or on the ground. Wind-driven rain can also help you identify leaks that only occur under certain circumstances.

Chimneys – Regardless of chimney type a visual check is a great idea after a storm. If your home has a rain cap to keep water and birds out (hopefully it does) this is typically the first thing to come off with high winds. Checking for missing bricks or damage to your chimney crown is also a good idea. Check flashings at the base of the chimney to see if they are lifting, damaged, or loose.

Attic\Interior Of Exterior Walls – A little confusing to write, but essentially you want to check all areas of the exterior envelope from the inside for leakage or damage. If you haven’t been up in the attic in a while after a storm is a great time.

Windows and Skylights – Check for leakage, broken glass, and other damage. Staining between the layers of glass may indicate thermal seal failures. Windows that are noisy during a storm may be drafty and high winds are a good time to check windows from the interior.

Trees and Branches – It may not seem obvious but many times a tree will lose a branch and it will be trapped in the other branches temporarily. Best to remove this debris prior to the next storm.

There are many more areas depending on the home, but this is a great starting list. Many homes in this area can all be observed visually from the ground. If any of these areas are out of your comfort zone to look at, consider hiring a professional. We recommend hiring a professional for anything posing a safety risk or involving a ladder. While we walk some roof surfaces during a home inspection there are other options like flying a drone for roof surfaces that are unsafe to walk. We use drones frequently and they are great at identifying problems. If you have any questions about damage to your home or how to look for it, we are happy to help!

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