No AC? No Problem! 9 Hacks for Staying Cool This Summer

9 hacks for staying cool Blog title

It’s hard getting through these Southern California Summers without any air conditioning. Luckily for us, generations before us had to suffer through the heat before air conditioning was even invented and left us with some tried and true methods for staying cool all summer long!

  1. Turn off electronics when not in use. When electronics are turned on, they are producing heat. If you have electronics that you don’t use very often plugged in or turned on, keep them unplugged and/or turned off to keep them producing even more heat in your home. You can save some money on your electricity bill too!
  2. Place a bowl of ice in front of your fan. While it’s important to remember that fans cool people, not rooms, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t feel good to have a fan blowing cool air on you. If you’re really desperate to cool down, place a bowl of ice in front of the fan to make the air even cooler.
  3. Switch to sheets that’ll keep you cool. Lightweight cotton and linen sheets are perfect for hot summers. They’re breathable fabrics, perfect for promoting ventilation and airflow in your bedroom.
  4. Freeze your sheets. If that’s still not enough to keep you cool during those hot summer nights, try sticking your sheets in the freezer. A few minutes before you get ready for bed, put your sheets in a plastic bag and put them in the fridge or freezer. This obviously won’t last all night, but it could be enough to keep you cool while you fall asleep.
  5. Avoid the stove and the oven. Summer is the perfect time to explore more room temperature meals (like a salad). Cooking with heat when it’s already hot out and there’a no AC Unit to cool you down can turn your home into a life-size oven! If you get the itch to bake, try some no-bake cookies and ice box cake recipes!
  6. Hang a wet sheet in front of the window. Grab an extra bed sheet and mist it. Then hang it in front of an open window. When a breeze or gust of wind comes through, it will create a cooling effect on your home.
  7. You can also cover your windows to keep the hot sun out. California sun is strong, so sometimes it’s best to keep the blinds or curtains drawn in the afternoons when the sun is strongest. If you still want to take advantage of natural lighting, try shutters or blinds that can block some of the light while still letting some through.
  8. Replace incandescent light bulbs. Not only are they costing you more on your energy bill, they’re making your home hotter. Make the switch to compact fluorescent (CFL) or LED light bulbs.
  9. Spend time outside. Summer is a great time to enjoy outdoor activities. Even if it’s hot out, it may feel nicer to be outside than in a stuffy home that has no AC. Outdoor activities on or near the beach can be a good way to cool down a bit and enjoy the ocean breeze!
Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under summer, Tustin Community

Tips For Preventing Water Damage in Your Apartment Community

With so many shared walls and spaces, water damage in an apartment community can get messy pretty quickly. Of course you can never know when an emergency situation will occur, but it’s in your best interest as a property manager, as well as in the best interest of your residents, to always be ahead of the game. Take these measures today to prevent water damage tomorrow.

  1. Check On Aging Appliances Regularly – If the property you manage includes a fridge, dishwasher, and/or washer/dryer in unit, you should closely monitor the age of the appliances as well as routinely checking them for cracked or damaged hoses or connections. Washer hoses should be replaced about every five years. It’s a good idea to replace washers and dryers before there’s a problem. It may cost more money now, but it could save you a lot of money and a headache or two in the future.
  2. Repair Old or Damaged Roofs When It’s Dry – Don’t wait for a big rain storm to find out that the roofing at your unit(s) needs replacing. Make routine checkups to monitor the condition of the roof(s) at your property. Make time and room in the budget to make any replacements or upgrades necessary during the dry season so that you can avoid water damage in the wet season.
  3. Stay in Touch with Your Residents and Know When they’re Traveling – Many people go on vacations during the summer. Talk to your residents about having their water shut off while they’re gone or, alternatively, having someone check on their apartment from time to time while they’re gone. If a water leak occurs while they’re away and no one is checking in, a small problem could potentially turn into something much worse.
  4. Clear Downspouts Consistently – This is especially important if there are a lot of large trees throughout your apartment community. When leaves, branches, and other debris clog the gutters, the risk of flooding is increased. Clear all debris from the gutters frequently. If you know a storm is about to hit, make sure everything is clear and that water is being effectively carried away from the building.
  5. Apply Dry-Proofing Methods – One cost effective way to prevent large scale water damage in low-lying areas is to apply waterproofing coatings and sealings. You can also elevate electrical equipment at least three feet off of the floor and install waterproof structures around circuits and electrical breakers.
  6. Check For HVAC System Blockages – If the line that moves condensation from the HVAC system is backed up, it can create serious water damage. Backed up water can seep through ceilings and through light fixtures or in between walls. When water leaks between walls, it can go undetected and result in mold damage in addition to water damage.

Of course, in the unfortunate event that water damage does affect your community, call SERVPRO of Tustin for fast response and services.

Leave a comment

Filed under Apartments, Commercial Loss, Property Managers, Tustin Community, water damage, water removal

How To Keep Your Pets Safe When There’s A Fire

Approximately 500,000 pets are affected by house fires each year. Many house fires are caused by pets, especially when left home alone. Read over these tips to help prevent any accidental fire started by your pets and for keeping your pets safe in the event there is a fire in your home. Make sure you include your dog, cat, or other pets in your family’s emergency plan.

Pet-Fire850

Prevent Your Pets From Starting A Fire

    • Beware of candles and other open flames. Dogs are curious creatures and may take interest in a flickering flame. If you do have any open flames in your home at any time, be sure to never leave them unattended and to keep an eye on your pets. If you’re using a fireplace, consider getting a fireplace screen to protect pets when sleeping in front of the fire. Also make sure the fire is completely out before heading out or going to bed. Small sparks and coals can get through a screen and result in a fire.
    • Secure wires and cords. Pets are often tempted to chew on loose wires and cords. Exposed wires can be a fire hazard, so consider securing any electrical objects so that their cords are out of reach.
    • Don’t use glass bowls for your pets’ water. When filtered and heated through glass, the sun’s rays can ignite the wood beneath the bowl and set a deck in flames. Try using a stainless steel or ceramic bowl instead.

 

Keep Your Pets Safe After/During A Fire

    • Place a pet fire sticker on the door or window. In the event of a fire when you’re away, having a pet sticker will help rescuers know how many pets to look for, saving valuable time and hopefully your pets.
    • Use monitored smoke detectors. Pets left home alone can’t escape on their own when there’s a fire. Monitored smoke detectors contact emergency responders when you’re not home and add an extra layer of protection beyond that of battery-operated smoke alarms.
    • Keep pets near entrances when you’re away from home. Keep collars (with ID tags) on your pets at all times and leave leashes by the entrance or somewhere easy to find in an emergency. This will help firefighters to find and rescue your pets when they arrive.
    • Know where your pets’ hiding spots are. It’s important that you can find your pets quickly if there’s a fire. Know where your pets like to sleep and especially where they like to go when they are scared or anxious (under the bed or hidden in a quiet corner of the house somewhere)
    • Have an emergency plan in place and make sure everyone in the house knows what to do in the event of a fire. Know who will be in charge of getting your pets outside safely. Have someone in charge of leashes and pet carriers so that they can be safely secured once you’re outside. In the event that you can’t find your pet when exiting, leave doors and windows open on your way out and call to them so that they come out on their own.
    • Practice fire drills with your pets. It is important to include your pets in the family fire drills. Practice finding them and getting out of the house. Also practice the “open access” scenario where you leave an exit open (preferably the one they’re most comfortable with) and call to them to come out of the home. The more you practice, the more likely they are to come out in the event of an actual fire.

Yellow Lab by Fire Place

If you have any questions or require restoration services due to fire damage in your home, call SERVPRO of Tustin at (714)480-1340. Our crews are available 24/7 for services.

Leave a comment

Filed under Emergency tips, Fire Damage Restoration, fire safety, Owners

Campfire Safety 101

campfire safety 101

Enjoying the great outdoors during the summertime can be fun. Nothing says summer quite like sitting around the campfire sharing stories and making s’mores. But that campfire is also a huge responsibility. Everyone in California knows the damage a wildfire can bring, so before you go out and make a campfire, it’s important you learn how to be safe when building your campfire or bonfire, whether in the woods or in your backyard.

Pick the Right Campfire Location

  1. If the campground or area where you are prohibits campfires, then DO NOT build one. Digging pits can be prohibited due to any number of various concerns. Whatever the reason, there is a reason – so be sure to follow the rules.
  2. DO NOT build a campfire under hazardous or dry conditions. Dry air increases the risk of wildfires.
  3. If there is an existing fire ring or pit, then use that. If not, choose a site that is at least 15 feet from tent walls, trees, shrubs, or other flammable objects. Be mindful of low hanging branches.
  4. When building a campfire or bonfire, choose a location that is open and away from heavy fuels such as logs, brush, or decaying leaves.
  5. Always be aware of wind strength and direction. If the wind picks up and direction changes, there could suddenly be embers and ashes flying into easily flammable areas. Choose a spot that is protected from gusts of wind.

How to Prepare a Campfire Pit

There may not always be a campfire pit already prepared when you arrive on a campsite. If that’s the case, don’t panic! Follow these simple steps to preparing your own fire pit.

  1. Start off by clearing an area that is 10 feet in diameter around the campsite. Remove any grass, twigs, leaves, or firewood while you do so.
  2. Dig a pit about one foot deep in the dirt or sand.
  3. Circle the pit with rocks and you’re ready to go!

Building Your Campfire

Your pit is ready, now it’s time to build your fire!

  1. Before you do anything, make sure you have a source of water, a bucket, and a shovel nearby at all times.
  2. You’ll have to gather three types of wood from the ground. Tinder can be small twigs and dry leaves, grass, and needles. For kindling you should look for sticks smaller than 1″ around. Your fuel will be larger pieces of wood. Keep these stacked upwind and away from the fire.
    NEVER cut whole trees or branches, dead or alive. Live materials won’t burn, and you’ll also be damaging the forest. Dead standing trees can often be homes for birds or other wildlife.
  3. Loosely pile a few handfuls of your tinder in the center of the fire pit.
  4. Add the kindling in one of four methods: Teepee, Lean-to, Cross, or Log Cabin. campfire kindling
  5. Ignite the tinder with a match or lighter. (If you use a match, wait until it is cold to discard it onto the fire)
  6. As the fire grows, continue to add more tinder.
  7. Blow lightly at the base of the fire.
  8. Add kindling and fuel (the larger firewood) to the keep the fire going.
  9. Now that you have built your fire, keep it small and under control.

Extinguishing Your Campfire

  1. If possible, allow the wood to burn completely to ash.
  2. Pour A LOT of water onto the fire. Drown ALL embers, not just the red ones. Keep pouring until the hissing sound stops.
  3. If you do not have water, stir dirt and sand into the embers with a shovel to bury the fire.
  4. Using your shovel, scrape any remaining sticks and logs to remove any embers. Make sure there aren’t any embers are exposed or still smoldering.
  5. Continue to add water, dirt or, sand, and stir with a shovel until all material is cool.
  6. If it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave.

 

There you have it! Have fun but most importantly, be safe when building a campfire!!

Contact SERVPRO of Tustin for any fire damage cleanup needs (714)480-1340

 

source: https://smokeybear.com/en/prevention-how-tos/campfire-safety

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under fire safety, summer

10 Events in Orange County You HAVE to go to This Summer

Summer is finally here and there are a bunch of fun events happening in Tustin and around Orange County that are sure to keep you busy this summer. We’ve done the hard work for you and gone ahead and picked out some of the events that we’re most looking forward to!

  1. Sunset Cinema: Free movie screenings at various OC Parks every weekend. We’re especially excited for those Disney water films Moana and Finding Dory! The best part of these events is that they’re all FREE!!Runs every Friday or Saturday through August
  2. Pageant of the Masters: pageant of the masters.jpgLaguna Beach’s one of a kind event that happens every summer at the Festival of Arts. If you haven’t been before, it’s certainly worth checking off your OC Bucket List! And if you have been before, they change the theme every year, so you can look forward to seeing something new! This year’s theme is “The Grand Tour”. Tickets can get pricey if you want to sit close, but you can find cheaper seats in the back and bring your binoculars to see every detail up close!
    The show runs nightly from July 7 – August 31
  3. Sawdust Art & Craft Festival: If you’re headed to Laguna to see the Pageant of the Masters, you might as well stop by the Sawdust Festival while you’re at it. This is another fun event that happens every summer. Check out a variety of art and crafts, and maybe even bring some home with you! This is a fun event for the whole family and tickets are all under $10!
    Friday, June 30 – Sunday, September 3
  4. Orange County Fair:
    Fair RideIt wouldn’t be summer without a trip to the fair! Win prizes at the different games and indulge in the most sinful treats in Orange County! It’s also a great place to run into friends, and maybe even make some new ones! Take advantage of daily specials for free entry when you come with a donation.
    July 14 – August 13
  5. OC Night Market: If the food is your favorite part of the OC Fair, you may want to check out the OC Night Market! Inspired by the night markets in Asia, OC Night Market hosts a plethora of exciting food vendors. It’s a great place to try something new!
    The third and final OC Night Market of Summer 2017 runs August 25-27 from 4pm-Midnight (11pm on Sunday)
  6. National Night Out: Join the Tustin Police Department and your fellow Tustin residents in standing up to crime. A fun event for the whole family; it’s located at The District at Tustin Legacy of which many of the businesses and restaurants will be participating.
    August 1. 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
  7. Tustin Concerts in the Park: Pack a picnic and bring the whole family to enjoy FREE concerts in Peppertree Park in Tustin all summer long! Enjoy the “hits” from your favorite tribute bands!
    Every Wednesday Night, 6-8 PM from June through August
  8. Open House at The Marconi Automotive Museum in Tustin: Museum founder Dick Marconi will be in attendance at the Open House, telling stories about cars and signing Ferrari posters. Sounds like Sunday Funday to us!
    August 6, 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM
  9. Orange International Street Fair: orange street fairIt wouldn’t be Labor Day Weekend without Street Fair! Explore cuisine from over fifteen streets representing various cultures and countries across the globe. Most of the businesses around the Orange Circle stay open during Street Fair so you can escape the heat by doing some antique shopping or grabbing a drink at one of the many restaurants.
    Labor Day Weekend, September 1-3, 5:00 PM – 10:00 Friday and 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM Saturday/Sunday
  10. Totally Tustin Food and Wine Festival: Hosted by the Tustin Chamber of Commerce, this food and wine festival brings together many of Tustin’s best restaurants to celebrate the community and to raise funds for the Tustin Chamber.
    Sunday, September 24 from 4:30 PM – 9 PM at 300 Centennial Way 92780 

2 Comments

Filed under Tustin Community, Uncategorized

What Are You Doing To Prevent Water Damage In Your Tustin Home?

We here at SERVPRO of Tustin are experts when it comes to water damage. With over 30 years in the restoration industry, we’ve seen it all. Though our specialty is restoring your home to preloss conditions after you suffer water damage and making it “like it never even happened”, we have some tips for how you can prevent any future water damage to your home.

  1. Watch Your Water Bill

    • So often, homeowners don’t realize there’s a leak until major damage is done. If your water bill seems unusually high, there may be something going on behind the walls or beneath the floorboards. Monitor your bill closely to catch any potential leaks early.
  2. Investigate Leaks Promptly

    • If there is a water leak in your home, it is imperative that you take care of it quickly. Moisture in your home that is left untreated can result in mildew or mold and even structural damage to your property. Additionally, water damage that isn’t treated within 48 hours could potentially become contaminated.
  3. Be Careful Where (And What) You Plant

    • Some plants, such as willows, elms, and maples, have invasive roots that could cause problems for your property. Before planting a tree, find out about its root system. Never plant a tree less than 10 ft. from your home’s foundation; trees with invasive roots may need to be even further (25 to 50 ft. away) in order to ensure the roots don’t damage your water and sewer lines.
  4. Ensure Proper Drainage

    • Clear your gutters regularly to make room for rain water. Downspouts from your gutters should be directed at least 5 ft. away from your home. It is best to have the water flow onto a hard surface (such as a driveway) or to have a splash guard designed to spread the water and keep it from puddling on the ground.
  5. Check Home Appliances Regularly

    • Oftentimes, flooding in the home is caused by a leak from a fridge or dishwasher, etc. Check and maintain your home’s appliances regularly, and follow the manufacturer’s directions to fix any possible leaks. It is also a good idea to regularly replace the hose for your washing machine. Leaky hoses are a common cause of residential water damage.

Of course these are just some ways to prevent water damage. Unfortunately, not all forms of water damage are preventable. Disaster can strike at any moment, no matter how prepared you may be. We hope it doesn’t happen to you, but if it does, call SERVPRO of Tustin and we’ll make it “like it never even happened!”

714-480-1340

Leave a comment

Filed under water damage

Understanding the Three Categories of Water

9477-3f302c95-ceb8-4096-8cec-949bc9191846

When dealing with water damage in your home or business, there are three different types or classifications of water that we use: Clean, Gray, and Black water.

Clean Water: This is water that does not contain contaminants. It includes broken water lines, malfunctioning appliances, toilets holding tanks, snow melt and rainwater. Overtime however, clean water can progress and become gray water within 48 hours, if left untreated.

Gray Water: Gray water does contain slight chemical or biological contaminants, and may pose a health risk. Gray water can discharge from dishwashers, washing machines, sinks, showers, aquariums and waterbeds, or come from a clean water source that leaked through a ceiling. It can also be clean water that was left untreated (and became gray water). Gray water can also progress to the next stage (Black Water) if left untreated within 48 hours.

Black Water: This water is a positive health risk as it is highly contaminated. Black water is presumed to contain multiple potentially harmful contaminants including fungi, bacteria, chemicals, viruses, and more. Black Water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding, or any type of natural disaster. Black water should always be treated by a trained and certified professional.

For any type of water damage, it is always best to treat it quickly so as to avoid further contamination and risk mold growth. Call SERVPRO of Tustin if you need services in your home! Available 24/7 (714)480-1340

SERVPRO of Tustin is an IICRC certified firm.

1 Comment

Filed under water damage