Springtime showers bring flowers and water stains on your ceiling

Springtime showers bring flowers and water stains on your ceiling

Springtime showers bring flower and water stains on your ceiling.  

Don’t get me wrong, I am all for the spring thaw, rain storms, and not being knee deep in snow.  However all that rain can bring visible signs of roof leaks or other unpleasant water damage. This time let’s talk about those pesky water stains on the ceilings.

Yeah, water stains, nothing sexy about those.

Water staining is the first obvious sign that there is a problem…. somewhere.  You will need to do a bit of detective work to find out what is going on and where this mysterious water is coming from.  You don’t need to do your best Sherlock impression in order to rule out the most common culperates.

If you have a floor above the stain, start there. This could be a leaky radiator or a bathroom issue.  If you don’t have a floor above, then we have to start looking at the roof and flashing as primary suspects.

Fixing the problem might not be too bad….

Now you need to recognize you MAY be able to fix this, or…. You may make it a LOT worse.  For example, if you realize your upstairs tub needs to be re-caulked, and you are handy with those contractor grade tubes of toothpaste, then you should be able to fix this yourself.  

If you see you have loose shingles and aren’t good on a ladder…. Please call the professionals, it’s what we do!

You gotta get the problem fixed, then you can get rid of the stain!

So let’s say you located and solved the mystery stain source…. Good on you!  Kudos! But now you have a stain on the ceiling and its gotta go. Well you can’t just paint over it.  

I know, I am making this difficult, sorry.  But you want to do this once, right? Not 15 times TRYING to get rid of the ceiling stigmata.

PRIMER- you need it.  

You will need to use primer, and not just any stuff, you need the good (expensive) stuff made to cover mold, mildew, and stains.  Don’t even think about going forward till you have primed the water stain. If you try and just paint over it the minerals from the water will just seep into plain paint, meaning you get that delightful “now you don’t see me…. Now you do” effect when dry.  

That stain is gonna stick unless you prime it!

Once Primed, then you can paint it.  Use ceiling paint, it really is different than wall paint.  It’s made to be thicker and dry flatter to help hide imperfections in ceilings.  I would recommend 2 coats to really cover the primer which will inevitably be a few shades lighter or darker than your existing ceiling.  If your OCD refuses to let it be, then you might have to paint the full room ceiling, but if you match your ceiling paint correctly then only an eagle-eyed detective might see the paint lines.

Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to water stains!

A leak won’t magically go away no matter how hard you wish for it.  Its gonna come back and do more damage over time. It is better to find out what is going on now, then to end up with a major problem later.  I mean replacing a couple of shingles is much better then needing a whole new roof! So pay attention to those water stains, they are your home telling you something.  


About the Author:

This article was brought to you by Struck and Sons Inc, Property Damage Specialists.  Please always use caution when dealing with any hazardous situation.  Things can be replaced, people can’t. Always err on the side of caution and call 911.  

Visit us online at www.StruckandSons.com

One Simple Thing To Safeguard Your Home

One Simple Thing To Safeguard Your Home

A smoke detector with a dead battery is like having no smoke detector at all!

Unfortunately, not everyone checks to make sure their smoke detector is working on a schedule.  The National Fire Protection Association reports that two-thirds of all deaths from house fires were in homes that didn’t have working smoke alarms.

So for all those false alarms from your terrible cooking, might not be that awful.

At least you know your smoke detector is working….even if you do need to fan it with a towel to get it to stop screeching.  However, that isn’t a replacement for actually testing your smoke detector every six months.

Checking your smoke detector when Daylight Savings happens is a cheater way to remember!

Mind you, some smoke detectors do have 10-year batteries, but that is no excuse for not checking it.  At the end of the 10-year battery life, you need to replace the entire unit. Basically, the goodies that make a smoke detector work breakdown over time, 10 years is the max… so if you are due, or think you are close, buy a new detector and write the date on the back of it!  

You might have a hard-wired smoke detector installed. These run off your home’s electrical system, not batteries, but they do have backup batteries, so they’ll continue to function if your power cuts out. Sorry, no luck, you still need to test that one too!

Before testing make sure you…

Tell everyone in the family!  Don’t give grandma’s medical condition a test along with the smoke detector!  This also applies to pets. Try to put them in another room or away from the testing…. if you think that sucker is loud… well imagine how awful it is to a dog!!!!

If you have a helper, put them to good use!  Make them stand in the furthest place in the house from the smoke detector you are testing.  Make sure that they can hear the alarm easily…. if not rethink your placement! If you have a dead battery in that one detector, you don’t want to waste critical time when a fire is raging!  Side note- think about a networked system of fire alarms, they are a little more expensive but can announce where a fire has been detected. It is good to know if you are upstairs on the second floor and something is brewing in the basement!

Testing the device is pretty simple, just press and hold the button!

After a few seconds, you should be bombarded with a horrible shrieking alarm.  That’s actually a good thing!

Remember, smoke detectors have a normal lifespan of 10 years, according to the USFA. Even if you’ve performed regular maintenance, and your device is still functional, you should replace a smoke detector after the 10-year period or earlier, depending on the manufacturer’s instructions.

Installing smoke detectors can be a great way to help keep your family safe, but assuming they are working may lead to a dangerous situation. Taking a few minutes to check them regularly can help keep you and your family safe.


About the Author:

This article was brought to you by Struck and Sons Inc, Property Damage Specialists.  Please always use caution when dealing with any hazardous situation.  Things can be replaced, people can’t. Always err on the side of caution and call 911.  

Visit us online at www.StruckandSons.com


Grease Fires – Dont make a bad situation worse

Grease Fires – Dont make a bad situation worse

I don’t want to scare you into ordering takeout more often, but more house fires are caused by cooking mishaps than anything else.

Grease fires are especially dangerous and happen to be responsible for one out of every five at-home fire deaths. Not all grease fires are equal, so knowing how to put one out could save your life.

Over 60 percent of grease fires happen on the stove.

When fat or oil hits the boiling point, it will start to smoke, and if it isn’t removed from heat, it could combust into flames.

So the first rule to prevent a grease fire is to never leave a pan unattended!  Just don’t do it! Simply put the first sign of smoke from your oil indicates the danger zone: Turn off the heat, move the pan to a cool burner, and place a metal lid on it to stop a fire from forming!

If a grease fire does start, never, ever douse it with water or any other kind of liquid in an attempt to extinguish it.

Liquid vaporizes as it hits fire, instantly creating steam explosions in all directions and potentially engulfing a kitchen in flames!  

However, if a grease fire starts… these are the things you need to know:

For a grease fire contained on the cooktop, turn off the stove immediately!  Do this first IF you can safely do so! DO NOT MOVE THE PAN!!!  Movement can cause the fire to get stronger and grow faster.

If the fire has spread beyond the cook-top, then it’s time to call 911!  It takes less than five minutes for an entire room to become engulfed in flames, so grab your phone and get out!

If the fire is in the oven or microwave, do not open the door!   Turn off the appliance immediately and move call 911.

If a small fire is contained in a pan, throw as much baking soda or salt as you have on hand directly on top of the fire.

Use only salt or baking soda, everything else like flour or biscuit mix are combustible!

If salt or baking soda fail to quell the flames and you own a class K fire extinguisher, now is the time to use it!  Only a class K extinguisher is safe for kitchen grease fires, all others can make the situation worse.  Always keep a class K fire extinguisher in your kitchen, they can be easily found on Amazon!

To use the fire extinguisher, remember P.A.S.S.:

Pull the pin,

Aim the nozzle,

Squeeze the lever, and

Sweep the flames.

If the fire has been fully put out by salt or soda—no more flames or smoke visible—air out the room and proceed to clean up.

If you still see smoke or flames from the pan, put a METAL lid or cookie sheet over the top.  

Do not use glass lids, plates, or anything other than metal!  All those other things can crack or explode from the heat, and that can cause shrapnel and injury!

If you need to adjust the lid, use tongs or a spatula.  Don’t use mitts or a towel, if a flame peeks out, you could ignite the fire all over.

If the pan is still actively smoking or you see flames, then get out of the house and call 911.  Leave this to the professionals.  

Once the fire is out and your home is safe to enter again, you might be in for a long clean up.

Contact your insurance company in regards to any damage, and document everything with your phone.  Take pictures because you might find you need them later if you file a claim.  

Some damage can be cleaned yourself or with the aid of a professional cleaning service.  However, if you suffered a lot of damage then you will need to think about finding a contractor to restore your home.  But hopefully knowing these tips and what to do, you can prevent a grease fire from ever happening!


About the Author:

This article was brought to you by Struck and Sons Inc, Property Damage Specialists.  Please always use caution when dealing with any hazardous situation.  Things can be replaced, people can’t.  Always err on the side of caution and call 911.  

Visit us online at www.StruckandSons.com