Eliane Consalvo - KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY / Merrimack Valley



Posted by Eliane Consalvo on 4/30/2017

It's many homeowners' worst fear to come home to a water disaster in their home. Water damage can cost thousands to repair and will include a lengthy process in order to†adhere to safety standards, potentially disrupting your home life for weeks. In this article we'll give you tips on how to avoid water damage and what to do when you discover it.

Water damage vs. flood damage

Many people are unaware of the difference between water damage and flood damage. Water damage can occur when you have plumbing issues such as a leaking pipe or overflowing bath tub. Flood damage, on the other hand, is defined by FEMA as an "overflow of inland or tidal waters, unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters," or even mudflow. Flood damage tends to be the more costly and the more dangerous of the two, as it puts home inhabitants at serious health risk. Part of the stipulation in differing between the two types of damage is insurance coverage; water damage is often covered by homeowner's insurance whereas flood damage is not.

Avoiding water damage

To avoid costly and time-consuming repairs, follow these steps to prevent water damage from occurring in your home:
  • Keep your gutters clean to avoid backups and drainage issues
  • divert rain water away from your house with downspouts
  • Disconnect hoses and turn off their water supply when temperatures drop to freezing overnight
  • Don't leave water using appliances running while you are away from home for extended periods of time
  • Keep up with maintenance on your dishwasher, washing machine, toilets, and tubs
  • Turn off your water main when you go away on vacations
  • Check the water pressure to your home. High water pressure can be nice in the shower, but pressures too high can cause your plumbing to fail
  • Check regularly for leaks. Some water damage may go unnoticed for weeks or months, which subjects you to another danger: mold

What to do if you have water damage in your home

If it's too late for prevention and you've discovered water damage in your home there are several steps you'll need to take to ensure the safety of your home.
  • Turn off electronics in the affected area. If possible switch off power to whole the whole section of your home at the circuit breaker. This first step is to ensure your own safety. Once you've turned off power to all potentially dangerous electronics, you can move on to the next step.
  • Remove electronics and other perishable items from the area.†If you remove the items soon enough you might be able to salvage them by drying them out.
  • Soak up the bulk of the water.†You can do this the old fashion way by using towels and buckets. Or you can use a wet/dry vacuum cleaner to suck up the water from rugs, carpets, and other surfaces.
  • Dry the area completely.†To avoid mold, use fans and a dehumidifier to fully dry out the area.
  • Disinfect.†Spray the area to remove any bacteria that may have accumulated due to moisture.
  • Contact the professionals.†A contractor will be able to tell you the full extent of the damage and whether any serious repairs will need to me made.
 





Posted by Eliane Consalvo on 12/11/2016

Protecting property and life is one of the most important steps to ensuring you, your family and belongings are safe. One step to ensure safety in your home is your smoke detector. Be sure to read all installation instructions and contact the fire department if any questions or concerns arise. Cleaning all existing smoke detectors is extremely important. Be sure to check all smoke detectors using a bottom to top floor strategy when making your way through your home or condo. Using a vacuum to clean the devices three to four times a year will ensure the vents on your smoke detector are open and prepared to function properly. Twice a year you should check the batteries in your smoke detector. The best schedule for your protection is in the spring and fall when you change your clocks. This is the most popular schedule and generally dictated by the local fire department. While checking all smoke detectors, check your carbon monoxide detector at the same time. Keeping batteries up to date and ventilation systems clean is the key to safety for you, and your family.





Posted by Eliane Consalvo on 7/12/2015

† † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † Not that long ago, most people didn't think twice before grabbing a glass, and filling it up with tap water from their kitchen sink. But in the past few years, concerns over water quality have prompted people to look for safer alternatives. While some regions are plagued with tap water having a "bad taste" (usually due to water treatment agents like chlorine), other areas have more serious issues to deal with, like bacteria proliferation and industrial pollutants. While some people don't mind the cost of purchasing bottled water, others have tried to be more economical, installing water filters on their tap faucets, or in many cases, outfitting large, expensive water filtration systems for their entire house. By understanding your family's water needs, and doing a quick bit of research, you'll be able to get a better idea of the quality of water in your area, and the steps you can take to ensure your family's safety. 1. Do your research - Sites like http://water.usgs.gov and http://water.epa.gov/drink/ compile up-to-date statistics on a wide variety of water measurements in your area. 2. Look into cost - If you find yourself living in an area where the tap water consistently receives low marks, then it just makes good sense for you to explore your water filtration options. While there are many options to choose from, it really boils down to your peace of mind. Water Filtration Pitchers - The classic Brita pitcher is what usually comes to mind for most, but there are actually quite a few of these types of water filtration systems on the market now. And while they are definitely the most convenient kind of water filtration system, many don't offer the same guarantees as some of the more advanced systems you have the option of choosing from. Not to say that these simple fill-and-pour systems should be overlooked, though. These pitchers are great for areas that have those "bad taste" kind of water issues. In these areas, many people are content with just a pitcher. However, you will have to buy replacement filters on a regular basis, and that often overlooked expense can leave many regretting that they didn't just spend the money on a bigger system. Faucet Filters - These come in two varieties. One variety attaches to your actual faucet, and the other is installed under the sink, purifying the water before it reaches the faucet. Each have their pros and cons, but most of them are better equipped to remove a wider variety of contaminants than the classic water filtration pitcher. If you live in an area where hard water is a problem, many of these undersink varieties offer water softening options as well. These systems are ideal for people who are looking to only purify their sink water. Installing one of these in your kitchen will give your family superb drinking water, while providing you crisp, clean water for cooking purposes. Whole House Water Filters - These are attached at the "point of entry" water source of your house, and will filter all of your home's water, from the shower to the ice maker. Many people find that this option is the best, as all of their water quality concerns have the capability of being met by only one filter. These systems require the least amount of maintenance, but have the heaviest price tag out of all of the systems outlined thus far. If you have municipal (city) water, then a decent whole house water filtration system will cost you an average of 700 dollars or more, and well water systems can set you back into the thousands. However, this is the best way to ensure that all of the water flowing into your home is safe, soft, and tasty. For more information on the kinds of water systems available to you, please visit http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/water-filters/buying-guide.htm





Posted by Eliane Consalvo on 7/5/2015

Kids, since they are naturally curious, require special measures to ensure their safety. Whether this is your first child, or your fifth, everyone can use a refresher course about kidís safety in the home. By being vigilant and following a few simple rules, you can help ensure that your kids stay safe in their own home. Cover it Up Those seemingly benign electrical outlets might not seem like they are out of the ordinary to you, but to your child, they might as well be magical. They seem to beg to have something, anything, poked into them. In order to protect you child from being shocked, or even electrocuted, invest in a couple packages of outlet covers. It is best to keep a few around since they tend to get misplaced when they are removed. Just be sure to keep loose outlet covers out of the reach of small children who still put things in their mouths. They can be a choking hazard. Gate it Up Baby gates, as they are commonly known, are also called safety gates. Unlike the ones popular in the past, these safety accessories no longer feature triangular shaped openings. Instead, many of them are made of a mesh pattern covering that eliminates the ability of the child to put their head through the opening. While safety gates are often used to block the ability of the child to go up or down a set of stairs, they can be used for much more. You can keep your child in a particular room while you are busy with chores. Conversely, you can also keep your child from accessing a particular room by placing a safety gate at the opening. These days, safety gates come in a variety of different widths, with many of them able to accommodate a range of openings. In addition, there are also many options when it comes to the latches that open the gate. This allows people with limited mobility to choose the gates that enable them to easily open them. Safety Latches Latches will keep your child out of the drawers and cabinets where you store your pots and pans, as well as any hazardous materials.† They help to keep your child safe while still allowing accessibility to the tools you need to complete your daily chores. Today, you can find many different tools and resources to keep your kids safe in your home. After all, you want your home to be a source of comfort for them.  





Posted by Eliane Consalvo on 12/21/2014

If you were to guess which area in your home poses the most safety hazards, what would be your answer? †The kitchen? †The basement? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year about 235,000 people over age 15 visit emergency rooms because of injuries suffered in the bathroom, and almost 14 percent are hospitalized. More than a third of the injuries happen while bathing or showering. More than 14 percent occur while using the toilet. By taking some simple steps in your own bathroom, you can cut the risk of serious injury to yourself and your loves ones dramatically.

  • Install support railings right outside of your tub.
  • Put down an anti-slippage mat on the floor of your tub.
  • Take extra care when using electrical outlets in your bathroom. Install a hand towel holder next to outlets, and get in the habit of making sure your hands are dried before plugging and unplugging electrical devices.
  • Be sure that bathroom rugs around your toilet and sink have excellent anti-slip capabilities, and replace your rugs when they become worn.
After following these steps, re-evaluate your bathroom. Can you find anything else that may pose a danger?