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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Home Maintenance Checklist

6/8/2016 (Permalink)

Home Maintenance Checklist

There are tons of ways that you can keep your clean and safe and your SERVPRO of Lexington’s team is here to give you tips on how to do so!

Weekly, you can:

1.       Vacuum your carpet. (Rule of thumb: vacuum once per week per human inhabitant, twice per pet).

2.       Feel plugs/ outlets for warmth. Call electrician if anything appears unusual.

Monthly, you can:

1.       Change air filters (if there are no pets, smoking inside the home, or inhabitants with allergies, you may change them quarterly at a MINIMUM).

2.       Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms by pushing ‘test’ button.

3.       Check faucet and hose connections under sinks and toilets and behind laundry equipment and refrigerator.

4.       Look for leaks at shut-off valves.

5.       Check walls and ceilings for brown spots. Check painted surfaces for peeling, chipping or blistering. This can be indicative of water damage.

6.       Clean dust from molding and baseboards to preserve value.

Quarterly, you can:

1.       Check inside basement walls for dampness or water stains.

2.       Check to make sure crawl space vapor barrier is in good condition and placed correctly.

3.       Examine outside vents and gutters. Make sure properly sealed and clear of obstruction. Recheck vents during and after a snowstorm.

4.       Check condition of caulking around sinks, bathtubs, and showers. For extra protection, replace with long-lasting material such as silicone or latex.

5.       Clean dirt and dust from around furnaces, air grills and ducts.

6.       Have dryer vent cleaned by professional or remove lent with leaf blower to prevent clogging or fire damage. Check vent if clothes aren’t drying properly.

Bi-Annually, you can:

1.       Have carpet cleaned by professional cleaner to preserve fabric or warranty.

2.       Practice fire escape plan with family. Identify off-site meeting location/shelter.

3.       Pull back floor insulation in basement or crawl space to check for leaks, wood damage around supply pipes.

Annually, you can:

1.       Change batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Clean detectors/vacuum each grill.

2.       Have property inspected and treated for termites by professional technician.

3.       Check roof for damaged shingles and flashing.

4.       Replace washer/dryer and refrigerator hoses (steel braided hoses are recommended).

5.       Have AC unit serviced by professional technician. Condensation drain lines need to be checked for clogging to prevent water damage.

6.       Have fireplace inspected and cleaned by professional chimney sweeper.

7.       Drain garden hoses and store for winter.

Long Term Reminders:

1.       Every 5 years, have ducts cleaned by professional technician.

2.       Every 25 years, replace roof shingles.

More general safety tips include:

Store emergency contact information (police, fire dept., hospital, etc.) in physical and digital locations. Free apps are available as a resource (see SERVPRO.com/ready).

Keep rescue ladder(s) for multi-story homes.

Keep fire extinguisher in kitchen and on every floor. Have all house dwellers practice use.

Plug a rechargeable flashlight into socket close to bed. May also be used to signal first responders.

Trim back branches from roof and chimney to prevent fire or structural damage.

Regularly clean fireplace ash pit.

Never burn green wood. Burn only dry, well-seasoned hard wood that has been split properly.

Use dryer sheets when drying clothes to reduce spontaneous combustion. Let clothes cool off before transferring.

If a rotten-egg type smell is detected, check pipes for possible gas leak.

Set water heaters no higher than 120 degrees. Keep combustible and flammable material away from heater.

Consider a sprinkler system in home to prevent fire damage.

Never plug more than one high wattage appliance in single outlet.

Keep carpet stretched and healthy to prevent tripping on wrinkles. If wrinkled, check for delamination by pulling carpet back from corner of room. Delaminated carpet is not repairable and must be replaced.

In case of water damage, you should know what to do and what not to do until help arrives. SERVPRO of Lexington got your back. Here are our tips:


·         Shut off the source of water if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water source.

·         When access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock, turn off circuit breakers in wet areas of the building.

·         Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.

·         Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.

·         Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushion for even drying.

·         Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.

·         Any painting, art object, computers, document and other material that are valuable or sensitive to moisture should be relocated to a safe, dry place.

·         Use wooden clothespins to keep furniture skirting off damp floors.

·         Hang draperies with coated hangers to avoid contact with wet carpeting or floors.

·         Hang furs and leather good to dry separately at room temperature.


·         Enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazards may exist.

·         Enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.

·         Leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors to cause staining.

·         Leave oriental rugs or other colored rugs on wet wall-to-wall carpets to cause staining.

·         Use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water, possibly causing electrical shock or damage to the vacuum cleaner.

·         Use TVs or other appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors.

·         Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet.

·         Enter rooms where ceiling is sagging from retained water.

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