Recent Posts

Dishwashers: Maintenance Required

2/5/2021 (Permalink)

Drying hardwood flooring from a dishwasher leak with our Servpro Dri Eaz floor mat system & dehumidifier in Kelowna, BC. Drying hardwood flooring from a dishwasher leak with our SERVPRO Dri Eaz floor mat system & dehumidifier in Kelowna, BC.

Over the year’s dishwashers have become an essential home appliance. They make our lives easier, save water, and stop us from having to wash dishes by hand.

Dishwashers are more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly than handwashing. Certified dishwasher use up to 12% less energy and 30% less water on average. Using a dishwasher can save 380 litres of water a week, when you use it every night instead of handwashing. That's over almost 19,000 litres in a year.

As much as we love our dishwashers, they can cause us some major issues if they are not regularly inspected and maintained. Did you know that 30% of water damage in residential homes are caused by appliance failure?

To avoid future water damage and/or large appliance repair bills you need to regular inspect, clean and complete maintenance on your dishwasher. Follow these simple steps to avoid possible water damage and extend the life of your appliance:

  • Ensure you dishwasher is on a level surface
  • Check for leaks:
    • Even if there is no obvious wear or leaks, replace hoses every five years. Use a reinforced steel-braided hose, as they are less likely to fail
  • Inspect & Clean spinning arms:
    • Check to make sure that the arms spin correctly and clean out any debris that has accumulated inside the holes
  • Clean edges, exterior & gasket:
    • Edges around the door do not get washed during a regular cycle and can end up with lots of spills and pieces of food debris
  • Unclog and clean the drain/filter:
    • At the very bottom of your dishwasher is the drain and filter, and this area can be a common place for food debris and buildup which can eventually cause a clog. On a regular basis, you should be disassembling your drain to remove debris. Here’s how you can do this:
      • Locate your owner's manual and figure out what kind of filter your dishwasher has. If it's a manual filter, you will need to take it out and wash it
      • Unplug the dishwasher
      • Take out the screws and remove the cover
      • Clean out larger pieces by hand
      • Clean out smaller deposits with a brush or cloth
      • Wash filter
      • Reassemble
      • Run a short cycle with white vinegar or an approved dishwasher cleaning agent

If you experience a dishwasher leak, time is of the essence to reduce damage. Our team is available 24/7 for emergency services.

Welcome 2021! Home Safety Checklist

12/30/2020 (Permalink)

checklist with check boxes and green pen Pen and paper ready to complete the 2021 Home Safety Checklist

2021 is only a few days away! Start the year off right.....Keep your family and possessions safe by following this home safety checklist: 

  • Ensure each level of your home has a working fire alarm and carbon monoxide detector
  • Create a fire escape plan with your family
  • Prepare a home emergency kit*Invest in a fire proof safe to keep all your irreplaceable/important documents protected*Get your vents/air ducts & dryer vent cleaned!
  • Check appliances (even hair dryers and lamps) for worn or frayed cords. Damaged cords should be replaced and discarded.
  • Avoid “knock-off” electrical products. (these products can easily overheat or short circuit)
  • Check extension cords and wall sockets- do not overload(Don’t run cords under rugs or carpeting).
  • Change your air filter and inspect your furnace
  • Check your range hood and fan are fully vented and free of greasy buildup
  • Check your basement for foundation cracks or damage 

Lastly, create a home inventory of your belongings. Take pictures or make a video. Keep those receipts! Take pictures of receipts and file them. If you have to make a claim you will need proof of purchase! 

#SERVPROKelowna #NewYears #SafetyChecklist #Restoration #BePrepared #HomeChecklist

How to Prevent Mould Growing In Your Home

11/2/2020 (Permalink)

Extensive mold growth under flooring in a kitchen from a slow leak from the sink. Penticton, BC Extensive mold growth under flooring caused by a slow leak from the kitchen sink. Penticton, BC

Mold or Mould? Canadians spell it "mould" but either way it is always finding places to grow. Large amounts of mould in your home can be problematic.....so how do you prevent mould?

Here are some great tips to reduce the chances of mold growth:

  • Remove Sources of dampness
  • Ensure water is directed away from the home
  • Keep your home clean and dry
  • Improve air flow through rooms
  • Keep home below 21.7 C and between 30-50% humidity

Thanksgiving Dinner Fire Safety

10/8/2020 (Permalink)

Cooked turkey and ingredients on a table with note "Thanksgiving Dinner Fire Safety Tips" Happy Thanksgiving from the SERVPRO of Kelowna Team

Oct 4 to 10th is “Fire Safety” week. As many of us will be gathering to enjoy a yummy Thanksgiving feast this weekend, we wanted to provide some reminders and tips for your Thanksgiving dinner:

  • Ensure your smoke alarms are connected and working
  • Never leave your food unattended. Use a timer and routinely check you’re cooking
  • If frying or deep-frying, keep the fryer outside, away from walls and moisture
  • Ensure pot holders and food wrappers are always at a safe distance from the stove
  • Avoid wearing dangling accessories or loose clothes while cooking
  • Never douse a grease fire with water!! Turn off the burner, smother the flames, or douse with baking soda……or use a fire extinguisher
  • Keep a fire extinguisher handy in the kitchen, and know how to use it

Winterizing your AC Unit

9/28/2020 (Permalink)

A close up of a frosty top of AC Unit A close up of a frosty top of AC Unit. Lake Country, BC

As the warm summer days fade to fall weather, it's time to winterize your AC unit. Winterizing your central air conditioner prevents rust damage and keeps rodents from nesting inside.

4 Easy Steps:

  • Remove leaves, branches and any other debris. Use a garden hose to rinse the unit- removing bugs, dirt and dust. Allow the HVAC unit to dry completely.
  • Locate the electrical circuit. It usually has a plastic or metal lid. Remove the lid and flip the switch to cut power supply. (This prevents the unit from turning on during a warm winter day, which will keep water out of the unit that could freeze overnight and cause potential damage.)
  • Install tubular foam or rubber pipe insulation with tees and elbows around pipes to protect against freezing.
  • Cover the HVAC unit with a waterproof air conditioner cover, or use a tarp with bungee cords/vinyl tie-downs and a piece of plywood and/or brick to further secure the cover and protect the unit.

Throughout winter, be sure to remove snow, ice and debris from the top of your AC unit. Adjust the cover to keep in place. These simple steps will help prolong the life our your unit and ensure when the warm weather returns your ready.

Improving Air Quality in Your Home

9/17/2020 (Permalink)

View of heavy wildfire smoke blanketing Okanagan Lake at sunset. View of heavy wildfire smoke blanketing Okanagan Lake at sunset. Kelowna BC, September 2020

With thick smoke drifting in from wildfires in Washington state, Oregon and California, the entire Okanagan has been sitting at high-risk for air quality. Many of us have been staying indoors, but the air outside is constantly entering our homes.

There a few tips and best practices you can incorporate to improve indoor air quality.

  1. Running central air or air conditioning units during a wildfire is safe. This is because the outside air isn’t replacing your indoor air with smoke. The unit is simply expelling hot air and exchanging it. Tip: Keep the fresh-air intake on your machine closed. Filters should be as clean as possible and changed frequently during smoky events to reduce the amount of smoke particles. Central air systems should be set to recirculate to avoid drawing in smoky air.
  1. Air-sealing your home is one of the best ways to improve energy efficiency and limit the amount of outdoor air that enters. While air sealing prevents the loss of heated or cool air and conserve energy, it also prevents smoke from wildfires from entering your home. Air-sealing is the process of filling in gaps, cracks, and other spaces where air can find a pathway into your home.
  1. Houseplants- Similarly to going outside to get fresh air and relieve stress, using houseplants incorporates those properties inside your home. Houseplants have the ability to naturally filter air. Place houseplants in different areas of the home (1 plant per 100 sq ft) to get the maximum benefit. According to a study by NASA, certain plants are better at eliminating significant amounts of benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene than others. The top plants for air purification are Golden Pothos, Boston Fern, Snake Plant, English Ivy, Spider Plant and many more.
  1. Activated Charcoal, also known as active carbon. Activated charcoal air filters are a great way to naturally filter and purify the air quality within your home. These carbon air filters can be easily found in stores or online and the charcoal will absorb toxins in the air without releasing any odor.
  1. Clean Air Filters & Air Ducts- One of the easiest ways that you can improve the air quality within your home is to regularly change the air filter within your heating/cooling system (every 2 to 3 months). Choose a HEPA filter in order to effectively clean the air of contaminants in your home.

Home Fire Safety Checklist

8/17/2020 (Permalink)

Fire fighters extinguishing a house fire in West Kelowna, BC Fire fighters extinguishing a house fire in West Kelowna, BC

A fire in your home is devastating, and sadly many times could have been avoided. Ensuring your home is fire safe on a regular basis is crucial for prevention. Below is a fire safety checklist to use. Protect what’s most important…your family, loved ones and home.

  • Ensure each level of your home has a working fire alarm and carbon monoxide detector
  • Clean vents/air ducts & dryer vent
  • Check appliances (even hair dryers and lamps) for worn or frayed cords (Damaged cords should be replaced and discarded)
  • Avoid “knock-off” electrical products (these products can easily overheat or short circuit)
  • Check extension cords and wall sockets- do not overload
  • Do not run cords under rugs or carpeting
  • Change your air filter and inspect your furnace
  • Check your range hood and fan are fully vented and remove greasy buildup
  • Create a fire escape plan with your family
  • Prepare a home emergency kit
  • Create a home inventory of your belongings (Take pictures or make a video)
  • Invest in a fire proof safe to keep all your irreplaceable/important documents protected

Did you know? According to the province of BC, in 43% of home fires causing a loss of life, there was no working smoke alarm. Be prepared, be safe.

The Importance of Drying & Dehumidification

8/10/2020 (Permalink)

Drying flooring using SERVPRO' advanced equipment in a home in West Kelowna, BC Drying flooring using SERVPRO's advanced equipment in a home in West Kelowna, BC

Once your home has experienced water damage, just removing the visible water does not eliminate all of the moisture. Water can pool behind walls & floors, and soak into porous material.

Majority of your home is made porous materials. Wood, drywall, flooring, and other items may appear to be dry after water removal, but in fact they retain a significant amount of water. If this water is not addressed materials can warp, swell, or create an ideal environment for mold to grow, causing even more significant damage to your property. Mold can start growing within 48 hours and cause structural damage down the road, as well as potentially causing health issues to those living in your home.

Consider water in 3 states: standing, absorbed, and evaporated. During and after a water emergency, all three of these states are present. Once the standing water has been removed, drying and dehumidifying need to follow.

With SERVPRO’s moisture detection equipment, we are able to identify all affected areas. This allows us to strategically place our drying & dehumidification equipment for maximum effectiveness, removing both the visible and non-visible moisture.

SERVPRO of Kelowna’s Water Drying Process:

Step 1 - Emergency Contact

Step 2 - Inspection and Water Damage Assessment

Step 3 - Water Removal / Water Extraction

Step 4 - Drying and Dehumidification

Step 5 - Cleaning and Sanitizing

Step 6 - Restoration

Summer Home Maintenance

7/14/2020 (Permalink)

Recently cleaned and maintenance air conditioner in Lake Country BC Recently cleaned and maintenance air conditioner in Lake Country, BC

Just like you need to wipe counters, clean floors & bathrooms to keep your home usable and clean, you need to clean and maintain other parts of your home. If you don't, you will end up having your home run less efficient or even worse experience possible fire or water damage.

When you maintain your home, you keep it running efficiently, as well as reducing the likelihood of potential water or fire damage. Not to mention it will save you money with lower utility bills.

Here are some quick and easy summer maintenance tips:

  • Switch off your humidifier and use a dehumidifier instead
  • Replace air filters throughout your home
  • Look at the condition of your roof. Consider having it professionally inspected
  • Inspect weather-stripping, caulking and vents for any blockages and/or cracks. Repair as needed
  • Change/clean your central air conditioner filter. Book annual maintenance
  • Inspect the irrigation lines and valves for leaks
  • If your planning on a trip, ensure you have someone checking on your home for leaks/damage regularly

Staying on top of things with minor fixes and maintenance will help you to avoid big problems later down the line.

Are you Flood Ready?

7/9/2020 (Permalink)

Flooded community garden in Lake Country in 2017 from high water levels and rain Flooded community garden in Lake Country in 2017 from high water levels and rain.

There have been a number of extreme flooding events occurring in Canada over the last few decades. Sadly, as a result of climate change, these events are increasing in both frequency and magnitude.

Floods can happen anywhere and at any time of the year here in the Okanagan. It’s important to take time to understand and prepare your home. Below are some helpful tips to ensure your home/property is flood ready

  • Downspouts should extend at least 2m from your basement wall. Water should drain away from your property
  • During heavy rainfall, check that your roof and eaves are draining properly
  • Use rain barrels to catch water runoff
  • Put weather protection sealant around basement windows and ground-level doorways
  • Install flood shields/barriers for basement windows and doors. The tops of the shields should extend above ground level
  • Raise large appliances, furnaces, hot water heaters, and electrical panels up on wood or cement blocks above the potential water level
  • Make sure your plumbing system and drains follow all code requirements
  • Install backwater valves or plugs for drains, toilets and sewer connections
  • Check to ensure your sump pump is working. Consider installing a battery-operated backup encase of a power outage
  • Ask your insurer about your flood insurance and review the coverage
  • Create an emergency kit

Take the Government of Canada’s flood ready quiz today! https://www.canada.ca/en/campaign/flood-ready/quiz.html