In these uncertain times, there’s no way to know exactly what the future will look like. One thing we can guarantee? You’ll probably be spending more time at home than usual in the coming months. On the bright side, the South Shore is going to be warmer which means spending time outside will finally be an option!
After you finish your spring cleaning, you may notice that your patio space could use some sprucing and fixing up. After all, the New England winters are hard and it’s taken a lot of energy just to adjust to social distancing and the stress of a global pandemic. Making a cozy patio space probably hasn’t been the first thing on your to-do list.
But your patio may be the coziest and safest place to invite small groups of family and close friends to gather this summer. If there’s one thing we’ll all need during the re-entry period, it’s definitely going to be a place to relax and settle in while the fireflies dance and the stars come out. Here are some ideas for spicing up your patio space so you can settle into spending more quality time with the people you love.
- Replace any old rotting deck boards and sand and re-stain your deck if it’s looking shabby. You can get this project done in an afternoon and it will prevent you or your guests from the unlucky surprise of falling through the deck or getting a splinter.
- Replace your old moldy or faded cushions and pillows. There’s no need to buy all new deck furniture, but the cushions are important! Try buying statement colors instead of earth tones so your patio really pops against the greens and browns of the landscape.
- Add visual interest and save ground space with plants that climb fences or walls and hang from hooks. When you go to the plant store, you can talk with salespeople to find out which plants bloom at different times to ensure that your patio is colorful all summer long.
- Lay down an outdoor rug. If you don’t have time or energy to sand and re-stain this year, this is an excellent way to cover up surfaces that still need love or could just use a little more pop. Outdoor rugs are made of materials that withstand rain and moisture, so you can leave them there through any type of weather.
- Create shade and privacy with a pergola. These wooden archways are the perfect addition for a sunny yard. Plus, they are an excellent support system for climbing vines.
- Incorporate fountains to provide a soothing aesthetic. Fountains can be an expensive addition, but they don’t need to be. There are small fountain kits at many landscaping stores and they take up minimal space while adding a relaxing soundscape to your patio.
- Adding a firepit can provide entertainment and warmth on those cooler nights.
- String lights, lanterns, or torches will brighten the mood of even the most basic outdoor space.
- An arched trellis could be the perfect entryway to your patio. It will guide guests into the area and is another great place for those climbing plants.
- Feeling handy? There are lots of plans for building deck furniture with pallets. You can check out these instructions for a bar, a daybed, and a wall.
Related to making loved ones feel just that by creating an inviting hang-out space, get other ideas about how to support other South Shore businesses and neighbors here. As always, South Shore Roofing is here to help you improve the outdoor aesthetics of your home with a new roof or a roof repair. Don’t hesitate to reach out for advice or a virtual estimate. We can help you get started on your next project today!
Regardless of when the Commonwealth of Massachusetts lifts or lessens stay-at-home orders related to the COVID-19 health pandemic, the need will remain throughout the rest of 2020 for South Shore business owners and neighbors to help and support each other. As we’ve all likely heard, unfortunately, it won’t be a matter of us blinking our eyes or snapping our fingers and “poof!” everything is back to the way it was pre-pandemic. There will be some long-lasting implications from Coronavirus, and some things will be forever changed. This all means that we will need to continue to look out for each other as we always have, here on Boston’s South Shore.
We’ve put together some ideas for supporting our neighbors and businesses, but please do share with us anything you believe we should add to this list. It is definitely not meant to be exclusive, but rather provide some food for thought regarding actions you can take that will make a difference in your South Shore neighborhood, and in the South Shore community, as a whole.
While Stay-at-Home Orders Remain in Effect
- Continue to social distance. As you are out and about walking, biking, running, etc., leave 6 feet between you and others who you come across.
- Greet neighbors you know and don’t know. Ask them how they are doing and share some positive or hopeful info. or news.
- Ask how you can help. Check in with neighbors to see if you can grab them anything at the store or help in other ways, particularly neighbors who have compromised health or are elderly.
- Schedule street meet-ups. Text or call your favorite neighbors to do a socially distanced meet-up in the street on a nice weather day.
- Celebrate milestones. If a neighbor is celebrating a birthday, anniversary, a new baby or grand baby, make a sign with materials you have at home to show at their window or door, or that you can hang in their yard.
- Hold off on home visits. Don’t enter into neighbors’ homes or ask them to enter yours.
- Entertain passer-bys. Put fun things like stuffed animals in your yard or windows for children to get excited about as they are out walking or biking by.
- Share inspiration or a smile. Create encouraging, thoughtful signs to post in your yard or windows to encourage others and provide a laugh, smile, or hope.
- Support a local food bank. We all may have a neighbor who is struggling, but embarrassed to ask for help. Food banks allow recipients to remain anonymous. In addition to the Weymouth, Norwell, Hingham Interfaith, Braintree, Scituate, Canton, Marshfield, and Pembroke Food Pantries, you can donate to food pantries served by the South Shore Community Action Council’s Food Distribution Center that are listed here.
- Help hourly workers who are unable to get paid because they can’t work right now. Check out South Shore Tip Jar: https://www.southshoretipjar.com/.
- Sign up for the nextdoor.com site, if you don’t have a login.
- Check nextdoor.com regularly. See if there are any neighbor requests for help or information that you can respond to.
As Stay-at-Home Orders Begin to Lift
- Continue to social distance, as described above, for a while, particularly with elderly and health-compromised neighbors. Better safe than sorry!!!
- Keep the good neighbor practices above going!
- Once stay-at-home orders have been lifted for a couple of weeks, if you have a need to make food for a neighbor, visit in their home, or have them visit in your home, wear a mask and ask them to do so, and make sure all parties are regularly washing or sanitizing hands.
HOW TO HELP SOUTH SHORE/LOCAL BUSINESSES
While Stay-at-Home Orders Remain in Effect
- Pay it forward by paying in advance. If prior to our pandemic, you received regular personal, home or business-related services, such as hair- and nail-related ones, or home or business office cleaning services, and you can afford to pay in advance for future services you’ll receive, check in with the individual or firm who provides them. They could really be hurting financially and such gestures could mean the difference between them opening up their business again post-pandemic, and more importantly allow them to put food on their family’s table.
- Buy a gift card and give your favorite local business a lift. In keeping with the above, consider purchasing gift cards now from restaurants or other service businesses that you can use in the future.
- Be proactive about asking for pick-up service. If there are other small businesses from which you purchase tangible items such as food, hardware, or home and garden supplies, if you’re not comfortable visiting their store-front, consider placing a pick-up/take-out order. We’ve found that even hardware stores are willing to take a pick-up order to avoid your having to spend time in their store. Why not at least ask if there are creative ways for you to place and receive an order.
- Protect everyone’s employees. To keep restaurant, grocery store, and other businesses’ employees safe, wash or sanitize your hands before you enter their establishment and wear a mask.
- Plan now for future home and business projects and needs. If you know you’ll have a need for future services related to your home and business, including renovation/improvement ones — take the time to reach out to appropriate organizations to get a quote/estimate on your work now. Many organizations, like us at South Shore Roofing, are offering virtual estimate services right now.
As Stay-at-Home Orders Begin to Lift
- Continue to take action to keep the employees of businesses you visit safe, by washing or sanitizing hands and wearing a mask.
- As your financial situation allows, shop locally. Purchase both intangible services and tangible goods and services from South Shore businesses to help stimulate the local economy and support the future viability of some of your favorite restaurants, salons, home contractors, etc. We know you’ll agree that it would be a shame to lose some of our local treasures and business experts due to pandemic economic impacts. And, the best way to ensure that this doesn’t happen is to support them when and how we can. Every little bit helps!
Speaking of helping, we are always here to to do so. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to ask us a question about roof repair, renovation, replacement, or installment.
Like many of our fellow South Shore business owners, we remain committed to being there for, and serving our customers, during the current COVID-19 health pandemic — even if it means we have to change up how we go about doing so. Hey, houses and roofs don’t know or care if there’s a global health emergency going on. When a roof is in need of repair or replacement, it will continue to deteriorate and show signs and symptoms that it needs a roofing expert’s attention, like the signs and symptoms we outlined in our “New Year. New Roof? Warning Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Roof” blog post.
Get A Virtual Home Roofing Project Estimate
We understand and totally respect the fact that many home owners considering repairing or replacing their roof in late spring or summer don’t want our roofing contractors, or anyone else, visiting their homes right now. That’s why we are offering virtual estimates/quotes for your specific house roofing needs. Using available technology, we are able to measure your roof from our office, and can gather any additional details we need to provide you with a quote/estimate, via a phone discussion.
We are here to support our South Shore neighbors during this difficult time. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with a question or concern, to ask for advice, etc.
We remind everyone to stay safe and well by following local and state officials’ recommendations for social distancing and for staying at home, and by adhering to health officials’ guidelines regarding hand washing/sanitizing and other tactics for keeping your home and family Corona-virus-free.
Be well, be kind, and join our team at South Shore Roofing in believing that better days lie ahead.
Spring in New England is just around the corner, and when it comes to home-related musings and to-do lists, that’s got our team at South Shore Roofing thinking about spring cleaning. Yeah, we know that spring cleaning can be time-consuming, hard work, and a bit boring. But, if you focus on the end game of literally and figuratively clearing away the winter cobwebs, and on how much fresher and airier your home will feel, you can bring a whole new, upbeat approach to the task of making your Massachusetts home spring- and summer-ready.
Check Out These Spring Cleaning Checklists
To make your spring cleaning thorough and effective, we’ve done some of the heavy lifting for you – at least on the research side vs. decluttering and chore side of things. Check out the following resources that provide tips and checklists for pointing all your spring-cleaning energies in the right direction.
- Must-Do Home Spring Cleaning Tasks https://www.hgtv.com/lifestyle/clean-and-organize/spring-cleaning-made-easy-pictures
- Top 10 House Spring Cleaning Tips https://www.sylvane.com/blog/spring-cleaning-tips-and-checklist/
- Room by Room Spring Cleaning Checklist https://www.tasteofhome.com/article/spring-cleaning-checklist/
- Streamline and Speed Up Your Residence’s Spring Cleaning Process https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/62170/15-brilliant-life-hacks-speed-your-spring-cleaning
We know you’re going to want to be outside as soon as warm, spring weather hits Boston’s South Shore. So, why not start tackling your spring cleaning today? We think you’ll reap both emotional and physical benefits from the breath of fresh air that physically and mentally comes from having digs that are less-cluttered. And, you’ll also be invigorated by the spring air that comes from opening windows to let winter aromas out!
What Spring Cleaning and Being Back Outdoors Might Uncover
We hope you’ll keep our residential roofing services in mind, should your spring clean-up work reveal home water damage/stains, leaks, or mold. As we talked about in our recent blog post, the aforementioned unsightly, smelly, and unhealthy home conditions, may indicate the need to call in a roofing specialist or roofing contractor like our experts at South Shore Roofing. In addition, as you are out in your yard more with the arrival of spring in the Greater Boston area, you may become aware of changes in your roof that you didn’t notice the previous fall or during the winter. Learn more about whether it may be time to replace your roof.
Our team is always ready and available to discuss both your home roof and commercial roof concerns, so don’t hesitate to reach out today or anytime that you need our assistance.
- Wallpaper or wall paint that is peeling
- Wall or ceiling stains from mold
- Water stains on walls or ceilings
- A musty smell or odor emanating from walls or ceilings
- Inadequate drainage – Home or office dampness can stem from inadequate ground and surface drainage. Pooled water from saturated ground, downspouts, or runoff can find its way into your house or business via porous walls or cracks in your foundation.
- Condensation – this occurs when hot, moist air hits cold, dry air — causing water droplets to form on cold surfaces, such as home and office walls. We’ve all noticed condensation in the bathroom or kitchen after a steamy shower or when the tea kettle’s been whistling
- Leaks – this can be due to something as simple and noticeable as a leaky washing machine, dishwater, bathtub, or sink; something less obvious like roof-related leaks occurring in chimneys, vents, or skylights, or, from leaks associated with inadequate or deteriorating flashing on windows and doors; and from Mother-Nature-induced ice dams.
Why Temperature Discrepancies Can Spell Big Trouble
Many of the reasons past and new customers reach out to us at South Shore Roofing in winter months have to do with the colder temperatures we experience in the Greater Boston area. The huge difference between the temperature outside home and office buildings and the temperature inside can cause an abnormally large amount of condensation, causing walls to get and remain wet. This in turn leads to mold build-up and water and mold stains. In addition, as we discussed in our blog post about ice dams, such temperature contrasts (uneven temperatures) can occur within your home or office roof itself. The latter can also lead to leaks and water damage.
Our residential roofing contractor and commercial roofing contract experts can help you determine both the source of your wall moisture and the best way to treat it. For example, installing adequate roof ventilation in your home or office may help to control moisture levels and save you from needing a premature roof replacement. Or, perhaps, your home needs greater insulation.
Experiencing the “moisture meddling” signs we described above? Don’t try to solve or fix the problem yourself. Contact our team of professional home roofers and commercial roofers at South Shore Roofing today to ensure the good health of your family, tenants, employees, and that of your business property or residential property!
While we repair existing/old roofs and install new ones all year long – hey, sometimes, for a variety of reasons, a client can’t wait for warm, sunny weather to be underway in New England – we find many homeowners and business owners don’t tend to think about replacing their roof when snow is in the air, ice is on the ground, or simply when the temperature is below 50 degrees.
Given the above, we thought our blog readers might rather focus on the inside of their homes and/or businesses right now. With that in mind, we did some research on, and all the consolidating of others’ thoughts regarding, “what’s hot and what’s not” as far as interior decorating goes for 2020. Keep in mind that these opinions about interior decorating trends are the opinions of design experts, not those of South Shore Roofing – we’ll limit our design suggestions to your home’s or business’ exterior!
So, as a new decade of design gets underway, what’s in and what’s out?
- Colored cabinetry
- Stoned counters
- Patterned flooring
- Ceiling treatments
- Open floor plans, multi-use spaces, more-functional spaces
- Bolder-colored & bolder-shaped kitchen tiles/backsplashes
- Less is more – the number of decorative objects on display should be reduced, and rotated by season. This also means furniture that can serve as a decorative object is in. Another “in?” Industrial lighting, considered to be minimalist.
- Mixing old with new – instead of one design style, the eclectic, Bohemian look is expected to make a comeback – vintage furniture should be mixed with more modern pieces
- Authenticity – commercial and living spaces should reflect the many interests of the owner or renter
- Faux furs and blankets for couch and sofa draping
- Bar cabinets
- Furniture with ribbed or channeled surfaces
- Sustainable furniture & décor – purchasing and decorating with pieces that are expected to last a long time and that take into consideration where and how pieces were made
- Green accents
- Geometric designs
- Canopy beds
- Four walls of wallpaper vs. an accent wall (see below) and flowered wallpaper
- In keeping with “less is more” being in, clutter is out
- Dark wood cabinets
- Anything grey or neutral-colored unless it has some kind of special texture or visual interest – this includes paint and furniture
- Formal, single-use spaces
- All-white kitchens, but black is back, so think about a black & white kitchen, instead!
- Accent walls (one wall of a room is wall-papered)
- Some faux things, but not all (see above) – faux finishes and plants are out
- Neon lights
- Bar carts
Of course, the above lists are just the interior design projections of a small number of interior designers. As noted under the “ins,” we believe authenticity is always “in” and decorating in a manner that reflects who you are, what’s important to you, and what feels comfortable and like “home” to you is always a great way to go! Still, as you think about refreshing your house’s or your office’s look & feel this year, you may find our lists a good resource, particularly if you’re updating your home to put on the market!
Regardless of whether a home or office design “refresh” is in the cards for 2020, we’re always here at South Shore Roofing to talk to you about what’s hot and what’s not as far as commercial roofs and home roofs go — not only trends in the appearance of your residential roof or business roof, but also what materials are currently thought (and we’ve experienced to be) best to ensure a long-lasting, high-functioning, durable roof. Whether you decide on asphalt, metal, rubber, TPO, or other options, South Shore Roofing can meet all of your residential and commercial roof installation needs. So, please reach out to our expert roofing contractors if you are considering repairing, replacing or installing a roof on Greater Boston’s South Shore!
Particularly for those of us who grew up in New England, we don’t tend to give a lot of thought to the right way and the wrong way to remove snow. As you’ll learn further on in this post, there’s also a right time and a wrong time to remove snow. Many of us have been shoveling snow since we were kids and trying to help mom and dad get their cars out of the driveway after a big winter storm. In most cases, no-one gave us much training on the “do’s and don’ts” of snow shoveling, and it’s even less likely that someone taught us the safe way to remove snow from a house roof or business roof. But, we’re never too old to learn something new, right?
To make sure all our South Shore MA and Greater Boston area neighbors stay safe this winter, we’re sharing tips & techniques for removing snow the safe way — whether it’s via a shovel or snow blower for driveways, paths, and sidewalks, or a rake for pitched residential roofs or commercial roofs.
SNOW SHOVELING AND SNOW BLOWING SAFETY TIPS & TECHNIQUES
- Snow shoveling takes a lot of strength, requires you to exert a lot of energy, and is hard on your joints and muscles. You wouldn’t go out and run a couple of miles or bench-press heavy weights if you hadn’t done so in the recent past, would you? You should take the same precautions when it comes to snow shoveling or pushing a snow blower. If you’ve been experiencing chest pain or shortness of breath, or suffer from heart-related or lung-related disease, allocate the chore of snow shoveling or snow blowing to someone who enjoys better health.
- If you are someone who is physically active and believe you are physically able to snow shovel or snow blow with limited risk of heart attack, be sure to adhere to the following when doing so:
- Don’t smoke or eat right before or while you are shoveling or pushing a snowblower
- Stretch well before you start your work, and then take it slow
- Shovel only light, fresh, powdery snow
- Push snow vs. lifting it; if you have to lift snow with a shovel, use a small one, or only fill the shovel part of the way — then, lift the shovel with your legs, not with your back
- Take frequent breaks, and don’t push yourself to the point of physical exhaustion; stay hydrated by keeping a bottle of water nearby
- Recognize the signs of a heart attack; put down the snow shovel, or turn off and step away from the snow blower, right away; then, call 911
- Never run a snow blower in an enclosed space, such as a garage, due to carbon monoxide poisoning risk
- Turn off a snow blower that has jammed — continuing to use it is not safe for a variety of reasons!
- Keep your hands away from your snow blower’s moving parts
- Wait until you and your snow blower are outside to add fuel, and never, ever add fuel to your snow blower while it is running
- Never, ever leave a running snow blower unattended
SNOW RAKING SAFETY TIPS & TECHNIQUES
Did you know wet snow weighs approximately twice as much as dry snow? While most South Shore Massachusetts, and New England home roofs and commercial roofs are designed to handle excess snow, there’s always a risk for structural damage when large quantities of wet snow pile up on your home roof or office roof. And, large, flat roofs pose an even greater risk.
Most city, state, and federal agencies who issue health & wellness guidelines will advise you not to go it alone when it comes to removing snow from your roof/roof raking. Therefore, they will advise you to hire a roofing professional like us; however, if you feel you must tackle removing roof snow on your own, at least recruit a friend or neighbor to help you, and adhere to the following safety measures:
- Never shovel or rake snow from a roof at a time when family members or other individuals working or living in your building may be exiting or entering the home, apartment building, or office building
- Use a snow rake for pitched roofs (available at most hardware stores) to remove snow from your pitched roof; start from the edge of your roof and work your way into the middle of the roof
- Attempt to shave the snow on the roof down, so that 2-3 inches of snow remain, instead of scraping the roof clean — scraping too deep/hard will risk damage to your shingles or other roof covering
- Keep in mind that any metal tool could conduct electricity if it touches a power line, so if there is any risk of your mistakenly hitting a power line with a metal tool, don’t use one; if not used by a professional, use of metal tools may damage your roof
- Shovel snow from flat roofs throwing the snow over the side and away from the building; as discussed in our blog post on preventing ice dams, keep gutters and drains free of ice & snow and keep downspouts clean at ground level
- Unless approved by a registered professional engineer, don’t add the weight of your body or that of a helper’s, or that of equipment to the roof
- Don’t use a ladder to remove snow from a roof since ice can build up on ladder rungs and the bottom of footwear, increasing risk of slipping
- Don’t use electric heating devices like hair dryers or heat guns to remove snow & ice; definitely DO NOT use open-flame devices to remove them
Regardless of the New England season, we’ve been helping South Shore Massachusetts and Greater Boston homeowners and business owners with their roofing needs and roofing challenges for many years — including ice dam removal and ice dam prevention. So, bring in the roofing experts when it’s required by contacting our residential roofing services and business roofing services company today!
Be sure to also check out our other “winter safety” blog posts:
- Ice Dam Prevention and Ice Dam Removal Safety
- Carbon Monoxide Safety
- Holiday Decorating Safety – Part 1
- Holiday Decorating Safety – Part 2
Many homeowners or owners of a commercial property delay putting on a new roof, partly because it’s not always the most exciting change or renovation to be making to a home or business. Let’s face it, sometimes, it’s just a lot more fun to be adding a new game room, patio, or screened-in porch to your house or updating your residential kitchen or bathroom. You can envision your family or friends enjoying themselves in, or complementing you, on the new space.
The above said, a new roof can give your home or business a whole new aesthetic, and totally update its look and feel. A new residential roof or commercial roof can also take a home or business from looking old and dated to looking more modern/current. And, even if the aforementioned isn’t a driver or reason for you to replace your residential roof or install a new commercial roof, the liability associated with an old roof should be!
So how do you know when it’s time to replace your residential roof or business roof if you’re not simply replacing it because you want to improve your property’s appearance. As residential roofing services and commercial roofing services experts with years of experience, we believe it’s time to replace your home roof or office roof when:
- Your home or business roof shingles are:
- curling at the edge
- cupping (the center of the shingle is concave or depressed, so the tile forms a cup)
- balding, i.e., there are spots where granules are coming off
- Your residential or commercial roof just looks really uneven, unattractive, worn, and/or old
- Your neighbors who built their homes at the same time as yours are replacing their roofs
- Your house’s or business’ roof is more than 20 years old
- And, this is the most obvious reason — your possessions and family get wet each time it rains because of a home roof leak or a commercial roof leak
We mentioned above the liability of not replacing a roof when it shows signs of needing to be. Replacing your residential roof or commercial roof, when you witness one or several of the above signs, will help you avoid:
- potential costly damage to your home or office furnishings/possessions and any lawsuits that could arise related to the aforementioned if you are renting out a home, apartments or office space.
- any family member, guest/visitor, or tenant getting ill or injured due to unhealthy conditions (think damp, cool, and mold-related ones), a roof collapse (from incidents such as not being able to support a large snow fall) or debris falling through your roof, and any associated lawsuits
- increases in energy costs due to cold air or heat seeping through any holes in your roof
- insects, rodents, and small animals, like raccoons, entering your home or office through roof holes
- an even more costly roof replacement down-the-road because of extensive damage from delaying replacing your home or commercial roof
- a large decrease in your property value
Still not sure whether 2020 should be the year you replace your roof or already know that is? Contact our South Shore MA roofing company/roofing contractors today for an assessment and quote.
South Shore Roofing wishes all our readers, clients, prospective clients, and friends and family a very safe, healthy, adventurous, and prosperous new year.
It’s been two days of strong winds and snow in the New England region, as we write this post, and a good reminder to all of us living in the Region, and particularly, those living on Boston’s South Shore or in some other New England coastal area, that we should always make sure we’re well-prepared for a power outage. Unfortunately, this somewhat common winter power-outage circumstance can leave businesses and families without heat, electricity, and/or communication services for one or many days.
Most of us hardy New Englanders and those who live on Massachusetts’ Eastern coast know how un-fun and un-safe (particularly for the elderly, young children, and those who are ill) not having power in the late fall and winter can be. Homes and businesses can get cold really quickly in our colder temps, perishable food like meat and dairy can go bad, and one can easily trip or get physically hurt for other reasons when you can’t see your way around your house or office after the sun goes down. Why not avoid, or at least minimize, all the aforementioned possible unpleasant — and potentially dangerous — impacts of a winter storm power outage by taking the following preparation steps.
Steps to Prepare for a Power Outage:
I. Ideally, weeks before a winter storm may hit and knock out power in your area:
- Make sure your home, business, and pipes will be bundled up — Employ insulation, caulking, and weather to prevent cold from seeping into your home or office. Learn more about keeping pipes from freezing.
- Install and test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, and purchase extra batteries to have on hand for them. As we discussed in our most recent blog post, cold weather, in general, increases the chance of carbon monoxide poisoning.
II. In the days leading up to a predicted winter storm:
- Think like a camper — purchase candles, flashlights, and battery-operated lanterns if you don’t already own some, and be sure you have matches and the right-sized batteries on hand for the aforementioned items. You may also want to purchase a radio if you don’t have one, and have batteries on hand for it.
- Go nuts — if you don’t already have a decent supply, stash up on high-protein packaged items like nuts, canned goods like tuna fish, and jarred food like peanut butter that don’t require heating, and therefore, a power source. You’ll also want a good supply on hand of other non-perishable items like crackers, and a loaf or two of bread that should stay fresh for a number of days.
- Act like a thirsty person — keep an extra supply of bottled water on hand and ask those you live with not to drink it, so it’s there when you need it!
- Go down the family member checklist — make sure that any needs related to a family members’ physical and emotional health challenges will be met during a storm time frame when roads may not be drive-able or pharmacies open. Be sure family members have a sufficient supply of any prescription or over-the-counter medications or other treatments they may need to maintain their health.
- Seek out the warm, comfy, cozy stuff — to prevent having to do so in the dark, identify where you’ve stored any thick blankets, sweaters, and socks for yourself and family members and consider moving them to a more accessible place. For example, if your surplus of blankets is stored in a basement closet that would require you to go down a set of stairs in the dark during a power outage, why not move them upstairs for the winter?
- Don’t forget furry family members — make sure you have plenty of food in the house for your pets, whether they be four-legged creatures or ones that swim in a bowl or tank.
- Fill up your tank — speaking of tanks, in case you need to vacate your home or business (that is if roads and weather conditions make it safe to travel) to stay at a shelter like a school, a friend’s or family member’s home, or a hotel, make sure you have plenty of gas in your car. And, related to cars, be sure to purchase and keep a cell phone charger that works in your car should you need to recharge your phone and are able to make it safely to your car to do so.
We’re always here to chat with you about ways to keep your roof, home, business, and family warm & safe this winter, but be sure to also check out our other “winter safety” blog posts:
While we’re South Shore MA roofers who specialize in safety related to your residential roof or commercial roof, we want to do all we can to keep our New England neighbors safe on a variety of home and business fronts, regardless of the season! So, we’re sharing another in a series of posts related to home and business safety.
During the months of winter, how many times have you listened to the news and learned of a family that was made deathly ill, or that even perished, from Carbon Monoxide (CO) Poisoning? We always think such a thing could never happen to us, but that’s only true if we take the necessary precautions to keep our homes and businesses CO-safe, particularly during the months of winter when CO Poisoning impacts the largest number of individuals.
Why are CO-related deaths and emergency room visits so high in December, January, February and March? Due to extremely cold temperatures and/or power outages, more people use gas-powered furnaces and well as use inside their homes or offices alternative heating sources that weren’t meant to be used inside or in an enclosed space –- sources like charcoal grills or propane stoves and grills.
So, before snow starts accumulating and icicles start forming, and as you make preparations for the holidays and associated celebrations and visitors, add these to your to-do list:
- Buy a battery-powered or battery back-up CO detector if you don’t already have one – one for every level of your home – and set them up there.
- Unless you’ve had one in the last nine months, schedule a check-up with a qualified technician for your heating system, water heater, and other gas, oil, or coal burning appliances.
Once and while snow is in the air, on the ground, and on your roof, be sure to adhere to the following on an ongoing basis:
- Keep vents and flues free, i.e., unblocked – whether it be from any kind of debris, snow or ice. This means furnace vents, intake valves and chimneys should be kept snow-free.
- Related to what we shared at the beginning of our blog post, never burn anything in a stove or fireplace that is not vented.
- Even when bitter cold or power outages hit, never use a hibachi, charcoal grill, lantern, or portable camping stove inside a home, tent, or camper. If it’s too cold to stay in your home, go to emergency shelters or centers set up by your town, such as a school.
- Never heat your home with a gas stove.
And, regardless of the time of year, make sure you follow these CO Poisoning Prevention Guidelines:
- Never run the motor in your car, truck, or other vehicle in an enclosed or partially enclosed space, such as a garage.
- Never run a motor vehicle, generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine less than 20 feet from an open window, door, or vent – you don’t want exhaust to vent into an enclosed area.
- The same guideline above for the same machinery/vehicles/tools above apply to a basement, garage, or other enclosed structure. Keeping the doors or windows open may not be enough to prevent CO poisoning. So don’t risk operating the aforementioned in these spots.
- Recognize these symptoms of CO poisoning, including dizziness, light-headed-ness, and nausea.
- Any time you suspect CO poisoning, or your CO detector sounds, leave your house or business, and call 911 or a health care professional right away.
Remember Carbon Monoxide Is An Odorless and Colorless Gas, So When In Doubt, Have Your Home or Business Checked Out! And, Be Sure to Read About What You Can Do on the Ice Dam Prevention and Ice Dam Removal Fronts to Keep Your Family Safe This Winter!