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2017 Michigan Allergy Season – Your Pollen Survival Guide

The 2017 Michigan allergy season is in full swing, and after the mild winter Michiganders just saw, the tree pollen is out a lot earlier than normal and it’s bringing with it a fierce and early start to the allergy season. According to Fox 17, Dr. Nicholas Hartog, an Allergist/Immunologist at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, says he usually gets a surge in patients at the end of March. But this year, that surge came two to three weeks early. “And one of the big symptoms with trees that we find is a lot of ocular symptoms, or red, itchy eyes. Watery eyes,” says Hartog. “That really tends to be a tree predominant symptom that we see. In addition we get people with a lot of sneezing, cough, stuffy nose, runny nose, headaches, trouble sleeping, and other symptoms like that.” Dr. Hartog says over the counter medications can help ease allergy symptoms for many people. [...]

By | May 25th, 2017|Categories: Healthy Living Tips|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Proper Home Ventilation to Prevent Mold Growth

There are a lot of misconceptions about mold and how it grows. Unfortunately, those myths can lead to additional problems in the home when you don’t take action. One of the greatest myths is that mold only grows on organic surfaces like fabric, paper and wood. Mold will grow on any surface – even flat, smooth surfaces like glass. Even steel is susceptible to mold. That means that no area of your home is really safe. As long as there are spores present, which are always in the air, and there’s particulate matter and moisture, then mold can grow. If mold spores are always present, then how do you control it? Through proper ventilation. […]

By | April 25th, 2017|Categories: Mold|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Water Heater

If you’re frequently running into issues with your hot water, you may want to consider if it’s time to replace the water heater in your home – or at least do some necessary maintenance and repairs. Regular maintenance can help extend the life of the water heater, and it costs very little to repair and maintain them. You don’t wait to wait for complete failure, because a busted water heater can often lead to a significant flood. Many a homeowner has woken to find their hot water tank continuously dumping gallons of water into their basement or water closet. Unfortunately, if you’re not looking for the signs, you likely have no idea that your water heater is about to fail save for a few obvious ones. Avoid disruption and costly water damage to your home by looking for these signs that it’s time to replace your water heater. […]

How to Detect Water Damage Around Your Home

In Michigan, we have the benefit of an abundant of fresh water. Not only are we surrounded by the Great Lakes, our state has a massive number of inland lakes. That’s great for activity, but not so great when it comes to moisture. Factor in the wet season and weather common in Michigan, and you’ve got a recipe for regular high humidity that can created a lot of problems with mold and water damage. Problems with drainage and standing water around the home, leaking windows, roof, and other places where water can penetrate like your foundation can lead to costly water damage. Follow this simple guide to spot key signs of water damage around your home. […]

By | April 4th, 2017|Categories: Water Damage|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Common Causes of Mold Growth in Homes (and how to easily prevent it)

Mold growth can be a tricky thing to deal with, requiring professional mold remediation once it has taken hold. It’s not something you should ever try to manage on your own, and given the negative health impact on you and your family, mold growth should never be ignored. How Mold Growth Impacts Your Health Mold growth in damp environments may cause a variety of health effects, or none at all. Some people are sensitive to molds. For these people, molds can cause nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing or wheezing, eye irritation, or, in some cases, skin irritation. People with mold allergies may have more severe reactions. Immune-compromised people and people with chronic lung illnesses, such as obstructive lung disease, may get serious infections in their lungs when they are exposed to mold. These people should stay away from areas that are likely to have mold, such as compost piles, cut grass, and wooded areas. […]

By | March 29th, 2017|Categories: Mold|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Home Fire Inspection Checklist – Fire Safety and Prevention for Michigan Homeowners

Even a minor fire in your home can lead to costly fire damage restoration, and has the potential to seriously harm a member of your family. The majority of fire deaths happen within the home, often because residents were unable to escape. In 2016, FEMA reported 88 total home fire fatalities in Michigan, with 28 fatalities so far in 2017. You can greatly increase your chances of survival and faster emergency response by making sure your home, and family, are fully prepared. […]

What to Look For When Buying a New Home in Metro-Detroit

There’s a lot of history in southeast Michigan, especially around Metro-Detroit. There are neighborhoods that go back decades or longer, with stunning and beautiful homes.  It’s easy to fall in love with some of those older homes when they’re in a neighborhood you love, in a school system you're happy to send your kids through, with booming business and a reputation for great arts and entertainment... Who wouldn’t want to turn down an older Victorian home that is overflowing with character, especially if you can get it for a steal in Oakland or Washtenaw county? Unfortunately, those beautiful homes can hide deep, dark secrets that show themselves only after you’ve bought your home. For first time homebuyers, it can be frustrating to think you got the home of your dreams only to discover ugly flaws. If you’re buying a home in southeast Michigan, here are some things to look for to avoid surprises. Check the [...]

By | March 14th, 2017|Categories: Healthy Living Tips|0 Comments

How to Thaw Frozen Water Pipes

Michigan homeowners know the temperature can plummet out of nowhere, leading to heavy snow squalls and the potential for frozen or ruptured pipes. Here are some tips to keep your pipes from freezing and bursting in future winters. Most homes are designed with interior pipes that aren’t subjected to the cold weather outside. But when heat sources fail, or temperatures fall in your home for some reason, your pipes can freeze pretty fast. This is especially true of mobile or manufactured homes where water lines can become exposed beneath the home, within the crawlspace, and freeze. Why Water Pipes Burst When Frozen Have you ever placed a drink in the freezer to rapidly cool it and forget about the bottle? If you come back later, you’ll find the frozen drink in a swollen bottle. You may have even found the inside of your freezer covered in frozen beverage after the top blew off. Frozen pipes [...]

Simple Tips for Maintaining a Wood-Burning Fireplace

Stay warmer, and safer, every winter season with these simple tips for maintaining your wood-burning fireplace. When winter takes hold in Michigan, and the cold winds are blowing in across the lakes, there are few things better than curling up inside by the glow of a wood fire in a fireplace. What better way to sit and enjoy the winter than from the comfort a fire? It’s safe to enjoy it as long as you’re maintaining your fireplace regularly. Without the right maintenance, a wood burning fireplace can be a potential source for a house fire – and fire damage is difficult to recover from. Embers popping from your fire are one hazard, but creosote build-up within your chimney is another hazard you need to attend to. Likewise, if smoke is rolling into your home instead of going up the chimney, that can create another hazard. […]