Congratulations to Celia Gehm of Deerfield who won 2 free hours of Handyman service for jointing our mailing list at the Ravinia Festival customer appreciation event on Saturday.
Did you know that RGC gives away free services every month to members of our mailing list? Sign up below for your chance to win!
Did you know that your cloths dryer is one of the more dangerous appliances in your home? It's true! According to the CPSC approximately 15,000 fires a year are cloths dryer fires and result in an average of 10 serious injuries and 10 deaths per year.
You might have been told that your fabric softener sheets that make your clothes so soft create a waxy build-up on your lint filter which stops the air from flowing through, creating an over load on the dryer's heating element. This claim is dubious at best. An expert from Consumer Reports when asked about the possibility of fires caused by fabric softener buildup said, "it's highly doubtful that any such invisible buildup alone leads to heating-unit build up or a fire."
The real culprit in dryer fires is typical a buildup of lint caused by improper venting and vent maintenance. Here are some tips to help prevent clothes dryer fires.
- Use solid metallic dryer ducts. Both vinyl and foil are combustible and spiraled surfaces tend to catch more lint.
- Dryer ducts should ALWAYS vent outside, never into an attic or crawlspace.
- Do not kink or crush the dryer duct.
- Keep the length of the dryer duct as short as possible and keep the duct straight, avoiding bends.
- Don't use screws to connect dryers ducts to each other, screw shafts inside the ducts will collect lint.
- Clean your dryer duct on a gegular basis.
RGC offers dryer vent cleaning as part of it's Maintenance-Free Living Program to homeowners in Northbrook, Deerfield, Highland Park, Glenview, Wilmette, Winnetka and the rest of the North Shore.
1. Use Healthy Eco-Friendly Cleaners
Many common household products contain toxins that could be affecting your family's health. Buying natural safe cleaning products will help eliminate any risk of unnecessary toxins in your home.
2. Curb Paper Towel and Napkin Use
2.5 million tons of paper towels fill up landfills annually. A great solution is to buy a set of cloth rags, bar towels and fabric napkins to wash and reuse. It may be an added expense up front, but it will pay off in the end.
3. Replace Antibacterial Hand Soaps
Studies have shown that antibacterial soaps are no more effective than simple soap and water. Antibacterial soaps can lead to stronger strains of bacteria that become resistant to antibiotics.
4. Plastic--- Just Say No!
The Wall Street Journal reported that Americans go through 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually and making these bags requires an estimated 12 million barrels of oil. To reduce plastic bag consumption, use alternative options such as; reuseable bags, paper bags, or even, no bag at all!
5. Replace the Sponge!
Sponges are bacteria incubators. Although a sponge seems like a great cleaning tool, it may not be the healthiest solution. Replace your sponge with dish rags!
6. Create a Recycling and Compost System
If you don't recycle, the best way to get into the habit is to set up a simple system. Get a second trash can for inside your home and put it next to the trash can and label it "Recycling". If you are ready to take it a step further, composting is a great way to turn your waste into soil like material that can be used in your lawn and garden.
7. Replace Nonstick Cookware
Nonstick cookware releases toxins when over high heat, has a short life-span (nonstick coating usually wears out in a year or two) and the nonstick coating can scratch off into food. Healthy alternatives include stainless steel, cast iron, copper and glass.
8. Buy In Bulk
Buying in bulk means less packaging and fewer trips to the store. You'll also benefit from financial savings!
9. Update Kitchen Lighting
Kitchen lights are some of the most frequently used lights in the home. Energy efficient lights may be a high upfront cost but they use 75% less energy, generate 70% less heat and last up to 10 times longer. RGC can replace your tungston lights with compact florecent lights or LCD lights as part of our Maintence Free Living program.
10. Buy ENERGY STAR Appliances
If you are in the market for new appliances, choose one that has been proved more energy efficient. Many old appliances use a lot of unnecessary energy.
Did you know that unreimbursed casualty losses from natural disasters can be a tax deductible for both residential and commercial properties? They can, and that deduction could cover the amount of the loss that insurance didn’t.
The IRS defines a natural disaster to include any sudden, unexpected, or unusual event such as a flood, hurricane, tornado, fire, earthquake or even a volcanic reaction. Deductions are generally available for the amount of losses relating to homes, household items, vehicles, businesses and a variety of other casualty losses following a natural disaster not covered by insurance. There are additional benefits and assistance available to those in a Presidentially- declared disaster, but you don’t have to be in an official disaster area to be able to deduct.
Speak to your professional tax adviser to find out if you qualify.
The IRS also offers a number of resources to help people take advantage of deductions and tax assistance offered to victims of natural disasters:
The IRS Disaster Relief Site lists all the resources available for individuals and businesses.
There are workbooks for individuals and businesses designed to help figure and report losses.
In addition, for those living in Presidentially-declared disaster areas, the IRS has a page for finding information on any special assistance and tax relief that may be available.
RGC first response crews were on the job less than 60 minutes after receiving the call from the owner of a commercial building at 3218 Glenview Rd in Glenview Illinois. The structure fire caused extensive interior damage from heavy fire and smoke conditions.
According to Ryan Weitzman, co-owner of RGC, there are some critical “first steps” that RGC response teams make a priority when responding to this type of large lose and foremost is to start educating the property owners on what needs to be done and what they should expect going forward.
- Setting up an onsite command post to provide accurate and timely arrangement of personnel, equipment and communications.
- Fence off and secure the area.
- Address all life safety issues
- Document all the damage.
“Only after these initial steps are taken can we start to address the remediation and eventual rebuild of the structure” says Scott Weitzman, co-owner of RGC. “It’s a lot more complicated than most people think, our goal is to minimize this costly interruption to these business, but taking short cuts will only make things worse in the long term.
RGC, a Northbrook, IL based company, offers the North Shore and Chicago Area a full line of expert fire damage restoration services, including immediate board-up, temporary fencing, smoke and odor elimination, water removal and structural dehumidification and drying.