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Making the Most of the COVID-19 Quarantine: Easy Home Updates

In this time when we’re all spending more time than ever in our homes due to the COVID-19 quarantine, you may be looking for constructive ways to use your time. What better then tackling small projects to improve your home?

We recommend starting with that to-do list. You know the one… the list of home-related things that simply never quite get done. While our homes are smarter than ever thanks to the internet of things and those products bringing lots of peace of mind into your everyday life, like the LeakSmart water leak detection and protection system, there are still things that we must do ourselves to maintain our homes.

In part one of this two-part series, we are offering 14 things on our list that may be all too familiar to you. Consider ticking off one per day. It will help these next two weeks of quarantine go quicker. Each blog features seven tips each.

Daily Project Check List

1. Clean your washing machine

Mold grows in wet conditions. You may have noticed that your machine has a cleaning light. If it’s blinking, that means it’s time to clean. Check the instructions that came with your machine for the best way to clean. Your machine may have a special cleaning cycle. If not, the Good Housekeeping Institute recommends adding 1/2 cup of liquid chlorine bleach to the dispenser and run a normal cycle with hot water (or follow what the manual says). Or you can use a specialty cleaner, like Affresh or Tide Washing Machine Cleaner.
While you can also use vinegar, it may not be strong enough for a thorough clean.

2. Check for leaks under kitchen and bathroom sinks

Many water leaks start here. A slow drip can develop into a bigger leak, so tighten those fittings. While you are down there, declutter those cabinets.

3. Check smoke alarms

If you didn’t do it with the last time change, do it now. A simple battery change will help ensure your safety.

4. Change your furnace filter

You should be changing the average filter every 3-4 months. If you cannot see through the filter, that means it’s time for a change.

5. Make easy updates for your home

Switch out your cabinet handles or paint that room you’ve been meaning to freshen. You can order online without ever stepping foot in a store.

6. Clean your vents

When was the last time you took off the vent covers throughout your home and gave them a thorough cleaning? Gunk and dust collect on the vent covers. Plop them in your sink filled with warm sudsy water for a good soak before wiping them off and screwing them back on.

7. Switch up your outdoor planters

Spring is almost here. Nothing screams warmer weather than plants. If you haven’t already, pull out the holiday decorations and spruce tips. If you are unable to go to the nursery to get spring plants, prep your planter and beds as you wait. You can even get a jump start on that garden you’ve always been talking about planting.

Look for Part Two of our Making the Most of the COVID-19 Quarantine: Easy Home Updates.

Also, check out related blog posts about how smart homes deliver peace of mind and a leak detection and protection system that’s a “Snap” to install yourself.

Not Out of the (Frozen) Woods Yet

For much of the United States, March means the beginning of spring. However, for others, especially the upper Midwest and East Coast, March is still the dead of winter. After all, the average temperature still hovers around the freezing point and that means your home’s pipes could still be at risk of freezing.

If your water pipes freeze they could burst. And that leads to potential water damage inside your walls and throughout your home. If you happen to live in a sunny location part of the year, you may not even be home to notice the catastrophic water damage. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety says a burst pipe can cause more than $5,000 in water damage.

Heed the Warning Signs

Those water pipes that run along exterior walls in your home are especially at risk. Not only do they get more of the outside air, but they may not be appropriately insulated. Frost on the outside of a pipe is a tell-tale sign. Another warning sign that you may have a pipe problem is a when no water comes out of your faucet when you turn it on.

Quick Leak Protection

Don’t wait until you have a leak to take action. Hopefully you already winterized your home this season and made sure you drained water from the pipes that are likely to freeze, disconnected outside hoses, while keeping your garage doors closed, opening your faucets to drip cold water (especially when it’s really cold outside), keeping your thermostat at 55 degrees or above throughout the day, and sealing all doors, windows and wall cracks.

But if you want to ensure peace of mind, consider Protect by LeakSmart with Flow. This leak detection and protection system has a water flow meter that monitors water usage. The meter detects an increase or a decrease in water flow which could mean you have a leak.

Within 5 seconds of a LeakSmart Water Sensor detecting a leak, the smart home water valve automatically shuts off the water and you instantly receive a notice on your smart phone via the LeakSMart app.  Because LeakSmart integrates with industry-leading platforms Google Assistant, Alexa and Control4, you can receive the alert from multiple locations. This comprehensive approach makes LeakSmart the most complete water security solution available.

So, don’t let down your guard just because you can start to feel spring in the air. Contact your plumbing contractor and ask about installing Protect by LeakSmart with Flow.

Protect by LeakSmart with Flow Product Family Shot

Smart Home Water Protection

Introducing Protect by LeakSmart® with Flow

Water damage and flooding can be a nightmare for homeowners; how do you protect your home from water damage before it starts? LeakSmart’s mission is to protect every home and family from catastrophic water damage; we are always striving to create new, innovative products that deliver on that promise. So we are proud to announce the world’s most intelligent leak and flood protection system, Protect by LeakSmart®with Flow.

Protect by LeakSmart is a true 24/7 leak protection system—it monitors and controls your water activity, empowers you to prevent water damage before it happens, and protects your property and belongings, even if you are not at home.

Leak Detective At Your Service
A typical flow meter does what it says: it monitors water flow. In contrast, LeakSmart has sensors that “find” leaks, which mainly come from appliances (think washing machines, water heaters, toilets, dishwashers and faucets) and appliance connector malfunctions. When a LeakSmart sensor identifies a leak, your valve will automatically shut off the water in 5 seconds, and you will be instantly notified on your smart phone. This quick shut off provides peace of mind that your home is protected from catastrophic water damage.

Power Outage From a Storm? LeakSmart Still Protects
Another critical difference between other flow meters and LeakSmart: our new leak protection system operates off a proprietary smart home protocol with battery back up, so it works and protects your home even when the power and Wi-Fi are down. Other flow meters need power or internet to work. LeakSmart easily integrates with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Control4.

Watch Your Water Efficiency
Protect By LeakSmart® with flow offers another valuable benefit: water analytics. With our system controlling and managing your water flow, your home water use will be more efficient and affordable. You’ll have data about your daily, weekly and monthly water usage, and can make adjustments as necessary.

We Guarantee A Home Without Water Damage
Our newest product stands out from other flow meters on the market. While competitors offer one or two-year contractor warranties, LeakSmart provides a five-year manufacturer’s warranty when installed by a professional. LeakSmart also offers general liability insurance up to $1,000,000 if the LeakSmart system fails after installation. We also pride ourselves on providing industry-leading support for our customers, with tech support, customer service or sales guidance whenever you need it. We stand by our product and will guide you through any questions or concerns you may have.

So how do you get this innovative new system for your home? Simply contact your plumbing contractor and ask about Protect by LeakSmart® with Flow.

LeakSmart Blog Don't Give Mold A Home

Don’t Give Mold A Home

Along with crisp fall days and leaves starting to turn, September is designated National Mold Awareness Month by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Particularly after the rainy and humid summer season that many households have experienced, it’s an ideal time to make sure your home is mold-controlled.

Part of Our World
Mold is a simple organism that thrives in a wet environment, and it ‘s very common in buildings and homes. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), mold growth can start to grow on a damp surface within 24 to 48 hours, especially around leaks in roofs, windows or where there has been flooding. Mold reproduces by spores traveling through the air, and destroying organic matter that it feeds on. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that mold will also grow on many types of materials in your household, such as fabric, upholstery, ceiling tiles, wood products, insulation, drywall and carpet. This can cause damage in your home along with mild to severe health problems, like respiratory issues, cough, eye and skin irritations.

Making Mold Uncomfortable
The EPA notes that there is no way to get rid of all mold and mold spores in your home—the key is to control moisture so the mold stays at bay. Moisture and condensation are culprits that can be lurking in your basement, shower, or kitchen. Here are some simple tips to minimize moisture:
 Reducing indoor humidity is rule number one. Keep it no higher than 50 percent by venting bathrooms and dryers, using your air conditioning and dehumidifiers, and turning on exhaust fans when cooking and cleaning.
 Prevent condensation by adding insulation in your home.
 Fix any leaks so the mold does not have a hospitable environment to grow.
 Clean and dry your house quickly after any flooding.
 Avoid carpet in rooms that have a lot of moisture, like basements and bathrooms.

Suspicious Spores
If you find mold growth by sight or musty smell, the CDC recommends that you remove it immediately with a cleaning product, soap and water or a bleach solution. Be sure to wear gloves, a mask and eye protection, and keep the area well ventilated. Scrub the mold off hard surfaces and let it dry completely. If you find mold on ceiling tiles or carpet, you may have to discard it. Finally, the EPA cautions that you should clean up mold before painting or caulking.

Stop Mold Before It Starts
For extra peace of mind, you also can ask your plumbing contractor to install a LeakSmart system—it will not only monitor for leaks and shut water off automatically if a leak is detected, but also remotely controls your water supply from your smart phone. That way, you can be confident that an unexpected leak will not lead to a mold problem.