House Fire and Firefighter

Mr. Handyman: Protecting Your Home From Fire and Flood

As a reminder to area homeowners, Mr. Handyman is offering two simple suggestions that most homeowners can manage themselves and that will greatly reduce the risk of damage to your homes, and maybe save you some money.

Dryers: If you have to run the dryer a second or even third time to get clothes fully dry, your dryer vents need cleaning. While most homeowners clean their lint traps between every load, dryer vents must also be cleaned regularly. It is recommended that dryer vents be cleaned every 1-3 years, depending on the frequency of dryer use and the distance from the back of the dryer to where the vent exits the home. Lint buildup in vents increases the risk of fire and reduces the efficiency of the dryer.

It's a fact: Thirteen thousand dryer fires start in laundry rooms in the U.S. each year, causing 10 deaths and $97 million in property damage. One-third of these fires arise from lint buildup. For more on the risk of dryer fires, watch this " Today" show video.

Besides reducing the risk of fire, clean vents allow for efficient drying. Savings estimates range from $.50 to $3.00 a load, depending on the size of the load, the energy efficiency of your dryer and the severity of obstruction in your vents. Reduced wear on the dryer will also extend its life.

Washing machines: Most washing machines come with a set of black rubber hoses for hot and cold water. These hoses are under constant pressure and will eventually fail.

It's a fact: Washing machine-related failures are a leading source of home water damage losses, costing an average of $5,308 per incident. Water supply hoses account for most failures. Most manufacturers recommend replacing hoses every 3-5 years.

At the first sign of cracking or dry rot, replace your hoses. Replacement hoses re-enforced with steel or nylon braiding are available and reasonably priced to further protect your home. When you leave home for vacation or extended travel, shut off the washing machine water supply to protect against rupture and flooding.

Home Maintenance Services from Mr. Handyman

For those people who can't remember the last time their dryer vents were cleaned and have never inspected their washing machine hoses, Mr. Handyman recommends immediate action. If you are unable or do not desire to take these projects on yourself, Mr. Handyman is fully prepared to handle these and any other home repair and maintenance tasks that require attention while we're in your home. If you have home improvement projects you are considering now or for the future, Mr. Handyman would also be happy to discuss these with you and offer you a free estimate while in your home. Although there are companies available that specialize in vent cleaning, they won't be able to assist you with other needs around your home. This makes Mr. Handyman your best value.

For those who aren't familiar with Mr. Handyman, we are your one-call solution for most home repair, improvement and maintenance needs. We provide a live answer to every call, offer scheduled appointment times, guarantee our work and clean up when we're done. Mr. Handyman is also a BBB Accredited Business. Our skilled, safe and reliable staff members have 15+ years of experience and are screened for drugs and criminal activity. Call today with questions or for more information.