Should I Close My Retractable Awning During Rain, Storms, & Strong Winds?

closing a retractable awning to protect it from strong wind heavy rain or a snow storm in massachusetts on the south shore near new england hearth and home where they professional install awnings for porch patio or deck

A retractable awning is a great addition to any home. They are a perfect addition to your deck, porch, or patio and help you enjoy your outdoor spaces even in the hotter summer months. By providing shade while you are outside, you can enjoy lunchtime picnics outside. However, a common question that homeowners have is whether or not they need to retract their awnings before a storm or strong winds. The simple answer is you should avoid having a retractable awning open during any high winds. Similar to umbrellas, awnings have a large amount of surface area making them similar to a kite. High winds can push on that surface area until either the material rips or the entire awning frame begins to buckle and warp. In this article, we will discuss different types of weather and whether or not you need to close your retractable awning. 

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Do I Need To Close My Awning for Rain or Hail?

Rain is a common reason to close your awning. Rain can create water damage not just to the awning material but to the mechanisms. Retractable awnings often have an electrical component, so keeping the awning out during a rainstorm could put these components at risk. Similarly, hail is dangerous as not only does hail potentially cause water damage, but it also leads to impact damage. 

Do I Need To Close My Awning During Strong Winds?

Yes, as we mentioned above, winds can cause some serious problems for a retractable awning. Whenever there are high wind advisories in your area, it is usually smart to remove umbrellas, store furniture indoors (or at least tie it down), and close your retractable awning to prevent the wind from causing damage. Not only can wind hit an awning and cause it to break, but it can also pick up debris like branches that then rip the awning. 

Do I Need To Close My Awning for Snow?

Snow is another weather condition to be aware of. Snow can pile up and has many potential damage factors. The weight of snow can cause the awning frame to bend and buckle. The cold can damage electrical components. And the snow melt can cause water damage. So, if there is a blizzard, you should keep your awning closed. In fact, most people keep their awnings closed throughout the winter since they aren’t likely worried about needing shade during the winter months. 

Contact New England Hearth & Home for Awning Installation in Canton, MA & Across the South Shore of Massachusetts

At New England Hearth & Home, we provide professional retractable awning installations and replacements to homeowners across Canton, MA, and on the South Shore of Massachusetts. As a certified Summer Space servicer, we have the experience and expertise to protect your outdoor living space with the perfect awning solution for your home. We install awnings on all-size decks, patios, wrap-around porches, and more to fit your specific needs. Our awnings also come with automatic options for easy closing and opening. To learn more and schedule an appointment with our team, call 781-562-0771 or submit an online service request!

Top 5 Tips to Reduce & Control Outdoor Fire Pit Smoke

outdoor fire pit in backyard and control smoke using tips for reducing bellows

Installing an outdoor fire pit in your backyard is a great way to add warmth and ambiance to your outdoor living space. They not only create a gathering spot for your friends and family, but they also provide a cozy atmosphere for chilly evenings. However, one common problem that many fire pit owners struggle with is excessive smoke. As the fire builds, the smoke can become overwhelming and uncomfortable for those sitting nearby. By using the right type of wood, routinely cleaning your fire pit, and checking for damage, you can significantly reduce and control outdoor fire pit smoke. In this blog, we will discuss the best tips for minimizing smoke and getting the most out of our backyard fire pit. To learn more about their benefits and how to keep them under control, contact New England Hearth & Home in Canton, Massachusetts.

outdoor fire pit burning in backyard with smoke being reduced and controlled

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Dangers of Excessive Fire Pit Smoke

While fire pits can be a great addition to your backyard, excessive smoke can be dangerous for both your health and the environment. The smoke emitted from burning wood contains pollutants that can get into your lungs and cause respiratory issues. Over time, exposure to large amounts of smoke can lead to serious health concerns. The smoke produced by fire pits can also contribute to air pollution and impact the air quality in your area. By taking precautions to control your fire’s smoke can prevent these harmful effects and ensure a safe experience with every use.

Best Methods for Controlling Fire Pit Smoke

As mentioned, by using the right type of wood, regularly cleaning your fire pit, and other simple techniques, you can significantly reduce and control the smoke from your fire pit. Some of the best methods include:

Choosing the Right Type of Wood

The wood you burn has a significant impact on the amount of smoke produced. Hardwoods, such as oak, hickory, and maple, are the best choices for fire pits because they burn cleaner and produce less smoke. Seasoned wood, which is specifically cured for burning, can also produce less smoke compared to less efficient logs. Avoid using softwoods, like pine and cedar, as they burn unevenly and let off more pollution.

Regular Maintenance

Regularly cleaning out your fire pit can prevent the buildup of ash and debris, which can contribute to excess smoke. Make sure to remove any leftover ashes before starting a new fire. Additionally, clean out any debris or leaves from around the perimeter of your fire pit to ensure air can flow freely.

Check for Any Damage Before Each Use

If your fire pit has cracks or damage, it can affect how it burns and potentially produce more smoke. Before starting a fire, always check for any signs of damage and make necessary repairs before use. If you notice any severe risks, contact a professional to find out if a replacement is needed.

Place Your Fire Pit in a Location Without Wind

Wind can cause the smoke from your fire pit to pick up and spread, making it harder to control. The oxygen in the wind can also cause your fire to burn hotter and produce more smoke. To avoid this, consider placing your fire pit in a location with minimal wind or use a wind guard to block any gusts. Some of the best options for a wind-free location include an enclosed patio or a backyard with tall trees blocking the wind.

Use a Fire Pit Cover

A fire pit cover can help control the amount of oxygen that reaches the fire, leading to a more controlled burn and less smoke. When choosing a cover, make sure to find one that can withstand high temperatures and properly fit the size and shape of your fire pit. For professional help finding the right cover, contact New England Hearth & Home.

Schedule a Professional Outdoor Fire Pit Replacement or Installation with New England Hearth & Home in Southeast Massachusetts

If you constantly struggle with controlling the smoke from your outdoor fire pit, replacing or installing a new one can sometimes be an encompassing solution. At New England Hearth & Home, we offer professional outdoor fire pit services, including installation and replacement across the Southeast of Massachusetts. Based in Canton, our showroom is home to a wide selection of high-quality fire pits and tables made to make your outdoor living space more comfortable and enjoyable. To learn more about our services and schedule a consultation, call us at 781-562-0771 or submit an online service request!

How Much Do Awnings Provide UV Sun Protection for Skin?

awnings installed on home in massachusetts to block sun harmful uv rays and prevent skin exposure and damage

Installing an awning onto your porch, deck, or patio can enhance the overall appearance of your outdoor space and provide much-needed shade and protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Depending on the type and material of your awning, it can block a significant amount of UV radiation, making your time spent outdoors more enjoyable and safer for your skin. In this blog, we will discuss the benefits of installing an awning for your home and how they can prevent UV exposure.

To learn more about how to get started on protecting your skin with an awning in Southeast Massachusetts, contact New England Heath & Home for professional services.

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Dangers of UV Exposure

Although sitting outside is a relaxing and enjoyable time, it can also be a hidden danger to your skin. In Massachusetts, summers are hot and sunny, perfect for outdoor activities and backyard barbecues. While grilling on your deck or reading a book on your patio, you are unknowingly putting your skin at risk by exposing it to UV rays. These UV rays are invisible to the naked eye and can cause serious skin damage, including sunburns, premature aging, and even skin cancer. It is important to take precautions and protect your skin using multiple methods, such as wearing sunscreen and staying in the shade.

Top Benefits of Installing an Awning On a Deck, Porch, or Patio in Massachusetts

As mentioned, installing an awning on your porch, deck, or patio can provide many benefits for both you and your home. Some of the top benefits of installing an awning include:

Adding Personal Style to Your Home

awnings installed on home in massachusetts to block sun harmful uv rays and prevent skin exposure and damage

Awnings are available in a variety of colors, patterns, shapes, and sizes. This allows you to find one that matches your style and complements your home’s exterior features.

Increase Property Value

Not only do awnings enhance the appearance of your home, but they can also increase its overall value. When you decide to list your home on the market, potential buyers will be looking for added features that make the property more efficient and comfortable. Awnings provide both of these benefits and can help make a quicker sale.

Energy Efficient

Awnings provide shade and protection from the sun’s heat, which can significantly reduce energy costs. By blocking direct sunlight from entering your home, you can add an extra layer of insulation and keep your home cooler during the hot summer months. As a result, you will not need to run the air conditioning as high or for as long.

Awnings Can Block Up to 98% of Harmful Ultraviolet Rays

One of the top benefits of installing an awning is the protection it provides against harmful ultraviolet rays. They can cover anywhere from a portion of your deck up to the entire space, depending on the size you install. By using the full coverage, you can block up to 98% of UV rays, keeping your skin and your home safe from sun damage. This amount can vary depending on the material it is made of, but any amount of protection combined with sunscreen can greatly reduce the exposure.

awnings on home to prevent sun damage and exposure

Schedule a Professional Awning Installation or Replacement with New England Hearth & Home Based in Canton, Massachusetts

For homeowners living in Canton and the Southeast of Massachusetts, New England Hearth & Home provides professional awning installation and replacement services. We carry Summer Space awnings and screen systems, which are designed to provide comfort, style, and protection all year long. Our team of professionals can help select the perfect awning that fits your home and budget and provide durable installation to make it last for years to come. To learn more and schedule your appointment before the Summer, call us at 781-562-0771 or submit an online service request!

What to Do If Your Fireplace Gets Flooded

muddy fireplace doors from flooded hearth creating soot and ash build up

If your home has recently suffered a flood and your fireplace has filled with water, it can be a stressful and challenging situation to navigate. When water enters your hearth, it can cause damage to the structure and potentially lead to mold growth. It is important to try to drain as much of it as you can as soon as possible. To empty your fireplace of water and prevent further damage, it is important to have the right tools on hand and to call an expert for professional repairs. In this blog, we will discuss the best equipment to use and the steps to take when dealing with a flooded fireplace.

muddy fireplace doors from flooded hearth creating soot and ash build up

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Flooded Fireplaces Can Grow Mold, Lead to Air Pollution, & Lead to Further Home Damage

Floods can be devastating to a home, especially when it affects fireplaces. As water fills your mantle, any leftover ash can quickly turn into a thick sludge. This mixture can cause smells and air pollution that can lead to mold growth if it is not cleaned up quickly and properly. Mold can develop in as little as 24 hours after exposure to moisture, so it is important to start draining your fireplace as soon as possible. Additionally, the longer water sits in your fireplace, the more likely it is to damage the structure and potentially create a bigger problem for you and your home.

Tools Needed to Drain a Fireplace Filled with Flood Water

Using the right tools is essential when draining a flooded fireplace. Some of the best equipment to use are:

Wet/Dry Vacuum

Wet/dry vacuums are designed to handle both dry and wet materials, making them the perfect tool for removing water from your fireplace. Most models include a hose that can be attached to reach into tighter spaces, making it easier to remove water from hard-to-reach areas within your hearth. Remember to empty the vacuum tank regularly to prevent it from becoming too heavy and difficult to move.

Dehumidifier

After removing the majority of the water with a wet/dry vacuum, it is important to use a dehumidifier to help dry out the remaining moisture. This will prevent mold growth and further damage to your fireplace. Place the dehumidifier near the fireplace and allow it to run for several hours or even days, depending on how much water is present.

How to Quickly Dry a Flooded Fireplace

After removing the water with a wet/dry vacuum and using a dehumidifier, the next step is to completely dry your fireplace. Using towels or a mop, soak up any remaining water and wipe down all surfaces. Make sure to thoroughly dry the interior of your fireplace as well, including the flue and chimney. Commercial fans or portable heaters can also be used to help speed up the drying process as long as they are not placed too close. Continue to monitor the fireplace for any signs of moisture and repeat the drying process if necessary.

Contact a Fireplace Professional to Repair Any Flood Damage

In the case that your fireplace has suffered damage due to the water build-up, it is best to contact a professional to properly assess and repair the damage. An expert in gas, electric, or wood-burning fireplaces will be able to fully inspect each part to ensure it is functioning correctly and safely. If any safety hazards are found, they will be able to order the exact parts and perform the repairs. It is important not to attempt any repairs yourself, as this can be dangerous and may result in further damage.

Submit a Service Request for a Fireplace Repair Consultation in the South Shore Region of Massachusetts

Floods can be unpredictable and cause significant damage to your home, including your fireplace. If you live in the South Shore region of Massachusetts and have experienced flooding, New England Hearth & Home is here to help. Our team of trained professionals specializes in fireplace repairs for all models, making us a trusted choice for all of your fireplace needs. We also provide hearth replacements if the damage is beyond repair. To learn more about our services and schedule a free consultation, call us at 781-562-0771 or submit an online service request!