Categories Home Maintenance, Air Conditioner, Carpentry, Electrical, Flooring, Plumbing, Recycling

Investing in Peace of Mind for Your Home

In today’s busy world, few people have the time to spare for adequate preventive home maintenance or regular inspection of homes and household equipment and appliances. Where previous generations relied on Do It Yourself (DIY) for household improvements or for fixing things around the house, modern life often means that there just isn’t time. Besides in many cases, people would understandably spend their precious free time enjoying their family and friends rather than on home maintenance.

Recognizing this, Imdaad, the regional leader in facilities management, has leveraged over 30 years of experience in the sector to create HomePro – its dedicated division for home maintenance, repair, and support services for households.

HomePro benefits from Imdaad’s experience across diverse industries and is uniquely qualified to treat your home with the same uncompromising commitment to service excellence that has seen the group entrusted by some of the Emirate’s biggest names.

 

HomePro Services

Modern households, whether small apartments for singles living alone or large villas housing extended families are increasingly complex structures requiring care and attention across multiple aspects. Starting with infrastructure: Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) ducts and machinery require regular maintenance to operate efficiently. They also need regular service to ensure that they are pest-free, clean, and hygienic. Regular maintenance and inspection also prevent breakdowns and extend the life of your equipment. However, should your air conditioning unit break down for any reason, HomePro provides the peace of mind that comes from a 24/7 service to conduct emergency repairs and call-outs.

Home infrastructure care from HomePro also extends to plumbing, electrical systems, and water tanks. Services cover scheduled inspections, preventive maintenance, regular servicing, and cleaning, as well as emergency repair as needed. HomePro staff is equipped with the right materials and tools for the jobs at hand so you don’t have to worry about having the right resources available.

In addition, pest control, painting (both indoor and outdoor), renovation, and remodeling works are also provided by expert staff that is qualified and fully trained to provide efficient and reliable service. Furthermore, all staff entering your home are subject to background verification.

For homes with gardens or pools, HomePro provides comprehensive landscaping, pool cleaning, and outdoor maintenance services. From mowing your lawn to maintaining a pristine garden, HomePro’s expert staff works around your schedule to provide you with impeccable service.

Summary of Services

  • Inspection, cleaning, maintenance, and repair of air conditioning and ventilation systems, electrical, plumbing, drainage, and water tanks.
  • Handyman, maintenance, and repair household equipment.
  • Painting, window cleaning, and garage doors service and repair.
  • Renovation and refurbishment work.
  • Landscaping and gardening services.
  • Pool cleaning and maintenance.
  • Pest control.

The HomePro Advantage

To deliver peace of mind for homeowners, HomePro provides a one-stop service across all home maintenance needs. All services are available on a pay-as-you-go basis or through a regular maintenance contract. Whether you prefer preventive or reactive service, agreements are customized to suit your needs, and annual contracts are offered to give homeowners extra peace of mind.

 

Imdaad Group’s Commitment

Imdaad is the Middle East’s leading Integrated Facility Management Company. It is a founding member of the Middle East Facilities Management Association (MEFMA) and employs a multicultural workforce of over 6,000 skilled workers from 37 countries.

The Imdaad group launched its HomePro Maintenance Services in 2009 as a dedicated service division to maintain and support residential homes in the UAE with home repair, maintenance, and support services. HomePro employs a comprehensive team of reliable home maintenance experts. Our team is available 24/7 to take care of your home, so you can free your time to focus on the more important things in your life.

To make an inquiry, or to discuss the service option that best suits your needs, please contact us at: info@homeprouae.ae.

Categories Electrical, Home Maintenance, Plumbing

Home Maintenance Tips

Residents of Dubai, and the UAE in general, are likely to face certain maintenance issues more frequently than others. This is generally consistent with patterns seen in other countries, however there are some that are more specific to the regional climate and environment.

Frequent issues include air conditioners leaking or not cooling, clogged drains, and burst water pipes. Thankfully, the impact and occurrence of these issues can be reduced by taking certain precautions and conducting regular preventive maintenance.

Below are examples of the most common problems and the actions that you can take to prevent them. You can also refer to our handy home maintenance checklist to make sure that nothing has been missed.

Air Conditioner Issues

Frequent issues with air conditioners include leaks or units not cooling properly. Both can be prevented by regular checkups on condensation hoses as well as periodical cleaning and replacing of filters. Keeping your thermostat set to 24 degrees is another measure to help maintain the durability of your air conditioning system as well as reducing electricity consumption.

Water Heater Problems

Common water heater problems are leaks and lack of hot water. The primary cause of leaks is loose valves or pipes. This can be easily prevented by a quick check and can also be fixed fairly easily. A lack of hot water is often caused by a triggered circuit breaker which is easy to fix, or faulty electricals which can be prevented through periodic maintenance. However, it should be noted that a faulty thermostat can also cause the opposite issue, namely water being too hot. This can have serious consequences as overheating water can cause a build-up of pressure within the tank, causing it to burst!

Another issue that can have consequences if not handled regularly is the buildup of sediment in the tank, which will affect the efficiency of your water heater and reduce its useful life. The solution for this is regularly draining and flushing the water heater tank. However, if you notice hot water coming out a little muddy or rusty then this is a strong indication that an issue is on the horizon and you should turn off your heater and call in a professional as soon as possible.

Blocked Drains

The main cause for clogged drains in the kitchen is usually fats and oils, whilst in the bathroom hair is the biggest culprit. To combat this, avoid pouring oils into the drains, and if you accidentally do so ensure that you follow it with hot water and dishwashing liquid. Furthermore, add strainers to your bathtub drain to capture and remove hair following showers. Try to avoid using drain clearing acids as they can cause permanent damage to your plumbing.

Water Pipe Problems

Burst water pipes are another common maintenance issue facing households in Dubai. Burst pipes are often caused by rust, corrosion, or excessive water pressure. It can be down to the material used in those pipes, the quality of the installation, weather conditions or the surrounding environment. This sort of problems can be prevented through periodic checks on the quality and state of the pipes and the joints and the proactive replacement of parts that have been weakened.

Electrical Faults

Electrical faults can be extremely dangerous and if ignored they can even cause fires. This is most likely to happen when devices with frayed cords are used. By exposing the wires, you run the risk of heat being transferred to flammable items such as carpets and curtains. However, it is also good practice to have mains power sockets checked as faults with these can also cause similar issues. Telltale signs of potential issues are being able to insert plugs into an outlet too easily, plugs falling out of their own accord and intermittent power supply from that socket.

Circuit breakers regularly being tripped are also an indication of underlying faults. This may be a case of overloading the circuit, short circuits or ground fault surges (where a live and neutral wire touch). Ignoring these underlying issues can be dangerous and it should be remembered that circuit breakers themselves can wear out leaving you and your family with unnecessary risk exposure.

Other signs to look for are burning smells, sparks or flickering lights. All of these could be due to electrical issues and you should call a professional in to take a look.

Jammed Doors and Windows

Jammed doors can be a major hindrance in the UAE due to the high humidity levels. This causes wooden doors to absorb moisture and expand. Professional carpenters should be able to assist with this by trimming down doors so that they fit again.

Another reason for jammed doors is loose hinges or joints. This is an even easier fix as it usually just requires tightening of screws.

However, it is important to get these issues checked out as there is also the possibility of foundation settlement problems, where there is structural movement that can have serious consequences. This is often evidenced by external cracks appearing as well, although not all cracks indicate foundational issues.

Pest Infestations

Handling of chemicals and other methods of pest management are specialist subjects that require professional training. It is essential to make sure that you use a Municipality approved operator as there have been many instances of unsafe products being used by unregulated companies, leading to health issues for residents.

The best preventative measures concern themselves with eliminating sources of nourishment and shelter for pests. This means wiping down sticky surfaces, regularly disposing of garbage, storing food in airtight containers, avoiding having stagnant or standing water at home and of course monitoring any pets that live with you. However, it is also recommended to schedule pest control once a quarter rather than waiting for an infestation to spread and then reacting.

Categories Electrical, Home Maintenance, Recycling, Sustainability

Living Sustainably at Home

Sustainability starts at home. This is simple but true in more ways than one. We can all make a real impact with a few simple adjustments and minimal inconvenience. Moreover, the example we set at home shapes our children’s attitude towards the planet and its finite resources. Here are some key areas where we can make a difference from inside our own residences:

Get serious about water

Many people equate sustainability with changing our energy consumption habits. But being truly sustainable requires a holistic approach, so you’ll need to get serious about saving water. A good first step is fixing leaks. After that, there are plenty of lifestyle changes you can make to save water. For example, you avoiding running the tap continuously brushing your teeth or shave. It’s also a good idea to install a low-flow shower-head – these have been shown to save over 100,000 litres of water annually for a family of four.

Install a smart meter

Smart meters in Dubai are primarily used to control and measure usage of water and electricity. They allow you to see where consumption is occurring and at what time, enabling you to understand where you can make changes. Moreover, you can also use smart meters to set automatic rules such as turning water heaters off during peak times.

Smart meters are a must for anyone looking to reduce their carbon footprint and decrease their energy bills.

Energy efficient light bulbs

One of the most effective changes we can make is investing in the right lightbulbs. Efficient LED bulbs are excellent alternatives to older, incandescent and CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp) bulbs. Energy efficient light bulbs have been around for a long time, but it really has taken a significant amount of time for many people to come around to the idea. Ultimately, though, it really makes a lot of sense to make the switch. Not only do energy efficient bulbs use less electricity, they also last longer, which means you don’t have to spend as much money replacing them.

Install solar panels

Solar panels are an essential feature for any eco-friendly villa. Providing you with clean electricity, they also offer a cost saving over a period of time. It should be noted that solar panels are a long-term investment, with an upfront cost that may take up to 20 years to recoup. However, there is a strong trend towards homes with solar panels and installing them may increase the demand for, and therefore value of, your property. This trend is evidenced by the creation of Dubai Sustainability City, where all homes are built incorporating solar panels.

In reality, using Solar energy should not just be seen as a cost saving exercise, it is also an opportunity to contribute to a more sustainable planet.

Embrace natural cleaning products

Using harmful chemicals to clean is very bad for the environment. When they are washed away, they end up in the water supply. A large amount of energy is then required to convert this waste water into water that can be reused. But the good news is that in most cases you really don’t need to use such harsh products. For most day-to-day cleaning tasks, natural products like vinegar, citric acid from citrus fruits, tea tree oil and bicarbonate of soda can be used to great effect.

Insulate

Air Conditioning units are one of the largest energy drains in Dubai homes. Given that external temperatures can hit over 50 degrees in summer, it is clear that air conditioning units are essential. However, you can minimise this drain without sacrificing comfort by making sure that your home is well insulated.

Adequately insulating helps maintain the room temperature without overworking your AC. There are plenty of places that can and should be insulated including within the walls and in the roof. Windows with double glazing are a good place to start. Also, consider covering any exposed hardwood floors in southwest area rugs. Area rugs are a cost-effective and stylish way to help insulate your home and prevent air from slipping out through the cracks in your floors.

Create your own compost

Don’t waste your kitchen scraps and leftover food – turn them into compost. You would be surprised how much of the food that you currently throw away can be recycled and turned into compost. Simply place a compost bin in your garden and fill it with any food waste.

Buy recycled

It’s a good idea to try to buy recycled products whenever you can. This can include everything from toilet tissue to kitchen roll. Whenever you notice that there is a recycled option available to buy, it’s worth purchasing it. Not only can you buy recycled paper, but you can also buy recycled technology like mobiles, gaming consoles etc.

Cook intelligently

There are several simple sustainability hacks in the kitchen. One important example is avoiding opening oven door during cooking unless absolutely necessary. Even if the oven is only open for a short time it will then need to use a significant amount of energy heating back up.

Another big problem is the coffee pods waste. They could be contributing to a global environmental disaster, with billions of aluminium and plastic capsules ending up in landfills each year. Preparing your coffee with a conventional drip coffee maker is a better option.

Categories Air Conditioner, Home Maintenance

The Causes and Consequences of Mold at Home

Mold is a type of fungus that can cause damage to organic matter in homes as well as having negative effects on human health. Therefore it is vital that residents are able to recognise the signs of mold as well as taking some simple steps to prevent its growth, which we outline in this article.

Mold reproduces by releasing spores, which are spread through air, water and via other organisms such as pets. These spores are fairly prevalent in homes and some people are sensitive to them even when weakly concentrated, however it is when they find suitable environments to develop into areas of mold that risk levels rise.

The Causes of Mold and How to Prevent It

Mold thrives on moisture. The primary cause of moisture is leaks and humidity, with the latter being a huge factor in Dubai, especially during the summer.

Air conditioning units in particular can be a great source of moisture for mold. This can happen due to a leak or even due to condensation on the evaporator coil. This issue is exacerbated by the fact that the spores from this mold are then blown across your home by the AC.

The best way to prevent this situation is to regularly clean your unit and check for leaks. Moreover, remember that leaving your air conditioner off can also cause humidity levels to rise, which itself leads to mold.

It is not just Air Conditioners that are lead to excess moisture. Given the humid climate in Dubai and the differences in temperature between outdoors and indoors, it is also important to make sure that gaps around windows and other entry or exit points are sealed. This extends to avoiding leaving front doors open in villas, as the cold air meeting the warm humid air from outside will certainly cause condensation.

As a rule of thumb, anything over 60% relative humidity is a risk. At this level, condensation isn’t even a requirement, as mold spores can actually draw moisture directly from air which is that humid. To monitor this, you can easily find a cheap hygrometer online and any dehumidifier should have this measurement built in.

As well as humidity, mold also thrives on warm temperatures. Needless to say, this is hard to avoid given the UAE climate, however as mentioned above, leaving your air conditioner off for long periods of time is an additional risk.

Other ways to prevent mold are good ventilation and depriving it of a food source. Encouraging good ventilation is another reason why you shouldn’t leave your AC off for long periods of time (such as holidays). By circulating air, you prevent moisture from gathering and don’t give mold the chance to settle.

Mold feeds off organic material such as wood and wallpaper. Another culprit is cardboard boxes, especially if they are allowed to get damp or wet. These are like magnets to mold spores and can lead to real issues. Aside from wood and paper, mold can also use dead skin cells as a food source and natural fibers like cotton or linen. Therefore, by regularly vacuuming and cleaning surfaces with disinfectants, you can certainly help prevent mold from proliferating.

Signs You May Have Mold Growth in Your Home

There are some telltale signs that you may have mold present in your home. Here is what you should look out for:

Allergy Symptoms –   If you start to experience allergy symptoms like sneezing, itchy eyes, and nasal congestion or if these symptoms suddenly worsen, it could be that there is mold growing in your home that you are unable to see.

Musty Odor – Mold smells musty, similar to decomposing leaves. You may have smelt mold on food that has been left out and gone bad – the smell of mold growing in your home is similar.

Water Damage or Leaks – As mentioned above, mold thrives on moisture and leaks are a key source of this moisture. If you notice new water stains on ceilings or walls then you could have a leak.

Condensation on Windows and Metal Surfaces – Another primary source of moisture and therefore an indicator of that your home is at risk of developing mold growth. You may notice windows and mirrors fogging up or moisture gathering on metal surfaces due to high levels of humidity.

The Different types of Mold

There are many different types of mold and they affect humans and other organic matter in differing ways. Some molds contain mycotoxins, which can lead to the most harmful and even life threatening issues. However there are other molds that are particularly bad for people who have allergies or respiratory conditions such as asthma and more still that are dangerous for those who have weaker immune systems.

Black mold is probably the recognizable type of mold and is particularly toxic. There are different types of black mold, however the most common is Stachybotrys and contains mycotoxins. Stachybotrys is often hidden in gaps where there is poor circulation and has a strong musty smell with a slightly slimy texture (not that you should touch it!)

You may have also seen a powdery, white mold. This is often Geotrichum and it spreads quickly. It tends to affect the lungs and to cause allergies that come with symptoms such as itchy eyes.

If you have had recently had a leak in your home, then you may have invited in Aureobasidium, which thrives on water damaged areas. It starts off as pink, brown or black and matures into a darker brown colour.

These are just a few examples and are for illustrative purposes. Other common indoor molds include Alaternaria, Aspergillus, Cladosporium, Penicillium and Trichoderma. If you do suspect mold then you should call in experts immediately and avoid direct contact with your skin.

The Consequences of Mold

Mold can have a negative impact on both buildings and human health. When left untreated, mold can quickly rot away at wooden structures and drywall, causing structural damage.

Human exposure to mold spores usually comes via inhalation. In small quantities, this is not usually an issue for most people. However, some people are more sensitive to mold than others, particularly allergy sufferers and the effects of mold also depend on the type of mold, how potent it is and the duration of exposure.

In fact, sensitivity to mold and conditions associated with mold can increase after prolonged exposure. Studies have shown that it can cause allergies, asthma and other respiratory issues to develop, particularly in young children. Sensitivity to mold spores can also present itself as skin irritation and headaches. These conditions tend to be caused by allergenic molds.

Toxic and Pathogenic molds on the other hand, can cause more severe conditions such as lung scarring or bleeding, neurological issues, digestive issues caused by damage to the intestinal lining and heart issues.

That is not to say that these are common effects and taking care to avoid creating conditions for growth of mold and calling in experts when you see or suspect mold is usually sufficient to reduce risks both to your health and home.

How to Remove Mold

Whilst DIY Mold remediation is possible in some cases, it is strongly advised to call in experts to handle this. In particular, it is important to avoid direct contact with mold.

During the process of mold remediation, experts will usually cut out damaged drywall or wood and then professionally disinfect and clean surrounding areas, whilst wearing protective gear such as masks and gloves.

You should also expect mold remediation experts to cover the area with plastic sheeting. This is to limit the dispersion of mold spores into other parts of your home and you should insist on this. Likewise, it is important that they use HEPA air scrubbers and vacuums. This helps to clean air that is full of mold spores and safely replace it with clean air.

Do not be alarmed by the use of strong products. Professional cleaners will use antimicrobial chemicals to remove mold residue and stains and will usually seal the area to avoid moisture build up in future. However, it is advised that pregnant women and young children are removed from the area to avoid unnecessary exposure to these chemicals.

What is most important is to make sure that you call experts with experience of mold remediation as this is a specialist area that needs to be dealt with by professionals.

Air Conditioning and Mold Growth

Air Conditioning is an integral part of life in Dubai. However, when not maintained correctly, air conditioners can be a catalyst for mold growth. Here are some AC facts and tips to bear in mind:

Your AC as a Dehumidifier

A properly working air conditioner also works as a dehumidifier for your home. It pulls excess moisture from the air and drains it externally.

Another way your air conditioner can fail to dehumidify your home is when it has a lack of refrigerant due to a leak. The evaporator coil can freeze over and your home will not cool down as it should. Unwanted moisture will remain inside as the airflow over the coil slows or ceases.

Air Conditioner Installation

Improper installation of your AC unit or ductwork might be the cause of problems with humidity and indoor moisture control.

The Importance of Regular Maintenance

Prevent mold and mildew damage before it starts by keeping your AC unit professionally maintained. This means scheduling preventative maintenance with your HVAC company every year to ensure that your air conditioner is running smoothly and efficiently.

Maintenance includes inspecting, cleaning, and lubricating your system as well as recharging refrigerant to the proper levels. This will also prevent blocked drainage tubes, something that can cause mold growth when not noticed and quickly fixed.

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