Candles might seem quite harmless and innocuous, and we use them all the time for a variety of reasons, but did you know that they can be a big problem for most homeowners?
According to some reports, nearly one billion pounds of wax are used every year to make candles, all sold to homeowners just like you. Besides traditional candles, there are other uses for those waxy substances.
Thinking of that huge number of waxes being used, you can imagine some of them could cause issues with the safety of your household.
No matter the use you have for candles and their place in your home, here are some tips to make sure all is safe in your household.
Remember, a candle is an open flame, which means that it can easily ignite anything that can burn. And if this happens to you, don’t think you are alone. The flickering and warming effect of a burning candle is something most can’t ignore.
FEMA reports that some 15,000 candle fires every year are preventable, with half of them igniting substances close to the ignition source.
What you can do
Remember the burning candles should never be left unattended. That’s the most dangerous part of using a candle, that you leave it for a moment and it then causes a home fire.
Never leave a candle unattended. And keep them aware from anything else that can burn.
Make sure the candle you use can’t tip over or catch other substances on fire.
And, of course, make sure your children and pets aren’t within reach of your burning candles.
Don’t forget that no matter how safe you try to be, that nothing replaces a proper alarm. Make sure your smoke and fire alarms are in good working condition.
No matter how careful you are, it’s always best to get expert advice. Do the right thing and protect your family and friends. Call your professional restoration company for advice. After all, it pays to call a pro!
Your appliances all play a vital role in the household, and especially more so during winter and the holiday season. With family, friends, and others close to you all gathering together and enjoying both festivities and home-cooked meals, your appliances can take a beating that requires regular attention and the occasional dreaded “deep cleaning” chore.
From the toaster to the coffee pot to the stovetop and deep inside the oven, you may have noticed grease build-up that a simple wiping off doesn’t handle efficiently.
Add to all of this the fact that hot cooking grease at certain temperatures becomes airborne and lands on allsurfaces in the kitchen. The amount of greasy soils that can accumulate can be tenacious if you don’t stay in front of it.
So — what’s yourgame plan?
What your need is a degreasing product, something that breaks down congealed grease on the surfaces of appliances, countertops, everywhere.
While you can purchase products from your favorite store, you can also make your own. If you take ¼ cup of dish detergent, add in 1-2 ounces of ammonia, and mix it all with 16 ounces of hot water, and for a bonus add a scoop of baking soda, you have an excellent tool to fight grease.
Now it is time to go to work. Get your cleaning solution ready and start scrubbing. Let the product do the work. If needed, wet out the areas of concern and allow the solution to do its job. Keep wiping, keep soaking up the grease, don’t spare those paper towels!
A better idea
While everyone wants to do is simply buy a miracle ingredient from their grocery store and just get the job done. While that might work, it’s not always the best option. It takes much more to keep your home grease and soil free and healthier for your family.
Do the right thing
When in doubt, think about the experts you can use. Let them handle your toughest cleaning challenges, especially those that involve grease, appliances, and what you care about most – your home! After all, it pays to call a pro!
Evidence of Water Damage
When something fails, such as a high-pressure fresh water source to your toilet… or perhaps a leaky drain pipe underneath the kitchen sink… no matter what it may be, you usually know what to do.
You know the drill… clean it up, get it dry, and call a professional water damage restoration company to ensure all is good and there is no possibleway mold can grow. You want peace of mind, and this is the way to get it.
However, sometimes you just don’t know when things happen, when things leak or when water intrusion occurs — because it can be slowly invasive and build up over time.
There are several steps to determining if you have an actual water damage situation and when you mustcall a pro — and when you can do it yourself. Remember, you can’t be too cautious with the well-being of your loved ones.
The nose knows
Damp and wet areas affected by water intrusion demonstrate themselves after a day or two with a very easy to detect odor. It will just smell wet, musty, and unhealthy. If you detect anything like that, it’s time to do some serious investigating. You may not actually see the water intrusion, but no doubt it is probably there.
You can often see swelling materials, such as the particle board under a sink, providing evidence of water intrusion. When things buckle, even if you notice it after the surface has dried, there is potential of subsequent water damage, because if it leaked once… it will again!
You can usually see this in the ceilings and areas around water sources. Sometimes it is around windows. If you detect water marks (think of a carpet under a water fountain in a building) then you need to put your investigative hat on and figure out if it is a big deal or not — and most likely, it will be a bigdeal.
The evidence of water damage can be easy to see, and sometimes it hides and continues to affect surfaces and your health until it becomes a serious issue. If you have any water damage issues or questions, do the right thing. Call your favorite water damage professional company today. After all, it pays to call a pro!
The Nooks and Crannies
Your home has plenty of areas for dirt and grime to hide. Locating them may seem easy. Cleaning them effectively is something else.
Most homeowners spend plenty of time sweeping, vacuuming, scrubbing, and cleaning areas that are obviously soiled and become soiled daily. There are areas that can really get gross in a short amount of time.
Your bathroom “work stations” — also known as vanity cabinets — are prime locations for soil buildup.
Let’s spend some time on how to tackle the chore of cleaning the bathroom vanity. One area of the home easy to ignore. After all, who looks in there besides the person searching out some face cream or hand lotion, among other items?
The buildup of residues can wreak havoc over time. Think of hairspray that you use daily and that ends up on the top of the cabinet. It may be easy to clean when fresh but give it 10 or more applications and you have a “goo” that’s not giving up its tenacious hold on the counter. This isn’t to even mention toothpaste and other necessary items that get smeared on the same surface.
Take some time each day — perhaps just a minute or so — to quickly wipe up any residues that land on the surface.
Then, take some time each week — perhaps just five minutes or so — to open up any cabinet doors or mirrors that house storage behind them, remove all objects, and use a household cleaning solution to wipe down all surfaces. After a week, you will still be amazed at how much residue has built up in there. Imagine what could happen after a few months!
And once a month, give your entire bathroom a close scrutiny and look for all those nooks and crannies that can be the host of soil. This could be behind the toilet, in the corners of shower stalls, where the soap resides on the bathtub edge. All these areas could use a good scrubbing each month, if not more frequently.
And all this is besides the typical routine cleaning you no doubt give all your bathrooms.
But when you need some realhelp, from your favorite cleaning service, do the right thing. Give them a call today. After all, it pays to call a pro!
Getting Ready for Weather
For many across the country — and the world — changes in weather patterns, especially from warmer weather to colder weather, means preparing the home for the inevitable intrusion of wind, rain, and more.
What does that involve? One would be weatherproofing, which means you are proactive in protecting your home from suffering from damage. Even a small freezing-cold draft entering a home and affecting a pipe can freeze it and cause it to burst, resulting in a water damage situation.
Here are some easy time-saving tips to ensure you not only save money on your gas or electric bill but also minimize the risk of damage to your home in very cold weather.
This means start looking for openings — any openings — in your home that can allow air or water intrusion.
For air intrusion, check around doors and windows, and this is pretty easy if you just hold a facial tissue up around potential cracks and crevices. If there is any type of air leak, the tissue move and show that.
For possible water intrusion, look for water stains in basements, around windows, any place that seems possible for water to enter your home. Plug any openings you find with quality materials.
Filters and vents
You want the maximum efficiency from your furnace system so change all filters on a regular basis, usually monthly.
Now might be a good time for a professional inspection of your duct work and having the ducts cleaned, if they are soiled.
Replace old weatherproofing
All your doors and windows should have weatherproofing material. With time and weather factors, these weatherproofing strips can and will age and become brittle and fail.
Purchase quality replacement weatherproofing materials and replace them if you notice they are not providing an air-tight seal. It’s not a bad idea to replace them every few years no matter how they appear.
Prevent to protect
With a thorough inspection and a little work on your home, you can prevent issues from arising during cold weather. Spend the time to do it right.
However, if something bad does occur — it happens! — and you suffer from any type of damage to your home, do the right thing and get professional help right away. Call your favorite restoration company. After all, it pays to call a pro!
The Basics of Vacuuming
If you have carpet or rugs, you have a vacuum cleaner. A vacuum is absolutely necessary to keep your valuable carpet and rugs clean of particulate or dry soil.
While vacuuming may seem like a basic housekeeping chore and simple to do, the biggest challenge is getting out the vacuum and actually putting it to use.
How often you vacuum depends on the size of your family, and this includes pets. As a general rule, you should vacuum the main areas in your home, such as the living room, hallways, and other high traffic areas, one time each week per occupant.
For example, if you have four people and one dog in your family, vacuum five times per week, in those high traffic areas. For low-trafficked areas, once per week should suffice. This might seem extensive and perhaps unnecessary, but it keeps your carpet and rugs virtually free of dry soil buildup.
How to vacuum
You might be thinking, “You just plug it in and push it across the floor.” Which is basically what you do. The problem is how fast you move and how much overlapping you cover when running the vacuum.
While you may push the vacuum forward fast, slow down when you pull it towards you. This way the beater bar, if your vacuum has one, has a chance to work loose the soils. Also, overlap several inches from side to side so you have complete coverage of the floor.
Choosing the best vacuum
Quality matters when choosing a good vacuum cleaner. The cheaper ones at department stores may work fine for a while, but they quickly lose efficiency and often break down. Look at the reviews of any vacuum cleaner you are contemplating and spend a few more dollars on a superior model. Your carpet and rugs will be better off in the long run.
Choosing a vacuum with a beater bar is smart. Especially with thick pile carpet, it helps remove more dry soil. Some choose vacuum cleaners with a bagless option. If you use a vacuum cleaner with a bag, change it out when about half full, for maximum efficiency. Purchase plenty of replacement bags and have them on hand for this purpose.
Get with the pros
Cleaning companies, especially those who specialize in carpet and rug cleaning, can help you choose a quality vacuum. Get their input. After all, it pays to call a pro!
When Insurance Fails
Devastating pipe breaks, failing sump pumps, a smoky kitchen fire, the roof leaking from damage from high winds… no one wants to deal with anyof that.
But it does happen, and when it does, you probably do what is natural – you pick up the phone and call your insurance company, most likely your insurance agent, who may direct you to anyone from a central call center to handle your claim, an insurance adjuster, or perhaps to a local disaster restoration contractor they know.
And then the fun begins.
You aren’t sure yet if you have coverage, because the insurance company is dragging its feet. The adjuster isn’t able to come out for a few days, something you can’t believe. You worry, fret, and wonder if the damage to your home will be covered, and if you will have to pay for some (or all?) of the damage. You know you have to cover the deductible, and that’snot cheap.
The work begins. Everyone is in a hurry because if the damage isn’t fixed right away, other issues will surface. The restoration contractor does what he is trained to do, and the work progresses nicely, and eventually all is well again at home.
A few days late, the adjuster shows up. And he delivers a devastating blow. While you have coverage, the cost to repair the damage is more than the insurance company feels is fair, so they will only pay a percentageof the costs. The rest? You have to pay for that yourself.
What can you do?
One thing is to get another opinion. Hiring an independent insurance adjuster to review the job, all the paperwork, and your insurance policy might shed light on the issue and give you more info you need.
Depending on the new information you receive, you can revisit the issue with your insurance company. Taking this information to the insurance adjuster who you are battling with probably won’t do much good. It’s time to go over his head, as the saying goes.
If the difference between the costs of repairs and the offer from the insurance company is high enough, you can also consider a claim to the state entity (such as the insurance commissioner) that has authority and power to help. Many claim to be subject to bad business practices. You might be advised to hire an attorney, all which will cost you more.
The good news is if you hire the very bestdisaster restoration company, they have the experience to help you deal with all of this. After all, it pays to call a pro!
The Battle Against Garbage Can Odors
There’s nothing too exciting about garbage cans, except how you feel if you pull a full trash bag out and it bursts and spews all kinds of undesirables all over the kitchen floor.
If you have garbage, such as limp lettuce, fermenting flounder, greasy goat cheese, and much more, you will have odors from it.
Odors naturally occur from bacteria, which is what grows quickly on organic material. And then you have mold adding to the issue. All this fermenting in a dark, damp playground known as your garbage can.
Even if you have a secure trash can lid, the odors have a mind of their own and an evil intent to escape.
There are several things you can do to limit the effect of garbage can odors.
Take out the trash
It may seem simplistic, but most of us wait too long to take out the trash. A smell garbage can inside is terrible – the one outside waiting to be hauled away isn’t much better, but at least it is outside. Make it a practice to take out the trash before the bag is full.
Use quality scented bags
By quality, we mean bags that have a thicker mil rating, as they won’t break as easy. Yes, they cost more and use more plastic. Look at keeping the mil for your trash bag at 2 or above. The scented bags really do a great job hiding, not removing, odors. They mask bad odors and give you more time between taking out the trash before you start to notice odors.
Use baking soda
Baking soda is a typical household fixture. By sprinkling baking soda in the bottom of your garbage can and even in the bag, it helps to limit the odors caused by bacteria. It does this by absorbing odors instead of them being released into the air you breathe.
Give it a hosing
Like all things, garbage cans need to be cleaned. You might say, “I use bags!” but that doesn’t matter. Odors build up no matter what you do, and a good cleaning with baking soda or other cleaning products, and hosing or rinsing out the can, will help keep lingering odors at bay.
And like all things, quality cleaning of the surfaces in your home are better performed by the pros. Do the right thing, call your favorite cleaning company when you need help. After all, it pays to call a pro!