Air Conditioner Overheating Prevention
While water damage in a home is a common issue many have faced, a fire in your home is probably the most devastating.
Statistics show that the leading cause of house fires is cooking, usually spawned by open flames on the stove and also high heat from the oven, usually when unsupervised. Many of you have cooked on a stovetop using some type of oil and in an instant, you have flames dancing above the pan. Those situations can quickly escalate into a major house fire.
Fires from appliances is also an issue, because of overheating, faulty power sources, and other issues.
One source of house fires that many don’t think about is from your air conditioning system. And this is the time of year, as summer heats things up, when it’s time to consider some safety precautions.
While a central air conditioning unit sits outside your home and rarely overheats, it can happen. What happens more frequently are overheating issues with what we call window units. If the properly sized unit is not used, such as a small AC unit trying to cool a large room, it can overheat as it struggles to keep up with the demand.
Many who use window units will run an extension cord to it if a wall outlet isn’t nearby. This is not recommended as that can cause overheating issues as the power load can heat the cord and cause it to melt and cause a fire.
A very common and easy-to-ignore issue are the condenser coils. They can become dirty and when that happens, they struggle to keep up with demand. The entire AC unit can overheat and be a possible cause of a fire. The same applies to any air filters being used — make sure they are clean and in good condition.
Your AC units should be installed according to the specifications of your home and the number/sizes of the rooms.
Lastly, having an annual inspection by a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning company will help ensure that all your air conditioning units are operating safely and effectively.
But if the absolute worst thing happens, and a fire is ignited, do the right thing. Don’t attempt cleaning up a fire and smoke damage situation yourself. Call your favorite disaster restoration company. After all, it pays to call a pro!
How to Remove Nail Polish
The job of nail polish is to go onto the appropriate surface (fingernails, toenails) and stick.
The problem is when nail polish gets onto unintended surfaces, especially on carpet, upholstery, or clothing. It can be nearly impossible to remove. Aggressive efforts on your part, rubbing or scrubbing, and using harsh chemicals can damage the surface while the nail polish still lingers.
Removing nail polish, while one of the toughest cleaning chores, can be made easier with these tips. Let’s assume the nail polish has dried, since very fresh nail polish is fairly easy to remove with a typical nail polish removal product and white disposable towels.
The right stuff
Obviously, nail polish remover is the best choice for a cleaning solution.
Using a non-acetone solvent product is safer for some fibers and less aggressive, but your results may be limited. Using an acetone-based fingernail polish remover will have more noticeable effect, but also will dry out your fingertips. This type of product will evaporate very quickly, so when using it realize the contact time must be limited.
You can also use other solvents to remove nail polish, and most professional cleaning companies have an arsenal at their disposal. You may be limited to what you can get at the grocery store. That being said, pure acetone is usually the best solvent choice for the impact it has on dried nail polish.
When applying your solvent, put it on a disposable white paper towel or cotton towel, and dab at the nail polish. You should see transfer to the towel. Keep at it, but don’t rub or scrub, and don’t spread the stain.
Do your research on the type of surface you are working on. Acetone will dissolve some fibers. It will also remove paint, furniture finish, and many other finishes.
After you have removed as much of the nail polish as possible, you will probably notice some remaining color. This is where you have to be careful about your next product. Using some regular household hydrogen peroxide is safe on most surfaces, but there are no guarantees. After all, if it removes color from nail polish, it can remove other colors as well.
But it is a last resort way to continue to work on the stain after other attempts.
The best choice
Your favorite cleaning company has removed many tough stains just like nail polish. If you want the very best results, do the right thing. Give them a call. After all, it pays to call a pro!
Battling Tobacco Product Odors
For those who use tobacco products, they may not notice the lingering odors that hang around in the air and stubbornly invade porous materials such as carpet, upholstery, fabrics and more.
But for non-smokers, those lingering odors are a nuisance, and many valuable hours have fruitlessly been spent on attempting to remove them. Smoke odors from cigarettes, cigars, and pipes are tough to remove because microscopic smoke odor particulates embed onto and into everything. Over time, these carcinogenic residues release odors.
These steps will help eliminate, and may totally eliminate, odors from tobacco products, depending on how much time and effort is spent on restoring surfaces back to pre-smoke condition.
Fresh air brought into a home or building naturally helps remove foul odors from the air. Keeping the furnace and A/C filter clean is important.
Thorough cleaning and washing of surfaces is an important process. If you can launder items, that will flush out residues. Using detergent helps the water you use for cleaning to penetrate surfaces, which means better cleaning.
Open containers of baking soda or charcoal are known to absorb malodors, so having them in your home will help. Be sure to refresh them by mixing or replacing every few days. There are professional grade absorption products you might obtain from a cleaning and restoration supply house.
After cleaning, applying a smoke-odor deodorizer will help destroy more odor-causing residues that you might have missed.
For surfaces that you can paint or seal, this will lock in odors from tobacco products. Painted walls will hold residues that cleaning may not penetrate deep enough to remove.
One complete and proven method for removing smoke odors from any source (once cleaned) is by using ozone. Ozone machines remove odors by chemically changing the structure of odor-causing molecules, oxidizing them and destroying them so no more odors are released.
Ozone can be dangerous if used in occupied spaces, so be sure to do your research and be completely safe if you choose to use this option to remove smoke odors.
Most ozone treatments are handled by professional restoration companies, although you can buy or rent small units.
While smoke odors from residues is tough to remove, your favorite cleaning and restoration company has professional solutions that really work. Ask them what they can do for you. After all, it pays to call a pro!
Wax Your Way to a Beautiful Floor
No matter how beautiful a surface in our home might be, the natural tendency is to improve it, especially when it comes to hard floors.
Hard flooring can be manufactured from many types of materials, from expensive natural stone to hard wood to synthetic blends, and more. You choose them based on your own tastes, your preferences, and no doubt by doing some research in what is best for your home.
One natural chore you may consider is actually an old term. You may want to “wax” your floor. Many years ago, natural wax was used, and it still may be used in some applications today. But the vast majority of products you would use to apply to and protect flooring is actually a synthetic floor “finish.” But for the information here, we’ll use the old term, “wax.”
Think before you wax
Not all flooring types need or require waxing. Some can even become damaged if you wax them, because of incompatibilities of substances. So do your research. Make sure that the flooring type you have installed in your home requires or can benefit from a coat of wax.
Tips for successful waxing
Before doing any type of waxing, it’s important to clean your floor completely and remove any old wax as well. A floor stripping product is required, follow directions completely, wear appropriate personal protective equipment (which may include gloves, face mask, etc), and be thorough in the process. Rinse all residues and dry the floor.
With your new floor wax product in hand, review the directions. Make sure you know all the steps to take because when you begin the process, it’s not easy to stop.
Use a new wax applicator or a new mop, applying the wax as directed, and work slowly and carefully to get an even application, spreading the product with your applicator or mop. Keep it manageable by working in sections and be careful not to work yourself into a corner. Allow the product to dry completely and apply second and third coats if the directions indicate additional applications.
Let a pro do it
As with many home projects, consulting a cleaning professional is a smart idea. And why not just let them do the job? You may avoid frustrating issues if you do. After all, it pays to call a pro!
When Bathrooms Flood
It happens, and not at the most opportune time. You push the flusher, and then it all happens. The toilet overflows. You panic, you might scream…that’s just one simple issue, and with bathrooms there are many issues….
A clogged toilet may overflow when flushed, or a water supply line leaks under a bathroom sink, or someone (possibly you) starts filling a bathtub and forgets—any of these can turn the water loose in the bathroom. Not a good scenario at all.
When this happens, it’s may seem it is all over, and you can’t fix what’s happening. However, there are some things you can do to fix some serious issues.
Control the flow
It may be a simple concept, yet when you can’t find the shut-off valve, panic can attack. Don’t delay – look for the shut off values now and be ready for what’s going to happen eventually.
Watch the electricity
Where there is water, and electricity, there is danger. Mark your power supply so you can find the breaker that turns off the power to your bathroom.
Start mopping or extracting
Standing water is not a good thing. While a fresh leak is one thing, if given time that water can start to seep into areas that can create costly damage. With the first inclination of water intrusion, start extracting.
Of course, the best thing is to call your favorite water damage restoration company. After all, it pays to call a pro!
The Smelly Mattress
Mattress cleaning, due simply to the bulk of what needs cleaned, is not an easy task. Yet it is one that must be done occasionally. There is nothing worse than putting your sleepy head into the mattress and be woken up.
Besides the typical use of a mattress, which to everyone who loves to sleep is very important, you still want to keep things healthy.
There are all types of issues with mattresses, from pet accidents, food and drink spills, dust mites, and more.
So here is what you want to do.
Strip the bed
It makes sense to strip the bed of linens and blankets. If you have a mattress pad, even better. Do this on a weekly basis, at minimum. Keeping a mattress pad on at all times is smart.
You must also consider the bulk of the material and do your cleaning accordingly. Sad to say, this may not be possible to do yourself, without much effort. One thing you can do is take the mattress outside and, on a nice day, allow the air to help refresh your mattress.
A natural disinfectant that not only make things healthier but that removes stains, peroxide is a great solution. It adds oxygen to the surface and removes not only stains but also odors.
Some say and claim that baking soda is a solution. The benefit of baking soda is it absorbs odors, much like what you experience with putting an open box of baking soda in your refrigerator.
Enzymes are great options that can help with stubborn stains, such as blood, urine, and more. They attack substances and remove not only spots and stains but also odors.
When in doubt, do the right thing. Call your professional cleaning company. After all, it pays to call a pro!
Restoring Damaged Ceiling Tiles
Most of our attention is on surfaces or items at eye level or lower, such as on tables, or the flooring in your home. But when your eyes go up, you might start to notice something frightful… damaged ceiling tiles, and causing you to think “Oh, no, it’s mold!”
It’s probably not. Most likely what you are seeing are damaged ceiling tiles from some type of water leak or moisture intrusion.
Ceiling tiles are usually made from plants, minerals, gypsum, clay, other natural materials, so are very absorbent and show stains easily. Some are made from synthetic products and might not have as many stains from water leaks or moisture intrusion.
Here are a few steps you can take to restore those damaged ceiling tiles. But remember that replacement might be a final option.
Take pictures of your ceiling first, just to avoid the frustration of fitting them back, especially if some tiles are of different sizes. Vacuum your tiles, removing as much dirt and debris you can, which will be concentrated on the topside of them.
You have to be careful now. Over wetting is an issue. In a typical spray bottle, use warm water and a few drops of dish detergent. Mist the tiles until they are damp and use white cloths to clean the surfaces. Use more detergent on heavier deposits of soil. Allow the tiles to dry.
Set the tiles out that still have stains. What you are going to do now is bleach away those stains. Don’t use chlorine bleach. Get some household hydrogen peroxide, easily found at a grocery store or pharmacy. Hydrogen peroxide is a safe bleach that will slowly remove stains. Mist the peroxide, using it straight (no dilution) over the stained areas of the tiles, and with a soft brush, work the solution into the tiles. The remaining stains often disappear in a few hours. If you see some progress, repeat the process.
Besides replacement, painting your tiles is an option, but you may lose some acoustical ability, since some tiles are designed to absorb sound. It’s a decision you will have to make.
And, of course, for any restoration work, such as cleaning of items that are damaged by water intrusion, call your favorite restoration company. After all, it pays to call a pro!