Mold in Unlikely Places
Many people have a fear of mold and what it can do to your health, especially if you have sensitivities or allergies to mold spores.
When you think of mold growth and contamination in your home, you assume it would apply to dark, damp basements and what can occur after a pipe breaks or other water damage situation. And you would be right, most of the time.
But there are other issues that can come up that involve mold, and it doesn’t have to be in a dark basement or after a water damage event. If you have moisture, a food source, and especially dark conditions, mold can grow.
As scary as it may sound, it’s true. Mold can grow on and even inside your mattress. As you sleep, you perspire, and that moisture can be all that mold needs to start to grow. While you can clean visible mold from the surface of your mattress, it is very difficult to get clean what is inside the mattress. A professional cleaning company may be able to help. But prevention is what you should concentrate on, and an appropriate mattress pad/cover will help.
Common areas that can experience mold growth are around the base of toilets, shower stalls or bathtubs, and under sinks, such as in cabinet areas. It’s no surprise when you spot some mold in those areas. However, mold can also grow on cleaning supplies that haven’t been used in a few days, and even on toothbrushes such as those left unused because of a trip away. Anything you use that involves moisture (brushes, scrub pads, buckets) and especially stored in a dark place, be sure to clean and dry them completely.
The kitchen is a mold playground, because of all the food sources combined with potential moisture. There are so many places mold can grow they can’t all be mentioned here, but obvious ones include inside and behind the refrigerator, under the sink, and in cabinets. Mold growth inside the refrigerator goes against logic that mold requires warmth – it is obviously not always true. Frequent inspections of dark areas where mold may grow unnoticed is important, such as under sinks and where there are pipes that can leak or simply have condensation on them.
If you do find mold, do the smart thing and call your favorite restoration company. After all, it pays to call a pro!
Cleaning Supplies Everyone Needs
Cleaning is an important part of our lives. It’s in our DNA to keep things as clean as possible, although some of us might be accused of allowing a bit of clutter at times.
What makes life easier is when we have the best cleaning and equipment supplies for the task at hand. You not only want to do the best cleaning you can but also keep productivity high and save time.
Cleaning high touch points
Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, the topic of cleaning and disinfecting high touch points was at the forefront. To do this, you need appropriate cleaning solutions partnered with an EPA-approved disinfectant, the ability to deliver the products to the surface, and a way to wipe or clean the surface. Purchase your products in spray bottles or put your products into quality spray bottles, but as always, follow directions from the manufacturer. If you transfer products, be sure to properly label everything so there is no confusing what is being used. Store all products out of the reach of children.
Quality cloths, such as from cotton or polyester microfibers, help pick up and remove soils and contaminants from high touch points.
Maintaining the floors
Make sure you have quality brooms and mops for cleaning your floors, along with a floor cleaning solution. The bristles of your brooms should be small in diameter and packed tightly, so debris doesn’t get left behind as you work. Flat mops can be used for sweeping as well; you have plenty of options. Investigate how modern mop heads have improved over traditional string mops. Purchase quality products, and yes… you will pay more, but it will be worth it.
Your vacuum cleaner should be high quality as well, with HEPA filtration abilities. Empty your vacuum after each use if you use a bagless cleaning unit or change your vacuum bag when ½ full or less. Change it if you ever notice a bad odor coming from the vacuum.
Odds and ends
A wide array of brushes, scrub pads, cleaning cloths, and cleaning solutions for all surfaces are what smart cleaning enthusiasts have at the ready. A spotting kit for your carpet and upholstery will come in handy.
Of course, the best thing is to call your favorite cleaning company to do it for you. After all, it pays to call a pro!
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!