Removing Hard Water Stains
Unsightly hard water stains can affect many surfaces and can be a challenge to remove.
Hard water stains are based on the mineral content of the water in a building or home. It all comes from the ground, so if mineral content is high in ground water, then mineral content in the water you use is going to be high.
Water softeners will solve this issue, but without a water softener system, you will occasionally deal with hard water stains and the challenges inherent with removing them.
Typical spot removers or household cleaners will not affect hard water stains, because they are mineral based. Here are some tips to remove them safely and enjoy a household free of hard water stains.
You will see hard water stains on sinks, around faucets, and even on textiles that are affected by a plain water spill. They are usually white but can be colored stains as well. If the stain is significant, you can even feel the texture of the stain. This means a bit more work may be involved removing the stain.
If the surface allows it (make sure you don’t scratch a hard surface and damage it) try scraping away the bulk of the hard water stain, if it has built up enough for you to do this.
For a cleaning agent, start safe and use plain white vinegar. Apply the vinegar to the surface and allow several minutes dwell time, remembering that vinegar can temporarily adversely affect copper surfaces. Scrub carefully and see if the vinegar is reacting with the hard water stain. This may remove most hard water stains.
If that doesn’t work, obtain a stronger acid, such as from your hardware store, that is for cleaning purposes. Wear safety gloves applicable for strong acid cleaners. Apply carefully and this should remove the hard water stain.
You can keep increasing the strength of the acid cleaner until the stain is removed, but always be careful with skin contact and vapors. Follow manufacturer directions.
As with any strong cleaning agent, neutralize after cleaning. This can be with a water rinse and drying with a towel. Very strong acid cleaners should be neutralized with a product for that specific purpose.
But when cleaning challenges are beyond your abilities, do the right thing. Call a professional cleaning company. After all, it pays to call a pro!
The Musty Basement
Fixing a musty basement is a chore that must be done quickly yet can be very frustrating. Trying to chase down a musty odor is not easy. It’s a restoration project that is crucial to you enjoying your home.
A smelly basement is notjust an odor problem; it usually indicates something more severe is going on. What you are smelling could be just damp materials, but it could also be mold growing, and the off-gassing of that process. This isn’t pleasant nor healthy.
There are several steps you, as a homeowner, can take to help fix this issue.
Doing some simple cleaning can accomplish quite a bit. Keeping things clean – and dry – is key to curbing the smells that can come from a basement. Take the time to inspect all the materials in your basement and take out and clean those that might be damp or have an odor. A little suspicion goes a long way.
Most likely, these items that could have odor issues are porous materials, such as clothing, bedding, and similar items. Have your carpet cleaned professionally, if there is carpet in the basement. Using a home carpet cleaning machine might actually do more damage than good. Hire a pro.
Look at the sources of potential musty odors. Windows that are drafty, walls the seep in water, anything that can create odors should be inspected and addressed. Remember that musty smells usually come from mold growth.
Although you may think that your basement is nice and dry, it might not be. The only way is to monitor the humidity level. You can do this with a hand-held device, the type your restoration pros use, but that may not be practical for you. Those devices can be very expensive.
Better yet is to set up a dehumidifier that has that information on it with its display. This way, you can run the dehumidifier as needed to keep the humidity at the level you want it to be. The lower the humidity, the less you should experience musty odors in the basement.
And the absolute best way to know if those musty smells from the basement are due to water intrusion, or other restoration issues, and what to do about them, is to consult with your favorite water damage professionals.
After all, it pays to call a pro!
Stinky Garbage Disposals
Your garbage disposal is probably one of the devices in your home you seldom think about. After all, it’s hidden from view, you activate it with a simple flip of a switch, and it does its job.
But if it ever fails you, it quickly jumps to the top of the list of things you value most.
Your garbage disposal is, obviously, fitted to the drainpipe of your kitchen sink, and it grinds up all kinds of food waste, gunk, and more. It works diligently to gobble up and push into the sewer system what you should put and what you should neverput into a disposal, which shortens the life of the device.
It should be obvious to most that putting your fingers into the garbage disposal is a bad idea. Even when the unit is turned off, never reach in an attempt to dislodge or remove something that is hindering the garbage disposal’s efforts.
And when working in the disposal unit, always unplug or turn off the power before proceeding. It’s always best to call a pro in those circumstances when a simple, quick fix is not an option.
While your garbage disposal might seem like a superhero, it is not. You can put many food and other items down through the disposal, but some will create future problems. And the following advice will be tempered or adjusted by the type of garbage disposal you have. Some find their disposal will dispose of anything. Others find they have to be very selective on what they put into the disposal.
Smaller portions are better. Avoid greasy foods, fruit pits/seeds, bones, pastas and rice, nuts, coffee grounds, and any other substances that might build up in your sewer system.
Taking care of the health of your garbage disposal is important.
Weekly — and no less than monthly — let your disposal while running gobble up some baking soda and vinegar. You can put both down the drain slowly and if you see foam develop, that’s fine, it’s normal.
Alternate disposing of ice and also hot water. This helps with removal of the different types of debris that may attach to the blades of the garbage disposer.
There are times when advice is just not enough. Do the right thing. Call your professional cleaning company.
After all, it pays to call a pro!
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 your game 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!