Drying out Water Damaged Papers
With the arrival and impact of electronic devices, such as smartphones and tablets, many have given up their favorite pastime of reading paper newspapers and books. But if you look around your home, you may still find plenty of books, documents, and valuable paper products that you prefer over the electronic variety — or that you just can’t get rid of.
Many of these items end up in the basement or other storage areas, and just when you least expect it, can become damaged from moisture, a broken pipe, flooding from storms, or a failure of your sump pump. Water damage can come from many sources. When that happens, it’s time to dry everything out, and that’s not always easy.
The first step is to wipe off and remove as much excess water that you can, without damaging the paper.
For loose papers, such as documents, lay them out individually on absorbent cloths and then carefully blot. If using paper towels, make sure they are pure white, with no color print on them. Loose papers are fairly straightforward to dry. Some air movement from a small fan can help the drying process. After drying, you can compress the papers to flatten them out.
For books, very carefully open the covers of each book, and stand your books upright on a stack of several, absorbent pure white paper towels. Place several layers of absorbent towels inside the covers, and gently close them. Allow the towels to pull moisture from the pages; replace them as they get wet, checking frequently. As you progress, carefully open pages, perhaps every 20-30 pages or so, and place more towels or cloths inside those pages, closing the book, allowing moisture to transfer into the towels or cloths. Keep the book on its sideas you do this.
Eventually, as the book dries, you can open the pages, and put the book in front of a fan to continue drying out the pages.
What if you have many books or documents, and they are valuable and must be saved and you don’t have the ability to do it yourself? That’s when it’s time to get some professional help. Put your damaged documents or books in the freezer. It’s now time to contact your favorite disaster restoration company for help. After all, it pays to call a pro!
Vacuum Cleaner Maintenance
The job of the vacuum cleaner, whether in a home or office, is to pick up dirt, debris, particulate soil, hair, dander, virtually anything that lands on the carpet and must be removed. In the process, your vacuum cleaner eventually ends up needing a little cleaning attention itself.
When you empty the vacuum collection chamber or replace the vacuum bag, all of that dust, dirt, debris, and hair went into the port that contains the beater bar, and then through a hose, and most likely also through a filter or two.
Keep your vacuum cleaner in great working condition with these simple maintenance tips. Keep it safe and anytime you are working on your vacuum, make sure it is unplugged.
The bag or bin
Some vacuums have a chamber or bin that collects the dirt. If you have that type of vacuum, remove it and empty it frequently, even after each use. Wipe it out if you can and if the type warrants it, rinse it out with water and detergent. If you have a vacuum with a bag, keep an eye on how much dirt it is accumulating. It’s best to replace it when about half full, never more than 2/3 full. If your vacuum bag gets too full, the efficiency of the machine is drastically reduced.
The beater bar
Turn the vacuum over and inspect the beater bar and vacuum inlet assembly. This is where things might get a little gross as you have to physically pull and remove all the hair that has rolled up on the beater bar. Wear gloves. Pull the hair off and keep turning the beater bar until it is completely clean. Use scissors or a small, sharp knife if the hair is difficult to remove with just your bare fingers.
You may need to refer to your owner’s manual for this. Find the filters and inspect according to manufacturer recommendations. Some filters need to be replaced; others can be cleaned. Air must pass through the filters so keep them in good condition. High-efficiency particulate air filters (HEPA) might need more attention than typical filters.
One great way to ensure vacuum cleaner efficiency is to have your favorite cleaning company inspect it the next time they work in your home. Call them today. After all, it pays to call a pro!
The Danger of Lightning
When warm weather arrives, most of us are subjected to interesting weather patterns and storms. Some of those can include dangerous lightning storms.
While lightning storms can occur at any time, it is more common in warm, muggy, turbulent months, also known as summer. In the United States, some estimates indicate that there are more than 30 million lightning strikes that reach the ground. These can cause property damage, injuries, and even death for those in the path of a bolt of lightning.
The first consideration for lightning storm activity is safety. Anything outside a building is subject to a lightning strike. Remember, lightning is naturally seeking a path to the ground, and if you are out in the open, you might end up being that path. Some feel that cowering under a tree or similar “protection” is going to help. Lightning is not always predictable. You may be hugging a tree and the tree is the path the lightning chooses to get to ground. That means you are in danger.
It’s always best to get inside. Seek shelter in a building that can protect you. Most of the time, it’s your own home. And besides the possibility of lightning striking you, other dangers, such as wind, rain, and flooding, can be dangerous to you as well.
While inside during a lightning storm, avoid contact with items that can conduct electricity: Pipes, cords, electronics such as televisions and computers, items that you use every day but should avoid when there is a chance of lightning striking your home.
After the storm, it’s time to inspect and test what might have been affected. You may have electronic devices that have suffered from the burst of electricity common to lightning storms. You also may have damage to property from the high winds the storm might have generated. There could be flooding in your basement or other areas of the home. Remember, even a well-built home can have water intrude, especially if it is driven by high winds. Check your sump pump, if you have one, is still operating. If it was affected by an electric surge, it may not work properly.
Any resulting damage should be covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy, which means repairs should be paid for. Do the right thing. Contact your favorite restoration company. After all, it pays to call a pro!
Organizing & Cleaning the Bathrooms
Besides the kitchen, your bathroom is one of the most popular and trafficked rooms in your home.
Keeping your bathroom organized, clean, and tidy can be a daunting chore. And your work increases tremendously if you have more than one. Many homes have several bathrooms. That’s a lot of cleaning and organizing to tackle, especially if you let too much time pass without giving them some attention. It’s easy to see several days, a week, even more pass without a close scrutiny of the condition of a bathroom—and then all of a sudden you are amazed how all the nastiness snuck up on you.
The way to tackle all of this is with a plan—a cleaning plan, which includes organizing all bathroom content as well.
And that’s just to keep everything clean. What about organizing the contents? Open up the drawers, cabinets, check the inventory of what is in your bathroom. You will be amazed at the number of toiletries, medications, cosmetics, lotions and potions you have amassed over the years. Many of them are no doubt expired, some by many years unless you have kept up with what you stock your bathroom with.
Take the time to look at expiration dates and start throwing out what has expired. Some products will last for years. Others just a few months. Even cosmetics have an expiration suggestion.
Also consider better organizing, using shelving or organizing products such as bins that can be stacked, to help you keep it all in its proper place.
And, of course, when you need some professional cleaning done in your home, whether routine cleaning or deep cleaning such as for your carpet, do the right thing. Call your favorite cleaning company. After all, it pays to call a pro!