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!