Browsing Category: "House and Cleaning"

4 Forgotten Areas Of Your Home That Are Crying Out To Be Cleaned

We all strive to keep our homes as clean as possible. Normally, this means giving it a good little clean as often as we can. However, our ‘good little clean’ might not be making our homes as clean as we think. Most of the time, we just clean the parts of our house that are most visible to other people and us. You know what I’m talking about, the surfaces that are visibly dusty and the floors that are clearly dirty. Rarely will we go that extra mile and clean parts of our home that aren’t as easily visible.

As a result, we end up with a much dirtier home than we think. Now, you may be thinking, why does this matter? If we can’t see the dirt that obviously, surely we can just keep on ignoring it, right? Well, the problem is, sooner or later all the lack of cleaning will add up. You can only ignore something for so long before it starts forcing itself upon you and making you take notice.

All those areas of your home that you neglect will become dirtier and messier to the point where they become a huge problem. Then, you have to deal with the stress of cleaning up the problem, which will be a lot harder that it would if you just dealt with it in the first place.

Today, we’re going to look at some of these forgotten areas in your home that are crying out to be cleaned. Read some of the advice, and you’ll know how to deal with the problems before they get out of control.

Black Shower Head Switched on

[Photo courtesy of Pixabay/pexels.com]

Shower/Bathroom

The first area of your home is the shower/bathroom. I’ve grouped two things together here because not everyone has a shower, but they still neglect the same sort of area in their home. You see, people with a shower will not clean it as properly as needed. In fact, most people rarely clean their shower and the area around their shower at all. I’m mainly talking about the walls near your shower or anywhere that gets splashed by water. If you don’t have a shower, then I’m just talking about areas in your bathroom that get splashed, and you neglect to clean.

Why do we neglect to clean wet areas? Mainly because they’re wet, so they don’t look dirty at all. There’s no visible dirt, what’s the worst that can happen? Unfortunately, this is one of the biggest mistakes you can make in your home. Fail to clean wet areas, and it will lead to mould forming. Then, you no longer have clean walls, but horrible black mould appears that can be harmful to your health as well as looking ugly. To make matters worse, the mould is really hard to clean completely. It’s an almost impossible task for a regular person like you or I, you’d need to get a professional in.

Mould is particularly problematic for people with tiled walls in their bathroom. This is because it gets in the grout between each tile, making it even harder to clean. If you keep forgetting about this area of your home, then you’re just asking for problems. So, what you need to do is prevent mould from occurring. It’s so so so so incredibly easy to do this, honestly. Getting rid of mould is so difficult, but preventing it couldn’t be simpler. All you have to do is dry any areas of your bathroom/shower that have been sprayed with water. Get a cloth and clean the wetness so no water is left and the surface is dry. You can even get some bathroom sprays that help kill germs which may be useful too. When the surfaces are dry, this means there are no conditions for mould spores to grow. I won’t get too scientific here, but mould grows when there are damp conditions, hence excessive growth in shower/bathroom areas. Anyway, science lesson over, add this to your cleaning checklist and prevent the spread of mould in your home.

Rain Gutter, Gutter, Roof, Cobweb, Network, Drip

[Photo courtesy of felixulllli/pixabay.com]


Gutters

Our gutters are often one of the most forgotten areas of our home. The simple fact is, we don’t pay them much attention at all. They sit up on our roof, and we rarely glance up there to take a look at the situation. Not only that, but they can be difficult to look at and check too. You need to get on a ladder, and it’s all pretty stressful.

So, we choose to ignore them and never clean them. Why is this a problem? Well, gutters can get clogged up full of so much debris and junk it’s not even funny. Birds can try and make nests in your gutters and bring up leaves and sticks which stay there and cause blockages. Plus, moss and weeds can grow in the gutters too, which again can cause blockages. Then, when these blockages get worse and worse, they end up causing major problems for your home drainage system. As a result, you may need to get a plumber in to sort things out, which can cost a lot of money.

All of this can be avoided if you just paid your gutters more attention. You don’t need to head out on your ladder every day, or even every week! This is something that can be done once a month or once every two months. Plus, if you’re not keen on cleaning the gutters as you’re scared of heights or just worried you’ll do things wrong and hurt yourself, there are services you can pay for. There’s no excuse, you need to stop neglecting your gutters before they become a massive problem. Also, if you keep them nice and clean, it will make the outside of your house look a lot better too. It’s a massive win-win situation for you.

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[Photo courtesy of M.Minderhoud/wikipedia.org]

Skirting Boards

If you didn’t know, a skirting board is that little piece of wood at the bottom of your walls that runs all the way along it. A lot of people don’t even know this has a name, or what the purpose of it is. For many, it’s purely a decorative thing, but it’s also mainly used to protect the wall. Unfortunately, it’s an area of our home we forget about a lot when cleaning. This is because we don’t tend to really think about it at all. Like I said, most people don’t even know this area has a name!

The issue is, this is also an area of your home that’s prone to a lot of dirt and muck. If you fail to clean your skirting board, it can almost become unrecognizable. It will be absolutely filthy, which makes the rooms in your home look less clean than they are. Due to their location right at the base of a wall, skirting boards are magnets for dust, grime, and general debris. When left uncleaned, this dirt can properly set it and become so hard to clean. A cleaning job that should take a few minutes will take a few hours if you’re not careful.

So, you need to get on your hands and knees and start cleaning your skirting boards more often. My tip is to do this whenever you’re hoovering. You can even use a hoover attachment to clean up some dust from the skirting boards too. This way, you keep them clean and don’t let them get out of hand. The dirtier they get, the harder they are to clean, and the more they deteriorate too.

Door Knob, Metal, Close, Input, Door Handle, Old, Door

[Photo courtesy of slightly_different/pixabay.com]

Door Handles

The fourth, and final, area of your home crying out for a clean is the door handles. Think about how many dirty hands will touch your door handles every single day. Now, think about how many times you actually clean them. Scary, right?

I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure there are more germs on our hands than anywhere else on our body. So, if everyone is manhandling the door handles and they never get cleaned, it means our houses are just infested with germs. For the sake of personal hygiene, you should clean your door handles as much as possible. It really doesn’t take a lot of effort at all. You just need some antibacterial spray and a cloth to wipe them with. That’s all you need to do, and you’ll have a much cleaner and more hygienic home.

In fact, while we’re at it, you may as well throw light switches into the mix too. Again, they’re always touched and turned grubby by fingerprints, yet they’re rarely cleaned. The same rules apply here, get some spray and wipe them clean.

On that not, we’re at the end of this post. You can now see some of the forgotten areas of your home that are crying out to be cleaned. It’s not enough to simple clean everywhere that people can see. You’ll just create the illusion of a clean house when the reality is that your home is still quite filthy. Clean these forgotten areas too, and you’ll finally have a properly clean home.

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Essential Cleaning Checklist

Deep cleaning your house should not just be limited to spring or whenever you have a clear out. The best way to keep your home in good condition is to make sure you regularly clean tough areas. Additionally, keeping your home sanitary is the best way to keep your family healthy. We don’t usually think about it, but there are germs and bacteria living right under your nose that could be causing you untold misery. To make sure you don’t miss any spots, and to make your home summer-ready, here is an essential deep cleaning checklist for your home.

Hidden mold

Double-glazed windows are excellent for saving you money on your energy bills, but unfortunately they make it easier for moisture and mold to sneak into your home. If there are any areas that smell particularly musty, you should not hesitate in calling in a mold specialist. Watch out for symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, dry eyes, or rashes.

Cleaning

[Photo courtesy of Nick Youngson/picserver.org]

If an area of mold is less than ten square feet, then you can attempt to clean it yourself. Just make sure you’re wearing safety goggles, non-porous gloves, and a particle mask when cleaning. Check out DIY sites for more detailed guidelines on how to get rid of mold.

Water damage

If your plumbing has ruptured recently, your focus was primarily on getting the pipes fixed. However, once that problem is solved, you need to repair the damage that the water caused to your walls and floors. Leaving it untreated could lead to more mold, and therefore more health problems. It could also lead to property damage; whether it is metal, wood, or cement, these materials will all eventually be damaged when exposed to water. Contact ServiceMaster to get the damage fixed as quickly as possible.

Windows

Wash your windows on a cloudy day, once a month, so the sun doesn’t dry the cleanser before you can wipe it off, and start on the shady side of the house. A simple way to spot streaks is to wash with horizontal strokes on one side and with vertical strokes on the other, this way you will know which side has the streaks. Wait for a sunny day to dust the windows because the sunlight will reveal where the particles have settled. You should also clean the window tracks with a Q-tip to get rid of the dirt, grime, and dead bugs that have gathered there.

Refrigerator

It takes more than just clearing out the expired and smelly food to keep the refrigerator clean and  germ-free. Liquids that spill onto the shelves and trays collects mold, therefore posing a danger to your fresh food. The biggest culprits are the vegetable drawers; they are often forgotten until a vegetable starts to rot. Take the drawers out of the fridge and clean them with warm water and baking soda. While they’re drying on the side, wipe down the rest of the fridge with antibacterial wipes. Make sure you also clean the coils at the back.

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Could Your Home Be Killing You?

Sick house syndrome has had a lot of press recently and it’s not surprising given that the one place in which you want to feel relaxed, nurtured and comfortable could actually be making you sick.

Image from ipcblog.org

If your health is keeping you up at night it could be the sign of an unhealthy home. Here are 10 ways your home could be affecting yours and your family’s health.

  1. Damp air – damp air is the biggest cause of moldy homes.  Mold spores aren’t just unsightly and can cause damage to paintwork, walls and even furniture, they are actually really bad for our respiration and can aggravate conditions such as eczema and asthma. Whilst you may never be able to completely protect your home from mold attacks you can limit the spread by reducing the amount of moisture in the air thus removing the conditions in which mold thrives.
  2. Dirty vents – if you use an air conditioning unit and haven’t been on top of its regular maintenance and cleaning then you could be circulating dust, bacteria and germs every time you turn it on.  This is because airborne nasties like to collect in the vents of air conditioning units and if they aren’t dealt with they can then find their way through the system and back out into the room just ready for your family to breathe them in. Check your vents and limit the circulation of bad air.
  3. An old bathroom – if your bathroom has seen better days the fixtures and fittings are more likely to come lose and loose their waterproof seals. When water is allowed to get into cracks it becomes stagnant causing all sorts of nasties to breed and not just mold.  If you’re showerhead is looking a bit rusty and tired for example it could actually be filling the air with small particles of lead and other metals that can affect your liver and pulmonary system. An aging bathroom could be a serious hazard to your health.
  4. Poor ventilation – a poorly ventilated room, particularly the bathroom, creates the perfect condition for mold and bacteria to take hold. It doesn’t allow for the good circulation of fresh air and this can actually make you feel lethargic, confused and generally unwell as your body has to work harder to take in oxygen.  Even if you work hard to eradicate the mold these conditions will just keep reappearing if poor ventilation is a problem in your home.
  5. Dust – if you are an allergy sufferer you will know how dangerous dust can be.  Certain kinds of dust can trigger reactions ranging from a mild cough and sneeze to a full blown, life threatening asthma attack.  It can also cause itchy eyes, now and throat and can be very uncomfortable in little ones. It can also contain bacteria that affects the gut over a sustained period of time.
  6. Musty bedroom – your mattress could be literally teeming with life if you don’t regularly vacuum it and let it air.  This is because it gathers over half your bodyweight in dead skin every year and this is the delicacy of choice for bed bugs.  Bed bugs sound harmless but they bite and you will soon notice little lumps and bumps that keep you itching long after daybreak.  
  7. Chimneys and flues – if you have an open fire in your home and your chimney or flue isn’t working properly you are allowing smoke, ash and dirt to circulate through your home.  Just as you would avoid smoke inhalation during a fire as this can be fatal, likewise you need to avoid it on the smaller scale by having properly operating and certified ventilation systems.   
  8. Asbestos – it is impossible to know whether you have asbestos or not, particularly if you live in an older building.  This is one nasty you really don’t want to be tackling on your own so you should always call out an expert to check that asbestos isn’t lurking in the fabric of your home, particularly if you are planning on undertaking any modifications or repairs. Not all asbestos is harmful but if it is it is toxic, which is why you should never remove it without the guidance and help of an expert.
  9. Radon – another common life threatening substance that could be present in your home is radon.  Radon is a gas that is difficult to detect as it is both colorless and odourless but it causes thousands of cases of lung cancer in the USA every year.  Again you should consult an expert to test for radon, particularly if you are in a radon hotspot.  For more information check out the EPA website.
  10. Household chemicals – household cleaners and chemicals such as bleach can be harmful if in the reach of little fingers so always store any poisonous items in a sturdy, raised or lockable cupboard. However these chemicals can also harm you during day to day used in two ways.  Firstly the overuse of chemicals in the home can lead to skin complaints and allergies particularly in the eyes, nose and throat. They can also prevent good bacteria from cultivating which can lead to a compromised immune system and more chance of picking up common colds and bugs.  Try and use more natural, plant-based cleaners for a healthier approach to home maintenance.

If you are worried about any of these common household problems there are lots of things you can do to maintain a healthy home including:

  1. Regular maintenance – keeping your house well maintained means you are more likely to spot when mold or other bacteria is beginning to take hold
  2. Good cleaning regime – housework isn’t the most exciting pastime but it will keep dust and germs at bay as well as make your home more comfortable
  3. Open windows – help to ventilate that air and you can breathe deeply again
  4. Be vigilant – keep an eye out for problems and act fast before they take hold
  5. Call in the experts – if in doubt call in the experts, particularly if you don’t know what substance you might be dealing with. Your family’s health may depend on it

 

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Outdoor Surfaces Clean and Protected

Pressure washing is the most popular way to keep outdoor surfaces such as walkways, driveways, patios and decks clean. Rather than using pressure washing that can actually damage your surfaces, you can get a three-step method that softens dirt and grime with a pre-soak foam, so the pressure washing leaves the surfaces looking like new.  There are companies that can professionally clean and protect your wood or concrete.

Environmentally Friendly

The three-step process begins with special foam that is environmentally friendly. It kills mildew and mold and lifts off embedded dirt without chlorine that may bleach your wood. It will not harm children, pets or plants and is not caustic to your outdoor surfaces. The foam is sprayed on the surface first and allowed to penetrate the dirt and grime. Then, a controlled pressure wash is applied that will not damage surfaces, but will remove all the dirt. Once the surface is clean, a protective polymer mix is sprayed on the surface. It blocks UV rays, protects against rain and snow and makes the surface look new. This sealant also blocks mold and dirt from building up again, do your yard looks better longer.

Back Porch, Rear Porch, Back Patio, Rear Patio, Deck

[Photo courtesy of JamesDeMers/pixabay.com]

Wooden Decks

Wooden decks tend to fade over the years and become stained by moss or mildew. When wood is in this decayed condition, it’s not wise to have it power washed because this could gouge out chips and splinters damaging the wood that may cost a lot to repair. With the three-step process, the wood is treated carefully with the pre-soak foam and gently power washed. Once the old wood has been removed, the wood can be stained and sprayed with a sealant that will soak into the pores and protect from sunlight, rain and snow.

Garden, Porch, Table Furniture, Chairs, Home, House

[Photo courtesy of JayMantri/pixabay.com]

Power Washing

Standard power cleaning uses high pressure to blast away dirt, but it does nothing to kill mold and mildew, and it doesn’t remove deep stains. This is why the three-step method is so much better. It actually cleans the surface, so damaging-strength power washing isn’t necessary.

Outdoor surfaces serve to make outdoor living comfortable and attractive. Your house will lose curb-appeal when your siding is dull, and your driveway is covered in grease. You may not feel like having a barbecue on your deck or patio if it is covered in grime. Keeping outdoor surfaces looking like new also adds value to your home.

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