Browsing Category: "House and Cleaning"

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

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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.

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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

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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

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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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Pests SOS: What Homeowners Do Wrong When Trying To Send Their Intruders Away

One of the worst things you can get in your home is pests. After all, once they arrive on your property, it can be a nightmare to get rid of them. And they can cause a number of issues in your house. For one thing, pests like termites can destroy your home’s structure. In fact, it can cost homeowners thousands of dollars every year. And not only this, but pests can be damaging to your health. They can spur on people’s allergies, and the bites can be painful for your family. And a lot of people tend to make errors when they are attempting to get rid of the annoying pests. In fact, here is what homeowners do wrong when trying to send their intruders away.

They rely on cheap solutions

A lot of people go to the store when they are trying to get rid of their pests to find a quick solution. And you will be amazed by all the options you can buy to get rid of your pests for good. But you need to be so careful about which products you do buy. After all, there’s probably a reason why it’s so cheap. It might be that it doesn’t work every time to get rid of the pests. In fact, you are bound to spot them arriving back soon if you use some cheap products. And it might be full of chemicals which are not good for your family. Therefore, always think twice before picking up a cheap solution to ensure your home is pest-free. You can read online reviews which will help you to make the right choice. Check out http://greatist.com/happiness/get-rid-of-16-common-household-pests for more advice on getting rid of pests.

Clean, Rag, Cleaning Rags, Budget, Cleaning Agents

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They don’t think about a solution for the long-term

When you get pests in your home, you want to ensure they are gone sooner rather than later. But if you just get a solution for now, it might mean that you end up with the pests back in a few months time. For example, you might remove the rats who are there now. But if you don’t sort the holes in your property, their pals will be back sooner rather than later. Therefore, always consider whether the solution you are using is going to work in the long-term. Sometimes it’s worth forking out a bit more and getting a professional to remove the pests. For example, companies like http://pest.24hourly.com/ will ensure they aren’t a problem for your family again anytime soon.

They don’t sort it before it becomes an infestation

A lot of people leave it when they spot a pest. They think it’s just a random occurrence and they decide to sort it out later. But if you leave the pest, you could end up having an infestation in your property. And then it will be a lot harder to remove them from your property. Therefore, as we said before, act quickly when you see a pest to prevent them spreading around your home! That way, you won’t end up with regret over your pest situation.

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It’s easy to focus on just the infested area when you are trying to remove the pests. But if you want to ensure they don’t come back anytime soon, you should put preventive down all around the home.

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