Recent Cleaning Posts

Last Minute Home Cleaning Tips for Thanksgiving

11/20/2018 (Permalink)

The week before Thanksgiving is the time that you begin to wonder why in the world you offered to host this family event last year. How did 51 weeks pass so quickly? Now there’s the shopping to do, and the school events, and picking people up from the airport, and airing out the guest rooms….and the cleaning. It might seem difficult to see how this will all get done with your already busy schedule, but we want to share a few tips with you today that might be helpful for last-minute cleaning:

  • Kitchen Tips. Gather clutter together and put it in a laundry basket in the laundry room. Crisis cleaning is all about making things look tidy and forgetting about organization right at the moment. Spray the counters with cleaner and wipe down, and then attack the appliances, the sink bowl, and the faucets. Sweep or vacuum the floor, and spot clean. Spray air freshener. Check for any visible water damage or possible mold growth.
  • Bathroom Tips. Turn the fan on to remove odors and use fragrant candles before guests arrive. Put cleaner in the toilet bowl and let it sit for a while, while cleaning mirrors and polishing chrome. Wipe down the counters and clean the toilet thoroughly. Replace all the towels with ones that are freshly washed and sweep the floor; spot clean here. Spray air freshener. Like the kitchen, check for mold growth or visible water damage.
  • Guest Room Tips. Get rid of clutter by moving to the laundry area or a similar area of your home that guests will not frequent. Shake out curtains and change the sheets. Fluffing pillows will give the room a fresh look. Dust the furniture and don’t neglect the head and footboard of the bed. Polish reflective surfaces. Sweep or vacuum flooring, and spray air freshener. Scent sprayed onto a cool light bulb will freshen the room when the light is used. Fragrant candles are a nice touch here as well.
  • Living Room Tips. Toss the clutter into the laundry basket and remove any trash. Straighten and fluff pillows and fold blankets. Wipe away food spills and dust the furniture, polishing reflective surfaces. Make sure you remove pet hair with a damp cloth from seating and eating areas, especially. Move furniture to look neat and regular; this adds to the overall clean and neat look of the room. Vacuum or sweep the flooring, and spot clean. Spray air freshener.
  • Entryway Tips. First impressions are made here, so take care that it looks great. Shake off the Welcome mat, and polish the reflective surfaces. Sweep the front step, and clan all glass. Remove shoes and clutter from this area and place out of view.
  • Finishing Touch Tips. Empty all the trash bins throughout the house. Add a hospitality touch to the guest room by providing tissues, reading materials, and a water carafe with glass. For a welcoming scent when guests arrive, simmer two cups of water, two whole cloves, a cinnamon stick, and half an apple, orange, or lemon on the stove for an hour or so beforehand.
  • Start Cooking!

Here at SERVPRO of Huron & East Seneca Counties, we wish you the best 2018 holiday season ever! If you live in the greater Huron area, including Gibsonburg, Attica, Bloomville, or other surrounding areas, we are here to help with all of your water damage, fire damage, or mold growth restoration needs.

Cleaning Myths and The Facts From Your Local SERVPRO of Huron & East Seneca Counties

6/16/2016 (Permalink)

When you just want to clean your house after everyday use you want it to be done quick and easy. Not confusing and hard. These 10 myths about cleaning will be explained to help you clean with a more effective product or to show you that the product you are using doesn't work as well as you thought. Enjoy!

Myth: Newspaper does windows well

Fact: Wet newspaper tears easily and the ink can transfer to window trim, leaving more to clean. Use microfiber cloths to clean glass. They’re the best at cleaning without streaking.

Myth: Coca-cola belongs in the toilet

Fact: Coke isn’t “it” when it comes to cleaning your toilet bowl. Coke is acidic, so it could be effective at removing hard water stains BUT soda could actually darken stains and the sugar could encourage bacteria.

Myth: Handwashing dishes is better than using a dishwasher

Fact: If your dishwasher is a decade old, this may be true, but today’s models beat handwashing by a mile. According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star website, using a dishwasher that bears the Energy Star label can save some 5,000 gallons of water, more than $40 dollars in energy costs, and 230 hours in personal time over the course of a year, versus handwashing. And, because dishwashers heat the water to 140°F, they’ll sanitize the dishes, too.

                

Myth: Coffee freshens garbage disposers

Fact: Coffee grounds may act as a mild abrasive, removing gunk from disposer blades, but baking soda is a better choice: It’s also mildly abrasive, and because it’s a base it will counteract all the smelly acids that we put down the drain.

Myth: Vinegar cleans everything

Fact: Vinegar is an acid, so it can cut through dirt and can kill bacteria, but only if you use it at full or nearly full strength. Most people put a capful in a bucket of water, and that doesn’t do much. The acids in vinegar can damage natural stone and wood surfaces.

Myth: Hairspray removes ballpoint ink

Fact: This may have been true years ago, when hairsprays were formulated with more alcohol (which does remove ink) than they are today, but not anymore. Today’s hairsprays are full of stiffeners and hardeners that will just make the stain worse. Just use rubbing alcohol. It’s far less expensive than hairspray, and doesn’t include any extra ingredients.

Myth: Bleach cleans everything

Fact: Bleach actually doesn’t ‘clean’ anything—because it doesn’t remove soil. It can lighten stains, making things look cleaner, and it kills bacteria, so it’s better as a sanitizer than as a cleaner.

                

Myth: Feathers make great dusters

Fact: Genuine ostrich-feather dusters do attract dust, but they’re expensive and are generally not as effective as lambswool or microfiber options. Most feather dusters just spread the dust around. Also, they tend to drop feathers which is just leaving you more to pick up.

Myth: Cleaning solutions work instantly

Fact: Nope. We recommend allowing any cleaning solution to sit on the surface for two to three minutes. Always follow the directions on the product’s label. Some solutions, like disinfectants, need a full ten minutes to truly kill bacteria.

Myth: String makes the best mops

Fact: Industrial-style string mops may look impressive, but studies have shown that microfiber mops are about 20 percent more effective at removing dirt and bacteria. String mops are very absorbent, so they’re great at cleaning up big spills, but if you want to make sure you’re not leaving anything behind on the floor, use a microfiber mop.

SERVPRO of Huron & East Seneca Counties proudly serves you and specializes in fire, smoke, mold, water and biohazard damage to both commercial and residential properties. Capable of handling any size loss and working with all types of insurance providers, SERVPRO is available 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. We cover areas like Tiffin, Fremont, Norwalk, Willard, Bellevue, Carey, New London, Bloomville, Attica, and Monroeville. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROhuroneastsenecacounties.com or call us at 419-443-1790.

Sewage Back-up

5/6/2016 (Permalink)

Sewer backups should be considered an emergency since the water may contain viruses, bacteria, and other microbes that cause serious illnesses. SERVPRO has specialized training and equipment to quickly and safely clean contaminants like sewage.

Water damage can be classified by the three types of contaminated water. SERVPRO will inspect your home or business to determine the appropriate plan of action for the type of water encountered.

Three types of contaminated water:

Category 1: "Clean Water"

Category 1 water is from a clean source like a broken water supply line or leaking faucet. If not treated quickly, this water can turn into category 2 or 3, depending on length of time, temperature, and contact with surrounding contaminants.

  • Water from a clean source like a broken water line
  • If left untreated, can degrade into category 2 or 3

Category 2: "Gray Water"

Category 2 water is contaminated and could cause discomfort or illness. Examples include washing machine overflow; toilet overflow with some urine, but no feces; or dishwasher overflow.

  • May contain bacteria and viruses
  • Can quickly degrade into category 3 if left untreated

Category 3: "Black Water"

Category 3 water is grossly contaminated and could cause severe illness or death if ingested and any contact should be avoided. Examples include flooding from rivers or streams, water from beyond the toilet trap, water from the toilet bowl with feces, or standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.

  • May contain untreated sewage, harsh chemicals, and microbes
  • Water from flooding rivers or sewer backup

24 Hour Emergency Service

Water contaminated with sewage backup should be considered an emergency situation and dealt with as quickly as possible. SERVPRO is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We water damage restoration specialists with specialized training, equipment and protective gear to safely restore your home or business.

SERVPRO of Huron & East Seneca Counties proudly serves you and specializes in fire, smoke, mold, water and biohazard damage to both commercial and residential properties. Capable of handling any size loss and working with all types of insurance providers, SERVPRO is available 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. We cover areas like Tiffin, Fremont, Norwalk, Willard, Bellevue, Carey, New London, Bloomville, Attica, and Monroeville. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROhuroneastsenecacounties.com or call us at 419-443-1790.

Duct Cleaning Information

4/19/2016 (Permalink)

Most people are not aware that indoor air pollution is an issue of growing concern and increased visibility. If you decide to have your dheating and cooling system cleaned it is important to make sure the service provider agrees to clean all components of the system and is qualified to do so.

- Duct cleaning refers to the cleaning of forced air systems, including the supply and return air ducts and registers, grills and diffusers, heat exchangers, heating and cooling coils, condensate drain pans, fan motor and fan housing, and the air handling unit housing.

Over time these components will start to fill with dust and debris. If moisture gets in the system the potential for microbial growth is increased drastically. Some of these contaminants can cause allergic reactions or many other symptoms.

Does duct cleaning prevent health problems? The correct answer so far is simply that no one knows. There are examples of ducts that have been so badly contaminated that it can affect your health or if the duct system is helping flow contaminants throughout your home. In these instances duct cleaning makes sense.

In the meantime just educate yourself and get education on whatever company you decide to use. Here at SERVPRO we met all the standards needed to correctly clean your entire system and we are always happy to help but, in the end doing what feels right for your specific needs is most important.

SERVPRO of Huron & East Seneca Counties proudly serves you and specializes in fire, smoke, mold, flooded basements, water and biohazard damage to both commercial and residential properties. Capable of handling any size loss and working with all types of insurance providers, SERVPRO is available 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. We cover areas like Tiffin, Fremont, Norwalk, Willard, Bellevue, Carey, New London, Bloomville, Attica, and Monroeville. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROhuroneastsenecacounties.com or call us at 419-443-1790.

Furnace Puffbacks

2/18/2016 (Permalink)

Furnace “puff backs” occur most often in the winter and can create a mess and smell that can permeate your entire home.  A puff back is a misfiring in the furnace that can send soot throughout your residents. All cases are never the same, the best way to approach the situation is to contact someone that has had experience with them. It may require expensive cleaning and restoration in addition to repairs on your heating system. 

A puff back can happen when an oil burner doesn't ignite immediately and oil fumes are allowed to build up before ignition, resulting in an explosion similar to the backfiring of a car. The soot this produces is an acidic substance that can permanently ruin electronics, household items, and cause structural damage as well. The results are similar to having a house fire without having the combustion of flames.

The most important thing to do if you experience a puff back is to not touch or try to clean anything yourself. The oils from your hands can actually set in the stains so instead of just a cleaning objects, materials may have to be replaced instead. Cleaning of the soot needs to be tested first in a small area to determine the correct method to remediate properly. This system can be a simple as a one stage cleaning or up to a three stage cleaning system and sealant process. Time is of the essence if this unfortunately occurs in your home contact your agent to get started on getting your home back to normal.