Recent Cleaning Posts
Fall is the time to De-Clutter
Breath in the crisp air of fall and open space in you home
We have all heard of Spring cleaning and while it is nice to open the windows let the air circulate and remove the cobwebs of winter, But a fall cleaning???? The leaves are starting to fall, the weather has turned cooler and gone are blistering days in the sun. So what do you.. You De-clutter of course!!! Fall is not just for yard debris and leave raking. The fall is a perfect time to de-clutter, Why?
We are so glad that you asked. Attics and basements have started to cool off making it more manageable to get things done. With the holidays coming up organizing what you have to make the holidays less chaotic. If you have less stuff there is less cleaning that needs to be done daily and there is less to worry about.
Just like any project it is important to not get overwhelmed and stay organized. Take it one room or section at a time. Create an area where you can set up 4 sections to create a donate, sell, keep and trash pile. Make sure you are prepared to have a yard sale and once it is over everything that did not sell will not become donate or trash.
Making decisions can be daunting especially if money has been spent on a item. A good rule of thumb for many items is have you used it in the last 3-6 months, if it is not holiday or seasonal items and the answer is no chances are you do not really need it. With clothing if it does not fit, or in your eyes is out of style and you just will not wear it let it go.
Once you have gone through everything tackle the pile of trash, call a company that does junk removal . This will allow you to free up space immediately so you can sort through the sell pile. Organize and price the items you want to sell. A few noteworthy bits of advice, once you set the date for the yard sale call a donation company to come within the week following the yard sale so you do not delay the process. It is always advisable to keep your donation pile until after the yard sale so that they only have to come out once. Many places will come out for free so do your research and check out the dates that they have available try and coordinate your yard sale within the same week.
Your keep pile will be the last pile you put away as you could change your mind as you go and will not have the best view of how much space you have until the rest of the stuff is gone. Once you are done and have only the keep pile you can best assess where to put it all. However there are still steps to take before you put it all away.
The next phase is cleaning and no I do not mean sweeping the room. A good solid deep clean washing ceilings, walls light fixtures, switches, fans, floors anything in the room and yes you should move any remaining furniture and clean all around it. Windows and window sills are often overlooked but are as important to the total cleaning process. If this is too daunting or time consuming many companies are out there that can take care of this for you. While some companies come weekly there are companies out there that will do a once over from time to time, such as SERVPRO’s.
If you are starting to feel overwhelmed already its fine breathe look at one room make a checklist and start organizing your piles. You will be amazed at what happens when you get going.. Happy fall and say tuned for our next update.
Not all graffiti is created equal..
A graffiti mural is very different than graffiti damage..
Victim of Graffiti or Vandalism?? Here is what you can do
Has your home or business become the victim of a vandalism or graffiti? This is never a pleasant situation and can be difficult to remove. One very important part of the process is removing it as quickly as possible. The less time the graffiti is up the less likely it will continue to happen as it is meant to be seen and can also attract others to use your property, a battle ground of sorts. Also with the materials that are used the sooner they are removed the better as many can take time to set into the material they were sprayed on. Keep in mind graffiti is never easy to remove and will require some patience and elbow grease.
Prevention is ideal. What you can do.
Motion sensor lights
Covering your property with a protective coating that will prevent sticking on some materials
Securing the property with fences or structures that will block access to the building
Use darker colors for painting outside this will deter due to visibility issues
Participate in Neighborhood watch groups.
Plant taller shrubs, climbing vines, or thorny plants on the edges of the property
Use graffiti art or murals to deter other unwanted artists.
Should you still become a victim of graffiti here are some tips for removing it. Depending on the scope of the damage, location, and material the damage is on you may need to hire a professional cleaning company. No matter if you hire someone or do the work yourself knowing the material it is on an the proper way to remove it will make things go more smoothly. Also we cannot stress enough that you have 24-72 hours to remove the damage or things get more complicated. There are environmentally safe products that you can use to remove the damage and it is always recommended to use those. There are options at times to paint over the damage but making sure you the right paint so that the graffiti will not seep through the paint and continue to show. Some communities even have volunteer programs to help with such problems as part of community beautification. They may be able to help. Before you do any work lets talk about the best ways to clean off from some of the main materials.
Removing Graffiti on Specific Surface Types
The first thing you need to do is figure out how porous the surface is. The more porous the surface the longer you will need to let the cleaner sit for it to soak into the area. While the cleaner is soaking into the materials it is advised that you scrub it to ensure a deep penetration. This can be done with a strong bristled brush or hand held scrub pad.
For some jobs you will need a power washer even to mix in the cleaner with the water to deeply penetrate the area. Always test a small spot for color fastness as well to ensure it is compatible with the surface and that you are using it for its intended purpose. If you are going to paint over the affected area make sure that the color will match the rest of the building once dry and that it is thick enough to not allow the graffiti to bleed through. Making sure you are being safe and have the taken all precautionary steps prior to starting work is important. This will protect you, the building and the environment.
Power-wash with a pressure washerPaint over the graffiti
Scrape it off. Use a razor blade in a holder and scrape at a 30 degree angle to the glass.
If the paint does not come off completely after using the razor blade, use ultra-fine bronze wool with water to gently rub the remaining paint off.
Metal and masonry surfaces:
Try wiping it off with a light, penetrating oil. Do not use paint thinners as they can soften the plastic and can cause clouding (if clear plastic) or permanent tackiness of the surface.
If this does not work, you will have to paint over it.
If the wood is not weathered and is sealed with paint, stain or sealer, remove it by wiping it with mineral spirits
Power wash it with a pressure washer
We hope you never need to use these tips but in case you do we hope they were helpful. Remember help is only a phone call away.
Introducing Waterless Masonry Cleaner
Before and after of brick work that hard to reach deep down dirt and grime imbedded into the stone.
SERVPRO asked ENVIRO-SHIELD answered. Introducing a new product formulated with natural rubber that is intended to remove heavy dirt, grime, soot, nicotine and stains on limestone, sandstone, marble, concrete, plaster, brick and terra cotta. Designed for both interior and exterior use, its waterless application makes it a very safe, effective, acid free solution that can be used virtually anywhere without making a mess. It was specifically formulated to work below the surface and pull out ugly stains that penetrated deep into the pores of most masonry materials.
- No water required
Brush on spray application
Effective on smoke, dirt, soot, nicotine and more
Spray on, let dry and peel off
Acid-Free/ Water Based
ENVIRO-SHIELD Masonry Cleaner
This products is engineered for airless spray or brush application. By applying a thick even layer of Enviro-Shield masonry cleaner to the affected surface it will peel easily off once it has had a chance to dry. Once it has been applied it is left alone for 24-36 hours depending on the temperature. When it starts to turn a shade of yellow and becomes rubbery to the touch it is ready to be removed. One important point is that it can not be applied to exterior surfaces if the temperature will be over 90 degrees or it is raining out.
How clean is your air
Typical duct work layout
How is the air quality in your home?/
Sweeping away years of dust and dirt..Helping reduce potential for damage and health risks. Since the ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality, inspecting the ductwork should be a high priority. In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention. Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold and irritating dust throughout your building or home.
A routine part of service should include inspecting the heating, ventilation and air conditioning
unit (HVAC). Keeping the HVAC system and ductwork clean can potentially extend the life span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which may save you money.
Professionals that use a portable ventilation & air duct cleaning system to examine the ductwork and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime. Will be able to provide a more thorough inspection and detailed cleaning ensuring it is done right the first time.
The process begins by using patented equipment including a roto-scraper, which automatically adapts to the duct’s shape and diameter while traveling through the duct, removing debris and filth before vacuuming begins. Next, a powerful push-pull air delivery and collection system transfers the debris from the ducting to a 16-gallon container. Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system, removing 99.97 percent of particles in the airstream. HEPA filters capture debris and keep the environment clean. As an optional process, a sealant or coating product may be sprayed to address odor or microbial concerns. Filters will either be cleaned or replaced to remove odor and dirt.
A good company will inspect your HVAC system and ductwork; make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns. This inspection can save you money and provide peace of mind on the health of your HVAC system and ductwork. In some circumstances, such as after fire, smoke or suspected mold growth, duct cleaning becomes an essential part of the cleanup process. In many of these cases, your HVAC system can be restored.
This sort of maintenance can help with
Remediate Bacteria, Fungi and Mold.
Reduce Potential for Mold Growth.
Restore Peak Energy Efficiency.
Eliminate Offensive Odors.
Provide Free Written Inspections
Prepping your home for sale
Cleaning your home for a quick sale
Preparing your home to sell
Want to see your home.. the easiest and most cost effective thing you can do is clean it up.. De-clutter .. and wipe your entire house. Following the simple methodology of Top to bottom and left to right you will ensure no corner is left untouched or missed. A great once over will really spruce up your efforts to provide the potential buyer with the right space to let their imagination run wild.
If you have a lot things all over the home many potential buyers may think there is not enough house for their things. Make it as open as possible. Cleaning up the pathways and stairs to eliminate any potential safety hazards is pivotal to the perception of the home and its inherent value to the potential buyer. Reducing the clutter and providing as much open space as possible invites creativity. This is not only limited to junk but making sure that your counter tops are cleared off daily, and mail is kept out of sight.
Finding a home for all of your appliances, equipment and cosmetics that are not used daily out of sight will really help open up the space. Using a small container or basket that can be quickly stored elsewhere quickly for things that are needed daily will make getting ready for a showing quick and easy. Another good practice is to sweep your floor nightly this will make sure you are ready at any time to have buyers come in
The main rooms that many buyers will focus on are the bathrooms and kitchen. While these rooms are the most important they can be the most challenging. There is usually a lot of opportunity for streaking as well as mold and mildew growth. Creating a clean environment in these two rooms will be very important for your showings. Ridding these two rooms of mold and mildew will ease the mind of potential buyers of the health concerns that have recently been in the public eye within regards to the mold and mildew. Bleach or cleaners that have bleach in them will be best for these types of situations. Should you think that the job it too large call a professional as they have sprays and sealants that can be used to eliminate and prevent future mold growth. Make sure that you wipe everything down, dry all faucets and handles to prevent water spots. Ensure you squeegee all doors walls and mirrors this will keep everything clean and fresh.
When you are cleaning all of the variable surfaces that are throughout your home please make sure you have the proper cleaner for each one, so as not to damage these surfaces before you even get someone to look at your property. With as many surfaces that you may have in your home they will have just as many cleaners. It is important to make sure you read the labels and use the right one. Powder are more abrasive than liquids which is great for deep down stains or dirt but used in the wrong surface and scratch and ruin it. If you are using a concentrate make sure you mix it with the right ratio ***DON’T WORRY the ratio will be right for proper cleaning *** using too much cleaning product will result in a film being left on the surface you are trying to clean resulting in a cloudy or dirty look. When cleaning a floor you must be sure to rinse the floor when finished or use a no rinse cleaner.
Surface cleaning is not the only cleaning that you should be doing when you are cleaning your home. This is one time you need to do a deep cleaning, this includes but is not limited windows, walls, carpets, drapes, tops of window and door frames. Ideally it is best to repaint but if your budget will not allow it make sure you wash the walls, testing in a small inconspicuous spot for the cleaning products interaction with the paint. Also come up with a checklist for the daily upkeep that will ensure a clean home at any moment. Vacuum all rugs and carpets using long slow strokes to get as much debris up as possible. When washing large vertical areas start at the bottom and work your way up in small circular strokes this will avoid any streaking that could occur from cleaner or dirt dripping down the wall.
Use this list of quick daily tips for maintaining a clean home during the sale process.
Use small area rugs at every entry from the outside into your home so that you can collect as much dirt before it enters your home. This will keep large build up of dirt and grime out of the main areas of your house.
Use hot water for a few minutes before you shower, at the end of the shower wipe all surfaces down, the steam that was created will loosed up any residue.
Scented cleaners should be used in the toilet every night to make sure it is always clean and fresh smelling.
Have 2 or 3 levels to your home keep a vacuum on each floor this will make cleanups a breeze and save you a lot of lugging around.
Have disposable wipes handy in the kitchen bathroom or any other high traffic areas of your home for quick clean up, or wipe downs after each use. Spills that are cleaned up immediately are much easier to handle and are less likely to leave a stain.
Why you should deep clean your carpet!!!
Before and after professional deep carpet cleaning
Spring cleaning time is upon us here in the Northeast. That means we can open our windows, fluff our pillows, discard, and make space for friends and family to visit. No matter if you are looking to spruce up your home or really get your business ready for some important visitors, part of your cleaning really needs to include a deep clean of your carpets. Here is a key list of reasons why carpet cleaning is so important
Properly cleaning and maintaining carpets:
Reduce expenses and maintain warranties. To maintain the warranty many require regular deep cleaning using extractor equipment every 12-18 months why not use spring as your marker.
Prolong the life of the carpet. Deep carpet cleaning is required for that to happen.
Improve air quality in your home. Carpets are very fibrous, those fibers trap and hold dirt, and even pollutants such as pollen and odor. Once at a saturation point they will look for somewhere else to go. The air, your bed, pillow furniture and many other places. Carpet cleaning will ensure this saturation point is never reached.
Increases ease of maintenance. When the dry particles are pulled from deep within the fibers of the carpet they are less likely to become impacted and build up over time.
Eliminate expanding spills and food stains by removing them right away. Stains have a tendency to attract more stains by sticking to the edges of the source expanding out to other areas. Using an extractor make sure there is nothing for other particles to stick to.
Bugs and mites also like to make their homes in your carpet. The fibers of a carpet are perfect for bed bugs and dust mites. Deep cleaning keeps them at bay and removing them reduces the allergens and particles they release into the air.
Improve overall health, as a lot of the build of particles in the fibers of the carpet are allergens that have settled in the air along with various bacteria that has tracked in on your shoes and clothes.
Visually it looks better, and sends an impression to those visiting that the rest of your home or business will be clean for them to enjoy. Carpet Cleaning creates a clean fresh look for your commercial properties and home
Improves the mental state of your employees or family. Clean environments do not illicit stress. It has been shown that clutter and dirt can increase stress within any environment.
Odor? What is going on in your home
Floors and carpet clean?? let us do it for you
How clean is your home? Are odors in your home from being closed up all winter? Do you smoke inside your home? Do you have kids or pets?
Any of these things are applicable to you then listen up . While most homes can be cleaned or freshened up by you, there are times where it is best to bring in the professional. The cleanliness of a home is said by 80% of home owners to be determined by how clean their floors are yet only 15% have their carpets cleaned yearly. So I ask you again how clean is your home?
Lingering odors can be traced to numerous issues in and around your home that can be hazardous to you, your family and pets. Most home remedies can mask or provide a temporary solution to the issue. They will come back and just be covered up instead. It does not eliminate the hazard and so it remains while you think the problem has been solved.
There are 4 general rules of getting rid of unpleasant smells.
Locate and destroy the source of the smell
Thoroughly clean any surfaces or items that were affected by the source
Assess types of materials and cleaning products needed for each
Spray and Treat the area to deodorize the air and seal any remaining odors
The areas that see the most odor damage are carpets are often a primary spot for odors to take root, furniture, clothing, and drywall may also take on the scent if they are exposed long enough. These surfaces must be cleaned to prevent the smell from coming back. Every material has its own physical properties and professionals will be able to properly asses which cleaning and sealant products will best result in a permanent solution. They will clean the surfaces of all areas and then they will seal the rest in with special sprays. Due to smells being transferred through the air so sealing the odors away for good will eliminate their further spread through your home.
Many odors can be eliminated with the use of a professional such as, urine from pet and childern, mold from water damage you tried to clean up yourself, smoke and fire damage, Cigarette smoke, Closed house from the winter and many other sources. The scope of the work is not a problem large or small they will be able to help you eliminate the odor and get you back to normal.
Did you know SERVPRO is Green clean!!!
SERVPRO Industries, Inc. is a member of the EPA’s Design for Environment (DFE) program. DFE evaluates human health and environmental concerns associated with traditional and alternative chemicals and processes in a range of industries.
These evaluations and analyses empower hundreds of businesses to select safer chemicals and technologies. The EPA/DFE has established a set of criteria for formulating environmentally friendly cleaning products, and has put together a listing of safe cleaning components that can be used in Green cleaning formulations.
As a member company, SERVPRO® can access this listing known as CleanGredients. From the listing, a formulation can be derived that incorporates “green”chemistry.
The SERVPRO® Professional Cleaning Products (SPCP) Division manufactures and distributes hero ready cleaning products to the entire all SERVPRO franchises. Made up of only 2 blenders, 1 chemist, and an assistant manager, the SPCP team supports the field by not only making quality products, but also being available anytime to the demand in the field and the need for cleaning advice, coaching, or assistance with cleaning emergencies.
There are roughly 10 products in our cleaning line that are considered environmentally friendly. SERVPRO Industries, Inc. has been a long time member of the EPA’s Design for Environment (EPA/DFE) initiative. As a member company, we can access a listing called CleanGredients. CleanGredients contain criteria for formulating environmentally friendly cleaning products, known as “green” chemistry.
Some of our most notable green cleaning products include Window Green Clean, All Surface Green Clean, and Carpet & Upholstery Green Clean. The SPCP team strives to keep 2-3 months’ worth of inventory on-hand at all times at our Corporate headquarters, so they can guarantee no back orders when disaster situations occur. SERVPRO’s Product Resource Center distributes cleaning products and equipment to field when responding to a disaster. Mitigating damages by reducing response times.
Removing Junk??? Choose the right company
Junk Removal needed
Making decisions is tough. When faced with the need to eliminate clutter, clean out a home from a loved ones passing or just down size there are always decisions to make. Some will be tough and during these difficult times you made need some help. Working with the right company will make all the difference. One suggestion we have is that you hire a professional organizer, they will provide you with guidance and suggestions on what is really necessary to keep, donate or toss. They will also be able to provide you with valuable information on how to maximize your space and be as efficient as possible.
Finding a company to help you get rid of stuff is easy they are all over the place. Finding the right one that will do the job properly is a very different story. Many companies are one guy and his truck making ends meet while others are part of a franchise. There are ways for you to make the right choice. There are companies out there that have the local connections with all the right professionals to make sure that you entire ordeal goes smoothly.
Besides being able to get rid of the items you need the best companies will have collaborations with professional organizers, Interior Designers, and contractors so that they can provide you a one stop resource to get back to living "Like it never even happened"
Below we have a few things for you to look out for when choosing the right company for help.
1. Quick removal.
A key measure of a good company is the speed at which they are able to get your task completed. Many clients have already made the decision that there are things that need to be removed. Meaning that they want them gone yesterday and will not wait a week for someone to show up and remove them. The good companies will be able to get to you and your stuff within 24-48 hours. Any more than that can highlight problems.
The junk removal industry considers the amount of time from customer contact to actual removal as one of the yard sticks of a good service provider. This is a service business and usually by the time a customer picks up the phone, the pile of debris is ready to go. The good ones can coordinate a pick-up with 24 to 48 hours of your call.
2. Every item goes.
There should be very few items that a good junk removal company will not take. Of those you can expect to see fertilizer, hazardous materials, and used oil. There are special companies for that. All of your other items they should be able to accommodate. If it is a reputable company they will find way to make your junk removal happen no matter the size of the job or items.
3. Adequate resources.
No matter the size of the job the company should show up with the right equipment and the proper manpower to handle the job. While the job size may vary you will find that the proper company will be able to remove one item from your home or everything from multiple locations. They should also have the ability to use dumpsters for larger jobs but also be able to work in tight area where the streets are narrower. The removal is only part of the job and while the items may not be your concern it is always a good idea to make sure they have a place to dispose of the items you want removed. There could be ramifications should the items be improperly disposed
4. Certifiable skills.
The staff should have proper training and proper crew size to handle the job at hand. The crew should be professional, courteous and diligent about the clean up process. Proper training ensures that all items are removed carefully without causing any damage and they do not leave more of a mess. and continues with how to carefully remove the items and not make more of a mess.
5. Competitive price.
Be wary of the pricing structure that is easy to follow. The easiest way to understand the pricing is if it is the volume or the amount of space it takes up. Many will base the pricing on the amount of time it takes along with the weight of the items. This makes it hard for you as the client to know the true price unless you go to the dump with the guys when the truck is weighed.
6. Proper disposal.
Speaking of disposal. The best companies will have the environment in mind and work to keep as much material out of landfills as possible. This means having a strong understanding of what is able to be recycled and having an established relationship with the facilities. They must also know the things that will be hazardous if put into a landfill and have the ability to dispose of them accordingly. If they are good at what they do as a worst case scenario they should be able to keep 50% of what you give them out of the landfill. Not only that but they should be able to provide you with that information about what will be happening to your stuff. That being said hoarding cases are a very different scenario as much of that stuff tends to be hazardous and cannot be recycled.
This is probably the most important time of the process but is the pivotal piece of information you need to ask about upfront. They have to be willing to put the finishing touches on the work that they do. Sweeping up after the debris is gone and making sure the area is ready for the next stages. Be it new construction, design work, or just living less cluttered.
Do you have a room with too many thing Clutter storage and horarding cause stress.. Drop the excess weight
Do you have too much stuff?..Maybe a storage unit that is sucking money out of your monthly budget that you would like to get rid of. Do you or someone you know have a hoarding problem that you would like help?
Storage units can cost an average of $100 upwards of $200 a month placing a burden on your monthly budget. Evaluating if you really need something and getting organized can save you a lot of time money and effort in the long run.
Why do people get a storage unit? They have a home down size, an affinity for being easily mobile with the possibility to settle down at some point, or they just plain have too much stuff. Storage units should be a short term solution for a home in chaos due to some sort of disruption remodel, fire, water damage or natural disaster. These are all good reasons to need and utilize storage units for a temporary situation but many forget they have them. They may like the new free and open space in their home or just not want to deal with eliminating these valued treasures that have great worth. No matter the reason
Storage units that you have had for more than 6 months mean you have far too much stuff and may have a problem. Facing that knowledge can allow you to start the process of saving money, making some money and maybe even saving relationships.
Things that do not fit in your home are going to cost you a fortune over the course of even just a year. Many once they get a storage unit do not keep it for just a year it is kept for a long time. Due to the fact that once the items are boxed and shoved into a square room it makes it a lot harder to go through. Task is more daunting. Once the bill becomes too much, many will just abandon the unit all together. They don’t have storage auctions for no reason. Losing valuables, family heir looms and money that could have obtained from selling the items themselves.
Have a place for extra storage can result in someone that has a borderline problem can blow up into a real case of hoarding or shopaholics being able to perpetuate the problem . Hoarding causes a number of health and safety problems with in a home or office environment. Health issues can range from the development of mold, to infestations of various types of animals that will leave urine and feces all over. Ruining your possessions and posing a safety risk for tripping and falling, fire hazards due to an over abundance, and even structural problems if there is enough and the weight is excessive.
Either way if you walking around your home and the path ways are not clear, heating vents are blocked, rooms are designated junk rooms or even have a storage unit…you need to get a handle on the situation as soon as possible.
Hiring a company to remove the junk is a good start but if you are having trouble deciding what you need to keep, sell, donate, and throw away a professional organizer is a wonderful resource. They have the knowledge and know how to get you back on track.
Feeling good in your home is the path to physical and mental wellness. A professional organizer will not only help you make decisions on what to keep, donate, sell, and discard but assist you in ways that will allow you to keep it that way. Decreasing clutter and easily being able to find items will reduce your stress levels significantly. Improving relationships all around you can be far more valuable. They even have software, calendar, and task management systems they can help you set up.
Cleaning and reducing clutter in your life will allow you to appreciate and enjoy what you have. It will also create a space is a true home and not just a place to put stuff. In an age where the materialistic is becoming more and more intrusive on our day to day interactions it is important that we hold on to as much of our family and friends interactions as we can. Eliminating what we do not need, letting go of the past and sometimes even tossing out old ways will keep those relationships strong.
SERVPRO of East Boston Chelsea and Charlestown has a qualified team on staff that can help remove the clutter as well as a professional organizer that will help you make the tough decisions. Set up your initial consultation and get ready for the spring and summer now…