Carpet Cleaning Tips from SERVPRO
SERVPRO of Union County offers carpet cleaning services to residential or commercial companies. When it comes to carpet stains be sure to attend to the situation as soon as possible. The longer a stain sits, the harder it is to remove. Here are some helpful hints on spot cleaning carpets:
Always pre-test before you begin cleaning! Choose an inconspicuous spot to use your cleaning solution. Dampen a white cloth with your cleaning solution, and blot carpet and inspect carefully for dye transfer or other changes in appearance.
Food – Drinks – Blood
Rinse the area with hot water and blot with a clean white towel. Mix 1 tablespoon of #485 StainZap into 16 oz. of hot water and apply to the affected area. Allow to dry 15 to 30 minutes and the stain should “disappear”. Rinse the area thoroughly with water and blot dry.
Scrape or blot up the excess spill. Dampen a sponge with a carpet and upholstery cleaner, and blot the area with your sponge until the residue is removed. If some color remains, follow the outline above for food and drink.
Urine – Feces
Rinse the area with hot water and blot dry. Apply a carpet and upholstery cleaner to a sponge and apply to the affected area. Blot up with a damp towel. If an odor persists, apply an odor and stain remove product. If the stain remains, follow up with the steps outlined for food and drinks.
Candle wax – Nail polish
For wax, melt and absorb wax with a warm iron over an absorbent cloth and blot with SERVPRO Solvent Spotter. For nail polish, blot with a non acetate nail polish remover until the stain is gone.
Cosmetics – Ink
Rinse the area with hot water and blot. Apply a carpet and upholstery cleaner to the area and blot it dry. If any stain remains, follow up with the steps outlined above for food and drink.
If all else fails...let the professionals handle those carpets while you relax!! Call your local SERVPRO today at 704-474-7190
SERVPRO Tips on How To Prevent Sewage Back-ups
Nobody likes to have a sewage back-up right?? Here are a few tips to prevent this issue in the future!!
- Never pour grease down the drain. Grease looks like a liquid when you’re done cooking, but that’s because it’s still hot, hot, hot! As soon as grease hits your cold pipes, it cools down and becomes a solid, sticking to the pipes’ insides and trapping food residue.
- Don’t flush those solids!
This includes disposable diapers, hygiene products, or any other items that do not dissolve in water. Aim for the trash can, not the toilet!
- Avoid throwing wet wipes into the toilet.
Even if the label says “flushable.” They can still become stuck in your pipes, especially if there are other things already trapped down there.
- Beware long hair!
Hair is a major cause of pipe blockage, so instead of watching your hair go down (or not go down) the drain in the shower, take some action! Pick up any hair gathered around your drain and throw it out into the trash.
- Never throw paper towels down the toilet.
Paper towels are built for absorption and durability, so they don’t break down easily when flushed; this often ends up causing issues in your sewer line.
- Keep an eye on large trees growing near your sewer lines.
Trees are known for growing roots deep into the ground and causing movements or breaks in your pipes. So, it’s important to check nearby sewer lines and have them moved or repaired before the roots take over.
Remember to contact your local SERVPRO of Union County for assistance! We are always here to help!! 704-474-7190
Tips From SERVPRO About Duct Cleaning
Here are some tips from SERVPRO about knowing when your duct work is in need of a cleaning:
- Dust and dirt build up on your supply and return vent covers.
- Your home needs to be dusted more often than usual.
- A buildup of dirt or dust on the walls or floors surrounding vents covers.
- You’ve recently completed a home remodeling project.
- An increase in energy bills not caused by a spike in gas or electricity rates.
- Your air filters are dirtier during routine changes and/or need to be swapped out more frequently.
- The installation of a new furnace or air conditioner.
- Temperature is inconsistent throughout your home.
- Someone in your home is suffering from increased allergy and/or asthma symptoms beyond the norm for the season.
- A look in your furnace compartment shows a buildup of dust and dirt on internal components.
As always SERVPRO is always here to help!! Contact your local SERVPRO today for duct cleaning, Let us help clear the air!! 704-474-7190
Electrical Tips For Your Home
- Routinely check your electrical appliances for cuts and breaks in their cords, on the side of caution and replace any appliance that has a bad cord, overheats, shorts out or gives off smoke or sparks. In addition, if a cord has 3-prongs, don’t remove the extra prong. The third prong is necessary to ground the appliance to prevent electrical shocks.
- Ensure your home is equipped with GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlets near any areas that are close to water such as your kitchen area, bathrooms, laundry room, the garage or outdoor circuits. A GFCI outlet will automatically disconnect power when a plugged in electric appliance comes in contact with water or begins to “leak” electricity. These types of outlets can protect you and your family from fatal electrical shocks.
- Examine your electrical cords periodically and discard any which are frayed or do not fit snugly into an outlet. Never secure a cord in place with staples and prevent overheating by not running them under furniture or carpeting, behind baseboards or near baseboard heating.
- Never overload extension cords or wall sockets with too many appliances. If you need more electrical outlets, have them installed. It’s worth the money to have it done correctly and to code.
- Periodically check your outlets and switches to see if they are hot to the touch. If so, get a licensed electrician to come and do a safety check on your entire electrical system. Wiring does wear out which can cause electrical fires to start in the walls and burn for some time before they become obvious. The electrical industry is always designing newer and better materials that increase the safety of your home.
- Never touch electrical appliances or switches with wet hands, ensure electrical appliances in your bathroom do not fall into water and keep extension cords and portable appliances away from the bath or pool.
- No wiring should be exposed from behind outlet and switch cover plates. Make sure your outlets have outlet covers throughout the entire house including the basement and garage. Replace cracked or broken covers and then cover unused outlets with plastic plugs. This is one area the homeowner can safely do it yourself and protect your children and pets from accidentally touching live wires.
- Never try to extinguish an electrical fire with water. Make sure you have approved fire extinguishers in your kitchen, garage and laundry room and know how to use them. Make sure everyone in the family knows how to manually turn off the electricity if needed.
- Never use bulbs that have higher wattage than recommend for the lamp or light fixture and take caution when using halogen lamps. These lamps operate at high temperatures and can create a fire hazard so keep them away from curtains, rugs or other furnishings that are flammable.
- If fuses blow, circuit breakers trip, switches get hot or people are shocked, something is wrong. Don’t put off getting a reputable licensed electrician to come fix the problem.
Call your local SERVPRO today for help with Fire Restoration! We are always here to help 24/7!! 704-474-7190
9 SAFETY TIPS TO REMEMBER WHEN GRILLING
1. Grill outside and away from any structures
2. Make sure your grill is stable
3. Keep your grill clean
4. Check for propane leaks on your gas grill
5. If the flame goes out, wait to re-light
6. Take care around the grill
7. Be careful with charcoal starter fluid
8. Wear the right clothing
9. Be ready to put out the fire
**Have baking soda on hand to control a grease fire and a fire extinguisher nearby for other fires. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher, keep a bucket of sand next to the grill. Never use water to put out grease fire.
Spring Cleaning Tips!!
We all know how overwhelming Spring Cleaning can be. Below are some tips, on how to make this process easier:
Work from the top down, inside to outside, to avoid getting what you just cleaned dirty again.
Do one room, at a time to avoid unfinished jobs. Spring cleaning can be very overwhelming, so if you break the home up it does not seem to be as bad. The satisfaction of seeing one room sparkle will make the hard work feel like it's worth the effort.
When tidying, reduce trips around the house by temporarily depositing items in one spot en route to but not at their final destination.
Do two things at once.
While laundry is going, scrub the shower stall.
Make small repairs. If you're not handy, hire someone.
Invest in good rubber or vinyl gloves to protect your hands.
Dust before vacuuming or cleaning the floor. Use extendable dusters for reaching above window and door casings and into corners. Household rags are invaluable for jobs requiring a damp cloth (natural fibers work best.)
Buy mops with a squeeze mechanism and a decent size heavy duty bucket. One with a measuring scale helps get soap-to-water ratios correct.
Don't stand your brooms on their bristles. It will destroy their shape and diminish their effectiveness. A solution to this issue is to get a broom holder, like the Magic Holder 5-position broom organizer.
Use a Swiffer for light dusting, or your favorite broom or vacuum attachment to clean hardwood floors. Then damp-mop with a mild cleaner such as Murphy Oil Soap.
**Contact your local SERVPRO today for General Cleaning** 704-764-3216
Apartment Fire Safety
When you're living in an apartment setting, fire can be hazardous to not only you, but each of the other families that are residing there. Here are three top key points to remember when dealing with a fire in your apartment, or town home!
First off, prevention is key! Be sure to guard all flammable materials, especially cigarettes and candles. Also, watch for electrical hazards like fraying chords and overloaded power strips. When too may items are plugged into one outlet the source can over heart, spark, and result in a fire.
Secondly, be sure that all fire detectors have working batteries and are always ON. There should be working fire detectors on every floor of your residence, especially in the bedroom in case a fire should occur at night. The more detectors, the more possible alarms to alert your family.
Lastly, be sure your family has an escape plan figured out in the event of any emergency or crisis. A person is less likely to panic or freeze when there is a set plan in motion. Being active and alert during a crisis betters the outcome!
If you're in a building:
- Have a portable radio for weather alerts and updates nearby.
- Get to the lowest level of your home, such as a basement or storm cellar. If you don't have a basement, go to an inner hallway or a closet.
- Keep away from all windows and glass doorways.
- Do not use elevators because the power may turn-off, leaving you trapped inside.
- Cover your head and eyes with a blanket or jacket to protect against flying debris and broken glass.
- Keep pets on a leash or in a crate close by.
- Stay inside until you're certain the storm has passed!
- Do not leave a building to attempt to "escape" a tornado.
If you're in a mobile home:
- Do not stay in a mobile home during a tornado. Even mobile homes equipped with tie-down systems cannot withstand the force of a tornado's winds.
- Heed all local watches and warnings, and leave your mobile home to seek shelter as quickly as possible before a tornado strikes, preferably in a nearby building with a basement.
- If no shelter is immediately available, find the lowest-lying area near you and lie down in it, covering your head with your hands.
6 Steps to Preventing Mold Growth
SERVPRO has released a report on the six steps to help prevent the growth of mold after water damage has occurred
14,000 people daily are affected by water damage. It is important to know how to eliminate conditions in which may cause mold to grow and spread.
All homeowners who have recently experienced water damage should be concerned about mold, as it can grow rapidly. The sooner an infestation is taken care of, the better.
Here are six tips to help reduce the likelihood of mold growth:
Remove the water as quickly as possible.
Use a wet or dry vacuum to soak up as much water as possible. This limits the possibility for the mold to grow.
Use fans to dry the floors and carpets faster.
It may take several days for fans to completely dry water damage. Leave them on constantly for at least a few weeks to help circulate cool and fresh air as well as speed up the drying process.
Dehumidify the affected room.
Mold grows in moist, warm and dark areas. Dehumidifying the room helps cool the air and limit mold and mildew growth. Any equipment you can use to dry the air and ground will be useful in mold prevention. Don't have proper equipment? Easy- call SERVPRO to help dry out your home.
Steam-clean your carpet.
Steam-clean any and all carpets to properly sanitize and wipe out any spores which may have started growing. Any water-damaged carpet padding may need to be replaced, but is still much cheaper than having to entirely re-carpet the house.
Sanitize walls and baseboards.
Anything that has been touched by storm water should immediately be sanitized. Clean any hardwood floors, walls, or other surfaces with soap, water, chlorine, and bleach to minimize mold growth.
Lastly, check affected furniture for any signs of mold growth that may have begun
Check all furniture for water damage, and remove the furniture from wet flooring. Water damage may hide itself under carpets or rugs, so be sure to thoroughly inspect the home.
Even following the above steps, it is likely that a mold infestation may still be present in the home. If any visible signs of mold are noticed, then an infestation/colonization has occurred. For any extensive mold damage situations, it is best to call SERVPRO!
Getting Vacation Ready
Going on vacation should be relaxing and worry-free which is why it is important to make sure your house is secure before you leave for your trip. Be SERVPRO ready so you don’t come back to damages in your home. Here are some tips for preparing your home:
Make Arrangements with an Emergency Contact
- Choose a close friend or neighbor you trust as your emergency contact and provide them with all of your itinerary information in case they need to contact you.
- A timer on lights will give the impression someone is home.
- Leave written directions for alarm codes, doors, or other information needed to properly care for your home.
- Make sure your mail is collected; burglars often look for homes with overflowing mail.
- The Post office can suspend your mail and deliver the day you get back. Just call your local Post Office for information.
Take plumbing and electric precautions
- Prevent leaks and floods from damaging your home by shutting off gas and water at the meter, supply tank or appliances.
- Turn off the water valves to washing machines, sinks, and the dishwasher.
- Unplug electronics to cut down on any possible shortages which could potentially cause a disastrous fire.
- Check your smoke detectors to ensure they are working properly.
- Adjust your thermostat for the season in the winter 55-60 in the summer 75-80 should help control usage.
Right before you leave
- Notify your security company that you are leaving town.
- Take out the kitchen trash and other trash that could get smelly or grow mold.
- Go on one last walk through of your home to secure windows, blinds, fences, doors, and plugs. This will ensure all entries are safe from hazardous obstructions.
If you come back from vacation and encounter damage within your home, call SERVPRO!