Three Reasons not to Attempt Cleaning Up Water Damage Yourself. Lincoln Cleaning and Restoration of Chico, CA.
The True Value of a Restoration Company. Lincoln Cleaning and Restoration of Chico, CA.
When a fire, flood, water leak, mold growth or other issue that makes your home either inhabitable or just an inconvenience to deal with, you must decide “Will I clean this up myself, or hire a pro?”
While some small, minor “disasters” can be tackled by a do-it-yourselfer, most restoration projects are best left to the pros.
Obviously, keeping your family and loved ones safe is important to you. When dealing with disaster issues, what might seem like a minor issue may actually be a dangerous situation. Water damage, even from the smallest leaks, can result in mold growth. Wet materials that might seem to be drying out could hold moisture in hidden areas. Smoke from a fire can be dangerous as well.
Back to normal
Anyone that has never suffered from a loss might not understand the emotions, frustrations and feeling of hopelessness that are common during a restoration project. Using a professional company means things move along quickly, and you are back in your home or able to use damaged rooms as soon as possible. Doing it yourself can make the project drag on for days longer than necessary, often with undesirable results.
Water, fire, smoke, wind, mold… what’s covered? And what’s not? Insurance policies are difficult to interpret, yet a professional disaster restoration company works with insurance companies every day, so they are best equipped to help you through the process of dealing with insurance agents and adjusters. You want to be treated fairly and receive fair coverage from your insurance company. Having a qualified, reputable restoration contractor in your corner helps with the entire process.
Do what’s right. Call your disaster restoration company when you suffer any type of loss.
Clogged Drain Dramas. Lincoln Cleaning and Restoration of Chico, CA.
It sits in the center of every sink, at the end of every bathtub, and could be anywhere at the bottom of a shower stall… that’s right. You see them all the time. Drains that faithfully work to take away soapy water, food waste and more.
So when they slow down or even quit working entirely, it is very frustrating and annoying.
Your first inclination is to grab a plunger, which might work but more than often… it doesn’t work at all. But you have to try! Sometimes, a connecting drain to the plugged one allows air to escape and the plunging action is worthless. You can plug the second drain with a towel or cloth, and that might help with the plunging action.
If typical plunging doesn’t work, consider these steps to enable a drain to do what it’s supposed to do.
The drain could be plugged with something that could be melted, dissolved or moved by super-hot water. Boil an entire pot of water and (very carefully so you don’t get burned) pour it into the drain. It might be enough to clear the drain.
Often, protein matter, such as hair, plugs up drains, especially in sinks, tubs and showers in bathrooms. Carefully pouring chlorine bleach into the drain, enough to fill the drain, and then allow the solution to work on the hair will work. Chlorine bleach is very inexpensive but very powerful. It will eat its way through a drain blocked with hair and clear it out so it drains effectively.
It’s time to get physical. Unclogging a drain with an auger, also known as a “snake” will move what’s stuck. You can purchase a tool like this at your local hardware store. Carefully insert the end of the snake into the drain and push and pull until you move the blockage or can pull it out. You can do this from the drain itself or from the pipe below if accessible.
Sometimes a clogged drain creates a big mess. When that happens, and for all your cleaning needs, call your cleaning pros for help.
Dripping Your Way to Trouble. Lincoln Cleaning and Restoration of Chico, CA.
Drip… Drip… Drip… a leaky pipe or drain may not seem to be that big of a deal, but it could be the first indicator of big trouble coming your way.
Most people — just like you — think of water damage situations as a broken pipe spewing water all over the place, or perhaps a failing sump pump resulting in a basement that imitates a swimming pool you did not want.
Other water damages can occur from an overflowing toilet or — even worse — sewage backup that can mean replacement of surfaces and belongings in your home.
Catastrophic water damage situations, such as from a storm, flood waters and similar water intrusions, are about impossible to predict and prepare for.
But when it comes to smaller issues, you can do quite a bit to keep your home nice and dry and free of musty, moldy odors.
The first step is prevention. If you have a faucet dripping, you may think the only loss would be pennies a day. But what if your drain plugged up and you were gone for an extended period of time? Drips can quickly add up and create an overflow that can cause expensive water damage. And a leaky pipe under a cabinet or toilet is really bad news as that can quickly get worse and flood your home. So be sure to either fix these issues yourself or hire a plumber.
The second step is to dry out any existing moisture that may exist in areas that can be damp from either dripping water supply pipes and hoses to drains. Wipe up as much water as you can and get some air movement onto the surfaces affected.
The third step is to get professional help. Call your water damage pro not only when emergencies strike, but to receive valuable advice in advance.
Do what’s right. Call your water damage pro!
Mattress Matters. Lincoln Cleaning and Restoration of Chico, CA.
Thinking about the care and cleaning of a mattress may not be on everyone’s minds, but when you consider you spend six, eight or even more hours with it every day… you should take good care of it.
Some people notice that over time, perhaps just a year or two, they suffer more from allergies and other conditions. It is possible an unclean mattress could be the culprit.
This is not saying there are issues with anyone’s hygiene. Mattresses are like any other surface and they need regular cleaning — yet when you cover them up with clean sheets on a regular basis, not many give it much thought.
Dust mites (which are in every bed), their fecal matter, dead skin cells and more all add up over time and can cause a host of health issues.
There are many steps you can take to keep your mattress clean and healthy:
Those are pretty basic steps, but ask yourself… “Am I doing them?” If not, start now. You will have a healthier sleeping environment that not only gives you peace of mind, but also relief from some allergic reactions and other issues that you may have been suffering from but didn’t know the source.
Don’t forget, there are professional service companies that can periodically give your mattress a deep cleaning. Just as with all your carpet cleaning and furniture cleaning needs, call your favorite professional cleaning company to care for your mattress.
And then you can do what everyone wants: Get a good night’s sleep!
Candles and Scents. Lincoln Cleaning and Restoration of Chico, CA.
There’s nothing more inviting than the smell of delicious cookies, cakes or other tasty foods being prepared in the kitchen. Your nose can’t help but lead you to the source.
There are other smells in many homes that are inviting as well… those nice fragrances from scented candles. There are hundreds of scents available, from favorites such as vanilla, citrus, lavender, and more. Some scents smell just like cookies or cakes in the oven. Of course, you don’t get the benefit of eating them!
Yet, as inviting as those scents may be, there are some concerns you should consider as you burn them.
It’s been noted by various environmental groups and indoor air quality specialists that burning candles can produce pollutants such as acetone, toluene, benzene and others. It’s what is found in soot, considered a hazard all on its own.
More and more people — perhaps just like yourself — love the smell of these scented candles. Yet are they putting off smoke, even invisible smoke, that can be leaving an unhealthy residue in your home? It could be. Remember, soot is the product of material that didn’t totally go through the combustion process of burning. If the flame of your candle isn’t totally blue, no doubt there is soot being produced.
What can you do?
Choose your scents wisely. Opt for natural wax materials, such as beeswax or soy candles, both of which are better choices than wax made from petroleum products. Natural materials may cost more, but is a better, safer and healthier choice.
Make sure your wick is burning adequately. The wick should burn evening with the melting wax, and curl as it burns. Ensuring the wick is less than ½ inch long when you light it will help.
Keep your candles burning where there is limited or no draft. Air movement can cause the flame to burn erratically possibly create more soot or pollution.
Don’t burn your candles all the time. Make it a treat. Burn them when you are in the mood for a nice scent in the home.
And when you do have issues with your candles, such as a residue on surfaces in your home, call your restoration pro. They can help determine if your candle burning habits are safe!
Detergents, Soaps and More. Lincoln Cleaning and Restoration of Chico, CA.
When it comes to your home, you usually have two prime, important goals in mind: Keep your home clean and keep your home healthy. Family is important to you.
To do that, it takes a lot of thought. Not about your cleaning technique… but about the products you choose to do the cleaning.
When you wander the cleaning supply aisle at your favorite department or big-box store, the options are endless. The list of ingredients is long and the descriptive words are confusing. While a scientist working in a laboratory knows what those ingredients are, it’s not your fault that they mystify you.
What do you really need to know? The basics. Here they are.
Detergent versus Soap
Most of the products you use are “detergents” — in that they are man-made or synthetic. They clean great, and usually don’t leave a sticky residue. Soap, on the other hand, is natural, clean great as well, yet can leave a sticky residue if not rinsed off completely. Choose either one, but keep in mind the residue issue. You don’t want to clean a surface and then have the sunlight shine on it and show you a white, sticky residue.
This weird word you might have heard of is the active cleaning agent. It stands for “surface active agent” and in layman’s terms it “makes water wetter.” Think of a waxed surface. The water beads up. Yet if you add a little dish detergent, which has surfactants, the water spreads out. Surfactants allow water to penetrate surfaces, which is how we clean.
pH can be confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. It is simply a measurement of alkalinity and acidity. Consider a lemon. It’s acidic. So is coffee, tea and most foods. Most of your cleaning products are going to be alkaline, the opposite of acidic. When you have an upset stomach, you reach for an antacid, because the alkalinity in the antacid will counteract the acid that is upsetting your stomach. Cleaning is like that, balancing pH, in addition to using surfactants so water can do its job.
But the bottom line when it comes to choosing products? Choose a reputable brand. One that has good consumer reviews. And when you really want to know what’s best for your home when it comes to cleaning… contact your favorite cleaning company. They have the intel.
Mysterious Mustiness. Lincoln Cleaning and Restoration of Chico, CA.
It’s easy to know where musty or moldy odors are coming from after you have suffered from a water damage, which happens from a broken pipe, overflowing toilet or flooding from rainwater, to mention a few.
But what do you do when you notice a mysterious “musty” odor in your home? Nothing is broken. There was no big storm. The sump pump is chugging away like normal.
Mysterious musty odors can be caused by a variety of situations. Figuring out where they are coming from and remediating them is the challenge.
What are some common causes?
Ice dams are the bane of winter. Ice dams are created on roofs in cold climates. They develop when snow accumulates on a roof with a slope, the snow starts to melt and the water slowly moves down the slope to the eaves or gutters. The water can’t drain because of the amount of debris in the gutters, such as from leaves. It then refreezes, creating an ice dam, which means during the next thaw water can’t drain through the obstruction. This then causes leaks through the roofing material, and into your home. If the water intrusion is minimal, you might not even know it is happening, until your nose knows… detecting that mysterious musty odor.
Leaky drains are another cause of musty odors. If the leak is very slow, water can drip, drip, drip… and over time cause damage under sinks. You don’t notice it because it’s hidden, and the amount of water is contained in a small area. But you start to notice the smell, that mysterious mustiness that you are determined to eradicate.
Severe condensation on windows is easy to see but often homeowners don’t appreciate the damage potential. This odor-causing issue is caused by excessive moisture in the home, especially in the winter when windows draw the moisture onto cold surfaces. The moisture itself isn’t the problem. The problem is when the moisture moves down into the window sills and any natural woodwork or even wall interiors get wet and create that mysterious musty odor.
What can you do? Do an inspection. Look at all areas in your home that water can intrude or accumulate. Your restoration pros have the equipment to do it right, with moisture meters and special cameras that detect moisture.
Be smart. Give them a call.
Kitchen Health Hazards. Lincoln Cleaning and Restoration of Chico, CA.
The surfaces in a kitchen that are considered health hazards are probably not at the top of your list of household concerns, but statistics show that a closer look at countertops, cutting boards and other food preparation areas where you slice and dice your way to your favorite meal is warranted.
As stated by Dr. Charles Gerba, a noted microbiologist and professor: “In most cases, it’s safer to make a salad on a toilet seat than it is to make one on a cutting board.”
Let’s look at three common surfaces where there is food contact and what can be done to protect the health of yourself and your family.
We take them for granted as the most common food preparation surface, and yet we often don’t pay enough attention to how clean they are. Especially close to the sink, where most food prep usually takes place. Make it a daily habit, and especially after preparing tasty meals that include meat such as chicken and pork, to use a disinfectant kitchen cleaner and paper towels. But don’t just spray and wipe. Spray the disinfectant cleaner all over the countertop and give it a few minutes to work, and then wipe it off.
As previously mentioned, cutting boards have been known to be so contaminated that toilet seats are considered to have less contamination. Most people, after preparing food, quickly rinse and wipe off their cutting boards, leaving a teaming army of bacteria behind. Just like with countertops, a disinfectant cleaner is important. Even better? Have several cutting boards in your kitchen and after using one, put it in the dishwasher. Done. Clean. Healthy.
Many bacteria tests of kitchen sinks reveal a collection of E. coli. Why? Unless you are on vacation, your kitchen sink is always wet, which is what bacteria thrives on. Add food particles to the mix and the bacteria has a huge buffet to feast upon. Frequently spray the kitchen sink with disinfectant cleaner, give it time to work, and then rinse with hot water. Do this daily. Doesn’t take much time at all.
Of course, when you want peace of mind and a healthy home, especially when you are too busy to do it yourself, call a pro. Your professional cleaning service knows how to clean it all.