How to Avoid a Moldy Basement. ProRestoration Services of Bakersfield, CA.
There are many types of mold that can be found in a home, whether the problem is caused by faulty construction, water damage, leaky plumbing, or other issues.
But what some people report is, despite no evident water damage or plumbing situations, no heavy rains, to name a few issues, they still get mold in their basements, often on the inside of their exterior block walls.
Nobody wants that. Mold can be dangerous to people who have exposure sensitivities to it.
What can you do to avoid a moldy basement problem? There are several simple steps and procedures…
Know your numbers
It’s important to understand humidity and monitor those moisture levels in your home. A simple hygrometer you can buy online or in a retail store gives you this information, as easy as a thermometer tells you the temperature.
Use a dehumidifier
Basements are known to be humid and damp, even with no evident moisture intrusion issues. A dehumidifier can remove many pints of water from the air each day. You can choose one that you have to dump the water from on a schedule, or have it drain automatically into a floor drain or sump pump. You will be amazed how much water you can remove and keep mold at bay with a dehumidifier.
Use exhaust fans
Simple fans can be installed that move moisture-laden air from the inside to the outside, like you would do with a bathroom exhaust fan. This might be a chore for the pros, so have them take a look at your home and see what options they might offer.
Inspect outside drainage
One issue that is common is moisture building up on the outside of block walls, and this moisture can seep into the interior walls of those blocks, adding too much humidity in the basement. Ensure all ground water flows away from your home and doesn’t puddle up against the walls.
This advice is for common issues. But if the worst happens, such as a broken pipe or water flooding into your home, now you are into a serious issue. Do the right thing and call your water damage restoration company today. After all, it pays to call a pro!
Cleaning Up ‘Accidents’. ProRestoration Services of Bakersfield, CA.
Our pets. We love them. No matter what.
No matter if they hack up hairballs. No matter if they barf up their breakfast. No matter if they mistake the corner of the living room for the litter box or the grass patch outside.
Dogs, cats, gerbils, hamsters, birds… the list goes on as to the types of pets that people have in their homes and subsequently treat like family. Or even better than family.
With owning a pet comes responsibilities. Some obligatory, such as taking them to the vet for annual checkups. Others more of a necessity, such as cleaning up after they make a mess, from turning over the food dish to the previously mentioned hacking or barfing — or other issues that create a smelly, visible mess that must be dealt with.
Pet accidents. They happen to every pet owner. And are they really “accidents” — as if the pet didn’t really mean to do it? That’s another story entirely.
Here are a few basic steps to consider when cleaning up “accidents”.
Scrape or wipe it up — all of it
No matter the mess, whether tossed up tidbits from the food bowl to a hacked-up hairball to urine or feces in the carpet, the first order of business is to clean up excess residue. There’s no point to applying cleaning product or deodorizer to substance that you can remove with a few paper towels.
Blot and blot… and blot some more
Now is the time to get as much moisture (gross!) out of the carpet or off the flooring material, or even off furniture. Using white, absorbent paper or cloth towels, push down on the affected area. Do not scrub. The idea is to absorb as much contamination as you can.
Apply product — and clean!
The final step is to clean up all remaining residues from the surface. Always pretest colors and fabrics before adding cleaning products, although most surfaces are fairly durable and can handle mild cleaning agents. Get some ideas for the best products from your local carpet cleaning company. Control the amount applied with a flip-top bottle or adding the product to a white, absorbent paper or cloth towel. Work into the area and clean away the contamination. If you remove it when fresh, there should be no residual issues.
Sounds easy, right? It’s not always this easy. When you have difficult cleaning challenges, do the right thing. Call your professional cleaning company. After all, it pays to call a pro!
Categories of Mold Contamination. ProRestoration Services of Bakersfield, CA.
When things get damp, humid, musty, smelly… there could be trouble brewing, even if you can’t see the source of the issue.
When your nose senses suspicious odors, especially in areas such as dark, enclosed basements, as one example, thoughts often go to, “Do I have mold?”
It’s a concern everyone should have, because specific types of mold, depending on an individual’s sensitives, can be hazardous to health.
While this topic and potential issues aren’t meant to alarm you, being informed is important and a protection to yourself and to your family. And one way to be informed is to know the various types of mold, at least a few of the common ones found in homes.
This type of mold is common as well, and normally shows up in damp areas, such as a shower, sink, under cabinets, and dark areas that may be humid. This type of mold usually, to those sensitive to it, causes asthma attacks and other allergic reactions.
One common mold found indoors is aspergillus. It isn’t considered a substantial health threat, but it can cause issues with those who are sensitive to molds. Some severe reactions can include inflammation of the lungs, infection of the respiratory system, and other symptomatic reactions to exposure to this mold spore.
This mold grows best on wooden surfaces, such as natural wood furnishings, and also in paint and wallpaper, to name a few. It often exhibits a black/pink color. Over time, this mold can cause severe allergic reactions to sensitive individuals.
The last mold we will cover here is often caused by some type of water damage situation. It can usually be found in drywall, especially when wet from water damage or other moisture intrusion. You usually identify this type of mold by its musty or “old” odor in the home.
Often found in soil, cellulose and plant debris, in both cool and warm areas, on various surfaces such as carpet, wood floors, and fabrics. Exposure can cause breathing challenges and respiratory issues.
These are just a few types of mold common to homes. Do your research and you will find a very long list of potential mold threats; some of them sound extremely risky to be around.
Remember, if you have any questions about water damage, mold contamination, mold spores, musty odors, and potential health threats to your family and home, call your disaster restoration company. After all, it pays to call a pro!
Cleaning the Air Conditioner. ProRestoration Services of Bakersfield, CA.
It’s summertime. And if it isn’t that hot yet, it will be really soon. If hot weather isn’t in the forecast right now, give it time… it will warm up.
When hot weather strikes, most people work hard to be comfortable, and that means turning down the air in the home, using their trusty air conditioning system. For some, that means 80 degrees Fahrenheit. For others, 70. Others… like it even colder. It’s all about personal preference.
But when your air conditioner doesn’t perform adequately, or even worse, stops completely, panic strikes as the heat and humidity increases.
How can you avoid a sluggish or broken air conditioner? A few preventative maintenance steps can help tremendously.
Keep it simple — and clean!
Any part of your air conditioning unit, whether it is a portable window variety, mini-split, or central air, it’s important to keep all working parts, filters, everything clean of dust and debris.
All this means is a regular inspection, perhaps twice a month, and taking steps to clean dirty areas. If your air conditioner is portable and has a water collection tank, empty it regularly.
What comes in handy for removing dust and debris, especially from filters you can’t remove and aren’t washable, is a can of compressed air, such as you might use for your computer. But remember that when you blow dust off one surface, it will land on another.
And, if you aren’t sure about filter location or any aspect of your AC unit, ask a professional and take notes so you can refer to them in the future.
Call the pros
As with any electronic and complex piece of equipment, there are limits to what you can do yourself. Consider calling a professional heating, ventilation, and air conditioning company come in annually and perform an inspection. These are usually very inexpensive and, if you ever need repair service, they will respond faster if you are a regular customer (usually).
Once in a while, an air conditioning unit malfunctions or spills over, making a big mess. If that ever happens, it’s time to call your favorite cleaning company to take care of the issue. After all, it pays to call a pro!
Categories of Water Damage. ProRestoration Services of Bakersfield, CA.
Even the smallest amount of water that intrudes into your home can quickly gravitate from a nuisance to a significant issue. And a water intrusion that involves hundreds or thousands of gallons of water may mean you become homeless for a short time, while the repair is performed
Did you know that water losses are given classifications? One water loss isn’t always like the next. There are differences.
Many water damage situations involve a basement, and often a sump pump failure. Others are from leaky pipes or even broken pipes. When this occurs, along with other types of water loss situations, did you know the water type is classified by professional water damage restoration experts as “clean?” That’s right. Even if it looks dirty, because of a lower amount of potentially hazardous contaminants in the water, it is given a “Category 1” classification. However, this type of water loss can quickly escalate into a more dangerous situation, if not removed and affected materials dried out quickly.
Then we have water damage situations that may contain potentially hazardous contaminants and bacteria that could be harmful to your health. An example would be a toilet that overflows, that doesn’t involve raw sewage. This would be a “Category 2” classification. A Category 1 can become a Category 2 if left unattended, because of bacteria and microbial growth occurring over time.
And it gets worse from here. A “Category 3” water damage situation is “black” water and is always considered dangerous to the health of occupants in a home or building. An example would be a raw sewage backup and contamination. Another would be flood waters, since you aren’t sure of the source of the water or where it has been. The contamination involved would dictate wearing personal protective equipment and even respirators. Never risk your health.
For Category 1 and Category 2, there is a chance you could extract and dry the area yourself. Often, it ends up in frustration and even mold growth. But for Category 3, never attempt this on your own. In fact, play it safe. Always call a professional water damage company when you have any type of flooding situation in your home. After all, it pays to call a pro!
Caring for the Commode. ProRestoration Services of Bakersfield, CA.
It’s no fun. It’s un-delightful. But someone must do it.
Cleaning the commode — aka “the toilet” — is a task that must be done on a regular basis, because if you don’t do it… well, you know.
Over time, grime can build up but also very-difficult-to-remove hard water, lime, and calcium deposits. Rust stains can also accumulate.
And there is no “one way” to take care of each situation. Frequency of usage, the quality of your water, and other factors can dictate more frequent or less frequent cleaning.
The first rule of thumb is clean based on appearance. Don’t wait until you notice the commode needs cleaned. Schedule it and clean it even when it doesn’t look like it needs it. This may be weekly or bi-weekly. But put it on your calendar to-do list.
The first item you need is a good quality toilet cleaning brush. If your water quality is considered “hard”, purchase one that can provide some mild abrasion, such as a wire brush. This will help with the difficult task of removing mineral deposits. But don’t overdo it; you can scratch the surface of the commode, inside the bowl.
Now you need a quality cleaning product. This is where you really need to consider your best options.
A commercial-grade cleaning product is obviously the best choice, as it will handle most residential cleaning challenges with ease. There are no doubt some supply houses in your area that have these types of products, and most big-box stores also carry similar brands. If you neglect cleaning for a period of time, you will need one of these stronger products, usually a potent acid-based cleaner. If you keep your commode clean on a schedule, a milder household product should suffice.
Choose a cleaning product that has a spout you can use inside the bowl, applying the product up high under the rim of the bowl. Grime and mineral deposits like to hide there. Apply your cleaning solution thoroughly, using your brush to agitate the surface inside the toilet, and allow a few minutes of contact time for the product to work. Then agitate again and flush. Inspect, re-clean if needed… and you should be happy with the results.
As always, using cleaning products is partnered authomatically with a few warnings. Don’t allow it to contact your skin, so use gloves. And don’t forget the eye protection glasses or goggles. Safety first!
Never forget, however, that the absolute best cleaning of your home, whether in the bathroom or the living room, from hard floors to carpet, and more, let your favorite cleaning company do the work. After all, it pays to call a pro!
Seasonal Mold Removal. ProRestoration Services of Bakersfield, CA.
There are many types of mold, and you never want to put yourself or your family at risk when you see some in your house. When it is in your home, it’s time to call a mold professional. Fast!
But outside the house? That’s a different matter altogether.
One fact people don’t always appreciate is mold is everywhere. It’s a product of nature, and found inside and outside. When you find it inside, the mold spores can become concentrated, and depending on the severity of allergic reactions, can even be dangerous. That’s why mold contamination in a structure must be remediated by a mold professional.
Mold that is outside your home is especially noticeable when it is on your home, such as the wood, vinyl or brick siding, or horizontal areas such as decking. When that happens, don’t panic… this mold is where it should be and isn’t much of a danger, unless you or those in your household are prone to allergen exposure associated with mold spores.
If you don’t have allergen issues, then a regular cleaning of the exterior of your home should be a simple task. You have several options you can utilize to accomplish this.
Clean and scrub
The oldest, tried-and-true method of cleaning the exterior of your home from soil, debris, and mold, involves a bucket, brush, sudsing detergent, ladders, and hoses. Using a pump-up sprayer to wet down the exterior means you can get better contact and soak time, and your scrubbing and “elbow grease” efforts are minimized.
Choose a small section at a time. If your cleaning solution dries out, you must re-apply solution and start over. Wash the section, rinse it thoroughly, and allow to dry and then inspect. It may take a couple of cleanings to get the results you want. Any moldy soils that you wash away, make sure you don’t get them on your clothing and bring them inside.
This is the most effective, time-saving method of cleaning the exterior of your home and removing mold growth.
You can purchase power washing equipment inexpensively, and you can spend hundreds of dollars as well. The inexpensive version will be electric, and the expensive version powered by gasoline. Either way works well; gas powered versions will be more powerful and faster to use.
As with any surface, apply your detergent and allow it to soak. Then power wash the exterior, washing off soil and mold away from you. Always be safe. Any contact you have with mold, be sure to wash off completely and don’t track it into your home.
Use a pro
Your favorite cleaning and restoration company knows how to tackle this type of chore best. Do the smart thing and save some time and even some money. And headaches as well. Call them up. After all, it pays to call a pro!
Clean Car Catharsis. ProRestoration Services of Bakersfield, CA.
There are so many things to clean up after a long, messy winter, and bringing your vehicle back to life is probably at the top of the list.
Running it through a car wash occasionally helps keep the grime from building up on the exterior of your vehicle, but you want to give some attention to the entire car, inside and out. A clean car makes you feel really good. Until you encounter the next mud puddle, of course.
So as you stand there looking at your really dirty car, the question that might be on your mind is, “Where do I start?”
It makes sense to washing the exterior completely, using a sudsing detergent and water. Mix up your solution in a bucket, using warm or hot water if possible, and apply the sudsy mix to the exterior and allow it a few minutes to soak. Then scrub with a soft sponge or cloth, and rinse. If your water is hard, you will need to hand dry after washing.
The toughest part of cleaning the exterior of often the front of the vehicle, such as the bumper. Bugs, road tar, and other debris can build up and be really challenging to remove. Use your cloth vigorously, along with some dry solvent solution for the tar, but be very careful not to rub too hard or use too strong a solvent as that can damage paint. When the car is clean, consider a wax treatment, following manufacturer directions.
The tires will need some special attention. A dishwashing sponge with a handle is a good tool to use to get in the tight areas in wheel hubcaps and other sections of the tire. Following cleaning, you can use a tire shine product to really make your car look sharp.
This is where cleaning gets rough. All those details in the car need cleaned. That’s why they call it “automobile detailing” after all.
Start off with a thorough vacuuming of everything. The seats, carpet, nooks and crannies, under seats, between seats. You get the picture. A lot of stuff will be in there, and a vacuum with a crevice tool is the best way to reach debris.
Lay out your car mats and vacuuming them with an upright vacuum, as that will break free and remove more dust.
Mix up a sudsing detergent solution in a bucket, and using soft cloths, begin to clean all hard surfaces. You will need dry cloths as well, as you work through the vehicle. Some cotton swabs will work for reaching in smaller areas, such as air vents.
After all that is done, it’s time to do the windows. Use lint-free cloths and window cleaner, and inspect with a flashlight to see if there are any streaks remaining.
There’s more you can do, obviously, such as shampooing the fabric and cleaning any leather you may have. But these basic steps will get you started on your pathway to clean car catharsis.
And remember, your favorite cleaning company knows all about how to clean any surface, including your car. Call them today. After all, if pays to call a pro!