How to Test Your Home for Mold and What to do About it

Because mold loves warm and humid places as well as areas with very little light, there are a few areas in your home that can develop molds, such as your bathroom, kitchen, and basement. As such, it is important to understand that, under the right conditions, mold can begin to grow rather quickly. In fact, you can experience a mold problem within as little as 24 hours. Because mold is known to cause a variety of respiratory issues, it is important to detect and remove mold as soon as possible.

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Test for mold

A surface that is potentially harboring mold can often be difficult to distinguish from one that is simply dirty as both can appear blackened. A simple test you can conduct is to add a few drops of household bleach to the area in question. After dropping bleach on the surface, you should wait two minutes. If the blackened area has lightened, you most likely have mold. However, if the area remains dark, it is most likely just dirt. Because mold can cause a variety of health issues, if you have any doubt as to whether you have a mold problem, you can purchase a mold test kit.

Moldy carpet

Mold in your carpet can be the result of a variety of things, such as a flood or a spill that was not cleaned up. No matter the source, it is important that you soak up any water or moisture as soon as possible as doing so will help to reduce the likelihood that mold will grow. To clean any visible or suspected mold, the best carpet cleaner that you can use white vinegar. In fact, as vinegar is a mild acid, it is capable of killing 82 percent of mold species.

To kill the mold, you can simply pour vinegar into a spray bottle. You should make sure to not add water as doing so will dilute its effectiveness. Next, you should spray the vinegar directly onto the carpet. If you notice mold deep within the fibers, you can scrub the carpet with a toothbrush to ensure the vinegar reaches down into the rug. With the vinegar applied, you should let it sit for an hour. After one hour, you should wipe the area with water. You should then be sure to blot the area, and if needed, you can use a fan or a dehumidifier to ensure the area dries completely. If the smell of vinegar lingers, there is no need to worry as it will dissipate over the next few hours.

Moldy surface

You can also use white vinegar to clean mold growing on any other type of surface. However, if you do not like the smell of vinegar, baking soda will work, too. For instance, you can simply mix one-quarter of a tablespoon of baking soda into a spray bottle filled with water. Next, you should shake the bottle until the baking soda dissolves completely. With the solution in hand, you can spray the area and use a scrub brush to help remove the mold. Finally, you should make sure to rinse the surface with clean water and dry it with a clean towel.

 

What is “Curb Appeal” and why does it matter? Tips for sprucing up your home’s exterior.

Increasing Your Home’s Curb Appeal

No matter how gorgeous the inside of your home is, a lack of curb appeal can make it nearly impossible to sell or rent your property. Fortunately, there are several easy, inexpensive ways to increase the curb appeal of your home.

Put simply, curb appeal is the attractiveness of a home or other property when viewed from the street. Consider the iconic house from the hit series, The Brady Bunch: Lush greenery, perfectly manicured hedges, and a fence that appears to be painted daily all add to the home’s enchanting appearance.

Increasing your home’s curb appeal

Your property does not have to be exorbitantly expensive or perfectly maintained to have curb appeal. Focusing on a few simple details can drastically increase your property’s charm.

Identify and remove eyesores

What cannot be seen in front of and around your property can be every bit as important as what can. Identifying and removing unattractive elements of your home environment is easy. A good way to do this is to walk around your property and take pictures. This will help you identify anything that might be unappealing to buyers. Examples include:

  • Trash and other debris
  • Graffiti
  • Weeds
  • Broken, incomplete, or weathered fencing
  • Cracks in concrete
  • The “bare” look

Many of these unsightly afflictions can be fixed at little or no expense. Trash can be picked up, weeds pulled and fences repainted. These seemingly small things add up and have a huge impact on the way prospective buyers view your property.

It may even turn out that some of these things are the responsibility of others. For example, in many cities, sidewalks are considered public property, and thus their upkeep is the city’s responsibility. A simple phone call may be enough to persuade the city to perform much-needed maintenance on the streets and sidewalks in front of your property.

The “bare” look

Even if there are no glaring eyesores, your property can still lack curb appeal. This is especially true when the front and sides of your property are overly plain. Picture a house that is maintained well enough, has a nice green lawn, and nothing else. At this point, curb appeal is relatively neutral. Now, picture that same property with a few tasteful shrubs, a fruit tree, and a few colorful flower beds. These small changes dramatically increase a property’s curb appeal.

Clean all exterior surfaces

If your home’s siding, roof, windows, and driveway are covered in dirt and debris, it can make your home appear old and not well cared for. Use a power washer or hire a professional pressure washing service to get all of your exterior surfaces looking their best!

The most important thing to ask yourself is this: Is my property charming? Does it have a cozy, inviting, and family-friendly vibe? If not, then start with these simple things. You will be surprised at how much they help.

How to Reduce Allergens in Your Home

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Mold, pollen, and dust are examples of some of the things that can potentially trigger allergy symptoms. Reducing those allergens is one of the keys to controlling your allergy symptoms. You can take the following symptoms to reduce the allergens in your home.

Be Smart When You Dust

Dusting can help you control the allergens in your home. However, dusting will only help you if you do it the right way. You should use a damp microfiber cloth to get rid of the dust. The curtains, blinds, ceiling fans, and counters are examples of some of the areas that you will need to dust.

Clean Your Floors

It is easy to track allergens when you come from outside. That is why it is important for you to keep the floor clean. If you have a hardwood floor, then you will need to sweep and mop on a regular basis. You should vacuum with a HEPA filter at least once a week if you have carpet. Have your carpets deep-cleaned on a regular basis to prevent allergens from building up deep down in the carpet fibers. Go to  absolutecarpetcarestl.com  for more information. 

Change the Air Filters

You will need to change the HVAC filter on a regular basis. If the filters are dirty, then the allergens will continue to circulate throughout your home. Most HVAC filters will need to be changed once every one to three months.

Clean Out the Refrigerator

Your refrigerator can easily develop mold because it can accumulate moisture. That is why it is important to wipe off your refrigerator on a regular basis in order to ensure that it does not accumulate excess moisture. Your dripping pan can also accumulate a lot of moisture. You will need to empty it and clean it on a regular basis.

Wash Your Pillowcases And Blankets

Everyone looks forward to getting in their bed after a long day. However, your bed can be a source of allergens. Dust mites love to live in pillowcases and sheets. Your sheets and pillowcases need to be washed every three weeks.

Wash the Dishes

It is not a good idea to let dishes pile up in the sink. Debris and mold can easily build up on the dishes if you do not wash them. You should clean your sink with vinegar and baking soda on a regular basis. This will prevent mold from building up in your sink.

Clean the Toys

Dust mites and pollen can linger on toys. You should clean the toys on a regular basis. Cleaning toys is also important because children tend to put toys in their mouths.

What to Do When Your Home Is Damaged By Water

Water can do a significant amount of damage to your home. Fortunately, you can reduce this damage by acting quickly. You will need to take the following steps if your home is damaged by water.couple holding buckets under a roof leak while making a call

Minimize the Hazards

Water damage is a hazard. If water comes in contact with electricity, then you can get shocked. That is why it is important for you to turn off the main breaker. You will also need to call an electrician.

Get Rid of the Standing Water

You should get rid of as much standing water as you can. A wet vacuum cleaner can use in order to get rid of the excess water. You can also use a sump pump to get rid of a large amount of water. Make sure that you wear protective equipment while you are working around water.

Find the Source of the Damage

You can minimize water damage by finding the source of it. For example, if the damage is caused by a burst pipe, then you should turn off your water. You can contact your city if the damage is caused by a natural disaster or storm. They can send someone out to fix the source of the damage and clean it up.

Ventilate the Area

You will need to ventilate the area after it has suffered water damage. This will help reduce the chances of mold accumulating in the area. You can ventilate the area by opening the windows. You can also use a fan to ventilate the area.

Contact Your Insurance Company

If you have home insurance, then it may cover the water damage. You should call your insurance company as soon as the damage occurs. They can send out an adjuster to assess the damage. Do not make any repairs until the insurance company comes. Make sure that you follow all of the instructions that your insurance company gives you for filing a claim. It is also a good idea for you to take pictures of the damage.

Find the Right Contractors

Water damage probably isn’t something that you will be able to remedy on your own. That is why you will need to hire the right contractors for the job. Good contractors will be honest about the work that they do and give you a fair estimate. They will also be honest about what can and cannot be salvaged. Go to https://www.one-call-services.com/ for more information.

Tips for Maintaining Your Home’s Exterior in Winter

Winter is an inevitable part of life throughout the United States, but that does not make it any easier to handle the frigid temperatures. Cold winter weather can absolutely disrupt nearly every part of your life. In addition to throwing off your immune system, it also causes harm to your most valuable possessions. If you do not want your home to get damaged in the cold, then you will need to start making some winterizing precautions. These are the four best ways to maintain your home’s exterior this winter.

Protect Exterior Plumbing

 

Frozen pipes are a huge concern on extremely cold winter nights, but most people tend to focus on the wrong plumbing. The indoor pipes will rarely freeze because they are exposed to the warm indoor air. The exterior plumbing is far more likely to freeze. Turn off the water supply to all exterior faucets. This will allow all of the water to drain from the pipes before the temperatures drop below freezing. It is also a good idea to use pipe insulation for the exterior pipes to protect them from the cold weather.

 

Check for Foundation Cracks

 

It is completely natural for a house to settle over time. This can create some small cracks in the foundation. It is vitally important to address these cracks in the winter before they become a bigger problem. The cold weather can force the cracks to expand if they are not addressed. These cracks can also be used by small insects to enter your home as they try to find a way to escape the cold. Fill in any small cracks with mortar or foam filler to prevent these problems.

 

Clean the Gutters

 

Cleaning the gutters is one of the most dreaded household chores, but it is also one of the most important. Water is unable to escape the gutters when they become too clogged. The cold winter weather will cause this trapped water to freeze. This can create dangerous ice dams to develop on the edge of your house. It can also cause water to leak in the basement the next time it snows.

 

Trim the Trees

 

If there are any large trees located near your home, then they need to be professionally trimmed before the weather gets too cold. Winter precipitation easily freezes on tree branches. This ice build-up puts a lot of extra weight on the tree branches, which makes them highly susceptible to breaking. These broken branches can do a lot of damage if they fall on your roof, car, or power lines. Avoid the risk by trimming all of the dangerous tree branches.

Plan for Snow Removal

While cities in snowy climates provide snow removal from the streets and roads, it is the home or business owner to remove the snow from sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots. Be sure you have a plan in place for keeping these private areas clear of snow. Depending on the size of your property, you will want to have a snow shovel or a snowblower handy. Many stores sell out of these items when a storm hits. If you have a larger property, you may want to have a professional come to plow the snow away. Many landscaping services provide snow removal in the wintertime.

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Cleaning Tips Especially for Animal Lovers

Having a fuzzy friend in the home, such as a dog or a cat, can be a great experience and a way to avoid loneliness. However, when you have a fuzzy animal around the house, you need to make sure that you clean often. If you are new to having a pet, then make sure that you keep these cleaning tips in mind.

Vacuum Often

Remember that humans only have their hair to worry about, but your pets are completely covered in fur. Because of this, they will shed more often and get hair throughout your house. This means that you should vacuum on a regular basis so you can keep your home clean and avoid having fur all over your home.

You should also look into ways to take care of your furniture if your furry buddy likes to hop onto the couch. You should purchase hand vacuums for those places and also dusters if you have leather couches. This way, you can get your animal’s fur off of your furniture.

Clean Your Tools

Many people will overlook their tools when it comes to cleaning. If you don’t clean your tools on a regular basis, then you will run into problems and they will drop in efficiency. For example, if you have a dog with long fur, then you should clean the vacuum belt regularly.

Do your best to keep your cleaning tools in the best conditions possible. This way, you can effectively clean throughout your house and avoid wasting money on replacement tools. This also includes removing fur from brooms, cleaning mops and maintaining any of your tools that you use on a regular basis.

Always Remain Alert

Remember that your animals can have accidents at times, so you need to always remain alert in your home. For example, if you notice that your pet is acting strange or guilty, then you should check the home to see if he or she did anything. This can include ripping pillows, damaging furniture and having an accident.

By paying attention to your pet and keeping an eye on the house, you can minimize damages. This way, you can avoid permanent stains forming in your carpets and also clean up and replace destroyed pillows as soon as possible. This way, you can minimize permanent damages and issues.

Hire a Professional

Schedule regular carpet cleaning with a services that specializes in pet odor removal. This will help to remove odors completely and prevent your pets from returning to the same spot. Visit http://trojancarpetcare.com/ for more in formation.

Conclusion

It’s always a blessing to have an animal in your home, but you need to be mindful if you want to keep everything clean. Use these tips so you can avoid having fur everywhere and keep your home in an excellent condition. This way, you can have your loving animals while avoiding excessive messes.

Pros and Cons of Hiring Professional Cleanings Services

 

Professional cleaning services are essential if you are not able to take care of everything by yourself. It covers a variety of duties around the house or office, including basic and extensive cleaning. With the fast-paced 21st century lifestyles, it is difficult to decide whether to seek professional assistance or do everything by yourself. Trying to manage your job and home is a challenging task for people every day. It is a task that consumes time, leaving you with limited time to rest and interact with your loved ones.

 

To save time, more people are turning to professional cleaners for assistance. Deciding to hire a professional cleaning service depends on several factors. First, you should be able to evaluate the pros and cons that come with acquiring this service. Although there are several benefits of hiring expert cleaners, this service has some disadvantages too. Here are some of the pros and cons.

Pros

– House will always look amazing and clean

Professional cleaning improves the look and smell of your house. Regular washing, tidying, polishing, and organization of your home will always make your home a comfortable place to relax after a long day at work. You don’t have to worry about secondary chores.

 

– Provides a healthy living environment

Professional cleaners have specialized in their work. This ensures that your home is free from disease-causing microorganisms. Professional expertise makes the environment allergen-free and a comfortable place to live.

 

– Unnecessary chores are avoided

Several tasks around the house like reaching far corners of the house, cleaning the toilet, etc. can be back-breaking at times. Professional cleaners assist in reducing the amount of work you have to do around the house.

 

– It saves you time for family and more important work

Cleaning jobs can consume a lot of hours every week. To make time for family and other vital tasks, hiring cleaners, such as a carpet cleaning service would be a great idea. It allows you to pursue other interests that have much more value.

 

Cons

– It may be an expensive service to acquire

For every service provided, there must be a fee paid. This said, cleaning services accommodates a certain amount of costs that most people may not afford. On the other hand, some people may prefer to save some bucks for other purposes.

 

– You put your property at risk

Inviting strangers into your home may be risky partly because you do not know their personalities. As much as trusted agencies guarantee safety, there is still that awkwardness as you have never interacted with the person before. It will take time to build trust with a new service provider.

 

– Invasion of privacy

 

The entry of strangers into your residence invades your privacy. Most personal things become exposed to external parties. No one likes the inference of personal matters.