Friday, July 19, 2019

Are Mrs. Meyers Cleaning Products Really “All Natural”?

If a product is branded as “natural,” does that mean that it’s made with 100% natural ingredients? Not necessarily. Because there are no federal regulations that set requirements regarding what “natural” cleaning products must contain (or not contain), it can be tricky for consumers to know what it is they’re actually purchasing--unless they look carefully at the list of ingredients.
Are There Harmful Ingredients in Mrs. Meyers Cleaning Products?
Unlike some brands, Mrs. Meyers attempts to create transparency on their website when it comes to the ingredients in their products. Each product’s webpage has a section where you can view a breakdown of what ingredients are used, what they are, and what their purpose is. However, some ingredients are labeled and/or described in a way that omits information contrary to the products’ branding.
In the Clean Day Basil Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner, you’ll find ingredients like water, salt, and essential oils. You’ll also see these ingredients:
  • Methylisothiazolinone: This is described as a “non-formaldehyde preservative.” Under “What Does It Do?” the website notes: “synthetic product preservative, < 1% of total volume to ensure shelf life stability.”
  • Fragrance: This is described as a “mixture of high-quality essential oils and synthetic fragrance ingredients” that “smells great and provides an aromatherapeutic experience.”
Aside from being a preservative, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that methylisothiazolinone (MCI) is a standardized chemical allergen. Synthetic fragrances can also cause allergic reactions and worsen indoor air quality. Federal regulations don’t require manufacturers to list the ingredients in “fragrance,” so the term “fragrance,” “perfume,” or “parfum” can mean a few fragrance allergens or a few hundred. Mrs. Meyers does note under the ingredients list that the product “contains fragrance allergens” and includes a list of each fragrance allergen.
Are Mrs. Meyers Products Dangerous?
If Mrs. Meyers cleaning products are used as directed, they are unlikely to cause serious, immediate harm. However, if you have a chemical sensitivity (1 in 4 Americans do), these products could create harmful conditions for you in your home, and the artificial fragrances used in the products can worsen your indoor air quality over time.
At GreenPro Cleaning & Restoration, we promote healthy living. All of our products are bio-safe, and all of our methods are bio-friendly. We do not use any toxic chemicals and our cleaning systems produce superior results.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Did You Know Your Vacuum Cleaner Could Do This?

Most people use vacuum cleaners for what you’d expected: sucking up the dust, dander, hair, and numerous other particles that find their way onto floors and upholstered furniture. However, you may be surprised to find out that your vacuum cleaner can be used for much more than cleaning floors and sofas.
Here are some brilliant, new ways to make use of your vacuum cleaner. Get those attachments ready!

1. Prevent Dryer Lint Fires

Dryer lint buildup can pose a serious fire hazard to any home. At least a couple of times each year, take out your dryer’s lint trap and use your vacuum cleaner’s thin wand attachment to suck out excess lint from the vent.

2. Blow Up an Air Mattress

Have no fear if the electric pump to your air mattress dies. A bagged vacuum cleaner can do the job as well!

3. Find Tiny, Lost Items

We’ve all done it. At some point, we’ve dropped a pin, earring, needle, or some other small object into carpeting and simply could not find it. If this happens to you, stretch a stocking or the foot of a pair of tights or pantyhose over the mouth of your vacuum’s attachment, and vacuum over the area where you lost the item. The vacuum will suck up the item from the carpeting, and the stocking will keep the item from going all the way up into your vacuum cleaner.

4. Re-fluff Carpet Indentations

If you’ve ever moved furniture around, you’ve probably noticed the indentations that furniture leaves behind on carpeting. If an indentation is particularly stubborn, place an ice cube directly on the spot and allow it to melt. Once the water has mostly dried, vacuum over the area in every direction. Note: Refrain from using an excessive amount of ice cubes, as too much water can lead to mold growth under the carpet!

5. Clean Your Curtains

Curtains often get neglected during housecleaning, but they collect a large number of airborne particles, including dust and mold spores if they’re next to an open window. If you have curtains that can’t be machine-washed, use your vacuum cleaner’s upholstery attachment to give them a good dusting.
Vacuum cleaners certainly are handy appliances, but for certain areas of your home, a heavier-duty solution is needed. If your air ducts, attic, or crawl space is in need of a professional cleaning, contact GreenPro Cleaning and Restoration!

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

The Main Differences Between Mold and Mildew

People often confuse mold with mildew, and it’s easy to see why. Both are a type of fungus that gives off a foul, musty odor, and both are known to grow in warm, moist environments. However, if you are going to properly eliminate mold and mildew from your home, you have to know how to identify which is which so that you can use the correct solution to remove the growth.
Here are the main differences that distinguish mold from mildew.
Where Mildew Grows vs. Where Mold Grows
Mildew tends to grow on the surfaces of wet or damp objects, which makes it easier to see and remove. Mildew tends to accumulate on the walls, floors, and ceilings of rooms with high humidity as well as on leather, fabric, paper, and organic surfaces. Mildew can also be found on crops and plants, including grapes and potatoes.
Mold has more of a tendency to grow underneath surfaces that have gotten wet, but mold can grow on a variety of surfaces if the conditions are right (basically, enough darkness and moisture). Mold can grow in showers, under sinks and toilets, near windows, and on walls, insulation, floors, curtains, furniture, clothes, rugs, and mattresses.
How Mildew Looks vs. How Mold Looks
Mildew is not as diverse as mold in the “looks department.” Mildew tends to be pale yellow, gray, or white and looks downy, fluffy, or powdery in texture. It is also possible for mildew to turn brown or black over time. When mildew first starts to appear, it might look like a bunch of pale spots, but as it grows, it develops into a flat patch.
Mold can grow in a variety of colors, including gray, brown, black, green, yellow, blue, and white. Like mildew, mold can have a somewhat fluffy texture, but it can also have a slimy appearance. Mold begins to appear as a number of spots that can be mismatched in shape and size.
The Effects of Mildew vs. The Effects of Mold
While both mildew and mold have adverse effects on their surroundings, mold is considered the more hazardous of the two. If mildew starts to grow on your food, you’ll have to consider that food inedible, but unlike mold, mildew won’t cause serious damage to a building. Mold can cause the structures on which it grows to rot.
Mold can also cause more serious adverse health effects than mildew. Exposure to mildew spores can trigger symptoms such as a headache, sore throat, cough, or another respiratory issue. While mold can also trigger these symptoms, mold can contribute to other health issues such as joint pain and inflammation, chronic fatigue, depression, dizziness, migraines, and even hearth problems. Children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems are particularly susceptible to the ill effects of mold spore exposure.
If you suspect that your home has water damage, it’s important to get your home inspected as soon as possible for areas that might allow mold to thrive. At GreenPro Cleaning & Restoration, we’re capable of providing you with a comprehensive water damage evaluation of your home.

Monday, June 24, 2019

How to Prepare Your Home for a Summer Storm

Now that we’re in the season of summer storms, it’s not only important to keep your eye on the weather report but to also prepare your home for what might come well in advance. In order to prevent damage to your home during the worst summer storms, here are 5 important steps you should never forget to complete.
1. Get your roof inspected ahead of time.
Roof leaks are an infamous source of costly water damage. While you can survey parts of your roof from the ground, you won’t be able to get an accurate idea of its condition from that angle and distance. However, trying to traverse your roof without experience and proper training can end up in a trip to the emergency room.
In the end, it’s best to get your roof inspected by a professional, insured roofer. They will be able to spot areas of your roof that might be damaged or otherwise susceptible to leaks.
2. Tie down any outdoor furniture or move it indoors.
Gusts of wind can blow outdoor furniture across your yard, damaging your home and your landscaping. In some cases, particularly strong gusts can even carry your furniture into the yard of a neighbor and cause damage to their home. Furniture might even strike a person who happens to be outside, causing them serious injury.
If you know a storm or strong winds are headed your way, make sure to tie down your outdoor furniture or move it into the garage or basement.
3. Get your trees trimmed.
This is especially important if trees are hanging over your roof or touching your home. Stormy conditions can cause their branches (or even the whole tree) to scrape against your home or collapse on it. Also, be sure to throw away loose branches and debris. Just like unsecured furniture, fallen branches and debris can injure people or damage homes when carried by the wind.
4. Ensure your gutters are clean and securely attached to your home.
Your gutters won’t be able to steer water away from your home if they’re clogged with leaves and other debris. Make sure that they are completely debris-free and that they aren’t loose or wobbly anywhere.
5. Stock up on sandbags to redirect water, if necessary.
Sometimes your yard’s drainage system cannot adequately handle torrents of summer rain. This results in flooding across your property. Sandbag walls are useful for redirecting water away from your home so that you can avoid water damage. Keep plenty on hand, just in case!
If you suspect that your home might have water damage after a summer storm, it’s important to get your home evaluated at once. At GreenPro Cleaning & Restoration, we perform visual surveys to check the fungal ecology or problems in a specific area as directed. If there is a problem with water damage, we can help you address it.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

3 Household Tasks to Complete Before a Vacation

It’s finally summer, and you are more than ready to leave for vacation. But before you go, here is a reminder of some important household tasks to complete first! These tips will give you both peace of mind while you’re gone and an in-tact home when you get back.
1. Suspend your mail.
When you leave for vacation, sometimes your mail doesn’t wait for you to get back. Leaving your mail out is a clear sign to everyone that you aren’t home. If you don’t like the sound of that, you can do two things to prevent this:
  • The first is asking a family member or a trusted neighbor to pick up your mail for you.
  • If this isn’t an option for you, you can go into your local post office and ask them to hold your mail. They will typically be able to hold your mail from anywhere between 3-30 days, and these arrangements can be made up to 30 days in advance.
2. Take out your garbage.
Even though you may have a lid on your garbage can, it doesn’t mean that the garbage isn’t still there. If left unemptied, it may attract insects such as flies and ants. These are pests that you certainly do not want to greet when you arrive home. Remember to clean out your sink as well, as dirty sinks are very attractive to cockroaches. If by some miracle bugs don’t come, bacteria and germs sure will, which can lead to unwanted illness in your home.
3. Shut off your main water valve.
Shutting off your main water valve is one of the most important things you can do before leaving for vacation. It is the smartest and easiest way to keep your house from flooding while away. If the water remains running while you’re gone, the pressure built up from its non-use can cause a small leak or even a burst to flood your home. The water damage caused by leaks and flooding can prove to be a substantial expense, but shutting off your main water valve will take away any chance for a leak to surface.   

If you do return home and suspect water damage, make sure to contact GreenPro Cleaning and Restoration to perform a professional visual survey to determine any problems. Just remember never to touch wet or damaged items with bare hands, nor should you breathe in damp or odorous air. Mold and bacteria thrive in such environments and could cause severe health issues to those that come in contact with it.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

5 Reasons to Buy a Dehumidifier

We often hear about the benefits of keeping a humidifier in your home, but many people would actually benefit more from owning a dehumidifier. As its name implies, dehumidifiers help remove moisture from the air, and they come in different models and capacities--but what is it that they can really do for you?
Aside from removing the mugginess from your home’s air, here are 5 notable benefits that come with owning a good dehumidifier.
1. Your home will be less susceptible to mold and mildew.
Mold and mildew thrive in warm, moist environments. If your home is humid, that means it has a lot of moisture in the air, which can contribute to the mold and mildew growth. This growth can occur on walls, ceilings, curtains, furniture, and even clothing.
Mold spores release musty smell-gas, reduce your home’s indoor air quality, and can aggravate allergies, asthma, and other chronic respiratory illnesses. It’s much better to prevent mold in the first place than to fight to control it after it has spread. This makes a dehumidifier an anti-mold weapon that you definitely want in your arsenal.
2. You’re less likely to have issues with dust mites.
Just like mold spores, dust mites also thrive in environments that offer warmth and moisture. Contrary to what most think, people with “dust allergies” are, in fact, allergic to dust mites. Reducing the moisture in the air with a dehumidifier and frequently laundering your bedding in hot water can help prevent and combat a dust mite problem in your home.
3. You won’t have to work your conditioner as hard.
Humid air tends to retain heat more than dry air. Therefore, when the air is more humid in your home, your air conditioner has the task of cooling muggy air that wants to “hang onto” its heat. With a dehumidifier removing excess moisture from your home’s air, your air conditioner will be able to operate more efficiently and cool your home more quickly. That means that your air conditioner won’t have to work as hard and can last longer as a result.
4. Food won’t go bad as quickly.
Many foods tend to go stale and grow mold faster in a humid environment. This is especially true of bread, cereal, and many types of tree fruit. If you feel like you’re constantly throwing out food that has gone bad before you’ve had a chance to eat it, a dehumidifier might help!
5. Clothes will air-dry more quickly.
Using an outdoor clothesline can increase the amount of dust and pollen that get onto your clothes, so many people choose to air-dry their clothes indoors. However, if the air is humid in your home, it might seem like ages before your clothes dry all the way. Many people who purchase dehumidifiers find their laundry dries indoors much faster than before.
Has excess humidity created a mold problem in your air ducts, attic, or crawl space? Contact GreenPro Cleaning & Restoration for an earth-friendly approach to a cleaner, healthier home.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Why You Need to Stop Using Products with VOCs Today

Despite how prevalent volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have become, the average consumer still doesn’t know much about them, including what VOCs are, where they come from, and what makes them harmful. What makes this an even bigger problem is that VOCs are much more common than most people realize, and many people are exposed to them on a daily basis.
Arm yourself with this basic knowledge about VOCs in order to make your living spaces healthier for you and your loved ones.
What Are VOCs?
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are compounds that are easily able to become gases or vapors. Many VOCs are toxic and cause harm to humans if inhaled or touched with direct skin contact. Here are examples of well-known VOCs that can commonly be found in homes:
  • Formaldehyde
  • Acetone
  • Butanal
  • Dichlorobenzene
  • Ethanol
  • Toluene
  • Benzene
  • Terpenes
Where Can VOCs Be Found?
VOCs enter the air from burning fuel sources (wood, coal, natural gas, gasoline, etc.) and are also released from a number of products that you can find around the average American home. For example, wallpaper, furniture polish, and nail polish remover are known to release acetone. Some carpeting can release benzene.
Cleaning and deodorizing products are the most infamous household sources of VOCs. Ethanol is released by a number of laundry and dishwasher detergents and glass cleaners. Air fresheners that are not composed entirely of natural ingredients produce VOCs including terpenes, benzene, xylene, ethanol, toluene, and formaldehyde. Contrary to what their name implies, air fresheners’ concentration of VOCs actually makes them terrible for your home’s indoor air quality.
What Health Effects Are Associated with Exposure to VOCs?
Exposure to VOCs can result in a number of negative health effects. If you have short-term exposure to VOCs, you may experience effects such as:
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches/migraines
  • Nasal/throat/eye irritation
  • Vision problems
  • Memory problems
If you have long-term exposure to VOCs, you may also experience effects such as:
  • Loss of coordination
  • Central nervous system damage
  • Liver damage
  • Kidney damage
  • Cancer
Tips for Reducing Your Exposure to VOCs
  • Remember when shopping that labels can be deceiving. Even products that claim to be “green” can contain a number of toxic chemicals.
  • When looking for adhesives and paint, try to find options free of benzene.  
  • Instead of using products with acetone or alcohol, opt for water-based alternatives.
  • Instead of mothballs, repel moths with cedar chips or bags of lavender.
  • Use glass over plastic whenever possible. When plastic is necessary, make sure it’s BPA-free.
  • Opt for soaps and cleaning products made from all-natural ingredients (like baking soda or distilled white vinegar) or plant-based ingredients.
At GreenPro Cleaning & Restoration, all of our products are bio-safe, and all of our methods are bio-friendly. We do not use any toxic chemicals, and our cleaning systems produce superior results for better indoor air quality and healthier living conditions.