Tuesday, August 30, 2016

How to Prevent Water in Your Crawl Space

A little bit of water can cause a lot of problems if your home is built atop a crawl space. Excess moisture in crawl spaces often leads to mold, which can weaken your home's framework and compromise your indoor air quality.

Use these three tips to keep your crawl space dry and your home safe.

Clean Your Gutters

The gutters on your home are not just for decoration; they are actually a very important component that helps prevent water damage. When your gutters are clogged, rainwater cannot properly drain through your downspout, and instead will pour over the edge of your roof. This water puddles near your foundation, where it can seep into your crawl space. Prevent this from happening by cleaning your gutters twice per year: once at the start of spring, then again at the end of autumn.

Check Your Foundation for Cracks

In addition to providing water an easy path to infiltrate your crawl space, cracks in your foundation can compromise the structural integrity of your home. Foundations can crack for a variety of reasons, including uneven pressure, extreme soil saturation levels, and concrete shrinkage. If you notice any cracks in your foundation, have them professionally sealed as soon as possible.

Install a Vapor Barrier

Believe it or not, the most common source of water in crawl spaces actually comes from the ground. Moisture from the soil can evaporate straight into your crawl space. In areas where the water table is only slightly below ground level, this evaporation can exceed 10 gallons of water per day! Installing a vapor barrier (a thin sheet of high-density polyethylene) can help keep this water in the ground and out of your home.

GreenPro Cleaning & Restoration offers professional crawl space cleaning services to homes across Long Island. If you are experiencing mold, wood rot, or excess water in your crawl space, give us a call at (631) 940-8100.

Friday, August 26, 2016

What You Don't See CAN Hurt You

Carbon monoxide has long been dubbed “the invisible killer”, but it's not the only toxin that could unknowingly be lurking in your home's air.

Indoor air pollution is a very serious risk that affects more than 90% of North American homes; and most people don't even realize it. Continue reading below to learn about the dangers of indoor air pollution, and what you can do to prevent it...

What is indoor air pollution?

Indoor air pollution is just what it sounds like – polluted air inside of your home. Many people think air pollution is exclusive to outside, but the air indoors could be much worse. In fact, it's not uncommon for household air to be up to 10x more polluted than the air in a major city.

What are the dangers of indoor air pollution?

Indoor air pollution has been linked to several health problems: both immediate and long-term. Short-term health effects of indoor air pollution mimic allergies, and include sneezing, coughing, headaches, and dizziness. Long-term affects are much more severe, as indoor air pollution has been linked to lung cancer, heart disease, and COPD. You can learn more about the health effects of indoor air pollution by clicking here.

What causes indoor air pollution?

Many household products contribute to indoor air pollution – even ones you think are completely safe. Some common sources of indoor air pollution include cleaning products, paint, new carpeting, hardwood flooring and cabinetry, candles, heating equipment, and ironically, air fresheners.

What can you do to improve the air quality in your home?

There are many steps you can take for better indoor air quality, but these are some of the most effective:
  • Invest in a HEPA air filter.
  • Swap out commercial cleaning products for natural ingredients such as baking soda and vinegar.
  • Control your humidity levels to prevent mold.
  • Stock up on these house plants, which can naturally remove harmful particles from the air.
  • Have your air ducts professionally cleaned every 3-5 years.

GreenPro Cleaning & Restoration offers a variety of services to help you improve your home's air quality. Some of our work includes air duct cleaning, crawl space and attic cleaning, and mold removal. If you live on Long Island, call us for a free estimate at (631) 940-8100.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Top Causes of House Fires in the United States

According to the NFPA, more than 350,000 residential fires occur on a yearly basis. While a variety of sources contributed to this alarming number, these five causes were more prevalent than the rest.

#1: Cooking Equipment

It shouldn't surprise anyone that cooking equipment is at the top of the list. Stoves, ovens, grills, and other cooking equipment were responsible for a staggering 45% of all home fires reported between 2009-2013.

How to prevent: Never leave food cooking unattended. Remember the golden rule: Keep an eye on what you fry!

#2: Heating Equipment

Heating equipment – such as furnaces, space heaters, fireplaces, and water heaters – cause about 16% of all home fires. The leading reasons for this include failure to clean, and putting flammable materials too close to the equipment.

How to prevent: Have your heating equipment professionally serviced every year, and keep the surrounding area clear of curtains, clothing, upholstered furniture, cardboard boxes, and other flammable goods.

#3: Electrical Fires

Electrical fires involve some type of failure or malfunction in the electrical system. This can happen to any device powered by electricity, but it most commonly occurs in wiring equipment.

How to prevent: Have your home's wiring system inspected by a professional electrician, and never use devices with frayed or damaged wires.

#4: Smoking Materials

Though responsible for just 5% of house fires, smoking materials accounted for 23% of all fire-related civilian deaths. The vast majority of these fires were created when garbage or furniture were ignited by a lit cigarette.

How to prevent: If you smoke cigarettes, smoke outside and always make sure your butts are completely out before disposing of them.

#5: Clothes Dryers

The main cause of dryer fires is failure to remove lint – which is extremely flammable. If just a small piece of lint makes its way into your dryer's heating element, it can quickly ignite and cause your machine to burst into flames.

How to prevent: Clear your lint screen before every load of laundry, and have your dryer vent professionally cleaned at least once per year. Many people do not know this, but large quantities lint can make its way past the filter and accumulate in the exhaust vent.

GreenPro Cleaning & Restoration offers professional dryer vent cleaning services at an affordable price to homeowners on Long Island. If you live in Nassau or Suffolk County, give us a call at (631) 940-8100.

Monday, August 22, 2016

5 Ways to Extend the Lifespan of Your Home's Cooling System

During the hot summer months, few things are more important than your home's cooling system. Use these five tips to keep yours running like new for years to come.

1. Clean or replace your air filters each month.

Dirty air filters are responsible for up to 80% of all air conditioner breakdowns. Make sure you are cleaning yours every month, or replacing it with a new one. You can refer to your owners manual for instructions specific to your unit.

2. Invest in a programmable thermostat.

Programmable thermostats allow you to set your desired temperature for different times of the day and days of the week. They cost a small investment up front, but can easily pay for themselves by lowering your energy usage and reducing the wear-and-tear on your HVAC system.

3. Keep the surrounding area clean and clear.

If you have central air conditioning, make sure to keep your outside unit clear of branches and leaves. If debris gets too close to your central air system, it can cause clogs, overheating, and potential breakdowns.

4. Schedule a professional tune up.

Annual tune ups can lower your energy consumption, extend the lifespan of your HVAC system, and prevent breakdowns before they happen. In fact, some manufacturers will even void their warranty if you do not have your cooling system professionally serviced each year.

5. Have your air ducts cleaned every 3-5 years.

Dust, mold, pollen, and pet dander can all accumulate inside of your HVAC ducts, limiting air flow and making your cooling system work harder to reach your desired temperature.

Air duct cleaning requires specialized tools and knowledge, so it is a job best left to professionals. Homeowners on Long Island can depend on GreenPro Cleaning & Restoration for all of their air duct cleaning needs. If you live in Nassau or Suffolk County, give us a call at (631) 940-8100 for a free estimate.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Air Duct Cleaning: A Two-Step Process

As a homeowner, it is recommended to have your air ducts professionally cleaned every 3-5 years. Though they are neglected by most people, air ducts are a common hiding spot for many allergens, including dust, pollen, pet dander, and mold. Once in your air ducts, these contaminants can use them as a transportation system to circulate throughout the rest of your home.

Finding the right contractor to perform your air duct cleaning is just as important as the cleaning itself. Unfortunately, the industry is riddled with “blow and go” companies, who offer unreasonably low rates and perform little-to-no real work.

At GreenPro Cleaning & Restoration, we use state-of-the-art technology to deliver real results to our customers. We believe that every good duct cleaning service must utilize a two-step process in order to remove harmful particles from your home. The two steps are...

Step 1: Loosening Debris

The aforementioned contaminants tend to accumulate on the inside walls of your air ducts. While some of these particles can easily be broken loose, others require a bit more work. That's why we use high-powered rotary brushed to break up this debris and detach it from the walls of your air ducts.

Step 2: Collecting Debris

Once we loosen the debris, it's time to remove it from your ductwork – once and for all. To accomplish this, we place the entire duct system under continuous negative pressure with the use of a HEPA-filtered vacuum, which is mounted to our work vans. This prevents the spread of contaminants and ensures everything is collected in a safe, efficient manner.

GreenProCleaning & Restoration offers professional air duct cleaning services to homes and businesses across Long Island. If you live in Nassau or Suffolk County, call us today for a free quote at (631) 940-8100.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

5 Things You Might Find Hiding In Your Air Ducts

Have you ever grabbed a flashlight and took a peek inside of your home's air ducts? Most people haven't, but if they did, here are five things they might find:

  1. Dust. The average three-bedroom home generates more than 40 pounds of dust each year. While some of this dust settles on your electronics and furniture, much of it collects in your air ducts.
  2. Pollen. If you suffer from spring allergies, you know that pollen is not something you want in your home. Unfortunately, if your HVAC system has a fresh air intake, it can suck the pollen from outside straight into your air vents.
  3. Mold. The darkness, moisture, and dust found in HVAC ductwork makes it the perfect breeding ground for mold. Exposure to mold can cause allergic reactions, sneezing, coughing, headaches, nausea, asthma attacks, respiratory infections, and a plethora of other health effects.
  4. Animal Dander. Dander is produced by cats, dogs, rodents, and birds; and possesses a unique jagged shape which allows it so stick to virtually any surface – including your air ducts. Surprisingly, animal dander can even be found in homes without pets.
  5. Rodent Droppings. There have been several cases of mice, rats, and other rodents making their way into home air ducts. They can bring with them their diseases, droppings, and sometimes carcasses.

Once these pollutants enter your air ducts, they can circulate throughout your entire home. For this reason, experts recommend having your air ducts cleaned every 3-5 years.

Proper duct cleaning is a complicated process that requires high-powered tools, such as industrial-sized rotary brushes and truck-mounted vacuums. If you want a thorough cleaning, you will need professional help.

Long Island homeowners can count on GreenPro Cleaning &Restoration for a comprehensive duct cleaning for a reasonable rate. If you live in Nassau or Suffolk County, call us today for a free quote at (631) 940-8100.

How to Prepare Your Home for a Hurricane

August is here, which means we are entering the prime of hurricane season on Long Island. If you are looking for ways to protect your home and family the next time disaster strikes, follow these preparation tips from GreenPro Cleaning & Restoration:

Weeks before the storm:

  • Formulate a plan. To be prepared for anything, you need a plan. Communicate your plan with your family, including where to meet and how to contact each other if separated. It is also a good idea to familiarize yourself with your local evacuation routes.
  • Stock up on supplies. Supermarkets are swamped with people before a hurricane strikes, so stock up on supplies now to avoid the last-minute frenzy. Hurricane essentials include nonperishable food, water, batteries, flashlights, a radio, and a first aid kit.

Immediately before the storm:

  • Secure loose objects outside. Scan your yard for loose objects that could be blown away during a hurricane, including garbage bins, gardening tools, or lawn furniture. Put these items in your shed, garage, or bring them inside to keep them safe during the storm.
  • Protect your windows. Your windows pose one of the biggest dangers during a hurricane. It is not uncommon for unprotected windows to shatter and send shards of glass flying throughout your home. Stay safe by reinforcing your windows with a piece of plywood or professionally-installed storm shutters.

After the storm:

  • Be patient. Recovering from a natural disaster is usually a slow and gradual process. Your town might be without power for 24 hours or more. It is important to stay calm and wait for everything to return to normal.
  • Check for water damage. When you are sure the storm has passed, inspect your house for water damage. It is important to fix flooding and other problems as soon as possible in order to prevent mold from growing and spreading throughout your house.

Long Island residents don't need to look any further than GreenPro Cleaning & Restoration for their water damage restoration and mold removal needs. If you live in Nassau or Suffolk County, call us for a free quote at (631) 940-8100.