Monday, August 19, 2019

5 Facts About Water Damage

Homes can suffer from water damage in numerous ways during any time of year. Whether water damage results from plumbing issues, frozen pipes, roof leaks, or floods, it can end up costing thousands of dollars to control and repair.
Here are 5 important facts to remember regarding the extent of the problems that water damage can cause.
1. Even after water is removed from your home, damage can still occur.
Once water is soaked up or pumped out of your home, there still might be moisture left behind. This moisture can threaten the structural integrity of materials like wood and drywall. Excess moisture can also lead to serious mold problems, which can weaken the structure of your home and also threaten your indoor air quality.
2. Mold can start growing in a few as 24 hours.
It’s never a good idea to put off water damage repairs. The biggest reason why is how fast mold is able to grow. If given the right combination of conditions (oxygen, moisture, darkness, and organic material), mold can start growing in less than one day.
3. Small plumbing leaks can give out a lot of water.
Aging pipes are prone to corrosion, which can lead to cracks and pinhole leaks. However, even a small leak can lead to a water damage disaster. It’s been shown that a one-inch crack in a pipe can leak up to 250 gallons of water in a single day. What’s worse is that because a lot of your home’s plumbing pipes are concealed behind walls, you are unlikely to notice the leak until water damage or mold growth becomes visible.
4. Some types of water cause more problems than others.
Generally, homes suffer water damage from either rainwater, fresh water, gray water, or sewage. Fresh water comes from your homes water line and is supplied to your faucets. Gray water is dirty water, such as the water that comes from your dishwasher or washing machine, but it is not as hazardous as sewage. Sewage contains a plethora of harmful bacteria that can make humans and animals extremely sick. Water damage from sewage requires special restoration methods in order to make you home sanitary once again.
5. Attics are particularly prone to water damage.
Commons sources of water damage in attics are failing gutters or leaky roofs. It’s important to inspect your attic for signs of water damage on a regular basis and to consult a water damage professional for an inspection if any signs are discovered.
If you suspect that your home has water damage, contact the experts at GreenPro Cleaning & Restoration for an inspection as soon as possible: 631-940-8100.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

3 Ways Weather Can Affect Your Crawlspace

Because many crawlspaces are not nearly as well protected, waterproofed, and insulated as the homes they sit underneath, weather can greatly affect their condition. Unfortunately, if a crawlspace is negatively affected by weather, it can then transfer those negative effects to the rest of your home.
Here are three of the ways that weather can negatively impact the condition of a crawlspace.
High Humidity
It’s easy for humidity to get trapped in your crawlspace if it lacks a proper source of ventilation. The warm air that’s holding all of that moisture rises toward your home, where it can start to permeate up through your floors and walls. This excess moisture can rot wood and drywall and cause black mold growth that can threaten your home’s structural integrity.
If rain ends up entering your crawlspace and pooling there, it can create some of the problems mentioned above, similar to high humidity. However, persistent puddles of water can lead to an additional problem that no homeowner or landlord wants: pests. Rodents and insects are drawn to damp places, and a wet crawlspace can provide these pests with the perfect hiding place.
Did you know that the cold air that enters your unfinished crawlspace will inevitably enter your home and make your home colder? This phenomenon, known as the “stack effect,” occurs whether you’ve insulated the floor above your crawlspace or not.
Here is how the stack effect works in a home:
  • Warm air rises. In a home, warm air rises through the home’s attic (or whatever constitutes the top level of the home). That air can be pushed out through a number of sources: open or unsealed windows, small gaps, vents, etc.
  • As the warm air rises out of your home, air from below (cooler air) moves in to take its place from your home’s lower levels, including the crawlspace.
Cold air and humidity aren’t the only things that can enter your home from the crawlspace. The air that rises up can also bring bad smells, dust mite feces, and mold spores with it. For this reason, it’s important to keep your crawlspace clean and free of excess moisture.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

5 Ways to Reduce the Humidity in Your Home

While a certain level of humidity can help your skin, throat, and sinuses feel more comfortable, excess humidity in your home can lead to a number of problems, particularly mold and mildew growth. Not only can mold and mildew negatively affect the quality of the air you breath, but certain types of mold can even threaten your home’s structural integrity.
If you start to notice wet spots or stains on your walls or condensation on your windows, it's important to take steps to reduce your home’s moisture levels. Here are some ways to get excess humidity under control.
1. Use the exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathroom.
Your kitchen and bathroom tend to be areas where a lot of humidity can accumulate, so it’s important to keep these areas well-ventilated. Run your bathroom’s exhaust fan while you bathe or shower and for at least 30 minutes after you bathe or shower. Run your kitchen’s exhaust fan while you cook and for at least 30 minutes after you cook.
Running your kitchen fan for this additional time will also help it eliminate toxins from your air (such as carbon monoxide) that are produced by your oven or stove while cooking.
2. Cover your crawl space’s floor.
If your crawl space has a dirt floor, make sure the dirt is completely dry (you may need to use fans to dry it out completely), and then install a polyethylene cover over the floor. This will prevent moisture from entering your home through your crawl space.
3. Choose houseplants carefully.
Some houseplants transpire quite a bit and release a lot of moisture into the air as part of that process. You’ll want to avoid these types of plants or isolate them to areas of your home that are easier to control or ventilate. Other plants can be helpful when it comes to excess humidity, such as the Boston fern. This type of plant thrives in high-humidity environments and can help remove excess moisture from the air.
4. Run your air conditioner.
Your air conditioner removes moisture from the air it cools. When you run your air conditioner, you’re not only getting cooler air but air that contains less humidity. When you leave your home, set your air conditioner on a schedule so that it will still come on every so often to help keep humidity levels under control.
5. Invest in a dehumidifier.
A whole-home dehumidifier can monitor and control the humidity levels across your entire house, making it the best option to combat excess humidity. However, portable dehumidifiers tend to be a more affordable choice for most households.
What starts out as a small issue with humidity can turn into a much larger problem if left unchecked. If you suspect that your home has suffered water damage due to excess moisture, it’s vital to get the area in question inspected as soon as possible.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Watch Out for These 4 Attic Issues

Your attic can be a very easy part of your home to overlook, especially if you only visit it every so often for storage purposes. However, even if you don’t use your attic on a regular basis, it’s a good idea to go and inspect it every so often to make sure it’s free of common attic issues.
While most homeowners wouldn’t consider themselves to be home inspection experts, these are some common attic problems that you can spot without any special training.
1. Pest Infestations
Insects and small creatures (including rats, raccoons, and squirrels) can make a comfortable home for themselves in your attic if left undisturbed. When you inspect your attic, be on the lookout for animal droppings or anything that looks like it may have been chewed or clawed, including your attic’s insulation. Rats, in particular, are notorious chewers.
Checking for termite damage is also important. Inspect your attic for weak or hollow wood. If you hear clicking noises, that’s probably the sound of termites chewing.
2. Exposed Electrical Wires
It isn’t unusual or dangerous for your attic to contain electrical wires. However, if those wires have not been properly secured or if their copper has become exposed due to corrosion or pests, those wires can become a safety hazard. If you find exposed or damaged wires in your attic, for your safety, it’s best to contact an electrician to repair and secure the wires.
3. Insulation Problems
Attics are prone to a number of insulation problems. The most common problem is inadequate insulation that ends up causing higher heating and cooling bills. Another problem is damage to insulation from rodents and raccoons that tear it apart to build their homes. In addition, some older homes still contain asbestos, which brings with it a number of health risks. To learn more about the condition of your attic’s insulation and how best to improve it, it’s wisest to consult a professional.
4. Roof Leaks
What starts as a leak in the roof of your attic can eventually become a problem for the rooms below. Water damage from leaks can also contribute to mold and mildew growth, as well as pest infestations.
Bring a good source of light if your attic doesn’t have one already, and inspect the ceiling, beams, and walls. Look for telltale signs such as stains and warped or bubbling spots on the ceiling.
If you suspect that your attic has water damage or if your attic needs to be deep-cleaned, GreenPro Cleaning & Restoration is ready to provide you with an effective, bio-safe solution.

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.