Friday, January 25, 2019

4 Ingenious Baking Soda Hacks

If you’re looking for some homemade cleaning solutions that can take on grease, grime, and odors just as well as harsh, chemical cleaners, baking soda will be your ingredient of choice. The best part is that you’ll probably have it and any other components that you’ll need in your house already. Check out these brilliant baking soda hacks to help tidy up your humble abode.
Dirty Grout
If dirty grout is taking your tile down a notch, try cleaning it with a mixture of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide.
What To Do:
  • Combine baking soda with hydrogen peroxide to make a paste.
  • Using a toothbrush, scrub the grout with the paste.
  • Wipe the remaining paste away with white vinegar on a rag or paper towel.
Grimy Ovens
Few people look forward to cleaning their oven, and the less often you clean it, the more you probably dread it. Don’t worry--a baking soda mixture can soften the food and grime that has burned onto your oven’s interior, making the gunk easier to scrub away afterward.
What To Do
  1. Combine baking soda, salt, and white vinegar until it creates a paste.
  2. Wearing rubber gloves, coat the walls, floor, and door of the oven with the paste using a brush.
  3. Here’s the tricky part: you’ll need to keep this coating moist for about 24 hours. You can do this by spraying it with more vinegar every so often.
  4. Wipe off the paste as best you can.
  5. Turn on your oven to 100 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour, then turn it back off and let it cool.
  6. Here’s the fun part: once the oven is cool enough for you to comfortably touch it, spray it with more white vinegar, wipe away the last of the residue, and enjoy your spotless oven.
Slow, Smelly Drains
If you notice that your sink seems to be draining more slowly than it used to, you can try a solution of baking soda and vinegar to freshen it up and help it flow freely. (Note: this tip is only for slow drains, not clogged drains.)
What To Do
  1. Pour 1 cup of baking soda into the slow drain.
  2. Pour hot vinegar over the baking soda. Wait 10 minutes before the next step.
  3. Pour boiling water over the baking soda and vinegar to flush everything down the drain.
Odors in the Air
If your kitchen garbage or cat litter box is starting to accumulate odors, baking soda can help freshen the air. Sprinkle baking soda periodically into your kitchen garbage can as you add more waste. For litter boxes, sprinkle and mix baking soda directly into the litter.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Where to Look for Mold In Your House

Mold can have a mild to a tremendously negative effect on your quality of life, so it’s important to look for it on a regular basis. The problem is that mold can grow in unexpected places and, therefore, can go undetected and grow undeterred for long periods of time. If you’ve ever wondered where mold might be growing in your home, the possibilities may surprise you.

Mold Comes from the Air

What most people don’t know about mold is that even though we can see it growing on surfaces, mold technically begins from tiny, floating spores in the air. When those spores start to collect on a surface, they begin reproducing, resulting in the musty-smelling fungus that we can actually see.

Mold and Indoor Air Quality

Mold and mold spores alike can have noticeably negative effects on your home’s air quality. The people most susceptible to mold’s associated health risks are children, the elderly, individuals with asthma or other respiratory conditions, and the allergy-prone. Even mold spores can trigger allergic reactions or asthma attacks if inhaled.

Where to Look for Mold

Where should one look for mold? Unfortunately, the answer is “Every room in the house.” This is because each room potentially has the right conditions to support mold growth. In order for mold spores to grow into mold, they require heat, oxygen, a surface to which they can attach, and some absence of sunlight. Excess water from high humidity or leaks in these conditions can pretty much guarantee that a mold problem will occur.
Here are some guidelines on where you can look for mold in your home.
The Kitchen
Mold can spread from old food in the refrigerator and pantry, along with food spills or splatters on the stove or in the microwave. Mold can also grow in your refrigerator’s water dispenser or drip tray. Even a Keurig or other coffee makers can foster mold growth in its water tank or the place where you put the pods or coffee grounds.
Checking the sink is especially vital. Mold and bacteria can get a jumping-off point from wet sponges, dirty dishes, and food remnants. Leaks underneath the sink can result in mold growth down there as well.
The Bathroom
Many people know to check their bathroom walls, floors, shower tiles, and bathtub for mold since those surfaces experience an abundance of heat and moisture. However, there are other important places to check as well, particularly if your bathroom lacks a window or fan to help with ventilation.
As in the kitchen, you’ll want to check in and under the sink. It’s also critical to check your toilet, including its tank and where you keep its cleaning supplies. Towels and bathroom rugs can also be “mold culprits” if not regularly washed. Even your toothbrush caddy can start to accumulate mold over time!
The Living Room
You’ll want to inspect anything upholstered or made of fabric, particularly your curtains, couch, and armchairs. Mold spores attach easily to fabric, and if something causes the fabric to then become moist, some nasty growth may occur. Also, remember to check your houseplants (especially if you are prone to overwatering them) and your chimney and fireplace (particularly if they’re made with brick).
The Bedrooms
It’s not at all comforting to think about, but mold spores find their way into bedrooms too. Check your HVAC vents (this goes for any room), the edges of your windows, your curtains, and your mattress. If you cannot see mold on your mattress, its smell might be an indicator that some growth has occurred.
Don’t Forget the Attic, Garage, and Basement!
Mold can grow in these spaces from leaks as well as excess humidity that results in condensation. This can be especially problematic when these spaces house components of your home’s heating and air conditioning system. Once mold spores enter your HVAC system, they’ll be spread throughout the entire house, which can lead to larger mold problems in even more places. Check for mold growth near vents, pipes, windows, and by the foundation.
To help prevent the growth of mold in your home, it’s important to 1) have a clean attic, crawlspace, and air ducts, and 2) clean up any water damage immediately. For those places you can’t get to, contact GreenPro Cleaning & Restoration for professional, bio-friendly attic, crawlspace, and air duct cleaning services.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Is Your Home Prepared for the Rainy Season?

Alright, weekend warrior. It’s time to prepare your house for rainy weather--and lots of it. You can begin from the top down, starting with the roof, one of your home’s most important safeguards against the elements.

The Roof

First, inspect your roof from the ground (using a pair of binoculars if necessary) to look for warping or shrinking shingles, as well as shingles that appear to be loose or slipping. If you can see it from the ground, also check your flashing for oxidizing or any other deterioration. Flashing is frequently made of galvanized steel or aluminum that’s installed in your roof’s joints to prevent water damage. (Hint: look for flashing around the chimney or skylights, as well as in your roof’s valleys. 

If you can safely access your roof by ladder, it can help you get a better look at your roof’s condition. Just make sure that your ladder is properly secured. If you have a steep roof or a fear of heights, there’s no shame in calling a professional at this point if you suspect there might be damage.

The Gutters and Downspouts

Your gutters prevent water damage to your house by redirecting rain and hail away from the house’s sides and foundation. It’s vital for your gutters and downspouts to remain clear of leaves and other debris that could clog them and keep them from functioning properly. Keep in mind, inspecting the gutters will be a little trickier if you aren’t able to use a ladder, so if this step is a no-can-do for you, just call a professional.

The Siding

If your house has siding, take a moment to see how worn out it has gotten from fending off previous rains. When winds are especially strong and create that bothersome horizontal rain, sometimes water actually ends up underneath your siding, damaging it over time.

The Backyard/Patio

A flood or pool of rainwater in your backyard or patio has the potential to drown your grass and other plants or--worse--give your house water damage. Check the drains to make sure nothing is clogging them. You can also buy sandbags if you suspect there might be flooding because they can be used to redirect water. Just be careful about where the water gets redirected!

Many times, despite our best efforts, our homes can still end up with water damage after heavy rains. If you suspect you have water damage in your home or building, GreenPro Cleaning & Restoration can help, starting with a non-destructive visual survey to check the fungal ecology or problems in a specific area as directed.