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.