Tile and Grout Floor Care

Tile floors are everywhere, and where there’s tile, there’s also grout to separate it all, keeping everything nice and even, with straight lines.

But a straight line may not always be so… clean. Dirt and grime and other contaminants build up over time and make what was once a beautiful floor look downright ugly. The grout is especially susceptible to soiling and staining.

Just as you would clean any surface, tile and grout floors need special attention. If you keep them clean, following a maintenance schedule, you won’t have to deal with the tough issue of restorative cleaning.

Here are a few simple tips for you to follow in order to keep your tile and grout floors in tip-top shape.

Sweep it

The first step is keep the floor swept. Sweep it daily, which will remove dust and debris and other contaminants that can eventually cause tough-to-remove soiling.

Mop it

Tile floors are very easy to clean and maintain. Use a clean mop and an approved detergent to clean the floor. Some prefer the newer flat floor cleaners. Doesn’t matter the tool, it is how you use it and the products you choose.

Some recommend the use of chlorine bleach, which acts as a disinfectant. The challenge here is remaining residues can create issues, such as being tracked off onto carpet, causing color loss. Be careful with the use of any type of bleach.

Grout issues

The toughest part of a tile and grout floor cleaning job is… the grout. It’s porous, even if sealed, and becomes an eyesore quickly. Purchase a heavy-duty grout cleaner and follow the directions. You will most likely be on your hands and knees, and it takes time to do this right. Apply the product to the grout, allow some reasonable contact time, and scrub – scrub – scrub! Repeat as necessary. Work carefully until the grout looks great again.

When everything is cleaned up, be sure to rinse with a neutral detergent, or just water, and let air dry and inspect. You will find areas need more attention. When you do… get back to work!

Tile and grout cleaning is no easy task, especially when it becomes really soiled. When you find yourself up against an impossible task, do the smart thing. Call your professional cleaning company. After all, it pays to call a pro!

What Can FEMA Disaster Relief Do for You?

A flood, fire and other disasters are devastating to families. Thankfully, there is assistance you can take advantage of.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides help to many of those in need; homeowners and others that need special aid when a disaster strikes.

What do you have to do to get assistance? Just ask for it. Here’s how.

Although the government and its workers are not always quick to respond, you can get the process started by visiting this link. You can also call the FEMA helpline at (800) 621-3362. You will enjoy an automated voice service but be patient and you should have your questions answered.

What’s next?

After you apply for disaster assistance, FEMA will mail you a copy of your application and a copy of a document entitled “Help After a Disaster.” This is especially helpful if you don’t have insurance coverage for the disaster event your family is facing. This happens more than you think.

Here is what FEMA says they will do for you, in part, according to the government website:

  • If you do not have insurance: An inspector will contact you after you apply to schedule a time to meet you at your damaged home.
  • If you have insurance, you need to file your insurance claim and provide FEMA with a decision letter (settlement or denial) from your insurance company before FEMA disaster relief issues an inspection.
  • There is an exception for damages caused by flooding; if you have flood insurance, FEMA will issue an inspection before receiving a copy of your flood insurance decision letter to evaluate your eligibility for temporary living expenses since these are not covered by flood insurance.
  • About 10 days after the inspection FEMA will decide if you qualify for assistance. If so, FEMA will send you a check by mail (or direct deposit) with an explanation of what the money covers (i.e. rent or home repair).
  • If FEMA determines that you are ineligible for any reason, you will receive a letter and a chance to appeal. Appeals must be in writing and mailed within 60 days of the determination. Read the letter carefully for the reason of ineligibility before filing your appeal.

But no matter what, when in need, your disaster restoration company can take care of you. Give them a call today!

Cold Weather Comfort

space heater safety, home safety, precautions

 

It’s coming. You can probably feel it right now. Space heater safety season!

That’s right. Brrr! For some across the country, this means trying to keep warm and snug in the home.

Some find comfort from their fireplaces. Others might use electric blankets. And others rely on space heaters, either gas powered or electric, to boost the comfort level their regular heating system can’t always provide, especially in sub-zero temperatures.

Space heater safety is very important, as many suffer from accidental fires and burns annually from these necessary devices.

The first consideration is which type of space heater you will choose. Electric models are considered safer than those which use fuel, which can be overturned and quickly cause a fire difficult to extinguish. So be smart when shopping and consider how the heater will be used and if there are children or pets (or clumsy adults) that might tip it over.

Space Heater Safety features

  • Consider the size and shape of the heater. Lower-profile heaters are more difficult to tip over. Some space heaters are shaped like a tower, and can easily be tipped. Avoid those.
  • While all space heaters should have an automatic turn-off mechanism if tipped over, still do your research and ensure yours has one.
  • If you have children or pets, an outer grill safety feature should be mandatory. You don’t want accidental contact burns to occur.

General Fire Safety tips

  • Measure the area you wish to heat and make sure the device you purchase is sufficient for the space. An overworked heater can be dangerous. And one that is too large for a room can overheat the room and be uncomfortable.
  • When purchasing a fuel-fired heater, never fill it while the device is on. Open flames are dangerous. Use appropriate, approved containers to carry the fuel.
  • When purchasing an electric heater, make sure it is plugged into a three-prong outlet that is grounded. Any extension cords you use must be able to handle the current your heater will need. Be sure to ask an expert about this.
  • Common sense dictates keeping any flammable materials away from the heater, such as furnishing, draperies, etc.
  • When you turn the heater off, give it plenty of time to cool down before touching or moving it.

But if anything does happen, such as a fire or smoke damage, then it’s time to get some professional help. Call your disaster restoration experts. After all, it pays to call a pro!

Importance of Service

Wool Hides Dirt!

Taking On Holiday Stains

clean carpet spots, avoid holiday stains

It’s that time of year when you start planning for family and friends to visit and, since you are hospitable, you start thinking of all the delicious meals, snacks and beverages you will serve them when they arrive.

Despite the very best attempts of you and your guests to keep things on the plate, in the bowl, in the glass and on the spoon or fork, the inevitable happens: Food or drinks spill, and for some reason they always spill on the carpet. Usually white carpet.

There is no need to panic, but there is a need to gather your thoughts, keep your cool and not overreact to the situation. That is difficult when you witness a full glass of merlot splashing onto your white, wool rug in the middle of the living room.

Your first reaction might be to grab a random cleaning product from the collection underneath the kitchen sink. This can be a mistake. Some consumers have been known to use window cleaner, bathroom tile cleaners and other products on carpet.

Instead, keep things simple. Use these three, easy-to-remember steps:

1. Scrape and Blot

If the spill is food related, scrape up as much as you can. Then, using white, disposable paper towels or white, washable cotton towels, start blotting up the spill. Keep at it until the area you are working on is fairly dry and you have removed as much of the spot as you can. Then…

2. Add product

Using a flip-top or trigger sprayer application, apply small amounts of a product manufactured specifically for carpet fibers. The best products for this can be obtained from your carpet and furniture cleaning company. Blot in between applications, and when the spot is gone, use a little warm water to help remove the cleaning residue, blotting as you do so. Then…

3. Blot some more

When the job is complete, and you are happy with the results, blot until all moisture seems to be removed and then leave a white, absorbent towel on the spot with a weight on the towel, so any remaining moisture wicks up into the towel. Leave the towel in place for several hours.

But when the occasion occurs (and it will) and the spot just won’t come out, stop your work to avoid damage to the color texture of the carpet and “setting” of the spot or stain. Quickly call your carpet and furniture cleaning specialist.

Dirt Dulls Carpet

Easy to Clean Carpet

Candles and Scents: Candle Soot Damage

candle soot damage, scented candles, holiday candles

Many people love the warm fall and winter fragrances from scented candles. There are hundreds of scents available, from favorites such as vanilla, citrus, lavender, and more. Some scents smell just like cookies or cakes in the oven. Of course, you don’t get the benefit of eating them!

Yet, as inviting as those scents may be, there are some concerns you should consider as you burn them.

Pollution issues

It’s been noted by various environmental groups and indoor air quality specialists that burning candles can produce pollutants such as acetone, toluene, benzene and others. These are some of the components found in soot, considered a hazard all on its own.

More and more people — perhaps just like yourself — love the smell of these scented candles. Yet put off smoke, even invisible smoke, that can be leaving an unhealthy residue in your home. Remember, soot is the product of material that didn’t totally go through the combustion process of burning. If the flame of your candle isn’t totally blue, no doubt there is soot being produced, and candle soot damage is imminent.

What can you do to avoid candle soot damage?

Choose your scented candles wisely. Opt for natural wax materials, such as beeswax or soy candles, both of which are better choices than wax made from petroleum products. Natural materials may cost more, but are a better, safer and healthier choice.

Make sure your wick is burning adequately. The wick should burn evenly with the melting wax, and curl as it burns. Ensuring the wick is less than ½ inch long when you light it will help.

Burn your candles where there is limited or no draft. Air movement can cause the flame to burn erratically and possibly create more soot pollution.

Don’t burn your candles all the time. Make it a treat. Burn them when you are in the mood for a nice scent in the home.

And when you do have issues with your candles, such as a residue on surfaces in your home, call your upholstery and flooring restoration professional. They can help determine if your candle burning habits are safe!

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