Duraclean Services

Category Archive: Blog

  1. Last Minute Odds and Ends to Remember for the Holidays…

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    Well, it’s finally here! Just a few more days, and we will gather around dining room tables across America to give thanks for all we’ve been blessed with in the 2017 year. We will dine on delicious food made from family recipes handed down from one generation to the next, we will play games, catch up on conversation, do our best to carry on with old traditions and even incorporate some new ones. We will probably eat too much, shed a tear or two while reminiscing over past memories, and laugh til we cry as Uncle Roger tells the same joke for the hundredth time, but most of all we will enjoy spending an extra special day together with those who mean the most to us.

    Although some of us live in the same town where we will share a Thanksgiving meal with family and friends, there are many of us (51 million according to AAA) who will be traveling during this Thanksgiving season. One million are expected to hit the road from Maryland alone! If you are one of those families getting ready to travel hundreds of miles to spend time with those you hold dear, here is a quick check list to make things easier for you before you leave.

    DID YOU  . . .

    1. Turn off the water!

    If a pipe should burst while you are gone, you will come home to quite a mess! Basements, appliances, carpets and furniture can all be ruined in a matter minutes, so shut off the main water valve, flush your toilets and turn on your faucets to drain the pipes. Also, be sure to turn down the temperature on your water heater, no sense paying if there’s no one around to use it!

    Should a problem arise, remember, “No One is Faster to the Disaster” -the Duraclean Motto

    2. Turn down your thermostat!

    55 degrees is the perfect setting (as long as no people or pets are in the house) things won’t freeze, and it will give your furnace and energy bill a break too!

    3.Unplug your electronics!

    Well, everything except for a light or two on a timer to keep burglars away. Other than that, unplug it all; televisions, washer & dryers, extra lamps, toasters, and any other small  kitchen appliances you have. Doing this will help lower your electrical usage, and also help to prevent fires while you are away. Remember, a penny saved, is a penny earned!

    4. Let a neighbor (that you trust) know that you are headed out of town!

    Leave them a phone number to contact you in the event they see something “suspicious” or out of the ordinary. If you really (really) trust them, leave them a spare key in case you need someone to check on something while you’re away.

    5. Be sure to lock all doors and windows!

    Burglars can still break into your home, but by all means, don’t make it easy for them!

    6.Pack Light!

    Nobody, I mean nobody wants to ride in a car (or on an airplane) with too much “stuff”. Take what you need, and maybe a little bit extra, but do your best to keep it light. You and everyone you are traveling with will be happy you did.

    7. Leave early!

    Whether heading to the airport, or settling in for a 20 hour ride, early is the way to go. You hit less traffic, and use as much of your daylight as possible.

    8. Make sure your cell phone is charged!

    No matter what you think, you ARE going to be using that phone. Whether being used for emergencies, for pleasure, or as a GPS to get to your final destination, phones are a giant necessity on a long road trip. So make sure it’s charged, and be sure to pack both a car and wall charger, you will be glad you did.

    9. Pack snacks!

    No one wants to feel “Hangry” or be stuck in a car with someone who is . . .  do your travel companions a favor and pick a different week to diet!(hint, December is not a great time to diet either!)

    10. Have plenty of cash with you, as well as an extra credit card or two!

    Hopefully, your trip will go smoothly, but just in case it doesn’t, it’s always good to be prepared; hotels, rental cars, extra food, or even a surprise hospital visit are never free, so be sure to have plenty “just in case” $$$ with you.

    11. Be comfortable!

    Comfy clothes, extra blankets and a fluffy pillow or two always make for a much more enjoyable trip. Even though you are about to embark on a long weekend of looking your very best, it’s definitely ok to “go casual” while you travel.

    12. Have fun!

    Last, but certainly not least, have tons of fun. Whether you are off to the Bahamas for a secluded vacation or headed to see all of your extended family in North Carolina at Granny’s, be intentional to have meaningful conversations, and to make  wonderful memories during this Thanksgiving season. Play touch football, watch parades, eat more, (this is the one time of year where it’s allowed and even encouraged!) laugh hard, and take it all in. Enjoy the season, and the beauty and wonder of it all . . . Don’t miss a single moment!

    Happy Thanksgiving and Safe Travels,

    Duraclean Services

     

     

  2. Thanksgiving, the perfect time to share . . .

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    “Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you!”-Princess Diana

    What a timely quote as we enter into mid-November, the kick off  to the Holiday Season. Aisles of Turkeys and Fall colored decor are slowly moving over to make room for Christmas trees, twinkling lights, and a myriad of shiny ornaments. The weather has finally caught up to the change of seasons, and as  our days seem to be getting cooler and cooler, our evenings are becoming darker and darker. Soon, calendars will be filled with festive events to spend extra time with those we love. our homes will be looking their very best for upcoming visits from the in-laws and out of town guests, and our kitchens will be stocked to the brim and overflowing with more food than we could ever possibly eat in a single meal, let alone in an entire week! Parties will be thrown, holiday movies will be watched, and “hunting season” will officially begin . . . ( aka the season that mothers and fathers begin “hunting” from store to store to find the gifts that their children have asked Santa for on their  Christmas lists!)

    Amidst the beauty and wonder of the holiday season, November is the perfect time to look around and remind ourselves just how fortunate we are. With roofs over our heads, plenty of food on our tables, and the ability to buy gifts for family and friends available to us, we must remember to think about those around us who are less fortunate.

    Right here in this County, the place that we all call home, there are many people in need of a helping hand and strong support system to guide them through the Holiday Season. Organizations such as Harford Family House, Hope in Action, Welcome One Emergency Shelter, and the Salvation Army are just a few of the wonderful Non-Profits in Maryland making a difference for those struggling. It is our hope that all who live in Harford County will take a moment to figure out the best way to help these organizations, especially during the Thanksgiving/Christmas season. Whether through the giving of time, financial support, or dropping off new toys, warm coats, or food for a holiday dinner, every little bit makes a difference for someone in your area!

    So, as you are making a trip to the grocery store, pick up a few extra cans of staples for a holiday dinner, when you head to the mall, look for a buy one get one free sign for hats and gloves, and when you are standing in line at the toy store to buy that special toy that will make your little one smile with delight, perhaps buy 2 . . . and maybe, just maybe, you and your family would enjoy spending your Thanksgiving serving at one of our local shelters;  taking the time to get aquainted with some of the people staying there, serving them dinner, playing games, and making them feel valued during this special time of year. Remember, every dollar given, every item purchased, each donation contributed, and every act of kindness shown will go a long way to making the holidays a little brighter and a whole lot nicer for someone in need. Truth be told, its a win/win situation, for kindness is never wasted, it ALWAYS make a difference, blessing both the giver and the receiver.

    Wishing you and your family a very wonderful Thanksgiving Season . . . may your home be peaceful, your table be full, and your heart be content during this very special time of year.

    With Warm Regards,

    Duraclean Services

    Remember, No One is Faster to the Disaster!

     

  3. Integrity, Community, and Longevity; the Story of Duraclean Services

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    Integrity- Doing the right thing, even when no one else is watching. Such a short and simple statement, but one that has been the primary foundation that Duraclean Services has built it’s reputation upon for 30 years and counting.

     

    Rick Criss, the owner,  had a comfortable management position with a local supermarket chain in the 80’s, and although he liked the company he was working for, he was definitely looking for something more. He had heard about a franchise called Duraclean from a friend, and after looking into it, and going to a 10 day seminar, he decided to give it a try. Rick started off strictly as a carpet cleaning company, but with a lot of hard work and determination, soon he was servicing over 1,800 clients in the area (by word of mouth only, no marketing at that point.). As his clientele continued to grow, so did their needs, and soon he was learning about new, high level cleaning methods that would be beneficial for his customers and his community. With the help of his close friend Peter Carpenter, soon Water Mitigation, Water and Smoke Damage Restoration, and Mold Remediation became the newest services that Rick and his staff perfected. In 2006, Rick’s younger brother Tim came on board, and the Criss family continued to expand and grow Duraclean Services, bringing in the latest equipment, most experienced employees, even offering 24 hour emergency service to ensure a job well done every single time.

     

    From dealing with the effects of raging storms that pass through the Maryland area, to handling every day life situations (aka broken pipes and flooded basements ) to offering full reconstruction on those tough restoration jobs, air duct cleaning, and of course, the carpet cleaning that has been their “trademark” for so many years, Duraclean Services continues to put the customer first, helping people navigate through difficult circumstances, easing their burdens and always getting the job done!

     

    Through it all,the Criss brothers have made sure that the same  integrity, quality, and high standards that Duraclean Services began with so many years ago, still continue on today. At the heart of things, Duraclean is a BIG business, able to tackle any job that comes their way (remember, No One is Faster to the Disaster!)  . . . BUT at the same time, they make  sure to keep that “small business” feel,   always wanting to stay connected with their neighbors. From hosting golf tournaments and bull roasts to benefit those in need, to partnering on special projects with non-profits such as Habitat for Humanity, to simply bringing lunch to their local Fire Department, Duraclean strives to connect with and support their community as much as possible.

     

    “We look to the future with great anticipation, excited to see what lies ahead. Continuing to be a leader in the industry, expanding and growing to serve our customers in the best possible way, while always making the time to invest in and be a part of the community that we are blessed to call home.”

     

  4. National Fire Prevention Month, the “Hot” topic of the week . . .

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    Did you know that the month of October has been declared National Fire Prevention Month? Over the course of 31 days, local Fire Departments all over our nation will focus extra attention on going to schools, fairs, churches, pancake breakfasts, parades and a host of community events to get the word out about Fire Safety, Early Detection, and Ultimate Prevention.

     

    Each year, millions of lives are affected by fires. The loss of homes and irreplaceable cherished “treasures” completely overwhelm families, and the devastating death of a loved one changes everything forever! Although there are times that we have absolutely no control over terrible situations that come our way, it is so important to be informed and aware that simple routines can be implemented to keep those we love as safe as possible.  The act of checking fire alarms and changing batteries on a regular basis, placing fire extinguishers in strategic areas around your home, and practicing a family fire safety plan are just a few of the things you can do to ensure that you have protected your family to the best of your ability.

     

    When Fire Safety Programs such as “Stop, Drop, and Roll” and “Learn Not to Burn” are introduced to children at an early age and reiterated throughout childhood and the teenage years, they equip an entire generation with the knowledge and understanding of what emergency situations can occur, how best to prevent them, and the life saving steps to take when they arise. By supporting your local Fire Department and their mission to “get the word out”, you not only empower the youth in your area, but the entire community as well.

     

    -Install smoke alarms on every level of your home

    -Test smoke alarms every month

    -Change batteries on a regular basis

    -Talk with all family members about a fire escape plan

    -Have your chimney and fireplace cleaned and inspected yearly

    -If a fire occurs in your home; Get Out, Stay Out, and Call for Help!

     

    Take the time to support your local Fire Department. Write them an encouraging note, say thank you when you see them out and about the community, treat them to lunch, or send a generous donation to keep their programs running strong. Remember, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week… they’ve got your back and are there to protect you and your family, no matter the cost…So do your best to support them any way that you can!

     

    Always remember in the event of fire or water damage, Duraclean is ALWAYS ready to go to provide your Mitigation, Remediation, and Restoration needs. Call anytime, day or night 410-838-7330.

  5. What Everyone Should Know About Carpets . . .

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    Just as clothes need regular washing, so do the carpets in our homes. Soon after being installed, the grit and grime of everyday life begin to take a toll on carpet wear; breaking down tightly knit fibers, increasing the visibility of stains, and decreasing the overall “life expectancy”of a carpet.

     

    Think about it, what we see on the surface level of our carpets, is just the tip of the iceberg! Bacteria, ground in food stains, dirt from shoes, pet dander, and even the tiniest of mites can be found deep within the pile of carpeting, causing allergens and unpleasant odors to lurk around the very rooms where our families feel the most comfortable to curl up on the floor and lay their heads. Sometimes, the rooms that look the cleanest to the human eye, are the ones in need of the deepest cleaning of all!

     

    Although regular vacuuming is a must, it’s just not powerful enough to maintain a deep cleaned, allergen free, well preserved carpet. That’s why professional carpet cleaning is not an option, but a necessity, and that is where Duraclean Services comes in:

     

    -Preliminary Inspection of your carpet to determine the best cleaning method

    -Pre-treatment of spots and stains

    -Pre-application of cleaning products to loosen ground in soil

    -Rinsing your carpet with clean, hot water

    -Post-treatment of any residual stains

    -Carpet grooming for efficient drying and a uniform appearance

    -Placing pads under furniture legs to protect carpet and furniture while it dries

    -Final Inspection and walk thru to ensure your complete satisfaction

     

    Realistically, you should strive to have your carpet professionally cleaned every 6-12 months. Keeping up to date with this schedule will not only preserve the longevity of your carpet, but also keep it looking and smelling it’s best; helping to make family life a little less stressful . . . especially when the kids lay their heads on the family room carpet! During the month of October when you spend $200 or more on a carpet cleaning, we will clean 1 upholstered chair OR put $25 towards 1 sofa cleaning. Remember, the Holidays are just around the corner, so call today 410-838-7330.

  6. Saying Goodbye to Summer and Hello to Fall . . .

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    As the days become shorter and the nights become colder, we are gently reminded that Summer has packed up it’s bags for a while (for an entire year to be exact), and that Fall is here to stay! Changing leaves, barren branches and the faint smell of bonfire’s in the distance, remind us that as seasons change, so does life. Easy going days, with laid back schedules and poolside conversations, are traded in for the hustle and bustle of busy school days, hurried dinners, and late nights of homework and extracurricular activities.

    With that change, comes a list of household “chores” and responsibilities for those crisp September Saturday’s. Pruning, trimming and mulching, with a touch of tilling and planting of annuals, help to ensure a well manicured lawn for the rest of the season . . . and leaves, we can’t forget the leaves! Some red, a couple of orange, and a few with a touch of gold are raked, and raked, and raked some more! Soon a plethora of children of all ages (from 1-99) will be jumping and laughing and throwing handfuls of colorful leaves at each other, making sweet memories to recall in the days to come.

    Just about the time you sit down to take a well deserved break and treat yourself to a hearty slice of pumpkin pie and a sip of a steaming pumpkin latte (remember, whether you like it or not, pumpkin is the “official” flavor of the season!) suddenly, you realize that you have forgotten one very important job . . . cleaning the gutters. . . Ugh!

    Your mother always told you to keep your mind out of the gutter, but for today and today only, you need to keep your mind focused on those gutters, and do your best to get the job done!

     

    What are they and what do they do . . .

    Gutters, every house and building should have them. When properly installed and maintained, gutters help to protect and prolong the life  of your home from the natural elements, especially rainwater. Other benefits include protection from:

    -water damage and staining to brick or siding

    -deep settling and cracking of sidewalks, driveways and patios

    –  foundation problems and water damage in basements

    -erosion of landscaping and turf

     

    How to take care of them . . .

    Maintaining gutters is fairly easy once you get the hang of it and make it a part of your annual Fall cleanup routine. Here are a few tips to remember:

    – gutters should be securely fastened to the fascias, and should have downspouts that are attached to the exterior of the house

    -remember that Fall means falling leaves, and falling leaves mean gutters that are filled to capacity, be sure to clean them of all clogs and debris

    -houses with trees within 10ft of the roof line need to be cleaned out at least 2 times a year, sloped roofs may require more cleanings

     

    Be sure to take the time to treat your gutters well this Fall, come Spring . . .  you will be so glad that you did!

    Remember, should you have any water, fire, or mold problems along the way, be sure to call Duraclean Disaster Cleanup @ 410-838-7330

  7. 5 Tips to Prevent Mold

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    prevent mold

    When it comes to mold in your home, we expect there to be many questions. How does it get there? How do I get rid of it? What can I do to prevent mold? Is it dangerous?

    Mold can be beneficial in terms of medicine and some foods, but undetected in your walls, mold is not a friendly foe. Many times, mold comes from a variety of reasons, and we can help you understand how to keep it away from destroying your home. The biggest thing to understand is that mold can grow in places you cannot visibly see, like the backside of drywall, areas inside the walls around moist pipes, or above ceiling tiles.

    Search for Possible Areas:
    Look throughout your home and look for areas moisture or leaks could possibly occur. Is the basement flooding? Is there constant condensation in the kitchen window?

    If it’s Wet, Dry it Now!
    Without moisture, mold has no chance. When there are wet areas, take care of it immediately. When a basement floods after a heavy rainfall, the carpet should be dried within 24-48 hours; the sooner the better to prevent mold.

    Ventilation is Key:
    Giving your home breathing room can prevent the air from becoming humid. Check AC units and make sure they don’t produce moisture by checking them from time to time and cleaning them regularly. Open a window when washing dishes, or use the exhaust fan.

    Direct Water Away:
    The ground around your property may need to be grading away from your home. This simple fix can prevent water from seeping into your house undetected.

    Clean Those Gutters:
    When gutters are full or damaged, the water from rainfall is not being passed, but instead it is sitting in places above your house. Repair them if needed, and keep an eye out for water stains.

    For more info on mold remediation and prevention, please visit our mold removal page or contact us.

  8. Simple Tips For a Cleaner, More Efficient Home

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    • There’s good news for those who want to get a handle on cleaning their home but don’t know where to start.

      The experts from the Institute of Home Science have some practical advice and useful guidelines to help you get your home in tip-top shape. From the laundry room to the kitchen, here’s how to kick-start your cleaning.

       

      The laundry room:  This is the room where stains are treated, clothes are folded, and washers and dryers take on all sorts of fabrics. It can be a daunting place, but a little effort goes a long way.

       

      • Organization is key – Make sure to pre-sort your laundry into designated baskets for lights, darks and whites. When you’re ready, your laundry will be too.
      • Less is more – Don’t overload the washer or dryer. Clothes will come out cleaner and less wrinkled when given room to move freely.
      • Go easy on the suds – If you have a high efficiency (HE) washer, use only HE detergents in the proper amount to help prevent over-sudsing and the buildup of odor causing residue. With a regular washing machine, remember that concentrated detergents require using smaller amoun
    • Don’t over-dry your clothes. It’s actually a lack of moisture that causes your clothes to shrink..

     

    Next the kitchen:  This room is typically both the busiest and messiest room in a home.

     

    • De-clutter the countertops – Rather than displaying your small kitchen appliances, store them in easy access cabinets and take out only when needed.
    • Shield your cookware – To make cleanup a breeze after cooking or baking, line your cookware with tin foil before placing in the oven. Just toss out the foil and wipe down any spilled residue.
    • Stop pre-rinsing the dishes–Remember, most dishwashers are designed to sense the amount of soil on the dishes and will run the cycle accordingly. Scrape food off, but there is no need to rinse.
    • When in doubt, throw it out – Start clearing the refrigerator by putting contents on the counter. No idea how long that mustard has been in the fridge? Get rid of it.

     

    When deciding what to get rid of, use the three “E” rule as your guideline – if it’s expired, empty or makes you say “ew,” toss it.

    Keeping these tips in mind when it comes to cleaning your home can go a long way. For any assistance with our carpet cleaning or air duct cleaning department, contact us here.

  9. Helpful Tips Before Leaving on a Trip

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    It is that time of year when we start thinking about getting away on vacation. Below are some tips that you can use to keep your home safe when leaving on a trip.

     

    • Be cautious who you tell that you are going away.
    • Use timers to turn on and off your lights and TV.
    • Be sure to lock all doors and windows including your basement and shed.
    • Keep all valuables locked in a safety deposit box.
    • Have a neighbor park their car in your driveway.
    • Install an outdoor motion sensor light.
    • Make arrangements for your mail.
    • Make arrangements for your newspaper.
    • Call your home security company to advise them of your plans.
    • Turn off your water at the main shut-off.
    • Turn off ice makers.
    • Turn off the humidifier/ dehumidifier.
    • Unplug the water softener.
    • Turn your hot water heater to the vacation setting.
    • Set your thermostat at desired level.

     

     

    By following these tips you can relax and enjoy your trip knowing that your home is safe and sound.

  10. 10 Things You Can Do to Keep Your Property in Good Condition

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    In order to keep your property in good condition, it goes deeper than just dusting and mopping. Maintaining your home properly takes some steps and also keeps you from having a hefty bill from damages occurring in the future.

    1 Clean or replace air filters. If you have a dirty filter this will restrict the airflow in your air conditioner or furnace.

    2 Check and seal gaps around doors and windows. Close your door and look for daylight around the edges.

    3 Check for water leaks. Periodically check under sinks in the kitchen and bathrooms.

    Check your toilet for leaks by adding a small amount of food coloring to the tank, and then check back later. If 4 the water in the bowl is colored then water is seeping through from the tank.

    5 Keep your drains clean. Use a barbed plastic rod (hardware stores carry them) to poke way down the drain and pull it  back up. This will remove any hair that is stuck.

    6 Clean your gutters before the rain comes.

    7 Clean your chimney. If you have a wood burning fireplace soot builds up and can cause a fire hazard.

    8 Inspect your roof. Make sure there are no loose shingles.

    9 Do an attic inspection. Look for any pest problems. Check insulation covering all areas. Make sure ventilation is not obstructed and that ducts are connected.

    10 Keep trees away from the house. Roots from trees can cause damage to the foundation and sewer lines.

    Keep your fences in good condition. A broken post in a wood fence can overload the whole system.

    If you have any other questions on how to keep your property in good condition, please do not hesitate to contact us and feel free to continue browsing!