Duraclean Services

Category Archive: Blog

  1. 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.”

     

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. Outdoor Patio & Yard Ideas

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    If you long for a more beautiful backyard space, but lack the funds to hire a landscape designer, check out these DIY tips and tricks to improve your outdoor patio and yard space on a dime.

    Build a Pallet Wood Sofa

    Convert leftover pallet wood into a cozy sofa, a perfect place to sip your morning coffee or enjoy an evening cocktail.

    Take Advantage of Tree Stumps

    If you’re cutting down a tree, leave a few feet of the stump in place and turn into a small outdoor serving table

    Tin Can Lanterns

    Let these easy-to-make lanterns cast a soft glow by hanging them from tree branches or aligning them atop a porch railing. Just drill holes, paint, then attach some wire or string for hanging.

    Design Easy Seating

    If you love to throw summer parties and are always in search of extra seating, here’s your solution: Spray-painted milk crates topped with scrap wood combine color and convenience, plus they’re easy to store when not in use.

    Use Cinderblocks to Create a Bench

    This colorful, re purposed bench can be made from cinder-blocks, lumber, and concrete adhesive. Add colorful cushions for comfy and stylish outdoor seating.

    Add Pattern to Outdoor Patio Pavers

    Jazz up your backyard by turning plain cement steps into brightly patterned patio pavers. Place stencils on each and spray with colorful paint. Put coat of clear sealant over.

    For more information or to learn more about Duraclean and what services we provide, visit our about section here!

     

  9. Is a Storm Coming? Here’s How to Prepare

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    Here are some tips on how to prepare yourself for a storm:

    Before the Storm

    • Look for any potential problem areas, especially along your roof, windows, doors and garage doors.
    • Remove tree branches that could harm utility wires or home.
    • Clear debris from gutters and spouts.
    • Secure or bring outdoor furniture or other items inside. – The Halloween decorations will have to come inside!
    • Go shopping: nonperishable items such as canned food, granola bars, dried fruit, nuts, ready-to-eat cereal and snacks, crackers, and peanut butter are best.
    • Set the refrigerator to its coldest setting. If the power goes out, the food won’t spoil as quickly.
    • Charge your cell phones fully.
    • Move valuables to the upper floors of your house, away from areas that could potentially flood.
    • Check your sump pumps to make sure they are operational. If you don’t have one, and if time allows, install a battery operated back-up in case of a power outage.
    • Keep a list of emergency numbers by the telephone. This includes your insurance agent’s phone number – you may have to turn in a homeowner’s claim.
    • Take inventory of your possessions. Your insurance adjuster will need this if there is damage and your contents need to be repaired or replaced.

    During the Storm

    • Stay inside and off the roads.
    • If you absolutely must be on the roads, don’t attempt to drive through flooded areas.
    • If the authorities tell you to evacuate your home – do it! Don’t be stubborn. Be sure to take all of your important documents with you.

    What if the power goes out?

    • Report outages to your power company immediately. Don’t assume your neighbors have already called.
    • Be sure that ovens, ranges or heaters that may have been on before the power went out have been turned off.
    • Don’t use candles. They can be a fire hazard. Use flashlights instead.
    • Unplug appliances and electronics that can be damaged when the power is restored.
    • Keep your refrigerator and freezer closed. Each time you open the door, a significant amount of cold air is lost. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold safely for about four hours. A packed freezer will keep food safe for 48 hours; you have 24 hours if the freezer is half full.
    • Don’t risk eating spoiled food. When in doubt, throw it out!
    • Keep generators and fuel outdoors.
    • Keep your doors closed to prevent warm air from escaping.

    And if it floods?

    • If you’re outdoors, move to high ground.
    • If your basement floods, turn off your pilot light for your basement gas appliances.
    • Turn off the electrical panel box if you can do so safely. Don’t touch electrical switches if they (or you) are wet.
    • Stay away until the floodwaters have receded. Don’t enter your home or attempt repairs until you’re certain it’s safe.
    • Contact a certified restoration contractor and your insurance agent as soon as possible. A fast response to property damage lessens the amount and severity of potential secondary damage.

    If you have suffered any storm damage to your property or are currently experiencing flooding, please do not hesitate to contact us here for a free inspection.

  10. How Does Smoke Damage My Home?

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    Smoke/soot is the product of incomplete combustion.  It is made visible through the presence of small particles of carbon. Smoke damage can affect your home in a number of ways.

     

    The fire that causes smoke and soot is non-discriminatory in that it will burn anything which can be burned.  Besides the residue that is created through a fire, when there is a structure that has a variety of different flammable materials such as particle board, wood, plastic laminate, vinyl, etc., the combination of these substances can produce very complex odors.

     

    Three Categories of Smoke Residue and Odors

    Smoke odors can normally be classified into three categories.  These categories also need customized deodorization to restore them:

     

    1. Protein Odors – These are produced from burned meat, flesh and poultry.

     

    The residue is identifiable by a brownish or yellowish color and has a greasy texture. Odor removal and deodorization usually entails a complete cleaning of the affected surfaces.

    1. Natural Substance Odors – Natural burned substances include paper, wood, jute, cork, feathers, and wool, anything that has a plant or an animal hair source.  Identification is made through a gray/black residue that has a dry, powdery consistency.  

     

    1. Synthetic Substance Odors – Synthetic (man-made) burned substances encompass burned plastics and textiles.  Residues from these substances are black in color and smudge easily since they come from petroleum-based sources.  Burned synthetic residue can create smoke webs visible where walls and corners meet the ceiling and in streamers handing from curtain rods.  These smoke webs are called soot tags.

     

    NOTE:  Soot tags are often misidentified as “spider webs” which supposedly became visible because of the smoke/soot residue.

     

    Five Factors That Influence Smoke

    There are five factors that influence smoke damage and can affect the related surfaces:

     

    1. Heat – Warmed or heated air rises and migrates to cold areas such as outside walls and closets.  Heat causes pores in surfaces to expand which then readily accepts the smoke residue and odor.
    2. Pressure – The energy created by the fire produces heat which enables the smoke to penetrate into the most minute cracks and crevices.
    3. Impingement – Burned objects can hit another surface with sufficient velocity so that it will impinge (or splatter) and remain on the surface.  (Think of candle wax.)
    4. Magnetism – Smoke is attracted to metal surfaces such as plumbing pipes, nail heads and metal coat hangers.
    5. Ionization – Opposites attract so smoke webs may form on structural surfaces.  Plastic bags on clothing from dry cleaners retain electrical charges which attract smoke.  More smoke damage can be found on clothing inside plastic bags in a closet as opposed to unprotected clothing!!!

     

    For expert fire damage restoration contact us here.