Duraclean Services

Category Archive: Blog

  1. 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!

     

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

     

  4. Summer & Home Problems

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    Summer is such a beautiful time of year, but with wonderful weather comes many home problems at times. Here are a few problems that may happen and tips to help prevent them from being a big financial problem.

    Pest

    Summer heat and rain also force insects and rodents to find a way for cover in your home. Bees, wasp, mosquitoes, ants, and other insects will find their way in your house.

    Taking away the easy access points of entry to your home is the most important step for preventing insects from coming in. Proper screening of doors and windows will help prevent insects from coming in. Good weather stripping will also help.

    Mold

    Mold is one of the biggest problems of the summer due to moisture during long rain periods. Warmer air and higher humidity teamed up with summer rainfall can create the perfect habitat for mold to grow in homes. Mold can cause problems with breathing, damage property, and cause health problems.

    Properly maintaining home ventilation and preventing spaces for moisture to collect, mold growth can be prevented.

    If mold does begin to show in your home, the best chance for eliminating it is to call a professional. The professionals at Duraclean Restoration Services specialize in mold remediation.

    Flooding

    Basement flooding is a big problem in the summer for homeowners. With more rainy days in the summer moisture can find its way into your home’s basement causing unwanted home problems.

    Cracks in the foundation or the ground may be too high, which allows water to pour down through windows or other openings.

    For your flooding and mold needs, please do not hesitate to contact us!

  5. The Ultimate Guide to Office Spring Cleaning

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    Spring is the time to refresh and reset. It’s the time to clean all the clutter and give yourself a fresh start. If you’re working in an office odds are you spend most of your time there during the week, and giving your space a good cleaning can really help the stress of working dissipate. Here are some ways to get started.

    Start with your filing cabinet.

    Your filing cabinet is more like the closet of your office, and organizing it can do wonders. It’s easily cluttered and taking some time to cipher through it to discard any extra or useless paperwork can be very helpful.

    Clean off your desk.

    It’s so easy to fill your desk with papers, pens, staplers, whiteout, business cards, highlighters, coffee, coffee…wait did I say coffee twice? I was staring at my own desk thinking I should take my own advice. Anyway, that is the point I’m trying to make! It’s easier to focus and increase determination when the desk I am spending most of my time at is clean and organized.

    Dust your electronics.

    Dusting is the easiest task to overlook, mainly because we do not see it all the time. Monitors and keyboards love dust bunnies, but also germs and allergens.

    Carpet cleaning

    It can be super beneficial for offices. For more information, visit our carpet cleaning section and contact us!

  6. Mold Remediation: What Happens?

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    Leading to Mold…

    Homeowners, apartment, hotel and condominium complex managers and school districts are just some of the entities that are prime candidates for water damage restoration.  There are occasions when in the process of investigating the water damage that mold is found.

     

    This can lead to mold remediation.  How does this process occur?

     

    Initial Telephone Call

    Professional restoration and remediation companies have some form of an “initial telephone call checklist.”

    The checklist covers water and fire damage restoration; however, it is applicable to mold as well since mold is caused by a water source.

     

    When the call comes in from a customer we ask questions regarding his/her situation.

     

    We ask:

     

    • Is this a new water loss or a repeat situation?
    • How long were the areas/surfaces wet?
    • How much was affected by the water exposure?

     

    The customer’s answers can give us a better feel for possible mold presence but we never tell the customer on the phone that they have mold. We want to visit the affected site for a more detailed evaluation.

    There are other things that we ask the customer.  If they say they have mold we ask them what the basis is for their conclusion.  If the customer has test results and a remediation plan that was written by an industrial hygienist then we approach the job in a different way.  The plan leads us to working with an industrial hygienist which leads to a mold remediation project.

     

    The plan has specific procedures (protocol) that details the project from the beginning to its final completion and site clearance.

     

    If water is present the restorer/remediator may need to consider drying out procedures. He can deal with the mold remediation after the drying has been completed or do it concurrent with the drying process through dehumidification.

     

    For expert mold remediation services contact us.

     

     

  7. 5 Benefits of Air Duct Cleaning

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    Why should you clean your air ducts? Here’s the short answer: Because they get dirty! Air ducts are the life blood of air quality in your home, and what’s more vital to life than oxygen. Here are five benefits to regularly getting your air ducts cleaned.

     

    1. Indoor Air Quality

     

    Your HVAC system is the lungs of your home. Dander, dust, and chemicals produce over time, and they are pulled into the heating and cooling system. The circulation of these things can eventually build up in your air ducts and affect the cleanliness of your air.

     

    1. Save Energy!

     

    Twenty-five to 40% of energy used in the HVAC system is wasted. When contaminants build up and pollute your system, they have to work harder to run and it can cause the life span of your system to shorten. If your system is working harder, it’s going to cost you more to run it.

     

    1. Smell Better

     

    We don’t mean you smell, but your house can if your air ducts aren’t clean! Pets, household cleaning agents, tobacco use, and some foods can repeatedly flow through the house and accumulate in your ducts. Cleaning these ducts can remove odor trapping particles.

     

    1. It Makes a Good Selling Feature

     

    Spring time is a busy time of year for the housing market. If you’re selling your home, having your air ducts cleaned can show a buyer than you take good care in maintaining your home.

     

    1. Mold Be Gone

     

    Mold being present in an HVAC system is a complaint that happens more often than not. It’s sneaky, and can grow without being seen. If you’re routinely inspecting your air ducts and cleaning them, mold will be something that won’t stand a chance in sneaking up on you.

     

    Call Duraclean at 410-838-7330 or contact us through our web form to get your free estimate. Chances are, you will like what you hear.

  8. Why Professional Carpet Cleaners Should Be Hired

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    You come home from work, put your feet up and watch some TV to relax at the end of a long day. You start thinking about the holiday season that is upon us and you start looking around the house. Because you come home to the house every day, you are used to the clutter and the coffee stain on the carpet from the spill that happened six months ago. You tell yourself it’s not that noticeable but now you look at it through the eyes of the guests you will be having for the holidays. Ok, it’s time to have the carpets cleaned.

    There are many benefits to having a professional come in and clean the carpets. Driving to the store to rent the machine, transporting it to your home and figuring out how to use the machine can be very time consuming and costly. When hiring a professional you are getting a technician who is experienced with the process, can tackle those tough stains (that you have tried to get out of your carpets) with products that work, and will leave your carpets looking like new.

    Professional carpet cleaning takes away pollutants and odors. Pet dander, indoor air pollutants, allergens, and everyday dirt nestles itself in the carpet and can cause contamination in your home. Our truck mounted heavy extraction hot water foam system will kill the bacteria and remove deep seeded pollutants.

    Professional floor cleaning can breathe life back into your carpets leaving them looking like new. Oils in dirt that gets trapped in your carpet can damage the carpet over time. Cleaning your carpet not only refreshes it’s look, but can extend how long it lasts.

    Over all, there are many reasons to get your carpets professionally cleaned. Feel free to contact us to learn more extensively about the process!

  9. Tips for Making Sure Your Sump Pump is Working

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    One of the main causes of basement flooding, is from a sump pump failure. These examples can happen from the power going out, from heavy rainfall and outside flooding, old age, frozen or clogged pipe, lack of maintenance, or it was installed wrong.

    The way a sump pump works is pretty basic. Your basement has a drain system around the perimeter of the outside wall that feeds into the sump pump. In the corner of your basement, there is a hole dug and a sump pump is placed in order to capture and pump out that water. The pit can fill up from rain, for example, and the pump will switch on and pump the water into various pipes that feed out away from your home’s foundation. It is a very simple mechanism.

    The key to avoid failure all comes down to maintenance. Some of these problems can just occur, and are hard to avoid, but the odds are in your favor if it is something you regularly keep an eye on. It is always a good idea to do regular checks on the pump. The best way is to simply lift the float up and the pump should come on. If not, then you will need to find out why it is not working. Here are some other tips:

    1. Try to check the pump for particles and debris by properly cleaning it
    2. There is a float switch on the sump pump, make sure it is not restricted
    3. Clean all the vents and spaces to allow it to function at its best
    4. Have a battery backup in case of a power outage to ensure your sump pump can still run

    Again, sump pumps sometimes fail, and it is not a reflection on you! In order to have a good chance of it NOT failing, just make sure to maintenance, and as always, call a professional if there are any possible questions as to whether you are having an issue or fear.

  10. You’ll Never Guess the Reasons Mold Grows in Your Home

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    Most homeowners call us regarding mold in their home and it is usually caused by these four reason

     

    • While trying to sell their home, the home inspector found signs of mold
    • They had a flood in their home, for example in their basement, and it was not dried professionally
    • The foundation in the basement leaks and mold started growing on the walls
    • Someone in the house has gotten sick, usually with breathing problems and mold may be why

     

    Do not fear, there are a couple of options on how to solve your issue on removing mold! One option you can do is contact a certified mold inspector or contractor and let them guide you through the process. If the mold is easily seen, this can be a good option for you. The other option is to contact an industrial hygienist who will inspect your home and test the air quality. An industrial hygienist will give you an explanation of the lab results and provide a scope of work on what needs to be done to remove the mold. A certification letter will then be given to you after the work is done so that you can sleep better at night knowing your home is mold free.

    One mistake that homeowners make is hiring a testing company that takes air samples. Testing companies are not qualified to provide an explanation or the results of the lab work or provide a scope of work for proper mold removal. It you hire a company who comes into your home and uses words like “toxic”, “hazardous”, and “dangerous” beware. Often times this is a scare tactic used to drive up the cost of the job. One last thing. It is never an accepted practice for a testing company to do their own mold removal. If either of these things happen with a contractor, always get a second opinion or call an industrial hygienist.