Duraclean Services

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  1. Community . . .

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    Last month, Duraclean Services had the privilege of being part of a community luncheon sponsored by the Harford County Referral Partners Group. Held at 510 Johnny’s in the town of Belair, a variety of local business representatives were treated to an afternoon of delicious food, new business connections, and an eye opening look into some of the serious problems our county is facing at this present time.

    The luncheon started off with a short presentation by Darrell Mcdavid, the Executive Director for the Epicenter in Edgewood. Located in the heart of the town, the Epicenter offers a variety of programs to meet their community needs … Giving up to 7,000 pounds of food away weekly to those in need. Offering care stations for the homeless,  complete with showering facilities set up to provide a safe, private, comfortable place to clean up, have a warm meal, and enjoy some friendly conversation in a welcoming atmosphere. Providing before and after school care, including snacks, help with homework, and a myriad of child friendly activities in a safe environment. Hosting special classes for those who were homeless, to help guide them as they get back on their feet, as well as Millenial classes set up for those “adulting” for the first time. Started by Mountain Christian Church over 5 years ago, the Epicenter has strived to be a safe place that empowers people, strengthens families, and builds community . . . and they have done just that, with far reaching effects throughout the county at large. It’s always good to know what is going on in our local towns, and it was great to hear about all of the good things going on in Edgewood through the Epicenter, if you’d like further information, you can reach out to The Epicenter at Edgewood Facebook Page.

    Our Main Speaker of the day was Sheriff Jeff Gahler. Recently re-elected for another term, he gave us a candid look into the Opioid Epidemic in Harford County, talking in depth of the far reaching affects that have filtered into our schools, our places of work, our families and our community as a whole. Highlighting new programs and reminding us of steadfast organizations that continue to work dillegently to educate, restore, and encourage those walking through this devastating epidemic. Programs like Hope House on wheels, touring around the county making parents aware of things to look for in a typical teenagers room to catch the signs of a drug problem, The Harford County Crisis Center offering 24 hours care to those in the county who find themselves in immediate need, the Substance Abuse Unit set up within the jail, making strides in educating those already incarcerated, and of course the Citizens Academy, set up to give those living in our county a better understanding of how they can help lend a hand within their own communities. Sheriff Gahler then opened up the floor to a Q & A session where luncheon attendees could ask questions and have an open conversation about the Opioid issue at hand. He offered an honest, informative, eye opening view of this terrible epidemic, but also focused on things put in place and new programs in the works to fight this war that is waging within our community. He did a wonderful job of balancing hard truths with glimmers of hope.

    I would love to tell you that one luncheon did a lot to make an immediate change in the Opioid Epidemic, but change always takes a while to be seen. However, what it did do, was bring 50 businesses within our county together to focus on one very important issue. To become more aware, educated and equipped to fight this devastating battle. To learn, to support, to volunteer, and to make a difference. Walking away informed at the seriousness of the situation, but also with a hope that if we all work together, that the future can be better for this community we all love so dearly. Thank you, Sheriff Gahler and to all of those striving to make a positive difference in the opioid epidemic. Although we have a long ways to go, we are moving in the right direction . . .  together, and together is always the best place to be!

    Mother Theresa once said, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples!” . . . May our community come together and work together to cast our stone far and deep, so that the ripples of awareness, education, restoration, compassion, and moving forward together in a positive way, are felt not only in our community, but in our county, our country, and throughout our world.

    #ComeTogether #MakeRipples #WereAllInThisTogether #BeTheChange #HarfordCountyStrong #DuracleanCares

  2. Duraclean’s “Must Do” List to Prepare for Winter . . .

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    keep property in good condition

    Although the temperature has dropped dramatically over the last few days, we still have a little time before the bitter cold and snow head our way! Since it will be here before you know it, we’ve put together a list of “Must Do’s” to get your house in order before the first snowflake falls.

    So here it is, our Duraclean ” Must Do” List to Prepare for Winter. . .

    Fireplaces . . . if you have a fireplace, you have a chimney, and if you have a chimney, you MUST make sure that it is fully cleaned EVERY season. Although there are some who attempt this feat on their own, we would highly suggest using a professional. Making sure that your flume is free and clear of any debris makes for a nice cozy fire and a sweet peace of mind knowing that your family is as safe as possible. While you’re at it, if  you intend to have quite a few fires during the winter season, it’s best to order your fire wood in advance to ensure the very best price.

    Furnaces . . . this is an important one! Be sure to keep a watchful eye on your furnace, checking the blower often,  and changing the filters regularly.  Also routinely clean all vents and ducts. Using a professional is definitely the way to go with a furnace, but if you don’t be sure to keep up on regular maintenance.

    Gutters . . . As we already reminded you in our last blog, it’s very important to clean out your gutters.  After filling with leaves, twigs and other debris during the Fall,  clogged gutters WILL cause you problems, some of which can be quite costly! Always remember to guide all water AWAY from your house. Doing both of these things will help to protect you from water damage in or outside of your home!

    Sidewalks . . . Before the snow and the ice hit the ground, make sure to fill in or smooth out any cracks or crevices in your driveway, sidewalks or pathways. This may protect you from taking a “spill” and also make it much easier for you to shovel your way out during a snowstorm.

    Windows. . . When was the last time you replaced your windows, added some extra insulation or caulked around windows or doors? Doing each of these things can help lower your monthly heating costs.

    Winter Storm Kit . . .We’ve all been there, the snow starts falling, the winds start blowing and pretty soon we are left  sitting in the dark; cold, hungry, cold, bored, and did I mention being cold? It’s good to always hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst! Gathering a few storage bins (depending on the size of your family) of bottled waters, a first aid kit, heavy blankets, socks, hats, gloves, sweatshirts, a few flashlights, canned and boxed food (a can opener of course), extra toilet paper, a hand crank radio, an extra battery for your cell phone and even a few packages of hand or foot warmers. I know it sounds like ALOT, but boy oh boy, when the electric is out and your sitting in the dark, cold and hungry, it’s so much easier to pull a pre-packed storage bin out of the hall closet, than it is to be frantically looking for items in the dark!

    Generator. . . If you’d like to avoid sitting in the dark for a day or two or more, a generator is a good investment. When used properly (outside use only!) it can totally change a terrible storm experience into a tolerable one. Offering a few lights, use of a space heater and the possibility of keeping the food in your refrigerator safe from any power outages. Although a pretty big investment, chances are you will probably use it at least a time or two, and when you do, you will be very glad that you have it!

    Although there will always be ways to tweak this “Must Do” list, we feel as though this is a great start to help prepare and make for an easier Winter season for you and your family. So take a few minutes now to make sure that you are prepared for later, and always remember, that if Disaster should strike, to give us a call @ 410-838-7330.

    Remember, “No One is Faster to the Disaster!”

    Wishing you and your family a safe, happy, and stress free Winter Season!

    Duraclean Services

  3. Winter Fire Safety Tips . . . the “This Is Us” Edition!

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    If you spend your Tuesday nights like most American’s, chances are you curl up in front of the television watching a very popular  series centered around a lovable, yet oh so complicated family. If you’ve tuned in over the past few weeks, you have probably gone through at least a box or two of tissues AND have decided to forgo any crockpot recipes for a while (not forever mind you, but definitely for a while!) . . . After last night’s episode, there is absolutely no way that Fire Safety has not crossed some of our minds over the past 24 hours . . .Yes, I know a few months back, we did a blog about Fire Safety, and even visited the local Fire Department, but truth is,  it’s a REALLY important topic, so it’s worth talking about one more time.


    So welcome to Fire Safety, (aka the “This Is Us” edition). . . when the snow is falling, the winds are blowing, and the thermometer is far below our preferred comfort zone , that means that Winter has come , and is most likely going to stay for a while! With the change of seasons, comes an important reminder to be aware of fire safety rules, to remember those year round tips, as well as spending a few moments focusing on extra precautions that should be taken during the winter months ahead . . .  so here we go:


    Who doesn’t love to sit around a beautiful fire place or rustic wood stove, curled up under your favorite blanket all warm and cozy, while reading a good book or sipping on a fresh cup of coffee? Even though doing so may feel incredibly relaxing, it is SO important that before ANY fire happens,  to be sure to have had your chimney professionally cleaned and serviced. Also, make sure to keep a screen in front of the fire place. Although often very pretty, don’t be fooled, this piece is far more than a decoration.  It will protect your flooring from “runaway” embers that can start trouble (remember, it only takes a spark to get a fire going ) protecting not only from a possible fire, but from any damage that could occur to your carpet or flooring surface.


    1. Of course, NEVER use flammable liquids to start a fire, or even to keep one going, and move ANY flammable objects at least 3 feet or more away from the fire source. Once you are done enjoying the fire, be sure to take plenty of time to let the ashes cool down before closing the damper. Remember, a closed damper CAN reignite a flame, which will force carbon monoxide into your home . . . causing a potentially deadly threat to you and your family! Also, never place ashes (even cooled ashes in a cardboard or wooden box)  a metal container with a lid is the way to go just in case the ashes aren’t quite as cool as you thought they were!


    1. If you are using gas, verses wood burning appliances, thoroughly check your furnace out before you turn it on. Be sure to place your hands on the walls around it to make sure that no heat is coming through and check for cracks or holes in the furnace or adjacent pipes as well. As as always, keep all flammable and combustible objects far far away from the furnace, a 3-ft “safe zone” is usually your safest bet.


    1. Have that one room that is always “extra” cold no matter how high you turn up the heat?  Space heaters are a great heating source and can make a huge difference in your comfort level without adding to a huge electrical bill. However, just like everything else, you must be wise in how you use them. One heater per outlet is the max. NEVER plug them into an extension cord (they don’t have the safety of a circuit breaker that will “trip” when overloaded!). Be sure to keep heaters clear of ALL flammable objects, and debris, and of  course, remember that electric heaters shouldn’t be near water, so bathrooms and kitchens are NOT the best choice for them. If you do decide to use them in those rooms, be extra careful that they do not get wet, and NEVER ever leave them unattended.


    1. While we are using the NEVER word, NEVER ever  go to bed with a crock pot or oven on, with a dryer running, pre-strung lights (such as Christmas lights) or a lithium battery plugged in ( yes, I know you need to charge your phones and computers friends, but try to get into the habit of charging them while you are awake) Once they are fully charged, unplug them from the wall outlet and sleep with a bit more peace. Remember, a habit can be established within 2 months, and a 2 month investment is definitely worth the safety of your family.


    1. Be sure to have a smoke alarm in EVERY bedroom AND on EVERY floor of your home, and be sure to change the batteries regularly (at least once a year) and remember, smoke alarms need to be fully replaced every 10 years (even if you think they are in good shape, trust me, they aren’t!)


    1. Make sure that EACH floor has it’s own fire extinguisher (if you are a little on the paranoid side like I am, especially after last night’s episode, it probably wouldn’t be such a bad idea to have one in every bedroom either!) . . . and please be sure that EVERYONE  knows HOW TO USE THEM (during a fire is not the time to try to read the directions!)


    1. Know your house inside and out, think ahead and find 2 ways out of each and every room (doors and windows), and practice family fire drills often. Remember to have a meeting place nearby (usually in the front of your home) so family members will quickly know who has made it out of a fire and who is still inside.


    1. This Safety Rule is pretty important friends, in fact, I would probably call it the “Jack Rule!”  . . . NEVER EVER EVER go back into a burning house once you have made it out safely,  let the Fire Department take care of going back in to rescue or bring things out . . . they have the training, the experience and most of all the protective gear to be the person to get the job done! bottom line, GET OUT AND STAY OUT!!!


    1. Go over these fire safety rules with your family often. Don’t make them a conversation that you just check off your list every Winter, but truly make them a way of life for your household . . . Enjoy the Winter months, stay warm, have fun, make memories . . . and most of do your best to STAY SAFE . . . AND be sure to buy a new box of tissues before Tuesday night!
  4. 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



  5. 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.”


  6. 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.

  7. 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!