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Going on vacation? Lets prepare!

When you are on vacation, the last thing you want to worry about is whether your home is safe. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to minimize the risk of accident or burglary. Use this checklist from the experts at ServiceMaster Restore to help keep your home protected while you’re away.

VACATION CHECKLIST

In the weeks leading up to your trip, begin prepping your home for your departure. Use the checklist below to ensure every task is completed appropriately before you and your family head out.

1. MAKE IT LOOK LIKE YOU”RE STILL AT HOME

The more you can make it appear that the house is being used, the less appealing it will be to potential vandals or thieves. To make it look like your family is still home, do the following:

– Request a neighbor to park at your house occasionally.
– Have someone keep the grass cut and the landscape maintained.
– Either stop the mail and paper while you are away or have a neighbor pick them up for you.
– Use a timer to turn on at least one or two lights in the home regularly.
– Refrain from posting on social media until you return home, as this can let your followers know that your home is empty.
– Have a neighbor or friend take your trash cans to the curb on designated trash days.
– Consider hiring a house sitter who can stay and keep an eye on things, especially if you’re away for long periods of time.

2. PROTECT YOUR HOME AGAINST CRIME

While making it look like you’re still home can do a lot in keeping your home safe, there are some other steps you should take to fully protect it. Take these steps to protect your home against any criminal activity:

– Bring spare keys inside the home if you have any hidden around the exterior.
– Lock all windows, doors, and gates before you leave.
– Consider installing motion-sensor lights around your home’s exterior.
– Monitor your home with alarm systems and security devices.

3.PROGRAM YOUR THERMOSTAT

There are a few things that can be accomplished when you set your thermostat for vacation. First, it ensures that your home stays at a safe temperature and humidity level. Second, it prevents you from wasting energy and money on cooling or heating your home as you would for personal comfort levels.

Follow these seasonal guidelines to keep your home at a safe temperature range:

In summer, an ideal temperature range is around 82 to 85 degrees.
In winter, an ideal temperature range is around 60 to 65 degrees.

4. UNPLUG YOUR APPLIANCES

It may seem a little tedious to wander through your home unplugging every single appliance and charger, but the benefits make it worth it. Unplugging electronics like computers, TVs, cooking appliances, and more can prevent excess power usage while also reducing your risk of an electrical fire.

5. CHECK YOUR WATER AND PLUMBING

If you’re leaving for long periods of time, shut off the water valves to the toilets, washing machine, dishwasher, and sinks to prevent any accidental leaks or ruptures. You can even shut off the main water valve, depending on the time of year. In the winter, we recommend keeping the main water valve on to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting. Then, shut off the water heater or put it in “vacation mode” for more protection.

6. PREP YOUR HOME FOR YOUR RETURN

Coming home from vacation should be relaxing. To ensure there isn’t much you need to do once you come home, do the following tasks right before you leave:

– Throw away that will go bad while you’re gone.
– Place an open box of baking soda in the refrigerator to absorb odors.
– Take out the trash.
– Leave closet doors open to prevent musty air.

Now that you know what to do before leaving for vacation, your trip can be relaxing and worry-free. For more helpful tips for protecting your home throughout the year, visit the ServiceMaster blog today or call 215-322-1175!

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DIY Mold Removal, why not?

Sewage Cleanup Philadelphia PA

Mold can thrive wherever there’s moisture, which means no home can be 100 percent certain of never developing a mold problem. And while you may be tempted to tackle a mold outbreak on your own, it is not a safe nor an easy cleaning process to take on. Between the health dangers involved and the risk of exacerbating the problem, this is a job you should leave to the professionals. Here are just a few reasons why DIY mold removal can do more harm than good:

MOLD IS DANGEROUS TO CLEAN

Indoor mold damage is a threat to the health of everyone who comes in contact with it. Mold spores irritate the respiratory system and can cause symptoms that include sneezing, runny nose, itchy or watery eyes, and aggravation of asthma symptoms. Those with compromised immune systems are especially at risk of illness caused by mold exposure.

When you attempt to clean mold by yourself, you risk not only your own health but also that of those around you. Mold spores can easily become airborne without the right cleaning tools and techniques. With so many severe health threats in play, it’s always best to rely on a professional mold removal service to tackle any mold you encounter in your home or business.

YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT’S CAUSING THE MOLD

The surest way to combat mold is to eliminate the moisture that is allowing it to thrive. Sources of excess moisture can include humidity, leaking pipes and appliances, spills, wetness in bathrooms, and more. You cannot simply clean up the symptoms of a mold outbreak without addressing the cause. A mold remediation company, on the other hand, knows how to diagnose and eliminate the source of the problem, including hidden trouble spots you might easily overlook.

YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT TYPE OF MOLD YOU’RE DEALING WITH

Not all types of mold are the same. Some are more dangerous and difficult to clean than others, and only a professional mold inspection and testing service can accurately determine the type and severity of a given outbreak. You may be able to detect mold growth visually or by the musty aroma that it gives off, but knowing how to eradicate the problem takes expert equipment and methods. Mold spores must be sent to a lab to be identified, and not all types of mold react to the same cleaning agents. In the case of a particularly dangerous growth such as toxic black mold, the last thing you want to do is exacerbate the problem by failing to adequately get rid of it.

YOU CAN NOT ELIMINATE THE ENTIRE PROBLEM

On that note, it’s vital to understand that many DIY mold removal methods can, not only fail to fully eliminate a mold problem, but can even make them worse. Oftentimes, mold will eventually return if painted over, sprayed with bleach or non-commercial mold-killing agents, or scrubbed with simple soap and water. What you risk doing in these instances is disturbing mold spores and sending them airborne, which triggers health dangers and only helps the mold spread. Mold is a stubborn invader, which is why a professional mold remediation company is really your best defense when an outbreak occurs.

With decades of experience in identifying and eliminating mold at homes and businesses of all sizes, ServiceMaster Restore has the know-how and equipment necessary to tackle even the toughest of mold challenges. If you believe you have mold in your home or business, contact us AT 215-322-1175 to discuss a customized mold remediation plan to stop the problem in its tracks, before it gets worse. With not only the appearance of your building but also health on the line, this is definitely a job you’ll be glad to leave to the experts.

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Don’t let Fireworks ruin your summer, enjoy them!

Firework season is among us! As fun and exciting as it is, it can potentially cause some issues that aren’t so fun and exciting. Follow these tips to ensure that your firework shows can be as fun as possible!

National Fireworks Safety Month occurs every June and runs through the Fourth of July to remind communities that setting off your own fireworks could be deadly. According to recent statistics from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), over one-quarter of fires started by fireworks were reported on the Fourth of July. Almost half of the fires reported on Independence Day were started by fireworks. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) even reported that in 2016 alone, an estimated 11,000 injuries were treated at hospitals due to fireworks-related injuries, mostly to the hands, fingers, head, face and ears. That’s why it’s so important to follow the advice of the NFPA: leave the fireworks to the professionals.

If you haven’t purchased any fireworks for this year’s events, consider watching the professional displays that occur in several places around your city. That way, your friends, family and pets can stay safe from any potential injuries. However, in the event that you insist on setting off your own display, read the following fireworks safety tips from the experts at ServiceMaster Restore first.

READ ALL DIRECTIONS AND CAUTIONARY LABELS ON THE PACKAGING!

In Pennsylvania it is now legal to use your own fireworks and have some awesome mini shows in the comfort of your own backyard. With how exciting it is, people don’t always remember to read the directions and warnings which can potentially cause trouble. In order to avoid these issues, never light a firework without first reading its directions. Responsible usage is key to avoiding the burns, cuts, sprains, fractures or worse injuries associated with amateur fireworks. While you’re examining the packaging, pay attention to warning labels, too. As a general rule, these explosive devices aren’t intended for children to handle, and firework products typically recommend keeping pets safely inside and away from the show.

ONLY USE FIREWORKS OUTSIDE

Setting off a firework in your home is asking for a fire. If you choose to do this, you may potentially face fire and property damage, damage to your neighbor’s property, city fines, increased risk of injury and even death. To avoid all these risks, only use fireworks outside in an open area. The space should be far away from buildings, vehicles, children and animals to keep everyone safe.

DO NOT USE FIREWORKS NEAR DRY GRASS OR FOLIAGE

The summer sun has a way of drying out grass, leaves and plants. If recent temperatures are especially scorching, take a close look at the area where you plan to launch the fireworks. We recommend performing this examination in daylight for a full, clear understanding of the area’s risk of fire. If dry grass or foliage is found, do not light off your display there. These items will behave like kindling if touched by any stray sparks, putting you at risk of fire.

DO NOT SET FIREWORKS OFF NEAR BUILDINGS

A rogue firework could easily set a building on fire, shatter its windows, injure residents and much more. Respect your neighbors’ properties by keeping your fireworks away from their homes and businesses. You should also keep fireworks away from power or gas lines, as these can ignite a fire upon impact. Instead, only use fireworks in a wide, open field that’s free from any dried or otherwise combustible materials.

KEEP A LARGE BUCKET OF WATER NEARBY

If things go awry, it’s necessary to be prepared. During your fireworks show, make sure to always have a bucket of water, a hose or a fire extinguisher on hand. That way, if a fire starts, you can put out the flames immediately.

If by chance any fire damage occurs from firework season please call us at 215-322-1175!

If you choose to set off your own fireworks displays, do your part during National Fireworks Safety Month first. Read up on all the fireworks safety tips you should know before lighting off any fireworks to prevent the worst from happening. From the members of ServiceMaster Restore, we hope you have a fun, happy and safe Spring and Summer season!

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Spring into clean!

Spring is just around the corner, which means it’s time to give your home a good deep clean. While spring cleaning may not be everybody’s idea of a fun time, the end result is worth the work when you have a sparkling clean home in which to kick back and relax. Follow these room-by-room, step-by-step spring cleaning instructions from the experts at ServiceMaster Clean® to refresh all the rooms in your home for the year ahead. From the big stuff like carpet cleaning to finding those easy-to-miss areas, these spring cleaning tips will have your home feeling like new in no time.

Kitchen, Laundry Room, and Bathrooms:

Kitchens, laundry rooms, and bathrooms tend to be places where germs, bacteria, and mold are most likely to build up in your home, so you want to give these rooms a particularly thorough cleaning. When tackling spring cleaning in your kitchen, laundry, and bathrooms, check each of the following items off your list:
– Change filters
Locate and change the water filter in your refrigerator, the filter in your hood vent, and all air filters.
– Clean appliances
While the refrigerator is an obvious target for spring cleaning, don’t forget about your microwave, dishwasher, oven, washer and dryer, and smaller appliances. Inspect and clean around all your appliances to remove excess dirt and debris and check for signs of water or electrical damage.
– Disinfect hard surfaces
Clear off all your countertops so you can reach areas that haven’t been disinfected for some time. You can also restore grout lines to get rid of stains. Disinfect all toilets, sinks, showers, and tubs.
– Organize cupboards
There are likely items in your kitchen and bathroom cupboards that you no longer need. Take this opportunity to declutter and better organize these spaces.
– Clean bathmats and shower curtains
Aside from the towels, bathroom accessories often get overlooked during routine cleaning. Take the time now to clean your shower curtain, bathmats, and toilet seat covers to keep germs from flourishing.

Living and Dining Rooms:

Living and dining rooms are enjoyed by the entire family and all of your guests, so these rooms tend to need frequent cleaning. Beyond the quick tidying up that you do on a routine basis, deep clean your living and dining rooms by following four basic steps:
– Dust thoroughly
There are probably areas of your living and dining rooms that haven’t been dusted in a long time, like ceiling fans, lamp shades, crown moldings, wall hangings, mirror edges, and hard-to-reach shelves. A good rule of thumb when dusting is always to dust high to low.
– Treat upholstery
If your vacuum has the proper attachments, use them to clean your sofas, cushions, and other textile surfaces. For the deepest clean on a schedule and budget that works for you, let the experts at ServiceMaster Clean handle upholstery cleaning for you.
– Organize possessions
Decluttered living and dining rooms simply look and feel better. Replace the toys, DVDs, games, books, papers, clothing, and other items that are lying around to their appropriate places.
– Clean the carpets and floors
While routine sweeping and vacuuming can help control the dirt, grime, and germs that floors, carpets, and area rugs collect, all the flooring in your home should be deep cleaned at least once a year to thoroughly remove allergens and properly maintain your floors. Sweep and mop all hard floors as appropriate, clean and vacuum underneath furniture, and shampoo and dry your carpets. Clean each area rug following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Bedrooms:

-Bedrooms are our personal sanctuaries and need an extra bit of TLC during spring cleaning to keep them as clean and comfy as possible. In addition to all of the cleaning tips above, follow these steps to deep clean your bedrooms for spring:
Refresh your entire bed
Beyond laundering and changing out your bed sheets and pillow cases, properly clean your blankets, comforters, and mattress pad following the manufacturers’ instructions. Spot clean your mattress and pillows as needed, and allow them to dry completely. If you can, flip and rotate your mattress, and finish by cleaning underneath your bed.

– Clear out your closet
Fold and put away all your clothing, shoes, and accessories. If your closets are low on space, consider donating some of your unused clothing to charity, which will make organizing what you have left much easier.

– Declutter for better sleep
Bedroom clutter can make it harder to fall asleep. To get a better night’s rest, keep your bedroom as tidy and organized as possible. Remove or put away anything that may disturb your sleep, especially electronics and work-related items.

Of course, not everybody has the time to give their homes a thorough spring cleaning. If you need help deep cleaning your home, the experts at ServiceMaster can help. Contact us at 215-322-1175 to customize a home cleaning plan for spring, and let your house shine without lifting a finger.

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BYE BYE GERMS

The risk of catching a cold or coming down with the flu can be high – especially in the winter months. If someone in your home gets sick, germs can easily and quickly spread to other members of the household. In just a few days, your whole family could be showing flu symptoms. With these four tips you could majorly reduce the risk of harmful germs.

1. WASH YOUR HANDS FREQUENTLY! – Washing your hands is a simple way to help stop the spread of germs and keep yourself from getting sick, whether you’re at home, at work or in public areas. Teach your family members the following handwashing tips and techniques to help avoid germs:

-Before, during and after preparing food.
-Before and after eating.
-Before and after caring for someone who is sick.
-After using the bathroom.
-After coming into contact with bodily fluid.
-After coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
-After changing a diaper.
-After touching a family pet.
-After taking out the trash or coming into contact with garbage.
-After coming home from the germiest public places.
-When your hands look visibly dirty.

2. CLEAN AND DISINFECT COMMON AREAS REGULARLY! – Cleaning and disinfecting your home regularly is important to help keep everyone healthy. When somebody in the house is sick, take more of an active role to combat bacteria and viruses before they are able to spread.

Wipe down high touch surfaces such as doorknobs, tables, chairs or other items that a sick individual has touched, with low-level disinfectant wipes. Infectious germs can live on surfaces for hours or even days, so it’s important to keep up a cleaning routine even in the days after an infected person starts feeling better. The CDC also recommended disinfecting the kitchen, bathrooms and other areas where potentially infectious germs can linger.

3. AVOID TOUCHING YOUR FACE! – Touching your face is one of the easiest ways to get germs on your hands into your body. If you touch something that’s been contaminated with germs and then touch your face, you could be transferring illnesses through the mucous membranes in the eyes, mouth and nose. To help prevent illness, wash your hands immediately after touching germy surfaces and avoid touching your face as much as possible.

4. AVOID CLOSE CONTACT WITH SICK INDIVIDUALS! – If possible, avoid spending time in close contact with sick individuals. If you’re caring for sick family members, always wash your hands after providing care. If you are the one feeling sick, keep your distance from others to help prevent them from becoming ill, too. Stay home from work, school and other commitments until you are healthy.

At ServiceMaster, we know how important infection control and prevention is. With decades of experience in janitorial services for healthcare facilities, our professionals follow best practices and procedures published by leading organizations like OSHA and the CDC to help ensure that hospitals, medical offices and other practices are cleaned and disinfected properly. For any questions or concerns please call us at 215-322-1175

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Spring is just around the Corner!

Routine deep cleaning is vital for the long-term health of your house. The buildup of grime, oil, and dirt can damage the surfaces, furniture, and structures in your home and even be dangerous to your and your family’s health.

High-traffic and high-touch areas like your entryways, floors, tiles, countertops, and walls, require the most care. If these areas are neglected, remediating residual damage or eliminating accumulated health risks could end up costing far more than hiring a professional cleaning service for regular preventative maintenance.

If life keeps throwing you curveballs or you have a special event coming up, call the professional cleaners at ServiceMaster TEAM®. With over 60 years of experience, we use revolutionary techniques and top-of-the-line equipment to quickly and effectively clean any room in your home.

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Fire & Smoke Damage

Seeing your home and precious possessions consumed by fire can be one of the most severe losses that a homeowner can experience. After such a devastating loss, reassurance comes from having clear guidance and support in salvaging as much as possible from fire and smoke damage. The residue left behind after a fire is a bio-hazard and can cause health problems if it is not taken care of correctly and thoroughly. You do not want to attempt to clean up your home on your own after a fire or you may cause more damage. Only experts with the right training and tools can assure the job is done properly. Our technicians are more than talented professionals; they’re caring people ready to get you back in your home as quickly as possible, while keeping you informed every step of the way.

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SERVICE DRIVES US, INTEGRITY GUIDES US.

We know that damages caused by an event affect more than your house and your possessions. That’s why we work tirelessly around the clock to get your life back to normal as quickly as possible. Whether it’s your entire house or a single room, we treat your home like it is our own and guarantee our work. Best of all, we provide guidance and support at every step in the process so you can be confident the job is done right. For 60 years, ServiceMaster has held strong to our core value of providing restoration services with the utmost integrity and understanding. With you as our priority, we say what we do and do what we say. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, the experts at ServiceMaster TEAM are ready to Restore Your Peace of Mind no matter how big the job may be.