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Outdoor Summer Fire Safety

With its warm nights and relaxing atmosphere, summer is the best time for cooking outside. Unfortunately, it’s also peak season for grill fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 17 percent of grill fires happen in July, trailed by 14 percent in May and June, and 13 percent in August. This doesn’t include fire pits, either. The NFPA states that outdoor fireplaces and fire pits are responsible for 3,700 grass and brush fires each year.

Whether you’re entertaining guests around a fire pit or grilling your family’s dinner over an outdoor fireplace, it’s integral that you fully understand where to set up your fire, how to use it and how to keep everyone safe. Read these helpful tips on outdoor grill and fire pit safety from the experts at ServiceMaster Restore.

BUILD YOUR FIRE PIT AWAY FROM BUILDINGS

The number one rule of grilling safety is to keep your fire away from surrounding homes, buildings, trees and other items that could catch fire. If the flames accidentally get too high or otherwise escape your fire pit, you don’t want to put yourself, your kids, your pets or your guests at risk. Avoid any accidents by setting up your fire pit in a wide, open space that’s away from flammable materials.

NEVER USE GASOLINE OR LIGHTER FLUID

Gasoline and lighter fluid may yield immediate results, but they’re dangerous additions to your fire pit. One spill outside the pit and you could soon have an uncontrollable fire roaring across the property. Furthermore, adding accelerants onto an already burning fire can cause explosions. To keep yourself safe, use dry wood as kindling for a steady, controlled burn.

KEEP YOUR DISTANCE FROM THE FLAMES

Everyone needs to stay a safe distance away from the fire pit at all times. Pay extra attention to the whereabouts of children, pets and guests who have been drinking. To help prevent any accidents, we recommend keeping your fire pit at least 10 feet from flammable objects. Leave enough room for guests to walk around the flames or sit comfortably and safely away from the immediate vicinity.

PUT UP A FIRE SCREEN OR COVER

To enhance your outdoor fire safety, consider setting up a screen or cover around your grill. Without one, stray sparks can exit your fire pit, potentially injuring guests or causing fires. These protective barriers are often affordable and available for purchase at your local home hardware store.

HAVE A BUCKET OF WATER OR HOSE NEARBY

When using an open flame, it’s important to have an emergency plan in place, just in case the unexpected happens. Keep a bucket of water, a garden hose or a fire extinguisher close by, so you can respond immediately to any potential hazards. Should the fire become uncontrollable, evacuate the property and call emergency services right away.

Overall, outdoor dinners and nights spent around the fire are an irreplaceable part of summer. By following ServiceMaster Restore’s fire pit safety tips, you can help keep your summer full of happy, care-free memories

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Thunderstorms can affect you!

There are a lot of myths floating around about thunderstorms, but when your workplace or home is faced with one of these summer storms, your collective safety relies on knowing the facts. Learn the risks associated with thunderstorms and how you can keep yourself, your staff and your business safe with these tips from the experts at ServiceMaster Restore.

HOW THUNDERSTORMS CAN AFFECT YOU
Thunderstorms are always accompanied by lightning. With lightning comes potential power surges, structural damage, hail, flash floods, powerful winds and even destructive fires. According to Ready.gov, lightning is even the leading cause of injury and death from weather-related hazards. The National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) estimates that about 100,000 thunderstorms occur annually in the U.S. alone, making it crucial that business owners know how to prepare for and respond to these storms before the unexpected happens.

The potential effects of lightning and thunderstorms on your business or home include the following:

LIGHTENING STARTING A FIRE
According to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), lightning causes an average of 22,600 fires every year, resulting in several injuries, deaths and roughly 451 million dollars of direct property damage. With so many risks associated with fires, it’s important to watch the storm carefully. If lightning causes a fire near your facility or home, call emergency services immediately.

LIGHTENING CAUSING POWER SURGE DAMAGE
Another risk of thunderstorms is power surges. If lightning strikes a power line, telephone wire or your office itself, it can create a strong burst of electricity that travels through the wires and harms your electrical devices. Power surges can damage or even permanently destroy your computers, telephone systems and any other plugged-in appliances inside your business or home. To stay safe during a thunderstorm, do not let employees or family operate electrical equipment. Instead, have staff shut off computers and stay away from items that put them in direct contact with electricity.

LIGHTENING CAUSING STRUCTURAL DAMAGE
Structural damage from a thunderstorm comes in various forms. If lightning strikes a tree and it falls on your business, you could be dealing with shattered windows, a damaged roof or even injuries and fatalities. You may also face structural damage from direct lightning hits or lightning-related fires. If you experience any type of damage that leaves areas of your building open to the elements, you may even see damage caused by rainwater or floodwater entering through these compromised spots.

HOW TO PREVENT LIGHTENING DAMAGE TO YOUR HOME OR BUSINESS
While lightning may seem unpredictable and unstoppable, there are steps you can take to reduce your chances of lightning damage. Use these tips to help keep your business safe from thunder and lightning:

If you know a thunderstorm is approaching, unplug all of your office or homes electronic devices beforehand to prevent power surges.
If you suspect that your building was hit with lightning, call the fire department immediately to avoid significant damage.
Install surge protection devices or grounding systems at your office or home.
Consider installing a lightning rod on your building to direct lightning strikes to one safe space.
Trim any trees or large branches that risk falling on your business or home during a storm.
Train your staff or family about the threats of thunderstorms and what they need to do if one approaches.
In the event that your business or home did experience damage from a thunderstorm, know that you’re not alone. The experts at ServiceMaster Restore are ready 24/7 every day of the year to help get your business up and running as soon as possible. Use our weather damage clean-up services to minimize your company or home’s impact and down time with a restoration solution that fits you.

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Recovering from a fire being extinguished

HOW TO RECOVER FROM FIRE FIGHTING DAMAGE


A fire can sweep through a building quickly. The sooner the flames are put out, the less damage there will be. However, water is one of the main ways to stop a fire, and water damage can sometimes wreak just as much destruction on a property as the fire itself.

Water damage after a fire can occur from the water hoses firefighters use, as well as the activation of the built-in sprinkler systems inside a commercial building. Find out how your business can recover from both types of water damage after a fire with help from the experts at ServiceMaster Restore.

The truth about water damage
Excess water can soak everything inside a building, including equipment, electronics, upholstery, flooring and building materials. The longer water sits, the greater the risk that your building’s contents will be permanently damaged or destroyed. Beyond the physical damage water can cause, moisture can also cause mildew and mold growth. If mold has an opportunity to spread in your home or business, you could face additional damage or restoration costs in the hundreds or thousands of dollars. That’s why immediate water extraction after a fire is crucial.

Whenever water damage occurs, take the following steps as soon as possible:

1. Document the damage
After officials have declared it safe to re-enter the building, document the fire and water damage. Create a list of all items that were damaged or destroyed, and take plenty of photos before attempting any clean-up. Provide your insurance with as many details as possible about your losses so they can properly adjust your claim.

2. Contact your insurance company
Notify your insurance company as soon as possible, and advise your agent about any repairs you intend to make immediately. The agent may advise you to wait for an adjuster to visit your commercial property before you make repairs or begin the clean-up process.

3. Remove excess water
Open doors and windows to allow plenty of fresh air to circulate and dry your building. If possible, use a sump pump to remove excess water.

4. Prevent further damage
Mold and mildew can begin to grow within one to two days of water damage. To prevent extensive damage to your property, contact a professional water restoration company right away.

What to expect from water restoration services
In order to minimize damage, removing excess water as quickly as possible is of the utmost importance. A professional water restoration company will work to save as much equipment as they can, including saving your business’s electronics after water damage. They’ll also restore your commercial property or home back to its former state to help you get back to business and life.

When you call for water restoration services, you can expect professional technicians to help in the following ways:

Use specialized equipment to quickly remove all water.
Thoroughly dry affected areas, including wall cavities, flooring and other building materials.
Get rid of remaining moisture in the building by dehumidifying affected areas.
Conduct an expert mold and mildew inspection and provide treatments, if necessary.
Conduct thorough bacteria inspection and treatment to ensure the building is safe to return to.
Restore the building and any items that are salvageable.
Dealing with water damage after a fire can be challenging and stressful. When you call in the professionals at ServiceMaster Restore, you won’t have to go through it alone. Our commercial and home water damage services use state-of-the-art equipment to get your business up and running again. With a commitment to be at your side every step of the way, we’ll work with you to develop a comprehensive plan that restores your building and helps you get back to business and life.

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How Floods can affect your health!


Flood water damage – can lead to any of the following health risks. Be aware and stay healthy.

Electric Shock

Downed power lines submerged in flood waters can create an electrical current. If you come into contact with this water, you’ll be exposed to an electric shock that can cause severe injury. Flooded buildings with electrical equipment or outlets below the water line can also put you at risk.

If you see any fallen power lines, report them to the electric company immediately, and always steer clear. Before entering any flood damaged building, make sure the main power is shut off to ensure you don’t get shocked.

Infectious Diseases from Open Wounds

If you’re treading in flood water and have any open cuts or sores, you could be exposed to harmful viruses, infections and diseases from contaminated water.

Be sure to properly treat any open wounds and wear the right protective gear if you need to wade through flood waters.

Injury from Sharp Objects

Harmful objects can be hidden from view, especially in deep or murky flood waters. Sharp items like nails, broken glass, bits of metal and other unsafe materials can lead to severe injury and infections.

If you can, avoid walking through flood waters. Otherwise, be sure to wear protective shoes and pants before moving through the water.

Injury from Unstable Structures

Like many natural disasters, flood water can cause structural damage to buildings. It is unsafe to enter homes or businesses without the proper clearance.

If you are stuck inside your home, leave right away if you hear shifting noises or other unfamiliar sounds. These noises could mean that parts of your home are preparing to collapse.

Chemical Poisoning

Flood waters are likely to be contaminated by oil, gas leaks, pesticides and other toxic materials. If you come into contact with these waters, you may experience signs of chemical poisoning, including:

Headaches
Skin rashes
Diarrhea
Confusion and disorientation
Difficulty breathing
Muscle twitches
As always, avoid moving through flood waters whenever possible, especially in areas that are known to contain toxic chemicals.

Bacterial Infection from Fecal Matter

Fecal bacteria from humans and animals seeps into flood waters. If you ingest or come into contact with this kind of organic waste, you can experience:

Gastroenteritis
Nausea
Vomiting
Diarrhea
Do not walk through flood waters if you can avoid it. Call for help. Professionals wearing the right gear can come get you, if necessary.

Danger of Displaced Wildlife

Animals are under high stress during natural disasters. Along with house pets like dogs, cats and horses, flood waters can displace wildlife that may attack you due to the strange and stressful conditions.

Be cautious around areas that have high amounts of wildlife, such as alligators, snakes and even floating fire ants.

Getting Life Back to Normal after Hurricane Harvey

The impact of a flooding event isn’t over until your home has been restored. Find out what you can do after a hurricane to ensure you stay completely safe during this trying time. When it’s time to get your community back to normal, count on the experts at ServiceMaster Restore for flood cleanup and repair and the expert guidance you need to make it from crisis through to resolution.

With the proper tools, over 60 years of expertise in the restoration industry, and real experience helping countless communities rebuild after a flood, we have what it takes to help. Contact us today at 215-322-1175 to find out how our qualified commercial and residential services can help you through. At the end of the day, we’re all neighbors helping neighbors.

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Don’t Let The Dryer Start a Fire

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, 2,900 dryer fires are reported each year. These fires lead to a staggering national average of 35 million dollars in property damage, 100 injuries and 5 fatalities annually. With so much at risk, it’s important that you understand what causes dryer fires and how you can prevent them from happening in your own home. To protect yourself, your family and your house, read the dryer dos and don’ts from the experts at ServiceMaster Restore.

DO: CLEAN THE LINT FILTER

A clogged lint filter is the leading contributing factor in residential dryer fires. The U.S. Fire Administration reports that failing to clean out the lint trap causes 34 percent of reported dryer fires every year.

Each time you unload the dryer, clean out the lint trap. Before putting the next load of clothes in, double check that the lint trap is completely clean to lower your risk of fire. A clean lint filter allows the dryer to run more efficiently, too, thus drying your clothes faster while also preventing your machine from overheating.

DONT: DRY CLOTHES WITHOUT THE LINT FILTER

A dryer without its lint trap is an accident waiting to happen. The filter protects the dryer’s inner workings from collecting lint. Without this defensive shield, a buildup of lint in the ducts can easily lead to a dryer vent fire.

To lower your risk, always use your dryer with the lint trap in place. In the event that your existing lint trap is worn or develops any holes, replace it immediately at your nearest home supplies store.

DO: INSPECT THE DUCTS REGULARLY

Blocked ducts frequently cause dryer fires. To ensure your dryer is running properly, check your ducts about once a month to ensure there are no blockages. Some telltale signs that your ducts are clogged include the following indicators:

– Your laundry is taking longer to dry
– Exhaust air is failing to exit the vent
– You suspect that your machine is overheating

Sometimes, a blockage occurs because the venting system itself is damaged. Other times, blockages may be occurring because of an accumulation of lint, animals building nests in the vents or snow building up over the outside vents.

If you notice any blockages, clean them out before using your dryer again. To clean your ducts, simply disconnect them, remove the blockages and reconnect it. If you notice any damage to the venting system, call in a professional to repair the issue.

DONT: OVERLOAD THE DRYER

Stuffing too many wet clothes or bedding into a dryer can cause an excess of lint to accumulate. Since lint buildup reduces a dryer’s ability to ventilate, the machine may quickly overheat and cause a fire to break out. Read your owner’s manual to determine your machine’s maximum hold to ensure you aren’t overstuffing it.

DO: REPLACE OUTDATED DUCTS

Older ducts made of plastic or foil are prone to sagging. These accordion-style ducts can easily trap lint in hard-to-reach spaces, increasing your risk of fire. To keep your home safe, replace your older models with new ducts designed with heavy-duty metal.

DONT: LEAVE THE DRYER RUNNING UNATTENDED

Never go to sleep or leave the house while your dryer is running. If a fire breaks out, your ability to extinguish it or call emergency services right away can make all the difference between damage to your laundry room and entire loss of your home.

Despite our best efforts as homeowners, accidents still happen. If your home has been damaged by fire and smoke, call ServiceMaster Restore at 215-322-1175. Our residential fire and smoke damage removal services can help get your life back to normal as quickly as possible. With the proper training, innovative equipment and helpful guidance, our expert technicians will be with you every step of the way to get you back on your feet.

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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