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Why is it so Important to Wash your hands?


You’ve been washing your hands forever – but are you doing it right? Most of us learn at a young age to wash our hands before we eat and after we use the bathroom or handle an animal. You also probably know that proper hand-washing can support your health, but do you know what the recommended guidelines are? Following proper hand-washing procedure can decrease your chances of catching or spreading harmful germs and bacteria, so get the facts on how to do it the right way.

DO YOU KNOW WHATS ON YOUR HANDS?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains that germs, also known as pathogens, are types of microbes or other agents (such as viruses) that can potentially cause disease. Microbes are miniscule living organisms, invisible to the naked eye. All kinds of microbes live on your hands. Most are benign, but any dangerous pathogens that attach to your hands can easily be absorbed by your body through your eyes, nose or mouth or be passed onto other people if you touch them or they touch something you’ve touched. Human and animal feces are a particularly common source of germs to avoid leaving on your hands. According to the CDC, bacteria from feces can trigger diarrhea, respiratory infections, and even skin and eye infections. Any time you use the bathroom, change a baby or handle raw food that might be contaminated with trace amounts of feces, you must properly wash your hands to avoid disease. The CDC reports that teaching the right hand-washing technique can decrease the number of people who get diarrhea by 31 percent and respiratory illness by up to 21 percent. Educating yourself and those around you on effective hygiene practices can make a huge difference in staying healthy. Follow these six steps to ensure you’re following the best hand-washing procedure.

HOW TO WASH YOUR HANDS!
Wet hands. The temperature is not important as long as you use clean, running water
Apply Soap. Any soap will work – antibacterial soap has no proven benefit in effectiveness over regular hand soap.
Lather Up. Be sure to get soap on the entire surface of your hands and fingers, especially under your nails.
Scrub for 20 Seconds. Friction from the scrubbing motion lifts dirt and germs. Tip for parents: Teach your kids to sing the birthday song two times in a row while washing their hands to hold their attention for approximately 20 seconds.
Rinse off. Hold your hands under clean running water to remove the dirt, germs and any soapy residue that remains, which can irritate your skin if not rinsed thoroughly.
Dy Hands. Use fresh paper towels, a clean hand towel or simply shake excess water into the sink to dry your thoroughly washed hands, and you’re all set!

WHEN TO USE SOAP VERSE SANITIZER
Using soap and water to clean your hands is always the best option, but if you don’t have access to these resources, reach for a hand sanitizer that contains a minimum of 60 percent alcohol. These sanitizers will not eliminate all germs, but they can reduce active microbes in situations where soap isn’t available. To properly use hand sanitizer, apply a generous amount to your hands and rub them together until the entire solution fully absorbs and your hands feel dry again. Don’t use too small an amount or wipe off excess liquid. Remember that sanitizer will not be as effective on heavily soiled hands and may not remove chemicals or metals from your skin. Use extra precaution or consider wearing gloves if you’re working in these conditions without access to a hand-washing station. Follow these simple tips for hand washing, and you’ll be better protected against harmful germs and bacteria. Want extra protection against nasty germs? Keep your home and office sanitized, too. For personalized service from a team of committed cleaning professionals, contact ServiceMaster Clean. Our experienced teams have the tools, training and techniques to safely and effectively clean your biggest messes 24/7/365 so you can focus at work and rest easy at home.

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Hurricane Season is Amongst Us!

When a hurricane strikes, will you be prepared? National Preparedness Month is upon us again, making this the perfect time to review the importance of preparing for emergencies and disasters before they strike. Discover how you can plan for and respond to hurricanes with help from ServiceMaster Restore.

WHAT ARE HURRICANES?

Hurricanes are powerful storms that can cause widespread devastation within a matter of minutes. High winds, heavy rainfall, storm surges, flooding, rip currents and tornadoes can attack your community with full force, leaving you vulnerable and unsure of what to do next. Also known as typhoons or cyclones, hurricane season starts and ends in varying seasons, depending on where you live. Don’t be devastated by the effects of a hurricane. Prepare yourself, your family and your home with the following hurricane preparedness tips.

HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS TIPS

1.KNOW YOUR RISKS
Find out if your area is susceptible to hurricanes and flooding. As a general rule, hurricanes typically affect all Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coastal areas, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Hawaii, parts of the Southwest, the Pacific Coast and the U.S. territories of the Pacific. If you need help determining your community’s flood risk, use the interactive flood map created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

2. LEARN WHAT TO DO BEFORE, DURING, AND AFTER A HURRICANE
Ready.gov has a detailed list of what to do when a hurricane approaches, strikes and recedes. Share information with your loved ones about the differences between hurricane watches and hurricane warnings, as well as what to do at each stage of an approaching hurricane, to prep for the worst. Then, identify key things you should do when it’s time to evacuate in the face of a hurricane. Finally, learn what to do after a hurricane to keep your family and your home safe throughout the entire process.

3.CONSIDER BUYING FLOOD INSURANCE
In the event of a flood, most homes aren’t protected by their typical homeowners insurance policy. Unfortunately, if a hurricane or other flood event occurs, these homes could easily suffer thousands of dollars’ worth of repairs. In fact, according to FEMA, just one inch of floodwater could cost a homeowner an average of $27,000 (or more) in losses. To reduce your risk of out-of-pocket expenses after a disaster, talk to your insurance agent about adding flood insurance to your plan.

4.MAKE AN EMERGENCY KIT
Stock it with non-perishable food, bottled water, batteries, flashlights, first aid supplies and medication, pet supplies and anything else you may need if you have to leave your home quickly. Store all of your emergency items in a waterproof and lightweight container. Then, place it somewhere that can be easily accessed during an evacuation.

5.PREPARE YOUR HOME
You can reduce the risk of damage to your home by reinforcing certain areas, including your doors, windows, walls and roof. Removing or securing outdoor items can also keep your home’s structural integrity intact. Finally, protect your home from flood damage by waterproofing your basement and elevating all critical utilities.

6.CONSIDER BUILDING A SAFE ROOM
A FEMA safe room provides near-absolute protection from hurricanes. Check with your local community to determine if your area has already built one nearby, or consider building your own.

7.CREATE AN EMERGENCY COMMUNICATION PLAN
Usually, hurricanes can be detected and tracked days before they actually hit the ground, so you’ll have plenty of advance notice to start putting your disaster-response plan in motion. However, in the event that your family isn’t together when the evacuation orders are given, it’s important that everybody knows how to get in contact with each other and where you all can meet.

Your communication plan should identify safe meeting places within the town, as well as places your family can meet outside of the city in case evacuation orders require you to stay away for long periods of time. For all the information you need to include in your communication plan, including questions to consider and printable action plans, go to ready.gov/make-a-plan.

8.LEARN ABOUT YOUR COMMUNITY
Contact your local emergency management system to find out if pre-existing hurricane evacuation routes exist in your community. You should also identify any secondary escape routes you can take in case roads are blocked during the hurricane. Finally, get maps of the community’s hurricane shelters so you know where you can seek refuge during a disaster if you don’t have enough time to leave the area.

9. SPREAD THE WORD
Make sure your friends and family are just as prepared as you are, so that everyone in the community knows what to do in case a hurricane hits. Include your loved ones in your communication plan so you know how to stay in contact with one another in the unfortunate event that a hurricane does strike.

10.STAY INFORMED
Listening for timely information can make all the difference when preparing for a hurricane. Be on the lookout for National Weather Service (NWS) broadcast alerts for watches and warnings in your area, and sign up for your community’s text or email alert systems for emergency notifications.

11. PRACTICE! PRACTICE! PRACTICE!
Rehearse taking shelter and practice how you will communicate with family members. That way, everyone will feel confident that they’ll know exactly what to do if a hurricane hits your area. While you’re practicing your evacuation and communication plans, consider other ways you can assist in emergency situations. Research local first aid training and emergency response classes that can help you help others if the unexpected happens.

While there are many myths about hurricanes out there that make these natural disasters even more terrifying to think about, knowing what to do before one strikes can help keep you safe. If you and your family are ready with a thorough hurricane preparation and response plan, you’ll be able to anticipate, respond to and recover from the effects of a hurricane with confidence.

Don’t forget to participate in this year’s National Preparedness Month and National PrepareAthon! Day to discover everything you should know about preparing for and recovering from hurricanes, floods and other disasters. Go online to register your preparedness activities, take action and spread the word with FEMA’s specified social media hashtags. For all information, visit ready.gov’s hurricane seasonal preparedness digital toolkit today.

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Questions? We Got You Covered

CARPET

Is professional carpet cleaning expensive? Professional carpet cleaning can be just pennies compared to the cost of replacing it. Call today to get an estimate from one of our professionals.

How long will it take to have my carpets cleaned at my home? The amount of time will be contingent on the size of the area needing to be cleaned and processes used – either low moisture, portable extraction, or truck-mount extraction, in terms of efficiencies and time. A highly trained ServiceMaster technician can help you choose a program that best meets your needs and schedule.

Will carpet cleaning be disruptive to my family? The team at ServiceMaster will work with you to schedule a time convenient for you. Our technician will inform you of estimated dry times needed.

Can I use household carpet cleaners for spot removal? We recommend using only ServiceMaster Clean products. For more information, contact your local ServiceMaster Clean professional.

How often do I need to get my carpets professionally cleaned? To keep your carpets in your home looking their best, we recommend having your carpets professionally cleaned every 6-12 months depending on traffic. Many carpet manufacturers require professional cleaning to maintain your warranty, so save your cleaning receipts.

When will I be able to walk on my floors after a carpet cleaning? Allow drying time of six to eight hours before you walk on your carpet. It is best to wait two days before placing heavy furniture back onto carpet if not using blocks

Will there be an odor? Depending on the type of carpet we’re cleaning, you may notice a faint scent. This is especially prevalent when cleaning wool carpets. The amount of time it takes for the odor to dissipate is usually within an hour but varies based on air circulation, heat and humidity. A big difference in the way ServiceMaster cleans carpet compared to many of our competitors is that we do not put soap in our rinse water. We pre-spray the carpets, remove the spots, then use clean water extraction, ensuring we do not leave any soapy residue behind. This allows for fresh, clean carpets.

Do I need to do anything prior to the technician arriving for my scheduled service? Yes. Remove breakables from the tops of furniture in the room we will be cleaning. Pick up items from the floor, such as rugs, plants, toys, pet beds, etc. Pre-vacuum all areas to be cleaned.

Do I have to move furniture? To get the best results with professional carpet cleaning, we recommend removing furniture from the rooms we will be cleaning. However, we can place blocks under lighter items such as end tables, coffee tables, dining room chairs, loveseats, chairs and small sofas. Items we clean around instead of moving include beds, armoires, pieces containing china and electronics, exercise equipment and large or heavy sofas.

Are there instructions to follow after my carpets are cleaned? Immediately after cleaning, it’s best to allow carpets to dry for at least 8 hours before walking on them. Walking on them may flatten the fibers. When walking on them for the next 8 hours, wear white cotton socks. Use air movers if needed to help air circulation as this will speed up the drying time. If a carpet protector such as Scotchgard was applied, foot traffic should be minimized for up to 24 hours to let the product cure. Don’t move any furniture back in place until carpet is completely dry or Scotchgard carpet protector has cured. Regular maintenance includes vacuuming often and cleaning up spills immediately.

How can I remove impressions on my carpets that heavy furniture left behind? Our technical experts at ServiceMaster Clean recommend using a clothes steamer to remove the furniture dents. If you do not have a clothes steamer handy, you can use a kitchen towel and an iron. Place a damp towel over the carpet dent. Heat the iron to a medium heat setting then set the iron on the damp towel. You can use the steam button on the iron periodically. Remove the iron and towel to check the carpet. If it is to your liking, use your fingers to fluff the carpet. If the dent still needs work, place the warm iron on the damp towel and repeat. This process is not suitable for carpets made of olefin fiber.

HARDWOOD

How do I know which WoodGlo option is right for me? Both WoodGlo options safely, yet aggressively, remove dirt, debris, grease, hair, soil, dust, built-up residue and contaminants left behind from other cleaning products trapped in your floors. But the right solution for you depends on the level of protection you desire for your floors. Level 1 provides basic professional cleaning while Level 2 offers a more intensive cleaning process with a glossier sheen and longer lasting protection.

Is professional hardwood floor cleaning expensive? Professional hardwood floor cleaning is a fraction of the price compared to getting your hardwood floors sanded and refinished. Letting us refurbish your floors allows you to bypass contacting a contractor to re-sand your floors, which may be more expensive. Call today to get an estimate from one of our professionals.

How long does it take to get the hardwood floors at my home professionally cleaned? Typically, it should not take more than a few hours depending on the size of the area to be cleaned. It’s best to allow 24 hours for drying to allow the floor to cure properly.

Will a professional hardwood floor cleaning be disruptive to my family? No matter which option you choose, we can perform services at the convenience of you and your household. Your floors will be ready for use with sock feet traffic within a matter of a couple of hours. Your trained technician will inform you and all family members of the cure times that you will need to be aware of based on the service option you choose.

Will hardwood floors turn yellow after my service? Hardwood floors that are coated with ServiceMaster water-based finishes will retain a clean, non-yellowing appearance.

Can I use household cleaning products on my hardwood floors? Never use wax, oil soap or other household cleaners on your hardwood floor. They can dull the finish and make refinishing more difficult. We suggest using our WoodGlo Neutral Cleaner on a weekly basis as needed with a microfiber flatmop. For more information about this product, ask your local ServiceMaster Clean professional.

How often do I need to get my hardwood floors professionally cleaned? The frequency for getting your hardwood floors professionally cleaned depends on which WoodGlo option you choose. To keep your floors in good condition, we recommend they be cleaned and refreshed every 6-12 months if choosing WoodGlo Level 1 and 3-5 years if choosing WoodGlo Level 2, depending on traffic and severity of damage.

When will I be able to walk on my floors after a hardwood floor cleaning? Allow drying time of at least one to two hours before you walk on your floors in sock feet. It’s best to allow 24 hours for drying to allow the floor to cure properly.

Will there be an odor? You may notice a faint scent. The amount of time it takes for the odor to dissipate is usually within an hour but varies based on air circulation, heat and humidity. An advantage of using our water-based finishes is they have less harmful fumes than oil-based finishes thanks to their low volatile organic compounds (VOC) levels.

Will the professional hardwood floor cleaning generate dust? No, our recoating process is dustless, which keeps your home cleaner.

I think my hardwood floors may need to be refinished but I’m worried about the price. What should I do? Call ServiceMaster Clean and one of our trained professionals will come to your home to inspect your floors. He/she will recommend the best way to restore your floors. We offer an intensive cleaning process that doesn’t require sanding. And this process is a fraction of the price compared to getting your wood floors sanded and refinished.

A fire almost destroyed my hardwood floors. What should I do? Leave the challenge to us. In many instances, getting them cleaned by a professional can help restore the natural beauty of your wood floors.

What do I do if major amounts of water, flood related or not, has come into contact with my hardwood floor? Don’t rip up the flooring because you think all hope is lost. Instead, call your ServiceMaster Clean professionals. In some instances, getting your wood floors professionally cleaned will bring your wood floors back to life and help restore your peace of mind.

Do I need to do anything prior to the technician arriving for my scheduled service? Yes, we ask that you remove breakables from the tops of furniture in the room we will be cleaning. Pick up items from the floor such as rugs, plants, toys, pet beds, etc. Vacuum or dust mop all debris on hardwood floors prior to your cleaning. Move heavy items such as pianos, sofas, entertainment centers, china cabinets or any other large furniture out of the rooms we will be cleaning. If items are too large to move, consult with your technician.

Are there instructions to follow after my hardwood floors are cleaned? It’s best to allow drying time of at least one to two hours before you walk on your floors in sock feet. Be cautious and protect floors from getting wet for 24 hours after application of either finish as it is not thoroughly cured yet. You can return furniture to your floors (with suggested use of felt pads) after 24 hours and return rugs to floors after 24 hours.

TILE AND GROUT

Why should I get tile and grout professionally cleaned? Regular mopping only removes surface soil and not the embedded dirt that causes the grout to be unattractive. Professional cleaning restores the look of your tile and grout and extends its life.

Is professional tile and grout cleaning expensive? Professional tile and grout cleaning can be just pennies compared to the cost of replacing tile. Call today to get an estimate from one of our professionals.

How long does it take to get the tile and grout at my home professionally cleaned? For a 300 square-foot area, cleaning generally takes 60 to 90 minutes. If you choose to have the grout sealed, we recommend waiting 24 hours after rinsing to apply sealer so the sealer will adhere properly. Grout sealing itself takes two to three hours. Time varies based on tile size, the amount of soil in the grout and room configuration.

Will a professional tile and grout cleaning be disruptive to my family? The team at ServiceMaster Clean will work with you to schedule a time convenient for you. Our technician will let you know of the applicable dry times needed.

Can I use household cleaning products on my tile and grout surfaces? Tile floors are easy to clean, and we recommend using a neutral cleaning agent. Please ask for information about specific ServiceMaster Clean products.

How often do I need to get my tile and grout professionally cleaned? To keep the tile floors in your home looking their best, we recommend having them professionally cleaned every year, depending on traffic, pets, children and regular floor maintenance.

When will I be able to walk on my floors after a tile and grout cleaning? Stay off of freshly cleaned tile floors for at least 30 minutes. Avoid getting any liquid on the floor for 24 hours until the sealant cures completely if grout cleaning is included as part of the service.

Will there be an odor? After tile and grout is cleaned, you may notice a faint scent. The amount of time it takes for the odor to dissipate is usually within an hour but varies based on air circulation, heat and humidity.

Do I need to do anything prior to the technician arriving for my scheduled service? Simply pick up items on the floor, such as rugs, plants and trash cans, as well as sweep or vacuum the area to be cleaned.

Are there instructions to follow after my tile and grout surfaces are cleaned? Stay off freshly cleaned tile for at least 30 minutes and avoid getting any liquid on the floor for 24 hours if sealant has been applied. Return furniture (with suggested use of felt pads) and rugs to floors after 24 hours.

UPHOLSTERY

Why should I get upholstered furniture cleaned? Having upholstered furniture professionally cleaned eliminates odors, removes spots and helps extend the life of your furniture.

Is professional upholstery cleaning expensive? Professional upholstery cleaning is just pennies compared to the cost of replacing worn furniture that hasn’t been maintained. Call today to get an estimate from one of our professionals.

How long does it take to get my upholstered furniture professionally cleaned? Total cleaning time depends on the cleaning process used and the amount of time needed for the upholstery to dry. The technician will give you an estimated cleaning time prior to service.

Will a professional upholstery cleaning be disruptive to my family? The team at ServiceMaster Clean will work with you to schedule a time convenient for you. Our technician will inform you of estimated drying times.

Can I use household cleaners for spot removal? Because upholstered fabrics are often more delicate, we recommend using only ServiceMaster Clean products applied with specified cleaning methods. For more information, contact your local ServiceMaster Clean professional.

How often do I need to get my upholstered furniture professionally cleaned? Furniture manufacturers typically recommend having upholstered pieces professionally cleaned every 12 to 24 months.

When will I be able to use my furniture after a professional cleaning? Depending on the cleaning method we use, drying time differs. The average drying time is anywhere from 1 to 6 hours.

Will there be an odor? Depending on the type of upholstery, you may notice a faint scent. The amount of time it takes for the odor to dissipate is usually within an hour but varies based on air circulation, heat and humidity.

Do I need to do anything prior to the technician arriving for my scheduled service? Simply pick up items on top of all upholstery to be cleaned such as toys, reading material, blankets, etc.

AIR DUCTS

Is air duct cleaning expensive? The cost of the service varies and depends on factors such as where you live, how dirty your system is, how easy it is for the contractor to access the ducts and what your ducts are made of, and what material is used in the construction of the ducts. However, our expertise, training and satisfaction guarantee are built into the price of service.

How long will it take to have my air ducts cleaned? The amount of time it takes to clean the air ducts of a Residential HVAC system can vary depending on the complexity of the system. The amount of time it takes to clean a Residential HVAC system can vary depending on the complexity of the system. Once a skilled and trained technician arrives, they should be able to give you an estimate of how long it will take. For standard purposes, we ask for at least 3-5 hours to get the job done right and to your satisfaction.

Will air duct cleaning be disruptive to my family? Your professionals at ServiceMaster Clean can schedule a time that is most convenient for your family and when most of the household is not present. Depending on the magnitude of the job, we should have your house back in normal operation in a matter of a few hours.

How often do I need to get my air ducts cleaned? We recommend air duct cleaning every three to five years. Customers who fall in the following conditions should consider more frequent cleaning of their duct systems: • Pets that shed a lot • Recent water damage • Recent home remodeling or improvement projects • Residents with asthma or allergens • Humid or moist environmental conditions

Do I need to do anything prior to the technician arriving for my scheduled service? For safety, the technician should be shown where the fire extinguisher and first aid kit is located. It is best to provide them with any emergency contact information.

Duct cleaning can be noisy. It is best to do it when most family members are not present. Clear work areas. Ask your technician how much space is needed around each air vent register and how much space they will need around the furnace and air conditioner. It is best to have these areas cleared beforehand.

Prior to cleaning, perform a walkthrough of the facility to go over where protective coverings such as drop and corner guards will be placed. Also, it is necessary to go over the HVAC, how the ducts will be cleaned, and accessibility.

Why should I have my air ducts cleaned?

Air duct cleaning helps:

Reduce energy costs in your home

Reduce the potential for mold

Improve indoor air quality

Increase air circulation and flow

Increase your home system performance

Extend HVAC equipment life

Is there anything I can do to help maintain clean air ducts? To help maintain clean air ducts, change air filters based on the manufacturer’s recommendations. Regular vacuuming will also help reduce pet dander and airborne dirt and debris. Consider getting your carpets and hard-surface floors professionally cleaned. Call us at 215-322-1175.

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How to find different emergency results

You can’t always predict when a significant weather-related event or other emergency will arise. During an emergency situation, having access to time-sensitive information can help you and your loved ones know how to respond and which actions to take in order to remain safe.

Learn the difference between the various types of weather and emergency alerts that local and national entities may issue, plus information on how each is broadcasted, with this helpful information from the experts at ServiceMaster.

WHAT IS AN EMERGENCY ALERT?

Local entities and national organizations such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Weather Service (NWS) provide important alerts and warnings to local communities whenever emergencies are present. Using different technologies, these organizations relay critical information and sometimes order evacuations so residents can take immediate action to stay safe. Find out the primary methods that emergencies and weather advisories, watches and warnings are broadcasted below.

WIRELESSLY

Public safety officials, the NWS, the President of the United States and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) can send life-saving information to the public through Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs). As part of the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), WEAs can only be issued to inform the public of an AMBER Alert, an imminent threat or a presidential alert. While a WEA is similar to a text message, the alert features a sound and vibration that’s designed to grab your attention quickly.

Cell phone users aren’t charged for the alerts, and a subscription to the service is not typically necessary. Check with your service provider to ensure your devices are already WEA-capable. If you’d like to receive emergency notifications from your local jurisdiction, you may sign up for these local texts and emails. Check the website of your local emergency management or public safety office to find out if they offer opt-in alerts.

TELEVISION

Through the Emergency Alert System (EAS), critical emergency information such as imminent threats, AMBER Alerts and threats that pertain to specific communities are broadcast through the television and radio. Broadcasters, cable television providers and wireless cable systems are required to provide the President with the ability to address the public within 10 minutes if a national emergency is imminent. The EAS may also be used by local and state organizations to deliver crucial emergency information to specific communities.

Since television providers and wireless cable systems are required to issue these important messages, signing up to receive information from the EAS isn’t necessary.

RADIO

A national network of radio stations that provide continuous information from the NWS, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Weather Radio All Hazards (NWR) system relays official weather warnings, watches, forecasts and hazard information on a 24/7 basis. The comprehensive weather and emergency warning system also broadcast alerts of non-weather emergencies, including national security and public safety information.

To receive broadcasts from the NWS, you’ll need a special weather radio receiver. Many retailers sell receivers that meet specific technical requirements. Look for the Public Alert or National Weather Service logo on the device.

DIGITAL ROAD SIGNS

IPAWS messages are often relayed via digital road signs, sirens and other methods to alert drivers and passengers of any current emergencies. That way, you can stay informed even if you’re away from devices.

Since an emergency can occur within a moment’s notice, ensuring you can be informed of time-sensitive information can make all the difference between safety and disaster. Do your part to ensure you get updates right when they come in, whether through your cell phone, portable battery-powered radio or another device. You can even download apps like FEMA, the American Red Cross and The Weather Channel to get up-to-date information, so you can act fast and help protect yourself, your family and your home from the worst.

If the worst does happen we are always here to help with disaster clean up. Give us a call at 215-322-1175 for scheduling or questions!

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Does Hot Water Extraction Actually Work?

Carpets are a major investment, and having them regularly cleaned can help you in a variety of ways. Some things professional carpet cleaning can help with include:

Protecting your money: It’s much more cost-effective to invest in professional carpet cleaning than to purchase new carpets.
Maintaining your appearance: Regular deep cleaning can help remove even the toughest spots and accumulated dirt and debris.
Preventing the spread of allergens or bacteria: Regular carpet cleaning can help to prevent your carpets from becoming a breeding ground for dangerous pollutants, bacteria, allergens and unpleasant odors.

WHAT IS HOT WATER EXTRACTION?

Hot water extraction is one of the most effective and common carpet cleaning methods available. This safe and thorough method is recommended by most carpet manufacturers. Hot water extraction helps loosen stubborn soil, grime, dirt and stains that often lurk unseen in your carpets to leave them looking new and smelling clean.

HOW DOES HOT WATER EXTRACTION CLEANING WORK?

Before beginning the hot water extraction carpet cleaning process, professional cleaners begin by applying a specialized cleaning product that breaks up and loosens soil through an agitation method. During the hot water extraction process, a combination of hot water and cleaning solutions are propelled into the carpet fibers at high pressure using a powerful machine. Then, cleaners spray hot water onto the carpet to immediately remove spots and soil and flush the fibers clean.

HOT WATER EXTRACTION VERSE STEAM CLEANING:

While the two terms are often used interchangeably, the carpet cleaning methods are entirely different. Before having your carpets professionally cleaned, learn the differences between hot water extraction and steam cleaning.

HOT WATER EXTRACTION:

With hot water extraction carpet cleaning, the carpet fibers are rinsed immediately after the cleaning process to remove detergents and prevent re-soiling. This is the preferred carpet cleaning method for many professional cleaning companies due to its effectiveness.

While there may be visible steam throughout the hot water extraction process, the method only requires that the water used is hot enough to deeply and effectively clean the carpets. The temperature of the water doesn’t necessarily have to reach boiling point.

STEAM CLEANING

Steam cleaning is typically only used on synthetic carpets. For carpets to be steam cleaned, the water temperature must be high enough to convert it from liquid to gas. The water temperature in the machine must exceed 212 degrees Fahrenheit. While steam cleaning may help to reduce allergens and kill germs, it may not be entirely effective at removing stains and dirt since this method doesn’t include carpet rinsing.

KEEP YOUR CARPETS IN GREAT SHAPE BETWEEN CLEANING

Caring for your carpet regularly is the best way to maintain its appearance and integrity. Use these tips to keep your carpets in great shape in between hot water extraction services:

Always wipe up spills immediately, using the appropriate cleaning products.
Vacuum at least once a week, especially in high-traffic areas.
Before using a new cleaning product, always test a small area to ensure staining or discoloration doesn’t occur.
Prevent excessive wear and tear on carpets by occasionally rearranging the furniture.

For the best possible clean, rely on the trained team at ServiceMaster. Our commercial carpet cleaning services can help preserve the appearance, color and lifespan of your carpets. Give us a call today at 215-322-1175

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Sunlight destroying your floors? Not anymore!

As a homeowner, property or facility manager, keeping your home’s appearance in pristine condition is an important endeavor. Floors are a major investment, and in warmer weather when sunshine is abundant, flooring can go through wear and tear. Learn how to protect all flooring from sunlight with these tips from ServiceMaster Clean.

PREVENTATIVE AND MAINTENANCE TIPS FOR ALL FLOORING:

No matter what type of flooring you have, your floors are at greater risk of damage during the summertime because of stronger UV rays. However, sun damage isn’t the only risk your floors are subjected to on a regular basis. Here are some simple steps you can take to prevent damage and keep all types of flooring properly maintained:

LIMIT DIRECT SUN EXPOSURE:

Use blinds and curtains to prevent too much direct UV exposure. Not only will blinds and curtains protect your floors from fading or becoming discolored, but they could also help your air conditioner run more efficiently.

USE DOORMATS:

Place doormats near entrances to help reduce your flooring’s exposure to direct sunlight. Doormats can also help to reduce the tracking of mud, grime and dirt throughout your home, further protecting your hard earned money. When placing your doormats at entrances, make sure they are securely positioned to help reduce the risk of slips and falls.

MONITOR HUMIDITY LEVELS:

Too much or too little humidity can cause major damage to your flooring. During warmer weather, humidity levels can spike. The recommended humidity level range from most flooring manufacturers is between 35 and 55 percent. If necessary, invest in a dehumidifier to maintain proper humidity levels.

TIPS TO PREVENT SPECIFIC FLOORING FROM SUNLIGHT:

Since all types of floors are different, each is subject to its own set of risks. Along with using the above tips for all flooring, use these preventative tips to keep your specific flooring types in excellent condition when the sun is shining:

PROTECT VINAL FLOORS:

In vinyl flooring, excessive heat can cause the floorboards to weaken. Too much UV exposure could significantly fade the flooring material, too. Prevent issues like cupping, curling, peaking and buckling by maintaining the proper climate for your flooring. Keep temperatures between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit year-round to help ensure that your vinyl stays in good shape.

PROTECT CARPETS:

The sun’s damaging rays can have a bleaching effect on carpets. While drawing the shades might be the best way to prevent carpet discoloration, there are other ways to protect your carpets against sun damage:

– Use a carpet treatment that includes UV protection. Before applying treatment, test an inconspicuous area of your carpet to ensure discoloration or staining doesn’t occur.
– Consider investing in a UV-resistant type of carpet.
– Apply window film that blocks UV rays but still allows plenty of light to come inside.

PROTECT HARDWOOD FLOORS:

Hardwood flooring may absorb excess moisture during hot and humid weather that could eventually lead to buckling or cupping. Protect hardwood floors from heat damage by creating a climate-controlled environment that doesn’t exceed 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Humidity levels shouldn’t exceed 50 percent year-round. Prevent as must direct exposure to sunlight to reduce the likelihood of sun damage, too.

Finally, for the ultimate clean for your floors, contact ServiceMaster Clean at 215-322-1175. Our commercial hard surface floor cleaning services are designed to extend the life of your floors and make your floors shine.

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It’s Healthy to Clean Your Upholstery Regularly!


Upholstered furniture easily absorbs dust, dirt, grime, pet dander and potentially harmful pollutants. Having your upholstered furniture cleaned regularly can contribute to a safer and healthier environment for your home or business. Learn about the benefits of upholstery cleaning with this information from ServiceMaster Clean.

BENEFITS OF UPHOLSTERY CLEANING
While you might be tempted to clean your upholstered furniture on your own, you may not have the tools and experience necessary to do the job effectively. Here are just a few ways you could benefit from scheduling professional upholstery cleaning service:

ALLERGAN REMOVAL
Regular cleaning alone may not be enough to remove all the dirt and grime that could be hiding deep within the fabric or gaps of your furniture. Professional cleaning companies use industrial-grade vacuums to remove contaminants and allergens from upholstered furniture, which can result in cleaner indoor air quality.

DURABILITY
Your furniture is a major investment, and each piece serves both an aesthetic and functional purpose. Having your upholstered furniture regularly cleaned is a great way to protect its value and keep it looking like new.

APPERANCE
As hard as you try to keep your furnishings protected from stains and dirt, time can take its toll on your upholstered furniture. Dust and other pollutants can cause the fabric to appear dull or worn. A thorough cleaning can help improve the overall look and appearance of your furniture.

THE UPHOLSTERY CLEANING PROCESS
At ServiceMaster Clean, our trained professionals know how to clean upholstery the right way. We preserve the integrity of upholstered furniture by adhering to the cleaning methods recommended by the manufacturer. For maximum efficiency and protection, we pay attention to the appropriate upholstery fabric cleaning codes associated with each piece of furniture. Our upholstery cleaning service process involves the following steps:

Fabric testing: Determining the type of fabric is an important step in deciding on the best possible outcome for your investment. We inspect and test the fabric on every piece of upholstered furniture to factor the most effective and safest method of cleaning.

Deep vacuuming: We thoroughly vacuum all upholstered furniture before beginning the deep cleaning process. This step will help extract loose particles and dry soil from the fabric.

Spot and stain removal: We pre-treat any existing spots or stains with specialized cleaning agents specifically made for your upholstery fabric. Pre-treatment suspends soil particles to make rinsing more effective.

Expert cleaning: We use specialized tools and techniques such as hot water extraction to suspend and loosen any remaining soil. Our methods ensure fast drying and leave a soft and fresh feel. This step deodorizes and disinfects, too.

Add Scotchgard: To prevent upholstered furniture from trapping dirt in the future, we apply Scotchgard. This waterproof finish protects against accidental spills, humidity, mold and bacteria.

The benefits of upholstery cleaning are undeniable. Whether at home or the office, the professionals at ServiceMaster Clean want to help you keep your upholstered furniture clean and presentable year-round. Find out how often you should clean office furniture and flooring to maintain a healthy, productive environment at work. Use our suede furniture upholstery cleaning tips to preserve the longevity of your suede furniture at home, too.

For the deepest level of clean, reach out to the team at ServiceMaster Clean for more information about our comprehensive cleaning services. We know how to clean upholstery with industry-leading techniques and products to leave your furniture looking its best. Our cleaning methods are backed by over 60 years of experience, and we proactively inspect our work to earn your complete satisfaction. Call us today at 215-322-1175

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STOP THE AIR LEAKS


Have you noticed a cool draft in your home recently? If you feel air drafts moving throughout your house, especially near your doors or windows, it may be time to learn how to find air leaks in your home. Believe it or not, air leaks could be costing you tons of money on energy bills. The air you pay to warm up or cool down spaces within your home is wasted – if it slips easily through the cracks. Drafts are most commonly located by windows and doors, but they become an even bigger problem in attics and basements. Leaks and cracks cause your HVAC to work overtime, raising your electric bill. Don’t waste your money just to be stuck inside a drafty home. You can fix many air leaks yourself. Read these tips from ServiceMaster to find out how to spot and stop the air leaks in your home.

Detect air leaks. If you see any gaps or cracks in your caulking or weather stripping, they could be sources of an air leak. Also, if you can rattle your doors or windows, there’s likely enough space for air to make its way inside. Look and feel for any cracks, gaps or drafts in all the following areas:
Exterior corners
Foundation seals
Door and window frames
Weather stripping around doors
Electrical and gas service entrances
Basement
Baseboards
Air conditioners
Vents and fans
Attic
Attic hatches
Any area where pipes or wires run into the house

Test your theory. Try holding a lit incense stick near windows, door frames and suspected air leaks. If the smoke rushes out or gets blown back into the room, you’ve confirmed there’s an air leak in that area.

Caulk small gaps. If you find any openings less than 1/4 of an inch wide, use caulk to seal the air leaks. If you need to caulk around pipes that get hot, be sure to use high-temperature caulk.

Use foam sealant on gaps that are 1/4 of an inch to 3 inches wide, like the areas around plumbing pipes and vents.
Weatherstrip doors and windows to seal air leaks. While you’re weatherstripping, check your door hinges to ensure they’re tightly screwed, as well. If they’re loose, they could add more air to your home.

Be sure to follow these tips on how to find air leaks in your home so you can stay safe and save money this season and all year long. If you have other questions on how to protect and preserve your home for years to come, give us a call at 215-322-1175. ServiceMaster is always here to help you keep your home in the best shape possible.

STAY COOL THIS SUMMER!

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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.