Recent Cleaning Posts

3 Common Stains you should know how to clean.

6/8/2020 (Permalink)

man using  carpet cleaner to clean carpets Call us today to schedule your carpet cleaning cosultation (336) 744-5104

When we’re talking stain removal TIME is of the essence. The sooner the spill and stain is cleaned up, the better the results. Learn to tackle these hard stains in 3 easy steps. 

  • Red Wine Stain.
    We’ve all been there! Red Wine is notorious for staining carpets and fabrics, but if cleaned up quickly, you should have minimal fuss to deal with. 

Step 1. Blot Gently and remove excess wine
*DO NOT SPRINKLE WITH SUGAR OR SALT*   a common “old wives tale”  tells you to use salt to soak up the wine, all this does is make a crusty mess and let the wine soak into the carpet. 

Step 2. Use Club Soda to lift more of the wine out of the fabric

Step 3. Blot Gently and Repeat until the stain is gone.

  • Tomato Based stain
    Who hasn’t spilled a plate of spaghetti and meatballs? Tomatoes are delicious, but their stains can set and dull carpet quickly.  Make sure to take your time while blotting, you wouldn’t want to press the stain further into the carpet and reach the pad underneath. 

Step 1. Gently Blot the spill, making sure to get all pieces of the meal up. 

Step 2. Spray ethanol alcohol onto the stain.

Step 3. Gently Blot and Repeat until stain is gone.

  • Acrylic/Water Based Paint Spill
    Arts and Crafts get a little out of hand? First time crafters are advised to stick to Acrylic and Water based paints, because they are much easier to clean than oil and grease paints. 

Step 1. Gently Blot up excess paint

Step 2. Spray Laundry detergent mixture (8 parts water to 1 part detergent)

Step 3. Flush with cool tap water and blot  until spill/stain is gone. Repeat as many times is necessary.

There really isn’t a quick fix to most spills and stains. Patience and Practice are what is the key to removing and cleaning up. 

Read more about Cleaning and Sanitation in our Blog

While we hope you never experience a disaster in your home, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one. Just give us a call any time  24/7 we are always here to help.

SERVPRO of Winston Salem North
1105 Fairchild Rd
Winston Salem, NC 27105
Phone: (336) 744-5104
Email: sp9743@yahoo.com
Fax Number: (336) 744-5105

Spring Cleaning Should Include Your Air Ducts

3/31/2020 (Permalink)

infographic on HVAC running unattended If your HVAC has been operating for some time, without attention, it could be circulating odors, dust and other contaminates.

As spring allergy season approaches, you may hear companies make bold promises to improve your health by reducing allergens in your home. Such boasts may appeal especially to the nearly 25 million American adults and children with asthma and the approximately 50 million who have allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, because the symptoms of both can be triggered by dust mites, mold, and other allergens often found in air ducts and elsewhere in the home.  Allergies, according to the CDC, are the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S.

But should you believe the hype? Will air duct cleaning help you breathe more easily?

Common Allergy Triggers

1. Your Overactive Immune System
Many things can trigger an allergic reaction. It happens when your body's defenses attack something that's usually harmless, such as pollen, animal dander, or food. The reaction can range from mild and annoying to sudden and life-threatening. In the US, about 30% of all adults and 40% of children have allergies.

2. Pollen
It comes from plants such as grasses, trees, and weeds and can trigger hay fever or seasonal allergies. You might sneeze and have a runny or stuffy nose and itchy, watery eyes. Treat these with over-the-counter products, prescription drugs, and allergy shots. To help prevent symptoms, stay inside on windy days when pollen counts are high, close windows, and run the air conditioning.

3. Animal Dander
You love your pet, but if you're allergic, you react to proteins in his saliva or in his skin's oil glands. It might take 2 years for that to start. Luckily, you may still be able to live with him. Make your bedroom a pet-free zone, opt for bare floors and washable rugs instead of carpets, and bathe him regularly. A HEPA filter and allergy shots may help, too.

4. Dust Mites
These tiny bugs live in bedding, mattresses, upholstery, carpets, and curtains. They feed on dead skin cells from people and pets, as well as on pollen, bacteria, and fungi. They thrive in high humidity. To cut down on problems, use hypoallergenic pillows, cover mattresses, pillows, and box springs, and wash sheets weekly in hot water. Keep the house free of dust-collecting items such as stuffed animals, curtains, and carpet.

5. Insect Stings
These could cause swelling and redness that may last a week or more. You might feel sick to your stomach and tired and have a low fever. In rare cases, insect bites trigger a reaction that can be life-threatening, called anaphylaxis. If you're severely allergic, you'll need medicine called epinephrine right away. Your doctor may recommend allergy shots to prevent reactions.

6. Mold
It needs moisture to grow. You can find it in damp places such as basements or bathrooms, as well as in grass or mulch. Get air moving in moist areas of your home.

7. Food
Milk, shellfish, eggs, and nuts are among the most common foods that cause allergies. Others include wheat, soy, and fish. Within minutes of eating something you're allergic to, you could have trouble breathing and get hives, vomiting, diarrhea, and swelling around your mouth. If your reaction is severe, you will need emergency medical help. So call 911, and use your epinephrine pen if you were prescribed one. 

8. Latex
Found in some disposable gloves, condoms, and medical devices, latex can trigger a reaction ranging from itchy, red skin to anaphylaxis with trouble breathing. Symptoms can include a rash or hives, eye irritation, runny or itchy nose, sneezing, and wheezing. If you’re allergic, wear a medical alert bracelet and carry an epinephrine kit if you were prescribed one.

9. Medication
Penicillin, aspirin, and other drugs can cause hives, itchy eyes, stuffiness, and swelling in your face, mouth, and throat. If you're allergic to a drug, it's best to not take it. Your doctor can talk to you about other medicine options or treatments that may allow you to take a medicine if it's necessary.

10. Cockroaches
A protein in their droppings can be a trigger. Roaches can be tough to get rid of, especially in a warm climate or if you live in an apartment building where they can move back and forth between neighbors. Treat them with bug killer, and keep a clean kitchen. Repair cracks and holes in floors, walls, and windows to keep them out of your home.

Montanaro, a professor of medicine and chief of the allergy and clinical immunology division at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, often talks with patients about their heating systems as he investigates the possible environmental triggers of their allergies.

“If they have forced air, that’s part of the conversation,” he says.

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems push air through ducts that run throughout your house in walls, ceilings, and floors. Mark Zarzeczny, who sits on the board of directors of the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA), calls ducts the "lungs of the home."

How can you tell whether your air ducts need attention? Visual clues, like signs of mold and excessive dust around the air vents, can point to a need for cleaning. But when there’s no evidence in plain view, allergist Tania Elliott, MD, advises people to ask themselves the following questions:

  • If your house is more than 10 years old, have your ducts ever been cleaned?

  • Does your house constantly collect dust no matter how much you clean it?

  • Do you notice allergy symptoms when you turn on your heating/cooling system?

  • Do you have asthma that’s not well controlled even though you’re taking your medicine?

Answering YES to any of these questions should encourage you to consider cleaning your ducts.

“It’s better safe than sorry for people who have underlying asthma or allergies or breathing issues,” says Elliott, a spokesperson for the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and chief medical officer of EHE International, a healthcare management company that focuses on preventive medicine.

Time, Cost, and What to Avoid

Zarzeczny says a typical job on a 2,000-square-foot home will take about 3 to 5 hours and should be done every 3 to 5 years or if the signs described above return. Expect to pay at least $500 to $600.

“Anybody who offers to do a job for less than a few hundred dollars is not going to deliver to you what you need to have done,” says Zarzeczny, who chairs NADCA’s anti-fraud task force. “You don’t want a company that advertises at prices like $79.95 because they’re either going to be in and out in half an hour or they’re going to upsell you and walk out with $4,000.”

In fact, a rushed, inadequate job can do more harm than good. According the EPA, “an inadequate vacuum collection system can release more dust, dirt, and other contaminants than if you had left the ducts alone.”

Some Quick Tips to Help You Breathe Better Inside

  • Outside Air
    Most home heating and cooling systems simply recirculate the air that’s already in the house, including all the dust, dirt, and pollen. When the weather’s nice and pollen counts are low, open windows and doors to freshen things up. This is especially important if there are fumes from painting, cooking, kerosene heaters, or hobbies like woodworking.
  • Simple Cleaning Products
    Some cleaners have harsh chemicals that can cause breathing problems or trigger an allergy or asthma attack. Read labels carefully and stay away from ones that have volatile organic compounds (VOCs), fragrances, or flammable ingredients. You can make your own cleaners with plain soap and water, vinegar, or baking soda.
  • Houseplants
    These can be more than nice to look at, especially if your home is energy-efficient or not well-ventilated. In addition to getting rid of carbon dioxide and boosting oxygen levels, some can even help clear the air of chemical vapors. Of these, the easiest to grow and keep healthy include English ivy, ficus trees, peace lilies, and certain types of palms.
  • Your HVAC
    A dirty filter on your heating and air conditioning unit can keep air from flowing the way it should and lead to mold growth if it gets damp. Change it at least every 3 months and make sure it fits well. If you have asthma or allergies -- or you have pets or a large family -- you might want to check it once a month. It’s also a good idea for a professional to inspect the unit once a year.
  • Bathrooms
    If there’s mold in your house, the tiny spores can float into your nose and even your lungs. That can lead to allergy symptoms, like coughing or sneezing, or other breathing issues. The fungus loves damp areas, so keep bathrooms dry. Turn on a fan or open a window to help move air after you shower, and hang up wet towels and washcloths. If you see mold in the tub or other areas, you may need to clean more often to help keep it at bay.
  • Air Fresheners
    Even pleasant smells can cause problems. Some air fresheners have VOCs in them that may bother your nose and throat. Other aerosol sprays, including some health and beauty products, have VOCs, too.
  • Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
    If you keep them too long, mold can grow on them. Check stored fruits and vegetables often, and toss anything that has mold or slime on it. To keep them fresh longer, don’t wash them before you store them -- do that just before you eat them. If you’re not sure if something is fresh, throw it away.
  • Cockroaches
    These bugs can cause problems even after they’re dead. When they die, their bodies break down into small bits, and those can get into the air. The same can happen with their poop. Those bits can get into sheets, pillows, and other fabrics, and may trigger asthma attacks or allergic reactions. If you know you have a roach problem, use roach baits instead of sprays. 
  • Leaks
    These can happen with sinks, toilets, showers, dishwashers, or refrigerators -- even your roof. Pooled water can lead to issues with mold and cockroaches, so any leak needs to be taken care of quickly. Call a plumber if you can’t find where it’s coming from or don’t know how to fix it.
  • Leftovers
    The only thing cockroaches like more than water is food. When dinner’s over, put anything that’s left in airtight containers. And if you throw food away, make sure it’s into a trash can that has a lid on it.
  • Pets
    Dander and other allergens that Fido and Fluffy bring in from outside can cause trouble for your lungs. As hard as it might be, it’s a good idea to keep them out of bedrooms and off beds. If that’s not an option, bathe them regularly and vacuum the areas where they spend time.  
  • Forgotten Areas
    Cabinet tops and vent hoods are a couple of places people sometimes forget to clean, along with behind toilets and under bathroom sinks. Wipe them down every so often with warm, soapy water. Give your pets’ dishes a daily wash, too, and check around for other areas that might collect grease, food, grime, or water.
  • Linens and Rugs
    Wash sheets, pillowcases, blankets, and area rugs once a week in 130-degree F water to help get rid of dust, mold, mites, and other things that can affect your breathing. And get rid of throw pillows that don’t have zip-off covers. They collect dust mites and pet dander and can be hard to clean.
  • Furniture
    Fabrics can trap dust, pollen, and other allergens. The next time you give the living room a new look, consider leather or vinyl furniture instead of cloth. If you have issues with allergies or asthma, you also might want to hang blinds instead of curtains, and dust them regularly.
  • Flooring
    Hard surfaces, like wood, don’t collect things that affect your breathing the way carpet can. If you need some soft areas, use throw rugs you can clean in a washing machine or sink. If you can’t take up your carpet, vacuum it weekly with a cleaner that has a HEPA or small-particle filter. When it needs to be professionally cleaned, be sure to use a certified “asthma & allergy friendly” service.

Read more about Cleaning and Sanitation in our Blog

While we hope you never experience a disaster in your home, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one. Just give us a call any time  24/7 we are always here to help.

SERVPRO of Winston Salem North
1105 Fairchild Rd
Winston Salem, NC 27105
Phone: (336) 744-5104
Email: sp9743@yahoo.com
Fax Number: (336) 744-5105

CDC Checklist to get ready for the COVID-19 outbreak.

3/17/2020 (Permalink)

2 men holding a office space with SERVPRO of Winston Salem North Orange house logo phone number 336 744 5104 While we hope you never experience a disaster in your home, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one.

Checklist for Individuals and Families

As a family, you can plan and make decisions now that will protect you and your family during a COVID-19 outbreak. Creating a household plan can help protect your health and the health of those you care about in the event of an outbreak of COVID-19 in your community. Use this checklist to help you take steps to plan and protect the health of you and your family.

Engineering Controls reduce exposures PLAN AND PREPARE Get up-to-date information about local COVID-19 activity from public health officials Create a household plan of action.

  • Consider members of the household that may be at greater risk such as older adults and people with severe chronic illnesses.
  • Ask your neighbors what their plan includes.
  • Create a list of local organizations you and your household can contact in case you need access to information, healthcare services, support, and resources.
  • Create an emergency contact list including family, friends, neighbors, carpool drivers, healthcare providers, teachers, employers, the local public health department, and other community resources.
  • Choose a room in your house that can be used to separate sick household members from others.

 Take everyday preventive actions:

  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces Be prepared if your child’s school or childcare facility is temporarily dismissed or for potential changes at your workplace.

  Administrative Controls refer to employer-dictated work practices TAKE ACTION In case of an outbreak in your community, protect yourself and others:

  • Stay home and speak to your healthcare provider if you develop fever, cough, or shortness of breath
  • If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. In adults, emergency warning signs*:
    • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
    • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
    • New confusion or inability to arouse
    • Bluish lips or face
    • *This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptom that is severe or concerning.
  • Keep away from others who are sick
  • Limit close contact with others as much as possible (about 6 feet)

 Put your household plan into action

 Take additional precautions for those at highest risk, particularly older adults and those who have severe underlying health conditions.

  • Consider staying at home and away from crowds if you or a family member are an older adult or have underlying health issues
  • Make sure you have access to several weeks of medications and supplies in case you need to stay home
  • When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick and limit close contact with others
  • Practice good hand hygiene

 Take the following steps to help protect your children during an outbreak:

  • Notify your child’s school if your child becomes sick with COVID-19
  • Keep track of school dismissals in your community
  • Discourage children and teens from gathering in other public places
  1. CDC COVID-19 Information site
  2. The President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America -- 15 Days to Slow the Spread of CoronavirusT
  3. Clean Up Services
  4. Winston Salem's Bio Hazard Experts

While we hope you never experience a disaster in your home, we do know we are ready to help you restore it in the event of one. Just give us a call any time  24/7 we are always here to help.

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SERVPRO of Winston Salem North
1105 Fairchild Rd
Winston Salem, NC 27105
Phone: (336) 744-5104
Email: sp9743@yahoo.com
Fax Number: (336) 744-5105