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Secrets to Make Your House Smell Good

5/21/2019 (Permalink)

As a homeowner, you know the importance of maintaining you home. Along with structural repairs and updates, cleaning is also a valuable aspect of a well-maintained home. However, cleaning is not always about being tidy. Sometimes, you need to go beyond what you can see and consider the way your home smells. Your home’s smell makes a big first impression on anyone who visits you. Even if you think it smells just fine, it’s helpful to freshen things up. These tips can help you to do that.

Start with the Cleaning

The first step is always to focus on cleaning. Areas contributing to a less-than-fresh scent to consider include the following:

  • Look for and clean up areas of mildew spots.
  • Your carpets generally harbor scents. Vacuum them thoroughly to remove as much debris as possible.
  • Minimize humidity and moisture in the air by using a dehumidifier when possible.
  • If you have pets, clean up the areas they spend a lot of time in, such as litter boxes and dog beds. These hold onto scents long-term.
  • Keep the trash cans empty – and don’t forget to also tackle washing out the trash occasionally so no odors linger within it.
  • Clean the refrigerator inside and out. Get rid of old food inside and be sure to move the fridge to check for any type of spills or food particles that may have slid under or behind it.
  • Keep your linens fresh. This includes cleaning throw-blankets and pillows located around your home.
  • Keep your pets clean, too. Routine baths help with the shedding of fur.
  • Wash the washing machine. Mildew can build up around the door and the rubber gaskets. You may not realize the scent that lingers on your clothes from mold build-up in your washing machine.

Add Scent

The next step is to add scents that you like. You don’t have to overdo this, but consider these options for ways to add subtle fragrances to your home:

  • Put baking soda and citrus into the garbage disposable.
  • Simmer your favorite spices on the stove for a few minutes.
  • Add eucalyptus leaves to your bath and shower.
  • Purchase a room spray.
  • Add a dryer sheet to the opposite side of the heating and cooling vent.
  • Add scented candles throughout your home.
  • Add tea leaves to litter boxes to absorb some of the odors.

Extra Tips

Now, consider a few ways to get instant improvement. Open the windows and allow fresh air to come into your home. Bake some cookies or bread for a warm, cozy scent. You may even want to use more indoor plants that can actually absorb some of those scents.

Don’t Feel Like Spending Your Time Cleaning?

That’s where our team comes in. Contact SERVPRO of Vigo County for residential cleaning services and enjoy a fresh, clean-smelling home without all of the work.

Unexpected Places to Find Mold In Your Home

5/7/2019 (Permalink)

Mold is a very complicated organism. Most people think that mold is only present when areas are damp and dark. Under the sink or in the basement may seem like the only areas of risk. Although it is common in areas such as the basement and crawlspaces, it can also be lurking elsewhere, and always needs immediate attention.

Consider these tips to spot some of the other areas where mold may be lurking.

Common Areas for Mold Growth and Development

Mold occurs in areas that offer the sources of fuel it needs. This is typically areas where there is some moisture and warmth. Here are some areas where you may find it that should be examined on a routine basis.

  • Window sills – Be sure to look around the edges of the window and the glass itself. It commonly builds up in areas exposed to the outdoors but can be in the framing around the window, too.
  • Refrigerator drip pans – There’s a small drip pan located under your refrigerator. Be sure to check for this. Pull it out and empty it routinely.
  • Attics – It can be hard to pinpoint mold in the attic, but look for sources of moisture, such as a leak or an area where condensation is built up.
  • Front-loading washing machines – This has become a common problem because the doors tend to remain closed, making it hard for these surfaces to dry out.
  • Chimneys – Typically due to leaks, it is always a good idea to inspect your chimney for signs of mold damage.
  • Air conditioners – Your air conditioner can be at risk both in the outdoor condensers and the indoor units.
  • Carpets – Carpeting in damp areas can trap in moisture, making it hard for you to see it. However, this creates the ideal place for mold to grow.
  • Under the sink – Look under each one of your sinks. Look for areas of discoloration on the cabinetry and the wall.

There are a few other surprising areas where mold can be lurking. Check inside your toothbrush holder. Look at your children’s toys and in their toy boxes (a stray juice cup is all it takes to make this happen!). Look at the bases of potted plants. And, check your dishes, especially if you have not used them in a while.

Do You Have Mold? Let Our Team Clean It Up

Mold is highly dangerous, even if it looks easy enough to clean up. It’s best to allow a professional handle it in order to minimize the risk of it becoming airborne. If you find mold in your home, don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO of Vigo County at 812-242-9611 for fast, reliable help.

How to Reduce Humidity in Your Home

4/28/2019 (Permalink)

Summer is on the horizon. It’s time to think about warm weather and outdoor fun, but also the increased risk of humidity and moisture build-up in your home. Excess indoor humidity can support mold growth and mildew spreading. It can also increase pest infestations and weaken your home’s structural integrity over time. Your goal should be to reduce and control humidity.

How to Tackle Humidity

When it comes to humidity, it’s ideal to keep the level between 30 and 50 percent. This provides enough to ensure personal comfort but doesn’t encourage mold growth. Humidity levels at this range can also benefit air quality and energy efficiency. Use these tips to help you control the amount of humidity present in your home.

  1. Set your fan to automatic. Your HVAC system is ready to help you. By setting it to automatic, it turns on as soon as the temperatures rise out of the desired zone.
  2. Add a dehumidifier to your home. A dehumidifier can be an affordable way to control particularly worrisome areas, such as basements, by pulling out excess moisture from the air.
  3. Vent spaces properly. You should have an exhaust hood in the kitchen and vents in the bathrooms. This helps to pull out the moisture in those areas efficiently.
  4. Pinpoint air leaks around your home. This is usually a problem around doors and windows, allowing air to enter and reducing efficiency.
  5. Use houseplants in your home. They help to absorb extra moisture in the air. They can also help to improve overall air quality.
  6. Place firewood outside of the home. This helps minimize any type of infestation and moisture buildup.
  7. Cook with some focus on humidity. If you are boiling something, cover it to limit the amount of moisture that escapes into the area.
  8. Improve circulation around the home by leaving doors open.
  9. Keep wet clothing out of the home. If you have items like towels that are wet, be sure to wash them as soon as possible.

Let Us Help You Clean Away the Mold

When your home has been exposed to humidity for any given time, there’s the risk that mold and mildew are present. Allow our team at SERVPRO of Vigo County & Clay, Parke, Sullivan, & Vermillion Counties  to come to inspect and clean this away. Contact us today for a cleaning appointment.

HVAC Spring Cleaning Tips

4/15/2019 (Permalink)

Springtime is the perfect time for HVAC maintenance. By putting a bit of maintenance into this system now, you may be able to avoid complications during the hot summer months. When you invest in this type of maintenance, it can extend the life of the equipment, saving you money on emergency repairs and replacement. And your home’s air will be cleaner as well.

How to Ensure Your HVAC System Is Ready

When it comes to preparing your HVAC system for rising seasonal temperatures, follow these simple tips:

  1. Get filters cleaned
    Clean or change the HVAC filters on your system. It’s best to replace them at least once every two to three months or more often when pollen and dust levels are higher.
  2. Remove dust from your home
    Minimize the amount of work your HVAC system must do by keeping your home dust-free. Don’t overlook the importance of cleaning your bathroom fans and exhaust fans in your kitchen. These can build up with debris over the colder months, too.
  3. Have the ducts cleaned
    The ducts in your home are the metal pathways that cooled and heated air travel from the HVAC system to the various areas of your home. Dust can build up in these areas, creating a problem for your system. Have a professional clean the ducts now.
  4. Inspect your windows and doors
    Small areas where air can get into the home through window and door leaks can cause problems for energy efficiency. They also let the dirt and debris in. Look around them to spot areas of potential concern –if you can see light or feel air, you know there’s a leak that needs attention.
  5. Get professional HVAC cleaning
    It’s always best to have a professional handle your HVAC cleaning. A service check in the springtime is the best way to ensure all the electrical and mechanical components are working. This is also a good time for your team to ensure the Freon is filled and the outdoor condensers are properly cleaned.

Keep Your HVAC System in Good Shape with Our Help

SERVPRO of Vigo County  & Clay, Parke, Sullivan, & Vermillion Counties offers routine inspections and servicing for HVAC units. When you use our services, you benefit from eliminating offensive orders, reducing pollen and mold growth, and restoring peak energy efficiency to your home. Contact us for an appointment now.

How to Fight Pollen in Your Home

4/1/2019 (Permalink)

Pollen strikes each spring, leaving you coughing, sneezing, and wheezing. As your car starts to get covered with the yellow stuff and your sinuses get backed up, it’s time to make a plan to keep your home pollen-free. These tips can help you minimize the risks.

Minimize Exposure of Your Car

When possible, park your car in the garage. This helps minimize the amount of pollen it’s exposed to during the day. If you can’t do this because you don’t have a garage, drive through the car wash as often as possible.

Keep the Shoes Outside

Anything with pollen on it should remain in the garage or outside of your home. You don’t want to bring it in on your shoes. Take off your coat or anything else with pollen on it in the doorway to avoid exposing the whole home.

Take a Shower

If you’ve spent enough time outdoors to attract a significant amount of pollen, assume it’s in your hair and on your skin. Take a shower, if possible, to get rid of as much of it as possible.

Avoid Getting It in Your Bedding

Pollen on your bed and pillows can be harmful to you because you’ll breathe it in for hours at a time. Wash your hair prior to going to bed, and take a shower if you have not done so previously.

Manage Your Pets, Too

Your pets are likely to bring in just as much pollen as you do. For that reason, you’ll want to keep them washed whenever they are spending time outdoors.

Minimize Interior Air Exposure

Keep the doors and windows closed, especially on high pollen days. You’ll want to minimize the amount of exposure to pollen.

Keep Surfaces Clean

Be sure to vacuum your home routinely. Empty the vacuum outside to minimize the spread of pollen again. You’ll also want to keep your porch areas clean to limit the amount of pollen brought into the home.

Avoid Bad Days

When the pollen count is high, stay inside. This is important if you are at a high risk for respiratory concerns.

Need Help Keeping Your Home Clean?

Pollen isn’t easy to clean, but we can help. SERVPRO of Vigo County  & Clay, Parke, Sullivan, & Vermillion Counties can help you keep your home clean with our residential cleaning services. We ease the burden of the constant cleaning and maintenance of your home, so you have a safe, clean, and comfortable living environment. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

How to Keep Your Basement Dry

3/18/2019 (Permalink)

Basements can become wet and humid during the warmer spring months. Unfortunately, moisture promotes mildew and mold growth. As such, it is important to keep your basement dry. Here are some ways you can avoid a musty, damp basement.

Slope the Ground Away From Your Foundation

One of the tips for helping to keep your basement dry is to make sure the ground around the exterior of your home slopes or is graded away from your foundation. If the slope is toward the basement, water can flow through the foundation and into your basement.

Place Rocks and Gravel Around Your Foundation

Another tip to help keep your basement dry is to place rocks or gravel around the base or foundation of your home. Rocks or gravel help to absorb water, preventing excess water from seeping into your basement. If you have a large amount of water, consider installing a French drain system around your home.

Install Gutters and Downspouts Around Your Home

Installing gutters and downspouts around your home can also help to keep your basement dry. Gutters help catch water flowing from the roof and guide it away from your home. This prevents water from falling off the roof and landing on the surface area directly adjacent to your foundation.

Paint Your Basement With Water Resistant Paint

A water-resistant paint can be painted on the interior walls of your basement. This helps prevent water from seeping through your walls and making its way into your basement.

Keep Humidity Down By Using a Dehumidifier

Dehumidifiers are great appliances for keeping humidity low in a basement. A dehumidifier can effectively reduce the amount of moisture in the air, which will prevent mold and mildew growth.

Vent All Appliances Outside

Lastly, make sure all of your appliances vent outside. As appliances vent, they produce hot air. When this hot air comes into contact with cool air in your basement, condensation can form. Venting your appliances outside prevents this from happening, keeping your basement dry.

Keeping your basement dry will not only reduce mold and mildew but will also make it a safer area whether you use it for storage or as a family-gathering area. When water intrudes your property, mold can accumulate in as little as 48 hours. If your basement is already wet or you notice mold or mildew growth, you need a professional to help you with clean-up. At SERVPRO of Vigo County & Clay, Parke, Sullivan, & Vermillion Counties , we use advanced water damage inspection and extraction equipment to help find the moisture and remove it as quickly as possible. Call us at 812-242-9611 to get started today. 

Spring Cleaning Tips

3/8/2019 (Permalink)

Spring is just around the corner. Traditionally, people feel the need to deep-clean their homes once they feel the warm air arrive and can open their windows to welcome the new season. There are many areas in your home that you will want to clean once begin tackling this spring-time chore. Here are a few tips to help you get started that you may not have considered.

Wash Your Curtains and Drapes

When you start your spring cleaning, one of the first things you should do is clean your window coverings. This includes blinds, shutters, curtains or drapes. This should be done early on in the process as dirt and dust from the coverings can fall to the floor below, so you don't want to clean your floor before the drapes.

Test Your Smoke Detectors

Another step that should be included in spring cleaning is testing your smoke detectors. Most detectors have a test button on them that allows you to ensure they are working. If they don't work, you probably just need to replace the batteries.

Replace Water and Air Filters

As part of your spring-cleaning checklist, be sure to replace water filters and air filters. Filters catch debris from water and air. When they get full, they cannot filter as effectively as they should. The filters should be routinely replaced to ensure that they can work efficiently.

Clean Your Dryer Vent

Your dryer vent can easily become filled with lint and debris. Clean the dryer vent to help improve drying time and energy efficiency and also to prevent a fire. The vent inside your dryer should be cleaned with each load, but in the spring, you should check your exterior vent as well, making sure there is nothing accumulating in the tubing from the dryer to the outside.

Clean Your Grill

Once it begins to get warmer, people start thinking about cooking and eating outside. Now is the perfect time inspect your grill, refill your tanks if it is a gas grill, and clean all the cooking surfaces so it is ready to use when you want to make delicious meals.

Check Your Windows and Doors For Leaks

As you spring clean, take the time to check your windows and doors for leaks or air drafts. If you feel outdoor air seeping in, the seals may need to be replaced.

Check Your Plumbing for Leaks

Lastly, take the time to check your plumbing for leaks. Look for leaks under your sinks and for leaking faucets. If you notice any leaks, call in a plumber to make the needed repairs.

Are you looking to get your home clean for spring but lack the time to do it all yourself? Here at SERVPRO of Vigo County, we can help you with some of your cleaning needs. We offer many services including fire and water clean-up services, mold remediation, and routine house cleaning, including duct cleaning and carpet cleaning. Give us a call at 812-242-9611 so we can get started today.

What to Do if your Dishwasher Overflows

2/20/2019 (Permalink)

If you are not paying attention, you may add more soap to your dishwasher than needed. When this happens, suds may begin to emerge from your dishwasher and can overflow into your kitchen. Both the suds and the water can cause water damage if you do not act quickly to stop the problem and clean it up. Here are the steps you should take if your dishwasher begins to overflow.

Step 1: Stop the Dishwasher

It may sound obvious, but the first thing you should do if your dishwasher is overflowing is to stop the dishwasher. Try and stop the dishwasher using your controls, rather than opening the dishwasher.

Step 2: Place Towels on the Floor

The next thing you should do is place towels on the floor. Soak up the excess moisture that is already present. Then lay a dry layer of towels down because more water will leak out once you open the dishwasher.

Step 3: Control the Soap

Once you have a dry layer of towels in place, open your dishwasher. Be ready for water and suds to stream out. You can pour salt over the foam and suds to help control them. If salt does not work, place ice cubes on the foam and let it melt. As it melts, the foam will too.

Step 4: Clean the Dishwasher

Once all the foam is gone from the dishwasher, run a quick rinse cycle. This rinses salt and excess soap residue from your dishwasher. Pay close attention to the dishwasher as it is rinsing. If an excess amount of foam begins to form and overflow from the dishwasher again, you will want to repeat step 3.

Step 5: Clean the Kitchen

As the quick rinse cycle is running, clean your kitchen. Take the time to properly dry and wipe down any surface that got wet. If there is an excess amount of water present, consider opening your windows or using a fan to dry the area thoroughly.

Unfortunately, you may not have been around when your dishwasher overflowed. Your cabinets, flooring and drywall may have sustained water damage if there is foam and water all over your kitchen. A water damage professional should be called in to remove water, prevent mold growth and repair anything that is water logged. Here at SERVPRO of Vigo County, we can help you with damage caused by your overflowing dishwasher. Call us now at (812) 242-9611 to get started.

How to Get Rid of a Smoke Smell After a Fire

2/20/2019 (Permalink)

After a fire, everything in your home may smell like smoke. Many textiles and materials absorb the odor, which can make it hard to remove. When possible, air out your home for as long as possible as quickly after the fire to allow as much of the smoke smell to dissipate on its own. After that, there are some steps to take to remove the smoke smell from specific materials.

From Clothing

The key to removing a smoky smell from your clothing is to act quickly. The quicker you act, the more successful you will be. First, soak the clothing in warm water with laundry detergent or white vinegar. Allow the clothes to sit overnight. The detergent or vinegar will work to neutralize the smell. Once the smell has been removed, wash and dry the clothing. Do not wash or dry the clothing until you are sure the scent has been removed, as it can set in the smell.

From Flooring

Flooring, including carpet, wood and tile, can all absorb smoke after a fire. The best way to properly clean your flooring is to call in a professional. A professional fire restoration company can work to restore your flooring and clean it, as can a carpet cleaner or tile cleaner. Hot water extraction is usually the best method for removing soot and scents.

From Your Walls

Unfortunately, after a fire, your walls can have a smoke scent that lingers. A professional should be called in, as removing the scent is not always easy. In some cases, the scent may actually be trapped in the insulation housed behind the wall. In other cases, the scent may be so embedded in the drywall that replacing the drywall is the best option. If the scent is faint and the drywall is in good condition, painting the drywall may help to remove the scent.

After a fire, it is well worth it to hire a fire damage specialist to come in and complete the cleanup process. Here at SERVPRO of Vigo County, we are committed to helping those who have gone through a fire get their home back. We can help with water damage cleanup, fire restoration and removal of soot and smoke smells. Call us now at (812) 242-9611 to get started.

How to Get Stains Off Walls

2/14/2019 (Permalink)

Stains or marks on a painted wall can make it look dirty and worn. Unfortunately, removing stains from a wall is not always easy. Some items do not easily lift from the wall, or worse, the paint may peel or flake off as you try to remove the stains. Here are four common items that may be on your walls – and the best way to get them off.

Dirt

Dirt is the most common item to be found on a wall. If your walls are looking dull or drab, you may want to thoroughly clean them to remove dirt. Fill a bucket with warm water and a squirt of liquid dish soap and grab a soft cloth. Wipe your walls down to remove dirt. If you simply have one dirty patch on your wall, a Magic Eraser can help you wipe away that dirt smear or spot.

Crayons

Kids do not always color where they should. They may see a wall as a giant canvas. Unfortunately, the wax in crayons makes it tough to remove. Luckily, toothpaste can cut through the wax and lift the color. Grab a white paste toothpaste and rub it into the crayon marks. As you do so, the crayon should lift away.

Kitchen Grease

Grease is common on kitchen walls. The easiest way to remove kitchen grease is to fill a bowl with warm water and a squirt of a grease-fighting liquid dish soap. Grab a soft cloth and dab at the spot with the soapy water. The soap should help to cut the grease, ultimately helping to remove the stain.

Permanent Marker

Permanent marker doesn’t have to be permanent on your walls. To remove permanent marker from a wall, dampen a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol and then dab at the ink spot until all of the stain has lifted. You may have to use multiple cotton balls to remove the stain.

Your walls should be routinely cleaned to remove dirt, dust, allergens and stains. But most people do not have the time to properly clean their walls. Here at SERVPRO of Vigo County, we can help you with your wall cleaning. Whether you have painted walls or wallpaper, we can properly clean your walls ensure they always look their best and are free of dirt and dust. Call us now at (812) 242-9611 to get started.