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Spring Cleaning Tips and Tricks!
When it's the first day of spring and you don't feel like cleaning call SERVPRO! #HereToHelp
It might not feel like it right now, but it's almost spring in Texas, and that means cleaning up and getting ready for warmer weather (eventually).
A good, deep spring clean-up is a tradition that not only promotes wellness by keeping your environment clean and organized; it also helps carry the fresh-start feeling brought on by a new year well into the summer.
Put on some headphones, crank up the tunes and Clear the dust bunnies out of the corners, give your bathroom a good scrub, and finally get around to donating the unloved clothes at the back of your closet.
Here are 10 Spring cleaning tips to get you started!
Remove water stains with lemon for a natural faucet fix
This spring, make faucets clean and sparkly by rubbing a lemon half on the water stains. The citric acid helps remove hard water marks. Then, use the other half of the lemon for our next tip.
Clean your microwave by heating lemon juice and rinds in water
Cut a lemon into halves, squeeze the juice into 1/2 cup of water and drop the rinds into the mixture. Microwave for three minutes and let it stand for five minutes without opening the door. The trapped steam will loosen the grime, so you can wipe the microwave clean with less elbow grease.
Use white vinegar to beat shower head buildup
Looking for more natural ways to clean your bathroom? Vinegar can dissolve the mineral deposits accumulate in showerheads over time, causing reduced pressure and water flow. Fill a plastic bag with white vinegar, secure it over the showerhead with a rubber band and leave it overnight to get rid of buildup. Just be sure to run the shower before you hop in, or you risk smelling like vinegar all day.
Clean stainless steel sinks with baking soda
Simply wet your sink and faucet, sprinkle baking soda, and scrub with a sponge. If you need more heavy-duty scrubbing power, add salt to the baking soda.
Use newspaper to clean dirty windows and mirrors
Mix ¼ cup of white vinegar, 2 cups of water and 2 teaspoons of liquid soap into a spray bottle. Spray the mixture onto the glass and scrub with newspaper for a streak-free window or mirror. The ink acts as a mild abrasive and allows you to make use of old newspapers.
Organize your fridge and cabinets with rotating turntables
Don’t limit rotating turntables and Lazy Susans to your tabletops. After discarding old condiments and spices, organize your pantries and refrigerator with this useful storage hack.
Place a wet dryer sheet on your ceramic stovetop to remove burnt-on residue
Dryer sheets are non-abrasive and a great way to remove burnt-on food from your stove. Place the wet dryer sheet on your stovetop at least 15 minutes before rubbing the gunk away.
Let coffee filters do more than put a spring in your step
Does your TV screen or computer monitor show fingerprints, smudges and dust? The fiber in coffee filters is be gentle enough to rub them away, even on delicate TV screens. Just don’t press too hard!
Use cream of tartar to clean toasters and tea kettles
Combine 1 tsp of cream of tartar with just enough water to create a milky paste. Rub the solution onto your stainless steel appliances and wipe away to reveal their original shine.
Use a window squeegee to scrape pet hair from your carpet or rug
The rubber edge of the squeegee is a great tool for gripping and removing pet hair from your rug. Use a firm grip and make sure to clean up the excess hair as you go. Finish by running the vacuum to catch any hair still on the surface.
Feeling cleaner already right? It's amazing how nice your home feels once it's been cleaned and refreshed. As for the big stuff, don't sweat it. SERVPRO of East Ft. Worth offers both residential and commercial cleaning. So if you can't get that stain out of your carpet, or liven up the color to your grout give us a call!
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Creating a Home Inventory
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If you lost all of your possessions today, would you be able to list each item and its value from just your memory.
That’s the value of a home inventory. Making a detailed list of what you own ensures nothing will be omitted if you have to recall your home contents after a loss by fire, flood or other circumstance.
“How do I do a home inventory?”
There are a few ways to keep track of your thorough home inventory.
Write it down: To do a written home inventory, you’ll need to walk through your home and make a long, detailed list of your property. For each item, be sure to record the date it was purchased, the serial or model number if applicable, and the item’s value. If you have a receipt, note it on your inventory and keep it on file.
Take pictures: To add dimension to your home inventory, take pictures of each item on your list. Shoot photographs in daylight, and open blinds and turn on lights for the best lighting. Clear, well-lit photos help ensure no feature of an object is overlooked.
The picture should focus on the item itself, as well as any important details, such as a close-up of the setting on a piece of jewelry or the artist’s signature on a valuable painting.
Use sticky notes to label each item with its name before taking its photo. For consistency throughout your documentation, refer to items by the name on the sticky note.
In the case of documents scan them and create digital copies of the document you can save on a flash drive or set up an online account, such as Google Drive, to store your home inventory data. Be sure to document your password and how to access your account. For electronics and appliances, include warranties, receipts, repair bills and serial numbers
Shoot video: It’s easy to do on your own with a smartphone. As you walk through your home recording each item, you can describe details, zoom in on jewelry settings and serial numbers, take video of any appraisals you may have for certain items, and so on. Plus, if you upload it to the cloud, it will be automatically saved with a date and time, which can be important for record keeping.
Keeping your home inventory organized
Keep a hard copy and a digital copy of your inventory documents. This ensures you’ll have at least one copy available should something happen to the other. Create an organization system to efficiently keep track of items and their values.
- Include a page explaining your organization and tagging system.
- Create a sub folder for each room.
- Organize all documentation by item. That means keeping photos, receipts, repair bills and other documents related to one item together.
Who should have a copy of my inventory?
It's best to keep both a digital and paper copy of your inventory so it can't get lost. Consider keeping a copy in a safety deposit box or with a trusted friend or with your lawyer to keep on file. In the event a flood or fire does happen in your home you don't want your inventory lost with everything else.
Here at SERVPRO of East Ft. Worth, we work with your insurance to help make the process of recovering from a disaster as smooth as possible, and an inventory can be very helpful so that as we catalog your belongings for restoration; we and your insurance can be better prepared to list and catalog each item so that it can be replaced or restored with ease.
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Flameless candles are a safe alternative to lit candles and produce a similar soft, glowing effect.
With the weather turning cooler and holidays approaching, many of us are lighting up festive scented candles to welcome the season. Whether they be for decor or pumpkins this fall. We were at SERVPRO of East Fort Worth want you to stay safe while enjoying these luminous additions to your decor.
Here are a few candle safety tips to review before you light your next candle:
1. Burning candles should never be left unattended.
2. Keep candles away from anything flammable.
3. If your candle is in a candle holder, it should be sturdy enough to avoid being easily knocked over.
4. Candles should be placed where children and pets can’t reach them.
5. The National Candle Association recommends that candlewicks be trimmed to ¼ inch each time before burning. Long wicks can cause uneven burning and dripping.
6. Keep the pool of wax in the candle clear of debris such as wick trimmings.
7. Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for candle use. Most candles should be burned for only a couple of hours at a time.
8. Extinguish candles with a candle snuffer rather than blowing them out, as hot wax can splatter
Flameless candles are a safe alternative to lit candles and produce a similar soft, glowing effect. Lit candles are not recommended for use during power outages, so use battery powered flashlights, lanterns and even flameless candles instead.
Finally, any talk of candle safety is incomplete without a reminder to check all smoke alarms in your home. Working smoke alarms greatly increase your chances of surviving a home fire, so check them every month to ensure they are working properly.
Disaster Preparedness for Your Pets
Creating a thorough emergency plan includes preparing for your pet's need as well. Remember, if if you must evacuate due to an emergency, then it is not safe for your pet to stay home either. Your evacuation plan should consider where your pets will be accepted. Make a list ahead of time of hotels that are pet friendly along your evacuation route and near your final destination. Some hotels and shelters do not accept animals. And lastly, build a travel emergency kit for your animals. This will help you save time when you must evacuate.
Items to include in your pet's emergency kit:
- leashes, harnesses, and/or carriers to transport animals
- food, drinking water, bowls, can opener
- cat litter and pan
- medications and copies of medial records
- a first aid kit
- current photos of you with your pet/s in case they get lost
- information on feeding schedules, contact information for veterinarian, medical conditions, and behavior problems in case you have to board or foster your pets
- pet beds and toys
For disaster preparedness tips for traveling with exotic animals or livestock, please visit http://www.humanesociety.org/?referrer=http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/pet-disaster-preparedness.
SERVPRO of East Fort Worth
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How to Create a Fire Escape Plan for Your Family
According to the National Fire Protection Association, there were 1,342,000 fires in the United States in 2016, of which 475,500 were structure fires. One home structure fire was reported every ninety seconds. Most businesses have fire escape plans to help saves lives during an emergency. Creating a fire escape plan for the home should be just as common, especially for families with young children or with special needs family members. Being prepared saves lives during an emergency.
Thankfully, NFPA has created an easy how to guide for creating a home fire escape plan:
- Draw a map of your home. Show all windows and doors.
- Visit each room and recognize two ways out.
- All windows and doors should open easily. You should be able to use them to get outside.
- Make sure your home has smoke alarms. Test your alarms regularly.
- Pick a meeting place for when you must evacuate. The meeting place should be in front of the home.
- Make sure your house or building number can be seen from the street.
- Talk about the plan with everyone in your home.
- Learn the emergency phone number for your local fire department.
Most importantly, practice the plan with everyone in your home. This can be a fun exercise for children. Have them draw a map of your home and color all the possible escape routes. Once or twice a year go over the plan with everyone in the home again.
To learn more about fire safety in the home please click here.
Water Heater Safety
Drying out a closet containing the hot water heater after a leak.
Water heater failure causes fires and flooding all across the world. Water heater routine maintenance can help you avoid the catastrophe the occurs when a water heater fails. Nationwide insurance recently offered some tips about water heater safety that we would like to share with you.
Pulling up on the handle to make sure water flows freely out, and stops when you let go of the handle. If it does nothing or runs or drips, then the valve should be replaced.
Strapping your water heater is a good idea, even if you live outside an earthquake zone. If your water heater were to fall over for any reason, it could sever the gas line and cause an explosion.
Flushing the hot water heater through the drain valve at least once a year to remove sediment buildup. You should have a drain line, usually to within about 6 inches of the floor, or plumbed outside. This is to prevent you from being scalded if the valve should open while you’re standing next to it.
Remove paper, accumulated dust or other combustibles from the heater enclosure.
Extinguish the pilot light before using flammable liquids or setting off aerosol bug bombs.
If the device is in the garage, raise it so the pilot light is 18 inches above the floor. This helps prevent ignition of gasoline vapors that collect near the floor.
Consider installing an automatic gas-shutoff valve which stops the flow of gas if the ground moves or if gas flow increases dramatically. The valve, which costs around $300, prevents fires when a gas line breaks due to flood, earthquake or other disaster.
You may also want to insulate the first 6 feet of the hot water pipe and the first 3 feet of the cold water pipe that extends from your hot water tank. Insulating the hot water pipe reduces heat loss and insulating the cold water pipe reduces “sweating” in the summer. You can find pipe wrap insulation for this purpose in most hardware stores.
Do not use pipe wrap or any other insulation within 6 inches of the draft hood or flue exhaust vent at the top of the natural gas water heater.
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Get Winter Ready!
Get Winter Ready!
Cold weather can have a huge impact on your home or business if you are not properly prepared. Whether it is heavy rain, freezing temperatures, damaging winds, sleet or snow, all have the potential of causing serious and costly property damage(s). While you cannot control the weather, you can take steps to be prepared and help take the sting out of winter weather.
To help prevent costly damages due to weather, consider taking the following precautions to protect your property before colder weather hits!
- Examine your property for downed tree limbs and branches. Weather, such as wind, heavy rain, ice, and snow can cause branches to fall, which could cause damage to the property and potentially cause personal injuries as well.
- Roofs, water pipes, and gutters should all be inspected to ensure they are in proper working order. Gutter downspouts should be directed away from your home or building. Clear gutters of all debris that may have gathered during the fall. Leaves and other obstructions can lead to an unwanted effect, that can lead to roof damage and interior water problems.
- Inspect property, walkways, and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential.
- Inspect all handrails, stairwells, and entryways to address and correct potential slippery or hazardous areas. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water could be present.
- Protect water pipes from freezing by simply allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If pipes are under a cabinet, leave the cabinet doors open allowing warm inside air to circulate around the pipes. If the building has outdoor faucets, consider shutting water off at the main valve in the basement or crawl space. Once the valve is off, open the outdoor faucet to ensure it drains properly, preventing any remaining water from freezing in the pipe.
- Call & request the services of SERVPRO East Ft. Worth... We'll schedule & complete an Emergency READY Profile (ERP) for your home or business. The ERP is a no cost assessment to your property and provides you with a precise plan to get you back in business quickly following a disaster.
When winter weather strikes...call the professionals at SERVPRO of East Ft. Worth (24/7-365)... We've got your back!
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