There are so many things to love about fall and winter: changing leaves, colder temperatures, hot chocolate, and roaring fireplaces; however, with this seasonal change, we often find ourselves spending more time indoors and trying to stave off allergies, the flu, and of course, the common cold. If you find yourself stuck inside a lot, you need to make sure your home is healthy place in which you and your family can thrive. Today we’re going to look at some ways to make your home a healthy haven.
First of all, let’s go ahead and talk about flooring and floor care. Hard surface flooring products (hardwood, tile, vinyl, laminate, etc.) have long been the darlings of homeowners (and allergy sufferers) not just because they are beautiful but because they are easy to keep clean and free of allergens. Carpet has thus gotten a bad rap, but according to the Carpet and Rug Institute, studies with allergy and immunology physician Dr. Bruce Mitchell, prove that carpet IS a good choice for asthma and allergy sufferers when it’s properly cared for:
“These studies challenge the long-held belief that carpet must adversely impact indoor air quality as it pertains to asthma and allergy sufferers,” Dr. Mitchell is quoted in the press release. “Effectively cleaned carpets have the capacity to trap allergen and microbial particles, making these particles less available to become airborne and thus maintaining indoor air quality. This makes regularly cleaned carpet a choice for families impacted by asthma and allergies.”
Whether you have carpet or hard surface flooring, vacuuming/sweeping and dusting are key components to improving air quality in your home. For allergy sufferers, a vacuum with a HEPA filter is ideal, and make sure to replace vacuum bags or empty the canister when they’re 2/3 full. For dusting, using a dry cloth often stirs up dust and dander. Use a damp cloth or one treated with a dusting product to wipe surfaces clean.
While air purifiers are a great way to improve indoor air quality, another wonderful option is house plants! We all know that plants take in carbon dioxide and give back oxygen. Did you know that many plants also absorb harmful pollutants and gases? Check out HGTV's "Top Ten" of houseplants that promote air quality.
Next, make sure to check your bathroom for mold and mildew. Shower curtains should be washed or replaced regularly to prevent and remove mildew buildup. Also, check your wallpaper (if you have it). Wallpaper can foster the growth of mold if a bathroom isn’t properly ventilated with an exhaust fan. Install a fan, and consider replacing wallpaper with mold-resistant paint or tile. Invest in a good mildew remover or tile cleaner, or make your own if you’re sensitive to chemicals. Many great household cleaners can be made from vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice. Check out some homemade cleaning recipes HERE.
For the kitchen, the same cleaning rules apply. Wipe down surfaces to remove grease, dust, and mildew. An often-overlooked item that can go bad fast is the trash can. Make sure to wipe it down regularly to remove stains and buildup and prevent mold growth.
If you have pets, all these cleaning tips are going to help with keeping hair and dander at bay, but there are a couple of extra points to consider. Bathe your pets once a week, and keep them off furniture and out of bedrooms.
Speaking of bedrooms, wash any linens you’ve had in storage before using them, and don’t forget that dust collects on curtains! They should be washed too. If allergies are a big problem for you, you might even consider hypo-allergenic bedding like this collection from Pottery Barn. Find tips on choosing hypo-allergenic bedding HERE.
Putting these tips into practice as regular habits will have keep your home healthy for fall and winter “hibernation.” For more cleaning tips and tricks, check out our Keep It Clean Pinterest board.
Our homes daily endure many spills and liquid-related accidents, especially if there are kids or pets in the home. With these accidents, generally just being attentive to spills is all you need, but with rain storms you may have an abundance of water finding its way to your floors. Your entry way may be taking the most damage from family and friends coming in from the outdoors and tracking water and mud all through the house. Having super absorbent mats near entry ways and a space for visitors to remove their shoes at the door is a big step in the right direction for preventing water damage. When using absorbent mats, be sure to not let the mat hold too much water as you could be redistributing your water problem under the mat.
Another simple tip that is especially helpful if you have wood floors is air flow. This can help keep moisture build up from the atmosphere at bay. Another important maintenance tip is to watch for roof leaks in your home. If you see cracks, sagging, or discoloration in your ceiling, you may need to check your roof for damage.
If you’re tired of having to worry so much about water damage to floors, there are some good water-resistant and waterproof flooring options to consider. One of the best options is ceramic tile. We use it in our kitchens and bath rooms for a reason: it’s very water-resistant. But, you don’t have to limit yourself. Ceramic tile is perfect for any room in the house with endless styles available, including wood-look planks. The next option might surprise you: laminate now has some very water-resistant options, such as Mannington’s SpillShield technology that allows it to be used in any room of the house. The final flooring option is WPC which is a vinyl plank product that is completely waterproof. Many manufacturers like Mohawk now offer this flooring in a wide variety of wood and tile looks.
The first step in water-damage prevention is to make sure there isn’t a structural problem like the roof or leaks allowing moisture in the home. If your problem results from normal every-day traffic bringing in water, liquids, and mud, a waterproof or water-resistant flooring may be just for you! Call us today for a free estimate! 256.231.5600
Water can be a very destructive force when it comes to our homes. Not only do our homes face risks from the outside elements, water leaks inside the home can wreak just as much havoc. Today we’re going to talk about how to spot water damage inside your home and what to do about it.
As home owners, one of the biggest threats to our homes are things we can’t see. It’s much easier to spot water damage resulting from a natural disaster like a storm or flood, but what are some signs to look for that could indicate water damage from a hidden source? Water damage can take on different colors, textures and smells. So, look for things like water accumulation, discoloration, changes in texture on floors and walls, or buckling and cupping on wood floors. If you see any signs like this, be sure to investigate the source of the water. If it’s on the floor, this can mean your subfloor is damaged, and that can cause safety issues.
Whether your water damage is from a roof leak, leaking appliances, or a natural disaster, steps will have to be taken to repair the damage and get your home back in order. The first step is to check with your home insurance agent for coverage and be sure to take pictures of the damage. Your agent will let you know what’s covered and what to do to get started on repairs.
If you’re faced with replacing your floor, you’ll first want to make sure you have a sound subfloor without any mold or damage. Next, you may want to consider a flooring with water-resistant properties, especially for areas prone to water leaks, like kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms.
An excellent choice for water- resistant flooring in any of these rooms is tile. Tile is very durable and handles water well if installed correctly. It also comes in many beautiful styles in both stone and wood looks! Another excellent choice in resilient flooring for any room in the house is WPC planks. WPC is totally waterproof and also comes in beautiful wood, tile, and stone looks.
If you’re not ready to give up hardwood, consider engineered hardwood over solid. Engineered hardwood is made up of layers that are more flexible and moisture resistant than solid hardwood. Often if only a section of hardwood is damaged, we can match the original wood and only have to repair the section where the damage occurred. Engineered wood can often be installed as “floating,” making it easier to replace planks if any future damage occurs.
If water damage has occurred on carpet, your next steps depend on several things. Consider the source: is it clean water or the result of sewage backup? Are the carpet and pad saturated down to the subfloor? Is the damage confined to a small area or the whole room? You’ll want to talk with a professional cleaning service that specializes in water damage to determine if your carpet can be cleaned and salvaged or if it needs to be replaced completely.
When your home faces water damage, detecting it then taking the right steps to get it repaired are crucial in avoiding mold and further damage to your walls or subfloors. If your floors have been damaged and you’re in need of new flooring, give us a call for a free estimate and to help you select durable flooring for your needs.
Is it necessary to have your carpet professionally cleaned? Think of it this way: if you never washed your clothes they would get very dirty and even ruined. Your carpet is the same way, and it must be professionally cleaned regularly to get the dirt and stains out that vacuuming cannot.
In this post, we're talking with Ethan Young, owner of Quick Dry LLC carpet cleaning company in Weaver, AL. Ethan has some helpful tips for choosing the right cleaning method for your carpet.
What cleaning option do you recommend for most homes?
The preferred option is hot water extraction cleaning, also called steam cleaning.
How does your quick dry hot water extraction cleaning work?
Unlike other methods, Quick Dry’s hot water extraction combines steam cleaning and dry cleaning. Dry cleaning focuses on the agitation, and steam cleaning focuses on the heat to clean. We have combined both to get a much deeper clean. The first thing I do is the high-efficiency vacuuming, then I apply a preconditioning cleaner and agitate it in. Next, the carpet is hot water extraction cleaned. This rinses out any solution or residue left in the carpet. Lastly, we groom the carpet and allow it to air dry. This method is the same concept as the washing machine for your clothes. It combines hot water, agitation, and cleaning solution to clean all the way through.
How long does it take to dry?
Only about three hours
How often should you have your carpet professionally cleaned?
Most carpet manufacturers recommend that you have your carpet cleaned at least once every six to twelve months. This will likely be a requirement for your warranty.
Can you damage your carpet by having it cleaned too often?
Yes and no. It can be damaged if the cleaning process is applied incorrectly. For example, if the water was not completely extracted, or too much cleaning solution was applied, this could damage your carpet.
When having your carpet cleaned, there are a couple of important points to remember. Your warranty will likely require you to have your carpet cleaned, so keep your receipts from your cleaning company. Also, Quick Dry carpet cleaning is certified by the Institute of Inspections Cleaning and Restorations Certification (IIRC) which sets the standards for cleaning companies. Many carpet cleaning companies are not IICRC certified, so be sure to verify if they are. By following the proper cleaning and maintenance guidelines, you will be sure to extend the beauty and life of your carpet.