Recent General Posts
5 Tips for Spring Cleaning
Spring cleaning to keep your home looking great!
As the weather gets warmer and we make our way back into spring, here are five quick cleaning tips to make sure your spring cleaning goes smooth and easy this year.
Use Minimum Products
When preparing to start your cleaning, use as few products as possible. Minimizing your cleaning product inventory creates less clutter and confusion. Most of the time, you will just need a good all-purpose cleaner and some rags. Instead of overwhelming yourself with a wide range of cleaners for floors, wooden furniture and appliances, use an all-purpose cleaner and save time switching between different products.
Create a Plan
Organize your home and assign dates to clean different rooms and areas. Begin by making a list of all rooms in your home, including outside. Under every room, write down what needs to be cleaned. It may help to walkthrough every room and write out the list. Once this is done, including everything that needs to be done outside, assign dates to every room, schedule bigger projects for weekends and smaller ones for afternoons during the work week. This way you have a plan and timeline to get everything done.
Clean Out the Cabinets!
Spring cleaning is not just about what you can see. Declutter cabinets, fridges, drawers, etc. This will help your home get organized more than anything else. Everything might be clean now, but when you have to start digging through drawers and boxes to find something, your home will quickly become a mess again. Consider purchasing drawer and fridge organizers to help contain the clutter.
Lemons work great for cleaning all sorts of surfaces. From faucets to tabletops, lemons are a great cleaning product. To clean your microwave, squeeze a lemon into a bowl of 1/2 cups - 3 cups of water and leave the lemon in the water. Microwave for about 3 minutes or until steamy. When done, just wipe out the grease from the inside! Lemons are a natural, cheap, and versatile tool to use for cleaning hard to clean areas.
Wash Windows on a Cloudy Day
When the sun is bright and shining, it can leave streaks from drying out too fast. Instead, wait until it is either cloudy or the sun is not directly shining on the windows, such as in the evening. This goes for mirrors too. Turn off any bright lights and use ambient lighting to leave a streak-less clean on these surfaces.
Places to Not Forget
While cleaning, don't forget to clean out these easy-to-forget places as you complete your spring cleaning!
- Wipe down kitchen cabinets
- Stove top fans
- Knife block
- Ceiling fans
- Crumbs in toaster
- Toothbrush holder
You'll Need to Add These 3 Things to Your Fall Chore To Do List
Fall is coming!
None of us North Dakotans want to think about the end of our warm weather and the bitter cold winter that is approaching. However, as we get into September and further into autumn weather, there are some things you will need to have on your to-do list this fall to prepare your home for winter.
Cleaning Gutters and Downspouts
This is a chore that should be done after the leaves around your home have already fallen. Clean gutters allow your home to drain rainwater properly during the winter. Proper drainage also helps prevent ice dams from forming on your roof, leading to leaks and water damage in your home.
Clean Fireplace and Replace Furnace Filter
These two moves will drastically improve the air quality in your home as well as reduce the risk of fire once the temperatures begin dropping outside and you need to keep your home warm on the inside.
Drain and Put Away Outside Hoses
During the summer, we use hoses on everything. From watering plants, to filling up a swimming pool, yet once the cold weather comes in, it's easy to forget and leave them outside. This a quick and easy step that can prevent water in the hose and pipe from freezing and causing damage in your home.
Although we hope to have a wonderful autumn this year, be sure to remember to get your chores done before the snow starts to come down.
How to Safely Set Up a Christmas Tree
Have a safe holiday season!
Every year, U.S. fire departments respond to ≈160 fires that started from a Christmas tree. These fires cause injuries and death along with millions of dollars in property damage. To keep your family and home safe this holiday season, follow these tips below.
Choosing a Tree
- If choosing a real tree, use one with fresh, green needles that do not fall off with normal movement
- Remember to water your tree daily
- If using an older tree, make sure the pieces aren't broken and are stable enough not to fall over
Lighting the Tree
- Make sure to use indoor lights and not outdoor lights
- Never leave lights on at night or while away from home
- Do not use candles as lights or have near the tree. Contact with a flame is not needed for ignition
- Replace any broken or frayed lines that are on your lights
Placing the Tree
- Do not place your tree within 3 feet of any heat sources such as fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or powerful lights
- Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 2 inches from the base of the trunk
- Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit and isn't in a path where people or pets could trip over it
Christmas is a wonderful time to celebrate with friends and family. Be sure to use caution and safety and have a great holiday season!
Tips to Keep You and Your Home Safe this Christmas
As we come towards the end of 2022, many of us are looking forward to Christmas. While some of us may still celebrate it a little differently, traditions will stay the same and it is important to stay safe while doing so. Here are some tips to keep you and your family safe.
Prepare Your Car for Winter Travel
As North Dakotans, we are used to bad winters, but it never hurts to be reminded of the basic winter travel necessities. Remember to keep plenty of gas in your vehicle and to keep your heat running in case of bad winter conditions leave you stranded on the side of the road. In your vehicle, you should also have:
- Extra blankets or coats
- Jumper cables
- Snow shovel
If traveling on Christmas:
- Make sure every person in the vehicle is properly buckled up no matter how long or short the distance traveled
- Watch for icy or dangerous conditions on the road
- Call ahead to tell someone you are on your way and when to expect arrival
For your home:
- If you plan on leaving for an extended period of time, make sure your home is heating properly and turn the water supply to your home to OFF
- Never leave open flames unattended. Whether it is a candle, fireplace, or something is cooking, don't leave those heat sources alone
- If using a live tree, cut off about 2 inches of the trunk to expose fresh wood for better water absorption. Remember to water it and remove it from your home when it is dried up
- Inspect lights for frayed or damaged wires
- Make plans for your pets to be taken care of
Christmas and the holiday season is a wonderful time of year. If you stay smart and safe, you can have an even better holiday season.
How to Reduce Health and Safety Hazards in Your Home
photo via Burst Blog post contributed by Lisa Walker of neighborhoodsprout.org
Your home is a symbol of comfort and stability. We all want a cozy, safe place to live. Unfortunately, some common threats put your family at risk. For maximum comfort, remove any health or safety hazards. Here are some ways you can protect you can protect your home and your family.
Water quality is a common hazard that is often overlooked. However, neglecting to test or treat your water could potentially make you sick, so consider putting in a home testing kit. Home water tests kits are extremely affordable and can be found for as little as $10. In order to be considered safe, your water's arsenic level must be less than 10 parts per billion. It's vital to understand that you can't purify arsenic-contaminated water by boiling it. Because arsenic does not evaporate like water does, boiling the water increases the concentration of arsenic. Instead, stop drinking or cooking with your tap water until you can install a water treatment system.
In-home mold can cause health issues. To help eliminate mold from your home, it's often best to call an experienced professional who specializes in mold remediation. For instance, SERVPRO of Bismarck provides a mold remediation service that includes inspection and assessment, followed by mold containment, air filtration, mold mitigation and remediation, and cleaning. If you suspect your home has a mold issue, the mold remediation process can help.
Fires are another home threat that could strike at any time. Place smoke detectors in each room and a fire extinguisher on each floor of your home. Replace the batteries annually, and be sure to test the smoke detector monthly.
Another way to keep your family safe in the event of a fire is to have a carefully planned escape route. The National Fire Protection Association provides online guides that will walk you through the steps for creating your own at-home fire escape plan. Because fires spread in as little as one to two minutes, it's vital to practice your escape plan as a family so that everyone knows what to do. If you don't have them already, it's also wise to purchase several fire extinguishers, one specifically for the kitchen, as well as a fire proof safe so documents and valuables are protected. Although you may not want to think about the possibility of a house fire happening to you, preparing in advance will help protect your family.
You deserve a safe, comfortable home. By taking the proper precautions, such as detecting and eliminating any potential safety hazards throughout your house, you can protect yourself and your loved ones. You'll sleep better at night with the peace of mind that comes from knowing your family, belongings, assets are safe and secure.
Contributed by Lisa Walker of neighborhoodsprout.org
Why We Use PPE
At SERVPRO of Bismarck we take pride in being able to test for, mitigate, and clean up properties that have been infested with hazardous materials, such as mold.
This is why we make sure to train our staff in all safety measures to handle the problem. One of the most important measures to take is the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
The use of PPE is important for a few reasons. Most notably, the safety of our staff and the safety and sanitation of the property. Making sure that our staff is trained in proper use and knowledge of PPE is a main priority. This allows them to be safe and focus on the job at the end, rather than worry about exposure to possibly toxic materials. When our staff knows they are safe, they can focus on providing a superior service to our customers.
We take pride in upholding the highest quality standards of safety and this is just one of the ways in which we do it.