Spring is on it’s way. Here are some helpful tips from our friends at Maidforyou.
Over 40 million homes count pets among their occupants, which means there are many people cleaning up after their animals. Pet accidents, vomit, and everyday occurrences like hairballs and shed fur make things challenging for pet owners. If you can relate to this, follow these tips when cleaning your home and things will be much simpler and more harmonious.
Potty training is one of the best things pet owners can do to make their lives easier. It should take place within the first 90 days and if successful, should prevent indoor accidents. If small pets must be left alone for long periods, a potty training pad is recommended. If an accident does occur on a floor or carpet, it should be immediately cleaned up using the proper cleaning solution. Carpet cleaning is most effective when an enzyme cleaner is used.
Dogs and cats tend to shed, keeping their owners busy with sweeping and vacuuming. Hard floors should be swept or vacuumed daily and mopped as needed. Vacuuming frequency depends on number of pets. The recommendation is once per week for each large pet or human. Therefore, carpets in a three-person, one-dog household should be vacuumed every other day. A deep carpet cleaning should be performed when carpets appear dingy or vacuuming does not remove debris.
Some pets, especially cats, find a piece of furniture and call it home. To avoid having to vacuum this item every day, place a towel or blanket over it. This protects the upholstery and keeps the pet cozy. Remove this covering weekly, wash it, and replace it. If pets sleep on the bed at night, keep the bedroom door closed during the day or put a cover over the bedding and wash it weekly.
Use pet-friendly cleaning products when dusting, wiping, and mopping surfaces. Otherwise, pets may lick or breathe the substance and become ill. If you must use cleaning products that contain bleach, prevent pets from accessing the area during cleaning and wipe the surfaces with water after applying the bleach cleaner.
Keep an old towel or rag by the door pets use for outside access. Wipe paws before permitting the animal to reenter the home. During winter, wipe paws with water to remove salt from them. Purchase a low-profile mat for both inside and outside this door. When pets walk over it, loose dirt will be removed from their paws and deposited on the mat.
Courtesy of our friends at: BusyBee Cleaning Service
Caring for Commercial Carpets
Carpet makes any area a welcoming spot and with so many styles, colors, and patterns available, it can also enhance the ambiance of an environment by complementing the décor. Carpeting an area helps to deaden sound and if cared for properly, it can help improve the quality of indoor air. Caring for carpets is one of the things that commercial cleaning services do best and they are now revealing their secrets.
Hard floors enable dust, dirt, and other indoor particulates to easily redistribute themselves to the indoor air. Carpeting traps contaminants so they do not become airborne, filtering the indoor air. To perform this task most effectively, carpet cannot be overloaded with dirt and debris. This makes regular vacuuming and periodic hot water extraction a must. When it is regularly subject to this preventative maintenance, carpet will last longer, saving the building owner money.
Matting at the entrance to the building and carpeting in high traffic areas should be vacuumed daily. Less-traveled carpeting should be vacuumed two or three times each week. Removal of dry particulates from carpets through regular vacuuming makes intensive cleaning a less frequent occurrence. Cleaning professionals use ergonomically designed vacuums that are comfortable and clean all types of carpet fibers thoroughly.
However, even the most comprehensive regular vacuuming regimen cannot remove every bit of soil. Ground-in debris and greasy substances can cling to carpet fibers and a vacuum may not be able to remove them. Professionals use customized techniques and special equipment to remove these particulates. A dry cleaning process called encapsulation is easy and inexpensive way to remove soil in between deep cleanings.
Spots can easily develop on commercial carpets so professionals have box extractors, chemical solutions, and microfiber cloths on hand to perform carpet spotting to remove these. Hot water extraction is the ultimate in carpet cleaning and should be performed at least once a year. This process restores carpet fibers to an unsoiled condition so they can filter indoor air most effectively. Portable extraction machines are very expensive so many businesses find it more cost-effective to contract deep cleanings for carpeting.
When carpets are professionally deep cleaned, all the cleaning solutions and water are removed. This prevents rapid resoiling, soil wicking, fiber damage, off-gassing, and odor issues. It also increases their ability to improve indoor air quality, and they remain this way for a longer time, extending their life.
Source: BusyBee Cleaning Service
Getting Ready for Your First Open House
Your real estate agent may prepare the fact sheets, post advertisements, and run the open house, but if you don’t do your part, it won’t be a success. It’s up to sellers to get their homes ready for the open house. If you’re preparing to host your first open house, this is what you need to do to make it a success.
Make Your House Sparkle
The most important thing to do before an open house is make your home impeccably clean. A pre-open house cleaning should go beyond your normal cleaning to scrub, polish, and dust every corner of the house. If you don’t have the time or energy for a deep cleaning, a one-time cleaning service is an affordable solution. Since damaged walls and floors make a clean house look unkempt, this is also the time to repaint walls and repair or replace damaged flooring.
Step Up Your Curb Appeal
Some of your open house attendees will be people who noticed the event while passing by. But if your home doesn’t look inviting from the outside, they aren’t likely to step in for a closer look. Follow the DIY Network’s tips for adding curb appeal on even the smallest of budgets, like repainting the front door and trim, installing a new mailbox and house numbers, replacing exterior light fixtures, and adding container plants. Of course, you should also make sure your lawn looks its best by keeping it manicured and repairing bare patches in advance.
Pare Down Belongings
No matter how well-organized it is, if you have too much stuff, your house is going to look cramped and cluttered. Furnishing your home with just the basics, on the other hand, gives buyers the impression that there’s plenty of space for their stuff. It also makes for better pictures and easier navigation while prospective buyers tour the home. Declutter and pack before the open house rather than waiting until moving day. Address not only small clutter but also excess furniture. If you don’t want to get rid of it, rent a storage facility until you can move everything to the new house.
Make Major Repairs
Don’t make your agent explain to prospective buyers how you plan to have the sagging gutters or the overworked HVAC system replaced before selling. If your house needs significant repairs before it’s sold, handle them before hosting an open house.
Make Minor Repairs
Some issues are minor but give the impression that your home hasn’t been cared for. You should fix minor issues that can turn off buyers. While you may think something as insignificant as a missing light bulb wouldn’t dissuade buyers, it could be enough to sway the decision when it’s a choice between two comparable homes.
Stage a Scene
Now that you’ve made your home into a blank slate, it’s time for the final details of home staging. A few well-placed throw pillows, place settings on the dining table, plush bathroom linens, and eye-catching decorations can turn a basic house into a dream home. Remember that staging isn’t about decorating to your tastes. Rather, the goal is to highlight your home’s best features and inspire prospective buyers to imagine living there. For tips on how to stage your home, see these staging suggestions from Elle Decor.
When it comes to preparing for an open house, cleaning and tidying isn’t enough. If you want your open house to be worth your while, your house needs to look its very best for the event. Follow these tips and ask your agent for advice on the best way to stage for your local market.
Suzie Wilson is an interior designer with more than 20 years experience. What started as a hobby (and often, a favor to friends) turned into a passion for creating soothing spaces in homes of every size and style. While her goal always includes making homes look beautiful, her true focus is on fashioning them into serene, stress-free environments that inspire tranquility in all who enter. The Ultimate Guide to Prepping Your Home for an Open House is filled with tips, tricks and other advice based on Suzie’s years of experience in interior home design that will set you up for success.
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How to Improve the Air Quality in Your Home and Keep Your Kids Healthy
We all know how important a healthy environment is for children. However, one factor that often goes unnoticed in a home is air quality. Since air quality is hard to sense, it can be difficult to recognize problems. And even when you know there’s a problem, it’s hard to know how to fix it. Here’s some information to help you understand the impact of air quality in your home, as well as how to reduce pollutants and learn to spot the signs of pulmonary diseases in children.
Factors That Impact Air Quality
It’s no secret that the outside world contains all kinds of pollutants. Although it may feel like you’re keeping your family safe from those pollutants, the air quality in your home could actually be up to 10 times worse than outdoor pollution. The primary reason is that potential pollutants can build up easier in contained areas than in open spaces. Since you often can’t see or smell pollutants, the air quality in your home can get poor before anyone realizes it.
Chemicals are one the most common causes of poor air quality. Every home has some level of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are released from a variety of household materials, such as wood preservatives, solvents and paints, cleaning products, and aerosol fragrances. You can cut down on harmful effects from VOCs by storing such products outside of the house and making sure you’re in a well-ventilated area when you do use them. Also, many cleaning products and new furniture items contain zero to low VOCs, so being pickier when you choose these products can help protect your family. Controlling the moisture and temperature in your home — particularly in climates with high humidity and fluctuating temperatures — is another way to improve the air quality in your home.
Along with VOCs, humidity, and extreme temperatures, allergens are also a common cause of poor air quality. One of the first things you should do to reduce allergens in your home is to purchase an air purifier, which also goes a long way in helping kids who suffer from asthma. There are several high-quality purifiers to choose from, so do your research, read reviews, and pick one that you think will meet your needs. A few of the best selling air purifiers on the market today are the IQAir HealthPro Plus, Alen BreatheSmart-Pure, and Rabbit Air MinusA2. The right air purifier for you will depend on whether you’re targeting particular allergens, your budget, how much space you have, and whether you’re concerned with the purifier’s sound.
In addition to purifying the air, you can take several additional steps to reduce allergens from in your home. For instance, utilizing the air conditioner spreads fewer allergens into the air than ceiling fans, wall fans, or the breeze from an open window. Also, cleaning rugs, carpet, bedding, and drapes regularly will help remove irritants. A natural way to purify the air is to add indoor plants, which are natural air filters, to the inside of your home.
Watching Out for Pulmonary Diseases
Pulmonary diseases affect the airways and other structures of the lungs. Long-term exposure to air pollutants and allergens for a child impacted by a pulmonary disease can result in infection, difficulty breathing, and a decrease in lung function. Since children have lungs that are still growing, indoor air pollutants and allergens have a larger impact on their respiratory functions. Some pulmonary diseases children face are asthma, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cold, cough, and pneumonia. Some of these cannot be prevented, but they can be mitigated and sometimes avoided by keeping children away from pollutants and irritants.
We may want to protect our children from harm and wish we could place them in a bubble to prevent illness and injury. However, the reality is that there’s a certain amount of exposure they will have to things that can harm them. While our children are susceptible to indoor and outdoor pollutants, irritants, and allergens, those risks can be mitigated with air purification, regular cleaning of the home, and minimizing the spread of pollutants.
courtesy of our very own guest columnist Alice Robertson
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