Recent Cleaning Posts

Hey Belfast - Time To Check AQI & Get Outside

4/30/2019 (Permalink)

Check AQI & Get Outside

We're all very fortunate to live in the great state of Maine... and honestly, there are few parts of the state that are better than Belfast, Camden, Rockland and the surrounding areas. 

Did you know that is Air Quality Awareness Week?

It's one of those designated holidays that doesn't get much face time from the major news outlets. 

Officially, Air Quality Awareness Week is April 29 - May 3, 2019.

Believe it or not, this holiday even has a theme…  the 2019 theme is “Check AQI & Get Outside.”

AQI – Air Quality Index

At this point you’re probably asking yourself, what is AQI?

Let us spare you any more suspense…

AQI stands for Air Quality Index.  In a nutshell the AQI is an indicator which attempts to predict high levels of air pollution and inform you how these conditions may affect your health.

Believe it or not, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been bringing the latest air quality information to the nation for over 20 years. 

As part of this commitment, they have created resources including maps, current air quality information as well as air quality forecasts for cities across the country.

So where can you find information about air quality in our neck of the woods?

We are fortunate that our local broadcasters make this information part of their weather forecast… especially when the pollution levels are forecast to be on the rise.  But if you want to have air quality alerts sent to your email or apps available on your phone, check out EnviroFlash.

Effects of Poor Air Quality

From time to time, many of us will find ourselves in parts of the country which may be negatively affected by less than optimal air quality.  Air pollution affects everyone’s health.  However, there are segments of the population who are often more susceptible to these negative effects.

So who is most at risk?

The people most at risk during times when the AQI score is high include, babies and small children, the elderly, people who exercise or work outside and people with asthma or lung disease.  The good news is, no matter how badly you are affected by poor air quality days, there are steps you can take to help minimize these effects.

When poor air quality is at the highest levels on the AQI, to help protect yourself as well as those most susceptible by rescheduling outdoor activities until levels drop and spend more time indoors.  If you do have to exercise or work outdoors during these periods, consider reducing your activity level.

Taking It All In

As Mainers we are fortunate… there are very few days of the year when we are at the mercy of poor air quality.  However, no matter how lucky we may be, knowledge is still our first defense to suffering any harmful effects.

Before we get into the season when we are most likely to experience these elevated pollution days, consider having our trained staff inspect and clean air ducts and HVAC.  Your ventilation system may be the most important thing to limit your exposure to outside conditions.

You can always reach us at 207-338-1850.

If you want to learn more about Air Quality Awareness Week or the AQI, visit the Environment Protection Agency.

Enjoy Mud Season in Maine Without Destroying Your Home

4/24/2019 (Permalink)

Enjoying Mud Season in Maine

It’s that time of the year again: mud season!

As Mainers we look forward to being off road and enjoying our ‘mudding’… the part of this season we don’t enjoy is trying to keep it from destroying our home.

Let’s face it… mud season is one of the toughest seasons on the home, especially if you live with dogs, children or guests who seem to always forget the havoc that muddy footprints can have on your floors, carpets and even furniture.

So, where can we find a balance… enjoy the season, and save our home?

We put together a few key tips that will help you prevent mud from getting all over your house…

Oh, and by the way, we know no matter how hard you try, the mud is getting in…

So, we’ll lay out a few tips for cleaning some of those areas that might suffer mother nature’s muddy wrath…

Keep The Mud Outside

The best way to deal with mud in the home is to prevent it from entering in the first place!

While that may sound easier said than done, there are a number of things you can do to help prevent mud from getting tracked inside.  The trick is getting all of the kids and pets to work with you to keep the excess mud outside.

Create a Mud Room

If you don’t already have a mud room at your home, then the best idea is to create one… it can be used for every season of the year, not just mud season.

But, you’re probably saying 'I can’t afford to add a room onto my home'… not problem, find an area nearest to the door and transform it into a makeshift mud room.

A “mud room” is essentially a designated room or area for muddy shoes, boots, clothing, gardening gloves or anything else that has the potential to track mud inside the house.

A mud room keeps all of that unwanted mud confined to a single location, so you only need to wash and sweep in one space instead of the entire house.

How can you transform an area into a mud room?

Click Here to get some mud room creation ideas that should get your creative juices flowing.

Place a Mud Mat in Front of Every Door

Mud mats can be placed in front of every door that leads to the outside.  Back doors, front doors, side doors, sliding glass doors—the more, the merrier!  

The best mud mat should be made out of material such as rubber or plastic; you don’t want material that’s going to absorb or get stained with the mud, dirt and debris that gets stomped out from muddy shoes and boots.

Have Mud Rags and Boot Trays at Every Entrance

Other helpful items to have by every entrance are mud rags (or towels) and boot trays.  

Boot trays are perfect for keeping all of those muddy shoes and boots in a space that won’t touch the floor. 

If you want to try something a bit fore organized, give shoe racks a try.  The objective is obviously to keep the muddy shoes & boots off the floor.

As for your mud rags, make sure that they are easily accessible at the entryway.  A mud rag or towel will make it easy to wipe down shoes, boots, prints, clothes or anything else that needs to be cleaned before the person (or pet) can come inside.

As residents in Belfast, Camden, Rockland or any of the surrounding areas, we are fans of This Old House

Check out these mud room design ideas from This Old House.

Mud Cleaning Tips

As we mentioned earlier, no matter how hard you try and how many precautions you take during mud season, there will always be mud that finds its way into your home.  

Maybe one of your kids bolted inside and forgot to take off their muddy shoes; maybe your dog took off ahead of you after coming in from a walk and left his muddy paw prints running up and down the kitchen space.  

Whatever the reason and however the mud got inside, one thing is certain: you need to get it cleaned up ASAP to avoid damaging the floors in your home.

Here are some cleaning tips to keep in mind when cleaning mud out of the most common household spaces and objects.

Linoleum 

  • Do not rub or scrub mud as it will get into the pitted grooves of the flooring
  • Blot wet mud… but do not rub or scrub
  • Use a dust mop to get up as much dried mud as possible
  • Mop with warm water to remove rest of mud debris

Hardwood 

  • Clean wet mud quickly with warm water and a rag
  • If mud is dried, use a combination of warm water with a dash of dish soap to help loosen up mud before wiping with wet rag
  • Do not scrub or rub mud into the flooring

Carpet

  • Let the mud dry completely before you try to clean it
  • Vacuum dry mud slowly
  • Use mixture of dish washing detergent and lukewarm water to blot into remaining mud until the mud stain is removed
  • Do not rub the mud into the carpet, especially if it is wet or damp

Clothing 

  • Always let mud dry before attempting to remove
  • Never rub or scrub at wet mud as this will cost deep seated staining in the fabric
  • Shake, brush and scrape off dry mud off clothes
  • Pretreat clothes with detergent and stain remover to handle remaining mud stains
  • For very muddy clothing, soak in detergent solution for 30 minutes or even overnight depending on the extent of the mud

What If You Can’t Get The Mud Out?

Sometimes no matter how hard you try excessive mud can damage your floors, carpets and furniture.  When this happens, it’s time to call in your highly trained, local cleaning professionals from SERVPRO of Belfast/Camden/Rockland.

The bottom line… mud season doesn’t have to be a mess!

Start out with some preventative measures to keep excessive mud out of your home.  Clean whatever gets in as soon as possible.

If it’s more than you can handle, reach out to us at 207-338-1850.

Keeping Your Carpets Clean During Winter

2/9/2017 (Permalink)

Winter in Maine means snow

Let's face it, winter in Maine means snow... lot's of snow.

Dealing with cleaning all this snow means that eventually the snow, ice, salt and sand eventually makes it into you house... and eventually into your carpets. This can take a toll on your carpets and keeping up with cleaning can be a challenge.

So what can you do?

Here are a few tips to help:

Remove Your Shoes - It isn't always easy to take off your shoes and boots when you first walk into your home after cleaning snow.

If you set up a basket or rubber mat near your door, it will give you a place to put your wet boots. As an added bonus, if you get into a habit of doing this, this will help save your carpets during mud season as well.

Use Throw Rugs - Let's be honest, we can't always take our shoes off immediately when we walk into the house. So, consider strategically using throw rugs. Throw rugs can take the brunt of the damage from the dirt, rain and snow.

Place throw rugs in main traffic and transition areas, then when they get dirt, you can throw them into the laundry to clean them.

Vacuum, Vacuum, Vacuum - Vacuuming your carpets more often will help increase their life. Focus your energy on main traffic and transitions areas.

Let It Dry - Most of the dirt coming into your home comes in wet... snow, rain, mud... letting it dry completely will often make it easier to clean, usually with just a vacuum.

Call The Professionals - No matter how dedicated you are about cleaning and vacuuming winter has a way of just getting ahead of you and damaging your carpets.

When it get's to be more than you can handle, give the professionals at SERVPRO of Belfast/Camden/Rockland to get the dirt out. Reach us at 338-1850

Protecting your carpets from winter weather is a constant fight, but by using these tips, you can prolong it's life and save yourself some money.

Tips For Stress Free Holiday House Cleaning

11/4/2016 (Permalink)

Enjoying Thanksgiving Dinner with family

The holiday season can be a time of joy as we spend time visiting with friends and family, creating memories and sharing the moments that make life special.

However, there is often a lot of stress that proceeds all these wonderful moments.

One of the most stressful parts of the holiday season is having family members coming to visit. It can be like having a group of inspectors stopping by to give you're home the once over.

This can cause any host, to go overboard trying to make sure that their home passes inspection!

So, let's look a few tips to help you find a happy medium and avoid added holiday stress by going overboard.

1. Look at Your Home With the Eye of a Visitor - We may hate to admit it, but how often do we go into a friend or relatives house and we notice those things that are out of place or need repair... TOO OFTEN!

Well, now is the time to put our "visitor's eye" to good use. Start outside of your home and walk in as if you were coming to visit. Walk through all the areas of your home where visitors are likely to be during their visit. Make notes about the imperfections you see.

2. Prioritize & Create a Plan - Once you have your notes of the areas that need to be taken care of before your guests arrive, prioritize them. Number the items in the order of the "must complete" to "it would be nice" to complete before the holiday arrives.

Once you have your plan of attack, next is to schedule when you will attack it. We all lead busy lives and by adding new things to the day, we runt the risk of creating more stress for ourselves.

By scheduling when you will do these things gives you structure and allows you to slowly and methodically complete your list. As you schedule your list, consider only tackling 1 major project a day and spreading the list over a week or so.

3. Concentrate on the Most Important Areas - Sometimes when we use our "visitor's eye" we are still overly critical because it is our home. We sometimes fail to cut ourselves any slack and feel like everything is a priority.

Well remember, these tips are supposed to help eliminate or at least limit the amount of stress you feel when getting your home clean and ready to greet holiday guests.

So, if your list makes you overwhelmed or you're not sure what is the highest priority, them focus on the main areas your guests will see.

Focus your cleaning efforts on the kitchen, bathrooms, dining room and guest bedrooms.

Let's face it, these are the places where your guests are likely to spend the most time during their visit. By concentrating your efforts in these areas, you put your best foot forward where you need it most.

Are You In Over Your Head?

Sometimes, no matter how hard we try or home much we prioritize, getting our home into visitor shape may be more than we can handle before a holiday. If that's the case, don't hesitate to reach out to the professionals.

SERVPRO of Belfast/Camden/Rockland is a phone call away from being able to help put your holiday cleaning mind at ease.

5 Tips For Keeping Your Carpet Clean This Summer

8/16/2016 (Permalink)

Keeping your carpet clean all Sumer

Keeping your carpets clean during the Summer is no easy task.  Summer can be one of the most trafficked times of the year throughout your home.

Your children are home from school and they're in and out of the house all day long.  While this is a great thing for getting plenty of exercise and having great fun, every time they come in and out they are unwittingly bring in dirt, grass, mud and who knows what else.

Let's not forget about all of the out of town visitors we get this time of year.  We all have family and friends who come to visit us during the Summer.

After all, who can blame them?  They want to enjoy all the wonderful outdoor activities that Maine has to offer.  

Then there are the graduation parties, family reunions and cookouts which make the Summer one of the best times of the year.  These all add to the wear and tear on your carpet.

But, there are some simple things you can do to help protect your carpet and make it last for years to come.  Here are 5 tips to keep your carpet looking new:

1.  Vacuum Often - Vacuuming on a regular basis will help to keep any dust and dirt from getting embedded into your carpet.  The more traffic you have on your carpet, the deeper the dirt and allergens get trapped into the fibers.

2.  Clean Stains Immediately - The longer a stain remains on your carpet, the more difficult it is to remove.  So clean any spills right away.  

Start with a dry cloth to absorb the liquid, then use a damp cloth to blot the stain.  Rubbing a stain will often ruin the fibers of your carpet.  If you are not able to get the stain out, it may be time to call in a professional.

3.  Take Off Shoes - Making it a general rule to take off shoes when everyone comes into home will help to keep the soil and other debris on the bottom of shoes from becoming embedded into your carpet.  While some guests may not feel comfortable doing this, most will and this one thing alone can add years to the life of your carpet.

4.  Use Area Rugs, Runners and Mats - Having area rugs in the rooms of your home which get the highest volume of traffic can enhance the beauty it's beauty while protecting your carpet.  

Placing runners in the hallways which lead to the rooms that are most frequented by visitors is also a good idea.  

Having mats at the entrances to your home helps your visitors to remember to wipe their feet before coming in, so even if they don't take off their shoes, there will be less dirt getting into your house.

5.  Get Your Carpet Professionally Cleaned - Most people buy or rent a carpet cleaning machine for this.  Unfortunately by doing it yourself, you run the risk of damaging the fibers of your carpet with harsh detergents and hot temperatures.  

This can be avoided by calling the professional cleaners of SERVPRO of Belfast/Camden/Rockland.  We will have your carpet looking and smelling fresh and clean in no time.

Summertime should be fun-time in Maine.  Whether you live in Belfast, Camden, Rockland or anywhere in Waldo, Knox or Hancock counties, SERVPRO of Belfast/Camden/Rockland is ready to remove any stains, dust and allergens from your carpet.

Call us today and get back outdoors enjoying Maine.

Benefits of Getting Your Boat Professionally Cleaned

7/29/2016 (Permalink)

Sailing the coast of Maine

Getting out on your boat is a great feeling.  You take your boat out on one the lakes across our great state of Maine or onto the ocean, just riding the coast checking out some of our famous lighthouses, it's all about fun on the water.

But whether you own a 30 foot boat or a yacht, having your vessel in prime condition is the key to your continued enjoyment while out on the water.

Most boat owners focus primarily on the need to keep the motor working in peak condition and cleaning the hull after a day of fun on the water.  But, equally important is cleaning all the other areas of your boat.

Why Professionally Clean Your Boat

So what are some of the benefits of getting your boat or yacht professionally cleaned?

1. It will keep your boat looking great

2.. It will help your boat maintain it's value

3. It will find damage while it is small, so you can fix it before it gets worse

Detailing or professionally cleaning all areas of your boat is a must to avoid potential expenses in the future.  We all know what some of the harsh conditions your boat can be subjected to in Maine, but some of these things may surprise you.

A deep cleaning of your boat will likely reveal not only exposure to the elements, salt water, humidity and moisture, but other potential hazards such as dirt, bugs and spiders.

Keep in mind that there are many different surfaces throughout your boat.  Using only one item to clean your entire boat just won't do.  You need experts who have the equipment and expertise to get the job done.

SERVPRO of Belfast/Camden/Rockland has been helping boat owners in Maine for decades.  Our experience and attention to detail is unmatched.

Let us help you and your boat. Call us today for a Free Estimate.