Archived Cleaning Blog Posts
The Art and Science of Grout Cleaning
Every tile job, even those with the most precise and small grout lines, can be ruined by stained and dirty grout. Going online or to the DIY store yields a multitude of tips and tricks, some of which may work and others that are simply useless. Today, we discuss the different types of grout and what can be done to keep it clean.
Unlike many tiles, grout can be porous and over time begins to absorb both the liquid and dirt that falls to the floor through regular home use. Light grouts can turn dark very quickly and require the most care. Similarly, larger grout lines make dirt retention much more obvious. Lastly, rough grout is more susceptible to trapped dirt then smoother grout options.
If your grout is currently in good shape or if your tile has recently been installed, it may make sense to seal your grout. Sealing grout lines retains the new look while repelling liquid and dirt. However, you should be aware of a few important considerations.
- First, sealing the grout may change its color, rendering it darker. Some grout sealant is specially formulated to avoid this issue.
- Second, sealing the grout does not mean that it will be perfectly protected. Some liquid and dirt may still be able to penetrate the sealant.
- Lastly, the sealant must be reapplied on a regular basis, according to the manufacturer’s instructions, otherwise it can’t begin to break down.
There will be times where professional help is needed to bring grout back to a better condition. SERVPRO of Bellmore/Wantagh has the experience, tools and equipment to clean grout in a way that consumer products often cannot.
- Steam cleaning may be appropriate for most low-traffic applications that are not extremely dirty. Using a combination of the heat and clean water, our commercial grade equipment can effectively extract hard-to-remove stains. This method can also be effective in cleaning the tile in the room.
- For deeper, less manageable stains, sanding the grout lines and applying new grout on top may be an option. This requires far more labor and, ultimately, cost, however it can improve the aesthetics of the grout tremendously.
- Lastly, if there is no saving the grout, a complete grout removal and replacement may be the only option. This is a good time to consider replacing the tile as well, especially if it is very old and the homeowner has been considering a remodel.
Here at SERVPRO of Bellmore / Wantagh, we are proud to offer cost-effective options for floor and grout cleaning. Homeowners that stay on top of the maintenance of their floor will almost invariably reap rewards in the form of a better-looking floor for a longer period of time. We are here to help.
Practical Tips for Keeping Your Carpet Like New
The North Bellmore Fire Department needed to freshen up the fire house and used SERVPRO of Bellmore / Wantagh to clean the carpets in their lounge and
Virtually every home has a carpeted area. Carpet offers a host of benefits, however of all the floor coverings available today, it is one of the most difficult to keep fresh and clean. However, with some diligence and effort, homeowners can maintain their carpets in “like-new” condition for a long time. Following are some practical tips to help homeowners make the most of their flooring investment:
- Choose a high-quality carpet. While a low price may seem tempting, A better quality of carpet may last longer. Speak to your flooring professional to understand the differences between carpet types and brands.
- Choose the carpet type that suits your home habits. For example, those with young children or pet may wish to avoid berber or loop carpets that can easily come undone.
- Consider a carpet with built-in stain protection. These carpets have a special coating that acts to repel spills and dirt for an easier cleanup. While the stain protection is not perfect, it can certainly help.
- Clean stains as soon as possible. The best way to clean the stain is to blot with a carpet-specific cleaning solution. Do not rub this stain as it may make a bad situation worse. No matter what carpet cleaning solution you use, test a small spot in an inconspicuous area to be sure that it does not adversely affect the appearance of the carpet. There are also many organic and natural options carpet cleaning.
- Vacuum often. Depending on how heavily the carpet is used, you may wish to vacuum twice a week or more. Removing deep seated dirt sooner rather than later helps prevent the breakdown of carpet fibers as well as slowing the buildup of unseen dirt within the pile.
What About Professional Help?
A deep cleaning once every 9-12 months is it appropriate for regular carpet use. Hiring a professional like those at SERVPRO of Bellmore / Wantagh can keep your carpet smelling and looking great.
In the interim, homeowners with lots of activity may want to invest in a consumer-level deep cleaning system. These wet-vac systems range from low to moderate in price and can be very helpful when a smaller spill needs to be cleaned up right away. Of course, these systems often lack the cleaning power of a commercial system, so they are rarely appropriate for whole-house cleaning. For maintenance and larger spill, give us a call.
And of course, prevention Is always easier than a cleanup. Small, common sense moves, like removing shoes at the door can make a huge difference in the life of your carpet.
When Dusting Doesn’t Cut It
Dust is a part of everyone’s home life. It simply cannot be avoided no matter how hard we try. And while we work hard to eliminate it by dusting frequently, we may still find ourselves and our loved ones sneezing and reacting to allergens in the air.
One of the most common culprits is an often unrecognized and underappreciated system – our HVAC. Our central heating and cooling units rarely receive the attention and maintenance they need – it is often assumed that the HVAC unit is a sealed and contained such that it only spits out clean, filtered air. This is not always the case:
- Depending on the quality of the filter being used, small particles can still pass. The HVAC filter simply cannot filter out particles of that size. Of course, when choosing a filter with lower tolerances (higher filtration), it is important to remember that it will add strain to the system as less air is able to pass.
- Small dust particles as well as moisture can begin to collect in the air ducts and on the vents. While dust on the vents can easily be identified and cleaned by removing the vent, dust within the ducts requires a lot more work.
- Mold spores that pass through the HVAC system may become trapped in the ducting. Like the above, the accumulation of mold in the ducting can cause spores to dislodge regularly and cause the homeowner respiratory discomfort.
Regular service on your A/C unit can help it run at peak performance and an evaluation of your air ducts can improve the quality of the air you breathe.
Here at SERVPRO of Bellmore / Wantagh, we can evaluate your HVAC system including ductwork and offer a plan to keep it in top shape. While your ducts may or may not need a thorough cleaning now, they will sometime in the future. When it comes time to call a professional duct cleaning service, we look forward to being there for you.
While We’re There
On a related note, homeowners often overlook the cleaning of another important air duct – that of their clothes dryer. Lint builds up in the exhaust system since the lint trapper in the unit is not 100% efficient. Flexible dryer hoses only exacerbate the problem with their lint-trapping ridges. Cleaning the ductwork can be difficult depending on location of the duct and the venting. Further, excessive lint build-up can eventually cause a house fire.
If you notice that your clothes are taking longer to dry, or are not drying at all, give us a call to inspect and clean your dryer ducts for your safety and convenience.