Posts Tagged "cleaning"

How Can I Tell If My Gutters Are Blocked?

Think about the last time you thought about your gutters? I’ll just wait right here while you think.

If you’re like most people, you probably can’t remember. Gutters are just … there. Most of the time they just seem ornamental. They attach to the roof and really, that’s it. I mean, why know why they exist: they allow for water to get off the roof and flow into the drains, but really, they just seem so simple that they just blend into obscurity.

But blocked gutters can cause very expensive problems. When water can’t get off your property through the drainage system as it is supposed to, it can cause major issues to the structural integrity of your home. Just remember what water does to metal and wood.

And what is your roof made out of? That’s right. Metal and wood.

If your gutters are blocked, the water will pool, and one of the places it will pool, is your roof. So if you don’t want rot and rust causing roof leaks, here are some ways of determining whether you have a problem with your gutters before it hopefully is a problem:

Check your gutters to see if they are overflowing during normal rain events.

There is a limit to the amount of water a gutter can divert off the roof at any one time, so overflowing gutters can happen during strong rain events. But if they happen during normal to low rain events, then you might have a problem. The water’s clearly not able to flow into the downpipes, which means it could be pooling on your roof, or overflowing down your walls, which is an issue we’ll talk about soon.

Do you notice your gutters drooping from your roof?

Water is actually quite heavy, surprisingly heavy. When it falls like rain, the weight of the water doesn’t matter, as long as it flows off the roof, along the gutters and down the drainpipe. But when a blocked gutter causes water to pool, the accumulation of the water becomes quite heavy. Gutters are not designed to support excessive weight for long periods of time, so they may begin to droop and sag away from your roofs if the water-logged weight of the blockage is too much.

Do you notice insects, birds and rodents spending a lot of time around your gutters?

Blocked gutters usually consist of a handful of things; water, soil and vegetation (e.g. sticks, twigs, leaves etc). Standing water attracts insects, like mosquitoes. The sticks and twigs attract birds who are nesting, as they are good nesting material. And the warm seclusions and protection of a blocked gutters provides safety to small rodents from predators. If you notice these animals and insects spending excessive amounts of time around your gutters, it’s because something is attracting them, and that something might be a blockage of water, soil and vegetation.

Speaking of vegetation, do you notice plants actually growing in your gutters?

As we said in the previous section, blocked gutters usually consist at least of water, soil and vegetation. And what do plants need to grow? Water, soil and sunlight. If your gutters are blocked with water and soil, they are a great place for plants to grow as the third thing they need, sunlight, is in ready supply.

So, if you’ve already noticed any of these things already happening, bringing in the professionals, like these gutter cleaners in Brisbane, may just be the best money you can spend.

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Cleaning Your Carpets Can Literally Increase Your Property Sell Price

When getting your house ready to sell, sometimes the small details can get overlooked because the big details overshadow them. You decide to renovate the kitchen because it looks a bit run down and you think a new kitchen can greatly increase your sell price. You get someone in to repaint your interior and exterior walls, you fix up the back fence, you knock down a wall because you want to create an ‘open plan’. These are all things you are doing to increase the sale of your house.

Do you know that a lot of that might come to naught if you overlook one tiny, seemingly insignificant thing: clean carpets.

We’ll tell you a few reasons why getting your carpets cleaned could be one of the most important things you can do.

People Make First Impressions Very Quickly

There’ve been studies on how long people take to make first impressions of other people, and some say that most people make their first impressions of other people in less than one second. Others researchers studied how long it took to arrive to first impressions regarding property, and their research put that number at under 30 seconds. While those are surprising numbers, what became more surprising was what happened after those first impressions. Given more exposure to a person or the property, people weren’t inclined to change their first impressions; instead, people used that extra time to reconfirm their initial judgements, rather than remain open-minded to the possibility that their first judgements were wrong.

When a potential buyer enters your home, one of the first things they see is your carpets. Do you want to give them the first impression of a clean, sparkling, fresh home, rather than a dingy, dirty, dusty, dank dungeon? Then clean your carpets.

Your house has a smell. It smells of you. That may not be a good thing.

A bigger factor on first impressions than even sight … is smell. When a prospective buyers opens the door, the first thing they will likely encounter, even before the sight of your carpets, is the smell of your house. Sometimes smell can hit with the force of a heavy weight boxer.

You may not even notice it, but that’s because you’re used to it. You’ve lived with it every day, but someone entering the room for the first time has come from their own world of smells, and now they’re coming to your world.

And the smell doesn’t have to be of something bad. It could be just your deodorant, or your shampoo. But it’s a smell that says to the prospective buyer, ‘Someone already lives here, and that someone isn’t you.’

But cleaning your carpets introduces a new smell, a smell that covers over the smell of you with the smell of freshness. A prospective buyer coming in to your house, being hit with the smell of freshly shampooed carpets are no longer thinking that they don’t belong in this house; they are thinking positively about what is to come. Their first impression is positive, and as we have seen, people, once they have a first impression, often double down on it to prove to themselves their initial judgement was correct.

Real Estate Agents do it. Why not you?

When a tenant leaves a house, they are usually told by their real estate agents to clean their carpets. So … if someone whose job it is to see homes and to bring in renters to live in homes tells people that are leaving to clean their carpets, doesn’t that seem good advice to people like us?

Bringing in the professional carpet cleaners may seem, at first, to be an annoying extra payment that you have to make, but it could easily be the difference between a sale and not.

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Professional Pressure Washing – the Pros and Cons of doing it yourself

washing

A lot of people will convince themselves that it is easy to clean up with a pressure washer. All you have to do is aim the water towards the dirty spots, and then everything is sparkling clean. But there are some things that need to be considered.

The Case FOR Doing It Yourself

First and foremost, cost is a factor. It will cost money to hire someone to do the job. Have you got a hose? One with a fancy spray gun? With different spray patterns, from soft to hard? Not good enough! If you don’t have a friend who owns a proper pressure hose, you will have to hire one, but that should not be very expensive.

The Case AGAINST Doing It Yourself

While your hose with its hard spray nozzle might be good for cleaning small items, like the plant pots or dirty birdbaths, it will not make a big impression on big projects. And big projects mean so much work and effort on your part. While you power wash a house or other building, you may not be able to reach some of the nooks and crannies with an “amateur” hose. Even using your hired or borrowed equipment, the problem remains that you may need to climb on ladders in order to reach the difficult areas. Doing that on the average household ladder, with a stronger than average washing wand in your hand, could lead to dangerous falls and damage to more than just your body or the components of the building you are trying to clean. I hate to mention it, and I hope it doesn’t give you nightmares, but if your toes or fingers are in the way of a pressure cleaner ….. I’ll leave you to extrapolate that thought.

The Case FOR a Professional

Firstly, the professional, like those that can find looking for Baton Rouge pressure washing companies, would know exactly what sort of pressure is required for the different types of surfaces. Really seriously heavy pressure is not the answer for some surfaces. You don’t know (until it is too late) if a particular wall or roofing material is going to be able to cope with the jets of water you are sending their way. But the professional knows. And he (or she) is experienced in handling all the equipment that is required, and whether chemicals or natural cleaners are best to use in particular situations, and in what concentrations.  And they would be doing this work over and over, and are used to the hard work that is required to do it properly. Enough said.

The Case AGAINST a Professional

The only problem I see, is that you need to ensure that the person you are going to pay to clean up your project is really as good as they say they area. Fancy websites means that the website creator knows what he (or she) is doing, but you may need to dig a little deeper and find out what their previous customers say on their reviews page.

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Your carpet has something to tell you

And it’s not a nice story.  Have a look at it. What do you think? It’s soft / warm / hard / patterned / plain / blue / beige …… But a place where monsters hide?? Well, they’re here. And they love it. The dust mites, the fleas, and the bed bugs. You can’t see them. But they’re there. Little monsters, but monsters nevertheless.

I would hazard a guess that you clean up your house from time to time. The carpet gets a quick go-over with the sweeper, which picks up the surface dirt and litter that seems to magically appear when you have little children.

However, every day we shed skin cells and hair, not in huge quantities and it’s hard to notice. Except when the sun shines in and highlights the dust in the air. Have you seen that? That’s your dust – your own skin cells. And all that dust settles on your carpet, and can fall into the pile, right down to the base of the carpet.

And of course that is what dust mites, bed bugs and fleas love to feast on. Yeeww!

A dust mite is an extremely tiny creature. Mama dust mites are able to multiply at a great rate. We are told that they leave their excrement in the carpet, and they are very prolific in that activity. Now I agree, a tiny creature doesn’t make a lot of excrement, but multiply one tiny creature by hundreds … thousands …..

So, go and get out the vacuum cleaner. Do a thorough job, as best as you can. But I have to tell you that vacuuming alone is not able to rid the carpet of all of the little critters lurking therein, together with their food sources and their waste products. The carpet pile is shielding them, to an extent. They can shelter down at the base of the carpet, and the vacuum doesn’t reach them.

I hope I haven’t alarmed you too greatly, but the story needs to be told. To deal with the problem, there is something you can do. I would recommend that a regular, proper, fully fledged carpet shampoo is a must. There are shampoo machines, and there are shampoo machines …. Some decidedly more efficient than others. The best, most powerful, machines are the ones that the professionals use. They can’t be hired at the supermarket, because they need a trained operator, a person who knows exactly how to do the job, what buttons to push, and what solutions are required for each particular type of floor covering. These super-machines, such as the ones Cairns carpet cleaning companies use, thoroughly clean the carpet, causing the contaminants to come loose, and then all is vacuumed away using another super-machine, to leave the carpets smelling fresh and squeaky clean, and you with a smile on your face.

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Thinking of cleaning out your gutters yourself? Beware!

Gutters can become blocked with all manner of stuff; usually it is vegetation and dirt, but sometimes they can become blocked with wasp or bee hives, dead birds and animals, tree branches and the like. Sometimes it’s difficult to determine whether or not your gutters are blocked. From you angle on the ground, you can’t see inside the gutters themselves. But other times, it is a lot easier. Water overflows the gutters in even normal rain showers, or there are plants and grass actually growing out of the gutters.

Whatever reasons might cause you to suspect your gutter is blocked, you might decide that it is time to give the gutter a good, old fashioned, cleanout. You also might decide that you should just do it yourself. It will save you money, and really, how hard can it be? You just climb a ladder, and dig around in the gutters a bit.

That is where we say, whoa, hold you horses. Perhaps gutter cleaning is not as safe and easy as you think, and perhaps it is best to leave the gutter cleaning to the professionals. Here are some reasons why you might reconsider doing the gutter cleaning yourself:

Working at heights is dangerous if you’re not used to it.

It only takes one wrong movement, one moment of lapsed concentration, and before you realise it, you’ve overbalanced and taken a fall. Cleaning gutters requires you to get off the ground, sometimes it might only be a few feet, sometimes it might be a few metres. But even a fall from a few feet can cause you a serious injury, if you land badly, and a fall from a few metres can easily be fatal.

Professional gutter cleaners are used to working at heights. It is their job, it is what they are trained to do, and sometimes it just makes sense to let the professionals do what they are trained to do.

Working from ladders is dangerous if you’re not used to them.

You look at ladders, and they look easy enough to climb. They have footholds, handholds, everything you need.

But things are different when you are at the other end of the ladder, when you’re high in the air, and your only means of support is the ladder on which you stand.

So, first thing you need to do is look at your ladder. Is it really something you would trust your life with. Is it old and rusty? Is it even tall enough? Is the base secure enough?

Now, look at the land on which the base will be placed? Is it level? Is it bumpy? Might the ladder move while you are climbing it?

Now, look at where you are going to place the ladder? When cleaning a gutter, the most obvious structure that you will place the ladder against is the gutter itself. But the thing about cleaning blocked gutters is the fact that you are cleaning a gutter that is blocked. By this, we mean, this is a gutter that is being blocked with vegetation and mud and all manner of stuff. By the very nature of the fact that it is blocked, water has probably not been able to flow down the drain, therefore the blocked will likely be water-sodden. Water is heavy, and drains are not designed to support heavy weights for long periods of time.

The water laden blockage could be causing your gutters to sag and come loose from the roof. And now you want to place a ladder against it and risk your life and well-being on something that might be compromised?

Unless you really know what you are doing, or you are a professional, these are just a few more reasons why you shouldn’t do the cleaning yourself.

What’s in the gutters might be dangerous.

You don’t know what’s in your gutters. The vegetation and dirt that is blocking your gutters are very inviting to all manner of animals, such as snakes and vermin. Standing pools of water attract disease carrying mosquitos. Birds like gutters as well, and the gutters could be full of bird poop. The likelihood is that there are many things in that gutter that you don’t want to put your hands anywhere near.

So, just leave it up to the professionals, like Perth gutter cleaning.

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