90 SE Bridgeford Blvd, Bend, OR 97702 (541) 385-0752
Preventative

Before the Frost:

Executive_Home   Remove dead tree branches: Prune back any dead or damaged tree branches, especially if they overhang your house or parking space. Dead branches are more likely to break and fall in a snow or ice storm, potentially damaging your property and passerby. You should also remove any branches that could damage your home or car if they fell, even if the branch is healthy.

Use caulk and weather-striping:

According to the US Department of Energy, having a drafty house can increase your energy bill by as much as 5% to 30%. Caulk and weather-striping are effective methods to seal leaks. Window frames are a frequent source of drafts, as is anywhere that two materials meet (such as around the chimney, in corners, where pipes exit the house, and around the foundation). You can test for leaks manually, by walking around on a chilly night and feeling where cold air gets in, or using the incense test. The incense test involves turning off any fans, lighting a stick of incense, and running it near potential leaks. If the smoke wavers, there’s a breeze, which means air is getting in and out. (Move flammable objects away from where you’ll be testing. Incense doesn’t typically get too hot, but better safe than sorry.)

Prepare to keep out under-door drafts:

The space under exterior doors is another major place that drafts can pass through. Make or buy a door snake (or door guard) to keep out the cold. Rolled up towels will do in a pinch, or you can make a cute DIY door snake to help guard your house against the wind. You can also put door snakes on interior doors, if you’re trying to preferentially heat a single room.

Improve insulation:

Repairing, installing, or improving your house’s insulation can be one of the most effective ways to increase your home’s energy efficiency. Adding insulation is also one of the easiest home improvement projects to do yourself, and it can add value to your home. Insulation is important between walls, in your attic’s floor, and in your basement’s ceiling. You can also install insulation between floors. How much and what type of insulation you’ll need will vary depending on where you live and what part of the house is being insulated (attics need more insulation than walls or floors). The U.S. Department of Energy has a guide outlining the different qualities of insulation needed for different locations and uses. Winterize A/C and water lines: This is a step that will typically require a professional to help with, but even with that cost can save you money in the long run. Talk to neighbors about who they use, or contact your local better business bureau for recommendations. You can also usually purchase a cover for your air conditioner that can help to keep out snow and debris. If you have a window A/C unit, you may want to remove it and put it in storage till the spring. Have a professional check and seal ducts: Your air ducts form a core part of both your central heating and A/C system. Sealing your ducts properly can lead to massive savings in both the winter and summer, since the air will stay cold or hot longer. Properly sealed ducts also reduce incidence of dust and mold in your air. You can hire a professional to come to your house to check and seal your ducts. However, be leery of ‘duct cleaning’ services – most homes don’t need them. Your utility company might offer incentives to improve your ducts.

Insulate pipes:

Insulating your pipes will help you save on heating water and can reduce the risk of pipes bursting. Most hardware stores sell pre-slit foam that can be easily wrapped around your pipes. Pay attention to the foam’s R-rating. The R-rating is a measure of how effective the insulation is. Most pipe insulation ranges from R-3 to R-7. Higher R-ratings offer better insulation. You can also insulate your hot water heater.

Install more efficient doors and windows:

Modern, energy-efficient glass can raise the value of your home and help you save on both heating and A/C. Make sure any windows you purchase are Energy Star qualified. You can also install storm windows or a storm door over or behind existing, low-efficiency windows and doors. Storm windows are mostly helpful in areas prone to inclement weather and/or temperatures far below freezing.

Buy a window insulation kit:

Window insulation kits are a cheaper and easier alternative to installing new windows or storm windows. You can get them for as little as a few dollars. If your area doesn’t get particularly cold in the winter, a window insulation kit might actually be a more cost-effective solution. Larger kits can also be used to insulate sliding glass doors.

Replace worn or missing roof shingles:

Holes in your roof can let warm air escape and cold water enter, increasing the risk of frost and water damage and increasing your heating bills. If you’re not comfortable repairing the roof yourself, call a professional.

Have your chimney inspected and cleaned:

A blockage in your chimney could trigger a house fire, or redirect smoke down into your house. Get a certified chimney sweep to check your chimney for problems and remove things like animal nests and built up suit. Chimney sweeps start getting busy in the late fall and winter, so it’s best to get your chimney inspected well ahead of the cold season. Fortunately, you only need to get your chimney checked once a year.

Have your furnace inspected:

Call an HVAC professional to check your furnace out, to make sure that it’s running efficiently and safely. Damaged or old furnaces can cause massive safety problems, including carbon monoxide buildup, on top of increased energy usage and utility bills. The HVAC professional might also be able to clean and properly adjust your furnace. Many utility companies offer a free annual inspection, and some furnace manufacturers also offer inspections at a discount. HVAC crews get busy once heating season arrives, so a furnace inspection is another thing that it’s best to schedule early.

Change out filters:

Check your furnace and air filters before heating season starts, and replace them if the filter looks dirty. Standard, disposable filters should be replaced once a month during heating season. Consider installing a permanent filter instead (they’re also called washable or electrostatic filters). Permanent filters are washed instead of replaced, reducing waste. They trap on average over twice as much debris as a disposable filter. A permanent filter should still be washed once a month and allowed to dry before re-installation.

Stock up ahead of time:

Make certain your snow blower and shovel are in good repair, and replace them before it snows if needed. Also stock up on sand or salt for your driveway, along with non-perishables for your pantry, and any other winter supplies. People often wait until it snows to buy a new shovel, fill their pantry, or refill on propane, risking the stores running out. It’s always a good idea to keep at least three days’ to a week’s worth of non-perishable food, water, medicine, hygiene supplies, and other necessities in your house, in case power gets knocked out and you’re unable to reach the store. Read More Here: Winterizing your home: Before the Frost
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Fire, Restoring

General Cleaning Techniques

Smoke and soot can penetrate paint, carpet, upholstery and clothes. Carpet can be deep cleaned and clothes can be taken to the dry cleaner. However,  properly restoring walls, structures and objects is a different story. Here’s a look at some general cleaning techniques that all Restoration Company’s should be using:
  • Personal protective equipment: Gloves, a protective mask, long-sleeved shirts and pants should be worn on site to minimize contact with ash.
  • Remove contents: Remove contents from the house. While some contents may have to be discarded, others can be effectively hand cleaned. Cleaning contents in an ultrasonic machine is also an option with some items.
  • Ventilate: Open windows and doors to remove odor.
  • Beware of other contaminants: Lead and asbestos can turn a fire restoration job into an environmental restoration job if they’ve become disturbed.
  • Hand scrubbing: Fire damage work is one of the most tedious types of repair work. It involves a lot of handwork, such as scrubbing walls and structures with sponges — and using chemicals and specialized restoration equipment, such as media blasting tools, in the event of heavy residue.
  • Duct cleaning: Following restoration, a duct cleaning is required. That’s because smoke and soot have a tendency to become trapped within a home or business’s duct system. This can spread contaminants — and odors — to other areas of the home when in operation. Hence, a professional duct cleaning is necessary.
 

Choose the Right Company

Where a water damage situation can be restored in as little as three days, it’s not uncommon for a fire damage situation to last several weeks. It can even last for many months if reconstruction is involved. Hence, proper cleaning and handling of a project is all the more important. It is critical that you hire a company that is certified in fire through the Institute of Inspection and Restoration (IICRC). Contact us Today with any questions by clicking here: Fire Damage Restoration  
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Preventative

There’s something about autumn that energizes many people, getting them to take on projects and plans that they may have been putting off for a while. So while you’re busy making plans for the winter months ahead, make sure you also take the time to take care of some home projects that are best done during the early fall months. These five projects are under $2000 each, and can help make your home more comfortable for the months ahead.

Furnace Repair

You don’t want to wait until the cold winter months to turn on your furnace and find that it isn’t working. That’s why early fall is the best time to schedule your furnace repair. This off-peak time often costs less than it will in January, and gives you plenty of flexibility to schedule the technician at your convenience. Waiting until winter to tackle this project will mean you pay a higher rate in labor fees, and you risk your furnace breaking down when you need it the most.
  • Cost: The average cost to replace the heat exchanger on a furnace is $1000 to $1700.
  • Money Saving Tips:
    • Make sure you change your furnace’s filter regularly to avoid putting a strain on the exchanger and causing it to burn out faster.
    • Call as early in the month as possible before rates begin to go up in preparation of the busy season.

Install a Portable Generator

If you live in an area that sees severe weather during the fall and winter months, you may want to invest in a portable generator to help keep your home running in case of a power outage. Portable generators come in many sizes so you can find the right fit for your home. Install one in early fall before costs go up during the colder months, and ensure that you’re ready for the first outage of the year. Once the snow begins to fly, you can expect the demand for generators to go through the roof driving up prices and limiting availability. Waiting too long could mean that you run the risk of not finding one at a reasonable price or that you need to go without power in the event of a storm.
  • Cost: The average cost to install a portable generator is $2000.
  • Money Saving Tips:
    • If you don’t use your whole home every day, get a smaller generator that can power only the essential areas for a significant savings.
    • Purchase early in the season before prices begin to rise to meet demand.

Mold Remediation

After a warm, humid summer, mold is a very common problem in a lot of areas. Basements, attics, and bathrooms are all particularly susceptible to mold growth. Before you spend more time indoors in the winter, you’ll want to ensure that any mold is removed before it can cause health problems. Once the weather dries out in the early fall is the best time to get this done. Mold that began in the summer months will continue to grow right through the winter, so the early all is the best time of year to tackle this job, while the air is dryer and the mold hasn’t had as much time to spread.
  • Cost: The average cost of mold remediation for a 10×10 space is $500.
  • Money Saving Tips:
    • Dry out the room with the mold thoroughly with dehumidifiers and fans to prevent it from spreading.
    • Take care of this issue as soon as you see it before it has a chance to spread to more areas of your home and make you or your family ill.

Install Gutter Guards

During the autumn months leaves and pine needles drop from trees at a very fast rate. These can collect in your gutter, clogging them up and forcing water back onto your roof. A gutter guard can help prevent this by stopping the debris from entering your gutters. Take care of this issue in early fall when it isn’t too hot to work on your gutters, but before the leaves start falling to get the best results. Wait too long and you may have to pay a higher cost in labor due to demand and the fact that your gutters will need to be cleaned prior to installation.
  • Cost: The average cost to install gutter guards is around $200.
  • Money Saving Tips:
    • You can install the guards yourself to save a lot of money on labor.
    • Opt for gutter screens if you have easily accessible areas; they cost less, but will need to be rinsed on occasion.

Clean Your Roof

Your roof can become the home to a lot of dirt and debris during the summer months, including algae, mold, moss, and leaves. The more debris that lands on your roof, the bigger the problem, because things like moss and leaves can trap water beneath them, weakening your shingles. When snow falls, this problem will become worse, potentially causing leaks. September or October is the best time of year to clean your roof; it’s not too hot to work, and you’ll want to get the bulk of the debris off before the leaves begin to fall, making it harder to clean.
  • Cost: The average cost of cleaning a roof is around $250 to $300.
  • Money Saving Tips:
    • If you’re comfortable on your roof, you can clean it yourself with a mixture of bleach and water and a soft-bristled scrub brush.
    • Schedule your roof cleaning early in the fall, as this is a busy time of year for roofers; the earlier you make the call, the less it will potentially cost.

Get Your Home Ready for Fall

September and October are great times of year to work on your home. The heat and humidity are over, but the cold winter months are still in the distance. Take care of these five projects as early in the fall as possible to get the best results and savings. Read More Here: 5 Home Improvements You Should Tackle in Early Fall
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Cleaning
Methamphetamine is not a new drug, although it has become more powerful in recent years as techniques for its manufacture have evolved.

The History of Meth

According to DrugFreeWorld.org, Amphetamine was first made in 1887 in Germany and methamphetamine, more potent and easy to make, was developed in Japan in 1919. The crystalline powder was soluble in water, making it a perfect candidate for injection.
In the 1930s, doctors began using amphetamines in the United States to treat asthma and narcolepsy.
Methamphetamine went into wide use during World War II, when both sides used it to keep troops awake. High doses were given to Japanese Kamikaze pilots before their suicide missions. And after the war, methamphetamine abuse by injection reached epidemic proportions when supplies stored for military use became available to the Japanese public causing post-war Japan to experience the first meth epidemic.
In the 1950s, methamphetamine was prescribed as a diet aid and to fight depression. Easily available, “pep pills” or “bennies” were sold as a nonmedical stimulant to college students, truck drivers and athletes and abuse of the drug spread.
This pattern changed markedly in the 1960s with the introduction of home manufacturing of the drug, worsening the abuse.
Then, in 1970, the U.S. government added methamphetamine to the Controlled Substances Act regulating the drug. After that, American motorcycle gangs controlled most of the production and distribution of the drug.
During the 1980s, Mexican drug manufacturers began producing forms of the drug that could be smoked and towards the end of the decade, new ways to cook methamphetamine began to appear.
In the 1990s, Mexican drug trafficking organizations set up large laboratories in California. While these massive labs are able to generate 50 pounds of the substance in a single weekend, smaller private labs were springing up in kitchens and apartments, earning the drug one of its names, “stove top.” Rural locations became ideal for cooking meth because of geographic isolation.

Meth Today

Today, most of our meth in North America comes out of Mexico or is produced in soda bottles known as the “Shake n’ Bake” method. Most of the contaminated properties become contaminated through usage rather than from production. It is estimated that more than 2.1 million Americans are currently using methamphetamine.
The problem is that users can contaminate anywhere from one to 50 properties per year, leading to an estimated 12 million properties contaminated in the U.S. and another 800,000 properties contaminated in Canada. Users move from house, to apartment, to hotel, to car, to new relationship, to the next motel, etc. Everywhere they go, they continue to use or smoke meth.
Nothing inside this drug is natural. Most of the ingredients contain carcinogens and poisons leaving a dirty trail behind that enters into the cold air returns circulating throughout the property. Studies indicate that just smoking meth two to four times can contaminate a property above habitable standards. Meth residue is sticky and clings to surfaces and inside the ducting system until it is physically decontaminated and removed.

The Decontamination Process

Here’s a quick outline of the process:
  • Remove Porous Materials
  • Dry Clean
  • Wet Clean
  • Rinse
  • Test
Decontaminating a property starts with removing all porous materials including furniture, carpet, carpet pad, soft ducts, etc. Next, the furnace and duct work is cleaned using duct cleaning equipment to remove dust, dirt, and debris.
For more information, call us today 541-385-0752
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Restoring, Uncategorized
When it comes to dealing with a fire there are many challenges throughout the restoring and cleaning process. An even more unique challenge is completing a job where a homeowner has been hoarding, proving all the more complex. There are lots of articles that have been written going in-depth on the psychological side of hoarding and its impact. It would be wise to do your homework if you are going to tackle cleaning jobs that involve a hoarder. This will leave you better equipped to help your client on a psychological level in these types of scenarios. A great place to start might be here. People become hoarders for many reasons:
  • Depression (by far the most common)
  • Trauma (death, divorce, abuse, loss of some kind)
  • OCD/ADD/ADHD
  • Heredity (grew up in a hoarding home) and Genetics
  • Fear of becoming poor
  • Fear of forgetting (items hold memories)
  • Perfectionists (until they find the perfect spot for something….)
  • Don’t want to be wasteful
  • Brain Injuries/Stroke/Anneurysm
  • Dimentia
  • To Push Others Away/Safety
  • Kleptomania/Impulse Control
  • And literally hundreds of other reasons
Understanding these reasons will go a long way in helping you understand your client and how best to handle the cleanup with them. There are many things to consider like sanitation, employee safety, job timelines, etc. It is very important to realize what may look like garbage or maybe even junk (items with no real monetary value) to you as a restorer may hold great value in the eyes of your homeowner. And getting them to allow you to handle these items in the most efficient way can be tricky.

Developing trust is vital:

A hoarder has a fear of losing their belongings. When there has been a fire or other loss that affects these contents, the hoarder will be forced to deal with the loss that is often times quite substantial as cleaning most of these items may not be economical. Sometimes you may even find yourself in a hazmat situation due to mold and unsanitary conditions you may find in the home due to excess garbage or rotting materials. The first thing you need to do is establish a workable relationship with them by gaining their trust. Ask them what their concerns are and what items are most important to them. Listening to their concerns is vital if you want to gain their confidence and trust so that they will give you the ability to handle the job the way you will need to. If the hoarder feels their concerns are validated they will feel confidence in you and your ability to help them thru the loss. Be sure to have a conversation with the adjuster on the job and ideally ask them to do a walk thru with you. This way they will understand the magnitude that you are dealing with. If a hoarder doesn’t feel that you understand them and their concerns about their items, they will not trust you in their home. Once you have your homeowner’s trust, they will feel comfortable trusting your judgment. This will allow you to take control and make decisions about what is destroyed and what is restorable.

Coming Up With A Clear Game Plan

Your homeowner in a hoarding scenario needs to feel reassured that you will make the right decision when it comes to salvaging their contents. Sometimes this means convincing them to let things go that are of no real value i.e. magazines, papers and keepsakes. Remember that this is an overwhelming situation for the average person to deal with let alone someone who suffers from this type separation anxiety when it comes to their “stuff”. Make a plan of action they are part of. Enlist them to help go thru items that may be able to just be thrown away. Such items are not even logged on a destroyed list due to no monetary value. The biggest fear these types of homeowners have is losing items that will be thrown out or destroyed and not knowing what those items were. Having them involved in destroying such items will go a long way in helping them process their loss and deal with these emotions on the spot. Allowing them to let go and facilitate in the restoring process. Having a game plan will not only put them at ease knowing what to expect, but it will also make sure that you are both on the same page with the final result that you are trying to accomplish. This way there are no surprises. A game plan will give you and the homeowner clear timelines. After all, an insurance company isn’t necessarily going to want to pay you to take a ton of extra time to handle this type of job over several weeks so boundaries are important.

Documentation Is More Important Than Ever

In any property loss cleaning job, emotions are high and there can be stress. Particularly for a hoarder, stress levels can be off the charts. Having good documentation can be key in keeping everyone on the same page. This documentation should include a detailed logged destroyed authorization, returned items sheet, and delicates and collectibles release forms that are all signed and dated by your homeowner as well as a representative from your company. You will also want to be sure your photo inventory and job photo documentation is very thorough and detailed. When dealing with such a mass of items, your homeowner may likely not remember some of the items they own. It’s vital that a good photo inventory be taken before anything is processed or packed out. Imagine having a complete stranger handling all of your personal belongings, memories and keepsakes. For anyone, this would be difficult to go thru. To be able to perform the cleaning and restoring job efficiently, you have to gain control of the situation. This is only accomplished through communication, gaining trust and documenting everything. Often times, we hear back from previous hoarders in which we performed a job for. The cleaning and reconstruction after the loss, such as a fire or flood, was actually a blessing. It forced them to deal with the situation and get help. With a little extra care and attention to detail these types of content cleaning and restoring jobs can not only go smoothly but you can play a vital role in changing someone’s life for the better in the process.
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Uncategorized

Here are five easy ways from the book that can help make any tiny room seem larger and look more stylish.

  1. The bigger the better: Conventional wisdom suggests using dainty furnishings in snug quarters, but designers often recommend the opposite strategy: Use bigger pieces — an optical illusion that makes the room read larger. But avoid the urge to overfurnish, and use just a few larger-scale items.
  2. Arrange furniture to create a room-within-a-room: People have a tendency to push their furniture up against the walls, but floating the furniture makes a room bigger – even though it doesn’t feel like you’re maximizing space.
  3. Fake a view: Create the illusion of a more loft-like environment. Consider adding an over scaled mirror. A larger mirror becomes a virtual window.
  4. Hang curtains, floor to ceiling: Hanging curtains floor to ceiling creates an elongated line that makes windows — and thus rooms — appear taller. Matchstick blinds hung just above the windows complete the effect.
  5. Stretch space: Stripes in any direction create visual movement with the suggestion of more space around the corner or ceiling to floor.
To see examples of these great ideas, click here: 5 Ways to Make Tiny Rooms Larger
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Design, Space Savers

Tiny House Space Saving Tricks

Looking for a few space-saving, clutter-reducing, design enhancing, tips and tricks for your home? Many of the same clever hacks that can help a 200-square-foot micro apartment or shed-sized tiny house feel livable translate beautifully to more average-sized living spaces. Pack in an extra guest bed, create a movie theater in your living room, organize your kitchen and hide stuff you don’t use often like the tiny house pros! The Minim House by Minim Micro Homes puts a bunch of high-impact yet simple and affordable tricks to work. This results in a compact, portable home that doesn’t rely on a loft to save space.

Tuck Away your Sleeping Quarters

Lofts are a common feature in most small homes and apartments for a reason. They really do make a world of difference when the ceiling is high enough, taking full advantage of vertical space. A bed isn’t needed for most of the day, so there’s no reason to let it commandeer a huge swath of valuable floor space 24/7. However, lofts aren’t accessible to everyone. Even the slimmest of ladders and narrow, double-duty stairs can still get in the way. The Minim House was built to fit within the constraints of a road-legal trailer, so it has a relatively low ceiling. The solution? Tucking the bed beneath a platform that serves as the floor to a music studio. The low-profile bed is on casters, so it’s easy to pull out when you need it. This concept could easily be adapted so that home offices and studios can do double-duty as a guest room. In this case, the end of the mattress is left exposed, but you could modify it with the addition of an end panel, and even add a step that functions as a side table when the bed is pulled out.

Use Window Treatments as a Movie Screen

Think you don’t have room in your living room for a projection screen to create your own private movie theater? If you have windows, you have more space than you realize. Minim anchored this screen just above the four large windows that line one side of the tiny house. Not only is it unobtrusive when it’s not in use, it functions to block out daylight if you want to watch movies while the sun is shining. Mounted on a single pedestal, the portable table can be placed in front of the couch as a dining surface, lowered for use as a coffee table, moved to the window as a work surface or placed off to the side to free up floor space.

Mount a Shower Head from your Ceiling

The entire bathroom is clad in stainless steel. The reason for this? To fit a shower into the stall-sized space, with the shower head mounted on the ceiling. When the water is on, you just pull out the shower curtain to keep the toilet from getting wet. Able to go entirely off-grid, the Minim House has a 900-watt solar array on the roof. The home is also equipped with a battery storage system. This system primarily runs 12-volt appliances like LED lights and a marine refrigerator. It’s clad in cypress, gathers its own rainwater. The original is located at the Micro Showcase in Washington D.C., if you get a chance to check it out in person. See Pictures Here: Get Space-Saving Ideas From This Clever Tiny House  
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Design, Outdoor

DIY Copper Pipe Mini Cabana

This cabana might not be a full sized one, but it is perfect to create a private seating area for two. Just add a shade curtain across the top to act as an awning in sunny areas, or leave it uncovered in shady areas to enjoy the sky above. Add your favorite lounge chairs, outdoor sofa, or dining table beneath this free standing cabana, and enjoy!

Materials

Tools and Extra Supplies

 

For full instructions, click here: DIY Mini Cabana

 
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Uncategorized
During the past 10 years, we’ve had several health scares around the world. For example, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) started in Hong Kong, spreading to many corners of the world. The H1N1 virus developed in 2009, and by the time it had run its course, the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated there were more than 60 million cases. In more recent years, we have had to deal with Ebola. In all these situations, cleaning professionals have been, and will continue to be, on the front lines helping to minimize the spread of these pandemics. When the next pandemic occurs you can bet that they will most likely be called to the front lines again. Frequently, too many cleaning solutions, including ones that are too powerful, have been used to stop the spread of disease. A lot of this has been panic driven. To help prevent this reaction in the future, cleaning professionals can take a different approach to address another public health scare. We can refer to this as a Green Infection Prevention program. Such a program would require the following steps, which overall, can help to prevent the spread of germs and lessen the amount of cleaning solutions we put into the environment.

Get the Facts

To prevent another panic, always turn to credible sources for information about public health concerns. One of the most reliable is the CDC.

Establish a Chain of Command

Ensure that one person is responsible for staying informed regarding the public health concern and instructing and implementing the response to it. This will involve what cleaning solutions to use, how to use them, and what protective clothing cleaning workers should wear in an emergency, such as gloves and protective eye gear.

Understand Solutions Before Use

While we use them every day, we may not know exactly what to expect from our different cleaning solutions. An all-purpose cleaner, for instance, is designed to remove soils from a surface; it does not sanitize or disinfect the surface.

Increase High-Touch Point Cleaning

One of the lessons we learned from SARS is just how many surfaces people touch in a facility every day. In addition to light switches and doorknobs, we can add elevator buttons, vending machine controls, remote control devices, railings, copy and fax machine controls, straps and railings on public transportation, ATM screens and keypads, coffeepot handles, etc.

Know When to Introduce Disinfectants

In a health scare, there are typically three stages that impact cleaning. Stage 1 is when there is the potential for a public health concern in a community. Stage 2 is when there is a public health scare in a community, and Stage 3, the most critical stage, is when the pathogen is infecting a specific property or properties. At each stage, cleaning frequencies should increase; introduce sanitizers and disinfectants at Stage 2. There is no question that sanitizers and disinfectants are necessary in a Stage 2 or 3 alert. What we need to realize is that these are very powerful cleaning solutions, and in the United States, there are currently no EPA-registered disinfectants that are green-certified.  Because of this, we need to take the following precautions:
  • Make sure the disinfectant is designed to kill the specific pathogens causing the health concern. This is spelled out on the product label.
  • Ensure cleaning personnel read and understand the label instructions, including dilution rates and surface dwell time to maximize product efficacy.
  • Use portion-control systems with concentrated disinfectants. This will help reduce environmental impacts and cost.
All of these measures represent the key to a successful Green Infection Prevention plan. But if I could single out the most important piece of advice, it is to not panic. When we panic, we make mistakes, and when it comes to cleaning—especially during a public health emergency—there’s no room for mistakes.
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Cleaning

Save Time and Effort by Learning What you can Clean Less Often

Many people pride themselves on keeping their living space clean. It may be surprising that there are certain items and spaces that actually don’t require as much washing and scrubbing as some may think. These 9 things that may not need to be cleaned as often as once though:.
  1.  Pillows

    Pillow cases need to be washed once every other week. Pillows can go three to six months without being cleaned. When ready to be washed, most pillows can be placed in a washing machine and tumbled dry.

    Comforter

    Similar to pillows, comforters need only to be washed four times a year. This does not include duvet cover.

    Smartphone

    Though tempting to clean a smartphone every day, it is not necessary. Instead, washing hands before tapping on the touch screen, then cleaning the phone once a week with antibacterial wipes will be sufficient.

    Oven

    Auto-cleaning an oven takes it out of commission for a number of hours. Still, it should be done at least once a month. However, a deep clean once every three to four months is a great way to get rid of drips or drops that may cause excessive smoke or smell when using the oven.

    Pantry

    It may be common to reorganize the pantry after each visit to the grocery store. Purging the pantry once every season is a good plan. Dry and canned goods last a long time. Instead of focusing on the pantry, place more efforts on cleaning the refrigerator more often, where food tends to spoil…fast.

    Bath Toys

    Squeeze out any liquid after a toy has been used, then once a month soak the toys in a bucket filled with a gallon of water and a half cup of vinegar.

    Books

    It is not necessary to clean the spines of books as often as the shelves are dusted. A good wipe down on the book spines once a season is enough. This will help protect the condition of the books.

    Furniture Slipcovers

    Twice a year is good enough for slip covers.

    Towels

    Stretch the lifespan of towels by using the same one for up to a week. As long as towels are hung up so they can properly air-dry without getting mildewed, there should be no problems.
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