Fall IS Coming….

August, it can be argued, is the most beautiful, warm, “reminding us what’s coming” type of month…… with no holidays.

You wake up and think to yourself “its almost the end of the summer, SCHOOL will be back in session soon.” Yet, you still have so much more to do before winter.

Well, now is as good a time as any… get started on checking off that to do list!

Have a picnic. Go on that weekend get-a-way. Start that jogging regimen you’ve been promising yourself yet putting off since January.  OR

Start your preventative maintenance today!

WHAT???!!!!  There’s plenty of time!

Fall is approaching fast, soon the kids will be back in school and then the running around really begins!

So why not……

Clean your gutters, while your up there, see if there are any loose screws or hanging downspouts.  This is important all year ’round, but especially in fall and winter when leaves and snow can accumulate causing damage or ice damming.  Who wants to be out in 20 degree weather fixing that!!??!!  ServiceMaster does!

Check your exposed pipes, make sure they are well insulated against the below freezing temps.  No one wants to deal with a broken water pipe that floods your home!  ServiceMaster does!

How about re-sealing your exposed foundation in the basement.  Ground water can come through the blocks when there is heavy rain or when we have lots of snow that melts fast.  You don’t want to run down to the basement to get your heavy winter blanket granny made and find everything floating around seeing how you lost those precious valuable stored in the basement. And I’m sure you don’t want to be wading through cold water trying to clean everything up!  ServiceMaster does!

These are just a few of the things you should think about before the fast approaching winter comes.

If you have any of these issues… and more, Call Us…   ServiceMaster will take care of it for you.. leaving you a little more stress free.  We will put your house or business back together, good as new, Restoring your Peace of Mind!

 

 

 

Spring Check List……….

Spring is finally here….   Below find a checklist of things you should look for to prepare for the upcoming rainy days.

Gutters and downspouts: Pull leaves and debris from gutters and downspouts. Reattach gutters that have pulled away from the house. Run water from a hose through the roof gutters and downspout; checking for proper drainage. If leaks exist, dry the area and use caulking or epoxy to seal the leak.  Gutter and downspout leaks can let water in through the roof, which leads to larger problems if undetected.

Siding: Clean siding with a pressure washer to keep mold from growing. Check all wood surfaces for weathering and paint failure. If wood is showing through, sand the immediate area and apply a primer coat before painting. If paint is peeling, scrape loose paint and sand smooth before painting.

Exterior caulking: Inspect caulking and replace if deteriorating. Scrape out all of the eroding caulk and recaulk needed area.

Window sills, door sills, and thresholds: Fill cracks, caulk edges, repaint or replace when necessary.

Window and door screens: Clean screening and check for holes. If holes are bigger than a dime patch holes or replace the screen. Save bad screen to patch holes next year or in other screens around the house. Tighten or repair any loose or damaged frames and repaint. Replace rusty, broken, worn, or missing hardware. Wind and freezing temps can ruin screens and frames so make sure they are securely fastened. Tighten and lubricate door hinges and closers.

Drain waste and vent system: Flush out the system.

Hot water heater: Lubricate circulating pump and motor.

Evaporative air conditioner: Clean unit, check belt tension and adjust if needed. Replace cracked or worn belt.  Outside units tend to collect debris over the winter months if not covered.

Heat pump: Lubricate blower motor; this keeps it from causing damage when you fire it up next fall.

Foundation: Check foundation walls, floors, concrete, and masonry for cracking, heaving, or deterioration. If a significant number of bricks are losing their mortar, fill them in. If you can slide a quarter into a crack in your concrete floor, slab or foundation you are in need of repair. Foundation damage can lead to water leaks into your home… which could lead to additional issues.

Roof: Inspect roof surface flashing, eaves, and soffits. Check flashings around all surface projections and sidewalls for looseness or damage.

Carbon Monoxide and Your Furnace

Staying warm is especially important during this cold winter weather, but there’s a chance your furnace could make you sick.

Homeowners need to be aware of carbon monoxide poisoning in the winter when furnaces are working overtime and cars are warming up in the garage.  CO (carbon monoxide) is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that is slightly less dense than air.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that 170 people die every year from carbon monoxide that comes from household appliances. A poorly running furnace can not only fail but it can quickly fill a home with carbon monoxide.  Gas pressure can end up being too high which means its burning hot and whenever you burn hot in an appliance, there is a possibility the heat exchange could crack, which would produce carbon monoxide.

Fire officials also echo heating experts and say the best way to prevent carbon monoxide from seeping into your home is to have your furnace checked every year; to make sure it’s not emitting carbon monoxide into your home. A yearly examination usually costs less than $100.

Anything that’s a combustible material, that can burn, has the potential to put out carbon monoxide.

Homeowners should also regularly replace the air filter and make sure snow and ice aren’t building up on the vents outside, because if you don’t pay attention to the largest appliance in your home, it could create a dangerous and even deadly situation.

Another main source of carbon monoxide in your home is your car, and with this winter’s cold weather, you likely warm it up almost daily. If you are going to warm up your car before leaving, DO NOT leave it in the garage, especially without the outside door open. A garage fills up quickly with carbon monoxide which can lead to fatality.

Be on the SAFE side and Check with your furnace company to see the last time you had maintenance, and get that scheduled; winter is still sticking around for awhile!

Save a Little Money This Holiday Season

When your budget is already stretched from holiday activities, decorations, gifts and cards, try saving money with these energy-saving tips provided by the California Energy Commission:

  • Cook several of your holiday foods at the same time. Just make sure you leave enough room for the heat to circulate around each dish.
  • Microwaving foods rather than using a conventional oven uses around 50 percent less energy. Try using them to bake sweet potatoes, steam fresh vegetables or heat up leftovers.
  • Remove all needed items from your refrigerator or freezer at one time. Leaving the door open for a longer period of time while you take out the items you need is more efficient than opening and closing it several times.
  • Use your dishwasher. A load of dishes cleaning in a dishwasher requires 37 percent less water than washing dishes by hand.
  • Evaluate your holiday lights. While most C7 or C9 energy-efficient bulbs use 5-7 watts per bulb, some of the older strings use up to 10 watts per bulb.

 

Source: http://www.consumerenergycenter.org/tips/holiday.html

Prevent Sewage Drain Back-Ups

Just as your body requires attention to prevent illness and maintain health, so does your home – especially when it comes to ensuring your home’s main drain system keeps on doing its job.  What comes in must go out, and half of plumbing is about getting rid of waste.  Drains, waste, and vents – commonly called the DWV system – are the last visible and least glamorous elements of your home’s plumbing. The trunk of the DWV tree is the soil stack; all drains and vents feed into it.

Here is some preventive maintenance steps that will help you guard against future problems with your home’s main drain.

Kitchen Sink

 Reduce the amount of cooking grease and fats going down the drain.

 Wipe greasy pans with a paper towel before washing.

 Use a degreaser regularly to prevent grease and sludge build-ups.

Garbage Disposer

 Follow manufacturer recommendations for proper usage.

 Run ample water before, during and after disposer use.

 If the garbage disposer is not functioning properly, depress the unit reset button, typically located at the bottom of the unit.

Bathroom Sink

 Run ample water washing soap, shaving cream and toothpaste down the drain.

 Use degreasers or enzymes to prevent build-up of body oils and soap residue.

Tub or Shower

 Install strainer to catch hair and foreign objects.

 Use degreasers or enzymes to prevent build-up of body oils and soap residue

Toilet

 Avoiding storing or placing small objects on the toilet tank or around the toilet.

 Keep the seat cover closed.

Laundry

 Keep your washer’s lint trap clean.

 Install a lint catcher on the laundry drain hose and clean it regularly.

 Use degreasers or enzymes to prevent build-up of body oils and soap residue.

Water Heater

 Follow manufacturer recommendations for proper use.

 Drain regularly according to manufacturer recommendations.

 Inspect for signs of leakage and rust.

 Listen for unusual noises.

Because it’s really never seen, your home’s drain can easily be forgotten. That is, until it’s not working properly!   If it did get clogged and found you now have an overflow… Contact ServiceMasterac.com to clean and sanitize. 610-374-1881

Driveways and sidewalks need periodic maintenance, too.

• Remove any grass or weeds that are encroaching or growing in cracks on the driveway or sidewalk.

• Continue this by giving a thorough cleaning with a pressure washer or the high stream setting on your garden hose to remove dirt and grime.

• Once your driveway or sidewalk has dried, patch any cracks or holes in concrete surfaces with a concrete resurfacer.

• If needed, asphalt drives can be restored by applying a coat of latex asphalt sealer to make them look good as new.

CHECK OUT THIS HOME DEPOT DO IT YOURSELF VIDEO!!!

http://youtu.be/nIEll-lmsQE

Spring Home Improvement and Maintenance Tips

With warm weather quickly approaching, it is imperative to perform some important maintenance items on your most prized possession. In today’s housing market it is imperative to keep your home in the best condition possible to assist in maintaining its value!

ServiceMaster Assured Cleaning put together a few helpful tips to take a look at.

The Berks County and surrounding areas experienced a few big storms this past winter, including a Super Storm. We highly recommend an inspection of the roofing shingles or whatever roofing product that is installed on your home.  Any loose or missing shingle tabs should be either re-installed or replaced to ensure that interior water damage will not occur. The roofing system is the single most important material on your home; we strongly recommend hiring a professional roofer or a Certified Roof Inspector to inspect your shingles, especially if you are not comfortable walking on the roof.

Help keep your roof in good shape, clean out the fall and winter debris from the gutters and downspouts. A clogged downspout can create a water damage situation to the interior by water backing up into the gutters, then overflowing, and possibly gaining access through an opening in the siding or an adjacent window. Clogged gutters could also cause severe water damage to the basement area of your home due to the lack of proper drainage away from the home.

Due to the severe winds from the recent storms it would also be a good idea to check the exterior of your home such as siding, soffit, fascia metal, and also shutters. Heavy winds can loosen these items, which in turn could cause water damage to the interior of the home.

When the heat of the summer months arrives, you will want the air conditioning to cool you down. Now is the time to get the systems serviced, filters changed and ready to go. It is not easy to get an Air Conditioning service man out on the first hot day of the year. Don’t be a procrastinator and schedule it right away.

Hopefully these tips will help you get ready for the warm weather!

What’s the Difference between Restorative Cleaning and Maintenance Cleaning?

Restorative Cleaning

Restorative Cleaning is typically a one-time cleaning using a truck mount hot water extraction system with a wand. The hot water extraction method, is the most popular method of carpet cleaning used by professional cleaners today. Many carpet manufacturers have begun to recommend the use of hot water extraction as a part of the regular cleaning regimen. This method does an excellent job of extracting soil from deep in the carpet pile and can be very effective in removing other contaminants.

Studies have shown that hot water extraction can remove as much as 99% of the contaminants found in some neglected carpets.

Maintenance Cleaning
Maintenance Cleaning can employ the same equipment as a restorative cleaning method on a more frequent or scheduled basis. In addition, maintenance cleaning includes methods such as Pile Lifting, Encapsulate Cleaning, Absorbent Compound, Absorbent Pad (Bonnet), Spot Cleaning, Rotary Shampoo, etc. When strategically combining Maintenance and Restorative Cleaning methods and concentrating more regularly on entryways, hallways, and major access areas, which typically represent 1-5% of the
average commercial building’s total floor space, it is possible to significantly reduce the entrainment of soil into the other 95-99% of the building, thus reducing maintenance costs overall.