Category Archives: Home Maintenance

cleaning gutters

Getting ready for spring

Getting Ready for Spring – Spring Cleaning and Maintenace

As spring approaches, we all long for sunny days, flowers, and warmer weather. The changing of seasons is also a great time to evaluate your home and catch up on some simple organizing and maintenance tasks.  A little effort spent in maintenance pays for itself ten times over in money save on costly repairs.  Let Peerless give you some great advice on Spring Cleaning and Maintenance .

Exterior

1)  Clean your gutters: The purpose of a gutter is to carry water away from a building. If gutters are not cleaned, material such as leaves and other debris will build up in it and water will overflow onto the building and foundation. Gutters can be cleaned by scooping out debris by hand and then rinsing the gutter with a hose or pressure washer.

2) Get an HVAC checkup:  Before you need to use your air conditioner it is a good idea to have a maintenance check.  You technician will check for proper refrigerant levels and check for leaks. They should clean the evaporator and condenser coils, check lubrication, calibrate thermostats, and clean and replace filters. Keeping your air conditioner maintained will not only save on repair costs, it will also help reduce your electric bill.

3) Stain and seal wood decks: The winter  is really hard on wood decks. They are constantly exposed to the harsh weather. A new coat of stain can prevent costly replacement.

4) Inspect your roof: Look for caulk that is cracked or rust spots on flashing as well as shingles that are missing or broken. Buckling of shingles may also be an issue. Do you have a chimney?  Make sure you chimney cap is in good shape. Moss could be an indication of issues, but black algae stains are generally only cosmetic.

5) Repair paint: Painted surfaces should stay painted and sealed to protect the wood underneath. In order to maintain it, scrape off any chipped and peeling paint and repaint exposed surfaces.

6) Trim over growth:  Trees and shrubs too close to your home can conduct moisture onto your roof and siding. A lot of over growth can also encourage squirrels and raccoons to take up in the eaves and attic. Trim them back at least 5 to 7 feet from your house.In addition, with spring comes spring rain and storms. This may be a good time to assess your larger trees and branches for their potential to break and fall in heavy wind.

Interior 

1) Simplify: One of the reasons that maintenance and organization has become such a chore, is that modern life requires that we have so much stuff. Go through your closets, cupboards, even your shelves and dressers, and decide if you really want to keep all those things. In Marie Condo’s book, “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying up”, she asks the readers to consider their possessions and ask, “Does this Spark Joy?” If not, don’t keep it.

 Don’t just throw it away.  Donate it. Don’t forget that purging your home of unwanted items can give you the opportunity for charitable donations. If you don’t have time to drop off, many groups shave pick up services. In southeastern Virginia there is The Samaritan House. You can call them at 757-583-7211 on the Southside and 757-877-0644 on the Peninsula.

2) Check your smoke detectors: Press and hold the test button on the smoke detector. There should be a loud warning signal while the button is pressed. If the sound is weak or nonexistent, replace your batteries. Also, many smoke detectors have a shelf life. Check to see if your smoke detectors have expired. If so, replace them.

3) Check hoses: On washing machines, refrigerators, and dishwashers. If they show signs of deterioration, replace them. 

4) Clean some out of the way items: Spring is a good time to inspect, clean, dust, and vacuum: dryer vents, range hood filters, and refrigerator compressors. In addition, clean or replace your air conditioner filter.

5) Check for leaks and moisture: Look in vanities and kitchen cabinets for signs of leaking and moisture. If attics and basements are damp it may be an indication of a slow leak or other issues. If you find some moisture, call a professional. 

As you consider your own maintenance, don’t forget to contact Peerless for your carpet and upholstery cleaning needs !

 

Contact Peerless Today !

Frozen Chesapeake Bay

Preparing for winter

Here in Hampton Roads we may still be running the air conditioner into late October. However now that autumn is coming to an end, it is finally time to get out the sweaters and prepare for the cold winter winds.  So, before you give thanks, take time to get your home or business prepared for the cold to come.  We hope this list will help you get started preparing for winter

 

    1. Take care of your trees and shrubs: Winter winds and the weight of ice and snow can lead to fallen trees and branches. To prevent your home from suffering tree damage, cut down dead trees and limbs. In addition, prune trees and shrubs that are close to buildings. If the trees are too large for you to take care of yourself, consider hiring a certified arborist.
    2. Clean gutters and downspouts: Clogged gutters can cause water to pool and damage your roof or siding. The water is left in your gutters it may freeze when temperatures drop. Freezing water expands and may cause your gutters to warp and crack. In addition, gutters clogged with ice can lead to the formation of ice dams on your roof. Ice dams can lead to significant damage.
    3. Take care of the cracks: Notice issues in your masonry or foundation. Extreme temperature changes can exacerbate these cracks. If you spot anything that needs repair, schedule it before winter weather hits.
    4. Fix that roof: Walk around the exterior and look for missing, damaged, and aged shingles. Repair or replace any shingles with issues. This can prevent future roof damage.
    5. Mind the gap: As the days get cooler a lot of animals will be looking for ways to stay warm. Mice, squirrels, raccoons, and opossum would love to spend winter in your house. Seal any gaps around your walls, soffits, overhangs, and foundation. If you have a chimney, make sure you have a chimney cap. Keep the critters out.
    6. Protect you pipes: Shut off all outdoor faucets. Drain and store hoses. Shut off water to exterior faucets before the weather dips below freezing. If there are water supply lines in the garage, keep the garage doors closed. If the temperature has dipped to the extreme, open kitchen the and bathroom cabinet doors, to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Let the cold-water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes, and keep the thermostat set to same temperature both during the day and at night and set no lower than 55° F.
    7. Let’s strip: Apply weather stripping around the frames of windows and doors to keep heat in and cold air out.
    8. Check safety devices: Check the expiration dates on your smoke detectors and fire extinguishers and make sure they are both in good working order. If your smoke detectors are 9-volt battery operated, replace them with newer sealer lithium battery detector. They possess 10-year battery life.
    9. Clean your dryer vents. When lint builds up in dryer vents not only will dryer work less efficiently, but it causes a fire.
    10. Schedule heating a checkup: Maintaining your chimney, furnace, heat pump, or boiler can prevent fires and is an important safety measure. This should be done before you turn them on.

So, find the time to inspect your home or office and take the steps to get it ready for the coming season.  The time and money you can save in preparing for winter  will be something you can really be thankful for.

Ozone Molecule

Ozone. What is it and how can it help?

Ozone

If you have ever called a company asking for help with taking care of an unpleasant smell in your home or business, you may have heard mention of the use of ozone. What is this Ozone thing they were talking about you may have wondered? How can it help? We are going to dispel this mysterious ozone and explain how and why it is used.

What is it?

Ozone is a gas that occurs both in the Earth’s upper atmosphere and at ground level. The earth’s atmosphere is 21% Ozone. Our atmospheric Ozone Layer is created by chemical reactions involving solar ultraviolet radiation (sunlight) and oxygen molecules. Our ozone later is vitally important to life on earth. It acts as a filter for the shorter wavelength and highly hazardous ultraviolet radiation from the sun, protecting life on Earth from its potentially harmful effects.

Lightning will also produce Ozone through electrical excitation of Oxygen molecules. That sharp “fresh” smell that is often detectable during and after a thunderstorm can be attributed to Ozone.

 Ozone is an inorganic molecule with the chemical formula O3. That means that three oxygen atoms are bonded together. Ozone is created when dioxygen or O2 (which is the oxygen that we breathe) has been bonded by the action of ultraviolet light or electrical discharges. The bond between three oxygen atoms is relatively week, which means that O3 is extremely reactive. Since O2 is a much more stable molecule, Ozone’s 3rd Oxygen atom easily bonds with other molecules transforming both. This process is called oxidation. Ozone is one of the most powerful oxidants and can be readily produced for use in both air and water.

How can it help?

The oxidative properties of ozone can be very useful. Small portable ozone generators have been developed using both electric charges and ultraviolet light to produce Ozone. These generators can be moved to any location that is in need of the power of oxidation. An Ozone generator takes in oxygen from the air and transform the O2 molecules into O3.  The ozone is then release into the area.

In the restoration industry ozone is most often used to combat odor. An odor is caused by one or more volatilized chemical compounds. Once surface pollutants are handled, an area may still have an unpleasant smell because of airborne particles. Rather than remove the offensive airborne particles, compounds can often be transformed through oxidation. Adding ozone into a contaminated area results in volatile compounds picking up extra oxygen atoms, transforming them into entirely new compounds. The newly oxidized compounds do not produce any offensive odors. In addition, once ozone loses it’s third oxygen atom, it become safe and stable oxygen.

The amount of ozone needed to eliminate odor in an area depends on the size of the area and the concentration of contaminants. Large spaces or highly contaminated ones often require several ozone generators working around the clock for several days to produce an acceptable result. Once ozone has neutralized the space it is left with a slight chlorine smell that dissipates quickly.

However please be advised, breathing  ozone can cause chest pain, coughing, shortness of breath and lung irritation. Ozone can only be used in a vacant property or in a sealed room. However, once an ozone treatment has been completed, a room must be aired out for only 10 minutes before it is completely safe.

So the next time you are plagued with a persistent odor issue, you may need a little help from an oxygen atom. Ozone might be able to supply it for you.

 

If you are struggling with a persistent odor issue in your home or business.  Please call Peerless today. We can help.

Contact Peerless Today.

Professional Hard Surface Cleaning

Professional Hard Surface Cleaning

Over time wood, stone, concrete, even tile and grout can become stained and discolored.
 
Water, dust, soot, dirt, and spills that your home or business are exposed to, can dull and scratch protective coatings, as well as stain and discolor surfaces. Professional Surface Cleaning can rejuvenate your floors and surfaces, bringing back the color and shine.
 
Professional cleaning usually consists of stripping floors of wax or polyurethane top coats, cleaning the surface thoroughly, restoring the natural radiance, and resealing the surface with a new protective topcoat.
 
Even hardwood floors can be cleaned professionally. Before you refinish your wood, floors think about rejuvenating them. Refinishing a wood floor is a time consuming and expensive process that requires sanding and staining. It can take weeks. In addition, the average hardwood floor is typically ¾” thick, and therefore can only undergo about 10 standard refinishes before the floor is compromised. The may be another way. Many floors can be vastly improved by a simple rejuvenation. A hard service specialist can strip, clean, and reseal your wood floor, bringing back the shine and color you remember in one day without sanding. Not all floors are candidates for this process, so you will need to have your floor assessed.
 
In addition to our extensive knowledge of Carpet Cleaning and Repair, Peerless has developed a new hard surface cleaning division. Peerless continues to maintain the highest standards by using leading-edge cleaning techniques, equipment, and materials. Peerless staff is trained and certified to the highest standards of the hard surface cleaning industry. Count on us for exceptional Professional Hard Surface Cleaning on any of the following flooring materials.

Hard Surface Cleaning Technician
• Stone and Masonry
• Marble
• Tile and Grout
• Concrete
• Hardwood

Interested in Professional Hard Surface Cleaning? Click here to contact Peerless today.

Laboratory

Enzymes. What are they? How do they work?

Enzymes. What are they? How do they work?

You see it all the time on cleaning products, “Now with Enzymes” or “Powered by Enzymes”. Have you ever wondered what is an enzyme and how does it help clean or freshen?

In order to understand a little more about enzymes and bio-enzymatic cleaners, you have to understand a little about decomposition. Decomposition is a matter of chemistry. In short, decomposition is the process by which organic substances are broken down into simpler matter. Most stains and smells are composed of some type of organic matter. Organic matter is made primarily of organic compounds. An organic compound is any member of a large class of gaseous, liquid, or solid chemical compounds whose molecules contain carbon.

 So why is this important to cleaning? Because organic compounds decompose over time and exposure to the elements. Controlling and speeding up the process of decomposition can enable someone to actual transform an unwanted stain or smell into a completely different substance, thus completely eliminating the issue.

This is where enzymes come in. Enzymes are types of proteins that are present in all living cells. These proteins act as catalysts and help living cells break up complex molecules into smaller pieces. This allows them to be more easily digested. Enzymes can break up compounds that do not react well to detergents or agitation into compounds that are. These smaller compounds are often more soluble and easier to remove. Enzymes can be created to target specific compounds. Proteases targets protein spots like blood and many food-related stains. Lipases are used to target oils and greases. Amylases can be used to target starchy material.

Many enzymatic cleaners contain a combination of enzymes and specific types of bacteria in solution. Often used for tough odors, these solutions when applied to an area start breaking down the target naturally. Called bio-enzymatic cleaners, they use the presence of enzymes to help speed up the bacteria by making it easier for bacteria to consume whatever is causing the stain or odor. These cleaners essentially digest the chemical and organic wastes. The byproduct of these bio-enzymatic cleaners are simply carbon dioxide and water. Making it not only an effective product, but completely safe for children, pets, and the environment. Bio-enzymatic cleaners begin working immediately, but depending on the product and the target, may continue working for hours, even days after application.

One caution, enzymes or bio-enzymatic cleaner should never be used with bleach or disinfectants because these substances can damage or even kill the helpful bacteria and can reduce or eliminate the effectiveness of the enzymes.

Enzymatic and Bio-Enzymatic cleaners are especially useful when dealing with stains and odors left behind from pets or food on carpets and upholstery.  So when trying to removed stain and odors and all else fails, get help from the natures littlest helper, enzymes.

Have an odor issue? Click here to contact Peerless today.