Winter Mold Prevention Tips for Wisconsin

Mold likes to grow in warm, damp places – and the inside of your home can be the perfect location. Dampness sets in and mold can multiply on almost any porous surface, causing damage to drywall and other materials, and sometimes releasing dangerous spores into the air. If your asthma or allergies act up more inside than out, you could have a hidden mold problem.

Mold prevention tips

Mold will start to grow in just two days, given the right conditions. That musty smell you get when you leave wet clothes in the washer or a damp towel on the floor of the bathroom? Mold. So how do you prevent mold in your home?

Clean, disinfect, and dry

This three step process should be carried out for almost any surface in your home, especially areas that are wet a lot of the time, like sinks or bathtubs. Bathrooms and kitchens are some of mold’s favorite places, so adding disinfecting and drying to your cleanup routine can head-off mold problems.

Dehumidify

Moisture in the air can collect on surfaces even after you’ve dried them, so consider a dehumidifier in rooms of your house that have dampness problems, and add an exhaust fan to the bathroom to quickly flush out moist air after showering or bathing. Run the bathroom fan for 30 minutes after bathing. Also turn on your kitchen stove hood vent fan when cooking to flush away moisture there.

Stop seepage

Slow leaks can cause moisture to continually plague your home, so look for leaky pipes or fittings and fix them promptly. You can invest in a smart water leak detection system that will let you know immediately if moisture levels rise under a sink or behind an appliance ­– top places for leaks.

Dry storage

Off-season clothing, camping items, sporting gear and other stuff you use occasionally or seasonally should be completely clean and dry before packing away. You can add some moisture fighting packets in the box before sealing, and consider packing in paper first if you use plastic storage tubs.

Keep air circulating

On any day that is warm enough, open up windows to let fresh air in. Move furniture away from walls in the winter – just a few inches can let air circulate. Set up fans to push air around in rooms where air is still.

Got mold?

If you find mold in your home, stay calm and call The Dry Guys. We have a mold cleanup plan to help you get mold out of your home and prevent its return.

Pet Accident Carpet Cleaning

Do you love your pet, but don’t love the messes they make? Pet accidents are a normal part of animal ownership, but they can wreak havoc on your carpeted floors. Immediate action to remedy the situation, follow up to find hidden damage, and prevention techniques will save the day.

Whoops! An accident – what should you do?

An accident isn’t the end of the world. Be patient and follow these steps to clean up a pet accident.

Number One

If a puddle has suddenly appeared in your pet’s vicinity, don’t panic. Grab paper towels or a clean cotton cloth or shammy, and drop it on the puddle to blot it. Press gently and then replace paper toweling and repeat or fold and turn the cloth and blot again until you can’t get any more out.

With a fresh cloth, cover the spot and step without your weight, being careful not to move sideways and smear the wetness. This should make sure all liquid possible has been pulled back up out of the carpet.

Number Two

If the problem is, uhmm, more solid, pick up all of the matter you can without smearing. Allowing the feces to dry may seem disgusting, but may also allow you to remove the clump in one piece, without leaving particles stuck to the carpet. From there you can use the clean water and vinegar method to flush the area and soak out the smell or stain.

Treating the affected area with a product designed to repel your cat or dog is a smart move. You may also want to run a blacklight over your carpets to see if they’ve had an accident you missed, so you can clean the floor and deodorize it before applying repellent. Otherwise your pet will keep returning to the spot.

Prevention and Training

Take soiled cloths or paper toweling and place them in an area your pet is allowed to relieve themselves – ideally out-of-doors. Praise or treat them effusively when they use the correct spot. Puppies can take a while to train, but it will be well worth it. Older dogs usually catch on quickly and are eager to please.

The more accidents you can head off with a hurried trip outdoors, the better. Don’t swat your pet or rub your pet’s face in their mess – they won’t understand this and will only become anxious. Praise when they do the right thing is far more effective.

If a stubborn spot refuses to come out, don’t worry. Just pick up the phone and call The Dry Guys – our pet stain removal skills will solve the issue!

Keeping Carpets Spotless with a Sensible Cleaning Schedule

Carpet cleaning should be a part of your regular housecleaning plan… but how often should carpets be cleaned, and when is it time for a professional carpet cleaning?

The Dry Guys do have some basic rules of thumb when it comes to the care and maintenance of your home’s carpets. Here are the best tips for keeping your flooring looking and smelling fresh.

First, if it’s been a while since your carpets were professionally cleaned, give The Dry Guys a call so you can start with a clean slate. The HOST cleaning system requires very little water to be used and leaves carpets feeling fresh and clean, with a reduced chance of mold underneath carpet padding. Then follow these guidelines.

Carpet damage prevention

You can cut down on flattening of carpet fibers by arranging your furniture in such a way that several foot-traffic routes through each room are encouraged. Then, shift your furniture by a few inches to either side periodically, to subtly alter the paths through the room. For hallways or established routes through a room you can lay down runner or an area rug.

Enforcing a “no shoes” policy in the house will also cut down on grime. Having a shoe rack at each entry and also a place to put sports equipment as well as a coat rack can help prevent dirt from out of doors being tracked into the house.

Regular carpet maintenance

Rooms in heavy use should be receiving a light vacuum a few times each week. Rooms that are used less frequently can be vacuumed once a week or so to keep carpets fresh and fluffy – you can run across with a duster and vacuum in mere minutes.

If a bad spill or a pet accident happens, you can turn to a trusty spill kit or call The Dry Guys if you’re worried about a stain. Fast action can help preserve your carpeted floors and keep them looking new.

Professional carpet cleaning in Kenosha

Have your carpets professionally cleaned once or twice a year. Most homeowners aim for a spring clean and a fall clean. You can add cleanings before big house parties or events, or if you are having company at the holidays. By keeping your carpets clean and following these tips, you can maintain your floors for years and avoid costly replacements or worn or grimy areas.

Dealing with Flooding and Water Damage: Safety First

Water damage can be caused by storms, flooding, or broken pipes in your home. Knowing when to call for help is key. The Dry Guys offer professional Wisconsin water damage remediation services, so make them your first call – and stay safe while your home recovers from water damage. 

Is it storm or floodwaters?

Get your most important belongings together and vacate the premises. Call The Dry Guys as well as your homeowners insurance company and flood insurance company. Stuff to pack includes small valuables, important documents, cash, and ID plus a change of clothes for each person and any medications or medical equipment. If flooding is increasing, speed up and only take what is absolutely necessary. Don’t risk your life if waters are rising!

Looking for burst pipes

Locate where the water is coming from. If there is a broken pipe, turn off the pipe’s water supply. If you can’t locate the leak, try turning off water from the entire house. Electrical dangers are a primary concern, so don’t mess with any electrical cords, plugs, or outlets that have been touched by the water. Avoid water if you believe it is from a contaminated source. A foul smell could indicate back-up from a burst sewer main, so add the water company to the list of people to call.

Get a professional assessment ASAP

Standing water needs to be dealt with rapidly, to reduce the amount of damage and chance of having to fully replace flooring, furniture, and even walls in your home. Even if the waters go down quickly, there can be lasting contamination, damage, and a high risk of mold. Call water remediation professionals as soon as possible for an assessment of the damage to and dangers in your home.

The Dry Guys can give you a comprehensive report and an estimate on water damage remediation, and coordinate with your homeowners insurance company. Ask your insurer about loss of use coverage to see if they will cover alternate living space for the duration of repairs. You can recover from water damage but it’s important to act quickly and get expert help.

Get Stained Tile and Grout Cleaned by the Pros

Why should you have your Kenosha or Racine tile floors professionally cleaned? There’s more than one answer to that questions – in fact, it can be answered by asking a few more questions:

  1. Who wants to spend hours on their hands and knees scrubbing at stains on tile and dirty grout with a toothbrush?  (No-one, that’s who.)
  2. Wouldn’t it better to have a professional come in with the right tools and solutions to lift away grime and stains? (Yes, it would.)
  3. Isn’t there a better solution than scrubbing tile floors all to have the work undone the next time your drop an egg or tip over a glass of wine? (Hint: it’s called sealant.)

While a hard surface flooring like a tile and grout design can add beauty and texture to your home, it’s not necessarily a “easier” option than carpet or hardwood. You’ll still have to clean your floors and have them professionally cleaned at intervals to maintain that fresh, new look.

Clean tile, dirty grout?

Even if you get down on your hands and knees with a scrub brush, bristles can only take away the stains on the surface. With porous grout criss-crossing your tile floors, all you may succeed in doing is bringing back the shine to your tile – and making the dirty grout stand out like a sore thumb.

Even if you find some sort of bleaching solution, you’ll find that stains return to your grout and tile as fast as you can scrub them away.

Time to call The Dry Guys

There is a much better way to give tile and grout back a like new look and preserve that sparkle and shine for months to come. The Dry Guys use a mild alkaline solution and a specialized tile cleaning tool to penetrate into tile and grout pores and loosen accumulated soil, grease, and contaminants. Rotary brushes gently scrub away stains and a vacuum sucks the dirty water away.

The floor is rinsed, dried, and then a sealer is applied to keep the surface protected and prevent future stains and discoloration. With regular floor cleaning and reapplication of sealant by The Dry Guys, your floors will look great for many years.

Don’t let your floors make your house look dingy. Call The Dry Guys for a tile and grout cleaning estimate today.

Professional Upholstery Cleaning Can Keep Your Living Room Looking New

Like carpeting, upholstery often becomes dull and dingy over time, as dirt, dust, dander, and grime get trapped in fibers and dim the beauty of an expensive sofa and loveseat or comfortable armchairs. But how do you clean your beautiful furniture upholstery without damaging it?

Most furniture will have an informational tag with a cleaning code hidden under a cushion or beneath the seat. An S means you need a solvent based cleaner, while a W indicates the upholstery must be cleaned with a water based solution.

The Dry Guys use the Von Schrader Dry Foam Extraction System for upholstery cleaning, as it is safe for furniture labeled W, and even leather.  No liquid touches the fabric; instead, a gentle, soft, dry foam with Green Seal certified ingredients is applied. The dirt is gently teased out of the fibers, and then immediately removed without saturating the fabric.

Keeping your upholstery clean

Just as you mop tile floors, polish hardwood, and vacuum carpet, your upholstery should be routinely cleaned as well. Use the following tips to see how dirty your upholstered furniture is:

  • Smack the seat or back of your sofa with a wooden spoon. If a puff of dust rises, your upholstery is due for a cleaning.
  • Dampen a white cotton towel with a small amount of water and rub it over a chair arm or neck rest. Do you see a transfer of dirt onto the towel?
  • Rubber band a small piece of dark fabric over the end of a vacuum hose, and press it to the side or back of a seat. Look for white specks of dried skin and dander.

If you see any dirt, dander, or grime, remember that you’re only seeing a fraction of what is really trapped in your furniture upholstery.

Call The Dry Guys

Once you have determined that your upholstery needs cleaning, the next step is simple – call The Dry Guys. We will implement the Von Schrader Dry Foam Extraction System to thoroughly clean your upholstered pieces.

Your upholstered sofa, loveseat, chaise lounge, or armchairs deserve the best treatment. When cleaned by The Dry Guys, your expensive furniture can go on to give you years of happiness, looking almost as new as the day they were purchased.

Preventing and Protecting Against Mold

Mold ruins more than just bread and cheese! When mold makes a home in your carpets, walls, or grout, it can wreak havoc on your household. Mold is responsible for odors, allergies, and even severe illnesses. In children, prolonged exposure to mold spores leads to an increased likelihood of asthma and allergies.

For that reason, it’s best to eliminate colonies before they get a foothold, and prevent further mold growth in your home. Hot, humid summers or water intrusion can make that a bit difficult, but here’s some tips on how to nip problems in the bud.

Reduce Humidity

Humidity is the primary cause of mold. In fact, some forms of mold can grow in cold conditions, as long as there’s moisture present. Your bathroom, kitchen, and laundry rooms are placed places that frequently see water, steam, and heat.

Make sure these areas of your home have proper ventilation, and open windows while cooking or showering. If your windows, tile, or mirrors start collecting water, it’s a sign that it’s too humid. Buying a dehumidifier can also cut down on humidity if you don’t have proper ventilation in these areas. If you open windows, make sure to close them if the weather outside gets misty or muggy.

Choose Household Plants Wisely

Some houseplants can worsen humidity problems in your home. If you like having greenery around the house, or plan on sprucing up your living space with some potted plants, make sure to choose and place them wisely. Rooms with low ventilation and high humidity shouldn’t have certain plants in them.

Some plants can actually help with humidity problems by absorbing the moisture from the air. These are safe to have in any room, and they make great decoration. Examples include:

  • Boston Fern
  • English Ivy
  • Peace Lily
  • Tillandsia
  • Reed Palm

Repair & Maintain Appliances/Pipes

When appliances leak water, they encourage mold growth. When they contain water, there’s a chance they’re breeding mold. If you have leaky pipes, broken hoses, and old appliances, it’s vital that you repair and maintain them. Unclean air conditioners can blow mold spores through the house, and leaky pipes and appliances can cause water damage and mold infestations.

Once you’ve taken care of your ventilation, plants, and appliances, you should be off to a good start. With regular carpet and upholstery cleanings, your furniture, rugs, and flooring can stay clean and mold-free. If mold does appear, The Dry Guys can help get rid of mold for a healthy home. Contact us anytime for a complementary estimate.

The Different Types of Carpeting, and Why It Matters

If you’re planning on re-carpeting your home, or wish to identify your existing carpet to have it cleaned, understanding the types of carpet and their pros/cons is the first step. Some carpets require extreme care when cleaning and handling, so knowing the differences between them can save a lot of frustration.

Types of Carpet Materials

The material that carpet is made with has a huge impact on how it looks, how fast it degrades, and what cleaning solutions and methods you can use without damaging it.

  • Wool. The most luxurious and expensive carpet material, but also the softest. While cheap wool carpets might not hold up well under scrutiny, pricey high-end carpets are worth the money. Some carpets combine wool and synthetic materials for a more well-rounded product.
  • Nylon. This is the most common carpet material, and for good reason. It is soft and durable. Three-fourths of all carpets are made of nylon.
  • Polyester. Usually made from recycled bottles, this carpet is eco-friendly, hypo-allergenic, and extremely good at holding color. However, polyester carpets aren’t good under pressure, and don’t hold up well in high-traffic areas.
  • Polypropylene. Known as a synthetic wool substitute, polypropylene carpets have many of the same aesthetic qualities as wool. However, they dirty easily and collect oils, making them an unattractive option for busy homes and businesses.

Types of Carpet Piles

The differences between carpets don’t stop at material. The carpet “pile” refers to how it’s cut and treated.

  • Loop/Berber pile. This type of carpet is uncut, meaning that the material is looped through the netting. These loops are resilient and don’t flatten easily. They aren’t very soft, and children and pets can get fingers or claws caught in them.
  • Cut pile. The material loops are cut after being fixed to the backing. The angle and length of these carpets can vary, but they are usually softer. However, cut pile carpets are easily smashed, making them a bad choice for hallways or high-traffic areas.
  • Trackless cut. While the strands in this carpet are cut, they are treated with heat so the yarn spirals. This makes flattening less noticeable.
  • Saxony pile. This refers to carpet that consists of many individual strands. They stand straight up in a lush pile. However, this type of carpet is easily dirtied and flattened, and requires gentle care.
  • Velvet cut pile. Similar to actual velvet, velvet-cut pile is short, dense, and rich to the touch. However, like Saxony, this is a luxurious and easily ruined carpet.
  • Freeze-cut pile. These carpets consist of tightly kinked and twisted strands. It is extremely durable, and does not show age and dirt as much as other piles. It is commonly used in commercial areas.

If you call The Dry Guys, we will always identify your type of carpet, and then use the proper technique to clean it. Our specialized HOST Dry extraction technology allows us to deep-clean almost any carpet type safely to leave them fresh and looking new.

Flooded Home? Find Out if the Water is Clean, Gray, or Black

Do you know the difference between clean water, gray water, and black water? These descriptions are not about the actual clarity or shade – they’re about how much contaminants are in the water invading your Kenosha or Racine home. The level of water contamination dictates how complex your water damage is, and what the flood remediation team has to deal with.

Clean Water

Clean water is water that comes from your home’s inbound water pipes, also known as potable water. This can also include rainwater or snow melt that could come in through a hole in the roof or a broken window. Clean water is water that you could conceivably have consumed safely before it flooded across the floors of your home. You’ll typically see flooding from clean water coming from a broken water line, a busted toilet tank, a leaking washing machine or the water line running to a refrigerator.  Clean water that is cleaned up quickly usually doesn’t pose a health risk, but after just 24-48 hours of contact with your home it can become gray water.

Gray Water

Gray water is water that might have contaminants or chemicals in it. It may come up from drains (including your showers, bathtubs, sinks, clothes washer or dishwasher drains) aquariums, leaking water beds, and more. Gray water can cause a lot more damage than clean water, requiring more cleanup and possible temporary evacuation during water damage remediation. In just another 48 hours or so, gray water can devolve into black water – posing serious health risks to you and your family and increasing the damage to your home.

Black Water

Black water is water that has been contaminated by floodwaters or sewage. It can wash into your home due to a flooded river, or glug up out of a backed-up toilet, or clogged sewage line near your home. This water can contain bacteria, mold, and viruses and can be very dangerous to your health. If black water damage isn’t quickly and thoroughly addressed by experts, you home can become surely contaminated and unsafe to live in.

Whether you have water damage from an overflowing tub, broken pipe, leaky dishwasher, or sewer backup, call The Dry Guys immediately. Clean water can be dried out quickly, and gray water dangers addressed promptly and remedies. Black water must be carefully handled by our experts, who may present you with recommendations as to remediation steps that need to be carried out. Sometimes flooring and drywall must be completely removed to minimize health hazards.

While small clean water leaks may be manageable, severe leaks should always generate a call to professionals who can help you thoroughly dry your home and avoid mold risks.  Never try to clean up black water yourself. It’s advisable that you call The Dry Guys for water or flood damage, as we will assess the situation professionally, and make sure you are protected from potential health hazards.

New Pet in the House? Here’s How to Minimize Carpet Damage

Training a new puppy? Your carpets may pay the price! Nearly every pet owner eventually has to deal with a stain from a pet accident, but knowing how to deal with the issue promptly is key to avoiding serious damage.

See something? Do something!

As soon as you are aware there has been an accident, spring into action. Being aware of your puppy’s actions and on accident alert can save your carpet padding, which is where most lasting odors take hold. Once you have that problem, getting rid of the smell can be a challenge. Worse yet – the uric acid will stay in the flooring, tempting your pup to return to the same spot to do his or her business.

Don’t scrub at the carpet. Instead, fold a clean cotton towel into a square, lay it promptly over the puddle, and step on it (with shoes on) putting your whole weight behind your step. Repeat across the entire area of the accident, and replace the towel before doing it again. Keep doing it until the towels come up dry. Prompt action of this sort wicks the moisture straight up out of the carpet instead of letting it trickle further down and spread out.

Plan and Prevent

The best way to avoid pet accident damage to your carpets is to train your puppy from day one, This can mean following him around and rushing him out of doors or onto a strategically placed pee pad every time he starts to squat. You can use special sprays to attract him to the appropriate spot, and mask the site of accidents with other sprays that help them reject a formerly attractive spot.

If you crate train your puppy, and take her straight out after letting her out of the crate, and make sure to repeat the process before you put her back in, she will quickly learn outside is the best place for going potty. If she does have an accident, take her out immediately and then crate her when you come back in for consistency.

Call The Dry Guys

Even with the best of intentions, you may end up with some odor in your carpets from sneak accidents, especially when the humidity is high. If this happens, calling The Dry Guys for a complete Kenosha carpet cleaning can take you back to the pre-puppy days. Once your pup is trained, make that appointment and you can both start over with a clean slate.