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.

Is Your Upholstered Furniture in Need of a Revival?

Your sofa, your recliner, loveseat, upholstered chairs – if you’ve noticed puffs of dust arising when you sit, or come off of your furniture feeling a tackiness on your hands, it likely means your upholstery needs professional cleaning.

While many people enjoy the wipe-down aspect of leather, not everyone enjoys the sensation of sitting on it. However, fabric upholstery collects dust and grime like a magnet, and you can’t just throw it in the washer at the end of the week. You’ll need to monitor the state of your upholstered furniture, so you can tell when it’s time to place a call to the cleaners.

What gets in your upholstery?

If you have pets, they can shed fur and dander, plus track up dirt whenever they hop up for a nap. Even if you ban them from sitting on furniture, who’s to say they follow orders when you’re not around? Kids also shed – crumbs, dirt, and sweat. They can spill drinks, drop chips, and leave muddy shoe prints on the sofa or loveseat.  Even if you live in a pet and child-free household, oils from the back of your neck and dirt from your hands can cause discoloration on the backs and arms of upholstered furniture pieces.

Checking for cleanliness

While you can protect your couch from as much damage as possible, there’s only so much you can do before you need a clean. You can test the cleanliness of your couches and chairs using a few tricks. If a white cloth comes away grey after being rubbed lightly on the armrests, it’s time for a clean. A black cloth over your vacuum hose can check for white dander in between the cushions, letting you know if there are allergens making a home in your couch. You can use the se tips to determine when you need a clean. Protecting your upholstery can help cut down on dirt – a few throw blankets can work wonders for protecting your sofas and chairs.

Who do you call? The Dry Guys

Cleaning your upholstery properly and thoroughly can be a complicated process. The Dry Guys are the solution. Using a Certified Green Upholstery Cleaning process, we leave your furniture dry, fresh, and safe to sit on. Depending on your household, you might need a cleaning done every few months, or once a year. Regardless of your schedule, The Dry Guys will be there when you call, to keep your upholstery and carpets looking and feeling fresh.

Have You Cleaned Your Tile and Grout?

While tile is far more durable than carpet, that doesn’t mean it’s impervious to damage, stains, and grime. However, stains don’t mean the end for your tile flooring. Even if your floors have collected years of dirt and grease, they can still be revived with some TLC – Tile Loving Care!

Your bathroom, kitchen, and entryways are the worst culprits for grime buildup. Your bathroom is where you get clean, but it’s also the location of quite a bit grime production. Humidity doesn’t help, as it breeds mold and mildew, which can leave your grout-lines looking dingy.

Your kitchen is next, and it’s not much cleaner. Spilled batter, a fumbled egg, a tipped wine glass, grease spatter, and who knows what else could be decorating your tile floors. While you might be able to clean up most of the mess, sometimes your grout picks up what you can’t. The sealant on your tile can also degrade over time, allowing the surface to become stained or discolored.

The entryways might be last on your list, but they’re also the first places to pick up dirt. You and your guests can trample in a fair bit of snow, dirt, and debris from outside. Even if you have a welcome mat and a shoe rack, you can only prevent so much. After a while, you’ll need a deep clean.

That’s where The Dry Guys come in. When you have someone on-call to do the scrubbing and sealing for you, there’s no need for you to sacrifice a toothbrush plus hours on your knees scrubbing at grout lines. We have the technology to do a faster, more thorough job.

Even if your floors are old and showing their wear, they can still be rejuvenated by a good tile and grout cleaning. If you’re considering a tile replacement because of aesthetic damage, consider this option first. It’s far cheaper, and you might be surprised what is lying beneath all those layers of dirt, grime, and stains.

Whether you’re preparing your home for potential buyers, or just want to do some deep cleaning of your tile and grout floors, call The Dry Guys to help you get the job done faster, easier, and better than you could have imagined.

 

Using and Caring for Area Rugs in Your Home

Area rugs can be a way to display heirlooms handed down from generation to generation, or as a pleasant reminder of an exotic vacation. However, there are many other benefits to having area rugs in your home, including:

Floor Protection

An area rug can help protect flooring like hardwood, laminate, or tile. You can also use one on carpet in high-traffic areas, such as a runner down a hallway or a rectangular rug in front of a couch or under a table. It’s even en vogue to place an area rug on top of wall-to-wall carpeting!

Décor

Area rugs can also add splashes of color and accent a room beautifully, by either complementing your furnishings and art or by serving as a focal point around which a room can be decorated.

Warmth

When it’s cold, an area rug can allow you to enjoy being barefoot even in a hard-floored room. The nice thing about an area rug is that you can put one down in the winter and store it in the summer.

Comfort

Area rugs are also more comfortable to walk on than tile or hardwood if you have a “no shoes in the house” rule or if your feet or knees are sensitive to hard surfaces. A small area rug in areas where you walk or stand a lot, like in front of the kitchen sink, can make a big difference.

Noise Reduction

An area rug, like carpeting, can significantly muffle sound, reducing echoes and making a room feel cozier. Hard surface floors let noise bounce from floor to ceiling, while rugs help absorb sound.   

Feng Shui

If you like your home to have a positive flow of energy, an area rug can help set the stage by slowing movement and providing a sense of calm. It can also “ground” the room when used in the center with pieces of furniture touching it. This lessens the feeling that a living room is “floating” in empty space.

Allergies

Non-carpeted rooms and rooms without rugs mean dust keeps bouncing around, carrying allergens. A carpet or area rug can help collect dust and pet dander, which can then be vacuumed out or – better yet – cleaned by The Dry Guys.

Area Rug Care

Your area rugs should be cleaned by a professional rug service such as The Dry Guys. We can clean your area rugs, upholstered furniture, and carpets as part of your annual cleaning process. Contact us today for more information or a complimentary estimate.

Avoid Mold in Your House This Spring

With Wisconsin finally emerging from a long, frigid winter season, the next challenge for homeowners is mold. Since warmer spring weather increases humidity and encourages optimal growing temperatures, mold spores find a foothold and multiply quickly.

Warning signs of mold in your home

Some warning signs and situations that may point to an issue with mold in your home:

  • Strong, musty, or sour odors
  • Visible mold (may be white, grey, brown, green, black, yellow or orange)
  • Poor ventilation in humid areas (bathrooms, laundry room, kitchen)
  • Bowing or discolored wood or drywall
  • History of flooding, a leaky roof, or cracked pipes

Don’t forget to look in the attic or crawl space if you suspect mold. Many problems start out of sight and don’t appear until they have grown much larger.

Where to check in your home for mold

Wherever moisture builds up, mold can develop. It only takes a small amount of dampness and warmth to encourage springtime mold to grow. As part of your spring clean, check places like:

  • Under sinks in the bathrooms and kitchen
  • Around appliances in the basement or laundry room
  • Behind and under the refrigerator and freezer
  • On baseboards in laundry rooms and bathrooms
  • Near hoses or vents for HVAC units or clothes dryers

Any part of your home that is warm and damp is the ideal hiding place for mold, so check such rooms frequently and use fans or dehumidifiers to dry out suspect areas.

Health issues associated with mold

Mold growth can cause health problems or make health problems worse. If your household includes people with allergies or asthma, mold should be a big concern. Mold can also cause:

  • Sore throat
  • Chronic cough
  • Runny nose
  • Congestion
  • Respiratory infections
  • Headaches
  • Skin rashes

Other more serious conditions can arise through long term exposure to mold, even if it isn’t what is commonly referred to as “toxic mold” or “black mold”.

Mold Remediation for Racine or Kenosha

Keeping a vigilant watch out for mold can help you swiftly identify and eradicate spores when they appear. Some household cleaning products can ward-off mold on surfaces. But note that mold growing on porous surfaces can hide and then explode into sight in a heavy bloom. In many cases, cleaning surfaces yourself will not always get rid of mold! 

The Dry Guys can help determine the severity and extent of the mold growth, perform expert mold remediation to completely clear your home of mold. Please call us if you suspect mold is in your home, if your family has symptoms associated with mold spores, or you can smell or see mold growing in your house.  

Are Your Carpets Showing Wear from Wintertime? It’s Spring, and that Means it’s Time for a Cleaning

After a long, wet, snowy and icy winter, your carpets may be showing the strain.  Now that it’s sunny and the flowers and grass are growing, you will want to start thinking about your spring cleaning. High on the list are all of your carpets and rugs. 

Your carpet often bears most of the traffic throughout your home. From the living room and hallway to all the bedrooms, they may not look as good as they did before the onset of winter. Dirt, mud and even icy sludge were likely tracked in over the last several months.

Properly caring for your carpet and having it professionally cleaned on a regular basis can extend the life of the carpet. Thinking of putting your house on the market this summer?  A deep, thorough carpet cleaning may be something important to consider.

  1. Our top quality service begins as soon as you call The Dry Guys. We will schedule your appointment for a specific arrival time (not a 2 to 4 hour “window”) and give you an approximate cost estimate over the phone. Upon arrival, trained technicians will take accurate measurements of the areas to be cleaned, review any areas of concern with you, and give you an exact price before any cleaning begins.
  2. A thorough vacuuming of the carpet is the first step to remove all dry and loose dust, dirt, and soil from the carpeting.
  3. The HOST Sponges Cleaner is applied and worked into the carpet fibers with counter-rotating brushes, which allows them to dissolve and absorb the remaining soil and contaminants in the carpet. It is then vacuumed away, leaving your carpet clean, dry and ready for immediate use.
  4. We proudly use Green Seal Certified products, which means they are non-toxic, environmentally friendly, and completely safe for your carpet, family and pets. “HOST® Dry Carpet Cleaner meets the Green Seal® Standard for Cleaning Products for Industrial and Institutional Use, GS-37, based on its reduced human and environmental toxicity and reduced volatile organic compound content.”

Call us and book early to get a jump start on your spring cleaning. Our carpet cleaning experts at The Dry Guys will make sure your carpets look (and smell) their best, putting your floors back to a state you can be proud of.

Storm Water Remediation is the Solution to Excessive April Showers

Spring showers can be beneficial to the flowers growing outside, but they can also cause flooding problems if you live near a flood plain. Unexpected storms may result in flash flooding, raising the water table and allowing water to seep into your basement.

When you experience large amounts of rainfall and your property floods, you’ll have several inches of water or more inside your basement or even the ground level of your home. Floodwater can cause visible and invisible damage that should be dealt with as soon as you possibly can.

If you live in an area that’s vulnerable to flash floods, you may need an emergency water damage remediation service. The Dry Guys are experts in water remediation and we are the perfect professionals to help you get that water out of your house. 

You may be wondering, “But why can’t I do it myself? Can’t things just dry naturally?” You may want to consult professionals for several reasons:

  1. Once you get floodwater in your home, you, your home and your family could be at risk for several hazards. Depending on where the floodwater came from, it may contain dangerous bacteria, putting you and your family at increased risk for bacterial illnesses.
  2. Even after the water has receded or been removed from your home, the structure must be properly and completely dried to prevent future development of mold. Water remediation experts can check for mold growth, which is even more important in homes that flood periodically.
  3. Your possessions may not  simply “just dry out.” The key to salvaging carpet, upholstery, and other affected items in your home is drying them as soon as possible to avoid permanent damage.
  4. Does your homeowner’s insurance include flood damage? It is always better to find out ahead of time, rather than during an emergency. Even if you do have flood insurance, you have the right to choose your restoration professional.

If you don’t call in a professional that has the right equipment to remove all traces of water, you could be dealing with the long-lasting effects of that “April shower.” Don’t leave your home vulnerable to the aftereffects of that flooding. Call the experts in professional water remediation and take advantage of everything The Dry Guys can offer.