August 2017 Client Newsletter

Here’s our client newsletter for August 2017.

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Understanding the Role of Humidity in Your Home

Water is an important part of our lives. It covers 70% of the Earth’s surface and makes up most of our body weight. Water exists underground, as mountain snow, as glacial ice, as clouds above us and so much more. What we rarely consider is that there is also water in the air all around us. This water, in the form of vapor, is called humidity and while too little is bad for our health too much can be bad as well.

Discovering Water Vapor The most common measure of humidity is relative humidity (RH). Relative humidity measures the amount of water vapor in the air compared to the maximum amount of water that could be suspended in the air at that temperature. RH is always expressed as a percentage. At 100% relative humidity, air can hold no more water vapor at that temperature. At 50% RH, the air is holding half the amount of water vapor that it could suspend at that temperature. You should try to keep humidity levels in your home between 30-50% RH for optimal comfort and health. If humidity is too low, say below 20%, your skin, eyes and hair will feel dry and uncomfortable. Certain materials like leather and wood will also begin to dry out.

You should try to keep humidity levels in your home between 30-50% RH for optimal comfort and health. If humidity is too low, say below 20%, your skin, eyes and hair will feel dry and uncomfortable. Certain materials like leather and wood will also begin to dry out.

High humidity- 60% or above- for extended periods can cause many problems including health issues and damage to structural materials. If relative humidity remains above 60% for very long, there is an increased potential for mold on wood, drywall and other interior surfaces.

Signs of high humidity are: a sticky or clammy feeling; wood floors that are “cupped”; sticking doors; condensation on widows, air conditioning vents or walls; musty odors and mold growth on interior surfaces and furnishings.

The Causes of High Humidity High humidity can be a sign that there is a leak in the structure, or problems with the air conditioning and ventilation system, building envelope or foundation issues. If you have a basement or crawlspace, a damp musty odor is an indication that there may be moisture or humidity problems. Musty odors are more than a nuisance. They are an indicator of wood rot, mold growth or other microbial issues. Microbes can also pose a health risk to occupants of the structure.

Warm air can hold more water vapor than cool air. This is why condensation occurs on cold surfaces. As air comes into contact with the cold surface, the air gets cooler, and the RH increases. If the surface is cold enough, RH reaches 100%. Since the air can no longer hold all of the water vapor condensation forms on the surface of the cooler material. We call this the dewpoint temperature.

If you have a basement, sunroom or unfinished area that is sometimes cooler than the rest of your house, temperature variations can lead to excessive relative humidity, condensation and all of the associated problems. In these areas it may be necessary to use a dehumidifier to control moisture in the air. Remember, if the air is damp so is the structure. Keeping humidity under control is one step toward making your home a healthier place to live.

High humidity is a sign that something is wrong with a structure. If you suspect you have any kind of water damage from a leak, condensation, poor construction or foundation issues, call Professional Carpet Systems today. We can help identify the problem, prevent further damage and assist you in finding the right solution.

July 2017 Client Newsletters

This is our July 2017 client newsletter.

Is it too Soon to Clean My New Carpet?

If you purchased new carpet within the last year or two you may be wondering when the time is to start having it professionally cleaned. Often times a salesperson at the carpet store will tell you to wait as long as possible before you have your new carpet professionally cleaned; that cleaning your carpet will just make it get dirty faster requiring more frequent cleaning. Is that true?

Old Attitudes for Old Technology

The belief that once you clean your carpet the first time you will then need to clean them all the time goes back to the early days of professional carpet cleaning. Back then lots of chemical and water was used in an attempt to get the carpet clean. These carpet cleaning chemicals worked great at attracting soil away from the carpet fiber and suspending those soils in the cleaning solution to be wet vacuumed away.

The trouble began because the equipment was not able to extract or rinse out all the chemical that was applied. So, the chemicals remained on the carpet as a sticky, soil-attracting residue. It was true, once you cleaned your carpets back “in the day” you began a cycle of needing to clean them more often.

Poor Quality Carpet Cleaning Causes Damage

To some extent, this can happen even today when calling some “discount” carpet cleaners. They use cheap chemicals, inferior equipment, untrained workers and charge low, low prices. The poor guys who work for them are often subcontractors or are paid on commission. What happens is that the technician often has to hurry through the job just to make a decent living. So there can be a lot of these cheap, sticky chemicals left in the carpet because they were not properly rinsed out. Sure it looks okay when he leaves, but the carpets will re-soil quickly, often over the course of a few days or weeks.

The Benefits of High-Quality Cleaning

Things in the carpet cleaning industry have changed dramatically over the last few years. The cleaning agents we use, though more expensive, are designed to rinse freely from the carpet and leave little or no residue. What tiny amount may be left behind is specially formulated to dry completely non-sticky, to be vacuumed away with normal maintenance.

Quality equipment does cost more, but it has the power to thoroughly clean your carpet and rinse away soils and cleaning agents. Finally, the application of a quality protector makes your carpet stay cleaner longer. Not all carpet cleaners are willing to spend the extra time and money to do a high quality job.

A reputable company will pre-treat, agitate and rinse with extremely hot water and a powerful vacuum system. This leaves carpets clean, fluffy and residue-free, the way it should be. As an added bonus, clean carpet improves indoor air quality, so your family will breathe easier.

Most major carpet manufacturers require professional carpet cleaning once every 12-24 months. Failure to do so could void your carpet warranty. So if you want your carpets to stay cleaner, last longer and look beautiful, call Professional Carpet Systems to set up your personalized carpet care program.

June 2017 Client Newsletter

This is our June 2017 client newsletter.

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Kitchen Fire, Now What?

The leading cause of house fires is cooking; grease fires, oven fires or simply leaving a pot unattended on a stove. Most of us can recall leaving something on the stove and being distracted. If you ever find you have a fire in a pan, do not attempt to move it. Cut off the supply of air to the fire by putting a metal lid on top of it if possible, and turn off the burner. If the fire is in an oven, turn off the oven and leave it closed.

Of course, every kitchen needs a fire extinguisher. Be certain it’s the right type. Type A fire extinguishers are for fires involving combustible materials like paper, wood, cloth, rubber and most plastics. Never use a Type A extinguisher on a grease fire! An explosive reaction could result, causing the fire to spread.

Type B extinguishers are for flammable liquids like food grease, oil, solvents and gasoline.

Type C extinguishers are for fires involving electrical equipment and components.

Type ABC multi-purpose fire extinguishers are designed to put out all three types of fire. Since they are the most versatile, it’s probably the best choice for your kitchen. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher, douse the fire with dry baking soda. If you are not absolutely certain a fire is out, call 911 immediately. Waiting could have disastrous results. Most of the time, if the fire is contained, damage to the structure is minimal.

During a fire, hot gasses and smoke penetrate into surfaces, making the resulting odors challenging to remove. Often there is a greasy, sooty residue left on surfaces that also causes odors that can range from fairly mild to quite severe.

Once the area has been ventilated, complete odor removal will follow this sequence:

Step 1: Remove the odor sourceRemove as much as possible, all charred material from the house. Step 2: Clean affected surfaces such as cabinets, walls, oven interiors, upholstery, carpets and just about anything else that has the potential to hold smoke, soot or grease residue. It’s best to get professional help with this.

Some residues can be removed dry, others require water-based cleaners, and still others require solvents for best results. Sometimes cleaning is all that is needed, but usually the odors have penetrated into surfaces.

Step 3: Recreate the conditions of odor penetration – The goal is to get the deodorizing agent to penetrate affected surfaces to neutralize the odors. This requires professional equipment and training. Some of the tools create a deodorizing fog that penetrates cracks, crevices and other inaccessible areas. These vapors destroy, neutralize or encapsulate the odor causing molecules in porous materials. In many cases, these three steps are all that is needed. Sometimes odors linger in certain areas like kitchen cabinets. That’s when you need step 4.

Step 4: Seal surfaces that do not respond. In those cases where all else fails, the surface can be sealed, preventing odors from escaping into the air. The type of sealer used will depend on the surface.

We hope this article will help you prevent a cooking fire in your home. But if the unthinkable happens, call Professional Carpet Systems. We can help assess the damage, clean up the mess, eliminate the odors and get your home back to normal as quickly as possible.

May 2017 Client Newsletter

This is our May 2017 client newsletter.

 

Soil Control Saves You Money and Time

All through the year we track various soils into our homes. Not only that, pollutants from car exhaust, pollens, pet and human dander, and just plain old dirt can damage decorative surfaces in your home including carpet, tile, wood, upholstery and fabrics. Soil control is an important part of keeping your home clean and healthy. You can control soil by limiting the entrance and buildup of contaminants in your indoor environment.

Keep Outside Contaminates Outside

The best way to control soil indoors is to prevent its entry. They say that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure; it takes 12 times more effort, time and money to remove soil as it does to prevent it from entering a structure.

Remember that whatever is outside tends to come in, so consider the following:

• Keep walkways, steps and porches clean and free of dirt, mold, moss and algae.

• Maintain garage floors in order to prevent oil, road grime and other contaminants from accumulating and being tracked indoors.

• Place doormats both outside and inside the entrances to your home.

• Outdoor mats should be a water resistant, synthetic, non-absorbent fiber such as olefin or polypropylene, textured to scrape heavier soils off your shoes. Avoid natural fibers which tend to degrade, mold and rot creating a new soil source.

• Inside doormats should be absorbent like nylon, cotton or wool. Vacuum and wash it periodically to remove built-up soils.

• Remove shoes when you come indoors, but don’t make the mistake of going barefoot all the time.

Some Dirt Starts Inside

There are also sources of soiling that originate indoors. Normal daily activities generate a variety of dust and residues that settle on just about every surface. Keep the following in mind to keep your home clean:

• Cooking produces oily deposits that can bond to floors and carpet, attracting dust and soil. Kitchen vent hoods remove odors and filter out oils and moisture too.

• Humans shed millions of skin cells every day. The more people and pets there are in the home, the more dead skin, body oils, perspiration and debris accumulate in carpets, furnishings and air ducts.

• Gas and oil-fired heating systems also produce carbon pollution. Even candles can contribute to soiling of carpets and furnishings.

• Use vent fans when showering. Bathroom vent fans exhaust excess moisture outside and help prevent condensation on surfaces. Dust sticks to moisture and creates a residual film on surfaces. This film can become a breeding ground for bacteria and surface mold.

• Vacuuming is the most effective way to maintain your carpets. 74-79% of soil in carpet is dry, particulate soil that can be removed by vacuuming. You should also vacuum your upholstered furniture, drapery and blinds for the same reasons.

• When you dust your furniture, do so gently, preferably with a duster attachment on your vacuum cleaner. If you use a duster, go slow and allow dust to settle for an hour or so and vacuum the floor last.

Annual professional cleaning is recommended in most homes. Busy homes with children and pets require cleaning twice a year or more depending on lifestyle. Don’t wait until your carpets, rugs and upholstery look dirty to have them cleaned; by the time fibers have reached a visibly soiled state they are already damaged.

Unfortunately, cleaning cannot repair the damage caused by excessive soiling.

Call Professional Carpet Systems to schedule your next cleaning or for more expert advice.

April 2017 Client Newsletter

This is our April 2017 client newsletter.

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Prevention is the Best Cure

How to Avoid Expensive Plumbing Failures

One of the services offered by Professional Carpet Systems is water damage restoration. In the event of a water intrusion in your home or business, time is a key factor in minimizing damage. But there are things that you can do to prevent a water disaster from happening in the first place.

Plumbing system failures are by far the single largest cause of residential water damage insurance claims. Water begins to damage certain materials like drywall, baseboards, hardwood floors and furniture almost immediately. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) urges property owners to inspect interior plumbing components and complete preventive maintenance measures to reduce chances of interior water damage.

IBHS conducted a study of water damage insurance claims, identified five leading causes of damage, and developed the solutions featured below.

1. CAUSE: PLUMBING SUPPLY SYSTEM FAILURE – The average cost of a plumbing supply system failure was more than $5,000 after the insurance deductible was paid, according to the IBHS study.

PREVENTION: • Potential indicators of a plumbing problem include increasing water bills, banging pipes, rust stains, moisture on walls or floors, and signs of wet soil near the foundation. If you see any of these signs, or you suspect something is not right, call a plumber for a system inspection. • Setting the thermostat 60 degrees or higher during winter freezes, letting faucets drip and insulating pipes are all ways to reduce the risk of frozen pipes. • As a backup, install a house leak detection system.

2. CAUSE: TOILET FAILURE – One-third of all toilet failures in the study resulted from an overflowing or clogged toilet.

PREVENTION: • After you flush, wait for the valve to completely finish refilling the tank and bowl. If an overflow looks imminent, turn off the supply valve. • Twice a year, inspect a toilet’s components, such as the fill, supply and flush valves and the supply line. • Consider upgrading the toilet’s supply line to a sturdier braided steel hose.

3. CAUSE: WATER HEATER FAILURE – The most common causes of water heater failures in the IBHS study were a slow leak or a sudden burst in the tank, followed by supply line failures.

PREVENTION: • Check the life expectancy and warranty for the water heater and replace accordingly. • Proper maintenance, such as flushing sediments and inspecting the heater’s anode rod, can increase life expectancy. • Inspect valves to ensure proper operations, and use ball valves in place of gate valves whenever possible.

4. CAUSE: PLUMBING DRAIN SYSTEM FAILURE – The IBHS study found more than half of plumbing system failures were the result of sewer backups.

Prevention: • If the home’s sewer system is connected to the city’s sewer system or if you are located downhill or below street level, contact a plumbing professional to install a backflow prevention assembly into the home’s sewer system. • Plant trees away from lateral drain lines to prevent roots from damaging piping. • Never pour grease down the drain.

5. CAUSE: WASHING MACHINE FAILURE – One burst inlet hose, and your laundry room is flooded in a matter of minutes, with water quickly spreading to adjacent areas.

PREVENTION: • Replace rubber hoses every three years and consider upgrading to sturdier braided steel hoses. • When leaving the house for an extended period of time, turn off the hot and cold water supply valve to reduce failure risks. • Don’t try to cut corners by overloading the machine, and use it only while someone is at home.

Pass this information along to your friends and neighbors and remember to call Professional Carpet Systems immediately if you should ever have a water intrusion. Visit disastersafety.org for more information.

 

March 2017 Client Newsletter

This is our March 2017 Client Newsletter.

Allergy Alert:

What To Do When You Move Into A Home That Previously Had Pets?

People with allergies to pets can suffer from symptoms that range from mildly annoying to unbearable. If you or someone in your family has allergic reactions to pets, you already know that the cause is dander. Dander, made up of particles shed from animals and humans every day, is mainly comprised of dead skin cells. People can be allergic to dander from any kind of animal, but the most common allergies are to cats, followed by dogs and lastly, birds.

Regardless of the animal, dander is microscopic and ends up on just about every surface in the home. This is a problem if you are planning on moving into a home that previously housed pets. Professional Carpet Systems offers the following suggestions as a way to minimize exposure to these allergens.

Step 1. Meticulous Dusting

A very thorough dusting of all surfaces in the house is the first step. If you plan to do this yourself, wear a disposable filter mask designed to remove allergens. The goal of this cleaning is to remove as much dust from surfaces as possible. Prior to dusting install pleated furnace filters designed to remove allergens. Set the central furnace blower to run continuously to capture airborne dust created during the cleaning.

Working from top to bottom in each room, be sure to get all of the dust from above door and window frames, ceiling fans, duct grills and baseboards. It is preferable to do this meticulous dusting with a HEPA vacuum and brush attachment. After you are done, turn off the furnace blower and allow the dust to settle for one to two hours, then vacuum the carpets thoroughly. A HEPA vacuum is preferred as they can capture 99.97% of all allergens.

Step 2. Meticulous Cleaning

Once you are confident that you have removed as much dust as possible, all surfaces should be cleaned. Allergies are caused by various proteins, and some of these are contained in residues adhering to all sorts ofsurface. There is no need to use special anti-allergen cleaners to do this. Any cleaner designed for the surface will do. However, if you are sensitive to fragrances or certain chemicals, there are low VOC products available. VOCs are volatile organic compounds that can cause respiratory irritation in some individuals.

What about the carpet? The best option is to replace the carpet prior to cleaning the home. If the carpet is to be cleaned, the goal is to reduce the allergens to negligible levels. Of course Professional Carpet Systems should handle this for you. Our cleaning system is designed to remove deeply embedded soils, pollutants, allergens and contamination that could otherwise aggravate allergies.

Step 3. Replace Filters

During the cleaning, a significant amount of allergens were likely dispersed into the air. Wait about 24 hours and then replace furnace filters again with high-quality allergen reducing filters.

Ideally, the ventilation system should be professionally cleaned to remove contaminants and potential allergens found in the ductwork, air conditioner coils and air-handler.

For most people, a home with a previous pet can be cleaned well enough to make it a great place to live. If you have severe allergies you should always seek the advice of your doctor. Ask if it is okay to move into a home that was previously occupied by pets.

Our goal at Professional Carpet Systems is to clean not only for appearance, but also for health. Please call us if you have any questions. It’s our pleasure to help.

February 2017 Client Newsletter

This is our February 2017 client newsletter.

Clothes Dryer Safety Tips

You may have fond memories of helping hang laundry on the clothesline in your backyard as a child. There’s nothing like the smell of the clothes fresh off the clothesline, dried on a warm, sunny day. Still, most of us would rather not go back to the days of hauling damp clothes outside to dry them. Today, we rely on automatic clothes dryers to get the job done. Just put the damp clothes in, turn the dial, hit the start button and 30-90 minutes later your clothes are dry, fluffy and ready to wear without a clothespin in sight. The clothes dryer in a typical family of four runs 150 – 200 hours a year without malfunctioning. It can be easy to take them for granted as simple to use, trouble-free appliances needing

It can be easy to take them for granted as simple to use, trouble-free appliances needing little attention. Clothes dryers cause over 16,000 reported house fires in the United States and cause dozens of deaths, hundreds of injuries and over $200 million in property damage annually. Sometimes the cause is a mechanical malfunction of the machine. Other times, the electrical supply or appliance cord is the culprit. But the leading cause of these fires is failure to clean. 1 out of 3 dryer fires is caused by overheating due to accumulation of lint inside the dryer filter, around the drum or in the exhaust ductwork. Overheating can cause clothing inside the dryer to ignite, or the lint in the ductwork to catch fire. Unfortunately, many people believe that keeping the lint filter clean is all that is necessary. But the lint filter in most dryers cannot catch the finest particles of flammable lint and fibers. These small lightweight particles travel through the exhaust ductwork and vent outside the structure. Ideally, the ductwork should be smooth galvanized metal and as straight as possible. In most cases, at least one or two bends or elbows are necessary to get the ductwork outside the home. Each bend in the system restricts airflow and creates a potential point for lint to collect. This further restricts airflow, This further restricts airflow, allowing even more lint to collect. This dangerous cycle will continue until the system is completely blocked or the duct system is cleaned.

At the point where the duct exits the home, there should be a damper and a grill of some kind. The damper is a flap that opens when the dryer is running and closes to prevent air from entering the duct when it is not. The grill helps keep birds and rodents out. It is critical to keep the damper and grill clean and working properly. If the damper is stuck closed, the dryer will not vent properly and heat can build up to dangerous levels. Poor airflow will contribute to the buildup of lint. If the flap is stuck open or the grill is broken or missing, birds or rodents may decide that your dryer duct is a great place to build a nest, creating another potential fire hazard. Clean the lint filter before every load.

If the damper is stuck closed, the dryer will not vent properly and heat can build up to dangerous levels. Poor airflow will contribute to the buildup of lint. If the flap is stuck open or the grill is broken or missing, birds or rodents may decide that your dryer duct is a great place to build a nest, creating another potential fire hazard. Clean the lint filter before every load.

Clean the lint filter before every load. Consider installing an auxiliary inline lint trap in the ductwork coming from the dryer to catch more lint. You should have your dryer duct cleaned at least once a year to a avoid buildup of flammable lint. In the event of a dryer fire you must act quickly to minimize the damage and call the fire department. So avoid running your dryer when no one is at home or when everyone is asleep. Chances are you will never experience a dryer fire. But if you do, Professional Carpet Systems is here to help clean up the mess and get your home back to normal again.

Tile Cleaning at Its Best

Regardless of the remarkable versatility, attractiveness, and beauty of tile floors, their low-maintenance requirement makes them a favorite. It’s not easy to keep tile floors in great shape. This difficulty occurs due to the permeability of grout.

Grout has a “bad” habit of absorbing dirt and grime that usually build up between the tiles. As time goes by, the grout may start to look black. When this occurs, it’s an indication that the grout needs to be cleaned.

Solely sweeping your floors from day to day won’t keep dirt and dust away. They will more likely accumulate between the tiles, given that the grout lines go deeper than the tile surface. You may even pass over spots while wiping.

Luckily, you can keep your grout looking healthy and clean by employing certain household products. Boost your tile-cleaning regime with these amazing cleaning tips. Let’s go!

Practical Cleaning Methods for Tile Floors

Both organic and commercial products can be used to clean tile floors, but first, you need to wipe the area with a wet cloth or rag before using any cleaning product.

Water and baking make a hell of a cleaner for dirty grout. In truth, it is one of the most effective cleaners for cleaning certain flooring materials.

  • Combine equal parts of water and baking soda in a container.
  • Apply the solution to the grout lines, then scrub with a firmbrush or an old toothbrush.
  • Thoroughly clean grout lines.
  • Use fresh water to rinse.

Steps for cleaning discolored or stained grout:

  • Combine vinegar and baking soda in a small container, making sure that it doesn’t foam over.
  • Apply the solution to the grout lines and allow it to soak for several minutes before scrubbing.
  • Rinse thoroughly.

If you wish to use the vinegar and baking soda solution on your marble tiles, you must first test it on a small, hidden section. Keep in mind that vinegar is acidic, which may stain your floors. Instead, you can use Hydrogen Peroxide.

  • Create a mixture of Hydrogen Peroxide and baking soda in a 1-to-2 ratio.
  • Apply the mixture to the grout lines, then scrub thoroughly.
  • Rinse well.

NOTE: It’s crucial to let your grout dry for a few hours, then apply a premium grout cleaner for that magic!

Verdict

The permeability of grout makes tile floors very challenging to maintain. Grout absorbs dirt and dust that have accumulated over time, causing the grout to look black. To prevent this, always pay attention to your tile floors, and clean them regularly.

 

 

January 2017 Client Newsletter

This is our client newsletter for January 2017.

 

Tracking Down the Facts:  Common cleaning methods busted

We make New Years’ resolutions to be better people. You may have a spring time goal to shape up before summer. You have to save money before the holidays. As a group, humans seek to continuously improve, making resolutions and promises to make things better.

While no cleaning company can control your dieting, exercising, shopping or television habits, they can help make your home a cleaner, healthier place to live. Resolutions and goals are usually decisions to make changes. When it comes to keeping your home clean you can make better decisions when you have all the facts.

Of course, we all like to think we make sound decisions based on facts. However, many smart people make poor choices when it comes to their home based on some common myths.

Let’s blow some of these myths away and clarify the others:

Myth: Unless you are expecting company it doesn’t matter what your carpets look like.

Fact: When the holiday parties and graduation celebrations are over is a great time to get rid of the spots, spills and tracked in soil that may have been left behind from entertaining your guests, any time of the year.

Myth: If you clean carpets in winter they will take longer to dry.

Fact: Lower humidity in the air means carpets usually dry faster in the winter. High humidity slows the rate of evaporation. Drier air increases the rate at which water evaporates from materials, including carpets so they dry faster.

Myth: I might as well wait to clean my carpets since spring is right around the corner.

Fact: Spring is almost 3 months away. Since you keep the house closed up tighter in the winter, it makes sense to freshen up your home. Besides, since you are spending more time indoors, shouldn’t your carpets be clean, fresh and fluffy?

Myth: It makes better financial sense to put off carpet cleaning as long as possible.

Fact: Modern carpets rarely wear out. Instead, they “ugly out”. Traffic lanes become dingy. Spots become permanent stains. Fibers become dull from a build-up of abrasive soil and oxidized oils. All of this causes irreversible damage and shortens the usable life of the carpet. Your carpets will last longer and look great all year if you have them professionally cleaned more often.

There are reasons to get your carpets cleaned every time of the year. When the kids are in school you can get the carpets cleaned without worrying about them being underfoot. When the kids are out of school you have more traffic and more dirt to get out. You want to clean for the holidays, but don’t forget spring cleaning. The point is, anytime of year is a good time to kick off a cleaner, healthier, more organized home.

Clean Your Entire House – by Accident

When people prepare for professional carpet cleaning they tend to de-clutter, pick up and reorganize their home. So you can force a little spring cleaning any time of year by scheduling a carpet cleaning today. Remember that clean carpet improves indoor air quality, so your family will breathe easier. Now that you have the facts, you can make an educated decision about your carpet-cleaning schedule.

December 2016 Client Newsletter

This is our client newsletter for December 2016.

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Is Flood Insurance Really Worth the Investment?

Many people are surprised to find out that flood damage, which includes almost any damage due to rising water entering your home from outdoors, is not covered by most homeowners’ insurance policies. Generally speaking, if the damage arises from sudden failure of a portion of your house, such as plumbing or the roof, homeowner’s insurance will usually cover it. But if the water comes in from outside, it may not be covered. Nationwide, floods are caused by storms, melting snow, hurricanes, overloaded storm drain systems, as well as broken water mains. Most of these are excluded from basic homeowner’s insurance. Sadly, water damage can lead to devastating losses, both financial and emotional. Flood water can damage furniture, personal belongings, your treasured heirlooms, photographs, drywall, carpeting, wood floors, building structure and so much more – and without flood insurance you would be

Most of these are excluded from basic homeowner’s insurance. Sadly, water damage can lead to devastating losses, both financial and emotional. Flood water can damage furniture, personal belongings, your treasured heirlooms, photographs, drywall, carpeting, wood floors, building structure and so much more – and without flood insurance you would be left to repair and replace everything on your own. You Need Flood Insurance You should protect your home, business, and belongings with flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) whether your flood risk is high or low. Almost anyone who is in a community that participates in the NFIP can buy building and/or contents coverage, with very few exceptions. It is a good idea to buy even in lower risk areas because 25 to 30 percent of flood insurance claims come from low-

Almost anyone who is in a community that participates in the NFIP can buybuilding and/or contents coverage, with very few exceptions. It is a good idea to buy even in lower risk areas because 25 to 30 percent of flood insurance claims come fromlow-to moderate risk areas. The Cost of Flood Insurance Fortunately, flood insurance is very affordable. The low-cost Preferred Risk Policy is ideal for homes and businesses in low-to-moderate-risk areas. Homeowners can insure buildings and contents sometimes for less than $100 per year, and renters (yes, renters need it too) can do it for less than $50, depending on where you live and how much coverage you choose. Even in higher risk areas, flood insurance is usually about 20% the cost of your full homeowners’ policy.

Purchasing Flood Insurance

About 90 private insurance companies nationally offer affordable flood insurance backed by the federal government. Policies are available to homeowners, renters, and business owners alike. Flood insurance is easy to get through private insurance companies and independent insurance agents. You can even purchase flood insurance with a credit card.

When you buy flood insurance you can choose building and contents coverage separately, so renters can insure just their belongings. Generally, up to $100,000 contents coverage is available for homeowners and renters. If you own your home or business, make sure to ask your insurance agent about contents coverage as it is not necessarily included with the building coverage.

Don’t Rely on Disaster Assistance

You might wonder, doesn’t the federal government help people who have suffered a flood? Federal disaster assistance is only available if the President declares a disaster in a given area, so this is not something you can depend on. And, in many cases, any assistance you are given is a loan that must be paid back with interest. Flood insurance, on the other hand, pays even if a disaster is not declared, and of course you never have to pay it back.

Unfortunately, the possibility of flooding is an unpredictable fact of life for property owners. Dealing with the aftermath of even a small flood can be overwhelming. Hopefully you never have to go through flooding in your home. But if you do it is important to minimize the damage immediately by calling Professional Carpet Systems as soon as possible to get your home back to normal fast. Waiting simply increases the damage and prolongs the restoration process.