Archive for April 2020

PROTECT Against Termites

Termite damage is not always covered under homeowner’s insurance. That’s why it’s essential to get periodic home inspections and treatment.

In addition, here are some key ways to prevent infestations of all termite types.

Keep home foundations dry: Don’t regularly spray water on foundations. Slope gutters so that they drain away from the house.

Be careful with mulch. Don’t mulch around foundations. Keep wood mulch as far away as possible from the house. Also, remove any scrap wood and wooden debris. Quickly dispose of any fallen branches from around your house.

Avoid using timbers or railroad ties as edging around your house. Metal, plastic, or brick edging is a better choice for plantings.

Build decks and stairs on concrete pads. Regularly treat the area around posts and pads.

Cut clinging vines so they do not grow on the wall of the house. Termites love these.

Keep crawl spaces as dry as possible and sealed if feasible.

Make Your HEARING Last for Life

Though age can be a factor, hearing loss isn’t a definite condition of advancing years. By protecting your hearing, you could have excellent
hearing throughout your retirement years. The main cause of hearing loss
is on the rise: loud noise.

Much of the damage is from sound systems in movie theaters, cars, and home theaters. Also, power devices like leaf blowers and snow blowers
can be extremely harmful.

There are many things you can do to preserve your hearing. Don’t blast
the music. Use earplugs or insulated ear muffs when operating loud power
equipment. Learn to recognize the signs of hearing loss, and have your
hearing checked.

Early treatment of infection or disease affecting your ears is a proven
way to make the most of the hearing you have.

Unfortunately, while the damage cannot be cured or reversed, the
progression of hearing loss can be prevented by protecting the ears from
further high-noise exposure.

How Water Cleans Better

H2O is an amazing liquid. It is useful for manufacturing, transportation, firefighting, energy production, cooking, agriculture, recreation and of course, drinking.Water also has some unique qualities that make it an excellent cleaner.

Water is a polar molecule, meaning it has both positively and negatively charged sides. Without going in to too much chemistry in this article, this means that water can attract to and surround a great variety of substances.Think about everything that water can dissolve or dilute and you begin to understand why water is referred to as the “universal solvent”.

But water can’t dissolve everything. Dirt and grime usually adhere to skin, clothing, and other surfaces by combining with body oils, cooking fats, lubricating greases, and similar substances. Because these substances don’t mix with water, washing with water can’t remove them or the bonded soil. Sometimes it needs a little help.Here are some ways that we can help water clean better.

Emulsification- Detergent and soap molecules have a dual nature. One end of the molecule called the head, at-tracts to water; the other end, the tail, attracts to oily soils.The tails attach to the soil; the heads remain in the water. This action breaks the oil and soils into tiny soap-enclosed drop-lets called micelles, which disperse throughout the solution. The micelles repel each other because of their charged surfaces, so the oils can’t join together once separated. This process of separating and suspending oils in a water-based solution is called emulsification. With the oil no longer bonding the dirt to the soiled surface,the soap-enclosed oils and soils can easily be rinsed away.

Water softeners- Hard water usually contains minerals, primarily calcium and magnesium dissolved from rock and soil as water passes through earth. Hard water is a problem be-cause it reduces the effectiveness of soaps and detergents. Detergents react with calcium and magnesium so it takes more detergent to get the job done. The hard water reaction with soaps is what creates the sticky residue called soap scum.

Water softeners remove calcium and magnesium, increasing the effectiveness of cleaners. Soft water cleans better, rinses better and allows you to use less soap or detergent.

Temperature- Heat reduces the surface tension of water, making it easier to penetrate and dissolve soils. Heat increases the effectiveness of soaps and detergents, so they work more efficiently. Hot water also helps melt and dissolve greases, oils and waxes.

PH- One way to help water clean better is by adjusting its pH. Pure water has a neutral pH, neither acidic nor alkaline. By adding cleaning agents, we can change the pH of water. Since most common soils are acidic, most detergents are alkaline.When an alkaline detergent contacts an acidic soil, the soil is neutralized.In most cases, this results in more efficient cleaning, easier rinsing and less scrubbing.

Saponification- Saponification is a process that changes natural fats and oils into soap. Many years ago,people made their own soap by combining animal or vegetable fats with lye, a strong alkali. Similarly, using an alkaline detergent has a similar effect on fats and food oils, basically turning them into soap, which can then be rinsed away with water.

There is much more to cleaning than what we have discussed here.For best results, you need the right tools, techniques, training and experience. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a chemist or engineer to keep your house clean and healthy. Fol-lowing manufacturer instructions on appliances and cleaning products generally yields good results.

You can be confident that educated Hansen Steam Way technicians will use the right cleaning agents, equipment and techniques to produce fantastic results with “plain old” water!

Cleaning for a Pandemic

The entire world has been rocked with the emergence of the COVID-19 Corona virus. Information on the proper way to wash our hands, social distancing, grocery shopping, etc.have flooded our screens. But, what about our homes? Is there a proper way to clean to help ensure the homes where we have been spending so much time are actually healthy places?The answer is a resounding YES! There are methods and ways to keep our homes as healthy as possible.

The first rule of thumb has always been and will continue to be that we should clean for heath first and appearances second. Homeowners are prone to waiting until there are visible signs of dirt before cleaning. This is incorrect.Many surfaces are designed to hide dirt and soil, so it can hold a lot of contaminants before it begins to look “dirty.” Unseen contaminants build up in the surfaces over time to the point where they may have a negative effect on the occupants of the structure, especially those with underdeveloped, sensitive or compromised immune systems. The key is to avoid getting to the point where this happens.

The process should be clean first and sanitize second.Think of cleaning and sanitizing your home in the same way you think of washing your hands. Cleaning is the process of removing unwanted substances from a surface. When you wash your hands, or clean a surface, you are removing the unwanted contaminants. When you use hand sanitizer, or sanitize over dirt and grime, you are trying to “kill” or destroy the contamination rather than just removing in. Hand sanitizer and sanitizing sprays are a great second option, but hand washing and cleaning are always the best choice for a first defense.

Here are some helpful tips for cleaning any room:

Always clean top to bottom and work your way out the door.

Fold your cleaning cloth instead of balling it up. This ensures a smooth,consistent surface for wiping.o

Always wipe in the same direction with a cleaning cloth, rather than a back and forth motion. The goal is to remove the dirt. Not to move it back and forth.

Heat accelerates most chemical reactions and result in a deeper cleaning. Use as hot of water as recommended for your surfaces.

Even visibly clean surfaces need to be thoroughly cleaned before applying any sanitizing or disinfecting chemicals.

Use hot water when cleaning linens and towels.

Make sure you regularly clean and sanitize things you use or touch on a daily basis such as: cell phones, laptops, tablets, remotes, doorknobs, handles,steering wheels, etc

Use a cleaner first to break down the dirt and grime. Follow up with an antimicrobial/disinfectant.

Look for EPA registration and approval on the labels of your cleaners. They should say they have been approved to fight SARS, H1N1 and emerging pathogen viruses. The EPA has a list of approved cleaners on their website.

Please be aware.No product or company can claim they can kill COVID-19 or inactivate it.There are currently no approved tests with the EPA that can test this claim. However, there are products that are approved to combat “corona viruses” which is a broad term for types of viruses. You can look up recommendations on the CDC and EPA websites.

For the sake of prevention and daily life, cleaning and disinfecting your home is completely appropriate. However, if an infection or exposure has occurred with someone in your home,you need to call in the professionals. Allow our professionally trained and educated workers at Hansen Steam Way to help make your home healthy once again. We have the proper equipment, materials and training to come in and clean and sanitize your home.

If exposure has not occurred, continue to clean your home with these helpful and basic tips while also following all professional recommendations. Once you feel safe to let people into your home again, call Hansen Steam Way. We are ready to combat dirt, germs, grime and the messes your family made while social distancing at home.

2 / 2


Sign inALTERNATE MAIN ARTICLE-Cleaning for a Pandemic.docxDetailsFromJoanna DeLoatch (CCNewsletters)Company nameCCNewslettersSize15.69 KBView all details