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5 Reasons It’s More Fun to Clean in December

 

 

Whether you like to clean or not, you have to admit that there’s something magical about making your home sparkle this time of year. Maybe it’s all the wine? Or maybe it really is just more fun?

 

Keep reading for five good arguments on why it’s better to clean in December.

  1. It’ll warm you up.

Baby, it’s cold outside (and probably inside, too!). A little vacuuming, dusting, or cabinet organizing is a good way to get that blood flowing and increase your body temp.

I am notoriously always cold (I complain so much all winter that people who don’t know me think I’m from Florida … and then I tell them I’m from New Jersey!). I can never seem to warm up and will never say it’s too hot — even in August. But after any cleaning session this time of year, you can find me overheating, stripped down to a tank top and shorts with my hair piled in a messy bun on the top of my head.

Try it. If your place is tidy to your liking and you’re still cold, you can crank up the heat or light a fire. But I’m guessing it won’t come to that.

 

 

 

 

  1. You can listen to Christmas songs the entire time.

I highly recommend the “Today’s Christmas” station on Pandora. I turn that on, crank up the volume, and get to cleaning my own little winter wonderland. It’s certainly not as educational as a podcast, but I think it’s okay to zone out for a few hours. Plus, this station gets me in the mood for some serious holiday-ing.

 

 

 

 

 

    1. Your soap smells like pine trees.  Or cranberries. Or peppermint. The holiday season is a short one, so there’s a limited amount of time that it’s technically acceptable to surround yourself with these festive scents. I fully support getting as much of it as humanly possible while you can. I can clean with basil-scented soap 11 other months out of the year. For now, I’m going with something that smells like a forest of trees and freshly fallen snow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. You can do it under the twinkle of string lights.

Yes, I know you’re technically supposed to clean when it’s sunny, so you can see all the dust. (Although you’re supposed to clean windows when it’s overcast. So many rules!) But I’d rather do it at night with all my Christmas lights on to set the mood. It just makes it all feel so much more special. Like I’m a Christmas elf and I’m on a mission. Besides, that’s the setting my guests are going to see, anyway. So I may as well clean from their perspective.

 

 

 

  1.  You’re getting ready for guests.

Guests, I say! It’s not like you’re cleaning for no reason (you know, aside from having a clean home). You’re organizing because your coworkers are coming over. You’re vacuuming because your baby nephew will be scooting around on your floor. You’re scrubbing your countertops because you’re about to prepare a major feast in that kitchen. Those impending plans just make it all worth it. I know I’m going to have fun and people might even shower me with compliments when they see how clean I keep my home.

 

 

 

What do you help cleaning this time of year? Your professional cleaning and restoration specialists are here to make your holidays go right. Give us a call to set-up your free in-home consultation today at 847.526.6060.

From all of us at Wiz Team, Inc. we wish you a happy and safe holiday season!

Avoidable Holiday Home Malfunctions

 

Dear Homeowners,

There are many preparations that need to be completed in the run-up to the festive period: cards need to be mailed, gifts need to be purchased and dinners need to be planned. But amidst all the mayhem, don’t forget to prep your home too.

With all the extra guests arriving for Holiday parties, that means extra strain on your appliances… you don’t want your heating to malfunction on Christmas day and be left in the cold! Here’s our guide to preparing your home for the Holidays if you’re expecting guests.

 

Winterize Your House

If it gets cold or wet where you live, you need to prepare now before the really bad weather arrives. Avoidable holiday home malfunctions are easier to deal with if you get ahead of the ball! So let us get started. Check or change your air filters to keep your inside air fresh and your system in peak condition. If you want to avoid unnecessary filter changes or clogs, install new filters and be sure to check your system – it is time to act. Also, check window and door seals for air leakage and seal them up. Lastly, ensure the exterior is prepared by maintaining clean gutters – have salt on hand for walkways and stairs to prevent slips and falls. Remember that before winter fully sets in, it might be a good occasion to have your air duct system professionally cleaned before you are couped up all winter long in a stuffy allergy-ridden household!

Inspect Your Heating

Festive parties should be warm and cozy, so make sure your heating unit is in great working order. As well as timely air filter replacement, duct cleaning is an important step to take. To clean your ducts, contact Wiz Team, Inc. for a free in-home consultation. During our consultations we take a look at your system, ensure it is performing at its peak, as well as, assess the time, access, and cost of cleaning your system. A well-tuned, clean heating system operates much more efficiently, is better for the environment and will save you money this Holiday season. That’s more dollars for eggnog and pecan pie!

Check Your Plumbing

Though it might not be polite to mention, more guests means your bathroom gets some extra use…Avoid embarrassing situations with timely preventative maintenance and repairs. Drains should be checked to ensure they are clear – try plunging some water through. For most, minor blockages and a plumber’s snake will do the job. If you can’t seem to get the water flowing right, it may be time to call a plumber. Wiz Team, Inc. only works with the most respectable, timely, and honest plumbing companies. If you need assistance finding a dependable plumber, contact us – we are happy to provide referrals for great home services.

Prep Your Garbage Disposal

Another unit that’s going to get some extra use this Holiday is your garbage disposal. As with all things, prevention is the best cure so give everyone in your household a refresher on what doesn’t go in there. The worst offenders for blocking the garbage disposal are bones, grease, fruit pits, and even potato peel! Be careful if you are going to try and clear a blockage yourself – never put your hand in there! Make sure the unit is switched off and then use a wooden spoon or tongs to loosen or extract the offending item. Remember this article is about avoidable holiday home malfunctions – we want to help you avoid them before they ruin holiday plans.

Post Holiday Clean-Up

If the in-laws and all the extended family have left your beautiful home in somewhat of a disarray – it might be time to call for back-up. Wiz Team, Inc. offers a wide array of home care services such as; 7Ph Carpet Cleaning, Hardwood Floor Cleaning, Upholstery Cleaning, among many other services that you may benefit from. Give our office a call and let us help you take care of the carpet full of crumbs, or perhaps let’s clean those area rugs that had a little too much wine during dinner, or maybe its the hardwood floors that need a bit of TLC after being trampled by all the guests. Whatever your home care cleaning needs may be – we are here to help keep your home beautiful and lovely. Remember, all of our in-home consultations are completely free!

 

From all of us here at Wiz Team, Inc, we wish you have a Happy and Malfunction Free Holiday Season!

Things You Didn’t Know About Your Whole House Humidifier

This particular post reflects on a common issue we find most homeowners are completely unaware is lurking in your home. Proper maintenance and a little effort on your part as the homeowner can save you thousands of dollars before it is too late. Check out this fantastic write up on how to maintain the health of your home humidifier filter.

Master Certifications: Is it important?

Master Certification: Carpet cleaning (basic) IICRC Certification is just the start. Think of Master Certifications as the “graduate degrees” of our industry. With the additional requirement of experience, beyond classroom learning, Master Certifications communicate a higher level of experience, expertise, efficiency and credibility, not to mention the confidence.

Master Certified Technicians exhibit higher productivity, increased technical competency, lower error rate and higher level of client satisfaction.

IICRC Certified Firms: Certification of a firm provides concrete evidence to clients that the company is staffed with people who know what they are doing and that the firm conducts business to an IICRC-prescribed set of ethical business practices and standards. IICRC stands for the highest standard of excellence in certification.

Although a lot of technicians become IICRC certified in basic techniques and stop there, three master certification paths – textile cleaning, fire and smoke restoration and water restoration – journeyman and master designations are reserved for those who truly developed their skills.  

Master Water Restorer, Master Textile Cleaner and Master Fire & Smoke Restorer are highest “graduate degrees” in our industry.

All master certifications must be achieved over a minimum of three years so classroom learning and certification is combined with real-world work. The IICRC Master status is the highest technical certification in the cleaning industry.

Certification: Why It Matters

Just as certified accountants, electricians, plumbers and mechanics project a higher level of competency in their fields, and just as members of the American Medical Association and American Bar Association set themselves apart through training, experience and comprehensive examination, IICRC certification helps to immediately identify the cleaning, restoration and inspection industries’ most skilled and dedicated technicians and businesses.

However, unlike electricians, plumbers, accountants, doctors and lawyers, the cleaning, restoration and inspection industry does not require a technician or the firm to be certified in order to perform these services. Certification matters because outstanding service means consecutively correct service, every time.

Being certified is voluntarily, therefore it is important to check if you’re cleaning and restoration service provider is in fact certified.   

Wiz Team, Inc. is keeping up with the latest education and training, techniques and technologies. We are staffed with experienced and educated, well-trained, satisfied employees who are the key to our satisfied clients.

The history of cleaning and restoration certification is long, but for us it all started from – a deceptively simple question: What works best for our clients?

It has driven us to research chemistry, extraction techniques, fiber identification, airflow and many other subjects.

Thanks to the strength of the schools and instructors, our technicians have knowledge and skills to achieve education on cleaning and restoration – improving their skills and serving our clients with best practices.

In the end, certification matters because we all work in service industry – and outstanding service means consecutively correct service, every time.

We obtain science-based information for best practices and build technical and scientific knowledge in the restoration and cleaning industry in order to provide the most outstanding service experience ever to our clients.

Wiz Team, Inc. is the ONLY cleaning and restoration firm in Chicagoland holding quadruplet Master Certifications designations.

We are certified as: Master Water Restorer, Master Textile Cleaner, Master Fire & Smoke Restorer and Master Rug Cleaner.  So, before you call a company whose technicians have only basic or worse yet have no certification, call the Wiz Team, Inc. – true Cleaning and Restoration Specialists – best in the industry.   

Breathe Well Again with Improved Indoor Air Quality

As you begin reading this, let’s do a simple exercise together.

Breathe in, really deep… go ahead, and really fill those lungs.
 
Feels refreshing, right? That is the magic effect of clean air and oxygen coursing through your blood vessels!
 
Taking a deep breath of air, especially outdoors after a recent thunderstorm or when the air is fresh, crisp and clean, smells and feels good. It can be surprisingly rejuvenating!
 
Unfortunately, taking a deep breath of air indoors, such as in your home or office work space, can be a different matter altogether.
 
The air you breathe, you innocently assume, is clean and healthy. That may not necessarily be the case, as countless reports of poor indoor air quality (IAQ) prove that not every indoor environment can be considered healthy. Often times scientific research finds that, indoor air quality can be 2 to 5 times more concentrated with pollutants than outdoor air. YIKES!

This is due to the fact that we spend most of our time indoors (90% to be exact) and the environment is almost hermetically sealed with all our advances in building and material quality. However, as great as this may be for overall energy efficiency – it can wreak havoc on our health.

Research points to some common household factors which contribute to the poor air quality: combustion by-products (cooking) create carbon monoxide and particulate matter suspended into the air, other substances from natural sources such as, dander, radon, and mold, as well as pesticides, lead, and asbestos. These materials may all be contaminating your homes indoor air.
 
When indoor air quality is poor, there can be issues for many people, especially those who suffer from allergies, asthma, and respiratory illnesses, among others. The list can be quite extensive. Typically poor air quality can afflict the elderly, young children, and allergy sufferers at its onset.
 
Poor indoor air quality doesn’t mean just “stuffy” air, the type that can build up in a home that doesn’t have sufficient air exchanges during the day. Although that can contribute to poor health for some individuals, what really causes health concerns are the various pollutants we mentioned above. While these pollutants are often indoors, they can also be outdoors, and you must recognize the affect they have on your health. For instance, you may decide to stay indoors when you hear of an outdoor poor air quality report on the news.
 
What you can control, though, at least to some degree, is the indoor air quality in your home.
 
What can you do? It’s simple. Keep things clean. Change your furnace and air conditioning filter on a regular basis, according to the manufacturer. We often recommend American made filters through FilterBuy.com, which makes replacement easy and simple – and they can custom make any filter to suit your HVAC systems requirements!

Use a quality vacuum for your carpet and furniture and use it weekly, and more often if you have a busy household. (Pro Tip: Do not forget to empty and clean out your vacuum before your next use. Poor maintenance of your vacuum may cause for re-contamination of the air.)

Beautiful hard floors? They need to be cleaned as well, as dust can easily build up and become airborne from hard surfaces. When you dust surfaces, such as shelves or countertops, use a microfiber cloth towel that will hold the dust instead of pushing it off onto the floor.
 
And, of course, have your carpet and furniture cleaned based on the recommendation of your favorite cleaning company (and manufacturer). In fact, isn’t it time you had your carpet and furniture cleaned… right now?
 
Do the best thing for your families well being and yours – make the call today for your free estimate. After all, you deserve the most outstanding service experience ever!

Spring Cleaning | Lake Forest, Illinois

Springtime = Cleanup Time

 

 

Spring is the perfect time to deep clean, organize, and de-clutter your home. Here are some tips and tricks

Would you like to declutter your home?

Do you ever get overwhelmed with the to-do list? I definitely do. So, I created Declutter your Home Printable Checklist. I broke my home into rooms and then I broke those rooms into areas.  These are the things that often get overlooked or passed over and called good enough.  But Spring is the perfect time to deep clean, organize, and de-clutter your home.

Do Some Decluttering

Clutter: described as anything that is kept, even though not used, needed or wanted. It also can be defined as having a disorganized and overwhelming amount of possessions in our living space, cars or storage areas.

Clutter creates stress that has three major biological and neurological effects on us: our cortisol levels, our creativity and ability to focus, and our experience of pain. Clutter in the home has been linked to increased levels of anxiety.

No, you don’t have to go full Marie Kondo method, but why not get rid of some of the stuff? Here are my three principles of decluttering.  Those are:

  1. If I haven’t used it in over 1 year, get rid of it;
  2. If it doesn’t bring me joy in some way (a’la Marie Kondo), get rid of it;
  3. If I can replace it easily, I don’t even think twice about getting rid of it!

How about clothes you haven’t worn in years? Extra kitchen appliances (out and never used)? Winter clothes/hats/gloves that no one is wearing? Your kids’ broken toys? Junk mail? Donate or throw out the items you never use that just take up space. When you are done your home will be clean and it will bring you joy!

Get Healthy Kitchen Tools

After the long, cold and messy months of winter we’re all looking forward to prepare and cook healthier meals in less time. As more fresh fruits and vegetables come into season this spring, make sure you have the kitchen tools needed to take advantage of fresh produce and eat and drink healthier. Having the right type of kitchen tools and appliances can help you incorporate more healthy foods into your diet and can make healthy meal prep a breeze and keep your healthy diet on track.

Carve Out an Exercise Corner

If you are not a big fan of going to the gym but don’t have a home gym, and you prefer the flexibility of working out at home whenever you can fit it into your schedule, then is finally time to create a exercise corner. Outfit it with a yoga mat, some hand weights, and a medicine ball. You could position it near a television so you can more easily workout by using DVDs or YouTube videos. Even a nook or empty corner just big enough for your kind of training could be transformed into a workout zone.

If getting in shape is a priority for you this year, reorganize and find a corner of your home that can be dedicated to exercise.

Get a HEPA Air Purifier

HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air), refers to a type of filter that removes 99.9% of particles above a certain size (above 0.3 µm – micron). Install HEPA Purifier in your home and you’ll go a long way toward removing stuff that can trigger or worsen allergies and asthma.  HEPA Air Purifier isn’t a complete solution that can address all indoor pollutants, but it can improve your indoor air quality. It removes particulates/contaminants from the air like pet dander, pollen, and dust mites. While HEPA filters remove particulates from the air, here are some contaminants that are in the air and that HEPA can not remove:

VOCs: Volatile Organic Compounds are airborne chemicals and they are simply far smaller in size than what can be trapped;

Viruses: Much like VOCs, viruses are also too small to be removed;

Bacteria: While bacteria are large enough to be trapped, bacteria are understood to release endotoxins into the air stream when dying on the air filter surface. Studies have demonstrated that endotoxins cause inflammatory and atopic responses in no asthmatic and asthmatic participants;

Mold: Mold spores are large enough to be caught in HEPA filters but stay alive on the filter surface. Other particles that accumulate and fill the filter start acting as nutrients and allow mold spores to potentially grow on and through the filter membrane and eventually release new spores into the air.

It is important to say that frequent replacement of filters is critical since pathogens collected on the filter can include live organisms and eventually pathogens are re-released into the air.

Even though HEPA Air Purifier is not a perfect solution, it is a worthwhile buy – especially for people with allergies or asthma, those at risk for cardiovascular disease and families with young kids. But anyone can benefit, breathing cleaner air isn’t a bad thing for any of us.

Maybe you’ll be able to conquer the whole list in just a few days or maybe not, but it’s a place to start.

Do you have any decluttering secrets or tricks?  Please share with us via email!

If we can be of help, please call us!

Until next time…

Spring is just around the corner! Spring is the perfect time to clean house — both literally and figuratively.

Spring is just around the corner!

 

Spring is the perfect time to clean house — both literally and figuratively.

The whole purpose of spring cleaning is to give your home a deep cleaning.

After the long, cold and messy months of winter, most homes are ready for a real thorough cleaning that couldn’t be done during the cold days of winter. This is what we as professional cleaners consider the top spring cleaning tips and tactics to get your house deep cleaned.

As we emerge from winter hibernation, we want to share them with you to help both your health and your home get ready for the warmer months as fast and efficiently as possible.

Here goes:

Start At the Front Door

One of the areas you would want to make sure gets a good cleaning is right where people enter the home.

Most folks have a door mat outside the door and right inside the house.

If your outside door mate is washable, take it to the utility sink and soak it in a solution of all purpose cleaner. Take a scrub brush to the mat too so you can really get it clean. You may need to soak it a few times before it’s thoroughly clean. You can also vacuum or swat it outside with a broom. If your outdoor mat is not washable, toss and replace with one that you can clean occasionally.

Next, give the mat inside your home a cleaning too. If your indoor mat is not machine washable, or it is an Oriental Rug, give us a call and we’ll schedule to pick it up and return it to its original beauty.

No matter what method you choose, remember your welcome mat is the first line of defense in keeping dirt out of the house.

Keep Supplies Right at Your Fingertips

When you have to tackle a big housekeeping job you want to make sure to have your cleaning supplies handy and nearby. The best way to accomplish this is to create a “cleaning bucket”.

My favorite storage container for cleaning supplies is a cleaning caddy. It is sturdy, won’t break, has built in handle and can easily store the five or more products most of us use to clean our homes. Plus it can hold all your cleaning tools too!

Just pick it up and bring it with you from room to room and have everything at your fingertips.

Use Products You Love and Do the Trick

I believe a plant-based cleaner works just as well as the chemical-filled ones. I prefer cleaning products that are easy on the environment and safe for my family and pets.

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day household products make caring for your home fresh, fun and fragrant. All of their products are made with plant-derived ingredients and essential oils, and are not tested on animals. Every of Mrs. Meyer’s household cleaning product I used is delightful and it is available in most all grocery stores.

Don’t Forget Upholstery and Carpets

Call Wiz Team, Inc. your Professional Cleaning & Restoration Specialists to do it for you. Fabrics that have absorbed a winter’s worth of dirt, body oil, and germs will need a deep cleaning to get them ready for another year of wear. We use professional equipment to speed the drying process, which otherwise can take a day or more. We will take care of all your Upholstery and Carpet Cleaning needs.

Give Your Floors the Attention They Deserve

For daily maintenance of your floor we recommend Bona Free & Simple Hardwood Floor Cleaner with Bona Hardwood Floor Spray Mop. The mop comes with washable microfiber pads.

Depending on the type of your floors you have it will depend on how you care for them. But you’ll want to give them a deep down thorough cleaning to remove all salt, sand or other particles that can cause continued and permanent damage.

If your floors have taken a beating this winter, you may need help from the experts in hardwood floor care to bring them back to their original glory. We use BONA Deep Cleaning System on all hardwood floors. This innovative deep cleaning system is the safest, quickest and easiest way to remove all the dirt, grime and build-up on your hardwood floors. It will help protect your investment, leaving you with beautiful hardwood floors that will last a lifetime. The fast, easy and effective way to spruce up your hardwood floors during your spring cleaning – call your experts in hardwood floor care!

Clean the Refrigerator Coils

Refrigerator’s condenser coil (usually found behind the toe grille) should be cleaned regularly. You can do this by using a long-handled bottle brush or dryer lint trap brush and a vacuum cleaner with an attachment hose to remove dust and pet hairs. Build-up can shut down the unit by causing it to overheat and cause you trouble.

To remove dust from coils that are attached to the hard-to-reach back side of the fridge, carefully pull the refrigerator out several feet and vacuum thoroughly. Vacuum and wash the floor and move the refrigerator back into place.

Put on the Gloves

Spring cleaning usually means a lot of work, so stock up on some rubber gloves. Rubber gloves help you move through your cleaning tasks without worrying about getting your hands dirty or ruining your manicure.

Clean At the Right Time of Day

Make sure you’re cleaning at the right time of day. Use your body’s natural rhythms to find the best time of day. For most people, best time of day to clean the house is starting around 11:00 AM and finishing by 4:00 PM. During this time of the day is when our hand-eye coordination is at its peak and mood levels are high.

If anyone in the house has allergies or asthma, avoid insomnia-hour and morning cleaning sprees (upper respiratory -allergy symptoms are most severe between 6 AM and noon, asthma attacks more likely between midnight and 6 AM), and finish well before that person walks in the door.

Whenever possible schedule your cleaning on a bright sunny days, you’re more likely to whistle while you clean (and not kick over the bucket).

Move Left to Right, Top to Bottom

You want to clean left to right (clockwise) and top to bottom. This way won’t be re-cleaning same areas and won’t miss anything, plus your floors would be the last. This way you’re tidying in a systematic way.

Turn it Up!

Have a little fun too! Nothing will make the time go faster than putting on your favorite tunes. It keeps you motivated and it won’t be boring.

Clean Your Air Duct System or Vents

It’s easy to forget – they’re out of sight out of the mind. Air Duct System cleaning in spring may not be the first thing on your mind, but it’s actually the best time of year to do so.

That dry dust that’s accumulated in your ducts all winter gets sticky and can even cause issues when it’s exposed to the spring and summer humidity.

When spring arrives, trees bud and flowers bloom, so there are a lot of pollens and allergens in the air. Your pet’s fur can also make its way into your ventilation system. And if someone in your home smokes, the chemicals from the cigarettes spread throughout the house through the vents, too.

Cleaning your Air Duct System in spring, before they become a problem, is wise, especially if anyone in your family has respiratory issues.

Cleaning your Air Duct System regularly (every 3 to 5 years), will help you save money in the long run because your system won’t have to work harder to heat or cool your home. Instead, it will work far more efficiently, resulting in a longer lifespan and can help relieve allergy and asthma symptoms this spring.

To avoid all the pollutants getting into your home and wreaking havoc on your family’s respiratory system, clean your air ducts – call your professional air duct system cleaning company.

FREE Printable Spring-Cleaning-List

If you would like to enter the new season with a Deep Cleaned Home, we’re here to help!

Give us a call so we can talk about your options.

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