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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!

Hardwood Floor Care

 

 

 

Hardwood floor care can seem like a daunting task. Fear not, because, with a few simple steps you will soon be mastering the art of maintaining your hardwood flooring throughout your home. Knowledge is power. Being more knowledgable about the nature of hardwood floor care in-home is key to understanding how to keep your floors looking brand new for many years to come.

 

Daily  Task – Hardwood Floor Dust/Sweep

You may not realize, however, fine dust and dirt can wear down your beautiful hardwood floor over time. Acting like sandpaper with every step dirt can grind away at the surface of your floors, resulting in a dull and worn out look of your hardwood flooring. We recommend a proper dusting utilizing microfiber mop or cloth as your surefire defensive approach to maintaining and keep your hardwood floor gorgeous for years to come.

In our professional experience, hardwood floor care with homeowners who make dusting their floors to collect micro dirt and debris part of their cleaning routine really reap the rewards. The nature of the microfiber cleaning pad is that it naturally has a buildup of static electricity within in the fibers.

This attraction to static makes dusting he floors a breeze by pulling particulates, hair, and dust bunnies to the fiber and locking on to all the unwanted contaminants lingering on your floors and in crevices. Brooms may be an effective way of collecting dirt and dust into one localized area – however, they do a poor job of trapping dirt. Furthermore, simply sweeping may actually cause microscopic scratches which over time become more and more evident with each time you choose to sweep versus dust properly.

The best way to dust is to have your microfiber pad to the ground surface and avoid erratic swinging or the mop head or lifting the mop until you have fully completed and area. This helps avoid tossing dirt and dust from a freshly cleaned area to another part of your home. In turn, you trap dust where you want it – on the mop head and nowhere else in your home.

 

Weekly  Task – Hardwood Floor Vacuum/Mop

A weekly maintenance approach will help you tackle the more difficult areas of the home which daily dusting cannot reach (spaces between wood boards, small crevices, and all the other nooks and crannies). By utilizing your vacuum (with soft brush attachments) and using the appropriate wet cleaning methods you can have your floors spic and span in no time. These tools are most ideal for getting into the deep spaces between floorboards and into all those pesky corners of the rooms.

Be aware that caution should be exercised as to not cause damage to your floors when operating a vacuum on hard surfaces as such. Note, if your vacuum has a beater bar built-in – first ensure that the height setting is optimal for your hardwood floors before you begin. The key here is to set it high enough so as to not to have the beater bar beating on the wood floor as you make your passes during vacuuming. Also, note the condition of the wheels on your vacuum. You may want to consider how this will impact the flooring finish. If you find you have severely rough or hard wheels on your vacuum, consider replacing them or the vacuum for one with more hardwood floor-friendly design in mind.

In regard to mopping your flooring do not forget that water and wood are not allies in any fashion. Bearing this in mind know that you do NOT want to over-wet your flooring. This may cause cupping and even buckling of floorboards over time. The best method is to use A. appropriately designated cleaning product, such as BONA hardwood floor cleaner and B. apply it in the form of a light misting after completing your dusting and vacuuming and it should result in a beautiful clean. Lastly, note that there is no need to be overly aggressive with your mopping technique. As dry soil removal is step one in any and all cleaning processes – mopping should be done gently as the last step to removal of any grime that may be stuck onto the flooring. Easy does it!

 

 

Monthly  Task – Hardwood Floor Polishing

Set up a routine where you show your hardwood floors a little extra love once a month – by polishing the hardwood flooring. Polishing floors will help boost the radiance and luster that lives inside your wood floors.

Polishes fill in the microscopic scratches which are highlighted when they are not properly maintained or have been cleaned but not polished. To boast it adds a nice protective finish to your hardwood floors.

Polishing should not be a daunting task; simply after your dusting, vacuuming, mopping and allowing for drying time – mist a fine polish onto your floors and using a clean microfiber pad gently buff the polish onto the floors. Tadaa! Protected and looking beautiful. Look at you, home maintenance superhero!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advanced Hardwood Floor Tips

  • Invest in the proper tools. Every hardwood floor cleaning kit should include the following: A machine-washable Microfiber pad for dusting and cleaning. The electrostatic nature of a microfiber pad will do half the work for you as it attracts loose dirt, dust, and hair to the pad and stays put. This also helps eliminate any pesky allergens that may be lingering on your hardwood floors that we drag in from outdoors.

 

  • Keep away from the old school water and vinegar method of cleaning the hardwood floor! Although it does clean well, it is not good for the long term health of your wood flooring. Vinegar, being acidic in nature, even diluted, will inevitably etch away at the finish of your floors over time. This will result in dull and lackluster looking floors that will take a lot more time, effort, and money to fix once the damage is done. On the other hand, soap and wax leave a residual buildup – residue buildup will not only damage your flooring but will also be a dirt magnet!

 

  • Avoid steaming your flooring at all cost! Steaming cleaning mops/wands put an excessive amount of moisture onto your floor but they also force that steam in-between and under floorboards. This can very quickly result in wavy floors that are no longer uniform – known as buckling or cupping of hardwood flooring. This method of cleaning can also irreversibly damage the stain and finish on your floors! Not to mention the potential for causing mold beneath of your floorboards. Again, avoid this at all costs.

 

  • Dusting is really the secret to the long life of the beauty of hardwood flooring. Dry soil removal will prolong the life and appearance of your hardwood floors as the dry soil is the most culpable culprit to microscopic scratches and damage that can ruin the finish.

 

  • Furniture protection – for a few bucks you can easily protect all the furniture which comes into direct contact with your wood floors. With a wide array of choices ranging from plastics to rubber, to fine felt – protect high use areas so that the legs and feet of couches, sofas, bar stools, chairs, and other furniture do not cause high-pressure abrasion directly to your wood flooring.

 

  • Lastly, consider a professional deep cleaning service every 3~5 years. With all the traffic and family moments our hardwood floors are faced with every day, month, and year, after a while some outside reinforcements can certainly make keeping and maintaining the life of your hardwood floors. Wiz Team, Inc. strictly uses BONA’s Deep Hardwood Floor cleaning system to clean your floors deeply and thoroughly, while helping the longevity of your floors. Prolonging the time between having to refinish your floors with those messy and stinky floor refinishing procedures. In the long term, this saves you thousands of dollars as your floors are impeccably clean and if the above recommendations are followed may extend the life of your hardwood floors by decades!

 

Call Wiz Team, Inc. or email us for a free in-home consultation for your hardwood floor cleaning and maintenance needs. Or simply call for advice!

Finding the best way to clean hardwood floors can be difficult. But with some time and patience along with the proper tools and proven techniques, you’ll be able to keep your floors looking their best, longer. Remember that the time you spend maintaining your floors pales in comparison to how much time you’ll spend making memories with your floors beneath you, every step of the way.

 

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.   

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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