Wiz TeamWiz Team

Happy Halloween

 

Trick or treat?

Trick or treat?

Give me something good to eat.

Apples, peaches, tangerines.

Happy Happy Halloween.

 

Trick or treat?

Trick or treat?

Give me something sweet to eat.

Cookies, chocolate, jelly beans.

Happy Happy Halloween.

 

Trick or treat?

Trick or treat?

Give me something sour to eat.

Lemons, grapefruits, limes so green.

Happy Happy Halloween.

 

Trick or treat?

Trick or treat?

Give me something good to eat.

Nuts and candy. Lollipops.

Now it’s time for us to stop.

 

Happy Halloween – Here is a treat for our youngest clients 🙂 

Candy Apples

Halloween Maze

Haunted House Coloring Page

 

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!

clutter

Clutter Cleaner

 

When you have way too much stuff and no system of organization, you end up with a house full of clutter. It starts to choke you and drain your energy. Only a person who lives with clutter can understand why somebody would hoard their possessions, or even their “junk”. A common feeling among people, who have a cluttered house, is that they know where everything is located, and many times, they actually do! What may look like a mess to someone else seems organized to the one living that way. It is actually difficult for some people to get rid of things and they tell a friend, “On my next vacation (or days off), “I’ll help you if you help me”. It seems like such a desperate job that it looks impossible.

Starting The Process

When your children are growing up, you tend to save things for them but usually in a more organized manner than when they grow up and move out. You are left your stuff and their stuff and lots of stuff that doesn’t get used any more. I am going to use this article as a blueprint for the way I attack my spare bedroom. I have decided that I am going to pretend to be moving and I only want to pack the “good, usable and necessary” stuff for my “new place”. That is going to be my motive and seems to be a great way to think about the extra stuff in your house once you decide to get rid of the clutter.

Keep, Discard, Donate

Do you know how to separate clutter from what is actually valuable? There are shows on television and books that have been written, that try to help people determine what they should keep and what they should discard. The television shows are interesting to me, for a number of reasons like, there are many people to help you with the process of doing and deciding and there is a monetary gain to receive once the clutter is gone. In case you have never seen the show, the television people will add new pieces of furniture that will help retain the order and the organization of the home. They strive to organize things in ways that will be easy for people to maintain.

Clutter Free Path

If you are wondering how to start the whole process, you will need to remove EVERYTHING from a room, including clothing in the closets and furniture. The professionals give advice on how to sort all the stuff in your house. They say to separate all the stuff in 3 large areas designated to donate or sale, discard and keep. It is difficult for people to get rid of things that they have been “collecting” for years, especially if those items are attached to a lot of memories. There has to be a limit on each thing that you handle so you won’t get bogged down in emotional memories. Then start the difficult but rewarding process of choosing which pile your item will go in. As you work diligently through this process you will see your clutter disappear.

If you need some help getting started give us a call and we will be glad to join you!

What’s Memorial Day?

Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Memorial Day 2019 occurs on Monday, May 27.

Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season.

Throughout America, in various towns and cities we are holding springtime tributes to these countless fallen soldiers, decorating their graves with flowers and reciting prayers.

Each year on Memorial Day a national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time.

Some people wear a red poppy in remembrance of those fallen in war—a tradition that began with a World War I poem. On a less somber note, many people take weekend trips or throw parties and barbecues on the holiday, perhaps because it unofficially marks the beginning of summer.

 

In Flanders Fields

By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918) Canadian Army

 

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

 

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

 

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

 

However you observe Memorial Day, do not forget those who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom!

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…

what to do about frozen water pipes in Illinois

What to Do About Frozen Water Pipes

Frozen but not broken pipes…

With the subzero temperatures this day’s, frozen water pipes are common occurrence. When most people think of frozen water pipes in their homes, they automatically think broken pipes, soaked carpets, carpet padding, walls and overall a huge mess… requiring the attention of certified water damage restoration specialists in Illinois.
 
Very often a frozen pipe doesn’t necessarily become a broken pipe. Some of might have had experienced it: You go into a bathroom, during a really cold day (like now), turn on the faucet and nothing comes out or only a trickle dribbles into the sink.
 
This is nuisance must be addressed quickly, before the pipe actually breaks and creates a much larger problem.
 

What to Do About Frozen Water Pipes?


To prevent this from happening is the best course of action. Here are some things you can do when temperatures dip well below freezing:
 

  1. If you have water supply pipes in the walls or ceiling of your garage keep garage doors closed. Frozen pipes occur especially when a bathroom is next to or above a garage. As soon as you pull into the garage, immediately shut the garage door, so the heat from the engine can help warm the garage.
  2. When at home and outside temperature get to subzero, open kitchen and bathroom cabinets to allow warmer air to flow among the pipes. If you feel it might freeze, allow a slow trickle of water to run in each faucet.
  3. Control the temperature in your home, especially when leaving for a couple of days. Some of us will set the temperature low to save money, but keep your home’s heat at minimum of 60°F or higher. Investing and installing a smart thermostat will not only let you monitor and control your home’s temperature from your Smartphone, PC or tablet while traveling, but it will also allow you to take control of the temperature in your home.

 But in the unfortunate event of a frozen pipe does happen, what do you do?

At that point your only recourse is to thaw it. This daunting task might take time. First, warm up your house, then use safe heat source, such as a hair dryer or heat gun, to warm up the area where the frozen pipe is located. Under no circumstances should you use a blowtorch, kerosene or other heat source fired by fuel, and please don’t use open flames. If you can’t determine where the frozen pipe is, call a local plumbing company to help.
 
Of course, if the worst happens and a pipe does break, call Wiz Team, Inc. your true water damage restoration specialists.

 

Persian Carpet Weaving Illinois

Learn About Persian Rugs

About Persian Carpet Weaving: The beginning of the art of carpet weaving remains unknown. Carpet weaving was first mentioned around 400 BC, by the Greek author Xenophon in his book “Anabasis”. Carpet weaving is an essential part of Persian culture and art. Within the group of Oriental rugs produced by the countries of the so-called “rug belt”, the Persian carpet stands out by the variety and elaborateness of its manifold designs. Although the term “Persian carpet” most often refers to pile-woven textiles, flat-woven carpets and rugs are part of the rich and manifold tradition of Persian carpet weaving.

 

More About Persian Carpet Weaving:

Persia is historic region of southwestern Asia associated with the area that is now modern Iran. The term Persia was used for centuries and originated from a region of southern Iran formerly known as Persis, alternatively as Pārs or Parsa, modern Fārs. Parsa was the name of an Indo-European nomadic people who migrated into the region about 1000 BC.

The use of the name was gradually extended by the ancient Greeks and other peoples to apply to the whole Iranian plateau. The people of that region have traditionally called their country Iran, “Land of the Aryans.” That name was officially adopted in 1935, when the Iranian government asked those countries with which it had a diplomatic association to refer to their country as Iran. Contributing reasons for the change were that Persia, which was formerly an empire composed of 128 provinces, had been significantly reduced in size, and the majority of Persians were of Aryan origin; Iran means “Country of Aryans.” The name Iran was already used within the country at that time.

Prior to 1979, and the fall of the Shah, the United States was the leading importer of Persian rugs. In general, old Persian rugs were made using high quality natural dyes and wool quality varied from region to region. There are hundreds of rug weaving villages and several major rug weaving centers: Isfahan, Tabriz, Kerman, Mashad, Sarouk, Hamadan, and Kashan.

Economic sanctions set forth in 1979 prevented the further import of Persian rugs, yet the demand still remained, so other countries began to manufacture rugs copying the classic Persian designs.

Sanctions on the import of luxury items like rugs were eased in 2000, however, the American market continued to buy Chinese (Sino), Pakistani (Pak), and Indian (Indo) “Persian” rugs. The highest quality, finest Persian carpet weaving and rugs in recent history were made between 1910 and 1940; these are some of the best rugs in existence today.

Carpet weaving still plays a major part in the economy of modern Iran. Modern production is characterized by the revival of traditional dyeing with natural dyes, the reintroduction of traditional tribal patterns, but also by the invention of modern and innovative designs, woven in the centuries-old technique. Hand-woven Persian carpets and rugs have been regarded as objects of high artistic and utilitarian value and prestige since the first time they were mentioned by ancient Greek writers.

In our next post we will discuss Abadeh Rugs and their rich history. 

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