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Combat Allergens This Spring

AprilMany people love the fresh blossom of spring flowers, trees, and grass. With the variety of beauty in our gardens and in our yards, comes pollen. It isn’t just outdoor pollen that trigger nasal allergies, but also inside allergens as well. This time of year typically witnesses an increase in mold spores, dust mites, and cat and dog dander. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundations of America, an estimated 50 million people in the United States suffer from nasal allergies, and that number is increasing. Allergens are found on furniture, floors, and other surfaces around the house. They can also be carried in the air.

Although no home can be allergen free, here are a few tips to reduce the amount of inside and outside allergens in your house.

  1. Dust! Dusting is one of the best ways to reduce dust mites. These microscopic insects thrive in dust and trigger asthma and allergy symptoms. They’re the most common allergen found in the home. When dusting, be sure to a damp or treat cloth that attracts allergens. Dry clothes kick up the dust and could trigger allergies.

 

  1. Vacuum! Vacuuming reduces allergens from floors where dust can accumulate in corners and with greater intensity. Furniture is also a culprit for dust and dust mites. Use a HEPA filer when vacuuming to prevent allergens and dust mites from becoming airborne as you vacuum.

 

  1. Doing the laundry reduces allergens from fabrics where dust mites can also accumulate. This includes sheets, blankets, comforters, pillow cases, and throws. To be sure to kill dust mites. Everyday Health recommends washing bed linens in hot water, at least 130 degrees—at least once a week. They also suggest utilizing allergen-proof mattress and pillow covers.

 

  1. Keep doors and windows closed often. To keep pollen from entering the home, keep windows and doors closed, especially at night. Early morning and late evening are peak times for pollen to be emitted from plants. If you do go out during high pollen counts, change your clothes and shower to reduce the amount of pollen inside. Also, don’t hang up laundry outside to dry during high pollen counts.

 

  1. Keep bathroom and basements dry and clean. Molds and mildew thrive in damp places. Mold spores can become airborne and float through air vents and take spores throughout the home. To reduce the amount of mold and mildew in the bathroom and basements, scrub away mold from bathroom tiles and surfaces. Replace moldy shower curtains and mold carpeting. If you have a basement, clean up mold and mildew off of walls. Purchase a dehumidifier to reduce damp.

These 5 tips will help reduce the number of allergens in your home and thus will greatly reduce the effects of pollen, dust mites, mold and mildew in your home.


Five Spring Cleaning Tips

It’s that time again! As the sunshine pours into our windows and cornflower skies beckon us to come outdoors and play. This is a time of renewal. After the long, cold days of winter, animals and plants alike are producing new offspring and emerging anew. This is an excellent time to renew the interior of your home! With a strategic plan and a little elbow grease, you can prep your home for the upcoming spring and summer months.

So, before you rush out to enjoy the warmer temperatures, here are ten tips to help make sure your spring cleaning inside goes swiftly so you have more time to enjoy the outside!

Tip #1-Start small! Looking at the entire home may be overwhelming. Chunk the task by starting with a kitchen or bedroom junk drawer. Remove items that no longer work into two piles—one to donate and one for garbage. Proverbial wisdom-If you haven’t used it in two years, it may be time to let it go.

Tip #2 -Put your vacuum to work! All those extra tools on your vacuum work. Use them on your furniture to clean upholstery and to remove popcorn and other food debris from couch crevices and chairs. Add small amounts of carpet cleaner or fabric refresher for a nice scent.

Tip #3-Attack Corner Dust and Hidden Dirt! Throughout the winter, dust and dirt accumulate in places we may not commonly clean. Use this spring cleaning to focus on those hidden pockets of dirt and dust. Use an extended duster for those hard to reach places.

Tip #4 – Freshen Up Walls! With a magic eraser, water, and elbow grease, you can freshen up the walls in your home. This is a fast way to not only brighten your paint, but also spruce crown molding as well. Get kids in the act and give them an eraser so they can see dirt magically disappear.

Tip #5 – Clean the exterior windows. Snow, salt, and debris can leave the exterior windows grimy and covered in film. To allow more sunlight to come in to your home, clean the windows. Remove the screens and hose them off. Next, use glass cleaner and either microfiber towels to clean the glass.

The key to spring cleaning is to make your home bloom. Each of our top five tips focus on quick but effective ways to reach your spring cleaning goals on your own. However, if you decide you need help, reach out to us at TipTop Cleaning (704) 992-8898.


Hiring a Cleaning Company:

7 Frequently Asked Questions

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Hiring a cleaning company for your home or business is a huge decision that requires trust. Before hiring, always make sure that your cleaning company holds itself to the highest professional standards. They should be competent, trustworthy, efficient, and take great care in not causing damage to your items or your property.

You should also be aware of their policies in the event that you’re not satisfied with their service, or something has been damaged. Is this company insured? Or will you have to foot the bill for damaged property?

Below is a list of 7 points you should always discuss before hiring. You deserve a cleaning company you can count on!

 

  1. Are you bonded and insured? We are fully insured and bonded to absolve your business of any liability for unintended property damages. Uninsured companies might be cheaper, but they also can’t afford to pay you back in the case of property damage. Always verify coverage with the insurance company.
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  3. How do you screen your staff? A background check and drug test is conducted on all employees prior to being hired. We also perform random drug testing without prior notice. We are proud to hire responsible, hard-working individuals you can trust.
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  5. What if I am not happy with the job? We have a 100% guarantee! If something wasn’t done to your satisfaction, let us know. We will gladly correct the issue at no additional cost to you.
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  7. What products do you use?We use quality Spartan products. Spartan has cleaning product lines that are environmentally friendly and also manufactured from sustainable resources.
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  9. Can I get some references?Of course, please check our testimonials page.
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  11. Do you have any training or certifications? All employees are trained on the accounts they are assigned. We do three nights of side by side (depending on size of account) followed by two nights of observation before keys are handed over. This ensures our employees fully understand how to carry out each task to your specification. We also provide consistent, ongoing training and will provide documented proof upon request. Employees are also required to complete an online training module to understand proper cleaning procedures and OSHA standards.
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  13. What types of properties do you clean? We can clean buildings of all types including: apartments, offices, townhomes, single-family homes, medical facilities, auto facilities, recreational facilities, post-construction and more.
    There are endless cleaning companies to choose from, but this list of FAQs should help narrow your search. If you do reach out to a cleaning company, be sure to prepare a similar list of questions to ask them, so that you know you’ve chosen the right company for you. We’re always happy to spread our knowledge. If you would like to learn more about TipTop, please contact us on our website or at (704) 992-8898.


Is Your House Really Clean Enough?

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You have more than just your family living in your house. Germs, bacteria, fungus, and dust mites all live with you as well. While daily cleaning can keep most of it at bay, there’s a difference between surface clean and deep clean. Do you know which room in your house harbors the most bacteria? It’s not the bathroom! Read below for tips on where the major sources of unwanted microorganisms live, and how to cut down on your family’s exposure to them.

 

In the Kitchen

The room where you cook and create meals for your family should be kept bacteria and germ free to avoid spreading them.  However, the kitchen is the room that harbors the most bacteria in the house. Sponges are the main culprit.  A study by Dr Chuck Gerba, professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona, found there are 10 million bacteria per square inch in a single sponge. Kill the bacteria by wetting the sponge and popping it in the microwave for at least 2 minutes. A close second for germy surfaces are dish rags, followed by handles on your fridge, faucet, and doors. Even the drain can harbor bacteria, which can be killed with baking soda and a small scrubber like an old toothbrush.

 

In the Bathroom

Make sure you close the lid when you flush. Flushing creates a spray that reaches farther out than just your toilet bowl. The water (and whatever is in it) can reach the seat, surrounding surfaces, and even your toothbrush. The show Mythbusters did an episode where they tested 24 toothbrushes – and all of them, indeed, came back showing fecal matter. Keep toothbrushes and oral items in a cabinet or covered area to make sure you’re not putting bacteria and other unwanted substances into your mouth.

 

In the Bedroom

No one wants to think about dust mites living in your bed, eating your dead skin cells. But the American Lung Association says four out of five US households have detectable dust mite allergen in at least one bed. A typical mattress has tens of thousands of dust mites. Keeping your room dust free is the best way to control the population. Change your air condition and heating system air filters monthly, preferably with an allergen-trapping filter. Washing bedding and cloth toys in hot water helps as well.

 

In the Living Room

The living room can hold a broad range of bacteria. Over 41% of adults have never washed their carpets, and over 200,000 microorganisms can live per square inch in this family gathering spot. Anything that the bottom of shoes, pet paws, and bags or purses have touched get nestled in the carpet fibers. Dust mites are abundant here as well, and a weekly vacuuming can reduce their presence. Another germy spot in the living room? The remote control. Wipe it as often as you can with a disinfectant or bleach solution.

 

As Joan Rivers once said, “I hate housework! You make the beds, you do the dishes and six months later you have to start all over again”. Keeping a home clean is tough, and performing a deep clean weekly is even harder. Our highly trained cleaners can visit your home as often as you’d like. To keep your family safe from germs and bacteria, give us a call at 704-992-8898 today. We’ll promptly and efficiently scrub every surface of your home to make sure your place is kept comfortable and hygienic.

THE BENEFITS OF DOWNTIME

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How often do you hear someone saying “I need a vacation?” I just got back from a 5-day cruise that definitely recharged my batteries. According to Forbes, the workplace benefits of taking vacation time include: higher productivity, stronger workplace morale, as well, and significant health benefits. And if you are like me (a business owner) it is also key in employee retention.

My cruise was for the wedding of a former work mate from my days working at Pepsi. In fact, this journey reunited me with many of my former colleagues from my time spent in the corporate world.

The first port was Nassau Bahamas. All the wedding guests wore the same t-shirts as we ventured out onto Bay St. We enjoyed visiting popular tourist locations such as the Atlantic Resort and Seafood Haven. Guests were treated to fried lobster, fish, conch fritters, and – not to be missed – the famous conch salad. This day was spectacular. I met many awesome people including the groom’s family who are from the Bahamas. It was a treat to learn about their culture.

While the ship, Allure of the Seas, offered many fun activities such as a 70s party, a Captain’s ball, and of course a fantastic pool, the real R&R came at Cozumel. While Cozumel famed for its spectacular scuba diving with reefs, lagoons, underwater caverns, we opted for the luxuries of an all-inclusive resort. Just think fun and sun. It was a perfect setting for the wedding guests to have fun.

And now, I am back. I’m ready to keep on building the steady stream of clients that I have been blessed to have. I love helping my clients. And, taking the time to focus on me periodically helps me provide the best possible service to all of them.

Do you know someone who needs their office or home cleaned? Email me: lecia.fall@tiptopcleaningnc.com

Advantages of Outsourcing Commercial Cleaning Services

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EzineMark.com

Outsourcing janitorial services provides a variety of benefits to business owners looking to reduce costs and maximize efficiency. Maintaining an in-house cleaning crew can take valuable time and resources away from growing your business. Outsourcing offers many advantages to business owners who want to focus on developing and supporting their business rather than concentrating on commercial cleaning and maintenance issues.

Improve Focus:

The main focus of business owners is to develop, support and improve their product or service in order to maximize profits. Outsourcing commercial cleaning allows you time to concentrate on your objectives and reduce the time devoted to areas outside of your expertise.

Hiring and maintaining an in-house cleaning crew can be time consuming. Staff issues can be difficult to manage. A commercial cleaning company hires and trains their workers so you do not have to. They deal with all issues involving the cleaning staff and ensure that sick workers are covered by replacements. This allows you to focus on your customers, while knowing that your business will be clean and well taken care of.

Reduce Costs:

According to the 2002 FMLink and Encompass Global Technologies Outsourcing Survey, 52% of business owners claim a savings in operation costs from outsourcing janitorial services. Eliminating the need to provide comprehensive benefit packages and carry insurance for in-house workers saves money. With outsourcing there is no need to buy expensive equipment or supplies because everything needed is provided by the cleaning company.

A commercial cleaning company will work within your budget to create a service that meets the needs of your facility. They can give your ideas on money-saving practices, like day cleaning, that can reduce your operating costs even further.

Training and Expertise:

Commercial cleaning companies offer specialized training to their employees. These workers are familiar with the latest equipment and products available. They have years of experience and are knowledgeable on topics like stain prevention, flooring maintenance, and safe cleaning services. Their specialty is creating an organized, healthy, and clean environment for your customers and staff. Plus, studies have shown that in-house custodial productivity can fall significantly below industry norms.

Professional cleaning companies can provide a variety of specialty services that many not be available with in-house cleaning crews. For example, many offer environmentally friendly practices and products that can help boost your company’s “green” credentials. Landscaping, high dusting, and deep cleaning services are also available.

Flexibility:

Outsourcing allows you to easily adjust the number of workers needed for your facility as well as the kinds of services they perform. This flexibility enables business owners to control operating costs and adjust to the specific cleaning needs of their property.

The International Facility Management Association (IFMA) estimates that in-house cleaning costs an average of 23% more than contract cleaning services. Not only can maintaining an in-house cleaning crew cost money, it can take away focus from the main objectives of your business. Do yourself a favor and outsource your cleaning to a company that is trained to provide high-quality janitorial services to a variety of commercial properties.

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