Get your chimney swept this summer


The warm weather is coming and getting a chimney sweep could be the last thing on your mind. However, now is the perfect time to get a professional chimney sweep. 


If a chimney is used regularly, it should be swept yearly. Scheduling a cleaning for the summer will avoid the late fall and winter rush to make sure you are prepared to burn a safe fire all winter long. Take something off of the to-do-list and get your cleaning on the books now.


In addition to avoiding the rush later in the year, it is easier and safer for companies to clean your chimney in the summer. Bad weather can make getting on the roof unsafe and delay cleaning.  A clear roof makes it much easier to clean a chimney in a top-down fashion and clean the cap. 


Make sure you use a professional company that cares. At Newman Restoration, we protect the inside of your home to ensure it does not get any contamination during the cleaning process. We protect the mantle and surrounding areas with drop cloths and plastic over the fireplace or stove opening to ensure no soot escapes. Our team also uses a three stage HEPA vacuum to prevent any dust from being exhausted into the home.


Carpet cleaning brings a variety of benefits


Professional carpet cleaning is the perfect way to maintain a substantial investment made in a home. During the spring, a professional carpet cleaning can improve the look of your carpets and the indoor environment in your home.


Extend the life of a carpet – A professional carpet cleaning improves the lifespan of a carpet. It is often a requirement to maintain the warrant of a newly installed carpet. If done correctly, a carpet cleaning will remove dirt and debris from the carpet that can cause permanent damage if left to stay. Ever notice traffic lanes start to develop in a carpet? A professional carpet cleaning can help these areas spring back and last longer without wearing out. It is important to get rid of the dirt and debris that builds up over the winter.


Develop a healthier in-home environment – Allergens, dirt and bacteria become trapped in a carpet from regular use. A professional cleaning can thoroughly reduce the amount of contamination built-up in a carpet and create a healthier environment. It can also reduce odors that are emanating from a carpet. Your carpet can act as a filter for the air in your home. You do not want to go an entire year without getting that filter cleaned. 


Improve the look of a carpet – One of the most noticeable benefits of a professional carpet cleaning is the improved look. A cleaning can remove staining and brighten the look of a carpet. It also revitalizes worn down traffic lanes. Don’t be hesitant to invite guests over because the carpet looks worn down. A professional cleaning will make your carpet look much younger.


Add a carpet protector – After a professional cleaning is the best time to add carpet protector. This is an option with most professional cleaning companies. It can protect against the buildup of stains and dirt. It also allows your vacuum to work more efficiently and will leave your carpet looking cleaner for longer.


Synthetic vs Botanical cleaning products


Team Newman utilizes an array of different cleaning products and disinfectants depending on the circumstances. These products come with different methods of application, dwell times, dilution rates and risks. Whenever possible, Newman Restoration & Cleaning utilizes botanical cleaning solutions and disinfectants. Most often, these products are the safest and easiest to use.


What is a botanical disinfectant or cleaner? – Botanical cleaners are basically plant-based cleaning products. Team Newman’s preferred botanical products are created from 100% plant essential oils. 


Botanicals are safer for the environment – With many synthetic disinfectants, after the proper dwell time is achieved, the product must be removed from the surface. However, with botanical cleaners, this step is often not required. Botanicals can also be biodegradable and not have the aquatic toxicity of many synthetic cleaners. Botanical cleaners are safer for homes with pets and children.


Safer for the user – Many synthetic disinfectants require the use of personal protective equipment for application. For most botanicals, there is not a need for protective equipment, or a lower level of protective equipment is required. 


Easier to use – Overall, botanical cleaners can simplify the cleaning or disinfection process. Not having to utilize protective equipment or a clean any residue allows for an efficient and effective cleaning process with fewer steps and hassles. 


No matter what product you use, follow the instructions provided by manufacturers – For the safest and most effective use of any cleaning or disinfecting product, following the instructions on the label and from the manufacturer is vital. Labels will have any necessary information about toxicity, protective equipment required and dwell times. These are important factors for the proper use of these products.


Hose spigots are a major cause of Spring water damage


As the weather gets warmer, attention turns to the outdoors for home improvement projects. This often includes using an outdoor spigot for the first time since winter. However, it is important to pay attention when turning on the water outside for the first time as it is a common spot to suffer damage from freezing and thawing.


The first step is knowing where the water shutoff to your home is located – If there is a problem with a damaged pipe, shutting off the water quickly will limit the damage. Water shutoffs are most often found near the water heater inside the home or close to the water meter outside of a home.


What to look for when turning on a water spigot – One of the main signs of a possible problem is a variation in water pressure. Sudden bursts of water or a sudden loss of pressure can indicate an issue. The most common place for a spigot to be damaged is where it exits the wall or right inside the wall. This is the place most susceptible to freezing. If you shut off the water from the spigot and can still hear water running, it is a sign of a major issue.


Check inside for any water leaks – When running a spigot for the first couple of times after winter, it is always a good idea to check the inside of the home for any signs of water damage. A broken pipe leading to a spigot will most often be located close to the exterior wall. 


Monitor when sprinklers are turned back on – Another cause of water damage inside of a home is a broken sprinkler line. If these lines were not properly winterized, they can freeze and crack during the winter months. A cracked sprinkler line causes ground saturation and a possible water intrusion through a foundation crack. Damaged sprinkler lines can also fill basement window wells with water. When turning sprinklers back on, it is important to monitor for proper water pressure and check the inside of the home for any water damage.


Time to plan for spring cleaning!


While some days feel like summer and others still remind us of winter, now is a great time to prepare and complete your spring cleaning.


A proper dose of spring cleaning comes with many benefits – Conquering spring cleaning this year will not only make you feel accomplished and your home looking spotless, it can also reduce the impact of spring allergies. Decluttering and deep cleaning have the best impact on removing allergens, especially dust. If you are suffering more this year from allergies, look to a professional carpet cleaning and air duct cleaning to dramatically increase indoor air quality. 


Prepare a detailed list of what you want to accomplish with your spring cleaning – Whether it is small goals or big goals, write everything down to be prepared for spring cleaning and hold yourself accountable. Also a spring cleaning goals list can be motivational. Give yourself multiple small tasks to build up and conquer a larger task. Make your list in order of priority so you can tackle what is most important to you.


Get stocked up with your supplies – Nothing is more frustrating than getting in the groove of cleaning and not having enough supplies or the proper supplies. It can kill your motivation and take time out of your planned cleaning time to reload on supplies. So as you are making a list for what you want to accomplish for spring cleaning, also make a list of the supplies you will need.


Budget – Budgeting is very important for spring cleaning. Make a budget for your time to ensure that what you want to accomplish is feasible. Also budget for the money to be spent on spring cleaning. Whether it is money for a professional carpet cleaning or more supplies, having a set budget can ensure spring cleaning doesn’t put a big dent in your wallet.


Prep your mind and space for spring cleaning – Envision what a perfectly clean area of your home would look like and how exciting it will be to host that first barbeque or party! Start with removing clutter that has built up over the winter to get some positive feelings flowing about the upcoming spring clean.


Plan to clean from the top down – Cleaning from the top down produces the best results. Start with ceilings and ceiling fans and work down to bookshelves, tables and countertops. Save the floors for last as this will ensure you only have to clean them once at the end of the process instead of multiple times.


Leave some things to the professionals! – Air duct cleaning and carpet cleaning are popular services during the spring for cleaning companies like Newman. It may seem like an easy way to save a few bucks, but having a professional company handle these services can save you time and deliver a professional job. 


Weekend weather conditions can create ice dams


After snowfall and cold temperatures all week, be cautious of ice dams forming over the weekend. Fluctuating temperatures and sunshine cause the perfect conditions for an ice dam on the roof.

Ice dams are a buildup of ice and snow on a roof, often on the lower portion and extend over the edge and gutters. Snow on the roof melts and freezes creating an ice dam. An issue occurs when the melting snow is trapped and cannot release from the roof. It can penetrate through the shingles and create water damage on the interior of the home.

If it is safe to do so, keep your roof clear after a snowfall. Utilizing a roof rake to eliminate snow buildups is a way of preventing ice dams from occurring. Be cautious because snow can come down quickly and is quite heavy. It is also a good step to keep gutters clear of debris as it can impede the runoff when snow melts. Removing the snow is the best way to prevent a dangerous and harmful ice dam. Ice dams can occur from direct sunlight and, or heat coming from inside the home. If the attic or space below the roof is creating too much heat it can often be resolved with a few fixes. The first step is to improve insulation. This can be done by fixing holes or gaps in the insulation or replacing it with a higher value. This keeps the home warmer and the attic space cooler. Ventilating the space can also help if too much warm air is hitting the roof from underneath.

If an ice dam has formed, there are a few ways to fix it. Chip away the ice safely or hire a professional company to remove the ice dam. The majority of the issue with ice dams comes from the ice buildup. If possible, chip away the ice buildup or search for a local company to help with the removal of an ice dam. Another solution is to create a channel for the snow to melt with an ice melt product. The melting snow needs a path to escape off the roof. Creating a channel through the buildup with an ice melt product is one possible solution. Often this can be difficult with frozen and snowy roofs being too dangerous to access. Y


Signs of microbial growth


Water damage, foundation cracks, poor ventilation and elevated humidity are a few ways mold can develop in a home or business. In some cases, microbial growth can begin to develop only 48 to 72 hours after excess moisture has been introduced to an environment. 


The most important step to limiting microbial growth is to be on the lookout for signs of excess moisture. Increased humidity is a telltale sign of elevated moisture in a space. Crawl spaces and attics are areas that can be subject to mold growth from elevated humidity. It is a good idea to check these spaces a few times a month to make sure there are no signs of water penetration or increased humidity. 


A tangy or mildew smell is a sign that water has settled somewhere in your property and is trapped. Water can get trapped between flooring and subfloor or in a wall. This will often lead to microbial growth and the development of a sour smell.


Either of these signs are a good reason to call a professional restoration company. The damage from microbial growth can increase with time, so it is best to get on the issue right away. In some situations, an industrial hygienist can be required to test indoor air quality. They can determine if parts of the home have elevated spore counts and if they require a solution from a restoration company.


If there are signs of visible mold, it is time to get professional help right away. Mold can be white, green, blue and black, but no matter the color, it should be inspected by a restoration company. Newman Restoration & Cleaning utilized multiple methods for remediating all types of microbial growth. Trust Team Newman to ensure a healthy living environment.


Fluctuating temperatures leave homes vulnerable to water damage


Fluctuating temperatures and precipitation can allow for water to penetrate foundation imperfections. Water follows the path of least resistance which can push groundwater through a hole or crack in the foundation. It is important to check the exterior walls of a home or business for any moisture and a slow leak can turn into big damages. Discovering a problem with the foundation of a building can be an unsettling situation, but Team Newman is here with some helpful information so you can be educated about what to do with if you suspect water is coming through a foundation crack.

Vertical foundation cracks are the most common access point for water to enter a basement or crawlspace from the outside. These cracks occur as a home settles. If the ground around the foundation becomes saturated from rain or snow melt, it can penetrate the foundation through a vertical crack. 

Water damage from a foundation crack can cause a large amount of damage in a short period of time, or it can be a slow leak which develops damage over a longer period of time. Regardless, this damage is often not covered by a home insurance policy and can be an expensive fix. Thankfully, vertical foundation cracks can often be filled with a waterproofing injection. When a crack is discovered, it is best to seal it right away. If a crack is left unattended, it can grow and lead to a more costly repair.

There are a few signs which can alert a property owner to water damage from a foundation issue. Water or added humidity in a basement or crawl space is a common sign that there is a foundation crack allowing for water penetration. Pungent or musty odors are also an indication that water is entering the property through a slow leak or foundation crack. Cracks in plaster walls and doors that no longer open easily are a sign that the foundation is settling in an uneven matter. These signs are a good reason to have your home and foundation inspected. 

Water damage from foundation cracks may not be covered by insurance. Many homeowners are not protected from foundation cracks and the ensuing water damage. Because the water is coming from outside the home, many insurance carriers will deny coverage. It is always best to have an understanding of your liabilities or gap in insurance coverage. Often, a flood insurance policy can protect homeowners from water damage due to an outside source. However, it is important to cover the topic with your specific insurance company. 

Homeowners should make sure standing water is kept away from the foundation walls. Gutter and drain systems need to divert water away from the home and not allow it to pool next to the foundation. Landscaping is also important to ensure water is draining away from a property. These factors can often prevent the ground next to the foundation wall from becoming saturated, which is a major factor in water penetrating a foundation. 


Cleaning and disinfecting remain an important part of running a healthy business


As Covid 19 continues to impact business across Montana, it is important to have a disinfecting operation lined up to return your business to a clean and healthy state. While regular, daily cleaning remains important, having a disinfecting clean after a confirmed case should be part of all business plans.


There is a difference between cleaning and disinfecting: Cleaning should be completed daily. This is the process of using soap or household cleaners to remove contamination from surfaces. This reduces the risk of infection according to the CDC. Disinfecting is the process of killing germs on surfaces. This needs to be done with a product from the EPA’s List N of disinfectants. Dwell time is an important part of disinfecting. Cleaners will only be effective when the appropriate dwell time is reached. This means the surface must remain visibly wet. Dwell times for approved products are also found on the EPA’s List N. Along with cleaning, disinfection will further reduce the risk of spreading infection according to the CDC.


A facility should be disinfected when someone tests positive for COVID 19: The areas frequented by the person who tested positive should be closed off until they are disinfected. Touch points are the main focus of a disinfecting clean. This includes door handles, handrails, bathroom fixtures, desks, keyboards and all areas that are frequently touched or constantly occupied. In addition to touchpoints, a disinfecting spray with electrostatic sprayer should also be used. Electrostatic spraying charges the disinfectant allowing it to adhere to surfaces and properly disinfect an area. Reminder: dwell time is important and must be followed for a proper disinfecting clean.


Why use a professional company for a disinfecting clean: A professional cleaning company has the proper disinfectants, PPE, equipment and methodology to complete the necessary work in a safe and timely manner. The other benefit of using a professional company is it limits the exposure for a business. The team at Newman Restoration & Cleaning has the professional knowledge and experience to complete any size of facility decontamination.


Holiday cleaning tips!


The holiday season is upon us and Team Newman has a few tips to be prepared and clean during your holiday celebrations.


Be stocked on cleaning supplies – Nothing is worse than getting into the cleaning rhythm and running out of an important supply. This can diminish your cleaning motivation and take up a lot of time to run to the store! Be stocked up so there are no bumps in the road.


Set out extra trash cans – If you are having a gathering for the holidays and want cleanup to be easier, set out a few extra trash receptacles. When people have an easy way to tidy up they are more likely to do it! Most of us keep our trash in or around the kitchen and that can be a busy place. Put a trash receptacle out where people are congregating and make it easy for them to throw stuff away!


Empty out your fridge to make room for ingredients and leftovers – It is best to get rid of the expired items before you go grocery shopping. When you come home you do not have to negotiate a packed fridge and you can easily find space for the important stuff. It is also nice to have some room for leftovers from the holiday party.


Remove the clutter – Often the easiest way to make a space look cleaner is to remove the clutter. Take those items you will not be using off the kitchen counter. Tidy up the spaces your guests will occupy and it can make a major improvement in a short amount of time. 


Make sure the small things are easily accessible – If you are having guests over, keep some spare paper towels laying around so a mess can be cleaned up easily. Keep coasters in plain sight so people will use them. 


Have the bathroom fully stocked – This area will experience more traffic with the holiday season. Be sure to have plenty of hand soap and toilet paper. Nothing is worse than going to the restroom and being without a square to spare.


Make sure guests follow your rules! And give them some hints – If you would like guests to remove their shoes upon entering your home, have a place for them to put their shoes. Make it easy for people to follow the rules that will help you keep a clean home. It is also nice to have a space where guests can store their winter jackets. 

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