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Everybody Clean-Up! Tips for Keeping Your Classroom Clean

7/20/2017 (Permalink)

Are classroom messes making you miserable?  Get students in on the act and straighten your classroom in no time at all.  The ideas below are teacher-tested with excellent cleaning results!

Classroom Clean-Up Ideas

Magic Helpers

Linda, who teaches 1st Grade in Pacific, MO, adds a bit of magic to her clean-up routine.  “I found that my little ones will be more willing to help clean up our classroom if we have some fun with it,” she explains.  “I tell them that it is time to ‘call in the elves’ to help with the cleanup. Of course, the elves only come out and help with my students, so I turn my back and count to 30 (or more, depending on how messy the room is…) and when I turn around the kids are in their seats, the room is spotless, and the elves have magically disappeared! They love the idea that only they can get the elves to come out and help, and it works every time ! They even beg to “call in the elves” when it looks like the room needs tidying. This has never failed to get the class motivated for some cleanup.”

Mystery Trash

Keep your floors clean with this idea by Sarah, who teaches 3rd grade, in Kentucky.  “I always had problems keeping my floor clean throughout the day and by the end of the day it was always messy. In order to get the students motivated to clean up the floor, I pick a mystery piece of trash. Sometimes I plant it in a place that is hard to find, or I pick something that is obvious. As soon as I announce that there is a mystery piece, the students race to pick up as much trash as they can find. If they find the mystery piece, they get a piece of candy. They are happy and I am happy because my floor is spotless!”

Stuck on You

Get students stuck on cleaning with this inexpensive and fun idea by Laurie, a 2nd Grade teacher, from Shannock, Rhode Island.  “Clean up after messy cutting projects or even at the end of the day can go quicker when you give each child a masking tape bracelet. The children delight in cleaning up when picking up scraps with their bracelets!”

What are some of your favorite ways to motivate students to help you clean the classroom?  Share them with us below!

Credit: Brandi Jordan, Really Good Stuff
http://www.reallygoodstuff.com/community/classroom-clean-up/

What To Do After Smoke Damage Has Happened

9/21/2016 (Permalink)

Fire and smoke damage can be devastating to personal property and structures. Quick action is the only way to minimize the destruction. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, IICRC, is a globally recognized organization whose mission is to establish higher industry standards. As a referral source for consumers, IICRC  certified firms are more likely to provide a faster, better service  than non-certified competitors.

Restoration costs increase and damages escalate when the cleaning process is extended. By hastening the hiring process and using an IICRC certified technician, owners  will be rewarded by having the damage stopped so repairs can begin.

What happens only minutes after the disaster?

Immediately after a fire, soot residue settles onto the property. Discoloration of porous materials is permanent, but other surfaces may be properly cleaned to remove the discoloration. Acidic soot begins staining other surfaces if not treated quickly.

Within hours all surfaces begin to suffer from fire and smoke damage. Wooden furniture may require refinishing. Metal begins to rust, pit and corrode. Painted walls begin to yellow. Clothing  can become permanently stained. And finally, flooring may require refinishing or replacement.

If left untreated, within weeks the restoration process will take longer and cost more.  Prolonged soot exposure permanently harms all surfaces and embeds in fibers. Replacement of property may be the best option at this point. The structure may continue deteriorating if not properly restored.

IICRC suggests the following steps after the incident:

  • Remember safety comes first. Do not enter the property without proper work gloves and  appropriate respiratory protection. Exposure to soot residue causes respiratory distress and other medical emergencies.
  • Bring along a few box fans. Upon entering the property open the windows and place the box fans in the windows to force out the contaminated air and dust. Proper ventilation helps to prevent further smoke damage and reduces potential injury to people.
  • Remove loose smoke contamination with a professional dry cleaning soot sponge.
  • Clean every surface with soap and water. Begin at the top and work down to the floor. Be sure to get inside cabinets and cupboards.
  • Using a high efficiency vacuum cleaner with a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) Filter, vacuum upholstery and carpet. A good filtration system on a high efficiency vacuum prevents the soot from being blown back into the cleaned space. Clean or change the filter regularly.
  • Launder bedding, clothes, curtains, and other washable materials. An alkaline cleaner neutralizes the acid found in the soot. Fine materials should be professionally dry-cleaned by a dry-cleaner who is experienced in smoke damaged articles.
  • Clean the exterior walls and eaves using a water hose attached to the proper cleaner. Agitate and loosen stuck-on soot. The smoke damage to the outside of the property will continue until the soot is removed.


Though heavy residues require the assistance of professional restoration technicians, a certified technician may be contacted for any amount of smoke damage. Improper processes can further harm the property or belongings.

IICRC certified technicians have training and experience in the techniques needed to restore the property. If structural distortion or warping has occurred, it may be necessary to consult a general contractor. Luckily, most insurance companies will cover the cost of the restoration, less your deductible, so get started today to get the property back into original condition.

Article By:

IICRC
The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is a certification and standard-setting nonprofit organization for the inspection, cleaning and restoration industries. The IICRC serves the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and Japan, in partnership with regional and international trade associations. http://www.iicrc.org/what-after-smoke-damage-has-happened-a-140.html

Mold Growth, Assessment, and Remediation

9/21/2016 (Permalink)

Hidden mold

Mold is detectable by smell and signs of water damage on walls or ceiling, and can grow in places invisible to the human eye. It may be found behind wallpaper or paneling, on the inside of ceiling tiles, the back of drywall, or the underside of carpets or carpet padding. Piping in walls may also be a source of mold, since they may leak (causing moisture and condensation).[8]

Spores need three things to grow into mold:

  • Nutrients: Cellulose (the cell wall of green plants) is a common food for indoor spores.
  • Moisture: To begin the decaying process caused by mold
  • Time: Mold growth begins from 24 hours to 10 days after the provision of growing conditions.

Mold colonies can grow inside buildings, and the chief hazard is the inhalation of mycotoxins. After a flood or major leak, mycotoxin levels are higher even after a building has dried out.[7]

Food sources for mold in buildings include cellulose-based materials such as wood, cardboard and the paper facing on drywall and organic matter such as soap, fabrics and dust-containing skin cells. If a house has mold, the moisture may originate in the basement or crawl space, a leaking roof or a leak in plumbing pipes. Insufficient ventilation may accelerate moisture buildup. Visible mold colonies may form where ventilation is poorest and on perimeter walls (because they are nearest the dew point).

If there are mold problems in a house only during certain times of the year, the house is probably too airtight or too drafty. Mold problems occur in airtight homes more frequently in the warmer months (when humidity is high inside the house, and moisture is trapped), and occur in drafty homes more frequently in the colder months (when warm air escapes from the living area and condenses). If a house is artificially humidified during the winter, this can create conditions favorable to mold. Moving air may prevent mold from growing, since it has the same desiccating effect as low humidity. Molds grow best in warm temperatures, 77 to 86 °F (25 to 30 °C), although growth may occur between 32 and 95 °F (0 and 35 °C).[9]

Removing one of the three requirements for mold reduces (or eliminates) new mold growth:

  • Moisture
  • Food for the mold spores (for example, dust or dander)
  • Warmth; mold generally does not grow in cold environments.

HVAC systems can produce all three requirements for mold growth. The air conditioning system creates a difference in temperature, encouraging condensation. The high rate of dusty air movement through an HVAC system may furnish ample food for mold. Since the air-conditioning system is not always running, warm conditions are the final component for mold growth.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mold_growth,_assessment,_and_remediation

    Jump up ^ Indoor Environmental Quality Dampness and Mold in Buildings. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. August 1, 2008.Jump up ^ Minnesota Department of Health. "Mold and Moisture in Homes". Minnesota North Star. Retrieved 22 November 2011. Jump up ^ Gent, Janneane. "Levels of Household Mold Associated with Respiratory Symptoms in the First Year of Life in a Cohort at Risk for Asthma" (PDF). Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University. Retrieved 18 November 2011. Jump up ^ Cohen, Aaron. "WHO Guidelines for Indoor Air Quality: Dampness and Mould" (PDF). World Health Organization. Retrieved 18 November 2011. Jump up ^ "Warm Air is a Moisture Conduit". by Robert Wewer. FSI Restorations. Retrieved 1 January 2014. Jump up ^ "The Doormat Test". by Robert Wewer. FSI Restorations. Retrieved 1 January 2014. ^ Jump up to: a b Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation^ Jump up to: a b c d e "A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home. EPA 402-K-02-003". U. S. Environmental Protection Agency. September 2010. Retrieved 10 May 2013. Jump up ^ "Controlling Mold Growth in the Home" (PDF). Kansas State University. Jump up ^ Niemeier, R. Todd, Sivasubramani, Satheesh K., Reponen, Tiina and Grinshpun, Sergey A., (2006) "Assessment of Fungal Contamination in Moldy Homes: Comparison of Different Methods", Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, 3:5, 262-273 [1]Jump up ^ "Mold Resources". United States Environmental Agency. Archived from the original on February 18, 2004. Retrieved July 12, 2015. Jump up ^ "List A: Antimicrobial Products Registered with the EPA as Sterilizers" (PDF). US Environmental Protection Agency Office of Pesticide Programs. February 2014. Retrieved July 12, 2015.  |archive-url= is malformed: flag (help)Jump up ^ "Mold Cleanup & Abatement, Removal Service Company - Victoria, BC". Retrieved 2016-07-06. ^ Jump up to: a b "Guidelines on Assessment and Remediation of Fungi in Indoor Environments" (PDF). New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. November 2008. Retrieved 10 May 2013. Jump up ^ NIOSH. "Recommendations for the cleaning and remediation of flood-contaminated hvac system: A guide for building ovwners and managers". Center For Disease Control. Retrieved 18 November 2011. Jump up ^ "Chapter 6 - Containment and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)". EPA. Retrieved 29 June 2014. Jump up ^ "Mold Removal Protection Levels". Environmental Protective Solutions. Retrieved 29 June 2014.

Cozy Up to Colder Weather: 5 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Fall and Winter

9/20/2016 (Permalink)

1. CLEAN OUT THE GUTTERS

All the leaves and grime that you neglected while you were out swimming, hiking, or riding your bicycle this summer have built up in your gutters. If left full of debris, clogged gutters and drains can form ice dams that prevent your drainage systems from working properly. This can lead to water seeping into your home, which—as seen in the Conquering Moisture blog—can lead to all sorts of issues and extra energy costs. Save yourself the hassle of repairing a leak by simply cleaning your gutters and drains now. When you do, run water through the gutters to check for misalignments that could also cause water damage.

2. KEEP THE OUTSIDE AIR OUT AND THE INSIDE AIR IN

We talk about this a lot, but it is hugely important for your energy savings to ensure there are no air leaks in your home. Warm air will escape out of any cracks and can make your heating system work harder and cost you more to heat your home.  Use caulk to seal cracks and openings between stationary house components like a door frame and weatherstripping to seal components that move like an operable window.

3. SHOW SOME TLC TO YOUR FURNACE

Your furnace may be a distant memory since you last powered it on, but before the cold weather descends and you must reluctantly switch it on, give it some TLC. Clean your furnace  annually each autumn. Sediment build-up can cause your system to work less efficiently or potentially become a fire-hazard. Cleaning your system and getting it inspected will reduce the risks.

During the winter try to change your filter regularly; a dirty filter will decrease air flow and energy-efficiency. And if your furnace is ready to be replaced, buy an energy-efficient model. It will save you money and energy each month!

4. GET YOUR DUCTS IN A ROW

Your ducts are often times out of sight, out of mind, tucked away in the attic or basement, but a home with central heating can lose about 20% of the air that moves through the duct system. Make sure your ducts are in order by properly sealing and insulating them. Tightly sealed and insulated ducts can potentially reduce your annual energy bills by $120 or more!

5. LIGHT THE WAY

The fall and winter months mean less daylight. I know we are all keen on saving energy, but we don't want any falls while you carry in your groceries. Luckily, you can still use your outdoor lights without wasting money and energy. Because outdoor lights are typically left on for long periods of time, buying ENERGY SAVER products and bulbs to light your outdoor pathways or porches can save a lot of energy. ENERGY STAR even makes CFL and LED flood lights that can withstand snow and rain. As an extra energy-saving effort, look for ENERGY STAR products that come with automatic daylight shut-off and motion sensors. And be sure to decorate with LED holiday lights to reduce the cost of decorating your home for the winter holidays.

Colder weather is on its way, and using these tips will help you stay warm and cozy, while saving energy and money in your home. Stay tuned for part two with five more tips for getting your home ready for fall and winter!

Terlip, Paige. "Cozy Up to Colder Weather: 5 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Fall and Winter (Part 1)." Energy.Gov Energy Saver. U.S. Department Of Energy. September 24, 1014.

http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/cozy-colder-weather-5-ways-prepare-your-home-fall-and-winter-part-1

7 Tips for preparing your home for winter!

9/20/2016 (Permalink)

Simple Steps to Prepare Your Plumbing for Winter

Have you prepared your plumbing for winter?  Damage caused from burst pipes can cost you thousands, of dollars.  Not all damage is covered by homeowner’s insurance.  We want to make sure you know some simple steps to get you prepared.  Follow these 7 simple steps to get off to a great start.  Find yourself in a bind?  Brogdon Plumbing is here to help!  Give us a call.

  1. Prepare your outdoor faucets.  Remove and drain your water hoses and store them indoors before the first freeze.
  2. Fix leaks now.  Inspect your pipes and have any/all leaks repaired.
  3. Wrap any pipes in unheated areas of the home.  This is crucial, for mobile homes.  Visit the hardware store and grab some heat tape and/or pipe insulation.  There are also easy to install kits, that include a thermostat. These kits can help you in the event of frigid temps for long periods.  Don’t hesitate to ask an employee for recommendations.  Protecting the pipes in your home, from low temperatures is THE single most important thing that you can do.
  4. Tune up your water heater.  You will want to drain and maintain your water heater at this time every year.  It’s a little harder to do yourself but we are glad to help!  Just give us a call.
  5. Service your furnace.  Make sure you have clean filters and call a professional to help with major repairs.  Heat means pipes could freeze.  If they do, call us!
  6. Selling your home or heading south for winter?  Shut off the water, in your home, completely and consider draining your pipes.  Any water left in your pipes is at risk of freezing and causing pipes to bust.  If nobody is home, the damage can be widespread and severe.  Don’t take chances.
  7. Call SERVPRO of Athens Tn, at 423-745-4165.

Brogdon Plumbing Company. "7 Steps to Prepare Your Plumbing for Winter." BPC. Eternal Marketing Group. January 7, 2015 

http://www.brogdonplumbing.com/prepare-plumbing-for-winter/