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Archive for the ‘Residential’ Category

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Cleaning Your Gutters and Downspout

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

GuttersIf you haven’t done so already, now would be a great time to clean your gutters and downspout. A gutter collects the rainwater running off your roof. It runs along the gutter and drains out  of the downspout, which helps direct water away from your home’s foundation. Gutters or downspouts filled with excess debris (leaves, sticks, dirt) do not function properly. A clogged gutter puts your roof at risk for potential water damage. A clogged downspout can cause rainwater to overflow onto the ground near your home’s foundation, which is one major cause of basement flooding and home water damage.

 

It’s important to clean your gutters and downspout at least twice a year: once in the Spring and once in the Fall. The best time to clean your gutters is several days after a heavy rain, allowing waterlogged debris to dry out making it easier for removal. Prevent water damage from happening in your home by following these easy steps for keeping both your gutters and downspout free of debris.

 

  1. First, as a safety precaution, it’ll be important to have another person help you.

 

  1. Second, make sure you have proper equipment before attempting to clean out your gutters and downspout. You’ll need a ladder, a pair of gloves, a trash bag or a bucket, a trowel, and a hose. Before you climb up your ladder, be sure it sits on flat, solid ground. Have another person help you empty your debris bucket or hand you any tools you may need. This will minimize trips up and down the ladder.

 

  1. Begin by removing any large debris from your gutter. This will include leaves, large clumps of dirt, or sticks that have gathered along the top.

 

  1. Next, remove any dirt gathered on the bottom of your gutter. You may need a trowel to help you shovel out any packed in debris. Clean out any downspout strainers.

 

  1. Clean out your downspout by using a hose, running it towards the ground. Use a high water pressure to help remove any debris lodged in the downspout.

 

  1. Lastly, use your hose to run water from one end of the gutter to the downspout. This will help clean out any leftover dirt or debris particles. It will also help you see if your gutter and downspout are draining properly.

Posted in Residential, Water Damage | No Comments »

Keeping Mold Allergens Out of Your Home

Friday, June 27th, 2014

AllergiesDid you know we’re all exposed to mold, both indoors and outdoors? Mold is a fungus that relies on both food and water to survive by breaking down plant or animal matter. As part of its reproduction cycle, mold spores often become airborne. Mold spores can be trouble some to those with allergic rhinitis or asthma, triggering unwanted attacks. While mold allergies don’t become an issue until July or late summer, the forecast expects higher mold counts for this June. Keep mold allergens out of your home this summer by following these tips.

 

Clean, Clean, Clean

Make sure you’re keeping your house clean. Prevent mold growth by paying special attention to moist areas in your home. This will also prevent any mold spores from going airborne. Consider purchasing a dehumidifier for extremely damp rooms.

 

Keep Your Windows Closed

While a light summer breeze may feel wonderful flowing through your home, it may also bring airborne allergens with it. Keep your windows closed. Use air-conditioning throughout the summer and into the fall.

 

Dry Your Laundry Inside

Drying your laundry inside will help prevent your clothes from trapping allergens floating on the wind.

 

Wash Your Hands

Always wash your hands and face after coming in from the outdoors. Shower before you go to bed at night to keep allergens from attaching to your bed linens.

 

Allergies only getting worse? If you suspect a severe mold problem in your home, we’re here to help. Call us and inquire about our Mold Remediation services. Our team of cleaning professionals will identify the problem and your home cleaned in no time.

Posted in Residential | No Comments »

Clean Up Big Messes With ServiceMaster by Ayotte

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

TrashOur ServiceMaster by Ayotte cleaning professionals understand that cleaning up big messes can be daunting and overwhelming for both family and friends. We’ll help you declutter your house and restore your home to its original state one step at a time.

 

Our services include:

  • Free Onsite Evaluation and Estimate.
  • Clutter Cleaning Specialists.
  • Complete Trash Junk Outs.
  • Tailored Cleaning Service for Your Particular Needs.
  • Recovery of Documents, Sentimental Items, Valuables.
  • Delivery of Storage Bins and Filing Boxes.
  • Packaging/Transport/Storage of Items.
  • Biohazard Cleaning Including Animal/Human Waste.
  • Rolloff Containers from 3-40 yards.
  • Recovery/Disposal of Medications and Sharps.
  • Appliance Recycling.
  • Donation of Items to Charity of Your Choice.
  • Household Hazardous Waste Disposal.
  • Deep Cleaning after Trash / Clutter / Junk Removed.

 

With ServiceMaster by Ayotte’s cleaning services, we’ll help you and your family achieve peace of mind.

Posted in Disaster Restoration, Residential | No Comments »

6 Packing and Storage Tips from ServiceMaster by Ayotte

Sunday, May 18th, 2014

Storage TipsDid you know that 60% of people who move do so in the summer time? And, it’s no secret as to why. Moving in the middle of winter is the absolute worst. So whether you’re preparing to move this summer, or throwing some items into storage. These tips are for you.

Think High & Dry

I’ve heard many storage horror stories. An entire leather jacket collection was destroyed due to a basement’s hot, moist air. A box of books fell prey to a springtime basement flood. Let’s not even mention all of the damage rodents can cause. So, a good piece of advice? Think high and dry. Store your items off the ground, preferably on a shelf to avoid any potential water damage. Keep them dry and out of a moist environment by investing in plastic, air tight storage containers. They’ll cost you a little more than a cardboard box, but you’ll be thanking yourself later.

Dealing with Books

If you’re an avid reader, you know the pain of moving your entire book collection to a new location. You’ve also probably made the mistake of packing a lot of books into one, big box. I bet your friends were not too pleased when it took three of you just to move it into your new house. Our key tip? Store your books in smaller containers, laying them flat (spine should not be facing up) to avoid any damage.

Label, Label, Label

Whether you’re preparing for a move or throwing some pictures of the kids in the attic: label, label, label. There are several different labeling systems people like to use. You can write the contents on the box, or use different colored peel off labels. It’s whatever works best for you.

Think Small

Moving something big into your new house or into your basement? If you can, try to separate it into smaller parts. If you’re moving a couch or furniture, remove as many cushions or legs as possible. This will make the items easier to carry and will reduce their weight.

Lift with Your Legs & Dress Appropriate

Lift everything with your legs, not your back. You don’t want to injure yourself mid-move, or expose yourself to injury later on in your life. Also, remember to dress appropriate. Keep the loose clothing down to a minimum. You’ll want to wear clothes you feel comfortable getting a little dirty.

Load Essentials Last

Moving things into storage? Place the boxes you’ll most likely want to access towards the front. Same goes for moving. Load your essential items into your moving truck or car last. You’ll want those right away when you reach your new destination.

Posted in Fun Stuff!, Residential | No Comments »

4 Easy Tips to Keep Mosquitoes Out of Your Backyard

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Mosquito Image_BlogIt happens every year. You’re out for a walk, enjoying the seventy degree weather with your family. The birds are chirping. Your child jumps into a giant puddle of mud. And, you’re thinking to yourself about how nice that afternoon sun feels on your skin after a long, hard winter.  You feel a sudden, slight pinch on your leg as you continue to walk down the street. You think nothing of it. It’s not until you’re at home, watching the game, that you find yourself unconsciously scratching. What the? You look down. A bright red, itchy lump appears on your ankle.

The first bug bite of the season always serves as a harsh reminder that with warm weather, comes mosquitoes. This year, be proactive. Keep mosquitoes out of your backyard with these tips. Your friends, family, and ankles will thank you.

 

Remove Stagnant Water Sources

According to Dr. Gaines at the Virginia Department of Health, “Mosquito larvae associated with permanent bodies of water generally live where the water is shallow (1 ft or less), and weeds, debris, emergent grasses or some sort of aquatic vegetation shelters the mosquito larvae from fish and other predators. Relatively few mosquito species actually breed in permanent bodies of water such as marshes or swamps. Most of the mosquito species associated with marshes or swamps actually breed in temporary pools along the margins of these habitats.”

In other words, mosquitoes breed in stagnant water. The number one preventative measure you can take to eliminate mosquitoes or greatly reduce their numbers, will be to remove ALL stagnant water sources. Fill in large puddles or holes. Remove old tree stumps. Put away kiddie pools or any toys after use. Eliminate yard decorations that collect rainwater. Clear your gutters. Empty your pet dishes and bird bathes at least once a week.

Have a stagnant pond in your backyard? Consider adding a filtration system or adding tiny fish.

 

Change Your Backyard Lighting

What’s a summertime evening without the soft hum or subtle crack of Grandpa’s bug zapper? Well, he may be taking that zapper down when he learns that it attracts mosquitoes, but doesn’t necessarily kill them all. In fact, UV light emitted from bug zappers shines a giant beacon to all of the mosquitoes in the area, inviting them to come hang out at your place.

So, instead of attracting them, try installing bug lighting in your backyard.

 

Add Porch Screens and Fans

Add a protective barrier around your porch to keep mosquitoes and other bugs out. You can do this by installing a porch screen. You can also purchase fans. Mosquitoes are generally weak flyers and have trouble navigating around strong air currents. So, just drive down to your local hardware store and pick up a cheap box fan. Mosquito problem solved.

 

Keep Your Lawn Clean

In order to keep mosquitoes from breeding in your backyard, most expects recommend you cut your grass and dispose of yard clippings about once a week. Why once a week? Well, Dr. Gaines at the Virginia Department of Health tells us most mosquitoes have a life cycle that lasts about one to two weeks. Mowing your lawn and removing yard clippings disrupts this cycle and kills most mosquitoes before they can fully mature. So, when you don’t really feel like mowing the lawn this summer, just think about how many mosquitos you’ll kill. Ah, sweet revenge.

 

What to see what else Dr. Gaines has to say about mosquitoes here.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Fun Stuff!, Residential | No Comments »

Tax Day Specials!

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

tax dayIn honor of Tax Day, ServiceMaster is paying your tax.  Call this week and schedule your residential or business cleaning (general spring cleaning, carpet cleaning or hard surface floor cleaning) and we will pay your tax.  Our staff is ready to help you get a jump start on your spring cleaning.  Call today at 507-366-7149 or toll-free at 877-945-0993.  ServiceMaster by Ayotte – giving you the clean you expect and the service you deserve!

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Everyday Hero’s

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

At ServiceMaster by Ayotte we take the ordinary and make it extraordinary; we take the disaster and restore it – We are everyday Hero’s.  We don’t fight fires or save lives but at ServiceMaster by Ayotte we draw our inspiration from those that do.

When customers call, we respond immediately day or night.

  • We arrive on site prepared with the proper equipment, supplies, training and experience
  • Every aspect of our service from our response to our appearance instills confidence in our capabilities
  • We dont jsut remove dirt, water, smoke and odor, we remove uncertainty and concern by the way we communicate and the way we serve

At ServiceMaster by Ayotte we are proud to clean and restore property and peace of mind.  These actions may not save lives, but they are heroic to our customers.

everyday heros

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Posted in Business Services, Disaster Restoration, Fire Damage, Mold, Residential, Trauma, Water Damage | No Comments »

ServiceMaster Restore Teams up with Matt Paxton from Hoarders

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

Matt_PaxtonMatt Paxton will be collaborating with experts from the ServiceMaster Restore team on hoarding and estate clean-up work.

“I simply could not help enough people with my small team,” he said. “After looking at several large service providers, I was attracted to the ServiceMaster corporate values, national footprint and business model,” said Paxton. At the same time, ServiceMaster was looking for an opportunity to create a service extension in the hoarding market.

Compulsive hoarding is a disorder characterized by difficulty discarding items that appear to most people to have little or no value. Hoarding was previously considered a subtype of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), but as of May, 2013, hoarding disorder is now included in the “American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders”.

Read more by visiting this press release!

Posted in Fun Stuff!, General, Residential | No Comments »

Reasons to Call ServiceMaster by Ayotte

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

Reason #14_dirty carpetYou may have noticed over the past couple of months we’ve been posting “Reasons to Call ServiceMaster by Ayotte.”  Well, we thought we could take a moment to expand upon these reasons. Enjoy!

Reason #47: Red Wine… need we say more?

That expensive Pino Noir looks phenomenally better in your wine glass than it does on your white couch. Trust us. If you had a little late night “whoopsie!” just give us a call. We’ll be able to get that wine stain out pronto!

Reason #72: Your in-laws are coming!!!

It’s been a long week. Suzy put gum in little Johnny’s hair, the dog ate your favorite slipper, and you’ve been trying to rein in what little sanity you have left. Then, out of nowhere, your spouse informs you that the in-laws are coming and you need to help clean the house. Don’t worry. Give us a call. We’ll make sure your house looks spectacular.

Reason #29: We cross the yellow line for you.

This reason can be for 2 reasons actually – the first is if your house feels like a disaster zone and you are too overwhelmed to tackle the mess yourself. The second reason is ServiceMaster also specializes in trauma cleanup. With a sense of professionalism and ease, ServiceMaster works to restore any trauma site to its original state. These sites often take place after a severe injury, murder, suicide, or neglected death. ServiceMaster promptly removes all bio-hazardous materials, odors, and any visible evidence that such an event occurred.

Reason #14: The recent rain brought in more DIRT than you think!

Imbedded deep into your beautiful white carpet are muddy, wet footprints. You reach down and touch the slimy residue while internally cursing that over-zealous, mostly soaked golden retriever, who burst into your home just moments before.  And, you don’t even own a dog. Give us a call and we’ll be able to remove those mud stains in no time!

Reason #67: The fridge at the office stinks and nobody wants to clean it!

Last week, someone wrapped caution tape around your office’s fridge as a little office prank and it still has yet to be removed. Everyone knows what lies inside: the odor, the assorted mold growths, and the month old food. Whenever you’re in the break room, all of your coworkers avoid eye-contact as the uncleaned fridge looms in the corner. Well, if this is the case, it’s probably time to call ServiceMaster. We’ll take care of your fridge problem stat!

To find out more reasons to call ServiceMaster by Ayotte, you can check out our Facebook Page! Or visit us on Pinterest!

 

 

Posted in Business Services, Disaster Restoration, Residential, Trauma, Water Damage | No Comments »

How Often You Should Clean Out Your Fridge | Tips from ServiceMaster by Ayotte

Monday, August 19th, 2013

clean fridgeIf you’re all too familiar with the unmistakable, slightly pungent, smell of an unclean refrigerator, this blog post might be right up your alley. We’ve all done it before. We’ve left those once-delicious bagels in the back of the fridge too long. Or, we’ve opened a container full of macaroni to find it (sadly) looks greener than our front lawn. But, let’s be honest, cleaning out the fridge is such a task, and it’s extremely time consuming! The fridge can also get a little stinky, depending on how dirty we let it get.

Now, let’s get down to business. How often should we clean out our fridge?

What if I told you, your fridge should be cleaned out once a week? Don’t panic! I’m not talking about scrubbing down every inch. But, I am talking about rotating out old food. In order to do that, you can use a trick that most restaurants use when they store their food. Just label your containers with different colored pieces of duck tape that correspond with the different days of the week.

So, it’s Friday again, and you see that “pink” Friday label in your fridge from last week? Throw it out or take it to work for lunch if its still good. If you get into a good habit of rotating out food, you’ll have less food go to waste.

Keeping your fridge organized.

Another good technique that’ll help keep your fridge clean involves keeping it organized. There’s no need to get out the label gun. Just keep leftover food on the top shelf. Your meats, dairies, and drinks can go on the bottom shelf. Then, fruits and vegetables can be tucked away in the drawers. Any food you’re not planning on cooking for awhile, just package it and freeze it.

Once a month, clean out your fridge and give it a good scrub down.

Remove all of the food, grab an old sponge, and use dish soap or a universal cleaner to scrub down the sides. You can even wash the trays and drawers in your dishwasher. Go through all of the food you removed from the fridge and throw out anything that’s old. Hopefully, you won’t have to throw out much.

Keeping your fridge in top shape isn’t that hard or time consuming. It’s all about getting into the habit of rotating food out old food and cleaning it out every so often. Then, whenever your mother-in-law comes over for dinner, she’ll be less likely to wrinkle her nose and more likely to compliment you on your nice, clean fridge.

Posted in Fun Stuff!, General, Residential | No Comments »

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