Planting Community Seeds…

“You cannot stop the death that comes in the winter nor the life that comes with the summer. You can contribute your intelligence and will to the intelligence and movement of a dynamic larger than you. You can plant the seed that will sprout in the spring. You can lay the foundation for a different winter to come after the summer that has yet to arrive. You can only do this for yourself.” -Gary Zukav

We readily acknowledge that we cannot control the dynamic of the changing seasons… how autumn softly lulls us into the sleep of winter. But we also acknowledge the dynamic of being a part of something bigger than us as individuals. At Grime Fighters, we recognize that we are part of a whole. Without our loyal customers, we could not contribute our intelligence and will into the dynamic of our community. And just as the seasons change, our customers’ needs change.

While freezing temperatures may temporarily limit the amount and type of work we do, we by no means stop working. During Winter, Grime Fighters is still working behind the scenes to provide for you, our customer, with improved quality and effort. This is an ideal time for us to ‘plant the seed’ for Spring, making repairs and improvements on our Rig and Equipment, utilizing our maintenance portal, to provide a systematic check for parts, readying our team for Spring.

As we approach the slow season of January, February, and March, we will have reduced cleanings. All outdoor work is weather and temperature dependent, working only above 37 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, bookings are made only one week in advance.

Work that can be scheduled during this time:

INTERIOR WINDOWS

CHANDELIER CLEANINGS

HOUSE WASH *above 37F

GUTTER CLEANING *above 37F

FLAT SURFACE CLEANING *above 37F

All Exterior Window Cleaning and Roof Cleaning will be postponed to Spring.

We wish to thank our community for a successful 2021 season! Thank you for your patience and persistence in these challenging times. We look forward to continuing our dynamic relationship together, improving and contributing to a better, cleaner community.

Harmful Habits and Savvy Spending

7 Tips To Keeping Your Head In A Spend-Frenzied Society.

“It costs money. It costs money because it saves money.” ~Cosmo Castorini, Moonstruck

Albeit comical, I honestly can’t count the number of times I have repeated this sage advice. Because the truth is, when you invest in quality, it generally outlasts the competition. But doesn’t spending money contradict the saving of it? Not necessarily.

Over the years we can find ourselves shackled to our debts, struggling to keep our heads above water in a ‘must have’ mentality society. Inflation has insulted the “quart of milk, loaf of bread, stick of butter” necessities of the Sesame Street generation. When confusion arises between our needs and our wants, we easily find ourselves in a compromising position. A rush of adrenaline and dopamine drugs us into the point-of-sale-panacea from the shuddering reality of practicality.

Savvy is defined as: shrewdness and practical knowledge; the ability to make good judgments. In a nutshell, that is what wise spending and saving money is all about: making good judgments. However, that can be a challenge, especially in an economic society obsessed with more. Finding balance means changing one’s viewpoint about spending…Changing from a ‘missingoutmentality to being in control. The following 7 TIPS highlight the balance between avoiding harmful habits while becoming a savvy spender.

  1. PAY OFF DEBTS. All of that accruing interest is stealing away your hard earned paycheck. Most financial/budgeting sites recommend paying off your debts from the least to the greatest. This enables you to apply your monthly payments toward larger debts.
  2. SPEND TO SAVE: Whether its utilities, trendy shoes, or car repairs, spending wisely can save hundreds or thousands. Winter demands a lot of energy expense. But to ignore winterizing your home to ‘save money’ could actually cost you more. Cost effective maintenance means you will get more from the energy you pay for. So don’t neglect cleaning your roof, windows, or siding. They all have an impact on energy efficiency. Seal cracks in doors and windows, insulate drafts, and use as much energy efficient lighting and appliances as possible.
  3. GET YOUR MONEY TO WORK FOR YOU. Reinvest your debt payments into savings or interest accruing options. Audit your current expenses and edit unnecessary recurring debits or subscriptions. Audit your home. Sell what you no longer use, love, or need. Employ one of the multitude of selling apps, most with features to sell locally for items too pricey to ship.
  4. AVOID FRIVOLOUS SPENDING. We all need R&R, but spending hundreds or thousands on vacation when you are trying to realize debt goals is not going to be the escape for which you are longing. Consider a budget-friendly STAYCATION focused on creating moments. The internet is full of suggestions for free or inexpensive activities, places, parks, and events.
  5. AVOID “POINT-OF-SALE”…or as I prefer to think of them…”PERVERSIONS-OF-SAVINGS.” You know, that impenetrable wall of things-you-didn’t-know-you-needed, but now, have to have, lining the checkout like a tunnel, pressing you into a do or die, NOW OR NEVER decision…AVOID THEM LIKE THE PLAGUE.
  6. ALWAYS PACK FOOD. Whether you are headed to work, running errands, or taking a daytrip, packing food and beverage will save hundreds over the course of the year. For example, a weekly latte at approximately $5 per person costs roughly $260/year. Whereas a $10 weekly vending machine habit or fast food habit =$520/year. If you’re one of those people whose blood sugar plummets after an errand or two, and needs to be rescued by, say a sandwich, a soda, and a candy bar…that sugar crash could be crushing your budget by $1,000/year or more. Shrewd grocery shopping prepares and prevents such losses of judgment and income. For example, a sliced apple and a cheese stick are totally portable and costs less than $2. Prepping snacks and lunches the night before makes for a smooth transition out the door.
  7. EVALUATE NEEDS VS. WANTS. Or, as stated on ramseysolutions.com, “Let your future needs be more important than your current wants.” Marketing is tricky. It employs our senses into tricking our subconscious out of reasonableness and into rationalization. Here’s a trick I use to combat losing my head over clever marketing: Make and carry a list of intentional purchases. Upon entering a store, take a moment of awareness: What do you see (bling), smell (perfume/scents), hear (music), feel (touch)? Your senses are being barraged in an effort to entice you to abandon your good judgment and impulse buy. NOW…STOP. THINK. REASON. And WAIT. Ask yourself, ‘If it isn’t on my list, do I really need it?’ Is there any harm in waiting 24 hours, 1 week, or longer? Most “needs” are fleeting and forgotten within 24 hours of leaving a store. But in the moment, our overstimulated brain responds to our sensory overload by looking to bond with a moment. Just be observant of your actual feelings, and the ones being subtly suggested to you.

Summing it up…

Grime Fighters knows you work hard for your money. Our marketing and pricing structure supports your needs, not our wants. That is why we DO NOT employ a ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL pricing convention. Our pricing structure is according to your individual home needs. We offer frequent promotions and discounts to coincide with the needs of the season. Each home is priced by size, amount, and type of work to be done. Our goal is to provide the best value of service, providing a long-term customer relationship, helping you get the most bang for your buck.

Happy Saving!

Algae and Altruism

Learning manners from microorganisms.

Over the last two years we’ve learned a lot about bacteria, viruses, and the spread of germs. We’ve learned how the simplest of actions, washing one’s hands with soap and water, helps to reduce and prevent the spread of germs. Ironically, the same principle applies to keeping your home’s exterior clean and algae free.

Algae grows by photosynthesis. Algae have been referred to as “the most important photosynthesizing organisms on earth.” While there are various types of Algae, they share a common structure which is unique in that they do not have roots or leaves. Because of this unique structure, they occupy various habitats which would normally be inhospitable to plants, including porous rocks such as sandstone and limestone. But algae does not work alone. Forming a symbiotic partnership with Fungus, it forms Lichen, which behave as a plant-like growth. Both provide a beneficial environment for the other, including an exchange of oxygen, nutrients, and protection, allowing the symbiotic whole to become strong and resistant, able to grow and thrive where it could not do so alone.

Fungus lives by decomposing and absorbing the organic material in which they grow. Algae, on the other hand, is a chlorophyll containing aquatic organism. This symbiosis allows the organism to reproduce, withstanding extremes of weather and light, resulting in acid-producing lichens capable of disintegrating rock and damaging to zinc and lead used in flashing or gutters.

What does this mean for homeowners? Since a variety of microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, protozoa, and algae are airborne, they can easily be spread from home to home. So just as proper handwashing can do much to prevent the spread of germs, viruses, and bacteria, so a PROFESSIONAL HOUSE WASH can protect your home from the spread of this insidious organism. While bacteria, fungi, and algae DO have an imperative function in our environment, they can also mean the slow destruction of your home. Just like disease, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Perhaps you have heard, or even repeated the adage, “Seeing is Believing”. The reality is that there are many environmental processes that occur which are unseen. However, we do see the effects. The symbiotic growth of algae and fungus may go unseen for a time, until it is all too evident. We’ve all seen a house or two, perhaps even in a row, smeared by the effects of the unseen.

So if your home is “sick”, your neighbour’s might be too. Why not take advantage of a special 15% DISCOUNT for a NEIGHBOUR REFERRAL HOUSEWASH. Partner with at least one neighbour to schedule a PROFESSIONAL HOUSE WASH to both receive the discount.

Darkness, Dirt, and Depression

How Dirty Windows Can Contribute to Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Exactly one month since the autumnal equinox, Latin for ‘equal nights’, and it has grown noticeably darker each evening. That sense of darkness will be even more impactful when the observance of DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME ends, this year on the 7th of November, 2021. We enjoy the ‘extra’ hour of sleep that evening, however the loss of that hour’s light affects our evening routine.

Decreased sunlight has a direct bearing on our mood. As it grows darker, our bodies produce less serotonin, the brain chemical that controls our mood. Melatonin production is also decreased, as it is produced in proportion to the light received by the retina, affecting our sleep patterns. This combination of factors has a direct bearing on our mood. This may result in loss of energy, lack of interest, oversleeping, and feelings of hopelessness: symptoms of SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER. However, there are simple solutions to combat these ‘winter blues’.

While we experience darker evenings, the time shift means an earlier sunrise. Taking advantage of that by rising early and making the most of the morning light can help us get a good start for the day. A daily walk in the sunshine and fresh air, even for as little as ten minutes can make a difference. But as most of us spend our days indoors, especially with so many now working-from-home, light exposure may be minimal. In fact, even our home’s efficiency is affected by the lack of sunlight. It is therefore imperative to maximize light and sun exposure for the next two months, until December 21st, when the winter solstice begins, and sunlight once again increases.

The most cost effective way to boost mood, boost light, and boost energy efficiency is to thoroughly wash windows and glass doors. Even a little bit of dirt or dust on windows can affect your home’s energy efficiency. According to one study, windows bear 2530% on home energy consumption. That means that dirty windows means less sunlight (heat) exposure, increasing energy consumption as your heating system works harder to heat your home. Therefore, clean windows, inside and outside, not only reduces your energy costs, it also allows more light to brighten your rooms and lift your spirits, boosting your mood, maximizing your use of energy.

Other helpful tips for boosting light include:

  1. Using mirrors to reflect natural light entering through windows.
  2. Using light colored paint on walls, light colored furnishings and floors, and adding reflective surfaces to help light bounce around the room.
  3. Add lighting. While skylights optimize sunlight, even adding lamps and other energy-efficient lighting can increase the brightness of dark days. Light Therapy (via Lightboxes) also helps to curb the effects of SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER, by tricking the eye, and therefore the brain, into receiving more light, boosting melatonin and serotonin production.

Banish the ‘Winter Blues’, take care of your home and your health by scheduling a Professional Window Cleaning, making your home clean, light, and bright.

Home Window Cleaning in Bethlehem, PA by Grime Fighters

“Paying It Back” is Better Than “Paying It Forward”

Why Paying It Forward May Not Be Enough…

We’ve all heard the expression of “Paying it Forward”, which carries the idea of a random kindness with no attachment. It may do some good, but the anonymity carries a vacancy. What has real longevity is connection, community, and genuineness. “Paying it Back” has power to build relationships.

As a local business that prides itself on helping our neighbors to have cleaner, safer homes, we feel a community responsibility to do our part to educate our neighbors and support those who give back to us. October is NATIONAL FIRE PREVENTION MONTH, so it is important to know how we can practice fire safety in our homes and at our workplace, while supporting our community. What are common fire dangers, and how can we avoid them?

6 DANGERS

  1. NO WORKING SMOKE ALARMS. 3 OF 5 HOME FIRE DEATHS RESULT FROM NO ALARM.
  2. LESS THAN 50% OF HOMEOWNERS HAVE AN ESCAPE PLAN.
  3. CARBON MONOXIDE (CO) IS THE #1 CAUSE OF ACCIDENTAL POISONING IN THE U.S.
  4. LESS THAN 50% OF HOMEOWNERS HAVE CARBON MONOXIDE ALARMS.
  5. 60% OF HOMEOWNERS DO NOT TEST THEIR ALARMS MONTHLY.
  6. THE #1 CAUSE OF HOME FIRE: UNATTENDED COOKING.

PRACTICING SAFETY

AT HOME:

  1. INSTALL SMOKE ALARMS ON EVERY LEVEL OF YOUR HOME, INCLUDING INSIDE AND OUTSIDE BEDROOMS, KITCHENS, AND BASEMENTS.
  2. TEST ALARMS MONTHLY, REPLACING BATTERIES AS NECESSARY.
  3. HAVE A FIRE ESCAPE PLAN. PRACTICE 2 TIMES A YEAR. IT DOESN’T NEED TO BE ELABORATE. EDUCATE CHILDREN HOW TO SAFELY EXIT THE HOME.
  4. IF THERE IS A FIRE: GET OUT, STAY OUT, CALL FOR HELP.

AT WORKPLACE:

  1. REPORT ELECTRICAL HAZARDS SUCH AS FAULTY OR BAD WIRING.
  2. DO NOT OVERLOAD OUTLETS OR CIRCUITS.
  3. DO NOT USE DAMAGED ELECTRICAL OUTLETS OR CORDS.
  4. ENSURE PROPER STORAGE OF FLAMMABLE MATERIALS.
  5. KEEP COMBUSTIBLES AWAY FROM ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT.

The best way to practice fire safety is to take seriously the responsibility to keep our homes, families, and communities safe from hazards. But more than that, we can support those who put their lives on the line to keep us safe in times of emergency. Pay it Back to those volunteering their time for us. To quote LOWER MILFORD FIRE COMPANY, “We’re neighbors helping neighbors.”

Even the smallest donations can make a difference. Support your local fire company.

Fall Is For Flat Surfaces

The Hidden Dangers of Autumn:

When we think of a season’s dangerous weather, we naturally think of winter’s ice and snow, of summer’s violent storms, tornadoes, and hurricanes. Rarely do we think of autumn. But there is a hidden danger in autumn that can affect your safety outside of your home.

Fall’s foliage is magnificently beautiful. We love how the crunching leaves beneath our feet herald the start of all things cozy. And yet those fallen leaves are also magnificently dangerous when conditions turn wet.

Because of the waxy substance of the leaf, water pools on top of leaves, leaving roads and walkways dangerously slippery. In fact, it has been noted that roads covered in wet leaves are just as dangerous as roads covered in black ice. The difference is that leaves are generally ignored as a threat. However, there are more accidents due to wet leaves on roads than black ice.

This danger is not relegated to the roads, but also relevant closer to home: driveways, walkways, and patios. Adding to the foliage potential is the problem of shade-loving moss and algae growing and thriving amidst leaf covered surfaces. Not only does this create a hazardous environment for humans, it also decreases the lifespan of the material on which it resides. What can be done?

Autumn is the ideal time to remove buildup and treat flat surfaces to inhibit further growth of moss and algae during the wet and dark winter. Conscientious homeowners take the time to sweep away leaves and debris from walkways, keeping them safe for family, neighbours, and delivery men. But removing the slippery hazard of moss and algae requires a bit more.

A FLAT SURFACE CLEANING, using only water and pressure, will clean your walkway, patio, or pavers, leaving no trace of filth. However, if you have any moss or algae buildup, a DELUXE FLAT SURFACE CLEANING is necessary to treat the surface with specially formulated detergent and pressure to eradicate any growth on these surfaces and prolong regrowth by sterilizing these surfaces, making them inhospitable.

Prevention:

  • Treating flat surfaces in the fall removes buildup and the danger of hazardous surfaces.
  • Treating in Spring removes any growth that may have begun in winter.
  • The homeowner can take note of areas of growth or buildup and edit planting overgrowth in those areas that could contribute to shade or still water on walkways.
  • Schedule your DELUXE FLAT SURFACE CLEANING now. Let GRIME FIGHTERS leave you with peace of mind, knowing that you have taken appropriate action to keep your property safe, and remove the hidden danger of Autumn.

home exterior before and after pressure washing

Changes

What you need to know about changes.

To say the last two years have been inundated with change would be an understatement. While the Pandemic incited many shifts in how we live and work, we have grown and shifted with those changes. We’ve learned a lot about safety and prevention. We’ve also learned about supporting each other, and our communities.

Grime Fighters has seen its own changes, and has safely supported the needs of our growing communities, namely, the Lehigh Valley. In fact, the 2020 Census reports a 6% growth of the county since 2010. And, according to Zillow, the last two years in the Lehigh Valley have seen a housing boom, with 2021 predicted to see the most home sales in a single calendar year, at 6-8 million! These changes together have surged property values, prices up 13% over 2020. Even still, this rapidly moving market averages home sales within 7 DAYS!

What does that mean for you? If you are planning to list your home and want to maximize the potential list price, time is of the essence to take care of any outside maintenance. With just a 7 day potential selling window, chances are there will not be time to schedule cleaning that will benefit your curb appeal ($$$) after you list your home.

Or perhaps you fall into the category of those who have recently moved into the Lehigh Valley. Why not give your home a clean slate, ensuring the protection of your investment? With autumn’s arrival, as well as increased storms due to changes in our climate, your home needs more care and attention. Rain, wind, and falling leaves means your gutters are working overtime. Scheduling a professional Gutter Cleaning NOW prevents your home from taking a beating this season. With storm and flood damage on the rise in our expanded community, including Bucks and Montgomery, it is wise as a homeowner to do as much as possible to protect your home now.

Gutter Cleaning is NOT just about cleaning your gutters. It is also about preventing mold entering your home, as well as protecting your roof, siding, foundation, essentially, the structure of your home. Even your yard and landscaping can suffer from clogged gutters, once again, affecting curb appeal and property value. The real cost here is NEGLECT.

So make a positive change. Choose Grime Fighters for your next Gutter Cleaning. Mention this BLOG for a 10% discount on GUTTER CLEANING scheduled in NOVEMBER.

The Grime Fighter Team is eager to help you!

House Washing to Winterize

WHY YOU SHOULDN’T NEGLECT HOME MAINTENANCE IN AUTUMN.

Autumn seems naturally to be the season when life slows down. Days begin to grow shorter. Temperatures begin to lower. We, like our natural environment around us, are ready to take a break. However, this environment actually creates its own potential hazard to our homes.

It is commonly believed that a home’s exterior should be cleaned only once a year, or only if there is a problem area suffering from mold, mildew, or algae. The folly in this assumption is thinking that the problem is isolated, and not ongoing. The truth is, your home is constantly being bombarded by elements, both seen and unseen. And the combination of these elements creates a perfect storm of unseen damage to your home.

High humidity, dust, dirt, excess moisture, and lack of sunlight are the big offenders when it comes to fostering an environment conducive to algae, mold, and mildew growth on your home. So Autumn and Winter can make your home especially susceptible because of the decrease of sunlight, as well as humid and moist weather. And if its been a while since your last house wash, say a season or two, (or more), the accumulated dirt that naturally clings to your home has just laid out a welcome mat of food for fungus.

Both vinyl and wood siding are equally susceptible, though for different reasons. While wood siding is a natural food source for algae and mold, vinyl siding that is covered in dust or dirt, is equally at risk. And, as the North side of your home receives the least amount of sunlight, this is where the problem will most likely be noticed. However, any area of your home that is consistently shaded is in danger. This can include shade from trees, shrubs, awnings, and porches.

So what can be done to remove the problem of mold, mildew, and algae, or better yet, to prevent it?

Prevention is all about what you do right NOW. It costs nothing to take an inspective stroll around your home. First, look for clear evidence of mold, mildew, or algae growth, indicated by spots or streaks of green, brown, black, or red on your siding. Next, check your sources. Are the Gutters clean, in good repair, with water flowing away from your home? Check that any trees, shrubs, or plantings are pruned away from your siding so as not to encourage excess debris or moisture, that could serve as fast food for algae. Finally, check for cracks or damage to any areas of your siding, including covered porches and soffits. Address immediately anything that looks like a danger zone, including the danger of putting off a professional house wash.

Growth that is left untended isn’t just unsightly, it actually causes structural damage to your home’s exterior and interior. Algae and mold thrive and feed on these surfaces, breaking down structural integrity. Consistent, effective cleaning is the only solution to removal of this insidious problem. Regular house washing, preferably every spring and every autumn, is essential to removal and prevention of buildup as it sterilizes surfaces, making them less prone to these dangers.

Before and After House Washing in Lehigh Valley, PA by Grime Fighters

Take advantage right now to ready your home for winter. Scheduling a professional house wash will benefit you in many ways.

  1. Protect your Investment. Damage to your home will not just cost you money in repair or replacement. It actually devalues your property.
  2. A clean home increases curb appeal, and shows that you respect your home and community.
  3. Protecting your home’s exterior also means protecting your health. Keep potential for allergens and respiratory problems at bay.

Ready your home for winter. Schedule your professional house wash service today.

TOP 5 REASONS WHY GUTTER CLEANING IS ESSENTIAL

  • First, Gutter Cleaning is a good opportunity to inspect your gutter system, to see that it is in good working order.
  • Strong storms carry debris, leaves, and flooding waters that could clog gutters and downspouts, causing damage to your home and property.
  • Regular Gutter Cleaning also prevents unwanted residents such as mold, insects, rodents, and other pests.
  • Have you moved recently? Scheduling a Gutter Cleaning is a good opportunity to start your new home with a clean slate.
  • Finally, scheduling a Gutter Cleaning after obtaining a new roof and gutters helps to safeguard your investment from the foreboding winter weather, with its cycles of freezing and melting, which can cause ice damming, leaking beneath your roof and walls.
Gutter cleaning prevents unwanted residents.

Get a FREE QUOTE now to prevent damage later!

Safety Tips: Learning From Loss

How We Can Be Safe With Ourselves and Safe With Others

Safety seems to be on everyone’s mind these days, especially as we remember the events of this day 20 years ago. But how can we practice safety in a personal way relevant to our life now, amidst a global pandemic?

Safety starts with each of us practicing healthy habits. Over the past year, on a global scale, we have experienced an unprecedented loss of life. Especially was this felt on this day 20 years ago. One thing that loss teaches us is the value and respect we ought to have for life. Taking a moment of gratitude for our own life, and the lives of our loved ones is the first step in expressing a healthy and safe outlook toward those around us.

Simple safety tips include frequent hand washing, practicing good hygiene, respecting others, practicing kindness, and being honest. Following these basic safety principles cover a wide array of precautions.

Safety can also mean having the courage to ask for help. One study estimated of all injury-related deaths in one year occurring in homes and communities, about 76% were preventable. So, it can be said that practicing safety begins at home.

As we reflect on this day, let us take a moment to think about our homes and families and how we can practice safety at home. Are there repairs that need to be done? Are there any potential hazards to life? Do we practice safety when making such repairs? Simple things like turning off breakers when performing electrical repairs, cleaning up spills, practicing ladder safety, wearing appropriate PPE when working, and being aware of our surroundings, are just small ways we can keep our homes and families safer.

Safety starts with each of us doing what we can to value our lives and the lives of others.