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When Is Fast Too Fast?

In a Post-Pandemic world, we may find ourselves living with one finger on the panic button, leaving us in a constant mindset of hurry. Or, we may have settled into the polar end of complacency and apathy. Life extremes have created an air of instant gratification, live for now mentality.

Marketing has exploited this trend with such catch phrases as “Express Overnight Shipping”, “While Supplies Last”, “Get Rich Quick”, “One Time Offer”, “Act Now”. Each of these phrases is designed to trigger a response. It sends a panic signal to our brain, triggering action without thinking…also known as Fear Of Missing Out.

Patience is a quality that has become somewhat of an endangered species. Panic and instant gratification can strip life of the ability to exercise patience, the ability to STOP, THINK, BREATHE, and to make a good decision that benefits more than oneself. As one quote says: “Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.” Waiting with a good attitude…a quality that takes practice, but benefits many.

In commerce, we are uber-aware of the constancy of supply and demand. Unfortunately, some businesses exchange supply and demand for safety. Instant gratification for consumers somehow eclipses the human element of supply or service. When risks like these cost human lives it is worth evaluating the standards which are thrust aside for the deadline or the dollar.

As Grime Fighters endeavours to be an ever safety-conscious company, questions may be raised about the quality and efficiency of our work. With a safety first policy, some jobs may seem to take longer then necessary, whereas others may seem to be hastily done. Some work may have circumstances which require special attention whereas other jobs may be straightforward. Also noteworthy is the safety of the technicians as they go about their work.

Recent customer feedback has expressed concern over how quickly some work has been accomplished. We’ve heard your feedback and we have implemented systems to ensure we spend the appropriate time relevant to the job. Also, our crew has doubled from last year, so many jobs take half the time as in previous years. These qualifiers can reassure you that you are getting the high quality service that you expect. We appreciate the patience of our customers as we grow and improve as a company. Know that our touchstone is that we will NEVER replace PRODUCTIVITY, MONEY, or SPEED for SAFETY. This should also reassure our customers that we take very seriously the quality of work that affects your home.

We are positive that our efforts in having a bigger-picture standard will serve to strengthen our company and our community.

Concrete Cleaning in Progress by Grime Fighters in Lehigh Valley, PA

Pools, Decks, and Patios: Haven or Hazard?

Learn why the health and safety of your pool and pool apron is a serious matter.

Everyone looks forward to soaking in the summer sun and taking that first dip in the pool. The joy and serenity of the crisp, clean water eclipses our troubles, even if for just a moment. But unfortunately, that moment can quickly become tragic, which is why it is important to refresh safety protocols for the health of your family.

According to stopdrowningnow.com, “10 people die every day” from drowning, “3,400 people drown each year,” and is known as the “#1 leading cause of death in children ages 1-4.” Such tragic loss of life emphasizes why one can never take for granted the state of their pool and surround. It is recommended that in addition to adult supervision, swimming lessons, established safety protocols, and learning CPR are imperative for pool owners.

While there are various dangers associated with pools, everything from faulty ladders to dodgy electrics, poolwatermedic.com lists slip and fall hazards from slippery algae growth on pool surrounds as one of the top injurious offenders, even though it is completely preventable. They recommend that annual flat surface cleaning is essential for pool aprons, patios, decks, and any flat surface surrounding your pool. A closely related danger is water quality of your pool. Bacteria and chemicals can linger in your water if not properly maintained, leading to infections and skin issues.

The health and safety of your pool and surrounding flat surface have direct bearing on the health and safety of the people enjoying them. As summer heat and storms progress, your pool and patio will take a battering with debris and humidity-fostered biological danger (moss, mold, mildew, algae), creating more work for your pool filter. If you choose to try DIY to clean your flat surfaces, it is important to know and have the right tools, techniques, and solutions to properly handle the needs of your deck, patio, pavers, whatever your pool surround. This can be an expense of time, money, and learning curve, procuring all that is needed to safely clean the variety of issues on your flat surfaces.

A professional flat surface cleaning by a trained team of technicians with the tools and knowledge of how to treat various surfaces as well as the surfactants used to restore luster, while avoiding dirt and solutions leaking into your pool, will save you time and money. But how do you know which Flat Cleaning Service is right for you?

BASIC vs. DELUXE

A BASIC flat surface cleaning is performed using only water, and is ideal for those who schedule regular, annual maintenance. This service is also recommended for customers who may be sensitive to the idea of solutions used in the DELUXE service.

A DELUXE flat surface cleaning is ideal for customers who have stains or who have not been able to have a regular, annual maintenance cleaning. This service includes an ECO-wash, green-friendly, additional surfactant used for mold, mildew, moss, and algae growth, to destroy and remove anything biological growing in pores of the concrete which create a slippery surface and creates a more habitable environment for organisms to transfer and grow on your house. Lack of maintenance can also lead to breakdown, cracks, and degradation of the surface around the pool, also providing trip, fall, and splinter hazards.

Why choose Grime Fighters?

In a matter of hours, Grime Fighters can provide you with peace of mind, properly caring for your home, so you can get on with safely enjoying it. Get your FREE QUOTE NOW!

BACTERIA, BAD BRISTLES, and BURNING BRIQUETTES

OR 10 UNTOLD GRILLING DANGERS and a 5 STAR RECIPE

Near-sapphire skies drenched with sunlight, tempered by soft breezes convey that unmistakable smoky-sweet aroma heralding the ‘Official-Unofficial’ start of summer: Grilling Season.

You’ve regarded your springtime maintenance of House Washing and Window Cleaning. Now its time to focus on what really matters: family, friends, and enjoying life’s simple pleasures.

Grilling has all the low-key vibes that we love about Spring and Summer… the laid back itinerary coupled with the relaxed menu. Sun-filled afternoons set into twinkle-lit evenings. And whether your party dines pool-side, porch, or patio, one thing is commonly forgotten in cookout preparation. Grilling Safety.

Firstly, whatever type of grill you have, it is important to know how to safely operate your grill. Grill fires account for 10,600 fires annually, according to NFPA. These are almost entirely preventable. But there are other hazards associated with grilling season that may be overlooked or ignored. Here’s a helpful list of prevention and safety reminders, ensuring the only thing to dampen your dinner will be the weather.

10 GRILLING SAFETY TIPS:

  1. Grill Operation: Each grill is unique and has specific operation requirements. Know the hazards of lighting/igniting and keeping the heat/fire steady.
  2. Propane: Beware of propane leaks. Always follow your grill’s instruction manual on properly igniting and maintaining. A buildup of gas can lead to explosion.
  3. Distance: Keep your grill away from your home, garage, trees, shrubs, and anything flammable.
  4. Damage to your home: Leaving a grill unattended can quickly lead to a hazardous situation, especially if proper distance is not observed.
  5. People: A relaxed atmosphere may loosen the normal attentiveness to caution and safety. Hot grills, Hot tools, and Hot coals can all lead to injury of those unaware of their surroundings.
  6. Drinking: In short, drinking while grilling can lead to accidents. Unwind Responsibly.
  7. Inhaling Smoke: Grill smoke vapors include Carbon Monoxide and PAH (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons), AKA, stuff you don’t want in your lungs, which can lead to a host of serious health issues with repeated exposure.
  8. Sanitation: Cleanliness of your grill and grill tools ensures you won’t be ingesting harmful substances like bacteria, or last week’s blackened chicken.
  9. Bad Bristles: Grill tools that are weak or shed bristles are in need of replacement. Bristle breakage can cause injuries to hands or worse, be ingested through your food. A real hazard is posed by metal bristles, which, if swallowed, mean a trip to the ER!
  10. Bacteria: Bacteria lives up to 165 degrees Fahrenheit, so be sure to keep uncooked foods refrigerated until ready to cook. Refrigerate cooked leftovers immediately. If you’ve ever had food poisoning, this one’s a no-brainer.

Our house opens Grilling Season with a celebratory Surf & Turf staycation day, shared with dearest friends. While it’s a no-holds-barred food fest, we also appreciate the beauty in simplicity. Here’s a 5 STAR rated recipe on ‘How to Grill the Best Steak’, with tips from Steven Raichlen, Master of Barbecue.

May your grilling be great!… and safe!

COMMON MISTAKES HOMEOWNERS MAKE WHEN SCHEDULING WORK

“Time is Money”…

Spring has arrived and outdoor maintenance is in full swing. Budding plants and trees renew our spirit with eagerness to clean and beautify our homes. With so many things to be done, each homeowner decides which tasks to do themselves, and which to hire out to a professional. Keenly anticipating outdoor cookouts and gatherings after what feels like the longest two years spent isolating, we may think that it would be most efficient to schedule all such work at once. To a homeowner, it would seem ideal to have everything done in one day, so that tasks do not linger, or go undone. However, it is exactly this “efficiency” which actually proves contradictory, counterproductive, costly, and in many cases, unsafe. Why the problem?

Landscapers, Painters, and House Cleaners do not mix with Pressure Washing and Window Cleaning Services.

Most professional services use large trucks from which they obtain their equipment. Some of this equipment requires long hoses which must be reeled out onto your property, proving a trip hazard. Many professionals use long ladders which must be carefully carried so as not to prove a hazard to other humans, plants, or property. Solvents may be used which may be harmful to new landscaping, or be hazardous to other workers. Heavy trucks may roll over hoses of other companies, causing damage or breakage, costing time and money. In many areas, parking multiple professional service vehicles presents a logistic problem, preventing work to be done. Not to mention the fact that it is counterproductive to schedule moisture (humidity) creating jobs with jobs which require dry conditions, such as mulching and painting. Also, there is the matter of safety, not just in the amount of people working on or in your home, many of which will be focused on their own work, not on the potential hazards around them, including COVID.

From a homeowner’s perspective, this may all seem very convenient, to have a ‘one and done’ mentality. However, it is not convenient for ANYONE, especially the homeowner, when jobs must be rescheduled due to conflict of time, space, efficiency, or safety, or worse still, to be cancelled altogether. All it takes is a little consideration and communication so that each homeowner’s needs may be met in a safe and efficient manner.

Very often, when these principles are ignored, the homeowner is the one who loses out, being unable to be rescheduled in a timely fashion. It is also frustrating for workers, attempting to do their job, having to spend many hours negotiating between the homeowner and the other contractors, instead of efficiently working. This costs companies time and money, when such could be avoided by honest disclosure from the homeowner.

What can you do?

Benjamin Franklin said, “Time is Money”. At Grime Fighters, we respect both your time and your money. We appreciate when our customers reciprocate that respect. When scheduling your Pressure Washing and Window Cleaning Services, it is important to communicate with our Office Manager what other services you may have scheduled the same day, and what time frame they will occupy. This positive, pro-active communication enables us to meet your needs and dynamically function so as to build a stronger community relationship.

The Grime Fighter Team looks forward to rejuvenating your home this Spring!

Top 5 Reasons to Power Wash in Spring and Who Should Do It

Spring’s imminent arrival beckons us to begin anew. We eagerly clean and prepare to welcome longer days and warmer breezes into our home. It is therefore crucial that we also properly clean the exterior of our homes during this season of transition.

Weather extremes have certainly contributed to a significantly volatile season. And not to be ignored is the effect on our homes. Abundant moisture and humidity create a breeding ground for algae, mold, and mildew. Strong winds are not only destructive to your home’s exterior, they also carry debris to areas of moisture which becomes food for mold and algae. Furthermore, dirt and debris have lodged themselves in the cracks, corners, and crevices of your home’s exterior. Fluctuating temperatures forcing freeze and thaw cycles wreak havoc on salted, flat surfaces. Decks and patios covered in winter’s slime create hazardous pathways. Gutters forced beyond capacity by heavy moisture, weakened by strong winds, can become destructive to your roof and siding. These factors are even more probable if your home was not winterized last Autumn, in preparation of Winter’s wet weather and decreased sunlight, which only increase the likelihood of growing grime.

TOP 5 REASONS TO POWER WASH IN SPRING:

  • INVITE. (The guests you don’t want.) Your home could be extending an invitation for destructive organisms.
  • INSPECT. An excellent time and opportunity to check your home’s exterior for potential damage, before it becomes structural damage.
  • IDEAL. Milder weather and temperatures along with extended daylight, provide an ideal time for power washing.
  • IRRITANTS. Spring allergens (pollen, dust, and dirt) are at their highest levels. House washing, flat surface cleaning, and window cleaning will keep these allergens where they belong.
  • INVIGORATE. Earth springs back to life and we do, too. Take advantage of the longer days to lift your spirits and breathe life back into your home. Make your home your haven.

There is no shortage of task lists and outdoor projects in Spring. In fact, it is synonymous with the season. Rather than feeling overwhelmed with Spring Cleaning, rely on the professionals to help get the job done.

Here’s why Grime Fighters has the edge over your D.I.Y.

  • TOOLS, TRAINING, TECHNIQUE. There are different solutions and treatments for different jobs. Your siding requires a different psi than your sidewalk. Whether it is slimy siding or spot-free windows, our team is trained to understand and provide your home’s unique needs so you don’t have to spend your Saturday stuck in a learning curve.
  • SAFETY, HONESTY, TRUSTWORTHINESS. Safety and Honesty are the hallmarks of everything we do at Grime Fighters. That means our team acts safely, honestly, and professionally AT ALL TIMES. Taking care of your home is not just our job, it’s part of our community responsibility. Great care is taken in scheduling and executing work so as to build trust with our neighbours, whether in our local Lehigh Valley, or neighboring Bucks and Montgomery Counties.

At Grime Fighters, your needs come first. You don’t trust just anyone to clean and protect your home. Whether you need to clean your sidewalk, deck, patio, siding, windows, or gutters, trust Grime Fighters to revive your home this Spring.

Salty Paws, Pitted Sidewalks, and Parched Plants

How to Safely Minimize the Damaging Impact of Rock Salts on People, Pets, Property, and the Environment.

Treachery: From the Old French word, “trechier”, meaning: to cheat. Treachery is defined as cheating, trickery, or deceit; betrayal of trust; deceptive action or nature. When it comes to winter, there is a bit of “cheating” that can indeed be treacherous.

Rock Salt, comprised of large amounts of Potassium Chloride or Sodium Chloride, certainly cheats the effects of wintry ice and snow, but underneath that briny veneer lies a formidable breach of trust. While paving the way for safer, drier traction on slippery surfaces, untold damage lurks beneath. Rock salt may be friendly to your wallet, but has a great cost on humans, pets, property, and the environment.

Dangers include “salt burns” and rashes to exposed skin, accidental ingestion leading to vomiting, coughing fits and gastrointestinal symptoms, accidental exposure to pets and other animals leads to diarrhea, vomiting, seizures, fatigue, drooling, disorientation, long-term gastrointestinal issues, and salt poisoning. Further damage is seen in scorched plants as the melted solution seeps into the soil, as well as topically, dehydrating plants of moisture and nutrients. The soil becomes less fertile as salty concentrations create poor water infiltration and erosion. When large amounts of rock salt are used it seeps into the water supply, harming aquatic life and damaging drinking water.

When it comes to your home and property, the immediate benefits of rock salt are outweighed by long-term damage. The chlorides that quickly work to melt ice and snow create a brine that breaks the surface tension of ice on concrete, but also weakens the surface of concrete, resulting in disintegration. The subsequent freeze/thaw cycle that is created deteriorates concrete, creating pockets which allow more moisture to penetrate the surface, and thus slowly chip away as the integrity of the substrate breaks down. These chlorides similarly corrode steel, break down wood decking, even “burning” or “bleaching” indoor flooring.

Happily, there are safer alternatives, equally as effective, without such caustic effects. Other types of ice melts comprised of magnesium chloride and calcium chloride, cost slightly more, but prove their efficacy in lower freezing points, reducing the risk of salt burns, and proving more effective longevity in colder temperatures. Care and discretion must still be exercised as these do not provide as much traction, but can easily be supplemented by substrates such as kitty litter, sand, and coffee grounds, the latter of these also acting as natural ice melt, absorbing sunlight, heating surfaces to melt ice and snow, while providing extra traction. To protect our indoor and outdoor furry friends, look for a product that features “Pet Safe” on the label.

Other safety measures include storing any ice melting product in a sealed, air-tight container, away from sunlight and moisture, to prevent accidental leaching or spilling. Do not allow direct contact with skin or paws. Apply on surfaces before a storm arrives to minimize potential build-up. After a storm, first remove snow by shoveling, then use ice melt minimally, supplementing with traction alternatives as sand, coffee grounds, or kitty litter. Upon finishing, always remove shoes so as not to track substrates into the home, and immediately wash your hands, to prevent any accidental ingestion in yourself, or family members, especially the furry ones.

When it comes to safety, we would not intentionally harm ourselves, our loved ones, or our environment. Educating ourselves, we can make better choices for our family, our home, and our planet. Small choices can have a big impact.

A Balancing Act

Walking that fine line…

When we think of balance, perhaps we envisage a tight-rope walker, carefully shifting weight, balancing grit and artistry, calculating each movement, aware that any small miscarriage of judgment is followed by consequences. One definition of balance reads: a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions. A balancing act has been defined as: an action or activity that requires a delicate balance between different situations or requirements. It is evident that consequences are interlinked with balance.

At Grime Fighters it may well be said that balance is at the heart of everything we do. Balance is required when scheduling jobs so as not to burn out our hard working team. Balance was required when, for a time, certain work was deemed as hazardous because of the Pandemic. Balance is also needed when assessing if certain work could be damaging to your home or property, such as hazards to porous surfaces, landscaping, or areas in need of repair. Our team exercises balance by placing a high value on life and safety, exercising caution when potential harm could come to human or creature.

Like so many areas of life, it is in examining the elements or circumstances where we find what is required of us. For example, while house washing, one could take a very straightforward approach, simply focused on the end goal: a clean home, rid of all algae, destroying the microbiome of such environment. Not so, at Grime Fighters. While our team is focused on getting the job done, situations sometimes arise that warrant a more balanced approach: Respect for the larger biome of our environment. Our team carefully avoids harming precious life such as baby birds, butterfly chrysalis, the praying mantis, etcetera. It may take a few minutes more to finish the job, but it is these small, kind acts that demonstrate our core values. Keeping an eye on the bigger picture~ those elements which require us to take action~ is what sets us apart. Consequently, such attention to detail is also shown in the respect we show our customers. For it is in these smallest of justices that we choose to make the world a better place.

“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.

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!