With the Coronavirus racking up the death count, people need to take preventional measures. This article will help offer disinfecting tips to ensure your home stays free of the virus.
Understanding How the Virus Spreads
When illness threatens the general population, there is a lot of fear. However, by understanding how the virus works and spreads, you can prepare in an effective way and stem the panic. Coronavirus acts similarly to SARS and MERS. It is spread through respiratory droplets. This can be transferred via spit and sweat. It has been suggested that the virus can remain on surfaces that the infected touch. It is, as of yet, unknown how long the virus can live on a surface. The general estimate is from a few hours to a few days. The best way to avoid catching Coronavirus is to avoid people. Whether through coughing, sneezing, touching sweat, kissing, or touching an infected surface, you can receive the virus. In order to stay protected at home, you’ll want to disinfect the area and kill the virus. Here’s how.
1. Clean First
Cleaning is different from disinfecting. When you want to clean, you’re basically getting rid of dust, dirt, and dead skin cells. Anything that rests on a surface is essentially something that can be cleaned. Disinfecting means you are using cleaners to kill germs and bacteria. Before you can disinfect, you should clean the house. Take a wet cloth and dust the area that you intend to disinfect. A wet cloth will collect dust better than a dry cloth. It will also help prevent the dust from simply flying off the surface to settle elsewhere. You’ll also want to sweep hard floors like wood, tile, and vinyl. Finally, carpets should be thoroughly vacuumed. You may even consider deep-cleaning them with a carpet cleaner.
2. Disinfecting Hard Surfaces
When it comes to disinfecting, the first step is to wear disposable gloves. You’re going to be working with a lot of EPA-approved household cleaners that can be rough on your skin. If you touch your eyes or mouth with your hands that have cleaner on them, you could have a serious reaction. Gloves not only offer protection from the cleaners, but they’ll also keep you safe from the germs themselves. The last thing you want to do is infect yourself because you accidentally rubbed your eye with your germ-covered hand. For those who want to use reusable gloves, you’ll want to ensure that you’re only ever using them for disinfecting. Otherwise, you could contaminate the home all over again. The next step is to clean surfaces with soap and water. You can also use detergent if you wish. You may choose to throw out the sponge or cloth that you use to clean the surface depending on if you intend to use that solely for disinfecting or not. After that, you’ll be able to actually start disinfecting. For the most effective disinfection cleaners, you’ll want to use diluted household bleach solutions, EPA-registered household disinfectants, or alcohol solutions that contain at least 70% alcohol. If you intend to use diluted bleach, you’ll want to double-check the label to see what kind of surfaces it should be used on. You’ll also want to make sure that the area is well-ventilated. The fumes could harm you over time. You’ll also want to avoid mixing bleach with other cleaners and ammonia. In order to prepare a diluted bleach solution, you’ll need five tablespoons, or 1/3rd cup, of bleach per gallon of water. With your preferred method, you can then start to scrub into the surface. Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing with warm water. You can choose to dry it with a fresh towel or let it air dry.
3. Disinfecting Carpets
For disinfecting carpet, drapes, or rugs, then you’ll need a slightly different method. Primarily, you’ll want to use a household cleaner that is safe to use on carpet and fabrics. You should be able to find EPA-registered cleaners for this purpose. For rugs and drapes, you’ll want to launder them according to the instructions given by the manufacturer. If it’s possible, you’ll want to use the warmest or hottest temperature of water possible. Throw them in the dryer afterward and also use the hottest temperature possible. Just be mindful of the duration as you don’t want to set your items on fire.
Perhaps the most important aspect of keeping your home clean and disinfected is to not bring the germs in initially. You can do this by washing your hands thoroughly every time you come home from the outdoors. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. You can also sing the Happy Birthday song twice. Do not touch your eyes, mouth, or your nose.
Today I want to talk about how you can treat your house like you treat yourself by performing a wellness check on it.
In this business, I see all kinds of home issues every day. I could write a book with all the stories I’ve seen. However, one story from a few years ago sticks out.
The inspection process had just begun on my client’s future home, and everything was going fine until the home inspector came out of the crawlspace. In North Carolina, the crawlspace is the last place the home inspector usually checks. When he came out, he told us that 50% of the floor joist and the sill plate were rotten. He also said that the crawlspace’s main support beam was bad.
The good news was that it was repairable and the house would still be structurally sound. The bad news was that it ended up costing thousands of dollars to repair. All of this could have been avoided with a $300 vapor barrier in the crawlspace.
This story illustrates why I think it’s so important for homeowners to order an inspection before placing their home on the market. Even if you’re not planning on selling, this is still a good idea. A licensed professional will look at your home from top to bottom and alert you to any potential issues, which could save you tens of thousands in repairs, not to mention keep you safe.
Ordering a home “well-care check” can save you tens of thousands in repairs, not to mention keep you safe.
Home repairs are much easier to remedy when they’re caught early on. Also, it’s much more convenient to take care of such problems before you’re in the process of selling your home.
I work with a fantastic inspector named Fred Herndon and I asked him if he would do something to help out those of you who need a home “well-care check”. He said that he will knock 10% off the price of a home inspection for anyone who mentions me when they give him a call at 919-280-1682 or send him an email to [email protected].
If you have any other questions for me in the meantime, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email as well. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Today, let’s talk about the things to keep in mind when it comes to replacing your air conditioning unit.
First, what is a SEER rating? Well, SEER stands for Seasonal Energy-Efficiency Ratio, and this basically measures the air intake and outtake of your unit and provides a rating system to weigh how efficiently it runs. Most air conditioners have a SEER rating of around 13 or 14, depending on that state’s requirements, with the maximum being 21.
I’ve personally replaced all the systems in my own home, with the exception of one little unit that is now 27 years old. It still runs, but given its age, I figure that it’s getting to be time to replace it, especially since it’s not all that efficient.
I had my trusted heating and air company come out and look at my systems, but they didn’t even price out a 14 SEER system; they said that a 14 SEER unit would eventually go out, and they instead gave me prices for 15 and 16 SEER units.
That’s when I decided to get a second opinion, but the second company to look at my units didn’t bother pricing out a 14 SEER unit, either. When I asked them why, they told me that a 14 SEER unit was exactly what I needed. The reason they gave me was related to my furnace—it was old, but not so old that it needed to be replaced. It was, however, so old that it didn’t have a variable speed motor.
This second company told me that yes, I could replace my unit with a 15, 16, or even a 21 SEER unit, but if I did, I wouldn’t get any benefit from it. That’s when the bells started going off in my head: The company that I’d been using for 15 years has been withholding information and trying to upsell me!
Since I got two different opinions on what I should do, I decided to get a third and fourth opinion. I posed the same question to companies three and four: “Does a 15 or 16 SEER system match my furnace?” Both companies were completely honest with me and told me no and that I should stick with a 14 SEER system.
Overall, the price for the replacement system went from $5,200 for a 16 SEER system to $3,150 for a 14 SEER—that’s a huge amount of savings!
After that experience, I went online to do some research. I found all kinds of information on the SEER rating, energy efficiency, and calculating cost-benefit ratios, but nothing about matching the SEER rating of a unit to the type of furnace you have.
In the end, if you want the efficiency of a 16 SEER system and you have a slightly older furnace that’s not really ready to be removed, then you’ll actually need to replace your entire furnace, too. Do you want to spend the money to replace two systems when you really only need to replace one?
The moral of today’s story is that you need to ask a lot of questions, even if you’re working with a company that you’ve known and trusted for years.
If you have any questions about this or other real estate topics, please feel free to reach out to me. I would love to hear from you.
Carbon monoxide poisoning is a very serious issue. The CDC has said that over 10,000 people each year get treatment for some kind of carbon monoxide poisoning, and well over 430 people die each year as a result.
Because of this, state legislatures across the country have changed the rules about when a carbon monoxide detector is required in a home or a rental property.
If your house or rental property uses gas in the furnace, stove, or any other appliances, or if you have an attached garage, a carbon monoxide detector is required by law. Even if the home doesn’t have gas appliances but it has an attached garage, it needs a carbon monoxide detector on every level of the home.
Well over 430 people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Why is there such a focus on garages? Well, in the event that a car housed in the garage was left running, the deadly fumes could get into the home.
I can say that once I learned about this rule, I immediately went out and replaced my carbon monoxide detectors on each level of my home. I recommend that you do the same, or at least replace the batteries in the ones you currently have.
If you have any questions for us about buying, selling, or investing in real estate, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you soon.