How Spring Cleaning Can Keep You Healthy
The benefits of Spring Cleaning

It’s getting closer to spring every day. With the lengthening of the days and the warmer temperatures approaching it’s time to take a good look around your house and get down to some good old Spring cleaning. Don’t look at it like a chore but appreciate the chance to not only brighten, freshen and clean but to also improve your health. Improve your health you may ask? Yes! Opening up all the windows gets rid of the stale air and all the dust and microbes that been floating around in your environment as you overwinter in your well insulated home. It’s also a chance to get ready for summer. And with summer comes the insects. So take a look and repair the screens if they need it. Make sure the windows and doors close tightly. And make sure you change those bulbs around the house to yellow incandescent so they don’t attract mosquitoes. This year we have several viruses that will be carried by different mosquito populations so things that you do now can help you prevent problems and preserve your health in the long term. One of the major mosquito breeding areas that homeowners often overlook are the gutters that travel around the perimeter of our home channeling water away and keeping our basement dry. Because these are over our head they are often neglected and they become filled with debris such as leaves and the grit from our roofing creating ponds of water that create perfect environments for breeding thousands of mosquitoes. Systematic Cleaning and Restoration can help you with this. We can clean and we can also repair the gutters that travel around your home making sure that they safely channel unwanted water away from the foundation and at the same time do not create a breeding area for disease carrying insects.In addition with our sister company A3 Superior Pest Control we can create a regular treatment regimen that will keep the mosquitoes at bay as well as many other biting insects including disease carrying ticks and make the use of your yard not only more healthful but more enjoyable as well. It’s also important as you survey your yard this Spring to make sure that you eliminate areas were standing water can build up. It only takes a week for mosquitoes to reproduce from eggs being laid to adults emerging and continuing the cycle. Don’t like days of old put kerosene on top of standing water but determine the best and proper method of eliminating the standing water as that is much more environmentally friendly. There are items such as Dunks, mosquito larvae eating fish, and for ponds organic treatments that will help in preventing mosquitoes from breeding. If you have too much junk in the yard such as old appliances, tires, cans etc. call Systematic and we can arrange to provide a free quote for removal of these items. This will not only improve the value of your property but give you more use of it and protect yourself as well as your neighbors. During your time spent around the home cleaning make sure that you inspect your basement closely for any signs of mold growth or excessive moisture. These can build up over the summer months and create many different issues with the various systems in the body. Within our service area we provide free mold inspections and can come up with an affordable actionable plan that will save you lots of money, preserve the value of your home, and most importantly protect those that you love from the detrimental effects of these microbial organisms. During the Spring cleaning make sure to inspect your attic. Winters can be tough on roofs and small leaks can develop that can blossom into major issues within the envelope of your home. It’s also a good time to clean out that dryer vent. Dryer vent should be cleaned out yearly and it goes a long way to preventing fires. If this is something that you do not feel like doing we would be happy to assist. Remember that senior citizens, military and their families, and first responders (police, paramedics, firemen) all receive a 10% discount on any service offered. So we see that Spring cleaning although may not be the most pleasant task, gives you the opportunity to survey your home, get everything in order and provide some pretty good health benefits to you and your family. Happy Spring everybody!

black-mold-removalBlack Mold Issues

Typically there are many different types of mold found within the home. None are necessarily good for you to be exposed to as they tend to exacerbate allergies, create odors, and sometimes damage the areas that they’re growing on. One type is especially dangerous. It is known as stachybotrys chartarum or stachy for short And it is dangerous to your health. The more it is studied in fact in the more that we learn about it the worse it seems.

Like mold that grows in the shower black mold likes areas that are wet. The difference is that typically for black mold to grow the area must remain wet for a much longer period of time usually anywhere from 10 to 14 days. So if you discover black mold growing in your home there is a secondary issue that is occurring that you are probably not aware of. This could be an ongoing moisture problems due to high levels of humidity, a slow pipe leak or condensation drip, or some other type of Water source that provides an ongoing level Of moisture. In all cases this has to be fixed before the black mold is addressed.

There are many health issues associated with black mold including lung infections, skin infections, issues with your brain, your lungs, your heart and more. This is not the type of mold that you want to be exposed to on an ongoing basis. Cleanup as well must be handled by a professional in the majority of cases because the stuff is just so damn toxic. There are instances of people going into anaphylactic shock and actually dying from exposure to this type of mold. If you have this type of mold growing in your home for your workplace your needlessly exposing yourself your family or your employees to a toxic substance that can do a lot of long-term damage to the human body.

As mentioned previously cleanup of mold starts with determining where the moisture source is occurring and fixing that first. Once you eliminate the moisture is then time to eliminate the mold. The best way to do that is through a process that is recommended by the I ICRC includes putting the area under negative pressure so that the spores do not spread throughout the home, making sure that the area undergoing cleanup remains under negative pressure for the duration of the cleanup which is accomplished by setting up containment chamber and then some type of exhaust through use of air movers or blowers. Is best to log type of process to ensure that the encapsulated area remains under negative pressure for the duration. Once the area has been closed off from the remaining area of the house and is being exhausted the exterior work can begin on removal. This is a process again that is approved by the I ICRC and is considered best management practices for the removal of mold. This may include the use of HEPA vacuums, taping over and cutting out substrate such as sheet rock, use of disinfectants and sterilizing agents to sanitize any areas where the mold Is present or in some cases even ice blasting for sandblasting to reproduce the area of mold that is present on beams and other areas that cannot be cleaned properly.

If there is a large area of black mold in some cases it may be recommendable to call an indoor environmental professional to oversee the operation. The IEP course must be independent of the remediation company so there is no conflict of interest. Typically the benefits of hiring an IEP outweigh the cost of the remediation project.

How To Save A Water Damaged Wood Floor

Did you know that a lot of National Companies that provide water damage restoration don’t even try to salvage wood flooring? They dont provide water damage restoration for wood flooring. In certain cases such as sewage backup or grossly contaminated water you must as per IICRC code S500-the standard for water damage restoration.remove contaminated materials. But what about a domestic water leak, a tub overflow, a dishwasher leak-these are types of water losses where wood flooring should be saved. Most companies come in, see the cupping(the warp) and immediately deem it not salvageable and want to rip it out. Not with Systematic. We have systems designed specifically to remove the water from underneath the flooring(wood or tile) and in most cases can save the floor. It may have to be sanded and refinished but thats a lot cheaper than replacing a wood floor due to water damage. We use a system that uses mats positioned across the floor with suction tubes attached to remove water and pump warm dry air below the floor. See below the system I am talking about:

Of course laminate flooring cannot be saved but almost all other types of wood floor can be restored using this or similar systems. Dont rip up a perfectly good floor because the company you are dealing with does not have the equipment or expertise to save the floor from destruction. Wood is a very resilient material and can stand the test of time. It will even withstand flooding if handled quickly and professionally be a good water damage restoration contractor. Dont let your floor get ripped up and removed because the remediation company doesnt want to put the time and effort into saving what you have. Call around and make sure the company you hire is outfitted with the proper tools, the proper equipment and the proper training to provide a service that will save you lots of time and trouble once the water has been removed and the house is dry.

    Ice dam signs
    Signs you are developing an ice dam.

    Preventing Water Damage from Ice Dams

    You wouldnt think that snow could cause extensive damage-even flooding- to your home. But if you made it through the winter of 2015 with no leaks in your house and you had snow and icicles hanging off of it like in this picture you are lucky, very lucky. We have had many calls from local homeowners with wet ceilings, wet walls, drips coming from the moldings around ceilings doors and windows. In some cases it was minor but in several homes it caused major damage. And if left untreated can cause mold and other problems. The main issue is when we have as many snow storms as we did, with few thaw times in between you get an ongoing freeze buildup. In most cases if the attics are kept cold and the home is well insulated this will not occur but in certain cases where roof angles come together, when solar radiation causes melting, and when you have heat melting the snow from underneath and refreezing ice dams occur and can eventually lead to water intrusion.

    What is an Ice Dam and how does it cause leaks?

    An ice dam causes flooding in a home by allowing water to puddle on the roof and in a lot of cases ice has backed up disrupting the lay of shingles so water will seep underneath and make its way into the home. The only way to stop this from occurring and prevent home flooding is to destroy the dam. This allows the water to run off the roof and doesn’t intrude into the structure. In a lot of cases this is a difficult thing to do because of access. If not done properly it can damage your roof and if you arent careful it can damage you. Working on a ladder or walking on an icy roof is hazardous to say the least.

    What Can You Do to Prevent Ice Dams?

    The most important thing is to stop the ice and snow from building up on your roof. This can be accomplished by using a snow rake to remove the last 3-4 feet of snow from the edges of your roof. This is easier said then done. Increasing insulation in the summer months and making sure your attic stays cold so there is limited under-melt is a prudent step to take. The added insulation will save you money on heating (and cooling) costs and prevent hot air from escaping from the main home area building up in the attic and creating ice dams. Another option is to install heat tracing lines along the edges of roofs and gutters so these areas remain ice and snow free no matter how bad the winter becomes. In many cases this work can be done by a roofer or local handyman and will save you lots of headaches and worry when next years cold weather arrives. Lets hope next winter is milder but with global environmental change occurring who knows what will happen. Some relatively easy maintenance now will save you trouble and heartache when next winter rolls around.


    Home and Estate Clean-outs in New Jersey

    Systematic provides a complete solution to home and estate cleanouts. There are a lot of homes that are passed on from one generation to the next. Unfortunately in a lot of cases due to the aging process a lot of these homes are not maintained properly.  This is of course no fault due to the homeowner but age does take a toll. Systematic gets called into remove and in a lot of cases rejuvenate these properties. Between Systematic Cleaning & Restoration and A3 Superior Pest Control we are in a unique position to provide a complete solution to home cleanouts in New Jersey. We can eliminate any insects or rodents that have invaded the property, we can remediate any mold or mildew issues, we can eliminate odors, and with our crews and trucks we can remove any items that have built up in the house that should not be there. In other words we can remove all the junk that has accumulated.

    In addition we can also provide painting services, repair work to the structure, even exterior sprucing up. So we can restore the property to its original glory. We are fully licensed and insured in New Jersey and Pennsylvania to provide these services. In addition we are certified under I ICRC guidelines for any type of restoration work that may be necessary. There are few companies that are this qualified in the market. Of course all work comes with a satisfaction guarantee that we will work closely with you to make sure that all your needs are taken care of and that you are completely satisfied once the job is complete.

    So if you require junk removal, basement cleanouts, attic cleanouts, foreclosure cleaning, new-home construction cleaning or any other services that are involved with the cleaning and restoration of a home call the professionals at Systematic Cleaning and Restoration.

    dryer-vent-cleaningThe Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that dryers were accountable for 15,000 fires alone. This fire happens because of the lint and debris buildup in the dryer vents. If it is longer than the usual when drying your clothes or if it has not been done in a while, then it may be time to clean your dryer vent.


    Depending on where your dryer is and how much duct work you have will determine just what equipment you need. If your dryer vent is less than five feet to the outside, a shop vacuum and a household lint brush will be all you need. If you have dryer duct work that is larger than five feet or maybe runs inside a wall, you will need to buy a dryer vent brush along with a handle. These brushes are specially built to go through dryer duct work and are flexible enough to move around bends. You may also want to shop electrical fish tape. This is what the electricians use to run wire inside of walls.

    The Dryer

    You must disconnect the dryer from the wall outlet. Then pull the dryer away from the wall so that you can easily work behind it. Take off the accordion-like duct work from the dryer by using a screwdriver. After it is removed, you must run a lint brush through the dryer vent opening on the dryer.

    Also your dryer has a lint trap either in the door or inserted through the top. You must take it off and clean the lint trap. You must run lint brush in the opening as well to eliminate lint that has made its way past the lint trap.

    Dryer Duct Work

    If you have duct work that runs a few feet in a wall, you will need to make use of a particular dryer vent brush. With the duct work discharged from the dryer, you must make sure that the other end is detached from the exhaust vent. From the exhaust vent side, you must inset the electrical fish tape and feed it through the duct work until it comes through the other side. Then link the fish tape to the end of the dryer vent brush and gently pull it back through the duct work.

    With duct work that is only a couple of feet long and fully reachable, you can cut off it from the exhaust vent and clean it with a common lint brush.

    Dryer Vent

    The dryer vent that connects to the outside will need to be cleaned too.  With the duct detached, you must rub a lint brush through the vent opening through the wall. After you have performed this, go outside and discharge the pushed out lint away from the outside vent.


    Once you have completed all the cleaning, you must reattach the work to the dryer exhaust vent in the wall. Then, reconnect the duct work back onto the dryer itself. Push the dryer back into place and plug it back in.

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    destroyed room
    Damage restoration services are necessary after any disaster to restore your home and your life.

    Damage Restoration Services are required after a natural or man-made disaster.

    Damage restoration services are required after a natural or man-made disaster. These services are designed to get your life back to normal as soon as possible and to mitigate ongoing damage to your property. It is important that your damage restoration services contractor be able to provide service quickly and efficiently within the confines of your insurance policy so that out-of-pocket losses are minimized. For example with water loss if the water is allowed to stand and items remain wet we have the added issue of mold developing which greatly increases the size and scope i.e. money required to restore the property.

    So fast response is of primary concern. Of course having the right equipment to provide the damage restoration services is paramount as well. Without the proper equipment the job will take longer than necessary and typically the most expensive part of a restoration project is the manpower required to bring the property back to previous condition.

    In addition the know-how and expertise of the company management, supervisory staff, and laborers is all very important as well. You want your home or business going together as it was or better than it was. Having poorly trained staff to make the matter a lot worse than it needs to be.

    Having a loss that requires a damage restoration service is a very stressful situation for a home or business owner. There is a certain amount of finesse and sensitivity training that is required of all employees and management dealing with the client. A situation like this can be very overwhelming and if you’re dealing with a company that does not care it can add a lot of stress to an already stressful situation. With Systematic we have been trained under IICRC guidelines, have some of the most modern and state-of-the-art equipment available to the restoration contractor, and only hire people that are caring and kind (and of course background checked). We are family-run organization and we treat our clients like they are an extended part of that family. So if you need damage restoration services consider Systematic.

    We operate 24 hours per day seven days per week, can handle almost any damage restoration project, are fully certified under IICRC, are fully insured, and care about you in your time of need. We like to save that “we restore people, properties and reputations” but what we really do is restore your life. We take pride in the work that we do and we do it honestly and ethically. So if you have need for a water restoration, fire restoration, storm damage restoration, mold remediation or HVAC or carpet cleaning give us a call. Speak to one of our representatives, have one of our technical specialists come out and give you a free price quote. We can’t take all the stress away but we can certainly do our best to make a bad situation better. Good service is a commodity nowadays and we are happy to say that is a commodity that our company is abundant in.

    Carpet is a giant filter. In fact in homes that air quality was tested homes that were carpeted fared better. This may be surprising to many but if you think about it it makes perfect sense. If dirt is free and there is movement of the air these currents will pick up and make the soil molecules airborne. That is why carpet cleaning is so important not only to the general maintenance of the carpet but also as a major factor in keeping the air quality of the home healthy.

    Did you know that most carpeting manufactures require carpet cleaning every 12 to 18 months to maintain the warranty? It is true, read your fine print. So that is another reason why carpet cleaning is so important.

    The first thing a professional carpet cleaner determines is the type of fiber that he or she is dealing with in the carpet. Carpet cleaning hinges not only on fiber type but also the manufacturing process behind it. Many people are not aware of what type of carpet they have in their home or office. So how do you test the fiber that you’re dealing with prior to carpet cleaning?

    It may sound strange but the easiest and usually most accurate is a test called the burn test. So a couple of fibers are removed from an area that would not be missed. This would typically be found within a closet or underneath the stairs. When performing the burn test your observing three things: flame, odor, and ash. There are seven fiber types. These types are wool, silk, cotton, nylon, polyester, acrylic, and olefin or polypropylene. Each has its own burn characteristic. By identifying the type of fiber you have in the carpet determine what type of cleaning that you will perform as well as the types of products it will be used to get the best results in the carpet cleaning process.

    Once the burn test is complete and the carpet fiber has been identified it is time to move on to the type of carpet manufacturing present in the home. There are many different types such as woven carpet, tufted carpet- which is the most common, fusion bonded-think carpet tiles and needle punch.  These all are to be taken into consideration by the professional carpet cleaner prior to cleaning. For example with tufted carpet it’s either composed of a cut pile or a loop with a needle punched face yarns sandwiched between a primary backing adhesive and a secondary backing. Over wetting during cleaning can release the backing materials from this bond. This is called the delamination and this is a bad thing. Also if Jute-which is a cellulosic material- is used for the backing if allowed to take to want to try it may shrink or brown. Again, if this is happening during your carpet cleaning, this is a bad thing.

    In addition to determining the type of fiber and the type of manufacturing process the carpet went through you also have to figure out what type of soil you’re dealing with during the carpet cleaning. Knowledge of the soil type and the manner in which the soil adhere to the carpet plus soil removal methods are paramount in the carpet cleaning process.

    So if you think that carpet cleaning is a straightforward process it’s not. There’s a lot of science and technical know-how behind the process of professional carpet cleaning. At Systematic Cleaning and Restoration we take carpet cleaning very seriously and our technicians are I ICRC certified in the cleaning process. Your carpets are a valuable investment. Don’t you think it’s important to hire the right people to keep them clean, your air quality at its highest level, and to get the most life out of this flooring material? Carpet cleaning is a very wise man once said “it’s not all squirt and suck”.

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    Odor removal is a specialized process by which odor molecules are either masked, sorbed, paired, destroyed through disinfecting or sanitizing, or sealed as in encapsulation. At Systematic Cleaning and Restoration we are I ICRC certified in odor control. What this means to you as a consumer is that we’ve been trained on the latest best management practices for odor mitigation.

    The nose is the only odor detection instrument.

    There is an entire physiology of odor detection where the pure sensation of smell is paired with thoughts and memories impressed gins and suggestions so for each odor is unique. This is what makes odor removal so complex. In addition odor particles are very small in size in some cases as small as the molecular level this allows them to penetrate surfaces to a very large degree. This in turn makes it more difficult to remove certain types of odors from certain types of materials. Things that will exacerbate this are absorptive or poor services such as carpet or ceiling tiles, heavy residue and sufficient time for this odor penetration to occur, rapid thermal expansion of their (think of a fire with smoke) and then of course once that rapid thermal expansion has occurred the cooling and thus closing of those pores trapping the odor inside. Odors can come about through many issues. From areas that remain wet, grow mold and then put out VOC’s (affectionately known in the industry as mold farts), issues with dead organisms, fire, etc.

    There are some basic principles that are taught for total odor removal. These are removal of the primary source. This would include things like getting rid of heavily contaminated items getting rid of char getting ready debris all things that are heavily contaminated with odor. Cleaning all surfaces exposed to the odor. If you do not remove the odor the odor will persist. Re-creation of the conditions of penetration with the proper odor counteractants. This would include increasing the temperature of an area that was exposed to fire and smoke and releasing an odor counteractant to penetrate into the areas previously inundated. And then of course you have sealing or coating using a nonporous compound to actually encapsulate these odors within a surface.

    The options that are given for total odor removal are mainly dependent on the type and source of odor that are present. In all cases though it starts with source removal as often as possible. It doesn’t matter how many masking agents or deodorants air cleaners etc. that are employed if the dead deer in the front yard is not removed. So we always look for the source of the odor. In many cases determining how the odor came about(source, type), the length of time that it was present, and the materials that it is binding to will give us enough information to properly remove the odor. In some cases we will use several different methods to remove odors properly and completely. In fact it is a rare occurrence that odor removal employs one type of chemical or process that cures the issue. This is why it is so important to get a professional odor removal company. At Systematic we have the knowledge, experience, training and equipment to get your odor removal project done properly and with lasting results.

    Applying chemicals to a kitchen exhaust system...
    Applying chemicals to a kitchen exhaust system using a foamer.

    Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning

    Kitchen exhaust cleaning is a necessary part of ongoing maintenance to prevent fires from occurring within the hotel. In most cases this cleaning is provided on a quarterly basis although in some cases where wood or charcoal is used as a heat source the NFPA requirement is monthly. The National Fire Protection Association is a body that studies fires and puts forth best management practices prevent fires and save lives.


    It is typically the standard that is followed by those authorities having jurisdiction when it comes to fire prevention in not only hotels but in almost all aspects of industry.

    Kitchen exhaust cleaning in hotels encompasses the removal of grease, soot, creosote, and other fire hazards from within the ducts that carry exhaust from the stoves, broilers, fryers and grills used in commercial kitchens. These systems encompass filters, a hood to hold these filters, a plenum above the hood in larger systems, duct work, and a fan.

    All these areas need to be cleaned down to bare metal to comply with the NFPA requirements for proper kitchen exhaust cleaning. In New York City the Fire Department of New York provides a special certificate of fitness for those that clean kitchen exhaust systems. This certificate of fitness shows that the person cleaning the system has the proper knowledge, as well as insurance provide the job in a correct manner.

    The FDNY has special requirements due to the risks of grease fires in commercial kitchen exhaust systems including hotel kitchen exhaust systems and the special firefighting procedures it takes to combat these fires. For example with systems that are three stories or under in height they require that the vertical runs be cleaned every visit. For systems that are three stories or over the requirement becomes twice per year. In addition they have several areas that are mandatory and we as commercial kitchen cleaning companies must report defects directly to the fire department essentially “telling” on our customers.

    Some of these mandatory requirements are things like access panels being present and labeled every 10 feet as well as every change in direction, the reporting of any areas that cannot be properly cleaned, the prohibition of any electrical wires within the hoods ducts or fan area, the reporting of any visible grease leaks as well as a few others. Systematic has no issues with these mandatory requirements because they promote the safety and integrity of the system. But based on years of experience in the business it is rare to find accessible areas in all systems and in many cases trying to get a business owner to correct that situation is sometimes a strenuous process.

    In addition while cleaning hotel kitchen exhaust systems is important that the system is left not only clean but fully operational as well as aesthetically pleasing. So in addition to the interior cleaning we also provide a clean and polish the exterior to add to the beauty of the kitchen. It is unfortunate that many companies concentrate on this alone and do not actually clean the system to required codes. This is typically the case where a company under bits the job and due to time constraints cannot efficiently or effectively clean the areas that are critical. It is important that you as a manager or owner check the interior of your system to ensure that the proper job is being done.

    With Systematic Cleaning we provide not only a good job but one that is verified with pictures from before and after. In addition we are happy to open up access panels for you to visually inspect the interior areas of your system. This way you can remain confident that your system is being cleaned properly and that your system remains operationally safe to minimize the risk of fire.