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Ventilation Cleaning Strata Properties – Push Vs Pull – Water Damage 💧

Trouble Shooting Water Damage In Dryer Vents

The biggest misconception behind dryer vent cleaning is actually the reason why most people think its necessary. Its not because of the fire risk: they are exceedingly rare occurrences, and usually occur due to the lint trap in the dryer itself not being properly cleaned. Rather, the real risk emerges from blocked vents that condense moisture from the dryer. This, over time, pools, and can cause thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars in damage. The trick, if it can be called that, is early diagnosis of the problem. The first signs of a blockage may seem relatively benign: excessive humidity and steaming in the residence as the air “blows back” from the vent. Clothes may take longer to dry. 

Once condensation occurs and the water starts to pool, the next step is to observe direct signs of damage. Frequently the water find a seam in the vent, which allows it to spill out into the surrounding area. Within the affected region, this will quickly look like any other water leak, including discolouration of the affected material. 

If any of these signs seem familiar to you, let us know… we’ll look at the situation together and determine the best course of action.

From The Interior or Exterior – Push vs. Pull ? 

This is a question we often receive when clients get a quote which offers both options. Its not a precise science, but there are a few considerations to be aware of before making a decision. Simply put, the difference is where we insert the skip into the vent. In both cases we blow out the debris through the vent. For pull, or “outside only” cleanings, we insert the skip from the outside until it reaches the dryer, then blow back the debris to the outside. For inside cleaning, we insert the skip at the start of the vent by the dryer, and push everything out. We usually do an outside clean with an inside one to make sure that the vent exit is clear and functional. The combination of an in and out is the most effective way to clean a vent, though there is a premium due to the extra effort involved.

However for many vents, especially one that have been regularly cleaned and are at low risk of blockage, an outside only will suffice. We can usually do these without requiring suite access, which saves time and the cost to the strata. If you have any questions, call us today and we will determine the best course of action for your particular needs.

Push Vs Pull

THE ONE STOP SHOP

COMMERCIAL CLEANING TIPSstop_sign-NEW

THE ONE STOP SHOP

In today’s consumer world, one-stop shopping is a must!

Time is a luxury that most of us simply do not have enough of and one-stop shopping saves us precious moments, never mind the irritation and aggravation if we had to deal with multiple stops!

Managing the cleanliness of a facility isn’t always just about hiring a commercial cleaner.  It’s about knowing that your service provider can provide you with the full lineup of services that can accommodate a variety of circumstances.

With ServiceMaster Clean, you not only have access to full commercial cleaning services but also to the service offerings of all of our sister brands like…

ServiceMaster Clean – Specialty Commercial Cleaning including carpet cleaning and maintenance

ServiceMaster Restore – Disaster Restoration

ServiceMaster Clean Exterior – Window, Dryer Vent, Duct Cleaning, Gutter Cleaning

At ServiceMaster Clean, we take servicing our commercial clients seriously because providing you with a clean facility is serious business!

Complete the form to find out what we can do for you!

ServiceMaster Clean – We are your commercial cleaning specialists.

We are a team of professional commercial cleaners dedicated to all of your office cleaning needs from janitorial services to hard floor cleaning and everything in between!

For more information on any of our commercial cleaning services, contact us today!

 “ServiceMaster has always been there for whatever I need.” C.M., Electrolux

 

 “Very quick to respond to our special requests.” A.G., MCF Practice Firm

Roof Cleaning & Treatment – It’s That Time Of Year – Summer

Most of our cleaning services have seasonal variations that make them more appropriate for certain parts of the year. For example, windows and façades are more common in the spring, gutters in the fall, and carpets around winter or the spring. We’re entering roof cleaning season, which is more essential this year. The long, wet and cool winter has been fertile for moss, mold and mildew growth on roofs, which need to be dealt with before they start to damage its integrity and appearance. Left unchecked, they can cause irreparable damage in less than decade in certain conditions. We have seen roofs requiring rebuilds in under a half its expected life span. With the summer finally here, it is the best opportunity to remove them and prevent them from coming back.

west coast style lowrise 3
Most of our cleaning services have seasonal variations that make them more appropriate for certain parts of the year. For example, windows and façades are more common in the spring, gutters in the fall, and carpets around winter or the spring. We’re entering roof cleaning season, which is more essential this year. The long, wet and cool winter has been fertile for moss, mold and mildew growth on roofs, which need to be dealt with before they start to damage its integrity and appearance. Left unchecked, they can cause irreparable damage in less than decade in certain conditions. We have seen roofs requiring rebuilds in under a half its expected life pan. With the summer finally here, it is the best opportunity to remove them and prevent them from coming back.

We employ a multi-step process, starting with physically removing growths and the organic material they may be growing on. The warmer weather dries out deposits, loosening them and making them easier to remove and stop repeat growth. The hot weather also makes it safer for our staff to access difficult places. Although our staff utilizes rope access and safety restraint systems that should theoretically allow us to access all roofs, a wet slippery surface will limit what we can do. The summer months offer us the maximum mobility over the roof surface. Finally we apply a roof treatment that will retard any growth for several years. Undertaking such a process every few years, will ensure that a roof will remain at peak durability for the duration of its expected lifespan.

If you have a building requiring a roof cleaning (or never considered that you might need one) why not give us a call?

Slab Ducts – Dark Side Of Dryer Vent Cleaning

Over the course of the past 25 years, we’ve seen a lot of changes to buildings, IMG_8958their construction and designs. Dryer vents are no exception. The image most people have of dryer vents are round three to four inches in diameter circular metal pipe with a flap on the end. While this is a common (if not the most common) design, especially for low-rise buildings, there are a number of different configurations that are employed.

In a previous E-tips we highlighted that the greatest source of potential damage from uncleaned dryer vents is not fire, but moisture. As the air from the dryer becomes trapped, it condenses the moisture, which collects into pools and starts to wreak untold damage. They permeate into the surrounding concrete, and damage the overall structure. Such leaks tend to spread down to ceiling areas, leaving unsightly watermarks.

This is somewhat more common issue than people realize, particularly in high-rise buildings. Many use a rectangular shaped vent, which is sunk into cement prior to curing. While there is nothing particularly wrong with this design, the issue is with implementation. Often the duct runs are constructed with too many corners, quickly diminish the airflow’s strength. More alarmingly, many are only an inch in depth, which is insufficient to ensure proper air passage. Finally, many are damaged during construction, causing an obstruction that prevents air from passing altogether. We’ve seen all of these issues, and they can be extremely problematic.

Remedial work is often an expensive, and messy proposition. Repairing the concrete ductworkvents, if it is even an option, can run into the tens of thousands of dollars. The alternative is to build a new duct run with a drop down ceiling. While less costly than concrete reconstruction, it can be aesthetically ugly and diminish a unit’s value.

While in some cases such work is unavoidable, there are alternatives to deal with these issues. Booster fans can be installed to provide extra airflow to overcome any existing issue. A proper exterior housing that provides no impedance to exiting air can help. In addition, preventative work can do quite a bit to ensure proper airflow. This includes regular cleanings of the system, with particular care for problem units. While this may require a few additional minutes of attention, it can avoid a far more costly repair job.

If you have a problem unit like this, give us a call. We can inspect the system and determine whether alternative approaches can ensure proper function, or major remedial work is required.

Snow & Salt Service

Keep sidewalks clear of snow and ice daily we can help 🙂 

With a week of sub-zero temperatures, snow and ice, the sidewalks around your buildings are probably looking pretty rough at this stage. They are becoming a treacherous safety hazard for people walking, cycling and even driving. As the property manager, it is one of the building’s responsibilities, but there is no established plan because these conditions are rare .

You may have hired someone to clean the area, or even had a resident selflessly volunteer their time, but the unrelenting bad weather has erased those efforts and you’re back at square one. Or the landscaping company that you have a standing contract with is swamped with requests and can’t make it. What to do?

ServiceMaster Clean Vancouver is offering a sidewalk & Entry Points cleaning service for the coming months. What’s included?

  • Clear snow from the full width of sidewalks that surround your property by 10:00am on the morning following a snowfall, seven days a week.
  • Daily Preventative salting to keep them clear between now and the next cleaning.

We have 3 Levels / Options For Service:

  • Automatic Call Out If Snows (Based on overnight Weather Network)
  • Automatic Call Out For Salting if it drops below 0 over night
  • On Call (You call us)

So if your sidewalks are looking like a Himalayan mountain path (and nearly as treacherous), and need a clean give us a call or email. We will set it all right.

Gutter Maintenance Program – Update

So last weekend made it official: Fall is here. The leaves are changing and inclement weather is a reality. Perhaps some of you may have noticed some of your gutters aren’t working as well as they should.
But that problem probably did not just magically appear on Saturday: there likely were months of biological accumulation into your gutters that resulted in a blockage. Staying on top of it requires a year-round solution, not a “once a year cleaning” solution.
Many of our clients elect to be on one of our gutter maintenance programs. These are full year programs where we undertake a usual total clean, and then we also do service calls if there are any subsequent problems. 
Previously we capped the number of return visits 
moving forward, our gutter cleaning programs will now have Unlimited Number of Service Calls. 

 

The only exception to this is for certain buildings or
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complexes that requires two full cleanings a year. Usually they are located in heavily wooded areas where significant amounts of foliage drops throughout the year. We will clearly inform buildings of this requirement during a quote.
So this fall keep on top of your gutter problems by dealing with them before they actually become a problem.
For more information on our gutter cleaning service please CLICK HERE .

Roof Treatment & Abatement – Best Time Of Year To Complete The Service

Roofs in the Lower Mainland face a rough life. Constantly bombarded by rain and shade,west coast style lowrise color they are a magnet for moss, mildew and algae that can severely curtail their lifespan. Removing them is one of our exterior cleaning services, and the best time to undertake this work is the late summer and fall when they are the drieest .  We use a                                             three-step process, which incorporates industry best practices to guide our approach.  
Step 1-  Air blower cleaning. 

In this stage we basically use high-pressure air to remove loose debris and a large portion of the growth. This allows us to gain better access to the underlying roof surface, without damaging the roof itself.

STEP  2 – Spray application of the Roof Abatement System.

This is really the most critical part of the process. We use a mild, wash safe, chemical that is wash safe to basically break down and kill all the growth on the roof. The system also is a preventative step: it delays future growth for a year or so, keeping the roof integrity intact. 

STEP 3 –Low pressure cleaning of roof surfaces.
            This step is performed with pressure washing equipment limted to a maximum pressure of 1700 PSI to prevent damage. The ensures all of the growth has been removed, any discoloration and dead growth is removed before the start of the rainy fall season. 

Water Restrictions – The Facts

So this week has seen a return to the hot summer weather in the Lower Mainland. While we are in better shape than last year, its still likely that we’re going to see water restrictions later in the summer.

Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 8.59.16 AMLast year there was immense confusion on what the water restrictions actually meant for the different types of exterior cleaning: window washing, pressure washing and building facade cleaning. Two of the three require significant amounts of water, which means we are subject to the water restrictions (sort of, more on that later.) With this in mind, a number of our clients cancelled work that was legally permissible to occur. Certainly they should be applauded for their proactive approach to water conservation, but it was done without understanding the regulations that govern this area, or the safeguards we have put into place to redress any problems we may encounter.

As you are probably aware, water restrictions are based on a four-stage system. As of last month, we are at the Stage 1 restrictions: the most tangible aspect for most people is watering lawns only on specific days. However, as the summer moves along, it is likely that we will see Stage II and perhaps even III restrictions. This gets a little more complicated. At Stage II, there are actually no restrictions on commercial cleaning of residential windows, driveways, patios or other features.

This changes once upgraded to Stage III, where there can be no pressure washing, however window washing of all types is permitted to occur. That however does not mean we can’t clean buildings: we just cannot use water from the public system. Last year we invested in large portable water tanks that we can bring on site to store water for our cleaning tasks. Since they are filled with water from private sources (including potable recycled water sources), they are not covered by the restrictions. A number of buildings were cleaned this way last year without any problems whatsoever. Moreover using public water for building façade and pressure washing is permitted if it is in preparation of applying a treatment or painting. For example, we completed some water proofing and caulking last August.

So as we enter into the hot months of the year and you are concerned that your building’s exterior won’t get cleaned, don’t be. We’re already on top of it, ensuring that you get the work done when you needed and with a minimum of fuss. That’s the ServiceMaster Clean difference.

Balcony & Patio Cleaning

power wash guyOver time discolorations and stains may occur due to normal usage despite the best efforts of residents to keep it clean. These cannot be cleaned through regular methods and require more aggressive cleaning methods, such as power washers, sweepers or hand scrubbing with a release agent.

Given the disruption this would cause if everybody cleaned their own balconies with such methods, it is best that a strata periodically organize a cleaning for all residents. This also ensures that any runoff from the balcony washing is properly managed cleaned up properly and does not affect the appearance of units below.

Frequency

 Exposed balcony and patios generally should be cleaned once every two years or more, depending on their surface composition. These generally see greater weathering and the benefits are more apparent.

If the balcony is part of the gutter system, then it should be every year, since blockages may cause overflows and potential damage to the building’s structure. For covered balconies, the cleaning interval can be extended out further: every three or more years.

Roof Abatement & Cleaning

 The third major structural exterior area to consider is the roof. As with exterior façade, biological growth can cause significant damage to the roof structure if left untreated.west coast style lowrise 3

However, the potential for catastrophic damage is more apparent: if a roof is compromised it can cause leaks that may cost thousands of dollars to remedy.

Technique and Frequency

Cleaning and maintaining your roof is really a two-step process, which is important to understand the frequency.

The first step is to clean the roof. This is almost always accomplished by an individual cleaning off debris and growth with a brush, or by hand. There is no quicker alternative, but this method ensures that no growth will remain that could effect the integrity of the roof.

Once the removal is complete the second step abatement work,  should progress. This usually involves applying an anti-fungal agent that will retard any growth for occurring. They can remain effective for over two years. Thus a realistic service interval could be 2~4 years, depending on the condition of the roof, its composition and biome. Subsequent visits will usually require significantly less time, since there will be less growth to remove, and efforts should be focused on reapplying the abatement agent.

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