Hurricane Season: Strongest Cycle in 70 Years
Global Weather Oscillations (GWO) was cited by news media as the only major hurricane prediction organization that correctly predicted the hyperactive 2017 Atlantic hurricane season from beginning to end, and the destructive United States hurricane landfalls.
The media also noted that when the hurricane season began last year, with a prediction for a destructive hurricane season with 16 named storms, eight hurricanes, four major hurricanes and 2 major impact hurricanes for the United States.
GWO also predicted the United States would have 6 named storms and 3 hurricanes making landfall in 2017 and where they would occur. GWO predicted that the Florida Peninsula would break out of their 12 year hurricane drought with a major category 3-4 making landall on the south tip of Florida.
GWO also predicted that Texas could break out of their 8 year hurricane drought with a landfalling hurricane just above Corpus Christi and Category 1 hurricane striking the upper Gulf Coast.
Professor David Dilley prepares hurricane and tropical storm predictions for 11 zones stretching from New England to Texas. States that the "Climate Pulse Technology Model" is based on natural rhythm cycles that control hurricane landfall cycles and the position of the Bermuda High Pressure Center. By utilizing this technology, GWO has issued the most accurate predictions by any organization during the past 10 years.
Prediction: 2018 Atlantic Basin Hurricane Season
Mr. Dilley predicts that 2018 will be somewhat of a repeat of 2017 and possibly another record breaker. Al though it will be strikingly similar to last locations this year. You can expect 16 named storms, 8 hurricanes, 4 major hurricanes, potential for 4 United States hurricane landfalls, 2 of which will likely be major impact storms.
The reason for another destructive hurricane season is 3 fold. The Ocean water temperatures continue to run warmer than normal across of the Atlantic Basin, and especially in the Caribbean region and the Atlantic near the United States. This is very similar to the ocean temperatures of last year, and this will again be conducive for tropical storms and/or hurricanes forming and/or strengthening close to the Unites States.
Then we come to the last item EL Nino. GWO's Climate pulse Technology model indicates that the Tropical South Pacific Ocean temperatures where El Nino events typically form will warm significantly during late winter and approach weak El Nino conditions during the spring much like the El Nino scare of last year. Historical records indicate that moderate to strong El Nino events dampen hurricane activity whereas years with very weak El Nino conditions can be associated with active hurricane seasons if a Climate Pulse Hurricane Enhancement Cycle is in place- and it is.
Remember that SERVPRO of Sunrise is available 24/7 days a week. Contact us at 954-748-7887
COMMUNITY LIVING, Spring 2018
HOA Hires Private Investigator to Catch Owners Conducting Short-Term Rentals
Condominium associations and HOAs throughout South Florida as well as across the country are seeking effective responses to the problem of short-term rentals that are in violation of their rules and restrictions. These unauthorized rentals, which have become prevalent with the growth of Airbnb and other online home sharing platforms, are creating significant security and liability concerns for associations.
One response by a San Diego homeowners association recently drew the attention of its local ABC affiliate, which chronicled how the community had retained a private investigator to gather and document incontrovertible proof that specific owners were conducting the restricted rentals. The licensed private detective and his associates were hired by the HOA and other local associations to investigate homeowners and tenants who are violating association bylaws and CC&Rs that prohibit turning units into short-term vacation rentals. While the hiring of private detectives may initially seem as an extreme measure for an association, it makes sense when one considers the risks and concerns that are brought on by these rentals for HOAs and condominiums.
Also, court actions may become necessary against some unit owners who flout the rules, and the evidence obtained by these investigators as well as their testimony can be very helpful in these proceedings.
In order to get away with these rentals, savvy owners have been known to sneak their transient guests into the property by advising security that their visit is authorized. As such, enhanced vigilance and guest-screening measures have become necessary, and many associations are now developing and
implementing new registration forms for use with guests and tenants along with written assurances and non-compensation statements indicating that they are not paying for their stays.
In addition to the use of private detectives, the implementation of a clear fining or suspension policy, if permitted, is essential for associations to address unauthorized short-term rentals. This will typically entail the adoption of a new rule in which all of the fines and other consequences are delineated.
Community associations are also responding by adopting new amendments, bylaws or rules to limit the number of nights a residence may be rented, which can offer a level of flexibility for owners while also avoiding the possibility of creating a revolving door of unfettered short-term guests.
As the concerns created by the growth of short-term rentals continue to mount for community
associations across the country, appropriate and effective responses such as these will help ameliorate the problem.
by Roberto C. Blanch
Ways TO Prevent Stroke
If you've ever worried that your family history suggests a stroke is in your future, there's good news: "Genetics do play a role, but less than most people might imagine", says Daniel Labovitz, M.D., director of the Stern Stroke Center at the New York - based Montefiore Medical Center. "Family history of stroke is only a mild risk factor. Just because your dad had a stroke doesn't mean that you will".
A much better indicator of your stroke risk? Your life style choices. "For almost 20 years we've had strong evidence that eating vegetables and fresh fruit while minimizing processed foods and saturated and trans fat reduces risk of stroke and heart attack more than any pill a doctor can prescribe", Labovitz says. (please stop smoking).
With a stroke occurring every 40 second in the U.S. on average, everyone should take precautions. Here are five simple things you can do to significantly lower your risk.
1.Get up to speed on the new blood pressure recommendations. "High blood pressure is the No. 1 cause of stroke, so it's the most important risk factor to control", says Robyn Moore, CEO of the nonprofit National Stroke Association. The guidelines for what are considered healthy blood pressure numbers dropped recently, from under 140/90 to under 120/80.
2.Consider cholesterol-controlling meds-even if your numbers aren't high. "This is surprising, but even if your cholesterol is within a good limit,it is still a good idea to take statin", says Patrick D. Lyden, M.D., chair of the neurology department at Cedars-Sinai and director of the Cedars-Sinai Stroke Center in Los Angeles. "Such drugs protect your arteries, even without lowering your cholesterol". National Stroke Association guidelines recommend aiming to keep your total cholesterol under 200, with your LDL "bad" cholesterol under 100.
3. Walk briskly for 30 minutes a day."Getting into the exercise habit is the best thing you can do for your heart and your blood vessels, "says Labovitz."
4. Women: Know your hormone-related risk factors. Researchers are reevaluating the long-held belief that birth control pills can elevate your risk of stroke-that now appears to affect only women who have migraine with aura (visual disturbances like flashing colors or shapes). But hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for menopause that contains estrogen is still believed to up your risk, says Sarah Lee, M.D., neurologist at the Stanford Stroke Center in the San Francisco Bay Area. If your HRT is progestin-only, you're in the clear. (If you're not sure what type you had or are undergoing, ask your doctor).
5. Keep your chronic conditions in check. Diabetes, sleep apnea and atrial fibrillation all raise your risk of stroke, particularly life they are undiagnosed or uncontrolled. Shortness of breath and heart palpitations are warning signs of atrial fibrillation; snoring and excessive sleepiness can indicate sleep apnea.
If you think someone is having a stroke, should you call 911?
A. Yes. You may be tempted to drive to the nearest hospital, but stroke is a medical emergency and time is of the essence to minimize brain damage and prevent long-term disability or death. Emergency operators know which hospital near you are best-suited to treat strokes, and EMTs can star interventions immediately while in communication with staff at the hospital. Some medical centers even have mobile stroke units, or ambulances that are outfitted with equipment such as a portable CT unit, to expedite diagnosis and treatment.
Remember that SERVPRO of Sunrise is available 24/7 days a week. Contact us at 954-748-7887
-By Bobby Dempsey.
Zeshaun Khawaja, M.D., Cleveland Clinic stroke specialist.
PARADE, Sunday,April 22, 2018 / PARADE.COM
Floods and Flood Insurance: Don't Be Up The Creek Without a Paddle.
As we, our neighbors, families, and friends, here and in Puerto Rico, are picking up the pieces in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria, the prospect of making claims on our homeowners insurance policies can seen overwhelming in the face of the destruction caused by these storms. Much of the damage in our neighborhoods are caused by strong winds, including roof and fence damage. Wind related damages are generally covered by your windstorm insurance policy. The flooding from rainwater and storm surge is excluded from both your general liability and windstorm policies likely because flooding is the most common and costly natural catastrophe.
In Florida's four southernmost counties - Monroe, Miami - Dade, Broward and Collier - more than 1.3 million homes lie in high-risk flood areas, according to data from National Flood Insurance Program. Of these 1.3 million homes, more than 861,000 of them do not have flood insurance. As for those homes that are not in designated flood zones, the number of homes having flood insurance are much worse. This is cause for concern because, depending on the source,as little as 20-25% up to more than 50%of flood events occur outside of designated flood zones. Though your home and community may be in a low-risk flood zone, there is never a no-risk flood zone. Remember even if you live inland, Florida is a peninsula surrounded on three sides by water and is at sea level. Flooding is always a risk.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is the governmental organization which designates flood zones and creates flood maps for most parts of the United States. Whether or not an area is a designates flood zone depends on numerous factors, including elevation, average rainfall,and proximity to water bodies. Flood zones are organized into three categories: high-risk, moderate-low risk, and undetermined. Although some homeowners within certain flood zones are required to obtain flood insurance in order to obtain a federally insured mortgage, most are not.
Because the purchase of flood insurance policies is often not required by the declarations of covenants of many community associations, many homeowners and community associations alike opt not to purchase flood insurance to lower the cost of assessments. In low - risk and moderate-risk flood zone areas, premiums can be several hundred dollars per year for homes, depending on the value of the home and the contents covered under the policy. In high-risk flood zone areas, annual premiums can reach into the thousands.
while it is reported that most Floridians do not have flood insurance coverage, Floridians actually account for a third of all of the flood insurance policies nationwide. Without flood insurance coverage, flood victims must rely on savings and other assets to finance their recovery.
FEMA also administers the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) wich was created by the Federal government in 1968 to help control the growing cost of federal disaster relief. The NFIP offers federally secured flood insurance to community associations that adopt and enforce effective floodplain management policies to help reduce future flood losses. You can see if your comunitypasticipates in the NFIP by visiting NFIP'S Community Status Book online through FEMA's website. Is your community adequately covered inthe event of a flood event? Check with your associations insurance agent regarding flood insurance to find out more and remember this:
If you do not buy flood insurance for your home and your community association does not have flood insurance for its clubhouse and the like, then one day when you least expect it, you too, could be all wet and up the creek without so much as a paddle.
Jeffrey Rembaum, Esq: Kaye Bender Rembaum
Community Living, Autumn 2017
Remember that SERVPRO of Sunrise is available 24/7 days a week. Contact us at 954-748-7887
Make the grade in school indoor air quality
Kids and Clean Air
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, half of the national schools report poor indoor air quality and ventilation*
You can ensure you are taking proper and responsible steps to provide a healthy learning space. SERVPRO OF SUNRISE offer a number of services that can help you reduce Indoor Air Quality-related health risks and triggers for asthma and allergies.
- Control moisture within 24-48 hours
- Remedy sources of mold, like leaks
- Clean HVAC systems
- Inspect and change air filters
- Clean duct systems regularly and after remodeling or additions
Why It's Important
- Studies show that one-half of our nation's 115,000 schools have problems linked to indoor air quality (IAQ).
- Students are at greater risk because of the hours spent in school facilities and because children are often susceptible to pollutants.
- The health and comfort of students and teachers are among the many factors that contribute to learning and productivity in the classroom, which in turn affect performance and achievement.
What You Can Do
- Ensure proper maintenance of the school's HVAC system to promote ventilation.
- Install and regularly replace filters (high efficiency, if possible).
- Install carbon monoxide detectors, especially near combustion sources (e.g., boilers, stoves, hot water heaters).
- Be sure to consider indoor air quality in the design of a new school building.
- Read the Ensure Good Ventilation component of EPA's model school environmental health program with actions for schools to improve the quality of indoor air.
Contact us for a Free inspection
Sunscreen sun protection factor (SPF) testing methods explained
May is skin cancer month, so you will see reports from various sources about sunscreens that may confuse you. This year, I decided to try to educate you before these reports are released, so you can be a better judge of what they are saying.
This is the first of a two-part series on sunscreen safety. This column will discuss sun protection factor (SPF) testing methods, and my next column will discuss “hazardous sunscreen ingredients.”
Environmental Working Group (EWG.org) is perhaps best known for its annual sunscreen report, which is released each May around Memorial Day. This report attracts media attention and sometimes scares consumers, resulting in a flurry of emails to me. For example, in May 2016, the big story was that nearly 75 percent of the sunscreens they tested failed to deliver the level of protection claimed on the label or contained “worrisome” ingredients.
In May 2017, Consumer Reports came out with a report that said, “Of the 62 lotions, sprays, sticks, and lip balms in our ratings this year, 23 tested at less than half their labeled SPF number.” According to the CR website, the study was performed as follows: “To check for UVB protection, a standard amount of each sunscreen is applied to six places on our panelists' backs. Then they soak in a tub of water. Afterward, each of those areas is exposed to six intensities of UVB light from a sun simulator for a set time. About a day later, the six spots are examined for redness. The resulting UVB protection ratings reflect each product's actual effectiveness after water immersion and are based on an average of our results for each sunscreen.”
It is important to understand how the FDA requires that SPF testing be done when interpreting these reports. The FDA requires that 2 mg/cm2 of SPF be applied to a subject’s back, and the size of the test site must be at least 30 cm2. It is required that 10 different test sites are used. After application of the SPF, there is a 15-minute waiting period. The skin is exposed to six sessions of UVB exposure (the dose depends on the patient’s Fitzpatrick Skin Type). The minimal erythema dose (MED) is the smallest UV dose that produces perceptible redness of the skin (erythema) with clearly defined borders. In the FDA studies, the MED is measured at 16 to 24 hours after UV exposure. The person who evaluates the test subsites should not be the same person who applied the sunscreen drug product to the test site or administered the UV doses. This prevents bias. The MED is used to determine the SPF.
If the company wants to claim that the sunscreen is water-resistant after 40 minutes, the following procedure is used:
• Step 1: Apply the SPF 2mg/cm2 as described above
• Step 2: Perform moderate activity in water for 20 minutes.
• Step 3: Rest out of water for 15 minutes. Do not towel test site.
• Step 4: Perform moderate activity in water for 20 minutes.
• Step 5: Allow test sites to dry completely without toweling.
• Step 6: Perform the UV testing as described above.
As you can see, there are very specific steps required by the FDA for SPF testing. This exact protocol should be followed when others are determining the SPF on the label of sunscreens so that they are consistent with the FDA testing. Otherwise, you are comparing apples to oranges.
The problem with the Consumer Reports 2017 study is that they immersed people in a tub of water before testing the sunscreen’s SPF, and they did not state how long the subjects were in the water and whether or not they toweled dry. Using a towel can greatly diminish SPF protection, as can water immersion.
Only water-resistant sunscreens should have their SPF values tested The Consumer Reports study design was misleading and made people distrust their sunscreen for no reason. Some sunscreens are just not designed to survive immersion in water.
BY DR. LESLIE BAUMANN
EARTH DAY 2018 | END PLASTIC POLLUTION
SERVPRO Of Sunrise
24 Hour Emergency Service
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Fact Sheet: Single-Use Plastics
The billions upon billions of items of plastic waste choking our oceans, lakes, and rivers and piling up on land is more than unsightly and harmful to plants and wildlife. Plastic pollution is very real and single-use plastics are small but have a large impact.
The following 10 facts shed light on how single-use plastic is a large problem that most people are a part of. To learn more about the threat and impact of plastic pollution and get tips to reduce your plastic consumption, download our Plastic Pollution Primer and Toolkit today!
In 2016, world plastics production totaled around 335 million metric tons. Roughly half of annual plastic production is destined for a single-use product.
Humans buy about 1,000,000 plastic bottles per minute in total. Only about 23% of plastic bottles are recycled within the U.S.
Americans purchase about 50 billion water bottles per year, averaging about 13 bottles per month for every person in the U.S.! That means by using a reusable water bottle, you could save an average of 156 plastic bottles annually.
It is estimated that 4 trillion plastic bags are used worldwide annually. Only 1% of plastic bags are returned for recycling. Americans throw away 100 billion plastic bags annually. That’s about 307 bags per person! All that waste can be eliminated by switching to reusable shopping bags.
Half a million straws are used in the world every day. Refusing straws is becoming a trending practice!
500 billion disposable cups are consumed every year. Americans alone throw away 25 billion styrofoam coffee cups every year. Styrofoam cannot be completely recycled. Most of the Styrofoam disposed of today will still be present in landfills 500 years from now.
Every year, tens of thousands of whales, birds, seals, and turtles die from contact with ocean-borne plastic bags. The animals may mistake the bags for food, such as jellyfish, or simply become entangled. Plastic bags can take up to 1,000 years to break down, so even when an animal dies and decays after ingesting a bag, the plastic re-enters the environment, posing a continuing threat to wildlife.
The main cause for the increase in plastic production is plastic packaging. Plastic packaging was 42% of all non-fiber plastic produced in 2015, and it also made up 52% of plastics thrown away.
Single-use-plastics frequently do not make it to a landfill or are recycled. A full 32% of the 78 million tons of plastic packaging produced annually is left to flow into our oceans; the equivalent of pouring one garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute. This is expected to increase to two per minute by 2030 and four per minute by 2050. By 2050, this could mean there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans. Choosing to buy products with less packaging or no packaging altogether makes a big difference.
Even when single-use plastics are sent to landfills (there are 3,091 active landfills in the U.S. alone), they aren’t harmless. Landfill liners can leak harmful pollutants into the watershed and plastics on the tops of landfills can be carried away by the wind. The best way to curb single-use plastic pollution is to reduce your personal plastic consumption!
When people start thinking about their habits and making small changes, they can bring about shifts in consciousness that lead to wider societal changes.
Solved! How to Get Rid of Pink Mold in the Shower for Good
Noticed some unusual discoloration on your bathroom surfaces? Send unsightly pink mold packing with these tips for removal and prevention.
Q: I was alarmed to find pink mold in shower grout of the guest bathroom recently. Is this as bad as the toxic black variety? And, if so, how do I get rid of it?
A: Unlike run-of-the-mill green molds like Cladosporium, or the infamous toxic black mold, Stachybotrys chartarum, the pink “mold” in your shower isn’t actually mold at all. The discoloration comes from a biofilm—that is, a bacterial colony—of Serratia marcescens. The airborne bacterial species thrives in moist environments like showers, where it feeds on mineral deposits in soap scum and fatty deposits in soap and shampoo residue.
Fortunately, the light pink to dark red coloring (a result of the pigment the bacteria produces) makes it easy to spot and remove from shower, walls, floors, countertops, shower doors, and curtain liners. Using basic household cleaners and the techniques ahead, you can get rid of pink mold on hard and soft shower surfaces and keep it from coming back.
Scrub the biofilm off of hard shower surfaces. The stubborn biofilm of Serratia marcescens can only be removed through agitation and elbow grease. Start by mixing up a slightly runny paste consisting of a quarter-cup baking soda and a tablespoon of liquid dish soap in a small bowl. Suit up in gloves, protective glasses, and a respirator to limit your exposure to the bacteria, then dip the bristles of a soft-bristle scrub brush into the prepared paste and vigorously scrub down any visible patches of biofilm on hard surfaces in the shower (e.g. countertops, shower chairs, doors, and tile and grout lines on walls and floors). This process should loosen and lift the biofilm.
When you’re finished scrubbing, rinse away any loosened biofilm in the shower by either wiping down the scrubbed areas with a wet towel or turning on and detaching the showerhead to flush the slime down the drain.
Disinfect these same shower surfaces. It’s not enough to simply scrub away the color; you need to disinfect the surface to remove any lingering bacteria to prevent its return. Bleach is your best bet since it does double-duty to kill the last of the bacteria and dissolve stubborn stains left in its wake. Pour six ounces each of chlorine bleach powder and warm water into a 12-ounce spray bottle, then replace the cap and gently shake the bottle. Spray the solution directly over the hard surfaces of the shower you’ve scrubbed and let the solution dwell in the shower for 10 minutes. Then use a fresh soft-bristle scrub brush to lightly scrub down the sprayed areas, rinse once more, and dry the shower surfaces with a clean towel or squeegee.
Sanitize shower curtains. Shower curtains are a popular hangout for pink mold since they’re seldom cleaned and usually riddled with soap and shampoo residue. Running your pink-tinged curtain through the washing machine on a gentle wash cycle with warm water effectively removes Serratia marcescens bacteria and any associated stains. Be sure to first check the care label of your curtain to ensure that it’s machine-washable, then air-dry the curtain outdoors on a sunny day before re-hanging it in the shower.
Keep biofilm at bay. Pink mold is one stubborn biofilm that often reappears on hard and soft shower surfaces even after you’ve taken these outlined measures to remove it. Make your bathroom cleaning responsibilities easier on yourself by heeding these tips for preventing new biofilm from forming:
• Serratia marcescens is more likely to spread in damp areas, so towel-dry or squeegee the hard surfaces of your shower after every use to remove excess water.
• Use a water-dampened paper towel to wipe away soap or shampoo residue anywhere it collects in the shower after every use. Then, make a second pass over these areas with a dry paper towel.
• Remove soap scum from hard shower surfaces on a biweekly basis. Spray soap-scum-riddled areas of the shower with a 50-50 solution of white vinegar and warm water combined with one tablespoon of dish soap, and let the solution dwell for 15 minutes. Then scrub down the sprayed areas with a soft-bristle brush. Rinse away anything you’ve loosened from the tile and glass, and towel-dry or squeegee all wet surfaces.
• Machine-wash shower curtains, if you have them, on a monthly basis in a gentle cycle with warm water.
• Identify and repair leaking shower heads or faucets that may create excessive dampness in the shower.
• Turn on your bathroom’s exhaust fan before you shower and leave it on for 20 minutes afterward to help dry out air in the room. The pink stuff is more likely to spread when there is excess moisture in the air.
• Keep bathroom windows closed while you shower. Otherwise, being an airborne bacterial species, Serratia marcescens can waft into your bathroom from outdoors.
By Manasa Reddigari
St. Patrick's Day Quick Facts
Saint Patrick’s Day is a cultural and religious celebration that happens annually on 17 March to mark the death date of the most commonly-recognised patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick. It is also a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland, Newfoundland, and Labrador and Montserrat. The color green, pots of gold, shamrock, and leprechaun are often associated with the celebration.
Quick Key Facts
- St. Patrick’s Day is an annual feast day celebrating the patron saint the day is named after.
- St. Patrick’s Day is the national holiday of Ireland and is usually celebrated on March 17.
- St. Patrick’s Day has become a popular holiday in the United States. People wear green and eat corned beef and cabbage.
- It is believed St. Patrick, a Roman-Britain-born Christian missionary, was born in the late fourth century and is credited with bringing Christianity to the Irish people.
- It is also believed St. Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland. However, post-glacial Ireland never actually had snakes. Many believe that the term “snakes” referred to the serpent symbolism of the Druids of that time and place. Today, there are no snakes to be found!
- Most people, whether they are Irish or not, wear green on this day. One of the Irish traditions is to pinch anyone who is not wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day.
- Irish immigrants began observing the holiday in Boston in 1737 and the first St. Patrick’s Day parade was held in New York City in 1766.
- Corned beef and cabbage are traditional foods eaten on this holiday.
- The shamrock, pot-of-gold and leprechauns are also associated with St. Patrick’s Day. The shamrock was worn as a badge on the lapel. Three is Ireland’s magic number and the three petals that make up the shamrock are supposed to bring good luck. The three leaves also represent the Trinity in the Christian religion.
- The leprechaun is a small Irish fairy. He is dressed like a shoemaker, with pointed shoes and hat. He also wears a leather apron. Leprechauns are supposed to be unfriendly little men who lives alone in the forest, spending all of their time making shoes and guarding their treasures. If someone catches a leprechaun, he will be forced to tell where he hides all his pots of gold. However, the leprechaun must be watched at all times. If his captor looks away, the leprechaun will vanish along with his treasure.
- St. Patrick’s Day has become a holiday all around the world and for one day out of the year anyone can be Irish and join in the celebration.
St. Patrick’s Day as a Religious and Cultural Observance
- Saint Patrick is known as the Apostle of Ireland, who brought Christianity to Ireland.
- In the 17th century, the Christian feast day was officially recognized to commemorate the coming of Christianity to Ireland, as well as the celebration of Irish cultural heritage.
- According to Irish lore, the day could have been St. Maewyn’s Day because it was Patrick’s birth name before he adopted Patricius after becoming a priest.
- Many Catholic churches move the date of the Feast of Saint Patrick if March 17 falls during Holy Week.
- In 1737, the Feast of Saint Patrick was first celebrated in the United States by Irish immigrants. By 1762, New York City held the first official parade and, through time, it’s become one of the world’s largest St. Patrick’s Day parades.
- Since 1962, the Chicago River is dyed kelly green during the celebration. Forty tons of dye is dumped into the river which changes color for four to five hours.
- The shamrock is Ireland’s national flower. It is also one of the main symbols of St. Patrick, which represents the Holy Trinity. The three-leafed plant is often used as a badge.
- It’s a common mistake to confuse a four-leaf clover and a shamrock. The four-leaf clover is considered lucky because they’re generally hard to find.
- A popular pastime of St. Patrick’s Day is for adults to drink green beer. Around the world, millions of pints of beer are consumed on St. Patrick’s Day, amounting to more than $245 million!
Happy St. Patrick's Day !
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Top 10 Spring Cleaning Tips
As the days get brighter, you’ll see dust and dirt that went unnoticed during winter. Luckily the long spring evenings are perfect for an extra bit of cleaning, and our top tips will help get you going.
1. Declutter First
Every six months or so, you should take some time to declutter your home. Before your spring clean is an ideal time for this job. Gather any old, unwanted or broken items such as clothes, bed linen, books, toys, ornaments, and even furniture. Sort everything into piles for recycling, charity and storage. You’ll feel great after this therapeutic exercise, and your home will already be looking tidier.
2. Prepare Your Kit
Before you get stuck into the dirty work, make sure you have all the cleaning supplies you will need to hand. Essentials include strong rubber gloves, cloths, sponges, brushes, bleach, all purpose cleaner, furniture and glass polish, bin bags and paper towels. View our article: Top 15 Products for Your Home Cleaning Kit for more help with preparing your spring cleaning kit.
3. Work from the Top Down
Always clean from the ceiling to the floor; first tidying, then dusting along the ceiling, light fixtures, pictures, etc., finally vacuuming and mopping the floor when everything else in the room is done. This just makes sense because the earlier jobs will of course dirty the floor. You may also find it makes your work seem that bit easier and more productive if you finish either the downstairs or the upstairs completely before starting the other.
4. Leave Windows for a Cloudy Day
Wait for a cloudy day to wash your windows, as direct sunlight can dry windows too quickly leaving streaks behind. For more tips on cleaning windows go to our guide: How to Clean Windows.
5. Don’t Forget the Fridge & Freezer
The best time to take on the task of cleaning your fridge and freezer is right before you do your grocery shopping, when the contents are at their lowest. Take everything out and dispose of any items that have passed their use-by date, and almost-empty items that you will never use. Look out for opened jars and bottles which state on the label that they should be used within a certain number of days after opening. Wipe down the interior of the fridge with a damp cloth and disinfectant. The same can be done for food cupboards if you think it's needed. Defrost your freezer and then wipe it down with disinfectant too.
6. Cleaning Curtains & Blinds
Curtains and blinds are usually neglected in routine cleaning sessions but can collect a surprising amount of dust and dirt. Some curtains can be machine washed or dry cleaned; always check the care label and follow the instructions provided. Most vacuum cleaners come with a small nozzle with a short brush built-in that is ideal for vacuuming curtains and fabric blinds. Remember to vacuum both sides to remove as much of the dust as possible. Steam cleaners are ideal for giving curtains and fabric blinds the most thorough clean. Wooden, metal or plastic blinds only need to be wiped down with a dry cloth, or with a suitable cleaner.
7. The Best Oven Cleaning Method
The oven is the heart of the kitchen, but months of roasting and baking can make it grimy and smelly. Begin by removing all racks and placing them in a mixture of hot water and either oven cleaning solution or dishwashing liquid. Allow them to soak while you clean the inside of the oven with oven cleaner. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using oven cleaner, as it contains powerful chemicals. Scrub the racks clean, rinse and dry. Make sure to clean off all cleaning chemicals from the oven walls and racks before using your oven again.
8. Mattress Cleaning & Care
Remove all bedding and use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust and hair that has accumulated over time. Spot clean any stains with a stain remover and damp cloth. Sprinkle a light layer of baking soda over the mattress and let it sit for at least a couple of hours. The soda will absorb any moisture and leave your mattress smelling fresh. Remove the baking soda with a thorough vacuuming. Every three months, flip your mattress and switch it from head to foot and vice-versa to help it wear evenly and prolong its lifespan.
9. Freshen up Your Rugs
For a beautifully fresh smelling home, it is important to think of things like rugs which can really hold onto odours if not cleaned once or twice a year. Hang your rugs out on a washing line and use the handle of a sweeping brush to beat them. This will remove the bulk of the debris, dirt and dust that gets embedded in the fabric. Take the rugs back inside for a good vacuuming to remove any fine dust, before applying a carpet shampoo to get them like new again.
There are some jobs where you can put your feet up and let someone else do the work, safe in the knowledge that you’re doing the right thing. Examples include window washing and chimney cleaning. Spring is the ideal time for both, and sometimes specialist equipment, experience and skill is needed to reach those upstairs windows or the chimney pot.
You know SERVPRO of Sunrise as a leader in Fire and Water Cleanup and Restoration, but our professional residential cleaning services can also make a dirty carpet "Like it never even happened."
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