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Keeping the Home Cat-Friendly

Posted on: February 18th, 2016 by townAdmin


Do you have any felines in your life? If you do, then you may already know of many of the joys – and annoyances – of having a cat as a pet.

If you own a cat, you already likely know some of the quirks of sharing a home with one. Today, we have some tips on how to make your cuddly friend as happy as possible.

(Even if you’re “not a cat person,” at least you’ll soon know why you can always spot a cat in your neighbor’s window!)

A clear view

Cats can get bored very easily, especially if you leave them alone when you go to work. Luckily, a view to the world outside is typically enough to keep even the most grumpy of grumpy cats endlessly happy for hours.

Even better, cats love to listen to sounds outside – particularly if those sounds include squirrels, birds or other intriguing critters. That’s why you should invest in sturdy, secure screen doors for summertime with your cat. You want to make sure they are secure and sturdy because an overexcited cat is a highly motivated one if they decide to make a run for it!

Cleanliness is key

If dogs are happy no matter what – clean, dirty, or somewhere in-between – cats are the prickly clean freaks of the animal kingdom. In fact, they spend nearly a third or longer of their waking day grooming themselves. (And that’s a conservative estimate!)

That’s why the key to a happy cat is a clean cat, and anything you can do to make sure your cat’s favorite prowling spots around the home are tidy will make life with a cat much easier. Common places to spot-check for dust, dirt and more are on the tops of bookshelves; under or behind beds and couches; your cat’s favorite windowsill; and just outside the front door if your cat waits for you there to come home from work.

The cat door

If you’re comfortable with your cat being an outdoors cat, consider installing a cat door. They’re the same principle as a dog door – they allow your cat to come and go. Just consider the risk the outdoors pose to cats; outdoor-exclusive cats have a much shorter lifespan than indoor-only cats.

Make your cat impressed

Have an unruly cat? The state of your home could be to blame. Schedule an appointment and visit to learn about our home cleaning services.

Your 2016 Home Cleaning Resolutions

Posted on: January 25th, 2016 by townAdmin


It's a brand new year - and a brand new opportunity to kick to the curb some of our unfortunate habits when it comes to cleaning the windows and keeping the house in decent condition.

Perhaps 2016 will be the year when you clean the windows more than once this year. It may even be the year you finally install window insulation instead of making the poor heater do all the work to keep you and your family thawed out during the intense Chicago winter.

But first, you need to make some resolutions for how you will keep your house cleaner this year than how you kept it last year. You can make you own resolutions, sure, but why not just take some of our ours? Here are our top resolutions for 2016.

Resolution No. 1: Schedule regular window cleanings

This one seems like an easy one - but is one of the more difficult resolutions to stick with throughout the year. You should be cleaning your windows regularly to help ensure they remain in good working order year-round. Otherwise, grime, dirt and other unsavory elements can end up rusting the window's opening, closing and locking mechanisms - putting the safety and security of your home at risk.

Aim to clean your windows at least twice in spring, summer and fall, and more if it's a particularly rainy and dirty summertime.

Resolution No. 2: Address problems as they come up

Is there something suspicious going on with the upstairs windows? Do you notice any strange sounds from the roof when it rains? Are the gutters even more clogged than usual? Are those icicles getting a little big?

Make it a resolution to investigate problems with the house as soon as you notice them, not in a week - or "when you get around to them," which often means "never." Otherwise, you could end up with costly repairs that could have been prevented by addressing problems before they become even more serious.

Resolution No. 3: Invest in better cleaning agents

You may have heard about the dangers posed by aerosols in recent years in promoting or worsening asthma. You've also likely heard lately about the link between some types of cleaning chemicals and certain cancers.

There are a lot of media reports and actual studies out there about the dangers of products we use to clean our home. Some of them may be accurate, while others contradict one another. While it's difficult to tell what to believe, you can make the choice to be proactive about you and your family's health by purchasing cleaning products that contain as many natural products as possible - and as many of them as your budget allows.

Getting more help

Of course, you can always call on the experts to offer you a helping hand if keeping up with your 2016 home cleaning resolutions proves to be more difficult than you expected.

You can always schedule an appointment to ask us for more information. And, be sure to read more about our services at

Prep Your Home for the Trials of Winter

Posted on: December 28th, 2015 by townAdmin


Winter is a tough season for many reasons for home owners. Finances (gas bills), maintenance (clearing snow out of the driveway) and patience (keeping cold air from seeping through windows) all take a hit during these cold months.

There’s also the human toll of winter. With less direct sunlight, our bodies can’t produce important mood-stabilizing chemicals that help us function and sleep well.

Luckily, there’s things you can start doing now around the home to help keep most of these winter woes at bay.

Closing up the windows

An efficient way to both keep heating bills and temperatures down is by sealing the cold air off at the source. You can winterize and seal windows using multiple methods. These include using rubber sealing at the gaps around the windows, tape you can apply to the indoor window frame or by doubling- or tripling-up on the curtains.

The first two methods can help keep cold air under control very well, just as long as you use quality materials and follow the manufacturers’ instructions. However, we don’t recommend the third method for the next reason on our list.

Getting enough sunlight

Sunlight helps keep our bodies in check, so you should maximize as much light that can come into the home as possible in winter. You should also stay warm, so at night, close the heavy curtains – but during the day, open the curtains and the raise blinds (or least keep the blinds open).

Why is sunlight so important? First, direct sunlight allows our bodies to produce serotonin – a key brain chemical that controls mood. Low levels of serotonin are associated with seasonal affective disorder, a type of low-grade depression common this time of year. Second, sunlight helps our bodies regulator melatonin, a hormone essential for telling our bodies it’s time to sleep.

Humidity in the home

With the windows sealed and the heater cranked up, you risk an unfortunate side effect – low humidity levels in the house. This can lead to skin dryness, respiratory irritation and itchy eyes.

The easiest way to combat this is investing in a quality indoor humidifier. They can pipe in essential moisture and combat over-dryness that can occur with modern heaters.

Getting more help

Now that you see the connection between your house’s health and you well-being during the wintertime, you may be curious about what even more you can do to optimize things for winter.

You can always schedule an appointment to ask us for more information. And, be sure to read more about our services at

The true benefits of window replacement

Posted on: November 30th, 2015 by townAdmin


When you embark on any endeavor, you want to know if it will be worth your time before committing to it. Remodeling and home repair are no different.

But how exactly do you know what the end result of a remodeling project will be?

Luckily, there are tools out there to predict the return on investment of many types of remodeling projects. If you’re planning on selling your home in the near future, these tools can be invaluable for you when deciding what to remodel next.

Remodeling your windows

Today, we’ll look at the return on investment of remodeling your windows.

Naturally, it’s a common choice for this time of year - better installed windows means better heat retention. From a home selling perspective, windows are one of the first things a prospective buyer will see. They speak volumes about your commitment to the aesthetics and security of your house.

The breakdown

According to Remodeling magazine’s Cost vs. Value 2015 report, the national average window replacement jobs on mid-range projects will net the following results:

  • Window replacement – vinyl: Job costs: $11,198; Resale value: $8,163; return on investment: 72.9 percent.
  • Window replacement – wood: Job costs: $11,341; Resale value: $8,937; return on investment: 78.8 percent.

If you’re looking at the benefits for upscale projects, the numbers are fairly similar, but expect a 74.9 percent benefit for vinyl window replacement and a 71.9 percent benefit for wood window replacement.

Now, if you want to get even more specific, Remodeling has even more specific data for cost/benefits of remodeling projects based on the city. You can download the data for Chicago here.

For projects located generally in our region – the upper east Midwest, such as Wisconsin and Michigan – the data is fairly similar to the national average. For mid-range jobs, expect to spend a little less on vinyl window replacement projects, but gain a little less too, for a return on investment of 74.3 percent.

The regional data for the upper east Midwest also shows that wood window replacement jobs are a less profitable endeavor than vinyl window replacement. Expect to spend a little more than the national average on these jobs and gain a little less than the national average, with a return on investment of 71.4 percent.

Need more advice on windows?

Remodeling your windows is one thing – making sure they are clean, sealed and working smoothly is another. Schedule an appointment with us and visit for more information on how we can help keep your windows in good shape!

Taking Down the Halloween Decorations

Posted on: October 31st, 2015 by townAdmin


For some, Halloween is the best holiday of the year. Not only do the kids get to dress up like their favorite superheroes, Disney characters or TV characters, they get to take hay rides, go through haunted houses and get lost in corn mazes.

But for the parents, Halloween can be a nightmare. They have to make sure their kids don’t eat too much Halloween candy. There are pumpkin seeds everywhere. And Halloween decorations, while fun to put up, are hardly as fun when they come down.

Here are some tips to make the end of Halloween go a little easier.

Don’t get the water out until all the paper is gone. If you need to clean out Halloween decorations like chalk with water, be very careful about introducing water to the cleaning mix if you also used paper products as decorations. Otherwise, your basic Halloween cleaning job will turn into a hunt for errant wads of wet parchment.

Get the bags out first. You wouldn’t believe how much garbage is left after decorating for Halloween. Don’t make the mistake of setting up only one garbage bag at a time – bring a bunch of them so you can focus on throwing away, not getting more bags.

Get help from the kids – if they’re not in a candy coma. Recruiting the kids along to Halloween cleanup may make them think before making you set up a giant spider web next year. Getting pricked by the bushes while weeding out neon yellow webbing will make any Halloween super-fan a little jaded.

If you think Halloween decorations are bad, just wait until it’s time for Christmas lights! If you need professional help for post-party cleanup for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas or all-of-the-above, we’ve got you cover. Visit our website to learn more about our services!

What We’ll Miss About Summer

Posted on: September 28th, 2015 by townAdmin


It could only last so long. Summer is about to end, and with it, many perks that only warm air and snow-free skies could offer.

Here are the things we’ll miss the most about summer as we prepare for the onslaught of fall and winter.

  • Being able to clean outside without a jacket on. Gone soon will be the days of being able to do yardwork without a jacket. Get ready to dig out your windbreaker for fall weather, and eventually your puffy coats and winter jackets.
  • Being able to see your roof. When December hits – it’s only three months away! – you may be saying goodbye to your roof for a while. Snowfall can be heavy in the Midwest, and no other part of the house suffers the brunt of it quite like the roof.
  • Cracking the windows open to let in cool air. This one will actually be good for a while – give it a few months before it gets too cold. As they say, the outdoors is the world’s best air conditioner. But once January rolls around, you’ll sure wish that weren’t the case.

Now, here are some things we won’t miss about the summer.

  • Needing to worry about cleaning the outside of the windows. Come fall, this will be much less of a societal expectation upon your house. But in the summer months, when it’s nice and warm outside, you’re seen as a tad bit lazy if you go on too long without cleaning the outside of dirty windows. It’s like leaving the lawn unmowed – it’s just not good neighborly behavior.
  • Fretting over hail damage. Spring and summer are the months for serious hail, not fall and winter. And, if you’ve had hail damage to your roof or walls, they’ll be covered up soon anyway with snow and leaves.
  • Unspooling and re-spooling the hose. If you won’t need to spend as much time cleaning the outside of your house, that’s that many fewer times having to get the hose out – then put it back in. Spooling the hose is just like putting the vacuum back in the closet; if you’ll need it again in a couple weeks anyway, why bother?

Need help with your next cleaning job?

Do you need advanced help with home cleaning? Schedule an appointment and visit to learn about our services!

Take Advantage of the Last Days of Summer

Posted on: August 31st, 2015 by townAdmin


Summer is on the way out! Soon the lazy, hazy days of August will be a distant memory, replaced by colorful leaves and brisk autumnal winds.

Before it becomes jack-o’-lantern season, here are three things you should do while it’s warm enough outside to do yardwork without a jacket.

Outside window washing

Unless you’re in California, you should take advantage of these last warm days to thoroughly clean the outside of your building’s windows. This summer has introduced normally shiny glass to a lot of dirt, bugs and soot.

Start off using the hose, then really give them a scrub with a washcloth and soap. Bring the ladder out to get the higher windows. Believe us – you’d rather be doing this now than in late November before the snow begins to hit.

Replace screens

Right now is also the time to do any needed replacements for the building’s exteriors. Replacing something like a screen can take a lot of time, and you’ll be spending that time outdoors. You’d rather be out when it’s warm and not when it’s blisteringly cold.

You’ll want to check any screens for the windows as well as your front door and porch doors, if you have them. Also look at windowsills for any damage you can take care of now.

Get the gutters ready

Your gutters will be seeing a lot of activity this fall – not to mention what happens a few months after fall begins when the snow starts.

As a Chicago-area resident, you know the routine – your gutter get clogged with leaves. Then it gets colder, and you don’t want to clear the leaves out. Then the leaves freeze and become difficult to remove. But then it gets warmer and the ice wants to melt… but has nowhere to go. Then your roof caves in!

Sure, that’s a dramatization of what can really happen, but the moral of the story is that you should take these last few warm weeks to stake out the gutter and clear it of any soot or dirt that it’s in currently. You’ll also have the chance to determine if your gutters need repairs or replacements.

Spotted anything wrong?

Noticed anything during your final summer cleaning that needs professional help? Schedule an appointment and visit to learn about our services!

Make Your Windows More Pet-Friendly

Posted on: July 27th, 2015 by townAdmin


Anyone who has experienced the joys of pet ownership in addition to home ownership knows just how much our furry critter friends enjoy window watching.

Dogs love watching for other dogs and critters outside, possibly to help ensure their human family is safe. Cats – who are pros at staring for extended periods of time – seem to be especially fascinated by the going-ons outside. And, if your property happens to be frequented by birds, good luck ever getting your pet to cuddle with you – they’ll be too busy watching the exciting things outside!

If such a critter is part of your extended family, there are some things you be careful about when allowing your critters to plop down in front of window in your home.

The “Squirrel!” effect

For dogs, seeing a squirrel is sure to gain their rapt attention. They become so excited that they’ll be tempted to get to the squirrel as fast as possible. If it’s their first time in this home, or there is a newly installed window, they may not realize that there’s a several-inch thick piece of glass separating them from the home and the outside world.

That’s why it’s important to ensure that all windows are solidly installed and locked in place. You wouldn’t want a dog to take out a chunk of your home with them as they futilely attempt to chase and befriend a squirrel.

Another risk is with screens. Ask around to other pet owners and you’ll hear some horror stories with dog or cat-shaped holes in screens after a daring escape.

Make it clean

If you leave your pet at home when you go to work or when you travel, you need to make sure they have enough to keep their attention – otherwise they’ll turn their attention to your furniture. If they have the ability to look outside during the day, that should give them enough to view to keep them excited for long periods of time.

Be sure that your windows are clean enough to allow your pets a great view of the outdoors. This includes your screens, too – they should be clean enough to allow a great view of all the smaller and yummy critters walking about your yard.

Getting more help for your windows

Need more help making sure your windows are clean enough for your pets? You can get professional help from us. Visit today for info on our services. You can also schedule an appointment!

Keep Cool in the Summer

Posted on: June 29th, 2015 by townAdmin


Summertime in the Chicagoland area is a season to celebrate. Gone are the icy roads and torrential snowfall of winter; in are clear, easy-to-travel roadways and the ability to walk outside without fear of eyelashes freezing and fusing your eyelids together.

However, one downside of Chicagoland summers is that they can get hot. Really, really hot. Luckily, there are some things you can do around the house and with your windows to optimize the cool factor in your home.

Keep those screens clean

There are many reasons why you want to keep the screen down in windows during the summer. An obvious one is that there are bugs, birds and critters flying or crawling about now that it’s warmer outside. Another one is that with summer sometimes comes showers, wind and other types of weather that you don’t want entering your house.

So, if you still want the benefits of a cool summer breeze, you should make sure you screens are fully cleaned. That means that any dirt or residue from outside that could be blocking the gaps in the screen should be cleaned out and removed. Otherwise, air can’t make it inside.

Make sure windows fully seal

Sometimes – perhaps most of the time if it’s July or August – the best way to stay cool in the summertime is by putting on the air conditioning. However, air condition is the best way to go only if there are very tight seals on windows, doors and any other opening to your home. Some air needs to be let in, obviously, but you wouldn’t want a poorly sealed window to allow your cool air to pump out into the world – and out of the family room.

You may need to use caulk or other solutions to seal up your windows from the inside or out. If you have building or window damage, you may need to replace your windows altogether. If you aren’t sure about the condition of your windows, turn on the air conditioning and stand outside the window (if they are on the first floor); wave your hands over the window, and if you feel blowing air, then there are holes you aren’t seeing.

Getting more help for your windows

If you’re having trouble optimizing your windows and screens for the summer, you may want to consult with us for help. Visit today to schedule an appointment.

The Allergy and Clean Window Connection

Posted on: May 26th, 2015 by townAdmin


Keeping the outside of your home and your windows clean isn’t all about aesthetics and impressing the neighbors.

If you are one of the 40 to 60 million Americans who has seasonal allergies such as hay fever, keeping your home clean actually a health concern. Having clean and fully functioning windows and screens can help keep our allergens from your home by creating a secure air lock in the rooms you want to keep free of outside allergens. This is important for any young ones in the home who could develop these allergies as well as any adults in the home who already have them.

Clean windows, windowsills and external home fixtures have other impacts on potential allergies, too. Here are some of the types of allergies that can be impacted by the cleanliness of your home and windows.


According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, outdoor mold allergies are often the result of rotting plants and leaves outside. After a cold winter, these dead plants and other compost can begin to grow mold, which is a major trigger for allergies for some. If you have a clean and secure window, you can prevent outdoor mold allergies from reaching the home in the first place.

Indoor mold allergies can also be serious, and not doing enough to keep moisture out of your window fixtures can significantly increase them. The ACAAI recommends that you use mold-inhibiting cleaners on any outside surface that can trap moisture and allow mold to grow in the home. This includes ground slopes, paint, primer and any part of the home that can allow water to leak into the home.

Dust and dust mites

Other common allergens in the home are dust and dust mites. Dust can cause allergic reactions in people most commonly when they are stirred up by cleaning, dusting or vacuuming activities. If you take a long time between window cleanings, you could be stirring up this common allergen every time you clean the inside of the window fixture in the home. To help prevent this, clean the windows on a more regular basis and wear face masks while cleaning.

Dust mites thrive on moisture and warm temperatures, and can be a cause of very severe allergies in some people. If you suspect you may have dust mites, you need to make sure you have a normal amount of humidity in the home. According to the ACAAI, they thrive in environments with a humidity index of 75 to 80 and die off below 50.

Seeking professional help

If you or another family member are experiencing severe allergies inside the home, you may need some additional help to remove the cause of the allergies. Visit today to schedule an appointment.