Getting Your Home Ready for the Summer

The summer months are coming fast and soon the temperatures will be soaring. Homeowners will be lowering the thermostats of their central air units on the first hot day, seeking cool relief. During this time of year, the last thing anyone wants to discover is that the central air unit is not working properly. But without regular A/C maintenance, you may be setting yourself up for a few hot days and a hefty energy and repair bill.

Energy Saving Tip

Throughout the winter, homes are shut down and closed from the cold. This allows debris to collect inside the air ducts and recirculate inside the home. All this buildup is responsible for higher energy costs and less efficient cooling capabilities. Professional air duct cleaning for the summer months will get your home ready for the heat by boosting cooling efficiency and lowering energy costs. A/C maintenance will also extend the life of your system.

Cleaner Indoor Air Quality

In the winter, most homes circulate very little air, inside and outside. Therefore, the same air is recycled around the house for months. Dirt, dust, other allergens and debris get sucked into the air ducts and redistributed into the air. These potentially harmful particles that pollute the indoor air, can cause a host of health problems. After prolonged exposure, medical concerns such as respiratory issues and allergies can develop. Professional A/C maintenance will eliminate air duct build up so your central air unit can provide cleaner air.

Air Duct Cleaning for Summer Months

Get your home ready for the summer heat by making sure your air ducts are clean and your central air unit is in tip top shape. Built up dust and debris in the home and in the air ducts can cause problems in your central air unit and your air quality, and it can raise energy costs. Have you scheduled your appointment to have your system professionally cleaned this summer? If not, book one today with Lone Star Pro Services!

Professionally Preparing Your Home for a New Tenant

After a tenant moves out, it is time to prepare for the next occupant fast. If you don’t, your rental will stay empty and you will not gain a profit. Before you start showing off your property, there are several things that need to be done, and these can be daunting tasks. While a complete remodeling or overall renovation may not be necessary, there are several upgrades you should consider. Instead of spending a lot of money on unnecessary changes, repair and enhance what already exists.

With this being said, it is hard to take care of this work and manage the rest of your life. Home cleaning professionals who provide additional make-ready services—such as our Lone Star Pro Services technicians—can get your rental up to par and on the market in no time.

Preparing a House for Rent

Professionals will use only the most up-to-date technology, along with top quality cleaning solutions and equipment to transform your rental property into a showcase. Some frequently used services include:

  • Painting services – Painting professionals can renew any sized apartment or house, areas small and large. Touch up chipped or worn out areas, or completely change the color and style.
  • Sheetrock repair – Technicians are often on hand to repair or replace damaged sheetrock in the ceiling or walls. Once repaired, these areas can later be painted.
  • Carpet cleaning and repair – Home and carpet cleaning, repair of worn out carpets or full replacement.
  • Tile and grout cleaning and repair – There are also some specialists that also repair, replace or restore loose, chipped, broken, missing, or otherwise damaged tile.
  • Odor removal and air purifying services – Technicians use many professional cleaning methods to remove odors, allergens and other pollutants from the indoor air, fabrics within the dwelling, and in building materials.

If you want to make the most of your rental property and have it look its best for your new tenant, contact our Lone Star Pro Services technicians today for any of our make-ready services!

Tips for Water Damage Restoration

Water damage is considered the second most frequently filed insurance claim in the United States. Water in unwanted places can cause a lot of damage. Not only can it ruin your prized possessions, but also in your house where they’re stored!Fortunately, if you’re able to act quickly, you can minimize the damage and possibly save some of your possessions. Some of your success depends on which areas are affected by water damage, and how long the water’s been around.

Water damage shouldn’t be taken lightly—no matter how minimal it is—as it may lead to other problems. So here are some tips that can help you preserve your belongings at the first sign of flooding or water damage:

Disconnect the Power and Unplug all the Electronic Items

First and foremost, disconnect the power and check if all electronic items are safe. Unplug electronic items and tie up the wires safely to avoid any contact with water. The faster you are able to get electronics out of the water, the more likely you’ll be able to save them. Secure all of these items in one place.

Remove the Furniture and Dry Out the Area

Move your furniture to a safer place, considerably in an open area to let it dry. Pull up your carpets and under padding. Once you’ve mopped up all the water, dry out the water-affected area to avoid further damage and disinfect.

Get Your Home Inspected and File a Claim

If you have insurance, the next step would be to file a claim with your insurance company if it is included in your insurance. It can help you with water damage repair without any additional monetary issues. Also, make sure to give our Lone Star Pro Services technicians a call to inspect your home and start restoring it and your belongings back to their original conditions!

We are just a call away, so call us for the best water damage restoration service anywhere in Houston. For your convenience, we provide emergency water damage restoration 24/7!

How to Get Rid of Pet Stains in Carpets

If your family includes a lovable puppy or kitten, then you are probably all too familiar with the challenges associated with trying to remove pet stains from the carpet. Luckily, there are many ways to house train your pet without permanently destroying your floors.

Accidents will happen when animals live in your home. Regardless of the source of the mess, it is always important to clean it up immediately, to avoid having a permanent carpet stain.

Urine Spots

If your pet urinates on the carpet your best defense is to act quickly. Immediately grab paper towels or rags to soak up as much of the mess as you can. The longer you wait to remove the pet urine, the more rancid the odor will become. Repeat this process with fresh layers of absorbent materials until the moisture is completely lifted. Once you have the area as dry as possible, follow the remaining 10 steps:

  1. Make a solution of 50% white vinegar and 50% warm water.
  2. Distribute the solution all over the stain.
  3. Work the vinegar mixture into the soiled area with a brush.
  4. Blot with fresh paper towels or clean cloths.
  5. Vacuum up excess moisture.
  6. Sprinkle baking soda on the damp area.
  7. Mix a half cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide with a teaspoon of dish washing liquid.
  8. Pour the solution slowly over the baking soda.
  9. Mix the wet and dry components together and use a brush to scrub it into the carpet.
  10. Once the area has dried completely, vacuum.

Pet Feces

It is easy to find pet feces in the home; the offensive smell will give the location away quickly. Once discovered, manually remove as much of the excrement as possible. If the mess is wet, use damp towels or some sort of scraper to remove it from your carpet. Remember to gently scrape up the stain to avoid driving it further into the carpet fibers. Follow the remaining steps to eliminate the remainder of the feces:

  1. Try to remove the stain with a carpet cleaner or heavy-duty clothing stain remover. Allow the commercial solution to penetrate the area and scrub with wet soapy cloth or brush. Repeat until the stain is gone.
  2. Make a mixture of one cup white vinegar and one cup warm water and saturate the stain.
  3. Dry with paper towels or cloths.
  4. Sprinkle an ample amount of baking soda over the area and let it sit overnight. Vacuum up the powder in the morning.

Do not use a steam cleaner to remove a feces stain from carpets; the heat may permanently set in the odor and the pet stain.

Things to Keep in Mind

Avoid ammonia and any products containing ammonia when attempting to remove pet stains from your carpet. This is particularly important when dealing with dog urine, which is partly comprised of ammonia. If you clean up a mess using this product, your dog may repeat the same behavior if it detects the smell.

Your Guide to Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning—it’s the time of year where thousands to millions of people take the time to completely clean the home from top to bottom, making sure to pay special attention to the areas that are normally neglected with during regular upkeep—such as small, hard to reach places like under the couch, and even quite forgotten areas like the attic.

Reasons for Spring Cleaning

Many people ask why most choose the spring season of all times of the year to clean their entire home with so much attention to detail. Well, for one, many people associate the spring season with “freshness” and “revitalization,” and therefore want their homes to reflect that. The spring season is also seen as the best time to deep clean the home because it allows you to reorganize and put away things leftover from the winter season, such as jackets and sweaters, and lingering clutter from the holidays. Are you ready to get started with spring cleaning too? Here are a few spring cleaning tips:

1. Create a Checklist

The best way to make sure that no part of your home is forgotten when it comes to cleaning is to make a checklist of all the areas that need attention. Make a list of all of the rooms in the home, and organize your time to tackle each room throughout the week—perhaps a new room each day. That way, you don’t feel burnt out from cleaning all the time—and you feel more accomplished each day when one more room in your home is spotless!

2. Get Organized

Invest in a few boxes that will help you separate the things you need to keep from the clutter. The best way to do this is to establish 3 piles: keep, donate, toss. By organizing clutter this way, you can easily sort through your belongings in no time!

3. Don’t Forget the Little Things

Since spring cleaning usually involves cleaning even the smallest places, it’s important that you remember to get to all of them. Commonly forgotten areas include:

  • Light fixtures
  • Cabinets/drawers/shelves
  • Refrigerator/freezer
  • Windows
  • Doorframes/sliding door tracks
  • Walls
  • Baseboards
  • Underneath furniture/appliances

4. Don’t Forget the Big Things

With so much attention we give to the little things, we may often find ourselves actually forgetting the big things, and that’s where our Lone Star Pro Services technicians come in. If you need help with upholstery, carpet, tile and grout, air duct, or even dryer vent cleaning, we’ve got you covered. Give us a call today to book one or more of our services!

Lone Star Pro Services Earns Esteemed 2016 Angie’s List Super Service Award

Lone Star Pro Services Earns Esteemed 2016 Angie’s List Super Service Award

Award reflects company’s consistently high level of customer service.

Lone Star Pro Services has earned the home service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award, reflecting an exemplary year of customer service to members of the local services marketplace and consumer review site in 2016.

This achievement is particularly significant as Angie’s List experienced unprecedented member growth in 2016. More than 1.6 million consumers, many of whom were eager to quickly hire highly qualified service pros, joined Angie’s List after the company added a new, free membership tier.

“Companies that can meet higher demands without missing a beat in their exemplary performance standards truly do stand apart from their peers,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “Only a fraction of the home cleaning companies in Houston were able to do it.”

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2016 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade. The SSA winners must also be in good standing with Angie’s List, pass a background check and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.

“This award is significant because it’s based in part on the reviews our clients write about us,” says Alexander Antonov, owner of Lone Star Pro Services, “Only the best of the best receives this recognition. I want to thank our clients for taking the time to share their experiences. One of our goals is to provide an all-encompassing service and make sure clients get the highest level of service for the best price. It’s very gratifying to see that our clients are happy with the service our technicians gave them.”

Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List as new, verified consumer reviews are submitted. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality.

For more than 21 years, Angie’s List restricted access to its verified reviews to consumers who paid membership fees. When the company removed that barrier, some companies worried that the new, non-paying members would not be as engaged as members of the past. Experience has shown, however, that these newly added members are just as engaged – across all age groups – as prior members. Also, because the company continues to adhere to its review verification process, there has been no degradation of review quality.

“The biggest change at Angie’s List is that we are connecting even more consumers to high-quality service professionals,” Hicks said. “And that’s good for everyone.”

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Angie’s List helps facilitate happy transactions between more than 4.5 million consumers nationwide and its collection of highly rated service providers in more than 720 categories of service, ranging from home improvement to health care. Built on a foundation of more than 10 million verified reviews of local service, Angie’s List connects consumers directly to its online marketplace of services from member-reviewed providers and offers unique tools and support designed to improve the local service experience for both consumers and service professionals.

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Cleaning After the Super Bowl Party

Hosting a Super Bowl watch party comes with the vulnerability of stains from some of the messiest foods in existence. While catching, and cleaning up stains as soon as they happen can best reduce the chances of the stain becoming permanent, sometimes it’s harder to do so in the midst of an active Super Bowl party when there may be a lot happening. Do you have difficult stains on your carpet left over from your Super Bowl party? Here are some of the best ways to get rid of them:

Pizza, Nacho, and Wings Stains

These three foods are among the messiest when it comes to Super Bowl; they are known to leave behind what are known as combination stains, which are a blend of more than one stain type. For example, with pizza and nachos, the combination stain is a mix of tomato and grease. Wings produce a combination stain of hot sauce and grease. Because these notorious, messy foods leave behind combination stains, they are harder to remove from fabrics and carpet floors.

The best solution to remove these stains is to first remove any solids that haven’t been picked up. Afterward, use paper towels to blot the stain; this will help pick up any grease or tomato stains. Next, use a damp sponge or clean white rag with a small amount of dish soap, or liquid laundry detergent to gently scrub the stain. Repeat this step as necessary until the stain fades and be sure to rinse the area with clean water to remove any lingering cleaner residue.

Chip Dust Residue

The small crumbs often left behind by chips can leave quite a mess at the end of the day. To be rid of them, simply use a vacuum fitted with an upholstery attachment to pick up these small particles.

Beer Stains

Fortunately, beer is a water-based stain, which means that it’s not nearly as difficult to remove as other alcoholic beverages such as red wine or other mixed drinks. For that reason, you only need to flush the area with cold water. If that doesn’t work, take a damp sponge with just a small amount of dish soap and gently scrub the stain. Rinse the area with water afterward.

Professional Carpet Cleaning Service

Finally, if none of the above tips do the trick when it comes to removing those stubborn stains, give our Lone Star Pro Services technicians a call for our professional carpet cleaning service. Our state-of-the-art equipment will help us eliminate any carpet stains that are causing you trouble while giving your carpet a newer, fresher look and smell!

Tips for Maintaining Tile Floors

While the simplest solutions for cleaning tile floors are sweeping, and mopping them regularly, there is actually more you can do to properly maintain them. Want your tile floors to have a long-lasting sparkle? Here are some other tips to keep your tile floor looking its best:

Cleaning Your Tile Floor

Although you may already be good about cleaning your tile floors, you also need to consider the frequency at which you’re cleaning them and what kind of cleaning solutions you’re using to do so. It’s recommended that you at least damp-mop your tile floors at least once a week (more often if the floor is experiencing heavier traffic) so you can further eliminate rough particles that can cause wear on the tile.

When it comes to cleaning solutions, the kind you should use depends on the type of tile floors you have. For glazed tile, an all-purpose, non-oil-based cleaner will do the trick. Once you’ve finished mopping, a multi-purpose spray cleaner will help remove remaining soap scum. With unglazed tile, it’s better to use more concentrated tile cleaners with a neutral pH. These cleaners will help gently remove grease and oil stains as well as other normal spills. Glass tile is best cleaned with a nonabrasive cleaner for glass or tile.

Preventing Damage to Tile Floors

There are plenty of ways you can protect your tile floors from damage that can be caused by corrosive substances such as dirt, sand, grit, or oil, and even large pieces of furniture. One of the easiest ways you can start is by placing high-quality floor mats near entrances and exits. The floor mats will be able to collect and trap rough particles, preventing them from reaching your tile. It’s also beneficial to place floor mats near high-traffic areas such as near kitchen sinks, and stoves to reduce tile wear. If you have heavy furniture on tiled floors, placed protective pads underneath to also prevent tile wear.

When it comes to cleaning your tile floors, it’s important that you remember to do the following in order to prevent any damage to the tile:

  • Before you try a new cleaning solution on your tile floor and grout, it’s important that you test the solution on a small area first.
  • After you have cleaned the floor, be sure to rinse the entire area with clean water to completely remove any remaining cleaning solution residue.

By practicing the above tips, you can maintain a clean, brand-new looking tile floor for years to come!

8 Easy DIY Carpet Cleaning Tips

If you are a proud parent—or pet owner—you may know more than most that keeping your carpets free of stains can be quite difficult. From spilled food and drinks to common pet stains, a carpet can gather multiple stains pretty quickly. And if you have lightercolored carpet, stains may be the last thing you want to see. Do you have a new stain on your carpet? Here are 8 easy do-it-yourself carpet cleaning tips to be rid of those common household stains, fast:

  1. General, Light Carpet Stains – Mix half a cup of white vinegar with 2 tablespoons of salt. Rub some of the solution onto the stain with a clean, white cloth and let it dry. Afterward, vacuum the remaining salt particles. For larger, darker carpet stains, add in 2 tablespoons of borax to the above mixture.
  2. Ground-in Dirt and Tough Stains – Mix a tablespoon of vinegar with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Apply it to the dirt/stain with a dry, clean white cloth. Let the solution sit on the stain for roughly 48 hours, then vacuum. Club soda also works too!
  3. Paint – Make sure you remove as much paint as you can with a sponge as soon as you notice the spill. Then, mix 1 ½ teaspoons of vinegar with 1 ½ teaspoons of laundry detergent and 2 cups of water and apply the solution to the remaining stain. Rinse with cold water.
  4. Fruit and fruit juice stains – Create a solution with 1 tablespoon of laundry detergent with 1 ½ tablespoons white vinegar and 2 cups of water. Apply the solution to the stain and blot with a clean, white cloth. You can also use shaving cream to remove juice stains!
  5. Coffee and tea stains – Mix equal parts water and white vinegar and blot the stain with a clean white cloth. Club soda on these stains works just as easily, too.
  6. Grease/oil stains – Apply shaving cream directly to the stain, let it dry, and then remove the shaving cream by rubbing with a damp soft cloth. You can also use cornstarch alone as a way to soak up fresh grease stains.
  7. Ink stains – Mix a small amount of milk with cornstarch to make a paste. Apply the mixture to the ink stain. Let it dry over the stain for a few hours, then brush off the residue and vacuum.
  8. Pet stains – Wipe up what you’re able to, then pour baking soda over the stain. Pat the area with a paper towel. Let the baking soda dry over the stain and then vacuum.

By following the above tips, you can help reduce the severity of a stain, or even completely eliminate it! In addition to these tips, be sure to call our specialized technicians at Lone Star Pro Services to perform a routine professional carpet cleaning. Our thorough cleaning will also help reduce and eliminate carpet stains, both new and old.

Improving the Quality of Air in the Home

The quality of air inside the home is more important than residents realize; the air can contain a variety of pollutants and allergens that can be harmful to you and your family’s health—especially if you have pre-existing allergies or trouble breathing. In fact, studies have shown that dust levels are at their highest around this time of year since homes are often sealed against the outdoor winter weather; and with the home inhabiting more guests for the holidays and New Year, it’s the perfect recipe for excessive dust buildup. Here are some ways you can drastically improve the indoor air quality of your home after the festivities:

Keep Your Home Dust Free

Dust regularly throughout the home to avoid major dust buildup. When you dust, it’s important that you avoid using a feather duster; dusting tools like this tend to disperse dust in the home, rather than removing it. Instead, use a damp cloth to dust areas.

In addition, make sure you dust the hard to reach areas of the home, like the top of bookshelves and your ceiling fans. When it comes to the ceiling fan, use an old pillowcase to cover and remove the dust from the fan blades; this will prevent dust from falling onto surfaces beneath the fan.

Wash Looked-Over Fabrics

Fabrics throughout the home that are usually looked over, such as window curtains and drapes, fabric shower curtains, and bed skirts can actually collect dust mites when left unwashed for so long. Make sure you frequently wash these fabrics in hot water to eliminate lingering dust mites.

Vacuum Regularly

Your carpet can also harbor dust mites and other pollutants and allergens over time if not cleaned regularly. Vacuum at least once a week or more, depending if you have pets or if your home gets a lot of foot traffic. In addition, call our certified technicians at Lone Star Pro Services for an annual professional carpet cleaning.

Have Your Air Ducts Professionally Cleaned

Finally, make sure you give our professionals at Lone Star Pro Services a call for a professional air duct cleaning every 3 to 5 years. How often you use your central heating and air system, whether or not you have pets, or whether or not anyone in the home has problems with allergies or asthma may affect the frequency of how often you need your air ducts cleaned or your air filter replaced.