Top Tips for the New Year

The holiday season is over and a new decade has arrived, and with it a wave of New Year resolutions. The new year is also a great time to focus on organization and cleaning, a proverbial "out with the old, in with the new." Here are a few tips from Agent Clean for making the most out of your New Year resolutions.

Cleaning Tips for 2020

Clean the Closets. Throughout the year, closets are common places for clutter and untouched dirt. A great starting point for your 2020 cleaning and organizing is your closets. Cleaning up and clearing space in your closets also provides potential storage for when you organize other areas of your home.

Pro tip: collect your cleaning supplies such as dusters, disinfectant, dust pan and hand broom in a bucket. Then when you clean the closets, you have all of your supplies at hand and a bucket for dirt or trash.

Dust the Drawers. Another culprit for collecting clutter are cabinets and drawers. They're easy to toss knick knacks into, and over time can fill up with junk or misplaced belongings. Dust also tend to accumulate. Empty the drawers and use a basic cleaner or vacuum to remove dirt and grime. With the drawers empty you can organize items into proper places, as well as dispose of any trash or junk.

Finish the Floors. Vacuuming and carpet cleaning is best done after you've finished cleaning your closets, cabinets, and drawers, as dust tends to become airborne as you clean out other spaces. Vacuum your floors, and clean the edges. You may opt to mop hard floors to remove dirt or grime that has stuck on, as well as disinfect.

Pro tip: Do one more once over with a duster after you vacuum, as dust tends to settle on furniture afterwards.

Schedule Spring Cleaning. The New Year is also a great time to schedule yearly spring cleaning for the exterior of your home. Gutters, concrete, and windows are common areas on the exterior of your home that tend to need a yearly or bi-yearly cleaning. Agent Clean offers custom cleaning service packages with "while we're there" pricing. Find a location near you and call for a free estimate.

How to Deal with Artillery Fungus

Artillery Fungus on Your House

If you’re someone who enjoys gardening, you’ve probably used mulch at some point in time. If you live in a humid climate, you might have seen black spots “shotgunning” the side of your house, your deck, or your car. The spots can be annoying, unsightly, and difficult to eradicate. Unfortunately, you most likely have a case of sphaerobolus stellatus, commonly known as artillery fungus.

What is Artillery Fungus?

Artillery fungus is a mushroom-type fungus that is cream or orange-brown color and shaped like a small cup and contains a spore mass. The mushroom opens and “aims” at bright light sources (such as reflection off of light colored siding) and propels the spore mass toward the light, thus earning it the name “artillery” fungus. The spores can be shot as high as a second story of a building.

Can You Get Rid of Artillery Fungus?

There are a few things you can do if you discover that your siding has artillery fungus on it.

1) Scrub the siding

Artillery fungus is notoriously difficult to remove but it is sometimes possible, especially if the spores haven't been on the siding for too long. You'll need a scrubber, magic eraser, and a putty knife or scraper.

2) Call a cleaning company

Another option is to call a cleaning company, such as Agent Clean. Artillery fungus is very difficult to remove, however, so many companies may be hesitant to take the job. Likely the results won't be guaranteed due to the number of factors and liability involved.

Agent Clean will use a combination of heat, high pressure, and scrubbing to attempt to remove the spores, while working to ensure that there is little to no marring of the surface. This process can be timely and expensive, and requires prior assessment. If it appears that the fungus cannot be removed safely, we will inform you immediately.

3) Preventative measures

By far the best method to dealing with artillery fungus is preventative measures. This helps avoid the risk altogether, and is considerably easier than the remedies above.

If you have mulch near the siding of your home, be sure to turn it daily to help keep the growth of artillery fungus at a minimum. Certain fungicides can also be used at your discretion and according to the manufacturers instructions and warnings. Black spots from Artillery Fungus can be a real problem. Check your mulch for these little troublemaker. For all the other exterior cleaning services, give Agent Clean a call.