Mold Prevention

Posted on February 20, 2014.

ServiceMaster Minneapolis gets many calls a year for mold remediation.

If you notice a water leak, or spill indoors— Act quickly. Damp areas, if dried 24-48 hours after the leak occur more than likely will not grow mold.

Here are a few pointers for helping prevent mold:

  • Clean gutters regularly and ensure they are working properly.
  • Make sure ground slopes away from the building foundation, so water does not enter through cracks, gaps, or collect around it.
  • Keep air conditioning drip plans clean and drain lines unobstructed and flowing properly.
  • Keep indoor humidity low. The ideal relative humidity is 45%, with a preferred range of 30%-50%. This can be measured with a small, inexpensive humidity meter, which is available at many hardware stores.
  • Condensation on pipes, walls, or windows is a sign of high humidity. Promote air flow in the area where the source may be, and do anything possible to reduce the humidity. Call for inspection.
  • Vent appliances which produce moisture such as clothes dryers, stoves, and kerosene heaters to the outside if possible. (combustion appliances such as stoves and kerosene heaters produce water vapor and will increase the humidity unless vented to the outside.
  • Use air conditioner /or a dehumidifier (or, heat during cold months)
  • Run the bathroom fan or open the window when showering.
  • Use exhaust fans or open windows when cooking, or running the dishwasher, or while washing dishes

 

For information on our service areas: Minneapolis, Bloomington, Brooklyn Park, Burnsville, Edina, Stillwater, MN & nearby area, kindly visit our Contact Us page.

 


Homeowners Insurance and Disaster Restoration

Posted on February 20, 2014.

Even in the disaster restoration business, it is our hope that you, the homeowner, will be fortunate enough to never have to use your homeowners insurance. The mitigation of any in-home disaster, whether it be smoke damage, fire damage, water damage, or vandalism clean-up, is a trying and stressful time for any homeowner— whether the affected area is one room, or your entire home, the fact that it is your home makes none of these jobs small. Your home is one of the most important investments you can make, and ServiceMaster Minneapolis deals with these types of mitigation projects on a daily basis.

One of the most common issues any disaster restoration company will encounter in mitigating a loss, is a lack of coverage. One of the biggest items missed when insurance is purchased is the sewer and sump pump rider. This is typically not included in the basic homeowners insurance. It can be typically added-on for $5-$20 per month. Sewer losses and sump pump losses are two of the more common water damage losses we receive. In particular, due to the concerns with contamination, sewer damage can be quite costly to mitigate properly.

Knowing exactly how your home is covered, the exact specifics of your homeowners policy, is very important. Most insurance agents will be happy to meet yearly and go over your policy with you. And when purchasing a home, and deciding on a policy, know that there isn’t necessarily a right or a wrong choice. Simply, what fits you best. But spend the time. Do the research. Know exactly how you are covered.

 

For information on our service areas: Minneapolis, Bloomington, Brooklyn Park, Burnsville, Edina, Stillwater, MN & nearby area, kindly visit our contact us page.


Ice Dam Prevention

Posted on February 20, 2014.

The easy answer to preventing ice dams is to keep the roof free of anything that will cause one, but do so in a safety conscious way. Do not risk serious injury, or worse, by getting on the roof. There are snow rakes available for consumer purchase. Most ice dams will form along the lower edge of the roof, so keeping as much of this clear as possible will help prevent one from forming.

In addition, there are possibly, or even likely air leaks which need to be sealed to prevent from reaching the roof. Keeping the roof cold, not warming it, will help, with the underside not approaching the freezing point, under 30 degrees being preferable. Keep the attic ventilated.

If you have a furnace in the attic, it may not be possible to prevent ice dams. Increasing the insulation in the attic, however should help, with the first area to insulate being the areas between the roof rafters. You can find out how much insulation your attic needs from your local building department, or perhaps a contractor. While adding insulation, be sure to leave an airspace between the roof deck and the insulation. This helps ensure condensation buildup from happening, which can possibly wear away at the roof deck. Prior to insulating add a layer of polystyrene rafter air channels, then add the insulation over the heating ducts. This will help minimize the amount of warm air allowed in to the attic. Also, insulate any hatchway in the attic.

For information on our service areas: Minneapolis, Bloomington, Brooklyn Park, Burnsville, Edina, Stillwater, MN & nearby area, kindly visit our contact us page.


Scotchgard Works.

Posted on February 20, 2014.

The horror. Could you imagine?

You’ve just spent your hard earned money on professional carpet cleaning. Your old nylon was looking fresh off the roll. And based on the recommendation of the carpet cleaning technician, you added a protective coating to it as well. And the very next day, you spill the toughest thing to remove from anything— coffee, with creamer, on this same carpet.

Hey, accidents happen.

Thankfully, ServiceMaster Minneapolis is sensitive to these situations. We know that even with added the insurance of a carpet protectant such as 3M scotchgard, time is of the essence with tannin dyes (coffee or tea), and if not properly remedied in a timely fashion, the outcome can be, well, permanent. That same day ServiceMaster Minneapolis was able to get out to a job finished just the prior afternoon.

The coffee, even the higher concentration of the spill, rinsed clean out of a white nylon Berber and even though it had dried. It did so, primarily because of one reason— the carpet protectant had kept the spilled coffee at the surface, rather than allowing it to sink in to the fibers. And, upon this rather unfortunate demonstration (again, carpet protectant is like insurance, you hope to never use it, but if you need to you’re sure glad you purchased it), something rather important happened. Namely, the customer who had purchased the product based on the recommendation of the technician, was made to believe that the product purchased was one of high value.

The best way to know something does indeed work, is to see how it works for you.

 

For information on our service areas: Minneapolis, Bloomington, Brooklyn Park, Burnsville, Edina, Stillwater, MN & nearby area, kindly visit our contact us page.


Carpet Cleaning and Health

Posted on February 20, 2014.

ServiceMaster Minneapolis is grateful for the working relationship it has established with Lifetime Fitness over the past half-decade, having the opportunity to serve many of their fine clubs throughout the greater Minneapolis metro area. In all aspects, Lifetime Fitness promotes a clean way of living while opening up the never-ending doors of self-improvement for all of its members. As a company, they know the importance of a healthy environment and how it is directly tied to living a healthy life.

The carpeting in your home, or your business, is the biggest indoor air-filter you have. Keeping it clean and in good health goes well beyond aesthetics, though aesthetics are quite important as well. A regular carpet cleaning schedule, routine carpet cleaning maintenance, much like a work-out routine, is key to both. Want something to last? Maintain it well and it will.

The Carpet and Rug Institute by way of most carpet manufacturers recommends regular carpet cleaning, and that it be done at least once every 12-18 months. It is something to think about. Because, while it is doubtful, you as a homeowner, have the type of foot-traffic as one of the preeminent health clubs does… the more proactive you are in maintaining its health, the better it will look, feel, and the longer it will last.

The price of maintaining something is almost always less than the cost of waiting to.

 

 

For information on our service areas: Minneapolis, Bloomington, Brooklyn Park, Burnsville, Edina, Stillwater, MN & nearby area, kindly visit our contact us page.


Air Duct Cleaning: When do I do it?

Posted on February 20, 2014.

 

It may be hard to believe, but spring is coming up quickly. As part of your spring cleaning, consider the dust and where a good amount of it may be coming from…your air ducts.

Having your air ducts cleaned by a professional air duct cleaning service with a quality system, like the negative air system ServiceMaster Minneapolis offers, will yield the best results in improving indoor air quality, and spring is the best time of year to invest in this, without fail. You’ve run your furnace for month and months, and your windows have been shut since sometime in September, or October. It’s just before allergy season, when clean indoor air is the exact relief needed from a high pollen count and other outdoor allergens that come with the seasonal warm-up. It’s just before summer when you’ll be running your air-conditioning, and clean vents will help reduce energy costs.

A regular schedule for air duct cleaning, once every two years, is the best route to go. Possibly more often with households with multiple children, or multiple pets.

 

An investment in home & health.
An investment in home & health.

 

For information on our service areas: Minneapolis, Bloomington, Brooklyn Park, Burnsville, Edina, Stillwater, MN & nearby area, kindly visit our contact us page.

Check out my New Updated Blog About Air Duct Cleaning 


Springtime & Tile and Grout Cleaning

Posted on February 20, 2014.

They don’t call it a mudroom for nothing. But really, after a long winter tracking can dull the hard surface of any room. Porous, unsealed grout can readily absorb dirt, salt, and whatever else may be tracked on the tile. This can happen even if the floors are mopped and cared for regularly. And, to think, it used to look so good.

Whether it’s the tile and grout in your kitchen, shower stall, bathroom, entry, or the aforementioned mudroom, ServiceMaster Minneapolis can help restore that same tile and grout to the cleanest and most pristine condition possible.

 

 

While cleaning tile and grout, ServiceMaster Minneapolis employs a high-pressure hot water extraction method. The attachments used are hooked up to a pressure line, as well as a high powered suction line, and much like carpet cleaning, the dirt and build up is rinse and vacuumed simultaneously, with the recovered water being drawn back to the van, in to a disposal tank. Before extraction, depending upon buildup and the frequency of cleaning, the technician will likely agitate the grout with a nylon grout brush, or the floor as well with a high powered rotary floor scrubber (in larger areas such as a kitchen).

Most will have this service done every 1 to 2 years, with some variance in either direction depending on usage. Kitchens, due to grease and food spills, as well as being one of the more heavily used areas in your home should be tended to more frequently.

And, as mentioned before, grout is rather porous. Sealing the grout after the cleaning will help prevent future damage to it. A good sealer can lasts up to 2 years, allowing added assurance for you in the upkeep of your home.

No matter what the tile is: ceramic, porcelain, natural stone, or others, ServiceMaster Minneapolis has the experience and the equipment to restore your flooring to the best possible condition, and the sealants to help keep it that way.

 

 

For information on our service areas: Minneapolis, Bloomington, Brooklyn Park, Burnsville, Edina, Stillwater, MN & nearby area, kindly visit our contact us page.


Macy’s: Smoke & Water Damage

Posted on February 20, 2014.

It was a newsworthy event, and prior to the biggest shopping day of the year.

Ridgedale Mall was busy with customers, and busy with construction, with a crew working a remodel at one end of the mall. A few sparks ignited the roof of Macy’s department store, where only a few days prior, ServiceMaster Minneapolis had begun mitigation for water damage, due to a broken sprinkler head. There was a moment of panic or those in the mall that day, though emergency response was swift. The fire department was able to extinguish the fire quickly. However, because of this, the building was once again flooded with water, and there was a rather pronounce smell of smoke throughout the department store, and it permeated through the storage areas as well.

Mitigation was now needed to ensure the products offered by the retailer were not subject to smoke damage, and there was water damage to tend to as well.

We received a call for emergency response not long after, and within minutes were on site with personnel to assess exactly what resources would be needed to clean the air (by using commercial grade air-scrubbers), extract water, and promote the drying process. Before the fire department had left the scene, we had a large crew working to clean and dry everything necessary to get Macy’s opened up the very same day, and in good enough time for their busiest day of the year… which, they were able to.

 

 

For information on our service areas: Minneapolis, Bloomington, Brooklyn Park, Burnsville, Edina, Stillwater, MN & nearby area, kindly visit our contact us page.

 


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