How to Fake a Clean House in a Pinch

Posted on November 19, 2014.

We are all about clean here at ServiceMaster, but everyone has panic moments when real clean is just not an option. Maybe you just got a text that from your in-laws. Surprise! They’ll be at your house in 30 minutes. Don’t panic! Your house doesn’t have to be clean. It just has to seem clean. Here are some tips on how to fake a clean house when the clock is ticking.
Before you do anything else, light a scented candle. The pleasing aroma will fill the house as you clean and cover any tell-tale smells of leftovers or dirty laundry. If your house smells nice, people will assume it’s pretty clean.
Now, grab a bag for trash or recycling. Start in your main living area. Toss or recycle school papers, newspapers, ads, and any other paper clutter. Put important papers on the coffee table for now. Move without stopping from room to room covering the whole house. Gather the important papers and shove them into a drawer to be filed or otherwise dealt with later. 5 Minutes.
Next, grab a laundry basket. Start back in your main living area and pick up toys and shoes and anything that doesn’t belong in that room, or you just don’t know where to put it. Throw it in the basket. Again don’t stop moving! You can put everything where it goes later. Move briskly around the house in this fashion removing all clutter from the floor and flat surfaces. Stash the basket in your bedroom closet. 5 minutes.
Now, grab a damp cloth. Spritz it with a multi-purpose cleaner and swiftly wipe down all flat surfaces. Make sure you cover your coffee table, dining room table, and kitchen counters. These surfaces are what people notice. 5 minutes.
After the flat surfaces are clean, head to the bathroom with a couple of paper towels and a bottle of Windex. Toss any counter clutter into a box or basket under the sink. Spray Windex directly onto the paper towel and spot clean the mirror. Wipe down the counter and faucet. Then using the same paper towel hit up the toilet. Wipe the handle, tank, seat and lid. If you have little boys, grab another paper towel and clean around the base using the Windex. Close the shower curtain to hide toys, shampoos, razors, etc. All of this should take less than 5 minutes.
If you have a sink full of dishes quickly throw them into the dishwasher if it is already empty. If not, stack the dishes onto a sheet pan and hide them in the oven. Or, if you only have a sink full, plug up the sink and fill with enough sudsy water to cover the dishes. Not to wash them; you don’t have time for that now. Just to cover the smell and crusted on food so when company shows up it looks like you were in the middle of washing them. 5 minutes.
Vacuum or sweep the main living area without bothering to move any furniture. Fluff up the sofa pillows and arrange them in a pleasing way. Fold the throw neatly and drape it over the back of the couch! Tada! Your dirty house can pass for clean! Total 30 minutes.

Ice Dams- Cause and Prevention

Posted on November 13, 2014.

What Causes Ice Dams

ServiceMaster™ proudly serves Minneapolis, St Paul, Burnsville, Eagan, Chaska, Shakopee, Hudson, Stillwater and surrounding areas.

Every winter, ServiceMaster is flooded with calls concerning water damage caused by ice dams. Many homeowners are confused about what ice dams are and how they happen.

Ice dams form through a melt-freeze process. First, warm air from inside your home seeps up into your attic and warms the roof. Next, if there is a layer of snow, the warm roof melts the snow. The warmed water runs down the slope of the roof. When the water comes to the eaves, it refreezes and forms a dam. The dam traps all subsequent melt water on the roof. As the water builds up it can back up underneath shingles and leak into the house. Once water house found its way into the house secondary damages, like mold and mildew, become likely.  So, the best thing you can do is take steps to prevent ice dams and the water damage they cause.

Using a roof rake, remove the first three feet of snow from the edges of your roof after every storm

Keep your downspouts clear of debris and ice.

Make sure your attic is well insulated to keep heat escape to a minimum

Seal any air leaks you find in the attic.

Have your energy company do an energy audit of your home. Many of the things that keep your energy bills down also prevent ice dams. The energy auditor will be able to suggest improvements to make your home more efficient and heat tight.

If you have water damage in your home, the experts at ServiceMaster of Minneapolis are more than happy to walk you through the entire water mitigation process. Give us a call today at 612- 213-3712. We’re here for you 24/7.

Why You Should Test Your Home for Radon

Posted on November 7, 2014.

This blog has been updated.  You can find the updated version published on March 5, 2021, HERE.
ServiceMaster proudly provides cleaning and restoration services to the Twin Cities and Stillwater area, including Minneapolis, St Paul, Burnsville, Eagan, St Louis Park, Chaska, Shakopee, Stillwater, and Hudson.

3 Reasons Not to Put Radon Testing Off

Radon causes the highest number of cancer deaths after smoking.

According to the EPA 21,000 Americans die of Radon related lung cancer each year. This number is second only to smoking related lung cancer deaths. Radon is an odorless, tasteless radioactive gas that is created by the decomposition of uranium found in most soil. This gas is everywhere, all the time. But it poses the greatest risk in homes, where it can be the most concentrated and people spend most of their time.

It is inexpensive and easy to test your home for Radon.

Home testing kits can be purchased online or from some hardware stores. You can also have your home tested professionally. The EPA recommends the following steps:

Step 1) Administer a short-term test. If your result is lower than four pico curies per liter of air (pCI/L), then your home does not have unreasonably high levels of radon. No further action is needed at this time.

Step 2) If your result is four pCI/L or higher, you need to follow up with another test. You could use a long-term test to learn more about your home’s average annual radon level. Or, for faster results you can administer another short term test. If your results are still high, you need radon mitigation.

It is easier and cheaper to fix Radon than lung cancer.

If your home tests high, you should call your state EPA office right away. They will provide a list of qualified mitigation contractors in your area. There are DIY mitigation kits available, but the EPA recommends contacting a qualified professional. The solution may or may not be a simple one. It depends on the unique structure of your home and other variables. The average cost for Radon mitigation is $1200, but this can vary depending on the design of your home. Installation of a Radon mitigation system takes 5 to 8 hours and starts working immediately.

Let’s wipe out lung cancer together.


During the month of November, ServiceMaster of the Twin Cities will contribute $2 to the Lung Cancer Alliance for every bottle of Spot Hero™ sold.

Spot Hero™ is ServiceMaster’s favorite stain remover. It erases even the toughest stains on carpet, upholstery and clothing. We’ve tested it on just about every other stain you might encounter. Grass or grease? No problem. Juice or sauce? Piece of cake. Blood or ink? They are no match for Spot Hero™. Purchase your bottle today. You’ll get the best stain remover out there and contribute to lung cancer research.

Call or email ServiceMaster of the Twin Cities

612-213-3712 Use promo code CleanUpCancer11.

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