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.

10 Brilliant Cleaning Tricks You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

Posted on October 31, 2014.

ServiceMaster proudly serves Minnepolis, St Paul, Burnsville, Eagan, Chaska, Shakopee, and other surrounding areas. Our 
services include capret cleaning, duct cleaning, trauma and vandalism cleaning; and fire, smoke, and water damage restoration

1.Squeegee Pet Hair

Use a squeegee to clean your rugs and carpets. You will be amazed and disgusted by what you get out of a carpet that you thought was pretty clean.

2.Use half of an onion to clean a hot grill

Cut an onion in half and, using tongs, rub the onion vigorously over the grill grate to clean the char off. The result is a very clean (and lightly seasoned) grill

3.Clean a scorched pan using white vinegar and baking soda

We all burn a pan from time to time but that doesn’t mean you have to throw it out. Put enough water in the pan to cover the bottom. Add a cup of white vinegar. Bring it to a boil. Remove from heat and add 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Scrub it clean with minimal effort.

4.Use bread to clean out a coffee or spice grinder

Toss a few hunks of stale bread into your coffee or spice grinder along with a teaspoon of baking soda. The bread will capture and remove any debris and the baking soda will neutralize any lingering odors.

5.Clean your oven out with ammonia.

Place a bowl of ammonia ($1/bottle at most drugstores) into a cold oven and leave it overnight. In the morning, remove the bowl and wipe the oven clean. No scrubbing required.

6.Use tinfoil to remove baked on stains from your glass baking dishes.

Over time glass baking dishes accumulate unappealing baked on stains. To make your bake ware look new, ball a piece of tin foil and use a small amount of dish liquid to scrub them clean. Works like a charm.

7.Use vegetable oil to clean grease spatters from your stove.

Oil attracts oil. So, to clean grease spatters from your stove dab a little bit of olive oil on a paper towel and use it to wipe down your stove. This is particularly effective on stainless steel.

8. Use rubbing alcohol, a white sponge, and a soft bristled brush to clean microfiber furniture.

If your microfiber furniture is looking a little dingy spray it all over with a fine mist of rubbing alcohol. Use a white sponge to scrub it down. Finish using hard bristled brush to fluff the fibers and keep it soft. You’ll be amazed at the results.

9.Use vinegar and baking soda to clean out your dishwasher.

This beloved cleaning machine takes on the difficult and important task of cleaning your eating utensils every day. Show it some love with a monthly deep clean. Step 1) Place a cup of white vinegar in a dishwasher safe container on the top rack of and empty dishwasher. Step 2)  Run the dishwasher on the hottest cycle. Step 3) Sprinkle 1 cup of baking soda into the bottom of your dishwasher and run it again on the hottest cycle. Enjoy your fresh, sparkling clean dishwasher.

10.Use bleach and vinegar to clean out your washing machine.

Your washing machine cleans some pretty nasty things so regular cleaning is a must. The best method we’ve tried involves bleach to kill mold spores and bacteria, and vinegar to conquer soap scum and hard water buildup. Step 1) Fill your washer with hot water then pour 1 cup of bleach inside let it agitate for a minute to mix, then let stand for 20 minutes to an hour. Allow cycle to complete. Bacteria and mold- obliterated! Step 2) Fill your washer with hot water then pour 3-4 cups of white vinegar inside. Allow agitation to mix then let stand for 20 minutes to an hour. Finish out the cycle. Hard water and soap scum- annihilated!

Fire Escape Plans Save Lives- Do You Have One?

Posted on October 16, 2014.

Fire escape plans save lives. Period.

In 2011, the National Fire Protection Agency conducted a study which found that 7 Americans die in a fire every single day. If this figure alarms you, you are not alone. The American Red Cross launched a national campaign on October 7, 2014 to educate people about the life-saving benefits of smoke detectors and fire escape plans.  ServiceMaster of the Twin Cities cares about your safety. Take time to create and practice a fire escape plan with your family. In the event of a fire, it is important that everyone in your home or facility know exactly what to expect and what to do. Your fire escape plan might look something like this.

In the Event of a Fire We Will…

Act Quickly

If the fire is still small, use a fire extinguisher or another fire extinguishing method. If the fire is spreading rapidly, get out. There is no time to grab valuables. Get away from the fire as quickly as possible.

Know to Crawl.

Deadly black smoke and scorching high temperatures rise. Stay low to the ground and crawl to safety.

 Know That Fire is Dark.

The initial flames are bright, but a room on fire quickly fills with pitch black smoke. You may not be able to see anything; which is another important reason to practice.

Know Two Ways Out of Every Room.

Generally, a window and a door are your best options. Crawl to the door. Touch the handle with the back of your hand. If it burns you, don’t open it! Quickly head to the window. Use something to break it if necessary.

Head to the Agreed Upon Meeting Place.

Everyone should agree on a place to meet in the event of a fire. It should be in front of your home or facility where fire fighters can see you, but far enough away from the flames for safety.

After you have created your fire escape plan, practice it once a month. Include everyone, even small children. A minor flame can get out of control and turn into a major fire in as little as 30 seconds. Be prepared. Learn more about the American Red Cross’ fire safety campaign here.

If you experience a fire in your home or office ServiceMaster of the Twin Cities can help with the cleanup. We know how traumatizing a fire can be; and that you just want things to get back to normal. Fire damage restoration, smoke damage restoration, and odor removal are key to helping you get back on track; and on with your life. Call us today at 612-871-3885. We answer our phone 24/7.

5 Healthy Ways to Keep Your Family Safe as School Resumes.

Posted on September 8, 2014.

ServiceMaster CLR provides commercial and residential cleaning to Minneapolis, MN residents and businesses.

As much as we hate to admit it- another beautiful Minnesota summer is coming to a close. We have a few more weeks of warm weather, but the kids are back in school and cold and flu season is around the corner. Everyone knows an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure so here are 5 easy ways to stay healthy when the leaves start to change.

1)      Hand-washing. You might be thinking “I know, I know”, but this just can’t be said too many times. Many viruses and bacterial infections are spread by touch. Hand-washing is your first line of defense.

2)      Get vaccinated. The flu can take you out of commission for days, and seniors, pregnant women, and small children are especially at risk. Vaccinations slow the spread of viruses to these vulnerable groups.

3)      Stay Home When You Are Sick. Don’t come to work if you are sick. Don’t send your kids to school when they are sick. ‘Nuff said.

4)      Don’t Touch Your Face. Viruses and bacteria enter your body through your, eyes, nose and mouth. It’s time to kick the habits of rubbing your eyes, scratching your nose, or biting your nails.

5)      Disinfect. Rhinovirus (cold virus) and Influenza viruses can live on hard surfaces such as door handles, faucets, and countertops for up to 48 hours. Use household disinfectants regularly.

It’s also important to get plenty of sleep, stay hydrated, and eat well to keep your defenses up.

ServiceMaster CLR would love to help keep you healthy! If you are in need of residential or commercial cleaning, please contact us today by calling (612) 871-3885 or email


Pro Minneapolis Carpet Cleaning Helps Keep Salmonella at Bay

Posted on October 29, 2013.


One would hardly let an unsuspecting toddler pick up toys, much less food, from a dirty carpet. You can never be too careful when you’ve got young kids due to the possibility of Salmonella infection at home. To further illustrate the dangers involved, take this excerpt from Minnesota Public Radio which tackles a recent Salmonella outbreak that ravaged 17 states:
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Disaster Restoration in Minneapolis Still Needed Despite Fewer Fires

Posted on October 27, 2013.

If there’s a state that’s relatively safer from fires than anywhere else, that would be Minnesota. ABC 5 Eyewitness News reports on the latest findings by the Minnesota Fire Marshal Division: “According to the report announced this week, Minnesota has the 10th-lowest rate of fire deaths per capita in the United States – at .93 deaths per 100,000 people.” In addition: “State officials say devices such as smoke alarms and sprinkler systems have helped lower the number of deaths. Inspection and code enforcement programs targeting hotels, schools and other facilities have also helped.”

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Dredge and Dry: What it Takes to Address Water Damage in Minneapolis Today

Posted on October 26, 2013.


A recent Star Tribune article reports on the flood that hit a posh Minneapolis residential complex in the Elliot Park neighborhood as a result of a broken main water pipe. Prompt action averted what could have been more serious damage, although the lower part of the building was substantially inundated.
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Regular Carpet Cleaning in Minneapolis Can Help Keep Dangerous Mold at Bay

Posted on October 25, 2013.


A Star Tribune article dated October 8, 2013 covers the mold infestation emergency at a dorm house in the University of Minnesota. Mold growth inside buildings, particularly black mold, can be fatal for humans due to the high toxicity of the fungal spores. The mold infestation in the dorm was so severe that parts of the building were emptied for a thorough cleanup.
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You Need Minneapolis Disaster Restoration Services, Because Fires Can Cause Water Damage

Posted on September 22, 2013.

The controlled burns are a great teaching point for young firemen to get the simulated real-life scenario and serve as a requirement to become a full-fledged fireman. The Le Sueur Fire Department may average three or four structure fires each year, so that doesn’t provide many opportunities for the younger firefighters to get a first-hand look at a fire before facing the real thing. But the veterans also benefit from the controlled burns. Continue reading…

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