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Carpet Cleaning Tips

A few quick carpet cleaning tips for Minnesota winters:

  1. Looking for health benefits? Use hot water extraction carpet cleaning instead of dry carpet cleaning.
  2. Avoid chemical buildup – steam clean carpets every month during winter months.
  3. Clean spills immediately to minimize chemical bonding with carpet materials.
  4. Blot spills, do not scrub them.
  5. Call Commercial Steam Team for a bright clean carpet.

Click here to read more about winter chemicals and cleaning tips.

Candles and Carpet

In the fall and winter we tend to make our homes cozier by burning candles. Candles come in wonderful holiday and winter scents such as cinnamon, pine, and pumpkin and can make your house smell holiday fresh.

It’s a good idea to use a glass plate under a candle called a charger to prevent wax from overflowing and ruining furniture and carpet.

Most candle makers say not to leave candles burning unattended. Leaving a candle to burn unattended can cause a variety of undesirable outcomes such as fire or wax dripping on furniture, fabrics or carpet.

If you have an area where wax dripped onto your carpet give us a call and we can tell you the best way to handle this dilemma. Call Russ or Ryan at Commercial Steam Team 952-224-7222.

Ellis Properties Testimonial

Ryan,

Good afternoon!

I just wanted to say Thank You again for the flawless service! The guys did a fantastic job yesterday and ‘field’ Ryan was kind enough to give me a little walk-through when they were done to let me know how everything went. They did fantastic and quick work and I think my boss is going to be very pleased with the results. (Your dad was perfect in his guess on how it would go!)

So I just wanted to say thanks again for yours and everyone’s time, we really appreciate it! If there’s any way I can be of help, please just let me know, otherwise I look forward to getting the chance to work with you again!!

Thanks,

 

Michael Erickson
Ellis Properties, LLP

How often should you clean your carpet?

Fiber producers and carpet manufacturers recommend that a residential carpet should be professionally cleaned at least every 6 to 12 months for best performance.  Soil that is not removed from the carpeting cuts and slices on the carpet fibers, breaking down the carpet yarn. The result is that even with restorative cleaning, it won’t correct the damage that has been carried out to the fiber.

If you are someone who has heard the phrase “Wait as long as you can prior to having your carpets cleaned..” or “Once you’ve cleaned your carpet, it’s never the same..”, these comments are a result of carpet cleaners that have left  the carpet  with an overload of detergent residue and heavy oils, that do not get completely extracted with some cleaning systems.  As a result, the new dirt is attracted back to the ‘old dirt’ and heavy oils that were brought to the surface during the cleaning process.  Once you walk around in the space for a few weeks, the carpet looks dirty again because the new dirt is attracted back to the old dirt.

In conclusion, carpet that is cleaned properly, every 6 to 12 months, will last longer and be healthier for the environment of your home.

Commercial Steam Team – Your Minnesota Carpet Cleaners

We’re a family owned and family operated business here in the Twin Cities, MN

Our team is dedicated to provide you with superior service and high-quality work at an affordable price. We offer carpet cleaning for residential and commercial businesses throughout the Twin Cities Metro area of Minnesota.

We service all of Hennepin and Ramsey Counties, most of Dakota, Anoka, and Washington Counties, and significant portions of Scott and Carver Counties. (We also do larger projects outside these areas.)

Call us today for a free quote on your carpet cleaning 952-224-7222 or learn more about us at https://www.commercialsteamteam.com/

Sand and Salt: Safe for Minnesota Roads, Harsh on Minnesota Carpets

If you live and work in the Twin Cities Area of Minnesota like I do, you are aware that MNDOT, part of the Minnesota Government that is responsible for the roads, is plenty liberal with sand and salt on our streets and highways.  This is good for safety on our roads, however, sand and salt damage carpet.  This debris is both sharp and abrasive.  The sharp corners of the dirt and salt latch onto the bottom of our shoes and turn them into walking sand paper, sawing right through the tiny carpet fibers.  This causes discoloration when light tries to reflect off of the carpet in these worn out areas.  Should this damage occur, the area can be clean as a whistle, but still appear discolored.  Because of these harsh conditions, it is very important to have your carpets professionally cleaned and protected at least once a year.  Between professional carpet cleanings, it is important to vacuum your carpet on a schedule appropriate for the amount of traffic your carpet receives (anywhere from once a week to once a day).

The Importance of Responsible Driving in a Service Vehicle

I own a commercial carpet cleaning company in the Twin Cities Area of Minnesota and my crews are always on the road.  Usually, they are traveling from our shop in Burnsville, Minnesota to a carpet cleaning job at a Plymouth, Minnesota home to an upholstery cleaning job in Northfield, Minnesota then up to Roseville, Minnesota to clean the carpets at a restaurant and then back to Burnsville, Minnesota to pack it in for the night.  With all this driving it is so very important to drive carefully for several reasons:

  • A van with a logo and phone number is a moving billboard.  Every move made on the road can affect public opinion of our company.
  • Repairs after an accident can be very expensive.
  • You can’t clean carpet while the van is being repaired.  This lost time is lost money.
  • Employees can get injured in an accident.  This is bad on both a personal and business level.  These employees have families that love and depend on them.  Also they can’t clean carpets if they are too hurt to do so.
  • Injuries to others out on the road can be tragic and costly.  Although insurance should cover it, rates are sure to go up.  These people also have families and loved ones that can suffer for their injuries as well.

I’m sure there are many more reasons to be safe out on the road, but these stand out to me.  Nothing is more tragic than the loss of life or quality of life due to a senseless accident.  I am so proud that my employees have never had an accident, both for the safety of my employees and for the safety of everyone else in the Minneapolis/St. Paul and surrounding areas of Minnesota.  Keep up the great work guys.

Who Will Be in Your Business

I own a successful commercial carpet cleaning company in the Twin Cities Area of Minnesota.  After scheduling a 100,000+ square foot carpet cleaning job for a large defense contractor in Plymouth, which will remain nameless, I thought to myself how glad I am that I can send in my employees’ background checks without worry.  This made me think about all the times that I have had service personnel in my business or home without the slightest clue what kind of past they have.  This sparked another thought; When I am searching for the lowest price I can find, am I increasing my chances of having a thief, or worse, come to service me?  Wages are a factor in the prices that we pay for services and the lower the wages the lower the possible price of service.  I won’t say that every high priced company pays well, but I think it is safe to say that the cheapest out there hire the cheapest employees they can find.  Sometimes this can be accomplished by hiring known felons who may have difficulty finding a better paying job.

Keeping this in mind, I will think twice about going with the cheapest bids.

Employees Reflect Their Employers Values

How important are employees to a growing business?  I can’t speak for the rest of the world, but here in the Twin Cities Area of Minnesota, employees are the “truth in service”.  What do I mean by that?

  • If a business owner is greedy, he won’t pay enough to get the best employees.
  • If a business owner doesn’t train his employees well enough, it shows in his employees’ performance.
  • Honest owners encourage their employees to be honest with their clients.
  • Employees who are treated fairly by their employer are happier and that will show in their demeanor.
  • Employers that pay attention will have employees who don’t cut corners.
  • Employers who reward hard work will have employees who go the extra mile.

These are all unavoidable ways that employees directly reflect the practices of their employer.  This is truth in service.  If your employees don’t give proper service, look at your practices first and see how they parallel the practices of your employees.

No Contracts in Commercial Carpet Cleaning

It seems impossible to get just about any service these days without being on a contract.  Contracts would be fine, but the way they are written these days state that you have no choice but to keep using a service even if the service provided doesn’t live up to the promises made by the salesperson who sold the contract.  Contracts should not be an excuse to give bad service.

My family and I own a carpet cleaning company in the Twin Cities Area of Minnesota and we choose not to make our clients sign contracts.  Our family’s motto is “If we aren’t good enough to keep you happy, then we don’t deserve your business.”  This notion seems simple or idealistic, but I think the world could use a big dose of idealism right now.

Growing a Small Minnesota Business Through a Rough Economy

My name is Ryan Zakariasen and my family owns a carpet cleaning company in the Twin Cities Area of Minnesota named the Commercial Steam Team.  When we started the company out of my garage in Lakeville, the economy was booming.  Shortly after the birth of our company, the economy went from boom to crash.  This is not good for commercial carpet cleaning companies because we rely on company budgets to leave room for professional carpet cleaning.  Similar to the residential market, anything you don’t have absolute faith in goes in the “maybe-next-year-pile”.  I think this is where most companies have gone wrong.  While they were fat and happy gorging themselves on a plentiful economy they let quality slip.  Whether growing too fast to train their people or too much faith that advertising will replace any lost clients, they managed to create doubt in their client’s minds.  Doubts like; I think that’s the best they can do, but is it really?  Even if it is the best they can do, are the results really worth the cost?

After the economy turned, carpet cleaning company owners panicked and began cutting corners furthering the doubt in their clients minds.

I believe it is because we have left no doubt in our clients minds that they see the money we are saving them instead of the money we cost them.  The truth is that cleaning the carpet is far cheaper than replacing the carpet, especially when you factor in the cost of shutting down and moving all the furniture and equipment.  A downturned economy is the worst time to skip carpet cleanings because the cost of replacing could be real trouble for companies trying to walk a fine budget line.  Our clients sustain us through this quicksand economy because they have absolute faith in us, from our practices to our people. Our company was founded on this trust, and is the reason we are here today.

Benefits of Adding Deodorizer to Carpet Cleaning Rinse

I hear all the time: “I can’t believe how good it smells in here now.” I hear this when I call my clients to make sure they were totally happy with the carpet cleaning job we did for them.  Do I have a secret to achieving this?  Yes, I do! Every time we fill our rinse tank with water, we add Multiphase Deodorizer to the mix.  There are three major benefits to doing this.

  • This deodorizer contains an enzyme that feeds on bacteria.  We do not put enough in our rinse to treat problem mildew, mold, or urine areas.  However there is enough to ensure that even if the carpet takes longer than usual to dry there no worries of mold or mildew forming.
  • It helps reinforce the full strength application of deodorizer that we do use to kill the bacteria, mold, mildew, and urine.
  • Leaves your carpet smelling fresh and pleasant.

We have found that despite the extra cost of introducing this enzyme deodorizer to our carpet cleaning rinse, going the extra mile goes a long way in customer satisfaction. Not only making these Minnesota nice clients happy, but actually turning them into full-fledged fans.

My Experience With Multiphase Enzyme Deodorizer

I own a carpet cleaning company in the Twin Cities Area of Minnesota called the Commercial Steam Team.  I have been cleaning carpet for 13 years and one of the most effective products I use is Hydramaster’s Multiphase Deodorizer.  As in its name, Multiphase is a triple action deodorizer that covers a broad spectrum of odor causing bacteria.  I like to use this deodorizer because it is both powerful on bacteria while being gentle on carpet cleaners.  In my 13 years of carpet cleaning in Minnesota, I haven’t found anything that works nearly as well.

Uniforms Are Important In The Carpet Cleaning Industry

I can’t tell you how many times I have driven by someone’s house or business and saw work being done by someone wearing a sleeved or sleeveless white t-shirt.  Unless you’re a painter, that’s not a uniform in my opinion.  The questions that instantly pop into my mind are;

  • If they can’t afford uniforms, can they afford good equipment?
  • Can they afford to pay for good employees?
  • Can they afford the cleaning agents that are necessary to get the stains out?
  • Are they out of money, lazy, or cheap?
  • What kind of message are they sending their customers?
  • What kind of message are they sending their employees?

Sharp, clean uniforms tell your customers that you are a team.  It shows that you are dedicated enough to provide this for your employees.  More importantly is what not wearing a uniform says, Which is, “I’m not good at my job”.

Spring Carpet Cleaning in Minnesota

“Since it’s May of 2011 and we don’t seem to get a spring this year, do I still have to get the carpets cleaned?”  I know the weather here in the Twin Cities has been mimicking Seattle lately, but yes even their businesses need to have their carpets cleaned.  In fact, the extra moisture this year poses an extra risk of mold and mildew in carpets.  This happens because of the humid air as well as moisture being tracked in on people’s shoes.  A thorough carpet cleaning and an enzyme deodorizer treatment is very important after the winter is over.  The enzyme in the deodorizer feeds on the bacteria kills the source of smells and allergens.

Salt and sand are also tracked in from the Minnesota roads, parking lots, and sidewalks.  They don’t affect houses as much since people usually take their shoes off at home.  However, employees and customers rarely take their shoes off in a commercial setting.  The more sand and salt gets trampled on the more damage it will do to the carpet.   A powerful commercial carpet cleaning will clear this out of the carpet fibers allowing the carpet a fresh start.  New debris will always get tracked onto the carpet, but keeping the overall amount of sand and salt at a minimum is crucial.

How Sand, Dirt, and Dust Wear Out Carpet

Have you ever had your carpets cleaned in your home or business and the carpet didn’t look as good as you had hoped in the high traffic areas?  This could be because your carpet cleaner didn’t do a sufficient job, but it could also be permanent fiber damage.  If it didn’t look like there was much of a difference after the cleaning then it was probably not a very good job.  That being said, carpet fibers that have taken on damage will appear dirtier than they really are because they no longer reflect light the same way that they did before this damage happened.  Similar to scratched-up Plexiglas, light is distorted and will appear much darker than the unscratched Plexiglas.  This happens because carpet fibers are essentially made of clear plastic.  These fibers are so thin you may need a magnifying glass to see them.  They are woven together like yarn to make thicker strands.  Sand, dirt, and dust are very small but compared to carpet fibers they are gigantic boulders with sharp edges.  The more soiled the carpet gets, the more power this sharp debris has to saw into the carpet fibers, sometimes severing them from their root completely.  Compare it to taking sand paper and gluing it to the bottom of your shoes.  That is the best analogy I can come up with though to describe what happens when these particles collect in large numbers.  Our shoes crush and mash the fibers together, scraping and slashing them with tiny sharp particles.  To be honest, it is pretty amazing how well carpet stands up to this, especially in commercial applications.  Even worse than dust and dirt are the metal shavings created in machine shops.  These particles are like tiny saws and our shoes are the lumberjacks.

The best defense against these microscopic belt sanders is to have the carpet cleaned and protected on a regular basis (minimum of once a year).  The cleaning lowers the numbers in the sand and dirt army while the protector creates a thin plastic layer over the fibers that will take the damage instead of the fibers themselves.  Much like how wax protects the paint job on your car from flying sand on the roads.

My Very Own Testimonial!

As a company we have so many testimonials from people all over the Twin Cities Area of Minnesota.  From Britt, the building services field supervisor for the City of Brooklyn Park, to Alex Shapero at J.N. Johnson in Edina Minnesota we have posted testimonials complete with pictures describing why we are the company best suited for cleaning the carpet and upholstery for their companies.  When it comes to their experiences with carpet cleaners they are the experts.  I decided though, that after 13 years of carpet cleaning I would give my own testimonial.  Not just for the carpet cleaning work we do, but by how much easier it is to do a great job when the carpet was protected the time we cleaned it before.  Time and time again I have had the same experience.  Carpet that had been previously protected is not as dirty when we arrive.  This is because the interim vacuuming’s lift far more dirt and dust from the carpet.  The fiber damage in the high traffic areas isn’t as bad, both from less dirt and dust, to saw into the carpet fibers and the fact that those particles have to wear through the protector before wearing through the fibers themselves (like wax does for car paint).  Dyes from spills have a harder time finding their way into the dye sites of the carpet.  Dirt, spots, and spills seem to strip away much more easily the next time we clean.  My favorite thing about carpet protector is that it makes our great work look better and last longer.  Our results are that much better than when we didn’t previously protect the carpet.  So my very own super special testimonial is “I, Ryan Zakariasen owner of the Commercial Steam Team in Burnsville Minnesota says, “Carpet protector not only works, but works consistently well.  The difference between protected carpet and unprotected carpet is a noticeable difference.”

Networking in the Carpet Cleaning Industry

Why are networking groups wonderful for carpet cleaners?  For those of us carpet cleaners that “walk the walk”, networking is a forum for educating the public and also a chance to spread the word about what an amazing job we did for Bob’s mother in law’s sister’s cousin’s fiancé’s best friend’s boss.  First-hand knowledge is always the best evidence but when that is not available, the word of someone you trustworthy is a close second.

Indoor Oxygen Quality

More and more we hear about the importance of air quality in homes and businesses.  Air quality effects asthma, congestion, allergies, headaches, and many other medical conditions.  Air quality can cause problems and/or make current problems worse.  Some of us have air quality in the front of our minds but some people don’t think twice about it.  Why should they, some ask,  it’s just tiny particles they can’t see hiding inside an invisible gas.  Out of sight, out of mind.  When I hear the words “air quality”, I don’t feel that I hear the full impact of what is at hand.  This is why I like to call it “Oxygen Quality”.  Oxygen is the life blood of our respiratory system and very few people don’t understand the importance of oxygen.  Indoor “oxygen quality” affects every breath we take.  Even if the tiny particulates floating in the air didn’t harm us directly, they are still taking the place of and depriving our lungs of valuable oxygen molecules.

Allergies are often mistaken for colds or the flu and businesses with poor air quality report severely increased numbers of sick days to those who have good oxygen quality.  Productivity is also higher in employees who are not affected by asthma and allergies.  It has been proven that this oxygen quality is important but how can we effectively improve the quality of the oxygen we breathe in our homes and offices?  There are a few options to improve indoor air quality:  Air scrubbers and air filters are of course helpful to remove what is already in the air.  Running the furnace fan 24/7 helps cycle the air and replacing the furnace filter when it gets saturated with dust are also helpful.  But how do we affect the causes of poor indoor air quality?  In office buildings especially, a huge amount of dust and allergen particulates reside in the carpet and upholstery.  Every time we sit in a chair it expels the air that fills the foam seats and shoots those particulates into the atmosphere around us.  On a sunny day sit your chair between you and the window, slap the seat and watch the dust dance in the sunlight.  Similarly the carpet kicks up those particles as it’s walked on as well.  Dust treats these fabrics like a filter and sticks to them building up until they are jarred loose.  The longer between cleanings the more particles get expelled into the air.

Professional commercial carpet and upholstery cleaning is the best way to remove these particles from these materials.  Oxygen is important to us all and like anything important it requires some investment to receive its full effects.

When Should I have My Carpets Cleaned at My Home?

When should I have my carpets cleaned at my home?  Good question.  If you ask any random person on the street you will get a full range of answers from every month to never. Who is right? I have been cleaning carpet in the Twin Cities Area of Minnesota for over 13 years and I wish I could give one blanket answer for all customers, but I can’t.  I can however, do the next best thing.  I have created a list of options based on different factors that affect that timeline.  These are specific to the Twin Cities Area of Minnesota and may not apply to the climate and practices of other states.

  • Residential carpet should never go longer than a year without being cleaned for health reasons such as allergens, and mold.
  • Light carpet such as white or off white, even light shades of other colors has more room in the dye sites to take on dyes and needs to be cleaned and protected more often than other carpets and should be cleaned before traffic areas are  visible for best results.  Fiber damage and traffic wear patterns show up more noticeably on light colored carpet.  For light colored carpet, we recommend every 6 months to a year.
  • If you wear your shoes on residential carpet we recommend cleaning and protecting every 6 months at the very least.
  • If you have residential carpet that is a darker color you are more susceptible to the carpet looking lighter in the high traffic areas than looking darker.  This comes from actual fiber damage.  Dark carpet should be cleaned once a year for health reasons but if based strictly on looks you can go from a year to up to 2 years depending on the amount of traffic.
  • Even dark carpet needs to be cleaned at least every 6 months if shoes are worn in the house as that speeds up the fiber damage in high traffic areas considerably.
  • Wheel chairs and walkers are very hard on carpet.  This carpet should be cleaned and protected every 6 months at the very least.
  • Variables such as amount of foot traffic, spills, and age of the owners can affect the frequency of the carpet cleaning as well.  Not every household is the same.
  • One reason for all carpet to be cleaned and protected as well is the sun itself.  The sun’s rays will fade carpet color.  Carpet protectants help protect the carpet from this.  This fading is usually noticeable when the furniture is moved.  The area where the furniture sat didn’t receive any sunlight and appears darker and richer as a result.

Please keep in mind that this is based on my 13 years of experience as a carpet cleaning expert in the Twin Cities Area of Minnesota.  Experience has also taught me that there will always be exceptions to these rules and people should keep an eye on their carpet and if it starts to appear dirty or dingy before the recommended time of cleaning then the safe choice is to have it cleaned and protected sooner rather than waiting for the scheduled date to come up.

Who sets the standards for carpet cleaning industry in the Twin Cities?

Who sets the standards of quality in the carpet cleaning industry?  I wish I could answer that question by giving you a name of someone or some agency that holds those in our industry accountable.  However, there isn’t one.  It’s not like the NFL where a commissioner oversees the actions of the owners and players and fines those that step out of line accordingly.  In the past our reputations had been the best way to sort out the good, the bad, and the ugly.  If you did a good job for someone then you would clean for their whole extended family and friends.  People looked to each other for this info because they trust each other more than the advertising executives that wrote the commercial on their favorite radio station for piles of money.  Those days have seemingly ended.  Even here in the Twin Cities Area of Minnesota it is hard to turn on the radio without being bombarded with inaccurate scare tactics citing 20 year out of date statistics.  As consumers we have grown dependent on T.V. and radio advertising to tell us what to buy and where to go.  Our first call is usually to the jingle bouncing around in our head, instead of to our parents or friends for references.  Our industry has accepted this as the standard practice for quite some time now and acts accordingly.  X dollars spent on advertising = Y dollars of new customers.  No need to do great work if there is someone new to fill the void whenever you lose a client to bad service.

So who does set these standards?  Who demands accountability?  Most people blame the consumer.  “You get what you ask for.”  On some levels that’s correct.  But how many times can you be disappointed after giving up your precious time researching without saying “what’s the point?”  It’s easier to be disappointed after calling the first company that comes to mind than to be let down after putting forth an effort.  Also, if there were enough companies out there worth referring then that is where our minds would first go.  I believe that it is the small businesses that set these standards.  We can choose to compete with the big national franchise moguls by cutting corners and slashing prices to eek out a living, or we can do what those huge companies can’t do by ensure quality stays at its highest level.  We accomplish this by hiring idealists as well as using profit sharing to ensure that they take as much pride in the company as we do.  We use our money on the best top of the line equipment instead of advertising.  We pass out bonuses for quality control instead of sales.  We train carpet cleaners instead of a sales force.

I may just be a small business owner in the Twin Cities Area of Minnesota, but I believe that we can be an example to the public.  We can lead the way to higher standards in the carpet cleaning industry.

The Key To Referrals For Twin Cities Carpet Cleaning

Born in Edina and raised in Burnsville Minnesota, I have lived my entire life among the “Minnesota Nice” and I have to say that it is not a myth.  This doesn’t mean that everyone in Minnesota is nice all the time.  It simply means that the base intentions of these Midwestern folks are to be cheerful and form bonds with those around them.  At least that’s what I’ve noticed.

This applies to carpet cleaning in the Twin Cities Area as well.  People in Minnesota hope and expect cheerful, capable people show up to clean their carpets.  We say to ourselves “I treat others with respect and a cheerful attitude.  Why can’t they do the same?”  If I wanted to be treated like I lived in New York City, I wouldn’t live in Plymouth Minnesota.  I want to believe my vendors abide by the “Golden Rule”.  If I get a good price I might accept that instead, but I won’t refer them to my friends.  If they do a good job with a bad attitude I might accept that, but I won’t refer them to my friends.  If their price is fair, if they do a great job, AND they make me feel comfortable with a smile on their face, then I WILL refer them to my friends with enthusiasm.  I become a cheerleader!  I become an advertiser!  I want to see them succeed and I want my friends to thank me for relieving them of their stressful decision on who to let in their home or business to clean their carpets.

People live in and move to this sometimes frigid climate for the warm hearts of the people who live here.  They feel let down when they don’t receive that kind of treatment, and I can’t blame them.  In my experience as a commercial carpet cleaning expert here in the Twin Cities, kindness and personality is often the missing ingredient in referrals for Minnesota carpet cleaners.

Why Do I Like Being A Professional Carpet Cleaner?

Why do I like being a carpet cleaner?  My answer is usually received with a look of disbelief.  When people think of carpet cleaning they often think of an overweight guy in a rusty van and a less than white t-shirt.  This is one of the reasons that I like being a carpet cleaner.  Confused?  I like being the best at something and the larger the gap between the best and second best the better.  For 13 years our motto has been “don’t just be the best in the carpet cleaning industry.  Be the best of any industry!”  This has worked wonderfully for me and I have enjoyed passing this on to my employees as well.  Demanding the same and compensating accordingly because they are worth it.

The other reason I love being a carpet cleaner is our customers.  Loyal fans are a more appropriate term.  Knowing that you are making a difference for people and seeing the smiles on their faces when you do is an amazing reward for any hard work.  Being greeted like old friends by our customers warms my heart.

Third is being in a position to offer bonuses for quality work and end of the year profit sharing for our employees.  Knowing that we are doing things the way they ought to be done, not just the easy way or the most profitable way is very rewarding.  Being successful with a clean conscience is rare in any industry, especially this one.  As a family owned business, we agreed that it is only worth doing if we can enjoy it.  I have to say that I have enjoyed it in so many ways.  So yes, I do like being a carpet cleaner.

Meet The Team: Russ Jr.

Russ Zakariasen Jr. cst shirt, desk

Russ Zakariasen Jr. –  President

Carpet cleaning can be frustrating, but it can also be the easiest thing in the world.  Getting to know who you will be working with can help ease the stress of deciding who to choose for your carpet cleaning needs.  Who better to get to know than the president of the company?

Russell Hamline Zakariasen III, or Russ Jr. as we call him, was born in Quincy Callifornia and raised in Burnsville Minnesota.  Athletic by nature he was the captain of the golf team for the Burnsville Braves, later changed to the Burnsville Blaze.  He attended business school at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.  Now of course he is president of Commercial Steam Team working with his dad and brother.

Russ Jr. can often be spotted at Kaposia Park in South St. Paul playing disc golf with his brother Ryan or at Northfield Golf Club playing golf with his Dad.  His greatest passion has been coaching his sons basketball and football teams in the Rosemount Athletic club.

I sat down with Russ Jr. and asked him a little Q&A to help you get to know him better.

Q.  How did you get into the professional carpet cleaning industry?

A.  Like most kids I needed a summer job in High School.  I started telemarketing for a carpet cleaning company in Bloomington Minnesota.  I worked at that company through my last two years at Burnsville High School and through my four years at the University of Minnesota.

Q.  What do you like about the carpet cleaning industry?

A.  I love the daily interaction with our customers.  We have built such a loyal customer base over the years with wonderful people. They really show appreciation for the way we do business.  That positive reinforcement means a lot.

Q.  What was most important to you when starting this company?

A.  We wanted to create an environment where we found nothing but the very best employees, then treated them with appreciation, respect, and paid them well, so they would stay with our company long term, and treat our customers the way we need them to.  This really worked well!!

Q.  What is it like working with your family?

A.  I truly enjoy working with my family, working toward a common goal together.  We also are so lucky to have employees who feel like a part of our extended family.

Why Even Have Carpet In Minnesota Homes

Born in Edina and raised in Burnsville, I have lived my whole life in Minnesota.  With all the salt and sand, the sloppy slush, the muddy springs, why install carpet in our homes?  Before becoming a carpet cleaner I didn’t give it much thought, but I might have chosen hardwood or laminate flooring.  Hard floors don’t stain as easily and are easier to dry when moisture is introduced.  Still, the truth is carpet insulates in multiple ways.  I learned this cleaning for television studios.  In the control room they actually carpet their walls.  This reduces echo, and absorbs sound to help soundproof the room and keep those sounds from being picked up by the microphones in the studio.  Everyone who lives in Minnesota knows how cold it gets here in the winter.  Carpet creates a comfortable barrier between the frozen floor and our sensitive feet.  Personally, I like lying on the carpet in front of the fire with hot chocolate in the winter.

It’s my personal and professional opinion that as long as you clean and protect your carpet once a year and take your shoes off at the door, you will be happier with the cozy feel of carpet than chilly hardwood floors.

Employee Turnover In The Carpet Cleaning Industry

Employee turnover in the carpet cleaning industry is a very large problem.  In search of profits employees are often undervalued and under paid.  Expedited growth in a company due to things like mass advertising can also cause employee turnover as well as mass hiring which poses the same problems.  Carpet cleaning isn’t the hardest of all professions but it is manual labor and does require stamina and motivation to do a great job every time.  Employees require training and an apprenticeship of sorts in order to become experts in the field. 

Hiring and maintaining the best employees is crucial in this professional industry.

When someone hires a carpet cleaner they expect to have someone capable and experienced show up.  If that cleaner has only been working for a few weeks, many problems could occur.  Spill diagnosis, problem identification, mixing ratios, equipment repair and maintenance, even patience and wisdom come with experience.  The longer an employee is around, the longer he/she will feel vested in the company and want to do the best job possible.  I highly recommend profit sharing at the end of the year.  This boosts morale, especially since it lands in a crucial month in the slow part of winter. 

Also we can’t forget the obvious, pay employees a fair wage.  Don’t try to squeeze every dime out of them.  Make sure they can go home proud of themselves so their wife and kids will look up to them.  Carpet cleaners work hard and deserve fair compensation. 

Another big problem with some of the larger carpet cleaning franchises is that they charge their employees for the cleaning agents and equipment they use.  Any time an employee has to decide whether or not to use something that will help them do the best job possible, it is a hit to the pride.  They either give up the money or the quality but they can’t have both. In either case the quality of the job suffers.  Making someone pay for something the employer should pay for also makes people feel they are being taken advantage of.

My company, the Commercial Steam Team, has had almost no employee turnover since we started the company in 2003.  That’s because we believe in our staff, support them, and  treat them like family, not like tools to use and discard. In fact only one employee has ever left the company and the reason he did was to finish law school.  I am proud of how we have run our company and will continue to do so.

Carpet Cleaning Quality Control Calls Are Key

Did you know that Commercial Steam Team calls every client the week after we do a carpet cleaning job? It’s critical not only to help ensure that every client is happy, but it also makes good business sense in other ways.

For instance, in spite of regularly scheduled maintenance and a high attention to detail, it’s still possible to miss equipment that is starting to slide out of alignment. Catching this early lets us correct the problem before it becomes a problem.

If our clients see something wrong, they tell us, in part because we assure them to do so helps us too!

And if anything is wrong, we schedule a redo. Quality control, after all, means making sure that everything we do is quality.

Follow this link to learn more about why carpet cleaning quality control is essential for our business.

9 Reasons for Property Managers to Use Commercial Steam Team Carpet and Upholstery Cleaners

*We make your job easier!

*We understand that our job is to make you look good!

*We do the scheduling and quality control for you!

*We pick up and drop off keys so you don’t have to!

*We go back to any job where there is a concern Free Of Charge!

*Only 11 out of 886 jobs asked us to come back last year (just over 1%).

*Our employees have a stake through profit sharing.

*We call every job a week after just to make sure they love it.

*Sharp looking direct drive truck mounted units (V8 engine).

*Licensed Bonded and Insured*

Calling The Customer

How many times have you been waiting for a service provider to show up and they are late?  Frustrating isn’t it?  In fact it has been getting so bad these days that we almost expect it.  We worry from the moment we book the job, until the minute they show up at our door.  Worrying takes years off of our lives.  At least I’m convinced it does.  The sad truth is that this worrying can be prevented.  One simple invention by Alexander Graham Bell called the telephone makes this possible.  One simple call to say they are on the way and an approximate time of arrival takes all that worry away.  Peace of mind is a wonderful thing that is underappreciated by the service industry and vendors everywhere.  This is not because they will be late.  This is because they could be late.  My work or social plans are important to me.  I don’t want to have to cancel plans, but if I have to, I want to know as soon as possible.  Martin Cooper invented the cell phone in 1973.  This wonderful device makes it even easier to put people’s minds at ease.  After the phone call to say you are on your way, you might still hit traffic or get into an accident.  Not good, but not as big of a problem when you can call the client before you are supposed to arrive.  I made both of these phone calls part of my carpet cleaning company the day I started it.  This gives me a chance to apologize if I am late but also places their minds at ease when I am not.  I think it is important to respect my clients and I don’t understand how we have allowed so many vendors to disrespect us for so long.  My time is important and so is yours.  I at least want an apology and an approximate time of arrival so I can go about my life instead of waiting around like a teenager waiting for that dreamy classmate to call lol.  We are all adults now.  I think we should start acting like it.  One call to the customer is all it takes.