Author Archives: jsteamac

Fall Cleaning

Fall Cleaning? Not So Scary!

As we all dress up for various Halloween festivities, buy bags full of candy to pass out, and have scary-movie-watching marathons, it’s easy to forget about the necessity of carpet cleaning. In fact, some are scared to even think about it because they may not want to spend the money, or they don’t want to find out what’s hiding beneath!

Regardless, having your carpet cleaned this time of the year should be at the forefront of your mind, because frankly, you’re going to be home a lot more than any other time of the year. With children staying home on snow days, or having holiday vacations at work, you’re bound to accumulate a messy carpet. Worse yet, you will be compounding on the mess that was made during the summer months. It is imperative to call a company like Steam Action to give your home a refresher for the holidays!

Some things to think about for the Fall:

Things to know for the Fall

Call Steam Action today to schedule a carpet cleaning before the holidays!

1)   You’re going to be home more often

Whether you have children who will be home for winter break, are having family over for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner, or just taking a vacation from work, the fact is that you are going to be at your home more often in the winter. You want your home to be fresh for these events, and Fall is the perfect time to do that.

2)   Warranty can be void

Many people do not realize that if you wait to clean your carpet for more than 12-16 months, you could potentially be voiding your warranties. This is mainly because soil is abrasive and can damage the carpet’s fibers when people walk on it—and there will certainly be a lot of this during the holidays. It’s similar to using a dry cloth to wipe down a dirty car with no soap or water—it would scratch the paint and ruin the exterior.

3)   It’s actually a good time to clean

Even though many people may dread the oncoming cold of winter—especially in good ol’ Ohio—it is actually a great time to have your carpets cleaned. As we turn on our furnaces and fight the cold, the dry air will actually dry the carpets faster.

 Also, here are some tips to make your holiday cleaning a bit easier after the festivities have ended:

Vacuum before a party

  • You don’t want old messes to be compounded with the new messes that are sure to accumulate with holiday visitors.

Put a door draft stopper under each door

  • Leaves can be a pain to sweep up from carpets if they are stepped on and crushed into the carpets. Door draft stoppers prevent these leaves and dirt from blowing in.
Fall tips

Allowing guests to wear their shoes in the house can have some serious consequences on your carpet.

Request that guests take off their shoes

  • Especially when it snows, you don’t want your guests to be tracking dirt, debris and water through your home and into the fibers of your carpets. The key is to prevent the preventable.

Place a rug in high traffic areas, such as entrances to your home

  • If you can prevent even a few cubic feet of your carpet from being stained or worn, then it’s always smart to do so.

Vacuum immediately after a party

  • The sooner you sweep, the better chance you have to prevent crumbs and stains from setting into the carpet, causing mold and bacteria.

From all of us here at Steam Action, Have A Happy Holiday Season!

Water Damage

Flooding In Your Home Or Business? Call Steam Action!

Statistics prove that having a certified Water Damage and Restoration company at the ready, will save you time and protect your health

No one ever thinks that it could happen to them—most people just assume that their house is sealed and protected against any sort of damage or catastrophe.


Major sinkhole created at Larchmere and Kendall/E. 128th after a waterline break. (Photo: Hilary Golston)

Just last week, however, I was reading an article out of the Cleveland area that explained how a waterline broke on the border between Cleveland and Shaker Heights. The resulting rush of water clogged a nearby sewer area and ultimately led to a massive sinkhole. This clogging also caused many nearby homes’ basements to flood with water, causing serious damage. After the fact, the owners of these homes who were interviewed said that they had no idea the flooding had even happened. There was no forewarning or any type of advanced notice that would have allowed the owners to prevent such a catastrophe.

The water line break may seem like an uncommon event, but the flooding damage itself is actually relatively common. According to the American Insurance Association, “water damage claims have been growing faster than other components of homeowners insurance.”

Here are some other quick facts about water damage:

  • Nearly 40 percent of all homeowners say they have experienced water damage
  • About 93 percent of all water damage can be prevented
  • Water damage is the second most frequently filed insurance claim in the US
  • 250 gallons of water is released a day due to a 1/8-inch crack in a pipe
  • About 20 percent of all insurance claims relate to water damage of some kind
  • Billions in property-loss costs are spent each year as a result of water damage

According to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), water damages accounts for nearly 14.3% of property losses, only ranking behind fire and wind damage.

Top five causes of water damage according to IBHS:

Water Restoration

Steam Action is a certified Water Damage and Restoration and Mold Specialist company.

1)    General plumbing problems

2)    Toilet clogging or overflowing

3)    Water heater failure

4)    Plumbing drain system failure

5)    Washing machine failures


The average cost to repair these problems is roughly $5,000. Even worse, a recent study, conducted by Dr. Kagmo Ahn and his team at the Samsung Medical Center in Seoul, Korea, found that water damage in living rooms or children’s bedrooms could be associated with worse eczema in children. It went further to say that “kids living in homes with infrared-detected water damage were 15 times more likely to have moderate to severe eczema, rather then mild eczema.”

Fortunately, Steam Action is a certified Water Damage and Restoration and Mold Specialist company, with a team of qualified technicians trained to handle whatever situation arises. We will ensure that your home or business is completely restored by:

1)    Identifying the nature of the source, and determining the class and grade of the damage.

2)    Extracting excess water with a high-powered, truck-mounted vacuum system.

Water Damage

Steam Action will restore your home or business as quickly and efficiently as possible.

3)    Applying an anti-bacterial, anti-microbial treatment to affected areas, to deter and inhibit bacteria growth.

4)    Removing and disposing of wet or contaminated pads, and replacing with a new pad.

5)    Using high-powered fans and dehumidifiers to properly dry affected areas.

6)    Cleaning and deodorizing affected areas after the drying process is complete.

7)    Retacking or restretching any loose carpet.

From years of experience in the field, we are trained to take care of your water damage from A-Z, including complete dry cleaning and even the rebuilding process. We also work directly with insurance companies and homeowners to ensure that your home or office is back to normal as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Water damage can seem like an overwhelming situation, but if you put your trust in Steam Action and our certified services, you can breathe easy knowing that in the event of catastrophe, we’ll be here to help.

Odor? Call us over!

Odor? Call us over!

Steam Action Removes Offensive Odors From Your Home

It’s a fairly common situation for homeowners; you walk into a room and an unidentifiable odor singes the tip of your nose. Reactions to this situation are also similar; you go to the nearest convenience store and stock up on Febreze, Lysol, and Air Wick in hopes of masking that offensive odor—and your embarrassment.

But the reality of this “masking” process is that you will not be helping your cause—except maybe your nose—because the real problem could be getting worse as you hide it with Sweet Pea Petals, Moonlit Lavender, and Warm Milk & Honey. Often, odors are deeply rooted in carpet, upholstery, and other areas, and can be highly difficult to pinpoint with the naked eye. Without knowing the source of these odors and simply hiding them with fragrances, you are essentially wasting money and allowing time for mold and mildew to grow, and for bacteria to spread. When an unidentifiable odor presents itself, it’s time to call in the professionals.

Carpet Layer

Liquid wastes often seep down into the base layer of carpets, resulting in mold growth and offensive odors.

Most cleaning companies simply spray a topical solution on areas that they believe to be the source of the odors. This is ineffective for two reasons: a) because many odors work their way into carpet fibers, backings, paddings, and ultimately the ground floor—topical sprays only treat the face fibers while the bottom layers are left to grow mold and bacteria; and b) because there is no guarantee that the area being sprayed is the actual location of the odor, or that the entire odor-causing location is attended to. Topical solutions, which are often touted as the “cheapest” solutions, are only estimated to be about 20-30 percent effective.

Odor Deodorization Process

At Steam Action, we have many odor deodorization services to ensure that no odor-causing problems are left untreated. All of them involve a process that very few companies in the

Odor Deodorization

By utilizing UV Technology, we can eliminate odors at the source.

industry have implemented into their services: Ultra Violet Technology. As we stated before, many odor-causing areas are invisible to the naked eye. As our trained technicians make their way around the dark room, the UV Technology brings those problem areas to light.

The first of these methods is to “recreate the scene.” Essentially, when liquids or wastes seep into a carpet, there is a path that they take as they travel through the carpet layers. What we do is estimate the amount of waste in the material, and mirror that with an equal amount of our deodorizer solution. We then inject this solution in a similar fashion to the way the waste entered the carpet or upholstery. As this solution travels through the carpet backing the same way the waste did, the enzymes in the solution feed on the odor-causing bacteria. Once the solution has made its way down to the base floor, we extract it similarly to our carpet cleaning processes and allow the area to dry.

Carpet Padding Replacemtn

We can eliminate deeply-rooted odors by replacing the carpet padding and sealing the base floor.

The next method involves a more in-depth process. When an odor has made its way down to the base floor and has been left to sit for too long, we will identify the problem areas, pull the carpet back, and cut out the affected padding. We then thoroughly clean both sides of the carpet, seal the base floor to prevent future odor gases, and replace the old padding with entirely new padding. This method is virtually 100 percent effective.


Through our systems, we can successfully prolong the life of your carpet and furniture by eliminating specific odors such as:

  • Biological Waste Produced by Pets
  • Fire or Cigarette Smoke
  • Moldy, musty smells

Our Odor Deodorization processes will effectively save you money by eliminating odors at the source, and taking preventative measures to ensure that mold and mildew cannot prolong the odor. If you’ve been troubled by an offensive odor in your home or business, call Steam Action today!





Upholstery Cleaning From Steam Action

It’s time to take a “stand” on upholstery cleaning.

We get it: watching sports requires a lot of sitting (until something big happens, of course). But with the completion of the World Cup, Wimbledon, NBA Finals, and various other professional sporting events, it’s time to take a look at the real loser in all of this—your furniture’s upholstery.

Brush aside the chip crumbs and candy wrappers, and you’ll probably be left with battered upholstery that could use a little time on the “DL.

Luckily, our upholstery cleaning process is held to the same strict quality standards as our carpet cleaning—standards that are structured similarly to many coaching methods, which involve having a solid game plan and plenty of preparation.

Why Should You Clean Upholstery?

The answer is two-fold:

1)      Whether or not you would like to admit it, your body does indeed secrete various oils that ultimately leak into your furniture’s upholstery. Add that to the various food, drink, and pet stains that are sure to have accumulated over time, and you have yourself a perfect breeding ground for bacteria, mold, and unpleasant odors. Keeping a maintenance schedule not only maintains the life of your upholstery, but it also improves your indoor air quality as it removes pet dander, dust and other allergens.


Over time, bacteria and other germs can accumulate and grow in your furniture’s upholstery.

2)      Many furniture manufacturers have language in their warranties dictating that the upholstery be cleaned periodically. If you choose not to clean the upholstery, your warranty could be voided, and you will have effectively shortened the life of your furniture’s even further.

Our Playbook

A wise man once said, “Trying to start a business without a business plan is like trying to win a football game without a game plan.” At Steam Action, all of our technicians are trained to use specific game plans for each of the services we offer. Based on the positive customer feedback, it is a fair assumption that these game plans have been quite effective over the years.

Our game plan is proven to be effective in cleaning your furniture’s upholstery.

Read the following steps as we open up our upholstery cleaning playbook to you!

Step 1: Pre-Inspection

A trained technician will analyze the upholstery and point out any potential permanent stains or areas of concern. He or she will then give you an evaluation of expected results.

Step 2: Area Preparation

The technician will then prepare the area where the upholstery will be cleaned in order to protect your surrounding furnishings.

Step 3: Pre-Vacuum

All textiles will then be vacuumed thoroughly before cleaning. This step will remove dry soils and any loose particles, such as pet hair (and chip crumbs), from cracks and crevices. This step makes the steam cleaning process much more simple and effective.

Step 4: Pre-Spray

We apply a fine fabric pre-spray to loosen soil and release any body oils or stains that may have solidified on the fabric.

Step 5: Scrub

We then manually agitate these areas as needed with a specially designed furniture brush. This helps to break up deeply-rooted stains, so that they can be removed in the next step.

Step 6: Soil Extraction, Rinse, and Speed Dry

Steam Action's soil extraction and rinse process ensures that your upholstery is looking and smelling like new.

We then use a heated rinsing solution to wash away contaminants, leaving the fabric fresh and clean. Thanks to our quick-drying technology, your upholstery will be cleaned and dried efficiently and effectively.

Step 7: Post-Cleaning Inspection

Our technician will review the cleaning results with you to ensure that your expectations have been met or exceeded.

(Step 8): Fabric Protector

We also recommend that your upholstery be treated with DuPont Teflon Protector, or equivalent, after cleaning to further increase its life. These protectant sprays fend off soil, stains, and spills on your upholstery without altering its weight, look, feel, color or breathability.


As you finish reading this, take a moment to analyze the condition of your furniture’s upholstery. Does it have unpleasant odors? Are there obvious stains or spill marks? Has the color faded and lost its original sheen? If you say “yes” to any of these questions, then it may be time to give us a call.  Remember, we have the trained staff and the solid game plan to ensure that your furniture is looking, and smelling, like it is brand new!

Red Wine

Cleaning Tips: The Five Toughest Stains

Stains are such an expected part of life that it can be easy to poke fun at people who fuss over the tiniest blemish on their carpet, wall or upholstery…until that stain is marking up our own home. Wanting to preserve the integrity of our investments and keep them blemish-free is human nature. That’s why the slightest drop of red wine on white carpet, chocolate on the couch cushion, or doggie mess on the area rug induces shouts of panic and a mad rush to find a clean towel and/or bucket of warm soapy water.

But before you start scrubbing away,

Consider these tips for cleaning five of the toughest stains to ensure you clean your carpet properly and preserve it for years to come:


Cleaning Kool AidNothing makes a kid happier on a hot summer day than a tall, cool cup of Kool-Aid (did you know they make Rhubarb flavor?). Unfortunately for parents, the rugrats can sometimes have the coordination of one of those wacky waving inflatable arm-flailing tube men. Follow these steps to successfully to get that artificially colored sugar water out of your carpet:

  1. Immediately blot the stain with a clean, dry towel. Be careful not to rub, as this may smear it and work it deeper into the carpet fibers, even down to the carpet pad underneath.
  2. I’m a HUGE proponent of those cheap, plastic spray bottles you can buy at any hardware store. Fill one of those with a mixture of ¼ cup white vinegar, 1 TBS liquid dish soap (I prefer Dawn), and fill the rest of the way with water. Spray the area liberally and let it soak for about 5-10 minutes. Proceed with blotting with a clean, dry towel until the stain is removed.
  3. If the stain is stubborn, repeat this spritz method until the stain has vanished. Some commercial carpet stain cleaning products may help as well, and we recommend any that use oxygen bubbles.

Pet Stains

Clean the mess…keep the dog.

Clean the mess…keep the dog.

If you have pets, make no mistake…your house smells like animals. Accept it, and try these tips to help get rid of the odor of your best buddy’s little accidents.

  1. Of course, clean up the mess immediately (that should go without saying, but I’m saying it).  If it’s a Number Two, pick it up with gloves and dispose of it. If it’s just a wet stain, use the blot method from above and continue until it’s quite dry.
  2. Sometimes Spot’s spot will go unnoticed for a while, leaving it to dry in the carpet fibers. If you smell something foul, it’s time to go CSI! Turn off all the lights in the room and search for the stains using a small black light (again, you can usually find these at a hardware store). Moisten the spot with a cleaning agent specifically designed for pet stains.
  3. To neutralize the odor, avoid using ammonia, as that is a prominent ingredient in dog urine. Smelling that may encourage Rover to continue marking that area. Instead try a mixture of half white vinegar and half warm water. Spray it liberally onto the stained area and allow it to soak for several minutes, and then use the trusty blot technique until the stain is gone and the area is nearly dry.
  4. While the area is still a little damp, sprinkle a handful of baking soda over the soiled area. Mix half a cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide with a teaspoon of mild liquid detergent (liquid dishwasher detergent works too), and slowly pour the mixture over the baking powder. Put on some gloves and work the dissolving baking soda into the carpet, first with your fingers then with a scrub brush. Let the area dry completely then vacuum.


If you don’t get at this stain properly, it can leave a dirty, yellowish brown stain that’s painfully obvious. After immediately blotting the dampness and coffee from the carpet, follow these steps:

  1. Try the vinegar mixture from the Kool-Aid section and use the spritz method. Be sure to rinse and repeat.
  2. You can try using a product that’s specifically designed for coffee stains, but only AFTER you’ve tested it on a less visible patch of carpet to make sure it doesn’t damage your carpet. Use as directed and wear gloves.


Bloodstain_main_0714_0Provided that it isn’t a Dexter-esque crime scene, blood isn’t as tough to clean as you might think. Quick response is key, and the faster you act the more effective these tips will be:

  1. Wear rubber gloves! It’s blood.
  2. Use cold water. Heat makes blood coagulate, and cold water will keep the blood from permeating into the carpet fibers.
  3. Mix two teaspoons of liquid, grease-fighting dish detergent into a full bottle of cold water and spray liberally on the blood stain. Spray until the stain is entirely submerged in the cold water solution. Use a paper towel to blot, or a dry cloth so that the blood is transferred to the cloth. Rinse with cold water and repeat as needed.
  4. Hydrogen Peroxide is ideal for bloodstains. It takes some doing to dissolve it in cold water, but mix it as well as possible and apply with either a spray bottle or pouring it directly onto the blood spot. Blot until dry, rinse and repeat as needed.


Trying to clean an ink stain improperly could spread the problem around. Like blood, the faster you act the easier it is to clean. Be sure to follow these effective tips:

  1. Dampen a clean cloth with isopropyl alcohol and dab the location of the stain. The higher the percentage of alcohol the better.
  2. Do NOT rub or scrub. This could spread the ink.
  3. Treat the carpet with alcohol again as needed. Rinse the area with water and blot, then vacuum dry with a wet vacuum until the spot is dry.

While these home remedies can be effective if cleaning stains quickly, the longer the stain sits the less effective they will be. Professional cleaning companies like Steam Action have the equipment and experience to treat your carpet and return it to a clean, healthy condition. Take a look at this stain removal tutorial by me, Bob Goodrich. When all else fails, be sure to give us a call!

Steam Clean Your Carpets for Spring

For Clean Carpets, Steam’s a Dream…

Steam cleaning reduces the amount of dangerous bacteria and viruses in your carpet.

Steam cleaning reduces the amount of dangerous bacteria and viruses in your carpet.

Did you know that the human body sheds about 1.5 MILLION dead skin flakes every hour? Yuck! What’s worse is that those flakes make up about 90% of what we call “dust.”

Add that to the dirt, animal dander, food, and random odors that get trapped inside carpets during the winter, and you’ve got a pretty good reason to seriously consider getting your carpet steam cleaned this spring…because it sure needs it!

Why steam clean your carpet?

For starters, it cleans deeper than your vacuum ever will. Vacuuming helps eliminate some surface dirt, but it won’t put a dent in the stuff embedded deep in there…not to mention any number of microscopic dust mites feasting off your debris.

Steam cleaning your carpet will also greatly improve your indoor air quality. It reduces the amount of dangerous bacteria and viruses in your carpet, which harbors about 200,000 bacteria per square inch. For a point of reference, that makes it 4,000 times dirtier than your toilet seat.

It will also protect your carpet and ensure it has a nice, long life. Dirt is very abrasive and will scratch your carpet’s fibers as well as your delicate upholstery fabrics. Over time, the dirt will change your carpet’s color and degrade the fibers, leading to premature wear.

What about other cleaning methods?

There are many ways to clean a carpet, but some don’t clean as well as steam, nor are they as gentle on your carpet. Simply put, steam cleaning is the ONLY method that will give you a true deep cleaning.

Steam cleaning uses hot water extraction that works great on stains, offers the best penetration, and can kill most germs and viruses. The water reaches a minimum temperature of 130°F, which can rejuvenate the carpet fibers and return some spring and curl to your carpet. Compare this to some other methods:

  • Dry foam machines have rotating brushes that may damage your carpet fibers and leave behind residue from the cleaning chemicals.
  • Dry compounds are absorbent mixtures that work well as a supplemental cleaning, but don’t penetrate near as well as steam cleaning.
  • Like dry foam, bonnet cleaning is highly labor intensive, but isn’t as damaging to your carpets. The downside is the fact that it gets down to only the top third of the carpet material, leaving the deeply embedded mold, mites, dirt, and germs to fester.
  • Shampooing is still around despite the popularity of steam cleaning because it’s economical. While it cleans deeper than the dry cleaning methods, shampooing uses a ton of water and, if the carpet isn’t rinsed correctly, can leave behind shampoo residue. If you’re cleaning by hand, it can be difficult to remove all of the water, leaving wet surfaces under your carpet that can lead to mold and rot. And if you don’t use a special formula shampoo, you’re guaranteed to leave behind residue that will attract new dirt.

If there’s a downside to steam cleaning, it’s that the carpets can take up to 24 hours to dry completely. However, Steam Action Carpet Cleaning uses special dryers to speed the drying process. In most cases, your freshly cleaned carpets will be dried before we leave.

Now that it’s staying warm and sunny outside, there’s no better time to get those carpets cleaned. Call Steam Action today and let us improve your indoor air quality, maintain your carpet’s integrity, and get you on your way to enjoying clean, beautiful carpets all summer long!