Recent Posts

Flooding

1/24/2020 (Permalink)

Storms and heavy rains can cause heavy flooding in such a short period of time. A perfect example of this is in Lousiana currently. They had 2 feet of rain that fell consistently for 3 days, and within a 72-hour time span the streets were flooded. The National Weather Service is warning that rivers will stay in flood stage for days

Flooding means that not only will a homeowner have to think about the current situation of being displaced from their home and losing some of their personal belongings, but the results after the water is gone. Standing water is a breeding ground for bacteria.

Once the water has subsisded the presence of dirt, grime, bacteria and mold will be present. The level of these things depends on how long the standing water is left unattended. In a case like Louisiana there is no telling when the water can be extracted from the towns let alone peoples houses.

After the waters have subsided and before you immediately enter your home refer to this checklist.

1. Watch out for wild animals, poisonous snakes that may have entered the home, check thru the debris.

2. Watch out for plaster, loose ceiling structures and document everything for yourself and for insurance purposes.

3. Throw away any food, anything that may have come in contact with the flood waters, anything in the fridge.

4. Check electrical systems, gas leaks, sewage and water lines all for damage.

Tips if You Have A Fire In Your Home

1/24/2020 (Permalink)

If you have a fire in your home we understand you won’t be out there on the web looking for tips, but maybe by reading these ahead of time some of these will stick in your head if you do fall into this unfortunate position.

At SERVPRO we have to goal in mind to make it “Like it never even happened,” in your home. Whether it smoked or smoldered we will make sure our professionally trained crew will be there for you.

Here are a few Do’s and Don’ts if you have fire and smoke damage.

DO

  • Limit movement of people in the structure to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
  • Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork.
  • Place dry, colorfast towels on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely, and prop doors open to prevent odor.
  • Wipe soot from chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim and appliances. Then protect with a light coat of lubricant.
  • Pour RV antifreeze into sinks, toilet bowl, holding tanks, and tubs if heat is off during freezing season.
  • Gently wash both side of leaves and indoor plants.
  • Change HVAC filter, but leave system off until checked by trained professional.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.

DON’T

  • DON’T attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn, and Rusk Counties Professional.
  • DON’T attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn, and Rusk Counties.
  • DON’T attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service person.
  • DON’T consume any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water. They could be contaminated.
  • DON’T turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock.
  • DON’T send garments to the dry cleaner, Improper cleaning may set the smoke odor.

What Exactly Is A Commercial Disaster?

1/24/2020 (Permalink)

Equipment malfunction caused this flood in a manufacturing plant. Not only was the production floor affected, so to was this restroom.

One definition of a disaster is a serious disruption, occurring over a relatively short time, of the functioning of a community or a society involving widespread human, material, economic or environmental loss. When we talk to people in the commercial setting they think of a disaster as a major weather-related event. A tornado, a great flood, or something similar.  The truth is we see disasters, all be it on a smaller scale, to commercial property on a weekly basis.

A disaster in a commercial setting is anything that causes disruption to business or causes damage to services or goods that negatively impact profitability. Here are the most common disasters we see.

Failed Plumbing: Just like your home, a commercial building is just as susceptible to failed plumbing. Frozen pipe bursts are common in the winter because people may times try to cut cost and may not keep the property from freezing. The strain on plumbing because of everyday harsh use also can weaken the plumbing and make it vulnerable.

Appliances & Equipment: From a simple water heater malfunction to major machinery using high water pressure. Appliances and equipment, even with the best maintenance sometimes fail. Evaluate the equipment in your commercial building. If you are a restaurant or food service provider you may be more at risk.

Sprinkler System Malfunction: Have regular maintenance performed on your sprinkler system annually. This the best way to prevent malfunctions.

Roof Leaks: Okay this one is kind of weather related. But it doesn’t take huge thunderstorm to leave water in your building if you have roof issues. A regular shower can do a great amount of damage if the roof allows it to leak inside.

Commercial Mold Removal

1/24/2020 (Permalink)

Why do I have mold on my premises?

Mold in a commercial property can be caused by water damage or water intrusion from various sources such as a roof, window or plumbing leaks. The humidity caused by the presence of moisture combined with the warmth and poor ventilation in a property gives mold the perfect conditions to develop, and it can spread quickly if left unchecked. This can cause damage to internal structures, damage to products in storage and is also a serious health risk for you, your customers and your staff.

Should I Clean Mold Myself?

It may be tempting to clean the mold off of surfaces yourself, however, this will only remove the surface mold. Although an area may look clean of mold the root cause of the infestation and there will be spores within the surface that you will not be able to reach with household cleaning items. The spores that are left will continue to multiply and grow and the surface growth will soon be visible again. A few things you can do in the case of a mold infestation are:

  • Turn off your HVAC system if you have one
  • Make sure that movement in the area is limited to prevent spores from transferring elsewhere
  • Do not touch or disturb the affected areas
  • Make sure that you vacate the property

What Will a Mold Removal Team do?

If you have a mold infestation on your premises, you should call the SERVPRO expert mold removal team as soon as possible. They will be able to determine the cause of the mold growth and remove all spores from the property ensuring that it is fully eliminated.

SERVPRO team will carry out a preliminary assessment of the problem to ascertain the severity of the infestation and the underlying cause. There is a protocal we must follow to properly address the severity of the damage. The first step is to contact a certified Environmentalist who can test the area and report the specifics of the spore counts, the risks and the step-by-step remediation. S/He will then ensure that there is no cross contamination within the premises.

SERVPRO is trained to perform the step-by-step remediation, Mold isn’t always visible to the human eye so our experts will use special equipment to clean areas that are affected or that have high moisture levels that will encourage future mold growth.

Once the assessment and containment of the mold are complete, SERVPRO team will then remove the mold at the source ensuring that there are no mold spores present within the premises to safeguard against further infestation. Finally, the team will remove the underlying cause of the infestation by repairing the affected area to stop the further intrusion of water.

If left untreated mold can cause serious structural damage to your commercial property such as brickwork and drywall which could lead to more serious issues that will take longer and cost more to correct in addition to the loss of business while the premises are being treated and repaired. 

Leaving Your Stove On Can Cause a Fire in Your Home

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

There are many things inside of your home that can cause fire damage. Some of them are even objects that you use every day of your life, such as your stove. At first glance, they are merely a part of your home and nothing to worry over, as they should be. However, if these devices are misused, they can cause a fire. Accidentally leaving your stove on, after you finish cooking, is an unfortunately common way to set a fire in your home.

Detecting a burning odor and hearing your smoke alarm in your Minneapolis home are significant indications that fire Damage is occurring. The bacon grease left in your pan from cooking breakfast has caught fire and then spread to your nearby paper towel roll and cooking ingredients. By the time you use the fire extinguisher to smother the flames, your cupboards and belongings have already been covered in soot. Additionally, whatever foodstuffs were in the area have been burnt up by the fire.

At first glance, the damage may seem like something you can handle at home. Afterall, it has mostly been caused by smoke. However, only professionals, like SERVPRO, know specifically what cleaning method to use on the remains of a fire.

Soot adheres at a high temperature but selecting a method of remediation also depends on the temperature of the surface area. SERVPRO knows precisely how to remediate the fire damage left behind in your home. Our technicians can carefully investigate your kitchen and figure out what cleaning methods to use. In fact, we may have to use more than one as it is common for multiple types of soot and staining to be left behind. To handle the soot, we can use lubricative, chemical, or abrasive cleaning techniques.

SERVPRO Investigates to Quickly Find Sources of Mold

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

Running a pub can be rough, dealing with customers day in and day out who have had a little too much to drink. The place can get out of control, but even under the best circumstances, there are several gallons of moisture hitting the floors every day. If the serving area, the bar itself and the storage areas for the liquor do not have proper maintenance performed, mold growth can happen quickly. A single broken nozzle in the serving area or even spillage from a solid night of business can create the perfect conditions for mold growth to occur. 
 
When you experience commercial mold damage in your business, give us a call. We have 24-hour emergency services available from a trusted leader in the restoration industry. Being a locally owned and operated franchise has its privileges, we have access to the personnel and equipment necessary to handle any size disaster. With several years of experience, we understand how mold acts and can effectively mediate the exposure your business faces. 
 
Mold growth, especially in buildings, may cause health effects in certain people. A variety of practices, used correctly, mitigate mold issues in buildings. Maintaining the proper moisture levels inside of a building helps mediate mold growth and prevent possible mold damage restoration conditions. SERVPRO technicians understand that mold spores are present in our environment, both indoors and outdoors. 
 
It is a part of our job at SERVPRO to educate you about the possible ways to spread microscopic spores  throughout your business and properly limit exposure to your professional environment. Spores can float through the air and often enter through open windows or doors. If not maintained correctly, your ventilation system could contain large numbers of mold spores and spread them throughout your building. 
 
SERVPRO experiences cases of infestation on a daily basis. Most often producing strong, musty odors in areas just out of view, before growing into colonies and spreading to other regions. The moisture level that exists has an enormous impact on how far the contamination spreads, however, small areas can live for a very long time before the right conditions are in place to expand them further. 
 

Heavy Rains Can Cause A Nasty Problem

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

Heavy rains can put a lot of stress on the local drainage systems. When the sewer system reaches maximum volume waste water is forced out through floor drains, tubs, or any plumbing connected to the city sewer. Buildings with basements are particularly susceptible.

These situations are real health hazards. The water can contain solid waste and many other pathogenic hazards. It is never acceptable to enter areas affected by a sewer back up unprotected.

At Risk: With these kinds of health hazards all are considered at rick when in this environment but some are more susceptible than others. The very young, the very old, and anyone with a compromised immune system need to steer clear of these areas.

Category 3: All water damages are classified by category based on the degree of contaminationOne, being the cleanest down to three, which is considered grossly contaminated. Many times, you will hear this kind of loss be referred to as “Black” water.

Personal Protection: The IICRC has a strict standard for handling a water damage such as a sewer backup because of the potential health concerns. All persons who are involved with the clean up of a sewer backup are required to wear personal protective equipment. In this case it calls for boots, gloves, protective clothing, and a full-face respirator to protect the eyes and respiratory system.

Staying Safe During a Storm

1/21/2020 (Permalink)

Priorities, people!  The most important thing is staying safe during a storm.  There will be plenty of time to review the damage, later.  In our modern, technology-driven age, we can sometimes forget how powerful the forces of nature are.  Here’s a few tips on how to protect your family and friends.

If You’re Outdoors

Find Shelter Fast

In the event that you’re caught in a thunder and lightning rainstorm, the best way to reduce the chances of danger is to get inside a protective structure.  If you can see lightning, there’s a chance it can hurt you.   Make sure and bring your pets inside with you and protect them, too.

Things to definitely avoid:  standing under a tree and being near powerlines.   Lightning is attracted to tall objects and  you could get hurt, either by the tree if it should crack or the lightning could hit you, too.  High voltage powerlines can come down in heavy storms and once down, move like writhing snakes.  People have been killed because they were ‘whipped’ and electrocuted by powerlines.

Should a protective building not be near, get in a car with metal roof and sides.  Metal is a great conductor of electricity.  Better to have the voltage go around you instead of through you!

Stay Off your Landline

Lightning has been known to travel through telephone wires.  Shocks from landlines are actually the leading source of lightning-related injuries. 

Avoid Potentially Wet Areas

This includes swimming pools and even showers and bathtubs.  Water is also an excellent conductor of electricity.  So is metal plumbing.  Lightning can run through metal pipes and shock you if you touch a metal faucet at the time it strikes.

What if You Can’t Get Inside?

There are just some times when there are no protective structures.  In these cases, the following rules apply:

Get to a lower elevation.  Lightning strikes less often at lower elevations.

Avoid being in situations where you are the tallest object.  This could include open meadows, athletic fields, golf courses etc.  Remember, the tallest objects in an area are practically ‘lightning targets’.  Don’t be one!

If you feel a staticky sensation in your hair, it could be that a lightning strike is imminent.  In this case, assume a crouched position transferring your weight to the balls of your feet with your shoes touching.  Next, tuck your head and cover your ears (make yourself as small as possible). This will improve the odds of avoiding a direct hit.  When the staticky sensation passes, make a ‘bee line’ for the nearest car or building.

If You’re Driving

Don’t Touch

The safest car to be in during a lightning storm is one where the entire cabin is composed of metal – something that isn’t found as commonly anymore.  Non-metallic materials actually increase the chances that the passengers may be injured.  In the event that the car is hit, the current may pass through the vehicle’s electrical systems, the GPS, cell phone chargers, car door handles, foot pedals, steering column and steering wheel.

The best advice in a situation like this is not to touch anything metal in the car’s cabin during the storm – including the radio. 

Drivers should also avoid driving through standing water.  Engines can easily stall in as little as 6” of water.  This increases the chances of being hit by another vehicle or getting caught in a flash flood.

Moving Past the Storm.  Restoration Services.

While these tips will not protect your property, they could save your life!  In the event that you should require water or storm damage restoration after the storm has passed, SERVPRO is here to help.

There when you need us.  We’re here for you when you need us most.  In many cases, we’ll be at your door within an hour of your call.

Share our knowledge.  Experience has shown us that what most people want is to understand what is happening all through the restoration process. 

Winter Water Damage

1/21/2020 (Permalink)

In the wintertime, we tend to forget about mold becoming an issue in the home. For the most part, we associate mold with humid summer days creating the perfect environment for mold growth in dark, damp spaces… but this is not always the case. For example, mold growth can strike quickly after a flood or fire even in the winter. We recently encountered a home in which the pipes had burst on the third floor of the dwelling. With no one home, the water soaked the home for 2 days before the leak was discovered. Our crew began working in the home within 72 hours of the disaster and within that time mold growth could be seen on wet surfaces throughout the house. If not properly treated mold can quickly make its way into difficult to find places like vents and ducts where it may cause health issues to those in the home if not removed.

Homes Can Be Restored With SERVPRO

1/21/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Handles the Remediation Process From Inspecting the Damage to Paint and Flooring

We all make mistakes at one point or another, and sometimes accidents happen, even at home. If you've had the excitement of a small fire in your home recently, you'll most likely have been surprised at the amount of damage a small fire can cause. While you may have already cleaned up part of the damage, especially your personal belongings, damage to trim, carpeting, walls, floors, or anything else that is a part of your home's structure should be repaired and restored by professionals. 

If you live in a rented home and have had fire damage, having professional restoration work done by those skilled in recreating your home's damaged interior is the best way to make sure you'll receive your deposit back when you move out. If you have insurance, either homeowner's, in the case of your own home, or renter's insurance, we can provide you with an inventory list that details which items are beyond repair or restoration. 

As we conduct our inspection, we may find that internal beams have also been charred by the flames' heat. These should be replaced with new lumber prior to repairing any walls. Then we can continue the work with either paint or wallpaper, as well as moldings and rails. We can also repair any damaged carpets and area rugs, as well as hard floors. Wood, tile and other hard surfaces that cover your floor can be cleaned and refinished so that the fire Damage is minimized to a great extent, and many times, be completely removed. It's always possible that fire damage may be so severe that it requires partial replacement of flooring, though, just as other interior structures can at times. We can handle any problems involving your floor, and we will always restore as much as we can before replacing the remainder. 

Fire damage includes smoke and soot, and this can affect soft furnishings in your home. Drapes and curtains, as well as your upholstered furniture and heavier winter blankets, should all be cleaned by experts in the field. Don't throw these items away, as we are very adept at saving these kinds of items for many of our clients. We know how to dry them all the way through, so they won't rot or become a haven for mold in the future.