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How To Mitigate Water Damage

12/30/2021 (Permalink)

Air movers placed in the hallway of a commercial building Dry the area regardless of the category of water damage.

Water Mitigation

Mitigation should begin as soon as a property owner or manager notices signs of water damage. Whether you discover a supply line leaking or you need a pipe burst cleanup, these water cleanup measures can limit the severity of damage.

Address the Cause

Damage is likely to worsen until the cause is fixed. Take the following mitigation measures:

  • Turn off the water supply
  • Collect water in containers
  • Contact a plumber

These steps can limit the severity of water damage. Once the problem is fixed, cleanup can proceed.

Remove Standing Water

Water left standing will damage contents. Depending on how much water is present, you may need to use towels and a mop, a wet vac, or a pump. If you do not have equipment capable of handling a pipe burst cleanup, contact a water damage cleanup service. Mitigation professionals can quickly address primary and secondary damage.

Clean and Disinfect

It may be necessary to clean or disinfect the damaged area. The treatment required depends on conditions where the leak occurred and the category of water damage. You will need to

  • Dry Category One damage
  • Clean and disinfect Category Two damage
  • Clean and disinfect Category Three damage

Category One water is clean and treated. Category Two gray water is contaminated but does not contain solid waste. Category Three black water is highly contaminated and may contain sewage.

Dry the Area

It is necessary to dry the affected area regardless of the category of water damage. You may use air movers, dehumidifiers, or fans. This equipment will promote faster drying and draw moisture out of porous surfaces. Drying can limit the severity of water damage.

The owner or manager of a commercial property should fix the cause of water damage as soon as possible. If pipe burst cleanup or other major mitigation measures are necessary, hire a water cleanup service located in Star Prairie, WI.

3 Steps for Home Flooding Recovery

12/17/2021 (Permalink)

Flooded backyard Floodwater in a home.

Home Flooding Recovery

The damages left behind by floodwater in-home settings can be extensive and leave an emotional toll behind as well. This is true whether the water damage resulted from rising waters after prolonged rain or a broken pipe. After flooding recedes, most people want to get back to their normal lives as quickly as possible, but the full recovery from the situation may take a long time. Breaking recovery tasks into orderly chunks may help the process move along more smoothly.

1. Contact Your Insurance Company

Talk to your insurance agent about the terms of your flood insurance. The agent may recommend certain water damage restoration professionals in Glenwood City, WI. Be prepared to share contact information, such as the phone number and address of where you are staying during the recovery process. Discuss steps such as keeping photographic evidence of the damages and holding onto damaged materials as proof of your losses.

2. Maintain Safety

Water in the home and electricity make a dangerous combination. Make sure you shut off the electricity to the home before attempting any repairs or cleanup. Ask professionals about whether it's safe to enter the residence to avoid injuries from gas leaks or fire hazards. Remember to practice basic safety procedures.

  • Wear sturdy work gloves and protective hand and eyewear.
  • Consider wearing a respirator.
  • Don't mix cleaning chemicals, such as chlorine bleach with ammonia.
  • Watch out for pests, such as snakes and mice.

3. Separate Belongings for Professional and DIY Cleaning

You may be able to hose off or rinse out many of your belongings. Some items, such as clothing, can be cared for at a dry cleaning shop. However, many furnishings, such as carpets or upholstered couches, will require specific professional care. Water damage restoration professionals have the right tools and training to clean without causing further damage and will take steps to prevent long-term damages, such as mold.

Remember, after floodwater in-home settings recedes, contact Glenwood City, WI, professionals, ensure safety, and then set aside tasks for professionals. Working methodically through recovery helps get things back to normal more quickly.

Dryer Maintenance 101

12/6/2021 (Permalink)

Hand cleaning lint filter Cleaning your dryer regularly may help you avoid a potential lint fire.

Dryer Maintenance Tips

Around 2,900 dryer fires occur each year including incidents in Prescott, WI. If you’re concerned about protecting your home, proper dryer maintenance is one important step toward lint fire prevention. Here are some maintenance tips you may want to know about.

1. Observe Dryer Safety

One way to avoid a dryer fire is to observe dryer use safety recommendations. These include things like not overloading your dryer, not letting it run without someone in the house, and ensuring that it’s off before you head to bed. It’s also important to never put flammable materials inside the dryer. These include rags or clothing that may have come into contacts with substances such as grease, alcohol, paint, or gasoline. Items containing rubber such as potholders, bathmats, or footwear will come with washing instructions that should be observed as well.

2. Clean Your Dryer Regularly

Cleaning your dryer regularly may help you avoid a potential lint fire. It’s easy to remove the lint from the lint screen after each use, but your dryer should be deep cleaned at least once a year. Depending on your dryer use frequency you may want to clean it as soon as every three month. After unplugging the dryer, you can vacuum out the lint trap, clean the exhaust hose and exterior vents, and in most cases remove the back panel to clean out any accumulated lint inside the machine.

3. If Issues Persist, Contact a Professional.

If you’re experiencing problems with your dryer it’s best to contact a professional to service the machine. If you do experience a dryer fire, then a fire damage restoration professional may be able to conduct repairs and restore your home to its pre-fire state.

Proper dryer maintenance may help prevent a lint fire in your home. Always observe the manufacturer's instructions when drying items and avoid leaving a running dryer unattended. If your dryer is malfunctioning it’s best to contact a professional for repairs.

Don’t Break Your Back Over Sandbags, Try These Water Barriers Instead

11/22/2021 (Permalink)

Inflatable Rubber Dam flat Flood dams can help you protect your building.

Sandbags Alternatives

If you know the water is coming, and you have weeks to prepare, tons of sand, and dozens of people to help you fill and move a sand bag around, this is a great way to keep the water from entering your land. But damming a commercial property in Baldwin, WI, before a storm can be difficult using one bag of sand at a time. Here are three new alternatives to the old way of property damming.

1. Water Barricade

Easy-to-use water tubes can be found in lengths between six and 50 feet. They also typically come in several diameters, including 4 inches and 20 inches. You simply lay the tube where you want the dam around your property to be, fill it with water, and watch the tubes prevent the floodwaters from damaging your property. After use, simply hang them up to dry, and store them away for the next time they are needed.

2. Water Fence

Don’t let the unusual design of a water fence put you off because it can protect as well as any sand bag. Many water fences have been engineered from marine-secure panels, reinforced with aluminum and stainless-steel, and covered in PVC canvas. Typically 4 feet tall, these fences are made of panels that can be reused up to 60 times, and that can provide protection from flood damage for years to come. Simply fold and store the sections of fence after use.

3. Water Dam

With a feel of fabric-covered diaper material, this type of floodwater protection may be one of the best flood dams available. Better yet, it can be found at most local hardware stores. Roll the sections out, run hose water over each unit, and watch it expand. The small tubes can also be stacked for additional protection. When the water recedes, the tubes can shrink as they dry out, waiting for the next storm to hit.

The back-breaking work of filling a sand bag can be a thing of the past with these new and surprisingly efficient options to raging floodwaters. Whether you need to protect a small building or a whole city block, it is easy to do with these inventive water barriers. If water does flood your property, contact a water damage specialist for assistance.

6 Common Causes of House Fires

11/22/2021 (Permalink)

Kitchen fire, burned kitchen cabinets A kitchen fire in Prescott, WI.

Top Causes of a Home Fire

A home fire can break out in Prescott, WI, for a wide range of reasons. No matter why flames start, it can be helpful to call in a residential cleanup crew after the fact. If you become familiar with the top causes of a fire, you may be able to avoid the disaster in your own house.

1. Heaters: Heating equipment, such as space heaters, wood-burning stoves, and electric fireplaces, plays a big role in the occurrence of house fires. Occasionally, central heating systems may start a fire, but other forms of house heaters tend to be more dangerous.

2. Cooking Appliances: The kitchen is a dangerous room in the house and is responsible for a variety of fire causes. Frying mishaps, unattended cooking, and gas fires are often associated with this type of fire.

3. Smoking Materials: Most people put out their cigarettes when they are done smoking. However, sometimes accidents happen and the burning butt is left unattended. This mishap often leads to the need for some type of fire cleaning.

4. Electrical Factors: Frayed cords, damaged plugs, and faulty wiring can cause a home fire to break out. If an appliance overheats, it may fall into the category of electrical factors.

5. Faulty Alarms: While the alarms themselves may not start the fires, they can play a role in how bad the flames get. If your smoke alarm does not go off, you may end up sleeping until the fire has engulfed most of your house.

6. Intentional Acts: Every once in a while, a house fire may be started on purpose. An angry spouse or disgruntled neighbor could be behind an intentional fire. Even some homeowners may be the ones who started the fire to cash in on insurance money.

There is no one cause of a home fire. Being aware of the potential for danger can help you keep your house safer.

3 Signs You May Have a Sewage Problem in Your Home

11/3/2021 (Permalink)

Overflowing broken toilet An overflowing toilet can be a sign of a serious clog in your plumbing.

3 Signs Your Home May Have a Sewage Problem

Water problems in your New Richmond, WI, home can cause financial setbacks and other problems that keep you up at night. This may include an old plumbing system that backs up frequently or arranging for sewage cleaning services when your toilets spillover. Catching problems early could lower the risk of flooding and overflow, but you can often prevent these difficulties when you learn to spot the signs of potential sewage trouble.

1. There Is Overflow During Showers

If your toilet backs up and overflows when you run the shower, this can be a sign of a serious clog in your plumbing. If the excess water cannot drain the usual way when the shower is running because of a clog, it may run into the toilet line and cause the bowl to overflow. If a toilet overflow occurs each time you turn on the shower, you may want to call in a plumbing service for sewage cleaning and to have your lines inspected.

2. There Is a Lingering Sewer Smell

Keeping your bathroom clean is probably high on your list of housekeeping priorities, but if a foul odor persists even after you scrub your toilet, you may have a sewer problem. Damaged or cracked pipes could be sending this smell back into your home and could eventually cause your toilet to spew sewer contents up the line and into your bathroom. Asking a plumber or flood damage and restoration company for advice and assistance may prevent a troublesome and messy cleaning job.

3. There Is Inconsistent Flushing Power

If your toilet has become sluggish and does not flush completely, a clogged pipe may be to blame. However, you may also want to check the unit’s flapper or look for a leak around the base before calling a plumber to remove a potential clog.

Sewer issues in your New Richmond, WI, home can be costly in terms of water removal and sewage cleaning. Learning to spot the signs of a possible problem can save you time and money and help you avoid future damage to your home.

Grease Fires: Fast and Dangerous

10/17/2021 (Permalink)

Pot on flames In the event of a grease fire contact a fire department.

It’s no surprise that most home fires start in the kitchen. But did you know that most kitchen fires are grease fires? It’s true. Cooking with oil and fat adds an extra element of risk to home cooking. Fortunately, a few simple precautions can help you avoid grease fires in your kitchen.

How to Stop Grease Fires Before They Start

1) Keep cooking surfaces clean. Wipe grease off the stove and countertops and clean the oven regularly.

2) Pay attention to temperature directions in recipes and on packages. Fats and oils with low smoking points, like butter and sesame oil, should never be used with high heat. Others, like peanut oil and extra virgin olive oil, can tolerate much higher temperatures.

3) Never leave cooking food unattended. Fats and oils can ignite quickly. If you see smoke rising from the pan or detect a sharp, smoky smell, turn down the heat or remove the pan from the stove immediately.

What to Do If A Fire Breaks Out

1) DO NOT POUR WATER ON THE FLAMES. This will cause the grease to splatter, spreading out fire and making it more difficult to extinguish.

2) If possible, smother the fire using a metal lid or pan. Do not use glass, as it may shatter. Turn off the heat and leave the cover on until it is cool.

3) Alternatively, pour baking soda or salt on the fire to extinguish the flames. Do not use other cooking products like flour, sugar or cornstarch, as these may make things worse.

4) Point a Class B dry chemical fire extinguisher at the fire and spray until flames are gone.

Once the grease fire has been extinguished, assess the damage and begin fire cleanup. Contact the River Falls, WI  fire department or the National Fire Protection Association for more information about keeping your home and family safe from fire.

Do You Suffer from Lawn Slime?

10/12/2021 (Permalink)

Plant with mildew Avoid lawn slime by keeping your lawn clear of debris.

Is Lawn Slime a Problem for You?

Lawn slime is exactly what it sounds like – a creeping, invasive slime that seemingly crops up overnight on your Hudson, WI lawn, often in brightly colored patches. Not only is this slime disgusting, but it can prevent your grass and other cultivated plants from growing. It also poses a safety hazard for slipping on the sticky, gooey mess. But did you know that lawn slime is actually a form of outdoor mold?

Getting to the Root of Lawn Slime

Lawn slime, like any other fungus, feeds on organic matter. Lawn slime in particular prefers dead and decaying matter, and if it’s been a while since you raked the lawn you might have created perfect breeding grounds for lawn slime to grow. Conditions that favor lawn slime include:

  • Dark, shaded places, such as beneath thick trees, under bushes, and under heavy leaf, twig, and needle thatch
  • Areas with trapped moisture, such as muddy gravel and peat beds or boggy areas
  • Accumulations of dead matter such as dead leaves and other rotting foliage
  • Hot, humid and/or rainy weather
  • Overwatering
  • Improper mowing
  • Wrong grass type for your yard, leading to dry grass and decaying, dead matter

Keeping Lawn Slime Away

Unlike indoor mold, lawn slime rarely responds to the sort of mold remediation techniques used on household mold. Raking up lawn slime is a start, but as a fungus it often has a network of fibrous matter that extends through places you can’t see. It also doesn’t respond much to chemical treatments or other mold deterrents.

The best offense is a good defense, so avoid lawn slime by keeping your lawn clear of debris, trimming overhanging trees to reduce shadows, and using a sandy soil type that lawn slime has difficulty taking root in. Avoid overwatering your lawn and creating conditions ripe for lawn slime breeding. With a little diligence, you can keep your lawn slime-free.

Basic First Aid for Workplace Burns

10/12/2021 (Permalink)

First Aid Training - Burn injury. First aid course. First aid training - Burn Injury

Workplace Burns: Basic First Aid

When fire accidents happen around the workplace in New Richmond, WI, it isn’t only fire damage to your property you need to worry about. To improve safety conditions, all employees should understand basic burn first aid. Minor burns can be managed on site, but more serious burns need to be treated by a doctor. If a burn meets any of the following criteria, call for emergency help right away.

  • Appears charred
  • Has white, brown or black patches
  • Is larger than three inches across
  • Covers hands, face, feet, buttocks, groin or joints
  • Is deep

Treating Minor Burns

If fire damage to the skin affects a small area and appears red or blistered, it’s probably minor enough to treat on-site. First, run the burn under cool water or hold cool, wet compresses against it to reduce the pain. If there is any jewelry in the burned area it should be removed, because burns can swell and cause jewelry to become painfully tight. A burn lotion, such as aloe vera, can be applied and a dry gauze bandage wrapped loosely around the area. Try not to break any blisters, as these protect the burned skin from infection. If a blister does break, gently clean it and cover the area with gauze.

Handling Major Burns Until Help Arrives

If an employee sustains major burns, there are things you can do to treat the burn until emergency services arrive. The most important thing is to get the injured person away from the heat source and to check to see if they are breathing. If not, begin resuscitative breathing immediately. The following actions can prevent further harm until trained medical personnel can take over.

  • Remove restrictive items, such as jewelry and belts, from the burned area
  • Cover the burn with cool, damp cloth
  • Elevate the burned area
  • Treat for shock by lying the person down, elevating their feet and keeping them warm

While fire damage to property should only be handled by a professional fire remediation company in New Richmond, WI, every worker should be trained in basic first aid for burns. Addressing a wound right away can make a big difference in the healing process.

Rain Rain Go Away

6/4/2021 (Permalink)

Full gutters Debris from trees still falls on your roof.

During the winter months we talk a lot about watching your roof and gutters for ice buildup, to help avoid ice dams.  Today we are going to talk about your house gutters again, but only with a non-winter slant.  It may not be fall yet, but debris from trees still falls on your roof, the usual leaves or sticks on a winter day, or the really messy dried pine needles.  All of which can plug your gutters and cause rain run off to flow over the edge and collect around your foundation. 

We suggest that you periodically check your gutters and remove the buildup.  Especially when the weather man is predicting a heavy rain fall.  If the water over flows and lands around your foundation causing an excessive saturation, which can seep into your basement and cause damage.  The good news is, SERVPRO can help with the mitigation.  The bad news, homeowner’s insurance doesn’t always cover for seepage of this sort in most policies.  That’s why it’s a good idea to keep up with your home maintenance to avoid having to call us out.