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Avoid House Fires While Heating Your Home | SERVPRO® of Southern Washington County

1/25/2023 (Permalink)

img src =”heater” alt = "a small electric heater in a living room” > Call SERVPRO of Southern Washington County if you experience any smoke, soot or fire damage.

There is no doubt about it! Winter is here.

Now that our furnaces have been working for a while and our fireplaces are becoming a staple in the evenings, it is important to be responsible with any source of heat in your home to prevent house fires. If you haven’t already done so, now is the perfect time to address any issues with your furnace or other methods of heat. Since we have already experienced a variety of winter storm watches and warnings this season, having a reliable source of heat is crucial.

If you ignore any issues or don’t maintain your equipment, you could be vulnerable to a house fire! No one wants to deal with that in the dead of winter, so check out our tips below and make these adjustments in your home.

Maintain Your Furnace

Most homes in the Midwest are equipped with a furnace and HVAC system that moves heat throughout the house. This major appliance needs to be maintained regularly.

It is important that you inspect your furnace seasonally to detect any issues or potential malfunctions, and you should give it a good cleaning to avoid excess dust or debris buildup.

You should also make it a priority to replace the air filter in your HVAC system at this time. Most homes can benefit from a new air filter every 90 days, and even more often if you have a large family or pets. Try to get into the habit of changing the filter at the beginning of every new season.

If you haven’t changed your air filter in a while, you may be shocked at how dirty it is! Your air filter works hard every day to keep dust, debris and allergens out of the air you breathe.

Keep Your Fireplace Clean

Both wood-burning and artificial fireplaces are a staple for many Wisconsin homeowners. They can provide an efficient way to heat your home while creating a cozy home environment.

However, fireplaces are a common cause of house fires! They need to be cleaned and maintained often to prevent a fire from occurring.

If your fireplace is wood-burning, clear out excess ash and regularly inspect your chimney to make sure it is free of blockages. It is also important to wipe off any soot and smoke stains on the bricks. If your fireplace is artificial, you need to get behind the glass and provide the logs and surrounding space a good cleaning to remove dust buildup.

The Convenience of Space Heaters

Space heaters are a great way to heat your home or small space quickly. However, they can heat up really quickly and can be fire hazards as well.

If you utilize a space heater in your home, make sure it is three feet away from any flammable materials in your home and always unplug it before going to bed. It is also important to note that space heaters need to be on a level surface when in use and should never be plugged into an extension cord.

Lastly, if you have small children or pets in your home, discuss the dangers of fire and always be present in the room with them if there is a fire or heat source in use.

If you experience fire damage this season, give us a call at SERVPRO of Southern Washington County for immediate assistance. We’re here 247 when you need us!

Protect Your Home From Water Damage in the New Year | SERVPRO® of Southern Washington County

1/10/2023 (Permalink)

img src =”water” alt = "water failing from a sink into a clogged drain” > Have water damage in your home? Contact SERVPRO of Southern Washington County for quick and professional restoration.

A new year means a whole new season of possibilities! It is the perfect time to plan for new projects and new goals. This year, we want to make sure you are prepared to prevent water damage to save you money and certainly a headache.

Water is one of the most common culprits for home damage. Since we use water in our everyday lives, the threat is almost constant.

<h3does-water-damage-start">Where Does Water Damage Start?

In order to fully understand how to prevent water damage, you have to know what could cause it. Outside the home, blocked gutters and a damaged roof can cause water issues, while large appliances like your dishwasher could cause water damage inside.

Old or rusty pipes or deteriorating caulking can also cause issues over time. It is important to address these troubles quickly to avoid leaks, mold growth or rotten walls.

As soon as you catch an emerging issue, take care of it right away! The longer you leave it unaddressed, the worse your problem could become.

<h3prevention-steps">Easy Prevention Steps

A lot of water damage is preventable, as long as you investigate issues early and take care of the problem thoroughly.

It just takes a little more in-depth work while you are going about your day! Get used to checking your bathrooms and kitchen for water stains or signs of mold. Give your air a sniff from time to time to check for the classic musty odor accompanying a mold problem.

You also need to set aside time to investigate around the exterior of your home and on your roof. Roof damage is an easy way for water to get into your home and leak down your attic and walls.

In the winter, our homes are vulnerable to the effects of snow and ice. Keep the air circulating through your home, keep snow and ice buildup off of your roof, and close up any drafty areas or gaps around your windows and doors.

Once the snow thaws, consider grading your yard! Moving the soil around your property can help slope your yard away from your foundation and can help you avoid a flooded basement. These simple steps can help you keep a dry home all year.

Have water damage in your home? Contact us for fast, professional restoration back to preloss condition.

Addressing Odor Problems in Your Home | SERVPRO® of Southern Washington county

1/3/2023 (Permalink)

< img src =”cleaning.jpg” alt = "a SERVPRO crew setting up machines to clean a kitchen " > If you experience an odor or any other damage inside your home, call SERVPRO of Pewaukee & Sussex day or night.

No job is too big for our highly trained restoration technicians, and that includes tackling any odor problems that you have in your home. Recovering from damages after a disaster can be frustrating enough without having to worry about any lingering issues like odor. That’s where we come in!

Every kind of home damage has the ability to cause lingering odors, from water damage to soot left behind from a fire.

Thankfully, we know how to successfully remove any odor from any surface! Check out our odor removal process below to learn more.

Odor Removal Methods

Each odor is different and comes with different cleanup challenges, so we follow our step-by-step procedure to ensure that we fully understand your specific situation. We can tackle airborne chemicals, gasses or tiny particles in the air.

Some of our removal agents are:

Masking agents. This is a method we can use to help make your home more pleasant to live in while we work on preparing a more in-depth method. Masking agents can be a good first step!

Filtration agents. Our absorption agents work on pulling the odor out of the carpet, floors and furniture. They can also suck the odor right out of the tiny particles in the air.

Disinfectants and sanitizers. A simple cleaning won’t always be effective, so we make sure to completely sanitize the area to prevent any fungus or bacteria from growing back.

Our Four Step Removal Process

When you call us to remove an odor in your home, here’s how it will go:

1. Remove the source. We jump into action to remove the source of the smell. If the cause is unknown, we work hard to identify it right away and remove it, along with anything else that was compromised near it.

2. Clean residue from surfaces. A thorough cleaning comes next! This ensures that every odor particle has been removed and every surface has been sanitized.

3. Recreate the odor-causing conditions. This is a special step that gives us the reassurance that we got everything out. A deodorizer is employed to recreate the environment where the odor originally occurred. For example, if smoke was your issue, we will use “deodorizing smoke.”

4. Seal exposed surfaces. If the odor is proving to be troublesome or isn’t responding to our initial efforts, we can seal off the affected area while we reassess and work on implementing other odor removal methods.

No matter what is causing your odor, we can get rid of it! Your SERVPRO of Southern Washington County team is here for you and your family day or night.

If you experience an odor or other damage inside your home or business, call us at any time, 247. We have the training and equipment to quickly get your property back in operation.

The Facts on Water Damage in Your Home | SERVPRO® of Southern Washington County

12/9/2022 (Permalink)

< img src =”water.jpg” alt = "a white ceiling showing signs of water damage from a leak " > If you experience any water damage inside your home or business, reach out to SERVPRO of Southern Washington County

Water is essential in our homes and in our lives, but we want it to stay off of our floors and out of our basements. Water damage is a constant threat and can happen in an obvious manner or it can slowly creep up on us without much forewarning.

The key to controlling water leaks in your home is to be proactive. Spotting a water leak early can save you time and money when it comes to necessary repairs.

Keeping Your Bathroom Dry

We use water in our bathrooms perhaps the most out of any other room in our home. Sinks, bathtubs, toilets and showers all utilize water daily in order to function. That also means that the threat of water issues are present every day, too.

Check the seals around these fixtures and inspect their water supply lines every time you clean your bathroom. This can help you catch any cracks or leaks right away.

The Threat of Your Appliances

We are grateful for the inventions of the water heater, dishwasher and washing machine. They can make our lives much easier and more comfortable, but only when they work how they are supposed to.

Faulty appliances are one of the common reasons we get calls about water damage. Routinely cleaning them and checking for water damage can help stop a small problem from becoming a large and costly issue. If you notice any staining, peeling paint or mold behind these appliances, call us immediately so we can investigate.

Water Damage and the Weather

We are constantly battling different weather here in eastern Wisconsin. If we aren’t experiencing heavy rain from summer thunderstorms, we are hunkering down during a strong winter storm.

Even just this fall, we experienced record rainfall from that single storm that came through, leading to roads flooding and overflowing rivers. All it takes is one strong storm for us to wake up to standing water in our homes.

At each change of the season, check your windows and doors to make sure they are waterproof. Controlling moisture in your home prevents water damage as well as potential mold growth.

It is also important to focus on keeping your yard and roof ready for the change in season! Clean out your gutters, clear off your roof and set up your downspouts so that you are ready for anything the winter brings our way.

If you experience water damage inside your home or business, call us 247. We have the experience and equipment to get your property back in working order fast.

Winter is coming | SERVPRO of Southern Washington County

11/22/2022 (Permalink)

< img src =”thermometer.jpg” alt = "side by side view of a hot and cold thermometer " > If you experience damage due to a winter storm, call SERVPRO of Southern Washington County. We have the experience and equipment for any issue.

Even though it seems like we just emerged from last year’s cold temperatures, the winter season is upon us once more. That means the arrival of snow, ice and brutal wind.

We are fully accustomed to winter weather here in eastern Wisconsin, and we all know that the weather can range from gently falling snow to major blizzards and dangerous conditions. When those dangerous conditions are present, that also means the risk of home damage is present as well.

Is your home well-prepared to weather through the first winter storm?

Winter All Around Us

We can expect a classic Wisconsin winter with lots of snow and frigid temperatures this year, while other parts of the United States experience a milder season.

However the winter season takes shape here in eastern Wisconsin, we can all prepare our homes to tackle whatever Mother Nature throws at us!

Winter Around Pewaukee and Sussex

We all know how tough Midwesterners are. We can handle icy cold wind, heavy snowstorms, blizzards and whiteout conditions any time from October to April.

Even just last year, we had our first brush with winter in the middle of October. Knowing that we could experience winter weather so early in the season, it is important to prepare your home as soon as you are able to.

Protecting Your Home From Damage

One of the interesting things about winter is that there are so many different ways that weather can affect us. While some situations call for being cautious on the roads while driving, others can create hazardous conditions and make travel impossible.

In those instances, it is crucial to make sure you have a reliable way to receive weather alerts and have an emergency kit stocked and ready to use at any time. It can also be helpful to keep a pantry stocked with some canned foods in case travel is not advised for a while.

Is your house drafty? That may mean that your windows and doors are not weatherproof. This can leave your home vulnerable to cold temperatures and unwanted moisture.

Outside your home, take the time to clean out your gutters and turn off the water access to your outdoor water spigots. If you leave your spigots on or attempt to run them in the winter, water can get into the pipes, freeze and then burst. That can create a costly and really extensive problem in the springtime.

We can handle the winter weather, fellow Wisconsinites! If you do find yourself suffering some type of home damage or water damage this winter, we are here. Your SERVPRO of Southern Washington County team will step in to ensure you are back into your newly restored home in no time.

If you experience damage in a winter storm, call us. We have the experience and equipment to get your home back to normal.

Avoid a House Fire This Holiday Season | SERVPRO® of Southern Washington County

11/7/2022 (Permalink)

< img src =”tree.jpg” alt = "a small Christmas tree in front of a burning fireplace " > Should a fire issue pop-up during this holiday season, SERVPRO of Southern Washington County will be on call ready to assist.

Believe it or not, the holiday season is here again already! It is time to start planning out your family traditions, pulling out your cookie cutters and surrounding yourself with twinkly lights.

While this time of year may be one of your favorites, it is also the time that you need to be extra cautious to avoid a house fire.

Protecting Your Decorations

Decorating your home can be a great way to celebrate the season! It also just so happens that many holiday decorations are flammable. In fact, about 790 structural fires happen every year due to decorations catching fire.

If you love to hang stockings over the fireplace or mantel, don’t hang them too low or in the path of any fire or heat source. Even just a single spark could send your precious memories up in flames.

If real trees are a must in your family, the tree you choose needs to be freshly cut! It is also important to inspect it to ensure there aren’t too many dead needles falling off of it, which could indicate that it is dehydrated. Once it is all decorated, only keep it plugged in when you are home and awake.

Other Holiday Fire Hazards

Candles are a cozy way to celebrate the season with some ambiance and delicious smells. But they are also a fire hazard!

During this time of year, candles are responsible for 20 new home fires every day in the United States. If you do light candles, it is important that you only keep them lit when you are near them and never leave them within the reach of children or pets.

Decorating the exterior of your home with lights can make your home seem so welcoming. Just be sure that the lights you choose to hang are rated for outdoor use, and never pierce the wiring with staples or nails in order to hang them up.

You deserve to relax and enjoy all that there is to do in the area this holiday season! Make sure you check out the light display at the Ingleside Hotel. With over 30,000 lights inside the trail and other fun seasonal activities, it is one of the best ways to celebrate.

Our staff at SERVPRO of Southern Washington County is always here and ready to jump into action for you. Our goal is to restore your home as quickly as we can so you can go back to enjoying the holiday season.

Have smoke or fire damage in your house? Contact us today to get cleaned up fast.

Responding to a Water Disaster at Your Business | SERVPRO® of Southern Washington County

10/21/2022 (Permalink)

< img src =”floor.jpg” alt = "a zoomed in view of a wooden floor showing signs of water damage " >   SERVPRO of Southern Washington County is your local commercial restoration company. We will always be here to help and get you back in business.

Whenever water is involved in a disaster, it can be costly and extensive to repair. That is especially true if the disaster happens at your business!

In addition to the sheer cost of a commercial restoration, you also would have to take into account any closures while the repairs are taking place. This alone should make every business owner start to prep ahead of time.

Water damage can come in the form of burst pipes, sprinkler system issues and of course, Mother Nature. We experience all kinds of water-related weather events here, from thunderstorms to ice storms. Even just recently we were affected by flooding and road closures on I-94. Whenever water is involved, there is a risk for damages.

Understand Your Utility Room

If your business is in a storefront or building, chances are that it has some type of utility space where all of your valves are. Fully understand what all of your water shutoff valves do and what they are responsible for.

Once you understand it, communicate this to your management team or whoever you entrust your business to while you are not there. Someone should always be able and ready to respond to an emergency situation!

Different Water Types

Water is constantly flowing around us providing many different daily services, so it’s no wonder that there are different levels of water safety.

White water: This kind of water is the water within your pipes. It is typically considered safe to handle in small amounts.

Gray water: Gray water is all of the water that flows into your sink, shower and kitchen drains. While it is considered contaminated, handling it carefully is considered OK.

Black water: Black water should always warrant a professional cleanup. This water can contain sewage or runoff from a storm drain and is considered toxic.

Taking Appropriate Action

Once you discover the problem, turn off the appropriate shutoff valve immediately. Then start to address your situation.

If you have the ability to open windows and start circulating the air, do so now and turn on some fans. Then make sure you close off the area to customers, bystanders and your staff to keep everyone safe.

After all that is done, start documenting any damages with pictures. Insurance agents will want clear pictures of what happened, so the sooner you can get them, the better.

We Can Handle the Job

While drying out your space is the first priority, checking for any hidden water damage should happen next. Your wall studs, beams and floorboards may still be soaked and if they are not dried quickly, mold could set in.

Call us to do the job right! Our team at SERVPRO of Southern Washington County is here for you no matter what kind of water damage problem you face. We have the proper equipment to get the job done thoroughly, and we will work our hardest to repair your business for you.

When disaster strikes your commercial property, we’ll be there to help clean up and get you back in business quickly. Reach out 247 to get started!

We Are Your Neighborhood Restoration Team | SERVPRO® of Southern Washington County

10/13/2022 (Permalink)

Crew loading equipment to service homeowner in need. No job is too big or small. Call SERVPRO of Southern Washington County today to schedule your estimate.

When you need help with a restoration project in your home, having a quality team on your side makes all the difference. We are strong leaders in storm, fire and water damage cleanup, and we are the best at what we do!

We can also tackle projects other than disaster assistance. We handle mold remediation and other cleanup issues like graffiti. Whatever cleanup job you have, we don’t back down from the challenge.

But we stand out above the competition because we are members of this community, just like you are.

Why Is Being Local Helpful to the Community?1. We Can Get to You Quickly

Certain damages require a quick response, like water or mold. When we are only a street or two away, our response time can be minimal!

When you call us at SERVPRO of Southern Washington County, we are ready to tackle your job at any time of day. It doesn’t matter if it is 2 a.m. when you discover your water disaster, someone will always be there to pick up the phone.

2. We See the Same Storms

We live and work here with you, so we are also tuned in to Fox6 or CBS58 to get the latest weather forecast. When a storm system is coming our way, we get to work preparing our teams so that we can mobilize quickly if need be.

We have seen what tornadoes can do to our community and have experienced the struggles that a huge winter storm can bring, so we are fully invested in our local weather like you are.

3. We Know Southeastern Wisconsin

Other restoration companies typically send out trucks from farther away when you call for help, and sometimes, they even come from out of state! It can be hard to navigate our area if you aren’t from here, so they might struggle with street directions or other parts of our cities.

That doesn’t apply to us! We know to avoid I-94 and Highway 45 during rush hour and where to get some of the best food and have a great game of bowling. (Hint, it’s Pioneer Bowl Sports Center | Bowling Center | Richfield, WI). Our area is home to us, just like it is to you.

We also are up-to-date on local ordinances and government regulations, so obtaining that information won’t slow us down one bit.

Local and National Benefits

We are ready to tackle whatever project you have for us. While our specialty is working alongside local technicians and partnering with small businesses to best serve you, sometimes large-scale disasters require a larger pool of resources. That’s where our neighbors come in!

We have relationships with other SERVPRO locations around us, and we can connect with them if we need to borrow staff or equipment. Our goal is to serve you however we can in the best way we know how!

When disaster strikes your home or your business, we’re the team you can trust—located right here, close to home. Get in touch today to get started!

When you suffer storm-related damage to your home or business, make SERVPRO of Pewaukee & Sussex your first call.

8/18/2022 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Lighting showing Storm Damage

Storm damage is a very real concern for all homeowners. When a storm is in the area, it can make everyone anxious. Unfortunately, experiencing some sort of storm damage is likely at some point during your lifetime.

That being said, just because a storm is coming our way doesn’t mean that you are guaranteed to suffer damages! It all depends on the category of the storm, the location of your home in town and how well-built your home is.

In eastern Wisconsin, we are at risk of severe warm-weather events like tornadoes and severe thunderstorms as well as cold-weather threats like winter storms and freezing rain. We love the Midwest!

When one of these weather events comes to town, we are at risk of three major damages occurring:

Wind

Wind accompanies summer and winter weather. If it blows fast enough, it can cause widespread damage.

While it is true that tornadoes produce some of the highest wind speeds, wind from thunderstorms can be just as devastating. In fact, wind from storms can be over 100 mph.

Strong-enough winds can uproot trees and throw around debris in your yard. Stay inside and avoid windows until the storm has passed and the wind has died down.

Taking the time ahead of the arrival of any storm to clean up your yard and remove any trees or untethered furniture can help reduce your risk of suffering damage due to the wind.

Water

Water can be a great resource from thunderstorms if we are in need of rain for our lawns and gardens, but a lot of it can do incredible damage to your home.

It can leak through windows and down into our basements. And if your basement continually gets wet after storms, it can degrade your foundation and cause mold growth.

Grade your property, and if you do any landscaping, make sure your yard slopes away from your home to prevent water from pooling near your foundation. You can also research building a rain garden! Rain gardens are a great place for all of that unwanted water to flow to.

Your gutters need special attention as well! Blocked gutters can’t function properly and can let water pool on your roof that will eventually leak down your walls.

Impact

When it comes to impact damages, they can be costly and devastating. “Impact damage” come in the form of a fallen tree or some other type of object being thrown into the side of your home.

To prevent this kind of damage, do your best to keep your property free of any external hazards like dead trees or large hanging limbs. Tie down or otherwise secure furniture and other objects left outdoors during a storm to keep them from becoming projectiles.

Overcoming weather-related disasters of any kind is expensive. In fact, in 2021, it was reported that Americans suffered $145 billion in damages to their homes.

If you do discover damage to your home or property after a storm, call us at SERVPRO of Pewaukee & Sussex right away. Our dedication to your restoration will be unmatched, and we will get you back into your home right away.

When you suffer storm-related damage to your home or business, it’s important that you know who to call! Contact us today at (262) 229-7522 to get your storm damage restoration started faster.

Making a Plan/Kit For You & Your Pets for an Emergency

6/24/2021 (Permalink)

Examples of kit items Examples of kit items

Make a Plan, Be Prepared. 

Being prepared for an emergency event is a very responsible task you can do for you, your family, and your pets.

Make a Plan
-Put a plan together by discussing the questions below with your family, friends or household to start your emergency plan.
-How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
-What is my shelter plan?
-What is my evacuation route?
-What is my family/household communication plan?
-Do I need to update my emergency preparedness kit?
-Remember, during a disaster what’s good for you is good for your pet, so get them ready today.

If you leave your pets behind, they may be lost, injured or worse. Never leave a pet chained outdoors.

Remember, during a disaster what’s good for you is good for your pet, so get them ready today.

If you leave your pets behind, they may be lost, injured or worse. Never leave a pet chained outdoors. Plan options include:

-Create a buddy system in case you’re not home. Ask a trusted neighbor to check on your animals.
Identify shelters. For public health reasons, many emergency shelters cannot accept pets.
-Find pet friendly hotels along your evacuation route and keep a list in your pet’s emergency kit.
Locate boarding facilities or animal hospitals near your evacuation shelter.
-Consider an out-of-town friend or relative.
-Locate a veterinarian or animal hospital in the area where you may be seeking temporary shelter in case your pet needs medical care. Add the contact information to your emergency kit.
-Have your pet microchipped and make sure that you not only keep your address and phone number up-to-date, but that you also include contact info for an emergency contact outside of your immediate area.
-Call your local emergency management office, animal shelter or animal control office to get advice and information.
-If you are unable to return to your home right away, you may need to board your pet. Find out where pet boarding facilities are located.
-Most boarding kennels, veterinarians and animal shelters will need your pet's medical records to make sure all vaccinations are current.
-If you have no alternative but to leave your pet at home, there are some precautions you must take, but remember that leaving your pet at home alone can place your animal in great danger.


BUILDING A KIT:
To assemble your kit store items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers such as plastic bins or a duffel bag.

A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:

-Water (one gallon per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation)
-Food (at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food)
-Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
-Flashlight
-First aid kit
-Extra batteries
-Whistle (to signal for help)
-Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
-Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)
-Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
-Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
-Manual can opener (for food)
-Local maps
-Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery

Include basic survival items and items to keep your pet happy and comfortable. Start with this list to find out exactly what items your pet needs to be Ready.

Your pet kit should include:

-Food (at least a three day supply in an airtight, waterproof container)
-Water (at least three days of water specifically for your pets)
-Medicines
-Medical records, proof of vaccinations, registration and adoption documents (talk to your veterinarian about microchipping)
-First aid kit (cotton bandage rolls, bandage tape and scissors, antibiotic ointment, flea and tick prevention, latex gloves, isopropyl alcohol, saline solution and a pet first aid reference book)
-Collar or harness with ID tag, rabies tag and a leash
-Crate or pet carrier (a sturdy, safe crate or carrier large enough for your pet to stand, turn around and lie down)
-Sanitation needs (litter box and litter, newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags and household chlorine bleach)
-A picture of you and your pet together to prove ownership (add species, breed, age, sex, color and distinguishing characteristics)
-Familiar items (treats, toys and bedding can help reduce stress for your pet)


Being safe and prepared is not only a good idea, but a safe one.

*Source: ready.gov