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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

Fire Safety at your Campsite

6/21/2021 (Permalink)

Fire Fire

With summer upon us and loads of people wanting to get out of their houses amid the coronavirus, camping and the good ole outdoors has taken famously with the public. SERVPRO of Southern Washington County would like to remind you of some basics when it comes to maintaining and extinguishing your campfire at your campsite. It is your responsibility to maintain and extinguish it to prevent wildfires.

  1. Never cut whole trees or branches, dead or alive. Live materials won’t burn and dead standing trees are often homes for birds and other wildlife.
  2. Once you have a strong fire going, add larger pieces of dry wood to keep it burning steadily.
  3. Don’t burn dangerous things like aerosol cans, pressurized containers, glass or aluminum cans. They could explode, shatter and/or create harmful fumes or dust.
  4. Keep your fire to a manageable size.
  5. Never leave your campfire unattended.
  6. Allow the wood to burn completely to ash.
  7. Pour lots of water on the fire. Drown ALL embers, not just the red ones. Pour until hissing sound stops.
  8. If you do not have water, stir dirt or sand into the embers with a shovel to bury the fire.
  9. With your shovel, scrape any remaining sticks and logs to remove any embers. Make sure that no embers are exposed and still smoldering.
  10. Continue adding water, dirt or sand and stirring with a shovel until all material is cool.
  11. If it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave

Keeping these steps and reminders in mind will not only keep you safe, but keep the campground or nature area you are visiting safe as well!

*Source: smokeybear.com

What equipment is used to extract water from my Washington County property after a water damage?

6/16/2021 (Permalink)

Carpet Wand Extracting Water Carpet Wand Extracting Water

Water Damage Caused by Flooding

Once your home or commercial property gets water damage due to flooding, our crew will come out to access the damage. We will need to extract the water from your property because extraction is a critical step to removing moisture from a structure. The more excess water restorers remove with extraction equipment, the less time they will spend to evaporate and dehumidify the remaining moisture with drying equipment. Various types of extraction tools are used to remove water from flooring. These are:

  • extraction units
  • light wands
  • deep extraction tools
  • submersible pumps


Extraction Units

Extractors can be portable units or large truck-mounted units. 

A portable extractor is extremely flexible since it can be taken into almost any area of the structure. They do require electricity to operate, so power will have to be provided from the facility or a generator.


Truck-mounted extractors offer a more powerful vacuum compared to portables. They run off the work vehicle’s fuel, so no on-site power is needed

Light Wands

Light wands or “carpet wands” are used for water extraction. The light wand is appropriate for the initial water removal and extracting water from glue-down carpet. It is also effective in removing residual water on the surface of carpets after a stationary tool has been used. When the pad is being removed, the light wand is appropriate since you are not trying to remove all the water from the pad.

Deep Extraction Tools

There are various types of deep extraction tools that can be attached to an extractor.


Self-propelled extraction tools are powered by an independent motor that moves the unit over carpet at a consistent rate. These devices compress carpet and pad, squeeze out water, and remove water through the vacuum system of an extractor.

Stationary tools are able to extract water from carpet and pad using only the weight of the water damage restoration professional standing upon the device. A vacuum system is attached to the device, pulling water through a series of tiny holes in the base of the unit. Stationary tools are available in various sizes.

If you have water damage due to a flood in your Pewaukee or Sussex home, call SERVPRO of Southern Washington County at 262.229.7522 today!

What type of equipment is used to detect moisture in my Germantown, Wisconsin home?

6/16/2021 (Permalink)

Moisture meter Moisture meter

Once a water damage hits your home or commercial property, our crew will come out to evaluate the damage. Water damage restoration requires the use of certain equipment. This may include detection devices, extraction equipment, air moving and dehumidification equipment, as well as safety equipment. Simply having access to the right equipment is only part of the process.

Scoping involves locating the areas of the structure into which water has intruded and defining the extent to which structure and contents have absorbed moisture beyond normal moisture levels. Various devices allow a water damage restoration professional to track moisture within a structure. These devices include the following:

  • Moisture sensors
  • Thermal imaging cameras 
  • Moisture meters 
  • Thermo-hygrometers

Moisture Sensors

The moisture sensor is used to detect moisture in carpets and padding. The moisture sensor has sharp probes that penetrate through carpets and pad to determine if water has migrated on the subfloor underneath.

Thermal Imaging Camera

Thermal imaging cameras (also called infrared cameras) are utilized for inspecting and monitoring moisture in building materials.  They can show how water traveled throughout a structure, and many times they can indicate moisture that otherwise may have never been discovered. At the end of the project, they provide excellent documentation or proof that drying was successfully completed. Technically, thermal cameras do not display moisture images, but rather infrared images. 

Moisture Meters 

Moisture meters are utilized to measure the actual moisture content or level of various materials. Some meters are calibrated to measure specific materials; for example, a moisture meter calibrated for drywall will not accurately read moisture content in wood materials. Some meters are adjustable for different types of materials, such as a meter that can be adjusted for both wood and drywall. There are penetrating and non- penetrating moisture meters. 

Thermo-Hygrometers

A thermo-hygrometer (sometimes referred to as hygrometers) measures the relative humidity and temperature of air masses. Some thermo-hygrometers also give the restorer the humidity ratio, vapor pressure, and dew point.

If you have a water damage, call SERVPRO of Southern Washington County. We serve Germantown, Hartford, and Richfield Wisconsin just to list a few!! We are always open and always ready to help!

262.229.7522

Fire Damage Process Overview

6/9/2021 (Permalink)

Soot Cleaning Soot Cleaning

Emergency Fire Damage Process Overview

ONE HOUR:
Within one hour from notice of loss, SERVPRO of Southern Washing County will contact you to arrange for service. You'll know help is on the way.

FOUR HOURS:
Within four hours of loss notification, we will be on-site to start mitigation services. The key to reducing damage and saving money is responding quickly.

DETAILED EXPLAINATION:
We will walk you through the job process step-by-step, explaining what to expect and the anticipated outcome. 

PRETESTING:
We then pretest for restorability, working from the source of the damage outward.

EIGHT HOURS:
Within eight hours of on-site arrival, a verbal or written briefing of the scope will be communicated to the appropriate person, normally your adjuster or property manager.


CLEANING, RESTORATION, and DEODORIZATION:
We will work neatly and efficiently to help you regain control on your property when a damaging event has occurred. We ONLY use state-of-the-art restoration techniques to ensure your property is taken care of the first time.


FINAL WALK-THROUGH:
After all work has been completed and equipment removed, a final walk-through will be conducted with you to help ensure your satisfaction.

If your property has suffered a fire damage or has soot damage, call SERVPRO Southern Washing County at 262.229.7522. We are always Here to Help!