Recent Posts

How to Minimize Hail Damage

2/19/2023 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County strives to put our customers at ease, guiding them and supporting them through the STORM emergency process while providing education and knowledge on how to best navigate the situation. 

Hail storms can strike without much warning, leaving you with little time to react. Being prepared in advance and knowing what to do can help you stay safe while keeping damage to a minimum. Consider signing up for local weather alerts, which deliver warnings when hail storms are approaching your area.

How to Minimize Hail Damage

  • Large hail can shatter windows. Closing the drapes, blinds or window shades can help prevent the wind from blowing broken glass into your home or buildings.
  • Whenever possible, park your vehicles inside a garage or under a carport.
  • Patio and lawn furniture can be dented, broken or even shattered by hail. Move these items indoors or under a covered area when not in use.
  • If you have plans to replace the roof covering on your home or business, consider using impact-resistant material if you live in a hail-prone area. 

Have any questions?  Call SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County (262) 542-0900

We Specialize in Fire and Water Damage

2/19/2023 (Permalink)

A fire can be devastating to your home or business. After the fire trucks leave, your property will likely suffer from not only fire and smoke damage, but also widespread water damage and flooding from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County has specialized fire and water damage restoration training and experience to quickly clean up and restore your home to pre-fire condition. They also can remove the pervasive smoke odor and deep-clean soot from upholstery and carpet.

Board-ups - In some cases firefighters may break windows and cut holes in the roof in order to vent the fire. It is extremely important to secure openings to your home or structure using sturdy, durable materials designed to protect it from both weather intrusion and intrusion by outsiders.

Types of Fire/Smoke/Soot

Wet Smoke – Plastics and Synthetics; Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood; Fast burning, high temperatures, dry, powdery, non-smeary residues.

Protein – Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.

Fuel Oil Soot – Furnace Puff Backs. Other Types – Tear gas, fingerprint powder and fire extinguisher residue.

What to do after a fire:

  • Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
  • Clean and protect chrome with a light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
  • Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.

What NOT to do after a fire:

  • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County.
  • Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
  • Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may damage the garment further.

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County has what it takes to restore your home back to preloss condition.

Have any questions?  Call SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County (262) 542-0900

Common Causes of Water Damage During Construction

2/19/2023 (Permalink)

As a new business owner, the last thing you want is water damage during the construction of your business. However, it can happen if the proper procedures are not followed.  Common causes of water damage during construction include:

  • Improper installation of waterproofing and moisture barrier systems on the exterior skin of a building
  • Poorly glued connections on plastic pipes or improperly sweated copper pipe connections
  • Water accumulations from rain and groundwater are migrating into the building
  • All door and window openings not being covered at the end of each work shift and prior to inclement weather
  • Water lines and mechanical equipment aren’t protected from freezing
  • Sprinkler or plumbing lines that are pressure tested with water aren’t drained immediately following the test
  • Standpipe valves aren’t closed
  • Roof drains being blocked with leaves or debris
  • Sink drains are clogged
  • Storage areas aren’t dry and well ventilated
  • Materials aren’t raised off the floor by pallets for storage controls

Many leak detection systems are available to help prevent water damage by generating an alarm and automatically shutting off the water supply. 

Have Questions? Call SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County (262) 542-0900

What Is That "White Stuff" Growing On My Basement Walls?

10/18/2022 (Permalink)

Efflorescence - A Common Problem In Wisconsin Basements

Have you ever seen that white/gray "fuzzy stuff" growing on your basement walls or in someone else's house?  Were you worried that it was hazardous?  Well, the "fuzzy stuff" is called efflorescense and it is NOT dangerous.  It is more annoying and unattractive, but nothing to worry about or nothing that can't be fixed.  

If you have a concrete or masonry block foundation, this is a common problem.  Efflorescence can be easily removed because it simply is salt.  If you observe efflorescence on in your home, this means that you have a water issue that must be taken care of.  This moisture problem can cause deterioration if ignored.  

The cause of this is water from the outside is penetrating the brick or concrete and comes in contact with minerals.  A chemical reaction then takes place and dissolves the minerals.  The moisture then migrates to the other side of the block or concrete (the inside of your home) and eventually evaporates.  As water evaporates from the surface the mineral deposits are left behind, and these efflorescence crystals can grow.

The concern is that the efflorescence is NOT just on the side of the brick or concrete, but these same crystals can also grow inside the brick or concrete and cause spalling.  The definition of spalling the breaking of ore, rock, stone or concrete into smaller pieces or fragments.  This spalling can make the surface peel, pop or flake off.  The salt pushes from the inside out and can eventually cause crumbling and deterioration.

Hopefully if you remove the efflorescence it does not come back.  If it does not return, this probably means that the cause was the initial moisture and salts from when the concrete was placed.  However, if the efflorescence does return, this is a clear indication that water is entering the brick or concrete wall and pushing the salts out.  

Can I Prevent Efflorescence?

The answer is YES!  The best way to prevent the efflorescence is to prevent water from infiltrating the wall. If you see efflorescence crystals it usually means there is a leak somewhere letting outside water in. Once, the source of the water infiltration has been located and stopped then the walls can be cleaned with an efflorescence remover.

While inside systems can divert the water, it may not solve the problem of efflorescence and other moisture-related mineral build-ups. Regardless of what is done on the inside, water is still entering through the wall from the outside.

The salt that ends up as efflorescence crystals on your walls, can come from salt laden soils or the Portland cement in the mortar and grout. The soluble salts could come from the sand or from contaminated water used to make the concrete, grout or mortar.

Another culprit is, of course, the clay brick itself. The natural clays used in the manufacture of brick often contain soluble alkali sulfates. Most modern fired clay brick have balanced chemical additives to immobilize the sulfates and render them insoluble. This prevents the salts from being dissolved into a solution that could migrate through the wall to the surface. Most fired clay brick do not greatly contribute towards the efflorescence problem.

If you have a problem if efflorescence and would like to have it removed, please call the water damage professionals at SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County (262-542-0900) or SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc (920-674-3002).

Desiccant Dehu vs. Low-Grain Refrigerant Dehu

8/31/2022 (Permalink)

Various Types of Dehumidifiers Used by SERVPRO

Desiccant dehu vs Compressor dehu

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County and SERVPRO Jefferson County/Oconomowoc use both types of dehumidifiers on our jobs.  The commercial grade Phoenix D385 dehumidifier units are used for large jobs or cold temperature situations.

A desiccant dehumidifier functions by drawing air through an intake duct, where it is then passed through a large rotating wheel composed of a water-absorbing material (desiccant). This is a material that absorbs the humidity from the air. The air is then pushed by a fan operated by an electric motor and the air is blown back out into the room. The air duct is often kept hot by an electric heating element, which also heats the airspace within the rotating wheel to dry it out. Excess moister is ran through a drain line or directly outside through lay flat ducting creating a negative air process if viable. In some cases, a desiccant is ducted directly into a standard compressor dehumidifier. This is a viable option for above average moister levels accompanied by a secondary heat source to get rapid drying done in large spaces.

When it comes to using a standard low-grain refrigerant dehumidifier in an area such as a basement, garage, or space below 60 degrees, it is important to know that these dehumidifiers will often have trouble working to their full potential. This is due to the fact that the inside of a compressor dehumidifier needs to be colder than the ambient air in the space it is occupying in order for it to work efficiently. If the room temperature falls below 50°, it means that the components within a compressor dehumidifier will be close to freezing, which means that ice could form on the cooling coils. Most compressor dehumidifiers will spend the majority of their time defrosting themselves when faced with temperatures below or around 50°.

With this being said it is important to know when it would be better to implement the use of a desiccant dehumidifier vs a standard compressor dehumidifier.

For all your water damage questions or needs, please contact a certified water restoration technician.  The SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County location is 262-542-0900 and our SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc location is 920-674-3002

Delafield Block Party

7/21/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO enjoys being a part of the Delafield Chamber events.

Every year the Delafield Chamber of Commerce holds a Block Party. There is music, food, and drinks. This year the music was Bella Cain, Totally Neon, Kingfish, and The Toys. People came from all over to enjoy two beautiful nights in Delafield.

This year SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County was the sanitation sponsor. SERVPRO feels it is important to support the chamber because they give back to the businesses. 

Fire Damage? Here's What YOU Can (and Can't) Do

7/20/2022 (Permalink)

After a fire causes damage to your home, we understand that you want to restore everything from your home to your possessions to "normal" as soon as possible. Here are some active steps you can and can't take following a fire

  • DO make sure everyone in your family is safe, including all beloved pets. 
  • DON'T enter the fire-damaged structure until the fire department deems it safe.
  • DO document the damage with pictures once you have permission to reenter the home.
  • DON'T turn on gas, water or electric utilities until a professional has deemed them safe.
  • DO call insurance and utility providers to inform them of the fire. 
  • DON'T wash smoke-damaged clothing yourself. This can set the smoke odors or stains and ruin them. Smoke-damaged clothing should quickly be taken to the dry cleaner. 
  • DO Call SERVPRO: If you experience fire damage, call the cleaning and restoration pros at SERVPRO to restore your home to its normal as soon as possible.

Got Storm Damage? We Got You.

6/28/2022 (Permalink)

Natural disasters are never planned, but when they do occur they can cause damage to your business and slow down operations while your property is being restored. With over 45 years in the restoration industry and top of the line equipment, the professionals at SERVPRO provide a quick response to any disaster. From restoring water damage from leaks to repairing your building, we aim to help you avoid revenue loss and minimize inconvenience to your business. Our quick response can help you resume normal business functions quickly while avoiding costly construction downtime. 

For a quick response to any disaster give the professionals at SERVPRO a call to restore your property and its contents to their preloss conditions and return your business to its normal function as soon as possible. 

Clean Homes Sell Faster

6/28/2022 (Permalink)

Get it clean, get it sold! Selling a house can be stressful, and SERVPRO is here to help get your home in condition to sell without the hassle.  

Duct and HVAC Cleaning: Dirty ducts can circulate odors and allergens in your home. Duct and HVAC cleaning can reduce allergens and pet dander, eliminate smells and improve operating conditions and efficiency.

Control Moisture and Mold: Mold can be found in any environment and can affect decrease property appeal. With top-of-the-line equipment and training, SERVPRO professionals can clean existing mold so that your property retains its value.

Pass More Home Inspections: SERVPRO professionals are prepared to resolve any issue from water stains to mildew smell to get your home in condition to sell. 

A clean, fresh-smelling home sells faster, and SERVPRO is here to help you get there, no matter the starting condition. For all your cleaning needs give the professionals at SERVPRO a call. 

Business of the Year

4/28/2022 (Permalink)

Proud to be a part of a fantastic team that won the Business of the Year Award.

Delafield Chamber of Commerce

In April 2022, the Delafield Chamber of Commerce nominated SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County as Business of the Year.

The Delafield Chamber of Commerce gave SERVPRO the Business of the Year award at the Annual Awards event. 

This award is for a business that demonstrates all-around business excellence, with commercial success, growth, and community involvement.

SERVPRO is so proud of the team and all their hard work to receive this award.