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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Spring Thunderstorms and How to Prepare

4/12/2022 (Permalink)

Spring can bring lots of rainy weather and thunderstorms. Here are our top tips on how to prevent water damage and ensure your safety.

To keep your property safe:

  • Keep up with your home maintenance- replace missing shingles and loose siding to prevent water from leaking in and damaging your home. 
  • Check your sump pump- make sure it is in working order to prevent basement flooding.
  • Check for loose fence posts- anything that's not secured can be blown into your house by the wind and cause damage.
  • Trim your trees- make sure dead branches are removed to prevent them falling on your home or car. 
  • If bad thunderstorms are in the forecast, have a generator on hand for the event of a possible power outage and prepare and emergency kit with flashlights, batteries and a first aid kit. 

To keep you safe:

  • Check the forecast- be aware if a bad thunderstorm is predicted for your area.
  • When thunder roars, go indoors- try to get out of the storm and find shelter inside in the event of a thunderstorm.
  • Stay dry- do not shwer, wash dishes or run water during a thunderstorm and avoid bodies of water.

What is Asbestos?

2/15/2022 (Permalink)

Insulation containing asbestos can be dangerous. Luckily, SERVPRO professionals are here to help with all your removal needs.

As a property owner you may find yourself asking, What is asbestos? Asbestos is fiberous crystals of silicate that are often used in atic and wall insulation due to its strength and ability to resist heat.

Ok, but why is it dangerous? Asbestos is dangerous because the long fiberous crystals that it is comprised of have the ability to break down into microscopically thin fibers. These fibers are so small they can remain airborne for days if they are disturbed. While airborne, individuals can breathe these fibers in. Since the fibers are so small, they can travel deep into a person’s lungs, where they may eventually lodge in the lung tissue. Once there, these fibers can cause several serious medical issues including asbestosis. For this reason, it is important to identify and remove asbestos in your home or workspace.

With our cutting-edge equipment and comprehensive training, the professionals at SERVPRO are here to help with all your asbestos removal needs.

Storm Damage Ruining Your Carpeting? SERVPRO Can Help

2/3/2022 (Permalink)

Storms can cause a variety of damage to your home and property, Luckily SERVPRO professionals are here to help you recover from any weather disaster. 

High winds can cause damage to roofing, allowing water to leak in from thunderstorms or melting hail or snow. This water damage can affect the structural integrity of the building and cause damage to flooring, carpeting, furniture and ceilings. SERVPRO has the service, training and equipment to restore any of these damages. Our professionals have the tools to clean and restore carpeting that has been soiled to any degree, from light staining to moderate to heavy soiling. SERVPRO professionals will take the time to determine and communicate which cleaning option is best for your carpet's level of soiling, provide and estimate of the time and cost of the job, and explain how to prolong your carpet's appearance and quality following restoration.

Remember, for all you your carpet cleaning needs SERVPRO is here to make it "Like it never even happened." 

"Its Just Hail Damage"

2/3/2022 (Permalink)

Hail can inflict significant damage to your home.  The severity largely depends on how big the ice pieces are and how quickly you respond to the damage caused by them. After all, hail can either be as small as a pebble or as larger than a golf ball. Hail can cause damage to your roof, including cracked and damaged shingles after hailstorms. Sometimes, you’ll even encounter missing shingles. Other issues can appear in the form of dark spots, dents, circles on the roof, and dented or cracked sidings. You might also notice that your roof has become soft and spongy. These dents and damages can lead to future problems, including leaks that can damage flooring, carpeting, drywall and furniture.

If you encounter any of these issues, be sure to call SERVPRO to help with all your restoration needs.

Fire Damage: What to do while help is on the way

1/27/2022 (Permalink)

The first 48 hours after fire damage can make the difference between restoring versus replacing your property and belongings. SERVPRO Professionals are here to help prevent lasting problems with a timely response. Until help arrives, here are some ways to minimize damage caused by a fire. 

  • Limit movement in the house to prevent soot particles from spreading and causing additional damage.
  • Lay down towels or linens over high traffic areas in your house.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and we carpet.
  • Do not wash walls or painted surfaces.
  • Do not shampoo carpet or upholstery.
  • Do not clean electrical equipment.
  • Do not send clothing to a drycleaners, improper cleaning may set smoke odor. 

And remember, SERVPRO professionals are here to restore your property and possessions to their preloss condition. 

Fire Damage to Your Carpeting? SERVPRO Can Help

1/27/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO professionals can help restore carpet damaged by fire and soot.

If your carpet has been soiled and damaged by soot in a fire, don't hesitate to give your local SERVPRO a call. SERVPRO professionals use state-of-the-art cleaning equipment to remove soiling and odors from fire and soot from deep within your carpet's pile and backing. 

We offer many carpet care and cleaning options, from light Bonnet Cleaning, to deep restorative Hot Water Cleaning, to Deluxe Precondition and Rinse, but the most effective cleaning method for treating fire damaged carpet is Showcase Premier Cleaning. This cleaning method uses a two-step process - shampooing the carpet and then rinsing and extracting the carpet for deep cleaning - to thoroughly remove stains and odors the way other methods may not. It is the most thorough cleaning method and will restore your carpet to it's pre-damaged condition.  

From Carpets to Catastrophes, SERVPRO is Here for All Your Commercial Cleaning Needs

1/25/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is here to restore your property from fire, storm and water damage, but did you know that SERVPRO also offers many other clean up and restoration services?

  • Mold Mitigation and Remediation - SERVPRO professionals are here to control and remediate mold contaminating your property and threatening your safety. 
  • HVAC Cleaning - We can inspect your HVAC system and restore it to peak energy efficiency to improve indoor air quality.
  • Crime Scene, Biohazard and Vandalism Cleanup - SERVPRO technicians are trained to safely and efficiently clean biohazardous substances and waste for proper disposal. 
  • Contents Claim Inventory Service - We provide itemized, area-by-area inventory for storage during job completion or in cases of hoarding.

If you need a job done right and done quickly, call SERVPRO for all your commercial cleaning needs.

Moving into a New Home? Here's How SERVPRO Can Help

1/25/2022 (Permalink)

Restoring and moving into a home can be exciting, stressful, and a lot of work! SERVPRO's cleaning services are here to help.

  • Carpet and Hard Floor Cleaning - SERVPRO professionals use the latest Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) training and state-of-the-art equipment to remove soils and stains from deep within your carpet's pile and backings. 
  • Stain Removal and Stain Resistance Application - Using IICRC standards, SERVPRO professionals determine which cleaning method is best for each stain and soil as well as providing soil protection. 
  • Odor Identification and Deodorization - What's that smell? We can help determine the source of odors and use the best method to neutralize and eliminate them. 
  • Upholstery and Drape Cleaning - We will test and inspect fabrics to determine the safest and most effective wet or dry method of cleaning.

We are here to help. Call SERVPRO for all your home cleaning needs. 

Well Pump Causes Water Damage To Local Rental Property

1/7/2022 (Permalink)

Even a Well Pump Can Cause Water Damage

A well pump that failed led to significant water damage at this property on Okauchee Lake.  This picture shows the new well pump that was installed by a licensed plumber because the former one developed a crack and slowly leaked water into the kitchen.  This kitchen was recently remodeled and the cabinets were installed on top the new vinyl tile.  Because the water migrated under the vinyl tile and there was no way to dry the floor through the vinyl, the sink had to be removed, granite countertops removed, cabinets detached and flooring removed so that the subfloor could be dried.

SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc was called in to clean the disaster and coordinate the demo and dry out the structure.  The property owner was happy with SERVPRO because we were able to begin the same day and his tenant would be inconvenienced for as short a time as possible.

Please call SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc or SERVPRO of SW Waukesha Count for all your water damage needs, both commercial and residential.  920-674-3002 or 262-542-0900.

SERVPRO Provides "Deep" Cleaning Commercial Services

1/7/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Provides Floor Cleaning Services

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County and SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc is called to perform all types of cleaning services, in addition to fire and water damage clean up and restoration.  In this case, a local restaurant owner called on SERVPRO to do a "deep" cleaning of the hardwood floors.

The normal wear and tear of this of this hardwood floor was beyond cleaning with traditional methods.  As a result, it was recommended that the floors be sanded and refinished, which would make these floors look shiny and new.  In this case the restaurant owner elected for our standard floor cleaning services but she will be using us in the spring when she will be ready for a complete sanding and refinishing of the entire restaurant.  SERVPRO works with numerous subcontractors in many different industries to accomplish the task at hand.

Please call SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc or SERVPRO of SW Waukesha Count for all your cleaning nees,  both commercial and residential.  We offer more services beyond fire and water cleanup and restoration.  920-674-3002 or 262-542-0900.

Watch or Warning - What is the Difference?

1/7/2022 (Permalink)

Heavy Rains May Cause Flooding on Roads And In Structures

Watch or Warning...what is the difference? When storms begin to brew, terminology may begin to sound confusing. Storms can go from light to heavy within the blink of an eye. If the weather becomes dangerous, here are some definitions to help distinguish the severity of them.  

Flash Flood Watch: A Flash Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flash flooding. It does not mean that flash flooding will occur, but it is possible.  

Flash Flood Warning: A Flash Flood Warning is issued when flash flooding is imminent or occurring.  

Flood Watch: A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding. It does not mean flooding will occur, but it is possible.  

Flood Warning: A Flood Warning is issued when flooding is imminent or occurring. 

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County and SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc is here to help in any case of flooding or water damage that may occur due to a storm. In the event you have a flooding situation in your home, please call us. We are here to help. 262-542-0900 of 920-674-3002

Watch or Warning - What is the Difference?

1/7/2022 (Permalink)

Heavy Rains May Cause Flooding on Roads And In Structures

Watch or Warning...what is the difference? When storms begin to brew, terminology may begin to sound confusing. Storms can go from light to heavy within the blink of an eye. If the weather becomes dangerous, here are some definitions to help distinguish the severity of them.  

Flash Flood Watch: A Flash Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flash flooding. It does not mean that flash flooding will occur, but it is possible.  

Flash Flood Warning: A Flash Flood Warning is issued when flash flooding is imminent or occurring.  

Flood Watch: A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding. It does not mean flooding will occur, but it is possible.  

Flood Warning: A Flood Warning is issued when flooding is imminent or occurring. 

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County and SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc is here to help in any case of flooding or water damage that may occur due to a storm. In the event you have a flooding situation in your home, please call us. We are here to help. 262-542-0900 of 920-674-3002

Containment Speeds Up Drying In Water Damaged Areas

1/7/2022 (Permalink)

Building Temporary Plastic Walls Helps With Drying

By using a simple containment system, as seen in this commercial property in Oconomowoc, WI, we can decrease the size of the area we are drying.

Setting up plastic containment walls allows the dry, dehumidified air to focus on the affected area, in a smaller cavity.  This process speeds drying in the areas that have water damage and lessens costs to our clients and customers.  In this case we had a saturated water damaged floor in one area of a large showroom from a broken water pipe. The water leaked onto a large carpeted area. Using containment, we were able to focus the drying to only the affected areas instead of drying the whole showroom. This process is simple but effective and is used often with great success.  

For all of your commercial or residential water damage needs, please call SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc at 920-674-3002 or SERVPRO SW Waukesha County at 262-542-0900. We are here to help. 

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County Professionals Establish Environments Favorable For Drying

1/7/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Uses Latest Technology To Dry Structures

Why does SERVPRO create environments favorable to drying?

We do this by manipulating temperature and humidity levels with the aid of state of the art monitoring and drying equipment to produce optimum drying conditions. 

Psychrometry is the study of the air and its properties. The properties of temperature, humidity, vapor pressure, and dew point are measured to evaluate air conditions in the structure, enabling SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County Professionals to create the proper atmosphere for more efficient drying.  

Water can damage materials in two ways: first, by absorption through direct contact with water; and absorption of moisture from the air. Measuring the moisture content of the air is critical to the drying process.  

Even small water damages from broken water pipes, overflown sinks, and dishwasher or washing machine malfunctions can cause severe structural and indoor air quality issues over time. The key to avoiding costly future restoration is to handle every water problem as a real threat to your property. SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County has the equipment, training, and experience to find and dry unseen water before secondary damages occur. The proper equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing the damage expense during a fire or water loss.  

When fire and water take control of your life, we help you take it back. Our goal is to make it...”Like it never even happened.” 

We are locally owned and operated serving the Waukesha County, WI area. We also live and work in our community and take great pride in living and working here. When fire or water damage takes control of your life, we help you take it back. We are available 24/7 for emergency services to help you regain control quickly. We work with your insurance for a stress-free claims process.  

  • We are an IICRC Certified Firm 
  • 5-Star Google and Facebook Ratings 
  • A+ BBB Rating 
  • 24/7 Emergency Services 

Have Fire Damage, Water Damage, Biohazard, or Mold Damage?
Call SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County Today – 
(262)542-0900 

Why Choose SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County

1/7/2022 (Permalink)

Wonderful SERVPRO Team Members

Why choose SERVPRO Of SW Waukesha County? First of all, we live in the community. We care about our local community. We take pride in our community. We build trust and relationships with our customers in any situation we are called out to. Here is just one example of us helping out a fellow community member:A customer called us out for a sewage back up in their parents home. Once we arrived, we discovered this home was a hoarding situation. The home needed content removal that was heavily affected from sewage. Jobs such as these can be very emotional for the customer as they can be very sensitive, emotional situations. Our production manager and team created a safe relationship through communication and trust. We talked the parents through each item and completed the removal. At the end our customer was in tears of joy and happiness and understood that the situation was not just a disaster but a blessing as well.  SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County truly cares about our customers and our goes above and beyond to ensure ALL our customers needs are met.  If you want a caring, compassionate team to handle your unfortunate disaster, please call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County to discuss your unique needs. We are always here to help our fellow community members. Any we enjoy it.  SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County 262-542-0900.

SERVPRO's Annual Holiday Party!

12/21/2021 (Permalink)

This past Wednesday was our annual company holiday party. Our SERVPRO family came together for a fun day of food, bowling and festivities before the holidays. We are so thankful for our amazing team here at SERVPRO and we wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from our family to yours!

SERVPRO is Here for All Your Commercial Cleaning Needs

12/16/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc and Southwest Waukesha County offers commercial cleaning services for virtually every commercial business. 

 
  • Carpet Cleaning - One of the best ways to welcome new customers or clients into your commercial building is to clean the carpets regularly. 
  • Ceiling and Wall Cleaning - Ceiling and walls are regularly exposed to dirt, dust, and restaurant cooking oils and grease, as well as other contaminants.  Cleaning should be part of the cleaning maintenance of your business. It would help to clean the walls before painting so that the primer and paint can adhere properly. 
  • Vandalism and Graffiti Cleaning - Vandalism and graffiti can be very upsetting. Often simple acts of vandalism, like breaking a window, can cause significant water and mold damage if not addressed promptly. In addition to removing spray-painted graffiti from exterior walls, we can also clean driveways, walkways, asphalt, metals, wood, glass, plastic, and masonry.
  • Odor Removal - Your basic cleaning service will not have the expertise to deodorize your property effectively. Take advantage of SERVPRO’s cleaning services to remove unwanted odors using professional-grade clean-up products and equipment.
  • Sewage and Biohazard Clean Up - Our experts are ready to assist in the clean-up of sewage and other biohazard materials and provide deep cleaning services for your business.
  • COVID Disinfections - Unfortunately, these types of cleanings have picked back up for us recently. If your commercial building has any bacteria or disease outbreak, we can disinfect. We offer two types of cleanings: preventive and confirmed cases. 
    • Certified: SERVPRO Clean, our new defensive pathogen cleaning program, goes way beyond standard janitorial cleaning practices. This is proactive viral pathogen cleaning utilizing EPA-approved products. 

If your commercial building requires any of our cleaning services, please reach out to us, and we will be happy to provide a free estimate!   

?If you have questions about our commercial cleaning services, please reach out to us at 920-674-3002 or 262-542-0900.

Christmas Light Safety

12/9/2021 (Permalink)

It is the holiday season. Some of us love to decorate our home or business with lights. Decorations can be like Clark Griswold or just a Christmas tree with lights. Understanding some essential safety tips can keep you and your family safe this holiday season.

Turn off the lights. If you’re leaving your home to run errands or even going to bed, it’s a good idea to turn off your lights. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 40% of Christmas tree fires are caused by the lights. It is a good idea to use timers, remotes, and smart outlets to make turning off your lights easier.

Buy the proper lights. Check if the lights can be used indoors, outdoors, or both. One important tip is never to use indoor lights outside. Winter weather can cause damage and lead to an increased risk of fire. If you have lights older than five years, it is a good idea to buy new lights.

Extension Cord. Like your lights, extension cords are rated for indoor or outdoor use. Indoor cords should never be used outside. Please be sure to secure cords by using staples to keep cords in place. Inside make sure to tape them down, so they are not a tripping hazard. Another essential tip is to watch your pet around cords. Make sure they are not chewing the electrical cords.

Don’t be like Clark Griswold. Too many strings plugged into one outlet could cause them to overheat. Using a power strip with a circuit breaker is a good idea. The power strip’s circuit breaker can detect heat and will shut down. Plugging outdoor lights into a GFCI outlet is essential. The outlet can detect wet conditions and shut off to prevent electrical shock. Keep your outdoor lights dry as well with a protective plastic cover. GFCI outlets are also found inside your home, usually in a kitchen, laundry room, and bathroom.

Take them down. Usually, in January, we experience a slight increase in the temperate. Use this to your advantage and take down your lights. Lights left up for a significant period can be damaged by inclement weather.

Have Questions About Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County – (262) 542-0900 Fire Damage Emergency Tips - What you can do until help arrives

Ice Storms Safety Tips

12/9/2021 (Permalink)

Ice storms can be dangerous so it's necessary to understand them to properly prepare for the threats they can bring.

Here four things you need to know about ice storms and how to prepare.

  • Ice forms when freezing rain accumulates on surfaces and the ground, creating a layer of ice and making roads slick. Avoid driving if possible during an ice storm.
  • Heavy ice buildup on tree branches and power lines can cause them to fall. Be aware of the hazards formed by downed branches and powerlines and move cars and other property out of harm's way before the storm if possible.
  • Be aware of your area- places where the temperature drops below freezing in winter are most likely to experience ice storms, however ice storms that strike farther south can be especially dangerous where there are limited supplies to treat roadways and deal with cold conditions.
  • It's best to be prepared- make sure you have enough non-perishable food and any supplies you may need including water, prescriptions and a first aid kit. If you lose power. it is a good idea to have flashlights, batteries or candles on hand. 

After the storm, if your home or property has been damaged SERVPRO is here to help with your restoration needs.

Ladder Safety

12/5/2021 (Permalink)

After your Thanksgiving dinner, you may get the itch to put up those holiday decorations. With the dark days of winter here, it is nice to see the lights of the holidays.

If you’re getting ready to hang your outdoor decorations or putting up a tall Christmas tree, here are some safety tips to make sure your holiday season is spent safely with family and friends.

Ladder Safety Tips

1. Check the weather.

Standing on a ladder in high winds could cause you to lose your balance. In addition, a drizzle can cause your ladder to become slippery. Make sure you pick a dry day with calm winds.

2. Inspect the ladder.

Before using your ladder, make sure it’s in good working order. There is nothing broken, or the ladder is not locking into place.

3. Use a ladder that is right for the job.

Different jobs require different-sized ladders. If you use the top step of a ladder to reach the gutters, you need to buy a more extended ladder to be safe. Be sure

the ladder extends three feet above the roof elevation when hanging those lights on the gutter.

4. Don’t over-reach.

Over-stretching on a ladder could cause it to kick out from under you and leave you hanging on the gutter.

5. Watch out for doors.

Remind your family that you are on the ladder by a door, so they do not open the door into the ladder. One idea is to put a note on the door they would open into the ladder so no one goes out the door.

6. Think before you move.

Before making your next move, think about what you want to do and move slowly. Sudden jerks can cause you to lose balance. Don’t do this: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

The Do's and Don'ts of Water Damage

11/30/2021 (Permalink)

Do you know the do's and don'ts if you discover what damage is in your home or business?

Here are some tips on what to do if you have a water intrusion

Do: Find the source and shut it off, if possible

Do: Contact plumber or qualified personnel to fix the intrusion source

Do: Shut off circuit breakers to affected areas

Do: Get as much standing water as possible using a shop vac, towels, mops, etc.

Do: Remove furniture and electrical items such as lamps, computers, and TVs

Do: If unable to move furniture, place wood blocks under legs to prevent staining on the carpet

Do: Place a dehumidifier, if possible, to begin to dry out the area

Do: Call SERVPRO and utilize trained water damage technicians to assist you.

Don't: Enter affected rooms with standing water if electrical shock hazards exist.

Don't: Enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers, or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.

Don't: Leave books, newspapers, magazines, or other colored items on wet carpets or floors to cause staining

Don't: Use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water, possibly causing electrical shock or damage to the vacuum cleaner.

Don't: Use TVs or other appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially on wet concrete floors.

Don't: Turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.

Call on SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County (262) 542-0900 or SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc (920) 674-3002 for all your water damage needs. Speak with certified water restoration technicians who can help you.

Warehouse Maddness

11/30/2021 (Permalink)

In Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, a local warehouse recently reached out to our SW Waukesha County franchise to assist them with a post-construction cleaning. This consisted of three levels of approximately 30,000 square feet of steel flooring, cage fencing, steel framing, and custom racks that all required hand dusting. This was a large job that with the planning and coordinating with a production manager and a cleaning crew chief, and our franchise owner, the job was successfully completed. Due to the large number of surfaces that needed to be cleaned, SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County buckled up and completed the job in only three days. You may ask yourself, "how were they able to complete this extensive job in only three days?". Our dedicated staff, which included the production members and our office staff, worked long and hard for 12 hours a day. By completing this job, the customer was ecstatic with the determination of SERVPRO's employees and the attention to detail shown to produce a clean work area for the warehouse.

For all your commercial cleaning or emergency needs, call on SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County (262) 542-0900 or SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc (920) 674-3002 and speak with professionals who can help you.

Mold Prevention Tips

11/30/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is here to help clean and restore your property that has been damaged by mold such as this.

Tips to prevent mold in your home:

To begin, you should know that not all mold is harmful to you. There are some helpful types of mold. These are used for food techniques and medical purposes. Most mold you may find in your home, however, ARE not beneficial.

Here are some tips to help you prevent mold

1. Moisture control - Mold likes dark, wet places. One way to combat mold growth is to identify any moist areas in the house and place a dehumidifier in that area. Most household dehumidifiers are very helpful in helping prevent mold growth if they are used consistently.

2. Check your home's foundation - Make sure the landscaping around your home is sloped away from the house. Water likes to sit in low areas and can seep into basements.

3. Monitor your gutters and roof – Sometimes, a mold or water issue is caused by a leaky roof or clogged gutter line.

4. Lastly, make sure your home has sufficient airflow - This is particularly important in attics. Check with a roofing professional to make sure your attic is well ventilated. Cold, stagnant air can build up in attics and cause excess moisture, leading to mold growth.

Call on SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County (262) 542-0900 or SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc (920) 674-3002 for all your water damage and mold remediation needs and speak with certified water restoration technicians who can help you.

Water Loss Prevention - Protect Your Pipes This Winter

11/23/2021 (Permalink)

As the weather gets colder, it is important to get your pipes ready for the freezing temperatures.  As water freezes it expands.  This can cause pipes to fail and leak.  The American Red cross has some helpful tips on how to keep your pipes safe from freezing and/or bursting over the winter.  

The Red Cross provided the following tips to keep pipes safe:

  • Tightly close doors and windows to the outside.
  • Insulate pipes in unheated or drafty areas. Hardware and plumbing supply stores carry insulation to keep pipes from freezing.
  • Shut off and drain the pipes leading to outside faucets. Water in these lines can freeze and expand, causing leaks.
  • Close the inside valves and drain the pipes leading to your outside hose bibs (faucets).
  • Drain the water from swimming pools following the manufacturer’s instructions. Do not put antifreeze in the lines unless directed.
  • Know where your main shut off valve is and label it. Minimize the potential for water damage by ensuring that everyone in the household knows how to shut off the water in case of an emergency.
  • Open the cabinets beneath any place with a water supply, such as the kitchen and bathroom sinks. This will allow warm air to circulate.  Residents with children and pets are reminded to remove any toxic substances first.
  • To prevent pipes from freezing, allow one faucet, preferably the one that is the greatest distance from the main water shut off valve, to drip cold water slowly. This does not need to be a running trickle.
  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily keeping it warmer at night, you can prevent a costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
Remember, if you do have a water loss in your home, we at SERVPRO are here to help you.  Our IICRC Water Certified Crew Chiefs are trained and educated in helping you during these hard times.  Call us at 262-542-0900 or 920-674-3002.  

Oh No!! Frozen Pipes!

11/23/2021 (Permalink)

Now that the weather is getting colder and dropping below freezing, some people may experience frozen pipes.  You may notice that little to no water is coming out of the faucet when turned on.  There are things that you can and should do at home before calling SERVPRO.  The American Red Cross has compiled a list of things to do if you find a frozen pipe in your home or business:

  • Identify whether the problem is throughout the house or in one area.
  • If the problem is isolated, the pipe may be able to be thawed by opening the cabinets and allowing warmer air to circulate around the pipes.
  • You can also use towels soaked in warm water to wrap around the frozen pipes.
  • Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area and help melt ice in the pipe.

As a reminder       

 ~ Never thaw a pipe with an open flame.  It is very dangerous and can start a fire. 

 ~ Avoid using electrical heaters if there is standing water.  This creates fire and electrical shock dangers. 

~Keep portable heaters at least 3 feet away from flameable materials (anything that can burn)For all your water damage clean up needs, call SERVPRO at 262-542-0900 or 920-674-3002.

 Leave SERVPRO of SW Waukesha a 5-star review

Keeping Outdoor Pets and Your Home Safe This Winter

11/16/2021 (Permalink)

As winter approaches, temperatures are dropping rapidly! As we all know, humans aren’t the only ones who need warmth. As we head into the holiday season, many homeowners throughout the area may need to be sure that their outdoor fluffy pals can live comfortably. This can include the use of heat lamps or other heating sources. Our production crew worked on a home fire this past spring which was caused by a chicken coop heat lamp that shorted out and eventually burned up a portion of a home. SERVPRO was called and on site ready to help restore their home to a living condition. Here are some tips to remember to keep your home and your animals safe and warm this winter. 

  • Ensure if extension cords are needed that any grounds are not disconnected, falling apart, or too old

  • Inspect all heating equipment for any frayed, kinked or worn out wires

  • If possible, make sure there is enough separation from the home to the heated area incase of a fire to avoid spreading of the fire to the home

  • If using a space heater or heat lamp, avoid placing dry wood, hay, straw, rope or any other flammable item directly in front of it. These heating machines must have at least 3 feet of space between it and anything that could potentially spark a fire

  • Do not leave the heated area without supervision for extended periods of time

  • Maintain and monitor your heated area to avoid any potential fire hazards as listed above 

 Contact SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County for all your fire and smoke damage clean up needs.  262-542-0900 or 920-674-3002. 

Leave SERVPRO of SW Waukesha a 5-star review

Thanksgiving Fire Safety

11/16/2021 (Permalink)

Deep frying turkey can easily cause fires like this if proper precautions are not taken.

It is that time of the year again, Thanksgiving.  Many people are preparing to spend the day in the kitchen cooking meals and making treats.  The kitchen can become a very hectic place during these joyous times.   Thanksgiving day has more home cooking fires than any other day of the year (about 3 times the daily average).  In 2019 there was an estimated 1,400 kitchen cooking fires reported in the US. Unattended cooking is the leading contribution to cooking fires and deaths. By following a few simple safety tips you can enjoy your day as well as keep yourself and your family safe. 

  • Deep frying a Turkey is extremely dangerous and can easily cause a fire. 
  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stove so you can keep an eye on the food.
  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey, and check on it frequently.
  • Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay three feet away.
  • Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter, near the stove or near water.
  • Keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children.
  • Never leave children alone in room with a lit candle.
  • Never leave a burning candle unatended in your home.
  • Never use water to put out an oil fire. 
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.
  • Create a fire safety plan with your family.  Make sure to review it from time to time so that everyone knows the plan. 

Please contact SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County for all your fire and smoke damage clean up needs.  262-542-0900 or 920-674-3002. 

Leave SERVPRO of SW Waukesha a 5-star review

November 15-19 is Winter Awareness Week in Wisconsin

11/11/2021 (Permalink)

Check out this article from ReadyWisconsin for some great tips to stay safe this winter:

Winter in Wisconsin can be a time for fun outdoors, but the snow, ice and cold can also be dangerous for those who are not ready for them. To help prepare everyone for what to expect in the months ahead, Gov. Tony Evers has declared Nov. 15-19 Winter Awareness Week in Wisconsin.

“Preparing for winter should begin before the first snowflakes fall,” said Wisconsin Emergency Management Acting Administrator Greg Engle. “Winter Awareness Week is a great time to brush up on your winter driving skills, get your furnace serviced, and make sure home emergency kits are fully supplied.”

According to the National Weather Service, Wisconsin experiences an average of three to six winter storms during the season. Last winter, the city of Hurley in Iron County received the highest one-day snowfall of 14.0 inches on Dec. 24, 2020. Land o' Lakes in Vilas County recorded 83.2 inches of snow last winter, giving it the highest seasonal snowfall total in the state. The coldest temperature recorded in Wisconsin was -41 degrees Fahrenheit on Feb. 15, 2021 in Barnes, located in Bayfield County.

One of the best ways to stay safe during the winter months is to stay informed about the weather. Follow the forecast from the National Weather Service and other trusted local sources, and then be prepared when winter storms are expected. Stock up on additional supplies, make sure you have an emergency kit at home and in your vehicle, and have a plan for what to do if you lose power at home.

Winter emergency kits should include items such as food, water, a flashlight and batteries, and blankets. In your vehicle, include a snow shovel, extra gloves and hats, cell phone charger, and kitty litter or sand to help give your wheels traction on icy roads in case you get stuck.

Prepare your home as well by making sure your furnace is serviced regularly. Check entry points and windows for signs they are allowing cold air into your home. Ensure carbon monoxide detectors are working properly and have fresh batteries. Keep any free-standing heating devices away from curtains or other objects that could catch fire.

Ice and snow on the roads remain a major threat to drivers throughout the state each winter. Between 2016-20, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation Wisconsin says the state averaged about 41 fatalities and 3,950 injuries each year due to winter driving conditions.

“During winter, drivers should check the weather and road conditions before they head out,” Engle said. “If you don’t need to be on the road during a severe winter storm, then stay home. If that’s not an option, carry an emergency kit in your vehicle, drive slow in treacherous conditions, and let people know where you are going and when you expect to arrive.”

To help protect yourself in your vehicle, remain distraction-free while driving and adjust your speed for current conditions. Check travel conditions for most major roadways in the state before you leave home by using 511 Wisconsin. This information, along with live traffic cameras and traffic alerts, is accessible through the free 511 Wisconsin mobile app, on Twitter, or the mobile-friendly site www.511wi.gov.

Find out more about Winter Awareness Week, including historical data and safety tips, here.

For more tips on getting ready for winter weather, visit the ReadyWisconsin website at https://readywisconsin.wi.gov/.

How to Prepare for a Winter Storm

11/11/2021 (Permalink)

As temperatures start to drop, staying warm and safe can be a challenge. Winter storms can bring cold temperatures, power failures, loss of communication services, and icy roads. To keep yourself and your loved ones safe, you should know how to prepare your home and your car before a winter storm hits. Here are some great tips on how to best prepare:

  • Plan ahead. If you are in an area prone to winter weather, be sure to create a communication and disaster plan for your family ahead of time.
  • Repair roof leaks and cut away tree branches that could fall on your home or other structure during a storm.
  • Create an emergency car kit. If you find yourself caught in a storm while driving it is important to have the essentials including: a portable charger, batteries, extra hats, coats, mittens, and blankets, a windshield scraper, a shovel, flashlight, water, first aid kit and jumper cables.
  • In the event of a winter storm, listen to weather forecast and check your emergency supplies.
  • Bring pets indoors and insure outdoor pets have shelter and access to unfrozen water.

For more information, check out the CDC's page on Preparing for a Winter Storm.

SERVPRO is Faster to Winter Weather Disasters

11/11/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is here to repair your winter disasters, including burst pipes like this one.

This winter, SERVPRO is here to help with all of your winter weather disasters including burst pipes, ice dams and puffbacks. 

Frozen pipes can easily burst due to pressure created by ice blocking the flow of water. A burst pipe can cause extensive damage to your property, but SERVPRO is here to help, bringing the latest equipment and training to restore the damage. 

Ice dams form when water from snow melting off a roof becomes blocked behind still-frozen ice and cannot flow into a gutter and safely away from your house. This water can leak into your house and damage your roof. Your local SERVPRO can help repair the damage and return your structure to its preloss condition. 

Puffbacks occur when oil burners in furnaces malfunction, sending soot throughout your home or business. Our training, tools and equipment at SERVPRO can quickly and efficiently clean and restore your property. 

For more information on SERVPRO's winter restoration services click here.

Stay Safe in Thunderstorms

11/9/2021 (Permalink)

Thunderstorms, also known as electrical storms or lightning storms, are common in the Midwest. If you find yourself caught in the middle of a storm, here are some tips to stay safe while you weather the storm:

  • When thunder roars, go indoors! If you're outside when you hear thunder, try to get inside, in a car, or if nothing else, find shelter nearby.
  • Pay attention to alerts and warnings.
  • Avoid using electronic devices and appliances connected to an electrical outlet due to the possibility of electrical surges.
  • Avoid running water.
  • Do not drive through flooded roadways. Just six inches of fast-moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • Pay attention to authorities and weather forecasts for information on whether it is safe to go outside and instructions regarding potential flash flooding.
  • After the storm, be on the lookout for fallen power lines and trees and report them to authorities immediately.

SERVPRO is Faster to Any Weather Disaster

10/19/2021 (Permalink)

Weather disasters are unpredictable and can cause extensive damage your home or workplace. However, in the event of fire or water damage caused by a severe storm, a quick response can prevent further damage and revenue loss and minimize inconveniences for employees or tenants. SERVPRO professionals are ready to help restore your building or home to make it "Like it never even happened." SERVPRO's restoration services can help you resume normal business functions quickly to avoid costly downtime and our professional equipment and industry-approved techniques will save you money while we restore your home. If you find yourself faced with weather disaster damage, don't hesitate to call your local SERVPRO professionals.

SERVPRO Restores Home After Furnace Leak

10/19/2021 (Permalink)

This room was damaged by water from the furnace leak and was restored by SERVPRO professionals.

A furnace leak in this home caused damage to a bedroom, a closet and dining room. Additionally, because the water had been sitting for a while, some mold growth had developed on the flooring. The SERVPRO crew applied anti-microbial mats to aid with hindering the mold growth. When the crews were pulling the carpet and pad out they discovered tile flooring underneath. They tested it and found  asbestos. SERVPRO's asbestos crew was called in to remove it and the floor above was restored in addition to the rest of the property that had been damaged. 

Home Features Buyers Are Looking For

10/15/2021 (Permalink)

Home Selling Tips

The real estate market in Wisconsin continues to be very busy.  The objective is to sell your home for the maximum price possible based on comparable prices in your neighborhood.  If/When you consider selling your home, you may want to make an effort to make some repairs or improvements to increase the value of your home.  

If you are considering selling your home, the following are some suggestions on what buyers may be looking for.  

Storage Space 

As a home owner, I find myself often saying that I wish I had more storage space.  Most of my family and friends say the same thing.  Find ways to add additional storage to your home or busince because this will make it more appealing to prospective buyers.  Some examples include adding shelving in rooms, finish the area/space under the stairs or install a closet system to store more items.  

Remember to Be "Health Conscience"

Due to the pandemic, many people are now trying to complete workouts at home.  If there is any way to add an in-home gym or a designated area for exercise equipment, be sure to add it. 

Security To The Home or Building

Security is important wherever you are living.  Your stuff is important to you, and you want to keep it.  But remember that security is also important to the seller as well.  Curb appeal is also important and one item that gets most attention is the garage door.  Consider upgrading your garage door as it makes your building look more modern and it provides adding security.  You may also want to consider adding an alarm system if one is not already present.  Anything that improves the security of your home or building is always important and will help with the sale of the property.  

Click the following to read the full article provided by Dina Hubrich, real estate professional, to learn more tips to successfully selling your home.  Article

If you are looking for home or commercial property restoration, please call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County.  We can guide you in the right direction and also provide reconstruction services.  Call us at 262-542-0900.

Considerations When Buying a "Fixer Upper"

10/15/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is "Here to Help" On Your "Fixer Upper" Project

The real estate market continues to be very competitive in Wisconsin.  Due to this competition, some buyers are considering buying a “fixer upper” home for a lesser price and then invest in remodeling or upgrades.  If you are considering this option, we have some tips for you to consider.

  • Bring a contractor along when you tour the home. This will help you determine what repairs might be necessary and approximately what it will cost to repair.
  • During the repairs, plan on an alternate living space, if needed. You might not want to end your lease or sell your existing home just yet. If the property needs serious repairs or renovations, you’ll probably need to live off-site until they’re complete.
  • You may need an alternative mortgage program. If you want to finance the home purchase and the renovations and repairs the property needs, you might consider loans like the FHA 203(k) loan or the Fannie Mae HomeStyle loan. Your loan officer can help you choose the best option for your purchase.
  • Be prepared for problems below the surface. Not all issues will be visible during the initial scope or tour of the property. There may be other problems, some major, lurking below the surface (like mold or termites, for example) that will not initially be seen or known.  Make sure that you leave some extra money in your budget to account for these unknown or unexpected expenses. 
  • There may be appraisal and inspection issues.  If the home is in disrepair, you might face challenges with your inspection or appraisal. This is especially true if you’re using an FHA, USDA or VA loan, as properties must meet strict requirements with these programs.

Fixer-uppers are just one of the many options you have when buying a home..

If you are considering purchasing a building that may need repairs or reconstruction, please call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County and we can help.  262-542-0900.

Tips To Get Your Home Ready And Safe For Winter

10/15/2021 (Permalink)

When You See This, It Is Time For Autumn Home Maintenance

Your home is most likely your largest investment and you need to protect it and take care of it.  One very important thing is to properly maintain your home so it will be there to protect you from our Wisconsin weather.  By completing these routine fall projects helps protect your home and keep money in your pocket by doing routine maintenance before the repairs become more expensive.

The following are routine, easy maintenance chores to keep you warm and safe. 

  • Inspect your roof annually. Even small leaks or missing shingles can cause big problems like water damage, mold, mildew and more.  Call SERVPRO right away if water damage occurs.

  • Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. This equipment should always be in good working condition. Put them in test mode and make sure they’re all functioning properly. Batteries will usually need to be replaced every six months to a year.  A good tip is to change the batteries when we change the clocks for daylight savings time.  If a fire occurs and there is damage, call SERVPRO for your fire damage restoration needs.

  • Check for (and seal) air leaks around windows and doors. Leaks in these areas can make it hard to control your home’s climate and, as winter approaches, that could mean more costly heating and gas bills. This also will help keep your home cooler in the winter. 

  • Have your furnace inspected. If you heat your home with a gas-powered furnace, you’ll want the unit inspected at least once per year. Furnaces can pose serious fire and safety hazards if they’re not functioning properly.  Call SERVPRO and we can recommend a furnace professional to inspect your equipment.

  • Clean out the gutters. When gutters get clogged with leaves and debris, water can’t drain properly. This might lead to standing water on your roof or eaves, which can cause significant and costly water damage over time, particular ice dams in the winter months.  Call SERVPRO right away if any water damage occurs.

For all your water damage and fire damage clean up and restoration needs, please call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County.  262-542-0900.

Fire Prevention Week Tips for Fire Safety

10/15/2021 (Permalink)

Follow Fire Safety Tips To Prevent This Type of Damage

Every October the National Fire Protection Association recognizes the second week of the month as Fire Prevention Week. The goal of this week is to raise awareness for fire safety and educate families.

This is the perfect time to talk with your family about your fire escape plan. These escape plans should include how to get out of each room in the house and a meeting location in a safe area for the entire family, this should be at least 75 feet from the building. This plan should be practiced regularly, during both the day and at night with everyone in your household, including children and people with disabilities.

This is also a great time to also test your smoke alarms and ensure they are less than 10 years old.

Along with checking your smoke alarms, you should also check your fire extinguisher. These fire extinguishers should have an ABC rating, as this type can be used to put out most fires. It is also important to note that these types of extinguishers do have a lifespan and should be replaced every 6 years.

Hopefully, you take time this coming week to think about how you can improve your fire safety. Remember, every second counts in the event of a fire, so you and your family must always be prepared. 

If you have fire damage, call the certified fire and smoke restoration technicians at SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County at 262-542-0900.

Broken Pipe Causes Flood At Local Hotel

10/15/2021 (Permalink)

Water Damage In Carpet

A prominent hotel in Brookfield, Wisconsin had a pin-hole leak in an overhead that caused a flood in their banquet facility.  The before picture shows how much water accumulated in the coat room after the water was turned off.

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County was called to clean up the aftermath.  The maintenance director was very pleased with our prompt service and attention to detail.  This maintenance director has worked in various hotels in Wisconsin over 30 years and has seen many disasters.  He called on SERVPRO because he has used us before and knew the type of quick and professional service he would get. 

For all your commercial water damage needs, please call the certified water restoration technicians at SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County at 262-542-0900

Ladies Night Out

10/15/2021 (Permalink)

Ladies Night Out

Delafield Chamber of Commerce

Ladies Night Out Series is a three-night shopping extravaganza in Downtown Delafield that happens twice a year. Shops, restaurants, bars, and more offer deals and specials for all the shoppers. Hundreds of ladies grab their girlfriends and head out for a fun night on the town. Participants and businesses have a blast shopping and spending time Downtown Delafield. 

As a friend of the chamber SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County is a sponsor of this event. SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha is proud to be a part of the community and loves to give back.

Last night was a beautiful night to walk the street of Delafield. The shops had a lot of great deals and some beverages to sample as well.

Local Government Calls on SERVPRO To Clean Building

10/15/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Cleans Air Ducts of Government Building and Removes This Dirt and Debris

A local government-employed Facilities Director called on SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County to clean and deodorize a government-owned building in Jefferson, Wisconsin.  This community-based residential facility is currently going through a remodeling project and it was determined that the HVAC ductwork had not been cleaned for a very long time.  They asked SERVPRO to add this service to the work we already had provided.

This after photo shows the dirt and debris that was captured in the filter during the cleaning of the ductwork.  This filter was white as snow before work began.  This is a perfect example of why it is important to get your ductwork cleaned often because this is dirt that the occupants of buildings are breathing in every day.   

For all your commercial and residential duct cleaning needs, please call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County at 262-542-0900.

Wind and Rain Storm Damage Leads to Help From SERVPRO

10/15/2021 (Permalink)

Wind Damage Leads to SERVPRO Being Called In

A severe rain and wind storm in June 2021 caused this massive tree to fall on this customer's home in Waukesha, WI.  This photo shows the size of the large branch and how it broke the framing of the house and soffits.  This photo does not show a separate branch that penetrated the roof, insulation and drywall where a branch is literally hanging in the kitchen ceiling.

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County was called in to help clean up the mess.  This customer did not have any experience with contractors to repair her home so she utilized our skill and expertise to repair her home and make it "Like it never even happened."  Even though it took time to get the materials and supplies needed for reconstruction, the customer was very happy with the results.

For all your water and fire damage needs caused by storms, call on the certified technicians at SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County.  262-542-0900.

How does your roof look?

10/15/2021 (Permalink)

Take good care of your roof

Roof Ready for Storms

Make sure that your roof is ready for when the storms come.

In the Winter Watch out for Ice Dams

Icicles are usually a sign that your home has an ice dam which means there is a buildup of ice layers from snow melting and refreezing. Ice is a lot heavier than snow—a one-inch layer of ice weighs about five pounds per square foot. Multiply that 20 or 30 times, and you have a real problem on your hands. Ice dams often block drainage systems and prevent runoff. Since roofs are not able to withstand standing water and ice, the dams can cause them to buckle, degrade, and leak over time. Ice formations are usually a sign that you have inadequate insulation or poor ventilation in your home. A roofing inspector can check out both problems and assist in solving these issues.

Add cleaning out the gutters to your checklist

The gutters on your home serve a purpose, and it is vital to maintain them. Your drainage system carries water and debris away from your roof and back onto the ground, where it belongs. When your gutters are clogged, water backs up onto your roof and siding. When blocked, they speed up leaks and put you at risk of problems, such as mold and roof rot. Make sure to get up on the ladder at least twice a year—once in the fall and the spring.

Does your Roof have Missing Shingles

A broken or missing shingle will set you up for leaks. Water infiltration can occur in attics or inside walls. You may not see this water leak in your attic or walls until you have a full-blown mold infestation. 

Get a Roof Inspections

Did you know you should have your roof inspected every three to five years?  A qualified inspector can seek out tiny, nearly-invisible problems like pinhole leaks which can cost you a lot if they are not caught early on. 

Trim Back Nearby Branches

Branches carried at high wind speeds can slam into your roof, causing damages. Trim overhanging branches and inspect for rotting tree trunks that could be knocked over by one heavy wind. If you are not confident in trimming trees, hire a professional to help.

If you feel you may have some water damage in your attic due to these issues, call SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County.

Visit a Fall Festival in your Community

10/14/2021 (Permalink)

One of the best parts of autumn is the opportunity to spend time in the community. There's no shortage of fun events with fall festivals, trick or treating, pumpkin picking, and haunted houses. Pewaukee's Fall Festival on October 22nd at Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church is a great opportunity to celebrate fall with a variety of outdoor activities. Weather permitting, this fun event will have Trunk or Treat, food trucks and other fall festivities. Be sure to check it out!

For more information and to find other fall events visit the Lake Country Family Fun Fall Fest Guide.

How to Stay Safe (and Have Fun) this Spooky Season

10/14/2021 (Permalink)

Happy Halloween from SERVPRO!! 

Halloween means lots of fun in the community: Trick or Treating, pumpkin picking, fall festivals and haunted houses. With all these fun events, however, it is still important to be safe. These are great tips to stay safe this Halloween:

  • Keep and eye on open flames- whether its in a Jack-O-Lantern or just a spooky candle, and unattended flame can cause a serious fire if left unattended.
  • Dress warmly- as the weather cools off make sure you and your family are dressed warmly to avoid catching a cold. 
  • Keep an eye on young children when Trick or Treating.

We Love Online Reviews!

10/14/2021 (Permalink)

Reviews help us know how we're doing and give us valuable information from customers. 

Online reviews on Facebook, Yelp, Twitter or other social platforms can also help other customers looking at SERVPRO's services and can help them see what makes SERVPRO special. 

We appreciate all online reviews as they help SERVPRO to better serve your restoration needs.

To write a review visit https://g.page/r/CYLtUbWIZTIGEAI/review?kd or visit any of our social media pages.  

SERVPRO Sponsors Annual Golf Outing

10/7/2021 (Permalink)

Marketing Representatives Sarah and Brad spent the day out on the course at the Golf Outing.

On September 30th, Marketing Representatives from SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc Brad and Sarah attended the annual Golf Outing at Spring Creek Golf Center in Whitewater. The event was hosted by the Jefferson County Board of Realtors, and was an amazing event to mingle and spend time out on the course. SERVPRO was a proud sponsor of this event and everyone there had a great time. SERVPRO's involvement in the community is one of the things that makes it a unique and active company for both employees and customers. 

Common Causes of Fires and How to Prevent Them

10/7/2021 (Permalink)

The best way to handle a fire is to prevent it. By knowing the risks of common fire hazards, you can more effectively prevent fires. These are the top 5 most common causes of fires:

1.  Cooking

2.  Heating Appliances

3.  Electrical

4.  Smoking

5.  Candles

Each of these hazards can be minimized by using care when handling flammable materials, reading instructions on appliances, and remembering to put out candles, matches and cigarettes. 

A little care and caution can go a long way in preventing fires.

For more information visit the National Fire Protection Association website or your the website of your local fire department.

Fall Tips for Homeowners

10/7/2021 (Permalink)

Home maintenance is important year-round, especially in fall as the weather changes. Here are some tasks to check off your home maintenance to-do list. 

  • Drain your water heater- prevent buildup of minerals that cause your water heater to work less efficiently.
  •  Clean your outside air conditioner- grass, leaves and debris can build up on outside air conditioners and cause issues. Cleaning air conditioners in fall prevents this and ensures that your air conditioner is running well for the next season. 
  • Clean your gutters- cleaning leaves and debris out of gutters prevents build up that can cause damage to you home. For more information visit our blog on the importance of cleaning gutters in fall.
  • Turn off outdoor faucets- if you live in a cold climate, water can freeze and cause pipes to burst. In addition to turning off water, removing and storing hoses can prevent damage.
  • Change air filters- air filters get extra use in summer when the AC is on. Change out air filters to help them function more efficiently.

Fire Safety and Prevention Tips

10/5/2021 (Permalink)

Frayed wires such as this one can cause electrical fires which are responsible for nearly 25% of all house fires.

October is fire prevention month. Here are 7 tips to ensure that you and your family are prepared in the case of a fire: 

  • Install and maintain smoke detectors- Smoke detectors can alert you to a fire even if you are sleeping or in another room of the house. Installing smoke detectors on each level of your house and checking them monthly is a great step to ensure that your family is alerted immediately if there is a fire.  
  • Keep fire extinguishers on hand-  having fire extinguishers at the ready and familiarizing family members with how to use them can prevent a small fire from turning into a huge problem. 
  • Have a fire escape plan- Meet with your family members or roommates and decide what to do if a fire were to occur. Locate all exits and be prepared by keeping fire ladders on upper floors in case exits are obstructed.   
  • Use caution when cooking- Don’t leave cooking food unattended. Check that stovetops, burners and oven are turned off when you are done cooking.  
  • Lighters are tools not toys- Keep lighters, matches, and other potential fire hazards away from children. Watch children around open flames such as candles and stovetop burners.  
  • Open flames aren’t the only fire hazards- Almost a quarter of house fires are electrical. If an electrical appliance sparks, smokes or has an unusual smell it could indicate an issue that could easily become a fire hazard. In this situation, unplug the appliance and get it fixed before using again and proactively prevent fires by replacing frayed electrical cords. 
  • Remember: stop, drop, and roll- In the case of a fire if your clothes catch fire stop where you are, drop to the ground, cover your face and roll to smother the flames. 

Remember, in the case of a fire, the best thing to do is be prepared. By practicing good fire prevention habits you can minimize the risk of fires and be ready in if one were to occur. In the case of a past fire, call SERVPRO for your fire clean up and restoration needs. 

As the Weather Gets Cold, Help Others in your Community

10/5/2021 (Permalink)

As the weather gets colder it is increasingly important to care for others in our community who are less fortunate. Some great ways to help your community can be through donating to drives for food and warm clothing, serving at a local soup kitchen or meal distribution center, or donating to local charities. These seemingly small acts can make a tremendous difference in someone else’s day and can warm their hearts and bodies as the weather gets cold.  

A great place to start is by visiting the websites for Hunger Task Force, Hope House, Saint Vincent De Paul, or other local charities to see how you can get involved to help others in your community. 

SERVPRO Sponsors Table for Annual Delafield Festival

10/5/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO representatives at the table sponsored by SERVPRO at the Delafield Wine Walk and Brew Fest

This past Saturday, October 2nd, SERVPRO sponsored a beer table at the 2nd Annual Wine Walk and Brew Fest. This social event was a great opportunity to experience the cuisine and culture of Downtown Delafield while enjoying a unique night out. Visitors also had the opportunity to enjoy live music and DJ! SERVPRO representatives had a great time sponsoring the event and meeting with other businesses and residents of Waukesha and Delafield. The event was a total hit, be sure to stop by the SERVPRO table  next year as you enjoy the enjoy food, fun and music in Downtown Delafield.  

The Importance of Cleaning Gutters in Fall

9/28/2021 (Permalink)

Gutters clogged with leaves and debris such as this one can cause damage to your home if not cleaned.

Although it’s no one’s favorite task, cleaning out your gutters in fall is essential to maintaining your house and health. Gutters are meant to transport water away from the house, however gutters that are blocked with leaves and debris can cause damage to the foundation of your home and have potentially detrimental health effects. Here are 5 reasons why it is important to clean your gutters each fall: 

  •  Prevent roofing from rotting- When water remains in gutters, moisture builds up and can cause the wood to rot leaving house structure weak. 
  • Keep pests away-damp places can attract rodents and insects. Removing debris from gutters can prevent pests from infesting your home and spreading disease to you and your family. 
  • Preserve the foundation of your house- water can do damage to the foundation of your house, leaving it unstable and unsafe. Furthermore, it is expensive to repair damage to foundation.  
  • Prevent basement mold- water that accumulates from clogged gutters can leak into you home and cause mold which has health effects on you and your family. 
  • Avoid gutter repair and replacement- regularly cleaning your gutters can extend the life of the gutters and save you from having to repair or replace them sooner than you normally would.  

In addition to knowing the importance of cleaning your gutters each fall, it is important to know where go for gutter cleaning services if you don’t have time to do the job. Contacting a local gutter cleaner can provide their services to get rid of blockages and debris to keep your home and family safe.  

Autumn in Wisconsin

9/23/2021 (Permalink)

Happy Fall!

Autumn in Wisconsin is all about color

Wisconsin is breathtaking. Wisconsin has over 6 million acres of public lands, 49 state parks, 15 state forests, 44 state biking trails plus hundreds of lakes and rivers to explore, Wisconsin has a fall leaf-peeping spot for everyone.

Wisconsin has a beautiful annual fall color show. From urban parks to colorful country roads, Wisconsin is packed with color-spotting opportunities throughout the fall season. Check out these 11 scenic drives to experience fall from Travel Wisconsin.

Happy Autumn!

Business Networking

9/23/2021 (Permalink)

A great evening of networking.

SERVPRO hosted a business networking event

On September 22nd, SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County hosted a networking event with Waukesha Chamber City Connect

Members were invited to come and network with other members. They enjoyed food and drinks while having conversations. The group was able to get a tour of SERVPRO's shop. After the tour the members enjoyed playing a few games of corn hole or bags. 

Thank you to all that attended the networking event!

National Preparedness Month

9/21/2021 (Permalink)

September is National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month

SERVPRO wants to remind everyone that September is National Preparedness Month. Take time out this month to create a plan if you and your loved ones expect a disaster or an emergency. Below are ways to prepare.

Make A Plan

Talk to your friends and family about how you will communicate before, during, and after a disaster. 

Build A Kit

Gather supplies that will last for several days after a disaster for everyone living in your home. Don’t forget to consider the unique needs each person or pet may have in case you have to evacuate quickly. 

Low-Cost, No-Cost Preparedness

Natural disasters don’t wait for a convenient time. Preparing for them shouldn’t wait either. Start today by safeguarding important documents, and taking other low cost and no cost preparedness actions to lessen the impact of disasters and emergencies for you and your family.

Teach Youth About Preparedness

Talk to your kids about preparing for emergencies and what to do in case you are separated. Reassure them by providing information about how they can get involved.

Go to ready.gov for more information.

Summertime treats

9/21/2021 (Permalink)

Brad and Sarah are SERVPRO marketing representatives.

Treats to our clients

Today was SERVPRO marketing representatives Brad and Sarah's last day making ice cream floats for the year.

Every year since 2011 SERVPRO makes either root beer floats or orange floats for our clients and/or people in the community. This is our way to say "thank you" for your business throughout the year.


This summer Brad and Sarah have visited 300+ people and made 245 ice cream floats. Every year they visit more businesses, hopefully they will stop at yours next year!  

Work Anniversary

9/1/2021 (Permalink)

Rosa is an amazing employee.

Rosa is a dedicated employee.

SERVPRO wants to congratulate Rosa on her work anniversary. Rosa is a dedicated and hard working employee. Rosa is one of SERVPRO top cleaners, she is very detail oriented in all she does.

If you see Rosa please congratulate her on her accomplishments.

Congratulations to our New Crew Chief

8/31/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha's Crew Chief Lisa

Congratulations to our newest Crew Chief, Lisa!

Since starting with SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County in October 2020, Lisa has become an invaluable asset to our company. She was hired as a Production Technician and due to her quick learning and dedication to our company values, she was promoted to Lead Production Technician within 6 months. Her quality customer service and bubbly personality naturally lead her to being promoted again to Crew Chief within one year of her employment. Lisa is SERVPRO of SW Waukesha's first female crew chief. Lisa is a good leader and always takes time to make sure things are being done carefully and properly. Next time you see Lisa, be sure to say hello. 

SERVPRO Donates to Local Animal Shelter

8/9/2021 (Permalink)

Local Organization Thanks SERVPRO For Its Monetary Donation

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County and SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc strongly believes in giving back to the communities in which we serve.  One way is by hosting an annual beans bags tournament fund raiser.

In March of 2021 we hosted our 5th annual event.  Over the last 5 years, we have raised and donated over $20,000 to non-profit organizations that also serve our communities.  This year, we raised money for the Humane Society of Jefferson County and the Humane Animal Welfare Society of Waukesha County.

These animal welfare organizations are very important to what we do because, sometimes, when we have a customer dealing with severe fire or water damage, they are not able to properly care for their animals and will need the assistant of a local organization.  We can refer our customers to organizations like this when they need help to provide care of their pets.

The letter in the photo is from the Humane Animal Welfare Society of Waukesha County thanking us for our donation of $2,300.  Another $2,300 was also given to the Humane Society of Jefferson County.

For all your water or fire damage needs, please call the trained professionals who care about not just your home and belongings, but also your pets.  Call us in Waukesha at 262-542-0900 or in Jefferson County at 920-674-3002

Fire Prevention From ATV Riding During Droughts

7/16/2021 (Permalink)

Tips To Prevent Fires Related to ATV's

Many of the people working at SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County and SERVPRO Jefferson County/Oconomowoc enjoy riding ATV's and UTV's on our free time.  What a great way to enjoy the outdoors of Wisconsin and spending quality time with family and friends.

The following is an article about protecting ourselves and the environment while riding ATV's and UTV's during a drought.

Riding during drought season. What to know.

Recent drought conditions across the country require us to sharpen our focus on challenges for off-roaders.

To protect yourself, the environment, and the trails we all share, we've gathered some important information we should all keep in mind as we seek out summer's great adventure. KEEP THE FUEL CANS AT HOME AND PLAN YOUR FUEL STOPS

For your safety and the safety of the environment, do not carry reserves that could combust. This applies every time you ride throughout the year. Failure to follow this instruction could lead to serious injuries. 

PARK IT IN RED FLAG CONDITIONSA red flag warning means conditions are ripe for a wildfire, so consider taking a break from riding until the risk has passed. Be sure to check conditions and flag warnings in your area by visiting your state's natural resources department or weather.gov 

RIDE WITH A FIRE EXTINGUISHER  

Be prepared for the unexpected by keeping safety close at hand, even after the dry season by carrying a fire extinguisher in your vehicle. Use a fire extinguisher holder, mounted directly inside your cab frame to keep a fire extinguisher within reach.

 KEEP IT CLEANMinimize fire risk by removing all grass, weeds and brush that may have collected on or around the exhaust system. Be sure to wait until the exhaust system cools down before removing brush to prevent burns and always keep family and friends away from the hot metal. 

OUTDOOR TEMPERATURE

As a final reminder, when it's hot out, it’s best to ride early in the morning or late at night to avoid the worst of the conditions and always bring along extra water to stay hydrated. If you’d like more off-road safety tips, follow the link below.

***This article was found on Polaris.com

RIDER SAFETY TIPS

If you experience damage to your home or business or other personal property caused by a fire, please contact SERVPRO.  We are here to help.  

SERVPRO SW Waukesha County 262-542-0900

SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc 920-674-3002

SERVPRO Sponsors Marketing Event at Beer Garden

7/16/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Sponsorship Table

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County was again a proud sponsor of another event through the Waukesha Chamber of Commerce.  This event was a networking event held at a local beer garden called The Tap Yard.  This is a great way to sample some local micro brews while enjoying our great Wisconsin summer weather.  

This was another great opportunity to network with other local businesses, promote SERVPRO services and learn about other businesses to possibly market to.

For all your fire and water damage needs, call the professionals at SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County.  We also are the only SERVPRO in the State of Wisconsin certified in asbestos abatement.  We also office mold mitigation, carpet and upholstery cleaning, duct cleaning (both residential & commercial) along with deodorization and biohazard and vandalism cleanup.  Call us at 262-542-0900

Fireworks Safety Tips

7/15/2021 (Permalink)

Ground Fireworks Typically Considered Legal in Wisconsin

Every year in the United States there are about 19,000 fires that are related to fireworks. Please plan accordingly and follow these safety tips to keep your property and your loved ones safe this upcoming Independence Day. Most important, ALWAYS follow local law in regards to what fireworks are legal in your area

  • Never allow young children to handle fireworks
  • Older children should use them only under close adult supervision
  • Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol
  • Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear
  • Never hold lighted fireworks in your hands
  • Never light them indoors
  • Only use them away from people, houses and flammable material
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person
  • Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting
  • Never ignite devices in a container
  • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks
  • Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don't go off or in case of fire
  • Never use illegal fireworks
  • Verify that conditions in the environment are appropriate for fireworks use.  Do not use during a drought.
In the event that your property should experience fire damage, please call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County to assess the damage and help you get back to celebrating safely.  262-542-0900.

5 Fun (and Useful) Summer Home Trends

7/15/2021 (Permalink)

Summer Fun Backyard Living Areas

We are SERVPRO believe in not just offering fire and water damage advice, but also fun home tips as well.  

Summer is a great time to improve your home’s exterior. 

And whether you’re interested in enjoying your space a little more or you want to boost your home’s value, it makes sense to find inspiration by taking a look at what other homeowners are doing.

Are you thinking about updating your yard or patio this summer? Here are five popular trends to consider trying for yourself.

Install a workout or play area. Make the most of your property by building a swing set or sandbox, adding a horseshoe pit or investing in a small climbing wall or some gym equipment that the whole family can use. 

Build a front yard social spot. Want a casual outdoor spot that’s welcoming to your friends and neighbors? Think about setting up a social area in the front yard — one with benches, swings and comfortable places to sit and chat.

Focus on backyard entertainment. For more private gatherings, focus on guest-friendly features in the backyard. Movie screens, fire pits and hot tubs are a few popular options. 

Add an outdoor kitchen. Love to cook? Just want to eat alfresco? Install an outdoor pizza oven or invest in a smoker or grill. Be sure to set up a roomy (and durable) dining area, too.

Plant a vegetable or herb garden. It’s never too late to improve your landscaping with something functional. Consider planting a few of your family’s favorite veggies or herbs in a small garden out back.

Click the following link to read the full article and discover some other helpful hints.  Full Article

Call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County for all you fire and water damage needs.  262-542-0900

Mini Golfing Summer Fun

7/15/2021 (Permalink)

Summer Time Fun Sponsored By SERVPRO

On July 6, 2021 SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County was a proud sponsor of a fun a traditional summertime event, mini golfing!  This networking opportunity allowed business members throughout the area to network with each other while also having fun playing a relaxing round of miniature golf.

This event was put on by the Waukesha Business Alliance and SERVPRO is a proud member.

The left side photo shows Sarah, one of our SERVPRO Marketing Reps., participating in the game.  The right side photo shows the winner of the raffle basket that was donated by SERVPRO.

Being a part of events like this helps promote our services to people in the communities that we serve.  And we are proud to participate.

For all your fire and water damage issues, please call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County.  262-542-0900.

Tips to prepare yourself and your pets

6/11/2021 (Permalink)

Your pets are a part of your family, take care of them.

A normal day can be turned upside down by severe weather causing damage and destruction to your home, cars, and other personal property. 

There are several emergency plans you can follow to keep your family safe. What about a plan for your pets? Have you planned for them?

1. Create a plan. If you need to leave your home, because of an emergency situation, do you have a plan on where you and your pet will stay? Think about hotels that are pet friendly or family or friends that can care for you and your pets.  Unfortunately, if you go to a Red Cross shelter, they don’t accept pets. Only service animals are allowed. Make sure you have a plan.

2. Make sure your pets can be identified. It’s important to make sure pets’ collars and tags are updated. If your pet has been microchipped, that’s excellent. This is one of the best ways to make sure you’re reunited with your pets if they’re lost for a short time after a disaster.

3. Have pet carriers ready to go. While leaving your pet carriers in plain site can be stressful for your pets, it’s wise to keep them in a place that’ll make them readily available in case of an emergency. Keeping them buried in your basement or up in your attic can make them difficult to access when time is of the essence. At a minimum, always keep leashes or harnesses near the door.

4. Practice makes perfect. Consider practicing your emergency plan with your family and pets. For pets other than dogs, a car ride can be stressful. By practicing ahead of time, your pets will hopefully become more comfortable with the process and going in the car. 

5. Play Hide and Seek. Stressful situations may cause your pets to hide. Be sure you know all their hiding spots in case you must evacuate your home quickly. 

6. Create an emergency kit. Because we live in Wisconsin, you may want to pack an emergency kit just in case you get stranded in your car during a winter storm. Creating a kit for your pets is no different. Your pets’ kit should include:

  • Additional leashes or harnesses
  • Food and drinking water
  • Bowls and litter boxes
  • Plastic bags for waste
  • Medications
  • Medical records
  • Photos of your pets
  • Favorite bed, blanket, and toys

7. Create a comfortable room. If you encounter severe weather and decide to shelter in place, make sure the room is comfortable for you and your pet. Preferably, the room should be clear of windows and items that could be toxic or dangerous to them.

8. Inspect your property. When you return home, check for things that may have moved or spilled. Check the floor to make sure there are no sharp items that could cause injury. Also look for exposed wires or dirty standing water. In both cases, you’ll want to make sure they’re remedied quickly.

9. Contact your veterinarian. If you return home and your pets seem out of sorts, contact your veterinarian for a thorough checkup. Pets can become unpredictable if they’re scared or sick.

How to Help

5/20/2021 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha county for all cleaning and restoration needs

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County gets called in when people are often going through a rough time. Whether it is for a sewage back up, a fire, a water pipe leak or a mold issue, we are here to help. We will often start with coming on site to assess the situation and see what needs to be done. We will contact your insurance company for you and determine if you have the proper insurance coverage. This gives you piece of mind and allows us to determine who will receive the invoice for services. After those basic things are addressed, the work can begin.  

We come prepared to help, but what can YOU do to help us? 

First, we will ask you to remove any high value or sentimental items from the work area. This is because we want you to be confident that those specific items are safe and secure in an area of your choosing. We pay close attention to your belongings because they are important to you. And that is important to us.  

Next, we may ask you to remove any breakable items from the work area. For example, if you have a large hutch full of china or crystal, we would prefer if you could move those belongings out of the work area.  

Finally, we will ask you to make sure your home is available to our crews once every 24 hours or so in order to monitor the areas. We may need to monitor moisture levels, or we may need to remove deodorization equipment that we set up. 

Having access to your home every 24 hours while the work is being performed helps us to make sure the work is completed properly.  

We respect our customer's properties and belongings and we GREATLY appreciate you trusting us to help you in your time of need.  

For any cleaning and restoration needs call SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County at (262) 542-0900.

How to Deal with that Gross Smell in your House

5/20/2021 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County at (262) 542-0900 to handle all odor problems

Fire, mold or pet urine odors are among the top 3 reasons our customers call us. One of the most frequent questions we get asked after an incident that involves odor is "Will it still smell?" 

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County deals with odor in various way depending on your specific situation. The process in which we tackle the odor is multi-faceted. It is important to follow the below steps to successfully remove the odor you are dealing with. 

1) Analyze the materials that are affected. 

2) Remove the source of the odor if possible. This could include removal of fire damaged, moldy, urine affected materials. Carpet, drywall or insulation for example can hold an odor. If those materials are not removed, the odor may still remain. 

3) Clean the affected surfaces with the proper chemical(s) to ensure the removal of the odor source. 

4) Deodorize the affected area with an ozone treatment if appropriate

5) Follow up with the customer in a few days to confirm the odor has been removed to their satisfaction.  

With the steps above being followed, the odor will likely be eliminated and you can get back to living your life without worry. 

We take pride in our 90% rate of removing odors from homes and businesses. If you have an odor concern, please call us for a walk through of your structure to evaluate how we can help.   

Call SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County at (262) 542-0900 to handle all odor problems

How to Improve the Health of your Home

4/13/2021 (Permalink)

A Healthy Home leads to a Healthy Family

Here at SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha we often receive phone calls from home owners or real estate agents to help improve a structure before putting it on the market. Usually these calls are to help remove mold from a home. However, there are things that you can do in your home to improve your personal wellness while also preventing mold growth.

Four ways to improve your quality of life in your home:

1. Create a calming space. Come up with a private sanctuary that’s free of distractions, like clutter and electronic devices. Dedicate time to this space so you can calm your mind, gain a fresh perspective and reflect on your day.

2. Let in the natural light. The sun’s light can elevate your mood and promote alertness. Take advantage of daylight by arranging work spaces near windows, using light-filtering curtains or strategically hanging mirrors to reflect more light. Natural light can re-center your sleep cycle and promote vitamin D production.

3. Add more plants. Being close to nature can improve your overall well-being. Plants add color to your home, purify the air and may even reduce stress. Bring the outside in by adding plants to every room in your home, especially the spaces where you spend the most time.

4. Promote air circulation. Proper air circulation provides a regular temperature, removes impurities, and can help prevent mold. Use ceiling fans, open the windows, and install attic vents. The more space there is in a room, the more air can circulate.

Call the restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha with all your mold remediation needs! (262)542-0900

A Dry Start to the Spring Season

4/8/2021 (Permalink)

Over 90% of the state is experiencing abnormally dry conditions.

After our abnormally snowy winter Wisconsin is currently experiencing a drought after a very dry March. According to WISN Channel 12 we saw over 10.1" more snow than normal from December to February; however, we have seen -1.43" less precipitation than normal in the month of March. This lack of precipitation in the month of March has left the state as a whole abnormally dry. According to Drought.gov 90% of Wisconsin is currently experiencing abnormally dry conditions. These conditions can lead to an increased chance of fires as well as a burn ban in areas experiencing extreme dryness. We recommend all remain cautious and while working with fires.

If you or anyone you know have been affected by a fire call SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County at
(262) 542-0900

SERVPRO Marketing Team Leads CE Class

4/8/2021 (Permalink)

Our two Marketing Representatives Brad and Sarah leading CE Class

The SERVPRO Marketing team recently lead a class in our educational room about Restorative Drying for Water Damage. These classes are important for all insurance agents as they are required to receive 24 credits towards their continuing education requirement. This class helped educate these agents in order to help them be more educated to help their clients. The agents received 4 credits toward their 24 credit requirement. The class was lead by our two marketing representatives Brad and Sarah as they continue to educate all on the many services that SERVPRO handles.

For all cleaning and restoration needs Call SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County at (262) 542-0900  

How to Prevent Potential Flooding this Spring

4/8/2021 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County to help handle all flooding damage.

As is the danger in every spring flooding is always a possibility as the snow melts and the spring showers roll around. Flooding is very dangerous for all homeowners if they are not properly equipped to handle the flooding. There are many different ways that you can handle flooding, but it is most important to know how to prevent it, and what actions you can take if you still experience flooding.

Preventative Measures

  • Apply coatings and sealants. A form of "dry flood-proofing," coatings and sealants that you apply to your foundation, walls, windows and doorways help prevent flood water from leaking into your house through cracks.
  • Raise your electrical outlets and switches. All outlets, switches, sockets and circuit breakers should be at least one foot above flood level to avoid significant electrical damage in the case of a flood.
  • Install check valves on your pipes. Make sure that all pipes entering your house have valves to prevent a flooded sewage system from backing up into your home. Gate valves are preferred over flap valves, since they provide a better seal against flood pressure.
  • Grade your lawn away from the house. If your lawn tilts toward your house, rainwater will pool around your home. Use a heavy soil that contains clay and sand to regrade your lawn so that surface runoff empties into an appropriate place, such as a street gutter.
  • Leave space between mulch and siding. Wet mulch can rot your house's siding, which in turn can lead to leaks. Keep space between your mulch and siding so that the base of your house can completely dry after rainstorms.
  • Point your downspouts away from your home. If your gutter runoff is not pointed away from your house in an appropriate direction, it can pool at the corners of your house and may eventually create leaks in your basement.

However these preventive steps are not full proof, and it is important to know how to handle flooding if it does occur.

How to Stop Flooding Once it Starts

  • Turn off the water line, if that is the source of the flooding.
  • Clear out gutters and drains so that water can flow freely.
  • Use sandbags to block any gaps that will lead to flooding.
  • Move rugs, furniture, electronics and other valuables to a higher floor of the home, or elevate them.
  • Shut off your electricity at the breaker panel, if flood water is close to reaching your electrical system.
  • If it's not raining, open windows to allow air flow through your home.
  • Turn on your sump pump or use a shop vacuum to remove water as quickly as possible.

These measures will help minimize the damage that the flooding can cause.

For any flooding and water damage Call SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County at (262) 542-0900

How to Make Sure Your Home or Business is Free of Mold

4/6/2021 (Permalink)

Mold can spread to all parts of the home if not properly dealt with

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

Call SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County for all your mold remediation needs at (262) 542-0900

SERVPRO Marketing Reps Visit Delafield Chambers Event

4/6/2021 (Permalink)

Marketing Rep Brad had a blast networking with other businesses in the chamber.

The Delafield Chamber of Commerce hosted a Business after Business event in Downtown Delafield on March 18th.  SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County was a happy to attend this very fun event and to meet many new businesses.  

SERVPRO employees Brad (Marketing representative, pictured left) and Sarah (marketing representative, not pictured) had a busy night networking with other businesses in the chamber.  

SERVPRO Crew Takes inventory

3/23/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Crew taking inventory

The SERVPRO crew was called to help take care of biohazard problem at a client's house. Because of the severity of the issue the crew was forced to remove all items from the infected area.

The crew then disinfects all of the items that they remove from the infected area to ensure they are clean and safe. After this they then take inventory of all items to ensure that all of the items are present, and that they will all be returned safely to the client after the clean is over.

The SERVPRO crew prides themselves on taking caution when working with personal belongings and making sure that nothing is damaged during the clean. 

For any cleaning or restoration needs contact SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County at (262) 542-0900 

Do's and Don'ts of Replacing Hardware

3/23/2021 (Permalink)

Remember to take caution when changing pipes and other hardware

Everyone gets excited about updating the appliances in our house. However, a lot of us forget that we must also replace the hardware that goes along with our new appliances. If you have not replaced this equipment recently, it is recommended to replace the water supply lines every 5 to 8 years. Tubes, rubber and plastic connectors break down and wear out over time. Just like on your car or even your lawn mower, these require maintenance and repairs in order to avoid major water losses.

Please follow these tips when changing a supply line in your home or business. 

Before you do anything, SHUT OFF your water supply.Turn your water supply valve to the right until it’s tight, then flush your toilet and tank or lines to drain out the water. If you do not have a water supply shut-off valve, contact a local licensed plumber to install one.  If you don’t remember to flush the toilet, you could end up dumping a bunch of water all over your bathroom floor later on the in the process. Also, it may be a good idea to soak up all the water that has leaked out onto your floor if you haven’t already. Bathroom floors can be slippery when wet.

Remove the old supply line. Use a wrench and loosen the hex-nuts that connect the supply line and remove.

Replace the line. With your new supply line attach one of the ends. It doesn’t matter which end you choose to install first. Line it up and use your fingers to tighten the hex-nut into place. Now, attach the opposite end and use your fingers to tighten the hex-nut into place.  Then take a wrench to tighten the hex nut.

Turn the water back on. Now that your supply line is in place, you should be good to go to turn your water source back on. SLOWLY turn the supply valve to the left until you start to hear water running, just be sure to be cautious of any leaks.

If you attempt to replace the hardware on your own and something goes wrong, Call SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County for all your water damage clean-up needs.  (262) 542-0900.  

How SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha Deals with Water Damage

3/23/2021 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha for all Water damage needs

SERVPRO crews implement a course of action for restoring a property that has water damage. A quick response is key to preventing further water damage. 

There are five fundamental principles for water damage restoration which are noted in The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) S500 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration: 

  • Safety 
  • Documentation 
  • Mitigation 
  • Drying Plan 
  • Cleaning and Repair 

Safety is the primary concern on a job site. It is important to make sure the crews and the occupants are informed and protected from any safety issues. 

Documentation is important to create an action plan for the project. At SERVPRO we use DryBook which is used on iPads that the crews bring on every job. Using DryBook helps our crews document everything that is happening on the job, how to create a drying plan and to make sure the structure is drying properly. 

Mitigation is important because it helps the occupant recover more quickly from the water loss event. 

Drying plan includes removing excess water, extraction, evaporation and dehumidification. Drying equipment is placed to remove moisture through evaporation and dehumidification. Temperature is also important to increase the rate of evaporation. 

Cleaning and repair are done when the drying plan is complete and drying goals have been met. This is to repair and clean the property to preloss condition. 

For all Water Damage needs call SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha at (262) 542-0900

SERVPRO of Jefferson County Celebrates 10 Years Of Business

2/18/2021 (Permalink)

Local SERVPRO owners, Todd and Tina, Celebrate 10 Years of Business

We are proud to announce that Todd and Tina Szada, owners of both SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc and SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County, have reached their 10 year anniversary of business in the area.

2020 was a challenging time for everyone due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but we are happy to say that we were here to help the people and businesses that serve our wonderful communities that we live in.

Thank you to every customer and business that used us over the past 10 years.  We have received many words of thanks and appreciation for helping those in often times of greatest need.  To be told from a customer that they will definitely call us again when in need is one of the greatest compliments that we can receive.

On behalf of my wife, Tina, thank you!  We look forward to another great 10 years of service to you.  

Burn Awareness Week

2/16/2021 (Permalink)

The American Burn Association Provides Help and Prevention Tips

The first full week in February is recognized as Burn Awareness Week.  This is an opportunity for organizations to mobilize burn, fire and life safety educators to unite in sharing a common burn awareness and prevention message in our communities.

Learn more about Burn Awareness Week by clicking on the following link provided by the American Burn Association.  

http://ameriburn.org/prevention/burn-awareness-week/

By visiting this website you can learn more about the following:

  • Opportunities for burn care organizations, burn survivor support groups, public safety, and injury prevention professionals to increase awareness among the general population of the frequency and causes of burn injury in America
  • Advances in and sources of burn care available today.  You can also learn about ways to prevent contact burns with safety fact sheets.

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County is here to help.  We recognize that when fires occur and people get hurt, resources are needed to heal both the physical and the mental wounds.  

If you had a residential or commercial fire and help is needed to clean up the mess, please call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha  County at 262-542-0900 and speak with a trained fire, smoke restoration technician.  We can and will help.

Strategies and Resources For Small Businesses

2/16/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc is proud to say that we are a small business with approximately 23 employees.  Small businesses is what helps the local economy grow and thrive.  The owners of SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc want to share as much information to help other small business owners.  We know that during this pandemic, times are tough.  Hopefully the following information will help.

As a small business owner and trying to navigate through the challenges and stressful times caused by this pandemic, I appreciate the opportunity to learn about how the State of Wisconsin can help me and other small business owners and community groups.

Therefore, this article was sent to me and I wanted to share it with you.  You can learn about different strategies to help your small business or resources that are available to all of us.  This article is from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.  Please click on the link to learn about different ways that you can help your business grow.

https://wedc.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/WEDC_Response-to-COVID_19.pdf

For all your emergency fire & water needs, along with mold remediation, asbestos abatement and duct cleaning needs, call SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc at 920-674-3002

Pipe Wrap In Your Structure Might Contain Asbestos

2/5/2021 (Permalink)

Asbestos Pipe Wrap

A fire in this rental property caused this structure to get dirty from soot or wet from the fire being put out.  This photo shows pipe wrap that was discovered in the basement that has to be removed because it had gotten wet.

This job actually was called in to a neighboring SERVPRO.  However, because that franchise is not certified in the State of Wisconsin to do asbestos sampling or asbestos abatement, they called SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County to handle that part of the job.

The owner of the property along with the Production Manager of the other SERVPRO was very happy on how quickly we arrived onsite to take samples and develop an action plan.  This step can hold up the project because most materials can not be demolished or removed until the asbestos sample results come back and if positive, the material removed by a certified abatement company.  SERVPRO of SW Waukesha is a Wisconsin certified asbestos abatement company.  

If your basement pipes look like this and have this type of wrap, it is very possible that it contains asbestos.  If you would like your pipe wrap or other items tested, please call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County and speak with one of our certified asbestos inspectors or certified asbestos supervisors.  262-542-0900

The Importance of Wellness at Home

2/5/2021 (Permalink)

Home owners or real estate agents often call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County to improve a structure before putting it on the market. In many instances it involves mold remediation.  There are things that you can do in your home to improve your personal wellness while also preventing mold growth.

Ways to improve your quality of life in your home:

  1. Let in natural light. The sun’s light can elevate your mood and promote alertness. Take advantage of daylight by arranging work spaces near windows, open the curtains or use light-filtering curtains or strategically hanging mirrors to reflect more light. Natural light can promote vitamin D production.
  2. Include live plants. Being close to nature can improve your overall well-being. Plants add color to your home, purify the air and may even reduce stress. Bring the outside in by adding plants to every room in your home, especially the spaces where you spend the most time.
  3. Create a calming space. Come up with a private sanctuary that’s free of distractions, like clutter and electronic devices. Dedicate time to this space so you can calm your mind, gain a fresh perspective and reflect on your day.
  4. Promote air circulation. Proper air circulation provides a regular temperature, removes impurities, and can help prevent mold. Use ceiling fans, open the windows and/or curtains, and install attic vents. The more space there is in a room, the more air can circulate.

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha has restoration professionals that can help with all your mold remediation needs! (262)542-0900

Frozen Pipe Prevention

2/5/2021 (Permalink)

Frozen Pipes Often Lead to Structural Damage Inside

Winter months lead to emergency water losses caused by frozen pipes that burst. The following are six helpful tips to help combat the cold this winter:

1. Keep Water Faucets Running
If it is extremely cold outside, always keep one or two faucets running, very slowly. Water moving through the system should prevent the line from freezing.

2. Disconnect Your Hose From The Outside Faucet
Be sure to disconnect your hose from the outside faucet. If you leave your hose connected, water is not able to drain out of your hose bib which can cause it to break.

3. Turn The Water Off To The Outside Faucet

4. Install Heat Tape
Heat tape is a great tool to use when it is extremely cold. Homeowners can install this tape themselves and it will warm pipes as needed during cold weather.

5. Seal Leaks That Allow Cold Air Into Your Home
Look for air leaks around electrical wiring, dryer vents, and pipes. Use caulk or insulation to keep the cold out. With severe cold, even a tiny opening can let in enough cold air to cause a pipe to freeze in your home.

6. Check Your Home's Temperature
Prevent temperatures from dropping below 32 degrees in any area of your home where water lines are located.

The certified water restoration technicians at SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha are help you with all of your emergency water damage needs, particularly ice dams and melting snow. Call (262)542-0900 and speak with a trained water restoration technician!

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County Hosts 5th Annual Fund Raiser

2/5/2021 (Permalink)

Waukesha County HAWS Is the Recipient of the 5th Annual Bags Tournament Fund Raiser

The ownership team at SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County (Todd and Tina Szada) believe that they have been blessed with SERVPRO and the employees being a part of their lives. Because of SERVPRO, we have been able to help countless numbers of people dealing with fire damage, water damage, mold remediation, asbestos abatement, etc.

We also feel that we have a duty and a commitment to give back to our community and the communities in which we serve. As a result, on March 6, 2021 we are hosting our 5th Annual Bean Bags Tournament Fund Raiser. All proceeds this year will be given to the Waukesha County Humane Animal Welfare Society (HAWS) and the Jefferson County HAWS. 

We often help people who have had fires or water damage in their homes.  Not only does it impact the people living there, but the animals/pets as well.  When animals are hurt or are given up for adoption because of a catastrophe and the family can no longer afford a pet, we want to helps those organizations that help the pets, which is an extension to any family. 

If you are interested in playing in this tournament or unable to be a part of our event on March 6, 2021 but would still like to make a monetary donation, please contact Brad at 262-542-0900.  

If you questions about fire or damage cleanup and restoration, call SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha at 262 542-0900 to speak with a certified professional today.

Exterior Electricity Causes Fire to Deck

1/29/2021 (Permalink)

Outdoor Electrical Wire Lead to Fire On Wood Deck

This damaged Wisconsin home was the result of a faulty electrical wire connected to the wood deck.  Notice the extent of the fire damage; the vinyl siding has melted away and soot and charring are present on the wood framing.  Even though the wiring was outside, it still can cause damage to the home and lead to an interior fire.  The technicians at SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County used a very powerful air compressor and sodium bicarbonate to remove the black charring. 

This method of media blasting also helps in deodorization after the fire.  This process helped save thousands of dollars in repair on this claim because the materials were able to be salvaged.  SERVPRO has used this method on numerous fire jobs throughout the country so our expertise is helpful in restoring property.

For all your fire and smoke related issues, call on SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County to help make it "Like it never even happened."  Call us at 262-542-0900.

Popular Restaurant Has Kitchen Fire

1/29/2021 (Permalink)

Resulting Damage To Restaurant Kitchen

A kitchen fire in a popular Waukesha restaurant caused this damage.  This before photo shows the mess and debris left behind after the fire was extinguished.

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County was called by the owner to clean up.  The owner is a previous customer who was happy with our services then and this gave him confidence in calling us on this job.  He even turned away two competitors because he wanted SERVPRO!

The odor and soot was so severe that it caused the business to be temporarily closed so that the certified fire and smoke restoration technicians could get in there and clean and deodorize the entire structure, including important kitchen tools needed for food prep.  This job also included HVAC ductwork cleaning and deodorization, which is another service that we offer.

For all your fire and smoke and water damage needs, call on the certified trained professionals at SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County.  262-542-0900

SERVPRO Helps Flooded Tri-Level Home

1/29/2021 (Permalink)

Proper Drying Equipment Placed After Water Damage

A backed-up sewer line caused this tri-level basement and attached garage in Waukesha, WI to flood.  Due to the graphic nature of this loss, we are showing this picture which is what the recreation room looked AFTER the contents were moved out, the laminate floor removed, the contaminated drywall wall cut out and the floor cleaned and disinfected.

When a sewage back-up occurs, anything that is porous (soaks up moisture) must be considered non-salvageable.  Non-porous materials (such as plastic) can be cleaned and disinfected as well as structural items that can not be removed.  If this contamination is not removed and the structure disinfected, it could lead to people getting sick.

Contact SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County for all your water damage and sewage back-up needs.  We have certified water restoration technicians available to assist you to make sure that your home or business is cleaned and disinfected properly.  262-542-0900.

Emergency Board-Up Provided by SERVPRO

1/28/2021 (Permalink)

Safely Hung Plywood to Protects Contents and Structure From Outdoor Elements

A recent fire in the City of Waukesha, WI started when a tenant in an apartment building was smoking on his wood balcony.  The fire completely burned the exterior door and sections of the interior wall in the bedroom.  In order for the flames to be put out, the fire firefighters had to quickly tear down the door frame and header and remove sections of drywall to access the insulation. 

By the time the fire was out, the inside of this room was completely exposes to the outdoor elements.  An emergency board-up was needed in order to prevent moisture from outside (rain/snow) and animals from entering the building.  The property owner called on SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County to assist her.  The after photo shows the same door way with a sheet of playwood safely hung in place to help protect the building.  This is an important service to provide when your personal belongings are at risk.

For all your emergency board-up needs and fire mitgation cleanup services, call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County and talk with professionals who have many years of experience dealing with fire and smoke damage.  262-542-0900

Proper PPE Is Important When Disinfecting for COVID-19

1/28/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Technician Is Fully Protected Using PPE

Since the pandemic started, SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County has been called to help many residential and commercial customers where people were exposed or confirmed to have COVID-19.  In order to help prevent the spread of the virus, SERVPRO is asked to properly clean and disinfect high touch point areas and to fog the structure with a EPA approved hospital-grade disinfectant.

While providing this service, it is critical that we at SERVPRO protect our technicians as best we can to prevent them from contracting the disease.  This photo shows a SERVPRO technician wet cleaning high touch point areas in this office setting.  To protect this employee, he is wearing a full-body protective suit.  You can also see that he has his head covered and face protected with a full-face mask and respirator.  Both his hands and shoes are also covered.  This PPE is vital in protecting our staff so that we are available to other customers who need our services.

For all your biohazard cleaning and disinfecting needs, call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County.  262-542-0900.  When we are done cleaning and disinfecting, it will be "Certified SERVPRO Cleaned"

SERVPRO does Commercial Cleaning

1/28/2021 (Permalink)

Before photo of an air duct register before our crew cleaned it.

SERVPRO® of Southwest Waukesha County offers large commercial cleans to help your business stay safe and clean. One of the most important cleans especially in this day and age is ensuring that your air ducts are are clean and free from harmful debris.

Odors and Air Quality

SERVPRO® of Southwest Waukesha County Professionals are experts at odor removal. We are trained to identify and eliminate offensive odors from the source, instead of trying to mask it. 

If you haven’t had your air ducts or HVAC, give us a call to inspect your system. Duct cleaning is not always necessary but your HVAC unit could be circulating dust, pollen, and other debris around your home. Cleaning your unit will help improve the air quality in your home and can actually extend the life of the equipment. It also helps restore your system to peak efficiency. 

For more information on these or any of our other cleaning services, check out our cleaning webpage or give us a call at (262) 542-0900 today! 

SERVPRO Helps Another Local Organization

1/27/2021 (Permalink)

Pictured (from left to right) Tournament finalists Al W. and Jason R., SERVPRO owners Todd and Tina S. and finalists Cliff C. and Gary G.

Due to the increased stress and anxiety caused by COVID-19, the census in hospitals across the country are busier than normal.  We at SERVPRO know that more children would be hospitalized over the Holiday season so we wanted to do something to bring some joy to those patients.

On November 7, 2020, we hosted a small bags tournament fund raiser.  All proceeds went to the Rogers Behavioral Health Foundation.  The Foundation was then able to use those proceeds to purchase Christmas gifts for the children that were hospitalized during the holiday season.  

We are very proud to say that our two final teams decided to donate the winning prize money back to the fund raiser so that our donation to Rogers Behavioral Health Foundation would be even bigger.  Thank you to those 4 players and to all the donors and players of this event.

This is one way that SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County can give back to the community that we serve.  We feel that it is very important to "give" during the holiday season and there is no better need than children in the hospital.

If you want to be a part of our annual bags tournament, please contact our Marketing Department for the different ways that you can donate or participate.  262-542-0900 

SERVPRO Asked to Disinfect Due to COVID-19

1/27/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Technician Spraying Chemical To Disinfect Due to COVID-19

There are many types of services that SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County perform.  Some examples include fire and water damage cleanup and restoration, reconstruction, carpet cleaning, air ducts and HVAC cleaning and deodorization.  SERVPRO is often called upon to disinfect after biohazard contamination, which also applies to COVID-19 disinfecting.

Throughout 2020 and continuing into 2021, SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County has been called on numerous commercial and residential properties to clean and disinfect after suspected and confirmed COVID-19 exposures.  In this photo, a SERVPRO technician is fogging an EPA approved hospital-grade disinfectant into the air to neutralize any potential coronavirus airborne droplets.  This rental property can send in their new tenants knowing that the property is Certified SERVPRO Cleaned.

If you are in need of any COVID-19 disinfecting needs, or any other services listed above, call on the certified professionals at SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County.  262-542-0900   

Neighboring Business Affected From Fire

1/27/2021 (Permalink)

Ceiling Tiles Affected From Neighboring Business Fire

A local business that had a fire caused significant smoke damage to a neighboring business, the local United States Post Office.  The roof-top furnace was on at the time of the fire and sucked in large amounts of smoke and fumes, leaving the post office dirty and smelly.  This before photo shows the ceiling register and the black soot surrounding it.

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County was called in to clean up the mess.  This job required technicians to clean and deodorize the structure and contents.  Imagine cleaning every individual P.O. Box and each individual mail slot?  Significant time and labor was needed to accomplish this task.  The postal carriers were very happy with our services and impressed with how quickly the job was completed.  SERVPRO also provided ductwork/HVAC cleaning and deodorization to eliminate that smoke odor.

For all your fire and smoke damage mitigation needs, call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County at 262-542-0900.  We will make it "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO Helps Hotel After Broken Pipe Floods Multiple Levels

1/27/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO's Drying Equipment Used to Dry After Hotel Flood

An Oconomowoc hotel was recently going through some renovations when new plumbing that was being installed broke during the middle of the night.  This caused significant water damage to three levels, including guest rooms, banquet facilities and mechanical rooms.  After water was extracted and drywall was removed, the task of drying out the structure could begin.  This photo shows the drying equipment that was placed in the hallway to dry the carpet and the ceiling.  

The certified water restoration technicians at SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County arrived within one hour to begin assessing the damage.  After 4 days of drying the project was completed and the renovation work could continue.  

For all your water damage mitigation needs, call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County at 262-542-0900.  

The History of Bags

1/12/2021 (Permalink)

We encourage everyone to please donate to help out all animals in need.

Us at SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha do a bags tournament every year in order to raise money for different charities. This winter we held a tournament where all the earnings were donated to the Rodgers Behavioral Health Foundation. In total we raised $950 that will be donated to the Rodgers Foundation.

In honor of our upcoming fundraiser for HAWS and the Jefferson County Humane Society we have decided to look back on the history of how the game of bags was created.

Legend has it that a fourteenth-century cabinet maker by the name of Mr. Matthias Kuepermann created the game after watching children toss rocks into a nearby groundhog’s hole. Kuepermann was said to have been so concerned for the safety of the children that he utilized his carpentry skills and designed a safer game for them to play.

So, where does the “corn” come into play? Well, during this time, corn was utilized more often as a weight rather than a food because of its abundance. Kuepermann determined a bag of corn was much safer to throw than a stone. 

(This information was found from https://www.cornholeworldwide.com/play-cornhole/history-of-cornhole/#:~:text=As%20Cornhole%20has%20become%20such,into%20a%20nearby%20groundhog's%20hole.)

We Encourage anyone to please join us as we raise funds for HAWS and the Jefferson County Humane Society at our bags tournament on March 6th, 2021. For more information about the tournament please contact us at (262) 542-0900.

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County Welcomes New Chamber Member

1/12/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha welcomes Orthosmiles to the Waukesha Chamber of Commerce!

Sarah, a Marketing Representative for the team at SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha, who is also a Waukesha Chamber of Commerce volunteer Ambassador, would like to welcome Orthosmiles as the newest members of the Waukesha Chamber of Commerce.  

To find out more about their services, please visit their website: OrthoSmiles

To visit them in person, stop by their office located at 2727 N. Grandview Blvd., Suite 102
Waukesha, WI 53188.

By joining the Chamber you can utilize all the benefits such as advocacy, professional development, community events, public visibility, awards & incentive programs.   

5 ways to have a dog and a clean home

1/7/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County is used to cleaning up after our favorite office pup Marvel.

With the large surge in new dog owners because of the quarantine I am sure everyone is starting to notice the mess that they leave behind. However, it is possible to own a dog and keep a clean house even with the hair and mud that they leave behind. 

The keys to keeping a clean house are being able to prevent them from occurring in the first place as well as have a strategy to deal with them when they inevitably happen.


1. Create an outdoor dog-cleaning station. 

How intensive your station needs to be depends on the breed of your dog and how much it enjoys rolling around in the mud. Owners of large dog breeds know firsthand that the larger the dog, the bigger the mess. But even smaller breeds can track plenty of dirt and much into the house.

Stop the mess before it goes through the door by cleaning your dog outside after it’s gotten itself dirty. Sometimes this will be as simple as dunking your dog’s paws in water; for more substantial messes, you’ll need a hose, kiddie pool, and patience.

It’s also always a good idea to have towels on hand to dry off your pup before going inside.

2. Eliminate odors at the source. At some stage in their lives, dogs will have accidents in your house. Urine, feces, or vomit on your furniture or the floor doesn’t mean you have to replace the whole carpet for it to be clean again.

If your dog has an accident inside, it’s important to eliminate the smell completely so your dog doesn’t think that your rug is it’s new toilet. There are many enzyme-based cleaners on the market to choose from.

3. Invest in hair-removal strategies. The first item you’ll need is a solid vacuum cleaner. Usually, you get what you pay for, but if your dog is a heavy shedder, you’ll need a model with strong suction and a high-quality filter. To keep your living space in tip-top shape, vacuuming will become a daily routine. And by staying on top of the fur rather than letting it accumulate, this should only take a few minutes a day.

A second tool worth keeping on hand is lint rollers. Every pet owner knows the value of these small-but-mighty sticky brushes. Lint rollers are a great way to quickly brush off your furniture and clothes to address surface-level pet hair before it becomes a bigger problem.

4. Stick to easy to clean supplies. When it comes to pet supplies like toys, leashes, beds, and other items your dog uses regularly, you should find options that are easy to clean and won’t hold onto odors or stains.

Machine-washable toys are easy to toss in the laundry, and you don’t need to deal with the hassle of washing them by hand. And water-resistant collars and leads are easy to quickly wipe down in between deeper cleanings.

5. Control the clutter. If your dog has what seems like dozens of different toys it leaves lying around the entire house, wanting to contain them is an understandable impulse. You have a few options for how to go about this.

One is to buy a basket or two for toy storage. With some practice, you can even train your dog to put it’s toys in the basket!

Another option, though not feasible for everyone, is to create a “dog room” of the house dedicated to your dog’s toys and playtime. With a separate room, you can simply close the door when play is over and let the clutter stay out of sight.

Dogs are a great addition to any family and perfect for keeping everyone happy and entertained. That being said they are a large responsibility that will require some cleaning up after. However, if you follow these steps it will make having a dog much easier and a lot cleaner.

If you ever have a need for cleaning or restoration give SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County at (262) 542-0900

Avoid Winter Slip-ups and Injuries

12/29/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO wishes for everyone to stay safe this winter season

Avoid Winter Slip-ups

The winter provides many hazards that can bring danger to everyday people and employees working outdoors. These hazards include slipping and falling. With snow and ice covered conditions, you run the risk of taking major falls, which can lead to serious injuries.

Prevention

Education is essential in preventing winter weather-related injuries. Consider the following recommendations to prevent slip and fall injuries during the winter months:

  • Wear the proper footwear that provides traction on snow and ice. Footwear should be made of anti-slip material; avoid plastic and leather-soled shoes or boots.
  • Exercise caution when entering and exiting vehicles, and use the vehicle for balance and support.
  • Try to walk only in designated areas that are safe for foot traffic. If you notice that a walkway is covered in ice, walk on the grass next to the sidewalk, which will have more traction.
  • Avoid inclines that are typically difficult to walk up or down as they may be more treacherous in winter conditions.
  • Take small steps to maintain your center of balance, walk slowly and never run. When possible, walk with your hands free to maintain your balance. And despite the cold temperatures, avoid putting your hands in your pockets. This will help you better maintain your balance and allow you to break a fall should you slip.
  • Use handrails, walls or anything stationary to assist in steadying your feet.
  • Look ahead to the path in front of you to avoid hazards.
  • Test a potentially slippery area before stepping on it by tapping your foot on the surface first.
  • Remove debris, water and ice from all working walkways.
  • Steer clear of roof edges, floor openings and other drop-offs to avoid slipping hazards.
  • Sand or salt surfaces covered by ice or snow to provide traction.
  • Dry your shoes or boots on floor mats when entering a building.

If You Begin to Slip…

  • Twist your body and roll backward to avoid falling forward and injuring your face.
  • Try to relax your body when you start to feel your legs give way.

If you are carrying a load, throw it off to the side so it does not land on you when you fall. This will also free your arms to help break your fall.

These are some tips and tricks to help keep yourself safe this winter season. SERVPRO wishes everyone a safe and enjoyable winter, and hopefully these tips can keep you all free of injuries.

Call SERVPRO of S.W. Waukesha County with any fire, water, mold, or cleaning needs! 262-542-0900

Sleep: The Perfect Medicine

12/28/2020 (Permalink)

Do you get enough sleep? SERVPRO would like to share these tips for better sleep, to better our community!

The health, wellbeing, and safety of our communities here at SERVPRO of S.W. Waukesha County matter more now than ever. We are always looking to share health related information, an especially during a pandemic. The following list gives tips and tricks for better sleep, which can lead to less stress and a better over all bill of health. This list comes from this link.

  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
  • Spend some time outside during the day.
  • Let the daylight into your home.
  • Walk, exercise, read or engage in a hobby to relieve stress on a daily basis.
  • Limit caffeine, especially after lunch time.
  • Limit alcohol use, especially after dinner time.
  • Limit electronic device screen time, especially in the evening.
  • Use the bedroom only for sleep.
  • Limit the amount of light in the bedroom, or use a sleep mask.
  • Keep the temperature in your bedroom in the lower 60s at night.
  • Ensure that you will not be disturbed by noises, or use earplugs.
  • Choose preferred bedding that helps you sleep well, such as flannel sheets, a down comforter or a weighted blanket.
  • Keep pets in their own safe space at night, and out of the bed.
  • Avoid using over-the-counter sleep aids. Instead, try 5mg of melatonin before bed, if needed.

SERVPRO of S.W. Waukesha county is currently doing cleanings to disinfect after a covid case (or cases). As we said, community health and safety is so important to us, please reach out with any questions regarding our covid cleaning process. Or any of our other services for that matter and STAY SAFE. Call us at 262-542-0900.

How Do Sprinkler Systems Really Work?

12/22/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of S.W. Waukesha County sees lots of fire and water damaged properties. Don't hesitate to call!

SERVPRO of S.W. Waukesha County sees a lot of water damage and a lot of fire damage. Sometimes these two go hand in hand. The fire department using water to put out a house fire, or a sprinkler system being triggered by a fire. Obviously, the fire department shows up and uses firetrucks/fire hydrants for water. So, how do sprinkler systems work?

Most sprinkler heads feature a glass bulb filled with a glycerin-based liquid. This liquid expands when it meets air heated to between 135 and 165 degrees. When the liquid expands, it shatters its glass confines, and the sprinkler head activates.

Each sprinkler head is attached to a pipe that connects to a reliable water source outside the building. When heat activates a sprinkler head, a valve opens, allowing pressurized water from the pipe system to flow out and trigger the rest of the sprinkler heard on the building.

Call SERVPRO of S.W. Waukesha County with any fire, water, mold, or cleaning needs! 262-542-0900

Source: 

https://www.guardianfireprotection.com/blog/how-do-fire-sprinklers-work#:~:text=Fire%20sprinklers%20work%20because%20high,it%20triggers%20a%20chain%20reaction.

We Have All Heard Of It, But What Is Asbestos?

12/21/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of S.W. Waukesha County along with SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc are the only two asbestos certified franchises in WI!

What is Asbestos?

Everyone has heard the commercials, “If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma; you may be entitled to compensation.” Those commercials target asbestos as the culprit but, what is asbestos?

SERVPRO of S.W. Waukesha County and SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc (these franchises are owned and operated by the same people) are the only two Asbestos certified SERVPROs in the state of WI. We would like to think we are qualified to give you a peak into what asbestos is and how it can hurt you. The following information comes from the minds and knowledge of our asbestos manager, Justin, along with information gathered by our blog writer, Alli.

BASICS

The first thing you should know is that asbestos is a general term for six naturally occurring minerals. These minerals are made of fibrous crystals and the crystals themselves are made of microscopic fibrils. These fibrils are what can enter the respiratory system and implant themselves causing diseases and cancers. These six minerals occur in six colors:

  1. Green
  2. Red
  3. Yellow
  4. White
  5. Blue
  6. Gray

Along with the six colors, there are six types of asbestos (Not in order of the corresponding colors):

  1. Actinolite
  2. Amosite
  3. Anthophyllite
  4. Chrysotile (the most common form in the US)
  5. Crocidolite
  6. Tremolite

HISTORY

Archeologists have found evidence that asbestos may have been used by humans as far back as the stone age. One of the first description of asbestos could have been made by Theopharstus in around 300 bc, although this has been challenged by historians and archeologists. One of the first confirmed uses was in Eastern Finland to strengthen clay pots and cooking utensils. Wealthy Persians would use cleaning cloths, that were made of asbestos, to amaze their guests. The Persians would take the cloths and expose it to fire. Seeing as asbestos is fire resistant, this would knock their guests off their feet.

Large-scale use/mining did not begin until the late 1800s and widespread consumption did not begin until the early 1900s. Asbestos was ban in the US relatively shortly after in the 1970s. The last US based asbestos mine closed in 2002.

To date, 67 countries and territories have ban asbestos use, with few exceptions being granted. Although its ban in 67 countries, 1.3 million tons of asbestos was mined worldwide. 53% of that was mined by Russia, that is nearly 689 thousand tons. As far as consumption is concerned, Asia consumed 70% of the worlds mined asbestos in 2017.

DISEASES

Asbestos has been linked to:

  1. Lung cancer
  2. Ovarian cancer
  3. Laryngeal cancer
  4. Asbestosis
  5. Pleural thickening
  6. Pleural plaques
  7. Mesothelioma

Asbestosis (scaring of the lungs) and lung cancer both have a dose response relationship with asbestos. This means the more exposure someone has to asbestos, the more likely they are to develop these ailments. Although, no amount of exposure is considered safe. Mesothelioma (cancer of the pleura, which is the membrane that houses the organs) does not have a dose response relationship with asbestos; therefore, one single exposure can lead to developing mesothelioma.

As mentioned before, asbestos’ microscopic fibrils can attach themselves to the inner lining of the lung and can not be removed. They are shaped similarly to fishing hooks and will create microscopic abrasions in the lungs lining when disturbed. This is one of the things that makes asbestos so dangerous.

As always, please call SERVPRO of S.W. Waukesha County with any concerns, needs, or questions regarding asbestos! 262-542-0900 

Hydroxyl or Ozone? Which Is More Appropriate for Your Situation

12/18/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO has the skills needed to effectively circulate ozone through the whole structure.

Odor removal is an essential component of almost every restoration job. There are a variety of options available from masking agents to foggers to ozone and hydroxyl generators, and so on. In our industry, we have noticed a rather large debate being waged over the benefits and dangers of these two options. There is a clear advantage to using machines to eliminate odors from spaces and items rather than simply just trying to mask them.  SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha technicians are highly trained to recommend the best method for your odor neutralization.  

It is VERY IMPORTANT to know that both ozone and hydroxyl will remove odors – hydroxyl will just take longer.

Differences Between Hydroxyl and Ozone

  1. Hydroxyl is not harmful to plants and fish.
  2. Hydroxyl does not leave behind a chemical smell.
  3. Hydroxyl works on a larger variety of odors.
  4. Hydroxyl can be used in wet areas to help deodorize. Ozone machine used in wet areas can bleach a material.
  5. Hydroxyl machines will typically take longer to deodorize.
  6. Ozone can possibly damage rubber or leather goods.
  7. Ozone is to be used in unoccupied areas with return to the area at least one hour after the machine has turned off.
  8. Ozone is much stronger and faster and must be closely monitored.  

Both options are very effective and have their time and place on when to be used. Depending on the type of odor and the amount of time allotted will dictate what option you should choose. Be sure to only use experienced technicians when using equipment such as these. Supervision of both methods is necessary to affectively remove the odor. SERVPRO of South West Waukeshas office staff, and technicians, are trained to know which method will be most effective for your situation

Call SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County (262)-542-0900 for all your deodorization needs and questions.

SERVPRO of South West Waukesha County is A IICRC Certified Restoration/Mitigation Company. What Does That Mean?

12/18/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO has been trusted by many, not just because we are IICRC certified, but it sure does help impress!

In the 1990s and early 2000s, restorative drying science was in its infancy but was evolving as some leaders in the restoration industry began taking a more scientific approach. Restorers were rapidly becoming restoration specialists, and in the process, they were learning what worked and what did not work. Those restorers worked to understand the science that impacted their business and developed the technology still used today.

As restorer confidence began to grow, the training needed to grow as well.  The term Applied Structural Drying (ASD) became known in the industry as a drying course. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) stated in its IICRC S500 V3-2006 standard, “Currently, among the IICRC’s 38,000 registered technicians, approximately 24,000 are IICRC-certified as Water Restoration Technicians (WRT), with approximately 4,500 of those being certified in Applied Structural Drying (ASD). This number is growing daily. ASD is primarily a hands-on course in which demonstration houses representative of standard residential construction are flooded, extracted, monitored, and dried throughout the three-day course – although three-day drying cannot be guaranteed.”

Everyone was going to these classes, from contractors to adjusters to property managers. The fact that a restorer could reduce the cost of rebuilding a structure substantially impacted the bottom line of the final customer, reduced cycle time, and decreased rebuild costs.

The untold truth was that even with a sanitary environment with limited contents, more than enough power and with known quantities, known saturation times, and a repeatable process, these buildings still required additional days to dry. 

Some contractors and adjusters believe contractors are in possession of technology, equipment, and training that can dry structures in three days. The fact remains that these sceptics are hard pressed to substantiate their comments. Moreover, publishing erroneous materials can lead to serious conflicts between contractors and adjusters rather than assist in fair and scientifically sound practices.”

Drying Science in 2020

In 2020, the science has evolved, the equipment has evolved, and restorative techniques have dramatically improved. But with all this improvement and knowledge one thing is true – three-day drying is not the norm. Stephanie Beattie of the Center for Disaster Recovery in Barrier, Ontario stated the best statistics show we went from an average of 6.2 days in 2016 to 4.9 day in 2018.

There has been plenty of research by the restoration community and building science (engineers) community to substantiate the fact that not all materials can be dried in a specified, arbitrary time of three days. As a matter of fact, many structural materials will dry in varying degrees, depending on saturation time, atmospheric conditions, and the material’s location in the building composition.

For the most part, today’s insurance adjusters do not look at the goal of the drying project; they look at the costs of the job. The measurable cost of the job is more important than the successful drying of a project. But are those clients saving money? Did you help them understand the true savings?

Today, the indoor environmental profession knows more about the effects of contaminated indoor environments and the effects of mold on occupants and highly sensitized individuals. If contractors and their customers are not aware of these risks and do not address properly drying a structure, it can dramatically increase the potential for litigation and there is no limit on that liability.

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha is an IICRC Certified Firm.  Contact us for all your water damage needs or inquiries.  262-542-0900

Working Safely in Cold Weather

12/15/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO wants everyone to stay safe and healthy this winter season

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there is no exact temperature at which the environment becomes hazardous. Instead, factors such as low temperatures, wind speed and wetness contribute to cold-induced injuries and illness.

  • Exposed skin freezes within one minute at -20° F when the wind speed is five miles per hour (mph), and will freeze at 10° F if the wind speed is 20 mph.
  • When skin or clothing is wet, injury or illness can occur in temperatures above 10° F, and even above freezing (32° F).
  • When the body is unable to warm itself, hypothermia and frostbite can set in, resulting in permanent tissue damage and even death.

Signs of Injury and Illness

These are some of the very common symptoms that show that you are experiencing illness due to the cold. If you notice that these symptoms do not go away go inside, or call for medical attention.

  • Uncontrollable shivering
  • Slurred speech
  • Clumsy movements
  • Fatigue
  • Confused behavior
  • White or grayish-yellow area(s) of the skin
  • Skin that feels “waxy”
  • Numbness

Make sure to look out for these symptoms for not just your self but your fellow co-workers. 

Safety Considerations

These are some of the easy ways to reduce the risk of cold-induced injuries and illnesses:

  • Layer clothing to keep warm enough to be safe, but cool enough to avoid perspiring excessively. It should also contain the following:
    • Inner layer – a synthetic weave to keep perspiration away from the body
    • Middle layer – wool or synthetic fabric to absorb sweat and retain body heat.
    • Outer layer – material designed to break the wind and allow for ventilation.
  • Wear a hat. Almost 40 percent of your body heat escapes from your head. If you wear a hard hat, add a winter liner that covers your neck.
  • Place heat packets in gloves, vests, boots and hats to add heat to the body.
  • Watch out for the effects of cold temperatures on common body functions, such as:
    • Reduced dexterity and hand usage
    • Cold tool handles reducing your grip force
    • The skin’s reduced ability to feel pain in cold temperatures
    • Reduced muscle power and time to exhaustion

(This information has been provided by: Mid-State Insurance)

For all your fire damage, water damage, mold mitigation, asbestos abatement, deodorization and other general cleaning services, call the professionals at SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County at (262) 542-0900

SERVPRO wishes all a safe and enjoyable winter season.

SERVPRO Employee Volunteers To Help Local Women's Shelter

12/10/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Employee Delivering Supplies

Redeem and Restore Center in Pewaukee, WI supports women recovering from sex trafficking by providing resources and services in a restorative care home where women can heal, discover their identities, and fulfill their God-given purpose.

Our marketing representative, Sarah, is helping this organization by delivering care packages to the Police Officers in Hartland.  Officers are on the front-line interacting with women who are caught up in sex trafficking and exploitation.

To learn more about this organization and how they are helping women click the following link:

Redeem and Restore

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County is proud to help organizations in our community that helps our local citizens.  We want to do our best to do what is right for our citizens.

If you have water or fire damage and want to use a local company who cares about the communities that we serve, please call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County.  262-542-0900

Safety tips this Christmas Season

12/10/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO wishes everyone a Merry Christmas

During the holidays, many people try to fit as many lights and other electrical devices to accommodate holiday lighting, decorations and cooking appliances, unknowingly increasing the potential for electrical fires and outages, says Joel Worthington, president of Mr. Electric, a Neighborly company which is one of the nation’s leading residential and commercial electrical service providers. Since 25 percent of Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical problems, always follow this checklist.

Inspect lights first. Before plugging in a strand of lights, examine the cord for damage. Throw away any frayed, kinked or worn light strands.

Turn off all lights and decorations before leaving the house or going to bed. To avoid braving the cold every night, install a timer to automatically turn on the lights at dusk and turn them back off at dawn (or earlier if you prefer).

Keep your tree hydrated. Just two or three days without water could be enough to dry out a Christmas tree, so water it every day. Once a tree is dry, it can catch fire easily so it should be discarded.

Candles may provide a festive ambiance and delightful fragrance, as well as providing a count down to Christmas with your Advent wreaths, but they’re also responsible for starting two out of every five home decoration structure fires each year. This is especially true during the holidays when the top three days for home candle fires are Christmas, New Year’s Day, and Christmas Eve.

Get flame without the fire. Consider replacing traditional candles with flameless, battery-operated types, but don't forget to turn them off when leaving the house as LED lights do get hot.

Don't leave the room. Never leave a candle burning unattended and, if you're going to be stepping away from the candle for several minutes, it's safer to blow it out rather than risk a potential hazard.

Use caution when decorating with candles. Always use a sturdy candle holder to keep it from tipping over or touching flammable surfaces. When decorating, keep candles at least 12 inches away from all flammable items.

According to a 2016 report from the National Fire Protection Association, a leading factor contributing to home heating fires was the failure to clean chimneys. Since this chore involves more than sweeping soot, it’s best to hire a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep, says Ashley Eldridge, education director for Chimney Safety Institute of America.

Fireplaces and chimneys should be inspected by a professional chimney sweep every year — and again halfway through the season for new wood-burning installations, such as fireplaces or wood-burning stoves.

Take great care as well with your decorations around the fireplace. Make sure that all decorations are clear of the fireplace in order to avoid your stockings or Christmas wreaths catching fire.

Finally, clear out the debris and ash from your fire pit to ensure for a safe and controlled fire.

(This information is from https://www.today.com/home/best-fire-safety-tips-holiday-season-t120303#anchor-strongChimneyandfireplacesafetystrong)

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County wants you to be as safe as possible, but in the event of a fire give us a call at (262) 542-0900.

We wish everyone a safe and healthy Christmas season.

Menorah Safety During Hanukkah

12/10/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO wants everyone to have a happy holiday season no matter how you celebrate!

During this holiday season, SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County wants all families in all communities to stay safe. This blog will give tips on staying safe while using a menorah for your celebrations. If your family celebrates Christmas, Hanukkah, or anything in-between SERVPRO cares about your family and safety. Please keep the following tips in mind while you celebrate!

(The following information comes from https://www.cheshirefire.gov.uk. )

Menorah candle fire safety

  1. No matter how beautiful your child’s or grandchild’s “arts and crafts” menorah may be, please do not use it.  These menorahs are not suitable for lighting and may burn down when used.

  2. Never leave a lit menorah unattended.

  3. The menorah should be made of non-flammable material only.

  4. Never place the menorah near or under flammable material such as papers, curtains or books.

  5. Do not walk around while holding a lit candle.

  6. Put out candles before you leave a room and before you go to bed

  7. Keep matches and lighters away from children - out of reach.

  8. Supervise any child that lights a menorah. Place their menorah close to the child so they don't have to reach over another menorah.

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County wants you to be as safe as possible, but in the event of a fire give us a call at (262) 542-0900.

Best wishes this holiday season from the team here at SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County

Preventing a Fire During The Cold Wisconsin Winters

11/24/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO was called out to this fire caused by a space heater. As the temperature drops, make sure to follow all instructions on space heaters.

House fires are extremely dangerous and can cause expensive damages. The following are fire prevention tips.

  1. Install and regularly test and maintain smoke alarms.  Monthly tests should be performed and replace the smoke detector every 10 years.
  2. Clean the dryer.  Dryer lint is the perfect combustible material when combined with the heat from the dryer. The lint tray should be cleared after each load to avoid a build-up of lint.
  3. Watch open flames.  Candles, cooking, and fireplaces are just some of the reasons most people are exposed to open flames.  Never leave them unattended.
  4. Maintain wiring.  Household wires and cables can become a fire hazard if they are used when frayed or otherwise compromised. Check them often and replace once they become worn.
  5. Store household chemical in proper locations.  Keep these products protected from sunlight or heat to avoid combustion.
  6. Make sure to follow instructions on space heaters closely. Failing to follow proper care and operation instructions on space heaters can create very large scale fires.

Get in touch with SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County with any questions, or in the unfortunate circumstance of a fire. 262-452-0900

Asbestos Kills More People A Year Than The Flu, Call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County If You Find Any

11/24/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County is fully asbestos certified. Don't hesitate to call!

After a leaking pipe in a dishwasher burst and flooded the kitchen and basement of a residence, an ambitious homeowner decided to remove wet floor tiles from his basement with an ice chipper.  This homeowner did not think of the possibility of the tiles containing asbestos fibers.  After speaking with a friend and being warned about the possibility of that floor containing asbestos, he received a recommendation to call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County.  A Wisconsin state certified asbestos inspector with SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County inspected the project and took a sample of the material to be analyzed in an accredited lab.  The result was positive for containing chrysotile, the most common form of asbestos.  The homeowner did the floor removal without containment or proper equipment and potentially may have contaminated the entire home through the running HVAC system.  The homeowner is now responsible for the cost to decontaminate all the drying equipment that was put in place by another restoration company, and the cost of an entire asbestos abatement throughout the affected area.  

If your home was built prior to 1990, and you have an original floor covering like vinyl, linoleum, floor tile, etc., it is highly recommended you have the flooring tested for asbestos before disturbing or removing the material. 

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County is fully asbestos certified, and the only one in WI! Don't be afraid to call at 262-542-0900.

What Are The Most Common Causes Of Water Damage? Well, Here's What We See Here At SERVPRO

11/24/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO was recently called out to a Waukesha School District building for a water loss. Our certified technicians made sure the building was safe!

When a person thinks about water damage, they often think of severe weather conditions.  However, there are many other items in your home or business that may be a cause of water damage.  Water damage is something that many homeowners will face. 

There is a significant difference between water damage and gradual water damage, which has an impact on homeowner’s insurance claims. Examples of gradual damage are circumstances that have been happening over time, like plumbing issues in the walls causing damage to the walls, ceilings or floors, or water damage caused by cracks in the foundation.  Unfortunately, many gradual water damage issues are not covered by homeowners insurance, while storm-related water damage usually is.

According to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), the leading causes of water damage are:

  • Plumbing supply system failures. This involves frozen pipes that can burst because the water pressure builds up due to freezing water in the pipes or when the supply system materials fail, causing pipes to leak or burst. They also found that homes with ages of 16 to 40 years made up a larger portion of supply system material failure claims.
  • Plumbing drain system failures. This can occur when a sewer drain backs up and overflows into a home, or from material performance issues. 
  • Toilet failures. Toilets cause the second highest number of residential water damage losses after plumbing supply system failures and are the result of faulty fill valves or clogged drain lines. 
  • Water heater failures. If your water heater has reached its life expectancy, the tank begins to rust and corrode, which can result in leaking or bursting issues. 
  • Washing machine failures. These are typically caused by supply hose failures, machine overflows and drain line failures. 

If your home or business has experienced water damage, call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County at 262-542-0900

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County Disinfects Equipment To Keep You and Ourselves Safe

11/16/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO always aims to keep you, and us, safe. Especially during these trying and uncertain times.

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County utilizes the latest, state-of-the-art equipment on our fire damage, water damage, mold remediation and asbestos abatement jobs.  In order to protect our equipment and prevent cross-contamination and to protect our customers, we make sure that our equipment is properly cleaned and thoroughly decontaminated before being used on another job site.

After each job, our technicians disinfect all equipment with antimicrobial cleaning supplies. This not only eliminates biohazard spores, but any bacteria as well. The equipment is also cleaned with an air hose, forcing any bacteria or mold spores out of the internal workings.

This is just one of the ways SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County works to keep our communities, employees, and customers safe.

For your cleaning, disinfecting, water, and fire needs call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County. We are here to help under any circumstances. 262-542-0900.

SERVPRO Is Here To Help You Decide What To Keep, And What To Throw, After A Disaster

11/16/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO always respects the wishes of a homeowner, while keeping their safety in mind.

An overflowed washing machine caused this room in a Delafield, WI home to flood.  This picture shows an air mover placed under the carpet with the intent to "float" the carpet by blowing air under it to promote drying.  The purpose of this activity is to reduce the cost of having to tear out the carpet and eliminate the need to purchase new carpet.  At the time of this photo it was unknown if the property owner would be filing an insurance claim. 

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County's certified water restoration technicians will make recommendations to property owners in order to help them make informed decisions.  However, SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County's technicians are not licensed agents and we cannot interpret insurance policies nor can we determine what is and is not covered.  Unless something is obviously non-salvageable, we will advise property owners to "play it safe" with their decision making.  In this example, it was recommended to try and salvage the carpet until a decision is made to file an insurance claim.

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County will work WITH the customer so that as a team we all can make it "Like it never even happened."

If you have water or fire damage and you are not sure what to do, call SERVPRO SW Waukesha County at 262-542-0900 and we will help you make an informed decision.

Safety Tips For Turkey Day

11/16/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO wants to help keep you and your family safe this holiday season. Follow these turkey tips for a safe Thanksgiving.

The Holiday Season, in particular turkey frying season, is a time to think about fire safety.  SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County wants to remind everyone on the dangers of frying a turkey. Deep frying a turkey is very delicious, but it can be very dangerous for many reasons, including the high risk of fire. The oil used to fry the turkey is highly flammable and can lead to large fires, even with small amounts of oil. There is also a risk of tipping the fryer over, possibly causing fires and injuries.

Please follow proper safety procedures if you are planning on frying a turkey this Thanksgiving. 

TURKEY FRYING SAFETY TIPS 

  1. Do not fry your turkey in an enclosed area. 
  2. Keep a fire extinguisher near the fryer. Be sure it is an all-purpose extinguisher that can handle fires from the heat source and from the grease.
  3. Never leave the fryer unattended.  
  4. Don’t let children or pets near the fryer, even after you are done cooking as the oil could still be hot hours later. 
  5. Use proper safety equipment when frying, like potholders/oven mitts, wear long sleeves, and safety goggles to protect yourself from oil splatter. 

If a fire does start, call 911 right away. 

For all your fire damage questions call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County.  262-542-0900

10 Reasons To Choose SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County

11/16/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO has the service you expect with the quality you deserve.

From a burst pipe in an office building to faulty wiring in an apartment complex, fire and water losses are never planned, but they do occur.  SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County's professionals know that there is no such thing as a small emergency when it threatens the welfare of the tenants and the revenue of the property owner or the business.  SERVPRO professionals can provide you assistance with all your emergency needs.

  1. 24 Hour Emergency Response: SERVPRO will work to meet and hopefully exceed your expectations.
  2. Communication: SERVPRO will keep you informed on the status of your project.
  3. Reduce Recovery Time: SERVPRO will help minimize business interruption.
  4. Lower Recovery Cost: SERVPRO will help you save money.
  5. Emergency Ready Profile: SERVPRO will help you plan for recovery before disaster strikes.  
  6. Full Line of Service: SERVPRO will help to solve your cleanup needs.
  7. A Leader in Storm Response: SERVPRO will help when you need it the most.
  8. Over 50 years of business in the cleanup and restoration industry.
  9. More than 1,700 locations that we can call in to help on those large projects.
  10. Experience and training in mitigation damages ranging from single family home to skyscrapers.

For all your fire damage, water damage, mold mitigation, asbestos abatement, deodorization and other general cleaning services, call the professionals at SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County at 292-542-0900.

SERVPRO Wants to Thank Our Vet, Steve, And All Others This Veterans Day

11/13/2020 (Permalink)

Thank you Steve!

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County would like to thank our military veterans and first responders for their service to our country and to our community.  We would also like to thank our SERVPRO of our employees (Steve) who is a veteran of the United States Army!

Veterans Day is a federal holiday in the United States observed annually on November 11, for honoring military veterans, that is, persons who have service in the United States Armed Forces. Being a federal holiday of the US, the greatest event of Veterans Day is celebrated with huge respect, happiness and acknowledgement throughout the country.

Veterans day will look a little different this year with COVID-19, but here are some ideas on how to celebrate while staying safe:

  1. Ask a Veteran about their time in the military, and really listen to the answer.
  2. Hang a U.S. flag in your yard.
  3. Hug a veteran (only if they live in your home) and thank them.
  4. Ask an aging Veteran to share with you their favorite military story.
  5. Visit the gravesite of a Veteran.
  6. Send supplies to a local Veterans Support program for homeless veterans.

Keeping Your Plumbing Safe While You're Away From Home

11/13/2020 (Permalink)

If you leave and come back to a mess, give us a call! 262-574-0900

Anyone that has lived in Wisconsin knows how brutal our winter months can be.  We all look forward to vacations to escape the cold weather and dreary days.  However, before you leave for that vacation you have been patiently waiting for, be sure to protect what is probably your biggest asset, your home.  Many times each year SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County is called to properties during the winter months that were not properly prepared for the cold weather before the occupants left.  Please read the other blog about Tips to Prevent Pipes from Freezing, but the following are tips to follow before going on that vacation.

WAYS TO AVOID FROZEN PIPES WHILE ON VACATION

  • Set the thermostat in your house no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Be sure to replace the battery in your thermostat
  • Ask a friend or neighbor to check your house daily to make sure it is warm enough to prevent freezing
  • Shut off the main water supply and drain the water system.  (Be aware that if you have a fire protection sprinkler system in your house, it may be deactivated when you shut off the water)

Please call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County with any water damage needs this winter and beyond. 262-452-0900

Help SERVPRO Raise Money For Christmas Gifts Given To Children Hospitalized Over The Holidays!

10/22/2020 (Permalink)

Please Consider Donating To Bring Some Holiday Joy To This 2020 Season!!!

I think we all can agree that 2020 has been a horrible year for most people locally, regionally, nationally and across the globe.  Unemployment is at record highs, businesses are closing all around us and hospitalizations related to depression and other behavioral health issues related to COVID-19 are skyrocketing.

What makes things worse, many children are struggling dealing with these challenges related to the pandemic.  Kids are having difficulties coping with problems caused by the pandamic and hospitalizations are projected to be very high over the Christmas season.

Many families have lost their job and are struggling to make ends meet.  Some children from these families have been or will be admitted to the hospital where the families can not afford a hospital stay, let alone a Christmas gift for their child.  We are SERVPRO felt compelled to help.  So, we are hosting another bean bags tournament fund raiser where all proceeds will be donated to the Rogers Behavioral Health Foundation to purchase Christmas gifts for children who will be hospitalized over Christmas and the family can not afford to purchase a gift for their child. 

Help us to bring some joy to these children.  And YOU can help us make a difference by either playing in the tournament or by making a monetary donation to this cause.

If you are interested in playing or making a donation, please give us a call and we will gladly accept your money.  We want to put as many smiles on the childrens faces as possible.  It has been a terrible year, but please help us end it on a good note and pray that 2021 will be MUCH better!

Call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County to be a part of this fund raiser.  262-542-0900.

Todd & Tina Szada

During Pandemic SERVPRO Is Called To Disinfect

10/14/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Employee Disinfecting After a COVID-19 Exposure

The year of 2020 has been very challenging for most people.  Business owners and employees have been impacted in numerous ways as well.  With the COVID-19 pandemic, SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County is being called upon to clean and disinfect after an exposure.  Even though businesses are taking extra and special pre-caution, this virus is still finding ways of getting in to both commercial and residential settings.

This photo shows a SERVPRO employee wearing personal protective equipment while wiping down with a hospital-grade disinfectant an office that recently had 2 confirmed employee cases of COVID-19.  Not only are the horizontal and vertical surfaces cleaned and disinfected, a disinfectant is sprayed into the air to knock down any virus that might be in the air.

If you are concerned about a possible exposure to COVID-19 and would like your place of employment or home disinfected, call on the professionals who have been cleaning and disinfecting since the 1960s.  Call on SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County at 262-542-0900 and speak with a member of the management team who can assist you in making your structure Certified: SERVPRO Clean.

SERVPRO Successfully Dries Ceramic Tile Flooring

10/14/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO's Drying Equipment In Action To Dry Ceramic Tile

An overflowing wash machine caused this laundry room to flood.  The water migrated through the ceramic tile floor and into the den below.  

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County was called in to dry out the structure and do as little demo as possible.  We knew that it would be a challenge to dry out the ceramic tile floor, but with the proper equipment, we had a chance of success.  

This photo shows our heatable mat system and dehumidifier in place.  This equipment works by placing a standard air mover with the air blowing into a heater to warm up the air.  This heated air is then blown into an inflatable mat that has tiny holes on the bottom where the hot air can escape.  The hot air comes in contact with the ceramic tile heating it up while removing the moisture at the same time.  The average drying time for this type of work takes about 3 days, but this one took 4 days.  It was one extra day of drying but it prevented the entire floor from having to be removed and replaced, saving the insurance company a significant amount of money.

Call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County with all your emergency water restoration needs.  262-542-0900

Due to Halloween, We Have Been BOO-P-ED

10/13/2020 (Permalink)

Even the Pets at SERVPRO Are Getting Ready For Halloween

Today we had a cute "crocodile" visit our office here at SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha.  Our costumed visitor is Ciara.  She is a lab/ husky mix that came to Waukesha County Human Animal Welfare Society (HAWS) from Louisiana through the Wings of Rescue program.  Her clear blue eyes will melt your heart. She stole the heart of our mold manager, Matt, and might not be available to adopt for long! BREAKING and CONFIDENTIAL NEWS!  The Waukesha County HAWS and the Jefferson County HAWS will be the recipients of our 2021 Annual Bean Bags Tournament Fund Raiser to be held on March 6, 2021.

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County Participates in Local Chamber Event

10/13/2020 (Permalink)

Tina and Sarah Getting Ready To Pour Wine Samples

The Delafield Chamber of Commerce hosted their First Annual Wine & Brew Taste Testing event in beautiful Downtown Delafield on October 10th.  SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County was a proud sponsor and participant of this very fun event.  Over 500 paying individuals were able to sample various flavors of wine and brew while also learning more about the local businesses.

SERVPRO employees Tina (co-owner, pictured right) and Sarah (marketing representative, left) poured samples of two different types of wine to thirsty patrons.  "What a beautiful day and a great way to promote our business to local people who may not have heard about our services," said Tina. 

Call 262-542-0900 to learn more about all the services that we are able to provide such as:

  • Fire, smoke and soot
  • Water removal and dehumidification
  • Asbestos abatement
  • Mold mitigation and remediation
  • COVID-19 disinfecting
  • Contents cleaning 
  • Reconstruction
  • Carpet cleaning
  • Duct cleaning
  • Deodorization
  • Biohazard and crime scene cleaning and
  • Vandalism clean up

It Is That Spooky Time Of Year So Let SERVPRO Help With The Eerie Feeling In Your Home To Help It Sell Faster

10/7/2020 (Permalink)

If Your House Looks Like This, SERVPRO Is Here To Help

With October already here, Halloween just around the corner, and spooky season coming to its peak, we thought it would be an appropriate time to share some reasons that your house might feel a little creepy. 

The following comes from "October 2020 Talking Real Estate ENewsletter.” Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices.

Have you ever toured a home and just wanted to run right back outside? Maybe something hit you negatively, but it could be easily fixed. If the location and price are good, updates could be the answer. Ask yourself: what would you do to make a creepy home warm and inviting?

Improve lighting –Dark rooms can be spooky. Low light, especially from too few windows, can also be depressing. Can windows be enlarged? Can the electrical be updated to allow for the installation of sconces and ceiling lights? 

Re-design living areas – Low ceilings, awkward layouts, or rooms too small for their purpose can make a home feel claustrophobic. Can the ceilings be raised into the attic? Can a wall or two be removed? Can space be “borrowed” from another room for better flow?  

Simple maintenance – Keeping a home in good condition shows that it’s loved, while neglect makes homebuyers feel uncomfortable. Can obvious flaws be fixed and at what cost? 

Freshen - If the problem is odor, it could be pets, smoking, old furnishings, or musty spaces. Dampness can suggest a leak in bathrooms or kitchens.  Can the smell be identified and eliminated through cleaning or remodeling?

Modern updates – Homes stuck in the past need updating which can eliminate a lot of problems? Is there enough room in the budget to remodel to get the home to meet your criteria?

You could turn the spookiest house in the neighborhood into the home of your dreams.

If your home is feeling a little creepy because of odor, water damage, pet and child created flaws, or simply the need for a good cleaning, give us a call. SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County at 262-542-0900 for all of your "spooky" needs. 

Source:

  1. Hubrich , Dian. “October 2020 Talking Real Estate ENewsletter.” Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Oct. 2020, bhhsmarketingresource.com/p/9f60b389d6754032b1de30fca1af1b40/8916920/?rxid=13414208441827544136820.

Preparing Children For Possible Disasters

10/6/2020 (Permalink)

Teaching and Preparing Children About Disasters Is A Great Idea

Disasters don’t wait — make sure children are prepared

To view html content with hi-res photos, copy and paste the following link in your browser: Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs

by ReadyWisconsin

MADISON, Wis. — Disasters can be difficult for kids to deal with, which is why ReadyWisconsin is encouraging families to take the time to make sure their youngest members know how to respond when the unexpected happens. September is Preparedness Month in Wisconsin, which is a reminder to everyone that disaster don’t wait, so make your plan today.

“Children may not fully understand what’s going on during a disaster or what steps they should be taking to remain safe,” said Dr. Darrell L. Williams, Wisconsin Emergency Management administrator. “During Preparedness Month, we encourage families to spend time going over emergency plans with kids and making sure they understand what to do.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought much uncertainty for families across Wisconsin, while the start of the school year has resulted in changes to the regular routines of many. Regardless of where they are spending their days, parents should talk to their children about what to do if there is an emergency at home, school, or daycare. Make sure they know who to contact and identify a safe meeting place. Put together a supply kit with your kids and include them in the process of creating an emergency plan for your family.

“Preparedness is a life-long effort, and even adults should spend time this month learning more about what they can do to help keep them and their loved ones safe,” Williams said. “Taking just a few minutes out of your day to discuss the types of disasters that could effect your community and how to react could make all the difference when facing an emergency.”

While many students started the year virtually due to COVID-19, educators looking ahead to the spring should consider helping their students prepare for disasters by offering the Student Tools for Emergency Planning (STEP) program. Designed for fourth and fifth-grade classrooms, this curriculum developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is made available by the state at no cost to educators. The program teaches important preparedness lessons to children and encourages them to take that information home.

“Since it began in 2011, STEP has helped over 80,000 children in Wisconsin learn about the importance of being prepared for the unexpected,” said Dr. Williams. “We are proud and excited to once again make this free program available to classrooms across the state.”

Fourth and fifth-grade teachers and school administrators interested in offering the STEP program in their schools or to virtual classrooms during the spring of 2021.

For more safety tips follow us on Facebook  and Twitter 

Here at SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County, we believe the health and safety of all community members should always be the #1 priority. When it comes to the safety of children, we take particular interest seeing as they are more susceptible to illness, injury, and trauma. Getting you information on how to stay safe is just as important as helping you get back to normal after an accident.

In the unfortunate event of a disaster, give SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County a call at 262-542-0900.

Hidden Hazards of Fire Soot on Electronics

10/5/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke Damage To the Inside of a Computer

The following blog excerpts come directly from https://www.randrmagonline.com/articles/88660-recognizing-hidden-hazards-of-fire-soot-on-electronics?oly_enc_id=5235J0800912E7Y

Have you ever tried fixing your own electronics and appliances and ended up with extra parts? In the beginning of my career, I probably broke more electronic equipment than I ever repaired, but over the years I developed the skills needed to properly disassemble electronics and appliances as well as restore them to preloss condition. Also, along the way I learned a thing or two about the hidden hazards of fire soot.

According to the insurance industry, about one in 325 insured homes has a property damage claim related to fire and lightning, and on average, Americans own approximately 25 electronic products per home. Although most of the time electronics can be restored by a professional after a fire and returned to the home afterwards, there are a lot of hidden hazards of smoke and soot damage that are commonly misunderstood and pose certain health risks when not handled properly.

A typical structure (residential home or business) contains various materials such as plastics, elastomers, foams, polymers, adhesives, fabrics, wood products and asbestos containing materials. The incomplete combustion of these materials as a result of fire can produce an array of toxic organic compounds such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), semi-volatile organic compounds (SOVCs), and polycyclic aromatic compounds (PAHs).

Exposure to these compounds during a fire may exhibit both acute and chronic toxicity. Some of the other chemicals and gases found in smoke are carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, water vapor, hydrogen cyanide, carbon particles, aldehydes, nitrogen oxide, benzene, toluene, styrene, metals, and dioxins. The size, quantity, character, and type of particles, gases, and chemicals in smoke varies depending on what is burning and whether it was complete or incomplete combustion.

When different types of items burn, various types of soot residue and smoke are produced including wet smoke, dry smoke, plastic or rubber smoke, protein smoke, furnace soot, and candle smoke. When restoring or cleaning electronics, it is important to be able to recognize the difference in various types of soot and smoke as they pose different risks and implications.

Wet smoke is thick, smeary, sticky, has a pungent odor, and is prone to discoloration. It is very difficult to clean and requires specialized products and techniques. Wet smoke must be addressed quickly.

Dry smoke typically involves smaller, non-smeary particles, and is usually a result of hot, fast burning fires. The odor is usually not as strong as wet smoke.

Burning Plastic, foam, rubber, and polymers produce plastic or rubber smoke and burn with high energy at low temperatures. The particles produced have a high degree of ionization, therefore are attracted to other materials and form smoke webs. The smoke produced can potentially be acidic, if it is not addressed soon enough or treated properly with specialized products, bare metal surfaces can corrode and pit.

Protein smoke residue is a result of slow burning food such as meat and poultry. The particles are usually invisible and have a particularly strong pungent odor. A slow burn allows the protein to disperse and attach to everything, tends to stain painted and varnished surfaces, and is typically very difficult to clean.

Furnace soot or puff-backs result from the misfiring in a furnace or when an older furnace is replaced with a newer, high efficiency furnace. The ventilation system will aid in the distribution of the soot and can send it throughout the entire home, covering drapes, bedding, furniture, cabinets, walls, and everything in between. It is possible that before the malfunction occurred, the furnace may have been emitting small quantities of soot over an extended length of time. When this occurs, the soot bonds to the surfaces making it more difficult to clean.

Candle soot residue, AKA “dirty house syndrome” is visible residue without a recognizable fire source. Studies show that it is very possible to be a result of burning cheap scented decorative candles. Candle soot production normally begins when the particulate matter produced reaches .06 to 0.1 microns in size. Because the particles are so fine, they lodge in irregular surfaces and are held by electrostatic bonds requiring complete disassembly of the item.

Smoke aids in the distribution of soot and travels to cooler areas and continues until the fire is extinguished, thereby causing soot to be distributed everywhere in its path.

When it comes to restoration, electronics are very sensitive and when compromised by smoke and soot, become a safety hazard. Damage from smoke and soot primarily stems from increased resistance in circuits and connections by corrosive metal loss, short circuiting caused by current leakage, and overheating. Cleaning smoke and soot damage on electronics and appliances requires learned skill sets, professional cleaning products, and techniques. It is important to take the complexity of effective electronics restoration into consideration before letting just anyone disassemble a computer or flat screen TV and hope for the best. 

If you ever experience a fire or soot/smoke damage, be sure to call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County at  262-542-0900.

Source

  1. Copeland, James. “Recognizing Hidden Hazards of Fire Soot on Electronics.” Restoration Remediation Magazine RSS, Restoration & Remediation Magazine, 24 Oct. 2019, www.randrmagonline.com/articles/88660-recognizing-hidden-hazards-of-fire-soot-on-electronics?oly_enc_id=5235J0800912E7Y.

SERVPRO Is Invading Your Space for Good Reasons

9/29/2020 (Permalink)

Our Equipment May Be In The Way, But Because We Care!

SERVPRO is the largest restoration company in the United States and that means we are in a lot of buildings, both residential and commercial.  

We admit that sometimes we get in the way. We ask invasive questions about your personal spaces. We bring in loud equipment. It seems like we are always invading our customer's spaces.  

While we are sorry for this inconvenience, at the same time we aren't because we know that this is the best way to mitigate your problem.  Without us walking through all the affected areas, asking questions, looking in closets, checking inside shower stalls, etc., we can't do our job thoroughly and efficiently.  Our job is to take care of the issues that come with mitigation work. Water, fire or mold mitigation, even asbestos abatement, requires thorough inspections. It requires our employees to ask tough questions to get to the best solution for YOU, our customer.  

Our loud equipment is often left for several days and we will ask you to allow us access every 24-36 hours to ensure that the equipment is doing what is supposed to. Our visiting every day can get annoying, but it is necessary.  

SERVPRO is the number one restoration company and we got there by being annoying. We apologize for the inconvenience, but we are HERE TO HELP.   

We GREATLY appreciate our customers putting up with our invasions. And we want you to know we do it because we love helping others.   Please call our office at 262-542-0900 to schedule SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County to come and invade your home or business. You'll be glad you did. 

Danger Still Exists Even After The Fire Is Extinguished

9/28/2020 (Permalink)

Debris Left After A Fire Is Still Dangerous

After a structure fire, restoration contractors are often on scene within hours to perform emergency services.  This usually begins with boarding up windows and doors and covering holes in the roof cut by the fire department. This is intended to protect properties from further damage as well as prevent unauthorized entry, theft, or spoiling of evidence. However, what many people may not realize is that boarding-up a fire damaged structure can create an extremely hazardous environment.

Although the flames have been extinguished, the smoke has cleared, and the fire department removed the yellow tape, the fire scene isn’t as safe as one might think. Toxic volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) created by the vast array of materials and products that, after being burned, are now in a state of off-gassing, saturating the indoor air with poisonous gases and particulates. The combination of the lack of ventilation after a board-up and the toxicity of the combustion byproducts created classifies this environment as immediately dangerous to life and health (IDLH). The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) states that a respiratory hazard exists when a toxic contaminant is present in the air at a sufficient concentration to cause harm when inhaled. The damage may occur immediately, or it may take days, weeks, months, or years for effects to surface.

The types and quantities of materials and products that combust, their chemical reactions, heat, time, and other factors, make each post-fire environment unique.  The vast array of toxic chemicals, VOC’s, and particulates are limitless and exposure to them can have immediate and/or long-term health effects.  Fire investigators know all too well the dangers of post-fire environments and many are sickened.  

One example of this occurred when a fire chief in California walked through a residential fire to assess the damage. A short time later, as he was returning to the fire station, he became ill and his aide transported him to a local hospital. The hazardous material response team was called to the scene and located several glass containers of a substance later identified as liquid sodium cyanide. The chief was subsequently transported to a medical facility equipped with a hyperbaric chamber for treatment and fully recovered. Physicians and investigators eventually determined that he had inhaled near-lethal doses of sodium cyanide from a jewelry refinishing business that was operated from the home. (1)

Restoration contractors face similar dangers in structure fire settings, where they may spend days performing emergency services, mucking out debris, estimating, and inventorying personal property.

Smoke, Toxic Gasses, & Chemicals

Considering that cigarette smoke alone contains over 7,000 chemicals, with 70 identified as cancer-causing, the products and materials that burn in a structure fire produce innumerable toxins. These products may include plastics, fiberglass, fabrics, fire retardants, electronics, pesticides, cleaning solutions, automotive fluids, solvents, chemicals used to manufacture illicit drugs and a host of others.

Currently, the EPA has over 85,000 chemicals registered in its inventory of substances that fall under the Toxic Substances Control Act and approximately 2,000 new chemicals are introduced each year.(2) The Chemical Abstracts Service is the world’s authority on chemical information and it has over 100 million registered chemical substances in its registry.(3)  These chemicals are combined in more than 7 million mixtures formulations that are found in homes and buildings across the U.S.(4) The majority of the chemicals currently in commercial use haven’t been evaluated.(5)

Some of the most toxic chemicals and gases found in smoke include: hydrogen cyanide, phosgene, dioxins, furans, sulfur dioxide, PCB’s, hydrochloric and sulfuric acid, and arsenic. Other toxins may include benzene, lead, chromium, and other metals, toluene, acrolein, mercury, formaldehyde, phenol, styrene, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

To give you an idea of how toxic some of these chemicals are, phosgene and hydrogen cyanide were used in World War I as chemical warfare agents, resulting in thousands of casualties. Both hydrogen cyanide and phosgene are commonly found in structure fire smoke. 

Dioxins – The Worst of the Worst

Restorers are well aware of hazardous materials such as asbestos, lead, and mold, but few realize how toxic  smoke particulates and soot can be. The dioxin named 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) has been called the most toxic man-made compound on Earth.(6) Scientists say it is exceeded in toxicity only by radioactive waste.(7)   Dioxins are formed when products containing carbon and chlorine are burned, such as plastics containing PVC. (11)

Particulate Exposure

Particle exposure leads to around 20,000 premature deaths in America each year. Inhaled particles that are less than 5 microns travel to the lower lung where the gas exchange occurs in the alveoli. The particle size of soot is approximately 2.5 microns or less and to offer some perspective on the size of these particles, a red blood cell is approximately 7 microns in size. 

Smoke particles--approx 2.5 microns (left); Red blood cells--approx 7 microns (right)

The smallest ultrafine particles are so minute they behave like gases, passing through the lungs and directly into the bloodstream. Ultrafine particles also travel up through the nose and, rather than passing down into the lungs, they are delivered directly into the brain and central nervous system via the olfactory nerve, bypassing the body’s protective blood/brain barrier. 

Safety Considerations

The importance of wearing proper protective equipment when working in or around fire debris or a fire damaged structure cannot be understated. Restorers should consider the following safety tips:

  1. Establish a safety and site assessment protocol to determine what type of PPE should be worn. The highest level of respiratory protection should be considered.
  2. Have all workers fit tested to ensure their respirators function properly.
  3. Ventilate enclosed areas unless doing so will expose others to health hazards.
  4. If workers experience any adverse health symptoms from exposure to smoke odors or soot, seek medical attention immediately. 

IF you experience a fire, let the certified and trained professionals handle the cleanup and deodorization.  Please feel free to call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County with any fire or water needs. 262-542-0900. 

References

  1. FIRE SCENE INVESTIGATION: A “CAUSE” FOR CONCERN? http://www.fireengineering.com/articles/print/volume-157/issue-6/features/fire-scene-investigation-a-cause-for-concern.html
  2. It could take centuries for EPA to test all the unregulated chemicals under a new landmark bill By Mark Scialla: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/it-could-take-centuries-for-epa-to-test-all-the-unregulated-chemicals-under-a-new-landmark-bill
  3. Characterization of fire Investigators Exposure During Fire Scene Examination By: Dennis L. Rogers – DuPage County Arson Task Force (page 19)
  4. https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Education_Employment_and_Workplace_Relations/Completed_inquiries/2010-13/firefighters/report/c02 
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10794914
  6. Medical Effects: Dioxin and PCB’s From Wood Burning http://burningissues.org/carwww/medical_effects/dioxin.htm
  7. World Health Organization http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs225/en/
  8. A Guide to Living Plasticless http://plasticisrubbish.com/2008/06/03/dioxins-poisons-contamination/
  9. Dioxins and their Effects on Human Health http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs225/en/
  10. Dioxins Produced by Backyard Burning https://www.epa.gov/dioxin/dioxins-produced-backyardburning
  11. and http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs225/en/
  12. The Aspen institute https://www.aspeninstitute.org/programs/agent-orange-in-vietnamprogram/health-effects/

Mold Is Dangerous Even Beyond Containment

9/28/2020 (Permalink)

Black Mold Inside Structures Can Make Air Quality Dangerous

Containment in remediation protocols is a restoration industry staple. But all too often mold specialists are missing the point and failing to be effective in their containment efforts.

Many of the traditional protocols and methods currently associated with, what may be termed as “traditional mold remediation methods”, were borne from the asbestos abatement industry. Once a problem area is identified, one of the first steps is to set up containment around the affected area.

This is entirely appropriate and necessary for asbestos work as the harmful by products of the abatement do not become airborne until after the containment is set up and the remediation has begun.

However, mold is a different beast. It is a living organism. As such, it is actively seeking to expand its environment beyond its present location. As remediators, we may conscientiously set up containment around a visible mold bloom the moment we step onto the jobsite. But long before our arrival our musty friend has been hard at work (often times with the help of we humans) sending its spores throughout the building environment, potentially starting new colonies in unseen locations and most assuredly compromising the quality of the building’s breathable air supply. Therefore our true containment in an effective mold remediation is the entire building envelope, not just the immediate area or room where we have visible growth.

Keep in mind that many contractors would have been content in merely treating the area within containment, and no doubt would have passed any Industrial Hygienist written protocol or post remediation testing. But the real culprit, the air borne spores that had already spread throughout the building envelope, would have been left behind to create further havoc.  One additional step to remediate the problem is to have those air ducts clean and deodorized.

Please give us a call for any mold or asbestos needs at 262-542-0900. SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County has certified technicians in both areas so don't hesitate to get in contact with us.  

Source:

https://www.randrmagonline.com/

Is It Time To Have Your Air Ducts Cleaned?

9/23/2020 (Permalink)

Duct Cleaning Equipment Used by SERVPRO

Are you considering having your air ducts cleaned?  Is duct cleaning right for you?  Hopefully this information will help you decide. 

Air quality is ALWAYS very important in both your home and place of work.  You should know that it is recommended that air ducts be cleaned about  every two to five years, maybe more often if you have severe allergies. There is no magic number that determines if your ducts need to be cleaned.  Hopefully these facts may help you determine if you think its time based off of what is happening in your home. 

Fact #1: Having a duct cleaning done can save you energy.

  • Obstructions can create reduced airflow.  Obstructions include dirt, dust, cobwebs, pest droppings and biological growth.
  • Cleaning duct work creates an easier job for your HVAC system. A system that doesn't have to work as hard, lasts longer and requires less significant maintenance.
  • Removing obstructions and debris reduces risk of damage to essential parts of the HVAC system.

Fact #2: Duct cleanings create a better indoor air quality 

  • Air duct cleanings remove contaminants from your duct work. These contaminants include pollen, dirt, dust and cobwebs. For some people, contaminated air ducts can create allergic reactions, or even asthma attacks.
  • Duct cleanings can result in a lower amount of dust accumulating on horizontal surfaces, creating less irritants sitting in the open home.

Fact 3: Comfort

  • A duct cleaning can identify leaks in your duct work that could be causing drafts or excessive noise

If you are having low air flow, unusual allergies or respiratory issues, or leaks and noise issues, a duct cleaning may help. Reach out to medical professionals about serious health issues and if you believe they are related to something in your home, please contact an indoor air quality specialist to identify those problems.  If issues are identified, SERVPRO is always here to help you resolve them.

As always please feel free to contact SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County with any further questions, comments, or to seek services.   262-542-0900

Benefits of Using Portable Storage During Restoration Projects

9/21/2020 (Permalink)

Disinfecting Inside Storage Containers For Safety

Remodeling, restoration, and remediation projects don’t stop during the pandemic. Contractors and mold removal specialists are essential workers. Remediation and restoration projects cannot wait for the pandemic to end.

Safety and sanitation are always of the utmost importance, particularly when it comes to mold removal or any type of remodeling project. However, safety and sanitation may take different forms right now, and they are very much on the minds of clients and homeowners.

That’s why it’s important to ensure every aspect of your project is safe, and this starts when our crew clears out a room or building before the real work begins. From the pack-out to what would be the final handshake, SERVPRO and the storage unit vendor must try to provide a safe environment for the crew and clients. This includes placing the items that need to get out of the way in a clean storage unit.

Companies that provide portable storage units are putting a major emphasis on how they protect the health and safety of their customers in several areas. This, in turn, helps the SERVPRO crew and the clients stay safe on the job.

New Cleaning and Disinfection Methods

As scientists continue to learn more about the novel coronavirus, they are discovering its ability to live on surfaces for several hours, if not days. Cleaning and disinfecting the containers has become a top priority for portable storage vendors and they are using some interesting methods to keep their containers clean.

Portable storage vendors are using all different kinds of disinfectants on these boxes.  Most disinfectants are non-toxic and bleach-free and only needs four minutes of wet time. The quick-drying agent is critical for companies hoping to get the containers for use on renovation and remediation jobs without having to worry whether or not the cleaning agent will soak through boxes. 

Some other disinfectants have been selected because of its known safety, efficacy, and environmental impact by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). One of the major benefits of botanical ingredients is that it doesn’t require any rinsing or wiping after use.

Contactless Service

Right now, many people are concerned about the safety of having workers come into their  homes and offices. The idea of moving someone else’s belongings out of their home or office to make room for remodeling projects does not have to cause any extra stress. When we work with a portable storage vendor, social distancing comes easily. The vendors offer contactless service, so SERVPRO can focus on the work that we are doing and not have to worry about the storage unit.

Our customers do not need to be present when a driver delivers a storage container, and no contact is necessary. The storage box container can be left onsite for storage, be picked up and stored it in a warehouse, or they can even move it to another location if needed.  The entire process is scheduled at your convenience and can be done without contact.

The Pack-Out

We are SERVPRO must be mindful of how you pack. This may go without saying, but now is not the time to visit the emergency room. We use bubble wrap and packing paper freely to make sure everything that’s fragile stays protected. This will prevent any possible cuts and damage down the road.

Every new packing project requires new boxes, especially right now. The COVID-19 virus can live on cardboard for up to 24 hours, so it’s best that we provide new moving boxes for every pack-out.

By using boxes specifically designed for particular objects (like lamps and paintings), we will have an easier time packing the items in a storage container. This will maximize the space and make it easier to load and unload. We load heavy boxes and furniture on the bottom and try to create a path. This will make it easier to retrieve an item without needing to unload the entire contents of the container.

For your emergency service or restoration needs, call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County.  262-542-0900

Sources:

Lorensen, Eric. “Benefits of Portable Storage During Remodeling and Remediation Projects.” Restoration Remediation Magazine RSS, Restoration & Remediation Magazine, 27 May 2020, www.randrmagonline.com/articles/88939-benefits-of-portable-storage-during-remodeling-and-remediation-projects?oly_enc_id=5235J0800912E7Y

General Cleaning vs Deep Cleaning

9/18/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Offers All Types of Professional Cleaning Services

Because SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County is known as a professional cleaning and restoration company, we often get calls to do household cleaning. Sometimes, our customer is moving into a new home and wants to make sure it is clean before their belongings get moved in. Other times, an executor of an estate is handling a loved one's home that needs to be ready to put up for sale.

These examples require different cleaning needs. If you call our office at 262-542-0900 we will ask you questions to determine what type of cleaning is best for your situation.  

In the case of someone moving into a new home, typically the home is vacant. This makes our cleaning process more efficient as we don't have to move any items to clean behind, or move dishes out of the way to clean cabinets. Our services will include wiping down horizontal surfaces in the home, cleaning the outside of cabinets and appliances, cleaning and dusting light fixtures and vacuuming visible cobwebs. We can also provide carpet cleaning services or duct cleaning services for added peace of mind that you are moving into a clean home.  If there are any odors present, we can also offer deodorization services to go along with the cleaning.  The previously mentioned is what we would consider a "general cleaning."  

Should you need a "deep cleaning" performed on your property, our job becomes a little more time consuming. We will ask you many questions so that we have clear expectations on what is to be done while we are at the property.  In the case of a loved one passing away, there are often belongings that will need to be sorted through. After the family decides what to do with the items that are left, SERVPRO can help remove the ones that are not to be kept. We have working relationships with many companies that will accept donated, gently used belongings so they do not go to waste. The deep cleaning is more detailed since the belongings are also to be cleaned or removed. We can also coordinate dumpsters for removing debris if needed.  Just like the above, we can also offer the other cleaning services such as carpet cleaning or deodorization. 

In either case, we will request an in-person inspection of the property. This is to make sure all of your needs are clearly communicated and can be included in our initial estimate.  

Please give us a call today at 262-542-0900 for your cleaning needs.  SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County, "Like it never even happened."

In-Place Drying Used to Dry Basement

9/17/2020 (Permalink)

In-Place Drying Equipment Is Used To Save Carpet and Keep Insurance Claims Down

A strong rainstorm in July 2020 hit SE Wisconsin and this basement in Waukesha, WI  got flooded due to the hydrostatic pressure in the ground and the water having no where to go except into the basement.

Because this was rain water, SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County was able to save this new carpet.  The carpet pad had to be removed in order to dry out the structure and the carpet more efficiently.  After lifting the carpet and removal of the carpet pad, the technicians at SERVPRO extracted the remaining water from the concrete and laid the carpet back down.  Then, specialty drying equipment designed to direct air flow down, was set up to dry that carpet and, believe it or not, the concrete underneath it.  Also, as the air flow hits the carpet, it will bounce off the floor and blow onto the drywall.  As a result, We can dry the carpet, concrete and drywall with one fan.

For all your emergency water damage and restoration needs, call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County.  262-542-0900

Desiccant Dehumidifiers Are Essential Equipment at SERVPRO To Properly Dry Out Structures

9/11/2020 (Permalink)

Desiccant Dehumidifier In Action

At SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County, we utilize the latest and/or greatest technology and equipment that will help us dry out structures as quickly as possible, based on the particular need of that structure.  Other than standard low-grain refrigerant (LGR) dehumidifiers, we also use desiccant dehumidifiers.  People often ask us "What is a desiccant?"

  • A Desiccant dehumidifier is similar to a standard grade dehumidifier in the sense of they both bring down moisture levels in a contained structure.  However, a desiccant is very different in the process they use to remove the moisture.  Desiccants can be the same size as an LGR dehumidifier but as big as a semi-trailer. Desiccants have a unique ability to dry air that is actually already quite dry.  These machines can also dry the air in extremely difficult to dry materials, even at below 60 degree temperatures (were a standard grade or LGR dehumidifier would go into defrost mode).  Desiccant dehumidifiers are a very useful tool in our SERVPRO inventory. With our Franchise being located in Wisconsin, about half our year is under 60 degrees.

What is the difference in a Desiccant vs Standard dehumidifier?

  • A standard grade dehumidifier (also known as a compressor based dehumidifier) uses a compressed refrigerant to cool metal coils (evaporator coils).  The humid air that enters the dehumidifier condenses on these cool coils. This leaves the air that exhausts out of the dehumidifier warm and drier than when it entered. Desiccant dehumidifiers work quite differently. Instead of using condensation on cold evaporator coils to remove humidity from air, desiccant dehumidifiers use a chemical called a desiccant to do so.  The chemical in our desiccants once heated release the moister air into a condensed form so they can be purged or ran through a LGR dehumidifier for better efficiency.

Why would SERVPRO use a desiccant in my home or business?  There are three reasons

  • Ambient air temperature.  As I wrote earlier, our standard LGR dehumidifier have a hard time running at their max efficiency below 60 degrees an ambient air temperature. Now in most cases we can bring in portable electric heating or turn up the heat of the house or structure to get us in the range were a LGR could run at their full potential.  But what happens when we can't bring in temporary heat or turn up the furnace?  This is when we would run a desiccant dehumidifier; to begin drying out the structure until we were able to bring the heat up to an appropriate level.
  • Size of the affected area of water damage.  In some commercial situations or large residential homes and garages we are always trying to get our drying process done as thoroughly and quickly as possible. In these cases, running multiple LGR dehumidifier and air movers may not be enough or the most cost effective way to dry a structure out in a timely manner. This is when we start to think about desiccant dehumidification.
  • Saturation of structure. This bring us back to drying in a timely manner. If structural building materials have reached their max saturation, and have remained at that level for some time, the materials become harder to dry out and bring them down to drying goals. These instances are perfect opportunities to build temporary containment chambers and run our desiccants to dry things thoroughly and quickly.

In this photo, you will see the plastic ducting connected to a desiccant dehumidifier.  This ducting is vented to the outside which is where we want the moist air going.  If you look closely, you will see the moisture that condensed on the inside of the ducting.  This is proof of the machine doing its job.  The air mover next to the desiccant is used to help circulate the air to evaporate the moisture into the air.

Do not hesitate to give us a call at 262-542-0900 with any questions regarding the equipment that we use of if you need our assistance in drying out a structure.  No matter if it is residential or commercial, big or small, SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County has the correct equipment and certified trained technicians to properly dry out your structure.  thing else).  We are always here to help.  

Tips To Balance Your Life During a Pandemic

9/11/2020 (Permalink)

Globally and Nationally We Are All In This Together

Right now, people are more valuable in their jobs than ever before. We at SERVPRO wanted to share some tips on keeping your life balanced during these times.  We also want people to know that no one is alone. We are all in it together. Even if you have an emergency during a pandemic, SERVPRO is still here to help. Just like grocery stores are still providing people food, and doctors are still providing medical care, SERVPRO is still providing emergency fire and water damage cleanup services.  

  1. Take care of yourself. Try and eat 3 meals a day, with some snacks. Drink lots of water and get out for a bit, even if its for a walk around your neighborhood. Just so you know, if you are a smoker, you are more at risk for contracting Covid-19. 
  2. Make sure your family (or the people you live with) knows how to be safe with you. Always make sure small children are being careful and learning to wash hands properly. Limit the number of people in your home unnecessarily, including family. If you do not have to leave, do not. 
  3. Do things you enjoy. Safe hobbies include painting, playing instruments, gardening, cooking, taking baths, and talking on the phone with friends/family. Obviously, there is more than just this short list of things to do. The general rule to follow is if it's in your house, it is probably safe. Take care of your mind and your body because they are both important.  

We understand this has been a long process, everyone is tired of not being able to hug family or give your friend a handshake in the grocery store. Or even the fun things, like seeing movies and going out for dinner is being missed.  

Finally, if you go out, wear a mask, wash your hands often, practice social distancing, and avoid touching your face. Make sure to monitor children closely if you bring them and enforce the previously mentioned precautions for children who can walk freely.  

If you have water issues, mold, a fire, or if you just want a deep clean or disinfecting, do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County at 262-542-0900.  Never forget that we are in this together.  

Space Heater In Rental Property Causes Severe Fire Damage

9/10/2020 (Permalink)

Space Heater Fire Damage Affects Two Floors

A space heater used by a tenant renting a room in a basement caused this damage to the home in Waukesha, WI.  This before photo, taken from the main level of the home, shows the mess and damage and how the fire burned away the flooring and you can see all the debris that fell into the basement.  

SW Waukesha County was called in to clean up the debris and to deodorize and get this home prepped for rebuild.  The challenge with this loss was the owner of the property had recently passed away so before the assets could be transition to the benefactor, the Trust of the estate had to make the temporary decisions.  Not only has SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County worked with insurance agents, insurance adjusters and property owners, but we also have experience working with attorney's that are involved when a family Trust exists.  

At SERVPRO, if you have a unique situation and you are not sure where to turn for help, call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County as we have the abilities to work with all different types of customers and people with a vested interest in a property. SERVPRO of 262-542-0900

SERVPRO Will Do Our Best To Protect You During Mold Remediation

9/10/2020 (Permalink)

Plastic Containment Used To Protect You and Prevent Cross-Contamination

Water can and will cause severe damage if not treated timely and correctly.  Specifically, secondary damage, aka mold, is a problem that can cause severe health problems as well.  Also, there have been many instances when insurance carriers will not cover mold remediation as part of your claim, so be sure to review your policy and know what your coverage provides.

When the technicians at SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County are asked to remove mold or asbestos, we must taken into account the property and the people, pets and personal items and protect them as much as possible.  This picture shows a plastic containment that was built to prevent mold spores, which are extremely light and become air borne very easily, from migrating into other unaffected areas of the home.  The last thing that we want is for mold spores to travel to unaffected areas.

For all your mold remediation or asbestos abatement projects, call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County and we will help make it "Like it never even happened."  262-542-0900  

Hot Fireworks Shell Placed in Plastic Dumpster Ignites and Causes Damage

9/10/2020 (Permalink)

July 4th Celebration Leads To Small Fire In Dumpster

A hot fireworks shell from a Waukesha, WI July 4th Celebration, that the homeowner thought was cooled off, was placed into a plastic dumpster inside the garage.  Unknowing to the home owner, the shell was still hot enough and ignited rags and debris inside the plastic dumpster.  This photo shows the remaining portion of the dumpster and the melting that occurred during the fire.

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County was called by the home owner to help them clean up the mess this small fire caused in their garage.  The owner was happy that we could get the mess cleaned up quickly since she was having a party the following weekend.  This was to celebrate their brand new home, which they just moved into the previous month.

For all your emergency fire and smoke damage, call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County.  262-542-0900  

SERVPRO Uses Ozone To Deodorize After Cigarette Odor

9/10/2020 (Permalink)

Actual Ozone Application on a SERVPRO Jobsite

Ozone is one of the most effective ways at neutralizing smoke odor.  When we are asked to clean and deodorize after cigarette/cigar odor, or after a fire, we we will use an ozone generator.

Ozone is a colorless gas with a pungent odor and powerful oxidizing properties, formed from oxygen by electrical discharges or ultraviolet light. It differs from normal oxygen (O2) in having three atoms in its molecule (O3).

 Ozone has existed on Earth for as long as oxygen has been here- about 500 million years. It has existed in our universe for billions of years. Wherever oxygen comes into contact with an electric arc, such as lightning and/or a particular wavelength of ultraviolet rays, like those from the sun around which the planet orbits, ozone will be created.

How is ozone generated?

During an electrical storm, bolts of lightning in the atmosphere rip oxygen molecules apart, leaving single oxygen atoms in their wake. These single atoms quickly bond with surrounding O2 molecules, creating O3, or ozone.

This is why the air smells so fresh right after a lightning storm. Lightning is nature’s air purifier.

The ozone layer in the lower stratosphere is also generated by molecular fission and fusion, but by the sun’s short wave ultraviolet rays rather than by electricity. Coincidentally, it’s this ozone layer- created by short UV waves, that protects life on our planet from the longer UV waves within the spectrum.

Ozone generators manufacture ozone by applying either of these same two principles:

1. Corona Discharge

Ozone generators that utilize the electric arc method of generating ozone are referred to as corona discharge ozone generators. High voltage (2,000 volts and up) is passed through a dielectric material (material that transmits electrical force without conduction), while being fed and cooled by ambient air supplied by a fan located at the rear of the unit. 

This sustained electric arc is what severs the O2 molecules, resulting in the manufacture of ozone.

2. Ultraviolet Light    

Waves of ultraviolet (UV) light are what ‘slice’ O2 molecules in half in UV ozone generators. UV bulbs are mounted inside the generator which emit certain wavelengths of ultraviolet light which, in turn, separate the atoms of passing O2 molecules. This is how our sun creates and maintains the protective ozone layer between the troposphere and stratosphere.

UV is much less effective at generating ozone than corona discharge. Generators of this type typically have a much lower ozone output as a result.

How does ozone destroy odors?

Ozone reacts with odor molecules by transferring the “extra” oxygen atom of the ozone molecule to the odor molecule, changing its composition so it no longer has the same chemical makeup. This chemical reaction is called oxidation.

In a nutshell, through the oxidation process, what was formerly an odor-causing molecule is now an entirely different compound, and therefore does not possess the odor of its preceding form. A simple example of this molecular restructuring is the addition of an oxygen atom to a molecule of H2O to form H2O2 (which is the conversion of water to hydrogen peroxide).

Is Ozone Dangerous?

The most important thing to remember when generating ozone in a space is to evacuate the premises during the treatment. This includes the removal of humans, pets, fish (as there is oxygen in the water) and in the case of high levels generated over a period of several hours, removal of houseplants is suggested. It’s a good idea to post “Do Not Enter- Ozone Area” (or similar message) signs on all entrances of a space as well.

After the treatment time is complete, either enough time should pass for the ozone to revert to oxygen (O2), or the space should be circulated/vented with fresh air before people and animals are reintroduced.

And here’s one of the most beautiful things about using ozone in the restoration industry - the only residue resulting from the generation of ozone is oxygen (O2).  When used properly and a few simple rules are followed, ozone can be a safe and effective tool.

In this photo, you will see an ozone generator on top of the ladder.  We purposely put the generator up high because ozone is heavier than oxygen and it falls to the ground.  Also, you will see 3 fans pushing air/ozone back up toward the ceiling.  Because ozone is heavier than oxygen, the fans are used to re-circulate the ozone to make the deodorization process more efficient.

For all your nicotine odor and other deodorization needs, call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County.  262-542-0900

Wisconsin Governor Proclaims September as Chamber of Commerce Month

9/9/2020 (Permalink)

September 2020 is Chamber of Commerce Month In Wisconsin

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers has proclaimed September as Chamber of Commerce month! Now more than ever, we believe that businesses need their chamber members.As a member of the countywide chamber of commerce for Waukesha County, we and other members remain committed to making our region the best place to do business. Relationships with local public officials ensure that policies that affect businesses in Waukesha County will help, not hinder, them. Relationships with educational institutions ensure that students are being prepared for real-life, family-sustaining jobs right here in our community. Relationships with business leaders in industries such as restoration, manufacturing, construction and health care chambers of commerce to facilitate best-practice sharing and growth. Relationships with chamber members, who represent companies of all sizes and industries across southeast Wisconsin, ensure that we are truly the unified voice of business in Waukesha County. Chambers of Commerce are a key driver of business relationships in our communities.  We believe that relationships built on integrity and trust drive growth. These chambers will continue to connect local business people to support lasting, meaningful relationships. And to our local chamber partners from each of the municipalities in Waukesha County, thank you for all you do! Together we can make Waukesha County the best place to live, work and play. SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County is a restoration company that is proud to be a member of this and other chambers within the communities that we serve. For all your fire and water damage needs, call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County.  262-542-0900

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County Adds Media Blasting Equipment

9/9/2020 (Permalink)

Media Blasting Equipment Owned By SERVPRO Will Help You With More Cleaning Needs

Now SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County can even more provide even faster service.  With the purchase of the IBIX Pro 40 Wet/Dry Abrasive Blast System, we can now provide faster service without having to rely on a sub-contractor to help.

Th wet/dry abrasive blast system uses compressed air mixed with an abrasive material to provide a pressurized stream of media capable of cleaning a variety of surfaces.The blast gun and hose have integrated wet/dry connections allowing for Low Dust Emission blasting when needed.

Abrasive blasting is an effective cleaning method for fire & smoke restoration, mold mitigation & remediation, graffiti removal, surface prep & cleaning, and odor elimination.  It also can be used to help remove oil stains on concrete and asphalt.  This equipment will allow SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County to better meets the needs of the customers and communities that we serve.

If you have a project that would require media blasting, call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County to help clean up after that spill or mess.  Different types of media are used for different purposes and on different types of materials.  We look forward to being your vendor of choice.

Contact SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County at 262-542-0900 for all your emergency and non-emergency needs.  

Recent Heat Wave and High Humidity Actually Caused Mold

9/9/2020 (Permalink)

Heat Wave and AC Unit Leads To Mold Growth

Summers in Wisconsin are usually beautiful and we look forward to them.  However, each year we have a stretch of high heat and humidity where the instant you go outside we immediately begin to sweat.

This summer was no exception.  During a recent heat wave, many of us had our air conditioner units running for multiple days.  In this situation, the drain tube off the unit became clogged and the water backed up into the customer's closet.  The customer had no idea how much water was present.  After a week's use of continual usage of the air conditioning unit, she began to smell something strange coming from the closet.  Upon opening the door, she discovered that her carpet was saturated and mold starting to grow on the bottom of the walls, on the carpet tack strips and on the concrete subfloor.

As a satisfied repeat customer, she called SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County to help with the cleanup and mold remediation.  The owner was very happy with our past service and was equally happy this time.  

As a water damage restoration company, SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County has certified water restoration technicians and has the experience to get rid of the dangerous, smelly mold.  Call 262-542-0900 with all your water damage and mold remediation questions or needs.

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County Celebrates 10 Years Of Being In Business

9/4/2020 (Permalink)

Local SERVPRO Celebrates 10 Years of Service!

It seems like just yesterday when Todd & Tina opened up SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County back in 2010.  However, the time has gone quickly and we are now celebrating 10 years of service to the communities we serve.  Please join us in celebrating our 10 year anniversary in 2020.

This photo is the award that was presented to us from SERVPRO HQ recognizing our years of service.  

As owners of this company, we honestly believe that any company making it to 10 years of local service demonstrates knowledge, experience, professionalism, determination, a willingness and drive to succeed and to do what is best for the customer, the employees and the organization.  There are many businesses that fail within their first two years, so to last 10 years shows that we are a reputable organization.  So when people ask, "Why SERVPRO," we are hopeful that the years of service and experience will answer that.

We are proud to have reached 10 years and we are looking forward to another wonderful 10 years.  To see our son grow up during these years and raise him within the SERVPRO family, we are hopeful to pass along our knowledge and experiences to him so he can take this company to new levels and more years.  

If you have a need related to fire & water damage, mold remediation, deodorization or asbestos abatement, call us to help!  262-542-0900

SERVPRO Accepts The Unique Challenges: This Case, Terrain and Location

9/4/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Is Willing To Help On All Jobs, Even Unique Ones Like This

During a straight line wind storm in August, a homeowner's shed was knocked down when several trees blew over onto the shed. This particular location proved difficult to handle due to the 100 foot steep slope the property is located on and the slippery and overgrown path.

Removing heavy debris by hand up a steep grade is demanding physical labor that some companies may not want to take on.  However, SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County welcomes challenging job sites like these. Our staff has the willingness and ability to meet challenges from a logistic standpoint that other companies may not be properly prepared for.

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County takes into consideration all aspects of challenging job sites.  The safety of our crew is paramount and we take every precaution and plan ahead in these unique situations to avoid any injuries to our crew or damage to our customer's property.

The next time you have a challenging job that requires a company who "thinks outside the box" to complete, please consider SERVPRO of SW Waukehsa County. Give our office a call today to help with your unique situation. 262-542-0900

Post Accident/Death Clean-up

9/4/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Is Here To Help With Biohazard Trauma Cleanup

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County gets called to many different scenarios every week. We have helped clean up after broken pipes, kitchen fires, chemical spills and septic tank back-ups. One type of clean-up that we deal with but often goes unnoticed but takes special care and requires a special crew - the clean up & disinfecting and deodorization after a death or suicide.  

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County recognizes this is an unplanned and unfortunate circumstance that no one is prepared to handle, but we are here to help. Our company treats each case with confidentiality, dignity, respect and compassion.  Our trained team of professionals follows OSHA and EPA protocols to transform the environment back to a clean and safe area. We work directly with the family and clearly communicate the process to ensure their satisfaction. We sympathize that these particular jobs often need to be done quickly and safely and strive to complete them within the expectations and timeline of the family.  

With these sensitive situations, you can be confident that SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County has the ability to help you through your difficult time so you can focus on other details. Call us and let us help you and your family through this stressful time. 262-542-0900

Review us on Google?

9/4/2020 (Permalink)

We are so grateful and appreciative that you selected us to serve you in your time of need.

A property loss, whether residential or commercial or industrial, is a challenge that requires a quick response.  No matter if the damage was due to water, fire or bio-hazard, it can be hard to process and cause stress to those involved because they may not know how to move through the process from start to finish.

We at SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc serve our clients in the best way we know how, and we hope that we have met your expectations for service and care.  We thank our past customers for calling and using us when in need.

Would you please take a moment and give us a review on Google? It really helps us to reach more people like you who need our caring help and expertise during a property damage loss.  Your personal experience may be similar to another further customer and when they read your review, we are hopeful that they will select SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc.  The more positive reviews that we receive and share with people, the more confident they will be when calling us when they experience a disaster.

And of course, if we have missed the mark on serving you and we could improve, please call us at 262-542-0900 to speak with a manager. We will work hard to resolve any issues.  We believe that constructive criticism will only help us improve for the future.

So please tell us how we did by going to our Google page.  On behalf of the entire management team at SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc, thank you!

Please call us with any questions or needs that you may have with fire damage, water damage, mold remediation, deodorization issues, asbestos abatement….or just about anything else.

Tips To Remove Stubborn Stains On Hardwood Floors

9/4/2020 (Permalink)

Stains Like This Can Possibly Be Removed

If you have hardwood floors and kids, or even pets, it is almost guaranteed that you have had a mess at some point. Getting those stains off or out are normally easy cleans, but for the odd stain, or the stubborn stain, the following information will help.    

First, you are going to need to know what kind of floor you have. There are three basic types of floor finishes: wax finish, penetrating stain, surface finishes. A surface finish sits on top of the wood, whereas wax and penetrating stain finishes go deeper into the wood. The latter are usually found in older homes. 

Second, after determining the type of floor, you need to determine the stain type. We will cover both kinds of water stains, non-greasy stains, and greasy stains as follows.    

WATER STAINS. You will need to identify if the stain is a white ring type stain or a dark (possibly even black) stain. There are two different methods for the respective stain types.  

White stains: 

  • Wax/penetrating: 
    • Gently rub with #000 steel wool and a floor wax 
    • Go on with a #00 steel wool and a mineral spirit/wood floor cleaner 
  • Surface finish:
    • Use a cleaner for urethane finishes, this will most likely take anything right off
    • Scrubbers can be bought specifically for urethane finishes as well, sometimes extra elbow grease can do the trick for stubborn stains 

If the previous methods do not work (for any finish type) you can try 

  • Placing a damp towel on the floor and placing a hot iron (not on a steam setting) on top of it for a few seconds. Then wipe the area down with a clean dry towel 
  • Try rubbing the spot with a toothbrush and some rubbing alcohol for a few seconds in small areas at a time 

The second type of stains, dark/black stains, can be trickier. Generally, these stains have penetrated the wood, but you really have two options (with no variation depending on the finish type): 

  • Dip a toothbrush in bleach and rub the stain. Repeat once more after a few hours, then wait overnight to see if the stain is gone 
  • You can always strip, sand, and reseal the area if all else fails 

For non-greasy food stains/nail polish and the like: you should be able to remove the stains with warm water, dish soap, and a rag.  

For greasy stains, such as butter or oils, the method of removal will again be determined by the type of finish on the floor: 

  • Wax/penetrating: 
    • Use a dish soap with a high lye content, warm water, and a rag 
  • Surface Finishes: 
    • Use the steps above for removing white stains from surface finished wood 

When removing stains from wood, always go easy on moisture and let the area thoroughly dry before doing anything more. Only use cleaners for your specific floor type when possible to avoid unnecessary damage.

When in doubt, or if you have a very large stain, call a professional such as SERVPRO. We have seen a lot of different situations and are always here to help. Feel free to give us a call at 262-542-0900 with questions or comments.  

Sources: 

  1. Kelly Roberson Updated April 10, and Kelly Roberson. “How to Remove Stains from Wood Floors So It Looks Like That Spill Never Happened.” Better Homes & Gardens, www.bhg.com/homekeeping/house-cleaning/surface/how-to-remove-stains-from-wood-floors/.  

Waukesha School Has Flood In Preparation For The Start of School

9/4/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Responds To Emergency Water Damage In Local School

A local private school in the Waukesha, Wisconsin area recently had work done to prepare the classrooms for the new school year.  Little did the contractor know when he drilled into the wall that a water supply line was right behind it, causing the mess seen in this photo.  This emergency event happened on a Saturday night as the contractor was done to the last weekend to get all the work completed.

The water intrusion started in the band room and migrated down into the kitchen area where lunch is served.  SERVPRO of SW Waukesa County was called to clean up the aftermath.  The Director of Facilities called SERVPRO at 6:35 p.m. and SERVPRO was onsite by 7:20 p.m.  The Director was very happy with our quick response and the owner of the construction company was impressed with the equipment that was used to remove the excess water.

For all your emergency water damage needs, commercial and residential, call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County at 262-542-0900.

SERVPRO Helps Family Of Child With Health Conditions

9/4/2020 (Permalink)

Mold Like This Will Cause Health Effects

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County was recently called to a property with concerns of mold.  Upon arrival and after the scope, it was determined that a fair amount of mold was discovered under 3 windows in 3 different bedrooms.  The major concern for this family was that their youngest daughter has a rare heart condition that does not interact well with mold.

After assessing all the rooms and developing an action plan, all the affected rooms were sealed up with plastic, the contaminated drywall and insulation was removed and air scrubbers used to clean and decontaminate the air.  In this photo, you will see the amount of growth that was discovered on the drywall in the bedroom.

The owner was very happy with our services, our knowledge and professionalism.  

For all your water damage and mold related issues, call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County.  262-542-0900.

Thank You To Our Customers For Selecting SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

Online Reviews of Google Are Very Important

Please review us on Google!

We are so grateful and appreciative that you selected us to serve you in your time of need.

A property loss, whether residential or commercial or industrial, is a challenge that requires a quick response.  No matter if the damage was due to water, fire or bio-hazard, it can be hard to process and cause stress to those involved because they may not know how to move through the process from start to finish.

We at SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County serve our clients in the best way we know how, and we hope that we have met your expectations for service and care?  We thank our past customers for calling and using us when in need.

Would you please take a moment and give us a review on Google? It really helps us to reach more people like you who need our caring help and expertise during a property damage loss.  Your personal experience may be similar to another further customer and when they read your review, we are hopeful that they will select SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County.  The more positive reviews that we receive and share with people, the more confident they will be when calling us when they experience a disaster.

And of course, if we have missed the mark on serving you and we could improve, please call us at 262-542-0900 to speak with a manager. We will work hard to resolve any issues.  We believe that constructive criticism will only help us improve for the future.

So please tell us how we did by going to our Google page.  On behalf of the entire management team at SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County, thank you!

Please call us with any questions or needs that you may have with fire damage, water damage, mold remediation, deodorization issues, asbestos abatement….or just about anything else.

Lightning During Storm Causes Fire to Residential Dehumidifier

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

Heavy Soot On Items Caused By a Dehumidifier That Burned From A Lightning Strike

A recent thunderstorm with lightning caused this structure in Milwaukee, WI to have a fire with significant smoke damage.  The energy in the lightning caused a power surge in this business and the dehumidifier could not handle that surge and a fire began.  This before picture shows the soot and mess left behind after the fire was put out and the smoke cleared.

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County was called to scope the damage and clean up the mess.  You can see in the photo how the soot fell onto the gallon jug and on the water bottle.  All horizontal surfaces, including the carpeting, had this same heavy soot fall.

The first step in this process was to speak with an insurance adjuster and develop an action plan.  SERVPRO, along with the owner of the building and the contents, worked together to help determine what items would be salvageable and what items would be considered a total loss.  Then the items that are non-salvageable are inventoried and photographed and discarded.  All remaining items are inventoried and photographed and then cleaned and disinfected by the certified fire & smoke restoration technicians at SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County.

For all your fire damage needs, call on the professionals at SERVPRO to help make it "Like it never even happened."  262-542-0900

Shopping Trends From the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce e-Newsletter

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

There are many shops in downtown Waukesha to choose from for local shopping this holiday season.

This blog comes directly from the Wake Up Wednesday e-Newsletter from the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, of which we are a member. Visit the chamber website at https://jeffersonchamberwi.com/

As we hear about more of our districts planning for the holiday season, the following statistics from a Google consumer survey might be of interest:

  • Nearly 75% of shoppers who plan to shop this season said they will shop online more for the holidays than they did in previous seasons, and a similar number said they would first browse for gift ideas online and not in-store.
  • Local is important!! 66% of shoppers said they plan to shop more at local small businesses.
  • 47% of planned shoppers said they’ll use options to buy online, pickup in store/curbside pickup.
  • And regarding shopping timing: 70% of shoppers said they intend to plan their shopping earlier to avoid crowds (Last half of October into November), and 80% of planned shoppers will consolidate their shopping to make fewer trips than they did in previous years.

Businesses are welcome to take advantage of and market the mainstreetwi.com portal, and also revisit our 'e-commerce strategies' webinar archives in the resources folder at www.wedc.org/downtownresources.

As a proud member of the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, as well as the Dealfield Chamber of Commerce, SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County is always looking to maintain the satisfaction of our customers. One way we can do this is by looking at the trends you create being in our consumer base, which the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce has provided here. As always, don't hesitate to call our office at 262-542-0900 with any questions or comments. 

Spider Webs or Cob Webs or Soot Tags: What is the Difference?

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

Dirty House? Spider Webs? Or Something Else?

As fire restoration specialists, we have seen a lot of fire damaged homes and businesses over the years in various parts of Wisconsin.  Sometimes the extent of the damage is very obvious especially when the damage is on the walls and ceilings of homes and personal contents. Other times the most damage is in the attics, or trapped between walls where it is unseen until we dig in with our inspection. 

One of the most common visible forms of fire damage are the black "spider webs" that seem to spring out of nowhere after a fire. These spider webs are actually called “Soot Tags” and actually don’t have anything to do with spider webs. Many times are customers are embarrassed because they feel these soot tags makes it look like spider webs and they feel like they did not keep their home clean.  So don't you worry because your house cleaning skills were not the cause.   

Soot Tags form in areas of low circulation when petroleum/synthetic based sources burn. In a fire, the heat of the fire moves into colder areas since the air seeks to create equilibrium. Since that soot is riding the air with that heat, soot particles follow the air into those colder areas with low circulation and are able to concentrate in certain areas. Since that soot is a product of combustion, the particles themselves are charged which makes it quite easy for them to create long chains of soot or soot tags. So while it looks like a lot of soot got stuck on pre-existing spider webs, it is actually a whole new structure. Spiders did not leave them.

Cob webs and spider webs are defined the same:  Noun. a web spun by a spider to entrap its prey. A single thread spun by a spider. Something resembling a cobweb; anything finespun, flimsy, or insubstantial.

Spider webs are called cobwebs because the old English word for spider was coppe. ... Spider webs do not all look the same, there are orb, sheet, tangle, funnel, lace, radial and purse.

If your home of business in Wisconsin is affected by smoke or fire damage give us a call so we can start making it “Like it never even happened.”  Our certified fire & smoke restoration technicians are here to help.  262-542-0900.

SERVPRO Sponsors and Hosts Local Marketing Event

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Sponsors Business After 5 Networking Event

As a way to promote your business and share your services with other local businesses, SERVPRO sponsored an event called Business After 5.  Other local businesses and chamber members are invited for food and drinks to network and learn more about another local business.

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County recently sponsored an event.  We provided the food and drink and was able to demonstrate with attendees some of the unique equipment used on various jobs along with reasons why that equipment is important.  

In this photo you can see a weighted extractor that technicians ride on in order to remove more moisture from carpets.  Also, a hydroxyl machine and an ozone generator (shown on the table) are used to deodorize after fires.

For more information about all the services that we offer, and there are many, please call us at 262-542-0900

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County Sponsors 2020 Golf Outing

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Sponsors Local Golf Outing at Western Lakes

Wednesday, August 26, 2020 marked the annual Delafield Chamber of Commerce Golf Outing.  SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County was proud to be an annual sponsor of this event.  This year the event was at Western Lakes Golf Club.

Not only was SERVPRO a sponsor, but they also played in the event.  In this photo, franchise owners Todd and Tina Szada stand next to their sign advertising their business.

Todd and Tina both feel that being a part of community is not just a great way to advertise the business, but it is a way to give back tot the community.  By attending these events and providing sponsorship, we believe that it demonstrates a willingness to participate and a willingness to help.

Call 262-542-0900 to learn more about all the services that SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County has to offer.  Whether it be fire damage, water damage, mold remediation, asbestos abatement or deodorization, we are here to help!

Commercial Fire Leads to Multi Million Dollars of Damage

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Is Here To Help With The Smallest of Fires Or Large Fires Like This One

A hot glue gun at the end of the shift sparked a flame in this local commercial building.  The heat was so intense that it actually bent some of the I-beams used to support the roof.  In this photo that was taken two days after the fire, you can see how the ceiling insulation is damaged and many sections where the roof had caved in.  

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County was called by the building owner and was onsite while the fire department was still present.  SERVPRO was not there to get in the way, but rather to answer questions that the owner had about what to do with filing an insurance claim and what to expect.  

SERVPRO was there for the clean-up and deodorization needs.  But we can also be there as a consultant to help guide you when you are so overwhelmed that you just don't know where to begin.

The fire & smoke restoration technicians are certified and experienced to help in situations like these.  Call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County with your emergency fire damage needs.  262-542-0900

Commercial Fire In Jefferson County Causes Over Million Dollar Damage

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

Jefferson County Commercial Building Owner Calls In SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc For Help

A hot glue gun at the end of the shift sparked a flame in this Jefferson County commercial building.  The heat was so intense that it actually bent some of the I-beams used to support the roof.  In this photo, that was taken two days after the fire, you can see how the ceiling insulation is damaged and all the sections where the roof had caved in and exposed the electrical wiring.  

SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc was called by the building owner and was onsite while the fire department was still present.  SERVPRO was not there to get in the way, but rather to answer questions that the owner had about what to do with filing an insurance claim and what to expect.  

SERVPRO was there for the clean-up and deodorization needs.  But we can also be there as a consultant to help guide you when you are so overwhelmed that you just don't know where to begin.

The fire & smoke restoration technicians are certified and experienced to help in situations like these.  Call SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc with your emergency fire damage needs.  920-674-3002

Most Electronics Can be Salvaged After Fire & Smoke Damage Occurs

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

Even these internal computer components can be cleaned and salvaged with the help of SERVPRO.

Subcontractor To SERVPRO Sponsors Set of Bean Bag Boards For Future Fund Raising Tournaments

8/25/2020 (Permalink)

Local Vendor Advertises On Bean Bags Boards At Fund Raising Tournament

At the conclusion of our latest annual fund raising bean bags tournament in March 2020, SERVPRO management had the idea to ask local businesses if they would like to sponsor a set of boards to be used at each future event.  This would allow the businesses the opportunity to showcase their business to all tournament participants and visitors on tournament used boards for all to see and photograph. 

We would like to thank Nationwide Floor & Window Coverings for being a sponsor of this great event and now having the opportunity to advertise their business at each fund raising event that we hold. Please visit their website to learn more about what this business can offer you with new flooring and window coverings.  http://www.floorsandwindows.com/

If you are interested in being a sponsor and advertising your business on a set of boards to be used at each annual event, please contact Todd at 262-542-0900 for more information. 

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County is proud to have hosted fund raising events for Susan G Komen and the National Fallen Firefighters Association.  Please consider being a part of these great events to help provide support for organizations that need our financial assistance.

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County Fire & Water Clean-Up and Restoration.  "Like it never even happened."

Summer Grilling Safety Tips

8/25/2020 (Permalink)

Outdoor Grilling Is Popular But Can Be Danerous

There’s nothing like outdoor grilling. It’s one of the most popular ways to cook food. But, a grill placed too close to anything that can burn is a fire hazard. They can be very hot, causing burn injuries. Follow these simple tips and you will be on the way to safe grilling.

Safety Tips:

  • Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
  • The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill area.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.

Charcoal Grills:

  • There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.
  • If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.
  • Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
  • There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.
  • When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing of in a metal container.

Propane Grills:

Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles. If your grill has a gas leak, by smell or the soapy bubble test, and there is no flame, turn off the gas tank and grill. If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department. If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.

Facts:

  • In 2004–2008 fire departments responded to an average of 7,700 home fires involving grills, hibachis or barbecues, including 4,500 outside fires and 3,200 structure fires.
  • July was the peak month for grill fires in 2004–2008.
  • More than half of home grill structure fires begin on either a courtyard terrace or patio, or an exterior balcony or open porch.

Copyright 2020 IMT Insurance

For all your fire damage and clean-up needs, call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County and speak with a certified fire and smoke restoration technician.  262-542-0900

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County Disinfects Railroad Repair Equipment

8/25/2020 (Permalink)

Railroad Repair Equipment Cleaned and Disinfected by SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County, Due to COVID-19

This coronavirus pandemic has created problems and concerns for everyone across the globe.  In our opionion, all legal businesses are essential, but one of the most important ones is the transportation industry.  We give thanks to those professional who move our supplies and good across the country either by water, rail or truck.

In this case, in order to keep our supplies moving over the rails, the railway professionals need to repair the sections of track wherever needed.  In order for that to occur, the railway company recongized that keeping their equipment clean and disinfected will increase the chances of their employees staying healthy and safe, ulimately allowing the rails to get repaired faster so you and I can get our supplies when needed.

In this photo, you will see some of the railway repair equipment that is used to repair the rails that are damaged or need upgrading.  SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County was asked to clean and disinfect, on a daily basis, to keep this equipment safe and usable for their employees in order to keep the supply chain moving.  

For all your COVID-19 cleaning and disinfecting needs, both commercial and residential, call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County to help you be safe.  262-542-0900.  

Proper Safety Precautions Can Prevent Or Reduce 90% of Work-Related Eye Injuries

8/25/2020 (Permalink)

Eye Protection Is Very Important At While and While At Home

How to Protect Your Eyes at Work

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, nearly 2,000 U.S. employees across industry lines experience work-related eye injuries that require medical treatment each day. These injuries can stem from a variety of hazards—including projectiles (e.g., dust, metal or wood), chemicals, radiation, bloodborne pathogens and even electronic devices.

Nevertheless, eye doctors confirm that utilizing proper safety precautions can help prevent or reduce the severity of 90% of work-related eye injuries. With this in mind, consider the following guidance for protecting your eyes at work and avoiding painful injuries:

· Know the risks—Make sure you are fully aware of any eye-related hazards within your workplace. Knowing the potential dangers that come with your specific job responsibilities is important to help you understand how to reduce your unique risks.

· Utilize proper protection—Be sure to wear adequate eye protection for the task or hazard at hand. Potential protective eyewear options include safety glasses, goggles, face shields and helmets. Regardless of which form of protective eyewear is required, ensure you know how to properly put on, use, store and maintain it. Inform your supervisor if your eye protection gets lost or damaged.

· Follow workplace safety measures—Apart from wearing eye protection, it’s also crucial to follow any workplace policies and procedures regarding eye safety. This includes using machine guards or any other engineering controls.

· Avoid eye strain—Especially if you work in an office setting and utilize electronic devices throughout the day, be sure to take routine breaks away from the screen to avoid digital eye strain.

· Be prepared—If you or a co-worker experiences an eye-related injury on the job, inform your supervisor and seek medical attention immediately.

If you have any additional questions or concerns regarding eye safety at work, consult your supervisor.

When accidents or disasters or trauma occurs, call on SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County to help clean up and disinfect.  We specialize in fire and water damage, along with mold remediation, asbestos abatement, trauma cleanup and many other forms of specialized cleaning.  If a disaster or or accident occurs, even emergency response, call SERVPRO at 262-542-0900.

SERVPRO.  "Like it never even happened."

Workplace Fire Safety Tips

8/25/2020 (Permalink)

Important Fire Safety Equipment

Workplace Fire Safety

A fire can wreak havoc on practically any building—including your workplace. And because fires can develop at such a rapid pace, failure to follow effective prevention and response techniques can further exacerbate the spread of the flames, resulting in employee injuries and—in some instances—death.

That’s why it’s vital for workers like you to play your part in promoting proper fire safety measures on the job. Be sure to utilize these tips to help prevent workplace fires and mitigate the damages in the event that one does occur:

· Stay informed—Make sure you pay attention during any workplace fire safety training. This might include fire drills, instructions on when to pull the fire alarm or best practices for using a fire extinguisher. In addition, regularly review any written resources, such as the building’s emergency evacuation plan or the company smoking policy.

· Keep it clean—Cluttered work areas create fire hazards for multiple reasons. First, workplace clutter (e.g., extra papers, empty containers or overflowing garbage cans) can easily add extra fuel to an existing fire. Second, excess clutter can restrict or block emergency exits, making it difficult for employees like you to escape in the event of a fire. With this in mind, try to keep your work area as clean and organized as possible. Encourage your co-workers to do the same.

· Reduce electrical risks—Electrical issues are another common fire hazard, especially in workplaces that rely heavily on various forms of technology (e.g., computers, printers and copy machines). As such, make sure you avoid overloading electrical outlets in the workplace and report any damaged wiring or technology malfunction issues immediately. Doing so will allow electrical hazards to be fixed before they become severe.

· Beware of equipment hazards—Equipment breakdown incidents are also key workplace fire hazards. To reduce the risk of equipment-related fires, follow inspection and maintenance requirements for all equipment, and inform your supervisor if you notice any concerns. Never use damaged equipment.

· Know how to respond—In the event that a fire does occur in the workplace, be sure to follow the building’s emergency evacuation plan. Stay calm and listen to your supervisor for further instructions.

For more workplace fire safety guidance, talk to your supervisor.

For all your workplace (or residential) fire damage clean-up needs, call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County.  Then you will speak with a trained and certified fire & smoke restoration technician who has the appropriate experience cleaning and deodorizing after a fire, plus experience dealing with your insurance company.

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County at 262-542-0900.  "Like it never even happened."

Burning Candles Can Cause Damage: How to Prevent and Cleanup After

8/19/2020 (Permalink)

Soot From Burning Candles Can Cause Damage, But Is Preventable

So, you’ve got some candle soot on your walls? The good news is that it's probably manageable. Any kind of candle can leave soot on a wall if it's too close, left burning for too long or in the direct line of a draft. The scented candles are the real culprits because the oil used to scent them can create an oilier soot, which can be a little more difficult to remove. In any case the following bulleted lists should help you remove, or get started on removing, candle soot.

Things to keep in mind about burning candles:

  1. If there is soot viable on surfaces, there’s probably soot in the duct work. Keep a high-quality filter in your HVAC system to minimize the amount of soot, among other things, getting into your ducts.  You may consider getting your air ducts professionally cleaned and duct cleaning is a service that SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County offers.  
  2. Some people have sensitivities to candle scents so be careful when burning scented candles with guests over.
  3. Heat from candles can peel paint under the right circumstances. Make sure you’re keeping any flames far enough away from painted surfaces to avoid that.

Avoiding candle soot on walls:

  1. Don’t place candles too close to walls.
  2. Trim the wicks of candles before burning them. The wick should be about ¼ inch long. This is a good habit to be in anyway because candles with wicks that are too long are fire hazards.
  3. Don’t place candles near a draft.
  4. Try placing the candles in a fireplace if you have one.

Removing candle soot from walls

  1. Vacuum off the wall before applying anything to the area. Try vacuuming with an upholstery attachment to avoid causing further damage to the wall.
  2. Before you wet the paint, which can cause more damage, try using a dry sponge to remove as much of the soot as possible. Soot can be oily, which is another reason getting the area wet should be a last resort. Whenever applying anything wet to a wall you should be prepared for further damage to occur, in which case the wall will need to be repainted.
  3. If the dry sponge doesn’t work, you can try the following method:
    1. Dish soap and warm water can be used with a rag. Remember that getting certain paints wet can cause damage, so be careful using this method. Place many drops of dish soap in a quart of water. Don’t dip the dirty rag back into the clean water to clean it off, instead rinse it under a faucet. This helps keep the water clean and avoids spreading the mess further and should be done any time you’re using a bucket and rag to clean. Work in small areas to avoid spreading the soot further and rinse the rag often.

Hopefully you have a better idea of how to take care of soot on walls. It's not a perfect process and can cause further damage even if done properly. It's always recommended that soot be cleaned from a wall before it is repainted because the smell can seep through new paint. So, the damage you could potentially cause is more than likely worth it in the long run. 

Contact SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County for all your cleaning and duct cleaning needs.  262-542-0900.

Sources:

  1. Heloise, Helosie. “Cleaning Candle Soot.” Good Housekeeping, Good Housekeeping, 21 Mar. 2018, www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/cleaning/tips/a20727/candle-soot-cleaning-aug05/.

  2. Solos, Heather, et al. “Clean It.” Home Ec 101, Home Ec 101, 1 Oct. 2010, www.home-ec101.com/removing-candle-soot-from-paint/.

Burning Candles Can Cause Damage: How to Prevent and Cleanup After

8/19/2020 (Permalink)

Ceiling Damage Caused By Burning Candles

So, you’ve got some candle soot on your walls? The good news is that it's probably manageable. Any kind of candle can leave soot on a wall if it's too close, left burning for too long or in the direct line of a draft. The scented candles are the real culprits because the oil used to scent them can create an oilier soot, which can be a little more difficult to remove. In any case the following bulleted lists should help you remove, or get started on removing, candle soot.

Things to keep in mind about burning candles:

  1. If there is soot viable on surfaces, there’s probably soot in the duct work. Keep a high-quality filter in your HVAC system to minimize the amount of soot, among other things, getting into your ducts.  You may consider getting your air ducts professionally cleaned and duct cleaning is a service that SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County offers.  
  2. Some people have sensitivities to candle scents so be careful when burning scented candles with guests over.
  3. Heat from candles can peel paint under the right circumstances. Make sure you’re keeping any flames far enough away from painted surfaces to avoid that.

Avoiding candle soot on walls:

  1. Don’t place candles too close to walls.
  2. Trim the wicks of candles before burning them. The wick should be about ¼ inch long. This is a good habit to be in anyway because candles with wicks that are too long are fire hazards.
  3. Don’t place candles near a draft.
  4. Try placing the candles in a fireplace if you have one.

Removing candle soot from walls

  1. Vacuum off the wall before applying anything to the area. Try vacuuming with an upholstery attachment to avoid causing further damage to the wall.
  2. Before you wet the paint, which can cause more damage, try using a dry sponge to remove as much of the soot as possible. Soot can be oily, which is another reason getting the area wet should be a last resort. Whenever applying anything wet to a wall you should be prepared for further damage to occur, in which case the wall will need to be repainted.
  3. If the dry sponge doesn’t work, you can try the following method:
    1. Dish soap and warm water can be used with a rag. Remember that getting certain paints wet can cause damage, so be careful using this method. Place many drops of dish soap in a quart of water. Don’t dip the dirty rag back into the clean water to clean it off, instead rinse it under a faucet. This helps keep the water clean and avoids spreading the mess further and should be done any time you’re using a bucket and rag to clean. Work in small areas to avoid spreading the soot further and rinse the rag often.

Hopefully you have a better idea of how to take care of soot on walls. It's not a perfect process and can cause further damage even if done properly. It's always recommended that soot be cleaned form a wall before it is repainted because the smell can seep through new paint. So, the damage you could potentially cause is more than likely worth it in the long run. 

Contact SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County for all your cleaning and duct cleaning needs.  262-542-0900.

Sources:

  1. Heloise, Helosie. “Cleaning Candle Soot.” Good Housekeeping, Good Housekeeping, 21 Mar. 2018, www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/cleaning/tips/a20727/candle-soot-cleaning-aug05/.

  2. Solos, Heather, et al. “Clean It.” Home Ec 101, Home Ec 101, 1 Oct. 2010, www.home-ec101.com/removing-candle-soot-from-paint/.

Residential Fire Causes Damage to Neighbor's House

8/19/2020 (Permalink)

Soot From Neighbor's Fire Settles On Piano Down The Block

Many times people think of a fire as only affecting the building owner or the tenants or people living or working in that structure.  People do not realize that fires can cause smoke damage to neighboring structures.

A recent commercial fire caused smoke damage to the neighboring house.  This damage was created by the wind.  During the actual fire, the winds were quite significant and caused the smoke to flow directly at the neighbors house.  The soot then settled on all the horizontal surfaces within the structure.  This photo shows how the soot settled on their piano and by using a white paper towel, one can see the layer of soot that was left behind.    

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County was called to clean and disinfect the entire structure.  We are the professionals who specialize in fire and smoke damage cleanup and restoration.  The damage caused by the neighbor's fire meant that all countertops, tables, chairs, desks, toilets, etc., had to be cleaned.  SERVPRO even cleaned all carpet and other flooring surfaces.  

If your neighbor experiences a structure fire, please keep an eye on your property because you may be directly impacted by the damage.

For all your emergency fire damage cleaning and deodorization needs, please call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County at 262-542-0900.  

SERVPRO Employees Get Some Well Deserved Fun and Relaxation

8/14/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Employees Having Fun At Our Annual Employee Picnic

At SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County, our team takes pride in the hard work that we put in for all of our customers.  As we are a 24 hour/ 7 day per week service provider, it means that we often work long hours and many days in a row.  Disasters never take a vacation.  

But with all that hard work, we also know that it is important to periodically take some time off to decompress and relieve stress and enjoy some free time or have some fun time with co-workers.

One thing that we do at SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County is have an annual summertime picnic for our employees.  We like to give them a paid day to enjoy some traditional summer foods and play some fun games.  In this photo four of our employees are playing bags as a way to unwind.  Even though it rained and COVID-19 is still an issue, it still couldn't stop our staff from having some well-deserved and earned time off inside the shop.

For all your emergency water and fire damage needs, or mold remediation, asbestos abatement or deodorization issues, call SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc at 920-674-3002

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County Receives Thank You From the Delafield Chamber of Commerce

7/31/2020 (Permalink)

Delafield Chamber is Moving

HUGE thank you to SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County for helping us move our large office items into the new space! We are so grateful for chamber members like you!

Megan Braatz

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha congratulates its High School Graduate Employee and all Students!

7/15/2020 (Permalink)

Congratulations Alli! Latest graduate to join our SERVPRO team!

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha would like to congratulate all 2020 graduates. It is unfortunate that due to the current pandemic we can not celebrate as normal, but we can honor you.

In particular, SERVPRO would like to congratulate Alli, a 2020 graduate from Jefferson High School. Alli has been employed as a part-time employee and we would like to honor her in this blog. Please enjoy what Alli wrote about herself.
As a recent high school graduate, I have a lot of learning to do. SERVPRO has helped me since I was 15 and has taught me many life lessons I would have never learned otherwise. I’m very grateful to have so many people who are supportive of my endeavors in my career and personal life. The amount of life knowledge I’ve gained from my time here is invaluable. Not only do I know how to immediately respond to a disaster should it happen, but I’ve also learned how to help stay hydrated when it's extremely hot. Or that occasional light headedness can often be combated with eating more greens. I've learned that sometimes life isn't pretty, but it doesn’t last forever. The lessons you learn at work don’t have to be based on your job title, they can be based on life skills and experiences as well. Throughout the character developing experience we call high school I've also been involved in the character developing experience of working for SERVPRO, and for that I can't express my level of gratitude.

Congratulations Alli! We are very proud of you and glad that you are part of the SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha team!

Firework Safety

6/26/2020 (Permalink)

This fire was started by hot fireworks being put into a plastic garbage container. The garbage container was then put into a garage.

With summer events and fireworks being canceled more people will be putting on their own display. In this blog there are tips to remember before you light that fuse.

According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), fireworks big and small, pose risks. A report shows children under fifteen years old make up approximately 40 percent of estimated injuries. Please  keep your family safe and don't assume child friendly fireworks should be in their hands.

CPSC gives these tips to those who decide to purchase legal fireworks:

  1. Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
  2. Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  3. Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
  4. Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don't realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals.
  5. Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  6. Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
  7. Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  8. Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  9. Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
  10. Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  11. After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha has cleaned up after a fire loss due to fireworks. People will put hot fireworks into a plastic garbage container that sits next to their home or garage. Overnight a fire can occur because the fireworks were still hot and will melt plastic. Please remember to put used fireworks into water before putting them into the garbage. Also think about using a metal garbage can to put the fireworks in. 

Be safe this year!

Lightning Tips

6/26/2020 (Permalink)

A severe thunderstorm has many damaging and life-threatening perils, such as wind, hail, and lightning. Lightning strikes the United States approximately 25 million times a year. While most lightning occurs in the summer, people can be struck at any time of year. In the United States, lightning kills 47 people per year and injures hundreds more. 

Here are some lightning myths and safety tips to keep your family safe.

Myths

  1.  Lightning never strikes twice. While each storm produces different lightning strikes, an object can be struck more than once. An object’s size and location can make it an ideal target.
  2.  If I don’t see rain or dark clouds, I’m in the clear. Lightning can travel several miles from the center of a thunderstorm. Even if your skies are blue, if you can hear rumbles of thunder it may be wise to seek shelter.
  3.  Seeking shelter under a tree will keep me safe. While standing underneath a tree will keep you dry from the rain, or provide some protection against small hail, it won’t protect you from lightning. Being struck by lightning while underneath a tree is the second leading cause of lightning related deaths.
  4. Only tall objects get struck by lightning. Lightning can strike anywhere. However, tall pointy objects do have a better chance of being struck. But as you learned from my encounter above, it can hit the ground and disperse.
  5. Lightning can’t hurt me if I’m indoors. Staying in your home in an interior room during a storm offers you the best protection. However, if lightning strikes your home, it could run through cables, wires, plumbing, and electrical appliances.

Safety Tips

  1. Always keep an eye on the weather. Whether you’re taking a day trip or an extended vacation, always be aware of the weather. Not only will it help you pack appropriately, it can keep you and your family safe.
  2. Seek shelter. If you hear a rumble of thunder, it’s time to go indoors. Not only can lightning travel for miles, high wind, hail, and torrential downpours can also be dangerous. If you’re driving, consider pulling off the road and finding a safe location to take cover. If you must remain in your car, avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity. Lastly, avoid seeking shelter in tents and pavilions as they don’t provide adequate protection.
  3. Turn off the water. Since lightning can travel through your home’s plumbing, it’s best to avoid using sinks, bathtubs, and other appliances that use water during a thunderstorm. You can take a shower or finish the dishes once the storm leaves your area.
  4. Don’t use your electronics or appliances. Avoid using anything that’s connected to an electrical outlet. This includes computers, gaming systems, and household appliances. Lightning can travel through your home’s wiring. Grab a book to read, or simply relax until the storm is over.
  5. Scatter. If you’re enjoying a family reunion and a storm quickly rolls in, scatter. Lightning can strike the ground and disperse causing injury. By moving apart, you can reduce the number of injuries to your family.
  6. Don’t forget about your pets. If your pet loves being outside, don’t forget about it as you scramble to close your windows. Dogs that are on metal runners or that are leashed are more susceptible to lightning strikes.
  7. Call 911. If your house is struck by lightning and you think a fire may have started, get your family to safety, and call 911 immediately. Don’t spend too much time investigating or trying to put it out yourself.

Sources:
https://www.protection1.com/resources/summer-storm-safety/
https://www.iii.org/article/lightning-safety-10-myths-and-the-facts
https://www.weather.gov/safety/lightning

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned – a defensive cleaning program

5/15/2020 (Permalink)

Our defensive cleaning program gives your business a way forward by providing your employees and customers ongoing safety and assuredness

Let us help you get back to business

As our communities re-open, we’re all moving back toward a new kind of normal. The expectations of visitors, customers, and employees who come into our establishments have evolved, and staying safe and well is a top concern. The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be clean, and we’ve developed a program to help your business meet the new higher standard of clean that is now expected.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive cleaning program we’re offering to businesses and commercial locations to address the current COVID-19 pandemic. This proactive viral pathogen cleaning program goes well beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning. By choosing Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you, your employees, your customers, and your community can rest assured that you’ve selected a higher cleaning standard – you are Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.

Extensive training and specialized products

As the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration*, we stand on more than 50 years of experience and expertise to help your business become Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.  Beyond fire & water, SERVPRO professionals are trained and experienced in biohazard decontamination and chemical spills – always adhering to the cleaning and decontamination standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local authorities. 

From formulating and creating our proprietary cleaning products, like SERVPROXIDE, at our headquarters in Gallatin, TN, to taking the utmost care while disinfecting, we will ensure you and your business are set up to inspire consumer confidence as the economy continues to reopen.

3 C’s – Consult, Clean, and Certify

When the stakes are this high, you want a partner who has developed an industry leading, proprietary training program, cleaning solutions, and remediation processes over decades. We’ve cleaned up some of the most challenging biohazards imaginable. Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned reflects our unique experiences and capabilities. The program is grounded with our unique 3 C’s: Consult, Clean, and Certify.

  • Consult – Every business is different, which is why you’ll be assigned a Cleaning Protocol Consultant who understands your business and will create a cleaning program to meet your specific needs. This program will be developed based on your business type, size of space, amount of high frequency touchpoints, foot traffic and congestion points.
  • Clean – Based on your specific business needs, your location will undergo a thorough, deep clean, using exclusive cleaning products, according to protocols set forth by the CDC. Our employees have years of experience, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform. Cleanup procedures generally include cleaning of porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting of non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for cleanup process, and disposal of hazardous materials.  In the event of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 event, we will be there cleaning within 24 hours to ensure you get back to business as quickly as possible. 
  • Certify - Once your business location has been Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you will gain access to proprietary signage, digital emblems, and other collateral that communicates that you’ve selected a higher standard of clean available to help protect your employees and customers. And because we add the day, month, and year to that proprietary stamp of clean, your guests will know that not only did you choose Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, but that your location is being cleaned regularly at this standard.

Call today for a Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation

We’re Here to Help – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – until life is back to normal in the communities we all call home.

Call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County today at 262-542-0900 for your Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation.

* #1 Choice in cleanup & restoration based Commercial Attitude & Usage Tracking study. Polling 816 commercial business decision makers on first choice for future needs related to cleanup & restoration work. Study conducted by C&R Research: October 2019

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned means professionally trained SERVPRO franchises perform the requested cleaning, sanitizing and disinfection services according to proprietary SERVPRO protocols and recognized industry and CDC standards with EPA approved cleaning products to deliver a SERVPRO certified cleaning experience.  Each SERVPRO franchise is independently owned and operated.

Things To Do Right Now to Fuel Future Business Growth

5/5/2020 (Permalink)

Continue working toward growing your business.

The COVID-19 crisis has hit small business owners in a variety of ways, and many of you likely have more time on your hands than you did before. We at SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha are always looking for tips as well to improve. And when we see good information, we want to pass it along.

Here are some ideas to help maximize your future productivity and ensure you hit the ground running when you are able to work at full throttle again.

1. Take time to learn

There are many opportunities to up your game right now. Participate in webinars or do research to learn about new skills or how to improve on what you are currently doing.  There are many free online skill development opportunities that will paint your path to further career growth.

Additionally, look over the curriculum at your local education institutions, including the community colleges that can offer custom online learning and certification opportunities, particularly as they apply to business education.

2. Stay in “shape”

No one has to tell you about the physical toll being "safer at home" can take on your body. Consider an exercise program that can keep you in “shape” so your body doesn’t scream for mercy once you put it back to work.

You’ll find all kinds of stretches, yoga exercises and workouts online and in a variety of magazines. Don’t own equipment? No worries. As the old saying goes, “All you need is sticks and bricks,” and you don’t even need those to do a pushup. 

3. Shine up your billboards

Whether you own one pickup or a fleet of vehicles, your vehicle makes a statement, much like a billboard does, on the road and in the driveways and parking lots of the places you work. And that statement is particularly relevant in your line of work.

So now’s the time to do the minor body repairs, detail your vehicles, wax them up, and be sure they send a positive message about your company out in public.

Additionally, how about creating a logo for your door panel, or upgrading your current logo? Consider getting the input of a professional graphic designer, many of whom, like you, have some free time on their hands these days.

4. Catch up on maintenance

While you’re considering how to use your vehicles as billboards, use this time to make sure they stay in peak operational shape. Check tires, change the oil and do the preventive maintenance things you otherwise don’t have time for when you are doing your regular work.  

Your work equipment could be in line for some attention, too. If you’ve noticed a leak in something, consider getting that fixed.  

5. Assess your website, social media presence

It’s time to reach out to your markets. Let’s start with your website. Is it working as hard as it could be? It might be five years old or more by now — is it representative of you and your business today? It may look functional to you, but try to see it through the eyes of a prospect who’s checking you out for the first time. Is it painting a picture of your business that you want a prospect to see?

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn — get out there, make friends and show off your capabilities. Now is the time to make a video or simply post photos and show some of the room and building transformations that you have authored.

6. Clean up your lists

Your databases are like that junk drawer in the kitchen. There are things you put in there 10 years ago and haven’t thought about since. Use this time to perform database hygiene and weed out information that is obsolete.

And while you’re in there, make a note of which past customers may want additional services.  Once you’ve identified a target list, consider what might be the most effective means of reaching out and reminding them that you are “their restoration provider.”

7. Check out some new tools

Communication tools such as Zoom and CompanyCam are game changers for contractors who are juggling multiple projects at once and are often faced with the need to share photos or videos as quickly as possible.

Additionally, take time to bring yourself up to speed on some of the tools available to make building estimates easier. Learn about different estimating programs to help build estimates, in addition to access to data sheets and product information.

For all your fire and water cleanup and restoration needs, or mold remediation or asbestos abatement, SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha is here to help. We will help make it "Like it never even happened." Call us today 262-542-0900.

But we also offer so much more. With the current COVID-19 pandemic, we want to be known as your:

"Deep cleaning sanitation company" or your "Professional commercial or residential cleaner" or your "Local commercial or residential cleaning company." If you do an online search for "emergency cleaning service near me" or "emergency cleaning company near me," we are hopeful that you will find SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha.

Visit us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Instagram!

Providing Peace of Mind with Vehicle Disinfecting Services

5/5/2020 (Permalink)

Vehicle disinfecting services now available at SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha.

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha is here to help during these unprecedented times by now offering vehicle disinfecting services.  While the "safer at home" order is in effect, essential workers and those people at home have needs to travel to work, grocery store, and pharmacies.  We can help provide a peace of mind by disinfecting any type of vehicle.  SERVPRO professionals are trained in adhering to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Our disinfecting services are available to purchase as gifts as well.  This can help bring peace of mind to family, friends, co-workers, and yourself.

For any questions regarding disinfecting services please call us at 262-542-0900.  Our certified technicians are here to help answer your questions and provide the disinfecting services to keep you and your family safe.

Visit us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Instagram!

Strategies for Safely Returning to Work – Re-Opening Businesses

5/3/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha is here to help deep clean and sanitize commercial and residential structures.

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County, as a small business, wants to do whatever we can to help other small businesses during these unprecedented times. As we, hopefully, are approaching the end to the "Safer At Home" orders that many of our States have gone through, there are tips to share with business owners on how to prepare for that.

Please know that SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha is here to help and we can help by being the deep cleaning sanitation company that you may need. We are a professional commercial cleaner and emergency cleaning service that is local.

As states begin the process of opening their economies following shelter-in-place orders during COVID-19, the American Society of Safety Professionals is recommending return-to-work strategies and best practices that make safety and health a priority for employers in every industry.

Some states and metropolitan areas have instituted their own rules – such as requiring masks or cloth face coverings in certain industries – but you still need to address engineering and administrative controls and add a risk assessment to your return-to-work plan. Facilities may start using a physical distancing approach.

Other suggestions include the need to conduct symptom checks, design work areas to limit exposure, use barriers to improve physical distancing and maintain a policy on visitors entering the workplace.

For more information about ASSP and its widespread efforts to keep workers safe today and post-pandemic, visit www.assp.org.

To view this entire article, click on the following link: Return-To-Work Strategies for Safely Re-Opening.

If you are looking for an local emergency cleaning company or have, then please call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County at 262-542-0900. We are here to help make it "Like it never even happened."

Visit us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Instagram!

Vinyl Flooring Removal Exposes Asbestos Tile

5/1/2020 (Permalink)

Vinyl Floor Removal Exposes Asbestos Containing Material

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County and SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc were called to a home that had water backup in the basement.  After the crew extracted water and started to remove the vinyl floor covering, they discovered a checkered pattern floor which turned out to be 9"x9" asbestos containing tiles.  Water was settling underneath the floor tile, so removal was necessary to stop any kind of hazardous bacterial growth. SERVPRO then took safety precautions and made preparations to properly remove the asbestos containing tile.  

If you are in need of asbestos removal or material testing, contact:

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County at 262-542-0900

-or-

SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc at 920-674-3002

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha - Going the Extra Mile

4/30/2020 (Permalink)

Drying equipment setup in the kitchen after mitigation.

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha is proud when we get calls from repeat customers! Even though we understand most people don't want a disaster in their home or place of business, we appreciate the fact that customers call us back when disaster strikes more than once to use our services.


This job in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin was a customer who used our services in 2019 for a broken pipe. He was so happy with our service that when he moved into a new home in 2020 and when he had another sewage back up, he called us again. Nothing makes us happier than being able to provide exceptional customer service! A repeat customer shows that SERVPRO goes the extra mile to make sure our customers get the great service they deserve.


Thank you to the many customers that continue to contact us for each unfortunate incident. We appreciate you!


If you have any type of water damage, please call the professionals at SERVPRO Southwest Waukesha. Speak to a certified technician today! 262-542-0900.

Helping a Retirement Community in Watertown, WI

4/30/2020 (Permalink)

Post mitigation of a kitchen affected by a water loss.

A retirement community in Watertown, Wisconsin experienced a pipe leak in a second floor apartment and the water leaked down into a first floor apartment. From the customer's past experience with SERVPRO, the maintenance manager knew SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha would provide them the service they needed in order to get their residents back to normal quickly.

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha is a preferred service provider for many large commercial facilities in our area. We strive to help our commercial clients efficiently and thoroughly to keep business interruption to a minimum. This is all the more important when your tenants homes are affected. Your tenants want to have their home back to normal as quickly as possible.

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha has emergency crews on call 24/7/365 to enable us to help you whenever disaster strikes. Give us a call at 262-542-0900 to make sure your tenants are taken care of quickly by certified technicians that take pride in their work.

How to Make Physical Distancing Work for Your Family

4/30/2020 (Permalink)

Tips for physical distancing at home.

Physical distancing has presented parents with challenges that most of us have never faced before. Adjusting to working at home can blur the line between family life and work life.

Many of us at SERVPRO of SW Waukesha are parents, so just like you, we’ve been looking for strategies that will work for our families. Below are just a few approaches we’ve found so far.  

Communicate, collaborate, and coordinate.

If both parents are trying to work from home, remember that you’re on the same team together. Try to set up a schedule that suits everyone. Some of us are taking shifts, where one parent works from 8:30am to 12:00pm, while the other cares for the kids, then switching from 12:30pm to 5:00pm. Make a plan, but leave room to be flexible.

…Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults…

EPHESIANS 4:2

Include your kids.

Ask your children to “help” in ways that make sense for their ages. You might help them make a “Time to Work” sign for you, then explain that when you hang it on the door, that means you need to concentrate. Help them make special artwork for your workspace—especially if you’ll be in video meetings. Your kids are more likely to respect boundaries between work time and family time if they feel invested in both.

Imprint these words of mine on your hearts and minds… Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

DEUTERONOMY 11:18-19

Set realistic expectations.

“Productivity” looks different right now than it did three months ago. And, most of the people you work with are likely dealing with issues very similar to yours. Be a living example of the things you hope to receive from others. Give grace to your coworkers, to your children, and to yourself.

The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Galatians 5:22-23

As much as you can, enjoy this time you have together. It may be hard to remember right now, but just a few months ago, many of us were trying to find ways to spend more time with our kids. It’s true that our current circumstances come with real challenges. But, it’s also true that we have the power to choose how we respond. We can see them as setbacks that are causing us pain, or as opportunities to draw our families closer than ever. If you are looking for a deep cleaning sanitation company who specializes in both professional commercial cleaning and professional residential cleaning, call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha 262-542-0900.  You can search for emergency cleaning company near me or local commercial cleaning company and you should find SERVPRO of SW Waukesha.

Visit SERVPRO of SW Waukesha on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram!

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha Offering Residential and Commercial Disinfecting Services

4/16/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County Offers Residential Disinfecting

During these times of daily change and self-quarantine, it is important that structures are disinfected to help prevent the spread of bio contaminants, including coronavirus.  Many business owners or business managers have been calling SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County because they are affected and need our help in disinfecting the buildings where their employees are working.

However, our services and scope go beyond the work environment because we also do residential cleaning and disinfecting.  For 50 years SERVPRO has been going into to people's homes to disinfect after sewage water intrusion, mold remediation, insect infestations and virus exposure.  These same services can be offered today as well. 

Our trained technicians will enter your home with full personal protective equipment on to not just protect themselves, but to protect you and your family.  Our technicians will be wearing full body suits, heavy duty gloves, respirators/masks, eye protection, etc.

If you would like SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County to disinfect your home due to the current coronavirus concern, please call us at 262-542-0900

Drain Backup in Helenville, WI

4/16/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO moves and cleans content as well as structures when mitigating a water loss.

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha takes pride in helping people. During a recent sewage drain back up at a property in Helenville, WI, we helped with both removal of contaminated water clean up and reorganizing our customer's basement.

It is priority for SERVPRO to be thorough when we are cleaning up after an emergency water/sewage back up. We want to make sure to clean every contaminated area and salvageable content properly.

Often times when water losses occur in basements, we find unorganized personal belongings that have been placed haphazardly over time. These items may have come in contact with the contaminated water. If that is the case, it requires our crews to move and rearrange the customer's belongings. We will take the time to go through the belongings and ensure they are completely cleaned and disinfected if they were affected. We work directly with the homeowner to recommend if any items should be cleaned or possible disposed of if the contamination is too excessive. Once we are ready to put disinfected belongings into a clean area, that is when our customer benefits from us helping move and reorganize long forgotten items. This service is included with most insurance claim jobs.

Just another reason SERVPRO service standards shine above and beyond competitors. We provide complete services with extra perks that we are proud to offer our customers.

For any emergency water damage or sewer backups, please call the certified water restoration technicians at SERVPRO of SW Waukesha. 262-542-0900

Visit us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram!

Air Scrubbers Available for Rent

4/16/2020 (Permalink)

Air scrubbers are used to improve air quality.

COVID-19 is a respiratory virus which spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose. To protect yourself, clean your hands frequently with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.

In any commercial business setting where the work being performed is an essential service, you want to ensure that the air quality within your facility is as safe as possible. The use of an air scrubber/negative air machine will help. An air scrubber is used for cleaning and controlling air quality and creating negative pressure in a work area.

How It Works: Potentially contaminated air enters the unit and passes through three-stage filtration capturing respiratory droplets (aerosols), viral particles, smoke, fumes, mold spores, dust and other types of particulates. Clean air is returned to the environment. When larger areas are to be cleaned, multiple units can be strategically placed for optimum cleaning. A 12" exhaust flange allows an operator to exhaust to a remote area or create controlled negative pressure in a contained area.

Specifications:

Power: 115 v, 60 Hz

Amps: 6.5 low speed/10.2 high speed

CFM: 1250 low speed/1650 high speed w/ filters

Cord: 25’, 14/3 gauge, safety yellow

Dimensions: 38” x 27” x 32½ ”

Weight: 120 lbs.

ETL listed for US and Canada.

Features:

3-stage filtration with 99.97% 0.3 micron HEPA filter.

Dent & corrosion proof durable polyethylene cabinet.

Two speed blower.

Built in 12” exhaust duct flange.

Filter monitor gauge.

Hour meter.

Heavy duty locking caster wheels.

Lifting handles.

If you are interested in improving the quality of air at your place of business and renting any of these units, please contact us at SERVPRO of SW Waukesha. 262-542-0900.

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha is here for all your decontamination needs, both commercial and residential. We are also here for all your water damage, fire damage, mold remediation and asbestos abatement needs.

Visit us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram!

INVITATION: SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County To Disinfect First Responder Emergency Vehicles

4/15/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO to Donate Disinfecting Services in First Responder Emergency Vehicles

We at SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County would like to give something back to our local first responders.  As a way of saying "Thank You" to them for their service and for putting their own safety at risk to protect us, SERVPRO, is offering to clean and disinfect all First Responder Emergency Vehicles from biohazards, including coronavirus and various types of bacteria.  This is all done free of charge to our service people.  We want to make the people in these vehicles feel safe while they are serving our community and protecting each of us.  

For all First Response Vehicles, we offer towel surface disinfecting and microbial misting.  If you are interested in having your vehicle disinfected, please call the office to RSVP so we can assign you a specific time.  This event will be held on April 23, 2020 at our Waukesha location from 10 am until 2 pm.  

If you have concerns about virus exposure and a need to have your home or business cleaned and disinfected, please call the trained professionals at SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County/Oconomowoc 262-542-0900.

Essential Businesses Recommended Response Plan: COVID-19

4/15/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is an essential business and Here to Help!

During these unprecedented times, most people and organizations are doing their best to try and help the community in many heart-felt and encouraging ways. We at SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County also want to help. Going forward, we will be sharing what we feel is important information and articles that can help the communities that we serve. This week, we want to share information about a recommended COVID-19 response plan for businesses that were determined to be "essential."

By implementing a COVID-19 Response Plan, an “essential” business pledges to dedicating resources immediately to identify and mitigate situations in the workplace which may introduce, expose or spread COVID-19. Each company’s plan, unique to the operations under its control, will document the identification and mitigation measures taken, including all engineering controls, administrative controls and safe work practices, and will update that plan on a regular basis for the duration of the COVID-19 situation. Below are some of the changes that are implemented during this time to help do their part to make the “essential” workplace as safe as possible and still continue to operate.

• Ban in-person meetings (internal or external) and employee convenings (formal or informal) of any size. Employee communication handled virtually wherever possible.

• Regular body temperature scans performed and logged for all on-site employees (contingent on availability of scanning devices, which are in short supply due to acute global demand).

• Immediate workflow audit that removes instances of employees being within 6’ of each other.

• Reduction of on-site work hours to minimum needed to sustain operations.

• Staggered shifts and work hours to minimize on-site human presence at a given time.

• Staggered use of all shared spaces, including bathrooms, break-rooms and lunchrooms.

• Staggered facility entry and exit procedures.

• Mandatory work at home for all employees except the absolute minimum required for baseline production and logistics functions.

• Sanitary processes implemented throughout facility (soap, hand sanitizer, single-use gloves, doors propped open, hands-free capabilities, no shared food).

• Blue tape marking of surfaces that receive frequent human contact; disinfection of these surfaces multiple times daily.

• International travel ban – business and personal.

• Domestic business travel bans except for critical operations (with senior management approval). Domestic personal travel requires employee to self-quarantine for 14 days and be symptom-free before returning to work.

• Any employee returning from a Level 2 or 3 CDC travel country must self-quarantine for 14 days and be symptom-free before returning to work.

• No deliveries except those that support production activities or emergency building maintenance.

• No visitors (including suppliers and customers) except those approved by senior management.

• Employees must immediately report symptoms associated with COVID-19 exposure.

• Employees must report contact with any person who tests positive for COVID-19; employee must subsequently self-quarantine for 14 days and be symptom-free before returning to work.

• Essential manufacturing personnel should be evaluated in the testing queue, especially in circumstances in which employers would request workers to be sequestered on site, Certify clean and then shelter in the workplace.

Please remember that SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha is an essential business and here to help. If you have fire or water damage, mold remediation or asbestos abatement, call us at 262-542-0900.

Also note that SERVPRO is Here to Help with all types of disinfecting services.  We use hospital-grade disinfectants to help clean and disinfect structures with a concern about exposure to various types of viruses.

Strategies and Resources for Small Businesses and Community Groups

4/15/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha is Here to Help with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

As a small business owner and trying to navigate through the challenges and stressful times caused by this pandemic, I appreciate the opportunity to learn about how the State of Wisconsin can help me and other small business owners and community groups.

With that said, this article was sent to me and I wanted to share it with you.  You can learn about different strategies to help your small business or resources that are available to all of us.  This article is from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.  Please click on the link to learn about different ways that you can help your business grow.

Wisconsin Economic Development Corp

SERVPRO Disinfecting a Medical Facility

4/15/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO technicians disinfecting medical facility after suspected COVID-19 exposure.

A local Oconomowoc, WI business recently had a concern that an elderly customer came into their clinic that may have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus. Because this clinic is considered an essential business as they serve the elderly population, they needed to ensure that their work environment was properly cleaned and disinfected quickly so that they could re-open their doors and service other customers.

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County was called in to help. The clinic manager knew that SERVPRO was a reputable organization and knows how to properly disinfect a structure with the proper chemical disinfectants. The SERVPRO technicians followed proper safety protocol utilizing personal protective equipment to protect themselves and the customer's business.

This photo shows two technicians preparing to use an ULV fogger with a hospital-grade disinfectant. Fogging is used to reach small openings or crevices where traditional wet cleaning methods may not access.

If you have a concern about a bio or virus exposure and you are considering a professional company to clean and disinfect your home or business properly, call SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County at 262-542-0900. We are Here to Help!

Mold Remediation in North Prarie, WI

4/10/2020 (Permalink)

Technician using a ULV fogger to treat a basement with an anti-microbial disinfectant.

An improperly vented fan in a bathroom caused mold growth in a home in North Prairie, Wisconsin. A real estate professional recommended SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha to the home owner for a professional mitigation of the mold that was discovered. This realtor had used SERVPRO in the past and was very happy with the results.

This picture shows a technician using a ULV fogger to "mist" an anti-microbial disinfectant to treat the affected framing. By misting this anti-microbial, the smaller droplets penetrate into tiny cracks and crevices that may not be reached by other types of sprayers.

The photo was taken only minutes after all the surfaces were HEPA vacuumed to remove mold spores. HEPA vacuums are designed for mold remediation. Our customer was very happy with the results.


For all your mold remediation needs, please call our trained technicians at SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha. 262-542-0900

We are Cleaning Experts

3/18/2020 (Permalink)

#cleaning #heretohelp

SERVPRO® is Here to Help

Currently we are in an unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Our Crews have Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

SERVPRO® has Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO® product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO® of Southwest Waukesha County, (262) 542-0900

Containment and Negative Air Used On A Mold Job

3/13/2020 (Permalink)

Negative air setup in containment to prevent cross contamination of mold spores in the air.

When scoping a mold job, SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha may use containment to prevent any cross contamination of mold spores released into the air during mitigation.  This is a barrier to protect unaffected areas of a structure.  Negative air is also setup to create a negative air pressure in the contained area.  This ensures that the mold spores are contained in the work area and filtered through an industrial grade HEPA filter.

In the photo, there is a plastic barrier that has been setup to protect the contents in the rest of the room from the mold spores that may be in the air in the affected area.  The negative air scrubber is setup through the barrier to create the negative pressure and filters the air before it circulates.  This ensures safe mitigation of mold growth while on a job site.

Call SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha for any questions regarding mold mitigation and schedule a scope today! 262-542-0900

Mold Discovered Under Hardwood Floor After Water Leak

3/11/2020 (Permalink)

Growth discovered under wood floor after a water supply line leaked from a fridge.

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha was called out after a water supply line to a fridge was found to be leaking.  The homeowner had noticed that the wood floor near the fridge was cupping.  This means that the floor was no longer flat, there was lifting on the edges of the individual boards.  A sure sign that there is moisture underneath the boards.

Using a moisture meter, saturation could be detected on the suspected wood floor.  With the homeowner's approval a small section of the floor is removed to confirm there is moisture.  In this case, moisture was present under the wood floor for an unknown amount of time and growth was discovered.  When this happens, it is best if the affected wood flooring is removed and the area is treated with an antimicrobial after cleanup.  This can be a way in some cases to properly remove safety concerns regarding growth after a wood floor has been affected by a water loss.

Call SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha with any questions regarding water damage, mitigation, and restoration at 262-542-0900.

Fire In a Microwave Can Cause Extensive Damage

3/9/2020 (Permalink)

This microwave had a fire and had caused soot damage to an entire home.

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha was called in to cleanup after a microwave above a stove had caught fire.  In this scenario, there was heavy damage to the cabinetry and structure closest to the source.  After the fire is inspected and cleared, SERVPRO was able to get started with the cleanup.

Fires can cause damage to an entire home even if it doesn't look like it.  From the fire extinguishers or water used to put out the flames to the soot that was created during the loss, it all needs to be cleaned properly in order to ensure the structure and contents are safe and odor free.  In some cases the material can be wiped down, but most of the time removing the affected material or content is the safest and most effective way to cleanup after a fire.

Call us at 262-542-0900 with any questions or concerns regarding fire damage cleanup today!

Damage from a Stove Fire

3/6/2020 (Permalink)

A stove fire caused this damage to cabinets, walls, and contents in the nearby cabinets.

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha was called out to cleanup after a stove fire that affected the lower level and required the surrounding rooms and content to be cleaned. This photo shows the cabinets and walls above the stove and how they were affected. The cause of loss, the stove, was removed and will be replaced. Walls and cabinets were cleaned, patched up, and repainted. When assessing a fire loss, the soot not only needs to be cleaned up were it's visible, but the all the surrounding content and adjacent rooms need to be checked as well. Soot can travel throughout a home and can be hard to see.

Call SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha for any questions about fire damage, cleanup, or assistance today! (262)542-0900.

Water Damage and Baseboards

3/4/2020 (Permalink)

Baseboards separating from the wall can be an indicator of water damage.

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha has been called out to water losses and we need to determine the extent of the damage and what materials are affected. The photo shows some baseboard separation from a wall. This is a good indicator that there could be water damage affecting the specific wall. In this case, there was a fridge line that had leaked on the opposite side of the wall and the water saturated the wall causing the baseboards to shift away from the wall. Saturated drywall becomes soft and no longer holds the nails in place that were used to attach the baseboards to the wall. When this occurs, the baseboards are completely removed from the wall and inspected for mold growth. In most cases a flood cut is then performed to remove the affected drywall and expose the framing. The framing can then be properly dried before the drywall is replaced.

For any questions regarding water damage, mitigation, or cleanup please call us at (262)542-0900 today!

Water Extraction in an Unfinished Basement

3/2/2020 (Permalink)

This technician is extracting excess water from an unfinished basement.

When SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha gets called to an emergency water loss, sometimes we need to extract excess water from various surfaces.  Most commonly used attachment to the extractor is the wand, in this case it is a hard surface wand.  The wand is attached to the extraction hose and attached to a truck mounted extractor.  

In this photo, a technician is extracting the excess water from a basement with a recent water intrusion.  After the technician extracts the excess water, drying equipment is placed.  Industrial grade dehumidifiers and air movers are used to return the affected materials to their normal saturation levels.

The certified water restoration technicians are available at SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County to help you if you experience water damage.  Call us today at (262)542-0900!

4th Annual Bean Bag Tournament - Donations by Tim Jandt

2/28/2020 (Permalink)

Donations received from Tim Jandt

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha continues to promote the 4th Annual Bean Bag Tournament Fund Raiser. Part of that means sharing some of the donated items from local friends and businesses. Like last year, again all proceeds will be donated to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. This is SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha's way to give back to the communities that we serve.

As you an see in this photo, these are some of the 80+ items that have been donated by local businesses and friends of SERVPRO to help support this wonderful event. These photos show the various wood products that were donated by Tim Jandt, a local friend to SERVPRO. We have other items for raffle as well. To see more of Tim's creations, visit his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TIMSHW/

The event in 2019 raised over $4,000 and we are hopeful that we will exceed that amount this year.

To learn more about this event or to make a donation to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, please call our Marketing Department at (262)542-0900, and ask to speak with Brad and he will assist you.

Flooded Basement in Waukesha, WI

2/26/2020 (Permalink)

This flooded basement was caused by a storm that produced heavy rainfall.

A storm had caused this flooded basement in Waukesha, WI. There was 2"-4" of water that came in through a drain that couldn't keep up with the rainfall. The picture shows the rooms and content that was affected by this water intrusion.

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha was called in to dry out the affected basement. The excess water was removed with a submersible pump, then the affected contents were removed and determined if they were salvageable or not. Once the content was removed, it was time to remove all the affected material that could not be dried in place; like drywall, vinyl, and insulation. Dehumidifiers and air movers were then placed to dry the rest of the affected structure.

Call SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha at (262)542-0900 for any questions regarding water damage cleanup.

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha Hosts Annual Fundraiser

2/22/2020 (Permalink)

National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

The Executive Leadership Team at SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha believe that we have been blessed by God with SERVPRO being a part of our lives. Because of SERVPRO, we have been able to help countless numbers of people dealing with fire damage, water damage, mold remediation, asbestos abatement, etc.

We also feel that we have a duty and a commitment to give back to our community and the communities in which we serve. As a result, on March 7, 2020 we are hosting our 4th Annual Bean Bags Tournament. All proceeds will be given to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, to help support the families of firefighters who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

Our goal for this year is to raise $4,000. In the previous three years that we have held this fund raising event, we have raised over $10,000! With your help we hope to help even more!

We often help people who have had fires in their homes or businesses. We want to express our gratitude to those who also help those same families, the firefighters, particularly those that have made the ultimate sacrifice.

If you would like more information about National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, please visit https://www.firehero.org/

If you are unable to be a part of our event on March 7, 2020 but would still like to make a monetary donation, please visit https://remember-the-fallen.everydayhero.com/us/SERVPRO

If you would like to learn more about this fund raising event, or if you have questions about fire damage cleanup and restoration, call SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha at (262)542-0900 to speak with a certified professional today.

Team Building and SERVPRO

2/21/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO team after successfully completing escape rooms.

Team building brings co-workers together by encouraging collaboration and teamwork.

The management team at SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha knows that some of the tasks that our technicians are required to do may not always be desirable. So we try to have fun in other ways to accomplish that. Fun activities outside of work help people interact a different setting. The entire team had fun and enjoyed competing against the clock to escape from two different rooms in the shortest amount of time at an escape room.

One of the most powerful reasons for team building is to get results. Through a series of planned team building events that are fun and motivational, teams build skills like communication, planning, problem-solving and conflict resolution. These team building activities help to facilitate long term team team growth through genuine connections, deeper discussions, and friendships.


1. Communication and working better together.
To no surprise, communication and working better together is the top reason why people choose team building. Everybody wants a friendly work environment, where people are comfortable and happy to talk to and work with anyone. One of the best outcomes for team building is that the activities actually work to improve communication. Many hold these activities with the specific goal of working on communication and trust. While this is a general goal for every office, you may find certain areas of communication that could be focused on.

2. Networking, socializing and getting to know each other better.
Socializing and making friends in the workplace is one of the best ways to increase productivity in the office. But not only does it increase morale but it also allows for the group to work better at solving everyday workplace issues. Holding a team building activity can be short and sweet over lunch, or it can be a well-planned event that everyone has more time to plan for! Either way, team building has all the resources you’ll need to make it fun and beneficial. By holding an impromptu or spontaneous event to show appreciation helps motivate individuals and build the team as a whole.

3. Collaboration and the fostering of innovation and creativity.
People tend to have a larger imagination when they are around people they are comfortable with. Successful team building events not only bring people closer together, but they also contribute to a more successful and creative workplace. Everyday workplace collaboration is key to a successful business. For example, a coach always has assistants to help out when needed.

4. Teamwork and boosting team performance.
Team building activities also work to improve workplace projects that involve teamwork because it helps the teams understand each other better. After completing team building activities together, employees better understand each other’s strengths, weaknesses, and interests. This understanding helps them work even better together on future progress vital to a company. When everyone is contributing their best, it sets the tone for a positive work culture. Each team is different and every individual has something unique to contribute. Once you can identify and encourage everyone to reach their individual potential, your team will be able to reach its collective potential as well.

5. Celebration, team spirit, fun, and motivation.
After any sports team wins a major championship, they celebrate and have fun, which motivates them to want to win even more. This extreme example shows that the celebration, cheering, and fun that comes with every team building event can motivate employees to bring their job performance to the next level!

6. Competition and bragging rights.
Competition has been shown to increase productivity. By channeling that increased productivity into a fun, inclusive team building activity, teams can bond in a more effective way than by other methods. Learning to work well together can take some time, but you’d be surprised at how fast teams can come together when there is an incentive to win on the table.

A successful team building activity will surely mean a more comfortable and successful workplace environment for any company, large or small.

To see our team in action, call SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha for all your water damage, fire damage, mold and asbestos abatement needs call (262)542-0900.

SERVPRO Celebrates The Holidays as a Team

2/21/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO team outing celebrates the holidays.

The Holidays are a time to spend more time with family and friends. The management team at SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha works to promote a family environment with our employees. We work with each other and we have to count on each other to help when needed, just like a family.

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha took the time to celebrate the Holidays together, in just that way. The management team treated all the employees to an afternoon of good fun and team building. Employees ate together, played darts together, played billiards and had a few laughs along the way. We even did a team building activity together where all employees were placed onto two different teams and competed against each other to get out of an escape room by solving clues and puzzles.

When you have fire or water damage and you want to meet one of the happy technicians at SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha, call us at 920-674-3002 and one of our certified technicians will be happy to assist you.

SERVPRO Crew Chief Identifies Fire Hazard

2/19/2020 (Permalink)

Heat damage to dryer outlet was identified as a potential fire hazard.

The certified professionals at SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha take pride in their ability to help our customers with any issues that may come up during our time at the job site.

One example is shown here when an electric dryer plug was removed, a safety hazard was identified. Our SERVPRO crew chief had asked the homeowner if they had an available electric dryer or stove outlet in which to use to gain more power to run our drying equipment. This question was asked in order to provide power for a larger than average amount of drying equipment needed for this particular loss. After the homeowner unplugged the dryer, this heat damage was visible. This plug and wall outlet damage was a severe fire hazard that our crew chief recommended calling a licensed electrician to inspect both the outlet and the plug as soon as possible to prevent any electrical issues in the future.

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha often finds issues that wouldn't normally be discovered. However, due to the nature of our business, we are trained to look for certain hazards. A thorough walk through can make all the difference. In this case, it just might have prevented a fire.

For all your water and fire damage questions, concerns or needs, call SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha at (262)542-0900. At SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha, our customers' safety is the TOP priority.

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County Donates To The Community

2/17/2020 (Permalink)

Tina, a Long-Term Employee of SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County, Delivers Hot Food to a Local Homeless Shelter

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County knows how important it is to give back to the communities in which we serve.  One very good way of doing that is donating prepared hot meals to a local homeless shelter in Waukesha, WI

During the months of October and November 2019, the employees at SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County had a contest where all employees were placed onto two different teams to compete against each other to see who can donate the most money.  We are proud to say that the winners were the people in the community since the money raised was used to purchase food for the shelter.

In the month of January, some of the money was used to purchase food and prepare a hot lasagna meal with mixed salad, bread and dessert.  Clothing and board games were also donated to the shelter.  The photo shows one of the SERVPRO of SW Waukesha employees delivering the hot meal.

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County is proud be able to give back to the communities that we serve in different ways. 

To learn more about SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County and the emergency fire & water damage restoration services that we provide, please call at (262) 542-0900.    

Tips to Prevent Frozen Pipes

2/14/2020 (Permalink)

Frozen pipe

Our long, cold and dreary Winter months lead to many emergency water losses caused by frozen pipes that burst. As a general rule of thumb, in order for your home's water pipes to freeze, the outside temperature needs to be below 20 degrees, for a total of at least six consecutive hours. The following are some helpful tips to help combat the cold this winter:

1. Keep Water Faucets Running
If it is extremely cold outside, always keep one or two faucets running, very slowly. Water moving through the system should prevent the line from freezing.

2. Disconnect Your Hose From The Outside Faucet
Be sure to disconnect your hose from the outside faucet. If you leave your hose connected, water is not able to drain out of your hose bib which can cause it to break.

3. Install Heat Tape
Heat tape is a great tool to use when it is extremely cold. Homeowners can install this tape themselves and it will warm pipes as needed during cold weather.

4. Seal Leaks That Allow Cold Air Into Your Home
Look for air leaks around electrical wiring, dryer vents, and pipes. Use caulk or insulation to keep the cold out. With severe cold, even a tiny opening can let in enough cold air to cause a pipe to freeze in your home.

5. Check Your Home's Temperature
Prevent temperatures from dropping below 32 degrees in any area of your home where water lines are located.

The certified water restoration technicians at SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha are help to help you with all of your emergency water damage needs. Call (262)542-0900 and speak with a trained professional who can help!

Improving Wellness at Home

2/4/2020 (Permalink)

Enjoy your time and space at home.

The team at SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha often receive phone calls from home owners or real estate agents to help improve a structure before putting it on the market. In many of those instances we are called to help remove mold from a home. However, there are things that you can do in your home to improve your personal wellness while also preventing mold growth.

Four ways to improve your quality of life in your home:

1. Create a calming space. Come up with a private sanctuary that’s free of distractions, like clutter and electronic devices. Dedicate time to this space so you can calm your mind, gain a fresh perspective and reflect on your day.

2. Let in the natural light. The sun’s light can elevate your mood and promote alertness. Take advantage of daylight by arranging work spaces near windows, using light-filtering curtains or strategically hanging mirrors to reflect more light. Natural light can re-center your sleep cycle and promote vitamin D production.

3. Add more plants. Being close to nature can improve your overall well-being. Plants add color to your home, purify the air and may even reduce stress. Bring the outside in by adding plants to every room in your home, especially the spaces where you spend the most time.

4. Promote air circulation. Proper air circulation provides a regular temperature, removes impurities, and can help prevent mold. Use ceiling fans, open the windows, and install attic vents. The more space there is in a room, the more air can circulate.

Call the restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha with all your mold remediation needs! (262)542-0900

Powering Our Drying Equipment

1/31/2020 (Permalink)

A dryer outlet could be used for additional power for drying equipment.

When SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha gets called out to an emergency water loss, the first thing we do after meeting the property owner is to do a complete and thorough walk-through or scope of the property to assess the extent of the damage. Then, it is time for our team to develop a drying plan. Our crew chiefs will need to account for what kind of materials are affected, potential safety concerns, and what kind of equipment will be the most effective to dry properly. We have industrial grade dehumidifiers, air movers, and axial fans that we use to facilitate the drying wet materials. In addition, we may use several other types of equipment depending on the type of job, air scrubbers, hydroxyl machines, and power distribution units are some of specialty equipment we use. Many homes only support either 100 or 200 amps when it comes to available power. What do we do if our team needs additional power to run more equipment? There are 2 options that we typically utilize:

1. We can potentially use an existing electric dryer or stove outlet, like the one seen in the photo, to allow us to setup a power distribution unit. We can plug our equipment into this unit to allow us to use an additional 50 amps of power. This option is most common and these power distribution units are always on our trucks to ensure our team can deploy this option quickly and efficiently.
2. We may call in a licensed electrician to install a temporary power panel to allow our team of professionals to place more equipment in the home. This option is perfect for large losses that have multiple levels affected or that have many rooms affected.

Call us at 262-542-0900 for all your water damage clean-up needs!

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County Chosen As January Business Of The Month

1/30/2020 (Permalink)

Flyer Announcing SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County As The January 2020 Business Of The Month

Realty Executives - Integrity, a member of the City of Waukesha Chamber, selects a business that they feel is doing a great job within their industry and of supporting and participating in the Waukesha Chamber.  

We are proud to say that SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County was selected as their January 2020 Business of the Month.

The mission of the City of Waukesha Chamber of Commerce is to provide resources, support and collaboration opportunities to develop and strenghthen community businesses.  

The City of Waukesha Chamber of Commerce's vision is to foster a vibrant and desirable community to live, learn, work and play.  

To learn more about SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County and all the services that we offer, please visit our website:  

https://www.SERVPROsouthwestwaukeshacounty.com/

You can also call us at 262-542-0900 to speak with one of our certified restoration technicians.  SERVPRO, we make it "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County Attends Waukesha Business Connect

1/30/2020 (Permalink)

Networking Opportunity for SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County And Other Local Businesses

Networking with other businesses in our service area is very important to the success and growth of an organization.  SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County takes this seriously as we know that connecting with other businesses and professionals in the area is vital to our community growth and business growth.

As a result, the employees at SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County are proud to say that we are members of the City of Waukesha Chamber of Commerce.  Two of our marketing professionals attended a recent Waukesha Business Connect After 5 p.m. to meet other professionals interested in networking and expanding their customer contacts.  This latest event on January 15, 2020 at a local Waukesha restaurant allowed professionals to meet other people and share information about the company they work for and they role they play.

If you are a person who feels that using local businesses is important to our community and helps in growth and develop, then you should contact us.  When you have water damage or fire damage or need help with deodorization and mold and asbestos abatement, contact the professionals at SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County.  262-542-0900

Commercial and Industrial Cleaning

12/26/2019 (Permalink)

Industry cleaning you can count on. #SERVPROsouthwestwaukeshacounty

If you’re a landlord for any commercial or industrial space, we can help you get it squeaky clean in between tenants. This industrial building in SE Wisconsin had just recently had tenants move out.  However, before the new tenant moved in, the landlord wanted the area to be thoroughly inspected. We were called to provide these services.

The landlord received a recommendation from a friend that previously used us and was very happy with our services. After an appointment was scheduled and the walk-thru completed, our Production Manager put together an action plan and estimate. Soon there after we scheduled the work to begin. This project took 2 days to complete and the customer was extremely happy with the end result. We take the time and make sure that each job is very thorough.

In this photo you can see two Cleaning Technicians with SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha hard at work on a scissor lift HEPA vacuuming the ceiling rafters.  Note that the employees are wearing respirators to protect them from breathing in dirt and dust. It is believed that it was accumulating over the past 40 years. This is not completely uncommon. Our recommendation is to always wear the proper safety equipment when cleaning. Having a plan of action, and taking step by step measures to ensure quality from start to finish is the way we here at SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha do business.

For all your commercial and industrial cleaning needs, call SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc (920) 674-3002 

Emotional strength after a fire loss

12/26/2019 (Permalink)

Life isn't always easy, but we are always here to help. #SERVPROsouthwestwaukeshacounty

Despite their size, any fire can affect your life and derail your sense of normalcy.  You may even end up settling on choices that affect your well-being and your finances. It is difficult to know whether you are settling on the correct decision. Stress, fear, anxiety, and depression may even set in.  One of the first things you will need to do is call your insurance agent and discuss the situation. They are the only person that can translate your policy and aid you in understanding how to get back on track.

Once it is determined that help is needed, an essential step is picking between complete replacement of your belongings or hiring a professional restoration company. In theory, an expert restoration group will demonstrate to be more cost effective than replacing all your furniture, cabinets, flooring, etc. as well as your personal belongings.  Insurance carriers will usually recommend restoration over replacement.   

If this cautionary tale applies to your Waukesha County home, you are not the only one. SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha is your local, family owned resource to work delicately in between you and your insurance company to aid in making a proactive decision. The goal being to restore and reestablish your livelihood, and to get things back to normal as quickly as possible.

Our goal, like yours, is to restore as much as possible before suggesting that you replace an item. This approach helps you save time and money in the aftermath of a fire. 

At the point when you enroll the services of an expert group like SERVPRO Southwest Waukesha, you can believe that we apply all of our years of experience and care in restoring your property. 

Remember, when firefighters extinguish the last flame, take a deep breath, and consider your next step carefully. Call SERVPRO Southwest Waukesha (262)542-0900, we will make sure you are taken care of. 

Space Heater Safety

12/26/2019 (Permalink)

In the event that you experience fire, smoke or soot damage, call the certified fire restoration technicians at SERVPRO Southwest Waukesha County!

If you are like us, you live in Wisconsin. Which tend to be cold, snowy and icy. Electric space heaters are generally more expensive to operate than combustion space heaters, but they are the only unvented space heaters that are safe to operate inside your home. Although electric space heaters avoid indoor air quality concerns, they still pose burn and fire hazards and should be used with caution. These wonderful devices that we love so much, actually cause thousands of fires per year totaling millions of dollars worth of damage.  

Always Inspect your heater for cracked, broken, or loose plug connections before each use. If frayed, worn or damaged, do not use the heater. If you have pets and children at home, make sure to keep your heater in a safe space away from them.

Truly, these machines are only meant to provide supplemental heat and should never be used to warm bedding, cook food, dry clothing or thaw pipes. It may sound crazy, but yes, these are the types of actions that lead to fires.. and people do them all the time.

Keep in mind the placement of space heater. Heaters must be kept at least three feet away from anything that can burn, including papers, clothing and rugs. Always plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet. Do not use an extension cord or power strip, which could overheat and result in a fire.

Please don’t ever place heaters on cabinets, tables, furniture, or carpet, which can overheat and start a fire. And most importantly, when winter is over and you are getting ready to store away all of your things, allow proper cool time for your heater before putting it away.

In the event that you experience fire, smoke or soot damage, call the certified fire and smoke restoration technicians at SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County (262) 542 -0900.

Replacing hardware is an essential part of being a homeowner

12/26/2019 (Permalink)

It is recommended that your water lines be replaced every 5-8 years. Call SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha for all of your water damage clean-up needs

Each time you get a new appliance, you may just be thinking of how excited you are to install. A lot of us forget that we must also replace the hardware that goes along with our new appliances. If you have not replaced this equipment recently, it is recommended to replace the water supply lines every 5 to 8 years. Tubes, rubber and plastic connectors break down and wear out over time. Just like on your car or even your lawn mower, proper maintenance and preventative care is a necessity to avoid a water loss.

Please follow these tips when changing a supply line in your home or business. 

Before you do anything, SHUT OFF your water supply.Turn your water supply valve to the right until it’s tight, then flush your toilet and tank or lines to drain out the water. If you do not have a water supply shut-off valve, contact a local licensed plumber to install one.  If you don’t remember to flush the toilet, you could end up dumping a bunch of water all over your bathroom floor later on the in the process. Also, it may be a good idea to soak up all the water that has leaked out onto your floor if you haven’t already. Bathroom floors can be slippery when wet.

Remove the old supply line. Use a wrench and loosen the hex-nuts that connect the supply line and remove.

Replace the line. With your new supply line attach one of the ends. It doesn’t matter which end you choose to install first. Line it up and use your fingers to tighten the hex-nut into place. Now, attach the opposite end and use your fingers to tighten the hex-nut into place.  Then take a wrench to tighten the hex nut.

Turn the water back on. Now that your supply line is in place, you should be good to go to turn your water source back on. SLOWLY turn the supply valve to the left until you start to hear water running, just be sure to be cautious of any leaks.

If for whatever reason your husband was not able to read these directions carefully, and you end up needing help… Call SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County for all your water damage clean-up needs.  (262) 542-0900.  

Wellness Challenge to Promote Healthy Eating and Exercise

12/26/2019 (Permalink)

Our Dreamworks equals our Teamwork. Thanks again Sarah!

Some people will think of SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha as just another restoration company.  However, we are not just another restoration company.  We take pride in what we do, and we are confident in what we do. By striving for those things and bringing them to work every day with us, it assures complete customer satisfaction.  Happy customers come from happy employees.  If our employees are not happy and just "going through the motions," then the customer service experience will not be as positive as it could be.

In order to help keep our customers happy, our Executive Management team encourages our employees to live happy and healthy lifestyles.  One way we do this is by conducting a "Wellness Challenge" which all employees are encouraged to participate in.

We feel that the Holiday Season begins with Halloween and ends after New Years Day.  All employees are encouraged to limit their candy consumption, starting at Halloween. They are encouraged to watch what they eat over Thanksgiving and the other Holidays.  We encourage each other to not overeat during these celebrations. Our dream work, ensures our team work.    

This Wellness Challenge included weekly weigh-ins and the winner is determined by the highest PERCENT weight loss over the designated time period.  This challenge created friendly competition amongst the SERVPRO staff.  We are happy to say that ten SERVPRO employees participated in this recent 12-week Wellness Challenge.  Even though the results varied from person to person, the encouragement that was given and received from each participant to do their best and avoid eating poorly was great to witness.  Employees took pride in their exercise routine and shared stories of success with each other.  To see their faces after a weigh-in that led to a loss of weight was very rewarding for management.

Thank you to all the SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc employees who participated.  We are proud of all your individual accomplishments!

A special thank you to Sarah, a SERVPRO Marketing Representative being a former weight coach. With her leadership and experience, these employees had a wonderful experience!

 

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County Supports Community

12/24/2019 (Permalink)

The Women's Center of Waukesha County

The owners of SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County have been blessed with the opportunity to own a SERVPRO.  It has allowed us the opportunity to meet so many new people from new neightbors, customers, insurance agents and adjusters, property managers, local first responders and other referral sources.  We are grateful for the privilege to help those people in our community that need help, whether it be from a disaster or general services.  We want to give back to the community and help promote those organizations in Waukesha County that are also helping people.  Therefore, we will routinely "spotlight" organizations that are doing great work to help those in need.

Today we would like to share information about The Women's Center, which provides safety, shelter and support to empower all impacted by domestic abuse, sexual violence, child abuse, and trafficking.  Click on the following link to learn more about their mission to help those in need in Waukesha County.

https://twcwaukesha.org/

Christmas Tree Safety

12/18/2019 (Permalink)

If you decide that you need help with the fire damage clean-up, call SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha at (262)-542-0900 as we are here to help

Christmas trees are so beautiful and can bring families together this time of year. We all have our own unique way of decorating, and no two are alike. Its one peiece of the puzzle, the Holidays just cannot be without.  However, we want you to celebrate and enjoy your Christmas tree safely. 

Luckily, Christmas tree fires are not that common. As you can imagine, they usually cause serious and costly damage.  Between 20014 and 2018, about 230 home fires per year were responded to by U.S. fire departments, killing an average of four people each year and injuring many more.  Eighteen percent of these fires were caused by a heat source too close to the tree.

As a preveyor of safety precations we recommend to always Choose a fresh tree over cheaper and drier trees. The fresher the tree, the less likely it will pose a fire hazard. Look for flexible needles that don't break, and a trunk with sap. Over watering is the perfect recipie, so Keep the water coming. The tree stand should contain a continuous source of water and be sturdy enough to resist toppling from children running around or crazy cats climbing on them. Don't choke the cord, and make sure to attach only three maximum strings of lights to any one extension cord, then place cords along walls to prevent a tripping hazard. Trees don't need warmth. Keep the tree away from heat sources such as fireplaces, candles and even a TV. Not any lights will do. Use low energy, safe lighting that's been certified by a safety testing lab. Don't use damaged or frayed cords. Replace bulbs as nessisary. Shut off the lights. Never leave the lights on overnight. Same goes for any appliances not in use when you are home or away.

In the event of a fire, CALL 9-1-1

If you decide that you need help with the fire damage clean-up, call SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha at (262)-542-0900 as we are here to help.  Call and speak with a certified Fire and Soot Restoration Technician.  

Cleaning out the drains

12/17/2019 (Permalink)

Keep your drains clean #SERVPROsouthwestwaukeshacounty

Here is information for a homeowner to add to their never ending home-maintenance checklists.  Drains and sewer lines are something that is not thought about on a daily basis or ever thought about. Your drains are the central nervous system of your home, carrying away the water you use in your sinks, showers, and toilets daily.

With the holidays fast approaching, it’s good to understand the importance of caring for your drains and sewer lines. The holiday season is great because it allows us to spend time with our families and friends. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for drains to get clogged because of all the activity going on during the holidays.

Read the entire blog on West Bend's website for further information and tips on keeping your drains clean.

How To Change A Water Supply Line

12/13/2019 (Permalink)

Water Supply Lines Like These Should Be Replaced Regularly

It is recommended to change your water supply line each time that an appliance (toilet, wash machine, faucet) is replaced.  However, often times years will go by without replacing these very important devices.  If you have not replaced this equipment recently, it is recommended to replace the water supply lines every 5 to 8 years.  Just like other items that break down over time due to normal wear and tear, the tubes or rubber or plastic can wear down as well.

Please follow these tips when changing a supply line in your home or business.

1. Turn off the water to the toilet or sink or washer and flush it or drain the lines accordingly. If possible, turn the water supply valve to the right until it’s tight, then flush your toilet and tank or lines to drain out the water. If you do not have a water supply shut-off valve, contact a local licensed plumber to install one.  If you don’t remember to flush the toilet, you could end up dumping a bunch of water all over your bathroom floor later on the in the process. Also, it may be a good idea to soak up all the water that has leaked out onto your floor if you haven’t already. Bathroom floors can be slippery when wet.

2. Loosen and remove the old supply line. Take your wrench and loosen the hex-nuts that connect the supply line to both the supply valve and toilet tank or other items. Remember: Once the hex-nuts are loose the old supply line should easily lift free.

3. Put the new supply line into place. Take your new supply line and attach one of the ends. It doesn’t matter which end you choose to install first. Line it up and use your fingers to tighten the hex-nut into place. Now, attach the opposite end and use your fingers to tighten the hex-nut into place.  Then take a wrench to tighten the hex nut.

4. Turn on the water to the toilet. Now that your supply line is in place, all that’s left is to turn on the water and make sure that it’s working properly. SLOWLY turn the supply valve to the left until you start to hear water running and, for a toilet, you see water filling the toilet tank. As the tank is filling, be sure to keep an eye on your supply line and look for any leaks.

Call SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc for all your water damage clean-up needs.  (920) 674-3002.  

SERVPRO Southwest Waukesha to Host 4th Annual Fundraiser

12/9/2019 (Permalink)

Last Year's Winning Bean Bag Boards Set and All 2019 Sponsors
 SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha is pleased to announce that we will be hosting for the 4th year in a row our National Firefighters Bag Tournament! Last year we had 63 teams play, and it was featured on FOX 6 News. We would love it would you come be apart of this event with us! Its a party you don't want to miss. 

Just like last year, our proceeds will be donated to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.  In the 3 years combined, we have raised over $10,000.  

Here at SERVPRO, we are one of the first on site to help clean up after the fire fighters have left.  It is the first responders who take the risk of helping the people living in our communities, and sometimes even get hurt while making the ultimate sacrifice on the job.  By supporting the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, this is our way to show our appreciation and give back to those families who are dealing with the loss of a fire fighter.

If you are a first-responder who is interested in registering to play in the tournament, or you would like to make a contribution, please call our Marketing Department.

We are also looking for local businesses to help support this event by donating a prize or by becoming an official sponsor.  If you are interested in being a sponsor or donating a prize, call us at 262-542-0900 and ask to speak with one of our Marketing Team members.

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha is a IICRC Certified Firm.

12/9/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha is an IICRC Certified Firm. Contact us for all your water damage needs or inquiries. 262-542-0900

In the 1990s and early 2000s, restorative drying science was in its infancy but was evolving as some leaders in the restoration industry began taking a more scientific approach. Restorers were rapidly becoming restoration specialists, and in the process, they were learning what worked and what did not work. Those restorers worked to understand the science that impacted their business and developed the technology still used today.

As restorer confidence began to grow, the training needed to grow as well.  The term Applied Structural Drying (ASD) became known in the industry as a drying course. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) stated in its IICRC S500 V3-2006 standard, “Currently, among the IICRC’s 38,000 registered technicians, approximately 24,000 are IICRC-certified as Water Restoration Technicians (WRT), with approximately 4,500 of those being certified in Applied Structural Drying (ASD). This number is growing daily. ASD is primarily a hands-on course in which demonstration houses representative of standard residential construction are flooded, extracted, monitored, and dried throughout the three-day course – although three-day drying cannot be guaranteed.”

Everyone was going to these classes, from contractors to adjusters to property managers. The fact that a restorer could reduce the cost of rebuilding a structure substantially impacted the bottom line of the final customer, reduced cycle time, and decreased rebuild costs.

The untold truth was that even with a sanitary environment with limited contents, more than enough power and with known quantities, known saturation times, and a repeatable process, these buildings still required additional days to dry. 

Some contractors and adjusters believe contractors are in possession of technology, equipment, and training that can dry structures in three days. The fact remains that these sceptics are hard pressed to substantiate their comments. Moreover, publishing erroneous materials can lead to serious conflicts between contractors and adjusters rather than assist in fair and scientifically sound practices.”

Drying Science in 2019

In 2019, the science has evolved, the equipment has evolved, and restorative techniques have dramatically improved. But with all this improvement and knowledge one thing is true – three-day drying is not the norm. Stephanie Beattie of the Center for Disaster Recovery in Barrier, Ontario stated the best statistics show we went from an average of 6.2 days in 2016 to 4.9 day in 2018.

There has been plenty of research by the restoration community and building science (engineers) community to substantiate the fact that not all materials can be dried in a specified, arbitrary time of three days. As a matter of fact, many structural materials will dry in varying degrees, depending on saturation time, atmospheric conditions and the material’s location in the building composition.

For the most part, today’s reviewers do not look at the goal of the drying project; they look at the costs of the job. The measurable cost of the job is more important than the successful drying of a project. But are those clients actually saving money? Did you help them understand the true savings?

Today, the indoor environmental profession knows more about the effects of contaminated indoor environments and the effects of mold on occupants and highly sensitized individuals. If contractors and their customers are not aware of these risks and do not address properly drying a structure, it can dramatically increase the potential for litigation and there is no limit on that liability.

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha is an IICRC Certified Firm.  Contact us for all your water damage needs or inquiries.  262-542-0900

Hydroxyl VS Ozone

12/6/2019 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha (262)-542-0900 for all your deodorization needs.

Odor removal is an essential compenent of almost every restoration job. There are a variety of options available from masking agents to foggers to ozone and hydroxyl generators, and so on. In our industry, we have noticed a rather large debate being waged over the benefits and dangers of these two options. There is a clear advantage to using machines to eliminate odors from spaces and items rather than simplyjust  trying to mask them.  SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha technicians are highly trained to recommend the best method for your odor neutralization.  

It is VERY IMPORTANT to know that both ozone and hydroxyl will remove odors – hydroxyl will just take longer.

Differences Between Hydroxyl and Ozone

  1. Hydroxyl is not harmful to plants and fish.
  2. Hydroxyl does not leave behind a chemical smell.
  3. Hydroxyl works on a larger variety of odors.
  4. Hydroxyl can be used in wet areas to help deodorize. Ozone machine used in wet areas can bleach a material.
  5. Hydroxyl machines will typically take longer to deodorize.
  6. Ozone can possibly damage rubber or leather goods.
  7. Ozone is to be used in unoccupied areas with return to the area at least one hour after the machine has turned off.
  8. Ozone is much stronger and faster and must be closely monitored.  

Both options are very effective and have their time and place on when to be used.  Depending on the type of odor and the amount of time allotted will dictate what option you should choose.  Be sure to only use experienced technicians when using equipment such as these.  Supervision of both methods is necessary to affectively remove the odor. 

Call SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha (262)-542-0900 for all your deodorization needs.  

3-Day Drying Is A Goal - But Not Always Possible

12/6/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc is an IICRC Certified Firm

In the 1990s and early 2000s, restorative drying science was in its infancy but was evolving as some thought leaders in the restoration industry began taking a more scientific approach. Restorers were rapidly becoming restoration specialists, and in the process, they were learning what worked and what did not work. Those restorers worked to understand the science that impacted their business and developed the technology still used today.

As restorer confidence began to grow, the training of restorers needed to grow as well.  The term Applied Structural Drying (ASD) became known in the industry as a drying course. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) stated in its IICRC S500 V3-2006 standard, “Currently, among the IICRC’s 38,000 registered technicians, approximately 24,000 are IICRC-certified as Water Restoration Technicians (WRT), with approximately 4,500 of those being certified in Applied Structural Drying (ASD). This number is growing daily. ASD is primarily a hands-on course in which demonstration houses representative of standard residential construction are flooded, extracted, monitored, and dried throughout the three-day course – although three-day drying cannot be guaranteed.”

Everyone was going to these classes, from contractors to adjusters to property managers. The fact that a restorer could reduce the cost of rebuilding a structure substantially impacted the bottom line of the final customer, reduced cycle time, and decreased rebuild costs.

The issue with these classes was that they consisted of a three-day class. The perception was that structures could be dried in three days. The reality is that many of these structures remained wet for three to four days after the class ended.

The untold truth was that even with a sanitary environment with limited contents, more than enough power and with known quantities, known saturation times, and a repeatable process, these buildings still required additional days to dry. 

Some contractors and adjusters believe contractors are in possession of technology, equipment, and training that can dry structures in three days. The fact remains that these sceptics are hard pressed to substantiate their comments. Moreover, publishing erroneous materials can lead to serious conflicts between contractors and adjusters rather than assist in fair and scientifically sound practices.”

Drying Science in 2019

In 2019, the science has evolved, the equipment has evolved, and restorative techniques have dramatically improved. But with all this improvement and knowledge one thing is true – three-day drying is not the norm. Stephanie Beattie of the Center for Disaster Recovery in Barrier, Ontario stated the best statistics show we went from an average of 6.2 days in 2016 to 4.9 day in 2018.

There has been plenty of research by the restoration (restorers) community and building science (engineers) community to substantiate the fact that not all materials can be dried in a specified, arbitrary time of three days. As a matter of fact, many structural materials will dry in varying degrees, depending on saturation time, atmospheric conditions and the material’s location in the building composition.

For the most part, today’s reviewers do not look at the goal of the drying project; they look at the costs of the job. The measurable cost of the job is more important than the successful drying of a project. But are those clients actually saving money? Did you help them understand the true savings?

Nobody can pinpoint where the three-day drying standard entered the industry. But the fact is three-day drying was incorrect in 2009, and three-day drying is incorrect in 2019. Based on the science we know today, it is not just incorrect, but it is potentially dangerous, and the liability of applying this standard has dramatically increased to both the contractor and the carrier.

Today, the indoor environmental profession knows more about the effects of contaminated indoor environments and the effects of mold on occupants and highly sensitized individuals. If contractors and their customers are not aware of these risks and do not address properly drying a structure, it can dramatically increase the potential for litigation and there is no limit on that liability.

We are proud to say that SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc is an IICRC Certified Firm.  Contact SERVPRO Jefferson County/Oconomowoc for all your water damage needs or inquiries.  (920) 674-3002

We Wish you a Safe and Happy Holiday Season

12/5/2019 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO Southwest Waukesha for all of your Fire Restoration needs! A local family owned business you can trust! (262)-542-0900

During the Holiday Season, candles are so festive, smell wonderful and will enhance the décor of your Holiday event. However, you must be very careful when using candles. As you can imagine, December is the peak time of year for home candle fires. On average, 11% of home candle fires begin with, yep you guessed it, holiday decorations. 

From 2012-2016, U.S. fire departments responded to around 9,100 house fires started by candles alone. These fires caused an annual rate of 80 deaths, 770 injuries and $264 million in direct property damage.

Candle Fires Statistics: 2012-2016

· Candles caused 3% of reported home fires, 3% of home fire deaths, 7% of home fire injuries, and 5% of the direct property damage in home fires.

· Roughly one-third of these fires started in bedrooms. 

· Falling asleep was a factor in 11% percent of the home candle fires and 30% of the associated deaths.

· More than half of home candle fires occurred when some form of combustible material was left or came too close to the candle.

Candle Safety Tips

· Blow out all candles when you leave the room or go to bed. 

· Put candle holders on a sturdy, uncluttered surface.

· Have flashlights and battery-powered lighting ready to use during a power outage. 

· Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn.

· Light candles carefully. Keep your hair and any loose clothing away from the flame.

AND.. most importantly......

· Keep out of reach of any small children. 

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha would like to give our warm Holiday Greetings to all and wish everyone a safe and merry season! 

If you find yourself in a fire situation first call 911, and when you are ready call SERVPRO Southwest Waukesha (262) 542-0900 to handle the rest! 

Ways to Avoid Frozen Pipes While On Vacation

11/20/2019 (Permalink)

Beach Vacation - Where We Want to Be During The Wisconsin Winter

Anyone that has lived in Wisconsin knows how brutal our winter months can be.  We all look forward to vacations to escape the cold weather and dreary days.  However, before you leave for that vacation you have been patiently waiting for, be sure to protect what is probably your biggest asset, your home.  Many times each year SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County is called to properties during the winter months that were not properly prepared for the cold weather before the occupants left.  Please read the other blog about Tips to Prevent Pipes From Freezing, but the following are tips to follow before going on that vacation.

WAYS TO AVOID FROZEN PIPES WHILE ON VACATION

  • Set the thermostat in your house no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Be sure to replace the battery in your thermostat
  • Ask a friend or neighbor to check your house daily to make sure it is warm enough to prevent freezing
  • Shut off the main water supply and drain the water system.  (Be aware that if you have a fire protection sprinkler system in your house, it may be deactivated when  you shut off the water)

The certified water restoration technicians are available at SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County to help you if you experience water damage.  Call us (262) 542-0900

Proper Equipment Decontamination Is Important at SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County

11/18/2019 (Permalink)

Decontaminated Equipment

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County utilizes the latest, state-of-the-art equipment on our fire damage, water damage, mold remediation and asbestos abatement jobs.  In order to protect our equipment and prevent cross-contamination and to protect our customers, we make sure that our equipment is properly cleaned and thoroughly decontaminated before being used on another job site.

For all your fire, water and mold damage or asbestos abatement needs, call the professionals at SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County (262) 542-0900.  We will help make it "Like it never even happened."  

Be "Thankful" for Turkey Frying Safety Tips

11/15/2019 (Permalink)

Turkey Fryer Can Cause Fire Damage

The Holiday Season, in partiular turkey frying season, is a time to think about fire safety.  SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County wants to remind everyone on the dangers of frying a turkey. Deep frying a turkey is very delicious, but it can be very dangerous for many reasons, including the high risk of fire. The oil used to fry the turkey is highly flammable and can lead to large fires, even with small amounts of oil. There is also a risk of tipping the fryer over, possibly causing fires and injuries.

Please follow proper safety procedures if you are planning on frying a turkey this Thanksgiving. 

TURKEY FRYING SAFETY TIPS 

  1. Do not fry your turkey in an enclosed area. 
  2. Keep a fire extinguisher near the fryer. Be sure it is an all-purpose extinguisher that can handle fires from the heat source and from the grease.
  3. Never leave the fryer unattended.  
  4. Don’t let children or pets near the fryer, even after you are done cooking as the oil could still be hot hours later. 
  5. Use proper safety equipment when frying, like potholders/oven mitts, wear long sleeves, and safety goggles to protect yourself from oil splatter. 

If a fire does start, call 911 right away. 

For all your fire damage questions call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County.  (262) 542-0900

Working WITH The Customer Is A Priority of SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County

11/15/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Air Mover Placed Under Carpet to "Float" In Order to Promote Faster Drying

An overflowed washing machine caused this room in a Delafield, WI home to flood.  This picture shows an air mover placed under the carpet with the intent to "float" the carpet by blowing air under it to promote drying.  The purpose of this activity is to reduce the cost of having to tear out the carpet and eliminate the need to purchase new carpet.  At the time of this photo it was unknown if the property owner would be filing an insurance claim. 

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County certified water restoration technicians will make recommendations to property owners in order to help them make informed decisions.  However, SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County technicians are not licensed agents and we can not interpret insurance policies nor can we determine what is and is not covered.  Unless something is obviously non-salvageable, we will advise property owners to "play it safe" with their decision making.  In this example, it was recommended to try and salvage the carpet until a decision is made to file an insurance claim.

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County will work WITH the customer so that as a team we all can make it "Like it never even happened."

If you have water or fire damage and you are not sure what to do, call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County at (262) 542-0900 and we will help you make an informed decision.    

Tips On Fire Prevention from SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County

11/14/2019 (Permalink)

Residential Sprinklers Will Help Prevent or Minimize Fire Damage

LIFE SAFETY INFORMATION

There can be no doubt, “Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Detectors Save Lives”.

Smoke and CO alarms in working order and placed properly give precious time to escape the structure.

NEVER, return into the structure during a fire!

The smoke in dwelling fires is deadly and highly toxic.

The worst gas created—HCN (hydrogen cyanide)! It interferes with the normal use of oxygen by nearly every organ of the human body. Exposure to HCN can be rapidly fatal.

That would be because of a lot of the plastics, carpet, glues, resins, on and on, that are now used in every modern residential dwelling.

Additional Life Saver, “Fire Sprinkler System”.

In-Home or residential dwelling fire sprinklers can usually extinguish a fire with the activation of a single sprinkler head! One sprinkler head! The future residential dwellings will have fire sprinklers.

Call 262-542-0900 for all your home and business fire damage questions and needs.  We will send certified fire and smoke restoration technicians who are trained to handle your fire damage.  

Reasons to Call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County

11/14/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO - For All Your Commercial Fire & Water Damage

From a burst pipe in an office building to faulty wiring in an apartment complex, fire and water lossess are never planned, but they do occur.  SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County professionals know that there is no such thing as a small emergency when it threatens the welfare of the tenants and the revenue of the property owner or the business.  SERVPRO professionals can provide you assistance with all your emergency needs.

  1. 24 Hour Emergency Response: SERVPRO will work to meet and hopefully exceed your expectations.
  2. Communication: SERVPRO will keep you informed on the status of your project.
  3. Reduce Recovery Time: SERVPRO will help minimize business interruption.
  4. Lower Recovery Cost: SERVPRO will help you save money.
  5. Emergency Ready Profile: SERVPRO will help you plan for recovery before disaster strikes.  
  6. Full Line of Service: SERVPRO will help to solve your cleanup needs.
  7. A Leader in Storm Response: SERVPRO will help when you need it the most.
  8. Over 50 years of business in the cleanup and restoration industry.
  9. More than 1,700 locations that we can call in to help on those large projects.
  10. Experience and training in mitgation damages ranging from single family home to skyscrapers.

For all your fire damage, water damage, mold mitigation, asbestos abatement, deodorization and other general cleaning services, call the professionals at SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County 262-542-0900

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County Returns Contents On Demand

11/13/2019 (Permalink)

Example Of The Indoor Storage Crates Used by SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County In an Indoors, Environmentally Controlled Warehouse

A recent storm lead to such sever water and tree damage that it caused the home foundation to shift which was then declared a total loss by the insurance adjuster.  This required that a full contents pack-out be completed in order to save all salvageable items and document all non-salvageable items.  In order to complete a pack-out, SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County technicians must examine each piece for damage and determine if it can be salvaged.  Each piece is then photographced and documented accordingly.  For salvaged items, the SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County technicians must wrap the item in bubble wrap and document in which box that item is being kept in.  This is important because if the owner of that item needs access to it before the contents are delivered back to the owner, SERVPRO must have a way to easily identify that item and know what box it is kept in.

Recently we had a customer who needed to pick up her satellite TV box and remote control.  This customer was being charged a monthly rental fee by the satellite TV provider even though she will not be able to use this equipment for over 6 months until her home is completely rebuilt.  This customer called and asked for the item.  The SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County office team reviewed the documents and found the items and was able to determine EXACTLY what box those  items were in.  Within a manner of minutes a SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County technician accessed the crate where the box was stored, found the appropriate box and had the item removed and is now waiting for it to be picked up.  The management team at SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County is very proud of it's pack-out procedure and is happy that we could locate this customer's items within minutes and make her happy.

For all your fire and water damage needs or questions about doing pack-outs, please call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County at 262-542-0900.

John Deere Manufacturing Calls On SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County After Water Damage

11/13/2019 (Permalink)

Damaged Conference Room Ceiling Caused By This Suspended Water Pipe That Burst #SERVPROsouthwestwaukeshacounty #waterdamage

John Deere, a large national agricultural manufacturing company had a pipe burst just below the acoustic tiled ceiling in a conference room. The water leaked across 5000 + sqft of the building.  The water affected the carpet and drywall in the main office area, one large office space with over 30 cubicles, the hallways, multiple bathrooms, and even an elevator shaft. The manufacturer decided to call in SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County to help them get their space back into order.

Our team of SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County leaders met with plant managers, operations managers, and office managers to formulate a action plan. We had to coordinate with their in-house electricians and plumbers to coordinate work to get done so the SERVPRO crew could come in and extract and dry the structure.  Documentation was completed in order to share with the insurance company.  When all the details and preliminary work was completed, SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County got to work to mitigate the water damage. Weighted extraction was performed on the carpeted areas, rubber cove was removed from areas with wet drywall and production technicians drilled coring holes in the drywall below the top of the rubber cove for air flow purposes in order to quickly and efficiently dry the structure.

After the water and wet materials were removed,  SERVPRO started to set a very large number of drying equipment pieces to dry out a structure of this size.  The drying equipment included using air movers, axial (top down) drying fans and large self-purging commercial grade dehumidifiers. While or production staff was performing their tasks the SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County Production Manager and the SERVPRO Mitigation Manager continued documentation and organization of sub-contractors needed for supplemental power, plumbers for plumbing repairs, and the clearing and inspections of the elevator shaft.

This entire structure was dried and restored within 5 days.  The SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County team was there to make it "Like it never even happened."

For all your commercial property damage call the trained professionals at SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County at 262-542-0900.  

Promoting From Within Is A Strategy Used at SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County

11/13/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County Announces Promotion to Production Manager

Recently, SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County made a change to our management staff. Deanna was promoted from Office Manager to Production Manager. Deanna had been with SERVPRO for almost 10 years as the Office Manager. She is WRT (water restoration technician) certified, FSRT (fire, smoke restoration technicina) certified and is one of our certified asbestos supervisors.  Deanna has worn many hats during her time as Office Manager. A majority of those hats were in the Production Department which lead us to consider the promotion to Production Manager as a natural transition for both Deanna and our company.  Since becoming production manager in Early October, Deanna has helped us streamline many of our production procedures.  We are proud to have many well rounded staff members that can help SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County  continue to offer our customers the best service in the industry. 

Call 262-542-0900 with any questions related to water damage, fire damage, mold remediation, asbestos abatement, nicotine cleaning, deodorization and general cleaning services.   

Asbestos Abatements Recommendations from SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County

11/13/2019 (Permalink)

Vinyl Asbestos Flooring Tore Up by Homeowner

After a leaking pipe in a dishwasher burst and flooded the kitchen and basement of a residence, an ambitious homeowner decided to remove wet floor tiles from his basement with an ice chipper.  This homeowner did not think of the possibility of the tiles containing asbestos fibers.  After speaking with a friend and being warned about the possibility of that floor containing asbestos, he received a recommendation to call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County.  A Wisconsin state certified asbestos inspector with SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County inspected the project and took a sample of the material to be analyzed in an accredited lab.  The result was positive for containing chrysotile, the most common form of asbestos.  The home owner did the floor removal without containment or proper equipment and potentially may have contaminated the entire home through the running HVAC system.  The homeowner is now responsible for the cost to decontaminate all the drying equipment that was put in place by another restoration company, and the cost of an entire asbestos abatement throughout the affected area.  

If your home was built prior to 1990, and you have an original floor covering like vinyl, linoleum, floor tile, etc., it is highly recommended you have the flooring tested for asbestos before disturbing or removing the material. 

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County is the only SERVPRO franchise in the state of Wisconsin that is certified to provide asbestos testing and abatement services.  Give us a call at 262-542-0900 with any questions.

Homeowner Makes Mistake And Tries to Remove Asbestos Flooring Himself

11/13/2019 (Permalink)

Asbestos Containing Vinyl Flooring Partially Removed Incorrectly By Home Owner

After a leaking pipe in a dishwasher burst and flooded the kitchen and basement of a residence, an ambitious homeowner decided to remove wet floor tiles from his basement with an ice chipper.  This home owner did not think of the possibility of the tiles containing asbestos fibers.  After a friend saw what he was doing and informed him of the possibility of asbestos being disturbed, he contacted SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County.  The state certified asbestos inspector with SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County assessed the project and took a sample of materials to an accredited lab for analysis.  The floor tile turned out positive for chrysotile, the most common form of asbestos.  The home owner previously removed the flooring without containment or proper equipment and may have contaminated the entire home through the running HVAC system.  Unfortunately, the homeowner is now responsible for the cost to decontaminate equipment and the cost of an entire asbestos abatement throughout the affected area.  This could all have been avoided if he would have called a certified asbestos abatement company. 

If your home was built prior to 1990, and you have an original floor covering like vinyl, linoleum, floor tile, etc., it is highly recommended you have the flooring tested for asbestos before disturbing or removing the material. 

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County is the only SERVPRO franchise in the state of Wisconsin that is certified to provide asbestos testing and abatement services.  Call us to discuss your possible asbestos concerns at 262-542-0900!

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha Couny Thanks Our Veterans

11/13/2019 (Permalink)

Thank You To Our SERVPRO Employees Who Are Miltary Veterans And To All Our Veterans Everywhere

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County would like to thank our military veterans and first responders for their service to our country and to our community.  We would also like to thank our two SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County employees (Steve and Dayle) who are both veterans of the United States Army!

Veterans Day is a federal holiday in the United States observed annually on November 11, for honoring military veterans, that is, persons who have service in the United States Armed Forces. Being a federal holiday of the US, the greatest event of Veterans Day is celebrated with huge respect, happines and acknowledgement throughout the country.

Here are some ways to honor Veterans and Veterans Day!

1. Attend a Veteran's Day Event.

2. Ask a Veteran about their time in the military, and really listen to the answer.

3. Hang a U.S. flag in your yard.

4. Ask an aging Veteran to share with you their favorite military story.

5. Visit the gravesite of a Veteran.

Fire Prevention Tips From SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County

11/13/2019 (Permalink)

Flames Like These Lead to Damage

House fires are extremely dangerous and can cause expensive damages. The following are fire prevention tips.

1. Install and regularly test and maintain smoke alarms.  Monthly tests should be performed and replace the smoke detector every 10 years.

2. Clean the dryer.  Dryer lint is the perfect combustible material when combined with the heat from the dryer. The lint tray should be cleared after each load to avoid a build-up of lint.

3. Watch open flames.  Candles, cooking and fireplaces are just some of the reasons most people are exposed to open flames.  Never leave them unattended.

4. Maintain wiring.  Household wires and cables can become a fire hazard if they are used when frayed or otherwise compromised. Check them often and replace once they become worn.

5. Store household chemical in proper locations.  Keep these products protected from sunlight or heat to avoid combustion.

Contact SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County if your home or business has suffered fire damage.  We have certified fire and smoke restoration technicians on staff to help.  Call us at 262-542-0900

Potential Causes Of Water Damage In Your Home

11/13/2019 (Permalink)

Water On Concrete Flow Due to Sump Pump Failure Caused By Power Outage

When a person thinks about water damage, they often think of severe weather conditions.  However, there are many other items in your home or business that may be a cause of water damage.  Water damage is something that many homeowners will face. 

There is a significant difference between water damage and gradual water damage, which has an impact on homeowner’s insurance claims. Examples of gradual damage are circumstances that have been happening over time, like plumbing issues in the walls causing damage to the walls, ceilings or floors, or water damage caused by cracks in the foundation.  Unfortunately, many gradual water damage issues are not covered by homeowners insurance, while storm-related water damage usually is.

According to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), the leading causes of water damage are:

  • Plumbing supply system failures. This involves frozen pipes that can burst because the water pressure builds up due to freezing water in the pipes or when the supply system materials fail, causing pipes to leak or burst. They also found that homes with ages of 16 to 40 years made up a larger portion of supply system material failure claims.

  • Plumbing drain system failures. This can occur when a sewer drain backs up and overflows into a home, or from material performance issues. 

  • Toilet failures. Toilets cause the second highest number of residential water damage losses after plumbing supply system failures and are the result of faulty fill valves or clogged drain lines. 

  • Water heater failures. If your water heater has reached its life expectancy, the tank begins to rust and corrode, which can result in leaking or bursting issues. 

  • Washing machine failures. These are typically caused by supply hose failures, machine overflows and drain line failures. 

If your home or business has experienced water damage, call the certified water restoration technicians at SERVPRO SW Waukesha County 262-542-0900. We are available to help with the cleanup and restoration and make it "Like it never even happened."  

First Weber Golf Outing

11/9/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO's marketing reps

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County sponsors First Weber Golf Outing

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County was again a proud sponsor of the annual First Weber Realtors annual golf outing held on August 7, 2019.  All proceeds went toward the First Weber Foundation.  Brad Richert and Sarah Anderson, both Marketing Representatives for SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County, attended the event. They were available to talk with golfers and real estate professionals to answer questions about our services while having a fun time playing some extra games on the course to make the day even more enjoyable.  

If you have any questions and want to learn more about fire and water damage or mold, deodorization issues, asbestos abatement or general cleaning services by calling our office and speaking with Brad or Sarah. 262-542-0900

Ice Dams in Wisconsin

11/9/2019 (Permalink)

Ice Dams can create some water damage on your home #SERVPROsouthwestwaukeshacounty #wisconsinwinter #icedams

Fox6 News Does Story About Ice Dams With SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County March 2019 was a very cold month in Wisconsin. The extremely cold weather caused thousands of homes in Southeastern Wisconsin to develop ice dams on roof tops. Weather related stories are always important to the community which is why Fox6 News asked to interview Todd Szada, co-owner of SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County, and to do a news story about a typical home with current ice dam issues.   

Icicles hanging along the edge of your roof are an indication that water is freezing on the roof before it can run off.  They may be cute to look at, but you do not want them.  When you see icicles hanging down, then you likely have ice dams forming above them.  It's also possible that you have got warm air escaping through seams where your roof meets masonry like a chimney.  In both cases, you want to find a solution to eliminate these problems.  

Tips to Prevent Ice Dams

1. Use a roof rake during heavy snow

2. Be sure that debris is cleared from rain gutters; leaves, twigs and small branches

3. Clean out the cage-like drain hubs where leaves, dirt and debris tend to collect on the roof.

4. Cut back tree limbs hanging over the roof before winter hits

5. Inspect your roof for holes, indentations and compromised seams

6. Schedule periodic inspections of the roof

7. Have an insulation professional determine if  you have the proper amount of insulation and ventilation in your home or business.  

If you have any questions about water damage in your home or business, call SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County at 262-542-0900

Penny Wars

11/9/2019 (Permalink)

Penny Wars #SERVPROsouthwestwaukeshacounty #helpingothers

Fund raising competition at SERVPRO 

At SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County, we try to do fun, team building activities to get to know our co-workers beyond our job duties.  Sometimes we will do an activity in conjunction with a fund raising project. Today we started a “Penny War” where all employees are divided into two different teams to raise money. Dollars and copper coins are positive points and silver coins, which are given to the opposing team, count as negative points. All money collected during this “penny war” will be given to the Waukesha County United Way campaign which will be helping the Meal Train for the Waukesha Overflow Shelter.  During the months of December, January and February, SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County will be donating meals to help feed those individuals with need in our community.

Please call SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County with any questions about water damage, fire damage, mold remediation, asbestos abatement, deodorization or other general needs.  262-542-0900

SERVPRO Employee Helps Save Crash Victim’s Life  

11/9/2019 (Permalink)

After a recent weekend shift, a SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County employee witnessed a vehicle collision where one car was impacted on the side by a another vehicle that went through a stop sign controlled intersection.  The driver of the car that caused the collision had some type of medical condition that caused him to stop breathing.  Our employee, who wishes to remain anonymous, is a certified first responder and knew what to do.  Our employee safely removed the driver from the vehicle and proceeded to start chest compressions as he was not breathing and had no pulse.  Fortunately, the driver began breathing on his own quickly.  After the fire fighters arrived and took over the scene, our employee stayed to be a witness for the police.  Our SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County employee is a true hero and we are proud that he is part of our team.  Thank you for your efforts and for all first responders!

Snow’tober

11/6/2019 (Permalink)

Snow fall on Halloween in Waukesha 2019

When the weather man called the forecast, I think the majority of us wanted to call his bluff. It wasn’t until the day of all hollows-eve when we arose to the sight of heavy snow flakes falling from grey skies.

This was a record breaking event for Milwaukee. Beating the last record of 4 inches back in 1926. While we were shocked, this isn’t the first time the east coast has seen heavy snow fall before Santa makes his way to town. In 2012 what was left of Hurricane Sandy caused an inland blizzard of up to 2 feet of snow on parts of Maryland, Virginia, and South Carolina. Mind you, that was right before November as well. So although uncommon, not completely rare.

On an evening when children should have been excited to collect all their treats, and show off their costumes; many counties in southern Wisconsin had to reschedule their Trick or Treating activities for the weekend following the Holiday. Waukesha received up to 5 inches in some parts of town! Though it did not appear that these kids were in any level of disapproval, as we saw many snow angels following the unexpected event.

Does this mean that we are in for a frightful winter wonderland to come? Some believe that this may be the case. The best thing you can do, is try your best to be prepared.

In the event that a disaster happens.. always remember SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha is always here to help! 262.542.0900.

3rd Annual Bags Tournament

11/5/2019 (Permalink)

3rd Annual Bags Tournament #nationalfallenfirefightersfoundation

SERVPRO SW Waukesha County Raises $4,000 in Support of National Fallen Firefighters Foundation “Giving back to our community is very important,” says Todd Szada, co-owner of SERVPRO SW Waukesha County. Along with his wife and business partner, Tina, SERVPRO raised $4,000 for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. They hosted their third annual bean bag tournament in March 2019 to help raise funds for this very worthy cause.  The first two tournaments raised money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation to raise money for breast cancer research.  This year  they decided to raise funds for a cause where they see so much devastation in their daily business.  “We get called to many fire losses and each fire is unique.  However, the one common thing is the need for firefighters to put out that fire,” said Szada. “We understand that the first responders put their own safety at risk to help others and we also know that sometimes these first responders get hurt or lose their lives while trying to help others.  We wanted to show our support and say thank-you to these families that experience tragedies for members of first responders.”   The money raised was given to the National Organization and will be dispersed to families that lost a love-one who was a first responder.  Please visit their website to learn more about the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation or to make a donation https://www.firehero.org If you have questions about the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation or have a fire loss that needs professionals to help with the clean-up, please call SERVPRO Southwest Waukesha County (262) 542-0900.

Asbestos Abatement

11/5/2019 (Permalink)

Tile floor that contains asbestos which was discovered during a remodel of a basement #asbestos

Home Remodel Leads to Asbestos Abatement 

This Milwaukee, WI home owner wanted her finished basement to be remodeled.  Before any work began, her general contractor suspected that some of the old materials to be removed might contain asbestos.  The home owner called SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County to inspect the situation. Our state-certified inspector identified flooring and ceiling tiles that might have contained asbestos. Samples were obtained and taken to an accredited lab for testing and the flooring came back positive. SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County prepared an estimate to remove the material and once the job was scheduled, it was completed in two days. By following State of Wisconsin regulations and using negative air scrubbers and building proper containment, our technicians were able to remove the asbestos containing flooring and any airborne contaminants to control the air quality during the restoration and cleanup process.  Have Questions About Asbestos Abatement? Call Today – (262) 542-0900

Asbestos found in structure

11/5/2019 (Permalink)

#SERVPROsouthwestwaukeshacounty #asbestos

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County Does Asbestos Abatement for City of St. Francis

A property owned by the City of St. Francis was determined to be beyond repair so it was donated to the local Fire Department to be used for training purposes.  Before that structure could be used, the asbestos containing material in the structure had to be removed to make it as safe as possible following State controlled-burning regulations.  SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County was called out to remove all contaminated material.  All material was tested and removed within two weeks from the initial call that was placed to SERVPRO.  SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County is the only SERVPRO certified in the State of Wisconsin to do asbestos abatement. 

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County will respond quickly to your commercial and residential asbestos abatement needs.  We have over 21 years of experience with asbestos abatement.  SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County has the training, experience and equipment to handle both residential and commercial asbestos abatement.  There are many reasons to remove asbestos from structures:  fire damage, water damage, unexpected accidents or building projects.  SERVPRO will respond quickly to your hazardous project whether it be in your home or your business.

Epic Beanie Baby Cleaning

10/7/2019 (Permalink)

There are over 2,000 different types of Beanie Babies in the world today.

We were called out to an apartment complex that had a fire. The fire originated in one unit but then spread to common areas. During the initial walk through, one of the condo owners asked us to check out her unit as well.  She did have minor soot damage but the majority of the problem was the strong smoke odor.

Upon walking into this unit, I instantly knew that this was going to be a job that required an insurance adjuster.  This was a hoarder situation, but luckily for us, this person was actually a very clean and organized hoarder.

This person collected Beanie Babies.  There were Beanie Babies from wall to wall.  They were in bags on the stairs, in kitchen cabinets, in drawers, on the couch, anywhere you can envision, they were there. 

I called the adjuster out to make sure that this type of cleaning was truly was covered.  Once I described the situation, the adjuster agreed to come out personally to view the damage.  Within the next day or two, we met onsite.  When he walked in and saw the hoard of contents, he was shocked.  But, to our delightful surprise; because the tenant had the proper insurance, she was fully covered. So we got to work.

SERVPRO was tasked with doing a full pack-out.  In addition to the pack-out, we also had to clean and deodorize each Beanie Baby that was in that unit.  As these Beanie Babies are considered “collectors items,” they all had that heart-shaped tag still attached to them.  Because of that cardboard tag being attached, we were unable to clean them with water and detergent.  As a result, we had to hand-clean each individual piece…..approximately 75,000 Beanie Babies.

This is not an exaggeration.

  If, on average, each stuffed animal was $6 to purchase, the value of her total collection was around $450,000.  That is almost one-half of a million dollars. 

This was probably one of the most time consuming and detailed jobs that we have ever experienced, as it took us over a month to complete. Though the satisfaction of a job well done, will always be incomparable. 

Home Inspection Partnership

10/7/2019 (Permalink)

Wisconsin's #1 referred Home Inspection Company!

SERVPRO is pleased to announce our partnership with HomesighT home inspection services.

We prefer using HomesighT because just like us, they have got you covered! From partial inspections, to specialty inspections and everything in between. ALSO, included with every Inspection they give mold protection, sewer line protection, warranties and more. We believe our clients will benefit from this partnership as our conjoined models align beautifully. With a focus on providing home owners with the right people and tools, they guarantee “Quality coverage and a Piece of Mind everyone deserves.”

They Inspect:

  • Site - Retaining walls, driveways, sidewalks, patios, decks, steps, landscaping, drainage.
  • Exterior / Structure - Balconies, porches, chimneys, walls, trim, eaves, foundations, basements, crawl spaces framing.
  • Attic / Roof - Gutters, downspout, flashing, roof material, ventilation, insulation.
  • Plumbing - Water heater, main line, distribution lines, drain pipes, fuel system.
  • Electrical-Service, main panel, sub panel, wiring, lights, outlets.
  • Heating / Air Conditioning - Heating equipment, distribution, venting, cooling equipment.
  • Kitchen - Counters, cabinets, dishwashers, garbage disposal, plumbing, built-in appliances
  • Bathrooms - Toilets, sinks, tubs, showers, ventilation, heaters.
  • Interior - Ceilings, walls, flooring, doors, windows, smoke alarms, stairs, fireplaces.

Discover their services at

www.mkehs.com

Mention SERVPRO and receive 5% off of their services! 

Local Weather Report: Rainwater and Tornadoes,

10/3/2019 (Permalink)

The National Weather Service reported 6 different cities that were affected in Southern Wisconsin on October 1st.

Violent thunderstorms dropped anywhere between 5-8 inches of rain water and produced two Tornadoes on Tuesday, October 1st 2019.  The National Weather Service office in Sullivan followed by surveying the storms' aftermath.

From what they calculated,  numerous trees were snapped or completely uprooted! Roofs were damaged on several buildings. Trees were blown down, including one that landed on a house. Also, a construction trailer "that was not there before the storm," reportedly ended up in someone's yard.  

These storms in our area, just keeping getting worse and worse. And they show no signs of stopping!

Luckily, there were no immediate reports of any injuries as a result of the storms.  

The flooding from these never ending storms, has closed multiple roads and wreaked havoc across the state. We urge all residents to be mindful of their delayed commutes to and from their work and homes. 

Nearly every day, flooding happens somewhere in the United States or its territories. Flooding can cause more damage in the United States than any other weather-related event...with an average of 8 billion dollars a year. Flooding is also one of America's most underrated killers, causing nearly 90 fatalities per year. 

Good preparation and knowing what to do in a flood will increase your safety and chances of survival if it happens in your area. It can also help minimize potential flood damage and accelerate recovery efforts.

Cats, Cats, Cats

10/3/2019 (Permalink)

Cat hoarding is a very complex mental health issue that effects animal welfare, and is a serious public safety concern.

One night watching the local late-night news, a story came on about a woman who was evicted from her apartment for housing 27 cats.  The next morning, SERVPRO received the call from the property owner to help clean up and deodorize after this tenant. 

Our customer was the owner of this building and this building was his childhood home. Due to its condition, the building itself was condemned by the City of Milwaukee.  However, the City agreed to let him try and salvage the structure because he did not want to lose this home.  That is where SERVPRO came in.  The home owner wanted SERVPRO to remove all debris and try to disinfect and deodorize everything. 

Cat urine is one of the most difficult odors to remove.  This property smelled so bad that you could smell it from the middle of street in front of the home.  Not only did this lady love her 27 cats, but she also was a hoarder. 

We went through five 40-yard dumpsters of debris; all coming from a home approximately 800 square feet.  That is a lot of debris.  There is one thing that was forgotten to be mentioned to SERVPRO; it was 27 LIVING cats that were removed from the home by the local Human Society.  No one mentioned the dead cats that were discovered in the home.  So, we had to remove those as well.

While removing the debris from the basement, it was discovered that there was a previous sewer back-up in the home that no one had any idea how long it has been there.  So now, we also had to do a sewage cleaning and disinfecting on this property as well. You would not believe the scent from this place. 

After our attempt, we finally came to the conclusion that this home was beyond deodorization and repair.  The cat smell was so bad that it got into the hardwood floors, in the wood framing and many other structural areas.  SERVPRO, along with other related sub-contractors, tried to salvage the property but it just could not be done. 

Within a few weeks after we left, the building was demolished.  Unfortunately, this is not a happy ending.  However, the moral of the story is that if you have rental property, it is wise to keep a close eye on your investment to make sure that the tenants treat your property with respect.   

Scoping Tools

10/3/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Moisture Meter

How do we detect the extend of water damage from water leaks, bathroom overflows, storm flooding and the many other causes of water damage? We at SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha use industry standard scoping tools to detect  moisture levels.  This allows us at to effectively dry the affected areas with state-of-the-art drying equipment. 

Scoping involves locating the areas of the structure affected by water and defining the extent to which the structure and contents have absorbed moisture. Moisture detection devices are also used to verify that an environment has been dried thoroughly. SERVPRO of Dane County West uses the following equipment:

  • Moisture Sensors are used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards and walls.
  • Moisture Meters are used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials.  The moisture tester provides accurate moisture readings that enable SERVPRO of Dane County West to monitor the drying process.
  • Thermohygrometers measure both temperature and relative humidity. Capturing these two readings, a SERVPRO of Dane County West Professional using a psychrometric chart can calculate specific humidity, dew point and vapor pressure. 

Once the scoping is completed and the affected areas are identified, we use Psychrometry to measure and evaluate air conditions to create the proper atmosphere for optimal drying. Psychometry is the study of the air and its properties of temperature, humidity, vapor pressure and dew point. They are are measured to evaluate air conditions in the structure, enabling SERVPRO of Dane County West Professionals to create the proper atmosphere for more efficient drying. 

Water can damage materials in two ways: first, by absorption through direct contact with water; and second, absorption of moisture from the air. Measuring the moisture content of the air is critical to the drying process. 

They also understand how to manipulate temperature and humidity levels to produce optimum drying conditions with state of the art detection equipment, without causing secondary damages through improper drying processes. 

Asbestos Abatement: Government facilities.

10/2/2019 (Permalink)

Ask us about our Asbestos Awareness Class

The United States Government uses SERVPRO from time to time. Primarily when they need to get rid of asbestos. Asbestos is very common in many of their buildings because of the year they were built. Asbestos may be present in textured paint and in patching compounds used on wall and ceiling joints. Their use was not banned until 1977.

It can be found in thermal system insulation, climate insulation, plaster wall & ceiling systems, electrical systems, and tiles, wallboard, siding, roofing shingles, roofing felt, base flashing, cement wallboard, cement siding, ceiling tiles and lay-in panels, asphalt floor tile, vinyl sheet flooring, flooring backing, and vinyl wall coverings. 

In order to remove or securely bind asbestos fibers during restoration or renovation, a Certified Asbestos Abatement Company is needed to perform the project.  The process of asbestos abatement in a government facility can be very time consuming.  After a bid is accepted by the Government, a lengthy process of project planning follows. The Department of Natural Resources must be notified of almost all commercial abatement projects, and a permit is required for any work needing to be done.  Depending on the location of the building, there may also be a permit required with the City.

In many cases, the crew that will perform the work needs to pass a background check in order to receive clearance to be in the building.  In the state of Wisconsin, there is a 10 working day wait period before any regulated asbestos work can be started.

Once the abatement process has started, there are many regulations that must be followed throughout the project.  Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that can cause multiple different diseases in the lungs and the lining around internal organs if it is disturbed. It must be handled with extreme care. Therefore, all projects must be done very precisely. 

All state certified Asbestos Supervisors and Workers are required to wear safety gear.  A decontamination chamber is also set up for all workers to move through in order to ensure asbestos fibers do not leave the regulated area. There are air samples taken before and after. 

When the project is completed, air quality samples are taken to ensure cleanliness. The waste also needs to be properly disposed of, with many steps that need to be followed with accuracy. All asbestos containing waste must be taken to a certified landfill and buried.

Contact Us at 262-542-0900 if you have any questions, comments, or concerns about Asbestos Abatement.   

Bursting Pipes are no match for Quick Respondents

10/2/2019 (Permalink)

No job is too big for SERVPRO.

A large manufacturing company had a pipe burst above the acoustic tiled ceiling in a conference room. The water leaked across 5000 + sqft of the building. Impacting the carpet and drywall in the main office area, the hallways, bathrooms, and even the elevator shafts. The manufacturer decided to call in our franchise of SERVPRO to help them get their plant back into order.

We met with plant managers, operations managers, and office managers to formulate a action plan. Specific documentation was done immediately of the damage to show the insurance company as we could not wait for them to show up before we began work. After documentation of a space  was completed SERVPRO got to work to mitigate the water damage.

We started first by using a weighted extraction method on the carpeted areas. Rubber cove was removed from areas with wet drywall, production staff then drilled coring holes in the drywall below the top of the rubber cove for air flow to get into during the drying process.

After initial stabilization and mitigation was performed SERVPRO started to set a very large number of drying equipment.

While our production staff was performing that work the production manager and mitigation manager continued documentation and organization of sub-contractors needed for supplemental power, plumbers for plumbing repairs, and the clearing and inspections of elevator shafts.

After all physical mitigation work was done the drying equipment pulled out all the excess moister in the structure. After that was completed the structure was put back together to look better then it started pre-pipe burst.

Wild Deer

10/1/2019 (Permalink)

Deer makes a surprise visit.

On a Friday morning around 8:20 a.m., we received a call from a local day care center stating that they had a wild deer jump through their big picture window around 8:10 a.m.  The owner Todd, knowing this had to be taken care of immediately, arrived approximately 8:45 a.m. to scope the job and immediately discovered a whole lot of blood, almost in every room!  The manager of the center stated that when the deer jumped through the window, the glass cut the deer in many places.  As the staff tried to round up the deer, parents were trying to drop off their children for the day. People were then walking in the blood and transferring the blood on their shoes into other non-affected areas. It was a very traumatic scene!

After the local police arrived and managed to get the deer out of the building, all that was left was a big biohazard mess.  To make this job even more difficult, the manager told me that the center had to be ready to be opened by 7 a.m. the following Monday.  Wow, challenge accepted!

 We had to remove all contaminated carpet, clean and disinfect the walls and floors, clean and disinfect EVERY toy (yes, every Lego and every wood block) and all other contents.  Not to mention, we also had to install the new carpet over the weekend. 

We worked long hours with multiple shifts, but we had that entire job completed by 3:30 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.  The customer was extremely happy because she was able to open as planned on Monday morning.  She never thought that we could do it. 

Living in Wisconsin we are used to seeing wild deer. Let it be know that deer belong in the wild, not inside of our offices or homes.  

Demolition Food for Thought

10/1/2019 (Permalink)

Asbestos is highly regulated by the Government

Some customers approach us with cleaning and restoration requests because their property is so severely damaged that it is beyond repair but they need us to prepare the building for demolition. 

There are many things that must get done before the wrecking crew shows up.  It takes time and required steps in order to plan for a building to be knocked down. 

One of the first things that must occur before any demolition begins is to have a Site Hazardous Assessment completed.  This completed report must identify if there are any potential asbestos containing materials in that structure and their specific location. If there is any confirmed asbestos material, a plan must be developed in order to remove those materials. This work can only be done by a Wisconsin Certified Asbestos Abatement Company.

We had a customer who wanted to tear down an old section of his building in order to build a new, automated building for his manufacturing plant.  He was told by his local building inspector that a Site Hazardous Assessment had to be completed first.  This customer called on us to perform that service.  The Wisconsin State Certified Asbestos Inspector was sent to the property and approximately 70 samples were obtained. Of the 70, 12 test positive.

This customer knew that before the building could be torn down, that the asbestos had to be removed.  An estimate was provided to the property owner and that owner eventually signed with us. 

Asbestos Abatement is highly regulated by the Government.   Permits must be obtained and action plans provided.  This all takes time. 

In summary, knocking down a commercial building is no simple task.  There are many steps in between that must be taken before the wrecking ball shows up.  You must consider all these steps in determining whether you want that building knocked down. Most importantly, you must call on a Wisconsin Certified Asbestos Abatement Company to have it removed and disposed of properly.

  

Waukesha Farmers Market

9/30/2019 (Permalink)

We can't wait to meet you! Stop by our booth and say "hello!"

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County takes great pride in being a part of our local neighborhood. We understand that communities like ours hold America together. We want to do our part to ensure that our residents thrive by helping those less fortunate, keeping the area safe and helping to make our city the best it can be.

Our Marketing Department keeps busy on the weekends by getting involved in our local Farmers Market in Waukesha, WI. We get excited to see all the friendly faces that come to enjoy the event. At no cost to parents, we offer face painting to all the children that attend.

For nearly 17 years, Waukesha has been hosting their Farmers Market with each year rapidly growing in attendees. You can find all different types of vendors from local produce, professional marketers, flowers, and arts and crafts. We hope to see you there.

Hail is a Nasty Bugger

9/26/2019 (Permalink)

Hail the size of golf balls can cause serious damage.

Hail damage can have HUGE repairs and costs. The good news is, it may be covered under your insurance. The bad news is.. The severity can gather in lengths we wouldn't wish upon anyone!

While you aren't Mother Nature herself, and you can’t predict a storm, you can take steps to protect yourself, your car, your home and your business from hail damage.

Hail Safety Tips -

  • Don’t go outside 
  • Stay away from windows
  • Lock up your pets indoors
  • Don’t take shelter in a ditch or anywhere that can flood. Trees aren’t preferable for shelter because they can drop branches.
  • If you can’t find shelter, protect your head as best as possible.

Hail Tips for your Car-

If You Aren’t Driving

  • Keep your car in the garage.
  • If you don’t have a garage, put blankets or your car’s floor mats over the windshield to protect it before the storm.

If You Are Driving:

  • If you are driving during hail, pull off the road as soon as safely possible. Hail damage is greater when a vehicle is moving.
  • It’s best to pull beneath a covering, such as a gas station or parking garage.
  • If it’s not possible to get cover, get your car out of traffic and angle it so the hail hits the windshield.
  • Stay inside your vehicle. If possible, lie down away from the window or put a coat or blanket over your face to protect it from breaking glass.

Last but not least, after a storm, check the interior and exterior of your roof for loose shingles or sheathing (plywood nailed to the rafters) and other signs of disrepair such as leaks. Make sure your storm drains and gutters are clear of debris. 

While precautions can prevent a lot of hail damage, some damage may be inevitable. Keep everything in mind, because the damage can be costly and the repairs can be timely. 

The Importance of Renters Insurance

9/25/2019 (Permalink)

Hillcrest Apartments Lightning Fire September 2019

Firefighters believe lightning sparked a fire at the Hillcrest Apartments on East Main Street at Shepherd Court in Waukesha, WI a few weeks ago. This is one of the largest fires our city as seen this year. This tragic event, happened so quickly, without a moment to prepare. 

It wasn't shortly after, that we received a call about the disaster. This building was severely damaged on the 3rd floor and it caused over 300 residents to be displaced from their homes. 

Less than 20% of the tenants had renters insurance. 

Renter’s insurance is very inexpensive and worth every penny.  You may trust yourself not to cause an accident. You may be one of the most careful tenants out there. But it is the unknown or the neighbors that can cause these types of issues right when you are least expecting it. You will be the one forced to deal with the aftermath, so why not retrieve coverage before its too late.

If a disaster occurs and you do not have renter’s insurance, it will be your financial responsibility to box and move everything out, clean and deodorize the items, pay for temporary storage, and then move your items back in. The stress alone can be daunting.  

The Red Cross has opened a shelter at Elmbrook Church for these displaced residents, and Goodwill is also assisting.

Our hearts pour out to these families, as we keep them in our prayers and we ask you to do the same. 

Better In Numbers

9/16/2019 (Permalink)

When Disaster Strikes Call 1 800 SERVPRO

As the largest restoration company in the United States, when a Natural Disaster strikes, we can call upon the other SERVPRO franchises to help us in times of high demand or in times where a job is just so big that we need additional reinforcements to help us get the job done in a timely manner.  Because SERVPRO is the largest restoration company in the USA, we can get additional resources to job sites in a matter of hours, not days! It is truly remarkable how much our team work and dedication as a large corporation can come together when the country is experiencing a time of need. In emergency situations, time is of the essence so the faster the job can begin, the faster we can mitigate the problem. They say, Team work makes the Dream Work, and that is the SERVPRO way! 

Helping the Community in a Storm Event

9/14/2019 (Permalink)

Ground water in a basement. #SERVPROsouthwestwaukeshacounty #stormdamage #waterinbasement

Three to four times a year we experience a microburst of rain or bad weather.  Today was one of those days.  Having the severe weather last night and a total of 6 inches of rain over the last 4 days, we have a HUGE increase in the volume of calls for emergency water damage. We will have crews working all through the weekend to help as much as possible. Unfortunately, at times like this, we just can’t provide help to everyone that asks us. 

People assume that when they have all this water in their basement that insurance will cover the damage. However, in many cases, ground water intrusion is not a covered event. Sump pump failure usually is covered, but water coming in from under the foundation or through the foundation typically is not covered. In times like these, we recommend that you call your insurance agent to determine if you have coverage. We are not licensed agents so we cannot interpret insurance policies or determine coverage.  When there is no coverage, the customer can decide to pay for services as a “self-pay” or find another solution. Remember to call SERVPRO when you need water or storm damage restoration services.  We are always here to help!

The Climates Effect on Southern Wisconsin

9/13/2019 (Permalink)

Flooding over Waukesha has been consistent over the last few years due to all of the storms that have passed through Southern Wisconsin.

Today In New Berlin, Wisconsin; the sewers have become so backed up from last nights’ storm that the sewer system from the city is causing water main overflow into the homes of its residents. Do you know what to do when something like this happens, and do you have an Emergency Ready Plan?  Most importantly you will need access to food, water and electricity.

Due to all these storms, we have noticed an increase in the number of water losses in Southern Wisconsin. It is important to be mindful of the impact that water can have to your home. As a storm can happen within an instant, and it only takes 48 hours for mold to start to grow.  In the event that you do experience any issues, SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha has a procedure that has been proven effective time and time again.

Our initial steps and the information we need are as follows:

  • General Information- Contact Information.
  • Has the Source been stopped?
  • What has been affected, How many rooms do you see that are effected right now?
  • What type of flooring do you have in each room. Is there drywall? Do you notice safety hazards?
  • Is there standing water?
  • What year was the house built? Do you notice any water on the drywall, wood paneling?
  • What is your time frame for repairs?
  • Have you contacted your insurance company? ***Please note that we always recommend you contact them first to distinguish what type of insurance coverage you have. An average of $2500 is the cost for most typical water losses.

After all of the standing water is removed, the first step we will take is to remove the flooring. Be aware, If you do not remove the flooring you may risk mold growth. Once the flooring is out we will then remove the padding and the trim along the base of the floor. If you have a gap in between the floor and the wall, even if it is only an inch, water can still seep through and again that standing water has the potential to cause mold growth. Now, as long as the dry wall isn’t touching any water you may not need to worry about removing it, but that is we want to make sure of. The next step would be to get the access water that is on the remaining surfaces to dry as quickly and as best as possibly. The more dehumidifiers that you have the better that you’ll be. Little do some people know, drywall actually has the potential to dry out thoroughly as long as it is only a little damp. If you are touching it and its mushy, that is a problem and it has to be removed. Call us immediately to assess your situation, the faster you remove the water, the better.

Operation Homefront

9/10/2019 (Permalink)

Upper Apartment with Water Damage

On Wednesday, July 17 we received a call from an apartment property manager that described a emergency water loss that affected two units, an upper and lower. Tenants living upstairs started a load of laundry and then went to work. While at work the wash machine failed to turn off and it continued to fill and spill over. Eventually the water migrated to multiple rooms in the upper unit. However, as expected, the bulk of the water damage went to the tenants living directly beneath.

Upon the arrival of SERVPRO and scoping the loss, it was quickly determined that both units were severely affected.  As you can imagine the tenants down below, a young couple, received the brunt of the water damage. Their apartment was severely effected and there was no way that this couple and their two dogs could continue to live there. Fortunately for them, the couple did have renters insurance.  It was then brought to our attention that the male tenant was in the Military and he pointed out that he was being deployed overseas in only 3 days! The couples' plan to spend the last two days they had together was now gone, and emotional devastation overtook them.  Todd, the owner of SERVPRO, stated that we would do everything in our power to help resolve this quickly. It is difficult enough to worry about your significant other being deployed overseas, but then having to worry about finding a new place to live and what to do with the two dogs and then having to move your contents out would be overwhelming for anybody. A burden we would not let our clients face alone.   With all the work that needed to be coordinated and completed, it takes time to accomplish all this. Overall, it the entire process took about 15 days. We are very happy to report that the job is now complete! The most gratifying feeling was knowing that we could help the Military couple and that they could spend as much time together with family and friends with a little less stress on their plates. 

Tales from the Toilet

9/10/2019 (Permalink)

Sewer Damage

"Ooooh that smell
Can't you smell that smell
Ooooh that smell
The smell of death surrounds you"

Yes these may be just popular song lyrics from Lynyrd Skynyrd, but how real are those words? When issues with septic back up happen, this is not something you want to do as a DIY weekend project with your spouse. Let the professionals at SERVPRO take care of you. We have the equipment needed to get the job done in a timely and hassle free manner. 

Believe it or not, flushing toilets only began in the late 1800's, and while we are fortunate enough to live in a time that allows us to drain the waste into a city sewage system, that doesn't always mean that it is one hundred percent foul proof.

Pay attention for the first signs that you may have an issue:

  • Uncommon Sounds. The sound of constantly running water signals trouble in the sewer line. ...
  • Moist Floor. Floors that feel spongy or moist underfoot are telltale signs of sewer leakage. ...
  • Unpleasant Odors. ...
  • Cracks in Your Home. ...
  • Landscape Growth. ...
  • Rats Problem. ...
  • Higher Water Bill.

Depending on your perception, Life is like a sewer, what you get out of it is what you put into it (Tom Lehrer). And sometimes it actually STINKS! 

Tree Damage

9/5/2019 (Permalink)

The photo shows the tree that fallen onto the lake cabin home.

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County was called out to a property by an insurance adjuster. This insurance adjuster received a call from his insured stating that a large tree fell on their lake cabin. This adjuster asked SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County to go out and assess the damage and figure out what needs to be done. When SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County arrived, the crew saw a large tree had fell onto the house. The tree fell through the roof breaking the shingles and the roof decking then also went through the second story floor and into the main level kitchen and living room.   This tree is an estimated 2 to 3 tons of weight resting on the house, making it a very unsafe structure to be inside of. 

It was quickly determined that an emergency board of could not be done on the structure due to the size of the tree in the instability of the cabin. During the initial assessment of the property, SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County, the homeowner and the adjuster had indicated that this most likely was going to be a total loss and should be escalated to a large loss claim, which it was. SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County began working with the large loss property adjuster and recommended that a structural engineer be brought in to assess the structural stability of this building. 

While waiting for an engineering firm, arrangements tried to be made with a tree removal vendor to remove the tree. Due to the location of this cabin on the hill that was built next to, there was no way for a large enough crane to access this home in order to lift the tree off of the home. Therefore, a carpenter was hired to build a temporary structure underneath the tree to support the weight so then the tree could be cut in sections and removing the weight from the cabin.   After waiting approximately two weeks for this temporary structure to be built and the tree removed, SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County came back to the cabin to do a full content pack-out. 

Now that the tree challenge was met, the next challenge was to figure out how to get all of the contents out of the cabin and up the steep hill, which had approximately 55 stairs. SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County’s main concern is how to safely and effectively load up vehicles to haul away the contents.   The idea was presented to utilize an ATV pulling a wagon and utilize the ATV to go up this hill with the contents. The incline of this hill was more than 45° degrees which made this quite a challenge. SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County is willing to do most anything to help our customers. After a couple test runs going up and down the hill in determining that the ATV was powerful enough to make it up the hill with contents, the first load of boxes were moved up the hill.  SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County was pleased to see that this idea worked perfectly. This process continued until all contents were moved up the hill. Utilizing the ATV, SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County was able to not only move boxes and other contents but also move the refrigerator, stove, washer, dryer, and two mattresses. 

 It would have taken approximately two full days with six technicians to box up and haul all of these content by hand. This would’ve caused possible injury but obviously a lot of physical strength and exertion. Because SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha had the idea of using the ATV we had this pack-out accomplished in six hours.   

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County is often met with challenges that take some creativity in order to solve it. But in every instance, we somehow figure out a solution. That is what teamwork is all about and that is how SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County likes to get projects accomplished. 

First Responder Nomination

9/5/2019 (Permalink)

The SERVPRO First Responder Bowl is a national sponsorship that falls under the First Responder Program.

First Responders that go above and beyond the call of duty to protect our loved ones deserve to be honored. SERVPRO works closely with First Responders in our line of work. When it comes to our friends and family, how often do you refer people you know who do good work, are trustworthy, and always come through for you? The same is to be said for First Responders. Nominate your First Responder by emailing SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County at smr@SERVPRO9841.com by September 27th, 2019. The candidate we pick will receive a cooler filled with tailgating supplies and the nomination will be sent in to the national drawing.

The First Responder that is selected to be honored at the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl will win a trip to Dallas with flight, accommodations and tickets to the bowl game for two.

Meet the Team - Todd Szada

6/10/2019 (Permalink)

Todd opened SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County with his wife, Tina, in March of 2010. Before opening this franchise, Todd used his Bachelors in HR Management from UW Whitewater and his MBA from Cardinal Stritch to work in the health care field. As Owner and Operator of SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County, is always busy. To see what his day looks like, find him on Our Employees

When asked why he likes working for SERVPRO, Todd responded, “Being able to help people in need.  Going to a job site with a customer who is distraught and has no idea what to do or how to proceed and being able to take charge and answer questions that the customer may have.  Seeing a customer cry on day 1 and then hugging me at the end of a job telling me that they are so happy that they called us to help them is the most gratifying part of this.” 

With an attitude like that, it’s not hard to believe that SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County works hard to ensure that we leave each job, “Like it never even happened.” We strive to leave our customers satisfied with the work done. 

If you are in need of remediation and restoration services, call SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County today at (262) 542-0900!

Be Ready When Disaster Strikes!

5/21/2019 (Permalink)

Following a disaster, as many as 50% of business close down. An overwhelming percent of those that survived had an emergency plan in place. #beready

What is an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP)? 

An ERP is a write up SERVPRO provides to prepare your business in case of disaster. It is a quick reference of important information on the building and contacts. This critical information helps speed up the process of mitigation. As a result, business interruption is minimized. No one plans for disaster but you can be “Ready for whatever happens.” 

Advantages of the SERVPRO Emergency Ready Plan: 

  • There is no cost to your business.
  • An ERP provides only critical information needed in an emergency, nothing less and nothing more. It doesn’t take long to complete and won’t get in the way of your job but it will save you when disaster strikes 
  • Having a preparedness plan will help you get back on your feet faster after a disaster. 
  • Establish a line of command for authorizing work will save time and money by being able to start mitigation faster. 
  • An ERP provides important information like the location of shut-off valves, priority areas, and contact information.

Call SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County today at (262) 542-0900 to set up an appointment to create your Emergency Ready Profile!

What is Black Mold?

12/26/2018 (Permalink)

Many people often don’t know what black mold actually is, so often it is surrounded by a cloud of confusion. Stachybotrys chartarum is the scientific name for the mold commonly referred to as black mold. Like many other types of molds, black mold produces allergens and irritants.

Since most types of molds produce irritants, remediation is necessary regardless of its type or color. It is common for multiple types of mold to be present in the same structure. 

If you suspect mold in your home, contact SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County. Treat any mold with caution, don’t touch or disturb the mold, and stay out of any affected areas. 

Mold spores thrive on moisture. To prevent the growth of mold in your home, keep humidity levels below 45 percent. Even higher-than-normal humidity can encourage mold growth.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (262) 542-0900

Fire Damage Can be Extensive But We’re Here to Help!

12/5/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO© of Southwest Waukesha County trained professionals help make it "Like it never even happened." #firedamage #trainedprofessionals #restore

Our professionals at SERVPRO© of Southwest Waukesha County are trained to combat the excessive damage done after a house fire. We work to bring your home back to preloss conditions in most cases. SERVPRO© Franchise Professionals are leaders in fire and water cleanup and restoration. 

Quick remediation is the key to make it “Like it never even happened.” Call us right away; the quicker SERVPRO© of Southwest Waukesha County arrives, the better results we can achieve in your home. 

During the drying process, we are generally unable to determine what is restorable and what isn’t. For this reason. The restoration process will begin after drying is finished. SERVPRO© of Southwest Waukesha County professionals have specialized training in fire restoration to help restore your home to pre-fire condition. 

To learn more about our restoration process, click here

SERVPRO© of Southwest Waukesha provides 24/7 emergency service. You can expect an immediate response time 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including all holidays! Give us a call - (262) 542-0900.

Stay Safe and Give Thanks

11/12/2018 (Permalink)

It’s almost turkey frying season, that means we all have to educate ourselves on the dangers of frying a turkey. Deep frying a turkey can be very dangerous for many reasons, including the high risk of fire. The oil used to fry the turkey is highly flammable and can lead to large fires, even with small amounts of oil. There is also a risk of tipping the fryer over, possibly causing fires and injuries.

If you are planning on frying a turkey this Thanksgiving, please follow proper safety procedure. Here are a few guidelines to follow to keep your family and your home safe. 

  1. Do not fry your turkey in an enclosed area. 
  2. Keep a fire extinguisher near the fryer. Be sure it is an all-purpose extinguisher that can handle fires from the heat source and from the grease.
  3. Never leave the fryer unattended, just as you should never leave a stove unattended.
  4. Don’t let children or pets near the fryer, even after you are done cooking as the oil could be hot hours after. 
  5. Use proper safety equipment when frying, like potholders/oven mitts, wear long sleeves, and safety goggles to protect yourself from oil splatter. 

If a fire does start, call 911 right away. 

FEMA Assistance

10/30/2018 (Permalink)

#disasterassistance #storms #readywisconsin

MADISON – Governor Scott Walker is encouraging individuals, families, and businesses impacted by recent flooding and storms in eight Wisconsin counties to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for possible disaster assistance. Last week, President Donald J. Trump approved federal disaster aid for individuals, families, and businesses in Crawford, Dane, Juneau, La Crosse, Monroe, Richland, Sauk, and Vernon counties.

“We’re encouraging everyone who sustained damage in these eight counties to register with FEMA at DisasterAssistance.gov to receive possible assistance,” Governor Walker said. “Even if you’ve already called 2-1-1 to report damage, we still need you to register with FEMA. I thank President Trump for approving the declaration, and we are pleased that FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are ready to provide this much-needed assistance.”

Residents from the counties listed that sustained flood damage at home or at their business can register online at DisasterAssistance.gov or call 1-800-621-3362. If you use 711 or Video Relay Service, call 800-621-3362 or for TTY call 800-462-7585. The toll-free numbers are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Governor Walker reminds homeowners and businesses they still must call FEMA to register even if they called 2-1-1 or their county emergency management office initially to report damage or if they met with a FEMA representative last month during damage assessments. “If you are not sure you are registered, call 1-800-621-3362 and a FEMA representative can provide assistance,” Governor Walker continued.

FEMA assistance may include grants for rent, temporary housing and home repairs to primary residences, as well as funding for other serious disaster-related needs, such as medical, dental or funeral costs. If you have insurance, first file a claim with your agent. FEMA may still be able to assist with disaster-related expenses that were underinsured or not covered by your policy.

FEMA Disaster Survival Assistance crews will begin outreach in Sauk and Dane Counties Tuesday afternoon to explain the program and to encourage flood victims to report damage. FEMA field personnel will be wearing FEMA shirts and carry official badges.

The SBA opened a Business Recovery Center in Madison and will be opening another office in Viroqua on Thursday to help businesses and private nonprofit organizations affected by the storms. SBA officials can provide information about applying for disaster loans. The locations are 740 Regent Street, Suite 100 in Madison and 318 Fairlane Drive in Viroqua. Both offices are open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Several other counties that also sustained damage from flooding and tornadoes are still under review by (FEMA) for the Individual Assistance Program. The counties under review are Adams, Columbia, Dodge, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Jefferson, Marquette, Ozaukee and Washington. Governor Walker said the state will continue to work with affected individuals and businesses to provide disaster relief.

Information about the various state and federal disaster programs that are available are located at ReadyWisconsin.wi.gov.

SBA Engagement related to Presidential Disaster Declaration

In response to the Presidential disaster declaration made over the weekend, SBA now has disaster assistance staff in place in our Madison office to assist affected businesses (large and small), homeowners, renters, and non-profits. Another location may open next week.

Please share this information in the affected counties: Crawford, Dane, Juneau, La Crosse, Monroe, Richland, Sauk, Vernon, Adams, Columbia, Dodge, Grant, Green, Iowa, Jackson, Jefferson, Rock, Trempealeau and Wood.

  • Twitterhttps://twitter.com/SBA_Wisconsin/status/1054507392841465857
  • Link to news release for opening of Business Recovery Centerhttps://www.sba.gov/node/1629686
  • Southwestern Wisconsin’s businesses, non-profits, homeowners and renters affected by August and September flooding and storms can now visit the SBA’s Business Recovery Center in Dane County for assistance. The address is 740 Regent Street, Suite 100, Madison, WI 53715. The office is open from 8:00 am-5:00 pm Monday-Friday. Counties eligible for assistance include: Crawford, Dane, Juneau, La Crosse, Monroe, Richland, Sauk, Vernon, Adams, Columbia, Dodge, Grant, Green, Iowa, Jackson, Jefferson, Rock, Trempealeau and Wood. Read more about SBA assistance for these counties.

Questions? Contact Robin Dittberner, Economic Development Specialist, Wisconsin District Office, U.S. Small Business Administration, (608) 441-5521 robin.dittberner@sba.gov

Are You Ready for Holiday Season?

10/29/2018 (Permalink)

Did you know that SERVPRO® of Southwest Waukesha County offers a multitude of cleaning services? We can help you give your home a deep clean before friends and family come over to celebrate this holiday season. 

Call SERVPRO® of Southwest Waukesha County today at (262) 542-0900 for your pre-holiday cleaning needs! 

From Floor to Ceiling 

SERVPRO® of Southwest Waukesha County offers cleaning services that have you covered floor to ceiling. We are training in cleaning any kind of flooring from carpeting to hardwood. We will clean your walls and ceilings, even your drapes and blinds. 

Odors and Air Quality

SERVPRO® of Southwest Waukesha County Professionals are experts at odor removal. We are trained to identify and eliminate offensive odors from the source, instead of trying to mask it. 

If you haven’t had your air ducts or HVAC, give us a call to inspect your system. Duct cleaning is not always necessary but your HVAC unit could be circulating dust, pollen, and other debris around your home. Cleaning your unit will help improve the air quality in your home and can actually extend the life of the equipment. It also helps restore your system to peak efficiency. 

For more information on these or any of our other cleaning services, check out our cleaning webpage or give us a call at (262) 542-0900 today! 

Do You Have Mold?

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County today if you experience any of these signs. #moldremediation #bemoldfree

Although some signs may seems obvious, many homeowners disregard the signs until their mold problem has grown out of control. Remember, if you are experiencing any of these signs, do not disturb the mold. If the mold is disturbed, it can shoot off microscopic pores, causing the mold to spread through your entire home. 

  • Allergic reactions that tend to get worse at home could be a sign of mold. Common reactions are sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion and sore eyes. 
  • Another warning of mold growing in your home is a musty, moldy smell. Keep in mind that mold isn’t always visible. If you can’t smell it, that doesn’t mean it isn’t there.
  • Water leaks or past moisture/flooding without proper restoration could mean mold is growing. Check areas with moisture for any signs of mold. 
  • Seeing mold, while obvious, is often overlooked. People will see small patches and mistake it for dirt. Mold can spread quickly so catching it early will help save money. 

Don’t put off your mold problems. Mold growing in your home can be dangerous for your health and the health of your family. Check out our webpage on mold remediation or call SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County today at (262) 542-0900 to help solve your mold problems.

Water Damage Process

7/23/2018 (Permalink)

#SERVPROsouthwestwaukeshacounty #waterdamage

SERVPRO Water Damage Restoration 

SERVPRO® crews implement a course of action for restoring a property that has water damage. A quick response is key to preventing further water damage. 

There are five fundamental principles for water damage restoration which are noted in The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) S500 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration: 

  • Safety 
  • Documentation 
  • Mitigation 
  • Drying Plan 
  • Cleaning and Repair 

Safety is the primary concern on a job site. It is important to make sure the crews and the occupants are informed and protected from any safety issues. 

Documentation is important to create an action plan for the project. At SERVPRO® we use DryBook® which is used on iPads that the crews bring on every job. Using DryBook® helps our crews document everything that is happening on the job, how to create a drying plan and to make sure the structure is drying properly. 

Mitigation is important because it helps the occupant recover more quickly from the water loss event. 

Drying plan includes removing excess water, extraction, evaporation and dehumidification. Drying equipment is placed to remove moisture through evaporation and dehumidification. Temperature is also important to increase the rate of evaporation. 

Cleaning and repair are done when the drying plan is complete and drying goals have been met. This is to repair and clean the property to preloss condition. 

Weekend Weather

7/20/2018 (Permalink)

Starting today, 7/20/18 and continuing through the weekend, the central and eastern states will experience multiple rounds of large storm complexes and lines of thunderstorms. These types of systems have the capability of extremely high rainfall rates which cause isolated flash flooding. In addition to the flooding concerns, there is also a slight risk of widespread wind damage.

This round of severe weather is due to an unusually sharp upper-level plunge of the jet stream by July standards carving into the Midwest and Southeast, punching over warm, humid air near the surface.

Flash Flood/Flood Safety Tips:

1. Nearly half of all fatalities in a flash flood involve a person driving a vehicle. Do not drive into a flooded area – Turn Around Don’t Drown! It takes only 2 feet of water to float away most cars. It’s amazing how powerful we feel when we get behind the wheel – don’t do it!

2. It takes only 6 inches of fast-moving water to sweep a person off their feet – don’t walk through a flooded area!

3. If you are camping in a river valley, move to higher ground if thunderstorms with heavy rains are in the area. Do not attempt to drive away.

4. Don’t operate electrical tools in flooded areas.

5. Most flash flood deaths occur in the middle of the night when it is more difficult to see rising water levels judge the depth of water covering road surfaces.

Severe Thunderstorm Straight-line Winds:

1. Don’t underestimate the power of strong thunderstorm winds known as straight-line winds – they can reach speeds of 100 to 150 mph. Hurricane-force winds start at 74 mph. Wisconsin does experience these kinds of winds!

2. If a severe thunderstorm warning contains hurricane-force wind speeds seek shelter immediately (as you would for a tornado situation).

3. Stay away from windows and go to the basement or interior room/hallway. Do not use electrical appliances.

4. Be aware that tall trees near a building can be uprooted by straight-line winds – that tree can come crashing through the roof of a home and crush a person to death.

5. Powerful straight-line winds can overturn a vehicle or even make a person air-borne when they get up over 100 mph!

6. One type of a straight-line wind event is a downburst, which is a small area of rapidly descending rain-cooled air and rain beneath a thunderstorm. A downburst can cause damage equivalent to a strong tornado!

Odor Removal

7/19/2018 (Permalink)

#SERVPROsouthwestwaukeshacounty #odorremoval # hydroxyl generators

Hydroxyl generators are the preferred method for odor removal. 

Hydroxyl radicals are created naturally in the atmosphere when the sun’s ultraviolet rays react with water vapor and oxygen. From there, they rapidly decompose chemicals in the air and play a crucial role in keeping the Earth’s atmosphere clear of harmful organic and inorganic compounds. Hydroxyl radicals react so rapidly that indoor environments have few natural hydroxyls present because they are consumed near their point of entry. Powerful hydroxyl generators using the same broad range of UV radiation as the sun are now used to naturally clean and deodorize indoor environments.

One hydroxyl generators can deodorize moderate to severe odors in a space that’s about 1,000 to 1,500 square feet, with 10 to 15-foot ceilings. Of course layout, severity of odor, and the number of contents play a big role in how long it takes to complete the job. While some may be done in a few hours, others could take three to four days.

With hydroxyl generators, contents not only can stay in the space – the hydroxyl radicals will also deodorize the items while removing odors from the room as well. Being able to keep contents in place during the odor remediation process is a great way to increase efficiency of these jobs.

While hydroxyl radicals can remove just about any odor – good or bad – from a space and contents, it is critical to remember source removal is still part of the remediation process. Items like charred wood or flooring deeply saturated in pet urine are good examples of sources that should be removed and replaced in order to ensure the odors are permanently gone.

Cited from www.randrmagonline.com

Certified Firm

7/17/2018 (Permalink)

Look for the IICRC sticker on our vehicles #SERVPROsouthwestwaukeshacounty #IICRC

What is the benefit of hiring an IICRC Certified Firm?

Just as any professional performs at a higher level of competency in their fields, IICRC Certified Technicians set themselves apart through training, experience, and comprehensive examination. The examinations consist of the successful completion of one or more of the 28 certifications courses available. 

When you see an IICRC logo, you can be confident that an IICRC-certified experienced, qualified professional is caring for your valuable property. IICRC Certified Firms employ technicians who, after study, field experience and passing comprehensive exams, have received IICRC certifications in specific cleaning, restoration and inspection categories such as upholstery, wood flooring, stone and tile flooring, carpet cleaning, odor removal, mold remediation, water damage, fire damage restoration and more.

Certified Firms are the only cleaning, restoration and inspection companies listed in the IICRC locator. They also promise to adhere to the IICRC Code of Ethics, be current in their business insurance and licensee requirements, and can proudly display the IICRC logo on their company website and vehicles.

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County is an IICRC certified firm.

Cited from the IICRC website

SERVPRO's partnership with PGA

4/5/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is the proud to be the Official Cleanup and Restoration Company of the PGA Tour. #SERVPROsouthwestwaukeshacounty #pga

SERVPRO and PGA

SERVPRO® is proud to be the Official Cleanup and Restoration Company of the PGA TOUR.

Founded in 1967, the SERVPRO® Franchise System is a national leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services and mold mitigation and remediation. SERVPRO's professional services network of more than 1,650 individually owned and operated Franchises responds to property damage emergencies ranging from small individual disasters to multi-million dollar large-loss events. Providing coverage in the United States and Canada, the SERVPRO® System has established relationships with major insurance companies and commercial clients, as well as individual homeowners.

SERVPRO® will initiate marketing efforts across multiple PGA TOUR platforms; including tournament activation, national media, access to national TPC courses and business networking opportunities. In the upcoming year, SERVPRO® will partner with the PGA TOUR and TPC Clubhouses to develop emergency ‘Ready’ plans to insure business preparedness in case of weather related or other disasters.

With the SERVPRO® Ready Plan APP and Emergency Ready Profile, tools created for property managers and owners, business interruption can be minimized by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your home or business. Visit www.SERVPRO.com/ready for more information.

Asbestos Abatement

3/29/2017 (Permalink)

This is vinyl flooring that tested positive for asbestos.

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County now offers Asbestos Abatement Services

WHAT IS ASBESTOS?

Asbestos refers to a set of six naturally occurring fibrous minerals, which when disturbed, can lead to a variety of health complications for those affected.

WHO CAN HANDLE ASBESTOS REMOVAL?

Because of the potential health risks, only those vendors trained and certified by the State of Wisconsin are allowed to remove asbestos within our state.

WHERE CAN ASBESTOS BE FOUND?

Because the health risks of asbestos were not fully realized until 1977, any residential or commercial building built before that year are likely to have asbestos materials in them. Many builders even continued to use these materials even after that point. Many materials in structures today still test positive for asbestos.

Materials that often test positive for asbestos include, but are not limited to:

-Thermal Insulation

-Pipe Wrap

-HVAC Duct Wrap

-Floor Tile

-Sheets of Flooring

HOW DO I GET A MATERIAL TESTED?

Call us SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County at (262) 542-0900. Only a licensed asbestos inspector can take an asbestos sample. Doing so personally could cause a threat to whoever is taking the sample and cause the building owner to incur unwanted liability.

WHAT IS THE NEXT STEP IF THE TEST IS POSITIVE FOR ASBESTOS?

Our trained and certified asbestos workers will talk with the property owner and map out and execute a plan of safe and proper disposal. That cooperates with state mandates.

 

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County is growing

3/20/2017 (Permalink)

#SERVPROsouthwestwaukeshacounty

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha would like to announce that we are providing more services in Southwest Waukesha County.

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.

  • 24-Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any-Sized Disaster
  • Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
  • A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment 

Have Questions? Call Us 24/7 – (262) 542-0900

Residential Services

Whether your Waukesha home needs emergency flood damage or your upholstery cleaned, you can depend on us. Learn more about our residential services:

Commercial Services

There's never a convenient time for fire or Water damage to strike your Waukesha commercial property. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services we have the training and expertise to respond promptly with highly trained technicians to get your property back to business. Learn more about our commercial services:

  • Commercial Water Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Fire Damage Restoration

New Services

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County is excited to announce that we now provide:

  • Asbestos Abatement
  • Air Duct and HVAC cleaning

2nd Annual Bags Tournament for Breast Cancer

3/17/2017 (Permalink)

Our tournament champs won these boards.

We were able to donated $3510.00 to Susan G Komen for breast care in Waukesha County as well as donating money towards breast cancer research.


A special THANK YOU to the businesses that sponsored our event.


Kohl's, Denali Realty group, Nationwide Flooring and Window, Caring Transitions, Precision Service Consultants, Wood Specialists, Alexander Plumbing, Smoke Out, R & R Insurance, CRDN, Hanson Landscaping, and Leben CPA


A BIG THANK YOU to all of the businesses that donated to 2nd Annual Bags Tournament!


323 Electric, Advocare, Chad Whelan, Bark & Bag Boutique, Bissett-Manke Agency, Brian Bauer, Buffalo Wild Wings, Chili’s, Clip Art by Julie Husted, Express Care Walk-in Health Clinic,Great Harvest Bread Co., Ironwood Golf Course,Jersey Mike’s, Lumber Inn, Norwex by Julie Husted, Panera Bread, Pepsi Co., Pizza Hut, Point Burger Bar, R & R Insurance, Rosati’s, Spring City Rox Bar, Steeple Pointe Homes, Target, Transform Fitness, Wood Specialist.


Congrats to our tournament champs, Erick Belus and Charlie Luko!


We hope to see everyone again for our 3rd annual tournament.

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County strive for good customer service

3/9/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County's team

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County's team puts forth effort to make every job run smoothly and provide the best customer service.  No matter what job the team is working on, water, fire or mold, they strive to give our customers the best service by communicating throughout the process and taking care of the property as if it was there own.

"The SERVPRO team was great during this very trying time for our family.  Thank you it really meant a lot!"  - Desiree

"I wanted to let you know how happy I am with the service your company, SERVPRO provided today.  Matt and Nick were punctual, very courteous, friendly and polite.  They both worked very hard and did an excellent job. Congratulations on hiring two people who work hard and knowledgeable and care!"  -Cathy

"Your employees, Matt and Conner were a pleasure to work with.  They were very friendly, neat, skilled and professional.  Matt is an excellent teacher.  He was patient when he explained things to Conner and would say please.  They are a real asset to your company."  -Kathy

Here at SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County we are very proud to have a great team!

 

Our Highly Trained Restoration Specialists can restore your Home or Business in Waukesha County

3/9/2017 (Permalink)

We are IICRC Certified Firm #IICRC #SERVPROsouthwestwaukeshacounty

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County real customer quotes

2/16/2017 (Permalink)

Customer services means a lot to SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County.

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County strives to make a difference in the lives of our customers. SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County team take great care of every job, no matter how big or small it is.

"I am e-mailing regarding the excellent service that Todd Szada and his team members provided during a two-day cleanup of my brother's apartment.  Todd, the owner, worked through this difficult cleanup with professionalism and provided his expert advice during this cleanup of an apartment where two individuals lived that hoarded for 10+ years and both have mental illness.  The situation was very challenging for me to coordinate since I live in Illinois, but act as the trustee for my brother, who has been treated for mental illness for many years.  I called Todd's SERVPRO franchise and from my first meeting for an estimate, I knew I had found the organization that would help me with cleaning out this apartment due to their eviction. I worked side by side with his team and they were hardworking professionals and all very knowledgeable about how to best clean out the premises. I feel so grateful to Todd and his team for their efforts and solid advice.

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County is Here to Help, contact us at (262) 542-0900 or online SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha Co.

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha Smoke and Soot Cleanup

2/14/2017 (Permalink)

Smoke and Soot Damaged bathroom #SERVPROsouthwestwaukeshacounty

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 
(262) 542-0900

Does Your Home Have a Mold Problem?

2/14/2017 (Permalink)

In Waukesha County, mold can spread through a home in as little as 48 hours. #SERVPROsouthwestwaukeshacounty

Mold

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (262) 542-0900

Cleaning

2/1/2017 (Permalink)

65,000 square foot commercial building cleaning

Warehouse Cleaning in Waukesha County.

In January 2017, SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County did a cleaning job for a 65,000 square foot commercial building.  The building had build-up of dust on it's ceilings from the machinery that was used in the warehouse.  

SERVPRO's crew cleaned this building in 7 days. SERVPRO's crews used HEPA vacuums, scissor lifts and boom trucks to complete the job. SERVPRO's crews worked diligently to vacuum the ceiling, cross beams, lights and ceiling fans. In the photo you can see SERVPRO was able to finish the job even with having to work around the machinery. This company did not even have to shut down production, SERVPRO worked around the workers and the machines. 

This job appeared to be a huge under taking, but SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County was able to conquer the challenge.

2nd Annual Bags Tournament

2/1/2017 (Permalink)

1st Annual Bags Tournament

Last year (2016), SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County held it's first annual bags tournament.  SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County was able to raise $3000 to donate to Susan G Komen.  We had 25 teams that compete for the grand prize which was a set of boards and bags.


SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County will be hosting it's 2nd annual bags tournament on Saturday, March 11th, 2017.  SERVPRO wants to be able to donate more this year (2017).


We are looking for companies to join us by either donating to the event or sponsoring the event.


If you have any questions or are interested in joining us for this event, please contact John, SERVPRO marketing representative at (262) 542-0900.


Together we can make a difference.

Waukesha Smoke and Soot Cleanup

11/21/2016 (Permalink)

Recent fire damage where a water heater overheated and caused a fire.

SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County has seen some fire damage this past month, so we thought it would be beneficial to share facts about smoke and soot.

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 262-542-0900

Visit us at SERVPROsouthwestwaukesha.com

Flooded Basement

4/26/2016 (Permalink)

A pipe burst in the walls which caused water damage to this homeowners bathroom, kitchen, and basement. The photo is from their basement ceiling.

Waukesha County Residents: We Specialize in Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration!

A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your basement could flood, including: 

  • A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
  • Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
  • Storm sewer backup
  • Sanitary sewer backup
  • Foundation drainage failure
  • Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
  • And many more

Have Questions about Basement Flooding?

Call Today - 262-542-0900

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

We are Flooded Basement Specialists:

  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
  • We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained  in Water Restoration Techniques
  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
  • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Basement Flooded? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help 262-542-0900

Fire Statistics

12/4/2015 (Permalink)

LIFE SAFETY INFORMATION

FIRE STATISTICS 2014

There can be no doubt, “Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Detectors Save Lives”.

Smoke and CO alarms in working order and placed properly give precious time to escape the

structure.

NEVER, return into the structure during a fire!

The smoke in dwelling fires is deadly and highly toxic.

The worst gas created—HCN (hydrogen cyanide)! It interferes with the normal use of oxygen

by nearly every organ of the body. Exposure to HCN can be rapidly fatal.

That would be because of a lot of the plastics, carpet, glues, resins, on and on, that are now

used in every modern residential dwelling.

Additional Life Saver, “Fire Sprinkler System”.

In Home/Residential Dwelling Fire Sprinklers can usually extinguish a fire with the activation of a

single sprinkler head! One sprinkler head! The future residential dwellings will have fire

sprinklers.

Attached are statistics from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

FIRES IN THE U.S.

In 2014, there were 1,298,000 fires reported in the United States. These fires

caused 3,275 civilian deaths, 15,775 civilian injuries, and $11.6 billion in property

damage.

• 494,000 were structure fires, causing 2,860 civilian deaths, 13,425 civilian

injuries, and $9.8 billion in property damage.

• 193,500 were vehicle fires, causing 345 civilian fire deaths, 1,450 civilian

fire injuries, and $1.5 billion in property damage.

• 610,500 were outside and other fires, causing 70 civilian fire deaths, 900

civilian fire injuries, and $237 million in property damage.

The 2014 U.S. fire loss clock a fire department responded to a fire every 24

seconds. One structure fire was reported every 64 seconds.

• One home structure fire was reported every 86 seconds.

• One civilian fire injury was reported every 33 minutes.

• One civilian fire death occurred every 2 hours and 41 minutes.

• One outside and other fire was reported every 52 seconds.

• One highway vehicle fire was reported every 3 minutes 8 seconds.

Questions on fire safety, life safety, commercial and residential building

inspections, email or call me.

Marc Stankiewicz

WI DSPS Certified Commercial Building Inspector 1136566

Member International Code Council (ICC)

Member National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

Extension Cord Safety Tips

6/8/2015 (Permalink)

Photo of a house burning; it was a 90% loss due to a gaming device being plugged into an extension cord.

Extension cords are one of the most commonly misused items in a home and at the office.  To ensure safety use these following tips when using extension cords.

  • Determine the correct wattage required to power the device and be sure to select the correct size of the extension cord.  If connecting two or more devices, add together the wattage rating for all devices to prevent overload.
  • Select the appropriate extension cord for using devices indoor or outdoor.
  • Do not use extension cords that are cut or damaged. Touching the exposed strand of wire can give someone electric shock or burn.
  • Be sure to unplug extension cords when finished using due to the cord will still conduct electricity until it is unplugged.
  • Running a cord under carpet or across a doorway is unsafe.

If you have any questions regarding fire damage please call SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County at (262) 542-0900.

7 Reasons to call SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County

4/9/2015 (Permalink)

Water/Sewage damage in a basement from a sewage line leak.

  1. 24 Hour Emergency Response: SERVPRO will work to exceed your expectations.
  2. Communication: SERVPRO will keep you informed from start to finish.
  3. Reduce Recovery Time: SERVPRO will help minimize business interruption.
  4. Lower Recovery Cost: SERVPRO will help you save money.
  5. Emergency Ready Profile: SERVPRO will help you plan for recovery before disaster strikes.  Contact Tony at (262) 993-9053, he will help you create a plan.
  6. Full Line of Service: SERVPRO will help to solve your cleanup needs.
  7. A Leader in Storm Response: SERVPRO will help when you need it the most.

Tip of the week

3/30/2015 (Permalink)

This photo shows mold growth on wood paneling due to water damage.

Happy Monday!

Over the weekend our crew at SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County went to a job site that had water damage.  The homeowner was out of town, but a neighbor was watching the house and discover that a pipe had burst.  There was water all on the carpet and pad as well as the furniture in the room was damaged by the water.

Our crew discovered that there was more than water damage at this property; mold had started to grow on the wall and other content in the room

This is a reminder to shut off your water if you will be gone for a long period of time.  You never know if a pipe would burst or a toilet would overflow while you are gone.

If you have any questions regarding this tip of the week, please call SERVPRO of Southwest Waukesha County at (262) 542-0900.

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