Recent Cleaning Posts

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.  

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.

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.


  1. Heloise, Helosie. “Cleaning Candle Soot.” Good Housekeeping, Good Housekeeping, 21 Mar. 2018,

  2. Solos, Heather, et al. “Clean It.” Home Ec 101, Home Ec 101, 1 Oct. 2010,

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.

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

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

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! 

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