Recent Water Damage Posts

Frozen Pipe Prevention

2/5/2021 (Permalink)

Frozen exterior faucet 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 Helps Flooded Tri-Level Home

1/29/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO drying equipment placed on floor 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.

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

12/18/2020 (Permalink)

IICRC logo with IICRC Certified Firm next to it on white text 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

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

11/24/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO equipment is sitting in a school classroom after a water loss, there is a lot of equipment 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

Keeping Your Plumbing Safe While You're Away From Home

11/13/2020 (Permalink)

A pipe has visibly froze with icicles hanging from it 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

SERVPRO Successfully Dries Ceramic Tile Flooring

10/14/2020 (Permalink)

Green inflatable matt on bathroom tile floor along with drying equipment.  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

Mold Is Dangerous Even Beyond Containment

9/28/2020 (Permalink)

Attic roof decking with black mold growth on it 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/

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

9/11/2020 (Permalink)

Dessicant dehumidifier in a basement with ducting attached going to the outside 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.  

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha - Going the Extra Mile

4/30/2020 (Permalink)

drying equipment setup in kitchen 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.

Drain Backup in Helenville, WI

4/16/2020 (Permalink)

basement with a lot of contents that had a drain backup 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

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Water Damage and Baseboards

3/4/2020 (Permalink)

Wall affected by water damage 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)

technician extracting water from basement 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!

Tips to Prevent Frozen Pipes

2/14/2020 (Permalink)

Photo of frozen pipe with ice on it 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!

Powering Our Drying Equipment

1/31/2020 (Permalink)

Photo of a dryer outlet and plug 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!

Replacing hardware is an essential part of being a homeowner

12/26/2019 (Permalink)

White toilet in a tan bathroom 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.  

Cleaning out the drains

12/17/2019 (Permalink)

A concrete floor dirting from a septic backup 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)

2 water supply line valves connected under the sink 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.  

3-Day Drying Is A Goal - But Not Always Possible

12/6/2019 (Permalink)

IICRC Logo with the words "Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification" and the words "Certified Firm" 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

Ways to Avoid Frozen Pipes While On Vacation

11/20/2019 (Permalink)

People rest on the beach near a water front in tropical weather 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

Asbestos Abatements Recommendations from SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County

11/13/2019 (Permalink)

Vinyl asbestos floor tile found in the basement that was chipped and by the homeowner 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 tile floor partially removed and chipped sitting in piles 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!

Local Weather Report: Rainwater and Tornadoes,

10/3/2019 (Permalink)

Tall brown tree laying on the ground, broken from the trunk with finger like appendages split apart 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.

Scoping Tools

10/3/2019 (Permalink)

Square black device with a numbered meter on the front 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. 

Bursting Pipes are no match for Quick Respondents

10/2/2019 (Permalink)

Very tall building with many windows on a sunny afternoon with a green SERVPRO truck parked beside it. 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.

Operation Homefront

9/10/2019 (Permalink)

Green fans and green humidifiers on the wet beige carpeted floor in the white walled hall way. 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. 

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. 

Flooded Basement

4/26/2016 (Permalink)

Ceiling has bubbles in it from water damage 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

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.