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The Right Equipment

4/5/2019 (Permalink)

Using the right equipment makes a substantial difference in reducing claims loss expense. When time means everything, technology and equipment must be counted on to perform. Our water damage professionals here at SERVPRO of North Kenosha County thoroughly understand how to dry a structure and personal property effectively.

Psychrometrics 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 a structure enabling our technicians to create the proper atmosphere for more efficient drying. Water can damage materials both by absorption through direct contact with water and through absorption of moisture from the air.

Here is the equipment we use here at SERVPRO of North Kenosha County at various stages of the mitigation process.

                Detection Equipment

                                Moisture Sensors – used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards and walls

                                Moisture Meters – used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials

                                Thermohygrometers – measures both temperature and relative humidity

                Extraction Equipment – both portable or truck-mounted, extractors are used in cleaning carpets and upholstery and in removing water from floors following water damage

                Air Moving Equipment – used in water damage restoration to enhance evaporation at the surface level, thereby reducing drying time. As airflow at the surface level increases, the moisture in the air increases.

                Dehumidification Equipment – by extracting water vapor from the air, dehumidifiers lower the relative humidity, which in turn increases the rate of evaporation. Dehumidifiers pull in the moist, humid air and then discharge dry, warm air. The dry air acts like a sponge, absorbing moisture from wet materials. SERVPRO of North Kenosha County uses two types of dehumidifiers:

                                Refrigerant Dehumidifiers – work similarly to air conditioners

                                Desiccant Dehumidifiers – use chemicals, called desiccants, that readily absorb moisture from the air

                Deodorization Equipment

                                Ultra Low Volume (UVL) Foggers – will atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that easily penetrates sites where odor-causing residues accumulate. This device can also be used to inject fungicides and disinfectants into wall cavities and other difficult to access areas

                                Thermal Foggers - dispenses solvent-based products in large volume, dense fogs suitable for confined areas. The fog consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that pair and neutralize odor-causing particles.

When it comes to mitigating water damage in your home or business, you can rest assured that the team here at SERVPRO of North Kenosha County has the knowledge and equipment to get the job done right.

We’re Here to Quickly Respond to a Disaster at Your Property | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County

3/22/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO We’re Here to Quickly Respond to a Disaster at Your Property | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County Faster to any size disaster

We’re Here to Quickly Respond to a Disaster at Your Property | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County - SERVPRO OF NORTH KENOSHA COUNTY Blog

When disaster strikes your home or business, time is of the essence when it comes to cleanup and restoration. When it is your home or livelihood on the line, you don’t have the luxury of waiting for help—you need it right away.

We understand that a fast response is crucial, which is why responding faster to any size disaster is more than just a slogan to us.

Why a Fast Response Matters

When it comes to your belongings or business, time is not a luxury you have regarding disaster cleanup. This is especially true when water damage has come into play, which can be through various means such as flooding, appliance and/or plumbing failures, storm damage and fire damage, as water is used to put out the fires.

It only takes a matter of minutes for water to begin spreading throughout your property, where it will saturate everything in its path. Everything from the walls, the floors, upholstery and your belongings become water damage casualties.

The effects of water damage within the first 24 hours include:

  • Drywall beginning to swell and break down
  • Metal surfaces beginning to tarnish
  • Furniture beginning to swell and crack
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper items spreading and staining
  • The beginning of a musty odor

The damage continues to worsen as time goes on. Between 48 hours and a week later, you could begin to see:

  • The growth and spreading of mold and mildew
  • Swelling and warping of doors, windows and studs
  • Metal beginning to rust and corrode
  • Paint beginning to blister
  • Wood flooring swelling and warping
  • The possibilities of serious biohazard contamination

Water damage that is left to stand for more than a week leads to much higher costs and restoration times, and it can impact structural safety.

We’re Here to Help

We can provide an immediate response to any size disaster, which can help minimize the damage and help keep the cleaning and restoration costs manageable.

Our trained cleanup and restoration specialists can be dispatched to your property or business at any time, no matter what day or time it is.

We are a locally owned and operated franchise close by, ready to respond whenever the call comes in. As a major perk of being part of a national network of over 1,700 franchises, we have access to more resources for the cleanup and restoration projects that may be larger or stem from major storm situations.

Remember, if you need us, we’ll be there—no matter the time or day. The team of highly trained restoration experts at SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County is available for emergency cleanup and restoration services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Is Spring Finally Here?

3/12/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Is Spring Finally Here? Schedule your Spring cleaning appointment for your home with SERVPRO of North Kenosha County today! 262-764-7231

Maybe the groundhog didn’t lie after all. This week has given us a little taste of Spring after a very long, snowy, frigid winter. I don’t know about you, but doesn’t this sunshine and snow melting make you want to start thinking about Spring cleaning in your home? Did you know that SERVPRO of North Kenosha County does so much more than just water mitigation, mold remediation and fire restoration?

We offer a number of residential cleaning services to spruce up your home and rid it of all the dirt and grime that can be tracked inside throughout the winter months.

Residential Cleaning Services:

  • Air ducts and HVAC
  • Carpet & Upholstery
  • Ceilings, floors and walls
  • Drapes & blinds
  • Odor removal

Think of how great it will feel to have your home cleaned from top to bottom without having to do any of the work. Not to mention those hard to reach areas that we all avoid like the plague. We can give your home a deeper clean than your basic house cleaning service.

Call SERVPRO of North Kenosha County today to schedule your residential cleaning appointment and let us make the dust and dirt from the winter “Like it never even happened.”

Fire Safety Tips for Your Business | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County

3/7/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Safety Tips for Your Business | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County

When you are a business owner, there are plenty of safety factors that you must take into consideration regarding risks to your business, staff and visitors. One of those risks you need to spend some time on is planning for and working toward preventing a fire.

Top Causes of Commercial Structure Fires

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that the leading causes of structure fires in office properties from 2007–2011 were (in order):

  1. Cooking equipment, 29% of fires
  2. Electrical distribution and lighting equipment, 12% of fires
  3. Heating equipment, 11% of fires
  4. Intentional, 10% of fires
  5. Smoking materials, 9% of fires
  6. Exposure, 4% of fires
  7. Electronic, office or entertainment equipment, 3% of fires

Three of those causes—intentional, exposure, and electrical distribution and lighting equipment—were responsible for the most property damage with 20%, 18% and 15% respectively.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that in 2007, fires and explosions accounted for 3% of all workplace fatalities.

The NFPA estimates that in more recent numbers during the period from 2007–2011, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 3,340 fires in office properties per year. Those fires were solely responsible for an annual average of four deaths, 44 injuries and $112 million in direct property damage.

How to Protect Your Business

So what are some of the many steps you can take to protect your business from the risk of fires? By focusing on fire risk assessment, fire prevention and staff education, you will be working to reduce the chance of a fire breaking out.

First, you must assess the risk of fire hazards. In some areas, the local government may even offer a visit from a fire marshal to help identify these risks and provide guidance on your fire prevention plan.

You’ll want to make sure that the right fire protection equipment is in place. This includes an automatic sprinkler system, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers on each floor.

Finally, you must provide for the safety of your employees. By creating a fire plan and regularly reviewing it with your staff, you’ll be taking steps to ensure everyone knows what to do in the case of a fire. Conduct fire drills at least once a year to keep the fire safety protocol fresh, and take time to review evacuation plans and where the first-aid kits are.

Despite best efforts with fire prevention and safety tips, the worst could always happen at your business. If a fire has damaged your business, SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County is available to help make it "Like it never even happened."

Do You Know How Water Damage Is Classified? | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County

2/25/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Do You Know How Water Damage Is Classified? | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County Clean, gray or black water?

Do You Know How Water Damage Is Classified? | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County - SERVPRO OF NORTH KENOSHA COUNTY Blog

When there is a flood, it is easy to think that all water causing damage is the same. However, that is not the case because there are three different classifications of water involved with flooding: clean, gray and black. It is a good idea to understand the differences in these types of water so that you can understand how to handle the situation.

The most important thing you need to do after a water damage situation is remove all moisture and damp items quickly to inhibit the growth of mold. Understand, too, that no matter what type of water has caused damage, there will always be a cleanup and restoration process that follows.

This Is Clean Water

Much like the name indicates, this water is considered “clean” because it is not the type to pose an immediate health threat. This water is free of contaminants and can come from:

  • Broken water lines
  • Malfunctioning appliances
  • Toilet holding tanks
  • Snow melt and rainwater

If this is the type of water that is involved in a water damage situation, it will be the easiest type of water damage to clean up after as there will be fewer microbes living in the water. That will not be true, however, after 48 hours and following contact with the surfaces of a building, as clean water can move up to category two, which is gray water.

This Is Gray Water

In a gray water situation, water damage cleanup and restoration becomes a bit more serious. Gray water will contain slight contamination from chemical or biological elements and may pose a health risk. The slight contamination involved with gray water means that it will need to be thoroughly treated before being safe to consume.

Gray water is the type of water that can come from dishwashers, aquariums, showers, etc. Here also, the 48-hour exposure time applies, since gray water will become black water if not quickly and properly treated.

This Is Black Water

Black water poses the highest danger and is the most serious of the three classifications because it is considered highly contaminated by harmful chemicals and biological matter. This would include floodwaters that contain soil and sewage waters.

Sewage is highly contaminated with microbes, including bacteria, protozoans, molds, fungi and more, which pose a great health risk to humans.

Some of the diseases that can be transmitted by black water are:

  • Cholera
  • Typhoid
  • Hepatitis
  • Gastroenteritis-type illnesses

It is important to remember that when it comes to floods, all waters are to be assumed to be black water since it picks up contaminants along its path.

All of the above classifications of floodwater are recognized by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Remediation Certification (IICRC), which is an organization that certifies and sets the standards for the cleaning and restoration industries. Our technicians all study IICRC standards and best practices in water restoration and are available to help determine the steps to take to get your home back to normal.

It doesn’t matter what type of water has caused damage to your home or business, SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County is here to help get the situation under control and make it "Like it never even happened." Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need emergency cleanup and restoration services!

Don’t let Water Damage Impact Your Home | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County

2/15/2019 (Permalink)

Don’t let Water Damage Impact Your Home | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County - SERVPRO OF NORTH KENOSHA COUNTY Blog

Water damage from burst pipes, malfunctioning appliances or even storm damage is one of the most common and costliest disasters your home may experience.

But there are plenty of ways to safeguard your home from this common issue that homeowners deal with. Read on for some helpful suggestions.

<h4your-home">Protecting Your Home

Not only will you be dealing with the damage caused by water, but it can have a long-term impact on your home. Since mold begins to grow 24–48 hours after moisture exposure, mold is one of the most common side effects of water damage.

When coming up with ways to protect your home, it may be helpful to break your plan down by areas of impact, such as by basements, kitchens, bathrooms, flooring and ceilings.

You can help prevent water damage in the basement by making sure water drains away from our home’s foundation and preventing water seepage. To prevent water seepage, reseal vulnerable areas of the basement. Also look into installing a backwater valve if your home does not have one.

Your kitchen and bathrooms can experience water damage due to plumbing issues and appliance failures.

Be sure you:

  • Regularly inspect all appliances, checking hoses and faucets
  • Ensure that your tubs and showers are watertight by checking the seals and caulking around them
  • Know the location of the main water shut-off valve is in your home
  • Run your washing machine and dishwasher when you are home

It will be difficult to protect the possessions in your home from water damage, but there are things you can do to at least decrease the amount of destruction. The use of waterproof bins for storing items is always advised, as is storing items up off of the floor on shelves, especially in basements and garages.

<h4from-water-damage">Recovering From Water Damage

In the unfortunate event your home does experience a water damage situation, you can stand a good chance at salvaging items if they can be dried out within 48 hours.

Make sure that you immediately contact your insurance agent and evaluate the extent of the water damage in your home. You will need to identify the type of water that is involved.

The three types of water are:

  1. “Clean” water. Can be from rain, condensation, leaky pipes, etc.

  2. “Gray” water. Slightly dirty water from dishwashers, washing machines, clean toilets, etc.

  3. “Black” water. Water from sewage or serious flooding from nearby rivers, etc. This water can cause serious health problems.

Following a water damage disaster, you will need to remove wet objects, get your home dried out, dehumidify the area and disinfect any remaining materials.

Pro tip: Place any wet books, photos and papers in a frost-free freezer, which will allow you time to get your home back in order, preventing mold and mildew from developing and causing more deterioration. Once able, you can remove them from the freezer and air-dry or fan-dry the pages.

It may seem like recovering from water damage is an overwhelming and slightly impossible task, but it doesn’t have to be. You can call on the highly trained experts at SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County, who are here to make it "Like it never even happened."

How to Deal with Ice Dams

2/12/2019 (Permalink)

If you live in Wisconsin, ice dams are a reality, especially when we have had large amounts of snow and temperatures that have fluctuated as much as they have this winter season.

How do Ice Dams form?

  • Winter storms build up snow on the roof
  • Heat from the building escapes through insulation, chimneys and roof vents or heat from the sun which causes the snow to melt
  • The melted snow runs down roof lines to valleys and eaves
  • The melted snow refreezes at the base of the valley and at the eaves or gutters
  • As day/night time temperatures cycle up and down and heat loss melts the snow, the ice dams and icicles continue to grow

Once these roof and gutter ice dams form, subsequent water ponding behind the ice dam can lead to roof leaks, internal building damage and possible mold issues. Icicles can also cause lower roof damage, deck damage and people safety issues.

How do you deal with an existing ice dam?

  • Remove the ice dam by breaking it free in small chunks. Do NOT use an ax or other sharp tool. You could cut through your shingles. Instead, tap lightly with a blunt mallet. This can be dangerous and take a while, so it’s recommended that you hire someone who is experienced in roofing.
  • Clear out gutters and downspouts carefully. This work can cause damage to plastic or metal gutters and spouts
  • Melt troughs through the ice dam with calcium chloride ice melter. Rock salt can damage paint, metals, and plants beneath the eave and wherever the salty water drains.
    • A good trough maker is a tube of cloth (a leg from an old pair of panty hose works well). Fill it with calcium chloride, tie off the top, and lay it vertically across the ice dam. It will slowly melt its way down through the dam, clearing a path for the underlying water to flow free.

How can you prevent an ice dam?

The above methods will treat the symptoms of an ice dam, but won’t fix the underlying issue, which is a warm roof caused by poor insulation and venting of the space under the roof. Here are some tips on how to prevent an ice dam from forming in the first place.

  • add insulation to your attic
  • remove attic heat sources
  • insulate attic access doors
  • check the exhausts
  • check flashing around chimney

If you experience water damage in your home or business due to an ice dam, call in the experts at SERVPRO of North Kenosha County and we can make it “Like it never even happened.”

Creating a Severe Weather Plan With Your Family | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County

1/24/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Creating a Severe Weather Plan With Your Family | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County Having an emergency plan in place can give you valuable time to act in sever weather situations. #preparedness #emergency #safety

Creating a Severe Weather Plan With Your Family | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County

How do you ensure the preparedness of your family before an unexpected severe storm situation when we are caught off-guard by Mother Nature?

Fortunately, there are actions you can take and safety tips to follow that will give you the peace of mind you deserve in various severe weather occurrences.

The best way to win at the severe weather game is to compile a family emergency plan and have it available at all times.

If your family does have an emergency plan in place, be sure that it is often practiced and reviewed prior to each weather season so everyone, both young and old, knows exactly what to do.

If you’ve not yet created your family emergency plan, here are some things to think about and take into consideration when creating a plan:

1. How will emergency alerts and warnings be received?

Not only does today’s technology include radio and television broadcasts that alert us as to emergency situations, but thanks to smartphone technology, it is easy to quickly receive emergency alerts and warnings by way of Google or a weather app, giving you valuable time to act in severe weather situations.

2. What type of storm shelter do you have?

A storm shelter should, ideally, be in the lowest part of your home, like a basement, especially if you live in an area where tornadoes are common. But if there is no basement available you’ll want to use an interior room that is away from windows and doors. Check out ready.gov for other situations requiring storm shelters besides tornadoes.

3. What is our evacuation route?

When planning for evacuation, you should always have routes mapped out that can serve for evacuation before situations like hurricanes, floods and fires force you from your home in a hurry. It’s wise to have multiple routes just in case one is impassable, and don’t forget to check where you can stay with your pets along the way if you have furry family members also evacuating with you.

4. How will the family stay in touch?

Staying in touch with your family members during an emergency is important. It’s normal to expect to rely on cell phones for this purpose, but in some circumstances, that just isn’t feasible.

Cell phone towers are often damaged during severe weather, phones could be lost or left behind, and how will batteries be charged on your phones if there is no power? Your family must have an emergency communication plan in place for peace of mind and a safe meeting place for your family to gather in the event you are separated during an emergency.

If a storm does cause damage to your home or business, don’t hesitate to call your friends at SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County to get the cleanup and restoration process started.

Communication is Key

1/24/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO has built great relationships over the years with insurance companies, agents and adjusters who all play a big part in the property claims process. We have years of experience from the moment the loss occurs to putting everything back together.

SERVPRO uses Xactimate which is the industry’s most comprehensive software solution for property claims. This software is well known in the insurance industry, therefore making the claims process more efficient. We work closely with you, your agent and your adjuster to make sure everyone understands the status of the job and the scope of work. Communication is key, this can be a stressful time for you!

Take a look at what some of our customers have said about their experience throughout the whole process with SERVPRO of North Kenosha County. Give us a call and we will take excellent care of you and make it “Like it never even happened.”

Space Heater Safety

1/23/2019 (Permalink)

Millions of people use space heaters to keep warm in the winter. They are small, cost efficient and can keep your family warm. During the colder months, space heater fires increase. Improper use of a space heater can cause your home to go up in flames. With subzero temperatures approaching the end of this week here in Kenosha, we wanted to share some safety tips with you should you choose to use a space heater.

  • Read the manufacturer’s instructions and warning labels carefully
  • Only use a heater that has a recognized testing laboratory on the label
  • Inspect heaters for cracked or broken plugs or loose connections before each use. Do not use the heater if they are frayed, worn or damaged.
  • space heaters need space, keep everything clear of them by at least three feet
  • space heaters are only meant to provide supplemental heat and should never be used to warm bedding, cook food, dry clothing or thaw pipes
  • Place space heaters on level, flat surfaces. Never place them on cabinets, tables, furniture or carpet which can overheat and start a fire.
  • plug it directly into a wall outlet and you should never plug a space heater into an extension cord or power strip. Do not plug any other electrical devices into the same outlet as the heater. This can cause it to overheat and result in a fire.
  • Never leave a space heater unattended. Turn it off when you’re leaving a room or going to sleep, and don’t let pets or children play too close
  • When not in use, unplug and safely store the heater
  • make sure you have smoke alarms installed on every floor of your home and outside all sleeping areas

You can count on SERVPRO of North Kenosha County to provide you with the tips that you need to help protect you, your home and your belongings from fire damage. Should fire damage occur, we are here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year.