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How Fires Break Out in Cool Weather | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County

12/9/2019 (Permalink)

snow covered Christmas tree branches Practicing prevention is the best way to reduce the chance of a fire, however if you do experience a loss contact SERVPRO of North Kenosha County.

How Fires Break Out in Cool Weather | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County - SERVPRO OF NORTH KENOSHA COUNTY Blog

As the weather turns cooler for the wintertime, the chance of fires begins to increase. Winter sees the highest occurrences of house fires due to several factors, which is why it is important to understand the reasons why fires occur more frequently and how to prevent them.

<h3behind-cool-weather-fires">Reasons Behind Cool Weather Fires

An Increase in Cooking
Cooking is always found to be the No. 1 cause of house fires during the year, so it is no surprise that it is also the top cause of winter fires. Many winter holidays are celebrated with big meals, leading to an increase in cooking, baking and having multiple people working in the kitchen at once, giving a fire more opportunity to occur.

The Risk of Heaters
Many families implore the use of space heaters or a fireplace to cut down their heating costs in the winter, but it is important to exercise caution if you do so. Heating errors cause fires at the second-highest rate during the winter, which is why it is important to ensure the safety features on any heaters are working and that a fireplace is never used without its protective grate.

Candles and Decorations
There are many ways to decorate for the winter holidays, but if you choose candles or electronics, be sure to exercise caution. Any time a candle is lit, there is an opportunity for the flame to spread, and this is multiplied if it is near fake greenery or other synthetically made decorations. Additionally, many electrical components of decor can deteriorate if they are used only once per year, leading to an increased opportunity for electrical fires.

<h3for-avoiding-cool-weather-fires">Tips for Avoiding Cool-Weather Fires

For the reasons listed above, it is important to be extremely cautious concerning house fires when the temperature drops. Here are some of the best fire prevention tips for the cooler months to keep you protected and to keep your home fire-free:

  • Check smoke alarms once every 30 days and replace every 10 years.
  • Always monitor open flames.
  • Select space heaters with automatic shut-offs in case they tip over.
  • Utilize a screen every time you use a fireplace.
  • Draft and practice an emergency escape plan with your household.

If your home has been impacted by a fire, call us right away. We are leaders in restoration and can help you recover quickly after a fire occurs.

A Flood’s Effect on Homes | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County

12/5/2019 (Permalink)

water damaged furniture, home items and ripped up carpet sitting on driveway of brick home Do you have water damage or flooding? Let SERVPRO of North Kenosha County guide you through your water-related issues.

Though homeowners must protect themselves and their homes from many hazards, flooding is often overlooked. However, flooding rates are continuing to increase around the country, so it is important to be prepared just in case.

There are many reasons floods occur and many ways they can cause damage, but we hope that providing an overview will allow you to understand some of the risks and better prepare you for a flooding event near your home.

The Ways Flooding Affects Homes

Foundation Damage. The foundation of a home sets upon the soil, which can move and swell in unpredictable ways when it becomes saturated with a high volume of floodwater. This can cause the foundation to shift unevenly, leading to problems within the home’s structure.

Drywall Damage and Mold. Damage done to drywall is often obvious as it will begin to deteriorate, but occasionally it will look perfectly intact after being soaked. Because of how well drywall hides mold, replacement is typically still recommended.

Insulation Saturation. The majority of insulation used in residential homes are highly susceptible to flood damage as they are quite absorbent and do not dry quickly. Not only can this cause insulation issues with your home, but it can also lead to mold damage in the walls.

Temporary Frame Swelling. Built with solid lumber, most house frames are quite resilient to water exposure. While some swelling will likely occur when the lumber is soaked through, the structure can typically maintain its integrity again once the swelling is reduced.

Appliance Ruining. Many appliances rely on insulation to regulate the temperature inside of them, and this insulation is vulnerable to water exposure. However, it is worth discussing this with a trained professional as not all appliances are built this way and some can be salvaged.

Furniture Damage. Furniture that is made of solid material such as glass or metal generally fares well in a flood, simply requiring a thorough sanitization. However, furniture made from particleboard or upholstery can often become dangerous to reuse due to contact with floodwater.

If your home has been affected by a flood, we’ll be here to help you! Give us a call 247 to learn about our certified flood restoration process.

Preparing for Floods When You Own a Business | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County

10/22/2019 (Permalink)

flooding in large room with staircase partially submerged in water A flood can happened when you least expect it. If your business experiences any water damage, contact SERVPRO of North Kenosha County.

Preparing for Floods When You Own a Business | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County - SERVPRO OF NORTH KENOSHA COUNTY Blog

When most people think disaster, they likely think fires or thunderstorms, but planning for a flood is just as important for business owners. Because of the high amount of flooding during natural disasters, even those not in commonly known flood-prone areas should be prepared.

Planning specifically for a flood is also a great way for business owners to keep their employees safe, thus reducing liability, and decreasing the timeline in which they can reopen. Advanced planning will help you know exactly what to do when a flood occurs so you can overcome it.

How to Prepare Your Business for a Flood

When planning for flooding, it is important to make sure you are not overlooking anything, which is why we have assembled some must-read tips for flood preparations:

  • Access the Flood Map on FEMA’s website in order to find your location and understand any specific geographic struggles you might face at your business.
  • Have copies of all your important documents stored securely in another location, such as a safety deposit box or in a waterproof safe.
  • Utilize OSHA’s guidelines to draft an official emergency action plan as a way to educate employees.
  • Host regular evacuation drills to ensure everyone knows exactly what to do.
  • Research your insurance options—many business policies do not include coverage for water damage and flooding.
  • Make room to store office emergency kits in case you must await help.
  • Consider elevating electronics if flooding is imminent and there is time.
Preserve Important Documents Before a Flood

It is better to preserve as much as you can than to discover you have forgotten something after a flood. Some of the best documents to copy are:

  • An outline for your plan to reopen and steps to get there
  • Any supply companies, vendors and other parties that need to be contacted quickly
  • Your business insurance policy and flood policy, if applicable
  • Recovery instructions for digital files
  • Any loan agreements, leasing documents and banking files that could be relevant

If your business has experienced a flood, we are always here to help. Call us 247 to get our team of professionals to your business quickly so you can get back on track.

Where Water Damage Can Hide | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County

9/23/2019 (Permalink)

water damage and flooding on kitchen tile Water damage can happen at any time. SERVPRO of North Kenosha County will ensure that each water mitigation job is done correctly and completely.

Where Water Damage Can Hide | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County - SERVPRO OF NORTH KENOSHA COUNTY Blog

When it comes to water damage, severe weather is not the only cause. Many things can cause water damage in a home, independent of the type of weather involved.

Treating water damage that has been long undiscovered can be costly, as well. There are many insurance policies that do not extend coverage to water damage, and for ones that do, an average claim amounts to nearly $7,000. Understanding where water damage can hide is helpful for homeowners to avoid costly repairs.

Where to Look for Potential Water Damage
  • Under a sink. Cabinets provide a hiding place for pipes, but they can also conceal leaks that can cause big problems.

  • Between a tub and a wall. Caulk is generally used to seal a tub casing to a wall, which can deteriorate and weaken over time.

  • Behind drywall. Because drywall is designed to hide a home’s structural elements, it can also hide water damage to the structure after flooding or pipes bursting.

  • Around roof seals. Where chimneys and vents intersect with the roof can often be a perfect spot for water damage, as the seals that protect them begin to wear.

  • The interior of an HVAC unit. AC units must drain away their condensation, but if there is an issue with the drain line, they can begin depositing water into the unit itself instead.

  • Below appliances. Because washing machines and dishwashers are so rarely moved, it is common for homeowners to discover they have been secretly leaking when they are.

  • Around exterior faucets. The exterior spigots of a home can start to leak with time, but the masonry or siding on the exterior of the home can hide this well.

If your home has suffered water damage (even in a hidden place like one of these), we are happy to help! Give us a call right away, and we’ll get there quickly.

Types of Damages Lightning Can Cause | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County

9/9/2019 (Permalink)

lightning strikes in dark stormy sky Storm and lighting damage require specialized restoration techniques and equipment. When a storm hits your home, you need the company with experience

Types of Damages Lightning Can Cause | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County - SERVPRO OF NORTH KENOSHA COUNTY Blog

Because of the rain, winds and other aspects that surround thunderstorms, there are many ways in which they can cause damage. Lightning strikes, one of the most dangerous thunderstorm occurrences, can lead to fire outbreaks, electronic damage and even structural damage when they strike a building.

Because of the high temperatures and shock waves associated with lightning strikes, they can be highly dangerous if they are nearby.

What Causes Lightning to Form?

Every thunderstorm contains electricity, which is the powerful force behind thunder and lightning. Lightning bolts are a brief, visible discharge of this energy, either striking across the clouds or below the ground.

The Earth’s atmosphere is not an ideal conductor, so lightning attempts to reach the ground quickly once it leaves the clouds. This is why it will opt to strike objects as it heads toward the ground. If the object in question is a building, it travels through the water and electrical systems, which is part of why it is so dangerous.

What Damages Can Lightning Cause?

The way a lightning strike can damage a home and how to stay safe during a storm is important to know.

Fires can start. A bolt of lightning can be up to 500,000 degrees, meaning it can often start a fire on impact if it strikes the wood of a home. Additionally, lightning can damage electrical wiring and lead to fires that break out within the walls. If your home is struck, the fire department will be able to run tests to determine if you’re at risk for an electrical fire.

Electronics may be damaged. As lightning courses through a home’s wiring, it can transfer its charge into anything connected to an outlet. Because this can cause significant damage, routing electronics through a surge protector is a wise idea.

Shock waves can cause property damage. Lightning produces shock waves each time it strikes, which typically manifest as thunder. However, these shock waves are also present when lightning strikes the ground, causing windows to shatter and foundations to crack. It is important to inspect your home’s structure for faults if lightning has struck nearby.

If your home has been affected by storm damages or lightning-related fires, give us a call today! We are experts in damage cleanup and can restore your damage quickly.

National Preparedness Month

8/28/2019 (Permalink)

September is National Preparedness Month. The theme for 2019 is “Prepared, Not Scared.”

Each week in September has a different focus to promote family and community disaster and emergency planning now and throughout the year.

Week 1: Save Early for Disaster Costs

                -According to the Federal Reserve, 40% of Americans don’t have $400 in savings. Learn some tips to become more financially prepared: https://www.ready.gov/financial-preparedness

                -Most homeowners’ and renters’ insurance policies do not cover flood damage. Learn more about flood insurance at www.FloodSmart.gov

Week 2: Make a Plan to Prepare for Disasters

                -Be prepared. Make an emergency plan today and practice it with your family: www.ready.gov/plan

                -Learn how to turn off utilities like natural gas in your home. www.Ready.gov/safety-skills

                -Be prepared for a power outage by having enough food, water and meds to last for at least 72 hours: https://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit

Week 3: Teach Youth to Prepare for Disasters

                -Talk to your children about what to do in an emergency if they are at home or away from home. Ready.gov/kids

                -Get your kids involved in building their own emergency kit: www.ready.gov/kids/build-a-kit

                -Ask your child’s teacher about the plans the school has in place for emergencies

Week 4: Get Involved in Your Community’s Preparedness

                -Take classes in lifesavings skills, such as CPR/AED and first aid, or in emergency response, such as CERT.

                -Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) trains volunteers to prepare for the types of disasters that their community may face. Find your local CERT: https://community.fema.gov/Register/Register_Search_Programs

                -If you have a disability contact your city or county government’s emergency management agency or office. Many keep lists of people with disabilities so they can be helped quickly in a sudden emergency. www.ready.gov/disability

These are just a few tips and resources you can use to make sure you are prepared for the unexpected. Additional information can be found at: https://www.ready.gov/september

If you experience the unexpected, SERVPRO of North Kenosha County is always available 24/7/365. We are #HereToHelp and always #ReadyforWhateverHappens. 

It’s a Smart Business Decision to Choose Us | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County

8/20/2019 (Permalink)

Consider choosing SERVPRO of North Kenosha County for your business restoration needs. You won't be disappointed!

It’s a Smart Business Decision to Choose Us | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County - SERVPRO OF NORTH KENOSHA COUNTY Blog

As a business, sustaining damage from a natural disaster puts the business owner in a vulnerable position. FEMA completed a study about how damage from disasters affects businesses and found that 40 to 60% are left unable to reopen after the damages.

Because of these dismal odds, it is important to make smart business decisions during the period of disaster recovery. By working with a trustworthy commercial restoration company, you can ensure that repairs to your business are done as quickly and efficiently as possible, so you can get your doors open again more quickly.

Here are some reasons why working with us for commercial restoration is a smart business decision:

1. You’ll Receive a Faster Response

Damages do not stick to a schedule, but no matter what hour of the day you discover them, we will be here to help. Our slogan “faster to any size disaster” is more than just something we say. Because of our 24-hour emergency service line, we are able to live up to that slogan and jump into action right away so business owners can focus on other aspects of getting their business practices restored.

2. You’ll Get Service From a Highly Trained Team

Hiring and training a top-notch team is of the utmost importance to us. Our training includes information from the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) to ensure everyone is up-to-date on industry practices and the current developments in the field. Our technicians are also given access to certification programs and online learning classes so they can continue to develop their expertise.

3. You’ll Get the Best Equipment

Because of the rapid advancements in the last few years have brought to the restoration industry, the IICRC has developed guidelines for the most effective equipment. We’re equipped with the top tools in the industry, so we are prepared to tackle anything from removing toxic soot particles after a fire to extracting water rapidly after a flood.

If you’re in need of commercial restoration, do not hesitate to make the call so you can get your business back faster. Our trained experts are here to help 24/7—contact us today.

First Responder Bowl

8/12/2019 (Permalink)

firefighter putting on protective equipment #firstresponders #SERVPROnorthkenoshacounty

Mark your calendars for December 30, 2019! Why might you ask? The SERVPRO First Responder Bowl! In our line of work, we work with First Responders quite a bit. It is our privilege to honor the brave men and women who protect our communities 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year.  They put their lives on the line and sacrifice time with their families every day to protect all of us.

First Responders to be honored include police officers, firefighters, EMS workers, correctional officers, search and rescue, dispatchers, security guards, federal agents, border patrol agents and military personnel. If you get the opportunity, thank a First Responder in your community. Without their dedication and selfless acts, a lot of us wouldn’t be here today.

Emergency Ready Profile - SERVPRO of North Kenosha County

8/12/2019 (Permalink)

It’s the middle of the night and your phone rings, because you’re the one that gets the calls when something goes wrong. The company you work for, well, they had a sprinkler head burst and the facility is filling up with water. What do you do first and who do you call? Do you have a plan?

Some of the things that might cross your mind are:

                -I need to get the water shut off and maybe, where is that?

                - Who is our insurance carrier?

                -Who can clean up a mess like this?

                -Are we going to be able to open the facility and operate business as usual?

As many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster, according to the latest research. Of the ones that survive, the majority of them had a plan in place for events such as this. No one ever plans on a disaster to happen, but when it does, the best time to prepare is long before that. Ask yourself, “Are you ready for whatever happens?”

SERVPRO of North Kenosha can help you with a property management tool that we’ve developed also known as our Emergency Ready Profile. And the best part is it costs you NOTHING. It is a no cost assessment of your facility that has an immense amount of value. This profile includes information such as where your shut-off valve locations are, priority areas and priority contact information so when you get that call in the middle of the night, you know what to do and who to call.

And best of all is we give you this information in a free app on your smart phone or tablet. We want to help you minimize your down time as much as possible.

Give SERVPRO of North Kenosha County a call today to schedule your absolutely FREE assessment or visit SERVPRO.com/Ready. We are always Here to Help.

Prevention Tips for House Fires | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County

8/7/2019 (Permalink)

#firedamage #SERVPROnorthkenoshacounty #firerestoration #heretohelp #firesafetytips #fireprevention

Prevention Tips for House Fires | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County - SERVPRO OF NORTH KENOSHA COUNTY Blog

Not only are house fires extremely dangerous, but they also can cause expensive damages. The most effective house fire prevention tip is installing and regularly testing smoke alarms, but there are many other ways to stop house fires before they start.

The Numbers Surrounding House Fires

House fires occur far more often than one would estimate. In fact, at least two house fires are reported every minute, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

About half of the house fires reported are cooking-related incidents, but that is not the only cause to spark a flame.

Tips for the Prevention of House Fires

Fires are incredibly fast-spreading, and one simple mistake can lead to a devastating amount of flames in an instant. Learning the steps for preventing house fires is the best thing to do to keep flames from starting:

Maintain smoke alarms. Working smoke detectors are the best defense against fires because they are the most efficient way to alert the household that smoke is present. Monthly battery tests should be performed, and the entire unit should be updated every 10 years.

Clean the dryer. Dryer lint is the perfect combustible material when combined with the heat from the dryer. The lint tray should be cleared after each load to avoid a build-up of lint.

Watch open flames. Candles, cooking and fireplaces are just some of the reasons most people are exposed to open flames every day—making it easier to normalize them and forget their risk. Because of how quickly flames can spread, it is advised to never leave them unattended.

Maintain wiring. Household wires and cables can become a fire hazard if they are used when frayed or otherwise compromised. Check them often and replace once they become worn.

Shelter household chemicals. Household products often contain chemicals that are highly flammable, especially when stored in aerosol cans. Keep any of these products protected from sunlight or heat to avoid combustion.

If your home has suffered damage from a house fire, give us a call. We are certified in fire and soot remediation, and here to help 247.