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Celebrate the Holidays With Fire Safety in Mind | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County

11/19/2020 (Permalink)

multicolor strand of lights on wood floor Make sure your fire risk is low during the holidays. If you experience any damage, SERVPRO of North Kenosha County will be here to help.

Celebrate the Holidays With Fire Safety in Mind | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County - SERVPRO OF NORTH KENOSHA COUNTY Blog

There is no time when it is safe to not be concerned with house fires, but during the winter, it is wise to be extra cautious during your regular activities. Winter is the leading time for house fires to occur based on Red Cross data, and while many activities can present heightened risks, preceding with caution can help you stay safe.

An increase in cooking and baking surrounding winter holidays is partially to blame for this trend, but the use of heaters, fireplaces and decorations also plays a factor. While these activities are integral to a winter well spent, it is important to do them safely to avoid increasing your chances of experiencing a fire in the home.

Enjoy Winter Activities Without Increasing Your Fire Risk

Keep safe when cooking. Cooking and baking routinely cause the most amount of fires every year, but during the winter is when the frequency of these incidents peak. It is important to always practice fire safety in the kitchen, even when things are hectic. Watching out for flammable objects near the stove, always having a fire extinguisher on-hand and never cooking when tired or when things will be unattended are all key for safety.

Heat the house with proper precautions. In the chilly weather, using a fireplace or space heater is a cozy way to make your home more comfortable, as long as safety precautions are followed. Be sure you use a space heater with the latest safety features such as tip-over and overheating sensors, and never use the fireplace when the fire may be left unattended. As with any heating element, never keep flammable objects near a space heater or a fireplace, too.

Decorate with care. Decorations such as lights and other various electronics bring a festive feel to the home, but using them safely is a must. Christmas tree fires are caused by lights 25% of the time. Fortunately, you can enjoy decorations safely by not overloading outlets and power strips, never using frayed wires and ensuring that lights are not left on when you are sleeping or away from home.

If you have damage due to a house fire, you can depend on us to help. Contact us 24 hours a day to report damage and receive a quick response from our certified restoration technicians. Get in touch today.

Considerations for Recovering From a Disaster at Your Business | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County

11/12/2020 (Permalink)

insurance policies binders and pen sitting on black table in large conference room SERVPRO of North Kenosha County is your go-to in case a disaster occurs. Get in touch with us to learn more.

Considerations for Recovering From a Disaster at Your Business | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County - SERVPRO OF NORTH KENOSHA COUNTY Blog

Every business owner understands how crucial it is to plan ahead and be prepared for anything, but for many, these considerations have not yet impacted their disaster recovery efforts. While there is no way to tell when a disaster will strike, planning for recovery is key to preserving your business and ensuring you can reopen your doors even after an emergency. Considering your recovery plan in advance is a great way to make sure you are prepared for anything that comes your way.

Considering the safety of you and your staff is the most important aspect of disaster planning, but once you do that, you can begin thinking through your recovery as well. By being prepared for how to overcome whatever happens, you will be able to execute your recovery plan more quickly and get your doors reopened much faster than if you had not planned ahead.

Disaster Recovery Steps for Business Owners

Contact your providers for insurance and restoration. No two commercial insurance policies are the same, which is why it is so important to make sure you get in touch with your insurance provider quickly after a disaster in order to understand if and how to file a claim. Once you do this, it is wise to get in touch with the company you have chosen for your commercial restoration so you can set that process in motion as well.

Get in touch with customers quickly. Keeping in touch with your customers is easier than ever before thanks to social media, so it is wise to make use of it to give them pertinent details following a disaster. Keeping them aware of changes to operating hours and closures is helpful, as is setting up programs like online ordering or gift card sales so they can still give you support as you work to get back to full operations.

Be aware of what resources are out there for you. After a disaster, many resources are made available to small businesses through the Small Business Administration. Financial assistance for disaster recovery is often easy to qualify for and can be applied to a number of expenses you might incur as you work to get your doors reopened once more.

If your business has been damaged due to a disaster, we’re here to help. Contact us at any hour to report your damage or to learn more about our commercial restoration services.

Have you sustained property damage and feeling overwhelmed? We are here to help, contact SERVPRO of North Kenosha County.

11/5/2020 (Permalink)

large red diamond shape sign with Natural Disaster written in large black print We Focus on Restoration, Not Replacement | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County

We Focus on Restoration, Not Replacement | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County - SERVPRO OF NORTH KENOSHA COUNTY Blog

When an emergency or disaster strikes, the safety of your family is the top concern—but the safety of your home is a close second. Enduring a disaster such as a fire can be difficult to recover from, and working toward recovery can be a long-term process for you and your family members.

When you are ready to begin the recovery process, calling us for restoration can make it much easier. We are committed to a restoration-first mindset, meaning we will save all of your items we are able to instead of recommending costly and impractical replacements. Our main goal is to save you time and money while restoring your home to its pre-damaged condition so you can begin to heal.

We Are Committed to a Restoration-First Mindset

We can help you save money on your insurance. Depending on your insurance policy, many types of household losses can be claimed after a disaster—but they can often be quite expensive, which can result in higher premiums. By focusing on restoration of your home and belongings, we can reduce the overall cost of restoration, thus reducing the amount you have to file with insurance.

We can protect your sentimental items. When you have to quickly leave the home to preserve your family’s safety, there are many irreplaceable items that must be left behind in the process. Photographs, heirlooms and other sentimental objects could never be bought in a store, and while you may assume these items may be totally lost, our high-tech restoration equipment allows us to save many objects that have become damaged.

We make sure your home feels like home again. Returning home after restoration can be an emotional and nerve-wracking time, but when you trust us with your restoration, you can be certain you will be walking back into your home. We focus on restoring everything we can, from the paint color to the floorboards, to make sure you feel at home as soon as you walk in the door.

If you have damages and are feeling overwhelmed, we are here to help. You can call us as soon as you need to in order to begin the restoration process. Contact us today to learn more.

Check Appliances to Prevent Water Damage | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County

1/9/2020 (Permalink)

fustrated woman on floor looking at broken washer If your home experiences any flooding or other water issue, SERVPRO of North Kenosha County is here to dry, clean and repair any damage.

Check Appliances to Prevent Water Damage | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County - SERVPRO OF NORTH KENOSHA COUNTY Blog

Though natural causes can lead to household water damage, one of the most common reasons that water damage occurs is due to household leaks from appliances.

When appliances leak, it can often go unnoticed for an extensive amount of time—this can create a problem as water damage is best treated quickly. However, by performing regular checks, this can be prevented.

Appliances Known to Cause Water Damage

Hot Water Heater
Despite the official lifetime of a hot water heater being around 10 years, leaks can start much sooner than this. As parts grow worn from usage, they can begin to break down and let water escape, which can lead to a serious issue if it is left untreated.

Refrigerator
The lines connecting the refrigerator to a household’s water supply can often experience micro-tears or seal issues that can create leaks when they are used. While these leaks are typically small, because refrigerators are rarely moved, the damage they cause can compound and lead to far more serious issues. Check behind the refrigerator as part of your regular home maintenance to be sure that all is well.

Dishwasher
As with refrigerators, dishwashers can also create hidden damages, which are often worse because of how much water a dishwasher requires. Water damages from dishwasher leaks are not always covered by insurance, so checking in your dishwasher’s cubby is also a good regular practice to uphold.

Washing Machine
The washing machine hoses have one of the biggest reputations for leaking, requiring monthly inspection to ensure everything is operational. Additionally, experts recommend that these hoses are replaced every five years regardless of their outward appearance.

Air Conditioner
The moisture created from an HVAC unit is a byproduct of its operation and is generally drained away. Unfortunately, any issue with this drainage system will not cause a performance problem right away, but can lead to water damage in and around the unit. Check your manufacturer’s instructions and be sure to follow regular maintenance and inspection schedules for the most effective prevention for this.

If your home has been impacted by water damage or you’d like to put a plan in place in case it happens to you, contact us to learn how we can help.

Business Owners and Disaster Preparations | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County

12/20/2019 (Permalink)

preparedness and readiness sayings in bold lettering with red background Having a disaster plan in place is crucial. SERVPRO of North Kenosha County is your full service commercial restoration company.

Business Owners and Disaster Preparations | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County - SERVPRO OF NORTH KENOSHA COUNTY Blog

Anticipating future risks your business will be exposed to can be difficult due to many factors, but one thing business owners should certainly prepare for is a natural disaster.

While often not discussed in a business-focused manner, natural disasters have grown increasingly common in recent years and the way businesses handle them can often make or break future operations.

While there is no way to know for sure if a natural disaster will strike your commercial property, understanding your insurance coverage, action plan and the process for reopening afterward will help ensure you can recover quickly if it does.

Disaster Preparations Especially for Business Owners

1. Double-Check Your Insurance
Unfortunately, not every business policy is designed with natural disasters in mind. Often, excessive damages from natural causes will not be fully covered, leaving business owners to foot the bill for recovery from their own capital. However, starting this dialogue with your agent and researching the types of supplemental policies business owners may be eligible for will help you be certain you are fully covered.

2. Create Your Action Plan
When you are faced with a scenario where you must evacuate from your business right away, it is important to have a plan in place and all necessary supplies in order to do so in as little time as possible. Documenting local shelters, evacuation routes and medical facilities will be helpful, as well as any key actions such as shutting down machinery on your way out the door.

3. Rehearse Drills and Prepare Staff
It is important to not only make an emergency action plan for yourself but to also include your staff in the procedures. Once you have your details determined, sharing the plan with your employees and designating those in leadership roles to host regular and varied disaster drills with the team can help everyone stay safe and know what to do in a frightening scenario.

4. Choose a Restoration Company to Work With
All aspects of disaster planning are important, but one vital thing is knowing how you will get your business property suitable to reopen following the disaster. The best way to do that is to work with a restoration company that has expertise in commercial jobs in order to get your damage restored and your doors reopened as quickly as possible.

If you need to pick a commercial restoration company that’s right for you, call us today! We can tell you all about what sets our process apart.

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.