Recent Posts

Fire Prevention Starts at Home in La Crosse County

10/8/2019 (Permalink)

A family home has been damaged by fire. Fires can be devastating. Once the fire trucks leave-not only do you have damage from the fire itself, but water damage from the firefighters.

They say good habits start as a child as they watch the adults in their lives.  October is the start of the heating season in most parts of our country.  Are you ready to flip that switch?  Let's find out...

Does every room including bedrooms, have a working smoke detector?  Half of home fire deaths occur between 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.  Most people are sleeping at this time. 

Granted, 51.6% of fires in 2017 were started by cooking, and other causes include 9.1% from heating, 7.1% have been caused by unintentional carelessness,  and lastly, 6.5% from an electrical malfunction.  (According to  https://www.usfa.fema.gov/data/statistics/#causesR).

Change out your furnace filter.  Newer, cleaner filters will help your furnace run more efficiently.  

Inspect electrical cords and all heating equipment and that it is clean and in proper working order.

With Fire Prevention Week upon us, be sure to check and test your smoke alarms.  Be ready and prepared for whatever happens.  

Water Heater Damage in La Crosse County

10/8/2019 (Permalink)

Rust on your water heater and a wet floor are signs to have it checked. This water heater is in failing mode. Pay attention to the various rust spots along the tank and wet floor underneath it.

The majority of water heaters typically fail between 8 and 10 years.  You don't have to be caught off guard when it does happen. 

5 signs that it's time to replace your water heater include: 

  1. Your heater is too old
  2. Rust spots that you can see on the outside of the tank.
  3. Noise from the heater.
  4. Water leaking from the heater.
  5. Water isn't getting hot enough.  

Using the serial number, you can easily identify in what month and year your heater was manufactured.  The first two numbers in the whole number reflect the month, with the next two, the year.  Knowing when it was manufactured gives a pretty good indication when it should be replaced.

Rust is the one thing can affect the steel that your tank is probably made out of.  Rust can slowly spread and eat through the steel.  Rust serves as a warning sign for oncoming leaks.  When rust appears in your water as its coming out of the faucet, chances are, there is rust in your heater.  

Noises from the heater become louder and louder as the tank heats up the water the older it is.  These noises can be caused by sediment build up. 

One primary cause for leaks is the thousands of heating cycles that a tank undergoes causing the interior tank to turn brittle.  Other causes include the fittings or connections have loosened, or the temperature/pressure overflow pipe no longer functions.  

Heating issues are caused by a mis-adjusted thermostat, a broken heating element, or a tank that is too small for your home.  

When something happens to your heater, a leak, rust, or a split, give your local green team a call.  The quicker and sooner a water problem is cleaned up, the less likely further damages can occur.  

Give your #WeAreLocal GREEN Team a call at 608-487-9758 for immediate assistance.  

SERVPRO of La Crosse County Has Your Water Damage Information

9/3/2019 (Permalink)

employee using green hosed equipment to remove water SERVPRO of La Crosse County is "Faster to any Disaster" for a reason. Quick mitigation of a water damage reduces trouble later.

Despite what many people think, not all home water damage is created equal. There are actually a number of different classes and categories of water damage. According the IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification), there are three categories of water/liquid and four classes of the damage.

Category 1 – This is basically any liquid from a clean and/or sanitary source like a faucet, a toilet, or fountain.

Category 2 – This refers to liquid/water that used to be called grey water, which can potentially cause illness if ingested. This includes things like dishwasher or washing machine overflow, toilet overthrow or sink drains.

Category 3 – This category used to be called black water; it is extremely unsanitary. This includes sewer backup, flooding from rivers, and stagnant liquid that has fostered bacterial growth.

Now let’s examine the classes;

Class 1 – This is very easy to deal with and only affects a part of a single room, with little to no wet carpet, with water only on surfaces like wood or concrete.

Class 2 – This class effects and entire room, and wetness has went up the walls about 12” or more, with moisture still in the structure.

Class 3 – This class basically means that ceiling, walls, carpet and insulation are all saturated with liquid or water. This is often due to water coming from overhead.

Class 4 – This class means that there has been enough water or time to saturate materials with very low levels of permeation, like hardwood or stone.

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property. Call SERVPRO of La Crosse County at 608.786.0387 for all of your restoration needs!

SERVPRO of La Crosse County Can DRY Your Files After a Water Damage

8/31/2019 (Permalink)

stacks of paper for document drying SERVPRO is one of only four companies in the United States that has the technology to restore damaged paper and books.

SERVPRO of La Crosse County offers Vacuum Freeze Drying that is the most efficient and effective way to salvage water-damaged documents. 

The Document Restoration Team uses sublimation-turning a solid directly into a vapor, skipping the liquid stage to avoid causing more damage to the documents.

This state-of-the-art technology used by SERVPRO technicians is the only method approved by the National Archives and Records Administration and has been used by the Library of Congress.

All employees of the Document Restoration Team are HIPAA Master certified.  Once your items arrive at our SERVPRO facility, 24/7 video surveillance is guaranteed.

Standard drying time is 7-10 days.  The time frame can vary, though, based on moisture content and backlog.  SERVPRO's goal is to make the process as simple as possible for our customers.

Have you recently suffered a water damage in your home or business?  Were tax records or human resource files affected?  Call your local   SERVPRO of La Crosse County today to get them well on their way to recovery.  608.786.0387

Drinking Water Guidelines Following an Emergency in La Crosse County

8/28/2019 (Permalink)

glass of Dirty Water and glass of Clean Water How do you take your water?

Did you know that a normal active person needs about three quarters of a gallon of fluid daily?

But, following a disaster, clean water may not be easily accessible.  You should prepare yourself and your family in the event a disaster occurs NOW.  September is National Preparedness Month.

The following are some tips to take into consideration when creating your emergency lists and plan...

  1. Never ration drinking water unless ordered to do so by authorities.  Minimize the amount of water you will need by reducing activity and staying cool.
  2. Drink water that you know is not contaminated first.
  3. Try to avoid carbonated or caffeinated beverages which can dehydrate you and can increase your need for water.

If clean water sources become hard to find, there are many ways to treat water in order to make it drinkable.  

  1. Boiling water is the safest method of treating water.  In a large pot or kettle, bring water to a rolling boil for one full minute.  Some may evaporate, but be sure it cools before drinking.
  2. Chlorination is using 16 drops of bleach per gallon of water and letting it stand for 30 minutes.  If the water does not have a slight bleach odor, repeat the dosage and wait another 15 minutes.  If it still does not have a smell, then discard it altogether and locate a new source.
  3. Distillation is a process that removes microbes that resist boiling and chlorination.  This process involves boiling the water for 20 minutes and collecting the condensation.

To store water that is ready for drinking, you can prepare your own food grade water storage containers.  Water not commercially purchased should be replaced every 6 months.

La Crosse County Pets Should be Included in Your Emergency Action Plan

8/28/2019 (Permalink)

picture of many cats and dogs When is comes to planning an emergency plan, be sure to include your animals.

When planning for an emergency, do you remember to include your animals-all of them?  Our pets enrich our lives in more ways than we can count.  In turn, they depend on us for their safety.  The following is a safety checklist to help get you started with your planning.  

Preparation-If it is not safe for you to stay, it is not safe for them.

  1. Know which hotels along your evacuation route will accept you and your pets.
  2. Most Red Cross shelters can only house service animals.
  3. Have a list of friends, family members, boarding facilities, or shelters and their phone numbers that can care for your animals in an emergency. 
  4. Be prepared to separate them.
  5. Include your pets and their carriers when practicing your drills.
  6. Be sure that your pet's vaccinations are current and up to date.  Proof of these are required when sheltering needs to occur.
  7. Consider "microchipping" your pets.

Emergency supplies are also needed for your animals.  Keep items accessible and store them in sturdy containers.  These kits should include things like extra, sturdy leashes, food and food dish, water and a dish, any medications, a first aid kit, current photos, information of feeding schedule, and any toys.

When storm warnings are issued-that is your key to put your plan into place.  Make calls to confirm hotel or shelter stays.  Be sure all collars and ID tags are securely attached to each animal.

Hopefully, this little bit of information goes a long way in helping you to save your pets.  As always, be weather aware.

SERVPRO of La Crosse County Cleans Your Hospital

8/26/2019 (Permalink)

employee in lift cleaning side of 2 story building Your #WeAreLocal GREEN Team is available to help with those necessary cleaning jobs that nobody wants to do.

SERVPRO of La Crosse County cleans the exterior of this local hospital once every other year.  After the typically long winters, there always seems to be an infestation of spiders and their webs, bird nests and their feces, as well as bee hives.  SERVPRO is called in to power wash all the windows, sills, brick, and fixtures on the roof of the building.  They recently added their clinic, administration building, and doctor's house to their list of cleaning.  

No job is too big for your #WeAreLocal GREEN team to handle.  Due to the fact that we are a franchise, we have the capability to call in other franchises should we need additional help.  

SERVPRO is your helper with all the mud and muck of the seasons.  Call us today for your free commercial estimate 608.786.0387

SERVPRO of La Crosse County Saves Lives

8/23/2019 (Permalink)

First Blood Drive Hunter joined the forces at Bangor High School recently to add to the donation trend.

Almost every month in almost every town that we service, you can find a blood drive.  

Did you know that your #WeAreLocal GREEN Team are suppliers of the red?  Cathy, our owner, is a regular donor.  Following in her footsteps, our newest Marketing Rep., Hunter, and finally, after many hesitations, our Marketing Manager, Heidi.  

The American Red Cross has an app where you can follow your blood once it is collected.  You can schedule your next appointment or see where your donation has ended up.  Each pint has the possibility to save 3 lives!

SERVPRO of La Crosse County is proud to be a sponsor of various charitable events, but this one is top on our lists.  Now, that we have some team members willing to donate, hopefully you will too!

SERVPRO of La Crosse County is Here for Your College Student

8/23/2019 (Permalink)

UWL Fire After a fire happened last year at UWL, SERVPRO of LA Crosse County was there to help make it "Like it never even happened."

Many students and staff are moving back into the dorms over the next few weeks.  With the excitement of it all, many important details can be missed throughout the whole process.  Do you talk about fire safety with your student?  Do you talk about being prepared if an emergency should happen on campus?

Apartment and dorm safety all begins with a plan. 

  1. First and foremost, create an escape plan.  Practice your plan. 
  2. Count the number of doors there are between yours and the fire exit.  Memorize the number in case you have to find your way in the dark. 
  3. Know where all the exit doors and stairs are located on your floor.  

STAY CALM!  In the event an evacuation is needed due to fire, run your plan as you have practiced it.  

  1. If your door feels warm to the touch, DO NOT open it.  Call 9-1-1.
  2. Stuff the cracks around the door with towels, bedding, tape, and etc.  Cover vents.
  3. Wait near a window and signal for help with a flashlight or white cloth.
  4. If your door is cool enough to open, do so slowly.  STAY LOW.  If it is safe, follow your evacuation plan.  Never use the elevator!

Stay and wait outside for help to arrive.  SERVPRO of La Crosse County can be on site within a short amount of time to respond to a fire.  We can provide everything from board-up services to emergency mitigation.  

608-786-0387

Are La Crosse County Businesses Ready for the Next Disaster?

8/23/2019 (Permalink)

Emergency Ready Program graphic When you have a plan in place, your #WeAreLocal GREEN Team can respond faster to any disaster.

Businesses, big or small, face a variety of hazards every day.  Natural hazards like floods, tornadoes, and earthquakes, health hazards such as widespread and serious illnesses like the flu, human-caused hazards including accidents and acts of violence, and technology-related hazards such as power outages and equipment failure. 

The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile can help business leaders not only prepare for some of these hazards, but what do afterwards in order to get back to business quickly.

Knowing what to do is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize damage to your business.  

It is a FREE assessment of your facility or space.

It details the location of valve shut-offs, priority areas and contact information.

It is a FREE guide that you and your Marketing Representative compile to contain critical information needed in the event of an emergency.  

It establishes your local SERVPRO of La Crosse County as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.

Give your #WeAreLocal GREEN Team a call to get started 608-786-0387