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Mold 101

7/20/2022 (Permalink)

Mold growth in bathroom Mold growth in a bathroom

Understanding Mold Growths Cycle

When you start noticing a musty smell, you know your home in Holmen, WI, has been infected with mold. While you can count on black mold remediation and restoration expert to take care of the problem, avoiding mold cleanup is always preferred. While it may not always be avoidable, understanding its growth cycle and taking preventive measures may help reduce the chances of an infestation.

Life Cycle
Mold is everywhere. Luckily, it requires the right conditions to grow in your home. When the temperature is just right, there is excess moisture and plentiful food—organic materials found throughout a home—black mold has the ability to start its growth cycle within 24 to 48 hours. These fungi have four stages in their life cycle:

Hyphae Growth: When ideal conditions come together, so do the mold’s cells. Hyphae are thread-like cells that take in all that nourishment and release enzymes, which is often where the odor comes from. They eventually grow in numbers and become mature mycelium, which is when the mold becomes visible.
Spore Formation: Spores eventually start to grow on the ends of the hyphae.
Spore Dispersal: After they are completely developed, they become airborne. They spread in search of new locations to start the process anew.
Spore Germination: Once they find a new ideal location, they begin to germinate and start the cycle over. Unfortunately, they can remain dormant for extended periods of time.

Prevention Tips
Any kind of moisture problem can bring spores back to life. Below are some tips to keep the right conditions from happening:

  • Keep humidity levels below 50%.
  • Ensure your home is well-ventilated, especially in the bathroom and kitchen.
  • If any leak appears, fix it immediately to minimize water damage.
  • Consider using mold-resistance materials when making repairs.
  • Items that sustain water damage should be replaced.

While black mold may be lurking in the shadows, it doesn’t have to become a reality. Understanding its life cycle makes it easier to take steps to avoid it.

Top 5 Water Damage Prevention Strategies

7/19/2022 (Permalink)

Shutting off water main Shut off your water main before leaving for extended periods

Ways To Protect Your Home From Water Damage

Water damage is one of the biggest headaches that residential homeowners have to deal with. On top of the initial accident, floods and leaks can cause a lot of subsequent costs in secondary damages. The best way to avoid these types of problems is to prevent the incident from happening in the first place. Follow the tips below to help protect your home in French Island, WI.

1. Check Pipes Regularly for Leaks.

It's important to perform regular home inspections for leaky or broken pipes. These types of incidents are easy to overlook, which can cause a lot of damage over time. Inspect any exposed pipes in your basement and underneath all of your sinks.

2. Monitor Your Home's Water Pressure.

If your water pressure is too high, you run the risk of putting undue wear and tear on your pipes. You can obtain a water pressure gauge from your local hardware store that you can use to manually monitor the pressure.

3. Regularly Check Home Appliances.

Any home appliances that use water, such as your washing machine or dishwasher, need to be checked regularly for leaks or other forms of damage. Floods that originate from these appliances can cause gray water damage.

4. Clean Out Your Gutters and Downspouts.

Your gutters are intended to collect and redirect water that runs off of your roof. However, they can often become clogged with dead leaves, branches and other forms of debris. When this happens, water can pool and collect in your gutters, eventually running down the sides of your house and causing damage.

5. Shut Off Your Water Main Before Leaving for Extended Periods.

If you plan to go on vacation or some other form of extended trip, make sure you turn off your water main before you go. This significantly reduces the chances of you having to deal with a water cleanup issue when you return.

Water damage can be devastating to residential properties, so it's important that you learn how to protect your home. Contact water remediation experts for more information, or assistance resolving a water-related mishap.

Resolving Sewage Backup in Your Bathtub

7/11/2022 (Permalink)

Sewage backup in a bathtub Sewage backup in a bathtub

Sewage Backup Techniques

Your bathtub is supposed to be a safe haven where you can relax, unwind and clean yourself up after a long day. Unfortunately, sewer backup can invade your tub when you least expect it, dashing your hopes for a calm evening. If your bathtub in Mindoro, WI, has fallen victim to sewage backflow, just use the following steps.

1. Protect Yourself and Your Household.
Sewage floods are considered Category 3 floods, as they contain a plethora of harmful biohazards. Protect your household by removing all children and pets from the area until the mess is cleaned up. Make sure you don the correct protective gear before tackling the mess as well.

2. Turn Off the Main Water Supply.
Prevent the flood from getting any worse by immediately shutting off your main water supply. You can usually find this valve in your basement.

3. Inspect Your Vent Pipe.
It is possible that the flood causing bathtub backup is a result of a blocked vent pipe. The vent pipe is typically located on the roof of your home, just above your bathroom. Use a flashlight to check for obstructions and remove any that you discover.

4. Snake the Bathtub Drain.
If the vent pipe isn't causing the flooding, then head back to your bathroom and attempt to snake the drain for clogs. Feed the snake down the drain, carefully, and twist counterclockwise as you slowly pull it out. If this method is successful, the sewer backup should begin to drain.

5. Thoroughly Disinfect the Area.
The biohazards present in black water are hazardous, so you absolutely need to make sure that you thoroughly clean and disinfect any surfaces that the flood water came into contact with.
Sewer backup can be messy, but the clogs are typically easy to fix, even if you don't have any prior plumbing experience. If the techniques described above did not fix the problem, then you need to contact flood remediation experts as soon as you can.

The Effects of Lightning on Residential Property

6/21/2022 (Permalink)

lightning During a house fire or lightning-related event, leave the house.

Residential Property Damage Caused by Lightning

According to the National Fire Protection Agency, homeowners are more likely to suffer lightning fire damage from June to August. Those sunny mornings transform quickly into fierce afternoon and evening showers. The storm frequency increases the odds of a residential strike.

However, strikes can occur at any time of year, leaving residents with a long list of expensive safety and cleanup needs. Anyone, therefore, is at risk, so it's crucial for owners in West Salem, WI, to understand the threat. The following are three things to know about the aftereffects of thunderstorm harm.

1. Lightning Damage Is Expensive

The Insurance Information Institute notes that in 2020, insurance companies handled 71,551 claims, paying out as much as $2.1 billion for damage. The group's report reveals that most individual requests for lightning-related destruction cost around $28,000, with situations in California costing upwards of $217,000.

2. Strikes Affect Multiple Aspects of Your Home

The high cost for repairs stems from the various aftereffects of the lightning fire. The structure faces a significant power surge when the bolt hits your home in West Salem, WI. Because an electrical current can travel through electrical, cable and phone wiring, you may experience a direct hit or find yourself the victim of a nearby strike.

Inside the house, it can wreak havoc on the appliances and technology, frying their circuits or creating short fuses. Furthermore, fires can start, spreading throughout various rooms, and the bolt's impact could crack or breach structural materials and the foundation.

3. Your Home Needs Professional Assessment

During a house fire or lightning-related event, leave the house. Request help certified fire damage experts who can assess the property, determine the extent of the damage and put together an action plan for cleanup and repair.

Lightning fire is common and devastating. Restoration is needed to ensure the property is safe to use; therefore, work with specialists who understand storm impact and how to remediate the damage.

Types of Solar Panel Damage and How To Prevent It

6/9/2022 (Permalink)

Chunk of Hail Hail can damage your solar panel in your Onalaska, WI home.

The Different Types of Solar Panel Damage and How to Avoid Them

After installing solar panels on your Onalaska, WI, home, you get peace of mind that you have invested in sustainable energy. These panels are rugged and built to last, but that doesn’t mean you won’t sustain some panel damage. Awareness of the common forms of damage and how to prevent them from happening are key to them lasting as long as possible.

What To Expect

Weather and nature are the top culprits when it comes to your panels getting damaged. Common issues include:

  • Dust and Debris: From small twigs to large branches falling and dirt settling, all of these may create scratches that deter the panels from being able to absorb sunlight.
  • Animals: Along with creating microabrasions, small mammals and birds may also damage wires.
  • Hail: Whether small pieces or large ones, hail can create cracks and scratches.
  • Water: If seals are worn, water may leak in and cause panel damage. Along with potentially short-circuiting the panels, excess water may indicate a bigger problem with the roof. If not addressed, it may require the services of a water damage remediation and restoration


Roof Damage Prevention Tips

While some damage may be unavoidable, such as from hail, there are ways to protect the panels and minimize the chances of damage.

  • Regularly clean them to ensure debris and dust aren’t settling on them.
  • Install a panel protection cover, which provides protection from rain and hail.
  • Apply a layer of protective methacrylate to beef up the panels’ ability to resist cracks.
  • Stay on top of weather conditions and inspect panels after a storm.

If your solar energy system was installed correctly, it means not having to worry about panel damage for a while. It is still necessary to know the common causes of damage and take steps to prevent issues from arising and protect your investment.

What Should You Do If Water Damages Your Wooden Floor?

6/6/2022 (Permalink)

Burst Pipe If a pipe bursts and causes water to accumulate in your La Crosse, WI home, you must remove it as quickly as possible.

What Should You Do If Your Wooden Floor Is Damaged by Water?

You may think that a bit of water on your property’s wood floor is no big deal. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Because wood is so porous, it absorbs water quickly. Even a small spill can therefore cause stains to develop. Larger flooding to your commercial building could also lead to floor buckling.

While waxing and sealing your floors can help block moisture, this does not completely prevent the absorption of water. If your property suffers a pipe burst that wets your hardwood floors, you should thus clean those floors as quickly as possible to prevent further damage. Here are some other steps to take when you discover water on a wooden floor.

1. Remove Objects From the Wet Floor
Any wet furniture or rugs should be removed from the hardwood floors for drying. If not properly dried, those items could encourage the growth of mold or mildew. The moisture from the furnishings could also drop onto the wood if they are left on the floor.

2. Soak up the Water
You can try to use mops or towels to soak up the excess liquid. However, if there are large puddles from a pipe burst, you may need a wet vacuum to remove the water. Cleanup and restoration professionals should have this tool available. You should thus hire them for any major water damage remediation projects.

3. Clean the Wood
The job is not done once the water is gone. The water may have still left behind dirt in the pores of the wood. Be sure the restoration experts you hire scrub away this debris.

4. Dry the Wood
Drying the wood should be the final step. The cleanup experts should use fans and dehumidifiers to expedite this process.

If a pipe burst or flood causes a buildup of water on your wooden floors, you need to remove the liquid as soon as possible. Remediation experts in La Crosse, WI, can ensure that the floor is completely dry.

3 Steps To Take Immediately After a Business Fire

5/24/2022 (Permalink)

trucks of a restoration company If you experience a Fire Emergency, call SERVPRO, our team is trained on how to restore fire damage like smoke and soot damaged contents.

3 Things To Do Right Away After A Business Fire

After a fire damages your Holmen, WI, business, the aftermath can feel overwhelming. Not only will you need fire restoration services but your employees will want to know how long it might take before you can reopen. Knowing which steps to take immediately after a business fire can help you feel less anxious about the cleanup process, especially with fire damage you cannot clean up on your own.

1. Contact Your Fire Insurance Company

Once firefighters douse the blaze and you can enter your property safety, contact your insurance agent right away to let him or her know what happened and the size of the fire. Send photos and video so your agent can file a claim right away and provide you with the means to pay for a fire restoration and cleanup service as soon as possible. Keep copies of any media you send.

2. Turn Off Water and Power Sources

Your building's electricity and plumbing may be damaged by the heat, smoke and soot fires cause. If it is safe to do so, turn off the power sources and water to the building or, if you lease, ask the building's owner to do so, as this can prevent secondary damage, such as electrical shorts and flooding from burst water lines, which can make fire restoration more difficult.

3. Document Your Needs

Once you can inspect your building, make a list of all the damage you find. You may require a variety of different services, from drywall replacement to smoke cleaning, especially if the fire damaged any of your inventory. Set aside damaged electronics, as your fire cleanup and mitigation service may be able to help you restore them.

A fire at your Holmen, WI, business can make you feel anxious and unsure of where to turn. While these feelings are natural, you do not have to face the future and fire restoration alone when you understand which steps to take once is the fire is out and who is standing by to assist you.

3 Steps To Take After a Commercial Fire

5/17/2022 (Permalink)

fire damage in a store When fire damage occurs, it's important to call a professional as soon as possible so that we can get started right away!

3 Things To Do After A Commercial Fire

A fire can cause a tremendous amount of destruction to your business, even if you have a fire mitigation plan in place. After the blaze is out, you may be unsure of how to handle the fire damage. Here are three steps you should take following a commercial fire.

1. Call Your Insurance Adjuster

The first thing you should do is call your insurance company. The claims process often can take months, so you want to get it started as fast as possible and be ready to provide the necessary documentation to avoid delays. After you start your claim, your adjuster can refer you to a fire restoration company in Onalaska, WI, to begin the cleanup process.

2. Secure Your Business

The fire damage likely broke windows and burned holes through your property's ceiling and walls. If you leave those issues unaddressed, you could be opening your business to more harm from vandals and the weather.

To secure your property, seal off windows and holes in the walls by covering them with thick plywood. Place a tarp securely on the roof to prevent animals and rain from getting in.

Be mindful that a fire can weaken the structural integrity of your building, so never enter the premises without approval from the fire department.

3. Remove Your Belongings

Even if furniture, electronics and inventory don't have fire damage, they could still be destroyed when left to sit in a room filled with corrosive smoke and soot. To help protect what you can and mitigate your losses, remove your undamaged belongings as soon as possible. After you place your items in a storage facility or an off-site warehouse, have them professionally cleaned and restored.

While the fire restoration process might feel overwhelming, you don't have to handle it alone. Relying on the pros will have you back in business in no time.

Opportunities To Protect Your Business From a Fire Disaster

5/11/2022 (Permalink)

Trucks from a restoration company A fire is a traumatic event regardless of the size. Our SERVPRO of La Crosse County team is the best in the business, call us!

Opportunities To Prevent A Fire Disaster In Your Business

The National Fire Protection Association consistently shows that about 500,000 fires occur annually in the U.S. that require a fire department response. While about 75% of these fires are residential, that leaves well over 100,000 significant business fires a year. This makes solid fire preparation a priority for just about any business. Fortunately, there are important steps your company in Rockland, WI, can take at different stages to reduce or stop the damage from a fire.

Disaster Preparation Before a Fire

This time frame is crucial to enhance fire preparedness. A long list of precautions can put your company in a strong position to limit the impact of fire:

  • Install smoke alarms
  • Install sprinkler systems
  • Purchase the appropriate fire extinguishers
  • Educate employees on fire response
  • Write up a fire management plan
  • Store critical data in a safe place

Smart actions at this stage can have enormous benefits. Some steps such as identifying potential hazards could even prevent a fire entirely.

Fire Preparation During a Fire

Planning can also payoff even as a fire is underway. Making sure all employees know to call the local fire department as soon as possible is critical to a timely response. The ability to move employees and customers to a place of safety often depends on a detailed and clear evacuation plan. This should be posted in accessible spots throughout your facility. The goal at this time is to save lives, prevent injuries and reduce fire damage to property.

Professional Cleanup After a Fire

A lot of fire mitigation work goes on after a fire has been put out. A local fire restoration team in Rockland, WI, can arrive quickly and hit the ground running with certified workers and specialized equipment. Experienced technicians will handle soot and smoke damage and quickly restore your facility to its pre-fire condition.

In today's world, smart fire preparation is a necessity. It protects your company's interests at all times.

Effective Ways To Clean Up After a Flood

4/25/2022 (Permalink)

Above view of laptop with water drop damage liquid wet and spill on keyboard, accident concept If you need a flood cleanup after a storm, don't try to tackle the problem yourself. calling SERVPRO is the best solution.

Methods For Cleaning Up After A Flood

Working in West Salem, WI, means you may be at risk of experiencing a flood in your building. The consequences of having a flood on the property can be disastrous. Not only will you worry about your building itself, but you have many personal belongings and office items to care for. The good news is that with the right help, you can salvage many of these things with proper content cleaning.

Using the Pros

For minor water problems at work, you can probably clean up well and not stress out about whether your contents are safe. However, when the flood is more widespread, you'll need a professional water removal team to help. Experienced technicians offer the following:

  • Quick response, even after hours or on the weekends
  • The right equipment for even the biggest jobs
  • Experience and expertise in handling all types of flooding

Cleaning Carpets

Flooring, especially carpet, can suffer a heavy toll after a storm and other sources of flooding. Getting carpet back to normal is one of the most common types of content cleaning that professionals handle. The technicians will first pull up the carpet and padding to assess the damage underneath. After extracting the water and sanitizing the area, the techs will thoroughly dry it. If necessary, the team will replace the carpet.

Drying Out Electronics

Never try to clean heavily wet electronics by yourself. Professionals have the tools and skills to safely clean water-damaged computers, printers, monitors, and other devices. The team will first clean the outside of the electronics before removing any moisture from the inside.

Restoring Documents

Any type of water, particularly black water, can spell big trouble in your office. You may think that documents such as books, files, maps, and photographs don't stand a chance against flooding. Cleanup crews have the training to handle documents delicately and use freeze-drying techniques to clean these materials properly.

Content cleaning is vital after water damage in the office. Professionals companies can clean flooring, electronics, documents and more. This can give you peace of mind amid a disaster.