Recent Water Damage Posts

Top 5 Water Damage Prevention Strategies

10/5/2020 (Permalink)

Water gauge pressure, hand shut off main valve, close-up. 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.

3 Things To Understand About Secondary Story Overflows

8/18/2020 (Permalink)

Leakage of water from a toilet due to blockage of the pipe Overflowing toilet in New Amsterdam, WI

Three Things To Understand About Your Multi-Level Issue

When an upstairs toilet overflows, your business could incur more widespread damage than a simple bathroom fix. The water could move through walls and the ceiling, impacting locations below. This sewer damage is highly problematic, making repairs more expensive and time-consuming. Proprietors in New Amsterdam, WI, will want to act quickly to mitigate the trouble.

1. Moisture Quickly Spreads
As the water rushes out of the toilet, it begins to move throughout the bathroom. It could create puddles. As it sits, it absorbs into grout, walls and baseboards. These spots become access points to other rooms, especially downstairs. It doesn't take days. It takes minutes. Shut off the main water line, and call a water and sewage company to assess the building. The specialists can determine the extent of the destruction.

2. Extraction Is Absolutely Necessary
Porous materials impacted by sewer damage play host to microbes such as fungus and bacteria. These organisms easily penetrate deep into items. Commercial cleaners such as bleach cannot reach the entire infestation; therefore, you cannot rely on a can of chemicals and some towels to remedy everything. Instead, you'll want to begin removing anything that is overly saturated. This includes ceiling structures, drywall and flooring.

3. Dry It Up Before Your Disinfect
Turn your efforts to airing out the facility. You'll want to concentrate on removing excess wetness caused by the flooded toilet. Run dehumidifiers around the clock. Fans may also be used. Test the rooms before beginning cleanup. Sanitize everything with a thorough scrubbing. Apply antimicrobial spray as well. Once this is completed, reconstruction may begin on all levels.
Sewer damage can easily migrate from one space to another; thus, floods upstairs should be treated with care. Look over the entire property, up and down. If liquid made it below, you'll have to remediate there as well. It's important to contain, tear out and dry as soon as possible.

The Science of Drying

8/3/2020 (Permalink)

Psychometrics, or the science of drying, is what your #WeAreLocal SERVPRO of La Crosse County uses to ensure that your home or business is properly dried down.  

When water enters a facility, many people think to just throw a few fans on it and call it good, but, more often than not, there is more to it.  Water can seep through pinhole cracks and crevices in floors; surfaces such as wood, drywall, and carpet readily absorb the water, pulling it further into the structure.  With hidden moisture that you cannot see or feel, potential problems can occur creating more damage. 

Your SERVPRO of La Crosse County technician  follows strict, industry approved guidelines to measure the moisture, drying techniques that can be used, deodorization and disinfecting services to help reduce secondary damages.  

They will inspect the structure, measure the moisture levels daily, end set equipment to expedite the drying process.  

Your environment is always seeking equilibrium, and it is because of this, a wet building can often dry naturally.  Wet goes to dry.  The problem with this, is that it takes too long which can pose the threat of secondary damages.  Using our top-of-the line drying equipment and moisture sensors, SERVPRO of La Crosse County is able to speed the drying process up to help make it "Like it never even happened."

Check Your Refrigerator

8/3/2020 (Permalink)

Is your refrigerator running?  

Then you should go after it...

You cannot go into a home nowadays that does not  have a refrigerator sitting in the kitchen.  Sometimes, there is one in the rec room or even out in the garage.  This one thing that people forget to do routine checks on.  

Were you aware that your refrigerator can have a leak and go unnoticed for months?  Almost all have a drip pan and some even have a water line-both of which can cause problems.

This refrigerator was leaking and left alone for almost two weeks when the family went on vacation.  Heat and humidity with the added water were trapped between then sub floor and the vapor barrier.  Upon returning home, not only was the distressed floor a cause for concern, but the smell emanating from the kitchen also got their attention.

Upon calling their #WeAreLocal GREEN team, we arrived on site and ready to get to work.  We extracted what water was left over, removed the floor, baseboards, cabinets, and set equipment.  The homeowners could not have been happier with SERVPRO's quick response to helping them get their home back.

SERVPRO is the Team to Call

6/3/2020 (Permalink)

Apartment wall with water damage being dried throughout Water Extraction and Drying in apartment building to prevent further internal damage or possible mold issues

When water damage affects your home or business, you want it restored as soon as possible.  SERVPRO of La Crosse County  has been restoring property in our area for 14 years.  SERVPRO is the trusted choice for hundreds of insurance companies nationwide, because they know that we have the expertise and the experience to the job right.  

The first 24 hours following a water incident are the most important in preventing secondary or permanent damage.  Within four hours of loss notification, an IICRC Certified Technician will be on-site to help ensure a water damage is handled by completing the following steps:

  1. Inspection
    1. Affected areas are inspected to determine the extent of water damage and will review the inspection with you to answer any questions before beginning any work.
  2. Emergency Services
    1. Steps are then taken to help protect your home or business, as well as personal belongings and other contents, from further damage by extracting excess water and preparing the area for drying.  Needed emergency services are explained  to you step-by-step.
  3. Monitoring
    1. To help ensure your home or business and belongings are dried to appropriate industry standards, SERVPRO of La Crosse County will monitor the drying process.  Updates are communicated to you on a regular basis.
  4. Restoration Services
    1. Structural materials are repaired, carpets are reinstalled, property and belongings are cleaned before leaving.  A final walk-through of the site will be conducted with you to ensure the property was returned to preloss condition.

Have you recently suffered a water damage in your home or business?  Whether it be a flood or an unnoticed leaky pipe, SERVPRO of La Crosse County is Here to Help.


Spring Showers can be hazardous

5/26/2020 (Permalink)

Basement Flooding with water damages to personal possessions SERVPRO can help make it look as if it never happened

Here in the La Crosse area, torrential rains can often cause flooding especially in the spring time. When floods damage your La Crosse home or business, give locally owned and operated SERVPRO of La Crosse the opportunity to help you throughout the cleanup and restoration process. Our team has the training, expertise, and tools necessary to help you recover quickly from a flood. Cleaning up after a flood requires patience and persistence, and is often an overwhelming task for homeowners and business owners. However, if you decide to do the cleanup yourself, here are our best 7 tips for cleaning up after a flood:

1.      Wear Protective Clothing.  Floodwaters carry potentially hazardous chemicals, bacteria, debris, and even wildlife. It is imperative that anyone starting the cleanup process wears steel-shank and toed boots, mid-arm rubber gloves, eye protection, and heavy clothing.

2.      Use Proper Equipment. As soon as it is safe to go back into your home or business, extract the standing water with a wet/dry vacuum. Using fans and portable dehumidifiers throughout will also help to speed up the process. If electricity has been cut to your home, use a generator and extension cords designed for outdoor use.

3.      Remove Furniture. If possible, place water damaged furniture  outdoors to dry, preferably out of direct sunlight.

4.      Remove Carpet. Carpet that has been saturated by floodwaters will need to be thrown out. Cut into narrow strips, roll, and dispose of properly. Be mindful that carpet and padding will be extremely heavy when waterlogged. Rent a dumpster to aid in the disposal.

5.      Scrub Hard Surfaces. Use a combination of soap and hot water and then a sanitizing mixture of bleach and water to scrub all of the hard surfaces including floors, walls, counter tops, and others items to kill the potentially dangerous bacteria carried by the water. Purchase a large supply of buckets, sponges, stiff scrub brushes, and paper towels.

6.      Apply Mold Inhibitors. In our area, mold starts to develop within 48 hours of  water damage. Once the water has been extracted, the drywall, insulation, and carpeting have been removed, and all surfaces have been disinfected and dried, apply a commercially available mold inhibitor.  This step will help prevent the need for mold remediation in the future.

7.      Research Restoration Tips.  When water damages personal items like photos, antiques, clothing, or fine art, it can be tempting to throw them in the dumpster with the other damaged items. However, there is a chance that with proper restoration, these items can be salvaged. It is important to use the techniques and processes professional emergency flood restoration teams utilize.

Severe weather is common in our area, and SERVPRO of La Crosse ensures that all of our team members have the training and the equipment necessary to restore properties to their pre-flood condition. We are honored to be a preferred service provider for many national insurance companies, allowing us to coordinate directly with them, saving you time and frustration. Call on us whenever disaster strikes; we serve our community 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

SERVPRO of La Crosse is Faster to Any Size Disaster, helping residential and commercial property owners when natural disasters, water damage, sewage backups, floods, fires, mold infestations, and other events happen. 

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!

Four Common Causes of Indoor Flooding in the La Crosse Area

8/7/2019 (Permalink)

From washing machines to toilets, we've got you covered.

A long time ago, before indoor plumbing became a huge success, there wasn't a huge threat of water in the home.

Nowadays, with multiple bathrooms, wash machines, dishwashers, ice makers, and sinks, our homes and businesses are filled with pipes bringing water in and out.  Indoor flooding is one of the leading causes of water damage and can be successfully mitigated by SERVPRO of La Crosse County.

  1. Leaking or broken pipes are the most obvious cause of indoor flooding.  Changes in water pressure or faulty setup can cause pipes to burst.  
  2. Water heaters are a necessity in our homes for showering or washing dishes.  Even a small leak in a tank that holds 250 gallons at any given time, can cause major flooding due to the endless flow.  Keeping on the maintenance of your heater is a good practice to get into. 
  3. Minor clogging and slowing down of drains may be an inconvenience, but over time if left, these clogs can cause potentially big damage.  
  4. Washing machines are a nice thing to have in your home due to their convenience and ease.  The most common problem found with them, though, is a leaking intake hose and can worsen over time.  

You can’t control when a flood hits your home or business. Thankfully, if you can recognize the common causes of indoor flooding, you’ll be prepared to prevent floods before they happen and handle them when they strike. 

If you are in need of water mitigation services in the La Crosse Area, give your #WeAreLocal GREEN Team a call for help 608-786-0387.

Not All Water Damages Happen in the Winter

8/6/2019 (Permalink)

From broken pipes to leaking pipes to flooding, SERVPRO or La Crosse County is here to help.

Water damages can happen anytime especially when you are least expecting them.  Rest assured that SERVPRO of La Crosse Countyhas seen it all!  From broken spigots on the outside of the home that causes water to come in, to sump pump lines that break or back up, refrigerator ice and water lines that have been leaking over a long period of time, wash machines that overflow, to backyard pools that burst and send water into the home at he same level.  Pretty sure we have seen it all.  

Did you know, though, that your #WeAreLocal SERVPRO of La Crosse County has highly trained water restoration technicians available 24/7/365 to help assist you in your time of need?  We are here to help make it "Like it never even happened" with our expertise and equipment.  We are ready to respond faster to any disaster to properly restore your home or business.  


Plumbing Issues Arise After Polar Vortex Grips the Region

2/25/2019 (Permalink)

Did your business have a water mishap? SERVPRO can respond quickly to help prevent additional damage.

Over the last few weeks we have been dealing with a lot of weather, which caused a water main to break and flood area businesses.  When management came in on Tuesday morning, the entire building was affected and had over an inch of standing water, including the warehouse and front office.

SERVPRO of La Crosse County arrived on site and started extracting water.  Desks, chairs, and other content was lifted off from the wet flooring, and put on blocks to stop the water absorption.   Air movers and dehumidifiers were set according to our drying plan, and documented along with pictures.

Because of the duration of time before the water damage was found, drywall needed to be cut out at 2 foot up (following industry standard protocols) in some parts of the office to allow air movement and continued drying behind the walls.

SERVPRO of La Crosse County uses the newest technology available to us to follow IICRC Industry Standards.  The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification is a certification and standard-setting non-profit organization for the inspection, cleaning, and restoration industries.  Additional information on the IICRC is available from their website at  We are an IICRC certified firm with 2 technicians earning the highest certifications in Master Water Technician, and Master Fire & Smoke Technician. 

Storm Water Came Rushing In...

10/16/2018 (Permalink)

Basement flooding caused some major damage.

After the recent heavy down pours that our area suffered from this last summer, we are happy to say that things are slowly getting back to normal.  

This basement was at one point filled with two feet of water during this horrific time period.  Once the water receded, the building was left with a not-so-great mess to clean up.  To make matters worse, they were having a get together soon after.  They needed all the mud and debris cleaned up right away.  

The building owner reached out to SERVPRO of La Crosse for assistance in getting this all done.  

The Marketing Team geared themselves up with their work boots and hit the road.  They were able to scrap and clean the whole basement in just a few hours.  The building owner could not have been happier-noting that the space now "smelled clean."

The tile floor will have to be replaced at another point in time, but for now, everyone was happy and the festivities went on without a hitch.

Melting Snow and Rain Means Higher Water

2/28/2018 (Permalink)

Water where it shouldn't be.

When disaster strikes a business or commercial property SERVPRO of La Crosse County has scored high ranks with our clients and we understand the importance of ensuring a business or commercial is in operation as soon as possible. In many cases we are able to isolate the area where the disaster has struck and the business can remain in operation. Recently we were called to a disaster at a hotel where water from the melting snow in addition to persistent rainfall flooded the lobby. Upon arrival our first goal was to clean and restore as much of the lobby as possible. We knew that by doing so we could allow the hotel to operate and service their customers as we continued to mitigate and dry the public areas of the business. Our team built temporary barriers to block the view of the equipment and the crew as the mitigation work was underway, 24/7 until the lobby was 100% recovered.