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Possible Home Damage in the Rice Lake Area | SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties

11/17/2023 (Permalink)

residentail home with roof destroyed and debris falling down If you discover damage in your residence, call SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties right away.

We rely on our homes to support us and keep us safe on a daily basis, and that takes a lot of work! Severe weather, house fires or even mold infestations can impact your daily life in a split second and leave you with significant damage.

By understanding the kind of damage that is possible in our community, you can take steps to reduce your risk of suffering extensive damage whenever the unexpected occurs.

SERVPRO® of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties is here to make sure you recover faster and more efficiently if disaster strikes. We explain some of the ways your home can be damaged below and what we can do about it.

Common Home Damage Scenarios

We experience all kinds of weather conditions here in western Wisconsin, which means that we can suffer from storm damage at any point in the year. Strong storms can bring tornadoes in the summer, and snowstorms can bring damaging winds or other dangerous conditions through town in the winter. In addition, general damage like house fires and water leaks can pop up at any time and cause a large amount of damage.

Water damage is often associated with rain or flooding, but it can also happen from a simple household accident like a burst pipe or leaking appliance. Fire is also unpredictable, but oftentimes house fires are started by human error or negligence.

When the Damage Compounds

It can be really scary to suffer through a disaster situation, and unfortunately, it can lead to even more damaging situations after the disaster is over. For example, floods can soak through your home and cause extensive water damage, but that lingering moisture can eventually lead to a mold problem that impacts your home’s foundation.

Another example of compounding damage is the residual fire damage after the fire is out. Soot and smoke can travel to areas of your home that the fire never spread to and leave stubborn odors and stained walls behind. Water damage can also be present due to the chemical agents and water used to put out the fire.

No matter what happened, your home deserves a complete recovery. That’s why we are here! We can help clean, restore and repair your home faster and more efficiently.

We will arrive right away to your water disaster to dry up the excess moisture and tackle repairs. The faster we get to you, the better chance you have of avoiding mold issues or musty odors in your home.

The same holds true for house fires! Our team will arrive quickly to make sure the damaged debris is removed and your entire space is cleaned and sanitized. We will remove smoke odors and restore your home from start to finish.

When you work with us, you can rest easy knowing that the job will get done exactly when we say it will and we won’t stop until you are 100% satisfied with the final product. We are always here for you!

Does your home need restoration and you don’t want to make more than one call? Contact us to get everything handled by one team.

Planning for Emergencies at Your Business | SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties

11/17/2023 (Permalink)

clip board with a disaster preparedness checklist and emergency supplies in the background Are you prepared for disaster? SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties is here for you when disaster strikes!

Have you been wondering why you have seen so many natural disasters on TV lately? You aren’t just seeing things! Natural disasters have slowly been increasing over the last five years. Not only are they happening more frequently, but they are also getting stronger and causing more destruction.

While natural disasters can’t be controlled or prevented, you can be prepared for them when they affect your business.

Creating a plan for how to handle emergencies is crucial! We explain more below about the different reasons why having an emergency plan can help mitigate damage at your business.

When a Plan Is Important

Having a plan is important every day, but especially lately. With the rise in natural disasters, the chance that your business will suffer through some sort of disaster has increased. If you know how to respond ahead of time, you can reduce your risk of extensive damage from situations like floods, strong storms or fire.

Disasters certainly cause extensive physical damage to your property, but they can also lead to serious financial struggles for yourself as well as your employees. Long-term closures can lead to lost revenue and lost wages, but having a recovery plan can help you get back on your feet faster.

Some disaster situations can be severe enough to cause you to close your business while the repairs are taking place. It is also always a possibility that your business will close and never reopen again.

The Benefits of SERVPRO’s Emergency Ready Plan

We have the perfect solution to all of your emergency planning needs! Our Emergency Ready Plan is a comprehensive guide that explains the different threats to your business and how to respond to them when they occur. It can help you keep a clear head and a clear direction as you navigate through a specific disaster.

Our team will assess the different risks that could impact your business, and we will lay out your response to each of them. Your plan will include steps on what to do before, during and after a disaster. Details for planning may include organizing your office to protect important paperwork from water damage, gathering electronics in a certain area that your staff can grab and go in an emergency or determining places to position your fire extinguisher for easy access.

Having a way to communicate with your team during an emergency is also crucial. We will help identify a chain of command that will lay out who is in charge of what during each emergency situation. Having people responsible for certain tasks will ensure your team’s response will go smoothly.

Our Emergency Ready Plan is comprehensive enough to walk you through whatever disaster situation you are faced with. We will help you prepare for and prevent damage, but we are also dedicated to helping you clean up after a disaster event as well. We are always here for you.

Ready to create your Emergency Ready Plan for your business? Contact us for your free assessment to start the plan you need.

Fire-Safe Cooking Tips for the Holiday Season | SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties

11/17/2023 (Permalink)

pan on kitchen counter in residence ablaze while unattended Fire damage in your home? Not for long with SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties on the case!

The temperature outside has dropped, the leaves have changed and fallen and the holidays are right around the corner! It’s officially fall here in the Barron County area, and we are excited about it.

While you are busy making your holiday plans and pulling out your decorations, you will most likely be diving into the kitchen to whip up your favorite holiday treats and dishes.

Delicious food is part of what makes this time of year so great, but it is also the time of year when house fires (and kitchen fires in particular) spike. We want you to stay safe while making your famous pies or while trying your hand at a new turkey hot dish, so read on to learn some fire-safe tips for your kitchen.

Keep Your Kitchen Clear

Preparing your space before you even turn on the stove or preheat your oven is always recommended. Keep your kids and pets out of the kitchen, and remove as much clutter as possible from the ground and countertops.

Flammable materials should be put away or moved far away from your burners. Pot holders, oven mitts, holiday decorations and even wooden utensils can catch fire if left too close to the flames or heat.

We also want you to dress safely before you get started! Loose clothing or apron strings from a seasonal holiday apron can become fire hazards in the blink of an eye, so keep loose clothing to a minimum and always roll up your sleeves.

Stay Close By

Don’t leave the kitchen while your food is cooking, even if it is just in the baking stage or doesn’t need your immediate attention. Leaving for any period of time is enough to allow a wandering spark or flame to catch and spread. It might be too late to save your kitchen by the time you get back.

If your holiday traditions this year include deep-frying a turkey, extra precautions and safety measures need to be taken. Choose a flat, non-flammable surface for the fryer, and follow all instructions when it comes to pouring in the oil.

Set out your turkey to thaw completely a few days in advance, as even a partially frozen turkey can react with the oil and cause it to splatter and pop.

Check on Your Smoke Alarms

While kitchen fires aren’t completely preventable, these strategies can keep you safer while you are cooking. You should also make sure that your smoke alarms are installed and working properly.

Each level of your home should have one, and ideally, there should be one directly in your kitchen. Test them monthly to ensure the batteries don’t need to be replaced.

You will also need to keep a fire extinguisher nearby. Having an extinguisher dedicated to staying in your kitchen can help you knock down a few wandering flames quickly before it turns into a large blaze.

We hope you have a safe and enjoyable holiday season! Remember that we are always here for you if you do suffer from some sort of fire damage. Our restoration team will be there right away to clean, sanitize and restore your home from top to bottom.

House fires can happen in the blink of an eye. Contact us for a quick restoration day or night!

Tips for Preparing for Winter Storms | SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties

11/17/2023 (Permalink)

snowy highway with vehicles driving in a squall The winter season is almost upon us! SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties has your back with these helpful tips.

It’s that time of year again for blizzards, sub-zero temperatures, strong wind and sleet. The winter season is coming fast and furious, which means that the winter weather is coming right along with it.

We can experience some pretty intense winter weather in western Wisconsin, so knowing what to do before a storm hits can help you stay safe, warm and dry.

Getting Your Home Ready

We always advise that you wait to travel until conditions improve. Sleet, slick roads and heavy snow can make travel dangerous or even impossible if you end up getting stranded. Stay home and prepare your home instead.

Grab your weather radio and gather your supplies to ride out the storm safely. Blizzards and strong winter storms can knock out power for hours or even a few days, so have multiple different ways to stay warm, like making sure your gas fireplace ready to use.

Include flashlights with extra batteries, blankets, first-aid supplies and safe drinking water in your kit, along with some candles and matches to help light your way. In addition, have a backup location in place if your home does get too cold to stay in. The local library, a friend’s home or a warming center can all be good options.

Addressing Damage After the Storm

Once the snow has stopped falling and the storm has blown on, take a look around your property and make some necessary adjustments to ensure your family’s safety and to reduce your risk of serious home damage.

If you have a roof rake, use it to pull as much snow off of your roof as possible. A shovel can also do the job in a pinch! Removing snow from your roof reduces your risk of experiencing ice dams, but it can also lighten the load of snow on your roof. Heavy, wet snow can easily weigh up to 20 pounds per cubic foot. That’s a lot of weight bearing down on your roof that could easily collapse.

It is also important to walk around your property and check your vents. Ice buildup around any vents or snow covering the opening can be dangerous or even deadly if carbon monoxide is not able to escape properly.

What We Can Do

We know that suffering home damage can be frustrating, which is why we are here to help. We can help you overcome damage from heavy snow, ice buildup or any structural issues left behind by the storm. We will dry out everything and tackle repairs right away.

Our team will work hard to keep that cold winter wind out of your home and bring your property back to its preloss condition faster so you can continue to enjoy whatever the winter season has in store for you.

Our team is always ready for anything! Contact us at SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties for a quick restoration after suffering damage from a winter storm.

Preparing Your Team for Severe Weather Situations | SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties

9/19/2023 (Permalink)

Business man holding an umbrella and briefcase with a dark thunderstorm behind him. If your home or business was damaged in a storm, call SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties to get you back in action.

Owning a business is so much more than just providing a service to our community. You are responsible for the daily operations, for the planning for various situations and for keeping your staff safe and happy.

Overcoming regular work-related obstacles and fostering an encouraging environment is something you are used to, but are you preparing for the unexpected in your everyday life? Something like a severe storm or weather emergency could send your staff into a frenzy if they aren’t prepared.

Training and teaching your staff about the different weather situations that could affect them and explaining your emergency response to each can help everyone stay calm and react safely during a true emergency.

Preparing for the Different Risks

We all know that living in the Midwest is quite the experience in terms of weather. We battle through the snowiest and coldest winters, and we hunker down on humid summer days as we watch severe storms and tornadoes roll into town. Because of that, you have to plan for basically every weather scenario!

One example would be to prepare for the risk of flooding, as this could happen as the snow melts in the spring time or any time that heavy rain is forecast. Get the lowest levels of your home ready by removing important documents or fragile things off of the ground, and consider investing in flood insurance for even more security.

Communicating Effectively

Communication is everything nowadays! Thankfully, we are able to connect with one another with a few simple clicks of a mouse or keyboard, which makes it really easy to share information when you need to.

This can include group texts or mass emails about an impending storm, the location of your safe shelter spot or where your nearest emergency kit is located. Any information you can give to your staff will pay off when a true emergency arises.

Planning Your Team’s Response

Once you see a storm or weather situation in the forecast, you have to decide what to do in order to keep everyone safe. You can either evacuate quickly if you have time to get everyone out and home before the weather arises or you can sit tight and wait it out. If you choose to evacuate, your employees need to know how to get out quickly and efficiently. Label your exit points clearly, and go over your evacuation routes during your next training.

If staying put is the safest choice, get your staff to your safe shelter location right away and keep them there for the duration of the storm. Prep this space ahead of time with food, water, an emergency kit and comfort items, and be sure everyone knows how to get to this room without the use of an elevator or escalator.

Practice your team’s response to these different scenarios a few times a year, and you will be ready for any type of weather that comes your way.

Don’t let extreme weather take control! If storms strike your business, SERVPRO® can help you restore your losses.

Preparing Your Property for Storms | SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties

9/19/2023 (Permalink)

Empty parking lot with lots of greenery shown during a heavy downpour of rain. Have you been impacted by the unusual summer storm season? SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties has your back when you experience water damage.

Wind, hail, rain, tornadoes and floods…we see it all here in western Wisconsin. The weather can be perfectly pleasant and sunny one minute and then quickly turn severe the next, so being prepared for anything is crucial.

Being a homeowner is rewarding, but it takes a lot of work to protect it from damage and ensure everything functions smoothly. On top of taking care of everyday maintenance, you also need to take steps to prepare your home for damages that could result due to a severe storm.

At this point in the season, the hot and humid weather can produce sunny days in the morning but then turn into severe thunderstorms in the evening, and we can expect a lot of rain, wind and hail to accompany them.

Prepping the outside of your home is a great place to start! Read on as we offer our storm preparation tips so you can get your own home ready.

Seasonal Tasks

Preparing for storms should be something that happens with the change in season, but these preparation methods can occur alongside your regular work routines.

Keep your trees trimmed, clean your gutters frequently and remove loose yard debris when you are outside doing yard work. Debris can easily be picked up by wind and tossed into your house, and a clogged gutter can quickly lead to water damage. Don’t forget to pull your patio furniture inside and secure down any outdoor equipment.

Another helpful way to avoid storm damage is to check your doors and windows for potential leaking. Keep your caulk lines fresh around your seals and check for deteriorating or rotting wood. Replace missing shingles and watch for gaps around your roofline and gutters.

Home Improvements

While most preparations for storms can be done without having to spend much money, there are steps you can take with a little bit of extra cash to take your preparation to the next level.

Storm shutters can help protect your home and windows from extensive damage. If your home is located in a wooded area or an open field, the wind can either topple trees or really pick up speed. These shutters protect your windows from breaking and from leaking water. Gutter guards are also an easy way to prevent leaf buildup, pine needles and other debris out of your gutters.

If you have a pole shed or outbuilding on your property, adding reinforcements to the bracing or roof of these buildings can help support them when the wind picks up.

Lastly, have two ways to receive weather alerts, including one that doesn’t require power in order to operate. Remember, if you do suffer storm damage, our SERVPRO® team is here 247 to respond to your call for help.

Was your home damaged in a storm? Call us at SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties to start restoration, 247.

Avoid a Grill Fire With These Top Tips | SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties

9/19/2023 (Permalink)

Man holding tongs above grill preparing food outdoors Have you had a barbeque gone wrong? Call SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties to get your space back in shape.

We are so grateful to be enjoying another pleasant summer in the Barron and Rice Lake community. The warm, sunny days can make anyone feel better after the crazy winter we had! Celebrating the season with a classic Midwestern BBQ is one of the best parts about summer time.

Unfortunately, the summer season is also the time of year when grill fires are at their peak. This can make your family get together memorable for a much different reason. Our SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties team wants you to avoid a grill fire at all costs, so read on to learn some great ways to stay safe and fire-free.

Setting Up a Safe Work Space

As the self-appointed grillmaster, you need to ensure your work space is clean and safe. It needs to be fully outside, which means it should not be in your garage or under an overhang. Your grill needs to vent properly to avoid carbon monoxide issues and it should be far away from anything that is combustible above the heat and smoke.

In addition, it should be positioned away from your home, siding and deck railing. A concrete pad or your driveway is a great setup because it will be level and you can see the grill from all angles. You should maintain a 10-foot barrier around your entire grill and enforce this barrier to all kids and pets that attend your event.

Now that you are all set up, check your drum for cracks, dents or other structural issues. Clear away ash buildup and move your vent covers around to make sure they slide easily. If your family has a propane grill, take the extra time to fully inspect the gas lines and connections. A leaky line could pose serious safety risks for your entire family.

The Heat Is On, So Stay Near

Once your food is cooking, don’t go anywhere! A single spark or wandering flame can become a huge blaze in seconds. You should also have a water source close by. A hose is a great option for large flames and a spray bottle can be helpful to knock down sparks or small flare ups.

When the food is done and ready to eat, hand it off to one of your guests to take inside because you still have things to do. If you have a charcoal grill, scatter the coals and close the vents to knock down the fire and cut off the oxygen supply.

Once the ashes have cooled, remove them and store them in a metal can. If you have a propane grill, turn off all burners and disconnect or turn off your propane tank. Before you head inside for the evening, do one last check to make sure everything is cold to the touch.

Happy grilling in Barron County! We hope you have a memorable rest of your summer season, but remember that SERVPRO® is here for you to help you recover from any sort of fire damage.

Don’t let fire damage linger in your home. Call us at SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties for a fast restoration.

Your Home Has Water Damage…Now What? | SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties

9/19/2023 (Permalink)

Pool of water sitting on top of a herringbone patterned wood floor with furniture nearby If you discover water damage in your home or business, call SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties right away.

We rely on water to get us through our everyday lives, and most of the time we don’t even think about it! We use water to wash our clothes, rinse off a dish and to make ice to chill our drinks during a hot summer’s day.

While we certainly need water to help us navigate our days, it can also cause chaos in our homes if it leaks where it shouldn’t. Busted water pipes, broken appliances and even flooded basements when Rice Lake overflows can cause widespread damages.

Preparing for disaster situations can help you avoid extensive damage, but some situations are just downright impossible to avoid. Read on as we explain more about water disasters and how we can help.

The First Steps to Drying Out

The key to controlling water damage is to act quickly. The faster you move, the more damage you can prevent. Locate the source of the leak and get to work drying out the area right away.

If the leak is coming from an appliance or house malfunction, turn off the appropriate valve to stop the flow of water. If the leak is caused by Mother Nature or damage to your roof or foundation, you may just have to wait until the storm or threat has passed if the leak can’t be plugged right away.

If you have standing water in your home, do your best to avoid walking through it. Electrical wires or electricity can make these types of situations dangerous or even deadly.

Once you are safe and you understand the situation, give SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties a call. We are here 247, and we will answer your call whenever you need us.

The Drying and Repair Process

The first phone call often involves a lot of questions so we can fully understand your situation. Try to have someone take some pictures of the damage while you are talking with us. Having fresh images of the damage will help us formulate our recovery plan, and it will be easier to discuss your insurance claim with your agent.

Once we are ready to get to work, we will hop in our trucks and head your way. We will work on getting the water out with our air movers and blowers, and our technicians will focus on locating and fixing the leak. We will also ensure that your home is sanitized and odor-free before we are done.

Our team is trained to handle every part of your restoration from beginning to end. No water damage situation is too large or too destructive for us! We can do everything from minor repairs to extensive reconstructions.

Even just an inch of water can cause widespread damages, so calling SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties is always the best way to avoid long-term issues and potential mold or mildew.

Do you have water damage in your home? Call us for fast and complete restoration.

Helpful Tips for Post-Storm Recovery | SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties

9/19/2023 (Permalink)

Dramatic night shot of a home with visible roof damage from a recently storm and fallen debris Summer storms affecting your property? Call SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties to restore your space in no time!

Thunderstorms can be really intense this time of year. The unusually hot temperatures and high humidity this year in the Barron area has caused strong storms to pop up all over the place so far!

We have seen our fair share of severe storms that have brought high wind and heavy rain. It’s also not too late in the season to experience a tornado. Remember that even when the sky is clear in the morning, it can turn into a dangerous situation in the afternoon, especially when the storms start firing up off to the west and into Minnesota.

Staying safe should always be your priority during a storm situation, so stay connected to local authorities and remain inside until the storm has passed completely. Afterward, follow the steps below while assessing the damage to stay safe.

First Steps After the Storm

Be extremely careful heading outside immediately after a storm passes. We all know that even when one storm cell passes through, another could be brewing on the horizon. Keep an eye on the sky, stay close by your home and be sure your sheltering location is ready to use again at a moment’s notice.

Once the threat has passed, take the time to connect with your family and loved ones, especially those that were not at home during the storm. Send off a quick text if service is spotty in the moment.

You should also take the time to check on your neighbors when you can. Stay out of damaged buildings or homes, but look for access points to help your neighbors get to safety.

If your home has suffered any sort of damage, start taking photos right away. Your insurance company will want them for the claim, and we will use them to help formulate our recovery plan. After that, call SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties!

As The Minutes Pass

Every minute matters when it comes to recovering from storm damage, but you still need to take your time walking about your property. Hazards like loose nails, broken boards or shattered glass could be lurking just out of sight. Walk carefully and take your phone with you just in case.

Do what you can to prevent further damages while you are waiting for us to arrive. Tarping off parts of your roof or boarding up windows can help you avoid further damage if it is still raining or another storm is coming. We will do this more extensively when we arrive, but feel free to take action yourself in the meantime!

Our restoration specialists work directly with your insurance company to make sure your claim is being processed the way it should. We can also help you find alternative housing if you need to live off site for a few days while the repairs are taking place.

We know that suffering storm damage can be overwhelming and scary, but we promise to walk with you every step of the way to ensure your home is cleaned, sanitized, restored and repaired to its preloss condition as quickly as possible.

If a storm leaves your home damaged, contact us for fast recovery. We’re here 247 when you need us.

Understanding the Risk of Intense Rain | SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties

9/19/2023 (Permalink)

image of a large body of water during a rain storm with ripples caused by the heavy downpour Water damage in your home? Not for long with SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties on the case!

These warm and sunny days can certainly feel like a blessing here in the Rice Lake community after the winter we had. However, we are a little lacking in rain this season and our lawns and gardens are certainly feeling it.

While this is certainly not a typical summer when it comes to strong storms, being prepared for anything is crucial. You never know when these humid temperatures will stir up another big storm that heads our way.

Preparing in advance is always a helpful way to avoid serious damages when the rain starts to fall, but sometimes that is just not possible.

Our SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties team wants you to stay dry and safe when the next storm comes to town, so read on to gain some helpful tips for when the rain comes pouring down.

What Rain Can Do

We all know what a heavy rain can do in our community. In addition to overflowing Rice Lake and the other major water sources nearby, it can also have a huge impact on our local businesses. Rain, hail and wind can all come together to create serious situations.

While we cannot predict the severity of some damage situations, we can do our best to prepare as soon as the watches and warnings are issued. Stay close by your weather radio or be tuned in to local authorities to catch any updates.

Preparing Your Family and Home

Flood watches can be issued at any time, even if it is not actively raining. Flooding conditions can be dangerous with even just a few inches of fast-moving water, so head for home if you are out and about and avoid driving on any roads that flood often during storms. When you are home, tidy up your property and tie down anything you don’t want swept away in the water. Furniture, outdoor equipment and even your car should be stored or secured.

If you know your home often floods when it rains or you are located in a flood zone, removing fragile materials and keepsakes from your lowest levels can help protect your belongings. You should also consider turning off electricity to your basement just in case.

Preventing Water Issues in the Future

Mother Nature likes to throw curveballs, so it is impossible to completely prepare for any weather situation. However, with each weather damage situation, you can learn a little something to prevent it from happening again. For example, if you realize that your basement always floods in one certain spot, a professional property grading can help redirect any flowing water away from your foundation.

Another reliable way to stay dry is to invest in a sump pump in your basement. Sump pumps pull excess water out of the ground to keep it from getting into your home. This can be helpful if your property is located in a low-lying area or near a water source.

If you suffer any sort of water damage this season, just know that our water damage restoration team has your back. We will dry up the excess water, tend to repairs and even sanitize your space to prevent mold from growing. Call us right away!

We are here for all of your water disasters. Contact us day or night for a quick recovery.