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Be Ready for Severe Weather With a Safety Plan | SERVPRO® of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties

5/19/2022 (Permalink)

a dark cloudy sky with lighting strikes off in the distance Caption If you discover storm damage to your home or business, reach out to SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties East right away.

When the climate is right, severe weather can be very powerful and frightening. The heavy rains, damaging winds, and large hail can be dangerous not only to your home, but also to yourself and your family.

Plus, considering that there are around 100,000 thunderstorms throughout the United States every year, severe weather happens frequently in the Midwest.

Wisconsin can be very susceptible to severe storms that develop quickly. With the flat “plains-like” topography of the midwest coupled with the humid and unstable summer air, these conditions put our area at a higher risk for bad weather.

While we all know that we cannot dictate the weather, we can be prepared for it. If you haven’t thought of your safety strategy in awhile, these tips are a good way to brush up on your plan.

Build an emergency kit, find a way to communicate with friends and family and make a plan for dealing with any potential damage afterwards. These few things can make all the difference during and after a storm.

Your Severe Weather Communication Strategy

You should always have a plan to communicate with your household members during severe weather season, and you should have access to your local news at all times to receive weather updates and alerts.

If you haven’t done so lately, now is the time to refresh your memory of the difference between watches and warnings. Knowing the difference can help you be sky-aware and ready to head for shelter when needed.

You should also have have multiple ways to receive updates from local personnel via a cell phone or telephone or a weather-specific radio.

Perhaps the most important plan to have is a a communication strategy for your family members. Make sure you have one central location in your house that will serve as your safe area, and that they are aware of how and when to get to it during severe weather.

If any household members were not home during the weather event, prioritize contacting them once you are safe to ensure that everyone is accounted for.

Packing Your Emergency Kit

When packing your emergency kit, you should make sure that you have enough supplies to comfortably last 72 hours in your safe shelter area, and it should be stocked and ready to use at all times. You should include water for all members of your household, nonperishable food, flashlights with batteries and first-aid supplies.

You should also ensure that you have packed anything that your family may need to keep them comfortable while sheltering, like medication or extra eyeglasses/contacts.

Your Post-Storm Checklist

Once you have determined that all members of your household are safe, it is time to review your safety plan and make any adjustments, as well as assess any damage on your property. Once the weather has cleared, check your property for damage.

Inspect the seals around your windows and doors, and do a thorough check around your home for new water spots. Water damage can silently creep into your home if you aren’t careful to check quickly after the storm.

If you do encounter any sort of storm damage, don’t panic. The best thing to do is to call us at SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties as soon as possible and we will start the process to restore your home and get you back to normal. Our passionate team of professionals will assess the damage and then take appropriate action to clean and restore quickly and efficiently.

When all is said and done, do a final reflection of your family’s safety plan. Discuss what worked, what could be improved on and restock your emergency kit. Any adjustments you do will benefit yourself and your family the next time severe weather hits western Wisconsin.

If you discover storm damage to your home or business, you can count on SERVPRO to handle the restoration. We’re here 247 to spring into action—get in touch with us today.

Water Damage and Its Progression in Your Home | SERVPRO® of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties

5/5/2022 (Permalink)

a bathroom sink showing signs of a water leak SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties is your 24/7 water restoration expert. Call us right away if you need immediate service.

A slow drip, a leaky faucet or a small water spot may seem unimportant or be overlooked in your home, but do not underestimate the damage long-term moisture can have on your home. An average household leak can waste up to 10,000 gallons of water in a year.

Water damage can move quickly, seeping into walls, floorboards and softer surfaces like carpet or permeating under vinyl. It is so important to address the issue as soon as you can to give your home the best chance of drying out properly.

Here’s what you need to know about the timeline of water damage:

In the First 24 Hours

If you live in a house, there is a one in four chance of a flood damaging your home within a 30-year period in a high-risk area. Especially with the change in seasons and the snow melt in Wisconsin, unexpected water in your home can lead to a mess if not properly cared for.

The first 24 to 48 hours after flooding or water damage set the tone for the following days and weeks to come. Unfortunately, even the quickest of responses will cause certain items to immediately fall victim to water’s disastrous effects.

Books, photographs, and other soft or fragile materials are especially vulnerable to immediate and irreparable damage. They can warp, swell or just simply be ruined by the water.

SERVPRO’s expertise and “restore vs. replace” mentality can help you save money while preserving those precious memories and keepsakes in your home. We do our very best, but if any materials cannot be successfully restored, this will be communicated to you. That being said, these types of things are usually removed first to expedite their drying process.

Within the First Week

After the first 24 hours, water damage will progress further and quickly. Mold can spread like wildfire if left untreated. As mold sets in, it can even damage the home’s internal structure.

Additionally, porous surfaces such as wood surfaces and walls will become increasingly compromised, and metal surfaces will start corroding.

After One Week

Avoid letting excess moisture sit for an extended period of time to help prevent irreversible damage. As time goes on, it gets more expensive and requires more extensive effort to restore the structures in your home. Don’t take the risk with increased structural damage!

How SERVPRO Will Help

SERVPRO’s restoration process begins with the first call, with our goal to be responsive within 24 hours. We start with a thorough extraction of water and then move on to cleaning, sanitizing and deodorizing your floors and furniture.

After the bulk of the water has been removed, our specialists will use industry-leading drying equipment to remove the water you can’t see to prevent lingering, unnoticed moisture.

After these first few steps, your home may need additional construction work to get your space back to its preloss condition. That includes minor repairs or massive rebuilds of rooms in your home, depending on the severity of damage.

We can simplify the restoration process by handling both the initial damage mitigation and rebuilding the affected areas. SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties will keep you up to date on every step and have you back in your home or business in no time.

Regardless of the type of water damage sustained, SERVPRO has the tools and teams to help your home or business recover. Contact us 247 when you need a dependable team to help you recover.

SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties Commercial Services

5/4/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties is ready to respond 24/7 to get your business back up and running as quickly as possible. No matter what type of disaster your business has experienced, SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties is prepared to help you. We service all types and sizes of business from large retail spaces to government/ military space to small restaurants.

We are ready and able to help you and your business with all types of mitigation, restoration and cleaning.

  • Fire, smoke and soot cleanup
  • Water removal and dehumidification
  • Mold mitigation and remediation
  • Contents inventory and claim services
  • Air duct and HVAC cleaning
  • Stain removal and stain resistance applications
  • Odor identification and deodorization
  • Upholstery and drapery cleaning
  • Contents and document restoration

Call SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties for all of your businesses mitigation, restoration and cleaning needs! 715-643-7171

Smoke Detector and Fire Alarm Maintenance

4/29/2022 (Permalink)

Common preventive maintenance for fire alarms and smoke detectors is simple and best when done on a regular schedule. Humidity, corrosion, changes in voltage and temperature can cause problems with this equipment and being tested on a regular basis will allow these issues to be addressed before they cause problems.

One of the most costly and devastating events for a company or organization is a fire. According to Fireward, more than 22,000 non-dwelling building fires occurred over the course of two years. About 3,700 of those occurred because an alarm failed to sound.

It is very important to establish a fire alarm and smoke detector testing schedule. Here are a few tips:

  1. Schedule tests. Schedule tests of smoke detectors and fire alarms at least once a month.
  2. Clean alarms. Alarms should be cleaned at least quarterly to prevent dirt and dust build-up.
  3. Follow up. Ensure that fire departments are properly receiving notifications when fire alarms sound.
  4. Double Check. Work with a professional to ensure sensors and wiring are all functioning correctly once a year.

As you conduct regular tests of your smoke detectors and fire alarms, you probably won’t encounter major issues. It’s easy to get complacent about regular testing when you don’t have any issues but this small investment in preventive maintenance can save you from major losses that a fire can cause down the road.

If, despite this tips, you do experience a fire, don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties at 715-643-7171, We will make it “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO Has the Restoration Experts You Can Trust | SERVPRO® of Barron, Dunn and Rusk Counties

4/20/2022 (Permalink)

two SERVPRO employees unloading cleaning equipment out of a green van No matter the damage sustained, SERVPRO Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties has the tools and team to help your home return to a normal state quickly.

SERVPRO is not simply a cleanup and restoration business. We are in the business of being there for you after a natural or manmade disaster strikes to help you get back to your life.

Water Damage

Flooding can happen at any time of year, and whether it is only a little bit of water or a lot, it can wreak havoc in your home or in your business. In fact, floods cause more than $10 billion in damages nationwide every year.

As the snow melts in Wisconsin, the warmer temperatures can bring a quick change to the conditions around your home. Be aware of the spaces in your home that are at higher risk of flooding and check them frequently. If you encounter flooding issues, SERVPRO has the tools to deal with the damages. We’ll help you understand the severity of the damage so you’re able to make the right choice for cleanup and restoration if needed.

Our technicians are trained in detecting hidden moisture and have the tools to extract standing water with ease. We’ll also assist you in developing a water damage restoration plan to ensure your home is cleaned, dry and restored to its preloss condition.

Fire Damage

A fire department in the United States responds to a fire every 23 seconds, and there was roughly $8.1 billion in direct property damage and losses nationwide in 2020.

If your home or business has sustained fire damage, we’ll jump right into action with our seven-step restoration process.

Our restoration process starts with an inspection and damage assessment and ensures all the necessary steps are being taken before starting the repair process.

Storm Damage

Whether you have experienced a flood, a wildfire, blizzard or a tornado (we love the midwest), our goal is to always get you back into your newly restored and clean home as soon as possible.

Storm and water damage can affect not only the structure of your home but your belongings as well. SERVPRO specializes in content restoration. Our goal is to restore your belongings rather than replace them. We care about your possessions just as much as you do!

What Sets SERVPRO Apart?

Whether you call us at 3 p.m. or 2 a.m., we will answer. We understand that emergencies don’t always happen during the day, so we are here when you need us. You can reach out to a SERVPRO expert via our 247 Emergency Line day or night and receive immediate assistance.

We are the No. 1 cleanup and restoration team in the nation with more than 50 years of experience under our belts. We are locally owned and operated, but are supported by our network of more than 1,900 franchised locations around the country.

We are here for you wherever you live, so you can rest easy knowing that we will help if you need us. We will get your home or business back to “Like it never even happened” quality quickly.

Regardless of the type of damage sustained, SERVPRO has the tools and teams to help your home or business recover from its disastrous effects. Contact us anytime when you need a dependable team to help you rebuild your life.

The 3 Main Types of Flooding & the 4 Things That Often Cause Them | SERVPRO® of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties

4/5/2022 (Permalink)

a street completely submerged in water and a flood warning sign in roadway Regardless of the cause of the flooding, SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties has the team to help you recover from any disastrous event.

When most people think natural disasters, they think about hurricanes, tornadoes and lightning. However, floods are actually the most common type of natural disaster, and the deadliest as well. Floods can impact a large amount of area in a small amount of time, and leave a serious amount of destruction in their wake.

There are three main types of flooding, with four main causes, and these can occur nearly anywhere. Today, we will be taking a look at the types of floods and what makes them occur.

3 Types of Flooding

Flash floods, as the name indicates, can come about rather quickly. When a storm front brings about seriously heavy rain, whether over a prolonged period or all at once, it can overwhelm an area’s ability to drain off water effectively, leading to overflow that can run swiftly enough to carry away people and objects.

River floods happen when a river becomes too full of water, typically due to rainfall or melting snow and ice. Any time water overwhelms a riverbank, a river flood can occur.

Coastal floods are just like river floods, but occur exclusively in coastal areas. Oceans and bays can rise in volume due to storm surges or cyclones, leading to an overflow that causes flooding within the coastal area.

The 4 Frequent Causes of Natural Flooding

Heavy rainfall. If a storm has a significant amount of rain, or if the storm cell stops over an area, floods become likely. This is especially true in urban areas, as a high volume of concrete and asphalt can inhibit an area’s ability to absorb significant amounts of water.

Oceanic activity. A storm surge, hurricane or a swiftly rising tide can cause water levels to rise tremendously, which will then cause a coastal flood.

Dams and levees failing. Because of the memorable destruction of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, many people are very familiar with how terrible a breaking levee can be. Dams and levees often fail due to a high volume of water overwhelming the structure, leading to a massive flood.

Snowmelts and ice dams. When there is snow and ice that accumulates through the winter season, the first bout of warm weather can lead to quite a lot of melting—and this can cause a high volume of water to overwhelm an area. This is often made worse by ice dams or ice jams in areas with rivers, which cause a blockage in the current that can lead to flooding.

Regardless of the cause of the flooding, SERVPRO has the tools and teams to help your home or business recover from its disastrous effects. Contact us anytime when flooding or water damage makes a mess in your life.

The Business Partner You Need | SERVPRO® of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties

3/17/2022 (Permalink)

a workspace and cubicle showing signs of water damage SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties are your local commercial restoration experts. Contact us today should you experience any damage.

When you own or operate a business, you know that successful operations require all hands on deck. You also know that if disaster or accident happened to your business, it could be a devastating loss.

The good news is: You have a business partner right here in your backyard to help. SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties is here to carry some of those burdens that come with running a company, getting you back up and running as soon as possible.

Large loss recovery. Fires, storms and flooding are the top causes of financial loss for businesses across the United States. These things can cause major damages to your business, especially if you don’t handle the situation quickly. We understand that disasters can’t wait, which is why we have someone available no matter the day or time!

Emergency Ready Plan. Recovery can start before a disaster strikes, as long as your business is prepared. We will work with you to create an optimal emergency plan, so that when disaster strikes, you know what happens next. This plan will include a number of contingencies, including an emergency chain-of-command and temporary work sites.

Cleaning of All Kinds. We can handle specialty cleaning needs like trauma site cleanup and biohazard removal,, along with more general cleaning needs such as carpet and upholstery cleaning. We have a solution for every mess you may encounter!

Restoration Services. The unexpected always seems to happen. If a fire sparks in the break room, a storm damages the roof or an appliance hose leaks, the situation will require restoration and cleanup. At SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties we know that accidents happen, and we will handle your restoration services from start to finish. You can count on us to make your business look “Like it never even happened.”

Industry Specialization. No matter what industry you are in, we know the ins and outs of every commercial enterprise there is. Whatever specific needs you may have, we can tackle them. We will work hard to ensure your business is as good as new, while also enclosing the work area so we don’t disrupt your regular business operations.

Whatever your recovery need may be, and whatever your commercial property may require, trust SERVPRO to get the job done. Contact us today to get started on an Emergency Ready Plan or find out how we can serve your business.

What “Spring Weather” Means Around the United States | SERVPRO® of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties

3/4/2022 (Permalink)

an image with a cloudy, rainy, sunny and snowy sky Extreme temperature changes can lead to severe weather. SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties is a click away if you experience any damage.

The largest nations in the world are Russia and Canada, but the United States isn’t far behind them in terms of total land mass.

The United States is large and spread out, which means that our nation can experience many different types of weather patterns at once. With distinct weather patterns around the nation, it also means that each region experiences different weather threats.

As spring starts to emerge, we want to look at the regions of the country and how they experience spring weather. Different regions experience different weather types during this time of the year.

Let’s start with Pacific Northwest region. This region typically has wet weather like heavy rain, which can cause flooding or other water damage. There are some areas with higher elevations, which are dealing with the remnants of winter weather, like snow. The melting snow and ice presents problems of its own.

The Upper Midwest and Northeast regions, like us here, are the ones who deal with winter weather the longest. This area, as you know, is still dealing with things like snowstorms or even blizzards. And this lasts up until early summer. Here in Menomonie, we’re quite familiar with weather that doesn’t really warm up for us until late June.

For us here in the Upper Midwest region, we can become quite envious of the West Coast region. In this area, winter weather almost doesn’t even exist. Instead of blizzards, they are having to concern themselves with excessive heat waves. Heat waves can be extremely dangerous, endangering lives.

The middle part of the United States is seeing drier weather and other weather hazards like windstorms, derechos or wildfires. Wildfires can take over easily because of the dry and windy weather. This region also includes “Tornado Alley,”which is where a high concentration of tornadoes seems to land.

Moving on to the Southeast region, their spring season includes severe weather conditions. Things like severe thunderstorms or tornadoes are very likely in this area. Being bordered by water, the coastal parts of this region also have to stay prepared for hurricanes that can happen early in the season.

With the United States spanning so much space, you can see why regions have such drastically different weather conditions. But it doesn’t matter in what region you live, weather hazards will always be a factor! That’s why it’s important you stay prepared at all times.

If extreme weather leaves you with damage from water, fire or other elements, help is a click away. Contact SERVPRO for fast, expert recovery.

Fire Requires 4 Components—Here’s What They Are | SERVPRO® of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties

2/17/2022 (Permalink)

a small paper house burning If your home or business has any damage, SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties is ready around the clock to help you recover.

Let’s take a look back to your golden years and see if you can remember what a tetrahedron is? Since your golden years were a few years ago, it might be tough to remember.

So let us help you out…a tetrahedron is another name for a pyramid—a three-dimensional, triangular shape with four equal sides.

You may be really curious as to how this pertains to fire and fire safety! Well, a fire needs four components, which are known as the fire tetrahedron. Without these elements working together, a fire won’t start or survive.

The 4 Things a Fire Needs to Live

Fuel—something to ignite. This is a pretty common thing, but the type of fuel can be organic or inorganic material. Things like wood and plastic can be the perfect fuel source for fire.

Heat—enough to cause combustion. Everything has a combustion point where it will either ignite or melt. The amount of heat necessary can vary for every type of substance, but it will eventually happen.

Oxygen. Without oxygen, just like most everything else, a fire won’t survive long. Oxygen helps produce an expanding series of chemical reactions and will produce things like smoke and carbon monoxide in the process.

Chemical Chain Reaction. The continual cycle and feeding of heat, fuel and oxygen combine to produce a chain reaction. And as long as this chain reaction isn’t disturbed, the fire will continue to burn.

The 4 Ways to Stop a Fire

Cool it. While this may be the first thing most people think of, it’s still an important step that must be recognized. Whether you’re using buckets, hoses or anything else, the point is to cool the fuel to a point that combustion is no longer possible. You will want to cool the heat to a thermal balance so that the heat generated can’t compete with the rate that heat is lost.

Smother it. If you can take the oxygen out of a fire, then it won’t live. If you smother a fire, you have deprive it from one necessity that it really needs, oxygen. This is the principle behind the “stop, drop and roll” practice.

Starve it. As long as a fire has adequate fuel such as grass, wood or other materials, it will continue to grow and burn. You can stop a fire by removing its fuel source while it’s still trying to consume it.

Interrupt the chain reaction. Certain chemical agents can help chemically disrupt a fire. The chemical halon is very effective, but it has an elevated potential for ozone depletion. Because of this, it can become an environmental threat, which has now caused production to be stopped.

If the fire tetrahedron makes a wreck of your home or business, we’re ready around the clock to help you recover. Contact SERVPRO anytime for fast, thorough cleanup and recovery after a fire.

Safe Practices for Space Heaters

2/17/2022 (Permalink)

While today’s space heaters have come a long way in safety measures from the old electric heaters with open heating elements, there are still safety risks involved with them. Today’s space heaters, whether they are electric, radiant or convection style heating, have much better insulation around the heating coils and smaller grates to keep fingers and items away from the heating element also.  Many also have automatic shut offs that cut the power when the device reaches a certain temperature, along with a sensor to detect blocked air passages. Some also have tip-over switches that shut the heater off if it’s not flat on the ground.

Even with all the safety features of modern space heaters, there is always risk involved in using them. Here are some tips to stay safe, cozy and warm with your space heater:

  • Always keep the space heater on the floor. It is also best to place it on the smoothest, flattest surface possible.
  • Keep the space heater away from water. This one’s pretty obvious. Electricity and water don’t mix well.
  • Avoid flammable objects. Follow the three-foot rule and avoid placing the heater within three feet of anything flammable, including curtains, papers, furniture, pillows, and bedding.
  • Never leave the space heater unattended. This includes not leaving the heater on while you sleep.
  • Plug the space heater directly into a wall outlet. Added layers of electrical connection (surge protectors, extension cords, plug timers) can overload the circuit or create additional resistance that allows heat to build up which could result in a fire or internal electrical damage.

If you do experience a fire due to a space heater, give SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties a call at 715-643-7171. We can make it “Like it never even happened.”