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Preparing Your Home for Midwest Summer Tornado Season | SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties

6/17/2024 (Permalink)

lightning strike across stormy purple sky Whether its storm damage cleanup or restoration, SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties is ready to respond in a moments notice to your call.

As summer approaches in the Midwest, we all must prepare for the potential onset of tornado season. These powerful storms can bring devastating winds, hail, and destruction, posing significant risks to homes and communities.

However, with careful planning and understanding of tornado alerts, you can better protect your property and loved ones from harm.

Assess Your Home

Before tornado season arrives, it’s essential to assess your home’s vulnerabilities and take proactive steps to strengthen its defenses against severe weather. Start by inspecting your roof for any signs of damage or wear, such as loose or missing shingles. Reinforce weak areas and consider installing hurricane straps or clips to help secure your roof to the rest of your home’s structure.

Next, examine your windows and doors to ensure they are sturdy enough to withstand high winds and flying debris. Consider investing in impact-resistant windows or installing storm shutters for added protection during tornadoes. Reinforce garage doors to prevent them from collapsing under pressure, as this can lead to extensive damage to your home.

Understanding Tornado Alerts: Watch vs. Warning

It’s crucial to understand the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning to know how to respond effectively during severe weather events.

  • Tornado Watch: A tornado watch is issued by the National Weather Service when weather conditions are conducive to the development of tornadoes. During a tornado watch, stay vigilant and be prepared to take action if a tornado warning is issued for your area. Monitor weather updates closely and have a plan in place to seek shelter if necessary.

  • Tornado Warning: A tornado warning is issued when a tornado has been spotted or indicated by radar in your area. When a tornado warning is issued, it means that a tornado is imminent or already occurring, and immediate action is required to protect yourself and your family. Seek shelter in a safe room or basement, away from windows and exterior walls, and stay there until the storm has passed and it is safe to emerge.

Create a Tornado Preparedness Plan

Having a tornado preparedness plan in place is essential for ensuring the safety of your family during severe weather events. Designate a safe room or area in your home where you can take shelter during a tornado. Stock this area with emergency supplies, including water, non-perishable food, flashlights, batteries, a first-aid kit, and any necessary medications.

Ensure that everyone in your household knows the location of the safe room and understands the importance of seeking shelter immediately when a tornado warning is issued. Practice tornado drills regularly so that everyone is familiar with the procedure and knows what to do in the event of a tornado.

Summer tornado season in the Midwest can be unpredictable and dangerous, but by taking proactive steps to prepare your home and family, you can increase your chances of staying safe and minimizing damage.

If your home is affected by a tornado or other severe weather event, SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties is Here to Help®.

Bonfire Safety Tips for Spring and Summer | SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties

6/3/2024 (Permalink)

campfire style bonfire with dark night background Don't forget about fire safety! Follow these tips from SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties to ensure a fun, safe night.

As the weather warms up and the days grow longer, many of us are looking forward to spending time outdoors, and what better way to enjoy the season than with a bonfire? Whether you’re roasting marshmallows with friends or simply enjoying the crackle of the flames, a bonfire can add warmth and ambiance to any outdoor gathering.

However, it’s important to remember that with great fun comes great responsibility, especially when it comes to fire safety. Here are some essential tips to ensure that your spring and summer bonfires remain enjoyable and safe for everyone.

Choosing the Right Location

First things first, choose the right location for your bonfire. Make sure the area is clear of any overhanging branches, dry grass, or other flammable materials. Ideally, your bonfire should be at least 10 feet away from any structures, including your home, and away from bushes or shrubs.

If you’re using a fire pit, ensure it’s sturdy and made of non-flammable materials like stone or metal. Clear the area around the fire pit of any debris, and consider creating a barrier around it using rocks or bricks to prevent the fire from spreading.

Be Prepared

Before lighting your bonfire, check the weather forecast and for any burn bans. Avoid lighting a fire on windy days, as the wind can easily spread sparks and embers, increasing the risk of a fire getting out of control.

Always have a water source nearby, whether it’s a hose, a bucket of water, or a fire extinguisher. This will allow you to quickly extinguish the fire if it starts to get out of hand.

Only use seasoned firewood in your bonfire. Green or wet wood can create excess smoke and sparks, increasing the risk of a fire spreading. Never use gasoline, kerosene, or other flammable liquids to start or accelerate a fire.

Supervise the Fire

Never leave a bonfire unattended, even for a short period of time. Assign someone to be responsible for the fire at all times, and make sure they know how to properly manage it.

When you’re done with your bonfire, make sure to extinguish it properly. Use water to douse the flames, stirring the embers to ensure that everything is thoroughly soaked. Continue adding water until you can no longer hear any hissing or sizzling. Never leave a fire smoldering or unattended.

By following these simple tips, you can enjoy your spring and summer bonfires safely and responsibly. Remember, fire safety is everyone’s responsibility, so be sure to share these tips with your friends and family. Let’s make this season one to remember for all the right reasons!

For professional fire damage restoration services and tips on fire prevention, contact SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties today. Stay safe and enjoy your bonfires responsibly!

Tips for Storm Planning With Nervous Kids | SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties

5/15/2024 (Permalink)

family watching lightning storm from inside home with candles due to power outage When the storm has passed, call SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties to help you recover.

The thunder is booming, lightning is cracking overhead and the tornado sirens are going off. Your dog is pacing, your kids are panicking and you don’t know what to do first. Storm situations can be really scary, especially in the late spring and early summer when tornadoes are more common.

While we can’t control the weather, we can certainly control how we prepare for it and react to it so that everyone stays calm. This is especially true for your little ones!

Read on as our team explains some easy ways to incorporate storm planning into your family routine so that everyone is calm, cool and collected when a true emergency hits.

Knowing What to Look For

We can all recognize a cloudy day versus a sunny one, but that doesn’t mean that we all know what to look for when the clouds start to change. Even if the forecast doesn’t predict storms, it is important to always keep an eye on the sky. Teach your kids the signs that a potentially dangerous storm is approaching. Rotating clouds, a dark or green sky, rumbling thunder and lightning should prompt them to head inside right away.

They should also learn what a tornado siren sounds like and the different instances in which it could go off. Preparing them for the sound can be easier when the sirens are being tested, because it is not an emergency and they can get used to hearing the sound from different areas of your home. Have them practice listening for the siren and then time them to see how long it takes for them to reach your safe shelter location.

Preparing for the Event

Have you taken the time to create a storm emergency plan with your family? That includes discussing how and when to get to your safe shelter location as well as making sure your emergency kit is packed and ready to go.

Choose the lowest level of your home and then find an innermost room, ideally without windows. Keep a small gathering area clear at all times. If you can pull something heavy like a table or a desk into the room, have your kids practice by building a fort around the space and huddling inside together.

Your kids can, and should, help you pack up your emergency kit! Start with the basic necessities and have your children help choose what goes into the bag. Some of their favorite foods and snacks should go in as well as shelf-stable water for the entire family.

Have each child pick out a flashlight and label it with his or her name. Don’t forget the extra batteries! Candles, matches, and any specific medications or prescriptions should also be added at this time.

Finally, let your kids pick some special games or activities that are only played during severe weather situations. If you lose power or need to stay sheltered for an extended period of time, you will be thankful for the added distraction.

Keeping Calm

Severe weather can be scary even for adults, so it is natural for your kids to be apprehensive about storms and severe weather planning. It can sometimes help to explain that the chances of experiencing severe destruction or suffering from a direct tornado hit are actually really low. Most home damage during storms and even small tornadoes is typically focused on the roof, siding and your surrounding property.

Focus on keeping your kids calm and distracted during the weather event, and it can help to narrate the events in a light-hearted way as they are happening. Together, you will all be able to tackle severe weather with much more confidence.

Storm damage should always be addressed quickly. Contact SERVPRO® day or night for the restoration services you need.

Preventing Stinky Odors After a Water Disaster | SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties

5/1/2024 (Permalink)

water dripping from ceiling into a large puddle on tile floor Trust SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties to provide comprehensive services for a full recovery for all your water damage restoration needs.

Upon arriving home from work, you may discover an unwelcome surprise—a water leak. Perhaps your dishwasher malfunctioned while you were away, and water is now all over your floor. Or maybe you left a window open and rain came pouring in, leaving your wall soaking wet.

While your first instinct may be to grab a mop and bucket or towels to clean up the mess, it is important to understand that this may not be enough to fully address the issue. If the water has been left to leak throughout your house for any period of time, you could be facing a much larger problem than a simple puddle.

To avoid serious issues like mold growth, rot and unpleasant odors like mildew, it is crucial to deal with water disasters quickly by hiring a professional to help. We are ready for your phone call!

Addressing the Leak Quickly

Once water starts to leak and seep where it shouldn’t in your home, it will begin to infiltrate areas that can be really hard to reach. The tiniest of cracks and crevices can easily invite water into them, which can cause even more issues for you in the long run.

When you encounter a water leak at home, you might be tempted to use towels to clean up the visible water. However, this will not address the lingering moisture behind your drywall or under your floorboards. This kind of moisture doesn’t evaporate easily and can cause further damage if not properly dealt with. Without proper air movement, the moisture can remain hidden, leading to structural degradation, rusting of metal support systems and even mold growth.

It is essential to address water leaks immediately by calling in professionals to prevent long-term damage to your home. Don’t wait longer than a day, as it only takes as little as 24 hours for a mold outbreak to develop.

Using Your Nose

A classic indication of mold and mildew is the unpleasant odor they produce. If you smell a musty or earthy scent a few days after cleaning up a water leak, it might be time to track down the source.

However, it can be challenging to do so if you suspect that something harmful is growing behind your walls. Fortunately, our professional water damage restoration team is highly skilled in reversing water damage and addressing issues caused by lingering moisture.

Our services include repairing warped walls, restoring swollen floorboards and locating mold infestations or musty smells left over after a water disaster. Our team of odor removal experts will secure the area by turning off vents and your HVAC system. Then we will filter the air to eliminate stubborn odor particles and clean and sanitize the surface to remove any remaining residue.

When it comes to water damage and the unpleasant odors it can leave behind, you can trust that our restoration team will provide you with comprehensive services.

Don’t ignore signs of a water leak. Contact SERVPRO® for a full recovery.

Navigating the Insurance Claim World With Confidence | SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties

4/15/2024 (Permalink)

team of servpro workers unloading a branded work van and entering a business for a commercial job SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties is Here to Help® with your business' disaster recovery!

When disaster strikes, your first goal will most likely be keeping your family safe. While you focus on taking whatever action is necessary to get your family to safety, your home could be damaged significantly in the process.

Experiencing home damage is always unfortunate, but as long as your family is OK, the rest can be taken care of in time. One of those tasks that follows a disaster situation is submitting an insurance claim, and those can be tricky if you aren’t sure how to start.

That’s where we come in! Our crew is here to pick up the pieces after a fire, flood or storm to help you recover while also being there to help you understand how to properly submit a claim through your insurance company.

Starting Quickly, Documenting Everything

No matter what kind of disaster happened at your house, the faster you can start recovery, the better off you will be. Damage will only worsen the longer you leave it unaddressed, which can leave you with a much larger problem than you expected.

When the disaster situation has passed or is over, make sure you are checking in with your loved ones and neighbors to make sure the authorities don’t need to be called right away. After that, call our SERVPRO® office so we can get started on your recovery plan.

Take as many photos as possible, making sure to document as much of the damage that you can see. The more photos you can get as soon as the event is over, the more complete your claim will be.

Leave It to Us

Once we arrive, you can rest easy knowing that we will prioritize securing your home while also getting started on your restoration. We can lay tarps over exposed sections of your home, remove fragile belongings from the damage site and board up windows quickly.

Our team is highly trained in all things restoration, but we also fully understand how the insurance world works and what is needed to get the most out of a claim.

We will put together an itemized list of your losses, add the photos that you took and incorporate the ones our professional team took in order to make your reporting really simple. We are also trained to meet insurance inspection standards to help lower your potential costs. We are focused on helping restore rather than replace your belongings, which also helps reduce costs overall as well.

Our team is proud to be with you throughout every step of your recovery, whether you suffered from fire, flood or storm damage. We will help get your insurance claim processed correctly and rebuild your home with confidence.

When a disaster strikes, call us to make your recovery process—insurance claims and all—simple.

What’s That Smell? Discovering Sewage Leaks | SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties

4/1/2024 (Permalink)

sewage water pooling on a kitchen floor after a leak SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties is always ready to respond to your call when biohazard incidents strike.

If you have a sewage leak in your home or business, chances are that you will know pretty quickly. Sewage has a very distinct smell that can send anyone scrambling to cover their nose and mouth.

Unfortunately, sewage leaks can happen at a moment’s notice to anyone, which means your property is vulnerable even if you don’t think it will ever happen to you. We explain some helpful tips below on how to respond to a sewage leak so you can stay in control and minimize the situation as much as possible.

The Discovery of the Leak

The sewer lines in your home are designed to move wastewater down and away from your property in a smooth manner. However, that doesn’t always happen the way that it should.

Any sort of clog or blockage in a pipe can force the wastewater to move backward up the pipe and back into your sinks, tubs or toilets. Leaks can also happen wherever there is a loose connection or a crack in your pipelines.

No matter how the leak or backup starts, it is crucial that you avoid coming into contact with the water. Water comes in three different categories, and sewage falls into the most dangerous category called black water. Viruses, bacteria and microbes could be lurking in the water that can make you really sick.

Keeping in mind your safety, try to shut off the water valve for the pipe in question without getting messy, and then start opening up windows and turning on fans for ventilation. We would bet the space is probably really smelly, so keep customers or your family members out of the area while you do this. Afterward, get us on the phone so we can get started on your cleaning!

Where SERVPRO®’s Restoration Team Comes In

Our restoration team and cleaning team come together in times like these! Wastewater leaks can cause serious damage, but they also need to be treated carefully. This is why our biohazard cleaning practices come in handy. Our crew is highly trained on dangerous situations like these, so we want you to call us as soon as you discover the leak.

Our team will start gathering supplies and then we will be on our way to you. While you are waiting, snap a few photos of the damage you see. Even though these images won’t be added to a scrapbook or a family album, they will be necessary for your insurance claim.

Once we arrive, we will first focus on identifying the source of the leak and then we will work on removing the standing water from your space. Since the wastewater could be toxic, we will make sure to wear the proper PPE to stay protected while we work.

After the water is gone, we will then be able to sanitize your space to make sure it is safe to return to and then we will tackle lingering odors with our deodorization equipment. Finally, we will address any structural damage caused by the water.

Dealing with sewage leaks is always serious business. Call us right away so we can take care of your situation safely.

Sewage leaks should always be cleaned up by professionals. Call SERVPRO, and we will take care of you.

The Basics of Seasonal Flood Prevention | SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties

3/15/2024 (Permalink)

When life gets tricky, sometimes it is best to take things back to the basics. Dealing with frustrating math homework, getting stumped over how to fix a leaky sink, or struggling with a work conflict can all sometimes be handled easier when you start at the beginning.

The same holds true for disaster preparedness. Starting with what you know and working your way forward can make sure your home is ready for anything, especially when it comes to floods.

Unfortunately, flooding emergencies are a common issue, so doing what you can to prevent serious damage can help minimize your situation.

Understanding Your Zones

Flooding can happen in a variety of different ways, even if it is not actively raining. Broken dams or levees, busted water lines or faulty appliances can all lead to watery messes. Of course, Mother Nature can also bring heavy rain that can cause water to infiltrate your home as well.

Being surrounded by lakes and rivers makes our community susceptible to flooding whenever we are experiencing a particularly wet season. This is why knowing your property’s flood risk is crucial to your safety.

Even if your property isn’t in a specific flood zone, it is still important for you to prepare for the possibility of a flood. Low-lying areas of your property can easily fill up with water or heavy rain can fall fast enough to overwhelm the earth around your home. Install longer downspouts to help keep the water farther away from your home or add extra drainage so your property can stay dry no matter what.

It wouldn’t be northern Wisconsin without all of the wonderful tree coverage in our area, but the trees and vegetation can be troublesome when it comes to rain and flooding issues. Install gutter covers for your gutter system to help reduce the risk of clogs or blockages in your lines, and get in the habit of checking your roof regularly for signs of damage.

Future Preparation Tips

Even if you property does flood, you can still learn from it and you can take permanent steps to help prevent the situation from happening again.

If your basement always gets wet during the spring thaw, consider having your yard professionally graded. If your property slopes away from your home instead of towards it, you can utilize gravity to help keep your spaces dry.

Inside your home, you should be checking the seals around your windows and doors regularly and replacing them as needed. In addition, you should consider completely replacing anything that is sagging or not hanging right anymore to ensure your home is air and watertight.

When you start with what you know, good things can happen! Remember, we are always Here to Help® you recover if you wind up with any sort of water damage.

Do you have water damage in your home? Contact us at SERVPRO® for fast recovery.

Staying Informed: Tips for Receiving Weather Alerts | SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties

3/1/2024 (Permalink)

heavy rain pouring down on an outdoor metal roof in a storm Let SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties help you get from April showers to May flowers.

Can you believe it is already time to start thinking about and looking forward to spring weather? After the weird winter we had, many of us may be excited to focus on the more predictable rain and thunderstorms that accompany the spring season.

However, spring weather also includes severe storms from time to time, and the farther we get into the season, the higher the risk that we will experience tornado watches and warnings. Being prepared for this weather starts with being informed! Our team explains some easy ways to stay informed ahead of any severe weather below.

When We Have Electricity

Screens make up a huge part of our lives nowadays, so it should be no surprise that the vast majority of us get our weather alerts through our phones and the TV. Wireless Emergency Alerts is a national system that is already programmed into your phone so alerts can be automatically issued in the event of an emergency. Just be sure your notifications are turned on. You can also download weather apps that forecast regular weather patterns as well as developing storms.

If you go the app route, just be sure that the app you are choosing is reliable and reputable. There are many different weather apps out there, and not all of them should be trusted. Stick with only nationally recognized organizations or trusted local sources.

Trusted local sources would include local news stations that report weather systems as they approach our community! Tune into your favorite station when a weather watch is issued so you can keep an eye on how it is tracking across the area. This real-time forecast can also ensure you seek shelter immediately as needed.

When the Lights Go Out

We all take our phones, TVs and constant communication for granted, so it can be really scary if we lose power in the middle of a storm. If you don’t have a reliable way of staying connected even without electricity, you might be putting yourself into a really vulnerable or dangerous position.

We recommend having at least one other way of receiving alerts that does not completely rely on electricity in order to work. Start by identifying your nearest weather siren and determine if you can easily hear it from your property.

You should also have some sort of weather radio on hand at any time. Hand-crank or solar-powered options allow you to stay connected no matter your situation. Plus, they are portable! You can take your radio with you into your sheltering location or with you around your property after the first wave of a storm comes through.

Planning ahead and making sure your alert systems are ready to go will only benefit you during a true weather emergency. If your home or property suffers from serious damage, call SERVPRO® right away for immediate recovery assistance.

Serious storms can cause serious property damage. Call SERVPRO 247 for immediate restoration assistance.

Recovering From Commercial Property Damage Reliably | SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties

2/15/2024 (Permalink)

business man in office talking to female SERVPRO rep SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties is here for your business every step of the way, from ERPs to disaster recovery.

What business owner wakes up one morning determined to suffer through a disaster at work? We would hope no one is thinking or assuming the worst every day!

Unfortunately, disasters happen to businesses across the country every day, so having a plan in place ahead of a fire, flood or storm situation can help you navigate the unknown a bit more smoothly. SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties is here to help you plan, but also here to help you recover from any disaster situation.

Preparing Ahead of the Disaster

The best disaster is the one that didn’t happen, right? In order for that to be true, it’s also important to have a plan in place so you can react immediately when something goes awry. If your team is prepared for what could happen, they are much more likely to respond appropriately.

Once your basic emergency plan is formed, create a clear line of communication so your team knows where information is going to come from and who is in charge of what during an emergency. You should also be taking the time to show your staff where fire extinguishers, water valves and emergency kits are located.

While it may be true that your custodial staff are in charge of responding to situations like this, it is always helpful for your other staff to be able to help in a true emergency situation.

In addition to explaining what should happen before and during a disaster, your team also needs to understand where to go and what to do afterward. Remote work policies need to be in place or an alternate location needs to be secured for your team to continue working in an adjusted way while your repairs are taking place.

Your Personalized Recovery Process

When you have a plan in place and you use it during an emergency, you are much more likely to come out the other side without having to worry about long-term or permanent closures. The faster you can react by calling SERVPRO®, the better your chances will be at a full recovery.

While we work on restoring and repairing your home, you will need to focus on keeping your staff in good spirits while also communicating to the public about your restoration process. Let everyone know how the restoration is coming and offer up tentative re-opening dates to keep people informed throughout the process.

Depending on your type of restoration, you and your team may be able to remain in your building while we work, albeit in an adjusted way. We can oftentimes secure areas or block off sections while we work so you can still operate in an abbreviated capacity during your recovery. We will work with you to find the right balance that you need.

Planning ahead and executing a quick recovery is exactly what your business deserves when it comes to recovering after a disaster. We are here to help you so you can open back up for business faster with a smile on your face!

Has your business experienced a disaster, or do you want help building an emergency plan? Contact us to find everything you need.

Dealing With Multiple Kinds of Home Damage, Confidently | SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties

2/1/2024 (Permalink)

heavy rain pounding down on a blacktop surface SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties is Here to Help® when any disaster strikes!

When the rain comes pouring in or a house fire starts in the middle of the night, it can leave you with serious damage and a lot of questions. It always seems like the most unsuspecting situations are the most frustrating to deal with!

That is especially true when it comes to home damage as you always have to take action right away to stay in control of the situation. Whether Mother Nature caused structural damage to your roof during a tornado or your old dishwasher leaked yet again, dealing with the aftermath quickly is what will help you recover more confidently.

That’s why SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties is here to help! With one simple phone call, all of your home damage woes will be taken care of as we get started on your entire recovery.

The Facts of Worsening Damage

The toll that disasters can take on communities can range from minor inconveniences to total emergencies, especially when it comes to serious storms or unexpected natural disasters.

For example, heavy rain can lead to flooding, which can be dangerous if you are out and about or can lead to mold growth in your home. Strong wind can knock out power for days or rip shingles off of your roof. A house fire can cause structural damage in the room that the fire occurred in, but it can also lead to soot and smoke odors all over your home.

The longer the damage sits in your home, the worse the situation can become. This is why a quick call to us will get the ball rolling and you will be able to recover faster and more completely!

Restoring With Confidence

When disaster strikes, we want you to pick up the phone no matter what time it is or what day it happens to be. We are here 247, 365 days a year to respond to your emergency. We will get right to work by gathering a team and supplies and then be on our way to you quickly.

Our highly trained team members have years of experience helping our community overcome disaster. We are all trained on the latest and most advanced restoration techniques and we will tailor our plan to fit your home’s individual needs. We will be with you from start to finish no matter what.

Damaged roofs will be tarped and secured, flooded rooms will have the standing water removed and the walls repaired, and fire-damaged spaces will be cleaned, sanitized and restored with confidence.

We are even confident enough in our skills to tackle entire rebuilds of sections of your home! If a water disaster or fire caused too much damage to be repaired, we can tear down that section of your home and build it back up for you with precision.

One of the best things about working with us is that you are only ever working with us! It can be exhausting dealing with multiple different contractors and agreements, but you are only working with our team for every aspect of your restoration. That can make your recovery process much smoother and much more relaxing for your family.

When the rain pours in or a house fire takes you by surprise, call SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties for a faster and more reliable recovery. We can help you find sunnier days in no time at all.

Have you experienced a disaster and need restoration? Make one call to our office to start recovery fast.