How basements can flood during the winter?
With the temperatures dropping and things freezing over, how is it that basements can spring leaks and flood still?
The most common causes of basement flooding and the resulting water damage during the winter months include ice floes and blocked drains due to snow. When a major snowstorm or ice storm happens, all of the surrounding area melts, and the water needs somewhere to go. If a portion of your yard has melted and the rest has not, the water might find its way into your basement or home as a result of the ice blocking typical drainage methods. Whenever a snowstorm happens, you should always make sure that gutters and drains are clear of ice so that all water can drain as it needs to.
the #1 priority is this still mitigating the damage and limiting the amount of restoration involved. As always, professionals should be called and involved as soon as possible.
February in Wisconsin and how to be ready
Winterize Your Home
Winter storms can range from a brief period of extreme cold temperatures, to days of snow, blowing wind and white-out conditions. Preparing in advance helps you tackle winter weather before it even begins. Two of the biggest safety issues as the winter season approaches is knowing how to deal with power outages in cold weather and understanding how to drive (or when not to drive) in snowy conditions.
Get Your Home Winter Ready
- Winterize your home to extend the life of your fuel supply by insulating walls and attics, caulking and weather-stripping doors and windows, and installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic
- Winterize your house, barn, shed or any other structure that may provide shelter for your family, neighbors, livestock or equipment
- Clear rain gutters; repair roof leaks and cut away tree branches that could fall on a house or other structure during a storm
- Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year
- Insulate pipes with insulation or newspapers and plastic and allow faucets to drip a little during cold weather to avoid freezing; Running water, even at a trickle, helps prevent pipes from freezing
- All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside and kept clear
- Keep fire extinguishers on hand and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them
- Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts)
- Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out
The impact of a having a business close due to Unforeseen Circumstances
The pandemic has hammered small businesses across the United States — an alarming trend for an economy that’s trying to rebound from the deepest, fastest recession in U.S. history. Normally, small employers are a vital source of hiring after a recession. They account for nearly half the economy’s output and an outsize portion of new jobs.
Roughly one in five small businesses have closed, according to numerous surveys. Restaurants, bars, beauty shops and other retailers that involve face-to-face contact have been hardest hit at a time when Americans are trying to keep distance from one another.
From personal experience, watching friends and families struggle with shutting down their businesses every other week due to possible exposure has been rough. Not only does a business have to worry about the normal causes such as water/fire damage and mold, but with the current pandemic, anytime an employee gets sick; the majority of small business owners choose to close from anywhere from a day or two to a week or more.
Thankfully, SERVPRO can help with the reopening process. Our Covid clean ups involve using hospital-grade disinfectants and thoroughness; thus, reassuring the customer base and employees that all is well, and it is safe to come back.
Being Emergency Ready in Current Times
As many as 50% of businesses may never recover following a disaster, according to the latest industry research. On top of that, the current pandemic has left a lot of places uncertain of their future so any shutdown would be devastating.
By developing a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile for you business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water, fire, and Covid-19 can affect your business.
The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile is a start up approach that provides the critical information needed to begin mitigation and recovery services. It is designed to serve as a quick reference of important building and contact information. By working with SERVPRO's Emergency Ready Profile, your business will receive the benefit of over 40 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster. SERVPRO is a leader in water and fire response and can help you quickly get your property back in working order.
Call SERVPRO of Southeast Milwaukee County to get started at a no cost assessment of your facility!
HVAC Cleaning for a business...Why it is Necessary?
Why Clean your Air Ducts?
With everything that’s involved in the maintenance of a commercial building, cleaning an air duct system that’s not showing any obvious problems can seem like an unnecessary expenditure of time and money. While air duct cleaning isn’t a job you need to do every year, it’s not something you can afford to ignore entirely.
Why Air Ducts Need Cleaning
Poor indoor air quality, inefficient air filtration, and duct leaks can all result in dust entering the duct system. This dust can accumulate to the point that it starts to break off and re-enter your air. When this happens, you may notice your workspaces become dusty faster.
High humidity in the building or water leaking into the ducts provides the moisture needed for mold to develop. Mold in the ducts releases tiny spores that will end up circulating through your whole building.
Pest infestations are another reason to have your ducts cleaned. It’s not uncommon for mice, squirrels, bees, and other pests to find their way into a duct system. Once inside, they leave behind nesting material, hair, and dead insects. Particles of these are then blown out into your rooms.
If the air quality in your building is high and you use high-efficiency HVAC air filters, your ducts could stay clean for years. Even in the ideal situation, though, there’s always a chance of unexpected issues. At least once every three or four years, have your duct system professionally inspected to check if it’s due for a cleaning.
How Air Duct Cleaning Benefits You
Keeping your building’s ducts clean protects the heating and cooling system.
Improved indoor air quality — When your ducts are clean, you’ll have less dust, mold spores, pollen, and pest debris floating in your air.
Greater HVAC system efficiency — Debris in the ducts impairs airflow through your system, so the fan motor has to work harder to distribute conditioned air to your rooms. With the ducts clean, the air will flow freely and the motor will consume less energy moving it. Clean ducts deposit less dust on your air conditioner’s evaporator coil. Even a millimeter of dust on the coil reduces its efficiency, so clean ducts really pay off in summer.
Longer HVAC component lifespan — Dust and debris blowing through your ducts can find its way into your system’s fan motor and other components and cause excess wear. Keeping the ducts clean prevents this wear, helping the components last longer.
Professional Duct Cleaning Makes the Difference
Duct cleaning isn’t a job to leave up to a regular building maintenance crew armed with a few vacuums. Attempting to clean the ducts without the right tools can worsen your indoor air quality because the debris dislodged will end up floating away into your rooms. You’re also likely to miss a lot of the debris.
A professional like SERVPRO of Southeast Milwaukee County has all the tools and knowledge to restore any HVAC system to 100%
Why Storm Damage is Devastating
Storms and Floods devastate different regions every year. Unfortunately, some of the biggest dangers caused by storms can occur after the storm has already passed. In addition to a lack of supplies and road closures, the standing flood water resulting from storms can cause serious health risks. Here are some of the most severe problems floods can bring.
Standing flood water is teeming with health risks. The CDC has a section detailing all of the possible diseases that become more likely in the event of a storm disaster, including Norovirus and the West Nile Virus. Bacterial infections and diseases become a greater possibility because flood water can infect everything it touches. This can include anything from articles of clothing to the toys that children play with. For this reason, it is incredibly important not to drink or eat anything that has been contaminated by standing flood water, and to always wash hands as often as possible- especially before meals. In addition, open wounds pose a far greater risk of becoming infected as a result of storm waters. If at all possible, keep open wounds out of the water or cover with waterproof bandages.
Disease isn't the only invisible hazard that can exist within standing water. Murky water can conceal dangerous insects or even threatening animals beneath the surface. Much of this depends on the location of the storm, but it's not unheard of for alligators to make use of a new habitat resulting from a storm. In addition, much of the physical damage caused by a storm is still present in the water. This can include broken glass or sharp metal which might be impossible to see before it causes injury. On top of that, storms frequently cause damage to power lines. These can lead to a risk of electrocution in standing water.
It's Cold Outside....Why are House Fires starting?
It's January in Wisconsin....A question we are asked about a lot is "Isn't it too cold for fires to begin?". Well, there are other things besides heat that attribute to future disasters. Listed Below are the most common causes:
Heating is the second leading cause of US home fires and home fire injuries and third leading cause of home fire deaths. December, January and February are the peak months for heating fires. Space heaters are the type of equipment most often involved in home heating equipment fires, accounting for more than two of every five fires (44%), as well as the vast majority of deaths and injuries in home fires caused by heating equipment.
Often called the invisible killer, carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas created when fuels such as gasoline, wood, coal, propane, etc. do not burn completely. In the home, heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel are potential sources of CO. Carbon monoxide incidents are more common during the winter months, and in residential properties.
Most of the U.S. is at risk for winter storms, which can cause dangerous and sometimes life-threatening conditions. Blinding wind-driven snow, extreme cold, icy road conditions, downed trees and power lines can all wreak havoc on our daily schedules. Home fires occur more in the winter than in any other season, and heating equipment is involved in one of every six reported home fires, and one in every five home fire deaths.
Portable generators are useful during power outages, however, many homeowners are unaware that the improper use of portable generators can be risky. The most common dangers associated with portable generators are carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, electrical shock or electrocution, and fire hazards. According to a 2013 Consumer Product Safety Commission report, half of the generator-related deaths happened in the four coldest months of the year, November through February, and portable generators were involved in the majority of carbon monoxide deaths involving engine-driven tools.
December is the peak time of year for home candle fires; the top two days for home candle fires are Christmas and Christmas Eve. Each year between 2013-2017, an average of 7,900 home candle fires were reported each year.
Electrical home fires are a leading cause of home fires in the U.S. Roughly half of all home electrical fires involved electrical distribution or lighting equipment, while nearly another half involved other known types of equipment like washer or dryer fans, and portable or stationary space heaters. More statistics on electrical fires.
Assessing Damage and the Decision Making Afterwards
Typically, when dealing with fire damage, it’s the smoke that leads to the most contamination. Smoke contains methane, carbon monoxide, benzene, sulfur dioxide, formaldehyde, formic acid, acetic acid, and traces of heavy metals. This is quite a toxic combination of chemicals, which can lead to severe health complications.
Unfortunately, smoke and soot residue can travel through almost any opening, then settle on every surface in the house. You might even find smoke contamination in a room unaffected by the fire.
Some other ways which smoke can damage your Hawaii home include:
- Discoloration – After the fire, the smoke damage will immediately become visible on the walls, ceilings, and hard surfaces. You’ll notice stains and discoloration, including a yellowing effect that is tough to remove.
- Odor – Many surfaces within your home, especially fabric or furniture, will contain a smoky odor after a fire. Smoke produces carbon in the air, which turns into soot. These particles then settle into the fabrics of your carpet, clothing, and furniture.
- Electrical – A little-known aspect of smoke damage is damage to the electrical system. The smoke damage can compromise wiring, cords, switches, fuses, and breaker boxes.
Removing both smoke and soot requires advanced restoration equipment and expertise. You are likely not equipped or trained to handle the situation.
Hence, here at SERVPRO of Southeast Milwaukee County... We are one call away from making things "Like it never even happened."
Maintaining a business - Duct Cleaning
Your HVAC unit has to do with cooling and heating your Business. Maintenance for your HVAC system is essential if you want your unit to run correctly for a substantial amount of time. Cleaning your HVAC system also entails duct maintenance as well.
Cleaning the ducts and vents means that they will be cleaning separate elements in the HVAC unit. It is important to clean multiple areas in the unit because it is unknown what lurks in your ducts. So, when turning on the air conditioning unit, those who have allergies may react from the dust, dander, or mold in the unit.
There are many advantages of cleaning your ducts/ HVAC unit. One benefit is having a more efficient system which will result in lower utility bills. Another benefit is having a healthier working environment. Keeping up with the system will also keep up the longevity of the unit, just like a “tune up” with a vehicle would improve its life span.
So a fire happens.....what next?
When a fire starts inside your home, it is never a pleasant experience. Fires not only threaten the safety of you and your family, but can also be costly to repair. The heat, flames, and smoke produced by a fire can cause extensive damage to your home.
Whether the fire is small or large, the best choice would be to have the professionals come in and assess the situation. SERVPRO of Southeast Milwaukee County is IICRC certified and have experience with different types of fire scenarios.
Both the heat and smoke created by a blaze causes several types of damage to your home. Flames can burn content and building materials inside the home. Smoke spreads throughout the structure leaving behind soot and foul odors. Our professional technicians at SERVPRO of Southeast Milwaukee County are taught how to mitigate fire damage by putting each case into a category based on the severity of the damage.
In fire damage situations, there are three main types of severity. Putting each damage scenario into a certain level of severity helps our specialists know what types of methods to use when mitigating the problem. The three levels are minor, medium and major fire damage.
With our fair assessments and knowledge/background, calling SERVPRO of Southeast Milwaukee County is always the right thing to do.