Recent Posts

Are You Prepared for the Fire Hazards of Fall? | SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin

10/11/2021 (Permalink)

a small campfire burning bright in the dark night Be mindful about fall fire safety. Always remember that SERVPRO of SE Waukesha County/West Franklin is the trusted leader in the restoration industry.

We are all starting to recognize that chill in the air—you know the one, the crisp chill that means fall is right around the corner.

And with fall right here at our fingertips, it’s time to start preparing yourself for potential dangers that accompany fall. So, grab a latte and read over these safety tips to ensure your family stays safe this season.

Campfire Safety

When you are ready to build your first campfire of the season, you need to remember a few things. Knowing where to build it, what to use to build it and how to put it out are the three most important things to focus on.

When building a campfire, you need to make sure that it’s in an open area with nothing flammable close to it. You can use small twigs or dry branches to help get it going, and add bigger pieces as it starts going.

When you are ready to ignite the campfire, you should never use an accelerant like kerosene or lighter fluid. Only use something like a lighter or match.

Make sure that you extinguish your fire completely before leaving it unattended. You can slowly pour water on the fire, which will help eliminate the risks of the embers being stirred back up.

Space Heaters

Let’s talk about portable space heaters! These little gems can be quite handy if you want to heat a small room. But while they are handy and convenient, they’re also one of the main causes of home fires in the fall and winter.

Anytime you use a heater, it’s important to stay alert and aware. Keep it away from anything flammable and ensure that it’s in a safe place where it can’t easily be knocked over. While most heaters come with an automatic shut-off capability these days, this isn’t something you even want to test.

Halloween

It might still feel a long ways away, but the reality is: Halloween is approaching quickly! You may already be thinking about how to decorate or have your decor in place.

With everything from candles to costumes, you must be aware of the risks that these items can cause. While it all can be fun and cute, it’s also flammable, so you must be cautious when decorating.

If a fire hazard should turn from potential to reality in your home, remember the trusted leader in the recovery industry and contact SERVPRO to get your property fully restored right down to the smell of smoke.

 

The Most Common Spots in Your Home for Water Leaks | SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin

9/7/2021 (Permalink)

a leak in ceiling creating water lines running down an interior wall A water leak can turn into a big problem. Contact the SERVPRO of SE Waukesha County/West Franklin team if you are dealing with any water damage.

Water can do a significant amount of damage to a home. Leaks can be behind walls and hidden for years, rotting the structure and surrounding framing. By the time you notice it, it’s too late, the damage is done.

Unfortunately, we rarely get advanced notice before something damaging occurs. Water is always looking for a place to go, and any crack or crevice will do.

Knowing how water can enter your home and inspecting those area regularly can help you avoid a costly water repair. Let’s look at a few of the most common sources of home water damage:

Gaskets on faucets. From flappers to seals, there are plenty of places for water to leak in these simple but heavily used fixtures. Faucet gaskets degrade over time and breakdown and leak. Faucets should last anywhere from 10 to 20 years before needing to be replaced.

Refrigerator condenser coil. The condenser coil evaporates excess water from the defrost system of the refrigerator. If the coil isn’t working properly, water can accumulate in the drip pan and overflow.

Roof flashing. Flashing is a thin, usually galvanized steel, material that is installed on critical parts of the roof. Flashing is installed to surround roof features such as chimneys, skylights, vents and valleys.

Septic system issues. Old or damaged pipes are a frequent cause—this can happen due to tree roots finding a crack in outdoor lines. Approximately 20% of the homes in the U.S. use septic systems for on-site wastewater treatment. Septic tanks should be inspected by a professional every three years and pumped between three and five years.

Sump pump issues. Some homes utilize a sump pump to accumulate and remove water. Homes with a crawlspace or basement need a mechanism to remove water from these areas. Sump pumps are designed to accumulate water in a catch basin, and then the sump pump pumps the water out into a drain or away from the house. Make sure it has a reliable power source and is free of debris.

It’s always important to keep up with the state of your pipes, appliances and roofs, and other systems that remove water from your home. All have shelf lives and require periodic checking. If you can catch the signs of wear before a leak occurs, you can save yourself time and money.

If a water leak erupts into a big problem at home, you’ve got the best team in the business on your side. Contact SERVPRO today so we can get started.

Why Choose SERVPRO? We're Filling You In | SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin

8/25/2021 (Permalink)

damaged furniture and other home items sitting outside of red brick house When you are dealing with any damage, immediate action is crucial. SERVPRO of SE Waukesha County/West Franklin is your local restoration expert.

Whether you’re running a business or running a household, you always hope that things operate according to plan.

While things running smoothly is a great vision, it’s sadly not always a reality. Disasters happen, and when they do, life can become quite hectic. All of your normal daily tasks are no longer a priority, and fixing the mess is.

We can take that pressure off, because this is our job! We do the disaster recovery work so that you don’t have to.

Always Available

With our technicians available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, we are ready to spring into action in no time. As a restoration service company, we know that quick action during emergency situations can make a major difference.

Every second counts when disaster strikes. If your home or business has standing water in it, the more time that passes, the more possibility there is for mold growth. The same goes for other types of damage—the impact worsens as time goes by. A fast response is crucial, and with our office here locally, we are at your service in no time.

Making It "Like it never even happened."

Disasters happen to your home or business without warning. When this happens, we offer custom solutions for any situation so that you can get back to your daily life.

We take pride in our work and strive for our customers satisfaction every time. We are experts in getting your home or business back to it normal operation.

Evolving to Meet Changing Needs

Thanks to COVID-19, disease prevention is top of mind for most people. Because of this, we now offer cleaning services that are beyond the traditional janitorial services.

By offering a safe working or shopping environment for your employees and customers, you’re proving to them that you care about them and their well-being. SERVPRO can offer you a Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program and give you peace of mind at the same time.

Disasters happen. When one occurs, we’re here to help.

Regardless of why you need cleanup or disaster recovery, SERVPRO has the tools, the technicians and the training to get your situation under control. When you’re ready to get help from the best, get in touch with SERVPRO of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin.

Summer Storm Safety Basics | SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin

8/25/2021 (Permalink)

a large lightning strike in a dark stormy sky If storms cause damage to your home or business, SERVPRO of SE Waukesha County/West Franklin is on the line, ready to make things right.

Summer means we get to take the vacations we have so looked forward to and enjoy time with family and friends.

Summer days often bring lots of sunshine, so we spend plenty of time outdoors. But it can also feel like summer brings more thunderstorms than any other time of the year, and it’s totally true.

In most parts of the country, there are atmospheric conditions during summer that create moisture and warm air, which helps create thunderstorms.

Here in Waukesha County, we’re no different. Our rainiest time of the year often falls mid-summer.

Keeping Up With Alerts

Yes, rain and thunderstorms happen often, but it doesn’t mean that they should be treated as if they’re not important. You should always pay attention to weather alerts because as we as we’ve all seen, severe weather can strike fast.

You need to know weather alerts no matter what, and by investing in an NOAA Weather radio, you can still receive alerts even if there is no power.

Flooding is always possible and very rarely predictable. If you think it’s going to flood, it’s best to stay off of the roads.

Extreme storms can also cause tree limbs to break or throw yard ornaments around, which will cause major damage to your property.

Dozens of people die every year because of storm-related accidents. If you stay alert, aware and practice safe measures, you can reduce your risk of danger significantly.

Staying Safe

If you see lightning, get indoors. Even if you don’t see lightning but hear thunder, stay indoors. Lightning can be present up to 10 miles from the nearest rain.

When you’re in your home, make sure you’re staying away from windows or water. It’s also best to avoid bathing or showering during storms.

In case of tornadoes or flooding, make sure you have an emergency kit prepared, and know the evacuation route for your area.

Stay high and dry if you think that flash flooding is possible. Never attempt to travel during these times, as it doesn’t take much water to swiftly take over your vehicle.

There are any number of dangers that can come into play in a thunderstorm, and it’s always best to be cautious and put things on hold until storms safely pass. If storms cause damage to your home or business, SERVPRO is on the line, ready to make things right again.

The Financial Impact of Severe Weather | SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin

8/5/2021 (Permalink)

a large yellow warning sign stating that there is stormy weather ahead When storms do damage, we go to work to make things right. Contact SERVPRO of SE Waukesha County/West Franklin to start the restoration process.

The year 2020 was quite eventful, and many things will be remembered in history books for years to come! When it comes to the weather, it was a record-setting year for climate and weather disasters.

Of all the years in history for which we have data, 2020 was the most financially destructive.

In 2020, there were a total of 22 official weather disaster, which are defined as events that cause at least a billion dollar in damages, plus many other damaging storms. As one example, 2020 had so many named hurricanes and tropical storms that the NWS had to dip into the Greek alphabet to name all of them.

Severe Weather Can Cost Billions

We are all aware that hurricanes are not only destructive and catastrophic at times, but they are also financially burdensome. Lately, though, other types of severe weather are starting to have the same effects. In fact, the most expensive disasters of 2020 in the contiguous United States were thunderstorms and tornadoes.

Of the 22 official weather disasters, 14 of them were severe thunderstorms, some which had tornadoes with them. Thunderstorms are so common that it’s possible to have 40,000 in one day around the world. With that said, we tend to forget how dangerous thunderstorms can actually be.

For example, in August 2020, eastern Nebraska had what seemed to be a typical thunderstorm, but it quickly turned into something much more eventful called a derecho. A derecho is something like a tornado, but with straight-line winds instead of swirling ones, combined with a heavy thunderstorm.

This derecho had such an impact that it destroyed more than 10 million acres of corn fields, which is almost half the state’s corn crops—that’s over 11% of the entire country’s corn fields.

Here in Wisconsin, we typically see tornadoes that come from severe storms. Between 2015 and 2021, we had eight severe storms and one flooding that was a billion dollar disaster event.

Intense Storms and Costly Fixes

Unfortunately, when it comes to weather, 2020 seems to be the new “normal.” It was the 10th consecutive year with at least eight billion-dollar disasters.

2018 and 2019 had a combined total of $136 billion in damages, and 2017 set the record with total disaster damages of over $300 billion.

Severe storms are becoming more intense and more costly, so as a home or business owner, it’s never too early to take whatever precautions are possible. in order to minimize the damage to your property and protect your loved ones.

No matter how prepared you are, sometimes damages still occur. So it’s nice to know you have friends in the restoration industry whose goal is to recover your valued items and restore your property "Like it never even happened."

When storms do damage, we go to work to make things right. Contact SERVPRO today to see how we can help.

Prepping Your Home for Wildfires | SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin

7/29/2021 (Permalink)

a gated long brown pebble driveway tucked next to a large brick home If your home is damaged by fire or any other reason, SERVPRO of SE Waukesha County/West Franklin is ready and able to repair any damage.

We might not think about them much, but wildfires are more common than you might expect, and they are a big cause of property damage. Because of the combustible materials our lives are made up of, these potent fires can spread at incredibly rates, making it lucky that we can get them stopped.

There are things that we can do in order to give ourselves a fighting chance against wildfires. It can be as simple as being more careful.

But there are also other steps you can implement, including defensible space.

Let’s Talk Defensible Space

Defensible space can be explained like this: It is essentially a buffer area that you can create between your home and wildfires.

You carve out this defensible space by removing anything that can feed a wildfire, such as dead trees or leaves. You can also use landscaping elements such as flame-resistant gravel to help lower your chances of being affected.

Imagine defensible space to be an invisible shield bubble around your home. This bubble protects your home by slowing or stopping the spread of fire, and it gives firefighters their best chance of stopping a wildfire before it takes over your home.

Because defensible space is so effective, it’s recommended or even mandated in some parts of the country. Even when it’s not required, it’s still a good idea.

How Many Wildfires Occur Each Year?

California seems to lead the way every year with wildfires, but truly wildfires can happen anywhere. There were over 59,000 wildfires across the United States in 2020.

And while California accounted for 10,000+ of that number, the average number of wildfires per state in 2020 was right under 1,000. Here in Wisconsin, we had 781 wildfires last year, burning 1,785 acres of land.

Because wildfires are so common and can be disastrous, it’s important to do anything we can to prevent them. Defensible space is one way to do that.

If your home is damaged by fire of any sort, wild or not, SERVPRO is ready and able to repair the damage caused. Get in touch today to get the pros on your team.

A Certified Clean Your Clients Can Trust | SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin

7/11/2021 (Permalink)

a SERVPRO employee placing a CSC sticker on building glass If you’re business has sanitation and cleaning needs, reach out to the SERVPRO of SE Waukesha County/West Franklin team.

Things are changing in a good way, and areas across the country are starting to experience major turnarounds.

With the return to some level of normalcy and hopes of a brighter future also brings new expectations for businesses. Because customers are now more aware of how fragile their health is, they expect that companies they work with will prioritize their safety and wellness.

How can your business keep up with those expectations? SERVPRO can help.

What a Certified: Cleaned Program Is

The Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program gives you and your customers peace of mind by taking on the time-consuming job of sanitizing and cleaning your facility. But our services go well beyond basic cleaning!

Our focus is to provide your facility or retail space with a level of clean your customers and employees can count on. To do this, our Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program uses advanced biohazard techniques and technologies that go beyond the traditional cleaning and janitorial services.

Here’s how the program works:

Consult. Every business is unique. That means that your business has distinct and unique cleaning needs. The fact that SERVPRO of SE Waukesha County/West Franklin is locally owned and operated helps because we are already in tune with the needs of the area. But we’ll also meet with you to talk through other needs specific to your business.

Clean. Our technicians are available 247, so when they show up on site with proprietary, hospital-grade cleaning solutions you know the job is going to be done right. Using these types of products gives your building the clean of a lifetime, always adhering to (or exceeding) the CDC standards. Even better news? This cleaning technology doesn’t simply protect against COVID-19. It also clears your space of other germs that cause illnesses such as the common cold and the flu.

Certify. Once the work is done, you can proudly display the Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned shield on your front window. This proves to people that they are about to walk into a business that cares for them, as well as everyone who comes inside. You’ll also receive a digital emblem that can be placed on your website and social media accounts.

*If you’re ready to get serious about sanitation and have your business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, get in touch today to get the best team in cleanup and restoration on your side. *

Warm Weather Fire Safety | SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin

6/25/2021 (Permalink)

flames and smoke from a bonfire Restoring fire and smoke damage is one of our specialties. Contact SERVPRO of SE Waukesha County/West Franklin to learn more.

The warmer weather months are starting to roll in, and we are thankful! Warmer months means life slows down and lots of time spent outdoors with family and friends.

When you think of warmer days, you don’t typically think of fires, but believe it or not, spring sees more daily fires on average than any other time of year. The good news? You can take steps to lower your risk.

Be proactive about these three main sources of fire risk:

The grill. This is the most common source of fire risk during the warmer months. Grills create the perfect combination of flames, heat, grease and gas, which can make things escalate quickly. Make sure you are prepared so nothing will go wrong. Verify that the grill is in good working condition, have it placed at least three feet away from everything and clean it before each use. Cleaning the grill before each use is especially important because almost 20% of grill fires are due to poor cleaning.

Fire pits Enjoying friends, the smell and the sounds of a fire is something that will never get old! But while doing these things, we might get lost in the moment and lose track of our safety. Be sure to never leave your kids unattended around the fire. You should also keep a bucket of water nearby, or drag a water hose close to the pit. Never add leaves or pine needles to the fire, and finally, put the fire out slowly to avoid scattering embers.

Chimneys and dryer vents. Yearly maintenance on your home is crucial and save you time and money in the long run. Have your chimney inspected and cleaned out on a regular basis to help avoid a dangerous buildup of ashes. The spring or summer is a great time to do this since you won’t be using your fireplace. Another maintenance tip is to clean your dryer vent pipes for trapped lint. It’s a great tip for fire safety, but it also helps in maintaining those expensive appliances!

At SERVPRO, we have technicians on hand 247 should an emergency occur! While fire is unavoidable sometimes, no matter the cause, SERVPRO is here to help you. Contact SERVPRO of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin to experience the SERVPRO difference.

 

How to Identify Water Damage in Your Basement | SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin

5/28/2021 (Permalink)

a grey basement showing signs of water damage SERVPRO of SE Waukesha County/West Franklin is a local restoration company. Our team is ready to help you determine the best course of action.

A basement can be a great resource for your home. Homeowners can finish and furnish them, make a game room or “man cave,” use them for extra play space or take advantage of the extra storage room.

However, basements are unfortunately prone to water damage, because they are dug into the ground and surrounded by moist soil. This can mean water leakage into your basement over time.

While not an absolute certainty, it’s very likely that at some point you’ll encounter a water issue in your basement, and in any case, it’s good to know what to be on guard for.

Below, we will look at some of the signs that water damage is present in your basement—and if you decide you need a more professional set of eyes, your local SERVPRO technicians are a click or call away.

Signs You May Have Basement Water Damage

Unpleasant, musky odors. The smell that many people associate with basements is not a pleasant one, but because it’s so common, many people have the misconception that it’s not a problem. This isn’t the case. This smell will only arise when mold and mildew are present in the environment,, often caused by water leaking in and evaporating over time, creating mold spores in its wake—and while these are often hard to see, they are easy to smell.

Flaking paint on masonry or walls. Homeowners will sometimes apply a coat or two of waterproof paint to basement surface, with the thought that it will permanently create a barrier between the interior and the outside moisture that so often becomes an issue. However, this paint will simply mask the problem for a while, eventually leading to a compounded issue down the road. Water that seeps in eventually overcomes the paint, waterproof or not, and the paint begins to bubble, crack and peel, while the water continues to find a lower place into which to settle.

Foundational cracks. Cracks in one’s foundation can be a major sign that there’s a water leak, even though homes do occasionally shift over time as well. Cracks can show up in the floor, the ceiling or in your walls, and they often indicate that structural pressure on your home is being applied by weakened beams due to leakage. Foundation cracks need to be addressed immediately, because depending on their severity they could portend an unstable living environment.

If you notice any of these signs in your basement, let us take a look. Our expert water restoration technicians can help you determine what is causing these issues and how to treat it properly. Contact us today to learn more.

What Makes a Thunderstorm a Thunderstorm? | SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin

5/23/2021 (Permalink)

a large lightning strike just in front of person driving down road Thunderstorms can pop up at any moment. Contact SERVPRO of SE Waukesha County/West Franklin if you experience any damage.

When it comes to weather, different parts of the country are affected by types of weather unique to their environment. Coastal areas, for example, face the threat of hurricanes, while areas in the middle of the country often deal with tornadoes.

But there’s one type of weather situation common everywhere—thunderstorms. These storms happen so often that we often take them for granted, but we shouldn’t.

While a lot of thunderstorms pass through without significant damage or even disruption to daily life, some storms can cause high winds, lighting, hail, flooding and other issues.

So, what is a thunderstorm exactly? A thunderstorm is defined as any storm that includes thunder, which by extension means it also has lightning.

There’s a distinction between your everyday thunderstorm and the kind more likely to cause damage. Severe thunderstorms are defined as storms that contain hail that is one inch or larger and straight-line winds of 58 miles per hour or more.

Knowing how thunderstorms might impact your home and your family is a good first step toward protecting yourself and your property.

Thunderstorm Hazards

Damage and injury from lightning strikes. We mentioned above that where there is thunder, there is also lightning. That’s because the two weather hazards go hand-in-hand. And lightning can be particularly dangerous. It is reported that lightning strikes result in around 300 injuries every year. In addition, lighting strikes can also cause damage to homes by starting a fire or felling trees that can then fall on structures.

Property damage due to hail. When you think of hail, you may naturally think of damage to cars. But that’s far from the only hazard hail presents. Hail can range in size, from tiny to substantial, and the larger it gets, the more danger it presents. In a severe storm, where hail is larger than one inch, it may damage roofs and siding on homes and cause injuries to people and pets who are unable to seek cover in time.

Harm from flash flooding. You know that major flooding is a danger, but have you ever considered how dangerous flash flooding can be? This type of flooding can appear in a flash, hence the name. That means it can quickly overwhelm roads and structures, presenting a danger to anyone trying to drive.

Thunderstorms are dangerous and can cause significant damage to homes or commercial spaces. If you have damage due to a thunderstorm, you can count on us to help. Contact us 247 for more information about our storm restoration practices.