Upcoming Colder Weather and frozen pipes
Pipe with water flowing out
As of this date on September 23rd of 2022 in SE the temperatures are reminding us more of the weather that’s ahead. On arrival to the office the outside temperature was 42 degrees. Just 11 more degrees and water begins to freeze. The crisp air reminded me that we inch closer and closer to snow, ice, and a cold winter.
After cold weather persists day in and day out in the negative temperatures usually in the months of January and February pipes are most susceptible to freeze, causing them to burst. It only takes exposed pipes to be in temperatures of 20 degrees for a few hours before they can freeze and burst. Most of us can remember when ice storms hit Texas and being that Texas doesn’t experience cold temperatures pipes burst everywhere and caused nearly 10.3 BILLION dollars of damage.
As you can see frozen pipes are no joke so you may be asking what can I do to prevent this in my home?
First off you can let water drip from the faucet. Keeping water running through the pipes will help them prevent freezing. Another thing that will help prevent this is keeping garage doors closed if there are water supply lines that run through the garage. Next up, if you are going away to chase warmer weather during the winter months, be sure to keep the heat on in your home. You can also insulate your pipes. Although this may be slightly more costly than the other options it will be much less expensive that a water loss caused by a burst pipe.
With National Preparedness month being this month, we hope this gave you useful information to be prepared for the inevitable cold weather that is coming.
Wisconsin Storms 9/11
Photo taken by the Caledonia PD of a flooded ditch showcasing the amount of rainfall
Yesterday rainfall records were broken. Our neighbors just to the north in Racine received a large amount of rain causing roadways, ditches, and basements alike to flood. Approximate rainfall amounts go as follows: Milwaukee 4.5” – Racine 8” – Kenosha 3” – East Troy 6”. As of today, many SE Wisconsinites are waking up with water in their basement. We have reports of up to 6” of standing water in basements.
So, what do you do if you woke up this morning or noticed last nigh that water was filling your basement? The first steps are to make safety a priority. Never step into a flooded basement where water may be in contact with electrical outlets, cords, or appliances. The water could be electrified and could be deadly if you step foot into. Although it may be tempting to begin to grab a bucket or a shop vac and begin removing the water, exercise caution before doing so, if at all.
Your next step would be to stabilize your basement and remove the water. This is where SERVPRO of South Kenosha County is able to help. You most likely need a professional restoration company to come and extract the water and set industrial grade dehumidifiers to begin the dryout process. This is the first steps to prevent further damage and mold growth. Here at SERVPRO of South Kenosha County we are equipped and ready with industrial grade dehumidifiers and air movers along with IICRC Certified Techs to professionally dry out your structure. We are all about DIY projects but unfortunately this isn’t one to try to do it yourself. If your structure isn’t dried out completely and professionally you are susceptible to microbial growth which is another dangerous health concern.
Ultimately, we want to help you get your home or business back up and running. We specialize in making it “Like it never even happened” to any water, fire, mold, biohazard, etc damage to your property. Don’t hesitate to give a professional restoration company a call. SERVPRO of South Kenosha County is here to help!
Commercial job that was completed by SERVPRO of South Kenosha County this week
Commercial properties are going up left and right in Southern Kenosha County and it is our priority to be available to service any of the if there happens to be a loss at these properties. Believe it or no commercial properties are not immune to damage. In fact, some properties are more at risk due to the activity or work that is performed inside each one of these facilities. One thing that we offer to commercial property owners as a FREE service is the Emergency Readiness Profile (ERP).
An ERP is a free assessment of the facility containing critical information needed in the event of an emergency. They also give a detailed list including shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information. It’s important to us that safety is the number one priority in our work environment and we want our customers and clients to feel save if a loss were to occur. It’s only fitting that this week we finish up a commercial job as we write this specific blog.
As you can see in the picture with this blog, disaster did indeed occur. Here at SERVPRO of South Kenosha we are ready to assist with any size disaster. Residential and Commercial properties alike, we are able bodied and ready to service a loss ranging from Water or Fire to vandalism and deodorization. One service I do want to highlight that many don’t know about is our document restoration. In a commercial space there are normally a plethora of important documents that make business go round. Important documents and photos are in good hands with SERVPRO. We have technicians trained in packing out documents and transferring them to the document restoration facility. We use state of the art tech and methods like document freeze drying to make sure your important documents and photos are restored “Like it never even happened”. Make us your first choice as your one stop shop for restoration.
What to do in case of a flood
With the June being the rainiest month here in SE Wisconsin we are past the most susceptible time for a flood to occur until we reach spring next year when the snow melts and April showers begin. But still millions of people across the United States will experience a flood in their home. Whether it be from a sump pump failure, faulty foundation, improper drainage, supply line leak/break there are some steps that need to be taken to restore your home or commercial property back to its original condition.
So, what are the steps that you should take when you experience a flood? We know DIY projects are all the rave now, but when it comes to water damage DIY isn’t your best option. If you find that a supply line is leaking, your first step would be to stop the leak. You can commonly find the water shut off valve near the water heater. This is one thing in your home that you should familiarize yourself with. If it’s safe, use this main shutoff or find a shut off valve at the source and cut off the water supply from the source of the leak.
Your next step of action should be to remove the water from the affected area. This can be a daunting task and can be unsafe depending on what type of water is in your home. Check out our previous blog post on Types of Flood Water Contaminates for more information on that. What we find most common is that homeowners typically don’t have the means to remove water after a flood, and why should you. A flood is a disaster that you don’t expect to happen but here at SERVPRO of South Kenosha County we are prepared to deal with any disaster. We follow a strict 1-4-8 policy when a customer experiences a disaster. No matter what time of day a customer calls, we contact the customer within the 1st hour. Within 4 hours we are on site, and within 8 hours we have a scope of work for the customer. With that being said, we have the necessary tools to extract the water and determine what materials need to be dried in the structure. Without going to a disaster professional and trying the DIY route, you are leaving yourself susceptible to mold growth and even structural problems in your home which can lead to major health problems and safety concerns.
To summarize, we at SERVPRO of South Kenosha County can take care of your water damage. Our technicians are certified by the IICRC in Water Damage restoration and we want to give you ease of mind that your home is in the hands of one of the best restoration companies in the area. If water enters your home, give us a call at 262-332-7044.
2022 Storms and storm preparedness
Pictured is a basement which is flooded due to the Missouri storms
About 1 week ago torrential rains dropped a record breaking 9.07 inches of rain throughout the greater St. Louis area, as recorded by the St. Louis-Lambert International Airport. Approximately 8.64 inches of rain were recorded between midnight at 8am on the 26th of July. This caused an activation of SERVPRO’s Storm Team.
With SERVPRO Franchises stretching the country anytime torrential rains, hurricanes, large scale floods, etc. decide to plague the country SERVPRO is always ready to respond. SERVPRO of South Kenosha has proudly served as a part of the Storm Team. We dispatched a crew the following day of the St. Louis metro area storms to begin work immediately. We encountered basements with contents floating in water. We encountered large losses and small losses alike. With our work coming to an end this week. I believe our team deserves a special shoutout for recognition of being ready to drop everything on moment’s notice and help a community in need. Special thanks go out to Shawn, Robert, Leon, and Jay for traveling and working to mitigate the thousands of dollars caused by floods from the storm. Also, a special shout out to our office staff for helping manage the leads and things on the back end
Along with the St. Louis storms that caused flooding, another state in our great country also experienced devastating flooding. Last week Kentucky was hit with devastating floods with the total fatality count being at 37 souls at this time currently with hundreds of people still unaccounted for. Our condolences go out to all the families experiencing a loss because of this catastrophe. Although we have a previous blog mentioning tips on storm preparedness, I think the most important thing to remember in a time like this is having an emergency plan is a top priority for your home or business. Although there are many different variables that come in to play during emergency situations, having a general plan in place for your family and business are key to ensure some level of organization during chaos that is a storm event. Consider discussing an evacuation route, a rendezvous in case of separation, creating and updating an emergency preparedness kit. All can be crucial for survival.
Check out our 8 tips on how you can prepare NOW for a storm here.
Fireproofing your home
Pictured is a home on fire in Bristol, WI
After celebrating the United States of America’s 245th birthday earlier this week you may have heard about multiple fires that started on garages, homes, or just outside of homes and commercial properties. Fire damage is nothing to scoff at and in the beautiful summer months the last thing you want to have to worry about is fire damage. With summer months bringing some heat, at times we can go for stretches without rain here in SE Wisconsin. In fact, drought.gov released a drought monitor on July 5th of this year stating that the areas of SE Wisconsin and NE Illinois are experiencing abnormally dry to moderate drought conditions.
Experiencing abnormally dry weather increases the risk of fire tremendously. drought.gov lists that one of the risks of a moderate drought is a “high fire risk”.
Believe it or not, of the deadliest fires in US history happened on Wisconsin soil. In Peshtigo, WI on October 8, 1871, the same day as the Great Chicago Fire, a fire rampaged through the area taking the lives of approximately 1,152 people.
All that being said, here at SERVPRO we want to give you a few tips to fireproof your home or property.
- Getting rid of dead vegetation
Although the spring and summer months in Wisconsin seem to pass by bringing a cold winter, most of us enjoy landscaping and making our yard look nice while we are graced with warm weather. But, it’s important that during this time that you ensure that no dead or dry vegetation is on your property. Dead and dry vegetation like pine needles, dried leaves, dead shrubs pose a great fire risk.
- Keep your gutters clean
Climbing a ladder and cleaning out your gutters during the spring months isn’t something that is very enjoyable but is very important. It’s not only important because the dry leaves and debris that accumulate pose a fire risk, but because it can also cause improper drainage when It does rain. This can cause interior and exterior water damage as well.
- Ensure all smoke detectors are working
Finally, one of the most important things is to install or make sure all smoke detectors are working in your home. With most fires happening at night, having a smoke detector is lifesaving. Regular maintenance on all alarms/detectors is one of the most important things you can do it prevent or be notified of a fire in your home. Consider looking into smart detectors as well which will also notify you with a notification on your phone. Also consider installing these smart detectors in each room in your home for maximum fire detection.
Here at SERVPRO of South Kenosha County we are equipped and ready to take care of fire damage. You can find out more about how we deal with fire damage here. Fires in a home or property are stressful and something that no one should have to go through, but if you find yourself in the situation where your home or property has fire damage we will promptly be at your side to assist you in making it “Like it never even happened”.
The Leading Causes of Home Fires
Fires begin due to several causes. Anytime heat sources are used or misused, there is a rusk of an errant flame taking off.
Despite all the advertising and education that has gone into a home fire safety and prevention, fires in the home still account for a quarter of all reported fires in the United States each year.
Let’s investigate this. What is behind all these home fires? How many of these fires could be prevented?
Cooking. The overwhelming leader in home fires is cooking. Some cooking fires are avoidable, most are! The top cause of cooking fires? Unattended cooking. Taken into actionable steps, that means that the number one thing you can do to make your house safer from fire is to be more careful when you cook, and never leave your stovetop or grill alone.
Heating equipment. Heating equipment causes the second highest number of home fires. While some of it is caused by equipment failure, much of this cause comes in the form of portable space heaters, which are prone to tipping over, overheating, or overloading circuits. And of course, any heater is capable of setting fire to objects of materials that sit closer than three feet away.
Electrical fires. Some electrical fires hide behind your walls and are difficult to catch. But routine maintenance and inspection can reveal problems present and forthcoming, so can responsibly use of extension cords, lighting, and wattage limitations.
Intentional fires. It is unnerving to think about it, but a surprising 28,000 intentional home fires are started each year. This does not include fires started for a regular purpose that get out of hand, only fires started with the intent of burning a piece of property.
Smoking materials. Fires caused by smoking materials make up only 5% of home fires, but they make up more than a quarter of all home fire deaths. Smoking fires often happen because cigarettes are dropped or remain lit as individuals lie in bed, creating both fire and carbon monoxide hazards.
Regardless of the cause, SERVPRO of South Kenosha County is here for you if your home is affected by fire. Call 262-332-7044, we are here to help!
Extension Cord Safety
Choosing the right extension cord is very important.
Why choosing the right extension cord is important?
Extension cords are a common and convenient way to bring power to electrical devices when outlets are not nearby. However, when used without proper care and caution, they can become fire hazards and pose serious risks to your safety.
Follow these tips below to help keep your home safe when using extension cords:
Selecting extension cords
- Only buy cords that have been approved by an independent testing laboratory.
- For outdoor projects, use only extension cords marked for outdoor use.
- Read instructions for information about the cord’s correct use and the amount of power it draws.
- Select cords that are rated to handle the correct wattage of the devices with which they will be used.
- Consider the length you will need; longer cords cannot handle as much current as shorter cords of the same gauge.
- Choose cords with polarized or three prong plugs.
- For use with larger appliances, choose thick, round low gauge extension cords. For smaller appliances and electronics, you can use thin or flat cords.
Using extension cords
- Never remove an extension cord’s grounding pin to fit it into a two-prong outlet.
- Avoid powering multiple appliances with one cord.
- Neve ruse indoor extension cords, outdoors.
- Don’t plug more than one cord together.
- Don’t bend or coil cords when they are in use.
- Cover cord receptacles with childproof covers when not in use.
- Never use extension cords that feel hot to the touch.
Caring for extension cords
- Always store cords inside where they can remain dry.
- Unplug extension cords that are not in use.
- Throw away damaged cords immediately.
- Pull the plug, not the cord, when disconnecting from the outlet.
- Remember, extension cords are intended to be temporary wiring solutions. If you find you are using them on a permanent basis, this can create an unnecessary risk in your home.
Can Air Purifiers Eliminate Mold Spores?
Air Purifiers are very effective.
Here Is What You Need to Know About Air Purifiers
If you’re looking for simple ways to combat mold damage in your home, you may have considered using an air filtration system at some point. Before you make a purchase, it’s important to determine whether using this unit in your home is an effective solution for eliminating mold. Here is what you need to know about air purifiers and their ability to remove mold spores form your living space.
How Air Purifiers Work
To measure the effectiveness of air purifiers, it’s helpful to know exactly how they work. A typical air purifier uses a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter to remove mold from your living space. These filters isolate airborne particles of mold and trap them inside the filter, preventing them from causing damage to your home. To get the most out of your purifier, be sure to place it in an area of your home where mold is often found. This can include:
- Rooms that contain upholstered furniture
Installing your air filtration system in any part of your home that has been impacted by mold damage can ensure that the purifier does its job effectively.
The Effectiveness of Air Purifiers
While your air purifier can help to control a mold problem in the short term, it isn’t an appropriate solution for eliminating mold spores permanently. If you wish to get to the root of your mold problem, it is best to contact a professional. Trusting experts to remove mold from your home can help assure you that your living space is free of damage.
Air purifiers can be effective units to install in your Kenosha home. However, you shouldn’t rely on air filtration systems alone to remove mold from your living space. Trust mold remediation services to help your home return to normal so that it can remain free of mold damage.
Always the Best Choice
We are here for you 24/7/365.
Commercial Buildings are a very important matter when any type of loss happens. Whether it is from fire, water Leak, or even biohazard such as a virus type breakout, because the loss and overall situation really can affect so many people in just a day! So many times, the property manager, owner, even the main business manager, are never available when needed in a surprise situation. Although this is true, the problem still needs assistance just as quickly! SERVPRO is always ready to be at the facility within a short time. SERVPRO always comes with a resolution and complete plan, and a team of skilled experts who can all work together to make any mess, "Like it never even happened."
SERVPRO is built of many teams. Water & fire loss, drying experts, mold, lead, asbestos removal, and repairs. In our repair team, we offer a group who is skilled in different areas to be able to offer an array of repair type services which can even include remodeling and putting a commercial building back together from any damage. Give us a call 262-322-7044.