Recent Posts

SERVPRO Tips: 3 SERVPRO Services Specialties

11/11/2019 (Permalink)

Demand for damage mitigation and restoration services spikes after a severe storm. Insurance agents and adjusters need to be able to rely on a local mitigation and restoration company to provide timely storm response services. Here are three services that make a local SERVPRO franchise the right choice for storm restoration.

1. Disaster Response

No matter how many properties are affected by a storm, a Disaster Response Team can arrive on each location within a matter of hours. Independent mitigation and restoration services are more likely to be backlogged than a national corporation that can dispatch employees and equipment from nearby franchises to areas that have experienced large losses.

2. Mitigation and Cleanup

The initial stage of storm response involves mitigating damage. In the case of structural damage, this may involve boarding up broken windows or breaches in a building envelope or tarping over a damaged roof. Standing water resulting from flood damage should be extracted as soon as possible. A full-service company can ensure that these initial measures contribute toward complete storm restoration.

3. All-In-One Restoration

A company that offers mitigation and restoration services can reduce the workload on insurance agents and adjusters while simplifying the claim process for property owners. Relying on a one-stop shop may make miscommunication less likely, prevent scheduling conflicts and allow for a faster and more thorough restoration job. Depending on a single service also means that the initial estimate is likely to be more accurate.

These storm restoration services set SERVPRO franchises apart from independent companies. The business model means that each location has the backing of a national corporation and the ability to call on nearby locations for additional personnel and equipment. A single estimate from a service that can clean up damage and rebuild a commercial property can also be more convenient for insurance agents, adjusters, and clients.

Why SERVPRO? Water Loss Can Be Traumatic, but SERVPRO is here to help!

11/11/2019 (Permalink)

Experiencing a water loss can be a traumatic time for you or your business, so we put together a free guide of 10 things that walks you through the process of what to focus on if you have a water loss in your home or business. 

1. Assess the situation: It is critical to look over the situation and see exactly what you are dealing with. It is critical to make sure that you take plenty of photographs of the damage and make sure that the source of what caused the damage is well documented. It is extremely important to make sure you do not walk or enter the water if the power is still on in the home or business. At this time it is proper to check with your insurance company to see what type of coverage you have.

2. Check was is wet throughout the damaged area: Through the use of moisture meters and other devices, you can begin to see what is wet and not wet. It is critical that you map out the damage and affected area. This can be an important part of the documentation process. 

3. Begin the water extraction process: The first step after the documentation has begun, is to get the water removed as soon as possible. If the water sits for too long it can begin to create secondary damages. Water can be removed by using portable or truck mount extractors. Portables will take more time, and the truck mounts are much faster and efficient. 

4. Begin to remove damaged materials that can not be dried and ventilate enclosed areas: Once all of the water has been extracted, certain flood cuts and other vent holes might be necessary. This is to allow air flow in closed off spaces. If no ventilation is allowed, secondary damage can occur inside the walls. Many times if you are dealing with sewage water, more flood cuts will be necessary. Try to take as many before and after photos as well. 

5. Start to place air movers and dehumidifiers throughout the home or facility: The proper amount of equipment is critical when drying out a structure. It is important to make sure that all of the guidelines of the IICRC are followed to insure proper drying times. Be sure to continue to take plenty of photographs of the equipment in place on the job. 

6. Monitor the drying process daily: Every 24 hours it is critical to make sure that you are checking the facility to make sure that it is drying. Sometimes there might be a delay in the drying process due to the source of the damage not being corrected. If so it will need to be corrected so proper drying can occur. Be sure to document the drying data each day for accurate records. 

7. Remove Equipment: Once the home or building is dry, all of the equipment can be removed. It is important to make sure the right cleaning products are used to clean up the affected area. This will keep other secondary issues from happening as well. 

8. Document with more photos: After the job is complete, be sure to document with more photos. This will keep accurate records for your insurance company from start to finish. You can never take too many photos when dealing with a water loss. 

9. Begin the reconstruction process: Once everything is dry, you can begin to put the pieces back together. In some cases you might have to hire a contractor to do specific tasked like repair damaged drywall from the water. Be sure to continue to document any and all work on your home or business. 

10. Keep complete records on file: After the entire job is complete, be sure to keep all of your records on backup. This can be valuable in case of any secondary damages in the future. 

SERVPRO can handle any water damage job from start to finish. It is critical to make sure you understand the in's and out's of each step mentioned above. SERVPRO has the team and equipment to handle any size job and make sure that it is properly documented along the way. If you have any questions, or need emergency services you can call SERVPRO, 24/7!

Which extinguisher is right for you?

11/6/2019 (Permalink)

While you can't prevent all fires, homeowners can take steps to mitigate them. One such action is ensuring that your family is armed with the proper fire extinguisher to knock out or lesson the flames. It's not as simple, though, as grabbing one from the shelf. You'll want to consider several factors when you make your purchase. Don't leave the store without looking at the size, cost factor and efficiency of the canister.

1. Size

In this case, bigger doesn't always mean better. For example, you could purchase a large ten pound can; however, it might be too heavy for you to use. Therefore, while you're at the store, try lifting it. If it's too heavy, opt for a smaller five-pound extinguisher instead. If a home fire occurs, you need to be able to move it quickly to the location.

2. Cost

After a while, a fire extinguisher can lose effectiveness, and replacing them can add up. Many homeowners purchase disposable one-time use cans. This would require a completely new investment. A rechargeable extinguisher, on the other hand, seems expensive at first, but only require refills. In the long run, it could save you some money.

3. Labels

Before you walk out of the store with a can, read the label carefully. Extinguishers handle three different fires: combustible (A), flammable (B), and electrical (C). As part of your fire preparedness plan, you want one that handles all three, so verify that you see all three letters on the canister. Then, read up on how to use the device properly. If the extinguisher cannot eliminate the flames, then leave the building and allow the fireman to handle the situation. Your life is too important. Locate a fire restoration company to evaluate your fire damage and clean up the area. 
A fire extinguisher is a first line of defense. Be prepared, know how to use it and understand which one is right for your home.

Just venting (when you should clean your vents!)

11/6/2019 (Permalink)

Fires caused by a clothes dryer are more prevalent than you might think, with approximately 2,900 dryer fires reported each year. A lint fire that results from not regularly cleaning the dryer is the leading cause of clothes dryer-related fires. Every time you dry your clothes, lint is collected in your dryer’s vent and lint traps. It is important that you know when to clean them to prevent a fire from starting in your home.

How Often Should You Clean Out Your Vents?

  • Empty Filter Before Every Load: Lint is extremely flammable and can quickly overheat and start a lint fire.
  • Clean Filter Every Six Months: It is also a good idea to clean the filter with a nylon brush to help combat clogging.
  • Clean Out Vent Pipe Every Three Months: Make sure there is no lint in the pipe and check the outside opening for any debris.
  • Have a Technician Visit Once a Year: During the visit, the technician will completely clean your vent system and ensure air can flow freely. 

How Can You Tell If Your Vent Needs To Be Cleaned? 

Your dryer will often let you know if there is an issue with the vents, but it is up to you to quickly take action and prevent a dryer fire. One common indicator that your dryer’s vents are clogged is that your clothes are not drying quickly. Clogged vents can also trap air and moisture inside your laundry room, making it feel hot and humid inside or even produce a musty smell. If your dryer feels hot to the touch after a load, this also is a sign your vents need to be cleaned. 

A lint fire can be very dangerous and can cause extensive damage to your home, so regular cleaning and maintenance of your dryer are key. However, if a fire does occur, a fire cleanup company can help address any damage.

Does your insurance cover "winter damages"?

11/4/2019 (Permalink)

You’ll want to review your policy or contact your insurance agency to know for sure what is or isn’t covered. However, most standard homeowner’s insurance policies provide coverage for winter-related storm damage that occurs as a result of wind, snow, ice, freezing rain and low temperatures.

However, most standard homeowner’s insurance policies do not provide coverage for flood damage. If your home suffers from snowmelt or other winter-related flooding, you may not have coverage unless you have a separate flood insurance policy in place.

If you have a summer home and leave your home unattended during the winter, you may have some additional coverage issues. Some policies may have exclusions for damage that occurred from not being winterized properly or being left unoccupied for a certain period of time.

While your insurance may provide some coverage for winter storm damage, the best option is to take steps to prevent damage from occurring.

  • Clean your gutters and downspouts so that melting snow can flow freely away from your home
  • Inspect and repair roof shingles and flashing to prevent water damage
  • Trim tree branches on your property
  • Apply weather stripping and caulking around doors and windows and inspect storm doors and windows for broken glass
  • Drain water from pipes leading to exterior faucets and remove garden hoses
  • Insulate pipes that are susceptible to freezing
  • Have your heating system cleaned and inspected. 

Give us a call if you suspect your home or business has been affected by winter storm damage. We can guide you through the process and make the stressful experience “Like it never even happened.” 

Is it dry rot? SERVPRO can help!

11/4/2019 (Permalink)

Would you know if your home had dry rot?

Dry rot can happen to any time or wood and in any climate. It can ruin the structure of your home, and is most commonly found in attics, basements, and under sinks.

What causes dry rot?

Despite the word “dry” in its name the fungus that causes dry rot grows when the moisture in the wood exceeds 20% or when the wood is exposed to sitting water and extreme humidity. Dry rot can leave wood weak and brittle.

The primary clues to look for in dry rot:

  • Yellow tinge to the surface
  • Deep cracks in the wood
  • Wood will crumble

Since moisture is necessary for the fungus to grow, you can typically find dry rot when:

  • After a flood or natural disaster
  • After a plumbing accident or water damage
  • In humid climates
  • When wood is not properly dried

How can I protect my home from dry rot?

  • Have a roofing company inspect your roof annually to check for leaks or holes that can let water in and cause dry rot.
  • Make sure your gutters are installed properly and are directing water away from your home.
  • Check your plumbing to make sure you don’t have any noticed leaks.
  • Make sure your ventilation in bathrooms, kitchen and attics is working properly and can remove excess moisture from your home.

Why Choose SERVPRO of Western Lake County?

Properly restoring your home after a water damage event requires specialized equipment and products. This advanced equipment helps us to remove the water, even hidden moisture, quickly and efficiently. We then dry the structure with powerful dehumidifiers. We provide emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Why Choose SERVPRO of Western Lake County For Your Water Emergency

3/20/2019 (Permalink)

We live where we work; we might just be your neighbors. This connection ties us to our community and desire to help. Being local also allows us to respond faster than anyone else to your emergency. This fast response can prevent damage from getting worse and leading to additional problems.

All SERVPRO of Western Lake County employees specialize in water damage restoration. We have extensive water damage restoration training, and our process emphasizes regular monitoring and documentation of the drying process from beginning to end. Along with our training we also have the best tools in the business.  advanced equipment help us to remove the water, even hidden moisture, quickly and efficiently. We then dry the structure with powerful dehumidifiers. Finally, our technicians will clean the affected area with professional grade cleaning and sanitizing agents for your comfort and safety.

When a water disaster strikes your home or business, give us a call at (219) 922-9300 and we will make it “Like it never even happened."

Preparing For Spring Water Damage Risks

2/27/2019 (Permalink)

The first half of the year tends to be some of the wettest in Indiana. From the frozen, saturated ground of late winter to the constant rain storms of spring, dealing with the water and trying to keep it out of your house can be a constant battle. So what do you do if your home should be the unfortunate victim of water damage this time of year? Below we will go over the steps you should take to lessen the water damage and get your home restored quickly.

First let’s go over a few ways to prepare your house in the unfortunate case that you do have water in your home.

  1. Know where your water shut off is. If the water is coming from a broken pipe – often due to freezing – you can stop the flow of water immediately before further damage is done
  2. Always store your valuables up high in your basement. Plastic bins are also a great way to keep the water away from your most precious items

Let’s say water is coming in; what do you do?

  1. Take Pictures of the Damage It’s important to take pictures of the water damage before trying to clean things up or remove the water. If you have a flooded basement or flooded first floor, be sure to take pictures of all the water damage. This can be important and helpful when filing an insurance claim. If the water damage came from a burst pipe, be sure to take a picture of the pipe.
  2. Don’t Use Electricity in Water Damaged Areas If you should suffer extensive water damage, you may want to cut off the power to the whole house. However, if your circuit box is in an affected area, like a basement, do not touch or attempt to check the circuit box. If your circuit breaker is in a dry area, then you may want to make sure the circuits to the water damaged area have been tripped. If they haven’t, you may want to flip them off to reduce any risk of electrical shock.
  3. Start Removing the Water If you can get the water out of your house, start doing it as quickly as possible. Contact us and we will get out to you to help. The longer the water sits in your home, the more time it has to damage your home. Standing water can soak further into your drywall, insulation and wood framing leading to more damage from the water which can quickly lead to mold growth and damage.
  4. Get the Air Circulating To help reduce the risk of mold damage, it’s important to get the air circulating. If the weather is nice, you can open your windows and doors to allow the outside air to blow through the home. You can also employ fans and blowers to get fresh air circulating around the water damage. If you are in a basement or an area that is particularly damp, you can also use dehumidifiers to draw the moisture out of the air. This can all help to reduce any further water or mold damage to your home.

We are ready to help 24/7 and will help you make it “Like it never even happened.”

It's Almost Tornado Season

2/27/2019 (Permalink)

We may still have freezing weather but soon enough it will be Spring. With Spring, comes tornadoes and other strong storms. Tornadoes can destroy well-made structures, uproot trees and send objects through the air like deadly missiles and they can happen anywhere.

Here are some tips to keep you and your loved ones safe.

  • Identify a save place in your home where family and pets will gather during a tornado: a basement, storm cellar or an interior room on the lowest floor with no windows.
  • In a high rise building, if you don't have have enough time to go to the lowest floor, pick a hallway in the center of the building.
  • In a mobile home, choose a safe place in a nearby sturdy building. If your mobile home park has a designated shelter, make it your safe place. No mobile home is safe in a tornado.

Know the difference between a Tornado Watch &  Warning: 

  • Watch means a tornado is possible.
  • Warning: means a tornado is already occurring or will occur soon. GO TO YOUR SAFE PLACE IMMEDIATELY.

Always remember to play it safe and we are always here, if you need us. SERVPRO of Western Lake County(219) 922-9300

Cleaning up Vandalism, Biohazard, and Crime Scenes

2/12/2019 (Permalink)

Along as being a leader in the fire and water cleanup and restoration industry, SERVPRO® of Western Lake County also offers fast, reliable biohazard and crime scene cleanup.

A failure to properly handle and safely remove such hazardous substances can contribute to unhealthy and even dangerous environments. Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences for building occupants, employees, customers, and owners. 

Equipped with the necessary safety equipment and cleaning products, we help turn unsafe environments into clean, safe, homes and offices. We can help with a variety of biohazard, crime scene, or vandalism issues.

Sewage Backups

Sewage backups and dark water intrusions are more than smelly deposits – these damages also introduce harmful microorganisms into a structure. We remove the sewage, contaminants, and moisture, and help ensure the structure is properly cleaned, disinfected, and deodorized.

Blood Borne Pathogens

Our technicians remove and dispose of bodily fluids, tissue, and other potentially pathogenic substances resulting from accident, trauma, crime, or death. We thoroughly clean, disinfect, and deodorize the structure.

Crime Scene Residues

From fingerprint powder and evidence gathering chemicals to tear gas and pepper spray residues, we can clean and restore your property and contents.

Vandalism

We provide general cleaning and deodorization services for situations resulting from vandalism including graffiti, egg, spoiled foods, and human or animal waste.

We offer 24/7 service; so don’t hesitate to call us day or night to start the restoration process. If your business experiences damage of any kind, we’ll make sure your property is cleaned up and ready for business.