Recent Posts

Why SERVPRO? The Challenges Brought By Water Losses

2/8/2020 (Permalink)

A water loss incident creates many challenges apart from leaving materials and contents in the house wet. Several approaches can help restore your Steuben, Dekalb or LaGrange property to its preloss state. SERVPRO prefers to use advanced equipment to complete various tasks to ensure the best outcome. Among the sophisticated tools we bring to your loss site are:

  • Luminometers and Moisture Meters
  • Upholstery Cleaning Machines
  • LGR Dehumidifiers
  • Stationary and Self-propelled Deep Extractors

When dealing with clean water damage incidents in Steuben, Dekalb or LaGrange, microbes, and contaminants are probably the last things one would think about as a threat. However, various issues, including taking too long before starting the water removal and restoration, can lead to microbial growth. Contaminants can also originate from many areas, including materials dissolved by the spilled water. Having Luminometers on-site helps our SERVPRO technicians test surfaces and water for organic contaminants, though in flash flooding incidents, these are more commonly needed.

Soiled upholstery items require proper cleaning. Water spills can soil upholstery in many ways, including dyes in adjacent contents running or debris swept by the water. Cleaning upholstered furnishings is challenging because of the different materials they are made from and their bulky nature. Our SERVPRO teams overcome this challenge easily by using specialized upholstery cleaning machines, which provide better agitation and rinsing capabilities, cleaning all traces of the soiling.

Proper extraction of water from wet areas is an essential part of the restoration process, though not always easy. Carpeted areas absorb most of the water lengthening the extraction process. Our SERVPRO technicians use weighted tools such as water claws or ride-on high volume extraction rovers to simplify the process. The weight of the equipment or the technician squeezes water from the carpet before the extractor sucks it out. We attempt in place drying whenever possible to salvage the floor coverings. Our crew is well versed in "floating" a carpet, lifting it from the edges to introduce a warm air circulation to expedite evaporation. Then we have advanced dehumidification equipment such as LGR dehumidifiers, which can reduce humidity in the air to as low as 40gpp, improving the drying process.

The right equipment can help ease the restoration of a water-damaged property. Call SERVPRO of Steuben, Dekalb and LaGrange. We have a fully equipped team to tackle any issue, "Like it never even happened." We proudly service the areas of:

  • Auburn
  • Hamilton
  • Waterloo
  • Angola
  • Fremont
  • Lagrange
  • Topeka
  • Garrett
  • Shipshewana
  • Glen Eden

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Why SERVPRO? Getting your flooded basement back to normal

2/2/2020 (Permalink)

A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level.

There are a number of reasons why your basement could flood, including:

  • A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
  • Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
  • Storm sewer backup
  • Sanitary sewer backup
  • Foundation drainage failure
  • Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
  • And many more

Last year there were many flooded basement due to heavy rains and overflowing creeks and rivers.

We use advanced inspection and monitoring equipment such as infrared cameras and moisture meters to determine if your home’s structure is actually dry. Touch is not a reliable method, as moisture can trap inside.

If Water Damage is not handled quickly and properly, it can cause severe damage to your home’s structure, not to mention the potential harmful health effects of mold. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

So give SERVPRO of Steuben, Dekalb and LaGrange a call! We are faster to any disaster and ready to make things "Like it never even happened."

Why SERVPRO? Avoiding Partial Loss Issues

2/2/2020 (Permalink)

Your building in Steuben, Dekalb or LaGrange doesn't have to burn completely to suffer a fire loss. That doesn't mean that restoration isn't needed, though. Even if areas of your commercial property are not burned, they can still show signs of smoke or soot damage or secondary damage such as mold. Any time you have a fire in your building, you need to stay aware of four potential problems with the restoration process.

1. Insufficient Cleanup

The first call you should make after a fire is to fire restoration experts. Don't just choose the first company listed, though. Do your homework and choose certified professionals with good reviews and a good service record. Shoddy repair is not much better than no repair at all.

2. Delayed Assessment

Even if you call experts for an assessment right after the damage occurs, it may take a while for your insurance adjuster to visit the site, especially if the company has other clients with more pressing issues. If this happens, you should still hire technicians to halt any ongoing damage to your building. Make sure to document the original damage with photos or video footage and an itemized list of everything that needed repair or replacement.

3. Additional Damage

A partial fire loss often leaves sneaky problems in the building. Make sure that you have air ducts and cabinets inspected for hidden smoke damage. It is also a good idea to have the area tested for mold growth, particularly if it sustained a lot of water saturation.

4. Unmatched Finish

Another benefit of hiring quality professionals is that they restore you property to a uniform look. This often involves replacing flooring, ceiling tiles, walls or wallpaper that wasn't damaged by the fire so that the whole room looks the same. A room with matching issues should not be considered a proper restoration.

Even if a small portion of your building is affected by the fire, you still must take repairs seriously. By treating a partial loss as a complete problem, you can bypass some of the common issues that occur when only part of your building is damaged.

So give us a call! We are faster to any disaster and ready to make things "Like it never even happened."

Water Damage Can Be Costly! Are You Prepared?

1/29/2020 (Permalink)

Water damage is one of the most common and costly disasters affecting American residences, accounting for billions of dollars in losses to homeowners and renters each year. Here are some simple steps you can take right now (okay, this weekend!) that will go a long way toward preventing water damage to your home.

  • Caulk and seal windows to guard against water seepage
  • Inspect your roof for missing, damaged and aging shingles
  • Check downspouts. Remove accumulated debris and position downspouts to direct water away from the house
  • Check sprinklers and irrigation systems. Be sure they are not damaging the walls and foundations of the house
  • In winter, turn off and drain outside faucets to protect against frozen pipes
  • Install gutter guards to prevent clogging so that water flows easily from the roof

If you do suffer damage from a water disaster, you’ll need to act fast. Step one is to call an experienced water damage remediation company, such as SERVPRO of Steuben, Dekalb and LaGrange. We’re here to help when you have property and structure damage from a water disaster—and we’ll get the job done quickly and completely!

When Water Invades Your Basement, SERVPRO of Steuben, Dekalb an d LaGrange is Here For You!

1/29/2020 (Permalink)

Any home or business can suffer water damage in the basement. It might be caused by a burst pipe, a storm, a leaking appliance, a flood, or one of many other common causes of water damage. Remember this first of all: If your basement has water damage SERVPRO recommends you keep safety as your number one priority. Here are a few quick tips.

Is your house safe?
If you’re not sure, don’t take a chance. Find somewhere else to stay until you’re certain your house is safe again.

Do you have electrical or "slip and fall" hazards?
After major storms in the Steuben, Dekalb or LaGrange area, we see a lot of these hazards. Often, electrical power to even severely flooded homes is still live. A saturated environment with standing water that is close to energized electrical outlets, submerged wiring, and wet appliances is dangerous to you both during and after a flood. Slip and fall hazards include items submerged in the water that you can’t easily see and flooring area that may appear relatively dry and even but is actually uneven or wet enough to not safely support your footfall.
 
Are you only doing things you know are safe?
Some homeowners want to dig right in and start making repairs before they know the extent of the water damage and how best to fix the damage. Don’t take risks. Make a full assessment of the damage and tackle only those repairs you know how to do well.

Can you see?
If you have water damage in the basement can you see what and where you are walking on? Don't walk on or near an area that doesn't have sufficient lighting.

Are you trying to lift wet materials?
If so, be careful. When items are soaked with water they become dangerously heavy. You might also do further damage to an item that is water soaked by trying to lift or move it.

Contact A Water Removal Service
With any major basement water damage you’re wise to contact a professional water removal service like SERVPRO. You want the job done right and right away. That’s what we do. Give us a call today! 

When Your Sewer Attacks Your Home

1/28/2020 (Permalink)

Sewer damage and drain back up can cause serious damage to your homes. They also present health risks and should only be cleaned by certified water damage professionals. SERVPRO is trained to deal with sewer damage issues.

Some examples include, but are not limited to: sewage, toilet backflows that originate from beyond the toilet trap regardless of visible content or color.

Below are some basic procedures for clean up

  1. Identify ALL safety issues
  2. Determine source or Sewer back up and get problem fixed as quickly as possible 
  3. Extract materials and/or remove all standing water
  4. Apply EPA registered disinfectant
  5. Remove and discard all contaminated porous and semi-porous structural materials included carpet and pad
  6. Measure and document all moisture levels in affected areas.
  7. Install barriers to contain damaged areas
  8. Install drying equipment 
  9. Monitor job daily.
  10. Once completely dry. Clean all areas prior to rebuild.

So give us a call! We are faster to any disaster and are ready to put our years of experience to work for you! 

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SERVPRO Tips: The Reality of Secondary Damage

1/28/2020 (Permalink)

Water damage is a serious issue that you need to deal with promptly when it happens.

There are some things you can do on your own to help while waiting for professionals and those tasks are in our previous post of do's and dont's for water damage.

If water damage is not fixed quickly can destroy the integrity of your house.

Structural Damage

The biggest problem faced by homeowners after their houses are damaged by water is structural damage. It might sound obvious, but when your house has been hit by a lot of water the whole structure can be weakened. That’s particularly true in any area where water was allowed to sit for more than a few hours.
If you have water sitting on the floors and on your walls for days, after a major catastrophe you could really be facing some serious structural issues. Hire a professional to look at your home and don’t walk on floors, else it could be very badly damaged.

Even if your home doesn’t have significant structural damage, being in a home that’s been badly damaged by water can create some other serious issues. Mold and mildew are the most common problems, and walls and floors that have been soaked by water can start growing mold in just a few hours.

So give us a call today! We are faster to any disaster and are ready to put our years of experience to work for you! 

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SERVPRO Can Help You Plan For A Disaster

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

Many people plan for disaster in their head, but what would you do if a fire broke out? 

  • Know how to safely operate a fire extinguisher
  • Remember to GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL 9-1-1 or your local emergency phone number.
  • Yell "Fire!" several times and go outside right away. If you live in a building with elevators, use the stairs. Leave all your things where they are and save yourself.
  • If closed doors or handles are warm or smoke blocks your primary escape route, use your second way out. Never open doors that are warm to the touch.
  • If you must escape through smoke, get low and go under the smoke to your exit. Close doors behind you.
  • If smoke, heat or flames block your exit routes, stay in the room with doors closed. Place a wet towel under the door and call the fire department or 9-1-1. Open a window and wave a brightly colored cloth or flashlight to signal for help.
  • Once you are outside, go to your meeting place and then send one person to call the fire department. If you cannot get to your meeting place, follow your family emergency communication plan.

If your clothes catch on fire:

  • Stop what you’re doing.
  • Drop to the ground and cover your face if you can.
  • Roll over and over or back and forth until the flames go out. Running will only make the fire burn faster.

THEN:

Once the flames are out, cool the burned skin with water for three to five minutes. Call for medical attention. For more Fire Safety Tips call SERVPRO! We are faster to any disaster and are here to help make things "Like it never even happened."

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The Importance of Boarding Up

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

If your Commercial property has experienced a fire, there are several reasons why you might want to board up structural damage or windows. In addition to keeping the external elements out of your home with fire damage, boarding up can also prevent additional losses due to looting and make the fire cleanup process easier. 

Boarding Up

Most full-service restoration specialists offer boarding-up services. Here are four reasons to board-up after a fire.

1. The premises still have sustainable inventory. If the building still contains products that appear viable, you should consider boarding. These products may involve evaluation and cleaning and may not be suitable for sale, but it may be useful for insurance reasons to have them correctly processed rather than stolen.

2. You want electronics and other valuables to be protected. You may be able to restore certain electronics or other precious assets to working condition depending on the extent of the fire damage. Loss can be much more costly than repairing or replacing covered.

3. You need to keep out the elements. If the structure of your property has sustained extensive damage, you should try to keep the elements out. Exposure to additional water, wind, or sunlight can compound the damage caused by smoke residue and soot.

4. You want to limit soot damage. It is generally a good idea to reduce foot traffic on the scene of a recent fire. When soot gets embedded into carpeting or upholstery, it can be much more difficult to restore these materials to a pre-fire condition.

Talk to restoration experts at SERVPRO about whether boarding-up is a good strategy for preventing loss and limiting the damage after a fire. Your major concern is likely to be how to recover from fire damage as quickly and completely as possible. Preventing looting and exposure to the elements can make fire cleanup more successful.

We are faster to any disaster and are ready to put our expertise to work for you and make things "Like it never even happened."

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SERVPRO Tips: Preparing Your Vehicles For Snow & Cold

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

We have all been there, its's cold and snowing and you are having car problems.  Follow these tips to help prepare yourself and your car for a winter storm.

  1. Start to prepare your car before Thanksgiving.  It's easy to do it before it gets cold and snowy. Better too soon than too late.
  2. Check the tire pressure at least once a month through the winter.  As it gets colder outside the air molecules get smaller and tire pressure goes down. Low tire pressure will make your car under preform. You can find the suggested PSI (pounds per square inch) on your tires or on inside the drivers' side door jam.
  3. Have your battery tested.  Nothing is worse than a dead battery when your freezing, not home or late for work.  Also, make sure you have jumper cables in case you or someone you come across need them.
  4. Check your windshield for cracks and make sure you have good windshield wipers.  The cold can make your windshield crack and obstruct your vision.  Bad wipers can cause all sorts of problems and are an easy fix.
  5. Inspect your headlights and brake lights.  If its storming or dark your car can become very hard to see and cause an accident.
  6. Make sure you have warm clothes, proper winter shoes, and a blanket in your car in case you get stuck in traffic or your car breaks down.  This could save your life
  7. ALWAYS make sure you have a couple of water bottles in your car somewhere.  No matter the time of year this could save your life or someone else's.

Follow these tips and you will be prepared for those winter storms that are bound to hit.

If disaster strikes during the cold winter months, give us a call! We are faster to any disaster and are ready to make things "Like it never even happened."

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