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Does Your Service Company Measure Up? | SERVPRO® of West Milwaukee

11/9/2021 (Permalink)

three green SERVPRO trucks lined up on a side street You can rest easy knowing you’ve got the trusted leader in the restoration industry on the other end of the line, SERVPRO of West Milwaukee.

Home ownership should come with a healthy respect for accidental distress. You should get a card in the mail on day one that says, “Congratulations on the house! Now be ready for something weird or unfortunate to go wrong, because it probably will.”

Because let’s be honest, the odds are fair that at some point a pipe will burst or a flood will come, and you’ll be in need of some quick, critical thinking as you determine who you’re going to trust to take care of cleanup and recovery.

You can think through these questions now or when you have an acute need, but whenever you need a service company, you’re going to want good answers to these.

Are They Legit?

We try to keep it positive around here, but the truth is that disasters, especially large-scale disasters, are like a bug light for con artists and scammers who try to turn a quick buck posing as contractors for people who have undergone storm damage. Always make sure you do your research on anyone who offers help, especially if their rates or estimates seem too good to be true. A “storm special” could mean you’re paying someone to skip town with your money.

When you trust your cleanup and recovery to SERVPRO, you’re in the more-than-capable hands of a business built on 50 years of innovation, care and results. Time and time again, we’ve proven ourselves to homeowners who come back to us and recommend us to others.

Our reputation is so solid we’re trusted by the PGA Tour as a partner for cleanup and maintenance of tour facilities.

Will They Be There When I Need Help?

When moments matter most, we’ll be there for you. Speed absolutely counts when it comes to restoration and saving everything from carpet to documents, and you can’t wait around for the next available business day to start before you’re able to get some help.

We stay up around the clock so we can be available to take your emergency call, because we know how important it is for you to be able to reach actual help in a crisis, not an answering machine.

Where’s a Fleet When You Need One?

SERVPRO of West Milwaukee is your hometown team. We’re owned and based right here, so we can provide fast, expert service with localized expertise.

But if a situation arises that calls for more intense or complicated solutions, we squad up—the nationwide SERVPRO network of resources is at our fingertips at a moment’s notice, so there’s never a job too big or difficult to handle.

When you call SERVPRO, you can rest easy knowing you’ve got the trusted leader in the restoration industry on the other end of the line. When disaster hits home, contact us to get our local experts and nationwide network on your side.

Copyright © 2021 SERVPRO of West Milwaukee-11045

Fireproof Your Autumn Activities | SERVPRO® of West Milwaukee

10/11/2021 (Permalink)

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

It’s delightfully mild outside, there’s football available on TV constantly and seemingly everything carries the aroma of pumpkin spice. That can only mean that it’s fall in Milwaukee again, and you’ve probably got big plans to hit the trail or host Halloween parties on the horizon.

As with any season, fall has a few particular needs of note regarding fire safety, so as you plan, do keep these in mind.

Campfire Safety

The proper and safe ignition of a campfire is as important as proper and safe extinguishment.

Start simply, with kindling and a lighter or match. Resist the temptation to use potentially dangerous accelerants like kerosene or lighter fluid, and always keep your fire 25 feet clear of any structures or tents.

When you’re leaving or finished with the fire, use water to repeatedly snuff the flames and ash, until the pile is cool to the touch and no live embers remain to cause trouble.

Leaf Burning

The beautiful autumn leaves are, or will soon be, falling—if you don’t want to compost them or have them hauled away, you may choose to burn them, provided you acquire a permit first.

Only include organic material like leaves and sticks in your pile or burn barrel. Never burn anything manmade, as it’s both unsafe and against the law. Keep your activities 50 feet from the home, and follow all local guidelines regarding burn times and other factors.

Space Heaters

Portable space heaters may be your go-to appliances for keeping extra toasty without heating the whole house, but they’re also a major source of home fires.

Plug them straight into the wall, with no extension cords. Update to a new model with sensors for tipping over or overheating, and keep them at least three feet from anything that could catch fire with intense heat—that includes your clothes!

Halloween

We’ll likely come back to this in detail, but be mindful that any Halloween and fall decorations bear a degree of risk for fire safety, particularly candles, hanging decor and string lights. Celebrate safely!

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.

Copyright © 2021 SERVPRO of West Milwaukee

Where to Sleuth Out Signs of Impending Leaks | SERVPRO® of West Milwaukee

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 West Milwaukee team if you are dealing with any water damage.

It sure would be nice if water damage announced itself before it happened. If you could get an email or a text that said, “Hey, it’s your sump pump here; I’m feeling a little clogged and I’m thinking about backing up tomorrow,” that would make things a lot simpler.

Unfortunately, we don’t get detailed plans and updates from our water devices. But if you don’t mind doing some routine checking, you may be able to stave off or even fully prevent some instances of water damage at home.

Toilets. The flapper inside the tank and the valve seal under it are both common sources of leaks, and if the wax ring under the toilet itself happens to lose its seal, it can introduce some seriously gross (and toxic) leakage.

Appliances. Washing machines are notorious for going through water hoses every few years, and any appliance runs water through hoses or soft supply lines may develop similar issues. And when’s the last time you considered the age of your water heater? Don’t let replacement wait too long, or it could explode.

Clogged gutters. This one at least has a repeatable prevention method that you can control, even if you’d rather not spend an afternoon on a ladder. Gutter clogs can force water to seep into and under your roof, and send water running down your interior walls, weakening beams and ruining paint and drywall.

Roof damage. Your roof is like Atlas, holding the world on its shoulders. It takes a constant beating from the elements and local critters, and it holds on as long as it can. But eventually, it will show signs of wear, and left unchecked, that wear will allow water into your house.

Pipes. Indoor pipes can crack or burst for several reasons, from freezing to rust, and loose joints and high water pressure can allow hundreds of gallons per day to flow into your home. And always keep an eye on your water bill, because if tree roots encroach on your water lines, you may have no other way of noticing—that is, until you have a massive backup.

Blocked garbage disposals. Foods that soak up water can really gum up the works and cause blockages in your sink, and excessive or hard plunging to remove those clogs can cause your p-trap to break free if joints are loose.

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.

A Trusted Service Company to Restore Your Home or Business | SERVPRO® of West Milwaukee

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 West Milwaukee is your local restoration expert.

Being a home or business owner can almost feel like running a circus at times. There are cyclists over here, acrobats over there and almost certainly some clowns someplace. And it’s up to you to keep all three rings running under the big top.

But unfortunately you can’t keep everything under control. Some things, such as unexpected fires or natural disasters, can’t be curtailed, and what’s more, they’re not situations you’re equipped to handle, even as the most fastidious circus master.

But you’re reading the right blog today, because we’re going to tell you why SERVPRO is the perfect fit when you need disaster recovery.

We’re Always Ready and Faster to Any Size Disaster

When the big top stops, we’re ready to start. Our teams are primed at any hour to make sure we reach your emergency with utmost speed.

Slow service means heavier patches of black mold, more ingrained smoke smell or another soggy piece of beloved furniture. A rapid response is our imperative, and having a SERVPRO team right here in West Milwaukee gives you the speed and flexibility of a local service, ably aided by the incredible nationwide SERVPRO network of assets.

We’re Trained to Handle Residential and Commercial Services

One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to disaster recovery, and we know it better than anyone. We’ve been working since Lyndon B. Johnson was in office to craft creative solutions for situations unique to area home and business owners. Whatever the problem is, we’re equipped to handle it.

We’ll Make It "Like it never even happened."

Restoration is our aim—we want you to keep as much as possible of what was already there. You worked hard for it, and you should get to hang onto it. When we’re through, your property will be restored to it’s pre-disaster state or better.

We Offer the Services You Need in a Changing World

It’s no secret that disease prevention is now at the heart of every business strategy—if consumers don’t feel safe, they simply won’t visit. That’s why we created the Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program. You get a pristine clean from a company you trust, and your customers and employees get invaluable peace of mind from the get-go.

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.

Summer Storm Planning | SERVPRO® of West Milwaukee

8/25/2021 (Permalink)

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

Summer calendars are full of fun activities. Long days full of sun make us year for outdoor activity—maybe you’re heading to the park to watch the Brew Crew, or maybe you’re taking the kids to splash around at a local pool or splash pad.

Whatever your plans are, though, don’t forget to bring an umbrella along.

It seems counterintuitive, but summer months are also a highly active time for thunderstorms. The highest month of rainfall in Milwaukee is June, and all of summer is above average in rainfall. Additionally, the warmth of summer combines with moisture from Lake Michigan to produce a higher likelihood that those extra inches of rain will come via storms.

Be Storm-Alert

Storms can pop up seemingly out of nowhere in summer. Pay close attention to notifications from weather apps or local weatherpeople. An NOAA Weather radio can always keep you updated as well, with the added bonus of being able to continue alerting you if power is knocked out.

If a flood watch is put into effect, you should postpone outdoor activities or think twice about travel plans. Take a look around at home as well—you might need to tie down or move some things to they don’t get blown or washed away in a heavy storm.

Preparing for a storm doesn’t quite excite the heart like watching Christian Yelich hit dingers, but it’s a difference-maker when it comes to safety. Storms cause an unfortunate number of deaths every year, and most of them could have been prevented.

Be Storm-Safe

Being outdoors during a storm is asking for trouble. Keep yourself inside from time thunder starts until it has stopped for at least 30 minutes to stay out of lightning’s strike range.

Lightning can electrify tubs and showers if it strikes the home, so bathe later when it’s dry. Lightning can also shatter windows, so sit or stand away from them during the storm.

Ensure that your emergency kit is stocked and ready, with anything you may need for up to three days without power. And a kit in the car can be a vital help if evacuation becomes necessary in extreme situations.

If it does flood, stay inside or get to high ground. Coming in contact with flood water can carry you or your car away, conceal roads that are damaged and unsafe or even make you sick.

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.

Storms Are More Active and More Costly | SERVPRO® of West Milwaukee

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 West Milwaukee to start the restoration process.

2020 was an incredibly disturbing year for everyone, and a devastating year for far too many. Multitudes of us were stricken by the COVID-19 virus in one way or another, and almost everyone suffered the mental taxation of an extended quarantine period.

And not to be outdone by producing the worst scourge in a hundred years, the year also became a historic one as it pertained to disastrous weather. In fact, 2020 saw more weather disasters than any previous year on record.

A storm or weather event that causes over a billion dollars in damage is officially classified as a weather disaster. Last year, the U.S. was afflicted by 22 of these events, as well as a troupe of others that (thankfully) didn’t quite make that kind of financial impact.

The Atlantic hurricane season was so productive, in fact, that the NOAA ran out of names, and for just the second time in history had to resort to using Greek letters to name storms.

Not Just Hurricanes

Hurricanes are often assumed to be the storm types that cause the most financial turmoil, but the most expensive disasters of 2020 in the contiguous United States were actually thunderstorms and tornadoes. Fourteen of the storms classified as disasters were storms of some type.

Here’s an extreme example of the damage possible because of a single system: A line of storms in Nebraska last August that would typically be no big worry banded together and churned into a razor-like storm called a derecho. The massive storm sliced through over 100 million acres of corn fields—that’s more than 150,000 square miles—compromising over 11% of the entire country’s corn production in one fell swoop.

Around here, we saw the edges of that derecho reach all the way up to the Great Lakes, and we had our share of other storms throughout the year, including record-setting snowfalls and flooding caused by heavy rains in August and November.

Not Just 2020

While we definitely hope 2021 and following years will be milder, we do seem to be on an upward trend of storm activity and intensity. Each year of the last 10 has endured at least eight billion-dollar disasters, and two of those years set the previous records for activity with 16 storms each. 2017 set a benchmark for damages caused, with over $300 billion in reconstruction expenses.

Precautions against storm and water damage are the responsibility of every property owner. But when extreme weather comes, sometimes those preparations are unable to withstand the fury of Mother Nature.

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

Wildfire Protection by Smart Landscaping | SERVPRO® of West Milwaukee

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 West Milwaukee is ready and able to repair any damage.

One of the scariest notions for any homeowner is the thought that their home might be threatened or even destroyed by a spreading wildfire. Wildfires are incredibly difficult to quench, and with so much of our everyday surroundings being made of flammable material, it’s a wonder that we can find ways to contain them at all.

But there are a few things homeowners can do, aside from the simplest and most impactful act of being more careful, to make homes less susceptible to wildfires.

Let’s look at a technique called “defensible space.”

What Is Defensible Space?

It’s not a new sci-fi movie—“defensible space” is a series of buffer zones you can create around your home to slow the spread of fire before it reaches the building. Your home can be less likely to catch fire if you prune and plant with fire safety in mind, use hardscaping to create a protective moat around your perimeter, and regularly remove flammable brush and dead trees.

Think of defensible space as putting a protective barrier in place that deprives a fire of fuel sources as it comes near. If a fire has no fuel, it can’t continue forward.

Defensible space also gives firefighters their best chance of stopping a wildfire before it breaches your home’s outer wall.

Defensible space isn’t required by law in Wisconsin, but it’s a helpful fire safety practice to consider all the same.

Why Defensible Space Matters

Fires out West get most of the media coverage, but they happen all over the country, year-round. There were over 59,000 wildfires across the United States in 2020.

Even if we statistically throw out California’s 10,000+ fires, the average number of wildfires per state in 2020 was almost 1,000, and every state experienced at least some of them. Wisconsin suffered 781 wildfires last year, destroying almost 1,800 acres of land.

And 2021 has seen an increase in the number of fires, with the country experiencing 25% more so far this year than last.

We should do anything we can to make it harder for wildfires to reach our property, and defensible space is a reasonable step to take that could yield home-saving results.

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 Continued Safe Environment for Customers and Employees | SERVPRO® of West Milwaukee

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 West Milwaukee team.

With metropolitan areas like Milwaukee and rural areas alike finally gaining significant ground in the area of COVID-19 recovery, hopes are high that “normal” life is on its way to a full return, and business owners are eagerly anticipating economic recovery as well.

But customers resuming in-person shopping habits at physical locations may need some extra assurance before they feel comfortable in your store. You need to provide a pristine environment for consumers and employees, and they need to know it in order to feel safe.

That’s why you need to have your business Certified: SERVPRO® Cleaned.

Get Certified: SERVPRO® Cleaned

The Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program combines ultra-high-grade cleaning solutions and technology, a customized plan for your business, and exclusive marketing tools to give you the perfect strategy for putting returning individuals at ease.

What makes this program the right one for you? Let’s examine the three C’s of a Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program:

Consult. No other business has quite the same needs as yours, and we’ll work with you to create a custom cleaning routine that fits your business like a glove. It also helps that SERVPRO of West Milwaukee is locally owned and operated, so we are already familiar with many of the unique sanitation needs of southeast Wisconsin.

Clean. Now the fun starts (well it’s our kinda fun, anyway). We’ll make quick work of your custom cleaning with proprietary, hospital-grade disinfection compounds that have are strong enough to nullify dangerous threats like anthrax and MRSA, and the resulting level of clean will meet or exceed strict CDC guidelines for sanitation. And COVID-19 protection is only a fraction of what we’ll be giving you—our solutions fight the transmission of a bevy of airborne and surface pathogens.

Certify. Now we can bestow upon you a new superpower—specifically, the power to instill confidence in potential customers and returning employees before they even step inside by displaying the Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned shield in windows, on doors, and on your website. Your customers will greatly appreciate the care you’ve shown, and they’ll be more likely to come inside and spend more time browsing, dining, and shopping because they know you’ve taken the utmost precautions to protect their continued safety.

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.

Fire Safety Tips for Spring and Summer | SERVPRO® of West Milwaukee

6/25/2021 (Permalink)

flames and smoke from a bonfire Restoring fire and smoke damage is one of our specialties. Contact SERVPRO of West Milwaukee to learn more.

Spring is a favorite season for a number of people. The weather is warming and winter is left behind, kids have the excitement that comes with the end of school, and everything just feels fresh and new. Leaves and flowers bloom, and the outdoors calls like an old friend.

We often have lots of opportunities to attend outdoor gatherings—cookouts, barbecues and the like. We get together for family reunions and gender reveals, and whatever excuse we can come up with to grill.

The downside of the increase in outdoor activities, however, is that it brings with it an increase in fire activity across the United States. In fact, spring sees more daily fires on average than any other time of year.

But there are some common sense steps you can take to ensure all your activities are fire-safe.

The grill. This is probably what comes to mind first when you think of outdoor fire risks and rightly so. Grills, beloved though they may be, create perfect opportunities for out-of-control fire, with the close combination of heat, grease and flames. Ensure that any grill has no leaks, is stable and in good working order, keep it away from anything flammable (including the house), and clean it well between uses. Almost 20% of grill fires are due to poor cleaning.

The fire pit. Many homeowners love their fire pits, especially in mild seasons like spring and fall, when you can gather on cool evenings with friends. But fire pits must be carefully maintained and operated in order to have a safe gathering. Never use accelerants like lighter fluid to increase the flames, and always keep a bucket of water within arm’s reach, both for emergencies and to cool the fire at evening’s end. When you do put out the fire, pour the water slowly so as not to spread potentially hazardous ash and embers. Use a grill grate to cover your fire, and never let kids near the fire pit unattended.

Chimneys and dryer vent. While you’re thinking about fire safety, go ahead and check your dryer vent for built-up, flammable lint, and clean your chimney so you don’t have to deal with a buildup of soot and ash when you fire it up again in the fall.

Your local SERVPRO technicians are on hand 247 for emergencies. If you encounter fire damage at your home or business, no matter the cause, we will be there faster and have it cleaned up sooner. Call or click today and experience the SERVPRO difference.

 

The Tokens of Basement Water Damage | SERVPRO® of West Milwaukee

5/28/2021 (Permalink)

a grey basement showing signs of water damage SERVPRO of West Milwaukee is a full restoration company. Our restoration experts are on call and ready to help you determine the best course of action

Basements can be one of the most useful parts of a home. If you have a larger family, it can be a great place for kids to play while you get some peace and quiet upstairs.

As kids grow, it could be living space. You could use it for a home office or gym, and of course basements make pretty good storm shelters in a pinch.

However, many people who have owned a house with a basement can tell you the tale of the Achilles heel of basements—water damage.

Sure, it’s not an absolute lock that you’ll encounter a water emergency, but it’s one of the most common home insurance claims, so it’s in your interest to know both the risks and the warning signs. Let’s take a look at the things you’re most likely to see if water is becoming a problem downstairs.

Common Indicators of Moisture or Leakage in the Basement

Unpleasant, musky odors. Water that leaks into your basement doesn’t have to be dirty water or sewage to cause a problem. Even clean water will start to sour as it sits and soaks into surfaces, eventually producing the musty smell that arises when mold and mildew are present in the environment. You may not yet see mold on your walls or ceiling, but if you smell the aroma, it’s already there and you’ve got moisture somewhere.

Flaking paint on masonry or walls. If the paint is cracking, bubbling or otherwise contorting, you have a water issue somewhere. Even so-called waterproof paint sometimes used on cinder block walls won’t keep moisture out for long, and if you’ve got a leak or moisture from the surrounding soil, you’ll eventually see the disruptions in the paint.

Foundational cracks. It’s true that houses do shift over a number of years, but cracks in the foundation are not common, and they mustn’t be ignored. You may first notice cracks in the floor, the ceiling or in your walls, a sign that the house is exhibiting signs of pressure that could be caused by a compromised foundation. If you see any cracks inside that are larger than a hairline, call for professional diagnosis.

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.