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Prepping Your Team For Weather Emergencies | SERVPRO of West Milwaukee

9/18/2023 (Permalink)

Business man holding an umbrella and briefcase with a dark thunderstorm behind him. If your home or business was damaged in a storm, call SERVPRO of West Milwaukee to get you back in action.

As a business or commercial property owner, it is your job to have a plan in place for virtually every situation. While the majority of your plans probably revolve around day-to-day tasks or overcoming work-related obstacles, you also need to take the time to plan out your weather response.

Severe weather can pop up at any time and if your employees are not prepared, it can turn into a chaotic situation quickly. Keeping your employees safe should be a top priority no matter the situation.

Don’t let your crew become vulnerable during a weather emergency! Follow these tips to help create a solid weather emergency plan that all your staff can follow.

Recognizing Your Risk

Weather threats look different during each season. Extreme cold and blizzard conditions can occur any time from the late fall to mid-spring, and the summer heat and humidity can produce severe storms and even tornadoes here.

We are also vulnerable to flooding, so understanding your flood risk can help you prepare ahead of time. Other methods, like staying current on the weekly forecast can help you make plans in advance and communicate them with your team.

Sharing Your Plan

If poor weather is in the forecast, don’t keep that information to yourself! Communicating with your team ensures that everyone is on the same page and you can all work together to figure out what needs to happen. Be sure to have everyone’s contact information in your phone or in your email.

This can help you easily fire off a group text or a mass email if quick action needs to be taken, like moving to your safe shelter location or explaining the evacuation routes.

Plan to Stay In or Get Out

Weather situations can warrant different responses based on what they are. If you have enough lead time, evacuating your team might be the best course of action. Be sure your employees understand where the emergency exits are and what the evacuation routes are on each level of your building.

In other circumstances, staying put might be the best choice for everyone’s safety. Pick a safe shelter location in an interior room in your building and prepare it now with food, water and emergency supplies. If a weather warning is issued, ensure everyone gets there quickly and stays there until the threat has passed.

Once you have all of these plans in place, it’s time to practice! Your team will react much more seamlessly and calmly during a true emergency if they know what to expect.

Don’t let extreme weather take control! If storms strike your business, SERVPRO can help you restore your losses.

Getting Ready for the Summer Storm Season | SERVPRO of West Milwaukee

9/18/2023 (Permalink)

Empty parking lot with lots of greenery shown during a heavy downpour of rain. Have you been impacted by the unusual summer storm season? SERVPRO of West Milwaukee has your back when you experience flood and water damage.

Wind, rain, floods, hail and tornadoes…surprise, it’s summer in Wisconsin! The list is long when it comes to potential weather threats to your home, and each threat can vary when it comes to severity.

Owning a home takes a lot of work. In addition to everyday maintenance and chores around your house, you also need to protect your home from seasonal weather threats.

At this point in the season, tornadoes and severe storms with wind and hail typically cause the most home damage. That is why you should start preparing your home now for any incoming weather.

Starting with the outside of your home can help ensure your property and house are ready to weather the storm.

Seasonal Task List

If you take care of your property and stay current on routine maintenance, we have good news for you! Many of these tasks also count toward protecting your home from storms.

Trimming your trees and removing dead branches from your property can help reduce the amount of projectiles tossed about in a high-wind event, and cleaning your gutters ensures that there is a space for the rainwater to collect and flow away from your home.

You should also take a look at your windows, doors and roof whenever you are outside. Gaps around window panes or rotten wood can easily invite water inside your house, and a missing or broken shingle can cause extensive damage to your roof and walls. Make any necessary repairs right away.

Home Upgrade Options

Preparations for storms may take a bit of time, but thankfully, many of these tasks can be done for free! If you do want to take your preparations to the next level, there are a few home upgrades that you can invest in.

Storm shutters are an easy upgrade to make that can be installed directly over your windows and can quickly be pulled shut when needed. If your property has trees that drop their leaves in the fall, invest in some gutter guards to help keep debris out.

If you have a detached garage or backyard shed, reinforcing the roof or adding gutters out there can help make sure everything inside stays safe and dry.

You can still do all of these preparations, but you might still suffer home damage anyway. Mother Nature is anything but predictable! Call SERVPRO® of West Milwaukee for immediate assistance.

Was your home damaged in a storm? Call us at SERVPRO of West Milwaukee to start restoration, 247.

Safe Grilling Practices to Prevent a Fire | SERVPRO of West Milwaukee

9/18/2023 (Permalink)

Man holding tongs above grill preparing food outdoors Have you had a barbeque gone wrong? Call SERVPRO of West Milwaukee to get your space back in shape.

Summer time is cherished by all midwesterners—and for good reason! The warm and sunny days invite everyone to step outside and enjoy the weather. What better way to do that than to tie on your favorite apron and host a family BBQ in your backyard?

Did you know that July is the peak month for grill fires? Before you light your charcoal or turn on your propane grill, you need to set yourself up for success. Our SERVPRO® of West Milwaukee team wants you to stay safe and enjoy your event without the risk of fire, so read on to learn more about proper grill safety.

Setting Up Your Work Area

You are in charge of your grilling area, so you need to be sure the grill is in a safe location. Make sure it is outside and far away from your garage or any overhangs along your roof. Your grill needs to vent properly to avoid the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, and it also needs to be positioned away from anything combustible above it that could catch on fire.

It also needs to be far from your home, siding and deck railing. A good rule is to aim for a 10-foot barrier around anything that could start on fire. This barrier should also include kids and pets, so be sure everyone in your party understands the grill zone.

If you have a charcoal grill, clear away ash buildup, check the drum for cracks or obvious dents and make sure the vent covers work and slide easily. If your family prefers a gas grill, take the time to fully inspect your gas lines. They should be secure against your tank and your grill. A single gas leak could lead to serious consequences and can create a dangerous situation in seconds.

Responsible Grilling Tips

Once the grill is hot and your food is on, stay close by! A grill fire can erupt at a moment’s notice, so you always need to be prepared. Keep a spray bottle filled with water ready to help tame flame flare-ups, and you should have your hose or fire extinguisher on standby as well.

After everything is done cooking, hand off the plate for someone else to bring in because you aren’t done with your grill duties just yet. Scatter the coals and close the vents on your charcoal grill, or turn off the burners and close the propane tank. If you have leftover ash or embers, wait until they are cooled and then move them to a metal can nearby. Once everyone has left and you are about to head in for the night, take one last look at your grill to ensure everything is off and cold to the touch.

Happy summer in the Milwaukee area! We wish you a great rest of your season, but remember that SERVPRO of West Milwaukee is here for you if a fire gets out of hand and you are left with home or property damage.

Don’t let fire damage linger in your home. Call us at SERVPRO of West Milwaukee for a fast restoration.

Responding to a Water Disaster at Home | SERVPRO of West Milwaukee

9/18/2023 (Permalink)

Pool of water sitting on top of a herringbone patterned wood floor with furniture nearby If you discover water damage in your home or business, call SERVPRO of West Milwaukee right away.

Water plays an incredible and vital role in our lives, and oftentimes we don’t even think twice about it on a daily basis. It is constantly flowing behind our walls and through our pipes to help us cook dinner, wash the dog and clean the dishes.

While we certainly rely on the ease of access to water in our daily lives, that access also increases our risk of experiencing water damage. Busted water heaters, leaky appliances and flooding in your home during a severe summer storm can all impact your house in a big way. These strong storms in the Milwaukee area can cause chaos in a moment’s notice.

Even though it is ideal to avoid water damage altogether if you can, sometimes that is just not possible. Thankfully, SERVPRO® of West Milwaukee is here to help you recover quickly and efficiently.

The First Thing to Do

If you come upon a water disaster or damage situation, the first thing to do is to act quickly to stop the flow of water. Water could have leaked and seeped throughout a large area of your home by the time you discover the problem, so stop it at the source to stop it from getting any worse.

If the water situation was caused by an appliance malfunction or burst pipe, turn off the water valve and shut off electricity to the area. If the leak was caused by damage during a storm, you may just have to set out a bucket to catch the dripping until the storm passes and you can investigate further.

Remember, standing water has the potential to be really dangerous, so don’t walk through it if you don’t have to. Live electrical wires or sharp objects could be lurking beneath the surface. After that, pick up the phone and call us for immediate assistance!

Our Efficient Drying Process

We will start crafting your recovery plan from the minute you call us. Our team will ask a lot of questions, and we will probably ask you to take a few photos of the damage. These fresh images help us work directly with your insurance company to ensure the easiest insurance claims process possible.

Once we arrive at your home, a few things happen at once. We locate the source of the leak and get to work repairing the damage and drying up the excess water with air movers and industrial blowers. We will also work on removing your soft and fragile possessions from the area. We always try to restore rather than replace your items, so we will work on drying out everything we can as safely as possible.

Now that everything is dry, we will clean, sanitize and deodorize the area before we start on the repairs. Our team is highly trained on different repairs and we can handle anything from a minor wall repair to an entire rebuild of your room or levels of your home.

Dealing with water in your home where it shouldn’t be is always frustrating, but we are here to make the recovery process smooth and easy. Call SERVPRO of West Milwaukee for a complete restoration day or night.

Do you have water damage in your home? Call us for fast and complete restoration.

The Steps to Follow After a Storm Passes Through | SERVPRO of West Milwaukee

9/18/2023 (Permalink)

image of a large body of water during a rain storm with ripples caused by the heavy downpour Water damage in your home? Not for long with SERVPRO of West Milwaukee on the case!

Destructive storms are just a part of the summer season here in the Milwaukee area. Thankfully, tornadoes don’t pop up as often as they do in the South, but strong winds, heavy rain and hail can all come together to create one forceful and dangerous situation.

Preparing your home and family before the storm hits is always ideal, but sometimes damage still occurs anyway if the conditions change rapidly or the storm becomes stronger than originally predicted.

Your top priority is always your family’s safety, so get inside and stay away from the windows until you are confident that the storm has passed. Use this blog as a guide to help walk you through the next steps after suffering any kind of storm damage.

<h3the-storm-passes">After the Storm Passes

No matter what kind of storm passes through, it is important to stay connected to the forecast and local authorities before, during and after a storm. Storms can come in waves, so be prepared with your weather radio and make sure your safe shelter location is easily accessible if you need to get back inside quickly again.

Connecting with friends and family can help set your mind at ease after a storm, and check in on your neighbors after you are confident that the storm has passed on for good. Even if your own home hasn’t suffered any damage, it doesn’t mean your neighbors are damage-free as well!

Call SERVPRO® of West Milwaukee, and start taking photos of any damage you see right away. We are locally owned and operated right in the Milwaukee area so we are experiencing the same storms you are, and we are preparing to respond to your call for help as soon as the forecast is issued.

<h3recovery-process">The Recovery Process

No home damage situation is exactly the same, so take care walking around your home as you investigate the extent of your situation. Loose nails, damaged boards and other hazards can cause serious injuries if you aren’t on the lookout! Wear sturdy boots and gloves if you need to walk through the damage or handle anything, and keep your cell phone on you in case of emergency.

One of the tasks we prioritize when we arrive at your home is securing the area with tarps and boards to prevent further damage. Feel free to do this on your own if it is still raining to protect your belongings while we are on our way to you.

We know that suffering storm damage can be overwhelming and scary, but we promise that our restoration team can handle any situation that you are faced with and we will take care of you. We will clean and restore your entire home, and we will even work alongside your insurance company to help you get the most out of your claim. Call us for a complete restoration day or night.

If a storm leaves your home damaged, contact us for fast recovery. We’re here 247 when you need us.

The Hazards of a Flash Flood | SERVPRO of West Milwaukee

9/18/2023 (Permalink)

image of a large body of water during a rain storm with ripples caused by the heavy downpour Summer storms affecting your property? Call SERVPRO of West Milwaukee to restore your space in no time!

We all know and love those classic summer rainstorms that allow us to slow down and rest inside as the rain falls. It can be refreshing to watch our community calm down and watch our gardens and lawns get a much-needed drink!

However, we also know that not all storms are like this. Serious thunderstorms can blow into town quickly and bring heavy rain, strong winds and even damaging hail. While we are grateful that our homes can withstand moderate storm conditions, sometimes the rain can be intense enough to leak into our homes.

Our SERVPRO® of West Milwaukee team wants you to stay as safe and dry no matter what is going on outside, so read our tips for preparing for intense rain below.

The Possibility of Intense Rain

When the rain falls hard enough, it can cause the nearby lakes, rivers and streams to overflow. We are grateful to be a bit farther removed from Lake Michigan in these instances, but any sort of low-lying area can be negatively impacted by heavy rain, which can cause flooding really easily.

While we unfortunately cannot prevent this type of situation, we can certainly prepare for it! Staying connected to the local authorities and taking action quickly as soon as a flood watch or warning is issued can help you be ready when the rain starts to fall.

How to Stay Safe

Head for home right away to start preparing. Your family’s safety and your home should always be your top priority. Avoid drainage ditches or any roads that you know tend to flood when it rains. Move things around in your garage so you can pull your outdoor equipment and cars inside, and tidy up your yard. Secure things like your propane tanks or lawn furniture so they don’t get swept away by any moving water.

If you know that your home is prone to flooding, move anything fragile or soft out of your lowest level and consider turning off the breakers to those rooms to be on the safe side. When the rain starts to fall and the water starts flowing into your home, stay high above the water line and don’t panic. Eventually the water will stop rushing in and then you can call us right away.

Things to Do in the Future

Even if you do your best to prepare, weather has a mind of its own and it can leave you with some significant damage. In each instance you can learn something, though! For example, if you find that your basement always gets wet during a heavy rain, it may indicate an issue with your property. Getting it professionally graded can stop this problem for good if the rain has somewhere else to go other than backward into your foundation.

Another investment that can pay off in a big way is a sump pump. Sump pumps are able to pull any excess water away from your basement and pump it back up to the surface, where it flows down a gutter-like system. This can come in handy in any rain situation to keep your basement nice and dry.

Remember, our team is dedicated to helping our community when flood conditions are present. Pick up the phone and call SERVPRO of West Milwaukee for immediate restoration assistance!

We are here for all of your water disasters. Contact us day or night for a quick recovery.

The Basics of Outdoor Fire Safety | SERVPRO of West Milwaukee

9/18/2023 (Permalink)

campfire-style fire pit with flames emerging from the top of the logs on the dark green grass Bonfire season is upon us! SERVPRO of West Milwaukee has your back with these helpful fire safety tips.

Oh, how we love the fall season here in the Milwaukee area! The air has a certain crispness to it, the Packers are back on our TVs and the fall decorations are out. We also love spending more time outside enjoying the warmth and coziness of an outdoor bonfire.

Bonfires at this time of year can be a lovely way to enjoy the changing seasons, but they still carry a risk when it comes to the possibility of starting an out-of-control fire.

Our SERVPRO® of West Milwaukee team explains more about fire safety below and offers some easy ways to maintain your fire so you can avoid any dangerous situations.

Steps When Lighting Your Fire

Do pick a safe spot for your bonfire pit. Bonfire pits that are permanently in the ground may not be moveable, but you can ensure log piles or flammable objects aren’t anywhere near it. If you have a portable pit, place it on a level surface that is far away from outbuildings, sheds or the side of your house.

Do have a way to put out the fire quickly. A hose that is unraveled and lying nearby or a full bucket of water can easily be used to douse the flames. If you are in a remote area without access to water, keep a shovel nearby that you can use to pile sand or dirt on the fire in an emergency.

Do watch the weather and obey any burn bans. Windy days or current drought conditions can increase the likelihood of starting a dangerous fire, so watch the conditions and pick a different day to burn if necessary.

Tips for Maintaining Your Blazing Fire

Don’t use an accelerant to keep the flames going. Matches, lighters and tinder are the only things you should be using. Gas or lighter fluid may light on fire quickly, but they are unpredictable and can start an overwhelmingly large fire in seconds.

Don’t let your kids play around the flames. Accidents can happen in seconds and cause serious injury or a dangerous situation that leads to a spreading fire.

Don’t let your fire get too big. It can be fun to sit around the flames and feed them with whatever is nearby, but a large fire is unpredictable and it can lead to sparking or spreading flames easily.

Don’t go to bed or inside until you are sure the fire is out. You are responsible for any fire on your property, so be sure the flames are extinguished and you have run water over the logs until they are cold to the touch.

Wildfire Facts

Wildfires can start at any time and for a variety of reasons, but most wildfires are usually started by human error or negligence. Do your part to maintain your flames, and be aware of any changing conditions that would increase your risk of starting a wildfire.

If your home or property is damaged by fire, get us on the phone right away. Our team will help you recover faster and more efficiently.

Fire can cause a lot of damage in a short amount of time. Contact us day or night for immediate assistance.

Fire Safety and Your Children | SERVPRO of West Milwaukee

6/10/2023 (Permalink)

Young boy staring at a lit match being held between his fingers SERVPRO of West Milwaukee is here for you and your family if you experience a fire in your home or business.

Keeping your kids safe is certainly a full-time job sometimes! It is hard work showing them the world while also doing your best to minimize danger and unpredictable situations.

While your children need to learn certain things in order to stay safe, it can be hard to introduce them to certain topics without scaring them with the facts. House fires certainly fall into this category. Fire can be scary for everyone, whether you are 5 or 55.

By introducing fire safety concepts in a fun or light-hearted way, you can increase your child’s likelihood of responding appropriately in the midst of a true emergency. Read on to gain some great ideas!

<h3fire-around-the-house">Explaining Fire Around the House

Your kids are constantly watching you. They are taking in every moment from when you turn on your stove to when you light your favorite candle, so it should be no surprise if your child is curious about fire. Take the time to explain what fire is and how it helps you around the home, and take a walk around to each space in your home where fire is used.

Explain how fire starts and how it spreads, and be sure to explain to them that matches and lighters should never be played with. A single lit match is all it takes to start a full blaze in your home, so teach your kids that these are tools for adults, not toys for kids.

<h3firefighters">Introducing Firefighters

Many kids look up to firefighters and police officers, but many of them are also shy around authority. Seeing a firefighter in his or her full gear can be scary or intimidating! In order to reduce this anxiety, expose your children to pictures, books and videos about firefighters and attend local meet-and-greet opportunities so your children can see these people in real life.

If your children meet your local fire crew now, it can help your children recognize them in a true emergency and trust the firefighters to bring them to safety. In order for this to happen, your kids have to be confident in calling for help! Practice this by holding a contest to see who can yell their name the loudest from their rooms and then practice army crawling through the house.

<h3together">Plan Together

You probably know how to get out of your home quickly in an emergency, but do your children? Involve them in creating your emergency exit plan by letting them find all of the ways out of each room in your home and write it down together. Make it a game and time them!

Don’t forget to include the windows in your plan. While it might seem scary to show your children how to open and get out of your windows, this is necessary for a true emergency situation. Teach them how to do this, but instill the rule that this skill is only to be used as a last resort and should never be used for fun.

Finally, choose an outdoor meeting location together and practice! Do a full run-through of your entire plan, and ensure your children know how to call 911 once safely outside.

Fires can cause widespread damage. Call us for a thorough and efficient restoration.

Keeping Your Home Safe in Strong Winds | SERVPRO of West Milwaukee

6/5/2023 (Permalink)

Dense forest area with trees bending due to intense wind and rain If you've suffered from storm-related damage to your home or business, make SERVPRO of West Milwaukee your first call.

The wind is an ever-present weather phenomenon that we can experience in a variety of ways. A soft breeze on a summer day can feel idyllic, while a strong gusty wind during a thunderstorm can have you running for the safety of your home.

When the wind starts to pick up, it can cause a great deal of damage in a short amount of time. Most damaging wind is associated with thunderstorms, but it can happen on a sunny day as well.

By learning more about the different kinds of strong winds and the damage they cause, you can take steps to protect your home now so you are prepared for any weather.

<h3wind-types-in-wisconsin">Common Wind Types in Wisconsin

Over half of all reported damaging wind is caused by thunderstorms, and even more when a tornado is present. You should always follow weather warnings and head indoors as soon as a storm rolls into town.

Thunderstorms can produce some strong winds in addition to other threats, like rain and hail. It can easily reach up to 60 miles per hour, which is fast enough to throw debris around your yard.

Straight-line winds are also often caused by thunderstorms. These wide-reaching winds can gust up to 100 miles per hour and can damage parts of town that don’t even see rain. They can cause widespread damage because there isn’t any rotation in them and can occur in single powerful bursts.

Tornadoes are also a common weather threat, and they carry a wider variety of wind patterns. Wind produced in a tornado can be straight-line winds, downdrafts, and micro- or macro-bursts.

Tornadoes don’t often touch down in Milwaukee County, but that doesn’t mean we don’t experience wind damage. Even just a few weeks ago we experienced a storm with wind that reached over 75 miles per hour!

<h3to-prevent-wind-damage">Tips to Prevent Wind Damage

Wind can easily topple trees and make your lawn furniture take flight, and it can even upend mobile homes and cars if it blows fast enough.

In order to stay safe from the wind, you need to know what the different weather alerts mean and act accordingly. You need to secure loose objects like trash cans and porch chairs, and consider moving your car into the garage before the storm arrives.

Clean up yard debris and remove fallen branches off of your property. If the wind picks up a branch, it can easily become a projectile that can cause a lot of damage to your home and windows.

Once your home is ready for the wind, get your family inside to an interior room to wait out the weather. Don’t go back outside until you are confident that the threat has passed.

Take a walk around your home and your property to look for damage after the storm is gone. You should address any damage right away, even if it is just a single missing shingle. SERVPRO of West Milwaukee can help you recover right away!

Has your home been damaged by wind? Call us and get things cleaned up fast.

Detecting Water Leaks Around Your Home | SERVPRO® of West Milwaukee

5/9/2023 (Permalink)

 img src =”bucket” alt = " blue bucket in the middle of the living area catching water falling from the ceiling ” > Think you may have water damage in your home? Here are some tips from SERVPRO of Rapid City to find the source.

If you have ever suffered water damage before, you know how frustrating it is to deal with. Regardless of whether the situation was widespread or contained to a single room, water damage has the potential to be really costly and troublesome to many homeowners.

Because of water damage’s destructive qualities, it is important to recognize where water leaks often start and to take action right away when you notice one in your Milwaukee area home.

Read on to learn about the top three locations for water damage below.

Your roof. Your roof has an important job of keeping your family safe and dry, but sometimes that process can get interrupted by roof damage or a small water leak.

Since we aren’t up on our roofs often, it can be easy to miss the signs until it is too late and you are left with damage.

If a leak goes unaddressed, it can slowly seep into the ceilings, walls and floors of your home and cause hidden chaos. This water has a hard time drying out on its own, which can lead to mildew and mold problems.

In your bathroom. Another common space is your bathroom areas. Water is constantly flowing in and out of your sinks, tubs, toilets and showers, making water damage here very common.

In order to stop water from becoming an issue in your bathroom, be proactive about checking your water lines and the seals around your fixtures. It is also important to dry out your space each day so that water and moisture cannot linger and cause water damage this way.

The best way to catch water damage in your bathroom is to investigate issues quickly. It can be hard to see a puddle on the ground and assume it was from one of your kids being messy, but do your due diligence and investigate further to be sure.

Your pesky appliances. We love having appliances like dishwashers, washing machines and fridges in our homes! It certainly makes life easier, but only when they are working properly. Any sort of leak or malfunction has the potential to flood or cause widespread water issues in your home.

Similarly with your bathroom, investigate puddled water quickly and check for moisture often around your appliances. It can be extremely helpful to pull them away from the wall to check for water spots or mold growth as well, which indicates a water leak somewhere.

Finally, do your best to only keep new or reliable appliances in your home. Older or worn-out appliances increase your risk of suffering a water catastrophe with every day they get older.

Remember, even if you do your best to avoid water damage, it can still happen. Our SERVPRO of West Milwaukee team is always here to help.

Dealing with a water emergency? Our SERVPRO specialists can be on the scene of the disaster ASAP to restore your water-damaged home!