Recent Posts

Grease Lightning: Fires in the kitchen

1/11/2019 (Permalink)

The kitchen is the heart of the home. It is a universal meeting point to converse while rummaging for a snack and is an essential part of any household. So it should be no wonder to know that nearly 41 percent of fires originate in the kitchen area. Multiple factors can play into the dangers of in home fires, many of which we overlook. We will be going through a list of steps to take when confronted with a grease fire and how to practice the proper techniques to either get the fire under control, or remove yourself to seek help.

Once a fire ignites:

  • The most immediate approach you can take is to smother the flames with a cooking lid or cookie sheet. Leave on flame until it has been extinguished and the surface has cooled.
  • Immediately turn off the heat source
  • Baking Soda or Salt are the only two kitchen ingredients to be used when putting out a grease fire. Never use flour or any other substance to extinguish flames as they can make the fire worse.
  • If all else has failed and the fire is still manageable, use a fire extinguisher to control situation.

NEVER USE WATER TO PUT OUT GREASE FIRE FLAMES. Do not attempt to move burning items outside.

If all else fails:

  • If you cannot get the flames smothered it is imperative to immediately vacate the home and seek help. Kitchen fires can spread very quickly leaving you vulnerable and reduces your points of exit.
  • Close all doors behind you as you leave as it can help contain the spread of the flames.
  • Call 911 immediately from a safe distance.
  • Never under any circumstances reenter your home while fire is in progress.
  • Always have a current evacuation plan composed for your family to know which route is best to safely leave in the case of an emergency.

Home fire loss makes for a long process of recovery as well as the possibility of losing precious items that cannot be replaced. These simple steps and help you prevent disaster from striking and keep your family safe.

It's Elemental

1/8/2019 (Permalink)

Mother Nature is a force no one can reckon with. The elements are an unpredictable enemy that anyone who owns property needs to take into constant consideration. With little or no warning, a natural disaster can wipe your business off the map within the blink of an eye. It is vital to be prepared for what could potentially be in store in your future and the damage control you can have prepared for these very situations. Listed below are a few examples of how you can defend your assets against the unforeseen elements.

Risk Assessment:  Where you are located can dictate your plan of action. If you are living in an area prone to flooding or located where tornadoes are common it might seem obvious in what coverage you require. A risk assessment is an important tool as it can identify the lesser probable causes of loss. Just because some events are less likely to occur than others, does not prevent the possibility of them happening. The best offense is a great defense. So be prepared.

Business Interruption Insurance: When you lose your ability to earn income do to damaged property your business interruption insurance will cover most of your loss. Some scenarios are straightforward as in water damage due to a burst pipe or structural damage caused by a fire. Natural disasters are not as specific. Secondary issues such as closed roads due to down trees can cause a loss of income and a basic interruption plan will not cover these situations. It is very important to look into supporting insurance that can be added on to cover such events.

FEMA Funding: Flooding is one of the most common side effects of natural disasters. While rain might be covered by your Business Owner's Policy, once it settles in any location it is no longer considered rain and is now defined as flood water. Flood water can only be insured by The Federal Flood Insurance Program which is administered by FEMA. 

Consider all options: When insuring your commercial building it should be of highest priority to be sure all options have been considered. Be completely aware of the threat that the elements pose and the steps you can have in place to insure your property should disaster strike.

Warming up a cold space

12/4/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial buildings typically lack a certain ‘cozy’ feeling and the winter months truly showcase how dull the environment can become. Drafty windows, harsh lighting and cold floors can add to the discomfort of spacious building interiors. Luckily, there are simple and inexpensive ways to battle the cold, and warm up your environment.

Lighting: Bright, overhead lighting can be zapping your office of precious needed color and subtle warmth. Try using softer lighting options that lessen the strain on your eyes. Small table lamps and accent lighting are great options to utilize.

Carpeting/Rugs: Cement or hard flooring is not optimal to retain heat. Adding throw rugs and sections of carpeting can add texture and help soften the cold coming from below. They also add an aesthetic appeal against any hard surface.

Plants: Having live plants present in any indoor space during winter months is known for its health benefits.  Not only do they help purify toxins in your home you may be unaware of they also add a pleasant contrast to the colorless landscape outdoors.

Caulking drafty windows: Do a walk about to all windows that are a barrier to the elements. If you can feel a difference in temperature or pressure a great way to shore up the exposed areas is with caulking. Meant to fill in the cracks and weak areas of seal, they help better insulate your space.

Winter in Wisconsin can arrive early and exit late. With these simple tips your commercial space will become a small escape from the outside world. As always, SERVPRO of Rock County is here to help!

Consider This

11/13/2018 (Permalink)

Selecting flooring for your commercial space can be more multi-faceted than you might first expect. There are many contributing factors to consider when making the final decision. Do you require a smooth surface for machinery to easily glide across? Will you or your work staff be on their feet for long hours? These are major questions you should be asking yourself to determine which flooring would work best. Typically, there are three different types of surfaces most commonly used in commercialized space.

  • Concrete Etching: This option can leave your floor with warmth and rich earthy tones. As cement has a tendency of not retaining or being able to hold paint or stain, etching is done to create pores in the surface, allowing stain to hold.
  • Epoxy Coating: Most commonly used in commercial settings, Epoxy coatings cover wide surface areas of hard material such as concrete or steal. It creates a barrier over the surface which seals and aids water resistance. It consists of an epoxy resin that is crossed with a co reactant or hardener.
  • Vinyl Planking: Luxury planking has become a hot topic of debate in recent years for its upswings and draw backs. Visually, vinyl planking is unmatched. The variety of textures and options are forever changing and updating. Structurally though, it is not nearly as strong as its competition. It also is not as environmentally friendly as the access pieces that remain unused after installation typically ends up in the trash. Harsh cleaning chemicals are also known to warp vinyl after prolonged exposure.

As with any project, there are many options to weigh and decisions to make to prevent any unexpected issues present themselves. As always, SERVPRO of Rock County is here to help you with any questions or assistance you may need! Give us a call today!

Secondary disaster: Salvaging documentation after loss

11/9/2018 (Permalink)

When we are in the face of disaster clean up, it’s easy to become focused on the major issues at hand. Instigating problems need immediate attention such as the pipe that burst and flooded your basement, or a fire that ravaged your facility and triggered the sprinklers to soak your electronics. Dealing with the source is of utmost urgency. What we don’t always take into consideration are the possessions that sustain damage with those disasters. Photographs, prized family possessions, important documents and digital items can all become exposed and become destroyed in a short frame of time. That’s where SERVPRO of Rock County comes in to play.

SERVPRO uses state of the art equipment and implements the same freeze drying system as The Library of Congress. Our technology and techniques remain the only methods approved by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and the General Services Administration (GSA). With water damage runs the risk of contamination and exposure to bacteria and viruses, making your items potentially dangerous. Fortunately, our team uses gamma irradiation to safely sterilize your property.

With these amazing pieces of technology we are able to preserve your most precious items and give you the safety of being able to keep them in your home or in storage. SERVPRO of Rock County is always here to help and would love to answer any further questions you may have. Give us a call today!

A time to be prepared

11/9/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial losses on a large scale can come quickly and carry a heavy price tag. Something as simple as a leaky roof or a drippy pipe can cause thousands in reconstructive damages and repairs. As some disasters are natural there is little that can be done to prevent injury to your building or to have an exact plan in place for preventative measures. On the other hand, there are many steps that can be implemented ahead of time that can greatly reduce the amount of time needed to recover.

  • Most importantly is to have an emergency plan on hand and constructed ahead of time to refer to in case disaster strikes. This should include the contact information for your nearest SERVPRO facility, as we can help assess and repair commercial damages on large and small scales on any type of disaster you may be facing.
  • Know where all vital power sources and water sources are located in your facility. This includes your main water shut off valve and circuit breakers as cutting these off can be major contributors to salvaging your property.
  • Have all vital insurance and business information prepared in an emergency folder for easy and swift access to prevent the delay of repairs and to expedite the time it takes to start the repairs.

These are just a few steps that can be taken to lessen the difficulties you may experience after Commercial building loss. SERVPRO of Rock County is just a call away and are here for you should you need us.

Winter is Coming

9/26/2018 (Permalink)

Winter. Is. Coming

You read that right. Fall is tip toeing her way in as Summer is packing her bags and finding her way out. Apple orchards are prepping for their upcoming season and the crisp scent of burning leaves will soon be tickling our noses. What better time to prep your home for the upcoming bitter cold that will make her arrival in the not so distant future? Listed below are extremely helpful tools and practices to keep the warm in and the cold out. They may just help you save some valuable loot in your pocket as well.

Simmer Down: Lower the temperature in your water heater. This one simple adjustment can save you upwards of 10% off of your water heating costs. Typically water heaters are set at a scalding 140 degrees, bringing it down to 120 degrees will save you bookoo $$$.

Backdraft: Drafty windows and doors have the potential of wasting up to 30% of your energy use. They also can trick your thermostat into false readings. Fortunately, a simple solution such as a rolled towel at the base of the door (or create a draft snake, if you’re feeling crafty) will lock out that unwanted cold.

Be Kind, Rewind: Turning the direction of your fan blades from counterclockwise to clockwise will actually create a warmer room. Hot air rises, the fan blades help force the warmth back into the lower part of your room.

Out With The Old: Change your furnace filter! A commonly overlooked step in energy savings. Not only does a dirty filter restrict air flow, it also has the potential of harboring dangerous materials, such as mold, bacteria and pollen. It is best to change monthly during the winter months.

Leaving The Abode: Lower the thermostat every time you leave your home. Each degree you lower your homes temperature can save you between 1% and 3% on your heating bill. Programmable thermostats are available that will keep on top of lowering and raising the temperature in sync with your schedule.

Being able to stay ahead of the impending cold will save you money and stress. Follow these simple steps and stay warm! As always, SERVPRO of Rock County is here to help in any way we can!

History Beneath Our Feet: Saving Hardwood

9/26/2018 (Permalink)

 

9/11/2018

Hardwood floors are a classic signature to any home, bringing a warmth and delicate age to any environment they bestow. From old country farm homes, to sprawling warehouses hardwood flooring adds finesse. But with the sweets comes the sours. When water damage occurs, time is of the absolute essence. Warping and disfigurement from water can leave lasting and detrimental effects within an incredibly short amount of time. Some of which cannot be repaired to its original glory. That’s why one of the most useful methods of recovery from damaging water to natural hardwood floors is our highly effective Drying Mat System. Our mats have mastered the art of removing water vapor that has been deeply absorbed by wooden planks. Our system has saved countless dollars and spared even more headaches for our customer base. Our drying mats are surprisingly simple in design visually (a basic floor mat with a hose attached) but incredibly powerful. When a hometown customer of ours had a pinched line in their ice maker, it caused an incredible amount of access water which flooded her kitchen. Our team of meticulously trained experts at SERVPRO of Rock County was able to immediately address the situation and have the damage under control with the use of our Drying Mat System. Hardwood floors retain a time in history, some being centuries old. Being able to preserve what we can and restoring what we must is what makes what we do so worth it.

Fall into a cleaner home: tips for every room

9/18/2018 (Permalink)

If you’re anything like me, deep cleaning comes twice a year. Spring cleaning is most commonly discussed as we collectively look ahead to open windows and a light breeze sweeping through a crisp clean home, but fall cleaning is also very pertinent. It ushers in the era of being secluded inside away from the cold, so let’s be sure your space is ready. Included below are easily overlooked practices that will up your cleaning game.

Bedroom:

  • Launder the sheets. That means all of them. From the bed skirt to the pillow cases, leave no sheet unwashed. Use a tennis ball in the dryer along with down filled materials to prevent clumping. For heavier materials allow running an extra lap on the spin cycle before transferring to dryer, it speeds up the drying process. To prevent damage or over loading, take the bigger items to the launder mat and use an extra-large front loading washer. It’s worth the effort.
  • Don’t forget the mattress! A sprinkle of baking soda and a quick hour to allow to be sit on the material is an effective way to get those hard to wash materials sanitized.

Kitchen:

  • Cabinets first. Wipe all exposed cabinet surfaces top to bottom, along with hardware. If cabinet tops are exposed, wiped down thoroughly and line top with newspaper. The paper will collect dust and added grim, allowing cleaning to be easier when it’s time to replace.
  • Empty out the refrigerator. It’s surprising to see how much damage is done when the space is cleared. Wipe down all surfaces and fully cleanse before re adding items. Do the same for the dishwasher and microwave. If possible, pull appliances from wall to clean behind and below. You will be amazed as to what has fallen between the cracks.
  • Organize and sanitize countertops. Removing unnecessary clutter presents a more coherent and pleasant environment.

Bathroom:

  • Wash your shower curtain. Most can be tossed in the washer on a cold, low cycle but be sure to check the tag. It is an overlooked tip that greatly impacts the sanitation of your wash room.
  • Use warmed distilled vinegar water to soak the soap scum and water spots from your door
  • Pull all items from below your cabinet, organize and sanitize.

Family room:

  • Vacuum every piece of furniture by removing the cushions and removing debris from between lining, also use attachment to reach the back of the surfaces as well.
  • Remove all artwork and framed items. Dust using a warm microfiber rag. Do not use any kind of spray, as it can damage the photo or artwork underneath.
  • Dust the electronics. Save yourself some time and invest in a skinny dusting wand that can maneuver between cords and under consoles.

It is a self-satisfying accomplishment when all is done and you can kick your feet up and relax in a completely safe and cleansed environment. As always, SERVPRO of Rock County is here to help you when disaster strikes and to provide tips before it does.

Preemptive Measures: Unique Ways to Avoid Flooding On Your Property

9/18/2018 (Permalink)

It’s no secret that the damages of a flood affecting your home are devastating. The cleanup after such an event is almost worse than the flood itself. You are left with the remnants of beloved items. You are uprooted from your daily life and experience higher levels of stress than acceptable. Being able to avoid the catastrophic effects of flooding can restore your peace of mind, and also benefits the environment, if done correctly. Listed below are helpful tools to be used in order to prep your property for incoming water.

Plant a Rain Garden: A growing trend among homeowners is the design and installation of rain gardens. Using native plants with high water tolerance is key. They require almost no upkeep or watering between rainfalls and are helpful to our natural environment. Directing water from known flooding areas of your property, or planting directly on the location, these gardens retain and absorb excess water. Even a small addition of a rain garden has a huge impact on the water level on your property after a flood.

Heavier Mulch Will Help You Out: When mulching with lightweight materials, the odds of a misplaced mulch mess being handed to you is significantly high. Light materials are known to scatter in flooded conditions and to clog drainage ways. Hardwood mulch is heavier, making it more difficult to spread and is known for their low maintenance appeal.

Install a Green Roof: Now hear us out. It may seem excessive, or out of your budgets capabilities even, but you may be pleasantly surprised. The cost and labor needed to install these futuristic roof covers has been significantly reduced over the most recent years. As long as you have a flat or gently sloping roof you are in the clear. Not only do green roofs elongate the life of your roof, studies show it also increases insulation and reduces energy costs.

A Driveway That Drains: Second only to roofs, driveways are the biggest contributor to storm water run-off. Most commonly, swayes with drainage ports are installed on each side of your driveway, although it is not the most effective. Using spaced gravel or even grass greatly reduces the effects of flood water run-off. They are not only visually pleasing but a benefit to the environment.

Flooding can happen suddenly and with little warning. These simple and effective actions could save you a disaster on your hands. As always, SERVPRO of Rock County is here to help you, when all else has gone wrong.