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When Storms or Floods Hit

5/10/2021 (Permalink)

Lightning strike Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage in Douglas and Otter Tail Counties.

SERVPRO of Douglas & Otter Tail specializes in storm and flood damage restoration. Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition. We provide a Faster Response. Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Douglas and Otter Tail Counties, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,900 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 320-219-6505

Mitigation, Restoration and Remediation Explained

5/7/2021 (Permalink)

Green truck, green vehicle and green van Hire cleanup restoration professionals after a flood.

If your company is ever in the need of the services of a flood cleanup company, you are likely to hear a few terms thrown about over and over again. Three of the most common are mitigation, restoration and remediation. To many people, these terms sound quite similar, but they do have a few shades of differences. To start with, mitigation refers to any effort to minimize the damage of something. This could be efforts such as flood prevention or storm prevention before a storm occurs, or it could also refer to efforts to lessen additional damage after a storm or a flood.

The Meaning of Restoration

A flood cleanup company in New York Mills, MN, will engage in many restoration efforts. This is usually associated with repairs after the damage has already happened. The repairs could be fairly minor such as a paint touch-up, or they could be as extensive as rebuilding walls. A restoration company often works on the following materials:

  • Drywall
  • Insulation
  • Flooring
  • Furniture
  • Carpeting
  • Ceilings

Restoration really means any program to bring something back to its original condition after it has received damage. A certified restoration services company will have extensive training in ways to restore items after damage from water or a storm. A professional franchise will employ many technicians that provide expertise in challenging situations.

The Meaning of Remediation
While this sounds suspiciously similar to the word restoration, it does hold a few nuances. It generally refers to the remedying of a situation that has gone bad. This, of course, could refer to the damage caused by a storm or a fire. Remediation is the art of improving a situation and returning something to its original state. It might include such techniques as cleaning and sanitizing, removing odors and drying out moist areas.
flood cleanup company will use these terms in many different situations. It will also know the best techniques to return a company to good condition again after a storm or some other disaster

Leave Fire Damage Restoration to the Professionals

4/27/2021 (Permalink)

window frame burned, wooden structure burned of a building Fire damaged the structure of a building in Pelican Rapids, MN.

Here Is How The General Process Works

If your business in Pelican Rapids, MN, experiences a fire, even if it is only a small area, simply wiping it down and make repairs may not be enough to avoid the lingering effects of the flames. Fire also creates smoke damage, which can stay hidden, and soot damage, which often smears and spreads. To ensure your business gets back to "Like it never even happened." the best bet is to find a certified fire damage and restoration professional. Once you make that call, below is how the general process works.

1. Damage Assessment
Within 48 hours, an inspector will arrive to assess the damage. This highly trained professional will be able to assess the height of the flames, smoke penetration and how much cleanup may be necessary. Afterward, the company will create a detailed restoration plan and communicate it with your insurance company if you have filed a claim.

2. Prevent Secondary Damage
Smoke damage continues to wreak havoc after the fire is out. The right professionals will look for any areas that may be prone to secondary damage, such as mold, mildew, rusting and soot staining. If the structure has any exposed areas, such as a roof hole, they will provide tarp services to minimize the risk of other damage from happening.

3. Proper Removal of Damaged Items
While a restoration company is dedicated to salvaging as much as possible, some items may be too far gone to repair. When there is soot and potential mold involved, proper removal is needed to avoid contaminating other items.

4. Cleanup
From smoke cleaning to soot removal, a professional relies on industrial-grade tools and technologies to ensure no residue or smell is left behind. This process also includes cleaning the air to neutralize odors.

5. Restoration
Once there is a clean slate, the repairs need to restore the property to the preloss condition will be completed. Depending on the severity of the fire, it may involve rebuilding the roof and replacing drywall, flooring, counters and fixtures.
A fire leaves a lot in its wake, including lingering smoke damage. Ensuring your business is properly cleaned and restored is essential to getting back to normal.

Why Black Water Demands Immediate Remediation

4/14/2021 (Permalink)

air movers placed in the hallways of a school Water damage at a local school.

How Severe Is Your Commercial Building's Water Damage?

The answer to this resides in understanding that water exposure varies, with experts breaking fluid down into three main categories. The first is clean, resulting from freshwater busts. The next level focuses on low levels of pathogens; often, this saturation stems from appliance leaks. These first two sections demand cleanup, but they do not pose serious hazards. Category three fluid, however, is highly harmful to the structure, costs more to fix and demands prompt action. Here are three reasons to seek professional help immediately.

1. Major Exposure To Organisms
Category 3 penetration is better known as black water, coined for massive organisms found within the liquid. The moisture arrives into the establishment, carrying any or all of the following:

  • sewage
  • bacteria
  • fungus
  • organisms

Sources may come from inside or outside the place. Toilet backflow releases feces and urine onto the premises. External floods from rising waters wash in pathogens from the streets and sewer. No matter the origin. It's not anything you want within the space.

2. Contamination Spreads Quickly
On the surface, water damage appears simple. Perhaps owners see a stain or have a lingering smell; however, problems lurk below the surface. Water quickly absorbs into porous objects such as drywall, carpeting and belongings. Within 24 to 48 hours, the infestation has moved from a small spot to the entire room.

3. Major Remediation Is Needed
The flood, at this point, shuts down the impacted zone. A professional sewage and water restoration company in Henning, MN, should assess the area. Air and wall samples are taken to understand what inhabits the zone.
Immediately, crews being to use industrial dehumidifiers to dry out the property. This act inhibits further growth. In addition, they complete flood cuts along the wall and tear out wet carpeting and other materials. These efforts must be made to secure the facility.
Before proprietors begin to tend to water damage, it's essential to know exactly what form of saturation has occurred. Category three fluid is harmful to the building, and it needs special care.

3 Factors To Consider When Shopping for a Smoke Alarm

3/19/2021 (Permalink)

smoke detector in the room Having a working smoke alarm greatly improves your chances of evacuating your home.

Here Are A Few Factors To Consider When Purchasing An Alarm

When it comes to home fires, knowing your home exits, how to use a fire extinguisher and how to contact a fire damage restoration service is paramount for keeping your family safe and mitigating damage. However, when it comes to safety, prevention is equally as important. Having a working smoke alarm greatly improves your chances of evacuating your home and surviving a fire in Parkers Prairie, MN.

1. House Size
If your house is large and spacious, you should consider a system that connects each individual detector together. If a unit goes off at one end of the house, it will sound all the alarms that are connected. These systems typically require professional installation since they are wired to your household electric current. Regardless of the size of your house, you should place a smoke detector in every room, hallway and stairway.

2. Sensor Type
Depending on the room you choose to place your smoke alarm, you should review the types of sensors to fit each room’s need. For example, ionization alarms are extremely sensitive, and while they are great for home use, they may not be best for your kitchen, where smoke from your stove or burnt crumbs from your toaster can accidentally set off the alarm. Photoelectric sensors are not as easily triggered and work well in kitchens.

3. Testing and Maintenance
Routine testing and maintenance are extremely important when it comes to fire safety. Alarms should be cleaned and tested monthly to ensure they are working properly. Keep each unit free from dust to avoid blocking the sensors and replace batteries as needed. If the units are difficult to reach, you should invest in a system that can be tested with infrared signals.
There are many different options when purchasing a smoke alarm for your home, and it is important to understand the different types and their uses. In addition to finding the right system, making sure that you clean and test your units regularly will help keep you and your family safe if a fire does occur.

3 Main Causes of Leaky Faucets

3/4/2021 (Permalink)

Leaky faucet A leaking faucet can cause more extensive damage that requires the help of emergency restoration services.

Principal Causes Of Leaky Faucets

Did you know that a leaking faucet can waste a swimming pool’s worth of water every year if not repaired? This adds up to about 10,000 gallons of water per leak. If your house in Fergus Falls, MN has a drip that just won’t quit, you can fix it yourself if you know the basics. Read on to discover the principal causes of leaky faucets and what to look for when repairing them.

1. Faulty Washer
A washer is a thin metal or plastic disc with a hole in the middle that functions as a spacer or to distribute load in compression-style faucets (those with separate handles for hot and cold). Whenever you turn the dripping faucet on or off, it subjects the washer to friction that wears it down. Take the old washer to a hardware store to find the correct replacement part and install it in the faucet. Incorrectly placed washers can also cause leaks, so if the leak continues, try adjusting it.

2. Damaged O-Ring
Cartridge faucets use a single valve to control the flow and temperature of water and contain rubber o-rings that form a seal near the handle or spout. (This style of faucet often has a decorative cap on the handle if you’re unsure what kind you have.) Find the o-ring inside your leaking faucet and replace it with a new one.

3. Worn Valve Seat
The valve seat is another component of a compression faucet and is the connection between the spout and the faucet. Over time, minerals in the water eat away at the valve seat, causing it to corrode. This happens faster if you have hard water, and will probably be apparent upon inspection of the part. Cleaning or replacing the valve seat should enable you to have a fixed leak.
If left alone, a leaking faucet can cause more extensive damage that requires the help of emergency restoration services. Save yourself unnecessary stress and expense by fixing those drips as soon as you discover them.

Why You Want To File Your Insurance Claim Electronically

2/22/2021 (Permalink)

Electronic insurance claim form An electronic filing is one of the fastest and easiest ways that you can file an insurance claim.

Why You Want To File Your Insurance Claim Electronically

When a fire, flood, or another disaster strikes, you want to get things fixed and your business back on its feet as soon as possible. The best way to do this is by filing your insurance claim electronically. Many companies are now offering quick and easy solutions to the traditional mail-in claims service.

It Is Fast
Filing a claim is faster than ever, especially if you use a remediation company like SERVPRO in Evansville, MN. Companies like this can:

  • Assess the damage
  • Take photographs
  • Document damages
  • Solve the immediate problem preventing further damage
  • File the claim

They often work directly with the insurance companies, and all of the paperwork gets there in the time it takes to send an email.

Increase Claim Accuracy
Your claim is subject to lost mail and delays due to missing information. When you file electronically, the forms themselves will tell you if something is wrong or missing, or an insurance agent can tell you if they need more information. You can view all of the files associated with your claim and add information as needed.

Online Status Tracking
Using electronic filing allows you to track your insurance claim on the internet. Companies can also send you email or text updates if you choose. You don't have to sit around wondering what is happening with your claim anymore. When the claim gets to the company, you will know when it is accepted and when it is being processed.

Less Paperwork
Insurance filing takes a lot of paper and printing when they are not filed electronically. You fill out the forms, and the insurance company digitizes them. Then prints them and sends them to you. Then you fill out more paperwork if something is inaccurate. This is a huge cycle of paper. With an electronic submission, all you have to do is use your computer and check your email.
An electronic filing is one of the fastest and easiest ways that you can file an insurance claim. It can help get you back on your feet and back to business in no time.

3 Things You Should Know About Ice Dams

2/8/2021 (Permalink)

Roof with ice dams in winter time. Ice dams occur when the heat on the rooftop is distributed unevenly.

3 Things You Should Know About Ice Dams

One risk factor to observe during the winter is an ice dam. This temporary structure usually forms on the edge of your business's roof. While the icicles may give the Kensington, MN, building a pleasant look, it can also create a variety of issues, including the emergence of black mold. Learn more about dams and act before they harm your establishment.

1. Common Causes
Ice dams occur when the heat on the rooftop is distributed unevenly. Usually, this means the snow on the top part will melt to the edges where the gutters are. However, the meltwater will freeze on those areas instead of flowing away from the building. The frozen water creates a dam that also blocks melting roof snow. With no drain system available, the water enters the building through shingles or any present cracks.

2. Effects on Business
Even though the ice dam seems distant from your business, it can affect it when left untreated. The roof water can spill on the walls, floor and other property inside, damaging it in the process. The combined humidity, present nutrients and high temperature create a perfect environment for mold growth. The problem increases if the water seeps into out-of-sight areas like between the walls. Since this mold is hard to notice and clean, it will instead develop and spread throughout the area.

3. Resolution and Prevention
Once you see the fungus, call your insurance company and a commercial mold cleanup crew. Also, bring in roof specialists to remove the dam from the affected area and repair the roof as needed. Preventative actions stop the damage before it even starts. Find and seal any areas in the roof and ceiling where heat escapes to keep the roof consistently cold. Additionally, install or reinforce insulation to keep the heat inside the building.
An ice dam can cause heavy water damage and mold growth if it is not treated immediately. Contact the right specialists to eliminate the damage and keep the roof's temperature even to prevent any more dams.

4 Common Plumbing Issues in Commercial Bathrooms

2/8/2021 (Permalink)

Clogged toilet Clogs in commercial buildings can be so much worse than those in a house.

Here Are The Most Common Issues They Experience

As a business owner, you know how serious plumbing issues can be. If one pipe break occurs, your business needs to shut down for repairs. Due to heavy use, commercial bathrooms are prone to certain issues. 

1. Toilet Clogs
Any business' toilet is going to get used a lot. While they are designed for heavy use, they're still prone to clogs. Clogs in commercial buildings can be so much worse than those in a house. Plus, if they are not caught quickly enough, they can flood your restrooms. This can force you to hire water damage restoration professionals.

2. Leaks
If there are numerous bathrooms in your facility, leaking pipes and faucets can be a serious problem. While small leaks may not seem like a big deal, they can lead to a lot of wasted water over time and high increases in your utility bill. If you discover a leak, be sure to get it fixed as soon as possible.

3. Broken Toilet Handles
Excessive clogs are not the only thing that can be a problem with commercial toilets. They also are more likely to have a broken handle due to excessive use. To combat this, many companies decided to go with touch-free toilets. These can save money a lot of money by conserving water. However, if you are still using old school toilets, be warned that a broken handle can lead to more wasted water than leaking pipes.

4. Sewage Blocks
Another thing that's worse than leaking pipes is a sewage block in Evansville, MN. They can lead to foul smells throughout your business. This can drive away customers and ruin your relationship with your employees.
Some common problems to look out for in your commercial bathroom include a toilet backup, broken handles, sewage blocks, and leaks. If you find any of these, be sure to get them fixed quickly to protect your customer relationships and minimize your damage.

Top Tips for Preventing Cigarette Fires

2/8/2021 (Permalink)

Hand holding a lid cigarette If you're going to light up a cigarette, take these precautions.

Tips To Protect Your Home From Cigarette Fires

One of the easiest to prevent types of home fires is one started by cigarettes. These fires are almost always the result of careless behaviors and stopping them can be as simple as learning how to be a more responsible smoker. Use the following tips to protect your home from cigarette fires when you or a guest are smoking.


By the Numbers
While cigarette smoking has waned in popularity, one might think that the threat of cigarette fires has all but disappeared. But cigarettes remain a top house fire cause, with serious results:

  • Roughly 1,500 home fires occur in America daily
  • 6,500 people die in home fires annually

Fortunately, making just a few changes can seriously minimize the chances of a cigarette or ashtray fire.


Never Smoke in Bed
One of the easiest ways to start a fire with cigarettes is by laying down to smoke. This is a recipe for disaster as your body relaxes and you drift off, dropping your cigarette onto flammable bedding. Stay upright and alert whenever you smoke.


Never Leave a Cigarette Unattended
It can be tempting to leave a cigarette in an ashtray for a quick second, while you run upstairs or outside. But don’t. Just a couple of seconds can be all it takes for a child or a pet to tip over an ashtray, spreading hot ashes onto couches, curtains and other flammable materials.


Never Ash in the Trash
Tipping your ashes into a trash can cause a fire if a burning piece of your cigarette contacts something like paper. Always ash your cigarettes in a sturdy, fireproof ashtray and be sure they’re completely out before tossing in the garbage.


Cigarette fires are still surprisingly common. Prevent them in your home by following the above tips. Or consider smoking outside to minimize the potential expense of property damage and fire cleanup, or the need for smoke odor removal.