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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Storm Damage in Garfield?

7/16/2021 (Permalink)

Flooded backyard shown. We respond to storm damage emergencies 24-hours a day in Douglas County. Gallery Description:

Flash Flooding in Garfield?

SERVPRO® of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties has been mitigating storm damage for Garfield residents for years. Douglas County’s website offers valuable information on storm and severe weather preparedness and offers these flash flood safety tips:

What to do in a Flash Flood

  • Be prepared to evacuate and go to high ground immediately
  • Get out of areas subject to flooding, such as low spots, canyons, washes, etc.
  • Do not attempt to cross a flowing stream on foot. Even water only six inches deep, when moving at a high rate of speed, can knock you off your feet.
  • Never drive through flooded areas or standing water. Shallow, swiftly flowing water can wash a car from a roadway. Also, the roadbed may not be intact under the water.
  • If the vehicle stalls, abandon it immediately and seek higher ground. Rapidly rising water may engulf the vehicle and its occupants.
  • Be especially cautious at night when it’s harder to recognize flood dangers
  • Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams and washes, particularly during threatening conditions
  • Understand the difference between a Flash Flood Watch and a Flash Flood Warning

Call Us Today!

SERVPRO® of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties is on call 24-hours a day to respond to storm damage emergencies in Garfield. Call us today at 320-219-6505.

SERVPRO® of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties is Independently Owned and Operated.

Barbeque Blaze in Brandon?

7/12/2021 (Permalink)

Food is shown being barbequed. We are trusted leaders in fire damage restoration in Douglas County.

July is the Peak Month for Grilling in the U.S.

SERVPRO® of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties responds to fire damage emergencies 24-hours a day in Brandon. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), July is the peak month for grilling fires in the United States. We want Brandon residents to enjoy their time outdoors this summer season, and offer these grilling safety tips from the NFPA:

Grilling Safety Tips

  • Propane and charcoal barbeque grills should only be used outdoors
  • The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches
  • Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill
  • Never leave your grill unattended
  • Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it

Call Us Today!

When your home or commercial business has a fire damage emergency, SERVPRO® of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties is Here to Help. ® We have a team of fire restoration technicians on call 24-hours a day. Call us today at 320-219-6505. We’ll restore your fire damage in Brandon, “Like it never even happened.”

Franchises are Independently Owned and Operated.

What Does it Mean to be IICRC Certified?

7/7/2021 (Permalink)

IICRC Logo At SERVPRO of Douglas and Otter Tail Counties we stay up to date on our certifications!

Have you ever wondered what it means to be IICRC Certified? Well, we are here to explain to you what those letters stand for and why it is important.

What Does IICRC Stand for?

IICRC stands for “The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification.” They are a non-profit organization that was formed in 1972.

What does the IICRC Do for Restoration Companies?

The IICRC creates the standards held within the restoration industry and provides the training and resources to restoration companies to complete certification. An IICRC firm has the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

What does IICRC Certification Mean to SERVPRO of Douglas and Otter Tail Counties?

The IICRC Certification gives the SERVPRO of Douglas and Otter Tail Counties customers the comfort of knowing that our crew has the knowledge and experience to work on their home or business. Our crew has dedicated time and effort to learn the correct protocols when working restoration.

SERVPRO® of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties is on call 24-hours a day. Call us today at 320-219-6505.

SERVPRO® of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties is Independently Owned and Operated.

Water Damage Prevention Tips for Alexandria Residents?

7/5/2021 (Permalink)

A wet tile floor is shown. We respond to water damage emergencies 24-hours a day in Douglas County.

SERVPRO® of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties has been restoring water damage for residents and commercial businesses in Alexandria for years. Here are some emergency water damage tips from our website for things you can do while waiting for help to arrive after flooding:

What To Do After Flooding

  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting
  • Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer
  • Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting
  • Remove art objects to a safe, dry place
  • Gather loose items from floors

What NOT To Do After Flooding

  • Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
  • Don't leave books, magazines, or other colored items on wet carpet or floors
  • Don't use your household vacuum to remove water
  • Don't use television or other household appliances
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging

Call Us Today!

SERVPRO® of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties is on call 24-hours a day to respond to water damage emergencies in Alexandria. Call us today at 320-219-6505.

Franchises are Independently Owned and Operated.

Douglas & Otter Tail Counties Smoke and Soot Cleanup

6/28/2021 (Permalink)

Dryer that was overloaded and has fire damage markings Overloaded Dryer Resulting in Smoke and Soot Damage to the Room

Smoke and soot are very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allow for us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire.

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (320) 219-6505

Douglas and Otter Tail County Residents: We provide 24/7 Services!

6/28/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO employees in front of green van Our hardworking team at SERVPRO of Douglas and Otter Tail Counties

SERVPRO of Douglas and Otter Tail Counties provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in the Douglas and Otter Tail County communities. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.

  • 24-Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any-Sized Disaster
  • Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
  • A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment 

Have Questions? Call Us 24/7 – (320) 219-6505

Residential Services

Whether your home needs emergency flood damage or your upholstery cleaned, you can depend on us.  Our technicians have extensive cleaning and restoration training and can make your property look its best. Learn more about our residential services:

  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Mold Remediation
  • Storm Damage Restoration
  • Cleaning Services
  • Building/Reconstruction Services

Commercial Services

There is never a convenient time for fire or water damage to strike your Douglas or Otter Tail County commercial property. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So, when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services, we have the training and expertise to respond promptly with highly trained technicians to get your property back to business. Learn more about our commercial services: Douglas and Otter Tail Counties Commercial Services

  • Commercial Water Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Fire Damage Restoration

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.

The Best Ways To Eliminate Flood Odor

1/8/2021 (Permalink)

White cellulose fibers with the phrase DID YOU KNOW Cellulose is an organic material that mold uses as a food source

The smell of flood damage can stick around long after standing water has been extracted and a residence has been cleaned, disinfected, and dried. If mold growth is occurring, a musty odor may be present in the interior air. Here are three of the best ways to banish residual flood odor from a house in Garfield, MN.

Thoroughly Clean Flood Damage

Floodwater is highly contaminated and may contain solid waste, chemicals, and substances that raise risks of contagion or harmful exposure. The following measures are necessary to clean up residential flooding:

  • Extracting water and solids
  • Cleaning the affected area
  • Cleaning or disposing of contaminated contents
  • Tearing out contaminated building materials
  • Disinfecting the affected area
  • Restoring building materials and contents

The most common form of sewage loss involves porous materials and contents. It may be difficult or impossible to disinfect some absorbent materials, and failure to do so may cause flood odor to linger and raise mold risks.

Take Mold Prevention Measures
The two main contributing factors for mold growth are moisture and food sources. As cellulose, a plant fiber present in many materials is an optimal food source, moisture is the major variable that determines whether mold issues recur after a flood. Clean and disinfect a structure before drying out damage and run a dehumidifier to keep moisture levels under 50% to discourage growth.

Arrange for Odor Remediation
A residual flood odor can safely be addressed after cleanup and restoration are complete and measures have been taken to prevent mold. Running a hydroxyl generator, ozone machine or thermal fogger can get rid of the last traces of the smell of flooding. An incomplete cleanup may leave behind the odor of floodwater or a musty smell that indicates mold growth at a residence in Garfield, MN. Reduce recontamination risks by contacting a full-service flood damage mitigation, cleanup, and restoration company.

Is Your Home Having a Sewage Issue? 4 Signs of Trouble

1/6/2021 (Permalink)

Toilet overflow Toilet overflow

The Following Are Four Signs That The Premises Should Be Attended To Immediately

Homeowners rely on the plumbing system to function correctly. Toilets need to flush, and sinks need to run. Like anything, though, an intricate arrangement can have problems. When the water lines experience issues, owners should call in a water remediation company in Brandon, MN, to inspect the property and complete sewage cleaning procedures. The following are four signs that the premises should be attended to immediately.

1. Backflows or Drain Issues
Because everything works together, a concern in one pipe can impact another one. A toilet overflow, for instance, could result from something like a shower running or completing a load of laundry. The clog prevents the movement, forcing the dirty water to exit from close exit--often the toilet. A snake can be used to push out the blockage.

2. Unusual Odor
Category 3 water is going to smell. If a foul scent is coming from the sinks or the bathroom, have someone out to look it over. It could have a clog and require sewage cleaning.

3. Lawn Trouble
Sewer lines run from outside to the inside; therefore, a clogged pipe in the yard is a concern. Eventually, a break could happen, pushing the fluid back into the home. What might you see? Odd holes arise from water leaking out of the pipeline, washing the dirt away. This causes dips to occur. The specialists have cameras that they can drop through the lines, allowing them to view if anything has harmed the exterior walls.

4. Foundational Cracks
While settling is natural, too many cracks and fine lines in the foundation or walls might point to water penetration. The fluid has removed sediment. The uneven land then shifts the building's structure. Basements and outside walls should be looked at carefully.
Have professionals assess your sewage cleaning needs. They have the equipment and knowledge to clear out the lines, creating the restoring the proper flow.

What Should I Look For in a Fire Damage Restoration Company?

1/4/2021 (Permalink)

Visible damage to a commercial building following a structure fire Commercial fire damage in Brandon, MN

What Should I Look For in a Fire Damage Restoration Company?

What happens after a business catches on fire in Brandon, MN? It goes something like this: first, safety; next, insurance; then, cleanup. After ensuring everyone is out of the building and notifying your insurance agency to meet investigation requirements, the next thing to do is begin the restoration process. Depending on the unique circumstances of your commercial fire, specific services may vary. That said, there are some general things you can expect from reputable fire damage restoration experts.

Company Values to Look For
No one can predict a fire. Every year, approximately 111,000 non-residential fires occur in the United States. A fire can happen at any moment, and you can lose your livelihood in seconds. For this reason, you will want to find a company who delivers in:

  • Speed
  • Accessibility
  • Thoroughness

Fires come with high costs. The longer you wait to address damages, the worse things can become. You also want to make sure the fire damage restoration company you choose does not take shortcuts. Look for a company where the process is comprehensive and you can feel comfortable with the results.

Services to Look For
When it comes to actual services, a reliable restoration company will be one that sees you through the challenging process of restoring your business to its previous condition. The first thing you should ask about is emergency services. Companies that offer emergency contacts can provide help without advanced notice, and this immediate accessibility is priceless. The best restoration companies will provide initial services such as damage assessment to follow-up services like a debriefing consultation, as well as thorough smoke cleanup solutions in between.
If you are a business owner who has recently experienced a fire at your store, restaurant or office, you probably have a lot on your plate right now. Finding a great fire damage restoration company can be stressful, but it does not have to be. Companies that have your best interest at heart will show it in their values and services.

Why You Need To Hire Cleanup Professionals After a Flood

1/4/2021 (Permalink)

Background of clear water, with the phrase WATER CATEGORIES Water damage categories

Floodwater can cause a Category 3 loss. That makes floods particularly dangerous for your Garfield, MN, property. Cleaning up floods thus requires the expertise of qualified restoration specialists.

Water Damage Categories

There are three main types of water losses. They are:

  • Category 1
  • Category 2
  • Category 3

Category 1 damage is the least severe. It usually results from a leak in a supply line. The water that enters the premises following a Category 1 loss is usually pretty clean and easy to dry.
If a Category 1 loss is not addressed immediately, it could easily become Category 2. Category 2 damage has some contaminants and thus requires an initial cleaning before the drying process begins. Common causes of Category 2 damage include dishwasher malfunctions and aquarium leaks.
Category 3 losses feature even more bacteria and contamination. They typically result from floodwater or sewage backup entering a property. This fluid could contain heavy metals, silt, pesticides, or other toxins. A toilet overflow could result in Category 3 damage, as well.

Water Damage Cleanup
If the water in your building contains harmful agents, you should let the experts handle the restoration Ideally, the pros should begin the Category 3 cleanup by finding the source of the water and stopping any more liquid from entering the premises. Next, they will block furniture and remove small items from the flooded area.
Many porous materials will have to be removed from the building during the restoration. However, the remediation company employees should have special extraction tools that will let them eliminate water from carpets.
Once all the water is gone, the experts will use biocides to slow the growth of microbial. They will then create a drying chamber in the affected areas. Finally, they will clean your property before replacing or re-installing all of the previously wet items.
Flood water can contaminate the assets in your building. However, a remediation company can clean and dry your belongings following a Category 3 loss.

Tips for Keeping Air Ducts Clean

1/4/2021 (Permalink)

Worker holding blue pipe in place under air ducts By cleaning ducts, you can enjoy fresher air in your building

Three Steps To Mitigate Mold Damage In Your Ducts

Protecting the air quality in your commercial building in Kensington, MN, is an important part of your routine maintenance schedule. Mold growth within your HVAC duct system can lead to lower air quality, so it's important to deal with black mold quickly and thoroughly at the first sign of trouble. Here are the steps to mitigate the mold damage in your ducts and keep them clean.

Locating the Growth
The first step to any solution is knowing how to recognize when you have a problem. Look for common signs of mold in your building's air ducts:

  • Black patches around vents
  • Moldy insulation
  • Musty odor

If you suspect you have black mold in your system, contact an environmental hygienist to have it tested. A positive test result indicates that you need professional cleaning.

Cleaning the Ducts
Your first instinct is likely to have your custodial or maintenance staff tear out the insulation and scrub down the ducts. Certified mold remediation specialists have better equipment to do the job more efficiently. They analyze the test results to determine what kind of mold they're dealing with so that they can choose the best method for doing so. They remove any materials that cannot be salvaged and clean ducts thoroughly with an industrial detergent. Then they can replace the things they had to discard and retest the area to ensure that the cleanup was effective.

Preventing a Recurrence
Thorough cleaning is important, but if you only clean without figuring out what led to the mold growth in the first place, it is likely to return. Repairing leaks and taking measures to control humidity within the air duct system is essential for preventing future issues. Follow the suggestions given by the technicians who cleaned the ducts to keep a mold problem from recurring.
Black mold in your HVAC system can have an effect on the air quality of the whole building. By cleaning ducts and taking the appropriate steps to keep them mold-free, you can enjoy fresher air in your building.

How To Prevent a Clogged Toilet in Your Commercial Building

12/7/2020 (Permalink)

Clogged toilet Clogged toilet in Edit, MN

As a business owner, you know it's a struggle to keep your toilets from clogging and overflowing. Employees and visitors tend to be a little more careless about what they flush down a toilet when they don't have to worry about the consequences. By following some sound advice, however, you can reduce the risk of a clogged toilet on your property in Edit, MN.

Implement Wise Procedures

There are many proven suggestions to help reduce the risk of toilet clogs and overflows.

Install flush cleaners - These units are easy to install and will ensure that your toilet is sufficiently cleaned each time it is flushed.
Use drain cleaners - Be proactive by using a drain cleaner on a routine basis to remove hair and debris before it becomes an issue. Add this duty to your maintenance staff's checklist.
Select thinner toilet paper - Not only is thinner toilet paper more economical, it will reduce the risk of a clogged toilet.

It's important to note that if you are ever concerned about sewage issues, call a water damage restoration service right away. These professionals are trained to handle all kinds of water damage.

Encourage Wise Habits
Placing a small waste basket next to each toilet will encourage people to throw garbage, such a sanitary products and paper towels, into the waste container instead of down the toilet. This will help to prevent toilet overflow and water damage. Make sure there are larger trash cans near the sinks as well. Designate an employee to empty the cans on a regular schedule.
Another smart idea is to post reminder signs in each bathroom stall. Reminding people what should not be flushed down the toilet will go a long way in preventing unwanted clogs.
Reduce the risk of a clogged toilet in your commercial bathroom by implementing some great ideas. Being proactive will save you money and headaches down the road.

4 Benefits of Using Flameless Candles

12/7/2020 (Permalink)

Battery powered candle Battery-operated candles are smokeless and odorless

Advantages To Using A Battery- Operated Candle

People enjoy candles for many reasons. They are beautiful, they provide a warm glow, and they often smell wonderful. While the traditional wax version is still a fan favorite, candle alternatives are on the rise in Alexandria, MN. Among the numerous options available on the market, battery-operated models are one of the best choices for replicating the look and feel of the wax original. There are many benefits to them, including safety and convenience.

1. Safety
They are flameless and carry no risk of a candle fire. They do not need to be held under constant supervision, and you can place them anywhere without worrying about burning nearby objects. Fires are not only dangerous, but they can cause a lot of damage that can take a lot of time and effort to clean up without the help of fire cleanup professionals.

2. Affordability
These candle alternatives are great for anyone on a budget. Due to their lack of flame, they do not melt away and burn down, only to be thrown away and replaced time and again. They keep their shape and continue to work until their batteries run out. All you need to do is replace the batteries to keep them going.

3. Lack of Irritants
Battery-operated candles are smokeless and odorless. They are perfect for people who are sensitive to smoke and strong scents. For those who do enjoy the smell of a candle, some varieties emit a fragrance with an adjustable dial to control the strength of the smell.

4. Convenience
These candles are great for indoor use, but they are also great for outdoor use as well since strong gusts of wind or rain will not extinguish their imitation flames.
With so many benefits to these battery-operated lights, you can see why they are easily among the most popular candle alternatives.

How Do Ice Dams Lead to Mold?

12/4/2020 (Permalink)

Roof with ice dams in winter time Ice dams are formed when water freezes, melts and refreezes around the eaves of a building

How Ice Dams Increase The Likelihood Of Mold Growth

Ice dams are formed when water freezes, melts and refreezes around the eaves of a building. Water that does not go down the roof drain or gutter system of a commercial property can become an ice dam and wear down roofing and building materials over time. Find out how ice dams increase the likelihood of mold growth at a building in Alexandria, MN.

Water Contracts and Expands
Ice dams are caused by the contraction of cooling liquid water and expansion of freezing water. Property owners should know how water behaves across this critical temperature range:

  • Water contracts until reaching 39 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Water expands between 39 and 32 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Water expands by approximately 9% upon freezing

Precipitation and snowmelt that remain on a roof can cause materials to crack or wear away and introduce moisture to lower layers of roofing and interior building materials.

Moisture Breaches the Building Envelope
When an ice dam breaches the envelope of a building, water comes into contact with water-sensitive building materials. It may be necessary to arrange for roof repair, water damage restoration and preventative drainage work.

Building Materials Become Damp
Many substances used in commercial construction are moisture-sensitive. Exposure to water degrades or diminishes the effectiveness of the following materials:

  • Ceiling tiles
  • Drywall
  • Insulation

Absorbent materials may crumble, flake or become less effective upon getting moist. Substances that contain cellulose can support the growth of fungus, including black mold, and will need to be torn out during mold cleanup to prevent recontamination.
Improving roof drainage and attic ventilation can keep an ice dam from forming on the roof of a commercial property in Alexandria, MN. Property owners and managers should inspect the condition of a roof and drainage system prior to winter storms and monitor melting patterns to spot ice damming and try to resolve the underlying causes before structural damage occurs.

5 Things You Need to Know About Water Damage

11/19/2020 (Permalink)

Worker with vacuum extractor on a carpet Carpet services in an Alexandria, MN home

Tips Regarding Residential Water Damage

As a homeowner, you need to make sure that you're prepared to protect your Alexandria, MN, home from peril. Water damage can manifest itself in all sorts of ways, whether it's from excessive rainfall, a pipe burst or toilet overflow. Arm yourself with knowledge and study the following tips regarding residential water damage.

1. Call Your Insurance Company Immediately.
If you discover flooding or another type of water damage, you need to contact your insurance company immediately. Your insurance agent can file a claim much more quickly, as well as walk you through the initial damage remediation steps.

2. There's No Time to Waste.
Remediating water damage is all about efficiency. Once the initial accident occurs, it's a race against the clock to see how quickly you can resolve the situation. Secondary damage, such as mold growth, only requires 24 hours to set in.

3. Flood Water Comes in 3 Different Categories.
Flood water is categorized based upon the types of contaminants present. Category 3, also known as black water, poses a significant health hazard and must be handled much more carefully than Category 1, which originates from your water line. Black water floods are also capable of inflicting significantly more damage.

4. Flood Damage and Water Damage Are Not the Same.
Your insurance company treats each disaster differently, depending on the source of the damage. Damage caused by a pipe burst, or other internal accident, is considered water damage. Damage that resulted from a nearby body of water that overflowed onto your property is considered flood damage.

5. Flood Damage is Not Covered by Homeowner's Insurance.
If you live in an area that is more susceptible to flooding, then it's a good idea to purchase a separate flood insurance policy. You also should sit down with your insurance agent to discuss exactly which scenarios your current homeowner's insurance policy actually does cover.
There are steps you can take to help deter water damage, but there's no way to guarantee absolute immunity. If your property has recently suffered a pipe burst, severe flood or other type of water damage, make sure to contact storm remediation experts as soon as possible.

How To Identify and Remove Mold and Mildew

11/19/2020 (Permalink)

The finger of the hand points to the black fungus on the white wall. Mold and mildew are similar in some respects

Mold and mildew are similar in some respects, but they are also quite different and easy to identify. While both can have negative impacts on your home, mold damage is much more severe if left untreated in New York Mills, MN. While it is imperative to remove both as soon as they are discovered, it is important to understand the differences between the two.

Here Are The Key Differences Between Mold And Mildew

1. Texture. Mildew is flat with a powdery appearance. Mold typically develops a raised, fuzzy appearance.

2. Color. Mildew is typically gray or white in its early stages. Over time, it can turn yellow or brown in color. Mold growth, on the other hand, is very dark. It usually appears black or green. In some cases, it is mistaken as dirt due its dark splotchy look.

3. Growth pattern. Mildew grows on the surface and spreads out around the original site. Mold grows downward and upward, eating down through its base and growing up above the surface, creating its characteristic fuzzy texture.

4. Severity of damage. Mildew growth is generally easier to remove, as it usually grows flat across the surface. Conversely, mold is much harder to remove, due to its ability to work through the base of its materials. Mold damage can cause structural damage if left untreated.
While they vary in appearance, both are fungi, fueled by varying combinations of moisture, oxygen and food. Be sure to remove both as soon as they are spotted in your home. Mild mildew can sometimes be removed with a brush and store-bought cleaner, but it is generally recommended to call a professional mold remediation service for any mold and mildew issues. These professionals have the proper equipment to ensure that the threat of mold and mildew are properly eliminated, and your home is restored to its pre-mold condition.
Mold damage can be severe, and it is important to handle it quickly to reduce the risk of future damage. By taking care of it at the beginning, you can save yourself from the financial burden from repairing extensive damage.

5 Ways to Protect Your Building from Flood Damage

11/9/2020 (Permalink)

Commercial generator Install a backup generator

Protect Your Property In The Event Of A Severe Storm

Protecting your commercial building in Pelican Rapids, MN is an important part of being a business owner. Disasters, such as storm and flood damage, can strike at any time and it's important that you take the necessary steps to protect your building. The following tactics can help you keep your property, your business and your employees safe in the event of a severe storm.

1. Pay Attention to Emergency Alerts.
Subscribing to a credible emergency alert system can help you stay up to date on severe weather activity. Pay attention to what the authorities have to tell you and make sure to follow their directions if they instruct you to evacuate.

2. Create and Practice an Emergency Evacuation Plan.
Meet with your employees to draft and discuss potential evacuation plans. Once you create an effective strategy, you need to make sure to regularly practice emergency protocol with all of your employees. This can help eliminate accidents and unnecessary panic if flooding does strike.

3. Protect Important Documents.
Any physical documents need to be sealed away in waterproof containers, as well as elevated on high shelves that are at least one foot above the projected flood level. It's also important to create multiple backup copies of electronic documents. You can store these on the Cloud to protect them from flood damage.

4. Trim Back Overgrown Trees and Shrubbery.
Overgrown tree branches can quickly become dangerous projectiles in the event of a storm. Make sure to regularly trim back any plant growth that could potentially inflict storm damage on your building's roof or windows.

5. Install Backup Generators.
If the flood isn't severe enough to warrant an evacuation, you want to make sure that your employees can continue to conduct business. Install a backup generator to supply your building with power and reduce the amount of lost income.
The above precautionary measures can help you protect your property, business and employees from flood damage. If your building has fallen victim to flooding or storm damage, make sure to contact storm remediation professionals as soon as you can.

Water Damage Is Expected After a Fire

10/29/2020 (Permalink)

Fire and strong smoke covered building. Dangerous situation Fire and water damage in Parkers Prairie, MN

For Those In Doubt, Here Are Three Answers To Ease Your Concerns

When commercial buildings catch fire, property owners expect certain consequences. Flames are likely to consume valuables and scorch walls, and ash probably spreads throughout the rooms. While unfortunate, these are natural results of a blaze. Why, though, is your fire restoration company in Parkers Prairie, MN, discussing a need for water cleanup? Although this recommendation seems odd, the suggestion is natural and absolutely imperative to your remediation plans. 

1. Why Is Everything So Wet?
Water and smoke cleanup go hand in hand. When sparks flew, evacuations began. During the exit, you may have missed witnessing the first lines of defense. The fire sprinkler system went off. Smoke rose to the ceiling, triggering the protective device to function and dousing everything in that location with fluid. In addition, the fire crew used hoses to drench the structure. The dampness, therefore, is a direct result of trying to contain and salvage the property.

2. Why Is Wetness a Problem?
Without water cleanup, the soggy walls, possessions and carpeting become a mold and rot hazard. Fungus exists everywhere in nature, including within your establishment. The spores aren't problematic unless they have a feeding source such as fluid and organic matter. The soaked materials become a perfect host. Within one to two days, these organisms begin to reproduce, spreading throughout the premises. The rooms must be dried out to prevent exacerbating this issue.

3. Why Is This Process Completed First?
Prior to fire cleanup, the water-logged zones must be aired out. Run fans and the dehumidifiers. Tear outs may even occur if sogginess cannot be eliminated. Treatment for odor, soot and ash shouldn't happen until experts are assured that the sections won't produce mold in the future. After all, that would negate any remodeling efforts.
Yes, water cleanup is a serious and vital matter. Tackle it first, and listen to the professionals as they guide you through any rehabilitation steps.

How To Protect Wood Floors After a Pipe Burst

10/29/2020 (Permalink)

equipment extracting water from wooden floor Water damaged wooden floor

If there is a pipe burst at your Henning, MN, commercial property, your wood floors may be permanently damaged. However, acting quickly can minimize problems.

How To Dry Wood Floors

If floors are allowed to remain wet for too long, irreparable damage may occur. Therefore, it is important to dry the floor as quickly as possible. The following tools can be extremely helpful:

  • Moisture meter
  • Fan
  • Dehumidifier
  • Wet/dry vacuum

If there is not a lot of water and the wood floor has a strong sealant, it may be possible to simply mop up the water. However, a wet/dry vacuum is often needed. Run the vacuum over the wet floor until it stops pulling out water. Next, turn on fans and a dehumidifier to dry out the remaining moisture. If the humidity outside is low, opening windows and doors can speed drying time. As the floor dries, use a moisture meter to compare the moisture levels of the affected area to that of a non-affected area. When the levels are equal, you can begin making repairs.

How To Clean Wood Floors
Although a pipe burst usually involves only clean water, other water damage situations may require you to sanitize the floor once it is dry. In many cases, a cleaning solution and a scrub brush or other cleaning utensil will be sufficient to clean the floor. Choose a cleaner and cleaning tool most appropriate to the type of wood and contamination level you are dealing with. A non-sudsing cleaner is recommended as it reduces the amount of rinsing required.
Dealing with the fallout from a pipe burst can be tricky. In addition to repairing the pipe itself, the water must be cleaned up quickly to prevent further damage. While some business owners can take care of the problem themselves, others enlist the help of an experienced restoration team with the knowledge and equipment to clean up water damage quickly and thoroughly.

3 Places Mold Might Grow After a Flood

10/15/2020 (Permalink)

development of mildew under the Wallpaper Mold growth behind wallpaper

Common Places Where Mold Might Grow

When strong storms strike Fergus Falls, MN, they can cause flooding in your basement, crawlspace or even the ground floor of your home. Once the water recedes you may think your flood troubles are over, but secondary damage may occur. One of the most common is mold growth, which can grow within 24 hours of a flood. Mold can grow undetected, so there are a few places you may want to check once your home is safe to enter. 

1. Behind Walls 
Mold can thrive without sunlight and prefers moist, dark areas. It is commonly found behind drywall because of the porousness of the material, which retains moisture. Once mold takes hold behind walls, it can affect the insulation and spread to other areas. You may want to have a mold inspection or flood damage service perform a flood cut, which involves cutting into the drywall about 12-18 inches above the floodwater line to check for the presence of mold. 

2. Under Carpeting 
Wet carpeting and its padding may retain moisture if it is not properly dried. This can cause the development of mold and its byproduct, mycotoxin, which can produce the musty smell often associated with fungi. While most types of mold do not contain bacteria, as the two are often created differently, it is wise to leave their removal to a flood technician because each might need specialized removal treatments. 

3. Inside Cabinets 
Kitchen and bathroom cabinets may be prone to mold growth because of their location and vulnerability to standing water. After a flood, these spaces may not dry completely and encourage fungi growth. A flood damage and restoration service can find and remove mold in this area or replace any affected cabinetry and materials as needed. 
Flooding in Fergus Falls, MN, can encourage mold growth in many different areas of your home. Understanding how fungi develop and where it hides can help you eliminate it.

Top 5 FAQs About Mold

10/5/2020 (Permalink)

Rotting due to humidity and growth of molds wooden roof structures Mold growth affecting a home in Evansville, MN

How Does Mold Growth Affect Your Home?

Mold growth is an extremely common issue that the majority of homeowners do have to face at some point. That being said, spreading mold can still be a difficult problem to address and handle properly. Read on to learn more about the mold growth afflicting your home in Evansville, MN.

1. Where Does Mold Grow?
Mold loves dark, moist environments, which puts any area of your house that comes into frequent contact with water at risk. Common places to find mold include your bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, basement, and garage.

2. How Can You Stop Mold from Spreading?
The most effective way to prevent spreading mold is to eliminate the source of the problem. This typically comes in the form of a moisture issue, such as a leaky pipe, flooded basement, damp shower or otherwise.

3. Does Mold Go Away By Itself?
Black mold is a living organism, so it's natural to assume that you could kill it by depriving it of its vital nutrients. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Cutting off the mold's access to moisture and nutrients could potentially prevent it from spreading, but only temporarily. The mold will not die off on its own.

4. What's the Best Way to Get Rid of Mold?
Your preferred tactic largely depends on how serious your mold issue is. Bigger problems do require assistance from mold remediation experts. You can handle small issues by yourself using a kitchen scrub brush and a non-toxic cleaning mixture comprised of equal parts water and white vinegar.

5. How Do You Know if You Have Mold?
Most of the time, you will be able to spot the mold. Black mold is one of the most common varieties of residential fungi. As the name implies, it has a black or dark green color and may have a slimy or fuzzy texture. In some cases, you may also be able to smell the mold.
Quickly spreading mold can create a large issue for your residential property. If you do discover any mold growth, you need to contact mold remediation experts immediately.

Showers Can Trigger a Toilet Flood: Here's How To Handle the Situation

10/5/2020 (Permalink)

Severe flood in the bathroom. Water on the bathroom floor Sewer backup in Fergus Falls, MN

Here Are Three Things To Keep In Mind

When someone runs the shower, the water goes through the drainage system. It should flow out of the house into the street's larger lines. If, however, the line is obstructed between the toilet and the escape route, then that fluid is going to exist out of the closet spot: the commode. Homeowner's in Fergus Falls, MN, must address the blockage. Then, attention should turn to sewage cleaning, disinfecting, and restoring the impacted structure. 

1. Clear the Pipe
With the main water line turned off, begin a thorough inspection of the pipeline. Grab a plunger and a snake. The toilet overflow could occur for several reasons. Smaller concerns might be dislodged with the plunger's pressure. If that isn't working, switch to the snake, a long metallic tool that can be run down the drain. This device bends through the line and can force out many things that hinder appropriate stream. To know if this has worked, run the shower again. If the situation persists, contact a sewage remediation company. The experts can examine the external components for tree root infiltration and use cameras to identify the flooding source.

2. Reduce Bacterial Levels
Unfortunately, the sewer houses black water, fluid that is filled with high volumes of bacteria. The room should be assessed for contamination ranges. Bear in mind that bleach and soap may be used to scrub non-porous objects. Because the cleaners do no penetrate into materials, these formulas do not tend to all of the sewage cleaning needs. Using them, could leave residual amounts and lead to future growths. Drenched items, therefore, should be assessed for removal. This includes carpeting and drywall.

3. Dry the Space
With the clogged pipe fixed, focus attention on minimizing moisture levels. The dampness could lead to several conditions including musty odors, warped flooring, mold, and mildew. Run fans, vents, and dehumidifiers. Wipe everything down. The sooner it's aired out the better.
The simple act of taking a shower can trigger trouble such as toilet spilling over. Locate the impediment and then concentrate on sewage cleaning.

5 Quick Tips to Filing a Fire Claim on Your Homeowner’s Insurance

9/18/2020 (Permalink)

Blue ballpoint pen, two antique brass keys and a home insurance claim from on a plywood clipboard. File the claim immediately

Five Steps To Make Things Easier

According to the National Fire Protection Association, around 500,000 structure fires happen each year in the United States. If you're one of the unlucky ones in Kensington, MN, you have a challenging time ahead of you. However, one call to an insurance company Preferred Vendor fire restoration company can take care of everything you need.
You have a choice right after a fire: you can call your homeowner’s insurance company yourself or have your restoration company handle everything. If you prefer to do it yourself, there are 5 steps you can take to make things easier:

  • Document everything.
  • File the claim immediately.
  • Tarp and board ASAP.
  • Don’t stop paying your premiums!
  • Know your rights.

1. Gather Every Bit of Proof and Keep Records
If you’re well-prepared, you’ll have a list – and even photographs – of all your damaged property, kept in a fire-safe or safety deposit box. Unfortunately, not everyone does this, meaning you’ll have to make your list from memory after the destruction. Fire restoration can also proceed more quickly with pictures from before the fire.

2. Call Your Fire Insurance Company Immediately.
You can literally call them while watching the fire department battle the blaze. Most companies have 24-hour numbers, so if you know who they are, call as soon as everyone is safe.

3. Cover Exposed Areas
This is best left to the restoration company you choose for fire and smoke cleaning. Areas left exposed to the weather, animals or curious humans are likely to be further damaged – and it may not be covered by insurance.

4. Never Let Your Insurance Lapse
If you miss a single payment, your insurance company may be able to deny your claim. Don’t get caught by this! Ideally, set up autopayments to avoid the possibility.

5. You Decide When Your Home Is Restored
The fire restoration company will make every effort to ensure your property is returned to at least as good as before the event. However, insurance agents are eager to close a case, possibly leaving you with suddenly remembered items. Keep your claim open as long as possible.

Tips for Preventing Storm Damage

9/11/2020 (Permalink)

A sump pump installed in a basement of a home with a water powered backup system. It is a necessity for any property owner to have a working sump pump system

Prevention Measures To Take Storm Season Begins 

While extreme weather events are easy to forget about during calmer seasons, it is important to remember that your Garfield, MN, property may be at risk for flood damage once storm season begins. Simple damage prevention measures and, when necessary, more intensive modifications to your building can save your business if things go awry.

1. Build Barriers Around Low Areas
Sometimes, the majority of a structure is relatively safe from storm damage while certain low areas suffer repeated, disproportionate water infiltration. If this has been your experience, it may be prudent to build waterproof barriers or drainage systems around your building.

2. Flood-Proof
It is a necessity for any property owner to have a working sump pump system to remove water that has seeped into a building during a storm. It is similarly crucial that gutters, roofing, and any other water-carrying surfaces be regularly checked for leaks or failures.

3. Raise Belongings
By the time a storm hits your office or commercial property, you should be confident that valuable small items and electronics are safe from flood damage. By moving them to a higher area, you are potentially saving yourself thousands on replaced equipment at the cost of a little time and effort.

4. Move or Build on Higher Ground
Some geographic regions are simply not meant to host vulnerable structures because they are prone to flooding or exist in the path of frequent and intense storms. If you believe that your property is located in such an area, you should carefully consider the potential costs and benefits of relocating. In some cases, a compromise, such as elevating the structure, is a cost-effective solution.
If your property has already suffered flood damage after a storm, you are probably focused on restoring it to pre-storm condition. Although the basic process of drying and dehumidifying affected spaces can be attempted alone, contacting a water restoration professional is the best way to ensure your building doesn't develop secondary damage caused by mold and decay.

4 Ways Commercial Owners Can Protect Buildings From Mold Growth

8/18/2020 (Permalink)

Construction engineer wear safety uniform inspection metal roofing work for roof industrial Roof inspection in a commercial building in Alexandria, MN

Ways To Protect Your Building From Mold Growth

Some things in life are out of people's control, and, while mold may seem impossible to manage, property owners in Alexandria, MN, can take preventative measures against undesirable fungus growth. Employees and management should remain aware of the facility's environmental factors and vigilant about cleaning procedures, responding promptly to any signs of concern. Mold removal and remediation should be understood and seriously considered when development appears. After all, proactive approaches and knowledge are significant in gaining control of the situation.

1. Schedule HVAC Tune-Ups
Spores spread quickly through the air. Therefore, the air handler should have regular maintenance, with vents being inspected and scrubbed. Commercial Mold cleanup crews can inspect the unit, determining if anything is hiding away inside the system. Then, they can sanitize to stop the microbes from migrating to other rooms.

2. Monitory Humidity Levels
Moisture is the main culprit in mold reproduction. To inhibit breeding, focus on establishing dry air levels. Humidity should remain between 30 to 60% at all times. Run your air conditioner regularly. If that isn't enough, then turn on fans and plug-in dehumidifiers. For smaller crawl spaces and closets, you may want to purchase absorbent products.

3. Repair Plumbing Trouble
Leaks within pipes expose the building to water damage. Don't allow it to linger as this only encourages microorganisms to multiply. Cut off the water supply, and have the source fixed. Mold removal should occur from a water restoration company. Anything saturated should be taken out, reducing hazard levels.

4. Have the Roof Inspected
Shingles can take a beating from wind, branches and heavy rain, exposing the attic and roofing. The moisture can accumulate over time without showing any external signs. To catch this early, have specialists check on the roofing twice a year. If anything is found, begin mold remediation quickly.
Be vigilant. Strive to keep things dry. In addition, have the establishment regularly inspected, so you can spot issues early. Mold removal should be considered if anything is located.

What To Do When the Pipes Break

8/18/2020 (Permalink)

Old rusty pipe with leak and water spraying out Have leaks and drips fixed right away to avoid bigger problems in the future

What To Do When the Pipes Break

It isn't uncommon for plumbing companies to get a lot of business as soon as the temperatures drop. It doesn't take long for exposed pipes to freeze up. As a property owner or manager, look for the following areas of vulnerability:

  • Age of the building
  • Lack of insulation
  • Plastic pipes
  • Thin metal pipes
  • Pipes located next to exterior walls

It isn't always possible to move pipes or replace them with higher quality materials, but you should find it convenient to add insulation to avoid water damage in Brandon, MN. What happens when you already have bursting pipes?

Turn Off Water and Electricity
Start protecting your building by shutting off the water at the main water valve. It's also important to turn off the electricity before entering the area of the building affected by the broken pipes. The combination of water (even just a tiny bit of moisture) and electricity can lead to electrocution.

Call a Plumber To Complete Repairs
Your next step is contacting a plumber to fix the broken pipe. There are plenty of building maintenance tasks you can do on your own, but just about anything related to plumbing should be turned over to professionals. One reason for this is that there may be other areas of weakness, and a professional is more likely to catch these before they lead to further damage. Bursting pipes could also weaken flooring and create a new area of risk. It's always possible to do more damage if you aren't really sure how to complete repairs. Finally, if there's any risk of injury or electrocution, the pros have the necessary training to avoid getting hurt.

Remove Water as Soon as Possible
As soon as you get off the phone with the plumber, start removing water. The longer the moisture is in contact with floors, walls, and other furnishings and structural elements, the higher the risk of damage. Don't wait to contact professionals who have experience with water damage in Brandon, MN, because a quick response is the best way to avoid mold and secondary damage.

Removing Foul Odors After a Flood

8/7/2020 (Permalink)

aftermath of a flooded home Aftermath of a flooded home

After a flood, your home may be severely damaged. In addition to destroying furniture, the water promotes mold growth and can potentially back-up your sewage system. Both problems produce a foul-smelling odor that lingers in the home long after a flood. Though it can be difficult to neutralize this smell, there are several steps you can take to bring a clean and fresh smell back into your home.

Steps to Eliminate Odors

Flood water can overwhelm a sewage system, particularly if your home uses a combined pipeline. Not only can a backup cause immediate damage, but it can also cause lasting effects such as mold growth and bad odors. If you are trying to rid your home of this smell, you can take several steps including:

  • Opening all windows
  • Spraying white vinegar on furniture
  • Placing baking soda on odor-infused carpets
  • Spraying an odor-eliminating scene

If the mold and odor problems are too severe, then you can contact a professional mold remediation team for support. Sometimes all that's needed to solve a problem is expert assistance.

Causes of Sewage Backups
Flooding is not the only cause of sewage loss, and you can avoid future incidents by knowing the other causes. If you live in an older home, then your sewer system might have aged past its functionality. It is always a good idea to have someone inspect the system to make sure it is top condition. It is also possible that tree roots, seeking out moisture, have entered the sewage line. This is another issue that can be verified with the help of a professional.
Once water enters the home, it can cause many types of problems. To prevent any foul-smelling odors and mold growth, you should make sure your sewage system is in its prime and also seek assistance in the event of a flood. This will ensure that your home is thoroughly protected.

4 Common Places for Mold Growth

7/23/2020 (Permalink)

Mold on the corner of a window Black mold growth in the corner of a window

Prevent Mold Growth By Inspecting the Following Areas

Mold is definitely something you hope to never find in your New York Mills, MN, home. It’s important to understand that molds are naturally occurring organisms found both indoors and outdoors. Molds play a role in the natural environment and don’t cause problems until moisture is present. Here are four common areas where mold grows and how you can prevent mold damage in your home.

1. Ceilings and Walls
Mold needs two things to grow: moisture and organic material. It’s common to find mold growing on organic materials, including drywall, paper and wood. Thus, your ceilings and walls are vulnerable to mold. The cause of mold in these areas is typically from roof leaks. The best way to prevent mildew growth on your ceilings and walls is to conduct an annual inspection of your roof.

2. Windows
Windows are another common area to find mold growing. Bathroom windows are especially susceptible to mold growth because of condensation. Moisture can easily seep in cracks around windows and create the perfect environment for mold damage. To prevent moisture around windows, you should check the humidity level in your home. Most experts recommend keeping the humidity level in your home between 30 and 50 percent. You can purchase a hygrometer to keep an eye on the level.

3. Pipes
Leaky pipes are another cause for mold in homes. A good way to prevent mold under sinks and around plumbing fixtures is by regularly checking pipes. If you find mold under your sink or in your unfinished basement near pipes, you can hire mold professionals to help remediate the problem.

4. Flooded Areas
Basements are generally the first part of the home to suffer when flooding occurs. Any time you’ve experienced flooding in your home, it’s important to dry the area as quickly as possible. It’s also wise to reach out to restoration specialists who can help with cleanup.
It’s common to find mold damage on ceilings and walls and near windows and pipes. Flooding also creates an environment for mold to grow. Fortunately, you can prevent mildew growth by regularly inspecting these areas of your home.

Coping With a Commercial Fire Disaster

7/3/2020 (Permalink)

Contingency Plan Every business should have a contingency plan in the event of a disaster, like a fire

Coping With a Commercial Fire Disaster

Every business should have a contingency plan in the event of a disaster, like a fire. While business interruption is inevitable after such an event, it is crucial to maintain some semblance of standard operations. If you speak with a fire restoration company in Pelican Rapids, MN, you may hear several suggestions on how to move forward after experiencing commercial fire loss.

Contact your insurer
Assess damage
Evaluate response
Compile contacts and consider operations

Contact Your Insurer
Contacting your insurance company should be the top priority after a disaster because it is necessary to get the claims process moving. Your insurer may also be able to point you in the direction of mitigation and restoration services. While you are not obligated to work with the companies suggested by your agent, they are often an excellent place to start.

Assess Damage
A significant part of the contingency plan is assessing the damage to determine the necessary changes in operations. Some fires are minor, and a company can maintain some level of normalcy during repair; however, for more destructive disasters, an owner may need to consider drastic changes to daily operations.

Evaluate Response
Once the panic calms down and you see that everyone is safe, you should evaluate the company's evacuation plan. How long did it take for the evacuation? Is there any way to speed up the process? Did anyone struggle to exit the building? Answering these questions and others will help you craft a better plan in the event of another disaster.

Compile Contacts and Consider Operations
Information is crucial after a fire. Having a book with all the essential contacts and activities is critical for sustained practices. You may also need to consider changes to daily operations, like shifting distribution offsite.
A contingency plan helps ensure sustained operations after a disaster. Contact a restoration specialist to discuss exit strategies and standard interruption times.

What To Know About Commercial Mold Restoration

6/20/2020 (Permalink)

Rotting due to humidity and growth of molds wooden roof structures Black mold growth on wooden structure in Henning, MN

As a property owner or commercial landlord, you have a responsibility to act quickly when there’s an infestation of mold. Not only do you need to determine the source of the mold growth, but you need to have a plan for commercial mold remediation. This infestation poses a danger to your tenants and can interrupt operations in your property. If you ever have need of mold restoration services in Henning, MN, you want to choose a professional mold cleanup service that gets the job done thoroughly and properly the first time.

Understanding the Specific Elements of Professional Mold Cleanup

Commercial mold remediation is more than just stopping and removing these funguses. When left untreated, they can spread rapidly. The right professional cleanup company has the equipment needed for containment to prevent mold from moving to other parts of the property and prolonging the time for restoration. These professionals offer the following services to get your property back to pre-damage conditions:

  • Microbial remediation
  • Water damage cleanup
  • Applied structural drying
  • Odor control
  • Upholstery and fabric cleanup

Mold restoration is a complex process that is best left to trained pros who are equipped to clean up all damage safely, quickly, and completely.

Providing a Complete Approach to Handling Mold Damage
SERVPRO is a leading provider of commercial mold remediation and a preferred provider for many insurance companies, offering a thorough approach to the cleanup process. Not only do these professionals fulfill the services mentioned above, but they can also help you develop a comprehensive, itemized list of reimbursement costs to assist you with filing an insurance claim.
With over 1,700 franchises, there’s a location near you that can quickly respond and eliminate further mold growth with minimal damage. You get a local company with nationwide reach. You can be confident that SERVPRO of Henning, MN is Faster to Any Size Disaster, helping you get back to pre-mold conditions as quickly as possible.

Establish a Fire Claim With These 4 Steps

6/9/2020 (Permalink)

Fire damage to a structure of a home Fire damage in a Parkers Prairie, MN house

Remember The Following Four Tips

Fire restoration often begins with filing with your insurer. In some ways this sounds simple; however, during such an emotionally stressful time, you may not really understand how to proceed, left with more questions than answers. Take a few deep breaths, and remember the following four tips.

1. Make a Call
Locate your fire insurance policy. Don't stress if you can't find the paperwork in the fire damage. Many providers have it in your online account, so you can log in there to read through the information. Review the material, making sure you know the answers to the following questions:

  • What is your deducible?
  • What is your coverage limit?
  • What exclusions exist, if at all?
  • What specifics need to be done to secure the funding?

Don't sweat if something is concerning you. Speak with the agent for as long as you need. Write out any details that stand out, and request an email address to maintain contact.

2. Protect the Premises
Don't touch anything. It's important to leave surfaces as they are, avoiding additional destruction and contamination. For this reason, cover rugs or carpet with clean towels or sheets. Don't wash walls, and make sure to wipe your hands before entering and leaving the area. Electronics could be damaged, so allow them to sit until they're inspected. Finally, board up any exposed areas, preventing access to unwanted intruders.

3. Ask for an Inspection
Fire restoration companies in Parkers Prairie, MN, can evaluate the premises, estimating repairs, and assisting with any immediate needs. This team can assist in not only drying and safeguarding the property, but they can establish support for your insurance request.

4. Document the Damage
Walk around snapping photographs or videos of anything requiring water or smoke cleaning. The agency must have evidence of anything ruined. As you record, write down any concerns. This list can be submitted with the snapshots, as part of the estimate for personal loss or repair.
As you secure your coverage, remember to stay focused and organized. Fire restoration claims require care and evidence.

When Your Insurance Will or Won't Cover a Basement Flood

5/23/2020 (Permalink)

Completely flooded basement. It is visible line showing maximum water level higher than 7 feet. Flooded basement in Fergus Falls, MN

You purchase insurance for emergencies and household disasters. You hope to never need to file a claim, but you are relieved when you have reliable coverage. Your homeowner's insurance plan will cover water damage under certain circumstances. These problems often occur in the lower level of your home, so you need to understand when your coverage goes into effect for a basement flood.

When Your Insurance Wouldn't Cover a Flood

Flooding can cause widespread damage. Excess water in your Fergus Falls, MN, home can destroy building materials, furniture, clothing, appliances, and electronics. You could lose precious belongings and even find mold once the water is gone. Your insurance company will not cover floods in these situations:

  • When you fail to maintain or repair pipes or appliances
  • When you deliberately cause the flood
  • When the flood occurs due to a sewer backup or overflowing waterway

Unexpected Plumbing Issues
You could inspect the pipes in your home regularly and perform proper upkeep but still experience a basement flood. When a pipe bursts suddenly, your insurance company should accept your claim. The pipes could have been improperly installed by a plumber. Or, the materials could have been defective.

Unexpected Appliance Problems
Any homeowner's insurance coverage should pay for your claim if an appliance unexpectedly breaks, causing water to take over your home. If you do your part to maintain your appliances, but they still spring leaks or burst, you should not be responsible to pay a professional water damage remediation team to remove the water and rebuild the flooded basement.

If someone breaks into your home and purposefully causes a flood in your basement, your insurance plan will cover the damage. You will also have coverage if someone enters your home and misuses your plumbing systems or appliances, causing water damage.
Dealing with a basement flood can be devastating. Fortunately, there are many instances where you would have help from your insurance company to clean up the mess and rebuild your home.

What To Do About Flood Damage as a Tenant

5/9/2020 (Permalink)

Renters insurance form and dollars on the table. If you have not purchased renters insurance for your business now is the time

You may have heard about and seen some of the effects of building flooding. You certainly hope to never live through them. Still, being prepared can give you some peace of mind in the wake of an emergency. If you rent office space, consider purchasing renters insurance. This coverage could spare you a lot of stress, grief, and money. Remember, the building owner's property insurance won't cover your items.

What Property Insurance Handles

A commercial property insurance plan in Evansville, MN, is essential for building owners who want to protect their assets. Storm damage or flooding can be significant and cause major problems in an office. Property insurance coverage is valid for the following types of claims:

  • Damage to the roof
  • Damage to building materials
  • Damage to the foundation
  • Damage to walkways, stairs and balconies

What Property Insurance Won't Cover for Tenants
You've got a lot of important items and belongings in your office. Many of these materials are critical to your business, while others are intrinsically valuable to you. The landlord's property coverage won't do any good if your office furniture and electronic equipment are damaged in a flood, fire, or storm. This insurance will also not help you out if a disaster destroys books, documents, collections, or clothing.

Your No. 1 Option
All hope is not lost in the event of an emergency. Thanks to renters insurance, you can get the compensation you need to make up for these lost items. The coverage can also pay for professional restoration teams to clean and repair these belongings. Make sure you file your claim as quickly after the incident as possible. Take photos of the damage and record all the materials that you lost in the disaster.
If you have not purchased renters insurance for your business now is the time. This plan can give you peace of mind during a trying time.

Who Pays for Fire Damage to a Rental Property?

5/9/2020 (Permalink)

Apartment on fire Apartment fire in Fergus Falls, MN

Who Pays for Fire Damage to a Rental Property

As a building owner who has experienced the unfortunate event of an apartment fire, you may be wondering what types of damage you are responsible for. Depending on the item, you and your tenants may each be responsible for different kinds of losses. You should always check your insurance policy and tenant lease agreement, but there are some general guidelines that are standard between tenants and owners.

Structural Damage
A landlord is required to keep units habitable and ensures this by making sure that the unit is safe, clean, and livable. After a disaster, the apartment may have sustained fire damage that makes it unsafe or undesirable to occupy. As a result, the building owner is generally responsible for any damage that relates to the structure of the apartment. If it is part of the unit or was there before the tenant moved in, it is probably your responsibility to have it fixed. There are common structural items that may be damaged in a fire:

  • Carpet
  • Drywall
  • Kitchen appliances
  • Kitchen cabinets
  • Doors
  • Windows

Smoke damage can also occur during a fire, making the unit unsuitable to occupy. It is the owner's responsibility to ensure the odors are removed after an apartment fire.

Content Damage
The renter is responsible for costs associated with content damage. Most tenants have renter's insurance, which may cover the majority of the loss. Contents can be thought of as anything the tenants brought with them. If it wasn't already there, they are responsible for repairing or replacing the items. These are usually personal items including clothing, furniture, jewelry, artwork, and electronics.
Damage from an apartment fire can feel overwhelming but understanding what you're responsible for can help mitigate the stress. If you have experienced damage in Fergus Falls, MN, a professional remediation company can help restore your unit, remove odors, provide a safe environment for your tenants, and put you back in business.

What To Know About Item Restoration After a Storm

5/9/2020 (Permalink)

Picture from the outside of home surrounded by flooded waters Stormwater surrounding a home in Parkers Prairie, MN

What To Know About Item Restoration After a Storm

After a flood and your Parkers Prairie, MN, home, you may be worried about whether or not your personal items can be salvaged. Fortunately, many of the items that were in your home can go through a content cleaning process. Here’s what you may want to know.

1. A Professional Can Help

If your home has suffered from flooding or storm damage it’s recommended that a local restoration service be contacted to help with repairs and clean up. Many restoration teams can also help with item cleaning. This even includes helping to restore items such as paper goods or electronics that may need professional care. Feel free to ask your restoration crew what item cleaning services they offer and ask them any questions you may have.

2. Items Will Need To Be Categorized

One of the first steps to content cleaning is to categorize the items to ensure they get the correct cleaning method. Cloth items should be separated into washable and dry clean needs, while other household items can be sorted by size and the material than they are composed of. Metal may need to be treated differently from wood for example. Your restoration service can help with this process as well.

3. Different Cleaning Methods May Be Used

Different leaning methods may be used depending on material type, size, and if the item has come into contact with black water. Cloth items can be washed or dry cleaned while solid items can be dipped or soaked in a cleaning solution. Large items can be washed with a solution and a rag. Paper goods can be freeze-dried.

If your home has suffered storm flooding it may be a relief to know that your local restoration company can offer many content cleaning services. These professionals can help categorize your items by type to help ensure that they are cleaned with the appropriate method. Soon that can have your personal items looking “Like it never even happened.”

How To Reduce Water Damage Risks From Frozen Pipes

5/9/2020 (Permalink)

Man cleaning and maintaining plastic guttering on a house Gutter maintenance in a Henning, MN home

Four Maintenance Tasks

Too many business owners ignore the risks of the spring thaw. While warmer weather and tree buds are often a relief to people, early spring still has many temperature fluctuations, which can lead to significant water damage and a business claim. Don’t let your guard down too early. Call on plumbing professionals in Henning, MN, to assess your property, and be sure to do at least the following four maintenance tasks.

  • Wrap exposed pipes
  • Maintain gutters and downspouts
  • Remove snow and ice
  • Seal vulnerable spaces

Wrap Exposed Pipes
Are there any pipes that run under your facility or outside the building? Are there any water lines running against exterior walls or in unheated garages? If so, insulate all exposed pipes or wrap each with heat tape, anything to reduce the risk of freezing or pipe break.

Maintain Gutters and Downspouts
Clogged or frozen gutters can also lead to a business claim for water loss. The fluctuating temperatures can lead to ice buildup, clogging the gutters and downspouts and leading to water seeping under shingles or the roofline.

Remove Snow and Ice
Like with gutters and downspouts, leaving snow and ice on the roof or around basement windows can cause damage to the property. Ice and snow on a roof can lead to leaks and damage to shingles.

Seal Vulnerable Space
Many property owners may forget the necessity of seals around windows and doors and that they don’t last forever. Before every winter and spring thaw, maintenance staff should check that seals are intact. Any seals that are cracking or missing need replacing to protect against water seepage.
The spring thaw is not a time to let your guard down as a commercial property owner. Check off the maintenance on this list, and contact a specialist for a property assessment to prepare for the thaw and the rainy season ahead, avoiding any need for a business claim.

How To Prevent Mold Growth in Your Building

5/9/2020 (Permalink)

Stained ceiling. If you see a water stain on the ceiling or walls, there is a good chance that mold is growing behind it

To a certain extent, mold spores are everywhere. Mold becomes a problem when it begins to grow inside the fixtures in your commercial property. Water damage from flooding is a surefire way for mold growth, but that's not the only time it can invade. The ducts in your HVAC system are common places to find mold. It can also be found in carpeting, drywall, and the ceiling. Since it thrives in a warm, wet environment, reducing the moisture in your building in Pelican Rapids, MN  is the key to staying ahead of the problem.

How To Reduce the Moisture in Your Building

Bathrooms should be kept clean and dry. Inspect the flooring around toilets regularly for overflow. Check the faucets for leaks as well. Clean up any water quickly before mold growth can occur. Have faulty plumbing repaired as soon as possible.
Proper ventilation in your building is important for controlling humidity. A well-maintained HVAC system is an essential part of the equation, so have it serviced at least once a year. You should also inspect the ductwork periodically for mold.
Anytime a spill occurs inside the building, wipe it up completely. Blot the spill with a clean towel and run a fan until the flooring is dry. Any spill larger than 10 square feet should be handled by a water restoration expert to avoid water damage.

How To Spot Potential Problem Areas
Be on the lookout for telltale signs of mold. If you see a water stain on the ceiling or walls, there is a good chance that mold is growing behind it. Areas where condensation frequently forms are typical problem areas as well. If you suspect mold, call a professional right away to assess the situation.
While total mold prevention isn't possible, you can reduce the risk of water damage by keeping moisture to a minimum in your building.

Tips To Prevent Fire Damage To Your Home

4/30/2020 (Permalink)

Burnt siding from a fire on a home. SERVPRO of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties provides 24 hour water and fire restoration service.

Now that summer is in full swing, be sure to keep your home and family safe by avoiding some common mistakes that could cause a fire at your next barbecue. Every year homes are impacted by fire damage as a result of gas grills. Remember these safety tips:

  • Keep your grill at least 10 feet from your house. Farther is even better.
  • Clean your grill regularly.
  • Check for gas leaks.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher within a couple steps of your grill.
  • Never turn on the gas while the grill lid is closed.
  • Never leave a grill unattended.

Enjoy that juicy burger! But remember to call SERVPRO of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties should you burn more than just your burger.

Biological Contaminants

3/24/2020 (Permalink)

Mold on a white wall (320) 219-6505 Call Now!

SERVPRO of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties has years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Our crew is equipped with years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis. 

Unprecedented Service

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include; restaurants, banks, schools, offices, stores, gyms, carpets, and much more. 

Don't Wait

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning 

If your commercial space needs deep cleaning services, call the experts now! (320) 219-6505

Should I Clean Mold in My House?

3/24/2020 (Permalink)

Black mold in the room wall. Preparation for mold removal. Preparation for mold removal

If you have been dealing with flooding in your home, you will most likely be concerned about mold growing in the tile or carpeting. House mold can present a significant risk if not addressed promptly. 

Cleaning Up Mold

Do you need to call a professional to clean your flooring or can you handle it yourself? There are a couple of factors to consider when deciding how to handle mold cleanup in your home.

The size of the area that contains mold growth is the most important factor. If the area is less than 10 square feet or about 3 feet by 3 feet, you can probably take care of the problem yourself. Dry the area as much as possible by blotting it with thick, dry towels or rags and then blow a continuous fan on the flooring until it is dry. If you are still concerned about potential mold, it’s best to throw out the affected flooring.

If the area of the house mold is larger than 10 square feet, you should call a professional as soon as possible. Mold growth will continue if you don’t get to the bottom of the problem right away.

Choosing the Right Professional

Once you have decided that you need a professional to successfully remove all of the mold in your home in Kensington, MN, make sure to select someone who has significant experience in mold damage restoration. Check their references and read online ratings to ensure you find someone who is qualified to do the job. Make sure they also have the technical equipment to successfully remove all of the mold.

House mold must be handled quickly and effectively so that your family will remain safe.

The Rewards of Regular Roof Maintenance

3/8/2020 (Permalink)

Ceiling. Ceiling panels damaged huge hole in roof from rainwater leakage.Water damaged ceiling . Ceiling damaged by water leak in Garfield, MN

While not making many people's most exciting things-to-do list, roof maintenance is still a worthwhile endeavor for business owners and property managers. After all, your company's roof is integral to the success of a business. A good roof often goes unnoticed, which is as it should be. A bad roof, though, will certainly be noticed, and not in any good sense. Spending a couple of days each year focusing on the roof is time well spent. One option is to hire a trusted roofing contractor in Garfield, MN, to do an annual inspection. This can ward of a roof leak and bring attention to any pressing roof repairs.

When To Schedule a Roof Inspection

It pays to develop a good relationship with a roofing contractor in your area. This will take some of the responsibility off your shoulders. The roofing company can schedule the annual inspection and alert you to any issues. You may also want to call for extra assistance during the following times:

  • When a storm may have caused wind damage to the roof structure
  • When you notice standing water on a flat roof
  • After an especially severe winter
  • When a roof leak allows moisture into your building

Regular inspections allow you to catch small problems before they become big problems. They also give you the chance to prevent any source of water damage from impacting your business.

When To Replace a Roof

There comes a time when a new roof will be needed. For most roofs, this happens every 20 to 30 years. It is a big expense, but a sturdy roof protects the interests of your business. When water damage does occur from a roof leak it's important to seek action with the help of a reputable storm remediation company. The success of most companies depend on many factors. Paying attention to the structural integrity of your building is one important step.

Tips for Avoiding a Lint Fire

2/18/2020 (Permalink)

Hand cleaning accumulated clothing lint from trap in clothes dryer. Pull the lint trap from the top or front of the dryer and remove the lint by hand

Tips for Avoiding a Lint Fire

It only takes a load or two of laundry to fill up the lint trap in your dryer. Not only does this cut down the functional efficiency of the dryer, but it also creates the risk of a lint fire and, ultimately, a house fire. Protect your home and family from dryer related damages and a visit from fire damage cleanup and restoration professionals by cleaning the lint trap:

Pull the lint trap from the top or front of the dryer and remove the lint by hand. If there's stubborn debris, rinse the filter under a little bit of water.
After removing the screen filter, use your vacuum attachment to keep lint away from the interior of the dryer and prevent clogs.
Give the trap a more thorough cleaning by unplugging the dryer and vacuuming out the interior and exterior hoses and vents. This deep cleaning step should be completed every six months or more often.

It doesn't take much effort to prevent a dryer fire, and your efforts will result in financial savings and a dryer in top working condition.

Dryer Maintenance for Safe Operation
Removing lint from the trap isn't the only maintenance step you can take to reduce the risk of a lint fire. You can also wipe down the door of the dryer, clean out the outside vent, and avoid setting the temperature of the dryer too high. Only run the dryer when you have a full load but don't overfill the appliance.

Tips for Improved Efficiency
There are a few other tips you can use to get the best results from this appliance. For example, when you do back-to-back loads of laundry, moving a second load into the dryer right after the first load comes out, there's residual heat and the dryer won't have to work so hard the second time around. If you run your load in the washing machine through an extra spin cycle, there is less water for the dryer to remove. Finally, add a dry towel to your load in the dryer; this helps your clothes get dry faster.
The best way to avoid a lint fire is to clean the lint trap each time your run a load through the appliance. Complete a more thorough cleaning two or three times a year to boost efficiency and improve safety. Protect your Brandon, MN, home and family with these simple maintenance steps.

Why Is Your Water Heater Making Strange Noises?

2/11/2020 (Permalink)

Water temperature controls on a hot water heater Your water heater is not immune from alarming you with bizarre sounds

You know it's never a good thing when your household appliances make odd noises. Your water heater is not immune from alarming you with bizarre sounds. This appliance works hard and bears the brunt of years of wear and tear. You also heavily rely on it, so any issues could cause inconveniences. Understanding what causes these sounds can help you make necessary repairs and do proper maintenance.

Keeping it in Good Condition

If you want your unit to last for years and run efficiently, regular upkeep is critical. The best thing you can do for the heater is to perform an annual water heater flush. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Turn off the power to the water heater and connect a garden hose to the hose bib.
  • Open the drain valve and turn on a nearby hot water faucet.
  • Allow the tank to empty.
  • Remove the drain valve and use a brush to clean the bottom of the tank

Cracking and Popping Sounds

As your heater ages, it will start to accumulate sediment deposits at the bottom of the tank. These sounds you hear are the minerals heating up. The flush should take care of this.


If you have an electric water heater in your Alexandria, MN, home, the element could be causing this sound. The fix is simple. Just tighten the element.


This high-pitched noise can be annoying, but the problem shouldn't be too significant. Check all the valves on your water heater and water lines. If any are not fully closed, close them, and the sound should stop.


This occurs when the water is turned off suddenly, causing nearby pipes to move. This movement can damage the exterior and walls of the heater. A plumber or technician from a water damage removal company can help you address water hammer issues.
You can't afford for your water heater to work improperly or inefficiently. Pay attention to these noises and address them right away.

How to Clean Damaged Items After a Fire

1/29/2020 (Permalink)

Business on fire With a fire restoration team's knowledge and equipment, they can have your items cleaned thoroughly.

Along with the fire damage that can occur in your Alexandria, MN building, a fire often brings smoke and soot that can affect your belongings. Even if they were not near the flames, some items may still need cleaning. The following techniques, from soap to dry-cleaning, may be used to restore your belongings after a fire.

1. Soap or Chemical Cleaners

Some of your belongings may only need superficial content cleaning and can be wiped down to remove smoke and soot residue from the surface. For these items, a simple mixture of soap or cleaner with water might do the trick. Be sure to scrub the area thoroughly and work in small areas to reduce potential discoloration.

2. Washing Machines

For smaller items that can be safely cleaned in a washing machine, this might be an easy option. This will likely include things like clothing, curtains and small cushions. You should be careful, however, because putting an item through this cycle can sometimes cause the opposite result and can lock in odors. Only use this method for objects that have light damage or have already been deodorized.

3. Dry-Cleaning

For clothing and fabrics that have been more heavily affected or cannot be cleaned in a washing machine, you may be able to restore them by having them dry-cleaned. Because this method focuses on the surface of the object, however, it is possible that it might not be enough to remove tough lingering odors.

4. Ultrasonic Cleaning

If dry-cleaning does not work, another option is ultrasonic cleaning. With this method, you can sometimes restore items that would otherwise be unsalvageable. It is highly effective at removing both odors and contaminants.

When you need to have your belongings cleaned after a fire, contact a fire restoration company. They will often provide secure content storage for items that need to be worked on, so you can confidently leave your important belongings in their hands. 

What To Do After a Fire Sprinkler Malfunction

1/28/2020 (Permalink)

Active fire sprinkler Active fire sprinkler in Edit, MN

Flooding to your Edit,MN, business can be a nightmare. Although a fire sprinkler malfunction is a rare reason for a flood, it is still important to know the causes of and steps to take after such an event.

Causes of Sprinkler Malfunction

A fire sprinkler malfunction is fortunately an uncommon occurrence. However, there are quite a few reasons why a system may accidentally discharge, including the following:

  • Frozen pipes
  • Corrosion
  • Overheating
  • Improper installation
  • Manufacturing errors

Due to stringent regulations, manufacturing errors are generally the least likely reason for an accidental discharge. The other causes are more likely but still rare. They can generally be avoided by having a certified technician inspect the entire system every year and performing other maintenance tasks, such as checking valves and gauges, regularly. Keep sprinkler heads away from heat sources and make sure the pipes are not exposed to freezing temperatures.

Steps To Take Following a Malfunction

If fire sprinklers do activate in the absence of a fire, the first thing to do is turn off the water to the building to prevent further flooding. Then notify your insurance agent of the loss. The agent may have specific instructions for documenting the water damage. Be sure to follow them closely. Then dry the area as quickly as possible to prevent mold growth. Depending on the amount of water present, you may need to use specialized pumps or vacuums to remove the water. A dehumidifier and fans can speed the drying process. If the humidity outside is low enough, you can open the windows and doors. Throw away all items that cannot be fully dried. After the area is dry, call your sprinkler technician and ask for help identifying the cause of the malfunction.
Although flooding from a misfiring sprinkler system is rare, it does happen occasionally. In addition to contacting your insurance agent and sprinkler technician, you may choose to enlist the help of a certified restoration team to help you get your business back to normal.

3 Qualifications Preferred Vendors Should Have

1/27/2020 (Permalink)

New SERVPRO van on the road Your insurance agent may recommend a vendor like SERVPRO for several reasons

3 Qualifications Preferred Vendors Should Have

When talking to your insurance agent about a local service to handle your New York Mills, MN, business's restoration needs, you may feel comforted to know that the preferred vendor your agent recommends has some guidelines they must follow. Restoration services like SERVPRO have gone through many training programs and earned 21 different qualifications. These certifications fall into the following three categories.

1. Safety Training

One reason to work with a preferred vendor is that they have undergone safety training related to a number of disaster types. These professionals will know how to take the appropriate safety steps, such as shutting off power or water if needed and wearing the best safety gear for the job. For example, a flood job may require waders and rubber gloves, while a fire restoration requires more heavy-duty clothing and work gloves. They will also know if they need to quarantine an area until work has been completed.

2. Equipment Usage

Your insurance agent will also make sure they recommend someone from their vendor program who has the proper equipment usage qualifications for the job. These means that not only do the professionals working on your restoration have the tools they need, but they know how to safely use them.

3. Cleaning Certification

Another qualification agents like to see before recommending a company to work on an insurance claim restoration, is cleaning certification. SERVPRO teams are trained and certified to handle a number of damage types, including flooding, storm, mold, and fire damage. Each of these requires different resources and tools, meaning that each damage cleaning certificate requires the service to learn how to properly remedy the problem while meeting IICRC standards.
Your insurance agent may recommend a vendor like SERVPRO for several reasons. These professionals have gone through both safety training and proper equipment usage courses as well as learned how to restore property after a variety of damage types have occurred.

Reducing the Threat of Water Damage to Prevent Mold

1/20/2020 (Permalink)

Mold spots in a corner of a room. Therefore, to protect your commercial property, set up a maintenance schedule that includes property walk-throughs and checks.

As any mold restoration service will tell you, mold prevention has a lot to do with reducing the threat of water damage. While many commercial property owners do have annual inspections performed, many fail to do the necessary legwork during the rest of the year. Therefore, to protect your building for a devastating mold infestation, be sure to conduct routine inspections of at least these five at-risk items and areas:

HVAC systems
Doors and windows

HVAC Systems

HVAC systems and appliances can often lead to mold because of condensation buildup or small leaks that go unnoticed. When performing routine walk-throughs, it is necessary to inspect the primary units of AC systems as well as look behind and underneath refrigerators and other items.


Water damage does not have to stem from plumbing. You can have leaks in your roofline that may lead to mold problems. Therefore, it is essential that you make a routine habit of checking for roof damage and leaks at least once per month.


Leaks around the foundation can also lead to mold growth inside the facility. A common cause of foundation leaks is clogged gutters or downspouts. Therefore, make sure that you clean the gutter system at least every change of season.

Doors and Windows

Next, you may notice moisture problems around your doors and windows when it rains. If you see such a problem, then you likely have failing seals or weather stripping. Therefore, to prevent mold, be sure to replace any seals or weather stripping that looks worn or cracked.


Last, be sure to have your plumbing inspected at least once a year. While some facilities will be designed with some exposed piping, making visual inspections easy, not every building will have that advantage.

Reducing the threat of water damage comes down to vigilance and routine inspections. 

A Few Tips for Keeping Mold Out of Your Apartment

1/11/2020 (Permalink)

Mold spots surrounding a window frame. You remember the apartment had some water damage in the past and that mold spores like a humid environment.

Your apartment is your sanctuary, so you want to keep it nice. You have everything just the way you want it, with the houseplant in the window and the rooms smelling nice and fresh. Then, to your horror, you discover a section of mold growing in a corner on the ceiling.

Somewhere, you've read about the steps to take for mold cleanup, but you're not really sure where to start. How much responsibility for the cleanup is yours, and how much is that of the owner of your apartment complex? In the best of worlds, your apartment manager will call a mold remediation team and address the problem.

Your Responsibility

When mold contamination strikes your apartment, you should take a few simple steps. The following measures will protect your living space and likely result in a quicker mold cleanup:

Contact the apartment manager ASAP
Notify the manager of any leaks in the bathroom or kitchen or coming through the roof
Monitor your health in case you experience any ill effects from the mold
If necessary, visit a doctor to check on your health

The apartment manager should respond promptly, but if this isn't the case, you will need to be persistent and follow up. In a worst-case scenario, you may have to file a lawsuit or move out of the apartment.

Their Responsibility

The apartment manager should take the lead on mold cleanup, as well as clear up any conditions that allow mold spores to take hold. A professional cleanup will likely be necessary to address the mold situation. Several specific tests will need to be conducted to determine what strain of mold is present. After cleanup, it's important to verify that the air quality in the apartment is of high quality.

Initial Steps To Take When Mold Is Discovered

1/7/2020 (Permalink)

A girl sneezing, covering her nose with a tissue Mold can be an allergen and an irritant

Initial Steps To Take When Mold Is Discovered

It's never a good moment when you discover black mold at your business in Pelican Rapids, MN. While the initial impulse might be to scream or make a bad face, these actions won't do much to fix the problem. However, a couple of simple steps you take right away could make the problem less severe and easier to deal with in the long run. The first step is to look for signs of water damage or leaking nearby where the mold has been found. If there is a leak, turn the water off immediately, as mold spores thrive in wet, moist conditions. Secondly, if it is feasible, turn off the heating and cooling system so mold spores do not get circulated throughout the building.

Mold Facts

A moisture problem is usually the likely culprit when mold is present in your building. Any room that has higher than 45% humidity could allow the proliferation of black mold. The following are a few more facts about mold:

  • It is naturally occurring and present nearly everywhere
  • It can be an allergen and an irritant
  • Mold spores cannot be totally eliminated but they can be controlled
  • Mold can grow on wood, carpeting, paper and foods

Beyond a few initial measures, a mold problem often necessitates the calling in of a professional mold remediation team. The company will begin with an inspection and assessment and then proceed to mold containment procedures.

Mold Cleanup

The goal of the cleanup process is to control mold growth, identify and remove the moisture problem, clean all surfaces and materials and to discourage the return of black mold. A professional company will identify the types of mold present and initiate a cleanup plan targeted to be effective. The company will monitor air quality and make sure a healthy environment exists for all workers. Materials that are contaminated with mold will either be thoroughly cleaned or discarded.

What is Mold?

1/6/2020 (Permalink)

Mold covered walls. Mold can spread throughout your business in as little as 48 hours.

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your business through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 320-219-6505

What Commercial Tenants Need To Know About Flood Damage

12/28/2019 (Permalink)

Renters insurance form and dollars on the table. Renter's insurance helps pay for the cost of replacing damaged personal property

Important Facts to Know About Flood Coverage

If you are a tenant in a commercial building, you may think that your landlord will cover the cost of any flood damage to the property. However, that is not actually the case. Both tenants and landlords have some financial responsibilities following an emergency. That means you should buy renter's insurance to help cover the expenses related to storm cleanup. Here are some important facts to know about flood coverage:

  • It is not included in a typical commercial insurance policy
  • It can be purchased separately
  • It may require a waiting period before going into effect

Because of the aforementioned waiting period, you should purchase flood coverage as soon as possible. This will ensure you are ready when the rain comes.

Tenant's Insurance

What exactly does a tenant's flood policy cover? In general, renter's insurance helps pay for the cost of replacing damaged personal property. For commercial tenants, this includes business assets and documents. Be sure to keep track of any items that were harmed by the storm. You can then submit that list to the insurance adjuster for reimbursement.

Landlord's Insurance

When you rent a commercial building, make sure your landlord has its own flood insurance policy. This will cover the costs of structural damage to the property. Any services provided by the landlord, such as plumbing and wiring, are also the building owner's responsibility. After the storm, the landlord should also get the building back to a habitable condition as soon as possible.
Of course, it is sometimes unclear exactly what counts as personal property versus structural damage. If you are confused about whose insurance will pay for flood cleanup services or other similar expenses, you can consult your agent, attorney or accountant.
By purchasing renter's insurance, you can protect your Henning, MN, business. A company with proper insurance coverage is less likely to suffer severe financial hardship due to storm damage.

Commercial Property Insurance For Your Business

12/28/2019 (Permalink)

The hands of someone signing a document on a desk, someone else is in front of that person Commercial insurance can help keep your company running smoothly

Damage to your Pelican Rapids, MN, business can be a major headache. Fortunately, commercial insurance can help keep your company running smoothly in the event of a covered disaster.

What Is Covered?

There are a variety of policies available. Depending on your company’s needs, you may need to cover inventory, electronics, machinery or other property. You can insure your business against numerous types of misfortune, including:

  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Fire damage
  • Storm damage

However, flood coverage is generally not included, so you may want to purchase a separate flood policy. Additionally, you will want to make sure that your policy covers the replacement cost rather than the actual cash value. This way, you receive enough funds to replace the damaged property. Remember that even if you rent your building, you may still be liable for some types of damage to the structure. Make sure you fully understand the rental agreement so that you know exactly what your insurance needs to cover. Be sure to discuss your policy with your insurance agent to ensure your policy includes the coverage types and limits appropriate for your business.

What Factors Affect Rates?

Like the majority of insurance policies, there are a number of factors that affect the rates of commercial insurance. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Local weather patterns and crime rates
  • Business and property type
  • Age and construction quality of the building
  • Value of the insured property
  • Occupancy patterns

Your insurance professional can help you find the right coverage for the best rate. He or she can also let you know if there are certain upgrades you can make to your property, such as installing a sprinkler system, that can help lower your rates.
Any damage to your Pelican Rapids, MN, business can be expensive and time-consuming. Fortunately, the right commercial insurance policy can help you financially, and a certified restoration company can help you get your business back to normal quickly and safely.

What Is Business Interruption Insurance?

12/15/2019 (Permalink)

Paper that says Business Insurance Combining business interruption insurance with property insurance may help rebuild your business and restore it to full operations.

The basic purpose of business insurance is to rebuild and restore your business to the same financial position it was in before a covered peril caused a loss. Business interruption insurance is a coverage that can be purchased as part of a business owner’s policy, a standalone policy or added to a property insurance policy to cover loss of business income that results from a closed business due to a covered peril.

Types of Covered Losses

An insurance professional in Douglas, MN can review your policy with you to determine your exact coverages. Covered losses typically include:

Estimated lost profits based on profits earned in previous months
Costs still being incurred by the business while operations are shut down
Cost to rent and relocate to a temporary location while repairs are being made
Cost of training employees to operate new machinery that has replaced damaged machinery
Reimbursement of reasonable expenses to continue operations while repairs are being made
Loss of revenue caused by government ingress or egress

How Long Coverage Lasts

Your policy will define the period coverage applies. Coverage typically begins on the date a covered cause of loss resulted in interruption of your business operations and ends on the date that your business operations have been restored to the state they were in before the covered cause of loss.

How Coverage Differs From Property Insurance

Property insurance covers the cost to rebuild or replace your physical property, such as the building your business operates out of, equipment and supplies. It may also cover other property-related expenses, such as the cost of storm cleanup. Business interruption coverage covers the profits your business would have made, had your business operations not been interrupted due to a covered cause of loss.

Your business relies both on the physical property used in operations and on the profits generated using that property. 

How To Stay Safe When Working With Mold

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

Employees in protective gear. Although face masks and other gear can keep you safe when cleaning up mold, there are cases when professional help is needed.

If your Douglas, MN home experiences mold growth, it is important to clean it up quickly to prevent further damage. Depending on the situation, you may need face masks or other gear to protect yourself from potentially harmful mold spores.

Mold-Cleaning Safety Equipment
When cleaning mold, it is important to wear protective equipment to keep yourself safe. The following are some commonly used items that you may find helpful when working with mold:

Safety goggles
Long-sleeve shirts
Long pants
Shoe and hair covers
Face masks

Instead of long pants and shirts, you may choose to use a disposable Tyvek suit. The suits provide an extra layer of protection and can be thrown away after use, rather than cleaned. Your respirator mask should be rated at least N-95. A simple surgical mask will not filter out mold spores. Make sure that your gloves and safety goggles fit properly. Loose items will allow mold spores to get inside.

Every mold infestation is unique, so different levels of protection are needed for different situations. When deciding what protective equipment to use, the goal is to keep the mold spores off of your skin and out of your lungs. Remember that any gear you use should be thrown away or washed in hot water and detergent after you have finished working.

Mold-Cleaning Safety Tips

In addition to protective clothing, there are other things to keep in mind when repairing mold damage. If possible, ventilate the area in which you are working. You do not want the mold spores to spread throughout the house, so it is best to turn off the HVAC system. However, you can open the windows in the room to allow fresh air inside.

Immune-compromised individuals and those with asthma should avoid mold-damaged areas.
If the area of mold growth is larger than 10 square feet or if the mold damage is particularly severe, it may be best to hire a professional restoration company.

A Water Heater Flush Can Keep the Hot Water Flowing

12/5/2019 (Permalink)

Man's hands unscrewing a screw-nut on a water heater with a wrench on a boiler Regular maintenance to your water heater can keep water damage from happening

A Water Heater Flush Can Keep the Hot Water Flowing

The intricate systems within your Parkers Prairie,MN, home are easy to overlook. Piping, furnaces, electrical components and more are expected to simply work. The same is true for your water heater. When you turn the hot water on, you expect hot water to come out. Surprisingly, like the other systems, that appliance also needs a little care, especially a water heater flush.

Follow the Sound

As the heater heats cold water, whether through gas or electric, the water being heated often contains sediment and minerals, including calcium and lime. Most heaters have a sediment trap to capture the extra, but that doesn’t completely eliminate the issues. The sediment can start to build up, which will eventually affect the heater’s efficiency. Signs that sediment is becoming a problem often can be heard.

Humming – If it builds on the electric element, vibrations can cause a humming sound.
Knocking – While it might sound scary, your heater is probably OK. This sound often means a pipe is misaligned and banging against walls or your heater. Devices are available to keep the hammering at a minimum.
Screeching – The most typical culprit for this issue is a partially open valve. Check the heather and faucet that is the source of the sound.
Tapping – Modern heaters are designed to not overflow. The valve or heat trap associated with that can make light noises. These sounds can also happen when the pipes begin to cool.

When to Get Help

While a water heater is prone to making noises, if they start to become more evident, it may time to think about the last time it was maintained. Heater’s that are not regularly inspected can eventually not function properly, leading to potential leaks and higher bills. If sediment builds up too much, it can also start coming out of faucets or result in a loss of water pressure or a pipe burst.
Instead of hoping that your water heater won’t cause problems, regular maintenance can keep water damage from happening. If it’s already too late, count on a trusted water damage expert to get your house back on track.

3 Things You May See During Mold Remediation

12/4/2019 (Permalink)

Employee in protective gear cleaning mold. If you have any questions your local professional should be able to help.

If your business contains a mold contamination, you may be wondering what can be done. Fortunately, a local mold remediation professional can help. There are several things you may see them do as part of the mold removal process. Here’s what you can expect.

1. Damage Assessment
One of the first steps to mold remediation is a damage assessment. This is done to determine where the mold is, how it’s spreading, and how much damage has been caused. Once these things are known the professionals can then figure out the best course of action for how to remove the mold from the home, and the proper methods for cleaning any damaged items..

2. Containment
The next step to removing mold contamination, is to contain the spores. How this is done may depend on where and how bad the damage is. However, doing so can help prevent further infestation. This process can involve sealing off the area with plastic sheeting. Anyone working in the contained area will also have to wear special safety equipment to prevent spreading mold spores as they work.

3. Repairs
Once the moldy area is contained the professionals performing the remediation can begin any necessary cleaning and repairs. This may involve cleaning materials with special solutions and scrub brushes, or removing contaminated materials. Depending on the extent of the damage parts of walls or flooring may even be replaced. Cloth items such as pillows, rugs or curtains may need to be washed with a special detergent.

When it comes to the removal of a mold contamination in your home there are several steps you may see you remediation professional perform. These include assessing the damage and degree of the infestation, containing the mold to prevent further spreading, and the cleaning and decontamination of the area. 

Signs Your Dryer Vent Needs Cleaned

12/3/2019 (Permalink)

Vacuum cleaning a flexible aluminum dryer vent hose, to remove lint and prevent fire hazard Cleaning out your lint hose and dryer regularly can not only prevent fires, but ensure faster drying times

Signs Your Dryer Vent Needs Cleaned

Whether you're living on your own or have a large family in Fergus Falls,MN, laundry seems to pile up fast. It can feel like a lengthy chore to get all of your clothing cleaned and put away. This is especially true if you don't have a well functioning dryer. If your dryer is not working properly, then it may be time to clean out your dryer vent. This is important to prevent a lint fire. There are a few signs to look out for that will tell you that it's time.

A Long Dry Time

Sometimes, the amount of time your dryer takes to get the clothing dry can determine whether your vent needs cleaned. These things might suggest your dryer vent is clogged:

  • Taking an hour or more to dry one load
  • Taking more than one cycle to get the clothes dry
  • The clothes remaining damp and cold after several cycles

Your dryer shouldn't take more than one cycle to get all of the clothes dry, unless you are using a low temperature or have an unusually large load. Long dry times are indicative that a dryer vent is clogged, which can lead to a dryer fire.

Laundry Room Feels Humid

If your laundry area feels humid or unusually warm, then it may mean that the air is not being properly vented. The lint is likely built up in the dryer vent, which can cause a lint fire. These fires can spread quickly, and you may need a fire damage repair specialist to get the damage repaired. Cleaning out the dryer vent when needed can help prevent a fire.
These can be signs that the dryer is in need of a clean out. Lint can build up in the dryer, as well as the dryer hose. Over time, this can lead to a lint fire, which can be devastating. Cleaning out your lint hose and dryer regularly can not only prevent fires, but ensure faster drying times.

How Should I Prepare for a DIY Mold Cleanup Job?

12/3/2019 (Permalink)

A professional disinfector in overalls processes the walls from mold with a spatula. A professional disinfector in overalls processes the walls from mold with a spatula.

How Should I Prepare for a DIY Mold Cleanup Job?

When you find a significant amount of mold in your home in Parkers Prairie,MN, immediate action can mean the difference between staying in your home and possibly having to evacuate. A few tiny spores can quickly develop into a major problem. If you feel confident handling the mold cleanup job yourself, you’ll need to invest in some protective equipment. Face masks tend to come to mind first, but this is only the beginning. Be sure to prepare yourself with:

1. Gloves
Disposable gloves are preferable. Make sure they’re your size and form-fitting; if not, mold spores can find their way inside. Remove and dispose of the gloves anytime you must leave the affected area.

2. Protective Clothing
Disposable Tyvek coveralls are recommended to wear over your clothing. If you decide to wear your regular clothing instead, make sure you wear long sleeves and long pants. Wash them in hot water as soon as the job is complete.

3. Respiratory Protection
Air-purifying respirators are generally bought according to the size of the affected area that you’re working on. Depending on the type, they filter out 95% to 99.97% of airborne particles. These face masks are available in disposable or reusable forms.

4. Eye Protection
Safety goggles should be worn to protect your eyes from mold spores and other debris that’ll get stirred up during the cleaning process. They’ll also protect your eyes from the chemicals used for killing the mold.

5. Shoe Covers
A Tyvek suit should include booties, but if not you can wear disposable shoe coverings.

6. Hair Cover
A disposable hair cover is important; mold spores can easily settle into your hair and be tracked to other areas of the house. As with the other coverings, be sure to remove it each time you leave the worksite and use a new one the next time.
Face masks are the most important piece of protective gear when it comes to mold damage remediation, but certainly not the only essential item. If you feel that the infestation is beyond your control, you can feel confident hiring mold cleanup experts.

4 Things You Should Know About Mold

11/30/2019 (Permalink)

Mold on a white wall. Things you need to know about mold.

House mold is a common problem for many homeowners. This fungus grows easily in moist environments, so leaks or broken pipes can often result in this kind of damage. If you think you may have a growth in your home, a mold inspection as well as the following information may be helpful.

What Is Mold?

Mold is a very common fungus that exists in most environments but often requires an inspection to find. It is spread via spores that begin to grow when they come into contact with moisture. Once this happens, they can spread very quickly, sometimes overnight. Most varieties are non-toxic.

What Does It Look Like?

When people mention black mold, they are often referring to a specific variety of toxic mold called Stachybotrys. However, the term can be misleading. This type is not the only one that can grow in a black color, and it is not always black itself. Mold can come in many colors and generally has a fuzzy appearance.

What Are the Signs of Growth?

While you may sometimes notice discoloration on your walls or other areas of the home, this will not always be the first sign of mold. In some cases, it may be growing behind the walls or in another difficult-to-see area. When this happens, you will likely notice a musty odor before you see any visible growth. The best way to determine if there is excessive mold in your home is to have a mold inspection done.

How Do You Remove It?

Before mold is removed, the area will need to be blocked off to prevent spores from spreading, and protective gear should be worn at all times. The area will be thoroughly sanitized and then dried to prevent mold from returning. This should be done by a professional.

If you suspect that there is mold growing in your house, contact a mold remediation company to complete a mold inspection. If they do find growth, they can remove it safely and thoroughly.

Emergency Ready Plan, Are You Ready?

11/25/2019 (Permalink)

Emergency Ready Plan Emergency Ready Plan

Are you “Ready for whatever happens?”

Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster, whether it’s a small water leak, a large fire, or an area flood. The best time to plan for such event events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens.

The SERVPRO Emergency READY Plan serves as a quick reference of important building and contact information or can be an ideal supplement to any well-designed emergency preparedness or existing contingency program. Rather than simply reacting to disaster situation, most prefer proactive measures to establish a relationship with a restoration services company.

By working with SERVPRO of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties to develop your personalized Emergency READY Profile your business will receive the benefit of over 40 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster. SERVPRO is a leader in water and fire damage response and can help you quickly get your property back in working order.

Call SERVPRO of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties today at (320) 219 – 6505 or Email tuSERVPRO@gmail.com for a No Cost Assessment of your facility.

Here’s How to Protect Your Pets During a Fire Event

11/21/2019 (Permalink)

Dog and cat laying down. Protect your pets from fires.

Many people treasure their pets; indeed, to some, they are as children. And like children, their safety should be considered during family disaster planning. if you experience a fire emergency in being prepared is an successful way to keep your pet unscathed and maybe even unaware that anything unfortunate happened.

Pet Safety in a Fire Starts by Helping Prevent Fires Started by Pets

The National Fire Protection Association estimates that around 1,000 fires are started by pets every year. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps you can take to prevent a fire emergency:

Extinguish unattended open flames, such as candles and fireplaces.
Make sure any wood stoves have their doors securely latched.
Turn off gas stoves and cover or remove the knobs.

Pet Preparation Should Start Early

Make sure your pet comes to you when you call them. This is super-easy to do if you always have a treat for them while they are being name-trained. Once they have learned to come, occasionally give a treat now and then when calling them so they’ll be eager to come every time!

The Family Plan

The NFPA provides public education for how to create a family plan. Once a fire starts, having a solid plan that all of you have practiced is the single most important factor in your pet’s safety – and the safety of your whole family. Practice the plan with everyone who lives there, including pets, and use treats for them to make it enjoyable – a step that may work wonders with small children as well.
If you aren’t at home in during a fire, have a pet alert on a front window with the number of pets inside. Try to keep collars on them – and near entrances if possible – for the quickest access. If you have a pet door, use treats that encourage them to immediately run outside every time they hear the smoke detector.

Once the fire emergency is over, keep them away from any areas that are smoke-damaged or have dangerous rubble. Contact an experienced fire damage cleanup company to get things restored back to normal for both you and your pets.

Tips for Safe Grilling

11/14/2019 (Permalink)

Grill with food on it. Home grill fires are very common.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, the home grill fire is responsible for more than 10,000 home fires each year. These fires cause many injuries, some deaths, and millions of dollars' worth of direct property damage. It is possible to avoid this type of fires damage, however. Look at some tell-tale facts:

Many of the grills had not been properly maintained.
85 percent of the grills in home fires used gas fuel.
Leaks and breaks along the fuel line were responsible for a large percentage of fires.
Structural fire and smoke damage took place because grills were placed too close to flammable materials.

More than 70 percent of homes in the United States have a grill, hibachi, or barbecue, and this could mean the delicious smell of dinner cooking throughout the year. Just make sure to follow the NFPA's grilling safety tips.

Learn How To Use Your Grill

Unfortunately, many homeowners suffer fire and smoke damages to their home or personal injuries because they just aren't used to the type of grill they own. For example, a homeowner may light a propane grill without opening the lid first. Another backyard griller may add charcoal fluid directly to existing flames.

Establish a Safety Perimeter Around the Grill

It should go without saying, but propane and charcoal barbecues must be used outdoors. Keep the grill away from structures, such as siding, porch railings, overhanging eaves, and landscaping branches. Children and pets should also stay at least three feet away from the grill.

Complete Routine Maintenance

You may want to see some flames licking the underside of your meat, but a serious barbecue fire can quickly get out of hand. As grease and fat buildup inside, the possibility of a grill fire increases quickly. If you own a gas or propane grill, check the tank hose for leaks before you use it each year and at least once or twice during the grilling season.

If your home has already suffered the effects of a grill fire, contact fire and smoke cleanup professionals to help you recover. Remember to practice fire safety habits during each season of the year.

4 Ways to Prepare Your Home for a Storm

11/12/2019 (Permalink)

White front door with small square decorative windows and flower pots Check your doors and windows

Steps You Can Take To Protect Your House

If you are expecting a storm in Evansville, MN, then it is a good idea to prepare your home. This can help prevent damage from water and flooding and reduce the need for repairs. The following are some steps that you can take to protect your house.

1. Check Your Doors and Windows

The areas around your doors and windows deteriorate more quickly than others, so you should check these carefully. Make sure that they are properly insulated and that they are sealing correctly. Otherwise, it will be easier for water to enter your home.

2. Clean Your Gutters

When you are preparing for a storm, you may not always consider your gutters or storm drains. If these are full of leaves or debris, water will not be able to drain properly. If your gutters are flooding, the water may back up and begin to leak through the roof or the walls which can cause a lot of damage to the building.

3. Look Over the Exterior

If the exterior of your house is already damaged, then storm damage can make it worse. Inspect the building for holes or cracks and have these repaired quickly if you are expecting bad weather. Water can enter the walls in these areas and can damage building materials and contribute to the growth and spread of mold.

4. Move Important Items

While keeping your home in good condition can help prevent some damage, water may still find a way into your house if there is a lot of flooding. Move important items to a higher level if you live in a house with multiple floors. Smaller items can be placed in cabinets, on shelves or in waterproof safes.
Flood damage can be difficult to remove, so if your home is affected by the storm, you should call a professional right away. A cleanup and restoration company can sanitize the affected area and make any repairs that are needed. They may be able to salvage some of your damaged belongings as well.

3 Causes of Overflowing Toilets

10/25/2019 (Permalink)

Overflowing toilet No matter the cause, an overflowing toilet can be an inconvenience at best and the cause of severe damage to your house at worst.

When you own a house, there are a variety of challenges that you might face. Overflowing plumbing fixtures is a common problem, but that doesn’t mean it’s simple. It can require sewage cleaning and repairs and can sometimes become reoccurring. If your toilet is overflowing when you take a shower, this means that the water is unable to drain properly. The following are a few reasons why this might happen in your Otter Tail home.

1. A Clog
The first potential culprit of your overflowing toilet is a clogged pipe. This can happen when items in the drain don’t disintegrate properly. To prevent this, be careful of what you flush down the toilet or poor down the sink. Food, grease, paper towels, wipes and other items that are not designed to be disposed of in this way can cause clogs and damage.

2. Overgrown Tree Roots
Something else that may be blocking the drain and causing a toilet overflow is tree roots. Sometimes, particularly if there are small cracks or leaks in the pipe, roots can be drawn to the moisture inside and begin to grow there. When this happens, water is unable to move through the pipes in these areas.

3. Damaged Pipes
Over time, aging pipes can begin to weaken or may become damaged by the environment. If this happens, then sewage cleaning is almost inevitable. Be sure to perform maintenance on your plumbing system regularly and replace pipes that show early signs of damage, such as rust or small holes, to prevent them from breaking.

If you have a large amount of water in your home, it is a good idea to have sewage cleaning done by a professional cleanup and restoration service. They can help locate the cause of the overflow and perform any necessary repairs.

Mold Prevention in Commercial Buildings

10/24/2019 (Permalink)

Mold on a white wall. Cleaning and preventing mold growth may seem like an overwhelming task.

Mold growth in your Otter Tail Counties business can cause serious problems. Fortunately, with routine maintenance, you can prevent most serious mold issues.

General Mold Prevention
Because mold spores are everywhere, it is important to understand the conditions that lead to mold colonization. Most indoor areas are sufficiently warm to sustain a mold infestation. However, mold, like all living things, also needs a water source. Here are some tips for preventing a mold infestation:

Keep the humidity in the building below 45%. You may need to use a dehumidifier or air conditioner to accomplish this.
Use mold-inhibiting paint on walls.
Clean bathrooms and any other continuously humid areas with a cleaner that kills mold. You may want to open the windows daily in these areas or install a dehumidifier.
Use a HEPA air purifier to trap mold spores in the air.
Routinely check for hidden mold: in ductwork, under rugs, etc.
Mold grows particularly well on pulpy items, like paper. Keep important paperwork away from water sources.

Preventing Post-Flood Mold
Flooding can lead to mold growth within 24 hours. After a flood, be sure to begin drying out the affected area as quickly as possible. Depending on the water level, you can use buckets, wet/dry vacuums or specialized pumps. After removing the standing water, begin drying out other affected items. Because of the bacteria present in flood waters, wet carpeting and dry wall should be torn out and replaced. All items should be sanitized and dried. Anything that cannot be fully cleaned should be replaced. If the humidity outside is low, you can open the windows and doors to speed the drying process. Fans and dehumidifiers may also be used.
You may want to enlist a certified restoration company to help you get your business back to normal after a flood or mold damages your commercial space.

Understanding Property Management and Renter's Insurance

10/23/2019 (Permalink)

Renters insurance form and dollars, calculator, glasses and two keys on the table. Even with renter's insurance, flood damage is typically not covered

In areas prone to flooding, such as Kensington, MN, business and property owners likely have additional flood coverage to ensure full protection against Mother Nature. If that property has residential tenants, it can be confusing to know what insurance policies cover. As the owner, your flood insurance covers the building and related belongings, including assistance with professional storm cleanup and remediation repairs. A tenant’s belongings are their own responsibility. Even with renter's insurance, flood damage is typically not covered.

Know What Insurance for Renters Covers

Water damage from pipes and sewer issues are generally covered by the renter’s policy. If that water comes from flooding, the tenant may typically be out of luck. While not all renters need extra coverage, those in areas frequently hit with flooding should consider added flood coverage for their own items:

  • Clothes
  • Electronics
  • Furniture
  • Draperies
  • Small appliances

Consider Location

An important factor in insurance coverage is the location of the unit. A basement unit, which is more likely to receive flood damage, often means fewer belongings will be covered. This may only include washers, dryers, freezers and air conditioners.

Encourage Tenant Coverage

As the property owner, encouraging tenants to get renter's insurance, and possibly flood coverage, could lead to fewer hassles down the road. These are a few benefits of reminding tenants to consider insurance:

It reduces the possibility of lawsuits. If anyone is injured in a tenant’s unit, the renter is responsible. If the tenant has no insurance, the injured person may come after the property owner.
It gives you peace of mind. If a fire or other catastrophe ruins a tenant’s possessions, you know the belongings are covered.
It covers potential landlord liability for the tenant's pets. A renter's personal insurance generally covers dog bites or other situations.
Insured renters often mean lower premiums for the property owner. When tenants are insured, there are typically fewer claims on the owner's insurance.

Working with tenants and encouraging them to acquire renter’s insurance offers an additional layer of protection. Hopefully making a claim won't happen, but if it does, it can make the process easier for everyone.

3 Alternatives to Sandbags for Flood Control

10/17/2019 (Permalink)

Stack of sand bags. Don't handle flood cleanup on your own.

While sandbags are inexpensive and easy to obtain, they're also heavy, largely ineffective, and downright disgusting after the flooding ends. Once the water at your commercial property subsides, sandbags stay wet and become long-term bacteria hotels. Case in point: for disposal, a sand bag is considered a hazardous material. When you're ready to stem the tide of storm damage with a cleaner, safer, and more effective option, here are three alternatives to sandbags.
1. PVC Flood Diversion Tubes
These plastic tubes work in much the same way that sandbags do. They act as an obstacle for water to prevent flood damage. They're available in an assortment of lengths to suit different areas of your commercial property and can be positioned in endless configurations. These barriers can also be filled and weighted with a variety of substances including, ironically, water.
2. Portable Flood Fences
These movable barriers are an excellent way to stop water and avoid tedious and potentially costly storm cleanup. Each portable flood fence, while heavy, is generally no more difficult to move and position than a sand bag. The one catch here is that, in order for portable flood fences to be most effective, they should be arranged before flooding or an extreme storm begins. With a little foresight and allowing ample time for set-up, however, they can be an extremely successful line of storm damage defense.
3. Water-Filled Dams
While it may seem counterintuitive to stop the flow of water with more water, these plastic dam bags are an easy-to-use alternative to sandbags. Simply position these flood dams where you want them and hook up a hose. Because they're quick to fill, these water-filled barriers can come in especially handy when an unexpected storm hits. When not in use, they're easy to store, as well.
The next time the water rises, remember that you don't have to settle for a sand bag. You don't have to handle flood cleanup on your own, either. Enlist the help of a storm damage restoration company in Otter Tail to get your commercial property back on its feet quickly.

What to Do When Your Toilet Supply Line Is Leaking

10/17/2019 (Permalink)

Damaged leaking water tap hose in the bathroom No matter what kind of supply line damage you are facing, water damage restoration experts can help your Garfield, MN, home

If you notice a leak coming from your toilet’s supply line, it could be caused by a number of problems. Whether there is a hole in the line or the connection is worn out, it’s crucial to address the issue as soon as possible to prevent further damage from occurring in your Garfield, MN, home. Be sure to take the following steps as soon as you come across a leak to avoid facing costly supply line damage.

Find the Source of the Leak

The first thing you should do is figure out where the supply line leak is coming from. The four main places where a leak can be found are:

  • Nut that connects supply line to fill valve
  • Nut that connects supply line to shut off valve
  • Connection between valve and water line
  • Washer inside valve

Identifying the source of your bathroom leak allows you to address it appropriately. While most of these leaks can be fixed easily, a hole in the supply line might warrant a replacement. It’s best to talk to a professional if you aren’t sure how to fix your leak, as failing to take proper action can result in serious supply line damage.

Tighten the Fittings

In most cases, tightening the fittings on your supply line can stop the leak. Use a small pipe wrench to tighten each fitting on the line, and be sure to proceed with caution. If the supply line stops leaking, you don't need to do anything else. If it continues to leak, it may be a good idea to call a professional who can examine the problem and determine the best course of action.
A toilet supply line leak may cause serious harm to your living space even after you’ve had the problem fixed. No matter what kind of supply line damage you are facing, water damage restoration experts can help your Garfield, MN, home make a full recovery.

Everything You Need to Know About Smoke Alarms

10/13/2019 (Permalink)

Testing a smoke alarm It is ideal to test your smoke alarm

Fires can be unpredictable and occur at any point. The people in your Brandon, MN, home may not always notice them immediately. A smoke alarm can detect the fire's smoke and activate a loud alarm to warn everyone in the building. Continue reading to learn more about these devices and how they increase the safety of your house.

Locations for Alarms

The installation of alarms may not be enough to be effective. There are some specific strategies to consider when placing them around the home.

  • Install them in high places or near the ceiling
  • Place them near bedrooms to wake up the inhabitants
  • Use at least one in every floor
  • Avoid locations where it is hot or smoke is common, such as kitchens

  • Also, choose a location depending on whether the alarm runs on electricity or batteries. Keep extra batteries around in case of an outage.

Smoke Detector Types

There are two common types of smoke alarm: ionization and photoelectric. Ionization detectors contain Americium-241, which creates a current from ionized air. Fast smoke from a flaming fire can interact with the current, activating it. Meanwhile, photoelectric detectors find slow smoke from smoldering fires when the smoke redirects an internal light to the sensor. Both alarm types are recommended to account for both kinds of fires.

Testing and Replacement

A malfunctioning system can fail to timely warn everyone, leading to overwhelming fire damage. While fire cleanup services can help you salvage your home, it is ideal to test the alarm and replace batteries or the device itself if necessary. Press the "test" button to ensure it works. If not, replace the battery and try again. If it continues, it is time to replace it. Modern devices have long battery lives and can last up to 10 years from the manufacturing date. After that, you may need to replace the alarm regardless of testing.
The smoke alarm is an essential tool that detects fires and warns everyone fast. Functional detectors in specific locations can help you and others prevent destructive fires.

Tax Tips for Storm Damage Expenses

10/10/2019 (Permalink)

Person in a blue shirt holding building blocks. Insurance building blocks.

"When a natural disaster leaves your home or business with storm damage, the cost of restoration can be daunting. Ideally, your insurance is sufficient to cover your losses. If it is not, however, you may be able to deduct some of the expenses from your taxes. Here are some tips to help you determine if you qualify for tax breaks after a storm.
Declaration of Disaster
Damage to your property is likely to be tax deductible if it happens as the result of a federally declared disaster. Watch the local weather station for clues that a storm is severe enough to warrant federal assistance:

Storm is given a name
President declares state of emergency
Residents are advised or required to evacuate

A declaration of a natural disaster lends credence to your damage claims. Not only are you more likely to be able to deduct excess expenses from your taxes, you may even qualify for federal aid. 
Rules for Residential Property
If your home has storm damage and your homeowners insurance doesn't cover all the repairs, you may be able to list part of the expenses as one of your itemized deductions. The amount you can deduct depends on your income. You can use an online calculator to make sure that you are deducting the correct amount.
Rules for Commercial Property
When it comes to deductible damage expenses, commercial property owners are not bound by the same constraints as homeowners. Income is not a factor, and you can deduct expenses even if you do not usually itemize deductions on your return. You may even be able to take the deduction on the year in which it will save you the most money.
Your storm insurance is designed to cover any storm damage your home or business sustains, but it may have limits. Talk to your accountant to see if your extra expenses can be deducted from your taxes."

4 Tips For Faster Disaster Response

9/28/2019 (Permalink)

Fire damaged wall with SERVPRO logo Contact SERVPRO to initiate an emergency profile

Property owners and managers know that there is no way to prepare for everything. A comprehensive preparedness plan can still be useful for timely disaster response. Here are four tips that could shorten the disaster response timeframe, all of which are based around building an emergency profile in partnership with a SERVPRO mitigation and restoration franchise conveniently located in Alexandria, MN.

Start Building a READY Profile

A complete Emergency READY Profile contains contact information and structural details needed for timely mitigation and restoration services. Commercial property owners and managers can also access the ERP app to review emergency information. This can help to consolidate data and reduce stress when disaster strikes.

Schedule a Facility Assessment

A disaster preparedness plan should account for a range of factors. Point out built-in emergency response systems and the procedures and protocols that employees and maintenance personnel should take in the event of various types of damage.

Authorize Contacts

Building and business owners should have accurate call lists and clear designations of responsibility among the management and others who have access to the building. An emergency profile will include the information necessary to authorize mitigation and restoration as quickly as possible.

Remain Ready

SERVPRO is one of the leading national mitigation and restoration franchises on account of fast call and on-site response times. The company is structured to make one-hour local franchise callback times and on-site visits within as little as four hours possible. Building and maintaining and accurate damage risk profile is the best way to ensure that service windows stay short, even in the event of widespread water damage in Alexandria, MN.

An emergency response strategy that is more informed and timely could end up saving property owners a lot of money. Contact a local mitigation and restoration franchise to initiate an emergency profile that will account for all major types of damage.

Safely Navigate Flooding

9/17/2019 (Permalink)

Red truck and a black car driving through a flooded street Vehicles driving through a flooded street in Alexandria, MN

When flooding happens in your home in Alexandria, MN, there are professionals Faster to any size disaster to count on. People may often forget that a flooded street presents unexpected hazards that can quickly cause damage to a vehicle or injuries to people.

Navigating the Road

Unfortunately, people aren’t always at home when flooding happens or don’t have the necessary supplies at home. If you need to get home or can’t stay home and ride it out, below are some travel tips to safely navigate flooded roads.

Avoid Standing Water – Water has a tricky way of making a large hole or debris seem like a small puddle. Try to estimate the depth. If the water seems to be quickly flowing, seek an alternative route.
Slow and Steady – Along with keeping extra space between yourself and other vehicles, drive slowly and take note of how other vehicles are getting through the water. Tires can easily lose traction at higher speeds.
Keep the Lights On – Ensure headlights are on, as well as fog lights if your vehicle is equipped with them. This will ensure others can see you.
Test the Brakes – Water can affect the electrical components of a vehicle. If you do travel through high waters, gently test the brakes once you are on higher ground while keeping your foot on the accelerator.
Awareness Is Key – As you keep your eyes sweeping across the flooded street, look for any fallen branches, downed lines or other debris that could cause an accident.

How to Handle Getting Stuck

If your vehicle stalls or gets stuck, it’s important to stay calm and do your best to get out and move to higher ground. Turn on the hazard lights and keep headlights on to ensure other vehicles, including emergency vehicles, can safely navigate around your vehicle.
When it comes to a flooded street, never overestimate what your vehicle is capable of. Even a foot of water can easily begin to seep into the bottom of a vehicle and cause damage or limit one’s ability to control it.

Mold After Water Damage

9/17/2019 (Permalink)

Mold on refrigerator Mold can growing on a refrigerator

Places That You May Encounter Mold

You’ve probably experienced mold growth in your Brandon, MN  home at some point. There are certain areas that are known to be mold havens, such as kitchens, bathrooms or places that have sustained water damage. However, mold may be hiding in areas that you would never think to look. It’s important to find and remedy as much mold as possible. You may encounter mold in these unexpected places:

1. Windows

When the temperature between your house and the outdoors is drastically different, condensation can form on your windows. If it is allowed to remain damp, mold can begin to grow.

2. Houseplants

Usually, houseplants are good for your house’s air quality. But when mold develops on the plant or in the soil, this can outweigh the benefits. Mold growth can occur due to overwatering or lack of sunlight.

3. Refrigerator/Freezer

Mold can grow on refrigerator and freezer drip pans and door gaskets due to condensation and possible transference of mold spores from food to the refrigerator itself.

4. Recyclables

Oftentimes recyclable food and drink containers will be rinsed, but may still have a tiny amount of food or drink remaining. This can cause mold growth, so make sure you rinse thoroughly or use lids on containers when they’re available.

5. Air Conditioning Units

Many window air conditioning units have built-in moisture control, but most likely there will be some condensation within and on the outside of the unit. This is an optimal breeding ground for mold due to high humidity, dark spaces and dust (dust feeds mold). Air conditioning units are one of the worst places to have mold growth since the spores will be blown throughout the house. Consider installing a HEPA filter in the unit to filter any pollutants from blowing out into the house and regularly clean the unit.
Mold growth emits spores, which travel throughout your house and multiply quickly in the right conditions. The situation can soon get out of control. It may be time to hire mold remediation professionals for a thorough inspection and mold cleanup.

3 Steps You Should Take After You Find a Broken Pipe

8/23/2019 (Permalink)

Turn off the building's main water supply

Three Steps To Take In The Aftermath Of a Rupture

Winter in Garfield, MN, can quickly chill you to the bone, and inhospitable temperatures aren’t good for your home either. One of the biggest problems homeowners can face during colder weather is damage to plumbing due to frozen water, but breaks can also happen in warmer weather too. Even if you’ve never encountered bursting pipes, it’s best to be prepared so you can act quickly to arrange repairs before mold and other secondary damages occur. Here are three steps you should take in the aftermath of a rupture.

1. Remove as Much Water as Possible

When you discover bursting pipes, your first step should be to limit additional water damage by removing as much liquid from the equation as possible. You can accomplish this by performing a few simple tasks around the house:

  • Turn off the building’s main water supply.
  • Open all faucets to drain hot and cold water.
  • Flush your toilets to further remove liquid from the system.

Once you’ve stopped the water from leaking out of the ruptured pipe, you’ll be in a better place to assess the situation and take stock of the building’s flooded areas.

2. Contact Your Insurer

Read your insurance policy carefully to see if you’re covered for damage due to a ruptured pipe. Most insurers will not fix broken pipe situations if the break is the result of homeowner neglect, so arm yourself with maintenance records to answer any questions that come up during the investigation.

3. Begin Cleanup Efforts

Whether your insurer is covering the damage or you’re doing it by yourself, your next call should be to a trusted restoration specialist to start the recovery process. The longer you put this off, the likelihood of secondary damage and mold significantly increases.

Bursting pipes can cause significant damage, but you can take steps to limit the impact of a rupture. By quickly arranging water pipe repair and cleanup from a company that’s Here to Help, you’ll be on the road to a return to normalcy.

What To Expect With a Roof Restoration

8/16/2019 (Permalink)

Roof restoration in Brandon, MN

Roof Restoration

If your business in Brandon, MN, has experienced a roof leak, then you may be wondering what a restoration of the damaged area will look like. Fortunately, you can contact a professional restoration service to assess the damage and conduct repairs. During this process there are several things you can expect to happen.

1. Cleaning

One step you may see professionals perform before repairing a damaged roof is to clean the area. Doing so can help them look for any additional damages that may have been hidden under debris, as well as make sure that any repairs performed will remain stable over the long-term. The cleaning process may include pressure washing, as well as sanitation to ensure that no bacteria remain from storm water after repairs are completed.

2. Replacement

In some cases fixing a roof leak may require completely replacing parts of the roof. This may include damaged shingles, plywood, nails or staples, weatherproofing, caulking, and plywood. If the gutters are damaged it may be recommended that they be replaced as well to avoid water overflow during the next storm.

3. Repairs

Once the roof is clean, and any damage materials have been replaced, the rest of the repairs can begin. This may include replacing missing shingles, re-affixing the gutters if they've been removed, and performing any other maintenance needs. At this time you will also want to ensure that any drainage spouts direct water away from the company building’s foundation. You may also want to consider having the properties roof inspected on a regular basis to ensure that it remains in top condition.
During a roof restoration there are a few things you can expect to happen. Before a roof leak can be repaired, your restoration service will have to clean the area. You may also find that they need to replace certain materials in order to ensure the best quality restoration. After this the rest of the repairs can occur.

Secure Your Building From Looters After a Fire

8/9/2019 (Permalink)

Fire damage in Alexandria, MN

A commercial fire in Alexandria, MN, is devastating enough without having to deal with vandalism. The fire damage will keep you busy for a long time, so it's critical to secure your building to prevent unauthorized people from entering your place of work. The fire restoration professionals have the knowledge and experience to protect your property from further damage. They can install locks on the doors, board up openings and even post 24-hour surveillance on the property. Though you could have extensive damage from fire and water, there could still be a lot of valuable items that thieves could pillage.

Important Measures To Take After a Fire

The professionals know that fire restoration is a process. It starts with an immediate response that can be labelled as Faster to Any Size Disaster. A quick response will address the problem of looting and it will begin the process of limiting all forms of damage. The goals are to save you money, increase safety and get your building back to square one. The path to a successful cleanup includes the following steps:

  • Inspection and damage assessment
  • The boarding up of windows, walls and roofs to prevent further damage and vandalism
  • Water removal and drying
  • Treatment of smoke odors and soot damage
  • A thorough cleaning and sanitizing

A fire cleanup in Alexandria, MN, gets rid of the smells associated with a fire and mitigates damage to the entire building. The final step in the process is restoration, which involves a variety of repairs. If the fire was small, this normally includes some drywall work and perhaps some painting. For a larger fire, entire rooms may have to be rebuilt.
The professionals have the tools and training to deal with fire damage after a commercial fire. They bring specialized equipment to your site and work to restore your building, making it safe for your employees to resume work.

Commercial Property Restoration by SERVPRO of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties

1/2/2019 (Permalink)

Fire in Livestock Barn, Utility Room

Commercial Property Damage

Property damage can happen anywhere.  Fires, floods, storm damage, or other types of damage can impact homes, as well as businesses and commercial property.  SERVPRO of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties regularly responds to water and fire damage in large, commercial buildings and businesses of all sizes.  If a commercial building or business experiences any form of damage to their operation, it is imperative to get the situation under control and up and running as quickly as possible. Each day not open or operating means that people can’t work, with business interruption having a profound impact on the local economy and beyond.  These are the situations when SERVPRO can help and restore damage quickly.

Responding to Fire, Flood, and other Damage

SERVPRO of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties responds to storm, fire, flood or other types of property damage and helps get your commercial building and/or business back up and running as quickly as possible. 

SERVPRO of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties has experience working on commercial projects, such as:

  • Hospitals
  • Schools and Universities
  • Medical and Assisted Living Facilities
  • Manufacturing Operations and Food Plants
  • Livestock Barns
  • Commercial Office Buildings
  • And so much more!

Call SERVPRO today if you have damage you need restored! (320) 219-6505

SERVPRO Offers Water Restoration Services to Schools in Douglas & Otter Tail Counties

11/29/2018 (Permalink)

For every one of the issues that could affect one of the schools in the Douglas & Otter Tail Counties area, one of the most devastating of these is a water emergency. With minimal warning, high volumes of water could impact a widespread area of the institution, forcing your school board to put a stoppage to regularly scheduled classes until the problem can get resolved.

Often, the emergencies requiring water removal that can threaten Douglas & Otter Tail Counties are present from natural disasters outside of the building that makes their way in, yet this could also present itself through concerns such as plumbing ruptures, fire suppression malfunctions and boiler system degradation.

While there might not be many things that you can do to prevent these issues from happening (as they often occur with no warning or symptoms), you are not going to have to face the effects from the water on your own. Once our SERVPRO team has arrived at the school, we can assess how widespread the damage is and the appropriate course of actions it takes to restore the facility entirely.

While a lot of the construction materials used in modern schools are block and concrete, there are still multiple areas like ceilings, carpeted floors for offices, and areas like auditoriums that can get affected the worst by these traumatic events. The longer that pooled water can sit in these areas, the more damage that they can do to the layers of materials beneath the surface you can see.

Extraction of the water is only the beginning of the process, and the real heart of the restoration process rests in thoroughly drying all of the affected areas. This process provides the right opportunity to inspect for severely compromised structural components that could require replacement or reconstruction from a commercial contractor.

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

Water emergencies to a school can affect many families, employees, and students. Getting the issue resolved as quickly as possible is the top priority, and SERVPRO of Douglas and Otter Tail Counties can help you to accomplish this. Give us a call anytime you need us at (320) 219-6505

Why SERVPRO Provides Highest Quality Water Damage Restoration in Douglas & Otter Tail Counties

11/21/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is always here to help

When you face the fear and confusion of a water loss in your home, selecting the best restoration partner is the key to a successful outcome. Many companies vie for your business, but you want to engage the professionals who bring a unique mix of training, experience, and cutting-edge equipment to your disaster. Let us explore why our services and products are the correct fit. 

The amount of water damage done in Alexandria, homes from appliance failures would shock most homeowners. A busted water heater or a washing machine with a broken hose can spew dozens to hundreds of gallons of water across your floors depending on when you discover the breach and shut off the water source. What are the reasons to choose our crews when you face this devastation?

The reasons why SERVPRO is a water damage mitigation leader are many. We require our technicians to master industry standards taught through Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) courses and to maintain their expertise by renewing certification regularly. IICRC is an international standards-developing organization that teaches research-based strategies and techniques to ensure outstanding results under the most difficult of circumstances. 

SERVPRO offers a full spectrum of water damage restoration services, able to adapt the approaches we take during your project to meet the individualized needs of your scenario. We are a locally based and owned company with deep roots in our Northfield community, dedicated to delivering high-quality services on each job. 

Although our employees provide top-notch water loss remediation services, we are only as skilled as our equipment supports us to be. A crucial reason why SERVPRO meets or exceeds customer expectations is our investment in modern technology and proven tools of the restoration trade. The pumps, extractors, drying mats, air movers, heaters, dehumidifiers, and more precisely match the tasks we need them to compete to transform your water damaged home to “Like it never even happened.”  

This combination of technical skills and proper equipment is why SERVPRO of Douglas and Otter Tail Counties is the company you can rely on to restore water damage in your home. Call (320) 219-6505 to schedule an assessment and start the restoration process.

5 Ways to Eliminate Smoke Odor

11/15/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke Damage

5 Ways to Eliminate Smoke Odor

Smoke odors are persistent. Methods such as air filtration, ventilation, or wiping residue off of surfaces are not likely to be sufficient. Particles of smoke drift into air ducts, nooks and crannies, and porous materials such as carpeting, drapery, and furniture. The only way to completely eliminate smoke odor is to permanently neutralize the presence of these particles. Here are five smoke cleaning methods suitable for smoke damage restoration.

5 smoke cleaning methods

  1. Ozone Machines Ozone machines release molecules that follow the same path as smoke particles and oxidize these sources of odor. This method is popular because it works quickly, but all occupants, pets, and plants must be temporarily evacuated.
  2. Hydroxyl Generators Hydroxyl generators destroy smoke particles with radicals generated by ultraviolet light. This method does not require evacuation, but may take anywhere from three to five times as long as an ozone machine.
  3. HVAC Air Scrubbers These scrubbers connect to the central air system to circulate air and filter out smoke particles. As these systems do not neutralize odor molecules, a faint smoke odor may linger. Some odor mitigation professionals may combine an air scrubber with another smoke cleaning method.
  4. Thermal Foggers Thermal foggers fill a home with fog for approximately 30 minutes before the residence is ventilated and allowed to dry. This highly effective odor elimination method also calls for evacuation and workers must wear respirators.
  5. Vapor Modification Vapor modification neutralizes odors by dispersing an aromatic compound in a mineral oil base with the assistance of a blower or fan. There is no need to evacuate during this treatment.

Out of these five methods, only two – ozone machines and thermal foggers – require evacuation. The other three methods can be pursued while you remain at home. A smoke cleaning service can work with you to determine which treatment options are right for a residence in Alexandria, MN.

3 Ways To Prepare Your Commercial Property for a Storm

11/15/2018 (Permalink)

When strong storms sweep into Douglas and Otter Tail Counties in MN they can wreak havoc on your commercial property. This can be distressing, as high winds, heavy rain and flood water have the ability to cause thousands of dollars in damage to your building and its inventory. However, if you know a storm is inevitable, there are a few strategies you can use to prepare and possibly minimize the damage.

1. Back Up All Your Data Your company’s data can be destroyed in a flash if it is stored in the basement of a flooded building. Paper archives can be especially vulnerable, so you may want to take time to move boxes or file cabinets to a safe location where the information can be transformed into electronic data and stored in the cloud. Avoid archiving information in company computers, especially those on the ground floor and vulnerable to flood water. In fact, you might be better off moving any company computers to a higher floor, if possible.

2. Remove Items From the Floor Inventory, machinery and valuable company tools that sit at ground level can be susceptible to water damage. You may want to remove these items from the building or put them up on high, stable shelving. Heavier machinery can be lifted up onto stacked wooden pallets, which may keep them dry and unharmed during flooding.

3. Have a Restoration Plan in Place It can be difficult to gauge how much damage your business may suffer before a flood, so it is wise to have a restoration plan in place before a disaster happens. Contact your local flood damage and mitigation service to discuss what the company’s technicians can do for you in the event that your building takes on damage. Discuss possible services like odor cleanup and mold mitigation.

Flood water and high winds in Douglas and Otter Tail Counties in MN, can damage your commercial building and put you in serious debt. However, careful planning and having a mitigation and restoration strategy in place may help you come through a flood with the least possible amount of damage.

Call your local Water Mitigation professionals when a storm strikes your office.

SERVPRO of Douglas and Otter Tail Counties – (320) 219-6505

Douglas County Fire, Smoke and Soot Cleanup

11/5/2018 (Permalink)

Wet Smoke

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:
  • Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber
  • Different Types of Smoke
  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
  • Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood
  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.
  • Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire
  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.
  • Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Us Today – SERVPRO of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties (320) 219-6505
  • Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Water Problem? Call SERVPRO of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties

11/2/2018 (Permalink)

A toilet overflows, a broken pipe, heavy rain storm, a hole in your roof, whatever the cause may be, if you have water damage in your home, SERVPRO professionals are only a phone call away.  Serving the Douglas & Otter Tail Counties area, SERVPRO is an area leader in helping with water damage problems in both residential and commercial properties.  Staffed with a team of trained technicians, we also have the vehicles and equipment to provide water extraction, structural drying, and repairs to your home or business in no time.

Offering Full Service 24/7 Water Damage Response

When you find yourself with a water problem, we can not only provide the emergency assistance to remove the water and provide drying and repairs, but we also can contact a local plumber to resolve the issue, and will work with your insurance company throughout the process, to relieve some of the headache for you. Let us take care of your water issue, so you can continue to live comfortably in your home like it never even happened.

Need help with a water problem? Or know someone that needs help?

Call SERVPRO of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties. (320) 219-6505

When an Alexandria Home Is Flooded Call SERVPRO for Emergency Cleanup and Restoration

11/2/2018 (Permalink)

In many cases, the flood damage to Douglas and Otter Tail County homes includes contaminated water. Silt, debris, and even sewer water from overwhelmed city systems or septic tanks require special protective and cleaning actions. An experienced company like SERVPRO has the training to deal with these situations and how to safely put you back in your home.

Once discovered, our IICRC certified technicians deal with a contamination threat by spraying a disinfectant as they enter the structure. They spray every surface with an EPA approved chemical. Spraying not only reduces the threat but also reduces the chance of spreading the contamination as our technicians move into uncontaminated areas. Next, we remove excess debris. As the process begins, our technicians use shovels to remove heavy items and rakes to remove silt from carpets. This material may be hazardous if it contains asbestos, lead or another regulated material.

Now, technicians begin water removal. They accomplish this task using a combination of water vacuums and extractors specially designed to remove the flooding without harming carpets or other types of flooring. With that finished, our restoration team continues with the evaluation. We determine if your structure and personal property can be decontaminated and restored. If this is not possible, then the items must be removed and replaced. We usually remove building material (e.g. drywall, wallpaper) since it is rapidly destroyed by standing water alone. Structural beams and other components are more resistant to standing water; technician’s pressure wash them and then spray with a disinfectant to avoid the cost of replacement.

Other types of property are restorable unless exposed to black water (sewer water). If this has happened, then the decision to attempt disinfecting the item depends on the porous nature of the items. A solid countertop is recoverable while carpets and furniture fabrics are usually written off as a loss. Safety first.

As technicians remove property, new surfaces are exposed. Every new surface is disinfected and inspected again to determine if it can be restored or requires removal. Technicians repeat these actions until all surfaces, hardwood or tile flooring and soft fabrics, in the home are disinfected or disposed of according to state and federal regulations.

Restoring your home after a flood is a complicated process, but SERVPRO of Douglas and Otter Tail Counties stands with you through every step. Call us today at (320) 219-6505 for an initial inspection or to get started immediately

House Fire Prevention Tips

11/1/2018 (Permalink)

House Fire

Now that the cold weather is upon us, furnaces are turned on and we will be spending more time indoors, it is time to review some fire safety to prevent house fires. House fires affect more than 374,000 homes each year and smoking is the leading cause of fire related death. House fires are devastating and they cause more than 7 billion dollars in damage in the United States each year. 

It is important to know ways that you can reduce your family's risk of experiencing a house fire. Below is a list of a few things you can do: 

  • Do NOT smoke in bed or anywhere in your home for that matter. People lay down while smoking a cigarette and fall asleep causing more fire related deaths than any other cause worldwide. 
  • Unplug appliances that are not in use. Certain appliances have auto on features that keep them on all the time so you can turn them on right away. These appliances can catch fire when left plugged in. 
  • Keep clothing and debris off power strips. Make sure your children do not leave clothes on power strips as the clothing can catch on fire. 
  • Unplug hair dryers, curling irons and flatirons for straightening your hair. As soon as you are finished using them, unplug them right away. Do not walk away to do something else before unplugging them, because you could easily forget. 
  • Only place your curling Iron and flatiron on a flat hard surface. Do not leave irons or flatirons on soft surfaces that may catch on fire. 
  • Keep portable heaters away from all cloth and clothing. Make sure they are on a flat stable surface and cannot tip or be knocked over by children. Heating elements are the second leading cause of house fires. 
  • Do not walk away from food while cooking even for a brief period of time. Make sure that you turn pot handles so that children cannot grab those dumping scalding contents which can burn them or start a fire. 
  • Use baking soda to extinguish grease fires as water will make them spread. 
  • Keep batteries in your smoke detectors and test them frequently. 
  • Make a fire escape plan with your family, especially if children are on a different floor. 
  • Leave the home immediately and call 9-1-1 if your home catches on fire!!!

Knowing these tips will help keep you and your family safe. If you do experience a house fire call SERVPRO of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties at 320-219-6505. We are fire restoration specialists. 

Water in the House: SERVPRO of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties helps when you have water trouble in your home or office

10/23/2018 (Permalink)

Water damage is a common occurrence in homes and buildings.  You may experience an event with water from a heavy rain, flooding in the area, a broken sprinkler head, or even from an over-flowing toilet.  Whatever the cause of the water problem, SERVPRO can help.  Water damage is not to be taken lightly, as water can cause damage to flooring, wood trim, drywall and other parts of a structure. When water is standing in a basement, rooms, or even in a bathroom, it seeps into crevices and travels under flooring, trim and baseboards.  If not properly dried, that water can create irreparable damage, even cause mold.  Of course, the amount of water needs to be something beyond a common spill, although even a small, steady leak that is not stopped and dried can create big problems.

When to contact SERVPRO of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties for water damage repairs and drying:

  • Standing water in the basement
  • Flood water has entered the house or building
  • Visible damage to a window, door or walls, with water pooling in areas
  • Roof damage that has allowed wind driven rain to enter the structure
  • Sewer water or other plumbing backup
  • A long-term leak has been discovered
  • If there is a question of whether water can be damaging your home or building, SERVPRO professionals are trained at identifying and surveying the damage any water may have created.  Most importantly, we can remove the water and clean, dry, and professionally repair water damage.

What Happens During a Pipe Burst Cleanup

10/18/2018 (Permalink)

A pipe burst cleanup can look overwhelming at first glance. If you have ever undergone a water cleanup before, then you know that this can be a stressful time. As a business owner, you may find that you are less overwhelmed if you understand the process behind the cleanup.

1. Safety First You and the restoration company cannot begin pipe burst cleanup procedures until you take the proper safety precautions. Make sure the water is off so that no more can enter the building. Additionally, it may be a wise move to shut down the power. If there are any electrical outlets or appliances that have been soaked, you have to keep an electrical current out of there.

2. Item Removal Once you’ve taken care of safety, you can focus on what you can and cannot remove. Take everything that is salvageable outside to dry. You can clean all of your items outside of the building. Keep in mind that contents made out of porous materials can trap mold and mildew and should be thrown away.

3. Water Extraction The water extraction could go a number of different ways. If it isn’t too bad, then you can always mop up the water or use towels to soak it up. In some cases, the water cleanup may require you to use a more advanced strategy. If this is the case, you can use a pump to drain water.

4. Drying and Dehumidifying After you deal with a supply line leaking, you have to focus on drying out your business the best that you can. You can do this with fans and open windows. However, you can also purchase a dehumidifier. This will get rid of all excess moisture in the building. A pipe burst cleanup can be difficult to undergo. However, it does not have to be stressful, and with professional assistance you can take care of a flood in Douglas & Otter Tail Counties quickly and easily.

Visit SERVPRO of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties for more information about commercial water damage.

Restoring Your Alexandria, MN Commercial Property after a Water Loss

10/10/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Water Damage Events Present Unique Challenges

Flooding and water damage events at commercial properties in Alexandria, MN are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties

SERVPRO of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Comprehensive Restoration after Water Damage in Alexandria

10/9/2018 (Permalink)

Moisture in an Attic During Winter can Easily go Unnoticed

Moisture can be problematic for homeowners. After flooding or heavy rainfall, it is common for older structures to take on some water. In small quantities, this poses little problem, but introducing moisture to attics or crawlspaces can result in mold growth and cause permanent damage if left untreated. Getting an expert restoration team can help you to get your home back to how it was, "Like it never even happened."

Properties that have recently had issues with water damage in Alexandria could benefit from a professional restoration service. Trained technicians, like those working with SERVPRO, can clear away areas of damage you can see, as well as less visible areas that may go overlooked.

When we provide restoration services, we are looking at both short-term and long-term gains. In the short-term, we can bring in wet-dry vacuums and portable extractors to remove excess water quickly. We can also clean your structure and contents thoroughly with sanitizers and anti-microbial treatments.

SERVPRO applies preventative measures to guard against longer-term damages that can appear after the initial damage has been restored. We may include assessing your carpets to ensure they are entirely clean and free of moisture on both sides as well as inspecting the carpet pads underneath. Sometimes the surface damage is just the tip of the iceberg. By moving furniture and interior, we can check your subfloor and crawlspaces for any signs of further damage.

Before we pack up and leave, a SERVPRO technician can test and adjust your indoor humidity levels to reduce the risk of secondary damages. We do this using dehumidifiers, rapid air-movers and moisture meters in tandem. Taking a sample from an unaffected area of your home allows us to establish a dry goal that we can then work toward achieving.

One of the primary concerns for homeowners is the unpleasant odors that come with water damage. Using foggers with odor neutralizing chemicals can help to restore your home to a welcoming and clean environment. Having taken both long and short-term restoration measures a SERVPRO technician can give you a walk through, pointing out areas of concern and explaining the work carried out.

If you are looking for a comprehensive restoration service in your local community, contact SERVPRO of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties at (320) 219-6505 to arrange a visit.

Should You Wait for an Adjuster After Storm Damage?

10/9/2018 (Permalink)

Flooding Can Cause Damage After a Severe Storm

Flooding can cause damage after a severe storm

After a severe storm or flooding in Alexandria, MN, you may wonder whether to wait for a flood insurance adjuster before trying to mitigate flood damage. Here are three reasons not to wait before documenting damage and taking steps to limit the extent of secondary damage to your home.

1. Documentation Is All You Need to File a Claim An insurance adjuster does not need to witness damage firsthand to process a claim, but you do need to document the damage. Take extensive dated photographic or video evidence. Keep records of possessions, as well as their condition and value, and locate receipts for high-value items if possible. Footage and itemized records should be enough to prove your home and possessions sustained the damage you claim.

2. Adjusters Are Likely To Be Backlogged Depending on the extent of a flood or storm and how many homes and businesses were affected, it may take adjusters a while to follow up on your flood insurance claims. It is better to document and immediately take steps to mitigate damage to keep conditions in your home from worsening. As a matter of fact, your insurance may not provide as much of a payout if you cannot prove you did everything in your power to limit damage in a timely manner.

3. Secondary Damage Can Start In Hours The longer water damage sits, the more likely it is that building materials and contents will need to be replaced rather than restored. Mold damage can start to emerge within only 24 to 48 hours following a flood. You should take steps to eliminate the presence of water and moisture in your home as soon as possible. Don't wait for a flood insurance adjuster following adverse weather or flooding in Alexandria, MN. Contact water and storm damage specialists if you need assistance with flood damage mitigation or restoration.

Call SERVPRO of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties at (320) 219-6505.

What is Mold?

10/9/2018 (Permalink)

Mold can grow within 24 to 48 hours and will begin to colonize in 1 to 12 days.

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 320-219-6505

SERVPRO of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties

7/25/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO green van SERVPRO of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties

SERVPRO of Douglas and Otter Tail Counties is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help Call Today - (320) 219-6505

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Douglas and Otter Tail Counties has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?SERVPRO of Douglas and Otter Tail Counties specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

About SERVPRO of Douglas and Otter Tail Counties

SERVPRO of Douglas and Otter Tail Counties specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

SERVPRO of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties Specialize in Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration!

4/25/2018 (Permalink)

This Alexandria home’s basement flooded due to heavy rains.

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

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

Have Questions about Basement Flooding?

Call Today – SERVPRO of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties - (320) 219-6505

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

We are Flooded Basement Specialists:

  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
  • We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained  in Water Restoration Techniques
  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
  • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Basement Flooded? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help (320) 219 – 6505.

Conditions In Alexandria Might Be Right For Mold

4/25/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties knows what to do if mold grows in your home.

It’s estimated that more than 1 million types of mold exist, yet less than 10 percent have actually been named. This means mold is very common in both indoor and outdoor environments. While mold and humans can sometimes co-exist without issue, there are certain species of mold that can cause health effects for some people.

If the right conditions exist, mold will grow.  Those conditions include:

  • Water - Different mold types require varying amounts of liquid before growth begins.   
  • Temperature - Normal indoor temperatures will promote mold growth.
  • Time - Initial mold colonizers can take hold within one day after being exposed to an adequate water supply.

Mold growth can occur in any home, so it’s important to keep an eye out for situations that might promote mold activity. Roof/chimney leaks, wet basements, or condensation from ducts that dampen surrounding insulation are just a few examples of issues that make a house a prime target for mold growth.

If you suspect mold in your home, call SERVPRO of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties to assess the situation. We have the knowledge, tools and track record to effectively remediate mold in your home or business.

If you suspect mold, call us today at (320) 219-6505

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.

Contact SERVPRO of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties for mold remediation services.

House Fire Prevention Tips

11/3/2017 (Permalink)


Now that the cold weather is upon us, furnaces are turned on and we will be spending more time indoors, it is time to review some fire safety to prevent house fires. House fires affect more than 374,000 homes each year and smoking is the leading cause of fire related death. House fires are devastating and they cause more than 7 billion dollars in damage in the United States each year. 

It is important to know ways that you can reduce your family's risk of experiencing a house fire. Below is a list of a few things you can do: 

  • Do NOT smoke in bed or anywhere in your home for that matter. People lay down while smoking a cigarette and fall asleep causing more fire related deaths than any other cause worldwide. 
  • Unplug appliances that are not in use. Certain appliances have auto on features that keep them on all the time so you can turn them on right away. These appliances can catch fire when left plugged in. 
  • Keep clothing and debris off power strips. Make sure your children do not leave clothes on power strips as the clothing can catch on fire. 
  • Unplug hair dryers, curling irons and flatirons for straightening your hair. As soon as you are finished using them, unplug them right away. Do not walk away to do something else before unplugging them, because you could easily forget. 
  • Only place your curling Iron and flatiron on a flat hard surface. Do not leave irons or flatirons on soft surfaces that may catch on fire. 
  • Keep portable heaters away from all cloth and clothing. Make sure they are on a flat stable surface and cannot tip or be knocked over by children. Heating elements are the second leading cause of house fires. 
  • Do not walk away from food while cooking even for a brief period of time. Make sure that you turn pot handles so that children cannot grab those dumping scalding contents which can burn them or start a fire. 
  • Use baking soda to extinguish grease fires as water will make them spread. 
  • Keep batteries in your smoke detectors and test them frequently. 
  • Make a fire escape plan with your family, especially if children are on a different floor. 
  • Leave the home immediately and call 9-1-1 if your home catches on fire!!!

Knowing these tips will help keep you and your family safe. If you do experience a house fire call SERVPRO of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties at 320-219-6505. We are fire restoration specialists. 

Time to Prepare For Winter

10/31/2017 (Permalink)

Beware of Ice Dams This Winter

The temperature is dropping and we have had our first snow.  We know winter is coming - and, maybe, quickly!  Is your roof ready?  Are your gutters cleaned out so any melting snow is free to run off of your roof properly?  Is your attic properly insulated to prevent ice dams?  Ice dams can be a major problem during the winter season.  They form when heated air melts roof snow downward into water dammed behind still-frozen ice.  When the trapped water cannot safely flow or run into the gutter system, it can backflow under the roof's shingles and into the structure's interior areas.  Your local SERVPRO of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties professionals can help mitigate water damage caused by ice dams and help you get your structure back to preloss condition.

No Matter the Cause, We Can Help

10/24/2017 (Permalink)

Water can cause a lot of damage!

There are many causes of water damage. Below is a list of common causes of water related loss:

  • Broken Pipe
  • Washer Overflows
  • Water Heater Overflow
  • Rising Water from Flooding
  • Roof Leak
  • Rain Water from a Broken Window
  • Toilet or Bathtub Overflow
  • Air Conditioner Drip Pan Overflow
  • Leaking Appliance Hoses
  • Fire Related Water Damage

These are a few of the many ways a SERVPRO customer may experience a water damage. SERVPRO of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties’ customers know who to call when they experience a water loss. Our team is specially trained to properly handle water damage losses. 

Until you experience a water related loss you may not realize how important it is to hire a water damage specialist, but SERVPRO of Douglas and Otter Tail Counties is trusted by insurance agents and property owners across Douglas, Otter Tail and Grant Counties and they are always ready to help you get back to life, "Like it never even happened." after you experience a loss. Contact us at 320-219-6505.

Fire at the Office

10/15/2017 (Permalink)

A fire at the office changes everything

Electrical and Utility Room Fires

Fire damage is something dreaded by everyone and especially those running businesses. It is devastating to see years of investment going down to ashes within a short time. However, no one is immune from experiencing fire outbreak or commercial fire damage in his or her business. Electrical fire or utility room fire are often common locations for the fire to begin. In an effort to mitigate the effect of electrical fire or utility room fire, most buildings have adopted the modern ways of dealing with fire menace. Fire sprinkler systems have been installed to help in fire suppression. The fire sprinklers systems are made such that any rise in room temperature beyond certain parameter triggers it to open its valve, raise the alarm, and sprinkle water in the rooms. A fire sprinkler system is, therefore, in the first line of fire suppression effort before the arrival of firefighters. The intensity of a utility room fire or electrical fire is very high, which makes it difficult for the fire sprinkler system to sustain fire suppression. This means that back up must come quickly and help in the fire suppression. The firefighters, with their fire trucks, arrive on time to help put out the inferno caused by a utility room fire or electrical fire. It may take a few minutes, while others could take hours, depending on the magnitude of the fire. It could also take dozens of firefighters and many fire trucks to fight the fire. This means that fire suppression effort is not a simple one - it requires equipment and skills. The fire hose is used to pour thousands of liters of water into the fire. The firefighters do not spare anything even if it means breaking the windows and doors to gain access into the building. It ensures that the fire hose can reach closer to the fire in order to inject more pressure that could put it out. In case the fire is in a high-rise building, the fire truck has cranes that support the fire hose and firefighter to reach any height.

The Outcome at the End of Fire Suppression

After the firefighters have suppressed the fire and there is no likelihood of it breaking out again, they pack their fire hoses and drive away in their fire trucks. You are left with your charred mess to forge forward. Viewing the fire damage has left many speechless, as the water, flooding every room, broken doors and windows, soot damage and smoke damage are devastating to see. The place looks completely different. What had been papers, books, and files and computers is now charred rubble, some half burnt. The sight is difficult to see, and it needs a bold heart. It would be challenging for you and your workers to do the clean up because you are all already psychologically tortured. Leave the fire restoration effort to professionals, they know how to handle the mess and safely restore your property.

Professional Fire Restoration

Most do not have the skills; protective clothing and equipment to help you carry out the commercial fire damage clean up on your own. There are hazards, which must be handled carefully; hence, fire restoration should be done by experts. Soot damage, fire damage, smoke damage and possible water damage are some of the things that professionals will clean up quickly. The importance of working with professional commercial fire damage restoration teams is that they have a plan. They first deal with inspection to determine the extent of fire damage and the suitable method for fire restoration to consider. Soot damage has to be cleaned and walls painted. Smoke damage should be removed from the upholstery and rooms through suitable method. Furniture and other items that could be repaired are salvaged. The mess is cleaned up; drying of water to avoid molds is completed. The commercial fire damage restoration is achieved to leave the building soot damage and smoke damage free. The more quickly and completely it is done, the sooner you can get back to business.

Visit http://www.SERVPROdouglasottertailcounties.com for more information on fire damage and restoration.

Emergency Ready Profile

9/20/2017 (Permalink)

As a homeowner you always want to make sure you have emergency contacts close by in case anything unexpected happens. What if you are a homeowner but also a business owner? I know personally I couldn't imagine the amount of stress! SERVPRO realizes that you might not think about the unexpected things that might happen to your business; flooding, tornado damage, etc.

That's why we have our Emergency Ready Program available to you! Our ERP, Emergency Ready Profile is the best way to reduce business interruption following a disaster, plan for it now! As many as 50% of businesses may never recover following a disaster, according to the latest industry research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. By developing a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.
The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile Advantage A no cost assessment of your facility. – This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost. A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency. – It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed. A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster. – This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action. Establishes your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider. – You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by. Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin. – This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money. Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information. – Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are “Ready for whatever happens.” Give a call today and set up your ERP!

Water Damage: Dos and Don'ts

8/28/2017 (Permalink)

With water damage, immediate action is crucial. SERVPRO® of Douglas and Otter Tail Counties responds immediately with advanced equipment and techniques to remove the water quickly. Here are some dos and don’ts when it comes to water damage. First off, let’s talk about clean water:


  • Shut off the source of water if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the source.
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building when access is safe from electrical shock.
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Remove paintings, art objects, computers, documents, and other materials to a safe, dry place.
  • Use wooden clothespins to keep furniture skirting off damp floors.
  • Hang draperies with coated hangers to avoid contact with wet carpeting and floors.
  • Hang fur and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.


  • Enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazards may exist.
  • Enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers, or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.
  • Leave books, newspapers, magazines, or other colored items on wet carpets or floors to cause staining.
  • Leave Oriental rugs or other colored rugs on wet wall-to-wall carpets to cause staining.
  • Use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water, possibly causing electrical shock or damage to the vacuum cleaner.
  • Use TVs or other appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors.
  • Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.

Now, let’s discuss contaminated water:


  • Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after contact with contaminated items.


  • Spread contaminated water by walking unnecessarily on damaged or wet areas.
  • Turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
  • Use household fans to dry the structure and spread contaminants.
  • Use products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to contaminated areas.

SERVPRO® of Douglas and Otter Tail Counties has professionals dedicated to responding immediately to water emergencies. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces cost in the long run. If you have been affected by water disaster and need help, call us night or day at 320-219-6507SERVPRO® of Douglas and Otter Tail Counties is faster to any size disaster!

For Immediate Service in Douglas or Otter Tail County, Call SERVPRO

7/19/2017 (Permalink)

Douglas and Otter Tail County Residents: We provide immediate service day or night!

SERVPRO of Douglas  and Otter Tail Counties provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in Douglas and Otter Tail County. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.

  • 24-Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any-Sized Disaster
  • Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
  • A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment 

Have Questions? Call Us 24/7 – 320-219-6505

Residential Services

Whether your Douglas or Otter Tail County home needs emergency flood damage relief or your upholstery cleaned, you can depend on us.  Our technicians have extensive cleaning and restoration training and can make your property look its best. Learn more about our residential services:

  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Mold Remediation
  • Storm Damage Restoration
  • Cleaning Services
  • Building/Reconstruction Services

Commercial Services

There's never a convenient time for fire or water damage to strike your Douglas or Otter Tail County commercial property. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services, we have the training and expertise to respond promptly with highly trained technicians to get your property back to business!  Give SERVPRO of Douglas and Otter Tail Counties a call to learn more at 320-219-6505.

TIPS TO KEEP YOUR SUMMER BARBEQUES SAFE: Use These to prevent Fire Damage to Your Home

7/17/2017 (Permalink)

A fun barbeque on a lovely summer night can quickly turn in to a disaster if left unattended. Use these tips to help keep your barbeque safe.

Now that summer is really in full swing, we are all spending a lot of time outdoors, including  enjoying those lovely summer barbeques!  Every year too many homes are impacted by fire damage as a result of outdoor grilling.  Remember these safety tips:

- Keep your grill at least 10 feed from your      house.  Even farther away,  if possible!

- Be sure to clean your grill regularly.

- If using a gas grill, be sure to check for gas leaks.

- Keep a fire extinguisher within a couple steps of your grill.

- Never turn  on the gas while the grill lid is closed.

- Never leave a grill unattended.

Enjoy that juicy steak or burger this summer!  If you do end up burning more than  just your food, remember to give SERVPRO of Douglas and Otter Tail Counties a call.  We can be reached at 320-219-6507

Faster To Any Size Disaster!

4/10/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in Alexandria, Fergus Falls and their surrounding

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 at 320-219-6505

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

About SERVPRO of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties

SERVPRO of SERVPRO of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

SERVPRO of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties

7/12/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service.

SERVPRO of Douglas and Otter Tail Counties is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - (320) 219-6505

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Douglas and Otter Tail Counties has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Douglas and Otter Tail Counties 

SERVPRO of Douglas and Otter Tail Counties specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.


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