Recent Storm Damage Posts

Tornado Damage in New York Mills?

9/13/2021 (Permalink)

A tornado is shown whirling over farmland. We respond to storm damage emergencies 24-hours a day in Otter Tail County.

Do you know that New York Mills is a very high risk for tornadoes? There have been 77 tornadoes in New York Mills since 1950, and the area averages one tornado a year. SERVPRO® of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties responds to storm damage emergencies throughout the year in Otter Tail County, and we offer these tornado safety tips from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) if you are under a tornado warning:

  • Go to NOAA Weather Radio and your local news or official social media accounts for updated emergency information. Follow the instructions of state, local and tribal officials. 
  • Go to a safe shelter immediately, such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar, or a small interior room on the lowest level of a sturdy building
  • Stay away from windows, doors, and outside walls
  • Do not go under an overpass or bridge. You’re safer in a low, flat location.
  • Watch out for flying debris that can cause injury or death
  • Use your arms to protect your head and neck

Call Us!

When you need storm restoration services for your home or business, SERVPRO® of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties has a team of highly trained technicians on call 24-hours a day to assist you. Call us today at 320-219-6505. We’ll restore your storm damage in New York Mills, “Like it never even happened.”

Franchises are Independently Owned and Operated.

Flooding in Garfield?

7/28/2021 (Permalink)

A closeup of rain puddling on grass is shown. We respond to storm damage emergencies 24-hours a day in Douglas County.

SERVPRO® of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties respond to storm damage emergencies every year in Garfield. Here are some tips from the American Red Cross on cleaning and repairing your home after a flood:

  • Wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and rubber boots, and be cautious when cleaning up
  • Learn more about how to clean up after a flood, including the supplies you’ll need, how to sanitize food contact surfaces, and how to repair water damage
  • Be careful when moving furnishings or debris because they may be waterlogged and heavier
  • Throw out mattresses, carpeting, cosmetics, stuffed animals, baby toys, and other items that absorb water and cannot be cleaned or disinfected
  • Throw out all food, beverages, and medicine exposed to floodwaters and mud. When in doubt, throw it out. This includes canned goods, plastic utensils, baby bottle nipples, and containers with food or liquid that has been sealed shut.
  • Pump out flooded basements gradually (about one-third of the water per day) to avoid structural damage. If the water is pumped out completely in a short period of time, pressure from water-saturated soil on the outside could cause basement walls to collapse.
  • Service damaged septic tanks, cesspools, pits, and leaching systems as soon as possible. Damaged sewage systems are health hazards.

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.

Franchises are Independently Owned and Operated.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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. 

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.