Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

Happy Customers in Alexandria??

8/23/2021 (Permalink)

A person is giving a five-star review on their cell phone. We are trusted leaders in fire and water damage restoration in Douglas County.

Our customers are the key to our success!

At SERVPRO® of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties, we are committed to making sure our residential and commercial customers are satisfied with the work we do. Here are some recent testimonials from our website:

SERVPRO is exactly what Prairie Peak Kennels needed. Their solution disinfects better than our regular sanitizer and is 100 percent safe. We appreciate the amazing service we have gotten from them and the continuous service we are still getting. Great Company! Michelle Kujawa in Alexandria, MN

Trevor and his staff at SERVPRO in Alexandria have done outstanding work for clients I’ve referred them to. Given that it’s a reflection on me I’m very selective to who I refer my client base to. I’ve been extremely satisfied with the professionalism and expertise Trevor and the gang offer those I refer them to! Carl Kvale in Alexandria, MN

Call Us Today!

You never know when you’ll need residential or commercial restoration services, but when you do SERVPRO® of Douglas & Otter Tail Counties is Here to Help. ® Our highly trained technicians are on call 24-hours a day to respond to property damage emergencies in Alexandria. Call us today at 320-219-6505. We’ll restore your property damage, “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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 for a No Cost Assessment of your facility.

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.

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.

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."

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.

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

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.