Recent Posts

Landscaping Tips for Water Intrusion Prevention

4/11/2024 (Permalink)

little kid who is standing behind a window watching the rain Stay protected from the rain!

Water intrusion into your home's foundation can wreak havoc, but proactive landscaping measures coupled with professional assistance from SERVPRO of The Saint Croix Valley can effectively mitigate these risks.

  1. Grade Slope Management: Ensure that the ground around your home slopes away from the foundation, directing water away instead of pooling around it. Aim for a slope of at least 6 inches over the first 10 feet.
  2. Strategic Planting: Plant trees and shrubs at an appropriate distance from your home to prevent their roots from disrupting the foundation. Additionally, select plants that require minimal watering to reduce soil moisture levels.
  3. Proper Drainage System: Install a comprehensive drainage system comprising gutters, downspouts, and trench drains to channel rainwater away from the foundation. Regularly clean gutters and extend downspouts to discharge water at least 5 feet away from the house.
  4. Hardscaping Features: Incorporate permeable paving materials like gravel or porous concrete in your landscaping to allow water to seep into the ground rather than accumulating near the foundation.
  5. Mulching: Apply mulch around plants to help retain moisture in the soil and prevent erosion but be mindful not to build up mulch too high against the foundation, as it can trap moisture and promote decay.
  6. Regular Maintenance: Inspect your landscaping regularly for signs of water pooling, soil erosion, or plant overgrowth near the foundation. Promptly address any issues to prevent water intrusion.

By implementing these landscaping strategies and utilizing SERVPRO’s expertise, you can protect your foundation against water intrusion and ensure swift, efficient restoration should the need arise. Together, these proactive measures and professional support offer peace of mind when the thunder rolls.

Snowless Winters: Fire Risk in Wisconsin

3/6/2024 (Permalink)

Picture of fire flames Should you fall victim to fire, SERVPRO is who you should hire!

In a surprising turn of events, Wisconsin is facing snowless winters, raising concerns about heightened fire danger in the region. The absence of the protective snow layer leaves the landscape vulnerable, increasing the risk of wildfires in both urban and natural areas. Dry conditions, combined with gusty winds and low humidity, create the perfect conditions for wildfires to spread rapidly. Grasslands, forests, and even urban areas become vulnerable, posing a threat to both property and lives. 

Amidst these challenges, SERVPRO® emerges as a valuable ally to the people Hudson, River Falls, Baldwin and surrounding areas. With expertise in fire damage restoration, SERVPRO® can assist residents and business owners in preparing for the worst. Their services include developing Emergency Ready Plans for businesses, educating business owners and homeowners, and offering timely responses to fire-related incidents.

The absence of snow in Wisconsin is not merely a matter of aesthetics but a concerning trend with far-reaching consequences. The increased fire danger poses a significant threat to both the environment and public safety. Fortunately, SERVPRO of the Saint Croix Valley has the knowledge, resources, and experience to support the communities we serve.

Guarding Your Home: A Water Wisdom Tale

3/6/2024 (Permalink)

Person Looking out over the water. Ocean water: The only water you want to dip your toes into.

Embarking on a vacation brings excitement and relaxation, but amidst the anticipation, a crucial detail often slips through the cracks—turning off the water supply. This simple act can be the difference between returning to a serene home or a watery disaster. Water damage, even from a small leak, can wreak havoc in your absence, causing structural issues, mold growth, and substantial financial setbacks.

Turning off your water before vacation serves as a preventive measure, safeguarding your property and belongings. It minimizes the risk of leaks, burst pipes, and other plumbing mishaps that could go unnoticed for days or even weeks.

However, accidents may still happen, and that's where SERVPRO® comes to the rescue. Their expertise in water damage restoration ensures a swift and efficient response to mitigate the aftermath. With advanced technology and a team of skilled professionals, SERVPRO can salvage and restore your home, preventing long-term consequences.

In the symphony of vacation preparations, let the chorus of water-consciousness be your guide. A few minutes to turn off the water and the assurance of SERVPRO's expertise can transform your vacation from worry to wonder. Protect your home and return to the peace you left behind.

St. Croix River Flooding

4/14/2023 (Permalink)

St. Croix River at Hudson, WI St. Croix River at Hudson, WI

Spring has finally arrived in Wisconsin! The sunshine and warm temperatures are such a blessing and bring so much joy. Of course, every season has its good and bad. 

The good news is that the snow has melted here in Hudson, Wisconsin. It was a relatively calm spring. We did not receive an influx of calls from people with wet basements caused by the snow melt. 

There is still worry about river flooding however. The snow up north is still melting and headed our way. Major flooding is still forecasted for the St. Croix River. According to The National Weather Service the river is expected to rise above flood stage Saturday evening, April 15, 2023 and continue rising to a crest of 89 feet Tuesday morning. Flood stage is at 87 feet. At 89 feet, the Lake Mallalieu dam gets overtopped. 

While the warm temperatures this week may feel like summer, please remember that rivers are very dangerous this time of year. If you live along the St. Croix River, take precaution to protect your property. 

  • Move contents out of the basement/ground level floor if possible
  • Elevate major appliances onto concrete blocks
  • Clean drainage ditches or storm drains
  • Use a flood barrier (sandbags, portable flood gates, inflatable flood walls, etc.)
  • Make sure your sump pump is working properly
  • Turn off electricity at the breaker panel

If floodwater does enter your home, remember that it is contaminated water. Take precautions to protect yourself and your family. If you need help with flood cleanup, give SERVPRO of The Saint Croix Valley a call, 715-381-2266.

Garage Safety Tips to Prevent Fire Hazards

12/12/2022 (Permalink)

Picture of a shed with the phrase "Where do you store yours?" Combustible fuels should be stored in a detached shed and not in your garage.

Six Garage Safety Tips To Prevent a Fire 

Fires in the Hudson, WI home are a serious threat to your safety, as well as that of your loved ones. And while fire is something that can happen anywhere and at any time, it's important to be aware of how you can prevent fires from occurring in your garage. Following these simple tips will help ensure that you're doing everything possible to protect yourself and your family from dangerous conditions and potential hazards.

What causes unsafe conditions in the garage?

In fact, the leading cause of home fires is careless smoking. Careless smoking and electrical malfunctions are the most common causes of garage fires. The garage is often filled with flammable materials such as oil and gas cans, paint and thinner containers, cleaning supplies, rags, and automotive products. Furthermore, many garages are connected to homes or have attached living spaces that can be easily damaged by fire in the garage.

Fire departments recommend that you keep your garage free from clutter to help prevent a fire from breaking out in your home or in other structure on your property.

What are some practical garage safety tips?

Some easy tips to keep in mind to help prevent fires from breaking out in your garage include:

  • Keep the garage door closed.
  • Install smoke detectors and test regularly.
  • Keep the garage well ventilated.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher within reach in the garage.

Keep gasoline and other flammable chemicals in proper storage containers.

Do not store gasoline in a plastic container. Plastic containers could easily melt and cause a fire, especially if the container is hot or has been used to heat up food or drink. Do not store gasoline in cardboard boxes or plastic bags, as they are flammable themselves and may also allow sparks to ignite the gas.

Never store flammable liquids in glass containers, such as wine bottles or light bulbs, as these can easily shatter under pressure and create more fires than you bargained for!

Do not use a gas or charcoal grill in or near your garage.

Gas grills and propane tanks are a fire hazard when used inside garages.If you must have a grill, store it safely outside of your garage.

Charcoal grills are also dangerous to use inside a garage because they produce heat that can ignite flammable materials such as paint thinner and gasoline vapors from nearby fuel sources. It's best to store these items away from any potential ignition sources like heat vents or sunlight

Keep the garage door closed as much as possible.

One of the most important things you can do to make your garage safer is to keep it closed at all times except when entering or leaving. This will not only prevent fires and other hazards, but also help reduce heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer.

The garage door is among one of the largest sources of heat loss in your home! In fact, according to Energy Star, opening and closing your garage door accounts for up to 10% of total annual energy use by an average household!

Install smoke detectors and test regularly.

The best way to protect your family and belongings is by installing a smoke detector. Smoke detectors are inexpensive, easy to install and can help save lives.

Make sure the devices are working properly by testing them regularly, or at least every six months. Replace batteries every six months; this should be written on the device itself or in the user manual. When purchasing new detectors, make sure they meet current safety standards and are designed for use in a garage environment

When using a car battery charger, make sure the area is well ventilated.

While you may think your garage is the safest place to charge your car battery, it’s not. In fact, making sure that the area is properly ventilated when using a car battery charger can help you prevent any potential fire hazards.

Install a fire extinguisher in the garage.

A fire extinguisher is a device that can be used to put out small fires. The purpose of a fire extinguisher is to stop the spread of flames and smother the fire with chemicals or water. Fire extinguishers are designed to be easily portable, so they can be used by someone other than a firefighter without much training.

There are a few types of fire extinguishers. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages and it is important to keep that in mind when purchasing a fire extinguisher for your home or garage.

Call Fire Cleanup Professionals After the Fire.

The next, and perhaps most important thing you can do is to call a fire cleanup professional if your home or business suffers from damage due to a fire. SERVPRO of The Saint Croix Valley offers a 24-hour emergency response system that provides immediate action and support by sending highly trained technicians with the right equipment to help mitigate further damage and start the cleaning process immediately.

Will Filling an Insurance Claim Raise My Rates?

11/21/2022 (Permalink)

Insurance application form The decision to file an insurance claim is a personal one.

Filing a Claim and Your Insurance Rates

If you've ever had a home insurance claim, then you know that it's stressful. But there are also a lot of questions: Will my rates go up? What if they raise them by more than 10%? Will they even cover the damages? Luckily, it's possible to find answers to these questions and more.

Should I File a Claim?

If your Hudson, WI home has been damaged and you're unsure whether or not to file a claim, there are some things you need to know. The most important thing is to know what your insurance policy covers. You can find this information in the fine print of your contract or by calling your insurance company directly and asking specific questions.

Once you've made a decision about filing an insurance claim, it's also important to understand how filing one might affect your rates. Some insurers offer lower premiums if they don't have to pay out too many claims, while other companies raise their prices when they do have to pay out more money on claims

Will My Rates Go Up?

You will want to know if filing a claim is going to raise your insurance rates. This is one of the most common questions people ask when they have any sort of damage incident. 

If you have an at-fault accident, then there's no guarantee that your rates won't go up as a result. But if you were not at fault for the accident, your insurance company should not raise your rates because of it.

It all comes down to how your insurance company evaluates the damage and pays out on claims. Some companies use their payout amounts as guidelines for what kind of coverage they should offer in future years - so if they pay out more money than usual in one year, it might mean lower premiums in subsequent years (and vice versa).

How Much Will It Increase?

The cost of the claim and how many claims you've filed in the past are factors that determine how much your premiums will go up.

The amount of coverage you have on your policy also helps determine how much your rates will increase. The more insurance you have, the more risk you're taking on by filing a claim—and insurers take this into account when they set their prices. If you're at fault for an accident, then filing a claim could result in higher premiums because it was your fault that caused damage to another person's property or injured them. If there were no injuries involved with filing an accident report with your insurance company, then there should not be an impact on your premium costs whatsoever with most providers (but check with yours).

If someone else caused damage to something that belongs to you then it would likely be considered their fault, which means they'd pay any related costs associated with repairs or replacement parts instead of reducing the value of what they damaged while driving under influence (DUI). Filing claims can also cause premiums to rise if multiple ones occur within short periods; however, some companies offer discounts when customers file multiple claims within 12 months but only if they don't exceed 50% after deductibles are taken into consideration first!

You should compare insurance companies and their rates before you decide to file a claim.

It's very important to take the time to do your research and compare insurance companies before you decide to file a claim. Many people don't realize that their rates will go up because they filed a claim, which can be a major financial burden. You should know how much your insurance policy will go up after the claim, so that if the increase is too high, you may have to look into other options.

Water Damage Claims

How to file a claim for water damage.

1. Contact your insurance company. Typically, you'll call the number on your policy or on the back of your ID card. Tell them about the damage and ask for written instructions on how to proceed with filing the claim. (Those can also be found online.)

2. Have SERVPRO of The Saint Croix Valley come out to assess the damage. We’ll let you know if they think it's safe enough to stay in your home while repairs are made, or if we think you need to relocate temporarily. 

If you're not sure whether filing a claim will affect your rates, ask your insurer. If you do decide to file a claim, it's important to look into how much that might cost.

If your insurance company doesn't cover all the damage done by the burglary, or if they don't pay at all, then you'll have to pay for repairs yourself and keep paying for your policy.

The decision to file an insurance claim is a personal one. You should weigh the costs and benefits before deciding whether or not filing a claim will affect your rates. The best way to do this is by comparing insurance companies' rates and coverage options. If you're considering filing an insurance claim, make sure you know what's involved in the process so that you won't be surprised by anything unexpected!

How to Take Care of a Flooded Furnace

11/2/2022 (Permalink)

Furnace flood A furnace flood in Star Prairie, WI.

Ways To Take Care Of a Furnace Flood

A broken pipe in your business facility could lead to flooding and damaged appliances. If water reaches the basement, the furnace might be flooded and require repairs. Here are some ways to take care of a furnace flood in your Star Prairie, WI, business.

1. Shut Off Water and Power
The first action you should take is to turn off the water to prevent more flooding. Then, cut off the power to your building before entering a flooded area. If you don't know how to do so or feel it's unsafe, call a licensed electrician for assistance.
You will also want to contact a water mitigation agency to help remove water and dry out the facility. Mitigation technicians can identify hazards and assess the building and its contents for water damage. Once the water is removed, salvageable structures and appliances can be cleaned and repaired.

2. Get the Flooded Furnace Inspected
A furnace is more vulnerable to water because it rests, often completely unprotected, on the building foundations. After a flood, it's essential to have your furnace checked for damage by a licensed professional. Unresolved damage from a flood may pose the following hazards:

  • Carbon monoxide emissions
  • Fire
  • Mold contamination

Don't try to use your furnace before having it inspected. It may seem all right on the surface, but there could be interior damage undetectable to an untrained eye.

3. Begin Furnace Flood Repairs
Minor damage to the furnace will require repairs such as air duct cleaning or component replacements. Some water mitigation companies offer a furnace maintenance package that includes vent cleaning and air filter replacement. If the damage is too severe, the entire furnace may have to be replaced.
A furnace flood in your business facility is not just an inconvenience but a potential hazard. Get your furnace inspected and maintained right away following water exposure.

Fire Damage and Water Damage

10/15/2022 (Permalink)

Two firefighters with a hose shooting water at a building on fire Commercial fire damage

Fire Damage and Water Damage

Fire and water are the most common causes of damage in homes and businesses, so it’s important for you to know how they differ. Fire can cause severe damage to your structure or business, but water damage is a byproduct of fire. The more water used, the more water damage there will be to your structure. Water damage comes from sprinklers as well as fire hoses used by first responders. As an example: In a typical residential fire (where only one room is on fire), firefighters use about 5 gallons of water per minute while fighting the blaze; however, if they have to fight off flames in two separate rooms at once—or if they must ventilate the area after putting out a blaze—then they might need 10 times that amount of water per minute!

Fire damage is not just damage from burning.

Fire can cause smoke, heat, and water damage. Smoke can cause damage to the structure and contents of the building. Heat from fire can destroy walls and other structural components of your home. Water used to extinguish a fire often damages ceilings, floors, walls and other components of your home or business.

Water damage is a byproduct of fire damage.

The water used to put out the flames will make its way into your home, causing severe damage to any property it touches.

The more water used, the more water damage to the structure.

When a fire breaks out in your home or business, you need to call 911 immediately and evacuate everyone from the premises until firefighters arrive on scene and take control of the situation.

Once firefighters have extinguished any flames and cooled off hot spots with hoses, it’s time for cleanup. This step involves mopping up remaining water from floors and walls with towels or rags so that dirt doesn’t get into wet places on carpets or drywall ceilings; if it does get there, though, don't worry—it's easy to fix when drywall is still damp (just use joint compound).

Recognizing signs of hidden fire damage

If you suspect there might be hidden damage after an emergency situation like flooding due to broken pipes or sewage backups caused by heavy rains during Springtime months when sewage systems overflow due to saturated ground conditions after winter thaws have melted snow away; this could cause problems with sewer lines during cold spells where temperatures drop at nightfall causing frozen pipes which then burst open spewing sewage across basement floors where mold spores begin growing upon contact with moisture within minutes!

Firefighters use up to 5000 gallons of water to put out a fire in some cases.

The amount of water used to put out a fire can vary widely, depending on the size of the fire and how much water is available. Firefighters may need to call in backup from other departments, and they will often bring in tanks of water from nearby lakes or rivers. If you measure your home's square footage as 1000 square feet (SF), then a firefighter would use about 100 gallons to extinguish your fire. For example:

  • A one bedroom ranch-style house with 700 SF would require 70 gallons
  • A 5 bedroom home with 3200 SF would require 320 gallons
  • A large commercial building with 20,000 SF would require 2000+ gallons

Call SERVPRO for help with your fire and water damage in your structure or business - 715-381-2266

If you have fire or water damage in your home or business, call SERVPRO. SERVPRO is a national company with local people who can help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With our experience and training in fire and water restoration we will restore your property quickly and efficiently so that it's ready for use as soon as possible. We are an industry leader in disaster response services and have state-of-the-art equipment which allows us to respond faster than any other company servicing the area. We offer our clients guaranteed maximum protection against losses through the most comprehensive insurance contract available today. If you need assistance with your insurance claim call 715-381-2266 to get help right away!

Common Plumbing Issues in Commercial Buildings

10/5/2022 (Permalink)

toilet paper put in Flush.used paper clogging the toilet A blocked line can cause many other issues, including toilet overflow.

Plumbing Problems in Commercial Structures

Whether you rent space or own a commercial building, you need to understand these common plumbing problems. Some, such as a blocked sewer, are relatively easy to deal with, while others, including broken pipes, require considerably more intervention. Here are some typical situations that you might face.

Foundation Shifts and Cracks

Over time, foundations shift and can crack. This can lead to a number of issues:

  • Incoming and outgoing pipe breaks
  • Outgoing sewage line breaks
  • Flooding
  • Wall and floor damage

Although all of these are fixable, you can only do it at considerable expense. In some cases, your business insurance might cover these. You will have to check your policy.

Blocked Sewer Lines

Many things can obstruct the sewer lines. Everything from flushing the wrong item down the toilet to a piece of concrete falling into an outgoing line at the street level can contribute to this problem. No matter what precipitates it, you need to quickly take care of it because a blocked line can cause many other issues, including toilet overflow.

Broken Pipes

Like a sewer blockage, broken pipes can be disastrous for a business. A blockage may even cause a pipe to burst. When a pipe breaks, it can cause flooding problems. In the case of severely damaged pipes or flooding, you need to call a water remediation company in Glenwood City, WI. These specialists can quickly and effectively clean your business before the water causes other issues such as mold and mildew.

Deteriorating Lines

Depending on the building's age, you might have copper, concrete or even steel and cast iron lines. All of these are subject to deterioration. As pipes decay, they can seep or leak, causing mold, mildew and other serious problems. Periodic inspection of these lines is necessary to keep them functioning properly.
Take care of a blocked sewer or broken plumbing problem immediately since they can ruin your business and building. Although you can't always prevent them, staying alert can help get these difficulties fixed before they interrupt your normal operations.

How To Clean Black Mold in Commercial Air Ducts

9/5/2022 (Permalink)

Dust around air duct. So regular duct maintenance can mitigate this risk.

Air ducts are a haven for black mold. When is the last time you had your ventilation system professionally cleaned? As a commercial business owner, you know that costly repairs can seemingly come out of thin air. This time, they're coming out of your air vents.

Signs of Mold Overgrowth in Air Ducts

Watch out for these classic signs of vent contamination:

  • Black, dusty, hard-to-remove patches around air vents
  • The musty smell upon turning on the AC
  • Itchy, watery eyes and sneezing

It's always possible that mold overgrowth goes undetected. For this reason, it's best to remain vigilant and keep clean ducts.

How To Clean Ducts

Cleaning an air ventilation system is not an easy task. For this reason, it's best to consult a professional right off the bat. Attempting this feat alone is not only time-consuming, but it could be harmful to you and your clients in the building. If not done properly, attempting to remove black mold may accidentally exacerbate the issue. Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take instead.

Contact an expert in Prescott, WI.
The right mold remediation professionals will verify that mold is indeed present.
Cleaning will begin, and if spread to insulation, insulation will need to be replaced.
The professional team will use the correct cleaners and tools while disinfecting your commercial air ducts.
Once done, now it's your turn: prevent mold regrowth!

How To Prevent Mold Regrowth

Step five is arguably the most important step. Taking the necessary precautions to prevent black mold from reappearing will save you and your commercial business tons of time, money, and stress. In order to stop the fungus from thriving, you need to first locate the source. What is causing the mold to prosper? Air vents are naturally a breeding ground for mold, so regular duct maintenance can mitigate this risk. Make sure the AC filters are changed out periodically. Reduce moisture and humidity in your commercial space. Use natural air circulation when possible, like opening a window. Keep the aforementioned tips in mind, and mold won't have a chance to damage your livelihood.