Recent Posts

7 Tips for Removing Odors From Flood Water

1/19/2022 (Permalink)

Woman covering her nose because of the Bad Smell. If Storm happens in your North St. Paul, MN, property, follow these tips in order to remove Odors From Flood Water.

Water damage can leave behind unpleasant odors caused by mold growth and bacteria. These tips can help you get rid of them.

Removing Odors Caused by Flood Water

Water can severely damage your home and contents in a variety of ways. One of those ways is by leaving behind unpleasant smells due to bacteria from sewage loss or mold growth. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to eliminate odors.

1. Identify What Is Causing the Odor

If mold is the problem, then you have to remove the mold to get rid of the odor. If something else is causing the smell, then you can try cleaning and deodorizing to get rid of it.

2. Dry Out Your Property Quickly

The most effective way to avoid mold odors is to prevent mold from becoming a problem in the first place. Mold can begin to grow in 24 to 48 hours after water damage occurs. The faster you can dry out your property, the less likely you are to have problems. Consider contacting a flood remediation company in North St. Paul, MN, to help you speed up the process.

3. Remove Damaged Items

Removing water-damaged furniture, carpets, drywall and other materials can help you avoid a mold problem. Place these items outside to dry, if the weather permits. Removing this source of moisture will help you get your property dried out faster.

4. Remove Mold

If you discover mold, you need to remove it to get rid of the smell. Inspect the damp places in your home where mold may be present. For areas smaller than 10 square feet, you may be able to clean up the problem by scrubbing surfaces with household detergent and water. Avoid using bleach. Bleach may kill mold, but will not kill mold spores and your attempt to clean the area may cause the spores to spread throughout your home. For larger areas, consider contacting a mold remediation company to assist you.

5. Use Baking Soda on Carpets

When your carpet is dry, sprinkle baking soda on it and let it sit overnight. Use a vacuum to remove the baking soda. If you still have odors, try removing the carpet pad. Carpet pads usually can not be saved after water damage.

6. Apply White Vinegar to Upholstery

Use a spray bottle filled with white vinegar to spray vinegar on your upholstered furniture. Allow the vinegar to air dry. Once the vinegar has dried, the odor from the vinegar and the water damage should be gone.

7. Remove the Source of the Odor

If your water damage is the result of an ongoing problem, such as sewage backup or leaking pipes, repair whatever is causing the damage before you try to clean up odors. If you don't fix the problem, then the odors will probably keep coming back.

Lingering smells from mold growth or other problems caused by water damage can be a frustrating problem, particularly if you have already put in a lot of work to repair your property. However, there are steps you can take to get rid of bad smells and prevent them from coming back.

Why Can Storms Mess Up a Septic System?

1/17/2022 (Permalink)

Image of backflowing sewage A sewer backup can be prevented, but it requires action before any storm strikes.

Wet storms in White Bear Lake, MN, often lead to a variety of water damage. In the event of a sewer backup, a storm can play a huge part in unwanted black water making its way into your commercial property. To prevent major damage to your business, it is crucial to know how to identify and prevent this type of secondary storm damage.

How Septic Problems Happen During Storms

Most problems with backflowing sewage come from the ground absorbing too much moisture from rainwater and blocking any further flow. Certain circumstances increase the likelihood of having a sewage problem during or after a storm:

  • Increased blockage from storm debris such as fallen trees or their branches
  • Pipes designed for both waste and stormwater flooded with water over the capacity
  • Old or defective sewer lines connected to your business
  • Trees grow roots deep into a sewage system and limit the water flow when needed most

Once any preexisting problems are dealt with, you should consider enacting preventative maintenance.

Stopping the Problem Before It Happens

A sewer backup can be prevented, but it requires action before any storm strikes. Regular inspections of the septic system connected to your business are a good way to prevent issues. Any untreated problems with the system may become an increased likelihood of backflow. The system may seem to function normally, but it may be unable to withstand the increased water flow of a storm.

The soil in your business’ drain field, an area where sewage equipment is located, should be kept clear of unnecessary water. Any runoff pouring into the area compromises the efficiency and capacity of the system when you need it.

Treating the Aftermath

Sometimes, despite best efforts, water damage from both black water and rainwater cannot be avoided. A local storm damage restoration company can help recover your commercial building and assets damaged by a storm. With proactive actions to reduce the risk of a sewer backup and lessen this damage, you can stop your business from going underwater both figuratively and literally.

5 CDC Recommendations for Reducing COVID-19 Exposure at Work

1/14/2022 (Permalink)

Image of a person sitting in front of office desk holding a mask To reduce COVID-19 exposure within your workplace, it's important that all employees wear masks.

When faced with a virus that passes very easily from person to person and from surface to people, how can you keep your employees safe from coronavirus exposure? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have some recommendations:

1. Implementing Procedures for Social Distancing

The CDC recommends maintaining about six feet between individuals. This is because respiratory droplets can spread from one person to another through normal talking during conversations. The six-foot distance reduces the chance for droplets to get into the mouth or nose of the other person.

2. Encouraging Employees To Wear Masks

When infected people wear a mask, they reduce the spread of their droplets onto surfaces or other people. Because it isn’t always clear when a person has been infected, it’s important that all employees wear masks or other cloth face coverings.

3. Improve the Ventilation System

Droplets carrying the virus can be circulated through the building when heating or cooling systems aren’t appropriately filtered. Limit coronavirus exposure by updating and improving the ventilation system in the workplace.

4. Hire Professionals To Clean and Disinfect

Choose a commercial cleaning firm with experience, training, and the personal protective equipment necessary to adhere to FDA-approved guidelines and safety procedures. These professionals should also have access to the disinfectants approved by the FDA for use in coronavirus cleanup efforts.

5. Encourage Correct Handwashing Procedures

Post charts or memos that encourage employees and clients or customers to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds, using soap and water. When soap and water aren’t available, provide hand sanitizer, such as near computers.

Your Efforts Affect Communities

These steps can go a long way toward reducing coronavirus exposure in your White Bear Lake, MN, workplace. The more you know about how the virus spreads and what is involved in covid-19 cleanup efforts, the better you can protect your employees, clients, customers, and families from getting the virus and spreading it throughout the community.

5 Steps in Sprinkler Maintenance and Accidental Discharge Prevention

1/13/2022 (Permalink)

Sprinklers putting out a Fire. Consider these steps as regards Sprinklers Maintenance and avoid Accidental Discharges.

One of the big causes of damage to commercial properties is the accidental activation of fire sprinklers. The cost of repairing the water-logged property in North St. Paul, MN is much more than the cost of sprinkler maintenance.

The amount of water and water pressure that flows from fire prevention systems leads to thousands of dollars of damage. Because these systems are critical in preventing fire damage, it is essential that the heads and every other component are in good working condition.

How Sprinkler Maintenance Prevents Accidental Activation

One of the first steps in sprinkler maintenance is understanding the causes of accidental discharge. With this understanding, you'll be ready to take steps to avoid activation and prevent costly damage. Many heads are triggered by high temperatures. This heat either causes a metal link to melt or a glass bulb to burst. This leads to a rush of water. The simple mechanisms that provide a reliable response to fire also leave the system susceptible to untimely activation:

1. High Temperatures From Sources Other Than Fire

Any heads situated near light bulbs, cooking equipment, skylights, heating vents, and other sources of heat may discharge. Temporary sources of heat, such as construction equipment and high-powered lights are common sources of high temperatures. The solution to this problem is careful, preventative calibration of sprinkler heads. Part of routine system maintenance should include making sure that each head and its calibration is appropriate for the head's position and exposure.

2. Freezing Temperatures

A sudden drop in temperature won't activate a sprinkler head, but it can put enormous pressure on the pipes when the water inside freezes and expands. Even if a small part of the system is exposed to icy temperatures, pressure from the developing ice inside the pipes can cause broken components, cracked pipes, and forced valves. Preventative maintenance includes professional antifreeze solutions, added insulation, and building repairs such as sealing any cracks and gaps around doors and windows.

3. Rust and Corrosion

These sources of damage are a consistent concern for professionals in the fire protection industry. This is because the mix of water, oxygen, and iron is the perfect recipe for electrochemical corrosion. When this happens inside the pipes, it's hard to detect and prevent holes along the system. Routine testing is necessary to prevent unwanted discharge and, worse, failure of the system during a fire.

4. Mechanical Damage and Defects

This is one of the most common causes of accidental sprinkler activation. You may tighten a head too much or bump into a system component with a forklift. Sometimes, the simple passage of time and the resulting wear and tear can lead to worn parts. Routine inspections and professional replacement of parts can prevent unexpected gushes of water. Head guards are available that protect sprinkler heads from being bumped and broken.

5. Deliberate Sabotage

Whether it's a cigarette or match held up to a head or deliberate damage to the fire sprinklers, purposeful sabotage of the system is a leading cause of accidental discharges. The installation of head guards, putting sprinklers in hard-to-reach areas, and upgrading to industrial-strength components are some of the best ways to prevent sabotage.

Every minute following accidental activation can lead to thousands of dollars of professional water damage and restoration. Routine sprinkler maintenance and testing is the best way to ensure a system that works well and doesn't activate when it shouldn't.

Are You Covered After a Fire?

1/5/2022 (Permalink)

Family looking at a Burning House Consider this information as regards your Coverage for better protect your White Bear Lake, MN house.

A home fire can be a devastating experience. To watch something you have nurtured go up in flames is difficult, but as long as you and your family are safe, you can still recover from it, especially if you have a solid home insurance policy. Your coverage should help you pay for fire mitigation services as well as what you lose. There are a few things that aren't covered by a standard policy, though.

Important information to consider as regards your Coverage.

Loss

A loss from a fire is one of the many reasons it's important to keep your home insurance policy current. Rather than have to pay out of pocket for all the things that are destroyed or damaged in the fire, you can likely file a successful claim for several expenses:

  • Damage mitigation
  • Structure restoration
  • Item replacement
  • Short-term relocation
  • Liability coverage for damage to adjacent properties

It's important to know which expenses your policy will cover if your home in White Bear Lake, MN catches fire. You don't want to be caught in the surprise of unexpected out-of-pocket costs after the fact. Review your policy with your agent and add any additional coverage you need.

Arson

The vital component in an insurance claim is that the triggering event has to be an accident. Fires that occur as a result of a fallen candle, a kitchen grease fire or a short in electrical wiring are likely to be covered. Fires that homeowners set on purpose are not. You cannot intentionally set a home fire and collect money on the damages from your policy. This is arson fraud, and it is a crime. Not only will your claim be denied but you will also probably face charges.

Wildfire

Natural disasters are often excluded from basic coverage. Some policies may cover damage from wildfires while others may not. Insurance companies assess not only your needs but their risks before developing a policy to offer you. Wildfires leave behind such widespread devastation that it would not be feasible for providers to automatically include such damage in a standard property policy. If your home is located in an area that is prone to wildfires, you may need an additional policy to cover that specific circumstance.

Vacant Home

Another occurrence that is not likely to be covered under your home insurance policy is a vacant home fire. If, for example, your vacation home catches fire while you are away, the basic policy may not cover the cost of mitigation or help you recoup any of the cost of replacing lost items. To make sure your valuable property is covered even when you're not living there, inquire about a vacant home policy through your provider.

The aftermath of a home fire can be very expensive, especially if your insurance policy doesn't cover every issue that you encounter after the disaster. Understanding the terms of your coverage is essential. Once you know what your policy does and does not cover, you can supplement it with other policies that match your needs more thoroughly.

It's better to have more coverage than you need than wind up in a situation where you don't have enough to compensate for your losses.

Why Call SERVPRO for Coronavirus Cleanup?

12/20/2021 (Permalink)

Image of coronavirus with orange letters stating "Here to help" Disinfect and clean your White Bear Lake, MN commercial, and prevent Coronavirus.

Coronavirus exposure is a serious concern for property owners in White Bear Lake, MN, and the struggle to prevent spreading contamination affects employers, employees, clients, and renters in many ways. Data suggests that the disease can spread as surfaces are exposed to the virus and people touch the same surfaces as long as a week after initial contamination, although the primary means of contamination is from one person to another through personal contact or droplets from coughs and sneezing. With concern for the people living and working on their property, many property owners are reaching out to property cleanup professionals for help.

How Does SERVPRO Proactively Clean for Coronavirus?

SERVPRO is a clean-up and restoration company with more than 40 years of experience. In response to the global virus, SERVPRO professionals are receiving updated guidelines and appropriate resources.

  • Customers can expect the same adherence to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.
  • All coronavirus cleanup efforts are completed in accordance with information from the CDC and local authorities.
  • The company's proprietary cleaning agent is certified by the EPA and has demonstrated effectiveness against viruses that are similar to COVID-19.

So far, there's no evidence that proactive cleaning will protect properties from new contamination as infected people move in and out of buildings. Experts are still testing disinfection products to find the best results.

Does Thorough Disinfecting Efforts Prevent the Virus?

Across the United States, SERVPRO is widely recognized as one of the top choices in cleanup and restoration. When qualified representatives perform proactive COVID-19 cleanup tasks, they may disinfect counters, desktops, light switches, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, telephones, and other surfaces. Property owners must understand that the risk of coronavirus exposure is ongoing. As people come and go, there are many opportunities for surfaces to become contaminated again.

Recovery From Coronavirus Requires a Community Effort

Property owners can reach out to local authorities to learn the steps that individuals can take to slow the spread of coronavirus exposure. For effective results, property owners must work with the people in their buildings, professional cleaners, and local authorities for a united front against further exposure.

How Can I Keep My Employees Safe During Mold Remediation?

11/25/2021 (Permalink)

Air purifier. Mold is dangerous for the health of your employees. Contact mold remediation professionals to get rid of it.

When you discover mold at your commercial building in North Saint Paul, MN, first and foremost, it's critical that you keep your employees safe. Mold spores are virtually everywhere, outdoors and indoors. Mold is a hardy little life form that doesn't require much to grow into a full-on infestation, and it can take hold in what seems to be no time. Humidity and a source of nutrients are all it needs to take up residence in your property. The initial step upon discovering the infestation is to contact mold remediation professionals. They can guide you through the mold removal process from start to finish, however minor or severe the problem turns out to be. In the meantime, it's helpful to know several options for keeping your employees safe until the mold is gone for good.

4 Ways To Protect Your Employees From Mold

1. Use Various Mold Containment Methods

The mold remediation team you hire will use the necessary containment systems to keep the mold and its spores confined as much as possible inside the affected area. Containment is perhaps the most efficient way of keeping the unaffected area fungus-free. One of the most common and effective containment methods involves utilizing negative air chambers. This system prevents mold spores from traveling through the building's ventilation system. Some technicians will create barriers with thick plastic sheeting. Whatever procedure the cleanup team implements, they will probably limit traffic to restoration professionals, if possible. This restriction will significantly help mitigate the risk of cross-contamination.

2. Install HEPA Air Filters and Purifiers

Air purifiers can be a very beneficial investment for workspaces, whether a problem exists or not. Opt for air purifiers with high-efficiency particulate air filters. These HEPA filters are fine enough to remove mold spores and keep the air as clean as possible for your employees. You can also get HEPA filters for your heating and air ventilation system.

3. Provide Your Employees Personal Protective Equipment

Even if the affected area is contained, your employees aren't guaranteed to be completely safe from black mold exposure. Providing them with PPE, most importantly face masks or respirators, will help keep them safe from breathing potentially contaminated air that can escape during the mold removal process.

4. Allow Your Employees To Work Off-Premises

If your employees aren't required to physically be on the premises during work hours, consider allowing them to work at home or in another remote location while the restoration is underway. You may even have another building in which they could set up an office for a while. Mold cleanup can take days or even weeks, depending on the extent of the damage. While you probably can't afford to totally close your business during this time, it's also essential to keep your employees safe.

Finding out your building has a severe case of mold growth can be anxiety-provoking, to say the least. Business must continue, but is it safe for your employees to work on location during the mold removal process? Keep these tips in mind, be proactive, and plan how you could best handle this situation well ahead of time in case it happens in the future.

How SERVPRO Helps Adjusters and Clients

11/15/2021 (Permalink)

House insurance claim form. Our professional team is ready to help you with damage to your White Bear Lake, MN property.

SERVPRO knows that as an insurance adjuster it is your responsibility to provide fast, efficient, and accurate service to your customers. Our franchise professionals can help you make it "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO Helps Adjusters and Clients

We have built a reputation as an industry leader in water and fire cleanup and restoration for more than 50 years. Our franchise professionals are committed to acting with urgency when working with adjusters and clients to restore property while keeping costs low.

Why Choose SERVPRO?

Our restoration professionals have the training, equipment, and experience required to help with any insurance claim. Our franchisees are equipped to provide a variety of services:

  • Emergency response to claims
  • Pretesting
  • Claims inventory

What Are the Benefits of Working With Our Company?

Restoring your customer's property is our top priority. Your customers can rest assured knowing that our team is working quickly and diligently to limit the damage to their property. Our claims team knows that restoring property is preferable to replacing it. Pretesting helps keep claims expenses down which helps both the client and the insurance adjuster.

With more than 1,900 locations in the United States and Canada, we probably have a franchise located near White Bear Lake, MN. We provide 24/7 emergency service. Our claims team can save you some legwork by providing your customers with photos of important items and an itemized loss inventory. All of our professionals are trained to IICRC standards for water and fire cleanup and restoration and receive ongoing training at our state-of-the-art training facility. Training is also available to insurance clients.

In addition to making sure our staff is highly trained, we only work with highly-qualified vendors. We provide a two-year labor and one-year materials warranty on all of our work. You can expect quick response times from our customer service team and we work with vendors, so you can focus on closing your claim.

What Does Our National Accounts Division Do?

Our National Accounts Division keeps the lines of communication open between our franchise professionals and insurance companies. This helps maximize satisfaction for insurance companies and their clients. The National Accounts Division also makes sure standards are met by performing internal audits, running background checks on employees, and completing job files for proof of work. Our National Accounts Managers are available to provide guidance for insurance professionals.

What Are Our Performance Guidelines?

Whenever you contact our team, your referral is reported and tracked at every step of the process. Our franchise professionals must fulfill 21 requirements to qualify to receive insurance referrals. Our team always uses the correct equipment and drying validation according to IICRC standards. We can provide metrics to demonstrate the highest levels of performance and customer satisfaction.

What Training Programs Do We Offer?

Our National Training Center provides employee certification training for local professionals, new franchise training for new location owners, continuing education for agents, adjusters, and restoration professionals, and an IICRC training program. Continuing education programs are available throughout the United States.

From industry-leading service to training, our team is prepared to help in whatever way the insurance adjuster needs. We are committed to excellent service for you and your customers.

What Your Home's Plumbing System Has To Say About a Possible Pipe Break

11/15/2021 (Permalink)

Pipes. A pipe break in your North Saint Paul, MN, home can lead to water and mold damage.

When the water pipes in your North Saint Paul, MN, home get noisy, they are actually letting you know about possible plumbing problems. You may hear hammering, bangs, and thumps, or squeals; any of these sounds could give you the chance to provide repairs before water damage from a pipe break happens.

Identify Your Home's Warnings of a Pipe Break

It's not uncommon for homeowners to feel a little spooked when they hear suspicious sounds from their water pipes. There's a good reason for this; plumbing mishaps, such as a pipe burst or drain backup, can leave you with a lot of messy, expensive cleanup. When you know what your pipes are trying to communicate, it's much easier to fix broken pipe before it leads to significant water damage.

Banging or Hammering

Any sounds similar to thumping and banging are likely caused by problems with water pressure or flow. For example, if a faucet is opened and then shut off suddenly, the pressure from rushing water causes a loud bang as the water hits the closed valve. This is known as a water hammer. Too much air pressure can also cause humming; this happens because too much pressure causes the pipes to vibrate.

Air bubbles are an example of a water flow problem. Pockets of air may become trapped in the pipes for a variety of reasons, and you may need help from a plumber to resolve this issue.

There are several forms of damage that could arise from water hammers, too much pressure, and an inconsistent flow of water:

  • Weakened joints
  • Damaged connections
  • Waterlogged air chambers
  • Potential pipe break

Remember, it's less expensive to pay for maintenance and small repairs than for large-scale repairs and professional water damage cleanup.

Gurgling or Sucking

If the pipes are becoming clogged or there's an obstruction somewhere along the line, you may hear a gurgling sound. The culprits could be a buildup of soap scum, hard water residue, or something that shouldn't have been flushed. Professional drain cleaners can usually remove the problem and, as a result, eliminate the gurgling, sucking sound.

Squealing

A high-pitched squeal, whine, or whistle often indicates worn components within the faucet, valves, or plumbing line. You should be able to determine the location of the worn part simply by listening. Homeowners can often handle faucet repairs, but washers and other components deep within the plumbing system may require expert attention. This is particularly important if the whine is situated near any gas lines.

Rattling and Clanking

Sometimes older pipes become detached from the walls, ceilings, or floors. There are many possible reasons for this:

  • Rust has weakened fasteners.
  • Very hot water caused copper pipes to expand, loosening fasteners.
  • Structural elements of the home have decayed and no longer hold fasteners.

The plumbing system is usually hidden behind walls and between floors and ceilings. This makes it difficult for homeowners to address the problem and can make it very difficult to identify the exact location of the missing fastener.

You probably don't want to hear noisy pipes, but when your pipes do speak up, respond as quickly as possible to avoid the trouble and expense of a pipe break.

Tips for Sump Pump Maintenance

10/29/2021 (Permalink)

Kid swimming in a flooded house. The maintenance of the sump pump will avoid a flood in your White Bear Lake, MN home.

The space in your home in White Bear Lake, MN, is most likely to flood in your basement. You can have a strong foundation and take all the recommended precautionary measures to keep water out of the lowest level of your house, but a heavy storm may still overcome all the barriers you put in place. A sump pump is a smart addition to any basement, particularly if your home is in a flood plain, but it only helps you if you keep it in good working order. Here are some tips on how to do so.

How To Maintain Sump Pump

Keep Sump Pump Pathways Clear

Allowing water to flow out of your house is the pump's main job. The key to good pump maintenance is keeping the path of the water unobstructed. There are four main areas of the pump where clogs are most common:

  • Intake screen
  • Pit
  • Vent hole
  • Discharge pipe

If dirt or debris gather in any of these areas, the pump can overflow, dumping the water back into the basement it is designed to protect. By keeping the pump clean and clear of blockages, you can ensure that it is able to do its job and move water out of the basement in a timely manner.

Maintain a Regular Testing Schedule

Even if your sump pump is clear of debris, you can't always tell if it's working by looking at it. Fortunately, the pump is pretty easy to test. Fill a bucket with water and pour it into the basin. This should trigger the float and activate the pumping mechanism. You'll know it's working properly if the water drains quickly.

Flood damage mitigation experts recommend that you test your pump at least once a month, particularly during rainy seasons. Frequent testing ensures that your pump is ready to protect your basement if a particularly heavy storm hits your area.

Ensure Access to Power Sources

No matter how great a shape your pump is in, it doesn't work if it isn't connected to a reliable power source. Frequently inspect the power cord for flaws and plug it into a ground fault circuit interrupter outlet. Additionally, you must make sure the GFCI outlet is located above the flood line of your home. It can't power your pump if the flood itself causes it to malfunction.

It's also good to have a backup power source. A generator can supply your home with power even if the municipal structure fails. Many sump pumps come equipped with their own battery backup, so that may be a factor you want to consider when choosing one for your home. If you select this option, you need to check the battery periodically to make sure it's still strong.

A sump pump can be a lifesaver for your basement or the lowest level of your home during a heavy storm. While the best protection from flooding is prevention, that's not always feasible, particularly if your home is located in a flood plain. A reliable pump helps you get floodwater out of your home quickly before it can cause a lot of damage.