Recent Posts

4 Ways To Mitigate Further Roof Damage After a Storm

2/24/2021 (Permalink)

Image of damaged roof after a severe storm. This roof suffered storm damage.

Residential storm damage encompasses many forms, from broken windows to floods. However, among the most common issues following severe weather is roof repair. Before a homeowner can receive funds from their insurer to repair the damage, they often need to ensure nothing else significant happens to the roof or the home, and there are at least three ways to do that.

4 Ways to Protect Your Roof After Storm Damage

1. Plywood

Most roof damage following a storm will result in roof leaks. These leaks can stem from small or large holes in the roof. If the holes are not too large, a single sheet of plywood can be attached to the roof to limit any further water penetration into the home.

2. Tarps

For holes requiring significant roof repair, a sheet of plywood might not be big enough. In these cases, you can opt for a tarp, weighing down the ends to ensure a secure fit. Tarps are lightweight and easier to manage than pieces or sheets of wood.

3. Shingle Replacement

In some instances, wind damage will result in missing shingles. If you can find the shingles and replace them, you can potentially save yourself some money. However, when the shingles are blown from the roof, it is not uncommon for there to be more damage to the roof or the shingle.

4. Call a Professional

Ultimately, the best way to resolve roof damage from a storm is to call a storm restoration company in North St. Paul, MN. These professionals have a working knowledge of insurer expectations and can help you mitigate further loss quickly.

It is not uncommon for a severe storm to lead to the need for roof repair. While the mitigation process sounds easy enough, using plywood and tarps to cover holes, it can be dangerous and is often best left to professionals. Residential storm damage is a complex issue, and every homeowner should familiarize themselves with the expectations of their insurance provider.

How Many Fire Alarms Should I Have in My Home?

2/23/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a smoke detector Proper fire alarm placement is essential to prevent fire and smoke damage.

When it comes to fires, you can never be too safe. It's essential for you and every member of your White Bear Lake, MN, family to understand the facts about fire safety and prevention. You must also have an emergency plan in place. Part of this preparation means ensuring your home is adequately supplied in terms of fire alarm and fire extinguisher numbers throughout the house, as well as proper placement. Where should smoke alarms be placed throughout a home?

6 Tips to Consider When Placing Smoke Alarms Throughout a Home

1. Every Level of the Home

Fire detectors should be installed on every floor of your home. This includes your basement.

2. Every Bedroom

Many fires begin at night when people are typically sleeping. Therefore, every bedroom should have its own smoke alarm.

3. Outside Every Sleeping Area

In addition to every bedroom, a smoke alarm must be placed outside every sleeping area in your home.

4. Up High

Just as important as having the correct number of fire alarms is proper placement. After all, if they're not where they should be, or in areas where they shouldn't be, it'll risk them not detecting a fire or giving a false alarm. Firefighters and fire damage restoration specialists advised that fire detectors need to be high on the walls or on the ceilings since smoke and heat rise. 

5. Away From Cooking Appliances

The smoke alarm closest to the kitchen should be placed no closer than 10 feet from all cooking appliances. Otherwise, false alarms could happen regularly.

6. Away From Drafty Areas

Smoke detectors should be placed away from potentially drafty areas. Common areas with more air circulation include spaces with windows, doors, vents and ceiling fans.

Proper fire alarm numbers and placement is essential to prevent fire damage and smoke damage. Begin today creating your fire plan to avoid being a victim of the unthinkable.

Enjoy Spring With a Flood Prevention Plan

2/11/2021 (Permalink)

Image of ice on roof Remove snow and ice from your roof.

When spring temperatures signal the close of winter, many White Bear Lake, MN, business owners and customers look forward to getting outside and enjoy the sunshine. It's important to recognize, however, that the spring thaw often leads to flooding. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to prevent a visit from your local water damage repair company, starting with fall and winter chores.

Steps to Prevent  Spring Flooding 

  • Keep runoff points, such as rain gutters, free of snow and ice.
  • Insulate any pipes on or near the exterior of your buildings.
  • When shoveling snow, pile it up away from the foundation of your building.
  • Arrange for snow and ice removal for the protection of your roof and rain gutters.
  • Complete sump pump maintenance to be sure the pump can handle rising water levels from a frozen pipe or spring flood.

The care you take in doing these tasks before the spring thaw are effective ways to protect your building if floodwaters do rise.

Turn Your Attention Outside

After making sure that you won't suffer from a frozen pipe on your property, you can turn your attention outside. For example, if there's a street drain on or near your land, such as in the parking lot, take time to clean it off. When water isn't allowed to run freely, the resulting overflow could cause damage to your property. Pay similar attention to the gutters around your property.

Take a Community View

After all your preventative methods, there may still some risk of flooding in your community. Prepare for this eventuality by stocking up on sandbags. If water begins to accumulate due to melting snow or other causes, position sandbags where they can prevent water from getting into doorways, basement windows, and other openings around your foundation. You may also want to reach out to community leaders if you recognize issues that should be addressed by road crews, etc.

It isn't unusual for the spring thaw to lead to flooding, but this doesn't mean that your business needs to suffer. Your preventative actions in the fall and winter and ongoing actions can set your mind at ease.

3 Things You Should Do After Storm Damage

1/28/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a flooded living room Heavy rains can lead to severe flood damage

It is very important to file your flood insurance claim and take steps to mitigate your damage as soon as possible after storm damage occurs. The longer you wait, the more damage may occur to your property. These are three things you should do after your property is damaged by a storm.

3 Things To Do After Storm Damage

1. File an Insurance Claim

When large storms occur, insurance companies will be very busy trying to process all of the claims that result. If you have flood damage or wind damage from the storm, you should file your claim as soon as possible, so that you don't end up getting stuck at the back of the line.

2. Mitigate Your Damage

Because it may take a while for the flood insurance company to inspect your damage and give you the go-ahead to begin repairs, it is important to take steps to mitigate your damages while you wait. If you have a hole in your roof, place a tarp to prevent leaks from occurring while you wait for repairs. Board up any windows that have broken. If your home has water damage it is important to dry it out quickly to prevent mold damage. Consider contacting a water mitigation company in North St. Paul, MN, to get your property dried out fast.

3. Document Your Damage

Before you start making temporary repairs or removing damaged contents, document your damage for the insurance company. Take photographs or video of your damaged property. Keep receipts for materials and labor used to make temporary repairs. If you have any records that prove the value of your damaged property, gather them together.

Your flood insurance company may be overwhelmed with the volume of claims filed after a major storm. These three steps can help you prevent unnecessary damage to your home and ensure that your claim is processed as quickly as possible so that you can begin repairs.

4 Reasons To Hire a Mold Removal Specialist

1/26/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a person spraying a product on black mold in an attempt to remove it. Consider hiring a professional to remove mold.

Mold is a strange substance and topic. Some homeowners do not cringe at the sight of mold in their homes; instead, choosing to take a DIY approach to the removal with no thought of potential consequences. Other people assume that every mold is toxic and believe that the mere sight means massive renovations are underway. However, before becoming either reactionary or proactive against mold in your home, hire mold inspection services in White Bear Lake, MN, to review the situation. There are at least four reasons to consider hiring a professional.

4 Reasons to Consider Hiring a Mol Removal Specialist

1. Black Mold Toxicity

People often refer to black mold as toxic, but not all forms are. However, there is no way to know if a species is of a toxic variety without a test. Characteristics do little to help the novice homeowner differentiate between a typical house mold and a dangerous variety. The simple truth is that most molds carry negative attributes, but identification depends on professional testing.

2. Necessary Inspections

Mold inspection services are standard among disaster restoration companies. If you suspect you have mold, you might want to consider hiring a company to assess your home and identify the type of mold. If it is of a toxic species, you may wish to vacate the premises while the team cleans it. However, you will not need to leave with every type of infestation; some species are mild, meaning if the growth is not too significant, a family might stay during the cleanout process.

3. Black Mold Traits

House mold is different from toxic black mold. The toxic variety will appear dark greenish-black or gray, and it may have a slimy texture. Some people describe the mold as being greasy. It is different from most house mold species, which appear green, yellow, and other colors and have a textured appearance, almost soft or fuzzy.

4. Professional Removal

Regardless of the species, DIY mold removal is never a good idea. There are too many types of mold, and people can have countless reactions from mild to severe. It is best to leave removal to professionals.

A mold inspection can help identify the species. Regardless, never remove mold without a professional.

How To Create an Office Fire Evacuation Plan

1/20/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a stair case of a building with smoke and fire Create a proper fire escape plan

Your employees are your most valuable asset. Where would your North St. Paul, MN, business be without them? A fire escape plan is essential for your people and property; a fire can start virtually anywhere at any time. Devising an emergency escape plan doesn’t have to be complicated.

5 Points to Include in Your Fire Escape Plan

Here are the most critical points to include in your plan:

1. Consider Various Scenarios

No one can prepare for every possible scenario, but it is essential to be ready for as much as possible. Fire damage experts suggest considering the types of fires most likely to threaten your business. Maybe it’s cooking appliances in the breakroom, employees’ portable space heaters or something more industry-specific. Then, brainstorm “ what if” scenarios. When you and your employees are prepared for various scenarios, it’s no longer viewed as “the unimaginable.” Everyone will know the procedure.

2. Assign Roles and Responsibilities

Roles and responsibilities should be established to have leaders to which others can look for guidance during an emergency. A clear chain of command should be created, along with backups.

3. Plan Escape Routes and Gathering Areas

A fire escape plan should always have primary and secondary escape routes marked. In addition to posting maps of the exit routes, ensure that all the exits are clearly marked. Designate areas for employees to assemble after evacuating the building. Make sure the area can safely accommodate everyone a safe distance from the building.

4. Inspect Equipment and Train Proper Use

Ensure that all your emergency equipment is up-to-date and in proper working order. Your staff should also know where all the emergency equipment is and how to use it properly.

5. Perform Fire Drills

Regularly rehearsing fire drills can help decrease confusion and make evacuation techniques almost second nature. This will ensure that everyone can get out as quickly and safely as possible.

Creating a proper fire escape plan is crucial for your employees and business. Keep your employees aware and all of your emergency equipment maintained regularly. This will ensure that your evacuation plan is operated as safely and efficiently as possible.

3 Tips for Removing Smells From Your Microwave

12/29/2020 (Permalink)

Image of a microwave with a bowl of pop corn inside. Remove the smell from burnt popcorn

The smoke smell from burnt popcorn is so pungent, many workplaces have banned the popular snack food from the break room. However, if you haven't banned this noxious food from your home yet, you might need these three tips for removing microwave smells.

Tips For Removing Microwave Smells

1. Clean the Inside

Sometimes, all you need to do to eliminate odors is to clean your appliance thoroughly. Start by using a rag or sponge to remove any debris or burnt food from the interior of the oven. Next, place a cup of water in a microwave-safe container and heat it in the oven for three to four minutes. The steam this produces will help loosen up food particles.
Use a soft, moist cloth and a small amount of dish soap to clean the interior surfaces and vent grill. Finally, rinse with clean water and dry with a soft, lint-free cloth. Leave the oven door open for two to three hours to allow it to air out.

2. Try Steaming With Lemon Juice or Vinegar

If the smoke smell persists after cleaning, try neutralizing odors by using lemon juice or vinegar. Follow the same steps as in the first tip, but instead of using plain water, add one tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar and then heat for two to five minutes.

3. Deodorize Overnight

For really persistent odors, try this overnight method. Put an open box of baking soda in the oven at bedtime and leave it overnight. You can also use baking soda to remove odors from nearby cabinets. However, if odors continue to be an issue after trying this tip, you may need to contact a professional cleaning service in North St. Paul, MN, to assist you.

A smoke smell or other odor from your microwave can be a chore to get rid of. These three tips can help you get your home smelling fresh.

What Qualifications Should a Remediation Vendor Have?

12/24/2020 (Permalink)

Cartoon of shaking hands with letters stating "Recovery!" Recover from fire or water damage.

As you recover from a fire, flood or other disastrous issues, the last thing you want to worry about is if your restoration company is qualified. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to tell which vendors are good and which are bad. This is why you should ask your insurance agent what qualifications they require before hiring a remediation service. There are some things your recovery service should have.

4 Things Remediation Vendors Should Have

1. Quality Vendors

Not all vendors are the same, and there are some basic qualities that each vendor should have. These are:

  • Start to finish claims service
  • Comprehensive vendor program
  • Annual compliance checks
  • Knowledge of the industry
  • National Accounts qualification

You should find the remediation company in your White Bear Lake, MN, that has these qualities and more.

2. IICRC Certification

IICRC stands for Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification. It is the industry standard for education and certification of restoration technicians. Companies like SERVPRO have this certification. Knowing that they are fully qualified to complete your project gives you added peace of mind and confidence.
This is the most trusted educational program for disaster recovery. They offer initial courses and continuing education for all types of damage, including flood, fire and storm damage.

3. Authorized by Your Insurance

In many cases, your insurance will cover remediation. If yours does, ask your insurance agent which companies they recommend. It is very often they have vendors that they know are qualified to perform your rebuilding work. Some insurance companies won't cover the work if you do not use a specifically approved and qualified cleanup service. Make sure you talk to your insurance agency before you start the restoration work.

4. Emergency Response Team

In many cases, disasters constitute an emergency. If a fire or flood happens during off-hours or the middle of the night, your recovery service should be there to respond. Some things can't wait.

Some insurance companies have their own qualities they prefer in a remediation company. Be sure to ask your insurance agent if you hire someone to help you recover from a major disaster.

3 Potential Problems From Frozen Pipes

12/17/2020 (Permalink)

Cartoon showing a person heating up frozen pipes with a hair dryer Frozen pipes can lead to water damage.

Commercial properties, such as warehouses, are prone to wintertime damage. It is crucial to maintain facilities before and during the coldest months of the year. Failure to do so can result in significant damage to a building's functionality, especially its plumbing systems. Frozen pipes can lead to at least three costly water damage issues for business owners.

3 Costly Water Damage Problems From Frozen Pipes

1. Pipe Bursts

Frozen pipes often lead to broken pipes. As the water freezes in the line between the water source and the closed faucet, pressure builds. If the pressure from the expanding water is not released or resolved quickly enough, it can lead to splitting and bursting lines. Depending on the occupancy of the building at the time of the break, significant flooding can occur.

2. Dangerous Outdoor Conditions

Sometimes, the frozen and failed pipe is outside of a building, and water damage may go unnoticed by people inside. If the leak persists long enough in cold conditions, the leaking water will freeze over, compromising workers' and customers' safety. If people fall on your commercial property, the company is likely liable for damages.

3. Costly Structural and Inventory Damage

When a break occurs inside the facility, there are questions of structural issues and ruined inventory. A burst pipe can lead to significant flooding in only a few hours. If the facility is left alone for several days, there is no telling the extent of the damage. When the problem occurs inside, hiring a water cleanup service in North St. Paul, MN, is likely your best bet.

Commercial warehouses are prone to pipe freezes, which means having a proactive mitigation and prevention plan in place is necessary. Do not risk the expense and business interruption of water damage from frozen pipes. Prepare your company for the worst case, so you never face it. Use the tools and people at your disposal to figure out a gameplan for this winter.

How To Deal With Water in a Light Fixture

11/26/2020 (Permalink)

Image of water inside a light bulb Water in light fixtures can be very dangerous.

A flood from a busted pipe or supply line leak can affect more than just the surrounding area. This is particularly common when the faulty water source is on the second story of your home in White Bear Lake, MN. Not only can it cause water damage to the flooring and walls around it but also to the ceiling under it. Here are a few tips for getting the water out of the light fixture on your lower floor effectively and efficiently.

2 Tips To Deal With Water in a Light Fixture

1. Stay Safe

Your gut reaction may be to open up the fixture and just let the water drain out. This is not advisable until you have taken the necessary safety precautions:

  • Shut off water to stop flooding.
  • Flip breaker to cut power.
  • Don rubber gloves and boots to neutralize residual charge.

Draining the fixture is one of the first steps toward taking care of the water damage to your lower floor. If you choose to touch the light before the restoration team arrives, make sure you are doing it safely.

2. Call Professionals

If the leak in your home has flooded two floors, you need water damage repair that goes beyond amateur abilities. When water has made its way into a light fixture on a lower level, you probably have quite a bit of ceiling damage on top of everything that needs mitigation on the higher floor. You need a team that has the experience and expertise to address the whole problem. As soon as you know there is an issue, call local water restoration specialists. They can assess the problem, propose solutions and provide an estimate of how much time and money it will probably take to fix it.
Water damage doesn't always stick to one area of your home. The more water involved, the farther and faster it can spread. It may even flood a lower floor, including the ceiling and light fixtures. Use the appropriate safety precautions and call for the help you need.