Recent Posts

Maintain Your Gas Range To Prevent a Fire

6/23/2022 (Permalink)

A clean Stovetop. Learn more about Gas Range and Prevent Fire Damage in your Property.

Life gets busy in North St. Paul, MN, so you're not always thinking about cleaning as you go. However, when it comes to kitchen fires, taking a proactive approach can prevent a disaster. One helpful way to do this is to clean your gas range. 

Range Cleaning Tips

1. Gather the Supplies

First, gather all your cleaning supplies. You will need the following:

  • Dish Rags
  • Scrub Brush (e.g., a soft bristle toothbrush)
  • Vinegar
  • Dish soap

2. Clean After Cooking

Cleaning your stovetop after each use will make things much easier long-term. Grease and other materials can build up over time, making them challenging to remove. Keeping your stove clean can also help prevent smoke smell during cooking.

3. Remove Grates

Fill your sink with hot water and grease-cutting dish soap. Remove the grates so that you can wash them and more easily access other parts of the stovetop. Then, soak the grates while working on the rest of the cleaning. 

4. Clear Crumbs

Clean the crumbs from the stovetop with a damp paper towel or dry brush. You can also use a vacuum. This is an essential step for preventing a cooking fire. A crumb catching on fire could get out of control fast and require the services of fire damage restoration professionals.

5. Clean Stove Top

Next, you can either get a store-bought cleaning solution or create your own mixture of one part vinegar to one part water. Spray the stovetop and let the solution sit for a couple of minutes. Then clean it with a sponge or rag. You may have to scrub parts of it where grease has built up. Be sure to use something that won't scratch your gas range. 

6. Clean Grease Stains

If you still have stubborn grease stains, you will probably need to use grease-cutting dish soap to completely remove them. Put a small amount of this soap directly on the stain and then use a soft toothbrush to brush in a small circular motion. Once you've removed the grease, wipe it clean with a damp cloth.

7. Remove and Wash Burner Caps and Heads

Next, remove the burner caps and place them in the soapy water with the grates. Also, remove the burner heads and clean them of grease and debris. 

8. Clean Under the Range

Many people forget one part of this process: cleaning under the range. Lift the range (check your owner's manual for instructions), and you will probably find a bunch of crumbs. Vacuum this area free of loose debris. Afterward, wipe it down with a damp rag, let it dry and close the top. 

9. Wash Grates and Burner Heads

Finally, wash the grates and burner heads that have been soaking in the warm, soapy water. Scrub the grease off with a soft toothbrush or another non-scratch cleaning tool. Then, rinse and dry them.

10. Replace Grates and Burner Heads

Now, it's time to place your grates and burner heads back on your stovetop. You are sure to notice a difference next time you cook. You can also be confident you have a lower fire risk by having a clean stovetop. 

Take time to thoroughly clean your gas range today. Remember to wipe it down after each use to enjoy cooking on a pristine surface. 

How To Prevent Contaminated Water Damage in Your Home While You're Away

6/17/2022 (Permalink)

A Leaking Faucet Follow our Tips and avoid Water Damage in Your Home.

It's important to take time away from home to relax. Vacation allows you to spend time with your family away from the cares of your everyday life. Whether your family prefers a trip to the beach or a mountain getaway, the last thing you want is to come back to your home in White Bear Lake, MN, to a huge mess caused by contaminated water.

5 Strategies for Preventing Black Water Damage During Vacation

Before your trip, you probably focus on details such as making sure you have reservations at your destination and getting everything packed efficiently. Don't forget your home maintenance checklist, though. It can save you a lot of trouble in the long run.

1. Check for Leaks

Even clean water can cause extensive problems, especially if they go undetected for weeks. Before you leave for vacation, look for leaks in all the places they are typically found:

  • Damaged supply line
  • Loose or bent pipe
  • Cracked toilet tank 
  • Leaky appliance hose

Call a local plumber to fix any problems with the hardware. Then contact a trusted water restoration company to assess and repair any water damage.

2. Insulate Pipes

If you are traveling during colder months, you may set your thermostat lower to save on energy costs. One possible drawback of this decision is that it makes your pipes more likely to freeze and break. You can still lower your heater, but make sure that you keep it running and that the warm air can reach all the pipes in your home. Additionally, insulate the pipes that are located along exterior walls.

3. Clean Gutters

Another way that contaminated water can enter your home when you're not there is from buildup along your roof and at the base of the house. This can happen when your gutters or downspouts are clogged with leaves, dirt and other debris. Make sure they are clear and that the spouts are positioned to direct runoff away from the foundation.

4. Test Sump Pump

Groundwater and sewer backup can easily flood your basement while you're away. A working sump pump is a solution for getting most of the black water out of your home so that it does as little damage as possible. Test it by filling up the basin and listening to the motor as it works.

It's also smart to have a backup energy source so that it can function even if the power goes out. 

5. Turn Off Water Main

Ideally, you have people who can check on your home while you are on vacation. They can keep an eye out for anything that looks suspicious and call the right professionals to take care of it. If you don't know anyone who can help out, consider turning off your water main before you leave. That way, even if a pipe bursts, there's no water supply to cause a catastrophe.

Getting ready to go on a family trip involves more than just packing your suitcases and booking flights. You also need to make sure your home is not in danger of a flood from contaminated water or plumbing issues. Follow this checklist to ensure that your absence doesn't leave your home in potential peril. 

Space Heater Safety Tips

6/8/2022 (Permalink)

Image of a space heater Follow our Safety Tips and Avoid problems with your Space Heater in your Property.

The small appliance you use to keep your feet toasty on cold nights in North St. Paul, MN, may seem harmless. A burned space heater, however, can lead to a bigger fire that causes significant damage to your home. Follow these tips to avoid such a disaster.

4 Tips To Avoid Space Heater Fires

Buy a Safe Product

Good fire safety starts with the machine itself. There are several safety features you should look for when buying a space heater:

  • Automatic shutoff
  • GFCI plug
  • Long cord
  • Certified testing seal

Buying a quality product with built-in safety mechanisms can help prevent fire.

Replace Filters

Dust that gets caught in any electrical appliance can easily lead to the need for the services of smoke cleanup professionals. The manual that comes with your space heater can tell you how often the filter needs to be cleaned or replaced. Make sure you heed the manufacturer's instructions to avoid having a burned space heater.

Give It Room

Your heater needs a lot of personal space. Make sure you keep a radius of three feet around it at all times but especially when it is in use. Keep it out of the reach of children and pets. Not only can its hot surface lead to burns, but if they knock it over while running, it can ignite flammable items on which it falls.

Turn It Off

A space heater is not meant to take the place of your home's HVAC system. It is designed to provide supplemental warmth on a temporary basis. Do not leave a space heater on when you leave the room or while you sleep. As a general rule, if you are not able to pay attention to it, it should be off and unplugged.

Extra heat is a nice luxury, but a burned space heater causes more problems than it resolves. Get the most out of your heater by following safety protocols carefully.

What Qualifications Should a Remediation Vendor Have?

6/8/2022 (Permalink)

Cartoon of shaking hands with letters stating "Recovery!" Trust our specialists and 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

How To Choose the Right Company for Your Water Heater Cleanup

6/8/2022 (Permalink)

A woman calling the specialists because her water heater is broken. Choose the Right Company and Avoid further problems with your water heater cleanup.

Getting your home back in order when a leaking water heater floods your basement is no small task. There are several reasons to call the water damage restoration specialists when you need water heater cleanup.

3 Reasons Why You Should Call SERVPRO For Water Heater Cleanup

  1. Transparent Assessment

When you call the SERVPRO service line, the company creates an account for the job in the Claims Information Center. The CIC provides all the details of the cleanup process that you need:

  • List of services needed
  • Estimate of overall cost
  • Updates on necessary changes
  • Progress of cleanup

This easy-to-read report is available to both you and your insurance provider 24 hours a day. It makes keeping up with the failed water heater cleanup a breeze.

  1. Local Service

No matter where you live, there is likely a SERVPRO branch near you. Each franchise is locally owned and operated, so you can rest assured that you are working with people who know North St. Paul, MN, well. They are likely to be involved in the community and have good working relationships with other local business owners. They can coordinate with the local plumber you hire to fix the leaking water heater to make the whole process more efficient.

  1. Corporate Support

In addition to the local expertise they bring to the job, our technicians have the backing of a strong corporation. That means that if something goes wrong or they discover that the broken water heater cleanup job goes beyond the scope of their staff, qualified reinforcements are just a phone call away. It can set your mind at ease to know that your satisfaction is doubly guaranteed.

Not all restoration companies are the same. With our professionals, you get great local technicians with corporate support who work to keep you informed every step of the way. You can count on them to repair the damage from your leaking water heater and leave your home looking as good as new.

5 Steps To Take After You Discover a Flooded Toilet in Your Home

6/8/2022 (Permalink)

Owner using a Plunger. Follow our Tips to know what to do if you Discover a Flooded Toilet in Your Home.

It is easy to panic when a toilet overflows in your bathroom. The rushing water from the toilet bowl or tank could quickly cause a flood. You may be able to stop the gushing water by yourself. For the cleanup, however, you should call a sewage company such as SERVPRO that specializes in restorations.

What To Do When You Discover a Flooded Toilet

1. Shut off the Water

To limit further sewer damage to your bathroom, you should turn off the water immediately. Start by finding the water shut-off valve behind your toilet. If closing that valve does not work, turn off the main line that provides water to your home.

2. Apply Towels

Put some old towels on the wet floor and around the base of the toilet. The towels should absorb any additional water that overflows. They will also stop you from slipping.

3. Grab the Right Plunger or Snake

When you are ready to remove the clog, use a plunger designed specifically for toilets. It should have a flange that seals the opening of the drain. Do not apply the plunger while the water is still overflowing, as this could make the flood worse. If the clog is still present after a few plunges, try a toilet snake instead.

4. Hire Cleanup Professionals

When you are finished clearing the clog, you will probably still have to deal with the messy flood in your bathroom. Toilet water may contain bacteria or parasites that can make you sick. You should thus be particularly cautious when handling the water. Wear goggles and rubber gloves before attempting any cleanup. The harmful microorganisms in the water could also contaminate your clothes and tools. While you can disinfect these belongings after the fact, you are better off hiring sewer damage cleanup professionals. The experts at SERVPRO know how to safely restore your home after a bathroom disaster.  

5. Prevent Future Clogs

Once the clog is under control and your bathroom is clean, you should take steps to prevent future toilet blockages. First, you need to understand the common causes of toilet clogs. Sometimes, a clog occurs because of the toilet itself. If water is spilling out of the toilet’s tank, there may be a problem with the fill valve. You should thus have a plumber repair the fixture.

A clog that comes from the toilet bowl is likely caused by a blockage in the drainpipe or toilet trap. The trap, in particular, can become clogged when certain items are flushed down the toilet. Dental floss, facial tissues, paper towels and cotton balls should all be disposed of in a regular garbage can and not in a toilet. If there is no obvious reason for your toilet overflow, you may be dealing with a clog in the lateral line that connects your home to the local plumbing system.

Contact a White Bear Lake, MN, government representative to see what you can do about the situation. While you may be able to stop an overflowing toilet by yourself, touching the dirty water that spilled onto your bathroom floor can be dangerous. You should thus let the sewer damage specialists at SERVPRO handle the cleanup.  

Flood Safety Tips Before, During and After the Storm

5/26/2022 (Permalink)

Flooded Room. Avoid Further Storm Damage in your Property by following our Tips.

A severe storm in North St. Paul, MN, has the potential to create flash floods and underground flooding. When that happens, flood safety is essential to weathering the storm. While flooding may create chaos, there are ways to help you handle the situation before it hits, as the waters rise and once the floodwaters diminish.

Flood Prevention Before the Storm

Although there is no way to completely flood-proof your home, there are ways to minimize the potential damage. Those include:

  • If the home doesn’t already have it, installing backflow valves helps reduce the chances of sewer lines backing up. A sump pump is another alternative that works to keep water from rising.
  • For homes in areas prone to flooding, consider investing in flood barrier systems or keeping sandbags on hand. Many of these new systems easily inflate and deflate.
  • Appliances in the basement should be elevated and anchored to keep them above any potential standing water.
  • Landscaping plays a key role in how the waters flow away from the home. Ensuring the grading is sloped and planting moisture-seeking vegetation may help ease the runoff and reduce soil erosion, which may lead to foundation issues.
  • Flood detection devices are available that detect any unwanted moisture. Many on the market can easily be used with other smart devices.
  • Any vital documents or memorabilia should never be stored in the basement. Moving it to a higher floor increases the chances of them avoiding water damage.
  • As part of regular maintenance, ensure that gutters are clean, trees are trimmed and the foundation shows no signs of cracks.

Flood Safety During the Storm

As the waters start to rise, safely navigating the storm is the top priority. The below safety tips are essential to follow:

  • Ensure the utilities are turned off at the main switch.
  • Fill sinks and bathtubs with fresh water to avoid dealing with contaminated water.
  • Avoid driving and walking through floodwaters. Even six inches of water has the potential to make you lose control of the vehicle or whisk you away.
  • If traveling during the storm, leave the vehicle and get to higher ground. Be sure to watch out for any power lines that are down.

Call the Professionals After the Storm

After the storm subsides, it can feel overwhelming. Taking the steps below makes it easier to navigate the aftermath.

Ensure the home is safe before re-entering. This includes avoiding using electricity until it is deemed safe.

Inspect the home for damage, including structural damage.

Take videos and photos of all the damage and file a claim.

Once your insurance provider gives the go-ahead, starting the water extraction and drying processes are vital to minimizing the chances of secondary damage, such as mold growth.

Call a certified flood damage restoration company to help with the cleanup and recovery. The right company will be able to provide beginning-to-end services, from boarding up broken windows to replacing drywall and more.

During severe weather, flood safety should be the only priority. Before and after the storm, consider the above tips to help minimize damage and recover more quickly.

What Insurers Should Look for in a Professional Restoration Company

5/23/2022 (Permalink)

A Professional takes notes of the damage A Professional Restoration Company is always the Best Option.

Commercial property owners understand the importance of taking care of their real estate investment. A critical component of property care is securing insurance to protect against damages and losses due to fire, water, theft, and other natural disasters. These owners look to insurers like you to provide insurance coverages that protect them from typical threats and exposures.

In the event of major damage to the building, your clients look to their insurance adjuster or representative for guidance on cleanup and repairs. Here’s what you should know about choosing a professional restoration or remediation company to recommend.

Efficient Insurance Claim Handling

Filing a claim can be quite stressful for your clients, so it’s important to find a restoration services provider that makes your clients a priority. A SERVPRO franchise in White Bear Lake, MN, brings you experienced professionals who understand that taking care of your clients is the best way to take care of you. Bringing a client’s building back to pre-damage conditions and minimizing the time it takes to do so is the main focus. Working with you to expedite claim processing helps you serve customers that rely on you.

24-7 Availability

Property damage is never convenient, and emergency situations are even less so. Whether it’s sewage backup or a blazing inferno, you need to partner with a team that can respond to emergencies whenever they arise. Your local franchise is available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week to meet an insurance adjuster onsite and/or start the remediation process immediately, doing what’s necessary to help your customers’ properties get back to normal as soon as possible.

A Comprehensive Approach

Restoring a building back to pre-damage conditions requires a comprehensive suite of services that cover the insured’s needs. You can expect your local SERVPRO franchise to offer the following:

  • Safe, careful removal of damaged items
  • Special cleaning methods for electronics, documents, fabric and upholstery, and more
  • Thorough drying and dehumidifying of items as necessary
  • Disinfection of items affected by black water and gray water
  • Remediation of mold and mildew
  • Boarding up portions of the structure to prevent further damage
  • Structural repairs and reconstruction
  • Offsite storage of items during cleanup and repair

Although no two restoration jobs will be the same, you can be confident that your preferred provider has the experience, expertise, and equipment for a complete job.

Controlling Claims

Replacing an item is often more expensive than repairing or cleaning it. The cost to replace every item can quickly add up, resulting in an insurance claim that may be much larger than necessary. SERVPRO looks for ways to repair and clean, before replacing. This helps to control the size of your claims, a benefit to both the insurer and the insured.

At the end of the day, policyholders want to get back to business as quickly as possible. Your representative insurance adjuster wants to minimize the size of the claim.

It’s important to partner with an experienced restoration services provider that can start quickly and find the most efficient and cost-effective ways to return the covered property to pre-damage conditions. Do what’s best for your clients by recommending professionals they can trust.

How Fire Damage Causes Water Damage

5/12/2022 (Permalink)

A Firefighter putting out a Fire Fire Damage can also Cause Water Damage. For more Information, just Contact Us.

When a fire occurs, most property owners expect to have fire damage. However, what they may not expect is the amount of water damage that can occur due to the efforts to put out the flames.

Dealing With Water Damage

Dealing with damage from fire and water is a multi-step process.

Inspect Your Damage

Even if firefighters mostly sprayed water in one area of your building, water from a fire hose can seep into unexpected places causing damage. There are several areas where water damage is common:

  • Drywall can soften or swell after absorbing water
  • Ceilings may swell, stain and lose strength
  • Water can cause shorts and other problems in electrical systems
  • Wood floors may buckle and swell
  • Wood framing may rot

Additionally, most surfaces can develop mold and mildew after being exposed to water. This is particularly true of surfaces that may take a long time to dry, such as the padding or subfloor under wet carpet. Contacting a fire remediation company in White Bear Lake, MN, to dry out your building after a fire may avoid mold and mildew growth.

Contact Your Insurance Company

Damage from water used to put out a fire on your property is usually covered by fire insurance. Contact your insurance company to get the claims process started.

Document Your Damage

The insurance company will probably send an adjuster to inspect your fire damage. However, it is still a good idea to have your own documentation in case a dispute arises or the adjuster misses something. Take photos or videos of all the damaged areas. Create an inventory of everything that was damaged or destroyed by fire or water.

Start gathering any documentation you have that establishes the value of the damaged property.

Remove Wet Items

The longer wet items stay in your building, the more likely you are to have a mold problem. Remove wet contents, drywall, carpet, insulation and other materials from the building. Place salvageable items outdoors to dry if the weather permits it. Open windows and doors to allow air to circulate.

Clean and Disinfect

Once damaged items have been removed, the property needs to be cleaned and disinfected. If you have a lot of damage, you may need to hire professional cleaners to assist you.

Inspect and Replace Seals

Standing water can weaken the seals around toilets, bathtubs and appliances. Check seals and replace them as needed.

Stay Safe

Do not enter your fire-damaged property until authorities say it is safe. Fire and water can cause structural damage that may make some buildings or rooms unsafe to enter. Do not operate damaged appliances or other electrical equipment until they have been inspected and repaired. Wear protective gear, such as rubber gloves, masks, respirators and protective eyewear.

Because most property that has experienced a fire will have both fire damage and damage from efforts to put out the fire, it is important to have a plan for dealing with multiple types of damage. Quick action is needed to avoid unnecessary additional damage.

To File or Not To File an Insurance Claim

4/22/2022 (Permalink)

An Insurance Claim Form Know more about when to File an Insurance Claim by following these Tips.

Smart property owners understand the benefits of having an insurance policy to pay for major repairs, following covered perils. Fire, water, and theft are just some of the issues that result in losses covered by your plan. If you experience major damage or losses to your place in North St. Paul, MN, it probably seems like a no-brainer to file a claim. That’s the point of carrying coverage, right? Well, you may want to step back. it really depends on your particular situation.

Filing an insurance claim may negatively impact your premiums, but the answer is not so cut and dried. Here’s what you should know.

Understanding an Insurance Claim

You pay a premium annually, semiannually, or monthly to your insurer in exchange for coverage of losses due to major events, such as water damage. While policy details vary between insurers and the insured, you’d file a claim for the following:

  • Repair, restoration, and reconstruction of the building structure
  • Repair and replacement of damaged or lost items
  • Medical and healthcare costs for injured persons
  • Death benefits
  • Other benefits such as temporary housing

Typically, an investigation is conducted by your insurance company to determine the cause, the extent of damage, and to confirm that it is covered by your plan.

Your insurer issues a check either to you or directly to the SERVPRO Franchise Professionals in North St. Paul, MN, restoring your property.

Exploring a Claim

No two claims are equal, and that’s primarily because there are other factors that your insurer factors when investigating a claim. These factors may cause your premiums to go up after filing. Some common factors include these:

  • Type of claim
  • Number of previous claims filed
  • Frequency of events that result in losses, such as weather events and the likelihood of a business or home flood
  • Credit rating

Some insurers view certain types of claims as problematic. Slip-and-fall personal injury, water damage, mold, and dog bites are examples of claims that may result in a premium increase. Some claims may cause your insurer to discontinue coverage, requiring you to purchase a high-risk policy with higher premiums and lower coverage limits.

Answering the Question

Should you file or not? That still remains to be seen. Because filing multiple claims can cause your rates to increase, your best move may be to file only when you’ve experienced a catastrophic loss. For example, if a wind storm takes off a few shingles, it might be better to pay for this out of pocket. Whether the damage is significant or not, It’s important to have a clear idea of what your existing policy covers well in advance of a problem. Keep in mind that your agent or representative may be obligated to notify your insurer of a potential claim.

Responsible ownership means having coverage to protect your property in the event of a loss or other damage. You’ve contracted with an insurer to pay premiums regularly for this coverage. Filing an insurance claim may cause your premiums to increase, especially if you’ve submitted multiple claims in the past.

It’s up to your insurance company to decide on a rate hike or to drop coverage altogether.