Recent Posts

4 Tips for Managing a Storm-Canceled Flight

7/17/2021 (Permalink)

A person looking forward to his flight to North St. Paul, MN. A cancelled flight due to the weather can be a stressful experience. Take a deep breath and follow these tips.

Many people think of air travel as a stress-inducing event, not just the act of flying but the entire process. When a storm hits and throws off your travel plans unexpectedly, it creates an even bigger headache. It's beneficial to understand beforehand what to do in the case of a canceled flight so the process can go smoother. Here are some tips for managing a flight that was canceled due to weather.

1. Understand Your Rights

When you schedule a flight, you agree to specific terms, which vary from airline to airline. These terms also vary from country to country. For example, the European Union requires airlines to compensate clients such as hotel rooms and meals for delays longer than two hours and cancellations. However, the United States does not have these regulations.

2. Use Social Media

When you're stressing over a canceled flight, you may not consider alternative forms of contacting the airline such as social media platforms such as Twitter. Sometimes customer service is more accessible by this means of communication. It's a good suggestion for contacting other services, such as storm damage restoration professionals.

3. Check the Airline's Website

Check the airline's website to see if you can check your flight's current status. It should also tell you if the airline has booked you on an alternate flight. If you need more information, call the airline or go to the customer service desk.

4. Call the Airline

If you're already at the airport when you find your flight has been canceled, you can go to your airline's customer service desk and wait, and while you're waiting there, call the airline on the phone. Depending on the airline, a weather-related cancelation may entitle you to hotel or food vouchers, maybe even a replacement airline ticket.

A canceled flight will never be a stress-free event. Just as with other storm tips, the key is to being prepared beforehand anything happens. This way, before you head out of North St. Paul, MN, you'll find it easier to navigate the unexpected.

How Much Does Mold Damage Cost?

6/28/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a person pointing at a mold damage on white wall with a face of disgust Mold often grows in hidden areas.

If you have mold in your home, one of the concerns you probably have is how much mold removal will cost and whether your insurance will cover it. Several factors play a role in the overall cost of dealing with mold damage.

Overall Cost of Mold Damage

Mold Inspection

Because mold often grows in hidden areas, it is a good idea to have a mold inspection done before proceeding with black mold removal. The inspector will look for all of the hidden areas of mold and the root cause of your mold problem. The inspector will also be able to recommend a mold remediation company in North St. Paul, MN. A qualified mold inspector should meet several criteria:

  • Have a degree in a relevant science or engineering field
  • Have completed industry-approved courses in mold investigation
  • Have industry credentials
  • Provide a report with lab results

A typical mold inspection takes between two and five hours. The average cost is $200 to $600.

Mold Remediation

Mold remediation companies perform the actual mold removal services. Depending on the extent of the project, the process may take a few days to a few weeks. The process involves removing water and mold-damaged materials, cleaning and disinfecting carpets, walls and personal items, vacuuming with HEPA filtration and removing mold-damaged studs and drywall. The cost can vary from $500 to more than $30,000 depending on where the damage is and how widespread the problem is.

Insurance Coverage

Many homeowners policies have an exclusion for damage caused by mold and other fungi. However, if the mold resulted due to another covered cause of loss, such as a burst pipe, your insurance may cover the cost of mold cleanup.

The cost of mold removal can vary substantially depending on the circumstances. It is a good idea to check with your homeowners or flood insurance company to find out if your policy provides coverage for mold cleanup before you begin the process.

The Water Damage Timeline

6/28/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a building surrounded by flooded water in the exterior A fast response is very important to avoid further damage.

When your home is damaged by water, a 24 hour response is crucial. Water begins to cause serious problems within minutes. You might be wondering how this happens and what you can do about it.
You must begin water damage restoration as soon as you notice water damage. There are a few things that can cause this damage. These are:

  • Storm flooding
  • Burst pipes
  • Sewage backups
  • Main breaks
  • Plumbing breaks

Calling a water damage restoration company  White Bear Lake, MN, is crucial in preventing the damage from getting any worse. You want a company with a fast response because water damage only grows.

Water Damage Timeline

Immediately After

After the water begins to inundate an area, porous surfaces start to soak it up. Things like porous stone, paper and even cloth quickly become saturated. This causes these surfaces to start to break down almost immediately. The more porous the surface, the faster it starts to break down. This does not simply stop at the 24 hour mark but keeps going until the water is cleaned up.

Within a Day

Within a day, everything becomes water-laden and soggy. Anything sitting in or soaked in water will begin to decay. Depending on what kind of water you are dealing with, metals will begin to tarnish and wood swell. Dyes and other colors will fade. Mold growth is already beginning. If your restoration company isn't always open, it could allow the damage to get worse.

Within Two Days

By the second day, mold has taken hold and continues to grow. At this point, many things are no longer salvageable. Textiles, furniture and clothing begin to deteriorate, and things like carpet and padding begin to rot. If you do not have a cleaning company working to rid your home of the water, this damage will continue to grow.

After two days, restoring it becomes even harder and more costly. It is always best to start restoration before the 24 hour mark to minimize the overall damage.

The SERVPRO Commitment to a Timely Response

6/24/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO trucks parked. SERVPRO has a quick response for damage control.

With franchises located in White Bear Lake, MN, and many other locations around the country, SERVPRO provides local services with a secure foundation from national corporate offices. The company has more than 1,700 franchises with the goal of arriving faster to any size disaster, including the property damages that affect you. In fact, one of the primary goals of the company is to ensure that technicians are ready to respond to damages at any time of day, any day of the week.

Teamwork, Training, and Technology

As part of the company's commitment to restoration customers, SERVPRO combines top quality work with technology that streamlines the process of completing each insurance claim:

  • Emergency crews respond faster to any size disaster all day every day.
  • Consistent training is completed in compliance with top industry standards.
  • Partners have access to a comprehensive electronic claim system.
  • Franchises maintain preferred vendor status with insurance companies.

When damages threaten commercial properties, SERVPRO water, fire, mold, and storm damage restoration technicians are ready to respond. The faster teams arrive at damaged properties, the easier it is to keep insurance claim costs in check.

Local Ownership, Corporate Resources

Local ownership of franchises helps ensure that teams arrive at damaged properties quickly. It is an essential step toward making sure that property, inventory, furnishings, and other contents suffer the least damage possible. For example, when water damage occurs, the first 24 hours are crucial in determining how far damage penetrates drywall, carpets, and other materials. Emergency teams must be on hand when fires and firefighting efforts are complete to reduce the extent of secondary damages.

A Quick Response for Damage Control

SERVPRO franchises are committed to arriving faster to any size disaster when White Bear Lake, MN, property owners need any type of cleanup and restoration work. A quick response to fire, water, and other types of disasters means that the severity and extent of damages are limited, and this ensures that recovery costs are also kept within appropriate bounds.

Smoke and Soot Cleanup

6/24/2021 (Permalink)

Fire damaged kitchen. A commercial kitchen that has fire damage.

Smoke and soot are very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allow us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, our certified technicians will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Flood Damage Prevention Tips

6/22/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a flooded office Flood prevention can save you a lot of time and money.

After a heavy storm hits North St. Paul, MN, your property may have some damage due to flooding. While certified storm mitigation experts can help you clean up the mess, the best course of action is to prevent as many problems as possible to begin with. Here are some tips on storm preparation to help you avoid damage in the first place.

3 Tips on Storm Preparation

1. Barriers

There are certain areas of your building that are especially prone to flood damage:

  • Windows
  • External doorways
  • Loading docks

Essentially, any space that can be opened is more vulnerable to water entry. Using sandbags or other barrier methods can stop the flow of water into your building. Even if it doesn’t completely block floodwaters, it can slow it down enough to prevent a lot of damage.

2. Landscaping

You can’t always prevent flooding. It is possible, however, to divert most of the water away from your building through creative landscaping strategies. Your landscape architect can show you good locations for trenches and can recommend ground cover that can slow water flow toward your building considerably.

3. Organization

Many items in commercial buildings get storm damage simply because they are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Water can destroy equipment, furniture and important files. Elevating particularly vulnerable items just a few inches off the floor can make a big difference. Digitizing your most important documents is also a way to safeguard them against the risk of floods. Cloud storage means that your business won’t lose information even if the hard copies are destroyed.

No matter how careful you are, you may still have some water damage in your building after a heavy storm. That doesn’t mean that you are completely powerless against flooding, though. Sandbags and trenches can prevent a lot of the water from getting in, and some tweaks in your organization can protect items from minor leaks that occur. Taking a few extra precautions can save you a lot of time and money after a flood.

How To Clean Sewage Backup

5/28/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a person removing a clog Sewage cleanup may require a professional to get it done.

Not only is a sewer backup disgusting, but it is also a serious health hazard. Cleaning one up is no laughing matter. It is something that takes time, patience and a bit of know-how. Here are some things that you can do if you've had a sewage backup in your home.

4 Tips to Clean Sewage Backup in Your Home

Turn Everything Off

A sewage backup or leak is essentially a flood. You should turn off and unplug any appliances or electronics in the area. If you can't do this safely, turn off the main electricity to the house. Items to watch for when it comes to electricity and flooding are:

  • Hairstyling tools in the bathroom
  • Appliances
  • Lights that plugged in or are wired into the wall
  • Heaters

These items might get missed in the effort to clean up.

Safety First

Before removing any sewage, think of your safety. Wear goggles, a mask and protective clothing. Contaminated water is dangerous, and you don't want any to get on you. Even a simple sewer backup can be harmful. If you are not sure, call a professional sewage cleanup company in White Bear Lake, MN, to help.

Remove the Sewage

If you have already located and corrected the backup's source, it is time to get rid of the mess. Removing the sewage is one of your first steps in cleaning up. You can do this with a wet/dry vacuum. It may be tempting to rinse the waste down, particularly if the problem is a bathtub backup where it is relatively easy to do. Don't do this. Sewage can harden in drains and cause you even more problems.

Clean the Area

Once the sewage is gone, use a disinfectant to clean the area. Do not just use soap and water. You need something that will kill bacteria and other microbes to be safe. Throw out any rags or sponges, so you don't use them for anything else.

A sewer backup can be a serious problem if you don't know how to handle it. When you have a sewer problem, just take it one step at a time and remember to clean the area thoroughly.

5 Tips for Cleaning After a Pipe Bursts

5/25/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a person cleaning up after a bursting pipe A bursting pipe needs to be treated immediately to avoid further damage.

Discovering bursting pipes at your North St. Paul, MN, commercial building can be a devastating discovery. Depending on the size of the leak, possibly hundreds of gallons of water could be flowing through your building. It's essential to stop the water and fix broken pipe immediately.

Tips for Bursting Pipe Cleanup

1. Turn Off the Electricity

Before you do anything else, you must turn off the electricity at the breaker box. If you can't safely navigate to the box, call the utility company to shut it off. Until it's shut off, electricity could be flowing through the standing water.

2. Extract the Standing Water

Every minute counts. Next, you must extract all standing water as swiftly as possible to avoid additional loss. It's helpful to always have a wet/dry vacuum on hand for such situations, as one of these machines will get rid of the water and small debris quickly and safely.

3. Remove Affected Contents

Remove all items soaked by the water from the bursting pipes. In addition to furniture, paper and other porous materials, this could include wet drywall and soaked carpet and padding.

4. Separate Salvageable Items

Anything that you can thoroughly dry within 48 hours will probably be salvageable. Materials that you can't dry completely are susceptible to mold growth, and you will likely have to throw them away.

5. Dry the Affected Area and Contents

Finally, the affected area and remaining contents will need to be dried as quickly as possible. You can open windows and doors if the outdoor humidity is less than the indoor humidity. You can also run heaters, fans and dehumidifiers to help the drying process along. Hiring water damage remediation professionals can significantly benefit you, as they have industrial equipment and years of expertise.

When you're dealing with bursting pipes and water damage in North St. Paul, MN, time is of the essence. Take action promptly to stop the water flow, repair the pipes and begin the drying process.

Tips for Teaching Fire Safety to Kids

5/25/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a house on fire. A house fire can be devastating.

As a parent, your kids' safety is likely the number one priority on your list. Therefore, it just makes sense to have a simple escape plan that they can remember so that they can get out of your house in North St. Paul, MN, quickly in case of a fire. Here are a few things to teach them to ensure they know the drill.

Teaching Fire Safety to Kids

How To Get Out of the House

The smoke detector is probably the first indication that there is a home fire. When your kids hear this, they must know the steps to take to get to safety:

  • Bed roll - Instead of sitting up in bed, roll to their stomachs and use the hand closest to the side to guide them to the floor.
  • Floor crawl - Crouch down on hands and knees or on their bellies if smoke and heat are already in the room and crawl toward the escape.
  • Test door - Touch door to see if it's still cool and if so, open slowly to see if it's safe to crawl out of the room.

Practice doing these things with your whole family so that everyone can be familiar with what to do in the event of an emergency. Your kids' safety may depend on their ability to get out of the house on their own, and these drills teach them how to do that.

How To Find Each Other After Escaping

You also want your kids to know where to go after they get out of the burning house. Fire restoration experts recommend that include a safe spot where you will meet if you get separated in your fire escape plan. A trusted neighbor's house or a well-lit parking lot of a business down the street are both good options.

Knowing what to do when there's a fire is important for everyone in the family. Protect your kids' safety by teaching and practicing the plan until they are comfortable with it.

How To Choose the Right Company for Your Water Heater Cleanup

5/1/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a damaged water heater and a person talking on the phone next to it. Contact a professional for 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 at SERVPRO 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.

2. 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.

3. Corporate Support

In addition to the local expertise they bring to the job, your SERVPRO 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 SERVPRO, 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.