Recent Posts

Fire Sprinkler Systems: Myths and Facts

9/7/2021 (Permalink)

sprinkler head A home fire sprinkler can control or put out a fire with a fraction of the water that would be used by fire department hoses.

Automatic sprinkler systems have a proven track record of protecting life and property for over 100 years. However, there are still some common misconceptions about the operation and effectiveness of automatic fire sprinkler systems.  Source: American Fire Sprinkler Association

Myth: “A smoke detector provides enough protection.”

Fact: Smoke detectors save lives by providing an early warning to a smoke or fire incident, but can do nothing to extinguish a growing fire or protect those physically unable to escape on their own, such as the elderly or small children. Too often, battery operated smoke detectors fail to function because the batteries are dead or have been removed. As the percent of homes in America that were “protected” with smoke detectors increased from zero to more than 70%, the number of fire deaths in homes did not significantly decrease.

Myth: “Water damage from a sprinkler system will be more extensive than fire damage.”

Fact: Water damage from a building sprinkler system will be much less severe than the damage caused by water from fire fighting hose lines or smoke and fire damage if the fire is allowed to spread. Quick response sprinklers release 8-24 gallons of water per minute compared to 80-125 gallons per minute discharged by a fire hose.

Myth: “When a fire occurs, every sprinkler head goes off.”

Fact: Sprinkler heads are individually activated by fire temperatures in excess of 155°. Residential fires are usually controlled with one sprinkler head. 90% of all fires are controlled with six or fewer heads and a study conducted during 80 years of automatic sprinkler use found that 82% of the fires that have occurred were controlled by two or fewer sprinkler heads.

Myth: “Sprinklers are designed to protect property, but are not effective for life safety.”

Fact: Sprinklers provide a high level of life safety. Statistics reveal that there has never been any multiple loss of life in a fully sprinklered building. Property losses are 85% less in residences with fire sprinklers compared to those without sprinklers. The combination of automatic sprinklers and early warning systems in all buildings could reduce overall injuries, loss of life and property damage by at least 50%.

In the event that you do sustain fire or water damage, SERVPRO of Milwaukee North is Here to Help.  Call us today for a no-cost assessment of your property damage.  We are always available for your call at 414-354-7566.

Board-Up Services for your Milwaukee Area Business

9/5/2021 (Permalink)

servpro van in front of boarded up business Our SERVPRO board up team helped to keep many businesses safe after some recent vandalism in the area.

Whether your windows are broken by a storm, wind, fire, or vandalism, action must be taken quickly to secure your business until replacement doors and windows can be permanently installed.  The board-up professionals at SERVPRO of Milwaukee North are here to help.  We have years of experience securing homes and businesses after damage occurs, and we are available 24/7/365 for this type of emergency.

What is a “board-up”?

Board-up is the process by which we secure windows, doors, and other openings with wooden boards to protect the interior from damage.

Most often, windows and doors are boarded up after severe storms, fire damage, or vandalism that left a building exposed to the elements. Boarding up your business can also protect it from vandalism and theft during the repair process.

Why should broken windows and doors be boarded up?

Some people use sheets of plastic or tarps to seal their building from the elements after damage. In more mild cases, this can be a cost-effective alternative that requires less setup and take down than using wood.  However, a tarp is not sturdy enough to protect your business when the openings are particularly large or the environment is unfriendly. If you’re concerned about theft or further damage to your building, it’s best to use a professional board up service.

How do I board up my own windows?

There are a few steps to boarding up doors and windows after they’ve been damaged.

  • First, protect yourself from hazards like broken glass by wearing safety glasses and thick gloves. Long sleeves and pants are also recommended.
  • Tape over cracks in windows that haven’t been completely shattered, or remove them entirely. If you leave a crack untreated, it has the potential of getting bigger and causing further harm.
  • Measure the window or door frame and cut a board to cover the opening.
  • Secure the board to the window or door frame, preferably with a power drill. You can also nail the wood in place, though it will take a little longer.
  • If those steps seem complicated (and they sure can be — measuring and cutting for a large do-it-yourself project like this is no easy task) don’t hesitate to reach out for help. 

If your business is damaged by a storm or by vandalism, let us take some of the worry away by keeping the interior of your building safe and secure.  SERVPRO of Milwaukee North has seen countless board-up situations, and we are always available for your call at 414-354-7566.

Commercial Duct Cleaning in Northern Milwaukee

8/5/2021 (Permalink)

servpro logo with hvac system in background Call SERVPRO of Milwaukee North today to schedule your spring duct cleaning!

Did you know that your ventilation system determines your indoor air quality? Dirty ducts can circulate contaminates such as mold or irritating dust as well as unwanted odors throughout your home or business. SERVPRO of Milwaukee North provides a professional service to inspect and clean your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning unit (HVAC). 

How does the SERVPRO Duct Cleaning System work?

  • First, our patented equipment automatically adapts to the duct’s shape and diameter while traveling through the duct, removing debris and filth prior to beginning vacuuming.
  • Next, is a powerful push-pull air delivery and collection system that will transfer the debris from the duct to a 16-gallon container.
  • Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system, removing 99.97 percent of the particles in the airstream. These HEPA filters capture debris and keep the indoor environment clean.
  • Part of an optional process, a sealant or coating may be sprayed to address odor or microbial concerns.
  • In addition, filters will need to be cleaned or replaced to remove odor and dirt.

For more information or to schedule a residential or commercial duct cleaning appointment, contact SERVPRO of Milwaukee North at 414-354-7566.

Water Damage from Sprinkler Systems: Cause and Effect

7/26/2021 (Permalink)

water leaking from sprinkler head Inspection, testing and maintenance of fire sprinkler systems, along with adequate building heat, can help reduce the risk of future water damage.

An automatic sprinkler system is a very valuable tool in fire suppression and prevention. Even so, by some uncontrollable event or if not properly maintained, these systems may fail.  This failure could result in disaster by fire or from serious water damage from the sprinklers if water is unexpectedly released.  

Common Causes for Sprinkler System Failures

  1. Freezing of water filled pipes
  2. Mechanical damage
  3. Installation defects
  4. Deliberate sabotage
  5. Overheating from excessive temperatures
  6. Corrosion of sprinklers, fittings, pipes, and other components
  7. Environmental stress cracking of PVC plastic sprinkler pipe and fittings
  8. Manufacturing defects, including recalled sprinklers

Potential Hazards of Water Damage

  1. Damage - Destruction to property 
  2. Disruption - Loss of use of property during repairs
  3. Health Effects - Mold can develop causing health hazards
  4. Costs - Repair and/or replacement of sprinkler system
  5. Reputation - Lost customers or tenants due to unusable space

Prevention Tips

  1. Maintain fire sprinklers in accordance with recognized standards
  2. Ensure installations are completed by experienced and licensed contractors
  3. Take action to reduce chances of system freezing
  4. Call SERVPRO of Milwaukee North if water damage is experienced in your facility.

SERVPRO of Milwaukee North has the experience and professional staff to bring your property back to its preloss condition quickly and efficiently.  Call 414-354-7566 today for a free assessment of your damage.

Simple Tips for Cooking Fire Prevention in Your Milwaukee Area Home

7/12/2021 (Permalink)

pan with lid and fire Cooking is the #1 cause of fires in homes.

Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and fire related injury.  Here are a few steps from FEMA and the US Fire Administration to help keep your family safe while cooking:

Stand by your pan

If you leave the kitchen, turn the burner off

Watch what you are cooking

Fires start when the heat is too high.  If there are signs of smoke or boiling grease, turn off the burner

Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove

This way, no one can bump them or pull them over accidentally

Keep a pan lid or baking sheet nearby

Use it to cover the pan if it catches on fire.  This should help smother the fire.

In the event your home does sustain damage from fire or smoke, SERVPRO of Milwaukee North is here to help.  Our experienced technicians are standing by to restore your home.  Call us today at 414-354-7566 for a free assessment of your property damage.

Midwest Tornado Season is Here: Be Prepared and Safe

7/10/2021 (Permalink)

tornado The US averages over 1,200 tornadoes per year. This exceeds the number of tornadoes in any other country, according to the NOAA.

Prepare:

  • Know the signs of a tornado, including a rotating funnel-shaped cloud, an approaching cloud of debris, or a loud roar similar to a freight train.
  • Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.  Become familiar with your community's sirens.
  • Pay attention to weather reports. Meteorologists can predict when conditions might be right for a tornado.
  • Identify and practice going to a safe shelter for high winds, such as a safe room built using FEMA criteria or a storm shelter built to ICC 500 standards. The next best protection is a small, interior, windowless room in a sturdy building on the lowest level.

Survive:

  • Immediately go to a safe location that you identified.
  • Take additional cover by shielding your head and neck with your arms and putting materials such as furniture and blankets around you.
  • Do not try to outrun a tornado in a vehicle. 
  • If you are in a car or outdoors and cannot get to a building, cover your head and neck with your arms and cover your body with a coat or blanket, if possible. 

Recover:

  • If you are trapped, cover your mouth with a cloth or mask to avoid breathing dust. Try to send a text, bang on a pipe or wall, or use a whistle instead of shouting.
  • Stay clear of fallen power lines or broken utility lines.
  • Do not enter damaged buildings until you are told that they are safe.
  • Save your phone calls for emergencies. Phone systems are often down or busy after a disaster. Use text messaging or social media to communicate with family and friends. 
  • Be careful during clean-up. Wear thick-soled shoes, long pants, and work gloves.

In the event your home or business is damaged by a tornado or high winds, SERVPRO of Milwaukee North is available 24/7/365 to assist in securing your property.  Our reconstruction team is experienced in restoring properties from this type of damage, working in conjunction with your insurance company to bring your home or business back to life.  Call us today at 414-354-7566.

Reducing Business Interruption in Milwaukee

7/5/2021 (Permalink)

servpro logo with water background If you have water damage in your business, call SERVPRO of Milwaukee North for fast and efficient help.

When a home experiences disruption due to water or fire damage, it can be difficult to imagine things getting back to normal. The quicker a family can get back to normal life, the better everyone feels. 

It is just as important to get commercial spaces back into operation quickly. Every hour your business is down, money is being lost. At SERVPRO of Milwaukee North, it is our priority to get businesses back into operation with as little interruption as possible. We make every effort to be quick and thorough, making sure that every detail has been taken care of and remediation is complete.

SERVPRO of Milwaukee North is equipped to service the following, no space is too large or small:

  • Office Buildings
  • Apartment Buildings
  • Restaurants
  • Hotels/Motels
  • Retail Stores
  • Manufacturing & Industrial
  • Government/Military
  • Universities/Colleges
  • Schools

Call SERVPRO of Milwaukee North today for assistance at 414-354-7566.  Our professionals are available for your emergencies 24/7/365.

Insurance Coverage for Spring and Summer Storm Damage to your Milwaukee Home

6/5/2021 (Permalink)

lightning and storm Understanding your property insurance can help protect you in the event your home sustains damage from a storm.

Spring and Summer weather in the Midwest is welcomed with open arms each year.  It can, however, bring storms that could cause a wide variety of damage to your home.  Fortunately, much of this damage is covered by your homeowner’s insurance.  This insurance protection depends on what type of damage was caused and what caused it.  

Here are a few common events that are often covered on a standard home policy:

Wind Damage

Wind almost always damages the weakest areas of a home. After a storm, indications of damage would include:

  • Shingles in the yard
  • Creased or broken shingles from wind
  • Loose or missing siding and trim on your home
  • Loose or broken downspouts and gutters

Hail Damage

If hail causes damage to the exterior of your home, your dwelling coverage helps cover the cost to repair or replace the damage.

However, your home’s detached structures, such as a fence, garage, gazebo or swimming pool, may only have limited coverage from your base policy. In order to properly protect them from hail damage, you may want to consider adding coverage for your detached structures.

Lightning Damage

Lightning can cause serious damage to your home, including fire and damage to your electronic devices. Fortunately, your home insurance covers lightning-damaged electronics and other personal property, and your dwelling coverage protects the structure of your home if lightning causes a fire.

Here are a few coverages that can be added for extra protection:

Flood Insurance

Floods are a natural disaster that aren’t covered by your homeowners policy, but many companies offer flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program. If you live in a flood-prone area or just want peace of mind, consider purchasing flood insurance to protect your home and personal property.

Roof Replacement Cost Coverage

Your home insurance is designed to help cover the replacement of your roof if it’s damaged by a covered loss. But the amount you’ll receive for your damaged roof depends on if you have actual cash value (ACV) or replacement cost value (RCV). Having roof replacement cost value coverage means you’re covered for what it’d cost to replace your roof today without worrying about depreciation.

Matching Siding Coverage

Homeowner’s insurance replaces siding damage from specific types of losses, like damage from wind.  However, it only covers the parts of your home that are damaged. By adding matching siding coverage, you’ll be covered for a higher amount to compensate for replacing additional siding to match.

Sump Pump Coverage

Your sump pump is designed to remove excess water that accumulates around your home’s foundation. If the system ever fails or the power goes out, water overflow may occur. And you're typically not covered for this type of damage with your homeowners insurance. Having water backup and sump pump overflow coverage gives you that important layer of protection that is so important during these Lake County spring and summer rains.

In the event you do suffer damage from a storm, please do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of Milwaukee North at 414-354-7566 for your restoration or repair concerns.  We are here to help 24/7/365.

Preparing your Northern Milwaukee Home for a Spring Storm

5/5/2021 (Permalink)

lightning and storm Spring weather can be unpredictable. It is important to prepare in advance for the ever changing Midwest weather.

Spring has officially arrived.  Warmer days have begun, and spring foliage is popping up all around us.  The beauty of spring brings along with it the probability of strong storms.  With a little forward thinking, you’ll be prepared to protect your home.  Check out these tips for some ideas to be ready for whatever happens.

Sign up for weather text alerts

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) sends text messages to keep you updated on emergency situations. However, long before anything gets that severe, your local government, weather channel, radio stations and power companies have similar services that let you know what’s happening in your region. The more information you get, the easier it is to plan and prepare.

You can also download the FEMA app to your smartphone, which gets you real-time National Weather Service alerts. You’ll also have access to important emergency safety tips for over 20 types of disasters.

Evaluate your home’s exterior

Your home is designed to shelter you from the weather. To keep it in tip-top condition, do regular walk-arounds and inspect for issues. Keep an eye out for the following things:

  • Loose shingles
  • Loose siding
  • Tree branches extending over your house or driveway
  • All unattached structures like sheds or gazebos should be bolted securely to their foundation
  • Loose patio furniture that should be secured
  • Loose gutters and missing/detached downspouts
  • If you have shutters, make sure they’re secure and clear of debris
  • Check to see if your fence needs repair

Check your sump pump

As the saying goes, “April showers bring May flowers.” And with all that rain, your risk of flooding increases. If you have a sump pump, it’s a great idea to run through an annual sump pump maintenance list.

You’ll want to clear all debris so it doesn’t impede function and ensure your back-up is in working order. With added sump pump failure and water backup coverage on your homeowner’s insurance policy, you’ll have better protection that can bring real peace of mind when the rain starts to fall.

Weather can be unpredictable, but you can still prepare for the unexpected.  Talk with your local insurance agent to review your homeowner’s coverage, and call SERVPRO of MIlwaukee North in the event your home sustains damage.  We are available to take your call 24/7/365 at 414-354-7566.

Commercial Cleaning in Milwaukee, WI

5/5/2021 (Permalink)

cartoon image of man with servproxide facts SERVPROXIDE® is a powerful disinfectant that is both EPA registered and safe for the environment.

SERVPRO of Milwaukee North is committed to providing our commercial partners and communities with resources on how to clean and disinfect spaces and reduce risk to human health.  Our trained professionals are prepared with products to reduce health risks in your business or home.

RESIDENTIAL, COMMERCIAL & HOSPITAL DISINFECTANT

  • Kills harmful bacteria on hard and soft surfaces
  • Removes mold and mildew & keeps it from growing for up to 4 weeks
  • Sanitizes hard and soft surfaces with a 100% biodegradable surfactant
  • No rinse required for food contact surfaces (D-2)

SERVPROXIDE®

  • Kills mold and mildew at its roots 
  • 99.999% Sanitization of food contact surfaces
  • 7 in 1 cleaner technology
  • Disinfects as it cleans

AREAS OF USE INCLUDE: homes, vehicles, schools, daycares, gyms, locker rooms, sports gear, hospitals, senior living and assisted care facilities, laundry rooms, veterinary, ambulances, laboratories, restaurants, boats, ships, federally inspected building, egg processing premises, refrigerated storage units, HVAC, and AC systems

Call SERVPRO of Milwaukee North today for assistance at 414-354-7566.