Recent Posts

How Thawing Snow and Ice Can Create Water Damage in Your Milwaukee Home

1/18/2021 (Permalink)

Ice Dams and Water Damage Restoration for Your South East Wisconsin Home

Snow covered roofs in the Milwaukee & surrounding areas can form ice dams as they melt and refreeze this winter. With the warmups that have occurred, water damage is a concern for many homes. Ice dams can cause water to back up and go under the shingles and into your home, causing damage to your drywall and ceilings. In these situations, prevention is critical to avoid costly repairs.  

If your Milwaukee area home has already experienced water damage due to ice dams, you need the immediate help of our professional staff at SERVPRO. We are an experienced remediation company who can dry your home out and repair the damages that the ice dams have caused. The faster you pick up the phone and contact us the better, as the water leak continues to harm your home until it stops.  

In a case like this, you’ll likely have hidden water damage inside your walls and ceiling. Therefore, SERVPRO techs use special moisture sensors that can detect the hidden leaks, which allows us to restore your home thoroughly. If we did not do this and any water is left behind, it causes mold growth, making a big problem even more significant. Once we find where all the issues are, we can begin drying and restoring your home. Industrial fans and dehumidifiers help to dry your structure and the air and remove all the excess moisture.  

To prevent ice dams in the first place, begin by keeping your gutters clear of debris and leaves. Check and seal any areas that can allow warm air to leak from your home to the attic such as chimneys, exhaust fans, vent pipes, light fixtures, and attic hatches. You should also get your attic and roof inspected for insulation and proper ventilation. Inadequate signs of ventilation include rusty nails, rust spots, or mildew smell.  

Do not let snow accumulate on the lower three to six feet of your roof. For extra protection, you can install ice and snow slides to stop the ice and snow from bonding to the lower portion of your roof. Installing rubberized water and ice shields under the roof shingles for the first three to six feet, and heating cables along the eaves help to melt any ice.  

If your home in the Milwaukee area has been the victim of ice dams creating water damage inside, SERVPRO of Milwaukee North can help whenever you need us. Give us a call at (262)250-1101 as soon as you realize there is an issue so we can take care of everything for you and prevent further damage.

Potential Hazards of a Winter Storm

1/18/2021 (Permalink)

Winter weather in Milwaukee, WI can be challenging to the body, but have you considered the toll it takes on your home? The last thing you want is to be panic prepping or making emergency repairs in a winter storm. Staying ahead of potential hazards will help to ensure a safe and comfortable winter in your home.

1. Ice Dam

An ice dam occurs when the ice melts off your roof and then refreezes on its edge later. This frozen “dam” prevents proper drainage from the roof, thereby forcing the water back up under the shingles. This entrapped water causes roof leaks, which can cause more serious problems like roof damage, structural damage and mold. Insulating your attic is one way to keep the warmer temperature of your home from melting the ice on the roof.

2. Burst Pipes

Freezing temperatures can cause pipes to burst due to pressure buildup between an ice blockage and a closed faucet. This pressure pushes the water toward the closed faucet, causing enough pressure that the pipe eventually bursts. Unheated areas and uninsulated areas are at the most risk. Opening the faucet to a trickle can keep the pressure from building up. Also, installing fiberglass or foam sleeves onto the pipes can help insulate them.

3. Driveway Damage

Freezing water can wreak havoc on your asphalt driveway. When moisture from a winter storm collects in cracks in asphalt and then freezes, it expands. This expansion can create larger cracks, even potholes. Avoid the need to repave the entire driveway by sealing cracks as soon as possible.

4. Fallen Tree Limbs

A blizzard or ice storm can damage trees due to the weight of the snow or ice. Falling branches can damage your roof, siding and gutter system. They can also fall on power lines, creating a fire hazard. Maintain your trees by cutting back suspicious-looking or dead limbs.
It’s important to be proactive when it comes to winter weather. Constantly monitor your property for potential threats and keep it well-maintained. If your home sustains damage from a winter storm, storm damage cleanup experts can assist.

Why SERVPRO Fire Damage Specialists Rely On Hydroxyl Generators When Restoring Homes In Milwaukee

12/27/2020 (Permalink)

During a house fire, firefighters douse the interior of the home with thousands of gallons of water. This water soaks into walls, floors, and your belongings. After they put the fire out and no signs of hot areas pose additional threats to reignite the fire, the fire department’s personnel return to the station. Their job never includes removing the water or foam soaking into your residence.

The presence of so much water is why SERVPRO uses specific machinery to mitigate fire damage from homes in Milwaukee & Waukesha Co. One of these choices involves our options regarding deodorizing equipment. Initial efforts to help make the air safer to breathe while we work on your home have the potential to bring about unexpected effects.

Ozone can cause permanent changes in the color of damp carpets, furniture, and other furnishings. Plants can also suffer drastically when ozone generators fill an area. We must wait until after one of our employees turns off the machine and then a bit longer to clear the air of ozone before we can enter the home. However, we do have a safer alternative with very few drawbacks.

We can safely use hydroxyl generators while we work, as well as in damp conditions. If you see us wearing masks or respirators as part of our personal protective equipment (PPE) while we work on mitigating the fire damage in your dwelling, this is because of the soot hanging in the air. Hydroxyl generators push hydrogen peroxide molecules into the air where they can interact with odor-causing particles at the molecular level.

The extra oxygen molecule turning plain water into hydrogen peroxide has a fragile bond with the water molecule, allowing the oxygen to form bonds with other substances. Our desiccant machines pull the water molecules produced by the breakdown of H2O2 as we remove the water hosed in during the fire. Ozone does not give us the flexibility to work as efficiently as hydroxyl generators provide.

SERVPRO of Milwaukee North wants to assure our customers that we always use the most efficient methods when mitigating fire damage. Call us at (262)250-1101, so we can restore your property, “Like it never even happened.”

Christmas Tree Fire Safety Tips

12/22/2020 (Permalink)

Christmas is around the corner, and you know what that means: fire safety. Each year, fire departments respond to an average of 210 structure fires caused by Christmas trees. Carefully decorating Christmas trees will make the holidays safer.

Here are some great Fire Prevention tips:

  • Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.
  • Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, such as fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
  • Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
  • Add water to the tree stand daily.
  • Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both make sure you choose the right ones.
  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections.
  • Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
  • Get rid of the tree when it begins dropping needles. Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home.

There are so many other ways to prevent fire, around Christmas time, but these are a few of the common mistakes. We hope that you do not ever experience a fire.

We know how devastating fire damage can be, but we are here to help! Call SERVPRO of Milwaukee North (262)250-1101  to help get your home restored efficiently.

Smoke Detectors Save Lives!

12/22/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke alarms save lives and provide you and your family time to leave the home and get to safety or alert you to potential fires in the home like a cooking fire or an unattended candle. In the event of a home fire, soot and smoke damage can cause damage throughout your home and require repairs and restoration. 

SERVPRO of Milwaukee North has the technicians, expertise, and experience to clean and restore your home to preloss condition. After a fire, our crew's inventory and pack out the contents in your home. Contents are then brought back to our secure, climate-controlled warehouse where items are recleaned and packed into new clean boxes. While contents are being cleaned, crews work to clean and restore your home. Once your home has been restored, all contents are packed back and your home is ready to be put back together as it was before the fire. 

How To Use IICRC Classifications To Assess Flood Damage

11/24/2020 (Permalink)

If you have endured flood damage to your Milwaukee home – SERVPRO can help you. We are an experienced flood damage restoration company.

If you have endured flood damage to your Milwaukee home – SERVPRO can help you. We are an experienced flood damage restoration and repair team, with access to sophisticated tools and the finest equipment. If your property needs saving, we are the right choice. The first that thing we do, once we arrive on site, is to conduct a full inspection. This is designed to help us determine the extent and nature of the damage. The IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) categories flood damage according to four key classifications. The SERVPRO technicians will use this guide to shape their plan of action and decide which repairs are required.

Here is some more information on the IICRC classifications and what they might mean for your property.

Class One: Limited Intrusion
This is the least severe type of flood damage. A small amount of water has entered the home. There is minimal damage to walls and soft furnishings. Depending on the size, shape, and location of the affected space, large fans can likely be used to dry it out.

Class Two: Intrusion With Some Spread
Here, flood water has started to spread. If your house was impacted by a storm, the damage is almost going to have advanced beyond small pools of water. It may have risen into the walls and started to soak into timber, concrete, and insulation materials. The water has reached the subflooring beneath carpets. Industrial drying machines (and carpet lifters) will be brought in to absorb the excess moisture.

Class Three: Invasive Liquid
The walls, ceilings, soft furnishings, and floors are all damp and need to be dried quickly. Most are fully saturated with water. Water lines on the walls extend more than two feet above the floor. This tends to occur when ceilings leak (during heavy rainfall), and water seeps through the walls. Dehumidifiers and dryers can be used to restore the home, but some materials may be unsalvageable.

Class Four: Severe Invasion
In the most severe cases, objects not usually affected by flooding have been compromised. For instance, paintings high up on walls, attics (if the danger is from natural flooding), and crawlspaces. At SERVPRO, we’re committed to saving as many of your possessions as possible, but extensive damage can render some items irreparable. We will, however, inform you of the fact before disposing of any materials. Serious flood damage may require you to move out of the property while we secure its structural safety and install heavy duty drying machines.

Whether your home has been damaged by a storm or by something more familiar, like a burst pipe, assessing the damage is an important part of formulating a response. SERVPRO of Milwaukee North is a locally based service, which means that our response is always fast. Call us 24/7 at (262)250-1101.

Sprinkler Systems Are Common Causes of Water Damage

11/23/2020 (Permalink)

Sprinkler systems are commonly installed in commercial and industrial buildings. They save life and structure when a fire occurs. They do cause water damage though when putting out the fire or when the system malfunctions. This is when SERVPRO of Milwaukee North is here to help. We come in and dry the structure when a system malfunctions. Fire sprinklers are activated when the mercury liquid filled bulb bursts between 135 and 165 degrees. It is thought by many that they are triggered by smoke, they are actually activated by heat. Failures occur with sprinkler heads commonly when the line freezes from cold weather or the head gets hit or pulled on by something. We are here to help when you need it most and want to help prevent issues before they arise. It is always a good idea to know where your sprinkler line shut off valves are located in case you have a malfunctioning system and know who services these systems for your facility.

Milwaukee Area Smoke and Soot Cleanup

11/23/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows 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, SERVPRO of Milwaukee North 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.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (262)250-1101

Thanksgiving Day Tips for Emergency Prevention

11/19/2020 (Permalink)

Did you know that Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas, and Christmas Eve? We want you to enjoy these days with your loved ones, so here are a few safety tips for when you are cooking that scrumptious meal.

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.
  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
  • Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away.
  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
  • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids or toys.
  • Keep knives out of the reach of children.
  • Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Never leave children alone in room with a lit candle.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.

Be especially aware when Deep Frying a turkey, people tend to put too much oil in which causes overflow and spreads to the open flame causing a mass fireball. Also putting in a frozen or very wet bird can cause major problems which they call B.L.E.V.E which stands for Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion.

  • Always use fryer outside away from any structure
  • Keep oil under 350 degrees, the hotter the oil the more combustible it is
  • Don’t overfill the pot with oil
  • Thoroughly defrost turkey(24 hours for every 10 pounds the turkey weighs)
  • Turn off flame before putting turkey in
  • Keep grease fire approved extinguisher on hand
  • Lower turkey into pot slowly

If by unfortunate event you have an emergency this Holiday Season please know your SERVPRO of Milwaukee North is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, even on Holidays. Contact us if need be at (262)250-1101 and we will be there to help. Happy Holidays!

Tools for Water Detection

11/19/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Milwaukee North knows the right tools for the job are important and understanding how to use them to dry a structure and property effectively is even more crucial.  The right tool is vital for timely mitigation and to help get the business up and running again.  

Water can damage in two ways - absorption through direct contact and absorption of moisture from the air.  SERVPRO of Milwaukee North must understand how to alter humidity and temperature levels to produce an environment favorable for drying.

Our technicians have to locate the areas affected by water and to what extent moisture has been absorbed.  To do this they can use:

Moisture Sensors - detect moisture in carpets, baseboards and walls
Moisture Meters - determines actual moisture content of materials
Thermohygrometers - measure temperature and relative humidity which helps calculate specific humidity, dew point and vapor pressure.

All these tools help us start the process of making it "Like it never even happened."