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Types of Commercial Sprinkler Systems

5/16/2022 (Permalink)

red sprinkler pipe and head Choosing the right sprinkler system for your facility can save thousands of dollars in damage should you sustain a fire loss.

Commercial fire sprinkler systems are designed to expel water until they are shut down manually. Choosing the appropriate system for your property and occupancy can mitigate possible water damage.

Wet Pipe System

Most common

  • Pipes are filled with water
  • Heat from a fire triggers the system and opens the sprinklers closest to the fire
  • Usually, only one or two sprinklers open

Dry Pipe System

For areas with below freezing temperatures

  • Pipes are filled with pressurized air or gas used to hold water back in a heated space. 
  • Heat from a fire opens the sprinklers closest to the fire 
  • Air escapes and the dry pipe valve opens to allow water flow
  • Usually, more sprinklers open than with a wet pipe system

Deluge System

For use in hazardous environments prone to fast-spreading fires

  • Pipes are not filled with water or gas
  • All sprinklers stay open
  • A signal from a fire detection device opens the deluge valve
  • Water will flow from all sprinklers

Pre-Action System

For areas where concerns or water or fire damage to property are high

  • Pipes are filled with pressurized air or gas
  • Loss of air or gas pressure summons maintenance
  • A signal from a fire detection device opens the pre-action valve, filling the pipes with water
  • Because sprinkler heads are closed, heat from a fire opens the sprinklers closest to the fire
  • Usually only one or two sprinklers open (similar to the wet pipe system). However, ”double interlock” pre-action systems use more air or gas pressure in the pipes, delaying the water delivery and allowing more sprinklers to open at a time (similar to dry pipe systems)

In the event that your business or building sustains damage from water or fire, SERVPRO of Milwaukee North is Here to Help.  We have the advanced expertise and technology to minimize loss of use in your facility.  Call us for your emergencies 24/7/365 at 414-354-7566.

Exceeding Expectations in Cedarburg, WI

4/15/2022 (Permalink)

5 star google review At SERVPRO of Milwaukee North, we have the expertise and training to take on an overwhelming disaster and make it manageable. We are Here to Help.

At SERVPRO of Milwaukee North, great customer service is of the utmost importance to us.  We work hard to train our emergency personnel to exhibit excellent customer service. When one of our customers is experiencing a water damage or fire damage emergency, we want to be there to help them recover their home or business to preloss condition with as little disruption as possible. 

One such example of this comes from a Google review written by a customer in Cedarburg, WI who was overwhelmed with a full home cleanup. Cindy B. writes:

"When my brother went to the hospital, we saw what had become of his apartment and knew the only service to call was SERVPRO. We were not disappointed. They tackled what seemed to us an insurmountable job - smoking for over a decade, no real cleaning for a long period of time, and toilet overflows that ruined a bathroom floor. Jonathan and the crew that removed that bathroom floor and the toilet and vanity and the horribly stained couch did a wonderful job with a great attitude. Veronica led a great team of gals who tackled those floors and ceilings and made everything almost like new. It was not inexpensive but worth every dollar. Now my brother can have a new fresh start when he is released from the Rehabilitation Facility. Thank you to this wonderful team and Kevin Galang who worked so hard to get it done in a timely fashion and stayed within our budget."

Here at SERVPRO of Milwaukee North, there is nothing that makes us prouder than knowing our customers are satisfied with a job well done.  We are here for your emergencies 24/7/365. Give us a call for help at 414-354-7566.

Sump Pump Maintenance Checklist

4/11/2022 (Permalink)

diagram drawing of sump pump Maintaining your sump pump could potentially save thousands in water damage.

When was the last time you maintained your sump pump?  Here are some tips to show your sump pump some love and keep your basement dry as we enter the rainy season of spring.

  1. Make sure your sump pump is totally upright. Your sump pump should be sitting on solid, even ground. Any sort of leaning can shift the water in the pump’s pit and put unnecessary pressure on its components.
  2. Open it up. Take the cover off the sump pump pit or basin and have a look inside. Clear any debris, mud or rocks that you find, as any foreign items can clog your sump pump and cause an overflow.
  3. Double-check the drain hose. Check to make sure the drain hose is connected, and that it’s not blocked or frozen. A clogged drain hose can cause your sump pump to run continuously, as it won’t be able to dispose of the water that’s filled its pit.
  4. Clear out the inlet screen. Make sure the inlet screen is allowing water to enter your sump pump’s pit. If your inlet screen is blocked, water won’t be able to make its way into the sump pump’s pit and could lead to a basement flood.
  5. Keep it afloat. Your sump pump’s float controls when it will turn on and pump excess water out. Make sure the float component can move freely and isn’t blocked. A malfunctioning float can cause your pump to not run when it’s supposed to, or run constantly, eventually burning out your pump’s engine.
  6. Make sure it’s flowing away from your house. The next time you hear your sump pump running, go outside and make sure its discharge pipe is pumping the water away from your home at a safe distance. If it’s too close, the water could seep back into your pump, causing your pump to run continuously and inefficiently. The more your sump pump runs, the more likely it is to burn out early in its life span.  

    While you don’t want your discharge pipe too close to your house, shed, garage or other structure, make sure it does stay on your property. You’ll have some unhappy neighbors if your sump pump is pushing your excess water onto their lot.

  7. Give your sump pump a test run. Fill the pit with a bucket of water to turn your pump on. Watch it carefully to see if it’s getting rid of the water, then check the discharge pipe outside to make sure it’s disposed of properly. If the pump doesn’t run, make sure it’s plugged in and its power cord is in working order.
  8. Plan for the unexpected. Having a backup battery or generator can be crucial if a strong rain storm comes complete with a power outage. And eventually, your sump pump may give out without the help of a power outage. To avoid the stress of trying to buy and install a new sump pump while the water seeps closer and closer to your basement, have a backup sump pump handy — and be sure to test it regularly, too.
  9. Call a professional. You’ve checked the power cords, discharge pipe, inlet screen and every other piece of the pump, but still can’t figure out what’s wrong. It’s time to call a professional! Risking your basement and everything else in it isn’t worth maintaining your pride as a handyman or woman — get it fixed and fast!

If worse comes to worst, and you do have a backup and need assistance with damage from water or sewage, call SERVPRO of Milwaukee North for 24/7 help at 414-354-7566.

Milwaukee Fire Restoration 101: Pretesting

4/1/2022 (Permalink)

After a fire why is pretesting so important?

At SERVPRO of Milwaukee North, fire damage professionals use pretesting to determine the scope of the loss, type of fire loss, and the method of cleaning for areas that have been affected. This process also helps determine what items are restorable or repairable vs. those items that will need to be replaced. 

Factors determined by pretesting:

  • Method of Cleaning
  • Condition of Surface
  • Level of Soil
  • Type of Soil
  • Pre-Existing Conditions

Pretesting helps to ensure our customers are back into their homes as soon as possible, within a realistically accurate time estimate. For help 24/7/365, don't hesitate to call on the professionals at SERVPRO of Milwaukee North today at 414-354-7566.  We are here to help.

Providing 5 Star Commercial Service in Milwaukee, WI

3/15/2022 (Permalink)

5 star google review At SERVPRO of Milwaukee North, it is our goal to get you back to business as quickly as possible using our experience and technology.

At SERVPRO of Milwaukee North, we understand that minimizing business interruption is crucial to business owners. We work hard to train our emergency personnel to exhibit excellent customer service and complete the job efficiently and correctly.  We are available 24/7 for situations such as this. 

One such example comes from a Google review written by a customer in Milwaukee, WI who experienced a flood in her business. Justina P. wrote:

"We had such a great experience! Our water emergency happened after normal business hours but the SERVPRO team came promptly after we called them and worked into the early morning hours so we could open for business the next day. They were sure to come and check the status of our facility when they said they would and explained everything they were doing/checking. While having an emergency like this is never ideal, they helped make the process as stress free as possible. I would definitely recommend this location to others!"

Here at SERVPRO of Milwaukee North, there is nothing that makes us prouder than knowing our commercial clients are satisfied with a job well done.  We are here for your emergencies 24/7/365. Give us a call for help at 414-354-7566.

Roof Snow Removal Tips to Prevent Damaging Ice Dams in Southeast Wisconsin

2/23/2022 (Permalink)

icicles hanging from red house SERVPRO of Milwaukee North is here to help 24/7/365 with your winter weather water damage emergencies.

Snow and ice storms on top of already large snow accumulation make snow removal from roofs a growing concern in the Midwest.  Removing snow completely from a roof surface can result in serious damage to the roof covering and possibly lead to leaks and additional damage, according to the Snow Load Safety Guide, published as part of the Risk Management Series by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). FEMA says that at least two inches of snow should be left on the roof.

Most of the time, it’s better to leave the snow alone if you can, because removing it can pose a risk to the workers and the structure. But if you do have to get the snow off the roof, here are some tips from FEMA for removing snow safely and effectively.


  • Use mechanical snow removal equipment. The risk of damaging the roof membrane or other rooftop items outweighs the advantage of speed.
  • Use sharp tools, such as picks, to remove snow. Use plastic rather than metal shovels.
  • Stockpile snow on the roof.


  • Remove drifted snow first at building elevation changes, parapets and around equipment.
  • Remove any snow remaining after you’ve removed drifts from the center portion of the roof.
  • Remove snow in the direction of the primary structural elements on the roof to prevent unbalanced snow loading.
  • Keep snow away from building exits, fire escapes, drain downspouts, ventilation openings and equipment.
  • Remove snow starting at the ridge and moving toward the eave for gable and sloped roofs whenever possible.
  • Use a non-metallic rake for steep snow roofs if possible to avoid damage to roofing materials.
  • Have someone below the roof to keep foot traffic away from locations where falling snow or ice could cause injuries.
  • Be careful of dislodged icicles whenever you’re removing snow from a roof because an icicle falling from even a short height can still cause damage or injury.
  • Be prepared for roof snow to slide while you’re using a roof rake, and stay a safe distance away from the eave of the roof to be sure you’re out of sliding range.

If you do experience water damage or collapse caused by an ice dam or heavy snow, SERVPRO of Milwaukee North has skilled workers standing by to help.  We are available 24/7/365 to assist with your water damage emergencies.  Call 414-354-7566 for help.

When Disaster Strikes, Customers Can Count on a Best in Class Brand

2/15/2022 (Permalink)

Franchise 500 #1 in category SERVPRO ranks #1 in the Cleaning and Restoration category for the 19th consecutive year.

SERVPRO of Milwaukee North is proud to announce that SERVPRO has been recognized again as one of the best overall franchise opportunities by Entrepreneur magazine’s 2022 Franchise 500, the industry’s most comprehensive franchise ranking. Evaluated on categories such as growth, financial strength and stability, and brand power, SERVPRO was named the #8 overall franchise system, and #1 in the cleaning and restoration industry for the 19th consecutive year.

“SERVPRO is built on the foundation of outstanding customer service, industry-leading training and the success of following a proven system,” said SERVPRO CEO Rick Isaacson. “On behalf of the more than 1,900 SERVPRO franchises across the U.S. and Canada, we are honored by this recognition. 

“The SERVPRO brand and its franchisees share a strong partnership, working together to set and achieve goals which have allowed us to grow each year for more than half a century despite the challenges many businesses have faced, especially over the past 18-24 months.”

“The past year has been one of the most challenging for businesses in recent memory, which made putting together our 43rd annual Franchise 500 list more enlightening than ever,” said Entrepreneur Editor in Chief Jason Feifer. “The companies named to this year’s list showed us how being resilient, supportive and nimble can help navigate extraordinary challenges and also underscore the grit and innovation that define entrepreneurship.”

SERVPRO franchise owners pride themselves on being “ready for whatever happens,” Isaacson said, which helped the company jump two spots from its #10 ranking in 2021.

“Our franchisees have a ‘never say no’ mentality, working together with other owners to make sure we are able to satisfy all of our customers’ and clients’ cleanup, remediation and restoration needs, which allows us to ‘Keep it Green,’ as we like to say.

“We pride ourselves on rushing in when others are running out – whether that is in response to a natural disaster such as a hurricane, flood or tornado; cleaning up after a home or business water or fire loss; or helping clean and sanitize spaces from unseen threats like COVID-19. Maintaining our position for nearly 20 years as the best franchise in our category on the Entrepreneur Franchise 500 list validates our long-standing strategy for growing our brand: invest in franchisee training and support and commit resources to continually improving our infrastructure.”

SERVPRO of Milwaukee North is available to assist with damage of any severity 24/7 in your home or business.  Give us a call for help at 414-354-7566. 

Source: SERVPRO Industries, LLC

After the Storm: Assessing Health and Property Damage in Milwaukee

2/4/2022 (Permalink)

trees down in snow in front of home Winter storms can cause major damage to your home. Inspect the exterior and interior after a storm and call us if you need help!

After a severe winter storm, there is much to assess.  The number one concern is the physical well being of yourself and your family.  Secondly, you’ll want to assess any damage to your property.  Here are some tips for both from the American Red Cross and FEMA:

Check for Frostbite

Frostbite can cause loss of feeling and color around the face, fingers, and toes. Signs may include numbness, white or grayish-yellow skin, and firm or waxy skin. Actions to take include going to a warm room, soaking in warm water, and using body heat to warm. Do not massage or use a heating pad

Check for Hypothermia

Hypothermia is an unusually low body temperature. A temperature below 95 degrees is an emergency. Signs could include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech, and drowsiness.  Action to take include going to a warm room, warming the center of the body first—chest, neck, head, and groin. Keep dry and wrapped up in warm blankets, including the head and neck.

Make a careful and thorough inspection of your home’s structural elements

  1. Check the outside of your home before you enter
  2. Look for loose power lines, broken or damaged gas lines, foundation cracks, missing support beams or other damage. Damage on the outside can indicate a serious problem inside. Ask a building inspector or contractor to check the structure before you enter.
  3. Is your ceiling sagging? That means it got wet – which makes it heavy and dangerous. It will have to be replaced.
  4. If power is out, use a flashlight.  Do not use any open flame, including candles, to inspect for damage or serve as alternate lighting.
  5. Take photographs of the damage. You may need these to substantiate insurance claims later.

If you do find damage, call SERVPRO of Milwaukee North for help.  We are experienced in these situations, and we know what to do next.  We are a preferred vendor for most insurance companies, and we can help with your claim if you choose to file one.  We are here to help 24/7/365.

Milwaukee Fire Restoration 101: Safety First

2/1/2022 (Permalink)

interior fire soot and smoke damage to kitchen cabinets House fires have many sources. This one was caused in a kitchen by a dishwasher malfunction.

After your fire has been put out you may be left with the question, “What should I do next?”  SERVPRO of Milwaukee North can help.  We will walk you through your next steps. Safety is our number one concern until help arrives, so here are some basic do’s and don'ts:


  • Hire a reputable, insured company to board up your home or business to secure it from the elements, animals, and vandals.
  • Limit the movement of damaged areas
  • Keep your hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.


  • Touch contaminated surfaces
  • Attempt to clean walls, carpet, contents, or other contaminated surfaces
  • Use food, cosmetics or mediations exposed to soot.
  • Send clothing to ordinary cleaner; improper cleaning may set odors

No one wants to experience a fire in their home or business.  If you experience this and need help, please give us a call at 414-354-7566.  SERVPRO of Milwaukee North has the expertise and experience to assist you in the cleanup and restoration of your property.  We are here to help 24/7/365 with the board up and securing of your property.

During the Storm: Winter Storm Safety in Northern Milwuakee

1/20/2022 (Permalink)

houses in winter weather Winter storms can be deadly. Staying safe is the #1 concern!

Milwaukee winters can be brutal, with severe storms causing widespread damage and injuries.  Winter storms create a higher risk of car accidents, hypothermia, frostbite, carbon monoxide poisoning, and heart attacks from overexertion.  Here are a few tips from FEMA on how to be smart and stay safe during a winter storm:

Stay off roads if at all possible. If trapped in your car, stay inside

Limit your time outside

If you need to go outside, wear layers of warm clothing. Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia

Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning

Only use generators and grills outdoors and away from windows. Never heat your home with a gas stovetop or oven

Reduce the risk of a heart attack. Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow

Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia and begin treatment right away

Check on neighbors. Older adults and young children are more at risk in extreme cold

Keeping yourself and loved ones safe during these storm events is always the number one concern.  After the storm, if you need assistance with property damage or water intrusion, please call SERVPRO of Milwaukee North for assistance.  We are always here to help 24/7/365.