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4 Tips To Protect Your Home From a Flood

10/21/2020 (Permalink)

water on the floor of a utility room Utility room water loss after a storm in Maple Lake, MN

Protect Your Home And Family From A Major Storm

Flood safety measures can help keep your family safe in the event of a major storm in Maple Lake, MN. Flooding is common in coastal areas, especially during hurricane season. However, severe storms can happen anywhere. When rivers, streets, or landscapes become overrun with water, it can lead to residential flooding. Water damage is so common that federal flood insurance claims between 2006 and 2015 averaged $1.9 billion each year. Here are four safety tips to help protect your home from rising water.

1. Consider the Flood Level
Use the FEMA flood map to determine if your home sits in a flood plain. If it does, you may need to take additional precautions to flood-proof your home. Even if you are not in a flood plain, you still need to prepare for the possibility of a flood.

2. Protect Electrical Systems
All electrical wiring, sockets, switches, and circuit breakers should be installed at least 1 foot above the expected flood level in your area. If your electrical systems are too close to the ground and become submerged during a flood, they could pose an electrocution hazard.

3. Elevate Appliances
Some indoor and outdoor equipment can be raised to protect it from floodwater. Machines such as generators, air conditioners, furnaces, and water heaters can be modified to sit above your flood level. For additional flood safety, anchor these devices to your home. If flooding is imminent, you can temporarily raise appliances like refrigerators, washers, and driers by placing them on top of concrete blocks.

4. Evaluate Your Landscape
Ensure that water runs away from your home during a storm. If you find water is collecting near your foundation, you may need to make adjustments to flood proof your home. Consider sloping your yard or installing longer drainpipes to reroute the water away from your house.
As a homeowner, you can utilize flood safety techniques to help protect your home and family during a flood. If your home has already sustained water damage, call a professional water remediation company to restore your home to its pre-flood condition.

Mold Damage Expenses

10/7/2020 (Permalink)

Removing mold from the wall in the house. Hand in blue glove tears off wallpapers damaged by fungus Mold removal isn't necessarily a cut-and-dry issue

Mold growth is an extremely common issue that the majority of homeowners do have to face at some point. Mold removal services can be costly, depending on the severity of the problem. However, professional assistance is often the only way to guarantee that your problem is resolved. Read on to find out more about mold remediation expenses for your home in Albertville, MN.

Factors That Impact Damage Costs

Mold removal isn't necessarily a cut-and-dry issue. There are several factors that could impact how much you might pay for black mold removal, including:

Cause of the Mold: Catching a problem early is the best way to reduce costs. Mold is often a result of some other type of primary damage, such as leaky roof shingles, malfunctioning AC units, burst water pipes, or more. Naturally, your expenses increase when you have to resolve the primary issue first.
The severity of the Mold: You should be able to save money by handling smaller issues by yourself. Larger, more widespread issues are going to require professional assistance.
Location of the Mold: Certain places in your house are less costly to treat than others.
Subsequent Damages: In severe cases, mold might cause more intense structural damage, which drives up the price of the restoration.

Average Removal Costs
The overall national average cost for residential mold remediation is $1,140. Your personal black mold removal costs are likely to fall somewhere between $60 and $4,300, depending on one or more of the factors listed above. Rates also vary depending on which remediation company you use; some charge per square foot while others charge by the hour. You may find it beneficial to hire an environmental hygienist to test for residential mold before contacting professional remediation companies.
Catching mold growth early is the best way to keep your mold removal costs low. Perform regular home mold inspections to help ensure that you don't have to deal with a larger issue. If you do have a big problem on your hands, contact mold remediation experts for assistance.

What You Need To Know Before Cleaning Your Drains

10/7/2020 (Permalink)

Woman with plunger trying to remove clogged sinks. Abstract photo. Some homeowners prefer using a plunger to remedy a clogged drain

How To Clean Drains And How They Work

Few plumbing issues frustrate homeowners in Monticello, MN, as much as a clogged drain. If your sink or toilet is draining slowly, you might consider reaching for a drain cleaner to break up the following:

  • Tangled hair
  • Excess oils
  • Soap buildup
  • Food particles

Here are some options for cleaning drains and how they work.

Chemical Cleaners
Many people are familiar with these popular drain-cleaning solutions. Harsh chemicals work on clogs by creating heat that breaks up substances that stand in the way of water flow. This option requires careful consideration. Chemicals can settle on weak, old, and heavily clogged pipes, causing them to corrode and possibly rupture, leading to flooding. If this happens, it may be necessary to contact a sewage cleaning company to clean up contaminated water.

Plungers
Anyone who has a house with old pipes might prefer using a plunger to remedy a clogged drain. When clogs are not dense or only in one location, a forceful water rush can push trapped material through the pipe to restore water flow.

Augers
These devices, also called drain snakes, are long, flexible steel cables that can reach far into drains until they contact the clogging substance. Depending on what causes the clog, the substance can either be broken apart or pulled out. It is necessary to maneuver the snake carefully to avoid damaging or puncturing a pipe.

Enzyme-Based Cleaners
Instead of chemical drain cleaners, enzyme-based products are a safer option to avoid and eliminate clogs. These products employ good bacteria that slowly and gently eat away at organic substances like hair, mold, and food.
Caring for your home's plumbing means using appropriate methods to clean your pipes and break up clogs that will inevitably form within them. If repairing a clogged drain leads to pipe damage and flooding, you can count on a professional cleaning service to dry your belongings and prevent mold spread.

How Fire Alarms Protect You and Your Home

9/24/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke alarm Smoke alarm in a Buffalo, MN home

How Fire Alarms Protect You and Your Home

When a fire starts in your home, you only have so much time to leave the premises and call for help. Every second counts. If you encounter a fire in your home in Buffalo, MN, you will be thankful to have a fire alarm that notifies you about the emergency. Your home should be outfitted with multiple alarms so that you are made immediately aware of the situation, no matter where the fire begins.

How Many Alarms Do You Need?
There is no exact number of alarms to have on hand, as everything depends on the size and layout of your home. In general, it is recommended that you have at least one alarm on each floor. You are also advised to place alarms inside or nearby the following rooms:

  • Bedrooms
  • Basements
  • Garages
  • Attics

It is not possible to have too many alarms, and it is far better to ensure that your home is highly protected in order to avoid the devastating effects of fire. The sooner you know about a fire, the more quickly you can get assistance and avoid severe fire damage.

What Type of Alarm Should You Buy?
There are numerous types of alarms, and you should buy whatever you think is most appropriate for your home. Some alarms are designed to detect carbon monoxide and smoke, while others are interconnected and detect the presence of smoke only. You can get a fire alarm that you think provides the greatest protection.

What Should I Do After a Fire?
Though alarms are an important source of protection, they cannot always keep your home free of fire or smoke damage. If your home is several damaged after a fire, then a professional fire restoration team can make repairs and even remove smoke smells from your carpet. With professional assistance, you can make sure that your home is restored to its former condition.

A Comprehensive Plan To Deal With Fire Damage

9/21/2020 (Permalink)

A Comprehensive Plan To Deal With Fire Damage

When fire damage strikes in Annandale, MN, it pays to have a comprehensive plan in place. A complete plan includes the following elements:

  • A quick response from fire remediation specialists
  • Action to secure the building from looters
  • Equipment in place to deal with water removal
  • A dry-cleaning strategy for uniforms and other fabrics
  • The storage of contents

The restoration of the building

All of these steps are necessary to get your business up and running again. The fire remediation professionals will work quickly to restore your building to its condition before the fire happened.

Why Content Cleaning Is Crucial

When a fire sweeps through your commercial building, there is likely to be some structural damage. There will also be damage from smoke and soot and this will have to be addressed before the building will be functional again. Specialized equipment in the hands of trained technicians will be needed. For clothes, dry-cleaning is the most effective approach, as it removes smoke odors and cleans away soot. For non-porous items, ultrasonic measures provide the best cleaning.

Another immediate concern is removing the excess moisture in the building. This can come from flooding due to a storm or from the efforts of the fire fighting crew. ventilation devices, scrubbers and thermal foggers are employed to remove the excess water and humidity. This is a crucial task to make certain mold doesn't begin to grow in areas of the building. Water removal will also help with retaining the viability of electrical equipment such as computer software and hardware. Content storage may be needed to remove items from the building while the cleanup is going on. This gets the items out of the way and keeps them protected while the work is going on.

Relying on a smart plan is the quickest way to recover after a commercial fire. Actions such as dry-cleaning, water removal and drying allow your business to get up and running as rapidly as possible.

4 Ways To Limit Mold Damage in Your Commercial Building

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth in ceiling panels Mold damage in Howard Lake, MN

Steps To Limit The Damage

Because mold spores can be found in most locations, black mold growth is a common problem that arises in many commercial buildings in Howard Lake, MN. It can be a frustrating issue to deal with and can take time to remove. Luckily, there are steps you can take to limit the damage.

1. Remove Water Damage Quickly
Mold needs moisture to grow, so the fungus often makes an appearance after a building has been water damaged. To prevent the growth from spreading, water should be removed as soon as possible and the building should be thoroughly dried.

2. Lower Humidity
Mold growth isn’t always caused by water damage. High humidity can contribute to a moisture problem in the building and can lead to mold infestation. Using dehumidifiers or keeping windows open can help lower the moisture level in the building and prevent mold from forming.

3. Limit Airflow
If there is already black mold developing, then you should take measures to keep it from moving to other areas. One way to do this is to limit air circulation. Until mold cleanup can be done, you should keep the HVAC system, as well as any fans or air conditioners, turned off. If these are in use, they can easily move mold spores to other locations.

4. Hire a Professional
You might think that mold removal is a simple task, particularly if you only see one small area of growth. However, the process can be more difficult than it seems. Some mold may be hiding beneath the surface and, unless this is removed, it will continue to return. It is also easy to inadvertently spread the mold if the area is not properly contained during cleanup.
If you have found black mold in your building or suspect that there may be growth, you should contact a mold remediation company right away. Waiting too long will allow the mold to spread further. A professional service can remove the fungus thoroughly and help keep it from returning.

3 Give-Away Signs of Water Damage

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

faucet and water flow Another sign of a leaky pipe is a sudden change in your water pressure

Signs Of Water Damage

Even the smallest water leak is capable of costing you thousands of dollars in repairs and remediation, but the earlier you catch the issue, the sooner and more efficiently it can be fixed. Lucky for you, SERVPRO of Wright County, MN, is Faster to Any Size Disaster.
There are many causes of a water leak, including but not limited to:

  • Pipe break
  • The freeze/thaw cycle
  • Broken seals
  • High water pressure
  • Clogged lines

But how do you know when you need to call your local Annandale, MN, water damage specialists?

1. Staining on Walls
Discoloration on walls or ceilings is one of the most common signs of water damage. Always look out for those mysterious-looking brown patches, and act fast if you spot one. Water staining doesn't develop overnight — the water may have been leaking for days or even weeks by the time the discoloration becomes perceptible.

2. Pricey Water Bills
If your water bill has been increasing even though your usage has remained about the same, you might be relieved to hear that this could be a sign of a pipe break or other water line malfunction. All that expensive water is going somewhere, and it's crucial to put a stop to it before it does too much damage.

3. Poor Water Pressure (or None at All!)
Another sign of a leaky pipe is a sudden change in your water pressure or no water coming out of the faucets at all. This is caused by the water draining out of the pipe break and not leaving enough water to be distributed to the rest of the system. If you encounter this issue, the water is likely gushing out in a place where you don't want it, so make sure to get help before it develops into a full-fledged flood.
By keeping an eye out for these three signs of a water leak, you might just be protecting your commercial building from a messy and costly disaster.

6 Steps for Conducting a Workplace Emergency Drill

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

People escape to exit door It’s important to run through a practice drill with all staff

How To Stay Safe During A Workplace Emergency

If a disaster gets out of control at your St Michael, MN, commercial building, do your employees know how to react? Everyone remembers doing emergency drills in grade school, but how many workplaces do them? A disaster can happen anywhere, so it pays to be prepared. Follow these steps to design and conduct a drill, as well as create a thorough disaster safety plan.

1. Create a Plan
A plan of policies and procedures should, at the very least, include maps, floor plans, and designated safe areas. Encourage the ownership of emergency roles and responsibilities by specified employees.

2. Meet With Your Employees
Hold a meeting to review procedures with all staff. Allow them to share ideas and ask questions. Post the plan in conspicuous locations throughout the building and give a copy to each employee.

3. Conduct a Practice Drill
It’s important to run through a practice drill with all staff. Everyone needs to understand how to get out of the building as quickly and safely as possible. A designated safe area should be stressed as the post-escape meetup point.

4. Note the Results of the Drill
Track the time that it takes to complete the drill. Share that information with employees to encourage self-correction. Also, make note of any problems that occurred so that you can find a better approach.

5. Make Improvements
Some people won’t take a practice drill seriously, but it’s important to have everyone ready in case a disaster occurs. Set goals and offer incentives for a job well done.

6. Practice Regularly
It’ll probably take a few drills to get the proper response; you’ll need to practice until the actions become second nature. Since no disaster will be exactly as you expect, create several different scenarios to practice.
Running a drill regularly helps ensure that everyone stays safe during a workplace emergency. As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to protect your employees on the job. If your building sustains damage from a disaster, storm restoration experts can make repairs so your employees continue to have a safe place to work.

Key Steps to Orchestrating a Fire Drill in the Office

8/24/2020 (Permalink)

You probably remember being in school and going through periodic drills to get ready for the possibility of a fire. You may have scoffed at these occasions, but the information and practice are valuable. As a business leader, you should carry on the same tradition and consistently hold a fire drill. You hope to never experience a fire in your Buffalo, MN, workplace, but the knowledge and preparation can give you peace of mind.

Map Out the Building

Regardless of the size of your office, you and everyone at work need to be aware of the layout and design. Study the map and determine the most effective and the safest exit routes from every floor and from every portion of the facility during an emergency.

Assign Roles

fire drill should definitely not be a free-for-all where everyone rushes out of the building without order There are critical responsibilities that people should play in this scenario. These include the following:

  • Team lead or floor warden, who is responsible for making sure everyone gets out safely
  • Communication specialist, who can teach employees about the drill steps and what to do in an emergency
  • Design specialist, who can come up with the physical or digital representation of the escape route and meeting place.

Talk About It

Before having a drill, it is essential that all employees in the organization understand what will take place and what they will do once it begins. In groups meetings or in a company gathering, discuss the critical components of your drill, including where to meet and the importance of leaving promptly but calmly.

Practice

Have a drill at least once a year. This will benefit newer employees and refresh the memories of more seasoned workers. Afterward, discuss with the group what went well and what improvements are necessary.
After a fire, you can rely on experienced fire restoration specialists to get your building back to working order. However, you must do your part to evacuate safely and avoid injuries or other mishaps.

Biggest Reasons to Contact a Professional Water Cleanup Company After a Flood

8/14/2020 (Permalink)

Have you detected a water leak somewhere in your Maple Lake, MN, building? Don't disregard this or think it will go away on its own. If you neglect this seemingly minor issue, it could easily turn into something much worse. Water damage often occurs over a long period of time, sometimes without you even noticing it. Of course, in other instances, flooding happens all at once following a natural disaster or plumbing emergency. No matter what causes these incidents, make sure you enlist the expertise of a professional to help you clean up.

Potential Consequences of Flooding

Water can infiltrate your office because of broken pipes, due to a backed-up sewer or after heavy rains. Any of these events can create problems for your business. Some of the following effects can result:

  • Damage to documents, electronics and other important materials
  • Damage to the structure of your building
  • Damage to carpet or furniture
  • Disruption of business operations or the need to relocate to another facility.

The Pros Have Experience

A reputable professional water cleanup company should be one of your first thoughts following a flood in the workplace. The best companies in the area have a proven track record of helping businesses your size deal with similar problems. With experience comes keen knowledge of how to effective tackle this type of emergency. There is no guesswork involved; instead, the company will use best practices and sound tactics to clean up the water, sanitize the affected area and rebuild where necessary.

The Pros Have the Tools

For most water damage cleanup, only heavy-duty equipment will be successful against the size of the flooding problem. Professional water mitigation specialists use high-powered tools such as water extractors, fans and sanitizing agents to ensure your workplace is once again safe and comfortable.
Water damage doesn't have to derail your business for the long term. When you choose the right specialists, you can overcome this type of incident quickly and completely.