Recent Posts

Ask The Experts: Recovering After A Fire

2/26/2021 (Permalink)

Once a fire occurs in your home, many areas of your property could be unsafe for you to inspect or enter on your own. Even with these glaring hazards, many homeowners want something to occur quickly to begin putting their home on track for a full restoration. Mitigation is a much-needed service to follow the extinguishment of a fire, and our professionals can arrive quickly after the emergency to help protect the contents of your property and reduce present hazards with efficient debris removal.

While you might not know all of the steps that go into recovering a Westville home after fire damage, you should leave it to trained professionals like us. The SERVPRO rapid response team that you can reach by calling our number can usually arrive within 4-hours after you reach out, bringing along with us the full measure of our restoration equipment, personnel, and experience to protect your home in this trying time. We can help prevent further damages and costly repairs.

From the time that our team arrives at your home, we can begin an assessment of the property. This inspection can be useful for your home insurance adjuster with the necessary information to process a damage claim. We are not insurers, but we do liaise with you and your agency to expedite the claim. However, it also can identify the areas of your property that require controlled demolition techniques and debris removal. Taking out these problem areas can improve indoor air quality and also provide a seamless transition between mitigation and reconstruction. Smoke odors and soot penetrations can be significant negative effects of a house fire.

Our SERVPRO experts can suggest what contents in your home can get preserved and restored during this initial inspection as well. Those items that require focused cleaning, deodorization and restoration efforts get removed from your home and taken to our nearby facility. Our contents department can restore these belongings entirely, and keep them safe until they can get returned to your home after our restoration efforts. We have industry-leading equipment like Esporta washing machines and ultrasonic baths for cleaning porcelain dolls to toy fire trucks.

Fires are never easy to overcome, and they can be impossible for a homeowner to restore or clean up on their own fully. Trust in the fast response and expertise of our SERVPRO of La Porte County fire restoration specialists. We're Faster To Any Size Disaster. You can reach us 24/7 by calling (219) 879-1883.

When your commercial business is hit by fire, SERVPRO is here for you!

2/17/2021 (Permalink)

After something burns inside your grocery store, there are several conditions created that can negatively affect your building. Even the smallest burns can require you to call in a professional restoration company such as SERVPRO to conduct commercial fire damage mitigation. As soon as something ignites, it starts to emit smoke into the air.

The type of smoke put out depends upon the kind of fuels that the fire consumes. Smoke can vary from being thick smokes that create large amounts of residues to thinner particles that can penetrate porous materials deeper. The bigger the blaze that ignites, the more of your property the commercial fire damage can consume.

Set aside from the burnt materials and soot residues smoke leaves behind, unpleasant aromas can also become an issue especially when selling products that people consume as food. If the blaze burns for a long time, heavy smoke odors can become a significant part of your commercial fire damage project. Smoke consists of partially burned particles that do not fully combust or turn from a solid to a gaseous state once the heat is applied. These particles not only harden onto cooler surfaces in the form of soot residues, but they can be microscopic in size and penetrate deep into your building materials. These burnt, partially combusted molecules can then stick deep inside the porous substances in your store such as cardboard or paper products.

If foul odors still exist once all burnt materials and soot residues have been removed, then our SERVPRO technicians can conduct further deodorization procedures. To start with, we spray odor counteractants on any surfaces that got affected by soot residues. Then, we can apply vapor crystals to your flooring, attic insulation, and ventilation systems. We then can add a heavy-duty odor counteractant chemical to all of the affected areas and even use a specialized sealant paint to trap in any burnt smells.

As a final step, we can thermally fog your entire structure. If you ever happen to suffer from a severe blaze inside your grocery store, call SERVPRO of La Porte County at (219) 879-1883 24/7.

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Winter Weather Woes

12/17/2020 (Permalink)

Those who are used to warm weather climates may not realize how much damage a winter storm can do. However, a blizzard can create lots of destruction.
In fact, winter storms can cause thousands of dollars of damage. This damage can result from:

  • Ice dams
  • Destroyed roofs
  • Frozen pipes

Ice Dams

As its name implies, an ice dam is a buildup of ice on the roof of your home. It occurs when melting snow refreezes and blocks other snow from draining properly. This can lead to a buildup of standing water that can then leak into your walls or ceilings. Ice dams can even loosen shingles or gutters.

Destroyed Roofs

A winter storm can cause roof damage in other ways, as well. Ice and high winds can rip the gutters or tiles off your roof. These same winds can also blow tree branches on top of your roof. Heavy branches, in particular, can fall through the roof and harm the inside of your home.

Frozen Pipes

Even if there is no snow outside, cold weather alone can be harmful to your house. Freezing temperatures can cause unheated pipes to freeze and subsequently burst. This can lead to severe water damage.

How To Prepare

There are steps you can take to limit damage to your home during a winter storm. Cleaning gutters in advance can prevent ice dams. You should also secure your roof tiles and trim any tree branches that are too close to the house.
Before the storm arrives, you should head to the store and get emergency supplies such as shovels and non-perishable food. Finally, make sure to insulate any pipes that are outdoors or in low-heat areas such as basements and garages.
Even if you prepare accordingly, a winter storm can destroy parts of your house. An emergency restoration services company can repair your home and prevent any damage from spreading.

So give us a call! We are faster to any disaster and are here to help get you back to "Like it never even happened."

Being Disaster Ready In La Porte County

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

When disaster strikes in LaPorte County, the last thing you want to think about is where the spare batteries are or whether your perishables have passed their expiration date. Make sure you're ready for any situation — and how to handle the aftermath — with these top tips.

1. Pack a "Go Bag"

If you have to leave your home in a hurry, you'll want to have some essentials packed and ready to go. Keep the following supplies, recommended by FEMA, in a portable container in the area of your house where you'll take shelter:

  • Three days' worth of food and water (at least a gallon per family member)
  • Battery powered (or hand crank) flashlights and radio
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Trash bags and duct tape, along with a dust mask
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Regional maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter, or solar charger
  • Moist towelettes and any personal sanitation or specific family needs, like pet supplies

(For additional recommendations, be sure to check out ready.gov)

We also suggest having smaller versions of your kit stocked with a few necessities like walking shoes, snacks, and a flashlight at work. In general, you'll also need enough cash on hand for five days of basic needs (gas and food), but any amount of ready money will help if ATMs are down.

Once you have your supplies together, it pays to go through them at least once a year too, to weed out expired food and batteries.

2. Make an Action Plan

When things get chaotic, you want to make sure that every family member knows what to do. We suggest designating two meeting places (one close by and one a little further away in your neighborhood) and hang a map with the spots marked near your emergency kit.

It also pays to have important contacts written down if the power goes out and there's nowhere to charge your cell phone. Make a mini contact list — ready.gov has templates you can print out — with important numbers that everyone can stow in their wallets. Leave a copy in your emergency kit, too. Establish a plan for checking in with relatives in case local lines get jammed. Text messages will often go through, even when phone lines are clogged.

3. Prep Your Home

If the power goes out and you have time, unplug appliances and electronics and turn off air conditioners, whether you stay or go. This will prevent damage when the electricity surges back on. Leave one lamp on so you'll know when the power's back.

How you store food can also make a difference when it comes to salvaging items afterwards, according to the FSIS. If there's a chance of flooding, be sure to store dry goods in waterproof containers high enough that they will be safely out of the way of contaminated water.

Grouping food together in the freezer can help it stay colder longer in the case of a power outage. If you have advanced warning, freeze any items you don't need right away, like leftovers, milk, and fresh meat and poultry to keep them at a safe temperature longer and stock your freezer with as much ice as you can fit. Coolers stocked with ice can also be helpful if the power is out for more than four hours.

Though you'll want to minimize the amount you open and close your refrigerator door once the power goes out, FSIS recommends keeping an appliance thermometer in your fridge and freezer to help you determine if food is safe to eat. The refrigerator temperature should be lower than 40 degrees Fahrenheit and the freezer temperature should be below zero degrees Fahrenheit.

After the Emergency

Coming home after a major disaster can be daunting. Call SERVPRO to help you in the event your home is affected. We are faster to any disaster and are ready to help make things "Like it never even happened."

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Why SERVPRO? The SERVPRO Advantage!

11/27/2020 (Permalink)

Since its founding in 1967 SERVPRO has expanded to over 1,700 locations across the United States and Canada. Since then SERVPRO has also greatly expanded the array of services we offer. Since those services range from carpet cleaning and deodorization to large-scale disaster recovery and with SERVPRO’s 1,700+ locations our collective knowledge and experience is one of the greatest assets SERVPRO has and we know how to use it. 

SERVPRO locations provide all kind of support to each other ranging from equipment to people-power and technical advice. Sometimes we might run into an issue that we have not encountered before or possibly elements to a job which prevent our normal methods for jobs. This is when we have been able to rely on the knowledge base which our corporate office and other SERVPROs have accumulated. 

There was one deodorization job where a skunk got into a Wichita church’s HVAC system and sprayed in it. The odor was strong throughout the building and the HVAC systems vents were inaccessible due to the construction of the building. Being unable to do much else the church wanted us to come up with a completely chemical-based deodorization method for the HVAC systems vents. 

Since most of the EPA registered chemicals we use are invented and manufactured by our chemists at SERVPRO we can reach out to them for help. The advice they provided in both chemical combinations to use and equipment to pair with it proved effective. The skunk odor in the church had an immediate and significant reduction with almost total elimination of the odor coming by the end of the week. 

We are known for taking care of the big problems and disasters, but we also are adept at helping people with the strange problems. If you have a problem which makes you think “I don’t even know who does this” if it’s not us we probably know who, try giving us a call. 

So if disaster strikes, give SERVPRO a call! We are faster to any disaster and are here to help get you back to "Like it never even happened."

Why SERVPRO? We are the efficient professionals

11/11/2020 (Permalink)

Few things are more complicated than having to deal with fire damage in the home. Sometimes, the steps that you as the homeowner take after the fire damage determine the speed at which the home will be restored to the state it was in before the fire damage happened. Below is a guideline outlining the steps you ought to take after an electrical fire or another type of fire breaks out in your home.

Evacuation

The very first thing you need to do is ensure that all the people who were in the building have gotten out. In case there is someone still trapped in the building because of soot damage or smoke, you should call in emergency services such as the fire truck, fire sprinkler systems, fire hoses, and firefighters to help rescue them and put out the fire. Do not try to get back into the house once you are out where it is safe.

The fire suppression

The fire trucks and firefighters will arrive and assess the situation. The firefighters, fire hoses, and fire trucks will do their best to try and put out the fire within the shortest time possible after getting to the scene. You might see a firefighter going into the house and trying to rescue people who are trapped in the soot damage. They use equipment such as fire hoses, fire sprinkler systems, and other appropriate equipment to help them achieve fire suppression within the shortest time.

If fire strikes your home or business, give us a call! We are faster to any disaster and are here to help get you back to "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO Tips: If water hits your business, SERVPRO can get you back up and running

9/25/2020 (Permalink)

Owning a business may be your lifelong dream, and you probably invest much of your capital and time in making it succeed. When you face an obstacle in getting it restored after a flood or a fire, it is best to trust experts in the field to perform a thorough assessment of the damage and guide you in the restoration process.

SERVPRO leads all restoration companies with our expert water and fire restoration technicians. Our staff trains with and holds certifications by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC), verifying our expertise in the field. When you reach us at our 24/7 hotline, you gain peace of mind at being in the hands of experts.

How does SERVPRO dry my business after a water incident?

Among our specialists, we take great pride in our water restoration technicians and their expertise. At SERVPRO, we know that water in your business implies a loss of time, customers, and revenue, which is why we work diligently to restore your workspace as soon as possible. Our focus is not only on extracting water but also on removing excess moisture to protect your establishment from the threat of mold and other complications. To restore humidity levels our team may use-

Truck-mounted pumps connecting to municipal sewers as needed

Submersible pumps 

Handheld wand extractors for hard-to-reach corners 

We monitor our progress with state-of-the-art moisture meters and complement our actions with dehumidifiers, air circulators, and drying mats as needed. Our SERVPRO technicians document each step, which could help you if you are filing an insurance claim for the incident.

SERVPRO is your partner when life events threaten your business. Call us today! We are faster to any disaster and are here to make things "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO is your water damage specialist!

9/11/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO specializes in water damage restoration- the cornerstone of our business. We have extensive water damage restoration training, and our process emphasizes regular monitoring and documentation of the drying process from beginning to end. We are proud to serve our local communities. Call us 24/7 for prompt response time!

You have probably heard of our SERVPRO ERPs (Emergency Ready Profiles). As we conduct ERPs in commercial buildings, we also add water and gas shut off tags to the appropriate shut offs. We add these tags as a helpful indication if you ever have an emergency in your home. For example, if a pipe bursts or a leak happens in your home or business, the first thought to cross your mind should be to turn off the water. 

Next step? Call SERVPRO!

If the leak is from a sink or a toilet, it is easy to turn off the water for that line by turning the valve that is located beneath or beside the fixture. What if you're not sure where the leak is coming from? It could be a pipe behind your wall, under your home, or somewhere that is hard to locate. In this case, you should turn off the water to the whole house. This means locating the water main shutoff. Ask yourself this question, whether in your home or business. Do you know where the shutoff is located and could you locate it in the case of an emergency? If not, don't feel bad. Many people do not know where to locate their water and gas shut offs.

Typically, these shut offs lie on the exterior of the home or business around the perimeter of the building. Once you have found the shutoff, make sure that all members of your household know where it is. This is exactly why we tag these main shut offs during the creation of an ERP. The quicker you are able to turn off the water, the less damage is caused. 

So give us a call! We are faster to any disaster ans are here to help get you back to "Like it never even happened." 

When severe weather hits, SERVPRO is here for you

9/10/2020 (Permalink)

It is more common than you might think for severe rainstorms to cause significant damage to your property. High-winds and massive amounts of water easily penetrate roofing materials, light fixtures, and make their way into lower levels of your home. 

Whether you have experienced flood damage in your home before or not, you can benefit from having a local restoration expert inspect your property. Our technicians are IICRC certified and provide you with solutions to help protect or restore your home.

SERVPRO has access to a variety of equipment that makes removing a large volume of water as quick and efficient as possible. With experience dealing with events like this in all shapes and sizes, our personnel can have your home water-free, safely returning water levels to normal sooner than you might think possible.

SERVPRO checks for immediate hazards and helps you locate hidden dangers. It is our job to help you avoid costly repairs, limiting your losses before tragedy strikes. However, if you find yourself in the middle of an emergency, needing immediate help, our technicians are available 24/7 to assist.

We can take control of existing damage, perform any necessary repairs, and get you on the road to recovery fast. With access to water extractors of all shapes and sizes, advanced drying equipment and professionals trained in cleaning and odor removal methods our cleaning and restoration services help you make the most of a dangerous situation.

So give us a call! We are faster to any disaster and are here to help get you back to "Like it never even happened."

Why SERVPRO? We follow every step of proper mold remediation

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO, we follow every step of proper mold remediation to ensure your safety as well as ours.  It is crucial to use qualified specialists who can safely handle and clean mold.  Listed below are the steps we follow when performing both Level 1 and Level 2 mold remediation:  

  • Isolate all contaminated areas.
  • Remove all wet and mold-damaged porous materials.
  • Discard all wet and moldy materials in plastic bags.
  • Properly clean all non-porous materials and wood surfaces that have been contaminated.
  • Treat all affected materials with anti-microbial.
  • Visibility Test – all areas should be visibly free of contamination and debris
  • Cleaned materials should be professionally dried to allow leftover moisture to evaporate.

So give us a call! We are faster to any disaster and are ready to get you back to "Like it never even happened."