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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

If You Think It Could Be Water Damage - Here Is What To Look For!

12/2/2021 (Permalink)

Your Problem, Our solution with water in hallway Your Problem, Our Solution!

Water damage is not always visible on the surface. You might be able to see a flooded basement or a busted pipe in your bathroom, however, you might not see a slow leak inside your wall that can lead to big problems later on. In order to avoid these big problems with water damage in the future, you will need to watch for signs of issues as soon as they come up. Here are some important indicators of water damage in your home:

High Water Bills--If you notice that your water bills are unusually high, that might be due to a leak in your piping that you cannot see at this time. The water is slowly seeping out through your pipes, and you have to pay for every drop that you’re not using. It might be wise to get a plumbing inspection at this time to identify where the leak might be coming from and what you can do to fix it.

Decreased Water Pressure--If the pressure coming from your faucet and your shower head doesn’t feel as powerful as it used to be, you again might have a leak in your system. This is the water is escaping through the leak and not shooting through the pipe as powerfully as it normally would. Other factors to consider are a change in your faucet or showerhead itself, as that may result in less water trickling through to you. If you haven’t made any changes in your home, find a professional that can help you identify the problem.

Difficulty Breathing--If you or someone in your home is having a hard time breathing, that may be the result of mold built up on the inside of your walls. It’s always a good idea to have your house regularly checked for mold because it is a problem that can grow rapidly and be very difficult to control.

Mold Spores--If you notice mold on your walls, that is most likely a sign of excess moisture underneath the drywall or somewhere in the room. This mold might not penetrate far and it might not be an indication of an inner problem, but if you cut into the drywall and see that it is spread all along the back, chances are you have a leak in your piping that you don’t know about yet. If the mold has traveled from the back of your drywall to the front, the problem is pretty large needs to be dealt with right away.

 **Keep a close eye on everything that happened in your home, and you will be able to prevent extensive water damage before it happens.

When It Comes To Sewage Clean Up & Why You Need To Call SERVPRO (Part 1 of 2)

12/2/2021 (Permalink)

Wet Carpet As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of North Elkhart County is strategically located to respond quickly to your water damage emergency.

The Importance of Hiring Professional Carpet Cleaners

Professional carpet cleaners are the only people who should be trusted to do the job. Anyone with less experience or certification will likely not do the job correctly. And their carelessness could end up costing a lot more in the end.  

Carpeting is typically one of the most long-term investments in the home. Most people associate high-cost flooring with tile, marble or hardwood, but carpet can carry a high price tag as well. There are various fibers and matting to choose from, as well as the padding beneath it. When it’s all said and done, it can cost just as much if not more than some other options. Once that investment is installed, great care should be taken to keep it in the best condition possible. This will mean regular vacuuming in high-traffic areas and regular maintenance from professional carpet cleaners.

Why should someone always hire professional carpet cleaners? 

Professionally trained technicians have certification in all types of fibers and construction, so they know which products and equipment to use and how to employ them properly. The technician can assess the area for any spot treatment that may be necessary and will know which tools and specialized products to use. They will also be aware of the correct methods to complete the job effectively. Technicians will also inform the customer of ways that they can prolong the life of their carpeting and how to properly treat spills and accidents should they occur.

What can happen if someone doesn't use professional carpet cleaners? 

A lot of damage can occur if a certified technician or firm is not hired to do the job. They can over-saturate the fibers and promote an environment that may foster mold and other microbial growth in time. If using improper equipment, the fibers can be damaged, which would result in replacement being required much sooner. If the wrong cleansing agents are used, or they are not properly rinsed out, they may damage the fibers or make future soil adhere quicker, which will require cleaning more often than would otherwise be necessary.

You Can Count On SERVPRO To Be Fastest From Water Damage!

11/27/2021 (Permalink)

Water Damage SERVPRO of North Elkhart County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage.

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of North Elkhart County provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of North Elkhart County arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – (574) 343-1397

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

About SERVPRO of North Elkhart County

SERVPRO of North Elkhart County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Don't Let Water Put A Damper On Your Day!

11/27/2021 (Permalink)

Water with blue boots in the puddle SERVPRO of North Elkhart County is here 24/7 to help people in the North Elkhart area return to "Like it never even happened."

Heavy rainfalls and sudden downpours often overwhelm sump pumps. Cracks in the walls or foundation allow the water to seep in. But even a seemingly "watertight" home can have problems when the water that has seeped into the ground in the area surrounding the home becomes saturated.

The pressure of this water on the concrete walls and floors of the basement become too much, and the water begins to seep into the basement through these barriers. Water that gets into the basement or any other area of a home can often be traced back to clogged gutters. 

But water has a way of discreetly finding its way into the tiniest cracks and oftentimes, goes completely unnoticed. Small leaks also tend to be inconspicuous. These small but steady water intrusions can cause serious damage. 

No one wants to have to deal with a wet basement or water leaking into any area of a home. 

Do You Understand The Impact Of Water Loss? If Not, Keep Reading!

11/27/2021 (Permalink)

water text - SERVPRO logo Our SERVPRO professionals have access to some of the most powerful tools and equipment in the industry.

When our team first arrives at any water loss incident, we must first assess the spread and impact of these conditions on the residence. We have moisture and dampness detection devices that can help us to determine the status of wall cavities and other inaccessible areas of your home. In the early stages of water loss, even substantial risks like broken pipes can get resolved and cleaned up before they become devastating situations.

Our SERVPRO of North Elkhart County professionals have a deep inventory of recovery tools that can help with both extraction and drying of water damage in homes. Depending on the situation, we do not need to use all of the resources at our disposal. This determination gets made by our project management and crew chief performing the initial thorough inspection of the property. In some situations, we can perform the full extraction that your house needs using only our portable sump pumps and light wands. 

Extraction is one of the most vital steps that our restoration technicians can take when we first arrive at your water damaged home. Our SERVPRO professionals have access to some of the most powerful tools and equipment in the industry. In some scenarios, electric submersible pumps can help to overcome the standing water present in a specific area of your house. The continual discharge of this device can quickly work through several inches of damage to ensure that drying efforts can begin shortly after. 

Light wands are another highly mobile option for addressing water loss effects under two inches in depth. These tools can perform powerful extraction in small areas, often collected by a wet-vac tank. The portability of these options makes them ideal for small spaces and confined areas of the property. 

Not all extraction tools are necessary for every water loss incident that our SERVPRO  team encounters. Knowing what your home needs is the job of our qualified assessment team. We can get to work quickly on making water losses “Like it never even happened.” We are faster to any disaster and are ready and waiting to put our experience, expertise and equipment to work for you! 

When It Comes To Sewage Clean Up & Why You Need To Call SERVPRO (Part 2 of 2)

11/27/2021 (Permalink)

Wet Carpet As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of North Elkhart County is strategically located to respond quickly to your water damage emergency.

What should a customer expect when they hire professional carpet cleaners?

Upon arrival, the technician will assess the carpeting. Once that is complete, the process can begin. First they will vacuum the floor during a process called dry soil removal. This removes any loose items in the flooring. Then soil suspension and extraction will take place. The technician uses a preconditioning agent that is mixed to separate the soil from the fibers. Various methods are employed to extract the soil from the flooring. Grooming may also be done to improve the fiber piles, matting, and to equally disperse protectors or conditioning agents. Then the drying process can begin. Carpets that have been professionally cleaned should be dry in less than 24 hours. Homeowners can assist in this process by ensuring the right temperature is maintained, and there is adequate ventilation. 

When hiring a carpet cleaning technician, make sure that they have received their certification through the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). The IICRC is a globally-recognized organization that is the leader in certifying technicians and firms in the restoration, cleaning and inspection industry.

Locally Owned Company with Valuable Resources

As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of North Elkhart County is strategically located to respond quickly to your water damage emergency and your mold cleanup. When there is mold in a home or business, we have the resources and personnel to help get your home or business back together. Call us today!

*Information provided by: http://www.IICRC.org/the-importance-hiring-professional-carpet-cleaners-a-502.html

If You Have Fire In Your Elkhart Home Or Business? - Call SERVPRO

11/21/2021 (Permalink)

Home on fire SERVPRO of North Elkhart County hopes you never know the tragedy of a fire, but if you do we are #HERETOHELP with 24-hour emergency board up services!
What if you have a fire in your Elkhart home or business?

Experiencing a home fire can be one of the most stressful and devastating tragedies in your life.

After a fire its very difficult to know what to do next.

Here are some important things to remember:

  • Take care of yourself and family. 
  • Do not eat, drink or breathe anything that was near or affected by the flames, smoke, soot or water used to extinguish the fire.
  • Contact your local American Red Cross, Elkhart 574-293-6519 www.redcross.org or Salvation Army, Elkhart 574-970-0088 www.saelkhart.org They can provide you with emergency accommodations, food, clothing, and medication.
  • If you have pets, locate them and comfort them, keep pets from entering the fire-damaged home for their safety.
  • Do NOT enter the damaged structure, until fire officials declare it safe. Fires can start again even when it appears they are fully extinguished. Be very cautious if reentering the damaged structure. There can be floor and roof damage that is not easily observed 
  • Contact your insurance company as soon as possible.

SERVPRO of North Elkhart County hopes you never know the tragedy of a fire, but if you do we are #HERETOHELP with 24-hour emergency board up services, we also have the expertise to help guide you through all stages of fire restoration service, to help return you back to your home. 

Call 574-343-1397

If Your Elkhart Business Has Been Affected By Water Damage? Don't Wait To Call SERVPRO!

8/16/2021 (Permalink)

Water Damage Our water damage experts are available 24-hours a day to give you immediate support and clean up any water-related disaster.
 

When your business is affected by a water damage or any other type of emergency, time is of the essence. Getting your business up and running as soon as possible is of the utmost importance after a water damage. SERVPRO of North Elkhart County provides 24-hour emergency service to help reduce your Elkhart business's downtime with:

  • 24-hour mitigation and water removal
  • Experienced and certified technicians
  • Drying equipment to dehumidify and dry down structures large and small
  • Content cleaning and drying
  • Cleaning and deodorizing of your facility
  • Knowledgeable and friendly crew members to address all aspects of your businesses needs 
  • Reconstruction services available if required

SERVPRO of North Elkhart County provides a full-service restoration for minimizing your Elkhart businesses downtime and turn your days back to "business as usual". 

For information on business or commercial services including our ERP- Emergency Ready Program call us today to schedule an appointment.

574-343-1397

SERVPRO Tip - What Not To Do After Commercial Water Damage

8/9/2021 (Permalink)

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned - technicians cleaning Call us immediately if you find water damage! 24/7!

With the crazy weather and flooding we have been experiencing, we thought it would be useful to give you some ideas on how to protect your business assets after commercial water damage.

* Do not enter a room with standing water in it until all electricity has been turned off. Live wires touching water can electrify the water, making standing water in the room very dangerous. Make sure all electricity is disconnected or off prior to entering a room with standing water.

* Do not use a regular household vacuum to remove water. Regular household vacuum’s are not meant to handle large volumes of water. Sucking up standing water with a household vacuum will definitely break it and potentially cause it to short circuit.

* Do not attempt to life tacked down carpet without professional help. Wet carpet is very heavy. Not only could you hurt yourself trying to remove damp carpet but carpet also contains a variety of tacks that can hurt you if you are not trained in pulling it up correctly.

* Do not use electrical appliances while the floors/carpets are still wet. Exposure to water can cause electrical appliances to short circuit or fail. Since they are not manufactured to be “water proof”, water can easily get into vulnerable areas in the appliances and greatly increase your chance of electrocution or fire.

* Do not touch or disturb any visible mold. Mold spreads very easily. Mold caused by water can be dangerous to you and can cause health affects. 

While most of the water has dried out from recent flooding, we want you to keep these points in mind so you can be water damage smart the next time heavy rains come around! 

Protect Your Elkhart County Business With An Emergency Ready Plan!

7/30/2021 (Permalink)

Disaster Planning Emergency Ready Plan
 

SERVPRO of North Elkhart County provides The Emergency Ready Plan service. One of our managers will come to your business, large or small and develop a Ready Plan in the event of a water, fire or storm emergency.


These Ready Plans are a detailed compilation of points of contact, locating and documenting emergency shut offs for all utilities, and mapping of emergency entrances and exits. Our team will keep all information on file in case of emergency the information is readily available. 


Every business owner has many things to worry about, let us take the worry out of what to do if there was a fire, water or storm emergency at your place of business.


SERVPRO of North Elkhart County's highly trained and caring team is available 24 hours a day in the event of an emergency.


To find out more about this free service we provide click on the link https://ready.SERVPRO.com/home/readyprogram


Call us today for an appointment to get started on your business's Emergency Ready Plan! 


SERVPRO of North Elkhart County 574-343-1397

Spring & Summer Storms - How To Prepare

6/28/2021 (Permalink)

Spring storms can cause a number of issues in your home, such as fallen tree branches and water damage. By preparing for the storms early, you can minimize the damage to your property. 

- Invest in flood insurance

 * If a storm gets our of hand and leads to flooding in your home, flood insurance will cover the cost of your water damage repairs.

- Prune your trees

 * Dead or rotting tree branches are susceptible to falling during storms; it is best to cut these off before so that they do not cause any damage to the roof, siding, windows, or even the car(s). That is also a great way of protecting your family as well. Proper tree pruning can also improve the way the trees bloom in the heart of spring and summer. 

- Use surge protectors for electronic devices

 * Replace your your standard power strips with surge protectors so that your electronics are protected in the middle of a storm. If lightening strikes your roof or a flood occurs in your house, surge protectors will give you the best possible chance of preserving your computer, television, and game consoles. Consider unplugging any electronics you are not using so they do not have live electrical currents in the middle of a storm. 

- Prepare an emergency kit

 * If you have an emergency kit for winter with non-perishable food, water, and first aid supplies. Keep this kit for the spring as well. Make sure it includes candles, matches, flashlights, batteries, and anything else you can think of that will be needed during a power outage. 

SERVPRO Specializes In Flooded Basement Cleanup & Restoration!

6/28/2021 (Permalink)

A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your Elkhart County basement could flood, including: 

  • A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
  • Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
  • Storm sewer backup
  • Sanitary sewer backup
  • Foundation drainage failure
  • Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
  • And many more

Have Questions about Basement Flooding?

Call Today - 574-343-1397]

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of North Elkhart County and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

We are Flooded Basement Specialists:

  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
  • We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained  in Water Restoration Techniques
  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
  • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Basement Flooded? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help 574-343-1397

Smoke and Soot Cleanup In North Elkhart County By SERVPRO

6/28/2021 (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 North Elkhart County 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 SERVPRO of North Elkhart Today

574-343-1397

Are You Prepared For A Home Fire? SERVPRO Is Here To Help!

6/28/2021 (Permalink)

 

SERVPRO of North Elkhart County wants everyone to be prepared for the chance of a home fire. Fires are devastating, but a little preparedness can greatly add to your families safety.


Some safety tips for your home and family:

    • Install smoke detectors on every level of your home, inside all bedrooms and outside of sleeping areas.

    • Test smoke alarms every month, replace batteries if not working 

    • Talk with family members about fire escape plans and practice the plans together

    • If a fire does occur, get out, stay out and call for help NEVER go back inside for anything or anyone


The American Red Cross has a great safety checklist as http://www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m4340073_FireSafety.pdf


If ever the worst was to happen at your Elkhart county home SERVPRO of North Elkhart County's team highly trained and caring team is available 24 hours a day.


Call us at 574-343-1397

SERVPRO Tips: Summer Bonfire Safety

6/13/2021 (Permalink)

 

With the heat of the summer, please keep in mind that the sun and winds will have dried out a lot of the surrounding plants and bushes.  So, if you plan on a bonfire, follow these tips in order to prevent a property or brush fire.

  • Rake your yard or bag your grass clippings before starting a fire.
  • Remove yard waste and dead branches around your property.
  • Follow your local laws and regulations pertaining to burning and open flames.
  • Dampen the ground around your fire pit and under it as well if you have a free-standing pit.
  • Place your fire pit on pavers or cement.
  • Keep a hose nearby.
  • Never throw trash into the fire
  • Don’t ever leave a fire unattended.
  • Make sure children and pets stay 3 feet away from the fire.
  • Fully extinguish the flames with sand and a bucket of water when the evening is over.

Embers stay hot for hours when extinguished.  When the fun is over, walk through the yard to clean up chairs and garbage that could easily ignite.  Run water on the pit until you are confident the heat won’t pose a risk.  Be mindful that you don’t spray the fire with a strong jet of water.  Doing so may cause embers to shower the area and ignite your belongings. 

SERVPRO Is Your 24 Hour Emergency Services in Elkhart County

6/13/2021 (Permalink)

People Around SERVPRO Vans SERVPRO of North Elkhart County provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in Elkhart County area.
 

SERVPRO of North Elkhart County is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help Call Today-

(574) 343-1397

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of North Elkhart County has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of North Elkhart County 

SERVPRO of North Elkhart specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

When Home Fires Hit - SERVPRO Is Ready To Get To Work

6/13/2021 (Permalink)

 

Surrounded by your soot-covered and flame-damaged possessions, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture: Everyone got out safe! 

From the get-go, it’s imperative to stay organized amidst the chaos of your scorched surroundings. A three-ring binder with pockets is your new best friend. Take notes on every conversation and online correspondence with your insurance company and restoration professionals, because in any stressful situation, miscommunication can happen. Save all receipts and original documents; only give photocopies upon request. Binder in hand, your first call should be to your insurance agent. Here are a few tips on what NOT to do before the pros arrive:

  • Do not wipe or attempt to wash fire residue from walls, ceilings, or other absorbent surfaces
  • Do not use carpeting or upholstered furniture impacted by heavy smoke residues or debris
  • Do not use food items or canned goods exposed to heat
  • Do not turn on computers, televisions, stereos or electrical appliances until they have been professionally cleaned and checked

Do You Rent In Elkhart? If So, Read This...

6/13/2021 (Permalink)

 

Do you rent an apartment or home in Elkhart? Do you have renters insurance? Do you have enough coverage to cover all your belongings in the event of a fire or flood? 

SERVPRO of North Elkhart County asks these questions based on our experience working with renters to handle their belongings after a loss. Most people are unaware of the amount of coverage they may need and how often to re-evaluate their coverage as time and purchases go on. We have had the unfortunate experience of witnessing tenants not having the appropriate amount of coverage to repair, clean or replace their damaged belongings. 

There are a few things you can do to ensure you are protected if ever the situation were to arise. Start by compiling a list of all of your belongings, including housewares, furnishings, and personal items such as clothing, electronics, and personal care items for every member of you families household. Put a reasonable replacement cost to each of those items, that will give you a starting point for the possible amount of coverage you may require. Once you have done that contact your insurance agent or provider to discuss the items you want to have covered. They will be able to assist you with the types and amounts of coverages available based on your specific needs.  

Let's Talk Storm Readiness! Does Your Vehicle Have The following?

6/2/2021 (Permalink)

Every vehicle should be prepared for a break down or a weather related emergency.

Supplies important for an emergency kit in your vehicle:



    • Jumper cables

    • Spare tire and jack

    • Spare fuses

    • First aid kit or supplies

    • Bottled water

    • Small tool kit

    • Car escape tool (seatbelt cutter and window breaker)

    • Blankets

    • Extra gloves, socks, hats

    • Fire extinguisher

    • Seasonal supplies ( ice scrapper, small shovel, umbrella, rain gear etc.)

    • Paper towels or rags

    • Cell phone charger

    • Safety flares


Always drive safely, avoid driving through high or rushing water. Be sure to share the road bicyclists, motorcyclists, joggers and children may be out more frequently. Wild animals are coming out of hibernation looking for food. Damp and wet roads can be very slippery do to water mixing with the oil on the roadways.


SERVPRO of North Elkhart County hopes everyone has a safe and happy spring!


SERVPRO of North Elkhart County's highly trained and caring team is available 24 hours a day to assist you.


Call us at 574-343-1397

SERVPRO Is Here To Help Get You Come Back From Fire Damage Happens 24/7!

6/2/2021 (Permalink)

 

If your property suffers fire damage, quick action is vital to limiting the amount of damage that is inflicted on your property. You may think that once the fire is put out, the damage has been done and you can start getting things cleaned up at your leisure. Unfortunately, fire damage continues to eat away at materials even after the fire has been put out.

More porous materials often can’t be saved and have to be thrown out and replaced. Less porous materials can be saved if the ash and soot are removed from the surface in a timely manner. A matter of hours can make a difference between an item that can be saved versus one that cannot. 

When we begin the restoration process for fire damage, we offer a number of services depending on the extent of the damage your specific needs. Typically, we begin by bringing in air filtering machines that will remove ash and floating particulate matter from the air to make your air safe to breathe again. As this starts working, we will remove ash and soot from your property and dispose of any materials that can’t be saved.

The amount of restoration you want and need depends on the amount of damage your property sustained from the fire. Give us a call for complete restoration from any fire damage on your property.

SERVPRO Is Here To Help 24/7!

6/2/2021 (Permalink)

 The fire restoration process is where a team of professionals enter a burned home or business and begin to restore it to its former state. They will assess the scen and give you an estimate of the damage and the cost to restore your home after the fire. They will begin to clean up the damage; if any items are particularly difficult to clean and treat, they will be taken off-site for special care. There are special industrial grade treatments that they use to restore your home or business with no lingering fire smells. 

This is also when water damage restoration will begin properly. Here any standing pools of water will be removed using submersible pumps and the areas will then be dried and sanitized. The next stage is to begin actually restoring furniture and repairing the damage caused by fire. The idea is to get your property looking as good as new!

Are You Ready & Protected From Severe Summer Storms?

6/2/2021 (Permalink)

Since 1980, the U.S. has sustained nearly 200 weather-related disasters in which overall financial damages reached or exceeded $1 billion. 

While we are blessed to live in a part of the U.S. people flock to, we also are unusually vulnerable to dangerous summer weather in the form of tornadoes, hail storms, wind storms, lightning strikes, and more.

As you think about summer storms, ask yourself these 3 key questions:

  • What can I do—that is in my control right now—to protect my home, auto, boat, and general property from severe summer-storm damage?
  • What insurance coverage do I need to protect myself financially if anything I own is damaged by summer storms?
  • What should I do if my home, auto, boat, or other property sustain any damage?

These things are in your control, and a smart way to typically minimize the damage from summer storms:

  • Hire professionals to inspect your roof, to make sure it is fully waterproof and that rain runs off it properly.
  • Inspect and clean gutters and downspouts.
  • Install shutters to protect windows from high winds and hail (or, as a backup, use plywood covers).
  • Install a sump pump in your basement.
  • Make sure trees—especially those near your house—are properly trimmed.
  • If possible, park your car, RV, motorcycle, and boat in a garage or otherwise under cover.
  • Place a hail-resistant cover over your vehicles and boat.
  • Complete a printed and/or video home inventory.
  • Make sure everyone in your family knows the safest evacuation routes.
  • Survey your property for flood potential, and make sure you have flood and sewage backup coverage.

Make sure you have the right insurance and know what is and is not covered. Understand that:

* Most homeowners’ insurance doesn’t cover flooding. This means you will need to get a separate policy for any damages caused by waters rising out of the ground or rivers, and by other bodies of water overflowing their banks.

* Most homeowners’ insurance does cover damage to your property resulting from hail, wind, and lightning. 

* You must have comprehensive insurance coverage on your car to recover financial losses resulting from hail, flood, or damage from falling trees or limbs.

We hope you never have to deal with damage to your home, car, boat, or other property caused by summer storms. But here’s what to do if it occurs:

  • Document—as specifically and rigorously as possible—the time, date, and severity of the storm. Do this using photographic and written documentation.
  • Immediately call your insurance company.
  • Work only with licensed contractors to repair damage. 

Ask The Experts: What happens after the disaster in my business?

4/1/2021 (Permalink)

There's nothing quite as difficult for a commercial establishment as dealing with water damage. However, knowing what to do when disaster strikes can prevent you from experiencing unnecessary emotional upsets for yourself, your employees, and your customers and mitigate the economic strain of lost business. There are many steps you'll need to take to get your commercial property back in order following a water damaging event. Contacting a team of skilled water damage restoration experts from SERVPRO is a good first step.


Quick Water Removal Mitigates Monetary Loss 

The longer excess water remains on your commercial property, the more likely you are to suffer from costly water damage repairs to structural properties like ceiling tiles, insulation, drywall, and flooring. Then there is the concern of water damage to your capital investments: inventory, furniture, carpeting, electronic equipment and paper documents. Having a team of skilled water damage restoration experts like SERVPRO to begin immediately removing standing water can prevent you from spending unnecessary money on repairs.

Quick Remediation Prevents Secondary Water Damage.

Another benefit of a quick reaction to the pressing problem of water intrusion is that fast extraction helps prevent secondary water damage. Unfortunately, water damage creates a moist, wet environment within your business. Moisture and high humidity offer mold an opportunity to grow and spread throughout structural materials and wood furniture and fabrics. If your business deals with food distribution, high inventory loss may be a costly negative effect. For this reason, it's critically important to have standing water removed as quickly as possible. SERVPRO can arrive, usually in about one hour, with water removal equipment to meet any problem. 

Fast Restoration Helps You Get Back In Business

If the water intrusion, by way of a storm, flood, leak, or the aftermath of fire extinguishing causes severe water damage to your commercial business, you may have to relocate temporarily while water damage restoration work is being completed. Closed doors affect customer traffic, employee earnings, and your bottom line.  Insurance companies normally work hand-in-hand with SERVPRO to come to a working agreement allowing the water extraction process to commence immediately. 

Contact SERVPRO Today

If your commercial property has been subjected to water damage, getting fast, effective water damage restoration services is a must. Here at SERVPRO, we specialize in optimizing and expediting each component of the restoration process to ensure that you can get your business back in business. Moreover, each of our IICRC-Certified technicians will provide you with the personable care and excellent customer service that keeps you in the loop throughout the water damage restoration process. We can quickly reopen your doors "Like it never even happened."

Commercial Building Restoration Services

SERVPRO of North Elkhart County responds quickly to a water or fire, or mold damage emergency, 24 hours a day. Whether the damage occurs in a small business building or a big box store, we have the training, experience, and equipment to handle the situation. Our national network of 1,650 Franchises gives us access to personnel and resources. Call us for assistance today!

Ask The Experts: Recovering From Water Damage

3/31/2021 (Permalink)

When people learn that you have a water spill in your home, the immediate assumption is that you only need to dry the affected items or areas, and life goes on as usual. However, water damage can involve problems more severe than wet materials. Professional restoration by SERVPRO addresses any advanced issues.

When a water damage incident affects wooden materials such as floorboards or furniture, physical deterioration can happen because of prolonged exposure, or even accelerated drying. Typical forms of deterioration due to extended exposure include warping, buckling, or even rotting. Fast or excessive drying can cause cracking. Our SERVPRO technicians rely on their advanced training to avoid these problems when resolving the loss at your property. We use high-efficiency water extractors, which expedite the removal process limiting the physical deterioration that occurs. During drying, we monitor the process regularly with moisture meters to ensure it progresses at the right speed.

When the water spill is from a clean source such as a water supply line, there is minimal worry about contaminants. However, microbial growth occurs even in clean water situations, especially if the restoration takes long. Apart from working fast, our SERVPRO technicians take other steps to control contaminants. We apply disinfectants and antimicrobial agents on surfaces when we clean them to stop or slow down microbial growth.

Sometimes water spills lead to long-term problems such as mold development or rotting. If a minor leak goes undetected for a long time, mold is likely to develop. Failure to dry all wet materials to standard levels or reduce humidity levels can also lead to such outcomes. Our crews use different techniques to avoid such outcomes. We use thermal cameras to reveal hidden wet spots. We also perform different tests to determine moisture levels, including using penetrative and non-penetrative moisture meters. We also use thermo-hygrometers to check the humidity levels in the air. With the correct readings, we can know how long to run dehumidifiers and air movers to dry the property.

Water damage can involve a wide range of problems. Call SERVPRO today! We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster. We are ready to get you back to "Like it never even happened."

Ask The Experts: What Happens When A Disaster Strikes My Commercial Building?

3/14/2021 (Permalink)

There's nothing quite as difficult for a commercial establishment as dealing with water damage. However, knowing what to do when disaster strikes can prevent you from experiencing unnecessary emotional upsets for yourself, your employees, and your customers and mitigate the economic strain of lost business. There are many steps you'll need to take to get your commercial property back in order following a water damaging event. Contacting a team of skilled water damage restoration experts from SERVPRO is a good first step.


Quick Water Removal Mitigates Monetary Loss 

The longer excess water remains on your commercial property, the more likely you are to suffer from costly water damage repairs to structural properties like ceiling tiles, insulation, drywall, and flooring. Then there is the concern of water damage to your capital investments: inventory, furniture, carpeting, electronic equipment and paper documents. Having a team of skilled water damage restoration experts like SERVPRO to begin immediately removing standing water can prevent you from spending unnecessary money on repairs.

Quick Remediation Prevents Secondary Water Damage.

Another benefit of a quick reaction to the pressing problem of water intrusion is that fast extraction helps prevent secondary water damage. Unfortunately, water damage creates a moist, wet environment within your business. Moisture and high humidity offer mold an opportunity to grow and spread throughout structural materials and wood furniture and fabrics. If your business deals with food distribution, high inventory loss may be a costly negative effect. For this reason, it's critically important to have standing water removed as quickly as possible. SERVPRO can arrive, usually in about one hour, with water removal equipment to meet any problem. 

Fast Restoration Helps You Get Back In Business

If the water intrusion, by way of a storm, flood, leak, or the aftermath of fire extinguishing causes severe water damage to your commercial business, you may have to relocate temporarily while water damage restoration work is being completed. Closed doors affect customer traffic, employee earnings, and your bottom line.  Insurance companies normally work hand-in-hand with SERVPRO to come to a working agreement allowing the water extraction process to commence immediately. 

Contact SERVPRO Today

If your commercial property has been subjected to water damage, getting fast, effective water damage restoration services is a must. Here at SERVPRO, we specialize in optimizing and expediting each component of the restoration process to ensure that you can get your business back in business. Moreover, each of our IICRC-Certified technicians will provide you with the personable care and excellent customer service that keeps you in the loop throughout the water damage restoration process. We can quickly reopen your doors "Like it never even happened."

Commercial Building Restoration Services

SERVPRO of North Elkhart County responds quickly to a water or fire, or mold damage emergency, 24 hours a day. Whether the damage occurs in a small business building or a big box store, we have the training, experience, and equipment to handle the situation. Our national network of 1,650 Franchises gives us access to personnel and resources. Call us for assistance today!

Ask The Experts: What are some best practices to get ready for winter storms?

2/17/2021 (Permalink)

Prepare now in case a winter storm hits and you are home for several days without power and heat.

• Prepare by gathering emergency supplies, making a family plan, and discussing emergency notifications and expectations with your workplace and/or schools.

• Install battery-powered or battery back-up carbon monoxide detectors.

• If you have access to an OUTSIDE generator, have an electric cord long enough to keep the generator at least 20 feet from any door, window, or vent.

• Make specific plans for how you will avoid driving.

Be alert to changing weather conditions using local alerts, radio, and other news sources for information and instructions. Stay indoors and avoid driving as much as possible.

• If the power goes out, close off unused rooms to consolidate and retain heat.

• Wear layered clothing and use blankets or sleeping bags to stay warm.

• Bring pets inside.

• NEVER use generators, outdoor heating or cooking equipment, such as a grill, camp stove, or a gasoline or propane heater, indoors.

• NEVER heat a home with a stove.

• If driving is absolutely necessary, keep disaster supplies in your vehicle, make sure your vehicle is properly equipped, and use extra precaution on the roads.

• Limit your time outdoors. If you are outside, protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia by wearing several layers of warm, loose-fitting, light-weight clothing. 

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Indiana Winters USUALLY = Snowmageddon!

2/17/2021 (Permalink)

Winter storms can bring freezing rain, ice, snow, high winds, or a combination of these conditions. Extreme winter weather can immobilize an entire region. Ice and heavy snowfall can knock out heat, power, and communication services. A winter storm occurs when there is significant precipitation and the temperature is low enough that precipitation forms as sleet or snow, or when rain turns to ice.

A winter storm can range from freezing rain and ice, to moderate snowfall over a few hours to a blizzard that last for several days, or be a combination of several winter weather conditions. Many winter storms are accompanied by dangerously low temperatures. Planning and preparing can help you manage the impact of a winter storm and keep you and your family safe. A sustained power outage can have a significant impact on people who require electricity to power medical equipment, so make sure that you have a pan to take care of yourself and your family during an outage. 

Ask The Experts: How To Eliminate Dishwasher Leaking

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

Many homes and apartments have not only the mandatory stove and refrigerator in the kitchen but also a dishwasher. Using one requires special detergents, knowledge of how to correctly load the racks and caddy, and removing the food from dishes and plates before loading them.
 
If your kitchen in your residence has a dishwasher, misuse can lead to leaks which rapidly create water damage. The manual that explains proper use might seem overly detailed but not following the instructions can damage your machine, and your home, too.
 
The reason why dishwashers should never have regular dishwashing liquid used in them is that the suds can increase the pressure enough to break the door's seal. Once broken, water can easily pour out. Hot soapy water quickly drenches the floor and finds its way deep into openings in your flooring. Small spills on a tile floor when quickly mopped up cause not significant water damage.
 
Incorrectly loading the dishes into racks and the flatware caddy can let things dislodge and cause problems. Items too small to safely go into the dishwasher can end up forced into the drain lines and clog them. Knives can break the interior shell of older models and cause leaks that way. These leaks might happen during or after the cycle completes and become a source of water damage. Always inspect your water supply line, drainage hose for cracks and connection to the plumbing to prevent pressurized, high volumes of water from soaking the kitchen base cabinets and more.
 
Using a dishwasher means rinsing plates adequately after scraping any food left on them. Two problems happen that you can easily prevent. One is using dish soap when rinsing. This is entirely unnecessary and also a waste of resources. Not rinsing off all of the soap can lead to the overproduction of suds already mentioned above. The other problem is not rinsing enough or at all. Removing liquid or semi-liquid food like salsa or mashed potatoes is not as important as eliminating peas or bits of meat. A drain line that becomes clogged with food can send water all over your floor only a few minutes after you start the next cycle.
 
As always, a bit of prevention that might seem inconsequential or even a bother can help protect your home from water damage. When damage already exists, SERVPRO is ready to take your call and answer your questions. We can help get things cleared up and dry again, "Like it never even happened." We are faster to any disaster and are ready to put our expertise to work for you! 

Ask The Experts: When Sprinklers Attack

12/12/2020 (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 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.

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

Fire Damage? Give SERVPRO of North Elkhart County A Call!

12/12/2020 (Permalink)

One thing that heat does to something is it changes the chemical structure. Direct heat, such as a fire in a home, produces many different changes, both chemical and physical. During the time these changes take place, affected materials give off microscopic particles.

When a home or its contents burn, fire damage includes the effects caused by the multitude of particles given off during the blaze. These tiny substances float around the house, carried in the smoke, as well as in the steam created when firefighters' water hits hot and burning areas, and land everywhere. These continually disintegrate, and as they do, air currents already present in the home pull them back into the air you and your family breathe.

The specialists from SERVPRO eliminate the majority of these particles during standard soot cleanup procedures. The ones that find their way into cracks and crevices or the tiny spaces under cabinets and inside empty spaces between walls often remain where they fell, though, because we do not want to tear apart these structures to remove the soot.

Instead, we use different methods to remove them and the odors they cause. During fire damage mitigation, we often use machines that generate hydroxyl. This process is so safe that many food industry factories also use it on a daily basis. The only problem with this is that it does not remove particles that have yet to disintegrate enough and remain hidden.

Our IICRC-certified Odor Control Technician (OCT) uses other odor control techniques. After we complete the mitigation tasks your home requires, we can begin looking at odor control techniques. One that often provides the necessary odor control levels most homeowners desire is thermal fogging. Because this method produces a heated fog that travels throughout the home in the same way the smoke during the fire traveled, it reaches those areas hiding soot particles.

The chemicals in the fog combine with the soot and make the particles too heavy and stop them from disintegrating any more. The presence of these particles is what causes the odors your family smells when they enter the home. Thermal fogging, as well as strategically placed gel packs and injectable deodorizing liquids into upholstered furniture and carpets, makes your home's interior pleasant again, “Like it never even happened.”

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SERVPRO Tips: Smoke Alarms Save Lives

12/9/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke alarms play a vital role in saving lives, and when properly installed, can reduce the risk of fire injury in half.* The National Fire Protection Association

Smoke alarms work best when paired with a fire escape plan. A plan allows your family, employees or clients to escape quickly and safely in an emergency situation.  Business owners should consult the local Fire Marshal to ensure specific building fire codes and smoke detector requirements are met.

SMOKE ALARM SAFETY TIPS:

-Install smoke alarms on every level of the home, including the basement according to alarm instructions.  Larger homes may need more smoke alarms.

-Smoke alarms should be installed away from the kitchen and at least 10 feet away from a cooking appliance to prevent false alarms.

-Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.

-Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year. If an alarm “chirps,” the battery is low and should be replaced right away.

-Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.

*Tips and statistics provided by the National Fire Protection Association.

So don't become a statistic! If disaster does strike though, give us a call! We are faster to any disaster and we are here to help make things "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO Tips: Why Everyone Should Know These Basic First Aid Tips

12/9/2020 (Permalink)

Accidents happen, and they don't schedule an appointment! It is important to plan for what you need to do should an accident happen. Here are a few basics that everyone should know.

Nosebleeds

Nosebleeds are very common in both children and adults and can be caused by trauma to the nose or simple irritation of the mucous membranes. Do not make a nosebleed victim raise their head or lie down, as this can actually make the bleeding worse. Instead, pinch the nostrils closed for as many as ten minutes, allowing the broken vein in the nose to close.

Cardiac Compressions

Nowadays, the American Heart Association doesn’t mandate that everyone learn rescue breathing—all you have to do is put your hands over the victim’s heart and push, to the beat of “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees. It’s a simple technique that could mean the difference between life and death, and the American Heart Association’s statistics demonstrate this in stark terms. Consider these facts:

  • Approximately 88% of all cardiac arrests do not happen in a hospital or healthcare facility, and nowhere near a healthcare professional.
  • A large percentage of cardiac arrest victims appear perfectly healthy just before their attack.
  • It takes approximately 8-12 minutes on average for an ambulance to arrive on the scene of an emergency.
  • Bystander CPR could increase the victim’s chance of survival by as much as 300. 

The Heimlich Maneuver

Not to be confused with CPR, the Heimlich maneuver is supposed to help someone who is choking on a foreign object. First, ask the victim if they are choking; in an emergency situation, the person will usually not be able to talk.

How to Treat Shock

Shock occurs when too little blood circulates to the brain. This means that the brain is not receiving enough oxygen, which leads to a feeling of faintness, disorientation and dizziness. Shock may occur:

  • after an accident involving loss of blood
  • after a serious infection, with loss of fluids
  • after a serious burn
  • after other accidents that cause loss of fluids or blood
  • as part of an allergic reaction

Stop Heavy Bleeding

If someone is bleeding heavily, they will not be able to form a clot—and they could bleed out. You can stop the bleeding by putting pressure on the wound—ideally with a sterile cloth, although you can also use ripped pieces of T-shirt or anything else you have on hand. Raising the wounded limb over the heart will also help to slow down heavy bleeding.

So make sure you are ready should a worst-case scenario happen! It might just save you or a co-worker's life! 

Be Prepared! Heavy Snowfall Can Damage Your Roof

12/9/2020 (Permalink)

With the colder months of the season beginning to set in, Elkhart County residents prepare for what could always potentially be a difficult winter. Heavier snowfalls threaten homes, especially when several days of hard snows compact onto roofs throughout the area without temperatures rising enough to melt or getting cold enough to freeze. Either of these scenarios presents a weight issue for your roof, which can expose vulnerable points to allow moisture penetration and eventual water flow into the property.


Your home could experience flood damage if your roof is compromised. When water begins to find a path inside of your house through the attic space, the flow of melting snow from this opening in your insulation could be substantial depending on the amount of snow still trapped on top of the house. This water damage can spread quickly through the attic space and begin to affect the floors below.

Our SERVPRO team can respond quickly at the first sign of flooding in your home. We have the advanced equipment and the experience to help mitigate your loss while we establish what is necessary to overcome the effects throughout the property and return a restored home to you. This initial assessment can also help to provide your insurance provider with the necessary documentation and evidence of the damages to speed up the process of claim approval to afford the restoration work required.

With flooding in your home, the first step is boarding up the damaged area of the roof to prevent further penetration until reconstruction efforts can occur. Depending on the damages, these rebuilding efforts must happen before restoration work can begin. Our SERVPRO franchise offers to build back services to provide a comprehensive package for our customers with reputable licensed contractors.

Recovering from a flood is nothing that a homeowner should have to do alone. You can depend on our SERVPRO rapid response team to help mitigate the loss and provide our expertise into every step towards restoring your water-damaged home fully. 

We are faster to any disaster and are here to help make things "Like it never even happened."

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SERVPRO Tips: What To Do When Your Sewer Backs Up After A Storm

12/9/2020 (Permalink)

As a commercial building owner, you are responsible for taking care of your property after a storm. You have to know who to call to take care of a problem. When you first enter your building, you may notice a foul, sewer smell. Sewer backup during a storm does not always happen, but it can. You may have to deal with this problem for the following reasons:

• Excess water
• Blockages
• Breaks

No matter why you have sewage seeping into your building, you may want to call in a commercial storm remediation team right away.

Storms are often associated with rainwater. When there is a lot of water falling at once, the ground may not be able to hold it all. As the water table rises, flooding happens all over the area. Not only does the rising water table push water into basements and low-lying areas, but it also causes the sewer to run out of space. When the sewer cannot go down, it must come up.

Storms can also lead to blockages in your pipes or in other parts of the sewer system. When rocks and other debris are washed into the sewer, it may block up some of the piping. This again leaves the traveling sewage with few options. Because it cannot go forward, you may have to deal with a sewer backup.

When trees and powerlines are downed, sewer lines can get broken. When these lines are broken, you may have to deal with contaminated, black water seeping into your commercial building. A break may take a while to take care of, so your sewage may have to be turned off until the problem can be properly addressed.

It is never fun to deal with a sewer backup. When this issue is accompanied by other storm damage, you may feel overwhelmed and worried without the help of a team of experts.

So give us a call! We are faster to any disaster and will make things like storm damage "Like it never even happened."

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Why SERVPRO? Water In The Crawlspace

11/16/2020 (Permalink)

As a homeowner, finding water in your crawl space can be unsettling; it could be an ominous sign that there are bigger issues that have gone unnoticed. Now you have at least two challenges on your hands: getting rid of the water in your crawl space and finding the source of that water. A wet crawl space can cause your home a variety of problems and must be dealt with immediately.

What Are the Causes?

There are a number of reasons why water may collect under your house. Furthermore, it’s usually a sign that something else is going on. It’s recommended that dehumidification professionals are hired to assess the situation. They’ll check for the following:

  • Cracks in the foundation or walls
  • Improper grading or slope of the property
  • Failing or improperly installed gutters or downspouts
  • Broken water lines

These are only a few common causes of a wet crawl space. The problem can range from a noticeable increase in humidity resulting in condensation to a full-blown flood. Either way, there’s no time to waste, as things can quickly get out of control.

What Are the Risks?

As minor as a little water in your crawl space may seem, major problems can develop that can affect your whole house, one of the worst being mold. There’s a good possibility that your HVAC system and ductwork are located in your crawl space. Once mold develops down there, the spores can travel into the air ducts and throughout your home, growing mold in places where you’re likely to not even notice.
Another risk of the humidity under your house is moist wood. This is an ideal situation for termites, as well as other pests such as rodents, roaches and spiders.
Depending on the cause of your wet crawl space, there are a variety of options for remedying the situation. These solutions include installing a sump pump if the area is prone to flooding, installing a crawl space dehumidifier or installing a vapor barrier on the floor and walls. Take action immediately to get your home assessed before any more damage develops.

Why SERVPRO? Because Inclement Weather in Elkhart County Is No Joke!

11/16/2020 (Permalink)

While the inclement and frigid weather of Elkhart County, is predictable and leads many homeowners to have emergency restoration services on speed dial, a home doesn’t have to be a victim to any looming winter storm. There are at least four practical steps homeowners can take to help ensure they quite literally maintain the roof over their heads.

1. Clear and Maintain Your Gutters

Cleaning out your gutters is not just a springtime gig. Maintaining clean gutters year-round helps to ensure that your roof remains structurally sound. In the winter, clogged gutters can lead to ice buildup, which eventually accumulates under your shingles and can lead to roof rot.

2. Trim Your Trees

The last thing you want to experience during a winter storm is the thunderous boom of a maple plummeting through your living room ceiling. Maintaining and trimming your trees at the change of every season can help you avoid the chaos and property loss from loose branches or rotted out trunks.

3. Replace Missing or Damaged Flashing

An essential aspect of roof health is to keep water out. Missing or damaged flashing can allow the ice and snow of a blizzard to seep into your attic space. Once moisture enters in, it can lead to the development and spread of mold, mildew and rot. Before the winter settles in, you may want to perform a visual inspection of your roofline to ensure everything is hunky-dory.

4. Repair and Inspect Your Chimney

In addition to inspecting your roof for cosmetic damage, like missing shingles, you should also examine your chimney. A leaning chimney or a chimney with old and cracking mortar can cause significant roof damage if not dealt with before the cold sets in. Frigid temperatures and exposure to ice can cause old or already cracking mortar to separate and fail. Additionally, if your chimney is already leaning, then the added weight of snow and ice can cause it to collapse.

Before any winter storm has time to pummel your roof, take the time to inspect it and the surrounding area. Stay safe and keep your roof over your head. If winter does mess up your plans, give us a call! We are faster to any disaster and will make things "Like it never even happened."

Ask the Experts: Dealing With Every Part of a Fire Loss

11/14/2020 (Permalink)

Even a small blaze that starts in or near your residence can cause your structural components and possessions problems. According to our SERVPRO experts, fire damage can come in many forms, including issues with light smoke. Smoke coming from an inferno consists of particles that did not completely turn into a gas when heated or combust. These partially combusted particles can float around your house and contaminate it with soot residues and unpleasant aromas.

During some fire damage situations, smoke can penetrate deeply into the more porous materials inside your residence. When this occurs, removing all foul odors can prove to be difficult. In many cases, burnt smells get eliminated when all torched substances, soot residues, and soils get cleaned and removed. However, in some cases, tainted aromas can still be prevalent even after cleaning procedures.

If items still smell burnt after cleaning, our highly trained team of SERVPRO fire and smoke restoration technicians or FSTs can utilize a variety of pieces of specialized equipment and techniques. The advanced technology at our disposal enables us to mimic the behavior of smoke with deodorants and chemically neutralize burnt odors. We also offer fast 24/7 service so that we can immediately begin restoration operations right away, which can help reduce the number of unpleasant smells prevalent.

First off, before using any deodorization equipment, we make sure our team has the necessary safety equipment. If the operations are hazardous, we seal off the area we are working in during the deodorization procedures. We then use items like electric sprayers to dispense chemicals into your stinky structure.

Ventilation box fans also often get used to help create air circulation and "air out" the building. For situations where strong, pungent aromas prove to be an issue, our FSTs at SERVPRO can utilize other machines such as a fogger or ozone generator. Foggers work by breaking deodorizing chemicals down to microscopic particles so they can penetrate materials as deeply as the smoke did. An ozone generator creates unstable O3 molecules that oxides malodor particles and neutralizes them.

If you ever need your house deodorized due to burnt aromas, call SERVPRO, because once we are done, we make things "Like it never even happened."

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Why SERVPRO? We Are Ready When Most Are Not

11/14/2020 (Permalink)

Do you have an Emergency Ready Profile in place for your business? Here at SERVPRO, we offer a free service to make sure you are prepared when disaster strikes! Eliminating stress and chaos when there is an emergency at hand is essential to keeping things at bay and getting what is most important handled in a timely manner.

Our Emergency Ready profile consists of specific information for your business. We take time to go everything including noting your emergency contacts, tagging your water and gas shut off valves and taking pictures of your business from the inside out (with specific location instructions as needed). Included in this profile are contacts for your local Fire Department, Hospitals, Police Departments, Alarm Companies…AND THE LIST GOES ON. 

Do you need this information to be a bit more accessible if you are away? With the Ready Plan App you will be set up for success. We make sure to provide access for you to revise your plan as needed, to log damages and even submit a loss (going directly to our staff).

Why SERVPRO? We can help you be ready should disaster strike! Call us today to schedule an appointment. Don't wait until disaster strikes, get prepared now! We are faster to any disaster and we will help your prepare before hand!

Why SERVPRO? The Recovery Process

11/11/2020 (Permalink)

A fire can be devastating to your home or business. After the fire trucks leave, your property will likely suffer from not only fire and smoke damage, but also widespread water damage and flooding from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO of North Elkhart County has specialized fire and water damage restoration training and experience to quickly clean up and restore your home to pre-fire condition. They also can remove the pervasive smoke odor and deep-clean soot from upholstery and carpet.

Board-ups - In some cases firefighters may break windows and cut holes in the roof in order to vent the fire. It is extremely important to secure openings to your home or structure using sturdy, durable materials designed to protect it from both weather intrusion and intrusion by outsiders.

Types of Fire/Smoke/Soot

Wet Smoke – Plastics and Synthetics; Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood; Fast burning, high temperatures, dry, powdery, non-smeary residues.

Protein – Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.

Fuel Oil Soot – Furnace Puff Backs. Other Types – Tear gas, fingerprint powder and fire extinguisher residue.

What to do after a fire:

  • Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
  • Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
  • Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.

What NOT to do after a fire:

  • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting SERVPRO of North Elkhart County
  • Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
  • Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may damage the garment further.

SERVPRO of North Elkhart County has what it takes to restore your home back to preloss condition.

Ask The Experts: What Should I Do When My Water Heater Is Leaking?

11/11/2020 (Permalink)

As a homeowner, you may have to deal with a wide range of home maintenance problems. A leaking water heater, for example, could plague your house. What should you do when this type of issue arises?

1. Get Help

Like other flooding situations, it is often best to allow professionals to handle the cleanup process. Working with a team familiar with residential flooding ensures your cleanup will go quickly and smoothly.

2. Stop the Water

Cutting off the water supply to a leaking water heater can help you reduce the amount of water that fills your home. Most units have a water supply valve, but you may need to turn off the water to your entire house to stem the surge.

3. Turn Off the Power

Before your professional can start repairing a failed water heater, you need to make sure it is safe for him or her to get to work. You can do this by turning off the power to the heater. Depending on your unit, you may need to turn off a circuit breaker or turn a dial on the water heater itself.

4. Prepare for Repairs

Next, the broken water heater has to be drained. This has to be done before it can get repaired because your expert has to have access to the source of the leak. Not only should the water be drained, but the valves on the system should be opened to ensure a vacuum does not form during the cleanup process.

5. Address the Water Damage

Once your water heater has been repaired, you need to turn your attention to the damage caused by the leaking. Drying out your space and replacing damaged building materials can help return your home to its original state.

If you are ever faced with a leaking water heater, you need to know how to address the problem. Quick action can save you from future issues.

If you are facing a disaster, give us a call! Let us make it "Like it never even happened."

Ask The Experts: What Things Should I Do To Prepare My Northern Indiana Home For The Winter?

11/11/2020 (Permalink)

Winter weather brings icy winds and dipping temperatures which can do a lot of damage to your home by freezing pipes and leaving you without flowing water. 

Before Freezing Weather:

- Disconnect and drain hoses from outside faucets. If your home has a separate shut-off valve for outside faucets, then use it to shut the water off to your outside faucets. Then go outside and turn on the faucets to drain water from the line. If your home does not have a separate shut-off valve for outside faucets, then wrap each outside faucets with insulation or newspaper.

-Insulate pipes or faucets in unheated areas such as the garage, crawl space, or/and attic. Check with your local home improvement store for which materials to use to insulate your pipes.

-Turn off and drain irrigation systems and backflow devices. Wrap backflow devices with insulating material.

-Cover foundation vents with foam blocks, thickly folded newspaper, or cardboard.

-Show household members how to turn off the water to the house in case of emergencies. The main shut-off valve is often located near the water heater or washing machine. If a pipe bursts anywhere in the house - kitchen, bath, basement, or crawl space - this valve turns it off. 

So get a jump on the winter weather! It will be here before you know it. If disaster does strike, give us a call and let us make it "Like it never even happened."

Why SERVPRO? Your Plumbing Questions Answered

11/11/2020 (Permalink)

While leasing or renting a house or apartment can be a great source of extra income, maintenance can be a significant source of overhead expenses. The most effective cost-reducing measures are usually the most timely, so inspect and maintain your polybutylene plumbing and other water fixtures with the following advice.

1. Material Concerns

Polybutylene pipes are no longer permissible under the provisions of most United States building codes. While they were somewhat common in installations made from the 1970s to the 1990s due to their cost-effectiveness and flexibility, they tend to present leakage issues over time. This appears to occur due to various chlorine compounds that cause progressive damage, especially at joints. If you own a rental property ensure that any such plastic or resin pipe materials are in good condition.

2. Upkeep and Tenants

An overworked plumbing system can cause problems even if more standard materials such as copper or PVC were used in construction. Advise tenants only to flush biodegradable materials approved for your septic tank or city sewer. From time to time, plunging or chemical drain cleaning may be necessary due to the accumulation of non-soluble substances such as lipids or hair. Ideally, mechanical removal of clogs with a drain snake will lead to less damage than caustic cleaners. Enzyme-based drain cleaners are also available as an alternative.

3. Unavoidable Problems

Sometimes water damage comes from an external source, such as weather-induced basement flooding or invasive tree roots. In these cases, it may be prudent to contact a qualified flood restoration specialist once the source of the water leakage has been repaired. Professional services can help you dry sensitive materials affected by a flood and reduce the risk of mold problems in the future.

Legacy building materials like polybutylene don’t have to be a headache if properly inspected and maintained. Prevent costly downtime and keep tenants happy by remembering the above guidelines.

Why SERVPRO? Document Security In The Age of Information

11/11/2020 (Permalink)

Insurance agents play various roles, depending on which company they represent, but when the time comes to file an insurance claim, the related work can still be tedious and time-consuming. In the past, insurance companies have relied heavily on paper documents and files. However, many insurance companies and corporate partners have begun turning to electronic files, experiencing several important benefits.

  • Quick access to vast information from a smartphone or laptop
  • Diverse ways to search and organize information
  • Ability to enter information at the agents' convenience
  • Reduced paper consumption and waste

The Conversion to Electronic Files

SERVPRO has a digital claims center that has transformed the process of filing an insurance claim. Now, an insurance agent doesn't have to hunt through banks of filing cabinets looking for specific documents that may have been misfiled. Insurance companies aren't compelled to house vast histories of past filing. Rooms or warehouses full of filing cabinets and cases can be cleared out as they are converted into electronic file systems. 

The Trouble With Paper Files

Other common problems of relying on a paper system include protecting the confidentiality, the difficulty of accessing information from similar cases in other states, and the clutter that reduces efficiency. Using the SERVPRO electronic Claims Information Center, it is much easier to access and share complete files or just the facts and figures from the documents. As paper documents are converted into electronic files, the need to maintain and work around file cabinets decreases. Agents can complete each insurance claim without spending several minutes traveling or flipping through manila folders. 

The Issue of Security

Of course, security is one of the top concerns for SERVPRO corporate professionals and for insurance agencies. Fortunately, electronic files are generally more secure than paper copies. The ability to track and record access is much better digitally. From a single location, corporate security teams can keep an eye on who can see files and where information is shared. 

Converting information into electronic files helps insurance agents complete their work more quickly. As information is saved digitally, it is easier to use, to share, and to protect. It's a winning solution for everyone involved.

SERVPRO Tips: Things to consider when creating a preparedness plan

7/15/2020 (Permalink)

Here Are Some Things You Should Consider When Creating a Storm Preparedness Plan

The last few years have shown that severe inclement can devastate areas quickly, often going places that many thought would not be touched. That means business owners throughout the states  should consider how to handle flood water, efficiently and safely. Here are three things that proprietors should consider in creating a storm preparedness plan.

1. Think Ahead
A flooded building poses several major issues. Documents and electronics could be ruined. Titleholders may not be permitted access, and important assets could be harmed. For that reason, don't take chances. Before anything comes your way, sit down and plan out how to help yourself. Locate all paperwork such as titles, contracts, and financial notes. Take photos of them, or scan them. Then, upload them to a cloud. That way, should moisture ruin a computer system or filing area, you can still pull up records. In addition, understand your insurance policy, reviewing any deductibles, clauses and procedures. Do this annually, speaking with your agent about any concerns.

2. Prepare the Building
When watches and warnings are issued, take steps to minimize flood water problems. Have the roof reviewed, covering up any loose shingles or flashing. Then, walk the perimeter, picking up items and branches that could become lifted up by high winds. Your goal is to remove anything that could puncture the roof, walls or windows. Even small objects could become missiles when intense gales occur. Finally, board up windows and doors.

3. Get It Fixed
After the system passes, contact your insurance agency and a water restoration company. They can assess any water damage, determining the extent of repairs. By working closely with your insurance agent and remediation crews, you may be able to expedite the process. Remember to discard anything touched by external water. It could contain bacteria and prove hazardous to you, employees and clients. Then, work as a team to sanitize the rooms and restore the place.
Your company is valuable, and you'll want it up and running as soon as possible. Don't wait for a disaster to happen. Instead, organize yourself now, saving documentation and contacts. Then, work with professionals to fix the shop.

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

SERVPRO Tips: The importance of knowing how to deal with smoke damage

7/15/2020 (Permalink)

Destruction the hot flames can causes. Indeed, even smaller incidents have the potential to cause fire damage. However, if your office building has a fire, you also need to be concerned about the problems smoke can cause. The smoke cleaning effort, in this case, can be significant as well.

Where’s There’s Fire, There’s Smoke

In many situations, people will smell smoke before they’ll ever see signs of a fire. Your building should have effective smoke detectors to alert you when problems arise. Here are some concerns to be aware of with smoke:

  • The effects the smoke can have on people’s health
  • The lingering smoke odor, which can be unbearable
  • Damage caused by smoke to electronics, documents, furniture, floors and walls

Make the Right Call

After calling the fire department to tackle the fire, you’ll need to get in touch with our insurance company. Next, hire an experienced team of fire restoration experts to assess the smoke damage and other issues. Professionals will have the right equipment and the latest techniques to thoroughly clean those areas the smoke affected.

Cleaning Methods

Smoke will leave behind a nasty layer of soot on surfaces and materials. It can corrode electronics and make other items unsalvageable without effective ways to handle smoke cleaning. The cleanup team will use a variety of tactics to thoroughly and safely clean all affected items and areas of your building. Some of the most effective treatments are air filtration devices, ozone machines and thermal foggers.

Your Role

Don’t disturb anything at the scene. This could cause further damage. Do not try to turn on any of the electronics or clean anything yourself. At most, you could take a damp cloth and wipe off surfaces.
Damage left from fire and smoke can be terrible. Luckily, qualified crews can use smoke cleaning methods to save even heavily damaged items. Get in touch with a restoration company today.

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

SERVPRO Tips: The importance of dryer maintenance

7/15/2020 (Permalink)

A dryer seems like a convenient, safe appliance that lets you forget it and go. If you don’t maintain it properly, a lint fire can happen, which can cause sever fire damage to your home.

A Surprising Amount of Lint

Depending on your family size or how often you go through clothes, it is likely that you do a lot more laundry than you realize. An average family does approximately eight to 10 loads a week. Every load means small fabric, dust and dirt particles are collecting in your dryer’s int trap, vent and duct work. Lint is highly combustible, making it vital to eliminate.

Cleaning Out the Lint

Instead of dealing with a potential dryer fire and needing expert help in repairing the damage, good habits can go a long way.

Lint traps should be cleaned after very load. Most appliances make this easy. The trap usually slides out and the lint can be lifted off. Any lint that is leftover should be scrubbed off with a brush. Every few weeks, the screen should be rinsed with water. While the screen is out, vacuum in and around its entry point.
Approximately once a year, unplug the dryer and inspect the vent and hose or pipe connected to the dryer. Wipe lint off of the opening and clean any leftover in the hose or pipe. A brush can bused to clean the interior of the vent.
Don’t forget the exterior vent. Ensure the vent flap is still attached and working properly. Vacuum or wipe out the opening. This should be done a few times a year.

Extra Safety Tips

To further avoid a lint fire, ensure your dryer is properly installed. Additionally, avoid drying clothes stained with chemicals, gas, oil or cleaning products, and only operate the dryer while at home.
In most cases, a lint fire happens because of improper cleaning and maintenance. Taking a little extra to be safe is worth it.

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

SERVPRO Tips: Preventing Damage During A Flood

7/15/2020 (Permalink)

Flood damage is possible in any building. While it’s certainly more common in a flood plain, any area that receives significant rainfall during a storm could experience some effects. There are ways, however, to prevent damage to your commercial building during a flood. Here are some tips for keeping your business safe and dry.


1. Build on High Ground

A great location is the best way to prevent flooding. When you are scouting for places to build, consider the relative elevation of your options. If the lowest level of your building is above flood level, it is unlikely to flood due to rising groundwater. Let gravity work in your favor whenever possible.

2. Maintain Your Property

You may not be able to choose a higher location, but you can choose to inspect your property and make timely repairs. Flood damage experts advise that you clean downspouts and gutters frequently, ridding them of debris that may cause water to pool on your roof. Check your roof, walls and foundation for cracks or other weak points where water could get in. Make sure your windows are sealed properly against outside elements.

3. Dry Proof the Building

In addition to making sure there are no vulnerable points where water can enter your building, you can prevent storm damage by actually setting up barriers to water that directs it away from your foundation. Make sure the grade around your building slopes away from its base. This helps storm water flow naturally in the other direction. You can build miniature dams to reroute the flow as well. Finally, install a sump pump in your basement to get rid of any water that does find its way in.

If you can choose the location of your building, higher ground can prevent a lot of flood damage. Even if your property is in the middle of a flood plain, however, you can still take measures to keep it from flooding.

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

IICRC Certified: Check!

7/7/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of North Elkhart County is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of North Elkhart

SERVPRO of North Elkhart County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Click the link below to meet our crew!

http://www.SERVPROnorthelkhartcounty.com/restoration-training-certifications

SERVPRO of North Elkhart County

572-343-1397

Perspective on a Commercial Disaster: Through the eyes of a technician

7/7/2020 (Permalink)

I recently sat down with our technician Carol to get an account of a recent commercial water loss we handled. This is what she had to say:

"This was a very good "first-time" learning experience for me. First and foremost was to "be prepared for anything" and was excellent preparation for handling water damages on a much smaller scale. 

The previous day and night had brought heavy rainstorms to our area and multiple service calls were coming into the office. I had only been with SERVPRO of North Elkhart County for a few months. When this call came in one of our most experienced technicians took the call. It was relayed to her that the days' previous rains had brought water down into a small commercial office space. The technician and I being the only ones in the shop went to evaluate the loss.

When we got on site, this small commercial office space ended up being a 22,000 sq ft building with large production and warehouse spaces as well as a large showroom with multiple offices and at least 12 additional offices, complete with employee breakroom, testing labs, conference rooms, storage rooms, and bathrooms. The water had been too much for the roof drains to handle and the water came through the HVAC ducts like a waterfall affecting every area of the building.   

I was overwhelmed, to say the least, but it was a great learning experience for me. It taught me not only the basics but the much more complex aspects of water damage. How to prioritize while efficiently doing the maximum amount of work while minimizing the client's concerns and anxieties over how to keep their company up and running.  

This job is not just about the physical work it's about selling your services, getting the job done effectively and efficiently while maintaining a professional attitude and gaining the clients' confidence and trust. Which can ultimately lead our company to more jobs and building the business while maintaining a standard of excellence.

SERVPRO Tips: Protecting Your Home From Water Damage

7/1/2020 (Permalink)

If there are large trees near the structure of your home, inspect them to remove loose or dead branches. Also, check to see if the tree is strong enough to withstand high winds. If your roof is not in good shape, repair it. If it's not strong and resilient you'll have to deal with massive leaks, flooding, or even water damage.

Keeping the gutters clean is also a great way of protecting your home. Clogged gutters help drain rainwater and stop leaks or other such problems. Keep them clean and in good repair before the storm season hits. Make sure all windows, doors, and garage doors are strong and can withstand the storm to some extent. While you can’t predict the kind of damage a storm might cause, you can minimize it to some extent by being prepared and making sure your home is ready for it. 

SERVPRO Tips: Don't be fooled by the summer, water damage can still be a problem!

7/1/2020 (Permalink)

Don't let the warm weather fool you!

Many people assume that during the summer months water damage is not an issue that they need to think about but don’t let the high temperatures fool you. Water damage can happen at any time in the year and you need to be ready to deal with it.

It is unlikely that you will experience water damage due to the weather during the summer months but water damage doesn’t always happen because of outside conditions. If something goes wrong with your plumbing system you could have a large problem on your hands. Often even small problems can become big ones if you’re on vacation and your home is left empty for a few days, weeks, or months.

Turning off your water main when leaving your home for long periods of time will help avoid water pressure from building up in your pipes. By doing this you remove a lot of the chance of a leak since usually, leaks happen when there is a stoppage in the pipes.

Once your water main is turned off you can turn on all the faucets in your home to let any built-up water out. This will ensure that the pipes are relieved from pressure and if you have a leaky fitting or faucet it will not cause problems.

Turning off your water heater while on vacation will not only save energy but it prevents the chance of the water heater having a problem. Admittedly the odds that your water heater will cause problems are low, especially if it is a newer model and is well taken care of it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Also, it is always a good thing to save energy.

One of the easiest steps that you can take is asking a friend or family member to check on your home every once in a while if you are planning to be gone for a long time. These are just a few tips to help make sure that your home survives the summer season. If you do experience any kind of water damage be sure that it is properly taken care of by experts.

Safe BBQ For Me & For You!

7/1/2020 (Permalink)

Whether you live in an apartment, condo, villa, or single-family home with a large yard, it is important to understand how fire damage to home occurs due to a BBQ grill. Here's what you need to know to prevent fire damage to your property and/or rental this summer:

  • Only use your propane or charcoal barbecue grills outside;
  • Place your barbecue away from your house, any deck railings, and well away from any overhanging palm tree branches or other greenery in your backyard;
  • Regularly remove grease and fat buildups from your grill trays and below the grill to prevent a grease fire;
  • Keep children and pets "at least three feet away" from where you have set up your BBQ grill;
  • Always open the lid to a propane grill before you light it; and
  • Do not leave your grill unattended.

If you use a propane grill, you should heed the following advice:

  • Before you use your propane grill, check the tank hose for any leaks by applying a "light soap and water solution to the hose." If you have a propane leak, the hose will release bubbles.
  • In addition to the "soapy bubbles test," you might also smell gas-this can also be a sign of a leak.
  • If there is no flame when you try to start your grill, turn off the gas tank and the grill immediately, because the lack of a flame can also indicate that you have a gas leak.
  • If at any point you smell gas while you are barbecuing food, move away from your grill and contact your local fire department.

If you use a charcoal grill:

  • Only use a charcoal starter fluid to get your grill going, and do not add additional fluid or other flammable materials once the fire has started.
  • Do not allow your children to have access to the charcoal fluid.
  • Allow your charcoal coals to cool completely before you dispose of them. You should always dispose of them in a metal container for safety.

SERVPRO Tips: How To Help Prevent House Fires

7/1/2020 (Permalink)

Cooking Equipment--The kitchen is a source of intense heat in a home, from the stove to the oven and beyond. A splatter from a hot pan can lead to a fire under the wrong circumstances. Most fires in the kitchen happen because people get distracted and walk away while cooking.

*To prevent this: Stay in the kitchen while you are cooking, and keep flammable products away from hot surfaces at all times.

Smoking Cigarettes--Cigarettes can easily lead to fires because they are literally burning on one end. Whether you smoke inside or outside, you could be putting your home at risk. This is especially true during the dry months of the year when fires are more likely to erupt.

*To prevent this: Avoid smoking in the home, and make sure you dispose of all cigarettes in a deep ashtray. Keep the ashtray away from anything flammable, and never stomp out your cigarette on the grass.

Electrical Equipment--The appliances in your home can ignite a fire if they are not wired properly, or if they are too close to flammable materials. If you have older appliances in your home, it would be wise to replace them to avoid fires.

*To prevent this: Watch for loose or frayed wires on the electrical equipment in your home. Avoid draping towels or curtains over plugs, and do not plug in too many appliances to one extension cord.

Children--If a child is old enough to reach a set of matches and/or a lighter, he’s going to see what it does out of curiosity. You must be careful about leaving your children near a possible cause of fires, and you must keep an eye on them even if they are old enough to play on their own.

*To prevent this: Make sure all fire starters are put away in a place your child cannot access. Also, be careful about open outlets and electrical equipment in a child’s room.

Flammable Liquids--Fuels, paints, thinners, solvents, and other flammable liquids can easily ignite a fire in your home. This could happen in the heat of the summer or from a simple spark of static electricity, depending on how the chemicals are stored.

*To prevent this: Store all flammable liquids in approved containers, and keep them away from heat sources. Ideally, keep them outside in a well-ventilated area.

SERVPRO of North Elkhart County is here to help in this time of need

3/23/2020 (Permalink)

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts at SERVPRO of North Elkhart County at 574-343-1397.

Protect Your Business in Elkhart With an ERP!

7/9/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of North Elkhart County provides The Emergency Ready Plan service. One of our managers will come to your business, large or small and develop a Ready Plan in the event of a water, fire or storm emergency.

These Ready Plans are a detailed compilation of points of contact, locating and documenting emergency shut offs for all utilities, and mapping of emergency entrances and exits. Our team will keep all information on file in case of emergency the information is readily available. 

Every business owner has many things to worry about, let us take the worry out of what to do if there was a fire, water or storm emergency at your place of business.

SERVPRO of North Elkhart County's highly trained and caring team is available 24 hours a day in the event of an emergency.

To find out more about this free service we provide click on the link https://ready.SERVPRO.com/home/readyprogram

Call us today for an appointment to get started on your business's Emergency Ready Plan.  

574-343-1397

Storm Tips For All Ages

7/9/2019 (Permalink)

  • There’s a strong possibility that the lights could go out during storm; here are some tips to keep you safe while playing in the rain.
  • Stay inside during thunderstorms, lightening and wind can damage power lines and trees.
  • Remind grown-ups to stay away from downed power lines, especially when they are outside cleaning up after a storm.
  • Use flashlights instead of candles they are a lot safer.
  • Try not to open the refrigerator or freezer unless you have to; it could take a few days for power to be restored.
  • Ask grown-ups to unplug appliances, this will prevent damage when the power comes on.

And if your home or business is ever affected by a storm remember to call SERVPRO of North Elkhart County 574-343-1397

Why SERVPRO when it comes to sewage cleanup!

3/12/2019 (Permalink)

The Dangers of DIY Sewage Cleanup

If you’re like most homeowners, when faced with a task or question you probably head to the internet for answers…that’s how you found this article! And if you’re dealing with backed-up sewage, it only takes a few seconds of searching to find hundreds of articles describing how to clean-up sewage.

It goes like this:

** Put on some rubber gloves

** Scoop out the waste

** Take some water and bleach solution and apply it to the affected areas

** Let it dry

Most articles will throw out a warning saying “if you’re not sure whether you can do it, or don’t have the proper equipment, it is best to call a professional”. That’s where you would call SERVPRO.

We’d like to throw out another warning!

Cleaning up raw sewage on your own is something you should never do! 
Here’s why:

#1 – It can be hidden. – Any SERVPRO crew member can tell you stories about customers that decided to clean-up their own feces only to call in weeks or months later complaining about smells and disfigured walls, cabinets, and floors. Sewage will find its way into any and all porous surfaces. Even things like drywall and cabinetry aren’t safe. And it’s not as simple as just spotting the sewage with your eyes. It requires state of the art equipment, which SERVPRO has, to identify areas that have been damaged by sewage. So unless you have an infrared detection system handy and know how to use it, call SERVPRO.

#2 – It can be costly. – Times are difficult for everyone and money is tight. It’s easy to justify doing it yourself instead of paying to have SERVPRO  clean and disinfect for you. But today’s shortcut is tomorrow’s nightmare! Again, you’re dealing with a toxic situation that if not handled properly can create very real health dangers for you and your family. Not only that, if not properly mitigated, you could be looking at a serious mold issue in the not so distant future on top of all of the other issues described above. And if you think sewage cleanup is costly, wait until you’re stuck with a bill for mold remediation services! At least your sewage clean-up is covered by insurance…that’s not typically the case if you’ve got mold and it’s the result of you not taking appropriate measures when dealing with the sewage issue that created the mold!


So, if you’ve stumbled upon this article due to a sewage back-up that’s spilled into your home or office, do yourself a favor and call us, SERVPRO. Our technicians are certified to perform raw sewage cleanup and can provide you with peace of mind knowing the area affected is professionally cleaned.

Locally Owned Company with Valuable Resources

As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of North Elkhart County is strategically located to respond quickly to your water damage emergency and your mold cleanup. When there is mold in a home or business, we have the resources and personnel to help get your home or business back together.

Winter Months: How To Keep Your Commercial Property Safe!

12/11/2018 (Permalink)

Keeping your commercial property safe for residents, employees, and visitors during the winter months require careful planning long before cold weather arrives. Consistent maintenance, property repairs, and seasonal improvements will ensure the safest environment throughout the harsh elements of the season for your patrons.

Inspect your property. Have your landscape management or maintenance team perform a property wide safety check. An inspection of sidewalks, driveways, parking lots, and hand rails will ensure that anyone walking the property in slick conditions are kept safe.

-Drop Salt and Sand. Untreated ice creates s slippery layer that is unsafe for tenants and progressively harder to clear as it thickens during sustained cold temperatures.

- Light Things Up! If you don't have it already installed, lighting to high traffic locations throughout your property, adding enhanced lighting to all main entrances, walk ways, stairs, and parking lots adds an additional level of safety and security.

- Remove Snow. Snow plowing of parking lots and driveways and snow blowing of all walkways are both quick methods that can be contracted in advance through a local service. 

- Make a plan. It is important to be prepared well in advance. Outline a winter weather procedure so that all employees, residents, and visitors are ready when the time comes.  

It's Cold Outside, But Fire Doesn't Care!

12/11/2018 (Permalink)

People are at greater risk in the winter season when they cook holiday meals, display decorations, and may use unsafe heat sources. The threat of winter fires is real; winter home fires amount for about 8% of the total number of fires in the U.S. Cooking is the leading cause of all winter home fires. A heat source to close to combustibles is the leading factor contributing to the start of a winter home fire. Here are some tips to keep you and your family safe:

- Place candles in a sturdy candle holder that will not tip over. Think about using battery operated flameless candles.

- Use holiday lighting safely; throw away light strands with frayed or pinched wires. Turn off all your holiday lights before going to bed or leaving the house.

- Water your Christmas tree everyday. A dry Christmas tree is dangerous because it can catch fire easily.

- Keep anything that can catch fire - oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packages, towels, and curtains- away from your stove top.

- Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, boiling, grilling, or broiling food to prevent fire. 

- In case of oven fire, turn off the oven and keep the door closed until it is cool.

- Use turkey fryers outdoors. Never use them on a wooden deck or in a garage. 

- Keep snow and ice 3 feet away from the fire hydrant. In case of fire, the firefighters need to be able to get to the hydrants quickly to protect people and property.  

Winter Tips-Water

12/4/2018 (Permalink)

Winter weather brings icy winds and dipping temperatures which can do a lot of damage to your home by freezing pipes and leaving you without flowing water. 

Before Freezing Weather:

- Disconnect and drain hoses from outside faucets. If your home has a separate shut-off valve for outside faucets, then use it to shut the water off to your outside faucets. Then go outside and turn on the faucets to drain water from the line. If your home does not have a separate shut-off valve for outside faucets, then wrap each outside faucets with insulation or newspaper.

-Insulate pipes or faucets in unheated areas such as the garage, crawl space, or/and attic. Check with your local home improvement store for which materials to use to insulate your pipes.

-Turn off and drain irrigation systems and backflow devices. Wrap backflow devices with insulating material.

-Cover foundation vents with foam blocks, thickly folded newspaper or cardboard.

-Show household members how to turn off water to the house in case of emergencies. The main shut-off valve is often located near the water heater or washing machine. If a pip burst anywhere in the house - kitchen, bath, basement, or crawl space - this valve turns it off. 

Don't forget, we are faster to any disaster, even winter ones! We will make it "Like it never even happened."

Your Commercial Property: Keeping It Safe During The Winter

12/4/2018 (Permalink)

Keeping your commercial property safe for residents, employees, and visitors during the winter months require careful planning long before cold weather arrives. Consistent maintenance, property repairs, and seasonal improvements will ensure the safest environment throughout the harsh elements of the season for your patrons.

Inspect your property. Have your landscape management or maintenance team perform a property wide safety check. An inspection of sidewalks, driveways, parking lots, and hand rails will ensure that anyone walking the property in slick conditions are kept safe.

-Drop Salt and Sand. Untreated ice creates s slippery layer that is unsafe for tenants and progressively harder to clear as it thickens during sustained cold temperatures.

- Light Things Up! If you don't have it already installed, lighting to high traffic locations throughout your property, adding enhanced lighting to all main entrances, walk ways, stairs, and parking lots adds an additional level of safety and security.

- Remove Snow. Snow plowing of parking lots and driveways and snow blowing of all walkways are both quick methods that can be contracted in advance through a local service. 

- Make a plan. It is important to be prepared well in advance. Outline a winter weather procedure so that all employees, residents, and visitors are ready when the time comes.  

Don't forget, we are faster to any disaster and we will make it "Like it never even happened."

Fire Safety In The Winter

12/4/2018 (Permalink)

People are at greater risk in the winter season when they cook holiday meals, display decorations, and may use unsafe heat sources. The threat of winter fires is real; winter home fires amount for about 8% of the total number of fires in the U.S. Cooking is the leading cause of all winter home fires. A heat source too close to combustibles is the leading factor contributing to the start of a winter home fire. Here are some tips to keep you and your family safe:

- Place candles in a sturdy candle holder that will not tip over. Think about using battery operated flameless candles.

- Use holiday lighting safely; throw away light strands with frayed or pinched wires. Turn off all your holiday lights before going to bed or leaving the house.

- Water your Christmas tree everyday. A dry Christmas tree is dangerous because it can catch fire easily.

- Keep anything that can catch fire - oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packages, towels, and curtains- away from your stove top.

- Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, boiling, grilling, or broiling food to prevent fire. 

- In case of oven fire, turn off the oven and keep the door closed until it is cool.

- Use turkey fryers outdoors. Never use them on a wooden deck or in a garage. 

- Keep snow and ice 3 feet away from the fire hydrant. In case of fire, the firefighters need to be able to get to the hydrants quickly to protect people and property.  

Five Ways To Prevent Mold In The Winter

12/4/2018 (Permalink)

Although seasonal outdoor conditions have little effect on mold growth inside enclosed environments of a home, airborne spores that spawn mold may infiltrate the house any time of the year. Controlling certain factors specific to the cold season can at least reduce the odds of household mold contamination. Here are 5 tips preventing mold in the winter:

1. Run ceiling fans in the reverse (clockwise) mode for winter. A ceiling fan rotating clockwise pulls warm air upwards and pushes it across the ceiling and down walls and windows. This air circulation dries out condensation, eliminating another source of mold triggering moisture. 

2. Humidify sparingly. Winter air is often dry and irritating to certain individuals. To alleviate these symptoms, humidifiers are commonly utilized to add water vapor to indoor air. Maintain indoor humidity levels at 60% or below to discourage mold.

3. Dry wet areas. Many parts of the house tend to be damp in the winter- windows, mirrors, pipes- due to condensation. By quickly removing moisture with a towel it prevents them from becoming potential for mold.

4. Check the attic. While your roof shingles may shed summer rain effectively, stationary seepage from melting snow on the roof is another matter. Roof leakage due to snow melt or ice dams on the roof is a common cause of mold growth in the attic. 

5. Upgrade your insulation. Some house have minimal or no insulation inside exterior walls. Condensation forms on and inside cold, uninsulated walls in contact with warm, moist indoor air.  

Saving Water In The Winter

12/4/2018 (Permalink)

We all would like to be good stewards of our resources; but the question is asked, "How can we remember to save water?" Let's break it down:

1. Let it thaw, let it thaw, let it thaw! Save water and the energy used by the hot water heater, by thawing foods in the microwave or overnight in the fridge, instead of running hot water over them.

2. Never lighten the load! Holiday fun means party attire, snow gear, and a whole bunch of laundry. Save water and make that pile disappear faster by only washing and drying full loads every time. By using cold water whenever possible, it can reduce the energy needed to wash your clothes, as well help you save on your energy bill. 

3. Keep the tap tight! If you are pulling out the fine china this holiday season chances are you will have to hand wash those beauties. When you are ready to roll up your sleeves, do not let the tap constantly run; plug the drain, fill the sink with soapy water and scrub away.

4. Give the gift of rain. The rain barrel is not a new concept. However, improvements over time have produced models capable of offering maximum effectiveness and durability. Having a barrel specifically designed for rain water collection means you may be able to collect a greater volume of water. 

The Dangers That Snowstorms Bring

12/4/2018 (Permalink)

A winter storm occurs when there is significant precipitation and the temperature is low enough that precipitation forms as sleet or snow, or when rain turns to ice. A winter storm can range freezing rain and ice to moderate snowfall over a few hours, to a blizzard that lasts for several days. 

Winter storms can cause power outages that last for days. They can make roads and walk ways extremely dangerous, impassable, and deaths could occur. Follow these steps to prepare your home in case of a winter storm:

- Make sure your home is well insulated and that you have weather-stripping around your doors and window sills to keep the warm air inside.

- Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector.

- Keep fire extinguishers on hand and make sure everyone in the home knows how to use them.

- Learn how to shut off water valves in case a pipe burst.

- If you have a wood burning fireplace, consider storing wood to keep you warm if the winter storm knocks out your heat. Also make sure you have your chimney cleaned and inspected every year.

*Have at least one of the following heat sources in case the power goes out:

 -Extra blankets, sleeping bags, and warm winter coats;

 -Fireplace or wood-burning stove with plenty of dry firewood, or a gas long fireplace. 

The Mold Mitigation & Remediation Process

11/9/2018 (Permalink)

When there’s a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water line, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business. Mold can affect your health and can also cause significant damage to your property. Fortunately, SERVPRO of North Elkhart County has the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem. Although every mold damage scenario is different, requiring a unique solution, the general mold remediation process stays the same. The following steps illustrate a “typical” mold removal process.

Call SERVPRO of North Elkhart County        

The mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call SERVPRO of North Elkhart County. A representative will ask a series of questions to help determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel needed.

Inspection & Damage Assessment            

Your property will be carefully inspected for signs of mold using technology designed to detect mold and hidden water sources. Mold feeds on cellulose and water which can be hidden from plain view.

Mold Containment                                  

Various containment procedures will be placed to prevent the spread of mold and isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process.

Air Filtration                                      

Specialized filtration equipment captures microscopic mold spores out of the air. SERVPRO of North Elkhart County utilizes powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in progress.

Removing Mold & Mold-Infested Materials    

The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. Antifungal and antimicrobial treatments will be used to eliminate mold colonies and help prevent new colonies from forming. Removing and disposing of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and flooring, may be necessary to remediate heavy mold growth.

Cleaning Contents & Belongings          

SERVPRO of North Elkhart County cleans your furniture, decorative items, and other restorable items affected by mold. They use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and sanitize your belongings. They are also trained to remove odors and deodorize using fogging equipment.

Restoration

Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, subfloors, and other building materials may be removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet, or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.

SERVPRO of North Elkhart County understands mold and mold growth and has the training and equipment to remediate mold in your home or business. 

Why SERVPRO when it comes to restoring your business!

11/6/2018 (Permalink)

There's nothing quite as difficult for a commercial establishment as dealing with water damage. However, knowing what to do when disaster strikes can prevent you from experiencing unnecessary emotional upsets for yourself, your employees, and your customers and mitigate the economic strain of lost business. There are many steps you'll need to take to get your commercial property back in order following a water damaging event. Contacting a team of skilled water damage restoration experts from SERVPRO is a good first step.


Quick Water Removal Mitigates Monetary Loss 

The longer excess water remains on your commercial property, the more likely you are to suffer from costly water damage repairs to structural properties like ceiling tiles, insulation, drywall, and flooring. Then there is the concern of water damage to your capital investments: inventory, furniture, carpeting, electronic equipment and paper documents. Having a team of skilled water damage restoration experts like SERVPRO to begin immediately removing standing water can prevent you from spending unnecessary money on repairs.

Quick Remediation Prevents Secondary Water Damage.

Another benefit of a quick reaction to the pressing problem of water intrusion is that fast extraction helps prevent secondary water damage. Unfortunately, water damage creates a moist, wet environment within your business. Moisture and high humidity offer mold an opportunity to grow and spread throughout structural materials and wood furniture and fabrics. If your business deals with food distribution, high inventory loss may be a costly negative effect. For this reason, it's critically important to have standing water removed as quickly as possible. SERVPRO can arrive, usually in about one hour, with water removal equipment to meet any problem. 

Fast Restoration Helps You Get Back In Business

If the water intrusion, by way of a storm, flood, leak, or the aftermath of fire extinguishing causes severe water damage to your commercial business, you may have to relocate temporarily while water damage restoration work is being completed. Closed doors affect customer traffic, employee earnings, and your bottom line.  Insurance companies normally work hand-in-hand with SERVPRO to come to a working agreement allowing the water extraction process to commence immediately. 

Contact SERVPRO Today

If your commercial property has been subjected to water damage, getting fast, effective water damage restoration services is a must. Here at SERVPRO, we specialize in optimizing and expediting each component of the restoration process to ensure that you can get your business back in business. Moreover, each of our IICRC-Certified technicians will provide you with the personable care and excellent customer service that keeps you in the loop throughout the water damage restoration process. We can quickly reopen your doors like it never even happened.

Commercial Building Restoration Services

SERVPRO of North Elkhart County responds quickly to a water or fire, or mold damage emergency, 24 hours a day. Whether the damage occurs in a small business building or a big box store, we have the training, experience, and equipment to handle the situation. Our national network of 1,650 Franchises gives us access to personnel and resources. Call us for assistance today!

Why SERVPRO when it comes to sewage cleanup!

11/6/2018 (Permalink)

The Dangers of DIY Sewage Cleanup

If you’re like most homeowners, when faced with a task or question you probably head to the internet for answers…that’s how you found this article! And if you’re dealing with backed-up sewage, it only takes a few seconds of searching to find hundreds of articles describing how to clean-up sewage.

It goes like this:

** Put on some rubber gloves

** Scoop out the waste

** Take some water and bleach solution and apply it to the affected areas

** Let it dry

Most articles will throw out a warning saying “if you’re not sure whether you can do it, or don’t have the proper equipment, it is best to call a professional”. That’s where you would call SERVPRO.

We’d like to throw out another warning!

Cleaning up raw sewage on your own is something you should never do! 
Here’s why:

#1 – It can be hidden. – Any SERVPRO crew member can tell you stories about customers that decided to clean-up their own feces only to call in weeks or months later complaining about smells and disfigured walls, cabinets, and floors. Sewage will find its way into any and all porous surfaces. Even things like drywall and cabinetry aren’t safe. And it’s not as simple as just spotting the sewage with your eyes. It requires state of the art equipment, which SERVPRO has, to identify areas that have been damaged by sewage. So unless you have an infrared detection system handy and know how to use it, call SERVPRO.

#2 – It can be costly. – Times are difficult for everyone and money is tight. It’s easy to justify doing it yourself instead of paying to have SERVPRO  clean and disinfect for you. But today’s shortcut is tomorrow’s nightmare! Again, you’re dealing with a toxic situation that if not handled properly can create very real health dangers for you and your family. Not only that, if not properly mitigated, you could be looking at a serious mold issue in the not so distant future on top of all of the other issues described above. And if you think sewage cleanup is costly, wait until you’re stuck with a bill for mold remediation services! At least your sewage clean-up is covered by insurance…that’s not typically the case if you’ve got mold and it’s the result of you not taking appropriate measures when dealing with the sewage issue that created the mold!


So, if you’ve stumbled upon this article due to a sewage back-up that’s spilled into your home or office, do yourself a favor and call us, SERVPRO. Our technicians are certified to perform raw sewage cleanup and can provide you with peace of mind knowing the area affected is professionally cleaned.

Locally Owned Company with Valuable Resources

As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of North Elkhart County is strategically located to respond quickly to your water damage emergency and your mold cleanup. When there is mold in a home or business, we have the resources and personnel to help get your home or business back together.

Keep Your Home or Business Safe and Clean with Expert Mold Damage Repair

7/3/2018 (Permalink)

After a flood or other major water damage, mold can become a very real problem. It’s always safer to have mold removed from your home or business quickly, even if it is not particularly dangerous. Not taking care of mold damage in a timely manner can cause safety and health issues for your family or customers. 

Mold is well known for potentially causing respiratory and other health issues, and this is especially true if you are exposed to it constantly in your home or business. Even if you can’t see all of the mold, it is possible that it has spread into the structure of your home. When this is the case and the damages are deeper than the surface level, mold growth can also lead to structural and safety issues.

Taking care of mold damage can be difficult, especially if you don’t know what to expect or don’t have experience getting rid of mold. It is often better to trust a professional with mold damage repair because they have the skills and knowledge needed to remedy the problem completely. This is critical if your mold problem has affected many aspects of your home.

Trusting a professional with your mold damage repair will ensure the problem is completely and safely taken care of, and you will be much less likely to experience more mold in the future.

Top 3 Things You Should Know About Water Damage

7/3/2018 (Permalink)

Water damage can be a huge hassle if not handled correctly. A surprise flood or leak can cause major issues with your walls, flooring, and furniture. When you are faced with excess water in your home, here are three things to keep in mind when facing water damage:

  1. Don’t wait to get help. It is important to get help as quickly as possible from a professional service to prevent major water damage in your home. The sooner you call a reliable team experienced in water damage restoration, the better. Getting the situation taken care of as soon as possible will prevent mold growth and other serious problems in your home.
  2. Start drying the area right away. The more you can dry the affected areas, the better. Mopping up extra water with towels and rags will help the area dry faster. When drying the area, don’t use a vacuum to remove water or use other fans or electrical appliances as they can be potentially dangerous.
  3. The damage can spread deeper than the surface. Even if you clean up all the standing water, it is likely that more water seeped through the floor and baseboards. If this extra water underneath your floor is not taken care of, it can quickly become a bigger problem, leading to mold and damage to the structure of your home.

Protect Your Business From Scary Commercial Water Damage

7/3/2018 (Permalink)

Your family depends on your business. So do your employees, as well as your customers and community. So the thought of commercial water damage caused by extreme weather or plumbing failure is scary. But you don’t have to be scared. A little planning and a few precautions will help you breathe a little easier, knowing you’re ready for any commercial water damage contingency,

Commercial Water Damage Tip: Think it Through

Start by asking yourself, “What if?”

That’s a powerful question when it comes to reducing commercial water damage risk. For instance, what if a water main bursts and floods your office? This always leads to more questions, such as how will you ensure the safety of your employees and customers? Or how will you prevent or eliminate business disruptions that might result in cash flow problems? How will you communicate with employees during emergencies or periods of disruption (say, when a pipe bursts and requires the main power to be shut off during repairs)? Make notes of your answers to all your questions, because organizing this information is the basis for the next key step in preventing and minimizing commercial water damage: making a plan.

Commercial Water Damage Tip: Make a Plan

While thinking through possible commercial water damage scenarios for your business, you made notes of the solutions you came up with for your “what if?” questions. Now put your thinking into action to craft an emergency plan for your business. A good emergency plan should provide for the safety of all people who could enter your business, as well as set forth processes and procedures for carrying on with business during a variety of challenges.

Commercial Water Damage Tip: Inspect, Repair, Repeat

Stuff gets old. It breaks. It fails. When plumbing or water-management equipment in your commercial facility fails, the resulting water damage restoration costs can stack up fast. So the operative word for commercial water damage prevention is maintenance.

Routinely inspect all visible plumbing, test basement sump pumps, check exterior gutters and downspouts, muck out drainage ditches and storm drains and ensure roof structures are in good repair. Commercial property managers generally agree that a water leak on a commercial property is the most costly problem you can have, often costing thousands of dollars to mitigate, once the problem develops. Good property maintenance can lop off a big chunk of commercial water damage risk, so don’t cut corners on repairs.

Cause Of Commercial Water Damage And How To Clean It Up

7/3/2018 (Permalink)

Unfortunately, there are many other ways that your office can flood, and as a business owner it’s important that you know what these are, what to do about it, and whom to call. Water damage is serious, and if you are not prepared or don’t have a plan in place when it happens to you, your business could be shut down for an unnecessary amount of time.

Top 5 causes of commercial water damage:

Extreme weather. Flooding can happen very quickly. What starts out as a small storm can suddenly turn into something larger, and cause a lot more damage than anyone expected. If your commercial property isn’t in pristine condition, there is a chance that water damage will occur. For example, a small leak on the roof can turn into a large downpour of water that floods an entire section of the property.

Damaged appliances. Pretty much every office building has a kitchen or a break room. And typically these rooms have a refrigerator and possibly a dishwasher. When these appliances fail, they can leak a significant amount of water, flooding the entire room or more.

Backed up sewer lines. Bathrooms are another source of possible problems. It is not uncommon for the sewer lines to get backed up, releasing contaminated water into the building. This type of water damage is extremely dangerous because the water is filled with hazardous waste and other contaminants.

Malfunctioning sprinklers. By law, all commercial properties must be equipped with an overhead sprinkler system. This system works in conjunction with the fire alarm, and is typically activated when the fire alarm goes off. This can cause water damage in two ways. First, any time there is a fire and the sprinklers activate, there will be water damage. And second, the sprinkler system can malfunction and activate on its own. When this happens, significant water damage can occur because of the fact that the sprinkler system covers the entire building.

Broken pipes. Broken or cracked pipes are very common in commercial buildings, especially as they age. When these pipes burst open, water rushes out of them, spraying throughout the building. This can cause damage to the ceiling, walls, and flooring, not to mention any furniture or electronics that get in the water’s way.

Obviously you want to keep an eye on the list above. Ongoing maintenance to your commercial property is key to not having water related issues. But if water damage does happen anywhere on your property, you need to take immediate action. 

First we will thoroughly inspect the property. We will find out what caused the damage and make sure that the water has stopped flowing. We will also determine if the water is contaminated or not. During this stage we remove all furniture that has been affected, while trying to salvage as much as possible. Next we begin the water extraction process. We use pumps and other vacuums to remove all water from the property.

Once all the water is removed, we start the drying process. If everything is not dried properly, problems occur that result in longer recovery and escalating restoration costs. We set up and monitor the drying process through every phase to ensure that proper drying occurs. We will document moisture levels, provide moisture maps, and photograph drying for the insurance provider. When the property has been thoroughly dried, we start the sanitation process. We have to make sure everything is cleaned and sanitized because of the mold and other contaminates that form due to standing water.

And finally the rebuild happens. If the water damage destroyed ceilings, walls, or flooring, we can rebuild it and make it, "Like it never happened!"

Mold and Spring-The Two Does Not Mix

6/7/2018 (Permalink)

If you have an allergy that occurs over several seasons, you may be allergic to the spores of molds or other fungi. Molds live everywhere. Upsetting a mold source can send the spores into the air.

Mold and mildew are fungi. They are different from plants or animals in how they reproduce and grow. The “seeds,” called spores, travel through the air. Some spores spread in dry, windy weather. Others spread with the fog or dew when humidity is high.

Inhaling the spores causes allergic reactions in some people. Allergic symptoms from fungus spores are most common from July to early fall. But fungi grow in many places, both indoors and outside, so allergic reactions can occur year round.

Although there are many types of molds, only a few dozen cause allergic reactions. Many molds grow on rotting logs and fallen leaves, in compost piles and on grasses and grains. Unlike pollens, molds do not die with the first killing frost. Most outdoor molds become inactive during the winter. In the spring they grow on plants killed by the cold. Indoors, fungi grow in damp areas. They can often be found in the bathroom, kitchen or basement.

It only takes 3-5 mold spores to cause an allergic reaction, and some molds contain mycotoxins that are carcinogenic or deadly. Vibrations and movement will cause mold to release their spores; it's easy to accidentally knock hundreds of thousands of spores loose from a single patch of mold! And that's just a drop in the bucket: Recent research has shown that up to one billion mold spores can be found in just one square foot of drywall!

Mold removal experts have a variety of state-of-the-art equipment that they use to identify sources of moisture, dry out wall cavities, and safely remove mold that is growing in your home. Samples of mold may be analyzed in a laboratory to identify potentially toxic strains, and special cleaning agents may be used to restore property.

Controlling Mold Growth During Spring Cleaning and the Rest of the Year

6/7/2018 (Permalink)

Molds are everywhere in the environment and can grow on virtually any organic substance where moisture and oxygen are present. There are molds that can grow on wood, carpet and insulation. Mold growth will often occur when excessive moisture accumulates in buildings or on building materials.  If the moisture problem remains undiscovered or unaddressed, not only can the damage from mold growth be costly, but it can affect your home’s indoor air quality and the health of people sensitive to mold, too. Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposure include allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory complaints.

The key is to remember that:"The key to mold control is moisture control!"

-If possible keep indoor humidity low.

-Scrub only visible mold off hard surfaces with detergent and water and dry the area completely.

-Keep air conditioning drip pans clean and the drain lines unobstructed and flowing properly. 

-If you see condensation or moisture collecting on windows, walls, or pipes, dry the wet surface and reduce the moisture/water source.

-Clean and repair roof gutters regulary

-Identify and repair plumbing leaks and other water problems immediately. 

How to Prevent Summer Water Damage

6/7/2018 (Permalink)

In the middle of all the varying weather and the rain, our house is the least place we would want the water to collect. For this reason, water drainage is one of the things we should consider to attain through waterproofing. Let’s look at the tips below so that we can control the water damage in your house.

* Fix water leaks in your home: Whether it is a leaking roof, a dripping pipe, or damaged shingles/roof. 

* Test your sump pump: you will always be sure to prevent any water leaks in your home if you check the status of your sump pump. -Do this annually so that you are prepared for any flooding that may occur. -

* Clean the roof gutters: A clogged gutter, on a rainy day, forces water spillage to your home foundation. This can be done through the roof or down the basement to cause serious foundation water damage. 

* Lock and close the doors, windows, vents, and skylights to keep out the wind and water if you go on vacation. You can also shut off the gas to the heater or turn on the vocation setting of your home if you are going on vacation.

* Clogged toilets: Summer often means that the kids are home from school. It also means that you receive frequent visits from your family and friends. This often leads to an increased toilet and bathroom usage. In this case, it means that toilets will be clogged easily. Be sure to look at the base of your toilet to check how it flushes. This often reveals signs of stains, waterproofing and rolled vinyl.

* Keep an eye on your water bill: Water bills can cause havoc on your financial plans in a home. If they are too high, they often affect your budget. Water pipes are often hidden behind the floors and in the walls. For this reason, a leak will not be recognized easily. Until damage has been caused, a leak will not be known in the home setup. Be sure to keep an eye on the monthly billing rates of your water usage. If the cost has gone up or they have started looking unusual, this is a good sign that there is a leak somewhere.

Preventing BBQ Grill Fire Damage This Summer

6/7/2018 (Permalink)

Whether you live in an apartment, condo, villa, or single family home with a large yard, it is important to understand how fire damage to a home occurs due to a BBQ grill. Here's what you need to know to prevent fire damage to your property and/or rental this summer:

  • Only use your propane or charcoal barbecue grills outside;
  • Place your barbecue away from your house, any deck railings, and well away from any overhanging palm tree branches or other greenery in your backyard;
  • Regularly remove grease and fat buildups from your grill trays and below the grill to prevent a grease fire;
  • Keep children and pets "at least three feet away" from where you have set up your BBQ grill;
  • Always open the lid to a propane grill before you light it; and
  • Do not leave your grill unattended.

If you use a propane grill, you should heed the following advice:

  • Before you use your propane grill, check the tank hose for any leaks by applying a "light soap and water solution to the hose." If you have a propane leak, the hose will release bubbles.
  • In addition to the "soapy bubbles test," you might also smell gas-this can also be a sign of a leak.
  • If there is no flame when you try to start your grill, turn off the gas tank and the grill immediately, because the lack of a flame can also indicate that you have a gas leak.
  • If at any point you smell gas while you are barbecuing food, move away from your grill and contact your local fire department.

If you use a charcoal grill:

  • Only use a charcoal starter fluid to get your grill going, and do not add additional fluid or other flammable materials once the fire has started.
  • Do not allow your children to have access to charcoal fluid.
  • Allow your charcoal coals to cool completely before you dispose of them. You should always dispose of them in a metal container for safety.

Spring Storm Resources

6/7/2018 (Permalink)

Spring has arrived and so are the storms associated with the season. In fact, several areas throughout the country have already experienced costly floods and damaging tornadoes.

High winds and hail cause the majority of roof damage each year, reminding us of the importance of strong, well maintained roofs that are properly anchored and impact-resistant.

Another important storm-related risk is lightning, which also can be a deadly and costly part of severe weather causing millions of dollars in insurance losses annually, as strikes damage electronics and cause fires.

Because spring storms can form and move quickly, residents should pay close attention to weather reports and make sure they are set up to receive Wireless Emergency Alerts from the National Weather Service (NWS) on their cell phones, or have a NOAA Weather Radio available.

Tornadoes are among the most destructive forces of nature with about 1,000 of these powerful storms occurring annually in the U.S., causing an average of more than $1 billion in property damage and 80 deaths. Stronger tornadoes such as those rated EF-2 and above pack extremely high winds and can destroy a house or business within seconds. Weaker tornadoes also can be damaging, but a well-built house or business has a greater chance of surviving these storms with limited damage. 

Not all severe weather is alike, which is why your reactions to different storms also shouldn’t be alike. Both hailstorms and tornadoes are damaging in their own way. In order to reduce your risks during each kind of storm, you should react to whether hail or a tornado is present. 

Roof Inspection Check List:

If you have a shingle roof look for:

  • Loose shingle tabs
  • Cracks in shingles
  • Broken or missing tabs
  • Buckling or curling shingles
  • Blistering of tabs
  • Majority of granules worn off tabs

Check for the following:

  • Are penetrations are well sealed and tight?
  • Are there gaps and/or signs of missing sealant?
  • Are there badly deteriorated holes and gaps?
  • Do vents wiggle back and forth?
  • Are they well attached?
  • Are there screws attaching turbines or caps off-ridge vent?
  • Are vents tightly screwed down?
  • If nails are used, are they are properly attached?

Evaluate for the following signs of damage outside the home:

  • Leaks inside the attic
  • Water stains on roof decking – look around the chimney, around vents and pipes and valleys
  • Discolored roofing deck, rafters or trusses

Evaluate for signs of leaks from inside the house:

  • Water stains on ceiling
  • Cracked wall or ceiling paint
  • Peeling wall paper

Some Causes of Common House Fires

4/5/2018 (Permalink)

Cooking Equipment--The kitchen is a source of intense heat in a home, from the stove to the oven and beyond. A splatter from a hot pan can lead to a fire under the wrong circumstances. Most fires in the kitchen happen because people get distracted and walk away while cooking.

*To prevent this: Stay in the kitchen while you are cooking, and keep flammable products away from hot surfaces at all times.

Smoking Cigarettes--Cigarettes can easily lead to fires because they are literally burning on one end. Whether you smoke inside or outside, you could be putting your home at risk. This is especially true during the dry months of the year when fires are more likely to erupt.

*To prevent this: Avoid smoking in the home, and make sure you dispose of all cigarettes in a deep ashtray. Keep the ashtray away from anything flammable, and never stomp out your cigarette on the grass.

Electrical Equipment--The appliances in your home can ignite a fire if they are not wired properly, or if they are too close to flammable materials. If you have older appliances in your home, it would be wise to replace them to avoid fires.

*To prevent this: Watch for loose or frayed wires on the electrical equipment in your home. Avoid draping towels or curtains over plugs, and do not plug in too many appliances to one extension cord.

Children--If a child is old enough to reach a set of matches and/or a lighter, he’s going to see what it does out of curiosity. You must be careful about leaving your children near a possible cause of fires, and you must keep an eye on them even if they are old enough to play on their own.

*To prevent this: Make sure all fire starters are put away in a place your child cannot access. Also be careful about open outlets and electrical equipment in a child’s room.

Flammable Liquids--Fuels, paints, thinners, solvents, and other flammable liquids can easily ignite a fire in your home. This could happen in the heat of the summer or from a simple spark of static electricity, depending on how the chemicals are stored.

*To prevent this: Store all flammable liquids in approved containers, and keep them away from heat sources. Ideally, keep them outside in a well-ventilated area.

Important Factors in Fire Damage Restoration

4/5/2018 (Permalink)

Most people do not realize how extensive fire damage restoration is until they gave to go through it. Putting out the fire is only the beginning. There are many other tasks that come into play. Let’s take a look at four important factors in fire damage restoration so you know what to look out for if you ever encountered this situation.

Timing Is Crucial

With anything related to fire or water damage, you need to act sooner rather than later. The water that was used to put out the fire will quickly start to grow mold in your house. The longer you let that set, the more likely you are to have major health and respiratory problems as a result of the mold. Act fast, and get the help you need right away. This is not something you want to wait on.

Smoke Is Just As Much Of A Problem As Fire

Smoke damage in the house is usually a bigger problem than fire damage because smoke has the ability to reach a much broader area. Even though the damage while maybe at the surface, it is something that needs to be cleaned out to ensure that the home is healthy and safe to be in. If you’re doing any kind of restoration work on your own, you have to think about the smoke effected area, not just the area that the fire burned in.

Damage Isn’t Always Visible

Even though you might be able to see a big hole in the floor where the fire was, you might not be able to see the mold spores growing in the support beams in your home or the smoke that is setting in the back of your drywall. These are all factors that can impact the health of your home over time. That is why it’s often best to get a professional to come out and thoroughly inspect your home after fire damage. You want to make sure that you tackle every problem, even if you can’t see it on the surface.

Prevention Is The Key To Long Term Success

If you have encountered fire damage, you want to make sure that your restoration efforts will help you avoid fire in the future. For instance, if your fire was a result of faulty electrical wiring, you need to make sure that your home is properly wired after the restoration it to protect yourself from another fire in the future.

Leave it to the Pros

4/5/2018 (Permalink)

Mold removal seems like a simple process at the surface. Splash a little bleach on the visible mold spores and enjoy a lifetime of clean air…right? Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple – not by a long shot. Before you create more work for yourself later on, you may want to work with a professional mold removal company to tackle the mold in your home or office. Here is a look at why mold removal is best left to the pros.

Mold Spores Aren’t Always Visible

In most cases, mold spores are not visible on the surface. You may not think of treating your mold until you see it on the walls, ceilings, or floors, but it has probably been lurking behind the scenes for quite some time. A water damage restoration company, like SERVPRO of North Elkhart County,  can assess your property for hidden mold and treat the root of the problem. If you only treat what you can see, you will be fighting mold for years to come.

Mold Treatment Requires Special Tools

To properly treat your home for mold, you need special equipment to eliminate the spores and the moisture they feed on. Most at-home mold removal guides say to use bleach for treatment, but doing so will actually make the mold worse. The mold uses the water in the bleach to spread and contaminate your house even further. Instead of risking the chance of making the problem worse, trust SERVPRO of North Elkhart County to take care of the mold for you. They will have the tools they need to truly get rid of the problem, not just mask it.

FACT: Speed Matters In Mold Removal!

The Environmental Protection Agency says that water removal needs to take place within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth. 

Mold Prevention Is A Must

Simply removing the existing mold isn’t enough. In order to have a truly successful experience, you need to go through mold prevention as well. Ask yourself: What caused the mold in the first place? A leaky pipe? Excessive humidity? A faulty washer and dryer? A bad seal?

Let the pros inspect your home for causes of mold so they can recommend repairs you need to make. Through fast-acting water removal and proper mold prevention, you can eliminate mold problems in your property and improve your air quality at the same time.

You deserve to breathe easy – literally! Let the professionals take care of your mold problem and show you how to prevent it from happening to your home. 

What Not to do After Commercial Water Damage

4/5/2018 (Permalink)

With the crazy weather and the past flooding here in Elkhart County, here is some useful ideas on how to protect your business assets after commercial water damage.

Here’s what not to do after commercial water damage:

  1. Do not enter a room with standing water in it until all electricity has been turned off. Live wires touching water can electrify the water, making standing water in the room very dangerous. Make sure all electricity is disconnected or off prior to entering a room with standing water.
  2. Do not use regular household vacuum to remove water. Regular household vacuums are not meant to handle large volumes of water. Sucking up standing water with a household vacuum will definitely break it and potentially cause it to short circuit.
  3. Do not attempt to lift tacked down carpet without professional help. Wet carpet is very heavy. Not only could your hurt yourself trying to remove damp carpet but also contains tacks that can hurt you if you are not trained in pulling it up correctly.
  4. Do not use electrical appliances when carpet or flooring is still wet. Exposure to water can cause electrical appliances to short circuit or fail. Since they are not manufactured to be “water proof”, water can easily get into vulnerable areas in the appliances and greatly increase you chance of electrocution or fire.
  5. Do not touch or disturb any visible mold. Mold spreads very easily. Mold caused by water is dangerous to you and can have harmful health effects. Make sure you call a mold damage specialist to handle the cleanup and removal of mold so as to not cause harm to yourself or your employees.

While most of the water has dried out from the recent flooding, we want you to keep these points in mind so that you can be water damage smart the next time heavy rains come around!

Protect Your Business From Scary Commercial Water Damage

4/5/2018 (Permalink)

Your family depends on your business. So do your employees, as well as your customers and community. So the thought of commercial water damage caused by extreme weather or plumbing failure is scary. But you don’t have to be scared. A little planning and a few precautions will help you breathe a little easier, knowing you’re ready for any commercial water damage!

Start by asking yourself, “What if?”

That’s a powerful question when it comes to reducing commercial water damage risk. For instance, what if a water main bursts and floods your office? This always leads to more questions, such as how will you ensure the safety of your employees and customers? Or how will you prevent or eliminate business disruptions that might result in cash flow problems? How will you communicate with employees during emergencies or periods of disruption (say, when a pipe bursts and requires the main power to be shut off during repairs)? Make notes of your answers to all your questions, because organizing this information is the basis for the next key step in preventing and minimizing commercial water damage: making a plan.

Now put your thinking into action to craft an emergency plan for your business. A good emergency plan should provide for the safety of all people who could enter your business, as well as set forth processes and procedures for carrying on with business during a variety of challenges. It should include:

  • an emergency contact list (accessible from off-site)
  • emergency procedures
  • emergency staffing instructions
  • vendor lists and contact info
  • data backup plans and other resources to support business operations in case you have to temporarily or permanently relocate your business operations.

Routinely inspect all visible plumbing, test basement sump pumps, check exterior gutters and downspouts, muck out drainage ditches and storm drains and ensure roof structures are in good repair. Commercial property managers generally agree that a water leak on a commercial property is the most costly problem you can have, often costing thousands of dollars to mitigate, once the problem develops. Good property maintenance can lop off a big chunk of commercial water damage risk, so don’t cut corners on repairs.

Are You prepared for Winter Storms?

2/8/2018 (Permalink)

Winter storms can bring freezing rain, ice, snow, high winds, or a combination of these conditions. Extreme winter weather can immobilize an entire region. Ice and heavy snowfall can knock out heat, power, and communication services. A winter storm occurs when there is significant precipitation and the temperature is low enough that precipitation forms as sleet or snow, or when rain turns to ice.

A winter storm can range from freezing rain and ice, to moderate snowfall over a few hours to a blizzard that last for several days, or be a combination of several winter weather conditions. Many winter storms are accompanied by dangerously low temperatures. Planning and preparing can help you manage the impact of a winter storm and keep you and your family safe. A sustained power outage can have a significant impact on people who require electricity to power medical equipment, so make sure that you have a pan to take care of yourself and your family during an outage. 

Mold Removal in the Winter

2/8/2018 (Permalink)

As the leaves and plants outside begin to decay, mold spores are naturally released into the air, but we also unknowingly invite mold growth inside our homes when we raise the thermostat. Today’s energy efficient homes make it hard for the warm air and humidity to escape, creating an ideal environment for mold to grow.

Because both humidity and temperature contribute to mold growth in the winter, it’s a tricky balancing act. For instance, we commonly find mold growth in rooms located in bends or corners of the home since they are exposed to significantly colder temperatures. The imbalance in temperature between neighboring rooms and high water vapor content in the air creates the ideal conditions for mold to grow.

How to Prevent Mold Growth in Winter

Ideally, indoor humidity levels should be kept between 35% and 45%. Here are some tips to help prevent mold growth in your home.

  • Use a dehumidifier
  • Set ceiling fans in reverse
  • Keep ductwork and air filters clean

Mold can cause nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing, wheezing, eye irritation, and in some cases, skin irritation. If you suspect mold contamination, it’s best to consult a professional mold removal service. 

Your Commercial property in the winter

2/8/2018 (Permalink)

Freezing or Bursting Pipes

One of the most common causes of damage to commercial buildings during the colder months is freezing and bursting pipes. As a building owner, there are measures you can take to prevent pipes from freezing; however, sometimes the worst happens anyway. If it does, the result can be thousands of dollars of damage to your building, furniture, electronics, and other business property.

If this happens, will your commercial property insurance pay? The answer is “it depends.” The property policy is not a maintenance contract, and the insurance company expects you to take every precaution to ensure that pipes don’t freeze. If there is an insurance claim, the adjuster will determine if the measures taken were adequate. Specifically, the adjuster will look for evidence of two efforts: First, did you leave the heat to the building running; and, second, did you drain the lines? If you can prove at least one of these steps was taken, most policies will pay the resulting damage.

That’s certainly good news. But wouldn’t you rather avoid the claims process altogether and keep your deductible in your pocket? Following are a few tips on protecting the pipes in your building from winter’s worst.

  • Locate the turnoff valve and drain the lines.
  • Protect spigots with Styrofoam attachments. These can be purchased at most home improvements stores and offer much better insulation than wrapping the spigot with a towel.
  • Search for pipes that are not insulated. These pipes may pass through unheated areas, such as crawlspaces, basements or garages. Pre-molded foam rubber sleeves can be fitted to the pipe and offer essential insulation to keep them from freezing. Fiberglass insulation is also an option. You may also consider wrapping the pipe with heating tape.

Damage from Ice, Sleet or Snow

Ice, sleet and snow can be incredibly destructive to your property. They can be the source of damage or amplify existing damage—for example, ice getting into a crack in a wall. Unfortunately, damage caused by ice, snow and sleet are not covered by most standard commercial property insurance policies. While some policies will cover damage resulting from the abrupt collapse of a building’s roof under the weight of ice, snow or sleet, others will not.

Protecting your building from harsh winter conditions takes a great deal of care. So does making sure your insurance responds if it turns out Old Man Winter packed a little more punch than you bargained for.

5 Tips For Mold Prevention in The Winter

12/21/2017 (Permalink)

Although seasonal outdoor conditions have little effect on mold growth inside enclosed environments of a home, airborne spores that spawn mold may infiltrate the house any time of the year. Controlling certain factors specific to the cold season can at least reduce the odds of household mold contamination. Here are 5 tips preventing mold in the winter:

1. Run ceiling fans in the reverse (clockwise) mode for winter. A ceiling fan rotating clockwise pulls warm air upwards and pushes it across the ceiling and down walls and windows. This air circulation dries out condensation, eliminating another source of mold triggering moisture. 

2. Humidify sparingly. Winter air is often dry and irritating to certain individuals. To alleviate these symptoms, humidifiers are commonly utilized to add water vapor to indoor air. Maintain indoor humidity levels at 60% or below to discourage mold.

3. Dry wet areas. Many parts of the house tend to be damp in the winter- windows, mirrors, pipes- due to condensation. By quickly removing moisture with a towel it prevents them from becoming potential for mold.

4. Check the attic. While your roof shingles may shed summer rain effectively, stationary seepage from melting snow on the roof is another matter. Roof leakage due to snow melt or ice dams on the roof is a common cause of mold growth in the attic. 

5. Upgrade your insulation. Some house have minimal or no insulation inside exterior walls. Condensation forms on and inside cold, uninsulated walls in contact with warm, moist indoor air.  

4 Ways to Save Water During Winter

12/21/2017 (Permalink)

We all would like to be good stewards of our resources; but the question is asked, "How can we remember to save water?" Let's break it down:

1. Let it thaw, let it thaw, let it thaw! Save water and the energy used by the hot water heater, by thawing foods in the microwave or overnight in the fridge, instead of running hot water over them.

2. Never lighten the load! Holiday fun means party attire, snow gear, and a whole bunch of laundry. Save water and make that pile disappear faster by only washing and drying full loads every time. By using cold water whenever possible, it can reduce the energy needed to wash your clothes, as well help you save on your energy bill. 

3. Keep the tap tight! If you are pulling out the fine china this holiday season chances are you will have to hand wash those beauties. When you are ready to roll up your sleeves, do not let the tap constantly run; plug the drain, fill the sink with soapy water and scrub away.

4. Give the gift of rain. The rain barrel is not a new concept. However, improvements over time have produced models capable of offering maximum effectiveness and durability. Having a barrel specifically designed for rain water collection means you may be able to collect a greater volume of water. 

Winter Water Tips

11/1/2017 (Permalink)

Winter weather brings icy winds and dipping temperatures which can do a lot of damage to your home by freezing pipes and leaving you without flowing water. 

Before Freezing Weather:

- Disconnect and drain hoses from outside faucets. If your home has a separate shut-off valve for outside faucets, then use it to shut the water off to your outside faucets. Then go outside and turn on the faucets to drain water from the line. If your home does not have a separate shut-off valve for outside faucets, then wrap each outside faucets with insulation or newspaper.

-Insulate pipes or faucets in unheated areas such as the garage, crawl space, or/and attic. Check with your local home improvement store for which materials to use to insulate your pipes.

-Turn off and drain irrigation systems and backflow devices. Wrap backflow devices with insulating material.

-Cover foundation vents with foam blocks, thickly folded newspaper or cardboard.

-Show household members how to turn off water to the house in case of emergencies. The main shut-off valve is often located near the water heater or washing machine. If a pip burst anywhere in the house - kitchen, bath, basement, or crawl space - this valve turns it off. 

During Freezing Weather

11/1/2017 (Permalink)

There are many precautions you can take to help you avoid the expense and inconvience of frozen pipes during an extended cold spell.

 1. Leave the heat on at least 55 degrees and open cupboard doors under sinks, especially where plumbing is in outside walls, to let interior heat warm the pipes.

2. Temporarily, keep a steady drip of cold water at an inside faucet farthest from the meter. This keeps water moving, making it less likely to freeze.

3. If you are away for any length of time, you may consider shutting off your home’s water to reduce the chances of frozen or broken pipes. Contact your water provider for more information on how to do this.

4. Have your plumber and water provider’s telephone number handy. During an extended cold spell, your pipes might freeze despite the best precautions.

If Your Pipes Freeze

1. Determine which pipe(s) are frozen. If some faucets work but others don’t, that means pipes inside your home are likely frozen. If none of your faucets work, there may be a problem at the street - contact your water provider.

2. Find the frozen pipe(s) and attempt to thaw them with a hair dryer using a low setting. Wave the hair dryer back and forth along the frozen area. NEVER thaw a frozen pipe with an open flame.

3. Shut off water and power (or gas) to the water heater if you have a leak or a broken pipe. Contact your water provider if you are unable to find the shut-off valve or the valve doesn’t work. 

What to do after a storm

8/18/2017 (Permalink)

Severe weather like hail, thunderstorms, and tornadoes can spell disaster for your home or business. If your building has been damaged by severe weather, it’s important to act quickly to repair the damage and keep yourself, your family, and your employees safe. 

If your home/business has been damaged in a storm, follow these steps to keep safe:

  • Evacuate severely damaged areas of the house.
  • Check for injuries and seek medical assistance if needed.
  • Keep children and pets away from any damaged areas.
  • Use caution when inspecting damage: wear gloves and heavy shoes, and stay away from downed power lines and other hazards.
  • Monitor a battery-powered radio for emergency information.
  • Call your insurance company to see if you are covered.
  • Contact us to begin the cleanup process

Once you give us a call, we will send a team to assess the damage and sart the repair process. Even if the damage appears minor, like shingles that are torn or bent, it can cause serious damage over time. 

How to remove mold & the smell from clothing

8/18/2017 (Permalink)

A very unusual approach would be to use vinegar in removing mold stains and its smell. Vinegar is very useful and effective in removing the ‘moldy’ smell from clothes. Add 3/4 cup white vinegar to a load of wash.

The vinegar will remove any moldy smell from clothing. Repeat this process until all traces of mold and its smell are gone. Use detergent afterwards to thoroughly clean your clothes.

What’s so interesting about this process is that vinegar itself is made through fermentation with the help of a certain type of mold. 

Take all clothing that have mold or have been exposed to mold, outside and one by one, brush off any loose mold growth. By doing this outside you prevent mold spores from spreading inside the house.

Always remember to wear a protective mask and gloves when dealing with mold contamination. Remember that if you choose to use a mildicide to remove mold and its odor from your clothes, always read the label for proper techniques. Mildicides are still chemicals and can be harmful to your health if not used properly.

Mold Warning Signs: How to Tell if You Have Mold

8/18/2017 (Permalink)

Discovering that you have mold within your home can cause you to feel many things. Therefore, its important to be aware of what the signs are that you may be sharing your home with more than just your family.

A strange odor: Mold has a pungent smell. When it is confined to one area of your home, you may notice an unpleasant odor when you are in that area. 

The appearance of mold: In your shower stall or bathtub, its easy to distinguish normal soap scum from mold. However, in the basement or cellar you may have to investigate a little further to find the mold. 

Health symptoms: Because mold is not always visible, it can be difficult realizing that you do indeed have a mold problem. If you feel listless, congested and experience watering eyes while in your home, these can all be signs of the presence of mold.Its not uncommon for a person who lives in a home that has mold to feel better while at work or out shopping. 

What causes attic mold?

8/17/2017 (Permalink)

With warmer temps here for the summer, more homeowners have discovered black mold in their attic. Here are some ways to help you make sure it does not happen to you:

  • The right temperature- mold spores like warmer, ambient temperatures, but hate the cold
  • Food- Black mold eats anything that is high in cellulose. Unfortunately for homeowners that pretty much anything in your attic like plywood, wood joists, roof decking, etc.
  • Elevated moisture- Many homeowners do not realize that moisture is found in every surface of their home. If those serfaces were completely devoided of moisture they wouldn't perform their duties properly.

By regulating these things, keeping the right balance in your home you can prevent mold. Getting rid of the visible, fuzzy spores and disposing of the evidence of mold by wiping it off or with a chemical cleaner, such as bleach, will not completely solve your problem.

Why does black mold growth occure?

8/17/2017 (Permalink)

It is important to explain the reasons black mold forms in the first place. But first a surprising fact: every home has black mold. There are trace amounts in virtually any indoor environment. That isn’t meant to scare you. At low levels it is entirely benign. The right conditions to become a hazard to your health. 

  • Food- Mold can eat any organic substance such as the wood in your walls, cabinets, subfloors, etc.
  • Warm dark places- mold cannot survive in areas that are exposed to UV light. It also cannot survive in very cold conditions.
  • Moisture- Like us, mold needs water; every surface in your home has moisture in it. If those levels get elevated that is when things can get worst.
  • Time- and not much of it. Some people think mold is a very slow threat. The reality is that it is an extremely aggressive and fast threat. 

Fire Safety Plan For Your Elkhart Business

7/1/2017 (Permalink)

A fire can be a catastrophic event, leading to destruction of property or loss of life. To ensure that your staff and employees are protected in the event that a fire breaks out, it is essential that every business have a fire safety plan in place. Fire suppression systems are complex devices that are strategically placed in different areas of the office building or kitchen. They will automatically trigger when the temperature changes to certain degrees or they can be manually turned on by pulling an emergency switch, which will then release chemicals onto the fire-prone locations to extinguish the fires. 

If you have a fire in your home or business then call SERVPRO of North Elkhart County for all your restoration needs! 574-343-1397

Keep Your Elkhart Business Safe From Water Damage

7/1/2017 (Permalink)

Should you find yourself in a situation where your business has been affected by flood, here are some ways to prevent flood waters from entering your business:

  • Seal cracks, use high quality urethane-based caulk to seal cracks and utility pipes.
  • Connect sump pumps to a battery back-up or generator.
  • Install backflow valves on main waste drain pipes that leave the structure.
  • Protect openings; keep a supply of water-absorbent barriers to divert water away by installing watertight shields over all doors and windows.
  • Evaluate the drainage of the property to make sure the ground slopes away from the building.

If you have a fire in your home or business then call SERVPRO of North Elkhart County for all your restoration needs! 574-343-1397

Mold in your Elkhart Basement?

6/30/2017 (Permalink)

Flooded basements are very difficult to properly dry-out quickly which makes them a common area for mold growth. Lifting up carpeting and cutting holes in the dywall might be necessary to properly dry-out and prevent mold growth. Mold in the basement is usually caused by seepage from a crack in the foundation. The mold growth is often localized near the crack. Being that this is generally the place where storage occurs, items should sit at least 6 inches off the ground on a shelf or rack, and be at least 6 inches from the walls. Should there become a mold problem, personal belongings are safe.

If you have mold in your home or business then call SERVPRO of North Elkhart County for all your restoration needs! 574-343-1397

SERVPRO of North Elkhart has Mold Advice

6/30/2017 (Permalink)

Molds are living microorganisms and forms of fungi like yeast; it comes in about any shape, size, and color. Molds reproduce by releasing microscopic airborne spores that find their way to a habitable surface. Mold can grow on almost anything especially drywall, insulation, and wood. If water is present on these surfaces, mold grows into active colonies and spread. Mold can also grow on surfaces like metal, plastic, and glass if moisture is present. Some people are not affected by mold, but for others, mold symptoms include allergies, fatigue, headache, runny nose, and dry throat.

If you have a mold problem in your home or business then call SERVPRO of North Elkhart County for all your restoration needs! Our business hours our from 9AM-5PM weekdays. 

574-343-1397

How To Prevent Water Damage

6/30/2017 (Permalink)

Water damage is the #1 thing that weakens your homes foundation. When water damage hits the core of your home, it eventually causes serious structural damage. By repairing water leaks such as dripping pipes, cracked caulking, loose, missing, or damaged shingles, you can prevent water damage. Nature outside of the home can also be a culprit for water damage. Certain plants, trees, shrubs, and leaves can contribute to water damage. When the water is not draining properly the dirt around the foundation can separate and pool around the home. Downspouts should be at least 5-10’ away from the house.

If you have a water problem in your home or business then call SERVPRO of North Elkhart County for all your restoration needs!

574-343-1397

Steps to protect your home from water damage

6/30/2017 (Permalink)

  • Make sure the caulking around the tub and shower is water tight. If there are cracks in the caulk, replace it. The cost of caulking is less cheap than the potential water damage that could be caused from water leaks down the road.
  • Check the hoses that lead to the dishwasher, refrigerator, and washing machine annually to be sure there are no cracks or water leaks. Hoses should be replaced every 5-7 years.

Shower/tubs, toilets, sinks, water heaters, washing machines, and dishwashers are the common causes of water leaks that could lead to water damage. Checking these often can prevent potential disaster.

If you have a water problem in your home or business then call SERVPRO of North Elkhart County for all your restoration needs!

574-343-1397

Summer Fire Safety

6/30/2017 (Permalink)

The 4th of July is an exciting time for fireworks, but it is also a time for accidental fires and burns. We look forward to vacations, fireworks, and picnics during the summer; however, this is the prime time for fires due to outdoor cooking and fireworks. Here are some things to keep you and your family safe

  • Only use your grill outside at least 3 feet away from the home.
  • Keep a 3 foot safe zone around the grill, this will keep kids and pets safe.
  • Build campfires at least 15 feet away from tent walls, shrubs, and other material that burn.
  • Attend public firework displays and leave the lighting to the professionals.

If you have a fire in your home or business then call SERVPRO of North Elkhart County for all your restoration needs! 574-343-1397

Smoking and Fires

6/30/2017 (Permalink)

The place where we feel safest is at home; that is also where most smoking-materials structure fires, deaths, and injuries occur. Smoking materials are the leading cause of fire deaths. Smoking material fires are preventable. If you smoke, use only fire-safe cigarettes. If you smoke, smoke outside. Most deaths result from fires that started in living rooms, family rooms and dens or in bedrooms. Keep cigarettes, lighters, matches, and other smoking materials up high out of the reach of children, in a locked cabinet. Do not discard cigarettes in vegetation such as mulch, potted plants or landscaping, peat moss, dried grasses, leaves or other things that could ignite easily.

If you have a fire in your home or business then call SERVPRO of North Elkhart County for all your restoration needs! 574-343-1397

Storm Safety

6/30/2017 (Permalink)

Don’t underestimate the power of strong thunderstorm winds known as straight-line winds – they can reach speeds of 100 to 150 mph. Hurricane-force winds start at 74 mph. If a severe thunderstorm warning contains hurricane-force wind speeds seek shelter immediately. Stay away from windows and go to the basement or interior room/hallway. Do not use electrical appliances. Be aware that tall trees near a building can be uprooted by straight-line winds – that tree can come crashing through the roof of a home and crush a person to death. A downburst can cause damage equivalent to a strong tornado! Be smart and stay safe!

And if your home or business is ever affected by a storm remember to call SERVPRO of North Elkhart County 574-343-1397

Kids Storm Safety Tips

6/30/2017 (Permalink)

  • There’s a strong possibility that the lights could go out during storm; here are some tips to keep you safe while playing in the rain.
  • Stay inside during thunderstorms, lightening and wind can damage power lines and trees.
  • Remind grown-ups to stay away from downed power lines, especially when they are outside cleaning up after a storm.
  • Use flashlights instead of candles they are a lot safer.
  • Try not to open the refrigerator or freezer unless you have to; it could take a few days for power to be restored.
  • Ask grown-ups to unplug appliances, this will prevent damage when the power comes on.

And if your home or business is ever affected by a storm remember to call SERVPRO of North Elkhart County 574-343-1397

How much do you know about mold? The myths and facts.

4/24/2017 (Permalink)

There are lots of misconceptions regarding mold. Mold is something to be concerned about, the following may help you to understand mold a little better.

MYTHS

Toxic Mold-"Black Mold"

Many varieties of mold appear black in color. All colors of mold can be a concern to people with a sensitivity to mold.

Bleach Kills Mold

When bleach is applied to mold it may appear to remove the mold, but it is only temporary. Bleach is water based, the chlorine in bleach evaporates much more quickly than the water, which can actually then be giving the mold one element it needs to thrive...moisture. 

Mold has not been proven to be a health concern

Mold indoors or outdoors can cause people with sensitivity to mold to have allergic type reactions.

 

FACTS

Mold is everywhere and can be a problem in any climate

Mold needs three things to thrive: Moisture, a food source, and appropriate temperature. Molds prefer temperature ranges that are the same as what people prefer. Any temperature controlled home whether in the desert or your home here in Elkhart can provide an environment for mold to grow.

Mold affects every person differently

As with any allergy-producing substances, each person reacts differently to mold. Certain people may have a stronger sensitivity to than others.

A clean or new home does not mean mold can't or won't be a problem

Some new homes actually have a better chance to have mold issues, than some older homes. This is due in large part to modern building materials. Which can provide a food source for mold. Drywall is a much more absorbent material than the plaster used in older homes and can be a good host for mold. 

Mold needs three things to thrive: Moisture, a food source, and the correct temperature. Obvious signs of moisture can allow mold growth such as broken pipes or plumbing fixtures, roof leaks, or foundation issues. There are sometimes moisture issues present from things you may not think of or can see. Condensation in attics and basements, poor ventilation in bathrooms or even leaks from the siding of a home can allow moisture to accumulate in a home.

There are several ways mold can affect you or your families health. Some people are senstitive to mold, which can lead to nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, or skin irritations. Some people with serious allergies to mold can have a more severe reaction to mold exposure, including fever and shortness of breath. People with chronic lung disorders may be more affected by mold, and can possibly develop lung infections.

If you have visible mold or suspect there is a mold problem in your Elkhart home. The best thing you can do is contact the appropriate professionals for air quality testing and also for remediation.

SERVPRO of North Elkhart County can help you with your remediation needs. Call us to set up an appointment today.

574-343-1397

For more helpful information on mold and its health-related concerns visit: The CDC's website at https://www.cdc.gov/mold/faqs.htm

Your Elkhart home is possibly your most important investment

4/24/2017 (Permalink)

Owning a home is a rewarding part of life. For most homeowners, it is the biggest investment you will make in your lifetime. It is also a large responsibility when things don't go as planned SERVPRO of North Elkhart County is #HERETOHELP. Many problems can arise without warning, from plumbing issues, faulty appliances, septic problems to storm damage. If you find your Elkhart home affected by water damage SERVPRO of North Elkhart County provides 24-hour emergency services:

  • Mitigation and water removal
  • Highly trained and certified technicians
  • Dehumidification and drying equipment to dry a multitude of materials
  • Experience working with a wide variety of insurance companies
  • Contents cleaning, drying and deodorizing
  • Full-service cleaning
  • Repair and reconstruction services available
  • Knowledgeable and friendly employees to handle all aspects of you and your homes need and concerns

Damage to your home can be a very stressful event. The team at SERVPRO of North Elkhart County is here to elevate that stress and return your house to the home you love. 

574-343-1397

From a Technicians prespective

4/19/2017 (Permalink)

I recently sat down with our technician Carol to get an account of a recent commercial water loss we handled. This is what she had to say:

"This was a very good "first-time" learning experience for me. First and foremost was to "be prepared for anything" and was excellent preparation for handling water damages on a much smaller scale. 

The previous day and night had brought heavy rainstorms to our area and multiple service calls were coming into the office. I had only been with SERVPRO of North Elkhart County for a few months. When this call came in one of our most experienced technicians took the call. It was relayed to her that the days' previous rains had brought water down into a small commercial office space. The technician and I being the only ones in the shop went to evaluate the loss.

When we got on site, this small commercial office space ended up being a 22,000 sq ft building with large production and warehouse spaces as well as a large showroom with multiple offices and at least 12 additional offices, complete with employee breakroom, testing labs, conference rooms, storage rooms, and bathrooms. The water had been too much for the roof drains to handle and the water came through the HVAC ducts like a waterfall affecting every area of the building.   

I was overwhelmed, to say the least, but it was a great learning experience for me. It taught me not only the basics but the much more complex aspects of water damage. How to prioritize while efficiently doing the maximum amount of work while minimizing the client's concerns and anxieties over how to keep their company up and running.  

This job is not just about the physical work it's about selling your services, getting the job done effectively and efficiently while maintaining a professional attitude and gaining the clients confidence and trust. Which can ultimately lead our company to more jobs and building the business while maintaining a standard of excellence.

-Carol Caletri 

SERVPRO of North Elkhart County employee

 

April showers bring May flowers

4/14/2017 (Permalink)

Spring storms can also bring flooding and home damage to your Elkhart home. As the beginning of spring is here, and the rains with it. There are a few things you can do to prevent water damage to your home or business.

  • Check all downspouts on your home and garage. 
  • Repair or replace any damaged or disconnected downspouts. 
  • Check that all gutters on your home are secure and free of debris. 
  • Make sure all downspouts are draining away from your home and garage. Large amounts of rain can cause puddling near the foundation and allow water to back up into your home or basement.
  • Inspect window wells around basement windows, to ensure proper drainage away from windows. 
  • Clean any leaves or debris from window wells or egress windows to prevent water from entering through windows. 

If the spring storms cause damage to your homie or business we are #HERETOHELP

Call 574-343-1397

Controlling moisture in your Elkhart home is the key to reducing mold growth

2/15/2017 (Permalink)

Molds are a natural part of the environment, they can be found everywhere, indoors and outdoors. Moisture is necessary for mold growth.

The best way prevent mold growth in your Elkhart county home is to control the moisture. The indoor humidity levels inside a home should be between 30-60%. To help maintain those levels it is ideal to make sure to vent all moisture producing sources to the outside. Items such as bath fans, dryers, and the exhaust fan above your stove. Adding insulation can help reduce condensation.

Fix any water leaks or intrusions into your home such as fondation leaks, windows, and pipes. The use of air conditioning and dehumidifiers will also help reduce the moisture levels in your home. 

Make sure to clean and dry any wet materials or furnishings within 24-48 hours to reduce the risk of mold growth. 

For more information on mold remediation contact SERVPRO of North Elkhart County at 574-343-1397.

Spring is right around the corner, is you Elkhart county family and home prepared?

2/13/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of North Elkhart County is looking forward to the spring flowers.

Elkhart residents know with spring right around the corner that also means the chance of severe weather. Thunderstorms, lightening, tornadoes heavy rain and flooding are always something to be prepared for. We all need to remember to have a safety plan and emergency kits on hand. Emergency kits should contain many items including these:



  • A battery operated flashlight with extra batteries

  • A battery operated weather radio with extra batteries

  • An emergency plan for all types of weather, including evacuation plans, shelter area plans, and safe meeting spot that all family members know.

  • A list of important information phone numbers of family, friends and neighbors. Any medical information that may be useful, insurance, allergies, medications, and medical conditions that may require special care.

  • A 3-5 day supply of bottled water and nonperishable food. If you have pets don't forget a 3-5 day supply of water and food for them as well.

  • Blankets or sleeping bags


A first aid kit according to the American Red Cross should include:



  • non-latex gloves

  • assortment of adhesive bandages

  • antibiotic ointment

  • sterile gauze pads in assorted sizes

  • absorbent compress dressings

  • tweezers

  • scissors

  • adhesive cloth

  • aspirin packets (81 mg each)

  • first aid instruction booklet


 It is always a good idea to keep an emergency kit in you vehicle.


 SERVPRO of North Elkhart County's highly trained and caring team is available 24 hours a day to assist you.


Call us at 574-343-1397

Winter Weather Is on its way, Are you prepared?

11/15/2016 (Permalink)

Our fall has been wonderfully mild this year, but with the first chance of flurries possible this weekend, are you prepared for being out on the roads? Here are a few things to check on and inside your car.



  • Spare tire, jack and wheel wrench

  • Windshield washer fluid

  • Full tank of gas

  • Jumper cables

  • Ice scraper or brush

  • Tool kit

  • Flashlight and batteries

  • First aid kit

  • Blankets, gloves, mittens, socks and hats


When the weather is this nice we have a tendency to forget all the things we may need during winter travel. Please take a few minutes to stock your vehicle with these important items. SERVPRO of North Elkhart County hopes that everyone in our community travels safely this winter season. 


SERVPRO of North Elkhart County's highly trained and caring team is available 24 hours a day.


Call us at 574-343-1397

Holiday Safety Tips

11/14/2016 (Permalink)

As the holidays grow near SERVPRO of North Elkhart County wishes everyone a happy and safe season!

 

Here are some health and safety tips:

https://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/events/Winter%20Holidays/index.html

For Service in Elkhart County, Call SERVPRO of North Elkhart

8/3/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of North Elkhart provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in Elkhart, Bristol, Middlebury, Bonneyville Mills, Simonton Lake and the surrounding north Elkhart county areas. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.

  • 24-Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any-Sized Disaster
  • Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
  • A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment 

Have Questions? Call Us 24/7 at 

(574) 343-1397

Residential Services  

Whether your Elkhart, Bristol, Middlebury, Simonton Lake, or Bonneyville Mills  home needs emergency flood damage or your upholstery cleaned, you can depend on us.  Our technicians have extensive cleaning and restoration training and can make your property look its best. Learn more about our residential services:

  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Mold Remediation
  • Storm Damage Restoration
  • Cleaning Services
  • Building/Reconstruction Services

Commercial Services

There's never a convenient time for fire or water damage to strike your Elkhart County commercial property. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services we have the training and expertise to respond promptly with highly trained technicians to get your property back to business. Learn more about our commercial services: http://www.SERVPROnorthelkhartcounty.com/commercial-restoration-cleaning

  • Commercial Water Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Fire Damage Restoration

Our Highly Trained Restoration Specialists are here to help!

7/29/2016 (Permalink)

We are an IICRC Certified Firm

SERVPRO of North Elkhart County is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of North Elkhart

SERVPRO of North Elkhart County  specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Click the link below to meet our crew!

http://www.SERVPROnorthelkhartcounty.com/restoration-training-certifications

SERVPRO of North Elkhart

572-343-1397

Restoring Your Elkhart County Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

7/26/2016 (Permalink)

Our SERVPRO team is here to serve you in the Elkhart, Middlebury, Bristol areas!

Flooding and water damage events at Elkart County commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of North Elkhart County

SERVPRO of North Elkart County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Click the link below to meet our highly trained crew! 

http://www.SERVPROnorthelkhartcounty.com/restoration-training-certifications

SERVPRO of North Elkhart 

574-343-1397

When Storms hit Elkhart County, Call SERVPRO of North Elkhart

7/26/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of North Elkhart County specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Elkhart, Bristol, Middlebury, Simonton Lake, Bonneyville Mills and surrounding North Elkhart areas, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams (http://www.SERVPROnorthelkhartcounty.com/disaster-recovery) that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today

(574) 343-1397

Follow These Mold Safety Tips If You Suspect Mold

7/25/2016 (Permalink)

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of North Elkhart County for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of North Elkhart County specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 

(574) 343-1397

Does Your Elkhart County Home Have A Mold Problem?

7/25/2016 (Permalink)

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 

SERVPRO of North Elkhart 

(574) 343-1397

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