Recent Posts

Sewer Backup

1/8/2018 (Permalink)

Sewer lines transport waste water from your home to underground sewer mains if you have municipal sewer in your area, or to your private septic system or mound system, if there is no municipal sewer in your area.  Like any plumbing pipe, sewer lines can become clogged.  If this happens, sewage can back up into your home and cause damage that is difficult and expensive to repair and can create health hazards.  What causes a sewer line to clog?

Anything that restricts the flow of waste through the sewer line can cause a clog.  Tree roots or collapsed sewer lines are often the cause of sewer line clogs in older homes.  Old and deteriorated lines can collapse or contain small cracks.  Tree roots can grow into these small cracks and clog from within, or they can wrap themselves around the sewer line and cause the collapse.

Another cause of sewer line clogs is misuse of the system.  In other words, flushing things down your toilets or sinks that you should not.  Things like feminine hygiene products or even grease from the kitchen.  When oils and grease are poured down your sink, they enter the sewer system where they cool, harden and stick to the inner walls of your sewer pipes.  Over time this grease builds up and can either restrict flow through the pipe causing clogs or the build up can be so severe that it becomes a clog itself.  Grease and oil should never be introduced into your sewer system.   

It's important to note that most homeowner and business insurance policies do not cover sewer back up unless specific sewer back up coverage is added to the policy, according to the Insurance Information Institute.  In an effort to give you the lowest quote possible, some insurance agents may not offer this very important coverage.  SERVPRO recommends contacting your agent today to see if you have this very important coverage.

And as always, if you do experience a sewer back up, SERVPRO is here to help clean up the mess and protect you and your family from any health hazards. 

Commercial Fires

1/5/2018 (Permalink)

If you own or run a business, you probably worry about things like sales and profits, hiring and retaining quality employees, keepings expenses down, advertising and so much more.  But you probably rarely, if ever, think about what would happen if a fire were to strike your business.  But the truth is, fires can and do strike commercial properties.   

According to the National Fire Protection Association, U.S. fire departments respond to an estimated average of 37, 000 fires at industrial or manufacturing properties and 13,570 structure fires in stores and other mercantile properties per year.  These fires result in over $1.6 billion in direct property damage.  And these numbers do not account for fires at other commercial structures like hospitals, high rise office buildings, churches, schools, gas stations, restaurants and so much more.   

These numbers are significant.  While proper insurance coverage will help you recover from the direct loss to the structure and its contents, it's important to realize that according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), more than 40% of businesses never reopen after a disaster, and for those that do, only 29% were still operating after two years.   

If you own or run a business, it's important to minimize your loss when disaster strikes, and when the immediate crisis is over, it's important to get your business back up and running as soon as possible.  Every hour spent restoring your business back to pre-fire condition is an hour of lost revenue and productivity and it's a chance for customers to switch over to a competitor.  Our experts at SERVPRO of Winnebago County can help you minimize damage and get your business back up and running quickly.   

Our Sales Manager, Joe Leadley, can create an Emergency Response Preparedness (ERP) Report for your company.  This report would put all of the information you need should disaster strike in one convenient location that can be loaded on your manager's phones as an app.  It would show where in the facility import things like fire extinguishers, circuit breakers and water shut off valves are located.  And it would list all important phone numbers in a crisis.  Things like the name and emergency contact phone number for the company who operates your sprinkler system and so much more.  It would include everything you need to stop a disaster in its tracks to minimize damage. If you are interested in having us do an ERP for your business free of charge, contact our office at (920) 233-1110 and ask for Joe.   

And of course if and when disaster does strike, our experts at SERVPRO of Winnebago County will be there to clean up and get your business back up and running as quickly as possible. 

Roof Ice Damming

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

This time of the year, it is not uncommon to see icicles hanging from the gutters of homes. But did you know that those icicles are most often the result of ice damming and can lead to water damage and eventually mold in your home?!

An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow (water) from draining off the roof. As snow melts from your roof, either by the heat of the sun, or by heat escaping from your home, it tends to refreeze at the edges of your roof. The refreezing of water creates a ridge and can cause an even bigger ice dam behind it. Continuous feeding of the ice dam by melting and refreezing snow can cause significant damage by pushing up on your shingles.  Eventually water seeps under shingles.  When it refreezes it expands and creates an even bigger gap for future melt/rain to fill and the cycle continues.  Eventually the water that backs up behind the dam, and underneath the shingles, can leak into your home and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, and create a perfect environment for mold growth.  

To prevent ice dams, it's important to clean your gutters before winter so that during the winter, melting snow and rain can properly drain off your roof.

Additionally, improper insulation and improper attic ventilation can contribute to ice damming by allowing warm air from inside your home to escape into the attic. It seems counter-intuitive, but the basic ventilation principal for your attic is to keep it as cool as possible during the cold season. If you look at your roof several days after a snow and you see an even distribution covering your roof, that's a good sign that your attic is properly insulated and ventilated.  If on the other hand, you see sections where snow has melted, that suggests an area in the attic where warm air is present due to either improper insulation or improper ventilation. These problems should be addressed as soon as the weather allows. 

Some homeowners also find it useful to use a roof rake during the winter months.  A roof rake is not your average garden rake.  It is a specialty item used to remove snow from the 4-6 feet of roof above your gutter, while standing safely on the ground, so that melting snow can properly flow off of your roof versus forming an ice dam. Roof rakes can be found in season at most hardware and home improvement stores.  If you choose to use a roof rake, it's important to follow all suggested safety precautions and suggestions for use. Additionally, it's important to know the condition of your roof and shingles.  Older roofs, or roofs in poor shape, can easily be damaged by roof rakes and may cause more harm than good.

Continuing Education Classes for Insurance Industry Professionals 2016

6/14/2016 (Permalink)

Community Continuing Education Classes for Insurance Industry Professionals 2016 The venue

SEVPRO of Appleton & SERVPRO of Winnebago County proudly hosted Continuing Education Classes for Insurance Industry Professionals on March 3, 2016, at Neuroscience Group Field, in Appleton, Home of the Wisconsin TimberRattlers.

The TimberRattlers mascot was on hand and generously gave some of our attendees tickets and the use of a suite for the upcoming season.   

This was the second year in a row we hosted CE Classes at this wonderful venue, with an even larger turn out than last year.  We are looking forward to doing it again next year and anticipate our largest turn out yet. 

For more pictures from the event, and notices of next years classes, follow us on Facebook at:  SERVPRO of Appleton & SERVPRO of Winnebago County.