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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Water Leaks & Detection

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

Small, big leaks, the are all big!  A leak from a hole that is 1/16" in diameter can pour 822 gallons of water a day into your home! 

With any leak or spill, it’s the water you don't see that can cause the most damage. In order to find that materials that are wet we mainly rely on a Moisture Meter. There are two types, pin-type and pinless.  Pin-type Moisture Meters measure the resistance between test pins inserted into a piece of wood/building material and use that reading as a proxy for the object’s absolute moisture level. Pinless Moisture Meters rely on the ability of moisture to inductively distort an electric field created by turning on the meter.  This sounds like a bunch of scientific talk, and it is!  But mainly the moisture meters will tell you when something is wet and how wet, so you can find any hidden wet spots in your home.  While the surface may seem dry, the water you don’t see can contain bacteria, cause mold or rot, and cause other unseen damage that must be mitigated immediately.

SERVPRO of East Central Waukesha County has the tools to find where any water is lurking and can come out and give a free inspection to see how best to tackle any water damage.

Tips to Help Prolong Carpet Life

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

Follow these how to clean carpet tips to keep your carpet as dirt-free as possible.

Vacuum often
To protect your carpet, vacuum entrance areas and high-traffic areas twice a week and the rest of the carpeting at least weekly. Oily soils attract oily soils, and frequent vacuuming will reduce soil buildup.  Make sure your vacuum is set to the right height.

Start with a clean bag or filter
A dirty bag or filter can cut a vacuum’s suction power in half. Bagless vacuums stop working if the filters aren’t changed often enough. Replace or wash (if possible) the filters on bagless vacuums every three months. Replace vacuum bags when they’re three-quarters full.

Vacuum at the right speed
Vacuum slowly enough to get out as much dirt as possible. Make one quick pass over low-traffic areas and two slow passes over high-traffic areas. 

Use walk-off mats
Use walk-off mats inside and out to keep dirt off the carpeting. Coarse-textured mats outside your doors remove soil. Water-absorbent mats inside prevent wet shoes on the carpeting.

Treat stains immediately
Most stains can be removed if attended to right away.  Be sure to use any carpet stain treatments according to their directions and blot don't rub.

If all else fails, SERVPRO of East Central Waukesha County has a wonderful carpet cleaning service!!

CE Classes - Insurance Industry

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Milwaukee North and SERVPRO of East Central Waukesha County has committed to having CE classes for the insurance industry every quarter starting in 2018.  Partnering with Goff's Collision which has locations all around Milwaukee, we are offering a wide variety of classes that encompass the residential and auto insurance topics.  
We offer classes in several fun locations in the Milwaukee area that help to encourage learning, discussion and willing participation of all attendees.  The best part of our classes is that they are FREE and we offer a light breakfast and lunch with attendance.
Please see Goff's Collision website to check out our upcoming classes or visit Goff's Collision or SERVPRO of Milwaukee North and SERVPRO of East Central Waukesha Cty Facebook sites.


We look forward to you joining us!

Winter Water Damage

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

For Milwaukee area and most of the northern United States winter freezing temperatures are always a cause for concern. 
Besides the fact that it is freezing to us, it is also freezing our pipes!  Frozen pipes many times lead to broken pipes and during these times of frozen pipes the restoration industry is swamped with work.  When this happens we are lucky to have the backing of SERVPRO to help us in this time!  Whether is it the polar vortex or just a week of ridiculously cold weather, SERVPRO franchises are always available to help out others who are at max work capacity.
This gives you the ability to have quick service and know that you are still getting industry-leading equipment, set-up, monitoring and restoration services.  

Commercial Promises

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Down Time is bad.  SERVPRO of East Central Waukesha County recognizes that for all businesses down time is loss of revenue.  As a business, do you have a Emergency Plan?

SERVPRO of East Central Waukesha County promises

- quick response that may help avoid revenue loss for property owners and minimize losses for tenants and business owners.  We are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for all your needs!
- restoration services that avoids costly downtime and helps resume business functions quickly
- industry approved equipment and techniques along with well trained and uniformed professionals that saves time and money.

SERVPRO of East Central Waukesha County also offers a free Emergency Ready Profile for businesses.  This gives people a chance to walk through their business to see the whole building and maybe even re-familiarize themselves with the area.  Water, Electric and Gas shut-offs all get labelled to help with any emergency situations.  Emergency contacts are detailed and all this is located in one easy to use booklet or can be accessed online with the ERP app.  SERVPRO wants to be sure that you are Ready for Any Size Disaster.

Smoke Alarm Safety

12/27/2017 (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.


-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.

Fire Protection

12/27/2017 (Permalink)

In order for a fire to start it needs three things - Oxygen, Heat & Fuel.  If one is missing a fire cannot start!  In order to protect yourself, it is important to understand the basic characteristics of fire.
• Fire is FAST. In just two minutes, a fire can become life-threatening. In five minutes, a residence can be engulfed in flames.
• Fire is DARK. Fire produces gases that make you disoriented and drowsy. Instead of being awakened by a fire, you may fall into a deeper sleep. Asphyxiation is the leading cause of fire deaths, exceeding burns by a three- to- one ratio.
• Fire is HOT. Heat and smoke from fire can be more dangerous than the flames. Inhaling the superhot air can sear your lungs.

How do you protect yourself from fire?
• Plan 2 minute escape plan and practice it!
• Make sure smoke detectors work!!
• Avoid overloading extension cords.
• Have open and clearly marked exits.

Always available when you need us!

12/27/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of East Central Waukesha County is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  We will work hard to restore your residential or commercial property and its contents to preloss condition helping you become a hero in a disaster situation. 

SERVPRO of East Central Waukesha County is part of the SERVPRO Storm Team which means we are called into action when anyone needs us anywhere!  SERVPRO has a great network of franchises that can be called on in big weather events and we are proud to be a part of that.

Being available whenever you need us means...

- Quick Response may help avoid revenue loss for property owners and minimize inconvenience to tenants.

- Restoration services can help you resume normal business functions quickly while avoiding costly construction downtime.

- Professional equipment and industry-approved techniques can save you time and money.

Riding the Storm Out

12/27/2017 (Permalink)

There are many things you can do to prepare for a "storm event".  One of these very important items is a Home Emergency Kit/Car Emergency Kit.  In the kit is a collection of basic household/automobile items that you will need in an emergency. Try to assemble your kit as soon as possible so that it will be ready in case of an emergency and don't forget to rotate new items in so when you need it there will not be expired or out-of-date items.  

When there is a "storm event" it takes at least 72 hours for emergency and relief workers to be on scene. Services like electricity and phone might be cut off for over a week. Kits should be prepared with this information in mind.

Be Prepared!!  Use online resources to see what should be in your emergency kit!

What About Mold Spores?

12/27/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Spores need three things to grow into mold and removing any one of these can reduce or eliminate new mold growth:
1. Nutrients - Dust or Dander
2. Moisture 
3. Warmth

Food sources for mold in buildings include cellulose-based materials such as wood, cardboard and the paper facing on drywall and organic matter such as soap, fabrics and dust-containing skin cells. A basement or crawl space, a leaking roof or a leak in plumbing pipes provide the moisture to start mold growth. Insufficient ventilation may accelerate moisture buildup and visible mold colonies may form where ventilation is poorest.

If there are mold problems in a house only during certain times of the year, the house is probably too airtight or too drafty. Molds grow best in warm temperatures, 77 to 86 °F.  HVAC systems can also produce all three requirements for mold growth creating a difference in temperature encouraging condensation or with the dusty air movement through the system.

Here are some steps to help prevent mold in your home.
- Stop and fix any water leaks - fix leaky pipes, prevent seepage, have rainwater drain away from house & ventilate enclosed areas
- Keep surfaces clean - dirt promotes mildew
- Keep surfaces dry - reduce moisture with dehumidifiers, keep humidity in home below 40%
- Routinely check problem areas like steamy bathrooms, kitchens, roofs, windows, laundry rooms, anywhere that has had a leak previously

SERVPRO of East Central Waukesha County provides free inspections if you ever think you have a water or mold problem!

Winter Weather Water Tips

12/27/2017 (Permalink)

Winter weather comes with a bunch potential water problems including frozen and then broken pipes.  Here are some helpful hints that can help in the winter.

  • Before you turn on your furnace make sure I has been inspected and maintained.  Puffbacks from your furnace can send soot and smoke all through your house!
  • Shut off outside faucets in your crawl space or basement and keep the faucets open to allow them to drain after being turned off.
  • Clear out gutters to ensure proper flow of water away from house.
  • Be aware pipes that run through unheated or non-insulated parts of your house and keep a slow trickle of water flowing through these faucets.
  • Keep cabinet doors open during extra cold spells to allow warm air to circulate around pipes.
  • Make sure your attic is properly insulated and ventilated to prevent ice dams from forming.
  • If pipes do freeze do not attempt to thaw water without turning main shut-off valve first

Grilling Safety

7/3/2017 (Permalink)

Now that summer is in full swing, so is grilling season!  In order to prevent a trip to the emergency room, or a visit from SERVPRO of East Central Waukesha for fire damage, please follow these helpful tips.

- All grills should be used outdoors away from the house, eaves, railings and overhanging branches.
- Keep the grill free of grease buildup and never leave it unattended.
- Kids and pets should be at least 3 feet away from the grill at all times.
- For gas grills check for leaks before it is used for the first time every year.
- If you smell gas when using a gas grill, immediately get away from the grill and call fire department.
- Use only charcoal starter fluid to start a charcoal grill.
- Let charcoal cool completely before disposing in a metal container.  When disposing make sure the area is inaccessible for children and pets.

Make sure all grilling memories are great memories, use caution when grilling!

Employee Profile - Andy Webber

5/23/2017 (Permalink)

General Employee Profile - Andy Webber Andy Webber

Andy is one of our Mitigation Project Managers at SERVPRO of East Central Waukesha County.  Andy is busy daily with inspections, estimates, overseeing jobs, talking with adjusters and customers and driving all around the Milwaukee area attending to all these things.

Andy has 8 years of experience responding to water, fire, mold, and specialty cleaning projects. He has certifications from the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification in Water Damage Restoration Technician and Applied Microbial Remediation Technician.  

Andy lives in Slinger and enjoys golfing,  snowboarding, spending time outdoors especially with family including his fiancé and her son.  He especially enjoys braving the elements as a Soccer Parent.  

If you ever need SERVPRO of East Central Waukesha County and Andy Webber shows up, you are in good hands.  We are proud to have him representing us!

Employee Profile - Christina Schrubbe

4/17/2017 (Permalink)

General Employee Profile - Christina Schrubbe Christina Schrubbe

Christina is our Production Administrator and one of the wonderful people who might answer your phone call here at SERVPRO of East Central Waukesha County.  Along with providing great customer service she tackles some very tough and intricate software in her daily activities and always has a willingness to dive in and try new things.  You can always count on her cheerful attitude in the office even when she is filing!

When she is not at work Christina is planning a wedding for 2018, enjoying the outdoors, camping, spending time with her fiancé and son and like most moms is busy with her son's activities.  Maybe included in these activities she is also daydreaming of her next trip to Colorado.  We are very lucky to have Christina!


4/3/2017 (Permalink)

Board-ups are not just for Hurricanes! There are many reasons that you may need a board up or to use tarp to protect your home.  SERVPRO of East Central Waukesha County can board-up your home due to fire, wind, vandalism, animal infestation or even when a car runs into your house! Board-ups can secure the property from looting or more vandalism.  Board-ups also can protect your property from more weather-related damage until you can get it fixed.  Most insurance policies require that the Homeowner/Renter protect their property against secondary damage.  This is damage that occurs because a person doesn't take the appropriate actions after the first damage occurs to secure the property.  If they are found to be negligent, the secondary damage might not be covered by insurance. Board-ups are just one service along with our fire, water clean-up and rebuild department that can make it "Like it Never Even Happened".

Employee Profile - Andy Geiger

3/10/2017 (Permalink)

General Employee Profile - Andy Geiger Andy Geiger

Andy is one of our Mitigation Project Managers at SERVPRO of East Central Waukesha County and logs many miles a day going from jobs to inspections, back to the office and then out again into the field.  If you see a tall, bearded man driving a green SERVPRO Scion, that is Andy!

He has 8 years experience responding to water, fire, mold and specialty cleaning projects.  Andy has recently taken on more responsibilities as Mitigation Project Manager and like always is reliable, hardworking and great with our customers.

Andy hails from scenic Waukesha and in his spare time he dotes on his young daughter, cheers on the Packers, plays video games and finally rescues and adopts bearded dragons from dumpsters.  We are lucky to have Andy!!

Employee Profile: Russ Maki

2/14/2017 (Permalink)

General Employee Profile: Russ Maki Russ Maki

Russ Maki is one of our Project Managers in our Rebuild Department and has been handling multi-faceted rebuild projects for SERVPRO of East Central Waukesha County for 3 years.  On a daily basis, Russ is coordinating repair schedules, working with our subs, and consulting homeowners with their selections to replace parts of their home damaged by water or fire.  He builds a great rapport with homeowners by keeping in contact with them, giving them updates on how everything is proceeding and in general just being an even-tempered guy even when dealing with the toughest jobs. 

In his spare time Russ likes to trap shoot, go fishing, play volleyball and ride his motorcycle when Wisconsin weather allows.  We are very lucky to have Russ as a part of our SERVPRO of East Central Waukesha County team!

Employee Profile: Etta Llanas

1/2/2017 (Permalink)

General Employee Profile: Etta Llanas Etta Llanas

If you call SERVPRO of East Central Waukesha County with a water loss, fire loss or cleaning need, chances are you will get to talk to Etta at some point.  If you ask Etta about anything that goes on here she will either know or know where to go to get the answer.  She is the go-to for pretty much everyone in the company and tackles everything with a smile, which means she has to work extra hard to get stuff done with all the interruptions!  Whether it be tracking down payments, coordinating schedules, cleaning up files that get dumped on her desk, following up with our people in the field, being on-call (I could go on forever), we are not sure what we would do without Etta!

In Memory of Shawn Retherford

12/21/2016 (Permalink)

General In Memory of Shawn Retherford Shawn Retherford 1977-2016

In early November we lost our friend and colleague, Shawn Retherford, after a courageous battle with cancer. We will miss his smile, laughter and most importantly his friendship.

Shawn knew and had an impact on many people.  We would love to hear any stories and memories from those who knew him.

Please continue to keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.

IFMA New Member Profile

12/21/2016 (Permalink)

Our own Mike Bartsch was profiled in the IFMA Newsletter this month! Mike came to us when we purchased the East Central Waukesha County franchise and has been doing a great job!



12/21/2016 (Permalink)

Mold is found everywhere in nature and is a naturally occurring substance, but it doesn't have to be in your house.  Mold doesn't normally affect people but can cause reactions to those who have allergies.  Mold thrives when there is moisture, warmth and food (like dust/dander). Here are some steps to help prevent mold in your home.
- Stop and fix any water leaks - fix leaky pipes, prevent seepage, have rainwater drain away from house & ventilate enclosed areas
- Keep surfaces clean - dirt promotes mildew
- Keep surfaces dry - reduce moisture with dehumidifiers, keep humidity in home below 40%
- Routinely check problem areas like steamy bathrooms, kitchens, roofs, windows, laundry rooms, anywhere that has had a leak previously

SERVPRO of East Central Waukesha County has the tools to mitigate any water that the mold might be enjoying and removing the mold that is in your house.  We also have a rebuild department that can replace anything that had to be removed due to mold.  We can make it "Like it never even happened".