Recent Posts

Fall Maintenance Tips for Mankato / Owatonna Homes

9/20/2018 (Permalink)

Cleaning Fall Maintenance Tips for Mankato / Owatonna Homes SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna Fall Maintenance Tips for Mankato / Owatonna Homes

Autumn is just around the corner. As hard as it may be to accept "at first" we Northerners know it's coming. No matter how much we'd like to pretend winter will take its time getting here, we must start preparing now. 

There is important maintenance work to be done before that first snowflake appears out your window. It’s these tasks we don’t always look forward to but a must.

While the weather starts to change, now is the perfect time to get started on cleaning those gutters.  Avoiding this task can ultimately lead to damage to your home including but not limited to:

  • Damage to the gutters itself. Your gutters can become heavy when full of debris and fall causing a hazard to you, your family or visitors to your home. Not to mention you’ll need to repair or replace them adding costs that can be prevented.
  • Fire hazards due to dry leaves left behind. No one wants to think a fire could happen but if a spark from even a neighbor welding “who may be using all safety precautions” can cause a spark to fly into your gutters resulting in a fire.
  • Water can become backed up in those gutters and can eventually cause water damage to your roof, garage and even the walls and ceilings of your home. This happens more frequently than we believe it does.

Take the time in the coming weeks to clean your gutters and while your at it use these safety tips to ensure your safety during these cleaning projects:

  • Do check for critters first. Sometimes animal wildlife and or pests can be taking up home in your gutters. Gently shaking the gutter first might help alert small animals to find another home.
  • Choose a good and sturdy ladder. If you don’t have a safe ladder it might be a good idea to buy a new one or borrow a ladder that ensures your safety.
  • Make sure to inspect this ladder before using it for any damage. Inspecting this ladder for sturdiness on each step and ensure that all screws are secure. The ladder should be safe for use before you make that first step. Check your owners manual for any specifications when using specific ladders.
  • It’s always a good idea to let someone know you will be performing this task in case of accidental injuries or falls.
  • Remember both of your feet and one hand should always be in contact with the ladder you’ve chosen to use. This is called a 3 point contact and should always be considered when on a ladder.
  • Using protective eye wear will keep your eyes safe from any debris inside your gutters.
  • Wear gloves. A cleaner hand is always favored but wearing gloves may also be the one thing that may protect you from a bite or sting from an insect.

Best of luck to you all in getting those gutters cleaned.

Stay safe and stay tuned for more useful tips and practical advice from SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna to ready your home or business for the Winter months.

Storms Can Be Unpredictable!

9/12/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Storms Can Be Unpredictable! SERVPRO© of Mankato / Owatonna Rerouting to get to you.

SERVPRO© of Mankato / Owatonna fully understands how Storms can become unpredictable. The photo you see here in this blog shows that even in sever floods SERVPRO© of Mankato / Owatonna will find a way to get to you. Our technicians drove an additional 20 miles to get around these flooded roads to reach a homeowner and help with their flooded basement.

When Storms or Floods hit Mankato or Owatonna and even the surrounding areas where services are limited or none exist SERVPRO© of Mankato / Owatonna is ready to help anyone we can!

Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage.

SERVPRO© of Mankato / Owatonna 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 Mankato / Owatonna and other areas where services are not available, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of over 1,700 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today @ (507)-200-3700

Watch Out For Mold In Your Owatonna Home

9/12/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Watch Out For Mold In Your Owatonna Home SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna Cities

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has guidelines about mold. SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna Cities would like to share these guidelines.

Question- What Causes Mold to Grow:

  1. Moisture
  2. Warmth
  3. Protein-Protein is in building materials like drywall
  4. It is also in wood and in many paint
  5. Skin cells (we shed them all the time
  6. Dog and cat dander

How to identify mold:

  1. Only a licensed professional can identify what kind of mold you have. SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna Cities does not identify mold types
  2. You need to know what kind of mold you have

How to eliminate a mold problem AFTER an inspector has identified the type of mold

  1. Call a licensed professional. SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna Cities is licensed in mold remediation. We know how to clean up the different mold types
  2. Be aware, there can be much more mold than you see. Mold spores are tiny
  3. Without proper training, equipment, and safety measures, you should NOT try to resolve the problem yourself

Links:

https://www.fema.gov/pdf/rebuild/recover/fema_mold_brochure_english.pdf

Candles and Fire Prevention in Mankato / Owatonna

9/12/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Candles and Fire Prevention in Mankato / Owatonna SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna Cities

SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna Cities wants you to be safe from fire and smoke damage. Although fires from candles happen more often around the holidays, many people use candles all year round. It is so important to be careful any time you have an open flame in your home or office.

Fire Prevention is the best way to fight against fire damage or injuries.

SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna Cities offers these tips for candle safety from the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA):

  • Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can catch fire
  • Don’t let children near candles
  • Put out candles when leaving the room or going to bed
  • Keep trees and other plants away from candles
  • Make sure that candles are not near window curtains or blinds that could catch fire
  • Keep lit candles in safe candle holders
  • If the flame has to burn until the candles are out, keep the candles in holders that keep the flames behind glass
  • If the flame has to burn until the candles are out, keep the candle holders in a sink or a metal container of water
  • Do not leave children alone in a room with lit candles
  • Don’t light candles in the bedroom. You might fall asleep. One third of all candle fires start in the bedroom
  • If the power goes out, use flashlights instead of candles
  • If someone in the home uses oxygen, do not use candles
  • Fire damage from candles happens 35 times a day in the U.S.

A little caution goes a long way to protect you and your loved ones. If you have to deal with damage caused by smoke or fire from a candle, your friends at SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna. We are just a phone call away.

Links:

https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/

https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Top-causes-of-fire/Candles

https://www.nfpa.org/~/media/files/public-education/resources/safety-tip-sheets/religious_candles_safety_tips.pdf

Fire Extinguisher Safety in Mankato / Owatonna Cities

9/12/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Extinguisher Safety in Mankato / Owatonna Cities SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna

All of us at SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna Cities hope you never have a fire. If the worst happens, we are experts in cleaning the damage left by smoke and fire in your home or office.

Fire extinguishers may help prevent fire damage or smoke damage, but only if you know how to use them.

SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna Cities wants to share these tips from FEMA. You can try to fight a small fire only if:

  • You have alerted others in the building that there is a fire
  • Someone has called the fire department
  • You are physically able to use a fire extinguisher
  • The fire is small and contained (like a wastebasket)
  • You are safe from the fire’s smoke
  • You have a clear escape route

How to Use a Fire Extinguisher: SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna Cities suggests you remember PASS:

Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.

Aim at the base of the fire.

Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.

Sweep the nozzle side to side.

If you see a small fire at your place of business or home, and you think you can take care of it yourself, use these tips above. If you have any worries, you and everyone should leave the building and call 9-1-1 when you are safe, outside.

Links:

https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/

https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/extinguishers.html

Storm Damage Can Cause Mold in Mankato / Owatonna Cities

9/12/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Storm Damage Can Cause Mold in Mankato / Owatonna Cities SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna

Mold grows out of tiny spores. Spores are tough enough to survive indoors or outdoors in harsh conditions. Spores can survive for years. Scientists have found ancient mold spores that could grow into mold.

Standing water and moisture can lead to mold growing in your home. Mold does not need visible water to grow. Humidity inside the home is enough. Small amounts of water vapor can help mold grow.

SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna Cities knows that storm or flood damage can allow the mold spores to open up. Any dampness can lead to mold.

SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna Cities can remediate mold that grows on:

  • Wood
  • Paper
  • Carpet
  • Insulation
  • Drywall
  • Crawl spaces
  • Attics
  • Basements
  • Bathrooms
  • Anywhere in your home or business

To treat mold correctly, it is criticially important to first stop the source of moisture. SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna Cities can clean and repair the damage caused by mold in your home or business. More important, SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna Cities has a specialty in mold remediation.

Links:

https://www.fema.gov/pdf/rebuild/recover/fema_mold_brochure_english.pdf

https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/mold/index.html

Prevent Mold in Your Mankato / Owatonna Cities Basements

9/12/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Prevent Mold in Your Mankato / Owatonna Cities Basements SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna

SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna Cities wants to help educate others about mold:

  • Mold can grow almost anywhere
  • to grow, mold needs:
    • above-freezing temperatures
    • protein, such as in animal dander, skin cells, wood, plaster, carpet
    • moisture
    • oxygen
  • It grows rapidly
  • It causes damages property
  • It thrives in basements

If you have a small amount of mold on a dish, you can clean it. You can even throw it out. If you have a large amount of mold, however, you need a licensed professional to do the mold remediation.

SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna Cities is licensed in mold remediation. We know that the best offense against mold is a good defense.

SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna Cities suggests the following criteria for preventing mold damage in your basement:

  • Elevate equipment and inventory above the floor
  • Maintain humidity below 40% with a dehumidifier
  • Use water-resistant materials in building/repairing the basement
  • Use galvanized or stainless-steel hardware
  • Repair leaky pipes
  • Cover any dirt in crawlspaces. This prevents water from seeping through the ground
  • Ventilate the basement

If you follow these steps, it will greatly decrease your chances of experiencing the destruction caused by mold in your home or office.

Links:

https://www.fema.gov/pdf/rebuild/recover/fema_mold_brochure_english.pdf

https://www.epa.gov/mold/mold-remediation-schools-and-commercial-buildings-guide

Thunderstorms & Lightning in Mankato / Owatonna Cities

9/12/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Thunderstorms & Lightning in Mankato / Owatonna Cities SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna Cities

Thunderstorms can be beautiful, but they are dangerous. They can cause severe damage to your home and property. Thunderstorms include lightning and can:

  • Include winds over 50 MPH
  • Create hail
  • Cause flash floods
  • Cause tornadoes
  • Cause flooding

In most places, a thunderstorm can happen at any time of the year and at any time of the day.

You can’t prevent a thunderstorm, but you can prepare.

  • Know the risk for thunderstorms in Mankato / Owatonna Cities
  • Sign up for your community’s warning system
  • Cut down or trim trees that may fall on your home
  • Install surge protectors, lightning rods, or a lightning protection system

SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna Cities repeats the warning, “When thunder roars, go indoors”. You don’t have to wait for the thunder. If there is a thunderstorm warning, go inside. Once there:

  • Unplug appliances
  • Do not use landline phones
  • Pay attention to alerts and warnings

If you can’t get inside a building:

  • If you are swimming or in a boat, get to land immediately. Find shelter
  • If you are in a car, don’t touch anything metal
  • “Turn around. Don’t Drown”. Avoid flooded roads. 6 inches of moving water can knock you down. One foot of moving water can sweep away your car

A lightning strike during a thunderstorm can leave a wake of destruction in its path. This can range from minor electrical issues to fire damage. Lightning is also a major cause of injury or death from weather-related dangers. Most people survive being hit by lightning, but they often have long-term problems.

Links:

https://www.ready.gov/thunderstorms-lightning

https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1527866280447-8ee0ba123e9a7b91c75b97dfb62cb657/ThunderStorm_May2018.pdf

Use Caution Outside During Tornado Season

9/12/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Use Caution Outside During Tornado Season SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna

In Mankato / Owatonna Cities, we know about the dangers of tornadoes. Storm damage, water damage, and high winds can cause death, injuries, and property destruction.

SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna Cities knows that tornadoes can rise up quickly. We may not always be able to get to shelter.

If you are caught outside during a tornado in Mankato / Owatonna Cities:

  • Do not try to outrun a tornado in your car. Tornadoes can flip cars
  • Do not use your car as a shelter
  • You are safer in a low, flat location
  • Do not hide under a bridge or an overpass. Structures can collapse
  • Shield your head and neck with your arms
  • You can use blankets or coats for more shielding
  • Watch out for flying objects
  • Do not try to cross through water. Water can rise rapidly

When a tornado strikes a home or business, SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna Cities is here to help clean up the mess. But the most important thing you can do is to stay safe.

Links:

https://www.ready.gov/tornadoes

Commercial Flood Insurance in Mankato / Owatonna Cities

9/12/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Commercial Flood Insurance in Mankato / Owatonna Cities SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) provides flood insurance. The NFIP doesn’t sell insurance. Buy flood insurance from an insurance agent.

SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna Cities is interested in helping the businesses in our community become more educated on flood insurance. According to FEMA, 40% of small businesses do not reopen after experiencing a devastating flood.

Things to know in Mankato / Owatonna Cities. Check to see if you might be required to have flood insurance.

  • All agencies in Mankato / Owatonna Cities charge the same for flood insurance
  • Standard commercial insurance doesn’t pay for flood damage
  • The NFIP sets the rates
  • Rates depend on:
    • whether you live in a flood plain
    • flood risk in your area
    • building’s age
    • building’s construction
  • Building property insurance covers the building
  • Personal property insurance covers the building’s contents
  • NFIP suggests you need both types
  • Policies go into effect 30 days after purchase
  • The NFIP help center number is 1-800-427-4661

SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna Cities recommends the following:

  • Check whether or not your area participates in the NFIP
  • Check whether or not your area is part of the Community Rating System. The NFIP might have a discount
  • Talk to your insurance agent when you need to make changes

Make sure your business is protected from the devastation that comes with unwanted flooding in your office. Call SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna @ (507) 200-3700 if you need help getting your office back to it's pre loss condition.

***

Links:

https://www.usa.gov/property-insurance

www.fema.gov