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Explaining Winter Weather Alerts

2/13/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Explaining Winter Weather Alerts National Weather Service Logo

The weather this winter has been nothing short of wild. Wisconsinites have dealt with snow storms, rain and plunging and rising temperatures.

Since winter conditions can be dangerous, it’s a good idea to pay attention to the forecasts and make any preparations you can to stay safe.

But, in order to know how to prepare, you need to know what the forecasts are telling you. That’s where things like watches and warnings come into play.

We learned just what each watch and warning means from the National Weather Service (NWS) and we’d like to share that info with you!

According to the NWS there are Winter Storm Watches and Warnings, Winter Weather Advisories, Blizzard Warnings and Ice Warnings. Here’s what they mean:

  • Winter Storm Watch – the NWS says, “A Winter Storm Watch is issued when there is the potential for significant and hazardous winter weather within 48 hours. It does not mean that significant and hazardous winter weather will occur...it only means it is possible.” (That hazardous winter weather can include snow, ice, sleet, blowing snow or a combination of these hazards.)
  • Winter Storm Warning – according to the NWS, “A Winter Storm Warning is issued when a significant combination of hazardous winter weather is occurring or imminent.”
  • Winter Weather Advisory – the NWS explains this as, “A Winter Weather Advisory will be issued for any amount of freezing rain, or when 2 to 4 inches of snow (alone or in combination with sleet and freezing rain), is expected to cause a significant inconvenience, but not serious enough to warrant a warning.”
  • Blizzard Warning – the NWS says, “A Blizzard Warning means that the following conditions are occurring or expected within the next 12 to 18 hours: snow and/or blowing snow reducing visibility to 1/4 mile or less for 3 hours or longer and sustained winds of 35 mph or greater or frequent gusts to 35 mph or greater.”
  • Ice Warning – According to the NWS, this is when ¼ inch accumulation or more of ice is expected.

All of these alerts can signal dangerous conditions. So, if you see them in the forecast, take precautions! Winter isn’t over yet. Be safe.

The Science of Deodorization

2/12/2019 (Permalink)

When you’re dealing with a bad smell in your home or office, it can be downright distracting.

And depending on what’s caused the smell, it might be really tough to get rid of it. If the odor was caused by a fire and/or smoke damage, for example, the scent can linger for months, if not years.

If this is something affecting your home or business, you might be tempted to spray an air freshener and try to forget about it, but we have some bad news: you won’t be able to forget. The air freshener won’t make the smell go away.

The good news is, team SERVPRO of West Brown County has the equipment and scientific know how to eradicate those bad odors. And we mean ERADICATE them. We don’t try to cover up the smell with perfumes, we use scientifically proven methods to get rid of them.

Here’s a few of the odors we can deal with:

  • Cigarette Smoke
  • Pet Odors
  • Decomposition
  • Mold

And we deal with those using a few different methods. One is by using a piece of equipment called an “ozone generator.”

An ozone generator works by pumping ozone into the affected area. Ozone is a gas that’s made up of three particles of oxygen. (Ozone is different from the “oxygen” or O2 humans need to breathe, which is made up of two oxygen particles). When the ozone comes into contact with the particles making the bad odors, whether they be smoke, bacteria, etc., the ozone will literally change the chemical makeup of those particles through oxidization. Changing the odor-causing particles’ chemical makeup destroys the smell. After use, the ozone then turns into O2, which we’re eventually able to breathe.

Another method our technicians use to destroy stinky smells is thermal fogging.

Through this method, a deodorizer is put through a machine that turns it into a fine fog. That deodorizer fog can then get into every nook and cranny of the affected area, even the smallest, most porous spaces. The fog is even able to reach under floors, into ceilings and behind walls. The fog is then able to alter the particles causing the bad odors and destroy them.

Both of these methods are extremely effective for ridding homes and businesses of bad smells. And both methods take a lot of knowledge and skill to perform correctly. Our technicians have the knowledge and the skills. We’re ready any time you need us, just call 920-434-8224.

Meet Sue: Crew Chief at SERVPRO of West Brown County

2/12/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Meet Sue: Crew Chief at SERVPRO of West Brown County Sue

For this Profile Friday, we are pleased to introduce everyone to Sue, one of our crew chiefs here at Team SERVPRO of West Brown County.

Sue has worked here for four years, but she has 20 years of experience in the restoration business.

Sue leads teams of our production technicians on jobs of all kinds for SERVPRO. She handles just about any projects from fires to floods, to mold to biohazard.

Sue says she enjoys her job because this line of work is exciting. There is always something new to do or learn. No job is ever the same and every day is different too. Sue says she is never bored. The job is challenging and rewarding.

Sue was born and raised in the Green Bay area and she still lives here. She has two children and, fun fact, her son Zac actually works with team SERVPRO of West Brown County too!

Sue says she likes living in Wisconsin because we enjoy all four seasons here. In her free time, Sue likes to do things like go camping and spend time with her friends and family.

Project Profile: Garage Fire

2/5/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Project Profile: Garage Fire Photo of garage fire.

A garage fire can be a devastating event. Flames can start fast, tearing through the garage itself and then, if it’s an attached garage, move just as quickly into and through the home. And even when the blaze keeps to the garage, soot and smoke damage can get into the house.

SERVPRO of West Brown County recently cleaned up after a garage fire in the Green Bay area. Luckily, in this case, the flames stayed contained to the garage.

The flames did cause severe damage in the garage. Pictures show soot and smoke damage left behind on just about every, single inch of the building. The damage was not limited to the structure itself, but also affected items stored in the garage like tools.

To start the cleanup, our technicians removed all the contents, threw away anything damaged beyond repair (after getting the client’s consent). Techs also photographed any non-salvageable items to ensure full documentation for the insurance company.

The crew then worked quickly to tear out and remove any severely damaged structural elements like drywall and insulation. Then the techs were able to clean the smoke and soot off the walls, ceilings and floors.

The team also took the damaged contents back to our shop to clean them individually, returning those salvageable items back to the property owners after cleaning.

At the end of cleaning we deodorized and ozoned the area to counteract smoke molecules and dissipate them to eliminate any remaining odor.   

In this case it took us a couple of days to make the garage fire, “Like it never even happened.”

And if the blaze had been bigger, getting into the home, we would have been able to clean that up as well, taking care of any soot and smoke odors left behind too.

Our team works quickly, carefully and efficiently to clean up and restore any property damaged by a disaster.

If you need our help, call us 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 920-434-8224.

Get an Idea of the Areas We Serve

2/5/2019 (Permalink)

With the name “SERVPRO of West Brown County,” you might think we only serve West Brown County…BUT that is NOT the case.

Our team is able to go far and wide to help you recover from water, fire, mold and biohazard damage.

Let us paint a picture of our service area:

We cover a 70-mile radius around the Green Bay area that includes (and is NOT limited to) Shawano, Oconto, Menominee, and Marinette counties. Our sister franchise SERVPRO of East Brown County handles Sheboygan, Manitowoc, Calumet, Kewaunee, and Door counties.

If you’re in a different location and need help, but you’re unsure if we can serve you, give our office a call at 920-434-8224 to find out. If we can’t help you, we will gladly refer you to a different, local SERVPRO franchise that can!

SERVPRO franchises are all locally owned and staffed, but have the backing of that strong, national, corporate brand. When disaster strikes, SERVPRO is ready to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Meet Boo: Office Dog for SERVPRO of West Brown County

1/31/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Meet Boo: Office Dog for SERVPRO of West Brown County Boo hard at work!

Most of you are already a little bit familiar with our office dog Boo, thanks to #BooDayTuesday, but allow us to tell you more about him in this week’s Profile Friday!

Boo is a four-year-old “shorkie,” which means he is a half shih-tzu, half yorkie. Franchise owners Mike and Georgia Bogenschuetz have owned Boo since he was a pup and he’s been coming into the office ever since.

At work Boo brightens everyone’s day by being absolutely adorable. He’s also our office mascot, greeting people as they come in. That’s about the extent of his responsibilities, although he does enjoy the occasional nap on a desk or treat from a human.

When he’s not hard at work in the office, Boo has a lot of activities he enjoys in his free time. He likes to go outside when the weather is nice and lay in the sunshine or go for walks in the woods. In the summer, Boo likes short (and SLOW) ATV rides, as well as kayak trips. When he has to stay inside, Boo is content watching the squirrels and birds from the window, and playing fetch with his toys.

Mold Containment Keeps You Safe

1/30/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold Containment Keeps You Safe Mold containment setup

Team SERVPRO of West Brown County is trained and ready to take on any mold remediation projects at homes and businesses across the Green Bay area.

Along with the right training and equipment, our technicians make sure to perform mold clean up in the safest way possible.

As we know, there is evidence that mold can create irritants and allergens that can have an impact on people’s health. Remediation can cause mold spores to spread in the air, so that means an increase risk in those irritants and allergens spreading as well.

To prevent the spread of those spores, our technicians set up what’s called containment while cleaning to keep the spores to the affected areas.

First, techs will make sure all heating and cooling systems are turned off during the remediation process, to keep moving air from blowing the spores around.

Then, our techs will build physical barriers using plastic sheeting. They will also used advanced techniques like creating negative air chambers to keep the mold spores within those physical barriers.

Our team is also trained to use specialized air filtration equipment like HEPA vacuums and air scrubbers to keep the air clean.

Your safety is always our number one priority and by setting up containment on each and every mold job we do, we are ensuring your safety.

If you need help with a mold issue at your home or business, call SERVPRO of West Brown County at 920-434-8224.

Meet Sage: Production Technician for SERVPRO of West Brown County

1/23/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Meet Sage: Production Technician for SERVPRO of West Brown County Sage

Team SERVPRO of West Brown County is proud to introduce you to one of our newer production technicians, Sage. Sage has worked with us since September of 2018.

Sage started out mainly assisting with fire contents and structure cleaning projects. She has continued to grow her skills during her time on the team and now works on a wide variety of cleaning and restoration projects.

Sage says she enjoys working for SERVPRO, because the job allows her to be physically active and provides a lot of variety. She says it’s nice to be able to work on something different every day.

Sage is originally from Green Bay and she now lives in the De Pere area. She says winter weather can make it tough to love living in Wisconsin, but that it’s great to live here because her whole family is here.

When she’s not hard at work, Sage enjoys going out with her friends.

The Danger of Ice Dams

1/23/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage The Danger of Ice Dams Ice Dam

This time of year, icicles can certainly make for a lovely sight hanging off gutters and roofs. However, those shimmery shards can be a sign of something serious: ice dams.

Ice dams are solid ridges of ice that form along the eaves of your home and can form on your roof during cold, snowy weather in the same way icicles do. Those dams can cause major damage to your roof, sometimes tearing off shingles and gutters. They can also force water to back up and spill into your house, causing water damage to your property.

Ice dams are created when heat from your home keeps much of your roof warm. That heat, however, does not extend to the eaves of the roof and those stay cold. So, when it snows, the snow will melt on the area of the roof that is warm and then that melted snow freezes on the cold eaves. That is an ice dam. And then, when it snows again, the snow will melt again on the warm part of the roof and then back up behind the ice dam, sending water under the shingles and into your home.

We don’t have to tell you what happens when water floods into your home. It’s not good.

If you’ve noticed ice dams forming on your roof, there are some quick fixes you can try to prevent damage.

We got these tips from thisoldhouse.com:

  • First, you can rake the ice and snow off your roof using an ice rake.
  • You can purchase heated cables and attach them to the eaves of your roof to melt the ice that’s formed there.
  • Blowing cold air onto your roof is also an option. You can place a box fan in your attic and aim it at the warmer parts of the roof to keep them cooler.
  • You can also try to de-ice the eaves by filling pantyhose with ice melt and placing them on the icy areas of the roof.

These are just quick fixes for ice dams, but there are also steps you can take to solve the problem long term. If you notice ice dams have formed on your roof, you should take photos of the troubled areas of your roof and attic and show them to a professional roofer. They will be able to help you figure out what to do to prevent the dams in the future.

And if you have an issue with ice dams that have sent water into your home, SERVPRO of West Brown County can clean up the mess. Call us at 920-434-8224.

We're Here for Your Commercial Restoration Needs

1/22/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial We're Here for Your Commercial Restoration Needs Photo of a commercial restoration project we worked on in the Green Bay area.

At SERVPRO of West Brown County we know when disaster strikes it can strike anywhere. That means we need to be prepared to take on restoration and cleaning projects for homes AND businesses across the Green Bay area.

And we are. Team SERVPRO of West Brown County can take care of any commercial disaster recovery project large or small.

Because we’re a locally owned business, we understand that working time lost because of a disaster means money lost. Since we have that understanding, we strive to perform any commercial cleanup needs as quickly, efficiently and effectively as possible. Our number one goal is to make sure to get your business back to work as soon as possible. That way you can take care of your clients and your bottom line.

As we said, our technicians are trained and ready to take on any kind of disaster clean up like flood damage, fire and smoke damage, mold, biohazard situations and even crime scenes like break ins or vandalism.

Our techs can also help with more general tasks like carpet cleaning.

Here’s a list with examples of just a few of the commercial properties our team is ready to tackle:

  • Small Office Buildings
  • Large Office/High-Rise Office Buildings
  • Apartment Buildings
  • Restaurants
  • Hotel/Motels
  • Small Retail Stores
  • Large Retail/Big-Box Stores
  • High-Rise Residential
  • Manufacturing & Industrial
  • Government/Military

Another service we provide to local businesses is an Emergency Readiness Profile, or ERP. The ERP is a document that you can refer to in a disaster situation to know things like the first responders you need to contact, the areas of the building that might be affected by a particular incident and the chain of command in an emergency. Our marketing team will complete ERPs for Green Bay area businesses completely free of charge. It only takes about an hour of a business owner’s time.

If you need our services to help your business recover after a disaster, or if you’re interested in setting up an ERP appointment, call us at 920-434-8224.