Recent Why SERVPRO Posts
SERVPRO of West Brown County knows what to do if mold grows in your home.
Mold growth in the crawl space of a Green Bay area home.
It’s estimated that more than 1 million types of mold exist, yet less than 10 percent have actually been named. This means mold is very common in both indoor and outdoor environments. While mold and humans can sometimes co-exist without issue, there are certain species of mold that can cause health effects for some people.
If the right conditions exist, mold will grow. Those conditions include:
- Water - Different mold types require varying amounts of liquid before growth begins.
- Temperature - Normal indoor temperatures will promote mold growth.
- Time - Initial mold colonizers can take hold within one day after being exposed to an adequate water supply.
Mold growth can occur in any home, so it’s important to keep an eye out for situations that might promote mold activity. Roof/chimney leaks, wet basements, or condensation from ducts that dampen surrounding insulation are just a few examples of issues that make a house a prime target for mold growth.
If you suspect mold in your home, call SERVPRO of West Brown County to assess the situation. We have the knowledge, tools and track record to effectively remediate mold in your home or business.
If you suspect mold, call us today at 920-499-7050.
What to Do:
- Stay out of affected areas.
- Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
- Contact SERVPRO of West Brown County for mold remediation services.
The Science of Deodorization
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
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
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.
Get an Idea of the Areas We Serve
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
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.
Meet Sage: Production Technician for SERVPRO of West Brown County
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.
Meet Josh: Production Technician with SERVPRO of West Brown County
In this week’s Profile Friday, we are introducing Josh, who is a production technician for SERVPRO of West Brown County. Josh has been a part of the team for a little more than a year now.
Josh helps in any cleanup or restoration work we do, including water damage, fire damage, mold, biohazard and more. He has a background in landscaping, having worked in that industry for about 10 years. In addition to that, Josh does have previous experience in cleaning and building maintenance.
Josh really enjoys the variety of the work at SERVPRO. He says there the job is different every day and that keeps things exciting and interesting.
Josh comes to us from across the pond! He is originally from the Cotswolds in England. He now lives in the Green Bay area. He says he enjoys living here because of all the fun bars Wisconsin has to offer.
Josh married his wife Hollie in April of 2018.
In his free time Josh enjoys cultural activities like going to museums and aquariums and learning about history.
Meet Trevor: Production Technician for SERVPRO of West Brown County
Trevor is a production technician at team SERVPRO of West Brown County. He has been part of the team for a little less than a year now.
Trevor has a background in cleaning and building maintenance and uses those skills now to work on water, fire, mold and bio-hazard mitigation projects.
Trevor says he likes working at SERVPRO because no two days are alike. He says, “you could have two water losses and they will be completely different.” He says the differences in projects are challenging, which keeps the work interesting.
Trevor is originally from Carthage, Mississippi. Now he lives in Green Bay and says he enjoys living in the north. He explains what he enjoys most about Wisconsin life is the food!
Trevor has been married to his wife Janet for a little more than a year. Trevor and Janet have three children: two boys and one girl.
In his free time, Trevor’s favorite thing to do is travel. He is a big fan of tropical locations like Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and Belize.
SERVPRO Products Set Us Apart
When team SERVPRO of West Brown County comes to clean up your home or business, we have a secret weapon that ensures we can make any disaster “Like it never even happened.” Well, make that DOZENS of secret weapons.
SERVPRO stands out among its competitors, because we use our very own line of proprietary cleaning products. Those products are made to handle restoration work from fires to flood damage, biohazard to mold.
By using our own cleaning agents, we know the exact ingredients in each one. This means our technicians can ensure they perform cleanup work safely and efficiently, with the very best results.
A team of chemists and blenders creates 95 of these cleansers in-house at our corporate facility in Tennessee. The team relies on outside vendors to concoct about 45 more products. Those products from outside vendors still carry the SERVPRO guarantee of Quality Assurance and Quality Control, of course.
Here is a list of the types of products our team uses:
- Spotting Agents
- Carpet & Upholstery Products
- Wood & Leather Care Products
- Decontamination Products
- Deodorization Products
- Ceiling & Wall Cleaning Producs
- Hard Floor Care Products
- Specialty Products
- Coatings & Sealant Products
SERVPRO has even created a line of environmentally friendly or “green” cleansers as part of the company’s efforts to better serve our clients and community.
And while the products are created by SERVPRO’s corporate team, they’re used locally by our team here in the Green Bay area. Our technicians are trained to use each product in the safest, most effective way possible. Whether we’re simply cleaning your carpet, or cleaning up after a major sewage spill, you can rest assured we’re using the best possible tools to get the job done right.
Call us day or night at 920-434-8224 and we’ll make any disaster, large or small, “Like it never even happened.”
Holiday Prep Profile: Christmas Lights
Christmas lights courtesy of NFPA.
Thanksgiving has just passed and we here at SERVPRO of West Brown County in Green Bay hope you and your family had a wonderful holiday!
As you recover from turkey and pumpkin pie overload, you might already be starting to look ahead to what’s next…we’re talking the big one…Christmas!
It might seem early to some, late to others, but for many it’s time to start planning your holiday decorations, including lights! As always, we’re here to help…well, we can’t come hang your lights for you, but we HAVE compiled a list of helpful tips to keep you safe while you turn your home into a winter wonderland!
Christmas lights are beautiful, but they do come with safety concerns whether they’re hanging inside or outside your home. They can be responsible for fires and injuries during the hanging process. According to the National Fire Protection Association, holiday decorations cause 860 house fires each year (that number does NOT include fires caused by Christmas trees).
So, please, take this advice and be safe.
Starting with indoor Christmas light decorations, the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) advises the following:
- Use LED lights, which use less energy and run cooler than incandescent lights.
- If you DO use incandescent lights, never connect more than three strands together.
- Plan your light displays according to the outlets in your home.
- Carefully inspect each electrical decoration. Cracked or damaged sockets, loose or bare wires, and loose connections may cause a serious shock or start a fire.
- Follow all the manufacturer’s directions for displaying lights.
- Do not overload electrical outlets.
- Make sure wires and chords are not pinched in doors, windows or under anything heavy. Ensure wires are not twisted.
- Turn off all decorations before leaving the house or going to sleep.
Now that we’ve taken a look inside, let’s take a look outside. The ESFI recommends these steps when hanging holiday lights outdoors:
- Make sure any lights or extension cords you plan to use are marked for outdoor use.
- Match power needs (amperage) of electrical products with amperage rating of extension cords.
- Outdoor electric lights and decorations should be plugged into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs).
- Inspect all lights, decorations and extension cords before using.
- Fasten outdoor lights securely to trees, the house, or other firm supports to protect them from wind damage, but take care not to attach the lights in a way that could damage the cord’s insulation.
- Avoid overloading electrical outlets with too many decorations or electrical devices. They can overheat and cause a fire.
- Do not mount or support light strings in a way that might damage the cord’s insulation.
- As with the indoor lights, turn off all outdoor lights before leaving home or going to bed.
And finally, make sure you get the lights up without hurting yourself. To do so, ESFI says:
- Inspect ladders for loose or missing screws, hinges, bolts, and nuts before using.
- Use wooden or fiberglass ladders. Don’t use metal ladders, as they conduct electricity.
- Use the correct ladder height, ensuring the ladder extends beyond the height of the roof by at least 3 feet.
- When decorating keep yourself and your equipment at least ten feet away from powerlines.
Have fun and get creative this holiday season, but make sure, as always, to keep yourself, your family and your home safe!
And should you ever need us for holiday mishaps, like fire damage, water damage, mold and more, call us anytime (even on Holidays themselves!) at 920-434-8224.
Meet Scott Coates: Production Technician at SERVPRO of West Brown County
For this week’s profile for team SERVPRO of West Brown County, allow us to introduce production technician Scott Coates. Scott has worked here for about two years.
As a production technician, Scott is part of the team that will help clean up and restore properties following disasters like fires, floods, mold and biohazard incidents. Scott also performs general cleaning at corporate locations. His specialties are in demolition and cleaning.
Scott says he enjoys working for SERVPRO of West Brown County, first of all, because of the people he works with. He says it’s a really good team of co-workers. Scott also enjoys the work itself and getting to help customers who are going through tough times.
Scott is originally from Green Bay and he still lives here with his wife Tammy and four stepchildren. Scott and Tammy have been married for almost five years (they’ll be celebrating their anniversary in November)!
When he’s not working, Scott likes to hang out at home, watching sports like football. You’re also likely to see him out taking his dog for a walk.
Scott says he likes living in Wisconsin, because his family is here.
Continuous Training for SERVPRO Team
SERVPRO fleet with mascots Stormy and Blaze
The idea of training is certainly something anyone in any field can relate to: you’re hired into a new job, you get training to learn that job. It’s a pretty similar situation across the board.
What sets the SERVPRO of West Brown County team apart from some, however, is that our training never stops. New employees are trained and so are veterans. Our industry is always changing, so there is always something new to learn to make our work better. And our technicians also benefit from refreshers on the topics that don’t change!
When it comes to training, there are several kinds our techs go through. The big training comes from the IICRC, the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification. The IICRC is an international, governing body that sets the standards for best practices in restoration and remediation work.
Our technicians and attend IICRC classes and receive certifications across a range of topics including water restoration and mitigation, fire restoration and mold remediation.
But the training does not stop with the IICRC. Our team goes through weekly training sessions in house, right in our Howard location.
Once a week, techs will learn about a different production subject to ensure they’re knowledgeable about the latest and greatest techniques.
Techs will also go through a safety training session on a different topic each week. This ensures our team stays safe while working in your home or business. Safety training also ensures our team members keep you, the client, safe while working in your home or business.
If you ever need our services in the Green Bay area, you can trust our team will be well-trained and well-informed. Call us any time at 920-434-8224.
On the Road Again: Sales Routes and SERVPRO
A Sales and Marketing car
If you live in Northeast Wisconsin, you may have noticed SERVPRO’s bright green trucks and cars out on the roadways.
You may assume those vehicles are filled with expert technicians and equipment on the way to help clean up and restore a home or business.
Much of the time you’d be right in that assumption. However, there are other SERVPRO of West Brown County team members who hit the road every day: the sales and marketing staff.
Business owners, managers and those in the insurance field are the most likely to run into Jim, Bill or Alex out and about.
Those three SERVPRO employees complete what are called “sales routes” during the weekdays as part of their jobs. Who you see depends on what kind of business you’re in. For example, if you work in insurance, you’re going to see Jim; if you work in property management, you’re going to see Bill; and if you’re a small business owner of, say, a café or veterinary hospital, you’re probably going to see Alex.
The goal of the sales routes is for our marketing folks to stop into specific businesses and explain the work SERVPRO does. It’s a way for you to get to know us before you need us. One day they might come to talk to you about flood damage recovery. Another day they might come in to talk to you about mold prevention.
You’ll probably only see them stopping in once every few months to say hello and bring you some new information. If you’re busy the day they stop by, Jim, Bill or Alex will simply leave the information on your desk (as well as a little present or two!) and get out of your hair so you can get back to work. If you’re not busy and you want to stop and chat, they’d love to talk about SERVPRO, of course, and fun things like the events your business has planned or your families and pets!
So, be on the lookout for the SERVPRO sales and marketing staff and if you see them out in the community, please say hello!
If one of those three does not already come to visit your business, but you’d like them to visit, or at least learn more about the work our team of technicians do, you can call SERVPRO of West Brown County any time at 920-434-8224! Just ask for Jim, Bill or Alex and one of them will help you out!
It's the Water You Don't See
It's the Water You Don't See
When your home or business experiences a major flood, chances are you’ll notice it.
A few inches of water in your basement, an overflowing toilet or a broken sprinkler are tough to overlook and so is the damage they cause.
However, there is a culprit that might not make a big splash, but can cause serious structural and indoor air quality issues: the water you don’t see.
Sometimes you might have hidden leaks or humidity issues that can start small and grow large in their destruction over time. The little leaks might turn into large deluges or wear away at structures, the humidity could make conditions right for mold growth and bad odors.
As a home or business owner, you want to be on the lookout for these sneaky sources of water loss. You also want to make sure that, if you do experience a large flood, to get it cleaned up properly. Improper water cleanup can leave those hidden problems behind.
This is where SERVPRO of West Brown County comes into the picture. We have the knowledge and experience clean up water damage of any size and get it done right the first time.
We also have the proper equipment to find any moisture lurking out of sight and do away with it.
For example, we have moisture sensors, which are used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards and walls. We have moisture meters that we use to test the actual moisture content of materials. The meters allow our technicians to accurately monitor the drying process. Our team also has thermohygrometers on hand to measure temperature and relative humidity, which ensures techs can calculate and create an environment that is most conducive to drying.
And if hidden water leads to bad odors in your business, we have the tools necessary to take care of those as well.
Some examples are ultra low-volume foggers and thermal foggers. The ultra low-volume foggers atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that can penetrate the site where odor-causing residues accumulate. The thermal foggers dispense solvent-based products by creating a dense fog. The fog consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that attach to and neutralize odor-causing particles.
The lesson here is to be aware that water losses can be hiding in your home or business and if you find them, you can count on us to fix them.
Call SERVPRO of West Brown County at 920-499-7050.
Come See What Howard-Suamico Has to Offer
HSBPA Sidewalk Sale
At SERVPRO of West Brown County, we love being a part of the Howard community. As part of this community, we like to be in the know about fun, local events. And we want to help keep you in the know too!
So, in the spirit of keeping you in the know…the Howard-Suamico Business and Professional Association (HSBPA) is holding its annual sidewalk sale this week!
More than 20 local businesses will take part throughout Howard and Suamico from Thursday August 9th through Saturday August 11th. Those businesses will be offering deals, free samples and demonstrations during all the days of the events.
Whether you live here, you’re new to the community, or you’ve never been to the Howard-Suamico area, the sidewalk sale is a great time to come out and see what the local businesses have to offer.
Our sales and marketing manager Jim Knopf is on the board of directors for the HSBPA so he’s seen first-hand how this event has grown. He says it’s incredible to see so many businesses get involved in the event and to see how the community itself has grown over the last few years. Visiting the sidewalk sale is a great way to see for yourself the growth that’s taking place!
For more information on the event, participating vendors and demonstration times, visit the HSBPA website here: https://hsbpa.org/sidewalksale/.
And if you do head out to the sidewalk sale, come say hello to us in Howard on Pamperin Road! We always like to meet new friends.
Meet Marc Seelye: Shop Steward for SERVPRO of West Brown County
This week we are pleased to present a profile on Marc Seelye! Marc is the shop steward for SERVPRO of West Brown County.
One of the newer employees to the join the team, Marc has been working here for about six months (as of August, 2018!).
As shop steward, Marc is responsible for making sure the shop is clean, organized and that all the equipment is ready to go at a moment’s notice. Marc not only maintains the equipment, he also ensures the supply shelves are always filled. This way the technicians don’t have to waste valuable time looking for what they need, which is particularly important if and when emergency calls come in.
Marc says he enjoys working at SERVPRO, because he gets a lot of independence. He is given a list of tasks to complete and says he likes that he is trusted to get them all done.
Marc is originally from Boyne City, Michigan. He now lives in Sobieski. Marc explains that he likes living in Sobieski because he can be out in the country, while staying close to the larger metropolitan areas.
Marc has been married to his wife Cindy for 34 years. They have three children: two girls and a boy.
During his free time Marc enjoys hunting, fishing, gardening, woodworking and cooking.
The Water is Dry...Now What?
This photo is from a home that experienced flooding. You can see our technicians has remove floorboards, baseboards and sheetrock.
When a home or business experiences floods, leaky pipes, or sewer backups, drying up the water is only half the battle in a recovery story.
As part of the drying process, the SERVPRO team often has to do a bit of deconstruction to properly find and dry all of the water.
Depending on the amount and type of water and how long it sat, our technicians may need to remove things like wet carpet pad, floorboards, baseboards and even sheetrock. This is to ensure all the water damaged materials have been removed and that mold can’t grow on any materials left behind.
For example, our team recently handled a major water loss at a Green Bay area home. The water line to a refrigerator broke, flooding several rooms on the first floor of the home and even seeping into much of the basement. The owners were on vacation when this happened, so the water sat for almost a week.
Because of the extensive damage, our team had to pull up carpeting, remove some wooden floorboards and cut out several inches of sheetrock, among several other steps. Fans and commercial dehumidifiers then dried the remaining structural components back to pre loss condition.
Now, the water is gone and the structure is dried out but the story is not over.
Our reconstruction project manager now steps in to put the home or business back together. It is a process called reconstruction. It is up to the reconstruction project manager to figure out what needs to be done and put an estimate together. Insurance also plays a big part at this stage (as you might expect!).
The adjuster and our project manager will negotiate on the estimates along with the home owner.
Once everyone is in agreement on coverage and the scope of reconstruction, it is up to our reconstruction project manager to schedule the work and make sure our team gets that work done ASAP.
The ultimate goal is for SERVPRO of West Brown County to make that flood seem “like it never even happened,” bringing that story to a happy ending.
If you need our help with a water loss and reconstruction, you can call us any time at 920-434-8224.
Meet Mike Miller: Reconstruction Project Manager for SERVPRO of West Brown County
It is Profile Friday once more and this week we’re pleased to introduce our newest employee (as of August 2018), Mike Miller!
Mike started as our new reconstruction project manager on July 23rd, 2018.
As the reconstruction project manager, Mike is in charge of any reconstruction jobs our team takes on following mitigation or remediation work. He comes up with the estimates for reconstruction costs and ensures that reconstruction work gets done in a cost-effective and timely manner.
Mike comes to us with more than three decades of experience in carpentry. He says carpentry and construction work are in his blood and that he enjoys the work because he gets to see a project through from start to finish.
Mike is originally from Chicago, but he has lived in Clintonville for more than 20 years.
Mike has been married to his wife Kirsten for 36 years. They have three children: a girl and two boys.
In his spare time Mike enjoys being musical. He plays the guitar and sings. Mike is also active in church worship.
Mike says he likes living in Wisconsin because it’s a beautiful state.