Recent Posts

What YOU should know about Bio-Hazard and Sewer Clean-Up

6/12/2017 (Permalink)

Biohazard and sewage cleanup can involve hidden dangers. It must only be handled by an expert team, with the right training, skills, and equipment to do the job safely. With the assistance of a professional biohazard service team from SERVPRO of Aitkin, Carlton & W. St. Louis Counties, you can rest assured that your health and the security of your property is a top priority.

There are several different types of bio-hazardous jobs which can range from crime scene residues, chemical spills, animal waste or carcasses, hoarding, and the most frequent, sewage backups. The main point to remember is that certain chemicals and pathogens can lead to unhealthy and dangerous consequences if left untreated in a home or business. If you suspect that this kind of problem has occurred in or around your property, you need to call in the SERVPRO experts who can quickly assess the situation.

Once the experts carry out a thorough inspection of the site, they can give you a general assessment. You should not attempt to re-enter the property until you have received clearance from an authoritative source.

The reason eradication and elimination are the primary tactics for biohazard cleanup are because any materials that have come into contact with raw sewage could present a serious risk to health. Within areas deemed ‘unsafe,’ life-threatening organisms like E. coli, salmonella, tapeworm, HPV (human papilloma virus), chemicals, and even HIV can lurk if blood is present.

If you experience any breakdown involving sewage on a scale larger than a small toilet overflow, you should absolutely contact a biohazard removal team right away. In most cases, it is only sewer water that warrants such an immediate reaction, but it is important to be aware that other forms of water damage can become harmful if left untreated.

For example, water from drains and polluted rivers may flood a property and deposit contaminants. This water is not clean; it contains all kinds of bacteria, irritants, and harmful substances and is termed Black Water. This is why you should never wait before you get water damage of any type restored and repaired, even as the contaminated water is quickly removed from the premises.

For businesses, the urgency of biohazard cleanup is particularly pressing. You cannot afford to have your workers or clients exposed to contaminated water, pathogenic agents from a crime scene, or meth lab chemicals. Get in touch with an expert biohazard cleanup team from SERVPRO right away. We are skilled professionals, wearing Hazmat safety clothing and gear, utilize special equipment for any biohazard clean up. Immediate mitigation of health related issues and property preservation are the main, initial focal points. Safety always comes first.

 24 Hour Emergency Service for Biohazard and Sewage Clean Up

SERVPRO of Aitkin, Carlton & W. St. Louis Counties have certified professionals to handle any type of bio-hazardous clean-up. Call us for 24/7 emergency services. (218) 879-6141.

When Storms Hit Count On SERVPRO!

6/12/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Aitkin, Carlton & W. St. Louis Counties 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 we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call SERVPRO of Aitkin, Carlton & W. St. Louis Counties Today at 218-879-6141

A Question for SERVPRO regarding fires

6/12/2017 (Permalink)

Question for SERVPRO:

Donald from Virginia asks: When there is a fire in a house how do you determine what can be saved and what cannot?

Fire Restoration:

When something tragic like a fire happens in your home you do not often think about your “stuff” until after the smoke settles, but trying to decide what can be saved and what can’t can be difficult. There are things that can are easy to throw away, like paper products that have been burned or charred walls, but what about everything else?

When we come into someone’s home after a fire we inventory everything in the house, and I mean everything. From the couch, to the bags of tea in the cupboard. We photograph every piece and get a description to send to the insurance company. From this inventorying we can determine what can be saved and restored and what has been damaged beyond repair.

However they are always things that end up in a grey area. Maybe it is slightly damaged, or maybe it is something that holds sentimental value. The chair that was made by your great grandfather cannot be replaced at your local furniture store. When this happens we work with the home owner and the insurance company to decide how to move forward. Maybe you would like the heirloom to be cleaned even if that means it will not be back to its original glory, but that is a decision that the home owner needs to make for him or herself. 

If the unfortunate happens call SERVPRO of Aitkin, Carlton & W. St. Louis Counties at 218-879-6141.

What size job can you handle

6/12/2017 (Permalink)

Since You Asked

Julie from Aitkin asks: How big of a job can you guys handle?

Commercial Loss

Well Julie thank you for the question and the answer to that question is fairly simple; we can handle them all. Many people see us as a small company that can take care of a residential loss and are unaware that we are large enough to take care of a large commercial loss. We have enough equipment, vehicles, and staff to do any size job. One of the things that separate SERVPRO from some other restoration companies is that we have an entire network of resources to draw from to make sure even the most devastating disaster can be taken care of quickly and professionally. So if you have a grease fire in your home or a commercial property fire that needs us we are here to help. No job is to BIG and No job is too SMALL we can handle them all!

If the unfortunate happens call SERVPRO of Aitkin, Carlton & W. St. Louis Counties at 218-879-6141.

Staying Safe This Summer in the Heat

6/12/2017 (Permalink)

AtSERVPRO of Aitkin, Carlton & W. St. Louis Counties we're here to help you get ready for this Summer Heat! 

Stay safe during our Northern Minnesota heat by remembering these tips this summer:

  • Get the trained in first aid to learn how to treat heat-related emergencies
  • Stay well hydrated!!
  • Have an emergency kit handy
  • Keep ice packs handy in the freezer
  • To reduce 80 percent of the heat that enters your home by covering windows that receives morning and afternoon sun
  • Weather strip your doors
  • Stay aware of upcoming temperature changes. Listen to local weather forecasts
  • Window air conditioners snugly; insulate if necessary

 Stay safe this summer and if you need us remember to give us a call for any fire, water, and smoke emergencies that come up.

You can reach us 24/7 at 218-879-6141

Mold Signs

5/18/2017 (Permalink)

Mold

Fungi and mold occur naturally in our environment. In fact, there over 100,000 kinds of fungi that has been identified. While some of these are very useful to us, like yeast, many others can be harmful to your health. So, where does mold come from and how can we prevent it?

Intrusion of water into your home or place of business can result in mold growth. Water intrusions can be from storm damage, plumbing or equipment failures, long-standing leaks, and poor humidity control. When these water problems are not addressed right away, the resulting damage can present increased risk of mold growth.

If you have high humidity in your home, running a dehumidifier, even during the winter can help. If you have a water loss making sure you completely dry the structure is key. Even if you think that all the water is off the floor water can leach into walls and stay wet for a long time after you think it is dry.

Mold affects people differently, but the people at highest risk for health effects are infants and children, pregnant women, the elderly, people with respiratory problems with asthma, and people with weakened immune systems.

If you think you might have a mold problem, give SERVPRO of Aitkin, Carlton & West St. Louis Counties a call at 218-879-6141. Using various testing devices, we collect air and surface samples to see the mold count in your home.

Mold is something that may not be covered by your insurance policy. To know if you are covered for mold you would need to contact your insurance provider.

If the unfortunate happens call SERVPRO of Aitkin, Carlton and West St. Louis Counties at 218-879-6141. You can submit your own question on our Facebook page, facebook.com/SERVPRO-of-Aitkin-Carlton-West-St-Louis-Counties.

Grilling Safety in Northern Minnesota

5/11/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Aitkin, Carlton and West St. Louis Counties wants to welcome the warm weather and give you some grill safety to consider when breaking out your inner backyard grilling skills.

 

June and July are peak months for summer grilling fires. 

The Memorial Day weekend is approaching quickly, it’s time to dust off the grills and put the inner backyard grilling skills back to work.  As exciting as it is to break out the grill for the official start of the summer season right, we want you to consider the safety that needs to be taken when preparing to light up the grill.

NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency) says that the U.S. fire department responded to an average of 8,900 home fire that involved the use of grills, hibachis, or barbecues per year.  These 8,900 fires caused annual averages of 10 civilian deaths, 160 injuries, and $118 million in direct property damage. Almost all the losses resulted from structure fires. The leading causes of grill fires were a failure to properly cleaning of the grill, placement of the grill because it was placed to close to a structure, and leaving the grill unattended. Five out of six (83%) of grills involved in home fires were fueled by gas while 13% used other sources of fuel.

 

Precautions to take while grilling

Propane:

  • Stay alert when grilling. Avoid grilling when you are tired or have consumed too much alcohol.
  • Do Not leave your grill unattended.
  • Keep the grill in a place that is free from flammable items and away from porch rails, and low lying branches.
  • Keep children and pets as far away from the grill as possible
  • Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year.

NOTE: A light soap and water solution applied to the hose is a great way to check for leaks. You can often smell a propane leak, but propane will also release bubbles when the soap and water solution is applied. If you detect a leak, turn the gas tank and grill off. If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department.

  • Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before igniting.
  • If you smell gas while cooking, immediately move away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.
  • If the flames go out for any reason, turn the grill and gas off and wait at least 15 minutes before re-lighting it.
  • Keep your grill clean by regularly removing grease or fat buildup from the grates and trays below.

Charcoal grill safety tips to consider:

 

  • If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquid to the flames.
  • Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
  • Electric charcoal starters do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.
  • When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container with a lid.

Keep Your Dryer Free of Lint Aitkin, Carlton & West St. Louis Counties

5/11/2017 (Permalink)

Did you know dryer lint is one of the leading causes of dryer failure and house fires? "How is this possible if you are clearing the lint from the filter between uses," might be a question you're asking. That is a great practice to follow, but by no means the only maintenance you can perform to keep your drying running smoothly. Here are a few tips and reasons to go the extra mile when cleaning your dryer.

Yes, removing the lint from your dryer between uses is a great place to start. But did you know fabric softener can affect the usefulness of your lint filter? The next time you finish a load of laundry, remove the lint filter and clean it as you normally would. Next, run water over the filter and see if the water pools. If it does, your filter runs the risk of still clogging despite your efforts. It is an easy enough fix though so don't fret. Use a brush and warm soapy water and gently clean the filter. Try the water technique again until the water runs unimpeded. 

Next, unplug your dryer and disconnect the vent hose / line from the dryer. This is where the majority of fires begin - in the exhaust duct. The buildup is usually higher in flexible hoses because of the potential for excess lint to get caught in the ridges.  Depending on how often you run the dryer, we recommend cleaning at least once a year, but have clients who clean it every season. Take an extendable brush and gently extend it into the vent and brush the lint back towards you - pushing it further just makes it harder to reach!

Ensuring the ducts are clean and clear of obstruction is an important step and checking the dryer drum is as well. This one requires a bit more DIY so if you are not comfortable, please call a licensed handyman. 

These few steps can help make your dryer last longer and help reduce the risk of having a house fire Aitkin, Carlton & West St. Louis Counties!

Crime Scene & Trauma Clean-Up

4/28/2017 (Permalink)

After the police have finished processing a crime or accident scene, the cleaning and restoration process can begin. Many times, crime and accident scenes have blood and other biohazard contaminants that pose a serious health risk.

Homeowners and police rely on professional services that are equipped to handle crime scene cleanup.

SERVPRO of Aitkin, Carlton & W. St. Louis Counites follow OSHA protocols to help transform an unsafe environment back to a clean, safe environment.  We will always treat you and everyone involved with the utmost respect and empathy in these difficult circumstances.  Some common trauma and crime scene examples are:

Crime Scene Residues

Tear gas and pepper spray residues to residue created from flash bangs, SERVPRO of Aitkin, Carlton & W. St. Louis Counites can clean and restore your property.

Bloodborne Pathogens

SERVPRO of Aitkin, Carlton & W. St. Louis Counites will remove and dispose of all pathogenic substances resulting from accident, trauma, crime or death.

If you find yourself wondering what to do in the event of a trauma or crime scene, call SERVPRO of Aitkin, Carlton & W. St. Louis Counites at (218) 879-6141.

7 TIPS TO AVOID BURSTING PIPES

11/29/2016 (Permalink)

      7 HELPFUL TIPS TO AVOID BURSTING

                        PIPES THIS WINTER

 

Outdoors Tips:

  • Wrap outside faucets.
  • Caulk around pipes where they enter the house.
  • Disconnect garden hoses.
  • Drain in-ground sprinkler systems*

Indoor Tips:

  • Let a stream of water run if the temperature dips below freezing.
  • Open cupboard doors in the kitchen and bathrooms.
  • Shut off and drain your water system if you are leaving the house for several days.

SERVPRO of Bemidji, Grand Rapids & Hibbing is here to help in case of a pipe that bursts or lines that freeze. Our crews are ready 24 x7 no matter how big or how small our SERVPRO team handles them all, give us a call! 

* Check manufacturer's instructions for the best way to do this.