Recent General Posts
Did You Know?
Let our Services be your Solution!
In case you didn’t know, SERVPRO of Bemidji, Grand Rapids & Hibbing provides several services to you for many different types of disaster restoration. Besides Fire and Water restoration, here are more of the services that we do.
- Sewage Cleanup – Should your sewer system backup into your home due to a blockage, we will come sanitize and dry that up for you.
- Ice Dam Removal – If the snow on your roof melts and re-freezes pushing water back up under the shingles, we will come remove the dam and restore any water damages.
- Smoke Damage – If a firework mishap or other uncommon accident causes a fire to your home, we will come take care of the cleanup and restoration.
- Skunk Spray – In the unfortunate event a skunk sprays you, we can take care of that odor for you.
- Bat Guano – Can be a health hazard, SERVPRO will quickly assist you after the exterminator gets rid of the bats.
- Mold/Odor Removal – We remove mold from your home as well as use air scrubbers to remove odors.
- Crime Scene/Death – Once the scene is released, we will handle the mess to ease your stress.
- Covid19 Sanitizing – We do proactive sanitizing as well as for positive cases in full PPE.
- Drug Residue Cleanup – Did you buy a house that had meth or another drug use in it? We can restore the home back to being move in ready.
- Fire Extinguisher Dust – Did you have a small fire and put it out with an extinguisher? We can restore your home and remove the dust it left behind.
- Board Up Property – Storms, fires or vandalism? No worries, we can board that up quickly to protect your home until replacement windows can be installed.
- Fuel Oil Spills – Certified Technicians have the skills to take care of it for you.
- Furnace Puffbacks – Should be professionally done to avoid making the damage worse. Give us a call.
- Compulsive Collections – Need to get rid of items you no longer need? We can pack it up and haul it away to dispose of for you.
Who Do We Serve?
Commercial Property Owners – In the last year we have done many Covid19 sanitizing for these businesses to stay open to serve their own customers. We have also done restoration for fire damages, flooding and sewage backups just to name a few.
Rental Property Owners – On occasion we get a landlord that will call us asking to inspect for mold on their rental property. Sometimes it’s just for locating a strange odor, doing a air quality check or removal of physical mold.
Residential Property Owners – A good number of those we serve are homeowners needing restoration from fire or water damages. This last year we had some covid19 sanitizing added to our services. Often times the water damage can lead to mold growth that needs to be removed and restored as well.
Cabin Owners – Often times the damages do not get discovered by the owner right away. Once the owner comes to stay for a fishing trip or the like, they walk in to discover a flood, an intruder or mold. Intruders can range from vandalism to critters getting in and leaving a mess wherever they were.
Referrals – We appreciate referrals that we get from past clients or insurance agents and adjusters.
YOU – Even if you don’t own the property you are in but need services done that are not the owners’ responsibility, we can provide services for you as well.
A day with the crew
The sunrise drive of the SERVPRO crew
The crew got up before the sun on a Saturday morning and headed to the shop to load up the equipment for a positive covid19 cleaning job almost 2 hours away. They watched the sun rise along the drive to their destination. Upon arrival of the location, they checked in with the owner to discuss areas of concern. The crew then got suited up in full PPE and gathered garbage to dispose of and then began spraying down all high touch surfaces. The disinfectant must stay on the surface and remain wet for 10 minutes and then the crew began to wipe it down. Depending on the type of floor it was then mopped before moving on to the next room. The crew worked hard to get the job done in the most efficient way to help the business open back up. Once the job was complete and all was certified clean, the crew came out of the full PPE and headed back to the shop before heading back home.
Tips for avoiding bursting pipes
SERVPRO of Aitkin, Carlton and West St. Louis Counties is in Northern Minnesota, during these winter months it dips below freezing more often than not. Being in this area means lower temperature with pipes that aren't properly maintainenced. During these months pipes are susceptible to bursting. Here are a few tips to avoid bursting pipes:
- Wrap Outside faucets
- Caulk around pipes where they enter the house.
- Disconnect garden hoses
- Drain in-ground sprinkler systems
- 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 home for several days.
If an emergency restoration need arises during these frigid winter months give SERVPRO of Aitkin, Carlton and West St. Louis Counties at (218) 879-6141
Reasons to keep your bedroom door closed
The thought of a fire for a homeowner can cause many emotions. Closing doors is one habit that can help prevent the spread of fire damage. Closing doors prevents the fire from getting more oxygen and room to spread at a faster rate. Smoke and soot travel throughout the house and breathing in the smoke inhalation is very dangerous. Smoke contains many toxic products including carbon monoxide. It is important to close your bedroom door at night while you sleep. The alarms will go off and wake you up, giving you time to get out without the flames, toxic smoke, and high head temperatures in your room. Make sure you check the smoke detectors in your home often and have one close to where you sleep. SERVPRO of Aitkin, Carlton and West St. Louis Counties is here to help provide services to prevent long-term problems. SERVPRO provides mitigation services for fire, smoke, and soot removal to personal belongings and the home structure.
Winter Weather Frozen Pipes
Northern Minnesota it can be a wonderful place to live. We have many beautiful lakes, and four seasons for us to enjoy. As wonderful as it can be it doesn’t prevent disasters from happening especially during the winter.
One way a water loss can happen during the winter is if the houses source of heat stops working. Unfortunately, if this happens it can cause the water to turn into ice and complicate the process of drying out the structure. The first thought most think is to turn on the heat to thaw out the house but that is the last this you want to do.
SERVPRO of Aitkin Carlton & West St Louis Counties can help with this process by removing as much of the ice as we can prior to heating the house. Once we can’t remove any more ice by hand we will slowly heat the house and extracting the water as the ice thaws. This process will help minimize the damage that would be caused if you just thawed the ice all at once essentially flooding the house for a second time. So, if you experience a water loss and it freezes call SERVPRO of Aitkin Carlton & West St Louis Counties to help.
D.I.Y Home Repairs
5 Home Repairs You Can Do Yourself
Prep Your Paint Jobs
Grab a damp cloth and wipe down moldings and trim. Then remove everything from the walls and place all the furniture in the middle of the room. Mask any molding, built-ins and baseboards with painter's tape and start laying down drop cloths. Then you are good to go.
No likes a squeaky door. If your doors make noise every time you enter or exit it might be time to lube them up. First put a cloth under the door to catch the drips, then apply a few drops of oil or lubricant to each hinge. That should fix the squeak.
First remove the old caulk or else the new caulk won’t stick. The make sure you cut the tip of the cauld tube at an angle and make sure the hole is big enough to fit the widest part of the gap your filling. Then it is literally like drawing a straight line along your gap.
Repairing a Faucet
In most instances, addressing a leak by changing out the washer is the most logical place to start diagnosing the problem.
Get familiar with a plunger and snakes. The flanged plungers work the best because they create the best seal.
If a DIY repair isn't for you call SERVPRO of Aitkin, Carlton & West St. Louis Counties a call at 218-879-614.
Testing for Lead Paint
Character and history are two things many people love to have in their home. However, lead is not. If your home was built before 1978; there is a possibility that the paint is lead based. Lead has been known to cause health problems, espeaically in children. Here are a few simple steps to make sure your remodels goes as smoothly as possible.
Two common types of DIY lead test kits can be found in most hardware and paint stores: rhodizonate-based kits and sulfide-based kits. The type you choose will depend on the color of paint you’re testing. Rhodizonate kits are known to give false positives on red and pink paints, while sulfide kits are known to give inaccurate results on dark paint.
Once you’ve chosen the type of test that promises the most accurate results, you’ll find that most kits of either kind facilitate several tests for less than $100, which is considerably cheaper than hiring someone to perform the test for you.
On each wall, windowsill, or baseboard where you’re testing for lead, choose spots where the paint seems to be at its thickest (particularly if you suspect there are additional layers of paint underneath). Here, use a utility blade, or small, sharp knife to make a quarter-inch incision, slicing through the surface paint and revealing all the previous layers beneath it.
Most lead test kits come with swabs that require precise handling in order to use each one correctly. Generally, the swabs must be pinched in two designated areas in order for the solid and liquid chemicals inside to mix together. Next, you’ll open the swab to reveal the soft tip and press down on the incision made in the paint for the length of time specified on the test’s packaging (usually a few seconds). Apply pressure in a circular motion to make sure the swab has ample contact with each layer of exposed paint.
Now, look for a sign. Many popular rhodizonate-based test swabs will turn red if lead is present, although red paint (even traces of it from a previous layer) can create a false positive. Sulfide-based kits will turn dark grey or black, which of course can create a false positive when dark paint is already present. Even if you choose the correct test kit for your visible paint, additional testing may be required depending on the colors you find underneath.
Should your swab comes back clean, you’re likely in the clear, but double-check your work to be safe. Most test kits come with a confirmation card, which you can use to make sure the chemicals on your swab are reacting properly. The card comes with traces of lead on it, which will cause the swab to change color when it comes in contact with the paper. Now, if your swab remains colorless, you’re out of the woods.
IF YOU TEST POSITIVE FOR LEAD…
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offers a specific set of steps to take if the paint in your home tests positive for lead. Since scraping and sanding painted surfaces can release lead dust and create an airborne health hazard, it’s important to take these steps seriously and follow them to the letter before beginning any renovations:
• Using the EPA’s locator, find a certified inspector or risk assessor to conduct a thorough testing throughout your home.
• Review the written report provided to you upon the testing’s completion, and ask for your inspector or assessor’s recommendations on whether you should seek an abatement professional to remove all lead completely or come up with a strict maintenance plan to prevent exposure.
• If abatement is recommended, the EPA’s locator can also help you find a lead paint abatement specialist. Once you’ve hired a certified professional to remove lead from your home, they must notify the EPA at least five days before beginning the abatement process. Depending on how much time you’ve spent in the home already, blood tests may be needed in order to determine your family’s level of exposure and whether any medical response is in order.
• If a long-term maintenance plan is recommended rather than abatement, you’ll be given a set of instructions that include regular inspections and, in the case of renovations, working only with lead-safe certified home contractors who know exactly how to perform their work in a way that’s safe for all involved.
Rest assured that the patience required to accurately ensure your home is lead-free is always worth it in the end. After all, “safety first” isn’t just a catchphrase; it’s a must for keeping you and your loved ones healthy and happy in a home of any age.
Employee Of The Month
SERVPRO of Bemidji Grand Rapids and Hibbing would like to announce that Amanda Nygren is employee of the month for April!!! Amanda was nominated by a number of her peers for her work ethic and awesome attitude. Great job Amada and keep up the good work.