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SERVPRO of Brown County Offers Emergency Board Up and Tarp Services for Your Commercial Properties

2/19/2020 (Permalink)

As a business owner, you are aware of the various circumstances that could unexpectedly affect how your company goes about doing its day-to-day routine. In the winter months, two potential hazard factors could arise in the place of work: fires and storm damage.

A common workplace fire threat is the frequent use of space heaters being utilized by employees as the temperatures drop outdoors. Chances are those portable heated sources sit near a highly flammable item or, worse, accidentally left on after hours. 

The other threat to your work environment would be weather-related. Mother nature unleashing her fury with damaging winds or substantial amounts of snowfall could leave your commercial property with extensive damages to its buildings' structure and vulnerable to the outdoor elements.

If either of these unfortunate incidents was to occur, you want your commercial property to have someone that is both prompt and knowledgeable in emergency board up and tarping practices.

Our team at SERVPRO of Brown County is ready to step in to assist your business by offering our services. In most instances, within an hour of being contacted, we will be out to the area where the destruction struck your building. 

Why is it important to board up or tarp your business after a disaster?

  • Protection from the Elements - During a human-made or natural disaster, your business can take quite a beating from high winds, torrential rain, and debris. Broken windows, damaged roofs, and walls can let in rain, snow, and wind to cause more damage to your interior and its contents. Water buildup, especially as the snow melts, could ruin flooring and carpet as well as destroy electronics. Mold starts growing within just a few days, creating even more damage.
  • Protection from Wildlife - All it takes is a small broken window for unwanted guests to enter into your premises. Dogs, raccoons, rats, and other pests can wreak havoc inside a building. Not only will they track dirt everywhere, but they'll tear up furnishings, urinate and defecate all over the place.
  • Protection from Vandals – As if you didn't need any more issues as a business owner, the fact of the matter is people will find the most suitable time to take advantage of your current situation. Someone could easily vandalize your establishment or to go as far as to steal whatever they can lay their hands on from electronics, money, and other essential items of great value. 

If you find yourself in need of emergency board-up services in the Green Bay or surrounding areas, our highly trained professionals at SERVPRO of Brown County will arrive quickly with all the necessary equipment to stabilize and protect your business structure. We also have experience with handling damages on larger scales of commercial properties. 

Give us a call with questions or to have our immediate services at (920) 434-8224.

Winter Weather: What do You Know About Recovering Damages to Your Residence?

2/13/2020 (Permalink)

The Green Bay area has received a relatively decent amount of snow over the past few months. As we make our way through February, the temperatures continue to drop in the early morning and late evening hours making some residents rethink if their property is capable of withstanding any of unexpected shifts in weather.

It may be necessary for some homeowners to take extra precautionary measures during the upcoming wintry weather months, especially when the temperatures plummet, and the amount of snow continues to accumulate on the home's structure.

With that in mind, it is easy to assume if your residence has homeowner's insurance; the burden on any climate hardship to your house is not an issue you have to spring into action over. In most cases, you would call in the storm-related incident in for a claim, and the rest would be taken care of with little or no effort on your end.

But what is your responsibility as the property holder? How about if your neighbor's tree breaks then fall on your house due to heavy snow or strong wind?

Here is a short quiz by the American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) to test your storm knowledge.  

1) Homeowners insurance generally covers damage caused by wind, snow, severe cold and freezing rain.

 True

 False

2) If my neighbor's tree falls and damages my home, my neighbor's homeowner's insurance will pay for the damage.

True

False

3) Winter storms are an inconvenience, but they rarely result in significant property damage.

True

False

4) I don't have to worry about flooding in the winter, and if it did occur, my homeowner's insurance covers damage caused by floods.

True

False

4) Nearly half of all home heating fires occur in Dec., Jan., and Feb.

True

False

How do you think you did on this quiz? Check at the end of this blog post to see if you were able to come up with all the correct answers.

A few more suggestions to help your household be storm ready are:

  • Prepare an emergency travel kit for your car and/or home.
  • Keep gutters clear and remove ice and snow from the driveway and sidewalk.
  • Ensure attic and pipes have proper insulation.
  • Get into contact with your insurance agent or company to review and understand your coverage.
  • Trim tree and branches.
  • Update your home inventory of personal possessions.
  • Made sure your heating system and chimney have been cleaned and inspected.

At SERVPRO of Brown County we make it our priority to respond to storm damage immediately. If your property’s been hurt by a storm or natural disaster, we will work quickly and efficiently to fix the problem and get your life back on track. Call us today at (920) 434-8224.

Our team has the training and expertise to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Answers:

  • True - Standard homeowners’ policies generally provide coverage for damage caused by wind, snow, severe cold and freezing rain. It is a good idea for homeowners to call their insurance company or agent at least once a year to review their policy and discuss coverage questions.
  • False - Generally speaking, your homeowner’s insurance coverage will pay for the damage to your home or other insured property if your neighbor's tree falls on your property.
  • False - Winter storms can cause significant damage for motorists and homeowners. Last year winter storms caused $3.5 billion in insured losses. They are the third largest source of catastrophic losses, behind tornadoes and tropical storms.
  • False - Flooding can happen during any season. Winter can produce flooding, particularly due to snow melting and ice jams. It is important to understand that flood damage is not covered by the standard homeowner’s insurance policy. Flood coverage must be purchased through a separate policy administered by the National Flood Insurance Program. Homeowners should consider purchasing a separate flood policy.
  • True - Fire officials and insurers recommend keeping anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from heating equipment. Nearly half of all home heating fires occur in Dec., Jan., and Feb.

SERVPRO of Brown County Is Knowledgeable and Reliable on Issues With Mold

2/12/2020 (Permalink)

Last month our SERVPRO of Brown County franchise hosted a Continuing Education Course for our area Insurance Adjusters, Agents, and Property Managers to obtain their CE requirements. 

Every state has its license renewal and continuing education requirements. Although some states give professionals with more experience more flexibility after an extended period in the insurance industry, other states require a certain number of continuing education hours before the renewal of the license. 

The most typical requirement is 24 hours of continuing education, with three of the 24 hours of ethics. 

In the case of Wisconsin, renewal requires 24 hours of CE (including 3 in Ethics), the licenses are to be renewed every two years on the last day of the licensee's month of birth, excess CE credit hours are not to be carried over to subsequent license renewal periods, and the courses cannot be repeated for credit within one renewal period.

Although it was not a requirement, the marketing team and owners were in attendance as the instructor educated attendees on Understanding Mold in the Restoration Industry. 

After listening to the facilitator share intriguing facts on mold, we wanted to see where everyone else's knowledge was on the matter.

Here are a few questions courtesy of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):

Question 1: Mold spores are usually found in indoor air. 

  1. True 
  2. False

Question 2: The most important factor influencing mold growth indoors is: 

  1. Temperature 
  2. Light 
  3. Moisture or water 
  4. Organic matter 

Question 3: Molds can grow in cold places. 

  1. True 
  2. False 

Question 4: Dead mold is allergenic. 

  1. True 
  2. False 

Question 5: All mold is black. 

  1. True 
  2. False 

To see if you are an expert on mold, check your answers against the EPA's at the end of this post.

If you ever find yourself questioning an unexpected mold situation in your residence or commercial property, SERVPRO of Brown County is here to address any of those concerns you may have. Our team is prepared to find the mold quickly and clean it up as effectively and efficiently as possible. Your health and wellbeing are of utmost importance to us. We have the expertise and equipment to ensure any mold remediation job is done right.

For your convenience, we are here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer the call should you need our assistance. Our franchise contact phone number is, (920) 434- 8224.

Answers

Question 1: Answer:" A" TRUE 

Mold spores are ubiquitous; they are found both indoors and outdoors. Mold spores cannot be eliminated from indoor environments. 

Question 2: Answer: "C" Moisture and water 

To grow indoors, mold needs moisture and food. Moisture is the most important factor influencing mold growth indoors. Controlling indoor moisture helps limit mold growth. 

Question 3: Answer: "A" TRUE 

In most cases, temperature is not an issue; some molds grow in warm areas, while others prefer cool locations such as bread stored in a refrigerator. 

Question 4: Answer: "A" TRUE 

Mold does not have to be alive to cause an allergic reaction. Dead or alive, mold can cause allergic reactions in some people. 

Question 5: Answer: "B" FALSE 

Molds come in many colors including white. "Black mold" is not a species or specific kind of mold, and neither is "toxic mold." 

Keeping Your Pets Safe in Natural Disasters and Everyday Emergencies

2/12/2020 (Permalink)

Our team at SERVPRO of Brown County want your loved ones, which for some people includes family pets, to remain safe during a natural disaster crisis. For some individuals, an abrupt evacuation may be required to sustain those secure measures.

From flooding or fires caused by violent storms, mapping out an emergency plan that is specially designed for your pets will help to make it easier for you or first responders to transfer your domesticated animals promptly safely.

Here are a few tips to help your family's pet have adequate arrangements during a disaster-stricken period:

  • Look to prepare ahead of time for a family member or friend to temporarily board your pets. Even ask if there's an area within their residence available for you to store the necessities your pet may require during their brief stay with them. 
  • If you're unable to leave your pet with a family member or friend, know which hotels and motels along your evacuation route will accept pets in an emergency. Call ahead for reservations if you know you may need to evacuate. Ask if no pet policies could be waived in a crisis.
  • Include your pets in evacuation drills so that they become used to entering and traveling in their carriers calmly.

For some reason you are unable to get to your pets safely, there are effective ways to help first responders locate them. Just like you would use a rescue sticker for the children in your home, the same can be applied for pets. You could order this sticker online or ask your veterinarian if they have them available. Make sure to write the types and number of pets in your household and your veterinarian's phone number. Remember, visibility is of high importance to rescue workers. By doing these extra steps, this increases the chances of a safe and speedy return of your pet to the family. 

Being unexpectedly forced to leave your house unattended due to moderate or severe storm damage can be frustrating. Know that the trained professionals at SERVPRO of Brown County are here to respond immediately. We are storm and water damage specialists who get started promptly to get your property dry and back to pre-storm condition. 

We are available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Give us a call at, (920) 434-8224.

SERVPRO of Brown County Fire Emergency Tips for Homeowners

2/5/2020 (Permalink)

As the temperatures continue to drop, we find ourselves utilizing our heat resources more often. With running your space heaters, furnaces, or wood stoves at all hours of the day, the potential of fire rises. The team from SERVPRO of Brown County recommends compiling a list of emergency contacts in the event of any accidental disasters. Taking this action not only could save a lot of stress off of you and your entire household but have you more prepared if there were to be an unfortunate turn of events due to a fire emergency.

Some of the essential information you could include in your emergency contact information list are the following:

  • Names, ages and birth dates of each family member: to eliminate any confusion about first responders wanting to ensure every person is accounted for.
  • Home address and telephone number: include the address of the where the list resides, include full street address, and your phone number with area code.
  •      Names and Phone Numbers for your insurance agency: the agent you have your policy through or company that would deal with any claim that needed to be filed.
  • Local contact: someone close-by-neighbor, relative, or landlord.
  • Relative or person who would be designated as an emergency contact: this person could make vital decisions for you if necessary.
  • Work contact: your boss or supervisor, or a close co-worker.
  • Family Physician and hospital: your doctor’s full name and office number with an after-hours office or pager number as well, plus a non-emergency number for your local hospital.
  • Police/Ambulance: 911 in most locations, but it may be different; it also includes non-emergency numbers.
  • Fire department: 911 in most locations, but that may be different in your area; include non-emergency numbers.
  • Gas company: contact information for emergencies.
  • Electric company: contact info for emergency situations.
  • Other utility companies: emergency contact information
  • List of Special conditions and equipment/medication: list (by a family member) special medical conditions, including allergies, and specific medications such as insulin, inhalers, Epi-pens, etc., as well as important and necessary medical equipment such as blood pressure monitors, blood glucose testing machines, CPAP machines and such.
  • Health care / health insurance information: contact info for your insurance company or provincial/state health coverage providers, as well as personal health numbers (PHNs), insurance policy and group numbers for each person in the home.

Another great resource to have on hand is the American Red Cross Picking Up the Pieces After a Fire Guide. They highly suggest the following tasks be done immediately after a home fire.

  • Call 9-1-1. Give first aid where needed; cool and cover burns to reduce the chance of further injury or infection.
  • Let friends and family know you’re safe.
  • People and animals that are seriously injured or burned should be transported to professional medical or veterinary help immediately.
  • Stay out of fire-damaged homes until local fire authorities say it is safe to re-enter.

Fires are capable of destroying anything in its path, but there are also times that the damage is manageable, especially with the help of the right restoration professionals.

After the fire trucks leave, your home likely suffers from fire and smoke damage and extensive water damage from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO of Brown County has the specialized fire restoration training needed to restore your home to pre-fire conditions.

We have technicians on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, ready to go into action when they are needed. Give us a call at (920) 434-8224.

What Areas Does SERVPRO of Brown County Serve?

2/5/2020 (Permalink)

The moment a water or fire emergency emerges is usually the time most people are frantically searching online or turning to a trusted family member or friend to inquire about companies that take care of residential restoration work.

With the name “SERVPRO of Brown County,” you might think we only serve the Brown County Community, but we are pleased to share our team goes far and wide to help you recover from water, fire, mold and biohazard damage.

We cover a 70-mile radius around the Green Bay region. Some of these areas include:


· De Pere
· Suamico
· Wrightstown
· Pulaski
· Oconto
· Denmark
· Marinette
· Two Rivers
· Manitowoc
· Kewaunee
· Sheboygan
· Luxemburg

If you fall into a different location and need help, but are unsure if we could assist you, do not hesitate to 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!

We strive to be the premier restoration company in Northeast Wisconsin. SERVPRO franchises are all locally owned and have the backing of that strong, national, corporate brand. When disaster strikes, SERVPRO is ready to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Meet Tina Almaguer: Sales and Marketing Coordinator for SERVPRO of Brown County

1/27/2020 (Permalink)

A female employee with medium brown hair, smiling in front of the office of the Senator from Wisconsin in Washington, D.C. SERVPRO welcomes new employee, Tina Almaguer as the Social Media and Marketing Coordinator for the Brown County francise.

Tina Almaguer is one of the newest employees at SERVPRO of Brown County. She's worked as the Sales and Marketing Coordinator for a little over 4 months now. Her favorite part about Social Media and Marketing is the challenge it provides and the opportunity to learn something new every day.

Tina's responsibilities are managing our franchises social media accounts. She takes care of updating their website with new blogs, photos, and videos. She also attends monthly meetings throughout the Green Bay Area and participates with trade shows for the company.

Working for SERVPRO gives her a chance to do the one thing she enjoys the most; writing.

In her spare time, Tina is as a freelance writer and does media coverage at events like the NCAA Final Four and comic cons. You can find some of her work on the Today Show Parenting Team website where she's been a contributing writer for the past three years.

One thing Tina is very passionate about is her role as a patient advocate. You’ll find her around the community volunteering for the American Heart Association of Northeast Wisconsin. In addition to her role with AHA, she volunteers as representative from the State of Wisconsin for the following organizations: National Headache Foundation, U.S. Pain Foundation, Global Healthy Living Foundation, and American Migraine Foundation.

This former Texas Native moved to Wisconsin 21 years ago and loves being able to experience all four seasons. Fall is her favorite time of the year. It means football, crisp autumn air, and driving to Door County to observe all the colorful foliage.

Tina is a huge sports fanatic! You'll catch her cheering on the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers, and her alma mater Texas Tech University. She loves the outdoors — kayaking, fishing, and camping are a few of her favorite activities. The one thing Tina looks forward to the most is taking road trips across the country with her three kids: one girl and two boys.

Tina is excited about joining SERVPRO of Brown County and looks forward working with their marketing team.

Best of The Bay 2019 Award Winner Finalist

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

Plaque hanging on wall showing SERVPRO as Finalist for an award SERVPRO of Brown County receives an award for being a winner finalist during the 2019 Readers Choice Best of The Bay in the Best Restoration category.

We are happy to announce that SERVPRO of Brown County received an award as Winner Finalist for the 2019 Best of The Bay.

Best the Bay is an annual locally driven contest where the public nominates and votes for their favorite restaurants, shops, services, and more to determine who will win the prestigious title.

The "Best of the Bay Readers' Choice Awards" is sponsored by the Press-Gazette. Voting started on March 10, to be exact, and ran through April 14. The list of nominees was available online to give people an easier means to cast their votes.

The request for individuals voting was for them to do so in each survey daily — only one submission from each of the category ballots per day of the voting period online. Voters were asked to select from businesses and individuals that transact business in Brown, Oconto, or Kewaunee Counties in the relevant ballot category.

This year, the Press Gazette presented over 100 categories to vote in.

SERVPRO of Brown County was among 16 entrants listed in the Best Restoration category. Although we did not receive a win, our team is none of the less thrilled that we were nominated and voted for to earn a spot as one of the finalists.

Our SERVPRO team would like to thank those who took the time to vote for us.

We take pride in our employees. They make it their mission to offer exceptional service in your time of need. No one ever wants to experience flooding, fire, or natural disaster in their home or business, but our team will be there for you if the worst happens, making the damage "Like it never even happened."

Continuing Education and Renewal Requirements in Wisconsin: Insurance Agents

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

Providing quality service to insurance customers rests on the ability of the Insurance Agent. They need to be able to offer the right products and knowledgeable service while abiding by the laws and regulations defined by their home state. This includes understanding the products and needs of the customer, as well as keeping current with the state's current laws and regulations.

The sole purpose of continuing education helps insurance agents to update their industry expertise persistently. The license terms typically last only two years and require renewal upon expiration.

Wisconsin Continuing Education

  • Wisconsin renewal requires 24 hours of CE (including 3 in Ethics).
  • Licenses renew every two years on the last day of the licensee's month of birth.
  • Excess CE credit hours cannot carry over to subsequent license renewal periods.
  • Courses may not be repeated for credit within one renewal period.

Every state has its license renewal and continuing education requirements. Although some states give professionals with more experience more flexibility after an extended period in the insurance industry, other states require a certain number of continuing education hours before the renewal of the license. The most typical requirement is 24 hours of continuing education, with three of the 24 hours pertaining to ethics.

Wisconsin Renewal Requirements

  • 24 hours of CE are required every two years.
  • 3 of the 24 hours must be in Ethics.
  • Any courses approved for CE in Wisconsin may be taken for credit.
  • Online, textbook, or classroom courses are acceptable.
  • You must pass your course completion examination with a 70% or better.
  • Excess credits cannot be carried over to the next renewal period.
  • Courses cannot be repeated for credit in one renewal period.
  • Courses completion exams must be taken with a proctor and are not open book.

SERVPRO of Brown County has an opportunity for the Insurance Agents in our area to take our continuing education classes.

Two courses, Understanding Mold in the Restoration Industry and Ethics are going to be held on Tuesday, January 28, 2020, at the Marq on French Road in De Pere. The cost is $10.00 per attendee. The class size is Limited.

For the complete details on how you can register to attend our seminar, check our Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/pg/SERVPRO10198/events/

We hope to see you there!

How Prepared Is Your Cottage for Winter?

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

Owning a cottage as a secondary residence could come with responsibilities you may not have with your primary home. If you only frequent your place during certain times of the year, there are several things you can do as the owner to ensure a successful winterization of your property. 

Although we are past the first month of winter in the Brown County area, here are a few valued tips recommended by insurance agents to cross-reference with your checklist; in case you may have overlooked an important detail.

  • Shut off the water supply, drain the pipes and hot water tank, and leave taps open to allow them to breathe. Toilets should be turned off and flushed, and then any remaining water bailed out. Alternatively, pour antifreeze into the bowl to protect the lines; be sure to use RV (pink) antifreeze or another environmentally friendly product.
  • Unplug all electrical appliances and electronic devices. Many modern electric and electronic devices continue to draw a small amount of power even when turned off; over a winter, it can add up to an expense you don't need.
  • Thoroughly clean the kitchen and remove any food. During the winter, rodents and even bears can sniff it out. This could create a considerable amount of structural and financial damages causing you to dig deep into your wallet.
  • If you can, remove valuables, such as TVs and stereos, and take them down to the city. If any valuable items left at the cottage, make sure windows are covered so that thieves can't see in and become tempted to break in, leaving your cottage exposed to those cold weather extremities. 
  • Install a cover over the chimney opening to prevent raccoons or other furry tenants from moving in. Inspect the exterior of the cottage, looking for other small openings that could be co-opted for an animal home – including under the deck, at the foundation, or under eaves.
  • Arrange to have a local snow removal company come at least once over the winter to remove snow and ice build-up from the roof. Even a relatively small load, such as a foot or so, can become dangerously heavy if there's a period of rain followed by a freeze-up. Put boxes over vents or skylights to protect them from snow loads or accidental damage by an over-eager person with a shovel.
  • Consider hiring the same company or someone to maintain the road and walkways around the cottage over winter. This allows access in case of an emergency such as a fire. Keeping the paths and driveway shoveled also makes the cottage look more lived-in, which is a security advantage.
  • Hire someone or ask a friend who lives up there year-round to check on the cottage periodically to make sure everything is okay if, for some reason, you are not able to get up there yourself. If something unfortunate has happened, from a break-in to a fire, to a roof cave-in, the sooner you are made aware and can deal with it, the better.

At SERVPRO of Brown County, our business is helping people recover after any natural or human made disaster. Water recovery is one of our specialties. We know that every water damage situation is a little different and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. Our trained professionals are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including holidays to help take care of your emergency circumstances.

If you unexpectedly find yourself in need of our water restoration services for your cottage, feel free to call us, day or night, at 920-434-8224.