Warming up a cold space
Commercial buildings typically lack a certain ‘cozy’ feeling and the winter months truly showcase how dull the environment can become. Drafty windows, harsh lighting and cold floors can add to the discomfort of spacious building interiors. Luckily, there are simple and inexpensive ways to battle the cold, and warm up your environment.
Lighting: Bright, overhead lighting can be zapping your office of precious needed color and subtle warmth. Try using softer lighting options that lessen the strain on your eyes. Small table lamps and accent lighting are great options to utilize.
Carpeting/Rugs: Cement or hard flooring is not optimal to retain heat. Adding throw rugs and sections of carpeting can add texture and help soften the cold coming from below. They also add an aesthetic appeal against any hard surface.
Plants: Having live plants present in any indoor space during winter months is known for its health benefits. Not only do they help purify toxins in your home you may be unaware of they also add a pleasant contrast to the colorless landscape outdoors.
Caulking drafty windows: Do a walk about to all windows that are a barrier to the elements. If you can feel a difference in temperature or pressure a great way to shore up the exposed areas is with caulking. Meant to fill in the cracks and weak areas of seal, they help better insulate your space.
Winter in Wisconsin can arrive early and exit late. With these simple tips your commercial space will become a small escape from the outside world. As always, SERVPRO of Lake Geneva is here to help!
Selecting flooring for your commercial space can be more multi-faceted than you might first expect. There are many contributing factors to consider when making the final decision. Do you require a smooth surface for machinery to easily glide across? Will you or your work staff be on their feet for long hours? These are major questions you should be asking yourself to determine which flooring would work best. Typically, there are three different types of surfaces most commonly used in commercialized space.
- Concrete Etching: This option can leave your floor with warmth and rich earthy tones. As cement has a tendency of not retaining or being able to hold paint or stain, etching is done to create pores in the surface, allowing stain to hold.
- Epoxy Coating: Most commonly used in commercial settings, Epoxy coatings cover wide surface areas of hard material such as concrete or steal. It creates a barrier over the surface which seals and aids water resistance. It consists of an epoxy resin that is crossed with a co reactant or hardener.
- Vinyl Planking: Luxury planking has become a hot topic of debate in recent years for its upswings and draw backs. Visually, vinyl planking is unmatched. The variety of textures and options are forever changing and updating. Structurally though, it is not nearly as strong as its competition. It also is not as environmentally friendly as the access pieces that remain unused after installation typically ends up in the trash. Harsh cleaning chemicals are also known to warp vinyl after prolonged exposure.
As with any project, there are many options to weigh and decisions to make to prevent any unexpected issues present themselves. As always, SERVPRO of Lake Geneva is here to help you with any questions or assistance you may need! Give us a call today!
A time to be prepared
Water damage restoration at a local business caused by a leaking air conditioner
Commercial losses on a large scale can come quickly and carry a heavy price tag. Something as simple as a leaky roof or a drippy pipe can cause thousands in reconstructive damages and repairs. As some disasters are natural there is little that can be done to prevent injury to your building or to have an exact plan in place for preventative measures. On the other hand, there are many steps that can be implemented ahead of time that can greatly reduce the amount of time needed to recover.
- Most importantly is to have an emergency plan on hand and constructed ahead of time to refer to in case disaster strikes. This should include the contact information for your nearest SERVPRO facility, as we can help assess and repair commercial damages on large and small scales on any type of disaster you may be facing.
- Know where all vital power sources and water sources are located in your facility. This includes your main water shut off valve and circuit breakers as cutting these off can be major contributors to salvaging your property.
- Have all vital insurance and business information prepared in an emergency folder for easy and swift access to prevent the delay of repairs and to expedite the time it takes to start the repairs.
These are just a few steps that can be taken to lessen the difficulties you may experience after Commercial building loss. SERVPRO of Lake Geneva is just a call away and are here for you should you need us.
Secondary disaster: Salvaging documentation after loss
When we are in the face of disaster clean up, it’s easy to become focused on the major issues at hand. Instigating problems need immediate attention such as the pipe that burst and flooded your basement, or a fire that ravaged your facility and triggered the sprinklers to soak your electronics. Dealing with the source is of utmost urgency. What we don’t always take into consideration are the possessions that sustain damage with those disasters. Photographs, prized family possessions, important documents and digital items can all become exposed and become destroyed in a short frame of time. That’s where SERVPRO of Lake Geneva comes in to play.
SERVPRO uses state of the art equipment and implements the same freeze drying system as The Library of Congress. Our technology and techniques remain the only methods approved by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and the General Services Administration (GSA). With water damage runs the risk of contamination and exposure to bacteria and viruses, making your items potentially dangerous. Fortunately, our team uses gamma irradiation to safely sterilize your property.
With these amazing pieces of technology we are able to preserve your most precious items and give you the safety of being able to keep them in your home or in storage. SERVPRO of Lake Geneva is always here to help and would love to answer any further questions you may have. Give us a call today!
Winter is Coming
You read that right. Fall is tip toeing her way in as Summer is packing her bags and finding her way out. Apple orchards are prepping for their upcoming season and the crisp scent of burning leaves will soon be tickling our noses. What better time to prep your home for the upcoming bitter cold that will make her arrival in the not so distant future? Listed below are extremely helpful tools and practices to keep the warm in and the cold out. They may just help you save some valuable loot in your pocket as well.
- Simmer Down: Lower the temperature in your water heater. This one simple adjustment can save you upwards of 10% off of your water heating costs. Typically water heaters are set at a scalding 140 degrees, bringing it down to 120 degrees will save you bookoo $$$.
- Backdraft: Drafty windows and doors have the potential of wasting up to 30% of your energy use. They also can trick your thermostat into false readings. Fortunately, a simple solution such as a rolled towel at the base of the door (or create a draft snake, if you’re feeling crafty) will lock out that unwanted cold.
- Be Kind, Rewind: Turning the direction of your fan blades from counterclockwise to clockwise will actually create a warmer room. Hot air rises, the fan blades help force the warmth back into the lower part of your room.
- Out With The Old: Change your furnace filter! A commonly overlooked step in energy savings. Not only does a dirty filter restrict air flow, it also has the potential of harboring dangerous materials, such as mold, bacteria and pollen. It is best to change monthly during the winter months.
- Leaving The Abode: Lower the thermostat every time you leave your home. Each degree you lower your homes temperature can save you between 1% and 3% on your heating bill. Programmable thermostats are available that will keep on top of lowering and raising the temperature in sync with your schedule.
Being able to stay ahead of the impending cold will save you money and stress. Follow these simple steps and stay warm! As always, SERVPRO of Lake Geneva is here to help in any way we can!
Shut the Door!
A recent study has discovered that a closed door can save your life. In the unfortunate occurrence of a home fire, it has now been proven that, other than fire alarms, a closed door is essential. Within minutes of a fire located on a lower level, toxic fumes and suffocating smoke will have already made their way to the upper most rooms, stealing precious lifesaving minutes. A closed door acts as a shield between you and the damage raging outside. It also allows you time to formulate an escape plan, or if trapped, for rescue efforts to reach your location. A basic house fire can reach upwards of 1,100 degrees but by having your door remain closed prevents the atmospheric temperate of rising above 110 degrees. Hot, but survivable. By choosing this one simple step for your daily routine could be a lifesaving method that’s as simple as shutting the door.
As always, SERVPRO of Lake Geneva is here to give you tips to keep safe and will always be there when things go wrong.
Fall into a cleaner home: tips for every room
If you’re anything like me, deep cleaning comes twice a year. Spring cleaning is most commonly discussed as we collectively look ahead to open windows and a light breeze sweeping through a crisp clean home, but fall cleaning is also very pertinent. It ushers in the era of being secluded inside away from the cold, so let’s be sure your space is ready. Included below are easily overlooked practices that will up your cleaning game.
- Launder the sheets. That means all of them. From the bed skirt to the pillow cases, leave no sheet unwashed. Use a tennis ball in the dryer along with down filled materials to prevent clumping. For heavier materials allow running an extra lap on the spin cycle before transferring to dryer, it speeds up the drying process. To prevent damage or over loading, take the bigger items to the launder mat and use an extra-large front loading washer. It’s worth the effort.
- Don’t forget the mattress! A sprinkle of baking soda and a quick hour to allow to be sit on the material is an effective way to get those hard to wash materials sanitized.
- Cabinets first. Wipe all exposed cabinet surfaces top to bottom, along with hardware. If cabinet tops are exposed, wiped down thoroughly and line top with newspaper. The paper will collect dust and added grim, allowing cleaning to be easier when it’s time to replace.
- Empty out the refrigerator. It’s surprising to see how much damage is done when the space is cleared. Wipe down all surfaces and fully cleanse before re adding items. Do the same for the dishwasher and microwave. If possible, pull appliances from wall to clean behind and below. You will be amazed as to what has fallen between the cracks.
- Organize and sanitize countertops. Removing unnecessary clutter presents a more coherent and pleasant environment.
- Wash your shower curtain. Most can be tossed in the washer on a cold, low cycle but be sure to check the tag. It is an overlooked tip that greatly impacts the sanitation of your wash room.
- Use warmed distilled vinegar water to soak the soap scum and water spots from your door
- Pull all items from below your cabinet, organize and sanitize.
- Vacuum every piece of furniture by removing the cushions and removing debris from between lining, also use attachment to reach the back of the surfaces as well.
- Remove all artwork and framed items. Dust using a warm microfiber rag. Do not use any kind of spray, as it can damage the photo or artwork underneath.
- Dust the electronics. Save yourself some time and invest in a skinny dusting wand that can maneuver between cords and under consoles.
It is a self-satisfying accomplishment when all is done and you can kick your feet up and relax in a completely safe and cleansed environment. As always, SERVPRO of Lake Geneva is here to help you when disaster strikes and to provide tips before it does.
Preemptive Measures: Unique Ways to Avoid Flooding On Your Property
It’s no secret that the damages of a flood affecting your home are devastating. The cleanup after such an event is almost worse than the flood itself. You are left with the remnants of beloved items. You are uprooted from your daily life and experience higher levels of stress than acceptable. Being able to avoid the catastrophic effects of flooding can restore your peace of mind, and also benefits the environment, if done correctly. Listed below are helpful tools to be used in order to prep your property for incoming water.
Plant a Rain Garden: A growing trend among homeowners is the design and installation of rain gardens. Using native plants with high water tolerance is key. They require almost no upkeep or watering between rainfalls and are helpful to our natural environment. Directing water from known flooding areas of your property, or planting directly on the location, these gardens retain and absorb excess water. Even a small addition of a rain garden has a huge impact on the water level on your property after a flood.
Heavier Mulch Will Help You Out: When mulching with lightweight materials, the odds of a misplaced mulch mess being handed to you is significantly high. Light materials are known to scatter in flooded conditions and to clog drainage ways. Hardwood mulch is heavier, making it more difficult to spread and is known for their low maintenance appeal.
Install a Green Roof: Now hear us out. It may seem excessive, or out of your budgets capabilities even, but you may be pleasantly surprised. The cost and labor needed to install these futuristic roof covers has been significantly reduced over the most recent years. As long as you have a flat or gently sloping roof you are in the clear. Not only do green roofs elongate the life of your roof, studies show it also increases insulation and reduces energy costs.
A Driveway That Drains: Second only to roofs, driveways are the biggest contributor to storm water run-off. Most commonly, swayes with drainage ports are installed on each side of your driveway, although it is not the most effective. Using spaced gravel or even grass greatly reduces the effects of flood water run-off. They are not only visually pleasing but a benefit to the environment.
Flooding can happen suddenly and with little warning. These simple and effective actions could save you a disaster on your hands. As always, SERVPRO of Lake Geneva is here to help you, when all else has gone wrong.
History beneath our feet: Saving hardwood from unexpected water
Hardwood floors are a classic signature to any home, bringing a warmth and delicate age to any environment they bestow. From old country farm homes, to sprawling warehouses hardwood flooring adds finesse. But with the sweets comes the sours. When water damage occurs, time is of the absolute essence. Warping and disfigurement from water can leave lasting and detrimental effects within an incredibly short amount of time. Some of which cannot be repaired to its original glory. That’s why one of the most useful methods of recovery from damaging water to natural hardwood floors is our highly effective Drying Mat System. Our mats have mastered the art of removing water vapor that has been deeply absorbed by wooden planks. Our system has saved countless dollars and spared even more headaches for our customer base. Our drying mats are surprisingly simple in design visually (a basic floor mat with a hose attached) but incredibly powerful. When a hometown customer of ours had a pinched line in their ice maker, it caused an incredible amount of access water which flooded her kitchen. Our team of meticulously trained experts at SERVPRO of Lake Geneva was able to immediately address the situation and have the damage under control with the use of our Drying Mat System. Hardwood floors retain a time in history, some being centuries old. Being able to preserve what we can and restoring what we must is what makes what we do so worth it.
When the Wind Blows: Tornado Survival
The most unpredictable aspect of life as a Wisconsinite has to be the fickle weather she brings along with her every season. With the ability to produce the wrath of any and every element imaginable, being prepared for pending disaster is essential for anyone making Wisconsin their home. In this edition of SERVPRO Survival we will be reviewing the basic steps to take when you find yourself in the line of disaster. In light of a recent study that has dug into our past and discovered that a tornado has occurred IN EVERY MONTH of the year (except February) we have compiled an easy to follow, comprehensive list of what to do and where to go if you find yourself in the path of an incoming twister.
Scenario 1: At Home
- Seek shelter in the lowest, most interior room available. AVOID ALL WINDOWS.
- The center of the room has been proven to be the safest location.
- Find fixed/secured furniture such as a work bench or heavy desk and anchor yourself.
- Always keep head and neck protected from injury. Athletic helmets have been used and have saved lives in extreme weather conditions, as it provides and extra amount of security to your head. So use one if available. Keep very small children strapped into car seat if available. (Do not go to car to retrieve)
- Vehicles and Mobile homes provide little no protection to extreme elements. If possible, seek shelter in a more secure area such as basement or inner area of nearby building.
Scenario 2: At Work or School (Shopping Center)
- Seek immediate shelter in a secure inside hallway/ AVOID ALL WINDOWS
- Avoid all areas with a wide-spanned roof, such as large hallways, open gymnasiums and cafeterias. They sustain the most wind damage and leave you vulnerable when roof is dismantled.
- Sturdy furniture or secured items such as heavy desks or work benches provide added protection.
- Always protect your head and neck with hands and arms, or articles of clothing available for added protection.
Scenario 3: In Your Car
- If you are caught by strong winds, immediately park your car safely out of the line of traffic. Remain in your vehicle with your seatbelt attached. Cover your head and protect your neck, keep head lower than line of window.
- Use a blanket, cushion or anything available to cover yourself from flying debris.
- If time is on your side and the twister is visible but in the distance, you need to act quickly. Seek immediate shelter in nearest building available, your car is unsafe shelter.
- NEVER SEEK SHELTER UNDER A BYPASS OR BRIDGE. They create hazardous driving situations and provide no shelter from what the wind is blowing.
Scenario 4: Outdoors
- DO NOT PANIC (but why are you outside? How did this happen?!)
- Seek shelter indoors IMMEDIATELY, if no building is available lay in the lowest area possible, such as a ditch.
- Stay as far away as possible from trees and vehicles as they are easily uplifted and can blow right into you.
In all situations, the most important tool for survival is to remain calm and remember the tips provided to keep yourself and your family safe from harm. SERVPRO of Lake Geneva and its dedicated team of professionals are here to help you get back on your feet after disaster strikes and to provide you superior care in the worst of times.