Recent Posts

The History of Bags

1/12/2021 (Permalink)

Man playing Cornhole We encourage everyone to please donate.

US at SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc do a bags tournament every year in order to raise money for different charities. This winter we held a tournament where all the earnings were donated to the Rodgers Behavioral Health Foundation. In total we raised $950 that will be donated to the Rodgers Foundation.

In honor of our upcoming fundraiser for HAWS and the Jefferson County Humane Society we have decided to look back on the history of how the game of bags was created.

Legend has it that a fourteenth-century cabinet maker by the name of Mr. Matthias Kuepermann created the game after watching children toss rocks into a nearby groundhog’s hole. Kuepermann was said to have been so concerned for the safety of the children that he utilized his carpentry skills and designed a safer game for them to play.

So, where does the “corn” come into play? Well, during this time, corn was utilized more often as a weight rather than a food because of its abundance. Kuepermann determined a bag of corn was much safer to throw than a stone. 

(This information was found from https://www.cornholeworldwide.com/play-cornhole/history-of-cornhole/#:~:text=As%20Cornhole%20has%20become%20such,into%20a%20nearby%20groundhog's%20hole.)

We Encourage anyone to please join us as we raise funds for HAWS and the Jefferson County Humane Society at our bags tournament on March 6th, 2021. For more information about the tournament please contact us at (920) 541-1710.

5 ways to have a dog and a clean home

1/7/2021 (Permalink)

Dog Marvel SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc is used to cleaning up after our favorite office pup Marvel.

With the large surge in new dog owners because of the quarantine I am sure everyone is starting to notice the mess that they leave behind. However, it is possible to own a dog and keep a clean house even with the hair and mud that they leave behind. 

The keys to keeping a clean house are being able to prevent them from occurring in the first place as well as have a strategy to deal with them when they inevitably happen.


1. Create an outdoor dog-cleaning station. 

How intensive your station needs to be depends on the breed of your dog and how much it enjoys rolling around in the mud. Owners of large dog breeds know firsthand that the larger the dog, the bigger the mess. But even smaller breeds can track plenty of dirt and much into the house.

Stop the mess before it goes through the door by cleaning your dog outside after it’s gotten itself dirty. Sometimes this will be as simple as dunking your dog’s paws in water; for more substantial messes, you’ll need a hose, kiddie pool, and patience.

It’s also always a good idea to have towels on hand to dry off your pup before going inside.

2. Eliminate odors at the source. At some stage in their lives, dogs will have accidents in your house. Urine, feces, or vomit on your furniture or the floor doesn’t mean you have to replace the whole carpet for it to be clean again.

If your dog has an accident inside, it’s important to eliminate the smell completely so your dog doesn’t think that your rug is it’s new toilet. There are many enzyme-based cleaners on the market to choose from.

3. Invest in hair-removal strategies. The first item you’ll need is a solid vacuum cleaner. Usually, you get what you pay for, but if your dog is a heavy shedder, you’ll need a model with strong suction and a high-quality filter. To keep your living space in tip-top shape, vacuuming will become a daily routine. And by staying on top of the fur rather than letting it accumulate, this should only take a few minutes a day.

A second tool worth keeping on hand is lint rollers. Every pet owner knows the value of these small-but-mighty sticky brushes. Lint rollers are a great way to quickly brush off your furniture and clothes to address surface-level pet hair before it becomes a bigger problem.

4. Stick to easy to clean supplies. When it comes to pet supplies like toys, leashes, beds, and other items your dog uses regularly, you should find options that are easy to clean and won’t hold onto odors or stains.

Machine-washable toys are easy to toss in the laundry, and you don’t need to deal with the hassle of washing them by hand. And water-resistant collars and leads are easy to quickly wipe down in between deeper cleanings.

5. Control the clutter. If your dog has what seems like dozens of different toys it leaves lying around the entire house, wanting to contain them is an understandable impulse. You have a few options for how to go about this.

One is to buy a basket or two for toy storage. With some practice, you can even train your dog to put it’s toys in the basket!

Another option, though not feasible for everyone, is to create a “dog room” of the house dedicated to your dog’s toys and playtime. With a separate room, you can simply close the door when play is over and let the clutter stay out of sight.

Dogs are a great addition to any family and perfect for keeping everyone happy and entertained. That being said they are a large responsibility that will require some cleaning up after. However, if you follow these steps it will make having a dog much easier and a lot cleaner.

If you ever have a need for cleaning or restoration give SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc at (920) 541-1710

Sleep: How To Get Better At It

12/29/2020 (Permalink)

Blue geometric depiction of a person sleeping with a crescent moon over head SERVPRO cares about our communities more now than ever. Follow these tips for better sleep and overall health!

The health, wellbeing, and safety of our communities here at SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc matter more now than ever. We are always looking to share health related information, an especially during a pandemic. The following list gives tips and tricks for better sleep, which can lead to less stress and a better over all bill of health. This list comes from this link.

  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
  • Spend some time outside during the day.
  • Let the daylight into your home.
  • Walk, exercise, read or engage in a hobby to relieve stress on a daily basis.
  • Limit caffeine, especially after lunch time.
  • Limit alcohol use, especially after dinner time.
  • Limit electronic device screen time, especially in the evening.
  • Use the bedroom only for sleep.
  • Limit the amount of light in the bedroom, or use a sleep mask.
  • Keep the temperature in your bedroom in the lower 60s at night.
  • Ensure that you will not be disturbed by noises, or use earplugs.
  • Choose preferred bedding that helps you sleep well, such as flannel sheets, a down comforter or a weighted blanket.
  • Keep pets in their own safe space at night, and out of the bed.
  • Avoid using over-the-counter sleep aids. Instead, try 5mg of melatonin before bed, if needed.

SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc is currently doing cleanings to disinfect after a covid case (or cases). As we said, community health and safety is so important to us, please reach out with any questions regarding our covid cleaning process. Or any of our other services for that matter and STAY SAFE. Call us at 920-674-3002.

Avoid Winter Slip-ups and Injuries

12/29/2020 (Permalink)

Man falling on ice SERVPRO wishes everyone a safe winter season

Avoid Winter Slip-ups

The winter provides many hazards that can bring danger to everyday people and employees working outdoors. These hazards include slipping and falling. With snow and ice covered conditions, you run the risk of taking major falls, which can lead to serious injuries.

Prevention

Education is essential in preventing winter weather-related injuries. Consider the following recommendations to prevent slip and fall injuries during the winter months:

  • Wear the proper footwear that provides traction on snow and ice. Footwear should be made of anti-slip material; avoid plastic and leather-soled shoes or boots.
  • Exercise caution when entering and exiting vehicles, and use the vehicle for balance and support.
  • Try to walk only in designated areas that are safe for foot traffic. If you notice that a walkway is covered in ice, walk on the grass next to the sidewalk, which will have more traction.
  • Avoid inclines that are typically difficult to walk up or down as they may be more treacherous in winter conditions.
  • Take small steps to maintain your center of balance, walk slowly and never run. When possible, walk with your hands free to maintain your balance. And despite the cold temperatures, avoid putting your hands in your pockets. This will help you better maintain your balance and allow you to break a fall should you slip.
  • Use handrails, walls or anything stationary to assist in steadying your feet.
  • Look ahead to the path in front of you to avoid hazards.
  • Test a potentially slippery area before stepping on it by tapping your foot on the surface first.
  • Remove debris, water and ice from all working walkways.
  • Steer clear of roof edges, floor openings and other drop-offs to avoid slipping hazards.
  • Sand or salt surfaces covered by ice or snow to provide traction.
  • Dry your shoes or boots on floor mats when entering a building.

If You Begin to Slip…

  • Twist your body and roll backward to avoid falling forward and injuring your face.
  • Try to relax your body when you start to feel your legs give way.

If you are carrying a load, throw it off to the side so it does not land on you when you fall. This will also free your arms to help break your fall.

These are some tips and tricks to help keep yourself safe this winter season. SERVPRO wishes everyone a safe and enjoyable winter, and hopefully these tips can keep you all free of injuries.

Call SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc with any fire, water, mold, or cleaning needs! (920) 541-1710

Are Sprinkler Systems As Complex As They Seem?

12/22/2020 (Permalink)

A classic sprinkler head with a red glass bulb SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc is certified for fire and water restoration. Don't hesitate to call!

SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc sees a lot of water damage and a lot of fire damage. Sometimes these two go hand in hand. The fire department using water to put out a house fire, or a sprinkler system being triggered by a fire. Obviously, the fire department shows up and uses firetrucks/fire hydrants for water. So, how do sprinkler systems work?

Most sprinkler heads feature a glass bulb filled with a glycerin-based liquid. This liquid expands when it meets air heated to between 135 and 165 degrees. When the liquid expands, it shatters its glass confines, and the sprinkler head activates.

Each sprinkler head is attached to a pipe that connects to a reliable water source outside the building. When heat activates a sprinkler head, a valve opens, allowing pressurized water from the pipe system to flow out and trigger the rest of the sprinkler heard on the building.

Call SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc with any fire, water, mold, or cleaning needs! 920-674-3002

Source: 

https://www.guardianfireprotection.com/blog/how-do-fire-sprinklers-work#:~:text=Fire%20sprinklers%20work%20because%20high,it%20triggers%20a%20chain%20reaction.

What is Asbestos?

12/21/2020 (Permalink)

Lots of little white fibers are shown, it almost looks like animal fur but is actually asbestos SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc along with SERVPRO of S.W. Waukesha County are the only two asbestos certified franchises in WI!

What is Asbestos?

Everyone has heard the commercials, “If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma; you may be entitled to compensation.” Those commercials target asbestos as the culprit but, what is asbestos?

SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc and SERVPRO of SW Waukesha (these franchises are owned and operated by the same people) are the only two Asbestos certified SERVPROs in the state of WI. We would like to think we are qualified to give you a peak into what asbestos is and how it can hurt you. The following information comes from the minds and knowledge of our asbestos manager, Justin, along with information gathered by our blog writer, Alli.

BASICS

The first thing you should know is that asbestos is a general term for six naturally occurring minerals. These minerals are made of fibrous crystals and the crystals themselves are made of microscopic fibrils. These fibrils are what can enter the respiratory system and implant themselves causing diseases and cancers. These six minerals occur in six colors:

  1. Green
  2. Red
  3. Yellow
  4. White
  5. Blue
  6. Gray

Along with the six colors, there are six types of asbestos (Not in order of the corresponding colors):

  1. Actinolite
  2. Amosite
  3. Anthophyllite
  4. Chrysotile (the most common form in the US)
  5. Crocidolite
  6. Tremolite

HISTORY

Archeologists have found evidence that asbestos may have been used by humans as far back as the stone age. One of the first description of asbestos could have been made by Theopharstus in around 300 bc, although this has been challenged by historians and archeologists. One of the first confirmed uses was in Eastern Finland to strengthen clay pots and cooking utensils. Wealthy Persians would use cleaning cloths, that were made of asbestos, to amaze their guests. The Persians would take the cloths and expose it to fire. Seeing as asbestos is fire resistant, this would knock their guests off their feet.

Large-scale use/mining did not begin until the late 1800s and widespread consumption did not begin until the early 1900s. Asbestos was ban in the US relatively shortly after in the 1970s. The last US based asbestos mine closed in 2002.

To date, 67 countries and territories have ban asbestos use, with few exceptions being granted. Although its ban in 67 countries, 1.3 million tons of asbestos was mined worldwide. 53% of that was mined by Russia, that is nearly 689 thousand tons. As far as consumption is concerned, Asia consumed 70% of the worlds mined asbestos in 2017.

DISEASES

Asbestos has been linked to:

  1. Lung cancer
  2. Ovarian cancer
  3. Laryngeal cancer
  4. Asbestosis
  5. Pleural thickening
  6. Pleural plaques
  7. Mesothelioma

Asbestosis (scaring of the lungs) and lung cancer both have a dose response relationship with asbestos. This means the more exposure someone has to asbestos, the more likely they are to develop these ailments. Although, no amount of exposure is considered safe. Mesothelioma (cancer of the pleura, which is the membrane that houses the organs) does not have a dose response relationship with asbestos; therefore, one single exposure can lead to developing mesothelioma.

As mentioned before, asbestos’ microscopic fibrils can attach themselves to the inner lining of the lung and can not be removed. They are shaped similarly to fishing hooks and will create microscopic abrasions in the lungs lining when disturbed. This is one of the things that makes asbestos so dangerous.

As always, please call SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc with any concerns, needs, or questions regarding asbestos! 920-674-3002

Ozone vs. Hydroxyl; Is There A Right Answer?

12/18/2020 (Permalink)

A ozone machine is on top of a ladder surrounded by fans on the floor SERVPRO has the skills needed to effectively circulate ozone through the whole structure.

Odor removal is an essential component of almost every restoration job. There are a variety of options available from masking agents to foggers to ozone and hydroxyl generators, and so on. In our industry, we have noticed a rather large debate being waged over the benefits and dangers of these two options. There is a clear advantage to using machines to eliminate odors from spaces and items rather than simply just trying to mask them.  SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc technicians are highly trained to recommend the best method for your odor neutralization.  

It is VERY IMPORTANT to know that both ozone and hydroxyl will remove odors – hydroxyl will just take longer.

Differences Between Hydroxyl and Ozone

  1. Hydroxyl is not harmful to plants and fish.
  2. Hydroxyl does not leave behind a chemical smell.
  3. Hydroxyl works on a larger variety of odors.
  4. Hydroxyl can be used in wet areas to help deodorize. Ozone machine used in wet areas can bleach a material.
  5. Hydroxyl machines will typically take longer to deodorize.
  6. Ozone can possibly damage rubber or leather goods.
  7. Ozone is to be used in unoccupied areas with return to the area at least one hour after the machine has turned off.
  8. Ozone is much stronger and faster and must be closely monitored.  

Both options are very effective and have their time and place on when to be used. Depending on the type of odor and the amount of time allotted will dictate what option you should choose. Be sure to only use experienced technicians when using equipment such as these. Supervision of both methods is necessary to affectively remove the odor. SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc office staff, and technicians, are trained to know which method will be most effective for your situation

Call SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc 920-674-3002 for all your deodorization needs and questions.

Why Should You Trust SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc? For Starters, We An IICRC Certified Restoration Company

12/18/2020 (Permalink)

IICRC logo with IICRC Certified Firm in white lettering SERVPRO has been trusted by many, not just because we are IICRC certified, but it sure does help impress!

In the 1990s and early 2000s, restorative drying science was in its infancy but was evolving as some leaders in the restoration industry began taking a more scientific approach. Restorers were rapidly becoming restoration specialists, and in the process, they were learning what worked and what did not work. Those restorers worked to understand the science that impacted their business and developed the technology still used today.

As restorer confidence began to grow, the training needed to grow as well.  The term Applied Structural Drying (ASD) became known in the industry as a drying course. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) stated in its IICRC S500 V3-2006 standard, “Currently, among the IICRC’s 38,000 registered technicians, approximately 24,000 are IICRC-certified as Water Restoration Technicians (WRT), with approximately 4,500 of those being certified in Applied Structural Drying (ASD). This number is growing daily. ASD is primarily a hands-on course in which demonstration houses representative of standard residential construction are flooded, extracted, monitored, and dried throughout the three-day course – although three-day drying cannot be guaranteed.”

Everyone was going to these classes, from contractors to adjusters to property managers. The fact that a restorer could reduce the cost of rebuilding a structure substantially impacted the bottom line of the final customer, reduced cycle time, and decreased rebuild costs.

The untold truth was that even with a sanitary environment with limited contents, more than enough power and with known quantities, known saturation times, and a repeatable process, these buildings still required additional days to dry. 

Some contractors and adjusters believe contractors are in possession of technology, equipment, and training that can dry structures in three days. The fact remains that these sceptics are hard pressed to substantiate their comments. Moreover, publishing erroneous materials can lead to serious conflicts between contractors and adjusters rather than assist in fair and scientifically sound practices.”

Drying Science in 2020

In 2020, the science has evolved, the equipment has evolved, and restorative techniques have dramatically improved. But with all this improvement and knowledge one thing is true – three-day drying is not the norm. Stephanie Beattie of the Center for Disaster Recovery in Barrier, Ontario stated the best statistics show we went from an average of 6.2 days in 2016 to 4.9 day in 2018.

There has been plenty of research by the restoration community and building science (engineers) community to substantiate the fact that not all materials can be dried in a specified, arbitrary time of three days. As a matter of fact, many structural materials will dry in varying degrees, depending on saturation time, atmospheric conditions, and the material’s location in the building composition.

For the most part, today’s insurance adjusters do not look at the goal of the drying project; they look at the costs of the job. The measurable cost of the job is more important than the successful drying of a project. But are those clients saving money? Did you help them understand the true savings?

Today, the indoor environmental profession knows more about the effects of contaminated indoor environments and the effects of mold on occupants and highly sensitized individuals. If contractors and their customers are not aware of these risks and do not address properly drying a structure, it can dramatically increase the potential for litigation and there is no limit on that liability.

SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc is an IICRC Certified Firm.  Contact us for all your water damage needs or inquiries.  920-674-3002

Working Safely in Cold Weather

12/15/2020 (Permalink)

Window with ice frosted over SERVPRO wishes everyone a safe and healthy winter season

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there is no exact temperature at which the environment becomes hazardous. Instead, factors such as low temperatures, wind speed and wetness contribute to cold-induced injuries and illness.

  • Exposed skin freezes within one minute at -20° F when the wind speed is five miles per hour (mph), and will freeze at 10° F if the wind speed is 20 mph.
  • When skin or clothing is wet, injury or illness can occur in temperatures above 10° F, and even above freezing (32° F).
  • When the body is unable to warm itself, hypothermia and frostbite can set in, resulting in permanent tissue damage and even death.

Signs of Injury and Illness

These are some of the very common symptoms that show that you are experiencing illness due to the cold. If you notice that these symptoms do not go away go inside, or call for medical attention.

  • Uncontrollable shivering
  • Slurred speech
  • Clumsy movements
  • Fatigue
  • Confused behavior
  • White or grayish-yellow area(s) of the skin
  • Skin that feels “waxy”
  • Numbness

Make sure to look out for these symptoms for not just your self but your fellow co-workers. 

Safety Considerations

These are some of the easy ways to reduce the risk of cold-induced injuries and illnesses:

  • Layer clothing to keep warm enough to be safe, but cool enough to avoid perspiring excessively. It should also contain the following:
    • Inner layer – a synthetic weave to keep perspiration away from the body
    • Middle layer – wool or synthetic fabric to absorb sweat and retain body heat.
    • Outer layer – material designed to break the wind and allow for ventilation.
  • Wear a hat. Almost 40 percent of your body heat escapes from your head. If you wear a hard hat, add a winter liner that covers your neck.
  • Place heat packets in gloves, vests, boots and hats to add heat to the body.
  • Watch out for the effects of cold temperatures on common body functions, such as:
    • Reduced dexterity and hand usage
    • Cold tool handles reducing your grip force
    • The skin’s reduced ability to feel pain in cold temperatures
    • Reduced muscle power and time to exhaustion

(This information has been provided by: Mid-State Insurance)

For all your fire damage, water damage, mold mitigation, asbestos abatement, deodorization and other general cleaning services, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc at (920) 541-1710

SERVPRO wishes all a safe and enjoyable winter season.

Rain Storms Leads To Undetected Water Damage

12/10/2020 (Permalink)

Water damage to ceiling Undiscovered And Unknown Water Source Leads to A Need For Water Restoration With SERVPRO

This bathroom has had a leak of some sort for some time, but the owner was never able to identify the cause.  The bathroom floor and the ceiling/drywall in the garage have visible damage.  It was only determined that the damage seemed to slowly get worse each time that a rain storm had passed through after calling out SERVPRO to inspect it after a recent storm. 

This before picture shows the damage left behind on the ceiling after the storm had passed.  A leaking section of roof slowly tricked down through the attic an onto this ceiling causing water damage.  Due to the amount of time that it was wet, secondary damage (aka mold) set it and caused more damage above the ceiling.

SERVPRO of Jeffferson County/Oconomowoc was called to help determine the cause and clean up the aftermath.

For all your emergency water damage needs, either residential or commercial, call the certified water restoration technicians at SERVPRO of Jeffferson County/Oconomowoc 920-674-3002