Fire Prevention Reminders by ServiceMaster of Mankato/Waseca

We’ve often told you about the fire damage repair and smoke remediation services offered by ServiceMaster of Mankato/Waseca, but if possible, we’d rather you not endure the risk and damage of a fire in the first place. Fire inspectors routinely check businesses for smoke detectors and fire extinguishers, as well as potential fire risks. Why not take the same precautions on a regular basis in your home? Summer is an ideal time to check everything; all you need is a ladder and perhaps a flashlight.

Smoke Detectors

Most modern detectors are hard wired into your electrical circuits, while others may still require a battery replacement. Check them by pressing the test button. Where appropriate, you can open them to check for rust, corrosion or cobwebs that could affect use. If you don’t have a smoke detector in every room, consider adding more. Smoke can stay on one level or one area for an extended period before spreading.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

These devices will save your life if an appliance is malfunctioning and releasing Carbon Monoxide (CO) into the home. It’s wise to check them along with the other devices. Some are combination CO and smoke detectors.

Fire Extinguishers

Keep a multipurpose or ABC extinguisher in every room or a few steps away from any point in your home. Place them at eye level, near doorways so they’re easy to find. Make sure they are fully charged and family members know how to use them. The Minnesota Department of Public Health suggests one-time-use extinguishers be replaced every 12 years, and other devices recharged every six years aside from when used. Any other kind of fire fighting attempt is often useless or dangerous. Any kind of grease, oil or fuel fire must be smothered, and electrical fires also require special dry chemicals. If an extinguisher shows any signs of deterioration or if it’s been used and is non-rechargable, replace it immediately. Buy extinguishers just as you’d by drapes or carpeting: make them fit the room and the use.

Call ServiceMaster of Mankato/Waseca for the best and most comprehensive smoke removal, fire damage repair and disaster restoration service in Mankato, Waseca, Blue Earth and surrounding communities.

 

 

 

 

Avoid Electrical Fire Damage in Mankato and Waseca, MN

The smell and smoke caused by melted wiring insulation can be one of the most annoying aspects of an electrical fire. If that wiring is inside of a wall, it can be even more of a problem as it has to be reached and removed in order to get rid of the odor. While our technicians at ServiceMaster of Mankato and Waseca are experts at fire damage restoration, the best option is to prevent the fire and the fire damage in the first place.

The National Fire Protection Association says nearly 300 people die and over 800 are injured annually in residential electrical fires. Electrical fires in the home can have a wide range of causes, but many of them can be prevented through proper maintenance and safety checks. If you’ve expanded your electrical use or added new or larger appliances, it’s probably a good idea to make sure your circuits can carry the load. Extra voltage on wires, electrical boxes, or even lights, can cause overheating and fires, even if the wiring is new. Following a few basic tips may help prevent a fire in your home:

  • Get rid of any old or frayed electrical or extension cords
  • Don’t run cords under your carpet
  • Examine wall outlets for any type of damage or odor
  • Have an electrician check your breaker box and electrical connections
  • Don’t overload outlets
  • Use power strips sparingly
  • Reassess your circuits before adding any major appliances
  • Have your heating and air conditioning system checked annually
  • Make sure your dryer venting to the outside is clear and clean
  • Clean your dryer’s lint filter before each use
  • Don’t overfill your dryer or washer
  • Make sure your circuits can handle power tools where ever you use them, and guard against sparks

Another good precaution is to have an adequate number of fire extinguishers that work on electrical fires and ensure they are fully charged. They should be on every floor and near any major sources of heat or electricity. If you have an electrical fire, try to turn off the electric power where it enters the building as soon as possible, and have an electrician check everything after the fire is out. After you call your insurance agent, call ServiceMaster of Mankato and Waseca for the most efficient and professional fire damage restoration in the area.

Smoke Damage Repair by ServiceMaster of Mankato and Waseca, MN

There’s a classic old torch song called “When Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” and when it’s your home that is torched or scorched, the smoke gets everywhere, and it stays there until it’s removed. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors, smoke damage becomes worse over time, decreasing the value of your home and increasing the cost of repair. ServiceMaster of Mankato and Waseca is on call to help remove any odors in your home, but especially the tough ones caused by fire. Acting promptly is important to save your property and save you money in the long run.

Why is smoke damage such a problem?

Smoke goes everywhere. It seeps behind cupboards, into refrigerators, through your clothes closets, and into dressers. It gets behind your walls, into your ceilings, and throughout your duct system. Those are all areas that you don’t immediately see, but if they’re not thoroughly cleaned, you’ll be smelling smoke for months or years.

That answers the question as to why you can’t “DIY” your smoke odors away. You need someone with the techniques and means to access all those impossible-to-reach places. Plus, smoke can be greasy and smeary due to chemical reactions in the fire or the materials that burned. That requires a special approach to remove or neutralize the residue.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has some tips on cleaning up your interiors after a fire:

  • Clean, disinfect, and deodorize all carpets and area rugs
  • Clean and disinfect all cabinets and surfaces in every room
  • Wash or dry-clean all clothing, bedding, and towels in the house
  • Clean all upholstery and drapery
  • Wash and clean every dish, glass, pot, and household item, including collectables, vases, art objects, and musical instruments
  • Professionally clean all HVAC ducting and equipment, and change filters monthly for the next year
  • Power wash decking, windows, and walks so particles aren’t tracked or blown in from outside

 

It sounds like a lot, and it is. We can make it simple for you. Call ServiceMaster for the best and most comprehensive smoke and odor removal service in Mankato, Waseca, Blue Earth, and surrounding communities.

 

Summer Storms and Water Damage in Mankato and Waseca, MN

The word deluge brings to mind great floods and walls of water inundating acres of land and destroying all in its path. Yet the word also refers to a situation where water is simply overwhelming. During a brief pounding thunderstorm or a persistent rainstorm that lasts for more than a day, your basement, crawlspace, or ground floor may be subjected to its own form of deluge. It doesn’t take much water to do serious damage. That’s where we come in. ServiceMaster of Mankato and Waseca is your water removal and water damage repair specialist.

You may not be aware of the foundation crack, loose window, or clogged drainpipe that’s about to cause the problem. The last thing on your mind during a busy summer is inspecting your house for areas water may intrude. Most of the time it’s something amiss that isn’t even visible. If you’ve done some landscaping this spring, added a wall, or taken out some trees, it may have made just enough of a difference in the contour of your yard to send water a different direction, or to retain water in new areas of your property. It’s also common that no one is home during a strong thunderstorms to take protective action if a window is broken or water finds a way into the home.

Whatever the cause, it’s critical to remove any water before it causes additional damage to walls, floors, furnishings, or appliances. We will respond promptly with trained specialists to board up or tarp any openings, and then efficiently remove the water. When that’s done, we can provide all the help you need to repair the water damage, prevent mold, and restore your home to its previous state. We’ll also help determine the cause of the flooding and recommend ways to prevent it in the future. For the best choice in water removal and water disaster repair and remediation, call us at ServiceMaster of Mankato and Waseca.

Safety Tips to Prevent Fire Damage in Mankato and Waseca, MN

Summer is the ideal time for cookouts, campfires, and barbeques. Do you know the rules on outdoor fires in your area? They’re probably different whether you live in a rural or incorporated area, and may change if the weather’s been extremely dry. More people are developing their yards to include brick fireplaces or fire pits. Just because a fire is enclosed by stone doesn’t mean it’s perfectly safe. High winds, improper fuel, or inattention to a fire can cause disasters. ServiceMaster of Mankato and Waseca wants you to have a safe summer, but we also want you to know we offer the best fire damage repair and restoration services, just in case things get out of hand.

Here are some helpful tips on keeping your home or other structures safe from recreational or cooking fires:

  • If it’s windy, don’t light a fire. Wait for a better day.
  • Don’t use barbeques on decks, porches, or wooden surfaces.
  • Always have a fire extinguisher or hose handy.
  • Use the right type and amount of fuel for your fire and make sure it fits inside your fire pit or other container.
  • Don’t overload the fuel; you want heat for warmth or cooking, not an inferno.
  • Check the local fire code before you install a fire pit or fireplace.
  • Place fire containers on level concrete or gravel rather than directly on the lawn.
  • Follow the ten-foot rule: If it’s a contained fire, keep it at least ten or even 15 feet away from a structure; if it’s a campfire, double the distance.
  • If you build a campfire, dig a pit first, remove all burnable grass from around the hole, and surround it with rocks.
  • Keep a cell phone handy to call 911 if needed.
  • Put out all fires before leaving an area. That means no embers or smoke remains.

If you experience a structural fire, remember to call us right after you call your insurance company. We respond promptly and can handle any fire disaster repair, from immediate cleanup to long-term restoration. ServiceMaster is your best option for disaster recovery in Mankato, Waseca, St. Peter, and surrounding areas. Contact us today to learn more.

Local ServiceMaster Restore franchise owners raise $9,200 through 2015 Collegiate Players Tour for Ronald McDonald House

ServiceMaster Restore franchisees collaborated together Monday, June 8th as the title sponsor for the 2015 ServiceMaster Restore Collegiate Players Tour, presented by State Farm Insurance.  The event was held at Stonebrooke Golf Club in Shakopee, MN, and allows competitive collegiate players to compete during the summer months in a one-of-a kind tournament. A total of 60 people participated in the event, a turnout that will hopefully increase at next year’s tournament.

Not only did the tournament provide golf enthusiasts the opportunity to play alongside Professional Golfers Association (PGA) hopefuls, but it was also a fundraiser. Through registration fees and sponsorships, $9,200 was raised for the Ronald McDonald House. Each year, the Ronald McDonald House serves thousands of families whose children are receiving medical care by providing financial and housing assistance. The franchise planning committee was excited to see the event come together for a great cause supported by all the players, agents and vendors who participated that day.

Tile and Grout Cleaning in Mankato and Waseca, MN

More and more people are opting for hard surfaced flooring in their offices and businesses. In many cases that means some form of tile. Tile is long lasting and provides a durable, hard surface. It is often easier to care for than other floors, especially in high traffic areas or spaces containing equipment. The range of tile types is great, offering high-end artisan colors and quality, or more practical anti-slip varieties that are economical and utilitarian. Whatever the type of tile in your office or facility, ServiceMaster of Mankato and Waseca is your best cleaning service option for keeping it and the surrounding grout bright and impressive.

Ceramic tile is most common. Made of different types of clay, it provides a good, sturdy and colorful surface that resists slips, especially when wet. It’s usually finished with a protective sealant, as its rougher surface is more porous and more likely to collect dirt. Sometimes unglazed ceramic tile is called quarry tile.

Porcelain tile contains clay plus finely ground minerals, making for a smoother, less porous surface and one that can be highly polished. It’s what you see on many bathroom walls.

Then there are mosaic tiles, made of hand-laid pieces of polished stone or tile bits, as well as the trend toward quarried mineral tiles. These range from granite or marble, which can be highly polished, to slate or sandstone, which are rougher and often used for entryways.

It’s not uncommon for several types of tile to be utilized in any one business or facility. ServiceMaster of Mankato and Waseca is trained, equipped and ready to deal with any and all types of tile. We can also resurface some types of tile to keep it looking like new.

Grout is a critical element in making your flooring function properly and look its best, and often the first to show dirt and grime. Grout comes in varying compositions to work best with the tile it’s holding together. That means that some are more porous than others and will darken, as dirt becomes ground into the small openings in the material.

For the best cleaning solutions for your tile and grout surfaces in Mankato, Waseca, St. Peter or the surrounding area, call us today.

Mold Removal in Mankato and Waseca, MN

Why remove mold from your home? Three reasons immediately come to mind: The health of your family, the investment in your home, and the risk of further damage. Mold is a living, growing organism that will feed on almost any material from paper to wood. As long as there are organic molecules available and a moist environment, mold spores will thrive. It doesn’t take much; any kind of water vapor in an enclosed space for a day or two will do the trick. We know. It’s our job to find mold and remove it. ServiceMaster of Mankato and Waseca performs mold removal and repair in Waseca and Blue Earth counties and surrounding MN communities.

The Environmental Protection Agency says presence of mold in a home can contribute to both asthma and other allergic conditions, and can irritate the nose, throat, nasal passages and lungs of individuals with no history of immune-related or respiratory illness. Skin rashes are also possible. Sometimes the affect is delayed by hours or days.

Clues that you may have mold in your home:

  • Water discoloration on wallboard, wallpaper, mopboards, or other exposed surfaces
  • Condensation on windows, pipes, or other surfaces
  • Pipes or faucets that drip
  • Any type of pooled water or flood
  • A damp smelling basement
  • Mildew odors

Mold can be white or black in color and can appear on almost anything, even the interior wood of the structure itself. If you see indications of mold in one area it’s more than likely that it exists in areas you can’t see. We will check for mold in all suspect areas and determine how best to get rid of it. We then take all appropriate steps to remove it, stop it from spreading, and restore your home to its original safe, healthy environment. The only way of ensuring this is to determine what caused the mold in the first place, and we’ll do that as well. The answer may be as simple as installing a dehumidifier or fixing a leaky pipe you didn’t know about.

We’ll work with plumbing contractors or any other specialists required to ensure the job is done right. If repairs are needed we will remove whatever sections of the structure are damaged and replace them with new, clean materials. If mold has damaged furnishings, draperies, or fine art, we can restore that as well. For the best value in residential mold removal and mold damage repair and restoration, contact ServiceMaster of Mankato and Waseca today.

For the Best Looking Business, Hire a Janitorial Service in Mankato, MN

As Minnesota grows, office space in many communities is becoming limited or the space available may be far from ideal. In some cases, fledgling businesses have fewer options for their first headquarters, but still need to make a good impression on prospective customers and clients. Whatever the case, you need to know that a professionally cleaned and maintained business will help make that impression despite the age of the building or type of furnishings. The professional technicians at ServiceMaster of Mankato/Waseca know how to make every business look its best with top-notch janitorial services.

Three aspects that make the biggest impact on visitors where we can help the most:

Visible surfaces
“What you see is what you get,” goes the old saying. If what a customer or client sees is dirt, smudges or dust, it’s like waving a warning flag that may easily offset your friendly handshake. We’ll make sure that surfaces are very clean, so much so that people may comment. If the woodwork or carpeting in your office is older, making it look its best will draw attention to the detail and care you give your surroundings. It can turn an older office space into a positive statement about your approach to business. If the space had been used for something quite different, making it shine and restoring aspects of the room may also prove an eye-opener. Older furnishings can be made bright and offer a classic look.

Restrooms and break areas
This goes without saying, but it’s one of the most noticed areas and one where many businesses fall short. You want your restrooms, coffee and eating areas as clean as those in your customer’s home or a good hotel. They should shine, smell clean and show that they’ve been recently cleaned. That means clean tile and grout and sparkling mirrors and surfaces. Sinks, tabletops and microwaves should be spotless.

Windows
Many janitorial services don’t do windows. We do and do them well. Clean windows send all available light into your business even on the gray days. Sunlight is a subtle but positive factor in making people feel good about what they’re doing, whether employee or customer.

We do far more than trash removal and cleaning carpets, and we’ll gladly describe our extensive offering of services when you call. Let us set up a regular cleaning schedule that meets your needs and budget. For the best value in commercial cleaning and janitorial services, contact ServiceMaster of Mankato/Waseca today.

How to Keep Your Carpets Cleaning During the Messy Spring Months in Mankato, MN

The woman waited at the door with a bucket of warm water and a rag as her two spaniels approached from their morning round. The spring mud appeared plentiful on each of the eight paws, but she was ready. The dogs sat dutifully as each was washed and dried before they were allowed to pass through the mudroom into the house. If that scenario is rare, wishful thinking, or pure fantasy at your house, then your carpets may well bear the traces of pets and people who have brought the outdoors into your home. Whether your yard is primarily sand, clay, gravel, or rich black loam, you need home carpet cleaning by ServiceMaster of Mankato/Waseca to handle those carpet stains.

There’s only so much you can do during the messy months to keep soil and grit off your residential floors. Put multiple mats by the doors, set out trays for boots and shoes, and vacuum regularly. Even when guests think they’ve effectively wiped their feet, they often don’t. After several weeks your carpets reflect not only the muddy spring, but also what remains after a long winter’s accumulation that includes splatters and spills from parties or family gatherings. Add to that any pet stains and it’s probably time for a professional carpet cleaning service.

If you live in a rural area, on a farm or acreage, you may have even more potential for having dirt tracked onto your carpeting. We can remove the smallest particles of dirt that have filtered to the bottom of your carpets and may be damaging the fibers. We’ll remove the dried mud and dirt before it turns into dust that recirculates in your HVAC system. And we’ll spot treat the problem areas with the right solutions based on the type of stain. There’s no guesswork involved. Let our highly trained technicians get your home and its carpets and rugs smelling like spring instead of like mud. For the best in home carpet cleaning, contact ServiceMaster today. We serve all of Waseca and Blue Earth counties, including Mankato, Waseca, and St. Peter, MN.

NEED HELP IN A HURRY?

For emergency service, call 1-800-596-0063 or submit a service request.

EXPERT GUIDANCE

NEWS

Why Smoke and Smoke Damage Can Make You Choke Long after the Fire Fades