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Common Causes of Damage to Commercial Properties

6/16/2022 (Permalink)

a large commercial building with extensive damage to roof and siding SERVPRO of Sioux Falls is your local commercial disaster team. Contact us to learn more about our commercial damage restoration services.

Our country thrives on small businesses, and it always has. We all likely visit several every day between work, play and supplying our homes with the things we need.

When you own a business, you carry a heavy load with the ins and outs of daily operations. If a disaster strikes, it can have devastating consequences not only on your building but on your business as a whole.

The cost of damages from natural disasters has been on a steady incline in the United States recently. Actually, in the last five years, there has been as estimated $153 billion worth of damages done annually. This represents a large increase from previous periods and is quite alarming.

Here in Sioux Falls, we know to anticipate cold, snowy winters and warm summers with lots of clouds year-round. Along with our high amounts of snowfall, we can also experience severe thunderstorms, floods and even the occasional tornado in the warmer months.

In May of this year, we saw a round of storms that created a good deal of damage across the Midwest, including in our own neighborhoods. These widespread storms brought straight-line winds, heavy rain and a tornado touching down in the Castlewood area that left the high school with roof and wall damage.

This round of scary storms was a strong reminder of why we should always be prepared. The more we can learn about the ways our businesses can be damaged, the more we can do to protect them.

Water Damage

Water is one of the top ways commercial buildings are damaged all across the country. Moisture problems can stem from weather events or something completely unexpected like an appliance failure. No matter where it comes from, water causes complete chaos on commercial properties.

Flooding that starts outside due to a weather event like a flash flood can seep through doors and even the floor and cause damage to the foundation. If the space outside your building allows, consider using landscaping intentionally to divert water away from your building. Adding a garden, flower beds or even just extra dirt can be an important step towards prevention.

Water problems can also occur when a leak has been left unattended for a long amount of time inside your building. Check your plumbing on a regular basis to ensure there are no drips, and check walls and ceilings for warping or discoloration.

Make this part of your regular routine so that you can stay ahead of damage and avoid expensive repairs.

Storm Damage

Damage to commercial property from storms is very common and can cause complete devastation to your entire building, tear down a whole row of buildings or simply affect a bit of your roof. Even a minor storm can still disrupt your business with power outages or damage from thrown debris.

While most storms carry winds between 10 and 45 mph, a strong storm can produce winds of over 100 mph that topple freight trucks and tear down trees as if they were only twigs.

You can take action to limit the damage done to your property with a few upgrades to your building, like storm-protective window covers or updates to your roof. These measures are highly effective, but they can also be very costly.

There are some simple, low-cost acts that are also effective that you can implement to protect your building. Check the seals on your windows and doors, and inspect your building for weakened areas regularly. Stay on top of regular building maintenance to help avoid the need for repairs.

Before a storm moves in, walk your property and clear any loose debris or dead plants. These steps can not only prevent damage to your building, but they can also ensure your work family stays safe.

Know Who to Call

Your commercial property can be damaged in so many different ways, but water and storm damage are certainly the top two. These events can lead to a devastating long-term closure, or in the worst-case scenario, a complete loss of business.

Fortunately, your SERVPRO franchise is available 24/7 to respond to any disaster you may face. Our experts are your neighbors, and we want to get you back in business as fast as possible. We will work with you to design a plan and a timeline to complete the right restoration for your needs to get you up and running.

If you have experienced damage to your business or want to learn more about our commercial damage restoration services, contact us today. We’re here to help, 24/7. 

Sneaky Signs That Mold Has Become an Issue in Your Home | SERVPRO® of Sioux Falls

6/14/2022 (Permalink)

Mold Culture Under Microscope Microscopic photo of mold growth.

Mold may be something that you typically associate with produce that is past its prime or decaying plant matter in your compost bin, but mold in your home is a different and far more insidious issue. Mold within the home is persistent and pervasive, and once it sets up a colony, getting rid of it becomes more difficult with each passing day.

There are some clear signs that mold is present in the home: A persistently musty odor, black spots on the walls or a thin film on your ceiling are all tell-tale signs. However, there are some sneakier signs of mold as well, and these can often go unnoticed while the problem is allowed to pervade.

Here’s a look at some of these sneaky indicators so you can be vigilant in keeping an eye out around your own home for a mold problem:

Peeling paint or wallpaper- Mold loves moisture, and one common sign that you have a moisture issue in your home is wallpaper or paint that has begun to bubble or peel. This may indicate that the humidity in an area is high or that there is water damage behind the impacted wall—and if this is the case, that can also be a sign that mold has set up shop somewhere nearby, too.

Discoloration on the walls or ceiling- Any time you notice discoloration within your home, it is important to take note. Discoloration is almost always due to a water stain—this may mean that there is a leak impacting the discolored area, or something else is allowing water to pool behind the surface. Either way, this is something you will want to address as soon as possible in order to address any mold that has been allowed to arise.

An odd smell from your air conditioning unit- Because of the condensation they produce, air conditioning units can be prime spots for mold to begin growing—especially standalone or window units. If you notice yours is putting off an odd odor when it is switched on, that may be an indicator that something is amiss.

If you think you may have a mold issue on your hands, we are here to help. You can get in touch with us 24/7 to learn more about our mold remediation process—contact us now.

When Do I Need to Install a Dehumidifier in My Home? | SERVPRO® of Sioux Falls

6/14/2022 (Permalink)

Portable dehumidifier working in living room A dehumidifier for trouble areas in your home can be a great tool for lowering humidity and possibly preventing microbial growth.

If you have ever had a mold infestation on your hands in the past, you know it is something that no one wants to deal with. Mold can be insidious and far-reaching, and once it becomes established, it is essential to have it properly remediated to prevent it from becoming a recurring issue.

For this reason, many people are hoping to be proactive in regard to preventing mold. Mold prevention is a much more sustainable strategy, and because we know that mold likes damp, humid places, addressing the moisture levels in an area is a great method for abating any growth. 

Can a Dehumidifier Help Prevent Mold? Mold thrives the best on areas that are damp, humid or otherwise have a high moisture content, which is exactly what a dehumidifier is designed to combat. A dehumidifier can be a great tool in reducing the overall humidity of the air, so if you have an area that is persistently damp or poorly ventilated, this can be a great tactic. That being said, if you are dealing with a water damage issue, such as previous flooding that was improperly addressed or a hidden leak, it is important to get proper restoration that addresses the root of the matter, otherwise the mold will likely keep returning. 

What Type of Dehumidifier Should I Choose? There are a lot of options when it comes to the types of dehumidifiers to choose for your home. Some models are portable and plug into a wall outlet, so they can be utilized in various areas of the home as needed—but these must be emptied regularly to remain effective. Other models, designed for garages, basements, crawl spaces and other areas notorious for high moisture content, can be installed permanently with a drainage system so they can kick on and off as needed. 

How Do I Know If I Need a Dehumidifier? If you are not sure if a dehumidifier is what you need in your home, measuring the moisture in the air with a hygrometer is advised. Ideally, humidity levels should remain below 50% throughout the home to discourage mold and mildew growth. *If you have discovered mold in your home, we are the team to call. We specialize in mold remediation and are here 24/7. Contact us today!

What Is Your Storm Emergency Plan? | SERVPRO® of Sioux Falls

6/14/2022 (Permalink)

Storm rolling in with green SERVPRO trailer in foreground of picture No matter how bad the storm is, SERVPRO is Here to Help!

Each year, there are close to 100,000 thunderstorms around the nation. These frequent weather events can be scary, bringing strong winds, lightning, hail and intense rain, all of which can cause personal danger and property damage.

Our extremely cold temperatures might give us a sense of security when it comes to dangerous thunderstorms, but we are far from immune. Thunderstorms and tornadoes are not uncommon, especially in the spring and summer months. We always need to be prepared for any weather that may come our way.

Your Severe Weather Communication Strategy

Understanding weather terms, particularly the differences between a watch and a warning is the first step in keeping your family safe. By knowing when to wait and when to go, you can clearly communicate with your household and activate the weather plan you have created together.

It is a good idea to have several ways to receive warnings from weather officials. Your cell phone and a weather radio from the NOAA are good tools to have ready to go when a storm is rolling in.

Create a designated safe area in your house (typically a bathroom or basement) and ensure that everyone in your family knows where it is. A communication plan for your household is also recommended to ensure that everyone can check in during and after a storm. Be sure this plan includes a way for anyone who may not be home at the time of the event to check in so that all can be accounted for.

Your Severe Weather Emergency Kit

An emergency kit can be prepared ahead of time and updated throughout the year. It should contain enough water and food for each member of your family to sustain them through 72 hours. First-aid supplies, flashlights, batteries and any comfort items that can aid in the calming of your household should also be in the kit.

Your Severe Weather Aftermath Checklist

Time matters after a storm, so it is essential to take quick action to mitigate losses. You should have a plan in place before a storm strikes so that you can act quickly and get your family to safety. As soon as you can, you should walk your property and assess any damage.

As you walk the property, pay special attention to your roof, windows and doors to ensure they are still properly sealed and note any water damage that may have occurred.

If your home is damaged, call us at SERVPRO of Sioux Falls. We are available 24/7 and can offer you peace of mind after the storm as we take on your restoration and get you back to normal faster.

Once the storm is gone and recovery has started, gather your family and note how your plan worked. Is there anything you can change to make your family safer or more comfortable? Were you all able to successfully communicate with one another? How was your emergency kit stocked? Your emergency plan should be updated periodically so you are always ready for the next storm.

If you discover storm damage to your home or business, you can count on SERVPRO to handle the restoration. We’re here 24/7 to spring into action—get in touch with us today.

Keep Your Home Safe From Fires | SERVPRO® of Sioux Falls

6/14/2022 (Permalink)

Interior view of a room with items completely destroyed by fire your home is damaged in a house fire, SERVPRO of Sioux Falls is here to help. Contact us for any fire restoration need.

The American Red Cross has responded to more than 20,000 house fires in 2022, and that is only a fraction of the fires the nation has seen so far.

Smoke detectors are the best fire-preventive tool in your home, but there are steps you can take to protect your life and loved ones. Even simple acts of cleaning can help make your home fire-safe.

Clear the Clutter

Clutter may be something you battle on a daily basis in your home already, but when hallways, stairwells and other small spaces become full of unused items, they actually pose a fire risk. Loose clothing and other cloth items can both serve as fuel for a fire and block potential exits.

Cloth items left near a water heater can actually start a fire as the water heater warms up. Allowing your spaces to remain open and free of clutter not only gives you a clear escape route in the event of an emergency, but it can also slow a fire from spreading.

Extension cords can also become a source of fire when they are overloaded. Store any electrical appliances you don’t use and unplug anything you don’t use frequently.

Always ensure there is space between walls and furniture so that outlets do not overheat and air can flow properly.

Create a Defensible Space in Your Yard

The area around your home is key in providing protection from fires that originate outside. Using strategically placed landscaping both protects your home and gives room for firefighters to work in the event of an emergency.

In some states like California, there are regulations for defensible zones due to the effectiveness of slowing down wildfires, but this kind of yard work is smart for every home.

Due to the extreme risk most of South Dakota has for grass fires, keeping your yard clear of dead plants, leaves and limbs is essential in our fight for protection. This spring, we experienced a good deal of dry and windy weather that kept the risk of fire high as well, especially in the Black Hills National Forest area.

This specific landscaping doesn’t mean you can’t plant your favorite items; it simply requires the proper layout and strategic planning of plants that can help to slow the spread. Given our area’s risk factors, it is definitely worth it.

Keep It Clean & Keep It Safe

Keeping your home and yard clear of clutter isn’t the only way to practice prevention. Cleaning your chimney and stove regularly can eliminate a high fire-risk area. Don’t forget to have your chimney inspected at least once a year as well.

Lowering your risk of fire isn’t solely about deep-cleaning, either. Taking care of the hidden dust bunnies behind furniture is a great way to prevent fires. Pay particular attention to dusting around outlets and other electrical appliances.

Our homes are more than a sanctuary these days—they also serve us for work, play and even schooling. Keeping it clean is the best way to prevent the devastation a fire would cause.

If you have experienced fire damage or want to learn more about our fire damage restoration services, contact us today. We’re here to act fast, 24/7

The Progression of Water Damage

5/5/2022 (Permalink)

a bathroom sink showing signs of a water leak SERVPRO of Sioux Falls is your 24/7 water restoration expert. Call us right away if you need immediate service.

A dripping faucet or a little water spot may not seem like a big deal, but you should never underestimate the amount of damage moisture can cause. On average, a household leak can lose up to 10,000 gallons of water per year.

Water can quickly damage floors, walls and any soft surface it comes into contact with. Addressing an issue immediately can mitigate damage, and following this timeline can help produce the best result.

In the First 24 Hours

Every household has a one in four chance of incurring flood damage over a 30-year period in a high-risk area. Knowing your next move after spotting water is essential.

The first 24 to 48 hours after a flood or other water damage are the most crucial. Some of the items in your home will begin to take on water immediately and become victim to its terrible effects.

Upholstery and other furnishings will quickly soak through, and wooden items will swell as moisture moves through. Personal items such as photos and books are subject to warping beyond recognition.

Mold can also begin to form in this timeframe. The faster moisture is addressed in the home, the less damage there will be.

At SERVPRO, it is our goal to “restore vs. replace” in order to help you save both money and your irreplaceable keepsakes. In our restoration process, if we are unable to salvage items, we will communicate directly with you and handle all removal so that your home can continue to dry out.

Within the First Week

Once the first day has passed, water damage will continue to progress fast. Mold spreads like wildfire when there is excessive moisture. Once mold has set in, even the home’s structure is at risk for damage.

Any surfaces that are porous such as wood and walls will become increasingly compromised, while metal surfaces begin to corrode.

After One Week

Standing moisture should be avoided at all costs as the effects could be both catastrophic and irreversible. The more time that passes, the higher the cost and greater the efforts to restore will become, while the risk to the structure of the home increases.

How SERVPRO Will Help

Our process at SERVPRO starts as soon as you make the call, hopefully within the first 24 hours. The first step of the service process begins with water extraction, aiding in spread prevention and structural damage, as well as reducing drying time.

Floors, furniture and other large items will likely require cleaning, sanitizing and deodorization. Once the majority of the water is removed, our specialized team will use equipment leading in the industry to dry water that can’t even be seen.

Once these steps are complete, we will begin assessing for any needed construction to your property in order to restore your home back to preloss condition. This could include a minor repair or a complete rebuild of an area of your home.

We can simplify the restoration process by working with you through the initial damage assessment all the way to any needed reconstruction. SERVPRO will constantly update you on each step and get you back in your space faster.

Regardless of the type of water damage sustained, SERVPRO has the tools and teams to help your home or business recover. Contact us 247 when you need a dependable team to help you recover.

SERVPRO Is the Trusted Restoration Expert

5/5/2022 (Permalink)

two SERVPRO employees unloading cleaning equipment out of a green van No matter the damage sustained, SERVPRO of Sioux Falls has the tools and team to help your home return to a normal state quickly.

While you may know SERVPRO for our general cleaning, restoration and construction services, there is so much more to who we are. SERVPRO is here to take care of you after even the worst disaster, natural or manmade.

Our services cover all your restoration needs, including water, fire and storm damages. Here in South Dakota, we know how important it is to have a trusted restoration service in our own backyard.

Water Damage

Flooding causes more than $10 billion in damages nationwide each year. Whether it is an inch or a foot, flooding can occur anytime.

We know well the risk of flash flooding resulting from snowmelt or ice dams in Sioux Falls. We have also seen the damage in the past resulting from river flooding when the Big Sioux River has overflowed.

Flooding will affect all of us that own a home or business at some point, but SERVPRO has the experience to help. We can determine the extent of your damage and set up a plan for recovery so that you can make informed decisions.

We have the tools to uncover hidden water damage and eliminate standing water. Our restoration plan will ensure that your home is dry and back to preloss condition as soon as possible.

Fire Damage

Every 23 seconds, a fire department is responding to a disaster in the United States. There was an estimated $8.1 billion dollars in property damage and other losses in 2020.

With our seven-step restoration plan, we start your recovery immediately with inspection, damage assessment and any other step necessary when your home or business experiences fire damage.

Storm Damage

South Dakota weather brings blizzards, river flooding and flash floods. We know the damage this destructive weather can cause, and our goal is to get you back in your space as fast as possible.

Storm and water damage not only affects the structure of your home but your belongings, too. SERVPRO specializes in restoring the contents of your space, so that you can restore rather than replace.

Some of the services we offer include dry cleaning, wet cleaning, foam cleansing and abrasive cleaning. If your location requires a deeper clean, we also offer move-out services, so we can bring you back to preloss condition as soon as possible.

What Sets SERVPRO Apart?

We are available 24/7, and our experts are part of the No. 1 cleanup and restoration company in the nation. SERVPRO has more than 50 years of experience and is backed by a network of more that 1,900 locations in the United States.

We are your Sioux Falls neighbors, and we want to have your home or business back to “Like it never even happened” status as quickly as possible.

Regardless of the type of damage sustained, SERVPRO has the tools and teams to help your home or business recover from its disastrous effects. Contact us anytime when you need a dependable team to help you rebuild your life.

Do You Know the 4 Things That Cause 3 Types of Flooding?

4/6/2022 (Permalink)

a street completely submerged in water with a flood warning sign sitting in roadway Regardless of the cause of the flooding, SERVPRO of Sioux Falls has the team to help you recover from any disastrous event.

The most common natural disaster is flooding, claiming more lives per year than tornadoes, hurricanes or lightning. Flooding affects everything from individual homes to entire communities and cities.

There isn’t a state or territory in the U.S. that isn’t affected by flooding, and there are similarities in each part of the nation with the types of floods and the casualties they can cause. There are three types of flooding that are common and four main reasons they happen.

<h4types-of-natural-flooding">3 Types of Natural Flooding

Flash floods happen when a storm sits over an area and dumps a high amount of moisture, overwhelming the ground’s ability to absorb all the water. Runoff forms and can carry away large and small objects.

River floods are exactly what they sound like, excess water in a river that causes spillage over the banks and boundaries.

Coastal floods occur near large bodies of water as a result of weather events that force the ocean or gulf to rise. Cyclonic activity, rising tides and storm surge can all create coastal flooding.

<h44-most-common-causes-of-natural-flooding">The 4 Most Common Causes of Natural Flooding

Heavy rainfall. We know when we get heavy rain that we are at risk for flooding from the Big Sioux River and Skunk Creek. These storms that move in with excessive rain can also lead to flash flooding, which is amplified in our developed areas that have more concrete and asphalt than soil for moisture absorption.

Oceanic activity. Our ocean bordering neighbors deal with flooding from weather we don’t have, such as hurricanes, storm surges and rising tides. These floods can create massive damage in coastal communities.

Dams and levees failing. In 2005, one of the most notable levee breaks occurred during Hurricane Katrina. Dams and levees fail when they are cracked or under extreme pressure due to excessive water, causing a massive flood and catastrophic damage.

Snowmelts and ice dams. You can’t live in South Dakota and not understand the risk that comes as our massive amounts of snow begins to melt. Our prolonged freezing temperatures over the winter also lend to the creation of ice dams or ice jams in our rivers. Once a river is blocked water is forced over the banks and flooding ensues in the surrounding area.

Regardless of the cause of the flooding, SERVPRO Of Sioux Falls has the tools and teams to help your home or business recover from its disastrous effects. Contact us anytime when flooding or water damage makes a mess in your life.

Protein Fire Damage Pt.1

4/6/2022 (Permalink)

Food cooking on stove in cast iron pan Food cooking on stove in cast iron pan

We’ve all had the vision, you’ve made it through crunch time and the Top Chef judges are just sampling your offering. Unanimous agreement that your dish is the best! Snap back to reality, and your day dreaming has caused your beautiful ribeye in the cast iron to overcook and start smoking. The smoke detector starts ringing and you rush to turn on a fan and open the windows to air out the house. Crisis averted! Well, maybe not entirely.

Smoke and soot damage from cooking may not be as evident as smoke and soot damage from a traditional fire. While cooking animal proteins such as beef or pork, burning the meat in question can produce smoke that is partly composed of animal fats. This smoke will stick to your walls, however, it may not show on your walls like you would think with traditional smoke. Protein smoke leaves behind a sticky film that is hard to see, but can be just as damaging to your home. Over time, other materials will stick to the film of protein smoke on your walls, such as soot from candles or household dust.

Do not worry though! SERVPRO of Sioux Falls is equipped to help you clean and restore your home! Read part two of our protein fire blogs to find out how!

Protein Fire Damage Pt.2

4/6/2022 (Permalink)

Smoke damage on walls in top image, smoke damage removed from walls in bottom image Smoke damage on walls in top image, smoke damage removed from walls in bottom image

Hopefully you read our first blog in the series and you called SERVPRO of Sioux Falls immediately after you burnt your steaks on the stovetop! As we discussed in the previous blog entry, smoke damage from protein fires doesn’t always make itself evident immediately, but the damage can become costly over time. As the film sits and breaks down it can begin to damage the walls and ceiling of your home, and often times leaving an odor.

Cleaning your walls may seem like a Herculean task, but SERVPRO of Sioux Falls is ready to answer your call! Upon receiving a call, our team will jump in to action and develop a cleaning and restoration protocol for your home. Our staff will perform the necessary cleaning as well as any painting that is necessary. When smoke damages your home, you know who to call!