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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

The Fire Damage Process

10/2/2019 (Permalink)

We fix fire damage, SERVPRO logo, and fire in background Fire Damage can be scary, Let SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest help!

Check out this awesome website from the U.S. Fire Administration:  https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/winter.html it has some statistics regarding fires in the home. 

When various materials burn, the soot and residue they create differs greatly and requires a specific cleaning procedure. SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest specializes in fire restoration and will restore your home or business to pre-fire condition.

The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “usual” fire damage emergency:

Step 1: Emergency Contact

The restoration process begins when you call SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest. You will be asked questions regarding the fire damage event that will help us respond immediately with the appropriate equipment and resources. 

Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment

Our highly trained team will carefully inspect and test adjoining rooms of your property to determine the extent of the fire, smoke, and soot damage. This step is crucial to developing a plan of action. 

Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Service

Fire damage can often compromise windows, walls, and roofs. To maintain security and to protect against further damage, we can board up missing windows and walls and place tarps on damaged roofs. 

Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)

The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. We then use dehumidifiers and air movers to remove the remaining water and complete the drying process. 

Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces

We use specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and other surfaces. 

Step 6: Cleaning and Sanitizing

We clean, sanitize, and disinfect all of the restorable items and structures that were damaged by the fire. We use a variety of cleaning techniques to restore your belongings to pre-fire condition. We’re also trained to remove odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.

Step 7: Restoration

Restoration is the final step—getting your home or business to its pre-fire condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.

Fire damage can be devastating for you and your family or your business. Feelings of confusion and stress are common, and you need a caring expert to guide you through this crisis. We will always treat your family with the greatest empathy and respect, and we’ll treat your property with great care.

After any fire damage occurs, above all your safety is the most important thing to consider. Let SERVPRO help with your fire damage needs today, 24/7 including holidays 402-408-0134.

Get the mold outta here after water damage

10/1/2019 (Permalink)

a teal wall covered in mold spores coming from behind a white trim Mold Can Spread Quickly! Let SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest Help!

THE AFTERMATH OF WATER DAMAGE

After your home experiences water damage you are at risk of mold infecting your home! Whether the water damage is the result of a storm surge or a leaky faucet, when water is trapped behind walls or paneling, the elements needed for mold growth will most likely be present. It is best to take action at this time to mitigate the damage and prevent mold growth from occurring. If there is moisture still present--under ideal conditions (optimal temperature and level of humidity), it takes 24 to 48 hours for mold to germinate and grow. Typically, the spores begin to colonize in 3 to 12 days and become visible in about 18-21 days.

How to Prevent Mold Growth After Water Damage:

It is best to take action at this time to mitigate the damage and prevent mold growth from occurring.  

Dry areas immediately. Try to clean and dry areas subjected to water within 48 hours to help prevent mold growth.

Be aware or warning signs. After cleaning and drying, continue to be sensitive to musty odors in the affected area.

Take look outside. Check the exterior of homes and buildings regularly for accumulating ground water. When the ground is saturated mold can begin to form outside and find its way inside. If water is accumulating against your foundation, take measures to drain the water away from your building. Keeping things dry is the key to preventing mold growth.

Remove damaged materials. If materials are wet and can’t be cleaned or completely dried, remove them from the building and replace them with new materials which may be more mold resistant. Fiber glass doesn’t have the food needed for mold growth but often when insulation gets wet, the water which intruded into the cavity was dirty and brought food along with it. If you have wet insulation, replace it with new mold resistant materials. 

That is why it is important to call on professionals like SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest to make sure your water damaged property is properly taken care of to prevent mold growth from occurring. Call our team today at 402-408-0134!

Why SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest?

9/27/2019 (Permalink)

green pictures has white letter thats say "We are faster to any disaster" above a orange SERVPRO sign We go anywhere we are called!

Why SERVPRO?

Whatever your situation may be: 

Restoration:

  • Fire, smoke, & soot
  • Water removal & dehumidification 
  • Mold mitigation & remediation 
  • Move outs & content restoration
  • Electronic Equipment

Cleaning:

  • Air Ducts & HVAC
  • Crime scene & vandalism 
  • Carpet & upholstery
  • Drapes & blinds
  • Ceilings & walls
  • Artwork & books
  • Deodorization

SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest is trained to tackle any disaster or any cleanup! We understand your situation and know how stressful it can be. Restoring your property is SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest's first priority. Our team is very responsive and strive to let our customers know we will do everything possible to limit any further damage. Our team can provide an itemized loss inventory as well. You will receive an Excel formatted report and pictures of important items so those important items are accounted for. We also communicate from start to finish to set your mind at ease. 

Call SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest today, 24/7, including holidays at 402-408-0134! We will make it "Like it never even happened." 

Calm Before the Storm..Don't Let Common Winter Claims Claim You

9/27/2019 (Permalink)

Storms Don't Wait Why Should You?

Hidden behind that gorgeous blanket of snow are harsh winter storms waiting to do serious damage to your home. The winter storm season creates the most common and costly claims for property owners. Nearly all insurance claims come from wintery wind, hail, and storm-related water damage. 

Preparing for winter incidents and cold weather claims begins with prevention methods and thorough insurance protection. Let’s take a look at the most common causes of claims in winter weather and what you can do to protect yourself from these costly concerns.

Common Winter Claims

1. Wind damage

The most common homeowners claim filed is due to wind damage. Nearly one in 35 insured homes have a property damage claim related to wind or hail each year, according to the insurance information institute. Wind is more intense during the winter months and thus creates a majority of these costly claims.

Prepare for wind damage:

  • Remove and store all unsecured outdoor items like umbrellas, furniture, and play items.
  • Inspect your home for loose gutters, shutters, and shingles.
  • Trim dead or weak tree branches around the house. Tree collapse is the third most costly winter weather claim.
  • Be aware of nearby power lines. Trim trees around power lines. Ensure power lines near your property are secure. If not, call the phone or cable company for further fastening.

Wind damage is not always covered by your homeowners’ insurance. In fact, wind and flood are often exclusions on many homeowners’ policies. In this way, you’ll want to talk to your insurance agent before the winter season hits in order to ensure you are fully protected from any costs associated with wind damage. 

2. Hail

Hail can do serious damage to your roof, siding, and porch.

You can’t prevent hail, but you can prepare for it:

  • Inspect your roof and siding every autumn. Repair loose or missing tiles.
  • If you live in an area where hail is common, you can consider installing hail-resistant asphalt shingles. This precaution could even help lower your insurance premium.

Like wind, some homeowners’ policies have hail exclusion. Check with your insurance agent to make sure you’re covered. Discuss the different sorts of claims process and coverage lines with regards to hail. 

3. Frozen pipes

If your pipes get too cold, the water inside them will freeze. This ice can expand and burst the pipes, leading to water loss and water damage in your home. Freezing pipes accounts for 18% of all water damage claims. Damages from frozen pipes can include flooding, ceiling collapse, damaged floors and walls, mold, and more. 

Interestingly, insurance companies often consider frozen pipes a “preventable problem.” They may say that your negligence caused the damage. This means that you could be stuck with a $10,000 water damage bill without your insurance company stepping in.

Thus, it’s crucial to protect your home against frozen pipe damage:

  • Drain and disconnect all hoses.
  • Drain the sprinkler supply lines.
  • Keep your home warm at a minimum of 65 degrees.
  • Insulate pipes in unheated spaces, like basements, garages, and attics. You can use pipe sleeves or heat tape.
  • Leave garage doors closed.
  • If you have a swimming pool, run the pump during nights where temperatures are expected to go below freezing.
  • When it’s especially cold outside, let cool water drip from your faucets. This will keep your water flowing, so they have less chance of freezing in the pipes. 
  • Know where your water is shut off. If your pipes do burst, the first step is to turn off the water to reduce any further damage.

4. Snow and ice damage

Snow and ice looks pretty, but it can be so heavy that it can severely damage your house. The average claim for snow and ice damage to the home is around $4,700. Snow heavier than 1-2 feet or 4 inches of ice can crush your roof or cause falling tree branches. Water can freeze in and clog your gutters, creating “ice dams” that prevent proper runoff. This can cause a water buildup that can seep into your roof and ceiling.

  • Prevent ice dams. Seal any gaps that allow warm air to leak into the attic. Keep your attic ventilated. Insulate your home’s heating system so it doesn’t escape through the ceiling.
  • Get a roof rake to help get rid of heavy snow after major storms.
  • Inspect your roof before the season for any weak areas that need repair.
  • Trim all trees near the house, and get rid of weak or dead branches.

5. Slips and falls

Moreover, snow and ice can cause liability concerns on your property. An icy walkway or driveway could cause slips and falls, for which you will be liable. Even if the person injured on your property wasn’t invited, they could still sue you if they were injured after an icy slip on your property. This same liability applies if they are hit by a falling icicle, dead tree branch, and other winter concerns.

  • Always shovel your driveway and walkway after a storm.
  • Apply commercial-grade salt to help melt the ice faster. 
  • Ensure you are fully covered 

6. Fire

Fires are also more common in the winter months due to the dry air and increase of fireplace use. The national average for fire and smoke damage is $9,815 but can be up to $30,000. Avoid costly fire claims with just a few precautions:

  • Check that all fireplaces, stoves, and heaters are working properly.
  • Keep no combustible items near heat sources.
  • Get your chimney cleaned.
  • Close the fireplace flue when not in use.

Be prepared. Take advantage of the calm before the storm and don't let common winter claims claim you! SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest will work with your insurance agent and make sure your home is taken care of after a storm. Let us take the stress off your shoulders. Call SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest today 24/7, including holidays 402-408-0134.

Fall Into Winter With SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest

9/26/2019 (Permalink)

omaha streets covered in snow, green traffic lights in the distance , trees to the left of the street, american flags right Be Prepared This Winter

Fall will soon turn into winter here in the Omaha area, which means expectant winter weather conditions including snow accumulation, freezing rain, and sleet. Follow this checklist to prepare your home for the winter season: 

Winter Weather Checklist for Your Home:

  1. Put weather strips on doors & windows to prevent heat from escaping.

  2. Insulate water lines that run along outer walls of home - to prevent frozen pipes.

  3. Chimney & flue inspection.

  4. Purchase a fire extinguisher.

  5. Check roof for any possible leaks - repair them if necessary.

  6. Purchase salt & sand for the entryway of your home.

  7. Purchase bottled water, batteries, a first-aid kit, and canned food in case of an emergency.

  8. Keep your home temperature above freezing (even if you are not home) - to prevent frozen pipes.

  9. Make sure to keep space heaters at least 3 feet away from any flammable items & always turn them off before leaving the house or going to sleep.

  10. Help others - check to see that your elderly neighbors are prepared for winter weather as well!

Power Outage Safety Checklist:

  1. Have a flashlight in your home.

  2. Leave water taps slightly open to drip continuously.

  3. Conserve heat by keeping doors and windows closed unless absolutely necessary to open them.

  4. Dress warm & stay dry.

As temperatures drop SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest wants to remind everyone to be prepared for any size disaster. Pipes can burst when temperatures drop. To prevent your home from further damage call for 24/7 Emergency Service call SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest today at 402-408-0134! We are here to help!

Winter Storms Can Cause Extensive Damage

9/26/2019 (Permalink)

heavy snow caused trees to break into the street and damage cars Record Breaking Snow Storm Hits Omaha in 1997, Will it Happen in 2019?

Check out this years Farmer's Almanac! We have a very white, cold, winter ahead of us!

Winter storms can unleash an array of hazardous weather, causing destruction that sometimes amounts to billions of dollars in damage.

Some of the destructive impacts we can see in a given winter storm include: 

  • Ice: The weight of freezing rain on trees and power lines can have a crippling impact. Damage can begin with a quarter inch of accumulation. There can be widespread destruction with power outages lasting for days with thick accumulations of a half inch or more.
  • Wet Snow: Snow sticks easily to trees and power lines when it's moisture-laden. Much like ice accumulation, this adds extra weight and stress, increasing the chance of damage. This is particularly a threat in fall and early spring storms.
  • Snow on Roofs: Accumulations of several feet from one or multiple storms can add stress to roofs, causing them to collapse.
  • Coastal Flooding: On the East Coast, strong winds blowing onshore in combination with high tides can inundate the coastline, causing damage to structures and significant beach erosion.
  • High Winds: When strong winds accompany accumulations of snow and ice it can add stress and enhance the potential for tree damage and power outages. Strong winds from winter storms can also trigger power outages and cause tree damage even in areas where there is no significant snow or ice.
  • Flooding After the Snow: A sharp warm-up or heavy rain following a winter storm with an expansive snowpack can set the stage for major flooding.

HOW DO YOU PROTECT YOUR OMAHA HOME FROM WINTER STORM DAMAGE?

Protect the outside of your house by checking downspouts and making sure water will be diverted away from your house. Trim any low-hanging tree branches that can freeze, become brittle, snap and damage your house or power lines. Use weatherstripping or caulk to seal drafty windows and doors. Disconnect garden hoses.

Commercial Water Damage Problems

9/25/2019 (Permalink)

downtown Omaha, large skyscraper buildings in the distance with highway Protect your commercial building from water damage, Call SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest today!

As an Omaha commercial property owner, it is not a matter of IF it is a matter of WHEN. You may be forced to contend with common water issues such as a broken pipe or flooding. For this reason, it is important that you understand what to expect and, more importantly, how to deal with water-related headaches. Below are just four of the most common causes of water troubles that building owners have to deal with:

  • Broken pipes
  • Fire sprinklers
  • Toilet overflow
  • Supply line breaks

If you are faced with any of the above issues, there are steps you should take to minimize damage and repair costs.

BROKEN PIPES:

Broken pipes are par for the course of commercial property ownership and usually stem from old age or freezing temperatures. When faced with a broken pipe, you should shut off the water supply, locate the source of damage and make the necessary repair. If the damage is too great, you may have to contact your local plumber.

FIRE SPRINKLERS:

If your building catches fire, the fire sprinkler system should activate. After the fire department clears call SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest's fire and water remediation team to help clean up the damage and restore your building.

TOILET OVERFLOW: 


Toilet overflow is another common issue in which many business owners are forced to deal. Because you never know what toilet water contains or what causes an overflow, you should not attempt to deal with the mess yourself. Block off the area and contact a plumber and water repair company right away.

SUPPLY LINE BREAKS:

Like broken pipes, supply line breaks can happen because of old age or because of adverse weather conditions. When a supply line bursts, shut off the main water valve right away to prevent further damage and contact both a plumber and a local water remediation team as soon as possible.

As a commercial building owner, you are bound to run into water-related issues. Whether the issue stems from a broken pipe or a sewage backup, the best thing you can do to minimize damage and keep costs low is contact SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest today at 402-408-0134

Bathroom Appliances Can Lead to Fire Damage!

9/24/2019 (Permalink)

various hair appliances; metal curling iron, two hair straightners, and black blow dryer Make sure your bathroom appliances are unplugged between uses to prevent risk of fire damage.

Bathrooms should have specialized outlets that trip a tiny built-in breaker should a shock hazard develop. These protect people if an appliance should ever get wet by either water splashed on it or through accidental submersion in a sink or tub. Problems can still happen if someone uses one of these electrical items later because water can corrode internal components and cause them to get too hot.

Using curling irons or hair dryers with corroded contacts can put your Omaha home in danger, melting plastic can ignite and help spread and strengthen any flames, helping the fire get around the room. Shower curtains can become a path to the ceiling, leaving dense layers of blackened soot. Residents with this kind of damage need professionals like the ones at SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest to get such disasters mitigated, and the area restored "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest has extensively learned how to clean up such areas. Mitigation includes discerning between truly damaged materials that require removal and replacements and those that we can revitalize, saving our customers as much as possible while restoring their property to a safe, livable condition again.

We use several different tools to clean surfaces after fire damage compromises their appearance. Dry sponges that pull soot off mirrors and fixtures protect them from the fine lines that ruin the sheen and make achieving a shiny appearance impossible. Waiting to remove soot can leave property owners wanting to replace such items, resulting in lost rental deposits or additional costs related to court-awarded damages. SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest wants to help you recover completely from the consequences of fire damage and with as little stress as possible.

SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest's goal is to provide all our customers with a thorough job, from start to finish, including odor control. Our team knows how to do the work efficiently, letting you put the fire damage behind you so you can get back to your normal activities. Contact SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest today at 402-408-0134

More Flooding May be Coming 9/20/2019! Here Are Some Ways to Be Prepared and Prevent Water Damage.

9/23/2019 (Permalink)

flood waters in distance, road block with Flood Waters Signs and road closed to through traffic sign posted Flood Warning, Be Prepared!

Check out This article from KNBN NewsCenter1:

https://www.newscenter1.tv/third-round-of-flooding-in-2019-likely-along-missouri-river/?fbclid=IwAR2U-XJh8L1_lNXRPKDIwFTngBtDBXvEIi0fDXhC_1n7UxEiAq2YjzyQv00

Federal Officials and The US Army of Engineers are saying Omaha may be hit with more flooding and parts of Interstate 29 and 680 could be under water again! Be prepared and safe this weekend!

What should you put in your emergency kit? 

1. A waterproof bag containing important documents like birth certificates, passports, ID and insurance documents.

2. Portable, battery operated AM/FM radio

3. Waterproof flashlight

4. New, spare batteries

5. First aid kit

6. Medications, toiletries and sanitary supplies

7. Special requirements for infants, elderly, injured, disabled people, and pets

8. Mobile phone and charger

9. Cash and bank cards

10. Emergency contact numbers

11. Spare house and car keys

12. Combination pocket knife (Swiss army knife)

13. Drinking water

14. Canned food

15. A can opener, cooking gear and eating utensils

16. Portable gas stove

17. Water container for storing, washing, and cooking water. 

Once you have your emergency kit prepared, try and prepare your property.

1. Secure hazardous items, Roll up rugs, move furniture, electrical items and valuables to a higher level to prevent further water damage.

2. Turn off gas, electricity, and water

3. Put fuel in your vehicles

4. Place sand bags around your home

5. Evacuate when advised to do so

If your property sustains water damage call SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest today at 402-408-0134. We are here to help!

Sewage Backup from Stormy Weather

9/22/2019 (Permalink)

It is no secret that the Midwest has recently been covered in water from flooding. These heavy storms including rainwater and snow can create problems for businesses and homeowners, as sewage systems might be suddenly draining more water than they were initially designed to handle. Too much water being forced through a narrow opening can create the reverse effect of pushing water backwards causing a sewer backup. 

Three noticeable signs you are having back flow problems:

1. Multiple drains will experience the affects of a clog. A common blockage can occur when too much hair, debris or food particles have remained in a drain pipe, but to find several clogs at the same time in a big indicator of an issue.

2. Water will back flow out of other open drains. If water is gurgling and bubbling up from your kitchen drain after running the dishwasher, or you find black water filling your shower floor to the brim after flushing the toilet, you can be positive of a sewer backup. 

3. Flushing the toilet becomes difficult and you have unsuccessfully tried plunging, you have a bigger problem. Some bubbling in the toilet is normal, but if excessive amounts of bubbling occurs after flushing that is a sign of a problem.

Clogged drains and gurgling back flow in bathrooms and kitchens are the usual places to check but, make sure you check the basement or lower level rooms for standing water, being careful where electricity is present. 

It is extremely important that you call in the experts as soon as possible to keep your family safe and healthy. Sewage backups bring wastewater into the home, making unsanitary conditions for families and businesses. 

When it is especially stormy make sure to check all available drainage areas for backups. 

Let SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest Help Your Government Facility Today!

9/18/2019 (Permalink)

Did you know that Government facilities have to stay open even when they need to be cleaned or restored? 

Government facilities don't have to worry. When grime, odor, or moisture challenges go beyond the help of the regular janitorial staff, SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest will provide a prompt service in handling any issues. Also, Roof leaks, overflows, or pipe bursts can occur in any type of property, and government buildings are no exception. Water damage ranging from minor to major incidents can occur and affect not only the building but also the people exposed. Some types of water damage can be dangerous, and the more minor situations can even escalate if left untreated. 

When a building needs a deeper clean or disaster strikes a government facility, our team at SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest is here to answer the call quickly in order to assess the damage and start mitigation procedures. We are quick to respond to help ensure minimum service interruption and lower recovery costs.

SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest has restoration experience with every level of the government; State, County, Town, City, and District. Call us today (402)408-0134.

When to Stop, Drop, and Call SERVPRO

9/18/2019 (Permalink)

woman standing in front of a home after a fire has caused damage with both hands up holding her head. A fire can be devastating. SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest is here to help!

Fire damage to any home or business can be devastating. Knowing there is a way to make the fire look "like it never even happened" is reassuring. SERVPRO's Production Technicians are trained and equipped to handle an array of damage and are available 24/7.

The first 3 steps to follow after you have experiencing fire damage:

1. Evacuation 

In case there is someone still trapped in the building, because of soot and smoke damage, emergency services should be called such as the fire department to put out any fire remaining.

2. Calling the insurance company

After the fire has been completely put out the most challenging part of the fire restoration process begins. Make a call to your insurance company or agent and inform them of the incident that has just ensued.

3. Contacting your local SERVPRO

Fire damage experts recommend that you stay away from a building that has suffered from a fire until it has been certified safe to enter. Once contacted a project manager will head to your home or business to assess the damages and work with you and your insurance to get you back to pre loss conditions. SERVPRO will clean up the smoke smell and soot on all surfaces left after the fire leaving your building looking like the damage never even happened.

Restaurateurs, Home Owners, and Office Break Rooms with Dishwashers

9/17/2019 (Permalink)

A dishwasher located between cupboards shows leaking water in the form of a puddle on the tile floor. Are there puddles of water from a leaky dishwasher? Give SERVPRO a call to clean up the mess!

It is pretty common nowadays to clean your dishes using a dishwasher. Having a dishwasher in your business, home or office means there is a water line which can lead to potential water damage if leaking starts to occur. 

SERVPRO recommends all Omaha restaurateurs, home owners and offices take the following steps to take care of their dishwashers to reduce the risk of water damage.

Do Not Overfill

It is tempting to fill your dishwasher to the brim especially when there only a couple of dishes left in the sink. However, tell yourself and your staff not the crowd the rack, as an over filled dishwasher is much more likely to leak. It is better to do a couple of smaller loads rather than trying to fit everything into one big load.

Do Regular Maintenance on Doors

Dishwasher door hinges become loose, door latches become misaligned or door seals break, all of which can cause a leak. Sometime the problem can be solved with a tightening of a few screws and you can use an epoxy patch kit to remedy minor seal breaks. However, other times it is not possible to fix the door hinges, latches or seals on your own and that leads to buying a new dishwasher.

Check the Tub and Hose

The tub and hose can both develop faults over time. Consistent and constant use may corrode the tub and create a big hole, and aging hoses can become unstable or cease to fit properly.

Use the Correct Detergent

Always use a dish washing detergent and follow the manufacturer instructions. The incorrect dish washing detergent or too much of the correct dish washing detergent can cause suds and even a blockage. 

These leaks, if not dried fast or correctly, can lead to mold.

For help with water damage to your business or home give SERVPRO a call at (402) 408-0134 to help remedy the situation.

Mold 101

9/17/2019 (Permalink)

White hairy like mold fuzz with dark colored dotted ends. Where there is moisture there is mold. Don't wait when you find unwanted water to call SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest!

Mold is a type of fungus that consists of small organisms found nearly everywhere. It can be black, white, orange, green or purple. Mold thrives on moisture and reproduce by means of tiny, lightweight spores that travel through the air. When mold is growing on a surface, spores can be released into the air where they can be easily inhaled.

The exact number of mold species is still unknown, scientists estimate that there are thousands. Many of them can affect your business and home.

Here are three of the most common kinds of mold and how they are identified.

1) Aspergillus

Aspergillus is frequently found wherever dust accumulates and spreads to areas like floors, wallpapers and air filters. It typically has a brown or dark green color and certain species are also found on food.

2) Stachybotrys 

Stachybotrys earned its nickname, black mold, through its distinctive greenish black and gel like appearance. It is frequently found where moisture dwells such as restrooms or on walls in rooms that have experienced flooding. 

3) Cladosporium

Cladosporium colonies can grow in bathrooms, basements and on any wooden surface. Typically, you can spot this type of mold by its green or brown color. This mold is possible to removed by yourself but calling qualified mold experts can assist in its disposal.

Do You Smell That?

9/17/2019 (Permalink)

A black and white image of microscopic airborne particles in circular and oval form. Call SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest to neutralize any lingering odor your home or business may have!

If you have a lingering unidentifiable smell in your home or business SERVPRO can not only identify and locate that smell for you, we can also completely get rid of it. An odor can derive from smoke, pets, decomposition or mold. A simply surface clean will not do the trick to removing the smell. 

Our certified Production Technicians do not cover up lingering odors with fragrance; they seek out and remove the source of the smell. We use SERVPRO's own proprietary line of cleaning products and equipment to treat and prevent the odor from reoccurring. 

All restore-able contents in the affected areas will also be professionally cleaned and deodorized, including furniture, draperies, upholstery, art, electronics, flooring, walls, ceilings, air ducts and more. 

Not only does SERVPRO use its own line of cleaning products we also have various techniques and equipment to treat odors. Some of the tools we use include: 

Ozone Generator: one of the quickest ways to eliminate odors from a home or business. This machine oxidizes and removes odor from mold, mildew, pets, nicotine etc. without the use of chemicals.

Hydroxyl Generator: a downside of the Ozone Generator is the room or home being Ozoned cannot be occupied by any living breathing life. This generator also works slower but tackles odor in a safer way. Hydroxyl Generators can removed smell from fire and smoke, biohazard odors, water damage, and animals.

Air Filtration Device: also known as the Air Scrubber, it is used to remove airborne contaminants during water, fire, smoke, mold and sewage restoration work. They work by pulling the air through HEPA filtration to remove airborne particles, this cleans the air and removes odors. 

When to Drop the Bleach and Call SERVPRO

9/16/2019 (Permalink)

A non-branded 121 FL OZ. bleach bottle on a yellow background. Bleach is not the "do all, be all cure" for mold removal. Give SERVPRO a call!

Mold may seem like an easy fix to the untrained eye and the first "go to" fix it chemical in a home or business is bleach. 

This first instinct thought used to be the recommendation by agencies such as OSHA and the EPA. However, they have since been revised after research revealed that the "do all, be all cure" for killing microbial growth actually had the opposite effect.

Mold needs water, which is their food, and typically a warm temperature to grow. Where there is water, there is most likely mold, this shows that even for a water job you may be able to dry yourself, give SERVPRO a call to dry it right as well as check for mold.

The chlorine in bleach, due to it's ionic composition, cannot penetrate porous surfaces. Porous surfaces include: drywall, ceilings, wood, carpet and many others. Spraying bleach on the mold will only kill it on the surface. Mold actually has roots called hyphae, these roots will still remain in the porous material and eventually grow enough to rise to the surface again. Bleach contains both chlorine and water, the chlorine cannot make it below the surface - but the water can. Therefore by putting bleach on the mold you are actually replenishing the mold with one of the key things it needs to grow - water! The bleach will "bleach" the color, making it appear that the mold is gone but again, it is only on the surface.

At SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest provides specifically made products, designed to travel deep into porous surfaces to remove mold at its roots. Sometimes, we cannot remove all of the mold from an item and that would then classify it as un-salvageable and will be removed from the location for the safety of you and your family or employees. In addition, live mold releases spores into the air, therefore the air in your home may need to be treated with specialty equipment to make sure that all spores are removed.

Storm Supplies Kit

9/12/2019 (Permalink)

With warm winds from the South and cold winds from the North, the Midwest is a hub for tornadoes, thunderstorms, floods and snow storms. 

Sometimes extreme weather changes can occur within the same day, when severe weather hits unexpectedly, the risk of injury and death increases. Be prepared ahead of time with having an easily accessible grab and go Storm Supplies Kit.

To assemble your kit, store items in airtight plastic bags and put the entirety of your storm supplies kit in one or two easy to carry bags or containers such as a duffel bag or plastic bins.

A basic emergency supplies kit could include the following recommended items:

  • Water: one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation. If there are pets, one gallon per pet per day for at least three days for drinking.
  • Food: at least a three day supply of non-perishable food. If there are pets, a gallon size bag per pet full of non-perishable food should last for three days.
  • Battery powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert.
  • Battery operated or hand crank flashlight
  • Extra batteries (AA & AAA are most common)
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • One dust mask per person to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to maintain a shelter
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • First aid kit: non-latex gloves, assortment of adhesive bandages, antibiotic ointment, sterile gauze pads in assorted sizes, absorbent compress dressings, tweezers, scissors, adhesive cloth tape, aspirin packets (81 mg each).
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • Cellphones with chargers and a backup battery

TURN AROUND DON'T DROWN!

9/12/2019 (Permalink)

large highway covered in deep water so vehicles cannot drive through An Omaha highway under water due to the 2019 flooding

During a flood you may be asked to evacuate. It doesn’t take much water to carry you away, whether you’re on foot or in a vehicle. NEVER drive or walk into floodwaters. Turn Around Don’t Drown! The water may be deeper than anticipated, have an undercurrent, or have debris that can cause you injury. It can also damage your vehicle cause you to become stuck or the current can also cause your vehicle to be swept off the roadway. Seek an alternate route if flood water cover the road and evacuate when the proper authorities tell you too. Also abide by the posted road-closed signs and barricades. In many instances, drivers have put themselves and their passengers in danger by driving around such signs and ending up stranded in floodwaters.

If you do find yourself stranded in your vehicle in floodwaters, here are basic safety tips to remember.

  1. Remove your seatbelt.
  2. Remove the seatbelts of all occupants starting oldest to youngest.
  3. Roll down windows.
  4. Climb onto roof of the vehicle.
  5. Call 911 from the vehicle roof

SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest is just a quick phone call away. Whether you are dealing with a the aftermath of flood waters or mold from your home or business being flooded, we are here to help. Emergencies do not work on a set schedule and can happen at any hour of the day or night. That’s why we are here 24/7, 365 to assist you should the need arise.

Call SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest today at (402)408-0134

How to Prepare your Company for a Storm

9/12/2019 (Permalink)

snow covers the ground and large commercial buildings are in the distances Downtown Omaha buildings during the Winter

Summer is over, Fall is here, and Winter is right around the corner! While not every storm will cripple a business, it is still necessary to be prepared. Along with frigid temperatures and snow, winter can create problems with plumbing and operations. Therefore, it is essential to make a plan for the worst-case scenario.

  1. Prepare Your Building-Make sure you check your plumbing and electricity regularly, but even more so when a winter storm is heading your way. Outside plumbing should be shut off and cleared to prevent freezing and possible burst pipes. Additionally, it may be a good idea to secure a generator if your business does not already have one. If your company does have a generator, it is a good investment to have it serviced before the winter weather sets in.
  2. Plan for Ice and Snow-Any winter storm is going to bring issues of snow and ice. Being prepared for this situation means having a plow service on contract and ensuring that all walkways and driveways are cleared and salted. It is vital to do everything in your power to ensure that customers do not get hurt on the way into your business.
  3. Focus on Inventory-Also, as storms have the potential to cause significant business interruption as well as property damage, it is vital to take an accurate inventory of all your assets. This inventory will be used for insurance claims if property damage results in an inventory loss. You should move stock to a secure and climate-controlled area, photographing and documenting everything. This will help streamline the process if a claim is made.
  4. Make a List of Contacts-While taking inventory is necessary, it is also crucial to make a list of emergency contacts. This list should include all personnel who are essential to your operations. Additionally, you should include a disaster restoration specialists in the Omaha area in case of an emergency.

    Winter storm season can produce significant threats to business operations. Massive snowfalls and ice storms can wreak havoc on you Omaha business, so it is essential to have a plan. 

Call SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest today at (402)408-0134 and schedule one of our marketers to come to your business to help you with an Emergency Readiness Plan at no cost to you!

Water Extraction

9/11/2019 (Permalink)

green SERVPRO water extractor machine Weighted Extraction with the Rover HVE

Storms can cause your Omaha home or business severe water damage. The carpet can be saturated with gallons of water after heavy rain.

Did you know that weighted extraction is 80% more efficient than air drying alone? The Rover HVE maximizes water removal from all types of carpet to accelerate drying in water damage restoration projects. Large amounts of water can be removed quickly by our SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest team armed with our Rover HVE.  The weight of the tech and the Rover causes the layers of carpet to pinch against the surface underneath, in turn, water is suctioned out making the carpet easier to dry after with our air dryers and dehumidifiers.

Call SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest today at 402-408-0134. If your home or business has been affected by water damage our team is here to help! We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, including holidays.

What Should I Do if my Omaha Home is Flooded?

9/11/2019 (Permalink)

A white and maroon home surrounded by flood water during the 2019 floods in Omaha These Omaha homes were surrounded by flood water during the May of 2019 floods in Omaha, Nebraska.

There are so many questions after your Omaha home is flooded due to a storm. What Should I do now? Who should I call? Follow these steps to assure your taken care of: 

  1. AVOID ADDITIONAL RISKS-Disconnect all the Electronics in your home, these can start fires if left on. Check for any visible structural damage of your home such as warping, loosened or cracked foundation elements, cracks, and holes. Contact utility companies if you suspect damage to water, gas, electric, or sewer lines.
  2. TAKE PICTURES-Before you remove any water or make repairs, fully document the damage of your home by taking photos or videos. Digital photos are best so they can easily be transferred and shared.
  3. PROTECT YOUR HEALTH-Even if the water in your home is clear, it could be contaminated by sewage or household chemicals. Wear gloves when removing water-damaged possessions, throw away any food that may have come in contact with the flood water, and boil water until authorities declare the water supply is safe to drink. 
  4. CALL YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY-Call your insurance agent as soon as possible after the flood. Always have their number on hand in your emergency bag. Document the damage, communication, and notify them of any repairs. 
  5. REMOVE WATER/MITIGATE MOLD DAMAGE- Have a Restoration Company like SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest Remove the Water, extraction of water helps with the drying process and will save your home from future problems. Mold can also develop within 24-48 hours after a flood. SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest can mitigate the mold by our cleaning/drying processes.  

Call SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest today at 402-408-0134. If your home or business has been affected by water damage our team is here to help! We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, including holidays.

Fire Odor--SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest Can Make it go Away!

9/11/2019 (Permalink)

Fire trucks parked along side a metal fence with red lights flashing Small fire quickly extinguished in Omaha home

After a fire in your home, you quickly start to go through your home assessing the damage. It can be overwhelming. Fires happen quickly, but the smell of the fire in your home can last for weeks. Odor removal is an often overlooked, but significant aspect of the fire restoration services that SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest offers.

While our SERVPRO team is well educated in restoration techniques and cleaning processes to restore areas of your home that have been damaged aesthetically by an unexpected fire, the lingering odor that remains is often something that homeowners are less concerned with initially. It becomes more and more problematic as the home is being restored, but the smoke and charring scent of the fire’s destruction remains as powerful as ever.

Fortunately, our highly trained team of technicians has state-of-the-art equipment for removing foul smells from a residence or business. Deodorizing happens through the use of dense fogging machines. The machines are capable of producing a heavy chemical fog that is sprayed throughout the entire affected area, ensuring that all of the affected structure and contents are also affected by the fog.

Call SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest today at 402-408-0134. If your home or business has been affected by fire damage our team is here to help! We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, including holidays.

What Happens After Fire Damage to Your Home?

9/9/2019 (Permalink)

A room is severely burnt and black, destroyed by a fire Follow these steps after being faced with fire damage

Fire damage can be devastating. As a homeowner, the steps you take after fire occurs can determine the speed at which your home will be restored. Follow these steps after you suffer through a fire in your home, to make it as easy as possible after a difficult time: 

1. Call your insurance agent immediately. 

2. Contact a fire restoration company. Immediately after a fire, you’ll need to clean up any soot or water damage. Sometimes windows will need boarding up and other construction may need to be conducted. It is important to hire a reputable service to deal with these issues. Contact SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest and let us know about the fire. Once contacted we will send a project manager to your home to assess the damages and work with you and your insurance carrier to get your home back to preloss condition. 

3. Separate damaged property from undamaged property. The insurance company will need a detailed inventory list from you after they inspect the loss. Separating your damaged property from your undamaged property will make it easier for you to make a list of your damaged items.

4. Save undamaged property from further destruction. Any items that are not damaged should be put in a safe place, even if it means putting them in storage. 

5. Cooperate fully with the insurance company’s investigation. When a fire claim is reported to an insurance company, it is given top priority. Usually the adjusters come out to see the loss within 24 to 48 hours. 

6. Find somewhere to stay if you can’t live in your home. Most homeowner’s policies include “Loss of Use or Loss of Rents” coverage, which will pay for the food, clothing, and shelter that you and your family may need for a specified period of time. 

Got Mold in Omaha?

9/3/2019 (Permalink)

Due to all of the recent moisture we have had this summer in Omaha, mold could be growing in your home or business. Did you know mold can start to grow in less than 24 hours? If a water even caused your basement to flood, mold can start to appear on surfaces that day!

The first step to preventing mold growth, is to identify the cause and fix the source of moisture. Mold thrives with moisture. Steam from a shower, damp basements, plumbing leaks, and flooding are examples of sources of moisture. 

Follow your nose to find the source. Mold generally has a musty odor. Mold can appear to be slimy or fuzzy, and can grow anywhere moisture is found. 

Call SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest at (402)408-0134 to help remediate your mold issue today. Not only can our team help to identify the mold, they can help with options for removal and remediation of surfaces affected.

Helpful Tips to Prevent a House Fire

9/3/2019 (Permalink)

House that is actively on fire. Fires are preventable. Fire preparedness is an essential part of protecting your home and family.

House fires kill and injure many every year, while leaving many without their home, and valuable memories and possessions. Fire prevention is more important than many realize. 

Ways to Prevent House Fires

-Establish an emergency plan with fire routes. 

-Test all smoke alarms in your home.

-Teach your children fire safety. 

-Perform home maintenance consistently.

- Use candles with caution.

-Don't leave food cooking unattended.

- Store flammables safely.

- Know where the fire extinguishers are and how to use them. 

- Check all electrical cords in your home. If wires are frayed, throw it away.

Fire preparation is an important part of safeguarding your home and your family. Knowing not only how to prevent a fire but also how to escape it and get quick fire cleanup is essential.

Does Your Home Have an Odor in Omaha, NE

8/30/2019 (Permalink)

Two green air scrubbers that are used to remove odors. Air scrubbers are one of the ways SERVPRO can help to neutralize an odor.

Does your home or business have a nagging odor? Does it smell like an ashtray or a barn? Do you feel like you need to light the candles and spray the room deodorizer regularly? 

Back away from all the scented cover-ups. Let SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest get to the root cause of the odor.

Give SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest a call to neutralize the odors. Our team has state of the art equipment for removing foul odors from a residence or business. 

Whether it is a cigarette smoke, pet odors in furniture or floors, or a mildewy bathroom, call SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest at (402)408-0134 to help remedy any odor situation. SERVPRO is here to make it "Like it never even happened."

National Preparedness Month

8/30/2019 (Permalink)

Logo for Prepared Not Scared. Weekly topics provided by ready.gov. Photo by Ready.gov

Did you know September is National Readiness Month? Disasters can strike businesses big or small. Disasters can devastate a community in just a matter of moments.

Disasters caused by wind, fire, water, or weather can strike at anytime without warning. Business owners need to establish an Emergency Plan and practice it with all employees. 

Companies can find vital information regarding emergency plans at ready.gov/business. 

-Update all emergency contact information and give to all employees.

-Implement Emergency Policies and Procedures.

-Sign up for alerts and warnings in your area.

-Conduct Emergency drills with employees.

SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest offers a NO COST Emergency Readiness Profile (ERP) to help with your emergency planning. 

Don't wait until disaster strikes. Call SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest at (402)408-0134 to discuss your ERP today! 

Faster to Your Water Disaster

8/30/2019 (Permalink)

Three SERVPRO vans parked side by side. SERVPRO takes pride in the work we do, and the equipment we use to do it.

Faster to your Omaha water disaster!

Flooding and water disasters don't wait for regular business hours, and neither do we. SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for all emergency cleaning and restoration, including all holidays. 

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – (402)408-0134

About SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest

SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

New Owners for SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest

8/5/2019 (Permalink)

New franchise owners Lathe and Nicole Toft

SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest is pleased to announce new franchise owners Lathe and Nicole Toft. 

Lathe and Nicole are originally from NW Iowa and are very familiar with the SERVPRO industry. Previously owners of SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes as well as Boji Builders, a general contracting firm. The two have plenty of knowledge and experience in both the restoration and construction industry. 

Lathe holds certifications in Water Damage Restoration Technician, Applied Structural Drying, Applied Microbial Remediation Technician, and Fire & Smoke Restoration Technician.  He has been in the industry since 2017 and prides himself in customer service and understands the stress associated with any kind of disaster. 

Nicole is an RN and has worked in the industry since 2018. She brings prior sales experience and a great bedside manner which helps ease the minds of customers as they navigate through their disaster. 

If you find yourself facing a disaster you can be rest assured Lathe and Nicole will take care of you and make your restoration as stress free as possible. 

The Emergency Ready Profile Advantage

8/5/2019 (Permalink)

Call today to set up your Emergency Ready Profile for your business. 402-408-0134.

As the sales and marketing representative for SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest, one of my key targets each month is to help businesses be prepared in the event of a disaster.  One way we do that is through our Emergency Ready Profile program. 

The Emergency Ready Profile, or ERP, is a free service provided by SERVPRO in which we help area businesses with such things as locating their emergency shut offs for their electrical systems, water, and gas.  We also compile information on their key contacts in the event of any emergency so the business is prepared and can calmly work through the situation.  Since this is a free service, there are no contracts to sign and no obligations to purchase any products.  Our only request is, if your business does suffer from a disaster to give us an opportunity to make it Like it never even happened.

The ERP also contains tips and suggestions that the business can do before help arrives and provides somewhat of a roadmap helping them get back into their business more quickly and ultimately minimizing the interruption. 

As I continue to grow the number of businesses in our coverage area that have an ERP set up, it was a few months ago that we had the opportunity to truly see the power of the plan in action.  A local business suffered a frozen pipe on the third story of their building reaching numerous rooms within the facility.  With this plan, the building contact knew exactly who to call and within hours our team was on site helping them to restore function to nearly 50% of the rooms affected by the end of day 1.  The other rooms required more drying time, but they were able to recover a fair amount of potential lost income by simply having a plan in place and knowing what to do prior to help arriving. 

The best part of the ERP process is the amount of work the business owner or manager must do to get this set up is minimal.  A sales and marketing representative will come to your business and take the necessary photos and information, then finish putting the document together at the office.  This process usually only takes 30 minutes or less and the business owner can proof and edit the document as often as they would like.  When approved, the business will receive both a hard copy and a digital copy through our ERP app. 

For more questions or to set up an Emergency Ready Profile for your business, call SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest at 402-408-0134

Understanding Fire Restoration

8/5/2019 (Permalink)

Soot damage can be extremely harmful to your lungs and equally as difficult to clean up. Call the restoration team at SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest.

We have all heard that soot is bad for us.  It contains a variety of toxic chemical compounds that are harmful to respiratory systems of those coming in prolonged contact with the particles.  Soot damage from a fire can often be quite time consuming and tricky to clean up.   After having worked a few fire restoration jobs myself I understood firsthand how much work goes into the restoration process. 

After a fire, soot spreads throughout far reaches to a home or business due to the smaller particles.  While the fire may be contained to the kitchen, soot can travel to multiple floors or rooms which increases the time for cleanup. 

The first restoration job I was a part of was a small kitchen fire in a one-story home.  The fire was contained to the kitchen and truly the damage was not bad.  The soot however traveled into 3 other rooms in the home, one being on the other side of the house.  In addition to cleaning the walls and surfaces from ceiling to floor, we cleaned kitchen cabinets inside & out, cleaned all toys individually, gathers items for dry cleaning, cleaned furniture, and had the HVAC system thoroughly cleaned. 

For even a small job, our crew of 3 worked for 2 days to get the family back into their home.  Depending on the scope of the job, some can take longer and require more in-depth cleaning and/or reconstruction.

SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest is trained in IICRC restoration standards for fire restoration.  We pride ourselves on being quite thorough when completing a job, ensuring you and your family forget the disaster occurred and your home or business look Like it never even happened. 

If disaster strikes, call the team that’s faster to any disaster in Southwest Omaha 402-408-0134!

Disaster Preparedness For Your Home

9/14/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage, Water Damage Storm Damage, Mold Damage, Sewage Backup.  These are just a few types of disasters that can affect your home.

National Preparedness Month is a great time to evaluate and elevate your level of preparedness.  Our years of experience helping the Omaha community to recover from disasters large and small have proven the value of preparedness. Preparedness is vital to being better able to recover from most forms of loss and allow for peace of mind before anything even happens.

SERVPRO of Omaha SW encourages you to review the following links to find no-cost ways to be better prepared:
Family Emergency Plan
Family Communication Plans
Wallet-sized Communication Cards
Emergency Supply Checklist (BASIC)
Build An Emergency Kit

If you or your family are affected by a disaster such as fire, water, mold or sewage; call the trusted professionals at SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest at 402-408-0134.  Our experienced crews are always here to help.

Disaster Preparedness For Your Business

9/14/2018 (Permalink)

Whether your business experiences a large fire damage, water damage, or a small sewage backup, preparation is the key to making it through any size disaster. Having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive and get you back in the building following the disaster.

The recent fire at Pettit’s Pastry in Omaha is just one example of the need to be prepared. According to the Omaha World Herald article, several business were affected and fortunately, a few of them are able to conduct business from alternate locations.

Since September is National Preparedness Month, it is a great time to consider your level of disaster preparedness at your business. As a trusted partner in the Omaha business community, we would like to share a few free disaster preparedness tools for your business.

Ready.gov is a great resource for all aspects of preparedness, from planning to implementing an effective disaster plan.

SERVPRO of Omaha SW offers a no-cost Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) as an important part of your preparedness planning.

Don't wait until disaster strikes. Call SERVPRO of Omaha SW to establish your ERP today.

If your business is affected by a disaster, from fire damage to water damage, call the trusted professionals at SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest at 402-408-0134. Our experienced crews are always here to help.

Record Rainfall Causes Flooded Basements in Omaha, NE

8/20/2018 (Permalink)

Heavy rains cause local flooding in the Omaha Metro.

Heavy rains are causing water damage from flooded basements in many parts of the Omaha Metropolitan area. This article in the Omaha World Herald featured our owner, Pat Nosal commenting on the storm event.  Over 6 inches of rain has fallen by mid-afternoon on Monday, while the a light rain continued.

Heavy rains frequently cause water seepage into basements, which is not usually covered by standard homeowners insurance. Keep gutters clear and downspouts running away from your foundation to guard against basement flooding.

It is also a good idea to check your foundation for low spots, particularly after a heavy rain. Sometimes, gutters overflow during a heavy rain and cause the ground to sink. These low spots collect rainwater near your foundation and can lead to water seeping into the basement.

If your Omaha-area home or business needs water damage cleanup, call the trusted professionals at SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest at 402-408-0134; we are always here to help.

Severe Weather Preparedness in Omaha, NE

7/2/2018 (Permalink)

Recent heavy rains and severe storms in the Omaha area are cause to be mindful of severe weather preparedness.
As a premier fire and water restoration provider, SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest wants you to be prepared for dangerous weather events.

A few simple actions will increase your readiness today:

Check the weather forecast regularly. Know when there is an increased risk of severe weather in your area.

Obtain a NOAA Weather Radio. You can purchase a weather radio from the Red Cross store or from Midland USA or at local stores such as Hy-Vee, Bakers, Shopko, and others.

Learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts. These are emergency messages sent by authorized government-alerting authorities through your mobile carrier. Government partners include local and state public safety agencies, FEMA, the FCC, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Weather Service. Visit www.ctia.org to learn more about Wireless Emergency Alerts, including how to determine of your mobile device is WEA-capable.

Learn more about severe weather safety. The Red Cross is an excellent source of severe weather safety and warning information and tools. Visit the Red Cross Preparedness website to learn more about preparedness for disasters of all kind. Be sure to check out the app store for the FREE Red Cross Tornado App.
If you experience storm damage, call the trusted professionals at SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest at 402-408-0134. We are always here to help.

Spring Rain Can Mean Flood Pain in Omaha

4/25/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Omaha SW helped restore this Omaha basement with over 8" of water. The homeowner was grateful for our crews fast response and hard work.

The Omaha Metro typically sees periods of heavy rain in the spring months. In fact, Fall and spring tend to be our wettest seasons making our homes most susceptible to the backup of sewer or drain lines. While these events don't occur often, when they do, the problem can be a small disaster. Did you know a standard homeowner's insurance policy excludes coverage for such an event?
It's true. The backup of sewer and drains as well as the failure of a sump pump is excluded. The damage you sustain from either of these problems will not be covered and you'll be responsible to pay for the loss and the cleanup. If you have a finished basement, or use your basement area for storage, you shouldn't go without this coverage endorsement.
Heavy rains can trigger a backup. A storm sewer backs up into your home and usually comes in through a sump well, washtubs in the basement, or toilets in the basement. However, the damage can happen anywhere in the house. Sump pump failures normally occur from power outages or motor failures. Sump pumps run on electricity and during a bad storm many times the power goes out. That's when you need the sump pump the most, to pump the heavy water from the rain out of the basement.
The damage can be quite costly. Normally damage occurs in the basement, which houses the mechanical systems of the house such as: washer and dryer, furnace, hot water tank and the numerous items people store there. Water or sewage usually destroys anything it comes in contact with. For the thousands of dollars in damage, it would be well worth purchasing the additional coverage with your homeowner's policy to cover such an event.
Be sure to ask your agent about this coverage to make sure you already have it on your policy or to purchase it. This coverage can often be purchased as an endorsement on its own, or with an endorsement that will expand/increase other coverages on the policy. The additional cost typically runs between $25 and $50 annually. Well worth the peace of mind. The key is to ask your agent or company what your best option is.
If you experience sewer or water damage at your home, SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest is here to help 24x7. Call us at 402-408-0134.

Smoke Odor in Omaha From Weekend Fires

4/23/2018 (Permalink)

This picture was taken from 36th street and Hwy 370 (while we wre waiting at a red light, of course). The smoke was visible from several miles away.

Two separate fires on Sunday sent a large plume of smoke billowing over the Omaha Metro area on Sunday afternoon and evening.  By Monday morning, a haze fell low over much of the area and my north Bellevue neighborhood had a pungent smoke odor.  I had my car vents on "outside air", pulling the stench into my car as I drove to work this morning.  Fortunately, I work for a company that can help get rid of the odor in my car.

We have fielded a few calls already from home and business owners asking for assistance in deodorizing their properties.

If your home or business has experienced smoke damage or you would like our help with the smoke odor, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Omaha SW at 402-408-0134. Our experienced crews are always here to help.

Check out this story on the Omaha World Herald website to read more about the fires.

Electrical Safety in the Office and at Home.

9/11/2017 (Permalink)

No one ever wants to deal with the aftermath of a fire, so take these precautions to prevent dealing with a devastating loss.

Consumer electronic products are more prevalent than ever. Research indicates that the average household owns more than twenty-five consumer electronic products. With all of today’s technology, it can prove challenging to safely maintain power to all of our electronic devices. Electrical outlets are easy to overload and as a result, may become hazardous. While adding a power strip or extension cord seems like an easy solution to a lack of electrical outlets, the wiring in some buildings often isn’t capable of supporting too many high-powered electronic appliances.

Older office buildings and homes, in particular, often suffer from lack of electrical outlets. The temptation is to simply add a power strip or plug in an extension cord from across the room. Even in newer office buildings and homes, it can be all too easy to overload a single outlet with power hungry machines such as computers, printers, scanners and monitors.

When an employee or resident overloads an electrical outlet, that means more current is running through the outlet than it can handle. This causes the outlet to overheat, which may lead to an electrical fire. According to a 2008 National Fire Protection Association study, electrical distribution and lighting equipment are involved in more than 24,000 home structure fires per year. These fires resulted in an average of 320 deaths per year and an estimated $700 million in property damage per year.

If an electrical fire should occur, get safely away from the fire and call your fire department. If you choose to use an extinguisher on the fire, never let the fire get between you and a safe exit, and never let use water to extinguish an electrical fire. Class C fire extinguishers use a non-conductive extinguishing agent and should not cause electrical shock.

To help prevent this and other electrical hazards, refer to the list below (provided by Electrical Safety Foundation International).

  • If you must use a power strip, use a name brand product from a reputable retailer. Low-quality or counterfeit power strips may contain wiring that isn’t adequate to carry the load.
  • Place power strips where there is plenty of air circulation to disperse the heat.
  • Never attempt to plug grounded (three-pronged) cords into an ungrounded (two-pronged) outlet.
  • Do not bind, kink or know electrical cords.

National Preparedness Month: Plan to Stay in Business

8/25/2017 (Permalink)

photo by ready.gov

As a business owner or manager, you are a leader in your community and have the opportunity to set an example for your employees, customers, and community to follow.

This year, for National Preparedness Month during the month of September, join your community in preparing for emergencies and disasters of all types, and leading efforts to encourage the community as a whole to become more prepared.

Disasters not only devastate individuals and neighborhoods, but entire communities, including businesses of all sizes. As an employer in your community, having a business continuity plan can help protect your company, its employees, and its infrastructure, and maximizes your chances of recovery after an emergency or disaster.

Ready Business askes companies to take three simple steps:

  • Plan to stay in business
  • Encourage your employees to become Ready;
  • Protect your investment

Tips to help Businesses be Ready

Ready Business, an extension of Ready Campaign, helps business owners and managers of small and medium-sized businesses prepare their employees, operations and assets in the event of an emergency. At Ready.gov/business, companies can find vital information on how to get started preparing their and addressing their unique needs during an emergency.

  • Update and Distribute Emergency Contact Information to your Employees. Additionally, you can create and distribute a list of important emergency numbers in the areas you do business.
  • Organize an Emergency Preparedness Procedures review with employees to review your company’s emergency plans.
  • Conduct Office Evacuation/Shelter-in-Place Exercises and Drills. Once completed, evaluate how well they worked and if additional training or exercises are needed.
  • Put Emergency Items on Display. Showcase an Emergency Supply Kit in your break room or other high-traffic locations and encourage employees to get their own Emergency Supply Kits for their homes.

Carbon Monoxide - A Silent Killer

7/25/2017 (Permalink)

You can’t see or smell carbon monoxide, but at high levels, it can kill a person in minutes. Often called the silent killer, carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas created when fuels, like gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, etc. burn incompletely.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, hundreds of people die accidentally every year from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning as a result of improperly used or malfunctioning fuel burning appliances. Even more die from CO produced by idling cars.

The EPA says prevention is the key to avoiding carbon monoxide poisoning. Protect yourself with these tips:

  • Have fuel-burning appliances, like oil and gas furnaces, gas or kerosene heaters, fireplaces and wood stoves, inspected by a trained professional at the beginning of every heating season.
  • Install audible CO detectors; in homes, place them outside of each sleeping area.
  • Never use a charcoal grill, hibachi or generator in an enclosed area, like a garage. Even if the door is open, the CO may not be properly ventilated.
  • Do not idle a car inside a garage.
  • Before using a fireplace, make sure the flue is open of proper ventilation.

Using Portable Fire Extinguishers

1/23/2017 (Permalink)

Portable fire extinguishers can be life and property saving tools when used correctly.  In order to operate an extinguisher, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) suggests remembering the word PASS:



  • Pull the pin.  Hold the nozzle pointing away from you         and release the locking mechanism.

  • Aim low.  Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.

  • Squeeze the level slowly and evenly.

  • Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.


Read the instructions on the fire extinguisher and become familiar with then before a fire breaks out.  Remember, extinguishers do have limitations.  It is also important to ensure you have the correct type of extinguisher for your facility.  To find more information on choosing the appropriate class of extinguisher, please visit the NFPA website at www.nfpa.org.


We are here to help 24x7.  Call us at 402-408-0134

Water Damage Tips - What To Do Until Help Arrives

12/19/2016 (Permalink)

A break in a small pipe like this can lead to a big problem. Call SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest 402-408-0134. We are here to help 24x7.

Winter has officially arrived in Omaha and it has brought sub-zero temperatures to prove it.  The deep-freeze typically ushers in a high volume of frozen pipes, sometimes leaving property owners waiting days instead of hours for help to clean up their property.  


At times like these, we receive several calls seeking advice on what to do until help arrives.  The answer depends on whether the water is clean or contaminated.  Generally speaking, water from a supply line is considered clean, while water from drains is considered contaminated.  There are exceptions to this general guideline.  


If you are unsure of the classification of water affecting your property, consult your water damage experts at SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest at 402-408-0134 and we will help as best we can.


CLEAN Water Damage Tips


DO:



  • Shut off the source of the water if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water source.

  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building, when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.

  • Remove as much excess water as possible my mopping and blotting.

  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.

  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.

  • Place aluminum foid or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.

  • Remove to a safe, dry place any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture.

  • Use wooden clothespins to keep furniture skirting off damp floors.

  • Hang draperies with coated hangars to avoid contact with wet carpeting or floors.

  • Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.


DO NOT:



  • Enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazards may exist.

  • Enter affected areas of electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers or electrical equipment are exposed to water.  Always avoid electrical shock hazards.

  • Leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors to cause staining.

  • Leave Oriental rugs or other colored rugs on wet wall-to-wall carpets to cause staining.

  • Use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water, possibly causing electrical shock or damage to the vacuum cleaner.

  • Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.


CONTAMINATED Water Damage Tips


DO:



  • Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage.

  • Wash your hands thoroughly after contact with contaminated items.


DO NOT:



  • Spread contaminated water by walking unnecessarily on damaged or wet areas.

  • Turn on HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.

  • Use household fans to dry the structure and spread contaminants.

  • Use products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.


The most important thing to remember is that if you have any questions or require help; call the professionals at SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest at 402-408-0134.  We are here to help 24x7.

Home Heating Fire Safety in Omaha

12/13/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest cleaned up after this Omaha-Area heating fire.

The change in season means an increase in the use of supplemental home heating, and an increase in home heating fires.  An October 2013 report from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) using date from 2007-2011 reveals some sobering statistics:



  • Space heaters accounted for 33% of home heating fires and 81% of home heating deaths.

  • The leading factor contributing in home heating fires was failure to clean (primarily creosote) from solid-fueled heating equipment, primarily chimneys.

  • The leading factor contributing to ignition in 53% of fatal home heating fires was having flammable items too close to heating equipment.


With these statistics in mind, here are some tips for safe home heating:


Fireplaces:



  • Always use protective screens to keep sparks and embers inside the firebox.

  • Ensure the air inlet is free from debris and obstructions.

  • Keep combustible decorations or furniture away from heat source.

  • Burn only seasoned wood, never rubbish or scraps of treated lumber.


Woodstoves:



  • Check the iron and steel components for cracks or degradation from the fire's heat and replace those that are bad.

  • Close a dollar bill in the door at various spots around the frame.  If you can pull it out easily the gaskets are won and should be changed.

  • Set woodstoves on hearth rugs made of spark resistant material.


Space Heaters:



  • Plug heaters directly into a wall socket and not into extension cords.

  • Unplug heaters when they are not in use.

  • Do not place heaters in walkways or in locations where they could be easily knocked over and ensure heaters are equipped with a tip-over switch.

  • Keep clothing, furniture, draperies, paper and other items at least three feet away from the space heater.

  • Use only electric heaters equipped with a thermostat or an automatic shut off switch.

  • Do not hide cords under rugs or carpets.  Placing anything on top of the cord could cause the cord to overheat, and can cause a fire.

  • Leave appropriate and recommended amount of space surrounding a space heater.


The trusted professionals at SERVPRO of Omaha Southwest hope you have a safe and happy Christmas season.


If you have questions or need help, please call us 24x7 at 402-408-0134

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