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Tips for Storm Planning With Your Family | SERVPRO of Rapid City

5/15/2024 (Permalink)

family watching lightning storm from inside home with candles due to power outage family watching lightning storm from inside home with candles due to power outage

Storms can be a scary experience for anyone, but especially for children and pets. The sound of thunder, lightning and tornado sirens can leave you feeling unsure of where to start when it comes to your response. However, with proper preparation, you can keep your family calm and collected during storm situations.

Our team has put together some simple tips to help you incorporate storm planning into your family routine, ensuring everyone knows what to do in case of an emergency. By following these steps, you can take control of the situation and make sure your loved ones stay safe during severe weather.

<h3the-sky-signs">Learning the Sky Signs

We can all easily tell the difference between a cloudy day and a sunny one, but recognizing when severe weather is approaching can be a bit trickier. Teach your kids to keep an eye on the sky when they are outside and to look for rotating clouds, a dark or green sky, or rumbling thunder and lightning.

In addition, your kids should know what a tornado siren sounds like and when one might be activated. A great time to do this is during a testing day! Have your kids simulate a regular day and then time them to see how long it takes to get to your safe shelter location once the test siren goes off.

<h3for-incoming-weather">Preparing for Incoming Weather

Has your family discussed your storm emergency plan? Doing so can help everyone understand what is expected of them during a true emergency. Locate your safe shelter location and work together to prepare your emergency kit.

Once you choose your safe sheltering area, keep it free of clutter and consider moving a heavy object like a table or desk into the room to act as additional protection. Have a little fun by building a fort under the table with your kids and huddle together inside.

You should also let your kids help pack up your emergency kit! Start by gathering the essentials and then let your kids pick some special snacks to go into the bag. Let them each choose a durable water bottle as well.

Let your kids add a flashlight into the bag for themselves and let them label theirs with their own name. Don’t forget extra batteries, matches and any necessary medications. Finally, let your kids add games or activities into the bag that will keep them entertained while they have to shelter in place. It may seem unnecessary during an emergency, but we promise that you will be grateful for the distraction if you are stuck inside for a long period of time.

<h3the-kids-calm">Keeping the Kids Calm

When severe weather strikes, it’s natural for children to feel scared and apprehensive. As a parent, it’s important to ease their fears and help them feel more confident during these situations. One way to do this is by educating them on the actual probability of experiencing severe destruction or being directly hit by a tornado. In most cases, damage is usually limited to the roof, siding and surrounding areas and doesn’t result in total devastation.

Reassure your children that they are safe, and remind them of the steps you have taken to prepare for the storm. To keep their minds off of the weather, engage them in fun activities and try to narrate the events in a lighthearted manner. For example, you could turn the storm into a game of “indoor camping” and encourage them to build a fort in your safe shelter location.

By incorporating these tips into your severe weather plan, you can help your children feel more prepared and confident during storms.

Storm damage should always be addressed quickly. Contact SERVPRO® day or night for the restoration services you need.

Top Tips for Avoiding Musty Smells After a Water Leak | SERVPRO of Rapid City

5/1/2024 (Permalink)

water dripping from ceiling into a large puddle on tile floor Trust our team at SERVPRO of Rapid City to provide comprehensive services for a full recovery for all your water damage restoration needs.

You come home from a long day of work and step directly into a puddle of water. Maybe your dishwasher leaked or you left a window open and rain came pouring in, and now you have a serious situation to deal with.

Even if you grab a mop and a bucket to dry it up or soak up the visible water with some towels, chances are that you probably aren’t drying up all of the moisture. Leaving any sort of lingering moisture behind can open you up to much bigger issues down the road, and you certainly don’t want that to happen.

Hiring a professional to help you recover from water damage will ensure that you avoid issues like mold growth, rot and stinky musty odors from hazards like mildew.

Addressing the Leak

Once water has made its way to somewhere in your home where it shouldn’t be, it can cause serious problems for your walls, floors and ceiling. It will leak and seep into the tiniest of cracks or water-permeable areas, and once it gets to these hard-to-reach areas, it can be really hard or impossible to clean up on your own.

If you suffer a water leak at your house, your first instinct will be to grab some towels and clean up the mess. While that will certainly help remove the standing water, you most likely won’t be able to access the moisture that has already made its way behind your walls and under your floors.

To make matters worse, this kind of moisture doesn’t simply evaporate over time. Without access to proper air movement or ventilation, this moisture will linger and continue to cause you problems.

You can expect the lingering moisture to start infiltrating your home’s internal structures. It can swell supporting beams, cause rust to form on metal and can make walls unsteady. In addition, it only takes 24–48 hours for a few mold spores to grow into a huge colony, which means that you could be dealing with serious mold infestations just a matter of days after the initial incident.

Follow Your Nose to the Source

One of the most easily recognizable signs of mold or mildew is the odor that they can produce. Mold often smells musty or earthy, so if you notice a similar smell after a seemingly unsuspecting water leak, it’s time to follow your nose. However, that can be really difficult to do if the infestation is protected behind your walls!

If you suspect a mold infestation that you can’t easily get to, it’s time to give us a call. Our water damage restoration team is highly trained on reversing water damage, but we are also trained to handle potentially dangerous mold infestations. We will repair warped walls, address ruined floorboards and track down mold with confidence and with safety in mind.

In addition to the physical restoration, we will also tackle any lingering odors left behind by the mold. Our odor removal specialists will seal off the area by closing vents and turning off your HVAC system, and then we will filter the area to remove all of the airborne particles. When it comes to water damage and the lingering odors left behind, SERVPRO of Rapid City is here to help.

Don’t ignore signs of a water leak. Contact SERVPRO® for a full recovery.

Insurance Claims Made Simple | SERVPRO of Rapid City

4/15/2024 (Permalink)

team of servpro workers unloading a branded work van and entering a business for a commercial job SERVPRO of Rapid City is Here to Help® with your business' disaster recovery!

Disaster situations can be overwhelming for anyone, especially if there is an element of danger to them. While the emergency is happening, safety becomes your top priority and you focus on keeping your family close and protected until the situation is under control.

However, once the initial emergency is over, it certainly doesn’t mean that there is nothing left to do. Recovering after a disaster takes work and that in itself can seem insurmountable.

SERVPRO of Rapid City is thankfully here to take over your entire recovery! We can handle your reconstruction and repairs as well as the more confusing aspects of disaster recovery, like navigating insurance claims.

Starting the Recovery

Fires, floods and severe storm situations can cause a lot of damage in a really short amount of time, and they can cause chaos really easily if you aren’t prepared or don’t have a plan in place ahead of time. Focus first on keeping everyone calm and safe before turning your attention to your recovery.

Even if the situation itself is really overwhelming, it is unfortunately crucial to start on your recovery efforts immediately. The longer you wait, the worse the situation can become, and the lingering damage can cause further problems. Once you have determined that your family is safe, give us a call so we can get started on your restoration.

Take photos of the damage while you wait for us to arrive. The more you can document, the better!

Your insurance company will want fresh images of the situation, so taking photos right away will give them the best possible information. You should also take a look around and see if there is anything small that you can do to help, like turning off a water valve or opening windows for ventilation.

Leaving the Rest to Us

The good news is that once we arrive, we take over every aspect of your recovery! Our team will secure your home to prevent further damage by boarding up windows, securing roofs and pulling possessions out of the damaged area. We are highly trained in the restoration techniques needed, and we will also work on starting the necessary steps for submitting your insurance claim.

We will put together an itemized list of your losses while also making sure to meet insurance inspection standards to lower your potential costs. Once this list is compiled, we will combine that with the images you took and the professional shots that we took and then we will use all of that to report your damage to your insurance agent. Our team will work hard to restore rather than replace as much of your property as possible.

When you leave your recovery to us, good things will happen. Call us day or night and our crew will help you navigate your restoration and your insurance claim with ease.

When a disaster strikes, call SERVPRO® to make your recovery process—insurance claims and all—simple.

The Basics of Flood Damage and Prevention | SERVPRO of Rapid City

4/1/2024 (Permalink)

rain water pooling on a hardwood floor after a storm with a man in work boots walking through it SERVPRO of Rapid City is ready to help in a moments notice after spring showers leak in to your home or business.

When you really want to get a task done well, do you just jump right in and tackle it all at once or do you break it down to the basics and work your way in? Oftentimes, starting at the beginning can help you tackle a problem more completely and will work better for you in the long run.

This is especially true when it comes to preventing home damage during severe weather or other home disasters. If you take simple prevention steps now, you will be much more likely to find success when the situation does occur.

Home and property flooding is a serious issue that can happen at any time, so use the steps below to help you prepare for this unfortunate type of emergency.

Flood Zones

Floods are usually associated with massive weather events, but that is not always the case. Sure, they can occur when it is raining heavily, but they can also happen when water lines break or when appliances malfunction. Either way, knowing what to do and how to react is crucial.

Do you know if your home is in a designated flood zone? Due to our close proximity to the Black Hills, we can experience higher instances of flooding than other communities around us, so it is important to know your home’s specific risk.

Even if you are not in a flood zone directly, you should still take precautions to help your home stay dry. Adding extra drainage to your yard or lengthening your downspouts can help encourage all that water to flow somewhere more productive.

If your property has a lot of trees, make sure that your gutters are cleared regularly or install gutter covers to keep any yard debris and leaves out of your system. In addition, you should be checking your roof regularly for signs of damage after every storm.

Being Prepared

While it is necessary to understand the various threat levels for our area, it is also important to take steps to protect your property. If you have suffered flood damage before, that experience might actually help you make some meaningful changes to your home.

For example, if your basement tends to flood when it rains, you can use that knowledge to invest in a professional yard grading. If your yard slopes away from your home instead of backward toward your foundation, gravity can help pull the rain down into a more productive place. You can also use this knowledge to purchase things for your home like new seals for your windows and doors or a sump pump to help keep water out of the lowest areas of your home.

Even if you start with the basics of flood prevention and work hard to keep your property dry, we all know that Mother Nature is unpredictable. Call us day or night for a quick restoration.

Do you have water damage in your home? Contact us at SERVPRO® for fast recovery.

Something Stinky? Dealing With Sewage Leaks Safely | SERVPRO of Rapid City

3/15/2024 (Permalink)

sewage water pooling on a kitchen floor after a leak SERVPRO of Rapid City is always ready to respond to your call when biohazard incidents strike.

Sewage is supposed to flow down and away from your home safely without you ever having to worry about it, or without thinking about what is flowing through your pipes. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen the way it should!

Sewage leaks can happen at the most unexpected times, leaving you with a serious mess—and a serious stink—to deal with right away. We offer some reliable tips to deal with sewage leaks safely so you can recover faster.

<h3to-the-situation">Responding to the Situation

Sewage backups can happen whenever a clog or blockage occurs in your pipe system. If the wastewater can’t move down and away from your home like it should, it can get forced backward into your toilets, tubs and sinks. In addition, sewage leaks can happen if your pipeline becomes compromised or if a connection gets loose.

No matter the situation, your first priority should be to stay out of the water. Sewage is considered a toxic substance and is categorized as dangerous black water. Black water could contain viruses, bacteria and microbes that can make you really sick or can even be deadly.

If you are able to locate and reach the water shutoff valve without getting into the water, do so right away to stop the flow of water. After that, turn on some fans and open a window to let the fumes escape. You should also be dialing up our phone number at this time!

<h3our-team-shines">Where Our Team Shines

Whether your leak is small or the wastewater is all over your floors, it is crucial to have a trained biohazard cleanup crew onsite to help with the situation. Since sewage is potentially dangerous, you should leave the cleanup to the professionals who have the right equipment and safety gear to take care of it properly.

We will get right to work gathering the supplies and crew that we need, so while you wait for us to arrive, we recommend that you take some photos. These images will certainly not be making a holiday card anytime soon, but they are necessary for your insurance claim.

Once we arrive, we will focus on removing the sewage while also locating the reason for the leak in the first place. Our team will secure the leak and tackle repairs while our cleaning crew will remove the standing water. Since sewage is potentially dangerous, we will encourage you to stay out of the area while we work.

After the repairs have taken place and the sewage is gone, we will employ our deodorizers to remove any lingering stinky smells. We can also address any reconstruction needs that you may have! Water can cause serious damage to your walls and floors, so we can replace floorboards and drywall as needed.

Stop the stink and call SERVPRO® right away! Our crew will make sure to tackle your recovery quickly so you can return to your home safely as soon as possible.

Sewage leaks should always be cleaned up by professionals. Call SERVPRO, and we will take care of you.

Weather Alerts: What You Need to Know | SERVPRO of Rapid City

3/1/2024 (Permalink)

heavy rain pouring down on an outdoor metal roof in a storm Let SERVPRO of Rapid City help you get from April showers to May flowers.

The spring season is well on its way, and it’s time once again to dust off our rain boots and enjoy warmer and longer days ahead! That also means that rumbling thunderstorms, heavy rain and even severe weather are on the horizon once more.

Even though we can’t control the spring weather, we can certainly all be prepared for it. Our team explains some easy ways to stay connected to the weather forecast and any changing conditions through various alert systems.

Staying Connected Via the Internet

We all spend so much time on our phones and are connected to screens all day every day, so it is natural to turn to the internet when it comes to receiving alerts. Wireless Emergency Alerts are alerts that can be issued automatically if you are connected to WiFi if there is a serious situation developing, or you can download a reliable weather app to receive alerts and notifications based on your specific location.

If you go the app route, make sure you are choosing wisely. There are many different kinds of weather apps out there, and they are not all created equally. Avoid the ones that tend to exaggerate forecasts purely for engagement, and stick with nationally recognized organizations instead. You should also consider signing up for the Pennington County weather alerts so you are always in the know!

News stations or local weather channels can also be trusted sources, so turn on your TV whenever there is a system approaching so you can watch it move in real-time. These live updates can help you determine your travel plans or when you need to be seeking shelter.

Other Alert Options

You should also have at least one alert system in place that will work regardless if we have power or not. Phones, TVs and laptops are great ways to stay connected, but only if we have electricity! Once batteries run out, you could be left in a really vulnerable position if you are caught without a way to receive alerts.

Local weather sirens that are positioned around town can also be a great indicator that something is amiss, but they also shouldn’t be relied on completely if you live in a part of town that makes it hard to hear them.

We recommend investing in an NOAA weather radio! A hand-crank or solar-powered radio can be a really good backup in case we lose power. You can take it with you into your sheltering location, or you can take it with you when you are out inspecting your property after the first wave of weather passes.

Being prepared is something we will always encourage, but we also know that it is not always a foolproof plan. If your home is damaged in a storm this season, give us a call right away so we can address repairs and help you recover completely.

Serious storms can cause serious property damage. Call SERVPRO® 247 for immediate restoration assistance.

Tackling Your Restoration After a Disaster at Work | SERVPRO of Rapid City

2/15/2024 (Permalink)

business man in office talking to female SERVPRO rep SERVPRO of Rapid City is here for your business every step of the way, from ERPs to disaster recovery.

No one wakes up one morning expecting to suffer from a fire or a serious flood, but unfortunately, business owners across the country experience this situation every single day.

While we can’t completely prevent disaster from striking, we can all have reliable plans in place for what to do before, during and after an event to help us stay in control and to avoid serious damage. Call SERVPRO of Rapid City for a quick restoration no matter your situation!

 Before the Event

You can’t predict the future, but you can always be prepared for what could happen. If your team knows how to prepare for a fire, flood or severe storm, you can rest assured that everyone will work together seamlessly to respond to the situation at hand.

Included in that plan should be a solid communication strategy! You can only be prepared if your team knows what is going on, so develop a strong chain of command and don’t be afraid to assign specific tasks to specific people so that there is no confusion on what to do.

Take them on a tour of your building and point out emergency exits, fire extinguisher locations and your utility room. Make sure your team understands where your water shut-off valves are and where your breaker box is located, just in case.

You should also have a reliable plan for what to do directly after a disaster. Some disaster scenarios require temporary displacement while repairs are happening, so your team should either understand how to transition into remote work or where to go in the meantime.

Recovering Faster

After your team is secured, you should get us on the phone! We deal in large-scale recovery often so we will confidently assess your space and then get right to work. We are highly trained and able to help you with whatever disaster situation is at hand.

Our professional team will handle your recovery, so you can focus on staying connected to your customers. The people who love and care about your business will want to know what is going on and when to expect your doors to reopen, so keep them updated on the progress! The more communication, the better.

While you might have to be displaced temporarily, remember that it won’t last forever! We will work on repairing, restoring and rebuilding your home as quickly and as efficiently as possible. Our team will work hard to minimize your disruption and will help support you every step along the way.

Planning ahead can help you stay on task during a disaster and calling SERVPRO® immediately after can help you avoid long-term or permanent closures. We always have your back so you can thrive as a trusted business in the Rapid City area.

Has your business experienced a disaster, or do you want help building an emergency plan? Contact us to find everything you need.

Here to See Disaster Restoration Through | SERVPRO of Rapid City

2/1/2024 (Permalink)

heavy rain pounding down on a blacktop surface SERVPRO of Rapid City is Here to Help® when any disaster strikes!

Disaster situations are by nature unexpected, so when something unfortunate does happen, it always seems to take us by surprise. When it rains, it pours, right? This is especially true when it comes to dealing with home disasters and damage.

Whether a strong storm caused widespread damage to your roof or an appliance malfunctioned and poured water all over your basement floor, a quick restoration is always necessary to avoid further issues.

That’s where SERVPRO of Rapid City comes into play! Our team will handle your entire recovery after something as simple as a single phone call.

The Extent of Disasters

Disasters can be large or small, but they are still impactful on homes and communities. They can be really frustrating for everyone even if the situation was expected and planned for! Weather can be unpredictable, and home accidents can become much more severe than anticipated.

For example, heavy rain can fall too quickly and overload the ground, causing flooding in your basement that will eventually lead to structural damage or mold growth. Fires can rip through your home, leaving behind structural damage as well as water damage and lingering smoke.

While the initial reaction after a disaster might be one of shock, it is important to start the recovery process right away to reduce your risk of a worsening situation. Call SERVPRO® right away for a quick and reliable recovery!

A Single Team for Every Single Thing

We can’t always predict when a disaster situation is going to happen, which is why our team is proudly available 247 no matter what. We are always here and ready to answer the phone when you need our help. We will get right to work gathering our supplies and making our recovery plan while we are on our way to your doorstep.

Our highly skilled technicians are trained in the latest and most advanced restoration techniques, and we are certified in many specialized cleaning procedures, making us confident in the ability to help you no matter your situation.

If your roof is damaged in a storm and the rain is pouring in, we will work quickly to lay tarps over your roof while also saving your possessions in the affected room. If you suffer from a flood, we will prioritize removing the standing water so you can avoid further structural issues and mold problems.

We are even skilled enough to rebuild entire sections of your home if a fire or storm wreaked unimaginable damage. We proudly will be the only contractor that you will need to work with in order to make a full recovery.

Our team is here to help, 247, 365 days a year. Call us as soon as you need us, and you will enjoy sunnier days right around the corner.

Have you experienced a disaster and need restorations? Make one call to our office to start recovery fast.

Staying Warm Without Starting a Fire This Season | SERVPRO of Rapid City

1/16/2024 (Permalink)

brick chimney with lit fire logs Fire safety is a top priority for us at SERVPRO of Rapid City this winter. Keep your home safe with these helpful tips!

Who else loves this time of year? Getting cozy, staying in and enjoying a well-deserved rest can make this season a favorite for many. While you are busy pulling out your fuzzy socks and bundling up near the fireplace, it is crucial that you are doing so in a fire-safe way.

The number of house fires skyrockets during the winter season across the country, and unfortunately, many of them are preventable. Knowing how to care for your fireplace and space heaters can help you stay fire-free during the rest of the winter season.

Preparing the Fireplace

We all love the warmth and ambiance that a fire provides, but fireplaces can also be downright dangerous if they are not cleaned and prepared properly. If your fireplace burns real wood, clean out the ash buildup before starting a new fire and regularly have your chimney cleaned to remove creosote buildup.

Limit the amount of clutter and flammable materials that are near your fireplace and mantle, and make sure your smoke detectors are always working. If you have an electric or gas fireplace, have your lines inspected annually for any signs of leaking or loose connections. You should also always keep a fire extinguisher close at hand for emergencies.

Preparing a Space Heater

Space heaters are an easy way to warm back up after catching a chill, but did you know that space heater mishaps are solely responsible for 1,700 house fires every year? The benefit of space heaters is that they are portable, but that is also a drawback as they can easily be tipped over.

Choose a flat, nonflammable surface to set it up on. As you get it set up and plugged in, check the cord for any fraying or loose wiring before turning it on to ensure it is not a fire hazard from the very start.

Ensure that there is a three-foot barrier around your space heater to keep kids and pets out of harm’s way (and to avoid tipping). Never plug your space heater into an extension cord and always switch it off before leaving the room or heading to bed.

Helpful Safety Features

You might get excited to see a space heater for a really good deal or one from an unknown brand that claims to work quickly, but be warned! Not all space heaters are created equally and a good deal or claim may not always be the best choice.

Do your research to make sure you are purchasing from a reliable and well-reviewed company that has passed all of the necessary safety certifications. Next, make sure it has a shutoff feature that will take over and shut off the heater after a certain period of use. This can be really helpful if you are forgetful or struggle with setting reminders on your phone.

Finally, check the cord that is connected to the heater. It should be sturdy and well-made with no fraying and should ideally be at least six feet long so you can set up your heater in a safe location.

We hope you have a safe and warm winter season! Call us right away if you suffer from fire damage and we will get right to work on your restoration. We will remove damaged debris, deodorize your space and handle any and all repairs so you can make a full recovery.

A quick fire damage restoration is just a phone call away. Call SERVPRO® for immediate assistance.

Worried About Water Leaks? Check These Spaces First | SERVPRO of Rapid City

1/2/2024 (Permalink)

close up of condensation on window pane and ledge Water damage can happen anywhere in your home. Call SERVPRO of Rapid City to restore water damage on your property 24/7, 365.

We often don’t think about the water that is constantly flowing in and out of our homes because to us, that is a natural and necessary part of a home’s function! However, each time we turn on a tap to wash our hands or fill a pot to boil water for pasta, the water that is flowing into our home has the potential to get somewhere it shouldn’t.

Water leaks can be really frustrating and can lead to serious damage in a small amount of time. While not all of them can be prevented, knowing where they often start can help you track down the source faster and address the situation head on.

Under Sinks and Cupboards

Any sink has the potential to leak, but especially underneath it where the water lines are connected. A single worn seal or a loose connection can lead to a small drip that eventually turns into a steady stream of destructive water.

Once the water leak has started, it will quickly seep into your cupboards, behind your walls and under your floors and will continue to cause chaos until you notice it. Try to check underneath your sinks for signs of moisture whenever you are cleaning or if you need to get into the cupboard to replace things like toilet paper rolls.

Beneath Trusty Appliances

We have so many appliances that we all rely on heavily to help us get through our days. After all, those dishes aren’t going to do themselves! However, the presence of appliances like dishwashers, water heaters and washing machines increase our risk of suffering water damage every time they are used.

A small malfunction, clog or water line issue can lead to a leak that eventually can pour onto your floors. Unfortunately, many appliance leaks start behind or beneath the machine, making it hard to catch right away. Pull appliances away from the wall regularly to check for new puddles, mold or water spots.

Behind Walls or Under Floors

If we were to suffer a water leak, we would definitely want it to happen in a place that we can easily see and get to. Water leaks that eventually make their way behind walls or under floors can be really frustrating!

It can be much harder to track down the source without major construction and by the time you discover the issue, serious damage could be done.

If you start to smell the beginnings of a mold infestation or you notice a dark spot that is slowly growing near your ceiling, it’s time to work on investigating the reason.

Around Your Windows

As the temperatures rise and fall throughout the seasons, it is normal to experience a little condensation on your windows. However, the more condensation you have, the greater the chance that it will drip down onto your window sills before evaporating, which can cause warped wood and frustrating wall damage.

Windows can also start to sag over time and small gaps or cracks can appear around your window casings. If that happens, water can easily infiltrate your home and wreak havoc all over the place.

Since preventing water damage isn’t an exact science, don’t panic if you discover a water issue in your home. Our SERVPRO of Rapid City team will get right to work tracking down the source of the leak, tackling repairs and removing residual moisture.

Don’t ignore signs of water damage! Call SERVPRO® for a quick restoration.