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ServiceMaster SSRS Appleton | News & Tips

Out of Sight Shouldn’t Mean Out of Mind: Hidden Water Damage in your Kaukauna, WI Home

August 10th, 2018 · No Comments

Water damage can be insidious because much of it tends to happen out of sight, which is bad news for your Kaukauna, WI home. A water leak from heavy rains, a broken appliance, or condensation on old windows are all likely culprits. When water damage is left untended, it weakens the structure it’s affecting, and even worse, encourages mold growth. This makes your home vulnerable to structural damage you may not even know is happening.


Here are some tips from ServiceMaster Specialty Restoration Services on how to detect hidden water damage before it causes serious issues for your home.


Check outside along the foundation to ensure the ground pitches down and away, not down and towards the foundation. If the ground is pitched towards the foundation water can gather next to it. The angle of the ground could be contributing to dampness seeping into your basement where mold can grow. Mold loves dark, undisturbed spaces!  Also, check the exterior of your home for damage around downspouts and rain gutters. Make sure that the water is either going into a city-approved rain barrel for use in your gardens or safely away from your home’s foundation. A yearly inspection by a roofing professional is also suggested to check for loose or missing shingles which could be letting water seep into your home. Finally, an inspection of all windows including frames and panes should be conducted. Look for wood rot, holes, or severe buckling of glass which may be a precursor for condensation build up.


Water rings anywhere are a bad sign. Check under sinks and utility tubs with a flashlight and inspect floors underneath your bathtub in the basement. Saggy floors mean there’s moisture somewhere, and also check around any major appliances such as water heaters, dishwasher, refrigerators, and laundry machines. Dank or musty smells are signs of mold growth from water seepage, and also check for rusty rings, pools, or streaks anywhere near appliances.
Water damage remediation becomes costlier the longer the water sits and causes damage. Be proactive in your Kaukauna, WI home and do a check inside and out to catch water damage signs early! If you come across signs of water damage, please contact us at (920) 739-5615 as soon as possible.

→ No Comments Tags: Water Damage Restoration · Water Damage Restorationm · Water Extraction · Water Removal ·

Prepare for Natural Disasters in Menasha, WI with Emergency Kits

July 18th, 2018 · No Comments

In the Midwest, we have some extreme temperature changes in short amounts of time. In the space of a month we’ve gone from blizzard conditions to 90-degree temperatures in Menasha, WI! In the spring and summer months we know that severe storms can happen quickly, resulting in flooding and tornadoes, and in the sub-zero winter, temps have us watching our pipes so they don’t burst. We’re no strangers to natural disasters here in Wisconsin, which is why every home should have an emergency kit on hand.

How to Prepare a Home Emergency Kit

While there are some basic necessities, an emergency kit can be tailored to your individual or family needs to help in the case of a disaster before help arrives. The most important thing about an emergency kit is that it’s easily accessible. Make sure the items are stored in a water-tight container and everyone in your home knows where the emergency kit is. If you have a home with multiple stories, consider having an emergency kit on each level of the home in case you’re not able to access other floors safely. And finally, don’t forget your car! An emergency kit in a car can be a life-saver while you wait for disaster restoration help to arrive.

Suggested Items for Emergency Kits:

  • First aid supplies
  • Cell phone chargers
  • Flashlights and batteries
  • Candles, matches, or flameless candles and batteries
  • Blankets
  • Duct tape
  • Pet food and supplies including a pet carrier
  • Canned food and a can opener
  • Non-perishable food
  • Water
  • Copies of important documents such as birth certificates and insurance documents (upload to cloud and printouts)
  • Copies of recent medications
  • Cash
  • Extra hats and gloves

In the case of a disaster, your best defense is being prepared ahead of time, and an emergency kit may buy you a little extra time that means all the difference.

We help Menasha, WI residents recover from disasters of many kinds including floods, fires, and natural disasters. We’re available 24/7/365 at (920) 739-5615 to help you with any and all types of disaster restoration.

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3 Unlikely Objects That Can Cause Fire Damage in Your Neenah, WI Home

June 27th, 2018 · No Comments

Fires in homes are often started by careless handling of cigarettes, candles, and cooking fires. These are fairly commonplace in Neenah, WI, but there are some lesser-known items in your home right now that you should be aware of that can cause fire damage.

9-Volt Batteries

Be mindful of where you store your batteries. Nine-volt batteries have a post on the outside that can start a fire if they come into contact with a flammable item such as a piece of paper. So, stop throwing those batteries into your junk drawer! Instead, put them in a safer place such as in a plastic container in a cool cupboard or basement area. Don’t throw nine-volts in the garbage, either. They may have just enough of a charge left in them to cause fire damage. Discard them safely wherever you discard electronics in your area.


It’s cozy to surf the net while you’re in bed, but if you fall asleep with your laptop, you could wake up to an unwelcome surprise of fire damage. Overheated laptops can get very hot and in the right conditions with the right flammable material nearby can start a smoldering fire. If you’re going to be on your laptop in bed, invest in a portable laptop desk that allows the laptop to get air underneath it. Not only will it be better for you ergonomically, but it will also lessen the chance of overheating.

Dust and Animal Hair

Dust bunnies and animal fur can be hazardous to small appliances. The small hairs attract dust which over time can choke vents and cause electrical shorts. Clogged dryer vents are especially prone to this. Make sure you’re cleaning your lint trap after every load you wash and clean out the outside dryer vent at least once every six months or more if you wash a lot.

If you have fire damage in your Neenah, WI home, we can be on the scene quickly to help. ServiceMaster Specialty Restoration Services has helped hundreds of families get back into their homes after a fire damage loss. Contact us 24/7/365 at (920) 739-5615.


→ No Comments Tags: Fire Damage Restoration · Fire Damage Restoration Services ·

Learn How to Spot and Prevent Water Damage in the Attic of Your Appleton, WI Home!

June 13th, 2018 · No Comments

When people think of water damage, they often think of flooding in their basement or the damage caused by water during firefighting efforts. There’s another more insidious way water can damage your home, and that’s through leaks in your attic. There are several ways to prevent water damage from attacking your attic.

Roof Leaks

Roof leaks don’t have to cause downpours through your ceiling before you need water damage restoration. In fact, most attic leaks are much smaller and take months, if not years to detect. By then serious damage has been done, so it’s better to catch them before that happens. Look for signs of water damage such as discoloration around any chimney or plumbing stacks as well as where the roof angles and joins. If you have recessed light canisters, telltale signs of water damage in them are rust or corrosion spots, which is a prime candidate for electrical danger down the road.

Proper Attic Ventilation

Having good attic ventilation is so important to your home. Without it, the moisture in the air rises and gathers in the attic and condenses on any surface it can find. When the weather warms up, the moisture releases into the attic. This not only damages the joists and supports, but it can also cause mold growth. Make sure your attic is properly ventilated and the vents are working and not blocked by insulation or other items stored in the attic.

Proper Attic Insulation

Insulation helps regulate the temperature in your attic. Having an attic that’s not insulated in Appleton, WI is asking for trouble during our frigid winter months. If the attic is significantly colder than the outside air, ice dams can form on the roof. When they melt, water damage can happen inside the attic walls. Ideally, an attic should be between 5-10 degrees warmer than the air outside. Insulation should be thick, dry, and puffy. If it’s matted down, flat, or has stains on it, it needs to be replaced.

Appliances Should Vent to the Outside

Any appliances in your home should be vented to the outside and not into the attic space. This especially includes clothes dryers and kitchen range hoods. Any additional dampness should be kept out of the attic.

If your Appleton, WI home has water damage in the attic, we can assist with repairs. Remember that even a small amount of water can cause damage, so don’t delay repair! For professional water damage repair in Appleton, WI, contact us at (920) 739-5615.

→ No Comments Tags: Water Damage Restoration ·

Don’t Let Mold Take Hold—the Lesser Known Threat of a Fire and How Fire Damage Restoration in Menasha, WI Can Help

June 4th, 2018 · No Comments

The devastation of having to deal with fire is something that many people have nightmares about, but many people don’t know that the damage done by the flames is only part of the equation. If your home or business in Menasha, WI has had a fire, you’ll not only be dealing with the aftermath of the flames but also standing water from firefighting efforts and the prospect of mold damage. We can’t say this strongly enough if you’re dealing with the aftermath of a fire—you need professional fire damage restoration help quickly!

Time is not on your side, and every moment that the damage is left untreated, it worsens, costing you time, money, and emotional distress. Mold is the part of the puzzle that many people don’t consider after fire damage. Comprised of microscopic spores, mold can begin to form in as little as a few hours in even the smallest amount of standing water. While it thrives in warm, moist conditions, it can also form in cold conditions, as evidenced when you find mold growing in the crevices of your refrigerator.

Mold spores are everywhere, and all it needs to grow is an organic food source and moisture. Within 24 hours it can start its growth in drywall, paper products, and wood. Within 48 hours the mold can colonize and start causing serious damage to the structure of the building and the respiratory systems of those in the structure. Mold especially thrives in places with dim lighting and very little air circulation. The faster our fire damage restoration technicians can get in and begin removing the water and applying high-speed fans to get the air moving to dry things, the easier it will be to avoid mold growth.

In these damp conditions before water is removed, bacteria in rugs, carpet, and furniture begins to break down and form VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) which contribute to the “musty” smell so often associated with mold. Once it sets it, it’s very difficult to remove.

Mold can be very dangerous to human health, especially to pets and people with compromised immune systems such as children and elderly or infirm people.  ServiceMaster Specialty Restoration Services fire damage restoration technicians have the right gear, training, and equipment to clean and remediate mold safely to make the area safe for people to inhabit again.

Don’t delay contacting us after a fire. We’re available for you in Menasha, WI 24/7/365 and we can be on site quickly to help. Don’t let mold take hold. Contact us at (920) 739-5615.

→ No Comments Tags: Fire Damage Restoration · Fire Damage Restoration Services · Mold Remediation · Mold Removal ·

Find Reliable 24/7 Sewage Backup Cleanup in Kaukauna, WI

June 1st, 2018 · No Comments

We can say with certainty that a sewage backup is something no homeowner wants to go through. They’re very unpleasant to deal with. Fortunately, in Kaukauna, WI, ServiceMaster Specialty Restoration Services has extensive experience with sewer backups and can be to your home quickly to help with this foul and difficult cleanup.

Raw sewage cleanup, in particular, is a very difficult and laborious cleanup and shouldn’t be attempted by someone who doesn’t have training in how to remediate. However, there are a few things you should do until we can arrive on the scene and begin your cleanup.

  • Keep children and pets away from the area
  • If you have to go near the spill, put on rubber gloves, boots, protective eyewear, and a facemask
  • Turn off any running water
  • Open doors and windows to ventilate
  • Take anything dry that isn’t near the area out of the home
  • Contact your insurance company
  • Contact your municipal water company

If you’ve never had to deal with a sewage backup, then there are some things you can do to keep it that way!

  • Inspect the pipes and valves on your property and look out for cracks
  • Don’t dump chemicals down your drain into the sewer system
  • Don’t flush diapers, feminine products, or any large amounts of paper
  • Don’t pour grease down the kitchen drain, it hardens and can cause backups
  • Don’t plant trees or shrubs around the sewer lines; the roots can crack into them and cause sewage back up

If you do find yourself ankle deep in unpleasant sewage, contact us immediately and get your family out of the home if possible. We’re available for disaster restoration such as sewage backup 24/7/365 in Kaukauna, WI. Don’t put your health at risk at a stressful time, trust us to help you with sewage backup. Call the disaster restoration experts at (920) 739-5615.

→ No Comments Tags: Water Damage Restoration · Water Removal ·

Sewage Backups in Neenah, WI Require Immediate Attention to Prevent Water Damage

May 9th, 2018 · No Comments

How soon should you report sewer damage once you discover it? If you said “immediately” you’re correct. To prevent water damage to your home or business, sewer damage should be reported and remediated as soon as possible to avoid contamination of other areas of a home or building. The severe health and safety hazards of sewage present in your Neenah, WI home or business can’t be understated and can’t be ignored.

How does sewer damage happen?

Toilet Seepage. Toilets have protective wax rings at the bottom of the base to protect the floors from leaking and seepage. These rings or gaskets need to be checked for cracks or damage on an annual basis and may require replacement over the lifetime of the unit. Left unchecked, a leak could be very costly if water gets into the subfloor or basement of the structure. Water damage from toilet seepage is the main cause of major water damage restoration in Neenah, WI.

Tree Roots. Overgrown trees and bushes can grow into sewer lines and compromise the structure causing blockages and backups. To prevent this, be careful of where you do plantings and remove older overgrown bushes, especially ones that are near the foundation of a home or business.

Corroded pipes. If you have aging pipes, they can be a precursor to sewer damage. If you notice rattling or loud noises when you turn on water or discolored water, you may need to replace the piping. While this can be costly, it’s much less expensive than sewer damage repairs and water damage restoration.

Main Sewer Blockage. The main line that connects your home to the street can be blocked by obstructions. If it’s the fault of the city then they take care of the repairs but if it’s on your end, you’re responsible for any sewer clean up or water damage restoration. Attempting sewer cleanup is messy and dangerous and not for the faint of heart.

When disaster strikes, and it has to do with sewage or water damage, trust our experienced, capable technicians to help. We’re available 24/7/365 for your needs in Neenah, WI, and the surrounding areas. Remember, don’t delay, call (920) 739-5615 immediately!

→ No Comments Tags: Flooded Basements · Water Damage Restoration ·

Fire Damage Done to Homes and Businesses in Appleton, WI

May 1st, 2018 · No Comments

According to the NFPA, the facts about home and business fires are sobering. In 2016, 1,300,000 fires caused significant damage and, unfortunately, the loss of life. These statistics only account for fires where the loss was more than 50%, so that doesn’t include small kitchen fires or smoke damage. A 50% loss is a significant loss, but even a small fire can cause havoc in your life and leave you scrambling and needing help. Fire damage to your property is serious business, and we pride ourselves in helping residents and business owners in Appleton, WI recover from fire damage loss.
Our highly trained technicians are up-to-date on the latest fire damage restoration techniques on not only fire and smoke restoration but also with water removal remediation and mold remediation. Our commitment to ongoing education for our disaster technicians in all these areas means that your disaster restoration crew is the best in the business. We offer:

  • Fire damage restoration
  • Cleaning and restoration of items in the home
  • Pack out services for all damaged and non-damaged contents of the property
  • Board-up services
  • Water removal and drying services
  • Smoke, soot, and odor removal
  • Reconstruction services
  • Mold remediation
  • Floor covering and carpet cleaning and restoration


From your assigned project manager to our trained and sympathetic cleanup crew, we employ the best of the best. We’re also armed with a full listing of resources of electricians, plumbers, and any other services required to restore your home or business as quickly as possible. Because disasters never happen when it’s convenient, our dedicated 24/7/365 on-call services are here for your needs any time in Appleton, WI.
If you need help with a home or business disaster in Appleton, WI for fire damage, water damage, or other problems related to disasters, ServiceMaster Specialty Restoration Services is here to help. Contact us at (920) 739-5615.

→ No Comments Tags: Fire Damage Restoration · Fire Damage Restoration Services · Smoke Cleanup · Smoke Damage · Soot Removal ·

Fire Damage Restoration Can Be Avoided in Kaukauna, WI, With These Important Cooking Tips

April 10th, 2018 · No Comments

Fire damage in the homes we service in Kaukauna, WI most often happens because of unattended kitchen fires. Even small fires on the stove can cause extensive fire damage restoration. To keep your family safe Kaukauna, WI, ServiceMaster Specialty Restoration Services urges you to keep these tips in mind.

Don’t leave the kitchen or the home. While it may seem harmless to step out for a minute while the soup simmers and the cookies finish baking, the kitchen is the place where the majority of kitchen and house fires start. Kitchen fires almost always involve grease which is a protein and causes very caustic fires. Remediation of a kitchen fire will often also need smoke and soot abatement because the tiny particulates travel quickly throughout the home.

Watch children and pets. Small fingers and furry friends may be drawn to the kitchen by the delicious smells. Make sure they are kept away from any food that is cooking on the stove to prevent scalds, burns, and potential fires.

Be aware of items near the stovetop. Pot holders, apron strings, your blowsy top, and the kitchen towel you throw over your shoulder can catch fire in a heartbeat. Be extra vigilant about these items when you’re cooking.

Make sure you have a working fire extinguisher in the kitchen. If it’s been awhile since you’ve checked the levels on your home fire extinguisher the change of seasons is an excellent reminder to do so.

Check the batteries on your smoke alarms. If you haven’t already, install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms, and outside sleeping areas. This is the most efficient and affordable way to prevent the need for fire damage restoration services.

If you need fire damage restoration services in Kaukauna, WI or the surrounding area, ServiceMaster Specialty Restoration Services will be on site quickly to help. Contact us at (920) 739-5615.



→ No Comments Tags: Fire Damage Restoration · Fire Damage Restoration Services · Smoke Cleanup · Smoke Damage · Soot Removal ·

Toilet Backups Can Cause Serious Water Damage to Homes in Menasha, WI

April 3rd, 2018 · No Comments

A backed-up toilet is one of the worst chores on a homeowners list of things they must attend to. The causes for a backup can vary, and unfortunately, have no single quick fix to unclog the problem. While many people may think water damage only happens in their homes in Menasha, WI when forces of nature like flooding occurs, the fact is a toilet backup can wreak nearly as much havoc. Once the water overflows, water damage can begin almost immediately to the flooring and subflooring beneath.
The most common causes fora backups to watch out for are:


Sometimes kids put in too much toilet paper or decided to flush a superhero down the toilet to help save the underworld. A blockage like this can prevent water and waste from getting to your sewer line correctly. You’re going to need some humor and an old-fashioned plunger, but be sure to wear gloves if fecal matter is present. If the object is firmly lodged, calling a licensed plumber may be necessary.

Tree Roots

Tree roots are always seeking water and minerals that they need to grow, and sometimes they find that in your sewer line. When the roots grow into the sewer, you may notice backups in your sinks, bathtubs, and toilets, even though it seems like there’s nothing plugging them. Removing tree roots from your sewer lines requires a call as soon as possible to a plumber or sewer repair specialist. Keeping trees and bushes from overgrowing on your lot is the key to reducing this expensive repair and preventing water damage restoration.

Septic tank problems


When a septic system fails due to a broken pump, a failed leach field, or just because it needs pumping out, often your nose will tell you so. Another sign is a waterlogged lawn when there’s been no rain or watering of the lawn. Since septic tanks contain disease-causing waste and other biohazardous materials, it’s best to make a call to a plumber immediately.

Preventing water damage by carefully monitoring your home’s toilets, sinks, and bathtubs is essential. If your Menasha, WI  home suffers water damage, contact ServiceMaster Specialty Restoration Services immediately at (920) 739-5615.

→ No Comments Tags: Water Damage Restoration · Water Damage Restorationm · Water Extraction · Water Removal ·