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How to Choose the Right Smoke Detector for your Home

12/4/2022 (Permalink)

Smoke alarm Smoke detectors are an important part of your home’s security system.

How to Choose the Right Smoke Detector for your Home

I'm sure you've heard the saying, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." In other words, it's much better to take steps to prevent something from happening than to deal with the consequences once it does. That's why we strongly recommend that you install smoke detectors in your Lauderdale, MN home.

Consider the shape and size of your home.

Smoke detectors are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. To fit into certain areas, they can be mounted on the ceiling or on a wall, or they can even go flush with the corner of two walls. Some models are battery-powered while others plug directly into an electrical outlet or use wires to connect to a central alarm system that alerts you when there's a problem.

Don't forget about the power source.

You may have noticed that smoke detectors are available in both battery-powered and hardwired versions. If your home has no electric power, the battery-powered ones will work just fine.

The same goes for wireless models: they come with a battery backup in case of power outage. That way, you don't need to worry about charging the device every month or so—it'll keep working even when there's no electricity on tap!

Be aware of false alarms.

You may be tempted to ignore a false alarm, but don't. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), false alarms can be very dangerous. Smoke detectors are designed to be sensitive and may go off accidentally when steam from cooking or showering sets them off, or when pets set them off. As such, it's important that you check your detector regularly, at least once a month in order to ensure its accuracy and ensure that it is working properly.

If you have an old smoke detector that has been making frequent false alarms and isn't working properly anymore, it's time for a replacement! In fact, replacing your smoke detectors every 10 years is recommended by the NFPA based on battery lifespan and other factors related to reliability and functionality of these devices.

Location is key.

Where to install smoke detectors:

Smoke detectors should be installed in all bedrooms, kitchens, and small rooms. Smoke detectors are also recommended for hallways leading to bedrooms as well as at the top of staircases.

Where to install CO Detectors:

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a deadly gas that can't be seen or smelled by humans. It is often created by appliances not working properly and results in poisoning deaths every year. To ensure your family's safety from this silent killer, it's important that you have carbon monoxide detectors installed in any room with a furnace or water heater (including basements). These devices can also be helpful if you have an attached garage where people could potentially get trapped inside while using their car engines on cold days.

Smoke detectors are vital for every home, so choose the right one for your needs to ensure your safety.

We all know how important smoke detectors are in the home, but it can be tricky to choose which type is best suited to you and your family’s needs. There are many factors that make a difference when choosing which brand of detector works best for you, including price range and how long it takes to install. When it comes down to it there’s no such thing as perfect smoke detector—they all have pros and cons—so consider what features matter most before making a purchase.

Smoke detectors are an important part of your home’s security system. They can alert you to the presence of smoke, which can be dangerous and even fatal if not addressed quickly enough. For the safety of yourself and others on your property, ensure that you have fully functioning smoke detectors across your entire property.

Mold vs Mildew

11/1/2022 (Permalink)

Mold vs Mildew If you need mold remediation or mold cleanup call SERVPRO of Northeast Minneapolis.

Mold vs Mildew

The growth of mold and mildew is one of the most common household problems. Mold and mildew typically grow in areas where there’s moisture, such as basements, bathrooms, and kitchens. Mildew is a type of fungus that grows on plants and is often associated with damp environments such as bathrooms or basements. On the other hand, mold can grow anywhere there’s moisture as it requires little light to survive. What is the difference between mold and mildew? 

The differences between them go beyond their appearance. 

Mold and mildew are both fungi that grow on surfaces. They can be found all over the world in places like bathrooms, kitchens, basements, and attics. Both mold and mildew thrive in damp environments with high humidity levels.

Mold is a fungus that grows in damp, dark areas such as your bathroom shower or basement floors. It's composed of tiny threads called hyphae that spread across surfaces where moisture collects — like wallpaper or wood cabinets — creating colonies called spore molds (also known as mycelium). These spores can float through the air until they land on another surface where they will continue to grow under the right conditions. 

Mold is usually black or brown, but it can also be white, blue or green. When mold has grown into a large colony it may have a fuzzy appearance similar to the coat on an animal (hence why some people refer to it as "fur" or "hair").

What is mildew?

Mildew is a type of fungus that grows on plants, fabrics, paper, and other materials. It can cause damage to these items. Mildew looks like tiny white or gray spots and is most commonly seen as a powdery substance on houseplants or in bathrooms and kitchens where humidity levels are high. 

How to tell mold from mildew

How can you tell the difference between mold and mildew? The easiest way is by looking at their appearance.

Mold is fuzzy, either black or green (or both), while mildew is powdery and usually gray or white. Molds are capable of spreading through spores in the air, while mildews grow on organic materials such as wood, paper, and plants. Mildew can be found growing inside your shower near the top edge of the glass where it meets metal pipes:

there are several methods to remove it:

If you have either, you need to address it immediately.

Mold and mildew can cause extensive damage to your home or business, so if you suspect either is in your home, you should address it immediately. Mildew tends to be more common on the exterior of buildings and other structures because it’s found in moist areas with stagnant air, like bathrooms or kitchens. Mold can grow anywhere there’s moisture, but it prefers dark places such as basements or closets where there’s not much air circulation.

SERVPRO of Northeast Minneapolis is here to help with all your mold remediation and mold cleanup needs in Minneapolis, MN, and surrounding areas!

Fire Prevention Tips

10/7/2022 (Permalink)

Lit candles Never leave a lit candle unattended in your Minneapolis, MN home.

Tips for Fire Prevention

A fire can be devastating. It destroys property and can cause serious injury to you and your loved ones. But if you are proactive, there are steps you can take to help prevent fires from happening in your Minneapolis, MN, home. Here are some of the most common causes of residential fires, as well as tips on what homeowners can do to help reduce their risk for this disaster:

Only use multi-plug outlets and extension cords 

It's important to only use multi-plug outlets and extension cords that are designed to handle the power load needed. Not all extension cords are the same, so it's important to check their ratings before using them with your appliances. You should also make sure that the appliance you're plugging in is rated for use with a heavy-duty extension cord. If you need more power than what can be provided by a standard household outlet, consider using an industrial-grade flathead plug or GFCI-protected circuit breaker.

Always ensure that smoke detectors are installed and working properly.

Smoke detectors are designed to alert you in the event of a fire, but they can't do their job if they aren't working properly. To maximize the effectiveness of your smoke detectors and keep your family safe, follow these tips:

  • Check the batteries regularly. Smoke detectors use a small amount of power constantly, so even when they're not sounding an alarm, they need to always have fresh batteries. Make sure you change them every 6 months (or sooner if you know they've been running low).
  • Test your detector's battery weekly by pressing the test button on top. Also test it monthly with a smoke stick or candle flame until you learn how long it takes for your detector to go off as this varies from model to model and brand to brand!

Keep flammable items locked away from children.

Keep matches, lighters, and other flammable items out of the reach of children. If you are unable to keep them locked away, consider childproofing the area. Store these items in a locked cabinet or drawer.

Never leave a lit candle unattended even if it's in a holder that looks like it might be able to contain flames—they often don't. Also, avoid smoking in bed or when you're tired as these activities have been proven to increase the risk of a fire breaking out.

It is important for homeowners to understand some of the common causes of house fires, as well as what they can do to help prevent them.

The most common causes of house fires are:

  • Cooking and heating equipment
  • Electrical wiring, outlets, or appliances
  • Careless smoking habits or other acts of negligence

To prevent fires in your home, keep flammable items, including furniture, bedding, and clothing at least three feet away from heat sources. This will help to stop a fire before it gets started. Additionally, keep matches out of the reach of children. If you smoke inside your home, make sure there is no ash on surfaces where they could set something on fire by accident (such as a table). Make sure that all electrical products are installed properly and that there are no exposed wires or damaged plugs/sockets in use anywhere in your house.

The causes of fire are many and varied, but they all have the same result: a house that is no longer safe to live in. In this article, we’ve explored some of the most common causes of house fires, as well as some tips for preventing them. By taking these precautions into account when you’re considering buying a home or making renovations, you can rest assured that your property will be safer from fire damage in the future.

How To Clean Electronics Damaged by Water

8/25/2022 (Permalink)

Water damaged electronic Flooded electronics can be dangerous if not handled appropriately, so it is always best to use caution when approaching these devices.

How to Clean Water-Damaged Electronics

If an electronic device in your building suffers water damage, you may not know the best way to handle the situation. Flooded electronics can be dangerous if not handled appropriately, so it is always best to use caution when approaching these devices.

Here are several tips to help you remove water from your devices safely and effectively.

1. Turn Off the Power Source

Before approaching any electronic device that is submerged in water, it is important to turn off the switch or circuit breaker that supplies power to the outlet.

2. Be Wary of Battery Hazards in Flooded Electronics

If the device has its own battery, look for signs of smoke, heat, or melting. Damaged batteries can be dangerous, and if you see any signs of damage, it is better to leave the device alone and call a professional.

3. Drain Water and Take Apart the Device
Once the device is safe to approach, unplug it. You can shake it gently or rotate it to let water out. Disassemble the device so that you can drain more water and isolate the internal components.

4. Clean the Circuit Board and Other Sensitive Parts

Submerge the circuit board in isopropyl alcohol. Take it out and use a soft brush to clean it. Be careful and avoid knocking any components loose from the circuit board. For the best results, use an ultrasonic cleaner to remove water and corrosion from areas you will not be able to reach with a brush. Dry the components with a blow dryer on cold, or use a desk lamp to help dry them.

5. Call a Professional if You Need Help

If there is extensive electronic damage in your building, it is a good idea to contact a water restoration company in St. Anthony, MN, to help you remove water and restore as many devices as possible.

Following these tips will help you respond to any situation involving flooded electronics.

Should Businesses Prepare for St. Anthony Water Damage Repair?

8/23/2022 (Permalink)

ERP Emergency Profile Plan Protect your St. Anthony Business Building and Goodwill with SERVPRO's ERP Emergency READY Profile Plan

SERVPRO Urges Proaction to Minimize St. Anthony Commercial Water Damage Exposure

You likely feel that you cannot spare the time to craft a plan in anticipation of the need for water damage repair. St. Anthony business owners like yourself benefit from scheduling an assessment with one of our experienced project managers to develop an Emergency READY Profile (ERP) rather than reacting without a plan in a water incursion emergency.

How Does a SERVPRO ERP Work to Protect Your St. Anthony Business?  

SERVPRO has the training and experience to limit the need for St. Anthony water damage emergency services and respond effectively if water removal services or sewage cleanup is required. Our assessment focuses on prevention through:

  • A comprehensive walk-through of your St. Anthony commercial building to identify structural, utility hook-ups, or supply or wastewater line vulnerabilities that adaptations, replacements, or repairs can eliminate
  • An evaluation of your equipment, inventory, and storage configurations, identifying potential water damage disaster “hot spots” and suggesting raising machinery above flood levels or moving documents or goods off-site or to higher spaces inside your building. OSHA strongly recommends industrial preparedness for water and flooding emergencies.

SERVPRO gives you a list of water damage prevention tips after the inspection you can implement before the risks become actual damage scenarios.

What Will Your St. Anthony Commercial ERP Cover to Improve the Efficiency of SERVPRO’s Response After a Water Disaster?

The ERP is a concise digital document our crews access before and during the water damage restoration process. Contained within the ERP is practical information like:

  • Your designation of SERVPRO as your preferred disaster restoration company
  • Blueprints and photos of the space, including notations about recesses and confined spaces
  • Location of utility shut-offs
  • Contact information for your company -- owners, managers, security staff, and critical vendors and contractors
  • A list of people you designate as your agents to make decisions if you are unavailable
  • A detailed agenda of water damage repair and flood restoration interventions our manager developed with your input

Work with SERVPRO of Northeast Minneapolis on an Emergency READY Profile (ERP), setting your mind at ease as we learn important details to avoid or minimize the effects of water damage to your business. Call (612) 421-2040 to schedule an assessment.

How Can St. Anthony Residents Prevent Fire Damage Restoration Emergencies?

8/11/2022 (Permalink)

Fire Damage in a home Fire damage can occur when you least expect it. Tackle the situation with a call to team SERVPRO. We are standing by 24/7 for your emergency call.

If St. Anthony Fire and Smoke Damage is Unavoidable, SERVPRO has Effective Restoration Strategies

Backyard fires invite St. Anthony, MN families and families to build and maintain ties in a fun and casual setting. Common sense plus a healthy dose of caution keep these outdoor gatherings safe. Not everyone is clear on the best way to enjoy outdoor bonfires, so reviewing the St. Anthony municipal regulations on recreational fires can be informative and avoid any unintended smoke or fire crisis. 

Who Regulates Recreational Fires in St. Anthony?

The St. Anthony Fire Department takes responsibility for determining the requirements before issuing Campfire Permits in the City of St. Anthony. Homeowners must fill out an application for the Campfire Permit. If approved, the permit is good for five years. One notable exception to the five-year durations applies to renters. If you lease your St. Anthony home, your landlord must agree that you can apply for a permit. A renter’s permit extends only through March first of the following year, although the permit holder can renew it annually.

What Other Duties Do St. Anthony Residents Have Before Using Their Campfire Permits?

Before lighting a campfire on any given day, a permitted St. Anthony resident must do one of the following:

  • Check the St. Anthony fire department campfire Hotline to verify that campfires currently are allowed (612-782-3434) 
  • Verify campfires are allowed on that date by reviewing applicable information from both of the following websites:
  • National Weather Service 
  • Pollution Control Agency Air Quality Index

Are There Any Other Criteria that St. Anthony’s Residents Must Follow to Have a Campfire?

  • The fire must be no more than 3 feet in diameter with a 3-foot high flame.
  • The fuel ignited must be unpainted and untreated.
  • Dry wood or charcoal may be burned. 
  • Construction debris, brush, and grass cannot be used in the fire.
  • Smoke cannot drift beyond the property line.
  • A garden hose or adequate fire extinguisher must be nearby.
  • Adult supervision is required.
  • The fire can never be unattended and must be entirely extinguished at the end of the event.
  • No coals or logs can smolder after the fire.
  • The fire needs containment in a fire ring, raised fire pit, or other approved system.
  • The fire cannot be closer than 25 feet to any structure, including decks.
  • Approved hours for St Anthony campfires:
  • Sunday through Thursday - 9 a.m. until 11 p.m.
  • Friday, Saturday, and Holidays -  9 a.m. until midnight.

What Is the Answer if a St. Anthony Recreational Fire Damages Your Home?

If a bonfire in your St Anthony yard gets out of hand, the exterior of your home can sustain damage. SERVPRO can help manage any issues, even if the fire makes its way inside your home. Count on the SERVPRO crew to help with:

  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Fire and Smoke Damage
  • Smoke Remediation

When fire damage upends the quiet enjoyment of your home, call your local restoration company.

Who Can Falcon Heights Homeowners Count On for Fire Damage Restoration?

7/21/2022 (Permalink)

Air scrubber SERVPRO removes the water and then the pungent odors left behind from a Falcon Heights house fire with this air scrubber as part of our arsenal

One-stop fire and smoke damage recovery is why SERVPRO is the intelligent choice for Falcon Heights residents

A Falcon Heights residential fire restoration is a multi-phase project. Our technicians hold certification in a broad range of Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) specialties, which is why SERVPRO delivers services for all your fire and smoke damage needs.

Can One Company Handle Both Fire and Water Removal?

The most efficient response regarding time and expense is to streamline all aspects of a Falcon Heights whole house fire clean-up. Our expertise in firefighting water removal services complements our professional fire and smoke damage mitigation and remediation. The variety of tasks confronting us in fire-damaged homes is why SERVPRO service vehicles stock:

Emergency services water damage removal equipment:

  • Submersible and trash pumps
  • Truck-mounted and portable water extractors
  • Drying tools including:
  • Moisture detectors and meters
  • Air movers
  • Dehumidifiers

Fire and smoke damage restoration equipment:

  • Charring removal tools
  • Dry (crumbling) and wet sponges
  • Rags, brushes, and dusters
  • Water and oil-based cleaning products to match with different types of soot
  • Air scrubbers with HEPA and Charcoal filtration
  • Hydroxyl generators to neutralize pungent smoke odors

Training, stocking up, and planning for every contingency is why SERVPRO of Northeast Minneapolis gets water and fire damage restorations done right. Call (612) 421-2040 for a prompt and professional response.

4 Simple Steps To Fix a Commercial Toilet That Won't Stop Flushing

7/13/2022 (Permalink)

Flushing toilet If you don't address a flushing or leaking toilet, this issue can cause water or mold damage.

Repairing a Commercial Toilet That Won't Stop Flushing

A perpetually flushing toilet in your commercial building is a real nuisance. Nobody wants to deal with toilet overflow. If it's not addressed, this issue can cause water or mold damage, requiring you to consult a water damage restoration professional in St. Anthony, MN, to assess any damage and keep your building sanitary and safe. 

If you can’t stop a toilet from flushing, it's time to check the gasket in the flushometer. Fortunately, this task is easy to do. When the gasket becomes dirty or damaged, it will leak, and your toilet won’t stop flushing, causing toilet overflow. Here are four simple steps to deal with a faulty gasket.

1. Gather Your Tools

Before you start working on the plumbing issue, make sure you have the following tools:

  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Wrench
  • Soft, absorbent cloth
  • Fine piece of wire

2. Turn Off the Water To Curb a Toilet Flood

Facing the toilet, you’ll see a slotted circle or a circular cover located on the short arm opposite the flush lever. If there is a cover, pry it off. Insert the screwdriver into the slot and turn to shut off the water.

3. Remove the Gasket

Use your wrench to loosen the gasket cover, which is the large, flat-sided circle at the very top of the unit. Avoid scratching the chrome by using your cloth between the wrench and the gasket cover. Loosen it just a bit, then turn it by hand. Use your cloth to soak up any water that leaked out.

4. Clean or Replace the Gasket

Clean any buildup or debris from the gasket and use your fine wire to clear the little weep hole. Be careful not to enlarge the hole. If the gasket is damaged, replace it with a new one. Put the gasket in place, replace the cover and tighten. Don't forget to turn the water back on when you're finished.
Don't tolerate a constantly flushing toilet. Clean or replace your flushometer gasket to avoid toilet overflow.

How Does Water Cleanup Limit the Severity of Water Leaks for St. Anthony Businesses?

7/6/2022 (Permalink)

Flooded basement SERVPRO of Northeast Minneapolis is well equipped to handle water cleanup in commercial establishments

How Does Water Cleanup Help St. Anthony Businesses Reduce the Severity of Water Leaks?

SERVPRO Performs Timely Water Cleanup Limiting Interruptions for St. Anthony Businesses

The city of St. Anthony, MN straddles the two counties of Ramsey and Hennepin Minnesota. Two-thirds of the city lies in Hennepin, while the other third is in Ramsey. Locally, people call it Saint Anthony Village, and it is considered a ‘first ring’ suburb of the city of Minnesota. A ‘first ring’ suburb is an area located close to a central business district and has higher urban density compared to a city’s outer suburbs.

Early Development of St. Anthony

The city’s history is tied back to Franklin Steele, who worked as a storekeeper at the Fort Snelling military fortification. In 1838, he laid a claim on the lands located east of St. Anthony Falls. However, the area remained idle for 10 years before Steele started developing it. The main economic activities during the initial development were milling and trade. Some of the notable businesses from that era include:

North Star Woolen Mill

The mill began operations in 1864, making blankets, flannels, and other products. It operated until 1940 when it closed down. Currently, the facility houses condominiums.

Washburn A Mill

It was the biggest of the 18 flour mills that operated on the west side of the city. However, in 1878, there was an explosion at the mill leading to damages and fatal injuries.

St. Anthony Falls fueled the city’s initial growth by driving the water wheels that powered the numerous mills set up in the area.  Over the years, commercial interests in the area diversified to include service and entertainment businesses, among others.

Top Attractions in the Area

The development of various businesses in the area led to the establishment of amenities where residents and visitors can wind down. Some of the outstanding amenities include:

  • Francis A. Gross Public Golf Course. It is open each day from sunrise to sunset. It serves different age groups, including juniors, adults over 18 years, and seniors over 55 years.
  • Silver Lake. It covers a small area measuring approximately 73 acres. Several houses and businesses lie along the lake shores offering various recreation activities.
  • Silverwood Park. It offers scenic green space and clear lake views. There is an outdoor amphitheater, an art gallery, and hiking trails in the park.

How SERVPRO Helps Keep Businesses Running with Professional Water Cleanup Services

Accidental or negligent water leaks at a business establishment pose significant risks to daily operations and general survival. When an incident happens, the straightforward solution is to clean up the premises to reverse moisture exposure. SERVPRO’s water cleanup services prove useful in different circumstances, including:

  • Burst pipes
  • Ceiling leaks
  • Basement flooding

The steps taken during water cleanup at business facilities help in different ways. For instance, extracting standing water helps quicken the drying of surfaces. Wet surfaces are usually slick increasing chances of injuries to clients or staff and thus exposing the business to litigation.

The intruding water causes deterioration in almost every section of the business premises. Even in areas untouched by spilled water, humidity levels rise, leading to mold development or material rot. Our SERVPRO technicians incorporate moisture control in all aspects of water cleanup. For instance, we set up dehumidifiers immediately after arrival to remove excess humidity. After finishing cleaning, we run air movers and dehumidifiers in the property for thorough drying.

SERVPRO of Northeast Minneapolis is well equipped to handle water cleanup in commercial establishments. Call us at (612) 421-2040 for assistance.

5 Steps To Clean Your Gas Range

6/27/2022 (Permalink)

Gas range maintenance Keeping your gas range mess-free will ensure cleanliness and safety.

Cleaning Your Gas Range in 5 Easy Steps

Making a mess is part of cooking. While you’re cleaning up, keep in mind that your gas range requires regular maintenance. Washing your stove prevents grease fires and helps get rid of that smoke smell that comes from burning crusted-on food stains. If you have a natural gas stovetop in your Lauderdale, MN, home, follow the range cleaning steps below to get rid of any grime and keep yourself safe.

1. Soak Grates and Caps
Fill your sink with hot, soapy water. Remove the grates and burner caps and soak them in the hot water. If residual grease is stuck to either, scrub it away with dish soap and a scrub brush.

2. Clean With Vinegar
Combine a 1:1 mixture of water and vinegar in a spray bottle, and generously spritz your entire stovetop. Spray the temperature knobs and back panel of the stove, as well. Let the cleaner soak to break down the stains and spills. Then wipe away with a rag.

3. Scrub With Dish Soap
For tougher, greasier splashes that can’t be removed easily with your vinegar spray, use dish soap and a small brush to scrub away the spots. A toothbrush or non-scratch scrub brush works well to get off the gunk without damaging your stove.

4. Check the Burner Heads
Remove the stove’s burner heads by lifting them straight up. Wash away any stains underneath. You can use a small, pointy object, such as a pin or needle, to clean out any crumbs lodged into the heads.

5. Vacuum Under the Gas Range
Finally, lift the stovetop, like you would the hood of a car, and suck up any debris with the brush attachment on your vacuum. Close the lid, and you’re all done.

Keeping your gas range mess-free will ensure cleanliness and safety. Prevent the need for restoration experts after a grease fire by taking the proper maintenance steps. With a clean stove comes peace of mind.