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Preparing Your Team for Severe Weather Situations | SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties

9/19/2023 (Permalink)

Business man holding an umbrella and briefcase with a dark thunderstorm behind him. If your home or business was damaged in a storm, call SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties to get you back in action.

Owning a business is so much more than just providing a service to our community. You are responsible for the daily operations, for the planning for various situations and for keeping your staff safe and happy.

Overcoming regular work-related obstacles and fostering an encouraging environment is something you are used to, but are you preparing for the unexpected in your everyday life? Something like a severe storm or weather emergency could send your staff into a frenzy if they aren’t prepared.

Training and teaching your staff about the different weather situations that could affect them and explaining your emergency response to each can help everyone stay calm and react safely during a true emergency.

Preparing for the Different Risks

We all know that living in the Midwest is quite the experience in terms of weather. We battle through the snowiest and coldest winters, and we hunker down on humid summer days as we watch severe storms and tornadoes roll into town. Because of that, you have to plan for basically every weather scenario!

One example would be to prepare for the risk of flooding, as this could happen as the snow melts in the spring time or any time that heavy rain is forecast. Get the lowest levels of your home ready by removing important documents or fragile things off of the ground, and consider investing in flood insurance for even more security.

Communicating Effectively

Communication is everything nowadays! Thankfully, we are able to connect with one another with a few simple clicks of a mouse or keyboard, which makes it really easy to share information when you need to.

This can include group texts or mass emails about an impending storm, the location of your safe shelter spot or where your nearest emergency kit is located. Any information you can give to your staff will pay off when a true emergency arises.

Planning Your Team’s Response

Once you see a storm or weather situation in the forecast, you have to decide what to do in order to keep everyone safe. You can either evacuate quickly if you have time to get everyone out and home before the weather arises or you can sit tight and wait it out. If you choose to evacuate, your employees need to know how to get out quickly and efficiently. Label your exit points clearly, and go over your evacuation routes during your next training.

If staying put is the safest choice, get your staff to your safe shelter location right away and keep them there for the duration of the storm. Prep this space ahead of time with food, water, an emergency kit and comfort items, and be sure everyone knows how to get to this room without the use of an elevator or escalator.

Practice your team’s response to these different scenarios a few times a year, and you will be ready for any type of weather that comes your way.

Don’t let extreme weather take control! If storms strike your business, SERVPRO® can help you restore your losses.

Preparing Your Property for Storms | SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties

9/19/2023 (Permalink)

Empty parking lot with lots of greenery shown during a heavy downpour of rain. Have you been impacted by the unusual summer storm season? SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties has your back when you experience water damage.

Wind, hail, rain, tornadoes and floods…we see it all here in western Wisconsin. The weather can be perfectly pleasant and sunny one minute and then quickly turn severe the next, so being prepared for anything is crucial.

Being a homeowner is rewarding, but it takes a lot of work to protect it from damage and ensure everything functions smoothly. On top of taking care of everyday maintenance, you also need to take steps to prepare your home for damages that could result due to a severe storm.

At this point in the season, the hot and humid weather can produce sunny days in the morning but then turn into severe thunderstorms in the evening, and we can expect a lot of rain, wind and hail to accompany them.

Prepping the outside of your home is a great place to start! Read on as we offer our storm preparation tips so you can get your own home ready.

Seasonal Tasks

Preparing for storms should be something that happens with the change in season, but these preparation methods can occur alongside your regular work routines.

Keep your trees trimmed, clean your gutters frequently and remove loose yard debris when you are outside doing yard work. Debris can easily be picked up by wind and tossed into your house, and a clogged gutter can quickly lead to water damage. Don’t forget to pull your patio furniture inside and secure down any outdoor equipment.

Another helpful way to avoid storm damage is to check your doors and windows for potential leaking. Keep your caulk lines fresh around your seals and check for deteriorating or rotting wood. Replace missing shingles and watch for gaps around your roofline and gutters.

Home Improvements

While most preparations for storms can be done without having to spend much money, there are steps you can take with a little bit of extra cash to take your preparation to the next level.

Storm shutters can help protect your home and windows from extensive damage. If your home is located in a wooded area or an open field, the wind can either topple trees or really pick up speed. These shutters protect your windows from breaking and from leaking water. Gutter guards are also an easy way to prevent leaf buildup, pine needles and other debris out of your gutters.

If you have a pole shed or outbuilding on your property, adding reinforcements to the bracing or roof of these buildings can help support them when the wind picks up.

Lastly, have two ways to receive weather alerts, including one that doesn’t require power in order to operate. Remember, if you do suffer storm damage, our SERVPRO® team is here 247 to respond to your call for help.

Was your home damaged in a storm? Call us at SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties to start restoration, 247.

Avoid a Grill Fire With These Top Tips | SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties

9/19/2023 (Permalink)

Man holding tongs above grill preparing food outdoors Have you had a barbeque gone wrong? Call SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties to get your space back in shape.

We are so grateful to be enjoying another pleasant summer in the Barron and Rice Lake community. The warm, sunny days can make anyone feel better after the crazy winter we had! Celebrating the season with a classic Midwestern BBQ is one of the best parts about summer time.

Unfortunately, the summer season is also the time of year when grill fires are at their peak. This can make your family get together memorable for a much different reason. Our SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties team wants you to avoid a grill fire at all costs, so read on to learn some great ways to stay safe and fire-free.

Setting Up a Safe Work Space

As the self-appointed grillmaster, you need to ensure your work space is clean and safe. It needs to be fully outside, which means it should not be in your garage or under an overhang. Your grill needs to vent properly to avoid carbon monoxide issues and it should be far away from anything that is combustible above the heat and smoke.

In addition, it should be positioned away from your home, siding and deck railing. A concrete pad or your driveway is a great setup because it will be level and you can see the grill from all angles. You should maintain a 10-foot barrier around your entire grill and enforce this barrier to all kids and pets that attend your event.

Now that you are all set up, check your drum for cracks, dents or other structural issues. Clear away ash buildup and move your vent covers around to make sure they slide easily. If your family has a propane grill, take the extra time to fully inspect the gas lines and connections. A leaky line could pose serious safety risks for your entire family.

The Heat Is On, So Stay Near

Once your food is cooking, don’t go anywhere! A single spark or wandering flame can become a huge blaze in seconds. You should also have a water source close by. A hose is a great option for large flames and a spray bottle can be helpful to knock down sparks or small flare ups.

When the food is done and ready to eat, hand it off to one of your guests to take inside because you still have things to do. If you have a charcoal grill, scatter the coals and close the vents to knock down the fire and cut off the oxygen supply.

Once the ashes have cooled, remove them and store them in a metal can. If you have a propane grill, turn off all burners and disconnect or turn off your propane tank. Before you head inside for the evening, do one last check to make sure everything is cold to the touch.

Happy grilling in Barron County! We hope you have a memorable rest of your summer season, but remember that SERVPRO® is here for you to help you recover from any sort of fire damage.

Don’t let fire damage linger in your home. Call us at SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties for a fast restoration.

Your Home Has Water Damage…Now What? | SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties

9/19/2023 (Permalink)

Pool of water sitting on top of a herringbone patterned wood floor with furniture nearby If you discover water damage in your home or business, call SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties right away.

We rely on water to get us through our everyday lives, and most of the time we don’t even think about it! We use water to wash our clothes, rinse off a dish and to make ice to chill our drinks during a hot summer’s day.

While we certainly need water to help us navigate our days, it can also cause chaos in our homes if it leaks where it shouldn’t. Busted water pipes, broken appliances and even flooded basements when Rice Lake overflows can cause widespread damages.

Preparing for disaster situations can help you avoid extensive damage, but some situations are just downright impossible to avoid. Read on as we explain more about water disasters and how we can help.

The First Steps to Drying Out

The key to controlling water damage is to act quickly. The faster you move, the more damage you can prevent. Locate the source of the leak and get to work drying out the area right away.

If the leak is coming from an appliance or house malfunction, turn off the appropriate valve to stop the flow of water. If the leak is caused by Mother Nature or damage to your roof or foundation, you may just have to wait until the storm or threat has passed if the leak can’t be plugged right away.

If you have standing water in your home, do your best to avoid walking through it. Electrical wires or electricity can make these types of situations dangerous or even deadly.

Once you are safe and you understand the situation, give SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties a call. We are here 247, and we will answer your call whenever you need us.

The Drying and Repair Process

The first phone call often involves a lot of questions so we can fully understand your situation. Try to have someone take some pictures of the damage while you are talking with us. Having fresh images of the damage will help us formulate our recovery plan, and it will be easier to discuss your insurance claim with your agent.

Once we are ready to get to work, we will hop in our trucks and head your way. We will work on getting the water out with our air movers and blowers, and our technicians will focus on locating and fixing the leak. We will also ensure that your home is sanitized and odor-free before we are done.

Our team is trained to handle every part of your restoration from beginning to end. No water damage situation is too large or too destructive for us! We can do everything from minor repairs to extensive reconstructions.

Even just an inch of water can cause widespread damages, so calling SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties is always the best way to avoid long-term issues and potential mold or mildew.

Do you have water damage in your home? Call us for fast and complete restoration.

Helpful Tips for Post-Storm Recovery | SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties

9/19/2023 (Permalink)

Dramatic night shot of a home with visible roof damage from a recently storm and fallen debris Summer storms affecting your property? Call SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties to restore your space in no time!

Thunderstorms can be really intense this time of year. The unusually hot temperatures and high humidity this year in the Barron area has caused strong storms to pop up all over the place so far!

We have seen our fair share of severe storms that have brought high wind and heavy rain. It’s also not too late in the season to experience a tornado. Remember that even when the sky is clear in the morning, it can turn into a dangerous situation in the afternoon, especially when the storms start firing up off to the west and into Minnesota.

Staying safe should always be your priority during a storm situation, so stay connected to local authorities and remain inside until the storm has passed completely. Afterward, follow the steps below while assessing the damage to stay safe.

First Steps After the Storm

Be extremely careful heading outside immediately after a storm passes. We all know that even when one storm cell passes through, another could be brewing on the horizon. Keep an eye on the sky, stay close by your home and be sure your sheltering location is ready to use again at a moment’s notice.

Once the threat has passed, take the time to connect with your family and loved ones, especially those that were not at home during the storm. Send off a quick text if service is spotty in the moment.

You should also take the time to check on your neighbors when you can. Stay out of damaged buildings or homes, but look for access points to help your neighbors get to safety.

If your home has suffered any sort of damage, start taking photos right away. Your insurance company will want them for the claim, and we will use them to help formulate our recovery plan. After that, call SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties!

As The Minutes Pass

Every minute matters when it comes to recovering from storm damage, but you still need to take your time walking about your property. Hazards like loose nails, broken boards or shattered glass could be lurking just out of sight. Walk carefully and take your phone with you just in case.

Do what you can to prevent further damages while you are waiting for us to arrive. Tarping off parts of your roof or boarding up windows can help you avoid further damage if it is still raining or another storm is coming. We will do this more extensively when we arrive, but feel free to take action yourself in the meantime!

Our restoration specialists work directly with your insurance company to make sure your claim is being processed the way it should. We can also help you find alternative housing if you need to live off site for a few days while the repairs are taking place.

We know that suffering storm damage can be overwhelming and scary, but we promise to walk with you every step of the way to ensure your home is cleaned, sanitized, restored and repaired to its preloss condition as quickly as possible.

If a storm leaves your home damaged, contact us for fast recovery. We’re here 247 when you need us.

Understanding the Risk of Intense Rain | SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties

9/19/2023 (Permalink)

image of a large body of water during a rain storm with ripples caused by the heavy downpour Water damage in your home? Not for long with SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties on the case!

These warm and sunny days can certainly feel like a blessing here in the Rice Lake community after the winter we had. However, we are a little lacking in rain this season and our lawns and gardens are certainly feeling it.

While this is certainly not a typical summer when it comes to strong storms, being prepared for anything is crucial. You never know when these humid temperatures will stir up another big storm that heads our way.

Preparing in advance is always a helpful way to avoid serious damages when the rain starts to fall, but sometimes that is just not possible.

Our SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties team wants you to stay dry and safe when the next storm comes to town, so read on to gain some helpful tips for when the rain comes pouring down.

What Rain Can Do

We all know what a heavy rain can do in our community. In addition to overflowing Rice Lake and the other major water sources nearby, it can also have a huge impact on our local businesses. Rain, hail and wind can all come together to create serious situations.

While we cannot predict the severity of some damage situations, we can do our best to prepare as soon as the watches and warnings are issued. Stay close by your weather radio or be tuned in to local authorities to catch any updates.

Preparing Your Family and Home

Flood watches can be issued at any time, even if it is not actively raining. Flooding conditions can be dangerous with even just a few inches of fast-moving water, so head for home if you are out and about and avoid driving on any roads that flood often during storms. When you are home, tidy up your property and tie down anything you don’t want swept away in the water. Furniture, outdoor equipment and even your car should be stored or secured.

If you know your home often floods when it rains or you are located in a flood zone, removing fragile materials and keepsakes from your lowest levels can help protect your belongings. You should also consider turning off electricity to your basement just in case.

Preventing Water Issues in the Future

Mother Nature likes to throw curveballs, so it is impossible to completely prepare for any weather situation. However, with each weather damage situation, you can learn a little something to prevent it from happening again. For example, if you realize that your basement always floods in one certain spot, a professional property grading can help redirect any flowing water away from your foundation.

Another reliable way to stay dry is to invest in a sump pump in your basement. Sump pumps pull excess water out of the ground to keep it from getting into your home. This can be helpful if your property is located in a low-lying area or near a water source.

If you suffer any sort of water damage this season, just know that our water damage restoration team has your back. We will dry up the excess water, tend to repairs and even sanitize your space to prevent mold from growing. Call us right away!

We are here for all of your water disasters. Contact us day or night for a quick recovery.

Safety Tips for Your Fall Bonfires | SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties

9/19/2023 (Permalink)

campfire-style fire pit with flames emerging from the top of the logs on the dark green grass Bonfire season is upon us! SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties has your back with these helpful fire safety tips.

This time of year is always welcome after a hot and humid summer. Fall is here, and that means pumpkin spice, football Sundays and enjoying more time in the crisp outdoor air.

One way to enjoy the changing seasons is by curling up next to your bonfire in the backyard. While that is certainly a cozy way to relax, you always run the risk of starting an out-of-control fire whenever flame is present outside.

Our SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties team explains some easy fire safety tips to follow this fall so that you and your family can enjoy the crackling flames without the risk of starting a large blaze.

Getting Your Fire Lit

Do make sure your location is safe for a bonfire. Permanent pits should already be on level ground far away from your home and any outbuildings, but you can still make sure any debris or log piles are moved out of the way.

Do keep a water source ready for any emergencies or wandering flames. A hose or a bucket full of water can extinguish any flames immediately to get you back in control of your situation. If you are in a remote area or camping and don’t have easy access to water, keep a shovel nearby in case you need to snuff out your flames with dirt or sand.

Do watch the forecast and obey any burn bans. Less-than-ideal conditions like windy days or dry vegetation can spark an unwanted fire in seconds. Know the conditions and choose another day for your fire if necessary.

Tips for Controlling Your Fire

Don’t ever use gas or lighter fluid on a fire to get it going or revive it. These unpredictable substances are flammable but can also cause your fire to get too large or grow too fast to be able to contain.

Don’t let your children play near your fire, especially if they are unattended. Burns can occur in seconds, or a curious child could be poking the fire with a stick that eventually causes the fire to catch and spread beyond the pit.

Don’t let your fire get too large to control. Small fires are more easily managed as they can be manipulated or extinguished almost immediately. Keep your flames small so that you can stay in control.

Don’t head inside for the night until your fire and embers are completely out. Pour water all over the logs and ashes until everything is cold. Do one final check before turning in for the night.

The Dangers of Wildfires

Mother Nature can cause all kinds of dangerous situations that can spark wildfires, but unfortunately, most wildfires are caused by human error or negligence. Reduce your risk by always maintaining control of your flames and by staying close by to handle emergencies quickly.

We know that fire is unpredictable, which is why we are here 247 to respond to your fire emergency. Call us and we will be there to help restore your home right away.

If your home or property is ever damaged by a fire, SERVPRO® is "Here to Help." Call us right away for fast and efficient restoration.

Fire can cause a lot of damage in a short amount of time. Contact us day or night for immediate assistance.

Take the Fear Out of Fire Safety | SERVPRO® of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties

6/10/2023 (Permalink)

img src =”fire” alt = " young boy staring at a lit match being held between his fingers” > SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties is here for you and your family if you experience a fire in your home or business.

If you have little kids in your home, you know how rewarding it can be to raise them up and teach them about the world. But you also know how much work it is to get it right!

While you are busy doing your best to teach them about the world and all that comes with it, it can be hard to do so without overwhelming them or scaring your little ones with the risks of daily life.

Understanding fire and fire safety practices are incredibly important for every member of your house. Whether you are 65 or 5, knowing where to go in an emergency and how to prevent a fire is crucial.

In order to increase your child’s chances of responding quickly and accurately during an emergency, you should introduce fire-safe concepts in a relaxed and encouraging environment.

<h3fire-dangers">Introducing Fire Dangers

For kids, every experience and concept is new and exciting! It can be hard to explain the consequences of fire to a little one who doesn’t really even know what fire is. In order to do this, have a conversation about the different places around your home that can produce flame, like your stove, bonfire or candles. Discuss how fire starts and what can catch on fire throughout your home.

You should also make sure to teach your children that matches and lighters are never to be played with and should only be a tool for the adults in the household. A devastating house fire can start with a curious child and a single match.

<h3your-local-fire-department">Meet Your Local Fire Department

While many kids say they want to be a police officer or firefighter when they grow up, they can easily become intimidated when an authority figure is dressed in uniform in front of them. Try to expose your child to images of these friendly heroes often through books, TV or real-life experiences. Take advantage of any open houses or meet-and-greet events so your kids can form positive experiences with these men and women.

This can help reinforce the idea that these people are only here to help in an emergency situation. Explain to them what a firefighter’s job duties are and to trust these heroes to help get you to safety. You should also encourage your children to be comfortable shouting their names or for help. Practice being as loud as you can together as you army crawl to safety!

<h3an-exit-strategy">Creating an Exit Strategy

If you haven’t created your emergency exit plan yet, you should do so right away. You can even make it a game if your children are sensitive or anxious about it! Encourage them to find the fastest ways out of every room in your home and make a map together with their findings.

In addition, you should teach your children how to open the windows in your home for a true emergency situation. This information can save their lives, but it is also dangerous knowledge for a curious child. Teach them that using the windows is only a last resort and should never be played with.

Finally, choose your outdoor meeting location together. Once you have your plan, practice it as a family at least twice a year, and ensure your children know how to call 911 from a cellphone or neighbor’s phone.

Fires can cause widespread damage. Call us for a thorough and efficient restoration.

The Wind Factor in Northwestern Wisconsin | SERVPRO® of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties

6/5/2023 (Permalink)

img src =”storm” alt = "dense forest area with trees bending due to intense wind and rain ” > If you've suffered from storm-related damage to your home or business, make SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties your first call.

Wind is a fascinating weather phenomenon. It can feel like a lifesaver on a hot summer’s day, or it can be strong enough to have you running for shelter when it accompanies any sort of storm.

Wind damage can occur in many different scenarios, and all can be troublesome for your home and property. It doesn’t even have to be stormy out for the wind to blow fast enough to cause damage.

Learning more about wind and how the different types affect your home can help you take action quickly to keep your property and family safe.

<h3forms-of-wind">Different Forms of Wind

Most wind damage occurs from thunderstorms and tornadoes. Wind damage is almost a guarantee if you are in the path of a tornado, so don’t ignore any sort of severe weather warning.

The wind accompanying a thunderstorm can easily reach up to 60 miles per hour. That speed can turn yard debris, outdoor toys, furniture and lawn equipment into dangerous flying objects.

Straight-line winds have no rotation in them and occur in single bursts of pure energy. They can easily reach 100 miles per hour and cause widespread damage. We seem to experience at least one strong summer storm a year that produces straight-line winds that cause property damage and downed power lines.

We also are vulnerable to tornadoes in the summer and early fall seasons. The wind present in a tornado can appear as strong downdrafts, straight-line winds, and micro- or macro-bursts. When a tornado touches down, seek shelter immediately.

<h3your-risk-for-wind-damage">Reducing Your Risk for Wind Damage

Wind has the power to knock down trees, overturn cars and take out the power lines responsible for the energy we all need in our homes. When a wind alert is issued, you should take action quickly to prevent damage to your property and to keep your family safe.

Tie down loose furniture or other outdoor equipment and move things indoors if possible to remove the hazard completely. In addition, you should be regularly trimming your trees and keeping your yard tidy.

Your main priority should be your family’s safety during a severe weather event, so don’t go outside, and avoid any exterior rooms until the threat has passed.

Once you are sure that the storm has died down and the wind is gone, do a survey of your house to check for damage. If your home or roof suffers damage, SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties is here for you. We will work hard to repair your home quickly and efficiently.

Has your home been damaged by wind? Call us and get things cleaned up fast.

Pinpointing Vulnerable Water Damage Spaces | SERVPRO® of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties

5/9/2023 (Permalink)

 img src =”bucket” alt = " blue bucket in the middle of the living area catching water falling from the ceiling ” > Think you may have water damage in your home? Here are some tips from SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Risk Counties to find the source.

Water damage is one home damage situation that can cause chaos without much warning. It can either happen in one major and obvious incident, or it can happen slowly over a long period of time. Both situations can be overwhelming and frustrating to deal with.

The best thing you can do for yourself and for your home is to know where to look for potential water damage. This can help you identify problems in your Rice Lake home before it is too late.

We highlight some of the most common areas for water damage below, so read on to learn more.

The roof. Santa is not the only person that should be on your roof! You should be inspecting your roof often for signs of damage or leaks along your roofline. Even a tiny leak could be problematic over time.

The longer you wait to address potential damage or a gap in your roofline, the more time the water has to infiltrate into other areas of your home.

Once water has entered the rest of your home, it can drip and seep into virtually every aspect of your home’s structure. It can soak walls, floors, ceilings and even the beams along your attic. If this happens, it not only becomes a structural issue, but it can also encourage mold to grow.

Bathroom spaces. This location is probably the most obvious one in your home. Our toilets, showers, bathtubs and sinks constantly are being used on a daily basis, and that makes it one of the most common places to suffer water damage.

If you notice any sort of dripping or leaking happening from a pipe or water line, check it out. It could be the beginnings of an issue or it could have been happening for a while and now you are just noticing it. It is also helpful to reduce the moisture levels in your bathroom.

Try to inspect your plumbing lines often as well. A simple inspection can help alert you to a developing problem, so you very well may stop a water leak before it even begins.

Your home appliances. Most homes have at least one appliance that relies on water to function. Dishwashers, fridges and washing machines all have the ability to leak or malfunction, leaving you with a puddle of water on the floor and a family full of frustration.

It can be particularly hard to notice water leaks when they come from our appliances because most of them are really heavy and we don’t pull them away from the wall often. If you suspect a leak or see water on the floor, it’s time to move them and check behind and around them for water damage.

Lastly, don’t let your appliances become outdated. There’s nothing worse than an unreliable dishwasher or washing machine! By keeping your appliances newer, you are reducing your risk of experiencing a malfunction or water leak every day.

Remember, if you do ever experience water damage, SERVPRO of Barron, Dunn & Rusk Counties is here to help you fully recover.

Dealing with a water emergency? Our SERVPRO specialists can be on the scene of the disaster ASAP to restore your water-damaged home!