Sump Pump Maintenance Checklist for Ozaukee County Homeowners
Maintaining your sump pump could potentially save thousands in water damage.
When was the last time you maintained your sump pump? Here are some tips to show your sump pump some love and keep your basement dry.
- Make sure your sump pump is totally upright. Your sump pump should be sitting on solid, even ground. Any sort of leaning can shift the water in the pump’s pit and put unnecessary pressure on its components.
- Open it up. Take the cover off the sump pump pit or basin and have a look inside. Clear any debris, mud or rocks that you find, as any foreign items can clog your sump pump and cause an overflow.
- Double-check the drain hose. Check to make sure the drain hose is connected, and that it’s not blocked or frozen. A clogged drain hose can cause your sump pump to run continuously, as it won’t be able to dispose of the water that’s filled its pit.
- Clear out the inlet screen. Make sure the inlet screen is allowing water to enter your sump pump’s pit. If your inlet screen is blocked, water won’t be able to make its way into the sump pump’s pit and could lead to a basement flood.
- Keep it afloat. Your sump pump’s float controls when it will turn on and pump excess water out. Make sure the float component can move freely and isn’t blocked. A malfunctioning float can cause your pump to not run when it’s supposed to, or run constantly, eventually burning out your pump’s engine.
- Make sure it’s flowing away from your house. The next time you hear your sump pump running, go outside and make sure its discharge pipe is pumping the water away from your home at a safe distance. If it’s too close, the water could seep back into your pump, causing your pump to run continuously and inefficiently. The more your sump pump runs, the more likely it is to burn out early in its life span. While you don’t want your discharge pipe too close to your house, shed, garage or other structure, make sure it does stay on your property. You’ll have some unhappy neighbors if your sump pump is pushing your excess water onto their lot.
- Give your sump pump a test run. Fill the pit with a bucket of water to turn your pump on. Watch it carefully to see if it’s getting rid of the water, then check the discharge pipe outside to make sure it’s disposed of properly. If the pump doesn’t run, make sure it’s plugged in and its power cord is in working order.
- Plan for the unexpected. Having a backup battery or generator can be crucial if a strong rain storm comes complete with a power outage. And eventually, your sump pump may give out without the help of a power outage. To avoid the stress of trying to buy and install a new sump pump while the water seeps closer and closer to your basement, have a backup sump pump handy — and be sure to test it regularly, too.
- Call a professional. You’ve checked the power cords, discharge pipe, inlet screen and every other piece of the pump, but still can’t figure out what’s wrong. It’s time to call a professional! Risking your basement and everything else in it isn’t worth maintaining your pride as a handyman or woman — get it fixed and fast!
If worse comes to worst, and you do have a backup and need assistance with damage from water or sewage, call SERVPRO of Ozaukee County for 24/7 help at (262) 242-8888.
Fire Restoration 101: Safety First
House fires have many sources. This one was caused in a kitchen by a dishwasher malfunction.
After your fire has been put out you may be left with the question, “What should I do next?” SERVPRO of Ozaukee County can help. We will walk you through your next steps. Safety is our number one concern until help arrives, so here are some basic do’s and don'ts:
- Hire a reputable, insured company to board up your home or business to secure it from the elements, animals, and vandals.
- Limit the movement of damaged areas
- Keep your hands clean . Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork
- If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
- Do Not touch contaminated surfaces
- Do Not attempt to clean walls, carpet, contents, or other contaminated surfaces
- Do Not use food, cosmetics or mediations exposed to soot.
- Do Not send clothing to ordinary cleaner; improper cleaning may set odors
No one wants to experience a fire in their home or business. If you experience this and need help, please give us a call at 262-242-8888. SERVPRO of Ozaukee County has the expertise and experience to assist you in the cleanup and restoration of your property. We are here to help 24/7 with the board up and securing your property.
Flood Insurance and Water Backup Coverage: What’s the Difference?
Water in your basement? The professionals at SERVPRO of Ozaukee County are here to help!
Spring and Summer in Ozaukee County is a happy time for so many home and business owners who are ready for warmer weather, and sunshine! We Midwesterners look forward to that first day on or in the water. So what happens when that water we love so much finds its way into our basements? How can property owners recover losses to their property from flood waters?
Water/Sewer Backup Coverage
Most homeowners insurance policies come with an optional endorsement for water backup and sump discharge/overflow which will cover losses, up to a certain limit, caused by the backup of water or waterborne materials through a sewer or through a drain. It will also cover water or waterborne material that overflows from a sump, even if the backup of water is due to the mechanical breakdown of the sump pump. Coverage includes damage to property but excludes the sump pump and any related equipment that has broken down. Contact your insurance professional for more information about this coverage and its limits.
The endorsement does not cover damages caused by a flood. A separate flood insurance policy needs to be obtained to cover losses due to flooding.
What is a flood? The dictionary defines “flood” as rising and overflowing of water onto normally dry land. For the purpose of insurance, “rising” is the key to distinguish flood damage from water damage. Basically damage that has occurred from water that has been on the ground at some point before causing damage to your home is considered flood damage, and would not be covered by your homeowners insurance policy.
Flooding can happen anywhere; even if your home is not in a flood plain. Flood insurance is available to all homeowners who live in a participating community, which must enforce floodplain ordinances and building requirements that meet or exceed FEMA guidelines. If your community does not participate in the NFIP, you can make a request for it to do so through your mayor, city council or county commissioner’s office. Contact your insurance professional for more information about this coverage and its limits.
In the event you do sustain property damage from any type of flooding, SERVPRO of Ozaukee County is here to help. We are available 24/7/365 at 262-242-8888 for your emergencies.
Fire Restoration 101: Pretesting
After a fire why is pretesting so important?
At SERVPRO of Ozaukee County, fire damage professionals use pretesting to determine the scope of the loss, type of fire loss, and the method of cleaning for areas that have been affected. This process also helps determine what items are restorable or repairable vs. those items that will need to be replaced.
Factors determined by pretesting:
- Cleaning Method
- Condition of Surface
- Level of Soil
- Type of Soil
- Pre-Existing Conditions
Pretesting helps to ensure our customers are back into their home as soon as possible, within a realistically accurate time estimate. For help 24/7/365, call on the professionals at SERVPRO of Ozaukee County today at 262-242-8888 for a no cost assessment of your unique situation. We are here to help.
Tornado Warning vs. Tornado Watch in Ozaukee County
The United States experiences an average of 1,000 or more tornadoes every year. Out of those, roughly 20 are expected to be violent.
What’s the difference between a tornado warning and a tornado watch?
Both tornado watches and tornado warnings are issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)/ National Weather Service. However, there are critical differences between the two alerts.
Conditions are favorable for tornadoes to develop. Be alert to changes in the weather, account for all family members, and listen to local radio and TV stations for updated storm information. Move cars inside and keep car and house keys with you. If time permits, move lawn furniture and equipment inside to minimize flying debris. If a tornado siren sounds, stay inside and take cover.
A tornado has actually been spotted or is indicated on weather radar in your area. This means danger is imminent and you may only have seconds to take cover.
In the event that your home or business sustains damage caused by the high winds of a tornado, SERVPRO of Ozaukee County can help! 24/7/365 emergency service is available for board up, tarp up, and water mitigation.
When Disaster Strikes, Customers Can Count on a Best in Class Brand
SERVPRO ranks #1 in the Cleaning and Restoration category for the 19th consecutive year.
SERVPRO of Ozaukee County is proud to announce that SERVPRO has been recognized again as one of the best overall franchise opportunities by Entrepreneur magazine’s 2022 Franchise 500, the industry’s most comprehensive franchise ranking. Evaluated on categories such as growth, financial strength and stability, and brand power, SERVPRO was named the #8 overall franchise system, and #1 in the cleaning and restoration industry for the 19th consecutive year.
“SERVPRO is built on the foundation of outstanding customer service, industry-leading training and the success of following a proven system,” said SERVPRO CEO Rick Isaacson. “On behalf of the more than 1,900 SERVPRO franchises across the U.S. and Canada, we are honored by this recognition.
“The SERVPRO brand and its franchisees share a strong partnership, working together to set and achieve goals which have allowed us to grow each year for more than half a century despite the challenges many businesses have faced, especially over the past 18-24 months.”
“The past year has been one of the most challenging for businesses in recent memory, which made putting together our 43rd annual Franchise 500 list more enlightening than ever,” said Entrepreneur Editor in Chief Jason Feifer. “The companies named to this year’s list showed us how being resilient, supportive and nimble can help navigate extraordinary challenges and also underscore the grit and innovation that define entrepreneurship.”
SERVPRO franchise owners pride themselves on being “ready for whatever happens,” Isaacson said, which helped the company jump two spots from its #10 ranking in 2021.
“Our franchisees have a ‘never say no’ mentality, working together with other owners to make sure we are able to satisfy all of our customers’ and clients’ cleanup, remediation and restoration needs, which allows us to ‘Keep it Green,’ as we like to say.
“We pride ourselves on rushing in when others are running out – whether that is in response to a natural disaster such as a hurricane, flood or tornado; cleaning up after a home or business water or fire loss; or helping clean and sanitize spaces from unseen threats like COVID-19. Maintaining our position for nearly 20 years as the best franchise in our category on the Entrepreneur Franchise 500 list validates our long-standing strategy for growing our brand: invest in franchisee training and support and commit resources to continually improving our infrastructure.”
SERVPRO of Ozaukee County is available to assist with damage of any severity 24/7 in your home or business. Give us a call for help at 262-242-8888.
Source: SERVPRO Industries, LLC
Types of Commercial Sprinkler Systems
Choosing the right sprinkler system for your facility can save thousands of dollars in damage should you sustain a fire loss.
Commercial fire sprinkler systems are designed to expel water until they are shut down manually. Choosing the appropriate system for your property and occupancy can mitigate possible water damage.
Wet Pipe System
- Pipes are filled with water
- Heat from a fire triggers the system and opens the sprinklers closest to the fire
- Usually, only one or two sprinklers open
Dry Pipe System
For areas with below freezing temperatures
- Pipes are filled with pressurized air or gas used to hold water back in a heated space.
- Heat from a fire opens the sprinklers closest to the fire
- Air escapes and the dry pipe valve opens to allow water flow
- Usually, more sprinklers open than with a wet pipe system
For use in hazardous environments prone to fast-spreading fires
- Pipes are not filled with water or gas
- All sprinklers stay open
- A signal from a fire detection device opens the deluge valve
- Water will flow from all sprinklers
For areas where concerns or water or fire damage to property are high
- Pipes are filled with pressurized air or gas
- Loss of air or gas pressure summons maintenance
- A signal from a fire detection device opens the pre-action valve, filling the pipes with water
- Because sprinkler heads are closed, heat from a fire opens the sprinklers closest to the fire
- Usually only one or two sprinklers open (similar to the wet pipe system). However, ”double interlock” pre-action systems use more air or gas pressure in the pipes, delaying the water delivery and allowing more sprinklers to open at a time (similar to dry pipe systems)
In the event that your business or building sustains damage from water or fire, SERVPRO of Ozaukee County is Here to Help. We have the advanced expertise and technology to minimize loss of use in your facility. Call us for your emergencies 24/7/365 at 262-242-8888.
Ejector Pump Vs Sump Pump: What's the Difference?
SERVPRO of Ozaukee County is here to help take the stress out of water damage clean up. We are available 24/7/365.
Most homes are built so gravity can transport waste to the sewer system. For this to be possible, the home must be higher than the sewer pipes so the waste can drain properly. Sometimes, however, this isn’t possible because of a home’s location or because of plumbing in the basement that reaches deeper than the main sewer lines. In these instances, an ejector pump, sometimes called a sewage pump, is used to force sewage out of the home’s plumbing.
One of the biggest differences between an ejector pump and a sump pump is that an ejector pump has the ability to move solid waste with water pressure. The ejector pump breaks up solid waste to force it farther down the line and out to the main sewer. Without an ejector pump, basement bathrooms and any plumbing below the main sewer level would be unable to clear waste. The result would be sewage backing up into the home.
A sump pump provides a different function than an ejector pump. Sump pumps do not deal with waste or sewage at all. Instead, a sump pump sits in a pit beneath your home. This pit is drainage for excess water that builds up during rainstorms, snowmelt, or flooding of any sort. When excess water accumulates in your sump pit, the sump pump expels the water out through pipes that drain to an exterior location far enough from your home to not cause any issues or backflow. Without a sump pump, basements could be flooded every time it rains. A sump pump ensures that you keep a dry home, even when torrential storms rage outside.
Sump pumps are mostly found in wet climates or where basements are prevalent. They are less common in dry areas or where basements are not popular.
Sump pumps cannot be joined to a sewer line. Instead, they must drain outside. Sump pumps also cannot handle debris. They generally have a screen or grate on the intake so the pump doesn’t suck up anything that could damage and ruin the pump. Sump pumps are meant to transport water only.
While each of these is important in its own right, ejector pumps and sump pumps are different tools that perform very different jobs. Ejector pumps push waste and sewage uphill to remove it from plumbing that’s below the main sewer level. Sump pumps stop your basement from flooding by evacuating water that accumulates from natural sources. If you require one of these pumps but don’t have it, the results could be disastrous.
In the event you do sustain damage from a failed ejector pump or sump pump, SERVPRO of Ozaukee County is here to help 24/7/365. Give us a call at 262-242-8888 for a no-cost assessment of your water damage situation.
Fire Restoration 101: Types of Soot
Soot webs caused by wet soot formed during a house fire.
There are two different types of soot: wet and dry. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Ozaukee County will test the soot to determine which type of damage occurred. The cleaning procedure we use will then be based on the information identified during pretesting.
Wet Soot - Plastic and Rubber
- Low Heat,
smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Creates smoke webs that are more difficult to clean.
- Example: plastics, synthetics, household fires
Dry Soot - Paper and Wood
- Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.
- Example: organic materials, wildfires
Protein Soot - Food products
- Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
- Example: grease or food, kitchen fires
A fire is one of the most devastating events a home or business owner can encounter. Each smoke and fire damage situation is different, and each requires a unique solution for the specific situation. SERVPRO of Ozaukee County has the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore fire and smoke damage. It is our number one priority to treat your family with respect and your property with care.
Call SERVPRO of Ozaukee County today at 262-242-8888 for a free inspection to assess your unique situation.
Being Prepared in Ozaukee County: Pack a Severe Weather Emergency Kit
The United States ranks highest as the country with the most tornadoes. Canada places second.
Despite the fact that meteorologists are now better able to predict them, tornadoes can strike with little warning. Therefore, it’s best to be prepared well before a tornado approaches. One way to be prepared is to compile an emergency kit. Here are some suggested items:
Have a purification kit and enough water to last 72 hours
Plan enough food to last 72 hours, plasticware, and some means of preparation
First Aid Kit
Include supplies to treat minor wounds and keep larger wounds under control
Pain relievers, anti-inflammatory medication, and prescriptions
Boots, jackets, pants, and warm clothing
Don’t forget the batteries!
Blankets and Pillows
Protect your head, neck, and body from falling debris with a heavy blanket and fluffy pillow
Sanitation and hygiene is extremely important! Include some wet wipes
Remember to pack any necessary supplies for your babies, kids, elderly parents, or pets, if applicable
NOAA Weather Radio
Stay updated with the current conditions. Download the app too!
Make sure to keep all of your important documents in a sealed waterproof container away from an area that can flood
Things to Do
Books, crosswords, games, and other items to keep yourself and loved ones occupied while waiting out the storm.
When the storm is over, if you find that you have property damage, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Ozaukee County right away for help. We have crews available 24/7 for tarp up and board up as well as water mitigation services.