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Fire vs. Smoke Damage

12/4/2022 (Permalink)

Soot damage caused by severe fire in a home Call SERVPRO of Woodbury, Cottage Grove if you have soot damage.

Fire vs. Smoke Damage

You've just been through a fire. You're standing in the rubble that was once your Cottage Grove, MN home, and you're thinking "Is it smoke damage or fire damage?" It's natural to be confused. After all, both fire and smoke damage can ruin your property and make it unsafe to live in. But don't worry—we'll clear this up for you! In this article, we'll tell you what the difference is between smoke and fire damage so that when disaster strikes, you know exactly what needs cleaning up (and what doesn't).

Smoke and Fire Damage Sources

The difference between fire damage and smoke damage is that smoke damage results from the products of combustion. Fire damage is caused by the actual flames, while smoke can be produced without a flame present. The only requirement for smoke to be created is that there are hot embers or radiant heat sources (like open flames) available. This means that even if there's no fire if the right conditions exist in your home or building then you could still experience smoke damage.

Smoke vs. Soot

There is a difference between soot and smoke, even though they are sometimes used interchangeably or together. Both smoke and soot are products of combustion or the burning of fuel. The difference lies in how each forms:

  • Soot is a solid particle that comes from the incomplete combustion of gas or coal. It's usually black (or sometimes white) and looks like ash. It can be removed from your home using a vacuum cleaner or by wiping surfaces with wet cloths.
  • Smoke consists of tiny particles suspended in air; it contains both gases and solids, including carbon dioxide, water vapor, soot, ash, metals and organic compounds such as phenols produced by incomplete carbonization at high temperatures. Because it contains all these different things—both solids (ash) and gases (water vapor)—smoke requires professional cleaning because no device can remove everything at once—you'll need more than just one tool!

Getting Rid of Smoke or Fire Damage

If you have smoke or fire damage, it's important to contact a professional restoration company. The experts can help you remove any soot and debris from your home, as well as any smoke damage that may be present.

If the fire is still burning, it's important not to go into the area. A professional will be able to use specialized tools to extinguish a fire before beginning work on cleanup and restoration in your home or business.

Fire, smoke, and soot damage are not the same thing. While they can all be caused by a fire or smoke event, they each have their own unique causes and effects. Knowing the difference between them will help you better understand how to prevent it from happening in your home or business.

If your home or business is impacted by fire, smoke, and/or soot, give SERVPRO of Woodbury, Cottage Grove a call today!

How To Fix a Flooded Basement?

11/1/2022 (Permalink)

Basement clean up after being flooded Basement cleanup after a flood

Help! My Basement is Flooded!

A bad storm can cause a lot of damage to your Woodbury, MN house. Water damage is one of the most common causes of home loss and can be very expensive to fix. If water from heavy rains or flooding enters your basement, there are several things that you can do in order to repair that damage quickly and easily.

1. Remove the Water

To begin recovering from a flooded basement, you'll have to remove as much water as possible. The first step is to get a sump pump and start running it. If you don't have one of these, there are other options—you can use a wet/dry vacuum or just mop up the floor with towels and lay down fans to dry out the area more quickly.

Once the water has been removed (or at least reduced), open doors and windows so that air can circulate through the space. This will help prevent mold growth in your basement which could cause health problems for both people living there and those who visit often!

2. Clean Up the Property

The next step is to clean up the property. This will also help you prevent mold growth and other problems, as well as make it more livable again.

You should also call a basement flooding expert for help with this task. The cleanup involves removing any damaged furniture or items in the affected area, cleaning walls and floors (with an eye toward getting rid of mold), drying out any wet areas and making sure they’re sealed off from moisture, putting away all belongings that were moved out of harm’s way during the flood event, clearing up excess water that's been pumped out or drained into buckets (and then disposing of it properly), removing any standing water in your yard or driveway if there was enough rain involved—and then sealing off punctures made by roots so they don't leak again.

3. Call a Basement Flooding Expert

Your first instinct might be to do it yourself and save some money, but there are several reasons why you should get an expert involved. First off, they're going to know exactly what's wrong with your basement and can help make sure the problem doesn't happen again in the future. They'll also have access to all of the tools that are required for making repairs, which means you won't have to worry about renting them yourself or running out of space in your tool shed if you try installing one yourself. In addition, many professionals offer warranties on their work so that it's unlikely anything will go wrong after they've completed their job for you!

Finally, it should be noted that hiring a professional is not always cheaper than doing repairs on your own—if someone isn't familiar with what needs fixing and how long it will take them (or even worse: if they don't know how much work needs doing at all), then this could end up costing more than actually having experienced professional take care of things right away. So don't let fear keep you from hiring someone who knows what they're doing--get peace of mind by calling SERVPRO of Woodbury, Cottage Grove today.

Preventing future basement floods will save you from the headaches of cleaning up after a flood. One way to do that is by installing a sump pump and drain tiles around the foundation of your home.

Once you've made sure everything is working properly, make sure that the battery backup for your sump pump is charged. Additionally, it's important that you keep an eye on how much water goes through your pipes each month and make changes if necessary so that they're not overflowing into the basement again.

Now that we’ve covered the basics of how to fix a flooded basement in your Woodbury, MN home, it’s time for you to get started. The most important thing to remember is that prevention is better than cure, so if you want to avoid all the hassle and expense of dealing with floods in the future then please take note of this article. We've looked at some solutions for how to fix a flooded basement. Give SERVPRO a call for your local water damage restoration experts!

What can expect after a partial loss?

10/9/2022 (Permalink)

Fire damaged kitchen Fire damage in a Cottage Grove, MN kitchen home

What can be expected following a partial loss?

It's one thing to have a fire in your Cottage Grove, MN home. It's another to have a partial loss that damages some of your property without taking everything. It can be challenging to get back on track after an event like this, but there are steps you can take to mitigate the damage and make sure things don't get worse than they already are. Here's what you should know about dealing with a partial loss:


If your furniture was damaged, there are a few things to consider. First, determine if any of your furniture is covered by insurance. If yes, then you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that it will be restored or replaced. However, if no or part of it isn't covered by homeowner's insurance (usually anything over $10K), then you'll need to decide whether or not to get rid of the damaged items and purchase new ones instead. 

Some furniture can be restored; others cannot—and this includes antiques and more expensive pieces such as sofas and armchairs. The best way to know for sure is by contacting an appraiser who specializes in antique restoration work; however, here are some general guidelines:


The floor is a big part of the home and can be damaged by smoke, fire, or water. It may need to be cleaned and disinfected after a partial loss. If the flooring is not damaged, it can be left as is.

If you have any concerns about having your floors cleaned after a partial loss, contact us where we have years of experience cleaning up after fire and smoke damage.

Fire restoration can be a long process.

The process of fire restoration can be long, and it can be stressful to watch your home go through the process. In addition to being expensive, you may not know what to expect from this type of loss or how much time it will take for your home to be restored.

First, you should know that there are two types of fire restoration: partial and full. A partial loss means that only part of your home was destroyed by smoke damage, while a full loss means that everything in the house has been damaged by heat and smoke. If you have experienced a partial loss, then call an expert who specializes in this type of loss so they can help determine how much work needs done before moving forward with repairs or rebuilding plans (if necessary).

While the process of fire restoration can be long and complex, it’s important to remember that your home is worth it. You don't have to deal with this alone—we are here for you every step of the way. Give your local SERVPRO a call or contact us online today!

Can SERVPRO Offer Reliable Water Removal Services in Newport?

8/25/2022 (Permalink)

Burst Pipe When a burst pipe happens in your church, SERVPRO is the company you contact. Our team is standing by 24/7 for your emergency call.

How the SERVPRO Team Restores A Water Damaged Church in Newport

A burst pipe or a leaking roof in your local church may lead to the need for water removal services in Newport, MN. If such incidents happen in a church that does not run regular activities, it may take a few days before they are noticed. To ensure that normal worship procedures do not come to an unprecedented halt, you need to work with a reputable restoration firm like SERVPRO.

What Newport Residents Should Expert from SERVPRO during the Water Damage Restoration Process

Our SERVPRO technicians start by doing a walk-through to inspect the extent of the water damage in your Newport church. It is when we check if the water has affected church electronics, soaked carpets at the auditorium, and whether it has affected the pews. If the benches are immersed in water for a long time, they may start to warp, and padded pews may provide conducive conditions for mold growth. Expect our team to do the following restoration process:

  • Fix the burst pipes or leaking roof to stop the water
  • We may advise you to reupholster soaked pews to prevent mold growth
  • Pump water out of the church and install fans and dehumidifiers to enhance dying
  • Clean contents and return them to their original positions

SERVPRO of Woodbury, Cottage Grove, uses advanced cleaning and restoration equipment when responding to all emergencies. Call (651) 314-4631 at any time of the day to have your emergency fixed.

How To Make Sure a Sump Pump Works

8/23/2022 (Permalink)

Sump pump Give maintenance to your Sump pumps

How to Check a Sump Pump's Operation

Homeowners should regularly test sump pumps to make sure that this flood-prevention equipment is operational. Pump maintenance can reduce the frequency of sump pump repair or replacement. Find out how to prevent flooding by testing and maintaining a pump.

Periodically Test the Pump

It is not difficult to determine whether a pump is functioning properly. Take the following measures:

• Fill a bucket with water
• Dump the water into the basin and see if the pump activates
• Check the float and power source if water does not drain

A homeowner should test a pump several times a year, particularly before storms with heavy rain. Depending on the condition of the pump, maintenance or repairs may be necessary.

Maintain the Pump

Several pump maintenance methods can prolong the operational life of a sump pump. A homeowner can ensure that a pump will work properly by taking these steps:

• Clear debris from the grate, intake screen, pit, discharge pipe and vent hole
• Make sure the float functions
• Check the power cord condition
• Replace the backup battery every two to three years

Accumulated debris can put unnecessary stress on pump machinery and cause mechanisms to wear out faster. A pump should have backup power and may also have an alarm.

Provide Backup Power and Set Up Alarms

Plug a pump into a ground fault circuit interrupter or GFCI outlet. Backup power sources include a battery, car battery, deep cycle boat battery or a generator. Many pumps have battery-powered alarms triggered by high water levels. Homeowners can customize alarms, and some newer pump models send cell phone alerts.

All of these measures can ensure that a pump will function when water levels rise in a basement trap or floor drain. If a sump pump fails and results in a basement flood at a residence in Woodbury, MN, the homeowner should arrange for damage mitigation and restoration.

Does Minor Fire Damage in Woodbury Need Professional Cleanup?

8/11/2022 (Permalink)

Man inside a kitchen with a lot of smoke Yes, even minor fire damage needs attention from a professional team. Call SERVPRO of Woodbury, Cottage Grove today.

SERVPRO Provides Expert Fire Damage Restoration That Uncovers Hidden Problems in Woodbury Homes

Fires do not always destroy a home. One of the most frequent reasons for household fires is kitchen fires. These are often quickly contained. It may seem cost-effective to clean up yourself, but the best option is professional help.

Why Shouldn’t Homeowners Tackle the Fire Cleanup?

Many of the issues that come with fire damage are not readily seen. Our professional fire and smoke restoration technicians (FSRT) provide fire damage restoration in Woodbury, MN  that traces smoke and soot residue and removes it. Our techs look for things like:

  • Damage that is apparent – obvious and easily assessed
  • Secondary damage – this is not as easy to detect. 
  • Fire residue – this can spread throughout the entire house.
  • Water damage – can happen from firefighting efforts.

Fire Damaged Homes Count on SERVPRO

Restoring homes after a fire calls for immediate fire mitigation. Our IICRC-certified teams know exactly what to do to return your home to preloss condition whenever possible. Homeowners can trust that the procedures taken are precisely what is needed for their fire and smoke damage. We take care of the problem by:

  • Providing water removal if needed.
  • Using specialized techniques and equipment to remove smoke and soot.
  • Examining the HVAC system to determine if smoke has circulated.
  • Assessing the type of fire residue and using the appropriate cleaning methods.
  • Using air scrubbers and foggers to deodorize.
  • Clean, sanitize, and disinfect all items and structures that can be restored.
  • Completing the final steps in restoration.

Contact SERVPRO, we can expertly handle all your fire damage restoration needs.

Common Plumbing Issues

7/21/2022 (Permalink)

Leaking pipe Leaking pipes can also cause severe water damage

Common Plumbing Problems

Water waste issues in a Newport, MN, building can stem from a simple problem such as a clogged toilet to a more complicated concern such as a burst water main. Regardless of the dilemma, it's essential to understand the most common issues so you can take the appropriate steps to quickly address the problem with the least amount of damage incurred. Learn more about the most common plumbing problems to look out for in your building. 

Plumbing Clogs

A clogged drain is one of the most common problems. Slow drains and stoppages need to be fixed. Flooding and the sewage backup can happen with a chronically clogged toilet. Other causes of clogs and slow drains include: 

  • Hair 
  • Waste 
  • Paper 
  • Minerals
  • Dirt
  • Grease
  • Objects 
  • Build-up

Pipe Leaks

Keep your eyes peeled for pipe leaks, as they could be costing you a significant amount of money. It is imperative to identify and fix your leak to prevent this from recurring. Leaking pipes can also cause severe water damage, so seeking a permanent solution will prevent you from spending too much on repairs.

Faucet Drips

The most common reason for drips in sinks is faulty or worn-out parts, including washers, gaskets, and O-rings. A corroded pipe inside the sink can also lead to a leak. If the leak is severe enough to damage your property, you might need a specialist in Newport, MN, to help with water damage restoration. 

Toilet Runs

In many cases, the problem with a running toilet is a stuck flapper or O-ring. When one of these components becomes worn or damaged, clean water can easily run out continuously without a stop mechanism and cause exponential water waste. Other reasons may include an improperly sized flapper or chain, or toilet handles that have build-up or corrosion.

By addressing commonly occurring problems and being aware of water usage to identify any potential leaks, you can prevent water damage from occurring and protect your business.

What Causes Burst Pipes? What Can I Do to Prevent It?

7/14/2022 (Permalink)

Burst Pipe If you experience a burst pipe, the first step is to turn off the Water Main. Then, be sure to call a restoration company like SERVPRO

What Causes Pipe Bursts? What Can I Do to Avoid It?

Burst pipes are a common occurrence in Cottage Grove, MN as the colder months set in. Many residents and workers are in buildings where the pipes are potentially older than their grandparents! It sounds like a car backfiring, this loud pop sound when these water pipes burst. The result is major flooding in the home and structural damage problems for homeowners. SERVPRO of Northeast Minneapolis has compiled a list of the four main reasons why burst pipes occur:

  1. Frozen Pipes
  2. Moving Pipes
  3. Water Pressure
  4. Corrosion

Frozen Pipes

In the Winter months, serious issues arise for the water supply pipes in the home. Cold temperatures generally cause contraction to occur. Ice has more volume than water, so when water freezes inside a pipe it expands and increases pressure inside the pipe. The pressure builds and needing to escape it’s forced to burst out of the pipe. The burst will occur at the weakest point in the pipe, with pressure bursting right out of the side of the pipe wall.

To prevent frozen pipes, make sure that your home never goes below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Open your cabinet doors below the sink to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes as well.

Moving Pipes

Pipes can actually move around within the walls if they’re not properly secured AND the water is suddenly turned on or off. One way to know for sure is if you can hear your water pipes making noise inside the walls or floors. If your pipes sound like they’re clanging against each other, it’s called a water hammer. What you’re hearing is that the pipes are moving back and forth due to not being held into place properly. Gradually, these pipes become weakened in the joints until one pipe fails and pressurized water has a crevice to escape from. This causes the water pipe to break and flood an entire floor within a few moments!

Water Pressure

Water pressure must be kept at a normal setting in order for your water supply pipes to function properly. Any noticeable increase in the water pressure can translate to a burst pipe. It can also lead to a sink, toilet, or tub. As pressure increases, the pipes will cave in and separate, causing a rupture. Think your water pressure is getting too high? Here’s what to do!

  • Monitor it by attaching a pressure gauge to a sink spout and turning on the faucet. The pressure will move the needle on the gauge and display the water pressure in psi (pounds per square inch). 
  • The water pressure in most homes is between 30-50 psi to avoid damage to pipes and plumbing fixtures.
  • If your home’s water pressure is too high, a SERVPRO technician can install a pressure reducing valve to bring it down to safer levels.


Pipes are meant to last a long time and provide decades worth of reliable service, but they aren’t able to last indefinitely. Over time, buildings experience corrosion which can mean that pipes will show signs of failure or decay. Corrosion is caused by an imbalance of pH in the water. At first, this seems to be a minor issue, but it takes its tolls on the pipes over the years. 

Many water supply pipes are made of galvanized iron, the minerals inside the water slowly wear down the galvanized coating and expose the iron pipe beneath. In time, the iron turns to rust and gradually clogs the interior of the pipe which prevents water from getting through. As a result, your pipe may burst or the water flow may be stopped entirely.

What Should I Do Now?

If you experience a burst pipe, the first step is to turn off the Water Main. Then, be sure to call a professional from SERVPRO of Northeast Minneapolis to remediate the water damage and to determine the cause of the burst pipe. Why is it important? Early detection and annual checkups can help prevent this issue from happening again in the future. Our team of experienced water remediation technicians is able to assist in giving tips for preventing water damage in addition to offering cleanup services.

If this happens to your building, don’t worry. Our team will be on-site as soon as possible to start removing water and determining the source of damage to prevent future disasters. We know that burst pipes are unexpected and downright terrifying, but leave it to us to get it fixed promptly. We’re able to remove water quickly so you won’t have to replace everything and you can go back to your daily routine as soon as possible.

Can Woodbury Fire Restoration Strategies Allow Businesses to Operate During Smoke Damage Clean Up?

7/6/2022 (Permalink)

Severe fire at a commercial business When your business is affected by a fire, time is of the essence. Contact our experienced SERVPRO fire damage remediation team for services.

Can Woodbury Fire Restoration Strategies Allow Businesses To Continue Operating While Smoke Damage Is Being Cleaned Up?

SERVPRO Gets Fire and Smoke Damaged Woodbury, MN Commercial Properties Back in Business Fast

Many businesses operate on slim margins meaning disruptions like necessary fire restoration are a Woodbury proprietor’s nightmare. Working with an experienced and scalably-staffed disaster recovery company can turn over a fire and smoke damage remediation project swiftly, often allowing for partial operations even during active restoration.

What Strategies Does SERVPRO Use to Manage Woodbury Commercial Fire Damage Restoration?

First and foremost, SERVPRO is ready 24/7 to respond to your Woodbury business request for help. Service vehicles stocked with all equipment and products needed for water and fire damage restorations are always prepared and dispatched promptly. Once at your retail, restaurant, office, or another commercial site, SERVPRO project managers:

  • Assess for safety hazards
  • Discuss what your business needs to maintain a presence during restoration
  • Assign emergency services to team members

What Should You Expect from SERVPRO’s Fire and Smoke Damage Restoration and Cleanup?

  • Containment of the affected area, including the use of air scrubbers to prevent smoke and soot drift
  • Firefighting water and extinguisher chemical removal
  • Matching of soot soiling with appropriate cleaning products, varying with the different surfaces involved
  • Use of selected products, tools, and technician actions to loosen, dissolve, or emulsify residues
  • Trapping and lawful disposal of fire and smoke damage toxins 
  • Disinfection with EPA-registered products
  • Deodorization using research-based methods that remove or neutralize the odor-bearing soot

SERVPRO of Woodbury, Cottage Grove knows how important rapid and mindful restoration of fire damage is to your business. Call (651) 314-4631 to set up a consultation immediately.

Why Choose an IICRC Certified Provider

6/27/2022 (Permalink)

IICRC Institute.of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Getting a business back on track is made easier when choosing a restoration company that maintains its IICRC certification.

Why Hire an IICRC-Certified Service Provider?

Whether dealing with water, mold, or fire damage, the cleanup and restoration process are not simple. If not done right, it means added costs and potential losses that could have been avoided. For adjusters and business owners in Cottage Grove, MN, choosing a company that is IICRC certified provides peace of mind that the mitigation and restorative services will be completed following industrial guidelines and standards.

Rigorous Company Certification

This nonprofit organization is a global leader in the cleaning, inspection, and restorative industry. It is ANSI-accredited and works with global associations to develop industry standards. Obtaining a mitigation certificate from this nonprofit means that the restoration company is serious about doing the job right. Prior to becoming certified, it must meet the following criteria:

  • Provide proof of and maintain insurance coverage.
  • Ensure technicians on job sites are formally trained.
  • Conduct business professionally and present accurate, detailed information to all parties involved.

Have an established continuing education program.
Maintain a customer complaint policy that documents the complaint and follow-up efforts.

Why Choose an IICRC Certified Company?

Along with knowing that the company has done its work to get certified, choosing a certified company means that the technicians have also completed thorough, industry-specific training. Since the company is required to provide continuous training to maintain certification, the technicians are on top of the latest processes associated with different restoration services. Each receives standardized training, ensuring that no matter where the company is located it adheres to industry standards. Technician certifications include:

  • Applied Microbial Remediation Technician
  • Applied Structural Drying
  • Building Moisture Thermography
  • Commercial Drying Specialist
  • Fire and Smoke Restoration
  • Health and Safety
  • Water Damage Restoration

When restoration services are needed, time is always of the essence. Getting a business back on track is made easier when choosing a restoration company that maintains its IICRC certification.