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ServiceMaster Restore Urge Home Preparedness Before Winter

December 10th, 2017 · No Comments

Experts at ServiceMaster Restore Urge Home Preparedness Ahead of the Season’s Worst Weather

Use these seven strategies to avoid costly damage this winter season

“It’s shocking how many people don’t realize how easy and affordable it is to adequately prepare their homes for winter”

MEMPHIS, Tenn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ahead of winter’s arrival, ServiceMaster Restore experts are urging homeowners across the country to prepare their homes for cold temperatures and severe weather. Wind, snow, ice and freezing temperatures can all wreak havoc on a home, especially if it’s not well-prepared for the elements.

Forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center recently released its annual U.S. Winter Outlook, predicting wetter-than-average conditions across the northern U.S. and drier-than-normal conditions in the South. “Even so, we all know how unpredictable weather can be. That’s why it’s so important for homeowners to prepare now, so they’re ready for anything Mother Nature throws their way,” said Peter Duncanson, a 30-year ServiceMaster Restore veteran, who has spent much of his career helping home and business owners recover from severe damage caused by winter weather.

A recent ServiceMaster Restore survey revealed two-in-five homeowners have no idea what they are doing when it comes to prepping their house for a potential weather emergency.1 “It’s shocking how many people don’t realize how easy and affordable it is to adequately prepare their homes for winter,” said Duncanson. “A few preparations now can save thousands of dollars in potential damages, and allow homeowners to enjoy their home, instead of dealing with winter’s aftermath.”

One of the best resources, Duncanson says, is the American Red Cross Emergency app, which is sponsored by ServiceMaster. The free app provides expert advice on what to do before, during and after severe weather events, includes maps of nearby shelters, and notification capabilities to let friends and family know that you’re safe. To download, text “GETEMERGENCY” to 90999, search “American Red Cross” in the app store or go to

To get ready for the winter season ahead, Duncanson recommends taking these seven simple steps to safeguard your home’s interior and exterior:

Outside the Home:

  • Outdoor water faucets connected to garden hoses are likely to freeze and lead to burst pipes. Disconnect all hoses, and cover the faucets to help safeguard your outdoor pipes. Insulated covers can be purchased for $5-$10 at a local hardware or home improvement store.
  • Rain gutters clogged with leaves can cause big problems once snow or freezing rain begins to fall, as they often lead to dreaded ice dams. As they thaw, they can cause costly water damage in your home. Be sure to clear them before colder temperatures start to settle in.
  • Many homeowners invest in sheds to store expensive yard equipment – but unless the sheds are properly sealed, the equipment and other contents can be damaged by the elements. Check for cracks or gaps that could let in cold air and fill with caulk. Be sure that loose or damaged roof shingles are replaced or repaired.

Inside the Home:

  • Use a programmable thermostat to regulate the temperature in your home. If you aren’t going to be home for a few days, ensure the temperature is set no lower than 55 degrees. For extra precaution during extremely cold weather, open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors so warmer air can circulate around pipes or allow kitchen and bath faucets to run slowly to avoid freezing.
  • Change furnace filters and schedule a furnace checkup with a heating system professional to avoid waking up with no heat on the coldest morning of the season. Routine maintenance will help keep your unit in top shape now and in seasons to come.
  • Prevent frozen pipes in unheated areas of your home, like basements and attics, by wrapping them with foam or self-adhesive insulating tape. Pipes closer to exterior walls that are exposed should be covered and a 6-inch section of pipe insulation foam can cost as little as $3 – thousands of dollars less than dealing with a burst pipe.
  • Have a temporary backup plan, just in case your heating system does go out. For instance, take time to clean the chimney now, if you plan to use vented gas logs or a fire place. If you plan to use space heaters, inspect them to be sure the wires aren’t frayed and the units are working properly, and remind family members to be extremely cautious when using them.

For more expert tips and information on how to prepare for and recover from extreme winter weather, visit or visit us on YouTube or Facebook. For immediate assistance and clean up, call us at ServiceMaster Restore 715-743-7007 (Clark and Jackson County and the Tomah Area)


About ServiceMaster Restore 

With approximately 2,000 franchised and licensed locations around the world, ServiceMaster Restore and ServiceMaster Recovery Management (SRM) serve customers through a global network of franchises available 24/7/365 to provide residential and commercial restoration services resulting from damage caused by water, fire, smoke or mold. SRM is the large scale commercial catastrophic disaster restoration unit of ServiceMaster Restore. ServiceMaster Restore and SRM have operations and consulting experience on countless disasters, including clean-up after Hurricane Katrina and the Pentagon after September 11, 2001. ServiceMaster Restore is a business unit of Memphis-based ServiceMaster Global Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SERV), a leading provider of essential residential and commercial services. More information can be found at and ServiceMaster Restore is the Official Disaster Restoration Specialist of Minor League Baseball™.

About ServiceMaster

ServiceMaster (NYSE: SERV) solves the homeowner’s dilemma. Every day, we visit more than 75,000 homes and businesses through our extensive service network of expert professionals. Technology powers our trusted experts to engage with customers so they can order, buy and receive services when, where and how they want them. Our well-recognized brands includes American Home Shield (home warranties), AmeriSpec (home inspections), Furniture Medic (furniture repair), Merry Maids (residential cleaning), ServiceMaster Clean (janitorial and residential floor cleaning), ServiceMaster Restore (disaster restoration) and Terminix (termite and pest control). Like, follow or visit us at, or ServiceMaster is the Official Home Services Provider of Minor League Baseball™.

About the Survey

The 2017 ServiceMaster Weather Emergency Survey presents the findings of an online survey conducted by Toluna from April 18-20, 2017 among a sample of 1,555 American homeowners 18 years of age and older. The margin of error for a sample of this size is ± 2.5 percent at a 95 percent level of confidence. Some numbers may not add up to 100 percent due to rounding.

2017 ServiceMaster Weather Emergency Survey conducted by Toluna from April 18-20, 2017 among a sample of 1,555 American homeowners 18 years of age and older

Article from ServiceMaster

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Wet Carpet Safe or Unsafe?

September 7th, 2017 · 1 Comment

“I have wet carpet! Grab the shop vac! Maybe not…” First of all, how long has it been wet? Did you know, even with clean water, if your wet carpet has been wet for more than 72 hours, it might as well have been soaked in sewage. A shop vac does not have the power to get all of the water out of your wet carpet. It does not have the power to get the water from the pad underneath the wet carpet. Some believe that if they get the water our of the wet carpet with a carpet shampooer, this will solve all the problems. This is not the case. It will never get all of the water out.

There are certain steps that need to be taken to save carpeting. There is a process. That is why ServiceMaster is there. We are certified and professionally trained to handle all types of water situations. We have the right equipment and solutions needed to get the job done right.  “Complete cleaning and decontamination by a professional following the IICRC S-500 Standard for Professional Water Damage Restoration is important.” (ServiceMaster Restore. Found on July 18, 2017 @

For more information on sewage, visit this page.

Image result for water damage to carpet

Wet carpet in basement

When the damage occurs, your insurance company expects you to do what you can to prevent further damage, so call ServiceMaster immediately for professional help. ServiceMaster works with insurance companies daily and know what they expect. If you have more questions about water damage to your home, visit this page.  Please, save yourself the time, money, and your health. Call us!

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Water, water everywhere

May 18th, 2017 · No Comments

Over the past couple days we have received massive amounts of rain and high winds. In our many years of experience here at ServiceMaster, when we get this much rain it ends up in places that we do not want it to be. Sump pumps tend to be working their hardest to keep up and might even fail because of burning up the motor or power outages. If you need assistance we are here to help. While most times ground water is not covered by insurance we want you and your home to be taken care of. If you have water in your home from this large amount of rain falling, please give us a call. We can be there to clean everything up and dry it or provide you with advice of what direction to turn. It is always better to address problems from water sooner than later. If you wait, you could end up with a much larger problem because of bacterial growth forming from there still being moisture where things appear dry.

We are trained and certified with the IICRC in Water Damage Remediation. The schooling that we have gone through to make sure we take care of our customers has been ongoing and we love to share that knowledge with our customers.

Below is a picture of the Merrillan Dam yesterday morning before three more storms rolled through our area. Water levels are very high and some rivers will continue to rise as tributaries flow down into larger bodies of water.

Lots of water

Lots of water

When we say that structures need to be dried out completely it is to prevent something like the below picture from happening. A closet was left untouched by a homeowner and because water remained in the wood and drywall mold started to grow.  Cleaning up after water when it just happens is easier and more cost effective than letting things run their course.

Growth from closet not being dried out properly.

Growth from closet not being dried out properly.



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$50 gift certificate giveaway contest!

December 6th, 2016 · No Comments



We have been in the area for 15 years! (Hard to believe) We are running a Facebook contest to give away $50 gift certificates!

We are celebrating 15 years in business and looking to get 150 Facebook Likes (hopefully more). Like and comment on the original post and like our page to be entered in the contest. We will give away THREE $50 gift certificates towards residential house cleaning or carpet or upholstery service. Please share with other’s to allow us to give these certificates away.

Official Rules
To enter this contest, you must like and comment on the contest post and like our page. This contest will run 12-1-16 through 1-1-17 and the winners will be announced 1-5-17. We need more than 150 likes to give away any prizes. So please share our page to make this happen.

Contestants must be 18 years or older at the time of entering and must reside in Clark or Jackson County or in the City of Tomah. By entering this contest you agree that you understand the rules and we are not liable for technical problems leading to not being able to enter. Winners will be tagged in a post on our page and will be responsible for contacting us afterwards. If a selected winner does not meet the requirements another winner will be selected in their place. Winners will have 5 business days to contact us (by 1-12-17).

Winners will be chosen at random and 3 prizes will be awarded. Each prize will contain a $50 gift certificate to be put towards a future residential house cleaning or carpet/upholstery service. Minimum service charges still apply, but the certificate can be put towards the minimum charge.

If minimum number of page likes is not met the contest will be discontinued and no prizes will be awarded. We have the right to change or alter contest rules without notice.

Facebook is in no way in charge of or responsible for this contest. Facebook is in no way endorsing or sponsoring this contest. Facebook is not associated with this contest.

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Now hiring!

November 11th, 2016 · 2 Comments

Due to recent business growth we have now have several part-time positions open. Wage will depend on experience.

Mitigation technician – Do you like to tear things apart? Are you a team player? This could be a good job for you! We go into homes to cleanup after many unique disasters and our role varies every day.

Cleaning technician – Do you love to clean? We have a variety of projects for you! Attention to detail is extremely important on every job.

Carpet cleaning technician – Do you have a good driving record, are you picky about your work? Cleaning carpets and floors takes specific attention to detail that others may not notice.

Lead/supervisor – Are you a unique, upbeat, motivated person? Are you a team builder? Willing to learn more about our industry? Must have a good driving record, experience preferred. Position will vary 30-50 hours.

We will train the right people who are looking to learn new skills and show initiative.

Call 8am-5pm Monday-Friday for interview appointment 715-743-7007

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Now Hiring!

April 15th, 2016 · 3 Comments

Here are ServiceMaster we are now hiring energetic, positive, reliable people for office personnel, carpet cleaning technician, and cleaning staff for a part-time+ schedule. If you like the idea of every day being different and have the drive to learn new skills we would love to have you on our team. Please call our office in Neillsville to set up an interview- 715-743-7007.

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Change how you put things into storage

January 8th, 2016 · No Comments

We all have things that we put in storage for various reasons: seasonal needs, future use, filing, keepsakes, etc. If you are getting ready to organize your attic, basement, garage or any room of your house here is one tip from the restoration pros who end up seeing more belongings ruined that could have been saved from a few simple preventative measures. Storage rooms can be prime victims of water, smoke, mold, or pest damage. 
Tip #1: Ditch the cardboard boxes. 
In the event of a water damage where water comes from the floor any storage boxes on the floor will absorb the water and lead to wet belongings.
If you store contents in your basement and a pipe breaks from a bathroom or kitchen above, storage boxes seem to funnel the water in. 
While a fire can cause a lot of damage to a home, the soot causes more damage in the long run. Boxes do not seal and allow for smoke to travel in and everything needs to be cleaned. 
Pests can get in and eat at cloth and paper items and make it into their new home.
Organization can be messy with many different sized boxes. 
If you ever have to move boxes can only hold so much weight and can take extra time to transport. 
Solution: Plastic totes with lids are fantastic. 
They protect from water from the floor and above.
They will keep smoke off of contents in the event of a fire and most likely not need to be cleaned and only moved to a new storage container. 
They keep pests out and protects those things that you value most.
With plastic containers all the same size they can be stacked and organized very easily.
Plastic totes do not crush as easily as boxes when stacked.
When moving plastic containers can be put in an open trailer and weather does not have to ruin moving plans.
We hope this organization tip helps you rethink your next redo of your storage area. We bet that one day you will be happy that you made the switch to plastic totes that seal in your contents over using cardboard storage boxes again.

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Story of a Wet Basement

July 15th, 2014 · No Comments

This story below could happen to anyone and we are here for you if this ends up being you.

Jan (*fictitious name) sat down one night to watch TV in her living room when the rain started; the TV stopped working because of the storm and the power flickered many times. She decided to read a book instead and she watched the streets fill up with water and the river levels rise higher. She was quite happy sitting inside her cozy home and then eventually retired to bed for the night. When she woke in the morning it was still raining, but like usual, she got ready for work, locked up the house and left. When she got home that night she decided to get some food for dinner out of the freezer in the basement. This is when she realized that her basement had water everywhere. But where did the water come from? She checked the windows, the doors, plumbing water did not come from there. She then remembered her sump-pump in the far corner of her basement. She went over to it and the water had exceeded the pit in the floor and the pump was not working. One of the lightning strikes, power surges or the constant effort of the motor to keep up led to it failing and not keeping the water level below the floor of the basement.

Jan used her basement for various things: her sewing room, storage on the other end, spare bedrooms, and grand-children’s’ play area. Everything that was within 3 inches of the floor was soaked. Carpet was soggy, boxes were falling apart, baseboards and walls were soaking up water, and all Jan could think of was how to get rid of all the water. She called a neighbor over for some help and they realized after starting to move some things that this was going to be a very big project and that they could not do it alone. They went to the computer and typed in “flooded basement cleanup” and many things popped up. ServiceMaster of Clark and Jackson County was one of those things. She got our number and asked for our help. At this point, it was around 7:00 PM. We got a crew of technicians together and on the way to start the cleanup and prevent more damage.

When we arrived we organized a plan to get things organized and ready for the steps that were to follow. The lead technician spoke to Jan and explained that we could clean this all up for her, but she should contact her insurance company to cover her loss. Pictures were taken of the damage that had been done and to document where things were so they could go back to the same area later on. Two of the technicians went through boxes that had gotten wet and organized things to either dry or be put into new boxes. While they did that another two technicians worked on extracting water one room at a time. In this case the carpet that had gotten wet could be saved because of the quick response time. The technicians worked  efficiently to get priority things done that night. The next day a crew arrived back to continue moving contents of each room so the flooring could be taken care of accordingly. Drying equipment (air movers and dehumidifiers) was set up to ensure that every corner would become dry without anything being missed.

We met with the adjuster from Jan’s insurance company to explain what had happened and how we handled the situation and they were pleased with how things were drying and turning out. After things dried a few days later, we worked with Jan to explain getting new carpet pad installed and base boards put back on. We moved things to allow a few rooms to be completed at a time. When all was done, things looked better organized than prior to the water entering her basement. Jan was thankful that we responded the same night she discovered the water and we did not let it wait until the next day. Not too many of her things were damaged beyond repair. We worked with Jan’s insurance company to make sure that we were not fully paid until she was satisfied and Jan was only responsible for her deductible to cover her loss.

This situation turned out very well and Jan had sump-pump coverage which saved her a lot of money from this loss. This could happen to anyone. We cannot promise insurance coverage for a loss to your home but will work with you regardless to help you get life back to normal. Every situation is different and the actions taken to resolve the damage will vary. We strive for customer satisfaction in your time of chaos to get things back to the way they were before.

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Sump Pump Failure

May 2nd, 2014 · No Comments

It’s that time of year again where things are melting and the precipitation is changing from snow to rain. We have been waiting for things to start warming up for a long time now. During this time of year water sometimes has difficulty traveling where we want it to go. Water will find the lowest point and follow the path of least resistance. In many cases that means basements. Do you have a sump pump?

If you have a sump pump you should check that it is working properly and that the line going outside is directing the water away from the building and that it is not just recycling the water back into the basement. Insurance companies do sell sump pump coverage and if you have a sump pump, it would be worth talking with your agent about that coverage. Sump pumps can fail for a few reasons. If the power goes out during a storm the pump cannot turn on and the water level will rise. If the pump is old or has been working constantly through repeatedly wet weather the motor could burn up. Some people counter act these problems by backup batteries for power failure, water sensors that sound an alarm when the floor gets wet, or backup or secondary sump pump.

Water flowing into a basement could be coming from many possible access points. Water can flow in through cracks in the flooring or walls or through bolts and anchors that penetrate the concrete. Water could be directed to these points of access by either poor landscaping or down spout not directed far enough away from the side of a building.

Finished and unfinished basements can become problematic if water cannot be routed properly away from the basement. If drywall, sill plates, carpet, furniture, storage boxes get wet from water seeping into the basement it is extremely important to get it dried properly to allow further enjoyment of this space. If the problem is left unfixed the opportunity for bacterial growth increases drastically. Many people also use basements just for storage. In our eyes, one of the best things that can be done with storing things in a basement (or anywhere) is to put them in plastic totes or bins to keep water out. If you have a lot to put in a room, installing shelving to keep things off the floor can prevent more things from being damaged by water.

Most people are familiar with the “musty basement” smell. This smell is quite often linked to bacterial growth. To prevent things from growing in a damp environment is to run a ceiling fan or oscillating fans constantly . Air movement allows for moisture to evaporate. Running a dehumidifier to pick up the evaporated moisture will allow for a basement to feel more comfortable and it will prevent mold growth from occurring. If mold does not have moisture it cannot grow.

If you have a concern about water in your basement or other moisture problems give us a call.

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Hardwood Floor Drying

April 2nd, 2014 · No Comments

We come into many different surfaces that are affected by water damage; one of the most concerning is hardwood floors. Hardwood flooring is expensive to install and difficult to match if only a small portion is damaged. We strive to restore damaged surfaces instead of replace them whenever possible. We use a piece of equipment called an Injectidry system that is paired with Rescue Mats. This piece of equipment we use, is designed to pull air through the flooring with allows moisture to leave the floor.

Injectidry System

When wood floors get wet they may cup, which is caused by a difference in moisture between the edges and middle portions of the wood. We can reverse this when treated in a timely manner. Hardwood flooring has grooves on the bottom side which allows for air to move through by utilizing the small cracks between boards on top.

Cupped Hardwood Flooring

By pulling air through they flooring we allow for evaporation to start to happening. As the hardwood floor starts to dry it will return to its original shape. This process takes many days to complete, but can save a lot of time and money. This prevents having to remove and replace all of the flooring. After this process is done, there is sometimes gaps between boards; this is normal and the boards will return return to being close together after they re-acclimate to the house. When going through the drying process, we remove most humidity out of the air causing the boards to become smaller than what they were. Once they adjust to the proper humidity of the house, the flooring will often need to be refinished because of the expanding and shrinking of the boards that ruins the original finish. If we are informed that hardwood flooring has been damaged at your residence, we will come prepared to save the hardwood floors and start the drying process. We do not want to remove the floor anymore than you do, so acting fast can save you a lot of money and headache.

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