Recent Posts

SERVPRO Tips: How to know when to call a professional

8/4/2020 (Permalink)

While some water-leakage problems in your home may leave you in need of professional water removal services, not all of them do. Sometimes, with a little guidance, you can clean up the water by yourself and avoid the extra cost of calling professionals to your home.  It all depends on the size of the leak, and if it has been allowed enough time to cause water damage. 

If you had not found the overflowing sink in your bathroom right away, you would have found yourself in need local Valparaiso water removal services. However, because you found the overflowing sink as soon as the problem started, you were able to stop the flow of water immediately. When it comes to water leaks, fast action is what minimizes damages. 

Most people would assume using some towels to clean up the puddle on your bathroom floor, along with a mop, would be sufficient enough job. However, here at SERVPRO, we recommend you take a few extra steps, to ensure that water damage doesn't become a possibility. The most important aspect of cleaning up a water spill is to ensure that no excess moisture remains behind and that you check underneath the sink-vanity as well. 

To clean up the water, using a mixture of towels and a mop is adequate. However, if you happen to own a wet/dry vacuum, it can help you clean up the spill faster. Once the water is gone, SERVPRO recommends for you to consider putting a space heater inside of your bathroom. The heater can help encourage any excess moisture left behind to evaporate, helping you avoid any water damage. It is especially wise to place it near the vanity, to ensure that hot and dry air is hitting the underside. Otherwise, it may be hard to remove all of the moisture adequately. 

When it comes to small water spills, it is always a possibility to remove the water yourself, so long as you do not wait too long. However, should you feel unsure about handling the water, or worried that you may not do the job well, you can always reach out for help and call SERVPRO. Remember, We're Faster To Any Size Disaster. 

When you need professional water removal services, never wait. Get in touch with SERVPRO of Porter County by dialing (219) 476-1883. Whenever you need us, we are ready to help. 

Valparaiso, IN

SERVPRO Tips: Acting faster after a fire is of key importance

7/30/2020 (Permalink)

With one of the Great Lakes and a couple of major cities close by, Valparaiso is a centrally located community great for raising families, enjoying water recreation, and more. Like any town its size, there are still issues to deal with like the house fires that plague residences everywhere.

Most Valparaiso fire damage is considered minor to medium thanks to good fire department response times, residential sprinklers, and having a fire extinguisher nearby. Because of this, much of what SERVPRO technicians do after a fire is cleaning off residues left by the smoke as it moved through the home. Unless the property is physically damaged, our teams can restore affected items using one of these methods.

Dry wiping takes care of most surfaces. Technicians use sponges, cloths, and even feather dusters to remove powdery residues left by a hot, quick-burning fire. It is very effective on light-to-moderate, non-greasy residues like from burned paper or wood.

Wet wiping then usually removes the thicker layers dry wiping cannot. SERVPRO technicians apply water or a mild cleaner to sponges and cloths to remove these moderate-to-heavy residues.

Spray and Wipe is needed to prevent color bleeding or fading fade in drapes and covered furniture after fire damage. Team members utilize spray bottles to use as little cleaning agent as possible.

Foam Cleaning uses even less detergent and water. Technicians use a pump-up or powered sprayer to create a foam and then work it into the affected item with a sponge or brush. The method is very effective on sofas and other upholstered items to prevent shrinking the fabric.

Abrasive Cleaning is our method for rough surfaces. Since surfaces such as rock and marble are not affected by most cleaners, technicians can use stronger chemicals with a thick-bristle or wire brush to remove every bit of the residues left by the fire.

Immersion Cleaning is the last effort possible for many items and is only appropriate for those not affected by soaking them completely. Technicians remove the item to our offices and place it in a holding tank filled with a cleaning agent. They next generate sound waves that force bubbles through or across the surface. The method is effective but costly and time-consuming.

Remediating fire damage and returning every home to its owners in its original or better condition is our goal here at SERVPRO of Porter County. To learn more about what our response teams can do for your home here or in Portage, Chesterton, and Kouts, call us today at (219) 476-1883. We are here for you.

See more about Valparaiso.

Why SERVPRO? Because we are the cleaning experts!

7/13/2020 (Permalink)

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff performs on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

So give us a call today! We are faster to any disaster and are here to put our expertise, equipment and experience to work for you!

SERVPRO Tips: It's Important to know what to do and to put it into action

7/10/2020 (Permalink)

Knowing what to do in a crisis is very different from putting this information into action for a damaged Portage property. Flooding is something that many homes throughout Porter County have contended with as long as our team has been serving the area, and it is the homeowners that know how to reduce the pressing severity of the situation that can modify both the time spent restoring the property and its ultimate cost when this project completes.

With multiple facets to flood damage in Portage residences, any step you can take to lessen these effects can improve efficiency for cleanup and restoration efforts. Homeowners can take preliminary steps, but only in waiting for professionals like our SERVPRO team to arrive. Our technicians have the experience to contend with widespread loss incidents, and arrive with specialized equipment for rapid extraction, drying, cleaning, and disinfection. There are ways you can help before and during the earliest stages of disaster to protect your property and its contents:

Pay Attention to Changing Weather Conditions
Homeowners often have brief warnings before flooding, and other natural disasters occur. In this time, you can work to gather sentimental items and the occupants of your home together to get to safety.

Ensure Spouts for Sump Pumps Stay Clear
Over time, drainage for sump pumps inside the property can get covered. This blockage can go unnoticed until the next potential flooding scenario. To reduce the presence of floodwater in the lower levels, you can ensure that this sump pump runs optimally before our SERVPRO team arrives.

Shut Off Utilities Before Leaving
You might know the safest place for you is not at home during a flood, but many forget to stop their utilities that remain at risk for damages or compromising failures when exposed to floodwater and debris.

There are ways that you can improve the efficiency of restoration and recovery when it begins on your home. Whenever flood loss incidents arise, regardless of their severity, you can count on our SERVPRO of Porter County team to make it “Like it never even happened.” Give us a call anytime that you need us at (219) 476-1883.

For more about Portage click here.

SERVPRO Tips: Why the sewer cleanup process is so important

6/27/2020 (Permalink)

A sewer backup calls for thorough cleaning and disinfection. Sewage overflow and Category Three black water contain bacteria and other microbes that may pose a heightened risk of infection or mold growth. Follow these four steps or hire a damage mitigation service to complete the sewer cleanup process.

1. Remove Water and Solids

A homeowner or cleanup service should use equipment such as a mop or wet vac to remove liquid and solids. Take this step as soon as possible after a backup occurs. Keep in mind that the problem will recur until the clog in the drain line is cleared.

2. Tear Out Porous Contents and Materials

Porous materials such as drywall or contents such as carpet cannot be completely cleaned after exposure to Category Three black water. It is possible to do a preliminary disinfection of the area prior to tearing out these materials and contents. Homeowners should wait for the affected area to dry before proceeding with restoration.

3. Clean and Disinfect the Area

In addition to sewer cleanup, it will also be necessary to disinfect the area exposed to black water. A preliminary disinfection should be followed up by a thorough cleaning and disinfection after all damaged porous materials have been removed. Otherwise, the tearing out process can lead to recontamination.

4. Dry the Area

The affected area should be allowed to dry completely before restoring drywall, carpet, or other contents. Professionals may recommend the use of fans or dehumidifiers to speed up the process. Any residual moisture will increase the likelihood of mold growth.

Every one of these steps is necessary to clean up a sewer backup at a residence. Whether the damage is due to a flooded toilet or a backed-up city main, sewer cleanup specialists have the expertise and equipment necessary to address primary damage and prevent secondary damage.

So give us a call! We are faster to any disaster and are ready to get things back to "Like it never even happened."

When fire hits your business in Porter County, SERVPRO is here to help!

6/17/2020 (Permalink)

Supplying your B2B customers with their packaging needs requires different types of raw supplies. Storing these so your employees always have them ready means having them shipped in from other companies to your Portage location. Between their arrival and the time your workers use them to make new products, their loss can cause long-lasting problems for your company and your customers.

Factories that sustain any size of fire in the Portage area can lose a significant percentage of their inventory to commercial fire damage. When plastics and other synthetics burn, the smoke produced can ruin other materials. Hot ash can scorch other plastics as it lands. Water or foam from extinguishing the fire can also create damage of its own.

When a local company calls SERVPRO to mitigate the effects of a disaster, we collect information about the situation and any extenuating circumstances. We need to know how to ensure that our employees understand any risks on-site. We want to arrive well prepared for all aspects of the mitigation work necessary to make your facility, “Like it never even happened.” Restoring your facility to preloss and fully operational condition includes looking at the hazards that might hinder your employees' performance or cause unwanted health effects. These risks go beyond the slip, trip, and fall problems caused by a fire. When plastics and other man-made materials burn, the air becomes polluted with chemicals that can make breathing without a respirator ill-advised.

During the fire damage mitigation work, SERVPRO specialists wear personal protective equipment (PPE), including respirators. Using air scrubbers and other means to clean the air, we eliminate particles that can cause problems for your workforce. This takes care of the smallest particles, but our crews must remove all of the damaged inventory to ensure that off-gassing from the chemical exchanges caused by fire and high heat no longer pose a risk to health.

Both this soot and the partially combusted materials continue to release gas and other substances into the air. Removing them becomes a crucial part of restoring safe conditions. We dispose of damaged materials according to local regulations, helping ensure compliance with your industry's protocols. We can inspect the air circulation system and deployed HEPA and charcoal based air scrubbers that can capture particulates as small as 0.3 microns. Improving indoor air quality is a critical segment of the fire damage restoration service.

SERVPRO of Porter County can help mitigate and restore your factory. When a fire hits your Beverly Shores or Chesterton facility, call us at (219) 476-1883. We are here to help make things safe and get your production back on track.

Map information here.

SERVPRO Tips: The longer you wait after a fire to get things back to "Like it never even happened," the costlier it might be!

6/11/2020 (Permalink)

Fire damage is costly to fix the longer it goes unattended. Smoke odors can invade belongings and porous building materials, and soot can ruin walls that flames have not burned. We understand that going through a fire can be devastating and that your cherished memories and possessions are at stake.  

After a fire has damaged your Valparaiso home, the fire restoration specialists at SERVPRO can assist you to prevent further destruction that can occur because of the buildup of soot. Our crews understand the science behind soot cleaning to restore your home to its preloss condition.  

Soot can build up on the walls, furniture, carpet, and other areas of your home. Inappropriate soot removal methods can increase the damage already done to your home. Soot becomes acidic after combining with moisture, and it can etch, discolor, pit or corrode non-porous surfaces if not removed promptly and thoroughly.  

Fire residues differ, and they include dry smoke, protein smoke, fuel oil smoke, and wet smoke residues. Fires progress through different stages, generating both wet and dry smoke. Some fires produce a large proportion of one kind of smoke to specify the total exposure as mostly dry or mostly wet smoke.  

Wet smoke residues are challenging to clean compared to dry smoke residues. Wet smoke usually contains high amounts of aerosols like solvents, varnishes, and other liquid solvents. If a fire is slow burning, air currents don’t drive the smoke from the fire’s heat. The smoke drifts and works its way into enclosed areas and crevices that a faster burning fire would not contaminate. It may be necessary to replace items damaged by wet smoke. Our technicians can restore many materials damaged by dry smoke. Dry smoke residues carry few deposits and aerosols, and they stain surfaces less intensely.  

Our SERVPRO technicians use the appropriate cleaning equipment, solvents, and techniques that come from training and years of experience. We follow a soot removal process that starts with dry soot cleaning using specialized HEPA vacuums and dry surface cleaning techniques. Afterward, we progress with wet cleaning as necessary.  

When your home has fire damage, SERVPRO of Porter County can assist you. Our experienced team works quickly and thoroughly to get a home back to normal. Contact us today at (219) 476-1883 for fire damage cleanup services.

Valparaiso means “Vale of Paradise.”  Read more about Valparaiso here.

Why SERVPRO? Three Services SERVPRO Offers After A Fire

6/1/2020 (Permalink)

Demand for damage mitigation and restoration services spikes after a severe storm. Insurance agents and adjusters need to be able to rely on a local mitigation and restoration company to provide timely storm response services. Here are three services that make a local SERVPRO franchise the right choice for storm restoration.


1. Disaster Response

No matter how many properties are affected by a storm, a Disaster Response Team can arrive on each location within a matter of hours. Independent mitigation and restoration services are more likely to be backlogged than a national corporation that can dispatch employees and equipment from nearby franchises to areas that have experienced large losses.

2. Mitigation and Cleanup

The initial stage of storm response involves mitigating damage. In the case of structural damage, this may involve boarding up broken windows or breaches in a building envelope or tarping over a damaged roof. Standing water resulting from flood damage should be extracted as soon as possible. A full-service company can ensure that these initial measures contribute toward complete storm restoration.

3. All-In-One Restoration

A company that offers mitigation and restoration services can reduce the workload on insurance agents and adjusters while simplifying the claim process for property owners. Relying on a one-stop shop may make miscommunication less likely, prevent scheduling conflicts and allow for a faster and more thorough restoration job. Depending on a single service also means that the initial estimate is likely to be more accurate.

These storm restoration services set SERVPRO franchises apart from independent companies. The business model means that each location has the backing of a national corporation and the ability to call on nearby locations for additional personnel and equipment. A single estimate from a service that can clean up damage and rebuild a commercial property can also be more convenient for insurance agents, adjusters, and clients.

SERVPRO of Porter County is your best solution after flood damage strikes your home or business

5/30/2020 (Permalink)

Valparaiso’s proximity to Lake Michigan makes it an excellent place to call home year-round when it comes to water and ice sports. It also makes our community vulnerable to the storm systems that sweep in off the water, flooding everything in their path.

A quick and professional response to any flood damage in Valparaiso is why SERVPRO should be your first, and only, call for home restoration after a storm. Our Water Restoration Technicians (WRTs) train extensively to meet any restoration requirement, regardless of the level of damage to personal property.

With outside floodwater entering a home, there is an additional threat from what that water picks up. That can include soil, lawn fertilizers, and if the sewers were overwhelmed, human waste. To eliminate this threat, WRTs first spray the surface of the water and any nearby, affected property with an anti-bacterial agent.

Then, they remove any water in the home using pumps for large amounts of standing water. After finishing that, they use extraction wands and other devices to draw it out of carpets and from between floorboards. All floodwater is pumped directly into the nearest sewer access or a tank truck if one is not available.

Now, SERVPRO WRTs remove all property inside the home for inspection. They dispose of heavily damaged items immediately and place salvageable items on blocks or pallets to allow water to drain, and install a series of fans around them to increase evaporation and speed drying. They also clean the property using methods from simply wiping down hard surfaces like plastic and metal with a strong cleaner to using immersion tanks for items like dining room chairs.

These are only the first steps we take at SERVPRO of Porter County after a flood. Our restoration teams continue their efforts until they can return a clean, safe home to every homeowner. If you have had any amount of flooding into your home, contact us today at (219) 476-1883 to schedule an inspection and find out what we can do for you.

Click here for more about Valparaiso.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned – a defensive cleaning program

5/21/2020 (Permalink)

Let us help you get back to business

As our communities re-open, we’re all moving back toward a new kind of normal. The expectations of visitors, customers, and employees who come into our establishments have evolved, and staying safe and well is a top concern. The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be clean, and we’ve developed a program to help your business meet the new higher standard of clean that is now expected.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive cleaning program we’re offering to businesses and commercial locations to address the current COVID-19 pandemic. This proactive viral pathogen cleaning program goes well beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning. By choosing Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you, your employees, your customers, and your community can rest assured that you’ve selected a higher cleaning standard – you are Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.

Extensive training and specialized products

As the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration*, we stand on more than 50 years of experience and expertise to help your business become Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.  Beyond fire & water, SERVPRO professionals are trained and experienced in biohazard decontamination and chemical spills – always adhering to the cleaning and decontamination standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local authorities. 

From formulating and creating our proprietary cleaning products, like SERVPROXIDE, at our headquarters in Gallatin, TN, to taking the utmost care while disinfecting, we will ensure you and your business are set up to inspire consumer confidence as the economy continues to reopen.

3 C’s – Consult, Clean, and Certify

When the stakes are this high, you want a partner who has developed an industry leading, proprietary training program, cleaning solutions, and remediation processes over decades. We’ve cleaned up some of the most challenging biohazards imaginable. Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned reflects our unique experiences and capabilities. The program is grounded with our unique 3 C’s: Consult, Clean, and Certify.

  • Consult – Every business is different, which is why you’ll be assigned a Cleaning Protocol Consultant who understands your business and will create a cleaning program to meet your specific needs. This program will be developed based on your business type, size of space, amount of high frequency touchpoints, foot traffic and congestion points.
  • Clean – Based on your specific business needs, your location will undergo a thorough, deep clean, using exclusive cleaning products, according to protocols set forth by the CDC. Our employees have years of experience, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform. Cleanup procedures generally include cleaning of porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting of non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for cleanup process, and disposal of hazardous materials.  In the event of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 event, we will be there cleaning within 24 hours to ensure you get back to business as quickly as possible. 
  • Certify - Once your business location has been Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you will gain access to proprietary signage, digital emblems, and other collateral that communicates that you’ve selected a higher standard of clean available to help protect your employees and customers. And because we add the day, month, and year to that proprietary stamp of clean, your guests will know that not only did you choose Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, but that your location is being cleaned regularly at this standard.

Call today for a Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation

We’re Here to Help – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – until life is back to normal in the communities we all call home.

Call SERVPRO of Porter County today at  219-476-1883 for your Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation.