Recent Posts

St. Croix River Flooding

4/14/2023 (Permalink)

Sandbags in Stillwater, MN Sandbags in Stillwater, MN

Spring has finally arrived in Minnesota! The sunshine and warm temperatures are such a blessing and bring so much joy. Of course, every season has its good and bad. 

The good news is that the snow has melted here in Stillwater, Minnesota. It was a relatively calm spring. We did not receive an influx of calls from people with wet basements caused by the snow melt. 

There is still worry about river flooding however. The snow up north is still melting and headed our way. Major flooding is still forecasted for the St. Croix River. According to The National Weather Service the river is expected to rise above flood stage Saturday evening, April 15, 2023 and continue rising to a crest of 89 feet Tuesday morning. Flood stage is at 87 feet.  At 89 feet, the city park in Bayport, Minnesota begins flooding.

While the warm temperatures this week may feel like summer, please remember that rivers are very dangerous this time of year. If you live along the St. Croix River, take precaution to protect your property. 

  • Move contents out of the basement/ground level floor if possible
  • Elevate major appliances onto concrete blocks
  • Clean drainage ditches or storm drains
  • Use a flood barrier (sandbags, portable flood gates, inflatable flood walls, etc.)
  • Make sure your sump pump is working properly
  • Turn off electricity at the breaker panel

If floodwater does enter your home, remember that it is contaminated water.  Take precautions to protect yourself and your family. If you need help with flood cleanup, give SERVPRO of Stillwater, Oakdale, Mahtomedi a call, 651-705-7028.

Equipment & Safety Precautions Used in Water Removal

12/12/2022 (Permalink)

Air movers in a basement Floor drying basement floor

Water Restoration Process

Water removal is often considered the most important step in any water restoration process. It involves removing excess water to prevent mold growth and serious structural damage. Water removal should be done by highly trained professionals with the right equipment, experience and knowledge of the industry.

Water removal is the most important step.

Water removal is often considered the most important step in any water restoration process. It is the only way to ensure that all moisture has been removed and that mold, mildew and bacteria will not be able to grow. The best way to accomplish this task is by using specialized equipment such as:

  • Water extraction tools (wet vacuums)
  • Air movers (squeegees, fans)

These tools work together with dryers and dehumidifiers to remove all residual moisture from a building’s structure. These devices require expertise; therefore, it’s important for contractors who are experienced in water damage restoration services to handle these projects properly.

Equipment required for large floods and small pills.

Water removal equipment is available in a variety of sizes and shapes, from small vacuum extractors to large pumps. If you're using your own pump, be sure it has a high enough PSI rating so that it can handle the amount of water in your Oakdale, MN home or business.

If there is a large flood situation, then renting or purchasing a larger pump may be necessary. The size of the flood will dictate what kind of equipment will work best for removing it quickly and efficiently; however, paying the price to purchase or rent equipment might be more expensive than having a contractor remove the water for you.

A dehumidifier will help reduce humidity levels in your house.

A dehumidifier is a machine that removes moisture from the air. Dehumidifiers can help reduce humidity levels in your home and protect against mold growth and damage to building materials.

How Can SERVPRO of Stillwater, Oakdale, Mahtomedi help?

If you want to get back in your home as soon as possible and start the process of rebuilding, SERVPRO of Stillwater, Oakdale, Mahtomedi can help. Our technicians will work with you and your insurance company to help determine the right course of action for cleaning up and restoring your property. We also work closely with other experts in the field such as mold remediation contractors, structural engineers, and drying companies when needed.


Water damage can cause secondary damage if not attended quickly. We at SERVPRO of Stillwater, Oakdale, Mahtomedi understand that you have a lot on your hands and it’s hard enough to deal with the damage caused by water without having to worry about finding someone to help you with the cleanup process. That is why we are here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week when water damage strikes in your home or business. Our cleanup crews are fully trained in all aspects of water removal, so they know exactly what steps need to be taken before starting any type of cleanup project.

To learn more about our water damage restoration services, contact us today!

How Do You Fix a Leaky Faucet?

11/8/2022 (Permalink)

Leaking faucet Fixing a leaking faucet is no big deal

How Can a Leaky Faucet Be Fixed?

You’re sitting in the kitchen, enjoying a nice cup of coffee or tea, when you hear the unmistakable sound of water dripping. You turn around and see drips coming out of your faucet—ugh! You can’t do anything but sigh; it's going to be one of those days. Don't worry – with a few helpful tips, fixing a leaky faucet doesn't have to be difficult at all. Here's how.

Stop the Drip

If you are dealing with a dripping faucet, first turn the water off at the source. Then, unscrew and remove the cap from under your sink to expose the plumbing underneath. Next, remove the plastic cap that covers up where water flows through your faucet body. 

Turn Off the Water

Before you begin working on the faucet, turn off the water supply valve near your water meter. This will prevent you from accidentally turning on a running faucet while working nearby and getting soaked in cold water. If you don’t know where this valve is located, ask someone who does or call a plumber for assistance.

If for some reason you are unsure how to turn off the water supply valve yourself, have no fear! It's easy enough that anyone can do it with minimal knowledge and practice. 

Unscrew the Cap

If you’re going to fix your leaky faucet, use a wrench. Don’t try to unscrew the cap with your hands! You won’t be able to get a good grip and could end up dropping it into the sink or breaking it. 

Make sure that you have some sort of cloth or sponge at hand (not your hands) so that if any water starts leaking out during your repair job, it doesn't get all over everything else in sight.

Remove the Plastic Cap

To remove the plastic cap, use a screwdriver to pry it off. The cap will be located under the handle of your faucet. If you're having trouble finding it, look for a small hole in the faucet body where there's likely a screw holding it in place—this should be easy enough to spot with an X-Acto knife or needle-nose pliers if you don't have any tools on hand. 

Take Off the Handle Screw

1. Take the handle screw off with your screwdriver.

2. Pull off the entire handle, including all pieces attached to it (the metal part that connects to the faucet body, as well as springs and other components).

3. Replace your old handle with a new one by following instructions on its packaging.

Take Off the Handle and Remove the O-ring

To fix a leaky faucet, you'll need a screwdriver and an O-ring. First, take off the handle with your screwdriver by carefully unscrewing it from the stem. Then remove the O-ring from inside of it and replace it if necessary: if it's worn out or cracked, replace it before putting everything back together again. Make sure that you put everything back together correctly—the stem should be lined up with its notch on top when reinserted into its hole in the basin.

Take Out the Stem and Replace It

If the stem is still in place, take it out. You'll need to do this by removing the screw that holds it in place and twisting the stem off. Once you've removed the old stem, replace it with a new one by pushing it through from above and tightening its screw into place.

Clean Up Any Debris and Corrosion

You'll want to clean up any debris and corrosion. This can be done with a toothbrush, pipe cleaner, toothpick, or cotton swab.

For the threads: You'll use your brush or pipe cleaner to clean out all the debris from within them. If there is any corrosion on the inside of these threads, you should use some non-flammable mineral spirits (available at hardware stores) to remove it before reinstalling your faucet.

For the stem: Use your pipe cleaner and a small brush to wipe away any dirt or grime that may have accumulated in there over time. 

In the end, fixing a leaking faucet is no big deal. It’s not something that should keep you up at night unless your apartment is on fire or something. You can save yourself some time and money by doing it yourself instead of calling in a plumber every time there’s something wrong with your plumbing. Just follow these steps carefully and you should be good to go!

What To Do After a Fire

10/15/2022 (Permalink)

chair and furniture in the room after burned by fire The aftermath of a fire.

How to Respond to a Fire

It can be hard to know what to do after a fire. The damage is extensive, and you may not even know if your insurance will cover it. Here are some tips that can help you get past the initial shock of a house fire and start planning.

Get your insurance information.

After you have evacuated your home and have been given the “all clear” from your fire department that it is safe to return, you will want to contact your insurance provider. 

Once you are connected with an agent, it is important that you provide them with a full list of the damage. For this reason, it is important to keep a running list of your belongings and any assets that may be affected in a disaster. This will help the insurance agent construct and accurate claim. 

When the fire is out, you should contact your insurance carrier. You'll need to report the event and get an adjuster to come out as soon as possible. This can be done by phone or in person at your local branch office. Do not clean up anything on your own until the adjuster has looked at it; otherwise, any damage that may have occurred during cleanup could affect your claim.

Contact a fire damage restoration service. 

If your house has been affected by fire or smoke damage, you will want to contact a fire damage restoration service. These companies help homeowners deal with the aftermath of fires in their homes. They can board up the house, clean it, and repair it, as well as help with insurance claims. The company may also be able to help find temporary or permanent housing for you and your family while repairs are being made on your home.

Document the damage.

One of the most important steps in your insurance claim is to document the damage. This will help you get a more accurate estimate and more money in your pocket.

Here's how:

  • Take photos of the damage. Make sure you take pictures of what happened before, during, and after the fire so that you can clearly show how much work was done by firefighters or contractors hired on your behalf.
  • Take detailed notes of what happened during and after the fire (dates, times, conversations with anyone from your insurance company). You may need this information when talking with an adjuster or at trial if it comes down to litigation for damages caused by negligence on someone else's part (i.e., someone not paying attention around an open flame).
  • Measure everything—from flooring materials removed for cleaning purposes all way up through any smoke damage that has occurred on walls and ceilings above where firefighters were working at extinguishing flames below them.

Clean up any mess.

  • After a fire, you will need to remove any debris and clean up the mess.
  • Clean up any wet or dry materials on the floor.
  • Remove smoke smell from walls, ceilings, and furniture by washing them with soap and water (if possible).
  • Clean curtains, clothes, and furniture with mild detergent in warm water. 
  • Use an industrial vacuum to suck up excess soot from carpets before washing them. Get rid of any large dust particles from air ducts with a brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner hose or use a stiff broom to sweep it out through windows if necessary (make sure all windows are open for ventilation).

It is hard to know what to do after a fire, but here's some advice on how to start the process of recovery.

  • Get the insurance company involved.
  • Clean up the mess as much as possible.
  • Document the damage with pictures or a video camera. If you can take pictures or video of your home before and after, that can be very helpful for both your own records and for your insurance claim.
  • Contact a fire damage restoration service if you need help cleaning up after a fire in your home.

The aftermath of a fire can be overwhelming, but there are many things that you can do to help the recovery process. Keep in mind that it may take some time before your home is back to normal, and that’s okay! Be patient with yourself, and if there are any bugs or issues along the way, ask for help from friends and family members who will be happy to lend their assistance.

3 Reasons To Invest in Business Insurance

9/4/2022 (Permalink)

Flood cuts performed on a drywall, air scrubber placed in the middle of the room Water damage can come from just about anywhere.

Business Insurance

If your commercial property in Mahtomedi, MN, has suffered water damage, contact insurance immediately seeking aid. Most insurance policies cover some water intrusion, such as busted pipes. Your agent can collaborate with a water restoration company to ensure that the building receives appropriate cleanup and provide financial help.

1. Minimize Your Out-of-Pocket Costs

Repair bills for broken pipes can be quite large. The lines themselves must be mended; then, the property must be dried, cleaned and restored. This process is timely and could require revamping much of the space, costing well within the thousands. Many owners do not have that money saved, and a bank loan means facing undesirable interest. With an insurance policy, owners pay a deducible. The agency handles the rest of the funds, at least up to the coverage amount.

2. Receive Thorough Professional Restoration Services

The insurer may not love writing over a large check, but the agency certainly needs to protect the asset and avoid future claims. Before financial assistance is granted, the agency insists on their adjuster seeing the building, determining what should be done. They also monitor the completion request to ensure that everything you need is covered. It's an extra set of eyes to safeguard you and your establishment.

3. Cover Property Loss and Damage

During a water cleanup, the crew may extract drywall and carpeting since there are difficult to sanitize thoroughly. Also, the team looks over any other drenched valuables, considering whether they are salvageable or not. While their content cleaning employees may be able to treat electronics and important documents, much of the saturated items are likely tossed. Insurance policies cover the restoration of the structure and the replacement of lost belongings, saving you the hassle of paying for them yourself.
Water damage remediation adds up quickly. Having an insurance policy is an owner's lifeline, offering the reassurance that the premises receive proper care at an affordable rate. The monthly investment pays off when calamity strikes.

What To Do if There Is a Gas Leak in Your Home

8/31/2022 (Permalink)

Realistic images Show gas pipes are leaking. Vector realistic file. In the event of a gas leak, it's important to know where your gas meter is located.

What to Do if Your Home Has a Gas Leak

Smelling gas within your home can be disastrous if you don't know how to react. Here are five tips to help minimize the risk of a gas fire sparking in your Bayport, MN, home.

1. Check the Stove
For homes with a gas-burning stove, this is often the culprit of a gas scent wafting. If you are not actively cooking but smell gas, check the stove to make sure a burner wasn't left on. Always be mindful of shutting the stove off after cooking, as combustion is always possible and creates destruction only fire damage restoration professionals can repair.

2. Keep Lights Off
Do not turn on any lights in the home if you suspect a gas leak. They could cause a spark that could lead to a gas explosion in severe cases. If you need light, use a flashlight instead.

3. Open Doors and Windows in the House
Proper airflow and ventilation are important in reducing the risk of a gas fire. Therefore, if you smell gas, create more circulation for it to flow rather than be contained in one space. Opening up the doors and windows of your home promotes gas movement rather than collection.

4. Shutoff Gas Meter
In the event of a gas leak, it's important to know where your gas meter is located and how to shut it off. This will stop the flow of gas and can prove critical for keeping you and your family safe from harm.

5. Evacuate Home Upon Smelling Natural Gas
The best way to ensure safety from a potential gas fire is to evacuate your home if gas odors are present. Make sure everyone in the household is accounted for and gather a safe distance away from the house in case an explosion occurs.
If you smell gas within your home, act accordingly. Check your stovetop, keep lights off, open windows, turn off the gas meter and evacuate for your safety.

3 Steps for Protecting Your Home After a Water Event

8/16/2022 (Permalink)

Water gauge pressure, hand shut off main valve, close-up. If a flood was caused by one or more pipes in your home, you should turn off your home's water.

Three Steps to Protect Your Home After a Flood

When flooding affects your Mahtomedi, MN, home, the immediate aftermath is often difficult to handle. However, since water damage can occur quickly to your home's building materials, furniture and electronics, knowing how to prevent or reduce it can lower the risk of loss of personal or costly items.

1. Turn Off the Water Source
If the flood source is one or more broken pipes in your home, you can slow the damage by turning off your home's water. Locating the valve ahead of time and knowing how to operate it can help you act even faster, but if you are unsure of its location, check with your local water company and ask for assistance in shutting off the water supply.

2. Keep Humidity Low
Water damage can cause several secondary problems, such as mold growth, because of the increased humidity standing water tends to cause. You can slow this process by opening windows in the affected area and operating ceiling and floor fans to improve air circulation. Turning off your HVAC unit can also keep humidity levels down and prevent mold spores from traveling into other areas of the home and taking root there.

3. Remove Items To Prevent Water Damage
If the water source is sanitary, such as from a sink or broken water line, you can likely enter it to remove important items to dry them out. Remain cautious about moving through the water and if the flood's source came from an overflowing toilet or broken sewer connection, wait for a water cleanup and flood mitigation service to assist you. Water that comes from unsanitary sources may carry harmful bacteria or corrosive chemicals that could harm your skin.
Flooding can have a serious effect on your Mahtomedi, MN, home, and your belongings. Acting quickly in the wake of a flood to reduce the damage can keep repair costs low and allow for a quicker turnaround time.

Mold Inspection Before Buying a Building

8/4/2022 (Permalink)

Man inspecting a wall A mold inspection can be conducted to determine if the building has a mold problem.

Mold Inspection

Before purchasing a building, buyers typically have it inspected. This alerts the buyer of any structural damage or other problems that can impact the decision to buy the property or the price they are willing to pay. During this process, a mold inspection can be conducted to determine if the building has a mold problem.

Where to Look

Mold can be found in many different locations within a building:

  • Air ducts or HVAC systems
  • Basements or other areas that have experienced flooding
  • Bathrooms
  • Kitchens
  • Ceiling tiles
  • Near leaking pipes

While the buyer may be able to spot visible mold on their own, a professional building inspector will be able to identify more subtle signs and check the area more thoroughly.

High-Risk Buildings

Some buildings have a higher risk of mold presence than others. If the building you are considering purchasing has a high risk of mold, you should definitely have a mold inspection performed before buying it.

Mold grows in warm, moist environments. Buildings that have experienced flooding, leaking pipes or sewage backup should be considered high risk. Humidity should also be considered. Very humid climates allow moisture to accumulate in buildings, leading to mold growth. When deciding if you want the building inspector to check for mold, keep these high-risk factors in mind.


A building with a mold problem poses significant risks that must be addressed immediately. Mold can damage building materials, such as wood, and threaten the structural integrity of the building. If this is the case, a mold remediation service in Lakeland, MN, should remove the mold and repair any damage immediately. They should also treat the area with a disinfectant to prevent the spread of harmful toxins.
Conducting a mold inspection before purchasing a building can save you a lot of money in repairs later on. Discovering a mold problem early helps ensure the safety of the building and its inhabitants.

Choose the Leader in Fast Emergency Response

7/30/2022 (Permalink)

Board up window of a home Board up windows in a home in Mahtomedi, MN.

Pick the Best for Quick Emergency Response

Fires, storms and flooding can all cause damage to your property and require professional repairs. Delays in the restoration work may create further damage to your Mahtomedi, MN, home, or business. It's therefore critical to initiate swift emergency response to keep you and your property safe. SERVPRO's local franchise network guarantees a response Faster to Any Size Disaster. Give them a call and expect their team to quickly arrive on-site to survey the damage and form a restoration plan.

Get Help Faster to Any Size Disaster
After the initial disaster hits, unresolved fire and water damage can create electric shock hazards and reduce the structural integrity of your property. Smoke and humidity may cause mold formation and odors within walls, ceilings, and belongings. The swift response of SERVPRO's local franchise network keeps you safe, prevents secondary damage and cuts repair costs. Their technicians work to prevent further damage to your property by:

  • Putting up tarps and boards
  • Removing water and odors
  • Drying water-logged surfaces
  • Halting the spread of mold
  • Resolving potential hazards

Simplify Your Insurance Claim
It can be hard deciding who to trust with fixing your property. Rest assured that SERVPRO always lives up to its reputation as one of the most trusted disaster remediation companies in the nation. As a result, they are a preferred remediation vendor for many insurance companies.
Claim services are one of the prime benefits available from SERVPRO. You can save time and money by letting them help you create a record of your lost or damaged goods. Both you and the insurance company can easily access their reports in either hard copy or electronic form.
You can count on SERVPRO to provide the best emergency remediation services for your Mahtomedi, MN, home, or business. They promise to be Faster to Any Size Disaster, made possible by locally-owned franchises always on call to serve you.

Understanding Business Interruption Insurance

7/14/2022 (Permalink)

Business interruption insurance form and red pen for signing. If a disaster strikes, having business interruption insurance provides needed financial relief to help stay afloat.

Business Interruption Insurance

If a fire happens at your Lake Elmo, MN, business, it means unexpected downtown and other financial losses. While waiting for a professional fire restoration company to get the property back up and running, there are still added expenses. Business interruption insurance is one way to help ensure recovery from the loss.

What Is Covered?

Knowing that the unexpected happens, a successful business needs to plan for those situations. While there are many ways to plan for that, it is also necessary to consider insurance. This type of additional coverage provides added peace of mind. While every policy is different, most will cover:

  • Sales or revenue lost if operating normally
  • Expenses associated with temporary relocation
  • Rent or lease payments
  • Utility services
  • Taxes and loan payments
  • Employee payroll
  • Additional related expenses incurred

Business owners should thoroughly understand what is and isn’t covered, as well as know the coverage limits. This type of coverage is for financial losses, not property, which should be covered under general liability. In most cases, it won’t provide coverage for contingent or partial interruptions or ones not related to damaged property.

Business Fire Restoration Period

In most cases, it takes 48 to 72 hours for coverage to begin after a claim is accepted. It’s also important to note that regardless of the policy, it will include a restoration period. This is a set time frame that funds will be received after the claim is accepted. In many cases, the benefits will last up to one year. Of course, providers will expect that fire cleaning and other restoration services are being handled as quickly as possible.
While a successful business may be focused on growth and day-to-day operations, it also has to consider how it may be affected by unexpected events. If a disaster strikes, having business interruption insurance provides needed financial relief to help stay afloat.