Recent Posts

National Social Media Day

6/30/2020 (Permalink)

June 30th is National Social Media Day.  In a relatively short time, social media has completely transformed our lives.  Many people might be surprised to know that it all started with a site called Friendster.  According to Wikipedia, “Friendster was a U.S. social networking site based in Mountain View, California, founded in 2002 and launched in March 2003 by Jonathan Abrams.  The company was sold in 2015 and became a social gaming site based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.”

A more widely known social networking site called My Space was born from Friendster.  According to Wikipedia, “In August 2003, several eUniverse employees with Friendster accounts saw potential in its social networking features.  The group decided to mimic the more popular features of the website.  Within 10 days, the first version of Myspace was ready for launch… From 2005 to 2008, it was the largest social networking site in the world, reaching more than 100 million users per month.”

Of course, we all know that Myspace was eventually dwarfed by Facebook.  Today roughly about 68% of U.S. adults say that they use Facebook, and roughly three-quarters of them say they access Facebook on a daily basis.  Facebook users span a wide range of ages and demographic groups. 

Given those numbers, it’s not surprising that most U.S. companies also have a Facebook page.  We here at SERVPRO of Appleton are no exception.  We would love to count you among our followers at:

Followers of our page can find helpful tips for cleaning their homes, avoiding disasters and so much more

Terminally Cleaning a Healthcare Facility

5/28/2020 (Permalink)

Picture of our employee Amanda Baranczyk Amanda Baranczyk

Healthcare professionals all over the United States are bravely caring for COVID-19 patients.  We here at SERVPRO of Appleton are proud to assist them in any way we can.  Every night we have a crew, headed up by our very own Amanda Baranczyk, that goes into a local medical facility and terminally cleans the entire floor being used for COVID-19.  This includes COVID-19 patient rooms, the nurse’s station, lounges, restrooms and more, the entire floor.   

Terminal cleaning is a cleaning method used in healthcare environments to control the spread of infections. It is the thorough cleaning/disinfection of all surfaces including walls, floors, ceilings, and re-usable equipment.   

Amanda says that she really enjoys her work at the hospital.  She enjoys helping people, and the contribution she can make to her community during this global pandemic. This work is a perfect match for Amanda as she has even joked that she would do this work for free.  We here at SERVPRO of Appleton, and the entire Appleton community, are lucky to have her and her crew!  Together we will get through these difficult times.    

Grocery Store Fire

5/27/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Industries was originally launched in 1967 by Ted and Doris Isaacson as a painting business in Sacramento, California.  But with their background in cleaning and restoration, they transformed the company into a franchisor of cleanup and restoration specialists.  They sold their first franchise in 1969.  By 1988, there were 647 franchises and the corporate headquarters was moved to Gallatin, Tennessee.  Today there are over 1,700 franchises in the United States and Canada. 

According to Wikipedia, “Despite the franchise structure of numerous relatively small entities, SERVPRO has the capacity and organizational competence to respond to large-scale disasters, including major corporate and government contracts…..”  What that means to you is that we are always here to help. Whether you are a single homeowner in an area that has been hit by a large scale storm like a hurricane, or you are a large or small business, we can call upon our national franchise system to work together to address your needs.  We are the only restoration company in the industry that has the organizational competence to do this.    

Recently we helped the Madison franchise clean up after a fryer caught fire at a Pick ‘n Save in Columbus, Wisconsin.  Our two franchises worked together and put in long hours so that the store could reopen in just 3 days. We couldn’t be any prouder of our crews and the effort they put in to get that grocery store reopened, especially during these unprecedented times of a global pandemic.  It’s so important that our grocery stores remain open to serve their communities.        

National Pack Rat Day

5/13/2020 (Permalink)

May 17th is National Pack Rat Day.  Pack Rat is a nickname commonly used for a person who collects or hoards, often unneeded, items.  Sometimes a Pack Rat can evolve into a compulsive hoarder. 

According to Wikipedia, “Compulsive hoarding, also known as hording disorder, is a behavioral pattern characterized by excessive acquisition of and an inability or unwillingness to discard large quantities of objects that cover the living areas of the home and cause significant distress or impairment.  Compulsive hording behavior has been associated with health risks, impaired functioning, workplace impairment, economic burden, and adverse effects on friends and family members.  When clinically significant enough to impair functioning, hoarding can prevent typical uses of space enough so that it can limit activities such as cooking, cleaning, moving through the house, and sleeping.  It can also put the individual and others at risk of fires, falling, poor sanitation, and other health concerns.

Researchers have recognized compulsive hoarding as a phenomenon since at least the 1980’s, but only recently have begun to study hoarding, and it was first defined as a mental disorder in the 5th edition of the DSM in 2013.  It was not clear whether compulsive hoarding is a separate, isolated disorder, or rather a symptom of another condition, such as OCD, but the current DSM lists hoarding disorder as both a mental disability and a possible symptom of OCD.  Prevalence rates have been estimated at 2%-5% in adults, though the condition typically manifests in childhood with symptoms worsening in advanced age, at which point collected items have grown excessive and family members who would otherwise help to maintain and control the levels of clutter have either died or moved away.  Hoarding appears to be more common in people with psychological disorders such as depression, anxiety, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.  Other factors associated with hoarding include alcohol dependence and paranoid, schizotypal and avoidance traits.”

If you suspect that a friend or a loved one is a compulsive hoarder, getting them the proper psychological help is essential.  But in addition to the psychological help, they will need help cleaning and organizing their home or living space.  We here at SERVPRO of Appleton & Winnebago County have extensive experience cleaning severe hoarding situations.  We will clean the space with efficiency and compassion. 

National Third Shift Workers Day

5/12/2020 (Permalink)

May 13th is National Third Shift Workers Day.  The third shift usually runs from midnight until 8:00 am.  According to 2004 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost 15 million Americans work full time on evening shift, night shift, rotating shifts, or other employer arranged irregular schedules.    

On this day we would like to acknowledge our hard-working staff at SERVPRO of Appleton & Winnebago County who often work irregular schedules.  While they may not work third shift every day, every week or even every month, they sure do when it’s necessary.  Emergencies can happen at any time of the day or night, and our heroes at SERVPRO are here to help with your emergency whenever it may occur!  We are very proud of their hard work and dedication to serving others in need!    

American Red Cross Giving Day

4/21/2020 (Permalink)

Picture of employees before going out to volunteer SERVPRO of Appleton & Winnebago County employees volunteering for the American Red Cross' "Sound the Alarm Campaign".

April 21st is “American Red Cross Giving Day”.  According to Wikipedia, the American Red Cross is a humanitarian organization that provides emergency assistance, disaster relief, and disaster preparedness education.  Each year it responds to more than 60,000 disasters, including house or apartment fires, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, hazardous materials spills, transportation accidents, explosions and other natural and man-made disasters.  They offer assistance that allows people to resume their normal daily activities, by providing shelter, food, health, and mental health services to address basic human needs.

Red Cross Giving Day was established in 2015.  It’s a 24 hour rally for public support.  If you’d like to support their mission, you can donate money or your time and efforts.  To find out more about volunteer opportunities in your area, visit:

Proper Grading Around Your Home or Business

4/21/2020 (Permalink)

In a recent blog post we talked about flood water and the need for flood insurance.  If your home falls in a high-risk flood area, you should talk to your lender or insurance agent about flood insurance today. 

But sometimes even homes that aren't in a high risk area can experience flood water during particularly heavy rains, or in the spring when the ground is still frozen.  Remember any water that flows over the ground and enters your home or basement through a window or any other crack or opening can be considered flood water.

Therefore it's essential that the ground around your foundation is properly pitched or slopped so that rain water flows away from your home and foundation.

Following is a great video from YouTube to show how the ground should be pitched around your home.  Take some time this spring to check the grading around your home to prevent problems down the road.

National Kickball Day

4/17/2020 (Permalink)

April 17th is “Kickball Day”.  According to Wikipedia, Kickball was invented in 1917 by Nicholas C Seuss, who was the Supervisor of Cincinnati Park Playgrounds in Cincinnati, Ohio.  It was originally called “Kick Baseball” or “kick cabbage”.  Seuss’ first documented overview of the game included 12 rules and a field diagram.

In the early 1920’s physical education teachers began using Kickball in their curriculum as a way to teach their students the basics of baseball.  At that time, they used a soccer ball or a volleyball. 

The lack of both specialized equipment and highly skilled base positions make Kickball perfect for not only children on playgrounds, but also adults looking for a little fun and extra exercise.  Many communities offer adult Kickball Leagues in the summer. 

Every summer our employees form a team in a local league.  It’s always a great night out and a good time for all.  We love sponsoring such a fun event for our employees and their families.  It's another way to promote team bonding and a great working environment for our employees.       

Flooding & Flood Insurance

4/15/2020 (Permalink)

The spring rainy season is upon us.  We have already begun receiving calls from home and business owners alike with flooded basements.  But did you know that where the water comes from is an important factor in determining if your homeowner’s insurance policy will cover losses associated with water in your basement?

Most often, water that flows across the ground and enters your basement through a window, door, or any other crack or opening is considered “flood water”.  According to Wikipedia, “Flooding is defined by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) as a general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land area or two or more properties (at least one of which is your property) from:  Overflow of inland waters, unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface water from any source…”

Losses associated with flood water are not generally covered by a standard homeowner’s insurance policy.  To be covered for losses associated with flood water, homeowners must have specific flood insurance.  Yet it is estimated that nationwide only about 20% of homes at risk for floods are covered by flood insurance.  If you live near a body of water and don’t have flood insurance, talk to your lender or insurance agent about this very important coverage today.    

Doing Our Part During the COVID-19 Pandemic

3/26/2020 (Permalink)

The COVID-19 Pandemic is spreading across the globe and the United States.  People are anxious and healthcare professionals and our politicians are scrambling to prepare and get ahead of the crisis. Tony Evers, the governor of Wisconsin, has issued a “Safer At Home” Order, which closes all nonessential businesses in the state in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus.     

As an emergency services company, we here at SERVPRO of Appleton & Winnebago County are not only open for business, but we are doing our part to assist with the COVID-19 Pandemic.  Last week we cleaned and disinfected a 60,000 square foot medical facility that has been sitting vacant since a new facility was built next door.  Healthcare officials are now setting up the old facility to be used for testing, triage and overflow. 

We are also helping some medical facilities with nightly disinfecting.  We are honored to be able to assist our hardworking and brave medical professionals in any way we can.