Recent Posts

Importance of Clean Carpets

1/29/2020 (Permalink)

Dirt, dust, bacteria and other allergens build up in your carpet over time.  This build up causes two issues:  1) it’s unhealthy and 2) it mattes down the carpet fibers, making your carpet look old and worn.

A good professional cleaning will remove the dirt, debris and bacteria that regular vacuuming will not, keeping the environment in your home healthy and your carpet looking it’s best.  The Carpet and Rug Institute recommends professionally deep cleaning your carpet every 12-18 months. 

Here at SERVPRO of Appleton & Winnebago County we have two of the best carpet cleaners in the business.  They both have over 10 years of experience and are dedicated to their craft. 

Brent Smeaton came to us in February of 2017 with 9 years of commercial and residential carpet restoration experience.  He has a very loyal following of property management companies, churches, insurance offices, assisted living homes, residential customers and more. 

Jordan Van Handel came to us in March of 2018.  He too came with 9 years of previous carpet restoration experience.  Jordan approaches every job as if it’s his own home.  His goal is to make the homeowner proud of their clean home.

If the carpet in your home or business needs a good professional cleaning, give our office a call at (920) 832-1110.  Brent and Jordan will make you glad you did.       

National Have Fun at Work Day

1/28/2020 (Permalink)

Escape Room Photo Team Debbie

January 28th is “National Have Fun at Work Day.”  At SERVPRO of Appleton & Winnebago County we believe it’s important for our employees to enjoy what they do.  We believe that increased employee satisfaction means a better experience for our customers.  To that end, we regularly plan events for our employees to have fun and increase team bonding.

For our most recent outing this past December, we went to Badger Sports Park for an Escape Room Experience.  We formed two teams that competed against each other to see which team could escape the fastest.  “Team Debbie” took home the prize and lots of fun was had by all.     

If you’d like to join our team and make a difference in the lives of people who have just experienced a disaster, stop by our office to fill out an application or send an email to our president at:

Winter Storms

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

When we think about storms, often the first thing that comes to mind is tornadoes and severe thunderstorms in the spring and summer.  But winter in Wisconsin has its fair share of storms as well, and both can cause a significant amount of damage to your home or business.

According to Wikipedia, “A winter storm warning is a statement made by the National Weather Service of the United States which means a winter storm is occurring or is about to occur in the area, usually within 36 hours.  Generally, A Winter Storm Warning is issued if the following criteria, at least, are forecast: usually between 4 inches to 7 inches or more of snow or usually 3 inches or more of snow with a large accumulation of ice.”

A blizzard adds the element of wind.  “The National Weather Service defines a blizzard as a severe snowstorm characterized by strong winds causing blowing snow that results in low visibilities.  The difference between a blizzard and a snowstorm is the strength of the wind, not the amount of snow.  To be a blizzard, a snow storm must have sustained winds, or frequent gusts, that are greater than or equal to 32 mph with blowing or drifting snow which reduces visibility to .25 miles or less and must last for a prolonged period of time – typically three hours or more”

Both winter storms and blizzards can cause a significant amount of damage to your home or business.  Most often the culprit is downed power lines from heavy ice or high winds.  No power in the spring and summer months can mean no working sump pump and a flooded basement.  No power in the winter months can cause a disruption in heat, which can lead to frozen and eventually burst water pipes.  And a burst water pipe can cause considerable damage to your property if not addressed quickly.  If your home or business experiences a disruption in heat during the winter months, it’s important that you monitor the temperature in your home and take action to prevent a water damage situation if the temperature drops too low. 

But a disruption in power or heat is not the only problem a winter storm or blizzard can create.  A storm that dumps a large accumulation of ice can also create an ice dam situation on your roof.  Typically ice dams develop somewhat slowly over the winter months.  But in rarer instances, a winter storm with a significant amount of ice, can create ice dam conditions as well.  The Fox Valley and surrounding areas had such a storm last winter.  Our phones were ringing off the hook with customers who had water leaking into their home from ice dams on their roof.

If your home or business experiences damage from a winter storm, our experts at SERVPRO of Appleton & Winnebago County are always here to help.

Fire Restoration for Insurance Professionals

1/20/2020 (Permalink)

Are you an insurance professional who would like to learn more about cleaning & restoring smoke damaged contents?  If so, we have a great opportunity for you!

On Wednesday, March 11th, 2020, we will be hosting two Continuing Education Courses at the Wisconsin Timber Rattler Stadium in Appleton.  There will be a 3 credit morning class on "Ethics" and a 2 credit afternoon class on "Cleaning & Restoring Smoke Damaged Contents".

Coffee & Pastries will be served at the morning registration and lunch will be served at 11:30.  You are welcome to join us for lunch regardless of which classes you are attending.

This has become a very popular annual event and space is limited, so register early.  To reserve your spot, contact our office at (920) 832-1110 or email:

We look forward to seeing you!    

Working at SERVPRO

1/15/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Appleton & Winnebago County is a family owned and operated business, and every member of our team is truly a part of our big family.  Our goal is to provide a work environment that encourages team work, gives a sense of purpose, teaches leadership, and fosters not only professional growth but personal growth as well.  We believe that when our employees have a positive experience, our customers will as well.  

We asked our employees this past week what their favorite part about working at SERVPRO of Appleton & Winnebago County is and here are some of their responses:

“I like that it is a fun, team-oriented workplace.”

“Horrible things happen to good people. I get to swoop in and turn a devastating and stressful situation into new hope. I get to be a hero!”

 “I enjoy the family atmosphere and appreciate the knowledge you retain from being on the crew.”

“My favorite part of working for SERVPRO is the relationships I have with my coworkers and my boss.”

“I get the opportunity to help people in need, there is camaraderie within the team, and I have long-lasting relationships with my fellow coworkers that have become an extended family.”

“When I finish a cleaning assignment, the appreciation and gratitude from the customer is instant satisfaction.”

“This work environment gives me the opportunity to have self-growth”   

If you are interested in joining our team please stop by our office at 2235 Northern Rd Appleton, WI 54914, right of HWY 41, to fill out an application.  You may also send your resume to Questions? Call our office at (920)-832-1110.

Ice Dams

1/14/2020 (Permalink)

Ice dams can be a major problem during the winter season.  

An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow (water) from draining off the roof. Typically ice dams form slowly.  As snow melts from your roof, either by the heat of the sun, or by heat escaping from your home, it tends to refreeze at the edges and other juncture points of your roof. The refreezing of water has a damming effect creating an even bigger ice dam behind it. Continuous feeding of the ice dam by melting and refreezing snow melt can cause significant damage. As the water seeps under shingles it refreezes expanding and creating an even bigger gap for future drainage to fill and further the cycle. Your shingles are being raised and eventually the water that backs up behind the dam, and underneath the shingles, can leak into your home and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, and create a perfect environment for mold growth.

Last winter however an unusual storm dumped a couple of inches of snow/ice on our area.  Homes that typically don't have problems with ice damming suddenly had ice dams overnight.  As that ice began to melt several days later, these homes had water leaking in to their homes. 

If you have water in your home this winter from ice damming, SERVPRO of Appleton & Winnebago County can help.   

Candle Safety

1/9/2020 (Permalink)

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching.  Many people will burn candles for the holiday.  Candles can create a romantic and relaxing atmosphere while producing a pleasing scent.  But when used improperly, candles can cause house fires.  According to the National Fire Protection Association, approximately 8,200 home fires are started each year by candles. 

According to the National Candle Association here are some candle safety basics:

  • Before burning, trim the candle wick to ¼ inch in order to prevent a flame from being too large
  • Always burn candles in a well-ventilated room and avoid drafts/vents
  • Never leave a candle unattended
  • Never place a candle near or on anything that can catch fire
  • Use a candle snuffer to extinguish the flame (never use water)
  • Do not move a candle until it is completely cooled

The best way to prevent house fires caused by candles is to not use candles at all. Here are some alternatives to candles that can help create that desired atmosphere and scent without the danger of a flame:

  • Essential Oil Diffuser
  • Battery-Powered Candles
  • Candle Warmers

But if you do experience smoke or fire damage as the result of a burning candle, our experts at SERVPRO of Appleton & Winnebago County are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help restore your property. 

Flu Season Cleaning

1/9/2020 (Permalink)

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of flu cases have recently spiked across Wisconsin, putting Wisconsin at a high flu activity level.

If you've had a significant outbreak at your home, school or office, SERVPRO of Appleton & Winnebago County can help you clean and disinfect your property to prevent the further spread of disease. 

Homes and businesses can depend on SERVPRO of Appleton & Winnebago County to clean and sanitize building materials, surfaces and contents following restoration industry standards, using professional cleaning products and EPA-registered cleaners and disinfectants.  Our professionals are also equipped to clean your HVAC and duct systems to help provide better air quality and help reduce the risk of circulating harmful contaminants.   

Call our office today if we can help you! (920) 832-1110

Great American Smokeout

11/21/2019 (Permalink)

November 21st marks the “Great American Smokeout”.  The American Cancer Society sponsors the Great American Smokeout every year on the third Thursday in November.  This is an annual social engineering event to encourage Americans to quit tobacco smoking.  It challenges smokers to quit smoking for 24 hours in the hopes that they will continue beyond 24 hours.  While we all know the health benefits of not smoking, we in the restoration business think it’s a good idea to not smoke as well.

According to FEMA, “An estimated 7,600 smoking-related fires in residential buildings occur each year in the United States.  While smoking-related fires accounted for only 2 percent of all residential building fires, they were a leading cause of civilian fire deaths, accounting for 14 percent of fire deaths in residential buildings.  Nonconfined fires accounted for 93 percent of residential building smoking-related fires.  Sixty-seven percent of nonconfined residential building smoking-related fires occurred because of abandoned or discarded smoking materials or products, primarily cigarettes.  The bedroom was the leading area of fire origin for nonconfined residential building smoking-related fires at 24 percent.  Residential building smoking-related fires occurred most often from noon to 8 p.m., peaking from2 to 3 pm at 6 percent”

Giving up smoking will not only improve your health, but it will also reduce your risk of a home fire.  Consider joining the “Great American Smokeout” today.   

National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day

11/15/2019 (Permalink)

November 15th is National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day.  Maintaining your refrigerator will not only keep it looking and smelling good, but it will help keep you healthy as well.  Many experts recommend cleaning your refrigerator at least twice a month to keep mold and bacteria at bay.     

As we’ve discussed in previous blog posts, mold can spread.  Once mold starts to grow on your produce or leftovers, it can spread to other items sitting beside or underneath it, or even surfaces of the refrigerator.  It’s important to get rid of moldy items quickly.      

It’s also important to watch expiration dates and dispose of any expired items.  Pay close attention to whether the dates are “sell by” dates or “use by” dates.  For foods without an expiration date, the following website is helpful in determining how long food is good for.

If you have a manual defrost freezer, you should defrost it once a year or when frost build up covers a large area and exceeds ¼ of an inch. 

Linda Cobb, author of “Talking Dirty with the Queen of Clean”, has excellent tips for cleaning your refrigerator and freezer.

"When you wipe out the refrigerator, always use a cloth or sponge moistened with white vinegar.  It leaves a clean, fresh scent and helps prevent mildew.

A dab of vanilla, lemon or orange extract on a small pad of cotton will keep the refrigerator fresh-smelling without a perfume odor.

Many common refrigerator odors may be removed by placing a small tub filled with charcoal in the middle rack in the refrigerator.  I use the charcoal made for fish tanks.

If you are shutting off a refrigerator, be sure to prop the door open a crack for air circulation and put a container of fresh coffee grounds inside to ward off unpleasant odors.. For strong odor removal, a container or nylon stocking with coffee grounds in it works wonders.

For cleaning ease, wipe the inside of the refrigerator, including shelves, with a cloth dipped in glycerin, available in the hand cream section at the drugstore. This light coating will keep spills from sticking.  Even milk or sticky substances will wipe right out.

Try using the glycerin in freezers, too.  That way spills, even though frozen, wipe right out.

Wash out the freezer with a solution of 1 gallon warm water and 1/4 cup borax to clean and deodorize.  Rinse and dry."