Recent Posts

Life with a smoke detector – noisy peace.

12/1/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO logo and text: "Sound the alarm, save a life." Follow the program

Almost 3,000 people every year die for a structure fire in the United States of America, that is 8 on average each day.  That is like removing a ball team each day, everyday of the year.  Not good, but with a few tips, maintenance and smoke detectors installed the number can be cut in half.  

Smoke alarms should be tested once a month by pressing the TEST button.  Smoke alarm batteries should be replaced in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, at least once a year. If an alarm “chirps” or “beeps” to indicate low batteries, they should be replaced immediately.  Occasionally dust or lightly vacuum the exterior of the alarm to remove dust and cobwebs.  Smoke alarms should be replaced in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, at least every ten years.  Never paint over a smoke alarm.

What WATER can Do – Time to get on it.

12/1/2020 (Permalink)

Image of United States of America We are ready, are you?

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

After fire cleanup

11/3/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 630-758-1701

What you did and didn't know about tornadoes

11/3/2020 (Permalink)

The Websters Dictionary defines a tornado : "A tornado is as a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground with whirling winds that can reach 300 mph. Damage paths of tornadoes can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long." 

According to the study done by The Weather Channel. Each year in the U.S., 1,200 tornadoes on average kill 60 people, injure 1,500, and cause roughly $400 million in damages, putting long-term average tornado losses on par with hurricanes.  

There are many misconceptions in regards to tornadoes.  Here are some facts from

Tornado Safety Related Myths

  • Southwest corner of your home/building/shelter is the safest location - In 1887 John P. Finley wrote a book on his observations of his tornado research. While he published some ground breaking information on tornadoes he also helped created this tornadoes myth. John believed that tornadoes only traveled in a northeast direction and that derby they created would be carried in the direction of its propagation. The 1997 F5 Jarrell tornado is a prime example of his misconceptions since that tornado moved in a south-southwesterly direction. It's recommended that you always seek shelter in the lowest floor of a building, preferably under an I-beam or staircase, regardless of the type of building you're in.
  • Open all the windows in your home when a tornado warning is issued - This is an extremely dangerous myth because it takes away critical minutes that could be used to reach shelter. It used to be widely believed that you needed to open your windows during a tornado to equalize pressure and prevent your house from exploding. A violent tornado will only have a 10% drop in pressure which isn't anywhere near enough to cause your home to explode. Ignore your windows and seek shelter immediately when a tornado warning is issued.
  • A highway overpass is an excellent tornado shelter - This myth gained huge traction in 1991 when a TV crew survived a tornado unharmed by sheltering under a overpass in El Dorado, KS. This event had nationwide coverage with video of the event and that helped perpetuate this myth to a dangerously high status. The conclusion for scientific evidence from the Oklahoma outbreak in 1999 actual proved that overpasses are actually one of the worst places to seek shelter during a violent tornado; mostly due to the wind tunnel effect that can accelerate flying derby speed even during weak tornadoes.
  • You can outrun a tornado via a vehicle - The theory behind this myth is a vehicle can travel faster than the average tornado, but the key phrase is average. There is no way for someone to know the travel and wind speed of a tornado just by looking at it. Plus the flooding, hail, and flying derby from a tornado can put someone in a vehicle in danger. The official directive from the National Weather Service is if you spot a tornado nearby to abandon your vehicle and seek shelter in a nearby building, culvert or ditch.
  • A brick or stone building can protect me from a tornado - While a brick or stone building can provide better protection during tornado a violent only can easily turn a brick or stone building into a pile of rubble. It's recommended that you always seek shelter in the lowest floor of a building, preferably under an I-beam or staircase, regardless of the type of building you're in.
  • If a tornado isn't coming directly towards me I'm safe - In the past it was common belief that a tornado would only travel in a northeasterly direction. While it's true that most tornadoes will move northeast this is most due to the direction the storm is traveling. Tornadoes are erratic, unpredictable, and can come from any direction. A prime example is the 1997 F5 tornadoes that struck Jarrell, TX which traveled southwest.

When a major storm hits, it may overwhelm local restoration companies. SERVPRO of La Grange Park / North Riverside can scale our resources by accessing the equipment and personnel of 1,700 Franchises. We can also access Disaster Recovery Teams that specialize in major storms and catastrophic events.

Safety tips for the upcoming holidays

11/2/2020 (Permalink)

Per the National Fire Protection Association, nearly 47,000 fires occur during the winter holidays claiming more than 500 lives, causing more than 2,200 injuries, and costing $554 million in property damage.  The National Fire Protection Association also states that on average, one of every 22 home fires started by Christmas trees result in death.

The website, has several good home safety tips for the holidays to keep your home safe. We at SERVPRO LaGrange Park/North Riverside wanted to share some of those tips with you to ensure a safe holiday season.

  • Place Christmas trees, candles, and other holiday decorations at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, portable heaters, radiators, heat vents and candles.
  • Purchase flame retardant metallic or artificial trees. If you purchase a real tree, make sure that it has fresh, green needles that aren’t easily broken. Keep live trees as moist as possible by giving them plenty of water.
  • Make sure that light strings and other holiday decorations are in good condition. Do not use anything with frayed electrical cords and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Always unplug tree and holiday lights before leaving home or going to bed.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate a tree. Always extinguish candles before leaving the room orgoing to bed.
  • Use only sturdy tree stands designed not to tip over. Keep curious pets and children away from Christmas trees.
  • Keep anything that can catch on fire—pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains—away from your stove top.
  • Designate one person to walk around your home to make sure that all candles and smoking materials are properly extinguished after guests leave.

The following video also shares other great ideas to keep in mind this holiday season. 

Holiday Fire Safety

Have a safe and wonderful holiday season from your friends at SERVPRO Elmhurst.

Thermal Imaging

11/2/2020 (Permalink)

Water Damage shown in thermal imaging view Finding the invisible

SERVPRO has many tools they offer for their customers. I recently came across a new tool that was used to detect water, and it was our thermal imaging camera our crew has. The thermal temperature screening provides a range of solutions. 

Thermal cameras are important because they identify elevated body temperatures. In our case, it can show to us the level and amount of water that is in floors or walls that may not be noticeable because it is underneath. They are designed to detect and measure the invisible infrared radiation emanating from objects, frequently referred to as a "heat signature". The hotter an object is, the more radiation it releases. The thermal camera sensor array will detect infrared frequencies, converting the data to electronic signals, which can then be viewed as colored images that vary with the level of heat being emitted. 

Unknown water in a home can cause major damage that can cost you a lot down the road. With that being said, having our team come in with our thermal imaging will allow our team to get to the problem faster because we are able to see something that you may not. This is why here at SERVPRO, we always go by our saying of being "faster to any size disaster" .

Call us today!

10/1/2020 (Permalink)

A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your basement could flood, including: 

  • A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
  • Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
  • Storm sewer backup
  • Sanitary sewer backup
  • Foundation drainage failure
  • Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
  • And many more

Have Questions about Basement Flooding?

Call Today – SERVPRO of Elmhurst

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Elmhurst and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

We are Flooded Basement Specialists:

  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
  • We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained in Water Restoration Techniques
  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
  • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Basement Flooded? Call Us Today 630-758-1701 – SERVPRO of Elmhurst is Ready To Help!


10/1/2020 (Permalink)

Some buildings are more at risk of flooding than others in Elmhurst, IL. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, aims to prepare every individual to handle any natural disaster that might affect him or her, and floods are no exception. There is a wealth of flood preparation knowledge you can find from this agency, including a flood risk map that shows you exactly how likely your home is to be affected by a flood. You should take the time to learn:

1. Which flood zone your home is located in
2. What flood insurance options you have
3. Where you fall on the flood insurance rate map or FIRM
4. The elevation of your property
5.What the evacuation plan is for your area

Flood Insurance
It is a good idea to have water damage covered by your insurance policy, but you may not realize that water damage and flooding damage is not the same thing. Water damage is caused by things like burst pipes or leaky roofs, but the damage caused by external factors like tidal waves or mudslides fall into a different category. Most people do not need flooding insurance, but if you are in a high-risk area, it might be beneficial. The National Flood Insurance Program, or FEMA NFIP, is a special program FEMA offers that provides affordable flooding damage insurance.

What To Do
FEMA also has recommendations for what to do during a flood. You should be intimately familiar with the evacuation plan in your area and have all the supplies you need before a flood happens. You should have plenty of canned food, bottled water, a first aid kit, and general tools. It might be good to have a flooding damage restoration company in Elmhurst, IL already in mind so you can start the process of repairing as soon as possible. Flood water contains contamination, so it is not safe to return to your home no matter how minor the damage is.

Here to help!

10/1/2020 (Permalink)

For commercial properties, there are few events that are more of a setback than fire damage, except for maybe the water damage introduced from extinguishing the fire. The fire season is getting longer and hotter in Stone Park, IL. A fire and water restoration service can get your business back on its feet after a fire of any size; acting quickly is the key.

What To Expect From a Restoration Service

To help you navigate fire damage (and ensuing water damage) with the least heartache, a fire and water restoration business provides the following:

1. A prompt response: When you first call, professionals will ask questions to accurately pinpoint which of their specialists to send out.
2. Damage assessment: You will be visited by experts in fire and water damage assessment. They will look behind the scenes of your commercial property, from electrical and structural elements (roof, floor, walls and beams) to pipes and beyond. They will also assess visible damage to components such as fabric, paint, computers, paper goods, hardware, electronics and furniture.
3. Structural triage: The first priority is to stop further damage. This means temporarily, but immediately, using wood or tarps to patch holes in roofs, walls, windows, pipes, and doors so that your belongings aren’t further ruined by leaks, weather or thieves. The restoration experts have the know-how and the equipment.
4. Restoration: Professionals work fast and have the resources. You want assurance that all problems are fixed by professionals who know what they’re looking for. The goal is to get back to pre-fire normalcy, “Like it never even happened.” Fire is dramatic, but both fire and water damage are often cosmetic. Items that don’t have to be discarded can often be cleaned with the right equipment and techniques.
5. A final walk-through: Experts will guide you through an evaluation of your facility to lessen the chance of being in the path of a future fire.

A quick response after fire damage is key to getting your business up and running again. Further compromise to your assets can be mitigated by hiring the right people, right away.

Dry Paint Faster

9/29/2020 (Permalink)

Have you ever been at a children's event and heard someone say "it's like watching paint dry"? Well, we are going to help you to understand how to make paint dry faster! Whether you are going to repaint the home to make it more beautiful than it already is or have an upcoming event or you are just ready for a change, here are some ways to make the job move along faster. Using thin coats, boosting the flow of air, dehumidifying the space, or using air movers can all help to dry the paint faster. 

1. Make sure you are using the correct paint for the job that you are doing. 

2. Apply a thin coat of paint

3 Use an air mover

4. Heat the space

5. Reduce the humidity

All of these are ways to make the drying of paint move along faster than just kicking back having a cold one, watching paint dry. It might not be as fun but we know that the faster you get the painting done the more time you have to spend with loved ones!