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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Spring Thaw

3/12/2021 (Permalink)

Water Damage Here are some tips!

As we begin to enter Spring season, the process of snow melting can cause water damage to homes and businesses. This will then lead to flooding. It could be minor or major, but still cause water damage problems. Here are some ways to help prevent water damage as we enter this spring thaw out season. Now, you may not be able to prevent water damage under ever circumstance, but you can prepare your home ahead of spring-thaw months to prevent common causes of damage. 

1. Basement pumps- install a sump pump or sewer backflow value and keep a battery-operated backup in case of power failure. Also, make sure to consider installing a water alarm that warns when water is accumulating in your basement. 

2. Basement storage- Make sure to keep valuable items out of your basement. Removing any electronics or stored valuables from your basement prior to spring-thaw warnings could prove to be an important ounce of prevention. 

3. Debris removal- Be sure to remove debris from window wells, gutters and downspouts. 

4. Doors and windows- Check for any leaks around doors and windows. 

5. Exterior walls- Keep all exterior walls of your home well painted and sealed. 

6. Flood drains- If you have flood drains, make sure they work properly. 

7. Foundation cracks- Make sure to inspect your foundation for cracks that will allow water seepage and initiate repairs. 

8. Fuel tanks- Permanently anchor any fuel tanks. 

9. Grading- inspect the grading around your home and make any changes. Design the grading to encourage the water to flow away from your home. 

10. landscaping- Make sure to trim trees and bushes away from your home and do not store wood or compost piles nearby. 

11. Roof- Keep your roof in good repair. Unless a tree falls on your roof during a storm, most insurers expect you to maintain your roof to prevent water leaks caused by snow melting or torrential downspouts. 

Whether you are able to control the situation or not, we here at SERVPRO are always here to help you get your home or business back to like the disaster never even happen. That is way we are always here to help! 

Frozen Pipes

1/31/2021 (Permalink)

Water Damage Frozen Pipe

Thawing a frozen pipe the correct way is crucial to minimizing the damage. In order to thaw a frozen pipe, you need to first determine which pipe or pipes are frozen. You can do this by turning on the faucets, and if no water comes out or only a slight trickles out, then you have a frozen pipe. Before you begin attempting to thaw a frozen pipe, you need to open the faucet that the pipe feeds water into. You need to make sure to open both the hot and cold handles. This then will help relieve pressure in the system, and then will allow the water to escape once you begin to thaw the pipe. When beginning to thaw the pipe, you should always start near the faucet then work your way down to the blockage. This will help ensure that the melting ice and steam is able to escape through the open faucet. If you start the thawing process closer to the blockage, the melting ice could get stuck behind the blockage, creating more pressure in the pipe and increasing the chances the pipe will burst. When it comes to thawing the frozen pipe, you could use a hair dryer, heat lamp or portable space heater, hot towels, or electrical heating tape. If the frozen pipe is enclosed, you will need to either turn the heat up in the property, infrared lamp, or cut out a section of the wall to thaw out the frozen pipe/pipes. Remember NEVER attempt to thaw a pipe using an open flame. This can not only damage the pipe, but it can also start a fire in your property. If the frozen water pipe does burst, the first thing you should do is shut off the main water line into your property. This then will prevent additional water from flowing and damaging your property. Then you will need to call a professional, like SERVPRO, to help fix the problem. Therefore, in order to help prevent frozen pipes make sure to keep the heat on in the home, allow faucets to drip slightly, keep all interior doors open, seal up holes and cracks, add extra insulation, and remove exterior hoses and shut off interior valves feeding those hoses. 

Continuing Education Classes

1/29/2021 (Permalink)

Continuing Education Upcoming Class!

Every year, SERVPRO of Elmhurst provides continuing education in the areas of water, fire and mold mitigation.  Education increases the opportunity for the community of professionals responsible for helping you when disaster strikes: The more you informed the community of first responders, the better able to help limit damage, save important personal belongings and control costs during a time of crisis.   

At SERVPRO of Elmhurst, we work with adjusters, insurance agents, real estate agents, brokers, home inspectors, and office professionals by providing state-sanctioned Ethics Classes. Raising the bar when it comes to how people are treated especially in the time of need to protect their homes and personal belongings is essential to the insurance claim process.

Our goal is to make it like it never happened.  As a recent client said, "the whole clean up and insurance process was as painless as it could have been."

Check in with us on our upcoming classes. We are now offering virtual CE classes! 

Toys for Tots

1/22/2021 (Permalink)

Toys for Tots Worldwide Donation

Toys for Tots is such a huge donation event that happens every year around Christmas time. The mission of the Marine Toys for Tots Program is to collect new unwrapped toys and distribute those toys to less fortunate children at Christmas. The primary goal is to help bring the joy of Christmas and send a message of hope to America's less fortunate children. 

In order to better execute the program, in 1991 the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation was created at the behest of the Marine Corps. It is an IRS recognized 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity group. It is governed by a board of directors, all of whom are veteran Marines and successful business leaders from throughout the nation. The foundation's professional staff is headquartered in the Cooper Center, which is located just outside of the Main Gate of Marine Corps Bass about 35 miles south of Washington D.C.. 

The Marine Toys for Tots Program collected and distributed 19 million toys to 7.3 million less fortunate children in the past year allowing them to experience the joy of Christmas and receive a message of hope that otherwise would not have been there. This community action program took place in over 800 communities covering all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. 

We here at SERVPRO of Elmhurst, Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights, and Lagrange Park/N. Riverside, took part in helping donate over 30 toys to 15 different drop off locations this year. We want to help do our part in the community by giving children in need the feeling of joy on Christmas when it comes to unwrapping presents and seeing an awesome toy. This was such a humbling experience for our team, and cannot wait to take part again next year! 

Commercial Property

1/10/2021 (Permalink)

Water Damage Commercial Property

You want your business to make as much profit as possible, but you may be losing money without even realizing it. Leaks from damaged pipes, as well as other areas, are a common source of trouble in many buildings. It is important to perform regular inspections to make sure everything is in top condition. Here are a few problems that might end up costing you money.

1. Damaged Roofing

Leaking pipes are not the only potential source of excess water. The roof is an important part of the structure of your business, as it protects you from severe weather and keeps the inside of the building dry. However, if you do not properly maintain your roof, you could end up with a lot of damage. In some cases, the structure of the building may weaken or a mold growth might develop. Make sure to regularly check the condition of your building and perform repairs as needed.

2. Broken Appliances

Another common source of water is from broken appliances. The damage here can range from a small leak to a lot of flooding. One way to prevent this is to test your equipment regularly to ensure it is in proper working condition. As items begin to age and break down, replace them to prevent any significant problems.

3. Pipes and Plumbing

Damaged pipes can sometimes be a hidden source of wasted water and money. If you are not performing regular maintenance, a persistent leak could end up costing hundreds or thousands of dollars in extra water bills. Leaks can also indicate aging pipes that could cause a lot of damage if not replaced.
Performing regular maintenance in your building is a great way to locate problems and prevent big issues from leaks or damaged pipes. If you do experience damage, however, a water restoration company can perform necessary repairs to your building and belongings.

Winter Storms

1/7/2021 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Be prepared!

Protecting your home is vital in the winter months. A frozen water pipe can burst and flood your house. An ice dam in your gutter can cause water to seep into and saturate an interior walls of your home. Here is a list from Nationwide insurance that they advise their homeowners on during the winter months to prepare their homes for the cold.

  • Clean out the gutters, disconnect and drain all outside hoses. If possible, shut off outside water valves.
  • Insulate walls and attics, and caulk and weather-strip doors and windows.
  • Repair roof leaks and remove tree branches that could get weighed down with ice or snow and fall on your house – or your neighbor's. (Avoid liability for the latter.)
  • Wrap water pipes in your basement or crawl spaces with insulation sleeves to slow heat transfer.
  • Consider an insulated blanket for your hot water heater.
  • If you have a fireplace, keep the flue closed when you're not using it.
  • Have a contractor check your roof to see if it would sustain the weight of a heavy snowfall.
  • Make sure your furniture isn't blocking your home’s heating vents.
  • During cold spells, keep cabinet doors open to allow warm air to circulate around pipes, particularly those in the kitchen and bathrooms.
  • Keep a slow trickle of water flowing through faucets connected to pipes that run through unheated or unprotected spaces.
  • If your house will be unattended during cold periods, consider draining the water system.
  • Avoid ice dams– where water from melted snow refreezes in the gutters and seeps in under the roof, soaking interior walls. Here’s how:
    • Ventilate your attic.
    • Insulate the attic floor well to minimize the amount of heat rising through the attic from within the house.
    • Consider having a water-repellent membrane installed under your roof covering.

 If you do find that you have damage to your home, the Insurance Information Institute has published some tips on what to do in the case of a winter storm and managing the damage to your home. 

  1. Take pictures of the damage immediately. If you have "before" pictures, that's even better. Those pictures will help ensure that your insurer cannot claim that the problem was preexisting.
  2. Make temporary repairs to keep the damage from getting worse but hold on to all of your receipts.
  3. Don't make pricey repairs before the insurance adjuster arrives.
  4. Don't assume something is not covered. Take out your policy. Most weather-related damage like burst pipes, a collapsed roof and ice dams are covered.
  5. Call a reputable company to come and help with any damages to your home. Choose a company that will work with your insurance company.

SERVPRO of Elmhurst is here to help in your time of need for all your winter storm damage needs.  Give us a call at 630-758-1701.  We work with your insurance companies to make it “Like it never even happened.” 

Lending a helping hand

1/5/2021 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Residential Fire Damage

We have a really great relationship with our local fire departments, and follow their social media pages. After scrolling through our daily feed, we came across the Addison Fire Department's post about a local fire. What stood out about this post was that our local fire department and other FDs went to help with this major residential fire that took place. The AFPD responded to a house fire, and the smoke detectors did their job by alerting the family of the fire. They were all able to escape safely. They were very thankful for the help from the Wood Dale FPD, Elmhurst FD, and Itasca FPD for coming out to help. The family had told the firefighters that there were two guinea pigs in the home, and they where able to find and save them. They guinea pigs received O2 therapy and vigorous rubbing, and both were successfully resuscitated. The fire started in the basement, and the heat and smoke rose up throughout the house. They enforced to make sure your smoke detectors are working, and the batteries are changed! They also stated to make sure you keep your bedroom doors closed when sleeping, and try not to risk your life to save a pet. That is what the firefighters are for, and they will do their best to rescue them. 

The main take away from this message was to always make sure to test your smoke detectors at least once a month, and the batteries should be replaced at least once or twice a year. Also, a huge shoutout to our local fire department for helping out a different fire department in order to get everyone out safely, along with the pets. 

What can happen after an snow/ice storm

1/5/2021 (Permalink)

Ice Damming Be aware!

When looking at roofs this winter, icicles hanging along them may look beautiful but can be very dangerous. This is because the icicles forming and snow on the roof can lead to ice dams. This is thick ridges of solid ice that build up along the eaves. Dams can tear off gutters, loosen shingles, and cause water to back up and pour into the building or home. In result, this can lead to peeling paint, warped floors, stained and sagging ceilings. Also, soggy insulation in the attic, which loses R-value and becomes a magnet for mold and mildew. 

Here are some ways in order to prevent ice dams. The first is to use heated cables. Attach these with clips along the roof's edge in a zigzag pattern, and the heated cables help prevent ice dams that lift shingles and cause leaks. This solution allows you to equalize your roof's temperature by heating it from the outside instead of blowing in cold air from the inside. 

Next is to blow in cold air. Hacking away at ice dams with a hammer, chisel, or shovel is BAD for your roof. Also, throwing salt on them will do more harm to your plantings than the ice. Therefore, take a box fan into the attic and aim it at the underside of the roof where water is actively leaking in. This targeted dose of cold air will freeze the water in its tracks. 

You can also rake it by pulling off snow with a long-handled aluminum roof rake while you stand safely on the ground. A rake with wheels will instantly change the exterior temperature of your roof without damaging shingles. 

De-icing methods deal with diminishing the damage after the dam has formed. Fill the leg of a discarded pair of panty hose with a calcium chloride ice melter. Lay the hose onto the roof so it crosses the ice dam and overhangs the gutter. You can use a long-handled garden rake or hoe to push it into position. The calcium chloride will eventually melt through the snow and ice and create a channel for water to flow down into the gutters or off the roof. 

Lastly is a permanent fix for ice dams. Getting ride of ice dams for good is simple. Just keep the entire roof the same temperature as the eaves. This is done by increasing the ventilation, adding insulation, and sealing off every possible air leak that might warm the underside of the roof. 

1. Ventilate Eaves and Ridge

- A ridge vent paired with continuous soffit vents circulates cold air under the entire roof. Both ridge and soffit vents should have the same size openings and proved at least 1 square foot of opening for every 300 square feet of attic floor. Place baffles at the eaves to maintain a clear path for the airflow from the soffit vents. 

2. Cap the Hatch

- An unsealed attic hatch or whole-house fan is a massive opening for heat to escape. Cover them with weather stripped caps made from foil-faced foam board held together aluminum tape. 

3. Exhaust to the outside

- Make sure that the ducts connected to the kitchen, bathroom, and dryer vents all lead outdoors through either the roof or walls, but never the soffit.

4. Add insulation

- More insulation on the attic floor keeps the heat where it belongs. To find how much insulation your attic needs, check with your local building department. 

5. Install sealed can lights

- Old-style recessed lights give off great plumes of heat and can't be insulated without creating a fire hazard. Replace them with sealed "IC" fixtures, which can be covered with insulation. 

6. Flash around chimneys

- Bridge the gap between chimney and house framing with L-shaped steel flashing held in place with unbroken beads of a fire-stop sealant. Using canned spray foam or insulation isn't fire safe.

7. Seal and insulate ducts

- Spread fiber-reinforced mastic on the joints of HVAC ducts and exhaust ducts. Cover them entirely with R-5 and R-6 foil-faced fiberglass. 

8. Caulk penetrations

- Seal around electrical cables and vent pipes with a fire-stop sealant. Also, look for any spots where light shines up from below or the insulation is stained black by the dirt from passing air. 

Understanding the lifecycle of ice damming is key. It starts with the birth, and it is the breakdown of the conditions that lead to the formation of ice dams. First, heat collects in the attic and warms the roof, except at the eaves. Next you move into the growth, and snow begins to melt on the warm roof and then freezes on the cold eaves. Finally is maturity, and ice accumulates along the eaves, forming a dam. Meltwater from the warm roof backs up behind it, flows under the shingles, and into the house.

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 tornadofacts.net

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 www.redcross.org/homefires, 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!

FEMA!

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! 

Ways to Reduce Your Water Waste

9/29/2020 (Permalink)

Water is wasted waiting for the shower or sink to warm up, on the slow leak you have in the toilet bowl that you never knew about and from sprinkling your lawn every day. With some of the newer developments surrounding water usage throughout the world, it may be a good time to really think about how you can cut down on the water you waste. There are a whole bunch of things you can do, but let's start with some basic first steps that make a big impact. 

1. Take shorter showers

- Reduce your shower time and try to avoid baths when you can. Most baths use 35-50 gallons of water, but showers can use only about 25, especially if you have a low-flow shower head. If you don't have one, consider investing in one. Especially if you're renting, a new head is a great way to revamp your whole shower routine. 

2. Stop Pre-Rinsing Dishes

- Unless something is seriously burnt on, try really hard not to pre-rinse. It is an enormous waste of water, and most dishwashers are powerful enough that there's no need to. Also, try to use the dishwasher when you can. It actually uses less water per dish than hand-washing does, which means it's good for the environment and you. 

3. Check for leaks in the pipes

- Don't forget to check the outdoor faucets and pipes too. Hopefully you'll notice if you've sprung a leak somewhere inside, but it can be easy to miss an outside one. Keep an eye on them, and do a check at least every six months. Also, keep an eye on your water bill. If you notice that it's gone up, then you might be leaking somewhere.

4. Only run full loads of laundry or dishes

- There are only so many items you have that get washed on the delicate cycle. However, you can still fill it up. Just add in some stuff that can take a rougher washing, but isn't too dirty. Making sure you have a full load each time means chores go faster, detergent gets used more effectively and you'll never run out of clean underwear again. 

5. Check your toilet for leaks

- Add some food coloring to the tank before you go to bed. When you use it in the morning, see if any of the colored water has leaked into the bowl. If so, it's a hidden leak that should be fixed in order prevent major water damage. 

6. Stop wasting water in the sink

- Just think about how long you leave the water running while you brush your teeth. Also, make sure you don't have a leaky sink. This site even has a drip calculator to help you calculate how much water is wasted from your sink. You may be surprised at how much water a single leaky faucet loses.

7. Watch how you water

- It's not necessary to have your irrigation system set to go off twice a day, every day. The grass doesn't need it that much. If you really feel you must water your lawn, just water the dry spots instead of the whole thing. You can check the hose for leaks as well. 

8. Reuse water

- It's not always a feasible goal to stop wasting water entirely. However, you can cut down drastically by saving and reusing the water you can. Instead of letting it all run down the drain, capture some of it. You can save water from washing your hands or rinsing vegetables and fruits to use on your lawn or to water potted plants. On average, each person loses about 10 gallons a day to leaks. That is a completely fixable waste, and one that would help your pocketbook. 

How can lint cause a dryer fire?

9/29/2020 (Permalink)

Dryer Fire Make sure to check your lint vent!

Very few people realize the danger of clothes dryer fires. However, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are an estimated annual 15,500 fires, 10 deaths and 10 injuries due to clothes dryer fires. Several hundred people a year are also subjected to carbon monoxide poisoning from improper dryer vent setups. The financial costs come to nearly $100,000,000 per year. In some cases faulty appliances are to blame, but many fires can be prevented with proper dryer venting. 

Lint accumulation and reduced airflow feed on each other to provide conditions ripe for a fire. Lint is a highly combustible material, which, interestingly enough, is one of the ingredients in a recipe for home-made fire starters. A number of dryer vent problems contribute to this. Most clothes dryers were in the basement. However, nowadays many newer homes tend to have dryers located away from an outside wall in bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens and hall closets. These new locations mean dryers tend to be vented longer distances and vents are generally installed with sharp turns and bends to accommodate the structure of the home. As a result, dryer vents are harder to reach, and also create more places for lint to gather. The ideal solution is to have short, straight, dryer duct venting. However, a dryer vent booster, while not the ideal approach, can improve your dryer venting in cases where your venting is longer and/or has more bends than it should. In addition to creating a fire hazard, if the venting is too long and/or has to many bends, it will cause your dryer to take much longer than necessary to dry loads. 

Commercial Cleanup!

9/29/2020 (Permalink)

If you can’t summon help quickly, a fire can quickly sweep through your Elmhurst, IL, office and leave a trail of devastation in its wake. Fire damage can be severe and make it impossible for you to resume work duties in your building. Ironically, the very water firefighters use to eliminate the fire can also cause major problems. Trained professionals have the equipment and skill to clean up both types of damage.

Thorough Inspection

When you call a professional disaster cleanup crew to your office, the team won’t jump right in and start working without a plan. The company will evaluate the effects of the fire damage in order to come up with an effective strategy. The technicians will do the following:

• Make note of which areas of your building were affected.
• Determine the extent of the damage.
• Decide what areas and items you can salvage and which ones you must replace.
• Establish a plan of attack that will yield the most complete, time-effective results.

Remove Standing Water

A fire hose can pump out hundreds of gallons of water while a firefighter is battling a blaze. It’s no wonder water can wreak havoc in your office after a fire. A technician will use wet vacuums and other specialized water removal equipment to make sure there is no leftover water on your floor or on furniture or other objects. Next, the team will dry the areas with dehumidifiers and high-powered blowers.

Clean and Sanitize

Sucking up water and drying the area isn’t enough to mitigate water damage. The professionals will also use chemicals to thoroughly sanitize any areas where there had been water. This will minimize the chances of mold growth.

Fire damage and water issues go hand in hand after a fire. By understanding the process the pros use, you can have peace of mind and confidence that your office will be in good hands.

Storm Team- Iowa

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

Iowa Strong! Our team out helping the damages that struck Iowa!

Over the past couple weeks, our storm team here at LaGrange Park/N. Riverside has been out assisting those who were hit with damage from the bad storm that went through Iowa. Our team has been working on a major project at one of the local hotels nearby. Our commercial large loss division is composed of the best of the best in restoration. Our commercial operations manager has been supervising the job every since we started down in Iowa. Our team was about to dispatch trained production professionals, and cut costs through the strategic placement and oversight of temporary labor. Once our team got word there was going to be a major storming rolling through there, we had a team ready to go the day before. After the storm hit, out team drove over 3 hours to get out to the location where the commercial property was. On the way, our team was able to see all the damage first hand driving through Iowa. Our team described it almost as a "scary scene in a movie". There was semi-trucks turned over on the highway, full grown trees pulled out of the ground, entire roofs taken off of homes, broken homes, and many more disasters that put tears to their eyes. Our team knew that they needed to help fix Iowa, and be able to make it strong again. To this very day, our team is still out in Iowa assisting the major commercial loss that has taken place, and they will continue to work in order to get the operation up and going again. We here at SERVPRO are always faster to any size disasters! 

Costs from water damage

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

Water Damge Call our SERVPRO team today!

When it comes to owning a business or a home, water damage can be one of the most costly things there is. You can not only lose out on days or weeks of productivity, but you could also find yourself repairing or replacing valuable equipment like electronics, tools and inventory. This is where the costs come into play.

- On average, water damage from a sink will run $7,000.00 for each instance

- For toilets, that number ranges between $2,000.00 and $10,000.00

As we can see, this can add up very fast! Here are some causes of water damages, and what you can do to help prevent them. 

1. Appliances and Equipment

- Air conditioners, water heaters or anything that uses tubes, pipes, gaskets or filters to operate has the potential to leak. The best thing to do is to regularly look over and maintain your equipment. If you notice anything that concerns you, such as rust, cracks, bulges or signs of moisture, call SERVPRO. 

2. Roofing

- Make sure you're checking your roof regularly. If you've got a pond up there, your drainage isn't working effectively. Keep in mind that every inch of water weighs in at around 5 lbs. Be sure to look for any damage to your perimeter like flashing, roof membrane or roof penetrations like drains, pipes and gas lines. 

3. Pipes and Drains

- Your plumbing system is susceptible to stoppages, clogs and damage. If a crack develops, it could dump 250 gallons of water per day on your facility. Look for outward signs of moisture, blue stains, rusting, and cracking and bulging. If you're having plumbing work done or you have a cut pipe for any reason, check for scale buildup. You can also try a pipe camera to get a good look at what's going on inside your system. 

4. Sprinkler Systems

- Many commercial buildings are outfitted with sprinkler systems, which are great for minimizing fire damage, but not so great for water damage when they malfunction. Always check your sprinkler system for signs of damage or rust, and replace them regularly to make sure they are functioning properly. 

5. Mother Nature

- Natural disasters like hurricanes, severe thunderstorms and flash flooding can do untold damage to your business. You can control how ready you are for it though. Keeping your gutters clear, installing barriers and storing sensitive files and electronics at a higher level are all things you can do to keep the damage minimal. Consult with a SERVPRO professional to get your ERP set up and ready in case something like this were to happen. 

Common Causes of Commercial Building Fires

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Make sure to check all heating sources!

We usually don't think of a fire destroying our business or office building. We are more worried about less concrete threats. This includes a downward trending economy, high customer churn rate, the struggle to retain talented employees, legal issues, etc. However, nonresidential building fires killed 65 people, injured 1,425 and created $2,461,400,00 in damage between 2004 and 2013. 

In order to prevent a dangerous and costly fire, the time of day fires are most likely to occur in your building depends on what type of business you're in. An office building is a bit different from a manufacturing plant. Ex: In an office building, fires are most common during regular work hours. Incidence of fires peaks in the early evening hours between 3-6pm. 

Therefore, the most common causes of commercial building fires are as follows. 

1. Cooking Fires

- 29.3% of nonresidential fires from 2013 were cooking related. In fact, 1 in 4 office building fires were related to cooking equipment. These types of fires do tend to account for less damage, but they are easily preventable with fire protection systems such as alarms and fire extinguishers. 

2. Intentional

- This accounts for almost 10% of fires, and tends to cause the most damage. Intentional fires also result in more civilian injuries and deaths. Unlike cooking and heating fire, it's most common for intentional fires to be started between 3pm and midnight. A few common locations to be aware of in the building are bathrooms, trash bins, garages, and open areas like a lawn or field. 

3. Careless Acts and Human Error

- 9.2% of commercial fires were unintentional results of careless acts. This is somewhat of an 'other' category. Some examples include accidentally leaving space heaters or other heat producing equipment on, carelessly discarded cigarette butts igniting fires, and plugging too many things into the same extension cord. 

4. Heating Fires

- Heating fires account for 9% of all nonresidential building fires. Central heating units, fireplaces, water heaters, and other heating appliances and systems should be regularly inspected to prevent fires. It is important to move any flammable materials and furniture away from heat sources. 

Preparing your home for a major storm

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

Emergency Disaster Make sure you have a plan!

Being a homeowner, you do not know what mother nature is going to throw at you. Therefore, you always need to be ready. You can take preventative measures to help reduce damage if and when a severe storm hits. 

1. Clear limbs and trim trees

- During a storm, dead tree limbs can get loose and cause damage to a home's exterior or even puncture a window. Heavy rain can also cause trees with shallow root systems to pull out of the ground. 

2. Secure fences

- Ensure that your fences are properly secured to help prevent them from being lifted up and thrown against the house by heavy winds. 

3. Secure furniture

- Heavy winds can cause items like patio furniture and large toys to damage the exterior of your home. It's a good idea to anchor outdoor furniture or bring it indoors before a storm hits. You should also move anything in your yard that can become flying debris inside your house or garage. 

4. Check gutters

- Help prevent damage inside your house by having downspouts drain away from your home and clear your gutters of any debris.

5. Protect the critical areas

- Wind is a major threat to your roof, windows, doors and garage doors. Either you or a building contractor can build and install temporary protection, such as approved wind shutters or plywood on windows and coverings for patio and entry doors, strengthen and stiffen garage doors, and install heavy duty door hardware. 

6. Protect your valuables

- Protect mementos in waterproof containers and/or take the items with you if you evacuate. Inventory valuables and contents in the home with pictures or video. Note the approximate value of each item and the date of purchase. You can also send an inventory to a family member outside your region for safekeeping. Also, make sure important documents, such as an insurance policy or mortgage papers, are stored in a safe deposit or fire safe box. 

7. Stock a basic emergency kit

- A true emergency can leave you without basic services, including electricity, water, gas or sewage, for a few hours or a few days. Stock your family's emergency kit with enough food, water and supplies to carry all of you through at least three days. Also make sure to restock your kit once the emergency has passed. 

8. Create a family emergency plan

- Staying connected is of the utmost importance during an emergency. Designate an out-of-town family member or friend to be your check-in person in case local phone lines are down. Make sure every member of your family knows that contact's number and has a way to reach him or her. Ideally a cell phone and charger or a prepaid calling card. Also, choose a local place where your family members should meet if they are separated when an emergency strikes and your home is unsafe. This might be a landmark or even a parent's workplace. 

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned Program

7/23/2020 (Permalink)

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned Get set up today!

We as a company have recently introduced our new program Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, and it is designed to provide our communities with a way to know that a structure has been cleaned, sanitized, and disinfected. This is also a cleaning and disinfecting program that we here at SERVPRO have to offer for our commercial property owners in order to address the current COVID-19 pandemic. We ensure that when businesses choose SERVPRO, their customers, employees, and community are rest assured that they have selected a higher standard of cleaning. 

This program is set up with 3 unique steps called the 3 C's. These 3 C's include Consult, Clean, and Certify. 

Consult deals with the process of talking to each businesses personally because not all businesses are the same. A SERVPRO professional who understands the business will create a custom cleaning program to meet their specific needs. The specific program will be developed based on a range of factors including business type, size of space, amount of high frequency touch points, foot traffic, and congestion points. Therefore, they will know that the clean they receive is customized to their unique needs. 

Clean is based on the specific needs of their business, and their location will undergo a thorough expert cleaning rooted in the pillars of People, Process, and Product. 

-People: SERVPRO professionals are uniquely prepared during this unprecedented time to clean and disinfect homes or businesses according to the protocols set by the CDC. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that needs to be done.

-Process: SERVPRO professionals are trained to perform proactive or emergency responsive cleanups that involves facility or structure cleaning and disinfection. This would include cleaning of porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting of non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, tools and supplies used for cleanup, and disposal of hazardous materials. We also recommend a frequent cleaning depending on what CAT it is in. We want to make sure that people are getting back to business as soon as possible if there is a known COVID-19 case involved. 

-Product: Our program has more than 100 exclusive professional cleaning products to meet any need. This includes our proprietary cleaning agent, SERVPROXIDE, which is a hospital-grade disinfectant that carries the Environmental Protection Agency's lowest toxicity category and is NSF certified for sanitizing surfaces in and around food processing surfaces. 

Certify deals with the our credibility as the premier biohazard cleaning company in the country to their business. This then allows assurance to their employees and customers that only SERVPRO can deliver. Once the business has been cleaned, they will gain access to propriety signage, digital emblems, and other collateral that communicates that they've selected the highest standard of cleaning available to protect their employees and customers. We also have the option to add the date, so then their guests will know that their location is being cleaned regularly. 

SERVPRO professionals have been on the front lines of proactive and reactive COVID related cleanups, and we are here to help as businesses begin to reopen and to also help them stay open!

Here to help!

6/3/2020 (Permalink)

Vandalism Damage on building.

We here at SERVPRO want you to know that we are here to help during this time. Our immediate board up services will help your business by not taking anymore damage to it. Not only that, but it will also give you a peace of mind that your business is safe for the time being. This also leads into the next step of the reconstruction process to your business. We can help you get your business looking back to the way it should be. The final step that needs to be taken is our cleaning and sanitizing services to your business. We do not know who has been in and out of the building due to the looting, and COVID-19 is still present in our world today. We understand that your business is important to you, and you have been dealing with major obstacles recently. However, let SERVPRO give you that peace of mind, and help you get your business back up and running like it used to. We are all in this together! 

Internship at SERVPRO

5/7/2020 (Permalink)

Cleaning and Disinfecting Job We are all in this together!

The company that I am interning for is SERVPRO of Elmhurst/Arlington Heights & N. Prospect/Lagrange Park & N. Riverside. The office location is located in Broadview IL, and the areas that are listed are the territories that our marketing team is allowed to market in. SERVPRO is a franchise that is owned and operated by personal owners. We have over 1,700 locations across the United States. Our company focuses on fire, water and mold restoration and mitigation for disasters that strike homes, buildings, businesses, etc. We are also currently doing cleaning and disinfecting for COVID-19 with our Vanquish product and fogging system. As far as what I do as an intern at SERVPRO, I work alongside the marketing and sales team. Our job is to go on daily routes around our territories and market SERVPRO to insurance agents, restaurants, hotels, churches, retail stores, etc. You name it, SERVPRO can help! However, one major struggle we are having during this time is not being able to go out on our daily routes to market and sell because of the current pandemic we are in. Therefore, all the team members are in the office and are brainstorming ideas on how to market SERVPRO from behind a computer screen. Some ideas we have come up with is marketing through social media. This is mainly my job because the other members don’t care for it, and I actually really like it. I have access to all the social media accounts like Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. Every day I come in and do daily posts on all the accounts in order to ensure we are getting the SERVPRO name out on the Internet more. Especially now since everyone is at home with the stay-at-home order in place, they are constantly on their smart devices. I also have been doing blog entries on the SERVPRONet website about my internship here at SERVPRO. SERVPRONet is a personal website for SERVPRO employees to access that has updated news for everyone, marketing tools, sales techniques, and so on. I also have been attending weekly WebEx meetings with the SERVPRO marketing headquarters with all different SERVPRO franchises across the country. They show us helpful tools to use while being stuck at home or in the office. Another major event that our company has been doing is free cleaning and disinfecting for our first responders. Our team members have been going out and doing cleaning and disinfecting to the vehicles and offices of police and fire departments in our territories. This has given our company major recognition on social media websites, and we are even building relationships that we didn’t have before. I love what I do here at SERVPRO and I have learned so many different techniques about marketing and sales that I never knew before. This has given me so much more confidence when approaching new people, and building up my relationship skills. I have developed a different side of professionalism that I didn’t know I had before, and it is truly amazing to see the growth I have gained because of SERVPRO. The employees I work with treat everyone like family, and it is very welcoming when you walk in the door every day. I always have a smile on my face when I enter in the morning, and then when I leave in the afternoon. I love coming to work every day, and that is exactly how it should be. Thank you SERVPRO for letting be on this internship journey with your company!

Cleaning & Disinfecting for COVID-19

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

ServprOxide The product that is used for the cleaning and disinfecting. We want to help do our part by stopping the spread of the virus!

Hello,

We have been out servicing 911 call centers, trucks, distribution warehouses and distribution offices that are keeping our stores stocked with supplies and know that our Police and Fire Departments also need to be out to protect our communities but also need to stay free from a spread of the SARS-CoV-2” COVID-19 .   

We here at SERVPRO wanted to let you all know that we are currently are open to help combat the spread of the virus.  SERVPRO, with direction from the CDC have put together protocol to deal with “SARS-CoV-2” COVID-19 pro-actively (pre-positive test) and reactively (post-positive test).

These general guidelines are broad in scope and are not-specific protocols. Any protocols from federal, state, local agencies, or an industrial hygienist would supersede these guidelines. A CAT system has been designed for the different calls as it relates to “SARS-CoV-2” COVID-19.

CAT1: Proactive cleaning only CAT2: Person under investigation (PUI) or possible exposure CAT3: Confirmed, positive case

The protocol for CAT 1 is attached along with the SDS sheets, Chemical information, approval forms and rates for the services. We know that it is ever changing at a rapid rate and is very volatile. If you are in need of any services please reach out to us and we will do our best to help answer any questions or perform any work.

CAT 2 and CAT 3 – Protocol:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus (named “SARS-CoV-2”) that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, and spread to dozens of countries throughout the world. This is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation and the CDC will provide updated information as it becomes available, in-addition to updated guidance.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/cleaning-disinfection.html

Cleaning and Disinfection After Persons Suspected/Confirmed to Have COVID-19 Have Been in the Facility

Timing and location of cleaning and disinfection of surfaces

  • At a school, daycare center, office, or other facility that does not house people overnight:
    • It is recommended to close off areas used by the ill persons and wait as long as practical before beginning cleaning and disinfection to minimize potential for exposure to respiratory droplets. Open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area. If possible, wait up to 24 hours before beginning cleaning and disinfection.
    • Cleaning staff should clean and disinfect all areas (e.g., offices, bathrooms, and common areas) used by the ill persons, focusing especially on frequently touched surfaces.
  • At a facility that does house people overnight:
    • Follow Interim Guidance for US Institutions of Higher Education on working with state and local health officials to isolate ill persons and provide temporary housing as needed.
    • It is recommended to close off areas used by the ill persons and wait as long as practical before beginning cleaning and disinfection to minimize potential for exposure to respiratory droplets. Open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area. If possible, wait up to 24 hours before beginning cleaning and disinfection.
    • In areas where ill persons are being housed in isolation, follow Interim Guidance for Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection for U.S. Households with Suspected or Confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019. This includes focusing on cleaning and disinfecting common areas where staff/others providing services may come into contact with ill persons, but reducing cleaning and disinfection of bedrooms/bathrooms used by ill persons to as needed.
    • In areas where ill persons have visited or used, continue routine cleaning and disinfection as in this guidance.

How to Clean and Disinfect

Surfaces

  • If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
  • For disinfection, diluted household bleach solutions, alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol, and most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective.
    • Diluted household bleach solutions can be used if appropriate for the surface. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.
  • Prepare a bleach solution by mixing:
    • 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water or
    • 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water
    • Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims are expected to be effective against COVID-19 based on data for harder to kill viruses. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, etc.).
    • For soft (porous) surfaces such as carpeted floor, rugs, and drapes, remove visible contamination if present and clean with appropriate cleaners indicated for use on these surfaces. After cleaning:
    • If the items can be laundered, launder items in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and then dry items completely.
    • Otherwise, use products with the EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims (examples at this link) that are suitable for porous surfaces

Thank you for your time and stay safe.

We are still open!

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

Here to Help Even during this pandemic, SERVPRO is open and here to help with any of your needs.

SERVPRO of Elmhurst provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in Elmhurst. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.

  • 24-Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any-Sized Disaster
  • Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
  • A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment 

Have Questions? Call SERVPRO of Elmhurst 630-758-1701

Residential Services

Whether your Elmhurst home needs emergency flood damage or your upholstery cleaned, you can depend on us.  Our technicians have extensive cleaning and restoration training and can make your property look its best. Learn more about our residential services:

  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Mold Remediation
  • Storm Damage Restoration
  • Cleaning Services
  • Building/Reconstruction Services

Commercial Services

There's never a convenient time for fire or Water damage to strike your Elmhurst commercial property. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. When the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services we have the training and expertise to respond promptly with highly trained technicians to get your property back to business. 

4 Important Steps for Fire Restoration

2/25/2020 (Permalink)

Board up home after a fire Board up services in a Berkeley, IL home

4 Important Steps for Fire Restoration

Home fires start for a number of reasons: an open flame that gets knocked over, an electrical malfunction, a forgotten stove burner or an escaped cinder from a fireplace. If you experience a home fire in Berkeley, IL, at some point the fire restoration process will begin. When you work with a professional fire remediation team you get a number of benefits such as a faster recovery process and reduced expenses. Here are some important things to keep foremost in mind.

1. Choose a Local Company. A fast response is important, and a local company can be on the scene in a matter of hours. Faster to Any Size Disaster means such things as smoke damage will be addressed quickly. An inspection and damage assessment will let you know the extent of the damage to your home.

2. Determine if Board-up and Tarp Services Are Needed. If the fire is a major one, your home will need to be secured from vandals and inclement weather. Cracked windows, broken doors and an open roof will need to covered up to prevent additional losses to property.

3. Remove Smoke and Soot Damage. Professional fire restoration technicians have the training and equipment to eradicate smoke odors and soot buildup in your home. Fire and water damage specialists will restore what items they can and replace what is necessary.

4. Continue With Cleaning and Repair. A thorough cleaning with the most effective cleaning agents continues the process. Certified damage cleaning techniques ensure your home is restored to its original condition. This will be done with as little disruption to your daily activities as possible.
The fire restoration process is designed to make your home livable again as quickly as possible. The goal is to make your home look "Like it Never Even Happened." A home fire is a challenging event to bounce back from, but it is achievable with help from experienced professionals.

Tips for Preventing a Leaking Toilet

2/11/2020 (Permalink)

Leaking toilet Leaking toilet in a Hillside, IL

Of all the problems a homeowner might face, a leaking toilet is probably one of the least pleasant. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps that you can take to keep toilet trouble at bay and keep your bathroom running smoothly. Here are some helpful guidelines for properly maintaining your toilet in your Hillside, IL, home.

Watch What You Flush

One of the easiest ways to prevent a bathroom leak is to make sure that you’re only flushing human waste and toilet paper. Always avoid placing the following objects into your toilet bowl:

  • Tissues
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Dental floss
  • Diapers
  • Baby wipes
  • Cotton swabs

Not only can these objects cause serious damage to your pipes, but some of them may also harm the environment. Additionally, it's a good idea to avoid flushing excessive amounts of hair down the toilet drain, as this can lead to a flooding or leaking toilet.

Clean Your Toilet Often

This might just seem like a basic hygiene tip, but it actually makes a big difference in terms of preventing clogs or leaks. When you clean your toilet, you have the opportunity to identify any problems that you may not have noticed otherwise. Be sure to clean your toilet thoroughly on a regular basis to diagnose potential plumbing issues, such as a bathroom leak.

Address Issues Promptly

In addition to regularly checking for problems, it’s vital to fix them as soon as possible. Toilet leaks in particular tend to cause water damage gradually, which means you might not notice that there’s a problem at first. Be sure to clean up your toilet often and call a plumber right away if anything seems wrong.
If you have a leaking toilet in your Hillside, IL, home, don’t ignore the issue. Keep your living space safe from all types of harm by calling for a water damage repair immediately.

How To Protect Your Wood Flooring

1/31/2020 (Permalink)

Water falling on wooden floor Water falling on wooden floor

How To Protect Your Wood Flooring

Wood flooring makes your office building in Franklin Park, IL, look beautiful. It enhances the look of your lobby, making a great first impression when people walk through the door. When water from a pipe burst seeps into the floor, however, it can discolor it and cause it to swell. A quick response is vital to protecting your investment and keeping your floors gorgeous.

Make the Call

The first thing you should do when you have a large water loss seeping into your wood floor is call water restoration specialists. Making this call your first priority has several benefits:

  • Starts remediation process faster
  • Shows insurance company that you acted quickly
  • Reduces chance of further damage

Once you make the call, you can expect technicians to arrive within hours to assess the damage to your building. Then they can make a plan for taking care of it.

Extract Standing Water

The sooner you can remove the standing water from the pipe burst, the less damage you will have in the end. If you have the equipment to pump water out of your building, you don't have to wait for the professionals to arrive. As long as you wear the appropriate protective gear, you can get the cleanup process started yourself.

Absorb Excess

Even a small amount of water can damage your wood floors. If water has seeped into the wet floor, it may already be causing the wood to swell and warp. To stop this process in its tracks, spread newspaper or kitty litter over the affected area. It will draw the water out of the wood and potentially save your flooring.
A pipe burst wreaks havoc on everything around it, but it can be especially damaging to a wood floor. By acting quickly, you can halt the damage and get the help you need to repair the problems you couldn't avoid.

The Co$t of Continuing Education

1/29/2020 (Permalink)

Statistic of average commute time during a persons lifetime. So, if you think a no-cost class fits your pocketbook reach out to find out when our next class offering is. 708-240-4873.

When you are looking to further your education you have to take into account the cost of the education. Not only from the financial cost aspect but also time and life cost. We spend about:

  1. 2,100 days of our life in a car just going to and from work,
  2. 150 days: spent complaining,
  3. 115 days: spent laughing,
  4. 125 days: are used shaving,
  5. 140 days: spent being on hold,
  6. 1,950 days: we spend doing housework,
  7. 6,255 days: we use by being online,
  8. 27.4 days: spent cuddling and being romantic,
  9. 4,015 days: spent sitting in front of the television,
  10. 1,583.4 days: we spend eating,
  11. 12,389.6 days: spent at work,
  12. 136 days: women spend getting ready,
  13. 1,460 days: are spent being on the phone at work,
  14. 366 days: are spent being sick,
  15. 180 days: how long we end up waiting in line,
  16. 967.2 days: spent washing clothes,
  17. 9,490 days: spent sleeping,
  18. 160 days: spent smoking cigarettes on break,
  19. 2,555 days: how long we lie awake at night,
  20. 27.2 days: spent waiting for trains,
  21. 46 days: men spend getting ready
  22. 90.4 days: spent sunbathing.

Think about that for a moment because we are on the earth for about 10,658,000 days if we live to 80. It is so crazy! So, now you need to spend time furthering your education. "Is the squeeze worth the juice?" as I have heard it said before. We all want to take a class that is going to give us what we need, a class that is going to help us to produce, is fast and inexpensive.

Well, I have a great educational outlet for you. One where you will actually learn something takes 2 - 4 hours based on the class and you are fed a mid-morning snack and lunch. Sounds better than sitting in front of a computer after work!!?? So say hello to your new teacher. I am approved to teach 8 continuing education classes that as given to you at no-cost and will really open your eyes to what happens in the industry by hands-on learning and classroom time. So, if you think a no-cost class fits your pocketbook reach out to find out when our next class offering is. 708-240-4873.

The Power of a Good Claims Inventory System

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

Electronic insurance claim form The power of good claims inventory system

When a disaster strikes in Bensenville, IL, there are numerous aspects to the recovery process. The first part of the course is completing the restoration work in a safe and timely manner. At some point, though, the attention will turn to the insurance claim. Experienced insurance agents and adjusters know there is a right way and wrong way to complete the process. Good records must be kept throughout the cleanup. An itemized list of damaged contents should be put on worksheets where it is easy to read. There should be no missing information. All of this allows for a speedy claims process, allowing the insurance agent to better service his or her clients.

The SERVPRO Advantage

Even before a claim is started, a SERVPRO franchise has considered the relationship between a disaster mitigation team and the insurance industry. The goal is always to maximize the satisfaction of insurance companies and other parties. Guidelines exist to accomplish this, including:

  • Background checks on all franchises and temporary workers
  • Internal audits to monitor quality assurance
    Open lines of communication between a franchise and the insurance company
  • A requirement for completed job files for proof of work

With these standards in mind, an insurance claim should be a smooth process that provides clarity and verification of work and losses. Additionally, IICRC standards are followed to ensure the quality of the restoration.

The Claims Process Benefit

An orderly claims process involves good record keeping from the moment workers step on the property. This includes an inspection and damage assessment that results in an estimate of loss. Soon an itemized list of losses and damages is provided on Excel worksheets, as well as photo documentation of pertinent images. All paperwork is scanned and copied and is available in an electronic file or through hard copy. All of this work is designed to make the insurance claim easier for the agent and the business owner.

How To Avoid Mold in Your Restaurant

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

Bathroom sink with mold Visible signs of mold growth and moldy, musty odors are a sign of moisture or water damage.

How To Avoid Mold in Your Restaurant

If you own and operate a restaurant, there are certain things you never want to hear. You don't want to hear a customer complain about the food, you don't want to hear about poor service, and you certainly don't want to find out there is mold growth. Few things could turn people away from your establishment faster than the sight of this fungus. Unfortunately, restaurants are a prime place for mold to invade and spread. If you are vigilant, you can prevent it from entering your place.

Places To Check

Mold loves places where there is high humidity, so start looking near sinks and in crawl spaces, cellars and closest for signs of growth. You may even spot mold in some of the following areas of your building:

  • Bathrooms, including employee showers and locker rooms
  • Behind and under refrigerators and other appliances
  • Near the HVAC system

How it Grows

Water is one of the biggest culprits of mold development. Fungi and water go hand in hand, so be aware of any water damage you may have suffered in your Elmhurst, IL, restaurant. Leaky pipes can attract mold, as can overflowing sinks. Make sure you clean up water promptly and make any necessary repairs. A professional water damage restoration team can also help. These crews will not only remove water but will kill any bacteria left behind with powerful sanitizing agents.

Stop the Spread

If you ever detect mold growth in your facility, make sure you check your ventilation system. Proper airflow can reduce humidity, especially while you are doing dishes and preparing food. Properly refrigerate all items and dispose of materials before the expiration date. Conduct a thorough walk-through of the restaurant at the end and beginning of each workday.
Take the time and make the effort to stop mold growth. Your business can thrive as mold stops dead in its tracks.

How To Prepare Your Business for a Possible Fire

12/31/2019 (Permalink)

Hand writing an Emergency Evacuation Plan on clipboard beside Exit Door The best time to plan your evacuation route is now.

While you and your staff can prevent fires in the workplace, it can be helpful to prepare in case of one. By taking the right precautions against a potential business fire, you can keep the employees and yourself safe, as well as mitigate potential damage. Prepare your commercial location by taking the following actions.

Create a Fire Safety Plan

The most effective way to ensure the safety of the company is by creating a structured plan for everyone to follow. The plan is essential for fire preparation and should cover multiple areas.

  • Fire prevention
  • Equipment identification and use
  • Evacuation
  • Emergency response

Create guidelines that employees can read and follow clearly and easily. At the same time, they must be thorough and cover every situation, hazard and complication relevant to the fire. Also, hold training sessions with the staff so everyone has experience with the plan and knows what to do in case of emergency. It will reduce errors and prevent evacuation delays.

Clear All Obstructions

When planning an evacuation route for a business fire in Melrose Park, IL, you may notice that some of the most dangerous hazards are obstructions. The most common obstructions prevent your employees from using emergency exits or seeing extinguishers and other firefighting equipment in time. Encourage your staff to regularly observe these areas or objects and clear out anything blocking them. This can even extend outside of the building, such as cars blocking fire lanes.

Disable All Ignition Sources

Prevention is important as part of a fire preparation plan, so make sure the staff can spot and prevent fire ignition sources, including improperly stored chemicals, exposed electrical wiring and other flammable elements. Even if a fire already starts, it is important to account for these dangers, since their exposure to fire can lead to greater fire damage and increase the need for a commercial building restoration service.
Anticipating a business fire can save lives and reduce damage to your valued establishment. Create a plan for fire emergencies and have resources ready for your employees to use.

How To Temporarily Repair A Wind-Damaged Roof

12/23/2019 (Permalink)

Missing shingles on roof Missing shingles on roof

Three Steps To Prevent Roof Damage

A roof leak or other wind damage to the roof of your Schiller Park, IL, business can be a major headache. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent further damage.

Signs of Wind Damage

It is important to address roof damage as quickly as possible. The following are some common signs of a damaged roof:

  • Curling, lifted or missing shingles
  • Damaged or absent chimney flashing
  • Leaking roof
  • Buildup of shingle granules in gutters

Few roofs are completely flat. Most have a variety of geometric features that affect where damage occurs. Wind damage is most likely to occur along the edges of the roof, at the corners and along the ridge line. Be sure to check those areas closely after heavy winds.

Temporary Roof Repair

Although you will need to permanently repair the roof, you may have to do a quick fix to prevent further damage or stop a roof leak. The following are three common temporary roof-repair methods:

  • Tarp over or board up the damaged area
  • Readhere curling or lifted shingles
  • Make temporary shingles from sheet metal

Using tarpaulin or plywood to cover the affected area of your roof is generally inexpensive and fairly easy. If you just have a few damaged shingles, though, you may be able to readhere them with roofing cement. You will need a heat gun to soften the shingles and make them more malleable. You will also need roofing nails to secure the shingle. If you have missing shingles, you can make replacements fairly easily using sheet metal. Simply cut the sheet metal into the same shape as your regular shingles and install them as you would any other shingle.
Addressing roof damage as soon as possible can prevent further damage to both the roof and the interior of your business. However, if you do have water damage or mold growth from a roof leak, a certified restoration company can help you get your business back to normal quickly and safely.

Residential Water_20_Why Toilets Leak

12/6/2019 (Permalink)

Leakage of water from a toilet due to blockage of the pipe Leaking toilet in Stone Park, IL

Residential Water_20_Why Toilets Leak

While the kitchen always seems to be the gathering place in the home, the bathroom gets a lot of foot traffic. When guests arrive, the last thing you want is for your home in Stone Park, IL, to have a leaking toilet. Besides the mess it leaves, if it goes unchecked, mold and rot can quickly make it smell like a dingy rest-stop.

Signs of Leak

When faced with a bathroom leak, it's not always a visible mess. Internal issues can make your water bill surge. Signs that you may have a problem include:

  • The handle must be jiggled to get it to stop running.
  • The toilet makes sounds even when not being used.
  • To empty the tank, the handle needs to be held down.
  • Water continues to trickle into the bowl after the flushing cycle.

The Main Culprits

Once you have determined you have a leaking toilet, it is important to take care of the problem as soon as possible. In addition to wasting water, the leak could eventually spread and damage nearby areas of the home. Below are some of the main causes of a leaking toilet.

Cracked Tank or Bowl – Although built for longevity, like most things, toilets aren’t immune to damage and aging. A barely noticeable crack will eventually lead to bigger problems.
Old Pipes – In older homes, the pipes leading to your bathroom can begin to rust and crack.
Worn or Loose Seals and Connectors – The internal workings of a toilet feature gaskets and everyday hardware. If those get worn or loosened, a leak can develop. The seal at the base of the toilet can also face the same problem.
Flush Valve and Flapper Issues – An improperly adjusted or broken valve can affect the overflow, leading to a tank constantly filling instead of draining properly. If the flapper isn’t doing its job to stop water, it will continue to fill the bowl.

Addressing a leaking toilet right away is the best way to avoid water damage. If the damage has already happened, count on a water damage specialist to get your home guest-ready.

Attack Mold Problems With Help From a Hygienist

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

A professional disinfector in overalls processes the walls from mold Turn testing and remediation over to mold damage professionals for reliable results.

Attack Mold Problems With Help From a Hygienist

When you discover a mold problem in your Northlake, IL, home, you need to know whether it's worth paying for professional testing and professional mold cleaning services. After all, you could get a DIY mold kit at your local home improvement store. However, there are a few drawbacks to this route:

  • Mold kits are notoriously inaccurate, often providing false negatives or positives. This means some homeowners don't treat existing mold problems while others pay for expensive treatments without cause.
  • Mold exists everywhere; it is part of nature. If you get a positive reading, it could be testing positive when you don't really have a problem.
  • While a test may provide correct results, it doesn't indicate how widespread or invasive the problem is.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency recommends professional testing for air quality, mold, and property analysis.


Although you could try a store-bought test, you'll get better results when you work with a qualified hygienist.

What Do Hygienists Do?

Environmental hygienists are responsible for safety in homes and workplaces. They are trained to recognize the health consequences of various substances, especially if those affect the ventilation system. These hygienists have the training and tools to conduct the testing necessary to understand mold damage and can steer homeowners toward appropriate mold remediation. It's important to note that hygienists have access to laboratory facilities for completing their testing, thus delivering reliable, accurate results.

DIY Versus Professional Hygienists

A decision to try air sampling with a DIY kit can be an expensive mistake. Without the appropriate sensitivity to provide accurate, full results, those kits can be seriously misleading. A hygienist, on the other hand, understands what's at stake, is familiar with the risks associated with mold, and the ins and outs of dealing with black mold cleanup.

If you believe you have a problem in your home, don't put off mold cleaning. Don't leave your home and family at risk by attempting to DIY mold remediation. Instead, turn testing and remediation over to mold damage professionals for reliable results.

Understanding Fire Restoration

11/22/2019 (Permalink)

Fire and water restoration in a home Fire restoration in a Berkeley, IL home

Understanding Fire Restoration

After a fire in your home, you have likely become familiar with the number of fire restoration companies and services in your area. However, you might be wondering what they do. The process of restoring your home is an involved one that likely requires five steps.

  1. Water removal
  2. Debris removal
  3. Smoke and soot cleaning
  4. Cleaning and sanitizing
  5. Restoration and rebuilding

Water Removal

Before any remediation or restoration service can begin damage cleaning, they must remove the excess buildup of water. While it might sound unusual when discussing fire damage, you must consider the efforts of emergency services in putting out the blaze. Fire hoses and suppression systems can leave an abundance of water, which can result in significant water damage if not dealt with immediately.

Debris Removal

After removing the water, a remediation team will begin the process of discarding the more significant elements of debris, such as furniture. You can accompany these teams into the property to sort through your belongings, as well.

Smoke and Soot Cleaning

Smoke damage is a challenging thing to alleviate. It is resilient and spreads through porous items and ventilation systems. Therefore, a restoration company will spend a significant amount of time cleaning any residue and odor from your home.

Cleaning and Sanitizing

A large portion of fire restoration services involves cleaning and sanitizing the property, even after the smoke and soot residue are gone. Therefore, before any rebuilding takes place, a company will spend a great deal of time with commercial cleaners and specialized HEPA-filtered vacuums.

Restoration and Rebuilding

Once the cleaning is completed by a fire restoration and remediation company in Berkeley, IL, they will begin the restoration and rebuilding phase. This is when the damaged property begins to look like your home again.
Fire restoration is a challenging and possibly a lengthy process, depending on the damage. However, when it is all said and done, you will have a home to return.

Choosing the Appropriate Fire Extinguisher

11/18/2019 (Permalink)

Hand holding a fire extinguisher. You need the very best help on the line as well.

Choosing the Appropriate Fire Extinguisher

  • Class A: This is the most common extinguisher and can be used to put out fires in ordinary combustibles such as cloth, wood, rubber, paper, and many plastics.
  • Class B: Used on fires involving flammable liquids, such as grease, gasoline, and oil.
  • Class C: Designed for fires involving appliances, tools, or other equipment electronically energized or plugged in.
  • Class D: For use on flammable metals; often specific for the type of metal in question. These are typically found in factories.
  • Class K: Intended for use on fires that involve vegetable oils, animal oils, or fats in cooking appliances. Generally found in commercial kitchens.

When fire or water damage puts the things that matter most on the line, you need the very best help on the line as well. That’s why knowing the easiest ways to contact SERVPRO is so important.

Just go to https://www.SERVPROelmhurst.com/to get the team that’s faster to any size disaster. We’re a leader in giving control back to homeowners, property managers, and even entire communities after the ravaging effects of water or fire. So, whether you’re responsible for 1,000 square feet or 100,000 –be ready for the worst with the very best: Your trusted, SERVPRO of Elmhurst team.

Common Causes of Sewer Backups and How To Avoid Them

11/12/2019 (Permalink)

Clogged sink Clogged sink in a Hillside, IL home

The 3 most Frequently Observed Sewage Problems

Nobody wants to come home to discover that there has been a sewer backup in his or her living space. Unfortunately, this can easily become a reality for many homeowners. Read on to understand the three most frequently observed sewage problems and what you can do to prevent them from taking place in your Hillside, IL, home.

Clogged Drains

More severe clogs usually take place in the main sewer line, while less serious ones tend to affect your drain. To determine whether there’s a clog in one of your drains, look for blockages in the following fixtures:

  • Toilet
  • Sink
  • Shower
  • Bathtub

To stop these fixtures from becoming clogged, be sure to maintain them on a regular basis and use them appropriately. Pouring grease down your kitchen sink drain or overloading your garbage disposal can increase the risk of a sewer backup. Similarly, avoid flushing sanitary napkins and other bulky items down the toilet to keep all drains clear.

Collapsed Sewer Lines

In some cases, broken or collapsed sewer lines can lead to a sewer blockage. This typically takes place in older homes where the sewer lines are made of clay piping or cast iron, which are materials that tend to break down more quickly. If your sewer line has broken down or collapsed, you may want to consider replacing it with one made of plastic or a similarly reliable material to keep further problems from occurring.

Invasive Tree Roots

If your sewer backup isn’t a result of the above causes, you may want to inspect the tree roots on your property. Trees that are located directly above your sewer line can either crush the sewer line completely or extend into your pipes to form holes and clogs. Be sure to control the growth of your tree roots to keep sewer problems at bay.
Whether you have a bathtub backup or flooding, sewage problems can be serious. Call water damage experts immediately to take care of any kind of emergency.

Take Steps To Prevent Weather Related Flooding in Your Building

10/26/2019 (Permalink)

Faucet running water Keep faucets running at a trickle to keep water moving and prevent freezing

Take Steps To Prevent Weather Related Flooding in Your Building

When you run a business in Franklin Park, IL, you have a lot of line items to be concerned with. Flood damage does not need to be one of them. Severe storms can cause street level flooding or may cause water to back up in sewer drains. Heavy rain or hail can take a toll on your roof and allow leaks that work their way inside. Extreme cold may cause a burst pipe that could flood anywhere in the building.

An Ounce of Prevention

Storm damage can happen when a frozen pipe develops. Take a few steps to check your building’s risk or and even prevent weather related freezing. A little preparation may spare you from serious storm cleanup.


Check insulation levels in areas where plumbing is installed, both in the walls and in the roof/ceilings. If more is needed for your climate than is present, have more installed and consider insulated pipe sleeves for extra protection
Keep the area surrounding any plumbed areas warm enough to prevent freezing, or use heat tape in areas beneath the floors or in the ceiling
Keep faucets running at a trickle to keep water moving and prevent freezing
If needed, relocate problematic pipes from outer walls to prevent freezing
Close garage and bay doors when they are not being used to keep heat in


Thawing a Frozen Pipe

If you suspect a pipe is frozen, it is very important that you don’t turn the water on too quickly. If it doesn’t run easily, keep the faucet partially open and warm the area where the pipe is located until water flows freely. Allow water to run for a bit to melt ice and open lines.

When a burst pipe leaves you with standing water, be sure to call a professional water remediation service in Franklin Park, IL  to help with proper flood cleanup and drying out. With some good prevention and skilled help, you can get back to business as usual.

SERVPRO of Elmhurst provides CE Ethics class

10/20/2019 (Permalink)

Room full of people sitting and watching a powerpoint presentation, Our goal is to make it like it never happened.

Every year, SERVPRO of Elmhurst provides continuing education in the areas of water, fire and mold mitigation.  Education increases the opportunity for the community of professionals responsible for helping you when disaster strikes: The more you informed the community of first responders, the better able to help limit damage, save important personal belongings and control costs during a time of crisis.   

At SERVPRO of Elmhurst, we work with adjusters, insurance agents, real estate agents, brokers, home inspectors, and office professionals by providing state-sanctioned Ethics Classes. Raising the bar when it comes to how people are treated especially in the time of need to protect their homes and personal belongings is essential to the insurance claim process.

Our goal is to make it like it never happened.  As a recent client said, "the whole clean up and insurance process was as painless as it could have been."

How To Flush a Water Heater

10/18/2019 (Permalink)

Hand attaches hose to a home water heater to perform maintenance Unless you live in an apartment building, you almost certainly have a water heater in your Bensenville, IL, home

Unless you live in an apartment building, you almost certainly have a water heater in your Bensenville, IL, home. As part of routine home maintenance, you should flush the sediment from the tank once a year.

How To Do a Water Heater Flush

Fortunately, flushing the unit is a relatively straightforward task. The following steps will guide you through the process:

Put on work gloves to protect yourself from hot water. Locate a garden hose that will reach from the drainage spigot of the tank to an area outdoors that can withstand the hot water and sediment you will be draining.
Turn off the power to the unit. Additionally, you will want to turn off the thermostat and close the water supply valve.
Turn on the hot water in a sink and leave it running to prevent a vacuum from forming.
Connect the water hose to the drainage spigot on the tank. Then turn on the spigot and allow the water to drain until it runs clear or the tank is empty.
Turn the water supply valve back on to flush out any remaining sediment from the tank. Allow the water to drain until you do not see any sediment in the water coming from the hose.
Turn off the spigot, and disconnect the hose. Make sure the water in the faucet is running freely (indicating no excess air in the pipes).Then turn off the water that has been running in the sink. When the tank is completely full, turn the power back on to the heater and the thermostat up.
In about twenty minutes, check to make sure that you have hot water coming to the faucets in your house.

Hopefully, keeping your water heater maintained will help prevent plumbing problems. However, if you do experience residential flooding, a professional restoration company can help restore your home to its pre-flood condition.

4 Important Differences Between Mold and Mildew

10/9/2019 (Permalink)

Mold growth in the corner of a windowsill. Knowing whether you have mildew or mold growing in your home is important for knowing how to tackle the problem.

While often used interchangeably, mold and mildew are actually not the same thing. Understanding the differences between these two types of fungus are important for knowing how to effectively deal with mold damage in your home in Elmhurst, IL. Here are four essential differences between mold and mildew. 

1. Appearance

When it first starts to grow, mildew will look white or gray on whatever surface it is growing on. Over time, mildew may start to turn yellow, brown or black. Mildew normally grows in flat patches and is fluffy or powdery in appearance. Mold, on the other hand, is often much darker than mildew and can be white, yellow, varying shades of green, blue, or black. It usually has an irregular growth pattern and looks either very fuzzy or slimy. 

2. Location

While mold and mildew can be found on many of the same surfaces, mildew growth is most commonly found on plants and flat surfaces in your home. Mold can penetrate objects and make its way into drywall or floorboards, but mildew can only live on the surface. Both are attracted to moisture, which makes bathrooms and kitchens common breeding grounds. 

3. Damage

If found in your home, mildew is more of an annoyance than a serious issue. Mildew is the most harmful to plants and crops. Mold damage, on the other hand, will become worse with time and can cause severe rotting to your home. 

4. Treatment

You can easily clean mildew at home using a store-bought cleaner or natural mold killer and a cleaning brush. However, removing mold is much harder. For severe mold growth, you will need to get assistance from a mold remediation specialist

Knowing whether you have mildew or mold growing in your home is important for knowing how to tackle the problem. Visit https://www.SERVPROelmhurst.com/ for more information on mold and mildew.

Basic Information About Renters Insurance and Fires

10/9/2019 (Permalink)

Renters insurance form and dollars on the table Renters insurance covers a variety of expenses after a fire so be sure to check your policy

Basic Information About Renters Insurance and Fires

If you’ve ever experienced the devastating effects of a home fire, you’re likely aware of what your insurance covers. If you’ve never had to deal with fire damage, you’re probably not sure what’s included. Here is some basic information about the three types of coverage and how they relate to your renters insurance after a fire.


Personal Property


Under personal property coverage, fire is considered a covered peril. A peril is any type of unexpected event that results in your personal belongings being damaged or ruined. One thing you can do if you experience a home fire is call a fire restoration specialist to assist in fire damage cleanup. These professionals are Faster to any size disaster and can help clean and remove the prevalent smoke smell from your home. Once you’ve had your home cleaned, you’ll be able to determine what items need to be replaced under your personal property coverage.


Liability


Liability is another type of coverage under your renters insurance. This coverage applies when a fire causes injuries or damage to someone and their belongings due to the fire in your home. As with all types of coverage, limits apply so be sure to understand the specifics of your policy.


Additional Living Expenses


If you’re not able to live in your Elmhurst, IL, apartment or home due to fire damage, your insurance should cover additional living expenses. Fire restoration is essential after a fire and it may take some time until you’re able to return back home. This coverage could cover hotel and food expenditures above what you would normally spend.

Renters insurance covers a variety of expenses after a fire so be sure to check your policy. Personal property, liability and additional living expenses are three types of coverage you should include in your policy. Fire restoration is an important part of getting your home back to normal so contact a professional for assistance.

How to Manage Water Damage Restoration of your Home

10/8/2019 (Permalink)

Pool of water on tile floor. Water in home and water in business problems must be removed as quickly as possible.

No homeowner should attempt to recover from a flood alone. They will find the house much easier to recover once they have called a water damage restoration and mitigation firm. The firm that does mitigation and water damage restoration knows specifically how to make the house look beautiful one again, and they will do all the work on their own. They will handle everything from water cleanup to repairs on the house, and this article explains how they will find their home returned to a proper condition.

#1: The Water Damage Assessment

There are many people who must have water damage assessed in their home before they may choose to begin repairs or recovery. The flood damage will be repaired by the water restoration and mitigation firm, and they will have many people come to the house to repair the house after the water is removed. The water in home issue is unique because the family cannot move in until after they have cleaned up. They will repair all water in home problems in a short time, and they will notice there are many ways to ensure that their home is cleaned.

#2: Air Movement and Drying

The drying and air movement process is one that must be handled by the company as soon as possible. A water restoration team knows all the mitigation methods, and they will run fans, open windows and use other mitigation techniques to ensure the house will be dry. Any flood damage or water damage must be repaired as soon as possible, and the water must be removed from the house using the traditional air movement and drying techniques that are used across the industry.

#3: Water in Business Problems

There are many water in business problems that may be handled the moment the mitigation company arrives at the house, and they will show the customer how water damage restoration is completed. Water cleanup may be completed in moments, and it will be a full process that involves the removal of all water damage and flood damage. The flood may be internal, and it may be external if there were storms in the area. Water cleanup may take some time, but it will be done using only the finest techniques.

#4: Moving Quickly

Water in home and water in business problems must be removed as quickly as possible, and someone who has an idea of how to handle all the water will know how to complete the process of water removal. The water cleanup process involves the air movement and drying that must be done, and there are many technicians who will arrive at the house to complete the job.

DIY Water Damage Restoration & Why It's a Bad Idea

10/6/2019 (Permalink)

Door opened slightly with wet carpet. Attempting to perform your own water damage mitigation drying or mold remediation, it's definitely not something that should be attempted on your own.

More and more people are becoming do-it-yourselfers. It seems that everyone with an internet connection is on YouTube trying to figure out how they can save money by performing services themselves.

While that is an excellent idea when you have to hook up a home theater system or mounting a TV to the wall, however, attempting to perform your own water damage mitigation drying or mold remediation, it's definitely not something that should be attempted on your own. You can rent dehumidifiers and fans, maybe even air filtration equipment, but there are consequences for not performing mitigation services properly. There have been circumstances where the homeowners have rented a few dehumidifiers attempting to dry out the property from a major size water damage job. We applaud their efforts, they don't have the proper training, knowledge and or tools to successfully perform this work. In fact, you need to know how to use the equipment and placement of the equipment or you end up causing more harm and spending more money than anticipated.

The next time you experience a water damage in your home or office, give the SERVPRO professionals a call. We'll help make it "Like it never even happened." For more information, please visit http://www.SERVPROElmhurst.com or call SERVPRO of Elmhurst at 630-758-1701.

EVERY SECOND COUNTS

10/5/2019 (Permalink)

Black room filled with smoke. Practice your fire escape plan during the day and at nighttime.

Every second counts during a fire. Fire experts agree; people have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late major fire, making it critical to be prepared and have an escape plan in place. A survey conducted by the American Red Cross shows only 26 percent of families and businesses have developed and practiced a fire escape plan. Once a plan is developed, it is critical everyone in the home or office understands the plan. The best way to do this is by practicing the escape plan at least twice a year. Increase your chance of surviving a fire by ensuring you have working smoke detectors in place, building an escape plan, and then practicing it. The following are a few suggestions to help you develop an emergency escape plan.

Draw a map of each level of your home or business and show all the doors and windows. Find two ways to get out of each room. Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open easily.

Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second and third floors. Only purchase collapsible escape ladders evaluated by a recognized testing laboratory. Store them near the window where they will be used.

Choose an outside meeting place a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they’ve escaped. Make sure to mark the location of the meeting area on your escape plan.

Teach children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them. Plan for everyone in your home or office, with special considerations for elderly or disabled individuals.  Practice your fire escape plan during the day and at nighttime.

IICRC Certified Firm

10/2/2019 (Permalink)

White water pipe leaking water. Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated.

SERVPRO of Elmhurst is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

* Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

* Require a technician on all jobs who have been formally trained and passed all required tests.

* Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

* Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

* Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration, and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

PLAN and PRACTICE your ESCAPE!

9/30/2019 (Permalink)

Hand placing a red battery into a white smoke detector. October is Fire Prevention Month and an excellent time to examine the emergency preparedness plans for your home and business.

October is Fire Prevention Month and an excellent time to examine the emergency preparedness plans for your home and business, including your fire escape plan. Do you have a fire escape plan? Have you changed your smoke alarm batteries within the last year? Are you prepared if a disaster strikes?

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) sets aside a designated week each October to focus on fire prevention. The 2019 theme is "Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!"

According to the NFPA, once the fire alarm goes off, "you could have less than one to two minutes to escape safely," yet only 8 percent of people surveyed said getting out was their first thought after hearing a fire alarm. Creating, implementing, and practicing a fire escape plan for your home or business may be the difference between safety and tragedy. Make a plan today! Escape planning and practice can help you make the most of the time you have, giving everyone in your home or business enough time to get out.

How do you define a hero? Is it a person who is courageous and performs good deeds? Someone who comes to the aid of others, even at their own personal risk? A hero can be all of those things! A hero can also be someone who takes small but important actions to keep themselves and those around them safe from fire. When it comes to fire safety, be a hero in your household or community.

In this issue of the September Restoration Newsline, we will cover several fire safety topics, as well as information on creating your fire escape plan.

SERVPRO of Elmhurst wants you to stay safe, informed, and prepared to help ensure you are ready for any disaster that comes your way.

Why Does Household Mold Keep Coming Back?

9/26/2019 (Permalink)

The hand of someone holding a moisture meter against a wall Checking for moisture in a Schiller Park, IL home

If you’ve spotted mold in your Schiller Park, IL, home, you’ve probably taken the next step and tried to remove it. Unfortunately, mold is resilient and tends to return after it’s cleaned. Keep reading to find out why household mold, such as black mold, keeps coming back and what you can do about it.

What Is Mold and How Does It Grow?

To understand why mold is so persistent, it’s important to look at its nature. Did you know that thousands of mold species exist? Fortunately, most types of mold are harmless and you’ll never notice them. Molds are actually a group of fungi that reproduce by airborne spores. The following warm, moist areas in your home are perfect places for spores to thrive:

  • Basements
  • Showers
  • Carpets
  • Ventilation ducts

With basic mold cleanup, it’s actually impossible to remove every tiny spore. This is why mold will return over and over again. When it comes to infestations of more damaging types of mold such as black mold, this can lead to extensive property damage.

What Can You Do?

An effective way to combat mold growth is to remove moisture sources. You may be able to contain some small areas of mold growth by cleaning. However, if you clean up the mold but fail to remove the moisture source, the mold will come back. Promptly fixing leaky plumbing and drying out water-damaged areas should help prevent growth.

Mold may also grow where you can’t see it, especially if there are leaks in the plumbing in your wall. If you think you might have mold in your home, contact a professional to perform an inspection.

By understanding how mold grows, you’ll be better equipped to tackle it. Because of the nature of mold, a simple cleaning is not enough to keep it from coming back. If you suspect your property has damaging molds, such as black mold, contact a professional mold remediation service in Schiller Park, IL, to properly handle the situation.

Maintain the Old Pipes in Your Rental Property

9/26/2019 (Permalink)

old pipes Maintain the old pipes

When property owners in Melrose Park, IL, take on an older house or complex, they are also liable for the problems with them. One of these issues is their plumbing system, which can sometimes consist of polybutylene pipes and have a greater tendency to deteriorate or clog. If you are considering renting out an older building, you should be aware of the risks associated with this system and prepare a maintenance routine to keep it functioning.

Potential Problems With Old Pipes

These old pipes are usually made of unreliable or outdated materials that create more problems than they solve. For instance, lead pipes can pollute the water, while rusty piping can make the water take an unpleasant smell and a brown color. A common issue with older houses and rental complexes, particularly those built between 1978 to 1995, is polybutylene piping. This material was popular because it was cheap and easy to install, but its interaction with chlorine creates brittleness and later, water damage. Commercial building restoration services can assist you should this incident occur.

Detect and Treat Clogs

Older pipes are prone to clogs and blockage, which are an inconvenience to tenants and clients in your property. There are several unclogging options for these old pipe systems.

  • Snake or wire
  • Plunger
  • Chemical cleaners
  • Enzyme and hot water mix

Determine the severity of the clog before attempting these treatments.

Maintain the Old Pipes

Replacing these pipes is not always a realistic option. Sometimes, the practical action is using a monthly maintenance routine while a permanent replacement is planned. Keep the pipes unclogged with an enzyme and warm water mix. Run hot water down, then pour the enzyme mix and let it sit overnight. Afterwards, flush it down with more hot water to flush the contents down.
The outdated pipes in your Melrose Park, IL, rental property, whether they are made of polybutylene or another material, can endanger the property and your rent business. Protect both by actively maintaining and repairing the plumbing system.

Can You Salvage Wet Building Materials After a Flood?

9/18/2019 (Permalink)

When water comes into your Elmhurst, IL, home from a broken bike, sewer backup, foundation problems or anything else, your first thought should be about the safety of everyone inside. Then, you probably start worrying about the integrity of the structure and what you can repair or salvage. Swelling wood, for example, is a typical result of flooding. Luckily, you can use many of your building materials again once crews clean up the water.


Where's the Damage
There's a lot at stake when floodwaters find their way into your house. Besides worrying about issues such as water pipe repair, there are a host of other areas of your property that may need attention from a flood restoration company. Some of these include:

Carpet and wood floors
Subfloor
Drywall
Cabinets
Furniture
Electronics

When Wood Swells
Swelling wood indicates an excessive amount of water in building materials and other areas. When this occurs, professional crews will have to tear out and replace the items. This usually happens with swelling in the sub-floor and with kitchen cabinets. Fortunately, expert restoration companies have the skill and experience to help get your home back into shape in a timely manner so you can feel comfortable resuming your regular daily activities.


Wet Wood
Supply line problems are a common cause of flooding in homes and buildings. If this happens where you live, there's a good chance that the drywall and areas of your home with wood will be wet. In many cases, crews can dry out and reuse the wood. The team will thoroughly sanitize the materials to reduce or even eliminate the risk of mold growth.


After water troubles, you don't have to give up hope that wet and swelling wood in your home will require complete replacement. If you hire a skilled company, the professional technicians can salvage much of the wet materials.

How Storm Damage Creates Basement Flooding

9/10/2019 (Permalink)

Basement with flooded waters, there is a couch, chairs, and boxes floating aorund Flooded basement in Stone Park, IL

An intense storm can have a devastating impact on your Stone Park, IL, home. Sometimes, that aftermath is a flooded basement. Learning the causes behind such an incident can make the cleaning and restoration processes easier and help you prevent any further backups.

What Causes a Basement Flood?

Due to the position and structure of your residence’s basement, it is vulnerable to several types of flooding. Most of these floods manifest after heavy storms and rain, and they are usually caused by the following reasons:

  • Sewer water buildup caused by clogging (waste, trash, roots, vandalism, etc.)
  • Storm water backing up due to outdated drain design
  • Excessive surface water caused by landscape slopes or blocked gutters
  • Broken or defective pipes
  • Extra groundwater from hydrostatic pressure

It is imperative to find the specific cause of a flooded basement as soon as possible. Finding the source will make it easier to call a professional to fix the problem and prevent further damage. Additionally, the less water you have in the basement, the easier it will be to clean up.

How Should You Handle a Sewage Backup?

Now that you have located and controlled the source of the flooding, it is time to clean the basement. First, immediately call utility companies such as your gas company and your electricity provider, since having these services active right now is potentially dangerous. Then, assess as much of the damage as possible. Finally, contact a storm damage restoration company and provide its employees with the assessed information. They can safely repair the damage to the basement in a safe and prompt manner.

A severe storm can reveal weaknesses in your home’s sewer system that can also leave behind a flooded basement. Even though this event can be overwhelming, taking quick action by identifying the source of the problem, recording the damage and contacting restoration professionals will stop the problem and return the basement to a safer, cleaner state.

How To Detect Mold in Your Air Ducts

9/9/2019 (Permalink)

Mold can be hiding in many different areas of your commercial building. One of the most common areas where mold is found is in a building’s air ducts. If you have a mold problem in your air system, it’s crucial to schedule an HVAC cleaning as soon as possible before the mold begins to spread to other parts of your building. To detect signs of mold in your Elmhurst, IL, business, follow these guidelines.


Understand Mold Growth
Before you can begin to address mold in your ducts, it’s helpful to understand what may be causing the problem. Mold growth in vents is typically a result of:

Vents not being sealed properly
Buildup of condensation
Trapped dirt, debris or dust
Fibers from insulation

Be sure to look for these materials when you open up your vents. Remember that if any form of moisture finds its way into your air ducts, it can further encourage mold growth and cause it to spread.


Look for Signs
Once you’ve ruled out the cause of mold, you can look for signs of it in your ducts. If you notice any black or white spots in the vents, it can indicate that there is a mold infestation and that an HVAC cleaning is required. In addition, a musty smell that comes from your air system may be a sign of mold. Be sure to stay aware of any clues that you come across and call for cleaning vents services if needed.


Call a Professional
If you suspect that there is a mold problem in your business, it’s best to have a professional inspect the building for any signs of it. Even if you think you have tracked down the source of mold in your building, it is likely that there are other contaminated areas that you may not be aware of.

Once a professional has detected the mold, he or she can remediate the issue with an HVAC cleaning. Don’t hesitate to call mold remediation specialists to bring your business back to life.

Double Disaster: How To Deal With Water Damage After a Fire

9/7/2019 (Permalink)

black background with white smoke A quick response after fire damage is key to getting your business up and running again.

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.

How to Make a Water Damage Claim

9/5/2019 (Permalink)

Broken or bursting pipes in your Elmhurst, IL, home can create a big mess and a lot of damage. The good news is that you don’t need to handle it on your own. In most cases, your homeowner's insurance will cover much of the cost of repairs. Here are some steps that you should take when filing a claim.


1. Call Your Insurance Agent
The first thing that you should do is call your insurance company to inform them of the bursting pipes and begin your claim. Waiting too long to file a claim can result in coverage being denied, so you should do this as soon as you can.


2. Document the Damage
Your insurance agent will need to have documentation of the property in order to file your claim. You should make a list of areas of the home that have been affected as well as any belongings. Taking pictures of the water damage will help as well.


3. Prevent Further Damage
While you may not be able to fix broken pipes on your own, you should take any steps that you can to prevent damage from becoming worse while you wait for the emergency restoration company to begin repairs. This can include blocking off flooded rooms or relocating smaller belongings to a dry area.


4. Go Over Your Policy
In most cases, water damage will be covered by your insurance. It is still a good idea, however, to go over your policy to make sure you know all the details. This can make the process go more smoothly and allow you to get things back to normal more quickly.


As long as you have not neglected to properly maintain your property, the damage that results from bursting pipes and other accidents will most likely be covered by your insurance. Make sure to follow the proper procedures when filing a claim so that you are able to get the most from your policy.

What You Should Know About Chemical Drain Cleaner

8/27/2019 (Permalink)

Chemical drain cleaners are not good for your pipes

A clogged drain can be an extremely inconvenient issue as a homeowner in Northlake, IL, so you are probably looking for the quickest solution. If speed is your aim, chemical drain cleaning options may end up at the top of your list. However, there are factors other than timeliness to consider when choosing a solution.

Not Good for Your Pipes

Chemical drain cleaner is quick because it's powerful- so much so that it can damage more than just the blockage. If your pipes can't withstand the cleaner, you may end up with a bigger problem than you started with. Avoid using chemicals if you have certain plumbing situations, like:

  • a completely blocked drain
  • old metal pipes
  • plastic pipes

Not Good for the Environment

If you are handling your clogged drain on your own, that means you are getting up close and personal with the process. Chemical cleaners are toxic to both humans and animals. You will need to make sure you are wearing the proper personal protective equipment. If these chemicals are introduced to the water supply, they can then move on to poison lakes, streams and wildlife. All of this also means that they are dangerous to keep inside your home.

There Are Other Options

When sewage cleaning, chemicals should only be used as a last resort. Mechanical methods exist, such as plungers or augers. There are also non-toxic biological drain cleaners that use enzymes or bacteria to eat through the clog. This may take a little longer, usually up to 24 hours, but is much safer for your pipes and your well-being. You can also call a professional service if you do not feel confident clearing the clog yourself. Be sure to ask about what method they will use.
As a property owner, you are likely to encounter a clogged drain eventually. You should understand your options so you can make an informed decision about what's best for your home and family.

The FEMA Recommendations for Flood Preparation

8/26/2019 (Permalink)

Major storms can leave your Bensenville, IL, home in bad shape, and you may expect that flood insurance will keep you covered. However, sitting back and waiting for the insurance adjuster to get back to you with good news could be a big mistake.

After a natural disaster or huge storm, adjusters are often busy with several homes. You could be waiting for a long time before the professional reaches your home.


While waiting, flood damage will get worse. As water seeps into the walls and floors of your home, mold has time to get established and spread throughout the home. Many flood remediation and home repair companies work directly with insurance companies. Waiting for an insurance adjuster could increase the costs of repair to your home. Take action right away to get the repair work started.


Hire a Public Adjuster

One step to consider taking is hiring a public adjuster. The adjuster sent by your insurance company represents the insurance company's best interests. A public adjuster works for your best interests. The work done by this professional may speed up the claim process with your flood insurance company and make sure you get as much coverage as possible.


Decide Whether To File a Claim

Sometimes people avoid filing claims if they believe that their premiums will increase as a result. In this case, homeowners may proceed to do repairs on their own without even involving the adjuster. However, if further damages occur as a result of that inaction, insurance coverage may no longer be effective. It's true that a "claims free" discount could be lost, but contacting the adjuster is a good way to determine whether to file the actual claim or not.


Get Started on Repairs
You can get a lot of work done while you're waiting for the adjuster from your flood insurance company to show up. Don't wait to contact repair and reconstruction professionals to avoid mold damage. Reach out to a public adjuster to represent you.

When to Use Commercial Flood Insurance

8/20/2019 (Permalink)

Flood insurance will be needed if your building is flooded due to storm surges

Flood insurance is something that every business owner should consider purchasing for their Berkeley, IL  commercial property. An insurance plan that just focuses on restoring damage caused by a flood can literally save your business from having to close its doors after a devastating storm or other causes of floods.

Definition

As the name implies, flood insurance provides financial protection to your business if a flood occurs and damages your building. A flood is defined as an event that affects an extensive area, usually two acres or at least two buildings. Most often, flood insurance will be needed if your building is flooded due to one of the below causes:

  • Storms and extreme weather: Heavy rains, snow melt, and storm surges
  • Other acts of nature: Overflowing rivers and storm surges are often the result of a major storm, but regardless of the cause an overflowing natural body of water can cause devastating floods
  • Man-made disasters: Broken levees and dams can also be devastating to nearby areas and have been known to strike without warning

Coverage

Remember that flood insurance will only cover your flood damage if the root cause is from an event outside of your particular building that affects more than just your space. If, for example, your building is flooded due to a burst pipe inside your own walls, you should turn to your general commercial insurance plan. Once it is determined that your building has been damaged by a flood, your insurance company will work with you to cover costs associated with the cleanup and restoration process. The overarching goal is to receive financial help that will get your business back to its previous operational state. A business is not required to purchase insurance specific to a flood unless it is located in a flood zone and is part of the mortgage requirements. However, a flooding catastrophe can happen anywhere at any time, so protecting your building against a flood can save your business from potential bankruptcy.

Treating Workplace Burns: The Do's and Don'ts

8/13/2019 (Permalink)

Someone's hand and on one of his finger has a blister Avoid popping burn blisters

Burns in the workplace are more common in some industries than others. Whether it be from fire damage or hot equipment, being prepared for these emergency situations can go a long way in keeping your employees safe and comfortable under unfortunate circumstances. If a serious burn takes place, here are some things to do (and not do) until Hillside, IL, medical personnel arrive.

What To Do

Move the injured individual away from danger. First and foremost, get everyone to safety. If there is fire damage in the building, try to get everyone outside to safer surroundings. This will prevent further injuries.

Elevate wounds. Keeping burns above heart level, when possible, can help to reduce swelling and keep pain at bay. Circulation is key to quickly addressing severely burned skin.
Make them comfortable. While you don't want to do anything too drastic in the case of a major burn, applying basic burn first aid can help the injured person to be more comfortable while you wait for help. Remove tight clothing or jewelry around the affected area. Apply a cool, clean cloth to blistering skin. Offer over-the-counter pain reliever and water to ease the pain.

What To Avoid

In addition to applying first aid, avoid these common mistakes that often make things worse:

Water submersion. Rather than submersing the individual with water, apply cool damp cloths or bandages only where the skin is affected. Water submersion may send the individual into shock or hypothermia if their body temperature drops too rapidly.


Popping burn blisters. When severe burns occur, it is common for the skin to bubble-up into red hot blisters. Although they may look irritated, never pop or break the skin intentionally. Doing so may lead to infection.


Ice cold water. While cooling the burn with cool compresses is recommended, ice cold water should never be used. After a burn occurs, very cold water can cause tissue damage to the already injured skin. Use lukewarm to cool water instead.

Facing the Aftermath

After the smoke has cleared and fire damage cleanup ensues, be sure to keep tabs on injured employees. A little encouragement can go a long way in the recovery process after experiencing a major burn.

Could Mold Be Growing in Air Vents?

8/12/2019 (Permalink)

Savvy business owners in Elmhurst, IL, understand the importance of maintaining the integrity of the building from which it operates. During an inspection, a common culprit to look for is mold. While the focus may be in areas prone to dampness, like air-conditioners and windows, a ventilation system should not be overlooked. Regular HVAC Cleaning can help keep mold from making its home in air ducts.

Causes of Growth

Mold spores drift through the air searching for an ideal location to take root and reproduce. They require food, water and stable temperatures to flourish, which makes HVAC systems an ideal location for it to call home. The purpose of these systems is to balance temperature. As the air blows, dust scatters through the system, providing sustenance for mold. Regular HVAC Cleaning can help limit that food source. If there is a leak or condensation in the system, mold has all it needs to begin its continuous reproductive cycle.

Signs of Trouble

While cleaning vents should be done regularly, it can easily move down the to-do list. When that happens, some telltale signs of mold can help you put it to the top of the list.
• Mold has a strong, unique smell. If it is noticeable in multiple areas, or stronger when the HVAC system is on, it could be growing in the vents.
• Although you may not be able to see it in the venting system, it may be evident inside the grate or around vents and registers.
• If you notice any signs of moisture around vents or in the ceiling, call a professional to find the source of the problem.

Prevention is the key to eradicate mold. HVAC Cleaning not only keeps the system operating properly and efficiently, but it also helps remove elements that mold thrives on. Along with regular cleaning, changing filters and clean drip pans can decrease the chances of mold forming.

The FEMA Recommendations for Flood Preparation

8/12/2019 (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.

Lightning-Caused House Fires are Seriously Dangerous

7/31/2019 (Permalink)

One strike in Besenville, IL can easily cause a lightning fire

Lightning is an incredibly common event. Every second, there are around 45 flashes of lightning globally, and the power of just one strike in Bensenville, IL, can easily cause a lightning fire. The U.S. averages about 51 deaths and nearly 23,000 fires caused by lightning strikes per year. While only about 18% of fires caused by strikes occurred in homes, they caused the majority of deaths, injuries and overall losses.

Lightning Fire in Houses

Studies show that while less than 1/5th of lightning fires occurred in homes, they accounted for

  • 88% of civilian deaths associated with lightning caused fires,
  • 77% of the associated injuries, and
  • 70% of the direct property damage

Lightning-caused house fires are responsible for around nine deaths, 53 injuries and over $450 million in property damage each year on average. The ubiquity and power of this natural force is often overlooked – until something dreadful happens.

Another problem caused is damage to electronics. Some power companies offer a lightning-protection device that they install in your service box. While not perfect, this has been shown to mitigate a great deal of damage to devices and in some cases may be guaranteed to cover losses.

What to Do If Your Home Is Struck by Lightning 

Lightning can be insidious – if you know your home has been struck, call the fire department. As electricity, it always takes the path of least resistance, meaning the damage can be hidden. Attic fires have been known to develop and smolder for quite some time before showing symptoms of fire damage. Its path can branch out and go totally unexpected routes, so it’s best to be safe. The fire department can come out and inspect your home for hidden dangers.

Dealing With the Aftermath of a Lightning Fire 

With luck and a proactive approach, you can keep the damage very limited. However, once a fire has caused significant smoke damage, you should contact your insurance agency in Bensenville, IL, to file a claim. The residue from a fire is often toxic and difficult to locate and remove so insurance will normally pay for a professional fire damage cleanup.

Cleaning Commercial Bathrooms

7/24/2019 (Permalink)

Mold growth on tile and bathtub Mold in grout and caulk.

Your commercial location in Franklin Park, IL, deserves a clean, comfortable business bathroom. If you suspect mildew in your commercial bathroom, a professional mold removal company can give you a mildew clean room and provide preventative services you need. Find out today how to identify and remove mildew.

Identifying Bathroom Mildew

Bathroom mold and mildew can typically be seen. However, here are some other signs to determine whether your bathroom needs professional cleaning:

  • Musty odor
  • Mold in the corners
  • Mildew along grout or caulk
  • Standing water on the floor or another surface

These signs typically point to mold or mildew growth. Whether it’s already happened or not, it’s important to thoroughly clean the area. Mildew can quickly damage water barriers throughout your commercial bathroom, including mold and grout.

Replacing Grout and Caulk

While mold cleaning solutions and mildewcide are effective mold and mildew clean techniques, sometimes the problem is deeper than a surface solution can handle. In that case, it may be time to completely remove and replace your grout or caulk.

Grout in between bathroom tiles and caulk along the edges of fixtures are common areas for mildew to grow in a commercial bathroom. Because of the porous nature of grout, it’s essential to completely remove it and replace it to ensure a thorough cleaning.

However, improper removal and installation of these materials can compromise the waterproof barrier and allow water to collect behind sinks, under toilets and in corners of your commercial bathroom. Choose a professional remediation service to maintain the high cleanliness of your business bathroom.

Completing Commercial Cleaning

Clean your commercial bathroom and keep it dry to prevent further mold growth. Work with a company that is Here to Help and is capable of inspecting and removing mildew from your property. When you choose a mildew clean and prevention service, you’ll keep your location protected and comfortable for your customers and coworkers.

Your Home Needs THIS Many Fire Alarms and Other Facts That May Surprise You

7/17/2019 (Permalink)

If you're like the average American, your home has one fire alarm, two tops, and that's not enough. According to one survey, Americans need to equip their homes with another 100 million smoke alarms to be fully protected.

It's not enough to have working alarms, though. You also need to know how to react when an alarm goes off. Test your fire safety knowledge by attempting to answer the questions below.

Q: How Many Fire Alarms Should the Average Home Have?

A: The National Fire Protection Association recommends placing one alarm in every bedroom, one outside each sleeping area and one on every level of the home. So, if your home has three bedrooms and two stories, you need a minimum of five fire alarms.

Q: What Type of Fire Alarm Should You Install in Your Home?

A: An ionization alarm sounds when a fast-moving fire occurs while a photoelectric alarm detects smoke damage and smoldering fires. Because you cannot anticipate what type of fire will move through your home, you need both types of detectors.

Q: How Often Should You Replace Your Fire Detector?

A: Everyone knows to replace their batteries after one year or when they start chirping, but how often should you replace the fire detector itself? Do you need to do it annually, every five to seven years or every eight to 10 years? The answer is every eight to 10 years.

Q: How Many Minutes Do You Have to Escape a House Fire?

A: Had you asked a fire damage professional 10 or 20 years ago, he or she might have said you have between 20 and 30 minutes to get out. The reality is you have between three and four minutes to get out of a house that's on fire. This short timeframe is why it is so important to have smoke detectors throughout your home.

This information is not meant to alarm you but simply to inform you. If you only have one fire alarm, go out and buy four more. For more safety tips, talk to your Elmhurst, IL fire department.

What To Know About Sewage Backup Mitigation

7/17/2019 (Permalink)

Consider the installation of a sump pump

Protect Your Home Against Sewer Problems

If you're worried about sewage backup in your, Elmhurst, IL, home then you may be wondering what mitigation steps you can take to keep your property safe. Here are three things you can do to help protect your residence against potential sewer problems after a heavy storm.

1. Know The Risk in Your Area

When preparing your home against storm damage, it's important to know the risk level of your property. Keep track of storms in the area, know where your property is situated on the local watershed, and have an idea of the likelihood of sewer issues in your area. These things will help you have an idea of what the best mitigation measures are for your home.

2. Take Precautions Before a Storm Arrives

Before backup flooding occurs, there are some steps you can take. You may want to have a floor drain plug or standpipe installed in basement areas, or consider the installation of a sump pump. It's also a good idea to have your sewage system inspected regularly to ensure that everything is functioning correctly before an issue arises.

3. Be Prepared for a Cleanup

Even with the best precautions it's still possible for sewer damage to occur to you home. As such you may want to have a plan in place to take care of any sewer cleaning up that may be required. Have the number for a restoration service on hand, know where the water turn off valve and your electric box are located in your home so that these can be shut down in the event of an emergency, and have access to proper safety gear such as goggles and gloves.
When preparing your home against sewer backup it's important to know what the risk factor of your area is. Knowing this can allow you to take the proper precautions before a storm even occurs. You may also want to have a plan prepared in case these precautions can't protect your property 100 percent. If you have any questions your local restoration team may be able to help.

How To Tell When Storm Damage Is Tax Deductible

7/15/2019 (Permalink)

The aftermath of devastating natural disasters can leave behind hefty damage to the property of your business. Luckily, these damages can sometimes be tax-deductible, allowing business owners in the Elmhurst, IL, area who have been hit hard by Mother Nature to receive financial help from Uncle Sam.

What Is Not Covered

While plenty of storm-related damage can be written off during tax season, there are some blanket disqualifications. You typically cannot deduct these expenses:

• Natural wear and tear unrelated to any storm damage
• Minor damages 
• Costs reimbursed by insurance

Additionally, failing to file a claim for property covered under the insurance will disqualify a business from any deductions for damage done to that property. Contact your insurance agent immediately after the storm and fill out any required paperwork.

Calculating Damage for Each Property

In order to calculate the total amount you can claim to the IRS, you must first find the actual property loss of each item in question. This can be estimated by subtracting any salvage value after the event from the value of the property at the time of the storm damage, which will be less than what you paid for it. For example, a vehicle purchased at $30,000 may be worth only $5,000 by the time it is damaged in a disaster. If the damaged vehicle has a salvage value of $1,000, that would leave only $4,000 in casualty losses since some of the original $5,000 was offset with the new valuation. Subtract any additional payouts from insurance for the final amount.

Additional Considerations

If damage to your property is due to a presidentially declared disaster, you can file for a deduction in either the year of the disaster or the following year. If a business receives a payout at a greater monetary value than the worth of the property itself, the business may need to report again on the action when filing.

When hit hard by storm damage, tax deductions are probably the last thing on your mind. However, keeping track of expenses incurred with storm damage restoration services may allow you to save your business some money in April.

4 Costly Ways Hail Can Damage Your Business

7/12/2019 (Permalink)

If your business in Elmhurst, IL, is hit by a hailstorm, you might feel overwhelmed with the amount of hail damage your building has experienced. Roof damage is the most common harm caused by hail, which can lead to water entering your business or even compromising its structure. Fortunately, a storm damage restoration company has the equipment and expertise necessary to prevent any more damage from occurring and get your business looking like new. Here are four common types of hail damage that a restoration company can help repair.

1. Roof Damage

Roofing materials are often not designed to handle the impact of especially large hailstones and can experience extensive damage as a result. Any time your business is hit by hail, it is essential to hire a roof inspector or check for missing shingles or any other roof damage that may have occurred.

2. Mounted Equipment and Skylight Damage

Roof-mounted equipment including HVAC equipment, turbines, solar panels, and satellite dishes are often damaged by hail. Investing in hail guards can help mitigate this damage. Additionally, skylights may crack or shatter if hit by hail, which leaves the interior of your business exposed to the elements.

3. Landscape Damage

Trees, plants, and other additions to your business’s landscape can be harmed from hail. Trees are especially dangerous in a hailstorm because the weight of the hail combined with strong winds can cause trees to fall over or branches to fall off onto your building.

3. Window Damage

If hail falls at an angle or bounces off another surface, it can hit your windows and cause them to crack or completely shatter. This can also happen to glass doors.

Hail damage can be extremely harmful to your building’s business and cause damage to several different parts of your building. Calling a restoration company is the best way to quickly repair your business before even more costly damage occurs.

3 Tips To Eliminate Cigarette Smoke Odor

7/10/2019 (Permalink)

Cigarette odors can be very persistent. It is possible to eliminate the smell that lingers after smoking indoors through home deodorization treatments. Here are three tips that can be helpful for getting rid of the residual smell of cigarette smoke at a home in Elmhurst, IL.

1. Clean Exposed Surfaces

Nicotine, tar, and other chemicals in cigarettes can cause a residue to form on surfaces such as ceilings, walls, and window blinds. These surfaces can be treated with either dry or wet cleaning methods.

A chemical sponge is an effective way to clean residues. This treatment does not contain chemicals and is made of absorbent rubber. Wet cleaning with a degreasing cleaner such as Trisodium Phosphate or the phosphate-free TSP-PF formula can break up residue and eliminate odors. These treatments are ideal before allowing painted surfaces to dry, applying a stain-blocking primer, and repainting.

2. Filter the Air

Air filtration can reduce the number of smoke particles in the air. Homeowners may use a free-standing HEPA air filter or attach an air scrubber to an HVAC system. Filtration may not completely eliminate smoke odors. A home deodorization treatment can reach smoke particles on surfaces or areas that are difficult to clean and neutralize smells.

3. Deodorize

There are several treatments that a homeowner can pursue depending on the severity of smoke odors. Ozone machines and thermal foggers are both very fast and effective, but require evacuation during treatment. Hydroxyl generators and vapor modification may take longer, but these treatments can proceed while occupants remain at home.

These three tips can help a homeowner get rid of the odor of cigarette smoke at a residence in Elmhurst, IL. While it may be possible to start the cleanup process on your own, a smoke damage remediation service can provide home deodorization treatments to ensure that every trace of the smell is gone.

3 Things You Should Know About Emergency Board Up Services

7/5/2019 (Permalink)

After a fire, your Elmhurst, IL home may have quite a bit of damage. Depending on the severity of the fire, it can affect the structure of your home. If this is the case, it might be necessary to board up your home. Here are a few things that might help you to better understand the process.

1. What Is Emergency Board Up?

This service is fairly self-explanatory. If there has been a lot of damage to your home, there can be missing walls or roofing that leave the inside of your home exposed. These services will cover these areas to reduce exposure.

2. Why Should You Do This?

There are several reasons that it is a good idea to board up your home after a fire. Perhaps the most important is that leaving the interior of your home exposed can result in further damage. If there is a storm, your home is vulnerable to wind or rain damage. It can also keep people and animals out as well. In some cases, your insurance company will require this kind of mitigation and failing to do so can prevent the damage from being covered by your policy.

3. How Is It Done?

If you need to board up your home, you should consider hiring an emergency restoration service to do it for you. They will have the tools and experience to make sure everything is done correctly and with quality materials. They will likely use a light material such as plywood for highly damaged areas as well as broken doors and windows. Tarps can be used to cover the roof.

Fire damage can be extensive and require a lot of rebuilding and restoration, so using an emergency board up service can be helpful. It can prevent further damage which will make the process of repairing your home go more quickly. Using a professional company will ensure that the job is done well.

3 Things You Should Know About Black Mold

7/5/2019 (Permalink)

If you believe you have fungus growing in your home in Elmhurst, IL, you should have a mold inspection done right away. Black mold, also known as Stachybotrys, is one of the more dangerous types you can encounter. You’ve probably heard the term but may not know that much about it. Here are some things you should know about Stachybotrys.

1. It Comes in Different Colors

You may be surprised to learn that black mold is not always black. It often appears as a dark green or even gray. It is usually slimy due to the moisture that causes it to grow. If it is Stachybotrys, you’ll probably notice a distinct smell. A mold inspection done by a remediation expert may tell you exactly what type of fungi it is though.

2. It Requires Moisture

Mold requires moisture to grow. This is why you were probably told not to leave wet towels on the floor; it can actually lead to spores growing in your bathroom. HVAC systems are often the cause of the problem, so it is important to have them checked regularly. You don’t have to have a leak for there to be growth though. Mold can form if your house is too humid, so keep an eye on the moisture level in your home.

3. It’s Not That Common

Stachybotrys is actually not a common type of house mold. Because it is one of the more dangerous types and many people have heard of it, it is believed to be more prevalent than it is. You are far more likely to find Cladosporium or Penicillium in your home, but a professional can tell you what type you are looking at.

Mold is not something you should be constantly stressing about, but it is important to stay informed and know what to look out for. Always deal with moisture problems right away and call a professional to do a mold inspection if you believe there is an issue in your home.

Save Your Hardwood Floors: Quickly Clean Up Water Damage

7/2/2019 (Permalink)

Do you want to keep your business in Elmhurst, IL, looking pristine? The best way to have an immaculate place is to take care of your property, including your beautiful wood floor. When should you clean up the liquid from a pipe burst? What problems could the resulting damage cause and how do you know when to contact a professional?

Swift Action Is Essential in Protecting Your Property

It is important to clean up a wet floor as quickly as possible. The following steps should be utilized to assess the damage, stop the leak and determine when to call a commercial building restoration service.

• Find the source and stop the water from continuing to flood your facility.
• Dry and clean up as much of the water as possible.
• If significant liquid is on the flooring or it has been there for an extended period of time, contact a professional mitigation company.
• Have your property dried out and tested for dampness, mold and mildew.
• If there are any resulting environmental health hazards, then have them professionally addressed.

Flooding Can Cause Substantial Damage to Your Property

Water easily saturates the pores in the wood and can cause issues if the floor is not cared for properly. It’s essential to clean up spills and water overflows from a pipe burst in order to prevent a wet floor. Leaving liquids on the ground could result in mold, mildew and other preventable problems. A small amount of liquid may not cause significant damage. However, if your property has flooding, then the extent of the loss can be overwhelming in Elmhurst, IL.

A pipe burst causes inconvenience and damage. Severe water damage can result in an extended length of time where the business may not be able to use certain rooms of the building due to destruction and the associated repairs. In order to prevent a wet floor, clean up spills and liquids as soon as possible. Contact a professional water mitigation company if the amount of water is significant. Keep your wood floor pristine and your offices a safe place for your employees.

What Is Category 3 Water Damage and How To Recover From It

6/30/2019 (Permalink)

There is so much to consider when you experience flood water at your business in Elmhurst, IL. One of the many considerations is what category the water is and what kind of recovery the resulting level of damage requires. The worst possibility is category 3 water. It is important to understand what you are dealing with and how to protect yourself and employees.

What Is Category 3 Water Damage?

Category 3 water damage is the unhealthiest level. It occurs when highly contaminated water, or flood water, infiltrate materials such as wood and sheetrock, leading to poor environmental conditions. This type of liquid can come from broken sewer lines, severe weather conditions, flash floods, backed-up sewer mains, and even toilet overflow.

Why Is Category 3 Water Damage Dangerous?

There are serious health concerns involved with category 3 water damage. The highly contaminated black water can carry pathogens that can lead to communicable diseases such as hepatitis, tetanus, HIV, tuberculosis, and West Nile virus. The water can spread quickly through a building, making it very difficult to properly clean up all the materials in which it can permeate.

How Does a Business Recover from Category 3 Water Damage?

To recover from a flooding event, it is important to allow a professional company specializing in water damage repair to thoroughly clean your building. Make sure the company is certified in category 3 damage. These professionals can ensure you meet OSHA and EPA standards at your place of business for the sake of all employees. If possible, move your workplace to another location during the cleanup process. Using a professional cleaning company can help reduce the spread of pathogens, aid in the reconstruction of damaged structures, and help with recovering salvageable materials and personal belongings.

Cleaning up from a flood water event in your business is not easy. Do not risk your health and the health of your employees by trying to restore category 3 water damage by yourself. Call a professional instead.

How the Pros Will Clean up Water After a Fire in Your Office Building

6/25/2019 (Permalink)

If you can’t summon help quickly, a fire can quickly sweep through your Elmhurst, IL, office and leave a trail of devastation in its wake. Fire damage can be severe and make it impossible for you to resume work duties in your building. Ironically, the very water firefighters use to eliminate the fire can also cause major problems. Trained professionals have the equipment and skill to clean up both types of damage.

Thorough Inspection

When you call a professional disaster cleanup crew to your office, the team won’t jump right in and start working without a plan. The company will evaluate the effects of the fire damage in order to come up with an effective strategy. The technicians will do the following:

• Make note of which areas of your building were affected.
• Determine the extent of the damage.
• Decide what areas and items you can salvage and which ones you must replace.
• Establish a plan of attack that will yield the most complete, time-effective results.

Remove Standing Water

A fire hose can pump out hundreds of gallons of water while a firefighter is battling a blaze. It’s no wonder water can wreak havoc in your office after a fire. A technician will use wet vacuums and other specialized water removal equipment to make sure there is no leftover water on your floor or on furniture or other objects. Next, the team will dry the areas with dehumidifiers and high-powered blowers.

Clean and Sanitize

Sucking up water and drying the area isn’t enough to mitigate water damage. The professionals will also use chemicals to thoroughly sanitize any areas where there had been water. This will minimize the chances of mold growth.

Fire damage and water issues go hand in hand after a fire. By understanding the process the pros use, you can have peace of mind and confidence that your office will be in good hands.

Dealing With Mold Damage at Home or Work

9/26/2017 (Permalink)

Mold on stairs

A smelly odor deodorization does nothing to mask, the presence of mildew or another fungus anywhere in the house, or even the smallest presence of mold in the home is bad news. A smelly odor that’s not cleared up with the help of deodorization or by taking out the trash might indicate another issue. When nothing else makes sense and that smelly odor doesn’t go away no matter how much deodorization is utilized, it’s time for homeowners to admit there might be mold damage somewhere in the home.

What is Mold Damage? Mold damage isn’t what it sounds like. This fungus doesn’t appear to have damaged anything when it’s easily wiped up. Mildew doesn’t seem like damage so much as it seems like someone neglected to clean the bathroom or kitchen or even the basement properly. Mold damage is damaging. It spreads quickly, it’s dangerous for the home, and it’s not good to live in a home with mold present. No amount of deodorization to mask the smelly odor that indicates mold in the home is enough to get rid of it, and it’s time to call a professional before it spreads and causes massive damage to the home.

Where is Mold Found? Mold is often present when mildew is present, but it’s a fungus that lives everywhere. It’s a fungus found in mold spores in the air. All it needs is a little moisture and a high level of humidity to grow quickly and spread rapidly. When this occurs, a problem is close at hand. Mold in the home is very common in places with high levels of humidity, but commercial mold damage is also a big problem. It’s easy to miss commercial mold damage more so than mold at home. Commercial mold damage in a large warehouse or building can go unnoticed for days or weeks. Commercial mold damage like this that goes unnoticed often spreads quickly and causes more problems for the business owner. Mold at home or at work requires remediation and mitigation.

Calling for Professional Mold Removal – SERVPRO of Elmhurst – 63-758-1701

Professional mold remediation and mitigation is imperative the moment this fungus is located. Professional mold removal services are equipped to better handle mold removal and remediation while also providing mitigation services. Handing this without the help of professional-grade equipment often results in an imperfect job where mold returns quickly.

Mold removal services use professional equipment that’s designed to clear out mold during the remediation and mitigation process. It helps dry moist areas, detect the source of moisture in the building, and this service provides mitigation for those who need to learn how to prevent mold from reoccurring. Mold removal is not for those who haven’t dealt with this problem before. It’s more expensive for a home or business owner to attempt mold removal on their own than it is to pay for a professional remediation and mitigation service from the start. When this job is done right the first time, home and business owners are able to learn how to prevent mold from occurring again in the future.

Mildew and mold aren't issues anyone should brush off at home or work. Both require the help of a service that helps remove the issue as well as educate the home or business owner about the importance of keeping moisture at bay and humidity levels low. Knowledge is power when it comes to mold remediation and prevention at home or work.

Visit http://www.SERVPROElmhurst.com for more information on mold removal and remediation.

DIY Mold Test

9/8/2017 (Permalink)

Mold on door

You can expect mold and mildew outside your home because of the natural damp conditions of the outdoors. Mold and mildew inside the home is a different problem, because the inside of your home shouldn't remain damp.

The presence of moisture is the biggest contributor to mold growth, and to fight the infestation you should conduct a room-by-room assessment of the house to identify problem areas. The moisture can come from condensation due to poor ventilation (attic), from a water leak (around bathrooms), or from outdoor intrusion (foundation walls).

Detection

Mold and mildew in a home is not always easy to detect if it exists within attics or is hidden within walls. If you suspect your indoor air quality is hindered by hidden mold, you can conduct your own DIY test to detect a problem.

The EHT staff recently conducted the Healthful Home 5-Minute Mold Test in a finished basement that had suffered some previous flooding problems. The air seemed fine in the room, but the old moisture issues suggested that if there were to be a mold problem in the house then it was likely to occur in this room.

The test is easy to accomplish. Simply use one of the cotton swabs included with the kit to sample surface dust in the room. Soak the swab tip in the "rinse buffer" liquid (included) and then drip five drops of the liquid onto the two test strips that come with the kit. One strip is labeled Asp/Pen (Aspergillus and/or Penicillium) and the other is labeled Stachybortrys.

Test results show in as little as 5 minutes, and much like a pregnancy test you'll either see one line (negative results) or two lines (positive).

Luckily, our home tested negative. If the test is positive, however, it does not necessarily mean you have a serious problem but that you should consider consulting a professional indoor air quality inspector or a remediation service professional SERVPRO of Elmhurst. You can also have an optional laboratory analysis of your test results conducted for an additional fee.

Fighting the Mold you Find

If you discover mold on the home's interior, the first step in solving the problem is to eliminate the source of moisture, whatever that may be. Otherwise, any mold or mildew you clean is likely to return.

For minor problems you may be able to clean the surface of the materials with an antimicrobial cleaner. For major problems, remove materials that cannot be thoroughly cleaned of mold and mildew, like insulation, carpeting or drywall. Use your antimicrobial cleaner to clean the surrounding area as well as the places where you actually see mold and mildew, to make sure you remove all traces of the substances.

Finally, replace the removed building materials with new, mold-free materials. For more information call SERVPRO of Elmhurst 630-758-1701.

For Immediate Service in Elmhurst, Call SERVPRO of Elmhurst

9/5/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Elmhurst

SERVPRO of Elmhurst provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in Elmhurst. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.

  • 24-Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any-Sized Disaster
  • Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
  • A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment 

Have Questions? Call SERVPRO of Elmhurst 630-758-1701

Residential Services

Whether your Elmhurst home needs emergency flood damage or your upholstery cleaned, you can depend on us.  Our technicians have extensive cleaning and restoration training and can make your property look its best. Learn more about our residential services:

  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Mold Remediation
  • Storm Damage Restoration
  • Cleaning Services
  • Building/Reconstruction Services

Commercial Services

There's never a convenient time for fire or Water damage to strike your Elmhurst commercial property. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. When the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services we have the training and expertise to respond promptly with highly trained technicians to get your property back to business. 

Mold Remediation and Removal

9/5/2017 (Permalink)

Mold in basement

If you have mold anywhere inside of your residence or business, your home could be compromised. This microbial growth is a silent and many times undetected condition, but one in which you must be concerned about.

It can come in several different colors, and it looks like a fuzzy covering on surfaces that seems to come out of nowhere. It comes about from spores that travel through the air and when the spores land where conditions are just right, it will plant itself and grow.

It needs an area where it is dark, and where there is a moisture supply and where there is no moving air. If it finds these conditions, it can grow seemingly overnight and cover an entire wall in a matter of days. So areas such as basements, attics, closets, crawl spaces, and bathrooms are prime candidates.

Mildew and fungus are many times mistaken for mold, but they are not the same. Even though they have similar looks, they are very different types of organisms. Mildew and fungus are usually more greenish in color, whereas mold can be reddish, brown, green, blue, and black. The black kind of mold can be the most serious simply due to its growth rate, its hardiness, and difficulty in eradicating.

If you discover the microbial growth, you should contact an environmental hygienist to discover if it is fungus or mildew or not. An environmental hygienist is available with most cleanup organizations and companies who specialize in mold cleanup and mitigation. You should never attempt to clean up an area that is suspect yourself because that could be dangerous and ineffective. Mold cleanup should only be done by experts.

Most people who will attempt mold cleanup and mitigation by wiping it off will think that they have succeeded, but they will have only wiped off the top of the microbial growth. The organism itself has tentacles or roots that can penetrate and take hold in just about every substance there is except for glass. That is why you will see it growing on the surfaces of wood, cloth, shingles, walls, and even concrete.

The microbial growth will grow on the inside of walls too, so it may go undiscovered for quite some time before anything can be done about it. When the environmental hygienist diagnoses it as being the problem a process of mold removal and mitigation must begin as soon as possible. Workers who work at mold removal will wear special clothing and masks to protect themselves, so they will not be exposed any toxic effects.

Fungus and mildew will not cause harmful effects, but certain kinds of the microbial growth can even give off toxins, especially the black kind, so respiratory protection during its mitigation process is very important. The environmental hygienist will supervise and treat the area, so the mold cleanup process will assure that the substance will not easily reoccur. Need more information, call SERVPRO of Elmhurst at 630-758-1701.

Fire Damage Restoraton Information

9/5/2017 (Permalink)

Fire in bedroom

There is nothing more devastating than a fire in home or fire in business. Seeing one's personal belongings or business products go up in smoke is a stunning experience that makes one wonder what to do next. Often the first indication of a fire is the smoke smell.

The day following a fire is the time to start planning on fire damage restoration. Fortunately, there are commercial fire damage companies who specialize in the fire cleanup process. In a severe fire, one is talking about fire cleanup starting from scratch. However, in many cases the fire is confined to a limited area.

The first step is to contact a commercial fire damage company that specializes in fire cleanup. This company will have the equipment and expertise to clean up smoke damage, soot damage, a smoke smell and all the other problems that have been caused by the fire.

1. Upon being contacted, the professionals will immediately arrive on the scene to make an inspection and determine the amount of the damage. Whether it is a fire in home or a fire in business, they will carefully survey the area and provide a written estimate of the cost of the repairs. This is especially important with commercial fire damage where there are often large amounts of salable goods involved.

2. If the fire damage has caused a breech in the walls, roof or windows, the professionals will immediately use boards and tarps to cover these areas to prevent further damage. This protects the property from vandals or weather damage.

3. Unfortunately, fire hoses must spray water to put out a fire. This is part of the fire damage that is left behind. Removing this water quickly will avoid things like warped boards or the formation of mold. Professionals are equipped with large dehumidifiers, blowers and air movers to clear the area of excess water and dry the area.

4. Today's professionals in the business have the equipment and materials to return many of the items suffering from soot damage or smoke damage to their pre-fire condition. They sanitize and clean all items that are salvageable.

5. Smoke damage and soot damage are fire damage restoration problems that require special consideration. Using special equipment, as much smoke and soot as possible will be removed. In many cases it will be necessary to repaint or refinish some surfaces that are smoke stains. This, as well as replacing drywall, making minor or major reconstruction, painting and so forth, can be done by the specialists by contract.

Commercial fire damage can be costly. Not only in the actual damage to a building and goods, but in the lack of business caused by the shutdown. This makes it imperative to obtain the services of a specialist in the area of fire damage restoration. An experienced company will be able to quickly access the damage and present a plan to cover all aspects of cleaning up the fire in business circumstances.

When a fire in home is involved, have a professional immediately address problems such as soot damage, smoke damage, smoke smell and general all over fire cleanup. They will carefully explain the cost, the methods used and the end result. As a rule, an insurance company must be contacted before work can begin.

Professionals in the area of fire damage restoration are especially trained in the ins and outs of fire damage that occurs when there is a fire in home or a fire in business. In addition to training, they have the equipment and materials to address things such as smoke damage, soot damage, smoke smell and other things caused by fire damage. This makes it possible for them to start work immediately after a fire and have the home or business back in tip-top shape quickly and efficiently. Visit http://www.SERVPROElmhurst.com for more information on fire damage.

Faster to your Elmhurst Water Damage

8/30/2017 (Permalink)

Water damages in the basement.

Photo Caption: SERVPRO of Elmhurst provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in Elmhurst, Bensenville, Hillside, Berkeley, Franklin Park, Melrose Park, Stone Park and Northlake.

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Elmhurst provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Elmhurst arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 –SERVPRO of Elmhurst

Water Damage Timeline

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.

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.

We Specialize in Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration!

8/30/2017 (Permalink)

Basement

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!

Ready To Help

7/25/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Elmhurst is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help Call Today - SERVPRO of Elmhurst 630-758-1701

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Elmhurst has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Elmhurst

7/25/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Elmhurst specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

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