Recent Posts

Why does mold grow in my home?

8/11/2018 (Permalink)

Mold spores need three things to grow into mold: nutrients, cellulose (the cell wall of green plants) is a common food for indoor spores, and moisture.  To begin the decaying process caused by mold; time -mold growth begins from 24 hours to 10 days after the provision of growing conditions.

Molds are found everywhere, and can grow on almost any substance when moisture is present. They reproduce by spores, which are carried by air currents. When spores land on a moist surface suitable for life, they begin to grow.

Common building materials are capable of sustaining mold growth. Mold growth in an indoor environment is typically related to water or moisture and may be caused by incomplete drying of flooring materials.  Flooding, leaky roofs, building-maintenance or indoor-plumbing problems can lead to interior mold growth. Water vapor commonly condenses on surfaces cooler than the moisture-laden air, enabling mold to flourish. This moisture vapor passes through walls and ceilings, typically condensing during the winter in climates with a long heating season. Floors over crawl spaces and basements, without vapor barriers or with dirt floors, are mold-prone. 

Significant mold growth requires moisture and food sources and a substrate capable of sustaining growth. Common building materials, such as plywood, drywall, furring strips, carpets, and carpet padding provide food for mold. In carpet, invisible dust and cellulose are food sources. After water damage to a building, mold grows in walls and then becomes dormant until subsequent high humidity; suitable conditions reactivate mold. Mycotoxin levels are higher in buildings which have had a water incident.

If you suspect, that you have mold growing in your home or business, Call SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights today at 847-637-3445.  We will help you make it “Like it never even happened.”

What is your smoke detector life expectancy?

8/6/2018 (Permalink)

You have a smoke detector in your home, but have you ever wondered what the life expectancy of that alarm is?  Smoke alarms save lives. Smoke alarms that are properly installed and maintained play a vital role in reducing fire deaths and injuries, but how long before it should be replaced? 

The U.S. Fire Administration for Homeland Security, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) and the Red Cross agree after working for 87,000 hours, or about 10 years in normal environmental conditions in the home can have an impact on the performance of your smoke alarm.

The NFPA conducted a study, and the results reinforced how important it is for integrators to address the fire safety needs of their clients: 1 in 5 Smoke Alarms Is 10+ Years Old

  • Half of Americans (50 percent) have three or more smoke alarms in their current home.
  • Almost one in five Americans who have smoke alarms (19 percent) say the oldest smoke alarm they currently have in their home is 10+ years old.
  • Nearly one in five Americans who have smoke alarms (18 percent) are not at all sure how old the oldest smoke alarm they currently have in their home is.
  • When asked how often they should replace smoke alarms, nine in 10 Americans (90 percent) did not select the correct answer, which is at least every 10 years.

SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights wants you and your family safe.  Keep these tips in mind when checking your smoke alarms. 

Commercial fire in Prospect Heights

8/1/2018 (Permalink)

It just takes a second for your little one to start a fire. Whether it helps intentionally or unintentionally, it's always a concern. July 18, a child was playing with a lighter when flames quickly covered a corner of a balcony. Fire quickly spread to two-24 unit buildings. Two out of three of the buildings will be total lost as the fourth building just suffered some fire and smoke damage. This building was untouched thanks to the 150 plus firefighters from 50 different departments, acted rather quickly to stop the fire from spreading more. Commercial fires usually have working smoke detectors, but due to the buildings age sprinklers was not in any of the buildings. This property did not have sprinklers to building because to add sprinkles to an old building is remodeling at least 50 percent of the structure. When having commercial fires, windy conditions and lightweight wood truss construction roof made it very difficult to put the fire out. 

Best way to prevent commercial fires is using smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and having automatic sprinklers system installed! if your commercial property has had fire damage, SERVPRO Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights is here to help, give us a call @ 847-637-3445!

Summer Storm Tips

7/31/2018 (Permalink)

During the summer months, our minds are preoccupied with vacationing, grilling burgers with the family, and focusing on getting that bronze tan at the poolside. Yet, most of us leave our most valued possessions unprepared for the alarming and unpredictable summer storms: our homes.

Each year, thunderstorms alone cause an astonishing $15 billion in property damage. Summer and spring seasons are the most vulnerable to these destructive and frightening storms.  Hailstorms result in approximately $1 billion of property damage a year. Thunderstorm winds can reach over 100 mph with an outcome of severe roof and house siding damage. Flooding causes billions of dollars a year in damage to homes and sadly some result in total loss of residences.

Here are some summer time safety tips to keep in mind during summer storms:

  • Know the safest structure of your home to go to during a severe storm such as a basement, underground cellar, or even the most inner part of your home away from windows.
  • Take summer storm warnings and alerts seriously, especially tornado and hurricane warnings! Tornadoes and hurricanes can lead to total property loss and even death.
  • Invest in storm windows.
  • Contact your insurance company to be more familiar with your policy. Most home insurers do not cover flooding damage.
  • Cut down any unwanted trees or limbs and get your trees trimmed before summer storm season. Trees and branches can fall on your property and damage the siding or windows due to those powerful 100 mph thunderstorm winds.
  • Get routine maintenance on your roof and the foundation! Cracks in the roof are the number one leading cause to flooding damage.

Summer storms can happen at any time.  Make sure you home is ready, and your family is safe.  Unfortunately, we all know things happen, even to the most prepared home. SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights is here to help!  Give us a call at 847-637-3445 for all your water damage needs.

Commercial Property Tips For The Summer

7/23/2018 (Permalink)

Summertime is the perfect chance for you to freshen up the outside of your commercial property, temperatures are finally starting to heat up and signs of summer are rolling in. It also marks that time of year when commercial real estate property owners and managers need ensure that their buildings are ready the seasonal changes in order to avoid unexpected issues or costs.

Inspect your roof – Summer weather leads to strong storms. Keep a close eye on your roof to make sure leaks haven’t developed.

  1. Clean out gutters– Clean out any debris that’s trapped in your gutters. This is not only good for your gutters, but it also gives your business a well-maintained appearance. Summer often means severe storms, hail and even tornado activity that can put a severe strain on roofing materials. Start the summer out right by getting a professional roof inspection to determine any problems that might have occurred over the winter months. Ice and snow damage may have occurred that isn’t immediately evident. Loose tiles, damage to underlay materials and problems with gutters can lead to more serious problems as the season continues
  2. Revitalize the exterior– Clean up any trash or yard debris that’s lying around your property. Plant summertime flowers to offer a fresh pop of color. Apply a new coat of paint – or even better, use commercial pressure washing to remove dirt, pollen, and grime. Don’t forget about commercial concrete stains on your drive-thrus and sidewalks.
  3. Thoroughly inspect surfaces– Walk around your property and make note of any stains or damage on your exterior walls. Call us to come by and see how we can clean up your exterior with commercial pressure cleaning.
  4. Window maintenance, Winter weather may have damaged the windows on your commercial property, which could lead to higher air-conditioning costs during the summer months. Thorough caulking can prevent leakage of cooled air and save more on energy bills.

 SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights is here to help with all your commercial property needs.  Give us a call at 847-637-3445, and ask about our Emergency Readiness Planning. 

Bonfire Safety Tips

7/16/2018 (Permalink)

Now that it is summer, it is bonfire time!  According to a report from the United States Fire Administration, summer is one of the most dangerous seasons for fire-related injuries and deaths. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to protect yourself and your loved ones while still having a great time. Here are some great tips from the American Fire Safety Administration.

Choose a location for your bonfire where it will not spread. Never build a fire near any dry leaves or grassy areas or under overhanging tree branches. Before building a bonfire, clear away all shrubbery and vegetation from the area, dig a pit for the fire, and surround it with rocks.

Be smart about lighter fluid. Do not store gasoline, liquid fire starter, or any other type of flammable liquid near the campfire. It's too easy for stray flames to ignite these materials.

Never light a bonfire if you do not have the means of extinguishing it. Always keep plenty of water and a shovel near the campfire to use in an emergency and to put the campfire out when you are finished using it.

If you experience a fire at your home while enjoying a beautiful summer night, SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights at 847-637-3445.  

Summer Mold Growth

7/10/2018 (Permalink)

In general, mold grows well within the same temperature range that makes us feel comfortable – about 60 to 80 degrees. When warm, moist air comes into contact with cold surfaces, it can create condensation, since the cooler air can't hold as much moisture. Sometimes, humidity or dampness, or water vapor in the air can supply enough moisture for mold growth. Indoor relative humidity should be kept below 60 percent.  Ideally humidity should be kept between 30 percent and 50 percent, if possible. 

In the summer, air conditioning can de-humidify indoor space. However,  if the system is too large or too small for the space it serves, the cooling system can create high humidity by cooling without removing water vapor. A properly sized and maintained system will dehumidify and cool a building. Learn more about the role of heating, ventilation and air conditioning HVAC systems in indoor environmental quality.

When there are cold surfaces in a building, water vapor can condense on those surfaces, just as water condenses on the outside of a glass of ice water. Insulation of exterior walls can prevent condensation and mold growth during the winter.

You should always be mindful of indoor sources of water vapor that can be problematic. Clothes dryers must be vented to the outdoors. Unvented gas or kerosene space heaters can generate enormous amounts of water vapor (as well as other air contaminants), and should be used sparingly and never as a primary heat source. Always run the bathroom exhaust fan when showering or bathing, and make sure the vent is exhausted to outdoors. A properly vented kitchen exhaust fan can remove steam created during cooking.

If you find you have mold growth in your home give SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights a call at 847-637-3445.  We will make it “Like it never even happened.” 

Water Damage From Garden Hose

7/5/2018 (Permalink)

A 25-foot, 1/2-inch diameter hose attached to a faucet that supplies water at 40 psi has a flow rate of 24 gallons per minute, while a 100-foot hose only has a flow rate of 6 gallons per minute.  That is a lot of water coming from a garden hose.  That is why it is so important to make sure that when you are out watering your garden or flowers that you keep an eye on the hose.  Walking away from your hose while it is on can cause water to flow into your home and cause water damage.

A leaking garden hose can also cause water damage to your home as well as mold damage due to the long period of time that the water might be entering your home.  Here are some things you should look for when you come across a leaking water hose, and how you can stop the water from entering your home.

The most important thing to determine is where the leak on your hose is actually coming from. This shouldn’t be too difficult to do, but depending on the location will determine the severity of the problem and how much effort it will take to fix it. If your hose always leaks from around the connection to the water tap, you may have either a problem with the spigot itself, or the hose fitting.  If water wells up around the handle, your packing washer may be worn out, or the packing nut may need to be tightened, but if water only leaks when your hose is secured to the faucet, then you need to see if the water is welling up around the actual connection, or from below the fitting.

If you find that you have water damage to your home due to water entering your home from the garden hose, SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights is here to help.  Give us a call at 847-637-3445. 

Cleaning Your Commercial Air Ducts is Important

6/29/2018 (Permalink)

Air Duct Cleaning Improves the Quality of Indoor Air

By routinely having your air ducts cleaned you can significantly decrease the amount of airborne molecules in your office, all while avoiding weighty fees for other air purifying solutions.  Air ducts, like everything else in our office, collect dirt and debris. While filters may catch a lot of streaming debris, there is still a considerable amount of dust that settles within the ducts. 

Air Duct Cleaning Conserves Energy

Air duct cleaning provides a beginning in optimizing your duct function while providing the opportunity for other issues to be assessed. A properly and thoroughly cleaned HVAC system, not just the air ducts, can reduce the costs associated with running your HVAC system and increase the useful life of your air conditioner and furnace. EPA research suggests that cleaning dirty cooling coils, fans and heat exchangers can improve the efficiency of cooling and heating systems and lower the energy costs of running your heating and cooling system. In administering frequent commercial air duct cleanings, all parts of your HVAC system will be refreshed. This will allow your systems to work better, faster, and more efficiently, all while using less energy!

 Air Duct Cleaning Will Save You Money

Having your air ducts regularly serviced lower your energy bill, but it will also prolong the life of your HVAC system. Energy Star estimates indicate that you can improve the efficiency of your HVAC system by 20 percent or more simply by cleaning your ducts. 

If you are looking for commercial duct cleaning, please give SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights a call at 847-637-3445, and let us help save your company money. 

Mold: What You Need To Know

6/28/2018 (Permalink)

According to the EPA the ten things you should know about mold:

1. Mold can cause health effects to people. 
2. There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.
3. If mold is a problem in your home or school, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.
4. Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.
5. Reduce indoor humidity (to 30-60%) to decrease mold growth by:
• Venting bathrooms, dryers and other moisture-generating sources to the outside
• Using air conditioners and de-humidifiers
• Increasing ventilation
• Using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dish washing and cleaning
6. Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
7. Prevent condensation: Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors) by adding insulation.
8. Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any substance, providing moisture is present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods.

It is the water that you do not see that causes the most damage to your home and business. Water contains bacteria that can cause mold, rot, and other unseen damage.

In order to control mold, you have to control the moisture in a building. Once you detect water, acting promptly is the key to controlling mold. You need to get the water infiltration stopped and cleaned within 24-48 hours. 
The IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification) gives several good tips on how to prevent mold. 
• Repairing plumbing leaks and leaks in the building structure as soon as possible.
• Looking for condensation and wet spots. Fix source(s) of moisture incursion problem(s) as soon as possible.
• Preventing moisture from condensing by increasing surface temperature or reducing the moisture level in the air (humidity). To increase surface temperature, insulate or increase air circulation. To reduce the moisture level in the air, repair leaks, increase ventilation (if outside air is cold and dry), or dehumidify (if outdoor air is warm and humid).
• Keeping HVAC drip pans clean, flowing properly, and unobstructed.
• Performing regularly scheduled building/ HVAC inspections and maintenance, including filter changes.
• Maintaining indoor relative humidity below 70% (25 - 60%, if possible).
• Venting moisture-generating appliances, such as dryers, to the outside where possible.
• Venting kitchens (cooking areas) and bathrooms according to local code requirements.
• Cleaning and drying wet or damp spots as soon as possible, but no more than 48 hours after discovery.
• Providing adequate drainage around buildings and sloping the ground away from building foundations. Follow all local building codes.
• Pinpointing areas where leaks have occurred, identifying the causes, and taking preventive action to ensure that they do not reoccur.

It is impossible to rid your home or business of mold spores. Some mold spores can travel through the air and in dust, however if there is no moisture present, there can be no mold growth. Remember, if you clean up the mold, but do not fix the water problem, then the mold problem will continue to come back. That is where SERVPRO is here to help. Should you suspect mold in your home or business, contact our office at 847-637-3445.