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First Steps After Home Water Damage

2/11/2020 (Permalink)

Someone extracting water from a carpet in a home Water extraction in a Prospect Heights, IL

Water-related property damage is among the top three causes of homeowner’s insurance filings. If you have experienced water damage in your Prospect Heights, IL, home, you may know it’s not easy to make logical decisions in a crisis. This simple outline may help you chart your course.

The Source 

If the source of the offending water is inside your home, as is the case with broken pipes or leaky appliances, turning off your water main valve should stop the problem. If external water, such as rising floodwater, infiltrated your home, it’s best to prioritize safety and seek higher ground until the water subsides.

Safety Check

Consider taking the following important safety precautions before entering the flooded area:

  • Keeping children and animals safely away from the water damage
  • Disconnecting your electrical panel
  • Ventilating with windows and fans
  • Wearing waterproof waders and gloves
  • Ventilating generator fumes properly

If you’ve checked off that safety list, you are ready to begin or arrange for someone to begin the cleanup. If you were not able to deactivate your electrical, or if your damage was caused by a flood, it is important you seek assistance from an emergency water remediation service. Floodwater can be highly contaminated with sewage, chemicals, and other hazards. It would not be wise to begin the cleanup without a specialist to supervise the process.

Do-it-Yourself Cleanup

If your water damage is fairly minor, less than one inch of standing water, you can begin removing the water with a wet vacuum once you’ve taken the safety precautions. Set up a drying area in the garage or on a patio so you can spread items out to dry. Strong ventilation will help prevent mold growth.

Insurance 

Once safety has been addressed and cleanup has begun, it’s a good idea to notify your insurance provider. Your agent will be able to summarize your coverage and initiate a claim.
A water-damage event in your home can be unsettling. Before you begin the water cleanup, it’s important to stop the source, prioritize safety precautions and hire professional support. Start there, and you and your family will be back to normalcy before you know it.

4 Hidden Dangers of Water Leaks

1/28/2020 (Permalink)

Ceiling tile removed due to water damage Ceiling damage in Arlington Heights, IL

Here are Some of the Hidden Dangers of Water Leaks

At first glance, a water leak may not seem like a major cause for concern. However, even small leaks can pave the way for severe water damage and high utility bills. As a business owner in the Arlington Heights, IL, area, knowing what to do in the event of a leak is critical to your company’s success. Here are some of the hidden dangers of water leaks that you should look out for to keep your business protected.

1. Ceiling Damage

If you have a roof leak that resulted from a pipe break, you will likely begin to notice damage to your ceiling. Once your ceiling becomes harmed, the damage may start to spread to other areas of your building, such as the walls and ceiling lights. As soon as you notice that your roof is leaking, call a professional to have the leak repaired and to prevent further harm.

2. Mold Damage

Any area of your building that contains adequate moisture is vulnerable to mold growth. When there is a water leak in your building, you have a much higher chance of encountering mold damage. Even small, steady leaks may lead to visible mold growth that can spread rapidly.

3. High Utility Bills

A higher water bill is expected when you’re dealing with a leak in your business. However, ongoing water damage may also lead to increased energy consumption, which can cause your utility bills to skyrocket. This typically occurs as a result of damaged insulation and a greater loss of warm and cold air.

4. Structural Damage

If a leak persists for long enough, it can compromise the integrity of your commercial building. Structural damage from water leaks may include deteriorated walls, rafters, wood flooring or ceiling joists. Not only are these repairs expensive, but they can also slow down your business.
A water leak is a problem that should be taken seriously. If you notice any signs of damage in your business, don’t hesitate to take action and call for a water damage repair immediately.

What To Know About Pretesting and Your Insurance Claim

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

Thermal Camera Uncovering Water Damaged Ceiling The process of pretesting is used to determine which items have suffered damage and how much

What To Know About Pretesting and Your Insurance Claim

After a fire at your Prospect Heights, IL, business, you may contact your local SERVPRO for restoration. These professionals have the tools necessary to not only perform cleanup and make repairs but can work with your insurance agent on the insurance claim as well. There are several steps to the process, but the most confusing might be pretesting. Here’s what you might want to know.

1. It can Save Cleaning Time

The testing process involves using a chemical sponger to gently swab each surface. The sponge then reacts showing if the items has suffered soot or smoke damage. This process allows the restoration crew to quickly assess the area, and helps ensure that they are cleaning or restoring the items that need it, without using up time working on objects that are undamaged.

2. It Determines if an Item Can Be Restored

Another of the benefits of pretesting is that this process can help determine restoration ability of the damaged items. Items may have suffered less damage than they first appeared to have, meaning that as the items are tested they can be set aside for restoration rather than replaced.

3. It Can Save You Money

Not only can this process save on cleaning time, but it can save you money as well. Because testing allows the restoration team to determine what items can be restored, you may find you have far fewer things to replace than first anticipated. The savings from this could make a difference to your business. The process can also cut down on the time it takes to go through everything. This may also save you money as it means the cleanup task can be completed that much sooner, allowing you to get back to business operations.
The process of pretesting is used to determine which items have suffered damage and how much. This allows the restoration team to quickly determine if an item needs cleaning, can be restored or should be replaced. Not only can this save time on cleaning, but the more items that can be restored the more money you save as well.

Continuing Education Classes

1/16/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Logo. Let me be your stranger for Continuing Education Classes

Every day that we are here on the earth we are learning something new and exciting, BUT………………..

Are we being taught the truth?

How do we know we are being taught the truth?  How do we know that the person teaching us really understands and has grasped the information they are teaching?  How do we know it is just not an opinion? Where did the information come from?  When you really think about it, everything we learn comes from a stranger.  I fully understand that we learn from our parents but they are strangers by definition.

stran·ger

/'stranj?r/

noun

  • 1.a person whom one does not know or with whom one is not familiar: "don't talk to strangers"

We are taught as children don’t talk to strangers but...

Everyone we come in contact with is a stranger.

I know it is hard to grasp as a concept but it is the truth.  When you are born you are put in front of people you have never met.  People that you have to trust or you will not make it another day.  People that you are taught to call mom or dad or mama or papa etc.  People are to feel comfortable with or trust for one reason or another. 

Let me be your stranger for Continuing Education Classes

If you need to take Continuing Education Classes and don’t want to just be a space bar pushing zombie.  Sign-up for one of the classes I offer.  I will tell you it is a lot better than a sharp stick in the eye.  Hope to see you in class.

Do These Three Things To Prevent Additional Mold Damage

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

Black mold on drywall Mold damage on a wall in Arlington Heights, IL

3 Things To Prevent Additional Mold Damage

If black mold has invaded your commercial space, act immediately to mitigate the damage. Spores spread quickly, and, if not stopped, can eat away at structural materials, creating major issues to your building. Contact a mold remediation company in Arlington Heights, IL, to investigate the situation and offer assistance in cleaning the area and repairing any damage. Here are three things you'll want done to stop the problem as soon as possible.

Cut Off Air Flow

Fungus spores move quickly, floating in the air or carried by people walking through the area. Once growth begins then, the infestation could develop fast, causing issues within one to two days. During mold cleanup, try to eliminate the microbes ability to move from room to room. That requires shutting off the air system within the impacted section. A professional group can use negative air flow equipment to contain it. In addition, establish barriers to keep others from going in and out.

Eliminate Water Exposure

The catalyst for black mold development is fluid, so turn off the water that is encouraging reproduction. Then, begin drying out the area as soon as possible. Have industrial dehumidifiers run around the clock until testing indicates that drywall and flooring are no longer wet. Continue to monitor the humidity levels, and, if needed, place absorbent products in closets and isolated locations.

Repair the Initial Trouble

What caused the moisture problem? You'll need to discover the origin of the trouble. Is it a leaky pipe? Do you have a hole in the roof? As long as it continues, your business could suffer. During the remediation team's early evaluation, ask them to seek out the source. In addition, have them patch if not fix the cause. Then, establish a routine schedule for maintenance.
Black mold could be devastating, forcing you to shut down work while the establishment is sanitized; therefore, at first signs of fungus, take measures to prevent it from growing rapidly. Limit air circulation, minimize water contact and resolve the primary complication.

Saving Electronics After a Fire

12/31/2019 (Permalink)

Burned computer Burned computer after fire damage in a Prospect Heights, IL business

Tips On Saving Your Electronics

When it comes to your business, an electrical fire can be devastating. The flames, heat and smoke can damage nearly everything. Smoke damage can affect the computers that hold sensitive data and the appliances that help your business run. Firefighting attempts may douse electronics with extinguishing agents. If you have experienced a fire at your Prospect Heights, IL, business, here are some tips for saving your electronics.

1. Disconnect

Due to the possibility of water exposure, ensure that all electronics are unplugged after an emergency. Several variables can come into play regarding the damage to electrical systems during a fire. The extent of the destruction can vary depending on where the device was located at the time as well as if any of its circuitry was exposed and how high the heat levels rose. Many devices use a small amount of power to maintain internal memory, even when they are switched off, so be sure to fully and safely disconnect them.

2. Inspect

If handled properly, many electronics have a high recovery rate after an electrical fire. You should contact professionals with specialized fire and water damage restoration training to complete this. Experts in emergency restoration services will be able to remove your electronic devices from your damaged property to a clean, safe environment. This will allow for an assessment of fire, water, and smoke damage. After the inspection, the team can develop a restoration project for your items, such as a specialized computer cleanup plan.

3. Restore or Replace

After inspection, the professionals will determine whether restoration is possible or if you need to replace your electronics. Items that can be salvaged require expert drying and cleaning to remove soot, magnetic charge and black film. Items that cannot be saved may be replaceable under your warranty, so be sure to check your records.
An electrical fire can happen suddenly and take you by surprise. Be sure to know how to handle this situation, and learn about saving electronics for your business.

How to Keep Your Company's Roof in Good Shape

12/23/2019 (Permalink)

A man inspecting the roof Roof inspection in Arlington Heights, IL

Just like at home, the roof of your building is critical to your safety, security and comfort. A well-built roof keeps out the elements and protects everyone inside from hazards. Roof damage can lead to flooding and other costly issues. This could even interrupt your business and leave without a place to work. You may think the roof will last forever, but without proper upkeep, it could falter and fail.

Inspect the Outside Regularly

Depending on the material used for your building roof, it should last anywhere between 20 and 50 years. This doesn't mean you should assume it's in prime condition, even if it's only a few years old. Conscientious business owners in Arlington Heights, IL, frequently examine the roof to make sure it is doing its job properly. Your or a professional you hire should get on the roof at least once a year and look for the following:

  • Weak spots or structural damage
  • Cracks that allow leaks to get inside the building
  • Dirt or debris
  • Broken chimneys, vents or skylights from wind damage or other issues

Go Inside
You should also look inside at the underside of the roof. Check the rafters and trusses for mildew, mold and rot. If these components break, they would compromise the roof's integrity and force you to do a roof rebuild. You should also keep an eye on expansion joints to whether they have moved at all.

Pay Attention To the Drainage
You shouldn't only be concerned about the roof itself. Rain gutters and downspouts also contribute to the roof's effectiveness. Make sure you clear debris such as leaves from the gutters. Improper draining systems could leave excessive water on the roof, leading to rotting and heavy damage.
Roof damage can be expensive to repair, but it can also lead to other issues. Before you call a professional flood cleanup team to repair the roof and its damage, follow these important do-it-yourself steps.

How To Clean Up Water Damage

12/6/2019 (Permalink)

Air movers and dehumidifier placed on floor of a basement drying out walls and floors Drying remaining water in a Prospect Heights, IL home

Water Restoration Process

Water damage to your Prospect Heights, IL, home can be a major hassle. The sooner you begin cleanup, the less likely you are to have secondary problems, such as mold growth. The following steps will guide you through the restoration process.

Address the Water Source

The flooding may be due to broken pipes, a leaky roof or any number of other causes. You have to stop the flow of water before beginning cleanup. Although a temporary solution may allow you to get started on the restoration process, it is important to fully repair the problem to prevent future flooding.

Assess the Water Damage

Consider the size of the affected area and the amount of water present. Check for signs of mold growth. Decide if you will be able to handle the restoration process yourself.

Remove Standing Water

The amount of water present determines the best way to remove standing water. You may be able to scoop the water out with buckets, or you may need to use special pumps or vacuums.

Dry Remaining Water

After the standing water has been removed, you will still have to contend with wet furnishings, carpet, etc. You can use fans and dehumidifiers to help with this step of the water cleanup process. If the outside humidity is low enough, you can open windows and doors.

Sanitize Affected Areas

Depending on the level of contamination in the water, it may be necessary to clean the surfaces that came into contact with the floodwater. In many cases, a store-bought antibacterial cleaner will be sufficient. More severe cases may call for harsher detergents.

Repair and Replace Damaged Items

Throw out any items that you are unable to fully dry and sanitize. Other items may be too damaged to repair, but some may only need a new coat of paint.
Don’t worry if the above steps seem overwhelming. A professional restoration service can repair water damage and get your home back to normal quickly and safely.

3 Ways To Rid Your Bathroom of Mold

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

White vinegar on the wooden table top White vinegar is an anti-fungal powerhouse, as is the common cleaner Borax

Tips For How To Handle Shower Mold In Your Bathroom

If you've ever had to deal with mold in your Arlington Heights, IL, home, you know it can be a lot of work to get rid of. Black mold thrives in places where moisture is trapped, and this often means your bathroom and shower are prime locations due to the high humidity levels. Mold can grow on shower walls and ceilings, in grout and drains, and even on your shower curtain. If you're facing shower mold in your bathroom, here are some tips for how to handle the situation.

Keep it clean. White vinegar is an anti-fungal powerhouse, as is the common cleaner Borax. You can use a solution of either of these to start killing mold, and they will help inhibit additional growth. Addressing any mold as soon as you spot it is an important first step.

Contact a professional service. Black mold growth that is harder to locate likely requires the expertise of trained mold remediation specialists. Since it can live behind shower tiles or under shower fittings and fixtures, contacting an expert can save you a lot of trouble. They have the equipment and expertise to correctly inspect and assess your shower mold issue and create a mold remediation plan that works effectively.

Keep moisture levels low. One of the best ways to prevent moldy spots from growing in your bathroom is to remove the source. Take steps to limit excess water and humidity in your bathroom, since mold loves them. Check that water has ways to drain properly and use ventilation so moisture can escape.

Remember, it's not a crisis if you find shower mold in your home - but you should take care of it as soon as possible to limit mold damage. Use these tips, and call a professional team when in doubt of the severity. You won't regret the decision to take mold cleanup for your home seriously.

Can Lightning Cause a House Fire?

11/22/2019 (Permalink)

Thunderbolt over the house with dark stormy sky on the background and moon shining through the cloud If a lightning fire does harm your home, your local emergency restoration specialists can help with any repairs

Can Lightning Cause a House Fire?

You probably know about the indoor dangers that can cause a house fire, such as an unattended pot or a knocked-over candle. Yet fires can also result from weather events that you can't control. A lightning fire, in particular, can be devastating to your Arlington Heights, IL, home.
In fact, thunderstorms, and the lightning they bring with them, can cause more fire damage than you think. Between 2007 and 2011, local fire departments in America responded to an average of 22,600 of these blazes each year. The fires caused an annual average of $451 million in property damage. Here are some more stats you may not have known about these fires.

From 2007 to 2011, they caused an average of 53 civilian injuries and nine civilian deaths each year
While only 18 percent of thunderstorm fires were inside houses, these accounted for 88 percent of the associated civilian deaths between 2004 and 2008
They also create a big need for fire cleanup, as 70 percent of the property damage caused by lightning fires occurred in homes

When Do They Strike?

You are most likely to see a lightning fire in the summer months. This type of blaze is particularly common during late afternoons and evenings.

How Do I Stay Safe?

You are still better off staying inside your house if you hear thunder. No outdoor area is safe during a thunderstorm. Avoid standing under trees or inside small sheds. Instead, get to a sturdy shelter.
Once inside, don’t use any electronics that require an outlet, such as computers and corded phones. You should also avoid bathing, showering, doing the dishes or washing your hands.
Just because the thunder ends doesn’t mean the storm is over, either. You should wait at least 30 minutes after the thunder stops before heading back outside.
No matter the cause of the blaze, fire damage cleanup can be an overwhelming process. If a lightning fire does harm your home, your local emergency restoration specialists can help with any repairs.