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.
What WATER can Do – Time to get on it.
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What WATER can Do – Time to get on it.
- 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.
What you did and didn't know about tornadoes
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
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.
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 of Arlington Heights/N. Prospect
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" .
After fire cleanup
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 – 847-637-3445
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.
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.
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
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.
Storm Team- Iowa
Our team out helping the damages in 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
Our SERVPRO team is here to help!
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.
- 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 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 dmage. If a crack develops, it could dumb 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 ad 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.