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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.

THANKSGIVING HOME FIRES

11/18/2019 (Permalink)

Flames coming from cooking pan on a stove. Our SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights professionals wishes you a safe and happy Thanksgiving and holiday season.

Each November, families gather to celebrate Thanksgiving by preparing a delicious feast,

but if you don’t practice safe cooking habits, your happy holiday could quickly become hazardous in a blink of an eye. According to the NFPA, cooking is the main cause of home fires and injuries, with the Thanksgiving holiday being the peak day for cooking-related fire emergencies. Review the following safety tips to help ensure you can enjoy a safe holiday.

*Never leave cooking food unattended—stay in the kitchen while frying, grilling, or broiling food. If someone must leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, they should turn off the stove.

*Check food regularly while cooking and remain in the home while kitchen equipment is in use. Use a timer as a reminder that the stove or oven is on.

*Keep small children away from the cooking area. Enforce a “kid-free zone” and make them stay at least three feet away from the stove and oven.

*Keep anything flammable like potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels away from the stove, oven, or other appliances in the kitchen that generates heat.

*Do not wear loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.

*Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease build-up.

*Purchase a fire extinguisher

to keep in the kitchen year-round. Contact the local fire department for training on the proper use of fire extinguishers if you are unsure.

*Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all kitchen appliances like stoves, ovens, and toasters are turned off.

*Install a smoke alarm near the kitchen, on each level of the home, near sleeping areas, and inside and outside of bedrooms. Use the test button to check it is working properly every month. Replace the batteries at least once a year.

Our SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights professionals wishes you a safe and happy Thanksgiving and holiday season.

How a Blizzard Can Harm a Home

11/12/2019 (Permalink)

Snowstorm, poor visibility, slick roads and lots of traffic A winter storm can become dangerous, harming parts of your home.

How a Blizzard Can Harm a Home

As the temperature drops, winter emerges, with the beauty and strength of snow and ice. While a breathtaking season, it is also one with power and the potential for destruction. Therefore, winter storm damage possesses a major concern for homeowners in Prospect Heights, IL. You may grow concerned about how to protect your property and keep the integrity of your roof intact. Consider these three things as you prepare for this cold juncture.

1. Are Ice and Snow Harmful?

A blizzard is an intense weather system, combining ice, snow and wind. These three powerful forces can wreak havoc, causing destruction and requiring repairs. With winds over 35 mph, they have the ability create the following issues:

  • Form ice dams
  • Ruin siding
  • Shatter glass
  • Collapse the roof
  • Knock down trees

Try to trim branches, clean gutters and inspect the rooftop during autumn. That could help prevent some of these larger problems.

2. Who Do You Call?

Despite your best efforts, the winter storm may still harm something; thus, when the skies clear, immediately contact a water and storm restoration company. If the roof gave in, leave the premises. At that point, the place is unstable, and people should not be inside. When the experts arrive, they can evaluate the system's impact on your place. At this time, they can survey the damage, place tarps on the roof and begin to clean up your belongings.

3. What Can You Do?

Roof damage is a big process, so prepare yourself for a long wait. Meet with your construction manager to discuss a time frame, and visit the site frequently to see progress. In addition, during this time, allow the specialists to help with question as well as recovering your personal items. They can advise on best practices.
As the winds pick up and ice falls, a winter storm can become dangerous, harming parts of your home. Be patient, and call in professionals to restore the premises. Within time, the team can have your place looking "Like it never even happened."

Is Storm Damage Tax Deductible?

10/26/2019 (Permalink)

A business with water flooding Flood damage in Arlington Heights, IL

If your commercial property or business has suffered a loss from natural (and some man-made) disasters in Arlington Heights, IL, your actual financial loss may be tax deductible. The rules will vary based on the circumstances, but if you are armed with the right information, you can save your company a bunch of tax money at a time when it most needs it.

What Counts As Storm Damage?

If your loss was from a disaster, the IRS allows what’s called a casualty loss deduction. A casualty in federal tax law is a “sudden, unexpected, or unusual loss or damage to some property” that’s owned by your business. Additionally, the damage must be from a verifiable event, including

  • Earthquakes
  • Flood damage
  • Hurricanes and severe storms
  • Lightning
  • Riots
  • Tornadoes
  • Volcanic eruptions


There are identifiable causes of casualty losses that won’t qualify, such as accidents, termite damage, deterioration and normal wear-and-tear. Typically, the rules covering storm damage loss are more liberal for businesses than for individuals. Also, the losses can usually be written off by businesses even if they don’t itemize.

What Are Federal Disaster Declarations?

When the federal government declares a disaster, both tax write-offs and financial assistance usually becomes much more generous. For instance, while most losses are recorded in the present tax year, a presidential disaster declaration means you can write it off retroactively, putting relief funds into your hands far more quickly. State governors can also declare disasters, although this won’t impact federal relief.

How Is the Write-Off Applied?

A few IRS publications might be used to address your storm damage losses. Publication 547 is usually key to understanding how you can write off the damage and discusses casualties, disasters and thefts, while Form 4684 is used to file for relief. However, if the losses could be covered by insurance, the IRS will disallow your write-off.
Once you’ve experienced a loss from a disaster in Arlington Heights, IL, call a professional storm cleanup company for immediate mitigation of further damage. When the situation has been stabilized, they’ll begin the process of cleanup and restoration so you can return to normal operations and put it all behind you.

Replacing Your Toilet Is As Easy As 1-2-3

10/18/2019 (Permalink)

White toilet bowl in the bathroom Replacing a leaking toilet in Prospect Heights, IL, isn't as big of a deal as you may think it is

Replacing Your Toilet Is As Easy As 1-2-3

Replacing a leaking toilet in Prospect Heights, IL, isn't as big of a deal as you may think it is. Turns out, you probably don't even have to call a plumber. If you have a toilet picked out and waiting at your home, why not install it yourself?

Step 1- Removal

No matter what your reason for wanting a new toilet, it's never a bad idea to update your bathroom appliances. However, before you can install it, you have to get your old toilet out of there. Here's how to go about it:

  • Shut off the water to the toilet.
  • Flush the toilet until all the remaining water is gone.
  • Disconnect the water supply line.
  • Gently rock the toilet back and forth to break the wax seal.
  • Lift the toilet out and take it away.

Step 2- Preparation

If your previous leaking toilet caused water damage, you'll want to hire a water damage remediation service to take care of any problems before you install the new one. Once that's taken care of, make sure you have all the proper supplies and tools you will need: a toilet, a new wax gasket, a wrench and a screwdriver. Prepare the area by setting the wax seal on the flange where the toilet will sit. If you're also replacing the supply tube, apply pipe-joint compound to either end.

Step 3- Replacement

The final step of your toilet repair is to gently place your new porcelain throne onto the wax seal and bolts. Use your weight to push down toilet onto the gasket. Replace the washers and nuts onto the bolts holding the toilet down and tighten with a wrench. Continue you press down the toilet and tighten alternatively, until it no longer feels loose after pressing it. Lastly, reconnect the loose end of the supply line to the shut-off valve. Re-open the valve and flush the toilet to refill it.
Sometimes, you can't fix a leaking toilet. That's when you need to step up and put a new one in. Even people without much plumbing experience can do this at home with the proper guidance.