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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

The most common causes of house fires

7/23/2020 (Permalink)

There are many common causes when it comes to house fires, but there are measures that can be taken in order to avoid them. 

Cook equipment that includes pots and pans can overheat very quickly, and they can cause a fire very easily if the person cooking gets distracted and then leaves the cooking unattended. ALWAYS stay in the area where cooking is taking place, or ask someone to water the food when cooking with hotplates.

Portable heaters are another common cause of house fire. Make sure to keep them at least one meter away from anything that could easily catch fire. This would include furniture, curtains, laundry, clothes and even yourself. If you have a furnace, get it inspected once a year to make sure it is working to safety standards. 

Make sure to keep bedrooms off limits when it comes to smoking in the home. A cigarette tat is not put out properly can cause a flame, as the butt may stay alit for a few hours once one is done with it. It could burst into flames if it came into contact with flammable materials, such as furniture. 

An electrical appliance, such as a toaster can start a fire if it is faulty or has a frayed cord. A power point that is overloaded with double adapter plugs can cause a fire from an overuse of electricity. Also, a power point extension cord can be a fire hazard if not used appropriately. Make sure to double check the appliances and power points in the home. 

Candles may look and smell pretty, but if left unattended they can cause a room to easily burst into flames. Make sure to keep candles away from any obviously flammable items such as books and tissue boxes. Always blow out the candle(s) before leaving the room they are in. 

Children can cause a fire out of curiosity, to see what would happen if they set fire to an object. Please make sure to keep any matchers or lighters out of reach in order to avoid this. Install a smoke alarm in your child's room and practice a home escape plan with your children and family in case there was a fire. 

Homes with inadequate wiring can cause fires from electrical hazards. Some signs to see if you have bad wiring are

-lights dim if you use another appliance

-for an appliance to work, you have to disconnect another

-fuses blow or trip the circuit frequently 

Make sure to have a licensed electrician come and inspect your home, or contact your landlord if you have any of the above occurrences. 

Make sure when you barbeque to keep it away from the home, tablecloths or any plants and tree branches. Keep them regularly maintained and cleaned with soapy water and clean any removable parts. Check the gas bottle for any leaks before you use it each time. 

If you have any flammable liquids in the home or garage such as petrol, kerosene or methylated spirits, keep them away from heat sources and check the label before story. Be careful when pouring these liquids. 

Lastly, lamp shades and light fittings can build up heat if they are very close to light globes. Check around the house to make sure. Lamp bases can become a hazard if they are able to be knocked over easily, and so should be removed if they are. Check that down lights are insulated from wood paneling or ceiling timbers. 

Key takeaways for preventing water damage

7/23/2020 (Permalink)

Water damage is the No. 1 culprit that weakens your home's foundation and the very core that holds your house together. I am sure you have heard about core strength for your body. Well, water damage hits at the core strength of your home, eventually causing serious structural damage. Damp wood invites termites and carpenter ants. It can also cause mold and mildew if not taken care of properly. 

Here is how to prevent water damage using three easy strategies that will give you peace of mind the next time heavy storms hit. 

1. Ensure good drainage

- clean your gutters

- direct downspouts 5-10' away from the house

- slope your yard away from the foundation

2. Test your sump pump

- check your sump pump once a year

- test more frequently during storm season

3. Fix water leaks

- repair any noticeable dripping pipes

- check for dark spots under pipes & on ceilings

- repair any cracked caulking

- inspect the roof for missing, loose of damaged shingles 

By following these tips, you are going to have less of chance when it comes to the amount of water damage that the home may take on. 

Here to help!

6/3/2020 (Permalink)

Vandalism Damage to a 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 This is the product that we use for 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 We are still open during this pandemic, and want to help our customers with whatever they may need.

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. 

How To Protect Your Home From Lightning

2/25/2020 (Permalink)

unplugging electrical cords Be sure to unplug all electronics

Ways Your Home Stays Protected From a Lightning Fire

A typical thunderstorm may not seem like a major cause for concern. However, lightning can have many detrimental effects on your house. The damage caused by a thunderstorm can range from a power surge to a house fire. By taking the proper precautions, you can keep your house safe from any kind of natural disaster. Here are some simple ways to ensure that your Prospect Heights, IL, home stays protected from a lightning fire.

Unplug All Electronics

Many electronic devices are a serious source of danger during a thunderstorm. Because these devices typically use multiple outlets, they run the risk of becoming severely damaged during a storm, which can pose a threat to your entire home. Be sure to unplug the following types of electronics before the storm begins:

  • Computers
  • Phones
  • Flat screen TVs
  • Stereo equipment

In addition to unplugging these devices, make sure that they’re not in use during the storm. If lightning hits a telephone pole while you’re talking on the phone, for example, it can send harmful voltage straight to your living space. As a rule of thumb, try to stick to cordless devices like cellphones and laptops to prevent a lightning fire from occurring.

Safeguard Your Home’s Exterior

Keeping the outside of your home protected is just as important as protecting the inside. Be sure to have rods installed on your home’s roof to keep your building safe from the effects of a thunderstorm. Additionally, make sure that there are no tall trees in the immediate vicinity of your home. This can significantly reduce the risk of a fire in your living space. Another effective option is to have a lightning protection system in place, which can ensure that your house stays fully protected during a storm.
In the event that a lightning fire impacts your living space, don’t wait to give your home the full recovery it needs. Experts can conduct a fire damage assessment and bring your space back to normal in no time.

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.

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.

How To Create an Emergency Plan for Your Pets

10/9/2019 (Permalink)

Picture of a dog in a car Practice evacuating in the car with your animals, so they’re more familiar if you need to evacuate in an emergency

A fire emergency can occur at any time in Arlington Heights, IL. Thankfully, working with a fire restoration company can increase the likelihood that your home returns to normal. Of course, possessions are not the only important aspect of preparing for a fire. Pet safety should be part of your emergency plan, too. Here are a few ways to get started.

Have an Evacuation Plan

Draft an escape plan for your family and include your pets in it. Emergency pet preparation for some animals may involve teaching them to come when called. If you must leave the home in a hurry, your pets will be trained to know what to do and where to go. Practice taking your pets with you during your family fire drill and teach them to respond to commands. For pets that are skittish, have a carrier that you can easily put them in.

Keep Important Documents Together

Have proof of pet ownership with you. This can make it easier to find them in the event that they go missing while also proving that you own them. When putting together a pet safety kit, include the following as well:

  • A picture of your pet
  • License records
  • Vaccination records

Keeping everything in one safe area can eliminate worry and help you feel prepared in a fire emergency.

Alert First Responders

One way to assist first responders is by putting a sticker on your door alerting them there are pets in the house. These stickers usually allow you to state how many dogs and how many cats you have. When firefighters and other first responders see it, they can try to rescue the animals if possible.

Protecting your pets in case of a fire emergency can ensure your family stays together. By developing a pet safety plan, you can feel confident that even if this type of situation arises, you’ll be prepared and know what to do.

Shower Mold Prevention and Removal Tips

9/26/2019 (Permalink)

Black mold in shower Mold found in shower

Shower mold is a common problem for homeowners. Mold spores can exist almost everywhere and can grow rapidly when exposed to the warm, humid, damp conditions of a bathroom. The good news is, there are effective ways to remove mold and prevent it from coming back.

Preventing Mold in Your Shower

A good mold prevention routine can help reduce your chances of a mold problem or prevent an existing issue from recurring. 


Here are five tips you can try to reduce your chances of shower mold:

  1. Reduce the humidity level in your bathroom by running ventilation fans, leaving the door open or opening your bathroom window whenever you are running the shower.
  2. Repair anything that is leaking water in your bathroom, including leaky faucets, ceiling leaks or leaky windows.
  3. Avoid standing water in your tub or sink. If your drains are draining slowly, consider cleaning them or calling a plumber.
  4. Regularly clean your bathroom with anti-mold cleaning products. You should pay special attention to items that are particularly vulnerable to becoming moldy, such as non-slip tub mats and shower curtains.
  5. Wipe wet surfaces, such as your shower doors and tub, dry after use.

Removing Mold From Your Shower

Attempting to remove black mold yourself can be a dicey proposition. Disturbing mold can cause the spores to spread to the air and be distributed throughout your home, which can lead to a bigger mold problem than you started with.

Another issue with do-it-yourself mold solutions is that some cleaning products remove mold stains, but may not remove all the mold spores, which can lead to mold re-growth. Some cleaning products also don’t work well for non-porous surfaces or can even cause damage to your property. For these reasons, it may be wise to contact a mold remediation specialist in Prospect Heights, IL.

Implementing these tips can help you avoid shower mold or prevent mold from returning. If you’ve already got mold growth, contacting a remediation specialist may be the best way to help you solve the problem.

3 Steps To Dry a Flooded Furnace

9/26/2019 (Permalink)

A burst pipe at the furnace and water tank has caused a leak on the basement floor of a house Flooded furnace in an Arlington Heights, IL home

3 Steps To Dry a Flooded Furnace

Commercial property owners that have experienced a furnace flood know how disastrous this water damage can be. The risk of furnace flooding is higher during the winter, as pipes with are more prone to breakage due to pressure buildup around frozen blockages. If a flood or pipe break fills a furnace with water, these three steps can resolve the situation.

Stop the Water Source

If a broken pipe is leaking into a furnace, the top priorities include stopping the flow of electricity or gas to the appliance and resolving the plumbing problem as quickly as possible. Contact a plumber as soon as you see evidence that a pipe has broken. You may also want to go ahead and schedule consultations with an appliance repair specialist and a damage restoration service.

Extract Water

Even if there is no chance of restoring the function of a flooded furnace, it is necessary to extract water from the appliance and the surrounding area and promote drying. This helps to prevent primary water damage from causing structural problems and secondary damage, such as mold, from developing over the days and weeks after a furnace flood.

Replace the Furnace

Most furnaces cannot be safely operated after water damage. Natural gas furnaces contain sensitive parts critical for safety which tend to sustain irreparable damage. If replacement is necessary, consider relocating the new furnace away from areas prone to water damage. You may also want to schedule an air duct cleaning to stop any mold spores that are present from spreading throughout a structure.
A furnace flood usually necessitates furnace replacement. If the first commercial appliance service that you contact offers to repair parts following major damage, you may want to seek second or third opinions. Refurbished furnace components may be more likely to result in fires or other costly damage to a building located in Arlington Heights, IL.

4 Tips To Flood-Proof Your Home

9/10/2019 (Permalink)

Rain spout Making sure downspouts and drains are not clogged can help with water runoff in the event of a flood

Safety Tips For Homeowners To Protect Their Homes

As a homeowner, safeguarding your home against natural disasters is paramount, and flood safety should be a priority. Flooding is not only the most common natural disaster in the U.S., it’s also one of the costliest weather-related disasters. Flooding is estimated to have caused over $260 billion in damage between 1980 and 2013. Homeowners in Arlington Heights, IL, will especially benefit from these safety tips to protect their homes.

1. Reconsider renovations. For example, if your driveway needs to be repaved, consider installing porous paving to help slow down water runoff. If you’re springing for a new lawn, make sure to grade it away from the house so as to direct water flow into the street gutter and not your home.

2. Maintain upkeep. You can flood proof your home by doing simple maintenance upkeep such as checking pipe valves and ensuring gutters are clear to prevent ice dams. Making sure downspouts and drains are not clogged can help with water runoff in the event of a flood, or even heavy rainfall.

3. Prioritize cleanup. Almost as important as protecting your home for flood safety is post-flood follow-up. To avoid water damage and mold, seek water-damage repair experts immediately. You won’t be the only one seeking help after such a natural disaster, so be sure to act early.

4. Reorganize clutter. Move any electronics, expensive rugs and furniture to upper levels if possible. If it’s not, simply raise them off the floor. Elevating major appliances onto sturdy materials such as concrete blocks can be helpful as well. Make sure things such as sockets and switches, as well as circuit breakers, are at least a foot above the estimated flood level for the area.

Make flood safety a key priority when you purchase or renovate a home. Being better prepared for such natural disasters ahead of time will often be more effective than trying to belatedly deal with the aftermath.

The Aftermath of Bursting Pipes

8/27/2019 (Permalink)

Burst pipe in a Prospect Height, IL home

Dealing with water damage in Prospect Heights, IL, can be a homeowner’s nightmare. When it’s cold outside, water can freeze and expand, leading to bursting pipes and a flooded home. Cleanup can be expensive. Thankfully, homeowner’s insurance can help with the financial burden, and there are a few things you can do to help make the process easier.

Emergency Repairs

In general, you want to wait for your homeowner’s insurance company to approve your claim before you start the main cleanup process or attempt to fix the broken pipe. However, there are a few simple things you can do to help prevent further damage:

  • Remove excessive water.
  • Turn off the water supply to your home.
  • Take valuable items that have not been damaged and move them to a safer location.

Check Your Policy

Homeowner’s insurance policies can vary widely when it comes to what is covered. For example, your policy may include damage from bursting pipes but not from a washing machine that malfunctioned. Your best bet is to read your policy yourself so you are aware of what your coverage is.

Have Proper Documentation

Documentation is a crucial step when you are making a water claim. Consider taking photographs and video when necessary to show the extent of the damage. A photo of the room from before the damage occurred can also be helpful if you have one handy. Be sure to include any receipts you have for items that have been damaged or destroyed. If, during your emergency repairs, you had to rent equipment or buy any supplies, keep track of your receipts so you can be reimbursed for them. Any documentation you can provide will likely help with the claim process.

These things can help make the process of your water damage repair from bursting pipes go more smoothly. Emergency repairs can prevent further damage, knowledge of your policy prevents misunderstandings, and documentation should help with the claim process. Hopefully, you will be able to have the damage repaired quickly and have life return to normal.

Types of Tax Deductible Storm Losses

8/20/2019 (Permalink)

Storm damage in Arlington Heights, IL

Four Fundamental Areas of Storm Loss

Commercial properties are expensive to maintain and even more expensive to repair. When seasonal storms kick up and create significant losses for businesses, it can leave many owners looking for relief. Thankfully, when tax season rolls around, storm damage might actually be tax deductible. However, that depends on a couple of factors. First, do you have commercial insurance? Second, did you use your policy to make a claim? If you didn't, then you will not be able to make a deduction for losses accrued, but if you did, then you should have no problem come tax time. However, you will still need to understand the four fundamental areas of storm loss to record and claim everything properly.

1. Wind

Wind damage can account for a lot of property loss, especially when tied to significant storms, like hurricanes and tornadoes. This type of damage can account for many losses, such as broken windows, lost shingles and sheathing as well as damages to property landscaping.

2. Water

The most common form of storm damage tends to relate to water losses. Flooding and excessive rainfall can lead to significant issues, from foundational problems to roof leaks and more. While not every area requires flood insurance, it is a wise purchase for those businesses at risk to help offset potential recovery expenses.

3. Fire

While it may seem unlikely, storms can lead to building fires. For example, flooding can lead to electrical disturbances, which can spark a fire. Also, and more commonly, lightning strikes can cause sudden rooftop blazes.

4. Restoration

After storms have settled and the damages assessed, you will need to contact your insurer and a storm restoration specialist in the Arlington Heights, IL, area. While you may not want to make an insurance claim for the losses you incurred during the storm, the only way to file for deductions is to use your insurance policy first. Then, you can file deductions for the percentage of the recovery and restoration you actually paid for.
Storm damage can be expansive and costly to mitigate. However, if you file a claim and call for assistance, you can recover some losses through deductions.

What You Should Know About Burn First Aid

8/13/2019 (Permalink)

Though many business owners in Prospect Heights, IL, believe that is important to prepare for the effects of fire damage, learning about burn first aid can be intimidating. However, it's often wise to learn about basic aid when preparing for a fire.

What Are Common Causes of Burns?

People can acquire burns on any part of their bodies, though minor burns often occur on a person's hands, arms, legs or feet, especially if a person's skin is exposed. Common causes of burns in businesses include:

  • Grease or oil splashing on the skin
  • Fire touching the skin
  • Steam or hot liquid making contact with the skin
  • Touching hot pans, pots or other materials

What Are the Symptoms of a Minor Burn?

In addition to knowing the causes of a minor burn, it can also be useful to know what symptoms of burns to look out for after fire damage has affected your property. A minor burn is considered to be a burn that covers only a small area of the skin. Common symptoms of a minor burn can include:

  • Small blisters
  • Pain
  • Redness on the skin that is similar to redness that appears after a sunburn
  • Slight swelling

How Are Burns Treated?

After a fire, it can be helpful to know how to appropriately provide first aid to someone with a minor burn. Running cool water, not cold water, over a burn is often useful. Covering a minor burn with a clean bandage can also help to treat the burn. If you are in your building when there is an active fire, it's also helpful to remember that your business can be restored by emergency restoration services, and it's usually best to leave your building quickly and help to treat others once you are outside of the building in order to prevent further injuries.

In addition to taking steps to protect your business from fire damage, it can be useful to learn about burn first aid. Knowing common causes of burns, symptoms of minor burns and how to treat minor burns can help you feel more confident in your ability to help yourself and others if a fire occurs in your business.

Vulnerable Areas of Your Property in a Winter Storm

7/24/2019 (Permalink)

Winter storm in Prospect Heights, IL

Vulnerable Areas of Your Property in a Winter Storm

The damage that can occur due to a winter storm can be obvious at times, but at other times, it can be subtle. You may not notice it at first unless you are specifically looking for it. If you do have storm damage, you have only a limited time to file an insurance claim, so it is best to inspect your residential property in Prospect Heights, IL, and file any necessary claims as soon as you can.

Specific areas of vulnerability around your property include the following:

  • Trees
  • Gutters and siding
  • Roof

You should inspect these areas carefully as soon as possible after a storm.

Trees

Overgrown tree limbs can break due to the high winds, heavy snows, and ice buildup that often accompany a blizzard. A fallen tree limb can cause damage to your roof, your vehicle, and anyone who happens to be standing underneath at the time that it falls. Keep in mind, however, that a tree limb may break off during a storm but not fall for some months afterward. Therefore, it is best to be proactive in inspecting trees for damage and having broken limbs removed.

Gutters and Siding

The exterior of your home is built to stand up to a lot of punishment from the weather. Nevertheless, factors present during a winter storm, such as ice, moisture, and high winds, can strip the siding or gutters from your home. Be sure to inspect any possible damage, and be sure to have any missing structures replaced as soon as possible. Missing gutters or siding leave your home vulnerable to water damage.

Roof

Roof damage from a storm can be dramatic, such as a cave-in from a broken tree limb, or subtle, such as missing shingles or roof tiles. Either way, the damage needs to be assessed and repaired as soon as possible.

It can be tempting to put off dealing with damage from a winter storm until spring, but that may only make matters worse. If you feel overwhelmed, don't hesitate to enlist the help of a storm damage restoration company.

What You Need To Know About Mold in the HVAC Unit

7/24/2019 (Permalink)

Clean ducts are mold-free ducts

If you’ve been noticing the smell of mold in your building, but can’t seem to find evidence of black mold anywhere, your HVAC unit could be the culprit. Mold spores naturally exist indoors and out, but in closed office spaces, where the windows rarely open, the spores may collect in the HVAC unit and emit the smell throughout the space.

The Cause of Mold Infestation

Many people may not think of air ducts as the ideal place for mold to hang out, because it shoots out a lot of cold air during the warmer months. However, condensation may form in the unit as it pushes out cold air, which creates a haven for black mold. The mold then gets nutrients from particles in the air that cycle through the HVAC from the office. These include:

  • Animal dander
  • Indoor dust
  • Pollen

Signs of Mold in the HVAC Unit

Because you may not be able to see the mold in the HVAC unit, it may be difficult to tell if mold is the problem without a professional mold inspection. Even so, you may be able to detect mold by the strong mildew smell. People who are sensitive to mold may also suddenly find that they feel most comfortable outside or when windows are open.

Cleaning the Ducts

Clean ducts are mold-free ducts, even though you may need to do this routinely to maintain it. When professionals clean air ducts, they use a biocide that is safe for people to breathe in. Even so, it may be best to schedule a cleaning during days when business is not in operation as the air may need to be turned off during cleaning.

Black mold is a stubborn problem faced by many buildings in Arlington Heights, IL. While there is no foolproof way to prevent in, many property managers and business owners remedy the problem through routine air duct cleanings and using HEPA filters.

Cleaning Your Commercial Air Ducts is Important

7/22/2019 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Arlington Height/ Prospect Heights for Air Ducts and HVAC Cleaning.

3 Reasons To Clean Your Commecial Air Ducts.

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.

Storm Safety For Your Commercial Property

7/22/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/ Prospect Heights can help you with commercial storm safety.

Severe weather is a serious threat and one that can often happen with little warning. It’s important to be thorough and proactive to ensure your business is protected.

Commercial Storm Safety

As we start to enter storm season, it is important to take some time and inspect your commercial property to assess and identify any maintenance that can be performed to further reduce the risk of damage in the case of a storm.

Some of these maintenance items may be:

  • Cutting all tree branches away from the building
  • Weather proofing windows
  • Making sure that all your emergency signs are visible and in good working order.

Generators

Another way to ensure your property is storm ready is to check your generators for the building. This is exceptionally important for medical facilities, rehab facilities, and nursing homes who rely on the generator for life saving medication dispensing and to operate machines.  Making sure you have enough power to maintain the facility for at least a minimum of three days is what FEMA recommends.

Communicate with tenants

It is also essential to communicate with your tenants of the property.  Making sure that you and your tenants have an emergency readiness plan in the event of an emergency is vital not only to assist keeping your tenant up and running, but for the safety of the building. 

Nearly 40% of small businesses close after a disaster, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. 52% of small businesses say it would take at least three months to recovery from a disaster, according to a 2015 survey of 500 small business owners conducted by Nationwide.  Only 25% of businesses that close due to a major disaster ever reopen, according to the Institute for Business & Home Safety.

SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights offers a free Emergency Ready Plan that we can assist all of the tenants of your commercial property where one call to our office and we have all the necessary information to begin a quick clean up and get your building back to full working order.  To get more information on our Emergency Readiness Plan, give us a call at (847) 637-3445. 

How To Properly Clean a Lint Trap

7/17/2019 (Permalink)

Cleaning a lint trap

Tips on Cleaning Your Dryer Vent and Lint Trap

Many homeowners in Arlington Heights, IL, would be surprised to know easily a dryer lint trap can be clogged and turn into a lint fire. Almost three thousand homes a year experience fire damage caused by such a buildup. Here are some tips to properly clean your dryer vent and lint trap.

1. Clean It Every Time

You have probably been told to clean the lint trap before every load, but you may not know why. Lint is highly combustible. Therefore, if a dryer overheats from improper ventilation, a small spark can turn into a lint fire with major damage and a need to call a fire restoration company.

2. Remove All Debris

When cleaning the lint trap, make sure you get each small piece of debris left behind. Every few weeks, it’s a good idea to also run it under water and even use a bit of hand soap on the screen. Be gentle so that you don’t damage the screen or change its shape, and always dry it fully before putting it back.

3. Check the Dryer

It’s important to fully clean the dryer vent as well while the lint trap is out. Particularly if you notice any debris, it’s a good idea to periodically take a vacuum hose and suck out any loose material. This helps clear out clogs and can be done from the outside vent as well.

4. Determine Whether a Deeper Clean is Warranted

If you have signs of a clog, such as clothes no longer drying fully or a very hot dryer when running, you should do a deeper clean to prevent a dryer fire. You can buy a vent cleaning rod at a hardware store to feed it entirely through the vent and push out any excess lint.
Routine maintenance and cleaning will prevent a lint fire from occurring in your dryer. Make sure you clean the lint trap during each load and perform a deeper vent clean every few months. You will have peace of mind knowing that your dryer is running safely.

Smoke and Soot Facts

6/28/2019 (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 Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights 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.  SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights has 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

When Storms Hit, SERVPRO Is Ready.

6/28/2019 (Permalink)

When a major storm hits, it may overwhelm local restoration companies. SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights 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. 

SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit the Prospect Heights land area, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 847-637-3445

Basement Flood? We Can Help!

6/28/2019 (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 - (847) 637-3445

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 Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights 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 SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights Today – We’re Ready To Help (847) 637-3445.

3 Things to Do About Roof Damage After a Fire

6/25/2019 (Permalink)

Roof damage in a commercial building in Prospect Heights, IL

Tips to Take Care of Damage to Your Commercial Building´s Roof

Discovering that you have roof damage during the fire cleanup process can leave you wondering how to properly address it. In order to protect your business in  Prospect Heights, IL, from further damage, there are some important steps you need to take. Here are a few tips to help you take care of damage to your commercial building’s roof.

1. Make an Insurance Claim

Filing an insurance claim is a good idea if your roof has been significantly harmed as a result of fire damage. Be sure to document all signs of damage on your commercial roof in order to provide concrete evidence of the damage. Providing sufficient proof of your loss can also be useful if you plan to show the evidence to a roofing company who can help cover up the damage.

2. Have Tarp Placed on Roof

Covering up the fire damage with tarp can help protect your roof from further harm and ease your fire cleanup efforts. When you utilize tarp services, you can prevent substances such as rain and debris from seeping through your roof and causing additional damage to your building. Rain and snow in particular can cause serious water damage if they accumulate on your roof, so keep these points in mind during the roof repair process.

3. Give Your Roof the Proper Treatment

The care that your roof needs depends on what caused the damage in the first place. If the problem is residual soot, then you may need to address discoloration on your roof caused by soot particles. Have your roof inspected as soon as possible in order to determine exactly how to navigate the fire cleanup process and repair your roof.
Taking care of roof damage in  Prospect Heights, IL, can be a less stressful process when you have valuable help and support. Be sure to call cleanup and restoration services to facilitate the roof repair process and have your business return to normal in no time.

4 Questions and Answers About Business Insurance

6/18/2019 (Permalink)

My business has water damage, what do I do?

No matter how you prepare, the unexpected will happen. This is true in your professional life as well as in your personal. However, when it comes to your Arlington Heights, IL, business and commercial properties, you can protect against unexpected trouble, such as fire or water damage, with business insurance. If you're not sure why you need this coverage and what's available, take a look at the following questions and answers:

What Can I Expect From Business Insurance Coverage?

These policies vary from one provider to another, but they are all designed to protect owners from business losses. You may get coverage for property and automobiles or insure your business against legal claims. You could get health insurance for employees or protect your property from damages related to broken pipes.

When would I need business insurance?

Small business owners often mistakenly believe they don't have enough inventory or business equipment to insure, but when broken pipes lead to water damage or when related water cleanup services are required, those owners may face financial losses in addition to the loss of property. During the time water remediation professionals are working, the small business owner may lose out on valuable income. When this happens, business interruption coverage may be crucial to the company's continued success.

What type of coverage do I need?

Some of the most common insurance claims for commercial property owners include those related to damages from water, weather, and fire. Look into business interruption insurance, property and casualty insurance, and related policies. Of course, you can prepare for other eventualities by discussing your specific business needs with an insurance agent.

How do I file a claim?

Plan ahead for any eventuality by talking to your agent before trouble happens. If an issue has already come up, contact your business insurance representative right away. You may also get help from the water damage cleanup professionals.

What You Should Know About Water Damage and Your Insurance Policy

6/11/2019 (Permalink)

A leaky pipe will likely be covered

Questions You Might Have Regarding Your Policy

If a pipe breaks in your Prospect Heights, IL home and causes water to flood your home, the good news is that this will most likely be covered by your homeowners insurance. While this is usually a covered peril, however, there are some exceptions. The following are a few questions that you might have regarding your policy.

1. When is Damage Covered by Insurance?

When you experience water damage from a broken or leaky pipe, the cost of resulting damage will likely be covered. If the flood is the result of a broken pipe caused by freezing weather or a sudden accident, this will usually be included in your policy. However, you will often be required to pay for any costs related to repairing and replacing the pipe.

2. When is Damage Not Covered by Insurance?

If the insurance company believes that the pipe has broken as a result of your own negligence, then you will likely be denied insurance coverage. This can happen if you have not taken proper precautions to prevent freezing pipes during cold weather or if you have failed to maintain your home. You may also be required to pay for damages if you wait too long to contact your insurance company and the damage has worsened in the meantime.

3. What Should You Do When You Discover the Damage?

To prevent your insurance company from denying your claim, you should be sure to contact them as soon as possible. You should also hire a water damage remediation company to fix the broken pipe and do any necessary repairs in your home. While you wait for workers to arrive, you can begin documenting the damage and making temporary repairs to prevent water from spreading.

While a flood in your home can cause a lot of worry, the claims process can go more smoothly if you take the appropriate actions. Performing regular maintenance on your home can prevent problems and will make it easier to be approved for coverage if an accident does happen.

4 DIY Cleaning Hacks for a Small Mold Growth Problem in Your Home

5/29/2019 (Permalink)

Soak fabrics in hot water and oxygen bleach

House Mold Can Be Addressed Using Four Cleaning Hacks

The sight of mold in your home in Prospect Heights, IL, might make you want to pack up your bags and leave for good, but a small amount of mold growth is no cause for alarm. A widespread, severe mold issue can cause extensive damage to your home and needs to be remediated with the help of a mold cleaning company. However, a minor house mold issue detected early can be addressed using the following four cleaning hacks. 

1. Scrub Hard Surfaces With White Vinegar and Baking Soda

Vinegar is a very effective natural mold removal solution due to its acidic properties that break down and kill most species of mold. Baking soda, another non-toxic ingredient, absorbs moisture, removes odors, and kills mold. Spray vinegar and baking soda solution and scrub any surfaces that has mold. 

2. Soak Fabrics in Hot Water and Oxygen Bleach 

Fabrics such as clothes, linens or upholstered furniture that remain damp for an extended period time can house moisture-seeking mold. If you can visibly see mold on the fabric, first scrub it off when a brush. Next, soak the fabric in very hot water and oxygen bleach.

3. Lightly Wipe Paper with Hydrogen Peroxide

House mold on books and paper can be tricky to clean. First, ensure the paper is completely dry. Next, use a soft paintbrush to brush away any mold you see. Wet a cloth towel with a small amount of hydrogen peroxide, lightly wipe the paper, and allow the page to dry. 

4. Clean Tile With Chlorine Bleach and Water 

If mold has made its way into the grout of your tile floors, you’ll need some chlorine bleach and water. Mix one cup of bleach with a gallon of water and mop it onto your floors. Let it sit for 15 minutes and then scrub. 

Rid your home of house mold with these four cleaning hacks! If the problem is bigger than you suspected, don’t hesitate to call in a professional mold remediation company. 

Restoring Your Commercial Property After A Water Event

5/27/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/ Prospect Heights has the training and equipment to restore your commercial property after a water event.

Flooding and water damage events at SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights and the surrounding area commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/ Prospect Heights

SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights 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’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Air Duct Cleaning For Your Commercial Property

5/27/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/ Prospect Heights has the training and equipment necessary to keep your commercial air ducts clean.

Benefits of Air Duct Cleaning

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.

According to the NACDA—The HVAC Inspection, Maintenance, and Restoration Association, “if your ducts look dirty, they probably are.” By conducting routine air duct cleanings, you will be able to fully inspect your air ducts for leaks, HVAC effectiveness, and overall indoor air quality.

If you are looking for commercial duct cleaning, please give us a call at (847) 637-3445 and let us help save your company money.

Water damaged home in Prospect Heights

5/27/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage in a basement in Prospect Heights, IL.

Water Damage

SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/ Prospect Heights specializes in the cleanup of flooded basements and any damage caused by water in your home.

We were recently called out to help with the cleanup of this flooded basement in Prospect Heights, IL.  As a result of the flooding, our technicians needed to pull all of the flooring out as it was badly affected by the water.

If you are a home owner, a business owner or a property manager that experiences a water damage due to heavy rain, a burst pipe or any other reason, why not give our office a call at (847) 637-3445 to help with the clean up?

SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights has the experience and the know how to perform the necessary clean up and to make your situation seem “Like it never even happened.” Browse our website for more details on our other types of services.

Spring showers are coming..!

5/27/2019 (Permalink)

Spring showers are coming and SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/ Prospect Heights is here to help you.

Will you be prepared if those Spring showers not only bring you lovely flowers but also bring you an unwanted flooded home or place of business??

Water Damage or Flooded Properties

SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights is a trusted leader in the Water Restoration industry and has got you covered!

We specialize in the cleanup of flooded properties so why not give our office a call should this occur, we are available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week!

We'll clean it up and make it seem "Like it never even happened."

Selecting a Fire Extinguisher for Your Home

5/17/2019 (Permalink)

Place an extinguisher in the places most likely to have a fire

Selecting a Fire Extinguisher for Your Home

At least one portable fire extinguisher should be in any home. However, the amount will typically vary depending on the size and number of stories to your home. Regardless, the selection of an extinguisher is vital because some will help with certain fires and hurt with others. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the considerations that go into an extinguisher selection before purchase.

1. Location

A home fire is a terrifying thing, but the proper placement of an extinguisher may mitigate it. A two-story home should have a minimum of one extinguisher on each level. However, this number increases when you consider the common locations for fires to occur – the kitchen, laundry room, basement and garage. Therefore, you should place an extinguisher in the places most likely to have a fire.

2. Type

Next, you may want to consider the type of fire extinguisher that would best address the fires that may occur in the previously determined locations. For instance, a kitchen may be more likely to experience a grease and oil fire while a garage may experience a wood fire. Most common extinguisher models for a home come in three types.

  • Type A: These extinguishers are used for fires started from ordinary combustibles, like paper, wood and fabric.
  • Type B: Used to suppress most grease and oil fires, these extinguishers typically douse flames with dry ice and not chemical powders.
  • Type C: If you are worried about an electrical fire, then you want a class C unit. It may be wise to place these extinguishers near computers and other often used outlets.

3. Size and Effectiveness

While having extinguishers proves fire preparedness, you want a unit that will be the most effective against common fires. Therefore, you can contact a fire restoration specialist or the fire department in the Prospect Heights, IL, area to discuss your extinguisher needs.

A single fire extinguisher may be suitable for a small house, but a variety of types may provide you with the best protection. Whatever you decide, make sure to have at least one extinguisher on hand in case the worst happens.

3 Things You Should Know About Storm Insurance

5/7/2019 (Permalink)

In order to keep your business running smoothly after a disaster, it is important to have a storm insurance policy

A Few Things you Should Keep in Mind When You Buy Insurance for Your Business

If you operate a business in Arlington Heights, IL, then you likely already have insurance coverage. If you don’t, then it is a good idea to acquire it, as it can save you a lot of trouble, and money, if you experience an emergency or natural disaster. Here are a few things that you should keep in mind when you buy insurance for your business.

1. Not All Plans Are the Same

While you might think that one storm insurance policy is just as good as another, this is not necessarily the case. Various companies may have coverage that differs significantly. It is important to determine what is included in your policy as well as how much financial assistance you will be entitled to if your building is damaged. Many companies don’t include floods or hurricanes in their policies, so you may need to purchase a separate plan for these.

2. You Might Be Required to Pay a Portion of the Repair Cost

If hurricanes or floods are included in your storm insurance policy, you still might not be able to receive the full amount of the damage costs. Large scale disasters like these can cost insurance companies a lot of money, so they often require the policyholder to pay a certain percentage of the claim.

3. Your Claim Can Be Affected by the Condition of Your Building

Severe damage might need to be repaired by an emergency remediation service. If the cause of the damage is covered in your policy, then you may not be required to pay for these repairs. However, if you don’t keep up with regular maintenance of your building, then your insurance company might conclude that damages were caused by existing problems and refuse to pay for these costs.

In order to keep your business running smoothly after a disaster, it is important to have a storm insurance policy. It can save you money and help get your building back in working order if it has been damaged.

How To Deal With Black Water After a Flood

5/2/2019 (Permalink)

Flood Damage at a downtown home in Arlington Heights, IL.

Experiencing a flood in Arlington Heights, IL , can be a traumatic experience on its own, but the stress may continue as you deal with the aftermath of any water damage affecting your home. If standing water remains in the area, it is considered black water. This situation calls for immediate action in order to protect your home and family members that may be exposed to this water.

What Is Black Water?

Black water is any type of contaminated water that may contain the following harmful bacteria:

• E. Coli
• Hepatitis
• Leptospira
• Salmonella
• Giardia

It is considered a health risk for anyone who comes into contact with it and can result in serious illness or even death. Overflowing sewage water, leaking toilet water, and remaining flood water are all examples of this type of polluted water.

What Are the Health Risks?

To avoid further water damage or any threat to your or your family’s health, you need to address the issue of standing, infected water immediately. Make sure to contain the contaminated water and remove yourself and other people or animals from the area as quickly as possible. If people or animals come into contact with the contaminants in this water, they may experience any of the following conditions:

• Diarrhea and abdominal cramps
• Chills, lack of appetite, or fever
• Nausea and vomiting
• Hepatitis, Tetanus, Weil’s disease, or infection
• Death (in extreme cases)


What Should You Do?



If there is any standing water remaining after a flood, you should always assume that it is contaminated water. Do not try to remove the water from your home yourself. Quickly contact a restoration specialist to assess the situation and take the appropriate action.

These professionals will have the expertise and equipment to fully remove any harmful pollutants and bacteria from your home. You won’t need to worry about any lingering contamination since these specialists are trained in how to effectively sanitize your house and deal with any other water damage that may have occurred.

4 Facts You Should Know About Your Commercial Generator

5/2/2019 (Permalink)

In case of a Power Outage caused by Storm Damage we need to understand how a generator works if we need to rely on one.

Commercial generators, like residential generators, are designed to provide power to your business in case your power ever goes out. Since your businesses in Arlington Heights, IL, likely has higher power requirements than your home, a commercial model will often have more efficient cooling components, a larger engine, and the ability to produce more power.

Understanding how a generator works is important in case a power outage or other emergency causes your business to rely on one.



1. There Are Two Main Fuel Types for Generators

If you’re looking at commercial generators for your business, you will need to choose between diesel and gas fuel types. Diesel models are often more expensive and noisy. However, they require less maintenance and emit less carbon dioxide. Gas generators have a shorter lifespan and are a potential fire hazard, but they are connected to a gas line which means they have a consistent fuel source.

2. The Running Time Will Depend on Your Generator’s Type

When choosing generators, you can go with a portable or permanent model. While portable models will work for many small businesses, their run time is typically only a few hours. Permanent generators can run for very long periods of time, so if outages are common in your area you’ll want to go with a permanent model.

3. Maintenance is Key

To prevent needing to call a restoration company due to damages caused by your generator, it is important that you look for common generator problems like battery failure and leaks before a power outage occurs.

4. Carbon Dioxide Is a Risk

Always keep your generator a safe distance away from the building and allow for plenty of ventilation in order to avoid carbon dioxide poisoning.


A commercial generator is essential for providing power to your building in the case of an outage or black out. Keep these four facts in mind so you can choose the right model for your needs and keep it running in good repair!

Winter Storm Tips

4/26/2019 (Permalink)

Keep your greenery trimmed for better safety in a storm.

Facing an impending winter storm in Arlington Heights, IL? Whether it is a blizzard or some other kind of event, winter weather is no joke - keep your family and your home safer with these tips:

1. Keep supplies handy. Make a list of necessities and winter tools that you will need to brave the storm. If you have time, go shopping for the ones you are missing, and then find a place in your house to keep everything so you know where supplies are in case you need them when the storm hits.

2. Check your roof, gutters and siding. You may not think it would be the case, but all of these parts of your house can be damaged in a winter storm. Make sure they are all in good working shape before the weather gets dangerous.

3. Insulate your pipes. A burst pipe can cause a real disaster in a storm. Make sure that yours are insulated against cold temperatures.

4. Seal any air leaks. Air leaks are not a good sign, as they can lead to a home that is subject to extremely cold temperatures. You might just find that you save on energy costs when you fix these leaks, as well.

5. Trim trees. If an overgrown tree branch falls in a storm, your home, property and family are all at risk of being in a dangerous situation. Keep your greenery trimmed for better safety in a storm.

Now that you know how to prepare for a winter storm, it is time to learn what to do if roof damage or other issues should occur despite your best preparation efforts. A reliable residential storm damage company can help you with water destruction and many other effects of a storm. It is better to prepare for the worst than to be stuck with no knowledge of how to handle damage if it does occur.

2nd Annual Golf Fundraiser

4/25/2019 (Permalink)

https://www.planmygolfevent.com/32379-TuskegeenextSERVPRO/?fbclid=IwAR25dcOOARPGoLC9gQtYiZRX9Ko936H5LvPiSvkuuLm-HoRhvZW4l0e2NlA

Please join us for the SERVPRO 2nd Annual Outing to benefit the Tuskegee Next Program on August 2, 2019.

Registration - 10:30-11:30 am 
Shotgun Start - 12:00 pm
Dinner - 5:00 pm
Raffles - 6:00 pm

We will have a great day of golf at the beautiful Arlington Lakes Golf Club in Arlington Heights, IL 
(www.ahpd.org/algc). The event will include a Shotgun start, raffles, meet & greet by the students you are helping to support and raffles following golf.

Special Offer: Included with your online registration is a 1-year subscription to Golf Digest (a $10 value). Click here for offer and refund details.


Register now and remember to invite your friends to play. Just click on "Tell a Friend" and you can send them a link to this site automatically.

Thank you for your support of the Tuskegee Next.

3 Common Water Issues in Commercial Buildings

4/18/2019 (Permalink)

Blocked drains can shut down a sink, room or plumbing zone.

Commercial buildings are a maze of hot-water and cold-water supply pipes and drains. The water lines and sprinkler heads of the fire suppression system complicate the picture. Leaking pipes are everyday occurrences. You learn to expect the occasional flood or pipe break. The only surprise comes when the plumbers run out of problems to fix. Following are the three most common problems faced in commercial plumbing.

1. Small Nuisance Problems

These problems have quick and easy fixes. Dripping faucets and leaking pipes are commonplace in restroom and kitchen areas. Fixing these problems saves water and eliminates the hazards associated with wet floors. Small repairs like this provide plumbers the opportunity to inspect the surrounding plumbing and fixtures. Not every plumbing problem gets reported.

2. Toilet Problems

Toilet design is all about performing the flush using the least possible amount of water. It takes a delicate balance of water volume and pressure for a successful flush. When conditions aren’t correct, the result is a toilet backup. Some problem toilets frequently block. They may need a new flush valve or total replacement.

3. Blocked, Slow and Foul-Smelling Drain Problems

Blocked drains can shut down a sink, room or plumbing zone. A slow drain provides a warning that it will eventually stop completely. Plumbers know that drain-flow problems require prompt attention.

Drain odors from a sink may mean that the trap is dry. A dry trap allows smells and sewer gas to leak into the building. Traps attached to floor drains can dry out as well. Pouring water down the drain is a simple fix for dry traps. If the odor problem persists, it becomes a problem for the custodial staff to handle.

Leaking pipes can cause a flood. The subsequent water damage and the risk of mold are a threat to your business. There are water damage remediation specialists located in the Arlington Heights, IL area. They can help minimize the impact of water damage and keep your business up and running. It all starts with a phone call.

What Personal Protective Equipment Is Helpful When Removing Mold?

4/13/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial property owners and building managers should depend on the expertise of remediation professionals.

Personal protective equipment helps mold cleanup professionals limit exposure to microbial volatile organic compounds and spores while preventing cross-contamination. Workers should use respirators rated for mold, disposable gloves and booties and protect the rest of their bodies by wearing full-coverage clothing or coveralls.

Facial Protection

Respirators designed for working with mold may be half-face or full-face designs. Cleanup workers should select respirators with a rating of at least N95:

  • N95 respirators block at least 95 percent of 0.3 micron particles
  • N100 respirators filter 99.7 percent of particles 0.3 microns or greater
  • Full facepiece respirators may be connected to a powered air purifying respirator system

Goggles are also necessary to protect workers' eyes. A major infestation may call for a full facepiece with vented goggles.

Hands

Cleanup workers should wear durable and disposable latex, nitrile or rubber gloves. These gloves should be thick enough to stand up to working conditions and should be disposed of after each session.

Full Body Protection

Workers cleaning up a major mold infestation should wear coveralls. This full body PPE is made of non-porous material and has a hood and booties for maximum protection. It may also be necessary to set up a containment chamber to avoid spreading mold.

For an infestation of less than 10 square feet, workers can wear shirts with long sleeves, pants and disposable shoe coverings. All of these items should be bagged and discarded at the end of each session.

All of these types of PPE can protect cleanup workers from exposure to spores and mVOCs released during mold growth. For a severe infestation, workers should combine N100 full-face respirators with vented goggles and coveralls. Minor mold problems call for respirators with a rating of at least N95, disposable gloves, booties and protective clothing. Commercial property owners and building managers should depend on the expertise of remediation professionals in Arlington Heights, IL.

SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights can help you with Sewage Damage

3/26/2019 (Permalink)

Sewage Damage clean up in a Propect Heights, IL basement.

SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights provides a variety of clean up services, one of them being sewage clean ups.

This picture is of a recent sewage damage clean up in a customer's basement in a Prospect Heights, IL home. It shows what the walls look like after our technicians cut 2 feet of drywall so as to remove the affected portion of the walls.

If you are a home owner or a property manager and have had this happen to your home or any of your properties, why not give our office a call at 847-637-3445 to help with the clean up?

We have the experience

SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights has the experience and the know how to handle this and many other clean up situations. Browse our website for more details of our clean up services.

Water damaged home in Arlington Heights

3/26/2019 (Permalink)

Our technicians hauled out all of the customer's belongings from the basement to the garage.

SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights specializes in the cleanup of flooded basements.

With all the recent rain, we were called out to assist our customer in Arlington Heights, IL, when her basement flooded with a foot of water! As a result our technicians needed to haul out all of the items from the basement to the garage so that we could pump out the water and dry her basement out!

If you are a home owner, a business owner or a property manager that experiences a water damage due to the current rain, why not give our office a call at 847-637-3445 to help with the clean up?

We are a highly trained team that can quickly respond 

SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights has the experience and the know how to perform the necessary clean up and to make your situation seem “Like it never even happened.” Browse our website for more details on our other types of services.

Commercial Water Damage in Arlington Heights

3/26/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage clean up in a local office in Arlington Heights, IL.

SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights services are not only for residential properties but are also for commercial properties.

This picture is of a recent water damage clean up in Arlington Heights, IL, where some of the doctors’ offices became affected when water from the outside seeped in flooding their offices and their hallways. Several pieces of drying equipment were necessary to dry out the affected portions of the building.

If you are a business owner or a property manager and have had this happen to your place of business or any of your properties, why not give our office a call at 847-637-3445 to help with the clean up?

Commercial Building Cleaning Services

SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights has the experience and the know how to handle this and many other cleaning situations. Browse our website for more details of our clean up services.

Four Ways To Prevent Mold Growth in Your Home

3/25/2019 (Permalink)

If your home has high humidity, then you are more likely to find a mold growth.

Four Ways To Prevent Mold Growth In Your Home

If you have mold growing in your Arlington Heights, IL home, and you don’t know how to deal with it, you might feel stressed and frustrated. However, there are several things that you can do, such as preventing water damage, to keep a growth from forming. Keep these things in mind if you have a fungus problem in your house.

1. Fix Leaks Immediately

Because mold growth happens more quickly in moist environments, you should be sure to repair any leaks in your home as soon as possible. Whether the water is coming from a window, the plumbing or the roof, this is prime breeding space for mold. Even if the leak is small, it can cause enough water damage over time to become a large problem.

2. Keep Humidity Levels Low

If your home has high humidity, then you are more likely to find a mold growth. You can use a dehumidifier or an air conditioner to help keep humidity at an appropriate level.

3. Ventilate Areas That Are Prone to Mold

Active mold prevention is more often required in rooms where you use a lot of water, such as the bathroom, kitchen and laundry room. Keeping these areas ventilated can help. You should also make sure to dry any spaces where water tends to build up.

4. Clean Regularly

Regular maintenance and cleaning of your home is perhaps the best way to prevent mold. If you are cleaning on a regular basis, especially with products that kill mold spores, then the fungus will not have a chance to grow and spread.

While there are many ways that you can prevent mold, it can also be helpful to hire a professional mold remediation service if the problem is too large for you to handle on your own. Particularly if you have extensive water damage, it is a good idea to get outside help. A professional service can remove the mold, as well as repair the damage and prevent it from returning.

How Can Your Business Recover After a Major Emergency?

3/25/2019 (Permalink)

Flooding can invade your office building and cause serious damage.

How Can Your Business Recover After A Major Emergency?

Most businesses in Arlington Heights, IL can go about their operation every day with little or no worry about emergencies or incidents with floods or other water damage. In some cases, you may experience minor issues that require little interruption to your work. However, if you’re on the unfortunate end of catastrophic loss following a serious emergency, you need help from a professional team of cleanup and restoration experts. The best crews can get you back to work even in the grimmest scenarios.

The Potential Problems

Flooding can invade your office building and cause serious damage. This can happen gradually over a long period, or it can come swiftly with a storm or other weather-related phenomenon. The results can be disastrous.

  • Damage to electronic equipment
  • Damage to or destruction of documents, books, photographs or other materials
  • Structural damage
  • Damage to furniture or workstations

The Pros to the Rescue

In the worst scenarios, you may lose hope that you can recover or restore your materials. But you can have peace of mind knowing that the best emergency cleanup and mitigation companies have the skills, experience, expertise, and equipment to get your business back on track, even if you’ve experienced catastrophic loss. Plus, in the most widespread emergency situations, the national office will deploy more resources to your location.

How Do They Do It?

Recovering after storm damage is no easy feat, but cleanup specialists are up to the challenge. To begin with, the team will respond promptly, usually within a few hours of your call. Before you know it, a trained technician will be on hand to assess the extent of the damage and to come up with a repair plan for you. The team employs the most skilled specialists in the industry. Every member uses commercial-grade equipment to thoroughly remove all water, dry affected areas, and restore and replace what was lost or damaged.

Now that you know a trustworthy emergency response and cleanup team is available, you should have more confidence following a disaster. Your business doesn’t have to be down long when you get the right team on the job.

For Immediate Service in Arlington Heights or Prospect Heights, Call SERVPRO

3/20/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in Arlington Heights or Prospect Heights. 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 Us 24/7 – 847-637-3445

Residential Services

Whether your Arlington Heights or Prospect Heights 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 Arlington Heights or Prospect Heights commercial property. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So 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. Learn more about our commercial services:

  • Commercial Water Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Fire Damage Restoration

Faster to your Arlington Heights Water Damage Event

3/20/2019 (Permalink)

Flooding in an Arlington Heights School.

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights. 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 Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights. 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 at 847-637-3445

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.
  • 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.

About SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights

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

Carpet Cleaning in Prospect Heights

3/20/2019 (Permalink)

Our technicians use hot water extraction to remove the dirt in the carpet.

SERVPRO provides many services such as carpet cleaning.

Our carpet cleaning services are not only for residential properties but also for commercial properties. This picture shows the carpet cleaning method we use which is always hot water extraction. This type of cleaning method coupled with our proprietary cleaning products help remove the dirt and grime from the carpeting.

If you are a home owner, a business owner or a property manager that needs carpet cleaning, why not give our office a call at 847-637-3445 to help with the carpet cleaning?

SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights has the experience and the know how to make your carpets look fresh and clean again as well as smell good!

Browse our website for more details on our other types of our cleaning services.

Four Ways To Prevent Mold Growth in Your Home

3/18/2019 (Permalink)

Regular maintenance and cleaning of your home is perhaps the best way to prevent mold.

Four Ways To Prevent Mold Growth In Your Home

If you have mold growing in your Arlington Heights, IL home, and you don’t know how to deal with it, you might feel stressed and frustrated. However, there are several things that you can do, such as preventing water damage, to keep a growth from forming. Keep these things in mind if you have a fungus problem in your house.


1. Fix Leaks Immediately


Because mold growth happens more quickly in moist environments, you should be sure to repair any leaks in your home as soon as possible. Whether the water is coming from a window, the plumbing or the roof, this is prime breeding space for mold. Even if the leak is small, it can cause enough water damage over time to become a large problem.


2. Keep Humidity Levels Low


If your home has high humidity, then you are more likely to find a mold growth. You can use a dehumidifier or an air conditioner to help keep humidity at an appropriate level.


3. Ventilate Areas That Are Prone to Mold


Active mold prevention is more often required in rooms where you use a lot of water, such as the bathroom, kitchen and laundry room. Keeping these areas ventilated can help. You should also make sure to dry any spaces where water tends to build up.


4. Clean Regularly


Regular maintenance and cleaning of your home is perhaps the best way to prevent mold. If you are cleaning on a regular basis, especially with products that kill mold spores, then the fungus will not have a chance to grow and spread.


While there are many ways that you can prevent mold, it can also be helpful to hire a professional mold remediation service if the problem is too large for you to handle on your own. Particularly if you have extensive water damage, it is a good idea to get outside help. A professional service can remove the mold, as well as repair the damage and prevent it from returning.

IICRC Categories and Classes

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

When you call to report a water loss in your business or home wouldn't it be nice to be able to give the person on the other end an idea of the type of loss you are experiencing.  The IICRC has set guidelines for restoration companies to follow as a standard. These standards tell us what can stay and what has to go.  We are not making up our own rules, like in monopoly.  We follow the guidelines set be a 3rd party, the IICRC.  

Categories of water – This refers to the amount of contamination in the water.

Category 1 – Water originates from a sanitary source and does not pose substantial risk from dermal, ingestion, or inhalation exposure. 

Category 2 – Water contains significant contamination and has the potential to cause discomfort or sickness if contacted or consumed by humans.

Category 3 – Water is grossly contaminated and can contain pathogenic, toxigenic, or other harmful agents.

Classes of water – This refers to how wet an area, room, or structure has become.

Class 1 (least amount of water absorption and evaporation load) – Water intrusion where wet, porous materials (e.g., carpet, gypsum board, fiber-fill insulation, concrete masonry unit (CMU), textiles) represent less than ~5% of the combined floor, wall, and ceiling surface area in the space and where materials described as low evaporation materials

(e.g., plaster, wood, concrete, masonry) or low evaporation assemblies (e.g., multilayer wallboard, multilayer subfloors, gym floors, or other complex, built-up assemblies) have absorbed minimal moisture.

Class 2 (significant amount of water absorption and evaporation load) – Water intrusion where wet, porous materials (e.g., carpet, gypsum board, fiber-fill insulation, concrete masonry unit (CMU), textiles) represent ~5% to ~40% of the combined floor, wall, and ceiling surface area in the space and where materials described as low evaporation materials (e.g., plaster, wood, concrete, masonry) or low evaporation assemblies (e.g., multilayer wallboard, multilayer subfloors, gym floors, or other complex, built-up assemblies) have absorbed minimal moisture.

Class 3 (greatest amount of water absorption and evaporation load) – Water intrusion where wet, porous materials (e.g., carpet, gypsum board, fiber-fill insulation, concrete masonry unit (CMU), textiles) represent more than ~40% of the combined floor, wall, and ceiling surface area in the space and where materials described as low evaporation materials (e.g., plaster, wood, concrete, masonry) or low evaporation assemblies (e.g., multilayer wallboard, multilayer subfloors, gym floors, or other complex, built-up assemblies) have absorbed minimal moisture.

Class 4 (deeply held or bound water) – Water intrusion that involves a significant amount of water absorption into low evaporation materials (e.g., plaster, wood, concrete, masonry) or low evaporation assemblies (e.g., multilayer wallboard, multilayer subfloors, gym floors, or other complex, built-up assemblies). Drying may require special methods, longer drying times, or substantial water vapor pressure differentials.

SERVPRO of Arlington Heights / Prospect Heights

847-637-3445

EMERGENCY FIRE DAMAGE TIPS

2/24/2019 (Permalink)

Choose to plan don't choose to react.

These emergency tips will assist you in taking proper action until your SERVPRO of Arlington Heights / Prospect Heights arrive. Follow these DOs and DON’Ts to help reduce damage and increase the chances of a successful restoration.

DO:

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into carpet and avoid tracking.
  • Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
  • Wipe soot from metal kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim and appliances.
  • If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.
  • Remove soot particles from plants with a damp cloth.
  • Change HVAC filter, but leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.

DON’T:

  • Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting your SERVPRO® Franchise Professional.
  • Don’t attempt to shampoo carpet, rugs or upholstered furniture without first consulting your SERVPRO® Franchise Professional.
  • Don’t attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don’t consume any food or beverages that may have
  • been stored close to fire, heat or water. (They may be contaminated.)
  • Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock and air movement may create secondary damage.
  • Don’t send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.

Smoke Alarms: LIFE SAVERS

2/12/2019 (Permalink)

BATTERIES!

Smoke alarms save lives when properly installed and maintained, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

In homes, smoke alarms should be in every bedroom and on every level, including the basement. In office and commercial environments, check your state requirements or contact your local Fire Marshall to help ensure all codes are met.

Test smoke alarms monthly using the test button. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries need the entire smoke alarm unit replaced every ten years. Other alarms need batteries replaced every year and the unit replaced every ten years. If the alarm chirps signaling low battery, take the proper steps to replace the unit or the batteries immediately. Never disable or remove the battery from an alarm. Almost half of fires where smoke alarms were present but did not activate had missing or disconnected batteries (NFPA).

In larger commercial facilities, hard wired or wireless smoke alarms offer benefits such as not needing to be tested as often and activating throughout the entire building if smoke is detected in just one area (NFPA).

If you need help installing, testing or changing batteries in your smoke alarms, contact your local fire department, an electrician or the American Red Cross.

Be sure your home or workplace has a fire emergency plan in place and conduct regular fire drills. For more information on Emergency preparedness, contact your SERVPRO® Professional.  847-637-3445.

Portable fire extinguishers

2/12/2019 (Permalink)

Don't PASS on getting them charged.

Portable fire extinguishers can be life and property saving tools when used correctly. In order to operate an extinguisher, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) suggests remembering the word PASS:

Pull the pin. Hold the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.

Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.

Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.

Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.

Read the instructions on the fire extinguisher and become familiar with them before a fire breaks out. Remember, extinguishers do have limitations. It is also important to ensure you have the correct type of extinguisher for your facility. To find more information on choosing the appropriate class of extinguisher, please visit the NFPA website at nfpa.org.

Polar Vortex 2019 SERVPRO

1/29/2019 (Permalink)

Plan to plan to have a plan!

As a polar vortex rolls across the United States in this week, there is a point when we have a lower temperature than Antarctica. Take a second to think about that.

Although temperatures in Arlington Heights and Chicago-land drop quickly, we will fair better than other areas.

Unfortunately for homeowners and business owners in our area, the drop will still wreak havoc with their pipes. Being overwhelmed on what to do is going to be the first thought. That is why you need a plan and a company. 

Many homes and businesses will call about burst pipes, flooded basement and closed office due to sprinkler breaks and will be put on wait lists.

Although it does seem like some of these burst pipes will be inevitable, there are a few precautions that you can take to avoid a major loss when the temperatures drop.

Insulate Pipes

Insulating your pipes is inexpensive compared to the cost of a water damage and is easy to do yourself. This is the first step when preparing your house for cold weather.

Insulate Everything Else

Make sure there is plenty of insulation in your attic and crawlspace. This will keep everything in your house warmer including your pipes.

Run Faucets

When you know that there is going to be a big temperature drop, like the recent polar vortex, don't give water a chance to freeze by running it. The smallest stream from a faucet will keep the water moving and prevent freezing. This is especially important to do with faucets that are served by exposed pipes.

Keep Garage Door Closed

If there are pipes in your garage, you need to keep it as warm as possible. Do not leave it open and try to open it only when absolutely needed.

Remove, Drain, and Store Hoses

Water in hoses can freeze and start a chain reaction that will lead back into your house. Prevent this by removing all hoses from the house and draining them.

Open Cabinets

Open cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom to get some warmer air moving beneath your sinks.

Keep House Temperature Consistent

Most people drop the temperature in their house down at night. When temperatures are especially cold, it is best to keep the house at a higher consistent temperature. The price of heat is nothing compared to the price of a burst pipe.

Set Temperature When Out of Town

If you will be out of town during the winter, make sure to keep the temperature of your house above 55 degrees at the very least.

Following these simple steps can go a long way in preventing a major water damage. For the losses that cannot be prevented, remember to call us at SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights at 847-637-3445!

Preparing A Commercial Property For Fall

8/23/2018 (Permalink)

It’s official, fall is coming, and it’s coming quickly. School gear is being purchased in bulk, last minute vacations are being taken to squeeze out the final remnants of summer and hot weather, and fall apparel and gear have hit the stores in preparation for the cooler air and shorter days. Take the hint and start your own preparations to make sure your commercial property is ready for the changing seasons.

Check Your Gutters – The season is known as “Fall” for a reason, leaves are going to change color and fall from the trees in bulk, and that means a lot more than increased sweeping and vacuuming inside as they are tracked in on shoes. The biggest threat that comes from all of those falling leaves and debris is to your gutter system. Make sure it’s clear so that water will flow freely away from your building when it rains and pours. This simple step will go a long way towards preventing roof leaks and flooding.

Check Your Heaters – Avoid surprises by checking to make sure your heater works before the first cold snap. This means checking on the pilot light, oil levels (if applicable) and furnace filters, as well as having an HVAC expert come in for a seasonal checkup. Not only will your employees and customers thank you, but these steps can help ensure your heating unit will work better and last longer.

Check Your Water Pipes – Exposed water pipes should regularly be checked for leaks, but fall is also a good time to examine the insulation and make sure it’s prepared for colder weather. Prevent frozen and burst pipes in the winter by conducting a quick check in the fall and fixing any inadequacies.

Prevent Electrical and Fire Problems – Have an electrician come in and perform a maintenance check on your electrical system to ensure it’s prepared for the increased usage that fall demands. Shorter and colder days mean more lighting and the possible addition of space heaters, and you don’t want to blow a fuse when clients are around! While you’re at it check your smoke detectors and their batteries ideally once a month, but in the spring and fall at the least, and any emergency generators which should be started once a week so they don’t remain idle too long, transfer load tested every month and full load tested once a year.

SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights is here to help.  Give us a call at 847-637-3445 for all your emergency preparedness needs, as well as emergency water or fire needs. 

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. 

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.

What Happens After Your Fire?

6/28/2018 (Permalink)

We all know that for an emergency you call 911, but what happens after the fire department leaves and you have a damaged home or business?  You call SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights, that's what you do!  We are here to help you 24/7/365. Give us a call at 847-637-3445 for all your fire and water emergency needs. 

Fires can leave behind soot and smoke that needs to be cleaned.  SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights is here to help!  Cleaning up after soot and smoke is no small task, but our trained staff will be able to clean your home or commercial property and return it to you just "Like it never even happened." We are here to help 24/7/365 for all your restoration needs. 

Commercial Water Damage

6/28/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO’s services are not only for residential properties but are also for commercial properties. This picture is of a recent water damage clean up in Arlington Heights, where some of the doctors’ offices became affected when water from the outside seeped in flooding their offices and their hallways. Several pieces of drying equipment were necessary to dry out the affected portions of the building. If you are a business owner or a property manager and have had this happen to your place of business or any of your properties, why not give our office a call at 847-637-3445 to help with the clean up? SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights has the experience and the know how to handle this and many other cleaning situations. Browse our website for more details of our clean up services.

No Commercial Job Too Big or Too Small

6/20/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO’s services are not only for residential properties but are also for commercial properties. This picture is of a recent water damage clean up in Arlington Heights, where some of the doctors’ offices became affected when water from the outside seeped in flooding their offices and their hallways. Several pieces of drying equipment were necessary to dry out the affected portions of the building. If you are a business owner or a property manager and have had this happen to your place of business or any of your properties, why not give our office a call at 847-637-3445 to help with the clean up? SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights has the experience and the know how to handle this and many other cleaning situations. Browse our website for more details of our clean up services.

Sewage Backup Causes

6/20/2018 (Permalink)

Sewage backups are very unfortunate events that can happen in any home or commercial property. What causes this type of water damage anyway?  Well, typically there are three main categories that a sewer back up happens: damaged sewer pipes, clogs, and tree roots in the sewer system.  Let's look at these three areas a bit closer. 

  • Clogging: Typically if you only have one area of your home that experiences a backup, like a tub or a sink, then there is typically a clog and can be fixed with cleaning the drain.  However, if you have the backup in several areas of your home, then there is a blockage at the main or the private that is causing the issue.   Unless the blockage is removed, the overflow will continue and will damage your entire home or business area.
  • Tree Roots:  The roots of large trees in the proximity of a sewer line can often cause severe problems. They can literally grow into the pipes and cause holes and blockages or they may wrap around the sewer line and crush it.
  • Damaged Sewer Lines: Older properties with older sewer lines that have not been upgraded can have broken or collapsed lines.  All the pipes and sewers in older homes were built using cast iron and clay which can wear off with time, get rusty, and easily break down. Present day plastic sewer lines cannot cause such problems simply because they don’t rust.

Sewage backups are not only hazardous to your health, but they can cause a great amount of structural damage to your home.  If you experience a sewage back up do not attempt to flush the toilet. Do not use harsh chemicals to attempt to clean out the drain.  This can actually cause more damage and make things worse.  Open your windows to let fresh air in.  It is also very important to keep pets and children away from the affected area.  However, the most important thing to do, is to call for professional help.  

SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights is here to help with all your water damage needs. We are open 24/7/365 to help.  Call us at 847-637-3445.  

Reasons Sump Pumps Fail

6/15/2018 (Permalink)

It is spring time in Arlington Heights, and the one thing we know is that rain is never far behind.  With the spring rains comes the sump pump failure calls from homeowners. Often we are asked, how does this happen and why does my sump pump fail?  The following is some of the top reason we have seen sump pumps fail.

Power failures: When the electricity goes out, and the sump pump does not have a battery backup or the battery backup is not fully charged there is no way for the pump to do their job.  Making sure that your battery backup system is fully charged before a storm the best way to ensure you don’t have water backing up into your home.

Wrong size sump pump: When you have an undersized pump it causes the pump to have to work extra hard to remove the water from your home.  If the pump is too big, it has to work harder, and in return the life span is lessened.

Defective sump pump:  Yes, it does happen that at the time of install the sump pump is defective.   It is wise to test the pump when it is initially installed to make sure the pump operates properly.

Frozen of Clogged Lines: If the water cannot exit, the pump does not work.  Protecting the water’s exit point of the discharge pipe will keep debris and animals out of the system, making it optimal for your sump pump.

Switch Problems: The switch is the main mechanical reason for sump pump failures.  This occurs when the pump shifts from its position inside the basin, rendering the float ineffective. Float is responsible for the smooth operation of the on/off switch. Your sump pump relies on both the switch and the float arm mechanisms to operate effectively.

Last, but not least is Lack of Maintenance: Most sump pumps should be ran every 2-3 months per most manufactures instructions.  Testing to make sure your sump pump works before rainy season hits is also recommended. 

If you have a sump pump failure this spring, SERVPRO Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights is here to help.  Give us a call at (847) 637-3445

Tornado Safety Myths

6/13/2018 (Permalink)

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.  With that being said, you need to know the difference between tornado fact and fiction.

  • 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.

In the even a tornado strikes, SERVPRO is always here to help! 

How To Prevent Mold Growth

6/13/2018 (Permalink)

Where ever there is moisture, there will be mold growth.  Thanks to these tips from the CDC, we can keep mold from growing out of control in our homes. 

1) Keep humidity levels as low as you can—no higher than 50%–all day long. An air conditioner or dehumidifier will help you keep the level low. Bear in mind that humidity levels change over the course of a day with changes in the moisture in the air and the air temperature, so you will need to check the humidity levels more than once a day

2) Be sure that your home has enough ventilation.  Use exhaust fans that vent outside your home in the kitchen and bathroom.  Make sure that your clothes dryer vents outside your home.

3) Fix any leaks in your home’s roof, walls, or plumbing so mold does not have moisture to grow.

4) Clean up and dry out your home thoroughly and quickly (within 24–48 hours) after flooding.

5) Add mold inhibitors to paints before painting

6)  Clean bathrooms with mold-killing products

7) Remove or replace carpets and upholstery that have been soaked and cannot be dried promptly. Consider not using carpet in rooms or areas like bathrooms or basements that may have a lot of moisture.

If you suspect you have mold growing on your home, SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights is here to help.  Give us a call at 847-637-3445 and set an appointment for us to come and look at your home or business to assess the suspected mold damage.

Grilling Tips

6/13/2018 (Permalink)

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA),” In 2014, 16,600 patients went to emergency rooms because of injuries involving grills”.  The NFPA has listed several great tips for grill safety, we would like to share with you. 

  1. Grill outside and away from any structures

Charcoal and gas grills are designed for outdoor use only. However, NFPA reports that more than one-quarter (27 percent) of home fires started by outdoor grills began in a courtyard, terrace or patio, and 29 percent started on an exterior balcony or open porch. Pay attention to overhanging tree branches when you set up your grill.

  1. Make sure your grill is stable

Only set up your grill on a flat surface and make sure the grill can’t be tipped over. Consider using a grill pad or splatter mat underneath your grill to protect your deck or patio.

  1. Keep your grill clean

Remove grease or fat buildup from both the grill and the tray below the grill. If you are using a charcoal grill, allow the coals to completely cool off before disposing of them in a metal container.

  1. Check for propane leaks on your gas grill

Before the season’s first barbecue, check the gas tank hose for leaks by applying a light soap and water solution to the hose and then turning on the gas. If there is a propane leak, the solution will bubble. Other signs of a propane leak include the smell of gas near the barbecue or a flame that won’t light.

  1. If the flame goes out, wait to re-light

If you are using a gas grill and the flame goes out, turn the grill and the gas off, then wait at least five minutes to re-light it.

  1. Take care around the grill

Never leave a lit grill unattended. Don’t allow kids or pets to play near the grill. Never try to move a lit or hot grill, and remember the grill will stay hot for at least an hour after use.

  1. Be careful with charcoal starter fluid

If you use a charcoal grill, only use charcoal starter fluid. If the fire starts to go out, don’t add any starter fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire. Consider using a charcoal chimney starter, which uses newspaper to start the fire instead of starter fluid.

  1. Wear the right clothing

Clothing can easily catch fire, so be sure your shirt tails, sleeves or apron strings don’t dangle over the grill.

  1. Be ready to put out the fire

Have baking soda on hand to control a grease fire and a fire extinguisher nearby for other fires. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher, keep a bucket of sand next to the grill. Never use water to put out grease fire.

Enjoy, relax, and most of all use these tips to stay fire safe.  However, we all know accidents happen.  If you should find you have a need for cleaning up after a fire event, SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights is here to help make it “Like it never even happened.”  Give us a call at 847-637-3445. 

Does Your Home Have A Mold Problem?

6/12/2018 (Permalink)

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (847) 637-3445

Is Your Business Ready For What Ever Happens?  

6/11/2018 (Permalink)

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency nearly 50% of businesses never reopen after a water or fire emergency.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency also did a survey in 2015 of businesses across the US, and found that near 75% of businesses do not have a disaster recovery plan in place.  

SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights can help you with that.  We offer a no cost assessment of your facility.  We come into your company and give a very detailed guide on how to get your back into your business after a disaster occurs.  

The other great thing about SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights assessing your commercial property is that our assessment will take very little time away from you and your current project, but in the event of a fire or water damage it will get your back to production much faster and efficiently.  

The best part about our emergency readiness planning is that we establish a working relationship.  We know your building, and you as a customer.  You also get to know us, and build a working relationship that you can be certain we have your company’s best interest at heart. 

Don't wait, call SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights today at (847) 637-3445, and let us come assess your property and create an emergency readiness plan for you. 

We Are Faster To Your Water Disaster

6/11/2018 (Permalink)

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights 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 Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights 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 – 847-637-3445.

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.
  • 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.

About SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights

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

Tornado Season Tips

6/8/2018 (Permalink)

Tornado season is just ahead of us, and the Red Cross has listed some great tips to keep in mind during a tornado.

  • Identify a safe place in your home where household members and pets will gather during a tornado: a basement, storm cellar or an interior room on the lowest floor with no windows.
  • In a high-rise building, pick a hallway in the center of the building. You may not have enough time to go to the lowest floor. 
  • In a mobile home, choose a safe place in a nearby sturdy building. If your mobile home park has a designated shelter, make it your safe place. No mobile home, however it is configured, is safe in a tornado.

If you find yourself outside during a tornado, seek shelter in sturdy building or basement.  If you cannot quickly walk to a shelter, immediately get into a vehicle and try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter. Stay away from bridge/highway overpasses. strong winds and flying debris occurs while driving, pull over and park, keeping your seat belt on and engine running. Put your head down below the windows, covering your head with your hands and a blanket.

Another way to keep your family safe is to know the difference between and tornado warning and a tornado watch. According to the National Weather Service, a tornado watch means that a tornado is possible in the area.  A tornado warning means that a tornado is already occurring or will occur soon.  You need to immediately find a safe place. 

Your safety is your most important thing during a tornado. SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights is here to help for all your cleanup needs in the event of a tornado. Give us a call at 847-637-3445.

24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

6/7/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights 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 - (847) 637-3445

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 LaGrange Park/North Riverside 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)?

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

Sewage Backup Causes

6/7/2018 (Permalink)

Sewage backups are very unfortunate events that can happen in any home or commercial property. What causes this type of water damage anyway?  Well, typically there are three main categories that a sewer back up happens: damaged sewer pipes, clogs, and tree roots in the sewer system.  Let's look at these three areas a bit closer. 

  • Clogging: Typically if you only have one area of your home that experiences a backup, like a tub or a sink, then there is typically a clog and can be fixed with cleaning the drain.  However, if you have the backup in several areas of your home, then there is a blockage at the main or the private that is causing the issue.   Unless the blockage is removed, the overflow will continue and will damage your entire home or business area.
  • Tree Roots:  The roots of large trees in the proximity of a sewer line can often cause severe problems. They can literally grow into the pipes and cause holes and blockages or they may wrap around the sewer line and crush it.
  • Damaged Sewer Lines: Older properties with older sewer lines that have not been upgraded can have broken or collapsed lines.  All the pipes and sewers in older homes were built using cast iron and clay which can wear off with time, get rusty, and easily break down. Present day plastic sewer lines cannot cause such problems simply because they don’t rust.

Sewage backups are not only hazardous to your health, but they can cause a great amount of structural damage to your home.  If you experience a sewage back up do not attempt to flush the toilet. Do not use harsh chemicals to attempt to clean out the drain.  This can actually cause more damage and make things worse.  Open your windows to let fresh air in.  It is also very important to keep pets and children away from the affected area.  However, the most important thing to do, is to call for professional help.  

SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights is here to help with all your water damage needs. We are open 24/7/365 to help.  Call us at 847-637-3445.  

Dust that accumulates in your air ducts can lead to microbial growth

6/7/2018 (Permalink)

Many sections of your heating and cooling system may not be accessible for a visible inspection, and mold can easily exist in your ducts.  You should be aware that although a substance may look like mold, a positive determination of whether it is mold or not can be made only by an expert and may require laboratory analysis for final confirmation. If you have insulated air ducts and the insulation gets wet or moldy it cannot be effectively cleaned and should be removed and replaced. 

You should consider having the air ducts in your home cleaned if:

  • There is substantial visible mold growth inside hard surface (e.g., sheet metal) ducts or on other components of your heating and cooling system.
  • Ducts are infested with vermin, e.g. (rodents or insects).
  • Ducts are clogged with excessive amounts of dust and debris and/or particles are actually released into the home from your supply registers.

If you do decide to have your air ducts cleaned, give SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights a call at 847-637-3445, and we will be happy to come to your home or business to clean out the ducts for you. 

Who Do You Trust With Your Commercial Property Damage?

6/5/2018 (Permalink)

There are over seven million small businesses in the U.S., ranging from construction firms to grocery stores to home-based businesses. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, as many as one in four businesses that suffer some kind of major disaster do not reopen afterward. 

According to the National Fire Prevention Association, U.S. fire departments responded to about 3,300 office property fires per year between 2007 and 2011. Those fires resulted in about $112 million in property damage each year, and most were in business offices, and happened during business hours. 90% of fires were large enough to activate sprinklers, which were effective 88% of the time.

The NFPA also has statistics specific to manufacturing facilities. According to their research, there are about 37,000 fires at industrial or manufacturing facilities each year, resulting in 18 deaths, 279 injuries, and $1 billion in property damage. Heating equipment and stop tools were the leading cause, sparking 28 percent of the fires. Mechanical failure or malfunction caused 24 percent of the fires.

If your commercial property has experience a fire, and or water damage, ever minute you are offline is money down the drain.  Call SERVPRO Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights at (847) 637-3445 to get your business back up and running.  

Avoid Water Damage by Routine Gutter Maintenance  

6/5/2018 (Permalink)

According to our friends at Farmers Insurance, "Cleaning out your gutters is very important.  If you’re seeing lots of leaves, birds’ nests, sticks, and whatnot up there, your gutters may not be doing the job you hired them for. And on a rainy day, a clogged gutter can send water spilling into your home’s foundation, through the roof, or down to your basement. That could cause some serious water damage! So next time you’re doing some seasonal cleaning, make sure those gutters are clean. And if your gutters are too high, be safe and get a professional to check them."

Fortunately, gutter cleaning usually is a job you can do yourself, and most homes require only twice-yearly cleanings.  Clogged, overflowing gutters can be worse than no gutters at all. They can lead to wet basements, rot and leaks at your roof's edge, and damaged siding.  If climbing ladders isn't a safe or comfortable choice for you, call a professional. 

If you have water damage in your home or commercial property, give us a call at 847-637-3445.  We are always here to help! 

What Happens After Your Arlington Heights Area Fire?

6/4/2018 (Permalink)

We all know that for an emergency you call 911, but what happens after the fire department leaves and you have a damaged home or business?  You call SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights, that's what you do!  We are here to help you 24/7/365. Give us a call at 847-637-3445 for all your fire and water emergency needs. 

Fires can leave behind soot and smoke that needs to be cleaned.  SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights is here to help!  Cleaning up after soot and smoke is no small task, but our trained staff will be able to clean your home or commercial property and return it to you just "Like it never even happened." We are here to help 24/7/365 for all your restoration needs. 

How Does Mold Grow

6/1/2018 (Permalink)

According to the Healthy Indoor Air Research Center at the University of Illinois, "Mold spores are everywhere, and they grow on any organic surface, given the right conditions. For growth, they require organic matter for food, moisture, warmth, and oxygen. To prevent mold growth, keep all surfaces clean and dry, and provide plenty of ventilation."

  • Moisture

Mold spores need moist or damp areas to grow and reproduce. Watch for flooding, leaky pipes or windows, etc. Also excess moisture in the bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms are prime areas for mold growth.

  • Food

Mold spores need food – in the literal sense as well as other materials 

  • Optimum Temperatures

Mold spores thrive in temperatures 32 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures from about 70 – 90 degrees are the most conducive for mold growth. Chances of mold growth are heightened greatly between those temperatures. 

Favorable Conditions for Mold

Michael Pugliese, author of The Homeowner’s Guide to Mold, also offers 3 tips describing favorable conditions for mold growth:

  • A relative Humidity of roughly 50% or higher

A good preventative measure would be to purchase a hygrometer to measure humidity levels in your home.

  • Damp or Dusty Conditions

Avoid developing piles of rags, clothing or other mold food sources.

  • Stagnant air

This explains why overly “tight” homes designed for energy efficiency can have mold problems.

If you have mold in your home, please give SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights a call at (847) 637-3445

Spring Cleaning Fire Safety Tips

5/31/2018 (Permalink)

Spring has finally sprung in Arlington Heights!  Time to start thinking about cleaning out all the built up clutter and stagnant air from the winter.  That also means time to take stock of some things that may be a fire hazard around your home during your cleaning. 

According to NFPA, the leading cause of home clothes dryer fires is failure to clean them.  Lint catchers need to be cleaned before you throw in the next load of laundry.  Another safety tip for around your dryer area is to keep all boxes, and other items that can catch on fire away from the dryer while it is in use. 

Testing your smoke alarms saves lives.  Gently vacuum or sweep the cob webs away from your smoke alarm.  Remove anything that might be blocking the sensors.  While you are up there, change your batteries as well.

The NFPA reports that an annual average of nearly 48,000 electrical fires occurred in U.S. homes between 2007 and 2011. Make sure to replace any electrical cords that are damaged or loose, and try to avoid running any cords under carpets or across doorways where they’re more likely to get damaged. Any cords with damaged plugins or unprotected wires should be discarded immediately.

Lastly, when working with, or disposing of, and potentially hazardous chemicals, never use the same container to mix them, which could cause a deadly reaction and check with your local municipality for disposal programs, or instructions on proper disposal methods.

SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights wants you to have a safe and fun spring season.  However, things happen, and if you experience a fire in your home, give us a call at (847) 637-3445.  We are always “Faster to any sized disaster”. 

What Mold Does To Your Property

5/30/2018 (Permalink)

Moisture is always the cause of indoor mold growth. Mold doesn't just grow on construction materials all by itself, it requires moisture. Control moisture and you control mold growth. The source of moisture is typically one of three origins. Either:

  1. Direct water intrusion event such as a roof leak, plumbing leak, poorly sealed leaking windows, drain back-ups, water run-off from showers and bath tubs, etc.
     
  2. Indirect water intrusion from rising damp, such as moisture wicking up from the ground or damp concrete slabs into walls, carpet, cabinets, furniture, etc.
     
  3. Intermittent water intrusion from condensation caused by humidifiers, vaporizers, high steam, inadequate ventilation, faulty windows, and high humidity.

Mold can grow on any wet building materials, including stucco. Once it is discovered, it must be addressed quickly and properly. Delayed or improper treatment of mold issues can multiply repair costs exponentially.

When building materials such as wood siding, brick, concrete block and stucco are exposed to moisture, over time that moisture can penetrate exterior walls and enter the wall cavity, creating perfect conditions for mold growth in between exterior and interior walls.

Being pro-active is the key to limiting mold damage is being pro-active. If you suspect you have a mold problem, don't ignore it, address it immediately. A common mistake people make is to assume that only visible mold is a problem. In vain, they attempt to wash moldy areas with bleach or cover mold up with new paint, wallpaper, carpet or tile. None of which solves the problem. Unless all mold contaminated materials are removed or properly remediated, mold will keep coming back. The only way to correct indoor mold problems is to eliminate the cause, remove all mold growth and control moisture.

SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights is here to help with all your mold damage needs.  Please give us a call at (847) 637-3445.  We are always here to help!

How Hail Damage Can Affect Your Roof

5/24/2018 (Permalink)

What is hail? "Hail is large, layered ice particles, often spherical in shape, which are produced by thunderstorms having strong, tilted updrafts. Hailstorms form within a unusually unstable air mass, that is, an air mass in which the temperature falloff with height is much greater than normal." (The Weather Channel)

How can hail damage your roof? "Basically, hailstones one inch in diameter begin causing damage to some of the older, thinner roof products. Therefore, from a roof damage perspective, we believe the hail size threshold for issuing a severe thunderstorm warning can be increased from ¾ of an inch to one inch in diameter." (Travelers Insurance) Hail larger than 0.75 inches is considered large enough to cause serious damage in the United States. Per NOAA, hailstones can fall at speeds up to 120 mph. The largest hailstone ever recorded in the United States was 8 inches in diameter, weighing nearly 2 pounds.

How do you know if you have roof damage from hail?  Set up a ladder to your roof to examine the top of the roof.  Check the ridge cap of the roof for dents. This area of the roof will receive the most damage from hail since it is flat and will take a direct hit in a storm.  Look at the shingles. Check the whole shingle, as well as the edges, for signs of damage. 

If climbing up a ladder is not your thing, call SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights at 847-637-3445, and we will take a look at your roof for hail and other roof damage for you. 

Tornado Safety Myths

5/24/2018 (Permalink)

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.  With that being said, you need to know the difference between tornado fact and fiction.

  • 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.

In the even a tornado strikes, SERVPRO is always here to help! 

Tips If You Expect Mold

5/24/2018 (Permalink)

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (847) 637-3445

Flood Safety Tips

5/23/2018 (Permalink)

Flood can happen anywhere, and without much of a notice.  According to ready.gov “Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and 1 foot of water can sweep your vehicle away.” Flood Watches and Flood Warnings are available to let you know what the weather is doing in your area.  On average, more deaths occur due to flooding each year than from any other severe weather related hazard.

First of all flood watches and flood warnings are two separate alerts to warn about the weather in your area.  A flood watch is to make you aware that conditions are possible for flooding.  A flood warning means you need to take action to keep yourself and your family safe. 

Ready.gov has some safety tips in case you are in an area where there is a flood warning. 

  • Move immediately to higher ground or stay on high ground.
  • Evacuate if directed.
  • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters. Turn Around, Don’t Drown! Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down and 1 foot of water can sweep your vehicle away.

The water from a flood is only one of the risks.  Water and electricity do not mix.  In the event of a flood, downed power lines are also possible.  Stay away from all power lines.  Calling your local utility company is the only thing you should do in the event you see downed lines.  Your appliances, if they get wet, should also not be used until they have been inspected by a licenses electrician.  The fuse box in the house should be avoided as well as long as there is water in the home.

We may not be able to control weather conditions, but we can take all possible precautions to ensure our personal safety and protect our homes from severe damage. According to ready.gov the following tips can help prepare you for a flood:

  • Find out how vulnerable your home is to flooding by determining the elevation of your property.
  • Evaluate your insurance coverage once a year to make sure your home is fully covered. As new construction grows in certain areas, more flood-plains are sometimes created.
  • If your home is in a flood-prone area, contact the National Flood Insurance program to learn what mitigation measures you can take in advance.
  • Contact your local emergency management agency to learn how to construct proper protective measures around your home.
  • If you live in a flood-prone area, keep these materials on hand: sandbags, plywood, lumber, plastic sheeting, trash bags, shovels, work boots and gloves.
  • Purchase a weather radio. These special, battery-operated radios cost as little as $20 and are available at many hardware and appliance stores and other retail outlets.
  • Put together a disaster survival kit. Keep the following supplies near at hand and put them in a water-tight container: flashlight with extra batteries, battery-powered radio and weather radio, first aid kit, medicines, eyeglasses, drinking water, non-perishable foods, change of clothes, cash and credit cards, and copies of all important papers.
  • Plan two evacuation routes in advance. Don’t wait until threatening weather conditions occur before trying to determine your route to safety. Be aware of streams, drainage channels and low areas in your region that are prone to flooding, so that your evacuation routes are not cut off.
  • Do not park your vehicle near streams or rivers, especially during threatening weather conditions.

SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights wants you to stay safe first and foremost.  However, flooding happens, and we are here to help.  If you have flood damage in your home, call us at 847-637-3445 for all your water damage needs. 

Family Fire Safety

5/22/2018 (Permalink)

Would you know what to do if a fire started in your home? Would your kids?  According to NFPA, in 2013, 334 children died in home fires. Eighty-seven percent of all fire-related deaths are due to home fires, which spread rapidly and can leave families as little as two minutes to escape once an alarm sounds. Fires are not just a problem in the United States. In 2008, nearly 61,000 children around the world died due to a fire or burn.

Kids Health has some great tips for parents to review with their families about fire safety. 

  1. Working smoke alarms reduce the chances of dying in a fire by nearly 50 percent. They are a critical first step for staying safe, but in order to be effective, they have to be working properly. For the best protection, install smoke alarms on every level of your home and in every sleeping area.
  2. Teach kids never to play with matches and lighters. Make a habit of placing these items up and away from young children.
  3. Create and practice a home fire escape plan with two ways out of every room in case of a fire. Get a stopwatch and time how fast your family can escape. The kids will love it. 
  4. Children should know how to respond to the sound of a smoke alarm. Teach them to get low and get out when they hear it. A child who is coached properly ahead of time will have a better chance to be safe.
  5. Use common sense in the kitchen. Limit distractions when cooking and don’t leave a hot oven or stove top unattended.
  6. Blow out candles before you leave the room or before you go to sleep.

In the event of a fire in your home, follow these safety tips to keep your family safe.  Then after all family members are taken care of, and the fire department has cleared your home, call SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights at 847-637-3445.  We are always here to help! 

Hurricane Preparedness

5/17/2018 (Permalink)

Did you know that 88% of deaths from hurricanes and tropical storms are due to the water, not wind according to The Weather Channel?  According to the National Hurricane Center, storm surge, rainfall flooding, high surf, and deaths just offshore (within 50 nautical miles of the coast) combined for 88 percent of all deaths in the U.S. from hurricanes, tropical storms or tropical depressions from 1963 to 2012.  The storm surge, the rise in water levels from the tropical winds piling water toward the coast just before and during landfall.is considered the most deadly part of a hurricane.

Knowing that the water is the most dangerous part of the hurricane, we encourage you to create a plan and share the plan with your family. Here are some tips from ready.gov:

Prepare

  • Talk About Hurricanes —Spend time with your family discussing why hurricanes occur. Explain that a hurricane is a natural event and not anyone’s fault. Use simple words that even young children can understand.
  • Know Your Risk —Find out if you live in a hurricane evacuation area. Assess your risks from a storm surge, flooding or wind damage that may accompany a hurricane.
  • Practice Evacuation Drills — Practice your family evacuation plan so that, during an emergency, you can evacuate quickly and safely.
  • Learn Your Caregivers' Disaster Plan — If your child’s school or child care center is in an area at risk from hurricanes, find out how its emergency plans address hurricanes. Ask about evacuation plans and if you would be required to pick up your children from the site or from another location.
  • Stay Informed — Use a NOAA Weather Radio or listen to a local station on a portable, battery-powered radio or television. Be ready to act if a Hurricane Warning is issued.

During a Hurricane

  • Evacuate If Instructed To Do So —Evacuate if told to do so by local authorities or if you feel unsafe. If advised to evacuate, avoid flooded roads and watch for washed-out bridges. Local officials may close certain roads, especially near the coast, when effects of the hurricane reach the coast.
  • Stay Indoors, If Not Evacuated — If you are not advised to evacuate, or are unable to do so safely, stay indoors, away from windows, skylights and doors. Continue to monitor weather reports and do not go outside until the storm has passed.

After a Hurricane

  • Return Home Only When Authorities indicate It’s Safe — Listen for updates and instructions from local officials.
  • Avoid Flood Waters — Water may be electrically charged from downed or underground lines. Avoid walking and driving through flood waters as well due to the fact just 6 inches of moving water is enough to knock you down.  Fast moving water can also sweep your car away in the flow of the stream. 
  • Photograph The Damage To Your Property — By photographing your property, you can help assist with your insurance claim. This also helps assist the adjustor assigned to your claim to determine the coverage to your loss.

Hurricanes are a very serious, and can be deadly.  SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights would like to encourage you to make a family plan to keep your loved ones safe.

Facts About Mold

5/9/2018 (Permalink)

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


1. Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposures include allergic reactions, asthma and other respiratory complaints.
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. Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely. Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles, that are moldy, may need to be replaced.
8. Prevent condensation: Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors) by adding insulation.
9. In areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting (i.e., by drinking fountains, by classroom sinks, or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation).
10. 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.

Allergic reaction to mold are common, however, asthma attacks, skin and eye irritation, and coughing attacks are also common. Those with special health concerns should consult their doctor if they are concerned about mold exposure. Symptoms that may seem to occur from mold exposure may be due to other causes, such as bacterial or viral infections or other allergies.

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 of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights is here to help. Should you suspect mold in your home or business, contact our office at (847) 637-3445.

Some Tips on How to Make 2018 a More Productive One

1/12/2018 (Permalink)

Happy New Year!  I came across this article today and thought I should share it as it had some good and "to the point" tips on how to make this a more productive year.  It was written by Kirstin O'Donovan and the title of the article is "5 Productivity Shifts You Need to Make to Make 2018 Your Best Year Yet"

Everyone wants more time, that is something almost all of us share. Time is the most valuable resource and when you learn how to make your time work for you and how to get the most out of it – you experience life differently.  

Improving how you manage your time is one of the biggest gifts you can give yourself – it’s a real game changer in your business and personal life. There are many ways that you can get more productive and get the right things done sooner; but not all of them are obvious or bring the same results.

Here are 5 productivity shifts you want to make if you are trying to make the most out of 2018:

  1. 1. Ditch your to do list

Productive people don’t keep to-do lists, they schedule everything they need to do in their calendar and work directly from their calendar!  To-Do lists are just ineffective and they are impeding your productivity. A never ending list of items only leaves you overwhelmed and with a false sense of ‘productivity’.  

If you schedule your To Do’s directly into your calendar at a time to get them done, you commit to it and you are more likely to get it done. Less is more – you don’t need a separate list to remind you what you need to do.

“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.” – Bruce Lee

  1. 2. Give up on motivation

Productive people don’t always have to be motivated before starting something. They balance discipline with motivation and do what they need to do, regardless of motivation. When we come up with resistance to take action on what we have planned, we might tell ourselves that we are not motivated and we believe that we need to be motivated to complete any task.

If you want to increase your productivity, you need to challenge yourself more in the moment to take action and give up on motivation sometimes. Do what you need to in order to get the results you want in the future. Don’t make decisions based on how you feel now, make them based on what result you are really after.

  1. 3. Master your mornings

Wake up early and get yourself into the productive mindset with your routine and diet! Productive people start the day with some sort of routine, whether it’s meditation, exercise or visualization, etc. AND they have a healthy breakfast to fuel them for the day. Your health is everything when it comes to productivity, what you eat directly affects your productivity.

We can just no longer ignore the direct connection any more. Get in the right mindset to start your day and fuel your mind and body to get the most out of it. Starting your day off in any other way undermines your success – there is no doubt.

“Focus on being productive instead of busy.” – Tim Ferris

  1. 4. Schedule according to energy

Productive people know their energy cycles and they plan tasks around their energy levels. Why plan something at a time when you know it will be hard to rise to the challenge? Schedule tasks that require focus and concentration for those times of day that you feel the best and you will find it’s easier to follow through and you will be at your best to perform. Identify your filler tasks and complete those when your energy drops. Be more realistic when scheduling your tasks and set yourself up for wins.

  1. 5. Working backwards

Productive people always focus on those activities that will take them to the next level. They plan backwards, they look at their goals, then identify the tasks they need to do to support those goals. Those tasks get broken down into weekly actions. That’s how they plan.

Don’t only plan on tasks that come in or those which you ‘feel’ or ‘think’ you should be doing. Your day needs to consist of at least one activity that directly supports your longer term objectives, your big project. What sounds like common sense is definitely not common practice.

5 Reasons to Keep Your Ductwork Clean

9/28/2017 (Permalink)

(By Hewn and Hammered)

The air quality in your home is important. Keeping dust, pollen, pet dander, and other irritants out of the air you breathe involves more than changing the air filter. What about the air ducts? Contaminants collect in the duct system too, and regular cleaning of the air channel is important.

Improving Health

As you know, many irritants hang in the air we breathe. Not only that, these minute particles of dirt and bacteria settle into your HVAC system and when you turn the system on, these contaminants blow into your home. These particles enter your lungs, worsening allergies and asthma. If your family suffers from frequent bouts of congestion, sinus infections, colds, or the flu, your air ducts probably need cleaning.

Many allergies sufferers trace their health issues back to the many types of fungi and bacteria in air duct systems. And indoor air pollution causes up to 50 percent of illnesses we catch. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, poor indoor air quality ranks among the top five environmental risks to your health.

Energy Consumption

Dirty HVAC systems consume more energy than clean ones. Older ductwork starts leaking and not only do irritants enter through cracks, but air escapes too. Dirty ductwork also impedes airflow that drives up energy bills as much as 20 percent. Plus, dirt stresses your system causing frequent breakdowns. Clean ductwork helps lower your utility bill and helps your HVAC unit last longer.

Smelly Air

If someone in your home smokes that cigarette or cigar order hangs not only in the air but in the ductwork. Likewise, if you burned something on the stove, the smoke must go somewhere. These smells and other household odors collect in the ductwork and get circulated five to seven times per day, on average. Odors continue to plague your home long after you remove the offensive item.

More Reasons

Mold and mildew grow in your duct system especially if your home suffered recent water damage from flooding or foundation cracks. Home renovations and repair often lead to contaminants settling in your air system, and newly built homes need the air ducts cleaned before occupancy.

Call the Professional

Air duct cleaning is not an easy job. It needs special vacuum hoses and tools to reach throughout the system. This is not a do-it-yourself task. Contact SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights and schedule a professional cleaning. Have your system cleaned every three to five years and more often if your family suffers from severe allergies or asthma, includes a smoker, or you have pets that shed a lot.

You need to know the air you breathe at home is free from contaminants. What you don't know will hurt you. Make sure you contact a certified HVAC technician for ductwork cleaning. Another helpful idea is to buy a high-quality air filter like the ones sold at home improvement stores. Look for pleated filters costing around $15. Not only do these last a little longer, these filters also catch more debris, including bacteria and viruses, before you breathe it in.  

Upcoming Food Drive

9/26/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights is getting ready to host our annual food drive for the Arlington Heights food pantry. Each year we partner with various District 25 schools as well as a few businesses to collect much needed non perishable food items. It gives us great pleasure to do this for the community and a nice satisfaction knowing that we can help others in need even if in a small way. Below is an excerpt from a thank letter we received last year from the food pantry, this pretty much sums up why we feel a need to do this each year!

“Thank you so much for facilitating the food donation to our food pantry from SERVPRO, be assured that the donation will be put to good use. People in need come to our door on a daily basis requesting food from our food pantry when in dire situations. We are only able to help them because of generous organizations like yours…”

Back to School Lunch Tips

8/15/2017 (Permalink)

4 simple rules for healthy, budget-friendly lunches your kids will love

By Mike Timmermann

Most parents want to provide their kids with the healthiest meals possible, but the challenge can be finding nutritious foods that taste good to them.

4 tips and tricks for healthier lunches

Coming up with new kid-friendly recipes is overwhelming, so we reached out to Ashley Koff RD, a well-respected registered dietitian and creator of “The Better Nutrition, Simplified Plan.”

She says these four tips can lead to better health for the entire family!

1. Better nutrient balance

When’s the last time you actually saw what’s served in the school cafeteria? Sure, it’s not as bad as it used to be. But it’s still not ideal.

By preparing your child’s lunch regularly, you can focus on better nutrition.

“We need nutrient balance just like our car needs gas, oil (engine), air (tires), wiper fluid and so on,” Koff said.

Mistake #1: Not enough protein or healthy fats

Kids love carbs, but too many of them will result in an overwhelming rush of energy that will wear off before their next class period ends.

The challenge can be finding the right proteins and fats to store in a lunch box.

Ashley suggests trying hemp hearts, which provide complete plant protein, essential omega fatty acids, iron for growth and fiber to help you feel full.

Mistake #2: Skipping carbs

If your little one isn’t getting enough carbohydrates at lunch, Ashley says they won’t get the quick energy needed to make it until afternoon snack time.

Often times, carb-deprived adults and children will just end up reaching for the cookie jar later on.

Simply adding chickpeas, beans, a piece of fruit or some sweet potato can give your child’s lunch the nutrient balance to fuel their body for hours.

Mistake #3: No non-starchy veggies

We know that getting your kids to eat vegetables is a tough one, but non-starchy vegetables are so important.

“They are the body’s clean up team and we need to aim to get in a rainbow of colors most days to give our bodies what they need to clean up and stay healthy,” Koff said.

Here are some examples of non-starchy vegetables:

  • Asparagus
  • Baby corn
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Greens
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Salad greens
  • Tomato

2. Better quality

Ashley says there is no perfect food, but she recommends buying organic whenever you can.

“Our bodies run best when we give them fuel that they recognize, and have the least likelihood to irritate or disrupt optimal functions,” Koff said.

 Costco and Aldi both have a great selection of organics!

And if you prefer the farmer’s market, Ashley says you may be able to get a discount if you go right before they close.

3. Better quantity

If you’re trying to introduce your children to different types of foods, sometimes the problem is they eat too little.

“While trying a bite is an awesome way to encourage new tastes, it’s key to back that up with ensuring their bites add up to enough nutrients per nutrition pit stop,” Koff said.

Ashley recommends skipping hyper-processed snacks, including those that say things like “fat-free” and “sugar-free” on the label. Instead, opt for whole or minimally-processed foods.

For example, a small serving of chocolate and peanut butter is an OK afternoon snack, but make sure it doesn’t contain loads of added sugar or hydrogenated oils.

And use your fist and palm as a guide to keep your portions according to your size.

4. Better frequency

Every parent can relate to the nights when they make dinner and their kids say they’re not hungry! So frustrating, right?

The problem is that going too long without nutrition makes our bodies cranky. For a child who tends to skip lunch, Ashley says you can pack a few “pit stops” instead — which are basically nutritious snacks.

And forget about the clock! Don’t be afraid to switch things up in non-traditional ways.

“Why not have dessert smoothies at 5 p.m.? Or can’t overnight oats happen at 4 p.m. as easily as 7 a.m.? Then, at 6 p.m., mini burgers in a bowl of some veggies may go down at lot more successfully,” Koff said.

Stay Healthy this School Year!

8/15/2017 (Permalink)

Did you know that SERVPRO provides specialty cleaning such as cleaning done for a school facility? Yep, we do as well as other types of specialty cleaning.  With all the germs that are present in the school environment and with school starting this week , I thought some tips on how to stay healthy this school year might be helpful.

Back to School: 5 Tips for Staying Healthy

Written by Leigh Matthews

Most parents know that ‘back to school’ often equates to sneezes and sniffles as kids share more than just their summer adventures.  For many parents, the on-set of the new school year means hoping they can keep their kids (and themselves!) from getting sick.

Here are 5 tips for helping to keep your kids healthy this school year:

1. Pack Water Bottles

Smaller children don’t always know to keep their mouth off the water fountain when they drink, so be sure to pack them a reusable, BPA-free water bottle every day, and get them into the habit of putting it in the dishwasher or washing it thoroughly every night.

2. Teach Kids Not to Share

That’s right, sharing isn’t always caring – at least when it comes to germs. Teach your kids to avoid sharing personal items, such as water bottles, earbuds, snacks, and other items that could spread germs.

3. Eat Well

A healthy immune system relies on a good intake of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. This means getting your kids to eat their helping of fruits and veggies, as well as other foods linked to healthy eating.

4. Sleep Well

If the return to school means your kids are getting up earlier than they’d like, help them realize that it makes sense for them to go to bed a little earlier. Set a good example by having a cut-off point for TV, computers and smartphones at least an hour before bedtime, so natural melatonin synthesis isn’t disrupted by the light emitted from these devices. Without adequate sleep, not only do kids have a hard time concentrating, but they’re also more susceptible to feeling unwell.

Children aged 10-17 need between 8.5 and 9.5 hours of sleep a night; children aged 5-10 need 10-11 hours of sleep; and children aged 3-5 need 11-13 hours of sleep.

5. Wash Your Hands!

It seems obvious, but the fact is that most people simply forget or do not wash their hands effectively, meaning that every time they touch something or someone, they risk spreading germs. With smaller kids, use this as a teaching exercise by getting them to repeat the alphabet while they scrub their hands. Older kids should get into the habit of counting to at least 20 before rinsing. Be sure to encourage hand washing after petting an animal, handling or eating food, coughing or sneezing, and for older kids who babysit, changing a diaper.

Some parents have started packing hand sanitizer for their kids and while this is better than nothing, it’s still important to teach kids to wash their hands with warm water and soap after touching things that may carry germs, such as classroom objects.

And, of course, if children do fall ill, keep them away from school. This helps protect other children (and teachers!) from germs, and helps protect the sick child from picking up anything else while they are vulnerable. If a child has a fever it is especially important to keep them away from school as this is when they are most contagious.

Why You Should Clean Your Dryer Vent

8/15/2017 (Permalink)

5 Reasons You Should Get Your Dryer Vent Cleaned

Cleaning out the lint trap of your dryer is second nature to most. We often do it after each load.

Why?

Because it helps our dryer work more efficiently and we know it’s a safety hazard if we don’t.

The same holds true for your dryer vent. This is the tube that runs from your dryer to the outside of your house. It helps remove hot air and moisture. If this vent gets clogged it can lead to many complications.

Here are the top 5 reasons why it’s important to keep your dryer vent clean and free from clogs and lint.

1. Safety

The number 1 reason on our list is safety! Dryers run hot and lint is highly flammable, which makes for a dangerous combination.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, clothes dryers are responsible for more than 15,000 structure fires each year and 80% of those are due to clogged dryer vents. This is a preventable problem.

There is also the possibility of fumes backing up into your home through clogged vents. The gasses and carbon monoxide that should be released outside could potentially back up into your home causing an air quality issue for you and your family.

2. Low-Efficiency

We all want our appliances to work as efficiently as possible. A clogged dryer vent could mean your clothes will need multiple cycles before drying correctly or will need to run longer. This is because the proper amount of hot air is not reaching your dryer.

Multiple cycles and extended drying times mean additional energy spent and could lead to an increase in your electrical bill.

3. A Clean Dryer Vent Means a Longer Life for Your Dryer

We already pointed out that a clogged vent means a less efficient drying cycle. If your dryer is running longer than normal or more than one cycle per load, your slowly decreasing the life of your dryer. It’s essentially working double-time!

A dryer that is overworked will add considerable wear and tear to your machine. This could lead to malfunctions and needed repairs. Allowing your dryer to run this way can also cause a complete breakdown of your machine over time.

4. Mold

The purpose of the dryer vent is to release moisture and hot air outside. The moisture can sometimes create wet spots inside the tube. Built-up lint can get caught in these wet spots and create mold.

This wet lint can also stick to the inside of the vent’s tube making cleaning more difficult.

5. Less Maintenance

Like any other appliance or machine, your dryer will last longer and work better if it’s properly cared for. Cleaning the vent regularly will help ensure that your clothes are being dried in a timely manner and you aren’t wasting unnecessary energy. Extended drying times can even cause strain on your fabrics.

A dryer that continues to run with a clogged vent can cause internal problems that require repairs. This means more money for you.

Your dryer vent should be cleaned once a year. If you’re unsure of how to clean your vent or want professional assistance, contact a cleaning specialist like SERVPRO today!

15 Year Anniversary for SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights

8/1/2017 (Permalink)

This month, August, our office will be celebrating 15 years of being open for business! It’s hard to believe that it has been that long. During these years we have had the pleasure of helping so many of our Arlington Heights and Prospect Heights residents, business owners, School District and Village (municipality) customers with either water damages, fire clean ups, mold remediation or any other of our services.  We have been members of the Arlington Heights and Prospect Heights Chambers of Commerce and also members of the Better Business Bureau (with an A+ rating) for 9 of the 15 years.  Also, our office has tried to give back to the community and one of the ways we have been able to make a small difference is in our annual food drive. Each year we work together with some of the local businesses and schools to collect non perishable food items for the food pantry. This has been very rewarding for us and hopefully helpful to the needy within the community. We look forward to many more years of providing emergency disaster cleanup services to our local residents.

Better Business Bureau Accreditation

8/1/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights is proud to announce that we are once again a Better Business Bureau accredited business! Our office has been in business for 15 years and has been a part of the Better Business Bureau for 9 of those 15 years.  While being an accredited business, we had consistently received an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and we had also received a “Complaint Free” certificate for each of the 9 years that we were accredited.  We look forward to working once again as an accredited business, helping customers with their disaster cleanups and by providing the A+ service that we have been known to provide.  We hope this accreditation will give you the confidence in our office to call us if the unexpected happens such as water damage and the peace of mind of knowing that you will be helped by a company that cares about its customers and that cares about the service our customers receive. 

Rainy Times

6/20/2017 (Permalink)

Although our kids may enjoy the rain, it may not be as fun for us adults! Rain can cause unnecessary water accumulation around the foundation of your house, it can cause outside sewers to quickly fill where they can't keep up with the rain, and it can cause streets to flood causing water to enter your home or business; when these instances occur, it can cause flooding at your property. When this happens, you need a professional such as SERVPRO to help with the clean up! SERVPRO of Arlington Heights./Prospect Heights has 15 years of experience cleaning up flooded basements, from residential to commercial we are here to assist, why not call our office today at 847-637-3445, and feel free to browse our website for additional services we provide.

Happy New Year!

1/3/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights wishes you a happy healthy new year!

SERVPRO of Arlington Hts./Prospect Hts. Annual Food Drive

11/1/2016 (Permalink)

Happy Thanksgiving!

                                                             

SERVPRO OF ARLINGTON HTS

    

Please help our Annual Thanksgiving Food Drive be a

HUGE SUCCESS!!

 

       FOOD ITEMS TO BENEFIT NEEDY FAMILIES IN OUR AREA

Bring your non-perishable food items during the following dates:

Monday, October 31, 2016 - Friday, November 11, 2016

   

                           ITEMS NEEDED

                             Canned Fruit

                          Canned Vegetables

                                Dried Milk

                                 Cereal

                   Toilet Paper and Paper Towels

               Any other non-perishable food items

  

SERVPRO OF ARLINGTON HEIGHTS THANKS YOU FOR YOUR GENEROSITY THIS HOLIDAY SEASON!    

  

Food will be distributed to needy families in Arlington Heights through the local Arlington Heights food pantry

handled by St. Edna’s Catholic Church

Water damaged home in Arlington Heights

8/17/2016 (Permalink)

Removing 3 layers of water damaged floors in the master bath.

Unfortunately for these homeowners, the sink in their master bedroom burst while they were away on vacation. The damage was substantial to their home in that it affected not only the master bedroom and hall bath on the second level but also several rooms on the lower level including ceiling damage in their garage.

Arlington Heights School District 25 school floods

7/14/2016 (Permalink)

Our Technician shown extracting water from the carpet.

SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights was called out recently to assist in the flood cleanup of one of the District's grammar schools.  The flood occurred over a weekend and SERVPRO responded immediately to the call made by the Facilities Manager at the School District to assist with the mitigation of the water damage that had occurred due to a burst pipe.  SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights has assisted the School District in the past with flood cleanups at its various schools.

What's lurking in your Air Ducts?

6/28/2016 (Permalink)

Air duct cleaning refers to the cleaning of various components of heating, cooling and ventilation systems like air ducts, grills, registers, diffusers, heat exchangers, drip pans, heating and cooling coils, and air handling unit housing and fan motors.

There were times when people used to think of it as an unnecessary task as long as the systems are working well but now people are much more aware of its importance. Air duct cleaning has become a necessary evil these days as more and more pollution enters our homes and work places. Almost everybody knows the benefits of cleaning air ducts; that it increases efficiency of the systems, reduces workload on the system, lowers electricity bills, increases life of the system and is compulsory for the health of the family. The  most common question that comes up is how often should you clean your air ducts. 

A plethora of companies in the business of air duct cleaning recommend different intervals extending from yearly to even a span of 3 to 5 years. Obviously the later one makes little sense. Usually an air duct cleaning on an annual basis or at least every other year should keep your system in good working order and you and your family healthy.  However, there are exceptions to this as there are situations that would require  more frequent cleaning of the air ducts.

Weather Conditions: If you live in an area subjected to severe climatic conditions then you need to clean your air ducts more  frequently especially when the climate is hot and humid.

Pets: If there are shedding pets in your home, their dander may contaminate air ducts through the air that is circulated and therefore require  more frequent cleaning of your air ducts.

Construction & Renovation: A recent construction and renovation of the home you live in makes an important consideration for an air duct cleaning. Similarly if you are moving into a new house, you may want to consider air duct cleaning because you never know what's in your ducts.

Smoking: If you smoke then a more frequent cleaning session is suggested.

Illness: If someone in the family is suffering from some respiratory disease or is an allergy sufferer, then air duct cleaning should be on the top of your to do list at the start of every season.

Your systems give clear indications about the right time to go for air cleaning duct session. Here are few of these:

Less air flow: Air flow from the vents is greatly reduced if ducts are dirty. You can feel it by putting your hands by the vents.

Smelly Odor: If you smell an odor within your house, perhaps it is time to get your air ducts cleaned.

Moist ducts: This is the ideal condition for mold growth and a clear indication that it is time to get your air ducts cleaned.

Debris Accumulation: Air registers show the sign of the need to clean your air ducts when they get dirty with debris.

Allergic Reactions: Another important reason for considering an air duct cleaning is allergic reactions with no apparent reason. This may indicate poor indoor air quality  and an immediate need to clean the air ducts.

Did you know SERVPRO provides air duct cleaning? View our website for more information on this service!

http://www.SERVPROarlingtonheightsprospectheights.com/airduct-cleaning

SERVPRO of Arlington Hts./Prospect Hts. called out to assist in flood cleanup at The Metropolis

6/27/2016 (Permalink)

Due to the heavy rains last week, the Metropolis Theatre located in downtown Arlington Heights, IL experienced flooding in their lobby.  The rain water poured in from outside through the lobby doors saturating the carpet and tile. SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights was called to assist with the flood cleanup.  This is the second time SERVPRO has assisted The Metropolis with a flood cleanup.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/arlington-heights/news/ct-ah-arlington-storm-damage-tl-0630-20160623-story.html

Graffiti

6/14/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO provides a variety of clean up services, one of them being Graffiti clean ups. Sometimes buildings get vandalized and specialty cleaning is needed such as graffiti cleaning. SERVPRO has been successful at cleaning most of the graffiti that we have seen. Not only have we been successful at cleaning up graffiti but also certain types of vandalism such as egg yolks and other types of food that have been thrown on buildings. If you are a property manager and have had this happen to any of your properties, why not give our office a call at 847-637-3445 to see if we can help with the clean up. SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights has the experience and know how to handle this and many other clean up situations. View our website for more details of our specialized cleaning services.

Phone Number Checklist for Property Managers

6/14/2016 (Permalink)

Commercial water damage clean up

EMERGENCY RESPONSE PROFILE NUMBERS

Ensure Your Vendors Provide 24-Hour Response and that you have a phone number for the following people:

Property Manager/Landlord:

Property/Complex Main Office:

Property/Complex Emerg. # (if different):

Property/Complex Security #:

Insurance Agent/Office:

Police/Law Enforcement:

Fire Department:

Water Department:

Gas Company:

Electric Department:

Phone Company:

SERVPRO's Ph #

http://www.SERVPROarlingtonheightsprospectheights.com/commercial-restoration-cleaning

What you can do until help arrives

6/14/2016 (Permalink)

Soot affects everything including the inside of your cabinets! The fire occurred in the basement yet the soot made it into the kitchen cabinets.

 

 

The first 48 hours after a fire damage can make the difference between restoring versus replacing your

 

property and personal belongings. SERVPRO’s 1-4-8 Service Response Guidelines can help prevent fire

 

damage from creating long-term problems. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals provide timely response

 

with mitigation services ranging from fire, smoke, and soot removal to contents claims inventory and

 

document restoration. These services help ensure your property, belongings and memories are restored

 

to pre-loss condition when possible. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are available 24-hours a day, 365

 

days a year to help you regain control quickly.  Below are steps you can take until a vendor such as

 

SERVPRO arrives.

 

  1. Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from spreading and additional damage from occurring.

  2. Place clean towels or old linens on rugs and high traffic areas and upholstery.

  3. Coat chrome faucets, trim and appliances with petroleum jelly or oil.

  4. Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.

  5. Do not wash any walls or painted surfaces.

  6. Do not shampoo carpet or upholstery.

  7. Do not clean any electrical equipment.

  8. Do not sent clothing to a dry cleaner since improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

 

 

 

 

 

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