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Biohazard Cleanup for Hospitality, Commercial, Industrial, and Rental Property Owners

10/7/2022 (Permalink)

worker in a biohazard suit cleaning a chemical spill A biohazard is any biological substance that poses a threat to the health of all living organisms

Why SERVPRO for Biohazard Cleanup?

Commercial biohazard clean up is challenging work and should be left to the SERVPRO of Streamwood, Bartlett, West Chicago and Warrenville. However, if you have a biohazard situation at hand, you must get in touch with a biohazard cleaning company as soon as possible. The more you wait, the higher are the chances of you and your employees being exposed to biohazards.

When many businesses come face-to-face with biohazard situations, they try to stage a cover-up by employing amateur cleaning techniques. Unfortunately, this could prove to be a very costly mistake. Not only can employees get exposed to hazardous materials, but the business can also get a bad rap.

Cleanup work requires special training and expertise. Anyone who handles biohazards is at high risk of exposure to hazardous materials. Biohazard cleanup specialists are trained to handle and dispose of biohazards safely.

If someone committed suicide or was murdered at your facility, you are responsible for cleaning or decontaminating the scene. If the crime scene cleanup is not your forte and your employees are not mentally or emotionally equipped to handle crime scene cleanup, you should hire a biohazard cleanup specialist.

A biohazard cleanup specialist is qualified to handle such cleanup and eliminate all sensory reminders of the unfortunate event.

Biohazard Cleanup Process

? Once the expert arrives at your facility, they might seal the area to reduce contamination risks.

? They will put on safety gear and prepare disinfectant.

? Then, using tongs or forceps, the team will remove any sharp objects such as broken glass, metal shards, medical sharps, or razor blades.

? They will then cover the spill area with absorbent material.

? Next, the team will remove the absorbent material, place it in the biohazard bag, and apply an EPA registered disinfectant to the contaminated area.

? The disinfectant should be allowed to sit for a few hours. Using paper towels, the team will then remove disinfectant and place the paper towels in a biohazard bag.

? They will then place the biohazard bag in a biohazardous waste container for treatment and disposal.

What SERVPRO Does To Perform Outstanding Cleanup Services

10/7/2022 (Permalink)

Upholstery being cleaned Water and fire damage are the two most common types of damage.

SERVPRO of Streamwood, Bartlett, West Chicago, and Warrenville is a 24/7 emergency remediation service company . Water and fire damage are the two most common types of damage. Our goal is to dry wet areas, remove dangerous particles from the air, and clean a home that’s been affected by almost any type of damage - vandalism, biohazard, and mold included. There are many pieces of specialized equipment and tools we use to be very effective with our work.

Air movers are used for drying and ventilation. Water can penetrate surfaces, leaving them to crumble and rot. Sometimes, towels are not enough.

A dehumidifier, commonly called a dehu, is incredibly valuable for any home affected by water damage. Dehumidifiers remove water and moisture from the air, as well as carpet and flooring.

Air scrubbers actually remove smoke, dust and pollutants from indoor air as well as surfaces by using negative ions. Because smoke and odor permeates furniture, walls and appliances, having this device greatly supports the restoration process.

UV air scrubbers use UV light technology to capture air and pass it through a filter. This process removes bacteria, mold spores and viruses.

HEPA vacuums not only remove pollen, dirt, mold and other particles from the air, but they trap them with filters. Traditional industrial and household vacuums do not necessarily trap all the particles they pick up from surfaces.

Hard suction is used to remove water in unpressurized surfaces. When a home is flooded with standing water, we would use this technology to quickly remove it.

Water extractors do exactly as they say; they extract water from your home. Often, carpet is so saturated that fans can’t do all the work themselves.

Ozone neutralizes the smoke odor using hydrogen atoms and is typically used for content cleaning. Because oxygen is added to the air, leaving the home or building while the ozone machine is being used is absolutely required. Oxidized air can burn organic material and cause bleaching, which is harmful to people.

Hydroxyls use UV light to remove odors, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), virus particles, and bacteria particles from the air. The hydroxyl works by detaching hydrogen atoms, which disassembles the molecular structure of odors.

A moisture reader lets us know exactly how much water is saturating a material so we know how much dry time and force to apply. Too much drying can lead to bending, breaking or further damaging flooring and wood beams.

Thermal foggers apply a deodorizer to surfaces to reduce the odor in a specific area, typically smoke. Because the solutions used in the fogger leave very small droplets in the air, it’s able to penetrate difficult to reach surfaces.

Thermal image readers let us know the temperature differences in areas of a home or business. By learning this information, we can know more about what areas are affected by water damage. We are able to get an area dry much faster, which prevents more damage from happening.

Besides these tools, SERVPRO of Streamwood, Bartlett, West Chicago, and Warrenville also uses standard construction materials and tools, large trucks, personal protective equipment such as disposable suits and gloves, special face masks, plastic sheeting, generators for times when there’s no access to electricity, and so much more.

Tips to Pump Water Out of a Basement

10/6/2022 (Permalink)

submersible pump pumping water Here are some tips to Pump Water Out of a Basement

Pumping out the basement isn’t difficult, but there are safety considerations.

  1. Before Pumping Flood Water. Wait until exterior floodwaters recede. If water is standing in your yard around your home’s foundation, it’s too soon to pump. Shut off electricity to the house if it’s still on. Keep children and animals away from the basement. A submersible pump is necessary for removing the water. The pump is encased in a waterproof shell and features a sealed electrical cord and a fitting that connects to a regular garden hose or a sump hose, which is larger in diameter. The larger the hose, the more quickly the pump will remove the water. In addition to the pump and a hose, you’ll need a heavy-duty extension cord and a generator to run the pump. A nylon rope is necessary for lowering the pump if the water is more than a few feet deep.
  2. Setting Up the Pump. Attach the extension cord to the pump cord before putting the pump in the basement. Secure the connection where no water can reach it by looping the cords around a ceiling joist or another heavy object that will hold the connection where it won’t get wet. Attach a garden hose or a sump hose to the fitting on the top of the pump and tie a nylon rope to the top of the pump. Most pumps have a place on top of the pump where you can tie the rope. Position the end of the hose away from the house on a grade where the water can drain into a gutter or storm sewer.
  3. Pumping Out the Water. Lower the pump into the basement, using the rope. If you’ve only got few inches of standing water, you can wear rubber boots and position the pump on the floor at the lowest spot. Once the pump is in place, start the generator and plug the extension cord into the generator. This will start the pump. You can speed the removal process by running two or more pumps at the same time. Once the water level is down to a few inches, position the pump at the lowest level in the basement to remove all the water.
  4. Wet/Dry Vacuum for Small Problems. If the water problem is limited to a small area and is less than 1-inch deep, you might be able to pump out the water with a wet/dry vacuum. Wet/dry vacuums work well, but they draw the water into a tank, which holds about 4 to 5 gallons of water. Each time the tank is full, you must carry it upstairs or to a basement drain and dump it. For anything more than very small water problems, this can quickly become labor-intensive.
  5. Dry-Out Considerations. The general rule is that you should replace anything porous if it was saturated with water to prevent the risk of mold growth. This includes drywall paneling and carpeting. 

Does My Insurance Policy Cover Fire Damage?

10/6/2022 (Permalink)

fire insurance papers Most policies include coverages that may help pay to repair or replace your home and its contents if they are damaged by fire.
Types of Coverage

Your homeowners insurance will pay for fire damage to your home including damage to your property, the contents of the building and additional living expenses if you need to stay elsewhere while repairs are made to your home. Additional living expenses (ALE) is a great coverage option to have. It covers hotel bills, food, meals and other living expenses you may have while unable to live in your home. Without the coverage, many families would have a hard time paying for living expenses if they were forced to find temporary living arrangements after a home fire.

Any detached structures located on your property such as any sheds, fences or detached garages are also covered by most homeowners insurance policies. Some policies will also help pay for landscaping costs such as damage to trees and shrubs.

One important note—if your car or other vehicle is destroyed or damaged due to a fire at your home, this is not covered by homeowners insurance. The cost of fire damage to your car is paid for by the comprehensive portion of your auto policy. If you only have liability auto coverage, damage to your car during a home fire is not covered.


There is no one-size-fits-all formula when it comes to choosing your coverage limits. Your limit is the maximum your policy will reimburse you after a covered loss. You can set your coverage limits based on factors such as the value of your home and belongings. Here are some things to consider when choosing coverage limits:

Choosing Your Personal Property Coverage Limit
If you think you may need more coverage to replace your belongings in the event that they are damaged by fire, you may want to increase your limits for personal property. Keep in mind that your policy may offer lower coverage limits for certain items, such as jewelry. You may want to consider purchasing additional coverage to help protect those items.

You should also review your policy to find out if it offers actual cash value or replacement cost coverage. Actual cash value coverage generally helps reimburse you for the depreciated value of damaged items, while replacement cost value coverage typically helps pay to purchase a new item at today’s price.

Choosing Your Limit for Dwelling Coverage
The cost of rebuilding after a fire may not be equal to the price you paid for your home, as construction costs and home values fluctuate. 


Homeowners insurance may not cover all types of fire damage. For instance, if you intentionally start a fire in your home, you’ll generally find homeowners insurance will not pay to repair the damage. Homeowners insurance also typically does not cover damage caused by an act of war. Read your policy or contact your local agent to learn what risks are excluded from your coverage.

Having smoke detectors and fire extinguishers in your home is certainly a smart way to help protect yourself from fire. But, if a fire damages your home or property, homeowners insurance may help you and your family recover financially.

Commercial Water Damage Restoration

10/4/2022 (Permalink)

office hallway flooded Having a business in a place that constantly experiences flooding and other related issues can be frustrating

Commercial Water Damage Restoration 

It is impossible to predict when your business premises will be affected by water damage. However, it helps to be prepared while dealing with excess water in your area. 

Sometimes, you’re only dealing with small amounts of water on the property. Generally, this can be handled by the cleaning staff. However, when there is an excess amount of water, you need to call in SERVPRO of Streamwood, Bartlett, West Chicago and Warrenville.

It is crucial to act immediately in such situations, as it can minimize any further damage that may occur. For instance, if the water stays in your business property for up to 48 hours, it can start developing mold. This will then become a separate issue that needs to be solved.

When you call SERVPRO of Streamwood, Bartlett, West Chicago and Warrenville, the highly-trained technicians arrive at the site and start working on restoring the water damage immediately. Not only would they have the proper equipment for water damage restoration, but they would also develop a plan according to the severity of the impact on your property.  

After removing the water, they will also ensure that your business property is thoroughly dried and sanitized, preventing the chance for any mold to grow. If there is any physical damage to the property, they will try their best to repair it. 

So if you’ve been affected by water damage due to excess water on your property, call SERVPRO of Streamwood, Bartlett, West Chicago and Warrenville immediately. 

Ways to Treat Residential Water Damage

10/4/2022 (Permalink)

Water damage can lead to severe structural changes and can also cause serious health and safety issues, so you must be able to treat current and prevent future damages caused by water.

Here are some effectual ways to deal with residential water damage successfully.

Mold Inspection

Water brings with it a great amount of moisture, and it is a known fact that moist and damp places serve as breeding grounds for mold and bacteria. It is possible that after a flood or leaking pipes in your home, you might have to deal with a mold problem. So, one of the first important things to do is inspect your entire house for mold spores and other signs of mildew. In case you do come across serious mold infestation, get immediate help from a mold removal service in order to prevent it from expanding its growth.

Dry Out Affected Areas

It is extremely vital to get rid of all the moisture from your home by drying out the affected areas as soon as you can. This is to prevent any further structural damage or the growth of mold and fungus. But this greatly depends on the extremity of the water damage. For instance, if you’re dealing with small leaks from broken pipes, you can place portable fans in the affected area to dry them out. However, if the damage is quite extensive, perhaps due to heavy rainfall, you might want to consider renting a large-sized humidifier to thoroughly dry out wet or damp areas. Another option is to SERVPRO of Streamwood, Bartlett, West Chicago and Warrenville.

Remove Damaged Items

Residential water damage greatly affects porous materials, which include carpets, sofa fabrics, and other similar items. In case of serious water damage, all these things in your home are likely to be destroyed due to being soaked in water. It is best to remove them and get rid of them in order to prevent other problems from occurring. Water tends to permanently destroy porous materials, and if drying them out is not an option, consider disposing of them entirely.

Pump Away Standing Water

If there are big puddles of standing water inside your home, use a sump pump to remove all the water and pump it outdoors. This is a kind of a submersible pump that moves water in a continuous manner with the help of a pipe or hose. You can either rent a sump pump for a few hours or buy one if there’s a lot of standing water inside your home.

Fire Damage Restoration Tips

10/4/2022 (Permalink)

house that is on fire A house fire can lead to immense damage.

A house fire can lead to immense damage, both financial and emotional. It can take a while to recover from all the damage that you may experience due to a house fire. Not only is there irreversible damage to your property structure and material possessions, but you might also lose keepsakes and relics that you hold dear to your heart. 

However, it is important to stay vigilant in case you encounter a house fire. We understand how devastating the experience may be, but taking the right steps immediately after the disaster can prevent further loss. 

If you are encountering a house fire, the following are some tips you should follow. 

– The most important thing you need to do in case of a house fire is to get yourself and any house members to safety. Being stuck in a house fire can be life-threatening. So no matter what, the first thing is to make sure everyone is safe. 

– As soon as you are in a safe place, call 911. They will send over the essential help required to control the fire. 

– Once the fire has settled down, retrieve any belongings that may have survived. However, make sure to be wary of the toxic chemicals that may be among the soot. You may want to have someone from the fire department assist you while you go inside the house. 

– If you have house insurance, inform your insurance company about the house fire. If you don’t have insurance yet, you may want to consider getting one as soon as possible. 

– Let your electricity, gas, and other utility companies know about the fire and have the utilities temporarily turned off. 

House fires can be devastating, and you may have the instinct to run inside and save all your valuables. However, do not enter the house until it is deemed safe by the firemen. 

Aftereffects of Storm Water Damage

9/27/2022 (Permalink)

Mold in corner of a basement Mold growth is common occurrence following water damage from storms.

A Menacing Mix

Moisture, heat, and nutrients (nearly anything organic), can quickly result in a mold explosion following storm water damage. The longer these conditions remain and mold is allowed to grow, the greater the risk and more difficult the cleanup. Signs of mold contamination include:

  • Musty, earthy, foul odors.
  • Discolored ceilings, walls, or other surfaces.

Time is of The Essence

Flood damaged homes require special attention for safe and effective mold removal. It takes as little as two or three days for mold to grow, with colonies spreading easily throughout your home via spores in the air. Speedy removal is essential for success. As soon as it is safe to return to your home, don’t delay the cleanup and drying process!  

You are Not Alone

The professional mold removal specialists at SERVPRO of Streamwood, Bartlett, West Chicago and Warrenville have the technology, tools, and training to address your mold removal needs quickly and effectively, eliminating the probability of overlooked or improperly removed mold colonies that could result from DIY removal techniques that could lead to unnecessary health issues, inconvenience, damage and expenses. 

Prepare Your Home for Hurricane Season

9/27/2022 (Permalink)

radar picture of a hurricane Know the hurricane season tips to adequately prepare your family and home for the upcoming weather.

Hurricanes can produce dangerous conditions:

  • Winds in excess of 155 mph
  • Tornadoes and microbursts
  • Flying debris
  • Heavy rainfall
  • Storm surges
  • Floods
  • Mudslides
  • and more…

Don't wait until a hurricane comes your way. Prepare ahead of time with these hurricane season tips:

  • Keep supplies handy.
    Dedicate storage for a three-day supply of water, dried or canned foods, and other essentials. Not sure what you need? Consult FEMA’s emergency supply list. Having the right supplies is among the top hurricane season tips.
  • Unplug electronics – even if you have a surge protector.
    This is the best protection against surge-related damage.
  • Check for leaks.
    Check doors, windows, and walls, such as areas where cables and pipes enter, for openings that could allow water to penetrate.
  • Prepare for long-term outages.
    Consider purchasing a generator. It doesn’t have to be the pricey, whole-house version. Even one that’s big enough to run a refrigerator and plug in a few essentials can really make life easier. Consider what you can’t live without if you were to be without electricity for a few days – such as a sump pump or well pump – and select a model that best fits your needs.
  • Trim trees and shrubbery.
    Trim back any branches touching your home. If they rub your roof, they could pull parts of it off in a storm. Keep trees well pruned to allow wind to pass through with minimal damage and debris. Consider regrading around trees to strengthen the ground and give roots something to cling to.
  • Clean gutters.
    This could prevent potential roof damage and flooding inside your home.
  • Clear clutter.
    Prevent items from flying off to Oz. Get rid of items you are no longer using, which can turn into projectiles. Bring lightweight outdoor items such as patio furniture, plants, toys, and trash cans inside.
  • Secure your home.
    Highly recommended are window shutters (not the pretty ones – the ones that protect your glass), roof clips (to hold your roof on – it is NOT too heavy to fly away), and garage door braces (to keep your garage door from blowing away). Anchor fuel tanks as well. Ensure all items are professionally installed.
  • Verify insurance coverage.
    Avoid the wind and water debate. Check your homeowner’s policy and purchase additional flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program to ensure you have adequate protection if necessary.

Do you have a plan?
You and your family should know - in advance - where to go when a storm comes. Make a plan now, including a safe evacuation route inland, the location of official shelters, and a safe off-site place to meet in the event you are separated. Don’t forget necessary medications and emergency plans for pets as well! Heed these hurricane season tips and evacuate if you live in a the following high risk homes:

  • Mobile or manufactured home
  • On a coastline or offshore island
  • Near a river or flood plain
  • In a high-rise

What Can Be Safely Salvaged After Fire Damage?

9/27/2022 (Permalink)

small house fire Small house fires are the most common disasters

Small house fires are the most common disasters in North America. If you've suffered a house fire, you're probably just grateful no one was hurt. But after the initial shock, there are many things you'll have to take care of, including finding a place to stay, contacting your insurance company, and recovering your possessions. While some of your property must be thrown away after a fire, keeping as many of your personal items as possible can help provide comfort and make you feel normal again. Fortunately, with the help of SERVPRO of Streamwood, Bartlett, West Chicago and Warrenville many objects with hard, porous, and non-porous surfaces (like glass and metal) or belongings that can be washed (like clothing) can usually be salvaged if they didn't come into direct contact with the fire.

Clothing, Bedding, Towels

Although it's best to throw away charred or burned textiles, items like clothing, towels, and bedding can be washed if they only have minor soot stains or water exposure. However, be especially careful when deciding whether to keep children's clothing, bedding, or cloth toys, since their skin can be much more sensitive to any chemicals on fabric. If washing doesn't remove the smell of smoke from your fabrics, you may need the help from a professional odor removal company.

Glass and Ceramic

Glass and ceramic are surprisingly resilient and are often much easier to save than fabrics. After a small house fire, the only damage to your glass belongings may be a coating of soot. However, ceramics can be porous and may be susceptible to staining from smoke damage and hard water. Although it may be possible to clean glass by washing it with vinegar and dish soap, ceramics may require a deeper professional cleaning br SERVPRO. However, if glass or ceramic possessions are melted or cracked by the fire's heat, they'll probably have to be thrown away.

Pack-out Service

While your home is recovering from a fire, you may need a professional pack-out service. This service will remove items that need restoration, or store items to protect them from further damage. SERVPRO will provide pack-out services that will:

  1. Examine and separate damaged items that need restoration services.

  2. Carefully record all items using photo documentation, identification numbers, and detailed lists.

  3. Pack items carefully and deliver them to an off-site facility.

While at an off-site facility, your items will be housed in a secure, climate-controlled environment and will stay there until your home's cleaning and restoration is complete.

Hardwood Flooring

Even though wood is a porous material, unless there's flame damage—like charring or burn marks—you can almost always salvage hardwood floors after a fire. First, if the floors got wet while the fire was being extinguished,  it's important they are dried properly so they don't crack or warp. Contacting SERVPRO of Streamwood, Bartlett West Chicago and Warrenville immediately after the fire is the best way to restore your damaged wood floor.

Ensure Safety with Salvaged Items

No matter how safe your home may seem after a fire, consulting a professional is the best way to determine which of your belongings are safe to keep and which ones must be discarded. Especially since firefighters may use chemicals to put out a fire that may leave a residue on your furniture, drapes, or even your clothes. SERVPRO of Streamwood Bartlett,West Chicago and Warrenville can help you confirm which of your possessions you can keep, then clean and sanitize them to make sure they're safe for you and your family. Even a small house fire can be a traumatic experience.