Recent Posts

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. 

Air Duct Cleaning Improves Air Quality for Your Office

9/20/2022 (Permalink)

before and after pictures of an air duct cleaning Mold, dust, pollen and other allergens can build up in your HVAC system over time – just like they do on other surfaces in your office.

How Air Duct Cleaning Improves Air Quality

Except for the air you let into your office through windows or doors, most of the air in your office is distributed via HVAC ductwork. Without a clean path for this air to take, it picks up irritants and contaminants, circulating them through your home. No matter how much you vacuum or dust, they’ll return, piling-up on flat surfaces, and piling onto your list of cleaning duties, all-the-while collecting within your HVAC system, mucking-up your air filter, ductwork and coils. As time progresses, the contaminant buildup worsens, robbing your system of efficiency, and increasing maintenance needs.
(This is why after duct cleaning is performed, it is strongly recommended you let SERVPRO of Streamwood, Bartlett, West Chicago and Warrenville clean dust buildup in your office.)

Importance of Clean Air Ducts

Clean ducts offer a number of benefits…

  • Reducing the Incidence of Allergies & Respiratory Ailments
    Mold, mildew, dust, dust mites, dirt, pollen, dander and other particles settle in ductwork over time, spreading through the air during HVAC operation. Ductwork cleaning can remove this buildup, reducing the levels of these irritating triggers in the office.
  • Fighting Mold & Microbial Growth
    The buildup of dust on ductwork surfaces offers a prime environment for the proliferation of mold, mildew, dust mites, bacteria and more. Regular duct cleaning reduces contaminant growth.
  • Decreasing Offensive Odors
    Duct cleaning can eliminate or reduce offensive odors due to mold, mildew, and microbial growth, as well as those resulting from pest infestation in ductwork.
  • Boosting HVAC Efficiency
    In cases of extreme dust buildup, cleaning ductwork has been shown to increase HVAC efficiency as much as 40%.
  • Prolonging HVAC System Life
    The less resistance in air ducts from dust and debris, the smoother the operation and greater the efficiency and longevity of your system.

Does Your Business Have A Flood Plan?

9/20/2022 (Permalink)

flooded board room Despite the prevalence of floods, most businesses remain unprepared.

Business Have Unique Flood Preparedness Needs

A flood emergency preparedness plan will be quite different for a construction zone than an office building or industrial facility. Each site and industry suffers unique risks. Industry-specific resources are essential to planning success, as is staff training. A well-informed staff can prevent confusion and added risks to employees and property in the event of disaster.

The Most Basic Flood Evacuation Plan Should Include:

  • The capacity for quick response.
    With personnel in-charge of monitoring man-made possibilities, and an NOAA Weather Radio or other news resource for natural events.
  • A basic disaster supply kit.
    This includes emergency and medical supplies, as well as enough food and water to last at least 72 hours. Preparedness training at work should likewise instruct employees on preparing their own mobile kit, for preparation to shelter-in-place for 24 hours in the event of emergency.
  • Plan development and training.
    All employees should know what to do in an emergency, including disaster-specific evacuation and emergency response procedures. Assign specific employees (and backup personnel) to key tasks, such as emergency shut-down of equipment and power sources, and performing a roll-call. Exercises and drills to cement skills and uncover potential issues should be regularly performed, and flood and other emergency action plans reviewed and updated regularly. Clearly post and provide employees with paper copies of plans.
  • Emergency contact information.
    Ensure all employees have a list of key telephone numbers. Blank business cards sheets from the local office supply are a convenient, easy way to provide a wallet-size list.

Basics of Board Up Services for Your Businesses

9/20/2022 (Permalink)

front of commercial building that is boarded up When disaster strikes your home, don't dwell on your loss and forget that you still have the power to reduce further losses with board up services.

What are Board Up Services?

Your windows are among the most vulnerable entry points in any business. After all, whether you're talking about vandals or high winds, glass is easier to break than solid wall.

Regardless of the reason your windows are damaged, you may not be able to replace them right away. In fact, if a natural disaster is the reason your windows are broken, local installers are probably already inundated with replacement requests. When your appointment is delayed, you should pursue board up services for peace of mind.

Reasons to Seek Board Up Services

Different situations may cause your windows to break, leaving your home exposed. Here are a few of the most common examples:

  • Storm damage: Windstorms, tornadoes and hurricanes pack a powerful punch. The pressure differential between the inside and outside is sometimes enough to shatter windows. Then there's the possibility of debris being hurtled at your windows while traveling hundreds of miles per hour, smashing the windows on impact.
  • Fire: Heat from a structural fire can cause a surprising amount of damage to your business, including shattering glass windows.
  • Property vacancy: Foreclosed and abandoned properties are often left with broken windows. Board up services play an important role in preserving the business from further damage or vandalism until someone new buys the property.
  • Preventative measure: It's wise to plan ahead with board up services when a big storm is in the forecast. This preventative measure can protect your windows from breaking in the first place. Then after the storm passes, you simply have the boards removed to restore your business to its former condition.

Tornado Warning Systems

9/20/2022 (Permalink)

tornado in a open field Tornadoes are among the deadliest forces found in nature.

History of Tornado Warning Systems

In the late 1800s, the US army started studying the science behind tornadoes and how to predict them. However, they decided it wasn’t wise to issue public warnings for fear of causing panic and chaos. Even mention of the word “tornado” was banned.

This thinking changed in 1948 when a tornado tore through Oklahoma’s Tinker Air Force base, causing millions of dollars worth of damage and killing several people. By this point, large outdoor sirens were already being used in Europe to warn civilians of air strikes during World War II. The concept came to America in 1950 when President Harry Truman responded to the threat of the Cold War by setting up sirens to warn of an atomic attack that never came.

In 1970, there were many functional sirens still in place – government officials began using sirens as a tornado warning system. Many of these sirens are still in place, but sometimes power loss and other issues prevent them from working when they’re needed most. 

That’s why newer technology – from TV to radio to text messaging – is used today to warn the public of approaching tornadoes. Utilizing multiple systems increases the chance that every citizen will hear about the storm and seek shelter.

How to Stay Informed of Severe Weather

Whether you live in Tornado Alley and have sirens in your town, or you live in a lower-risk state, follow these tips so you never miss the latest tornado warning:

Keep your cell phone on you

As long as your cell phone has a signal, you can receive a warning message from the Wireless Emergency Alert system. When a tornado warning is issued in a particular county, every cell tower in the area transmits a warning to all phones within range.

The incoming alert has a different sound than just a normal text message or ringtone to catch your attention. The alert also has a text message attached with a brief explanation of the warning and advice to take shelter immediately.

Storm alerts don’t work with older phones, so contact your wireless provider to make sure your cell is compatible. If not, consider upgrading. No fee is required to participate in and receive storm alerts.

Turn on the news or the radio

If you look outside and notice dark, swirling clouds, tune in to your local news station (on TV or the radio) for an update. If a bad storm is coming, normal coverage should be replaced by emergency storm updates and tornado warnings.