Recent Posts

Winter Water Damage

12/11/2017 (Permalink)

For many in the US, the thought of getting home water damage from a cold snap does not even cross our minds, but the truth is, any home can be susceptible to cold. Here are some tips you will need to be aware of in order to protect your home from expensive water damage.

Ice Dams: Ice dams cause a significant amount of water damage each year to homes.  There are essentially two ways in handling ice dams.  You can do a temporary installation of heat cables on the overhang of your roof.  These cables will heat the roof area and melt the snow not allowing it to form ice damn, however, this method can also cause damage to your shingles and shorten the life time of the shingles.

The most effective long-term solutions are to keep heat out of the attic and to promote ventilation under the roof deck to keep it as cold as possible.  A soffit-and-ridge vent system usually requires insulation baffles installed at the lower side of the roof, above the exterior walls. The baffles hold back the insulation by a couple of inches, creating a channel for air to flow past the insulation. 

Pipe Breaks: When winter temperatures plummet, water can easily freeze inside the piping, causing them to burst. If you are unaware or not home when this happens, massive amounts of flooding to your home can happen to your home, furniture, and rugs. The best way to avoid broken pipes is to wrap the uninsulated pipes with a blanket or foam. 

Melting Snow: Melting snow can impact any home, whether it has a basement, crawlspace, or a slab foundation. If enough snow ends up piling up next to your foundation, it’s going to create a lot of water once it melts. If your lawn is not sloped away from your home, you are very likely to get gallons of water coming in from your foundation. 

High Winds Roof Damage:  Winter storms often bring very fast moving and strong winds with them.  These strong winds are capable of tearing shingles off of your roof.   Just a small amount of damaged or missing shingles can end up allowing a lot of water into your attic.  When possible a roofing company can come and check your roof, but remember that if there is snow and ice on the roof it is not safe for anyone, including trained professionals to get on the roof.    

If you experience water damage to your home this winter, SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside here to help.  Give us a call at 708-240-4873 for all your water damage needs.

How To Prevent Water Damage From Frozen Pipes

12/4/2017 (Permalink)

Frozen pipes are a sure way to water damage in your home, but how do you prevent frozen pipes in the winter? Our friends at American Family Insurance share some great tips on keeping your pipes from freezing.

The best way to prevent your home’s pipes from freezing is to keep them from being exposed to the cold. Here’s how:

  • Cover exposed pipes in crawl spaces or attics with insulation sleeves.
  • Re-route pipes to an inside wall.
  • Use caulking to seal cracks in the foundation or walls that let cold air in.
  • Disconnect garden hoses and turn off the water supply to spigots.
  • Keep cabinet doors open below your sinks to allow warm air in.

Other ways you can winterize your home from frozen pipes remove all the hoses from the outside water supply.  Once you have drained and stored the hose away, open up the outside valve.  This will allow the remaining water to drain and allows the pipe to expand without breaking. You should also consider a pipe sleeve to install over the outside water line to insulate and keep ice from forming.

The American Red Cross gives great ideas on preventative action during cold weather to consider to keep your pipes from freezing as well.

  • Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
  • When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.

There are many way to keep your home safe from winter pipe breaks.  Please feel free to reach out to SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside at 708-240-4873 if you need any help with your home.  

Thanksgiving Fire Safety for the Kitchen

11/10/2017 (Permalink)

It’s that time of year again that we start thinking about gathering our family and friends in our homes to celebrate Thanksgiving.  With that celebrating, the kitchen is certainly the heart of the home.  It is also the perfect time to start thinking about your fire safety during all the chaos and hustle and bustle. 

Thanksgiving by the numbers

  • Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.
  • In 2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,760 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving, the peak day for such fires.
  • Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and fire deaths.
  • Cooking equipment was involved in almost half (48%) of all reported home fires and civilian and tied with heating equipment for the second leading cause of home fire deaths.

Source: NFPA's Fire Analysis & Research Division

The US Fire Safety Council give these safety tips to consider as well:

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.
  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
  • Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away.
  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
  • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
  • Keep knives out of the reach of children.
  • Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Never leave children alone in room with a lit candle.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.

Frying your holiday turkey has now becoming a fun family tradition It's hard to beat the speed of deep-frying a turkey-or the irresistible flavor and juiciness that result. But turkey fryers have the potential to cause fire and serious injury.  Our friends at State Farm have 15 great tips for frying your turkey safely:

  1. Keep outdoor fryers off decks, out of garages and a safe distance away from trees and other structures.
  2. Make sure the turkey is thawed and dry before cooking. Ice or water that mixes into the hot oil can cause flare-ups.
  3. Watch the weather. Never operate a fryer outdoors in the rain or snow.
  4. Place the fryer on a level surface, and avoid moving it once it's in use.
  5. Leave 2 feet between the tank and the burner when using a propane-powered fryer.
  6. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to avoid overfilling. Oil can ignite when it makes contact with the burner.
  7. Choose a smaller turkey for frying. A bird that's 8 to 10 pounds is best; pass on turkeys over 12 pounds.
  8. Never leave fryers unattended.
  9. Purchase a fryer with temperature controls, and watch the oil temperature carefully. Cooking oil that is heated beyond its smoke point can catch fire. If you notice the oil is smoking, turn the fryer off.
  10. Turn off the burner before lowering the turkey into the oil. Once the turkey is submerged, turn the burner on.
  11. Wear goggles to shield your eyes, use oven mitts to protect your hands and arms and keep a grease-rated fire extinguisher close by.
  12. Skip the stuffing when frying turkey, and avoid water-based marinades.
  13. Keep children and pets away from the fryer at all times.
  14. Once finished, carefully remove the pot from the burner, place it on a level surface and cover to let the oil cool overnight before disposing.
  15. Opt for an oil-less fryer. This uses infrared heat, rather than oil, to cook the turkey.

Remember these tips to keep your home fire safe this holiday season.  SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside wants to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!  We are always here to help, give us a call at 708-240-4873 for all your fire restoration needs. 

Vandalism, Emergency Board Ups- SERVPRO has you covered

9/21/2017 (Permalink)

In 1984, the National Crime Prevention Council, the nation’s center of excellence for preventing crime, designated October as Crime Prevention Month. The month-long commemoration reflects the adage that prevention pays off.

Did you know that most cases of criminal damage are not reported to the police, which makes it difficult to statistically identify the actual scope of vandalism?  However vandalism is one of the top 3 reasons for insurance claims for home and commercial property owners.  

Crime and vandalism happen in every community, and SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside is here to help.  We offer board up services for windows, doorways, and clean up after all sorts of vandalism.  

During the month of October, for Crime Prevention Month, we will be working with the local police departments and fire departments in spreading the word that SERVPRO of LaGrange park/North Riverside is here to help make it "Like it never even happened". 

Call us at 708-240-4873 if you have found your home or commercial property has been vandalized.   We will help you return back to your normally scheduled life.  

Is your company ready for whatever happens?

9/11/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Is your company ready for whatever happens? Creating an Emergency Readiness Plan minimizes the amount of time your company is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.

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 LaGrange Park/North Riverside 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 LaGrange Park/North Riverside 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 companies best interest at heart. 

Don't wait, call SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside today at 708-240-4873, and let us come assess your property and create an emergency readiness plan for you. 

Getting Outdoor Furniture Ready for Winter Storage

8/22/2017 (Permalink)

With summer wrapping up soon, it’s time to start thinking about cleaning up and storing your outdoor furniture.  Better Homes & Gardens has some wonderful tips on how to get our outdoor furniture ready for end of summer. 

Wood items (includes teak and wicker)

Use a mild oil-base soap, such as Murphy Oil Soap, mixed with warm water.

For a do-it-yourself cleaning solution, mix 1⁄4 cup ammonia, 2 tablespoons white vinegar, and 1 quart warm water.

Commercial wood cleaners are often the most effective, but be sure to read directions carefully. Wicker and painted woods might require diluting the solution.

For hard woods, consider annually sanding and applying a fresh coat of protective finish, such as oil, stain, or a polyurethane coating.

Hose down wicker every few weeks to prevent dirt buildup in crevices.

Regularly wiping down wood to remove dirt, debris, and excess water is the best way to protect it.

Metal (includes wrought iron, cast iron, and aluminum)

Oxidation is the most common problem with aluminum furniture. Before cleaning, remove as much of the imperfection as possible using a metal polishing paste or a 1:1 solution of white vinegar and water.

Avoid chemicals such as ammonia and trisodium phosphate (TSP); alkaline cleaners cause oxidation.

Wash aluminum frequently to preserve its natural luster.

Remove scuff marks from aluminum with a soft cloth dampened with a nonabrasive product, such as Soft Scrub.

Combat rust by sanding it off along with damaged paint. Wipe off metal residue with a cloth dampened with mineral spirits or naphtha. Use a rust-resistant primer before painting with a rust-resistant paint.

Consider having your wrought-iron furniture sandblasted or powder-coated for added protection.

To protect after cleanings, apply a coat (two for iron) of automotive wax.

Glass

Dish detergent and home cleaning solutions are the most effective cleaners.

Remove any stuck-on debris with a glass-safe, nonabrasive material. Many scrub brushes will scratch glass, so opt for one designed to tackle tough cleanup jobs without marking your furniture.

After an initial cleaning, spray on white vinegar or glass cleaner and wipe away with a microfiber cloth or paper towel.

Clean the underside of a glass table at least once a month to prevent irreversible grime.

Cover a glass table when it's not in use. Commercial window cleaners can't always keep your glass tables clean.

Fix small scratches and chips in glass with a glass-repair kit from an automotive retailer.

Clean frames of glass tables according to their material type.

Plastic (includes hard-resin materials)

Cleaning Solutions:

1/2 cup washing soda mixed with 1 gallon warm water

3 tablespoons automatic dishwasher detergent (contains mild bleaching agent) mixed with 1 gallon warm water

For colored plastic: 1⁄4 cup vinegar mixed with 1 quart warm water

For white plastic, avoid chlorine and bleach because they eat away at the material.

For stubborn stains, dampen a clean rag with white distilled vinegar and wipe down the piece.

Sprinkle baking soda on a wet sponge to create a mild abrasive that will peel away stains but won't scratch surfaces. (Don't use abrasive cleaners; they will scratch plastic.)

Use WD-40 to restore shine; spray onto plastic and wipe clean with a dry cloth.

After washing your plastic furniture, protect it with a coat of automotive paste wax.

Though it is sad to see summer end, it’s always great to get things cleaned and ready for the next year of fun in the sun. For any of your cleaning needs, please keep SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside in mind.    

Flood Safety Tips

7/18/2017 (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.

As always, SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside 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 708-240-4873 for all your water damage needs. 

Firework Safety Tips For Your Fourth of July

6/27/2017 (Permalink)

Fireworks go with the Fourth of July like picnics, parades, and watermelon.  However, you must use caution while lighting your fireworks. The National Fireworks Safety Council offers of some great safety tips when it comes to firework safety this Fourth of July. 

  • Parents should not allow young children to handle fireworks.   
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show.
  • Do not hold a firework in your hand unless specifically stated in the caution label.
  •  Fireworks should only be used outdoors.
  • Always have water ready, both in a bucket and in a charged hose, if you are using fireworks.
  •  Wear eye protection (safety glasses) whenever using fireworks.
  • Only light one firework at a time.
  • Never relight a "dud" firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, Fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires per year, including 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 16,900 outside and other fires.

According to the Product Safety Commission, in 2015, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 11,900 people for fireworks related injuries; 51% of those injuries were to the extremities and 41% were to the head. Children younger than 15 years of age accounted for one-quarter (26%) of the estimated 2015 injuries.

Safety is an important key to having a fun holiday with your friends and family.  Remember these safety tips, and have a very Happy Fourth of July. 

Commercial Services SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/ North Riverside Can Offer You.

6/14/2017 (Permalink)

We are available 24 hours a day to get your business back up and running. Our expertise includes restoration services for fire and water damage, including electronics restoration and document drying. We are also your business’s best resource for mold remediation. 

SERVPRO of La Grange Park/North Riverside offers professional cleaning and preventative maintenance for your carpet and upholstery that keeps your property looking its best. Our cleaning system offers a number of specialized cleaning options to match your needs. Whether your business needs a deep cleaning or a persistent odor removed, you can trust SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside, and we have the training and expertise to help make it “Like it never even happened."  Call us today at 708-240-4873 for all your restoration and cleaning needs at your commercial property.  

Understanding Mold Remediation

6/14/2017 (Permalink)

We are trained mold damage specialists who get started quickly to get your  business back to normal, with specific training and certifications to handle your restoration needs. 

Our initial focus is to stop the source of water feeding the mold. Then once the source is stopped we want to utilize powerful “air scrubbers” and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in process. The antifungal and antimicrobial treatments to eliminate mold colonies and to help prevent new colonies from forming. We will also remove and dispose of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and carpeting.  

If you have concerns to mold in your commercial property, call SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside at 708-240-4873.  We are always here to help!