Recent Posts

6 Things that Cause Sump Pump Failures

4/20/2018 (Permalink)

It is spring time in LaGrange Park, 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 of LaGrange Park/North Riverside is here to help.  Give us a call at 708-240-4873. 

What you should know about C. Diff

4/16/2018 (Permalink)

According to Mayo Clinic “when something upsets the balance of these organisms in your gut, otherwise harmless bacteria can grow out of control and make you sick. One of the worst offenders is a bacterium called Clostridium difficile (C. difficile, or C. diff). As the bacteria overgrow they release toxins that attack the lining of the intestines, causing a condition called Clostridium difficilecolitis.” C. diff is one of the most important causes of infectious diarrhea in the U.S. according to the CDC.

How Does It Spread?

  1. diff is found in feces and is transmitted by touch. If you come into contact with an infected surface, then touch your mouth or nose, the disease can enter your body through the mucous membranes. It can also be passed by touching an infected person, which is part of why it is so prevalent in healthcare settings or in places where sick people are common. People with compromised immune systems, including the elderly, are at an increased risk of catching this illness.

About 50 percent of the population naturally carries clostridium difficile (C. diff) in their intestines. The bacteria, C. diff, exists within the body in a vegetative state and doesn’t make people sick, unless illness, disease and antibiotic use puts them at risk.

What To Do If Someone You Know Has Contracted C. Diff?

The most important part and first thing you should do is get medical attention for the person with symptoms of having C. Diff. Then protect the rest of your home and prevent any reinfection by having your home thoroughly cleaned by a professional biohazard service like SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside. This precaution is especially important if the ill person shares a bathroom with others, or if there are small children or elderly in the home. Even if surfaces like faucets and sinks appear clean, c. Difficile can be incredibly resistant to household cleaners and disinfectants. A traditional house cleaning may not be enough to defeat the illness.

“Studies have shown that out of all the surfaces that must be cleaned in a hospital room, only 39 percent will actually be cleaned by housekeepers,” Benjamin Tanner, president of Antimicrobial Test Laboratories. Using a professional service like SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside, we are trained and use specialty equipment and environmentally green products to clean and disinfect the areas that have come in contact with the bacteria.

As with all of your commercial and home cleaning needs, we are here to help.  We are “faster to any size disaster”. Call us at 708-240-4873, for an appointment.

Spring Cleaning Fire Safety Tips

4/12/2018 (Permalink)

Spring has finally sprung in LaGrange Park!  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 LaGrange Park/North Riverside 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 708-240-4873.  We are always “Faster to any sized disaster”. 

Spring Cleaning DIY Tips

4/10/2018 (Permalink)

Spring is here, and the ability to throw open your windows and to clean out all the clutter from the winter has arrived.  It is a great feeling to clean out the clutter, but it is also helpful for your health to deep clean your home. Here are a few of our favorite DYI tips.

  • Remove water stains with lemon for a natural faucet fix

This spring, make faucets clean and sparkly by rubbing a lemon half on the water stains. The citric acid helps remove hard water marks. Then, use the other half of the lemon for our next tip.

  • Clean your microwave by heating lemon juice and rinds in water

Cut a lemon into halves, squeeze the juice into 1/2 cup of water and drop the rinds into the mixture. Microwave for three minutes and let it stand for five minutes without opening the door. The trapped steam will loosen the grime, so you can wipe the microwave clean with less elbow grease.

  • Use white vinegar to beat shower head buildup

Looking for more natural ways to clean your bathroom? Vinegar can dissolve the mineral deposits accumulate in showerheads over time, causing reduced pressure and water flow. Fill a plastic bag with white vinegar, secure it over the showerhead with a rubber band and leave it overnight to get rid of buildup. Just be sure to run the shower before you hop in, or you risk smelling like vinegar all day.

  • Clean stainless steel sinks with baking soda

Simply wet your sink and faucet, sprinkle baking soda, and scrub with a sponge. If you need more heavy-duty scrubbing power, add salt to the baking soda.

  • Use newspaper to clean dirty windows and mirrors

Mix ¼ cup of white vinegar, 2 cups of water and 2 teaspoons of liquid soap into a spray bottle. Spray the mixture onto the glass and scrub with newspaper for a streak-free window or mirror. The ink acts as a mild abrasive and allows you to make use of old newspapers.

  • Organize your fridge and cabinets with rotating turntables

Don’t limit rotating turntables and Lazy Susan’s to your tabletops. After discarding old condiments and spices, organize your pantries and refrigerator with this useful storage hack.

  • Place a wet dryer sheet on your ceramic stovetop to remove burnt-on residue

Dryer sheets are non-abrasive and a great way to remove burnt-on food from your stove. Place the wet dryer sheet on your stovetop at least 15 minutes before rubbing the gunk away.

  • Clean your grill with an onion.

Get your grill cleaned up and ready for the warm weather. First, heat it up and spray some white vinegar onto the grates to help loosen the residue. Then, scrub the area firmly using half an onion. The acid from the onion will rid your grill of any leftover remnants.

 Remember, spring means clean!  Let SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside help you with your spring cleaning of your HVAC system, and your carpets.  Give us a call at 708-240-4873. 

Controlling Mold Growth Indoors During Spring Cleaning

4/4/2018 (Permalink)

With the spring season’s warming weather we often open up our windows and take on the task of spring cleaning. The key to mold control is moisture control, people might not think to check for excess moisture that could lead to mold growth and take steps to prevent mold from becoming a problem in the home.

There are molds that can grow on wood, carpet and insulation. Mold growth will often occur when excessive moisture accumulates in buildings or on building materials. Molds are everywhere in the environment and can grow on virtually any organic substance where moisture and oxygen are present.  If the moisture problem remains undiscovered it can affect your home’s indoor air quality and the health of people sensitive to mold. Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposure include allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory complaints.

The EPA has listed several steps to control the mold in your home. 

  • Clean and repair roof gutters regularly.
  • Make sure the ground slopes away from the building foundation, so that water does not enter or collect around the foundation.
  • Identify and fix plumbing leaks and other water problems immediately.
  • If you see condensation or moisture collecting on windows, walls or pipes dry the wet surface and reduce the moisture/water source.
  • When water leaks or spills occur indoors.  If wet or damp materials or areas are dried 24 to 48 hours after a leak or spill, in many cases, mold will not grow.
  • Scrub any visible mold off hard surfaces with detergent and water and dry the area completely.
  • Keep air conditioning drip pans clean and the drain lines unobstructed and flowing properly.
  • Keep indoor humidity low.  If possible, keep indoor humidity below 60 percent ideally between 30 and 50 percent — relative humidity.  Relative humidity can be measured with a moisture or humidity meter, a small, inexpensive instrument available at many hardware stores.

 Mold is a serious concern not just in the spring, but all seasons of the year.  If you believe that you have mold in your home, give SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside today at 708-240-4873.

April Showers Bring May Flowers

3/30/2018 (Permalink)

We all know the “April Showers Bring May Flowers” rhyme from our childhood, but those April showers can also bring water damage to your home.

Often we see home owners call about sewer drain back up, and find they have the coverage but have a cap on that coverage.  It is very important for a homeowner to know their policy, so they do not find a large out of pocket expense when those spring rains start over flowering their sewer drains. 

Another loss that we find in the spring time are related to the gutters.  The winds start kicking up debris into the gutters or the gutters were not cleaned in the previous fall before winter struck and now there is water damage in the ceilings of home from full gutters. 

Also, with the wind, rain, and hail we find roof damage and damage from tree branches rise in the spring as well.  If a strong storm roars through, you may find your siding damaged by hail and shingles that the wind ripped off the roof. When wind blows shingles from your roof, it makes your home vulnerable to rain, creating the need for emergency roof repair, and water mitigation in your home as well. Make sure that you are taking care of droopy tree branches, and checking the shingles on your roof to see what sort of damage may have occurred during the winter.

Water damage is never fun to deal with as a homeowner. If you experience damage from those spring showers, remember SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside is always here to help. Give us a call at 708-240-4873. 

Don't Let Mold Bloom In Your Home This Spring

3/26/2018 (Permalink)

First, let’s discuss, what is mold? According to the EPA, “Mold is a family of fungi and mold spores are everywhere, both indoors and outdoors. There are many thousands of varieties and we are exposed to them all the time, typically without incident. Mold spores feed on or break down organic substances.”

There are four factors that need to be present for mold growth to begin: mold spores, moisture, temperatures to promote growth, and a food source.  When molds produce potentially toxic mycotoxins, can lead to health problems like asthma and other respiratory complications. The elderly, young children, and those with known respiratory are very susceptible to reactions when mold is present. The presence of dangerous mold requires a licensed, certified mold removal and remediation company.

Molds are everywhere in the environment and can grow on virtually any organic substance where moisture and oxygen are present.  If the moisture problem remains undiscovered it can affect your home’s indoor air quality and the health of people sensitive to mold.  The key to getting rid of mold is quickly removing the water from your property. 

At SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside our trained mold specialists take all necessary precautions to protect you from exposure to the hazards of mold in the home. They’ll evaluate the mold issue, completely remove and remediate the area and restore it to its original condition. We also can help take care of the water source causing the mold.  If you suspect mold in your home, give us a call at 708-240-4873. 

Candle Fire Safety

3/23/2018 (Permalink)

According to National Fire Safety Association, “Roughly one-third (36%) of home candle fires started in bedrooms. These fires caused 32% of the associated deaths and 47% of the associated injuries. Falling asleep was a factor in 11% percent of the home candle fires and 30% of the associated deaths. On average, 25 home candle fires were reported per day.”

Some safety tips to remember when burning a candle:

  • Always keep a burning candle within sight.  Extinguish all candles when leaving a room or before going to sleep. Be sure the wick ember is no longer glowing.
  • Be sure the candle-holder is placed on a stable, heat-resistant surface. This can help prevent heat damage to underlying surfaces and prevent glass containers from breaking.
  • Always burn candles in a well-ventilated room. Don’t burn too many candles in a small room or in a “tight” home where air exchange is limited.
  • Place burning candles at least three inches apart from one another. This helps ensure they don’t melt one another, or create their own drafts to cause improper burning.
  • Keep burning candles away from drafts, vents, ceiling fans and air currents. This will help prevent rapid, uneven burning, and avoid flame flare-ups and sooting. Drafts can also blow nearby lightweight items into the flame where they could catch fire.
  • Use a snuffer to extinguish a candle. It’s the safest way to prevent hot wax splatters.

When putting out a candle fire, never extinguish candles with water. The water can cause the hot wax to splatter and might cause a glass container to break. Make sure that you have a fire extinguisher within reach.  Never use water, as it will spread the fire.  If you don't have a proper fire extinguisher nearby, use baking soda, sand or flour to extinguish the flames.

If you experience a fire in your home or business, give SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside a call at 708-240-4873.  We are always here to help. 

How To Prevent Mold Growth

3/19/2018 (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 LaGrange Park/North Riverside is here to help.  Give us a call at 708-240-4873 and set an appointment for us to come and look at your home or business to assess the suspected mold damage.

Why is Carpet Cleaning So Important?

3/14/2018 (Permalink)

Just take a moment to think about all the allergens, bacteria, and dust that are hiding in your carpeting.  Gives you the chills a little bit, if you are like me.  However, it’s not all about the contaminates found in your carpeting, but it helps maintain the carpeting, saves you money in the long run, and improves the smell in the carpeting.   

Saving you money, you say?  Yes, carpets are expensive.   Regularly cleaning your carpet helps to keep it in good condition, protecting the money you spent on it. If you are looking to sell your home soon, or if you have brand new carpeting, it’s much easier to spend some money to call SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside, rather than replacing the entire area.

We all know that first impressions are important.  Maintaining your carpeting will allow your home/office to look clean.  Vacuuming regularly is a great way to remove dirt and debris that ends up in the carpet. However, a regular deep clean is also needed to get some tougher stains out. 

Got children?  Got pets? If so, there is a good chance that your carpet does not smell as great as it did before.  Routine cleanings are important, and an occasional steam clean is a great option if you want a fresh smelling carpet.

Last, but certainly not least, the best way to prevent spreading bacteria and allergens is to have a regularly scheduled carpet cleaning.  Carpets are a perfect breeding ground for allergens and bacteria, and they can expose you and your family to dangerous pollutants. Especially if you have young children or pets, or if someone in the home has allergies, regular carpet cleaning is essential.

Call SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside at 708-240-4873 to schedule your carpet cleaning.  We are always here to help.