Recent Posts

Prevent Cigarette Fires Inside and Out

2/25/2020 (Permalink)

Young man smoking outside at house balcony Always smoke outside to diminish the risk of a house fire

How Can You Reduce The Risk Of a Cigarette Fire?

The number of cigarette smokers in the U.S. is significantly lower than a few years ago, yet cigarettes are still a leading cause of home fires. The embers of a cigarette can burn hotter than the flame of your lighter or match. Caution should always be taken when smoking, especially indoors or around flammable materials outside. Even an ashtray fire can quickly turn into a disaster if not properly supervised. So, how can you reduce the risk of a cigarette fire?

1. Don’t Smoke in Bed

The sheets and blankets on a bed can brush the cigarette and catch fire or the ashes can fall in between the folds, igniting a fire. There’s the added risk that you’ll drift off to sleep before the cigarette has burnt out completely.

2. Practice Caution Indoors

Always smoke outside to diminish the risk of a house fire. Caution should be taken outside as well, though. Try to smoke away from anything flammable; dead leaves and pine needles are extremely flammable. It’s best to stay on a patio or driveway. Never throw a lit cigarette or cigarette butt on the ground.

3. Be Mindful of a Breeze

Whether indoors or out, a breeze can carry an ember away, sparking whatever it comes in contact with. A cigarette fire can get out of control before you even notice it.

4. Don’t Smoke Around an Oxygen Machine

Smoking around pure oxygen is a serious hazard, even if the oxygen machine is turned off. Since fire requires oxygen to burn, pure oxygen allows it to burn even hotter and faster than normal.
If you are a smoker, manage your cigarette closely and make sure it’s properly extinguished. Also, be sure to keep your smoke detectors maintained. If your La Grange, IL, home sustains damage from a cigarette fire, you can count on fire cleanup professionals. They’ll return your home to its preloss condition.

How To Save Materials in Your Home After a Flood

2/11/2020 (Permalink)

Flooding in storage area Water pipe break in Westchester, IL

You do your best to safeguard your family, property, and possessions from harm and accident. Unfortunately, disasters in your home can occur and cause widespread damage. When you discover water in home, you can feel devastated by the potential loss of important items and materials. With the prompt help of a professional flood remediation company, it's possible to salvage even the most delicate possessions. There are things you can do to mitigate problems after a flood, but you can trust the pros to make your home whole again.

The Process the Professionals Use

As soon as you can, get in touch with a water removal company. Most crews can arrive at your home within a few hours of your call, regardless of the time or the day when you call. Once on the scene, the technicians will do the following:

  • Evaluate what caused water in home.
  • Assess the extent of the damage.
  • Remove all water.
  • Thoroughly dry the area.
  • Disinfect the affected area.
  • Restore and rebuild as needed.

Floor Cleaning

Hardwood floors and carpets often bear the brunt of flooding. Using dry cleaning, crews can often salvage these materials. Technicians will first tear out the carpet or wood and set them out to dry. Crews will remove all saturated water and will dry the items to avoid the growth of mold.

Document Cleaning

You've probably got books, photographs and documents in your Westchester, IL, house that you can't afford to lose. The pros will treat each item delicately, laying them out to dry. Next, a technician will use freeze-drying to remove all water. Once the paper is dry, it won't crinkle or curl.

Electronics Cleaning

Never turn on an electronic after a broken pipe or other problems caused a flood. Professional technicians will carefully get rid of any water and dry the product. Crew members have the right equipment and tools to safely do the job.
Don't let water in home spell doom for you. Professional teams have what it takes to restore your materials and belongings.

3 Common Water Problems You May Find in Your Commercial Building

1/31/2020 (Permalink)

Office flooded Commercial water loss in Maywood, IL

3 Common Water Problems You May Find in Your Commercial Building

No matter what kind of commercial building you have in Maywood, IL, it is important to keep it in top condition. Water damage is a common problem that can occur, and it can stem from leaking pipes or something larger. The following are a few issues that you should look out for.

1. Backed Up Plumbing

Sometimes, a sink or toilet backup may not be a big deal, but if it is happening often, then there could be a larger problem. Plumbing can become backed up when the water is not able to drain as it should. While this may be a simple clog that can be quickly taken care of, it can also indicate problems in your pipes. Sometimes this happens if certain materials are disposed of improperly. To prevent this, only flush paper products that are designed to dissolve quickly and avoid pouring food or grease down your drains.

2. Broken Pipes

While your plumbing system is designed to last for a long time, it will not last forever. Depending on the materials from which they are made, some pipes will need to be replaced every few decades while others may last much longer. Whatever kind of pipes your building uses, it is a good idea to perform inspections and maintenance regularly to find and repair any damage before a pipe break occurs.

3. Leaking Pipes

Leaks may not seem like as much of a problem as breaks, but they can cause quite a bit of damage over time. Excessive amounts of moisture can cause mold to grow in your building and can weaken some materials. Along with causing physical issues, leaks can also result in higher water bills, so it is best to have them fixed as soon as possible.
If any of these common problems have resulted in damage to your building, a water damage remediation company can perform cleanup and repairs. They can fix leaking pipes and other sources of moisture, remove excess water from the area, and restore your building.

What To Know About the SERVPRO Claim Inventory Service

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

Electronic claim insurance The electronic inventory system allows the restoration team to compile the list as they go

Many Reasons You May Find the Electronic Claim Inventory

When you have a business in Berwyn, IL, that has gone through storm or fire damage you may choose to contact your local SERVPRO for restoration. Not only can these professionals help with repairs, but they offer several services that may help with the insurance claim as well. You may find the electronic claim inventory system particularly useful for several reasons

1. It Keeps a List of Damaged Items

One reason the inventory system is useful is the fact that it can keep a list of damaged items. Many times when filing a claim insurance agents require these lists so they can calculate the cost of the damages. The electronic inventory system allows the restoration team to compile the list as they go, making it easier to keep track of everything.

2. It Allows you to Access Information Electronically

The ability to access the information you need for your claim electronically, can help when it comes time to file the insurance claim. Electronic access cuts down the time it would normally take to contact your restoration team and ask for information. In addition to no longer needing to play phone tag, you won’t be interrupting the restoration work every time a question needs to be answered.

3. It Helps Track Progress

Another aspect you and your insurance agent may find useful is the fact that this system can help track the progress of the restoration. As your repair team completes tasks they can update the system to show what jobs have been completed and what repairs still need to be finished.
When it comes to making an insurance claim the inventory system offered by your local SERVPRO can help. This system can keep a list of damaged items, allow you to access your information electronically, and track the restoration process. All of these things may help with the claims process.

Goal Setting From Our SERVPRO Owner

1/14/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Logo. So, next year before you go and set goals think about the bar. Have you set the bar high or have you thrown it on the ground?

Every year we set goals for ourselves that are just maybe too unrealistic. It is not that we don't want to achieve them but it is that "life gets in the way."

Is setting goals something we should all do or is it that we need to set higher expectations? Goals help us to gauge our place in life, but if we are on the correct path, don't they hold us back? People say without them we are just going to do what we need to get by. I think goal setting has brought us to where we are now, a country that just works enough to get by.

I set my goals as I have been taught and then stop and said: "what the heck am I doing?"

The goals I listed out were:

Work out with my kids!

Growth of the company!

Spend more time with my wife!

Organize the garage!

Landscape the yard!

All of these are goals that you can achieve but one directly affects the other. If I reach my goal of working out with my kids, it means that I have to be home in time to work out with them prior to them having to eat dinner, shower, and study. This means that I might have less time Monday - Friday at work to reach my second goal which is to grow the company. Then, in turn, it means that I might have to work weekends making the third goal a total disaster. I don't need that to happen, so this better work.

So, why do I do this every year?

Oh, yeah! To make sure I stay on task and grow myself, or at least that is what I have been taught over the past 45 years of my life.

Think about it, has no one ever challenged goal setting? 45 years is a long time and I think of all of the thought processes that have been changed. So, I say stop setting goals and start raising the bar on how you should live your life. If you have kids, work out with them. Show them that taking care of your body is a good thing, we only have one! Grow your business each and every year by doing what you need to do! Be present and make sure that you hire the A players. Spend time with the ones you love and dammit keep up with your yard work and housekeeping. Make a schedule and follow it. Set the bar high and keep it there. Quite looking to give yourself a way out.

I know this might be a waste of your time but I think this is an area of business/ life that we don't spend enough time on. Look at other countries and they spend a month of each year and the company they work for is still in business, grows each year, has a lower divorce rate, well-organized homes, and minimal and healthy landscaping. Believe it or not, that is a goal every year for them without calling it a goal. Since it is expected it just happens. I fully understand that we are not other countries but wouldn't it be nice to have more vacation time, family time and less stuff to take care of? I think they do that by making sure they communicate better, set higher standards and keep the want clutter down to a minimum. Raise your expectations and you will never have to set another goal again. You could be more tomorrow then you are today if you really think about what I am saying.

So, next year before you go and set goals think about the bar. Have you set the bar high or have you thrown it on the ground? A bar on the ground is quite easy to get over and it really does not involve any skill.

Keeping Your Rental Home Mold-Free

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

black mold damage to home Black mold damage in a North Riverside, IL home

Prevent Mold Growth in Your Buildings

Whether you own one rental property or several, it's important to stay on top of routine home maintenance, including mold prevention, for all residences. Stopping mold from growing in a rental home is tasked to both the tenant and the landlord, though as a landlord, you carry the responsibility of ensuring that your properties are habitable. To help prevent mold growth in your buildings, take these tips and share them with your tenants.

  • Fix water leaks
  • Control humidity levels
  • Clean and dry thoroughly after water damage

Home Maintenance

Regular maintenance and cleaning are important aspects of keeping your North Riverside, IL, home mold-free. You should routinely inspect roofs, walls, and plumbing for leaks. If you find any issues, fix them as soon as possible. Mold thrives in moisture, so removing the water source is crucial for stopping mold. If possible, have all carpets and upholstery in the home sanitized on a regular schedule.

Air Quality

Controlling air quality is crucial in mold prevention. Mold spores live in the air and are found everywhere. When spores are trapped in areas with high humidity levels and land on organic materials, they will likely grow into problematic colonies. Keeping your air well-circulated and controlling humidity can help prevent mold growth.

Mold Remediation

If your property suffers water damage of any kind, you should immediately contact experts in water and mold damage restoration. While you can take some steps yourself to lessen the damage, you will need professionals with the correct training and equipment to fully clean and restore your property.
Take mold prevention steps early to best avoid any issues in your North Riverside, IL, rental building. As a landlord, you are responsible in the long run for ensuring safe and clean residences for your renters. Share this information with your tenants so that they can take steps to prevent mold while they reside in your property, as well.

Commercial Fire_4_Business Tips for Fire Preparedness

12/31/2019 (Permalink)

Contingency Plan A contingency plan needs to be clearly communicated

Commercial Fire_4_Business Tips for Fire Preparedness

As a successful business owner in Broadview, IL, you strive to be prepared for anything. When it comes to a fire breaking out, just having alarms and extinguishers is not enough. A fire contingency plan is a well-thought plan catered specifically to your business to ensure the safety of everyone on-site. Establishing a plan may also reduce the damage to a structure, speeding up the fire damage restoration process.

Establish Specific Roles

Along with establishing and mapping an evacuation plan, which should be posted throughout the building, it’s important that people completely understand what to do in case of an emergency. As part of the plan, assign key roles to specific people to help guide a smooth evacuation. These roles may include:

Assign one person to be the overall point person for planning, preparing and instigating the plan. This person should also be responsible for conducting a headcount at a determined safe location.
Since no one knows when a fire may break out, the main fire chief should have an assistant. They work closely with the main person to understand protocols. If both are on-site, the assistant can take responsibility for alerting employees and calling 911.
Depending on the size of the business, route guides should be available to ensure that set evacuation paths are clear and people can calmly exit the premises.
For businesses with multiple floors, assign a monitor to each floor to verify the area has been cleared.

Cover all the Bases

A contingency plan needs to be clearly communicated. Along with taking the time to ensure each employee knows how to use emergency equipment, it is also important to test the plan. Just like a school drill, businesses should conduct a fake emergency evacuation to ensure it works and see areas that may need improvement.
A contingency plan provides peace of mind that your most valuable assets, your people, will know exactly what to do in case of an emergency. Take the time to prepare and communicate to ensure your plan works.

Key Differences Between Storm Damage and Flooding

12/23/2019 (Permalink)

A fallen tree between two building Wind gusts can even knock over trees onto the building

It's a scenario that no business owner wants to encounter: You come to work one day and find water on the floor or dripping from the ceiling. Not only do you worry about the cost and inconvenience of cleaning it up and making repairs, but there's a chance it'll interrupt your operations. Flood damage can be severe, but incoming water doesn't necessarily have to cause widespread problems. It's important to make a distinction between a flood and damage from a storm.

Prevention Tips

There are ways you can minimize the risk of flooding in your Hillside, IL, office. Keeping water out of the building will help safeguard building materials, electronic equipment, documents and more. Look at the following safety measures:

  • Install a backflow system in the plumbing.
  • Have a sump pump in the lower levels of the facility.
  • Check pipes and the roof for leaks.
  • Make sure water is draining away from the building.

Storm Damage
Heavy rains and other severe weather such as thunderstorms or hurricanes can cause significant storm damage. High winds can damage the roof and tear off the siding. Wind gusts can even knock over trees onto the building. Rain can come into the office through cracks in the foundation or gaps in windows. All of these factors can destroy drywall, flooring and other building materials. Without the help of a professional disaster cleanup team, you face a lengthy recovery process.

Floods
Flood damage can come from both storms and from other causes. While incoming rain and overflowing waterways certainly pose dangers. Your office may be prone to floods from other sources such as a sewer backup, the main water line break or bursting pipes. Floods from these culprits can sometimes be more severe because you may not immediately detect them.
Whether your building has suffered flood damage from a storm or a malfunctioning system in the office, you need to act fast. Call a reliable water removal expert to make your office safe once more.

Important Clean-up Steps After a Flood

12/6/2019 (Permalink)

Important Clean-up Steps After a Flood

If you discover water in home, it's important to respond quickly to mitigate the damage. With the right help, you can salvage many of the items in your Riverside, IL, house. There are steps you can take to minimize problems, but you should also contact a professional to handle the more significant damage.

Immediate Aftermath

Your first job once you discover flooding in your home is to try to stop the source, if it's safe to do so. You should also contact your insurance company to file a claim and get a hold of a professional flood remediation team to assess the extent of the damage. In the meantime, you can do the following:

  • Unplug all electronics.
  • Remove items out of the water or away from the wet areas.
  • Lay clothes, documents or other materials out to dry.

Cleaning Carpets and Furniture

A professional water cleanup company may be able to salvage wet carpet and furniture. The team will use a thorough dry cleaning process to extract water from the floor and from sofas or chairs. It is also important to dry out the materials to discourage the growth of mold. Crews will use high-powered fans and dehumidifiers to accomplish this. Lastly, a technician will sanitize the area to kill any fungal growth.

Cleaning Documents

Whether it's a broken pipe or a massive storm that brings water inside your house, paper can suffer damage from the flood. Specialists can use freeze-drying methods to save items such as books, photographs, maps and documents.

Cleaning Electronics

It's no secret that moisture and products such as computers, televisions and stereos don't mix. When you have water in home, electronics can suffer. Luckily, the professionals have effective methods to carefully treat the items. The team will start by drying the outside and then will move to the interior of the electronics. You shouldn't try to handle wet electronics by yourself.
For water in home, make sure you get a professional water removal company on the job. You can rest assured knowing you can still use many of your belongings.

Will Insurance Pay For Mold Remediation?

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

A drywall covered with black mold Does your insurance company cover mold damage?

Will Insurance Pay For Mold Remediation?

If you notice fungus growth, it's best to eliminate it quickly, using the professional services of a mold remediation company in Lyons, IL. These specialists have equipment and knowledge to assist in the cleanup process. Restoration costs can add up quickly, though, and you're probably wondering whether your homeowners insurance can help pay the bill. Sometimes it does, and sometimes it won't. You'll want to review your policy and speak with your insurance adjuster. Here are three things to know before having that conversation.

1. Was It Accidental?

Is mold coverage not in your policy? Owners usually have to add it separately. That doesn't mean that you can't get aid. Did your roof cave in from a snow or ice? Did a pipe suddenly freeze and burst? Insurance companies may payout if the spores spread as a result of something out of the homeowner's control. If the initiating incident is included then the subsequent events get bundled with it.

2. Was the Issue Remedied Quickly?

Before a check is cut, the company could ask for evidence proving your home was under proper care. Take the broken pipe for example. Can you prove that you called for help as soon as possible? Did you let it sit and fester for a while? If the latter is the case, you may have encouraged the fungus growth, giving grounds for denial. It's best to care for water damage as quickly as possible. Prove your efforts by saving receipts. Show efforts to have repairs made and dry up the premises.

3. Is a Different Policy Available?

Speak openly about concerns. As you meet about policy updates including mold insurance limits. For instance, some companies only pay up to a certain amount, capping the remediation and leaving the rest of the cost to the residents. Consider supplementing coverage. While you may have to pay a bit more each year, that annual amount could offset large numbers during.
Eliminate fungus growth as soon as possible. When you notice an issue, locate experts and then contact your insurance company.