Recent Posts

Internship at SERVPRO

5/7/2020 (Permalink)

Cleaning and Disinfecting Job We are all in this together!

The company that I am interning for is SERVPRO of Elmhurst/Arlington Heights & N. Prospect/Lagrange Park & N. Riverside. The office location is located in Broadview IL, and the areas that are listed are the territories that our marketing team is allowed to market in. SERVPRO is a franchise that is owned and operated by personal owners. We have over 1,700 locations across the United States. Our company focuses on fire, water and mold restoration and mitigation for disasters that strike homes, buildings, businesses, etc. We are also currently doing cleaning and disinfecting for COVID-19 with our Vanquish product and fogging system. As far as what I do as an intern at SERVPRO, I work alongside the marketing and sales team. Our job is to go on daily routes around our territories and market SERVPRO to insurance agents, restaurants, hotels, churches, retail stores, etc. You name it, SERVPRO can help! However, one major struggle we are having during this time is not being able to go out on our daily routes to market and sell because of the current pandemic we are in. Therefore, all the team members are in the office and are brainstorming ideas on how to market SERVPRO from behind a computer screen. Some ideas we have come up with is marketing through social media. This is mainly my job because the other members don’t care for it, and I actually really like it. I have access to all the social media accounts like Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. Every day I come in and do daily posts on all the accounts in order to ensure we are getting the SERVPRO name out on the Internet more. Especially now since everyone is at home with the stay-at-home order in place, they are constantly on their smart devices. I also have been doing blog entries on the SERVPRONet website about my internship here at SERVPRO. SERVPRONet is a personal website for SERVPRO employees to access that has updated news for everyone, marketing tools, sales techniques, and so on. I also have been attending weekly WebEx meetings with the SERVPRO marketing headquarters with all different SERVPRO franchises across the country. They show us helpful tools to use while being stuck at home or in the office. Another major event that our company has been doing is free cleaning and disinfecting for our first responders. Our team members have been going out and doing cleaning and disinfecting to the vehicles and offices of police and fire departments in our territories. This has given our company major recognition on social media websites, and we are even building relationships that we didn’t have before. I love what I do here at SERVPRO and I have learned so many different techniques about marketing and sales that I never knew before. This has given me so much more confidence when approaching new people, and building up my relationship skills. I have developed a different side of professionalism that I didn’t know I had before, and it is truly amazing to see the growth I have gained because of SERVPRO. The employees I work with treat everyone like family, and it is very welcoming when you walk in the door every day. I always have a smile on my face when I enter in the morning, and then when I leave in the afternoon. I love coming to work every day, and that is exactly how it should be. Thank you SERVPRO for letting be on this internship journey with your company!

Cleaning & Disinfecting for COVID-19

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

ServprOxide This is the product we use for the cleaning and disinfecting for COVID-19. We want to help do our part in stopping the spread of the virus!

Hello,

We have been out servicing 911 call centers, trucks, distribution warehouses and distribution offices that are keeping our stores stocked with supplies and know that our Police and Fire Departments also need to be out to protect our communities but also need to stay free from a spread of the SARS-CoV-2” COVID-19 .   

We here at SERVPRO wanted to let you all know that we are currently are open to help combat the spread of the virus.  SERVPRO, with direction from the CDC have put together protocol to deal with “SARS-CoV-2” COVID-19 pro-actively (pre-positive test) and reactively (post-positive test).

These general guidelines are broad in scope and are not-specific protocols. Any protocols from federal, state, local agencies, or an industrial hygienist would supersede these guidelines. A CAT system has been designed for the different calls as it relates to “SARS-CoV-2” COVID-19.

CAT1: Proactive cleaning only CAT2: Person under investigation (PUI) or possible exposure CAT3: Confirmed, positive case

The protocol for CAT 1 is attached along with the SDS sheets, Chemical information, approval forms and rates for the services. We know that it is ever changing at a rapid rate and is very volatile. If you are in need of any services please reach out to us and we will do our best to help answer any questions or perform any work.

CAT 2 and CAT 3 – Protocol:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus (named “SARS-CoV-2”) that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, and spread to dozens of countries throughout the world. This is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation and the CDC will provide updated information as it becomes available, in-addition to updated guidance.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/cleaning-disinfection.html

Cleaning and Disinfection After Persons Suspected/Confirmed to Have COVID-19 Have Been in the Facility

Timing and location of cleaning and disinfection of surfaces

  • At a school, daycare center, office, or other facility that does not house people overnight:
    • It is recommended to close off areas used by the ill persons and wait as long as practical before beginning cleaning and disinfection to minimize potential for exposure to respiratory droplets. Open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area. If possible, wait up to 24 hours before beginning cleaning and disinfection.
    • Cleaning staff should clean and disinfect all areas (e.g., offices, bathrooms, and common areas) used by the ill persons, focusing especially on frequently touched surfaces.
  • At a facility that does house people overnight:
    • Follow Interim Guidance for US Institutions of Higher Education on working with state and local health officials to isolate ill persons and provide temporary housing as needed.
    • It is recommended to close off areas used by the ill persons and wait as long as practical before beginning cleaning and disinfection to minimize potential for exposure to respiratory droplets. Open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area. If possible, wait up to 24 hours before beginning cleaning and disinfection.
    • In areas where ill persons are being housed in isolation, follow Interim Guidance for Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection for U.S. Households with Suspected or Confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019. This includes focusing on cleaning and disinfecting common areas where staff/others providing services may come into contact with ill persons, but reducing cleaning and disinfection of bedrooms/bathrooms used by ill persons to as needed.
    • In areas where ill persons have visited or used, continue routine cleaning and disinfection as in this guidance.

How to Clean and Disinfect

Surfaces

  • If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
  • For disinfection, diluted household bleach solutions, alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol, and most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective.
    • Diluted household bleach solutions can be used if appropriate for the surface. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.
  • Prepare a bleach solution by mixing:
    • 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water or
    • 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water
    • Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims are expected to be effective against COVID-19 based on data for harder to kill viruses. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, etc.).
    • For soft (porous) surfaces such as carpeted floor, rugs, and drapes, remove visible contamination if present and clean with appropriate cleaners indicated for use on these surfaces. After cleaning:
    • If the items can be laundered, launder items in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and then dry items completely.
    • Otherwise, use products with the EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims (examples at this link) that are suitable for porous surfaces

Thank you for your time and stay safe.

We are still open!

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

Here to Help We are still open during this pandemic, and want our customers to know we are here to help with whatever they may need!

SERVPRO of Elmhurst provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in Elmhurst. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.

  • 24-Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any-Sized Disaster
  • Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
  • A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment 

Have Questions? Call SERVPRO of Elmhurst 630-758-1701

Residential Services

Whether your Elmhurst home needs emergency flood damage or your upholstery cleaned, you can depend on us.  Our technicians have extensive cleaning and restoration training and can make your property look its best. Learn more about our residential services:

  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Mold Remediation
  • Storm Damage Restoration
  • Cleaning Services
  • Building/Reconstruction Services

Commercial Services

There's never a convenient time for fire or Water damage to strike your Elmhurst commercial property. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. When the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services we have the training and expertise to respond promptly with highly trained technicians to get your property back to business. 

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.