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We Are Here to Help!!

1/14/2022 (Permalink)

water emergency service flooding We Answer the Phone Ready to Help

SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

Call us today: (708) 240-4873

Will Insurance Pay For Mold Remediation

1/13/2022 (Permalink)

Will insurance pay for mold remediation? If you notice mold growth, it's best to eliminate it quickly. SERVPRO has the equipment and knowledge to assist in the cleanup process.

If you notice mold growth, it's best to eliminate it quickly. SERVPRO has the equipment and knowledge to assist in the cleanup process. Restoration costs can add up quickly, though, and you're probably wondering whether your homeowner's 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 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.

Eliminate mold growth as soon as possible. When you notice an issue, call SERVPRO and we will contact your insurance company if needed.

COVID-19 CLEANING & DISINFECTING SERVICES

1/9/2022 (Permalink)

Covid cleaning services We provide preventative cleaning services as well as cleaning after a probable or proven exposure to assist reduce transmission.

Protect Your Employees & Guests From COVID-19

About Coronavirus

Beginning in 2020, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention responded to an outbreak of a respiratory disease caused by a new coronavirus that was first detected in China and spread internationally. While the virus is termed coronavirus, the sickness that results after infection is termed COVID-19.

COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, which is a global outbreak of a disease.

About Our Services

SERVPRO® of La Grange Park / N. Riverside technicians are specially trained to clean and disinfect your home or business according to CDC guidelines. We have years of experience dealing with biological hazards, and we will go above and beyond what janitorial personnel does on a daily basis. Our technicians are qualified to undertake a proactive cleanup that includes cleaning and disinfection of the business or structure. Washing porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting non-porous surfaces, cleaning, and disinfecting equipment, tools, and/or supplies used in the cleanup process, and waste disposal are all common cleanup methods.

Residential homes, small and large enterprises, schools and universities, commercial buildings, factories and plants, government facilities, and more can all benefit from SERVPRO's skilled cleaning services. COVID-19 was specifically addressed by our Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned defensive cleaning program. We provide preventative cleaning services as well as cleaning after a probable or proven exposure to assist reduce transmission.

What Chemical Do We Use to Clean?

While we use a range of disinfectants to destroy hazardous bacteria and viruses, SERVPROxide is the disinfectant of choice in COVID-19 cases. SERVPROxide is a hospital-grade disinfectant that has been shown to be effective on hard, non-porous surfaces against viruses like SARS-CoV-2. The CDC has cleared it for COVID-19 cleaning.

Call us today at (708) 240-4873 if your home or business has been exposed to COVID-19

Be Prepared for the Next Winter Storm With These Tips!

1/6/2022 (Permalink)

how to prepare for a winter storm Before the next winter storm arrives, get your car's antifreeze levels, battery, ignition system, exhaust system, heater, lights, and oil checked.

Winter storms can bring not only a lot of snow, but also bitterly cold temperatures, strong gusts, freezing rain, and ice. They can bring down trees, make roads and pathways extremely unsafe, and produce power outages that linger for days. Schools and daycare facilities may be closed as a result of the disruption to public transit. Winter storms also increase the likelihood of car accidents, hypothermia, frostbite, carbon monoxide poisoning, and heart attacks.

That's why, with winter storm season in full swing, knowing how to protect yourself, your family, and your house safe is essential.

Here are some things you can do now to prepare for the impending storm.

1. Make sure you have enough food in your pantry.

Because it's critical to stay indoors and avoid traveling during a winter storm, making sure you're well-stocked on food is critical. Many non-perishable things should be in your pantry so that you don't have to worry about anything deteriorating if you lose electricity. Ideally, you should have enough food to last at least three days.

2. Buy Bottled Water

Make sure you have plenty of bottled water on hand in case your pipes freeze and you can't get water from the tap. You may also require water for brushing your teeth, cleaning dishes, flushing toilets, or bathing if your pipes freeze. You can also prepare ahead of time by filling the bathtub, jugs, bottles, and other containers with water.

3. Get your prescriptions filled and hygiene items picked up

Make sure all of your prescription drug prescriptions are filled so that you have enough on hand to last at least three days, if not a week. This eliminates the need to rush to the pharmacy when the roads are poor. 

You should also stock up on any hygiene products you may require, like as diapers, toilet paper, tampons, and toothpaste. Picking up moist toilet paper can also be beneficial if water is scarce.

4. Check your tools and stock up on ice melt.

Ice melt salt sells out quickly in local stores just before a storm, so start buying up early to ensure you have enough for after the storm. You'll need enough to shovel and salt all of your outside stairs, stoops, and walkways immediately following the storm, before the snow melts and turns to ice as the temperature drops. 

Before the storm hits, make sure you have a good snow shovel (or two). Make sure they aren't too worn or cracked, as this will only complicate your life. You'll also want to make sure your tool kit is up to date and simple to locate, since you may need a wrench or pliers to quickly turn off utilities.

5. Be Prepared For A Power Outage

Charge your cell phones in advance of the storm, and have some portable battery backups available in case the power goes out. It's also a good idea to keep flashlights or battery-powered lights around the house so you don't have to waste time looking for them. 

If you live in a region where power outages are common, you should consider purchasing a generator, either a portable or a standby one for your home. If you have a portable generator, make sure you have enough gasoline or propane before the storm to operate it whenever and for as long as you need it. Always use portable models outside, away from windows, and never use them indoors or in confined locations like garages, crawl spaces, or basements.

6. Take Care of Your Water Pipes

Allow cold water to flow from faucets supplied by exposed pipes to help prevent frozen pipes. Running water, even at a trickle, is less likely to freeze. Allow warm air to circulate near plumbing by opening cabinet doors in the kitchen and bathroom. Pipe insulation should be added to any pipes that are prone to freezing. Maintain a temperature of no less than 55 degrees Fahrenheit inside your home.

7. Make sure your windows and doors are well-sealed.

Drafty windows and doors let chilly air in while letting warm air out. That's why it's a good idea to use an insulation kit from any hardware shop to seal any windows. Weatherstripping can also be purchased at the store to improve the seal on your front door. 

Insulated blinds are also available to help keep the warm air inside the house.

8. Inspect and replace smoke and carbon monoxide detectors if necessary.

Make that your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are still operational. It's advisable to replace them with detectors that work during a power outage if they aren't already battery-powered or battery-backed to keep your family safe.

9. Get Your Backyard Ready

Take a trip around your yard before the storm to check for any tree limbs that could fall on your house. If you have the ability, you should prune those back to prevent them from causing damage to your property during the storm – or hire someone to do it for you. 

If any tree branches are near power lines, you should get them trimmed or chopped back by a professional or the utility to assist reduce the danger of a power outage. 

Mulch your gardens, if you haven't already, to protect plants that you don't want to freeze.

10. Get Your Car Ready

Before the next winter storm arrives, get your car's antifreeze levels, battery, ignition system, exhaust system, heater, lights, and oil checked. 

Then, in case you're trapped in your automobile due to the blizzard, prepare your car with items you might require. Blankets, water, chains, jumper cables, ice scrapers, maps, bottle water, warm clothing, non-perishable snacks, and a first-aid kit should all be in your car. It's also a good idea to have some sand or kitty litter on hand in case you get stranded in the snow or ice.

11. Keep yourself up to date

Listen to your NOAA weather radio for hazardous weather alerts and warnings. Always keep an eye on the weather forecast, whether it's on the internet or on your phone. Sign up for emergency alerts and updates in your area. 

In the event of an emergency, know how to cut off your utilities, such as gas lines. 

Before the storm strikes, do some research on nearby shelters and warming centers, and establish a plan for where to go and how to get there if you need to leave your house in an emergency. 

Also, be aware of the symptoms of hypothermia and frostbite, and be prepared to check on your neighbors, particularly if they are elderly or have young children who are more vulnerable to the cold.

The Fire Hazards of Winter!

12/30/2021 (Permalink)

Winter Fire Safety Tips Anything that can burn should be kept at least three feet away from heating equipment!!

Keeping ourselves and our houses warm during winter can rapidly turn into a fire hazard, whether it's with a space heater, candles, or an electric blanket. There are various things you can do to make your home more fire-safe, as well as activities you can personally adopt to assist you to stay safe this winter.

Candles

  • Candles should be kept at least 3 feet away from anything that can catch fire.
  • Place candles in robust holders and in places where they won't be easily knocked over.
  • Make sure that candles are out of reach of youngsters and dogs.
  • If you leave the room, fall asleep, or go to bed, extinguish all candles.

Electrical equipment/appliances

  • Only use one wall outlet at a time to plug in a heat-producing gadget (coffee maker, space heater, microwave, etc.).
  • When using a heat-producing appliance, never utilize an extension cord.
  • Extension cords should only be used for a short period of time.
  • Furniture, beds, curtains, clothing, and flammable or combustible gases and liquids should all be kept away from lamps, light fixtures, and light bulbs.

Heaters

  • Make room for space heaters! Anything that can burn should be kept at least three feet away from heating equipment (furnace, fireplace, wood stove, portable heater, etc.).
  • When you leave the room or go to bed, turn off the space heater.
  • A competent specialist should clean and inspect your heating equipment and chimneys once a year.
  • Never heat your home using an oven.

Always make sure you have a working smoke and carbon monoxide alarm at all times in case of a fire.

Here's What You Need in Your Winter Car Emergency Kit if You Get Stranded in a Snow Storm

12/1/2021 (Permalink)

Winter Car Emergency Kit Winter Car Emergency Kit

For the drivers in your family, including yourself, a winter car emergency kit is a must-have. Winter weather may leave you stranded, but having a well-stocked emergency pack can help you get back on the road, or at the very least make the time you wait for help safer and more comfortable.

  • Booster cables for batteries. You'll need these if you have a dead battery or if you need to assist someone who has a dead battery. A portable jump starter, on the other hand, is simple to use and effective, but it must be kept charged while on the road.
  • Ice scraper. In the snowbelt, every car should have an ice scraper and a brush. Scrapers are usually included in the kits for a low cost. It is preferable to include a snow brush/scraper that makes cleaning snow prior to travel much easier. It is the law in several areas to clear your automobile of all snow. Even if it isn't, it's just good manners to keep your blowing snow from obstructing another driver's eyesight.
  • Portable Shovel. These are useful for digging out a car that has been buried by plows or stranded by the side of the road, as well as creating space around a tailpipe for lengthy idling to avoid pollutants from entering the vehicle. A collapsible shovel is included in most kits. (The shovels are available in various sizes and strengths.) If you've ever had to dig your car out, a full-sized shovel may be necessary, as tiny shovels can be tough to handle on larger operations. Additionally, have a bag of sand in your trunk to aid traction.
  • Handy Items. The majority of kits feature a flashlight, and some also include a warning cone to alert approaching traffic of your presence. For that flashlight, bring extra batteries. Roadside triangles should be included in every pack, and some come with a reflective safety vest.
  • A basic first-aid kit. Most emergency kits include a section for the minimal necessities, such as bandaging a tiny cut. Add items that are unique to your health needs, and keep in mind how temperature can alter medications.
  • Charger for cell phone. A cell phone charger is a useful thing to keep in the car, especially during the winter and on road trips, because almost everyone nowadays has a smartphone hooked to their hip.
  • Other items that are common. Gloves, a blanket, a rain poncho, wipes, and rags can all help you stay clean while also protecting you from the weather. Keeping a pair of boots and a cap in the car is a good idea, especially if you frequently drive in icy conditions.
  • Strap for towing. A strap is a simple item that can be quite useful if you ever need to be hauled out of a ditch. Before you use the strap, make sure you know how much weight it can tow (reliable straps will have that information printed on the label) and how to tie it to the proper portion of the automobile. Read your car's owner's manual for tips on how to use a tow strap, such as how to utilize a detachable tow hook with a tether.
  • A fire extinguisher. It's useful if you need to put out a little fire, but if your automobile is on fire, back off and call for help. If you buy a fire extinguisher, check sure it's designed for use in cars.
  • Items to deal with a flat tire. Some kits include an aerosol can of tire sealant that can be used to temporarily repair a punctured tread. These products are not intended for big punctures or tires with sidewall damage, and they may not perform effectively in extremely cold conditions (see the directions). If a spare tire is available, use it, or ask for a tow from roadside help.

What do you have in your car emergency kit? 

Will Your Water Heater Survive the Holidays?

12/1/2021 (Permalink)

Tips on how to prepare your water heater for the holiday season Tips on how to prepare your water heater for the holiday season

This holiday season, having a damaged water heater is the last thing you want. Dishes are more difficult to wash when you have to heat water on the stove, and guests don't like cold showers. However, you may be on the verge of a water heater meltdown without even realizing it.

The water in your plumbing is colder now that winter is near. This implies that your water heater will have to work a little longer and harder to reach the desired temperature. Furthermore, the temperature difference between the hot water at the top of the tank and the cold water at the bottom is higher, forcing the tank to flex more.

With the return of the kids from college, the arrival of family for an extended visit, the additional holiday dishes, and laundry, it will be put to even greater use. If your water heater is older, this could cause it to overheat.

Here are tips on how to prepare your water heater for the holiday season

Insulate your water tank and pipes.

As the temperature cools, it's critical to maintain your hot water as hot as possible. Loss of heat can drive up utility costs by consuming more power and gas. Heat loss can be reduced by insulating the tank and pipes going away from the water heater. This insulation is generally built into newer water heater tanks, but if you have an older tank, you can buy a tank cover to add an extra layer of insulation to keep hot water hotter. Your plumber will be able to properly measure and install this tank insulation. Otherwise, if you're in the market for a new water heater, look into one of the newer tank heaters with built-in insulation.

Check the anode rod.

The sacrificial anode rod is an important component of tank water heaters because it rusts away and sacrifices itself to prevent rusting in the heater tank. The sacrificial anode rod is placed at the top of the tank and should be checked during the pre-winter inspection. Anode rods are good for five years, although they should be examined once a year. It's time to replace the rod if it's calcium-coated or worn down to less than 1/4 inch thick.

Clean out the tank.

Excess sediment and calcium buildup can coat the tank sides lowering its efficiency and resulting in less hot water. You want to make sure your water heater is running smoothly and efficiently before the colder months of the year arrive. To eliminate buildup and extend the life of the tank, hot water tanks may need to be drained 1-2 times a year. Turn off the water, gas, and electricity to drain the tank. Connect a hose to the drain valve and direct the water to a ground drain. Allow the tank to drain by opening the drain valve and the temperature-pressure regulator valve. Once the tank is empty, flush it with cold water to remove any remaining sediment. Your plumber can also assist you in checking for calcification on the water heater element.

Access the temperature pressure regulator. 

If the temperature or pressure in your tank rises too high, this valve on the top or side of the tank automatically releases water. Lift the lever and then release it to inspect the valve. You should be able to hear or see water exiting from the system. If the valve isn't working or the water is still leaking, call your plumber for assistance.

7 Ways to Prevent Frozen Pipes

12/1/2021 (Permalink)

Tips to help prevent pipes from freezing Tips to help prevent pipes from freezing

Frozen pipes are caused by three factors: rapid temperature dips, insufficient insulation, and thermostats set too low. 

  • Insulate. Even if you live in a climate where freezing is unusual, pipe insulation in your home's crawl areas and attic can help. The pipes that are exposed are the most vulnerable to freezing. Remember that the more insulation you use, the better your pipes will be protected.
  • Use heat tape or wire. Wrapping pipes with heat tape or thermostatically controlled heat wires is one option. Use only goods that have been approved by a third-party testing organization, such as Underwriters Laboratories Inc., and only for the purpose indicated (exterior or interior). Follow the manufacturer's installation and operation directions to the letter.
  • Seal leaks. Locate and completely plug any leaks that enable chilly air to enter the house. To keep the cold out, look for air leaks around electrical cables, dryer vents, and pipes and seal them with caulk or insulation.
  • Hoses, valves, and faucets should all be secured outside. Disconnect garden hoses and, if possible, use an interior valve to turn off and drain water from pipes running to outside faucets before winter arrives. This decreases the risk of freezing in the short distance between the home and the pipe.
  • Allow the water to drip. It may only require a trickle of hot and cold water to keep your pipes from freezing. When the weather is cold, let warm water trickle from a faucet on an outside wall overnight.
  • Make the necessary adjustments to the thermostat. Frozen pipes can also be avoided by keeping your thermostat at the same temperature throughout the day and night. This also helps to lessen the strain on the furnace during periods of extreme cold.
  • Open Cabinet doors. This permits heat to reach pipes under sinks and appliances near outside walls that aren't insulated.

Water not coming out of the faucet is one of the first indicators of a frozen pipe. If you notice this, go to the basement and double-check that the water is still on and that there isn't a leak. Continue your check after you've confirmed these two points to ensure that none of your pipes have burst. If you discover that your pipes are frozen but none have burst during your search, you have two options:

  • Call a plumber to thaw your frozen. This is usually a better option. You don't know where the frozen pipes are or you can't get to the frozen region if you don't think you can safely thaw the pipes yourself.
  • Make an effort to thaw the frozen pipes on your own. Be advised that if this option is not done correctly, it can cause more complications.

Safety Tips for Deep Frying a Thanksgiving Turkey

11/3/2021 (Permalink)

Turkey Safety tips to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your home!

It’s November, so it’s time for turkey!!! 

Deep frying is the newest trend in Thanksgiving turkey preparation. The outcomes can be wonderful, but the process can be risky. I will explain why deep-frying is dangerous and share safety tips to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your home. 

Why deep fryers can be dangerous 

  • The fryer has the potential to tip over and spill gallons of heated oil.
  • When the turkey is placed into the cooking pot, overfilling the pot with oil produces leakage. If the oil spills onto the burner, the entire fryer will burst into flames.
  • When frozen or partially frozen turkeys are placed in the fryer, steam quickly expands, causing the oil to boil over.
  • If there are no thermostat controls, the fryer units have the potential to overheat to the point of combustion.
  • The sides of the cooking pot, the lid, and the pot handles can become extremely hot, resulting in severe burns.

Deep-Fried Turkey Safety Tips

  • Place the turkey fryer at least 10 feet away from your home and away from children and pets. It should never be left unattended.
  • Place the fryer on a leveled, flat surface and carefully measure out the amount of oil required.
  • Make sure your turkey is totally thawed and dry before cooking.
  • Keep an eye on the temperature of the oil and use the fryer with caution. Severe burns from the lid and handle are possible.
  • Always keep a fire extinguisher or multipurpose dry powder on hand in case oil catches fire.

Thanksgiving Safety Tips and Fire Facts

11/2/2021 (Permalink)

Thanksgiving Safety Tips and Fire Facts Thanksgiving Safety Tips and Fire Facts

The kitchen is the heart of the home for most people, especially around the holidays. Everyone appreciates being a part of the preparations, from testing family recipes to creating cakes and pastries.

When there's a lot of activity and people at home, it's crucial to keep fire safety top of mind in the kitchen during this festive but chaotic time. As you begin to plan your holiday schedule and prepare a large family meal, keep in mind that by following a few easy safety tips, you can spend time with your loved ones while also keeping yourself and your family safe from fire.

Safety Tips 

  • While you're cooking, stay in the kitchen to keep an eye on the food.
  • The stove will be very hot, so children should keep at least three feet away.
  • Keep children away from hot foods and beverages. Vegetables, gravy, or coffee steam or splashes can cause significant burns.
  • Make sure that no electric wires from a coffee maker, plate warmer, or mixer are dangling off the counter or within easy reach of a child.
  • Matches and utility lighters should be kept out of reach of children, preferably in a locked cabinet.
  • Never leave a lit candle alone in a room unattended. 
  • Check to see if your smoke detectors are working. By using the test button, you can put them to the test.

Thanksgiving Fire Facts

  • Thanksgiving Day, the day before Thanksgiving, Easter, and Christmas Eve are the most common days for home cooking fires.
  • On Thanksgiving Day in 2018, U.S. fire agencies responded to an estimated 1,630 home cooking fires, the busiest day for such disasters.
  • Cooking that was left unattended was by far the most common cause of cooking fires and fire deaths.