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2/12/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage EMERGENCY FIRE DAMAGE TIPS Don't waste time to plan to avoid a FIRE.


These emergency tips will assist you in taking proper action until your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals arrive. Follow these DOs and DON’Ts to help reduce damage and increase the chances of a successful restoration.


  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into carpet and avoid tracking.
  • Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
  • Wipe soot from metal kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim and appliances.
  • If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.
  • Remove soot particles from plants with a damp cloth.
  • Change HVAC filter, but leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.


  • Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting your SERVPRO® Franchise Professional.
  • Don’t attempt to shampoo carpet, rugs or upholstered furniture without first consulting your SERVPRO® Franchise Professional.
  • Don’t attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don’t consume any food or beverages that may have
  • been stored close to fire, heat or water. (They may be contaminated.)
  • Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock and air movement may create secondary damage.
  • Don’t send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.

Portable fire extinguishers

2/12/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Portable fire extinguishers Making it "like it never even happened"


Portable fire extinguishers

Portable fire extinguishers can be life and property saving tools when used correctly. In order to operate an extinguisher, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) suggests remembering the word PASS:

Pull the pin. Hold the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.

Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.

Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.

Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.

Read the instructions on the fire extinguisher and become familiar with them before a fire breaks out. Remember, extinguishers do have limitations. It is also important to ensure you have the correct type of extinguisher for your facility. To find more information on choosing the appropriate class of extinguisher, please visit the NFPA website at

Smoke Alarms: LIFE SAVERS

2/12/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Smoke Alarms: LIFE SAVERS Don't let the batteries be the reason.

Smoke Alarms: LIFE SAVERS

Smoke alarms save lives when properly installed and maintained, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

In homes, smoke alarms should be in every bedroom and on every level, including the basement. In office and commercial environments, check your state requirements or contact your local Fire Marshall to help ensure all codes are met.

Test smoke alarms monthly using the test button. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries need the entire smoke alarm unit replaced every ten years. Other alarms need batteries replaced every year and the unit replaced every ten years. If the alarm chirps signaling low battery, take the proper steps to replace the unit or the batteries immediately. Never disable or remove the battery from an alarm. Almost half of fires where smoke alarms were present but did not activate had missing or disconnected batteries (NFPA).

In larger commercial facilities, hard wired or wireless smoke alarms offer benefits such as not needing to be tested as often and activating throughout the entire building if smoke is detected in just one area (NFPA).

If you need help installing, testing or changing batteries in your smoke alarms, contact your local fire department, an electrician or the American Red Cross.

Be sure your home or workplace has a fire emergency plan in place and conduct regular fire drills. For more information on Emergency preparedness, contact your SERVPRO® Professional.  708-240-4873


1/29/2019 (Permalink)

As a polar vortex rolls across the United States in this week, there is a point when we have a lower temperature than Antarctica. Take a second to think about that.

Although temperatures in LaGrange Park and Chicago-land drop quickly, we will fair better than other areas.

Unfortunately for homeowners and business owners in our area, the drop will still wreak havoc with their pipes. Being overwhelmed on what to do is going to be the first thought. That is why you need a plan and a company. 

Many homes and businesses will call about burst pipes, flooded basement and closed office due to sprinkler breaks and will be put on wait lists.

Although it does seem like some of these burst pipes will be inevitable, there are a few precautions that you can take to avoid a major loss when the temperatures drop.

Insulate Pipes

Insulating your pipes is inexpensive compared to the cost of a water damage and is easy to do yourself. This is the first step when preparing your house for cold weather.

Insulate Everything Else

Make sure there is plenty of insulation in your attic and crawlspace. This will keep everything in your house warmer including your pipes.

Run Faucets

When you know that there is going to be a big temperature drop, like the recent polar vortex, don't give water a chance to freeze by running it. The smallest stream from a faucet will keep the water moving and prevent freezing. This is especially important to do with faucets that are served by exposed pipes.

Keep Garage Door Closed

If there are pipes in your garage, you need to keep it as warm as possible. Do not leave it open and try to open it only when absolutely needed.

Remove, Drain, and Store Hoses

Water in hoses can freeze and start a chain reaction that will lead back into your house. Prevent this by removing all hoses from the house and draining them.

Open Cabinets

Open cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom to get some warmer air moving beneath your sinks.

Keep House Temperature Consistent

Most people drop the temperature in their house down at night. When temperatures are especially cold, it is best to keep the house at a higher consistent temperature. The price of heat is nothing compared to the price of a burst pipe.

Set Temperature When Out of Town

If you will be out of town during the winter, make sure to keep the temperature of your house above 55 degrees at the very least.

Following these simple steps can go a long way in preventing a major water damage. For the losses that cannot be prevented, remember to call us at SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/N. Riverside at 708-240-4873!


12/14/2018 (Permalink)







12/7/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage FIRES IN WINTER Where you have smoke you have fire!

As the temperature has begun to drop we are seeing an uptick in the number of residential fires. 890 people die in winter home fires each year. $2 billion in property loss occurs each year from winter home fires. Winter home fires account for only 8 percent of the total number of fires in the U.S., but result in 30 percent of all fire deaths.

Winter brings several potential hazards into the home. Cooking is the leading cause of all winter home fires. Holiday decorations like faulty lights, dry Christmas trees, and candles are also a major cause. The top three days of the year for candle fires are Christmas, New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve.

Faulty and improperly utilized alternative heating methods such as space heaters, fireplaces, and wood burning stoves also contribute not only to fire risk but carbon monoxide risk as well. Heating equipment is involved in one of every six reported home fires, and one in every five home fire deaths. Heating equipment is also a major source of carbon monoxide and winter months are when carbon monoxide incidents are more common.

Here are a few tips that you can share with your policy holders:

  • Have your fireplace, heating vents and dryer vents inspected and cleaned by a professional every year.
  • If you use your fireplace, make sure you clean after every use. Dispose of ashes correctly by placing them in a metal can at least ten feet from the house.
  • Keep anything that can burn at least three feet from any heat source like fireplaces, wood stoves, radiators, or space heaters
  • Plug only one heat-producing appliance (such as a space heater) into an electrical outlet at a time.
  • If portable generators are needed, keep them outside, away from windows and as far away as possible from your home. Make sure someone is home to supervise.
  • Install and test carbon monoxide alarms at least once a month.
  • Keep your Christmas tree watered and dispose of it when it has become too dry. Nearly 40% of Christmas tree fires occur in January.

Here is a link to a great source of information

Please be safe and remember that if a problem does arrive, SERVPRO of La Grange Park / North Riverside is there 24/7/365 to help and make it "Like it never even happened."

We have a continuing education class coming up February 13. It is called Understanding Mold in the Restoration Industry and is going to be a great one. I have attached a flyer with more information. If you have a need for Ethics credit, please reach out to me as we are in the process of scheduling another class.

Finally, one request. If you have had a good experience with SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights or SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside please head over to our Yelp page or Google and give us a review. We truly appreciate everything you have done to help us grow!  

Ice Daming

11/27/2018 (Permalink)


Ice dams occur after a heavy snowfall when warm air in the attic causes the roof to warm and the snow to melt. Water running down the roof refreezes when it reaches the colder roof edge, forming a mound of ice.

Icicles are a sure sign of poor roof ventilation and poor insulation in your home. Warm moist air from inside your home can move upwards and leak around ceiling lights through poorly insulated ceilings and around attic access openings.

Temp fix for the issue:

Lay the hose onto the roof so it crosses the ice dam and overhangs the gutter. If necessary, use a long-handled garden rake or hoe to push it into position. The calcium chloride will eventually melt through the snow and ice and create a channel for water to flow down into the gutters or off the roof.

Deep frying might equal remodeling!

11/21/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Deep frying might equal remodeling! HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Keep the bird outside where it all started is going to be the best way to keep the bird from being the reason that you are staying in a hotel on and after Thanksgiving.

FACT: According to the National Fire Protection Association: deep fryer fires cause an average of 5 deaths, 60 injuries and more than $15 million in property damage each year. Deep-frying turkeys has become increasingly popular, but the new tradition is a recipe for holiday tragedy.

Deep Fryer Fires | FDNY Smart

Deep-Frying Outdoors

Although you’re outdoors, using a propane deep fryer can be very dangerous. Never leave your deep fryer unattended and be sure to carefully follow these instructions:

  1. To start, take the wrapper off of the turkey, and remove and discard the neck and giblets.
  2. Deep-fry your turkey outside on a flat surface, far away from homes, garages, wooden decks, etc.
  3. To determine how much oil is needed for frying, place the thawed turkey in the fryer basket and place it in the fryer. Add water until the top of the turkey is barely covered. Remove the turkey, allowing the water to drain from the turkey back into the fryer. Measure and mark the water line, and use that line as a guide when adding oil to the propane fryer.
  4. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels.
  5. Add oil to the fryer (based on the water line).
  6. Preheat oil in the fryer to 375° F.
  7. While the oil is heating, prepare your turkey with any seasonings, marinades, or injected flavor that you desire.
  8. When the oil is hot, turn the burner off and slowly lower the turkey into the hot oil. Slowly lowering the basket helps prevent the oil from bubbling over. Turn the burner back on.
  9. Cook the turkey about 3 to 4 minutes per pound.
  10. The turkey is done when the dark meat is at an internal temperature of 175° F to 180° F and all white meat is at an internal temperature of 165° F to 170° F.
  11. When the turkey is done, slowly lift it from the pot and place it in a pan or on paper towels to drain. Let the turkey stand for 20 minutes before removing it from the rack or basket.
  12. Let cool to a good eating temperature and ENJOY!

Essential Commercial Property Maintenance Tips for Fall

8/21/2018 (Permalink)

It’s official, fall is coming, and it’s coming quickly. School gear is being purchased in bulk, last minute vacations are being taken to squeeze out the final remnants of summer and hot weather, and fall apparel and gear have hit the stores in preparation for the cooler air and shorter days. Take the hint and start your own preparations to make sure your commercial property is ready for the changing seasons.

Check Your Gutters – The season is known as “Fall” for a reason, leaves are going to change color and fall from the trees in bulk, and that means a lot more than increased sweeping and vacuuming inside as they are tracked in on shoes. The biggest threat that comes from all of those falling leaves and debris is to your gutter system. Make sure it’s clear so that water will flow freely away from your building when it rains and pours. This simple step will go a long way towards preventing roof leaks and flooding.

Check Your Heaters – Avoid surprises by checking to make sure your heater works before the first cold snap. This means checking on the pilot light, oil levels (if applicable) and furnace filters, as well as having an HVAC expert come in for a seasonal checkup. Not only will your employees and customers thank you, but these steps can help ensure your heating unit will work better and last longer.

Check Your Water Pipes – Exposed water pipes should regularly be checked for leaks, but fall is also a good time to examine the insulation and make sure it’s prepared for colder weather. Prevent frozen and burst pipes in the winter by conducting a quick check in the fall and fixing any inadequacies.

Prevent Electrical and Fire Problems – Have an electrician come in and perform a maintenance check on your electrical system to ensure it’s prepared for the increased usage that fall demands. Shorter and colder days mean more lighting and the possible addition of space heaters, and you don’t want to blow a fuse when clients are around! While you’re at it check your smoke detectors and their batteries ideally once a month, but in the spring and fall at the least, and any emergency generators which should be started once a week so they don’t remain idle too long, transfer load tested every month and full load tested once a year.

SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside is here to help.  Give us a call at 708-240-4873 for all your emergency preparedness needs, as well as emergency water or fire needs.  We will make it "Like it never even happened." 

What Causes Mold To Grow In Your Home

8/8/2018 (Permalink)

Mold spores need three things to grow into mold: nutrients, cellulose (the cell wall of green plants) is a common food for indoor spores, and moisture.  To begin the decaying process caused by mold; time -mold growth begins from 24 hours to 10 days after the provision of growing conditions.

Molds are found everywhere, and can grow on almost any substance when moisture is present. They reproduce by spores, which are carried by air currents. When spores land on a moist surface suitable for life, they begin to grow.

Common building materials are capable of sustaining mold growth. Mold growth in an indoor environment is typically related to water or moisture and may be caused by incomplete drying of flooring materials.  Flooding, leaky roofs, building-maintenance or indoor-plumbing problems can lead to interior mold growth. Water vapor commonly condenses on surfaces cooler than the moisture-laden air, enabling mold to flourish. This moisture vapor passes through walls and ceilings, typically condensing during the winter in climates with a long heating season. Floors over crawl spaces and basements, without vapor barriers or with dirt floors, are mold-prone. 

Significant mold growth requires moisture and food sources and a substrate capable of sustaining growth. Common building materials, such as plywood, drywall, furring strips, carpets, and carpet padding provide food for mold. In carpet, invisible dust and cellulose are food sources. After water damage to a building, mold grows in walls and then becomes dormant until subsequent high humidity; suitable conditions reactivate mold. Mycotoxin levels are higher in buildings which have had a water incident.

If you suspect, that you have mold growing in your home or business, Call SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside today at 708-240-4873.  We will help you make it “Like it never even happened.”