Recent Posts

Severe Weather Conditions

5/23/2022 (Permalink)

Severe weather forecasts are expected for the next couple of days in Texas, and Oklahoma, and will stretch to the southeast and possibly the upper Midwest area. Rain and flash flooding will be a strong concern. Major moisture coming from the Golf will make for heavy downpours of rain. This comes with good concern after pre-monsoon deluges have flooded parts of India and Bangladesh killing two dozen people and leaving about 90,000 others homeless. the Indian Army and Air Force have evacuated thousands in the past 2 weeks across the border in Bangladesh officials said at least 3 rivers are in danger of overflowing crop fields have been damaged and hundreds of villages are without clean water supply as flooding overtopped wells and damage supplies extreme weather events are becoming more common in South Asia due to climate change this bout of heavy rain is happening early monsoon season usually does not start until early June in the region. SERVPRO of La Grange Park is able to, upon request, service the Chicago metropolitan area in northeastern Illinois, including Chicago and its surrounding suburbs. So for your flooding and water damage concerns please contact SERVPRO of La Grange Park.

The Associated Press. (2022, May 23). Heavy rain floods parts of India, Bangladesh. ABC News. Retrieved May 23, 2022, from https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/deluges-rain-flood-parts-india-bangladesh-84904733

Davis, D. D. (2022, May 23). Dozens Killed, Thousands Displaced in India and Bangladesh Flooding - Videos from The Weather Channel | weather.com. The Weather Channel. Retrieved May 23, 2022, from https://weather.com/news/weather/video/dozens-killed-thousands-displaced-in-india-and-bangladesh-flooding

International Building Safety Month.

5/3/2022 (Permalink)

May is International Building Safety Month. This campaign raises awareness about building safety and reinforces the need for the adoption of modern, regularly updated building codes, and helps individuals, families, and businesses understand how to maintain safe and sustainable structures.

 Communities need protection from disasters like fires, weather-related events such as flooding and structural collapse. The best way to do this is by implementing Model building codes, adopted and enforced by well-trained professional code officials.

 This year’s theme is safety for all building codes in action. Regularly updated codes and a strong system of strict code enforcement ensures that individuals and communities are safe in the buildings where they live, work, and play. This campaign is supported by four core themes that will be highlighted throughout the month:

Week 1: Planning for a Safe & Sustainable Tomorrow

Week 2: Exploring Careers in Building Safety

Week 3: Understanding Disaster Mitigation

Week 4: Creating a Safe & Abundant Water Supply

To learn more about the weekly themes, check out iccsafe.org. You can help spread the word about Building Safety Month, the importance of building safety, and the role of code officials with your community! Use the hashtag #BuildingSafety365 to join the global conversation on social media. As always, if your residential or commercial property suffers from structural damage, call your local SERVPRO franchise professionals to help make it "Like it never even happened.®"

The Standards for The Restoration Industry

4/7/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up to date on the latest changes in the industry.

Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

Maintain a written complaint policy and agree with the Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops the Standards for The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Standards are reviewed and updated every five years. Standards must evolve to keep up with the rapid changes and advancement of science and technology in the fields of fire, water, and mold cleanup and restoration industry.

About SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside 

SERVPRO LaGrange Park/North Riverside  has been specializing in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after fire, smoke, and water damage disasters for a very long time. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration, and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification. Rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property. Our continuing education programs also give us the ability to connect with insurance agents, adjusters, and more. This provides lessens the gap in the work processes for SERVPRO and insurance.

Open Fire Camping and Grilling Safety

3/30/2022 (Permalink)

As we step into spring and the days get longer the weather temperature begins to rise to melt away our winter wonderland. Melting snow and spring showers water blooming flowers. With temperatures heating up and the perfect conditions for outdoor gatherings and activities, the temptation to spark up an open flame and share stories becomes enticing. The smell of food on the grill, a nice warm breeze, and your favorite song create the perfect mixture for some good times at your home or favorite campsite. But with great grilling power comes great responsibility so here are some tips for controlling your open fire for the upcoming seasonal festivities.

The National Fire Protection Association reports that an average of 8,800 home fires are caused by grills and barbecues. One out of every seven residential fires involve a grill as the ignition source. Grilling statistics from NFPA states that between 2014-2018 on average 10,600 home fires are started by grills each year with almost 20,000 patients going to the ER from grill-related injuries. If you know anything about fires then you probably know Smokey Bear, a character in the longest-running public service announcement in the United States. Smokey Bear’s informational public website state” In the United States, nearly nine out of 10 wildfires are caused by people not being careful. These numbers could be shocking so we’ve gathered some information to keep you safe around the grill and campfire during these seasonal changes.

Let’s start off with some Campfire rules. The first step is finding somewhere that allows you to safely maintain a fire. Dig a pit and create a 10-foot radius down to the dirt, far from overhanging branches or anything that could catch fire. Circling the pit with rocks and stacking extra wood upwind away from the fire prevents the fire from spreading. When starting your fire be sure to have lots of water and dispose of the match used to start the fire into the fire. Remember, never leave a campfire unattended and never put anything but wood into the fire. When putting your fire outspread the pieces of fuel and dump a liberal amount of water on it, stir it with water, and add more water as needed. Once the water is cold to touch, you’ll be able to leave the site.

Some grilling tips that are good to have are similar to the campfire rules listed above. Propane and charcoal barbeque grills should only be used outdoors and away from your home, deck railings, and overhanging branches. Grills should be clear of any grease or fat build-up. Propane grills should be checked for hose leaks at least once before using each year. When starting charcoal grills be sure to only use charcoal starting fluid and never add fluid to an open fire. Grills should never be left unattended and when finished grilling, allow the coals to completely cool before disposing of them in a metal container. We hope these tips help you stay safe this upcoming season and remember for all your fire, water, and restoration needs call your local SERVPRO professionals

Helping Families: Biohazard Clean-up

3/28/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO has been helping our communities since 1967 and continues to do so in over 1700 locations. Founded by Ted and Doris Isaacson SERVPRO has always been a family brand. SERVPRO has been helping families by providing necessary services to families in need. Bereaved families are often unprepared for the loss of a passing family member or friend. These families can turn to SERVPRO professionals that are committed to providing a safe, courteous cleanup and restoration service to protect the health of family members and to help preserve their memories of the deceased.

SERVPRO follows the IICRC S540 Standard trauma and crime scene clean up eight principles for trauma and crime scene clean up. The first principle is putting the safety and health of occupants, technicians, and workers first. We want to make sure that everyone is protected and is provided the correct equipment for the task a hand. Principle two is documentation, all unusual environmental conditions that require deviations from standard work practices associated with the removal of human blood, bodily fluids, or OPIM should be documented. Principle three, Evaluation and assessment. A preliminary evaluation may be performed prior to starting the remediation process if a preliminary determination indicates that biological contamination exists. The fourth principle is documentation during remediation, again we just want all work processes documented on our procedures. Principle five is contamination control or making sure the spread of cross-contamination is stopped or lessened. Principle six, contamination removal, physical removal, and proper disposal of the human blood, body fluids, and OPIM contamination Principle seven; Application of disinfectant, ensuring that the contents are safe for use by applying a government-registered antimicrobial. Eighth principle- post-remediation evaluation and verification. Verifying and confirming the cleanliness of contents and performing an evaluation.

 These eight principles allow SERVPRO to provide families with safe, courteous cleanup and restoration services. It is our goal to help families in need so to lessen the worries of safety, cleanup, and restoration so that families may preserve their memories of the deceased.  

Mold Control After a flood:

3/23/2022 (Permalink)

Understanding the dangerous of mold build-up not only to your home but to your loved ones as well can help prevent a tragedy. Mold grows in high moister areas which are typically warm and dark. Mold loves to attach to paper, cardboard, and wood but can travel and survive almost anywhere in your home. This can be particularly dangerous because it can cause health effects.

The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones is prevention so that mold doesn’t grow by means of Fixing plumbing, keeping humidity levels low, and allowing air to flow freely throughout your home. But since this blog is about mold control after a flood, we’ll discuss measures of flood and mold cleanup.

The first step is acting quickly to clean and dry out and water in your home. The longer the moister sits the more damage it can cause. Start with eliminating the floodwater, fixing and leaks or plumbing so that moister and isn’t allowed to rebuild and removing and carpets or hard to dry items. Lowering humidity and increasing your home’s airflow are sure ways to dry up moister and prevent mold. Air fans and dehumidifiers are great for lessening moister for home after a flood. Lastly, clean your home with safe-to-use mold-killing products but be wary of products such as bleach and ammonia as the combination is known for harmful and deadly effects. For your peace of mind and to ensure your home is water damage and mold-free after a flood is sure to call your local SERVPRO of La Grange Park at (708) 240-4873 to be cleaned professionally.

Sources:

You Can Control Mold | CDC. (n.d.). Center for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/mold/control_mold.htm

Spring in Chicagoland area

3/22/2022 (Permalink)

As we step into spring and the days get longer the weather temperature begins to rise to melt away our winter wonderland. Melting snow and spring showers water blooming flowers. Changes in weather are natural and beautiful but for the unprepared can be disastrous. Melting snow, rainfall, and humidity create the perfect environment for floods, mold, and water damage. We at SERVPRO in La Grange Park have you in mind during this time and would like to help you prepare for the upcoming weather changes with some preventative measures to keep you and your home protected against water damage.

   The First step to prevention is being able to identify common areas water damage is likely to occur and signs of water and moisture damage. Areas where water can build, are a great place to start. Flower beds, ponding depression areas (U-shaped areas) and slanted yards, poorly maintained roofing and gutters, and cracks in your foundation and walls are open invitations for water damage.

The second step is tending to these areas. Consider regarding your lawn or installing a drain to help the flow of rainwater away from your home. Your gutters should be regularly cleaned and serviced. Cracks in your roofing and foundation could possibly be filled with epoxy but should really be looked at by a professional. Plumbing leaks should also be checked by a professional. Luckily SERVPRO of La Grange Park is here to help. Please feel free you contact us at (708) 240-4873.  Check out our what to do after a flood for more information on mold control.

9 Ways to Keep Your Home Safe From Water Damage

3/12/2022 (Permalink)

Keep Your Home Safe From Water Damage Minor leaks can go undetected for a long time and cause significant damage if left unchecked.

  1. You should be aware of the location of the stopcock. Ensure that not only you but also your family members are aware of its location. A severe leak or rupture can cause significant damage in minutes. It is critical to understand where and how to turn off the water supply.
  2. Check for leaks ahead of time. Minor leaks can go undetected for a long time and cause significant damage if left unchecked. Consider that a dripping faucet can waste up to 57 gallons of water per week. Look for signs of stray water beneath sinks and around appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines.
  3. Check that your sump pump is operational. The sump pump, which is common in basement homes, plays an important role in ensuring that your basement does not flood after prolonged periods of rain. If you have one, make sure it's well-maintained and serviced at least once a year.
  4. Keep debris out of your gutters. While leaves are the most common cause of blocked gutters, this isn't just an autumnal problem. Moss and weeds are frequently discovered to be a major cause. Blocked gutters play a significant role in damp problems. If you see water running down the side of your house or if your gutters appear to be sagging, they're probably blocked and need to be cleaned.
  5. Inspect your roof from the inside out. Examine the inside of your attic for signs of water leaking through the roof. Examine the joists for damp spots and the plaster for tea-colored stains. Outside, look for visible damage to the roof and make sure the flashing around any chimneys is in good condition.
  6. Keep your pipes from freezing. Even if you plan to be away, use a smart thermostat to keep your home at a minimum temperature of at least 10 degrees Celsius. Warm water must be able to circulate through pipes to avoid freezing damage. If a property will be unoccupied for an extended period of time, turn off the water supply at the stopcock and consider draining the system so that no water remains in the system.
  7. Pipes that are exposed should be properly insulated. Snap-on pipe insulation is inexpensive and effective, and it can also be used outside.
  8. Install a device to detect water leaks. Detection devices, which are relatively inexpensive, cut off the water supply in the event of a leak, which is critical if you leave your property vacant for extended periods of time.
  9. Look for any signs of moisture or mold. Damp can be detected by flaking paint or wallpaper, as well as black, speckled marks on skirting and sills. Consider adding more insulation if your walls feel cold to the touch or if you notice a musty odor. In the mornings, check windows and skylights for condensation. Its presence can indicate that your home has higher-than-average moisture levels.

10 Safety Tips to Prevent a Dryer Fire

3/11/2022 (Permalink)

Fire Safety Tips for Holiday Decorating Consider running the dryer only when you are home and awake for your own safety.

We usually wash and dry our clothes on a daily or weekly basis. However, it is critical to keep your clothes dryer in good working order in order to keep your home and family safe. Avoiding these specific bad habits can help you avoid a potentially disastrous house fire.

  1. Installation by a Professional

Professional technicians can ensure that your dryer is installed correctly and carefully. These professionals should be knowledgeable about a wide range of units, including gas and electric dryers, as well as washer/dryer combos. Most manufacturer recommendations, such as proper vent pipe installation, are familiar to these technicians.

A technician would explain how minimizing bends in the pipe is important because it creates fewer opportunities for lint to accumulate. They can install a dryer vent fan for you if the distance between the vent and your dryer is significant. This is an automatic electric device that increases airflow through the duct whenever the dryer is turned on. Having a professional install and service your dryer unit can help ensure that any potential hazards are handled correctly.

  1. Ongoing Maintenance

According to experts, the primary cause of clothes dryer fires is a failure to clean and maintain them. Check behind the dryer, where lint tends to accumulate. You should clean your dryer once a year and inspect the hose and vent for blockages twice a year.

It is a good idea to have a qualified service person clean the interior of the dryer chassis once a year. This will reduce the amount of lint that accumulates while also providing you with a professional opinion on the safety of your unit. In addition, a professional can inspect the venting and exhaust system. Employ only certified dryer exhaust technicians to ensure that this procedure is carried out correctly.

  1. Keep Flammables to a Minimum in the Surrounding Area

Dryer lint is not the only flammable that should be considered and kept away from the dryer unit's heat. Anything flammable should be swept up and disposed of before it accumulates and creates a fire hazard. Cleaning up dust and lint is time-consuming, but it is far less difficult than dealing with the aftermath of a fire.

On the same note, do not store cleaning products, boxes, or clothing baskets near the dryer because they may start a fire that spreads quickly. While this is an extreme case, keeping the area clutter-free is an important step toward fire prevention.

  1. Remove and clean the lint filter before and after each load of laundry.

Household dust and lint are the most common sources of ignition in dryer fires. They congregate within the dryer cavity, which is located near the heating elements. Temperatures can reach 550° here, which is hot enough to start a fire. It is never a good idea to forget to clean out your lint filter.

Cleaning the lint screen before and after each drying cycle is a good habit to get into during your laundry routine. This is an obvious first line of defense in the prevention of dryer fires. Wiping down the interior of the dryer will also remove excess lint buildup that the screen does not catch. This is a less obvious step that many people overlook, but it is nonetheless critical.

It is also critical that you never use a dryer without a lint filter, as this removes the dryer's built-in defense against hazardous lint buildup. This may seem obvious, but you'd be surprised how frequently it occurs.

  1. Only use metal venting material that is rigid or flexible

Most clothes dryer manufacturers recommend using flexible or rigid metal venting material to maintain proper drying time and airflow. Lint can accumulate in accordion-style ductwork, causing clogs and increasing blockages. Any dryer venting made of plastic or coiled wire foil should be replaced immediately with rigid non-ribbed metal ducts. Purchasing from a reputable vendor is critical to ensuring that your unit meets the necessary safety standards.

It is always a good idea to do your research on any major appliance before purchasing it. Looking at the unit's website to ensure it is from a reliable source, as well as researching customer reviews, can help you make an informed decision.

  1. Ensure that the air exhaust vent pipe is not obstructed

One of the leading causes of dryer fires is clogged dryer vents. When the vents are clogged, it is difficult to tell. Some people are completely unaware that the vents must be cleaned on a regular basis. However, it is critical to understand that lint accumulates on a large scale within the hoses and, when combined, can cause a serious problem. The accumulation restricts airflow, which can lead to overheating and fire.

In between professional inspections, clean the outside exhaust vent regularly. It is best to check this when your dryer is running by making sure that the exhaust air is escaping properly. If you cannot feel any air, it is likely that there is a lint accumulation clogging the vent outlet. This might require you to disconnect the exhaust vent from the dryer to remove the clog. Remember to reconnect the ducting to the outside vent and dryer before you use the dryer again. If you are unsure of how to do this, it is always recommended that you contact the manufacturer for help or hire a professional.

  1. Avoid Overloading

Laundry is easy to put off, especially if you have a busy schedule. However, this can lead to you saving all of your dirty laundry to be cleaned on the same day, and it's easy to use this as an excuse to overload your dryer, which can be dangerous.

A heavy load is too much for the dryer and is the most common reason for it to break down. Aside from downtime and repair costs, an overloaded dryer can cause the drum belt, spindle bearings, and pulleys to work overtime, resulting in higher-than-normal temperatures. When this occurs, the friction can ignite a spark, resulting in a fire.

This may be the most straightforward cause of dryer fires and malfunctions to avoid. Maintain organization by limiting your laundry loads to a few times per week. If your schedule makes this difficult or unreasonable, it may be better to simply split your laundry load into two or three loads instead, and take a slightly longer (albeit safer) time to complete this necessary chore.

  1. Examine Gas Lines

Qualified professionals should inspect the gas line and connection to ensure that they are leak-free and in good working order. Aside from a dryer fire, gas leaks are extremely dangerous and can cause a variety of problems. If you notice a burning odor when using your dryer, stop using it immediately and contact the manufacturer as soon as possible. At all times, stay away from the suspected gas leak area.

  1. Use the Proper Plug and Outlet

Dryer grounding is critical to their proper operation. Check that you are using the correct electrical plug and outlet as specified by the manufacturer. A licensed professional installing your dryer unit is a good way to ensure that you are doing this.

Check all connections on a regular basis and keep an eye out for any changes. If anything appears to be wrong, loose, or discolored, stop using it right away. Overloaded electrical sockets frequently cause tripped circuit breakers or blown fuses, which can result in a house fire.

  1. Never use the dryer when you are leaving the house or sleeping.

We've all succumbed to convenience and thrown a load of laundry in the dryer before heading to work or running errands. However, if a fire starts while you are away, you will be unable to put it out. Furthermore, if you are sleeping, it may be too late for you to realize that your house has caught fire.

Consider running the dryer only when you are home and awake for your own safety. It's also a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher in your laundry room in case anything goes wrong.

How to Protect Your Property from Floods Caused by Snowmelt, Ice Jams, and Winter Storms

1/31/2022 (Permalink)

How to protect home from floods in the winter  The risk of flooding doesn't go away in the winter.

When we hear about flooding in the news, we usually hear about spring floods and summer storms, giving the impression that flooding occurs just half of the year. We're not out of the woods yet.

The risk of flooding doesn't go away in the winter, and flooding isn't the only thing to be concerned about when the weather turns cold. Snowmelt, ice jams, and winter storms threaten major floods from the Pacific Northwest to the Great Lakes to the Northeast throughout the winter months.

Winter Flood Risk #1: Snowmelt

Snowmelt is an element of the natural water cycle. However, if snow thaws too quickly to be absorbed back into the soil, neighboring water bodies, and drainage systems, it can flood adjoining land, potentially flooding your basement.

Snowmelt floods can occur anywhere in the snowy north of the US, and they usually occur in small, isolated episodes. But that doesn't rule out the possibility of serious consequences. Let's pretend it snows ten inches, which isn't unheard of in freezing areas. One inch of water equals ten inches of snow, and an inch of floodwater can cost you up to $25k in repairs, according to FEMA.

While snowmelt risk is higher in the spring, climate change has introduced more and more unseasonably warm temperatures every winter. Take the 2019 Midwestern floods, for example. Record amounts of snowfall from January through March were followed by a three-day stretch of 60-degree weather. Rain fell and caused historic levels of flooding along the Missouri River and its tributaries.

Winter Flood Risk #2: Ice Jams

Long cold episodes that cause the surface of rivers to freeze are followed by warm spells, resulting in ice jam floods. Large pieces of ice break off unevenly as temperatures rise, blocking streams and flooding adjacent settlements.

Winter Flood Risk #3: Winter Storms

People who live in lakeside places like the Windy City are probably familiar with flooding in the winter. Strong winds from winter storms can create massive waves that crash over shorelines and barriers into city streets, as they did in Chicago last winter.

These winter storms and subsequent floods are common in the Midwest along the Great Lakes, but they also happen along the East Coast. Nor’easters can trigger storm surges that push heavy ocean tides into coastal communities, on top of heavy rain or snow.

Regular downpours and flash floods can happen throughout the winter, too, as long as temperatures are high enough.

Steps You Can Take This Winter to Prevent Flooding on Your Property

The easiest method to protect your property from a flood is to put measures in place before one occurs. The two most important actions to take care of to ensure that you have both financial and structural flood mitigation on your property.

Step 1: Secure Flood Insurance

Purchase flood insurance as soon as possible once the fear of floods has passed. That way, if you experience flood damage this winter, you'll be able to file a claim swiftly and easily.

The good news is that a flood insurance policy covers all sorts of flood damage equally, so your policy will provide coverage all year. The cost of coverage is decided by factors such as the age of your structure, the type of foundation it has, and your flood zone and risk level.

Step 2: Shovel Proactively and Test Drainage Systems

Shovel snow away from your foundation by at least five feet. 

Shovel snow away from a runoff path if your property is on a slope or hill.

Remove any snow that has accumulated on your roof.

Keep snow and ice from accumulating around your property's drainage systems, such as gutters and groundwater pumps.

A bucket of water can be used to test sump pumps.

Floods caused by snowmelt, ice jams, or winter storms can be helped with the same wet and dry floodproofing measures you take to safeguard your property against spring and summer floods, such as constructing drainage systems.