Recent Posts

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.

How to Stay Safe During a Wind Storm!!

11/1/2021 (Permalink)

Wind Storm Safety Tips Tips to stay from wind storms

Winds can reach speeds of more than 100 miles per hour during extreme weather events such as tornadoes!

High winds of any speed, on the other hand, can cause damage to homes and property, as well as flying debris and shattered glass, which can cause injuries. A disaster preparedness plan for your family, including a disaster survival kit and an emergency evacuation plan, can save your family from injury and inconveniences. 

Keep yourself updated!

Weather updates and advisories will be broadcast on the radio and television. Having the most up-to-date information is critical to keeping safe during a weather event. For updates, utilize an NOAA Weather Radio or battery-powered radio, and keep an eye out for mobile alerts.

A high wind alert indicates that persistent winds of more than 25 mph are expected.

Warnings for thunderstorms and tornadoes should be taken seriously since they indicate that severe weather has been detected and is on its way.

During bad weather, seek cover!

  • Remove yourself from windows and glass doors and into the center of your house or basement. Take refuge under a stairwell or a large piece of furniture.
  • During heavy winds, do not stay in a mobile home. High winds can easily topple them, and flying debris can penetrate their light frames and exteriors.
  • Make a safe room for yourself. If you live in a location where violent winds are common, you should consider constructing a safe room in your home.

Protect your home against extreme weather and wind events with these helpful tips

  • Vehicles that you want to leave behind should be parked or stored in a garage. If you don't have a garage, relocate your belongings to higher ground in the event of flooding.
  • Garbage cans, patio furniture, barbecues, and other potentially wind-borne items should all be kept inside your house or garage.
  • Close the doors and windows to your home. In the event of severe winds, board up windows and glass doors with shutters or plywood to prevent harm from broken glass.
  • Secure your outdoor pool and turn it off. To avoid damage, turn off the circuit breaker for your outdoor pool and remove the engine.
  • Tree branches that pose a danger should be removed. Pruning branches that may break off during a storm and injure someone or cause damage to your home or vehicles is a good idea.
  • A generator can be rented or purchased. A generator can assist keep refrigerators, freezers, and lights running if you can rent or buy one. A severe storm can knock out power for days, if not weeks, at your home.
  • Keep an ear out for weather updates on the radio. If you are told to evacuate, follow local officials' instructions and head to a shelter.
  • Let your friends and family know where you'll be.

If you don't have time to get to a shelter, go to your safe room if you have one. Otherwise, stay in the center of your house or basement, away from windows, and hide under a stairwell or a large piece of furniture.

Why SERVPRO is a Top Choice for Post-Disaster Cleanup and Restoration

11/1/2021 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO is Top Choice - technicians with machinery Why SERVPRO is Top Choice

#1 Excellent Disaster Preparedness Resources

SERVPRO's network is one of the reasons for its success in crisis response. Because of the state-wide franchise network, there are enough resources to take on any job in any location. The experts of SERVPRO are prepared to repair commercial or residential damage.

Regardless of the size of the incident, all SERVPRO teams have access to additional resources for a quick and reliable response. 

#2 Highly Skilled Groups

Each SERVPRO crew is made up of experts that have vast experience in catastrophe recovery. 

SERVPRO is at the forefront of catastrophe recovery on a regular basis, allowing it to develop its processes and respond quickly. These teams are in charge of all areas of catastrophe recovery, including:

2017 Hurricane Harvey

2014 Polar Vortex

2010 Nashville Floods

2005 Hurricane Katrina

#3 Quick Responses for Lowering Total Costs

Storms cause damage on a property, enabling plenty of water to enter regions that should be dry. To save the building's structural integrity, the water must be removed quickly. 

SERVPRO conducts a thorough cleaning process to prioritize areas that will be costly to replace or restore if not addressed right away. The response team knows which surfaces should be saved and which may be replaced at a reasonable price. As a result, the restoration time is reduced and the outcomes are more consistent.

#4 Experience with Insurance Companies

After a disaster, dealing with an insurance company is a necessary part of the process. That's why SERVPRO has established a network of contacts in the industry to ensure a seamless and effective relationship. SERVPRO works nicely with any insurance provider and has a good reputation for quality work on-site.

Emergency Ready Program for your business

9/29/2021 (Permalink)

Emergency Ready Program Join our Emergency Ready Program today!

Are you and your clients “Ready for whatever happens?”

If an emergency situation arises in your workplace, give us a call and we'll be there as soon as possible to help. We're here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to get your business back on track! Our experience includes fire and water damage restoration, while also electronics restoration and document drying.

Our professionals are trained to be aware of legal and environmental issues while working within your budgetary constraints to repair the affected area. We understand that every hour spent cleaning is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. 

Preparation is essential for surviving any major disaster, whether it's a minor water leak, a large fire, or a widespread flood. The greatest time to prepare for such tragedies is before they occur. 

By becoming a member of our SERVPRO of LaGrange Park / North Riverside Emergency READY Program (ERP), you will get access to over 40 years of experience in lessening the impact of natural and man-made disasters.

Give us a call today to schedule your Emergency Ready Program (708) 240-4873!

When storms or floods hit La Grange/N. Riverside, SERVPRO is ready!

9/27/2021 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Emergency Service 24/7 Storm Damage Emergency Service

The effects of a storm or a flood can be catastrophic! You need to act quickly, and you need a professional that has experience with storm damage. SERVPRO La Grange/N. Riverside Professionals have the training, equipment, and resources to manage any major disaster and can respond quickly to storm and flooding situations.

What do we provide?

  • 24 hour Emergency Service
  • Highly Trained Water Damage Specialists
  • Resources to Handle Storms and Disasters

Regardless of the Storm Damage, We Can Help! 

SERVPRO of La Grange/N. Riverside can handle any size disaster, regardless of the type of storm. Our Disaster Recovery Team can respond rapidly with additional resources during major storms and disasters.

  • Flooding caused by heavy rains
  • Tornadoes and wind damage
  • Ice and snowstorms

Have storm or flood damage? Call us at (708) 240-4873!

Hurricane Season 2021

9/13/2021 (Permalink)

Hurricane Season Have a plan and be prepared!

Hurricane season is upon us! Experts say that the hurricane season starts in May and lasts all the way until November on average. Each year is different. However, as on Friday September 10th, it has officially marked its peak of hurricane season for the Atlantic Basin. We have seen during this year there has been 13 named storms, and 5 of those reached a hurricane status and 3 of which became major hurricanes. Here is a list of the 13 hurricanes so far.. 

1. Ana: Formed near Bermuda on May 22nd

2. Bill: Formed off the East Coast on June 14th

3. Claudette: Formed in the northern Gulf of Mexico June 19th

4. Danny: Formed along the East Coast near Charleston, South Carolina on June 28th

5. Elsa: Formed in the central tropical Atlantic on July 1st

6. Fred: Formed in the eastern Caribbean on August 10th

7. Grace: Formed in the central tropical Atlantic on August 14th

8. Henri: Formed near Bermuda on August 16th

9. Ida: Formed south of Jamaica in the Caribbean on August 26th

10. Julian: Formed far out in the Atlantic on August 29th

11. Kate: Formed in the central, open Atlantic on August 30th

12. Larry: Formed in the far eastern Atlantic on September 1st

13. Mindy: Formed in the northeaster Gulf of Mexico on September 8th 

With the knowledge of knowing we have officially hit the peak of hurricane season, here are some tips on how to be prepared for a hurricane in your area.

- Make a plan: If evacuation is necessary, turn off all utilities and follow community disaster preparedness plans. Make sure you select a common meeting place for all family members. Also make sure you have an evacuation plan for your pets. 

- Secure the exterior: Trim any large trees and shrubs. Bring in all outside patio furniture, potted plants, bikes and toys inside. 

- Install storm shutters: These will protect your windows, doors and skylights with appropriate shutters or impact-resistant glass.

- Check wall hangings and art: Make sure all wall hangings are secure and take notes about your art collection and any existing damage. 

- Move your cars: Keep your cars to higher ground or park them in your garage against the garage doors. 

- Power up: Fill up your car's gas tank, make sure all cell phones are fully charged, test your generator and always have plenty of fuel ready in case the power goes out.

- Store important documents: Make sure to keep important documents, such as legal papers, birth certificates, marriage license, insurance policy information, and any valuables in a safety deposit box in the closet of your home. 

- Prep an emergency kit: You will need to gather any flashlights, portable radio, batteries, non-perishable food, bottled water, cash, blankets, toiletries and clothing. 

- Identify a shelter room: This area should be on the first floor in the central part of the house that has no windows. 

We here at SERVPRO understand that when disaster strikes, you don't know what will be left from the aftermath. We are always here to help with any mitigation or reconstruction services you may need!