Recent Water Damage Posts

3 Ways To Prevent Water Damage

6/11/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage 3 Ways To Prevent Water Damage If there is a leak in your home, you should have it repaired as soon as possible

Protect Your House from Harm

There are many things that can cause water damage to your La Grange, IL, home, from accidents to natural disasters. Luckily, there are also several steps you can take to prevent it. In many cases, using the following tips will allow you to protect your house from harm.

1. Perform Regular Maintenance

While it can sometimes seem bothersome, you should perform maintenance on your home on a regular basis to avoid preventable water damage. This should include inspecting each area of your property and checking your plumbing and appliances for signs of disrepair. Examine the exterior as well to locate any cracks. Maintaining your home can limit future issues and make an insurance claim go more smoothly if a problem occurs.

2. Repair Leaks Right Away

Many people ignore small leaks and assume that they are not a big deal. However, this is not always the case. If there is a leak in your home, even if it does not seem severe, you should have it repaired as soon as possible. These can lead to large areas of damage as well as broken pipes if they are ignored.

3. Prepare Your Home for Storms and Cold Weather

Sometimes the water damage will come from outside the house rather than inside. If you are expecting a severe storm, be sure to prepare your home beforehand. Clean your drains and gutters to prevent roof leaks caused by backed up water, and make sure that all doors and windows are properly sealed. During the colder months of the year, keep the inside sufficiently heated and consider insulating your pipes to stop them from freezing and bursting.

While you can prevent certain problems, some accidents are unavoidable. If your home is impacted by water, you can call an emergency restoration service to repair the damage. They can perform remediation, water cleanup and any necessary repairs to your property.

Faster to Your Water Damage Event

5/27/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Faster to Your Water Damage Event SERVPRO of La Grange Park/ North Riverside provides a 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service.

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more. SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – 708-240-4873.

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

About SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside

SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. 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.

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Common Plumbing Issues in Commercial Buildings

4/18/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Common Plumbing Issues in Commercial Buildings Only by performing proper inspections and maintenance can a property owner reduce risk and minimize potential issues.

Commercial buildings are often plagued with plumbing issues, such as a blocked sewer. The reason behind these common detriments is the continual usage of the overall system. As a commercial business owner or manager, you are likely aware that your facility is used more frequently than a residential property might be. This added strain creates many common issues for a variety of commercial buildings.

1. Cast Iron Deterioration

While you may have gone to extensive lengths to ensure that all the plumbing in your facility was replaced or in good standing, did you remember to inspect the lines connecting your property to the municipal lines? These connections and pipes are often made of cast iron, which can deteriorate over time. Common signs of this issue are toilet overflow and sewage backup.

2. Sewer Backup

Again, because of the increased usage of your building’s facilities, a blocked sewer is more likely to occur. While this may be symptomatic of deteriorating pipes, it may be simpler than that. It is possible that the blockage is the result of a clog of sanitary and personal products.

3. Copper Pipe Breaks and Leaks

Another common issue is found in copper piping. These pipes have a propensity to develop pinhole leaks or even pipe breaks. While some of these breaks are not a result of neglect, many can be prevented with proper maintenance and inspection.

4. Foundation and Structural Issues

If you have an unknown leak, you may notice some foundation and structural issues. For instance, leaks can lead to wall and ceiling cracks or a loss of structural integrity. A plumbing specialist in the Riverside, IL area can assess your property to help you pinpoint possible solutions and develop maintenance routines.

While a blocked sewer is one common problem shared by most commercial properties, there are many others. Only by performing proper inspections and maintenance can a property owner reduce risk and minimize potential issues.

Responding to a Home Flood Disaster

3/18/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Responding to a Home Flood Disaster If you experience a flood due to a broken pipe or other water event, it's important to act quickly and safely.

Responding To A Home Flood Disaster

A flood can be one of the most devastating things to happen to your home and life. It can come from heavy rain, a broken pipe, defective appliances, sewage backup, and other unexpected causes. Because flooding is generally kept off your radar until it actually happens, you may find yourself overwhelmed with questions about how to act in the best interest of your safety and belongings. Here are three tips for responding to a home flood.

1. Identify the Damage

Is the source of the water a broken pipe or something more complicated? Is it clean water or contaminated? These kind of questions will help you decide how to proceed. If it's Category 2 or Category 3 contaminated water, it could be hazardous to enter the area without proper protective gear. Do not enter the wet area unless it is clear what kind of damage you have experienced.

2. Turn Off Power

Your next move should be to shut off the main power to your home in order to avoid electrocution in the initial cleanup stages. If this task will have you wading through the flooded area, do not proceed with the list and simply evacuate the home.

3. Call a Professional

Although there are minor things you can do while waiting for emergency restoration services to arrive, it is not wise to take on remediation without the proper training and experience. There are a mountain of risks that could end up worsening the damage if you’re not careful. Even simply waiting too long to begin cleanup poses a danger to your home and health, so it is best to act as soon as the water in your home is detected. Do not attempt to fix a damaged pipe or appliance on your own, either; always consult an expert in La Grange, IL for advice on your specific situation.

If you experience a flood due to a broken pipe or other water event, it's important to act quickly and safely. Sometimes the safest, smartest thing to do is leave cleanup to the professionals.

Mitigation terms and definitions

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

Education is always a plus when you are not in that industry or have questions.  Giving you terms and definitions will help you to understand a little of what your mitigation company SERVPRO is talking about when they are scoping the job for the techs to perform the work.  Just like watching subtitled moves to learn another language, just a little easier.

Condensation – The process of changing water from a vapor to a liquid.

Contracts – Water damage services should not begin until an adequately contract is signed by the property owner. Contracts should specify the party responsible for payment. 

Conventional refrigerant dehumidifier – This kind of dehumidifier loses efficiency as the air dries below 55 grains per pound. It removes water vapor from the air using a process called condensation.

Dehumidifier/dehumidification – If electric cords become frayed, the device should be removed from service and the cord repaired properly. Mechanical dehumidification should be used when the outdoor humidity ratio is higher than the humidity ratio indoors. Dehumidification is the process of removing water vapor from the air.

Desiccant dehumidifier – This kind of dehumidifier creates the lowest humidity ratio, which means that it also creates the lowest vapor pressure. 

Dew point temperature – The temperature at which the air becomes saturated, 100% relative humidity. Air that contains the maximum water vapor at a given temperature is saturated.

Drying goals – Drying is not complete until all affected materials have been returned to their pre-determined drying goals. 

Drywall (Gypsum board) – Ceilings that are saturated and sagging should be drained, removed quickly, and discarded. Drywall becomes more fragile when wet and more stable as it dries.

EPA registered products – When using these products, you must follow label directions. The use of antimicrobials on water projects may or may not be advisable. Technicians should obtain the customer’s informed consent before applying antimicrobials on a water project. 

Evaporation – The process of changing water from a liquid to a vapor. As water evaporates from a material the temperature of the surface of the material gets cooler; this is known as evaporative cooling.

Hardwood flooring – Technicians should dry hardwood flooring until it reaches within 2-4 percentage points of normal EMC. After the floor has been dried to acceptable moisture content, appropriate acclimation time should be allowed before refinishing. If drying wood floors is feasible, it is recommended that you attempt to achieve a target humidity ratio of less than 40 grains per pound as quickly as possible. When moisture causes the wood flooring to swell across the width of each plank, with the edges higher than the center, the planks are cupped.

High-risk persons – People who are very young, very old, have suppressed or compromised immune systems, have allergies, or have respiratory problems. If high-risk persons are present on a water project, restorers should recommend third-party evaluation by an Indoor Environmental Professional (IEP). High-risk persons who are present on a Category 3 water loss should remain off the work site until the building is safe to re-occupy. 

Humidity ratio – The amount of water vapor that a volume of air contains by weight. Humidity ratio is directly related to vapor pressure.

Hygroscopic materials – Hygroscopic materials continue to absorb water until they reach equilibrium. They can have secondary damage from high humidity. The potential for damage to hygroscopic materials is greatest when the relative humidity is above 60%.

Low-grain refrigerant dehumidifier – This kind of dehumidifier removes water vapor from the air using a process called condensation. LGR dehumidifiers continue to remove a significant amount of water vapor below 40 grains per pound.

Moisture content – The measurement of the amount of moisture contained in a material, expressed as a percentage of the weight of the oven-dry material. If a restorer is measuring materials with an instrument that is calibrated for that material, then it is recommended that the term moisture content be used.

Moisture level – The measurement of the amount of moisture contained in a material on a relative scale. If a restorer is measuring materials with an instrument that is not calibrated for that material, then it is recommended that the term moisture level be used.

Mold – Use appropriate protective measures when mold growth is discovered.

Monitoring – Water projects should be monitored at least once every day. Daily readings should include all applicable air, equipment, and HVAC output readings. 

Open drying system – This method uses outside air to reduce the indoor humidity. When deciding if an open drying system is appropriate, restorers should consider the humidity ratio of the indoor air as compared to the humidity ratio of the outdoor air and occupant comfort.

Permeance – Permeance is the ability of water vapor to pass through a material.

Refrigerant dehumidifier – This kind of dehumidifier is the most energy-efficient type of dehumidifier. It continues to perform efficiently down to 70°F. It is usually the most efficient dehumidifier to use in warm, wet environments. Dehumidifier capacity is reported in pints per day (ppd); this reported amount of water removal is based on an AHAM test at 80°F and 60% RH for 24 hours.

Relative humidity – The ratio of moisture suspended in the air expressed as a percentage of the total moisture-holding capacity of the air.

Safety issues – One of the technician’s first responsibilities on a water project is to identify and communicate safety hazards. The most common safety issue on water projects is slippery floors.

Sanitizer – A product designed to significantly reduce, but not eliminate, microorganisms of public health importance.

Sterilizer – An antimicrobial designed to kill all forms of viruses, bacteria, and fungi, including their spores.

Sublimation – The process of changing water from a solid to a vapor without going through the liquid phase.

Vapor pressure – Vapor pressure is the force exerted by a gas on its surrounding environment.

Waste water disposal – The best place to dispose of all waste water is back into the sanitary sewer system. When a sanitary sewer system is not available, waste water should be disposed of at an approved municipal waste water disposal site.

Ice Daming

11/27/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Ice Daming IF YOU SEE ICICLES YOU HAVE AND ISSUE!

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.

Garden Hoses Can Cause Water Damage To Your Home

7/27/2018 (Permalink)

A 25-foot, 1/2-inch diameter hose attached to a faucet that supplies water at 40 psi has a flow rate of 24 gallons per minute, while a 100-foot hose only has a flow rate of 6 gallons per minute.  That is a lot of water coming from a garden hose.  That is why it is so important to make sure that when you are out watering your garden or flowers that you keep an eye on the hose.  Walking away from your hose while it is on can cause water to flow into your home and cause water damage.

A leaking garden hose can also cause water damage to your home as well as mold damage due to the long period of time that the water might be entering your home.  Here are some things you should look for when you come across a leaking water hose, and how you can stop the water from entering your home.

The most important thing to determine is where the leak on your hose is actually coming from. This shouldn’t be too difficult to do, but depending on the location will determine the severity of the problem and how much effort it will take to fix it. If your hose always leaks from around the connection to the water tap, you may have either a problem with the spigot itself, or the hose fitting.  If water wells up around the handle, your packing washer may be worn out, or the packing nut may need to be tightened, but if water only leaks when your hose is secured to the faucet, then you need to see if the water is welling up around the actual connection, or from below the fitting.

If you find that you have water damage to your home due to water entering your home from the garden hose, SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside is here to help.  Give us a call at 708-240-4873.

Two Easy Ways to Avoid Water Damage

6/27/2018 (Permalink)

Water damage is the No. 1 culprit that weakens your home’s foundation and the very core that holds your house together. You’ve heard about core strength for your body. Well, water damage hits at the core strength of your house, eventually causing serious structural damage. Damp wood invites termites and carpenter ants; plus, it causes mold and mildew.

Here’s how to prevent water damage using three easy strategies that will give you peace of mind the next time heavy storms hit.

#1 Test Your Sump Pump

Sump pumps come to life during storms. That’s not when you want to realize yours isn’t working properly. You should check it at least once a year, and ideally perform several checks during heavy storm seasons.

How to test your sump pump:

  1. Slowly fill the sump pump pit with water. Watch for the “float” (similar to the float in your toilet) to rise, which should turn on the pump. Then watch to make sure the water level falls.
  2. Test your backup pump the same way, but unplug the main pump first.
  3. If you don’t have a backup pump — or a generator — and are on municipal water, get one that runs on water pressure. If you’re on well water, your only option is the battery kind.

#2 Check for water leaks and fix them. 

  • Check for dark spots under pipes inside sink cabinets, stains on ceilings, toilets that rock, and of course drips.
  • At least once a year, inspect your roof. Repair missing, loose, and damaged shingles. Repair any cracked caulking and check for leaks around flashing.

Prolonged and persistent leaks lead to mold. 

This is just 2 very simple ways to avoid having water damage to your home.  However, life happens and SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside is here to help.  Give us a call at 708-240-2873 for all your water damage needs.

Water Damage Insurance Claim Tips

6/15/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North understands the insurance companies and how to help guide you through your claim.  Here are some claim tips to assist you with your claims process for water damage. 

Contact Your Insurance Company ASAP

Keep your policy number at hand and be prepared to provide them with detailed information of damages.

Take Note Of Everything

Keep detailed records of everything during the initial call. This includes the name of the agent you’re speaking to, the date of the call, the time, and what was discussed.

Keeping this information handy will help you if you experience a problem with your claim.

Document the Damage

DON’T throw anything out or try to make permanent repairs before the adjuster is able to estimate the damages. Doing this may void coverage. Take photographic evidence of damages, make a detailed list of damaged items, and provide receipts if you have them available.

Damage Control

You’ll want to (and your insurance company expects you to) do as much as you can to prevent further damages. These are considered emergency repairs and will not affect your coverage.

If your house is flooding or if you’re suffering from storm damage, soak up as much of the water as possible, dry out waterlogged items, and board up broken windows.

Keep receipts for the cost of these emergency repairs, and if you’ve had to relocate, keep receipts for any travel or lodging expenses.

Dealing with water damage is stressful enough, so we try to make the insurance process as stress-free possible. As a courtesy to our customers, we’ll guide them through the insurance process and help them with their insurance claim.

SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside is always here to help.  Give us a call at 708-240-4873 for all your residential or commercial water damage needs. 

5 Ways to Prevent Water Damage To Your Home This Spring

5/16/2018 (Permalink)

Water damage is very common in the spring due to warmer weather, melting snow, and rains that cause flooding.  Here are a few ways you can help control the water entering your home. 

Check your downspouts and gutters.  When debris gets trapped in gutters, it can block the passage of water from flowing freely off of roofs and away from the home. Clearing out debris from both gutters and downspouts can help to prevent water from entering into attics, walls, and foundations.

Mend foundation cracks.  Water can get in more easily when there are cracks in the foundation. For minor repairs, fill cracks with a concrete patch. For bigger concerns, it is best to call a professional. 

Re-grading the landscaping surrounding your home to make sure water drains away from the home instead of toward it. If necessary, pull plant material and add more soil where needed. The most important part is to keep the water running away from your home.

Installing sump pumps to help send water away from the home in areas such as basements and below-grade rooms that tend to flood more easily. Inspect your sump pump to make sure it is in good working order and is clear of debris.

Installing window well covers not only allows for natural light in below ground rooms but also prevents melting snow and rain from making its way into the home.

SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside understands that water happens, and that unfortunately no matter what measures you take to reinforce your home, water can still get in.  Give us a call at 708-240-4873 for all your water damage needs. 

6 Things that Cause Sump Pump Failures

4/20/2018 (Permalink)

It is spring time in LaGrange Park, and the one thing we know is that rain is never far behind.  With the spring rains comes the sump pump failure calls from homeowners. Often we are asked, how does this happen and why does my sump pump fail?  The following is some of the top reason we have seen sump pumps fail.

Power failures: When the electricity goes out, and the sump pump does not have a battery backup or the battery backup is not fully charged there is no way for the pump to do their job.  Making sure that your battery backup system is fully charged before a storm the best way to ensure you don’t have water backing up into your home.

Wrong size sump pump: When you have an undersized pump it causes the pump to have to work extra hard to remove the water from your home.  If the pump is too big, it has to work harder, and in return the life span is lessened.

Defective sump pump:  Yes, it does happen that at the time of install the sump pump is defective.   It is wise to test the pump when it is initially installed to make sure the pump operates properly.

Frozen of Clogged Lines: If the water cannot exit, the pump does not work.  Protecting the water’s exit point of the discharge pipe will keep debris and animals out of the system, making it optimal for your sump pump.

Switch Problems: The switch is the main mechanical reason for sump pump failures.  This occurs when the pump shifts from its position inside the basin, rendering the float ineffective. Float is responsible for the smooth operation of the on/off switch. Your sump pump relies on both the switch and the float arm mechanisms to operate effectively.

Last, but not least is Lack of Maintenance: Most sump pumps should be ran every 2-3 months per most manufactures instructions.  Testing to make sure your sump pump works before rainy season hits is also recommended. 

If you have a sump pump failure this spring, SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside is here to help.  Give us a call at 708-240-4873. 

April Showers Bring May Flowers

3/30/2018 (Permalink)

We all know the “April Showers Bring May Flowers” rhyme from our childhood, but those April showers can also bring water damage to your home.

Often we see home owners call about sewer drain back up, and find they have the coverage but have a cap on that coverage.  It is very important for a homeowner to know their policy, so they do not find a large out of pocket expense when those spring rains start over flowering their sewer drains. 

Another loss that we find in the spring time are related to the gutters.  The winds start kicking up debris into the gutters or the gutters were not cleaned in the previous fall before winter struck and now there is water damage in the ceilings of home from full gutters. 

Also, with the wind, rain, and hail we find roof damage and damage from tree branches rise in the spring as well.  If a strong storm roars through, you may find your siding damaged by hail and shingles that the wind ripped off the roof. When wind blows shingles from your roof, it makes your home vulnerable to rain, creating the need for emergency roof repair, and water mitigation in your home as well. Make sure that you are taking care of droopy tree branches, and checking the shingles on your roof to see what sort of damage may have occurred during the winter.

Water damage is never fun to deal with as a homeowner. If you experience damage from those spring showers, remember SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside is always here to help. Give us a call at 708-240-4873. 

Water Training For Our Staff

2/28/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside is investing in the future of our technicians by sending them to class to learn the basics of water damage restoration.  “The IICRC-accredited Water Damage Restoration Technician (WRT) course is designed to provide basic education for technicians and other materially interested parties in the science and practice of water damage restoration. This course will cover extraction, basic containment and basic mold procedures. This course is designed to teach non-restoration personnel that perform remediation work to give them a better concept of water damage, its effects and techniques for drying of structures. This course will give residential and commercial maintenance personnel the background to understand the procedures necessary to deal with water losses, sewer backflows and contamination such as mold.” (IICRC website)  We believe continuing education for not only our technicians, but our office staff provides a better service to our customers.  Understanding what SERVPRO does, will make our customers experience with our staff a better experience and allow the customers a feeling they are well taken care of from the first call to our office all the way through the completion of their job. 

If you have water damage to your home, or commercial property, give SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside a call at 708-240-4873, and let us help you make it "Like it never even happened.” 

The Facts About Frozen Pipes

1/3/2018 (Permalink)

Cold temperatures can cause pipes to freeze. Frozen pipes are a problem because they prevent water flow, but even worse, frozen pipes can eventually burst, causing damage and potential flooding.  

How do you spot frozen pipes?  The first way to spot frozen pipes is frost on the pipes.  This can serve as a warning sign that the pipe is frozen before you ever try to turn on the faucet.  Examining the pipes under your kitchen sink and noticing frost is a sure sign that you have frozen pipes. 

Another way to spot frozen pipes is that the water is not coming out of the faucet, or coming in a very small stream. When you turn on the faucet, and  a slight trickle of water or no water at all comes out, the water pipe leading to the faucet may be frozen.

If you have water damage after noticing the frozen pipes give SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside a call and we will be happy to help assist with the water damage to your home.   Leaving damaged water pipes can cause more problems in the future, so give us a call to help make it "Like it never even happened."  

Winter Water Damage

12/11/2017 (Permalink)

For many in the US, the thought of getting home water damage from a cold snap does not even cross our minds, but the truth is, any home can be susceptible to cold. Here are some tips you will need to be aware of in order to protect your home from expensive water damage.

Ice Dams: Ice dams cause a significant amount of water damage each year to homes.  There are essentially two ways in handling ice dams.  You can do a temporary installation of heat cables on the overhang of your roof.  These cables will heat the roof area and melt the snow not allowing it to form ice damn, however, this method can also cause damage to your shingles and shorten the life time of the shingles.

The most effective long-term solutions are to keep heat out of the attic and to promote ventilation under the roof deck to keep it as cold as possible.  A soffit-and-ridge vent system usually requires insulation baffles installed at the lower side of the roof, above the exterior walls. The baffles hold back the insulation by a couple of inches, creating a channel for air to flow past the insulation. 

Pipe Breaks: When winter temperatures plummet, water can easily freeze inside the piping, causing them to burst. If you are unaware or not home when this happens, massive amounts of flooding to your home can happen to your home, furniture, and rugs. The best way to avoid broken pipes is to wrap the uninsulated pipes with a blanket or foam. 

Melting Snow: Melting snow can impact any home, whether it has a basement, crawlspace, or a slab foundation. If enough snow ends up piling up next to your foundation, it’s going to create a lot of water once it melts. If your lawn is not sloped away from your home, you are very likely to get gallons of water coming in from your foundation. 

High Winds Roof Damage:  Winter storms often bring very fast moving and strong winds with them.  These strong winds are capable of tearing shingles off of your roof.   Just a small amount of damaged or missing shingles can end up allowing a lot of water into your attic.  When possible a roofing company can come and check your roof, but remember that if there is snow and ice on the roof it is not safe for anyone, including trained professionals to get on the roof.    

If you experience water damage to your home this winter, SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside here to help.  Give us a call at 708-240-4873 for all your water damage needs.

How To Prevent Water Damage From Frozen Pipes

12/4/2017 (Permalink)

Frozen pipes are a sure way to water damage in your home, but how do you prevent frozen pipes in the winter? Our friends at American Family Insurance share some great tips on keeping your pipes from freezing.

The best way to prevent your home’s pipes from freezing is to keep them from being exposed to the cold. Here’s how:

  • Cover exposed pipes in crawl spaces or attics with insulation sleeves.
  • Re-route pipes to an inside wall.
  • Use caulking to seal cracks in the foundation or walls that let cold air in.
  • Disconnect garden hoses and turn off the water supply to spigots.
  • Keep cabinet doors open below your sinks to allow warm air in.

Other ways you can winterize your home from frozen pipes remove all the hoses from the outside water supply.  Once you have drained and stored the hose away, open up the outside valve.  This will allow the remaining water to drain and allows the pipe to expand without breaking. You should also consider a pipe sleeve to install over the outside water line to insulate and keep ice from forming.

The American Red Cross gives great ideas on preventative action during cold weather to consider to keep your pipes from freezing as well.

  • Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
  • When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.

There are many way to keep your home safe from winter pipe breaks.  Please feel free to reach out to SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside at 708-240-4873 if you need any help with your home.  

What is a Sump Pump, & What Do They Do?

6/13/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage What is a Sump Pump, & What Do They Do? It doesn’t take a huge flood to cause thousands of dollars in damage.

What is a sump pump?  A sump pump is a pump used to remove water that has accumulated in a water-collecting sump basin, commonly found in the basement of homes. The majority of residential sump pumps will turn on automatically from a pressure sensor or float activator. The pressure sensor activates as water builds up and creates more pressure than air which prompts the pump to turn on. The float activator has a ball that floats on top of the water, moving the arm as the water level rises.  Once the motor activates, the fan will begin to turn moving the water outside the basement. 

The American Society of Home Inspectors actually did a study that showed more than 60% of American homes suffer from underground wetness or water damage. It doesn’t take a huge flood to cause thousands of dollars in damage. It takes very little standing water and very little time for mold and mildew to take over and create problems.

If you have water damage to your home due to a failure with your sump pump, give SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/ North Riverside a call at 708-240-4873.  We are always here to help! 

What Causes A Sewer Back Up?

6/12/2017 (Permalink)

Sewage back ups are very unfortunate events that can happen in any home or commercial property. What causes this type of water damage anyway?  Well, typically there are three main categories that a sewer back up happens: damaged sewer pipes, clogs, and tree roots in the sewer system.  Let's look at these three areas a bit closer. 

  • Clogging: Typically if you only have one area of your home that experiences a backup, like a tub or a sink, then there is typically a clog and can be fixed with cleaning the drain.  However, if you have the backup in several areas of your home, then there is a blockage at the main or the private that is causing the issue.   Unless the blockage is removed, the overflow will continue and will damage your entire home or business area.
  • Tree Roots:  The roots of large trees in the proximity of a sewer line can often cause severe problems. They can literally grow into the pipes and cause holes and blockages or they may wrap around the sewer line and crush it.
  • Damaged Sewer Lines: Older properties with older sewer lines that have not been upgraded can have broken or collapsed lines.  All the pipes and sewers in older homes were built using cast iron and clay which can wear off with time, get rusty, and easily break down. Present day plastic sewer lines cannot cause such problems simply because they don’t rust.

Sewage backups are not only hazardous to your health, but they can cause a great amount of structural damage to your home.  If you experience a sewage back up do not attempt to flush the toilet. Do not use harsh chemicals to attempt to clean out the drain.  This can actually cause more damage and make things worse.  Open your windows to let fresh air in.  It is also very important to keep pets and children away from the affected area.  However, the most important thing to do, is to call for professional help.  

SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside is here to help with all your water damage needs. We are open 24/7/365 to help.  Call us at 708-240-4873.  

What Happens To Drywall When It Gets Wet?

6/12/2017 (Permalink)

Wet walls and insulation will hold moisture for a long time. This means that mold can form inside the wall. If your drywall has started to mold, you will need to replace all or part of it. It may lose its structural integrity, becoming soft and weak. mold begins to grow in 24 to 48 hours. The key to not having your wet drywall mold, is speedy drying. While drywall is pretty sturdy, when it’s exposed to water for too long it can get damaged and will require replacement.

If you have experienced water damage to your home, SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside is here to make it "Like it never even happened"  Give us a call at 708-240-4873 for all your restoration needs.  

Importance of gutter maintenance

6/5/2017 (Permalink)

According to our friends at Farmers Insurance, "Cleaning out your gutters is very important.  If you’re seeing lots of leaves, birds’ nests, sticks, and whatnot up there, your gutters may not be doing the job you hired them for. And on a rainy day, a clogged gutter can send water spilling into your home’s foundation, through the roof, or down to your basement. That could cause some serious water damage! So next time you’re doing some seasonal cleaning, make sure those gutters are clean. And if your gutters are too high, be safe and get a professional to check them."

Fortunately, gutter cleaning usually is a job you can do yourself, and most homes require only twice-yearly cleanings.  Clogged, overflowing gutters can be worse than no gutters at all. They can lead to wet basements, rot and leaks at your roof's edge, and damaged siding.  If climbing ladders isn't a safe or comfortable choice for you, call a professional. Your homeowners association (if you have one) can likely offer a referral, and many window washers provide gutter cleaning, too.

If you have water damage in your home or commercial property, give us a call at 708-240-4873.  We are always here to help! 

What is Efflorescence, and is it harmful?

6/1/2017 (Permalink)

According to The Masonry Institute of America, Efflorescence is the white chalky powder that you might find on the surface of a concrete or brick wall. It can be a cosmetic issue, or it can be an indication of moisture intrusion that could lead to major structural and indoor air quality issues. Efflorescence (which means "to flower out" in French) is the dissolved salts deposited on the surface of a porous material hat are visible after the evaporation of the water.  

Porous materials like brick, stone, concrete, and wood have the ability to wick up water.  If the water that contains salt, once the water evaporates from the building materials it leaves behind efflorescence.  

Efflorescence can often be confused with mold. However, not to worry, this is not something that is toxic or harmful.  

The best way to remove efflorescence, is by acid washing the area.  After the wash is complete, neutralize the area with baking soda.  You want to make sure to neutralize the area because acid residue can be harmful to plants and animals.  

If you have efflorescence that you would like to have looked at, and cleaned up we are here to help.  Give us a call at 708-240-4873. 

Ice dam’s, what are they?

1/3/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Ice dam’s, what are they? How ice dam's are formed.

 

What is an ice dam?

An ice dam is a wall of ice that forms at the edge of the roof, typically at the gutters or soffit, and prevents melting snow from draining off.

What causes ice dams?

For an ice dam to form, 3 things must be present:

1) Snow on the roof
2) Higher portions of the roof’s external surface must be above 32°F
3) Lower surfaces must be below 32°F

So how do you fix an ice damn?

There are several fixes, but only 1 cure to fixing an ice damn: a combination of better sealing, insulation, and venting in the attic and eaves.

One way to fix an ice dam is to take a box fan into the attic and aim it at the underside of the roof where water is actively leaking in. This targeted dose of cold air will freeze the water. Seal all points where warm air leaks from the living space into the spaces immediately below the roof sheathing.

You can also purchase a roof rake and remove the snow from the front of your roof.  This is a very good way to remove ice and snow if you live in a one story home.  However, if the snow is heavy and wet, it can be difficult to remove the snow with the rake. 

You can also insulate the living space well enough to prevent conduction and convection of heat through the ceiling

Safety, Safety, Safety

Hacking away at ice dams with a hammer, chisel, or shovel is bad for your roofing and dangerous for you. And throwing salt on them will do more to harm to your plantings than to the ice. Instead, tap lightly with a blunt mallet. This is slow, dangerous work, so hire someone experienced at roofing. Even if you do it safely, the chunks of ice can take pieces of shingle with them.

There is a cure for ice dam's:

1. Seal all points where warm air leaks from the living space into the spaces immediately below the roof sheathing.
2. Insulate the living space well enough to prevent conduction and convection of heat through the ceiling.
3. Vent the space between the insulation and the roof sheathing, so any heat that does leak through is carried away.

Remember, if an ice dam gets big enough, the water can back flow into your home. This can cause many different types of damage to your walls, ceilings, and insulation. If the ice dam gets too big it can also pull the shingles off the roof.

Should you find ice dam damage to your home, we are here to help. Give SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside a call at 708-240-4873, and we will be happy to help with all your water damage needs.

Frozen pipe prevention

12/12/2016 (Permalink)

 

Frozen pipes are a sure way to water damage in your home, but how do you prevent frozen pipes in the winter? Our friends at American Family Insurance share some great tips on keeping your pipes from freezing.

The best way to prevent your home’s pipes from freezing is to keep them from being exposed to the cold. Here’s how:

 

  • Cover exposed pipes in crawl spaces or attics with insulation sleeves.
  • Re-route pipes to an inside wall.
  • Use caulking to seal cracks in the foundation or walls that let cold air in.
  • Disconnect garden hoses and turn off the water supply to spigots.
  • Keep cabinet doors open below your sinks to allow warm air in.

 

Other ways you can winterize your home from frozen pipes remove all the hoses from the outside water supply.  Once you have drained and stored the hose away, open up the outside valve.  This will allow the remaining water to drain and allows the pipe to expand without breaking. You should also consider a pipe sleeve to install over the outside water line to insulate and keep ice from forming.

 

The American Red Cross gives great ideas on preventative action during cold weather to consider to keep your pipes from freezing as well.

 

  • Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
  • When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.

 

There are many way to keep your home safe from winter pipe breaks.  Please feel free to reach out to SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside at 708-240-4873 if you need any help with your home.