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Top 5 Places to Look for Mold

11/25/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth on a wall Mold damage in North Des Plaines, IL

You Should Check The Following Areas

Mold damage has the potential to ravage your North Des Plaines, IL, home if the situation isn't handled properly. Performing regular home inspections to check for mold and mildew can help you catch the problem while it's still small and ultimately save you time and money in costly mold remediation. If you're not sure where to start looking, try checking the following locations.

1. Your Bathroom
Where there's water, there's the potential for mold growth. Your bathroom comes into a lot of contact with water. Check for mold in the shower, the bathtub, underneath the sinks, around any exposed piping and in the window sills.

2. Your Kitchen
You need to make sure that you regularly remove old food items from your refrigerator and pantry, as these can sponsor unwanted mildew growth. It's also important to check around and underneath the sinks as well.

3. Your Laundry Room
Your washing machine also has the potential to house mold. You need to make sure that you properly air the drum out after each cycle. At least once a month, you should also run an empty cycle on high heat with a cup of white vinegar in the drum. This can help prevent future mold growth and keep your laundry fresh.

4. Your Living Room
While you might not be able to see it as easily, your living room's carpet can also fall victim to mold damage. Neglecting to clean up spills right after they happen can lead to moisture getting trapped underneath the carpeting, causing black mold to grow on the flood boards beneath.

5. Your Basement
If you have an unfinished basement with exposed water pipes, then you need to take extra time checking for mold. Inspect your water pipes and around the water heater for signs of mold.
Performing regular home inspections can help you catch the problem before it has the chance to spiral out of your control. Make sure to contact mold remediation experts for assistance if your inspection does uncover signs of mold damage.

How To File a Water Damage Claim

11/24/2020 (Permalink)

Claim form for fill out Homeowners may file an insurance claim, seeking financial assistance in the restoration efforts

Follow These Four Steps

When a home in Mount Prospect, IL, suffers from water damage, homeowners may file an insurance claim, seeking financial assistance in the restoration efforts. The process, for many, may seem intimidating, but it doesn't have to be that way. By taking initiative and remaining organized, residents can make the experience easier. It's important to follow these four steps, always remembering to record every effort made.

1. Report the Damage
If the flood destroyed structural materials and personal belongings, immediately call your insurer to request assistance. It's important to relay the details of the initial event and ask questions about your policy. Double-check the deductible amount and the total coverage that is available.

2. Arrange for Inspections
Obtain an assessment from a water remediation company. The professionals should check the moisture saturation levels and determine how much tear out, drying and construction are needed to repair the space. In addition, the insurer should send an adjuster to review the premises. Be available during this time to walk the property together and point out any problems. The company uses the adjuster's report and other estimates to evaluate the insurance claim.

3. Photograph Everything
Evidence of the issues is important. Before any work is done, take photos of the pipe burst and any subsequent destruction. Soggy carpets, ruined drywall and soaked valuables should be noted. Usually, policyholders have both personal loss and property loss coverage. Be sure, therefore, to record everything of concern. Save these in a file on your computer and share them with the agency.

4. Submit Receipts
Begin any immediate cleaning. Delaying too long could cause further complications. Make a list of all the expenses. Send this itemization with the receipts to your insurer to file toward your insurance claim.
Don't hesitate to work with your insurance agency to get the monetary support required to fix your house after a pipe burst or flood. Remember to remain clear and structured with each step.

Restoring Your Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

11/21/2020 (Permalink)

Flood water on the floor of a Mount Prospect business We are water removal experts and will restore your property to pre-damage conditions

Flooding and water damage events at Mount Prospect or Des Plaines commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines

SERVPRO of Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a 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.

Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines Smoke and Soot Cleanup

11/16/2020 (Permalink)

The aftermath of a laundromat fire in Mount Prospect, IL We are prepared to respond to any Fire Damage Emergency in Mount Prospect, IL

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Mount Prospect/North Des Plaines will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your Mount Prospect property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 847-956-1880

3 Measures To Stop Flooding

11/12/2020 (Permalink)

The Thames Barrier in England The Thames Barrier in England consists of hollow steel-clad water gates

Here Are Three Innovative Flood Prevention Systems

High water can cause flood damage inside of commercial buildings. Cities that sit near large bodies of water or in areas that are at a high risk of hurricanes are among the most vulnerable locations. However, even dry climates can flood on occasion. There are many methods cities can use to protect infrastructure and inhabitants from rising water. Technical advances are being made, and new systems are being developed all the time. Here are three innovative flood prevention systems that cities around the world are using to help keep flood waters away.

1. The Maeslant Storm Surge Barrier
The Maeslant Storm Surge Barrier in the Netherlands is one of the largest moving structures in the world. This unique apparatus contains computerized walls and water tanks inside the barrier. When the weight of the rising water pushes the walls down, it stops the flooding and keeps the water from passing to the other side of the barrier.

2. The Modulo Sperimentale Elettromeccanico
The Modulo Sperimentale Elettromeccanico, or MOSE, is a system of 78 barriers that block high water from entering the town of Venice. Each of the 78 partitions are designed to work independently and can be maneuvered to hold back water rising from the Adriatic Sea.

3. The Thames Barrier
The Thames Barrier in England consists of hollow steel-clad water gates. When open, ships can easily pass between the gates. When the water begins to rise, hydraulic rocker beams are used to close the gates and stop flooding. To avoid flooding on the other side, a small amount of water continues to pass through the bottoms of the barriers.
Large cities have many options for stopping high water before it reaches civilization. When safeguards are not in place, unnecessary flooding can occur. If your business in Mount Prospect, IL, has experienced flood damage, call a professional remediation company to get your business back to normal as quickly as possible.

Your Guide to Category Two Water Damage

11/9/2020 (Permalink)

dirty water on the floor Category two water damage in North Des Plaines, IL

A broken pipe is a common cause of commercial water damage, but not all pipe breaks are the same. Experts classify floodwater into three categories: Category One, sometimes called “clean water”; Category Two, also known as “gray water”; and Category Three, referred to as “black water.” Categories Two and Three require considerable decontamination efforts in addition to ordinary cleanup and water pipe repair.

Sources of Gray Water

Category Two water is water that is mildly to moderately contaminated. It may contain chemicals, bacteria or other organic materials. Some examples of Category Two water include:

  • used water from a washing machine or dishwasher
  • water from a malfunctioning sump pump
  • water from an overflowing toilet that contains urine, but no feces
  • water from a fire sprinkler system

Frequently, Category Two water is actually water which was Category One clean water at the time of the pipe break or other event. Clean water can turn into gray water if it becomes contaminated through contact with dirt, chemicals, and/or bacteria in the environment, such as on the floor of your business. Consider a failed water pipe repair on an upper floor that seeps down to a lower floor. The water could be considered Category One upstairs, but Category Two downstairs, since it becomes contaminated as it passes through the floor, subfloor, insulation and ceiling material.

Gray Water Cleanup
Because Category Two water contains contaminants, it is considered a health hazard to humans and animals. To ensure that the area is properly and thoroughly decontaminated, call a reliable water restoration company in North Des Plaines, IL. Restoration technicians have the equipment and training necessary to completely remove all contaminants and hazardous materials. Be sure to contact these professionals as soon as possible, as Category Two water can become Category Three water within hours.
Never attempt to perform a water pipe repair in a business flooded with Category Two water. Leave any cleanup work that involves hazardous conditions to experienced professionals.

5 Steps To Recovering From Contaminated Water

11/8/2020 (Permalink)

standing water in a commercial building Commercial water damage

Here Are Five Steps You Can Follow To Ensure Your Business Is Safe

Flood water is considered to be contaminated water. It can pick up viruses, bacteria, sewage, debris, chemicals, and other contaminants that lie in its path. Contaminated water can cause damage to a business and impact its bottom line. To get your operations back to normal as quickly as possible, there are five steps you can follow to ensure your business is safe for customers and employees.

1. Perform Water Extraction
Contaminated water can creep or rush into your building. It can soak everything in its path including furniture, building materials, paperwork, walls, and flooring. The first step to cleaning up the mess is removing the water. Professional water remediation companies use water extraction devices to remove the water quickly.

2. Clean Debris
Flood water can carry debris and leave it scattered on your floor. Any debris left over will need to be cleared away. Materials that are not salvageable will also be removed during the cleaning phase.

3. Dry the Area
You will want to get the water cleaned up as quickly as possible because the longer the water sits, the more time it has to cause damage to your building. Professionals often use industrialized blowing machines to dry the area quickly.

4. Clean and Sanitize
A biocide or bleach solution can be applied to the area to kill off any lingering organisms. This step is absolutely necessary after a flood or toilet overflow.

5. Restore the Building
Once the area has been cleaned and sanitized, the restoration team will begin restoring your business to its original state. Depending on the level of damage, the experts may replace drywall or install a new carpet.
Flood water contains many contaminants, but with proper cleaning and disinfecting, you can return your business in Mount Prospect, IL, to its pre-flood condition. Call a professional water remediation company to make your building appear "Like it never even happened."

Tests Your Fire Sprinkler's Need

11/3/2020 (Permalink)

Automatic ceiling Fire Sprinkler at the Office Your fire sprinkler system needs periodic testing to make sure that it is ready and capable of handling any commercial fire

When most people think about testing a fire sprinkler system, they see horrible images of all of their equipment getting soaked. Fortunately, you can test your system without actually setting it off. If you don't know how to do this, ask a fire safety professional or your fire inspector to help you.

Tests You Can Perform

There are some simple tests that you can perform on your fire suppression system without actually setting a fire. These tests are:

  • The water flow alarm test
  • The 2-inch main drain test
  • The fire pump test
  • The hydrostatic 5-year functionality test
  • The dry pipe valve drip test

A qualified employee should perform these tests as part of your regular fire sprinkler testing routine. If you don't test your fire sprinkler system, you could have a malfunction, causing you to need to call a fire or water damage remediation company in North Des Plaines, IL.

You should test your full fire prevention system quarterly. Always follow the manufacturer's testing guidelines to ensure that your system will operate when you need it. You should also check the gauges weekly to be sure that the system is full and properly pressurized.

What Your Fire Inspector Will Test

Your fire inspector will perform some tests to make sure that your system is working properly and up to standard as well. Their inspections are much different than your routine testing. A fire inspector will want to look at your maintenance logs. They will check the gauge and do a live system test. Don't worry, inspectors use the main drain instead of the actual sprinklers to do the live test so you won't have to worry about any fire sprinkler cleanup.

Your fire sprinkler system needs periodic testing to make sure that it is ready and capable of handling any commercial fire. If you don't know how to test your system, speak with the company that installed it or a fire safety professional. They can advise you on proper testing and maintenance.

5 Ways to Flood Proof Your House

10/20/2020 (Permalink)

A sump pump installed in a basement of a home with a water powered backup system. Take good care of your sump pump

Flood Safety Measures

Flooding is one of the most common natural disasters that homeowners in the United States have to deal with. Water damage can wreck havoc, costing you hundreds, if not thousands, in primary and secondary damage. Protecting your home in Mount Prospect, IL starts with taking precautionary flood safety measures. Abide by the following safety tips to help flood proof your property.

1. Protect and Relocate Valuable Possessions.
Any important possessions that aren't waterproof need to be sealed in containers and relocated to high shelves on the top floor of your home. This includes important documents, irreplaceable family heirlooms and electronic devices.

2. Install a Back Flow Valve.
Interior and exterior water valves can help prevent sewage and ground water from backing up into your home. Install these devices on all pipes that enter the home, just to cover all your bases.

3. Modify Indoor Electrical Systems.
The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety recommends that all sockets, wiring, switches and circuit breakers sit at least one foot above the projected flood level. If any of your equipment is below this line, then you need to practice proper flood safety by modifying and moving the devices.
4. Control Water Flow Outside Your House.
Your property is significantly less likely to flood if the water is redirected in the opposite direction. Most homes are built on somewhat elevated surfaces, but you may still need to take additional measures. Modify the slope of the ground near your property so that the water runs away from the house.

5. Take Good Care of Your Sump Pump.
Your home's sump pump is designed to drain ground water and prevent flooding. However, it can't perform its job correctly if you don't practice proper machine maintenance. Make sure to regularly remove accumulating debris, test the pipes and change the backup batteries when necessary.
The above flood safety measures can help prevent you, as a homeowner, from having to deal with unnecessary water damage. If your property has fallen victim to water damage caused by flooding, then you need to contact flood remediation experts as soon as you can.

4 Ways to Clean Pipes and Avoid Chemicals

10/13/2020 (Permalink)

Woman with plunger trying to remove clogged sinks. Abstract photo. A plunger can be used to unplug any drain where it can gain suction

Four Alternatives To Chemical Cleaners

When your sink gurgles, your instant reaction is to reach for the drain cleaner, but it should be your last resort when clearing a clogged drain. First, try these four alternatives to chemical cleaners:

Grab a plunger. It is not just meant for toilets. A plunger can be used to unplug any drain where it can gain suction. Often, it only takes a few minutes of plunging to clear minor clogs.
Use a wire hanger. Bend a wire coat hanger so that you create a long handle by straightening out the corners. Use your newly created hook to “fish” down into the clogged drain and pull the blockage out. This works especially well for shower drains where hair tends to build up.
Mix up some baking soda and vinegar. This classic combination of non-corrosives is used for all sorts of household remedies, so it is not a surprise that it can be used to clear drains. In this case, you use boiling water as a heating agent to create a reaction.
Call a plumber. Even if you get a stubborn clog to move, it doesn’t always completely leave your system, or it clogs up other sewage pipes. Having a sewage cleaning expert take care of the problem right away will save time and money.

By trying some of these methods, you can prolong the life of your pipes.

Why You Should Avoid Chemicals
Drain cleaner is made up of different chemicals that work by creating a reaction to dissolve clogs. The reaction creates heat to break down the blockage. As a result, it can weaken pipes, causing them to break and costing you more when you have to call in a local water damage company to clean up.
Fixing a clogged drain with a chemical cleaner might be easy, but there are other alternatives that are better for keeping both your pipes and the sewage system in North Des Plaines, IL, flowing.