Recent Posts

Does Commercial Insurance Include Mold Coverage?

8/20/2020 (Permalink)

Mold on pieces of wood, SERVPRO logo on front of the picture A strong, musty odor may indicate hidden mold behind drywall or under carpeting.

Does Commercial Insurance Include Mold Coverage?

Fungi are an important part of the natural world. Along with bacteria, fungi are critical for breaking down waste material and the remains of dead life forms. However, when it gets into your building, it can be a serious problem, often requiring a fungus removal expert.
When outside, fungus releases essential nutrients back into the world, including

Carbon
Oxygen
Nitrogen
Phosphorous

Inside, the same process also happens, but it’s usually doing so with construction materials, such as wood and drywall. Once discovered, it’s important to get a detailed inspection in North Des Plaines, IL, to determine how deeply the fungus has penetrated into your building, as well as the cause.

Does the Cause Matter for Commercial Insurance?
In almost every case, yes! If the cause was the result of poor maintenance, such as letting a pipe or roof leak continue, most insurance will find that your negligence has caused the problem. In this case, you can be sure you won’t get a dime.
This also usually applies to commercial building owners with tenants. Commercial building owners are held to a higher standard than residential owners, so it can be important to be particular about what tenants you allow in.

Will a General Commercial Insurance Policy Cover Mold Cleanup?
Almost never! The standard ISO form excludes all forms of fungus removal, including mold, which is the most important fungi as far as building damage is concerned.
There are some exceptions. Some standard policies will cover mold damage from fires, lightning or other sorts of natural causes. You need to carefully review your policy with your agent to make sure!

How Can You Get Mold Coverage for Your Commercial Building?
Typically, fungus removal coverage comes from a rider to your policy, such as a limited fungus coverage rider. Many insurance companies are offering this now, due to the enormous growth in awareness of the dangers of indoor mold.
Mold can form anywhere excess humidity occurs around a food source, such as gypsum and wood studs. If a small, hidden leak occurs, this type of policy can help you pay for an inspection and mold cleanup.

What Is Category 2 Water Damage?

8/20/2020 (Permalink)

Background of blue water and on the middle a sign that says water categories There are three primary types of water categories

Flooding is a scary occurrence for homeowners. If left unchecked, floods can result in subsequent issues, such as water damage and mold growth. There are several different types of floodwater as well, each requiring their own specific remediation methods. If a lack of water pipe repair has caused issues for your home in North Des Plaines, IL, you might want to learn how to resolve Category 2 water damage.

Types of Flood Water

There are three primary types of floodwater, each categorized by the types of contaminants present in the flood.

Category 1: Category 1 water damage is characterized by a complete lack of contaminants. Clean water floods are, in theory, safe for human and animal consumption, but you should still never attempt to drink flood water. Category 1 floods can become more dangerous if they come into contact with other contaminants.
Category 2: Category 2 flooding is typically a result of a broken pipe or overflowing household appliances. Dirty dishwater or runoff from a laundry machine is usually to blame for this type of flood.
Category 3: Category 3 water, also known as blackwater, is the most dangerous type of flooding. It often contains human fecal matter, raw sewage or other types of dangerous biohazards. You should never attempt to remediate this type of flood without professional help.

Preventing Category 2 Flooding
The best offense in the war against water damage is a good defense. Prevent Category 2 flooding by regularly inspecting household appliances and exposed water pipes. Water pipe repair is also vital; if you come across a broken pipe then you need to patch the leak immediately.
Regular water pipe repair is an excellent way to protect your home against Category 2 flooding. Unfortunately, not all water pipes in your home are easy to inspect. Hidden pipes can burst and result in flooded walls and ceilings as well. If this is the case, you need to contact flood remediation experts to help you resolve the issue.

How To Prevent Further Damage After Flooding

8/10/2020 (Permalink)

Drying equipment in a bedroom Drying equipment in a Mount Prospect, IL home

How To Protect Your Home From Further Damage

Standing water can lead to mold growth in as few as 24 hours. Fortunately, acting quickly can protect your Mount Prospect, IL, home from further damage.

Drying the Property

After all people and pets are accounted for and it is safe to return to the property, the most important way to prevent further damage is to dry out the property as quickly as possible. You can use pumps, specialized vacuums, and buckets to remove the standing water. Then dehumidifiers and fans can be turned on to dry out porous items. If the humidity outside is low enough, you can open the windows and doors to increase airflow and speed the drying process. It may help to take some items outside to dry in the sunshine. The faster items dry, the less likely they are to foster mold.

Cleaning the Property
Unfortunately, mold growth is not the only concern after flooding. Floodwaters are often contaminated with bacteria. Because stagnant water can become a breeding ground for microorganisms, even clean water can become contaminated if left for more than 48 hours. The type of cleaner you should use depends on the source of the water, how long the water has been present and the item being cleaned. There are a variety of specialized cleaners available, as well as bleach and vinegar.

Restoring the Property
All items that cannot be fully cleaned and dried should be thrown away immediately. Remaining items may be able to be restored to their pre-flood conditions. Depending on your skill level, you may be able to do some repairs yourself. However, more intricate repairs, such as antiques and electronics, often have to be performed by a professional.
No matter how quickly you respond to flood damage, your home will need to be cleaned, dried, and restored. Whether you are dealing with mold growth or severe water damage, a certified restoration team can help you get your home back to normal quickly and safely.

How To Stop the Spread of Mold in Your Home

7/30/2020 (Permalink)

Green mold growth in the doors of a closet Mold damage

When a homeowner discovers spreading mold, it is time to take quick and decisive action. Letting the mold continue to grow and thrive in the home is not an option. If left untreated, mold will continue to spread throughout the property and look for new places to grow. Furthermore, unchecked fungal growth can damage walls, ceilings, paintings, documents, clothing, and furniture. Fortunately, there are a number of things a homeowner can do to get things under control. The surest way to control mold is to call a local mold mitigation company in North Des Plaines, IL. The company will follow a proven process to clean the home.

Professional Mold Remediation

Though each situation of mold infestation is different, the process of mold removal follows a similar pattern. These steps provide the foundation of mold abatement:

  • Inspection and assessment
  • Moisture treatment
  • Mold containment
  • Mold removal
  • Cleaning and sanitizing
  • Restoration

Particular attention is always paid to locating a problem water source. This is what normally allows spreading mold to infest a home and grow into dark colonies on walls and other surfaces. Whether the fungal growth is the type known as black mold or another type, professional methods are effective in cleaning the home.

Certified Mold Cleanup
Highly-trained technicians have undergone extensive education in the properties of mold. They understand what conditions enable spreading mold to take over a home. They also know how to contain the mold. The technicians will use HEPA vacuums to suck up mold spores and they follow this with a regimen of cleaning and sanitizing. Industry certifications ensure that technicians use the best practices to deal with the problem. These standards have been developed through the efforts of many leading stakeholders in the cleaning and restoration industry. A rigorous process determines which cleaning agents and techniques provide the best results. The final goal is to restore a home to its pre-mold condition.

The Relationship Between Water and Fire Damage

7/12/2020 (Permalink)

Inside of an empty building damaged by water and fire damage Water and fire damage in a Mount Prospect, IL building

Ways a Fire Can Lead to Water Damage

If you’re worried about a fire at your Mount Prospect, IL, place of business then you may make plans for a restoration in case of emergency. But did you know you may also want to plan for a water cleanup as well as a fire cleanup? There are a few ways a fire can lead to water damage. Here are three of the most common.

1. Fire Sprinklers

Fire sprinklers are an important system for protecting your business, however, they can also cause some water damage. Sprinklers are designed to release the suppressant directly over the flame to put it out, but the water may still pool in the affected area and can cause some additional problems if not quickly cleaned up. This can be a problem for areas already weakened by the fire.

2. Fire Hose

A fire hose can lead to a water cleanup since this important fire suppression tool has the ability to pump out between 200 and 800 gallons per minute depending on its size. This can cause flooding which if not quickly cleaned up may further damage the space. Fortunately, many restoration services are trained to handle water damage as well, and may already expect to need to perform a flood cleanup.

3. Weather

Weather can play a factor in causing water damage after a fire when the fire has caused structural damage that leaves gaps to the outside. This usually occurs in the roof or around windows. These gaps leave a space where rain or snow can get in. Your Local fire damage restoration service may offer tarping services in additions to smoke cleanup.

Planning for water cleanup can be important as water damage can occur in a number of ways. Fire suppression efforts such as sprinklers of a fire hose can lead to flooding. Additionally, if the fire has caused any structural damage such as in the roof, then rain or snow may get in and cause water problems as well.

4 Ways To Reduce Expenses in a Disaster

6/16/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO technicians in front of a van holding equipment Call the right response team

4 Ways To Reduce Expenses in a Disaster

If not handled properly, a disaster such as a flood or a major storm can quickly spiral out of control. Poor decisions can easily lead to additional, unnecessary expenses. Smart decisions such as pretesting or boarding up a damaged building can reduce expenses. Here a few ways to limit damages.

1. Call the Right Response Team. Not all response teams have the same level of training and expertise. A professional storm remediation franchise employs trained and certified technicians that understand the best methods to limit damages. If the building is damaged and exposed to the weather, the workers will likely recommend boarding up windows and placing a tarp over the roof to prevent additional damage.

2. Embrace Pretesting. This technique enables technicians to test items to see if they are suitable to be restored. A restore versus replace mentality can save money. It can also keep valuable belongings from being tossed out.

3. Prioritize the Insurance Claim. If you are an insurance agent, you know that an efficient claims process is important. When you work with SERVPRO, a preferred vendor for many insurance companies, you gain access to the company's claims inventory service. This helps claims get settled quickly and efficiently, reducing paperwork, confusion, and expenses.

4. Encourage High Standards. When a job is not done correctly, it usually winds up costing more money. Work may have to be repeated. SERVPRO professionals embrace the highest standards of the cleaning and restoration industry. This means work is done correctly the first time and it is done with safety in mind. It also means such problems as mold growth are unlikely to occur.
Pretesting is one of the techniques a local restoration company in North Des Plaines, IL, uses to control costs. Throwing out clothes or furniture that can be restored is a waste of money. Working with professionals is the best way to avoid unnecessary costs.

What Can Cause a Flooded Basement?

6/2/2020 (Permalink)

Completely flooded basement. It is visible line showing maximum water level higher than 7 feet. A basement flood can be devastating for a homeowner

Four Common Reasons For Flooded Basement

A basement flood can be devastating for a homeowner. Unwanted water can range in severity from a small trickle to floodwater that covers electrical outlets. By knowing some common reasons that basements flood, you may be able to take preventative measures and lessen the chance it will happen to you. Here are four common reasons for flooded basements and what you can do about them:

1. Blocked Gutters and Eavestroughs
If leaves or other debris get into your gutter system, it can change the water flow around your house or block the manifold that connects your home to the public sewer system. Have these areas checked and cleaned regularly, especially in the fall after the leaves have fallen.

2. Location of Your Home
If your home sits at the bottom of a slope, you may have a problem with water flow. As the water gathers around your home, it can seep in and cause water damage. Often, time will take care of this problem with erosion. To speed up the process, you could install some landscaping to guide the water away from your foundation.

3. Poor Construction
If flooring and wall tiles were not sealed properly, you may experience a basement flood every time there is a heavy storm. You can check these seals and have them fixed if you find a leak.

4. Drainage System
The downspouts around your home should direct the water away from the foundation. If your downspouts are within 6 feet of your basement wall or do not direct it in the opposite direction, it can cause a flooded basement. You may need to add additional piping or create a path for the water.
If you have experienced a basement flood in North Des Plaines, IL, it is safest to stay out of the water and call a professional for help. By enlisting the help of an expert water remediation company, you can have your home back to normal as quickly as possible.

Learn About the Cleanup Process After a Fire

6/2/2020 (Permalink)

Extensive fire damage in a home. Insulation from ceiling all over the floor Fire damage in Mount Prospect, IL

Fire Cleanup

If your Mount Prospect, IL, home has been through a fire, you may be wondering how it can be restored to its previous glory. Experiencing a house fire can be hard, but with a team of fire and smoke damage restoration professionals, you'll see a clear path to recovery. Each fire damage scenario is unique, so getting a plan that's customized to your needs is important. Here are some common processes involved with fire cleanup.

1. Cleaning up Soot
Soot is an unpleasant residue left after a fire. It's a black substance made largely of amorphous carbon, and it can be powdery or flaky in appearance. After a house fire, soot damage is a concern. It can stain your upholstery, carpet, and walls, as well as your belongings. While you can clean up soot to some degree yourself, many household materials require professional sanitization to remove it fully.

2. Removing Smoke Odor
After the flames are extinguished, the smell of smoke may persist due to smoke damage. When smoke permeates your home, minuscule smoke particles become lodged inside household materials, from your flooring to the paint on your ceiling. Smoke cleaning often requires experts in the industry and specialized cleaning equipment such as industrial air scrubbers and fogging machines.

3. Cleaning Your Home's Structure
Skillful and experienced fire damage cleanup teams should create a plan to fully clean and restore your home's structure. A comprehensive remediation plan ensures that your home doesn't continue to degrade after the fire is put out. Your home needs to be cleaned and repaired after suffering smoke and soot damage as well as water damage from the firefighting efforts.
After a house fire, you may be overwhelmed, but it's important to act quickly. Calling in fire restoration experts with the training and equipment to restore your home will pay off. Efficiently removing water, soot, and smoke damage is crucial to restoring your home to pre-fire condition.

Can a Water Leak Cost You a Fortune?

5/18/2020 (Permalink)

Dripping faucet A dripping faucet can cause major water damage in your home

How a Minor Leak Can Become Major Trouble

A leak seems so minuscule. After all, it's only a tiny bit of water leaving a pipe or faucet. How could it possibly create so much harm? Those little drips, though, wear away at fixtures, materials, and dirt, slowly ruining your premises. In fact, much of it is invisible, hiding inside walls or under the ground, making the water leak an unknown significant danger to business owners in Mount Prospect, IL. Sometimes quite costly, what seems so innocuous is really very deleterious. Here are three things to understand about how a minor leak can become major trouble.

1. How Does a Leak Occur?
Over time, pipes can create significant levels of water damage. Developing from rust, age or interference, holes in the piping can happen. Moisture then begins escaping, furthering the problem. You'll need to consider various factors. Outside, groundwork can interfere with your system. Also, trees can grow into pipes, puncturing them. Pay attention to your surroundings, noting any alterations in the ground. Unusual puddles, holes, or changes in elevation levels are signs of escaping fluid. Inside, if systems go unexpected, complications can arise within the walls. Work with a specialist to regularly evaluate the pipes.

2. Are You Responsible?
If you're not paying attention, a water leak can exacerbate quickly. Bills for utilities may seem a bit high at first, maybe only going up just a bit. You probably chalked it up to increased usage. Eventually, as the opening enlarges, it can add up into the thousands. As you work with a water restoration company to locate the issue, you'll need to understand where the event has occurred. Most often leaks inside the building are the responsibility of the owner. If the leak is outside, not on your property, it could fall onto the shoulders of the utility company.

3. How Do You Fix the Problem?
First, fix the pipe break. Then, work with the remediation team to dry up the area and sanitize the space. You'll need to evaluate anything wet, determining whether it's salvageable.
Be aware of the potential for a water leak. Note billing changes and have regular inspections.

A Few Facts for a Better Understanding of Mold

5/18/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth behind wallpaper Black mold and other forms of fungus can break down materials over time

Facts About Mold

To the uninitiated, the world of mold can seem a bit disorienting, especially if you find it growing in your place of business in Mount Prospect, IL. Here are a few facts about mold to get you up to speed.

Mold is a Fungus
It is an organism that is neither plant nor animal
Mold is present just about anywhere, though often in small quantities
Black mold is a type that often requires professional cleanup
Mold grows best in warm, moist conditions
It grows on a variety of surfaces including wood, paper, and tile

In small quantities, the growth of mold can sometimes be contained without outside help. In moderate to large outbreaks it is best controlled with the services of a professional mold remediation franchise.

Mold Cleanup
Whether you have a form of black mold growing, or another type of mold that infests buildings, the process of cleanup involves a number of steps. A fast response is important since mold can spread easily throughout a property, often in as little as 48-72 hours. An inspection and assessment by trained technicians using specialized equipment provides information on the scope of the problem. Testing may be needed to find out where mold is located and what types of mold are present. If your building has a moisture problem, a common condition of mold growth, it should be addressed. From there, the technicians go on to mold containment and removal.

Mold Restoration
The final steps in the process include cleaning and sanitizing surfaces affected by mold, and restoration of damaged materials such as drywall, carpeting, upholstery, and clothing. In severe cases, some items may need to be replaced. Black mold and other forms of fungus can break down materials over time. The goal of the restoration process is to remove mold colonies and to prevent their recurrence. The musty odors associated with mold should also be eliminated.